Monday, November 19, 2007

Homemade pesto

Holy cow. If you have never had fresh pesto, this is something to try immediately! The trick is to use ingredients as fresh as possible. It is worth buying a basil plant just to have fresh basil cause the leaves will give this such a pop. Also, when chopping up these ingredients, put in handfuls of each item at a time. that way some pieces are chopped into oblivion and others are still a little more coarse. It gives it an amazing flavor.

Mix this with some cooked pasta or just spread on fresh bread.

1 large bunch of basil, leaves only, washed and dried
3 medium cloves of garlic
one small handful of raw pine nuts
roughly 3/4 cup Parmesan, loosely packed and FRESHLY GRATED

lastly, a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil.

Vegetarian Sarma

this comes from my friend Jackie. I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds amazing.

Prep Time: 45 mins (including steaming the rice)

Cooking Time: 30 mins

Yield: 6 servings (12 cabbage rolls)

1 large head of cabbage (about 3 lbs)
1 medium onion finely chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp chopped pine nuts
11/2 cups brown rice, cooked
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup golden raisins
15oz can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed, and mashed
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp blk pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
15oz can seasoned stewed tomatoes (italian style)
1 cup water or veg. broth

1) Wash and core cabbage head. Place it in a large pot of boiling, salted water and cook until the leaves become soft and pliable, about 20 mins. Remove it from the pot and gently remove 10 to 12 leaves from the cabbage and cut the core from each leaf.

2) Shred about half the remaining cabbage head in a food processor. Spread it on the bottom of a large baking dish and set aside.

3) Preheat oven 350 degrees

4) In a medium skillet, heat some olive oil. Cook the onions and garlic in the oil on medium heat until the onions are translucent, about 7 mins. Add the chopped pine nuts, rice, parsley, raisins, mashed beans, salt, blk pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper.

5) Using approx 1/4 cup filling for each cabbage leaf, place the filling in at the core end of each leaf and fold the sides to envelope the filling. Roll or tuck into a neat package and arrange the rolls over the shredded cabbage.

6) Mix the water into the tomatoes and pour over the cabbage rolls.

7) Cover and back for at least 30 mins, or up to 45 mins if you desire softer cabbage.

spiced butter

this makes a lot so that you can store and use in cooking. amazing on sauteed veggies or stir fry. also would be good in fried rice!

1 pound unsalted butter
1/2 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
8 basil leaves

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. As foam rises to the top, skim and discard it. Continue cooking, without letting the butter brown. Until no more foam appears. Add the onions garlic, ginger, fenugreek, cumin, cardamom, oregano, tumeric, and basil and continue cooking for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and let stand until the spices settle. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve before using.

(Store in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container for up to 3 weeks.)

Monday, January 01, 2007

another mojo recipe

For those of you who can't get enough mojo, here's another GREAT recipe for it. The other recipe is better for drizzling over salty plantain chips (mariquitas); this one is ideal for marinating.

2 heads of garlic, minced (save a few cloves and cut in half)
2 Tablespoon kosher salt
2 Teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3 Teaspoons cumin
4 Teaspoons dried oregano
2 Cups sour orange juice (fresh lime juice and grapefruit juice can be combined and substituted if you cannot find bottles of sour orange)

- combine all ingredients

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Here is a traditional Cuban marinade. It is great to marinade pigs, or even to serve as a companion to fried plantains, or even pour over a burger!

In a skillet cook 6 cloves garlic, minced, in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until just starting to brown. Remove from heat. Carefully add 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes or until slightly reduced. Remove from heat; cool. Whisk before serving.

Friday, December 24, 2004

rum cake

This is a wonderful holiday cake.

1/2 cup Bacardi Rum
1 cup chopped pecans
1 18.5 oz package yellow cake mix*
1 3 3/4 oz package Instant Vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
* if using cake mix with pudding already inside, omit the pudding, use 3 eggs instead of 4, and use 1/3 cup oil instaed of 1/2

1/2 cup Bacardi Rum
1/4 lb butter
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 10" tube or 12-cup Bundt pan. Sprinkle nuts over bottom of the pan. Mix all cake ingredients together. Pour batter over nuts. Bake 1 hour. Cool. Invert on serving plate. Prick top. Spoon and brush glaze evenly over top and sides. Allow cake to absorb glaze. Repeat until glaze is used up.

Melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in rum.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


here's a tasty beverage for the holidays. its a latin-style egg nog, minus the egg.

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 can coconut milk
1/2 can (or to taste) coconut rum
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

mix it all together and enjoy. and as always, drink responsibly. :)

Friday, December 03, 2004

Green Bean Bacon Wraps

for my cousin Justin!

this is a recipe which i take no credit for. it comes from my fish school son, Jeffrey's, mom. She's amazing at these...and he's become quite the impressive green bean bacon wrap maker too at our Fisher-Price Thanksgiving Dinners!

2 can of French-style cut green beans (drained)
a pack of bacon (the thicker the slices the better, in my opinion)
butter (melted)
brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Start off with slicing the pack of bacon in half; this way you get twice the amount of wraps and the bacon doesn't overpower the green beans. Then take a bundle of green beans in your hand, (I squeeze any extra juices out) and wrap one half slice of bacon around it and hold it together with a toothpick. Repeat to the entire pack of bacon and/or green beans, whichever runs out first. Then take the melted butter and brush each wrap with it. Sprinkle some brown sugar on each one and toss into th eoven for a little over 30 minutes. Keep an eye on dont wnat the bacon raw; once it gets dark, a bit blackened even, take it out and serve!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

German Pancakes

This is such an easy recipe! Most people have most of these items at home! And it is so good.

3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk, warmed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, salt, sugar, milk, vanilla, and butter. Whisk in the flour to make a smooth batter. Set aside.

Heat a well-seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and brush the inside with the shortening. Pour in the batter and bake for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking until puffed and golden brown, about 13 more minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the skillet. Sift confectioner's sugar on top and serve. Pour lemon to taste. Add more sugar to taste.

Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits

Who doesn't love those buscuits at Red Lobster?! Who can afford to eat at Red Lobster just for those though, honestly!

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup grated, sharp cheddar cheese (add more to taste)
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together Bisquick, cold water, and grated cheese. Roll out biscuits on a floured surface. Biscuits should be approximately 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a cutter, and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Melt butter and seasonings together. Brush with the butter and spices and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Feel free to play around with the garlic-butter to find the perfect taste!

Mocha Brownie Cheesecake

If gluttony isn't your sin of choice yet, it will be after this desert!


1 package plain devils food cake mix

6 tablespoons butter, melted

1 large egg

½ teaspoon cinnamon


2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 packages (16 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

3 large eggs, at room temperature

½ cup coffee


1 cup sweetened cream

  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 F. Se aside a 13 x 9 inch pan.
  2. Place the cake mix, melted butter, 1 egg, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 2 minutes. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. The batter should come together into a ball. With your fingertips, pat the batter evenly over the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan, spreading it out with your fingers until smooth. Set the pan aside.
  3. Melt the chocolate chips in a medium size glass bowl in the microwave oven on high power for 1 ½ minutes. Remove the bowl from the oven and stir with a small rubber spatula until the chocolate is melted. Let it cool slightly.
  4. Place the melted chocolate, cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk in the same mixing bowl that was used for the crust. With the same beaters blend with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined, 30 seconds. Stop the machine, add the 3 eggs and the coffee, and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula. Pour the filling onto the crust and spread it out with the rubber spatula so that it covers the entire surface and reaches the sides of the pan. Place the pan in the oven.
  5. Bake the cheesecake until it looks shiny and the center jiggles only slightly when you shake the pan, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. The lightly cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour, or 24 hours for the flavors to blend.
  6. Prepare the sweetened cream.
  7. Serve with whipped topping and a sprinkle of cinnamon.