ENTERTAINING: SPRINGTIME POTPOURRI

EntertainingTime Out

Rainbow Pasta • Tissue Paper Roses • Celery Salt Copycat Recipe • Tasty Ham, Cheese and Béchamel Braid

 

By Mary Canovas

 

Rainbow Pasta:  Kid and Grown Up Party Treat

Check out our video in Spanish:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIvuU5-H0Dw

May 2014 Rainbow pasta If any of you like to surf the net for new recipes, this is by far the latest craze— rainbow.  Rainbow anything, especially cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, desserts.  We´re going to take you a step up or down  – depending on your point of view – a savory dish that is rainbow pasta.

This is definitely not that green (spinach) orange (carrot) vegetable pasta you can buy.  This is all and any color of the rainbow you want to make it.  It also tastes like regular pasta because that´s what it is, with a little help from food coloring.

I suggest you accompany it with our olive oil and garlic sauce (it will bring out the colors).  Of course you can serve it with anything:  cream sauce, tomato etc.  It is also great as a summer salad with an Italian vinaigrette.

Ingredients:  500 gr any pasta you like,  liquid food coloring,  water, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese

How to:
1. Separate the pasta into equal parts for the different colors.  We did it in the 5 colors of the rainbow.
2. Boil enough water to cover your pasta and then some (pasta approximately doubles in size)
3. Add from 10 to 15 drops food coloring to water and stir
4. Add pasta;  continue stirring once in a while until the pasta is cooked as per the manufacturer´s instructions.
5. Remove and strain well.  Place in a bowl and add a little oil and stir well so that the pasta doesn´t stick.
6. Repeat with all colors.  Mix all colored pasta together.
7. Fry garlic in olive oil until golden in a large pan. Add the pasta, stir and place in a large bowl.
8. Serve with parmesan cheese and perhaps some fried bacon bits.

 

Realistic Tissue Paper Roses

May 2014 RosesThis has got to be one of the easiest and most natural looking paper flowers I´ve ever seen. A great decoration, gift for mom or for any special celebration. Whether a single rose or a bouquet, they are so real and so beautiful and will never die. As a gift they bring all the love and affection of the person who makes and gives them.

 

Materials
• Tissue Paper
• white glue, scissors, kebob or bamboo sticks for stems .
• Floral Tape ( Optional)

How to: **
1.  Cut three strips of 50 cm long by 9 cm ,  7.5cm  and  5cm wide respectively.
2. You can make the roses any size by increasing the width of the strips by 1 1/4 cm or 1.25 cm

 **It´s so much easier to watch than to describe—please see how it´s done with our video tutorial
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnAt3A6mDsg

  

Tasty Ham, Cheese and Béchamel Puff Pastry Braid

May 2015 Puff pastryPuff pastry is not only a basic for recipes, it helps to make something like ham and cheese look positively gourmet.  This is my recipe for a ham and cheese puff pastry kicked up a notch with béchamel or white sauce, mustard, manzanilla olives and red peppers.  Hope you enjoy. The braiding part really is easy to do  (watch video) for cutting and braiding as well as assembly.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbeB4953JIg

 

Ingredients for 4
• A package of fresh or frozen puff pastry (thawed ) 200g . approx. La Cocinera recommended
• 75 gr sliced ham (York)
• 50 gr. Swiss Cheese, or your favorite, in slices
• 6 to 8 tablespoons bechamel sauce – buy or learn how to with the following tutorial (in Spanish)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9osojnyVMLg
•Chopped Olives
• 1 red pepper (canned) pimiento moron cut into strips
• Mustard

Directions Puff Pastry :
1. Flatten the pastry to desired height with a rolling pin.
2. If your pastry isn´t a square, cut to make a square  (See video above for more details on cutting and how to braid )

Assembly

  • First layer with ham and spread mustard on ham
  • Next layer 4 to 8 tbspn bechamel sauce
  • Next a layer of cheese
  •  Sprinkle with chopped olives and bell pepper strips
  • Top off with a layer of ham
  • Proceed to close the top and bottom and braid as in video
  • Brush the braided pastry with a wash of beaten egg and water
  • Preheat oven to 200ºC.  Follow manufacturer’s instructions for time usually 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Serve Hot

 

Celery Salt Copycat Recipe McCormick´s

Celery salt is a basic in any kitchen.  You use it to flavor your soups, poultry, salads even cocktails like Bloody Marys. The store bought kind is outrageously expensive when you realize just how easy and economical it is to make at home. McCormick´s is made with celery seeds which is nigh on impossible to find at any supermarket. You will get the same great taste using dry celery leaves.May 2014 Celery

Ingredients: Dry celery leaves, table salt

Directions:
1. First of all you should know how to dry celery leaves , only use the leaves.
2. Cut the whole leaves from the celery stalks removing all stems or sprigs . Wash and dry them.  Place the leaves in a layer on a paper towel in the microwave and heat in 30 second intervals stirring the leaves around in between until they are dry. The total time will depend on the amount of microwave power ( about 2 minutes total).
3. Crush the dry leaves.

  • Add 1 tablespoon celery to  3 tablespoons salt
  • Mix well, store in a closed container in a dry dark cabinet.
  • Shake or stir before using.  Expiration date:  1 year

You can double or triple this recipe easily:  Mix 1 part dry crushed celery leaves to 3 parts salt.