Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I am truly thankful for all of the support & interest I get from you all!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

And from Gabriel:

<3 Lishie

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Bars

We had Thanksgiving at work & I have a long commute with a lot of walking... so what to bring, what to bring? I had already decided "something pumpkin" but what? Well amongst the many holiday food emails I received, I got one from Kraft (of all places!) & this recipe hit me as very yummy looking & interesting. The twist that got me was the "crumble-like" aspect to it. The only adaptation I made was I made my own pumpkin pie spice (I never get the ready-made because I love fresh ground nutmeg. There is a huge difference!)

Problem was, I didn't have time to allow the end product to cool, refrigerate & cut it into bars... So I did 1 & 2... & carried the tin to work whole. The result? See picture below... I cracked the top & the entire thing was "U" shaped. Good thing, as always, it is the taste that counts because these were Delish... Oh, & sorry about the pics. I took them with my Blackberry AT work, before they were gobbled up.

Happy Thanksgiving!
<3 Lishie

Pumpkin Pie Bars
slightly adapted from Kraft

  • 1-1/3c  flour
  • 3/4c  sugar, divided
  • 1/2 c  packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 c  cold butter, cut up
  • 1 c  old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats, uncooked
  • 1/2 c  chopped pecans
  • 1 pkg.  (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 can  (15 oz.) pumpkin   
  • 1 tsp FRESH ground nutmeg  
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon  
  • 1 tsp ground ginger  
  • 1 tsp ground allspiceHeat oven to 350°F.
  • Line 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides; spray with cooking spray. Mix flour, 1/4 c granulated sugar & brown sugar in medium bowl until blended; cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in oats & nuts.
    Reserve 1c  oat mixture; press remaining onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, pumpkin & all of the spices with mixer until blended; pour over crust. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture. 

    Bake 25 min.; cool 10 min. Use foil to transfer dessert from pan to wire rack; cool completely.


    Tuesday, November 20, 2012

    Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Apple Chicken Sausage

    Need a delicious side for Thanksgiving? This is packed with fresh flavors, colorful & pretty good for you!

    My mom-in-law came home with a farm-fresh branch/bushel(?) of Brussels Sprouts & shared them with me. I was so excited- they were gorgeous! Those bright green little leaves! If you are not a fan of the little cabbage family veg, this may make you one.

    Happy Thanksgiving

    <3 Lishie

    Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Apple Chicken Sausage
    • 2 TBSp olive oil
    • 2 medium shallots, diced
    • 4 oz pancetta, diced
    • 1 lb. Brussels Sprouts, cleaned & quartered
    • 2 apple chicken sausage, cut into 2" pieces
    • S & P, to taste
    Heat the oil on medium-high & add the shallots. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring. Add the pancetta & cook for another 2 minutes, stirring. Add in the Brussels sprouts & allow to brown for 2 minutes (without stirring). Stir, all to brown for another couple of minutes. Add the Sausage & allow it to brown. In total, cook all about 15 minutes. Add S&P, to taste & serve.

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Chicken A L'Orange

    I know everyone is talking turkey & I am over here all chicken, chicken, chicken... But we wait near Thanksgiving to have the turkey dinner, all the sides, etc. Then we appreciate it more. And, I am always looking for a change-up to our chicken dinners. So when I saw this twisted upgrade on Julia Child's Duck L'Orange in Women's Day magazine I knew it was one to try. Citrus & my family go together well. Give this a try when you are a little tired of turkey, I promise it will perk up your menu!!!

    Happy Thanksgiving prepping...

    <3 Lishie

     Chicken A L'Orange Recipe
    slightly adapted from Women's Day
    • 3 shallots, peeled & diced small
    • 2 TBSp olive oil
    • Kosher salt
    • Pepper
    • 1 lb chicken pieces (I used drumsticks)
    • 1/4 c orange marmalade
    • TBSp white wine vinegar
    • TBSp chopped fresh rosemary
    Heat the broiler. In a broiler-safe pan, toss the shallots, 1 TBSp oil & s & p.
    In a bowl, whisk together the marmalade, vinegar, rosemary, remaining tablespoon oil & more s & p. Add the chicken pieces; toss to coat.
    Place the chicken mixture in the readied pan, nestling the pieces among the shallots. Broil until chicken is cooked through and browned and shallots are tender, about 30 minutes, turning the chicken pieces halfway through. Serve with green beans.

    Saturday, November 17, 2012

    Pre- Thanksgiving Post

    There is always, always, always something to be thankful for...

    Check out the guest post I did at Mom It Forward:

    And look at these for Thanksgiving:

    After Thanksgiving:

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    <3  Lishie

    Friday, November 16, 2012

    GAME DAY SWAP ~ Blooming Onion w/ Dipping Sauce

    Before everything went black with Hurricane Sandy, we had swapped recipes with my National Cooking Board for the subject "Game Day Swap". (Thank you, as always Sarah @ A Taste of Home Cooking.)Funny thing is, I was so looking forward to make this & then SHE (Sandy) hit... When I finally was able to make this delicious appy, we still had no tv. No complaints here, for real, I have learned that I watch way less tv than I thought & it permitted me to read more (yes, even more than I already do- for me & to my tot). Not to really mention all of the REAL devastation the storm caused. I happily fried this baby up for a family Board Game Day. I think you all will LOVE it to...

    Yes, it is a knockoff Outback Steakhouse recipe. And yes, it is pretty, pretty close to real thing!!! THANK you so much to Christine @ CHRISTINE'S CHRONICLES for this recipe. And I agree with Christine's complaint, "the greasy fried smell that it leaves in your house...yuck!"!!! BUT it is well worth it! I did core the onion (the ONLY use out of the "Blooming Onion Gadget" we have. Do NOT buy it- see pic below! Such a waste!!!) AND my onion still fell apart. That is so ok because I believe taste tops presentation ALWAYS! :)

    Make this for your football game, your hockey game or really, for your family game night. So good! Finger-lickin' good!!!!

    <3 Lishie

    Blooming Onion w/ Dipping Sauce

    For the Blooming Onion:
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/3 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 large sweet onion
    • 3/4 cup vegetable oil for frying
    For the Dipping Sauce:
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon ketchup
    • 2 tablespoons cream-style horseradish sauce
    • 1/3 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 pinch ground black pepper
    • 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1. To make sauce: In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, 1/3 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon oregano, a dash ground black pepper and cayenne pepper; mix well. Keep sauce covered in refrigerator until needed.
    2. To make the batter: In a medium bowl, beat egg and add milk. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, ground black pepper, oregano, thyme and cumin; mix.
    3. To slice onion: slice 1 inch off of the top and bottom of the onion and remove the papery skin. Use a thin knife to cut a 1 inch diameter core out of the middle of the onion. Now slice the onion several times down the center to create 'petals': First slice through the center of the onion to about three-fourths of the way down. Turn the onion 90 degrees and slice it again in an X across the first slice. Keep slicing the sections in half, very carefully until the onion has been cut 16 times. Do not cut down to the bottom of the onion.
    4. Spread the 'petals' of the onion apart. To help keep them separate you could plunge the onion into boiling water for 1 minute and then into ice water.  Keep the onions bloom side down in the ice bath for at least 30 minutes to allow onion to bloom. 
    5. Dip the onion into the milk mixture and then coat it liberally with the flour mixture. Again separate the petals and sprinkle the dry coating between them. Repeat with a second layer of milk mixture and follow again with flour coating.
    6. Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Make sure you use enough oil to completely cover the onion when it fries.
    7. Fry the onion right side up in the oil for 10 minutes or until it turns brown. When the onion has browned, remove it from the oil and let it drain on a rack or paper towels. If desired, open the onion wider from the center so that you can put a small dish of the dipping sauce in the center.

    Check out the post I gave for the swap: Stromboli!!!
    Check out another Outback Steakhouse copy: Shrooms!
    And check out my guest post today on Mom It Forward: Kids Craft: How to Make a Nature-Inspired Turkey

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Slow-cooked "Roast" Chicken pieces

    Here is another yummy slow-cooker meal. The chicken falls off of the bone. Easy & simple, yet delightful! 
    <3 Lishie

    Slow-cooked "Roast" Chicken pieces

    • 3-4 carrots, cleaned, whole
    • 3-4 celery ribs, cleaned, whole
    • 2-3 lbs chicken pieces, bone-in, with skin
    • Paprika
    • S & P
    Place the carrots & celery length-wise along the bottom of the slow-cooker. Place the chicken pieces, skin-side up on top of the veg. Sprinkle liberally with the paprika, then the s & p.

    Set the slow cooker to High for 1 hour, then turn down to Low for about 8 hours, or until the chicken is no longer pink & the juices run clear.

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Slow-Cooker Country Chicken Stew

    Comfort food! That is what we need!!! Especially after all of the storms, etc. And wait? ANOTHER NorEaster is predicted for Thanksgiving week in NJ? You don't say. Sigh. I'll start praying now it won't wreak much havoc to our already damaged state.

    I made this "Before the Darkness" as some of us are calling the hurricane period. I loved it. My mom & pop-in-law loved it. The tot loved it. I think the cat loved it too. Who did not? My hubby. Whatevahs. Chicken fall off the bone good. Make a big pot of it & relax....


    Slow-Cooker Country Chicken Stew
    • 1 1/2 lbs baby red potatoes
    • 4-5 carrots, cleaned & cut into thirds
    • 4-5 parsnips, cleaned & cut into thirds
    • 4-5 celery ribs, cleaned & cut into thirds
    • 1 medium onion, skinned & cut into quarters
    • 2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs & drumsticks
    • 1/2 c water
    • 1 TBSp herbs de provence
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper 
    • 1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
    • 3 TBSp cornstarch
    • 1/2 c milk
    Prep slow cooker with cooking spray. Place potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celery & onion in slow cooker. Place chicken on top of vegetables. Mix water & seasonings in a small bowl until well blended. Pour over chicken & vegetables. Cover.
    Cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
    Last hour of cooking- combine the cornstarch & milk in a small bowl until smooth. Stir into sauce in slow cooker. Cover & cook 15 minutes longer on high or until sauce is thickened.
    Serve over egg noodles.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    Griddle Corncakes

    In the initial couple of days of the power outage from Hurricane Sandy I attempted to use all of our fresh, refrigerated food. We live in a two-family home upstairs; my mom & pop-in-law live downstairs. We had breakfast together every day. My in-laws have a percolator & make coffee, I made these old camping/Southern great -griddle corncakes - one morning after lighting the gas burner by hand (this, btw, terrifies me). These are delish!
    <3 Lishie

    Griddle Corncakes Recipe
    • 2 c yellow cornmeal
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 c water, plus more if needed
    • 1/3 c canola oil, for frying
    In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder, & salt.
    In another bowl whisk the
 egg & 1 c water until smooth. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, using as few strokes as possible.
The consistency should be lumpy like pancake batter.
    Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Ladle 1/4c  of batter into the heated skillet for each corncake.
    Cook the corncakes until they bubble on top & are brown on the bottoms & along the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and brown the other side, for another 2 - 3 minutes. Serve immediately topped with a pat of butter!
    *Sorry there is no "after" picture. My camera battery died & I had no way to recharge :( Sigh, Sandy.

    Monday, November 12, 2012

    The Hurricane (& Zeppoles~ Hurricane-Style)

    Hurricane Sandy
    Nor Easter Athena 
    (yeah, apparently they're named now too?!)

    We here at the DeMarias were very, very lucky. 
    We live in a town called Bayonne, NJ, on the water. It is a peninsula that connects NJ to NY; Bayonne to Staten Island via the Bayonne Bridge. And Staten Island, NYC was hit horribly bad.The hurricane really was terrifying. We lost power that night, quickly & the hubby & I sat the night out in darkness, listening to the unearthly wind howling, seeing the flashing lights of the First Responders-God bless them, hearing their sirens. Our tot, Gabriel fell asleep before the worst & slept through & I am grateful. We only sustained minor damages & I am grateful. We were in the dark, without power for 5 days. We were lucky. 

    I cried when I saw the first newspaper. 
    The images were incomprehensible to me. I have been adopted by NJ. I grew up in Florida with hurricanes. The photos didn't.seem.real. The roller coaster we love Sitting in the ocean adrift. The homes destroyed. Then I read an account from Staten Island about a mom, a nurse, who lost her two boys, a 2 year old & 5 year old. And I started bawling. We didn't get our Directv back for 2 weeks (the satellite was buckled, the bolts torn off, half hanging from our roof. Scary stuff.


    Please, if you can, 
    give to the relief effort. 
    The Jersey Shore is decimated. We have had wonderful times on the Boardwalks, the beautiful beaches- Seaside, Pt. Pleasant, Ocean City... NYC's outer burroughs are hurting bad- Staten Island, Breezy Point, Rockaways... Money is what is needed most now or gift cards. 

    NJ Governor Chris Christie set up a reflief fund here:
    To contribute to the effort donations can be made online at or mailed to:
    Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, PO Box 95, Mendham NJ 07945-0095.
    You can also text NJ to 41444 to donate today.

    This story about Zoe & her siblings touched me personally, so I'd like you to take a moment to read it:

    And, of course there's also the American Red Cross.

    We were without power but we have a gas line & could light the stove with a match. We tried to make the most of it. We ate meals together, combined fresh foods & came up with good dinners. I made these one night for the family & my in-laws for dessert (to use the crescent rolls) & they were loved!
    <3 Lishie

    Zeppoles~ Hurricane-Style
    1 can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
    canola oil
    powdered sugar, to sprinkle

    Heat the oil in a deep pan. Cut the crescent roll dough into small 2" pieces. Carefully add them to the oil & cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side, carefully turning them with a spider utensil. Take from heat & place on a paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve.