Tag Archives: Vegan recipe

Take a Bite; Be Back in a Bit

I know I have been very negligent, but please bear with me.I haven’t posted much here or answered many of your posts because I am SWAMPED with painting and redecoration and getting ready for Thanksgiving fun with food, friends and family.
I can’t wait for my cousins to get here, but I have let myself get behind. Now, the fun with food prep starts.
The family will be here from Wednesday through most of the weekend, so you may not see me.I will have to forgo the blogs and emails, but I’m thinking of you and hope you are all doing well and having fun , if not for Thanksgiving in your part of the world, at least finding peace.
I will be back and trying to play catch-up with you as much as humanly possible.I have so many new friends online through this blog;it is one of the things for which I am truly thankful for this year.

In the meantime,I leave you with this quick side dish or nosh; inspired by a blog-pal ‘The Perky Poppy’, to whom I give credit.

You need to try it; if you like this recipe,please let her know.

I think these would be great on a buffet for a sports party.How often do you see any vegetables there,(except maybe a dish of broccoli and a dip of Ranch)?

I did not have fresh okra available, so I tried a number of veggies.There would be more in the picture, but I ‘sampled’ them quite a bit!{And I can’t wait to get my hands on fresh okra!)
It couldn’t be easier:

Crispy Veggies

Toss whatever vegetable you have sliced in a light coating of extra virgin olive oil and dust it with sea salt, (or regular). Spread the vegetables out in a single layer and cook in a hot oven,(depending on the thickness of your vegetables;Perky Poppy said 500F for diagonally sliced okra;I lowered it to 400F for the thinner vegetables. Watch that they do not burn.)

I made,(pictured below):

Leeks,French green beans, Parsnips, Green Pepper, Baby corn-on-the-cob, Baby carrots.

I sliced the leaks and fanned them out, I kept the French beans whole;I made fingers out of the parsnips, and sliced the Green pepper and the Baby carrots.I used canned, whole Baby corn-on-the-cob.I drained them, blotted them on paper towels and sliced them in half. Don’t let the look of them turn you off as they are very good. (I will admit, however,that they might be good on the table for a gross-out Halloween meal,frankly, they look like caterpillars!)

These can  all be made beforehand and then quickly  re-crisped in a hot oven.

So , thanks Perky Poppy!

I will be back when I can.
Please keep coming by! I will ‘see’ all of you very soon,and can’t wait for what new posts you have to share!

They taste better than they look!


Thanksgiving/Cranberry Relish

Easy, beautiful and delicious!

Thanksgiving is coming here in the United States; Canada has already celebrated theirs.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the holiday, I will run through it quickly.
In 1620 a small but rigorous sect of Christians, the Puritans, set out from England to settle in what was the English colonies in Virginia in that is now the United States of America. A storm blew them very far off-course and they landed in what is now Massachusetts, hundreds of miles to the north of Virginia.
The people were ill-equipped to survive on their own. The weather was much harsher than they had expected, the local plants were unfamiliar, the ground was poor for growing and their muskets put shot into the game they did find and ruined most of the meat. They had little fishing skills.
They lost many of their numbers and the rest were ill after the first winter. Local Indians,(especially by the urging of Squanto, who had had some contact with Europeans),took pity on the Puritans. They taught them to hunt with bows and arrows to keep the meat free of shot. They showed them the local safe plants. They showed them how to enrich the soil with fish and, believe it or not, lobsters, which they never ate.
The following Autumn the Puritans had such a bounty of harvest they decided to have a feast to thank God and invited many of their Indian friends. The Indians brought game and surprise to the party; popcorn! They continued the tradition and eventually it has spread across the country and Canada.
Today nearly everyone, regardless of race, creed or religion observes Thanksgiving. It is a day of food, friends and family! Turkey is the traditional meat, sometimes served and eaten by people on Thanksgiving and no other day of the year. Many people eat pumpkin only in pie and only on or around Thanksgiving. Pity. Another food was, until recently, were cranberries.

This year I am in a bit of a rush; I am blogging on my two blogs ,posting on other blogs, writing, housework , de-cluttering and painting the walls in the main part of the house which I have put off for far to long. I need to do it THIS WEEK, so I can cook and prepare for Thanksgiving and relatives.

Today, however, I am participating inSupport for Sandy, Food Bloggers raising awareness of the continuing need for help in Hurricane Sandy’s destructive path. We have posted comfort foods on our blogs, ones we would like to take to victims of disasters.
[Please see my previous post]

I am also participating in a Thanksgiving-themed post on the blog :

I hope you join us on both, and enjoy!
Here is the recipe I am sharing: Cranberry Relish. It is beautiful; pictures do not do it justice!

Cranberry Relish:
1 lb. fresh, firm cranberries, washed and coarsely chopped
2/3 cup coarsely chopped Red Delicious (or other sweet apple)
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
½ cup peeled, chopped orange flesh (preferably Navel Orange)
1 Tbsp. fresh orange zest, finely chopped
2 Tbsp .granulated sugar (approximate)

(For all of the above I use a food processor. You may chop or grate).

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly but gently.(Adjust sugar ; the amount needed will depend on individual taste and the tartness of your apples and oranges)

This is delicious as a side dish, with plain hot or cold cereals. It can be used as a topping for custard or a holiday cheesecake.

I hope you try this and enjoy!

Italian Baked Tomatoes

I haven’t had a garden in a few years, but my son had one .I had banana peppers, grape tomatoes, zucchini and squash from his garden and my next-door neighbor has been supplying me with loads of homegrown tomatoes and bell peppers all season. Yesterday I received the last batch as she gleaned her plants, and they are the most darling small tomatoes I have seen. I am going to make my mother’s baked tomatoes

and freeze them for when my cousin and family are here for the Thanksgiving holiday. Even though my cousin is from my Italian side, neither of our mothers married Italians, and neither did we, but our husbands and families all enjoy real Italian food. Which leads me to this story:

Just before World War Two one of my aunts and her husband left their hometown in Pennsylvania to seek their fortune in Washington, DC. Soon after the war began, my mother followed and found not only work but also a fiancé’. Just as the war came to a close, the married aunt and her husband, my mother and the youngest sisters, (one was the visiting cousin’s mother), took the man who was to be my father up for Thanksgiving to meet the family.
When he arrived, many people had gathered and,( according to him), there was food everywhere…breads, salads, molded salads, vegetables, pastries, cakes and the biggest bowl of spaghetti he had ever seen! It took him a moment, but, of course, they were Italian, so spaghetti for Thanksgiving made sense to him …and he ate…and he ate.
My mother’s spaghetti sauce was magical, (and you will be hearing more about it; recipes for sauce will be in future posts), but her mother’s was supposedly even better. My grandmother was so pleased that my mother brought home a tall, lean man with broad shoulders who could eat! He kept pace with my Italian uncles but after some time, the dishes cleared, and out came a huge turkey with all the trimmings! He couldn’t believe that anyone could eat any more, let alone his thin fiancée and her equally thin sisters.
As I once read: Italians don’t understand that other people don’t eat their body weight at every meal’.

As last year, the cousins will join not only us, but my sons, their children, wife and girlfriend, (only one for each, of course!), plus my brother, my sister, her daughters, her son-in-law and teenage grandson for Thanksgiving Day. Many of us will be spending time and meals together throughout the weekend. Because of the numbers of people with varying tastes, and food allergies, we will have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at my sister’s and then buffet meals will be here and there at varying times, with me carting food there, serving food here, and generally having a ball!

I had made Chicken Parmesan for my cousins last year and they loved my sauce. I promised them stuffed shells this year, using the same homemade sauce. I will post the recipe within the next week or so , but today, I will leave you with the baked tomato

Baked Tomatoes

(The tomatoes can be any size, just make sure that they are all approximately equal in size so they cook evenly. The amount of mixture needed will vary.)

6 Medium tomatoes
1 Cup dried bread crumbs
2 Tbsp dried parsley
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1Tbsp. garlic granules, or 1 heaping Tbsp. garlic powder,(not garlic salt)
1 Cup oil, (pref. regular olive oil)

Mix the breadcrumbs, salt and herbs… (Taste the mixture; it should be strong. If it is not, add more salt and herbs. If you find it strong, add a small amount more of the breadcrumbs).
Cut the tops off of the tomatoes and discard. Turn the tomatoes up-side-down and squeeze lightly to remove the juice and seeds. Place a little oil in the bottom of a shallow glass or ceramic baking dish, (a pie plate will do.) Stand the tomatoes upright and fill with the breadcrumb mixture. If you spill any into the dish, it is fine ;( it is rather tasty.)
Drench the tomatoes with the oil. Start out slowly; you may want to make a slight depression in the filling, as the oil does not want to penetrate the breadcrumbs. Bake in a 375F oven, basting occasionally for approx. 40 minutes or until very done. Serve hot.

Quick version:
Use Italian seasoning in the breadcrumbs.
Quicker version:
Use Italian breadcrumbs.
But I warn you, neither of these will come out as good.

Because of the cost of out-of-season tomatoes and the fact that they just are not as good, my mother made these only in the summer. I have skipped making these many summers because it was too hot to put my wall oven on and fight the air conditioner. It took me until this past Spring to develop the idea of making this:

Baked Tomato Casserole

1 Large (28 oz) and 1 Medium (15 oz) cans of Italian plum tomatoes, drained
(or 3 Medium)

1 ½ cups dry bread crumbs
2 ½ Tbs. dried parsley
2 tsp. salt
1 ½ Tbsp.dried basil
1 heaping Tbsp. garlic granules or 1 ½ Tbsp. garlic powder (not garlic salt)
¾ -I cup of vegetable oil, preferably olive (regular.)

Oil the bottom of a casserole dish and layer the drained tomatoes in the bottom. Mix the dry ingredients and spread them evenly over the tomatoes. Make small depressions over the tomatoes and gently pour the oil over the breadcrumb mixture to saturate. Bake in a 375F oven for about 45 minutes. Serve warm.