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Sunday, February 7, 2010

New Cooking and Recipe Forum

Just an announcement of my new forum :)
Please sign up and or tell me what you think of it. My main goal is to keep categories as simple and straight forward as possible to eliminate clutter. This forum software is very powerful and with the built in search, specific topics are very easy to find.
Have fun with the forum and welcome...

Cooking & Recipe Forum

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pasta Month : October


I never knew October was the official month for pasta till a few days ago.

This great food source proudly claims to be rich in good carbs and important nutrients for our bodies :)
My take here is it tastes pretty good and nearly goes with anything so without a doubt get's a spot on my blog as a "Great" food item.
I'll reserve myself from all of the history surrounding where pasta was invented or who was the first to do so and instead will simply post about pasta recipes.
I'm sure this will be a work-in-progress post and as before will add items along the way.

To start things off I wish to give credit to a terrific website devoted to pasta...
The National Pasta Association- Pasta A-Z is covered. Included is pasta news, all about pasta", some family favorite recipes, healthy living and even a kids corner. Did you know October 26th, 2009 is World Pasta Day?

Growing up in a non Italian home probably doesn't qualify me to even remotely sound like a pasta expert but fortunately I married into an Italian family. That said, I'll go with the recommended brand Grandma uses... Barilla.  She claims if it's not fresh made the next best thing.
If it's half as good as her eggplant Parmesan I'm buying in.
I wouldn't dare ask Grandma if she'd share her eggplant recipe... She may only be 5 foot tall but can stare you down to below her knees :o

I visited the Barilla pasta website and was amazed with the wealth of information about Italian cooking and recipes they offer. Till now I had no clue what "pairing" was pertaining to pasta. How amazed I was to see how the "authentic Italian experience" started with the proper pasta shape and sauce combo! Heck, I remember needing an extra half a pound of something and added spirals to the mini shells for linguine and clam sauce. Tasted good to me. (I thought linguine was the sauce not the noodle).
What can I say... I'm half Swedish and Hungarian with a dose of other Scandinavian genes.

Additional Pasta Recipe Resources
  • BEST Pasta Recipes Website- You can be the judge of that. I'm just impressed with the enormous amount of information there.
  • Pasta Recipes- A blog formatted website very well organized I may say. "The site for pasta fans" adorns the top of the page.
  • Authentic Italian Pasta Recipes- Attilio from Tuscany near the leaning tower of Pisa. Sounds authentic enough for me! Tells how Béchamel Sauce is made for lasagna.  Terrible throat clearing sounding word but Attilio likes using it :)
  • Free Chinese Noodle Recipes- I guess it wouldn't be fair leaving out the Chinese. I for one don't like many Chinese food dishes because they all taste the same or give a slight variation of and leave you starving, ears ringing and thirsty an hour later. Oh what the heck they invented pasta (noodles)... Right?

What would a recipe/cooking blog be if I didn't share a recipe now and then...
Ma's Famous Tuna Mac-N-Cheese
Tuna in mac & cheese! Growing up with 6 siblings Mom had to be inventive in her meal planning while looking out for the kids nourishment needs.

1 pound pasta (normally elbows)
8 oz. sharp or extra sharp cheese
4 tbsp. butter (half a stick)
1 Can of solid white tuna
size of can to preference... Mom usually used the large can :)
2 cups of whole milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup of seasoned bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Cook pasta in family size pot. Grate cheese while the pasta cooks and set aside (avoid over picking).
When pasta is done, drain and return to pot. Add butter and fold till it is melted.
Add cheese, milk and eggs and put pot on burner on low to further melt the cheese and help blend with the butter, milk and eggs. Fold until all is blended and heated to a simmer.

Do not boil!
I remember as a kid when someone helped with this meal and brought it to a boil. I think it made the milk and cheese curdle or burn to the bottom of the pot. Whatever.. Ma had her reasons :)

Add tuna (with the juice in the can) and bread crumbs then do a final folding of everything. Back in the 60's I don't think we had a spring water option so it was probably packed in oil. Either way (oil or water) would work fine. I would guess oil adds more flavor. Today I would try smoked oysters and a white cheese alternative but don't think that would go over well with the kids.

Remove from heat.
Cover and let stand 5-10 minutes and serve.

This simple spin-off of mac and cheese was a hit for us kids! My favorite memory eating this was being lucky to get the biggest chunk of tuna. Selective picking tuna with the serving spoon was not permitted and was usually met with the spoon itself across the knuckles. Just kidding...

Sometimes Mom would replace the tuna with cut-up hot dogs. Still better than plain old mac and cheese but never came close to tuna.
Simple and nourishing makes this family favorite "Great". Hope you enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Food item or dish of the moment ...

Keeping to a theme for recipe gathering within a blog atmosphere is the goal. This will be a building listing of free recipes I find along with any you would like to share. You can share a complete recipe or simply give a link to one elsewhere.

So to get the ball rolling I'm going to start this with one of my favorites.


The Lobster

How To Prepare A Live Lobster- Great article by blogger Shirley showing the luxury way of cooking amongst other things.

King Crab Stuffed Maine Lobster Tails- Brought to you by the one and only Lobstergram Blog. A step by step video included!

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese- We may need to put the lobster aside and feed the kids first for this one :)

Lobster Bisque Recipes- Nice website called "GroupRecipes" where individuals submit their recipe for critique and ratings.

Red Lobster Recipe Collections- Very informative website all about cooking, the nutritional values, how to eat and rules for preparing, handling and storing lobsters. Oh and yes... a very large list of recipes for this delectable creature.

BBQ Lobster Ideas- From gone-ta-pott.com. They agree mostly to cook with bellies up and have a few good sauce ideas.

I spent 10 years in the fishing business mostly catching lobster either as a deck hand on a fellow fisherman's boat or my own I bought in 1996. "Michelle Joan" was her name... A beautiful craft of cedar on oak built in Nova Scotia in '64. Well... That's another story. As you could imagine, lobster was served at our dinner table more than once.
My favorite memory however was the time we brought lobsters camping. The folks at the next campsite watched on (with their hot dogs in hand) and finally came over to ask the big question: How do you barbecue lobster? The heck if I knew I thought :) All I did was remove their bands, dowse them in a little white wine, double wrap them in aluminum foil and throw them on the grill belly up. As soon as they smelled good they were removed. Mmmmm. You can eat lobster without butter and garlic if they're barbecued this way!


My Favorite Lobster Videos on YouTube


Recommended Reading:
Totally Lobster Cookbook

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pizza | An American Favorite!


The food item for the moment (probably because last night was Friday)
Pizza!

Coming from Long Island, NY living there for 40 years I like many natives was spoiled with hundreds of good to great pizza parlors within a short drive.
With that said, pizza was a favorite quick meal and midday snack for me.
My goal here is to gather up some great pizza recipes and cooking techniques. I'll add them as time goes by...


Mitch's Basic Pizza Dough- I think Mitch found the right combination! Maybe it's the touch of honey?

BLT Pizza Recipe- OK now... Where's the mayonnaise? I had to share this recipe because who doesn't like BLT'S?

Jeff Varasano's New York Pizza Recipe- If there ever was a website that truly describes the delicate science of making pizza this is it. Jeff boasts his pie crusts are "incredibly light and perfectly charred".

Fogazzo’s Favorite Pizza Dough Recipes- "Whadts da matta show me da dough". Nice recipe collection of various types of pizza dough.



True (sad) story... I moved to the south 10 years ago and ordered my first large pie over the phone. The young lady on the other end perplexedly answered politely, "we don't sell pie here sir". I quickly realized how far I was from Long Island. I answered with a twisted grin and corrected myself and said, "Sorry... I meant pizza". None the less if it's not called pie there must be a reason. I gave most of it to the dog.

Pizza Videos | WARNING: Not responsible for your wet keyboard.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Do you have a recipe blog or forum?

If you have a recipe blog or cooking related forum or both let me know in a comment below and I'll consider adding it in my favorite blog list to the left.

It seems that new recipe blogs appear daily offering free recipes that I can't keep up with them. So I need a little help!

Remember they have to rise above the rest to be considered "great recipes".
I'm not interested in blogging about every version of how to cook a food item and will trim my blog down to only the best mouth watering recipes. I will every so often post about interesting recipes and cooking techniques to keep this blog fun but will keep to my theme most of the time.

I am also interested in any new recipes and will personally try a few...
If they are tempting enough :)

I hope you enjoy my blog,
Gary

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Judy's Kitchen

Thanks for your great blog Judy!
Visit Judy's Kitchen
You have some terrific cooking ideas and skills...
Your oatmeal cranberry cookies look awesome. I really need to try them some day.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Recipe Blog

Just launched today and will work on it later :)

Hope to be a great resource for free recipes! If you have a blog that shares (great) free recipes please post the link here in the comment area. If I visit and my mouth starts to water I'll surely do a wright-up in my blog posts column!

Thank you :)

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