Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quick, easy, tasty dinner- STEAKS IN TOMATO SAUCE with BROWN RICE

Meat and starches, nutritious, delicious, plus a variety of veggies will add color and playfulness to your dinner plate. Just like having a piece of art in front of you to indulge, first with your eyes, then with your already watering mouth.


Quick, Easy, Tasty Dinner- Steaks In Tomato Sauce With Brown Rice on FoodistaQuick, Easy, Tasty Dinner- Steaks In Tomato Sauce With Brown Rice

Monday, September 27, 2010

COOKIES AND MILK- Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies are still our No.1, but variety of ingredients brings joy to your taste pallet. And who knows, maybe even a new favorite cookie in someones recipe book.


Cookies And Milk- Walnut Oatmeal Cookies on FoodistaCookies And Milk- Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

Sunday, September 26, 2010

TWO WAY ZUCCHINI

Zucchini is that kind of veggie that can be cooked in so many different ways and even used as a moisturizer when baking chocolate cake, because it has a very mild flavor that is easily overpowered or infused. And a zucchini has more potassium than a banana that is why it should be more frequently on our dinner table.

Here are just two ways to put the zucchini on your dinner table and both will be an instant success!


BREADED ZUCCHINI
Crunchy, salty, soft, sweet, with a kick- breaded zucchini are a playful side dish or a snack, and even a star appetizer. It doesn't matter how you serve it, it's always a hit with children and adults around your dining table.

ZUCCHINI CAKES
Another playful way to serve your zucchini. These zucchini cakes can be even transformed into a veggie hamburgers. Just another way to bring a variety to your home cuisine.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Another hardy soup for cold winter days- CREAMY MONG BEAN SOUP

Split mong beans, as any other dry bean, have a lot to offer. They are low in fat, yet rich in dietary fiber and protein, low in cost, yet high in nutrition, and they have pretty long shelf life. Few other food can offer this many benefits as dry beans does!

Another Hardy Soup For Cold Winter Days- Creamy Mong Bean Soup on FoodistaAnother Hardy Soup For Cold Winter Days- Creamy Mong Bean Soup


Thursday, September 23, 2010

PRESERVING FOOD FOR WINTER- Pickled sweet banana & jalapeno peppers

My husband and I have a small garden. We plant aromatics such as rosemary, lavender, mint, thyme, oregano, parsley, and basil; veggies such as peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, and eggplants. This year we also planted Japanese sweet potatoes. They were simply delicious.
Cucumbers were hyper productive this year, so I pickled quite a large quantity. They will be a real treat in the winter.
It's already September and our sweet banana and jalapeno peppers are still producing actively, so today I'm making some pickled banana and jalapeno peppers.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Something for every taste- MINI PIZZAS

Mini pizzas are perfect bribe food for children when you are cooking something they would really love to avoid having on their dinner plate.


Something For Every Taste- Mini Pizzas on FoodistaSomething For Every Taste- Mini Pizzas

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The best veggie patties ever- FALAFEL

Once just a street sold fast food in the Middle East, now very well know all around the world, falafel is climbing to the top of food lovers lunch and party menu. Accompanied with hummus and Arabic salad (here in USA known as pico de gallo salad) in a pita pocket, falafel is really good eats.

Apart from the fact that falafel is fried, all the ingredients that go to the recipe are healthy:
- Chick Peas: full in fiber, protein and copper, and a very good source of foliate and manganese;
- Broad Beans: good source of dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, copper and manganese, and a very good source of foliate;
- Bulgar: also a very good source of dietary fiber and manganese;
- and all the veggies: onions, garlic, ginger, green bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapeno, cilantro, parsley that goes into the felalfel just boost the taste and the healthy level.


The working week is always very hectic and as everyone is leaving the house at different times, everyone is having breakfast on their own. Usually just some cereal or oatmeal with a cup of tea or milk. But when the weekend comes, the family gathers for breakfast together and indulge in the variety of food spread on the table: scrambled eggs, hummus, labanah, zatar with olive oil, olives, cheeses, turkey ham, strawberry preserve, peanut butter, fresh veggies, and then some more...or less, and of course FALAFEL!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

DOUBLE TROUBLE

The female part of our family likes creamy, soft flavors, while the male part of the family prefers clean, fresh flavors. So, when I cook pasta I always go in two directions: totally white sauce for one side and simple tomato sauce for the other side. I make my sauces a little special by adding some nutritious vegetables. 


The biggest mistake people do when they boil pasta is add oil to the water so they can avoid "sticky" pasta situations. But oil makes the sauce slide right off the pasta and prevents pasta from absorbing all the delicious flavors from the sauce. Result: two individual dishes on the same plate: pasta + sauce; instead of one heavenly meal you cannot have enough of.


Is it really so hard to stick around the oven during the time needed for the pasta to be cooked?


Manage your time.
- Once the water is boiling, it is enough just to stick around and stir the pasta until water boils again, turn the heat down a bit, set timer to 10 minutes (which is the cooking time for most dry pasta), and then just stir occasionally to prevent pasta  from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- And actually the time that it takes for the water to boil and the pasta to cook, is the same amount of time it takes to make the white sauce.


Double Trouble on FoodistaDouble Trouble

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Eating out or in dilemma

Restaurant food is so predictable, always same taste, same shape, same presentation. But when cooking at home, the same dish turns out differently each single time you prepare it. Sometimes just a slightly bigger pinch of salt, other times you change the spices a bit, because the ones you needed for the recipe weren't on your shopping list. Or maybe adding an extra veggie, or leaving out meat to make the entree lighter, or just to please the audience at the table.


Generally, same recipe, but with small changes, endless possibilities. Yea, cooking at home pays off every single time.


Sometimes you just go to the kitchen to prepare a simple quick meal and end up cooking something complex yet still simple.


It happened to me yesterday. I was just planning to beat together a yellow coffee cake, but ended with cake filled chocolate cream and peaches.


Yet, other times turns out something like this:


Or maybe like this:



With food there are really endless possibilities!

Monday, September 13, 2010

EVEN THE SIMPLEST SOUP CAN BE FULFILLING

There is nothing more comforting and soothing than a bowl of pipping hot soup on a cold day or on any day when you feel that you need a boost or an extra hug...


I always keep chicken and veggie bouillon in my pantry, pre-chopped celery, sweet green peas and sweet corn kernels in my freezer, and of course there is always enough potatoes in our house to feed an army. So I can put this simple soup together in less than 1/2 an hour.


There is nothing that makes me feel more warm and cozy inside than a bowl of a good soup. Now all I need is my favorite blanky and a good movie. Come, join me!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

HOLIDAY COOKIES- Maamoul form Middle East



Ohhhh, holidays! There is nothing more exciting than anticipation of holidays. You can almost feel the sparks in the air while children are impatiently jumping around, asking the same question for the zillion of times, and adults, too, somehow are more relaxed, smiling all the time. As if the blessings from above calm even the most restless soul on the Earth.

Every region has that staple holiday cookie that makes family gatherings so more special and maybe stimulates the invisible competition between the family cooks.

Maamoul is a must have holiday cookie during Eid celebrations in the Middle East.

This transports me way back to the time when I made my first batch of maamoul. It was a DISASTER!!!!!! Somehow I miss wrote the ingredients; or maybe, just maybe, that special someone that gave me the recipe "accidentally" left out one simple but important ingredient: H2O. So my first maamouls were a greasy mess filled with deliciously spiced dates. In the years to come I tried new recipes, retried the old ones, and in the end perfected my own that gives my family heavenly goodness each time I pull out a tray of baked maamouls from the oven.

Holiday Cookies- Mammoul From Middle East on FoodistaHoliday Cookies- Mammoul From Middle East

Friday, September 3, 2010

Always a star at the dinner table- TIRAMISU


Tiramisu, this Italian picker upper that everybody loves. Me, personally, with a strong cup of Turkish coffee. Oh, so good!


This sweet guilty pleasure is always a star around my dinner table, especially when we have company. I usually make it a day ahead so that all the flavors can develop to their full and start complementing each other.


Although mascarpone and lady fingers are the staple of tiramisu, I find it much more delicious made with sponge cake and custard cream. Yes, it takes more time, but in the end it pays off.