Creamy Saffron Pastina with Mini Turkey Meatballs

This month I am cooking with one of my favorite spices…Saffron!

I love the floral aroma and gorgeous color it adds to food.

My first recipe combines two of my favorite comfort foods…creamy pastina and mini meatball soup.

The addition of saffron along with the layering of flavors and textures is absolute perfection.

Everyone at my dinner table agreed that this dish is a new regular….  Hope you try it and enjoy it as much as we did.

Best part? The leftovers were even better the next day!

Enjoy! Denise

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Creamy Saffron Pastina with Turkey Mini Meatballs

2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Shallot, finely chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons Saffron threads, divided
64 ounces of Chicken Stock
20.8 ounces of Ground Turkey Breast
2 carrots, chopped
2 cups of Frozen Petite Peas
1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg, divided
1 Bay Leaf
1 Egg
1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon of Hot Paprika
One box (13.25 ounces) of Mini Pasta Shells
10 oz. Lite Alfredo Sauce
Salt & Pepper

1. Prepare Mini Turkey Meatballs

  •  In a large bowl, mix the ground turkey, egg, parmesan, breadcrumbs, hot paprika, Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
  •  Roll into mini meatballs ( about 1 rounded teaspoon each) and set aside.

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2. Prepare Saffron Stock and Cook Mini Turkey Meatballs

  • In a large stock pot, warm the extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat.
  • Add the shallots. Cook until shallots are translucent.
  • Add chicken stock, carrots , bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, salt and pepper (to taste).
  • Bring to a boil. Add 3/4-1 teaspoon of saffron and frozen peas.
  • Simmer until carrots are tender (about 15 minutes).
  • Drop mini meatballs into the saffron stock.
  • Simmer for 15-20 minutes until turkey is thoroughly cooked.
  • Keep warm.

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3. Prepare Pasta

  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon saffron to pasta water.
  • Add pasta to the boiling water. (Check pasta box for cooking times.)
  • When pasta is cooked to al dente, drain pasta (reserving 1 cup of the pasta water).

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4. Prepare Saffron Pasta Sauce

  • In a large saucepan, warm the Alfredo sauce. Whisk in 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Toss pasta with Saffron Pasta Sauce to coat.

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5. Serve

  • First, add a serving of the creamy pastina to a bowl.
  • Next, layer the mini meatballs, carrots, peas and saffron stock.
  • Garnish with grated cheese, red pepper flakes.
  • Serve with garlic bread.

Enjoy!

Cardamom Waffles {Christmas Breakfast}

Why not spice up your Christmas breakfast with cardamom?

Every year my family looks forward to Christmas waffles. I have tried several recipes over the years (some more complicated than others). On holiday mornings, simple recipes packed with flavor are my ticket to getting breakfast on the table with no stress.

So, for this recipe, I decided to adapt a classic waffle recipe using Bisquick.

We did a “test run” this past weekend…

Cardamom is known as being the “queen of spices”. These Cardamom Waffles are now going to rule our Christmas breakfast every year…

We found that if you put 1/2 cup of the waffle batter onto the center of a belgium waffle maker, the waffles look like snowflakes.

Have a great holiday! Enjoy!

Denise

Cardamom Waffles

Cardamom Waffles

Makes 5 Belgium Waffles

2 cups Bisquick Baking Mix

1-1/3 cups Milk

2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

1 Egg

1 tablespoon Cardamom

  • Heat your waffle iron according to your manufacturer instructions.
  • Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Cardamom Waffles Batter

  • Spray your waffle iron with cooking spray.
  • Place 1/2 cup of waffle batter onto the center of the waffle iron.

Cardamom Waffles

  • Close waffle iron and steam according to your manufacturer instructions.

Cardamom Waffles

  •  Repeat with remaining batter.

Tres Leches Vanilla Steamer

Tres Leches Vanilla Steamer

“Baby, it’s cold outside…”

The holiday season can get very hectic.   Don’t forget to take time to soak in the holidays memories….

Make yourself a nice warm drink and take time for you. You deserve it!

Here is my take on my son’s favorite vanilla steamer.

Of course, I just had to add some Latina flair by using Tres Leches (3 milks).   In fact it was so good that somehow some of the foam ended up in my espresso.

Stay warm.  Enjoy!

Denise

Tres Leches Vanilla Steamer

Yields 4-6 servings

12 oz can Evaporated Milk

1-1/2 cups Milk (I used 2%)

4 tablespoons Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  • Pour all ingredients into a large glass measuring cup. Stir to combine.
  • Steam the milk according to your espresso makers directions. (If you don’t have an espresso maker, you can easily froth milk with just a microwave and a jar.
  • Pour into serving cups and sprinkle some freshly grated nutmeg on top.
  • Serve immediately.
Grilled Cardamom Cumin Tuna

Tuna Medallions Marinated with Orange Juice, Cardamom & Cumin

Cardamom is one of my favorite spices.   I love to pair it with cinnamon when I bake.  Some call it the “Queen of Spices”. 

It is a bit pricier than most spices.  But, definitely worth it!   It doesn’t have a long shelf life.  So, be sure to buy in small quantities.

I wanted to try to do a savory dish with this spice.  This week, when I placed my online grocery order, I saw that tuna medallions were on sale. Below is a recipe that pairs the tuna medallions with cardamom with cumin and coriander and orange juice. 

The result was right on!  The aroma was just amazing.  You have to try this one…

Enjoy!

Denise

P.S. Yes, you read that right…online grocery shopping.   I am a huge fan of online grocery shopping.  I place my order, schedule my pickup, pull up and they bring it out.  Great timesaver!

Grilled Cardamom Cumin Tuna

Tuna Medallions Marinated

     with Orange Juice, Cardamom & Cumin

1/2 cup Orange Juice (freshly squeezed preferred)

1/4 cup Olive Oil

2 teaspoons ground Cardamom

1 teaspoon ground Cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground Coriander

1 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Pepper

  • In a small bowl (or measuring cup), whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, cardamom, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.
  • Place the tuna medallions in a casserole dish.  Cover with the marinade.  Toss to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.  Be sure to flip the tuna every 10 minutes.

  • Heat your grill pan.  When hot, add your tuna medallions.  Grill to your preference for “done-ness”.  (We like it medium-well.)

Sunday Share: 11/27/2011 {Recipe Finds}

{Sunday Share}

What is “Sunday Share”?

The Gypsy World Spice Cafe Facebook Page, {Recipe Finds} are shared daily. I find cool recipes on twitter, blogs, Pinterest and internet searches and love to share them…

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  Now, it’s time to get ready for the December holidays!  Woo Hoo!

Below are links to {Recipe Finds} which were featured. Be sure to check out these great sites, blogs and recipes.

Next weeks “sharing” will feature holiday recipes.

If you have a recipe that you want “shared” which follows the week’s theme, please email me . I will be sure to read your post. If it fits the current week’s focus, I’ll share.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Denise

Recipe Finds – Just Because

Recipe Finds – Holiday Cooking/Baking

Holiday Tips

Pumpkin Turkey Chili (Calabaza Chili)

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is good to have an easy and delicious chili recipe on hand that is hearty and “heart healthy”.. 

Did you know that pumpkin is a  “power food” with a ton of health benefits?

Why not double the recipe and freeze half?

Enjoy!

Denise

Tip:  Be sure to stock pile Pumpkin Puree this time of year (when it is readily available and on sale).

Pumpkin Turkey Chili (Calabaza Chili)

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 medium Onion, chopped

2 cloves of Garlic, minced

20 oz. Ground Turkey

7 oz. Smoked Turkey Sausage

2 (15 oz.) cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed

2 (11 oz.) cans Mexicorn

15 oz. can Crushed Tomatoes

15 oz. can Pumpkin Puree

32 oz. Chicken Stock

2 cups Water  (I fill the emptied can of crushed tomatoes)

1.25 oz packet of Reduced Sodium Chili Seasoning

1 tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

1 tablespoon ground Cumin

1 tablespoon dried Oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves

1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

2 bay leaves

1/4 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped

Salt & Pepper

  • Quarter the smoked turkey sausage lengthwise and thinly slice.  Set aside.
  • Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a stock pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sautee until vegetables are tender (about 3-4 minutes).
  • Add ground turkey and sliced smoked turkey sausage to onion/garlic mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sautee until ground turkey is cooked through.
  • Add the black beans, mexicorn, crushed tomatoes, pumpkin puree, chicken stock and water to the stock pot.   Stir to combine the ingredients.
  • Add the chili seasoning, unsweetened cocoa powder, cumin, oregano, cloves, cayenne pepper and bay leaves.
  • Stir to combine the ingredients.  Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring to a boil.  Then simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Stir in the fresh cilantro.  Discard the bay leaves and keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Serve with your choice of “fixings”.

Sunday Share: 11/20/2011 {Recipe Finds}

{Sunday Share}

What is “Sunday Share”?

The Gypsy World Spice Cafe Facebook Page, {Recipe Finds} are shared daily. I find cool recipes on twitter, blogs, Pinterest and internet searches and love to share them…

Be sure to enjoy the time with your family and friends. Life is full of blessings — be sure to take time to “appreciate the moment“.

Below are links to {Recipe Finds} which were featured. Be sure to check out these great sites, blogs and recipes.

Next weeks “sharing” will feature holiday recipes.

If you have a recipe that you want “shared” which follows the week’s theme, please email me . I will be sure to read your post. If it fits the current week’s focus, I’ll share.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Denise

Recipe Finds – Just Because

Recipe Finds – Holiday Cooking/Baking

Holiday Tips

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Espresso Spiced Frosting {Semi-Homemade}

It happened again… I had a last-minute “make & take” opportunity….

What to make? Hmmm.

Recently on Pinterest, people have been sharing recipes for  2 ingredient cupcakes using store-bought cake-mix and canned pumpkin puree.   It reminded me of a posts that I did last year for Chocolate Coated Pumpkin Gingerbread Bon Bons  where I made cake balls with Gingerbread cake-mix and pumpkin puree.   

So, I decided to make Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Espresso Spiced Frosting.  For this recipe, I opted for a semi-homemade approach and spiced up store-bought frosting.  (If you want a homemade recipe for a sweet spiced buttercream frosting, check out my post for Spicy Mocha Cupcakes).

This recipe is not only easy….most likely you already have the ingredients in your pantry.

Enjoy!

Denise

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes Espresso Spiced Frosting

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Espresso Spiced Frosting

Yield:  16 Cupcakes

1 Box Butter Fudge Cake Mix    ( I used Duncan Hines “Moist Deluxe”)

1 15 oz. can Pumpkin Puree

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

1 teaspoon Cardamom (optional but recommended)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line cupcake pan with baking cups and set aside.
  • Add the cake mix, pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice and the cardamom to a large bowl.
  • Mix on low for 30 seconds.  Adjust the setting to medium and beat for an additional 4 minutes.
  • Pour batter into the baking cups (2/3 full).
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean when inserted into center of cupcake.
  • Cool for 15 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Frost with Espresso Spiced Frosting (recipe below).
Espresso Spiced Frosting

12 oz container of Whipped Fluffy White Frosting

1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/4 teaspoon Espresso Powder

1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

  • Add all ingredients to a medium bowl.  Mix well.

Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes with Espresso Spiced Frosting

Sunday Share: 11/13/2011 {Recipe Finds}

{Sunday Share}

What is “Sunday Share”?

The Gypsy World Spice Cafe Facebook Page, {Recipe Finds} are shared daily.  I find cool recipes on twitter, blogs, Pinterest and internet searches and love to share them…

The below are links {Recipe Finds}  which were featured. Be sure to check out these great sites, blogs and recipes.  

If you have a recipe that you want “shared” which follows the week’s theme, please email me .  I will be sure to read your post.  If it fits the current week’s focus, I’ll share. 

Next weeks “sharing” will feature Sage and holiday recipes.

Enjoy!

Denise

Recipe Finds – Just Because

Recipe Finds – Holiday Cooking/Baking

Gypsy World Spice Cafe Mentions

Sunday Share: 11/06/2011 {Recipe Finds}

{Sunday Share}

What is “Sunday Share”?

The Gypsy World Spice Cafe Facebook Page, {Recipe Finds} are shared daily.  I find cool recipes on twitter, blogs, Pinterest and internet searches and love to share them…

The below are links {Recipe Finds}  which feature Coffee or are holiday inspired recipes.  (Somehow Nutella recipes always get included…)

Next weeks “sharing” will feature Sage and holiday recipes.

Be sure to check out these great sites, blogs and recipes.   If you have a recipe that you want “shared” which follows the week’s theme, please email me .  I will be sure to read your post.  If it fits the current week’s focus, I’ll share. 

Enjoy!

Denise

Recipe Finds – Just Because

Recipe Finds – Holiday Cooking/Baking

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Brown Pumpkin Gravy

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

Do you have a picky eater?  I do and my picky eater loves beef.  

It was a chilly day and I decided to develop a new slow cooker beef recipe using coffee and pumpkin. 

Dedicated to my special “Picky Eater” who made my day when he told me that this was “sooooooo good” and even tried “white mashed potatoes” for the first time and loved them!

Enjoy!

Denise

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Brown Pumpkin Gravy

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef

with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

Ingredient List

1 medium Onion, sliced thinly

2.5 lbs. Boneless  Half-Eye Round Roast

1 teaspoon dried Oregano

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon Sumac (optional)

2 Bay Leaves

1 15 oz can Pumpkin Puree

1 teaspoon ground Sage

1 tablespoon Espresso Powder

Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  • Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray.  Line the bottom with your onion.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

  • Season the beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder, sumac and oregano.  Place in slow cooker.  Add the bay leaves.

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

  • In a small bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, espresso powder and ground sage.

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

  • Cover the beef with the pumpkin mixture.

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

Serving suggestion:

  • Add a green vegetable or salad.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes (try adding 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg to them)
  • If you prefer a thinner gravy, add 1/2 cup beef stock or white wine to the slow cooker when you add the pumpkin mixture.

Slow Cooker Espresso Beef with Pumpkin Brown Gravy

Sunday Share: 10/30/2011 {Recipe Finds}

{Sunday Share}

Can you believe that Halloween is here? 

What is “Sunday Share”?

Well, on the Gypsy World Spice Cafe Facebook Page, {Recipe Finds} are shared daily.  I find cool recipes on twitter, blogs, Pinterest and internet searches and love to share them…

Currently, sharing recipes that related to coffee and the upcoming holidays… somehow Nutella recipes always get included. 🙂

Below are links to {Recipe Finds} shared last week. Be sure to check out these great sites, blogs and recipes.

Enjoy!

Recipe Finds – Cooking with Coffee

Creamy Mocha Pudding (momstart.com)
Creole Coffee (foodcreate.com)

Recipe Finds – Just Because

Resse’s Peanut Butter Cup Martini (daydreamerdessert.com)

Recipe Finds – Holiday Cooking/Baking

Cornbread Chorizo Stuffing (epicurious.com)
6 Steps to Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (thehungrygoddess.com)
Caramel Cheesecake Apple Dip (half-bakedbaker.blogspot.com)
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (lacosmopolatina.com)
Pumpkin Recipes (savvyentertaining.com)
Fall Fig Cocktail (thekitchn.com)
Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake w/Creamy Pumpkin Glaze (iammommy.typepad.com)
Pumpkin Brown Butter Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting (sprinklebakes.com)