Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bell Pepper Frames

Easy to make
Cute and a Bit Different

Bell Pepper Frames


Spray cooking oil
4 slices of  red pepper, no seeds
4 eggs
1/2 cup Mexican cheese
salt and pepper to taste


Clean out one or two red bell peppers and cut off both top and bottoms.

Slice about 1/4 inch pieces completely intact.

Spray skillet with oil and cook both sides of pepper rings until slightly blackened.

Drop egg into the center of each pepper frame and cook until it sets.

Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle shredded Mexican cheese on top and cook for another 2 minutes or to doneness you prefer in an egg.

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to:                   Full Plate Thursday       Foodie Friday with the Seaman Mom      Weekend Social Link Part             Weekend Bites    

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cabbage Muffins

Over the years, I have made many kind of muffins but not enough of the savory ones.  When I came across this recipe in "The Best of the Family Table", I jumped to make them.  The recipes in this book come from a weekly magazine, called Mispacha which means Family.  One section in it is dedicated to cooking and recipes and I have found that there are some original and tasty ones there.

Cabbage is one of those veggies that I think, you either love or hate.  I love it in almost any form.  It is great in salads, soups, baked goods, side dishes and mains.  It can be mixed with a variety of other ingredients.

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable.  I included a list from the World's Healthiest Foods.  Sometimes it is hard to understand how vegetables are related, certainly not by taste or crunchiness.  I read that originally cruciferous veggies were chosen by their appearance of a cross (crucifix) but that has been changing.

Cruciferous Vegetables
Bok choy
Brussels sprouts
Chinese cabbage
Collard greens
Daikon radish
Land cress
Mustard greens
Shepherd's purse

Cabbage is a very healthy vegetable. It is the vegetable highest in Vitamin A, darotenoids, Vitamin C, folic acid and fiber. Sounds good to me. Please go to the site above to get more detailed information on cabbage. You just might eat more of it after reading the article.

Cabbage Muffins  adapted from The Best of Family Table


1 lb  white shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix 

4 onions, diced and sautéed 

8 eggs 
2 cups gluten-free flour
3/4 cup water 
1/3  cup oil 
2 soup bouillons
pepper, to taste 
white sesame seeds, for topping


Preheat oven to 350°F 

Mix all ingredients together well by hand in a large bowl. 

Spray muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray and fill with cabbage mixture. 

Decorate tops of muffins with white sesame seeds as shown. Bake for 30 minutes.

Eat and enjoy.
This recipe appeared in Mishpacha Magazine, May 2012.

Linked to: Treasure Box Tuesday      Two Cup Tuesday              Fat Tuesday       Hearth and Soul Hop       Real Food Recipe Round Up       Tuesday’s Table      Simple Supper                  Totally Talented Tuesday                         Full Plate Thursday       Foodie Friday with the Seaman Mom      Weekend Social Link Part             Weekend Bites    

Menu Plan Monday - Chanukah

This is an interesting week with Chanukah starting on Tuesday night.  The Jewish holidays start at night and end at night.  One of the foods we eat is the potato latke.  I found this video on how to make latkes that you might enjoy. There are other Chanukah videos on that page also.               

Chanukah is 8 days long and begins on the 25th evening of the Jewish month of Kislev.  It is a celebration of light over darkness.

A small group of men defeated one of the strongest armies in the world and drove the Greeks from the land. They reclaimed the Holy temple.  When they went to light the menorah in the Temple, the discovered only one cruse of pure oil.  This one day supply burned for a full 8 days until new oil could be prepared.

In our homes, we light menorahs to publicize these miracles which is why Chanukah came to be.                               


Chanukah customs include eating foods fried in oil -- latkes (potato pancakes) and (doughnuts). We play with the dreidel   and the give Chanukah gelt, gifts of money, to children.  The actual custom is to give this gelt (money) rather than toys and other gifts but some do both or give gifts alone.

We give the little ones toys and the older kids, a silver dollar each.  This includes our older married children who should be rich by now with their yearly silver adding up.  

Family parties are often part of the fun and we host this inviting all the kids, grandkids and great grandkids who live within a reasonable distance.  In our family, each of the wives makes a dish and we have dairy.  Of course both latkes and doughnuts grace the tables.  So does, lasagna, quiche, salads and so much more.  It is a time to enjoy each other.

Sunday - Sabbath leftover

Monday - Eggs in Bell Peppers

Tuesday - Asian Greens with "oyster" - I have to figure what I can use instead of this) Sauce

Wednesday -  Salmon with Cabbage Muffins and Potato Latkes

Thursday - Savory Ricotta Loaf with Onion Kugel and Zucchini Latkes

Friday - Sesame Chicken  -  Latkes  - Spinach Kugel

Saturday - Shabbos -  Chulent

Check out Menu Plan Monday for interesting menus.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Smooth Parsnip and Apple Soup

Not too long ago, I made a soup that featured parsnips and we loved it so much that I decided to make another one using a different recipe.  This time, I called upon Martha Stewart for my resource and we liked this one also but I don't think quite as much as my first one which used coconut milk.

Smooth Parsnip and Apple Soup  adapted from Martha Stewart

1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
3 prepared sliced leeks
4 parsnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
3 carrots, sliced
1/2 onion that was left over, sliced
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium baking potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper


Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. 

Add leeks. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes.

Add parsnips, apples, potato, carrots, broth, and 4 cups water. 

Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Using immersion blender, mix until smooth.  I missed a few pieceses of vegetables which floated around in our soup.

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to:  See Ya in the Gumbo    Treasure Box Tuesday      Two Cup Tuesday              Fat Tuesday       Hearth and Soul Hop       Real Food Recipe Round Up       Tuesday’s Table 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff

This turned out to be so delicious, I want to put it, on the weekly menu.  It was filled with flavor from such basic spice and a tiny bit of ketchup.  I rarely use ketchup in anything.  Am I missing something.

I actually frowned when I saw the ingredients but  stayed with the recipe because it was called EASY and easy was what I wanted.  Easy it was to make and as I said, it is a tasty treat for a quick dinner.

I knew that this would be waiting to be made when I came home from work so I asked hubby to prep a little for me.  It was great.  He cleaned the mushrooms, put up water for the noodles and browned and drained the chopped meat.  Maybe, that was why it was so easy to make.  Regardless, I plan to put this on the menu quite often.

Easy Ground Beef Stroganoff (adapted from cooks


1 pound lean ground beef 
1 large onion, chopped 
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons brown rice flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1  teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon ketchup 
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt 
Freshly ground pepper to taste 
1 small package of mushrooms, washed and rough chopped
1 cup sour cream (I used Tofutti sour cream)
1 (12-ounce) package rice noodles, cooked according to package directions


In large skillet, brown the ground beef in small chunk-like pieces and drain off any excess grease.

Add onions  to ground beef mixture and cook just until onion has softened.

Add the oil; stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Slowly stir in broth.

Add the remaining ingredients, except for the sour cream. 

Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer on low until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.

Stir in sour cream and heat through, but do not boil.

Serve over hot, cooked noodles.

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to:  Full Plate Thursday       Foodie Friday with the Seaman Mom          Weekend Bites        
   Foodie Friends Friday      See Ya in the Gumbo     Simple Supper                  Totally Talented Tuesday 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cream of Celery and Asparagus Soup - Cooking Inspired

We were at my daughter-in-law's a few months ago and she had made asparagus soup.  There are two foods, I have not been able to get my husband to taste, since we were first married and they are tuna fish and asparagus.

My daughter-in-law, who is more like a daughter, offered another choice for hubby.  I decided to be deceitful, something I am not at all good at, and told her just not to tell him what kind of soup it was.

Of course, through the soup course, I kept looking at my husband with a grin on my face, watching him eat the soup.  I must have asked him a half a dozen times, if he liked the soup.  I told you, I was not good at being deceitful.

Finally, I could not keep it in and after he responded he liked it and went and got himself seconds, I told him the truth.  He is a good sport and he finished his second bowl, as we all watched, in awe.

When, I saw this recipe, I almost passed it by.  My mind sees asparagus and keeps going.  Still, I do have the memory of the last asparagus soup and what a success it was, so I decided to play the game again.  He repeated his happiness in eating it and once again asparagus was just right.

I am not saying that asparagus on a plate would work as a dining choice but this soup stays on the menu and no one is going to complain.

Just a note - I am not a great fan of celery and I loved this also.

This week, I am cooking a number of recipes from Cooking Inspired, a book, I truly love to read and to cook from.  It is the kind of book, I don't put stickies in because most pages would have one.  I could open the book and most likely be happy with any recipe.

This is the second soup, I have made from the book, this week and both were delicious.

Cream of Celery and Asparagus Soup - adapted from Cooking Inspired


2 tablespoons olive oil 
3 leeks, washed well and thinly sliced 
 6 celery stalks, cut into chunks
1 bunch (approximately 12 spears) asparagus, peeled 
1 small (about 3/4 lb) celery root, peeled and diced 
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste 
5–6 cups vegetable broth
½ cup quick cooking oats 
¾ tsp dried thyme 


Heat the oil in a large pot and sauté the leeks until softened. 

While the leeks are cooking, prepare the other vegetables.

Add the celery, asparagus and celery root, and sauté gently until just softened (about 10 minutes).

Add the chicken stock and enough water to cover the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.

 Bring to a boil and then lower the flame to medium-low and cook for 45 minutes until all the vegetables are very soft. 

Purée with an immersion blender. 

 Bring the soup  back to a boil and add the oats and thyme. 

Cook over medium heat for another 10 minutes and purée again with an immersion blender to avoid any lumps. 

Adjust the seasoning and serve with the croutons. (Estee has a recipe for the croutons in her book, Cooking Inspired)

Linked to:  Full Plate Thursday       Foodie Friday with the Seaman Mom          Weekend Bites        
   Foodie Friends Friday     Simple Supper                  Totally Talented Tuesday 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Patty Pan Eggplant

The above would make a lunch worth, sitting down, with a glass of wine, to enjoy.  OK, if you are not a fan of eggplant, maybe this wouldn't work but for the rest of us, this is to enjoy.  It is kind of cute with the yellow patty pan, near the top, of the stack.

I have come across, recently, a few people who were cooking with patty pan squash and I decided, just for the cute factor, I had to do something with them.  I had planned to make eggplant Parmesan for dinner and wanted to figure a way to include my little patty pan friends.

My great decision was to use a tomato as a buffer between the eggplant and patty pan and top it with cheese.   I was going to use goat cheese but I didn't have enough for all the stacks, so I changed my plan and used mozzarella.  

I didn't know what to expect and I am happy to say, I was pleased with the results.  Not only, is this a luncheon dish, it is a good as a side dish.  

Patty Pan Eggplant


olive oil as needed
5 yellow patty pan squash, sliced into 3 pieces
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 eggplant, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 scallion, snipped
mozzarella (I am not sure how much, I used.  It was enough to put a little on top of each patty pan.)


Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet.

Place 4 slices of eggplant  in pan and cook for 2 minutes on both side.  Eggplant should brown and get soft.

Drain and replace with 4 more pieces until all the pieces are cooked.

On a cookie sheet on aluminum foil (sprayed), place eggplant pieces very carefully.  They fall apart if not lifted with respect.

On top of each eggplant slice, place a slice of tomato followed by a slice of patty pan.
Top with cheese and scallions.

Bake at 450 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is browning and all the vegetables are cooked.

I chose not to use spices but feel free to add anything you like.  Eat and enjoy.

Linked to:  Full Plate Thursday       Foodie Friday with the Seaman Mom          Weekend Bites        
   Foodie Friends Friday      See Ya in the Gumbo    Treasure Box Tuesday      Two Cup Tuesday              Fat Tuesday       Hearth and Soul Hop       Real Food Recipe Round Up       Tuesday’s Table 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wholesome Chunky Vegetable Soup - Cooking Inspired

Is there such a thing as a bad soup?  If so, I have not found it unless you want to count some of the over salted soup served at some weddings.  Salt is supposed to bring out the flavor, not cover it up, yet I have had soups that tasted like pure salt with a hint of flavor.

Wholesome Chunky Vegetable Soup - Cooking Inspired cookbook  - Estee Kafra


2 medium onions, diced
2 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut in chunks
6 stalks celery, cut in chunks
6 large carrots, cut in chunks
1 pepper (any color - I used red), seeded and cut in chunks
2 parsnips, cut into chunks
12 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup minced fresh dill (or 3 cubes or 1 Tbsp dried dill)
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed and drained - Hubby can't have the gluten
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 19-oz can baked beans


Place all cubed vegetables in the slow cooker and let cook on high for about 1 hour. Add the broth, plus more water if necessary to cover all the vegetables, along with dill, barley, red lentils, salt, and pepper.

Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, until vegetables are tender.

Add the baked beans about 20 minutes before serving.

I was tempted to blend this until it was smooth but hubby had requested a soup with veggies floating around.  It was good.  The parsnips and sweet potato gave it a bit of sweetness that added to the more generalized flavors.

Linked to: See Ya at the Gumbo                  Treasure Box Tuesday        Fat Tuesday       Hearth and Soul Hop       Real Food Recipe Round Up    In and Out of the Kitchen     Tuesday’s Table     Simple Supper                 

Cooking Inspired

Menu Plan Monday for the week of November 24/14

I am going back to something, I used to do but dropped it for practicality.   I am going to Cook the Book.  Each week, I am going to cook a few recipes from a specified book.

It failed for me, last time, because I wanted to cook the book daily and that is not possible.  I think, if I choose 2 or 3 recipes a week or more, if I choose to, this may work out.  I am blessed with many cookbooks and I want to use some of them that have been sitting on the shelf.

The cookbook, I chose for this week is not one of those shelf sitters.  This book is found on my kitchen table quite often and it gets picked up and used.  I don't remember a failure from the book.  It is called Cooking Inspired by Estee Kafra.  When I first got the book, I sat down with it and by the time I got up, I knew, I was buying it for several friends and relatives.  In fact, I think it is on sale now and I should pick up a few more.

One of the major joys of this book are the photos.  I was analyzing them.  I have books that have the most beautiful photos and yet, I am not thrilled with them  What makes this book different.  It is that you can really see the finished product with the individual aspects clearly shown.  This is a photo from the book of the recipe for tonight, Wholesome Chunky Vegetable Soup.  The different vegetables and barley clearly stand out.  Not only is the photo attractive, you know what you will have after cooking it.  This photo can be found at Kosher Scoop.

Check out my blog after Sunday to see how my version turns out.  I would be happy with these results.  Now for my week's plans.

Sunday - Wholesome Chunky Vegetable Soup.  (This morning, hubby requested a meatless vegetable soup and here it is on page 116.)

Monday - I can't decide between Estee's Salmon with Herbed Breadcrumbs or her Walnut-crusted Salmon.  Since, I have all the ingredients, on hand, I think I can make this a last minute decision, without compromising my plan.

Tuesday - Eggplant with Tomato, Basil and Parmesan Risotto - 

Wednesday - Cream of Celery and Asparagus Soup - Cooking Inspired

Thursday - Kosher Beef Stroganoff - Since we do not mix meat and milk products, regular stroganoff is out of the question but with so many faux products on the shelves, kosher cooking can get texture and taste as is proven by this recipe but using Tofutti sour cream for the dairy version.

Friday - Shabbos night -  Grilled Chicken Breasts with Chimmichuri Sauce, (Cooking Inspired) with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots and Honey Quinoa

Saturday - Shabbos Lunch - Chulent and Salads

I ended up using four recipes from Cooking Inspired.  I will have to report in on the results in the near future.

Look for lots of exciting and practical weekly menus on Menu Plan Monday