Showing posts with label Aldara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aldara. Show all posts

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pasta with Fresh Veggies Sausage & Pecorino

Pasta with Fresh Veggies Sausage & Pecorino
Modified from Cooking Light SEPTEMBER 2009

Print Recipe

8 ounces uncooked penne
12 ounces (about 4 links) sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup onion, cut into slivers
bunch fresh asparagus cut into 2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/4 pounds tomatoes chopped
3/4 - 1 cup grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese (I like more cheese for flavor)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
fresh parsley, chives, oregano to taste (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.

2. Place asparagus into a microwave safe dish; add a couple Tbs. water; cover with plastic leaving a small vent and cook on high 2 minutes. If you prefer, you can cook the asparagus in the skillet with the sausage and onion.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage, cook and using spoon to break up the sausage. Add the onion to pan and cook until the sausage is cooled through and the onions are , stirring to crumble sausage. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pasta, 2 tablespoons cheese, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with additional cup cheese and basil.

Serves 6-8

Pita Triangles
1 bag pita bread
olive oil
Kosher salt
garlic powder
black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut each pita in half and then each half in triangles and place them in a single layer on a sheet pan. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, garlic powder and black pepper.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Heading back

Last year we hosted a young lady from Spain for 7 months as she interned at the same company John works for. After 18 months here in the United States, she is returning to Spain.
Aldara & her boyfriend, Sergio came to have dinner with us one last time before departing

Sergio came last summer and has done very well improving his English
The dinner menu included
Antipasti Tray with Toasted Pita Triangles
Mixed Green Salad with Herb Grilled Shrimp
Pasta with Fresh Veggies Sausage & Pecorino
All-American Apple~Blueberry Crisp with Ice-cream  (recipe to follow)
As a parting gift, Aldara & Sergio gave me the lovely orchid (in the foreground) to add to my collection and a Martha Stewart Pies & Tarts cookbook.
These gifts will be enjoyed and serve as a sweet reminder of our friendship with this dear couple!

Linking to:
Mop It Up Mondays, Made By You Monday, Metamorphosis Monday, Motivate Me Monday @Me & Make the Scene Monday @Alderberry Hill, My Boys, Show Me What You Got, Knick of Time Tuesday, Get Your Craft On Tuesday, T' Time, Tutorial Tuesday, Wow Us Wednesdays, What's It Wednesday @Ivy & Elephants, Home Decor & Organizing Party, Show & Tell@Blue Cricket, Look What I Made! Whatever You Want Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday @Polkadots on Parade, Grace at Home, Transformation Thursday, Delightfully Inspiring Thursday, Fridays Unfolded @Stuff and Nonsense, Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm, Refresh Your Nest @Making Lemonade, Show & Tell Friday @My Romantic Home, Home Sweet Home @The Charm of Home, Inspiration Friday @At The Picket Fence,  Frugalicious Friday @Finding Fabulous, Potpourri Friday @2805, Design Dazzle Party, I'm Lovin' It @Tidy Mom, Fun Stuff Friday @Toys in the Dryer, Latest & Greatest Friday @Days of Chalk & Chocolate,  Friday Block Party @Curb Alert, Shine On Fridays @One Artsy Mama, Say G'Day Saturday, Anything Goes @Bacon Time, Weekend Wrap-Up @Tatertots & I ♥ Fridays Link Party @Petals to Picots, Jello, Strut Your Stuff @Six Sisters', Serendipity Saturday, Saturday Link and Greet @Country Momma Cooks, Sunday Show Off @Twigg Studio, Link Your Stuff@Annemarie's Crochet Blog, Tickled Pink Friday @504 Main, Sunday Round-Up, Serenity Saturday, DIY Project Parade, Mop It Up Mondays, Sunday's Best @My 1929 Charmer, Sunday Showcase Party, Easter Link Party @Dear Lillie, Nifty Thrifty Sunday @Nifty Thrifty Things, Overflowing with Creativity @It's Overflowing

Friday, May 27, 2011

A perfect Evening

Ever since Aldara told us her mother would be visiting the Unites States from Spain we were looking forward to meeting her.  Last night we had the honor of having Nini join us for dinner and a wonderful evening getting to know one another. She is just as nice and sweet as we expected she would be!
After dinner, we strolled around the yard discussing flowers indigenous to both America and Spain.
Flowers have no language barrier and bring joy to people across the globe.
  We sat on the patio long into the night as we enjoyed dessert and talked about everything from gardening to politics around the world.  We wearied Aldara as she translated back and forth but it is amazing how much we were able to understand just from listening carefully and through gesturing.
It was a perfect evening!  These gorgeous red roses were a gift from Nini as was the abanico (a handpainted fan)

Aldara explained that Spanish woman  everywhere use these fans for many occasions.  The hand fan is not just a decoration but a trade mark of Spain and an important accessory.  They are quite effective when air conditioning is not available.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

New Friends

Geography makes no difference.
Language makes no difference.
You know in an instant nice people.
You're warmed by their kind smiles
friendly manner
genuine laughter.
John, Juan, Paloma, Aldara, Lorraine
We had a most delightful morning with Aldara's family.
Juan is Aldara's father and is in the United States from Spain for business and visiting family.
Juan speaks and understands English very well and although
Paloma knows less English, we quickly realized what a
sweet lady she is and enjoy her company.
 How excited John was to receive a gift of Jamón serrano which is a delicious national treasure of Spain
Jamón Serrano
Fresh hams are trimmed and cleaned, then stacked and covered with salt for about two weeks in order to draw off excess moisture and preserve the meat from spoiling. The salt is then washed off and the hams are hung to dry for about six months. Finally, the hams are hung in a cool, dry place for six to eighteen months, depending on the climate, as well as the size and type of ham being cured. The drying sheds (secaderos) are usually built at higher elevations, which is why the ham is called mountain ham.
Jamon Serrano country ham is a source of great pride among Spaniards. From time immemorial in the mountains of Spain, they have rolled fresh hams in sea salt and hung them from their rafters to cure. A year to eighteen months later the jamones are ready to mount on special stands that are designed so that anyone can stop by, carve a few paper-thin slices, and enjoy an impromptu snack.
It is unlike the smoked and salty Virginia country hams, which have to be soaked and cooked. And it is even significantly different from Italian prosciutto, which is cured for a few months with a coating of lard. The Spanish jamón serrano has distinctly more flavor, and significantly less salt than country ham and less fat than prosciutto.

Jamón serrano is more than a delicacy in Spain; it is a normal part of every family’s life. 
What is the appeal? Jamon Serrano is a flavorful, natural ham, cured in the country air. This extended curing transforms the ham, imparting a deep flavor and aroma. This lengthy curing also means it is much less fatty and has a firmer bite than Italian prosciutto. You can serve it sliced paper-thin with cheese and olives, or use it to flavor your favorite Spanish recipes.
The secret to jamon lies in its curing, recreating the effect of traditional techniques. This tradition is kept alive in rural areas where in early winter, family and friends gather to slaughter their livestock in preparation for winter months. The hams are placed in sea salt for a brief period of time – approximately one day per kilo – and then they are strung up. They are allowed to experience the changes of temperature as the seasons progress. The right time to eat them is when an experienced ham-master inserts a long splinter of cow bone and whiffs the jamón, like a connoisseur of wine who sniffs the cork.
This lovely scarf is a gift from Juan and Paloma as well.
I will remember them each time I wear it :)
How appropriate that Forget-Me-Not flowers are blooming in the garden.
A prefect reminder of  new friendship!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Learning About Spain

We had the privileged of meeting, Sergio, Aldara's boyfriend, as he is visiting the United States for the first time. They came for lunch with another sweet girl that works at the same company as John.  What a joy to spend time with such bright and interesting young people!
Sergio brought gifts from Aldara's mother. 
These two beautiful books that are written in both Spanish and English.  The first is Nuestros Tesoros (Our Treasures) with photos of some of the most gorgeous places in Spain.  A most lovely book.  The second book, 101 Tapas imprescindible de la cocina española
is a cookbook written in four languages: Spanish, English, French and German!
 Doesn't this look good? Garbanzos con bacalao (Chickpeas with Cod)
How about these roasted vegetables? Escalivada (Roasted Vegetable Salad)
 A few of Aldara's favorite food just might take some pallet stretching on my part.  :)
I love how Aldara describes some of her favorite foods (like the Morcilla da burgos picured above).
She says, It's AMAZING!
Morcilla is a sausage, like chorizo that is very much a part of the ritual of the “slaughter” or la matanza in Spain. Extended family, friends and neighbors get together in small towns all over to sacrifice their fattened hogs to make chorizo, morcilla and jamon. Like most agrarian societies, Spaniards make good use of just about every part of the pig from the hooves to the jowls and ears. The blood doesn’t go to waste either! It is quickly drained into a large pan and immediately taken to the kitchen where morcilla preparation will take place.

Morcilla typically has onion, garlic, sweet and spicy paprika, oregano, pig’s blood and rice. Variations include the addition of clove and/or cinnamon to the list of spices. In some regions, squash is used instead of rice, which completely changes the texture and flavor of the sausage.
No matter which ingredients are used, it is worth trying morcilla, even if the idea of eating pig’s blood is not appealing to you. Like many dishes containing ingredients you may not be accustomed to eat, you may be very surprised at how much you like it! Many tourists arrive in Spain and try morcilla before they know what’s in it and like it! So, buen provecho!
 In addition to meeting new friends it is so special to learn more of the language, the food and the culture of Spain!  Thank you, dear friends for your kindness!
Linking with Mary's Mosaic Monday!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Festive Evening!

Last night, we attended a wonderful Christmas Party hosted by the company John works for.  It was our first time at this annual event as he has had this job just since February.
Now I can put faces with names that I hear John talk about.  What a great group of people!

and... how special to spend this evening with my sweetheart!
I love this guy!
Our Sweet, Spanish guest, Aldara, attended too as she is interning with the company for ten months!
Such a pretty smile! 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Philly with Family

Saturday morning we all bundled up and met at the Speedline to take the train into Philly.
Off at 8th and Market...
Our first stop was to see the Holiday Light Show ending with a concert on the Wanamaker Organ at Macy's Philadelphia. It has been a Christmas tradition since 1956. I have been visiting since I was born and have delighted taking my children and now grandchildren to enjoy a family tradition for so many.
 Little people and big people fill all the floors of the gorgeous building to get a peek at the Light Show.

Here are a few facts copied from the Friends of the Wanamaker Organ site.  It has great information, facts and photos if you'd like to learn more.
The Holiday Light Show:
Fun Facts and Figures
Past and Present
There are 34,500 LED lights on the Macy’s Magic Christmas Tree in six colors: red, yellow, green, blue, purple, and cool white, which breaks down to about 5,750 lights in each color. It is topped by a red Moravian (or Advent) star. The lights on the tree, the snowflakes, and the snowmen are dimmable.
The rest of the light show has about 65,000 LED lights (the Parade studio attempted to do an actual count, but found it impractical to finish). Colors include red, yellow, orange, green, blue, pink, purple, warm white, and cool white. The LEDs use 90 percent less electricity than standard incandescent bulbs (which were from 5 to 7 watts per bulb in the old show). LED colors are purer than incandescent colors, and cameras sometimes have difficulty capturing the violet and white shades.
The vertical strands have four steady LED colors: red, purple, blue and green. They also have two incandescent blinking colors: blue and white. These blinkers are still incandescent because the blink is in the bulb and is not controlled by the computer. LEDs are not developed enough yet to handle blinking.
The old Wanamaker tree contained an estimated 23,500 lights, many custom-tinted just for the Show in shades of pink and purple, and the figures contained 29,000 bulbs. The show was fed by 1200 amps.
After the Light Show we headed to the 3rd floor to see the Dickens Village.
Macy’s acquired the Dickens Christmas Village from Philadelphia’s Strawbridge & Clothier Department Store. Numerous animated figures depict scenes in Dickens’  “A Christmas Carol” (1843).
Waiting in line provided photo opportunities (as if we really needed photo opportunities!)
And a stop to see Santa on the way out.
A pit stop to fill some empty tummies and lots more walking to the playground at Franklin Square.
The cold and wind didn't stop all the spinning, twirling, running, swinging, climbing and laughing.

Another long walk back to the station to board the trains homeward with plans for a warm, cozy evening in front of the fireplace eating something that is also a Philly tradition.... Cheesesteaks!  Jill and Brad always try to include them as one meal during their visits because even though they have them in up-state NY, they just aren't the same.  We also wanted Aldara to experience these wonderful sandwiches too.  Her opinion... two thumbs up and "I like!"
 Baths done, PJs on, fire going and Pop-Pop controlling the remote, we are ready for...
 A Christmas Carol
(my tied-with-first favorite Christmas Movie.  The other one is
A Muppet's Christmas Carol)


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