Friday, April 30, 2010

Fridays, Feasting With Friends- Featuring Amanda Preputnik

"One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends."
~Laurie Colwin'Home Cooking'

Don't you love it when You are thrown into a new situation, either by choice or by accident and you end up coming out of it with these wonderful new friends?  New girlfriends are kind of hard to come by once you are an adult.  It is easy to remain in the comforts of long-time relationships, and oh so difficult to come across those wonderful new ladies that could bring joy to your life in a whole new way.  Some time ago, my sister asked me if I would like to join a bookclub that her friend was starting up.  She told me that they were all lovely ladies and that I would be sure to fit right in with them.  I took the leap and went along- who doesn't love a nice girls night out, and one to discuss books over (lots) of wine?!  And my sister was 100% right!  These ladies are fantastic!  Thanks to the bookclub, Book Lover's Uncorked, us girls have had so many wonderful adventures.  We've enjoyed wine tastings, dinners out, quiet evenings in, and even an amazing trip to New York City where we got to be in the audience of the Martha Stewart show- front and center (more about this trip in its own post soon!)

One of my lovely new friends I met from Book Lover's is the star of today's Friday's, Feasting with Friends, Amanda Preputnik.  She is bubbly, incredibly sweet and full of awesome stories.  I could listen to her adventures for hours.  And let me tell you- she is a riot!  She has such a great way with words.  In December Amanda and her boyfriend Chris welcomed to the world their handsome son, Evan- indeed the love of their life.  What a joy babies bring!  I am having so much fun getting to know her now as a mommy and sharing the type of bonding that comes from the experiences that only being a mom can bring. Amanda, you are a natural.

Amanda Preputnik

What is your favorite thing to cook?
I love to bake bread and make sweets. They fill the kitchen with such wonderful and satisfying aromas.

How about your least favorite thing to cook?
Hmmn. That's a tough one, I would have to say fish. And bacon.(I always burn it).

What is your favorite local restaurant and what is one you are dying to try out?
It really depends on my mood. For a sandwich and a pint we are off to The Melt. A unique grilled cheese experience.  But if I really want to pamper myself I go to Players on Madison. They serve up an ahi-tuna appetizer and duck entree that will knock your socks off!  There is a German restaurant a short way into Cleveland that when I am feeling strong of stomach I want to try .

Music and food go together so beautifully.  You are hosting a dinner party, what would be on your playlist?
O... probably a little Azure Ray, Ben Folds, Iron and Wine and Zero 7.

What would you choose to be your last meal on earth?
Sushi app, Lamb Korma, Keeman Nan, and a nice Petite Syrah. With white chocolate mousse with raspberry puree and a chocolate shard!

What are you currently reading?
The Skinny Bitch

What is your favorite Kitchen Gadget?
Wine opener.. hehe. My Huntington milkshake maker.

Do you have a signature go-to dish?
I make a mean Chicken Divan.

What is your favorite thing about the Cleveland area?
I love the fact that living in Lakewood puts me about 20 min from anything entertaining. Museum, Parks, Downtown etc.

Do you have a favorite meal from your childhood and do you cook it today?
Spaghetti. I could always eat it. Breakfast, lunch or dinner. I still make it today just with Bolognese twist.

Top 3 Movies of all time?
Gone With The Wind, Follow the Fleet, Pan's Labyrinth.

What was your happiest moment in life?
The birth of my son Evan this past Dec. I got to help pull him from me and lay him on my belly. Time has never stood as still for me as when we locked eyes for the first time. Truly a humbling experience.

Where do you do your grocery shopping?
Heinen's, Giant Eagle or my fav The West Side Market.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure when it comes to food?
Rich and creamy dishes. They are hell on my hips but Oh! heaven on my lips!

Can you tell me about what you are most proud of?
My family and friends. It takes a long time to find what one needs in life. A true friend, loving family. Simple pleasure have a way of being truly gratifying if you just let them..

Do you have Culinary Resolutions that you would like to accomplish this year?
Well I saw Julie and Julia recently and it was inspiring. I think I would like to go through some of my more daring cookbooks and try something I would usually shy away from.

One word that best describes you is: Bright!

Dulce De Leche
1 quart whole milk
12 ounces sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Combine the milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds in a large, 4-quart saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. At this point add the baking soda. (very important) Do not skip the baking soda it adds to the caramel color and helps with the acids from the milk. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered at a bare simmer, stirring occasionally.(2+ hrs)  Foam will form at the top.

All the recipes I found say not to re-ncorporate it back into the mix. I found this true only in the last hour. Remove the vanilla bean after 1 hour and continue to cook until the mixture is a dark caramel color and has reduced to about 1 cup. If you leave the vanilla bean in for more that 1 hr it will change the flavor of the dulce de leche.

Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer.

Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a month. This takes approximately 2 to 3 hours on a gas stove and 3 to 5 hrs on a electric range. Good on ice cream, pancakes, fruit or a spoon!

Mandy, thank you so much for doing this interview for me- I know how busy it is with a new baby in the house!  And also thank you for sending those great pictures along with your Dulce de Leche recipe.  They are great!  Oh man, I so could go for some of that right now!  I have made it the old boiling-the-can-of-evaporated-milk way, but never like this.  I can't wait to give it a try.  It looks definitely worth the time involved.  Delicious!!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."
~Fernand Point

Bonnie, Kathleen and my mom at Miss Molly's Tea Room for Afternoon Tea, 
one of our favorite "ceremonies"

This is one of my favorite salads that Miss Molly serves.  It is so light and refreshing- I just love it!  This isn't Miss Molly's actual recipe, but it is Paula Dean's so I am sure it is fantastic!  This is on my To-Make list and I didn't want to loose it.  I think I will make it for my next family get together.  Yum!

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
1 (8 oz) container whipped topping
2 (3 oz ) packages strawberry jello mix
2 cups boiling water
2 (10 oz) packages frozen strawberries
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple
whipped topping or whipped cream, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter and 3 tablespoons of sugar.  Press the mixture into a 9x13 inch pan and bake for 7 minutes.  Set aside and allow to cool. 

In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar.  Fold in the whipped topping and spread over the cooled crust.  Refrigerate until well chilled.  

In a small bowl, dissolve the jello in the boiling water and allow to cool slightly.  Add the strawberries and pineapple, and pour over the cream cheese mixture.  Refridgerate until serving time.  

To serve, cut slices and serve with a dollop of whipped topping.  

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fridays, Feasting With Friends- Featuring Dawn Minnick

One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends."
Laurie Colwin'Home Cooking'

Dawn and I at her 30th birthday party

For today's segment of Fridays, Feasting with Friends I am thrilled to introduce you to my sweet friend Dawn Minnick.  She was my very first friend when I transfered high schools way back in my my Sophomore year.  In a school that was relatively close-knit; everyone had pretty much gone to school together their whole lives.  I was very much an outsider for a little while there.  I was so very lucky to have Dawn sit by me in two back to back classes, and guess what- she talked to me!  She never was one to bow to pear pressure, care what others thought, and just did what she felt was right.  Her friendship helped give me a confidence that I so needed in order to be able to strive in school the way I did.  She took me under her wing, introduced me to all of her friends and after no time at all I finally felt at home in a new school.  I will never forget the kindness that she showed to me.

Dawn still has that wonderful easiness about her that makes everyone feel comfortable and like home.  She is nonjudgemental and ever so kind.  Even all grown up, she is still that same girl who cares about others feelings, but doesn't change how she feels because of them.  She stands by her convictions and deserves all that life can give her.  She has definitely works hard enough- that's for sure!  I am so proud of her accomplishments and I look forward to witnessing the new and exciting changes this future will hold for her.

So for today's segment of Fridays, Feasting with Friends I bring you Dawn Minnick.

Me, Bonnie and Dawn.  We have been a trio since, well, forever.

What is your favorite thing to cook?
Mexican. Its really the only thing I cook well.

How about your least favorite thing to cook?
I honestly don’t know, I'm really just starting to learn how to cook. Im sort of clueless in the kitchen. I guess I would have to say meat, other than ground beef. I always over cook it because Im scared I'll under cook it.

What is your favorite local restaurant and what is one you are dying to try out?
My favorite local restaurant is Mi Pueblo. An authentic Mexican place on the West side. Im dying to try Melt but everytime I go there is a three hour wait.

Music and food go together so beautifully. You are hosting a dinner party, what would be on your playlist?
I think that would depend on my mood, who is attending the party and what kind of food I'm making. I like a little bit of almost all music so its hard to tell what I'll be in the mood for at any given time.

What would you choose to be your last meal on earth?
Ooh, tough one. I think I would have to say either El Vaquero (Mexican restaurant in Columbus) or crab cakes

What are you currently reading?
Bruni’s Choice by Irwin Gelding

What is your favorite Kitchen Gadget?
My coffee grinder. I have a serious coffee addiction.

Do you have a signature go-to dish?
"7 Layer Goodness". Its always been a crowd pleaser. (see below for the recipe!)

What is your favorite thing about the Cleveland area?
Besides my friends and family? The Metropark system-hands down!

Do you have a favorite meal from your childhood and do you cook it today?
Its called SOS. (S*** on a shingle) It brings back great memories of my childhood particularly my Dad since he is the one that always made it for us. It’s a white sauce with chipped beef, served on toast. Yes, we are all aware it a little hillbilly.

Top 3 Movies of all time?
Little Women, Half Baked, and 101 Dalmatians

What was your happiest moment in life?
Pulling my grade up in Environmental Physics to a B, to be able to graduate with honors. I worked really hard all semester and had an D in the class before the final. Not getting that "B" would have meant losing my honors status for graduation.

Where do you do your grocery shopping?
Typically I do it at Walmart because it so inexpensive. I will get a lot of my groceries from local farmers markets during the summer/fall seasons.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure when it comes to food?
Chocolate. In all forms. Im a believer that there is no such thing as bad chocolate just varying degrees of good.

Can you tell me about what you are most proud of?
Putting myself through college and graduating Cum Laude.

Do you have Culinary Resolutions that you would like to accomplish this year?
To not be so afraid of the kitchen, learn how to cook and stop eating like a single lady. Even when Im not.
One word that best describes you is:

“7 Layer Goodness”
1 can re-fried beans
1 package large tortillas
shredded cheese
1 pound of cooked “taco” seasoned meat of your choice

Spread refried bean on a tortilla.  Then apply a layer of your meat. Then sprinkle with a layer of cheese.  Place in your spring pan topping side up.  Repeat until you run out of an ingredient.   Place a clean tortilla on top so there are no toppings exposed.

Cook at 450 for 30 minutes.  Then spread salsa on top and cook for antoher 10-15 minutes or until salsa is no longer runny.

I usually serve tortilla chips and the leftover salsa as a side dish.

Dawn, thank you so much for doing this interview for me!  It was such fun to read!  Your recipe has my name written allllll over it. I am so making it this weekend.  It is like the perfect comfort food.  Yum!  I had SOS for the very first time just about a month ago or so and oh man, it is DELICIOUS!  I couldn't believe I had never had it before.  It is one of those foods that is definitely "retro" but has such a comforting flavor to it.  I love it!  

I am so thrilled that we do our monthly cooking night because that is a wonderful way to gain confidence in the kitchen.  No judgement amongst friends :)  Keep playing around with recipes and soon enough it will all become second nature.  

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Reader's Question: Tips for Using Wonton Wrappers for Ravioli

I received an email today from one of my readers after making a recipe featured on here.  I felt her questions were so great I wanted to share them.  They are totally something others might run into and  could use the tips.  If any of you have any suggestions for Lindsay, please leave them here in the comments!

 Hi Amie!! Just thought I'd tell you the results of my trying the recipe for Sweet Potato Ravioli with Sage Butter....The filling and sauce was amazing and easy....but using the wonton wrappers turned into a real miss. By the time I figured out how to fold them properly, and they boiled...they stuck together after I brought them out. the taste was great...presentation not so much. any suggestions? I saved the remaining filling and figured I'd use the kitchen aid to make pasta dough and do it that way instead of the wrappers.
Hi Lindsay!
First of all, I am thrilled you are using My Retro Kitchen as a place to find new recipes!  You made my day *grin*.  Thanks!  Alright, now onto your question!  By all means, I feel that homemade pasta dough will always produce the best ravioli's!  So I highly recommend giving that a try sometime.  Have you ever made it before?  I am dying to get the pasta attachment for my Kitchen Aide, myself!!  But I have to say that when time is short, or you just don't want to have that extra step, wonton wrappers are a great short-cut.  They work especially well for delicate fillings.

Folding and sealing the wonton wrappers can be quite tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it things move a lot faster. Just do a few at a time, so they don't dry out in between. If you check out my post for Potstickers, I have step by step pictures of how I did it here. That might help a little bit.  I think the most important thing would be to not be tempted to over fill. They are more inclined to break open this way. You also want to boil them at a gentle boil, not rapid like when you boil spaghetti. I also reccomend using a sautee pan filled with water and boil them in a single layer, rather than using a pasta pot. Put them in the boiling water gently and take them out w/ a pasta strainer. They cook in no time (like 2-3 minutes) so it doesn't take much longer doing them in batches. I then transfer them to a large serving dish and keep them warm in the oven while they all cooked.

Another way to form the ravioli would be to use two sheets, one for the top and one for the bottom. Fill them the same way, seal the edges with water and you can cut them with a cookie cutter or biscuit cutter. They will look more like traditional ravioli's this way. You can try steaming them too, although I have never done it this way. I have heard though, that you absolutely need to steam them in a single layer when prepared this way.

I am glad you liked the flavor and now next time maybe you will have more success with the technical part since you will have done it all before. I love going back and perfecting recipes, trying out new ideas. Let me know what works for you, OK!  Good luck!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fridays, Feasting With Friends- Featuring Bonnie Cork

One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.”
~Laurie Colwin'Home Cooking'

Bonnie and her husband Jimmy.

I am so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing women in my life.  Not only do they lend support when needed, uplift my spirit but also show me such beautiful examples of way to live an abundant life. One of these incredible women is my dear friend Bonnie Cork.  Bonnie and I met while both attending Lutheran High School West almost 15 years ago.  During a huge transitional time in my life, I always felt so lucky to have had her by my side as a true friend.  Bonnie has this wonderful gift of being beautifully honest and in such a way that is gentle, loving and always apparent she wants the absolute best thing for you.  I admire this so much in her.  She is gracious, compassionate just a gorgeous person inside and out.
Bonnie and sweet Kleo

Bonnie works as an Audiologist and this past summer I was so proud to celebrate along side as she completed her Doctorate of Audiology.  She married the love of her life, Jimmy and they have the sweetest, most lovable, hugest dog I have ever seen- Kleo.  She is their only baby... for now.  I so look forward to the day I get to share being Mommies together. I know she will make an amazing one! So for today's segment of Friday's Feasting with Friends I am thrilled to introduce to you my friend, Bonnie Cork.  

What is your favorite thing to cook?
I would have to say that my favorite thing to cook is stir-fry.  It takes only a couple minutes to cut up any combination of vegetables and I can make it with or without chicken, steak or shrimp.  I seem to never make the same stir-fry as I often just grab any sauces or spices that sound good to me at the moment.  It is a great way to get a lot of nutrition and I never have to feel guilty for taking a second helping.

How about your least favorite thing to cook?
Chicken breast!  I do fine with little pieces of chicken, but struggle to know when a large chicken breast is done.  Hopefully the tip Amie gave me the other night can help me out.  Amie’s tip:  Placing the chicken in the pan and leave it alone until you are able to shake the pan and see the chicken move.  When it no longer sticks to the pan it is ready to be flipped and once the other side no longer sticks it is (almost!) done!

What is your favorite local restaurant and what is one you are dying to try out?
One of my favorite local restaurants is Kozmo’s Grille.  It is named after Kozmo Kramer from the show Seinfeld.  The food is always wonderful and the atmosphere is nice but still very casual.  They have a brick oven that turns out delicious pizza, a sirloin called the Newman, and the other night I had a fabulous salad made of salmon, spinach, and goat cheese.   I would love to go to the Stables Restaurant Hall of Fame Grille in Canton due to the history behind it and the unique structure of the building.  It is an old, large, round historic building that used to be an open air courtyard and originally was used to store grain and hay.  It is known for it’s unique atmosphere and great food.

Music and food go together so beautifully.  You are hosting a dinner party, what would be on your playlist?
Anything that is fun and upbeat.

What would you choose to be your last meal on earth?
I want a plate full of all my Thanksgiving Day favorites.  My mom’s cranberry pecan stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, corn, cranberry sauce and soft buttery rolls.

What are you currently reading?
Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

What is your favorite Kitchen Gadget? 
I like to use my wavy cutter to make a tray of cheese and crackers look extra nice.

Do you have a signature go-to dish?
A couple years ago I wanted to make macaroni salad and a friend was nice enough to find me a recipe online.  It is not a particularly unique recipe, but people tend to love it and I am thrilled that my friends have started referring to it as Bonnie’s macaroni salad.

What is your favorite thing about the Cleveland area?
I think Cleveland is a great city because there are so many wonderful things in close proximity and there is something for everyone.  You can spend the day at a museum or the zoo and then in the evening catch a show or go to a great restaurant or bar.  There are always so many events that one should never be bored in this city.

Do you have a favorite meal from your childhood and do you cook it today?
Yes, my mom used to combine sauerkraut, broiled kielbasa, and flour dumplings in a big pot for dinner.  I realize that this may seem like an odd childhood favorite, but you should know that I come from a polish family.  I always looked forward to this dish and knew that there would always be left overs.  This is the kind of dish that actually tastes even better the next day.  It took several attempts to get the dumplings just right, but I now have it perfected.  Unfortunately, my husband does not care for kielbasa or my dumplings, so I reserve this meal for a time when he is not home or I will make him some hot dogs and he can pull out some of the sauerkraut for on top.

Top 3 Movies of all time?
Shawshank Redemption, Overboard, and Goonies

What was your happiest moment in life?
There have been so many, but if I had to choose it would probably be the day that Jimmy asked me to marry him.  I can think of no higher compliment than somebody saying that would actually like to spend the rest of their life with you.  Plus he had it all planned out and did it so romantically.&

Where do you do your grocery shopping?
I do most of my grocery shopping at Walmart, but I also go to Marc’s and Giant Eagle

What is your favorite guilty pleasure when it comes to food?
Crawling into bed with a bowl of potato chips and a good book.

Can you tell me about what you are most proud of?
I am the most proud of the way my life has turned out.  A loving family, great friends, and wonderful husband surround me and I have a career I actually enjoy.  I may have it worse than some or better than others, but I have worked hard for what I have and am truly happy and content.

Do you have Culinary Resolutions that you would like to accomplish this year?
I am starting a garden this year and can not wait to grow and eat my own vegetables.

One word that best describes you is: nice

Crab Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5-15 minutes

2 large zucchini cut in half lengthwise
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage (I use imitation crabmeat and it tastes great)
1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
½ cup coarsely chopped artichoke hearts (oil or water packed)
¼ cup plus 2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese, preferably freshly grated
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Creole or Cajun seasoning
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

Using a spoon scoop the seeds from the zucchini half, making four long, canoe-like boats.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine the crabmeat, sour cream, artichoke hearts, the ¼ cup of Parmesan, mustard, Creole seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix gently to combine, being careful not to break up any crabmeat lumps. Spoon the mixture evenly into the zucchini boats.  Transfer the zucchini into a shallow baking dish. In a small bowl combine the remaining 2 tbs of Parmesan and the bread crumbs and sprinkle over the crab mixture. Bake until the top is golden brown and the filling is heated through, about 15 minutes.

From the book Quick Fix Meals by Robin Miller

Bonnie, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview for me.  You did a great job! Oh man, I can't wait to make these zucchini boats. With the usual over abundance in the summer, I am sure this will become a staple! Yumm

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Amazing Coconut Pie

Today was one of those days.  Ugh. I don't know what came over me, but I just felt so blah.  No good reason, just blah. I don't know about you, but enjoying something delicious always seems to help- if even just a tiny bit.  I had picked up a bag of lovely sweetened coconut at the grocery store the last time I was there, and it was calling my name.  On the back of the bag there is this recipe for an Amazing Coconut Pie.  It is incredibly simple, just a handful of ingredients thrown into a blender, topped with coconut and placed in the oven.  A blender?!  Who would've thought!  I don't know about you but I've never used a blender to make a pie before.  I was sold.  Not only was it crazy easy- it was crazy delicious too!

Here is this beauty after sprinkling the coconut on top, just before placing in the oven.   

This pie is so lovely.  It is sweet- but not too sweet, with the perfect flavors of custard and coconut.  The cool thing is that the all-purpose baking mix (better known as Bisquick) in the dish helps the pie create its own crust.  

Amazing Coconut Pie
2 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose baking mix
4 eggs
1/4 cup (half a stick) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1 1/3 cups Baker's Angel Flake Coconut (sweetened)

Place milk, sugar, baking mix, eggs, butter and vanilla in blender; cover.  Blend on LOW speed for 3 minutes.  pour into a greased 9-inch pie plate.  Sprinkle with coconut.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until center of pie is set and top is golden brown.  (It took me closer to 50-55 minutes).  Serve warm or cool on a wire rack.  Store leftover pie in refrigerator.

  wanna slice?

*recipe is from the back of the Baker's Angel Flake Coconut bag. 

Friday, April 9, 2010

Garlic Herb Bread

I wish I could post the smell that is surrounding me in my kitchen right now. It is simply amazing! This recipe produced the perfect little loaf, I can't wait to have a slice with my dinner tonight.

Garlic Herb Bread

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon dreid basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt, it will effect the yeast and make the bread not rise properly)
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup oilve oil
2 2/3 cups unbleached white flour
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Place all the ingredients in the machine, program for bread, Basic, White, Basic White, or White/Whole Grain, and press Start or On.

**These ingredients are specifically for the Regal, Large Oster, West Bend, Large Pillsbury and Large Zojirushi bread machine.  If you have a different sized machine please contact me and I can give you the correct measurements.  

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What's for Dinner Tonight- Texas BBQ Pot Roast

Sorry I have been such a bad blogger these days!  I have been feeling under the weather and cooking has been the last thing on my mind.  This will pass sooner then later, and I promise to get back in the swing of things and back to writing on a regular basis again! 

Tonight I have to work, so I want something quick and easy that won't require a lot of hands on cooking.  Crock-pot to the rescue!!  This recipe has been adapted slightly from one I found on the Food Network to accommodate a slow-cooker. 

1 pot roast (about 4 pounds), such as bottom round or chuck
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup bottled barbecue sauce
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup chicken or beef broth
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon bottled mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 large onion (1/2 pound), chopped
2 large cloves garlic, crushed

Brown meat well in oil in large frying pan. Combine bbq sauce, vinegar, broth, sugar, mustard, Worcestershire, chili powder, onion, garlic and thyme to crockpot.  Add browned meat to the crock pot and cover in sauce.  Turn crockpot on Low and cook undisturbed for 7 hours (or on High for 4).  Let stand at least 30 minutes in pan. Remove meat from pot. Skim fat. Slice beef and serve with sauce on rolls.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Fridays, Feasting With Friends- Featuring Medeana Hobar

One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.” 
~Laurie Colwin'Home Cooking'

For today's segment of Friday's Feasting with Friends I would like to introduce you to my friend Medeana.  She is full of life, joy and brings sunshine wherever she goes.  I honestly don't think I have ever met a more uplifting and positive person then I did with Medeana.  I met Medeana through my sister, and am so thrilled with the friendship that I have developing with her myself.  She is my first "vegan" friend, and I always love hearing about the amazing and wonderful things her family enjoys at each meal.  Sometimes they might sound a bit strange, but all of them I would love to give a taste and see for myself.  (So Medeana, if you ever have any leftovers you are more then welcome to send them my way *grin*.)  Her family lives on an Organic Farm (lucky girl!!!) and she is a self-proclaimed Tree-hugger (some of my favorite kinds of people!)  She is just an all around fun girl, and will guarantee to make you feel at ease and in turn make you laugh until your sides hurt.  

Medeana Hobar
Medeana, just before her very first ride on the subway, NYC

What is your favorite thing to cook? Soups!!!

How about your least favorite thing to cook? Really dont like to cook! My hubby is my personal chef!!!

What is your favorite local restaurant and what is one you are dying to try out? My Fav resturaunt is Wild Mango! LOVE IT!!!! I have been dying to hit Luckys cafe for brunch! Thay have LOTS of veggie choices!

You are hosting a dinner party, what would be on your playlist?Bruschetta, hummous, veggies, salad, soup. Vegan cheesecake

What would you choose to be your last meal on earth? Tofu curry noodle soup from Wild Mango!!!!!!
What are you currently reading? Skinny Bitch

What is your favorite Kitchen Gadget? Vita Mix

Do you have a signature go-to dish? my leftover surprises!!

What is your favorite thing about Cleveland? My family and friends!

Do you have a favorite meal from your childhood and do you still cook it now as an adult? Unbeef stew!

Top 3 Movies of all time? 300, Gone with the wind, Ghandi

Where do you do your grocery shopping? Natures Bin, all over Cleveland @ my accounts!

What is your favorite guilty pleasure when it comes to food?Chocolate

Do you have Culinary Resolutions that you would like to accomplish this year? Eat more Raw foods less cooked

OK, you are a huge fan of this stuff called E3Live. Can you tell me what this stuff is and what it can do for me? E3live is an amzing Blue green algae that provides lots of vitamins and nutrients! Live essential fatty acids help to turn your Brainon!!! WWW. has a lot more info! I take it to keep me healthy and feeling happy! Works awesome for depression! The best part is its guaranteed!!!

One word what describes you is: unique
enjoying a hot chocolate at Serendipity Restaurant, NYC

Soy Delicioous Pasta Salad
1 lb cooked pasta
1/2 cup diced leek
2 Tablespoons dill
1 1/2-2 cups veganaise
1/2 teaspoon blackpepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tablespoon VINEGAR
1 package steamed edemame beans

Mix all together thoroughly! Serve chilled!! Yum!

Thank you so much Medeana for doing this interview for me!!  I can't wait to try out your pasta salad, especially since the weather is just right for a picnic!  


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