Showing posts from August, 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.  Otherwi…

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 t…

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

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 ka…

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 c…

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 …

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…

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 lar…

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

Banana Bread     
                 Zucchini Bread

Maple Oatmeal Bread


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…

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.


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 squas…

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…

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 35…

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 S…

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 see…