Saturday, December 31, 2011

What's in-store for foodies in 2012?

To my 2012 foodies like me, who LOVE American Italian food, are in for a treat!  Apparently, according to experts from the Today Show, it will be one of  the “in” foods this new year.  Which means it will probably show up more often at restaurants and on tables in America....  Since I was raised on it – it's been “in” for me since birth, and particular every Sunday as long as my grandparents were alive.

Sundays now are reserved for me to “make the gravy”.  In an American Italian family, “gravy” is tomato or marinara sauce.  Since I moved to the south nearly 15yrs ago, I have found “gravy” has a definition which I will call #2 here in the South – it's brown and I am not quite sure made from what. That said, we will stick with Italian gravy....tomato.

I make my gravy once a month on Sundays in extraordinarily large batches and then freeze it.  I generally use Darren as an alarm to let me know when reserves are low.  My boyfriend of English, Norwegian & Cherokee decent has become Italian by default and will inspect the freezer and exclaim, “WE ARE DOWN TO ONE THING OF SAUCE!!!”  Then I know .... it's time.

It's not as hard as one would think – since my great-grandmother's time things have changed.  She grew  tons of tomatoes in her back yard and then boiled, crushed and made them into paste and from there made the gravy.  Now – I still grow tomatos, I mean what self respecting Italian gal who has a patch of dirt doesn't?  However, I buy good crushed tomatoes and paste in the can and cut out about 5 labor intensive steps. 

A little garlic, onion, tomatoes and spices and you have something WAY better than anything you can buy in a jar in the grocery store.

I hope to share a ton of, what now I guess is trendy, family Italian American recipes that I have grown up with as well as some other things I might find in 2012.  Maybe I will even make my own pasta for the first time since I got the attachment for my kitchen aid mixer for Christmas...3yrs ago.  :)  I got a new camera this year so my food pictures will be WAY better!  And I got a new microphone, so I may let you hear some singing too!

Other foodie trends for 2012? Layer cakes over cupcakes – which is great for me because I now live in the South, the birthplace of the layer cake.  

Also, meatloaf of all varieties, homemade pickles, which I have yet to master but my cousin-in-law is FABU at,  carbon steel knives over Japanese ceramic ones, which is great b/c they are CHEAPER!  And for your wine glass – I guess our love affair with California is over...I was never really interested but that's me....  I understand from my reading that other US areas with vineyards are on the up and coming  like my home town on Long Island.  Long Island wines have been a well kept secret and if you can get your hands on a bottle please partake because you will not be disappointed.

Happy New Year to all my foodies  & friends and may everything you eat be worthy of the calories and taste FABU YUMMY!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Oh! I love me some Paula Deen!

O-M-G! Paula Deen & Liza Minelli & German Chocolate cake all in the same's gonna be a good 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My new musical FABU Find! Justin Hines!

Since this blog is about both food & song - my thought for today is..

I'm hoping that the music industry is finally realizing that it is the heart & soul that creates magnificent positive music not the package that it comes new fav to support in this vein is Justin Hines.

So light and uplifting - it would rise a souffle and make fabulous meringue were this a food but maybe listen while cooking!

A totally FABU Music Find!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lemon Cakey-Cookies

Lemon Cakey Cookie

1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup margarine melted but cooled (you don't want to cook the eggs)
1 tsp lemon extract
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 375 degreesPour cake mix into a large bowl.  Stir in eggs, oil, and lemon extract until well blended. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet and then sift or sprinkle powdered sugar on top.  Bake for 6minutes but watch them b/c they can burn.  The bottoms will be light brown, and the insides chewy.

These are super good – very light and fluffy.  You can sub in lemon juice or zest for the lemon extract – I had a hard time finding that and went to three stores to find it – one place it was like $4 and I thought HELL TO THE NO!  So – found it at Kroger & store brand.

Darren liked these so much he ate about 4 when I wasn't looking...I will probably have to make another batch if I want to hand them out as part of my Christmas cookie gift packs....

A very easy yummy cakey-cookie find!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Why no new yummies?!

I'm sorry to say that I'm under the weather. With this darn cold - i cant sing and, gasp, am not even soon as I feel better - lots more recipes to come!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peppermint Chocolate Fudge!

Peppermint Chocolate Fudge
1 box brownie mix
1-15oz can of pure pumpkin
2 candy canes – smashed
2T chocolate chips – lightly chopped
Non-stick spray
Even just the ingredients look good and we haven't even  mixed them together yet!

Mix together the brownie mix & pumpkin.  Spray a non-stick 8x8 pan with cooking spray and then pour in the batter.  Cook for 30-35mins – it might not look done but it is.  While it's cooking chop the chocolate.  Then put the candy canes in a baggie and smack it around a bit to break the candy canes in to chunky bits.  Once the fudge is done pull it out of the oven and while it's still hot sprinkle the chocolate and the candy on top.  Let it cool in the pan fully.  Then wrap it in foil and put in the fridge overnight.  Cut into 36 pieces and serve.

Its like a little peppermint chocolate snow storm!

YUMMINESS FROM HEAVEN!  AND you get more than just the antioxidants from the chocolate – but also from the pumpkin!  I can't say enough about how good this stuff is! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Singin' & cookin' time of year!

Last choir performance - check! One batch of Christmas cookies - check! Half the batch eaten - Darren checked that off while I was out singing. Guess I'll have to find a hiding place for cookies.....

I love my fellow choir members & our beloved director, Mary Combs. Thank you to all of them for sharing their gift of music with me and allowing me to sing with such a fantastic group!

That said, although I am very much looking forward to finding out our Spring choral program, I have to focus on the current task at hand.... Christmas cookies!!!! I will be posting some great healthy cookie recipes that even the most ardent sweets lover will flip over. And maybe....just maybe I will post a few Christmas songs for your listening (hopefully) pleasure! Happy holidays everyone!