Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Jessica Seinfeld Baked Ziti

I am  having  a Racheal Ray day. I plan on making this dish some time this week. This is a Jessica Seinfeld recipe. If you wanted to get more veggies in your family this is the way to go. She has some great cookbooks out there.
I am lucky my kids love veggies, most would rather eat veggies then meat.
I will post a picture as soon as I make it.

  • 14 ounces whole-wheat ziti
  • 2 cups jarred tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup carrot purée
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower purée
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • (For the veggie purée, steam trimmed carrots/cauliflower for 10-12 minutes or until tender, and run through a blender or food processor with a couple teaspoons of water until smooth.)

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
    Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water a few minutes less than the package instructions indicate so that it will still be firm when baked. Drain and set aside.
    Pour the tomato sauce into medium bowl. Add the carrot purée and mix until well-combined.
    In another small bowl, combine the ricotta, cauliflower purée, egg whites, 1/2 of the mozzarella, the garlic and pepper.
    Spread about half of the tomato sauce onto the bottom of a glass pan or casserole dish. Then add a layer with half the pasta. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top and cover with the rest of the pasta. Top it off with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and remaining mozzarella. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown and the filling is hot. Or, cover with aluminum foil, refrigerate, and bake the next day.

    Racheal Ray Green Chili

    I had a day off and was watching the Racheal Ray show. I have to say out of all the recipes I have tried of those who are on the cooking shows we all seem to love her's the most. This looked really good.


  • 4 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 2- to 3-pound pork shoulder/butt
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 medium yellow onions, 2 thinly sliced, 1 chopped
  • 1 bottle Negra Modela or other Mexican beer
  • Juice of 3 limes, divided
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano, 1/3 palmful
  • 1 tablespoon cumin, a palmful
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander, a palmful
  • 2 cans or 12 fresh tomatillos, chopped, divided
  • 4 to 5 New Mexican green chilies or 3 poblano peppers, charred, peeled and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons masa or cornmeal
  • 1 can pinto beans, optional
  • Toppings:
  • Cilantro
  • Raw red onions, finely chopped or pickled red onion rings
  • Fritos or corn tortilla chips
  • Queso Fresco, crumbled or other mild cheese, shredded

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
    Step Heat a small Dutch oven over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Season the pork liberally with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides until deep golden in color.
    Step Top the browned pork with a pile of the sliced onion, add the bottle of beer and juice of 2 limes to the pot. Cover and roast 2 to 2 1/2 hours until very tender. Shred pork with forks and set meat back into drippings.
    Step Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add remaining EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. To hot oil; add chopped onions and garlic, season with salt, pepper, oregano, cumin and coriander. Cook to tender.
    Step If using canned cooked tomatillos, add 1 can of them to a food processor with roasted chilies, the seasoned cooked onions and garlic, and honey. Purée, return to stove top, stir in remaining can of tomatillos and stock.
    Step If using fresh tomatillos, soften onions 5 minutes then add tomatillos and cook 10-12 minutes more until the color of the tomatillos pales and they have cooked down into thick sauce. Purée cooked tomatillo sauce with chilies, honey, return the purée to the pot and stir to combine with stock.
    Step Marry the pulled pork and its drippings to the chili base, stir in masa and pinto beans, if using. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 45 minutes to 1 hour to thicken. Serve in shallow bowls with toppings of choice and wedges of lime

    Sunday, May 6, 2012

    Coconut cake make over

    This is the cake I made with the coconut

    1 (16 ounce) package white cake mix for two layer cake

    1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut

    1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

    heavy whipping cream whipped
    fresh berries, I used Raspberries, Blackberries and strawberries.

    Prepare cake according to package directions. Bake in a 9x13 inch pan. Cool completely.
    In a small bowl combine cream of coconut and condensed milk.
    Poke holes in cake with a straw. Pour milk mixture over cake and spread with whipped cream, add slice strawberries on the bottom layer of cake. Add top layer and poke holes in this layer also. Pour on milk mixture, frost and decorate with whipped cream and decorate with berries.

    Serve chilled.

    Fruit Salsa

    This is so good. We are having a pot-luck at church tomorrow so I thought I would make this salsa and chips to share. I also make Chulpa and salsa (see post below this one.) I bet pineapple would be really good in this

    The tortillas are baked not fried. When I was little my Mom's friend Nellie would make some of the best homemade tortilla and she would use the left over dough and fry it in oil and them put them in a paper bag that had cinnamon and sugar and shake them up. Nothing will ever taste as good as those did. It has been about 38 years since I had them but the memory is so vivid that it feels like it was only a few years ago. I also loved Nellie's Menudo I have tried a few over the years but once again nothing is as good as hers.
    I was born in Long beach and this is where Nellie lived, it was a wonderful time to live in Long beach because the pike was there. Now I live in Santa Cruz and let me tell you the Boardwalk is nothing compared to the Pike. When I was 12 I went back to Long Beach and could not believe they were taking it apart. I had some many wonderful memories there, well some not so wonderful either, but I can look back now and laugh about those also. I will never go on a high ride or a roller coaster to this day because of one crazy nine year old who loved to scare his seven year old sister. I hope you will try this salsa and let me know what you think. 

    2 kiwis, peeled and diced
    2 Golden Delicious apples - peeled, cored and diced
    8 ounces raspberries
    1 pound strawberries
    2 tablespoons white sugar
    1 tablespoon brown sugar
    3 tablespoons fruit preserves, any flavor
    10 (10 inch) flour tortillas
    butter flavored cooking spray
    2 cups cinnamon sugar
    In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, Golden Delicious apples, raspberries, strawberries, white sugar, brown sugar and fruit preserves. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 350
    Coat one side of each flour tortilla with butter flavored cooking spray. Cut into wedges and arrange in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle wedges with desired amount of cinnamon sugar. Spray again with cooking spray.
    Bake in the preheated oven 8 to 10 minutes. Repeat with any remaining tortilla wedges. Allow to cool approximately 15 minutes. Serve with chilled fruit mixture"

    Somethings I learn over and over

    Something’s I have learned over and over and still forget every time. 

    I love jalapeno peppers. I use them in a lot of my cooking. There are a few recipes I make where I use a lot of peppers in. I can chop a small amount up with no trouble at all but when I chop up a lot of peppers I always have problems with my hands swelling and the sting is horrible, sometimes it takes a few days for it to go away. But I am willing to suffer for the cause of having fresh homemade salsa. .

    So here are a couple of things I have learned over the years, it is funny how I always forget these things until it is too late.  

    #1 use gloves when chopping jalapeno peppers
    #2 when chopping onions after chopping jalapeno peppers do not rub your eyes if the tear up from the onions.
    #3 When you do not wear gloves your hands will swell and sting all night long.
    #4 putting your hands in hot dish water only makes them sting more.
    Let’s hope I remember these things when I go to make my Jalapeno jelly.
    So once again I do not use a recipe for my Salsa/Pico de Gallo.

    Onions (I used white this time)
    Jalapeno (I used red and green this time)
    Salt and pepper
    Chop everything fine and mix together. Let sit for a few hours or over night.

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    Quick throw together meal (Stir-Fry)

    I have one super picky kid, he hates just about everything besides white rice, pasta and veggies. So to get him to eat  I will make a quick stir-fry.
    Our favorite is beef with asparagus. You cannot go wrong with any veggies you want to toss in. It is such a fast weekday meal.
    (I get my rice started before I start my stir-fry.)

     Heat some oil in pan and throw in some cut up chicken breast and onions. Cook until just about done.
    Chop up some bell peppers


     and I like to add water chestnuts, bamboo shoots and baby corn. I toss all this in with my cooked chicken and cook until veggies are cooked juse a little. I like my veggies more on the crunchy side. Add a couple teaspoons cornstarch to the chicken broth and a few teaspoons soy sauce and mix well. Add to the veggie chicken mixture and cook a few minutes until the broth is thicken. Serve over brown rice if you like.