Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006

Well hope everyone had a GREAT Thanksgiving!!!!
My hubby had to work that night so we had our dinner on Friday instead and it was just as wonderful.

We had: Our upside down turkey, our families traditional cornbread sage dressing, sweet potato pecan casserole, pistachio salad, deviled eggs, green bean casserole, assorted German olives, cheese, veggies, cranberry sauce, whole wheat Hawaiian bread, pecan pie, apple rum pie and pumpkin pie. It was all really yummy!!!!

Our table...view from our upstairs balcony

My plate all loaded down with good eats!

We had 3 assorted German olives. One with chile, one with herbs and the third with roasted garlic. they were all really good. this one is the herbs.
Our's so tender it falls off the bones when picked put and thus why it looks so legless...ha ha.
Raina's Apple rum pie

Sweet potato nut casserole p2

Sweet potato nut casserole

I've never been too big on sweet potatoes with the marshmallows toasted on top. I am not a big fan of marshmallows unless in some deserts. I went to a party years ago and had a yam casserole and it had nuts in it and brown sugar. It was really good and since then I have made something similar. This year it was more Sb friendly and still very good.

2 cans sweet potatoes in syrup, drained
1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans
1 to 2 TAB Log Cabin sugar free maple syrup
1/2 cup splenda
dash of salt

Drain two cans of sweet potatoes and place in mixing bowl. Add everything but the pecans and mix with a hand mixer until blended rather smooth. Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with pecan and bake or microwave til heated through.

Pistachio Salad p2

Pistachio Salad...ya know, that light green fluffy yummy stuff!!
(sorry this photo doesn't do this salad justice!!!!)

This is always a favorite in my family, ever since this recipe was passed around so many years ago. Its become a tradition at our Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter dinner table. Some call it Watergate Salad others call is Pistachio Salad...but either way its known to be yummy!! This is how my family makes this dish.

1 pkt sugar free (Jello brand) pistachio pudding, dry
1 can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
1/2 to 1 cup cottage cheese
1 container ff cool whip

Mix dry pkt of pistachio pudding with the crushed pineapple and cottage cheese. Add pineapple juice a little at a time til its moist but not runny. Fold in cool whip and mix thoroughly. Add more juice if its seems too dry and chill in the refrigerator til ready to be served.

Note: Many make this without the cottage cheese and use miniature marshmallows instead. I personally prefer it this way and its more SB friendly...but both are very good!

Deviled Eggs p1

Quick and Easy Sweet n Tangy Deviled Eggs (p1)

12 to 18 Hard boiled eggs
1 cup mayo (a little more if needed)
1 tsp yellow mustard

1 to 2 tsp vinegar
dash of salt
1/4 to 1/3 cup splenda

Place eggs in cold water and heat to a boil. After water reaches a rapid boil cook approx 12 min and remove from heat. Carefully so not to splash water on yourself pick up each egg with a spoon and tap all over against the side of the pan. This allows the water to get up and under the shell for easier removal.

When the eggs are all finished drain the water out and run cold water over the eggs til cool to the touch. I often fill the pot with cold water and go off and do a few other things and come back to it giving the eggs more time to sit and cool. When ready de-shell eggs and rinse under cool water and set aside to drain.

Slice each egg in half and pop out the yellow yolk in a mixing bowl. Using a fork or handmixer, mash/mix up the yolk til crumbly. Add a little vinegar and continue to mash/mix til a bit smoother. Add the mayo...a little at first so to get a smoother egg mixture. Add all the ingredients and blend with a hand mixer.
Fill each egg with the smoothed filling and sprinkle with paprika for garnish.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Garnet's Sauteed Green Beans
I attended a little party last week at my friend Garnet's house. She served up seasoned roast chicken,sauteed green beans and a few deserts. All of it was very tasty but I particularly liked the sauteed green beans. I arrived at the party early and lent my assistance in the kitchen to help her prepare for her guest. I noticed basically what she used and did to prepare the green beans and saw that its a very easy dish. i wasn't sure of all the seasonings so I emailed her and asked her how she made them. She adds it all by eye but basically told me what was in them, and having them once I was able to make it by taste/memory.
I've guesstimated the measurements below for you, but I hope they will be pretty close. This is a tasty side dish with a lightly sweet, yet spicy flavor. Its very fast and easy to make but very yummy, aromatic, and also rather pretty when served up. Enjoy!

3 - 16oz bags of frozen french cut green beans (still frozen)
1 med to large onion, diced
1 little pkt Sazón Goya seasoning with Coriander and Annatto
(it measures out to be about 1 heaping tsp)

2 to 3 tsp Season All
2 to 3 TAB dried minced garlic
3 to 5 TAB olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a large non-stick skillet heat olive oil. Add frozen french cut green beans, diced onion and all the seasonings. Stirring occasionally and add more seasonings and or oil if needed. Cook til the green beans reduce and are cooked through.

This is with all the seasoinging added and before mixed and cooked

Here are the green geans after cooked down and ready to be served!

Dinner at La Scuderia in Palazzuolo, Italy (2004)

A few years back in November 2004 some wonderful friends of ours, the Kirks, went and stayed a week in Italy with us. We all stayed at Pod ere Cortinova in the La Corte house, a very old but wonderful Tuscan villa (Farmhouse) that was so rich with history and warmth that we were totally at peace that Thanksgiving week. Our last night in Italy, before returning home to Germany. we ate at a restaurant called La Scuderia, located in Palazzuolo, Italy. Their specialty is a rare steak covered in Rosemary and olive melted in our mouths and was WONDERFUL!!! ** For my Rosemary Steak recipe click here. Below are some photos of the food we enjoyed and of our visit to the La Scuderina. Enjoy!!

I didn't get photos of the outside of La Scuderia as it was very dark and the photos didn't come out well. I did get some Pict's of the inside before the place filled up. We got there around 6 or 7 pm but the place didn't start to fill up until around 8:30pm and then it was packed!

Note The wood carvings of the Wild Boar hunt...this was pretty interesting as the area we were staying at was during Boar hunting season As we traveled we'd see hunters going in or out of the woods to hunt and sometimes you could hear the wild board grunting in the distance or the shots from the hunters. Many places we visited served wild boar as well.

Although I didn't write down the names of the dishes we ordered nor do I remember them (and probably couldn't pronounce them correctly even if I did)... I did take photos.

These are our appetizers: many different toppings on Italian bread. As you can see there was a wild mushroom mix, an olive oil and garlic, and a variety platter with an onion mushroom, mixed meat and another with Italian sauce and garlic.

These are four different pasta dishes that we had ordered. One was filled with basil and meat with a lemon olive oil sauce, the next was wild boar and wild mushroom topped pasta, there was a spaghetti with garlic and tomato sauce and the last was a thicker spaghetti noodle with ground wild boar meat sauce. These photos DO NOT do justice to these dishes...their aroma and flavor were wonderful!

Now we knew that the house specialty is was a steak so I ordered one and it was WONDERFUL but when our Concierge, Patrick showed up to see how we were doing he asked about the steak we found out that we didn't actually order the specialty. He went back to the kitchen and soon came a HUGE platter as you'll see below. This steak however was still really wonderful!!!!

Now, we knew
La Scuderia's specialty is a rare steak. It's cooked with LOADS of rosemary, olive oil and other herbs and spices and it was served rare on a HUGE platter. We all shared this dish and it just melted in your mouth. Here are some Pict's of the Italy Steak (and one of my husband devouring is, ha ha):

***For my Rosemary Steak recipe click here

Desert consisted of: a fruit cream cake, flan, cappuccino and a little tiramisu cup. All were really wonderful!

OK I know this may be in poor taste but this restaurant post wouldn't be the same unless I included the entertainment of the night..... There was this man just a few tables away from ours. I found him to be very beautiful and LOVED his Italian accent and gestures. I knew some of my friends would want to know if I saw any good looking Italian men while in Italy and I wanted to prove that I did - so those at my table all tried to help me get photos of this man, without it being too obvious. I'm not sure if we pulled that off but despite the extremely dim lighting these are the shots we got.....along with a lot of laughs that night.

Egg Extra Salad (p1)

OK this dish was one of those that just sort of evolves from wanting something but not sure what, until you taste it. I wanted an egg salad one evening and had boiled eggs in the fridge already to go. I wasn't sure if i wanted an egg salad or tuna salad with hard boiled eggs, added but finally decided on an egg extra salad. Basically i wanted to add some beans for more veggies and it just started evolving from there. I have made this twice now and my family really enjoys it and so does a few of my friends that have been over at the right time, ha ha.

1 dozen hard boiled eggs, shelled and chopped

2 to 3 TAB of splenda sweet pickle relish
1 to 2 TAB of brown mustard
1/2 to 1 cup carrot, largely shredded
1/4 cup
onion, diced
1 to 2 tsp chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 can northern white beans, rinse and drained
1 cup of mayo
1 bell pepper, diced

1/3 to 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 to 2 pkt splenda if desired

Mix all the ingredients and serve as is, on whole wheat toast/bread/pita/crackers, or rolled up in lettuce leaves. This was really good and was basically just a toss it in kind of dish.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Apple with Sweetened Natural PB (p2)

This is one of my favorite snacks....
1 Gala Apple (or what ever apple you enjoy)
1 TAB Natural Peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 to 2 pkt splenda

Just mix the splenda with the Pb and dip the apple slices into it...its extremely simple and very yummy!!!!

Before SB I always LOVED Jiffy brand PB. It was sweet but not too sweet. When we switched to natural PB I never felt the flavor was as good as the pre-processed kind. One day I decided to try a bit of splenda in it as I felt the sweetness was perhaps what I was missing. I've been hooked on it this way ever since. I have found I actually enjoy this mixture more than I ever did Jiffy or any other PB out on the market.