Monday, May 28, 2007

Foodie BlogRoll

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Friday, May 25, 2007

How about some coffee?

Are you a coffee drinker? How do you like your coffee?
Sugar, black, cream, cream and sugar, decaf, instant, espresso, coffee latte, mocha, a cappuccino or else?
I prefere mine black, with little sugar. I love the aroma of coffee early in the morning.
If you would like to know more about the coffee you drink everyday, click here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Tomato and Grilled Bread Salad - Panzanella

I have been testing recipes from the book Everyday Food written by Martha Stewart. With nice photography, the recipes have enchanted me because they are simple, healthy, delicious and preparation takes only a few minutes. Over the years, Martha has presented us with handy hints for crafts, decor, sewing, and cooking, all with the help of her wonderful crew. Her shows, books and magazines increased my interest for the American cuisine. When I got the book "Everyday Food" from a friend I soon realized the recipes were a real treat to my family. Oh, sorry, this is not a review, I just happen to like the book.

The first recipe I am going to share with you is the Panzanella, a Tuscan rustic salad with a taste of Italy.


1/2 pound country/italian bread, cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 4 cups)
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces

For the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

1) Heat grill to medium. Brush bread slices on both sides with 2 tablespoons oil. Grill until lightly charred on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into large cubes.

2) In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with tomatoes, cucumber, and basil. Drizzle with the dressing. Toss to combine, and serve.

More ideas:
- You can improvise, adding onions, black olives or anchovies.
- I usually serve the dressing on the side. This time I also fixed some ginger vinaigrette.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cooking Books

Sonia at Leaves of Grass posted pictures of her books and invited us to participate, so I wanted to share with you some of my cooking books, that I have been collecting over the years, most of them were gifts, and they remind me of the people I love.The show off bookshelf, there are many more in the cabinet...

Recent gifts

Older gifts

Words I cherish...
(click to enlarge)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Grilled Corn Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

This salad has a taste of tex-mex because of the ground cumin and cilantro.

Corn salad

No-Stick Cooking Spray
4 ears fresh corn, husked and silks removed or 2 cups frozen thawed corn
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed and finely chopped
3 scallions or green onions, trimmed and finely chopped, white and 2-inches of green tops
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
1 teaspoon ground cumin or taco seasoning

For the lime dressing:
2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1) Spray grill or broiler pan with no-stick cooking spray; heat grill or broiler. Rub corn with 2 tablespoons oil. Grill or broil corn for about 7 minutes or until ears are lightly brown. Turn with tongs to brown all sides. Remove from grill. Cool enough to handle, and stand corncobs upright on cutting board with fat end down. Cut straight down, slicing kernels off cobs with sharp knife.

Or, if you are using frozen/canned corn sauté with oil or butter over low to medium-low heat for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep corn from browning.

2) Place in mixing bowl. Add red bell pepper, scallions, cilantro and ground cumin.

3) In a small bowl combine oil with lime juice, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Toss with corn mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.


- This salad can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered.

- Zest up your salad adding diced tomatos and olives.

Recipe adapted from: Crisco

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Blueberry Yogurt Cake

Last week I had the pleasure to have a friend over for coffee. She's Irish, married to a Brazilian, they live in Minneapolis and she has the most charming English accent I have ever heard. I know she likes cake and coffee, as she used to live in Brazil. So, I woke up very early and baked this cake before she arrived for our long expected get together. After two years apart, as we had our coffee with cream, we talked non-stop trying to catch up!

Oh yes... the recipe! This is such a good cake that if you do not have the blueberries handy, they won't be missed.

Blueberry Yogurt Cake

1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup plain yogurt (I use honey flavored)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 dash salt
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup blueberries

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F/180° C. Grease and flour a tube or bundt cake pan. I used a round pan.

2. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg, yogurt, vanilla, and oil together. Make a well in the dry ingredients and fold in the wet until the mixture is moist. Fold in the blueberries into the mixture.

3. Pour the batter into the greased cake pan, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let stand for ten minutes. Slide a thin knife around the edges of the cake and invert it to a platter. Place a decorative stencil on top and dust confectioner's sugar using a fine-meshed sieve.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Chocolate Cupcakes

Our sons' preschool holds bake sales for kids that are in the kindergarten. With the money raised, the kids go to an amusement park at the end of the school year. My son volunteered this time and he knew from the beginning what to ask his mommy. Muffins, muffins!!! I decided to make cupcakes, as they have a finer texture and can have a frosting, as a friend of mine suggested. And he sold all the cupcakes before I could get there, they were gone in a minute! When I arrived my son and a friend were already telling the class their business experience and how happy they were with the successful sales!

Chocolate Cupcakes
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
3oz/100 g butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
7oz/200 g plain yogurt (I used honey flavored)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 dash salt

Pre-heat oven to 400°F/200°C. Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the other ingredients alternately with the yogurt; beat well.

3. Fill 12 muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost with your favorite frosting or icing when cool.

For the icing:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon orange or lime juice

Stir the liquid into the sugar, adding a few drops at a time, as needed. Pour into a small plastic sandwich bag. Cut off one small corner of the bag and use as a pastry bag to drizzle the glaze over the top of the cupcakes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Ginger Vinaigrette

Ginger: a spice commomly used in Asian and Indian cuisines. It has a peppery, slightly sweet flavor, and it can also be used as medicine. I usually add ginger to seafood, oriental dishes, vegetables, and also cakes, cookies or use it combined with other spices, such as clover and cinnamon. This is an adapted recipe that I found in the March and April issues of Real Simple magazine.

Ginger Vinaigrette
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 dash salt (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger, vinegar, salt, and oil. Use it to spice up salads, seafood salads and marinates, oriental dishes, etc.

Cucumber salad: Peel one cucumber. Working over a medium bowl, use a vegetable peeler to create long, thin strips of cucumber. Add radishes, scallions, the ginger vinaigrette and toss. Cover and refrigerate.

Quick salad: use a salad mix (or mix lettuce, grated carrots, cherry tomatoes, and watercress). Add panko and ginger vinaigrette.