Tuesday, May 31, 2011


The weather changed from cold and wet to hot and humid overnight this week-end causing me to  change my plans for the back-yard barbecue. We moved indoors to enjoy the comfort of  the air conditioner so we had an indoor picnic and no ants...  I made potato and rice salad, deviled eggs, corn on the cob. Nothing fancy but eye pleasing and easy to make. Ofcourse my husband was in charge of the barbecue and he didn't complain about the heat,  so that was good. 

4-5 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled
1 Cup of  mayonnaise
1/2 Cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons of  Dijon mustard
1/2 Red Onion finely chopped
2 Stalks of celery finely chopped
1 Hard boiled egg
10  Pimentos or  green olives sliced (save some for decoration)

*salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl  mix boiled potatoes with onions, celery and olives. In a separate bowl combine mayonnaise, mustard, and sour cream and pour over the potato mixture stirring gently. Decorate with eggs and olives. Enjoy.


2 Cups of rice, boiled and drained
1/2 Cup each, red, green and orange peppers, chopped
2 Cloves of garlic minced
4 Sprigs of dill and parsley chopped
Vinegrette dressing

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl cover and refregerate. Enjoy
*salt and pepper to taste. 


After separating the yolks I mixed them with mustard, mayonnaise and curry powder and topped them with olive tapenade and sprinkled with red pepper.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 27, 2011



Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Don't look at these containers and say "What are these....!!" .  I try to be eco-friendly and recycle whatever I can. Some stores in our area sell foods in these sturdy plastic containers. I store bulky food (whole chicken, turkey, my most recent "Pasta Bomba" etc...) or to marinate meats and large foodstuffs. I also use them to freeze food items that I'd be using in the future since it is easy to write the date and contents on them with a pen. They are often microwave friendly so the leftovers can be safely transferred from refrigerator/freezer to microwave.
Another way to save the earth and the pocketbook.


Spread the Word & Comment to Win a FBR Tote Bag - May 2011


Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Upon my husband's request I went back to my Sunday classic pasta dish we call the "Bombe" or bomb beacuse of its round shape. It is almost like preparing lasagna but  is done with spaghetti and is light. It's certainly going to be my side dish for a couple of  more times. It is also a great dish to bring to a "pot luck" dinner. I paired it with barbecued steak and steamed green beans with Cesar dressing from the jar !!!! (oh my.!),   a nice hearty salad and an ice cold mug of beer to go with.....

1 Lb of spaghetti
2 Cups milk warmed
1 Medium onion finely chopped
3/4 Cup flour
3 Tbsp tomato paste diluted with water or 1/4 cup red wine (optinal)
4 Cups tomato sauce
2 Tbsp butter
2 Eggs beaten
1 1/2 Cups shredded cheese ( I used mozzarella)
1- 2 Cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsps each of dried oregano and basil

For the mold you'll need lightly greased 2-3 inches high round oven proof dish.

Cook spaghetti  according to package directions, drain on a sieve.

For white sauce:
In a medium size pot sautee onions in butter until soft and translucent. Add flour and warm milk, stirring rapidly until pudding consistency is reached. Set aside.

For tomato sauce:
In a separate pot sautee garlic in oil,  add tomato, tomato paste, oregano and basil and simmer  5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir  half of the tomato sauce into the white sauce.

Stir pasta, sauce mixture, eggs and cheese in a large pot and pour it into the prepared dish. Bake in at 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove and carefully invert it onto a plate. Use the saved half of tomato sauce for individual portions and/or pour it over the whole thing...  Come and have a seat at our dinner table. Mangia....

Monday, May 23, 2011


I'm sure everybody has their favorite breakfast food. Mine is English muffin and toasted crusty bread. Sunday morning's treat was just those.
Soft boiled egg in English muffin cup with bacon and toasted crusty bread topped with an omelete. 
I fry my bacon after I microwave  it for half a minute to eliminate the unwanted juices and fat. For these treats I used 4 slices of bacon and 1 egg (yolk and white separated).

Make a well in the middle of  a halved and lightly toasted English muffin and arrange 2 slices of bacon around it. Place the egg yolk in the well. (save the separated white for the recipe below) Broil in the toaster oven until the yolk is set to your desired consistency.

 For the toasted crusty bread  in a small bowl mix:

1 small cube of Feta cheese crushed with the back of a fork
 2 slices of bacon torn to small pieces                                      
1/2 tomato diced
2-3 sprigs of  parsley  chopped                  
1 Egg white (from the recipe above) whipped.
Slather this mix over the lightly toasted bread and broil it in the toaster oven. I put both recipes in the same toaster oven to save time.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


 Having a great sunny day today, my husband and I decided that we'll have a cook out in the back yard. While he was cooking the marinated chicken on the barbecue I was busy in the kitchen making this delectable but easy pasta salad which I know he'll help himself for seconds. This recipe is for two but there is plenty to around.

1/2 lb.  Penne pasta
1/2  of fresh green, red & orange pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
7-10 Black olives sliced
1 Small bunch of broccoli fleurettes, trimmed1/4 Cup of  grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil and vinegar
* salt & pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions and add cleaned broccoli fleurettes at the last 5 minutes. In the meantime, in a large bowl combine peppers, garlic, cheese and olives. Toss all with oil and vinegar. Drain pasta and immediately and pour over the vegetables, mix well. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to eat. Enjoy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


This is my best childhood soup of  all times. Especially after a rainy and dreary day like yesterday this soup was calling my name. I had to make it as soon as I got home. For some reason this soup always comforted me. My elderly neighbor whom receives a bowl of this soup swears by it. I think this is a nutritious soup for adults and children alike beacuse it has every food category in it plus it's fat content is minimal. It's funny, I made this soup for a friend's finicky child who wouldn't eat vegetables. His mother was amazed how he finished it and asked for more. I think they still talk about that day. This soup is great as a main dish for relaxing evenings or lunch with friends. I serve it with a salad and crunchy bread on the side. As always,  I do not use salt in any of my recipes. One can add salt and pepper to their taste.

For the broth:

5 Cups of  water (or previously prepared vegetable broth )
2 Medium carrots sliced
2 Medium celery stalks sliced
2 Small potatoes peeled and diced in to cubes

Put everything in a large pot and start boiling on medium high heat.

For meatballs
1 Lb. fat free ground beef
1/4 Cup uncooked rice
1/4 Cup breadcrumbs (I used panko)
1/2 Tsp. garlic powder
1/4 Tsp. cumin

Mix everything well by hand and roll into 1 1/2 inch meat balls. Carefully place them in with the boiling vegetables in the pot and continue to boil until vegetables are soft and the meatballs start floating on top. 
Whisk  1 Egg yolk with 2Tbs. lemon juice in a separate bowl and temper it with the broth from the soup. Return this mixture carefully into the pot, stir and turn off the heat.

 Last night I served this meal with shredded carrot salad on a bed of lettuce with lemon vinaigrette dressing and a chunk of fresh bread. Enjoy.

Monday, May 16, 2011


 Sunday night dinners in our house are a bit festive. After having a large breakfast we are quite full until later in the day. This gives me time to plan and cook our Sunday dinner.  I usually make something that will last for at least a couple of meals for the up coming week. One of my husband's favorite recipe is this pork roast. I coupled that with mashed yams, cheesy green beans and added a healthy cabbage salad. We washed all this down with a nice glass of Zinfandel.

Pork Loin Rib-End Roast with Apricot Glaze

2- 2 1/2 Lbs. pork loin
1 Medium onion roughly chopped
1 Clove of garlic minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 Tsp. cumin
1/4 Tsp. curry
1 Tbsp. tomato paste diluted with  1/2 Cup red wine
1/4 Cup orange juice
8-10 dried apricots

Braise the pork on all sides in oil with onions, garlic and spices. Return it to an oven safe baking dish. Dilute the tomato paste in wine and pour over the pork. Add orange juice and the apricots. Cover with aluminum foil, bake in 350 degrees oven for 1 hour. Remove roast from the oven and place it on a platter. Drain the cooking liquid from the baking dish to a pot using a strainer. Add 2 tbsp. butter to this mixture and cook until bubbly. Turn off heat and pour the sauce over the sliced pork.

STEAMED GREEN BEANS:                                           

Cut both ends of green beans and place them in a steamer. In a medium size bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon each grated Asiago and Parmesan cheese stir well. Add drained beans to this mixture and toss well.


4 Medium size Yams or sweet potatoes 
1/2 Cup whole milk
2 Tbsp. of Maple syrup  
2 Tbsp. of butter
1/4 Tsp. ground ginger

Peel and boil yams in a pot until soft. Drain and return to the same pot. Add butter, ginger and milk and maple syrup.  Smash until smooth. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011


This week end my husband and I were chatting at our kitchen table and he asked me if I wanted to drink something. I asked what would he like to drink and he said "something to end the week...!" What would that be???  I guess it should be something  bitter and sweet to end the week. With that in mind  I went to our mini  liqour cabinet and came up with this "Weekender".

2 Shots of white Rum
Juice of one squeezed orange
Splash of Curacao
Splash of Grenadine Syrup
4-5 cubes of ice
1-2 drops of  Angustra bitters

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, shake well, strain contents into tall glasses and garnish with slice of orange and red Maraschino cherries. Salud.

Monday, May 9, 2011


 I woke up quite hungry this morning. Looking around what to make, I thought to myself how about a healthy omelet that is going to be easy to make. It turned out to be very tasty.

2 Eggs (1 whole and 1 scrambled with 1 tsp. milk)
4 Slices of bacon fried 
1 Medium tomato roughly chopped
2-3 Stems of chives chopped
1 Tsp basil
Butter or buttery spray to coat the baking dish.

Lightly fry the bacon and place it on a paper towel. Discard the bacon  fat from the frying pan and combine the vegetables in the same pan. Stir  gently until tomatoes are just soft but not mushy. Put everything in the prepared oven proof dish and pour the scrambled egg over the vegetable mixture but don't mix. Break the whole egg on the other side of the dish and place it in a 350 degree preheated oven until  eggs are cooked.
(I prefer soft egg to scrambled egg. I tried to kill two birds with one stone. Ha! Ha!)


Friday, May 6, 2011




 Looking through recipes with my mother we came across an old recipe of carrot jam that my grandmother used to make. She used to make the best fresh fig jam, persimmon jam I've ever had. She is long gone but her legacy still stands. Her legendary cookies were passed unto younger generations. She also loved to cook and her cooking was divine. As a child I used to sleep over at her house so that I could have those delicious jellies and cookies. Aah, I still remember the delicious aroma of toasting bread wafting from her kitchen and the nice table setting with all the goodies she prepared just for me.

Anyway so much for nostalgia, here is my adaptation of carrot jelly from her recipe:

3 Medium size carrots cleaned and grated
1 Large orange 
3 Cups of Sugar
1/4 Tsp ground cloves 
1 1/2 Cups of water
1 Tbsp lemon juice

In a large pot over medium heat place the grated carrots, sugar, cloves and water. Wash and zest the orange and add the zest into the pot. Remove  the remaining peel, pith and pits, if any, of the orange and dice it into smaller pieces and add to the pot. Stir  in lemon juice and boil for approximately 1-1/12 hours. After cooling blend everything with the infusion blender and place them in sterile jars. Voila, carrot marmalade.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


 Last night while driving back home I was thinking about what I would prepare for supper. As we all know at this time of the year asparagus is at its best and I had some in the fridge. Let's see what else did I have in my refrigerator...???  
Oh, refrigerated biscuit dough, feta cheese and red peppers... Great.  I decided to try my own recipe.  My husband was very happy with the results and ate one half of the roll with accolades to the chef.... Here's my recipe for two (and remember: you'll put your salt and pepper according to your taste): 

      1 Bunch of Asparagus (10-12)
      1 Small onion finely chopped
      2 Tbsp olive oil
      1/2  Cup finely diced red pepper
      1/3 Cup chopped cilantro
      1 Cup Feta cheese
      1 Egg separated
      2 Scallions chopped
      2 Sheets of Puff pastry dough (I used 4 refrigerated biscuit dough-rolled out 1 1/2 inch thickness) .

Roll out the two sheets of dough separately on floured surface. Place one on a greased sheet.  Saute onions and asparagus in a pan until just soft. Set aside. In a medium bowl mash feta cheese and egg white with a fork and add all the other ingredients. Stir. With a spatula spread this mixture on the 1st piece of dough. Put the asparagus pieces side by side on top of this mixture. Cover it with the second sheet of dough, sealing each corner tightly. Brush with egg yolk and bake in  350 degree preheated oven for 15-20 minutes (or until it is golden brown). Enjoy..... and have a nice glass of  wine to wash it down...

Monday, May 2, 2011


I recently recieved these flowers I couldn't help but fall in love with their colors. Aren't they amazing????

Just look at these colors...

Have you seen two (2)  tulips on one stem????? Look carefully and you'll see that not only that they grew on one stem,  their colors are different too..... 

My husband gave me this beautiful African Violet. Look at their delicate lavender border


This wild violet is from my back yard. It draws a lot of attention from the rabbit who lives in the neighborhood


After the Easter dinner I decided to save the ham bone for our long time favorite split pea soup. You know after such a big meal one doesn't look forward to eating but when you are hungry then you look for some stick to your ribs good food. Well this recipe is just that, down home with all the aromas and taste.  Anyway I'm glad that I froze the bone along with a few ham  slices. I made wheat pasta salad with diced ham as accompaniment to our tasty soup. Nothing fancy just nutritious. I also freeze chicken and turkey bones for making delicious broths.  You can add salt and pepper to your liking. 
 Anyway here is the recipe for the soup.

2 1/2 Cups dried split peas
5 Cups of water
Ham bone with some meat on it (mine was probably 1 pound)   
2 medium size onions quartered
2 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1 large stalk of celery, ribs removed and chopped
1 large carrot chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme crushed
1 teaspoon dried mint crushed
1 large bay leaf

Rinse dried peas and set aside. In a large pot combine all ingredients with water including rinsed peas. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1.5  hours stirring occasionally until peas are soft. Remove the bone and the bay leaf and discard. When cool enoug, using a regular blender or infusion blender blend until silky smooth. Return to pot and boil for an extra 10-15 minutes. Garnish with croutons and diced ham. ( I used left over ham pieces from the bone and crispy tortilla chips instead of bread).  You can freeze the extra soup in the freezer until next time. 

And here is my wheat spiral pasta salad with extra ham pieces and red peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers,  dressed with home made vinaigrette dressing . Enjoy...