A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Batter Blaster

I ran into a friend in the grocery store, and after a few minutes of polite conversation she told me about Batter Blaster. "It's over by the milk". I walked over to find it. Wow. Its pancake batter in a can. I read the label expecting a bunch of junk in the can, oddly its organic. I feel the need to tell everyone about this, not because it make s the world's best pancakes, but because it eliminates a bunch of mess.

At this time of the year it's dark out when my alarm goes off in the morning and it's hard to get out of bed ,then start a whole breakfast project. Honestly, I would rather save my energy for later in the day, maybe for making Paella, or perhaps a Spanish soup, maybe for a tart- it matters not- the point is that this is a big help on those busy school mornings when it's hard to get going. Besides, the kiddies seem to love to watch the batter squirting out of the can!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Picante Sauce

Picante sauce is a Spanish(from Spain) sauce which is tomato based. There are many, many versions of Picante. Often the sauce has a roux mixed in to make it a little thicker and lighter in color. Sometimes mushrooms are added. Somewhere between a sauce and a salsa, it has a tart/sweet thing going on that makes it unlike an Italian tomato sauce. The "heat" can come from pepper, pepper flakes or one recipe used bloody Mary mix to speed up the process... I like this version which is simple enough for anyone to make.

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into a small dice
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons sweet (dulce) Paprika
1/4 cup water
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Heat olive oil over medium - medium low heat in a small pot or saucepan (about 4 quart). Add the onions and cook 5-7 minutes (do not brown). Add in the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the remaining ingredients and bring the heat up to a simmer then let the mixture cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring often.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cathy's Lobster Boil

Last Saturday my fried Cathy made a lobster boil dinner. I wanted to bass the recipe along to you because it is easy to make. I also love the secret ingredient of basil, a trick whish was given to Cathy by her father in law. Cathy says it also work well when making shrimp cocktail.

2 lobsters, about 3 pounds each
1 teaspoon salt
1 large pot
4 handfuls of fresh basil

Boil a very large pot of water. You will want enough water to cover the 2 lobsters. To the boiling water add the salt and 1/2 of the basil. Add the lobsters then the other 1/2 of the basil. Bring the water back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pot and start timing.

Cathy suggests-
1 1/4 pounds will cook approximately 15 minutes
3 pounds will cook 20-25 minutes
these times Cathy likes because the lobster will be firm but not rubbery.

When the cooking time is up run the lobsters under cool water just enough to stop the cooking.
Cathy also suggest having your husband crack open the lobster for you so that you do not ruin you manicure!