Tag: food

November National Food Holidays

Another month, another reason to highlight the National Holidays. In honor  of holiday season approaching, I’d like to focus this months national days on FOOD.

The month as a whole is known for:  Georgia Pecan Month,  Good Nutrition Month,  National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month,  National Pepper Month,  National Pomegranate Month, Raisin Bread Month, Vegan Month

National Fig Week is the first week in November. My family in Poland LOVES figs for some reason. We would always bring them boxes of Fig Newtons 🙂

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Isa Does it Vegan “tuna” sandwich

Each day of the month has something to celebrate too:
November 1: National Bison Day
November 1: National Deep Fried Clams Day
November 1: National Vinegar Day
November 2: National Deviled Egg Day
November 3: National Sandwich Day
November 4: National Candy Day
November 5: National Doughnut Day
November 6: National Nachos Day
November 7: Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
November 8: National Cappuccino Day
November 8: National Harvey Wallbanger Day – a vodka cocktail!
November 9: National Scrapple Day –  this is a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal, wheat flour, and spices (interesting)…
November 9: Cook Something Bold & Pungent Day
November 10: National Vanilla Cupcake Day
November 11: National Sundae Day
November 12: National Pizza With Everything Day (Except Anchovies)
November 13: National Indian Pudding Day
November 14: National Guacamole Dayscrapple
November 14: National Pickle Day
November 15: National Raisin Bran Cereal Day
November 16: National Fast Food Day
November 17: National Baklava Day
November 17: Homemade Bread Day
November 18: National Vichyssoise Day – this is a creamy Leek soup often eaten cold! eeek, I would eat it warm
November 19: Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day
November 20: National Peanut Butter Fudge Day
November 20: Beaujolais Nouveau Day – red wine made from Gamay grapes in France
November 21: Gingerbread Day
November 22: National Cashew Day
November 23: National Espresso Dayimages (2)
November 23: Eat a Cranberry Day
November 24: National Sardines Day
November 25: National Parfait Day
November 26: National Cake Day
November 27: National Bavarian Cream Pie Day – they mean Turkey Day!?
November 28: National French Toast Day
November 29: Chocolates Day – pretty sure this is every day for me!
November 29: National Lemon Creme Pie Day
November 30: National Mousse Day

Hope everyone can try something new this month – perhaps Scrapple or go on the other end of the spectrum and make yourself a Vegan “tuna” sandwich from chickpeas. Check out the recipe in my Dine Section!

Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup

I have been feeling a bit under the weather the past few days. My mom thinks it has to do with my non-stop schedule…hmmm Anyways, I took 2 days off work to “relax” and it was really difficult!! It harder than it sounds..at least for me.. when I have a 100 things I want/need to do.

I managed to snuggle up with Freddy and my Kindle to finish reading Me before you! We’re having a book club meeting next Wednesday so I better catch up quick.

Back to the topic… SOUP!! We had 3 days of soup: chicken noodle, tomato basil and, yesterday I made Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup…with parsnips for added flavor.unnamed (1)

I made a separate batch for Freddy w/o the onions or added spices – he got parsley though- really good for dogs! (nerd fact: Parsley freshens your pooches breath and provides phytochemicals. It also has Vitamin C, Vitamin K, carotenoids, B vitamins, iron and limonene)

Here is the recipe. Serve with some crusty bread- I made Guy Fieri’s Vegan garlic bread to go with.

Cauliflower & Cheddar Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium head cauliflower, broken in florets
  2. 1 medium onion, chopped
  3. 1-2 parsnips, chopped
  4. 4 cups water
  5. 1.5 chicken bouillon cube
  6. 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  7. 2 tbsp olive oil
  8. 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  9. 1 tbsp. sour cream
  10. 1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
  11. Chopped fresh parsley (to garnish)
  12. Coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste
  13. Crumbled organic bacon, bake it
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 minutes. Add cauliflower (& parsnips, if using) and cook until just beginning to brown, 12 minutes. Add water and bouillon cube; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is very tender, 20 minutes. Add rosemary.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk sour cream with flour and take with a tbsp. of the hot broth. Wish really well and then blend into soup. This will add a nice cream color to the soup and also thicken it up.
  3. I use a potato masher to mash everything up right in the same pot - you can also use a blender to get a smoother consistency- but why add another dish to the wash?
  4. Heat over medium until warmed through; add cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with parsley and bacon, if desired. (I made a couple strips of bacon in the oven with the bread and crumbled it on top)
You Bet Your Pierogi http://youbetyourpierogis.com/

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Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin everywhere! Trader Joe’s Edition.

Trader Joe’s has gone wild with pumpkin! I walked in there the other day to get some more cookie butter (I’m addicted) and walked out with about 9 different pumpkin type items – I actually forgot to get the cookie butter! shocker! Does that ever  happen to anyone else? You go to a store with one thing in mind and come out with everything else EXCEPT that 1 thing – something tells me I’m not alone with that 😉

I sampled some Honey Roasted Pumpkin raviolis – so naturally I had to get a pack to take home. I also tried the pumpkin coffee, which is the only coffee I drink in the Fall. I got pumpkin butter, pumpkin seed and cranberry pita chips, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin dog treats, pumpkin bread mix, pumpkin rolls (can’t wait to make these!!) and pumpkin macaroons!

I’m really not pumpkin-ed-out… yet…although, I didn’t buy the pumpkin pie because Nico makes one every year from a pumpkin we get at the farm and its SO good, I cant get myself to ever buy one at the store.

So, everyone head to your nearest Trader Joe’s because these items are limited and actually run out quickly – especially the pumpkin butter and raviolis!

Oh I made the pumpkin bar (in cupcake tins) last night and improvised to make it healthier (also Vegan)

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Instead of 2 eggs – I used 1 tbsp of homemade apple sauce and 1 tbsp flax/chia seed with 3 tbsp water.

Instead of 2 sticks butter – I used 8 tbsp of Earth Balance organic “butter”

unnamed (5)This Pumpkin Bar is different than the Pumpkin Bread they also carry. It has chocolate chips in it 🙂 wooo

unnamed (4) unnamed (2) unnamed (3)Bon appétit!! 

and to make your day that much better:

Today is National Pierogi day!

Can you guess what’s for dinner tonight? Pierogi, of course. Okay, if you didn’t realize it by my blog name, I really like pierogi – but what are they? I just assume everyone knows! In case you have no idea what the heck pierogi are, today is the day to get acquainted!

Quick history: The pierogi, a descendent of Eastern Europe culinary traditions, arrived in the U.S. in the early 1900s. During the 1940s, these crescent-shaped pockets became a staple of fundraisers held by churches in the northeast and throughout the upper Midwest. By the early 1950s, pierogi appeal began broadening among Americans of all ethnicities….

I found some interesting facts about Pierogi that should also get you up to speed on this yummy food!

Pierogi or pierogis?

The word pierogis is popular in U.S. and Canada because it underlines a ‘plurality’. However, the word ‘pierogi’ is already plural in the Polish language! Its grammatical singular equivalent ‘pieróg’ is never used. It has a completely different meaning. Pierog, translated into English language: pyrih, is actually an Ukrainian pie. So, use Pierogi when taking about one or many! My site is in the plural English form clearly J

The Pierogi Race

Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team organizes the so-called ‘pierogi race’ during their games. Four types of pierogi called Sauerkraut Saul, Cheese Chester, Jalapeno Hannah and Oliver Onion take part in the race. Pittsburgh, by the way, consumes 11 times more pierogi than any other city in the U.S.

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Types:

Ruskie pierogi, with a potato & cheese filling, are the most well known. During the holidays, my family also makes sauerkraut (pierogi z kapustą kwaszoną) and mushroom pierogi, as well as dried plum pierogi. Then there’s meat-filled ones – my grandparents usually make these after thanksgiving or Christmas, if we have left-over turkey meat – one of my favorites actually!!  Topped with gravy… yummy! Then there are some that could pass for dessert and embrace the seasonal fruits – such as apples and cinnamon (pierogi z jabłkami i cynamonem) or blueberries (pierogi z jagodami). You want to top the sweet ones with a sour cream and sugar mixture.

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Pierogi and Polish pierożki

An interesting fact about the Polish language is that most of Polish nouns have a diminutive form and an appropriate hypocorism. Most of Polish diminutives mean a thing smaller than the base word. For example, the simple Polish word dom (house and home) has both a diminutive form domek (small house) and a hypocorism domeczek (emotional). Most often, the diminutive and hypocorism have a positive, emotional inclination. My grandparents always used the diminutive forms when I was a little girl!! I hear it mostly used when talking to young children. The diminutive form of pierogi is pierożki. You can use it in order to express your admiration for the taste of this Polish dish.

Guinness record in making pierogi

The Guinness record in making pierogi belongs to ten students from a Catering School in Wroclaw, Poland. In 100 minutes they managed to make as many as 1663 pierogi.. After cooking and packing, the pierogi were sent to Wroclaw children’s homes. Sweet!

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The “Pierogy Pocket” is an area spanning the Northeast and Midwest United States where pierogi consumption is the highest, due to the large concentrations of Eastern European immigrants in these areas. The “Pierogy Pocket” makes up 68 percent of pierogi consumption in the U.S.

 You know, the Chinese have potstickers and the Italian’s have ravioli. The Polish have Pierogi. Hope you try some tonight! My grandfather’s “famous” family recipe: coming soon! Keep a look out!

Holy Pierogi!

Be careful before you eat some toast, a burrito, a pancake…and especially a pierogi!  There could be a Holy figure appearing on it… imagine 😉

the face of Jesus seen in the pierogi cooked at a fair in Ecorse, Mich. (St. Andre Bessette Church)
The face of Jesus seen in the pierogi cooked at a fair in Ecorse, Mich. (St. Andre Bassette Church)

I love this quote from St. Andre Bessette Church Festival Chairman Robert Hellar:

“I was in the taco booth making taco’s, and they came up to me and said ‘Jesus love polish food more than Mexican food’ and I asked why,” Heller said.

He said the proof was in the pierogi.

Hilarious-not sure what this really means though?  Can you eat the pierogi? I feel like I wouldn’t be able to! You defiantly can’t throw it away? b/c its “holy”?? I wonder what they did with it….

 

Tofu Scramble (Vegan)

I went Vegan for Lent, so 40 days. I made sure we finished everything that comes from an animal before we started so we wouldn’t be tempted. When I say, we, I’m saying I made Nico do this with me! He did it more by default since I was the one grocery shopping, packing lunches and making dinner while he started grad school ..  When we got back from our Jamaican vaca- all inclusive, so alcohol and food all the time non stop – We needed a cleanse which is how the 2 things came together (Lent & Cleanse) = Vegan Challenge

Anyways, his cousins got me this book for our housewarming party. ISA DOES IT – all Vegan recipes. At first, I didn’t’ know what Vegan was.. I thought vegetarian- only eat vegetables- no meat. okay can’t be that hard. But when I realized Vegan meant NO animal products whatsoever, I knew I had a challenge ahead of me. Being for Polsih decent, there really isn’t a meal that doesn’t include some type of meat.. Kielbasa, hello! or dairy- Sour cream on top of CHEESE Pierogie — yummmy, sour cream on top of everything for that matter!  (My 1st Vegan Bible-Legit amazing!)

So Nico’s cousins (my inspirations for this challenge) have been vegan for 5, going on 6 years now. I will have them guest blog soon to offer up some advice and give insight into why they went Vegan and the benefits/challenges they face…

But in the meantime, let me go ahead and share this Tofu Scramble Recipe– I had my friend over last night and she requested I make her this b/c its that delish!! I  usually make it at the end of the work week; when I have leftover veggies and need a way to wrap them all up into something easy and good. I usually pair it with potatoes pancakes, vegan garlic bread, in a sandwich, with a salad, on top of quinoa… anything you feel like really!

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Tofu scramble with some Vegan Garlic Bread (recipe coming soon)

Tofu Scramble by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

  • Tofu Scramble
    A perfect scramble for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
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    Ingredients
    1. Spice blend
    2. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    3. 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed with your fingers
    4. 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    5. 1 teaspoon salt
    6. 3 tablespoons water
    7. 2 tablespoons olive oil
    8. 3 cloves garlic, minced (or more, to taste)
    9. 1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained
    10. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    11. Fresh black pepper to taste
    Instructions
    1. First stir the spice blend together in a small cup. Add water and mix. Set aside.
    2. Preheat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Saute the garlic in olive oil for about a minute. Break the tofu apart into bite sized pieces and saute for about 10 minutes, using a spatula to stir often. Get under the tofu when you are stirring, scrape the bottom and don’t let it stick to the pan, that is where the good, crispy stuff is. Use a thin metal spatula to get the job done, a wooden or plastic one won’t really cut it. The tofu should get browned on at least one side, but you don’t need to be too precise about it. The water should cook out of it and not collect too much at the bottom of the ban. If that is happening, turn the heat up and let the water evaporate.
    3. Add the spice blend and mix to incorporate. Add the nutritional yeast and fresh black pepper. Cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve warm.
    Notes
    1. You can include these additions to your scramble by themselves or in combination with one another.
    2. Broccoli – Cut about one cup into small florettes, thinly slice the stems. Add along with the tofu.
    3. Onion – Finely chop one small onion. Add along with the garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Proceed with recipe.
    4. Red Peppers – Remove stem and seed, finely chop one red pepper. Add along with the garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Proceed with recipe.
    5. Mushrooms – Thinly slice about a cup of mushrooms. Add along with the tofu.
    6. Olives – Chop about 1/3 a cup of sliced olives. Add towards the end of cooking, after mixing in the nutritional yeast.
    7. Spinach – Add about 1 cup of chopped spinach towards the end of cooking, after mixing in the nutritional yeast. Cook until completely wilted.
    8. Carrots – Grate half of an average sized carrot into the scramble towards the end of cooking. This is a great way to add color to the scramble.
    9. Avocado – I almost always have avocado with my scramble. Just peel and slice it and serve on top.
    You Bet Your Pierogi http://youbetyourpierogis.com/