Tuesday Mornings: Scones and Biscotti Always Better with Friends

Everything tastes better with friends. Cooking or baking for friends makes it less of a chore or a duty, it becomes a joy to share. Tuesday Mornings is a time for friends and we get together and drink coffee, tea, water, whatever, eat some good foods and work on projects individually. It is a time to share experiences, joy and pleasures and sometimes pain and sorrow. My Tuesday Mornings is a life saver from ennui and stress.

Biscotti and Scones

Today’s offering from Tuesday Mornings:

Pre-heat oven to 425F
Makes 12

2 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 tsp lemon or orange zest or peel diced
6 Tbsp butter
½ cup currants or cranberries or craisins
¾ cup sour cream

In a food processor:
1- Place flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, orange zest or peel and butter.
2- Pulse 7-8 times until mixed well.
3- Add dried fruit and sour cream.
4- Pulse a few more seconds until mixed.
5- Remove and divide in half.
6- Place in plastic wrap and roll into circle.
7- Peel off plastic and cut into 6 wedges.
8- Place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet.
9- Bake 15-18 minutes.

Important note: Even if they do not look “done” after 18 minutes do not be tempted to bake them further. They will be perfect.

On another note, I have a tendency to keep useful things for future use. Near future. In my refrigerator is a bag of orange peels. When I need an orange sauce or syrup, when I need some orange zest or taste, I use those peels.

Below is what I used for the scones for today:

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Carefully remove pulp from the orange skin if you wish.

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Look for black spots or damaged skin and remove then slice thin.

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Turn sliced peels and dice to bits.

Quiche Chie Sonia

Quiche

Chie Sonia girl small

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

4 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup Bisquick
¼ tsp pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp diced onion
3 cloves garlic mashed
1 cup ham, diced
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

  1. Whisk eggs, milk, Bisquick, pepper and cayenne pepper together and set aside.
  2. Spread onions and garlic on the bottom of the dish you are using. I use a pie dish, round or square does not matter.
  3. Brown ham and spread on top of onions and garlic.
  4. Add Mozarella, Cheddar and Parmesan.
  5. Pour whisked ingredients to top the dish.
  6. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 350. When pierced with a sharp knife, the knife comes out clean. The top will brown.

PS. Instead of ham, I sometimes use 5 slices of bacon cooked and crumbled or Italian cold cuts.

Buon appetito!

When You Want It Perfect Do It Yourself

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“You never ever get rid of anything,” says my daughter Nadya, all the time.

It is true if I can conceive of using whatever could be thrown out. I use raw shrimp for my recipes and I keep the raw peels. I double bag and freeze them for the time I need and want a seafood broth.

Here is a recipe I made this afternoon. My husband does not care for cream soups much so I devised a way to eliminate the dairy part of it and used coconut milk.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

Bel Hanna Wel Sheffa

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-Shrimp Broth
- 6 cups water
- 1 large onion
- Peels of 2 lbs shrimp
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp old bay
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper

- Bisque
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 can coconut milk

.Directions:

-Broth:
1- In a large pot, boil in the 6 cups of water, the onion, shrimp peels, nutmeg, paprika, old bay, salt and pepper.

2- Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

3- Add tomato paste and whisk. Simmer another 10 minutes then remove from heat.

4- Pour the broth through a sieve and discard the solids.

5- Makes approximately 4 cups of broth. Set broth aside.

Bisque:

6- In the same pot, melt butter and add olive oil and heat on medium heat.

7- Add flour and whisk vigorously to fry the flour without burning it.

8- Add 4 cups of broth while whisking to avoid lumps.

9- When thickened, add tomato paste and whisk the paste in thoroughly.

10- Simmer on low heat for ten more minutes and remove from heat.

CHF vs a Great Diuretic Salad

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It was suggested to me because of the heat to drink a spoonful of Baking Soda mixed in an eight ounce glass of water. I was told that it would help alleviate the heat waves that accost me in the afternoons and early evenings.

I tried and folks let me tell you, at this age you should not drink a spoonful of Sodium Bicarbonate. Yep, it is Salt! Needless to say, I felt nauseated at first but later in the day I felt lethargic.

When I went out for my evening walk with my husband, I felt my chest tight and my lungs not expanding. Again, at my age, I am 55, all this salt could result in CHF or Congestive Heart Failure.

I needed diuretics. Here is what I did to solve the problem of retention and it turned out amazing!

1/2 Vidalia onion sliced
8 garlic cloves slices
1/2 bunch parsley chopped
1 large tomato chopped
2 Tbsp ground Cumin
1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 head Romaine lettuce chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper

The last three ingredients are for taste and substance. All the rest are diuretics. Go figure. A delicious healthy solution without a hospital trip. Whew!

Mix well. Eat. You can thank me later. It is delicious!

An amazing salad made with love and health.

Enjoy!

Chicken Negressco a la Salma Keir in Caring For Eleanor

Chicken Negressco a la Salma Keir

This is a versatile dish that you can add vegetables to in the mix before baking. The most common vegetables to add are zucchini, peas or even broccoli.
Negressco is made of three different parts that come together in the oven.

Roasted Chicken for Chicken Negressco

Photo by Evan Swigart

-Chicken: Prepare chicken anyway you wish. For this recipe, I use a roasted chicken from the store. Strip all the meat from the bone. Cut to bite size and set aside.

Here is Salma’s recipe for chicken:
- Wash whole chicken inside and out with salt and flour to get clean and take away any unsavory taste.
- Place rinsed chicken in large stock pot with:
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 bay leaves
1 large onion (keep tail on and cut in four half way through)
Boil 45 minutes

-Pasta: Boil Penne or Elbow macaroni following package directions.
Salma adds 2Tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of salt to boiling water for pasta.

-Beshamel Sauce: Remember that you made your Beshamel sauce: shown last week.

Assembly:
-Mix boiled pasta, chicken and 1 cup of Beshamel sauce in a large pot or bowl.

-Spread mixture into a large rectangular oven pan.

-Pour the rest of the Beshamel sauce on the top.

-Bake at 375 until golden brown and serve.

Chicken Negressco by Sonia

Photo by Josep Renalias

In the end:
- Let stand for 10 minutes out of the oven for easy serving.

- Use spatula to serve rectangles or squares of the baked Negressco.

- Serve with a green salad or a Caesar salad.

- If you wish you can sprinkle some fresh Parmesan cheese on top of every serving.

- Serves 12. Freezes well. Heat in microwave or oven.

Easy to prepare in advance and tastes incredible. Salma froze squares in old empties for her client Eleanor.

Beshamel Sauce for Chicken Negressco

bech.jpgThis is the first of two parts of Chicken Negressco from Salma Keir from Caring For Eleanor.

Beshamel
4 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 oz flour
2¼ cups milk
salt
1 egg

- In a sauce pan, heat oil.
- Add flour and whisk vigorously to lightly brown the flour.
- Add salt as you whisk.
- Add milk a little at a time whisking to avoid lumps.
- Remove from heat when thickens.
- Add raw egg and whisk into mixture.

Now it is ready to be added to whatever dish you want to add it to.
This sauce is a white sauce to use with pastas and making Croque Monsieur, ham and cheese with sauce on top.

If you find it hard to follow my directions, check out this video and see if it helps. :0)

French Toast a la Salma for Eleanor

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Wikipedia Image

One of the foods I made for Eleanor was a spiced French Toast. Used to having her scrambled egg and toast every morning, I made her something new. She loved my cooking and gave me leeway to serve her new and delicious foods.

In the next few weeks, I will share some of the foods I made for her. Yes, she loved my cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Pinch Cardamon
  • Dash Allspice
  • 2 pinches Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Slices of toast or Hawaiian Bread or potato Bread
  • Butter for frying
    Maple syrup

Directions:

  • Beat egg and milk.
  • Add spices and vanilla. Set aside for a moment.
  • Heat butter in skillet.
  • Dunk each slice of bread covering both sides with spiced mixture.
  • Place in medium hot butter.
  • Brown on both sides.
  • After placing in serving plate, cover with Maple syrup.

When she tasted my concoction, she asked for it many times after that. Blind, all her other senses were enhanced and she appreciated the sensual flavors.

Salma Keir

Tabbouleh Salad With Lemon Juice

800px-Flickr_-_cyclonebill_-_Tabbouleh.jpgIngredients

  • 1/2 cup bulgur, fine cracked wheat
  • juice of 4-5 lemons
  • 3 bunches fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • handful fresh mint, finely sliced (not necessary)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced (include green stems)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt (to taste)
  • romaine leaves, for serving

Directions

1- Soak bulgur in 1 cup of warm water. It will soften and expand.
2- Mix all cut up vegetables and place in bowl.
3- To add bulgur, take handfuls and squeeze out all the water. Then add to mixture.
4- Toss all and serve over romaine.

Ideas: Add to sandwiches, to falafel or as a side dish.
Bulgur is very versatile and excellent to use. It comes in many grain levels from fine to coarse. It is used as a filler, in stuffing chicken instead of bread or rice. It gives a smoky wonderful taste. It can also be made instead of rice as a side dish.

Zucchini and Squash To Taste Better

My friend and fellow blogger Allan of Simple Life Prattle has lots of vegetables to give away.

Here is a recipe just for you Allan. Enjoy! Love the Prattle!

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3 zucchinis sliced thin
3 yellow squash sliced thin
1 large Vidalia onion diced
8 garlic cloves mashed
4 tomatoes diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat olive oil in over safe skillet on the stove.
Carmalize onions and garlic, salt and pepper in the hot olive oil.
Add zucchini an squash. Cook until all water is gone.
Add tomatoes and cook down until dry.
Remove from heat.
Cover top with the cheeses.
Broil until cheese is caramel colored.
Serve over rice or potatoes.