Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Spaghetti with Bacon and Mushrooms

Now this is one of those I remember my stepmom fixing for us and it brings back such good memories of home and my childhood. I love it.

It's quick and easy to fix and you won't believe how good it tastes.

I start with one small onion, finely diced and in a pot with some olive oil

Slice up a green pepper and add to the onion

2 medium tomatoes, diced and added to the pot too.....

Here's the spices I use, I pretty much stick to these in most every portuguese dish I make.

I just eyeball it, so some salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and one bay leaf (you'll remove it once it's ready to serve)

Half a pound of bacon, sliced and added to the pot

Mmmmm doesn't that look good already?

Turn the heat on medium so it can start cooking and give it a good stir.....

About a cup or so of mushrooms, they're sliced but I still run the knife through them to make them smaller.

Now I add one beef bouillon cube, crumbled into the mixture and 1 cup of water

Stir it and let it cook for about 10 minutes or so.....

Throw in some spaghetti, I broke mine in half before dumping it in

Add some more water, enough to cover the spaghetti

Let it simmer until the spaghetti is cooked "al dente", you want it to have a little bite to it still, not be mushy.

Yummy, almost done.....


While the spaghetti was cooking I made some Focaccia to go with. I used my Pizza Dough recipe and then slathered on olive oil, finely diced garlic, a little bit of salt and some oregano. Mmmmmmm!

Rissois de Camarao

I don't think you can go to a portuguese gathering without finding some of these sitting on the table, just waiting for you to dig in.

Growing up I remember these being served at special occasions and especially around Christmas time, we could just run to the local Portuguese Bakeries and pick up a dozen or two, or if we were so inclined and had the time....we made them at home.
Before I was even married I was already learning how to make them so that one day I could too fix this for my family....they now get to enjoy a little of my portuguese heritage and they love it :)

Rissois de Camarao - Portuguese Shrimp Turnovers


1 lb bag of shrimp (salad shrimp works fine)
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 cup flour
1 cup water

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Little bit of milk
Parsley flakes
Red chilli pepper flakes to taste

Boil one cup of water with the margarine and salt...

When it starts boiling, add the flour all at once and start stirring

Stir until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides, then you're going to remove it from the heat. Isn't it neat how it starts forming a ball???

Turn the dough onto a floured surface........

Then you need to knead it until it becomes a nice round ball that is soft to the touch and springs back a little when pressed down.....but don't overwork the dough.

At this point you need to divide the dough in half, form two balls, cover with a kitchen towel and let it cool down.

In a frying pan, add the butter and the diced onion.... cook the onion until it's tender....

Then I add garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper

Add a little bit of water

Add the shrimp......I use the Salad Shrimp, just open the bag and let it run under some cold water for a bit to thaw.

One tablespoon of flour to help thicken the sauce

And then a little bit of milk

Then in goes the parsley, cook it for a little until thickened, remove from heat and set aside...

Now the dough is cool, so we are going to set it on a floured surface, roll it out and cut it with a round object, I just use one of my tea cups

Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the middle and fold in half, pressing the edges together

Dip the rissois in beaten eggs and then breadcrumbs

Here they are ready to fry.......yummmmm
At this point you can also freeze them, they keep for about a month. I like doing this because I can pull out a few at a time and quickly fry them for a snack or a light meal served with some salad.

Fry them in hot oil for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Menu Plan Monday!

Happy Monday everyone, this is what's on the menu for this week. As always remember that some days I switch meals around or end up not making them if something comes up, but for the most part I stick to everything on here INCLUDING breakfast and lunch.

If you want to join in with your own menu or take a look at all the other ladies participating, I suggest you grab a cup of coffee....a HUGE one LOL and then head over to Laura's blog "I'm an Organizing Junkie", there's so much yummy stuff being shared I'm sure you'll find inspiration for your next week's menus too.



BREAKFAST: Cinnamon Rolls, Warm Milk

LUNCH: Asian Beef Wraps

DINNER: Christmas Eve Meal: Rissois de Camarao (Portuguese Shrimp Turnovers), Pasteis de Massa Tenra (Beef pastries), Buffalo Chicken Wings, Orange Jelly Roll, Delicious Dessert


BREAKFAST: Bagels w/ cream cheese, Juice

LUNCH: Grilled Cheese and Tomato

DINNER: Leftovers


BREAKFAST: Cinnamon Toast, Milk

LUNCH: Egg Rolls, Veggies

DINNER: Fricasse Chicken


BREAKFAST: Cereal, Milk

LUNCH: Chicken Noodle Soup

DINNER: Spaghetti with Bacon and mushrooms


BREAKFAST: Muffins, Warm milk

LUNCH: Roast Beef Sandwiches

DINNER: My Homemade Pizza

Sandra's Pizza


BREAKFAST: Sausage Biscuits

LUNCH: Hotdogs

DINNER: Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers


BREAKFAST: Pumpkin Pancakes

LUNCH: BLT Sandwiches

DINNER: Portuguese Bean Soup

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Delicious Dessert aka Sobremesa Deliciosa

I grew up loving the kitchen and loving to cook. From a very young age I wanted play pots and pans and nothing more than to sit at my Greatgrandmother's feet while she cooked a meal.

But she wasn't the only woman that influenced my huge love for cooking, my grandmothers, my mother, my stepmother and even my dad all played vital parts in it too.

This recipe is one that I learnt how to make when I was in my teens and it's one of the easiest and yummiest quick fixers that I always turn to when looking for a great dessert.....it's also one of the ones always present at our Christmas Eve Meal.

Alright, this is how you make it, it takes but a few ingredients which I'm sure you'll already have in your kitchen.


So 1 can of condensed milk, shortbread cookies or any other kind you like (just keep it to butter flavor or so), 2 cups of whipping cream, milk, 4 eggs, 1 tablespoon sugar and about 1 cup of fresh brewed coffee


To a saucepan add the can of condensed milk


Fill up the empty condensed milk can with whole milk 20071223_44

and then add to the pan..........how can this not be good huh??? Look at the yummy combination already in the pan.


Now grab the eggs and separate the eggs yolks from the whites.


Add the egg yolks to the milk mixture in the saucepan and turn the stove on to medium heat.


Simmer stirring constantly until thickened....remove from heat


Pour into a 13x9-inch pan.


Pour about a cup of coffee into a bowl


Drop some cookies into the bowl and let them sit for just a few seconds until they start getting soggy....


Start crumbling them on top of the custard. You want a nice layer covering every little space available....and don't be stingy, don't think we won't notice if there's none on one little corner of the pan. Set aside for now.


Beat the egg whites until stiff and then set aside while you grab the whipping cream.


Pour the whipping cream into a bowl.....whip until thick.


At this point you add in a heaping tablespoon of sugar...note I said HEAPING, so don't hold back ok?


Slowly fold in the egg whites (yes I know the bowl was already small for the cream and now it's even worse). Mix everything well.


Pour into the pan, covering the crushed cookies.


Sprinkle some powdered chocolate on top, or you can do chocolate shavings too if you wish, or even cinnamon.

Pop in the refrigerator until ready to serve! ENJOY!