Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sun-Dried Tomato Pistachio-Polenta Cake - THB

Every three weeks, the Home Bakers make another coffee cake from "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pappas. I really like this book. All the cakes have come out well and many have come our beautifully. This week the  Sun-Dried Tomato Pistachio-Polenta Cake, pg 68  was selected by Yvette, My Worldwide Culinary Adventure.  Please get the recipe from her site.    The Home Bakers  hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours is the base of our operations.  Stop by there if you are interested in getting into the fun.

We eat nutty or fruity cakes and these coffee cakes fill the bill.  This week, our cake was a bit unique.  It is a savory cake which made me especially happy.  I love savory breads and cakes.

The polenta, sun-dried tomato, pistachio combination was a winner.  The flavors blended well.  Hubby loved it and that is always a good sign that the cake is a success.

I made this gluten-free so I used a mixture of brown rice flour, tapioca flour and potato starch for the flour portion.  Otherwise, I pretty much followed the recipe.

You really should come and join us.  These cakes are fun to make and good to eat and we would love to get to know you.  Go to the The Home Bakers  hosted by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours.

Linked to Friday Food

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Recipe Box # 12 - Red Pepper Coulis on Zucchini Swirls

One week, our Power Food vegetable was the bell pepper. I use a variety of colored peppers and my favorites are the yellow, red and orange. Green peppers finds a place in certain dishes but have a slightly bitter taste. The brighter colors are sweeter which is proven by my grandchildren who love peppers only if they are the "pretty" shades.

There are many health benefits in eating these lovely vegetables. " Bell pepper is not only an excellent source of carotenoids, but also a source of over 30 different members of the carotenoid nutrient family. A recent study from Spain took a close look vitamin C, vitamin E, and six of these carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin) in all commonly eaten foods and found that only two vegetables contained at least two-thirds of all the listed nutrients. One of these foods was tomato, and the other was sweet bell pepper! Bell pepper alone provided 12% of the total zeaxanthin found in the participants' diets. (Bell pepper also provided 7% of the participants' total vitamin C intake.) WH Foods

Without much effort, I probably used bell peppers in about 10 dishes, during the week. While, I am aware, I have peppers on hand, I did not think about how often, I reach for one and add it to a salad or stir fry it for our favorite dishes or roast it. Roasting peppers make them even more delicious than they are fresh from the plant. We have a small garden and we usually try to fit in a few pepper plants.

My recipe for the coulis comes from one of my favorite books, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen by Levana Kirschenbaum. In most of the recipes, I had looked at, for the coulis, the red peppers were roasted but I had already made this using the raw pepper. I had some left after using it with the zucchini and it adds flavor to many dishes.

I have this neat machine which makes long, very long swirls from vegetables. I broke my long swirl into shorter pieces for the simple purpose of eating. If spaghetti can be messy, picture several feet of zucchini swirl. I cut them down to about 2 inches a piece. Straight ribbons could be used as well as thin sliced zucchini.

Red Pepper Coulis on Zucchini Swirls

1 red pepper, cut into chunks

1/4 cup basil leaves

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoons paprika (try smoked for more flavor)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne sauce

salt and pepper, to taste

Put ingredients into a food processor and run for at least a minute until smooth. Mine is not as perfectly smooth as the recipe called for which we prefer.

Mireya is the originator of the group. If you are interested in participating, please contact her. Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits

Looking Back:

Here is our dessert!!!!!

Now it is your turn.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Roasted Potatoes

At the last minute, we threw together a barbecue for the extended family.  What fun we had.  Burgers, Hot dogs and Chicken  ------ what could be more delicious?  OK, kale, spinach and broccoli would win.  Yeah sure.

The idea of being casual about the food and atmosphere makes for a good time.  No pressure exists.  We decided, we were doing this Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, we were eating and chatting.  The age range was over 70 years and everyone got along just fine.  The star was the baby, of course.

The men did the grilling and I made desserts the night before.  That left one basic side and salad and some miscellaneous items like pickles.

I made three kinds of roasted potatoes, not because we needed three kinds but because it was more fun to make each batch, a little differently.  I used about 8 medium to large potatoes for each batch.

Ingredients for Batch # 1:

8 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (1/2 inch to an inch)
3/4 cup creamy Italian salad dressing
smoky paprika
salt and pepper to taste
spray olive oil

Method:  (make it up as you go)

Line a large pan (roasting pan or similar) with aluminum foil.  Spray with olive oil.  Put aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Pour dressing and paprika into plastic bag with salt and pepper.  Squish it together so that it mixes.  Add the potato pieces about 5 at a time.  Each time, using hands outside of bag, move them around so they are coated.  Keep adding pieces and coating them.

Pour the potato pieces out onto prepared pan.  Spread out.  Spray with olive oil.  Bake in oven for 20 - 25 minutes.  I put it on broil for the last 3 minutes to brown.

These went very quickly.  There is something about potatoes that people love.

Coconut-Kale Soup - Soup of the Week - Power Food

Another week, another vegetable for our Power Food group, a bunch of women who strive for healthy eating with the most delicious dishes. Each blog is inspiration . Each week, we choose a recipe based on the power food which comes from the book, Power Foods, 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients from the editors of Whole Living magazine.

This week, kale is the next vegetable in the book. This is another vegetable, I have never made and I doubt that I have eaten. Why not? The answer may be found in an experience, my husband had, this week. I had forgotten all about the kale and when he called me, on his way home, from work, he asked if I wanted anything from the store. I was super thankful for this offer and told him, "kale." He went to the local store, made his way through produce, helplessly looking for kale. He pulled over some women customers and asked them which was kale. This led to a lively conversation but no kale. None of them knew what kale looked like.

When he came home, after having a good laugh, I described kale to him. I only knew because I looked for a picture on the Internet. He realized, he had seen it. Of course, I still had no kale. As you can see, I did get the kale and made this yummy soup.

The soup was supposed to be a vegetable stew but when it was done, there was no doubt, it was going to be soup. I added more liquid and we had a fantastic soup, I hope to make many times, in the future. The sweet potato added a pleasant sweetness to the coconut milk. It was scrumptious.

Kale is another healthy vegetable, high in iron, filled with antioxidants, low in calories, high in fiber, and is an anti-inflammatory. It has Vitamin A, C and K. It has more calcium than milk. It protects us in many ways.

Coconut Kale Soup

Makes 6 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup carrots, cur into thin pieces

1 potato, peeled and diced

1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon tumeric

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

2 cups kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped

1 can coconut milk

2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

salt, pepper to taste


Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottom pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 5 to 7 minutes until lightly browned; add red bell pepper, carrots and sauté 5 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium. Add spices. Add potatoes, kale, vegetable broth, salt and pepper; simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Add additional water or stock if mixture becomes too thick.

Enjoy this delicious soup.

Check out the other Power Food cooks and see what they did with the kale. Mireya is the originator of the group. If you are interested in participating, please contact her. My Healthy Eating Habits,

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Brussels Sprouts - Power Food - Re-post

Another week, another vegetable for our Power Food group, a bunch of women who strive for healthy eating with the most delicious dishes. Each blog is inspiration . Each week, we choose a recipe based on the power food which comes from the book, Power Foods, 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients from the editors of Whole Living magazine.

Brussels sprouts like broccoli and cabbage are cruciferous. This group offers a unique composition of antioxidants that may provide several health benefits. Brussels sprouts are low in calories and offer protein, vitamins and minerals to help build a healthy human.

My first issue with brussels sprouts is that it took me years to spell it correctly. Each time, it came up, in writing, and I admit, that was not too often, I would stare into space asking myself does brussel get an S, at the end or is it sprout that gets the S. For some reason, I could not remember that both end with that S. I am happy to tell you, I overcame this challenge and now can spell brussels sprouts, unless I am doing it incorrectly.

My second issue is that this is another vegetable that the husband does not like, to the point, he won't taste it. I chose not to tell him, he was eating shredded brussels sprouts, last night. He didn't like it because it was too spicy so I can't say that I fooled him. I made two different dishes, one obviously the sprouts and the other in a camouflaged state. I decided to share both with you, since they turned out well and completely different.

I don't want you to think, my darling is a grump about food but I have to add that I changed one dish because he had work done on his teeth (a cavity filled) and the dentist told him not to eat nuts and seeds. I use another dentist. I eat nuts and seeds. Both recipes are supposed to have nuts in them, I left them in one because, like the brussels sprouts, they were somewhat hidden. I left out the walnuts in the other recipe. Roast a few and throw them in.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts

I took my mandoline and sliced the brussels sprouts but it cuts so thin that most of it was shredded. It did a beautiful job.


1/2 pound of brussels sprouts 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup pine nuts (pine nuts are seeds)

2 scallions, sliced

2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce

1 tomato, chopped

Heat oil in large skillet.

Add pine nuts and cook until slightly browned. Add the shredded sprouts and the scallions. Cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the Thai sweet chili sauce and tomato and mix with the greens and pine nuts. Cook for another 2 minutes.

You might want to use a little more oil. I added about a teaspoon after I put in the greens and was afraid they would burn. As much oil as is necessary should be used.

Maple Brussels Sprouts


1 cup water

8 ounces brussels sprouts (the other half pound)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Bring the cup of water to a boil in a saucepan.

Add the brussels sprouts. Reduce the heat and cook until tender about 6 minutes.

Drain the brussels sprouts.

In the empty saucepan, melt butter with maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice.

Pour this over the brussels sprouts and serve.

It is amazing how good this simple recipe turned out to be. A little sweetness does wonders.

Check out the other Power Food cooks and see what they did with the brussels sprouts. Mireya is the originator of the group. If you are interested in participating, please contact her. My Healthy Eating Habits,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Carrot Cake _ Power Food - repost

Another week, another vegetable for our Power Food group, a bunch of women who strive for healthy eating with the most delicious dishes. Each blog is inspiration . Each week, we choose a recipe based on the power food which comes from the book, Power Foods, 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients from the editors of Whole Living magazine.

That week, we concentrated on carrots. I like to check out our vegetable, not only for health benefits, but also for the names of their sisters. Carrots are related to parsnips, fennel, parsley, anise, caraway, cumin and dill. I didn't have a clue about many of these. I, have never seen carrots of other colors or at least, if I had, I didn't know, they were carrots. I am going to a good produce store, looking for purple or red carrots, to start my search. It is fun, shopping when purposely looking for new vegetables. I have definitely expanded my horizons.

When, I was thinking about what to make with carrots, I had all kinds of thoughts. Anything from a carrot smoothie to a carrot stew. Need intervened. My husband needed cake and what could be better than carrot cake? Keep in mind, he does not like frosting so this looks like a plain cake but it turned out to have a nice full flavor to it. Of course, I did add a mango to it which magnified its goodness.

I found the carrot recipe, without the mango, on a blog called A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Mango Carrot Cake (adapted to make gluten-free)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup oil

1 eggs

1 cup gluten-free brown rice flour mixture

1 cup grated carrots

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup mango, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease an 8 inch round pan.

In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, white sugar, oil, and eggs.

In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients.

Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix in walnuts and mango.

Pour into baking pan and place in oven. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted, comes out dry.

* I timed my oven when I bake to cover my bases if I forget. My oven seems to be shifting from the Timed Bake mode and keeps going. That is what happened here so I am not sure how long I baked this for. I would check it earlier on, just to make sure.

Go on over to A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That for the original recipe and while you are there, check out her other recipes. Enjoy.

Check out the other Power Food cooks and see what they did with the carrots. Mireya is the originator of the group. If you are interested in participating, please contact her. My Healthy Eating Habits,

Candied Beets

Candied Beets – Power Food  --- reposted

This is the second time, in a week, we are having beets. Considering, we rarely eat beets, this is a treat. Beets are our power vegetable for the week.Beets are low in calories and high in iron and fiber. I found it interesting that the leaves are more nutritious than the root with double the potassium, folic acid, calcium and iron. Do you use the leaves? I had learned a while back that smaller beets are more tender and when I go, seeking small ones, the store only has the bigger size. I guess that is low level frustration.

My new piece of information is that beets will last at least a month. The leaves do not and should be used within 3 – 4 days. That is a handy bit of information since my goal is to move my vegetables quickly and with beets, I can now relax.

I had planned on making a salad but I found a recipe for candied beets and was just too curious as to how, these would come out. You can use a healthier choice instead of the sugar. I am a brown sugar fan and I just had to take that route.

5 medium sized beets

2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Place beets and water in microwave and cook for 4 minutes.

Cut beets into cubes and place on baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees or until you can easily insert fork or knife.

In a small sauce pan, combine remaining ingredients. Stir until butter melts and brown sugar dissolves. Add beets and cook until the entire dish is hot.

Other recipes with beets:

Orange Beets

Roasted Root Vegetables

Beets with Persian Raisins

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Yesterday was the day after our granddaughter's wedding and we were all exhausted. We still had some of the grandchildren, staying with us, and it was a hectic day.  Dinner was not a priority although we did have to eat.  (Strange habit, we have ----- eating).

Stuffed shells goes quickly and is filling and only needs a salad to finish off a quick meal. I cooked, we ate and I walked out of the kitchen, leaving the dishes, something I don't like to do.  Those dishes were an insurmountable task, at that moment.  I washed them, this morning, in a few minutes.  Funny, how being tired changes us so completely.

Mexican Stuffed Shells      
1 box gluten-free large shells                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
1/4  teaspoon Mexican chili powder                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
 1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups Mexican cheese blend    
1 1/2 cups Marinara sauce                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Combine ricotta,  Parmesan, 3/4 cup Mexican cheese, egg, and chili powder. Set aside.

Cook noodles until just pliable.
Pour about 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of 9" x 13" baking dish; spread evenly. 

Fill each shell with Ricotta mixture.
Top evenly with remaining sauce,

Sprinkle 3/4 cup Mexican cheese on top of sauce.

Linked to Weekend Potluck    Gallery of Favorites        Friday Food       Sweet Saturday                       Friday Favorites  
Foodie Friday         Friday Chaos                    Pennywise Platter

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Recipe Box # 11 - Wedding

Last night, my oldest granddaughter got married.  Such festivities!!!  I know she is my grandchild and that makes her special to me, no matter what, but I must say, she is an outstanding young lady and  a gracious and beautiful kallah (bride).  When we speak of moments in our lives, this was a moment of unbelievable joy.

I don't like making excuses, usually, but this time, I am thrilled to do so.  I have no recipe for this week's Recipe box, at least not yet. and my reason is one of the best.  I did not take pictures of the food either so even that is not here, to share.  It was delicious.

So, let's share what you have been making.

Last week, as usual, we had many tempting recipes such as those that follow..

This week, I thought, it would be fun to select a few categories and show some of each.  I am not including all of them because of space and I thank all of you have shared.

              Tabbouleh Bread                                               

                                                               Zucchini Bread

Maple Oatmeal Bread


You do not have to live by bread and water.  There are choices above.
Please do drop a recipe in the Recipe box by linking below.

Hash Browns a la Bobby Flay

Sometimes, I think, I could live on potatoes but I have gone through a pasta stage and more recently, a vegetable stage. Right now, potatoes are what call to me to cook them. As a Brooklyn girl, how could I not make Bobby's Brooklyn Hash Browns?

I have to confess, I failed with this recipe. After all the ingredients are mixed together, the directions are to make rectangular patties and fry them. There was nothing to hold them together and I could not make that work so I cooked them loose, like I normally make hash browns. They were delicious but not as fancy as the rectangles.

Years ago, I bought frozen hash browns and loved them. What is not to love? As I started cooking more and making my own basics, it seemed weird to me, to buy the ready-made hash browns. Sometime, I can be stubborn for no reason. This is exactly like buying shredded cheese which I did for the longest time, until I realized, I actually enjoy shredding cheese, if the amount is workable. Now, I shred my own cheese but I keep a bag of shredded mozzarella and a bag of shredded cheddar, in the case of an emergency. They probably have been frozen longer than recommended.

Brooklyn Hash Browns (adapted)


3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced

kosher salt and black pepper to taste

2 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch dice

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 tablespoons chopped chives


Heat half of oil and half of butter in medium skillet.

Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and caramelized, about 40 minutes. I walked away for a few minutes and some of mine burnt.

Cook potatoes in a medium saucepan in salted cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are almost tender. (10 - 12 minutes) Drain well.

Combine potatoes and onions in a bowl. Add paprika and season with salt and pepper.

Here is what I did not succeed doing. Divide the mixture into 8 portions, forming each into a half-inch rectangle.

Heat remaining oil and butter in a cast iron pan or a non stick skillet. Cook rectangles on one side until golden brown (10 minutes) and then flip it over until bottoms are pale golden brown (2 minutes).

Serve two rectangles to each person.

*I added something to the mix. I sliced two sausage and fried them and added them to the potatoes and this was a fabulous meal.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Golden Johnny Cakes

I like the Bobby Flay. I don't think, I have made anything from him before but I received his new book and had to try out some of the recipes.

This recipe for Johnny Cakes were tempting me. It is from Bar Americain, a beautiful book. The pages are thick and with that silky feel, a pleasure to use. There is a nice selection of recipes to choose from, many that I would like to make.

These cakes were crisp on the outside and soft inside, a good combination. Separating the eggs changed the texture and it was a good call, in my opinion.  This is one, I recommend. 

Gold Corn Johnny Cakes


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon fine yellow or white cornmeal
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 large eggs, separated
3/4 cup Rice milk
2 tablespoons olive oil for Johnny Cake
1/4 cup olive oi for frying


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.

Whisk the egg yolks and Rice Milk together in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer, until stiff peaks form.

Add the egg-milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the egg whites, then 2 tablespoons of the oil and mix until the batter is just smooth. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Pour in half of the remaining oil. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of the batter into the pan for each johnny cake and using a small offset spatula, spread the batter slightly to even out the top. Cook until lightly golden brown on each side, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

I would say, "Shovel them in," but that is just not ladylike.

Linked to  Ingredient Spotlight - Corn

Caramelized Squash and Golden Corn

I have been cooking a lot of the yellow summer squash.  I found some that are thicker and I have no idea what the difference is between the two kinds of yellow squash.  I also found yellow squash with a lumpy skin and another with a smooth skin.  I guess, I have to do some research to get this straight.  For now, what counts, is how it tasted.  The squash is pretty neutral in taste and it accommodates sweetness very well.  Mixed with the caramelized corn, it blends together, in terms of the sweetness.  I had seconds on this one.

This is perfect for the summer with these crops so readily available.

Caramelized Corn and Sweet Squash adapted from


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 yellow squash, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 cups corn, fresh, canned or frozen
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 onion, chopped


Heat olive oil in saute pan. Place corn and onion in skillet and cook for about 5 minutes until they start to brown.

Add squash and let brown on one side (about 3 - 5 minutes). Turn over and let brown on other side.

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and honey.

Let cook until squash is browned on other side. Stir gently to mix all flavors.

Place caramelized corn, onion and brown sugar on top of squash and mix together. Heat in microwave or on top of stove.

Linked to  Marvelous Mondays     Inspire Me Monday      Mealtime Monday     Ingredient Spotlight - Corn

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pizza Muffins - Monday Muffins on Friday

When a recipe like this catches my eye, I almost automatically make it. Anything that can be turned into a muffin, intrigues me. Over the years, I have experimented with all kinds of muffins.

A muffin with pizza flavoring sounds like a sure winner which is why I made these gems. We are the kind of family who likes to reach out and pick up something to eat from the hand. I resort to muffins also, because of this.

We used to think of muffins as basically blueberry and maybe a corn muffin. We did not think exotic or unusual. Left to my own devices, I have made up and copied many muffin edible, over the years. I have turned meat loaves into muffins. I have copied the ingredients in omelets and made muffins. I think, anything can be made into a muffin.

Pizza Muffins (adapted from


2 tablespoons olive oil

2/3 cup finely chopped onion

2/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

2/3 cup brown rice flour mixture (you can use all-purpose)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup low-fat milk

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1egg well beaten

2 tablespoons tomato sauce


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F . Spray with cooking oil a 6 cup muffin tin.

Whisk all-purpose flour, baking powder, oregano, sugar, garlic powder and salt in a medium bowl.

Stir milk, feta, egg, tomato sauce into the onion mixture. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Fill the prepared muffin cups two-thirds full.

Bake the muffins until lightly browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This had a distinct mild taste but I could not quite figure out what was dominant. I think the feta cheese blended with the other ingredients pulled it together. This is a "must make again."

Linked to Gluten Free Friday Recipes (a new linky)   

Full Plate Thursdays

Grocery Cart Challenge

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Eggplant with Tomato and Feta

This recipe is one of the reasons, I enjoy the linkys. I saw it on my blog and right away wanted to make it. It is one of those simple recipes that when the ingredients are put together, the results are not at all simple. It comes from the blog, Define Inspiration Mind - Body - Soul. Holly is in the process of creating a fabulous blog. Not only has she shared recipes but some posts where she shares herself and you get to know here. I suggest a look for yourself.

With gratitude, I share her recipe with some changes to fit our needs. I made only two of these, a huge mistake. They are delicious and I could have devoured a few more. I did not grill the eggplant as Holly did but cooked it in an almost dry skillet.

Eggplant with Tomato and Feta

4 eggplant slices
1 large tomato, to match the diameter of the eggplant
1 cup feta, crumbled
1 tablespoon dried basil (my fresh basil was drowned in a torrential rain)
juice of half lemon
ground black pepper to taste
olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut of the eggplant crosswise into ½” thick rounds. Lightly season them with salt and leave them for 30 minutes on a side to let water to come out of the eggplant.

Once ready spray some olive oil on top of each slice and cook in a pan, lightly sprayed with olive oil, for 2 minutes on each side.

Sprinkle basil and lemon juice on top of eggplant slices.

Cut the tomatoes crosswise to 1/4” thick rounds.

Lightly oil the baking pan. Arrange 2 eggplant rounds side by side. Sprinkle feta crumbles. Top each with another layer of eggplant and tomato rings and then top off with more feta.

Bake stacks for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven

Linked to Pennywise Platter

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Recipe Box # 10

Smoked Beef Marinade

Smoke meat is unto itself.  It carries the smokiness in the taste and that gives the meat, a real style of its own.  We took a 3 pound roast and marinated it overnight.  Threw out the marinade and put it in the smoker for hours.  My husband used a meat thermometer to tell when it was done.

Ingredients for marinade:

1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup rice vinegar (garlic seasoned)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoons cloves

In a closed jar or plastic container with fitted to, put all liquids and shake, shake, shake. Add the seasoning and again do that shake.  Build muscles, while you are shaking.

Place meat in a large bowl.  Cover with the marinade and let stand overnight, basting every few hours (when not sleeping).

Cook in smoker according to the directions.  Eat, drink and be hearty.

Looking back:
Winnie of Something Sweet does it again with this No Bake Vanilla Chocolate Cheesecake

Coconut Caramel Popcorn from the Lazy Budget Chef - what fun.

Grilled Eggplant with Tomato and Feta from Define Inspiration - Mind- Body - Soul  this could be my dinner tonight.

Line up for a piece of Cream Cheese Mixed Fruits Oatmeal Bar from Vivian Pang Kitchen

I have an appointment now and I must scoot.  These should keep you happy for a while.  We do have great cooks filling the recipe box.  Be a great cook and please put in your recipe, for this coming week.
Thanks and big hugs.  Linked to Hearth and Soul

Spinach Ricotta Delight

I haven't been inspired recently.  Actually, I have been dragging my heels when it comes to cooking.  I think, it is tied in to preparing for school

I love teaching and I also love the preparation.  You should see my dining room table (I will take a photo).  I am organized with my passion but it takes over the house.  Although, it does not get too close to the kitchen, it keeps me out of the room.

As I am on my way to cook up a dish, I see all my folders and start filing papers.  That inspires me to get additional material and off I go to my papers or to the computer for new information.  That, in turn, sends me to my books to do some more research on a teaching writing which rings a bell for a new bulletin board.

I guess, prep work is prep work, whether it is cooking or teaching.  Out comes the materials and then we mix and match to make the best "dish" for the meal (best lesson for the class).  I teach like I cook. I can't be restrained.  I follow my instincts and seem to know what will work for the particular situation.  

We do lesson plans for the week, like we might plan a weekly menu and my intentions are good for both.  When it comes to teaching, my true goal, is to complete the skills but to do it, as it strikes me.  Some would call that unprofessional.  I call that inspired.  I see what my class needs and go with it.  Nothing is more important than the child.  The goal is not to teach a subject but to teach the child.  Teaching the child should result in that kid growing in the skills and mastering the material.

I believe in the flexible-structured classroom.  Sounds like a contradiction but it is not.  In my opinion, flexibility only works within structure.  My children know, clearly, what is expected of them and that as long as they come through, the day will be productive and pleasant.  

I look to cooking to be a positive experience for me and I look to teaching to be one for the class and also for me.  If I don't enjoy it, I must leave.  Only through a personal plus can I offer a class the best. Just like my kitchen is my laboratory, so is my classroom.  Experimentation with food has produced good eating.  Controlled experimentation has produced better learners.

I hope, I am not scaring you as to the kind of teacher, I am.  I think, I do a great job and have students who learn and are happy doing it.  Happy means discipline with love.

I approached this dish in the same way with excitement and determination.  I started off, as I do with a new class, limited knowledge as to what they will be like at the beginning of the year, limited knowledge as what this new dish will be.

I had made a pasta dish for dinner and needed a side to go with it.  I had some frozen spinach, I wanted to use up.  Since, I started using fresh spinach, the frozen doesn't get used, often.  I also had too much Ricotta.  I must have forgotten, I had already gotten some, because I found three containers.  There is no way, I could use that up reasonably unless I started immediately.  That gave me spinach and Ricotta.

This dish, more than any, I have made developed as I went along.  I had no idea what the next ingredient was going to be until I pulled it out and found a way to include it.  This was such a delicious dish that I decided to do this again.

Spinach Ricotta Delight


2 - 3 cups frozen spinach
2 tablespoons spinach dip (had some leftover in refrigerator and thought the extra flavor would be yummy)
1 potato, shredded
1 cup Ricotta
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 eggs
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups Tortilla chip crumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 2 quart casserole or a square baking pan.
Microwave spinach and drain well.
Place spinach in a  large bowl.  Add dip, shredded potato, Ricotta, chopped onion, and eggs.  Mix well.
Add 1 cup crumbs to spinach mix with cut up tomatoes.
Place in a greased casserole.
Top with additional cup of crumbs.
Place in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.