Thursday, May 29, 2014

Corn Tortilla Casserole

My husband now gets home before me.  I used to get home, check my email and sit for a few minutes, even read a book or magazine.  This was important time because it gave me the opportunity to unwind.  Teaching can be overwhelming if one puts her heart and soul into it which I usually do.  I find it difficult to walk away and forget the kids and sometimes even the classwork.  

It was easy when we would eat about 7.  Even with errands, I am home about  5:30.  This leaves time for some restful moments and dinner preparation.  (On good days, I cook in the morning.)

Before, I go on.......I must make a disclaimer"  Hubby is not a selfish or impatient man.  He is quite respectful of me and my time.

That put aside, I will describe my homecoming.  I walk in the door and after a  brief greeting, he asks what is for dinner.  I glare at him and say something like, "Let me put my books down."  He is agreeable.

I put my books down and he stares at me.  Since my mind is a million miles away from dinner, I look back with a queried expression, thinking to myself, "Did I forget to pick up the cleaning?"  He is patient and waits at least 30 seconds before repeating his question.  "So, what's for dinner?"

It happened, the other night, I had made no plans for dinner and was pretty sure that hubby said, he would barbecue.  Obviously, he did not remember this.  I decided to stare him down, hoping hamburgers would  pop into his mind.  I guess that didn't happen.

I had defrosted some corn tortillas and decided to do something with them so I sent him on his way, turned on my tablet looking for a recipe and  ended up in Recipe Land and found this recipe.

Corn Tortilla Casserole   (adapted)


2 each corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups Mexican cheese shredded
1 thin sliced tomato
1 cup corn kernels frozen (I used a little more)
1 onion, diced
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 red bell pepper


Grease a 2 quart square baking dish.

Tear tortillas into bite size pieces.

Arrange  the tortillas in the baking dish.

Top with half of the cheese, half of the tomato, half of the corn, and half of the  onions.

Repeat layering with the remaining tortillas, cheese, corn, and onions.

Stir together eggs, buttermilk and chili peppers, Gently pour over tortilla mixture.

Top with fresh herbs.  I took from our garden, chives and basil and a bit of parsley

Bake, uncovered in a 325 degrees F. oven about 30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Mine took a lot longer and I raised the temperature to 350 degrees.  I would suggest starting at the higher temperature and to start checking after one half hour.  I am guessing, it will take a little longer than that.

Serve warm
.   This would make a good side dish served with fish.

Eat and enjoy.  

Linked to Fun Friday    Foodastic Friday    Foodie Friday

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables

Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables -Food of the World

The name of this recipe appealed to me, immediately, because I thought, it had no meat in it. I was wrong. It calls for a choice Italian sausage, bone-in pork chops, comfit duck legs or duck breasts. No, no, Mr. Bittman - not for me and I don't believe we missed anything without the meat.  Of course, I found out, after the fact that a cassoulet usually does have meat in it.

I like what Mark does put into it - that is Mark Bittman, the author of Food Matters. I left out the meat and will ask, "Who needed it?" This totally vegetable dish was filled with flavor and we cleaned our dishes.

We like this cassoulet and I would be happy to make this again. It was filled with veggies, which we love and the combination was one, both hubby and I enjoy. I pretty much followed the recipe but I turned it, into a soup by adding some organic vegetable broth and water. It was rich and delicious.

Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables (adapted)


2 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound Italian sausages, bone-in pork chops, confit duck legs, or duck breasts, or a combination
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium zucchini , cut into small pieces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped tomatoes, with their juice (I used canned)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 bay leaves
2 cups cooked white beans (canned), drained and liquid reserved in any case
1 cups stock, dry red wine, bean cooking liquid, or water, plus more as needed
2 cups organic vegetable broth


Heat oil in saucepan and add garlic, onions, carrots , celery and zucchini.  

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook for five minutes.

Add tomatoes, broth and herbs and bring to a  boil.

Add beans and bring to a boil again.  Cook for 20 minutes, mixing occasionally.  Add water if necessary.

Eat and enjoy.

I am sharing this with Food of the World.  I am having such fun joining in this month with French cooking.  Why don't you join us?

Linked to Foodie Friday

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blueberry, Oat and Yogurt Muffins

Margaret has a new fan - my husband.  She selected this week's recipe for our WWDH, Wednesday with Donna hay group.  Hubby took a bite and I thought I had better hide the rest of these muffins.  He liked the texture and flavor.  He has never mentioned texture before.  So, kudos to Margaret and Donna Hay.

This recipe is found on online right here.

We are a known "muffin family" and I am always ready to bake muffins but I don't always get such accolades.  I think the combination of the oats, yogurt and blueberries gave it the extra boost.  I do recommend this recipe.  It is not only good but easy to make.  I used one bowl and it is measuring, mixing and baking --- nothing complicated.

I made these gluten-free by subbing in a mixture of tapioca flour, brown rice flour and potato starch.  (could have added guar gum).

Please stop by the rest of our members sites and see their creations.     

If you want to be creative, try mango or peaches in place of the blueberries .

Monday, May 26, 2014

Brown Rice with Eggplant

When I make rice, I usually make enough for a minimum of two dishes and often for three. This time, it served the purpose of a yummy side and a salad. My side was based on a search through my freezer and refrigerator. I found an eggplant in the refrigerator that was not going to last much longer and found a fabulous tomato sauce, in the freezer. Unfortunately, I have no idea what was in the sauce other than diced tomatoes. All I know, is that it was well flavored.

Brown Rice with Eggplant

1 eggplant, peeled and diced

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

2 cups brown rice, cooked according to package directions.

Microwave eggplant and sauce 4 minutes or until soft or firm enough for your liking.

Place rice into a lightly greased casserole. Add eggplant and sauce and mix well.

I heated it together for about ten minutes.

* If you want to add cheese to this, I would top it with shredded mozzarella before baking and bake until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

** This would be even better - add caramelized onions

***Chopped green peppers is also a good addition.

Linked to See Ya in the Gumbo    In and Out of the Kitchen

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Apricot Honey Chicken

When you need an easy recipe that does not take a great deal of time, Taste of Home, is the place to go. I was looking through the Simple and Delicious and found this chicken recipe.

Apricot Honey Chicken (adapted from Simple and Delicious magazine) 4 sevings


4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/3 cup honey mustard
3 tablespoons apricot preserves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Dash each salt and pepper


Flatten chicken to 1/4-inch thickness. 

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, apricot preserves, ginger, salt and pepper. 

Place the chicken on a greased foil-lined baking sheet. Spoon half of the mustard mixture over chicken.

Bake for 24 minutes.

Linked to See Ya in the Gumbo

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Creamy Onion-Garlic Salmon

When, I went to make two salmon fillets, I didn't have a plan which means, no recipe in mind. I had some non dairy whipped topping that I wanted to finish and these days, I seem to be using up, anything that is not brand new.

What an amazing moment, when I looked into my refrigerator and it looked half empty. I hate a cluttered refrigerator but mine is that way, most of the time. That is because of the leftovers. There is always a little left and it usually sits and does not get eaten. Despite that, we hope we will make it disappear, until the moment, it gets thrown out. It hurts to throw out food.

From the refrigerator, we look at the cabinets. Another puzzle is how I have so many cans when I don't use cans for anything except pumpkin, beans and diced tomatoes and I guess a can of this and a can of that. It is the this and that, that take up the room. I love by baking cabinet but it is filled with so much. I stand there and stare and wonder how long, I have some of the items, looking so tempting and not being used. Each is waiting for a special occasion to be taken down.

Rather than go on about each cabinet, one day, I will take photos. I would rather share my salmon with you.

Creamy Onion- Garlic Salmon

2 salmon fillets, skinless

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 small onion, chopped

1/4 cup non dairy whipped topping


1 tablespoon fresh dill

This is easy to do. I am almost ashamed to share the directions.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Chop onions and put aside.

Pour non dairy whipped topping into a baking dish, big enough to hold two pieces of salmon. Place fillets on top of cream, turning them over once. Shake garlic powder, paprika and white pepper over salmon

Top with chopped onion.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped dill for garnish.

Linked to See Ya in the Gumbo

Friday, May 23, 2014

Cabbage Potato Cakes

This is a good recipe to multi-task. While the potatoes cook, chop and brown your vegetables. Everything can come together at about the same time in that way. These were a success and I am going to make them in smaller tins for my grandchildren. I think, they will enjoy, their own little potato cabbage cakes.

Cabbage Potato Cakes


1 cup cabbage, shredded and then chopped smaller

3 potatoes, peeled and boiled and mashed

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 large onion, diced

1 egg

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup potato starch

1/2 teaspoon baking powder


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray muffin tins with cooking oil.

Chop onions and carrots in a food processor. I used my mini processor from my immersion blender to get small pieces, not as tiny as in my full sized food processor. If you do not have this option, I suggest, chopping by hand.

Peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Place in a boiling pot of water. (carefully) Cook for 15 - 20 minutes until soft enough to mash.

While potatoes are cooking, heat olive oil in skillet and saute onions and carrots until onions are softened.

Add cabbage to carrots and onions.

Drain potatoes and mash. Add other vegetables to potatoes.

Add dry ingredients and mix into potatoes. Add wet ingredients and mix well. Add eggs and oil and combine with potato mixture. Add salt and pepper and mix in.

Using a quarter cup, scoop the potato mixture into the muffin tins. Top with a little chopped parsley.

Bake for 25 minutes until lightly browned.

I think, you will really enjoy these.

Linked to See Ya in the Gumbo     Recipe Sharing Monday     Mix it Up Mondays

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower

Tonight was leftover night. I have been making a new item whenever we have leftovers. It means little work but a spark for the meal. The only requirement tonight was to use cauliflower while it was still nice and fresh. I opened up the Pioneer Woman Cooks, looked up cauliflower and found a soup and roasted cauliflower. Since, I was matching this with the leftovers, roasted cauliflower was my choice. Instead of Panko, I used tortilla chip crumbs.

The prep time was short. The hardest part was breaking the cauliflower into small pieces and that really is not a challenge.

Roasted Cauliflower - adapted from the Pioneer Woman


1 cauliflower, cut into pieces

spray olive oil

salt and black pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons onion powder or any spice

1 cup tortilla chip crumbs or Panko crumbs

2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spray a baking sheet with olive oil.

Spread cauliflower over the baking sheet and spray the top of the vegetable.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 20 minutes until golden.

While cauliflower is finishing baking (last five minutes), microwave butter or melt in small saucepan.

Pour butter over crumbs in a small bowl.

Place cauliflower in small baking dishes (individual sized) and mound crumbs on top.

Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until crumbs brown.

Eat and enjoy each bite. This is delicious. For so little work, you get big taste.

Serve with fish, poultry, meat or vegetables. This is going to become a favorite dish.

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to Recipe Sharing Monday     Mix it Up Mondays   Melt in Your Mouth Monday     Hearth and Soul     In and Out of the Kitchen

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Brownie Cupcakes

Makes these and they will speak for themselves.

Brownie Cupcakes: adapted from Joy of Baking

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, shredded

2 cups margarine, cut into pieces

1 1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs

3/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line 12 muffin tins with paper or foil baking cups.

Melt the shredded chocolate and margarine in microwave. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove and let cool for a few minutes. Then stir in the sugar. Add the vanilla and then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the flour and salt until well blended.

Evenly divide the batter between the muffin cups.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake has moist crumbs. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12 cupcakes.

For the frosting recipe, go to Joy's site.

Linked to Recipe Sharing Monday     Mix it Up Mondays   Melt in Your Mouth Monday     Hearth and Soul       In and Out of the Kitchen

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Creamy Spring Vegetable Soup - Donna Hay

could not wait until we made this soup.  First of all, we love soup, almost any kind will do.  Secondly, a creamy soup always wins in this house.  To top it off, including Spring veggies is a bonus.  I did leave out the asparagus since Hubby has had an aversion to them, since childhood.  Kayte selected this wonderful recipe and it comes from Modern Classics 1, page 18.  It called for only salt, pepper and parsley and I think it would benefit from another spice or two.  Otherwise, it was delicious.

It amazes me, week after week, how easy it is to make Donna Hay's recipes, yet how good most of them are.  This soup took time to chop the vegetables and that is it.  The cooking of the soup was thickening the liquid with flour and butter and adding the cheese and vegetables plus spices.  In a few minutes, we had our soup.

Prep time is where I find the pressure of cooking even though I find dicing and slicing restful.  It is a blessing to have "too much to do" and always be busy with hopefully "good stuff".  I usually sit when I chop vegetables so it is a rare moment of kitchen sitting time.  It is also thinking time, sometimes about the food but often about other areas of my life.  I am not sure if I accomplish more thinking in the shower or at the kitchen table.

Creamy Spring Vegetable Soup  is composed of zucchini, peas and broccoli (and asparagus).   I used organic vegetable broth, cream and milk.  Each called for two cups but I shortchanged the cream and used milk instead.  I would say, I used 1 and 1/2 cups of cream and 2 1/2 cups of milk and 2 cups broth.

I would probably add onion next time as well.  I recommend this recipe.

******Please check out the other WWDH bakers and see what they are sharing with us.*******  Kayte               Gaye                Sarah               Margaret

Monday, May 19, 2014

Maple Almond Blondies

We had about 15 teens in and out of our home on the Sabbath.  You can call them grandchildren.  It is overwhelming to see so many people who are FAMILY.  It is wonderful.  It is wild.  It is wacky.  We also had two babies my daughter and son-in law.  On top of that, we had my son-in law's brother and parents.  Yes, it was crowded.

We were celebrating the newest child in our family and the engagement of one of my grandsons.  Having a fantastic daughter and a fabulous granddaughter, a lot of the cooking came over with them.  At that, I didn't stop for two days straight baking and cooking.  The favorite dessert was a cinnamon chocolate chip cake.  It disappeared all too soon.  I also made a yummy chocolate pie using Rosemarie chocolate bars. These blondies were the gluten-free contribution for hubby.  Finally, I made caramelbars.  My friend brought over a huge fruit salad and we got non dairy ice cream. There was very little left although I thought it was much too much.  Dessert seems to do this.
  I just realized, I had not photos of these blondies. They look like these which are from The Intolerant Gourmet

Below are hubby's blondies.

Maple Almond Blondies


1 1/3 cups sifted gluten-free  flour mixture
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons maple syrup


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Spray a 9 x 9 x 1-3/4 inch pan with oil.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. 

In large bowl, beat together butter, maple syrup, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.

Stir in the flour mixture and the nuts until well blended. 

Spread evenly in prepared pan.  

Bake 25-30 minutes or until surface springs back when gently pressed. 

Poke holes with a toothpick in the top of cake.  Pour a few tablespoons of maple syrup on top and allow to seep into the cake.

Cool slightly. While still warm, cut into bars with a sharp knife.

Eat and enjoy.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Interruptions in My World

Daily life can go along following a pattern, one that is pleasant but perhaps a bit uninspiring.  It can also be quite exciting with us seeing the beauty in the world and the purpose in what happens.

I think, I have gone through both of the above, living a good life in a steady normal way and had times that brought the real world and good in it into focus.  When my daughter died, other than a tragic feeling of loss, I experienced so much good.  Our family bonded and became closer.  Sharing such an experience with honest emotion striking us with full force, we saw how much we really had.  We all knew, we had to make the best of what we were given and we all want to be what would make my daughter happy where she is now.

We felt the emptiness without a person who changed life for each of us but we also talked and learned from her life.  She suffered the last few years but despite this, she managed to lead a full life.  Four of her children got married during this time and except for the last one which took place the day before she left us, she was present, smiling and being Mommy to her kids and wife to her husband.  She looked beautiful, held her head up high and a radiant smile lit up her face.    She also went to her baby sister's wedding in this time frame and it is such a blessing to have photos of the family together.

The point, I had wanted to make was that life goes on and we manage to hang on tight and hopefully enjoy the time.  Then something happens and it shakes our core.  This happened to me, this week.  I know you are expecting some major event but it was not.  It was a simple phone call with a mother of one of the kids in my class.

I had been told by others that she was difficult but I have had no problems.  Her son did well and she did not cause a ripple.  People were surprised.  This week, she changed that and all it took was showing herself through that phone call.

I am not sure if you have met a person who is so disturbed, at the moment, that she leaves you shaking.  Well, this Mom did just that.  She came across warped and sick and mostly unhappy.  The words from her mouth, mostly untrue, were plain evil.  No, she did not curse me or anything like that.  She just talked about her son and made up lie after lie about his school situation.  Knowing what she said was not true, there was no reason to take her seriously or personally.  What I was left with was real fear for her son and fear for her and the most unsettling feeling.

I don't know how to analyze this and I don't want to discuss this with anyone.  I would guess, this mother, has few friends and I really don't want anyone to know what she is like, if they don't already.  I spoke to my principal but I feel like it is bottled up inside of me.  It is that feeling of discomfort with the world, with God's world, with my world, and all that is in it.  It is as if her sickness and negativity is sticking to me and I can't shake it.  I think, I feel dirty, being exposed to such venom and self-delusion.

I can only hope, I can shake this, but each day, I must face the child and hurt for him.  Today, I bent over backwards to be especially nice to him.  He is, as you might guess, also disturbed.  He is angry and picks on the other children in the class.  He interrupts us when we are having fun and when we are learning.  He spits, calls across the room, lies and is a big bully.

In a class of children who are really respectful and a majority who want to move forward, he stands out and doesn't belong.  ........but what would he do without us?

I am working on understanding why this has had such a strong impact on me. If you have any insight into my ramblings, please do share.

Citrus Salmon with Veggie Saute - Improv

It has been a long while since I participated in the Improv Cooking Challenge and I hope, I remember what we are supposed to do.  We will find out together.  Thanks Kristen for your welcome back and your leadership in the Improv Challenge.  You can find Kristen at the Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker.

I don't think that I am a citrus person but in truth when I use any citrus flavor I enjoy the food.  Therefore, at first, when I heard that it was Lemon and Lime, I was not excited.  Adding to this, I found this out on Monday and had to come up with something, all in the middle of report cards, company, babysitting for my precious granddaughter and life in general.  I did come up with an interesting cake which I still plan to make.  It used a lemon-lime soda in the ingredients and that sounds like fun.

I ended up with a salmon and vegetable dish with the main flavors as lemon and lime although I added a little orange juice as well.  The recipe is from Taste of Home although I made major changes to the vegetable part.


3 salmon fillets
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence seasoning
1 medium sweet red peppers, sliced
1 medium sweet orange peppers, sliced
1 large red onion, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup frozen cauliflower thawed
1 cup frozen broccoli thawed


Place salmon in a  9-in. baking dish; add lemon, lime and orange juices.

Sprinkle with  seasoning. 

Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet coated with olive oil, saute  peppers and onion in oil for 3 minutes.

 Add the broccoli and cauliflower; cook and stir 3-4 minutes longer or just until vegetables reach desired doneness.  Serve with salmon. 

Eat and enjoy.

  Linked to Waste Not Want Not Wednesday    Foodie Friday

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cinnamon sugar-coated maple apple cakes

This week Gaye selected these sweet treats.  I made them without what is probably the best part, the cinnamon sugar coating but hubby prefers them that way.  I used slightly more than the one teaspoon of cinnamon to compensate for the missing coating.  As usual, these are easy to make and worth making.  Cinnamon and maple are two of my favorite flavors a winning combination - in my opinion.

******Please check out the other WWDH bakers and see what they are sharing with us.*******
Kayte      Gaye      Sarah     Margaret

Cinnamon sugar-coated Maple Apple Cakes adapted from donna Hay (Gluten-Free)


2½ cups gluten-free
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup butter, melted
1 cup  brown sugar

½ cup maple syrup (Costco has a large bottle for a good price and it is kosher)
4 eggs
6 apples, peeled and grated


Preheat oven to  (355°F). 

Place the flour and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to combine.

 Add the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, eggs and apple and mix well to combine. 

Spoon into 12 well greased 1 cup-capacity  Bundt tins. 

Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Turn out immediately. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Smoked Salmon Chowder

To continue on in my"use it up" approach to cooking that package of lox (smoked salmon) was just sitting in the refrigerator not being pursued. It is not that we don't like it; we most certainly do. It is that, thankfully, the refrigerator and cupboard are full and there is always something delicious to make.

I decided, it was the turn of the smoked salmon to be created with. Actually, Cooking Light did the creating. I was more like a sub-contractor, doing the detail work to make it better. I added the red bell pepper and spinach to the mix and used sour cream instead of whipping cream. I also did not use butter and only used olive oil. We have lots of chives in the garden so that became part of this soup. Whatever I did and whatever the recipe said, the results were astounding. My husband who has been for stopping soup until next Fall, could not stop raving.

Smoked Salmon Chowder (adapted from Cooking Light)

1 tablespoon oil

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2" pieces

1 large onion, diced small

1 carrots, diced

1 tomato, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced

1 cup water

3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup milk

1 cup sour cream

1 cup vegetable broth (salt-free)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup chopped smoked salmon

2 cups spinach, cut up

1 tablespoon fresh chives

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic


Heat oil in slow cooker. Add vegetables and leave on high for 30 minutes. (except spinach)

Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and saute for a few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the , potatoes, broth, and water.

Leave on high for another 30 minutes and lower to warm setting. Cook for 2 hours. Add milk and sour cream, chives, garlic and onion powder.

Taste and make any necessary additions of the seasoning. Add the smoked salmon and the spinach and turn to high for 20 minutes.

* This is in the latest Cooking Light and not yet online. There are changes in this recipe from the original.

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to Waste Not Want Not Wednesday    Full Plate Thursday     Foodie Friday

Monday, May 12, 2014

Almond Streusel Coffee Cake - The Home Bakers

It is good to be back.  Having been away from blogging since January, I came back with a different point of view as to what I expect from blogging and what I want to give to blogging.  This has changed greatly.  I am not sure why but I do know that before I had to take a break, I was thinking about how to change the blog and evaluating the time I put into it.  These changes may be a continuation of that or perhaps, having such a big change in my life caused me to re-prioritize.

This time, I will not allow myself to feel pressured to get a recipe on the blog.  I had made up mandatory obligations for myself and if I ask why, I don't have a sensible answer.  I do have to meet my commitment to the groups I am in and that is my pleasure to do.  On the other hand, if for some reason, I can't accomplish this, I am not going to beat myself up.  Of course, this does not include any group where we cook from another blog.  That is not negotiable barring an emergency.

I love my baking group because it gives me an excuse to bake.  With a gluten-free husband who does not like chocolate, I am limited.  I get most of my baking done for my class and they appreciate almost everything.  They also think it is wonderful.  I remember once, bringing in a cake with the sugar missing and they loved it and wanted me to make it again.  I am afraid, they are not very discerning.

This month in THB, we baked a Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake or I should say, others baked that.  I had no pecans and subbed in almonds which I am sure are just as good.  This has the best rating.  My husband told me that this is the cake he wants me to bake often.  He rarely says this.  I made it gluten free and used a mixture of Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour and Potato Starch in place of the AP flour.  Generally, this combination serves me well as it did in this case.

This was selected by  Mich of Piece of Cake and you will the recipe on here site.  Mich has a great blog and I am sure, if you look around, you will find other recipes you will like.

This group was started by Joyce of Kitchen Flavors.  Joyce has a lot going and I would stop by and say hello and see what else she is cooking up.

Linked to

Peaches and Cream Muffins SRC

Secret Recipe ClubI have missed the Secret Recipe Club.  I love looking through other foodie's blogs and finding out how they approach cooking and eating.  

The approach of Jen's Journey is to make recipes that are doable.  You can get the ingredients easily and the recipes, in most cases, are easy to make and look delicious.  I had no problem finding something to make.  At this point, I am stressing baking so that hubby has snack food.  When I saw the scrumptious sounding muffins, I knew this would be the ones to make.

We love muffins and I have made quite a variety over the years.  One year, I made a different muffin each week and we loved every moment, eating them and planning the next variation.

Jen is a family person with hubs and two teens, one gal and guy.  It seems, they grew up overnight and she is enjoying every moment of this growth.  Anybody else wonder where they years have gone?  Tucker isJen's beloved Chihuahua and it sounds to me like that makes five in the family.  A lot of love shines through in Jen's Journey.

Peaches and Cream Muffins (adapted from Jen's Journey)

Ingredients :

1 egg
½ cup milk
¼ cup walnut oil
1-1/2 cups gluten-free flour
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen peaches, thawed


    In a bowl, beat egg; add milk and oil. 

    Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; stir into the egg mixture just until moistened. Stir in the peaches.

    Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. 

    Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean. 

    Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Passover Noodles

Ingenuity is called for when Passover arrives.  There are plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables that can keep one satiated and happy for days but there is still that craving for the "good stuff".  Cakes, noodles, muffins, pancakes and the likes, suddenly turn into the important foods in your life.  If you can't have them, you want them, and most of us have come up with ways to make all of these without any flour.  Potato starch is the secret ingredient and I make brownies, pies, blondies, sugar cookies, cakes and candy from this wonderful ingredient. As the wife of one afflicted with celiac, potato starch is a staple in our lives but during the year, it is mixed with a variety of flours.  We use rice flour, sorghum, almond, coconut, nut, tapioca, etc.  There are too many to name.
For Pesach, it is potato starch and fortunately, it works just fine.  I am not saying, the finished product is the same; it is not.  What it is, is delicious.

Pesach (Passover) Egg Noodles


3 eggs

4 tablespoons. potato starch

1/4 cup water

oil for cooking


Place water, eggs and potato starch into a medium sized bowl.  Mix ingredients together.  Most likely, you will see lumps.  You can leave them just like that.  I have used my immersion blender but it takes time and the results are basically the same.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in small skillet or crepe pan.

Pour the egg mixture in, tilting the skillet so that the egg spreads and makes a crepe. Fry for about 30 seconds or until it is dry enough to turn over.

Flip it over and fry it some more, till it’s beginning to slightly brown. Add oil when necessary.

Set the first crepe aside while you repeat the process till you’ve used up all the egg mixture. Drain each crepe on a paper towel.  Then put aside on a plate or platter.

 Roll each crepe up.  Slice into the size noodles you prefer.  

Use in soup. (I once made a kugel using these.)

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to See Ya in The Gumbo

Friday, May 9, 2014

Waste Not-Want Not Mushrooms

I should give this blog s new name.  It has become a blog to answer the question, "What do I do with the ..._________________ on the shelf or in the freezer or refrigerator.  No matter my plans, no matter the recipe, I tend to spot a box of something that I want to use up and the recipe changes, on the spot.

As a result, my cupboards are clearing out and my refrigerator is neater than usual.  My upright freezer is a dream to use with its designated shelves that are remaining in good order.

I had bought mushrooms for another recipe which I decided not to make.  This meant a package of beautiful mushrooms with no where to go.  Waste not - want not.  I had to use the mushrooms and I had a desire for potatoes.  Now I have mushrooms and potatoes and there are always onions around .  I pulled a large one out and came across the recipe below which was now going to happen.

This is another easy recipe if you don't mind mashing potatoes and browning vegetables.  I use my masher and it does a great job and I get creamy mashed potatoes.  My masher is in my top ten "helpers" in the kitchen.

Onion Mushroom Kugel

2 1/2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled
dash salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 lb small mushroom, quartered
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon paprika


Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted water.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 35 minutes or until very tender.  Drain and cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 350°F

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Saute onions over medium heat approximately 7 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add mushrooms and saute until browned.

While onions and mushrooms are cooking, cut potatoes into large pieces and roughly mash.  Stir broth in with potatoes, then add beaten eggs.

Stir in 1 cup mushroom onion mixture, salt and pepper.

Spoon  the potato mixture into a 8 x 8 square casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Top with remaining mushroom onion mixture, then with remaining potato.
Smooth top of potatoes and sprinkle with paprika.

Bake uncovered for 50 minutes or until top is firm and light golden at edges.

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to See Ya in The Gumbo

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spinach Kugelette

I have mentioned, several times, how much I love minis.  I turn many dishes into minis, anything from muffins to meatloaves.  Thus, it is not surprising, I did the same with these delicious mini spinach kugels.  This is another Pesach recipe.

I love my Passover cookbooks and manage to buy a new one each year.  Good thing, the Jewish publishers accommodate my wants and publish these almost annually.  This particular book has been sending a paper booklet to homes across the country for a number of years.  The recipes have been proven and I mean by me.  They are some of the best Pesach recipes, I have come across.  When I found out, a book was being published with those recipes and more, I immediately ordered it.  The book was not out yet but it could be pre-ordered and that is what I did.

I couldn't wait for it to arrive and when it did, I found a quiet place and checked out each page and wrote down page after page or dishes, I just had to make.  Although, I have some excellent holiday cookbooks, I started with this one and the first few days of cooking was based on A Taste of Pesach.  I did not nor could I make each recipe, I had my eye on, but I did make a dent in the book.

I hope to share more of these for you.  As i said before, they are not only for Passover, but are delicious all year round.

Spinach Kugelettes adapted from A Taste of Pesach


16 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed (I used fresh spinach and chopped it up)
2 tablespoons oil
2 onions, diced
2 tablespoons mayonnaise  (I left this out)
3 tablespoons water
2 eggs
1 tablespoon potato starch or for now, flour can be used
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and saute until translucent. Drain and discard any liquid from spinach. 

Add spinach to onions and cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat. 

Cool slightly, then add mayonnaise and water. Beat eggs in a small bowl, then add to skillet, stirring constantly so the eggs won’t curdle from the heat. Add the rest of the ingredients. 

Lightly grease muffin pan. Divide mixture evenly among cups. Alternately, lightly grease a 9" round pan and spread mixture in. Bake 35 minutes for kugelletes and 45 minutes for kugel. 

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to:  Full Plate Thursday       Wonderfully Creative Wednesday          Foodie Friday
See Ya in The Gumbo

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Cabbage Kugel

I made some unique and fabulous dishes over the Passover holiday.  I had no time to post them, at that time , but now I would like to share them with you.  They can be made all year and certainly flour can be subbed in for potato starch.   

It is amazing how good the food is considering our limitations.  There are some different customs amongst groups of Jews and ours is not to use rice, beans, peas and corn along with any of our usual flour.  Sephardic Jew use these.

Some of us don't wet matzah which means no matzah balls.  I know there are some who make these with potato starch.  I tried one year and we did not like them.  The truth is we eat kneidlach (matzah balls) throughout the year so we don't miss them for a week.

My kitchen is filled with fresh fruit and vegetables.   It seems like we peel and chop for the entire week.  Fortunately, I have a food processor which does make a major difference in the work load.  We so get some good mulch at this time.

I think, we don't realize just  how much produce that is accessible to us for most of the year.  When we really need it (Pesach) there is an abundance and food is not boring.  While, I am not a big fan of kugels during the year, I make many on the holiday.  I also do a lot of layering to make prettier dishes.  For example, there is a three layer gefilte fish loaf that is a beauty.  I did not make it this year but when I have, it has been a great success.

When I said, I was making this cabbage kugel, there were a few moans and groans but happily, everyone more than liked it.  It had such a nice texture and taste.  It did not have a real cabbage flavor.  Perhaps the little bit of sugar did the truck.  

Cabbage Kugel (Passover or all year) adapted from Culinary Kosher

1 bag shredded cabbage
1 carrot, shredded
2 onions, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 shake pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten (the original recipe used 6 egg whites.  I don't like the dishes that light.  I want something more authentic (year-round food).
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup potato starch (Feel free to use AP or Gluten-free flour.)

Saute the onion and carrots together with the cabbage.

Add the salt, sugar, and pepper. Beat the egg  the oil and potato starch.

 Add the cabbage mixture and mix well.  

Pour into 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for about 50 minutes.

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to   Waste Not Want Not Wednesday     You're Going to Love It Tuesday

Monday, May 5, 2014

Walnut Coffee Cake - Cooking Light

Grandchildren are adorable.  I was talking to my three year old granddaughter who was telling me that her Mommy planted berries today.  I asked if I could have some.  She told me, "no, they are at home."  I asked her where I was.  She answered, "in the phone."  Who would have thought?

I bake a lot over Passover but there is no kidding oneself that all the cakes turn out as good as those made with flour.  The brownies, blondies and nut cookies are the real deal and I would bet, it would be difficult to tell that they are for Passover.  I don't use matzah meal which means potato starch is the bulk of each.  I made some great apple desserts using this.

After the holiday, I could not wait to bake something and pulled out the Cooking Light book which has appealed to be since the day, I got it.  When I look through baking books, I must take into consideration which will be made gluten-free with ease and effectively.

Walnut Coffee Cake adapted from Cooking Light Everyday Baking

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (chopped small)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 1/4 cups gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
10 tablespoon oil
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups nonfat buttermilk
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.

Combine sugar and oil in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until well combined. Add  eggs and; beat 3 minutes or until combined. Beat in vanilla.

Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating well after each addition and scraping sides of bowl. Spoon half of batter into a 10-inch Bundt pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over batter; spoon remaining half of batter into pan. 

Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to:  See ya in the Gumbo      Tempting Tuesday       Tuesday's Table       Simple Supper Tuesdays     Hearth and Soul       Two Cup Tuesday    Create Link Inspire