Sweet and Sour Carrots

Sweet and Sour Carrots

 

Reminiscent of Mama Tosca’s! It was a sad day when I found myself moving to Bakersfield, California … following my husband’s job.  I was leaving my hometown, the only place I knew, and moving to what was often a joke in the latest Hollywood film. Half the family decided to stay behind and we never quite recovered. I’d been used to 105 temperatures of the summer, one of the biggest complaints about Bakersfield. So, I was already ahead. We settled in quickly and other than the reputation I wasn’t quite sure what was negative. As my husband used to say, You always try to make it a good thing. How was I going to do that this time. Well, remember my love is food and food is love!  I was going to find the best food in Bakersfield! Right out my backdoor was a brand new restaurant, Mama Tosca’s Ristorante Italiano. Nothing like pasta to make a place homey and comfortable. It became our very favorite. Now, I’m back in my hometown after almost 30 years and I never quite understood what was supposed to be negative there. I found many more wonderfully delicious places to eat. Basque Food, oh my, no place better! And one of the local hangouts, Luigi’s since 1910 … Meet the Who’s Who and there are some! Luigi’s could always bring a smile … always packed with people sitting tightly together … and the food! So, if you find yourself traveling through Bakersfield you’ve got to stop at one of these places. Yep! They’re still in business.

One of the dishes brought to your table at Mama Tosca’s when you first arrived was marinated carrots. After years of business it is no longer part of their menu. It was my three year old daughter’s favorite at this restaurant. I’ve been trying to duplicate it for years but because of my fading memory (or my palate’s) I can’t quite get it. Oh, btw it was never sprinkled with parsley (nor bell pepper added) as it is here. My children didn’t like “the green stuff.” This recipe is again one of my mother’s but it doesn’t approach the taste of Mama Tosca’s. It’s good, just different. Surprisingly, the recipe most like Mama’s is my French Dressing, here. Yes, it absolutely works Missy. Just for fun check out my daughter, here. She’s definitely grown up.

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French Dressing

French Dressing

 

 

This recipe is simple enough but why would you use this recipe, say, opposed to this French Dressing. Well, it’s a little heavier in taste. And because of the addition of a secret ingredient this recipe makes a gob. Not a recipe you’ll find in the latest gourmet magazines. First, it’s decades old and secondly it has an ingredient the gourmet might be embarrassed to use. Try this though … at least once … you’ll be sold!

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Curry Cole Slaw

Curry Cole Slaw

Cole Slaw is picnic food, a side with ribs, BBQ chicken, trip-tip, hamburgers, hot dogs, or Santa Maria Beans. What most recipes for this salad have in common is sweetness … often too sweet. Curry Slaw is only slightly sweet, and with the addition of peanuts and bacon crumbles it’s more than a side. The curry isn’t overwhelming. In fact, you may want to sprinkle a little extra on each serving. A simple Cole Slaw recipe that will bring lots of compliments!

 

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Bean Salad

Bean SaladYep, this is another old recipe. Mom’s salad recipes are on my mind as Mother’s Day approaches. Of course our eating habits are quite different from the 60’s. I’ve made a few changes to this recipe but it can even be brought closer to date by simply adding blanched green & yellow beans instead of the canned variety … Just as mom’s Layered Salad might better include baby spinach leaves or a spring lettuce combination instead of iceberg to make it more palatable for many. Those are easy fixes. But sometimes it’s just fun to “remember when” and leave the recipe as it was … Especially on Mother’s Day! OK, I have to admit 3/4 cup sugar in the dressing is way too much. Yikes!

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Salads and Dressings

Vegetable Salads for Days

Salads and DressingsToday begins my Vegetable Salads for Days posts. I’m starting with recipes of times past (mom’s) and moving forward to more calorie-concious salads & dressings. All are great and have a place. This layered salad is perfect especially in this single serving jar. All the ingredients can be visualized … Important if your family is like ours. Not everyone likes all the ingredients. These single servings are fun and can be individualized. Truly very little extra time on your part. Especially great for those barbecues or picnics!

 

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TriTip Salad Dinner

One Dish Meal

TriTip Salad

Not only is this a one dish meal, it’s prepared together, roasted tritip and vegetables. My family … we love a vegetable. This delicious main dish meal is so easy and foolproof. It’s perfect for family and guests. Pop this into the oven … it cooks quickly and is perfect for the summer days that are just too hot for outdoors. 108 degrees here today.  Add some asparagus to the red potatoes, red onion and red bells to balance the color. Yes, I was advised this might have just a  little too much red going on. You just can’t see the arugula. Five of us had no difficulty eating all of this delicious meal. Give it a try!

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Warm Chicken Salad

Chicken and Rice SaladDelicious option for that leftover chicken and rice you had last night. A side dish but can be your main dish especially for that week-end brunch. I love it hot or cold (refrigerated after baking). Was this the rice dish that made such a hit the fall of ’69? Just seems like yesterday the family was gathering for the first born. Thankfully for me <smile> he looks a lot younger than he is. If you need a make ahead dish this is perfect! If you just love the combination of chicken and rice you can’t pass this up!

 

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