Sandi is blogging from the WhistleStop Cafe kitchen. It's all about good home cooking; food, family and fun. Thousands of posts . . .

~In the south and around the world.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Photohunt ~ Dark

The photohunt this week is 'dark' ... like the Natural History Museum in London. The building is as fascinating as the exhibits.
How fun is that!Happy hunting y'all~

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday's Favorite~ It's fall y'all

It's fall y'all!

I have been loving this cool fall weather. I can still feel the touch of summer in the air.

So... I have mixed my fall pumpkins in with some summer seashells.

I'm not ready to give it up yet.

What is your favorite today?
Y'all join in the linky party~


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Polenta = Grits?

I made a delicious baked polenta to go with my Veal Stew. Which got me to thinking... What exactly is the difference between the Grits that we southerners know and love, and Italian polenta.

According to Google... very little.

They are both kinds of ground corn, one is starchier than the other. They both are a versatile kind of grain that can be used in so many different ways. Polenta, like Grits, can be eaten creamy, cheesy, baked or in a sweet dessert. I try not to mix my Italian/Southern tendencies~ so made a baked polenta as a base for my Pomodori e Vino veal.
Baked Polenta

2 cups chicken broth
1 cup polenta (instant)
1/2 cup grated parmigiano
2 Tbs butter
Heat the chicken broth. Slowly add the polenta, stirring constantly to avoid clumping. Once the polenta has thickened add the cheese and butter. Stir briskly until creamy.

To make individual servings: Butter 2 ramekins and fill with creamy polenta. Chill until ready to bake. Pre heat oven to 350° and bake 20 minutes until lightly browned. The polenta will unmold easily when ramekin in turned onto a plate.
Y'all enjoy,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pomodori e Vino ~ Veal Stew

Luckily, it has turned into a beautiful fall here in Alabama. I know I am biased... but the season's change is wonderful here. The oranges and reds of the maple trees looks like a picture. If it could just stay this way all year!
A pot of veal stew is just the ticket on a cool fall evening. Marcella's recipe is thick and flavorful... as always.
My recipe for veal stew includes tomatoes and peas. Simple ingredients, layers of flavor; once again the perfect example of 'Essentials of Italian Cooking'.
The veal is browned in butter and olive oil, then the onions are browned in the same pan. Add the best canned Italian tomatoes and cook over a low heat for about 50 minutes . Add the peas and cook until they are done. The stew will be thick and flavorful.
I served it over baked polenta, which is a lot like a grits casserole... comfort food at it's best!

Remember to follow us along daily on Facebook or on the Pomodori e Vino Blog. Marcella has followed us along and leaves encouraging comments!

Ciao Y'all,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blue for some

This cute little blue trailer reminds me of a road trip we took when I was little. Months in a travel trailer... 5 of us and Bonnie Sue the dog. After that . . . you either have the travel bug.~ or you'll never leave the nest again.
I am always ready to fly the coop!

SmilingSally  is hosting a party with all our blue friends

Happy Monday y'all~

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Beer Cheese Soup

Another Brilliant idea... gone to pot.
When we took our road trip to Guntersville I had the brilliant idea to go get a couple of pints of draft beer for the guys to drink while we watched football at the lodge. Unfortunately I didn't taste it before walking out with my arms full of 'octoberfest stout'. One sip and it was deemed 'nasty' by the experts. I wasn't about to just toss it.
So I carried it home and turned it into a delicious soup. I modified a recipe from Food Network... and it was perfect!
Beer Cheese Soup
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons flour
1 Tbs minced garlic
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar
1 cup dark beer
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook quickly for a minute. Whisk in the flour and make a light brown roux. Whisk in the stock, stirring to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Slowly add the cheese and stir until melted and smooth. Add the beer and cook until heated through. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
I served mine with a sprinkle of mozzarella and handful of pretzel chips on the side. Just right for a football afternoon!

Another brilliant idea... gone to the pot.
Y'all enjoy,

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Photohunt ~ orange

The photohunt this week is 'orange' and orange you glad it is?
I have resisted posting this picture the last couple of orange Photo Hunts...
War Eagle y'all~

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday's Favorite~Anthropology ♥

What's not to ♥ about Anthropology?The big letters E A T on the wall?

The stacks of brightly colored dishes in the Cucina?The hot chick with the big blue bag?Nope... ♥ 'em all to pieces!
What are you loving today?
Y'all join in~


Monday, October 18, 2010

Blue Monday~ Gorgonzola

That could also stretch to blue cheese~ Gorgonzola!
Since I love risotto this is a perfect side dish to accompany almost anything. . . Steaks, grilled sausages, or a pork tenderloin.
Risotto is so easy to throw together and tastes so fresh. Here I posted some Risotto Secrets that I have learned. You can change the ingredients, but the secrets remain the same.
Gorgozola Risotto
5 cups chicken stock
1 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs butter
1 onion, diced
2 oz pancetta, diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 oz gorgonzola
Start by softening the onion and pancetta in olive oil and half the butter. Cook until tender, but not browned. Add rice and cook in the olive oil. When translucent add wine to the hot pan. In another pan have the broth hot. Gradually add one ladle of broth at a time to the bubbly rice. Cook until almost dry and add another ladle of broth. Cook for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the heat and vigorously stir in remaining butter and gorgonzola. Season to taste with pepper and parmesean if desired.

Smiling Sally is hosting a Blue party.

I'll be bringing some Risotto.

Happy Blue Monday y'all~

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Photohunt ~ Miniature

The photohunt this week is 'miniature'.
So, I decided this week we would have a lesson in pasta...Tortellini are miniature little pasta rings . . .
Tortelloni are the big ones.
So the story goes... Lucrezia Borgia was staying in a small Inn. The Inn Keeper was so captivated by her beauty that he had to peek through the key hole... all he could see was her navel. Allorah~ the tortellini.
Happy hunting y'all~

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday's Favorite

It is time for another Friday's Favorite.
Have you ever watched your baby girl try on wedding dresses?
No decisions yet...
Just a lot of fun.

Aunt Holly was on the phone for a part of it...That was the highlight of my week!
What is your favorite today?
Y'all join in~


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pomodori e Vino ~Veal with Marsala and Cream

This chapter of Essential's of Italian cooking has been a challenge... VEAL. It is not something that we eat often. Ok... the truth... I have never cooked veal, but I do order it whenever I get the chance.
Now I have the reason to cook veal in my own kitchen.

Classic Veal with Marsala and Cream is a beautiful combination of flavors. The scaloppine is first dredged in flour then browned in butter and vegetable oil. Once the veal is lightly browned, remove it from the pan. Using the same pan, add marsalla and cook down the little bits in the pan. Add cream and cook to a thickened sauce.This is a simple and a beautiful blend of flavors. Essentially Marcella Hazan~ Essentials of Italian Cooking.

Remember to follow us along daily on Facebook or on the Pomodori e Vino Blog ...Much more Veal to come!
Ciao Y'all,

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Down in the Boondocks~

We drove way out to the boondocks just for lunch.
Brooke and I took time out from wedding dress shopping and hopped in the Bug. We drove to Lincoln to eat at 'The Boondocks'. It is a great little place on the water. Right now it is a fun place for fried fish on the patio....But, Things are changing in the Boondocks.I have it from the cook himself!

We definitely need to go back for a friday night dinner... or maybe line dancing on tuesday!

Y'all join us~

Friday, October 08, 2010

Friday's Favorite ~Linky Party

My favorite this week is easy~ Guntersville State Park! The guys cooked up a trip to the Lodge in Guntersville... with out any prompting from us. Good Job fellas!
The Lodge has been redone within the past few years and is really a great secret. We enjoyed dinner one night, and spent the next night in the bar watching football.It was the perfect weekend road trip. It is only a couple of hours away, yet seems like another world. The mountains and valley's are so beautiful and the lake is huge. We could see bald headed eagles soaring in the sky.

What a fun weekend!

I hope that y'all are finding something fun to do in this beautiful fall weekend.
What is your favorite today?
Y'all join in~


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Cooking Light ~ Vegetarian Pot Luck

Our Cooking light Virtual Supper Club is meeting this month with an potluck supper with a Vegetarian twist. We go to to find our recipes and show up for supper... a good old fashioned pot luck supper.
I am a vegetable lover... I am happy with a meal of just veggies. Now the man of the house wants meat. No doubt there!
This month I decided to make one of our favortie desserts... chock full of healthy vegetables. Carrot Cake ~does this count as a dessert or as a side dish? Only in the south could this be considered a veggie.
This carrot cake is amazing! It is chock full of fresh carrots, pineapple and coconut. It is baked in a 9x13 baking dish. It is moist and delishious! You'll see that I had to make 1/2 with nuts and 1/2 without... the nutty half was mine :-) An easy to whip up cream cheese frosting is perfect. Go to Cooking Light for the recipe HERE
Now let's see what everyone else has brought for our Pot Luck Supper!
Shelby might be bringing our main dish if she gets settled in after her move
Jamie has made a Candied Walnut, Pear & Leafy Green Salad
Val is bringing a Butternut Squash Lasagna
Patsy is bringing Fusilli with Roasted Tomatoes
Don't forget, that y'all are welcome to join in our virtual supper!

Y'all enjoy~

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

passionate about a cure

The WhistleStop Cafe Kitchen has gone pink for the month of October. ~actually I am passionate every month... but this is the only month this red head can tolerate an overdosage of PINK.
I am remembering breast cancer warriors with these georgeous pink peonies that were growing in a pot in Deruta... resilient.
I will toast them with a rare and beautiful pink Pino from Italy.
and will hold them close to my pink heart!
Y'all go pink too!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Blue Monday

SmilingSally is hosting another Blue Monday and I have the perfect true blue story.
This weekend Bill's Buddy had to go to the kennel so we could get away to a fun all adult weekend in the mountains.
Don't Be Blue . . . Buddy checked into the The Pampered Pet Resort.
He was able to spend the weekend in the 'Alabama Room' with 24 hour pet planet on the TV and his own comfy bed. There was a Princess right next door for him to play with in the park. He even got a pedicure and a spa day.
I got to hike in the mountains.
Don't be Blue y'all~
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