Who Is Anastasia?

My photo
New Castle, Indiana Zone 5, United States
When I was 55, I decided to embrace the things I love and hold precious and dear, regardless of anyone else's thoughts and opinion. I am a visual folk artist who loves flowers - my own flowers, grown and/or painted by me. I love good, hearty, exotic foods, and I love to prepare them myself. I love the secret garden situated in my backyard, regardless of how overgrown and wild it gets. No longer able to afford a vacation, this will have to be it for the time being. In the winter months, I still enjoy it. Anyway, here I am sharing my art, favorite recipes, cocktails, gardening tips, and just my usual vents and bantering. After all, I'm old enough to say whatever the heck I want to now ...


My Book Available on AMAZON

Stacey Torres ART Prints

Stacey Torres ART Prints
A very limited selection of reproductions from my paintings can be found here

July 7, 2013

Easy Seafood Supper

The other evening, I had seafood on my mind, but I wanted something more than a frozen cod "tail" sandwich or a flimsy piece of tilapia ... I wanted something wonderful, and decadent and tasty as all get out.

Since I am now focused on budget friendly, healthier alternatives, I came up with a marvelous meal that you can literally throw together in a few minutes. This dish makes a fabulous presentation and tastes as if you have your own private chef on hand.

It's so easy, it's like a SEAFOOD DUMP CAKE! ... Well, kind of ...

Start with a 9x13" baking dish. I prefer to line mine with foil for easy cleanup. Cut a piece of foil a little more than double the width of the dish (so you will only need one piece - use 1/2 to line the pan, and let the rest over hang ...)

I used an inexpensive (99 cents) box of red beans and rice -- Dump the contents into the bottom of the baking dish (dry), making sure all of the seasonings, rice, beans, etc. are evenly distributed.

Lay 3 (or however many you like) swordfish fillets on top of the rice mixture. I used 3 because that's what was in the package - on sale - Any firm, mild fish will do; that's up to your taste and budget.

Lightly season the fish with Old Bay® Seasoning - not too heavy; remember, the boxed rice is already seasoned.

Slice a small onion and place on top of the fish.

Take a package (less than $3.00 in most stores) of frozen Mussels in the sauce of your choice that has been thawed. Dump the Mussels, sauce and all, on top of the fish. Spread it out nicely. I used a blend from Aldi's that was garlic and tomato.

Add one can of diced tomatoes, plus 1/4 can water. I used one that had garlic, onion and pepper added.

Drizzle with some olive oil.

Don't mix or blend, stir or toss anything - just let everything trickle down on it's own. Cover everything with the foil that was left hanging out. You're going to bake this in a 350F oven for about 40 minutes - Everything will steam together, and it will be fabulous!

March 5, 2013

Oxtails of the Evening

I was inspired by Frank Fiariello to make slow cooked oxtails. Yesterday, he posted a great recipe for special beef stew using a bottle of wine, garlic and peppercorns, served with blackeye peas.

My recipe is similar to his, but with my own Anastasia Flava.

(Do not stir this; just layer as I say, please …)

In a crockpot (empty, please) toss in about 2 to 3 lbs. of CLEANED beef oxtails.
Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce

Peel an entire bulb of garlic and place all of the cloves throughout the meat.
Generously (to taste) grind fresh black peppercorns on top

Add an envelope of dry Onion Soup Mix
Throw in a few (about 3 Bay Leaves) – remember to remove these before serving.

To the bottom of the crockpot, add one 10-1/2 oz. can of Beef Broth AND
An entire bottle of red wine – I used Shiraz, because it was here.

Cover and slow cook on high for 4 hours.
Add one bag of frozen vegetables – any kind.

Cook for one additional hour.

I served this two ways; plain with just the vegetables, and on top of some seasoned blackeye peas. Both were wonderful. Thank you, Frank.

The Backyard --Today's Vacation Spot

The Backyard --Today's Vacation Spot
A simple garden meal in the shade. No, it's not my backyard, but it looks identical to the one I grew up with at our home in Queens. Looking for an original pic of it to post soon!

Old Fashioned Tips