I have been awarded the ONE LOVELY BLOG AWARD

I  received the “One Lovely Blog” Award from Ally’s Kitchen. First off, I have to say that I am so honored that she chose me to give this award to. Ally was one of the very first bloggers who did a “shout out” about my blog to all of her thousands of followers announcing that she was doing an “Ally Rally” and that everyone should follow me, I- really- don’t- know- what- the- heck- I -am- doing- Moore- Or- Less- Cooking- Blog! I fell in love with Ally and  Ally’s photos, recipes and her irresistible love for food. I have also been awarded by Abby from http://www.manilaspoon.com/Manila Spoon. Manila Spoon is a wonderful blog with so many gorgeous recipes! I have just come to know Abby from Manila Spoon and am in awe by all the traveling she has done. She is a successful attorney who has put law on the back burner and has chosen to be a stay at home Mom and food blogger- lucky us! As part of this award I must share some things about myself and then pass on this award to five (5) bloggers, who must do the same. 
 Describe yourself in 7 words…
Happy, Outgoing, Loving, Generous, Protective,  Loyal, Adventurous ( I really like how I chose all positive words about myself, it didn’t specify, so I am not giving out the negative stuff!)
What keeps you up at night?
It used to have Menopausal Symptoms, but now that I had surgery last summer and am taking HR, I sleep like a baby.Usually just hubs snoring or us fighting over the covers keeps me up at night!
Who would you like to be?
There is a saying, “If everyone threw all of their problems in the middle of the circle, you would take your own back”. I gotta be me!!
What scares you
I try not to think about what scares me, I believe that if you project your thoughts you can make them happen, so I try to think positive happy thoughts. All of my years of yoga practice has helped me to work on this, it is a practice after all. I heard someone say, “Worrying is praying for something to come true”. I have to practice not to worry.
What are the best and worst things about blogging?
The Best things about blogging are:
Meeting so many wonderful people. I started blogging in August of 2011 and I have over 800 followers on Facebook and Twitter and My Blog Moore or Less Cooking. I would never have met all of these wonderful foodies if it weren’t for Blogging and Facebook. So, since I have so many foodie friends, I am inspired by their comments and reactions to what I have cooked or baked or created, I have photographed every step, I have written about my experiences and then I get to put it all together and let the world critique my every move and every word. Pretty cool huh? I think it is incredible. Why? Because almost every single follower or friend that I have is very supportive and positive with their feedback and comments. These aren’t friends and family, these are people that I have only met on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Stumblr and Google!
The Worst things about blogging are:  It really is time consuming. Why? Because it is so addictive….there are so many wonderful recipes that I am wanting to share and write about and discuss with all of my new friends and then I look at the clock and 3 hours have passed and I have only posted pictures, but not in the order I imagined, so now I need to go back and rearrange them and then another 3 hours has passed and then, oh no…..I haven’t even written about the recipe. Oh well, there is always tomorrow, got to go make dinner for my family!


What is the last website you looked at?
Six Sister’s Stuff
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it  be? That I were better at letting go, yes, I know this is difficult for me, but at my age, I try not to let things stress me out, I have to take care of myself, so that I am healthy to take care of my family.
Slankets, yes or no? What does this have to do with the price of beans in South America? Yes, I live in Maine for God sakes.
Tell us something  about the person who tagged you…     I met What’s for Dinner? Ally’s Kitchen on Facebook when I first started blogging. I was hesitant to open a public account on Facebook for Moore Or Less Cooking because I am a very private person. One day Ally started an” Ally Rally” to get all of her friends to like me on Facebook,she said,”Let’s get Nettie up to 100 fans.” Every single one of Ally’s followers had such wonderful things to say about Ally, I knew right away how generous and loving she was. Not only is Ally a famous Chef who has been on Master Chef and Gallo Commercials and is an actress and model and yogi, wife, mother and grandmother, she is a spectacular cook, baker and photographer with a positive upbeat personality that you just love talking to anytime. Here are some of What’s for Dinner ? Ally’s Kitchen’s accomplishments and Awards:

Gallo Family Winery Grand Prize Winner Family Recipe Contest

TASTE OF HOME Magazine November 2011
Featured on inside cover

LENOX 1-2-3 Recipe Contest 2011 Winner

Examiner.com

Ocean Spray Grand Prize Winner 2011

The Five Bloggers that I am awarding this One Lovely Awardto are:

  1.  Hillary Baldwin Baking Bad
  2. Debi Rogers Recipes For My Boys
  3. Marcy Elkin Hausman ,Blog Of A Perimenopausal Woman…When I Remember
  4. Nel  The PaperCup Kitchen
  5. Deb Debz Delicious Meals
    This post has been  linked up to these wonderful blogs!

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Chocolate Banana Birthday Cake

This is a very special birthday cake for a very special girl who turned 18 years old. It’s not every day that you turn 18 years old, so you need to have a very special cake. Most kids that I know request chocolate as a main ingredient in cookies and cakes, but let me tell you this is a double chocolate cake, with extra chocolaty goodness. The birthday girl loved my Chocolate Macadamia Nut Banana Bread so much that she requested it for her birthday cake. Of course I was thrilled and honored to make whatever she requested, but a bread for your birthday? I wasn’t sure, so I thought and I thought and I went through every recipe of every blogger that I know looking for the perfect Chocolate Banana Cake, and low and behold, I found Dragon’s Kitchen Chocolate Banana Cake! It sounded absolutely delicious and perfect for the Birthday Girl. So on this special day I created an amazing cake, step by step, it came out like perfection. I was swimming in the scent of chocolate aromatherapy…….heavenly. I skipped around the kitchen so pleased with myself that she would love her cake. The Birthday Girl’s  Nonna arrived with candles and delivered her cake right to her. The phone rang with a very excited young lady on the other end, exclaiming with glee that it was perfect and lots of thank yous.
One piece of advice: Allow Bundt Cake to cool completely before turning out of bundt pan.
Had a hard time deciding which side to frost.
I chose this side.
Chocolate Glaze dripping everywhere, I mean everywhere…..free tastes!!
I took this incredible picture of Nonna and myself, obviously,  I have to stick with food photos!!

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup best-quality cocoa
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
4 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Glaze:
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Generously grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.

2. In a bowl, sift flour with baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa; set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until light in color and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar. Add butter and vanilla. Beat until well blended.
4. With mixer at low speed, beat in the sifted dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream. Fold bananas and melted chocolate into the cake batter; thoroughly combine.

5. Spoon cake batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

6. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a cooling rack and allow the cake to cool completely.

7. While the cake is cooling, prepare the chocolate glaze. Heat the cream until it just comes to a boil.

8. Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Set aside until the cake is completely cooled.

9. When the cake is completely cooled, cover the top of the cake and sides with the glaze. Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour to set the glaze.   This recipe has been linked up to these wonderful blogs!
Mommys Sweet Confessions
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Pasta and Bean Soup ( Pasta E Fagioli) with Ham and Escarole

February 4th is National Homemade Soup Day and my dear Blogger friend,Michaela from Affair From The Heart Food Blog http://anaffairfromtheheart.blogspot.com/ is having a soup supper recipe round up. She was so kind to invite me to her virtual soup feast. This is the recipe that  I posted on Facebook . I had to post one of my favorite soups, Pasta Fagioli Soup ( Pasta Bean Soup). Some recipes for Pasta Fagioli simply include pasta and beans as the ingredients with garlic, but I like to add ham and Escarole to my Pasta Fagiloi soup. Seriously, I like to add lots of veggies to my soups, the more the merrier, I feel better knowing that my kids are getting at least one serving of  veggies, as teenagers, they are choosing to load up on carbs, so I try to have Protein and veggies for our dinner meal choice.One of my favorite hearty winter soups is this Pasta Fagioli Soup with Ham and Escarole.This is a whole -meal soup that draws its hearty peasant flavor from beans, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, ham, tiny pasta, and escarole. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is a delicious addition over the soup. Being Italian, I like to make an assortment of Italian dishes, my favorite past time is reading cookbooks filled with authentic Italian recipes. I fell in love with this soup when I visited abroad in Lecce one summer. I was traveling with a fiend and we were on a super budget, probably $5 a day. Her mother was a massage therapist and traveled all over the world. My friend and I spent time in Rome and then we were going to Lecce to meet her mother. She had told us that her friend’s were going on holiday and we could stay in their home. After traveling by boat then train, then hitching to Lecce, I felt like I was getting really run down, I started burning up with a fever, then I started shivering, I just wanted to lie down. We arrived at our new best friends home with open arms and brought to a huge guest room overlooking a vineyard, the sun was just starting to set, the golden orange glow lulled me into the king size bed draping with white down blankets and pillows. Our friends gave me a whole garlic head and told me to eat it, RAW. Worn down, I agreed, plus some other concoction that tasted like fuel oil, not that I have ever ingested fuel oil… I laid my head down and didn’t get up for 24 hours. After awakening, I dragged my body outside to feel the sunshine on my face. I was brought an espresso and a bowl of the most amazing tasting soup, lovingly prepared by angels. One taste of the soup, I knew that all was right in my world. Even though I smelled like an Italian sausage, I could force a smile on my face and the word, ” Gracie ” dripped out from my lips. When I prepare Pasta Fagioli Soup, I am brought back to a remarkable summer spent in Europe. Eat every meal like it is your first! Abundanza! A Familia! Buon Appetito!!
In a 6 quart pan, combine dried beans and about 2 inches covering the water, bring to a boil. Continue boiling for 2 minutes, then remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour ( or if you prefer cover beans with the water and let stand overnight.)
Mince 3-4 cloves of garlic and saute in 1 tablespoon Olive Oil until soft and golden brown.
Add one chopped onion to the garlic. Saute until soft and translucent.
Hello beautiful garlic and onions, you know you are the star of the show.
Add chopped celery and carrots, saute for a couple minutes.
These are my basic ingredients for most soups that I make, they give such a great flavor for so many soup bases.
Place a ham bone in the pot with the beans. Cover with 8 cups of water.
Add garlic, onion, carrots and veggie mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, covered, until beans are tender (2 to 21/2 hours). Lift out ham and discard bone; coarsely chop ham. Return ham to soup pot.
Saute 1 head of chopped Escarole, add  to soup pot.
Cook 1 pound Orzo in salted boiling water until pasta is aldente ( perfectly cooked but not overly soft, translated means, ” to the tooth”), add to soup pot. Add one carton of chicken broth. Turn heat up to warm the soup.
I love listening to  “That’s Amore” when making Pasta Fagiole Soup….Lyrics to That’s Amore:
(In Napoli where love is king
When boy meets girl here’s what they say)


When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie
That’s amore
When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
That’s amore
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you’ll sing Vita Bella
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella


When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fagiole
That’s amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You’re in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you’re not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
Lyrics www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/dean_martin/
That’s amore


When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie
That’s amore
When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
That’s amore
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you’ll sing Vita Bella
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella


When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fagiole
That’s amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You’re in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you’re not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
That’s amore
Lucky fella


When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fagiole
That’s amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You’re in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you’re not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
That’s amore, (amore)
That’s amore!! Buon Apetito!! Enjoy Pasta Fagiole!! I love you Big Guy, Deano THAT’S AMORE YOUTUBE:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iiajp9g3c8s
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Slightly adapted from the  Sunset Italian Cooking Cookbook           This recipe has been linked up to these wonderful blogs!

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