Pio Nono Relleno like my mama makes it…

A good memory of home is something we call a Pio Nono. We buy them frozen and they are very thin rolls of a heavenly slightly sweet very thin sponge cake that can then be filled with savory or sweet wonderful things.

A staple in my house made by my mama was the Pio Nono stuffed with Tuna, Hearts of Palm and sweet corn, mixed with a bit of mayo and spices, covered with a little bit of more mayo and decorated with green and red peppers.

A very special person (mama Gaye) asked that for her little birthday celebration I make her what we now call, my special Rolly Polly! Slight technical hitch, there was nowhere near the house where I could get hold of this frozen life saving rolled sponge cake!

In preparation for tonights dinner, last night I decided to make it myself, not that its a difficult thing, but it has a tendency to stick and crack easily (well that’s just me)!

The experiment was a success and by bedtime last night I had myself a Pio Nono ready to be filled out tonight!

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This evening as soon as I got home, I mixed the tuna, sweet corn and chopped hearts of palm, seasoned them with pepper, paprika, chopped chives, little mayo and a squirt of ketchup. Gave it a little taste for flavour approval and then spread it evenly on my Pio Nono!

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Then I gently rolled it up……

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And all that is left to do is add a few finished touches, a little mayo all over, some chopped chives and red peppers and a little fresh dill for the final decorating touch! 🙂

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This is all that was needed to make one very special person happy ❤

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY GAYE! 

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

I recently saw a recipe on Facebook for what they called Chicken Pot Pie Cupcakes. Tonight I decided to test my own version on the kids!

Ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast, chopped into small pieces, sautĂ©ed with a drizzle of olive oil and a touch of salt and pepper
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese
  • 6 baby new potatoes boiled and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • 1 box of puff pastry defrosted

I used my muffin pan, sprayed it with some pam, stretched out the puff pastry a bit more to make it a bit thinner. I cut 6 large round circles and lined each holder with it.

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In a bowl, mix the chopped chicken, chopped potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, chopped chives and cayenne pepper.

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I filled each holder to the top with the mixture and then cut some cute little hearts out of the left over pastry which I placed on top of each one.

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Bake in a 400 Deg F oven for 25 minutes.

I am pleased to report that they turned out pretty darn good, kids polished them all off 🙂

Cheers to a successful dinner…. ❤

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Food & Love, the perfect combination…

We have all heard the the way to a man’s heart is through is stomach! Well I tend to think of food as something that not only brings love into the equation, but it brings family and friends together, helps you make new friends and meet new people! The kitchen in every “foody” household is the heart of the house, the place to “be” ❤

Tonight’s dish is not only a favourite of mine and my hubby’s but also a fave of my daughters! Its simple, its elegant, its tasty and even kinda healthy!

I stopped by the store on my way back from work battling the bad weather and picked up some fresh salmon, avocados and some limes.

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I chopped up my salmon tartare style and mixed it with some salt, pepper, grated ginger, sesame oil, Sriracha mayo and a squeeze of lime.

Whilst I was prepping the salmon I made about 1/2 cup of brown rice and let it cool down.

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Sliced my avocado and now I was ready to put this special treat together.

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I pulled out my heart shaped cookie cutter ( usually used for everything else but making cookies) and placed it in the middle of my plate, filled it with brown rice and neatly pressed it to the bottom.

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Then I topped the rice off with my salmon tartare and finished it off with my sliced avocado and a sprinkle of black and regular sesame seeds.

In less than a flash, a wonderful meal is ready for my lovely family! Yep love is in the air, that’s for sure <3, now all I need is for the hubby to come back from dry-dock, in the meantime I will enjoy it and think of my family.

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Cod Poached in Thai Ginger Broth

I have to say that today’s dinner was a meal fit for a King and guess what? It only took me under 30 minutes to make it and it does qualify as a healthy meal ❤

I started with some lovely fillets of cod that I had purchased at Trader Joe’s this weekend which I lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and put them to the side.

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Turned my oven on to 400 Deg F, grabbed a roasting pan and placed some lovely Broccolini on it. Drizzled it with some Lemon infused olive oil from the lovely Sedona Olive Oil Company, garlic powder, salt and pepper and into the oven it went for aprox 15 minutes, make sure you turn them over every 5 minutes or so to ensure that they don’t burn.

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Whilst the broccolini was cooking away, I chopped some scallions and garlic and gave it a quick sauté, then I added about 2 cups of Thai Ginger broth and some chopped cilantro and let it simmer away for a few minutes to infuse all the flavours.

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I then added the cod, covered the pan with a lid and let it cook for a few minutes on each side basting it every now and then.

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I removed the cod from the pan and poured about 1/4 cup of coconut milk into the broth.

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Placed one of the cod fillets in a bowl, added about a cup of the broth, topped it off with some of the roasted broccolini and there you have it. A lovely thai spicy broth with some hearty cod and delicious broccolini. Don’t tell me that is not a meal fit for a King?

Lamb Lovers

Lamb, what can I say. This is the one meat that my family cannot get enough of.

It’s for sure our favourite meat for all occasions. During the holidays everyone has turkey, we have a lovely roasted leg of lamb full off garlic, rosemary and lemon, we love lamb curry (korma, rogan josh, masala), lamb kebabs, lamb steaks, lamb ribs norwegian style (Pinnekjott), FenalĂĄr (norwegian salted dried cured leg of lamb) the list goes on and on.

Tonight we are having lamb meatballs. Each little meatball is bursting with  flavour which makes each bite, the best bite ever 🙂

Coming from an Italian/Belgium family, you would have thought that I would love a good Italian meatball, but for some reason, I never really liked them….. I guess its just a matter of taste. But give me an Asian style, Middle Eastern Style, Greek, Turkish meatball and then you’ve got my attention!

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To make my meatballs today I used the following ingredients:

  • juice of half lemon
  • 1lb lamb mince
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • a handful of fresh coriander leaves (washed and chopped)
  • 4  garlic cloves
  • 2 chai red chilies
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp salt

Now the simple part. First mix the mince lamb with 2 tbsp of lemon juice and put it to the side. In a food processor, blend the rest of the ingredients till you get a nice runny paste.

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Add paste to the lamb and mix until everything has blended in nicely. Then roll into small size meatballs, brush with a little bit of olive oil and grill for 5 minutes on each side. Today I used the broiler on high instead of grilling and they turned out very nice.

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And there we have it, another dinner is served, this time round I served the Lamb Meatballs with a lovely blend of Quinoa and Brown rice, seasoned with cilantro and lemon ❤

Family Evening SoirĂ©e…

Today was the first time we had a family dinner, with everyone present, eating at the same time and in the same place for a long long time…..

Family time is so precious and hard to come by in this busy hectic world, that its a nice feeling when we all manage to get together. So with that said and although I ‘m still not feeling myself after my surgery, I still found some strength to put together a tasty meal and a little sweet treat which we enjoyed whilst chatting , having a drink and catching up!

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I started by preparing the little sweet treat which was inspired by 2 lovely huge pomegranates that were sitting on the counter without a purpose. I cut them open, took the lovely juicy seeds out and put them to the side.

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Then I melted some milk chocolate (preferred over dark chocolate in our home) and then put to good use my handy dandy Pampered Chef herb gadget, which obviously was not used to store/freeze herbs 🙂

I filled 1/3 of each cavity with the melted milk chocolate, then spooned in some pomegranate seeds and then topped it off with more melted chocolate and into the fridge they went.

I still had some chocolate and pomegranate seeds left, so I mixed them up and plop them on some wax paper into clusters and they also went straight into the fridge.

Then I pulled out some lovely skirt steak, seasoned it well and let it rest a bit before it went onto the grill.

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I did mention that I am still recovering from surgery, which is my excuse of using a few ready prepared sides to stop me from standing too long in the kitchen.

I had been to Trader Joe’s and found some frozen Asparagus Risotto which turned out to be pretty good but next time I need to doctor it with a little extra salt, some black pepper and maybe a dash of cayenne pepper and fresh parmesan cheese to give it a little umpf if you know what I mean.

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I also bought at Trader Joe’s a Greek Spinach Spanakopita tart which again wasn’t too bad but I have to say that I prefer my home made Pascualina which is a Uruguayan version of the Greek Spinach Pie. No feta cheese is used in the Uruguayan one but its so much tastier, or so I think of course…..

Evening was greatly relaxing, ate, drank, chatted and caught up with Mama Gaye whilst also enjoying the company of by busy teenage kids and hubby, oh and let me not forget the cats that of course made sure we knew they were there ❤

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After dinner we got to enjoy the lovely sweet treats that ended up being a big hit so they for sure will be part of future menus…..

 

Norwegian Weekend!

Over the weekend we had the pleasure of visiting some good friends. The best part of the visit was not only the company and other guests, but the fabulous Norwegian Meal that was waiting for us when we got there!

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The host, a retired Captain from Royal Caribbean had made a fabulous traditional Norwegian dish for us called Farikal (for us non Norwegians also known as lamb and cabbage)! This of course made my Norwegian hubby very happy 🙂

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This meal is a simple but very tasty stew with, you guessed right, lamb, cabbage and lots of black pepper!

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Talk about yummy comforting food, and of course like every Norwegian dish, its served with potatoes ❤

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Then to make it even better, on the next day of our stay, another retired Captain and his wife joined us and we were presented with some yet again fabulous Gravlax, yet another Norwegian dish 🙂

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If you are not familiar with this dish, its the result of marinading a nice piece of salmon in salt, sugar, black pepper, dill and aquavit or brandy. You let it rest in the fridge for a minimum of 3 days and then just slice it thin and dip in some Mustard sauce and here you have another piece of heaven!

So as you can tell, I had a great dose of Norwegian fabulous food and company 🙂

Huge thank you to the hosts for a wonderful weekend and to the guests for such good company!