Thursday, August 26, 2010

End of Summer Salad

This past week has been most inhospitable! (I say this with lots of emotion). My body has been wretched from one end to the other. It all began last week when I thought I might have been having an heart attack. Yes, you read that right. Fortunately, by God's infinite grace and mercy, I wasn't. My potassium was low and I have been blessed by the Pleurisy fairy once again. For those of you who are not aware, low potassium can mimic a heart attack. The symptoms are virtually the same, at least they were in my case. So needless to dawdle on, I spent a majority of an afternoon in the emergency room being poked and proded AND developing an allergic reaction to some meds. You know they say you can go into the E.R. ok and come out in worse shape. That's what happened to me. My eyes swelled into bulbous flesh! Simply not flattering. So back onto the prednisone (to ward off the pleurisy) and some potassium to help boost that back to normal levels. Then, FRED, (you ladies all are graced with his presence- at least one a month), visited and sent my body into a Lupus flare and to put the cherry on top, no pun intended, I now have come down with a terrible cold/sore throat! I know, I know, you all wish you could be me right now. Please, contain your jealously. Envy will get you no where.

So after my heart scare, it really did help me to focus on better health; starting with what I put into my mouth. Obviously, I like to eat. Not only do I like to eat, but I also like food that taste good! So, I have promised myself to find healthier, tastier meals to share with you all. Maybe I can help keep you out of the E.R......

This is a salad that I made the other night. Taste really fresh and light, but yet it is filling. Good protein, healthy fats and veggies are just some of its benefits. You can add whatever veggies you like, there really are no guidelines for it.


Summer Bean Salad

1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or is it drained and rinsed)
1 each red/green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 small cumcumber, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, chopped
fresh parsely (about 1/4 c. chopped)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. balsalmic vinegrette
1 pkg. dry Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
Juice of 1 lime squeezed

Mix together the olive oil, balsalmic vinegrette, Italian seasoning, pepper, salt and lime juice. Stir with a whisk until well blended. (You may need to adjust the olive oil and balsamic according to your taste). In a small bowl, mix beans, bell peppers, onion and cucumbers. Pour vinegrette over and toss in parsely. Serve as a side or stuff into a pita!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Almond Tiramisu with Beach Tales on the side!

I feel like I should explain myself since it has been over a week that I have blogged. I have been on a sabatical. My family and I ventured down to our beaches here on the gulf coast for 5 1/2 days of some fun and relaxation. We had such a wonderful time, my mom and grandmother, (Nanny), also came and shared several days with us. It was incredibly hot, so we didn't make it onto the beach much during the day. Our nights were spent scouting for sand crabs, ( I mostly was looking out for them so they didn't run across my toes!),and on one occasion M. (my husband), found a blue crab whom was very full of eggs! I have a picture of her below, and yes, she does look pretty angry! We even ended up adopting two tree hermit crabs, which I am now determined will have to live to a ripe old age before dying, seeing as to how much I have invested in their little "crabitat"! F.Y.I.: Always ,ALWAYS research an animal (of any sort) before you purchase! I cannot stress this enough. Do-Do me was mindfully out to lunch when it came to their long-term care. I did find a fabulous website with an abundant amount of information. Here is the link should you be interested in investing in an hermit crab:

Summer Break 2010 096
Looks rather perturbed, doesn't she?

Summer Break 2010 034
This opulent looking thing with freaky eyes is a sand crab. I almost stepped on him and kuddos to mom who scooped him up with her bare hands, and threw him into the bucket!

Summer Break 2010 047
This sweet little angel of mine was on a shell mission. No shell unbroken was to be left behind!

Summer Break 2010 044
Our oldest busy at work. God bless him, he had no shell preference, which meant anything was admittable.

Summer Break 2010 086
Every once and awhile, I am caught in a pic with my boys!

Enough about our vacay, onto the recipe! I have been craving Tiramisu ever since I tried Starbuck's Tiramisu Parfait-SINFUL! I know that a lot of desserts have "seasons", I don't think tiramisu does. It is one of those desserts that if it was an entree' it would be a comfort food. The creamy decadence of the marscapone compliments the soft, spongy cookie perfectly!
I have never been to Italy, but those Italians have got it going on! My version, which I am sure is not as wonderful as the true Italian versions, and I am not pretending as such, is a Southern twist on this wonderful dessert. Whenever life gives you lemons, you must make lemonade! Well, that's what I did with this recipe, as it so happens I had to settle for Americanized marscapone cheese and lady fingers. I was also fresh out of Cognac and Brandy(J/K-don't care for the stuff!) and refused to buy a bottle for one recipe. I did check with my hubby to see if we still had any of the Irish whiskey, which being of Irish decsent I do not turn my nose up to! Nope, us lushes drank it all! Hey, I'm Irish, what do you expect?!! (Note: we really are not lushes, but do delight in a glass once in a while). I did find a bottle of Ameretto aged 8 years, see we don't revel in alcohol much. How did I become so sidetracked on convincing of our lack of revelry?!!
There my idea for Almond Tiramisu came about. It really is good and a bit different. This would be great for a dinner party or to share with a special soemone with a cup of coffee. Hey, the coffe tasted pretty good with the ameretto and sugar, just saying....


8 oz. mascarpone cheese
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 pkgs. lady fingers
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. amerreto liquer
1/4 heavy cream
1 cup strong espresso, cooled
1 tsp. almond flavoring
3 egg whites
1/4 c. crushed almonds
1 tbsp. cocoa powder

Summer Break 2010 111

Summer Break 2010 112
Beat cheese, egg yolks, 2 tbsp. sugar and 2 tbsp. ameretto.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add cream and almond flavoring to a bowl. Beat until whipped.

Summer Break 2010 114
Fold gently the yolk mixture, egg whites and cream.

Mix espresso with remaining sugar and amerreto.

Summer Break 2010 116
Dip lady fingers into espresso, being very careful not to soak- they WILL break off! Seriously, these are little sponges. Take a quick swing of liquored cofee (j/k), only if you continually cause several ladyfingers to break off!

Summer Break 2010 117
Line serving dish with coffeed ladyfingers. Pour cream mixture and alternate between ladyfingers and cream mixture. Top with sifted cocoa and crushed almonds.

Summer Break 2010 118