Friday, August 13, 2010

Let’s Take a Gastronomic Journey!


We will start in Greece, It is beautiful.


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Look at the Acropolis….

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Look at the blue water…I mean that is BLUE!

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Look at the food, and I don’t even know what these things are, but they look awesome!

So, lets make Spanakopita!!

What is Spanakopita? It is this wonderful spinach and feta deliciousness!



PREP TIME: 40 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes
YIELD: 12 to 14 Spanakopita

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Plain dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons Kosher salt (less depending on the type of feta)
1 teaspoon ground pepper
2 cups small-diced feta (about 12 ounces)  (try goat’s milk feta)
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
24 to 28 sheets frozen phyllo dough, defrosted
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Sea salt

Spanakopita Collage


1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.


2.  Cook the pine nuts in a dry, medium sauté pan, over low heat, for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove the pine nuts, and heat the oil in the pan over medium-low heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the scallions and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the scallions are wilted but still green.

3. Meanwhile, gently squeeze the water out of the spinach and place it in a large bowl.  If the spinach is still cold, you can run it under hot water and then strain the water out. When the onion and scallions are done, add them to the spinach. Mix in the eggs, Parmesan, 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs, the nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Gently fold in the feta and pine nuts.


4.  Place one sheet of phyllo dough flat on a work surface with the long end in front of you. With a wide brush, lightly butter the dough and sprinkle it with about a teaspoon of bread crumbs.  You do not need to brush the entire sheet and you can use your hands to scatter the breadcrumbs. Working quickly, slide another sheet of phyllo dough directly on top of the first.  Butter and breadcrumb this second layer, and repeat with two more layers of phyllo dough.

5.  Once you have four layers of neatly stacked phyllo dough, cut the sheets in half, vertically.  Place 1/3 cup of the spinach-feta filling at the bottom of each sheet and roll the phyllo up diagonally to make a triangle (as if folding a flag).  Fold the triangle of phyllo over straight, then diagonally, continuing the pattern until you reach the end of the sheet and the filling is completely enclosed  Continue assembling the phyllo layers and folding the filling until there is no more filling.

6.  Place the triangles on a baking sheet.  Lightly brush the tops with the melted butter, and sprinkle with a pinch of the sea salt.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the phyllo is browned and crisp.  Serve hot!!


*Phyllo dough will become soggy in the microwave.  On the off-chance you have leftovers, reheat the spanakopita in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.

I had to use Puff Pastry because that is all I could find! It worked, but it did have a different texture.

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It was heavenly!! I would definitely make this again, but I would make smaller portions. I also added black olives and mushrooms, Yummy


Now fasten your seat belt and let’s move on to …..



It is a gorgeous place, filled with history,

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and cute bears!! Okay this has nothing to do with the next recipe, but did you see how cute the Panda is????

Alright, lets look at the food!

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I love a good Chinese restaurant, because frankly, I can’t cook GOOD Chinese food!  I can however make this salad with Nappa cabbage and it is called Chinese Salad!  So, here goes…



Chinese Salad with Grilled Chicken


1 head of Napa  cabbage ,chopped

Napa Cabbage1

3 green onions,chopped

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1 package of Ramen noodles, crushed


1/2 cup sliced almonds

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1/2 stick of butter, melted

Mix cabbage and green onion in large bowl and set aside.

In non-stick skillet melt butter and put in crushed ramen noodles and almonds, cook over medium heat until light brown drain on paper towels.

Dressing for salad

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 clove garlic, grated

1/2 cup brown sugar

dash salt

pinch red pepper flake

lime zest and the juice of lime

In small sauce pan heat all ingredients till sugar is melted. Pour up in jar and store in fridge. It is a great dressing on regular salad as well.

You can fix the salad just like this,sprinkle with the noodles and pour on a little  dressing and enjoy!  Or you can top it with the Grilled chicken. Either way is wonderful!

Grilled chicken

4 boneless chicken breast

Marinade for chicken

Place chicken in gallon sized zip lock bag and add,

1/4 cup soy sauce

zest of one lime

juice of lime

1/2 inch of fresh grated ginger

1 glove of garlic,grated

1 pinch red pepper flakes

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons brown sugar

Mix all together in bag with chicken and let set for several hours.

Grill till done and slice chicken on the diagonal and place on top of salad, sprinkle with noodles and dressing.

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Let’s move on now…I hope you have saved up some frequent flyer miles…..

We are headed to the South!  

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It is so beautiful….

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Gods country!!!!

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Where you can sit out on the front porch with glass of sweet tea and something  sugary and sweet….

download (3) No, not that sweet !

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Okay we have to see some deelish southern food,images (21)

MMMM…. Hungry yet?

I happened to luck up and got a great deal on 25 lbs. of peaches!  I canned 9 quarts  and 16 half pints of peach jelly. So, what to do with all those jars of peaches?blog pics 192

How about we make some peach cobbler?


This is the easiest recipe you will ever make!  I can say that now…

1 cup sugar

1 cup self rising flour ( or you can add 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt to regular flour) Funny story, my Mother-in-law made this shortly after we got married and she told me how to make it….she would say, cup of flour,cup of sugar, cup of milk,1 stick of butter and the 2 cups fruit. I tried and tried to make it but all I ever got was a piece of shoe leather on top of the fruit. What did I do wrong?  She never said to use self rising flour. Before you make a comment about my intelligence, she used self rising for everything. I would ask if she used any leavening  and she would say no. I finely figured it out. Okay I digress back to the cobbler…

1 cup of milk

1 stick of butter

2 cups of peaches and juice

pre-heat oven to 375*

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In 13x9 inch dish melt butter in oven while heating oven.

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In mixing bowl, mix sugar, flour, milk .

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Put peaches on top of butter in dish,

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Pour batter on top of peaches,

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Bake  for 45 minutes

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It is this buttery,peachy goodness that requires coffee! It would have been over the top to serve it with vanilla ice cream, I did not have any,so I made do. Buy the ice cream first!

Ya’ll  come on down  south and sit on the porch and stay a while!

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Okay this is Not my front porch, but you get the idea!

Till next time….Stay cool and cook something wonderful and tell me about it!

Lanita (Nana~Nita)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

This And That And Some Bread….



I have been a canning demon! I found a great deal on tomatoes at a small framers market ,$7.50 for 25 lbs, so I bought 2 boxes.

I have canned chopped tomatoes,Italian herbed tomatoes, Mexican spiced tomatoes,Marinara sauce and salsa, salsa, salsa !

Saturday we went apple picking….can anyone guess what I’ll be doing next week?? You guessed it canning apples! I am going to try my hand at making apple pie filling. I found some clear gel at the same store, it is a thickener that allows you to can it.  I have some strawberries and raspberries and some blueberries that I am going to turn into pie filling as well.  The blackberries will be made into jam!  We also picked 4 bushels of corn this week and it is now in the freezer!  Whew!! Put your feet up and relax, I have!


Now lets cook something!!!

Lets have Barbeque riblets , boiled corn and homemade bread! This bread is to die for,well enough chit chat lets get down to the good stuff!

BBQ Riblets


2 lbs of riblets

1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 Tblsp brown sugar

1/4 cup vinegar (apple cider)

2 tsp liquid smoke

1/4 cup orange juice

a sprinkling of red pepper flakes

salt, pepper

water to cover the ribs

1 bottle of  KC Master Piece  BBQ sauce,

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Place ribs in slow cooker,


mix the orange juice and garlic salt pepper, red flakes, brown sugar, liquid smoke,vinegar  and pour over , ribs and pour more water in till it covers the ribs. Cook on low for 6 hours. After 6 hours pour off liquid . At this point you may coat with BBQ sauce and cook them on the grill or you can finish them in the oven. I like to just pour the sauce on them and put the lid back on the slow cooker and keep them warm till time to serve.



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      *whole wheat version below
2-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut up
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 packages active dry yeast
7-1/2 to 8 cups all-purpose flour
-In a small saucepan heat water, sugar, butter, and salt just until 
warm (105 to 115 degrees) and butter is almost melted, stirring 
constantly. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast. 
Cover and let stand in a warm place about 15 minutes or until mixture 
is bubbly.
-Using a wooden spoon, stir in 4 cups of the flour, beating to form a 
thick batter. Stir in 3 cups more of the flour to make a moderately 
soft dough. (To maintain a smooth dough, add the flour in portions 
and stir after adding each.)
-Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough 
of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is 
smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total).
-Shape the dough into a ball. Place in a greased bowl; turn dough 
over once to grease the top surface. (This helps keep the dough from 
drying out.)
-Cover and let rise in a warm place until double (about one hour). 
The dough is ready when you can lightly and quickly press two 
fingertips 1/2 inch into the dough and the indentation remains.
-Punch dough down; form into a smooth ball. Cover and let rest about 
ten minutes. Grease well the bottom and sides of an ovenproof 4-1/2 
or 5-quart Dutch oven. Place the dough in prepared Dutch oven. Cover 
with a towel and let rise until dough is about 1/2 inch below the top 
edge of pan (about one hour).
-Bake bread on the lowest rack of a 325F degree oven for 55 to 60 
minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped with your 
finger. Cover bread with foil, if necessary, to prevent over 
browning. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.
    *Whole Wheat version: Prepare the bread as directed, EXCEPT 
reduce the all-purpose flour to 4 cups. Add the all-purpose four to 
the yeast mixture as directed, then stir in 3 cups whole wheat flour. 
Knead as directed, using an additional 1/2 to 1 cup whole wheat 
flour. Continue as directed.

This makes a HUGE loaf of bread I would recommend dividing the dough into 2 loaves and put it in regular pans,maybe 4 pans it is huge!!  I used the whole wheat recipe, it was real nice soft bread. Very good texture,a crisp crust but a soft interior . I did cut back on the sugar and only used half of the amount.


Now, don’t these look good???  The meat just falls off the bone!


Until next time,put your feet up and stay cool!

Lanita  (Nana Nita)