The Slumdog Martini

The Slumdog Martini

The Slumdog Martini

I am not going to lie to you, I really just grabbed this cookbook: Indian Cooking Unfolded from my library because I needed something to read while my kids had appointments.  I fell in love.  It is filled with lovely recipes using TONS of spices and herbs….oh my!  Inspirational!  I have so many recipes I want to try but let’s first help ourselves to a lovely cocktail before the real cooking starts!

Although I am not really “allowed” to have martinis (let’s not revisit this lovely issue) I firmly believe that it stands for Dirty Martinis…not this lovely fragrant type of Martinis.

This Martini is inspired by the famous movie: Slumdog Millionaire, which I haven’t seen even though everyone has but it goes with my refusal to see E.T. and pretty much any massively popular movies out there.  Yes I am a rebel….if refusing to watch popular movies or reading popular books is being a rebel.  ;)

Let’s not worry about why I am so weird, let’s get to this deliciously spiced beverage!

amazing color, fresh herbs and spices! YUM!

amazing color, fresh herbs and spices! YUM!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup unrefined sugar

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

½ cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves

2 fresh green serrano chiles, stems discarded, coarsely chopped (do not remove the seeds)

1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt

2 cups crushed ice cubes

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 cup premium vodka or gin

How to:

Chill 4 martini glasses in the freezer.

Measure the sugar into a small saucepan and pour in ¼ cup water.  Stir in the ginger.  Bring it to a boil over medium heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.  Remove the pan from the burner, strain the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl or measuring cup, and chill in the refrigerator as you get the remaining ingredients ready.

ginger simple syrup: perfect!

ginger simple syrup: perfect!

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the skillet is hot, usually after 2 to 4 minutes, add the cumin seeds and toast them, shaking the skillet every few seconds, until they turn an even reddish brown and smell incredibly nutty, 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Immediately transfer the seeds to a small heatproof bowl to cool.

smelling fantastic!

smelling fantastic!

To make a single martini, place 1/8 cup of the mint leaves, a quarter of the chiles (or less see note below), 1/4 teaspoon of the toasted cumin seeds, and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt in a cocktail shaker.  Using a pestle or something you can use to pound, pummel the mixture to release the essential oils until the mint and chile breaks down a bit (not necessarily until it becomes pulpy), 1 to 2 minutes.  Scoop in 1/2 cup ice cubes and pour in 1 tablespoon of the ginger syrup, 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, and ¼ cup vodka or gin.  Screw the cocktail shaker’s lid in place and shake to thoroughly mix the martini.  Pour it into a chilled martini glass.

interesting picture to take...just so you know!  ;)

interesting picture to take…just so you know! ;)

pouring it all in!

pouring it all in!

Great way to start the weekend!

Great way to start the weekend!

Repeat with the remaining ingredients and enjoy!

Note from the author:  If you drink all four, I will see you under the table. 

Hahahaha….I couldn’t agree more!  Been there….Done that….Not proud!

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is spicy….and I mean SPICY.  I loved it but it’s not for the faint of heart.  Add chiles/peppers to YOUR liking don’t worry about what he suggests. 

such a gorgeous interesting cocktail!

such a gorgeous interesting cocktail!

Printer Friendly: The Slumdog Martini

Peace and Be Inspired,

Isabelle

 

Nicole’s Fresh Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Fresh Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Fresh Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Nicole is one of our Lacrosse parents.  We had a lovely end of the season Award “pitch-in” dinner.  Nicole showed up with this AMAZING salad.  So in good Isabelle fashion I asked for the recipe….not in a subtle quiet way but a direct reply to all email that I was looking for the recipe….unless it was top-secret (but we all know I wasn’t about to back down that quietly).

I got the recipe and her blessing to share it with you my wonderful amazing fantastic readers!  <3

I am/was a soccer player, therefore Lacrosse is foreign territory to me.  I know NOTHING about Lacrosse.  Mind you, I was a soccer mom before I became a Lacrosse mom.  I may have overstepped my bound being a soccer mom so it’s best I stay a Lacrosse Mom.

Here’s why I need to be a Lacrosse Mom: when Sunshine was playing soccer, she would be the back up goalie.  Once while she was in the goal, I kept telling her (from the side line as a super shark soccer mom…not proud) to do this or do that…etc…she was paying NO attention to me.  NONE.  So finally I said: “Can’t you hear me?”  She screamed (and I mean screamed for everyone to hear): “Yeah MOM I can hear you!  The whole world can hear YOU”.  I kept my trap shut after that and even now at Lacrosse you will find me in the cheering section: “way to go girls!  Keep up the good work girls!  Awesome!  Great! Amazing!  I love this game!! ….”

I have no clue what I am doing!

all I can say it: YUM SO FRESH!

Awesome! Great! Amazing! I love this salad!

But I know a delicious salad when I eat one!  ;)

Ingredients:

For the salad:

1 9-ounce bag Baby spinach leaves (about 6 cups)

1 lb. container strawberries, sliced

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 cup chopped pecans

Dressing:

1/2 cup sugar (mine was shy of 1/2 cup…trying to lower our sugar intake!)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon each poppy seeds & sesame seeds
How to:
In a medium size mason jar, combine your sugar, oil, red wine vinegar, worcestershire  sauce, poppy seeds and sesame seeds.  Give this a shake like you mean it.  This can be prepared ahead of time, put in your fridge and shaken (like a dirty Martini….) when ready to use!
there is separation in the ranks!

there is separation in the ranks!

see what a little shaking can do!

Shaken….not stirred  ;)

In a large serving bowl combine your spinach, strawberries, shredded mozzarella and chopped pecans.  Toss with dressing when ready to serve.
stunning colors!

stunning colors!

action shot....just 'cause I can!

action shot….just ’cause I can!

fresh, healthy, pretty, and flavor galor!

fresh, healthy, pretty, and flavor galore!

Note: add the dressing right before you serve, I don’t think this salad sits very well unattended…it tends to get temperamental and looks sad… ;)
one last look, it's worth it! <3

one last look, it’s worth it! <3

Peace and Know your Sports,
Isabelle

Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce and Homemade Ricotta

Homemade Ricotta and Raw Tomato Sauce

Pasta with Raw Tomato Sauce and Homemade Ricotta

When I started typing this I was actually sitting at school subbing on the very last day of school.  Some people might call me crazy but I am happy to be here.  While the kids finished up their finals and turned in every books that weight down their famous backpack, I was reading “Delancey” by Molly Wizenberg.  Molly also wrote: “A Homemade Life “.  Both books are absolutely fantastic.  I couldn’t do her justice if I tried to explain how wonderful a writer she is.  I re-read a Homemade Life often.  It just makes me happy.  I will probably do the same with Delancey.

Back to being at school….it’s interesting to me that even when I get home totally exhausted from a day with kids I can’t wait to go back for more.  It is the strangest feeling.  I feel grounded when I am here with them.  I feel at home, which is odd for me, being a homebody is one of my proudest self-descriptions.  But here in these walls (different walls for different schools!) I feel OK, I am not wanting to run screaming for “my” home!  I can dream of food I want to make, plans for our home I have, write my never-ending to-do list, and so on….it’s good place for me.

On that day, I had a vision of pasta, it is a reoccurring vision.  Molly talks about Homemade Ricotta in her book and although I have never made it, I decided I should.  Simple as that, I should try to make ricotta.  What could possibly be better than Raw Tomato Sauce with delicious pasta and soon to be homemade ricotta?  Nothing.  Simple as that.

doesn't that look so delicious?

doesn’t that look so delicious?

Let’s start with the ricotta.  I followed Molly’s recipe, she found it here: Look I made that

Homemade Ricotta:

Ingredients:

6 1/2 cups whole milk

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 cups cultured buttermilk

1 tablespoon salt

How to:

Combine everything in a large pot and cook over medium heat. When the mixture forms curds and the whey separates and becomes clear, turn off heat. Let it for 30 minutes for the curds to strengthen.

the start....seems like nothing but...

the start….seems like nothing but…

magical things are happening

magical things are happening

Set a strainer over a container and line with 2 layers of cheesecloth. Pour ricotta onto cheesecloth and let strain until a desired consistency is reached.

very high tech set up here!

very high tech set up here!

and just like that....

and just like that….

you have ricotta!

you have ricotta!

Stir in salt.

Raw Tomato Sauce:

Ingredients:

2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, finely chopped (keep all the juices)

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped (plus more for serving)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pound spaghetti (I had whole grain pasta today)

Olive Oil, for serving

How to:

*Possibly the easiest sauce ever….

<3

<3

In a large bowl combine your chopped tomatoes with the juices, basil, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper (approx 1 teaspoon each).  Toss well, set aside.

my sauce: a no-brainer

my sauce: a no-brainer

Cook your pasta al dente, keeping 1/2 cup of cooking water.

Serving:  Toss your cooked hot pasta with your Raw Tomato Sauce, put into your serving platter and add dollops of your delicious ricotta, drizzle with olive oil, and more fresh basil.  I like to serve this with more ricotta in a side dish for the gluttons (like me…) who need to add ricotta to every single bite!

this pasta is ready to meet the ricotta (what?)

this pasta is ready to meet the ricotta (what?)

PERFECTION!

PERFECTION!

Note: if needed add a bit of your pasta cooking water when tossing pasta with the sauce.  It will give it a bit more body, if your tomatoes happened to not be very juicy.

Another Note: some people call raw tomato sauce: fresh tomato sauce, either way it’s the same thing.  Bottom line you are not using any heat and/or cooking this sauce.

it's all mine!

it’s all mine!

Printer Friendly Homemade Ricotta:  Homemade Ricotta

Printed Friendly Raw Tomato Sauce: Raw Tomato Sauce

Other delicious ricotta recipes:

Ricotta Chocolate Chips Ice Cream

Delicious Ice Cream

Delicious Ice Cream

Rolled Eggplant with Sausage and Mozzarella

 

I need to make this ASAP

I need to make this ASAP

Easy Cannoli

 

So Easy and So Yummy!

So Easy and So Yummy!

Peace and Simple,

Isabelle

 

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

We decided this year to expand our “greens” in our garden to not only kale and swiss chard but also rainbow chard.  It is quite a miracle that I am able to grow anything at all but the fact that my greens did so well last year made me think I could do more….which is usually where I crash and fail…but so far so good.

I GREW THAT!!!!! So pretty!

I GREW THAT!!!!! So pretty!

This is not so much a recipe per say but more of a guideline.  I make this “recipe/formula” pretty much the same way for kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, beet tops, rainbow chard, spinach…etc…

Got to love a recipe that can adapt to many different main ingredients!

Got to love a recipe that can adapt to many different main ingredients!

Ingredients:

Large bunch of rainbow chard (I had about 15 stems)

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine (substitute with vegetable broth if needed)

1/2 lemon juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

How to:

Separate the stems of the chard from the leaves.  Cut the leaves into bite size pieces and set aside.  Slice the stems into small pieces and set aside.

big ol' bowl of chopped chard

big ol’ bowl of chopped chard

In a large pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add your chopped onion and saute until soft and fragrant.  Add your chopped stems.  Cook on medium heat until soft, about 5-8 minutes.

Look at those gorgeous colors!

Look at those gorgeous colors!

Start adding your chopped leaves, a few big handful at a time, stirring gently after each addition.  It will seem like a mountain of leaves but it will cook down greatly.  Keep adding your leaves until they are all in.

a whole lot of chopped chard

a big mountain of chopped chard

gently stir or you will have chard all over your stove top!

gently stir or you will have chard all over your stove top!

Add your garlic, white wine and lemon juice.  Cook gently until your chard has wilted nicely.  Add your salt and pepper to taste, about 1 teaspoon each.  Finally turn heat off and add your apple cider vinegar, toss everything to combine and serve.

all cooked down and ready to go!

all cooked down and ready to go!

smells so amazing! I am ready to dig in!

smells so amazing! I am ready to dig in!

So easy, healthy and fresh!  I love this side with grilled chicken or baked fish, even a nice steak!  Really it goes with everything, and my kids love it!

Enjoy!  <3

Enjoy! <3

Printer Friendly: Sauteed Rainbow Chard

Peace and Grow,

Isabelle

Fresh Herbs and Brie Quiche

Fresh Herbs and Brie Quiche

Fresh Herbs and Brie Quiche

I don’t make quiche all that often.  Yup, it’s not because one is French that quiche is a daily or even weekly meal.  Also it might have a little something to do with the fact that Mr. Man is not a fan of quiche….so real men sometimes don’t eat quiche!   No worries he can pull off a wonderful pink or purple dress shirt when needed….that was probably TMI but you get the idea!

This quiche celebrates fresh herbs!  MY fresh herbs growing wonderfully in my now beautiful herb garden.  I am so happy to finally be able to walk out my patio door, scissors in hand and simply cut what I need.  I add fresh herbs to everything I can.  It makes a huge difference in every dish in my opinion.  Beautiful colorful fragrant organic pesticide-free fresh herbs….gardening is a blessing!

You can truly grow fresh herbs anywhere!  Even when I lived in Ottawa in a small condo I had fresh herbs all summer long.  So many ways: window boxes, small pots around a patio deck, community gardens, garden co-ops, borrowing a little corner of a friend’s yard in exchange for fresh herbs, etc….

This message was brought to you by your favorite fresh herb blogger  ;)

ahhhh lunch!

ahhhh lunch!

Let’s get to this delicious quiche!

Ingredients:

1 store bought pie crust (or homemade…blah blah blah I can’t make pie crust)

6-ounces (weight) Brie, cut into small pieces (the colder the easier…also rind removal is optional, I like it so I kept it)

1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese

6 slices bacon (or pancetta or ham), cooked and crumbled (optional)

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs: basil, chives, tarragon, oregano, thyme (that’s what I had)

5 large eggs

1 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Put your pie crust in your pan.  Sprinkle your brie evenly at the bottom of your pie crust.  Sprinkle your swiss over your brie.  Next sprinkle your cooked bacon on top of your cheeses.  Set aside.

boy oh boy do I LOVE cheese....all types....all forms...

boy oh boy do I LOVE cheese….all types….all forms…

bacon seem to make people happy!

bacon seem to make people happy!

In a large bowl combine your eggs with your milk, heavy cream, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of mixed fresh herbs.  Whisk everything until well combined.  Pour over your cheese and bacon mixture.   Sprinkle the remainder 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs over your egg mixture.  Put your pie pan/plate on a baking sheet and put in your preheated oven for 45-60 minutes (ovens are temperamental).

action shot!

action shot!

now THAT'S a lot of fresh herbs!

now THAT’S a lot of fresh herbs!

love the color of this quiche!

love the color of this quiche!

Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.  YUMMY!

the first bite always makes me the happiest...then the second...and on and on

the first bite always makes me the happiest…then the second…and on and on

Printer Friendly:  Fresh Herbs and Brie Quiche

quiche.... oui oui ;)

quiche…. oui oui ;)

Peace and Be Real,

Isabelle

Biscoff Puppy Chow

Biscoff Puppy Chow/Muddy Buddies

Biscoff Puppy Chow/Muddy Buddies

Yes.  I have lost all self-control.  It is not often that one should admit defeat but at this point in my life I think it is only fair to say: I give up.

I am addicted to Biscoff.

Pure and Simple addiction.  This stuff makes me weak at the knees.  Makes my heart flutter and gives me goosebumps.  I sound crazy….I know.  I am crazy.  Who obsesses over a simple food item like that?  Me….that’s who.  The weak one!

So with nothing futher, here is the recipe.  I can eat my weight in this stuff….which evidently might be increasing  if I keep eating this stuff…it’s a losing battle this addiction of mine!

OK...take a good long look at this madness. It may seem like nothing but it's EVERYTHING!

OK…take a good long look at this madness. It may seem like nothing but it’s EVERYTHING!

Ingredients:

9 cups crispy rice cereal squares

3/4 cup Biscoff spread, creamy (Speculoos)

1/4 cup butter

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

How to:

Put your cereal in an extra-large bowl.  Trust me, extra large….you need room otherwise stuff goes flying everywhere!  Set aside.

In a large ziplock bag combine your confectioner/powdered sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder.  Close your bag and combine everything together, no rhyme or reason just do your best!  Set aside.

In a medium size saucepan combine your Biscoff spread, butter, chocolate chips and vanilla.  Melt on low and stir until well combined.  The mixture will be pretty thick but that’s OK.  Pour over your cereal and using what ever works for you, gently fold everything so that your cereal are all covered with your Biscoff mixture.  Yes, it does take a little effort and yes you will crush some along the way but it is so worth it.  SO WORTH IT!  (can you tell I am in love!!!)

I know this picture is gasly...I apologize but it's what happens!

I know this picture is horrid…I apologize but it’s what happens!

Once your cereal is covered by the Biscoff mixture pour everything into your powdered sugar bag.  Close it up and start to shake it (gently) to cover everything!!!!!

OK...these pics are crazy bad but TRUST ME please this is super duper delish!

OK…these pics are crazy bad but TRUST ME please this is super duper delish!

Now the hard part…..let this cool.  Pour into a large bowl or rimmed baking sheet and DO NOT TOUCH IT….ah who am I kidding?  Try a bite or 15….so amazing.  But if you manage to let it cool it will be the bestest treat your will EVER eat.  So delicious.

come to mama....this is heavenly!

come to mama….this is heavenly!

Note: these are also called Muddy Buddies.  Also if you cannot find Biscoff Spread you can always go classic and use peanut butter.  You may want to skip the cinnamon with the confectioner/powdered sugar….or not.

Another Note: my sweet husband bought me a bag (the size of a small child) of peanut butter & chocolate puppy chow the other day.  I told him if he did that again I would torture him.  I ate the whole flippin bag.  He saw I had an issue with puppy chow, so he didn’t buy anymore….so I made my own.  Crazy….I am telling you I AM CRAZY!

want some?

want some?

Another  Note: Biscoff or Speculoos is usually found near the peanut butter and Nutella (which is so last year…hahaha)

in case you have never heard of Biscoff/Speculoos/Cookie Spread....GASP.....

the good stuff….real flippin’ good!

Printer Friendly: Biscoff Puppy Chow

I ate 4 times that amount today....I am hopeless!

I ate 4 times that amount today….I am hopeless!

Peace and when is the intervention?

Isabelle

Grilled Chicken with Spicy Mango Sauce

Grilled Chicken with Spicy Mango Sauce

Grilled Chicken with Spicy Mango Sauce

About three years ago during one of our visits with my folks in Canada they took us to a local Mexican Restaurant.  I can’t remember the name but I remember what I ate.  Typical.

I had a delicious chicken with a mango sauce dish….simply delicious.  I tried to duplicate it at home on several occasions.  Never quite what I remembered.

Then my lovely mother (who is cleaning out her house once more to downsize) brought me some old Bon Appetit magazines. …we are talking circa 1994.  Other than pleasing me, I seriously wonder why she hung on to these for so long….oh well….I’m glad she did because I found a recipe I could definitely work with for my mango sauce.

Note: I couldn’t find this recipe on the Bon Appetit Website , I think it is because it was a reader’s request from a restaurant.  I also have found that said restaurant (Cottonwood Cafe in Bethesda, Maryland) no longer exists!  Oh well…I did try!

Grilled Chicken says SUMMER IS HERE....and this sauce puts the mango on top!  ;)

Grilled Chicken says SUMMER IS HERE….and this sauce puts the mango on top! ;)

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (if needed cut breast in half, so they cook evenly)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup fresh herbs (basil, oregano,chives, parsley, rosemary), roughly chopped

1/4 cup lime juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 mango, peeled, pitted and chopped

2 peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped

1/4 cup brown sugar (I used raw coconut sugar, see pic below)

2 cups sweet white wine (Riesling, Moscato…etc..)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

3 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 cup vegetable broth (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

How to:

For the chicken:

In a large ziplock bag combine your chicken with olive oil, herbs, lime juice and garlic.  “Massage” everything well.  Put in your fridge for 3-4 hours (or even overnight won’t hurt anything).  If you prefer to marinate your chicken in a large bowl, simply combine your olive oil, herbs, lime juice and garlic, mix well and add your chicken.  Make sure all pieces of chicken are well coated with the marinade.

wanted to show you...but honestly this pic makes me gringe...ooops

wanted to show you…but honestly this pic makes me cringe…ooops

For the sauce:

In a large saucepan, melt your butter with your olive oil.  Add your mango, peaches and sugar.  Cook stirring frequently for about 15 minutes until fruits are soft and sugar is completely melted.  Add your wine and cook until wine has reduced to a sauce consistency (about 20 minutes).  Add your cream and chilies.  Simmer for another 10 minutes.  Using an immersion blender or a blender puree your sauce.  Return to your pan (if you were using your blender) add your lime juice.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Keep warm until  chicken is ready.  If your sauce is too thick add your vegetable broth.  Stir well to combine.

look at the pretty colors!

look at the pretty colors!

reducing definitely makes flavors go from 0 to 100!  WOW!

reducing definitely makes flavors go from 0 to 100! WOW!

this is going to be amazing!  I can tell...I REALLY can tell!

this is going to be amazing! I can tell…I REALLY can tell!

For the chicken:

Preheat your grill.  Remove chicken from marinade.  Grill until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per sides.  Transfer chicken to serving plate (or platter if serving family style) spoon sauce over chicken!

I am so ready for this explosion of flavors!

I am so ready for this explosion of flavors!

DELICIOUS.  Slightly spicy but not overwhelming.   The color is so pretty with little flecks of red from the chipotle chilies.  I think this sauce would also be amazing on fish, grilled vegetables, burgers….oh the possibilities!

I can no longer wait...the first bite took me back to that delicious restaurant and the amazing meal I had with my folks <3

I can no longer wait…the first bite took me back to that delicious restaurant and the amazing meal I had with my folks <3

Printer Friendly: Grilled Chicken with Spicy Mango Sauce

Peace and Hang On,

Isabelle

NOTE:  I know I have been somewhat absent.  I have so many delicious recipes I want to share with you guys.  I feel horrible….but life as you know it is not a rehearsed play…sometimes you just fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best.  Stick with me, I promise to keep on going and keep on sharing!  :)

 

 

Scotcharoos (my way)

Scotcharoos <3

Scotcharoos <3

Some days I think I live under a rock.  I honestly had never heard of Scotcharoos until a few days ago.  Truth be told when I saw the picture of a lovely dessert treat I wanted to make Sunshine for prom night at her friend’s house, I thought it was simply a layer of Rice Krispies squares.  I saw the name but thought nothing of it.  Then my friend Chris came over and I showed her the recipe and she said: “oh yea I love Scotcharoos….”

What?  ummmm…..OK.

So then I had this flashback of never having tried Hamburger Helper until I married Mr. Man.  Never having ordered Chinese take-out until I moved in with the “princess” in college.  Never having Spam…still!

What’s a silly girl to do?  Make Scotcharoos and make some pretty darn good one at that!  So take that stupid rock over me!  :/

these little gems are so flippin' amazing!

these little gems are so flippin’ amazing!

Please note this is not the “classic scotcharoos” these have been Isabellized…what ever that means!

Ingredients:

6 cups rice Krispies cereal

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup sugar

1 cup peanut butter

2 cups chocolate chips, divided

1 cup butterscotch chips

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

How to:

Spray a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl combine your cereal with 1 cup chocolate chips.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, combine your corn syrup and your sugar.  On medium heat gently stir until sugar has melted.  Remove from heat and add your peanut butter.  Gently stir until combined and creamy.  Add to your cereal and chocolate chips mix.  Quickly stir.  The heat from the peanut butter mixture will melt some of your chocolate chips, go for it. Don’t worry about it too much.  It will taste amazing.  Spread your mixture into your prepared pan.  Set aside.

the peanut butter mixture is quite spectacular if you ask me!

the peanut butter mixture is quite spectacular if you ask me!

all set!

all set!

In a heat proof dish combine your 1 cup chocolate chips with your butterscotch chips.  Starting with 30 seconds heat in your microwave.  Stirring after each time.  (I did 30 secs then another 30 secs. but followed with 15 seconds increments as to not burn my chips)  Once completely melted pour over your cereal mixture and spread evenly.  Set aside.

chocolate & butterscotch make a beautiful friendship!

chocolate & butterscotch make a beautiful friendship!

In another small heat proof dish melt your peanut butter chips in microwave.  Again stirring after each time.  (I would suggest 15-20 seconds increments)  Using a spoon, place dollops of your melted chips over the chocolate/butterscotch layer.  Using a knife gently run through to swirl the peanut butter with the chocolate/butterscotch layer.  Done!  Place in your fridge (if in a hurry) or leave to cool at room temperature until chips have hardened.

there is no rules here....just dollops of peanut butter! Whatever works!

there is no rules here….just dollops of peanut butter! Whatever works!

pretend to be an artist....a peanut butter artist!

pretend to be an artist….a peanut butter artist!

OH MY WORD.....pure art!

OH MY WORD…..pure art!

Voila!!!! One of the best treat I have had in a long time….SUPERB!

I want this piece right now!

I want this piece right now!

Printer Friendly:  Scotcharoos

so so so perfectly fabulous!

so so so perfectly fabulous!

Note: these are simply jaw-dropping delicious….addictive….not something that will get you bikini ready….beware my friends, one could eat a whole pan of these goodies!

don't you just want to take a bite?  ;)

don’t you just want to take a bite? ;)

Peace and Rock,

Isabelle

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

At first I thought: yuck…

Then I remembered my: Not your mama’s apple pie  which is made with green tomatoes.

So I figured if Nate, my husband’s buddy from the Firehouse says it is delicious then who am I to judge.

I made the cake….turns out Nate’s Mom knows how to make a great cake even if it is with canned tomato soup, which I have never been a fan of, case and point: Cream of Roasted Tomato Soup.

reminiscent of a spice cake, slightly similar in color to a carrot cake....but absolutely delicious and moist!

reminiscent of a spice cake, slightly similar in color to a carrot cake….absolutely delicious, flavorful and moist!

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1-1/3 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 can condensed tomato soup

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 cup water

2 eggs

 How to:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour an 9 X 13 baking pan.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine your flour, cinnamon, sugar, ground cloves, baking powder, baking soda, and allspice.

Add your tomato soup and shortening, beat until well blended.  Add your water and eggs.  Beat for 3 minutes.  Spread into your prepared pan.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on rack.  Cool completely before frosting.

a gorgeous pinkish orangy hue...very pretty!

a gorgeous pinkish orangy hue…very pretty!

wow! the smell is absolutely amazing!

wow! the smell is absolutely amazing!

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Ingredients:

8-ounce cream cheese at room temperature

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 lbs confectioner sugar

How to:

Whip cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Add you milk and vanilla combine well.  Gradually add your sugar until well blended.

cream cheese frosting....simply magical!

cream cheese frosting….simply magical!

Do you guys have an unusual recipe you would like to share with me?  If interested please email me at: isamvor@comcast.net I would love to blog with all my readers all the fun, perhaps bizarre yet delicious recipes that you want to share with me/us.

you know it's a good cake when my mom tells me it's a perfectly delicious and she must have it for breakfast as well! ;)

you know it’s a good cake when my mom tells me it’s perfectly delicious and she must have it for breakfast as well! ;)

Printer Friendly:  Tomato Soup Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Peace and Let’s be unusual,

Isabelle

Roasted Garlic Pomodoro Sauce

Roasted Garlic Pomodoro Sauce

Roasted Garlic Pomodoro Sauce

It’s always a good thing when I can say: “well, at least I learned something today and I can go to bed a little smarter”.  I guess in the grand scheme of life what I learned today won’t make or break me but I am glad I figured it out by myself.

Here’s the story….it’s not very riveting but it’s one I think you’ll appreciate.

I went to Aunt Joyce’s a few weeks back.  She was raving about this delicious sauce she gets at a local Italian restaurant: Pomodoro Sauce.  It can be used for dipping and of course to drown some serious pasta as well.  She told me I should find a recipe for it.  I started looking around.  I kept thinking: “it’s really just tomatoes….hmmmm….” then I stumbled upon a site that said: “pomodoro sauce simply means: tomato sauce”  AH!  Yep.  I had a AH! moment.  It makes sense.  Yet how you make your pomodoro sauce is important.  It’s all about the flavors, all about the tomatoes, and all about the consistency.

There you have it.

Tomato Sauce.

No need to reinvent the wheel…..well I did add the roasted garlic instead of just regular chopped garlic.  I find the roasted garlic adds a wonderful depth of flavor to the sauce.

my love of pasta and delicious sauce truly is infinite....amen!

my love of pasta and delicious sauce truly is infinite….amen!

Ingredients:

1 garlic head, top cut off (see pics below)

1 can 28-ounces crushed tomatoes: I went with the lovely and delicious Tuttorrosso by Red Gold (Indiana’s best!)

1 medium onion, minced

Olive oil

1/2 cup fresh basil (plus more for serving)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Fresh parmesan cheese, for serving

How to:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Put your garlic head in a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil.  Put in your preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Remove and let cool for a few minutes.

garlic, before

garlic, before

and after....fair warning your house will smell like love!  Garlic love that is ;)

and after….fair warning your house will smell like love! Garlic love that is ;)

In a large pan or dutch oven, heat your olive oil (about 1 tablespoon).  Add your onion and gently sautee for about 4-5 minutes.  Cut the tip of your garlic cloves and squeeze your roasted garlic in your onion mixture.  Gently stir and break up your garlic to blend with your onions.  Add your crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon each).  Bring to a simmer.  Roughly chop or tear your basil and add to your tomatoes.  Let this simmer for about 30 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  To serve top with fresh basil and a healthy dose of Parmesan cheese.

Perfect tomato sauce!  Simple perfect!

Perfect tomato sauce! Simple perfect!

I actually consider using this as my personal plate...

I actually considered using this as my personal plate…

this is the ticket to win a LOT of applause around your home!

this is the ticket to win a LOT of applause around your home!

Red Gold was so wonderful to send me some delicious Tuttorosso products.  Go check out their Facebook page: here

thank you Red Gold/Tuttorosso! I LOVE your products!

thank you Red Gold/Tuttorosso! I LOVE your products!

original

Enter to win some serious cool prizes!  It’s all about Traditions!  YUM!  I know one family tradition from my grandmother I will never forget is adding green olives to her spaghetti sauce.  OH MY GOODNESS….my absolute favorite…now if I could convince Mr. Man that olives are delicious!  ;)

forget the olives for now...let's devour this madness!

forget the olives for now…let’s devour this madness!

Printer Friendly: Roasted Garlic Pomodoro Sauce

Note: if you do not like big pieces of garlic in your sauce you can squeeze it onto a cutting board and mince it prior to adding it to your tomatoes.

Peace and AH!

Isabelle