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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Blue Monday

This is a happy blue monday~ I finally found someone to dye the wedding shoes BLUE!
The rinestone shoe clips belonged to my grandmother. How special will that be? Gekie would be thrilled to know that she is a part of Brooke's wedding... along with her ring ( Click HERE for that story )!
Something Old, Something Borrowed, Something Blue . . .
The New Dress has been ordered. 8 weeks to go!

Don't forget to check in at Smiling Sally for more blues.
y'all enjoy~

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Photohunt ~ Standing

The photohunt for this week is 'standing' Which is what you do when you are riding the tube in London.
Cheers y'all~

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday's Favorites ~Eggplant Parmigiano

It's friday!
Time to share all of our favorites.

Yesterday I posted Marcella Hazan's simple recipe for fried eggplant. I quickly turned that into my favorite... eggplant parmigiano. This is a simple No Recipe recipe from my 'Long & Blond Limoncello' niece. It is all about the freshness of the ingredients and the simplicity of layering the stacks. First a thin layer of fresh tomato sauce, a thin slice of fried eggplant, a layer of fresh mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, and then repeat. Bake until the mozzarella cheese is melted. Top with fresh parmigiano cheese.
A bite of Italy!
So~ now what is your favorite today?
Y'all join in~


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pomodori e Vino ~ Eggplant

It is actually my partner Jan's turn to post this week for Pomodori e Vino. . . But I saw some beautiful thin Italian eggplant in the produce department and decided to join in the fun.
I followed Marcella's instructions on thinly slicing the eggplant and laying it in a colander with salt. This will draw out the bitter taste and any excess liquid.The dried eggplant is then lightly floured...and fried in hot vegetable oil (we like ours crispy!) If a southern cook knows anything... it is how to fry!
Come back tomorrow on our friday's favorite linky party to see what I did with these fried eggplant.

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

Monday, January 24, 2011

Blue Monday~fun in the Kitchen!

I had a REAL treat this weekend.
My son came home to cook for us. He has been working at Boondocks in Pell City and is a seafood expert! He's on a first name basis with the seafood guys at whole foods. He decided on the freshest salmon which was a wild caught Atlantic Salmon. He got a huge fillet and cut it himself.

It was fun to sit back and let him take over the kitchen. He made a Teriyaki Glazed Salmon with Grilled Pineapple and Orange Zested Asparagus on a bed of creamy polenta.

This guy can cook! ~The sad part is that his knives look better than mine.

I wonder if he'll notice if that Henckel knife ends up in my drawer? ;-)

I was the 'Lou' Chef~ which means I get to sit back with a glass of wine. . . and enjoy every moment!

Isn't life just precious?

Don't forget to check in at Smiling Sally for more Monday blues.
y'all enjoy~

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pomodori e Vino ~ Cauliflower with Parmigiano

The star in Fried Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese Batter is the tender and flavorful crust. Real Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese makes the perfect batter because it melts without the stringyness of most cheeses. The flavor is so unique~ and of course brings a smile to my face as I remember our tour at the cheese factory last may near Bologna. Here's the link to that favorite trip! We stood between the walls of maturing Parmigiano-Reggiano, as the wheels wait for the day to crack them open. This is a beautiful cheese with a nutty, salty flavor all it's own... that I must say, bears NO resemblance to the stuff in the green shaker!
The batter for these fried cauliflower is a mixture of water and beaten egg with grated parmigiano and flour. The cauliflower is first cooked in a large pot of water and cooled. Once cooled, break the cauliflower in to bite-sized florets. These are dipped in the egg batter and fried in vegetable oil until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and serve at once.
These are wonderful little bite-sized pieces that are filled with the flavor of fresh Parmigiano.
Remember to follow us along daily on Facebook or on the Pomodori e Vino Blog ...
Ciao Y'all,

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Photohunt ~ Hands

The photohunt for this week is 'hands'

I have more than plenty photos of hands chapping, dicing, and stirring. In the year of the weddings... this one makes me smile. From the night at the beach when Brad asked Brooke to be his bride.

It won't be long before we are dancing at her wedding!
Happy Hunting y'all~

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday's Favorites ~ Spices!

Our new favorites are our WhistleStop seasonings. We have all different spice blends and seasoning packs... that CAN be available at your local market. This is how I roasted some chick peas. They come out crunchy and salty with a bit of spice (my favorite Italian... of course!)
Rinse the canned chick peas. Spread them out on a cookie sheet with 2 Tbs olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and salt. Roast at 400 until crispy~ 10-15 minutes.
You'll eat them like popcorn!
What is your favorite today?
Y'all join in~


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Prove me wrong...

This is a recipe you won't believe... until you try it. It is worth $1 of brussel sprouts to prove me wrong (or to prove me right). Even if you think you don't like brussel sprouts~ try this!
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
1 pound whole fresh brussel sprouts
2 Tbs olive oil
sea salt
Preheat oven to 400°

Rinse and slice the brussel sprouts in half. Toss with olive oil and salt. Spread onto a cookie sheet and roast in a hot oven at 400° for about 30 minutes. Turning after 20 minutes. Sprinkle again with salt if needed.


Some how the roasting changes the icky bitter brussel sprout taste into a crispy crunchy brussel sprout flavor!

Y'all enjoy~

Monday, January 17, 2011

Smore Blue Mondays

Fresh outdoor afternoons
with a bit of a nip in the air
an open fire to warm your hands...

What do you think of? Smores!

Don't forget to check in at Smiling Sally for Smore blues.
y'all enjoy~

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Photohunt ~ Shadow

The photohunt for the week is 'shadow'.
The thing that makes beautiful shadows is the light... and I can't think of of a more beautiful spot than Venice.
Happy Hunting y'all~

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday's Favorites ~ Snow!

Who doesn't love the snow? Actually today might not be the best day to ask such a question. I know a lot of you have been dealing with more snow and ice than you would like this week.
It is beautiful... and in the south it doesn't last long (USUALLY!)
I hope you have all been safe and warm.

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


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dinner at the Split Pea Cottage

I had a special treat while in Boston... I got to go to a special Italian dinner~ At the 'Split Pea Cottage'!
Isn't this the cutest place? They have done so much with this fixer-upper.
It could be featured on Layla's Lettered Cottage!
The highlight of the evening was Christy's eggplant parmesan... I learned a few tricks! I can't wait to try it myself.
Thanks Doug and Christy.
I loved being entertained in your home.
Y'all are the best~

Monday, January 10, 2011

Orange and Blues

Holly and I are ready for a little Orange and Blue~ War Eagle football tonight!
I brought my orange and blue shakers to Boston with me, She plenty of Auburn paraphernalia... As I flew through the beautiful blue skies.
That makes for a fun trip!
The countryside looks so pretty from way up here! We both fly out tomorrow... hopefully?!?
Don't forget to check in at Smiling Sally for more blues.
and War Eagle y'all !

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Pomodori e Vino ~ Fava Beans

I just love it when I am smart enough to do a little planning ahead. Last year in May, y'all may remember my fabulous trip to Italy. I spent a month watching sunsets and soaking up the dolce vita. (If you need a little taste of Italy This Link will take you there)
Back to my brilliant planning... I knew I would have to be making fava beans in the dead of winter. Fava beans are freshest in the spring... so, I actually made these then.

As Marcella says, "there is no magic in the making a dish of plain boiled beans" The magic is in the freshness of the fava bean and the quality of the olive oil.
This dish is made with fresh just snapped beans, finely chopped onion, and Pancetta. The secret to the brightness of the beans is adding salt to the boiling water before adding the beans. They should cook to a nutty, sweet flavor~ the time will depend on the freshness of the beans.

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

Friday, January 07, 2011

Friday's Favorites ~ sweet smiles

How do you get a sweet smile like this? Melt some white chocolate with Aunt Beth's help~
Dip a pretzel stick in and swirl it around~
Stand them up in the packing containers from the lab (or something similar)
Then share your chocolate pretzels with your G-Jo!
That would be my favorite any day!
What is your favorite ?
Y'all join in~
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