cooking

Pumpkin Seeds at Home

After Halloween we’re left with pumpkins of all sizes here and there. Here’s a simple pumpkin seed recipe. Everyone at home loves this pumpkin seeds recipe.

Ingredients:

– Pumpkin seeds

– 1 tsp of butter

– 1 pinch of salt

Directions:

– Heat up oven at 345 F.

– Take the pumpkin seeds out of a pumpkin. Wash them throughly and place on a round baking pan or big plate where you can spread them out well. Let them air dry for about 4-6 hours or overnight.

Heat the butter until it melts and add the salt. Mix well. Add the seeds to the butter mixture. Cover a baking pan with a baking sheet. Place the seeds on the pan making sure they are well spread appart.

– Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until seeds are brown.

– Enjoy! 🙂

Advertisements

Perfect Mashed Potatoes for Two

mashedPotatoes1

Mashed Potatoes for Two

Every now and then I get the chance to make this mashed potatoes for two. Normally I make it for 8 or 10 people. When my kids get sick (as my 12-year-old did recently) this dish helps their spirits turn around quickly. This also happens to be my youngest’s favorite mashed potato recipe. In his case, this is my awesome way to say “kudos”, happy birthday, etc.

Store bought deli mashed potatoes make me angry. I wonder why they do not make something yummy from one of the most basic, natural ingredients: Potatoes. I get over my anger by elevating mashed potatoes at home every time. Why not? It is so simple. In the process, I spoil myself and my family. Here is how..

Recipe 

  • Ingredients: 1 potato per person, 1/2 cup of milk, 1 TBSP butter, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 grated mozzarella cheese, 1 TBSP whipped cream cheese
  • Directions

1. Peel and cut the potatoes in rounds

mashedPotatoes2

2. When ready, add them to the baking dish where you will be serving the mashed potatoes. Add butter, whipped cream cheese, milk and salt. Mash.

mashedPotatoes3

mashedPotatoes43. Spread the mix evenly on the container and add Parmesan cheese, shredded Mozzarella cheese and pieces of butter around every corner of the mix. The butter pieces will help create the beautiful crust you saw in the first image of this blog post. 🙂

mashedPotatoes5

4. Bake in a 325 F degree oven for 20 minutes. The following pics will show the transformation during the baking process…

mashedPotatoes6

mashedPotatoes8 mashedPotatoes7

mashedPotatoes8

mashedPotatoes7

Note: When 20 minutes are done, set the oven to “Broil” and leave on for 3-5 minutes (depending on your oven.)

mashedPotatoes9

Mashed Potatoes in the Broiler

Let it cool before setting on the table..

mashedPotatoes11

Mashed Potatoes on a Cooling Rack

Enjoy! 🙂

Chocolate Nutmeg Cookies

ChocolateNutmegCookies0

 

It has been years since my home-made cookie dough days. Store-bought cookie dough is extremely tempting for me. No demons of laziness here. Just busy. Time has an effect on cooking and baking. Strangely, time also reappears to connect our taste buds to memories every time. Inevitably, fresh batches of home-made warm cookies kept popping out of my head. If not for taste and aroma, then for health. Lack of chemicals and additives in home-made dough will surely please health conscious friends.

Taking it a bit further, home-made cookie dough can feed our imagination and creativity. For example, this is my original recipe. It’s a simple, surprising improvement over good old chocolate chip cookies. The original ingredient: Nutmeg!

Cycling back to taste buds and memories, my Dad was absolutely crazy about nutmeg. He wanted his home-made fruit juices topped with freshly ground nutmeg.  (At the time Cartagena food stores only carried whole nutmeg.) He wanted my Mom to add nutmeg to every home-made cake she made. This small, powerful ingredient can surely turn a boring drink, cake or ice cream into a whimsical event!

Recipe

Ingredients: 1 cup oil; 3/4 cup brown sugar; 3/4 cup white sugar; 2 eggs; 2-1/4 cups sifted flour; 1/2 tsp baking soda; 1 tsp salt; 1 tsp vanilla; 1 (1-oz) square baking semi-sweet chocolate (shaved); 1 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix all the above ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to combine and mix well.

ChocolateNutmegCookies1

ChocolateNutmegCookies2

Form spoonfuls and place them on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake them at 400(F) degrees , for 10 minutes.

Watch them bake and rise…

ChocolateNutmegCookies3

ChocolateNutmegCookies4

Take them out, let them cool and..

ChocolateNutmegCookies6 ChocolateNutmegCookies5

Enjoy! 🙂

ChocolateNutmegCookies0

Home Cooks and Culinary Schools? Cast your vote!

Culinary schools1

Should home cooks go to culinary school?  Regardless of the reason (more skills, more fun recipes, meeting acclaimed Chefs, or going into food business), I have thought about this a lot. I have also read and researched the topic. In the end there seems to be some ‘common ground.’ Culinary schools recognize that home cooks bring hands-on experience to class. On the other hand, business entrepreneurs claim that customer satisfaction and food taste/quality is responsible for success. If that is delivered, they’re happy. In such a case, there is apparently no reason for diplomas or credentials to hang up on the walls.

Take a poll, I am curious to know what you think! 🙂

Gourmet Organic Potato Fingerlings

PotatoFingerlings

This post about gourmet organic potato fingerlings is as simple as the recipe. I decided to stop serving regular potatoes to my family and I tried their taste buds with these miniature delights.  Smaller in size, they’re flavorful and versatile. They’re very convenient as they bake quicker, due to their size. It was uncharted territory for my kids, but not for me. I had tried purple potato fingerlings before. They are fantastic! They come in a bag with purple and yellow miniature potatoes. They can be baked, sautéed, grilled or fried. They’re sweet and a great side for any beef or poultry dish (at least in my opinion.) So here is how I prepared them and we absolutely loved them.

Recipe:

Ingredients: A bag of gourmet organic potato fingerlings; Salt and pepper; Parsley flakes.

1. Cut them in small pieces and saute them on a TSP of canola oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

PotatoFingerlings1

2. When brown on the edges serve them sprinkling some parsley flakes on top.

PotatoFingerlings

Healthy, low-calorie, fat-free, cholesterol free and delicious! What else can I ask for? Simply stated, gourmet organic potato fingerlings are now a favorite at home too. 🙂