Monday, February 19, 2018

Banana Oats (raisins) Mini Breads

Before I even get started with my 'thrifty' recipe...I have some splaining...explaining to do. If it weren't for my awesome 'thrift finds' useful and new...yes new wares because people buy these beautiful wares, keep them around or maybe use them once, and they donate it to Goodwill! I adore these mini loaf pans and they have become so useful, especially during the holiday when I can make my quick breads and give some out as gifts to friends!
As a matter of fact, everything here in this photo is a 'thrift find'...except of course is the yummy Banana Oats Mini Breads! The mini loaf pans, the round table mat, and the pretty 'milk glass plate'...all for the use of taking photos for my blog...yesss! As for the price on these would not believe, because they are 'dirt cheap'. Goodwill Industries in our area in West Palm Beach has a huge donation every single day, and a tremendous turnover. From simple every day folks to the wealthiest people pull up in their Lexus and Jaguars, shop there!

Getting back to the Banana Oats Mini Breads...there isn't a day that I don't have bananas hanging around in my fruit bowl...if not, I run out the next day to get some. They get overripe so quickly and I make sure I use them up or freeze them, so I'm actually never without them. As for the recipe, I just did my basic quick bread, and figured out the rest this time with 4 ripe bananas!

Banana Oats (raisins) Mini Breads

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup Quaker Quick Cooking Oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 whole large eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup cane sugar
4 ripe bananas
1 cup raisins, or any other dried fruits (optional)

In a large bowl, add the flour, the oats, baking powder, baking soda, the salt, cinnamon powder and stir together. In a smaller bowl, mash the bananas, add the oil, the eggs, brown sugar, cane sugar. Stir to mix by hand with a wooden spoon, and beat lightly with a whip for a few minutes until they are well combined. (Do not over whip!)

Spray Mini Loaf Pans, or 1 regular Loaf Pans with cooking spray and spoon to 3/4 full. Sprinkle the Oats Streusel (optional) on top and bake. Cool for 15 minutes and turn out. They will slide out easily!
Baking temperature time for both type of loaf pans:
For Mini Loaves...350 degrees for 20 min. and an additional 15-20 min. on 325
For large loaf pans...350 degrees for the first 30 min. and additional 25-30 min. on 325 degrees. (these timings and temperatures are 'tried and true' and never fails)

Streusel Oats Topping

1/2 cup butter, or vegan butter (for dairy free)
1 cup light light brown sugar
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a medium mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except the butter.
Cut butter into mixture with pastry blender, and mix together until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Spread crumbs with a small teaspoon evenly on top of the Banana Oat Breads, and bake according to time and oven temperature!

Note: I noticed other Streusel Oats recipes that do not recommend quick cooking oats...well, that's not so true! I do have both type of Quaker Oats, Old fashioned, and Quick cooking. I buy both kind, especially when it's buy one...get one free in our supermarket! I save the Old fashioned oats for crunchy oatmeal cookies, or cook for breakfast!

Last but not least: I have been photographing my foods with my Android Samsung Cell Phone camera for the last 2 years...rarely use my regular Nikon camera which I paid for over $400. five years ago. I thought myself to learn how to take food photos back in the days when I started with my food blog along with my flood blog friends. Now days practically no one drags along their real camera to take picture anywhere...unless you are a pro, and set out to take some real serious photos!

Last: Lesson think that I was gonna stop blogging until I buy a more expensive up-to-date camera; no way!

Have a nice week ahead my friends, please come and visit my blog, I'm still here!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

I must admit, that I have this passion for tomatoes, mostly red ripe tomatoes whether they would be the large beefsteak, the Roma, or the cherry and even more cute little succulent sweet grape tomatoes, which I have used in this recipe for my Roasted Tomatoes, although the recipe I followed was Cherry tomatoes!
The best part of these yummy tomatoes, is that you could roast them in a 'jiffy' at a high temperature whole, in one of your nice ovenware casseroles, especially a clean white ceramic casserole to show it off...from oven, to table. You just have to add some fresh chiffonade cut basils. (chiffonade=a few leaves of basils stacked up and rolled up in cigar fashion, and sliced thin)
What I love about these little beauties, is that you can dip some crusty baguette or rustic Italian bread pieces to dip in and sop up all the juices from the tomatoes, fresh garlic and olive oil, to make it a perfect rustic appetizer. Also, you can combine fresh angel hair spaghetti and it will make a perfect meal with a side salad! Can't brag enough about this amazing roasted tomatoes, so I will just share the recipe with you that I got from Ina Garten...enjoy!

Roasted Cherry (or grape) Tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the tomatoes lightly with olive oil on a sheet pan. Spread them out into one layer and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.
Transfer the tomatoes to a serving platter and sprinkle with basil leaves and sea salt. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Venison Stew with Potato Balls

After a long absence from my blog, I decided to return or just leave things the way they are...which is the wrong choice. Eight years have passed and things have changed so much on social media but I do feel proud to have accomplished so much not to give it all up!

I have several photos of great dishes I've made since my absence and would like to share them with you. While enjoying my Christmas vacation along with my daughter and grandchildren staying with family in Ohio, I did prepare some nice dishes since it's my second home and I enjoy feeling home and comfortable in the kitchen.

I must admit, venison is not on my favorite list of meat to prepare, but since I was asked to prepare something, I decided on a stew. There are three types of meats that I would rather stay away from cooking, is venison (poor 'bambi') lamb, and rabbit...each of these 3 I have witnessed being butchered, so I have a difficult time preparing them to be eaten! So that narrows things down to occasional beef, and pork...chicken is still on my list, and of course seafood as well! So, I will share the recipe with you how I prepared the Venison northern style and for sure not something we make here in S. Florida for sure. We don't hunt...we fish!

Venison Stew with Potato Balls

1 large onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 carrots scraped and chopped
3 stalks celery diced
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
32 oz. vegetable broth
1 yellow hot wax pepper sliced (opt.)
salt, and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp Hungarian hot, and/or sweet
3 - 4 1/2 lbs. venison cubed to 1 inch

In a large deep skillet, or dutch oven, on medium high heat, add oil and the chopped onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and yellow hot wax pepper, until onions are soft. Add the Hungarian paprika, and add about 1/4 cup of the broth. Stir and let it cook down until it thickens. Add the cut up venison cubes, stir and let it cook down until all is incorporated with the paprika mixture. Add the broth, cover with lid and let it simmer on med-low heat for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hrs until sauce is thickened, and meat is tender.
4-6 servings

For the Potato Balls

4 med potatoes peeled and diced
2 to 3 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes until tender

With a potato ricer, or in a food processor, mash the potatoes to a fine pulp

Mix together with the flour and eggs (not shown)

Lightly form into a large balls and with an ice cream scooper, scoop out equal amounts and form into balls.

Shape the balls into about 2 or inches round. Bring water to boil in a large pot and drop the balls into the rapid boiling water.

Potato balls should come to the surface and simmer for at least another 15-20 but no longer than that, or it will fall apart!
Scoop potato balls unto a platter with a large slotted spoon, and serve with the Venison Stew!
4-6 servings

Please Note: I've been having some serious issues with my comment section. I had 18 comments, and missing 8. I feel so bad because I have no idea what happened to the last 8 comments. Also, I'm not able to comment on most blogs, so I did leave comments on Google + on some of the comments, hoping that you would see them. I think the problem started when I tried to change and upgrade to a new look and lost some apps and content. I will try to work out these issues and try to comment on your blogs and reply back on mine as well! So sorry for not being able to comment on your blogs, but I will be contacting you one way or the other!
Elisabeth ...aka Liz, Lizzie, Eli, Elisa...Food and Thrift

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Cleveland Winter 2017

Hello my friends, I hope you all had a great holiday. I just got back from Ohio and I thought it would be nice to put together a post to show you all a series of snowy pictures, family gathering, and great food! I'll be back to post weekly, since that was my new year's resolution! I missed you all and I promise I will be more active on the blog (and at the gym ;) ).

Check out my granddaughter's post on Ohio!

This is my family property.

This is in Willoughby Ohio on Christmas Day

This is a vintage ceramic tree from the 70's

These are various homemade Christmas cookies
Me and Santa Claus selfie

This is the first day of snow before Christmas
This is at my friends house
Family Christmas tree

Thank you all for visiting my post, I would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Spring has arrived, and so have Easter, which came early this year! What is more befitting than to make everyone's favorite Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting...and the best part is to top it off with Shredded Sweetened Coconut, and the best...of the best part of this fabulous cake is
the Candied-Spiced Walnuts
which I happened to think of at the last minute! You can certainly skip the spice, and just go with the sweet, and crunchy glaze. Once they are dry and separated, it can be easy spread on the cake for decoration and an added yumminess that I guarantee will be the first to disappear before cutting the cake!

This was our first Easter holiday without family and friends, and not a very comforting feeling to all of a sudden just have a complete change. Just like from childhood, mine and yours perhaps, we can see the changes that are happening in our lives when it comes to the holidays that are spent with our loved ones and friends, and one day...everything changes, just like it did this year! Death of a loved one, family being separated from each other, dearest friends moving away across the United States whom you've been close to and spending the last 15 years each holiday, and now...gone, perhaps forever; very sad, but total reality which we must learn to adjust to!

Note: the only change I made to this recipe...I used 1 cup of canola oil (instead of 1 1/2 cup)...I omitted the sour cream. My addition was the shredded coconut, and the Candied Walnuts for decoration!

We have to appreciate everything in life...the small and simple things especially, family, friends, and our health, which is not to be taken for granted! Learn to be happy with ourselves, and one-another is the key to life's simple pleasures! I don't always have the energy or passion to cook and bake at home since this is what I have been doing for decades as a professional career, but I always make an exception to do my best for family and friends if the occasion calls for it. No holiday has gone by without my contribution to a special occasion, and that will always go on as long as I can physically make it happen. It brings me joy, and contentment to see the smiles on the faces of the people I love!
As the lyric of the song goes..."I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden"...we are not promised a rose garden, but we can certainly enjoy one, especially this particular one from 2 years ago when I visited extended family in Como, Italy. Could not believe my eyes, and how much joy it gave me to enjoy this beautiful little rose garden on a tiny little balcony overlooking a spectacular tall mountain, so actually I fared better, and I was promised a 'rose garden' ...and much more than and devotion from a beautiful Italian family!
This beautiful white rose was from 'the actual' rose garden of Teresa...she so lovingly takes care of them, and they in return give so much peace and beauty for all eyes to gaze upon them!
I picked these gorgeous roses from the rose garden to put them in water, to enjoy!

As another saying goes..."stop and smell the roses"...yes indeed, you should take time to stop and smell the roses, whenever, wherever you might get the chance to do so. The only ones that really matter with such a beautiful perfume fragrance of their own are the ones that are naturally growing in a garden, and when you get the chance, don't pass them by!

I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to enjoy 'life's simple pleasures' this gorgeous scene looking out from the back of the house...never, ever, pass up the opportunity to find beauty in nature which are the simplest gifts from nature. You will never see the most beautiful healthy and the tallest pine trees, like in northern Italy, in the Como, and Lago di Como region. I was fortunate to spend 2 weeks there and loved every minute of it. I am so happy to share this with all my blogger friends!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thumbprint Cookies

I made these lovely jewel cookies over the Christmas holidays, and did not bother to post them until now. I certainly was so perfect, buttery, and the different fillings, other than just the plain jams made a huge difference. So light,flaky, and melt in your mouth. You just couldn't stop at one, since the different jams, including my homemade mango jam, seedless raspberry, lemon curd, and the most favorite was the Nutella filling that the kids loved the most!
Creation of the 'Thumbprint Cookies' came from the 19th century, either from Sweden, or the Jewish people of Eastern Europe. It's such a versatile, popular holiday cookie with so many variations. Of course it's self explanatory about the 'thumbprint' which, one will press with the thumb in the center of the cookie dough, for jam filling. The jam can be filled while baking the cookies, or after it has been baked. I make mine both ways, but I do prefer to fill the cookies after it has been baked to enjoy the filling more!
You can't deny how flaky and light these cookies are...and just look at the 'jewel like' filling ones...and oh, I forgot the I also used orange marmalade filling, as well, but the Nutella filling was every one's favorite, except the lemon curd filling. It was not my homemade lemon curd, but if you find a nice bright yellow colored lemon curd in a specialty store, or your favorite supermarket, just grab it, because it will show that it's very fresh, vibrant and true lemony flavor! Never mind the cost, which is not really's well worth it, rather than using the 8 egg yolks, and all that butter and fresh lemon juice, plus time consuming, can be costly as well!
The best part is the sharing...pack most of them up in a plastic container, just make sure you overlap them carefully, otherwise they will smear! This is the only time I wish that I had baked them with the filling...instead fill them afterwards, but I assure you, this way it has a more intense flavor from the various jams, lemon curd, and Nutella filling...yumm!

I used the recipe from my trusted Gourmet magazine, from Dec. of 2007...which they called it Trios, because 3 cookies were joined together and baked that way, but for me it did not sound logical, just to break them apart!

Check out the recipe for the...
Thumbprint Cookies...TRIOS

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Cranberry Muffins

Since we're on the 'cranberry' page...I just wanted to share with you another delicious cranberry recipe! Who can resist fresh Cranberry Muffins, straight from the oven, fresh and homemade. So easy to prepare so moist, and delicious! Still using up my fresh frozen cranberries which I can no longer find in any supermarkets, so you have had to 'squirrel' away your very own! A few days ago, I made stuffing with fresh cranberries pre-cooked and folded in to the stuffing. Looked a little strange reddish in color, but oh, so good with roasted chicken!
These muffins were so incredibly good, I just wish I had saved more fresh cranberries in my freezer. There's so many ways to use up fresh cranberries. I will either look for frozen ones at Whole Foods or will have to wait till November again! For some reason,

I noticed in some of the Hungarian food bloggers' posts about muffins verses if you make small muffins and put frosting on it...does that become a cupcake?...or is it the same thing...muffins with frosting?...I have never heard of such a thing! It's either muffins, or cupcakes! Seems to me that cupcakes get the frosting on them, and muffins may have a yummy glaze...but never, ever frosting! ...and anyway, cupcakes are more moist and delicate, and muffins seem to be more dense. I love the large muffins, but the regular basic size work just fine!

Today, was such a beautiful, pleasant, breezy, and sunny day, here in S. Florida, and especially on the beach, now that we have our beach back after practically losing the entire beach...due to heavy rains, and winds for the last few months, the beach erosion was terrible. We got tons, and tons. of sand being brought in, and have our beach back again to enjoy. Just wondering what will happen in the next 20 or 30 years from now...are we going to be washed away by the ocean?...seems like the beach erosion is such a problem here...wonder if 'global warming has anything to do with it! I would upload some photos for you re: the beach erosion problem, but that would be another long story that I would not want to get involved with on my 'food blog' at this time... (not that I haven't done that in the past.)

Cranberry Muffins
recipe; courtesy of Ocean Spray

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 cups Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Mix sugar and butter together in a medium mixing bowl until completely blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a separate medium mixing bowl. Add this alternately with the milk to the butter mixture. Stir in nuts and cranberries. Spoon into 12 paper-lined muffin cups, filling 3/4 full with batter.

Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 12 muffins.

I  haven't promoted any of my other recipes in a long time, but I'm really fond of my Blueberry Muffins, especially with the added sour cream to try these, and forget about the calories or the added fat from the sour cream. Just enjoy, and have a wonderful week! Hugs, Elisabeth

Sour Cream-Blueberry Muffins

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Cranberry Pancakes

Such a beautiful Sunday morning here, in S. Florida. Windy, mostly sunny, and 74 degrees F. which actually feels like in the low 60's...always about ten or more degrees cooler on the beach! A perfect time to make pancakes from scratch, especially when you still have a couple bags of fresh cranberries that you put in your freezer from last December...better use them up, although you can keep them in the freezer for at least 1 year! I always use my 'tried and true' Mark Bittman's Basic Pancake recipe, but this time I followed the Better Homes and Gardens, which has the addition of fresh orange juice as well. A good way to start your morning, on a lazy Sunday!
I have absolutely no clue, how many points these yummy pancakes are for Weight Watchers, but I quit temporarily again...for the third time, not easy to keep up with the points. You have to be really diligent to stay with the program!
Close up, you can see the beautiful ruby red chopped fresh cranberries, nestled in the fluffy light pancakes. This is a rare treat, which is the best way to enjoy at home, and forget about Pancake House, which we only have a couple left over now, in our area. Even if you would go out for breakfast or brunch, you will not find this stay home, and follow this easy recipe. You can also use frozen cranberries, but fresh cranberries are totally out of season for now!
Now, are you convinced how much tastier it is to make your own homemade pancakes from scratch, and adding cranberries, blueberries, chocolate chips that my grandchildren love...but one of my all-time favorite is perfectly ripe, sliced bananas dropped right on the top of the batter, as you're making it...yumm...enjoy!

Cranberry Pancakes

  1. In a small mixing bowl combine cranberries, sugar, and orange peel; set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl combine egg, buttermilk, orange juice, and margarine or butter. Add to flour mixture. Stir just until combined but still slightly lumpy. Fold in cranberry mixture.
  2. Heat a lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat until a few drops of water dance across the surface. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle.
  3. Cook over medium heat until pancakes are golden brown, turning to cook second sides when pancake surfaces are bubbly and edges are slightly dry (about 1 to 2 minutes per side). Serve immediately or keep warm in a loosely covered ovenproof dish in a 300 degree F oven. If desired, serve with Maple Syrup. Makes 16