Thursday, March 31, 2011

Meals Your Little Chef can make! Day 3

Good afternoon fellow bloggers and little chefs! I'm glad to have you all here with me today. I'm going to start this blog out by stating that children love The Wiggles. If you have kids, you should know exactly what I am talking about. If you have never heard of The Wiggles, please Google them. I've never known a child who does not love them. Well, our meal today is based off of The Wiggles. We are calling this dish "The Wiggles Cold Spaghetti". Do our little ones have their handy dandy spoons and aprons? Great! Let's go!

The Wiggles Cold Spaghetti

You will need:

  • 16 ounce pack oriental style rice noodles, spaghetti width
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, shredded or dices into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sesame tahini (sesame paste)
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped scallions
(OPTIONAL: 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds and 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro)

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions, drain well and pour in large mixing bowl.
  2. Have your child mix the sesame tahini with the soy sauce and add to the noodles while still warm. Set aside to cool.
  3. Chop the cilantro and scallions. 
  4. Set aside with sesame seeds for garnish, if using.
  5. Help your child add the rest of the ingredients, mixing thoroughly with a spoon.
  6. Transfer the well-blended mixture to a serving dish.
  7. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, black sesame seeds, and a pinch of chili powder (if using any of those).
  8. Chill, serve cold, and watch your little one chow down!
NOTE: Parents, you do *NOT* have to chill your spaghetti.

This meal is Wiggles Approved ^_^

There you go! I hope your little chefs had a fun time and I cannot wait until we are all back in the kitchen again together. Enjoy your evening and I will see you all tomorrow! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Meals Your Little Chef can Make! Day 2

Good evening fellow bloggers and mini bloggers! We have another fun and kid friendly meal that any little chef can help make (with a little help from an adult). I've searched high and low for kid-friendly recipes, though, now a days many great cooks don't invite their tots in to help them cook. Luckily, I've found something both parents and kids alike will love! It's hands-on and fun to look at, as well as eat. So, if you all are ready, we will begin.

Mini Beef Burgers and Beans

You will need:

  • 9 ounces of Minced beef
  • Half an onion finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Can of Baked Beans
  • Various small amounts of vegetables (like cucumbers and lettuce)
Are you ready little ones? Do you have your smiles intact and your hands ready to get messy? Good!

  1. Break the egg in to a bowl.
  2. Have your child mix the egg, minced beef, onions and some salt and pepper in a bowl. The best way to do this is with your hands. It's messy, but fun!
  3. Have your little one form two eyes and a mouth from the mixture with your hands.
  4. Place the formed burgers under the grill for 6 minutes. Turn them over and cook for 6 minutes more.
  5. Open the can of Baked beans and heat them through. Spread them out thinly on a plate. 
  6. Have your kids place the burger eyes and mouth on the beans then use anything edible for the facial features.
  7. You can use a thin slice of cucumber on the beans for the nose, two slices of cucumber for the ears and shredded lettuce for the hair.
  8. Enjoy! 

This recipe is very simple and very versatile. Let your children go crazy and make funny faces with the Minced meat and vegetables. They will have a blast and enjoy eating at the same time. As we all know, beans are some kids favorite side dish. This will please everyone. So, have a fun time and I will see you all tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Meals Your Little Chef can Make!

Good evening and welcome to another entry to Everyday Meals. This week is a little different for us. We will be incorporating children into the mixture. I'm sure a lot of you readers have little ones of your own. Well, this week will allow them to help you make dinner while learning some ins and outs of kitchen etiquette. All of these recipes  will require parents or elders to be around, so please keep close contact with your children while making them. So, we will get started (and have fun at the same time)!

Monte Cristo Sandwiches

You will need:

  • 2 slices dense white bread
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 thin slices Swiss or Cheddar cheese
  • 2 thin slices deli ham
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon seedless raspberry
  • jam or red currant jelly
  • Cooking oil, for the pan
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 tablespoon butter
Do your little chefs have their tiny aprons and a spatula? Great! Let's begin.

  1. Have your child spread 1 slice of bread with the mustard. Then layer on 1 slice of cheese followed by both slices of ham and the last piece of cheese. 
  2. Have them spread the jam or jelly on the other piece of bread, then press it, spread side down, onto the sandwich.
  3. Use a piece of paper towel to rub an unheated heavy skillet with a little cooking oil. 
  4. Place the skillet over medium heat.
  5. As the skillet heats, have your child whisk the eggs, milk, and salt in a shallow bowl until frothy.
  6. Put the butter in the center of the pan. 
  7. As it starts to melt, have your child hold the sandwich together firmly and briefly submerge one surface in the egg batter then twist his or her wrist and submerge the other surface.
  8. Immediately place the sandwich in the pan, before the butter browns. 
  9. Grill the sandwich on the first side for about 3 minutes, until golden brown. 
  10. Then flip it with a spatula and grill it on the second side for another 3 minutes.
  11. Using a spatula, transfer the sandwich from the pan to a plate, slice it in half, and serve.

This is a very easy and kid friendly recipe. You can make as many or as little as you would like. The more, the better (especially if you have teenagers). Great job little ones and parents! We will see you all tomorrow for another fun recipe. Goodnight!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sweet Treat? Day 6 & 7

Good evening my dear bloggers. I have recently been out of commission there for, we have had a lack of blog entries lately. But, I come baring 2 new recipes to make up for what's been missing. I thoroughly enjoy using cherries in my desserts. Today, we will be using them for one of our recipes. Our other recipe is one that I have not tried. I figured, why not incorporate something new and exciting into our daily routine. So, if you are all with me, we shall begin.

Cherry Cannoli Cups

You will need:
  • 48 wonton wrappers
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups chopped hazelnuts - divided use
  • 1 (15 ounces) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hazelnut liqueur, optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 jars (one 16 ounce and one 10 ounce) maraschino cherries, drained
Still with me? Good!
  1. Place wonton wrappers on a work surface and brush with melted butter. 
  2. Sprinkle the wrappers with sugar. 
  3. Press into greased miniature muffin cups. 
  4. Sprinkle each wonton cup with 1 teaspoon hazelnuts.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly browned. 
  6. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Meanwhile, inn a large bowl, beat the ricotta, cream cheese, confectioners sugar, liqueur if desired and vanilla until smooth.
  8. Cut 24 cherries in half and set aside. 
  9. Chop the remaining cherries and fold into the cheese mixture.
  10. Spoon 1 tablespoon filling into each wonton cup. 
  11. Sprinkle with the remaining hazelnuts.
  12. Top with a reserved cherry half.
Okay. Now onto our next recipe.

Amaretto Purses with Mascarpone and Fontina

You will need:
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) Fontina cheese, grated
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 25 sheets phyllo dough (14 x 8.5 inches), cut in half 
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Blend the two cheeses together until smooth.
  2. Add the almonds, Amaretto, white pepper and cherries. 
  3. Mix well and chill for at least one hour or up to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Cover the 25 sheets of phyllo loosely with plastic wrap; take out only the sheets that you are working with.
  6. Place a half sheet of phyllo on the work surface and brush with melted butter. 
  7. Top with another half sheet of phyllo and brush with butter, and repeat with one more half sheet.
  8. Put a tablespoon of cheese filling in the center.
  9. Bring up the edges of the phyllo to form a purse (pouch) shaped packet. 
  10. Place on a heavy baking sheet and brush the exposed surfaces with butter. 
  11. Repeat to form 16 packets, placing them approximately 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
  12. Bake until golden, approximately 10 minutes. 
  13. Serve hot.

Pictured Above: Cherry Cups

Pictured Above: Amaretto Purses

There you all go. Two very scrumptious desserts to serve any time. I recommend serving them at a small get-together. They will sure be a crowd pleaser! Well, that's all for today. I'll see you all tomorrow (if my computer and internet allow it). Good night!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Sweet Treat? Day 5

G'day mates! We are headed down South for an excursion to Australia. I'm excited about this recipe because it is the favorite in New Zealand as well as Australia. This dish is called a damper. A damper is a traditional soda bread. It can be made almost everywhere! By everywhere, I mean in kitchens or in camping situations. Anyway, I don't have a detailed story to tell you today so we will just get on with our recipe. Let's go!

Apple and Cinnamon Damper

You will need:

  • 3 cups self-raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of chilled butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 2 gala or pink lady apples, grated
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 banana, sliced when serving
Do you have everything? Good, now let's get baking!

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a baking tray and line it with baking paper. Lightly grease the baking paper and set aside.
  3. Mix together the flour, salt, sugars and cinnamon in a bowl. 
  4. Use your fingertips to rub butter into flour mixture until the mixture resembles small breadcrumbs.
  5. Add the grated apple and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  6. Add the milk and 1/2 cup of cold water to flour mixture. 
  7. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a sticky dough. Add a little extra water if necessary to moisten the dough slightly.
  8. Turn the dough onto a lightly-floured surface. Gently knead it until it's just smooth -- about 4 times.
  9. Shape dough into a 6 to 8 inch round. 
  10. Place the round on the prepared baking tray.
  11. Rub some flour on a sharp knife and score top of damper into 8 wedges.
  12. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. 
  13. Tap the bread and if it sounds hollow, it's ready.
  14. Let the bread stand on the tray for 5 minutes and then place it on a wire rack to cool.
  15. Slice and serve with butter, banana and maple syrup.

And there we have it, the favorite dessert or Australia and New Zealand. I hope you all can find it in your stomachs to call this dish a favorite for you and your household as well! I will see you all tomorrow. Good night!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Sweet Treat? Day 4

Good evening and a merry morning to you all! I am aware that this blog is coming to you all a tad bit late, but considering the day that I've had, I'm very sorry. I thought long and hard during my epic fight with my computer about what we will be baking up today. I've come up with a great plan! We will be taking a tour through Scottish territory. This idea came with a little help from my best friend and sister, Jessica. We occasionally discuss her family trips from the past and Scotland is some place that her and I both would like to venture to one day. So, in tribute to her, here's an Scottish favorite.

Treacle Scones

You will need:

  • 8 ounces self-rising flour
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 ounce caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons black treacle or molasses
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 5 fluid ounces milk, to mix
I've got my handy, dandy mixer ready! Do you? Okay, let's go!

  1. Heat oven to 425 degree and grease a baking sheet.
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter.
  3. Mix in the sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Add the treacle or molasses and sufficient milk to make soft dough.
  5. Turn on to a floured surface and knead gently- the dough should be fairly moist and elastic.
  6. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thick, and cut into rounds with a 2 and 1/2 inch pastry cutter.
  7. Place on the baking sheet, brush with a little milk and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden in color.
  8. Cool on a wire rack.
  9. Serve split in half and buttered.

I honestly can say that this is one of the easiest recipes we've scrounged up. I hope you all enjoy it. If you like Scottish food, I encourage you to google Scottish recipes. They love putting whiskey in their recipes, but it's not always a main ingredient. Any way, enjoy and I will see you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Sweet Treat? Day 3

Guten tag everyone! How are you all today? I am in a fantastic and cultural mood, so for our dessert today, we are obviously taking a tour of German desserts. This dessert, however, may sound atrocious to some people. It's actually very common in Germany. All I'm saying is don't hate on the dessert until you try it for yourself. The name of the dessert is Apple Sauerkraut Cake. Before we begin, we are going to be doing some background research on sauerkraut.
The direct translation of sauerkraut is "sour herb" or "sour cabbage". Sauerkraut is often mistaken for coleslaw. There is a big difference in how both are made. Sauerkraut is made by fermented lactic acid bacteria, such as Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus. This helps ferment the sugars in the sauerkraut. Coleslaw receives it's taste from vinegar.
If we want to get technical, sauerkraut isn't actually German-made. It originated from China over 2,000 years ago. Chinese laborers making the Great Wall of China ate it as a staple. More than likely, it was brought to Europe 1,000 years later by Genghis Kahn after plundering China.
Okay, now that we have a full background story on this delicacy, I say we grab our aprons and wooden spoons and get started!

Apple Sauerkraut Cake

You will need:

(For The Cake)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large tart apple
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
(For The Cream Cheese Frosting)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 4 and 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chopped walnuts, optional

  1. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugars; set aside. 
  2. Squeeze sauerkraut until dry then finely chop and add to egg mixture. 
  3. Peel and finely grate the apple and squeeze dry. Stir the apple into the egg mixture. Add oil and walnuts. 
  4. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and stir into egg mixture.
  5. Line two 8-in. round baking pans with waxed paper. Grease and flour the paper and sides of pan. 
  6. Pour the batter into the pans and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. 
  7. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  1. For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and 2 tablespoons cream in a small bowl.
  2. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. 
  3. Add the orange peel, cinnamon and vanilla. Make sure to mix well.
  4. Add the remaining cream if needed. 
  5. Spread between the cake layers and over entire cake.
  6. Garnish with chopped walnuts if desired. 
  7. Store in the refrigerator after serving. 

This cake makes 10 to 12 servings, but if you are anything like me, it will certainly make less! That's a wrap for this entry of Everyday Meals. I will see you all tomorrow. Have a great evening!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Sweet Treat? Day 2

Good evening and welcome to another exciting entry on Everyday Meals! Today, we bring a taste of French dessert to our tables. We will be tackling what is called a tarte Tatin. A tarte Tatin is an upside-down tart with caramelized fruit tossed together and baked. Tradition says that the first tarte Tatin was created accidentally at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France in 1898. To this day, there are two conflicting stories as to how this incident happened. So, this is the dish we will be making today!

Apple Tarte Tatin

You will need:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 pounds (about 5 to 6 medium) sweet-tart cooking apples, cored and peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/16 teaspoon ground allspice
Do you have everything? Let's get started!

  1. Working on a clean surface, roll the pastry dough into an 11-inch circle and chill.
  2. Melt the butter in a 10-inch oven-proof skillet. 
  3. Add the sugar and cook it for 4 to 5 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to evenly caramelize the sugar. The sugar is done when it has turned a medium golden brown hue. 
  4. Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  6. Cut the apples lengthwise into 1/3-inch slices. 
  7. Toss the apple slices gently, but thoroughly, with the lemon zest, cinnamon, and allspice. 
  8. Arrange the apples in a single layer in the hot caramel in the skillet.
  9. Return the skillet to the stove top and cook the apples over medium heat for 15 minutes, until the apples start to turn tender. 
  10. Remove the skillet from the heat and drape the pastry over the spiced apples, fitting the overhang down between the fruit and the sides of the skillet. 
  11. Bake in the preheated oven 25 to 30 minutes, until the pastry turns golden brown. Cool the tarte Tatin in the skillet for 30 minutes before inverting it onto a serving platter.
  12. Serve!

This is an easy dish that anyone can try. If you are cooking with young children, I advise keeping a watch on them when it comes to hot butter and the stove top. Other than that, enjoy and I bid you adieu! I'll see you all tomorrow for another sweet treat!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Sweet Treat? Day 1

Good morning fellow bloggers! Today is an amazing day. As a matter of fact, it's going to be an amazing week. This blog is taking a dramatic turn, but not forever, I promise. This week, with the help of friends and family, I've decided to introduce you all to desserts for the everyday family. Yes, I said it. Desserts. Those delicious and slightly unhealthy things that we all crave. For me, I'm a night owl so I do all of my snacking at 3 in the morning, but it doesn't have to be that way for you all. You can enjoy these desserts at any time. So, full steam ahead! Let's make some goodies!

Chiffon Cake

You will need:

  • 2-1/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • 7 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Browned Butter Icing (I will include how to make this below)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds or chopped nuts

Have you all got your whisks? Okay. Let's do this!

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. 
  2. Make a well in the center of the mixture, then add oil, yolks, and water. 
  3. Beat with an electric mixer (or a wooden spoon if you don't have a mixer) on low to medium speed until combined. 
  4. Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes or until satin smooth. Set aside. Thoroughly wash beaters. 
  5. In a very large mixing bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. 
  6. Pour batter in a thin stream over the egg whites; gently fold together. 
  7. Pour batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. 
  8. Place pan on a baking sheet or pizza pan. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 60 to 65 minutes or until top springs back when lightly touched. 
  9. Immediately invert cake in pan. Cool completely. 
  10. Gently loosen sides of cake from pan with a spatula or knife. 
  11. Invert cake over a serving plate and remove pan. Drizzle with Browned Butter Icing and sprinkle with nuts.


  1. In a small saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until browned. 
  2. Remove browned butter from heat. 
  3. Place 2 cups sifted powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in browned butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 3 to 4 tablespoons milk until icing consistency.
  4. Pour over cake

So, there we go. We have our first dessert of the week. I hope you all enjoy it and I will see you all very soon! Have a great afternoon and evening everyone!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spanish Week: Day 7 (Albondigas y Mantecados)

Hola amigos y amigas! Today is our finale of Spanish week. I am so excited to have you all here today because we will be cooking our last meal and... (Drum roll please) dessert! I know we never do dessert here on Everyday meals, but I really wanted to go out with a bang. What better way to do that then with a dessert recipe? Of course, it will be a Spanish favorite. You should expect nothing less from me. So, how about we cut the idle chatter and do what we love to do? Let's cook!

Poblano Albondigas with Ancho Chile Soup

You will need:

(For the Meatballs)

  • 2 large fresh poblano chiles
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup finely grated onion
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs 
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

(For the Soup)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, coarsely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons pure ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 9 cups low-salt beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lime juice
(For the Toppings)
  • 3 tablespoons (or more) vegetable oil
  • 4 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
Okay... Now that we have gathered all of our ingredients for the dinner portion, are we ready to go? Vamonos!

To Prepare the Meatballs:
  1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap. 
  2. Char the chiles over direct flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. 
  3. Enclose the chiles in a paper bag and steam 10 minutes. 
  4. Stem, seed, and peel the chiles, then chop finely.
  5. Place chiles in large bowl. 
  6. Gently mix in beef and all remaining ingredients together. Using moistened hands, roll the meat mixture into 1-inch meatballs.
  7. Arrange the meatballs on sheet.

To Prepare the Soup:
  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. 
  2. Add the onion with any juices and garlic. Sauté until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes. 
  3. Add the chile powder and cumin; stir for 1 minute. 
  4. Add broth and oregano; bring to a rolling boil then reduce the heat to very low, just below a bare simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir the zucchini and rice into the broth then increase the heat to medium and drop in the meatballs, 1 at a time. 
  6. Return the soup to a simmer. Cover and cook gently until the meatballs and rice are cooked through, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat to avoid boiling, about 20 minutes. 
  7. Add 1/4 cup cilantro and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Season the soup with salt and add more lime juice, if desired.

To Prepare the Toppings:
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy, medium skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add half of the tortilla strips and cook until crisp, gently separating strips with tongs for 2 to 3 minutes. 
  2. Transfer strips to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tortilla strips, adding more oil if needed.

FINALLY... You pour the soup and meatballs into bowls, top with the tortilla strips and SERVE! 

Phew! Okay, now that dinner has been cooked and devoured, how about we start on that delicious dessert? I'm ready for something sweet. Let's go!


You will need:
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 and 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 shot glasses of anise
  • 1 lemon peel, grated
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 7.25 (Seven and 1/4) cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg white, beaten for glaze
Ready to bake?

  1. In a very large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the vegetable shortening with the oil. 
  2. Add the sugar and mix until smooth. 
  3. Add the egg yolks, anise, lemon peel, juice and cinnamon and mix together. 
  4. Add flour and baking soda to mixture, a cup at a time. Be sure to mix well. The dough should be very smooth and soft.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 
  6. Using a teaspoon, scoop out a dollop of dough. Form balls about the size of walnuts, using your hands. If dough is too sticky to roll into balls, mix in additional flour (1/4 to 1/2 cup). 
  7. Place the balls onto an un-greased cookie sheet. 
  8. Lightly press down on each ball to flatten slightly. 
  9. Using the beaten egg white, brush it on the top of each cookie. Bake cookies until they begin to turn light brown on the bottom edges - about 15-20 minutes.
  10. Let the cookies cool 5 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet, as they are very delicate.

So, this concludes our tour of Spanish food week. I had a blast with you all and I hope to see you all tomorrow. Have a great evening and adios!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spanish Week: Day 6 (Pizza)

Hola amigos y amigas! Welcome to another exciting installment of Everyday Meals! I had an extra special request yesterday from a native Spanish speaking friend. She wanted to learn how to make pizza dough. Well, I've decided to grant her request today. We will be making a very special  spicy seafood pizza. I'm well aware that some of you are screaming "Eww! Why would you want to put fish on pizza?" Well, it's not as gross as you may think. Certain Pizza Huts in countries dominated by water actually adjusted their menus for their seafood lovers because seafood pizza was so loved there. Anyway, enough of this lecture. I'm ready to take you all on a new adventure. Vamonos!

Spicy Seafood Pizza
Picante de Pizza de Mariscos

You will need:

(For the dough)
  • 1/2 ounce dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 9 fluid ounces hot water
  • 12 ounces white bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
(For the pizza)
  • 4 cloves whole peeled garlic
  • 8 cloves peeled and coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1/3 cup small cooked and chilled shrimp
  • 1/3 cup boiled and coarsely chopped calamari
  • 1/3 cup boiled and chopped littleneck clams
  • 1/3 cup poached and chopped catfish fillet
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 large cayenne pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 (1 and a half) teaspoons chili pepper flakes
  • 20 ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pepper to taste

To Make the Dough:
  1. Put the yeast and sugar together in a measuring cup and mix with 2 fluid ounces of the water. Leave the mixture in a warm place for 15 minutes or until frothy.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the salt and make a well in the center. Add the oil, the yeast mixture, and the remaining water. Using a wooden spoon, mix together to make a smooth dough.
  3. Turn the dough onto a floured counter and knead for 4 to 5 minutes until smooth.
  4. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a clean, damp dish towel, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Knead the dough for 2 minutes then stretch the dough with your hands to form a round. Then place it on an oiled baking sheet, pushing out the edges until even. The dough should be no more than 1/4 inch thick because it will rise during cooking.

Now Let's Make Our Pizza:
  1. Saute the shrimp, clams, catfish and calamari with 4 whole cloves of garlic, using 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, for about 40 seconds or until garlic is fragrant. 
  2. Add black pepper to taste. 
  3. Preheat oven to 475°F. 
  4. Discard whole garlic and drain the oil from the skillet. 
  5. Layer 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese on the prepared pizza dough. Top the Monterey Jack cheese with seafood mixture. 
  6. Arrange the onion slices, tomatoes, garlic and sliced cayenne pepper on top of seafood mixture. Spread the Parmesan cheese and Mozzarella cheese and then the remaining olive oil on the pizza. 
  7. Place pizza on un-greased baking large round cake pan or baking dish. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the crust becomes golden brown and the cheeses are bubbling.
  8. Serve!

I hope this pizza has sated your hunger and questions on certain things, such as how to make pizza dough. Come back tomorrow for our final day of Spanish week. I will see you all soon. Have a great dinner and adios!

  • Friday, March 18, 2011

    Spanish Week: Day 5 (Estofado)

    Hola amigos and welcome to day 5 of Spanish week. I hope you all had an enticing Saint Patrick's Day filled with green beer and succulent corned beef and cabbage. Yesterday surely was an interesting day. A national non-holiday, holiday so to speak. It's when all of the Irish come out to play and potatoes make their rounds on almost every household table. But despite the holiday, I have a duty to you all and I must keep to it. So, instead of an Irish favorite, I will continue on with Spanish week. Today, we are going to be tackling a Spanish fish stew. I chose this dish because the waters surrounding Spain and Mexico are full of a variety of fish. Spain is notorious for it's fish dishes. So, let's grab our aprons and cook books and let's get cooking!

    Spanish Swordfish Stew
    Guiso española de pez espada

    You will need:

    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3 shallots, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 8 ounces canned chopped tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1 pound of potatoes, sliced
    • 1 generous cup vegetable stock
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
    • 20 black olives, pitted and halved
    • 2 pounds swordfish, skinned and cut into bite-size pieces
    • salt and pepper
    Esta usted listo? Vamonos!

    1. Heat the oil in a pan over low heat.
    2. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes or until softened.
    3. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Cover and let simmer gently for 20 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, put the potatoes in another pot with the stock and lemon juice.
    5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and add the bell peppers. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.
    6. Put in the olives, swordfish, and the tomato mixture with the potatoes. 
    7. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir well, then cover and let simmer for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the swordfish is cooked to your taste.
    8. Remove from heat and serve!

    So, once again, we bring to the table a very easy dish that can be enjoyed by many. This particular recipe serves up to 4 people. As I have stated before, feel free to double the recipe and to tweak it however you feel fit. Enjoy and I'll see you all again tomorrow! Adios!

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Spanish Week: Day 4 (Pollo)

    Hola amigos y amigas! I am super excited for today's dish. We are going to have a little adventure with pollo. That means chicken. This is obviously going to be something different. Do we ever really do "normal" here in Everyday Meals? NO! No more bland roasted chicken. No more baked boring stuff. We're going to literally spice things up. Let's get the show on the road. I'm ready to cook. ^_^

    Paprika Chicken with Onions & Ham
    pimentón de pollo con cebolla y jamón

    You will need:

    • 4 chicken breast fillets, skin on
    • 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon mild to hot Spanish paprika (to taste)
    • salt and pepper
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2.5 ounces serrano ham (or prosciutto), diced
    • 4 large onions, sliced thinly
    • 1/2 cup dry white wine
    • 1/2 cup chicken stock
    Are you ready? Okay, vamonos.

    1. Pour the lemon juice over the chicken breasts in a nonmetallic bowl and let marinate in a refrigerator over night.
    2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry. Rub the skins with the paprika and season to taste.
    3. Heat the oil in a large, lidded skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breasts, skin-sides down, and cook for 5 minutes or until the skins are golden; remove from the skillet.
    4. Stir the ham into the fat remaining in the skillet, cover, and cook for 2 minutes or until it renders fats.
    5. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding oil if need be, until the onions are soft, but not brown.
    6. Pour in the wine and the stock, bring to a boil while stirring.
    7. Return the chicken breasts to the skillet and season to taste. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and the juices run clear. 
    8. Remove and set in a warm oven.
    9. Bring the sauce to a boil and let bubble until the juices reduce. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
    10. Divide the onion mixture onto plates and arrange chicken on top.
    11. Serve!

    Voila! You have a delicious Spanish dish that feeds up to 4 people. Feel free to double the recipe if you have a bigger family. Well, that's all for today. I'll see you wonderful people tomorrow. Adios!

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Spanish Week: Day 3 (Cordero)

    Hola mis amigos! I welcome you all to day tres (3) of Spanish week here at Everyday Meals. Today, we will be doing a nice cordero. That means lamb in Spanish. This is a hearty dish and typically serves 6 to 8, but feel free to double the recipe if need be. I know for one, I have a big family, so food must be in epic portions. So, here we go. Let's grab the cutlery and our aprons and get chopping!

    Roasted Garlic & Rosemary Lamb with Potatoes
    Cordero Asado con Romero, Ajo y Patatas

    You will need:

    • 15 garlic cloves, un-peeled but separated 
    • Olive oil
    • 1 leg of lamb, about 3 pounds or so
    • handful of fresh rosemary sprigs
    • salt and pepper
    • 24 new potatoes, scrubbed but left whole
    • 1.25 (1 and 1/4) cup full-bodied red wine

    1. Coat the garlic cloves with a little oil in your hands.
    2. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees, then roast the garlic on a baking pan for 20 minutes or until very soft. (Cover with aluminum foil if the cloves start to brown too much)
    3. Afterward, let the garlic cool, then peel the cloves. Use a mortar and pestle to pound the garlic into a course paste with 1/2 teaspoon of oil.
    4. Make small incisions all over the lamb, then rub in the garlic paste. 
    5. Let marinate for 2 hours.
    6. Place the lamb in a roasting pan on a bed of rosemary sprigs, and season with salt and pepper.
    7. Rub the potatoes with oil and place around the lamb. Sprinkle with more rosemary and season to taste.
    8. Turn your oven up to 450 degrees and then roast your lamb for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees for 15 minutes per 1 pound, plus an extra 15 minutes. (All in all, you are looking at 1 hour total).
    9. Set aside the rosemary sprigs and scrape off any fat from the pan. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any glazed bits from the bottom. Continue boiling until reduced to half the amount.
    10. Slice the lamb and serve with the potatoes and juices spooned around.
    NOTE: If your potatoes are still not tender, return them to the oven in a separate dish. 

    So, we have managed to make a very delicious meal tonight. I'm amazed at how good at this you all are! Bravo and big, big kudos to you all. Stay tuned for more Spanish week and I will see you all later one. Adios!

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    Italian Week: Days 6 and 7 (Oh, and the start of Spanish Week!)

    Hello and welcome to Everyday meals! I want to apologize for being away so long. I was on a "mini vacation" and failed to drag my laptop along with me. I was a mess without you all! To make it up to you all, I have a very special treat for you all. Not one, not two, not even three recipes today. We are doing four, yes, four recipes! We will finish off our Italian week with two recipes and start Spanish week with two recipes. The reason for two Spanish recipes is because we should have started it on Sunday. Anywho... enough blabbering. Let's get cooking!

    Macaroni with Roasted Vegetables

    You will need:
    • 2 red onions, cut into wedges
    • 2 zucchinis, cut into chunks
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
    • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
    • 1 egg plant, cut into chunks
    • 1 pound of plum tomatoes, cut into fourths and seeded
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 4 tablespoons olive oil
    • salt and pepper
    • 12 ounces dried short-cut macaroni
    • 1.25 (1 and 1/4) cups strained tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and halved
    Ready to begin this recipe? Okay.
    1. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees.
    2. Spread out the onions, zucchinis, bell peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes in a single layer on a roasting pan.
    3. Sprinkle with the garlic, drizzle with the olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir well until all of the vegetables are coated.
    4. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove and stir well again.
    5. Return the vegetables to the oven for and additional 15 minutes.
    6. Meanwhile, bring a large heavy-bottomed pot of slightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until Al-Dente.
    7. When the vegetables are done roasting, transfer them to another pan and add the strained tomatoes and olives.
    8. Heat through gently, stirring occasionally.
    9. Drain your pasta and transfer to a heated dish. Add the roasted vegetable sauce and toss well.
    10. Serve!
    Okay... time for a tiny breather and then we will begin on recipe #2.

    Chicken Peperonata

    You will need:
    • 8 chicken thighs
    • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed
    • 1 (of each) red, yellow, and green bell peppers, sliced thinly
    • 14 ounces canned chopped tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
    • salt and pepper
    Let's do this!
    1. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs and toss the chicken in the flour.
    2. Heat the oil in a wide skillet and fry the chicken quickly until sealed and lightly browned, then remove from the skillet.
    3. Add the onion to the skillet and fry until soft.
    4. Add the garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, and oregano, then bring to a boil, stirring.
    5. Arrange the chicken over the vegetables, season well with salt and pepper, then cover the skillet tightly and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooks and tender.
    6. Serve!
    Phew! That was an easy one! Are you ready for Spanish food next? I am. ^_^

    Chorizo and Ham Paella

    You will need:
    • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
    • 2 tablespoons hot water
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 6 ounces Spanish chorizo sausage, casing removed
    • 6 ounces serrano ham, diced (If unavailable, use prosciutto)
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
    • 8 ounces tomatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, halved, broiled, peeled and sliced (I know, I know... (-.-) )
    • 1.5 (1 and a half) cups medium-grain paella rice (be generous)
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
    • 1/3 generous cup white wine
    • 2 pints simmering chicken stock
    • salt and pepper
    NOTE: I'm sorry about the amount of ingredients in this dish, but I couldn't let you guys go on with this blog without this dish.
    1. Put the saffron threads and water in a small bowl and let infuse for a few minutes.
    2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan and cook the chorizo and ham over medium heat, stirring, for 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
    3. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and cook the onion, stirring, until softened.
    4. Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, and saffron and its soaking liquid and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
    5. Add the tomato wedges and red bell pepper slices and cook, stirring for and additional 2 minutes.
    6. Put in the rice and thyme and cook, stirring for to coat the rice.
    7. Pour in the wine and most of the hot stock and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 19 minutes. (Do NOT stir during cooking, but shake the pan once or twice and when adding the ingredients)
    8. Season to taste and cook for 10 minutes, or until the rice is almost cooked. If the liquid is absorbed too quickly, pour in a little more stock.
    9. Return the chorizo and ham and any accumulated juices to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes.
    10. When all the liquid has been absorbed and you can detect a faint toasty aroma coming from the rice, remove fro the heat.
    11. Cover the pan with foil and let sit for 5 minutes.
    12. Serve!
    Oy vey... That was complicated. I'm sorry, but you will forgive and forget when you eat this dish! Promise. Okay. One more...

    Tortilla Espanola

    You'll need:
    • 1 pound of waxy tomatoes, peeled and cut into cubed
    • 2 cups Spanish olive oil
    • 2 onions, chopped
    • 2 large eggs
    • salt and pepper
    1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
    2. Add the potato cubes and onions, then lower the heat and cook, stirring frequently so that the potatoes do not clump together (20 minutes or until tender, but not browned)
    3. Place in a strainer over a large bowl and drain well. Set aside the oil.
    4. Beat the eggs lightly in a large bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the potatoes and onions.
    5. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels and heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved olive oil.
    6. When hot, add the egg add the egg and potato mixture, lower the heat and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the underside is just set.
    7. Use a spatula to submerge the potatoes down into the egg and loosen the tortilla from the bottom of the skillet to stop it from sticking.
    8. Cover the tortilla with a plate and hold the plate in place with the other hand.
    9. Drain off the oil in the skillet, then quickly invert the tortilla onto the plate. Return the skillet to the heat and add a little more oil if necessary.
    10. Slide the tortilla, cooked side uppermost, back into the skillet and cook for an additional 2 to 5 minutes, or until set underneath.
    11. Slide the tortilla onto a serving plate and let stand for a few minutes.
    12. Serve!
    Okay. We have had a long blog today! I hope all of these dishes are enjoyed and shared. I'll see you all tomorrow for day 3 of Spanish week. Adios!

    Pictured above: Tortilla Espanola
    Pictured above: Macaroni with Roasted Vegetables
    Pictured above: Chicken Peperonata
    Pictured above: Chorizo and Ham Paella

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Italian Week: Day 5 - Swordfish

    Good evening everyone! Tonight we are going to tackle a different kind of dish... swordfish. Seeing just how plentiful swordfish is in the water surrounding Sicily, I thought this would be a wonderful dish to prepare. I am a huge fish eater, plus I had another request from a facebook follower. She requested something fishy, so this is for you mi amiga! So, let's not delay. Here we go.

    Swordfish with Olives & Capers

    You will need:

    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • salt and pepper
    • Four 8 ounce swordfish steaks
    • generous 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, halved
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 4 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
    • 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
    • 12 green olives, pitted and sliced
    • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
    NOTE: All items can be found at your local market, grocery store, or specialty store

    1. Spread out the flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper
    2. Coat the fish in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.
    3. Gently heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottom skillet. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until just golden.
    4. Remove the garlic and discard.
    5. Add the fish to the skillet and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side, until cooked through and golden brown.
    6. Remove the steaks fro the skillet and set aside.
    7. Place the onion and anchovies in the skillet and cook, mashing the anchovies with a wooden spoon until they have turned to a puree and the onion is golden.
    8. Add the tomatoes and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until the mixture has thickened.
    9. Stir in the olives and the capers and taste to adjust any seasoning you feel is off.
    10. Return the steaks to the skillet and heat through gently.
    11. Serve!

    Voila! You have a delicious, unique kind of meal. Please remember: very young, pregnant, and childbearing age are warned against eating swordfish due to the high methylmercury in swordfish. On that note, eat what you wish, on your own terms. Enjoy the meal and I will see you all tomorrow to continue our rendevouz with Italian cooking! Caio!

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Italian Week: Day 4 - Cannelloni

    Buona sera my fellow bloggers! Tonight, I am prepared to introduce you all to one of my all time favorite Italian dishes. Of course, as you have all started to realize, Italian food is mostly pasta dishes. It's a signature style of the Italians. I choose to live by this because I am part Italian. So tonight, we are making a traditional cannelloni.
    Cannelloni is a flat sheet of pasta, rolled into a cylindrical shape to encompass a filling of choice. Cannelloni is often mistaken for manicotti. However, manicotti is a filled Italian dinner crepe, as opposed to rolled pasta. Okay, so we have educated you, now we will cook with you. Ready? I am!


    You will need:

    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 onions, chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
    • 1 tablespoon shredded fresh basil
    • 12 ounces canned chopped tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • salt and pepper
    • 12 ounces dried cannelloni tubes
    • butter, for greasing
    • Generous 1 cup ricotta cheese
    • 4 ounces cooked ham, diced
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup freshly grated romano cheese
    Are we all here? Okay... And, we're off.

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
    2. heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottom skillet
    3. Add the onions and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the onion is softened.
    4. Add the basil, chopped tomatoes and their can juices, and tomato paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    5. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes, or until thickened.
    6. Meanwhile, bring a large heavy-bottom pan of lightly salted water to a boil.
    7. Add the cannelloni tubes, return to a boil and cook Al-Dente (8 to 10 minutes).
    8. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the cannelloni tubes to a large plate and pat dry with paper towels.
    9. Grease a large, shallow casserole dish with butter.
    10. Mix the ricotta, ham, and egg together in a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
    11. Using a teaspoon, fill the cannelloni tubes with the ricotta mixture and place in a single layer in the dish.
    12. Pour the tomato sauce over the cannelloni and sprinkle with with romano cheese,
    13. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
    14. Serve!

    Well, this dish has me wiping my forehead. I have to say, this is one of the more extensive dishes. So, if you choose to pass on making this, I won't be offended. But, I will recommend trying at least once. It's more fun if you have someone to make this with like a child or a sister or even a best friend. You all have a great night and I'll talk to you tomorrow!