Stuffed Celery with Cream Cheese and Green Olives

Celery stuffed with cream cheese and olivesMy husband grew up with this recipe and it is a staple at any party–especially the holidays–of his family’s households. From the very first time I tried it, I knew I would be making it often too, yet.. as usual adding a touch of myself (the smoked paprika).

INGREDIENTS

1 celery stalk / bunch
1 8oz. soften cream cheese
1 cup of green olives stuffed with red pimentos
cut up celery1 tsp of smoked paprika
salt / pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a bowl mix the cream cheese with paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. Chop the olives real small then add to the cream cheese.
  3. Use a potato peeler to  softly peel the outsides of the celery sticks (this way you will not feel the strings when biting on it).
  4. Cut the celery stick to about 2 inches in length.
  5. Fill each stick with the cream cheese mixture and they are ready to serve.

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Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Cream of Cauliflower SoupMy grandmother was the very best at making soups. She could make delicious soups out of anything. I am fortunate to have her cooking books which slowly but surely I want to try to make every recipe she wrote throughout her live. Some are her own creations, others are family recipes and lastly others are traditional recipes she adjusted to her taste.

As I am going through them all, I am also creating a document so that all of her great-grandchildren and cousins will be able to cherish for years to come. This one is a favorite of mine, it has a velvety taste and oddly enough it barely tastes like cauliflower.

My daughter’s reactions? The little Princess ONLY had 3 cups of it!! OHHH and as I was preparing the soup, she kept on wanting “little bites” of the soup. So I guess this was a winner for her. My Dancer? Well I first did not tell her it was cauliflower as for whatever reason she says she does not care for it, but ended up eating a FULL bowl of it and this morning asked if she could have some cold for breakfast.

Indeed, this cream is also very good cold. Finally I asked her. By the way… do you like cauliflower? And her nose frowned right away and said noo. Hmmm well you LIKED the soup. As usual I got that look I usually get as if saying… I hate it when you trick me!

INGREDIENTS

1 cauliflower
2 cups of beef stock or vegetable stock
1 cup of whole milk or heavy cream

1 tbsp butter

parsley leaves
salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Boil the cauliflower in water and a pinch of salt until well cooked
  2. Remove the water and pass the cauliflower through a food mill
  3. Place it back in the pot and add the stock and milk
  4. Bring it to a boil for about 6 minutes
  5. Prior to serving add the butter
  6. Serve it garnished with a few parsley leaves

Goat cheese with olives, lemon zest and thyme

Goat cheese with olives, lemon zest and thymeHave you ever learned a new recipe and you like it so very much that you will find every excuse to repeat it over and over again? Meanwhile your family is getting real tired of it, yet you keep on doing it. Well this is it.

This recipe was actually one I decided to test mostly because goat cheese is not my favorite (unless mixed in salad or disguised some other way). Lo and behold… I got hooked, right from the very first bite and could not stope eating it. And since my lack of choice with crackers, the rice ones actually are perfect for such delicacy.

 

Mac & Cheese #1

Mac & cheeseBack home in Europe we do not eat mac & cheese. I was first introduced to it from the box and I must say it was never up there in my list of yummy food. It tasted plasticky and not much flavor. Since, and thanks to becoming a recipe tester for Leite’s Culinaria, I was introduced to what REAL mac & cheese is about. I still had a few boxes at home, mostly for the kids, but from the moment I tried what Mac & Cheese is to taste like, I filled a bag with those boxes along with other canned and boxed items and brought it to the local food pantry (I know… if I would not eat it why bring it to the food pantry? well unfortunately they cannot accept home made goods, if not, trust me… I would be there EVERYDAY sharing our cookings with them!)

So here is one of the recipes I tried and since have made it many times. This is an awesome and easy recipe to make for a weeknight. Everyone absolutely loved it and the best part is that you can use this as a base then add whatever pleases your heart.

But no worries, this is not the only one. Hence the reason I call it #1 as there will be more!

Lettuce Soup

Lettuce SoupThis is one of my GrandMother’s favorite soups. So simple yet the taste is amazing and very delicate and just as good hot as cold for a warm summer day. If we ever have leftovers, the Dancer will go to the fridge first thing in the morning, grab  and drink it cold for breakfast!

INGREDIENTS

1 large iceberg lettuce head or 2 small ones (if you are to use other ones adjust their taste with a little extra sugar)
1 medium onion
2 tbsp of butter
1.5 cups of chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you are vegetarian)
1 cup of milk
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp of heavy cream OR Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1tsp of sugar
salt , pepper
1 cup of croutons (if desired)
a small bunch of parsley to decorate (if desired)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fill a medium pan with water and salt, and bring it to a boil.
  2. Wash the lettuce leaves, slice them up into strips and put them for about 5 minutes in the boiling water.
  3. Remove them from the water and pass them through cold water.
  4. Mince the onions.
  5. In a medium size pan melt the butter add the onions and stir until they are translucent.
  6. Add 3/4 of the lettuce strips and add the stock and let it simmer in medium heat for about 15 minutes.
  7. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and the sugar.
  8. Stir for about 2 to 3 minutes then remove from heat.
  9. Put it in a blender to create a nice smooth cream.
  10. Add the milk then bring it back to a low boil for about 5 minutes.
  11. In a bowl beat the egg yolks and heavy cream, then slowly add a few spoons of the soup while mixing well.
  12. Add the whole thing to the soup and stir continuously until the the soup thickness up.
  13. Prior to serving add the leftover lettuce strips.
SUGGESTIONS
You can also add a few croutons, parsley leaves and a touch of heavy cream prior to serving.