My Wonderful World

W e l c o m e... And Enjoy!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

Welcome Summer, 2010!    It won't be long before this year is half over...where does the time go!!     While shopping last week...I looked at baby back ribs and then came to the country ribs.   Haven't made them is years, and they were reasonable priced.  That was the clincher on the entree!!    I did my usual dry rub and roasted on the Weber grill over indirect heat.   They came out just as good as I expected.  

Looked for something other than the regular potato salad.   While on the net, I found  Mark Bittman's Sweet Potato Salad and that had real possibilities.   Turned out to be a recipe that I will keep in the files.   Nice...different and full of great flavor and fiber.   A nice mescalin salad with fresh tomatoes and red onions with lemon vinaigrette completed the meal.   Of course, cantaloupe makes a great dessert topped with sour creme sweetened with a little Splenda Brown Sugar.  

  Wishing all a great Start to Summer Holiday.  

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BBQ & Steak Rub


2 tablespoon chili powder
2 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine well and rub into your meat of choice. Chicken as well as pork and
beef work well. Let stand for a few hours before grilling over hot coals.

Yield: 1 servings and can be doubled without adjustments

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Shrimp!! It's What's for Supper.....

....for right now.   I have a feeling that the price of all seafood will sky rocket or even be non existent with the oil spill.   So many people's lives are going to be affected.  

But yesterday, I did find a great deal on shelled, deveined shrimp with tail on.   I always remove the tail since I don't like to deal with them in a cooked dish.   They have a perfect place for a boiled cold appetizer but when prepared in a stir fry or saute, I remove the tails.  
Tonight a spicy Shrimp Salad was on the menu.   I start dredging the shrimp in a mixture of a quarter cup flour, a teaspoon cayenne, and a tablespoon of my old favorite Old Bay Seasoning.     I use Old Bay for so many things including fried chicken and in a vinaigrette.  Great for a marinade too!   
I have dredged the shrimp and ready for a quick saute in a hot pan.   Included with the plate will be sauteed sweet potato slices.   I precook the slices in the microwave and then finish in a 425F oven for a few minutes to crisp.   I have found that roasting in the oven in the raw state doesn't produce the results I prefer so I always precook before the oven.   

The Spring Salad mix will include the warm shrimp, chopped onion, small diced green pepper, avocado slices and topped with a sharp cilantro lime dressing.  

For the dessert....the old stand by, Jell-O Pistachio Sugar Free Fat Free pudding! 
Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sara's Saucepan Pie Crust

While flipping through web pages, I ran across Martha Stewart's Radio Blog pages.  Since I don't have SAT radio, I didn't know this existed until I rented a vehicle in Miami for vacation travel.   After returning home, I had to investigate the blog pages    ...and I ran across this!!   Hard to believe something could be so simple, but it really works and tastes great.  Thanks again to Martha and Sara!  

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Sara's Saucepan Pie Crust

New Finds!, pastry

1/3 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup water
1 cup self-rising flour

Bring cooking oil and water to boil in a small saucepan -- it takes just a few seconds! Then remove from heat.

Add 1 cup flour and stir. It will quickly pull away from the pan and form a ball. Don't over stir....will make your dough tough. 

Place into a pie plate (non-greased) and wait a few minutes for it to cool enough so you can touch it with your fingers. Press out evenly into the pan, pushing it up the sides with your fingers. Pinch a decorative edge.  That's it!

Notes:  Everyday Food, M Stewart

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I blind baked the crust at 375F for 15 minutes.  Removed the pie weights and continued for 10 more minutes until firm and dry.  After cooling, I filled with a chocolate mousse and topped with freshly whipped cream.  So easy and quick....hope you enjoy!

Ready for blind baking 425F for 15-18 minutes

Crisp Golden Crust

Rich Chocolate Mousse with Fresh Whipped Cream

I have taken this to another adding two tablespoons of cocoa powder and two tablespoons Splenda.  The dough comes together just like a Pâte  à Choux or cream puff dough.   After patting into my 8" tart pan with a removable bottom, I smooth it out with the palm of my hand and then use a flat bottom straight side measuring cut to keep it an even thickness.

After a brief mixing

Smoothing out crust with measuring cup

Into the Freezer for 15 minutes resting time and to chill before blind baking

The crust cooled to room temperature and then I filled with a quick vanilla custard pudding easy and tasty.   The crust almost has the consistency of a shortbread without all the butter calories. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Spring 2010

A very stormy weekend...but we really needed the rain.   So nice to see all the plantings settling in and producing lush results.   Here are a few pictures around the house and yard.   My tomato plants have some of the most sturdy stems I have ever I hope that is a good sign!

The Herb Bed was getting a little removed all the old growth and planted a new bed of lettuces

My six Celebrity tomato plants are loving the rich soil

My First Tomato Blossom

Great Hydrangea growth this spring

The Grasses and other plantings are filling in!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Frangelico Pumpkin Cheesecake

Another great Frangelico dessert is my Frangelico Pumpkin Cheesecake.    Been working on this creation for many years now and this really hits the spot for Thanksgiving or anytime.  

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Frangelico Pumpkin Cheesecake

24  gingersnaps
1/2 cup butter; melted
3 tablespoon sugar
16 ounce cream cheese; softened
16 ounce pumpkin puree
5  eggs
3/4 cup sugar, brown
1/2 cup Frangelico liqueur
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
1/8 teaspoon cloves, ground
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar, granulated
1/4 cup Frangelico liqueur
10  hazelnuts, whole; skins removed

Combine ginger snaps and sugar in food processor and process until fine.  With machine running, add melted butter and process until crumbly. Pat into bottom of 9-inch spring-form pan. Freeze for 20 minutes.

In food processor or by hand, beat cream cheese, pumpkin, eggs, sugar, 1/2 cup Frangelico, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla until completely smooth. Pour into prepared crust and bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the sour cream, sugar and Frangelico for topping.  Carefully pour over top of hot cake, smoothing with a spatula. Bake for 10-15 minutes longer or until edges begin to bubble. Remove from oven, cool completely and refrigerate overnight.

To serve, run a small knife around the edge of the cake and then release the spring form. Transfer to serving platter. Decorate with whipped cream and whole hazelnuts. Leave cake at room temperature for 45 minutes before serving to improve flavor.

Notes:  ©WHStoneman

Yield: 10 servings

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hazelnut/Frangelico Cheesecake

I just received a request from the Frangelico Company to repost my cheesecake recipe. The Frangelico flavors are very aromatic...and this cheesecake is so good with a fresh cup of coffee. 

Enjoy and Bon Appétit! 

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Hazelnut/Frangelico Cheesecake

4 ounce butter
1 1/2 cup Nabisco Vanilla wafers
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and ground
1/4 cup sugar
32 ounce cream cheese
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon Frangelico
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and ground
1  pinch of salt
4 large eggs
2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Frangelico
2 tablespoon hazelnuts, toasted and ground

Preheat oven to 350F.

Crust: Melt butter over low heat. Combine butter with crumbs, hazelnuts and sugar in processor and blend well. Press mixture over bottom and up sides of ungreased 10" springform pan. There should be enough to coat entire pan.

Filling: Please bring all ingredients to room temperature. Combine cream cheese and sugar and beat 2 minutes. Add the Frangelico, nuts, salt and blend thoroughly. Add eggs, one at a time, keeping the mixer on low speed to prevent too much air in batter. Mix until each is added. Pour filling into crust and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let  stand for 10 minutes while preparing topping.

Topping: Combine sour cream, sugar and Frangelico with spatula in plastic bowl. Spread evenly over top of baked filling, sprinkle with hazelnuts and return to oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place in refrigerator to cool immediately. This prevents cracks from forming in cheesecake.

Notes:  ©WHStoneman

Yield: 16 servings

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fairchild Tropical Gardens

Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Coral Gables, Florida is the most beautiful oasis on this planet.   So lush with abundant tropical beauty.    If you are in the area...don't miss this spectacular display!


You can read more about the Tropical Gardens here.  

On a special trip to Miami in May, 2010, we had a return visit to the Art Displays!!    ..from the Fairchild Gardens site....Yayoi Kusama is one of the world’s leading artists and a living legend of the international art avant-garde. Flamboyant yet profound, her oeuvre encompasses unique masterpieces in painting, sculpture, and installation, as well as mass production and popular culture. Kusama also produces playful sculpture on a monumental scale. Her first large-scale sculpture appeared in 1994, a huge, vivid yellow pumpkin covered with an optical spot pattern, which was installed at the end of a jetty on the island of Naoshima in the Seto Sea, Japan. She has since completed several major sculptural commissions—ensembles of huge, brightly hued, triffid-like plants and flowers—for public institutions in Japan and abroad including The Visionary Flowers (2002), Matsumoto City Museum of Art, Nagano, Japan; Tulipes de Shangri-La (2003), Eurolille, Lille, France; Tsumari in Bloom (2003) Matsudai-machi Higashikubiki-gun, Niigata, Japan; and The Hymn of Life: Tulips (2007), Beverly Hills City Council, Los Angeles.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

MY Just Desserts!

Let's be honest….dessert of any type, style or color is my favorite. A deep dish Dutch Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream would be my first choice. But….due to my mandatory weight loss requirements, I will have to bypass that and head in more sensible direction in my quest for good desserts.

One item I have been exploring is Jell-O Sugar Free, Fat Free Puddings. The Pistachio and Chocolate flavors are good. But my favorite now is their new Cheesecake flavor. A half cup serving prepared with fat free milk is 70 calories, carb count 6g. 

OK…I can live with that but still wanted to enhance the flavor. One of my favorite flavors is Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur. After placing the Cheesecake pudding mix in the blender, add a quarter cup of Frangelico and 1 3/4 cup of fat free or 2% milk. Of course, heavy cream can be added but the calorie count will sky rocket. A special event a couple of times a year won't be the deal breaker…just a couple of extra days on the stationary bike!!

After blending and chilling, I toast  coconut in a dry skillet until golden. A small dollop of Splenda sweetened sour cream and top with the coconut. It turns into a very nice dessert and relatively low in calories. I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

As the Cinco de Mayo  holiday approaches, I rely on one of my favorite sources in cooking.....and that is FINE COOKING.    Anything I need is always available with them.   Here is my main dish choice for this year...along with fresh tortillas, guacamole and big pitchers of margaritas.  Hope your day is as special as we will enjoy.    

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Southwest Style Pork & Vegetables

Crockpot Method

4 lb pork shoulder/butt/loin
2  sweet potato; peeled
1 red pepper; sliced
1  onion; sliced
6 cloves garlic; minced
1 can fire roasted tomato puree
1  lime
1 T chipotle in adobo sauce
1 pickled jalapeno; chopped
1/4 c pickled jalapeno juice
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
  salt and pepper

Layer sliced sweet potato, red peppers, onion, then pork loin. Pour can of tomato puree over ingredients. Squeeze lime, add pickled jalapeno juice and chipotle in adobo sauce. Sprinkle with all spices, garlic, jalapeno and cilantro. Cook on high for six hours.

Notes:  Fine Cooking

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Along with the great dish, we enjoy this Mexican Brown Rice dish.  Nice accompaniment.  

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Mexican Brown Rice


1 cup brown rice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or butter
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2  onion, diced fine
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 3/4 cups water
1 tablespoon tomato paste or sauce

Here is another easy way to give brown rice exciting flavor. Serve with Black Bean Stew to make a complete vegetarian protein or cozy some next to fish tacos.

Rinse and drain rice. Heat oil in a 2 quart pot. Add cumin and chili powder and sauté for a few seconds. Add onion and salt and continue cooking until onion is soft. Add drained rice and stir well, coating rice. Now add water and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Lower heat, and simmer, covered until all of the water is absorbed (about 40 minutes).

Notes:  Cynthia Lair (Sasquatch Books, 2008)

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation Time:  50 mi

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The Fine Art of Cooking involves personal choice. Many preferences, ingredients, and procedures may not be consistent with what you know to be true. As with any recipe, you may find your personal intervention will be necessary -- © WHStoneman 2017