Eggrolls Argentinos & Italianos!

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Eggrolls Argentinos & Italianos!

Hello friends!

This post isn’t related to sweets but contrary to popular belief I do some savory cooking as well.

I had plans to make some empanadas yesterday (one of my favorite weekend foods) because you can make them early in the day and snack on them throughout the afternoon.
They remind me of home and my Mom and my childhood. There is never a shortage of tasty, homemade dishes when my Mom is in the kitchen. She taught me how to make Argentine empanadas when I was a kid. I would sit at the kitchen table as Mom put together bunches of them and I would help by carefully sealing them closed with a fork so the yummy filling wouldn’t leak out when she fried them.
I must admit that I do not make traditional Argentine empanadas as I don’t love green olives or raisins in the meat mixture. I usually buy the frozen dough discs available in the latin frozen foods section of any grocery store and stuff them with some not so traditional fillings.

The discs I had didn’t seem quite right when they thawed so I threw them out. Always err on the side of caution, when in doubt throw it out! I really didn’t want to go to the store so I decided to try the egg roll wrappers we had in the fridge instead.

One of my very Irish~American hubby’s favs has been my Philly Cheesesteak empanadas. This includes all the usual suspects that you would find in your favorite cheesesteak such as shaved steak, cheese sautéed onions & mushrooms, peppers etc. The tuna empanadas that was my absolute weakness as a child includes canned tuna. Yes, I said canned tuna. (We buy Wild Planet wild albacore tuna 100% pole & troll caught) sautéed onions and red peppers, fresh mozzarella cubes and a hint of cayenne pepper, salt, freshly cracked black pepper.
Now to yesterdays new addition, the Italian empanadas/ egg roll. Prosciutto de Parma, caramelized onions, sautéed julienne red peppers, cubed fresh mozzarella, sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper wrapped in an egg roll wrapper and deep-fried in 350 degree oil/shortening til golden brown.
They were amazing! The crispy and delicate dough was a perfect vehicle for the salty, cheesy and slightly sweet filling. These weren’t as good at room temperature as the traditional empanadas but they reheated really well in the toaster oven so they were still great weekend snacks.

I had never given much thought to egg roll wrappers before, now I can’t stop thinking of new combinations of ingredients to stuff into those versatile little sheets of dough.
Just goes to show you that sometimes the old adage is still true, necessity is the mother of invention. At least it is in my kitchen.

Sweet regards, Monica

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Going Bananas for Bananas Foster Oatmeal

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     The #1 thing on my “to do” list today was to come up with a lower sugar oatmeal recipe that my hubby Bill would not only eat but actually enjoy.

Of course there were many other things on the list that I am happy to say I managed to accomplish also but I’ll save them for another post seeing as they have nothing to do with bananas.

My husband has decided (out of necessity) to try to lower his blood glucose levels despite my incessant baking for profit.

I have agreed to help him by trying to come up with things that may satisfy his sweet tooth without loading him up with refined white sugars.  Now one of Bill’s favorite desserts is Bananas Foster so I decided to take the ripe bananas that were sitting in the bowl on my counter starting to get that speckled “we are just right for cooking up” look and make my version for him for breakfast. Ironically, I myself am allergic to bananas (the fruit that everyone claims is so good for you)  and although I can eat them cooked in muffins or banana bread I usually am still leery of consuming them.

This recipe will call for agave nectar instead of brown sugar so the darker or amber nectar would be best, but I would try it with the lighter version if that’s all you have on hand. It has a lower glycemic index and therefore helps you avoid the “sugar rush” that can accompany many sweetened cereals. You can find lots of useful information on agave nectar at www.allaboutagave.com.

I also used my own homemade vanilla extract. It started out as Capt. Morgan spiced rum and a few vanilla beans in a small bottle and a year and a half later has developed into a delicious, complex vanilla flavor. When using the homemade vanilla I do tend to use a bit more of it but the recipe calls for store bought pure vanilla extract.

Bill gave this recipe rave reviews and said he found it to be a delicious and satisfying breakfast. Yay, success!

Bananas Foster Oatmeal         Servings:2

1  3/4c    milk – I used 2% but you can use whatever milk you like or water (it won’t be as creamy with water but it will be lower in calories)

1c      Quaker Oats (not instant)

pinch      salt

1tbs. butter or margarine

1 med ripe banana – sliced

3 tbs. agave nectar

1/4tsp. apple pie spice

1/4tsp. vanilla extract

Bring milk and salt to boil, add oatmeal and cook on medium heat for 5 mins. stirring often til cooked and thickened.

Meanwhile melt butter in a small saute pan, add  sliced bananas and cook for a minute on low to med til they start to soften.

add agave nectar & apple pie spice and stir in vanilla extract.

mixture will thicken quickly. Pour banana mixture over oatmeal and enjoy!

The whole process took me under 8 minutes and I had never made it before.  There is no excuse for not having a healthy, filling breakfast!

Happy 2 Year Anniversary & Raspberry Bombe Day

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Happy 2 Year Anniversary & Raspberry Bombe Day

2 years ago today I got the crazy notion that people would want to buy the baked goods that I love to create.  Luckily it seems I was right and my part-time business was born.

I am happy to find out that my anniversary coincides with Raspberry Bombe Day!  It may not be a baked dessert but one that is delish none the less and incorporates my love for peaches & raspberries (both that are a plenty right now) and is perfect for this hot August weather.  This is definitely a “make ahead” kind of dessert, you won’t be whipping this up at the last minute unless you have some monster blast freezer in your kitchen but it will be worth a little planning on your part.  The raspberry sauce with Grand Marnier sounds divine.  Who am I kidding? anything with Grand Marnier in it sounds divine to me.

This would be a terrific dessert for your end of summer labor day party too. I live in Florida so for us “end of summer” is usually around Thanksgiving but you get the idea.

 I found this recipe via www.gooddayasheville.com and it’s from the 1989 issue of Southern Living.

If you plan to have the kiddies also enjoy this cool treat, I would simmer the sauce for a few minutes to cook out the alcohol from the Grand Marnier and then let it cool or just reserve some   sauce before adding the liquor.

I hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 (16- ounce) package of frozen unsweetened peaches, thawed and drained ( I use fresh when in season)

1 (8-ounce)carton sour cream

½ c grenadine

½ gallon vanilla ice cream, softened

Vegetable cooking spray

Raspberry Sauce (below)

Fresh raspberries

Fresh Mint sprigs

 

Instructions

In a food processor, process peaches until smooth. Add sour cream and grenadine; process until well blended.

Combine peach mixture and ice cream in a mixing bowl; beat a low speed with an electric mixer until well blended. Pour mixture into an 111 cup mold (or bunt pan, or jello mold, or any large bowl with an interesting shape) that has been coated with cooking spray. Cover and freeze for 8 hours or until mixture is firm.

Tow hours before serving, using the tip of a knife, loosen the edges from the mold. Invert mold onto chilled serving plate. Wrap a warm towel around the mold for 30 seconds.  Shake gently and slowly lift off mold. Return Bombe to freezer.

Garnish with raspberry sauce, raspberries and mint. 12 servings

 

Raspberry Sauce

Ingredients

1 (16 ounce) package of frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed and drained ( I use fresh when in season)

¾c light corn syrup

¼c Grand Marnier

Process raspberries in food processor until smooth. Strain out seeds if desired. Stir in syrup and Grand Marnier.

 

 

Happy National Smore’s Day!!

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ImageWelcome to my 1st attempt at blogging. I thought that today being National Smore’s Day would be great day to start. Because I couldn’t decide which photo I liked better (and because I adore S’mores) I had to post 2.  Also because I have a twisted a sense of humor I found it incredibly funny that the 1st known recipe for s’mores was found in the 1927 cookbook “Tramping and Trailing with the Girlscouts” (No Offense to anyone who was once a girlscout) some of my friends and my sister will probably get a chuckle out of that too.  Thanks for looking and I promise to try and find some interesting things to chat about with you in the future.

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