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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Spanakopita Roll Ups

This is a quicker easier way to get the taste of spanakopita without all the layering.  Served with a nice greek salad it is a perfect dinner any time of the year.

1 packet frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed to remove water
8 oz. feta
15 oz.fresh ricotta
4 sheets phyllo dough
1/4 c. sun dried tomatoes
2 T. melted butter
MIx feta, spinach, tomatoes, and ricotta.  Lay 1 sheet phyllo dough on counter top.  Brush with some melted butter. Lay another sheet on top.  Cut into 4 squares.  Put 1/8 ricotta mixture along one edge .
Roll up and place seam side down on a parchment lined or silipat covered baking sheet.  Brush with a little more butter.  Continue with remainind dough and ricotta mixture until you have 8 rolls.  Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.  Serve with taziki sauce.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hashbrowns, Spinach and Tomato Pie

This is one of those recipes that could be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Tonight at our house it is breakfast for dinner.  Who doesn't love that?  The original recipe for this dish calls for mozzarella cheese, but I use feta as I like feta and eggs together.  You could use whatever you like.  I am going to sprinkle some chopped kalamata olives on top.  You could go spicy with Monterey Jack cheese and jalapenos on top.  Be creative!  Any way you make it will be great!

  • 2 cups Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes, thawed
  • 1 cup cheese
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups packed fresh spinach
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk or half and half
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Spray to coat a pie plate.  Put hash browns into the bottom and press down.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes.  In a skillet heat 1 T. oil, add half the spinach, the tomatoes and the garlic.  Saute until the spinach wilts, adding more spinach into the pan as you have room.  After 10 minutes remove the pie plate from the oven, and sprinkle the cheese over the hash browns.  Put the spinach mixture over the cheese.  Whisk the eggs and milk and nutmeg and pour over the vegetables.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Rainbow Pad Thai

This is a nice all veggie dinner that is great with just a few slices of fruit on the side.  If you don't have a spiralizer you can just cut the veggie into thin strips.

  • 1/2 box rice noodles
  • 1 zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, spiralized or cut thin
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup peanuts, chopped
  • ½ cup fresh herbs like cilantro, green onions, and basil, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste 
Bring 3 c. water to boil in a large saucepan.  Add noodles, take off heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain.   Put 1 T. oil in a large skillet.  Saute the zucchini, pepper, carrot and onion for 3 minutes.  Remove to a bowl.  Put another T. of oil in the skillet and add noodles.  Saute for 1 minute.  Add sauce and stir one minute.  Add egg and cook for another minute.  Mix in vegetables and serve.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

3 Berry Clafouliti

This is a delicious french cake that is equally good for both dessert or breakfast.  Now my sweetheart loves dessert for breakfast, so I had to make one for him.  You can use any type of fruit you want in this recipe, I just happened to have a lot of berries in my refrigertor.  It is best mixed in a food processor or blender.  When you add the flour mix just a very short time just long enough to mix the ingredients in order to keep the cake tender.  I baked mine in a cast iron skillet but you could also bake it in a baking pan.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
12 ounces fresh fruit, such as cherries, berries, or stone fruit
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 /4 teaspoon fine salt
Powdered sugar, for serving (optional) 

Use butter on pan, coating all sides and bottom.  Mix milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a food processor or blender until sugar dissolves.  Add in flour, salt and lemon zest.  Mix only until just incoroporated.  Pour into pan.  Place a cooky sheet on the middle rack of an oven preheated to 400 degrees.  Bake for 50 minutes.  Cool, sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, and serve.

Vegetable Galette

This dish is a basic baked pie dough covered in pesto and vegetables.  Melt on a little cheese and it is done.  Simple for a nice lunch or dinner  You can use whatever mix of vegetables you have on hand or like.  I have used a mix of summer vegetables.

1 small zucchini sliced thin
1/4 onion, sliced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 carrots, shredded
2 tomatoes, sliced
small container of pesto
1/4 c. cheese of your choice
For the piecrust mix in a food processor:
1 1/2 c. flour or pastry flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. butter
Add 1/4 c. cold water.  Blend until dough forms.  Shape into a disc shape, wrap in saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Roll out into a large circle.  Spread pesto onto dough leaving 1" border all the way around.

Arrange vegetables on top of pesto.  Fold dough over edges of vegetables.

 Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Let set 10 minutes before eating. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Chillaquiles Nachos

This recipe is a Hello Fresh recipe.  They don't title it as nachos..but really that is what it is.  However; it come together quick and tastes  so good that you really should give it a try.  Perfect with a margarita on a hot day.

1/4  white onion diced
1/3-1/2 bag nacho chips
2 c. grated cheddar cheese or 1 c. cheddar plus 1 c. crumbled queso cheese
10  black olives sliced
1 adobo pepper
1 can black beans, drained
1 T. oil
1 roma tomato, chopped
2 T. sour cream
3 radishes, sliced thin
1 lime, juiced
Place radishes in a bowl and cover with half the lime juice.
Heat oil in an oven proof saucepan.  Saute onion and tomato for 1 minute.  Add black beans and adobo.  Stir until pepper becomes broken down and more like a sauce.  Remove from pan.  In the same pan cover the bottom with tortilla chips.  Top with bean mixture, then cheeses.  Bake at 400 just until cheese melts.  Top with radishes, sour cream and olives. Sprinkle remaining lime juice over top.


This is one of those simple Mama makes at home Mexican recipe.  It is quick to make, only uses a few ingredients, and is delicious. 

1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 small jalapeno, diced
1 round queso cheese
1/2 c. chopped white onion
corn tortillas
Mix queso and all but 2 T. onion together in a bowl.
Combine tomatoes, jalapeno and 2 T. onion.  Heat to boiling.  Puree smooth.  This is now your sauce.
Heat corn tortillas by either frying in oil, heating on a dry skillet, or microwaving in a damp towel.
Dip both sides of tortilla in sauce.  Set on a platter, put several tablespoons of cheese mixture inside. Fold over to cover, like a taco shape.  Sprinkle more queso mixture on top.  When all tortillas are assembled microwave or heat in oven until cheese melts.  Top with sliced avocado.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Crab Cake Louis Salad

Yesterday I posted a recipe for some very delicious crab cakes with lemon aioli.  Now there are a few leftover in the refrigerator, and it is very hot here today.  Too hot to want to cook.  So how about a nice salad with those crab cakes on top?  A meal fit for a queen...or king.  You will notice I have not really listed amounts.  Just add as much as you want to each salad--it can have lots and be a big dinner salad, or just make a smaller one if you are not all that hungry.

1-2 crab cakes (see posted recipe)/salad
romaine lettuce
black olives
1 hard boiled egg/salad
chopped celery
sliced cucumber
thousand island dressing

Put all ingredients in individual serving/salad bowls and serve.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Crab Macaroni and Cheese

Recently my son and his fiancee brought us a big bag of fresh crab.  Today was cracking and cleaning day with a nice pile of cooked crab just ready to eat.  As much as I like butter, I am not a fan of crab dipped in butter.  Instead I like it in salads, crab cakes, and for today...mac and cheese!

  • 1½ cups of dry macaroni
  • 2/3 c.  crab meat
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1½ cups of half and half
  • 4 oz fresh Gruyere cheese
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt, fresh cracked pepper (to taste)
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • pinch of nutmeg.
Grate cheeses and set aside.  Cook macaroni in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Drain.  Butter or spray a small casserole dish.  In a medium sized saucepan melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour and then the half and half.  Whisk for several minutes.  Stir in cheeses and allow to melt.  Remove from heat and add a pinch of nutmeg.  Mix in drained macaroni and crab.  Pour into prepared casserole dish.  Top with bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Crab Cakes with Lemon Aioli

Today is crabapooloza at my house.  Busy, busy using up the fresh cooked crab.  These crab cakes can be made in small or medium sizes.  They are fabulous on their own, but topped with the aioli they are even better.  You can even serve them on top of a great salad.

For the crab cakes:
1/2 lb  crabmeat, cleaned
1/2 cup plain panko 
1/8 cup mayonnaise
1 green onion,  sliced
31/2 teaspoons chile garlic sauce(optional- add or delete to your taste)
1 egg, beaten
T. olive oil 
Combine crab, panko, mayonnaise, onion, chile, and egg.  Form into small or medium patties.  Heat oil in a saucepan and cook crab cakes 3-4 minutes per side.
Lemon Aioli:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
12 teaspoon finely chopped garlic 
Mix all ingredients and serve on top of crab cake.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Roasted Asparagus with Gruyere

This is such a simple recipe..with such a big taste.  My local Safeway employee in the cheese department shared this recipe with me and I rushed right home to try it.  Yum!

1/2# asparagus spears
1/2-2/3 c. grated gruyere cheese
salt and pepper
1 T. olive oil

Place asparagus on a baking sheet or pan that you have covered with parchment, aluminum foil or a silipat mat.  Sprinkle olive oil over the top of the asparagus.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese and bake just until the cheese melts.

Hawaiian Teriyaki Tofu Bowls

This is a nice rice bowl full of delicious veggies.   If you do not want to eat tofu, you could bump up the veggies and it would still be great.

  • 1 14. oz. container cubed firm tofu
  • 2 c. cooked brow rice
  • 1 jar teriyaki sauce-your choice or make your own
  • Oil for cooking
  • bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ pineapple, cored and sliced
  • 4 T. coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 2 T. fresh ginger, minced
  1. Drain the tofu by covering a plate with several layers of paper towels.  Set tofu on top of the plate and cover with several more paper towels.  Place a heavy object on top and let sit for 30 minutes.  Remove paper towels.  Put the tofu into a large shallow bowl or baking dish and cover with teriyaki sauce.  Allow to marinate for 30 or more minutes.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, heat a T. of oil. Add bell peppers, onions, ginger and zucchini; stir. Cook for 5-­7 minutes, until vegetables are your desired tenderness. Set aside in a bowl or on plate.
  3. Add a little more oil to the skillet; add the tofu. Pan­ fry for about 2­-3 minutes, until crispy; flip the tofu chunks, and cook on the other side for an additional 2­-3 minutes. Repeat until the tofu is crispy.
  4. To arrange a bowl, start with a cup of cooked rice,  put vegetables, and tofu in piles on top. Top with pineapple slices, additional teriyaki sauce, and coconut.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Stacked Ratatouille

Ratatouille is usually a stew based consistency that is cooked for a long period of time.  This ratatouille is stacked in a baking dish covered in cheese, baked for an hour to make a final dish of lovely vegetarian deliciousness.  This could make a great side dish as well.

  1. 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  2. 2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  4. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  5. 1 t. basil
  6. 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
  7. 1/4  medium white or red onion, sliced
  8. 1 large zucchini, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups slices)
  9. 1 large japanese eggplant, sliced (about 3 cups slices)
  10. 3 large roma tomatoes, sliced (about 3 cups slices)
  11. 2 small yellow squash, sliced
  12. 1 tube polenta, sliced
  13.  1 c. grated parmesan
  14. 1 c. grated mozzaarella
In a saucepan, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat.  Put in enough polenta slices to fill pan.  Cook slices for 1 minute on each side.  Cook remaining polenta.  Place on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
Place eggplant on a paper towel.  Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 20 minutes.

Mix tomatoes, 1 T. olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil and herbs de provence.  Put sauce in bottom of baking dish.  Laying vegetables and polenta on sides layer until pan is full. (See picture).

 Sprinkle with cheeses and bake at 375 for 60 minutes.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Blackberry Pie

It's that time of year when the blackberries are ready to be picked and I need to make my sweetheart his annual blackberry pie.  This pie is simple, only a few ingredients, and delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

8 c. blackberries
1 c. sugar
3 T. flour
Pie crust:  2 -one for the bottom crust and one for the top

Mix the blackberries, sugar and flour.  Put the bottom crust in a pie plate.  Fill with blackberry mixture.  Top with second crust.  Seal edges and cut slits in top crust.  Bake at 425 for 50-60 minutes.

Mexican Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

These are easy to make and a delicious alternative burger.  They are loaded with protein from the quinoa and beans.  We had them for a nice filling lunch but they would also make a great dinner.  You can always make the patties up, freeze them and then have them for a quick dinner when you are rushed for time.

1 c. cooked quinoa
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 red onion, chopped
 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt,
 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 large egg
2/3 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 chipotle in adobo, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup oat flour ( put a little bit more than 1/4 c. of rolled oats in a food processor and blend)

In a saucepan heat the oil, add the onion and garlic and saute until tender.  Add the beans to the pan and mash the beans until they only have a few chunks.  Put remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then add in the beans and onion mixture.  Divide into 1/6's.  Make each 1/6 into a patty.  Heat 1 T. oil in the same saucepan.  Cook each burger about 3-4 minutes on each side.  If desired top with cheese.

Place a burger in a bun topped with sliced tomato and some lettuce.
1 avocado
1 T. lime juice
1 T. sour cream
Put this mixture on top of the burgers with lettuce and tomato and serve.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Banh Mi Sandwhich

If you do not want a vegan sandwich, just substitute chicken or pork for the tofu.
Do chua (pickles)
1 cup julienned daikon
1 cup julienned carrots
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
6 to 8 ounces extra-firm tofu (half a standard package)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 bulbs lemongrass, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
Soy sauce or Maggi seasoning sauce (optional)
Additional fillings and garnishes
1 medium cucumber, sliced lengthwise
1 or 2 jalapeƱo peppers, sliced
Small handful cilantro
For the do chua (pickles)
In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, vinegar, and water. Add daikon and carrots and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Drain completely before using.
For the tofu
Cut tofu into 1/4-inch-thick slices and press between clean kitchen towels or paper towels to rid of excess water. In a shallow dish, combine soy sauce, vegetable oil, sesame oil, lemongrass, and garlic. Place tofu in dish, gently coat slices with marinade, and arrange so they overlap as little as possible. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Cook in a skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp on each side.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Crunchy Asian Salad

This is a nice salad to serve with some spring rolls or egg rolls.  It has lots of fresh vegetables and a wonderful peanut dressing.

  • For the dressing:  Whisk together the following ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey 
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • For the salad:  Toss these ingredients and top with dressing
  • 6 cups baby spinach leaves or other greens, washed, and dried
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 large cucumber or 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts or cashews, chopped in half
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Crispy Salt and Vinegar Potatoes

Greek Green Bean Salad

  • It's that time of year when the green beans are fresh and ready to be picked.  There are many bean salad recipes using green beans.  This salad is a bit different than the traditional 3 bean salad.  It makes a nice accompaniment at a BBQ.

  • 6 oz green beans, trimmed + halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup halved cheery tomatoes
  • 3 TBSP crumbled feta
  • 1/4 c. fresh chopped parsley
  • 3 TBSP  olive oil
  • 1 TBSP  vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic,  minced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh or dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dijon mustard
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, parsley, oregano, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper and set aside to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. Trim ends off green beans and cut in half, if desired.
  3. Fill a medium pot with water and set to boil on high.
  4. Set aside a medium bowl of ice water.
  5. Once water is at a rolling boil, add green beans and cook for 3-5 minutes or until they reach your ideal tenderness. I like mine al dente; softened but still crisp!
  6. Drain and immediately submerge beans in ice bath to halt the cooking process.
  7. Combine green beans with red pepper and tomatoes and toss with dressing to coat.
  8. Top with crumbled feta and fresh parsley to garnish.
  9. Dive in now or set aside for later! This salad can be made in advance and left out at room temperature for several hours without the feta and up to 4 hours with the feta. For saucier green beans, allow salad to sit and soak up the delicious dressing, marinade-style! Or you can do what I did and scarf some right away while leaving the rest to marinate a bit. Enjoy!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Blackberry Spinach Salad

I love the summer when fresh berries are just waiting to be picked.  Blackberries are ripe on the vines in our yard,  and I easily picked a quart today.  Now to use them.  How about a lovely spinach salad with just a bit of almonds, feta and onion?  Perfect accompaniment for any type of dinner.

  • 6-8 ounces Spinach
  • ¼ C thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 C fresh blackberries
  • ⅓ C crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ C  slivered almonds
  • Combine and toss all salad ingredients
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • ⅛ C balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 T sugar, agave or honey
  •  Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and pour over salad