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Saturday, July 4, 2015

New Potato and Green Bean Salad

This is a recipe I clipped out of Bon Appetite many years ago.  It is great for a day like today when it is hot and you are going to a picnic or mayo in this recipe.  It's tangy balsamic/olive oil dressing is a nice change from a mayo based potato salad.  The fresh basil adds a delightful twist.

1 1/2# small red potatoes
3/4# haricot verts or fresh green beans
1/4 red onion, diced
1/4 c. chopped basil

Put potatoes in water and bring to a boil.  Add green beans into the water.  Boil for 10-12 minutes.
Drain and cool.  Chop potatoes into quarters and beans in 1/2s. Combine green beans, potatoes, onions and basil in a bowl.  Add dressing:

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 . olive oi
2 T. dijon mustard
dash Worcestershire sauce
2 T. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced

Monday, June 29, 2015

Vietnamese Shrimp Rolls in Rice Paper

If you have never made spring rolls with rice paper you should definitely give it a try.  For a hot summer day, it requires no stove or grilling.  Here is how you work with rice papers:
To start they look like this:  all hard like plastic

Place the paper into a container of very warm water for about 5-10 seconds. Now it will look like this:

Place on a damp towel.  Put your filling ingredients on the bottom third of the paper:

Roll up by pulling up the bottom to cover the ingredients, fold in the sides and roll up:

Filling ingredients:
cooked shrimp, chicken or tofu
sprigs of cilantro and or mint
cold rice noodles
thinly sliced or spiralized carrot
thinly sliced cabbage and or lettuce leaves
thinly sliced radish
thinly slices or spiralized cucumber

Serve with a nice peanut, sweet and sour or gyoza dipping sauce.

Crunchy Asian Salad with Peanut Sauce

The hot weather continues and so do my offerings of cool meals with salad.  This is a wonderful crunchy veggie filled salad that is serve with a peanut sauce.  I will be serving it with spring rolls made with rice papers.   More on that in another post.  If peanut sauce is not your thing, this could be served with a purchased asian sesame dressing.  Your choice.

  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves or other greens, washed, and dried
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly slicedor diced
  • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 large cucumber or 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped in half
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted
Combine all ingredients.  Toss with purchased Asian dressing or try this peanut dressing:
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger or 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use gluten free Tamari soy sauce for gluten free version)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or more, if you like it sweeter)
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted 
Combine all ingredients, whisking well or shaking in a bottle or jar.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

  • Need something light for a hot day dinner?  The temperatures are rising here in the Pacific NW and it's time to keep the kitchen cool.

  • 6 oz penne pasta, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups grilled, chopped chicken
  • 4 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 (medium size) cucumber, chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup croutons (optional)
  • Caesar salad dressing, to taste
combine all ingredients.  Toss and serve.  So easy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork

This recipe comes from the blog, The Charlatan.  It needs to marinate so give yourself overnight or at least 2 hours for this step.  Now I know it's hot.  This recipe calls for the meat to be cooked in a very hot oven.  To turn down the heat factor, you could cook it overnight at 250.  Then just reheat before serving.  You could use a crock pot, but you won't get the yummy crust on the roast.  Or you could bake it early in the morning, and heat it up later.  Just some ideas.  Leftovers make fabulous cuban sandwiches.

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced oregano (2 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 and 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, in one piece*
Marinade for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.  Bake at 425 for 30 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 and cook another hour and thirty minutes.  Let rest 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tiny Lemon Raspberry Tarts

Ok, I had some leftover lemon curd, and some leftover pie dough and a little basket of raspberries...instant delicious dessert!

If you don't have these things leftover in your fridge and you want to do this oh-so-easy,  run to your local grocery store and buy
1 jar lemon curd
1 box fresh raspberries
1 pre-made pie crust

Roll out the pie crust.  Cut in small circles that will fit into a  mini muffin tin.  Put in tin and bake at 400 for about 10 minutes.  cool and fill with lemon curd.  Place a raspberry on top.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

3 Berry Pie

Tomorrow is Father's Day and I am in charge of desserts at the family BBQ.  I made up this pie with some frozen berries I am trying to use up from last summer's harvest, but you could use fresh berries too.

6 cups of 3 kinds of berries:  I used raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
1 c. sugar
3 T. flour

Combine well. 

Make up a two crust pie crust.  Put one in the pan. Top with berries then the remaining pie crust.  Cut slits.  Bake at 425 for 50 minutes.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Slow Cooker Carne Asada with Peppers and Onions

Yesterday I made the 5 minute Layered Southwest Salad posted earlier this week on the blog for a potluck at my sweetheart's work.  I came home with about half the salad.  So tonight I stuck this in the crock pot and plan to serve it with the leftover salad.  Yum!   This is a great recipe for a hot summer night or for one of those days you are not going to have a lot of time to cook in the evening.  Just stick it in the crock pot and dinner is almost ready when you come home.  So nice to walk into the house and smell dinner almost ready to serve.

1 3-4# beef roast
1 T. oregano
1 T. cumin
1 T. chili powder
2 T. olive oil
2 C. beef or vegetable broth
2 red pepppers, quartered
1/2 onion, sliced

Place all ingredients into the crockpot and cook 7-9 hours on low.  Serve in flour tortillas with sour cream and cilantro.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Today is the end of the school year BBQ at my sweetheart's work.  I have a reputation as a good cook to uphold at this event every year.  So I need to make something delicious.  To celebrate the start of summer vacation, I chose these cookies.  The original recipe came from Redbook magazine and calls for store-bought lemon curd.  I did make my own lemon curd, but I am sure store bought would work just as well.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup lemon curd, store bought
Cream butter and sugar well.   Beat in egg yolks,  one at a time.  Add lemon zest and juice and beat well.  Add salt and flour.  Roll into balls and place on a parchment covered cooky sheet. Press a fingertip into the top of each cooky making a well for the lemon curd.   Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.  Remove from oven, fill wells with lemon curd.  Return to oven and bake for 2 more minutes to set the curd.  Allow to cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hawowi Meatballs

This recipe is from the cookbook,  "Looneyspoons."  The authors offer it as a kabob.  But we had kabobs last night.  It works just as well as a dish made up on the stove.  Here is how I did it:

1# ground beef
1 c. bread crumbs
Mix together and form into meatballs.  Bake on a cooky sheet at 350 for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile ..

1 red and 1 yellow pepper
1/4 onion

Saute in a fry pan with 1 T. oil.  Then add in the sauce ingredients:
 2/3 c. your favorite barbeque sauce
10 t. soy sauce
1 t. powdered ginger
4 t. honey'
2 t. sesame oil.

When the meatballs are done add to the sauce mixture to coat well.  Serve over hot cooked rice.

Auntie Crae's Plantation Chew Cookies

A cookie without flour?  This is it.  With a caramely taste from the brown sugar, cornflakes and coconut these are delicious.

  • ½ cup margarine or butter
  • 2 ¼ cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups cornflakes, NOT crushed( I used Special K)
  • 1 ¼ cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 ½ cups walnut crumbs

Mix margarine or butter and sugar.  Cream well.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Cream well again.  Put in cereal, coconut and walnuts.  Beat on high for 10 minutes.  Put ping pong size balls onto parchment paper on cooky sheets.  Press down slightly.  Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.  Let set when the come out of the oven-they will be soft.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Coriander and Lemon Chicken Kabobs

This makes a nice light summer meal pared with a salad.  Just allow enough time to marinate the meat and you have a quick and easy summer meal.

10 cherry tomatoes
1 zucchini cut into slices
10 button mushrooms
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 lemon
2 T. olive oil
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 t. coriander

Zest lemon, put zest in a bowl.  Juice lemon and add to bowl with zest.  Whisk in olive oil, red pepper flakes and coriander.  Add the chicken and refrigerate for at least one hour.  Put on shish kabob skewers, layering chicken with zucchini slices, mushrooms and tomatoes.


French Country Salad

Do you get in a salad rut?  I mean you always have the same old things in the refrigerator for salad --and you rely on those a lot?  Here is an easy salad with some different ingredients if you are ready to mix it up just a little.  This recipe can be used with any salad dressing you like.

4 c. mixed greens
2 c. steamed asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
1 c. chopped pecans
1 c. diced beets
1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese

Toss all ingredients in a salad bowl and serve with your favorite dressing.

Friday, June 12, 2015

5 Minute Southwest Layered Salad

Well, OK, it might take you a little more than 5 minutes to put this together..but not much.  This salad come together fast!  Perfect for a night after work or a hot evening when you want to keep the kitchen cool.  This version is meatless but you could easily ad any eat of your choice.  I think it would be even better with some avocado and black olives on top.

6 c. bite-sized lettuce pieces
1 can black beans, drained
1 c. salsa
1 c . corn
1 c. ranch dressing
2 c. grated cheddar cheese
 tortilla chips

Layer ingredients in a salad bowl  in the order listed.  Put more chips on a plate, or in small bowls and serve salad over these chips.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles

Yes, I finally gave in and purchased a spiralizer.  I have just been seeing too many great veggie fresh recipes using one.  I got mine at Bed, Bath and Beyond...but you can purchase them almost anywhere.  Mine has 3 blades.   I tried this recipe tonight using both zucchini and yellow squash because that is what I had on hand.  It was delcious and so quick to make.  A great warm weather recipe because the cooking goes really fast.  The recipe comes from the blog, "Damned Delicious."

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 medium-sized zucchini, and/or yellow squash, spiralized
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
 Spiralize squash.  Put in a colander and sprinkle with salt.  Allow to sit about 20-30 minutes.  Squeeze out any of the liquid.

Melt butter in a large skillet.  Add shrimp and garlic.. Cook just until shrimp turn pink.  Now add in the red pepper flakes, chicken stock and lemon juice.  Mix well.  Stir in zucchini noodles.  Cook 2 more minutes.  Serve with a sprinkle of parsley on top.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Peanut Butter Brownie Cups

Yesterday my son sent me a post of these begging me to make up a batch for him.  So today that is what I did.  They were so extremely simple to make I thought I would share it for all those cooks who are just starting out or baking challenged.

  • 1 box of your favorite brownie mix
  • 1/2-3/4  cup of peanut butter
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • peanut butter morsal chips
Mix up the brownie mix according to the directions on the box.  Spray with Pam a muffin/cupcake pan.  Put the made up brownie batter into the muffins cups.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  After you take them out of the oven, use a spoon to make an indention in the middle of each brownie.  Microwave the peanut butter for about 20 seconds.  Spoon this into the indentation you made in the brownies.  Sprinkle with peanut butter and chocolate chips.  Set back in the oven for a minute to allow the chips to melt a bit.  Allow to cool in the pan.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Rosemary Garlic Pork Loin

Today I had the day off and so I made up this roast for dinner.  I served it with baked sweet potatoes and a nice spinach salad.

1 pork loin
4 t. chopped rosemary
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. olive oil
1 T. salt
1/4 c. white wine
Mix rosemary, garlic, salt and olive oil.  Make several cuts into roast.  Spread herb mixture into cuts and over surface of the roast.
Place roast on aluminum foil in roasting pan.   Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.  Turn roast and cook an additional 25 minutes.  Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.  Pour any juices into a sauce pan with 1/4 c. white wine.  Warm this and serve over meat.

New England Lobster Rolls

Last summer while visiting my aunt and uncle in Syracuse, New York, I attended a backyard barbeque featuring hot dogs with a special red sauce served on lobster rolls.  Now I am from the west oast where lobster rolls are not avaialable.  A few days later my husband ordered an actual lobster roll served on...a new england lobster roll.  There was this roll again!  I wanted to take some home in my suitcase which my husband quickly nixed.   I looked online.  Not available.  Then this last week I got and email from King Arthur Flour introducing their lobster roll pan!  I quickly ordered one and anxiously awaited its arrival.  This weekend the pan came and at last I made my own lobster rolls.  They were so easy with the pan and came out perfectly. 
Here they are:

If you want to order your own pan go to  and you are on your way.
Here is the recipe that was included with the pan:

3 c. flour
2 t. yeast
2 T. sugar
1/4 c. nonfat dry milk
2/3 c. instant mashed potato flakes
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T. butter, softened
1 egg
1 c. warm water.

Dissolve yeast in warm water, whisking until dissolved.  Ass in sugar, milf powder, slat, butter and egg.  Mix in potato flakes.  Add flour.  Knead until dough is smooth.  Allow dough to rise in a greased bowl until nearly double-about one hour.  Punch down dough.  Spread in place in lightly greased bun pan.  Stretch dough to the corners.  Place a greased cooky sheet on top of the bun pan and weigh it down.  I used a cast iron skillet.  Let rise about 20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375.
Place bun pan, still with cooky sheet and weight on top into the oven.  Bake for 18 minutes.  Remove the cover and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Allow buns to cool in the pan.  Turn out onto a cutting board.   With rounded sides up, slice the buns apart.  Then slice buns almost to the bottom thru the middle of each bun.  Butter sides of buns and toast on a grill or under a broiler.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hello Fresh Chicken Artichoke Cassoulet

I am continuing to try the wonderful recipes on the hello fresh website.  They offer a variety of healthy, easy to prepare meals--with the option of having the ingredients mailed to your home to prepare, or buying the ingredients yourself.  One of the great things about Hello Fresh is the ingredients are common and easily found.  Today was a gray misty day in the Northwest so I came home and made this recipe.  I served it with some sourdough bread and a spinach salad.  This recipe serves two but could be easily doubled or even tripled.

2 chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/4 red onion sliced
10 grape tomatoes, halved
1 t. thyme
4 T. olive oil
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
1 can cannellini beans, drained
1 lemon
1/4 c. panko crumbs
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
2 T. chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced

Combine the chicken breasts with the juice from the lemon, and zest from the lemon.
Heat 2 T. of the oil in a skillet and cook the chicken until tender.   Place the grape tomatoes, onion,
thyme, and 1 t. olive oil in a baking dish.  Bake at 425 until roasted-about 15 minutes.  Set aside.

In a baking dish combine the artichoke hearts, beans, and chicken mixture.  Add in roasted tomatoes and onions.

In a small bowl combine panko crumbs, parsley, mozzarella cheese and 2 t. olive oil.  Spoon over chicken mixture.

Bake until topping is browned, about 5-7 minutes.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


A yummy German recipe that is pure comfort food.  This is best served with some thick sliced potatoes fried with bacon and onion, spatzel, mashed potatoes or even egg noodles.    The gravy for this is wonderful and would be even better with a little dash of either vinegar or whole grain mustard.   
3 thick cut boneless pork chops
5 slices of bacon, chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil, plus more if necessary
1/2 cup flour, for dredging
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup bread crumbs or pankco crumbs
4 tbsp Butter
4 tbsp Flour
3 cups beef broth
Salt and Pepper
Cut each chop through the middle to create two thinner chops, giving you a total of 6 when you are done.  Begin frying the bacon until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan, reserving bacon fat in pan.  Add mushrooms to pan and cook for about 5-10 minutes.  Remove mushrooms from pan.
Put eggs into a bowl, flour into another bowl, and bread crumbs into a third bowl.  Dip chops first into flour, then egg, then crumbs.  Put chop into hot pan with bacon fat and any additional olive oil needed and fry on each side for about 5 minutes per side.  When all chops have been cooked, remove from pan.  Scrape out any scraps left in the pan.  Add butter, melt and then add flour.  Whisk together then add in beef broth.  Whisk til thickened then add back in bacon, and mushrooms.  Serve this gravy over the chops.