We’re All OK

September 16th, 2013

Have you ever had to call someone after an emergency or in the middle of the night?  I remember calling my in-laws years ago after a car crash in which a presumably drunk driver ran us off the road and totaled our car.  The first thing you say is “We’re ok” because you know that the person on the other end of the line is freaking out, thinking the worst, having been summoned to the phone in the middle of the night.

We haven’t had any literal car crashes this past year but, quite frankly, my life was totaled.

We’re all ok now.

A year ago I had just returned to work from my maternity leave with Anna .  I knew that the next year of juggling work and home and three children would be difficult, but I had no idea just how challenging it would be; the daily challenges because mere annoyances compared to everything else that happened.  About the only things that have stayed the same for us is that all five of us are together and still love each other and that we still live in the same little house.  So many things have changed or are about to change in our life .  Some of those things I don’t want associated with our name so it is time to close the cover on mendolo.com and move on to a new space.  I would love it if you join me at my new writing space.  So that the name of the new blog isn’t associated with the old one, I am not going to post a link here, but please email me at gina dot mendolo at gmail dot com for the link and I will send it to you when I get it set up.

Thank you all for your thoughts and comments and silent reading over the years.   I love writing and my little virtual community here and I am so looking forward to writing again.  And now, I shall go drink a milkshake in honor of mendolo.com.  If you need a good excuse for a milkshake please join me.

Lemon Pound Cake

January 1st, 2000

Source:  Real Simple Magazine, December 2004/January 2005 (with a few Gina modifications, of course)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter or grease a bundt pan or 6 individual size loaf pans.
  3. Mix the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
  5. Add the sugar to the butter and beat until light and fluffy.
  6. Beat in the eggs, extracts, and lemon zest.
  7. Alternate mixing in the cream and the dry ingredients until well incorporated.
  8. Pour batter into pan.
  9. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes until the top of the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Serving note:  This cake pairs very well with berries, think fresh, macerated, or as a berry sauce.

Layered Vegetable Enchiladas

January 1st, 2000

Source: Gina Mendolo

Ingredients:

* 2 T olive oil
* 2 medium leeks, diced (Alternative: if you can’t find leeks use one medium onion.)
* 1 large bell pepper, diced
* 1 cup corn (Fresh or frozen work fine. If frozen, no need to dethaw.)
* 1.5 cups or 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
* 12 small to medium size corn tortillas
* 2 cups enchilada sauce (recipe follows)
* 1.5 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterey jack, and pepper jack all work well)

Directions:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
2. Saute the leeks, peppers, and corn in the skillet until just tender, about 3 – 5 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat and stir in the black beans and cilantro.
4. Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a casserole dish.
Place four tortillas on the bottom of the casserole dish. (More or less depending on the size and shape of your casserole dish. You may have to cut the tortillas to fit.)
5. Scoop out 1/2 of the vegetable and black bean mixture and spread it over the tortillas.
6. Top with 1/2 cup cheese.
7. Top with 1/2 cup enchilada sauce.
8. Repeat: tortillas, remaining veggie and bean mixture, 1/2 cup cheese, 1/2 cup sauce.
9. Top with remaining four tortillas, followed by remaining enchilada sauce, and finally remaining cheese.
10. Cover and bake a 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
11. Serve with fresh guacamole and sour cream.

Savory Zucchini-Dill Bread

January 1st, 2000

Source:  Gina Mendolo

Ingredients:

  • 3 c all purpose flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1 c grated zucchini (skin left on)
  • 1 c Monterey jack cheese
  • 2 T fresh dill
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 T flaxseed meal (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand, available at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Amazon)
  • 3 T water
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 T vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 1 standard loaf pan, 6 personal size loaf pans, or 12 muffin cups.
  3. Mix the flaxseed meal and water and microwave for 30 seconds. Set aside.
  4. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, zucchini, cheese, and dill in a large bowl. Set aside.
  5. Mix the buttermilk, butter, flaxseed+water mixture in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  6. Mix the baking soda and vinegar (the mixture will foam) and add immediately to the buttermilk mixture.
  7. Pour the wet buttermilk mixture into the relatively dry flour mixture and mix gently. The batter will be quite thick. You want to have everything to be well moistened, but the mixture should not be totally homogeneous.
  8. Spoon the dough into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the top of the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.