Tag Archives: tomato paste

Homemade Feasts For Your Pets!

Yes you read that correctly. Homemade food for your pets. I know there are many readers out there that have pets. I myself have two cats. Gus, our 8-year-old male orange tabby. He is named after John’s dad. Quite the ladies’ man, just like the original. He is also my little shadow. Though little is not how we’d describe him these days. He’s a solid 17 pounds. He’s not fat! He’s big-boned! He actually does not eat all that much but he doesn’t run around much either. Hates exercise, just like me! Gus is a Florida native. He found us when we lived in Lake Worth. Best thing he ever did! Our other cat is Toonces (aka The Driving Cat) who is a 10-year-old female calico. She is a Long Island cat, south shore. We brought her with us, as a kitten, from NY. She had a wonderful trip down too. We drove from NY in our Corolla and Toonces had the entire back seat and window ledge. Snuck her into motels on the trip. She loved it. And she actually LOVES car rides. No joke. Gus however, hates the car. Toonces is a svelte 10 pounds and still runs around like a little kitten, she loves exercise. Just like John.

The last few years we discovered that Gus had urinary issues. So we’ve changed his diet several times. But we wanted something both cats could eat. Have you ever tried to get two cats to eat two different foods? Doesn’t really work. Toonces actually always finishes her food first and then pushes Gus out-of-the-way and eats his! So both foods need to be the same. I now feed them all natural foods, no by products etc. But I’ve also been looking into making the food for them. Not all the time, I have a hard enough time feeding us humans! But every so often. This post will have a recipe for dogs as well as cats. So give it a try! Your pets will love you for it!

CAT RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup water

1/3 cup dry rice

2 teaspoons corn oil

½ teaspoon iodized salt

2/3 cup ground meat (beef or chicken or turkey is good)

1 tablespoon bone meal

2 tablespoons cooked liver

DIRECTIONS:

1. Bring water to a boil, add rice, corn oil and salt. Simmer 20 minutes.

2. Cover the meat with bone meal and add liver to the rice mixture. Simmer 15 minutes.

3. Let cool and serve. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.


DOG RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

½ pound ground beef

1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 carrot, finely chopped/grated

½ cup bread crumbs

1 egg, whisked

1 teaspoon tomato paste

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º.

2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Scoop out by the spoonful and roll into mini-size meatballs.

3. Place the meatballs on a cookie sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes. Store in the refrigerator.

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Delicious Creole Gumbo

On May 4, 2009 the world became a lot less funny. Comedic genius and actor Dom DeLuise passed away at the age of 75. I don’t know of anyone who can’t name at least one favorite Dom  DeLuise movie. One of my faves is “Fatso”. The food in this movie was incredible and you got hungry just watching it. Especially the scene with the huge pot of sauce and meatballs. He dunks a little Italian bread into to taste it and it’s all down hill from there. Funny. He was one of my favorite actors and you always smiled when you watched him. Smiled or laughed hysterically.

Dom was not a skinny man by any means but over the years he realized he had to do something. I bought his first cookbook “Eat This…It’ll Make You Feel Better!” back in 1988. It was full of funny and wonderful stories of his family and friends. It was and still is an awesome cookbook. When I got married my father wouldn’t let me leave the house with the copy I had so I had to go and buy another one to take with me! The book is full of his mother’s Italian home cooking as well as recipes from his family and friends. It’s actually my “go to” Italian cookbook.  As the years went on and Dom got larger and larger he decided to start eating better and came out with a second book in 1997. Another hit. This one is called “Eat This Too!”. It’s a low-fat cookbook of all his favorites along with more pics and stories of his family and friends. I will never part with either cookbook. All of the recipes are delicious.

Dom & Julia on Good Morning America in 1984

Today’s recipe is from “Eat This Too!” Gumbo can be very fattening but his version is loaded with vegetables and a seafood. Serve it over brown rice instead of the usual white rice.  Don’t be afraid of the long list of ingredients either. It’s not too scary, really! It will take longer to cut up and prep all of the veggies (where’s that private sous chef when you need one?) than to cook so be brave! You won’t be disappointed!

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds shrimp/scallops, lobster, or other seafood, shelled, cleaned

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 28-oz can tomatoes

1 6-oz can tomato paste

1 red pepper and 1 green pepper, coarsely chopped

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon paprika

10 mushrooms, sliced

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon thyme

½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

12 fresh okra, sliced

2 zucchini, sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

3 tablespoons flour mixed with ½ cup cold water

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pot sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil, until golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients except the seafood.

2. Cook over medium-low heat until flavors intermingle, about 30 minutes. Add the shrimp/scallops or other seafood. Cook just a few minutes until seafood is just done. Serve while still tender.

Serves 8-12

Mom’s Old Style Lasagna

I was looking through all of my recipes trying to find one for today’s post and came across this recipe that was in my mother’s handwriting. It’s for an old style lasagna which is a little different from how I usually make it. I am adding it exactly as written by Mom. I’m hungry just reading it over! I love lasagna and I don’t get to eat it too often, too many calories! My sister makes an awesome one also, which I was able to have not that long ago. Too bad I’m on a diet now! Lasagna is one of those recipes that I’m sure everyone has had at least once in their life. It’s also one of those recipes that when it’s not made correctly it can be so disappointing! Ever had soupy lasagna? Dried out?  Over cooked? We all have! And no self-respecting Italian will buy frozen lasagna! It’s just wrong! There is nothing like home-made so give it a try soon. It’s not difficult, really! The hardest part is getting the cooked noodles out of the pan! And if that is going to be a problem for you cut them in half to handle easier. Food should be fun to prepare as well as eat so enjoy trying this recipe out! Remember I copied it exactly as she had written it so if you need to change it slightly please do.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound Ronzoni lasagna (#123)

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ pound ground beef

½ pound ground pork

1 medium onion, minced

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon minced parsley

1 ½ cans tomato paste (9 oz)

2 cups water

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

5 quarts water

3 teaspoons salt

1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

¾ pound ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons grated Romano cheese


DIRECTIONS:

1. Brown beef and pork in large saucepan with oil, onion, garlic and parsley.

2. Add tomato paste, 2 cups water, salt and pepper. Simmer 1½ hours.

3. Bring 5 quarts water to boil, add salt and lasagna and cook for 20 minutes, or until tender, stirring almost constantly to prevent sticking.

4. Drain. Arrange lasagna in casserole dish in layers, alternating with layers of sauce, mozzarella and ricotta, until lasagna is all used and  ending in like sequence, ricotta last.

5. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake in 375º oven about 20 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted. Serve.


Makes 6 large servings or 8 medium servings.


Spicy Garlic Barbecued Pork Ribs

Who doesn’t love barbecued ribs? Nobody that I know of! But when it comes to barbecuing them everyone tends to shy away because they “take so long”! No they don’t! Not how I do them anyway! For my recipe you do have to think ahead and marinate them overnight for the best results. You can also marinate them a few hours ahead of time, but overnight is best. I’ve searched and searched and watched and watched all the ways to have great barbecued ribs. The one recipe I found to be the best so far was from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. I tweaked her recipe to make it more Genua! These are also made to be cooked on a grill with charcoal. I’m sure they’ll be fine with a gas grill but we have charcoal. I also use either pork loin ribs or St. Louis Style ribs as we love to have meaty ribs! Don’t be scared by the amount of ingredients either. It’s not so bad. I am the first one to skip making a recipe because of the amount of ingredients! Remember it’s all for the marinade/sauce!

Spicy Garlic Barbecued Pork Ribs

INGREDIENTS:

3 racks of pork loin ribs or St. Louis Style ribs (6-8 lbs)

1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil

1 small red onion, diced (about 1 cup)

6 cloves garlic, minced (you can add less if too much garlic for you)

1 tablespoon chili powder (you can add less if too spicy)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (you can add less if too spicy)

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (or you can use 1 tsp powder)

1/3 cup cider vinegar

½ cup tomato paste

½ cup honey

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce

¼ cup orange juice

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the vegetable or olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Saute the onions and garlic for 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned.

2. Add the chili powder, ground cumin and red pepper flakes and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the zest and ginger and cook for an extra minute.

3. Add the vinegar, tomato paste, honey, mustard, soy sauce and orange juice and simmer uncovered on low heat for 15 minutes, until thick. Stirring occasionally.

4. Marinate the ribs in 2/3 of the sauce for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

5. When you are ready to grill prepare the grill with a single layer of hot coals and then add a few more coals 5 minutes before cooking, which will keep the fire going longer. Place the ribs on the grill and cook for about 25-30 minutes, turning once or twice to cook evenly on both sides. Brush with marinade as needed.

6. Check the ribs after 30 minutes. If they are still not ready (thicker ribs may take longer) just cook for another 5-10 minutes. Check to make sure they are to your liking. EAT!!

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