Thursday, March 31, 2011


Today I decided to cook my grandmother's favorite vegetable,  ARTICHOKE. I will try to stay as close to her recipe as possible. When I was a kid I never liked the taste or the texture of this strange looking, prickly to touch and scary named vegetable.  Later I found out how healthy and tasty it was. There are many ways of cooking artichokes. They can be stuffed, breaded, grilled, pureed and made into dips. This recipe is great great for  lunch,  a side dish or an appetizer. I'll provide other recipes as I prepare them:

3-4 Large Artichokes  (I bought three)
2 Cups cold water (for soaking)
Juice of 1 Large Lemon
1 Medium onion chopped
1 Carrot (thin preferred ) diced or sliced
1/3 Cup Olive or Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Frozen Peas thawed
1 Cup Water
Chopped Dill or Parsley if desired
** salt,  pepper

Remove the leaves of artichokes until the hearts are exposed. Scrape off the fuzzy stuff  in the middle with the back of a knife or a spoon. Trim the bottom of the hearts. Cut the hard outer surface of the stems leaving about 2 inches close to the bottom of the hearts. Pour cold water into a bowl add lemon juice (I also add the rinds in the water) and artichokes. This step will prevent artichokes  
from getting discolored. Should you wish you can purchase already peeled artichoke hearts in brine in many stores and you can use
them instead of fresh artichokes, thereby saving yourself this step.

Saute onions in oil in a sauce pan for few minutes.  Add carrots and peas and saute for additional few minutes more. Add artichokes to the pan. Then add 1 cup of water, cover and cook for 30-35 minutes or until artichokes are tender.  Transfer the artichokes stem sides up to a serving platter, pour vegetables over and garnish with dill (goes very well with this dish) or parsley. This dish can be eaten warm or cold from the fridge, either way it is delicious. Why not give it a try? Here's the finished product.

** I usually don't give any salt, pepper measurements.  I leave that up to the cook to decide if they want to use them. I don't use much of either because my husband is on a salt free diet. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Sometimes when I come home from work I need to cook something fast but I also want to make sure it is nutritious. This whole meal took me 15 minutes to prepare.  I dreged the pork chops in egg wash and bread crumbs as the water for frozen ravioli (oh, my gosh...don't tell my mom) and jarred marinara sauce was boiling. The new steam in the bag green beans were a breeze in the microwave. I set the table while my husband sliced the bread. Oh,  I also made a salad to complete the meal. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Our brunches on Sunday mornings are very hardy. We like variety of cheeses, olives, jellies and jams in addition to our eggs. This morning I decided to make an omelet with a twist and we both really enjoyed it. Why not give it a try.

2 Whole eggs
2 Tbsp of milk
2 Stems of scallion chopped
4 Slices of bacon cut in to small pieces
1 Medium size tomato chopped
2-3 twigs of parsley chopped
1 Tbsp of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Beat eggs and milk together in a small bowl. In a skillet brown small pieces of bacon until crisp. Add chives and tomatoes and stir until tomatoes are softened. Pour in egg mixture. Once the eggs are set add parsley and cheese and fold the mixture in half, gently turning it over with a spatula . Serve while warm.


I think adding tassles or beads to plain table lamp shades gives them character. I enjoy coming up with these nifty ideas. They are easy and easily changeable for my mood and decor.

Friday, March 25, 2011


This is a quick and delicious meal to prepare and an alternative to that prepared with fresh clams. You can prepare the clam sauce while the pasta water is boiling. This is my husband's favorite dish and it has become a staple on Friday nights when I am pressed for time to prepare dinner. I make garlic bread and a hearty salad to complete the fare.

1 package of whole grain or regular linguine
1 10 oz can of whole baby clams
1 large clove of garlic
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of butter
1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup of white wine
10-15 stalks of parsley chopped (reserve some for topping)
Zest of one- half lemon

Cook pasta according to package directions. In a medium saucepan cook garlic in olive oil until golden. Add clams with juice to heat and stir for few minutes. Stir in wine, parsley, butter and half of the cheese and lemon zest.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Pour garlic mixture over pasta and toss with reminder of the cheese and parsley till coated. Serve with additional cheese if so desired.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I couldn't believe my eyes this morning when the early gentle rain turned into a steady falling big lumps of snow flakes which stuck to the ground. What??? Isn't today the first full day of Spring?? Anyway aside from horrors of the slippery slopes my hubby and I came to work safely. While he drove I enjoyed the ride and took some pictures...

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Lemon & Orange Jam (for two)

I love lemons and I love lemonade and everything with lemon in it. So I thought why not make lemon jam. Well my husband doesn't like lemons that much so I compramised and added the orange.

Here is the recipe:

1 Large Lemon
1 Large Orange
2 Cups Sugar
1 Star Anise whole
2 Whole Cloves

Wash and peel the skins of the fruits and cut them length-wise and boil in a pot for 25-30 minutes. Drain and add sugar and spices in the same pot. Let it sit until sugar dissolves. Boil for 30 minutes or until sugar becomes thicker. Spread on your toast or roll in the morning or anytime. Enjoy.