Saturday, December 20, 2014

Roasted potatoes


  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine oil, garlic, basil, marjoram, dill weed, thyme, oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir in potatoes until evenly coated. Place potatoes in a single layer on a roasting pan or baking sheet.
  3. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, turning occasionally to brown on all sides.

Veggie Broth

When I make veggie broth I often use whatever I have in my fridge...

Add 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery chopped
A half a knuckle of ginger
1 tbs of kosher salt
one whole onion,
2 cups of fresh corn or one bag of frozen corn
2 tomatoes chopped
and sautee it in 3 TBS of olive oil... then add 5 quarts of water
Cover, bring to a boil and  thent urn down heat and let it simmer all day, adding water if it needs....

I can mine in a pressure cooker to keep it longer, but you can also freeze it..But don't leave it for long in the fridge....

edamame dip

1 cup shelled cooked edamame beans
1/2 cup cooked fresh spinach
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp greek yogurt
1 tbs cream cheese
2 cloves garlic
juice of one lemon
wee bit of cumin

Dried Strawberries

  1. Halve or quarter the strawberries, depending on their size; place on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper;
  2. Dry in the oven for three hours at 100° C / 210° F.

Asparagus salad

4 ounces pancetta
1 tbs butter
1 lb asparagus trimmed an split on bias.
1 1 /4 cup leeks cut and quartered
2 garlic cloves
zest of one lemon
1 tsp orange zest
3 TBS pine nuts
1-2 TBS italian flat leaf parsley

4 ounces pancetta, saute until lightly crisp. diced

add asparagus and leeks and 1 TBS butter to pan and  saute until tender crisp

Add all the other ingreidients and saute til for about a minute.
Salt and pepper to taste

hamburger helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper
Yield: Serves 8
    Hamburger Helper:
  • 3 cups (24 oz) marinara sauce (storebought or homemade)
  • 1 batch easy alfredo sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs ground beef (I used extra lean)
  • 1 1/2 lbs penne noodles (I used whole wheat)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • Garnish: parmesan cheese and julienned basil
  • Easy Alfredo Sauce:
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • Black pepper and salt to taste
To make the alfredo:
Melt the butter in a large sauté pan set over low heat. Add the cream to the butter as it melts. Stir occasionally (keeping the heat on low). Let it simmer for about 15 minutes. When it’s reduced slightly, add the parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir. Set aside while you make the rest of the sauce. Stir the alfredo occasionally. Note: if the alfredo is WAY too thick for your liking, add some extra milk or cream (1 tbsp at a time) after it’s simmered and reduced.
To make the hamburger helper:
Brown the ground beef in a large skillet then drain the fat.
Add the garlic to the drained beef and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the marinara and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, turn down the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the alfredo sauce a few minutes before you add the noodles.
While the sauce is cooking, boil the pasta noodles.

Bay Scallops with Spinach, Somen noodles, and leek sauce.

Bay Scallops with leek sauce, 
wilted spinach over somen noodles.

We love any combination of this recipe with salmon as well... These are all made very quickly, and quite tasty! The leek sauce is so worth it...  we serve the scallops over the somen noodles, add in as much spinach as each person likes, top it off with the leek sauce and stir it all together... I would have taken a photo, but it all disappeared very quickly... and was told to go write down what I did immediately!  So there... I did. ;-) with a full happy, belly!


3 TBS Butter
3 Leeks, well washed, chopped into 1/2" rounds (white and light green only)
1/3 C dry white wine
1/3 heavy cream
3Tbs finely chopped fresh chives
salt pepper 
1/4 c chicken stock
Melt butter in a medium skillet, over med/high heat. Add leeks, simmer, stir occasionally, 5 minutes, add wine, simmer until leeks are tender, about 4 minutes. add cream and chives, season with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and add to the blender and blend until smooth.


2 TBS butter melted
1 container of spinach, washed and dry.
2 garlic cloves

Coat pan with olive oil, garlic press to garlic gloves... sautee about 1 minute, don't let garlic burn... add spinach, drizzle with olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until all coated, cover and let simmer on high for about 2 minutes, uncover, stir until all is wilted.  Remove from pan, drizzle butter over it and stir... add salt and pepper to taste.


1.25 lbs of bay scallops
2 TBS butter
drizzle of olive oil

Coat pan with oil and one TBS of butter, heat until hot, add scallops, heat for 1 minute then turn them over for one more minute...

Remove from heat to serve sprinkle with Sea salt.


2 bundles of Somen noodles

Heat  a pot of water enough for two bundles of somen noodles... Boil water, add noodles, and cook for 2 minutes... drain and rinse well. serve.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chocolate Crackled Cookies

Chocolate Crackled Cookies

Spicy, sweet, and just down right YUMMY!

12 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate, divided
3/4 c flour
2 tsp Roasted Saigon Cinnamon (McCormick)
1 tsp Ancho Chile Pepper (I used Mc Cormick's Chipotle Chile Pepper because that's what I had on hand)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 c firmly packed brown sugar (I used light brown)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp good pure Vanilla Extract

MELT 8 oz of the chocolate in a bowl over boiling water & set aside.
COARSELY CHOP remaining 4 oz chocolate.
MIX flour, roasted cinnamon, chile pepper, baking powder & salt in a small bowl.
BEAT butter & sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer until light & fluffy.
ADD eggs & vanilla & mix well.
ADD melted chocolate & beat until well blended.
GRADUALLY BEAT IN flour mixture (low speed) until well mixed.
STIR IN chopped chocolate.
DROP dough by rounded tablespoons 1 1/2" apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
BAKE in preheated 375 degree oven about 10 minutes or just until cookies are set AND  slightly
cracked on top.
TRANSFER carefully to wire rack & cool completely. 
(Makes about 2 - 3 doz depending on size of cookie)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Garlicky Cranberry Chutney

Garlicky Cranberry Chutney
We were given this as a gift the last two thanksgivings, and we Demolished the container... Found on NPR website... SO GOOD!!!
Susan Stamberg calls this recipe "my truly favorite cranberry side dish." It's from Madhur Jaffrey's cookbook East/West Menus for Family and Friends(Harper & Row, 1987).
1-inch piece fresh ginger
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1-pound can cranberry sauce with berries
1/2 teaspoon salt (or less)
ground black pepper
Cut ginger into paperthin slices, stack them together and cut into really thin slivers.
Combine ginger, garlic, vinegar, sugar and cayenne in a small pot. Bring to a simmer, simmer on medium flame about 15 minutes or until there are about four tablespoons of liquid left.
Add can of cranberry sauce, salt and pepper. Mix and bring to a simmer. Lumps are ok. Simmer on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes.
Cool, store and refrigerate. ("It will keep for several days, if you don't finish it all after first taste!")