~In the south and around the world.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
This is my first recipe from our Pomodori e Vino cooking challenge, and luckily it is one of my favorites when eating at a Roman trattoria. Carciofi alla Romana~ or Artichokes, Roman style.
The first of many weekly challenges... to find the right ingredients here in Alabama. I managed to find the large globe artichokes, which are not exactly the stout, tender artichokes found in Italy. Allora. These will just have to work.
Most of the essentials of Italian cooking involve the 'process' of cooking. Marcella goes into details about the proper way to clean and prepare the artichokes... which is essential for most dishes using the fresh artichoke.
First~ remove the outer leaves. If at first this seems wasteful, she says it is more wasteful to cook something that can't be eaten.
Continue until you reach the tender inner leaves. Cut the tips of the inner leaves off.Rub all of the cut surfaces with lemon to prevent browning.Mean while, mince some mint, parsley, garlic and mix with salt and pepper.Rub the chokes well with the herbs and place tops down in a pot and cook until tender~ the smell is amazing! I served mine with a nice bowl of fennel risotto.Don't forget to follow us with a new recipe everyday on Facebook or at Pomodori e Vino.
Buon Appetito y'all,
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
31 days~ 31 posts.
It is not as easy as you think. I'd admire all y'all who find a way to blog day after day. I was good for the month of March. It helps when there is a road trip involved.
Any idea's y'all?
Dont forget our Friday's Favorites ♥Linky Party♥
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
So that is what we have~ a Sunday roast with a Tuscan twist. This recipe for a Tuscan roasted pork is adapted from Once Upon A Plate.
Tuscan Pork Roast
2 teaspoons fresh chopped sage
3 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 pound pork tenderloin
1 loaf crusty baguette
Preheat oven to 375°.
Mince sage, rosemary, pepper, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper together. Sear the tenderloin in a frying pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil for 8-10 minutes, rotating to brown all sides. Roll the pork in the herb mixture and set aside. Next cut, or slit the baguette in half the long way and scoop out most of the soft insides. Brush the inside of the baguette with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and any spices that may not stick to the meat. Set the pork inside the baguette so that the pork is well enclosed. Trim off the excess ends of the bread if needed. With string, tie the bread to secure the pork at 1 to 2 inch intervals. Place the pork on a baking sheet and roast until done (when instant read thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin it should read 155°-160°) About 25 to 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven, allow to rest 10 minutes.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Y'all leave your link, and let us know what your ♥favorite♥ is this week.
This recipe for a Diet Soda Cake sounded to good to be true. I tried it... and Gina's Right! It is to good and true.
Diet Soda Cake
1 dry box cake, any flavor
10 oz diet soda, any flavor
2 egg whites
Preheat oven according to box directions. Spray 9 x 13 pan.
Beat cake mix, diet soda and egg whites. Pour into pan.
Bake as directed on box, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
Let cake cool about 10 minutes before cutting. Cut into 12 pieces. Top with fat free whipped cream if you wish.
You can also make 24 cup cakes which would be only 1.75 points each
Thursday, March 25, 2010
We need a little refreshment.
It'll be a sad/happy weekend.
I'll have my laptop~ if I have time for bloggin.
Y'all don't forget our ♥Friday's Favorites♥ Linky Party tomorrow.
Come by for a cupcake.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Since we've been trying to shave calories and shed pounds I went on the search for another, lighter variation.
Light and Crunchy Granola
4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 Tbs butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried fruit
1/2 cup orange juice
Preheat to 350
Soak the fruit in OJ and set aside. Melt the butter, and toss all ingredients together. Spread onto a cookie sheet and bake until golden 20-25 minutes. Stir once or twice.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
For those of you who may not know who Marcella Hazan is, she has been credited with bringing true Italian cooking to America. She has won numerous awards, including a knighthood from her home country of Italy.
(Which is why I hope we can get through this challenge without slaying her recipes and techniques.)
We get started this sunday.
Monday, March 22, 2010
My Limoncello is brewing, and I still have lemons to use. I decided to try this lemon risotto. This is a spring time comfort food~ if there is such a thing.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups boiling chicken stock
1/2 cup frozen Petite Peas
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese or creme fresh
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Saute diced onion in olive oil until tender, add rice and stir to coat. In another pan, heat chicken stock to a simmer. Zest and juice lemon and set aside. Once the rice is clear in color, add white wine and lemon juice. Cook the risotto in the traditional way by adding the broth one scoop at a time. Add the last of the broth with peas to the risotto as you normally would, giving a stir and cooking until most of the liquid is absorbed. Just before serving, briskly stir in lemon zest and mascarpone, salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh parsley.
This goes great with seafood, or shrimp, or just like it is. It is light and fresh... just like a taste of spring.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 turkey thighs
1 cup dry white wine
2 large onions, diced
4 medium carrots diced
3 medium stalks of celery diced
8 oz. Mushroom, sliced
4 medium cloves garlic minced
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
2 bay leaves
1 28 oz. Can crushed tomatoes
parmesan cheese rind (if available)
¼ cup chopped parsley for garnish
Pre heat oven to 325°
Heat 2 tbs oil in a Dutch oven, over medium high.
Salt and pepper both sides of the thighs.
Brown them, about 6 minutes each side, in the oil.
Remove from pot. Pour off all the fat.
Add the next 2 tbs to the pot to get hot. Then add the onions, carrots and celery and cook about 7 or 8 minutes until soft. Add the mushrooms and garlic for another couple of minutes. Add the wine and deglaze the pot (scrape up the brown bits left on the bottom).
Mix in the stock or water, the crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and more salt and pepper. Add the cheese rind, if you have one. Remove the skin from the turkey thighs and return them to the pot, nestling them down into the liquid. It should just cover the thighs. Bring it up to a boil and then put into the oven.
Cook until the meat is falling off the bones—about an hour and a half—maybe 2.
Great over hearty pasta, or polenta, sprinkled with the parsley and some grated parmesan cheese
Saturday, March 20, 2010
I immediately thought of the 3 wines at the beautiful winery in Tuscany, Al Paradiso di Frassina . They have a beautiful Brunello de Montalcino, 'Do' is a musical blend of Tuscan grapes, 'Gea' is named for Carlo's youngest daughter.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
The painting is by my friend PalmaBella, who's talents never end. I used a frame from Old time pottery (which I like to call the Barn of Pottery~ as opposed the more expensive Pottery Barn).
The lettering, a quick applique from TJMaxx.
Now if I could just get caught up on the laundry. I am to busy visiting all the Thrifty Thursday friends from Bloggeritaville .
Y,all don't forget our ♥ Friday's Favorites ♥ linky party tomorrow.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Then again~ aren't we all?
And here is a recipe for a hearty beef stew~ made with Guinness. Is there anything more Irish?
1 tablespoons oil
2 pounds Beef
2 Tbs flour
2 carrots (large)
1 cup Guinness
1 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
Use a cheaper cut of beef, cut into bitesized chunks, coat with flour. Cut the onion, potatoes and carrots into largish chunks.
In a large pot, saute onions lightly in oil. Add beef and brown on high heat without crowding. Lower heat and add Guinness, beef stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Add carrots and potatoes. Cook until thickened and carrots and potatoes are done. Serve with fresh bread.
St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.
Y'all don't forget to come back for my ♥Friday's Favorite Linky Party♥ ~if you aren't all partied out by then.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
by a bit of Irish luck,
brightened by a song in your heart,
and warmed by the smiles
of the people you love.
We've been featured at Virginia's BirminghamDailyPhotoBlog, pop in and say thanks~
Monday, March 15, 2010
I was looking back through old posts and found some great Irish sayings. I guess I was on a roll last year. These are worth a second peak!
An Old Celtic Blessing
May the blessing of light be on you—
light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
and warm your heart
till it glows like a great peat fire.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
My friend Virginia and I met at the WhistleStop Cafe in Irondale a week or so ago for lunch. It got me to thinking, and I remembered to ask Bill about how his family came to own the cafe. His dad was a railroad man, his mom was raising 3 kids... neither knew much about running a resturant.
So the story goes~~ Mr. Mac ate at this little cafe by the tracks in Irondale frequently. He loved the meat and veggies and sandwiches that Bess served. Miss Bess Fortenberry ran the small cafe with her friend Sue and a black cook named Lizzie. It was a thriving business, although small, with only enough seating inside for 31. Mr. Mac had talked to Bess about buying her cafe... before she would agree, she insisted that he have his wife come and talk to her. (smart woman!)
Mary Jo was busy on the other side of town raising kids and really didn't know much about Irondale or the cafe. She remembers walking into the tiny dim cafe to meet with Bess and was a little surprised. The cafe was in a small green framed building, with four booths and a counter for seating. There was a big Coca-Cola sign over the door and a couple of small dingy windows. Bess asked her "what in the world do you want to buy this cafe for?" Mary Jo assured her it was Mr. Mac's idea and she would only be working with him.
She remembers thinking she knew nothing about running a business but Dad was insistent. She drove back to Huffman, and prayed that Bess would decide to sell it to someone else. Instead... They became the owners of a cafe in Irondale. (or as Bill would say... the cafe owned them) Soon after they took over, the manager became sick and had to shorten her hours. The 'batter was made' and Mary Jo became a full time cafe owner/manager. Someone else's dream, became her reality.
By the 1980's the cafe was a booming success, the old building had to be torn down to meet health department standards, and a new cafe was built. This new building seated 100 and had an automatic dishwasher, 5 deep fryers, and a modern kitchen. It wasn't long before they were busting at the seams again.
Then... one day in 1983, a local TV personality and author, named Fannie Flagg walked in and said she wanted to write a book based on her Great-Aunt Bess and her old cafe. Many of the stories from the novel 'Fried Green Tomatoes at the WhistleStop Cafe' are based on real life stories from the early days at the cafe.
Our family sold the cafe in 2000, but Sunday's at Mom's still involve lots of yummy food and occasionally some Fried Green Tomatoes.