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Watermelon Feta And Mint Salad!

IMG_0412OK I actually thought…..Uh Weird! cheese and watermelon but when you think of Apples and cheese or pears and cheese you’re like “move aside I need that cheesy fruit combo”, am I Right??
Well this is the now “go to bring along to anything dish ” for me, My husband is kind of over it. It couldn’t be easier to make and I’ll prove it!

WHAT YOU NEED :
1 small Watermelon, of course…. (try to make sure it is not over ripe, if it is really soft and really dark pink it may be a little on the old side so stick to bright pink and firm. If you buy it cut in half  you can see it.
8 Oz’s Feta Cheese – go crazy, buy a good one. A Greek one in water would be nice- just make sure to drain and rinse in gently.
1 fresh lime – not the ones with brown spots on them, bright green with a fresh bright scent, I actually like extra lime so you can add another if you want.
2 Tablespoons Fresh Mint chopped – sweet mint is the best there is a difference with spearmint, peppermint etc. You can tear a few extra for garnish too.
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WHAT YOU DO:
Cut the watermelon into 1 inch cubes -approximately or bite size – no need for a ruler.
Place it gently in a larg serving bowl – you know me, I like white.
Squeeze Lime over the watermelon and very gently fold them
Sprinkle over mint and crumble feta cheese but do not toss until you are serving on the plate.

This a light refreshing salad with a bite of salt and hint of mint, Your guests will love it and your husband will get sick of it!
Enjoy -T

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So Here We Sit, My little Lemon Tree & Me

So we were out shopping and that is the first problem  with my husband… My husband and I saw a little Meyer Lemon tree and I told my husband I had to have it!…. He of course told me I don’t need one and it is not on the list. SO I spent the remainder of the trip around the garden center complaining that “they never have these, they are rare, I looked them up last summer and I was going to order one on line but I just didn’t”…. “look that lady already is getting one of them and there are only 6 there!!!!” He said “they will have them when we come back next time”. I quickly followed with “but they won’t, they didn’t last year and I really want to get one!, I will go ask” so I ran over to the sales person, “uh excuse me….there are a few Meyer Lemon Trees over there and there are only 6…well now only 5, Are you going to get more of them” and they said “No we don’t ever have those, I think it is a 1 time thing”. Ah ha! “See! They will never have them again, ever!! I will never get the lemon tree I have always wanted, I read about how to bring them in for the winter too”
Herb….”FINE, (sowered face and stern no longer happy voice) put it in the cart- then that is it, no vegetables or anything else you wanted” -Me… “Ok all I want is a lemon tree and I want to write a blog about it”

So here we sit my little Meyer Lemon Tree and me. It is late afternoon and the sun is going down over the willow but not below the hedges. The sun is finally warm……

It was an awful winter. I really cannot remember why I stay here in the cold until the Spring pops up and days like this make me feel like Ahhh the is what Newport is. The smell of the salt in the air from the Ocean breeze, the birds chirping the water fall in the koi pond splashing into the bottom, Ive got the Bridge to the left of me and the lemon tree to the right, Here I am stuck in the middle.

The flowers are now starting to bloom and I am so excited, they are pink when they are buds and then yellow when they open.

3 week old and here is what we have: I will make recipes with my Myer Lemons so do not worry I have not branched out in to just writing!

T

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Couscous…Simple, Easy, Delicious!

My Husband and I went to Rosette’s house and of course she insists (and we absolutely love it) we eat. She is from Egypt and has some of the best food ideas and combinations that I just never even thought to put together. I write about her often because she is so good to us and lucky for us she and her daughter Danielle live down the street. I’ll tell you about the olives and cream cheese sandwiches later…..
This Couscous dish is so fast, so simple and has fresh basic ingredients that make it delicious.
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WHAT YOU NEED:
1 Cup Couscous
1 can Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)
3 to 4 Scallions Chopped
1 Avocado
2 limes
(just a note we did it with lemon and lime and both work
beautifully)

WHAT YOU DO
-Chop the scallions and set aside. I like the flavor of them so I did 4 but you can go with 3 if you want it a little more mild.
-Drain and rinse the Chickpeas very well to get out any of that canned juice. Let them soak in cold water while you make the rest.
-Juice the limes into a small ramekin or bowl
-Boil 1 cup of water, when it comes to a boil turn it off and add couscous stir gently, cover and set aside for 5 minutes.
-Once the couscous is ready add in all the ingredients and toss together.
That’s it. Eat it alone like I do or serve on the side of whatever dish you like.
Enjoy -T
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Beautiful Blogger Award

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So I have to tell you this is the first time I am blogging from my iPad so this might be a little crazy. I hope this works!

Now to the important stuff….. A beautiful blogger bestowed upon me the Beautiful Blogger Award! Illostrophy has the most unique blog I’ve seen. She blogs beautiful art, illustrations and every thing creative from Tokyo. If you haven’t seen it, please go check it out.
So this is a big Thank you to illostrophy for seeing the love in my blog!
illostrophy

The rules of the Beautiful Blogger is to give 7 facts about myself as well as choose 7 other bloggers to accept the award. Illostrophy did 7 new year resolutions but I’m not that motivated so let’s stick with the facts for me:

1- I’m obsessed with my sink faucet! Yep, I know it’s weird but I have the Delta touch faucet and it is a must have for any cook. It will be the best thing you ever bought. You just touch it anywhere and it turns on or off. I love it.
( It’s called Touch 2O Technology & they have it for the bathroom according to Dave a Delta http://dlta.co/VPTpGD!)

2- Talking about obsessed….. I like to clean & love cleaning products. I can not live without Tide Pods for the washing machine and the Downy Unstoppables. Thye are sent beads that you add in to the machine and it smells so amazing. I really am not advertising I just love this stuff. Oh yea and Scrubbing bubbles for the bathroom. My husband thinks its a disorder…..maybe

3- I discovered I lack motivation when it comes studying, I am very impatient and like things to happen fast and I am taking a course to get my real estate license and it is very hard and I have to study all the time. The practice tests are crazy I do great on one and terrible on another but I will pass it….. I have to 🙂

4- I love to cook, obviously…. Cooking calms me & de-stresses me. I would come home from school and cook when I was in High School, I would make elaborate meals for my mom. Then when I was working I would come home after a long day and cook. It is my passion in life I enjoy watching people eat & bringing people together.

5- my favorite trick/tip in the kitchen is when you use olive oil while cooking and have in on your hands, rub it in to your cuticles and just lightly rinse your hands. It makes your hands soft and your cuticles.

6- I have said this in the past but I love my dogs! They are all rescues and I can not imagine my life without them. They are the best thing in my life. They grace the cover of the Williams annual Christmas card every year. It takes about 300 photos to get one that works but we love to do it.

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7- there are a few people in my life that mean so much to me and they are ( in no particular order):
Mom, Herb, Tanya, Rosette, Danielle and of course my niece and nephew. They make my life a better place.

Now for the 7 bloggers I believe are Beautiful are:
Please post the beautiful blogger award, thank the giver, post 7 things about yourself & give it to 7 bloggers you believe deserve a little extra beauty in their lives.

1 http://paintboxkitchen.com/
A real beauty with great ideas and a very nice person.

2 www.hikingphoto.wordpress.com
Incredible images & what a life!

3 www.afternoonpopcornsnack.com
Beautiful photos & recipes.

4 http://frugalfeeding.com/
Yum!

5- www.thelittledesignstall.wordpress.com
I love this blog! Inspiring ideas.

6- www.lostintown.wordpress.com
ahhh to get lost in these towns 🙂

7- www.rumpydog.wordpress.com
an animal lover to the core…gotta love it

Thanks to everyone who reads my blog and thanks for sticking with me as I study for my exam and put off blogging. I promise there is more to come

Tasha

An Apple a Day……

Keeps the Doctor away but 4 or 5 candy apples in one night may actually keep the Doctor in business!!

If you here at our house, gorging yourself on delicious creations is pretty much ” business as usual” and these gooey, delicious, sugar drenched apples were no exception.
We Went APPLE PICKING!! It was so much fun!  We drove out to a Apple Picking Farm in Little Compton, Not only did I pick more apples then I could actually carry,  we ate them….A Lot of them. We ate them while we were picking them and ate them on the way home and then…..Dun, Dun, Dunnnnnn… Yep, we ate them covered in Ooey Gooey caramel and chocolate  🙂

Because I had huge baskets full of them when we got back I had to come up with what to make with them so first, CANDY APPLES. YAY!!  HALLOWEEN!! CANDY APPLES!! FUN!!
This is actually easier to do with chocolate then with caramel because the caramel oozes down the apples and turns to tar and sticks them to the plates, wax paper, & the Silpat… BUT the caramel were my favorite as far as taste goes. Herb on the other hand loved the chocolate and to prove it he ate 3 regular sized ones right off the bat, followed by the 3 mini “cake pop” style ones I did and continued to eat them for the next 3 days. He got sick hahaha but it didn’t stop him. On NO, he kept on eating them. I think he over eats and then builds up a tolerance and then can just do it all over again!!  This was so much fun, from the apple picking to creating them and eating them. I love my life!

This makes me laugh because this is right after I said “Make sure you don’t pick ones with holes or bad spots” He emptied most of his basket.

(Ok I’m not loving the fact that I have decided to get my Real Estate License and it has taken up all my cooking time and I have to study for 8 hours a day to get this stuff. Its like learning a new language and I have not studied in over 20 years so I am not good at it BUT….I have a good teacher and I get to learn at my own pace so I can get a full understanding and it really is going to be a great career Plus!….I was already offered a place at at a very beautiful, upscale Broker’s office upon completion so I had better study!!- Now that you know why I have not been blogging, let me get back to it)

WHAT YOU NEED:
CARAMEL APPLES
I did them 2 different ways I did these so I will separate it so you can see how to do both the caramel & Chocolate.
10 Apples any type just be sure they are firm and pristine (easy, just don’t pick ones that have dents, holes or fruit flies make sure they look pretty)
10 Wooden Dowels (Michael’s Craft Store)
1 cup Chopped Cashews
1 Cup Chopped Macadamia Nuts
1 Cup shredded Coconut
1 Cup White Chocolate
Flaked salt of some kind, I had Hibiscus salt
(The toppings are totally optional and you can use what ever you like. My Favorite was the Caramel with a little Hibiscus Salt. But have fun use what you’ve got,,,,,,Crushed up Oreo’s would work and candy cereals & M 7M’s !!)
For the actual caramel: Its super easy
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Light Corn Syrup
1/2 cup Heavy Cream at room temperature
WHAT YOU DO:
Set up a dipping station with your selected goodies in bowls,
Put your apple sticks into your apples and have them ready for dipping.
On Medium High heat add the sugar and the light corn syrup and mix in a heavy sauce pot and cover (Although this is fun and easy this gets crazy hot and the sugar can burn so have your oven mitts handy and be sure your pot handle is turned inward, use your brain this can be really dangerous to pets and children) 🙂
Once the sugar has melted, remove the lid and let it continue to cook until it starts to turn a golden color. Carefully stir with a wooden spoon to ensure it doesn’t stick (This took about 15 minutes)
Once it is golden in color remove from the heat and drizzle in the cream while stirring. Do not pour it all in at once it will bubble up and over flow.
Mix with a whisk until smooth, transfer to a large bowl and let it sit to cool for a few before dipping about 5 minutes
Test the consistency by dipping an apple, it the caramel runs right off then let the caramel sit a few more minutes to cool. You want it to be thick enough to hold on to the apple but also able to hold the toppings.
(If it gets too thick just reheat it over pot of simmering water)
Once you have the right temp, simply dip in your apple, gently scrape the heavy dripping caramel from the bottom with a spoon or drag it on the edge of the caramel bowl and then dip into your favorite toppings!!
If you look closely at the apple photos you will see I did several different styles:
-I held the toppings in one hand and angled the apply upside down and pressed nuts into the top and then changed the nuts for the bottom.
-I did 1/2 and 1/2
-The Slated Caramel (MY FAVORITE) were easy just pinch some good quality salt (I did Hibiscus salt) and sprinkle onto top rim of caramel. Salt is to enhance the flavor so go easy with it.
Michael’s craft store had the eyeball ribbon, the dowels and the bags to put them in. The Caramel ones do not slide into the bag, you have to wrap them with cellophane, the bags won’t work…trust me!
WHAT YOU NEED FOR CHOCOLATE APPLES:

2 Cups Good Quality Chocolate (I used Ghirardelli chips milk chocolate and Semi-sweet mixed)
Using a “make shift” double boiler, melt the chips over indirect heat. (You can do it in the microwave also). Once they start melting turn the heat to very low and stir until smooth. There is no need to add anything to the chocolate and it will harden beautifully.
Once it is melted and smooth dip the apples in the same way you did for the caramel. Scrape off dripping chocolate and dip into your toppings.
Get creative! Do half nuts, half coconut and other fun combinations>
WHITE CHOCOLATE TIPS!!
White chocolate does not melt the same as regular chocolate and therefor does not work as well but, it does work you just have to add a couple teaspoons of cream as it is melting. it will not dry has hard so just be aware of that when you go to make them. I used the white as a glue for my coconut and covered the apple completely.
A good way to utilize white chocolate is to chop it up finely and use like you would the other toppings

ENJOY-T

Polenta Pyramid

Ok, not exactly but it rhymed and I like to make it sound as fun as it is to make and eat~

This is actually inspired by another blog I saw but I was so far into the blog world I can not remember where I saw it to give credit for the inspiration. I think she was a writer and was on a blog I follow’s blog. So to You out there who posted a version of this….Thank you for the inspiration and hope I did it justice.

WHAT YOU NEED:
1 package of polenta in a tube from the refrigerated section in the grocery store.
2 fresh mozzarella balls
1 jar Rao’s Marinara (You know who I feel about this sauce, there is nothing like it and other then homemade it is the best thing ever made in the entire world)
Parmesan cheese for topping maybe 1/4 cup
Fresh herbs for garnish (Basil chives, parsley)
1 tablespoon butter
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

WHAT YU DO:
Cut the polenta into 12 rounds a little over 1/4 inch. (1/2 inch is too think and 1/4 it too think in my opinion)- you need 2 per pyramid
Cut the fresh mozzarella into 12 rounds the same thickness.
In a sauté pan heat heat the butter and 2 tbls oil to medium high heat.
Brown the polenta on each side. Do not move them around because they will break apart.
Once they are browned set on paper towels to remove any excess oil.
Pour about a 1/4 cup of the sauce in a baking dish, just enough to cover the bottom.
Place 6 of the polenta rounds on the sauce and then place a slice of the mozzarella on the polenta and then follow with one more polenta and one more mozzarella. You should have 2 pieces of polenta and 2 pieces of mozzarella with the mozzarella on the top.
Spoon a 1/4 cup sauce over each one.
Sprinkle with a little parmesan (see photo)
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes until piping hot.
To serve, use a spatula without holes in it and carefully remove one pyramid trying not to let it topple over.
Place on plate and garnish with a sprig of basil and sprinkle all over with chopped chives and parsley.
Enjoy -T

Chicken Meatballs…I know, not the most attractive name but ~


Very attractive results! This all started when I saw a Blog Chicken Kofta Curry and decided I was making it. So I went and bought the ground chicken and then “Chickened” Out! Ok I didn’t really chicken out I just didn’t think it through and didn’t have all the ingredients to make it and the chicken was sitting there so….I went a completely different route. I have not given up on the Kofta at Kolpona Cuisine I just had to cook up the chicken & I still need a few things for my “spice kitchen” to ensure authentic tasting results. Ok, Ok, on to the Chicken Meat Balls: By the way, a pice of shoe leather would taste amazing sauteed in Rao’s Marinara Sauce.
WHAT YOU NEED:
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1 jar RAO’s Marinara Sauce (Seriously you need to get this, it is fantastic)
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock (I always have veg stock)
1 Lg garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 Tablespoons Fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
vegetable oil to brown

WHAT YOU DO:
* In a medium mixing bowl mix the chicken with all the ingredients except for the Sauce and Vegetable oil.
*Using your hands pull out a heaping tablespoon of the mix and roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter.
*Make sure to roll them nice and tight/compact so they don’t fall apart
*In a large saute pan with high sides heat the oil on Med/High heat and place the chicken Spheres (no, doesn’t work), Balls into the pan and brown on all sides.
*Once they are brown turn off the heat & gently remove and place on paper towels to drain the excess oil.
*Pour the oil out into the garbage or a can (carefully) and place the pan back on the stove.
*Note all the brown bits in the pan.
*Turn the heat back to medium and pour in the stock, using a wooden spoon gently scrape the pan and swirl until all the bits are up and you have a rich, flavorful broth.
*Pour in the Rao’s sauce and add the Chicken back in to pan.
*Bring to boil then reduce to simmer and cover for 30 to 40 minutes.
*Don’t stir them around too much just once or twice to make sure they are covered in sauce. If you stir a lot they will crumble.
Serve alone, over pasta, as a side dish or as the Main Course
Herb said they were “ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS” and just so you know he is very honest so if they are not good or Mediocre he will say so:)
Enjoy -T

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