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by on February 27th, 2017

Tuscan Tortellini Soup

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Feel better with some soup!

I love making soup and cool weather or not, if I feel the urge, there may be a pot of something on my stove.

It’s a wonder we don’t stay sick all the time here in Texas. I just took a look at the weather channel for a 30 day plus outlook. Well, our temperatures may be 60’s, 70’s and 80’s for the next three months. We were 80 here just a couple of weeks ago and next week it’s up and down all week. The freezes we had this winter killed about 1/4 of our plants outside even though they were covered. We aren’t used to more than one night below freezing in a row and if we get that the plants start to droop and say “bye bye, make a better choice next time.”

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by on February 21st, 2017

Crawfish Hushpuppies

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My contribution to a cajun or Mardi Gras dinner.

Mardi Gras is almost here. I’ve never been to a Mardi Gras and I guess I don’t care if I ever go to one but I do love cajun cuisine. When we were in New Orleans last summer we had all kinds of cajun food and a few things I made after I got home.

I picked up these decorations/props at my craft circle. There’s a room bigger than my whole house (maybe twice over) full of supplies that we can go back and get for any project our group is working on. The little jester, mask and beads came from the floral department. And, since they weren’t using them for a few days, I thought I would borrow a few things and use for props. Just look at that little girl with her hand out, just waiting for a hushpuppy.

My local HEB had a guy out front last week with a big contraption that he was cooking crawfish in; so I decided to buy them and not fool with cooking such a small amount. I only bought a pound which didn’t make nearly enough meat. I’m putting 1 – 1 1/2 cups of crawfish tails in the recipe because that’s what it is going to take to make these delicious. At $5.99 a lb, and I bought only a pound and got 3/4 cup of meat, I’d go for the ones you cook yourself next time because they are going to be about $2.00 a pound, maybe less depending on where you live or you can buy crawfish tails in the freezer section.

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by on February 15th, 2017

Walnut, Fig and Goat Cheese Phyllo Rolls

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Crunchy and delicious!

I love just about every kind of sushi and even unagi which is freshwater eel. So, what does eel have to do with this recipe? Well, for years of watching cooking shows and hearing the word Umami I’ve been hearing “unagi” and thinking where’s the eel.

Over the last few years I’ve discovered how wrong I was and that the chefs are actually saying “umami” which is the fifth taste. We all know sweet, salty, bitter and sour but did you know there was a fifth taste called “umami” and it wasn’t a recent discovery.

I seems like a hundred years after Escoffier wrote his cookbook (where he identified this new flavor) scientist finally agreed with him on a new flavor “savory” or umami. Read this article called “Sweet,Sour, Salty, bitter and Umami” and you will find out everything you need to know about this new/old taste. There’s an article in The New Yorker you might be interested in reading; I don’t want to just copy what they said so go to their website and have a good read if you’re interested.

So, the umami part of this recipe would be the prosciutto which is a smoked meat and falls into the foods that have a lot of umami flavor. I’ve read also that if you crush up some dried seaweed (chips) into your hamburgers you will get a great tasting burger. Continue reading

by on February 10th, 2017

Parmesan Naan Breakfast Pizza

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Steak and eggs, what could be better for breakfast?

Are you one of those people that take home leftovers from a restaurant because you couldn’t possibly have eaten another bite off your plate? Sometimes I ask for a box when they bring my food just so I’m not tempted to eat the whole thing.

My husband is always bringing home something from Mexican restaurants and sometimes they actually make it into the refrigerator. Once I went to get in my car to go someplace and the most horrific smell hit me in the face. Guess what, it was HIS Mexican food in the back seat. I’ve gotten where I order everything a la carte from Mexican restaurants because I can get exactly what I want and not so much that I’m not finishing it because I have eaten too many chips and bowl(s) of salsa.

Well, if you happen to have left over steak, I’m sure it will make it into the house. There probably won’t be enough to make a meal out of it but you can make this breakfast pizza that is made with naan for the crust. You can really add whatever ingredients you want; I didn’t add a lot of cheese (just parmesan) because it was for breakfast and I just didn’t want a real cheesy pizza.

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by on February 5th, 2017

Linzer Heart Cookies

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Sweets for your sweetie.

Don’t you just love Valentine’s Day. For some it is a good excuse to go out to dinner or to give someone special a gift, some red roses, or box of candy. For me it is a challenge to cook a new recipe and come up with a very nice dessert.

Back in the day when schools allowed parties for all occasions plus birthday parties, there were room moms just waiting to sign up to bring homemade treats. Valentine’s Day was my favorite holiday when I was a kid and when I volunteered as a room mom for my kids.

In our younger years we (seem to always refer to myself as “we” since I have a twin sister) made valentine boxes to put our valentines in that we would be getting from fellow classmates. I particularly remember one year my mother helping me make ruffles of pink and red crepe paper to glue to my shoe box with a hole cut in the top. I’m sure for the party we had red punch, lots of candy and there were always cupcakes and more than likely we were all wired from all the sugar before we got home; but guess what, we survived.

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