Category Archives: flavor

Dinner tonight:Stracciatella (Italian Egg Drop Soup)

For a quick, healthy dinner on a cold night try Stracciatella!

Stracciatella comes from the Italian word stracciato meaning ragged or shredded…

  • You begin with a pot of 6 cups Chicken Broth (you can use Veggie Broth too!)
  • 3 large Eggs (more if you wish to use only eggwhites)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped Italian parsley
  • a generous handful of chopped fresh Spinach.
  • freshly grated Nutmeg (just a pinch)
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper to taste.

Bring the broth to boil in a saucepan.  Combine eggs, parsley, cheese and nutmeg whisk together in a separate bowl.

Whisk the mixture into the boiling stock and reduce heat to low. Continue to whisk for 3 to 4 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and divide evenly among 6 warmed soup bowls. Serve immediately, topped with more grated cheese if desired. This is also delicious if you float a slice of garlic rubbed toasted baguette bread on top!  You could add more veggies or mushrooms too!

Mangia!

Love, Laughter & Candlelight!

 

 

 

 


July!

July is for sailboats and lemonade, thunderstorms and ripe peaches, corn on the grill and  juicy watermelon, fresh cut hay and fireworks, sea breezes and bikinis, full moon nights and popsicles!

Happy Summer,
Love, Laughter & Candlelight!


A Little Fragrance With Your Food

A Little Fragrance With Your Food
By Chris Perrin


There are a million reasons to love candles.  They look nice, they’re elegant, and pyros love them because they’re fire.  Still, the thing we love most about candles is how they smell.  Plug in air fresheners just cannot match the way a candle warms up a room and transforms it through pleasant aromas.  Food can do that, too.

There is an old saying in food: “You eat with your eyes first.”  However, that’s not always true.  When you walk into the kitchen and the smells of baking bread or garlic or cinnamon rolls hits you, you’re eating with your nose first.  The eyes come much, much later.

This is not news to professional chefs, who have been devising ways to turn meals into full sensory experiences for ages.  One of the ways they have been doing this is by serving meals with scented smoke.  It’s a technique that’s been used on shows like Top Chef and Iron Chef, but don’t let that fool you.  Using smells in your own cooking is easy enough to do at home with nothing more than a glass or metal bowl and some plastic wrap.

(Disclaimer: Making smoke is a really cool, unexpected technique that people will love.  It’s also a fire hazard if you’re not careful since we will, after all, be burning things.  Before you try this, have a good kitchen-rated fire extinguisher nearby.  Also, only do this if there is a window you can open lest the smoke detector crash the party.)

The Basic Technique

This is going to be simple.  All you need to do is get some type of food to smolder, lay it in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  The smoke will waft from up from the smoldering item and get trapped in the bowl.  All you need to do is set the bowl down in front of your diners, puncture the wrap and enjoy the aroma as you eat.

As a variation, you can use individual non-flammable (stress non-flammable) trays that have lids for each guest.  Put the meal on the tray, then get individual items smoldering and drop them in glasses in each tray.  Cover and the smoke will get trapped until diners remove the lid.

Okay, So What Should We Use for Smoke?

Good question.   There are two things to consider when deciding what to smoke.  The first is what will actually produce the smoke.  Your best bet is to use either wood chips (hickory, mesquite, apple wood, etc.), nut shells (pecans, walnuts), or some herb branches (rosemary or thyme branches work well.)  Things like citrus peels can work, but they take a lot of effort to get to light and they don’t often smolder, they usually catch fire.

The other thing to consider is pairing the smoldering item to the food being served.  You want to add a complimentary ambiance, not an entirely new element to the meal.  If your dish has rosemary, burn rosemary.  If it was cooked on a cedar plank, use cedar.

At the very least, try to match the feel of the dish to the odor.  For instance, rosemary and thyme work very well for earthy dishes like steaks or mushrooms.  Apple wood would do very well for pork chops because it has a sweeter aroma.  Play around with it and see what combinations work well for you.

There is also a third consideration.  You can save yourself some extra expensive in ingredients if you have food-scented candles.  For instance, serve blueberry cobbler with a blueberry candle or ice cream with a vanilla candle.  If you use candles, you can choose to trap the smoke in a bowl or tray or not.

Whichever way you choose and whichever scent you use, enjoy playing with scents and your food.  It’s a fun way to turn meals into a full sensory experience of your own.

Chris Perrin

Check out Blog Well Done today to get tips great tips on things like vegetarian options, $7.00 dinner challenge and cooking with your kids.  I think Chris is a culinary genius and I know you will love his recipes and sense of humor as much as I do!

BlogWellDone.com Good Food, Good Fun, Well Done!

Follow Chris on Twitter

Mangia bene!


Baked Cinnamon Apples

* 4 tart green apples
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons butter
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Scoop out the core from top of the apple, leaving a well.
3. Stuff each apple with a premixed amount of 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon butter. Add a handful of walnuts or pecans if desired. Place in a shallow baking dish that has a layer of water in the bottom, Sprinkle apples and water with nutmeg and a generous amount of cinnamon.
4. Bake at 350 for 20 min. covered with foil and then for another 10 min. uncovered.
5. Finally, serve in bowl with the caramel/nut sauce around base of each apple. Vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt in the center drizzled with caramel ice cream topping is another incredible addition.

This is one of my favorite winter night snacks…I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Love, Laughter & Candlelight!


Spice up your life with Cinnamon! ❥

Cinnamon can spice up your life!

Did you know that Cinnamon is mentioned in Chinese writings as far back as 2800 BC.?

Cinnamon was one of the first trade spices of the ancient world. Biblical references indicate that merchants carried the Asian spice all the way from Ceylon to Palestine – that’s a 24-hour airplane trip today – before the pyramids were built.

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) is a tree belonging to the Lauraceae family. The bark of the tree is what is used as a spice.

The Egyptians used cinnamon medicinally and as a flavoring in food and beverages as well as during funeral ceremonies.

Cinnamon was used on funeral pyres in Ancient Rome. In 65 AD, Nero burned a year’s supply of cinnamon at his second wife Poppaea Sabina’s funeral in order to show the depth of his grief.

In the Middle Ages, cinnamon was only affordable by the wealthy elite of society. A person’s social rank could be determined by the number of spices they could afford.

Cinnamon has many health benefits. It has shown promise in the treatment of diabetes, arthritis, high cholesterol, memory function, and even leukemia and lymphoma.

The Chinese believe that cinnamon heats up a cold body, improves the circulation, and generally gets the blood rushing around, stoking up the waning fire, and they prescribe it for loss of vigor, whether due to stress, aging, or illness. They believe the spice warms the kidneys and cures impotence, weak legs, and backache. Specifically, cinnamon is held supreme for blood deficiencies that leave one feeling weak.

One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.  It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

Two teaspoons of cinnamon has about 12 calories.  Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.  Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.

Cinnamon has been used as a tranquilizer and is excellent as a tea used to relieve a stressed out spirit and overworked nerves.  Cinnamon Tea is even used in Asia as a treatment for asthma and is a great tonic when feeling run down. Take four cinnamon sticks, or two teaspoons of cinnamon, and add to two cups of boiling water. Let it boil for ten minutes, and then add honey to sweeten to taste.

One of my favorite easy ways to incorporate Cinnamon is shaking a teaspoon on top of my waffles.

My favorite chili with cinnamon and Chocolate! https://bluemooncandles.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/chocolate-chili-3/

or try Baked Cinnamon Apples.

Try our all natural Eco Friendly Organic wax Candles with Essential oil fragrant blends in Cedar & Cinnamon and Cinnamon Ginger Mint!  What better way to set the mood?!

Love, Laughter & Candlelight!


Easy Peasy Holiday dip-Texas Caviar…

Funny…I got this from my girlfriend Tisha *who hates to cook*~but everything she makes is yummy! ❥ Thanks for sharing Tish!☺

Texas Caviar:

2 cans Pinto Beans

2 cans Black Beans

2 cans White Corn

Drain and rinse and put in a large bowl.

Add 1 green, 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper diced.

1 red onion diced

1 bunch of cilantro diced

1 jalapeno or serrano chili diced (more if you like it)

1 bottle of zesty Italian dressing (or whatever brand you like).

Mix well and serve with chips.  Yummy & healthy!

Great to take to holiday parties…I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! ❆


Easy Potato Bacon Cheddar Soup! *It’s what’s for dinner!*

Tonight I remembered how much I like reading blogs that share the writers favorite tried and true recipes.  Like most people I am busy almost all of the time, and coming up with dinner ideas is sometimes last on my very long list.

So…tonight I am going to share with you.  This is what I am making right now!

Potato & Smoked Bacon Cheddar Soup!

(One of the best thing about this dish is that it is flexible.  Like my Gran I never really measure much, just eyeball it and tweak it to be the way you like it!)  This can serve anywhere from one to as many people as you’d like.

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3 large russet potatoes (1 large russet potato per serving.-add more for more people) Peel & dice into small chunks.

1 large onion diced (I like Vidalia)

4  14.5 oz. cans of chicken broth-you can make this fresh or cheat and use canned -it is yummy either way.

3 cloves of garlic diced

1 package of your favorite bacon (I like Applewood Smoked bacon from Niman Ranch and it’s nitrate free too!) You can cheat and use precooked bacon if you are in a rush.

2 tablespoons of butter

dash of smoke seasoning to taste.

1-3 cups of cream or half and half to taste.

Cheddar cheese to taste (I like Cracker Barrel brand aged new york cheddar.)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then saute the onion, garlic & potatoes until beginning to brown.  Add in the Chicken broth, bacon (keeping out a little for garnish) and a dash of smoke flavoring. Cook until the potatoes are tender.  Then add the cream.

To thicken the soup give a few quick blends with a stick beater, or stir in about a half a cup instant potato flakes, or more if you like it thicker.

Top with extra bacon and shredded cheese! Serve with crusty warm french bread…YUM!

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What is your favorite fall evening recipe?