Favorite Summer Sandwich

 

Photo Jul 27, 2 07 28 PM CAPRESE SANDWICH

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Hi Everyone,

I hope you are well.

The other day in the 100 degree heat, it was too hot to cook so I made a classic Italian sandwich for lunch that my mother made for us all the time during the hot summer months. I posted it on my personal Facebook page and received so many comments that it brought back childhood memories for so many.

I wanted to share this recipe so you too, can enjoy this sandwich and possibly have it bring back some memories or just need an easy no cook option- best part, very few ingredients.

My mother would make her own bread and grow her own vegetables for this sandwich. She was the best!

This year I wasn’t allowed (doctors orders) to have a garden and it was too hot to bake bread so all ingredients came from Whole Foods.

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Heirloom Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella on Grilled Ciabatta Bread

Ingredients:

ciabatta bread – (the best is when it is grilled lightly)

2-3 Heirloom tomatoes (I try and mix the colors)

slice of mozzarella cheese

dash of good Italian oregano

fresh basil leaf (optional)

Choice of either : extra virgin olive oil for the bread or pesto.

  • I prefer pesto for this sandwich and I always keep small bags of homemade pesto in the freezer. You can buy pesto in a jar and keep it in your refrigerator if you don’t make your own.
  • Whenever I find gorgeous basil leaves I make pesto, so I have it for sandwiches, pasta and breads. Recipe at the end of the post.

Directions:

The directions for this sandwich are beyond simple. Grill the bread, spread the pesto on the bread slices and a little on the mozzarella slice, layer the tomatoes, dash of oregano, basil leaf and you are done- Enjoy!

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Pesto Recipe

Using a food processor is the best way to make pesto unless you have a mortar and pestle and a lot of time.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves of peeled garlic (you can add more if you prefer a strong garlic taste)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (can be substituted with walnuts or almonds if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese (I use locatelli)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

  • Remove the basil leaves from the stem, and wash and dry the basil. 

Cooks Note: Since my transplant I follow doctors orders to wash all produce in a bowl of cold water with 1 tbsp of baking soda and let it soak for 10 minutes, then rinse with cold water and dry. This has been know to take off the most pesticides).

  • Add the basil to the food processor bowl along with 2 peeled garlic cloves, pine nuts, cheese, salt & pepper and give it a few pulses.
  • While the food processor is running, stream the olive oil into the basil mixture.
  • I usually taste for seasoning and if all is to your liking your pesto is ready.

Cooks Note: If you are not using the pesto immediately, you can store the pesto in a bowl with plastic wrap in the refrigerator but make sure the plastic touches the pesto to prevent it from turning brown. Also, you can add pesto to plastic freezer bags, squeeze the air out and store in the freezer 

Pesto will last 1 week stored in the refrigerator and 3-4 months stored in the freezer.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emailsI Love hearing from you. 

 All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

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Chicken and Waffles, Diane’s way…

Photo May 05, 8 12 50 PM CHICKEN AND WAFFLES 2

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Hi Everyone, 

Hope this post finds you well.

I promised more recipes during my recovery and I have another recipe to share that I posted a few weeks back on Facebook. I think you will like this one. Ciao!

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I am getting around a little bit more, so Bob and I have been taking it slow and cleaning the garage and preparing donation boxes. When I get tired, Bob continues on his own. You could say I am a little late on my Spring cleaning….

Bob was cleaning the garage mezzanine and came in the house with a box and said, “Look what I found?” These four words always get me excited because I have collected so much stuff over 31 years of marriage, that I never know what I might stumble upon and most definitely I forgot about it tucked away in the attic or basement or garage. 

Well, this was the case with the mystery box. I peaked inside and a flood of memories came back to me.

It was a waffle boat maker.

I know that doesn’t sound that memorable, but when my son was little we would eat ice cream in waffle boats with sprinkles and whipped cream on the patio after soccer practice and just talk about anything and everything.

It was a great one on one time with my son.

Bob asked if we should keep the waffle maker or donate it and then the bell in my head went off with an idea.

One of my favorite meals to order at brunch is “Chicken and Waffles”.  

What if I prepared fried chicken wings in waffle boats? And at that moment, I knew what we were having for dinner. Bob went out to Whole Foods to buy waffle mix and a few packages of chicken wings and when he got back, I got to work.

My favorite recipe for fried chicken is a recipe from Ina Garten for oven fried chicken – easy preparation and it starts off in the frying pan for three minutes and finishes baking in the oven. Of course I had to tweak the recipe a bit see cooks notes.

Very easy, and the chicken is always crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Her recipe calls for marinating the chicken overnight in buttermilk, but in this case I only marinated the chicken for two hours because I couldn’t wait.

Cooks Note: To the buttermilk, I added  1- 1/2 tsps. of dried tarragon and a splash of sriracha sauce.

(I will share the recipe at the end of the post).

Now, what to serve with this and the first request Bob had was French fries so that was an easy decision. Cole slaw or mashed potatoes with gravy would be nice also.

I am serving the chicken with three condiments- maple syrup, honey and hot sauce. (I love Mike’s Hot Honey on chicken- unfortunately for me, I can no longer have raw honey so I have to settle for the pasteurized “honey in the plastic bear bottle”. 

Making the waffle boats were a snap with the mix and dinner was ready in no time. For the full experience with this meal, Bob and I had ice cream for dessert.

BTW this is the waffle boat maker that I used. I have had it so long it is considered a “collectible” online. How is that for making someone feel old? A collectible appliance.

It can be found on Amazon from various sellers- price varies from $147 to $300.

VillaWare 2007 UNO Series Waffle Boat Maker

VillaWare 2007 UNO Series Waffle Boat Maker

It was a great dinner with lots of memories and one I am sure any child (that is children of all ages) would love to have fried chicken wings in a waffle boat. 

Photo May 05, 8 11 47 PM WAFFLE BOATS

Oven- Fried Chicken

recipe courtesy of Ina Garten and Food Network

Ingredients:

  • 2 chickens (3 pounds each), cut in eight serving pieces
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening

COOKS NOTES:

FOR  MY ADD ON… tarragon & hot sauce

Adjust the buttermilk amount according to chicken quantity…

Directions:

Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and pour the buttermilk over them. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Take the chicken out of the buttermilk and coat each piece thoroughly with the flour mixture. Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stockpot to a depth of 1 inch and heat to 360 degrees on a thermometer.

Working in batches, carefully place several pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side until the coating is a light golden brown (it will continue to brown in the oven). Don’t crowd the pieces. Remove the chicken from the oil and place each piece on a metal baking rack set on a sheet pan. Allow the oil to return to 360 degrees before frying the next batch. When all the chicken is fried, bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is no longer pink inside. Serve hot.

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I hope you have a chance to try this recipe.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I Love hearing from you.

 

 

 

My 4th of July Favorites-pizza & potato salad…

Hi Everyone,

I can’t believe that the 4th of July is this Thursday- Wow!

I am not having a big get together this year, it will be just me and Bob. I am still not allowed to have visitors. I am keeping it very mellow and Bob will be grilling for the two of us and I will be making my traditional 4th of July potato salad.

I am re-posting two of my recipes that I made last year to give you some ideas for this 4th of July.

My Flag pizza (big hit) and my most requested potato salad. Enjoy!

Have a safe and Happy 4th of July with family and friends and be mindful of your pets and fireworks.

Click on the photo to enlarge, and the back arrow to return to original size.

Flag Pizza

Photo Jul 04, 12 48 00 PM FLAG PIZZA

I saw this recipe on one of Giada’s shows and I just had to make some pizzas, they were too cute.

I brought them to a friends house last 4th of July, along with my potato salad- big hit.

This year I have added a few substitutions for some of the ingredients if you want to change things up a bit….

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients:

FOR THE SPINACH

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

5 ounces baby spinach, chopped *

1-2 teaspoon kosher salt

TO ASSEMBLE

2 tablespoons flour

1-pound pizza dough

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3-4 cup pizza sauce

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon ricotta cheese**

28 slices pepperoni***

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.

Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and the garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly browned. Add the spinach and the salt and cook, stirring often, until the spinach is wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain the spinach in a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour on a clean work surface. Place the dough on top and sprinkle it with the remaining tablespoon of flour. Roll the dough out to a 15 X 10-inch rectangle. Drizzle the oil on a rimmed baking sheet and spread it evenly using a pastry brush. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet.

Spread the sauce over the entire crust. Sprinkle with the mozzarella, creating a 5 X 4-inch rectangle in the upper left corner with slightly less cheese. Squeeze the liquid from the spinach and spread evenly over the upper left corner. Dot small clumps of ricotta cheese over the spinach to form the “stars. ” Arrange the pepperoni over the remaining surface of the pizza in horizontal rows, slightly overlapping the slices to form the stripes.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and cooked through and the cheese is bubbly.

* you can substitute 4 small purple potatoes for the spinach- sliced thin with a mandolin and sautéed in olive oil until crispy- approx. 7 minutes

**- you can substitute mozzarella pearls for the ricotta

*** – you can substitute grape tomatoes cut in half OR strips of bacon for the pepperoni

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Now for the potato salad…

Photo Jul 22, 12 44 32 PM potato salad

 Whenever I am invited to a barbecue, everyone asks me to bring the same thing- my potato salad.

This has to be the easiest recipe around and it is always a crowd pleaser, so I wanted to share this with all of my members.

I have been making this potato salad over 20 years and I don’t remember where I got the original recipe from. Of course, I have tweaked it a little here and there over the years (I couldn’t help myself).

In my house, we have made it a tradition that this potato salad does not make an appearance until the 4th of July. After that, I make it the rest of the summer.

The recipe calls for 1 dz. hard boiled eggs, so make sure you check your eggs for freshness.

Check your eggs for signs of cracks. Since fresh eggs are harder to peel it is best if you purchase your eggs a week prior to boiling.

You can test the freshness of the eggs by placing them into a glass of water. The freshest eggs will lie on the bottom of the water on its side. As an egg ages the air pocket inside grows so your egg will start to stand up on end. An egg that floats to the top should be discarded.

If you try this recipe, PLEASE let me know what you think.

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DIANE’S POTATO SALAD

PREP TIME : approx. 2 hours

Ingredients:

5 lb. bag of red potatoes -NOT PEELED -boil whole until fork can pierce skin but not mushy/ DRAIN

2 ½ C         Hellmanns mayo –not light

5 TBSP      Red Wine Vinegar

3 ¾ tsp       Kosher salt

2 ½ tsp       Sugar

¾ tsp          Pepper

2 ½ C         Celery (chopped)

1 ½ C         Red onion (diced)

1 dz            Hard boiled eggs

Directions:

Mix mayo and vinegar together—Add salt, pepper, and sugar and mix thoroughly.

Add celery and onions—Next add potatoes WARM  (cut into bite size pieces)

Add eggs (sliced) and fold all ingredients together.

(Best when chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours).

ENJOY!

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well, 

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to become members of DishingwithDiane.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

 

 

Back in the Kitchen…..Diane 2.0

Photo Apr 15, 7 45 23 PM Farfalle with prosciutto and chicken

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Hi Everyone,

I hope this post finds you well. I want to thank all of you for the warm emails and comments that I have been receiving regarding my heart transplant and recovery- thank you so much.

I have missed all of you tremendously. I can’t wait until I can come back to the blog full time and set a few new tablescapes. My head is spinning with new ideas.

I am in my fourth month post heart transplant and I am feeling much stronger. It has been a roller coaster recovery so far. Some weeks are great and then there are weeks that a few set backs show up here and there that stops me in my tracks. I will not give up or give in to pain or difficult situations that arise, so I will continue to follow all the rules and the restrictions to get myself back to being me.

My husband calls me Diane 2.0, the new and improved.

Speaking of my husband or should I say angel on earth, he has been doing everything while I recover. He is dusting, cleaning the house, doing laundry, making beds, food shopping and cooking three meals a day and continuing to work full time. He is truly a gift from God.

I have more good days than bad lately and one day a few weeks ago, I decided that I was going to cook dinner. I didn’t know what we had in the refrigerator or pantry since I haven’t been shopping so I decided to check out the situation. As I was poking around I felt like a contestant on the Food Network show, “Chopped” where you make a meal from odd ingredients.

Well, I found pasta of course (and one of my favorites, farfalle or the bow ties), prosciutto, frozen peas, chicken breast and half a container of mascarpone (Italian cream cheese). I could do something with that and pasta is always an easy dish. I announced to Bob that I was going to cook and he really wasn’t on board with it at first because I was still not allowed to lift a lot of weight and I have awful tremors from the medication and my hands shake 24/7, but I told him I would start and if I couldn’t do it, he would have to take over. So he agreed. He put the water up for the pasta and I was ready.

Although my body wasn’t as ready as my mind. Because I had just started walking, I still had the walker at all times so I had the walker set up in front of me at the counter and a kitchen chair behind me in case I needed to take breaks and sit. I should have had Bob take a picture of that but at the time I was too focused on being able to make dinner.

I had to sit and think of a plan because I couldn’t move around the kitchen freely and I was basically stationary in front of the cabinets and next to the stove. Bob was a call away, and he had to put the chicken in the oven for me.

I finally completed dinner and I considered it a success when Bob told me how much he missed my cooking. He needed a break from cooking and I needed to get back in the kitchen- my happy place.

The following is a list of ingredients and directions for this first meal I prepared post transplant. I hope you give it a try and enjoy. 

I will be posting more and more recipes that I have been preparing while recovering. I don’t have enough strength to cook every night but I am working on that and getting stronger for a tablescape.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I LOVE hearing from you.

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Farfalle with Prosciutto, Peas and Chicken in a Creamy Red Sauce

Ingredients:

3/4 lb pasta

1 lb chicken breast

1/2 cup chicken broth or water

1 can whole plum tomatoes – crushed by hand or food processor

2 shallots – diced

1-2 garlic cloves – minced

olive oil

garlic

prosciutto

basil, parsley & oregano (1 tsp. of each dried or fresh herbs)

8 oz mascarpone cheese

grated cheese to garnish

frozen peas

salt and pepper – to taste

Directions:

Place chicken breast in a small roasting pan and add 1/2 cup of broth or water and bake for 25 minutes COVERED on 350 degrees.  Remove from poaching liquid, let it cool and dice into cubes

Start to boil your water w/salt for the pasta

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and saute diced prosciutto until it starts to get crispy and remove to a paper towel.

To the same skillet add shallots and 1- 2 cloves of minced garlic (more olive oil can be added if needed) and saute for 1-2 minutes 

Add the crushed tomatoes and herbs, simmer for 10 minutes on medium and add the mascarpone cheese, frozen peas and simmer for 10-25 minutes while the pasta cooks.

When the sauce is done, add the pasta, chicken, prosciutto and some grated cheese. Season with salt & pepper.

 

Happy Cinco de Mayo

 

Photo Jun 05, 12 05 47 AM TACO NIGHT

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Hi Everyone,

I hope this post finds you well.

I am officially 3 months post heart transplant and working hard on my recovery so I can get back to posting the blog full time and sharing my tablescapes, recipes and stories with all of my members.

When the doctors told me that the full recovery from this major surgery takes a year, I thought that wouldn’t apply to me but found out it does. It is a long journey to complete recovery. I have had a few bumps in the road, but nothing will stand in my way to reach my goal.

I miss all of my members and want to thank so many of you for the get well cards. Your well wishes are so deeply appreciated.

I still don’t have enough strength to prepare a new tablescape, so for today in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I am reposting my Fiesta Night.

I hope Fiesta Night gives you some ideas to help you with your Cinco de Mayo tablescape or menu. It was one of my favorite posts, especially the cactus pretzel rods and Mexican corn.

(Just click on the link below.)

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2018/06/10/fiesta-night/

Photo Jun 09, 7 06 57 PM CACTUS PRETZEL RODS

Photo Jun 04, 9 16 06 PM MEXICAN CORN

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emailsI Love hearing from you.

Photo Jun 09, 8 14 30 PM CACTUS AND DIP

Italian Easter Pies -(repost) & Happy Passover

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Hi Everyone,

This is a busy week in many households that celebrate Easter. This week many Italian’s make their Easter pies for Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.

I am not making Easter pies this year due to my surgery, but wanted to repost the recipes for my Italian Easter Pies, one sweet (Pizza Dolce) and one savory (Pizza Rustica) for all of you to try and enjoy.

Photo Mar 28, 11 53 10 PM PIZZA RUSTICA AND PIZZA DOLCE -EASTER 2018

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Pizza Dolce

Photo Mar 27, 11 26 19 PM -PIZZA DOLCE 2018

It is an Italian cheesecake made with ricotta, eggs, milk, sugar and extracts.

It is definitely not a low-calorie pie.

INGREDIENTS:

24 eggs

3 lbs. Whole milk ricotta cheese (large container)  

1 qt. Whole milk 

1 oz. lemon extract 

1 oz. almond extract 

1 oz. vanilla extract 

1 oz. anise extract

Zest of ½ a medium lemon 

3 ½ cups sugar 

Colored confetti sprinkles (aka: rainbow nonpareil)

 DIRECTIONS:

 Add eggs, milk and ricotta in a blender until smooth (I divide this to 1/3 at a time), transfer to a large bowl.

When completed, add extracts, sugar, lemon zest and mix well.

Spray two 9 ½ X 11 inch GLASS pans with Pam. Fill each pan ¾ of the way full—add rainbow confetti on top of mixture.

Place in a 350-degree oven for approx. 1 ½ hours. (More sprinkles can be added during the cooking time).

 (1 fluid oz. = 6 tsp or 2 TBSP)            This recipe makes 2 pans

Ready for the oven….

Photo Mar 26, 5 42 22 PM PIZZA DOLCE READY FOR THE OVEN

Pizza Rustica

Pizza Rustica is my absolute favorite. 

Photo Mar 28, 12 07 56 AM PIZZA RUSTICA 2018

It is a classic savory Italian Easter pie made with cured Italian meats, Italian cheeses and bound together with eggs. We usually eat thin slices of Pizza Rustica as an antipasto on Easter before a traditional lamb dinner, and it can be served either warm or cold .

This pie is also a main part of “Easter Monday” or “La Pasquetta” which means little Easter.

Easter Monday is a national holiday in Italy. Italians leave the city and head to the country, the beach or the mountains for a family picnic. Pizza Rustica, frittata, Easter bread, wine and chocolate biscotti are all on the menu.

The whole point is to celebrate the return of Spring.

We always celebrated Easter Monday when I was a child.

Depending on what region of Italy you are from, the name of this recipe may vary. It is also called Torta Pasqualina, Pizza Gaina and Pizza Piena .  

However, Easter is called Pasqua and Buona Pasqua means Happy Easter in Italy… no matter what region you are from!

Ingredients:

¼ lb. prosciutto

1 stick soppressata (or mix half sweet and half hot)

1 stick pepperoni salami

¼ lb. hot capicola

6-8 slices of genoa salami

Fresh basket cheese……. NOT Mozzarella –– usually sold in a 2 lb. baskets at the Italian market. Let it drain in a colander overnight and when ready to use squeeze out any excess liquid. (Use a wooden spoon or fingers to crumble)

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13 large eggs

¼ cup half and half

¼ cup grated provolone

½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Nutmeg (approx. 2 shakes)

½ Cup fresh Italian parsley

Black pepper

Salt – can be omitted because the cold cuts are salty

2 egg yolks & a tsp of sugar for the glaze

Two 1 lb. balls of pizza dough (either homemade, or from a pizzeria)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

  1. Cut first six ingredients (meat and cheese) into small bite size pieces & mix together in a large bowl (This prep work can be done on one day and assemble the pie the next day).
  2. When ready to assemble, add Romano cheese, Mozzarella cheese, provolone, nutmeg, parsley, salt and pepper to prior meat and cheese mixture
  3. Prepare small roasting pan or spring-form pan, with olive oil to coat the bottom and sides. Cut pizza dough and shape to form a bottom layer WITH SIDES and a top layer of dough. (If you don’t want a full top layer, cut the dough in strips and criss cross on top with no venting)
  4. After shaping the bottom layer of dough in the pan–add the meat and cheese mixture. Separately, beat the 13 eggs and half and half, and pour over dry mixture in pan and MIX WELL. Add top layer of dough (or strips)
  5. Roll top & bottom layers of dough together around the sides to seal. Vent the top of the pie with a fork or paring knife several times.
  6. Add sugar to the EGG YOLKS and brush the top of the pie to prepare a glaze when cooking.
  7. Bake at 350 for 1 hr. to 1 hr. /15 minutes….
  8. For the first 30 minutes cover the pie with aluminum foil. For the remaining 45 minutes bake uncovered. If using a spring-form pan-let pie stand 15 minutes then release pan sides and transfer to plate. Can be served warm or cold.

Ready for the oven…

Photo Mar 27, 8 48 20 PM - RUSTICAPhoto Mar 27, 9 43 23 PM - PIZZA RUSTICA READY FOR THE OVEN

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And Happy Passover to all our members who will be celebrating this weekend!

I don’t have any recipes for Passover but I do have a list of the traditional foods for a Seder plate (source: myjewishlearning.com).

The Traditional Foods of Passover

Seder Plate

Here is an example of a traditional plate used only on Passover. From the bone at the top and counter-clockwise we explain the traditional foods.

1. Z’roa: A lamb shank represents a symbolic offering to the temple.
2. Beitzah: The egg is a symbol of rebirth.
Maror: Bitter herbs such as horseradish signify the bitterness of enslavement.
Karpas: A non-bitter vegetable, here parsley, is dipped in salted water to symbolize tears.
5. Haroset: A mixture of apple, nuts and wine that represents the mortar and bricks used by the enslaved Jews. 
6. Hazeret: Another bitter herb, such as romaine lettuce. Some do not use a second bitter herb. 
Source: myjewishlearning.comHappy Passover for blog image

Have a wonderful and Happy Easter and Happy Passover with your family and friends. 

Wishing you many blessings in the year ahead…

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I Love hearing from you.

 

Update from Diane…

Hi Everyone!

I hope this post finds you all well. I have missed posting and missed all of my members.

It’s been seven weeks since my heart transplant operation and I am so grateful for the gift of life.

I just want to say on a personal note how much I appreciate all the e-mails and comments regarding my medical condition. I appreciate your kind words, care, love and concern. I am getting stronger each day, although some days are harder than others.

I feel that all my members have become my extended family and I can’t wait to get back to writing the blog on a regular basis again. I might even come up with a few new recipes for organ recipients like myself that have a restricted diet.

Thank you once again for all of your love, I LOVE you all!

Although I am still too weak to start lifting dishes to set a tablescape or get back in the kitchen to cook, I wanted to share a few tips that I have learned in the hospital that I think would be good for all my members to follow.

Since the new “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists came out this week listing all the foods that have the most & least pesticides, and the recalls for listeria and E-coli; I have to share this with you.

EWG’s Clean Fifteen 2019                   

  1. Avocados     *unfortunately, this week avocados have been recalled
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Sweet Peas Frozen
  5. Onions
  6. Papayas
  7. Eggplants
  8. Asparagus
  9. Kiwis
  10. Cabbage
  11. Cauliflower
  12. Cantaloupes
  13. Broccoli
  14. Mushrooms
  15. Honeydew Melons

EWG’s Dirty Dozen 2019

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Nectarines
  5. Apples
  6. Grapes
  7. Peaches
  8. Cherries
  9. Pears
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Potatoes

As you can imagine, not only do I have a lot of food restrictions post op, but I have to try and remain as healthy as possible and clean all my food thoroughly since I no longer have an immune system to rely on.

Rinsing fruits and vegetables in a colander under water is just not enough, washing with organic dish detergent is not enough and produce sprays that you can buy in a grocery store are basically citrus extracts that aren’t strong enough to clean the pesticides. In addition, most of the produce sprays contain grapefruit extract which interferes with some medications, especially cardiac medication.

So what can you do? After many studies, it turns out that the best pesticide cleaner is good old baking soda. In a bowl of water add a tbsp. of baking soda and soak your fruits and vegetables for 10-15 minutes. Remove the food from the bowl and into a colander to rinse by using tongs or a glove. DO NOT pour the water from the bowl directly in the colander or you will be pouring the pesticide sediment back on to your food. Rinse with water and then cook. I could definitely feel the difference with the fruits and vegetables once washed this way.

Tip # 2

Many of the doctor’s were very concerned about the proper temperature of the food once cooked. Every oven is calibrated differently and sometimes looks alone can’t determine if the food is cooked to the proper temperature. 

  • chicken and turkey- 165 degrees
  • fish – 145 degrees
  • beef, roasts – rare (130 degrees) & well done (155 degrees)
  • pork, veal, fresh ham -rare ( 130 degrees) & well done (155 degrees)
  • pre cooked ham, hot dogs, sausages -140 degrees

To solve the mystery, Bob and I bought an instant read meat thermometer. I bought a separate thermometer for my hand bag for when we are allowed to eat in a restaurant again (which won’t be after a year of healing for me, but I am prepared). The thermometer is instant read and lifetime warranty. We purchased it on Amazon for $18.95 and it gives me peace of mind to know the food is cooked properly.


 

I hope you try at least one of these tips and find it helpful. Food safety is so important for all of us.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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