The History of Artichokes……

The Artichoke is one of my favourite veggies! I grew up eating these as a kid, dunking each leaf (petal) in salsa golf (mayo mixed with ketchup)

I haven’t come across too many people that eat it which is a pity or maybe a blessing as that would mean that there are more for me to enjoy! lol

Anyway, for those of you who might be wondering where the artichoke comes from here is a little bit of history.

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The globe artichoke is a variety of a species of thistle cultivated as a food. The edible portion of the plant consists of the flower buds before the flowers come into bloom. The budding artichoke flower-head is a cluster of many budding small flowers together with many bracts, on an edible base. Once the buds bloom the structure changes to a coarse, barely edible form. Another variety of the species is the cardoon. It is a perennial plant native to the Mediterranean region.

Ok, so now that we are done with the artichoke history lesson, here is how I prepared this delicious flower for tonight’s dinner.

First of all you start by cutting the stalk so that they kind of stand flat, then you fill up a pot with water, add some salt, add the artichokes and bring to a boil. Do not cover them! I let them boil for just under an hour and test their readiness by poking a knife at the bottom to make sure its nice and tender.

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Remove from boiling water and place on a draining rack upside down to make sure that all the water goes bye bye.

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Prepare your favourite vinaigrette, which I did today by using some olive oil and my fabulous Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar from the Mount Dora Olive Oil, some dijon mustard and a few capers.

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I drizzled some of the Blackberry Ginger Balsamic vinegar at the bottom of my plate, then placed my artichoke and carefully opened it up so that when I drizzled my vinaigrette it kind of seeps into every nook and cranny!

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The artichokes turned out delicious. I love eating the petals one at a time and look forward to that lovely flavorful heart, but the star of the dish was the vinaigrette! I nearly licked it off the plate, but being the lady that I am, I finished it off with a teaspoon :-)!

Thinking my friend Ann and I might need to prepare some of these to take over to The Wine Den on my next visit as the Balsamic Vinaigrette would pair wonderfully with their fabulous wines <3!

End of Holiday Season – Leftovers in action

Yes, its kind of sad as the house looks so pretty when its dressed up in its Christmas attire, but unfortunately all good things come to an end.

Its the end of the Holiday Season, so busy morning bringing down all the Christmas Lights, decorations and of course the biggest pain of all, undressing the Christmas Tree!

Time flies, hunger pangs appear and I notice its way past lunchtime which means, out comes the leftover crab mixture from last night, a packet of Wonton wrappers and a jar of Artichoke hearts.

Need to make something we can have on the run so we don’t miss a beat and get lazy during this busy cleaning day :-).

So from the above ingredients you can probably figure out that we are having:

CRAB AND ARTICHOKE RANGOON

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Simple and easy, fill each wonton with a teaspoon of crab mix, top it off with a piece of artichoke hearts, moisten edges with water and scrunch them up into cute little packets.

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I baked them in a385 Deg F oven for 15 minutes and they came out just perfect!

This is of course a perfect appetizer for when you have guests and you can fill them with anything you want, sweet or savory, but today we just had them with a side salad.

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Halloumi Cheese from Cyprus

Recently I have been having a craving for some delicious Halloumi Cheese. Such cheese is not easy to come by here in South Florida but when I do find it I stock up big time!

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Tonight we had some Panfried Halloumi cheese lightly breaded in some seasoned flour served on a bed of lettuce tossed with some artichokes, garlic stuffed olives and chopped tomatoes, with a homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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This lovely light and tasty salad was of course paired with a lovely glass of Moscato which I believe is named after my sister! lol

Bon appetit!

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Saturday Breakfast in bed…….

My honey wanted his special breakfast in bed, and after all the travelling and being away from home I thought he deserved it! Now, you might be surprised by what his favorite breakfast treat is! I think its a Norwegian thing……

Sliced Eggies on breadie breadie and yes don’t laugh, that’s exactly what he asks for, that’s exactly what he gets and of course it only takes 10 minutes to boil the eggs so its a quick way to get the hubby happy with breakfast! lol

Butter the bread, slice the eggs, dust with salt and pepper and ready to go!

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Now my breakfast of course if totally different as I need something that will tickle my taste buds! Always on the hunt for that secret element of some sort!

This morning I found this lovely Fresh Mozzarella Ball in my fridge whilst waiting for the eggs to boil for my honeys breakfast. I immediately thought of Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Basil and then for the extra flavor, out came the artichokes!

So I used one of my lovely tasty Rosemary and Olive FlatOut Foldits, put a thin layer of Olive Mayo, topped with some chopped artichokes, slices of fresh mozzarella, Tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper.

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Into the Panini Press it went and out it come all crunchy with the lovely melted Mozzarella! Heavenly breakfast for a lovely Saturday morning.

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Now off to do the daily chores!

Leftover Delight…….Artichoke & Crab Thin Crust Pizza

Went to a Potluck Oktoberfest party last night and came back with lots of leftovers.

One of the leftovers was a delicious Artichoke and Crab dip. Not really sure what else was in it but all I can say is that I could have eaten it all in one sitting with a spoon! Yeah, thats how good it was :-).

So I made a very light pizza dough, brushed it lightly with olive oil and sprinkled some salt and black pepper on it.

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  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4-cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil


Baked it for about 5 minutes and then topped with with the leftover artichoke and crab dip.

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Mmmmmmmm it was just scrumptious!

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