Andrea’s Famous Salsa!

Many years ago (19 actually) when I received my first food processor I had no idea what to use it for. I still have the same exact Cuisinart Little Pro Plus and it still works great! The first thing I attempted to make it in was salsa. I first followed the recipe that came with the food processor but I quickly changed it to make it my now famous salsa. I have to admit my first attempt at salsa was almost a complete disaster. It was my first time dealing with jalapeno peppers. Nobody told me how dangerous they can be if not handled properly! Needless to say after cutting the peppers and scooping out the seeds I rubbed my eyes! I can feel all of you wincing now. It was like being sprayed with pepper spray only worse. My entire face looked like I had severe sunburn! I couldn’t open my eyes for a while until I totally flushed them with water. They still stung and my face burned as well. The only thing I got to work on the burn to my skin was aloe vera gel! So after this incident I handled peppers with extreme care and wash my hands often and I NEVER touch my face again!! It was a sight for sure!

So the following recipe is what I finally ended up with and I even sold it for a bit to friends and co-workers. It can be frozen also but I recommend draining it a bit once it’s thawed out as the tomatoes hold tons of water. This salsa can be used on pretty much anything you want. It stays pretty long in the fridge also, not as long as a jarred salsa but it’s so much better and fresh. You can also adjust the amount of peppers to your liking or even change the type of pepper. I usually stick to jalapeno peppers. I have tried it with Habanero peppers also but of course cut the amount down a great deal. Enjoy!


INGREDIENTS:

5 large ripe plum tomatoes, quartered

1 small red onion (or 1 medium regular yellow onion)

5 medium fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded (if fresh isn’t available jarred ones are fine, just not as fresh tasting)

2 large cloves of garlic

2 TBS dried cilantro (or 1/2 cup fresh chopped)

1 tsp wine vinegar (red or white)

salt and pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS:

1: Chop onion, garlic, cilantro and chili peppers in food processor. Transfer to a large bowl.

2: Place the tomatoes in the food processor and coarsely chop. If you want larger chunks of tomato cut by hand. Add to bowl with mixture.

3: Stir in vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly. Let sit for a couple hours for best results.


TIPS:

If salsa is too watery just drain in a colander.

This is a very low-calorie snack. The carbs are from the veggies so they are good carbs and it’s virtually fat-free.

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Sangria

Well it’s the weekend and time for a cocktail or two or three…This recipe came about from experimenting with all types of sangria until I came up with a great mix. Sangria is great for any season! It’s a great party drink and even people who don’t like red wine will love this! All the fruit makes it refreshing and enticing! Have a glass and pretend you are on some tropical island away from all craziness of the world.

Ingredients:

1 bottle of dry or sweet red wine, whichever you prefer

1/4 Cup brandy

1/4 Cup orange liqueur (triple sec, Gran Marnier)

2 TBS lime juice

2 TBS orange juice

1/2 orange thinly sliced

1/2 lemon thinly sliced

1-2 apples, cored and cut into small bite size pieces. (any apple will be fine)

1-2 peaches, cut into small bite size pieces (frozen is good to use also)

1 750ml bottle of sparkling water, seltzer or club soda, chilled

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except for the sparkling water into a large container or pitcher, cover and chill for 1-2 hours or more. Even overnight is better! You can also add more fruit if you want.

When ready to serve add sparkling water and pour into punch  bowl or pitcher.

Never Enough Crumb Cake

Today’s recipe is supposed to be a dessert of some sorts. We all love desserts and this crumb cake recipe is one I love. What is the best part of crumb cake? The crumbs of course! And this recipe delivers! I was trying to remember who gave me the recipe and I believe it was my ex-mother-in-law Agnes Ruppel. I have made it a few times and it always turns out great. Easy to make and it won’t last long! It’s a great cake to bring to any occasion! Just be careful when eating it that you don’t inhale the powdered sugar! You know it’s happened to all of us at least once!

Give it a try today!

Cake Ingredients:

2 Cups flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1/4 Cup butter

2/3 C sugar

1 egg

3/4 C milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Crumb Ingredients:

4 Cups flour

2 Cups granulated sugar

2-3 TBS cinnamon

1 lb. butter, melted and cooled

Powdered Sugar


Cake Directions:

1: Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

2: Cream sugar and butter until fluffy. Add beaten egg.

3: Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beating thoroughly.

4: Add vanilla. Spread mixture thinly over the greased bottom of your largest, edged sheet pan.

Crumb Directions:

1: Mix dry ingredients, add butter and mix thoroughly. It will be lumpy. With your fingers crumble over top of cake.

2: Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top when cool.

Aunt Betty’s Summer Salad ‘831’

Today’s recipe is a Family Recipe. It is from John’s Aunt Betty who lives in upstate New York (Mt. Vision) these days! (Brrrr) Sorry, no picture with this one as of yet. When I make it in the future I will be sure to take a picture and add it to the recipe! This sounds like a great salad and I can’t wait to try it myself!

INGREDIENTS:

1 raw green pepper, diced fine
1  raw red pepper, diced fine
2 small onions, diced fine
2 cups american cheese  diced in small cubes
8 or 10 carrots cooked, cooled and sliced
1 pound rotini pasta, cooked and drained
2 cups sugar
1 cup Olive Oil
1 1/3 cups of white vinegar

DIRECTIONS:
Toss all ingredients in a large bowl.
Refrigerate over night to marinate.
Stir a few times and serve!

And as Aunt Betty says “Yum Yum and easy to do!”

Nana’s Chicken-in-the-Oven

Well here is my second day of the blog! Today’s recipe is a main dish, chicken.

One of the best memories I have growing up is visiting my grandparents (Nana & Popi) in Long Island City. We were always wondering if Nana would make her famous Chicken-in-the-Oven! We called it that because that’s how she made it; in the oven. As kids it was the best tasting chicken we ever had and even today when we try to make it on our own, it’s never like Nana’s. Guess it’s because she made it with extra love just for us. Don’t worry, this isn’t a very tricky, old world recipe, with secret ingredients either. It is just a roasted chicken, but it is Nana’s roasted chicken. It’s super easy to make and of course delicious!


INGREDIENTS:

1 2-3lb roasting chicken or chicken parts

Garlic Powder

Dried Basil

Dried Parsley

Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Rinse and pat dry chicken or parts

Spread a light coating of the olive oil all over chicken.

Sprinkle garlic powder, basil and parsley all over chicken. Use as much as you like.

Place chicken in roasting pan and put in oven.

Whole chicken will take about an hour and parts about 45 minutes. When juices run clear it is done. Check with a meat thermometer also if you want to be sure. Skin should be golden brown and crispy.


Avgolemono Spinach Chicken Soup

This is an awesome hearty soup. My husband loves it and would have it every week if I made it! I got the basics from a Weight Watchers recipe and made it my own. Anyone who has eaten at a Greek restaurant has probably had one form of this. It’s easy to make and delicious!

Ingredients:

4 C reduced-sodium chicken broth or chicken stock (I use reduced sodium/fat-free)

1/2 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast (about 1 large breast or 2 small)

2 large eggs

1/2 C lemon juice (use 1/4C if you don’t like too much lemon)

10 oz. frozen chopped spinach

2 C hot cooked rice (I used jasmine brown rice but you can use any kind you like)

Parmesan cheese, for finished soup


Directions:
1: In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring the broth/stock and chicken to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken and, when cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces.

2: In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and lemon juice until frothy; gradually whisk in 1 Cup of the hot stock.

3: Add the spinach to the stock in the saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; stir in the rice. Slowly add the egg-stock mixture, whisking constantly to avoid curdling; continue whisking until a little thickened, 3 minutes (do not boil). Stir in the chicken and heat to serving temperature. Season with pepper and serve at once.

Serves 4

Per Serving: (1/4 of soup): 261 cal, 7g fat, 2g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 140mg cholesterol, 163mg sodium, 28g carbs, 2g fiber, 22g protein, 141mg calcium.
I used fat-free chicken broth so the fat content will be lower!

Hello world!

Hi everyone! Well I finally did it! I am officially blogging! Today’s post will just be an introduction to what I am doing in the future! I am in the process of writing a cookbook and I thought what better way to get started than to write a blog. This blog will have daily recipes and hopefully pictures to go along with them! I have a habit of posting my daily dinners on Facebook and I keep getting requests for the recipes so what better way than to put them in a blog!

Each day I will have a different type of recipe. For now I am going to try to post the following: Sunday: Potpourri (great restaurants/gadgets/food products etc); Monday: Sides/Soups/Salads; Tuesday: Main Dishes; Wednesday: Family/Friends Recipes; Thursday: Desserts/Baking; Friday: Beverages; Saturday: Snacks/Appetizers. These may change as I go along so don’t hold me to them! I will also include any little story that goes with the recipes. I am also going to link the blogs to my Facebook and Twitter accounts, once I figure that out!

How did I decide to do this?

After getting laid off (thanks to our economy) in July 2009 from my dream job that I had for almost six years I’ve been trying to do something to make some money. I worked at home for this last job and the thought of going back to an office or retail type job just made me cringe. For one thing I would need a whole new wardrobe and without an income that would be tough. Because not only was I unemployed but my husband had gotten laid off as well in February 2009! He luckily had severance pay, I did not. Luckily he was able to get unemployment, I again did not. I had so many mixed feelings and didn’t know what to do. My worst nightmare had come true. But knowing we were not the only ones in this situation made it a little better, not much, but a little. Florida’s unemployment rate as well as the national rate is much higher than reported since they don’t take into account all of the people who were ‘independent’ or small business owners etc. Anyone who does not collect unemployment is not counted. So here I am. I’ve sold lots lately on eBay, it’s amazing how much stuff I found to sell! It has paid for extras which has been nice. I am also “thinking” about selling Tupperware again, but just online. I hated doing parties but LOVE Tupperware. So with that said my Recipe Blog is born! I hope everyone will enjoy it and I look forward to comments!

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