Friday, December 28, 2007

Peruvian Soup - Chupe de Camarones

Today was another soup day for us. Since we don't eat meat on Fridays year round, I thought it might be a good day for my mom's Peruvian Chupe de Camarones. It is more or less a shrimp chowder.

I found this recipe which is very similar to my mom's recipe. Recipe for Chupe de Camarones My mom makes it without the Peruvian ajis or the queso blanco...or peas for that matter. I know remember I forgot to add oregano. But it was still good.

It is a very tasty and hearty soup.

Soup Days

It's been pretty raining and winding here. That means, the temps have dropped and for us, it is chilly. The following is a recipe for lentil soup I made in the crockpot yesterday.

1 leftover spiral ham bone (or ham hocks)
2 cups dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup sliced celery
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Andouille sausages or another kind of spicy sausage such as Portugese
6 cups of chicken stock
or 2 or 3 chicken bouillon cubes and 6 cups water
1 can tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste.

Place all ingredients early in the morning, in a crockpot. Select HIGH and let it cook for at least 6 to 8 hours or until potatoes and lentils are cooked.

This soup will be thick and will go well with crusty fresh French Bread.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Long Awaited Christmas Present

Cuisinart Ice Cream MakerWell, I finally got what I've been wanting! The Cuisinart Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Maker. I'm really happy with this gift. You see, as much as I like Haagen Daz ice cream, I feel we could do better with ice cream made at home.

So yesterday I prepped the ice cream maker by freezing the bowl and then we went to the supermarket to get the ingredients needed. The joke among my family was that a quart of ice cream cost us twice as much as a gallon of Breyers :-)

Unfortunately, the ice cream never frozen even after having the machine on for over an hour. Turns out I didn't let the bowl freeze solid. Liquid could still be heard if you shook it. So back in the freezer it went overnight and then I froze the ingredients in a separate container.

This morning we ran the ingredients through the machine for about 20 minutes. It is now setting and should be ready to eat in a few hours.

Our first attempt is vanilla but the possibilities are endless. I think I will try chocolate chip mint next or cookies -n- cream....maybe mango sherbet or peaches -n- cream.....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's Yakiniku Tonight!

grillPicture source as well as the following review are from The Tasty Island Blog
To help us celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary, our DS is taking us out to dinner to his favorite restaurant.

Camellia Yakiniku Click the link for a review.

Not really my idea of romantic but heck, it's really tasty and we never celebrate an anniversary without our son.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Peruvian Ceviche

cebiche
Picture source: HERE

Our fish of choice is Tilapia and it is marinating in lime juice to which aji amarillo a specialized hot pepper has been added along with, slices of white onions (red onions would go well here too), sliced jalapeƱos, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper. I do not add cilantro because I believe the traditional Peruvian method is to add flat leafed parsley and not cilantro. This dish is served with boiled sweet potatoes and steamed corn. Sometimes Peruvian restaurants top the cebiche with "cancha" which is a roasted and salted large dried Peruvian corn kernel similar in taste to corn nuts.

The following recipe is pretty close to what my mom makes.

And once again, this is strictly a Peruvian dish, not Mexican or Ecuadorian (although I am sure their variation on this dish is tasty too).
Recipe here

Thursday, December 6, 2007

What's For Dinner Tonight? Lamb and Barley Soup

I found a recipe on the internet HERE and it sure sounds like it will be quite tasty.

However, I tweaked my soup a bit as follows:

Brown the lamb pieces in a hot soup pot where olive oil has been added. Add diced onions and garlic. Add 6 cups of water (for 4 servings of meal size servings). Add one envelope of Knorr Chicken bouillen powder. Add sliced carrots and celery as well as one cup of pearl barley. Simmer on medium low for at least two hours. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

I think I will serve this with Italian sub sandwiches or maybe just a tossed salad.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Humor Break

Shared by John.

ITALIAN PASTA DIET -- IT REALLY WORKS!!
1.. You walka pasta da bakery.
2.. You walka pasta da candy store.
3.. You walka pasta da Ice Cream shop.
4... You walka pasta da table and fridge.
You willa lose weight!
AND......

For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION

Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Recipe for Chicken Casserole

The following recipe is by Divine Mercy Doesn't it look like it is quite tasty?

3 cups (750 mL) hot cooked broccoli florets
2 cups (500mL) cubed, cooked, skinless chicken breast
1 can (10 oz/284 mL) CAMPBELL'S Condensed Cream of Broccoli Soup (or Low Fat) Cream of Broccoli Soup (or Low Fat)
1/3 cup (75 mL) milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded light Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp (30 mL) dry bread crumbs
1 tsp (5 mL) butter or margarine, melted

Arrange
broccoli and chicken in 1 qt (1.5 L) baking dish.

Pour
mixture of soup and milk over broccoli and chicken. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with mixture of bread crumbs and butter.
Bake
at 425°F (220°C) until heated through - about 25 minutes.

Pumpkin Bread

pumpkin bread
There are freezer bags full of pumpkin chunks and puree sitting in our freezer. With Christmas and other special occasions coming up, I thought this was a good day to start emptying out the freezer. So today I made pumpkin bread. I got my recipe from my Better Homes and Garden cookbook. As usual, I found a similar recipe on the internet. Why type when I can just link ;-)

Simply Recipe - Pumpkin Bread

We've never had pumpkin bread before. I believe the only quick breads I bake are corn bread or banana bread....maybe cranberry nut bread once. Well, my family and I loved the flavor and texture of this delicious bread! I doubled the recipe and I also substituted Pumpkin Pie spice for the spices called for in the recipe. Keep in mind that our son does not like pumpkin pie. But he loved this bread.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Money Saving Tips

I am a subscriber to The Dollar Stretcher. It is a free e-newsletter for tips on living more frugally. The following was in last week's newsletter which I am just getting around to read. The ones in bold are the ones I do:
From Grandma's Attic
by Marenda Babcock
What Grandma knew about saving money in 1948

In an effort to do more de-cluttering in our home, my husband
and I were going through a box of items left from his
grandmother who died last April. Many items were thrown out.
However we found a book entitled "1003 Household Hints and
Work Savers" written by Michael Gore in 1948. Inside the front
cover, I see the price Granny paid was a whopping 50 cents.
What a deal!

Some ideas are too old to be applicable in today's lifestyle,
but many ideas can still be used today. The following is a
montage of ideas that would still help the frugal household
save a few pennies here and there.

* When shopping at a fruit stand, watch for bruised fruits and
veggies to cut up. I regularly ask for bruised tomatoes at a
deep discount and cut them up to use in salads, on tacos, and
in other dishes. I do the same with fruit. If the price is not
a deep discount, I offer the vendor a lower price. They watch
for me regularly. They know I might buy up their hard to sell
items.

* Prevent fruit and vegetable spoilage by lining the drawer
bottom with a paper towel. This absorbs excess moisture that
forms in the drawer and causes faster spoilage. I like this
idea, but to save money, use a dishtowel instead.

* Use liquid from canned vegetables in soups, sauces, stews,
gravies, and casserole dishes and for making a white sauce.
The canned liquid is full of flavor and vitamins.

* Don't throw beet-tops away. They make a fine, free
substitute for spinach greens, being rich in vitamins,
minerals, and iron.

* Wrap a head of lettuce in a towel to prevent it from
"rusting" so quickly.

* Don't waste celery tops. Cut them up and use in stews,
soups, roasts, and in stuffing.

* You will have no tears if you peel an onion under cold
running water. (NOTE FROM ME: This seems to me to a waste of water. I guess you can also do it in a bowl of water and then use that water to water your plants)

* Fried potatoes will be deliciously golden brown if sprinkled
lightly with flour before frying.

* Save your orange and lemon rinds, boil in water and add the
flavored water to iced tea, lemonade, and fruit drinks.

* Have just a small amount of flake cereal left? Don't throw
it out. Crush it up and put it in a meatloaf or meatballs. Or
toss the flakes with some melted margarine and grated cheese
for a delicious casserole topping.

* Cooking with a double boiler saves money. Cook boiled eggs
in the bottom while cooking oatmeal or something else in the
top part.

* Don't throw out the leftover coffee or tea. Pour it into
empty ice cube trays and freeze for iced coffee or iced tea.

* When boiling eggs, you don't need to boil them until they
crack. Once they come to a boil, turn off heat and cover with
a plate for 15 minutes. If heating up a breakfast roll or
muffin, put it on top of the plate and let the heat from the
steam in the pan heat up your breakfast.

* To keep fine china from being scratched, put paper doilies
between plates and saucers when stacking them.

* When food is fried on a gas range, popping grease frequently
spatters the burners not in use. Pie pans placed upside down
over the unit burners to protect them and are easily cleaned.

* When cutting fresh flowers from the garden be sure to remove
all lower leaves below the water line, decaying vegetable
matter poisons the water.

* Use your double boiler to cook the vegetables in the bottom
and the white sauce or cheese sauce for the veggies in the
top. This saves time and fuel.

* Don't throw away those old flannels. I had a bottom flannel
sheet that ripped down the middle. I cut a pair of flannel
pajama pants for my son to wear made from the top sheet. The
ripped bottom sheet will make some nice potholders.

* If you have two or three worn-out blankets, stitch them
together and cover with a cotton print.

This fantastic list proves that even though the book was very
old, many of the tips are still helpful over 50 years later.