Welcome to the home of BIZZY people where cooking is fun, quick, easy and delicious. Over the years, my taste in food has changed, as have my recipes. This blog will chronicle the changes I continue to make, as I face challenges in healthier eating and in new methods of cooking.
One of my more embarrassing moments. I can't find my Modern Classics 1 by Donna Hay. I searched my house and it is no where to be found yet I remember exactly where I put it or at least, I thought I did.
This is not the first time, I misplaced it. One time, I did the house search and finally after two or three days, found it in my son's bedroom, which is now a guest room. We have a computer in there and evidently, I went in there to check something out with book in hand. I left without it and forgot completely about taking if from its designated spot.
The next time, I misplaced this book, I found it in our den. I had gone to chat with hubby, again, book in hand and put it down. Once again, I walked away without Donna's hard work and also found it a few days later.
Where did I take it this time? I will let you know when I locate it.
You would think, I didn't like Donna Hay, the way I lose her book so often. On the other hand, it is because, I use it so often that I lose it.
This week, we made good old spaghetti and meatballs in tomato sauce, chosen by Margaret, and since I was able to locate the recipe elsewhere, I cooked with the group. Although, these were not highly spiced, they had a distinctive flavor which we love. In truth, it is difficult to ruin spaghetti and meatballs. Donna certainly did not. Another success from our pal, Donna. Check out the other Donna cooks and see what they have made.
I am not a big fan of stews but with chicken, this one took on a whole different look and taste. It was much lighter than the beef stews, I have made and I liked each of the ingredients. My preference for chicken and turkey over beef has come about in the past few years and with our affection for vegetables. I found this recipe of COOKstr. It was meant for a pressure cooker but I chose to make it in a pot. It did not seem it would take that long.
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium-size carrots, sliced
1 large parsnip, sliced
½ small head green cabbage, shredded
4 medium-size potatoes
1 can (14½ ounces) stewed tomatoes
2 cups water
3 chicken cutlets, cut into small pieces (about an inch square)
¼ cup fresh dill or parsley leaves (optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat oil in large pot. Add the onion and stir it around until it is coated with the oil. Reduce the heat to low and sauté gently, stirring every now and then, until softened, 5 to 10 minutes.
Scrub and quarter the potatoes. Add all the vegetables to the pot along with the stewed tomatoes and water. Bring the liquid to a simmer over high heat.
Add the pieces of chicken to the pot. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile mince or, easier yet, finely snip the dill, if using, with scissors.
Add the lemon juice and dill to the pot, stir, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
I am in the midst of my cooking for the Jewish holidays and I decided the easiest way to accomplish my goals is to use specific ingredients in several recipes. For example, I made a large pot of rice and made four different dishes with the rice. I did the same with quinoa and with kabocha. It seemed amazing how quickly completely different dishes fell into place. This recipe is from Bon Appetit.
Roasted Kabocha and Parsnips with Maple Glaze(adapted)
2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled kabocha squash
2 cups 1/4- to 1/3-inch cubes peeled parsnips
2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Grease 11x7x2-inch baking dish.
Combine kabocha and parsnips in large bowl.
Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add oil.
Whisk in remaining ingredients.
Add to squash mixture and toss to coat.
Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Cover squash mixture with foil. Bake covered 40 minutes.
Uncover; bake until all vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes longer.
I have a number of containers of cooked chicken soup in my freezer and I use this as a base for many dishes, especially soups. Since the holidays are coming up, I defrosted a few and turned them into different soups such as this Potage Parmentier. This was easy to make and we loved every spoonful. I spent the day cooking soups and rice dishes and I hope to share them all with you.
Potage Parmentier (adapted from Julia Child)
4 peeled potatoes, sliced or diced
1 bunch thinly sliced leeks including the tender green
1 quart of chicken broth
4 tablespoons Rice Milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons minced chives
Simmer the vegetables in the soup until cooked, about 30 minutes.
Add the Rice Milk. Add salt and pepper.
Using a hand blender, mix to smoothness, you want. If you like some lumps of vegetables, remove them before using the blender.
Crispy Sage Potatoes with Fried Eggs - adapted from Donna Hay
This recipe got my attention right away. I love potatoes and I love eggs and together, they are doubly good. I am being repetitive but this is yet another easy recipe from Donna Hay. She has a way of putting food together that tastes good. It is not fancy but it works.
Check out the other Donna cooks and see what they have made.
For years, I wanted to get crystallized ginger but didn't see it in any of the stores. Whenever, I came across a recipe that called for it, I thought again to track it down but I guess, it was not that important. The other day, I was in one of the local stores that I frequent on a regular basis and there on the shelf was the ginger. I am wondering if it had been there all the time or if they just got it in.
Oriental Rice with Crystallized Ginger 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 shallot, minced 1 tablespoon Crystallized Ginger, chopped fine 2 cups cooked brown rice
Heat oil in a skillet.
Add shallot and cook for 3 minutes.
Add the crystallized ginger and cook for another minute or 2. Stir occasionally.
Add rice to the pan and mix all the ingredients.
When everything is heated, it is ready to be served.
I made this because the name of the soup sounded so "weird". I have made creamy broccoli soup for many years but never thought of adding apple to the soup. Apple has such a clean flavor to it, I decided that if it didn't improve it, it certainly wouldn't harm it. I made it for the upcoming Jewish holidays and I have not tasted it yet. I will have to get back to you with a report on what the apple does, if anything.
I was looking through Inspired Taste when I saw this pasta and knew I had to make it. The site is fantastic with tons of recipes, you might want to make. I know, I do.
My husband doesn't love avocado although he eats it, when served, but I love it, so this was more for me than for him. That is so unusual since I love cooking for him and usually make what he wants, before what I want. I eat a more varied diet and like almost everything he wants. He can't say the same. He eats a more bland diet than I like so I spice up my food on my plate, rather than in the cooking. This is not necessarily the same but it works well enough for me. I am married to one of those men who has done a lot for me, over the years, and cooking seems so small compared to all he has given of himself. There are those moments though, when I want something and this is one of them. I love this. Avocado Pasta (Adapted from Inspired Taste)
8 ounces pasta (brown rice spaghetti) 1 avocado 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1/8 teaspoon salt (I added more on my plate.) 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 1 medium tomato 1 green onion, finely chopped
Cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of hot pasta water then drain pasta.
In the meantime, de-seed and dice the tomato then set aside.
Next, add avocado to a large bowl and use a fork to mash into a paste (some chunks are fine).
Add lemon juice, salt and a sprinkle of pepper then mix well. Taste for seasoning and add salt and/or pepper to taste.
Add cooked and drained pasta, 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and tomatoes to the avocado; toss.
The avocado should turn into a thin sauce that coats the pasta, if you need to thin the sauce out slightly, add a little more pasta water then serve with green onions sprinkled on top.
This is baking time with the holidays upon us (Jewish). I think first of the grandchildren and what they would like. Chocolate usually is the first thought and it does always please. These cookies are filled with that wonderful ingredients and taste outrageously CHOCOLATE. That spells Winner.
The parents monitor the amount the kids eat. If you are a parent who are blessed with living parents, please let the kids indulge a bit with the grandma's and grandpops or in our case, the Bubbys and Zaidys. I am good and don't say a word but these are bonding moments and memories for the little ones and they mean the world to us.
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped 4 tablespoons margarine 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs 3/4 cup (packed) light-brown sugar 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract 8 ounces chocolate cut into chunks (small)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat chopped chocolate and margarine in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring in between, until almost melted; do not overheat. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high-speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
Using cookie scoop (teaspoon or tablespoon - baking time varies), drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in centers,9 - 12 minutes. Cool on sheets 10 minutes; with a thin metal spatula, transfer to racks to cool completely.
I must admit, I am not sure why the Donna Hay site lists this recipe as caramelized tomatoes when chicken is a major part of the recipe, I added the chicken to the title and I am happy it is part of the recipe since it makes up a major part of my dinner, tonight. I am thinking of serving it with a bright green broccoli side dish and hopefully will produce a pretty colored plate. I have not tasted the dish yet so I can't tell you how it turned out but I can easily guess. This was one of the easiest dishes, we have made and I am betting with the balsamic vinegar, one of the tastiest. The chicken is only spiced with salt and pepper which should be enough. You can find the recipe here.
Check out the other Donna cooks and see what they have made.
We have been waiting for the cool weather so we can have soup and more soup. Both hubby and I love soup. Almost any soup will appeal to the two of us. He won't eat asparagus soup but that is the one exception, I can think of. I plan to make lots of soups, during the cool/cold weather and tonight was the beginning of what I hope will be really great eating.
Creamy Potato Spinach Soup
2 tablespoons. olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 5 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes 16 ounces vegetable broth 2/3 cup whipped cream cheese 2 cups baby spinach, cut into smaller pieces 1/2 teaspoon rosemary Salt and pepper to taste
In a crock pot, place oil and heat. Add onions and cook on high for 30 minutes.
Add vegetable broth and potatoes.
Reduce heat to medium and cover and cook for 3 hours.
Use an immersion blender to make as smooth or lumpy, as you like.
Add cream cheese. Stir to combine well. Use immersion blender again if the cheese does not blend in. I intended to use sour cream and found, I did not have any. I had a choice of yogurt or cream cheese and I decided, I wanted a richer soup and went with the cream cheese. Add chopped spinach and mix it in well so that it cooks quickly. Leave on for 2 minutes.
Position a rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350°.Greaser a 9 x 5 x 3" loaf pan.
Combine eggs, oil and buttermilk.
Trim zucchini ends. Thinly slice five 1/8" rounds from 1 end of zucchini and reserve for garnish.
Coarsely grate remaining zucchini.
Add to bowl with butter mixture and stir until well blended.
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl. Whisk in cornmeal.
Add zucchini mixture; fold just to blend (mixture will be very thick). Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top. Place reserved zucchini slices atop batter down center in a single layer. Bake bread until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; let cool completely on a wire rack.
When my husband was diagnosed with celiac, we turned to rice to get through the transition. At that time, there was very little available to the gluten-free consumer, unlike today where there is an abundance, in every store, in every aisle and probably on every shelf. Now, when looking for a filling dish, I turn to kasha, quinoa and rice and also pasta. Now, there are many pastas available for this special diet. When I first started cooking without gluten, there was one that I knew of and it was made of corn and was not very good, at least, compared to what is now in the market. Rice, while still a major part of our eating has taken a backseat to other choices such as vegetables. Vegetables are not only safe for hubby to eat, they are good for us and delicious in many dishes. You can see with the addition of more grains and vegetables, cooking became much more interesting. Of course, there are also different flour(s) available and baking mixes. No longer, do I have to say, "no" to requests for fun foods such as pancakes or tortillas. Bagels, English muffins, pies, cakes and cookies are all easily available. It is good, I like to bake, but if I didn't, there are kosher gluten-free brands and they are easy to find. This leads us back to rice. Friday, hubby asked for rice and it made me realize that we hadn't had a rice dish in weeks. Rice is versatile and I didn't know where to start in selecting a dish. Hubby likes them all. There is no favorite. I decided to browse and came across this Harvest Rice recipe, not so different from other dishes, I have made in the past. It turned out to be better than many of them though. The orange zest may have been the secret ingredient or perhaps the cranberries. All I know is that we liked this dish very much. Harvest Rice (adapted from Allrecipes)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 cups vegetable) broth
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 tablespoon oil
2 onions, sliced into 1/8 inch wedges
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
salt and pepper to taste
Place almonds on an ungreased baking sheet. Toast at 350 degrees F ) for 5 to 8 minutes.
Place broth and brown rice in a medium saucepan, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes, until rice is tender and broth is absorbed.
In medium skillet, heat oil. Add onions and brown sugar.
Saute until butter is absorbed and onions are translucent and soft.
Reduce heat, and cook onions for another 20 minutes, until they are caramelized.
Stir cranberries in the skillet.
Cover, and cook 10 minutes or until berries start to swell.
Stir in almonds and orange zest, then fold the mixture into the cooked rice.