What We Do When We’er Not In The Kitchen

Cooking on the Stove

On our About page of Splendid Recipes and More it explains saying, “We offer recipes with regards to taste, your health, and feeling good while eating. The “More” in our web-site title is all about what we offer besides delectable recipes.”

If you are a regular reading of our site, you know all about the extras we have posted about besides food recipes. We’ve even had a few blog guests.

We who love and enjoy to cook and bake in the kitchen do so because we want to make others happy, and it is a stress reliever, oh and not to forget, eating is a lot of fun.

But do we have other interests besides cooking and baking? Some of you who read this blog are writers, you collect and write about news topics or short stories and the such. Some of you even write poems, or just take photo shots and post about them.

But I guess I can say that we all have other interests. Those of us here at Splendid Recipes and More have several interests, including a hobby outside the kitchen, and as a matter of fact, outside in my back yard.

View the video to find out. Let us know as well as others, what your interests are outside the kitchen, by leaving your comments below!! Please enjoy the video!!

What Others are Writing About Across the Web:

Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage

Pesto Orrechette with Chicken Sausage

Italian cuisine is always an elaborate meal. You gather several ingredients and spend half the day or more. But this recipe , this Italian pasta dish, is fast , simple and easy in under 40 minutes. It has vegetables for lots of vitamins and minerals. Garlic good for digestion and helps fight against stomach cancer. Also controls your blood pressure.

Basil leaves contain much health benefiting essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Vitamin K in basil is essential for many coagulant factors in the blood and plays a vital role in the bone strengthening function by helping the mineralization process in the bones.

As a side note this is a great nutritional meal for those who suffer with Schizophrenia (Read More Here: Nutritional Hope for Schizophrenic Patients).

What is pasta Orecchiette?

Pasta-Orecchiette

Orecchiette is a type of pasta shaped roughly like small ears, hence the name Orecchiette which in Italian means little ears. It is pasta typical of Puglia, a region of southern Italy.

Orecchiette is about ¾ of an inch across, somewhat domed, and the center is thinner than the rim of the pasta therefore, giving the pasta its interestingly variable texture soft in the middle and a little chewier on the outer part. You can purchase it with a  smooth surface, as in the image or with ridges. Both are the same flavor and texture.

Enjoy the food video!!

 

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Blue Cheese and Apricot Crostini

Blue Cheese and Apricot Crostini

 

Crostini is a popular Italian appetizer that features thin slices of toasted bread served plain or topped with a wide range of  toppings.

What you will need is simple really, one loaf of  multi-grain baguette and extra virgin olive oil. The toppings I used are blue cheese, apricot jam, purple grapes and parsley.

6 oz. container of blue cheese

1 cup apricot jam

1/4 cup of purple grapes or about a hand full, slicing grapes in half

4 sprigs of parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the baguette into ¼-inch slices and arrange on a baking sheet. Brush each slice with olive oil and toast in the preheated oven until golden brown.  You may need to turn the baking sheet or flip the slices to get uniform results.

close-up of Blue Cheese and Apricot Crostini Remove from oven and top with chunks of blue cheese, apricot jam, grape slices and chopped parsley.

Other topping choices you have are:

 Gorgonzola, Walnuts & Honey

6 oz. Gorgonzola cheese

¼ cup walnuts, chopped

Honey for drizzling

Divide Gorgonzola and chopped walnuts among toasted bread slices. Put back in the oven at 350˚ until the cheese melts, approximately 1 – 2 minutes. Drizzle each crostini with a small amount of honey.

You could substitute nuts for pecans and gorgonzola for goat cheese.

 

White Beans with Sage

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 (15 oz.) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons really good extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling

Salt and pepper, to taste

¼ cup fresh sage, washed and finely chopped

Add garlic, cannellini beans, lemon juice and olive oil to food processor and pulse until mixture is coarsely combined. If necessary, add more olive oil to achieve the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Stir in chopped sage until evenly distributed throughout mixture.  Spoon on top of toasted bread slices and drizzle with olive oil.

 

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Delightful Differences between Northern and Southern Italian Cuisine

The Astronomical clock in the Medieval City of Mantua in Lombardy Northern Italy

The Astronomical clock in the Medieval City of Mantua in Lombardy Northern Italy

red checkered table cloth“Let’s go find a good Italian restaurant tonight.” If you immediately envision pasta with lots of red sauce, you are not alone. Italian cuisine is very often lumped into one red-check-tablecloth-covered category.

Yes, this image is part of the Italian culinary experience, but it is only a small part of the whole picture.

If you were to travel the length of Italy, you would find a vast difference in Italian cuisine. This may be a bit surprising considering Italy is only about 800 miles long and 200 miles wide.

How could the cuisine vary so much in such a small area?

The answer lies in the topography. From snowy mountains in the north to sandy beaches in the south, Italy covers every climate known to man. How does this account for the variations in cuisine? Let’s take a look at a few culinary differences and the reasons behind them.

Meat and Seafood

Northern Italy borders Switzerland, Austria, France, and Slovenia and shares their mountainous topography. Although snowy and frigid in some regions, the seas play a part in keeping other areas rather temperate. These warmer temperatures and an abundance of inland lakes and rivers make the northern region ideal for pasturing several types of livestock.  In addition, the region’s inland waters provide refuge for wild game. These rich northern resources result in meals that feature plenty of meat, cream, cheese, and game.

On the other hand, southern Italy has a drier, hotter climate overall and doesn’t have the rich, green pastures and deep woods needed to support livestock and wildlife. It does, however, have a vast coastline with access to large bodies of water. This makes deep sea fishing possible. Since southern Italy is very narrow and surrounded by large bodies of water, you can see why seafood is a staple in every household and why many meals are designed around fresh seafood.

Butter and Olive Oil

As mentioned, the northern climate in Italy with its rich pastures is perfect for raising livestock. Dairy cows are a natural fit for the region, making butter a mainstay in every household.

Olive trees need a sunny, moderate climate to grow and the balmy southern region is a perfect match. As a matter of fact, southern Italy is one of the world’s leading producers of olive oil. You can see why olive oil is a staple in every kitchen in southern Italy.

Root and Vine

Northern Italy’s summers are short. Whatever can be grown in the ground or in the shade will find its way onto the table. You won’t find a lot of ‘red sauce’ in the northern region because tomatoes are not abundant. What you will find is cheesy, cream based dishes, soups, and stews using root vegetables and oftentimes cured meats.

The southern region in Italy is where you’ll find an abundance of world-famous tomato sauce. Thanks to a long growing season, fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs are easy to find in the south. Therefore, fresh is the name of the game in southern Italian cuisine. Lemon, eggplant, tomato, and herbs all play a part in these fresh dishes and are often just tossed lightly with pasta and a drizzle of olive oil.

Although Italy is a relatively small country, the mountainous regions combined with almost 5000 miles of coastline form countless pockets of unique climates, resulting in extreme diversity in the country’s natural and agricultural resources. From north to south, you can see why Italy offers so many culinary differences… and delights!

What Others are Saying About Italian Cuisine:

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Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

Spinach Ravioli Lasagna (2)

This is a meal that will keep cancer away. More about that later.

Here is what you will for Spinach Ravioli Lasagna:

1-6 oz. package baby spinach (if using fresh bunched spinach about 30 leaves)

1/3 cup  pesto sauce

1-15 oz. jar Alfredo sauce

¼ cup chicken broth

1-25-oz. package frozen cheese-filled ravioli, do not thaw

1 cup shredded Italian six-cheese blend

Preheat the oven to 375°

You can opt to make your own pesto sauce, but replace the basil with cilantro or parsley. fresh basil is an herb that works best adding to the dish when it is done cooking, as it turns brown and can change the flavor. You can also use cashews or pecans in place of the pine nuts, to save on cost.

Make your own Alfredo with 1 stick of butter, fresh heavy cream, about 1 cup, and 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.

cut stems from spinach leaf

When preparing this meal, I opted to used fresh bunched spinach, (30 leaves). With a pair of kitchen shears, cut off stems.

washing and cleaning spinach with Eat Cleaner

You will need to wash the spinach of any unwanted residues or dirt. I do so with Eat Cleaner, which is a food based food cleaner. Generously spray the vegetable leafs and let sit for a few minutes than wash off with water. Eat Cleaner cleans all of your produce, including bacteria that could reside on your meats, such as poultry.

cutting spinach for Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

Once spinach is dried began to cut spinach leaves into small pieces with a pair of kitchen shears. Set aside.

preparing ingredients for Soinach Ravioli Lasagna

Combine chicken broth with pesto sauce. Stir in the Alfredo sauce until will combined. Next drop in the cut spinach leaves and mix into the sauce.

layering ingredients for Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

Spoon one-third of Alfredo sauce mixture, about ½ cup into a lightly greased 2.2-qt. or 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Arrange half of ravioli in a single layer over spinach mixture. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining Alfredo sauce. Top that with the shredded cheese.

fresh cooked Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Garnish, if desired. Plate and serve.

Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

As we stated at the on set, this is a great meal to ward off cancer. Spinach is a cruciferous vegetable that kills cancer cells. The salad we have on the plate is a mixture of kale , broccoli, red cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, all which are also cruciferous vegetables.

Just 4 servings a week from this class of vegetables equals the power of eating 10 servings per day of any other vegetable. For more information how food correlates to a healthy you, visit our Health News Library by linking here.

 

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Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Sausage and Tortellini Soup

This is a real simple Italian soup to prepare. The chicken sausage used is Al Fresco all Natural Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage. The canned tomatoes are stewed with basil and oregano as well as the spices in the sausage, there is no need to add any other flavorings. The pasta is a 3-cheese tortellini. This soup is full of flavor.

While looking at other bloggers blogs who have visited Splendid Recipes and More, I found this recipe at The Skinny Fiber Blog, though I did make a few changes.

Just roast the potatoes, cook the pasta, chicken sausage and cut the green beans and mix all together in the sauce pot. Enjoy!!

Sausage and Tortellini Soup

9 oz. of Barilla three cheese tortellini

3 cups chicken broth

2 – 14.5 cans diced tomatoes basil, garlic & oregano

1 lb. of frozen cut green beans, cut to 1 inch

1 lb. fully cooked chicken sausage, sliced

½ lb. small red potatoes, diced

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Wash potatoes, quarter and dice, do not peel. Roast in oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

Cook sausage, let cool, slice and set aside.

Meanwhile in a large sauce pot over medium heat add broth, cans of tomatoes, chicken broth, cut green beans, and mix in well.

Next add pasta and cooked chicken sausage, and stir to incorporate well.

Let mixture in sauce pot simmer over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

Plate and serve. Top with Parmesan cheese.

What Others are Saying Italian Soups

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Anti-Pasta International Lasagna

Anti-Pasta Asian Lasagna

If you like Italian Food or Anti-pasta Italian Food…then you came to the right place.

I called this recipe an International Lasagna as food items from other cultures were added in. Like goat cheese from the Mediterranean, sesame seeds and oil, including soy sauce and fresh ginger from Asian cooking. Not to forget tortillas from the Mexican cuisine. Though we did use 100% whole wheat tortillas.

Here is what you will need:

First though preheat your oven to 350 F degrees.

ingredients for Anti Pasta Asian Lasagna

1 tbsp. honey

3 tbsp. molasses

3 tbsp. sesame seeds

3 tbsp. sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced

3 tbsp. soy sauce

2 -14 oz. cans stewed tomatoes

Mix together in a small bowl: honey, molasses, soy sauce, sesame oil, minced garlic, minced ginger and sesame seeds. Set aside.

ingredients for Oriental Chicken Wraps

This is an image from another recipe, so ignore the peanut sauce on the cutting board. But you can check out that Splendid Recipe here: Oriental Chicken Wraps 

But you will need the following:

1 cup frozen string green beans

1 cup frozen mix peas and carrots

1 cup brown rice, cooked

1 large breast chicken, cooked and cut into small chunks

2 green onions, diced

1 cup chicken broth, no salt added

6 (7-8 inches) whole wheat tortillas

2 – 6 oz. can tomato sauce

Cook rice according to package instructions with 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup water. When rice is done add the diced onions and frozen vegetables and simmer 2 to 3 minutes allowing frozen vegetables to thaw and warm up. Turn off heat and set aside.

Cut up chicken breast in small chunks and mix in with rice mixture along with the honey mixture and one 6 oz. of tomato sauce till all mixtures are well incorporated. Set aside.

Next take your stewed tomatoes and pour them into a strainer and strain off liquid. Put the tomatoes into a food processor and puree them.

preparing Anit Pasta Asian Lasagna 1

Take a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and pour 1/4 cup of the pureed tomatoes and spread it over the bottom of the pan. Place two whole wheat tortillas over the sauce.

preparing Anit Pasat Asian Lasagna 2

Now pour 2 cups of the meat mixture over the tortillas. Spread a hand full of the two cheese(goat cheese and mixed Italian cheeses)over the meat mixture. Repeat this process two more times. Top with one 6 oz. tomato sauce and cheese. Place the prepared pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Plate and serve.

Anti-Pasta Asian Lasagna (2)

Anti-Pasta International Lasagna served with a cool glass of lemon-ginger juice.

What Others are doing with Lasagna

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