Recipes and Tips for Foodies like you!

Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

I’ve missed posting like I regularly did, this year has been full of changes and adjustments for me and I just can’t seem to get a handle on my schedule… but I’m still here!

Now more than ever, I am leaning towards fast and easy recipes. I always try to keep homemade tomato sauce in my fridge, I use it for all sorts of things and is sometimes a lifesaver when I need to get a quick meal ready for my daughter. I use it to make a quick pasta dish, or pita bread pizzas for her. For breakfast I use it on eggs and sometimes I use it on my cooking when the recipe calls for tomato sauce. Of course, using store-bought tomato sauce is convenient, but we have gotten so used to the natural flavors of the homemade kind that we don’t like the flavor of the commercial brands anymore. You might have to invest a little time in making it, although it’s actually quite easy, but you can double this recipe to freeze half of it for later use. And also, don’t you think that every home cook should know how to make a good tomato sauce?

Helga

Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

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Marshmallow & Chocolate Treats

These last couple of days have been playing catch-up for me. After being set back a couple of days, I’ve been working sun-to-sun (or more like sun-to-midnight) and finally starting to make some good dents on my pending task list. Now, I haven’t been able to cook at all…. Until a few days ago. I was itching so bad to do something that I ended up whipping a recipe for Marshmallow & Chocolate Treats. A Foodies’ Original! I thought at first of adding cocoa to the melted marshmallows, but it would get too dried up. Then it came to me. Add an entire bag of chocolate chips. Genius. It should work.

And it did. My dad already had a few bites that same night and some more the next morning. I tried it out later, and it is a perfect mix of marshmallow treats with chocolate bar, not too sweet, with a slight nutty flavor from browning the butter (like I did on the Brown Butter Crispy Treats), rich chocolate with a little espresso powder to bring out more chocolatyness (did I just made up a word?) and a touch of sprinkles just because I can.

You could replace the espresso powder with a little bit of instant coffee or even a bit of cayenne pepper, and maybe add a bit of nuts. Go crazy. Mix and match. then enjoy the fruit of your creativity!

Kitty

Marshmallow & Chocolate Treats

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Carrot Mango Strawberry Juice

For my birthday this year, I got a different and unique present: a juicer. And let me tell you, it’s wonderful. I got a centrifugal juicer, which works by shredding and spinning ingredients at high speeds, separating the juice from the pulp (pouring each on different sides of the juicer). These centrifugal juicers are great for us just starting to get into the juicing wave. I don’t do it every day, but I do it at least four times a week. Right now I’m having a carrot, mango, cucumber and orange juice. My favorite combos so far are granny smith apples (green apples)  with celery, as well as this Carrot Mango Strawberry juice. Both are great. I even tried beet juice but still the flavor is too much for me… Too much like a salad. Even though I paired one little beet with an entire pineapple and a granny smith for fun.

Anyway, this post is to tell you all about the bottled amazingness you can find in juices.  For starters, let’s talk about the base of our juice: Carrots. Carrot juice is packed with nutrients, including Vitamin A. It flushes away toxins, improving your skin, hair and nails. It’s great for diabetics since when consuming carrots, it won’t affect the blood sugar levels in their bodies.

Now, Mango Juice helps your digestive system by settling an upset stomach. So if you’re suffering from constipation, have a drink of this marvelous juice, along with grapefruit and pineapple juices. And it is a source of vitamins as well, boosting your immune system with Vitamins A, C as well as caretonoids, and all of them together keep your immune system strong and healthy. What are caretonoids you ask? Those are plant colorful pigments that your body can turn into Vitamin A and are also antioxidants that can enhance your immune system.

Strawberry juice is full of antioxidants, and it’s able to prevent the growth of cancer cells in your body. It has low-fat but it has high fiber. This little red fruits are a bundle of joy.  They improve your heart health, lowering the risk of developing some cancers and lower blood pressure. They are packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, and it also includes some of the vitamins part of the B-complex: B-6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and folic acid. These vitamins are acting as co-factors help the body metabolize carbohydrate, proteins and fats.

See? It’s definitely a win-win with this juice combo. So, here it is, one of my favorite juicing combos: Carrot Mango Strawberry Juice.

Kitty

Carrot Mango Strawberry Juice

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Fruit Mascarpone Tart

Let’s say this has been a tough week to tackle. Not bad, just tough. I was planning to post this recipe on Wednesday. And it will go live today (Monday). Turns out on Wednesday, shortly after coming back from a photo shoot I started feeling short of breath but without asthma.  Slept most of the afternoon, when if I nap it’s on holidays, so definitely it was not normal for me. On Thursday I kind of worked, for a few hours but again, took another nap just before lunch. That’s when we went to the doctor, and after a series of tests… turned out I had the beginnings of pneumonia. I was admitted to the hospital, moving out of the ER. The hospital staff was amazing, from the doctors, nurses, breathing therapy and all… they took care of me and got me back on my feet. On Friday I already had my laptop but the wireless connection was not that good, so I made the executive decision that I was going to catch up on my season finales (Grey’s Anatomy… OMG!) and avoid avoid the frustrations I was having when trying to work on anything. Fast forward to Monday, labs came back 90% awesome, so I am back home, drinking plenty of fluids and following all the doc’s orders to get back to my regular self. See? Tough, not bad. Just tough.

Now, back to the tart. I didn’t cook as I usually do this past Mother’s Day, but I did bake. The past weeks I’ve been talking to grandma Flory about what was she looking forward dessert-wise for the family lunch, and she said that she would rather have a tart than a cake. Her wishes were my command, so I went looking online for a recipe, and bumped into this Fruit Mascarpone Tart recipe on Food52.com.

Have you visited their site? We absolutely love it. Lately I’ve been browsing their site for recipes. And what I love the most, is that almost every recipe has many comments, tweaks, suggestions and different variations of each recipe that we go crazy. The original recipe calls for strawberries on top (with added sugar to make them juicier), but I skipped that additional sugar and combined it with kiwis, a fruit that both my mom and grandma love.

Our family gathering was on the smaller side this year, but I still doubled the recipe. I doubled everything and followed the recipe exactly as it is here. I baked the crusts the day before and on Mother’s Day morning, I assembled both tarts and covered them with plastic wrap so the fruit wouldn’t dry up too much in the fridge. Next time I am adding vanilla beans rather than vanilla extract… And the best thing is that we can play with different fruits – depending on what’s in season in your lil’ corner of the world.

Kitty

Fruit Mascarpone Tart

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