Here's to good food!

I am finally putting my tried and true family recipes here. Check out my old-time favorites as well as newly discovered ones.

I hope you'll find some recipes here that you enjoy cooking, and those you cook for will find them tasty and satisfying.
Are you looking for something special? Something quick and easy? You'll find it here somewhere.
Check in often to see what's cooking in Monterey!

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti

If you are posting from this site, please give appropriate credit and notify me. Thank you.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Deep Dark Chocolate Mousse


This dessert is very chocolatey, as the name suggests.  I think you could reduce the amount of chocolate chips, but my husband thinks it needs all of the chocolate.  It is very simple and quick to make.  It just needs a few hours to chill.  A late Valentine's treat.

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract**
  • 1 cup (1/2 pt.)cold whipping cream (Get 1 pint to have some for topping)
  • Sweetened whipped cream (optional)
Directions
  1. Stir together sugar and gelatin in small saucepan; stir in milk. Let stand 2 minutes to soften gelatin. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture just begins to boil.
  2.  Remove from heat. Immediately add chocolate chips; stir until melted. Stir in vanilla; cool to room temperature.
  3.  Beat whipping cream in small bowl until stiff; gradually add chocolate mixture, folding gently just until blended. Spoon into serving dishes. Refrigerate. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.
4 to 6 servings.

*Use milk or semi-sweet if you prefer.  Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips are our preferred chips chosen in a blind tasting.  We like dark chocolate best.

**I think 1 tablespoon of Amaretto might be a good substitute for the vanilla.  Or your favorite liquor flavoring.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cuban Ropa Vieja


     On a visit to Old Town, San Diego about 25 years ago, I ordered a dish called Ropa Vieja at one of the many Mexican restaurants.  It was a delicious meal.  Soon after there was a recipe in the newspaper for this dish.  But alas, the recipe has been lost.  Then I saw this recipe.  It wasn't quite what I remembered, but it was still a tasty meal.
  • 2 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak  * (I browned it first, removed the meat, then added the onion to brown lightly after I turned off the heat.)
  • onion, cut in half, sliced
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice (cook later)
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1.    In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, oregano, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.  Add onion, then nestle the steak among the vegetables. Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
2.    Twenty-five minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.
3.   Stir-fry the bell peppers.  Serve along side the beef.
4.   Using two forks, shred the beef and mix it into the cooking liquid. Serve with the rice and top with the peppers, avocado and cilantro.