The Struggle Continues, But I Still Feel Blessed – Could Be (Much) Worse………

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So, it’s been 4 day’s since I’ve been diagnosed with another type of cancer – skin cancer.
I have been treated the same day, removal of 4 spots. The Doc said not to worry too much at this time, since we discovered it early.
As long as I check for new spots and have them removed every 2-3 months, I should be ok   
I am doing good, besides that the spot removed from under my eye looks like Mike Tyson hit me  
Ahhhh, the challenges ! Not easy to stay upbeat    
But as usual, I’ll manage   ………..

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Life is Good !
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Suppli al Telefono

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Many fans of Italian fried rice balls are a bit unclear about the difference between Arancino and Suppli.
I found this explanation online which seems to be very accurate to me and should help to calm down future hot-blooded discussions 🙂
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Excerpt from La Piccola Fontana :
“The Sicilian people will be having some stern words with us for combining their beloved arancino with it’s Roman cousins, supplì, and vice versa but the fact remains that when in Italy you should try at least one type of freshly fried rice ball.

These starch bombs appear in bars, restaurants, and market stalls all over Italy, but if you are going to order one, it helps to know the difference. The Sicilian arancino is often larger, and either conical or circular in shape. In fact, its name means “small orange.” It is typically filled with ragu and some sort of cheese, with optional veggies like peas, mushrooms, or eggplant.

You will also find specialty arancini like carbonara, though purists tend to turn up their noses at these newfangled inventions.

Supplì, on the other hand, are a Roman specialty usually found in pizzerias and as antipasti. They are often oblong in shape and traditionally contain only rice, tomato sauce, and a large piece of mozzarella in the middle.”
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And there you have it. Clear, once and for all 🙂
As for me, I love both equally, the only difference being that I can eat a bunch of Arancini as a main course, while two Suppli are usually enough and therefore more suited (for me) as an appetizer or snack.
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PS:
There are many different variations of both arancini and suppli, different fillings, different types of rice, tomato sauce added to the rice, etc.
In my opinion, when made and served with love, they are all equally delicious and satisfying 🙂
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P.P.S.
Supposedly, the name Suppli al Telefono stems from the mozzarella cheese which forms into long thin strands (Telephone Lines) when one pulls the supply apart 🙂
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P.P.P.S.
Usually fried rice balls are served with tomato sauce. However, I prefer to eat them with Tonkatsu Sauce
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Suppli al Telefono

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Suppli al Telefono

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Suppli al Telefono

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Arancina

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Preparation :
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Sauerkraut Soup

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Sauerkraut Soup

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Sauerkraut Soup

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If you’ve ever lived in Germany or even just visited for a short time, you know that sauerkraut is everywhere, especially as you go further South.
Sauerkraut is surprisingly versatile. At some time not too long ago, before fridges and freezers were found in every household, cabbage was one of the few vegetables which were available abundantly year-round. During the first few months after the fall harvest, there was fresh cabbage available, cheap and healthy. Then, as the months went on, fermented cabbage (Sauerkraut) took its place, also cheap and even more healthy (It helped that every house usually had a big cellar to store all these goodies). Therefore, while sauerkraut in Europe is certainly eaten with foods like sausages and roasted pork, you’ll also find sauerkraut in casseroles, savory pastries, breads, meatballs, pasta, fritters, salads, quiche, sandwiches, pizzas and stews. And of course in soups, such as today’s recipe, “Sauerkraut Soup”.
Sauerkraut soup comes in a myriad of variations, being different from house to house, restaurant to restaurant, region to region and country to country. My favorite is of course the one which reminds me of my Mom’s version, mild, creamy and chock-full of smoked meat. This can be smoked meat from any part of the pig or a combination of different smoked meats.
But, whatever you do, whatever variation you prepare – DO NOT USE INFERIOR QUALITY KRAUT.
If your butcher prepares and sell’s his own sauerkraut, use that. If you can not get fresh from your butcher or, even better, make your own (I do not advise this if you live in a small place without separate storage space – (fermenting cabbage does NOT smell too good in the house), buy the best you can in a can or glass.
For commercial Sauerkraut, I usually choose Kühne, Paulsen or Hengstenberg. There are many more available all over the world, but if you don’t want to gamble, stick with these three.
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Excerpt from Wiki :
Cabbage soup may refer to any of the variety of soups based on various cabbages, or on sauerkraut and known under different names in national cuisines. Often it is a vegetable soup. It may be prepared with different ingredients. Vegetarian cabbage soup may use mushroom stock. Another variety is using a fish stock. Traditional cabbage soup is prepared using a pork stock.

Cabbage soup is popular in PolishSlovak and Ukrainian cuisine. It is known as kapuśniak or kwaśnica in Polishkapustnica in Slovak and капусняк (kapusnyak) in Ukrainian. It is also found in Czech (Czechzelňačka or zelná polévka), German (GermanKohlsuppe or Krautsuppe), French (Frenchsoupe aux choux) cuisine, and Swedish (Swedishkålsoppa) cuisine.

The Swedish cabbage soup is usually made from white cabbage, which is browned before being boiled, and seasoned with generous amounts of allspice and sometimes served with boiled meatballs.

A variety of the soup called shchi (Russian: щи) is a national dish of Russia. While commonly is it made of cabbages, dishes of the same name may be based on dockspinach or nettle. The sauerkraut soup is called “sour shchi”, as opposed to “fresh cabbage shchi”.
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Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Kraut  on  ChefsOpinion
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Sauerkraut Soup

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Sauerkraut Soup

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Sauerkraut Soup

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Black beans, potatoes, mushrooms, eggs and loads of cilantro – what would serve better as proper condiments than salsa verde and salsa Mexicana ? 🙂
Ever since I have discovered authentic tasting salsa verde and salsa Mexicana at my neighborhood international food market, I have them in my larder and fridge at all times, using it to enhance breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes of all types – eggs, seafood, meat, pasta, rice, vegetables, etc, etc. Together with chili paste of all levels of hotness, Maggi seasoning and soy sauce, these are the condiments/seasonings  without almost none of my meals are complete. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Potatoes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Eggs  on  ChefsOpinion
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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Frittata (Kind Of………..)

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Some of my favorite dishes are the ones that come together without set ingredients, without planning and without recipes.
I just go to the fridge and/or cupboard, look what’s available and what needs to be used, and just throw together what I think will fit and taste delicious. Such was the case with this soup. I had some krakauer sausage, leftover cooked broccoli, leftover cooked cauliflower and leftover fresh leek from previous dishes, and of course there are always onions in the cupboard and at least 2 or 3 types of cheese in the fridge. Throw it all together and in a few short minutes – a dish as good as can be 🙂  Life is Good !
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Soup  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Leftover Dishes  on  ChefsOpinion
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transfer to soup bowl or soup plate, sprinkle ea bowl with 1/2 tblsp grated asiago and drizzle with 1 tblsp EVO

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Perfection In A Bowl – Leftover Veggies Soup

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Black Mushrooms, Seafood Mushrooms, & Bok Choy In Oyster Sauce

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Black Mushrooms, Seafood Mushrooms And Bok Choy In Oyster Sauce

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When I was a child, (many decades ago  🙂 , I, like most kids, hated nearly all vegetables with a passion. Later, grown up and being a professional cook, I realized early on that this was no fault of the poor veggies, but entirely the fault of our mothers, who usually cooked the crap out of vegetables, did not season them properly and mostly looked at them as a sideshow who did not deserve the respect the protein served in a meal deserved.
I was lucky to visit, live and work in Asia, South East Asia, India and the Orient early in my professional life, at which point my negative attitude towards vegetables was changed to an attitude of love, respect and admiration.
Meanwhile, in Europe, with the advent of novelle cuisine in the 70’s, the approach to vegetables had changed and we are now lucky to see, eat and enjoy vegetables in a completely new light. Compared to before,  this changed to include vegetables in prettier, lighter, tastier and healthier food preparations, either on their own or as part of a meal.
Since then, while the average home cook (mostly) still does not understand the beauty of fresh vegetables and herbs, at least many professional chefs have seen the light and pay the simple veggie the respect, attention and love they deserve.
Nowadays, everybody and their sister touts the health benefits of fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs. Unfortunately, most home cooks and professional cooks do not pay enough respect to cook them properly, so that they are not only healthy, but also delicious and beautiful to look at.
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Today’s featured dish is a typical example how ordinary vegetables and fungi can easily and without much culinary finesse be transformed into a wonderful, beautiful and delicious dish fit for a king/queen.  🙂

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P.S.
Chinese black mushrooms  (shiitake), Chinese seafood mushrooms  (enokitake), Bok Choy  (bak choy, bakchoi), etc, etc…….. 🙂 

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P.P.S.
The only rice I had in my cupboard was Arborio. If you look closely at the cooked rice, you will see the difference of the short grain used here and the long grain typically used in Chinese restaurants.

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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for  Chinese Steamed Rice Recipe  (Fan)  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here to find out about Which Type Of Rice Is Used In Chinese Cooking   

(Hint – short-, medium-, and long-grain is used)
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Click here for  Rice Varieties From Around The World
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Black Mushrooms, Seafood Mushrooms And Bok Choy In Oyster Sauce

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Black Mushrooms, Seafood Mushrooms And Bok Choy In Oyster Sauce

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Black Mushrooms, Seafood Mushrooms And Bok Choy In Oyster Sauce

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Black Mushrooms, Seafood Mushrooms And Bok Choy In Oyster Sauce

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Black Mushrooms, Seafood Mushrooms And Bok Choy In Oyster Sauce

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Chicken & Potatoes – Boss Level

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Chicken & Potatoes – Boss Level

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Not much more can be said about a well-prepared chicken and potato dish that I haven’t said before on these pages (follow the 2 links below), except that, as usual, the method of infusing the potatoes with the juices and fat from the chicken while they cook on top of each other ( I just realize that this almost sounds dirty) 🙂 makes for a wonderful, delicious dish. (or a happy couple) 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Chicken with Potatoes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for even more  Chicken with Potatoes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Chicken & Potatoes – Boss Level

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Chicken & Potatoes – Boss Level

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Chicken & Potatoes – Boss Level

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Chicken & Potatoes – Boss Level

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures

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Black Plum Torte With Caramelized Black Plum-Compote (Schwarze-Pflaumen Kuchen Mit Karamelisiertem Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott)

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Black Plum Torte With Caramelized Black Plum-Compote (Schwarze-Pflaumen Kuchen Mit Karamelisiertem Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott)

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Of all fruit cakes my Mom used to bake, Plum cake was the one she baked most often. We owned some land with plum trees and apple trees on them, so these two fruits, and dishes made of them, (and liquor, “Apfel Schnaps” and “Zwetschken Geist”) were the most common in our home when I grew up. While as a kid I did not appreciate them as much, now I am a big fan, especially of plums. The one issue with fruit cakes I always have is that there is never enough fruit to the amount of cake. Here I solved the problem and even made the whole dish far better by adding plum compote to the cake, to be spooned over the cake while eating. Good Stuff !
Of course, the compote is equally delicious by itself, or served with ice cream, crepes, pancakes or with cereals. 🙂
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Bon Appétit !   Life is Good !
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Click here for more  Plum Recipes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Click here for more  Cake Recipes  on  ChefsOpinion
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Black Plum Torte With Caramelized Black Plum-Compote (Schwarze-Pflaumen Kuchen Mit Karamelisiertem Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott)

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Black Plum Torte With Caramelized Black Plum-Compote (Schwarze-Pflaumen Kuchen Mit Karamelisiertem Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott)

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Black Plum Torte With Caramelized Black Plum-Compote (Schwarze-Pflaumen Kuchen Mit Karamelisiertem Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott)

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Black Plum Torte With Caramelized Black Plum-Compote (Schwarze-Pflaumen Kuchen Mit Karamelisiertem Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott)

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Karamelisierte Schwarze Pflaumen-Kompott

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Preparation :
To read instructions, hover over pictures
To enlarge pictures and read instructions, click on pictures
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Cancer Free !!! (For Now)

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Got the good news this afternoon – for now, C-free 🙂
However, this needs to be checked every three months for 5 years, only then will I be declared 100% cured. But, I’ll take this for now 🙂
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On my way home from the Cancer clinic, I bought a bottle of wine to celebrate.
However, it’s not fun to drink alone, so I prepared and enjoyed this soup with Bella instead.
The wine will be used to prepare sauerbraten next week    
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Life is Good !

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Pork Dumplings, Ramen Noodles And Nappa Cabbage in Garlicky Pork Broth

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My Trip To Costa Rica

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Since I traveled the world and worked in many different countries for four decades, I ended up  having friends all over the Globe. Some of them stayed back in the countries where we met, most, like myself, have moved on to new adventures in foreign places. My Friend George originally hails from Egypt, but after decades of moving from continent to continent and from country to country, he seems to have found his forever-home ??? in Costa Rica.
Since he had visited me a few times in Miami, it was now my time to visit him, so I spend the beginning of October with him and his very lovely family at their beautiful home in Playa Herradura.
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Playa Herradura (Herradura Beach) is a coastal town on the Central Pacific Region of Costa Rica. It is located about 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north of Jacó in the province of Puntarenas. The name Herradura (horseshoe) refers to the bays horseshoe shape. The town has developed into an important tourist destinations in Costa Rica. This has been in part thanks to Los Suenos Resort and Marina. The resort and related amenities, including a full service five-star Marina, have positioned the town as the Fishing Capital of Costa Rica. The Marina is home to the largest fleet of Sports fishing boats in the country. Located right next door to Jaco Beach and 1 hour from Costa Rica’s primary International airport in San Jose, the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO). Apparently,  Playa Herradura and the Jaco Beach region have become the most popular tourist destination in all of Costa Rica, far surpassing the regions where eco-tourism now plays a second fiddle to wild fun at the beach.
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Before I left for CR, George asked me what I wanted to do during my stay, so he could organize some tours and excursions. Of course, traveling in CR was the last thing I wanted to do, and I let him know that. After all, (Pls forgive the arrogant tone of this – “Been there, done that”. 🙂
My Idea of a great vacation nowadays is lounging under a fan on a terrace, eating great meals cooked by others than myself and mostly, the company and conversations of good friends.
That was what I asked for, and that was what I got.
Thanks again George, Anna, Maria and Stefanie for having me and making my stay a wonderful one. 🙂

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Click here to learn about Costa Rican Food
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Life is Good !
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Here now some Pictures of the Costa Rica I did not see and experience this time :
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And here some pics of the Costa Rica I experienced and truly loved :
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