Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pressure Cooking: I want in!

IMUSA 5-qt. Electric Pressure Cooker
Pressure cooking is all the rage these days. Some of the benefits of pressure cooking include faster cooking times--up to 70% faster, retention of moisture, vitamins, and nutrients, intensified flavor, saving energy and more. Loyalties to this popular cook's tool seem to be divided between two camps: stovetop pressure cooking and electric pressure cooking (unfortunately, since I have never used either, I can't speak to the advantages of one or the other).

So, when shopping for a pressure cooker, what do you look for? I would like to try the electronic pressure cooker. Since space is a concern in my kitchen, I would prefer to have multifunctional unit--perhaps one that also functions as a slow cooker, warmer, steamer, etc. I have been checking out one unit, IMUSA 5-qt. Electric Pressure Cooker, but still haven't pulled the trigger yet.

I would love your feedback...are you into pressure cooking? Why or why not. Feel free to share your experience with pressure cooking, your favorite unit, and any recipes you like.

Monday, March 17, 2014

PhotoFare: Happy St. Patricks Day!

Beautiful, inspiring food photos and ideas for St. Patrick's Day.
All photos courtesy of Pinterest. Enjoy! St. Patrick's Day Food Ideas

Green Pea Cilantro Soup

Leprechaun Hat S'mores

Lucky Spinach Quiche

Corned beef & Cabbage

Rainbow Jello Jiggles

Monday, July 23, 2012

Peach Tomato Pasta


It's peach season again and I'm excited to update my favorite "go-to" summer salad! It's quick and easy to make, the ingredients are inexpensive so it's great for large gatherings and it's perfect for outdoor events because it contains no mayo. I have updated the pasta salad recipe to include the following:  1/4 cup thinly sliced cucumber and 1 tablespoon sauteed minced garlic. To the Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe I've added 1/4 cup Ken's golden vidalia onion dressing which balances out the savory flavor with a little more sweetness.


This recipe was inspired by a picture I saw in a magazine...I'd been browsing through stacks of current magazines at my desk when I saw it. I got busy and didn't think about it again for a few days. Then, suddenly, the image of the dish came back to me and I couldn't get it off my mind--the tender pasta, fresh summer peaches, plump cherry tomatoes...so I went back to get the recipe but couldn't find it! I was sure I had seen it in a Martha Stewart magazine so I scoured every recent issue I had, went to the website several times to search and still couldn't find it. After several days of searching, I gave up and decided to try to make it without the recipe. 

I ran out, got the ingredients I thought should go in the dish, made it and it was delicious but I wondered if I had missed out on something (seasoning-wise) by not having the original recipe. Well, as fate would have it, a few days after I made my version of the pasta, I found the recipe--on the back of a Taste of Home teaser cookbook! I was quite pleased to see that my judgment regarding the ingredients and seasonings wasn't off by much. The original recipe called for kalamata olives, garlic and optional slivered almonds (I would have skipped the olives and almonds anyway but I would have used the garlic). Here's my recipe:

Peach Tomato Pasta
Seasoned & Stirred by LBTurner

Serves 4-6

1/2 pound angel hair pasta (cooked, drained)
2 large fresh peaches--sliced (grilled or sauteed)
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/8 cup Thai basil leaves (or any fresh basil)
1/4 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
2 teaspoons wild porcini sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup Italian dressing (I used Ken's Three Cheese Italian)
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons peach preserves
3 tablespoons fresh peaches (finely chopped)

Prepare the peaches: Wash and slice the peaches. I used fresh freestone peaches and sliced them with my new handy, dandy peach pitter. Take 2-3 peach slices and chop them finely. Set aside for the Peach Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe above).  For the remaining peach slices: if you're going to grill them, lightly grill on each side for about a minute and set aside. If you are sauteing them, heat a small skillet, add 2 teaspoons of cooking oil and saute the peaches until tender. Set aside until it's time to assemble the dish.

Prepare the Vinaigrette: In a small mixing bowl, add all ingredients except the peaches and whisk thoroughly until well blended. Add the chopped peaches and stir. Add grilled or sauteed peaches and let marinate for 5-10 minutes.

Prepare the pasta: Prepare the pasta according to package instructions (add 1 teaspoon of the wild porcini sea salt to the boiling water), drain, place in large mixing bowl, add remaining sea salt, stir and let cool slightly. You can substitute plain or any flavored sea salt for the porcini if you don't have it.

Assemble the dish: While the pasta is still slightly warm, add the vinaigrette mixture, sliced peaches, basil leaves, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss gently. Serve warm or chilled as a side dish or as an entree salad.


I loved this pasta recipe and will definitely make my version again but the next time, I will add the garlic! Click here to see the original peach pasta recipe.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

PhotoFare: Patriotic Cheesecakes w/Raspberry Gelée and Fresh Berries

Happy Birthday America! Today's PhotoFare shot is courtesy of Beth at Hungry Happenings Blog. Stop by her blog to say hello and get the recipe for these colorful, yummy-looking treats!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

SS Holiday Food & Toy Drive

I'm excited...the donations for the Seasoned & Stirred Holiday Food & Toy Drive have started to pour in. Our goal is to provide bags/boxes of food to at least 25 families or individuals before Christmas.

We are seeking donations of non-perishable food items, supermarket gift cards and new toys. The supermarket gift cards will help families to purchase meat and other staples. Also, depending on availability, families with children under 12 will receive a toy for each child.

We will set up in east Baltimore, corner of Jefferson Street & Montford Avenue sometime during the week ending December 24th. The exact date will be determined later. Please help us by donating canned goods, boxed foods and other non-perishable items, toys, cash, or Giant or Safeway gift cards. For cash donations, simply click the "Donate" button on the top, left sidebar of this blog. To donate food, toys and gift cards, please email me at lotusrising523[at]hotmail[dot]com for the mailing address.

"If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother." Deuteronomy 15:7 

There is NO reason anyone in this great country of ours should ever go hungry. Please stand with us as we do our part to help eradicate hunger--one soul at a time! Thank you for your assistance and happy holidays.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pledge to Fight Senior Hunger

Photo courtesy of ComfortKeepers.com
"Nearly nine million older Americans are struggling to get enough to eat, and unless we do something to help, even more will go to bed hungry next year." ~ AARP Foundation
Take the pledge to help seniors in your community fight hunger and if you can, make a donation to the AARP Foundation! 
Number of hungry senior citizens growing
Hungry seniors in southwest Florida
Senior hunger summit
Comfort Keepers 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Food Stamp Challenge...Time for reflection and action!

The second annual Food Stamp Challenge (2011) sponsored by Maryland Hunger Solutions has ended. Over 160 people participated including a Maryland senator, several delegates, the Maryland AARP State Director and other advocates.

A few students from the University of MD participated in the challenge and blogged about their experiences. Many wrote about their concerns regarding the lack of nutritious meals, variety and the feeling of intense hunger. Click here to read the blogs.

Now that the challenge has ended, we have the perfect opportunity for reflection and action. Could you live on $4.30 a day for food and if you could, would you be able to purchase healthy options and create well-balanced meals for yourself and family? If you were in a position to help would you?

The new face of hunger? - Photo courtesy of FeedingAmerica.org

The face of hunger is changing in America. The new hungry is now the educated and middle class. Many rely on food banks or other food programs to keep food on the table. Most of us know someone who is hungry. Now is your chance to make a difference! You don't have to have a lot of money and you don't have to save everyone. Just make a commitment to do something:
  • Donate food or volunteer at your local food bank
  • Adopt a family or individual in your community: purchase grocery store gift cards; collect packaged food from family members and friends and give to the family; or when you cook for your family, make a little extra and share of the cooked food
  • Participate in public events to raise money for the hungry (check for events in your area) 
  • Write to your governor about hunger in your state and in your community
There are many things you can do to help. Find creative ways to give back and make a difference in your community. Enlist the help of your family, friends and colleagues--chances are many of them would jump at the opportunity to help. Feeling bad for those in need is not enough. Get involved!


Other Links:
Feeding America

If you are hungry and in need of food, search for resources in your state by going to a search engine and typing in something like "hungry in (your state or city)." If you do not have internet access, call the mayor's office in your city and ask for telephone numbers for food banks and food programs in your area.