Saturday, June 27, 2015


 The staple cereal of North Africa, made from fine semolina.  The minuscule pellets are steamed over the pot in which the meat and vegetables are cooking or, for sweet couscous, over water, then mixed with sugar, nuts and fruits.

Monday, June 22, 2015


Two-Ingredient Soda Pop Cupcakes

Two-Ingredient Soda Pop Cupcakes
  • Prep Time 10 min
  • Total Time 1 hr 45 min
  • Servings 24


1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ white cake mix
1 can (12 oz) carbonated beverage of choice


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
  • In large bowl, beat dry cake mix and carbonated beverage with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping side of bowl. Divide batter among cups.
  • Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove to cooling rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. If desired, frost with Betty Crocker™ frosting.

Saturday, June 20, 2015


This blend of roasted dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sesame seeds and sumac is found in many Middle Eastern kitchens.  Za'atar is traditionally sprinkled on toast spread with ricotta or try it tossed ith roasted potato wedges.

Friday, June 19, 2015


Potatoes, Onion and Peppers

Set oven to 350.

3 small potatoes sliced – not too thin
1 small onion chunked or sliced (your choice)
1-2 tbsp fresh rosemary or dried
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground pepper

A small bag of frozen peppers was cut up and added.

Mix liberally with olive oil. Put in baking dish.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until potatoes are tender.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Easy Homemade Applesauce

6-8 apples, peeled, cored, coarsely cut up
½ C sugar
¼ C brown sugar
¾ to 1 C water
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon (to taste)
Cinnamon stick broken up - optional (wondered what to do with these)
½ C cranberries - optional (had some frozen)

Put all ingredients into a heavy duty pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. I used a potato masher to mash the apples and cranberries as they cooked. Remember to remove the pieces of cinnamon stick.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015


Lazy Day Braised Pot Roast

4 lb boneless chuck roast, trim fat and blot dry
½ tsp salt
4 large carrots cut into 3-inch lengths
4 large potatoes, peel and quarter
1 large onion, quarter
2 bay leaves
3 C water
½ C cider vinegar
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp all-purpose flour

  1. Place roast in slow cooker and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add carrots, potatoes, onion, bay leaves. Pour water and vinegar over meat and vegetables. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

  2. Transfer meat and vegetables to heated platter and cover. Turn cooker to HIGH. You will have about 3 cups of liquid. In a small bowl, mash the butter and flour together to make a beurre manié.

    OK this sounds like something Julia Child might use (maybe she did) but it's not hard to do. Beurre manié is just an uncooked paste of flour and butter that thickens the thinnest of sauces. Put equal amounts of soft butter and flour in a bowl or small food processor and use a fork or pulsing motion, to mash together until the mixture forms a semi-firm mass. Add to the hot liquid in the cooker, stir with a whisk until it melts and the liquid thickens. Turn cooker to HIGH re-cover and cook about 10-15 min. Pour over the meat and vegetables and serve the remainder in a bowl

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


Vegetable SoupGet out your favorite soup pot and put in 2-3 tbsp olive oil

Add and cook until tender
1 medium chopped onion
1 C carrots, cut up
1 C celery, cut up
2 C frozen tomatoes or a 28 oz can
1 C peeled and chopped potatoes
4 cans low sodium chicken and beef broth

Add seasonings to taste – some choices:
Salt & pepper
Oregano, Basil , Parsley, bay leaves

Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until potatoes are tender (30 min.).

Extras to add – your choice(s):Zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 C green beans cut into pieces or canned beans
Handful of spaghetti, broken up - any other short pasta

Simmer until pasta is cooked. Remove soup from heat. Stir in coarsely grated Parmesan cheese or grated Mozzarella - your choice.

Monday, June 15, 2015


I tried chili for the first time about two months ago.  I know... I led a deprived life.  It was good.  This recipe sounds good and easy  to make.  And it doesn't have beans which I'm not supposed to eat.  I'm going to try it.  Maybe served over noodles?


3 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chop coarsely
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, ¼ inch diced
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, ¼ inch diced
2 tbsp garlic, chop fine
1 lb sweet sausage, remove from casing (optional)
2 lb ground beef
½ C tomato paste
1 ½ tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more)
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 cans (20 oz each) canned tomatoes, drained - reserve juice
½ C dry red wine
1 tsp salt – or to taste
½ C chopped fresh parsley or cilantro – dry OK (see note)

Grated cheddar, Monterrey Jack, or whatever you prefer
Sour cream (plain yogurt if you prefer)
Thinly sliced scallions

  1. Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell peppers. Cook until soft (about 10 min.) Add garlic and cook 2 min. more.
  2. Crumble sausage meat into pot and brown well. Stir to break up and cook 10-15 min. Add beef and cook until browned (15 min. more). Drain off most of fat.
  3. Add tomato paste, cocoa powder, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Cook over low heat 2 min.
  4. Add tomatoes with 1 C of reserved juices and red wine. Simmer uncovered over medium heat 15 min. Stir in salt and parsley/cilantro. Serve in bowls with choice of garnishes.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Acidity, salt and horseradish bring out full flavors in food.

Michael Symon
Iron Chef America

Read more at:
Michael Symon's Tip

Saturday, June 13, 2015


These are available in both green and yellow varieties; they have a sweet, strong pea flavor.  Best known for pea and ham soup, split peas can also be found in Middle Eastern soups and stews.

Friday, June 12, 2015


Banana Bread

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 C sugar
3 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ cup milk
1 egg
2-3 ripe mashed bananas
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Heat oven to 350° F then grease and flour 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
  1. Measure ingredients into large mixer bowl; beat on medium speed for a minute, scraping side and bottom of bowl. Pour into pan.
  2. Bake 55 to 65 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  3. Remove from pan and cool thoroughly before cutting (if you can wait that long).

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Pork Chops & Mustard-Herb Sauce

Here's an easy recipe for pork chops with mustard-herb sauce. Pour stock into the frying pan after cooking to deglaze the bottom of the pan. All that's needed for the sauce is a tablespoon of mustard and fresh herbs. Serves 4.

1 tbsp butter
4 pork chops, 1 in. thick (2 lbs total)
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground black pepper
3 tbsp chopped onion
3/4 C chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp Dijon mustard or grainy mustard
1 1/2 tbsp mixed, chopped fresh herbs - parsley, tarragon, chives, rosemary
  1. Heat butter over moderately low heat in large frying pan. Season pork chops with salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
  2. Add chops to pan and sauté 7 minutes. Turn and cook until browned and done to medium, about 7 min. longer. Remove chops and keep warm.
  3. Add onion to pan and cook, stir until soft (about 3 min.). Add stock and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 min.). Stir in mustard, herbs, and 1/8 tsp pepper. Plate chops and pour sauce over them.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini (without peeling)
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 or 2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
Grease pans. Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350°F for about 50 minutes. When bread is removed from oven, wrap in aluminum foil or cover with a towel to hold in moisture.Enjoy!!!Makes 2 bread loaves.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


I love making bread.  I love the smell  of baking bread.  I love the taste of homemade bread.  What could be better?  And contrary  to popular belief, it's not really that hard to make.


Stir in large mixing bowl
2 C bread flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 pkg quick-rising active dry yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
Add1 C very warm water
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp fresh rosemary

Mix by hand for 1 minute. Slowly add 1/4 cup at a time until dough is moist but not sticky.
3/4 to 1 C bread flour

Knead for 8-10 minutes by hand until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to oiled bowl and turn it over once to coat with oil. Cover bowl loosely with a towel or plastic wrap (oil first). Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume. Note: rising time depends on temperature of the dough and the temperature where it's rising.  I usually put mine in my oven and the pilot does the rest.
When it's doubled in volume, punch it down using a balled fist. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 450. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and dust sparingly with corn meal. Shape dough into a rounded ball. Mark an X in the center using a sharp knife. Brush top lightly with a beaten egg if you like a browned crust.
Bake for 10 min. at 450 then lower temp to 350 and bake for an additional 30 min. (until bottom of bread sounds hollow when tapped). Remove to a rack and let cool completely before cutting (if you can wait that long).

Monday, June 8, 2015


I told you I would post easy recipes.  I told you it would be for the home cook who needs a fast dinner.  Well I don't think you can get faster or easier than this recipe.

1 head cauliflower
1/8 skim milk
Salt & pepper

Cook cauliflower until fork tender. Place cauliflower (in pieces), skim milk, salt and pepper in blender. Whip until smooth. Pour cauliflower into small baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika and bake in hot oven until bubbly.

Saturday, June 6, 2015


A purple-red spice ground from the berries of a small Mediterranean shrub.  Adds a tart, lemony flavor to dips and dressings and goes well with meat, chicken and fish, tomato and avocado.

Friday, June 5, 2015



1 ½ pounds ground chuck, browned and drained. (I often use ground turkey)
1 standard sized can of diced tomatoes
1 cup crushed tomatoes (I put the rest in a Ziploc bag and in the freezer for later use)
1 pkg. dry chili seasoning
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
2 cups water
Salt to taste

Brown the ground chuck and drain. Add the seasoning mix, tomatoes, beans and water to the pan and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour (or longer). Taste and add salt if necessary. Serve topped with shredded cheese, or sour cream and avocado slices.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Image result for deviled eggs

Deviled Eggs

This recipe is for 6 eggs which makes 12 deviled eggs. If you want to make 24 deviled eggs, cook 12 eggs and double the rest of the ingredients.

6 hard boiled eggs, cooled and cut in half
2 tsp. yellow mustard (you can use spicy mustard for a slightly different taste)
2 tsp. white vinegar (red wine vinegar will also work, but will change the color of the eggs a little bit)
2 T. mayonnaise (I use light, you can also use Miracle Whip if you like the taste of it)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Place the cooked yolks in a bowl with a pinch of salt (I use kosher salt) and mash with a fork until all large lumps are gone. Add vinegar, mustard and mayonnaise and stir rapidly with a fork to blend. Add a little black pepper and mix. Spoon filling into empty egg whites. Be careful not to fill them too full or you will run out of filling. You can serve as is, or sprinkle with paprika or top with olive slices for a “party” look.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015



Chicken Noodle Soup


1 whole chicken, cut in pieces. Do not use liver, gizzard, or heart for soup.
1 cup chopped carrots (baby carrots or whole carrots peeled)
1 cup chopped celery
2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
2 bay leaves
15 cups water (I have a big pot)
7 oz. dry egg noodles (I try to buy the most homemade looking I can find)

Rinse the chicken and place in large pot. If you are cooking for one or two people, and don’t have a large pot, just use one or two pieces of chicken and cover it with water. You will need to cut down the other ingredients as well, including the salt. You really can’t mess this up. Cover the chicken with the 15 cups of water, add the carrots, celery, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and let cook for about 2 hours until the chicken is very tender. Remove the chicken from the pot to cool. Remove the bay leaves.

At this point in the process, I remove 5 cups of the broth and put it in a freezer container. Let it cool, and freeze it. You will be very glad to have it on a different night. Bring the remaining broth back to a boil, and stir in the noodles. Reduce to simmer and cover. The package should give you the amount of time for your particular noodles to cook (mine took 20 minutes). While the noodles are cooking, remove the chicken from the bones and skin. Cut or shred into bite size pieces. Measure 2 cups of chicken and add to the cooked noodles and broth. Add salt and pepper as needed. The remaining chicken can be placed in freezer bags and frozen, or you may refrigerate it for sandwiches the next day.

At a later date you can thaw the frozen broth, add the frozen chicken and simply place in a pan and bring to a simmer. Add a handful of rice, pasta or noodles and you have a second meal.
Tip:  Bay leaves are not poisonous but they do have sharp edges and can be a choking hazard. Make sure you always remove them before serving the food.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


Stuffed ShellsThis recipe will make 4 servings (2 shells each) and fits in a 9x9 baking dish, or small rectangular pan. If you want to make a 9x13 or larger-double the ingredients. I make a meatless version of this meal. I don’t add meat to the sauce, because so many people don’t eat meat these days. You may brown 1 pound of ground beef or turkey until done, drain and add to the sauce before putting the dish together if you want to. You can also substitute frozen cheese ravioli or tortellini for the shells if you can’t get the shells at your local store.

8 Frozen Stuffed Pasta Shells (available in the freezer section of the grocery store in a bag, or sometimes in a box)
1 26 oz. (or larger) can or jar of prepared spaghetti sauce (Any brand will do, and any flavor you like will work)
12 oz. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (It also works just fine with cheddar or a blend)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I generally spray a little Pam in my pan to make washing it easier, it isn’t necessary. Spoon a thin layer of spaghetti sauce into the bottom of the pan. Place the frozen shells (open side up) into the pan, spacing them slightly apart. Spoon the remaining spaghetti sauce over the shells, covering them completely. Cover pan tightly with foil and place in pre-heated oven for 1 hour. Remove foil and sprinkle cheese over the top, return to oven for just about 10 minutes until cheese is melted.

I like to serve this with hot bread, and a green salad. If I am taking it to someone’s home as a gift, I often just pick up a loaf of bread from the grocery bakery to take with it. I assume they can make their own salad. It is embarrassing how many people request “the recipe” for this dish. They are always surprised it was so easy to prepare.

Monday, June 1, 2015


Who doesn’t love making a full dinner all in one dish? This casserole is packed with chicken and potatoes (and bacon), so it’s got great flavor and is really the only thing you need to fill your family up in the evening; serve it by itself or with a side salad or veggie and you’re good to go!
We love dishes that take care of multiple elements of a meal, so this casserole is perfect for that, plus it’s got a rich blend of spices that really make this chicken mouthwateringly good. Drizzle some of that leftover seasoning on to the potatoes, add some bacon, and this is seriously delicious! You can make this for dinner any day of the week, just know that you don’t have to dedicate a crazy amount of time to working in the kitchen in order to get a great meal—try this and see for yourself!
Tasty Dinner Casserole: Bacon Baked Chicken And Potatoes

Bacon Chicken Potato Casserole

Serves 8
  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs (or breasts)
  • 8 potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup crispy bacon, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400º F and lightly grease a baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Place potatoes (in an even layer) in baking dish and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Season both sides of chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together garlic powder, paprika and cayenne. Take each piece of chicken and dredge it in the spice mixture.
  5. Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown chicken on both sides.
  6. Transfer to baking dish and rest chicken on top of potatoes.
  7. Whisk remaining olive oil into spice mixture and mix until smooth. Then drizzle over browned chicken and potatoes. Top with crumbled bacon.
  8. Place baking dish in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked through and potatoes are tender.
  9. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from Food