Heeeere’s Johnny! The history of a pasta casserole

Anamaris 8 Comments

Have you ever heard of Johnny Mazzetti? If you’re Panamanian (or have lived in Panama) you probably do. Funny thing is, in putting this post together, I came to learn about the history behind the dish. I don’t think I believed this to be an original recipe by my mother, though I still think of it as her dish. Johnny Mazzetti, the dish, is very popular in Panama, so I Googled it. Turns out the dish originated in Columbus, Ohio at a restaurant called Marzetti. Leave it to Panamanians to change someones name.

Nonetheless, this was one of my Mami’s favorite party dishes because of how easy it was to prepare and how much mileage you could get from it, I mean, it goes a loooooong way. Like any other popular recipe, Johnny Mazzetti has many incarnations. My mom would make hers with olives, raisins and boiled eggs, in essence, you make picadillo and grow it with pasta.

I must confess that I made this a few months ago, I was yearning for some comfort food and the memory of it came rushing back. I also have to confess that this is not really my mom’s recipe. It has been seriously adulterated… for the better. Not that there’s anything wrong with the original recipe, I just wanted…more. So I brought together 2 comfort foods: mac ‘n cheese and Johnny Mazz and ended up with a casserole of goodness. And you get dibs.


For the beef mixture:
1lb ground beef
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1 large onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper (preferably red), diced
2 serrano peppers, finely chopped
1/2 cp cilantro, chopped
1 small can crushed tomatoes
1 cp broth or water
1/4 cp Cotija cheese

For the pasta:
2-1/2 cps of a combination of Mexican crema (creme fraiche), heavy cream and milk (you can use all of them or take your pick)
Sea salt
White pepper
2 cps cheese (I used Pepper Jack and Cheddar)
3 tbsps butter
Dash of nutmeg
1 lb pasta (I used mezzi tubeti, but elbow, rigatoni would do)

Heat a medium skillet over high heat and add the ground beef and the next 4 ingredients, stirring well to evenly distribute the seasonings. Allow the moisture of the beef to evaporate, before adding the onions, serranos and bell pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent before adding the cilantro and tomato puree. Add the broth or water and check and adjust the seasoning as needed. Allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes over medium low heat. Stir in the Cotija cheese.

Cook and drain the pasta, then add the milk, cream and crema over low temperature. Add the cheese and butter, stirring until dissolved. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Preheat oven to 375°. Liberally butter a baking dish and spoon half of the pasta, top with all the beef, then the rest of the pasta. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until bubbling.

For more yummy shots, click here.

Cookingly yours,

Tuesdays with… FOODALOGUE!

Anamaris 6 Comments

Ok, my bloggies, it’s that time again and I’m excited to introduce you to this lady, Joan of Foodalogue! I really really love this gal, she had me at Culinary Tour Around the World and has kept me for every bite she shares. Joan is part Spanish, Italian (I think), photographer, traveler, publisher, tour guide, chef–the list goes on! The reason you’ll like her, is because she’s an awesome writer, a kick-ass photographer, her recipes are impressive and you can just tell she’s just ‘good people’.

With such a resume, I HAD to ask her to honor me with a guest post and that she did. I’ll get out of the way so you too can get better acquainted.

What is the elevator pitch for your blog?

It’s a well-designed blog by a home cook who takes food to the next level with creative interpretations and finishing touches, spiced with light narratives, photography, and travelogues.

Why and when did you decide to become a blogger?

I’ve been involved in desktop publishing in the workplace for years so it was a natural segue and the perfect forum to meld my passions — food, travel, photography and writing. I began FOODalogue in August 2008.

What’s next for your blog?

FOODalogue has been strictly savory but I’ve recently started to think about baking…something I’ve not tackled because I’m always watching calories. I also hope to travel more next year so I guess I¹ll be updating my I ATE series from new locations.

Who’s playing on your IPod?

Mixed bag of Latin and Soul and some pop stars like Rod Stewart singing the classics. Also ‘zumba’ music for my exercise walks.

Which 4 shows are you currently hooked on?

Only 4? Love most food challenges on FoodTV and Bravo; The Good Wife, Parenthood, Grey’s…(Modern Family, Brothers + Sisters if I could squeeze 2 more in.)

If your job made you move, but you could choose which country you would be living in, which country would you choose and why?

It would probably be Italy or Spain (or some Spanish-speaking country) because of my ancestral heritage and cultural leanings.

If you could go to Atlantic City with any celebrity alive today, who would it be?

Andy Garcia…hellooo, he’s Latin, good looking and played a casino boss in the Ocean’s Eleven movies.

I told you, didn’t I? She’s super chévere! She gave me a choice of posts to pick from and I had a tough time picking just one, but I thought I would allow your first experience with her be similar to the one I had. So, a travel/food log post it is. This one about her visit to Puerto Rico.


I was so excited to see her announcement for the 2011 Culinary Tour, there will be a stop in Panama… I wonder if you can find anyone from there…jiji. These are always fun and interesting, I hope you will participate and/or follow the journey. In the meantime, go check out Joan’s baby, Foodalogue, you’ll be happy you did.

Soupy thoughts

Anamaris 5 Comments

Rumor has it that temperatures are dropping. I have to say this is a rumor, because we, in Houston, must’ve been left off the memo distribution list. I will try not to take it personally, though I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep that promise. Nonetheless, I am here to tell you soup is on the menu.

Truth be told, in Panama we have soup any and/or every day of the week. Weather be damned. It’s always hot in my little country, we like soup, we have soup. This one is a favorite of mine. My Gramms used to make it for me when I was little. She would make it various cuts of beef, sometimes with pecho (which comes from the rib area), jarrete (from the shanks), and sometimes with patas (cow’s feet). The constant is the bones. Bones are the best gift you can give soup, they help intensify the flavor of the broth. If they bother you, feel free to remove them after cooking, the meat will literally fall off the bone by the time the soup is done.

This will make a large pot of soup, which is the only way I make soup. I want to have it for a couple of days.

Sopa de Arvejas (Split Pea Soup)
8-10 large servings

1 lb beef shanks, cubed
4 beef short ribs (about 1lb)
Sea salt
Black pepper
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 serrano or habanero pepper, whole
2 cps dry split peas
2 lbs yuca (about 3 cps), peeled
1 lb otoe (about 1-1/2 cps), peeled
2 medium carrots, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 cp cilantro, leaves and stems
2 cubes beef bouillon

Beef: Liberally season the short ribs and shanks with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, set it aside while you get the other ingredients ready.

Split peas: Remove any damaged lentils or debris and rinse in cool water. Add enough water to cover and allow them to soak. Set aside.

Cut the yuca and otoe into pieces about 2-inches long. For the yuca, use  a sharp knife, slit the peel off each section.  Make sure you slit through the 2nd pinkish layer until you hit the fleshy white meat. At this point, use the sharp edge of the knife and push through the 2nd layer. Rinse and cut into 1-inch pieces. Check out this post for step-by-step instructions.

Carrots-peel and cut into rounds.

For the soup: Heat up a large stockpot and add about 1 tbsp of oil, smear it around. Brown the beef on both sides. Once all the beef is browned, add the drained split peas, 1/2 of the yuca and otoe, all the carrots, the stemmy end of the cilantro, and the bouillon. Fill the pot with water, about 12-15 cps or so.

Allow it to come to a boil, and remove the foam that forms at the top when it boils. Lower the temperature to medium and allow it to come to a strong simmer. Stir it every few minutes, you want to make sure the split peas are not sticking to the bottom of the pan as that would cause the soup to scorch.

Allow it to simmer slowly for about 1-1/2 hrs for the beef to soften. At that time add the rest of the tubers and cilantro. Check the seasoning and adjust at will. Allow it to cook for another 30 minutes or so. If you used boned short ribs, you can pull those out to remove the bones and cut the meat to bite-size portions.

Serve with white rice If you want to see more soupy shots, follow this link to my photostream.

Cookingly yours,

You say pork, I say MANGALITSA!

Anamaris 11 Comments

The Back Story:
I’ve recently learned about a foodie site that is every foodie’s wet dream. I’m sorry, I’ve had that thought from the first day I landed on the site (Iron Foodie), but was trying to avoid being crass. The truth is, its fantasy land! I just saw they have an entry-level position open, I’m considering it. Not really, but if I had no responsibilities I totally would.

So, I’ve been glued to the website, reading old posts and such and then I found it. A post about no ordinary pork or pig. A post about sublime cured meat. A post asserting this ham was touted as the MacDaddy of hams. A post offering to share some of this goodness if one asked for it. So, I begged for it. And you know what? My Mami was right, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. And I GOT. I got it good! Shoulder is what I got.

The Mangalitsa Experience:
A few days later, I received my happy box in the mail. And this is what I saw after opening it. Ain’t she a beauty?

Let me tell you, they ain’t lyin’. This ham is sinfully delicious. I’ve had Jamón Ibérico and Prosciutto and I love them both, though I do prefer Ibérico over its Italian counterpart. But this baby. This baby’s got some mad skillz! Hold on, let me slice another nibble so I can properly describe it.

Very smoky. Salty with a mild sweetness. The meat is firm, like you would find in bacon and that fat. Oh boy. That’s where it is. It’s no wonder the fatty bits were considered the best sacrificial offerings.

Cooking with Mangalitsa:
Now I was tasked with cooking up a dish featuring the ham. So, as I reinvented turkey related meals, I kept thinking about this little piggy too. I had several thoughts, and I will bring at least one other one to fruition, but this one was incredibly simple AND delicious. And here it is.

Mangalitsa Crusted Halibut with Melted Cabbage & Fennel

For the Mangalitsa Crusted Halibut:
Thin slices of mangalitsa ham
2 halibut steaks
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
Powdered garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Dry sherry

Note on substitutions: If you can’t get your hands on Mangalitsa, Ibérico would be a wonderful sub, in its absence, prosciutto would work, but try to find a fatty one. As for the fish, I wanted a meaty fish, cod or even tuna would work beautifully here.

Season the halibut steaks with salt, pepper and garlic. Wrap the mangalitsa around the steaks, try to keep the fatty parts on the surface–you don’t want the meaty sections to dry out while pan-frying.

Heat a saute pan over medium-high heat, until it smokes. Add a swirl of olive oil to the bottom of the pan and gently place the halibut into the pan to begin crisping the ham and cooking the fish.

After about 3-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, flip them over to brown the other side. Cook them for another 3 minutes, then add about 3 tablespoons of sherry, let it bubble up and cover for about 2 minutes. Remove the lid and turn off the heat, then drop 1 tablespoon of cold butter. Swirl it around until it melts, drizzle over the fish when serving.

Melted Cabbage & Fennel:
1 Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 cp Mangalitsa ham, diced
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium skillet, heat up about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then add the ham to brown and render some fat. Cook for about 5 minutes, making sure to stir it to avoid burning.

Add the sliced cabbage and fennel right over the ham. Cover for a few minutes to give them chance to wilt down. Once it wilts, it will be easier to stir into the ham. Continue cooking over medium-low heat until the cabbage and fennel seem to disintegrate, about 15 minutes.

Adjust the seasoning with salt & pepper, add 1 tablespoon of butter and serve under the fish.

To see more Mangalitsa love shots, follow this link to my photostream. Cookingly yours,

Medianoche & midnight turkey cravings

Anamaris 3 Comments

Wondering whatever you will do with all that leftover turkey? I know I am! I mean, as much as I enjoy the whole meal, I get tired of the original spread after a day of leftovers. I know lots of people enjoy making their leftover turkey into sandwiches, I’m not a big sandwich fan. Can’t tell you why, just not a fan. However, every now and then… something happens and I want one.

Medianoche literally means midnight in Spanish and that is the name given to this Cuban specialty. They say these came about as a snack offered to night club patrons in the wee hours of partying. I totally understand that. When I’m out late drinking and dancing (not that it has happened in a while), a need a little nibble of something. And, believe me, when you’re on the sofa watching a good movie later on, you’ll be so glad to see this beauty toasting up.

No recipe again, just the ingredients. I should mention that the Medianoche is pretty much the same thing as a Cuban sandwich, except for the type of bread used. If you have a bread that is eggy and slightly sweet, you’ll end up with a Medianoche. On the other hand, if you only have something like a baguette, it’ll be a Cuban sandwich. I used Hawaiian sweet rolls in lieu of a brioche, which aren’t readily available in Houston. The ham is a Boars Head Sweet ham, it wasn’t as sweet as the honey-roasted and worked beautifully. As for cheese, I went with a full-blood Swiss, I wanted to taste it in the sandwich.

Medianoche Sandwich

Turkey slices, thick slices
Sweet ham
Swiss cheese

Butter the bread slices, then layer with cheese, turkey, ham, pickles, and top with cheese. Put the other half on top.

If, like me, you don’t have a Panini press, add a bit of butter to a skillet and heat over medium low temperature. Place the layered sandwich in the skillet, then press down with another pan, weighing it down, if necessary.

Allow the sandwich to toast for about 3 minutes per side. Make sure the heat isn’t too high or you’ll end up with burnt toast.

Slice the sandwich in half diagonally before serving. For more shots, follow the link to the photostream.

Cookingly yours,

Turkey in Red Mole Sauce… abridged

Anamaris 4 Comments

You can find the original recipe to this delicious mole on Rick Bayless’ site or, as I did, on this cookbook. The full version of the recipe includes all the peppers that need to be roasted, rehydrated and blended. I took a shortcut here. Instead of using the various peppers (chiles), I went for a prepared, store-bought mole under the assumption that it would include said peppers. I know. There are a few Mexican grandmothers turning in their graves as I type this. My only hope is that they don’t read English and maybe won’t understand the extent of my trespass. Move on.

I suppose my shortcut doesn’t allow me to judge the true tastes of the original recipe, but I can tell you that shortcut or no, this recipe rocks! This stuff is so delicious, I considered bathing in it. OK, I know you don’t need that graphic ingrained to your brain. My bad. Anyway, this would be awesome on chicken, pork, seafood, coffee, cookies, eh er…

Turkey in Red Mole Sauce (adapted from Mexico – One Plate at a Time)
makes about 10-12 cups of sauce

5 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 cp  sesame seeds
1/2 cp rich pork lard or vegetable oil (I used bacon fat)
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cp unskinned almonds
1/2 cp raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon, (use ground Mexican canela if available)
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 tsp anise
1/8 tsp cloves
1 cp pre-packaged mole sauce
1 slice firm white bread, darkly toasted and broken into several pieces
1 oz (about 1/3 of a 3.3-ounce tablet) Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped
4 – 5 tbsp sugar
4 turkey thighs with skin & bones (approx 4lbs)

And now, for the steps:

Roast the tomatillos under a very hot broiler until splotchy black and thoroughly soft, about 5 minutes per side.  Scrape into a large bowl.

In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds, stirring nearly constantly, until golden, about 5 minutes.  Scrape half of them in with the tomatillos.  Reserve the remainder for sprinkling on the turkey.

In a heavy-bottom pot or dutch over or Mexican cazuela, if you have one of those, heat the bacon fat over medium heat and fry the garlic and almonds, stirring regularly, until browned (the garlic should be soft), about 5 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, remove to the tomatillo bowl, draining as much fat as possible back into the pot.

Add the raisins to the hot pot.  Stir for 20 or 30 seconds, until they’ve puffed and browned slightly.  Scoop them out, draining as much fat as possible back into the pot, and add to the tomatillos. Set the pan aside off the heat.

To the tomatillo mixture, add the cinnamon, black pepper, anise, cloves, bread, mole sauce and chocolate.  Add 2 cups water and stir to combine.

In two batches, blend the tomatillo mixture as smoothly as possible (you may need an extra 1/2 cup water to keep everything moving through the blades), then strain it  into a bowl and set aside.

If you’re using uncooked turkey, this is when you will season the turkey with salt & pepper. Raise the temperature on the pan to medium-high and brown the thighs on all sides, this will take about 10 minutes. If you make the mole sauce ahead, you can move on to braising the thighs in the sauce. If you are still working on the sauce, go ahead and put the turkey in the fridge while the sauce gets ready.

Pour out any excess fat, you only need enough to leave a film on the bottom of the pan.  Add the blended tomatillo mixture and cook, stirring every few minutes until considerably darker and thicker, 15 to 20 minutes. You’re looking for the sauce to become the consistency of tomato paste. A word to the wise, use a spatter screen, this mole business is very spitty.

Add 6 cups of water to the pot and briskly simmer the mixture over medium to medium-low heat for 45 minutes for all the flavors to come together and mellow. If the mole has thickened beyond the consistency of a cream soup, stir in a little water.  Taste and season with salt and sugar.

Heat the oven to 325°. Lay the turkey in the mole, cover with a lid or foil and place in the oven. Cook until the thighs internal temperature registers 150, this will take about 40-55 minutes. Remove the turkey from the sauce and allow it to rest for a few minutes. Serve with generous amounts of mole sauce.

Check out the green mole here and for the rest of the mole porn shots, click here.

Cookingly yours,

Pavo en Pipian Verde (Turkey in Pumpkin Seed Sauce-green mole)

Anamaris 1 Comment

This is the fresh mole, that’s what I’m calling it because of A tangy, tomatillo-based sauce, thickened with toasted pumpkin seeds, it’s served with everything from chicken to fish and seafood.

Again, the recipe is based on Rick Bayless’ book, Mexico-One Plate at a Time, I only substituted turkey for chicken. The recipe is pretty straightforward, though there are a few steps to follow. As with the recipe for red mole, you can substitute uncooked turkey with your cooked leftovers. Simply prepare the sauce to completion, then add the cooked meat to heat through.

Pavo en Pipián Verde

1 turkey breast or 4 thighs (about 4lbs)
1 small white onion, sliced, divided use
4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved, divided use
1/2 tsp each dried marjoram and thyme
3 bay leaves
Salt to taste
1-1/4 cps hulled, untoasted pumpkin seeds
5-6 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed and roughly chopped
2 large romaine lettuce leaves, torn into large pieces
2 serranos or 1 jalapeño, stemmed, roughly chopped
Leaves from a small sprig of epazote, plus an additional sprig for garnish
1/2 cp loosely packed chopped cilantro, plus a few sprigs for garnish
1-1/2 tbsp vegetable oil or olive oil
2 medium chayotes
2 medium zucchini

Poach the turkey: In a stock pan, add 10 cups water, half onion, 2 garlic cloves, marjoram, thyme, bay leaves and about 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to boil. Add the turkey, reduce heat to simmer. Simmer uncovered over medium heat for 20 minutes. Cover pot and let stand off heat for another 30 minutes. Remove turkey from pot. Strain broth and skim off fat that rises to top (can be done 1 day ahead).

Prepare sauce: In a saucepan, Dutch oven or cazuela (a traditional Mexican earthenware casserole with a lid), dry-toast pumpkin seeds. Set pot over medium heat, add the seeds and, when the first seed pops, stir constantly until all have popped from flat to round, about 5 minutes. Don’t let them darken past golden or the sauce will be brownish and slightly bitter. Cool. Set aside 3 tablespoons for garnish and transfer rest to blender.

Add remaining onion and garlic to blender, along with tomatillos, lettuce, chiles, epazote leaves and chopped cilantro. Pour in 1 cup of strained broth; cover and blend to smooth puree (can be done 1 day ahead).

In In the same pot you toasted the seeds, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot enough to make a drop of puree sizzle sharply, add it all at once. Stir as mixture darkens slightly and thickens considerably, about 10 minutes. Stir in 2 more cups broth, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 20 minutes for flavors to mellow and sauce to thicken to medium consistency (it should coat spoon). Be careful, this is another spitty sauce.

While sauce is simmering, prepare the veggies. Peel the chayote and remove the seed. You may want to do this under running water as chayote has a sap that will stick to your hands and make them turn black. Cube the chayote after peeled, then blanch the vegetables in salted boiling water, cooking chayote about 3 minutes, then adding zucchini for 1 minute. Drain and spread vegetables on plate to stop cooking.

When sauce has simmered 20 minutes, it will likely look coarse. Smooth it to a velvety texture by reblending it in small batches (loosely covered to avoid blender explosions). Return sauce to pan, taste and season with salt, if needed, about 3/4 teaspoon. If sauce has thickened beyond a light cream-sauce consistency, thin it with a little remaining broth.

Remove skin from cooked turkey, if desired, cube and slip into sauce, then add cooked vegetables. Simmer over medium heat just long enough to heat everything, about 5 minutes, then spoon turkey, vegetables and sauce out onto warm serving platter. Sprinkle with reserved pumpkin seeds (you may want to crush them), decorate with sprigs of epazote and cilantro.

For the full mole action, check out the photostream.

Cookingly yours,

The tale of two moles

Anamaris 1 Comment

I’ve never made mole before. Not really. I wanted to share these recipes with you so you’d have something to work with for Turkey’s Day After. It’s impossible to avoid having 100 lbs of leftover turkey and you can only eat so many sandwiches.

Let me try to describe the flavors of these dishes to you and do them justice. I’ll start by saying they’re similar in the complexity of flavors, at once surprising and familiar. Yet, they’re also  in perfect contrast to each other.

Red mole seemed to have an inherent nuttiness that reminded me of peanut butter and the slightly bitter sweetness of chocolate. There’s smokiness that makes you wonder if this is a sauce that was developed from an old roux. It is rich and spicy, not in term of heat but flavor. Yet, it doesn’t taste like 5 different spices, they’re not individually identifiable, but you can tell they’ve come together to bring out the best in each other.

On the other hand, the pipián sauce or green mole tasted light and vibrant, with a nice pungent bite. The lightness of it seeming to fight against the creaminess of the sauce. I’m not sure how to explain it, other than to say it tasted as though we were eating something rich and decadent, while knowing nothing heavy or rich was added.

I’m not going to lie and say these are easy recipes, but they were not too difficult either. Scratch that. They’re not difficult at all, what they are is involved. Lots of steps, which is why I cheated a bit. We have 2 versions of the traditional Mexican sauce: Turkey in Mole Rojo and Turkey in Pipián Verde (green mole).

These recipes come from Bayless’ cookbook, Mexico – One Plate At A Time, and you’ll notice there is at least one other post in the last few days that was inspired by the book. Check out the Green Beans & Carrots in Escabeche. They are incredibly delicious.

A couple of side notes:

  1. The website recipe is for a very large batch, it’s actually doubled the one in the book. I don’t think you’re feeding a small army, so I’m offering the book version. I had enough sauce to save about 4-6 cps for later use.
  2. Bayless calls for a whole boneless turkey breast (uncooked). Since I’m not a breast fan, I went with thighs and kept the bones in the mix.
  3. If you are making this with leftover turkey, simply add the cooked meat once the sauce has reduced.
  4. I have an old, kick-ass blender that can puree almost anything to a pulp. This is to say I skipped the straining part, you may need to strain it if your blender doesn’t do as well and/or if you have issues with tidbits of sesame seeds.
  5. Use an oven-safe pan or dutch oven. You will cook on the stove and finish it in the oven.

Are you ready for this? Check out the recipe posts, Turkey in Red Mole and Turkey in Pumpkin Seed Sauce.

Tuesdays with… YAWYEOR!

Anamaris 5 Comments

What? Haven’t you heard about YAWYEOR? All the cool kids are doing it! You Are What You Eat Or Reheat is Katie O’s pride and joy and the first bloggy friend I made once I started blogging. She’s funny, talented and obssessed with aprons.

Katie combines cooking, photography and general living madness and shares all of this with a flair of whimsy. She has a weekly feature called White Trash Wednesdays, it’s all about food, y’know, white trashy food. I had to check it out and so should you! Take it away, Katie!

What is the elevator pitch for your blog? 

Nothing more than the musings of a wannabe foodie.

Why and when did you decide to become a blogger?

I’ve actually been blogging since July 27th, 2004.  My friends and I decided it would be a clever way to keep up with one another’s lives by posting the goings on on a blog.  Of course, I’m the one who pushed everyone into it…

What’s next for your blog? 

Yikes. Scary question.  I’m actually considering scaling back a bit.  I used to blog daily, but the daily grind of life has put a real kink in my schedule. I’m considering gearing the whole things towards the White Trash Wednesday recipes…

Would you rather be a Walton, one of the Brady kids or live on the little house on the prairie?

I never got the appeal of the Waltons.  The Brady kids shared one bathroom. And as much as I totally wanted to be Laura Ingalls, I enjoy tv too much.  Can I vote for being one of the kids on Family Ties?  I was always itching to be one of the Keatons! (Or at least look like Mallory?)

Who is the most interesting man in the world? 

I’m pretty sure I should come up with some profound answer, but I’ll go with Harry Potter.

You’re comfortably watching TV one night after eating all your delivery pizza, when surprise guests knock on your door. As the consummate hostess, you quickly whip up a batch of…

glasses of wine….or beer.

What’s the last bad habit you broke? 

yeah, umm, what?

I’m sure Katy is happy not to look like Mallory today. She went nutso with the plastic surgeries. Not. Good.

I also asked Katie to share one  of her posts with us. Appropriately, she chose one of her White Trash Wednesday meals. Breakfast, to be exact. She says she loves the pictures on this one and I agree. These look scrumptious! Click on the picture for the recipe. I think you should make these for the Thanksgiving weekend, you’d be a hit!

Black & Blue Pancakes

“The pictures are some of my favorites and this was one of the few WTW dishes I’ve actually made! ACK!”
katie o.

So there you have it. Another faboo blogger you must add to your favorites.

You can check the foodie action at you are what you eat…or reheat.com, once your tummy growls insanely, go look at the pretty pictures over at  www.daytodayphotos.com.

Go already!


Thanksgiving dinner: The Dessert

Anamaris 3 Comments

Sopa de Gloria is one of the desserts you will find at every significant event/celebration in Panama. Sopa de Gloria would loosely translate to ‘Glorious Soup’, it is a rum-y, creamy trifle. My mom would make the syrup with raisins and prunes and would then add port wine, dark and light rum. As far as the cream goes, it usually includes ground almonds, which makes the flavors all the more delicate.

I took the basic Sopa de Gloria and tweaked it with the flavors of Thanksgiving by omitting the almonds and adding pumpkin puree and seeds. The results… Phenomenal! This is the Jimmy Choo of desserts! The syrup and cream both benefit from being made at least one day in advance. This dessert is best served cold.

Pumpkin Sopa de Gloria
8-10 servings

For the raisin syrup:
1 cp sugar
1-1/2 cps water
2-3 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2/3 cp raisins
1/2 cp dark rum (Myer’s is great)

Combine all the ingredients except the raisins in a small saucepan and bring to a slow boil for about 5 minutes. Add the raisins and continue to simmer until the raisins are plump. Turn off the heat and add the rum. Allow it cool and keep at room temperature.

For the pumpkin cream:
1/2 can condensed milk (7 ozs)
1 can evaporated milk (14 ozs)
1-1/4 cp pumpkin puree
1/8 tsp mace
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cp dark rum or bourbon

In a small pan, combine the condensed and evaporated milks, heat them over medium temperature until you begin to see bubbles around the edges. Do stir frequently, to avoid it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, mace and vanilla, simmer at medium-low for another 10 minutes, again, stirring continuously. Allow it to cool and refrigerate.

In addition to the above, you will need about 1/2 cp of toasted and chopped pumpkin seeds, as well as a sponge cake, you can find an easy recipe here.

Put it together:
I made individual triffles, but usually this is served in one large punch bowl, you can’t go wrong either way. Start with a layer of cubed sponge cake, followed by a drizzle of the syrup and raisins, then topped with cream that is topped with pumpkin seeds. Repeat. And serve cold.

Check out this post to see the rest of this meal or click here for the photostream.

Cookingly yours,