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I have moved and would love for you to hop on over to www.familyfoodie.com

I promise you will love the new look and all the great recipes.

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Isabel

Shrimp & Grits, Stuffed Peppers, Chicken Divan #SundaySupper

Humor has a way of bringing people together. ~Ron Dentinger
It is said that Families that share dinner together share more laughter.  It is so true at our  home.  We share more laughs Around the Family Table than anywhere else. #SundaySupper  is always a time for jokes and  laughter.
Three of the funniest people I know are Sandi McKenna, Vicky Akins and Rick Griffin.  I love seeing the world through Midlife Road Trip.  Whether they are laughing at themselves or their adventures, they are absolutely hysterical.
I am thrilled to be breaking bread with them  this #SundaySupper and honored  they would share some of their amazing recipes with me.
~A Day in the ~Mid~ Life
Some Family Tables are shared with folks who share a bloodline. Others are folks who have been brought together by circumstance, common interests and shared passions. Such is the case with the MidLife Road Trip ‘Family’ … A food, travel and adventure show, the MidLife Road Trip has evolved into a community of friends, who like family, gather around the table, albeit sometimes virtual, sharing recipes, meals and dinner conversation.
Wherever you are, who ever you are you are with, if your “Sunday Supper” is brunch, lunch or dinner, make it a celebration!
Sometimes it’s fun to have breakfast for #SundaySupper.  Especially with this recipe:

Shrimp-n-Grits Alfredo with a kick

Shrimp:

  • 10-14 large uncooked shrimp
  • red bell pepper sliced
  • green bell pepper sliced
  • ¼ onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • 3 sun dried tomatoes diced or grape tomatoes halved
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Bacon can be added at finish if desired
Grits:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅔ cup polenta (or grits)
  • ¼ pkg cream cheese
  • ¼ stick butter
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 6 sprigs fresh cilantro (chopped)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Saute shrimp, red & green bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, over medium heat about 2 minutes.
  2. Add salt, pepper and heavy whipping cream.
  3. Continue cooking until juices are reduced to about ½
  4. Combine water, heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, and butter to a boil.
  5. Slowly stir in grits
  6. Reduce to low heat, continue to occasionally stir until grits are thick & creamy
  7. Stir in Parmesan cheese and chopped cilantro
  8. Plate Shrimp on top of alfredo grits
Rick’s Backstory:

No matter where the MidLife Road Trip travels to, Rick is bound and determined to try Shrimp and Grits. Born and raised in the south, he truly is a shrimp and grits devotee and has developed his recipe. Watch your waistline and grab the defibrillator this recipe isn’t for the diet conscious.

I loved hearing about Sandi’s stay at Rancho La Puerta.  I can only imagine how peaceful, beautiful and inspirational it must be to have stayed there. I could literally sit Around the Family Table listening to Sandi’s stories about her stay.  I am thrilled that she is sharing one of her favorite recipes from her visit.

Colorful Stuffed Peppers 
  • 2 Sweet Yellow Peppers
  • 10 Grape or Cherry Tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup of cooked black beans (if you’re in a hurry canned work well, just drain & rinse)
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup minced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt
  • dash hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut yellow peppers in half lengthwise.
  2. Remove seeds
  3. Rinse and dry completely.
  4. Sprinkle with olive oil.
  5. Dust with sea salt to taste.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes in pre-heated 375 degree oven
  7. In a large bowl combine black beans, rice, minced onion.
  8. Season with hot sauce. I use Intensity Academy Garlic Goodness.
  9. Toss in spinach and tomatoes.
  10. Stuff peppers evenly with mixture.
Sandi’s Backstory:
Rancho la Puerta in Tecate, Mexico was the inspiration behind this dish. The ‘Ranch’ has been there for 75 years on 3,000-acres and it offers world-class landscaped gardens, an organic farm and internationally known cooking school. Rancho La Puerta is more than a destination spa, it is a life changing experience. It inspired me to look at food differently like these peppers, I incorporated a rainbow of color … like the Ranch encouraged us to do at every meal!
Vicky their  partner in crime loves to cook and bake.  She will warm your heart with her amazing recipes.  I am thrilled she is sharing a family favorite with us:
Chicken Divan
  • 2 bunches fresh, stems trimmed & separated or 2 (10 oz.) pkgs. frozen broccoli
  • ½ c. butter
  • ½ c. flour
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. whipping cream or Half and Half
  • 3 tbsp. white wine
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • White pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 c. grated/shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked or approx. 3-4 c. any leftover chicken, de-boned, skin removed. (Chicken may be cooked by whichever method you choose. I prefer grilled or roasted.)
Topping:
  • 2 c. seasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ c. butter, melted
  • ¼ c. grated or shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Combine topping ingredients & set aside.
DIRECTIONS
  1. Slice or cube chicken & set aside.
  2. Steam broccoli until nearly done. Drain and set aside. (You can also use leftover broccoli if it’s still firm)
  3. Melt butter and gradually add flour.
  4. Stir constantly with a whisk. Do not brown flour but cook on medium-low for 1-3 minutes. Gradually add chicken broth and stir until thick.
  5. Gently whisk in cream or Half and Half, salt, pepper garlic powder, nutmeg and add cheese.
  6. Place chicken pieces and broccoli in baking dish. A 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish works best.
  7. Pour sauce over top, lightly mix, then sprinkle with crumb mixture and bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.
Vicky’s Backstory:

Vicky Akins is the MidLife Road Trip’s Production Assistant. Her talents don’t stop there. She is an accomplished cook and baker. How lucky can one Road Trip Show be? As passionate as she is about the show, she is equally as passionate about what goes on the dinner table. From time to time she shares some of her delicious ‘productions’ and this is one of those…

~It is such pleasure to share a Fabulous #SundaySupper with great friends!

If you want to see how funny these #Nuts really are,  join their Therapy Session on Twitter every Tuesday at 3:30 pm EST.  I promise it will be a good time!

#SundaySupper Progressive Dinner Will Make You Droooool!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have always known that eating Supper Around the Family Table is the best nourishment we can give our families. It is about so much more than just the food that is served.  It is something that the entire family looks forward to. It is about commitment to each other, positive communication and time together. In my heart I know that this is the most important thing I have done for my family.

What I did not realize until recently is how powerful food can be. I have met, connected and shared recipes with an amazing group of people that were brought together by our love for food, family, friendship and mutual respect for each other.

I am honored to say that we are kicking off the first #SundaySupper of 2012 with a Progressive Dinner hosted by some of the most amazing Cooks, Chefs, Moms, Dads, Wine Connoisseurs.   Their recipes and blogs will blow you away!

They have put together the most impressive #SundaySupper that I could ever have imagined!

  • We are starting off our Progressive Dinner Cocktail Hour with Oyster Shooters by my friend Jeff @catholicfoodie ~ www.catholicfoodie.com Seriously, how fun is that! Who wouldn’t want to join us for this Progressive Dinner
  • Valerie @ValerieMCathell  from http://artc1heartnsoul.blogspot.com/ is bringing some amazing appetizers: Prosciutto Puffs & Stuffed Mushrooms…Yum!
  •  Have I mentioned that we have our own wine connoisseur, Eileen @wineeveryday from www.wineeveryday.net  She has a passion and knowledge for wine that is second to none.  Eileen  paired Valerie’s mouth watering appetizers with  Mumm Napa Brut Prestige … What could possibly be better?
  • Sue @ssunithi from http://www.suesnutritionbuzz.com/ is keeping us healthy! I love her recipes and when she decided to contribute her Tuscan Chicken, Bean and Spinach Soup and Eileen paired it with 2010 Rooster Hill Vineyards Medium Sweet Riesling … it truly was a match made in Heaven!
  • Salad time brings us to Renee’s @reneedobbs  www.magnoliadays.com  scrumptious creation of  Pear and Stilton Salad Paired with Perrin Reserve 2010 Cotes du Rhone Blanc.  Renee’s recipes are so inspiring.  I love her photography, creativity and most of all inspiration!
  • I am excited to be bringing the Main Course to our #SundaySupper Progressive Dinner  and am honored to say I am cooking a Rustic Chicken Dish inspired by Mario Battali joining us for #SundaySupper on 12/5/11.  He whipped up and tweeted the most amazing Rustic Chicken….Seriously, who wouldn’t want some?  Click here to see his  #SundaySupper Rustic Chicken . Eileen suggested I pair it with  2009 Annabella Caneros Pinor Noir  
  • And with that yummy Wine Sauce in the Chicken… you need some bread to go along… Luckily Donna @dbcurrie from http://cookistry.blogspot.com/ was baking some fresh Brioche for us… Is there anything better than homemade fresh baked bread….totally drooling!
  • Just when we think we can’t eat another bite… Erin @bigfatbaker http://bigfatbaker.com/blog/ brings us …. Lavender Shortbread Cookies.  Not only is Erin an amazing baker and cook, she is a student at Purdue.  Her blog is just fabulous and she amazes me with her energy! Eileen suggests we pair the yummy cookies with  Cupcake Prosecco.  What a way to end our meal!
 It is so true that Food brings us together and I am so fortunate to be breaking bread this #SundaySupper Around the Family Table with such a great group!
Join us today and every Sunday as we bring #SundaySupper Around the Family Table to your home!
You can follow our blogs and recipes here:



Won Ton and Leftovers = Amazing Appetizers

I am one of those people that has a terrible fear when I entertain.  I have had this fear for a very long time.  Probably since the first time I invited friends over when I was first out of college.  That fear is, that I am going to run out of food.  I have this tendency to cook so much food that I always wind up with a ton of leftovers.

I love having leftovers but find that they lose their oomph if they are just reheated in the microwave and served.  I love reinventing leftovers into A New Masterpiece.  It is easy, fun and gets my creative culinary juices flowing!

When I opened my fridge on the day after Christmas, it was overflowing with leftovers.  We had Pork, Grouper, Shrimp Bisque, Spinach, Broccoli, Mashed Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes and Gravy.  Honestly, I could have entertained all over again.

We decided it would be a perfect night to have fun appetizers for dinner.

I love using Won Ton Wraps to create fun appetizers and now I had the perfect fillings already in my fridge.

Here is our fun Finger Food Menu:

Pork, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Cups

Grouper, Sweet Potatoes and Shrimp Bisque Cups

Spinach and Feta Cheese Cups

Broccoli  Cheddar Cheese Cups

 

 

It is so easy to make.  You just use small cupcake pans and insert the Won Ton Wraps in each slot, then fill with your favorite filling and Viola…. you will have Apps that Rock!

Shrimp Bisque in Puff Pastry for a Special #SundaySupper

This was no ordinary Sunday Supper.  After all, it was Christmas Day.  I love, love, love planning our Christmas Menu.  Although, I have to admit, there really isn’t much to plan.  We have our traditional meal and very rarely deviate.

Sure we will try a new vegetable dish or add a second dish…but our menu is pretty much set in stone.

Our Crown Pork Roast is always the main dish.  If you haven’t tried making a Crown Pork Roast, you really should.  It is so easy but so amazingly juicy and tender.  It just melts in your mouth.  Mashed Potatoes and Slow Roasted Carrots are a must.

The Port Wine Gravy is the perfect addition to the Crown Pork Roast and Taters.

Just so we didn’t get bored, this year, I added Grouper over thinly sliced Sweet Potatoes. It was amazing and we loved having a little Surf and Turf action!

Our all time favorite, showstopper, the thing we crave all year and makes our mouths water is….

The Shrimp Bisque in Puff Pastry …. I am not kidding… You have not lived until you try this amazing soup.  You don’t just eat it like regular Soup, you have to break up the buttery croissant topping and fold it into the Soup.  When mixed with the chunks of shrimp and the creamy soup….It really is that good!

It is amazing how our Holiday Dinners change as the kids get older.  We enjoyed sitting around the dinner table chatting with them for hours.  My Dad loves to hold court during our meals.  We enjoyed hearing him talk about his days on the vineyards in Portugal,hunting, fishing and sharing his world with us.

 

The memories that were made this year at Christmas will last a lifetime….My children were truly blessed to have spent another Christmas with their Grandparents… This truly is the best Christmas gift of all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SHRIMP BISQUE IN PUFF PASTRY

  • 4 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 2 Green Onions chopped
  • 1 pound of shrimp, I prefer fresh, not cooked
  • 2 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 2 32 oz containers of Chicken Broth, warmed
  • 1/2 Cup White Wine or Sherry
  • 8 oz of tomato sauce*
  • 16 oz container of  Half and Half
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons of fresh parsley
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper to taste
  • 2 packages of Crescent Rolls
In a large heavy pot heat oil. 
Add Shrimp and Green Onions and Saute lightly.
Remove Shrimp to plate.
Add flour and mix the roux well.
Add warm Chicken Broth and mix constantly until there are no lumps.
Add Sherry or Wine.
Add Tomato Sauce and continue to stir.
Add the Parmesan Cheese and stir until smooth. If consistency is too thin, more parmesan cheese may be added.
Chop the shrimp in 3 and add to soup.
Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste and stir well.
Simmer on low for 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Unroll the crescent rolls and combine 2 triangles to make a rectangle, making sure the seams are sealed.
Ladle the soup into oven proof ramekins and place the Crest Rolls on top making sure it is a tight seal all the way around.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until pastry is puffy and golden brown.
Kid Ratings: Alexandra 10, Ronnie 10, Reis 10, Riley 9.5 ~ Even the Adults wanted to rate it ~ Ron 10, Isabel 10, Vovo 10, Vo 10
*This recipe was already amazing and made even better by using Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes.


Bolo Rei The King of Christmas Desserts

It wouldn’t be Christmas in Portugal without a Bolo Rei Around the Family Table.  Some will even go as far saying there is no Christmas without Bolo Rei.

Although it is called a cake. Bolo Rei  is more like a sweet bread.  Traditionally there is a broad bean, usually large fava bean, and a coin placed inside the Bolo Rei.

One of the explanations for the tradition comes from a legend regarding the Three Kings as they followed the Star of Bethlehem on their way to greet baby Jesus.  On their travels, they met a baker who gave them a loaf of bread with a broad bean hidden inside it.  He told them that the one who ended up with the slice of bread with the bean should give baby Jesus his present first.

So the tradition continues and it is made clear that whoever ends up with the bean is expected to make the Bolo Rei for the following year.

Whoever wins the coin is said to be blessed with good luck.   Hmmmm….wonder why I always wind up with the bean?

We had so much fun baking Bolo Rei with Vovo.  Although this is a time consuming recipe, it is totally worth it to do once a year.  I love the tradition behind it and love that three generations spend the day baking Around the Family Table.

All of Vovo’s recipes are in Portuguese, so the first thing we had to do is figure out the conversions.  Thank good Alexandra and Vo are so smart and figured it all out!


 

 

 

 

 

 

Port wine is a big part of any dessert in Portugal.  Bolo Rei is no different.  We soaked our dates, candied fruit and nuts in it for this recipe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riley helps us get started by measuring the flour and sugar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then it’s time to get serious. The kneading of the dough is no easy task and we all have to take turns. Vovo goes first.  After a while she is exhausted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then it’s Reis’s turn. What a workout!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Vovo and Reis are completely exhausted, Vo comes to the rescue! Truly a team effort by all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dough must be left to rise over night.  We couldn’t believe how much it had grown!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we shaped the dough  into a ring and it is so much fun to decorate.  We used candied fruit and Natural Delights Medjool Dates added the perfect touch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, we couldn’t just make one.  One for our home, one for Vovo and Vo’s home and one to share with friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Bolo Rei is ready for the oven.  We can’t wait to try it.  The best part is that after a couple of days, you can toast it and add a butter and it is perfect with a cup of coffee or afternoon tea.

BOLO REI

1/2 Cup candied citrus fruit 3 T. raisins  1/2 Cup Pine Nuts and Walnuts

1/3 Cup plus 2 Teaspoons Port Wine

2 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast 

1/3 Cup plus 2 teaspoons milk

3 1/2 Cups unbleached flour

1 1/2 teaspoon salt 

7 Teaspoon unsalted butter, softened 

1/3 Cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar 

Grated zest of 2 oranges

3 eggs, beaten 

1 dried fava bean and Large Coin 

Topping:

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water 

10 candied cherries 

1 package of Natural Delights Medjool Dates 

Powdered sugar for garnish 

To prepare bread: 
Soak candied fruit, raisins and pine nuts in Port Wine overnight or until plump. Sprinkle yeast into milk in bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve.

Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Make well in center and pour in dissolved yeast. Use wooden spoon to draw enough flour into dissolved yeast to form soft paste. Cover bowl with dish towel and let stand until “sponge” is frothy and slightly risen, about 20 minutes.

In separate bowl, beat butter with sugar and lemon and orange zests until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add mixture to flour mixture and mix in flour from sides to until dough is soft. 

 Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until soft, smooth, silky and elastic, about 10 minutes. Knead in dried fruit and pine nuts until evenly distributed.


Place dough into clean bowl and cover with dish towel. Let rise until doubled in size. We usually let it sit overnight, but as little as 2 hours is usually ok. Punch down, then let rest 10 minutes. Shape dough into ring and place on buttered baking sheet. Wrap dried fava bean or trinket separately in wax paper. Insert tiny package into bottom of shaped dough. Cover with dish towel and set aside until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
To prepare topping:
Brush dough with egg glaze and decorate with candied fruit and powdered sugar. Bake at 350°F. 45 minutes until golden.  Cool on wire rack.
Makes 1 Loaf


Kid Ratings: Alexandra 10, Ronnie 9, Reis 9.5, Riley 8.5

Do you love to bake or cook? Inspired by @hersheyskisses #cookiehq I baked Cookies for Santa

They say “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
In my case, it really did!  My Mom loves to bake.  She is an amazing baker and you can see her recipes under VoVo’s Cozinha.  Me, not so much. While I love to cook and create recipes, I am not so enthused about baking.

I really think whether you are a baker or a cook says so much about your personality. Rarely does someone really enjoy doing both.

Most people that are good at baking have a personality that is very patient and precise.  Most of us that love to cook and create recipes, our personality tends to be more creative and perhaps “fly by the seed of your pants.”

I was honored and excited when I was contacted by Hershey’s to interview two of their Baking Experts from their Cookie Headquarter. I so want to create the Tradition of Baking with my kids Around the Family Table during the Holidays and I hoped that they would give me the inspiration that I needed.

The Baking Experts, Linda Stahl and Kristen Olson, were fabulous!  I loved chatting with them and boy did they inspire me to not only bake but host a cookie exchange.  I love that they suggested a cookie exchange with meaning…where we donate the cookies to a good cause.

I was nervous about the interview but The Baking Experts made it a piece of cake…
http://kef-media.com/imt/cookies/cookies_foodie.swf

I was so inspired that Reis and decided  we needed to bake some cookies. In this case, the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree…

Reis wanted to come up with his own Cookie Reisipe. I explained to him what The Baking Experts had explained to me. As long as you use a basic recipe that works, you can adjust it a little.

Huge score for Reis…these cookies were amazing! Really light and crispy and then the soft frosting….mmmmmmm!

Christmas Cookies by Reis

1 Stick Butter

1 Cup Sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

1 1/4 cup Flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 Cup Hershey’s Cocoa Powder

Cream butter, sugar and Cocoa.  Add flour, baking soda and salt. Place on baking sheet and insert in a 350 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes.

Frosting

3 Cups Powdered Sugar

3 Tablespoons of Milk

1 stick of Butter

1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

1/4 Cup Hershey’s Cocoa Powder

Simple. Just combine everything and frost cookies while still warm.

Kid Ratings: Alexandra 10, Ronnie 10, Reis 10, Riley 10….even Mom and Dad gave this a 10!

Reis is one Smart Cookie and our house is now ready for Santa!

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