Vanilla Banana Crepes with Cinnamon Apple Pieces

While on a business call, this recipe came up. Since I have some TLS Vanilla on hand, it was the perfect start to a well developed recipe. Most of the time someone comes up with a recipe and you have to go to the market to buy all the ingredients. Well for me, this wasn’t the case. If you don’t have the TLS Vanilla and/or Pumpkin mix, you can go here to find it.

What you need: non stick pan or crepe pan, baking spatula, spatula for cooking, coconut oil, apple, cinnamon, swerve sugar (if KETO), TLS vanilla powder, egg, banana, plate for serving. You can line the crepes with parchment paper so they don’t stick to each other.

Ingredients:

TLS Vanilla powder

1 egg

1 medium banana

What I found with this is you can mix it all with a hand mixer or spatula.

Instructions:

Mash the banana with the 2 scoops of TLS vanilla powder. Beat the egg in a cup – add it to the mashed banana and powder.

If you have a non stick pan, you can coat it with a little coconut oil – it may separate, but that is okay. I have a crepe pan I use, only because I find it easier to flip the crepes.

Once the pan is hot enough (you want it hot enough to cook quick, but not enough to burn the batter), pour a scoop of the batter on the pan and move the pan around in a circular motion so the batter will spread to the edges. If it doesn’t do it by itself, take the back of a spoon and spread it around yourself. Once the crepe starts to bubble, it is time to flip. You can use a spatula for this process so you don’t break the crepe.


Apple and Sweet Pepper Salsa

Have you ever been set to cook something you’d been thinking about all week and then changed your mind at the last minute. Well, that happened to me today. I was going to make a regular summer salsa, but thought, “summer is actually almost on its way out.” I was looking at the bowl of apples in the kitchen, and then went to the garden to see that my last harvest of tomatoes was long from turning red. Well, here came the thought of making apple salsa, rather than the traditional tomato salsa. Lo and behold, I didn’t know how it was going to taste because I’d never had anything like it before. May a mango salsa, but that’s a close to a sweet salsa I’ve come.

Here is what I did:

Cut and sliced two cups of apples, placing them in a cup with water and lemon juice (the lemon juice keeps the apples from growing). Apple brown when they hit the air. Quarter a red pepper and yellow pepper, slicing them about the same width and length as the apples (it yielded about 1 cup). Cut on jalepeno pepper in half, discarding the seeds and membrane, and slicking about the same width and length as the pepper. Quarter one medium onion, slicing the same width as the other vegetables. Placed all ingredients into the hand held mixer, chopping to desired size. Then add 1 tablespoon honey (amber unfiltered), 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, 3 tablespoons lime juice, and three sprigs of parsley.

Now for the tortilla chips or cups (scoops): Take a round tortilla, cut with a round cookie cutter, place tortilla in a cupcake pan, cooking for ten months on 350 degrees. Let set for a few minutes before removing from pan. I used small dishes I bought at Williams Sonoma. Chop all ingredients together to incorporate the wet ingredients.

Look what I found:

My husband made chicken thighs last night and we had some left over. I chopped up the chicken, took a tortilla shell, toasted in the over with cheddar cheese, laced the chopped chicken on top, and topped with apple salsa. What flavors melded together was amazing.


Happen Upons

Saturday, February 15, 2020, I decided to take a trip to Roslindale – after deciding to drop my daughter at a wine class, I decided to stay in town and experience a neighborhood I wasn’t familiar with. All I had to do is check my phone and ask for “farmer’s markets in the area.” There happened to be one just one block away from where the wine class was!! I was so excited for this journey. Sons of Italy Roslindale:

Great finds in Roslindale

First stop: micro greens. Since I bought an abundant amount of micro greens last week, I only bought fresh basil, local honey (Dorchester area), and hot sauce with habaneros, red, yellow peppers. I’m going to use the basil in a chicken meatball sauce for dinner tomorrow night. I’ll also use some for a goat cheese stuffed tomato side dish.

Next stop: eastern fair – grape leaves (there were none left to purchase, however, I got to try some). Tender, nicely seasoned, the grape leaf melted in my mouth. I purchased some calamata hummus, and a felafel. The felafel was nutty and satisfied my appetite until lunch.

Up next: almond butters – again, sold out. Did I mention I got to the market at 1:30. It started at 10:00. Early bird gets the worm… This guy was a teacher with Uncommon Schools. We talked for a bit about his butters. Even though he was sold out (a good thing for him), he still had samples. I tried the apple almond butter first – a little on the sweat side, so he offered a taste of his sugar free version without apples – simple, but punched a lot of flavor (yum). He’s launching his website soon. I’ll keep you posted.

Next stop: bakery. Oh Boy. I am culinary trained in both sweet and savory, so I was really ready to enjoy talking about some of the fabulous ingredients in theses ideas I was looking at.

Savory scone

Cowgirl vegan cookie

It’s lunch time: instead of eating, I figured I would drink my lunch. A local shop recommended I go to the Green T Shop. I had the Bellaire: pomegranate juice, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, mandarin orange & yogurt (full of antioxidants!!!)

Enjoy pics of the atmosphere!

Bathroom Decor

Atmosphere

Shop Decor

This place was comfortable, not too crowded, warm and cozy for a sunny brisk winters day.

More to come…..



Salmon with guacamole w/walnuts and spring salad

I went up to New Hampshire last weekend for a pizza party. I told my sister-in-law that I wasn’t eating bread. When I showed up she took salmon out of the oven. She didn’t know I didn’t like salmon! Well, I told her I would try it, and I did. It was fantastic. Not just good – really good. I had a piece with the salad I made for the pizza party. On my way home from work this week, I picked up some Salmon. I looked in my Keto cookbook magazine and found a great recipe. I altered it a little, to satisfy my own tastes (something I do with a lot of my recipes).

Check out my recipe pages – comment with any questions.

-Lisa


I’m am so blessed to have such thoughtful people in my life. I was working and this guy, he brings in a bag – it’s heavy. I look in it ands its two jars of jam his wife made for me. I was all smiles and gave him a hug to give to his wife even though he was all sweaty from playing basketball. One of those moments you think about (giving a hug to a sweaty guy) and then you just do it because it’s the right thing to do.

I woke up and couldn’t stop thinking about the jam and which one I wanted to have on my toast, so I decided to have both. Beyond me why blueberries don’t smell
However when I popped open the jar, the rich dark blue indigo color of the blueberry had my mouth watering –
Then I popped open the 🍓 container and a burst of aroma hit my nose.

The blueberry jams flavor was rich and not too sweet, just the way I like it. As I took every bite I imagined how many anti-oxidants were filling up my body, and as always the strawberry jam, with its semi-chunks of strawberry spreads nicely on my wheat toast and has an abundance of sweet flavors. I added a little homemade butter the kids and I made at camp last week and a dollop of cream cheese to cut all the sweetness. Yummy!


Valentine’s Day!

How to say I love you with chocolate dipped strawberries.

For the non-chocolate lover, say it with fresh fruit or fresh fruit and  cheese!

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries!  One of my favorites; I like using chocolate morsels to melt my chocolate because they are already tempered.   I add a little butter when melting to give it a little shine on the finished product.  When I was in school, we used Callebaut Chocolate (callebaut.com).  It can be expensive, and needs to be tempered.

When choosing chocolate, think about what type of chocolate the person you are giving the gift to.  Everyone has a certain taste in chocolate. I use dark chocolate (Giardelli 60% Cocao bittersweet morsels) because I like the balance of the dark chocolate with the sweetness of the strawberries.  For my children and guests I use Semisweet morsels because they like the sweet on sweet taste of the chocolate and the strawberries.

Put aside about an hour to complete from start to finish if more than 1/2 dozen strawberries (once you read through the entire recipe, and you master making dipped strawberries, it should not take as long the second time).  Give a try!

Recipe:

Depending on how many strawberries you want to give or serve, the amount of chocolate doesn’t really matter because the chocolate can be preserved in the refrigerator (it will solidify and keep for a good amount of time and can be melted again, or used for another chocolate dish).

What you will need:

Double boiler (if you don’t have a double boiler, you can use a saucepan and a stainless steel or glass bowl that can withstand heat over hot water.  Check out my page on Best Things I Ever Bought for the item I use with my saucepan.  Also, I have added “the easy way” at the bottom of the instructions if you don’t want to deal with the double boiler option.  I like having the double boiler so the chocolate stays melted and is easier to work with.  With the microwave option, as chocolate hits the air, it starts to thicken.  The chocolate should not be hot when dipping the strawberries, it should be semi-warm.

6-12 oz. of chocolate morsels (you choose the brand)

2-4 oz. white chocolate morsels

Strawberries (amount will depend on how many you are serving or want to serve)

Cookie tray covered with parchment paper or wax paper

Strawberries

  • Wash strawberries – soaking in water for 1 minute – drain and towel dry, leaving the stems on.  There should be no water left on the strawberry when dipping (I place my strawberries on a paper towel while I am working (if the strawberries are wet, the chocolate won’t stick and will cause the chocolate in the pan to solidify.

Chocolate Morels

  • Boil water in saucepan (water should be filled to about 1/3 of the saucepan, turning down heat to simmering once it’s boiled
  • Place bowl on top of saucepan, making sure it fits secure on top of the saucepan. The top bowl should not be hitting the water
  • Making sure there is no water (hot or cold) inside the bowl, pour in the morsels (once chocolate touches water, it solidifies).  You may see some steam come from the sides.  As long as the steam doesn’t get into the bowl you are safe.
  • Melt the chocolate until it is smooth and ready for dipping.  You can start to stir the morsels immediately as some morsels may still look whole, but are melted.  At this point, I add 1/2 tablespoon of butter/shortening/or oil to chocolate to give it a little shine.

Assembly

  • Take the strawberry by the stem (pinching with three fingers) and holding the side of the strawberry with the ring finger for pressure, dip in a swirl like motion covering the entire strawberry, except for the stem, lifting the strawberry out of the chocolate and placing at an angle onto the cookie tray.  Space strawberry so that the chocolate doesn’t melt into the strawberry beside it.
  • Once strawberries are placed on cookie sheet, take the white chocolate (see below) and drizzle strawberries with white chocolate.
    • With a spoon – take a spoon, and lift the spoon up keeping it over the dish (a single string of chocolate will form, once you are able to get the string formed, swipe back and forth over strawberries until streams of chocolate appear.
    • With a pastry bag – place white chocolate in pastry bag making sure the whole on the bottom of the pastry bag is very small (enough to drizzle through).  Swipe chocolate over strawberries back and forth.
  • Place tray in the refrigerator until chocolate is completely solidified – approximately 30 minutes (If I am in a hurry, I place them in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes (you will know they are ready when they lift off the paper freely).

White Chocolate Drizzle

  • Place morsels in a microwavable dish, set microwave for desired time (Usually 15 seconds, depending on my microwave setting).  If it needs longer, set at 15 second intervals until melted and can be stirred. Morsels may still look whole, but are heated enough to melt and can be stirred.

Gift Giving – I purchase small pastry boxes, or clear plates and place a doily on surface, then assemble strawberries.  For the plates, I wrap in clear basket wrap and place bow around to secure.

The easy way:  Microwave your chocolate (depending on your microwave temperature, you will have to keep an eye on the melting of the chocolate).  Morsels may still look whole, but are heated enough to melt and can be stirred.

Why I don’t use the microwave:  If the chocolate overcooks, if I don’t watch it carefully.  It can burn and solidify and won’t be usable to dip strawberries, so be careful.


Friendship Foods

This post has been on my mind for quite some time.

My co-worker, colleague, most definitely friend – Kim Couture – She and her husband made me strawberry jam!

The flavors, the texture, the just so sweet taste – everything about it is magnificent.  The strawberries are fresh.  The texture is pure indulgence – not chunky, just smooth and melt in your mouth yummy!  I could use it for PB&J’s, PBJ&Fluff’s, and my most recent, oat toast with cream cheese.  With a cup of  coffee, it was the perfect balance.

Thank you Kim!


Farmer’s Market Salad

Farmer’s Market Salad

Bed of mixed greens

Two tablespoons tabbouleh

Two slices cooked beets (recipe to follow)

Two grape leaves

In addition, I added:

One can of tuna mixed with one tablespoon of mayonnaise, salt & pepper to taste

One hard boiled egg

Two tablespoons of cottage cheese

5 shakes of red wine vinegar

5 shakes of olive oil

1 pinch of Italian herbs

 


Thanksgiving! What’s on the menu?

I like the beginning of the fall season when the whether is cool, leaves are falling changing colors.  Birthdays, Halloween, and now Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving with my husband’s family – it’s exciting, interesting, eventful, and a whole lot of food.  The table is set with soup, appetizers, antipasto, lasagna and turkey with all the fixings.  How could one person ever put all that together.  Then there was the dessert table to contend with.

Thanksgiving dinners were once shared at my husbands mother’s home, but then came the day he offered to have it at our house.  We lived in an apartment at the time – I could never understand how I was ever going to complete a meal for 14+ people and get everything out on time.  Anxiety would set in and then it came.   I think it was the first time I ever burnt a sauce.  My husband and I stood in the kitchen trying to figure out what we could do to mask the taste of the burn.  We threw a couple of pieces of potato in the pot thinking it would soak in the burnt taste, but it just didn’t matter. The anxiety got the best of me hosting that Thanksgiving.

That is the moment it hit me – I wanted to go to culinary school to learn how to cook.  I enrolled into The Cambridge School Culinary Arts in September of 1998 and have hosted successful Thanksgiving Dinners ever since.  After graduating, I felt a new found appreciation for not only being thankful, but for sharing what I was learning with the people I was thankful for.  Updates on recipes will come soon!  For now, enjoy the Goat Cheese Stuffed Tomatoes!

What’s on the menu:

Goat cheese stuffed tomatoes

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Bruchetta

Cheese, crackers and fruit platter

Turkey and all the fixings

Lemon Pound Cake

Cannoli’s with fresh strawberries

Lisa’s stuffing