Friday, December 31, 2010

HAPPY 2011

Since I started my blog in September I was blessed with many new friendships! To all of my old, new, and still to be foodie friends: Thank you for all your encouragement and faltering comments!
Happy 2011!

starry-night-star-seamless-background

Thursday, December 30, 2010

GREAT NORTHERN BEAN- White Beans in a Pot

Beans are just perfect for cold winter days, satisfying our tummies and giving us warmth and energy. They are certainly one of the best foods available. A cup of great northern beans contains 14.7 grams of protein, and 12.4 grams of dietary fiber. These beans are also excellent sources of iron, magnesium and foliate, and they have just 200 calories per cup. They can really bulk up the nutritional value of anything to which they’re added, and when they are combined with brown rice, they form a complete protein. The great northern beans are also good for people, who are on a diet or follow a vegan diet. Though great northern beans alone may not have considerable taste, they do absorb flavor extremely well. In our family we call them white beans and they are an often guest on our dinner table especially in the winter, usually served with a nice side of rice.


Great Northern Bean- White Beans In A Pot on FoodistaGreat Northern Bean- White Beans In A Pot

Monday, December 27, 2010

RICE&LENTILS

For me rice and lentils is that fulfilling dish on a day I don't want to have meat on the table.

Lentils are often called "the poor ones meat". Why? Answer is simple: Lentils are rich in protein, with over 25% of lentils nutritional value being protein. This is what makes lentils the most popular and inexpensive source for protein, especially for those, who cannot afford meat and for vegetarians. And yet another benefit of lentils: Lentils fiber content may also prevents the sudden hike in blood sugar levels after a meal.

But there is nothing poor about lentils.They are versatile as a cooking ingredient for you can make a soup, a casserole, or even meatballs with them. They are rich in taste: they have that pleasant nutty taste, and become creamy and soft when cooked. So for those with heath resolutions for the new upcoming year, I would definitely recommend more lentils on their plates.


RICE&LENTILS on FoodistaRICE&LENTILS

Friday, December 24, 2010

STUFFED BEEF ROLLS

A festive and elegant way to serve steak on a dinner table.
This is our holiday dinner! I made a test run about a month ago and just served the stuffed beef rolls with some oven roasted potato wedgies, but this evening I'm serving them with a side of creamy mashed potatoes, spinach cooked the old fashion way- finely chopped sauteed with butter and heavy cream, and a nice cauliflower salad topped with crunchy butter toasted breadcrumbs. YUM!
I decided to stuff the steaks with mushrooms, carrots, and sauteed chopped onions, bell peppers, and celery; but you can surly add some spinach, or any other colorful veggie, green or black olives, even hard boiled eggs would be a nice, tasty, eye appealing addition! (Pictures included are from the test run.)


Stuffed Beef Rolls on FoodistaStuffed Beef Rolls

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CANDIED ORANGE PEEL

It’s orange season! In our family we all love oranges; they are not just good for you, they are sweet and sour, juicy and delicious! But what about the orange peel? Throw it in the garbage? Not in our house. Orange peel can be a base for a delicious orange preserve or candied orange peel that you can nibble on or put in cookies, cakes, even as decoration in a tea cup or cocktail glass. Or you can give them away as a gift of appreciation to someone dear to you, a neighbor, or a teacher.
The possibilities are endless!

 

Candied Orange Peel on FoodistaCandied Orange Peel

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ZA'ATAR SWIRLS

About za’atar:
Discover the taste and be inspired! Za’atar has a fresh herby taste with a zing. Za’atar, is Arabic for wild thyme and is common to Middle Eastern cooking. Usually it is combined with thyme, sumac, and toasted sesame seeds. The thyme gives it an elegant perfume and the sumac a slight lemony edge, while the toasted sesame seeds provides that oh so wanted crunch. The flavors work together beautifully. Za’atar is served with bread and olive oil. Dip the bread in the oil and then the herb mix; or make a paste of the oil and za'atar, brush it over bread or pita and grill for a few minutes. You can also enjoy za’atar sprinkled on ripe tomatoes or dusted over thick labaneh (a thickened yogurt: just sprinkle yogurt with a pinch of salt and drain it in a cheese cloth overnight in the refrigerator).

I often wake up earlier on weekends, so I can bake za'atar swirl for breakfast. They are such a wonderful treat for all the family after a hard and hectic work week. Sometimes I add some variations to the swirls with adding some feta cheese to za'atar or just make some ham&cheese swirls, too. YUM!!!



Za'atar Swirls on FoodistaZa'atar Swirls

Sunday, December 19, 2010

BIRTHDAY, MEMORIES, and POTICA


My sister and I are two years and one day  apart. We always celebrated our birthdays together...then life happened!
Happy birthday sis! Miss you much, especially on days like today is! Hope you have a lot of fun today!

My sister Mojca (left) and I (right) celebrating our birthdays in 1970

What is "potica"?
"Potica" is a Slovenian national sweet dish that is served at weddings, Easter, Christmas, as well as other occasions, celebrations, and holidays.
A sweet yeast dough is rolled flat, about 0.2 inch (0.5 cm) thick and a nutty filling is smeared onto it. The filled dough is rolled up, forming a log or loaf shape, then baked. When sliced, the cross-section shows a swirl of filling.

This sophisticated tasting deliciousness was always served on my sister's birthday and mine. In those days my grandmother, my sister and I called her "naša nona" (our granny), was always baking it for all the special occasions.

When my grandmother was baking, she always made arrangements, so she was alone at home. She said that especially yeast dough is very sensitive to noise, draft, and crowded kitchens. Now, I know it was just her way to make sure she had some alone time once in a while and to be sure not to get distracted.


Since our granny passed away my mom took over this honorable duty. In November was my mom's birthday and of course she made "potica". She was very excited when I asked her to record her work, so I can post it on my blog. She also made "potica" last Friday for my sister's upcoming birthday. Thanks mom! XOXOXOXOXO

Saturday, December 18, 2010

CHOCO-PANCAKES with BANANA CARAMEL SAUCE

Tuesday was yet another snow day. Cold, boring, and as usual everyone was craving something. All of a sudden a light bulb shone at the top of my head. I said, "Why don't we make some pancakes for dinner?!" We were all ready for something to warm our cold bellies. At first they were just your ordinary pancakes. But as usual we had to put a twist to it and instead of drizzling chocolate on top of the pancakes, we decided to put the chocolate into the batter. Then for the extra zing, we added extra milk chocolate bits into the batter. And you can't have pancakes without syrup, but we couldn't go to the store, so we had to make our own. So the children and I made some banana caramel sauce.
Call me crazy, but I actually had mine with sour cream on top. It balanced the banana caramel sauce and the choco-pancake's sweetness.


Choco-Pancakes With Banana Caramel Sauce on FoodistaChoco-Pancakes With Banana Caramel Sauce

 

IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE COMPLICTAED TO BE DELICIOUS


Monday we had a snow day. My daughter was already on her well deserved winter break. She worked very hard and was exempt from all her exams. She is a senior this year. And I'm bragging now, but I'm very proud mom for she is a straight A, honor student with AP classes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

MY WAY BURGERS

In our family, we all have different favorite burgers, so burger night brings to our home some relaxation in the middle of the busy week. We have a lot of fun putting our burgers together and competing for the best variation. All the condiments are spread on the dinner table: from ketchup to mustard and mayo, sautéed mushrooms, roasted peppers, olives, cheeses, tomatoes, sauerkraut, onions to home made burger buns. And the freshly baked buns are spreading the mouth watering aroma from the kitchen to all parts of house. Now the fun begins! Whose burger will be the star tonight?

I will post hamburger bun recipe in one of my future posts.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

DIVINE CAKE

The best way to get a really good reliable recipes is by getting them from family and friends. My high school friend Marusa send me this recipe. She thought it would be a nice addition to my blog. The original recipe is slightly different, but I always like to do slight recipe modifications. Even though we don't like it, when cooking, sometimes we have to compromise. To me it is a cooks' greatest and most useful skill when they know how to replace ingredients they don't have with ingredients they have on hand. This is the case in this recipe. I couldn't find puff pasty in the store, so instead I decided to use pie crust. I posted both recipes for you to decide which one you will like to try! 


Divine Cake on FoodistaDivine Cake

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Contest: Comment to win a copy of The Art of Gluten-Free Sourdough Baking

It's really fun to participate in a contest and then the sweet reward if you win. Here is another chance, dear foodie friends, to participate and maybe win.


Foodie Blogroll: "We are happy to present this contest, especially for gluten sensitive members, courtesy of Sharon A. Kane (a Foodie Blogroll member who blogs at Glutenfreesourdough.blogspot.com). She will be giving away 4 copies of her book "The Art of Gluten-Free Sourdough Baking" book."


If you click the Foodie BlogRoll Contest&Reward widget button (you can find it on the right), this will take you directly to the contest page. Happy participating!

THE CHOCOLATE AND THE BOOK ARE MINE

Today I opened my e-mail and there it was, the announcement of the second round winners of Foodie Blogroll contest that I blogged about last Friday. And guess what, I'm one of the winners!!! Persistence does pay off, so go on Foodie Blogroll and enter the contests and who knows maybe you will be the next winner. Prizes are real nice, sometimes a book, next time a useful kitchen tool or ingredient, and many many more interesting stuff.

The Foodie Blog Roll Contests: Winner!

Friday, December 10, 2010

STUFFED GREEN BELL PEPPERS

Ginger in the filling gives the dish a nice heat that warms the back of your throat, the cumin contributes its smokiness, parsley its bright freshness, rich tomato soup slight acidity balances the sharpness of garlic and sweetness of onion, while the mashed potatoes with its creaminess offers a nice introduction to your taste buds of what is coming “to town”.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

POTATO-MUSHROOM CAKES

So, today we had a fry day, which means that everything for dinner was fried: breaded zucchini (http://indulginglife.blogspot.com/2010/09/two-way-zucchini.html#more), spicy spheres (http://indulginglife.blogspot.com/2010/10/spicy-spheres.html#more), and potato-mushroom cakes, with side of marinara sauce and simple salad with tahini dressing (http://indulginglife.blogspot.com/2010/11/simlpe-salad-with-tahini-dressing.html#more). Not healthy at all, but so darn yummy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

OUR ANNIVERSARY MORNING COFFEE sweetened with CHEESECAKE CUPCAKES


Ahhhhhh, morning coffee!
Drinking coffee should not be a habit, but a nice daily social event, when people actually communicate with each other in a friendly relaxing way. And for those who claim that they cannot wake up without a cup of strong java: GET OVER YOURSELF, IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD! Excuses, excuses! Just another reason for allowing yourself to be cranky!


For me, my morning coffee is my everyday date with my husband. Slurping the black deliciousness is sweetened with the house dessert (that means what ever I have on hands, sometimes just a piece of chocolate) and spiced up with plans for the day, maybe even future, and of course gossip! After all theses time we've been together, I still feel butterflies in my stomach each time I'm brewing the coffee. We drink Arabic/Turkish style coffee spiced with cardamom, never is a machine involved in the process. The time until the water boils, gives me time to go back and revive some memories of past times. And then the aroma of coffee slowly infuse the air all around me. No, I wouldn't have it any other way!

But today is a special day. Today we are celebrating the 22nd anniversary since we pledge our vows to each other; so today's morning cup of coffee was so much special and of course I baked something special for this occasion- cheesecake cupcakes topped with pears and chocolate. I used pears because for me they are a very festive fruit with unique flavor and interesting texture. This fruit is so simple, yet so complex and exotic.


Anniversary Cheesecake Cupcakes on FoodistaAnniversary Cheesecake Cupcakes

Friday, December 3, 2010

Contest: Comment to win Healing Power of Chocolate book and 6 pieces of chocolate

Hey foodie friends! Here comes a chance to win a book and some delicious chocolate. Just follow the link, read the rules, and contribute with your comments, and who knows, maybe you will be the lucky winner. So what are you waiting for, click that link already!

http://www.foodieblogroll.com/contests/comment-to-win-healing-power-of-chocolate-book-and-6-pieces-of-chocolate#comments

The rewards: Cal Orey's book "The healing powers of chocolate" and CHAVA vitae chocolate

Thursday, December 2, 2010

AVOCADO in a SALAD

It is so easy to just to have something not so healthy for a meal, especially when in rush at lunch time. But there are so many simple and delicious salads that can be put together so quickly. All one has to do is to make sure that there is always some ready to use lettuce, some diced tomatoes, or any other veggie in the fridge to put you on the healthier track. And what to do to avoid using dressing to top your salad? Just keep a few avocados on hand and you won’t miss them. Avocado is that creamy fruit that can satisfy even the pickiest eater. As can adding the avocado to the salad replace the dressing, so can adding avocado to your sandwich can replace the mayo or cheese. And you are another step closer to healthier you.


Avocado In A Salad on FoodistaAvocado In A Salad

So, let’s talk about avocados for a while.
The avocado was unflatteringly known in the past as alligator pear, midshipman's butter, vegetable butter, or sometimes as butter pear.