Tag Archives: recipes

Sito’s Kitchen – “Hushweh”

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Hey friends.. how is everyone doing in your part of the world?  We are getting better weather.. for a duck.   Spring is trying to emerge here in Massachusetts, but it’s coming.  We’ve had a couple of tease days of summer.  So nice by the ocean.

Well, I have a new video with my mom up.  We made a rice stuffing called Hushweh.  We pronounce it “HUSHOO”.  This dish is amazing.  This is what we grew up on… as you can tell that I’m not a size 0.. haha.  I’m so happy that my mom, at 91, wants to still do these with me.  It’s what she grew up with since she was a little girl… cooking, sewing and just taking care of others. Lots of sacrifice.  I don’t know how she did it, but you just do.

Anyway, thank you for stopping by.  I love all your comments and support. Don’t forget to LIKE the video and subscribe.

We’ll be back soon with a few more recipes.  In the meantime, enjoy!!

Please let me know if you try this recipe and how it came out.  I could never get the rice right.  Secrets are the key.

Love yaz

Judy ♥♥♥

Farmer’s Market Chunky Vegetable Soup

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Well, here I am.  Back again, but with culinary art this time.

You’d never know it was the first day of Fall, since it’s about 80 degrees and muggy out today

Every Sunday, our town has a Farmer’s Market that we walk down to. What a fun place to visit.  Live music playing, all kinds of pastries, produce, gifts, breads, cheeses.. you name it.   I wanted to buy some fresh veggies to make a big pot of soup; big and chunky. What a difference getting produce from the farms instead of the grocery store.  I also had some vegetables at home that I needed to use up.  From the market, I got fresh leeks (which I have never cooked with), green beans and carrots. Let’s go home and cook, shall we?

I feel like I’ve made this recipe before, but it always comes out different.  I chopped up all the vegetables to bigger chunks.. think stew size.  I don’t measure, but I probably used 1-2 cups of each. Leeks, summer squash, carrots, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli and a few white potatoes.  Add what you want, really, this is what I had.

In a big pot, drizzle some olive oil and start to saute all the veggies together, while stirring and tossing around. This will take about 20-30 minutes.  You want the veggies to start to soften a little.  Add whatever seasonings you’d like.  For me.. salt, pepper, granulated garlic, dash of allspice and paprika.

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Once you feel they are a little soft, add 4 cans of vegetable stock. I used College Inn, low sodium.  Let that start to simmer, then add a 1/8 of a cup of tomato paste.  Again, if you want more, then go ahead. I wanted a hint of tomato taste. You can tell by my spoonful of paste, I didn’t measure.  What can I say, I take after my mom. (visit us on YouTube; look for the “Sito’s Kitchen” videos).

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Let it all simmer for about 45 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are soft and you’re done.  I added about a cup of frozen corn kernels toward the end.

Also, at the market, I got a loaf of fresh garlic herb bread from a local bread maker.   Serve a slice of that with the soup, topped with a little shredded parmesan cheese and oh my gosh, people.. it’s amazing.  I wish you were all with me around my table.  It’s all low fat.. well, except for the 3 slices of bread that I had.. shhhhh. Well, I had to test it, didn’t I?

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Note: If you don’t want to stand and cut up all the vegetables, get pre-cut ones from the market.  It’s a simple recipe, even for the kitchen challenged.  And… pssst.. if you really want it easier, use frozen veggies. Vegetables, spices, broth… BAH-ZING!  Done.

Well, that was fun and it’s great to “see” you all again.  I’m working on an art post now, as I get ready for the Art is You event in Stamford, CT that’s coming up.

Thanks for sticking it out and continuing to support me. I know I’ve been absent. We’ve had some illnesses in the family, so, Judy to the rescue… and of course that 4 letter word… W-O-R-K! Does it to me all the time.  I keep striving for balancing. That’s all I can do.

Judy ♥  ♥

 

Sito’s Kitchen – Shambooduc

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Happy New Year!  I can’t believe my last post was before the holidays and now it’s 2014. How did that happen?  Such a busy time of the year for me for work, plus the holidays and family stuff.  Well, you know what I’m talkin about, right?

Let’s get right to my cooking channel with my mom.  I’m so blessed to have my mom feel so well and be a great sport doing these videos.   They are tiring for her sometimes and can take all day.  My girls were with me for this video, so I was cracking up a bit.  You’ll see the blooper at the end.

So… it will speak for itself.

 

That’s a wrap!

I’ll be back this week with a new blog hop for StencilGirl Products.

Thanks for stopping by.  I love your comments and all your support.  Means so much to me.

Judy ♥ ♥ ♥

Healthy and Delicious Vegetable Chicken Chili – Repost

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I thought I would re-post this chili recipe since it’s cold out and we need some warming up… don’t you think?

Enjoy it!

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Today, I decided to make a chili with chunky vegetables and ground chicken.  If you are a vegetarian, you can completely leave out the chicken. It’s just as great without it.

Let’s go….

Ingredients:

1 pkg ground chicken
1 zucchini
1 summer squash
1/2 of a large onion or 1 small
1 red pepper
about 6 white mushroom caps.
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, plus 1/2 of another
2 cans of beans.  I used one kidney and one black.  Use what you want.  Rinsed and strained.
2 TBLSPN olive oil for pan

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Cut all the veggies the same size; about a 1/2 inch thick.  You want this chili to be chunky and full of love.

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In a large sauce pan, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, add ground chicken.  Medium high heat; Cook until no longer pink.

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Add all the veggies in the pan and stir and mix it all together.  Cook this on medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes or until the onion and veggies have all softened.  Can you see the difference in the pictures, above?  CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW.

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Add your can and a half of the tomatoes, stir, then add the beans which have been rinsed in cold water through a strainer.  Incorporate all the beans into the sauce.  I started with one can of beans, but then decided to add another. Why not, right?

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Now, for seasonings:  Salt, pepper, granulated garlic, chili powder and ground cumin.  ALL TO YOUR TASTE.  Add more or less of what you like.  I end up with about a tablespoon or more of the chili powder and the garlic. Then add in the cumin as you like.  If you want some heat, then add a little cayenne pepper.. start small. Keep testing the taste to see what it may be missing.  It’s always better to under season, you can always add it.. but don’t over season, you can’t take it out.

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Now, if you can wait, let this simmer gently about 30 minutes.. if you can’t wait… GO FOR IT.. It’s your world.

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Serve this hot with some grated sharp cheddar cheese and some tortilla chips.  I used blue ones .   Just scooping the chili onto some chips with a little melted cheese just makes your mouth so happy.  The corn, crunch, cheese and chili together.. oh my.   I have issues.. I watch too much FoodTV Network. Guy Fieri would be proud.

Notes: Now, this chili is practically fat free.. the only fat in there is from the olive oil.  I also used Sargento Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese, but only because that was my choice. I draw the line on completely fat free products, however.. no taste in my opinion.  This recipe will serve about 6 people.  Save the leftovers for another day or mix in some cooked pasta for another meal.  Freeze the rest, if you want.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  Stay warm if you are experiencing the cold like us.  This will do the trick.  ENJOY!

Thanks for stopping by. I love hearing from you. Let me know if you tried this recipe and how it came out.

Judy 

Butternut Squash Soup

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Time for some culinary art.

Any soup fans out there?  Well, this Fall, Panera Bread had a soup on there menu.  I believe it was called Autumn Squash Soup.  Let me tell you.. cuz you know I’m gonna anyway.  This soup was the best I have ever had.  If I could have licked the bowl and not looked like an idiot, I would have.  But, I digress.. I’ve heard it’s off the menu now. Very sad.  But, I’m happy again, cuz I made it myself.  I did some investigating on line and took some advice here and some there.  So, I put this concoction together and I must say, cuz you know I must.  It was fabulous.  Now, would I still play around with the tastes?  I may.  I think I would add a little coconut milk to it next time… cuz you know there will be a next time. The first time I made this, I roasted the squash.  The second time, I steamed it.  Here’s what I did.

Take one whole butternut squash.  Peel and clean and cut it into 2″ squares.  OR, you can get lucky and buy the ones already chopped for you.  So, you can either roast it in the oven or steam.  For this recipe, I steamed.

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In addition, you’ll need:

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (this is where I would substitute Coconut Milk)
1 1/2 Cartons Chicken or Vegetable Broth (this can be varied, you can use less if you want a thicker soup).
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped small
1 apple, peeled and chopped small (you can use whatever you want; I think mine was Gala)
Brown sugar to taste
Cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste
Honey to taste
1 TBSP of healthy oil (olive/canola)

Steam the squash; mine took a good 30 minutes.

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Once the squash has steamed fully, put it aside in the steamer basket.  In that same pot, saute the onion and apple in the oil until tender. Then, add the squash to the pot. Add the broth and the almond milk and let this simmer about 30 minutes.

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Now it’s time to pull out your blender, or if you are one of the lucky ones, your immersion blender (much easier). I don’t have this, I used my old fashioned blender (I seriously got his for a wedding gift almost 30 years ago). Carefully ladle the hot squash mix into the blender, about 2-3 cups at a time and blend until smooth.  Put this in another pot or bowl until you blend the rest.

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Once you have finished blending, transfer it all back in the pot.  Now you can add your brown sugar and cinnamon.  I added a little bit of honey to sweeten it up a little.  This is where you can play with the flavors. Can you smell this? You can Google this recipe and find many variations. It was a lot simpler than I thought it would be.

I hope you try this and enjoy! Thanks for stopping by and for your support.

Judy ♥ ♥

Vegetable & Turkey Chili

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I’m just loving this cool, yet gorgeous sunny day we have today.

A little culinary art, if I may.

I’m copying a post from a while back, but I thought I’d share again since this time I used ground turkey and added sweet potato. Oh my.

Here goes……

For those that follow me, you know I try to make my recipes fast and simple.  With my full-time job, who’s got time for long drawn out preparations? I don’t.  Here’s one you’ll hopefully love.

Today, I decided to make a chili with chunky vegetables and ground chicken/turkey.  If you are a vegetarian, you can completely leave out the chicken. It’s just as great without it.

Let’s go….

Ingredients:

1 pkg ground chicken or turkey
1 zucchini
1 summer squash
1/2 of a large onion or 1 small
1 red pepper
2 med. stalks celery
1 large sweet potato, about 1/2″ cubed.
1 cup of white mushrooms
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, plus 1/2 of another
2 cans of beans.  I used one kidney and one black.  Use what you want.  Rinsed and strained.
2 TBLSPN olive oil for pan

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Cut all the veggies the same size; about a 1/2 inch thick.  You want this chili to be chunky and full of love.

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In a large sauce pan, add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, add ground chicken.  Medium high heat; Cook until no longer pink.

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Add all the veggies in the pan and stir and mix it all together.  Cook this on medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes or until the onion and veggies have all softened.  Can you see the difference in the pictures, above?  CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW.

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Add your can and a half of the tomatoes, stir, then add the beans which have been rinsed in cold water through a strainer.  Incorporate all the beans into the sauce.  I started with one can of beans, but then decided to add another. Why not, right?

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Now, for seasonings:  Salt, pepper, granulated garlic, chili powder and ground cumin.  ALL TO YOUR TASTE.  Add more or less of what you like.  I end up with about a tablespoon or more of the chili powder and the garlic. Then add in the cumin as you like.  If you want some heat, then add a little cayenne pepper.. start small. Keep testing the taste to see what it may be missing.  It’s always better to under season, you can always add it.. but don’t over season, you can’t take it out.

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Now, if you can wait, let this simmer gently about 30 minutes.. if you can’t wait… GO FOR IT.. It’s your world.

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Serve this hot with some grated sharp cheddar cheese and some tortilla chips.  I used blue ones .   Just scooping the chili onto some chips with a little melted cheese just makes your mouth so happy.  The corn, crunch, cheese and chili together.. oh my.  I nice loaf of Italian bread is a great choice also… or both.  I have issues.. I watch too much FoodTV Network. Guy Fieri would be proud.

Notes: Now, this chili is practically fat free.. the only fat in there is from the olive oil.  I also used Sargento Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese, but only because that was my choice. I draw the line on completely fat free products, however.. no taste in my opinion.  This recipe will serve about 6 people.  Save the leftovers for another day or mix in some cooked pasta for another meal.  Freeze the rest, if you want.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Thanks for stopping by. I love hearing from you. Let me know if you tried this recipe and how it came out.

Judy 

Stuffed Grape Leaves… Sito’s Way

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Hey everyone… it’s June and you know what that means?  No?  Okay, well is grape leave picking time.  I thought I would re-post how to make stuffed grape leaves.. the way my mom taught me.

Let me know if you give it a try or if you have any questions about it.  Most of all enjoy!!!

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Today, I’m excited to share with you a childhood recipe that is loved by the whole family to this day.  Stuffed Grapes Leaves.

First, let me say this recipe has never left our family.. eva.  My mom, Sito (grandmother in Syrian), has made this for us since we were little wee ones.  I think I had a few too many myself, but these are truly my favorite Syrian food.  With four daughters and one son, at least two of the daughters have made them.  It’s such a great recipe to carry down the family tree.

There are a coulple of ways (that I know of) the leaves can be stuffed.  Some cultures use lamb, some beef.   We use beef.  Mind you, this recipe has never be written down by mom, it’s all from memory.  My oldest sister, Joan, was able to capture many of Sito’s recipes for us and gave us our own Syrian recipe book.  Love her for that.  Oh, and my mom is still alive and makes these for family gatherings. She’s 86.  Yubbo!

Ok, ok.. I’ll stop chatting and get to it.  Here’s what you need:

1 -lb hamburg
1- cup long grain rice (uncooked)
1- 6 oz. can of tomato paste
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup lemon juice (or more for tartness)
3 1/2 cups of water
5-6 whole garlic cloves – OR whatever you like.. some people like more garlic than others
and of course… grape leaves.

Now, let’s talk about the leaves for a minute.   You can certainly buy a jar of prepared leaves at the grocery store. .. but we have never done that.  After all, grapes leaves are all over the place to pick from the side of road or maybe a neighbor’s back yard (thanks, Diane; check out her delicious blog and fun adventures).  The best time to pick them is in June, here in Massachusetts.

So, let’s say you want to be an ethnic diva and prepare your own leaves.  Great.  I’m proud of you.

Pick, say, 50 leaves; that’s a good number, I think. Bring them home and lay them out on a counter or table.  Snip off the stem and begin to put them in piles from largest to smallest.  Put about 10 leaves in one pile.. you’ll have 5 piles of leaves.  Make sure there are no icky bugs, spiders or dirt on them.  You want nice healthy looking leaves.   Now, go grab some string, yes, I said string.  You know the kind you sew with.  Roll up each pile of leaves into a jelly role like shape and wrap the string around them. You are winding the string around the roll about 8-10 times.. just get them secure enough that they don’t unravel.   Fill a pot with water and bring to boil.  Once boiling, put the rolled leaves in the pan and boil for about 1 minute.  You’ll see the leaves go from bright green to a darker shade.  Make sure you roll them around so it’s fully boiled.  Take out and drain and cool.

At this point, you can begin the stuffing, but you can also freeze these in freezer bags as they are (all rolled, boiled and cooled).  Then when you want to use them for a meal, just defrost ahead of time (I’ve had leaves in my freezer for over a year).  But, for this purpose, once they are cooled, unravel or snip the string and lay them flat, ready to be stuffed.

Let’s put the meat stuffing together.

Mix the hamburg, raw rice, tomato paste, allspice, salt, pepper all together in a bowl.  Mmmm the smell of the allspice and tomato paste… oh my.  Get in there with your hands and mix.  Ahh, now that feels good or as my girls would say.. “ew”.   Now, I know this may sound gross, but take a little of the stuffing and just taste it.. you don’t eat it, but take a little and put it on your tongue.  You don’t want it to be bland. If you like the balance, you’re golden.

Next….get your station prepared… on the table.. stuffing on one side leaves on the other.  Take one leave at a time, lay it vein side up and put a log shape of meat in the bottom center of the leave; stem side towards you.

 

Watch how it’s rolled… sides in first, the roll up from the bottom.

 

Ok..there’s ONE.  Now do the rest.  Make sure they are rolled nice and tight. You don’t want them unraveling when they are being cooked.  Great job… they are ready to cook.  I’m excited!

 

Get a pan.  Now, you want to protect the bottom layer of grape leaves as they cook.  We use broken dishes.  No, you don’t have to break your dishes.  You can use a good dish if it fits in the bottom of the pan OR line it with aluminum foil.  Again, the idea is to not burn the bottom layer.  One at a time, start to layer the rolled leaves evenly.

 

Once you layer all the leaves in the pan, you must prepare the liquid it will simmer in.

Take 3 1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of lemon juice and mix together in measuring cup.  Some people like more tartness, if you are one of those, then use more lemon.  Taste it and see if you like the balance.
Cut your peeled garlic cloves in half.  Pour the water/lemon mixture gently over the leaves, until they almost cover the top layer.. you don’t want the top layer submerged.  If you don’t need all the water and it’s at the right level, then STOP pouring.  If you need more water, then make a little more of the liquid.

 

Take the garlic and spread all over the top of the leaves.  I used granulated garlic that I mixed in with the water/lemon.  But, just picture a lot of garlic on top.

To finalize this lovely presentation, you need to set something on top.. Yes, more broken dishes or even a small plate.  The idea here is to put a bit of pressure on top so the leaves aren’t moving around from the simmering.  Sito uses her pressure cooker that she has down to a science.  That woman!

Cover the pan with a lid and let come to a simmer..you can get it to start boiling, then bring it down to low. You want to hear a simmer.. little bubbling sound, but NOT BOILING… nooooooooooo.

Let this simmer for about a hour.  I say “about”, because stoves vary. Some use gas, some have electric.  Mine took about 50 minutes and I had about 70 leaves.  Check them after 45 minutes.. test one. If the rice is soft and cooked, they’re done.   The liquid will evaporate; no need to pour any excess out.. there will very little.  GENTLY take each one out of the pan and present for eating.

 

More ideas:  This meat stuffing can be used to stuff cabbage rolls, tomatoes, summer squash or even red peppers.  Green ones too, but I’m not a fan of the green ones.  You use the exact same set up with the pan and the water/lemon/garlic.

Pair these up with a nice big salad, fresh bread and what a meal.

Please let me know if you have any questions on this delicious dish and if you make them, send me a comment; I would love to hear from you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Judy