The Guardian

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Saute String Beans with Lemon Oil and Lemon Peels

Saute String Beans with lemon Oil and Lemon Peel
I needed a side dish for my dinner Sunday night so I decided to make String Beans. My kids love them and so do I, so it was a perfect choice. My brothers love these too!! They are simple to make and a very healthy snack for kids as leftovers. I used one bag from the market for this picture. They were cleaned and snipped. (NEVER FROZEN)I also use the loose string beans as well esecially when I am having a dinner with alot of people and want more than a bagful. My only hint is that when you saute them use regular Olive Oil BUT when you toss them use Lemon Flavored Olive Oil, only because the flavored Olive Oil can be expensive. My choice is Sciabica's lemon Flavor Olive Oil. It's quite scrumptious especially used when just for dipping!!  This recipie would be pretty with toasted almond slivers on top also. Here's whats needed for this recipe:
Fresh String Beans (1 bag from market or as many fresh string beans you want to serve)
Salt & Pepper (for flavoring string beans and salting boiling water)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons of Lemon Flavored Olive Oil
1 Whole Grated Lemon Peel
1/4 Cup Toasted Almond Slivers ( If desired)
Assuming your string beans are from a bag and not loose, then I would just rinse them. If they are loose then you will have to snip both ends and rinse with water. After this step fill a big saute pan with water and once it boils add salt then add string beans. The pot I LOVE to boil string beans is posted above. It does come with a lid and I use the lid to help boil the water. Like my mom says,  "A watched pot never boils" so use the lid..hahaha. So anyway I boiled them for about 15 min until a fork will pierce them easily. I then drain them and let them sit for a minute.  I then use the same pot and add the Olive Oil until it is hot and then add the string beans. I saute them with salt and pepper for about 8 minutes. Some people will add whole peeled garlic before adding the string beans but as my father always says "A great cook doesn't need to add garlic"...hahaha He hates the repercussions! Sometimes I do add it, Sometimes I don' After the string beans are sauted put them in a serving dish. Add Lemon Flavored Oil and Lemon Peel. This is when you would add the almond sliver too. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spaghetti in White

Spaghetti In White

I made this tonight, along with a Bolognese Sauce for my hubby. My kids like pasta in white (except on Sunday's) I have no clue why they like gravy just on Sunday because they eat absolutely everything. I think its an Italian thing...Gravy on Sunday..haha...Who knows. So my son Kristian asked if he could have angle hair pasta tonight in white but I only had spaghetti and since it was so cold today I did not go to the store...Oh well. He'll be happy with this I guess. My husband on the other hand, wanted a meat sauce so I made both. My house is like a restaurant...Make to order. I know its a bad thing to do but I like cooking so I really do not mind at all!!! Really!! So I have also made the meat sauce which I will post later. Anyway the ingredients and directions are as follows:

1 Box of Spaghetti
Handful of parsley chopped
Salt & Pepper
Hand full of Parmigiana Grated Cheese
2 Tablespoons of butter
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
Hot Pepper (If Desired)

Boil a pot of water and then add salt when water boils. While water is boiling, prepare your serving dish with butter. After water boils add the box of Spaghetti. When Spaghetti is cooked, lift out of pot with a slotted strainer spoon or spaghetti server. The cooked spaghetti will immediately melt the butter. Add the Olive Oil, salt, pepper, cheese and toss. Add some salted pasta water to make the liquid for the pasta. Add the parsley to garnish and hot pepper if desired.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake with Homemade Frosting

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake with Homemade Frosting

So call  me crazy but I was in the mood to bake so I am surprising my boys with this CC Cookie cake.  Hopefully they will love the outcome as much as me. I,in fact, did eat the piece that is in the above picture with a beautiful steaming hot cup of coffee with pumpkin spice creamer (I stock pile the creamer from September so that I can have it around until May, when I run out of it I make my own...Pretty good I might add) That recipe will come later ;) So anyway this recipe is so simple. You will need the following ingredients for the cookie dough and the frosting ingredients will follow. This will bake in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.

The Cookie Dough

2 Sticks of Butter room temp
1 1/2 Cups of Brown Sugar
1/2 Cups of White Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
4 Cups of Flour
1 Full Teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/2 a bag of Milk Chocolate Chips (23 ounce bag)

The Frosting

1 Stick of butter room temp ( I used margarine because that's what I had)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
3 Cups of Powdered Sugar
1 Cup of Chocolate Chips (you can use regular size or miniature)
1 Teaspoon of Milk (if too dry)

For Bars:
Preheat over to 350 degrees and spray the glass baking dish with cooking spray then set aside. In a mixer beat together eggs, both sugars, butter and vanilla. Once it is fluffy add the dry ingredients, mixing slowly. Once combined, add chips. Pour mixture in dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Always test with a toothpick, if the pick comes out clean then the cake is done. Pull out cake and set aside to cool, approximately for an hour. Now prepare frosting.

For Frosting:
Mix all ingredients until fluffy. I found that it was a little hard to frost cake so I used a butter knife and applied it slowly as to not take off top layer of cookie cake. Once frosting is applied, I put cake in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to harden frosting. Once frosting sets take out of refrigerator and cover with top or plastic covering until ready to eat. If it doesn't get eaten in full that day (Shocking) keep covered in fridge.

Grilled Sausage With Veggies

Ok so I was thinking of what to make for dinner that everyone would eat and I came up with a great solution. Grilled Sausage with Veggies but instead of putting everything in a casserole dish and putting it in the oven (which is also great and just add potatoes), I decided to saute everything separately on the cook top. First I sliced a large sweet onion and sauteed that in a frying pan with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper until the onions were translucent. Then set aside. Next slice your peppers. My family like the red and orange so that is what I used. Any bell pepper would be fine for this dish. Using the same pan and adding a bit more olive oil saute the peppers adding salt and pepper. Set aside. Once the veggies are finished just cover them loosely with foil so they do not get cold while the sausage cooks. Finally add the sausage to the same pan. Use the same pan because the sausage will marry with all the other flavors in the pan giving it that casserole effect. While the sausage is frying, I cut them open so that I ensure that the pork cooks all the way through. I also set the lid on the sausage while it was cooking because the steam will extract the wonderful juices from the sausage and make for some excellent dipping with your Italian bread...haha. Once the sausage is cooked add them to the dish as well. Next (and this is super important) add a couple of tablespoons of water or chicken broth or wine to the frying pan and use this to cook the scrapings to make a quick and tasty juice to add over the sausage. This step will only take seconds to achieve.You can put everything in a roll and make a wonderful sandwich or cook some rice and put everything over the rice. Enjoy!


2 lbs Pork Sausage
1 Large Red Pepper
1 Large Orange Pepper
1 Large Sweet Onion
2 Tablespoons of Water or Chicken Broth or white wine
1 Cup of Cooked Rice (Optional)
Kiaser Rolls
Salt, Pepper and Olive Oil

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Christmas Biscotti

I love ,love, love these cookies!!! My three nieces from my brother LOVE!! theses cookies.... They are very easy to make and they will be the talk of every party!!! They are very simple to make and a great cookie for the first time baker. I have so many more biscotti recipes ....I cant wait to post them!! Ok so this recipe is as follows:

3 1/2 cups of flour
1 heaping tablespoon baking powder
a splash of salt
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs beaten
1 tablespoons of vanilla extract

1 cup confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons of milk ( you can use fatfree)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Colored nonpareil sprinkles or the famous Ice Cream sprinkles if that is all you have in your pantry

preheat oven to 350 degrees and use nonstick spray to coat the baking sheets
Combine butter,sugar,eggs,and extract until everything is fluffy. Add flour,baking powder and salt. Mix until dough is created. Then transfer dough to floured surface.mix until perfect consistency. It should be a very firm, smooth dough. Not sticky. let dough rest until you clean up instruments that were used. (15-20 minutes). cut dough to big walnut sized balls and then roll them like a gnocchi rope. I like to twist them into breast cancer bows. It is much easier and quicker to do. If you want to be creative, you can make them into the infinity sign. (figure eight) One side over, one side under. Place on baking sheet about an 1" apart. Bake for about  15-20 min, depending on how new your oven not over bake. let cookies cool in a baking rack. After ALL cookies are cooked, start icing.
To make Icing: mix together confectioner's sugar, milk,and vanilla until smooth. You have to work quick, very quick. Once cookies are on bakers rack, spoon icing on the cookies....I must say you need to put parchment paper UNDER rack to grab extra icing and sprinkles. Immediately after icing about 15 cookies add the sprinkles because icing dries fast. I keep cookies in an airtight container, then I usually keep in fridge for about a week...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Potato Gnocchi's

So tonight I made Potato Gnocchi for dinner. I feel like an old fashioned Italian mom because I don't have exact recipes...I kinda invent as I go along. But I will try to write everything I did so that you may do the exact same thing. I will post final dish later... I boiled about 5lbs of brown potatoes. skin off and sliced in about 1" cubes so that they will boil faster. After the potatoes are boiled, strain them and leave them alone for about an hour so that will dry out. (you do not want water in the potatoes)...My mother in law has a strainer that makes the potatoes look like long worms...yeah, I use my hands and smash everything to Then I make a well (like in the picture), I add two eggs in the middle of the well and then toss some flour around the well also. Don't really know how much flour but I would approximate 3 cups plus more for the rolling surface and trays. Mix everything together until a nice dough ball forms. Then cut pieces to roll into ropes about 10" long. You may have to cut the ropes into 6" pieces. They should be about 1" thick long ropes. Then cut into equal lengths. My MIL does them really thick but I like them smaller and thinner. Its all up to the cook really. Some people roll with a fork...I see no need. It takes too much work and with 2 kids, so totally not necessary. you want to boil the Gnocchi until they float. them take out of pot with a not strain....just use strainer to scoop out of pot. Put into a serving dish that has some gravy already at the bottom of it. I make my own gravy (Yes I call it Gravy), then strain the rest of the Gnocchi and add Parmigiana cheese and enjoy!!!
What you will need:
5lbs of Brown Potatoes
2 eggs
3 cups flour
Directions are above...Enjoy