Monday, February 22, 2010

How it all began...

Some have asked me, where did we get the idea to write a cookbook? Great question. I had been living with my mom and dad since June 2009 and around August my mom starts complaining about her huge pile of cut out recipes that we have now added mine too. Then she suggests we use all of these recipes to write a cookbook. I say, "Okay, but if we are going to do this we are doing it right and getting it published and that is the end of it. Either we do this all the way or we don't waste our time." My mom says, "Okay, I'm in." and together we began our year of cooking all of our recipes together. These are her words....

"Allow me to begin with a few questions...

  • Have you or other people you know like your mom or grandma or auntie or sisters or dad or grandpa or brothers-- friends -- ANYBODY ever cut out recipes from the daily newspapers, magazines, on the back of boxes or cans?
If you answered in the affirmative, please continue to the next question...

  • Do you or people you know have a pile of cut out recipes somewhere lying around? Maybe like in a drawer, cabinet, shelf, bowls, or several overflowing folders that are jammed in closets, drawers... Are you getting the picture?
  • Can you ever find the recipe that you want when you WANT it?
  • Do you remember which recipes you even have?
  • Have you cut out the same recipe probably 10 to 15 times?
If yes, keep reading...
  • Do you have grand plans of typing them all up on the computer?
  • Organizing them nicely by food type and category someday...?
  • And lastly, perhaps more important, Do you continue to cut out more recipes buildling your collection taller and taller, messier and messier until you are about to blow a gasket when you see the pile?
I know, I can't stop either and neither can my daughter. It is like this crazy "I've got to have that recipe" addition for which there doesn't seem to be a cure.

This blog is for you and all your family memvers and frieds. We are spending this year, 2010, organizing and cooking ALL of our "cut-out" recipes. many we are updating and changing to make them healthy and nutritious, but we plan to coook and eat ALL of them. Many of these were passed down to us. It is time to finally get in the kitchen and do the cooking and writing!

Please let me thank you all of our FOLLOWERS! You are the BEST! We appreciate your comments and support. We really love it when you try a recipe and share it with friends. Remember this isn't just about the recipes, it is also about the sharing and bringing everyone to the table. Your comments keep our enthusiasm high and brings joy and happiness to our "messy" "hot" kitchen!

Please help my daughter and I spread the love and sanity through food. We are doing the best we can and your support helps us keep moving forward!"

So, in the vein of reminiscing, mom and I threw a Beach Party this passed weekend. We cranked up the wood stove inside, started a fire outside, and made sure everyone got laid when they came in. We made carribean themed food. We started with a Caribbean Salsa with chips and fresh veggies and hummus dip. Then I made a Spicy Pineapple Squash Mash, Cocunut Curry Rice Pilaf, and we served with Fresh Grilled Alaskan Salmon that we caught while we were visiting this summer. We topped it with an Awesome Aioli for a show stopping meal!

Carribean Salsa

3 karge tomatoes, diced
2 jalapenos; diced and seeds removed
1/2 cup sweet onion; diced
1 cup fresh pineapple; diced
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
3 tbsp. garlic; minced
salt and pepper to taste

Make sure all above ingredients are diced and mix together in a large bowl and serve with tortilla chips. I made a huge batch and it was all eaten before I could even get a taste! It was definitely a hit!

Spicy Squash and Pineapple Mash

1/2 cup coconut milk* (See my recipe below for homemade)
1 medium size squash
1 can pumpkin (14.5 oz)
1 cup fresh pineapple; minced
1 can black beans (14.5 oz); rinsed
2 tbsp. chili powder
3 tbsp. garlic; minced
1 tsp. ginger
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place squash on a cookie sheet face up and bake for 40 min. The flesh will be easily peirced with a fork when ready.

In a large bowl scoop out the meat of the squash and combine with pumpkin, garlic, coconut milk, chili powder, curry,ginger, and pineapple. Mash together to incorporate all ingredients. Add the salt and pepper and black beans and mix. Pour mixture into a greased casserole dish and continue baking in the oven set at 300 degrees for 20 more minutes. Serve with plain yogurt that has been mixed with the juice of half a lime for a little extra kick!

Coconut Rice Pilaf

5 cups whole grain rice; cooked according to package directions
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. all spice
3/4 cup green onion; diced
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 small can of diced chili peppers
1/2 cup fresh cilantro; diced
2 tbsp. garlic; minced

Combine the cooked rice with all the other ingredients in a large pot and heat over low heat for 25 minutes or until all flavors have been combined and the rice is hot and sticky! Add salt and pepper to taste! This is a delicious rice to serve alongside pork, chicken, or fish!

Simple Grilled Salmon

1 large filet of salmon
1/2 cup of low fat milk
1 lemon; sliced into rounds
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup fresh dill
Salt and pepper

To prep the salmon, soak in milk for 1 hour prior to grilling. When ready to grill, place the salmon in heavy duty foil and drizzle with olive oil. Rub the olive oil over the meat side of the fish using your hands. Sprinkel with salt and pepper and place fresh dill and lemon sliced on the top and fold the foil over the fish making a pouch.

Heat outdoor grill to medium (approx 350 degrees). Place the foil wrapped fish on the grill and close the lid. Allow to cook for 20 minutes. The fish will be slightly pink in the middle. The timing may vary depending on how thick the fish is cut and how large a peice it is.

We served it alongside an aioli and there wasn't an ounce of fish left!

Awesome Aioli

3 egg yokes
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. parmesean cheese
1 tbsp. parsley

Mash garlic cloves and sea salt together in meduim bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together until smooth and creamy. Serve over the salmon for a delightful treat!

Mental Health Tip: Winter can be a serious downner. It seems to never. Our remedy is to create fun events where we can be outside, be creative, and bring people together to share a meal! Why not do the same thing and create your own beach party where ever you are!

Happy sunshine days from our kitchen to yours!

~"Too Lovely" Hot Messes in the Kitchen

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