Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sopa de Agrioes! (Watercress Soup)


Growing up one of my favorite soups was Sopa de Agrioes or Watercress Soup. It's so delicious and filling and again I have wonderful memories of my greatgrandmother preparing it in the kitchen, she would let me help her and I thought that was the best thing on earth......I must have started showing interest in cooking at around 5 or 6 years old.

There was nothing on earth I would rather be doing than sitting at her feet, in the middle of the kitchen floor, with my play pots and pans, throwing pepper and oil into them, I remember sometimes she would say "Olha, toma uma batata"...."here, here's a potato for you"...I would get SO excited that I actually had a potato to add to my pot LOL

Anyway, she taught me my love for food and I love her for it.



SOPA DE AGRIOES (WATERCRESS SOUP)


2 potatoes
1 big onion, or 2 small ones
1 or 2 leeks
A bunch of Watercress
Salt
Olive oil


Bring a pot of water with the salt, to a boil....in the meantime wash, peel and cut into small pieces the onions, potatoes and leeks.

As soon as the water is boiling, add the onions, potatoes and leeks and let them cook well. When they're cooked and are at the stage where they're almost falling apart, you drizzle with olive oil and then using a hand blender, blend everything well.

In the meantime, wash the watercress, separate the little leaves. Let the soup come to a boil and then add in the watercress letting them simmer over low heat.

Hint: You can substitute the watercress for spinach or any other green, I just prefer the watercress.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Esparregado (Spinach with olive oil and garlic)

This is one of those portuguese side dishes that I love preparing when we eat Steak. I remember back home we would have a big juicy portuguese steak, homemade fries and Esparregado.

It was the only time you would see me and my brothers eating any sort of veggies without complaining LOL

My kids LOVE it and my husband requests it often, it's so so easy to make and truly delicious.


ESPARREGADO (SPINACH WITH OLIVE OIL AND GARLIC)


Ingredients:

2 spinach bunches (you can use frozen too, just cook them first)
6 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped or sliced
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper
milk

In a skillet, add olive oil and garlic, drop in the spinach and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.

Next add the flour and mix well, slowly stir in milk and continue stirring until you achieve a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper and VOILA!

Yummy spinach side dish that everyone will love.

Popcorn Chicken Salad!

Curt and I are trying to eat healthier and we've started ordering the salads from the fast food places but they're expensive and not really good on the budget.

One of our favorites are the Crispy Chicken Salads with Honey Mustard dressing, so I decided to try making it at home and was very impressed with the results, it's SO much cheaper than buying it and I can make it whenever I'm in the mood....makes a great lunch.


Popcorn Chicken Salad


Lettuce
Onion, thinly sliced
Cucumber, sliced
Croutons
Shredded Cheese
1 box frozen popcorn chicken, cooked

For the honey mustard:

Yellow mustard
Honey

In a bowl combine the first 6 ingredients, I like my lettuce to have big pieces so I don't chop it up, I just wrip the leaves into big chunks. I do cut the bigger popcorn chicken into smaller bite size pieces.

In a small bowl, combine mustard and honey....I eyeball it and just keep adding the two and stirring them up until I'm happy with the taste. You want it to be sweet but still have that kick from the mustard.

Pour over lettuce and chicken, combine well and serve.

What I love about this recipe is that I can make it just for myself or I can double it for the whole family or a potluck.

Enjoy!

Fatias Douradas (Golden Bread Slices


One of the ways we use day old bread is to make these wonderful "Fatias Douradas" or Golden Bread Slices. They're SO good and I remember my greatgrandmother making them for Christmas or on other special occasions.


Golden Bread Slices
(Fatias douradas)

Ingredients:
  • 12 slices of yesterday's bread
  • 1L of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 grs. of sugar
  • 250 grs. flour
  • oil
  • cinnamon

Beat the eggs with the flour and add slowly 1/2 of the milk. In a separate bowl deep the slices of bread and after deep into the egg mixture. Fry in hot oil covering it afterwards with a misture of sugar and cinnamon.

Bacalhau com Natas (Cod with Cream)


I love cod fish and it's one of the things that I truly miss about being at home...it's really hard for me to find good Cod Fish here in Idaho, and if I want the typical salt dried cod then I have to get it online which is very expensive OR I have my family send it through the mail :)

This is one of my favorite ways to prepare cod fish.

Cod with Cream Sauce
(Bacalhau de natas)

Ingredients:

  • Cod (about 2 or 3 pieces)
  • 3 medium potatoes or 4 small ones, diced
  • 1 package heavy cream (about 1 1/2 pints)
  • 2 cups milk
  • margarine or butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Cook the cod, if using salt code then remember to soak it for 24 hours previously to making this dish.

    Fry the potatoes, just until tender then add the margarina or butter and flour and cook stirring constantly. Add the milk, heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste.

    Fry the onion in a little bit of olive oil, just until transparent.

    In an oven proof dish place the slightly fried onion, the cod and then the fried potatoes, topping with shredded cheese. Place in the oven until golden brown.

    About 375º F for about 20 minutes or so.

    Acorda (Breaded Soup)


    I LOVE Acorda and it's one of those dishes that you can have either as a soup on it's own or as a side dish for fish fillets.

    There's different Acorda's as well, there's Acorda de Alho (Garlic Breaded Soup) and Acorda de Tomate (Tomato Breaded Soup).

    Coriander Breaded Soup
    (Açorda)

    Ingredients:

    • 1 slice of bread for each person
    • 1 egg for each person
    • garlic
    • water
    • olive oil
    • green pepper
    • coriander
    • salt

    Peal the garlic, cut inpieces and smash with the coriander, olive oil. Put in bowls covering with the bread cut in pieces. Boil the desired amount of water with salt to taste and a spoonful of vinegar. Break the eggs slowly into the boiling water until slightly cooked. Take the eggs and place in each bowl with the broth on top.
    You may use water the cooked codfish and proceed the same way. It makes a delicious soup.

    Menu Plan Monday!!!




    Hey Ladies, come on into my kitchen and see what I'm cooking this week....I have some old family favorites and some new ones too.

    If you're interested in playing along or just checking out what everyone is cooking, run on over to "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

    For some reason Blogger is not cooperating and not showing the MPM banner or any other pic...sorry about that.





    MONDAY 28th

    BREAKFAST: Cinnamon Toast
    LUNCH: Beef Pot Pies
    DINNER: Spaghetti a' la carbonara


    TUESDAY 29th

    BREAKFAST: Pumpkin Pancakes
    LUNCH: Cheese and Ham Quesadillas
    DINNER: Homemade Pizza


    WEDNESDAY 30th

    BREAKFAST: Cereal, Milk, Fruit
    LUNCH: Corndogs, Cheesy Potatoes
    DINNER: Steaks with pepper sauce, fries and salad (didn't make it last week)


    THURSDAY 31st

    BREAKFAST: Orange Cinnamon Rolls
    LUNCH: Popcorn chicken, mac & cheese
    DINNER: Baked Ham and Cheddar Sandwiches


    FRIDAY 25TH

    BREAKFAST: Out of town
    LUNCH: Out of town
    DINNER: Out of town


    We'll be out of town until next week monday so I won't have menu's for those days....

    Monday, May 21, 2007

    Menu Plan Monday!!!



    Hey Ladies, come on into my kitchen and see what I'm cooking this week....I have some old family favorites and some new ones too.

    If you're interested in playing along or just checking out what everyone is cooking, run on over to "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

    I'll be posting the recipes for some of the dinners throughout the day.



    MONDAY 21st

    BREAKFAST: Oatmeal
    LUNCH: Leftover Soup, Yogurt
    DINNER: Asian Beef Wraps


    TUESDAY 22nd

    BREAKFAST: Toast w/ strawberry jelly, Juice
    LUNCH: Beef Pot Pie, Mixed Veggies
    DINNER: Pepper Steak w/ homemade fries, salad


    WEDNESDAY 23rd

    BREAKFAST: Waffles
    LUNCH: Tuna Sandwich
    DINNER: Grilled Marinaded Pork Chops w/ rice


    THURSDAY 24th

    BREAKFAST: Cinnamon Toast
    LUNCH: Mini Pizzas
    DINNER: Fried Fish, Tomato Rice, Deep Fried Green Beans (peixinhos da horta)


    FRIDAY 25TH

    BREAKFAST: Blueberry Muffins
    LUNCH: Omelette in a Bag
    DINNER: Homemade pizza


    SATURDAY 26TH

    BREAKFAST: Bagels w/ cream cheese
    LUNCH: Cheese and Ham Quesadillas
    DINNER: Ham and Cheese Chicken Roll Ups


    SUNDAY 27TH


    BREAKFAST: Bacon, Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy
    LUNCH: Hotdogs
    DINNER: Beef Curry

    Friday, May 18, 2007

    Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore!


    YAY I got a thumbs up for this recipe that I posted on one of my Slow Cooking Thursdays.....isn't it great when someone tries a recipe and enjoys it???

    Thank you Rachel for the review and for this great Thumbs Up button, I'm thrilled that you enjoyed the recipe :)


    SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CACCIATORE


    INGREDIENTS

    * 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    * 1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
    * 2 green bell pepper, seeded and cubed
    * 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
    * 1 onion, finely diced
    * 2 tablespoons minced garlic

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Put the chicken in the slow cooker. Top with the spaghetti sauce, green bell peppers, mushrooms, onion, and garlic.
    2. Cover, and cook on Low for 7 to 9 hours.

    Monday, May 14, 2007

    Menu Plan Monday - May 14th



    Hey Ladies, come on into my kitchen and see what I'm cooking this week....I have some old family favorites and some new ones too.

    If you're interested in playing along or just checking out what everyone is cooking, run on over to "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

    I'll be posting the recipes for some of the dinners throughout the day.



    MONDAY 14th

    BREAKFAST: Banana Pancakes
    LUNCH: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Sandwiches
    DINNER: Basil Burgers on the Grill


    TUESDAY 15th

    BREAKFAST: Toast w/ strawberry jelly, Juice
    LUNCH: PB & J, Baby Carrots, Fruit Salad
    DINNER: All Star Pork Meatballs w/ homemade fries


    WEDNESDAY 16th

    BREAKFAST: Oatmeal
    LUNCH: Lunch Burrito
    DINNER: Arroz con Pollo


    THURSDAY 17th

    BREAKFAST: Cinnamon Toast
    LUNCH: Chicken Pot Pie
    DINNER: Fettucine Alfredo


    FRIDAY 18TH

    BREAKFAST: Muffings
    LUNCH: Chili Dogs
    DINNER: *Out for Dinner*

    SATURDAY 19TH

    BREAKFAST: Homemade Chocolate Waffles
    LUNCH: Hotdogs and Potato Salad
    DINNER: Asian Beef Wraps w/ Salad

    SUNDAY 20TH

    BREAKFAST: Cereal
    LUNCH: Mini Pizzas on Wholewheat English Muffins
    DINNER: Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Dinner

    Friday, May 11, 2007

    Crisp and Creamy Baked Chicken

    I made this for dinner tonight and everyone enjoyed it, it's actually pretty good, it's crispy and still juicy and tender inside.



    4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
    6 Tbsp. Shake N Bake Extra Crispy Seasoned Coating Mix
    2/3 (1/2 of 10 3/4 oz. can) condensed cream of celery soup
    1/4 cup milk
    1 cup Kraft Shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack cheese

    Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat chicken with coating mix as directed on package; place in greased 13x9-inch baking dish. Discard any remaining coating mix.

    Bake 20 min. or until chicken is cooked through.

    Beat soup and milk with wire whisk until blended. Pour evenly over chicken; sprinkle with cheese. Bake an additional 5 min. or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

    Makes 4 servings.

    Favorite Ingredients Friday!!!

    It's friday and time for another Favorite Ingredients Friday, so here we go....if you want to join in please go by the wonderful lady at "Overwhelmed with Joy".



    Since summer has started and a lot of us will start going on picnics, I thought I would share some picnic recipes, enjoy!


    CRAB SALAD TORTILLA WRAPS

    Credit: Debber at Recipezaar

    1 (16 ounce) package imitation crabmeat
    2 stalks celery
    1 tablespoon finely minced onions
    4 ounces cream cheese, softened
    1 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    2 tablespoons sugar (or two packets sugar substitute)
    6 hard-boiled eggs, cooled
    1/2 head lettuce (or spinach, Swiss chard, greens combined)
    10 flour tortillas

    1. In a mixing bowl, snip crab meat into fine pieces. Dice celery, mince onion, and add to crab. Stir and set aside.
    2. Mash cream cheese, then add sour cream, mayo, lemon juice and sugar, mixing until creamy.
    3. Pour cream cheese mixture to crab & veggies, mixing well. Set aside.
    4. Using a pastry blender (or a fork), chop the eggs until crumbly-looking; set aside.
    5. Shred the lettuce and set aside.
    6. PUT IT TOGETHER: Spread about a 1/4-cup of crab mixture in a thin layer over a tortilla. Sprinkle with eggs and lettuce. Roll tortilla up very tightly.
    7. LUNCH or PICNIC: Wrap each tortilla tightly in a slice of waxed-paper. Unwrap or cut in half and keep it neat!
    8. PLANNED OVERS: Mix remaining crab, lettuce and egg, and have it for lunch the next day!
    9. CHANGE OVERS: Add some French or Western dressing and a dab of horseradish with the mayonnaise to create more of a seafood saucey flavor. Yummmy! OR dip wrap in this! Even better!
    10. Plan for two wraps per person, with "leftovers" being chilled and served for lunch the next day (or a late night snack?).


    MAGIC COOKIE BARS




    * 1/2 cup butter
    * 1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
    * 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
    * 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
    * 3-1/2 ounce can (1-1/3 cups) flaked coconut
    * 1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped


    PREPARATION:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in a 9X13 baking pan. Melt in oven. Remove pan from oven and carefully tilt pan to spread melted butter around. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over melted butter.

    Pour sweetened condensed milk over the crumbs. Top with remaining ingredients. Bake 25 minutes. Cool. Cut into bars.

    Monday, May 07, 2007

    CHEESY TURKEY STROMBOLI!

    This is dinner tonight and I admit I've never tried it before so I can't give you a thumbs up or down for that matter. I'll let you know if we like it and how it turns out.


    CHEESY TURKEY STROMBOLI

    Image credit: Recipetips.com

    3 cups baby spinach

    1/2 lb. cooked turkey, shredded

    1 pkg. (6.5 oz) garlic and herb spreadable cheese

    1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers

    1 loaf (16 oz.) frozen bread dough, thawed



    Heat oven to 350ºF. In a bowl, combine spinach, turkey, spreadable cheese and red peppers. On lightly floured surface, press dough into 9" x 12" rectangle. Spread spinach-turkey mixture over dough, leaving 1" border.


    Starting at long end, roll dough jelly-roll style, folding in sides. Pinch ends together to seal. Place stromboli seam side down on foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
    Using scissors, cut deep Vs on top to release steam.

    Bake 1 hr., 10 min., or until golden brown. Let stromboli sit 5 min. before slicing and serving.

    Menu Plan Monday - May 7th



    Hey Ladies, come on into my kitchen and see what I'm cooking this week....I have some old family favorites and some new ones too.

    If you're interested in playing along or just checking out what everyone is cooking, run on over to "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

    I'll be posting the recipes for some of the dinners throughout the day.



    MONDAY 7th

    BREAKFAST: Chocolate chip pancakes
    LUNCH: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
    DINNER: Cheesy Turkey Stromboli


    TUESDAY 8th

    BREAKFAST: Cinnamon Toast, Orange Juice
    LUNCH: Chicken Noodle Soup, Yogurt
    DINNER: Asian Beef Wraps


    WEDNESDAY 9th

    BREAKFAST: Oatmeal
    LUNCH: Pigs in a blanket
    DINNER: Crisp and Creamy Baked Chicken


    THURSDAY 10th

    BREAKFAST: Breakfast burrito
    LUNCH: Chicken Nuggets, Mac & Cheese
    DINNER: Crab Cakes w/ Salad


    FRIDAY 11TH

    BREAKFAST: Strawberry Stuffed French Toast
    LUNCH: Mini Pizzas
    DINNER: Grilled Cheese and Ham, Herbed Fries, Coke Floats


    SATURDAY 12TH

    BREAKFAST: Cereal, milk
    LUNCH: Chili Dogs
    DINNER: Ham and Cheese Lasagna


    SUNDAY 13TH

    BREAKFAST: Sausage, Bacon, Eggs
    LUNCH: Tuna Salad
    DINNER: Cheese Topped Meatloaves

    Friday, May 04, 2007

    Favorite Ingredients Friday - Breakfast Edition


    Well ladies, it's friday and that means another great Favorite Ingredients Friday hosted by the wonderful "Overwhelmed with Joy", today it's breakfast edition, so here we go:



    STRAWBERRY STUFFED FRENCH TOAST


    Ingredients:
    8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
    3/4 cup strawberry jam
    1/4 cup chopped pecans
    French or Italian bread

    Batter:
    4 eggs
    1/2 cup milk
    1 Tbsp vanilla
    (beat together)

    Directions:
    Mix cream cheese, jam and nuts. Cut Italian or French bread into diagonal pieces about 1 inch thick. Cut pocket in each slice. Stuff with mixture. Dip into batter, coating both sides. With skillet on medium heat, brown both sides in margarine.

    Thursday, May 03, 2007

    No Bake Twinkie Cake!!!

    I came across this recipe in a magazine a while ago, I planned on making it last summer and completely forgot about it, but while organizing my recipe collection today I found it again.

    Instead of just putting it aside, I decided to get right in there and make it. It's a HIT and it's soooooo good, you have GOT to try it.

    BANANA-CARAMEL CAKE

    Here's my finished cake


    1 pkg. (3.4 oz) instant butterscotch pudding mix
    Milk
    1 bananas, chopped
    2 pkgs (15. oz) Twinkies
    4 cups thawed frozen whipped topping
    Caramel Sundae Topping

    Toasted coconut (To toast flaked coconut, in nonstick skilledt, over medium heat, cook coconut, stirring until browned, 3-4 minutes)


    Prepare pudding mix with milk according to package directions for pie filling consistency. Let prepared pudding stand 5 minutes. Fold in bananas. Let stand for 10 minutes.

    Arrange 10 Twinkies in bottom of 9" springform pan, cutting to fit. Spread with pudding
    mixture. Top with remaining Twinkies.

    Spread with 1 cup topping. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Uncover. Remove side of pan. Spread top and side of cake with remaining topping.
    Press 1 2/3 cups toasted coconut onto side of frosted cake. Drizzle with 2 Tbs. Caramel sundae topping.


    Enjoy!

    Six-Can Slow Cooked Chili

    Six-Can Slow Cooked Chili


    Serves: 8

    Ingredients:

    * 1/4 c Cornmeal
    * 1 ts Paprika
    * 1/2 c Bbq sauce
    * 28 oz Can whole tomatoes w/juice; cut up
    * 2 cn Chili without beans; 15oz ea

    * 15 1/2 oz Can Pinto or Dark or Light Red Kidney beans w/juice
    * 15 oz Spicy Chili beans w/juice
    * 1 cn Condensed French onion soup

    In 3-1/2 to 4 qt crockpot, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover; cook on HIGH for 2 to 4 or until thoroughly heated. Or cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours. TIP-For hotter chili flavor, 2 ts chili powder can be added.

    Wednesday, May 02, 2007

    Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas!

    This is what we had for dinner last night, I made some Spanish rice as a side dish and we're good to go. The enchiladas were pretty good, I think I would probably add a little more salsa to them and even some cheese to the filling too....other than that they were delicious.



    Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas with Gooey Jack Cheese

    Recipe from Robin Miller on Food Network.


    2 teaspoons olive oil

    1/2 cup chopped onion
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces *see cook's note
    1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
    1/3 cup prepared salsa, mild, medium or hot
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
    4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
    1 1/3 cups shredded Monterey jack and or Cheddar

    *Cook's note: this is enough chicken to make this meal and another meal. If you are only making this meal, use 1 pound chicken.


    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute 2 minutes. Add chicken and saute 5 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove half of the chicken and reserve for another use.

    Stir in black beans, green chiles, and salsa and simmer 5 minutes, until sauce thickens and reduces. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

    Arrange 4 tortillas on a flat surface. Top each tortilla with an equal amount of chicken mixture. Roll up tortillas and place side by side in a shallow baking dish. Top tortillas with shredded cheese (1/3 cup per tortilla).

    Bake enchiladas 15 minutes, until cheese is golden and gooey!