Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!
Our friend La Neal stopped by with her little ones.  Some of the other kids in the community came over with some pretty nice costumes. We have to have pumpkin pie for dessert tonight. Somehow it goes with a Halloween night. Taking photos at night in our kitchen is a problem. The light there just isn't ideal.
Do you have Halloween in the area where you live?

Nossa amiga La Neal veio com os filhos e parou aqui pra pegar uns docinhos com eles. Hoje e Halloween! Eu fiz torta de gerimum porque vai bem com a noite de Halloween.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

 Above you see our first snow and we love it! We need lots of moisture to recuperate from the horrable drought. Wishing for lots of more snow!
Below are some photos of this great farm we visited. Our friends who live here have 25 cats in this red barn. I saw a cute white one that I wanted to bring home however one more cat in this house would be a real no no! The sand all around there was so fine like the sand you see in the beach by the ocean. The history behind this place is pretty phenomenal. They head their house with a wood stove and it was so toasty and warm. In the afternoon they have a rafter of wild turkeys that came by the fence which is only about 4 to 5 feet from their big kitchen window. I tried to take a photo however they are wild animals and as soon as they hear the slight noise they run away.

 This place was fascinating with the creek to the left and so many trees that it looked like a small forest.

 These photos below is the house and vineyards of their daughter and family. They actually live in Chicago now a days but still keep the house at this place. I remember getting a few bottles of wine from Pete's Creek winery.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Autumn lights and food

The photo above was taken today. I like how the sun cames in through these windows giving us these lovely Autumn lights. I made a simple Sunday dinner. I had while wheat pasta with alfredo sauce. I add some extra cheddar cheese to the sauce. I also had some chicken breasts with herbes de provence., fresh pineapple cut up and lettuce/tomate/white onion for salad. 
Around our house we are happy to see colder temps and the lovely changes in nature in general.
Our son has been helping in the kitchen since he loves to cook and I am glad to have him make something for us to eat. He made qibbe. I liked the pine nuts inside.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

A lovely gift

A marvelous gift from my friend Andi.
I am indeed lucky, look how beautiful this shawl is.  It's 100% wool and feel so soft and gentle. Thank you Andi!!! I love it!

Friday, October 5, 2012


For the love of Focaccia~

Francesca at got me in the mood for focaccia. I have been in love with focaccia since we lived in Atlanta - Georgia back in 1996. I think that was the first time I tasted focaccia. Got hooked by it.  I usually use this recipe but add tomatoes, fresh oregano, basil and sometimes green and or black olives.
This was great with pesto and pickled peppers for the guys. I do not eat hot peppers! We also had different cheeses to go with our focaccia
My son also made a few days ago a great recipe and we all enjoyed. Cardamon Chicken with rice.
(Djeaj ma Riz Boukhari) . It's a Lebanse recipe from a book he got.
I whole chichen about 4 1/2 lbs cut into 10 pieces
2 tablespoons apple cider vinager
1/4 cup extra virgen olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
1/2 cup peeled and shredded carrot (use large roles of a greater)
2  3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoons ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon groud cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/16 of a teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 cups boiling water
1/3 cup of tomato paste
3/4 cup peeled and diced tomato (1/2 inch)
1 teaspoon extra virgen olive oil
1 cup converted (also called parboiled rice)
2 1/2 cups hot reserved broth
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/2 cup toasted golden raisins

To prepare chichen:
cut chicken into 10 pieces.Leave the skin on. Rinse in a bowl with 6 cups cold water and the vinager to refresh the flavor of the chicken. Drain and set aside.
Pre-heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, salt and spices,saute over medium-heat for a couple of minutes. Add the pieces of chicken and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add the boiling water, tomato paste, and tomatoes. Stir well dissolving the tomato paste in the water. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a rolling boil, uncovered, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat. Transfer the pieces of chicken to a flat tray and set aside to cool, uncovered. Reserve all of the broth.
After 15 minutes remove and discard the skin and bones from the pieces of chicken. Do not remove the center bone fro the thigh of drumstick. Place the pieces of chicken in a container just large enough to hold them and cover with some of the reserved broth.
To prepare the rice:
Prehear the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Stir in the rice and coat the grains. Add 2 1/2 cups hot reserved broth and increase the heat to high. Bring to a rolling boil; then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for 15 minutes or until the broth has been absorbed. Then remove from the heat and set aside covered for 20 minutes. Fluff the rice , separating the grains with the tines of a fork,before serving.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds and raisins over a foil lined baking sheet, keeping them separate, and toast in the center of the oven, shaking the pan occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the almonds are golden and the raisins seem inflated. Remove from the oven and drizzle some of the melted butter over each, mixing well to incorporate the butter. Transfer to a paper towel-lined dish. Set aside to cool before using.
To serve:
Warm the meat and rice. Arrange the rice on a platter with the pieces of meat around the perimeter of the rice. Scatter th e room-temperature toasted nuts nad raisins in the center. Garnish with sprigs of parsley and diced tomato around the edge of the platter. Serve with Jalapeno-cilantro salsa as a condiment over the meat and rice, along with Pita Crouton Salad (optional.)

This was taken from a book he has on his kindle fire.  The book is : Classic Lebanese Cuisine by Chef Kamal Al Faqih
It is nice to have something different to serve and he served this with a  nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon (Two Vines)