Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tortilla de Patata

Tortilla de Patata

Last year (I can only say that for four more days) when I was in Spain, I ran into this offering in the Navarra region and again in the Galacia region. Tortilla there, is not the flour/corn flatbread we think of in the States as Mexican food. In Spain, the tortillas refer to pan-sized egg omeletes that are sliced like we do with pies.

These were hearty meals, held up well in the backpack and did not spoil (at least for the day or two I would haul them around - yes, unrefrigerated).

When I returned to the U.S.A., I craved the foods that I had enjoyed on the Camino. I found a website that had imported food and items from Spain. Last year it was Cola Cao and Membrillo that I ordered. To make the tortillas it requires that you flip the pan sized omelet over. So before Christmas it meant pan > plate > pan > plate. Quite an undertaking when one utensil is HOT.

The only thing I "wished" for for Christmas was a Tortilla Espanola pan. A double skillet (they hook together) for making the basic Tortilla de Patata (and its variations). Thank you baby doll!

Here's the recipe sent with the pan....a Google search will net you others with various combinations of ingredients: peppers, ham, etc.


6 eggs
4 large potatoes, peeled, sliced thin.
1 medium onion, sliced thin.
olive oil

Peel and slice the potatoes. I cut them in half lengthwise and then sliced them. Same with the onion. Brown the potatoes and onions in a pan with the olive oil. The potatoes should be ready to eat when done.

Wisk the eggs in a large bowl and add the browned potato/onion mixture. The English translation says to "check for salt". I did and it was on the counter, right by the stove. Then I added it. You'll have to guess how much because I didn't feel like tasting raw eggs for the salt content. And I peppered it up too...just because I do that.

Oil your pan again and add the mixture. Cook until set and slightly browned. Cover with another heated frying pan or slide on to a plate. Either flip the pans over or put the uncooked side down into the original pan. Cook until brown again, not letting the inside fully dry out (cook). Remove to serving plate and let it stand for a few minutes. Slice and serve.

I heated a ham steak while this was cooking. Nice and lean and tasty with the tortilla.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Buffet

Christmas Day was just supposed to be breakfast and dinner. But I received new cookbooks and utensils and didn't dally in using them. The menu below reflects dinner and what I did the rest of the day.

Biscuits and Gravy

Gingersnap Pot Roast with Dumplings
Pefect Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Nope - no vegetable - it was Christmas!

Chocolate Mousse in white chocolate serving cups
Eggnog Cookies

The last two were from a Christmas gift/cookbook. I've posted the link. But, I've also heard it is out of print now. Well, I'm so happy I got one. LOVE IT! The mousse will be a regular item for me to make. So sweet, so good, and not really bad for you in the small serving sizes I made. The chocolate serving cups? Well, I have plans for those in the future - in a much smaller size. So easy, so decadent!

I spent the entire day (after presents) in the kitchen!

Check out my next post for another Christmas gift that was awesome!

Gingersnap Pot Roast with Dumplings

Gingersnap Pot Roast

My mother-in-law gave me this recipe many years ago. I made it once for a boss/friend of mine who was a gourmet cook. I caught him in the kitchen after dinner spooning the gravy directly out of the pan. Easy and tasty!

Pot Roast:
Beef Pot Roast, plan to cook it 1/2 hour per pound.
Olive oil
12-16 gingersnap cookies, crumpled
1 onion sliced thin
3-4 tbls. vinegar
Dahs of clove

1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder

Heat oven to 300 degrees. In a dutch oven/roaster that can be placed in the oven AND used on the stove (I have a Pyrex/Correlle one that's probably considered an antique by now), heat the oil and brown the roast.

Drain any remaining oil, add onions, add enough water (hot water if using a glass pot) to cover the roast 3/4 of the way, salt/pepper the top of the roast. Add the cloves and crumpled cookies to the water and give it a stir.

Bake until internal roast temperature is 155 degrees. The liquid should be simmering. When done, move roast to a platter and cover to keep warm.

Return roaster/dutch oven to the stove top and stir and simmer until it is just before a gravy consistency. While it is simmering, mix the dumpling ingredients, addking just enough milk to make soft, but not sticky balls.

Drop the dumpling mixture into gravy by teaspoonfuls. Cook 15 minutes without peeking. (This is why I have the clear dutch oven - so I don't cheat).

When done - remove the dumplings to a serving dish, then the onions.

The gravy should be a perfect consistency without adding any thickener. (If you need to thicken it, use cornstarch). Strain gravy, serve.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cooking Marathon

Fun weekend:

8 dozen Better Than Sex Cookies
6 loaves of Banana Bread
5 dozen Polvorones
4 ChickPea Burgers
3 loaves of Cranberry Orange Apricot Bread
1 Roasted Apple Tart in Phyllo
1 batch of Hummus
1 batch Cranberry Sauce

Would have been much faster with the second oven....SEARS are you listening?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Buttermilk Substitute

Buttermilk Substitute
From Faster than a trip to the store :)

Milk (just under one cup)
1 Tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice
1. Place a Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup.
2. Add enough milk to bring the liquid up to the one-cup line.
3. Let stand for five minute. Then, use as much as your recipe calls for.

A Perfect Day

My day began with yoga. The center that I started attending a few months ago is fabulous. The instructor knows how to encourage and push me to the next level. It is truly my refuge from stress and the awesome start to many good days.

I did the zig jag shop up the road and got all the rest of my holiday shopping done in less than an hour. I bought some fabric for my next project - a cloth clollage.

Home to some wonderful leftovers and completed my second art project. I did a gift for a co-worker of mine for Christmas.

I'll do some more holiday cooking here in a bit and today can be deemed - ultra perfect.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yummy Scramble

Yummy Scramble

1/2 T Penzey's green pepper flakes
1/2 T Penzey's red pepper flakes
1/2 t bottled, minced garlic
3 dried sundried tomatoes halves, cut into strips
1 t butter
2 eggs
1 t sour cream
pinch of kosher salt

Soak the peppers and tomatoes in a little water to hydrate. Melt the butter in a skillet. Drain veggies and add to skillet with garlic. Saute for a few minutes. Beat the eggs until mixed. Pour over veggies and allow egg to cook until somewhat set. Scramble to complete cooking. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve with sour cream.

This was excellent served with a slice of my molassas/whole wheat homemade bread

Fresh Cranberry Sauce

I'm so sorry to say I can't post my recipe for this. It is another exquisite recipe from Chef Kent at Chef's Table.

I've looked and looked for a recipe online that I could share in its place and I can't find one.

So this is a promo ad for my favorite place to eat.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pork Medallions with Apricot-Orange Sauce

I've posted on this before, but only as a link. This is a great recipe and I'll be serving it for company this week.

Pork Medallions with Apricot-Orange Sauce
(Cooking Light and

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, cut into 8 (1-inch-thick) slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup dried apricots, sliced
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork evenly with salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add pork to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan; keep warm.

(Or prepare tenderloin in oven and slice when ready to serve)

Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in apricots, broth, juice, garlic, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir in parsley. Serve sauce with pork.

4 servings (serving size: 2 pork slices and 1/4 cup sauce)

Calories: 236 (29% from fat)

This is a great meal to make in advance and heat up when ready to serve.

Diana's Deviled Eggs

Here it is folks - the infamous, delectable, most sought after Curried Deviled Egg recipe in existence:

Makes 12 halves.
From Diana, who credits Jennifer Balderama, The Washington Post

6 large hard-boiled eggs
4 T Mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip)
2 t Dijon-style mustard
½ t curry powder (I use Penzey's)
¼ t Dry mustard
Dash cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped green onion for garnish (optional)

Peel the eggs. Using a thin-bladed knife, halve the eggs lengthwise. Using a teaspoon, carefully remove the yolks, leaving the whites intact, and transfer the yolks to a small mixing bowl. Place the whites, cut side up, on a plate.

Using the back of a fork, mash the yolks with the mayo, Dijon mustard, curry powder, dry mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper until smooth and well-mixed.

Using a teaspoon, carefully spoon the yolk mixture back into the hollows of he egg-white halves; there should be enough to create a small mound on top of each. Garnish with green onion if desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Chicken Spinach Sundried Tomato Pizza

This pizza sounded so horrible to me, but it was my daughter's favorite request at a local pizza place. They discontinued serving it after the recent spinach scare. I made this for her last night and she rated it as "better" than the one she used to order and I liked it a lot too. Being "of the season" I used turkey breast instead of chicken.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
2/3 can tomato paste
tablespoon dried onion
1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) Penzey's Granulated Garlic
1/4-1/2 teaspoon (or to taste) Penzey's Mural of Flavor
1/4 teaspoon olive oil (garlic)
prepared marinara (optional)
additional olive oil (I used garlic flavored)
sundried tomato (I prefer the dehydrated type vs marinated)
1 1/2 - 2 cups diced, cooked, turkey breast
2 garlic cloves, minced
additional granulated garlic
4-6 cups fresh spinach leaves
grated mozzarella
sea or kosher salt

Prepare pizza dough and let rise.

Prepare "sauce" with tomato paste, dried onion, seasonings and oil. Add water to make it a spreadable conistency. Set asside to let the dried onion soften and the flavors mix. You can skip this section and use prepared marinara or pizza sauce if you'd like.

If using dried tomatoes (not soaked in oil), place them in a small bowl with boiling or very hot water. Set aside.

When the dough has doubled in size punch/press down the dough and prepare the following:

In one skillet, saute the minced garlic in the garlic olive oil for a few minutes and add the chicken/turkey cubes to blend flavors.

In another skillet use a bit more of the olive oil and saute the spinach leaves until just wilted and do a very tiny sprinkling of salt and granulated garlic.

Roll out the pizza dough making a "pie crust rim" (this is going to be stacked high). Spread whatever marinara sauce you've chosen to use - edge to edge. Sprinkle generously with cheese. Place the cooked spinach on top of the cheese. Next comes the meat. Drain the tomato water and cut the tomatoes into strips/pieces, discarding the tough parts. Place these on top of the meat. Top the whole thing with another light sprinkle of salt and granulated garlic (go easy here).

Bake at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes. 6-8 slices depending on how you slice it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Tortillas by Maria Guadalupe

I received this recipe about 10-11 years ago when helping build houses in Tijuana with Esperanza. She came to our posada to teach us how to make real tortillas (the Mexico kind). I'll post the Espana kind of tortilla in another post.


Flour 4.4 lbs (approx)
Lard 1.1 lbs (approx)
Salt 1/4 C (approx)
Hot Water 4 C (approx)

En Espanol / Metric
Harina 2 kilos
Manteca 1/2 kilo
Sal (to taste)
Agua Claiente (as needed)


In a large bowl cut the lard into the flour by hand until it resembles a pie crust pastry texture. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the hot water. Add enough water to form a ball. Stir first with a spoon and then knead by hand.

Pinch off golf ball sized balls. Dust each one with flour and roll out on an unfloured board with a rolling pin. In a medium hot Teflon or cast iron pan, with no oil, brown each tortilla on each side.

Makes approximately 45 tortillas.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Quick and Tasty Garlic Hummus

With all the appliances not yet working optimally (at all) I needed to get creative on what I could make without an oven or stove.

3 cans of chickpeas (drained with liquid reserved)
1/2 cup reserved reserved liquid
1/4 cup olive oil (use your good oil, garlic is best)
2 tablespoons garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon Turkish Seasoning (Penzey's)
1/4 teaspoon Granulated Garlic (Penzey's)
1/4 cup tahini, stirred well (room temperature)
1/4 lemon juice
salt to taste (remembering the canned chickpeas contain a lot of sodium)

In a food processor, puree the chickpeas with the reserved chickpea water, 1/4 cup olive oil and the garlic paste. Add the Turkish Seasoning, Garlic Granules along with the tahini and lemon juice and process until creamy. Season the hummus with salt, if needed, and transfer to a serving bowl.

NOTE Tahini has a tendency to separate, so be sure to stir the sesame paste thoroughly before measuring.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Creme Anglaise

This is the mother of all sweetness! I found this recipe at All Recipes - it is very close to what I was given and it was part of the wonderful bread pudding I made this weekend.

Stay with this while you're making it - stir, stir, stir. Don't let it boil or it will break the sauce. Simmer good. Boil bad.

1 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup white sugar

In a small, heavy saucepan, heat cream and vanilla until bubbles form at edges.
While cream is heating, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Gradually add egg yolk mixture back to remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.

This will be the mother of all desert parts in the future!

This Week's Efforts

This has been a week of YUM!! I've tried to do a little something each night after work or yoga. It's going to be a lovely Thanksgiving day! My recipes this week are mostly from a local chef. Out of respect to him, I will look for the most closely matched recipes I can find online, but I can't post what he gave me. What I've cooked from his recipes this week has been divine so I'll do my best.

Here's what we're looking to blog today/this weekend:

Roasted Apple Tart - Matthew said "This is by far your best achievement Teri."
Pumpkin Pie - Upped the ante from previous years
Creme Anglais for Bread Pudding
Cranberry and White Chocolate Bread Pudding - pretty!
Gravy Beyond Belief
Cranberry Sauce - Chef made me pinky swear I would not serve the jello kind again.
Stuffing - Not your store bought one!
Pot Pie - think about those leftovers now!

Drool away darlings! And, I promise to post all those that I've had in "draft form" and haven't finished!

Bon Appetit!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Promise

So many of you have been nagging me on my lack of submittals of late. Well, I have been traveling and not had much of a chance to cook nor post. I promise to post a bunch this next weekend....OK?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Awesome Oatmeal

I was at a friend's house last week and he made the most awesome oatmeal ever! His secret: don't stir it. I tried it today and voila' - YUM!

Using old fashioned oatmeal (we're talking plain 'ole Quaker Oats") and following the package directions for measurements, boil the water, add the oats, give it a stir and stop stirring. Stir once later and then leave it alone until the water boils off. Take the temperature down a little bit if it threatens to boil over. And that's it.

Chunky, textured, fully cooked oatmeal that is hearty, beautiful to look at and really something to eat.

You'll never go back to instant.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Another Vegetable Pizza

This wasn't one of my daughter's favorites, but I had fun putting it together. You can decide if you like the tastes.

Start with, of course, the almost famous whole wheat pizza dough using rosemary olive oil.

Prepare ahead.

The Sauce:
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon pear chardonnay vinegar from Coeur d'Alene Olive Oil Store.
1/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (no flavoring)
pinch of sugar

Mix, set aside.

The Cheese:
1-1/2 - 2 cups Jarlesburg cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon Penzey's Pizza Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Grate cheese. Set aside 1/3. With the remaining, first dust with pepper, then dust with pizza seasoning to taste.

The Vegetables:
Yellow and green pepper slices
Half moon zucchini slices
Firm ripe just picked vine tomatoes

Roll out pizza dough, rub base with olive oil (I used rosemary again), spread sauce to fluted edges, spread spiced cheese, arrange vegetables, sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake at 450 degrees until cheese is melted and crust is cooked.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pumpkin Ravioli With Gorgonzola Sauce

This is a wonderful recipe that I learned about from Culinary In The Country. And they reference Cooking Light!
You can assemble the ravioli a day ahead, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. The ravioli will float when they are perfectly cooked. This freezes well also. I freeze the ravioli in one baggie, the sauce in another. And both in a "container" baggie.

Yield 6 servings

1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh sage
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
30 round wonton wrappers
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Cooking spray
1 cup fat-free milk
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted

Spoon pumpkin onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels, and spread to 1/2-inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand 5 minutes. Scrape into a medium bowl using a rubber spatula. Stir in breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt, minced sage, pepper, and nutmeg.
Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep from drying), spoon 2 teaspoons pumpkin mixture into the center of wrapper. Brush edges of wrapper with water and fold in half, pressing edges firmly with fingers to form a half-moon. Place on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch. Repeat procedure with remaining wonton wrappers and pumpkin mixture.

Fill a large Dutch oven with water; bring to a simmer. Add half of ravioli to pan (cover remaining ravioli with a damp towel to keep from drying). Cook 4 minutes or until done (do not boil), stirring gently. Remove ravioli with a slotted spoon; lightly coat with cooking spray, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining ravioli.

Combine milk and flour in a saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter, stirring until butter melts. Gently stir in Gorgonzola.

Place 5 ravioli in each of 6 shallow bowls, and drizzle each serving with 3 tablespoons Gorgonzola mixture. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons hazelnuts. Serve immediately.....or freeze :)

Easy Chocolate Muffins

Chocolate Muffins
(Change One site, I think)

Box of devils food cake mix
15 oz can of pumpkin (not seasoned) or 1-3/4 -2 cups fresh cooked pumpkin

Mix, place in muffin papers in muffin tin, bake at 350 degrees.

Makes 18 at approximately 130 calories each

These are chocolatey great!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Perfect Corn On The Cob

Perfect Corn On The Cob

Boil water in a dutch oven sized pot. Place corn in water and bring back to a boil. Place a lid on the pot. Set timer to 12 minutes. At the end of the 12 minutes remove the corn from water and place on serving plate. Perfect.

Grilled Pineapple

Grilled Pineapple
Penzey's One

1 whole pineapple, sliced and cored - 6-8 slices
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon water
1/2-1 teaspoon powdered ginger

Cut off both ends of the pineapple and slice. Trim the edges and then core the center. Brush with the honey/ginger mixture

Grill, watching carefully until lightly browned with the grill "marks" - about five minutes per side.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Limeade Pie

Limeade Pie

This is a different twist on the 15 minute summer treasure Lemonade Pie that is a favorite at our house. Using store bought crusts makes this a snap. (Thanks Peter for limeade idea!)

2 9-inch graham cracker pie crusts
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened (does not have to be a high-end brand nor vanilla bean)
12 oz limeade concentrate, thawed

Make (cool) or open package of crusts. In a large bowl ix ice cream and lemonade concentrate until smooth. Pour half of the mixture into each of the pie crusts. Freeze.

Serve frozen. Slice into six or eight pieces to serve.

Tonight's Delight - More Summer Pizza Ideas

Another pizza night another prize.

Start with the Whole Wheat Pizza Dough. I used garlic olive oil in this batch.

Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons basil from a tube
1 - 2 teaspoons (start low) brown sugar
1-2 teaspoon rosemary olive oil
Water to thin sauce to spreading consistency

Mix and let flavors blend.

During the last few minutes or while after you have "punched" down the dough you can start prepping the vegetables.

Smoked Mozzarella pieces with the tough outer layer removed
Halved (lengthwise) and sliced Zucchini
Chopped Green Pepper
Halved (vertically) Cherry Tomatoes (Set aside about 4-5 tomato halves for center garnish).
Sliced Mushrooms
Sliced Red Pepper
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
Rosemary Olive Oil

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Roll out dough, place on baking stone and flute edges like a pie crust.

Lightly oil the inside surface to the edges, leaving no "puddles". Spread tomatoe sauce to inside edges. Dot with smoked mozzarella.

Line the edges of the pice crust with the half moons of zuchini with the round portion facing the edge. (Use pieces that will totally "outline" the crust.) Place tomatoes, cut side up, in between the zucchini arches. Place mushrooms, cut side up, across top of pizza. Follow with red pepper slices (so they look like confetti). Sprinkled chopped green pepper last. Place remaining cherry tomatoes, cut side up, in the center.

Sprinkle tiny pieces of sea salt over pizza, followed by grinding pepper over the top. Drizzle rosemary olive oil (sparingly) over the top of the pizza.

Bake 15-20 minutes (checking after 15) for melted cheese and lightly browned crust.

The simple topping is necessary because the smokiness of the cheese brings up the rest of the flavors.

I think the smoked mozzarella would be excellent with chicken and a BBQ sauce on this hearty dough too.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tuna Espana

For nearly a year, I've longed for atun as done in Espana. I loved my cans of tuna that I ate while sitting under a tree. while farmers tended to their fields and animals grazed nearby.

Tuna in Spain is either sold plain in HUGE cans or as individual meals that were "enhanced" with oils and vegetables. Not finding recipes that matched my memory I experimented today and "think I found it"!

3 oz can of light tuna packed in water, drained
1/4 cup frozen corn thawed
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1-2 teaspoons garlic and herb (thyme and rosemary) olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch garlic powder
sprinkle of Spanish paprika (smoky)

Mix all of the ingredients above and grab your fork. Crakers are a nice touch, but weren't needed to complete the meal.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Whipped Cream

Whipped Cream

Easy and perfect this one is. Thank you Betty Crocker!

Think ahead - place your mixing bowl in the freezer with your mixer's beaters. When frosty, you may begin.

For 1 cup of whipped cream:
Beat 1/2 cup whipping (heavy) cream and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.

If they're lazy peaks, keep going. When they stick around, you're done. Stop. If you keep going you'll find yourself in butterland.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Another winner from Desert Culinary!
(Adapted from Eating Well)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine flours, yeast, salt, and sugar in a food processor - (yay!); pulse to mix. Combine warm water and oil in a measuring cup. With the motor running, gradually pour in enough of the liquid until the mixture forms a sticky ball. The dough should be quite soft. If it seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of warm water; if too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Process until the dough forms a ball, then process for 1 minute to knead.

Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise about an hour, or until doubled in size. Punch down and let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before rolling.

*If you want to knead by hand feel free - knead for about 10 minutes. As made, this recipe makes about 1 pound of dough. If you would like to make about 12 ounces of dough, here is the ingredient list to follow - the directions to prepare the dough is the same.

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour2
1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water (may need slightly more)
2 teaspoons olive oil

Oil the pizza stone slightly, place the rolled out dough on it. Make a little side ridge. Top as you like. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

T-Lime Pie

T-Lime Pie has a story! It was my friend's birthday and his favorite food on earth is Key Lime Pie. My personal mission was to create the very best in all the land for him. No Key Limes were to be found in the desert valley. Trying to make the best out of a very sad situation, I created T-Lime Pie. And now that the birthday boy and his wife have ravaged the pie pan (and cleaned and returned it) and having lavished many praises upon it, I will share it with you.

T-Lime Pie
(A little bit Cooking Light, a little bit Teri)

2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon grated lime rind (zest before juicing) + some for garnish
1/2 cup hand squeezed "regular" lime juice (about 8-10 small limes, 3-4 larger ones)
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1 graham cracker pie crust, homemade (best) or store bought
Whipped cream, homemade (best) or store bought, artifically manufactured, non-dairy, boring, whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350°.

Zest the lime rind. Slice and juice the limes. Strain and measure. Measure and freeze additional juice.
Beat eggs and egg whites at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended. Gradually add juice, rind, and milk to egg mixture, beating until well-blended. Spoon mixture into crust, and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until almost set (the center will not be firm but will set up as it chills).

Cool pie on a wire rack. Cover loosely, and chill 4 hours.

Spread whipped cream evenly over filling and lighty sprinkle with zested rind for color.

Praline Apple Bread

Praline Apple Bread
Yet ANOTHER Desert Culinary "Gimme More" Recipe!
(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cup peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples (about one large apple)
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped pecans
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together sour cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla until well combined (about two minutes). Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Fold in apples and toasted pecans.

Scoop the mixture into a 9" x 5" loaf pan coated with nonstick spray - scatter the top with the regular pecans and gently press into the batter. (Use the big loaf pan - or two much smaller pans - the medium pan "muffin topped" for me.)

Bake until a toothpick placed in the center comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs attached, about 50 to 60 minutes - if the bread looks like it is getting very browned on top, cover it with foil during the last 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.While the loaf is cooling, in a small sauce pan, combine butter and brown sugar. Bring to a boil - reduce heat and gently boil, stirring, for 1 minute.

Turn the bread out onto the rack and drizzle the top with the brown sugar mixture.

I used (on purpose) salted butter and it made for a wonderful salty/sweet flavor!

Matthew says "more apples would be even better!" Two apples would give you abou 2 1/2 cups of apples. I'd say about an apple and a half. Eat the leftover half while you're waiting for the bread to cook and cool!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Lemonade Pie

Lemonade Pie

This 15 minute summer treasure is a favorite at our house. Using store purchased crusts makes this a snap.

2 9-inch graham cracker pie crusts
1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened (does not have to be a high-end brand nor vanilla bean)
12 oz lemonade concentrate, thawed

Make (cool) or open package of crusts.

In a large bowl ix ice cream and lemonade concentrate until smooth. Pour half of the mixture into each of the pie crusts. Freeze.

Serve frozen. Slice into six or eight pieces to serve.

Graham Cracker Crust

Graham Cracker Crust

For 9 inch pie pan

1-1/2 cups honey graham cracker crumbs (1 wrapped packet or 1/3 of 14.4 oz box forced to be crumbs in a food processor.
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4-1/3 Cup (1/2+ stick) unsalted butter, melted
pinch salt

Note - I used 1/4 cup the first time I made this (new bifocals). Because the ultimate use of it was for the lemonade pie, the lesser amount of butter was fine. Experiment and see what works for you.

In a medium bowl mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt. Add melted butter. Mix. Press into pie pan with patience making sure you've pressed it into the areas between the bottom and sides.

If you need a pre-baked crust, bake 6-8 minutes at 375 degrees. If not (use more butter) and chill.

Base ingredients: food.

Teri's Fresh Tomato-Basil Pizza

Teri's Fresh Tomato Basil Pizza

1/4 Cup tomato sauce
1 -2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon italian seasoning
Pinch sugar
Garlic olive oil
Fresh basil leaves, 8-12
Halved cherry tomatoes (about half a bag/container)
8 oz fresh mozerella, sliced
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

While the dough is rising, combine tomato sauce, basalmic vinegar, italian seasoning and sugar together in a small saucepan and heat until ready to boil, stirring constantly. Do not boil. Set aside to cool.

While the dough is resting, before rolling it out, preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Slice cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise. Pick, rinse and dry basil leaves.

Lightly oil the pizza stone with some of the garlic olive oil. Roll out the pizza dough and shape on pizza stone. Brush pizza lightly with garlic olive oil. Brush tomato sauce on pizza. Place cheese pieces randomly over pizza. Place basil leaves on cheese slices. Place tomatoes, cut side up between cheese slices. Sparingly sprinkle pizza with sea salt and grind pepper over surface.

Admire masterpiece. Place in oven. Cook 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted, dough is cooked and you can't wait any longer.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Curry Chicken Salad

This recipe is mostly mine. The recipe I started with called for chicken, coconut milk, pistachios and curry. It didn't leave me mmmmm-ing. Hmmm. What to do? What to do? First thing run to Penzey's and get their sweet curry (powder) and then come back. Ahh better. I think this would be good with some red grapes in it. The original recipe did not call for raisins, but my tastebuds insisted on something "grape".

Curry Chicken Salad
(Adapted from Whole Foods Market Recipe)

Creamy, spicy, fragrant and mildly sweet, the flavors of this tropical chicken salad are sure to delight and surprise. Leftover baked, broiled, grilled or rotisserie chicken works perfectly in this recipe. Use any remaining chicken salad for tasty sandwiches or wraps.

Serves four or more.

11 ounces coconut milk (not light coconut milk), divided
1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder (use good curry powder - I implore you )
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 cups cooked shredded chicken, dark or white meat (I prefer white, chicken tenders)
(1/4 cup orange juice)
1/2 cup roughly chopped dates, divided
1/2 cup roughly chopped pistachios, divided (I'm going to try cashews next time - I think the flavors will be more complex)
1/4 cup raisins or 1/2 cups red grapes sliced lengthwise
(6 cups chopped romaine lettuce)
1/4 cup finely shredded coconut

Measure 3/4 cup coconut milk into a bowl and stir in curry powder, onion powder, salt, mustard seeds, cilantro, raisins or grapes and shredded chicken. Toss to coat well.

Pour remaining 2/3 cup coconut milk into a blender with orange juice, 1/4 cup dates and 1/4 cup pistachios. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour dressing over romaine lettuce and toss to coat. (I skipped this entirely - I was looking for a chicken salad recipe - not so much a salad dressing, lettuce solution).

Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add shredded coconut and toast, stirring often until golden and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.

To serve, enjoy a scoop of chicken salad. Garnish with toasted coconut and remaining chopped dates and pistachios. Serve immediately.

Note: if raisins are used this freezes well. Place scoops of salad in muffin tin (I saved a plastic muffin package from a store purchase) and freeze. Store the "scoops" in a tightly sealed container or plastic bag. Thaw briefly in the microwave (don't let it get too warm) or in the refrigerator and serve.

My favorite way is on a small (very small) baguette!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Persian Walnut Pomegranate Chicken

Persian Walnut Pomegranate Chicken
(Cooking Light, April 2008)

This is absolutly fabulous!!

Based on the Persian dish fesenjan, this streamlined entrée features a sweet-tart sauce of pomegranate juice thickened with ground walnuts. After toasting, cool the nuts completely before grinding.

1 cup walnuts, toasted
8 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I prefer chicken tenders)
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup pomegranate juice (I could only find a 16 oz bottle - I froze half for another time/recipe)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (love the tubes)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed (a souvenir from Spain)
Dash of ground cinnamon
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

1. Place walnuts in a food processor; process until finely ground (add a teaspoon of flour or you'll get walnut butter before you get "finely ground"). Set aside.
2. Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add half of chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.
3. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, ground walnuts, broth, and the remaining ingredients except cilantro, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Return chicken to pan; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.
8 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and about 3 tablespoons sauce or about two tenders) at 299 calories per serving.

Eight servings was way to much for me and halving the reduction sauce was a lot of work (is half a dash a smidgen?) so I made half the chicken and the whole sauce recipe. Before the sauce was fully reduced I took away half of it, freezing it for later use. When I use it, I'll finish the reduction with the chicken.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Honey BBQ Sandwiches

From: Penzey's One

Honey Barbeque Sandwiches

6 lbs. pork or a mix of pork and beef (inexpensive cuts like pork butt and chuck roast are great) 1 1/2 Cups water

1 Cup ketchup (we used 1/2 Cup ketchup and 1/2 Cup Frank's Hot Sauce, a medium-hot, thick sauce). Don't be afraid of the pepper. The sweet will carry it just fine.
1 Cup Classic Coke
1 Cup honey
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. aleppo pepper (sub 4 parts sweet paprika and 1 part cayenne if necessary)
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Place the meat and the water in a crock pot and cook until the meat falls from the bone, about 5 hours on high. Remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and any fat or juice in the crock pot. Place the meat back in the crock pot. Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan. Heat on low, stirring to blend all the flavors. When warm, pour the sauce over the meat and heat thoroughly, about 30 minutes. Serve on hard rolls. I bought mini "hard roles" to keep the bread amount down - and piled it with this yummy mixture.
Prep. time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 5 hours, 30 minutes Serves: 8-10

I had a smaller roast. I made the full recipe of sauce and froze it for a "quick fix" next time.

Mom's Spaghetti Sauce

When my husband and I were dating, I made my spaghetti sauce for him. I was so proud of it, especially when he told me it was better than his mother's.

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

I understand his logic, but he'd be better of with picking another thing to say I was better at. Anything, but this.

I made it today and let it simmer in the crock pot. We had a good and memorable meal.

Mom's Spaghetti Sauce

2 28 oz cans Italian Canned Crushed Tomatoes
1-2 lbs Italian Sausage
1 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste (easy on the salt until you know what the tomatoes brought to the pot)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced onion flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1-2 bay leaves

In duch oven, brown sausage links (cook them if uncooked), Drain fat and cut links into chunks (I use kitchen shears). Brown hamburger in olive oil. (Mom's recipe said to salt and pepper the hamburger - I prefer to wait until everything is in.). Drain hamburger. Return to pot, adding the sausage, tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil, oregano and bay leaves. Cook for several hours at very low heat, uncovered. If it gets too thick, cover the pot for awhile. Stirt to keep from sticking to bottom of the pot. (Or put it all in the crockpot and let it simmer without worry!)

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Summertime Pizza

Using Joe's Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Recipe I put together this summer medley

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
(Adapted from Eating Well)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil (I used garlic olive oil)

Combine flours, yeast, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to mix.
Combine warm water and oil in a measuring cup.
With the motor running, gradually pour in enough of the liquid until the mixture forms a sticky ball. The dough should be quite soft. If it seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of warm water; if too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Process until the dough forms a ball, then process for 1 minute to knead.Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise about an hour, or until doubled in size. Punch down and let the dough rest for about 10 minutes before rolling.
*If you want to knead by hand feel free - knead for about 10 minutes.
As made, this recipe makes about 1 pound of dough.

Oil your baking stone (Pampered Chef for me) with some garlic olive oil.

I made my own sauce to complement the vegetables I was using.

Pizza Sauce
8 oz tomato sauce (1 can)
1/8 cup red wine (today was Beaujolais)
1 heaping tablespoon of black cherry preserves (yes, you read it correctly)
1 splash of garlic olive oil

Wisk and heat slightly to blend flavors. Set aside.

Slice vegetables:
1/4-1/3 orange sweet pepper
1/4-1/3 red sweet pepper
3/4-1 cup mushrooms thickly sliced
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half lengthwise
1/2-3/4 baby zucchini sliced medium thin
lemon pepper
2 oz. crumpled goat cheese

Form pizza dough as instructed. Spread sauce within an inch of the edge. Arrange vegetables. Sprinkle/drizzle sparingly with some garlic olive oil, lemon pepper and the crumpled goat cheese.

Bake about 20 minutes until vegtables are hot/medium crispy/cooked and dough is crispy.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Spice It Up!

Take a trip to Penzeys. They are in many cities and have fabulous prices. My field trip today netted: Fenugreek, star anise, adobo, Hungarian sweet paprika, Spanish Paprika, cumin seed. Their site also includes some great sounding recipes. You can order on line or visit one of their many stores "peppered" across the US.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Cranberry Orange Scones

I used a basic Buttermilk Scone recipe from Simply Scones and revved it up a bit.

2 cups all purpose flour (I used flour with baking powder in it, adding 1-1/2 teaspoons to this measurement and omitting the baking powder listed below).
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup dried cranberries coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut the butter into 1/2 inches cubes and distribute them over the flour mixture. With a pastry blender or two knives used scissors fashion, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the zest. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the cranberries.

With lightly floured hands, pat the dough into an 8-inch diameter circle on an ungreasted baking sheet (silicone baking sheets). Sprinkle with the vanilla sugar and press lightly into the mixture. With a serrated knife, cut ino 8 wedges (carefully if using the baking sheets). Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the top is lighly browned and a cake tester or toothpick inserted inot the cent of a scone comes out clean.

Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes.

Using a spatula, transfer the scones to the wire rack to cool. Recut into wedges, if necessary. Serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Makes 8 scones at better than the coffeeshop calorie count of 251 calories each.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice from Simply Recipes

This is the perfect accompaniment to the Chicken or Pork Enchiladas.


2 tablespoons olive oil (can use up to 1/4 cup)
1 onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups of medium or long-grain white rice (I prefer Zatarans)
3 cups chicken stock* (or vegetable stock if vegetarian)
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste or 1 cup of diced fresh or cooked tomatoes, strained (I think the fire roasted tomatoes might be tasty in this and add some flecks that would be pretty)
Pinch of oregano
1 teaspoon salt

*Check the instructions on the rice package for the proportions of liquid to rice. They can range from 1:1 to 2:1. If your rice calls for 2 cups of water for every cup of rice, then for this recipe, use 4 cups of stock for 2 cups of rice.

In a large skillet brown rice in olive oil, medium/high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook onion rice mixture, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, or until onions are softened.

In a separate sauce pan bring stock to a simmer. Add tomato sauce, oregano, and salt. Add rice to broth. Bring to a simmer. Cover. Lower heat and cook 15-25 minutes, depending on the type of rice and the instructions on the rice package. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6.

This doesn't take anything away from the enchiladas but serves as nice complementary side dish.

Today's Enchiladas

Another Culinary In the Dessert Winner!
Pork Enchiladas with Green Sauce
Which they Adapted from Everyday Food

1 pound trimmed pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 pounds tomatillos (husks removed), well washed and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup water
1 cup corn kernels
12 6" white corn tortillas
8 ounces shredded sharp white cheddar (I like Beecher's cheese).
Preheat oven to 450
Dust pork with cumin and rub to adhere - season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place onto a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray - place in the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 145 degrees, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Shred pork into bite-sized pieces

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Stir in onion - cook until the onion softens, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatillos and water - bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, about 5 to 8 minutes. Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender - process until smooth. Season the sauce to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.Combine 1 cup of the sauce, the corn and pork - mix until well combined. Add just enough of the sauce to thinly coat the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Pour the remaining sauce into a shallow dish.

Wrap tortillas, stacked, in a moist paper towel - place in the microwave and heat for 1 minute to soften. Using one tortilla at a time, keeping the rest covered, dip into the sauce and place on your work surface. Fill the tortilla with about 1/4 cup of the pork mixture and 1 tablespoon of the cheese. Roll up and place into the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Once all are in the baking dish, cover with the remaining sauce and cheese.

Cover the dish tightly with foil and place in the oven to bake until the sauce is bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until the cheese has browned, about 10 to 15 more minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack for 10 minutes to rest before serving.

* I needed a teeny more kick to the green sauce so I added a splash of habanero sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas

This is an old favorite recipe of mine from the Sugar Busters Cookbook. While I don't buy into the diet itself - some of the recipes from the cookbook are pretty good.

1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoong ground black pepper
8 6 in whole wheat tortillas
1 four ounce can whole green chilies trained and cut into 1/2 inch strips
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the onion, garlic and 2 tbls. of the oil in a 1 quart saucepan. Stirring occassionally, cook over medium heat until the onion turns translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, oregano, and salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, season the chicken with the garlic, salt and pepaper and put in a medium nonstick skillet, along with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Heat for about 10 mintues over medium-low heat. Remove the meat to a bowl and warm the tortillas in the same pan for abut 15 seconds per side. Divide the chicken and the chilies among the tortillas. Roll the tortillas up and place them in a 9x3 inch baking dish that has been coated in cooking spray. Cover with the tomato suace, anf sprinkle. with the grated cheese. Cover and bake for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with sour cream if desired. Serves 4.

The Promised Pie Crust

Here it is - the piecrust recipe I promised. I thought I would try it a second time before posting it, but it was so very good -that you all need to have it NOW!

This is from the King Author Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook.

Food Processor Pie Crust I
1-3/4 cups King Aurthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar (optional) (I used it for the rhubarb pie
1/2 cup (1 stick) unslated butter, cold or frozen, cut into 4 pieces
2 tblespoons solid shortening (I use Crisco sticks(
about 6 tablespoons ice water

Using the stell blade of the food processor quickly blend flour, salt, sugr, butter and shortening.

Slowly pour the ice water through the feed tube while pulsing the machine. Process only until a mass of dough has formed on the sitde of the bowl. Don't overdo it. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least an hour. (You can also frzze the dough at this point.)

Roll out the dough on a floured counter. (Fold into quarters to lift off counter and unfold in pie plate. This crust can be filled and baked at this point, or baked blind.

When the edge of the crust is baked it is light and flaky and wonderful!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mom's Rhubarb Pie

I remember Mom making this pie. It is and always has been my favorite.

4 Cup Rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces (about 12 stalks)
1-1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsifted flour
3 eggs
2 Tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt

Stir together the sugr and flour. Beat eggs, add vanilla and salt slightly. Add sugar and butter. Beat to blend - mix in rhubarb.

Bake 425 degrees for 10 minutes and 375 degrees for 30 or 35 minutes.

I'll post the pie crust recipe if it turns out :)

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tropical Muffins with Coconut Macadamia Nut Topping

Tropical Muffins with Coconut Macadamia Nut Topping

Another winner from Cooking Light, (April 2008)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 ounces)
1 cup regular oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2)
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple in juice, drained (small can)
1/3 cup flaked sweetened coconut
3 tablespoons finely chopped macadamia nuts, toasted
Cooking spray

2 tablespoons flaked sweetened coconut
1 tablespoon finely chopped macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon regular oats

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. To prepare muffins, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl. Make a well in center of flour mixture. Combine banana and next 5 ingredients (through egg) in a medium bowl; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in pineapple, 1/3 cup coconut, and 3 tablespoons nuts. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
3. To prepare topping, combine 2 tablespoons coconut and the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
4. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of topping over each muffin. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pans immediately; place on a wire rack.

Yield: 1 dozen at 205 calories. However (There's always one of those with me - isn't there?)....with my pans it made 18 at 137 calories!


Sunday, May 4, 2008

Watermelon and Goat Cheese Salad

May 2008, Food and Wine.

This was an absolute accident. I had peppered goat cheese. The watermelon was sitting on the counter, as was the olive oil, lemon juice, etc. I tried it with the light and the heavier olive oil. I thought the heavier offered more contrast.

I just did a quick mini mix, leaving out the pepper since it was in the goat cheese. Love at first bite. Again...I didn't have full servings, just some pieces with the mix. Yummy.

In Turkey, this popular salad is often made with Tulum cheese, a ubiquitous goat-and-lamb’s-milk cheese. Defne Koryürek opts to make her version using creamy fresh goat cheese sprinkled with crunchy little nigella seeds (also called black onion seeds), which add a nutty, peppery flavor.
1 pound seedless watermelon chunks, cut into small slabs
6 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut into 12 rounds
1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Arrange the watermelon slabs on 6 plates and top with the fresh goat cheese rounds. Sprinkle all over with the orange zest and nigella seeds.

In a small bowl, whisk the orange juice and lemon juice with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the watermelon and goat cheese and serve right away.

Israeli Hummus with Paprika

May 2008, Food and Wine

Before opening Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia, chef Michael Solomonov visited hummus parlors all over Israel trying to find the best recipe. “Hummus is the hardest thing to get right,” he says. “It has to be rich, creamy and mildly nutty.” To make his hummus luxuriously smooth, he soaks the chickpeas overnight with baking soda to soften them. While Americans now flavor hummus with everything from pureed red peppers to fresh herbs, Solomonov says among the fanciest garnishes you can find in Israel are whole chickpeas, paprika and lemon-spiked tahini, used for hummus masabacha.

1/2 pound dried chickpeas (or 3 15 oz. cans of chickpeas - I prefer S&W - drain and retain the liquid from one can)
1 tablespoon baking soda
7 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup tahini, at room temperature (see Note)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Paprika, for garnish
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Pita bread, for serving

In a medium bowl, cover the dried chickpeas with 2 inches of water and stir in the baking soda.

Refrigerate the chickpeas overnight. Drain the chickpeas and rinse them under cold water.

In a medium saucepan, cover the chickpeas with 2 inches of fresh water. Add the garlic cloves and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the chickpeas are tender, about 40 minutes. Drain, reserving 10 tablespoons of the cooking water and 2 tablespoons of the chickpeas. Rinse the chickpeas under cold water. Peel the garlic cloves.

In a food processor, puree the chickpeas with 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking water, 1/4 cup of the olive oil and 6 of the garlic cloves. Add the cumin along with 1/4 cup each of the tahini and lemon juice and process until creamy. Season the hummus with salt and transfer to a serving bowl.

Wipe out the food processor. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of tahini, 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of reserved cooking water, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and garlic clove and puree.
Using a ladle, make an indent in the center of the hummus. Spoon in the tahini-lemon mixture. Sprinkle the hummus with the cumin and paprika. Garnish with the reserved whole chickpeas and the parsley, and serve with pita bread.

MAKE AHEAD The ungarnished hummus and cooked chickpeas can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days.

NOTES Tahini has a tendency to separate, so be sure to stir the sesame paste thoroughly before measuring.

Teri's Notes: In my grocery store run today, I couldn't find dried chickpeas (and I'm still so NOT over my last adventure making hummus from scatch), so I used canned, cooked chickpeas. I reserved the canning water to mimic the instructions above. I boiled the garlic for 30 minutes and used part of the garlic water with the chickpea water. (I'm trying here folks!). I'm happy to report this fabulous recipe!

Brussels Sprouts

From Vegetable Love!

1/2 lb brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
kosher salt to taste

Preheat oven to 500. Melt butter in the smallest pan avialable to contain the brussels sprouts in a single layer. (Note: I had a pound of b-spouts and used a 9x9 pan). When butter is melted add the brussels sprouts and roll around in pan to coat. Bake 7-15 minutes (stir at 7, check at 10 etc.). At 10 minutes they were slightly carmelized and crisp tender and I removed them from the oven. I let them sit in the stoneware pan for a few minutes to continue cooking a bit.

Let cool slightly or move to another pan (so you don't blow up your stoneware) and mix with the lemon juice and salt.

If you like cabbage you'll probably like these little guys. If you don' on and try something else.

This makes about 2 cups and I figured four servings at 50 calories a serving.

I'll have to think on what they could be paired up with. The filled the bill for me having something healthy to snack on while I cooked. Ideas are welcome!

Wine Pairings

Wine Pairings
I made some good wine pairings this last week. I don't know if they are "proper" or not yet, but they worked for me - in the style the food was described on the menu.

J. Llohr Chardonnay with Pad Thai - the Pad Thai was not the tomatoey version served in Utah - It was seafood and chicken and the lime and cilantro made it "light".
Covey Run Shiraz with excellent Chili Verde. The "peppers" of the two dishes danced around in my head. It was almost like having pop rocks.

I do not care for the Covey Run Huckleberry wine I purchased last week. I might consider it with some fresh goat cheese, but I think there are a lot of other options that would be classier. It was too sweet and might have been fine, but I didn't find the depth I was looking for.

Washington Ice Wines - I had a glass a few weeks ago at the Spokane airport with a fruit and cheese plate. The platter offered crip, paper thin sliced pears and apples, with red and green grapes, goat cheese, a sweetened cream cheese, sharp cheddar and smoked mozzerella. It was a fit for me with that dish. I can't say what else I'd pair it with at this point, but the fruits and cheeses offered made it a nice fit.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sweetest Treat

Sweetest Treat

This little recipe was published a few years ago in the Utah County Journal. I was my first winter in Utah and I loved that little newspaper and its small town flavor. I still love the simplicity of this recipe.

1 cube of butter
1 package of crushed graham crackers
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 package milk chocolate chips
1 package coconut

Set oven at 350 degrees. Place butter in a 13x9 glass baking dish (or Pampered Chef baking pan). Melt slowly in oven, remove, let cool. Place crushed graham crackers into melted butter. Enough to soak up butter and leave some dry crumbs on top. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the graham crackers. Using a can opener with the pointy ends, I put two holes in the can, one to pour, one to let air in. This lets the milke drizzle out and cover the pan evenly. Place chocolate chips on top of the milk, pressing them down lightly. Sprinkle coconut evenly over pan on top of the chips.

Place in oven until coconut changes color and chips melt. Do not over bake. Best served when cool.

This is a good recipe to halve and put in a 9x9 pan. I cut 9 squares and then cut the squares diagonally to make little triangles. The cookie is so rich this seems the perfect size.

The dainty triangles weigh in at 131 calories each.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Curried DeviledEggs

Curried Deviled Eggs

McCormick Spice Website

I have been searching for a curried devil egg recipe that could dazzle my tastebuds. We have met.

12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon course ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped chives or 2 green onions, thinly sliced (green part only)

1. Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Remove yolks; place in small bowl. Mash yolks with fork or potato masher.
2. Stir in mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder, mustard, pepper and salt until smooth and creamy. Spoon or pipe mixture into egg white halves. Sprinkle with chives.
3. Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve.

To Hard Cook Eggs: Gently place eggs in a single layer in medium saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover eggs with 1 inch of water. Bring just to a boil on medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand about 15 minutes for large eggs. (Adjust time up or down by 3 minutes for each size larger or smaller.) After 15 minutes, pour off the hot water and rapidly cool eggs by running them under cold water (or place in ice water) until completely cooled. Refrigerate and use within a week.

Berry Good Spring Time Treat

Berry Good Spring Time Treat

This is just the berry mix from the Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Berries recipe. It can stand alone as a topping to sponge cake, the panna cotta, plain or vanilla yogurt, a shortbread cookie, angelfood cake, etc. The tastes are sweet-tart and I swear you can hear baby birds chirping as you nibble.

3 cups mixed berries (fresh is best). I loved the raspberry, blackberry and blueberry combination the best.
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (fresh is best)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh is best)
1 tablespoon sugar

Combine berries in a bowl. In another bowl mix lemon juice and sugar until sugar is dissolved, add zest and mix until separated. To keep from mashing the ripe berries, I use the two bowls to help me mix the ingredients together. Pour the lemon juice mixture over the berries and stir gently. Pour the contents of the berry/lemon juice mixture back into the first bowl. Stir gently. Repeat until combined as desired. The moving from bowl to bowl, gets the ingredients mixed without harming the berries.

Six 1/2 cup servings at 44 whopping calories per serving.

Weight Update

I've now lost 13.333% of my body weight eating all this food. My goal is 20% - although that is really unrealistic. 15 -16% is most likely what I can maintain with traveling and eating out and not being totally obsessed with whether I touch a donut or not.

(And yes, I did have a Krispy Kreme this week!)

Oh Yeah It's Sunday! Breakfast

or also affectionately known as "Under 300 Calorie Oh Yeah It's Sunday Breakfast"

Hang on to your tastebuds and read on!. I'm a ham lover and ham and eggs for breakfast or dinner or whenever is a favorite meal of mine. Here's how you can eat like a queen and look like a princess!

Make coffee - pour a big cup - 11 calories

3 oz ham steak (packaged and sliced from the store) - my package said 120 cal per servings, my trusty calorie counter said 90. Heat steak in non-stick skillet until slightly browned. Remove to plate.

Pam the skillet

Toast a piece of multigrain bread - 69 calories

Place egg in skillet - we're doing sunny side up/over easy today. 50 calories

Butter bread with just a teaspoon of butter - 36 calories. Yes it is a challenge, but you can do it.

Flip the egg - count to ten.

Slide to plate.


258 calories (depending on if you stuck with the teaspoon of butter or not). Really the nicest perk about this breakfast is it tastes like mama cooked all morning. We're talking 15-20 minutes tops - one pan, one spatula, one plate, one fork, one knife, one cup - one happy tummy.

Silicone Cooking Bands

I found a super awesome nifty kitchen "gadget" this weekend at Target. They carry Chefmate brand items. Sorry but I wasn't able to find the item on their website to show you, but....

Introducing Stretch Silicone Cooking Bands. Heat resistant up to 600 degress Farenheit. Use in place of butcher twine to cook; no tying necessary. Oven, rotisserie and deep fryer safe. Dishwasher safe.

I used them on the Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese to keep them all bundled and tidy. They came off in a "snap" (pun intended) and washed up like a dream.

Seek them out!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lemon Pepper

Homemade Lemon Pepper

1/4 cup black pepper (I use part storebought, part freshly ground)
1 tablespoon dried lemon zest (I "baked" fresh for a few minutes at 200-250 degrees - just enough to dehydrate it)
2 teaspoon ground coriander seed powder (adust if using seeds themselves)
1 tablespoon dried minced onion, ground down slightly with motar and pestle
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves

Mix, store in tighly sealed container.

Fettucine with Garlic, Parsley and Parmesan

Fettucine with Garlic, Parsley and Parmesan
From the Whole Foods Market Cookbook
(This recipe is not on their website)

1 pound fettuccine
1/4 cup olive oil - I was happy with about half if this. I used all of it to saute the garlic and only half for flavoring the noodles.
12 cloves of garlic (this recipe makes a huge amount of fettuccine. I would have been happy with even more garlic as I counted way more servings than the recipe does.)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup minced fresh parsley (I only had dried. Using less than 1/4 cup I sprinkled it sparingly as I reheated the noodles and added the cheese).
1 teaspoon lemon pepper. I made my own. Commercial brands would work too - but the one I had in my cupboard was old and contained salt).

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook until the past is al dente, 6-8 minutes. (I used Barilla and followed the directions 12-13 minutes). When the pasta is cooked, rinse in cold water, drain well, and reserve. I cooked my pasta early in the day so I could concentrate on the chicken and dessert. After it was cooled and drainned, I "Pammed" the inside of a plastic bag and plopped it in.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick saute' pan (all the fettuchini needs to fit in this pan later). Add the garlic cloves and saute' them very gently, turning often for 4 minutes, until light golden brown and softened. Remove the garlic cloves from the pan, and reserve. When nearly ready to serve, add the drained pasta to the pan, and saute' over medium heat for 2 minutes, until warmed through. Add the browned garlic cloves, Parmsean cheese, parsley, and lemon pepper, and toss the pasta well to combine.

As a meal, grilled or sauted chicken or small chunks of smoked mozzarella can be added to the final toss.

The cookbook states 4 servings at 410 calories. I will get 10 servings out of this (as a side or light meal) at 198 calories. Add calories proportionately if using the suggestion of smoked mozzerella (yummy) or chicken.

I placed a small cloud of this on each plate, placing a serving of my Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese on top. The flavor combination was very complementary (and so was my guest-complimentary!)

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade
From The Whole Foods Market Cookbook
A brightly colored center of green leaf spinach, red roasted pepper, and mild white goat cheese fills these breasts of chicken and makes an attractive presentation. This filling melts in your mouth. Serve this chicken hot, at room temperature or chilled. Offer these to your guests over a nest of fettuccine or a small whimsical pasta, such as star-shaped stellini pasta. Try using piquillo peppers for the roasted peppers in this dish—they are wonderful in this recipe. You may stuff the breasts and freeze them for future use as well. Chilled, sliced breasts become a beautiful tricolor roulade or roll-up, which may be served as an appetizer.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
6 cups fresh washed spinach leaves (approximately 1 bag-if using bagged spinach)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup drained, chopped jarred roasted red peppers
3 tablespoons pitted and chopped Kalamata olives
1 tablespoon chopped capers
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 (or 3 - see below) boneless skinless whole chicken breasts, cut in half and pounded lightly
4 ounces mild goat cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon olive oil for brushing chicken
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the garlic, shallot, and thyme for 2 minutes, until softened. Add the spinach, and saute for 1 minute longer, until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the skillet from the heat, and let the aromatics cool.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, mix the roasted red peppers with the olives, capers, and balsamic vinegar.
Place about one-quarter of the spinach mixture in the center of each pounded chicken breast. Evenly divide the goat cheese among the chicken breasts, placing a small piece over the spinach; then top with 1 tablespoon of the roasted red peppers.
Fold the top of the breast over the filling to form a package, sealing the bottom of the chicken packages wherever needed. Place the chicken on a baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 25 minutes (I found I needed to cook them 35-45 minutes). Uncover, brush the chicken with a little olive oil, and cook an additional 10 minutes, until the chicken is brown.
Place the chicken on a serving platter and sprinkle it with the parsley.

The cookbook website says 4 servings at 340. I used 3 whole chicken breasts, (there was enough filling) therefore getting 12 servings (more with slicing the finished servings as a roulade) at 253 calories per "bundle". For lunches, I would say half a packet with the fettuccine is sufficient at 126 calories per serving. As roulade, 1/3 of a packet (2 slices) is good at approximately 85 calories per serving. It is very tasty served cold.

I then served it on small pillows of Fettuccine with Garlic, Parsley and Parmesan.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Berries

Another Whole Foods winner. This amazingly easy to make and absolutely divine to eat.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Berries
The preparation for panna cotta, or cooked cream, can be whisked together in a flash. Buttermilk adds a tangy balance to the rich cream in this version, and seasonal berries contribute color and sweetness. Be sure to allow several hours for the panna cotta to chill and set before serving.

Panna Cotta
3 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) unflavored gelatin
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups lowfat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mixed Berries
3 cups mixed berries (I used raspberries, blackberries and blueberries)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar

Pour water into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over top. Let stand until gelatin has softened, about 15 minutes.
Combine 1 cup of cream and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves and cream starts to simmer. Remove from heat immediately. Add dissolved gelatin to hot cream, stirring until gelatin melts completely.
In a large bowl, combine remaining cream, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Stir in hot cream-gelatin mixture. Divide mixture among eight ramekins. Refrigerate until panna cotta has set, several hours or overnight.
Just before serving, place berries in a mixing bowl. Add lemon zest and juice and sugar and gently toss ingredients until sugar dissolves.
To unmold, dip the base of each ramekin in a bowl of very hot water for 30 seconds. Invert a serving plate on top of the ramekin and flip over. The panna cotta should slide out easily. Spoon mixed berries and their juices around panna cotta and serve. Alternatively, serve in ramekins.

The website states 8 servings, about 310 calories per serving. NOTE: Worth it!

Additional note: When calculated through Calorie Count at 16 servings (so I can have some every day) 104 calories per serving (at 8 that would be 200+ instead of 300). Pick your angel/devil - its up to you!)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Quickie Dinner

I had some "dirty rice" in the freezer from the Mardi Gras party. I was in the mood for a carbohydrate laden meal this past weekend.

I sprayed a non-stick skillet with Pam, added some pre-cooked fajita chicken and heated it up, adding about half a cup of the dirty rice. When all was thawed and warmed, I added a pinch of ground chili powder. The chili powder added a bang to an otherwise bland offering.

15 minutes from freezer to belly.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Molasses Sandwich Cookies

This is a wonderful site. These guys post the best looking and sounding recipes. I really wish they would adopt me. I have customers coming to the office this next week and wanted something to share with them during one of our breaks. Also - the grandson and the office boys are now asking for my treats. I thought I'd bring them a new one. I went so far as to buy the little cookie scoops. I encourage you to check the site to get the picture of these little gems that they posted. I'm brining their recipe over to share with you, but I won't borrow their pictures. They also have some really incredible cooking blog links. Go ahead, go there, but please come back.

I had a lot of frosting left following the recipe as written on the site. The reason may be that I used a 1-1/2 teaspoon scoop (while they called for 1 teaspoon and I only filled the scoop about 2/3 full of frosting (essentially 1 teaspoon). I made another batch of the cookies themselves and used the rest of the frosting.

Molasses Sandwich Cookies
(Adapted from Everyday Food)
(Adapted from Culinary in the Desert)

For the cookies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups brown sugar
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (2 cubes)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup molasses

For the filling:
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons molasses
2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

To make the cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until combined. Beat in eggs, followed by molasses, until smooth and well incorporated. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined.
Using a 1-1/2 teaspoon (small) cookie scoop, drop the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until the center of the cookies are dry to the touch, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and let sit on the baking sheets for about 1 to 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling

In a medium bowl, beat together butter and molasses until creamy. Add in confectioners' sugar and continue mixing until smooth and spreadable. Spread the filling, about a rounded teaspoonful, on the bottoms of half of the cookies. Place the remaining cookies on top.

Makes 45 sandwich cookies. The calories based on double the cookie recipe and the frosting recipe as it stands is 157 calories a "sandwich".

Quiche Me!

I'm updating the date on this. In February I noted that I was just starting to learn how to make Quiches. This recipe from the Whole Foods Cookbook is fabulous tasting and easy to make. In addition to the recipe link below, on the left I've created links for ordering the cookbook and one to the Whole Foods recipe library. I make this quiche for friends' events and every couple of weeks for my family.

Today was a banner day (the March post), my daughter actually told me she appreciates all the cooking I'm doing as she doesn't have the energy/creativity for dinners. I understand this, as she was growing up, I didn't have the flexibility/latitude either. Now that she's grown, I can. It's nice to be able to have a receptive audience to my new hobby

Spinach and Pine Nut Quiche

1 frozen 9-inch ready-made whole wheat piecrust
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
6 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and dried
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage or 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 large red potato, steamed until firm-tender, sliced 1/4-inch thick

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the piecrust from the freezer and thaw for ten minutes. Prick the bottom with a fork and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove the crust from the oven to cool.

Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan. Add the garlic, spinach, salt, pepper and sage. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, or until the spinach is just wilted. Stir in the pine nuts.
In a small bowl, mix the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. In another bowl, whisk the milk and eggs together.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture on the piecrust. Top with half the spinach mixture. Place the potato slices on top of the spinach. Add half the remaining cheese mixture and then the remaining spinach mixture. Top with the rest of the cheese.

Place the pie pan on a sheet pan. Carefully pour in the milk mixture. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool slightly before cutting.

I use this recipe as a baseline, especially the potato, when I have some extra vegegables to use up. The quiche is dense and works as an entree or as breakfast/brunch addition.

Sliced in eighths, there are approximately 180 calories per serving.

Biscuits & Gravy

This is a no fail recipe taught to me last year by my friend/roommate. It is easy to remember too!

Pull out your Pillsbury Grand Biscuits from the freezer and start them baking in the oven. Once you're versed in making this recipe - everything will come together at the same time. When you first start brown the sausage first and get it draining and put the biscuits in while the butter is browning. They'll finish up after the gravy is done. Otherwise your gravy will scorch or you biscuits will burn.

Sausage Gravy
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 lb pork sausage (I like spicy)
salt and pepper to taste

Pull out your Pillsbury Grand Biscuits from the freezer and start them baking in the oven. Once you're versed in making this recipe - everything will come together at the same time. When you first start

Have your wooden spoon ready - it makes all the difference in the world to how this comes out.

Brown sausage in a skillet until it is crispy on the tips of some pieces (flavor). Drain in a colander in the sink over a piece of used foil with its edges upturned. (No fat down YOUR drain). One the fat cools, discard in trash or store for flavorig in another dish later.

Melt butter in a sauce pan. over medium heat, until bubbly and just about ready to pitch a "brown" fit. Add flour, stirring constantly. The mixture will be foamy and "gritty". Keep stirring so that roux never has a chance to settle and burn. Stir until the mixture is a light brown and has toasty or nutty scent. Keep stirring and pour in a little milk. The mixture will immediately clump. Keep stirring until smooth again. It will thicken quickly. Add some more milk again stirring contstantly until smooth and thicker. More milk. Smooth, thicker. Etc. Until all the milk is used. Let bubble, stirring constantly until the gravy is the desired thickness. Add sausage and stir until the sausage has rewarmed.

Collect the smiles.

This is one of those "planned" meals for dieters. You know you want it! Don't let it become a guilt session and don't a avoid it either. Plan soups and salads as light lunches and dinners the remainder of the day. Have one biscuit with a 1/3 cup of gravy and savor it. I promise the flavor of it all, after being "good" for so long, will fulfill your every fantasy. Remember ONE biscuit and ONE THIRD cup of gravy. Then clear the table and go for a walk.

And now for the math. Using skim milk 328 calories for the gravy (Using whole milk is only 340 calories) and 190 calories for the biscuit. About 520 calories for the meal.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Dinner

Easter Dinner Indian Style:

Chicken Korma
Beef Vindaloo
Roasted Curry Cauliflower
Spicy Red Wine

Beef Vindaloo

Beef Vindaloo

1 medium onion chopped
1/3 tsp ground cumin or 1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup vinegar
1 tbsp turmeric
2 lbs boneless beef
1 tbsp coriander powder
2 tsp chili powder
3 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp light mustard seeds
4 cups water
1/2 tsp fenugreek
salt to taste

Blend onion and garlic in food processor, grind spices in a spice grinder (or use motar and pestle) and add to the above mixture. Add enough vinegar to make a thick, stiff, paste.

Pat beef dry, put paste and meat in a baggie and apply work paste into beef. Let marinate overnight. Melt the ghee (or butter if no ghee) in a large pot or dutch oven. Heat the beef until it is brown (as in cooked through, not browned like fried). Add water, cover pan and cook over low heat until beef is tender. Remove the cover and heat again.

If too dry add water, if too watery cook it down. Cool and reheat later for best flavor. Serve with rice.

6-8 servings (without rice), 181 calories.

Original recipe can be found here:

Saturday, March 22, 2008



This a great recipe. I wish I could eat more of it.

1 litre milk (3-4 cups)
1/4 cup rice, washed and soaked for 30 minutes or 3/4 - 1 cup cooked
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
10 strands saffron, crushed, soaked in 1 tsp. warm milk
10 almonds
10 unsalted pistachios

Crush almonds, pistachios coarsely, keep aside.
Boil rice in plenty of water till half done.
Drain, spread on a plate, to cool grains.
Heat milk, bring to a boil.
Add rice, stirring continuously, till boiling resumes.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep rice from sticking to bottom.
Allow rice to cook fully, but not get mushy.
Add sugar, cardamom, saffron, almonds and pistachios.
Stir, simmer for 2 minutes, serve piping hot.

Taste often while cooking just to spoil yourself. 6 servings, 223 calories

Chicken Korma

Chicken Korma

1/4 cup cashew halves
1/4 cup boiling water
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 (1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1 large onion, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - diced
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with equal parts water

Place cashews in a small bowl, and pour the boiling water over nuts. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes. Place garlic and ginger in food processor and blend until smooth; set aside.

Heat oil in wok or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook the bay leaves in hot oil for 30 seconds. Stir in onion, and cook until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in garlic/ginger paste, and season with coriander, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and chili powder. Stir in chicken, and cook for about 5 minutes. Pour in tomato sauce and chicken broth. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, place the cashews, along with the water in which they were soaked, and the cream and yogurt into food processor. Process until smooth.
Stir the cashew mixture into the chicken and onions. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cornstarch mixture, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes.

When I make Indian, I prefer to make it the day before serving it. The flavors need to steep and grow and meld. Also - it's a lot of work - do it the day before and relax the day of.

Serve over rice.

6 servings, 222 calories (without rice)

Roasted Curry Cauliflower

Roasted Curry Cauliflower

12 cups cauliflower florets (from about 4 pounds cauliflower)
1 large onion, peeled, quartered
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 1/2 teaspoons curry powder (Penzeys :-)
1 tablespoon Hungarian hot paprika (Penzeys :-)
1 3/4 teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place cauliflower florets in large roasting pan. Pull apart onion quarters into separate layers; add to cauliflower. Stir coriander seeds and cumin seeds in small skillet over medium heat until slightly darkened, about 5 minutes. Crush coarsely in mortar with pestle. Place seeds in medium bowl. Whisk in oil, vinegar, curry powder, paprika, and salt. Pour dressing over vegetables; toss to coat. Spread vegetables in single layer. Sprinkle with pepper.
Roast vegetables until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 450°F oven 10 minutes, if desired.)
Mound vegetables in large bowl. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The recipe says it makes 6 servings. I feel it makes 12. At 12 it is 154 calories per serving.

Bon Appetit, September 2004