Talin’s Mouth-watering 2 Layer Penne Lasagna

I know you are probably thinking Penne Lasagna? I’ve made that possible. Who says that you always need to put Lasagna dough sheets to make Lasagna? Not to me. As long as you have Pasta Noodles of any kind that is large to mid size. I am not saying the Acini De Peppe, Orzo, and small noodles you use for soup and all that. I am saying Penne, Spaghetti, even Rotini. I have tried, tested and tasted. It is delicious! Well, let’s get started.

Depending on the number of people that you are serving in your family or your friends. It is in your preference.
This is for a family or friends of 4 or 5.

You will need:

– 900g of Penne Rigate Package (depends on your pan size as well and number of people)
– **Onions or Garlic are Optional. (It is your choice)**
– Oregano
– Basil
– Tomato Paste
– Tomato’s
Mozzarella Cheese
– Parmesan Cheese
– Cottage Cheese
– Extra Lean Ground Beef
– Sea Salt – (Never use table salt) **To your added preference**
– Grinded Black cracked Pepper
– All Spice

To begin:

1) Mash the extra Lean Ground beef into small pieces, cook it well done in a pan. That is where you will add just the Tomato Paste and Sea Salt. add about 4tblsp full of tomato paste and 1 and a half tsp of sea salt. (Add water, but not too much) You do not want your Lasagna to be Soggy. Add just enough to mix the tomato paste with them together.

2) In a separate small mixing bowl add 1 tbsp Oregano, as well as Basil, and all spice – Mix them together

3) Wash and Slice 4 fresh tomato’s – use Tomato on a Vine or Roma Tomatoes. put them aside.

4) In a mixing bowl add the grated Mozzarella Cheese and Cottage cheese. Mix it together.

To make the Penne:

1) Make sure you put a little more than half a large pot of water

2) Boil the water and put Sea Salt and as soon as it boils, add the Penne. (Never put any kind of noodles in a non-boiled water, it will stick to the bottom of the pot and stick to the other noodles)

3) Immediately stir the Penne so that all the noodles will become tender evenly and keep mixing ever 2-3 minutes. Let it boil on medium heat for about 10 minutes. If it needs more time, then go to about 11-12 minutes. MAX. (Do not overcook and make it mushy. Take it out while it’s al dente)

4) Drain and set aside to make 2 equal parts of the Penne Rigate, but first Mix the ground beef/tomato paste mix with the penne before Parting them. Add the Oregano, Basil and All spice mix with them as well.
In a Medium to Large Pyrex Pan:

1) Add cooking oil spray to the whole pan.

2) Add the first layer of the Penne and even it out.

3) Add the cheese mix – then Put Parmesan Cheese

4) Add the layer of the Tomato’s

– **for the Last layer – Repeat Steps 2-4 but add #4 first, then #3– Add the Parmesan Cheese last.

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Oven Settings:

– Bring the Oven to Convection – to 375 degrees before you put the Lasagna in.

– Let it cook for 30 Minutes

and there you have it.
Penne Lasagna. Bon Appetit! Enjoy!

Not a Big Fan of Microwaves and the Recipes with it.

In my life, one of the many joys I have is cooking with pots, pans, wok’s, Pyrex and all those cookware products, and making things from scratch on a stove top or putting it right into the oven or toaster oven. I prepare food in healthy and great ways to ensure that my loved ones get the proper nutrition and everything. One thing that I am not a big fan of is Microwave recipes and things to heat up in there. I seldom heat up a hot beverage or something along the lines of that during the winter months, but other than that, I resort to other cooking methods as stated above.

I used to buy microwave popcorn a lot many years ago, but then I heard the harmful chemicals and ingredients used in the bag and the popcorn itself got my stomach churning and thinking, Oh my goodness I used to eat that and all those chemicals went into my body? After that, I refrained from purchasing them, and I invested into a popcorn making machine and now I make popping corn from scratch.

I know some people have no choice in using it because they either have to heat up food that you take to at your work’s cafeteria/lunch room, or when there is a child or children in you’re household to heat up their food instantly and feeding them, or when you have guests over or whatever the case maybe. It is okay, no problem.

The ample amounts of stories and articles I have read about microwaves make me think twice even three times when it comes time to use it. I have heard the radiation that gets onto the food or the unhealthy rays that come from it and then to consume it. I can really do without that appliance. Nothing beats a real home-cooked meal without having to use recipes of microwave use.

Do you use microwaves?
Or would you rather use natural pot/pan cooking and heating methods?
What do you feel about them?

Talin’s Ultimate Couscous Salad Recipe

I would like to introduce to you a very healthy, flavorful, Couscous Salad recipe, which is full of essential nutrients, which will get your taste buds active and will want the whole salad bowl to yourself. Yes, it is that good! Couscous is one of my favorite things to add to vegetables, and add so much flavor with it. Excellent choice to serve at dinner parties, or regular dinners, for lunch, for dinner, anytime. Here is The Ultimate Couscous Salad Recipe.

Couscous Salad Recipe
Serves: 4 or more. depending on how much quantity you would like to prepare. play around with the amount of ingredients to your desire.

Ingredients…
• 1 1/2 to 2 cups pearl couscous
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
• 1 full cucumber, diced (about 1 cup)
• 1 large tomato, diced…. preferably tomato on a vine…
• 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh herbs (any combination of fresh parsley, cilantro, arugula, basil, dill or mint)
• 1/3 cup raisins or more to your tasting
• 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted or not. you can just add them in.
• Freshly ground black pepper and salt

To Prepare follow these instructions…
1. In a large saucepan, bring about 2 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil. Add couscous and cook until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain with a strainer — preferably thin holed strainer so the couscous will not fall through.

2. While the couscous cooks, in a small bowl, mix the oil, mustard, honey, lemon juice and zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
3. Add cooked and drained couscous to a large bowl, and then, pour dressing over warm couscous, mix well. Let it cool completely
4. After cooled completely, Add cucumber, tomato, herbs, raisins and walnuts to the couscous and stir. Taste for seasoning and add salt and/or pepper as needed.
5. Enjoy it when its cold – cover then refrigerate, about 1 hour. Better to eat cool…
Bon Apetit!

Talin’s — Favourite Sweet Tahini Bread Swirls

Many Years ago, I was at my Armenian Community Center and there was a Bazaar like a flea market type of event, and a couple of days before I went and assisted the Armenian Women’s Guild Group to make Sweet Tahini Bread Swirls to sell, So I learned how to make it from the Armenian Ladies and perfected it. So, I decided to write down the recipe to make it at home. I was so glad I did. It is incredibly tasty, and I enjoy making this. Although I have not made it in over a year, but I was thinking about it today, so I want to make it again this week, and Sweet Tahini Swirls are good anytime, any day. You can serve this with Coffee, Tea, Armenian Coffee, or at anytime. You can have it for Breakfast, or for a snack, whenever your heart desires. Well, Here is the recipe for this delicious dessert.

This is counted as 4 Bread Swirls of 16 Cm’s, but you can play around with the amounts according to how many you are making.

CREDITS: http://www.blago.net/baking/bread/lebanese-sweet-tahini-swirls/

Made some modifications, but full credit goes to the site above

Dough:

  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 120 ml lukewarm water
  • 200 gr all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Filling:

  • 4 small tbsp tahini
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4x tsp olive oil
  • 4x tsp cinnamon

Use Flour on countertop or big cutting board to work with the dough and filling.

Make the dough

Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water, and add the sugar and oil. Add the flour, a handful at a time. Quickly knead into a floppy, flexible dough that does not stick to the hands anymore. Leave covered in a bowl for about 2 or 3 hours, to rise. As all the air will be rolled out of it later, the stretchiness of the dough is more important than the amount of air in it.

Follow the Following Steps.

tahini scrolls production

When the dough has had some time to rise, divide it into four balls. Roll out one ball at a time, into a rough rectangle of “pizza thickness” – about 2 or 3 mm (1). Scatter the teaspoon of olive oil over it. I combined the tahin with the sugar, added a teaspoon of finely ground lemon rind (packet) to that, and scattered the somewhat dryer tahin mixture, like crumbs, over the dough surface (2). Dust the tahin-sugar layer with cinnamon. Gently press it flat with the back of a spoon. You’re now ready to roll.

Pre-heat the oven to 190° C. If you use a baking stone, put it in the middle rack.

Dust the worktop with a bit of castor sugar and flour to help with the rolling. Cut squares of baking parchment of about 17 x 17 cm. Roll up the dough rectangle, starting at the longest edge. Roll and pull and gently twist a bit, and the resulting sausage will be much longer, about 40 to 50 cm (4). Taking one end as the center, now turn the sausage in on itself, forming a rolled bun (5). Gently press it flat with your hand, then transfer onto a piece of parchment, and use the rolling pin again to gently roll the bun into a 15cm wide flat circle, about a cm in thickness (6). Prepare as much swirls as your oven can hold in one go, leave the rest covered up.

Using a pizza peel or an extra-wide spatula to support the flat tahini swirls sitting on their separate parchment, quickly transfer them into the oven. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or till parts of the surface have turned a deep golden brown. Get them out and leave them to cool and get nice and crispy on a wire rack.

Have some apple tea to go with that. Their taste is not overly sweet; and I love the combination of crunchiness with that slightly caramelized sesame filling. Roll over Swedish cinnamon buns, these tahini swirls are awesome!

CREDITS: http://www.blago.net/baking/bread/lebanese-sweet-tahini-swirls/

Pasta Lovers Unite – Loving All Kinds

I have been loving pasta for as long as I can remember. I remember when I was 8 years old. I made my very first pasta dish with of course the supervision of my mom. She started getting me in the cooking mode since I was 7 years old and she taught me the basics from making pasta sauce from scratch and how long to boil the pasta for and then as I got older when I was 14 years old, I began to do it all myself without supervision anymore and they love my pasta’s I make. Now I do an assortment. I do lasagna, fettuccine Alfredo and a whole bunch of other styles of Pasta. I love tortellini, rigatoni, fuccilli, elbow macaroni, linguine, and among other really awesome styles. For all those connoisseur’s for pasta, I am sure you can all relate to the passion. I think all of us pasta lovers have this different type of food passion and I am sure all of us can eat this everyday. 

Too many carbs though, but I do not care, Pasta is good for you. You may not believe it, but it really is and a good nutrition factor. There are some people who go overboard and go to extremes when dieting, I believe that nobody should diet. All it is, is to watch your portion control and who cares if you have a little more, but pastas have durum semolina, and all kinds of nutrition packed into it.  God bless this food. :) Spaghetti, Penne Rigate, Tagliatelle, Cannelloni. I have come up with so many recipes, and different styles of how to create and make that perfect sauce, and that perfect blend of tastes. Some can be done with Veggies, an array of meats, Seafood pastas, cheese pastas, pasta salads, Olive oils, vinaigrette,  I would love to get the accessories to make pasta from scratch for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but its so expensive to buy, So for the time being I want to try and do different pastas on my own and get the dough recipes and then cut the dough into Tagliatelle Nests, and get them all pretty. There are also small shells, linguine, and so many several types.

In the world, mostly Italy and few other places, pasta, spaghetti is very well know around the world, and different people make it different ways. what are some of your favourite pasta dishes? What do you work with? I would love to venture off to Italy and go on a Food Trip tour and taste and get the feel of how important Pasta is to those regions and to the cultures. I would love to go on a culinary adventure and get more personal with top chefs, Pasta Experts and so much more. The possibilities are endless and its such a beautiful thing.

  P-A-S-T-A …. yum yum yum. Bon Apetit…..

Talin’s Seasoned Potatoes With Veggies & Chicken Breast

Today, I am going to be introducing you to My recipe of Seasoned Potatoes with Veggies and Chicken Breast Meal. I have been cooking this for a long time since I can remember, and I love to cook this healthy and great meal. The Potatoes I use for this dish are small to medium White Potatoes. This will make about 4 servings. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

8 White Potatoes – Medium and Small or both assorted. – (Make sure you buy the ones without the sandy feeling. Buy the clean White Potatoes where you can just wash them. ) Do not peel off the skin of the Potatoes. — Make sure they are diced and a good size. Depends on your preference..

2 Green Peppers —- washed and chopped . – Make sure there are no seeds from the Green Peppers.

2 Carrots —- Skin Peeled, then washed, then chopped and keep chopping and making sure they are circles.

2 Red Onions —- Chopped in Stir Fry size — Not too big and not too small.

1 Red Pepper —- Chopped and again make sure no seeds from inside.

2 Tsp — of Seasoning Salt

2 – Tsp — of Mushroom or Vegetable Bouillon Mix

2 – tsp of Rosemary or Sage.

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts. Washed

2 tbsp of Chicken Seasoning

1 tsp of Basil

1 tbsp of All purpose seasoning

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To Prepare the Chicken Breast:

In a Oven Pan Spray some Cooking spray, and add about 3 cups of Water.

Then Season your Washed Chicken Breast with the Chicken Seasoning, Basil and All Purpose Seasoning and then immerse them into the water. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees Celsius Convection cooking mode – Then put the Chicken Breasts in the middle of the oven and let them cook – which should take about 1 hour and 5-10 minutes to cook — It will come out tender and beautifully done. Remember Chicken must be cooked well done and thoroughly to prevent food borne illnesses.

To Prepare the Vegetables and Potatoes While the Chicken is being Cooked: I say to start cooking the Veggies about more than half way through when the Chicken is Cooking

in a Wok or Non Stick deep Wok, Add 3 tbsps of Olive Oil — Before the Wok gets hot, put the Washed and Diced potatoes, Let them cook for about 10 minutes on Medium High in between, but make sure they are not too mushy. Add the Carrots, Green and Red peppers, then add just 2 tbsp of water, after that Add the red onions, then add the bouillon mix, seasoning salt, and the rosemary or Sage, and let it cook for about 10-12 minutes on medium heat.

Then afterwards you take out the Chicken Breast that is done and then Plate the Potato and Veggie mix together and there you have it. A Meal for 4  – Health Wise. This is an easy and great meal to serve during the week or weekend, however you prefer. Remember you can always add and subtract the ingredients, you can even put more vegetables like Broccoli, Cauliflower into the mix as well. Depends on your preference. Bon Apetit!

Talin’s Special Pomegranate Vegetable Salad

Pomegranates are one of my favourite fruits to eat and pomegranates can be used in so many ways as juices, a snack, salads and so much more. Pomegranates Originated from Armenia. Even though the Apricot is Armenia’s National fruit, but Pomegranates are equivalent to that. Pomegranates have so much nutrients and health benefits. You can get them at your local grocery store or specialty grocery stores. They are lovely fruits and I like them a lot. Well, here is how you make Talin’s Pomegranate Vegetable Salad.

You will need:

– 1 Red Onion – Chopped into Salad Size…

– 1 or 2 Romaine Lettuce – the full thing —- depends on how many people will be having salad.. Wash the romaine lettuce

– 2-3 Pomegranates — take the red seeds out — first before doing so, wash the pomegranate from the outside….

– Washed 1 Green Pepper — chop into salad size pieces.

– Half of a Cucumber or a whole one — Washed and chopped  into salad size pieces.

– 1 or 2 tomato’s on a vine — washed and chopped into salad sized pieces.

– 2 or 3 Celery Sticks WASHED. Chopped into elbow macaroni like pieces but slightly bigger…..

– 2 Lemons washed skin — Squeezed  ————— Mix this with the 2 ingredients below:

– 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

– 2-3 sprinkles of SEA SALT

—- Optional — You can put Feta Cheese, A little Cracked black pepper, Black Olives…

*****Remember to wash all your ingredients very well and discard the ends.******

To Prepare:

Just incorporate all the salad ingredients into a big salad bowl, then add the pomegranate seeds on top then the Lemon Olive Oil juice, then toss and mix the salad very well until all the ingredients incorporate with each other and there you have it. A HEALTHY SALAD.

Enjoy!!!!