Monday, January 30, 2012


I saw these fresh blueberries at the local vegetable market. My husband likes them a lot (I'm not very fond of them).  He'll eat them fresh or in pies, cereals and cakes.  I know they're very nutritious,  good for your health and filled with antioxidants etc..  but I still can do without them. Anyway, I made a blueberry syrupy compote to top our pancakes for our Sunday brunch which we both enjoyed. I saved the rest for later as a desert.
Here's recipe #1:

1 Cup blueberries
1/4 Cup water
1/2 Cup sugar
2 tbsp of rum (or lemon juice ) to retain color
Place everything in a medium pan and boil until blueberries are soft  and you're done.
Omelet with Vienna sausage was my favorite

Recipe #2

For  desert, I crumbled corn flakes and placed them on the bottom of the parfait cup. I  topped it with blueberry syrup, blueberry yogurt and more corn flakes. I guess I gave him enough blueberry health for one day. 


I'm a soup person. What about you? Maybe you're like me. When the weather is cold outside I love to have a hot bowl of soup with a thick hardy bread slathered with butter.   Yesterday I made this nutritious,  aromatic belly warmer of a soup which my husband rated it 10+ on his scale!!!  (his scale is always favorable on my side). You'll try and let me know where your scale will be ( this soup is very easy to make).

1 Medium head of cauliflower;
2 Tbsp of olive oil;
1 Large clove of garlic whole;
1 Medium onion coarsely chopped;
1/4 Tsp Curry powder;
5-6 Cups of water (add more if needed)
*Salt and Pepper
Chopped parsley and paprika to sprinkle on top

Core the center stem and remove the green outer leaves of  cauliflower.
Place all ingredients in a large pot filling enough water to cover over top of the cauliflower. Boil until all vegetables are fork  tender. Turn of heat. Once its cooled, blend with a hand infuser or blender until smooth. Transfer back to a large pot (if using blender) to warm, sprinkle with paprika and parsley. Close your eyes and savor the smooth taste.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I first ate pigeon peas at a vegetarian friend's house. She had made rice with pigeon peas. It was delicious.  She is also a dietitian and told me that they were very nutritious and high in protein.  So next time when I went shopping  I bought a bag of  these legumes. They're brownish and  mottled rounds and are very tiny. Once I cooked them in meat stew. It was good but it gave us indigestion afterwords. This time I wanted to try to make soup with them without the discomfort,  so I  used a little cook's trick and boiled them with one tablespoon of baking soda for ten minutes prior to cooking.  After they cooled of  I  painstakingly separated the skins from seeds (ugh..!) and revealed the beautiful yellow peas underneath.  Anyhow,  my efforts paid off and my soup was delicious. Instead of split pea soup it was pigeon pea soup in pork stock. I had prepared the stock from the pork bone that I've saved  from our pork dinner on Sunday.

1 Cup Pigeon peas (see above preparation)
2 Tbsp of olive oil
1 Large onion roughly chopped
1 Large carrot diced
1 Large celery stalk chopped
1 Clove garlic
1 Tsp sage powder
1 Tsp curry powder
5-6 Cups of stock/broth (mine was pork)
1 Cup of shredded pork from the bone 
* salt & pepper to taste

Saute onion with oil in a large pot and stir in all the other ingredients and boil until vegetables softened. Once cool put through the blender until smooth. Return soup to pot and cook for five minutes more. Plate and serve with croutans on top. (I use one day old Italian bread cut into cubes and then fry in melted butter).   It is smooth, silky and a great belly warmer and no discomfort.   Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Last evening I decided to make lasagna for supper. However, I found out that I had used the noodles for another experiment and the box was half empty.  Not enough to make lasagna. Then I said to myself "Self! make something with what you have.." Well, my wheels turned and I came up with individual  pieces of noodles rolled up and cooked just like lasagna. I had eight and a half pieces left in the box , so that's all I used.
Lasagna noodles
Bechamel sauce (see last recipe)
2 Cups Marinara sauce (mine was ready made)
1 Clove of garlic chopped
1 Cup of fresh Broccoli Fleurette separated
1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese cut into strips 

Boil lasagna noodles until half cooked and leave them in the hot water in the pot. At this stage we want to keep them semi firm.  Make Bechamel sauce.Set aside. Blanch broccoli,  strain and saute in chopped garlic. In a bowl mix, cheese, Bechamel sauce and broccoli. 

Carefully remove one noodle at a time from the pot and fill one corner with this mixture and roll.

Monday, January 23, 2012


 I was thinking of what to make for dinner I remembered my mom's casserole. When we were kids (a very loooong time ago) she made this frequently. I called up mom and asked if she remembered her tuna casserole recipe. After jogging her memory she remembered. She also told me that she made them with fresh peas and carrots (not frozen). As she was trying to remember how she made the biscuits I  told her she needen't to worry about that,  I will be using store bought dough. She laughed and said that she also made them from scratch... I apologized to my mom and told her that I was not as patient as she is. Well,  it is true I'm not known for my patience. You might have gathered by now that I'm also a very practical person. I cook the same way. I usually don't like to follow rules unless they are essential to the result.  My version of cooking  is fast, simple, easy and tasty.  

For the casserole:
2  6 1/2 oz. can of tuna fish in water; drained
2  Cups of frozen peas and carrots, thawed
1/2 cup of water                                                                         
2 tbsp of butter
1 medium size shallot, diced
1/2 package of uncooked pasta (elbows, little shells, etc. )
5-6 Refrigerated biscuits      
Saute shallot with butter in a pan. Add peas, carrots and water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain any water and add tuna fish. Set aside.  
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.

For the Bechamel sauce (white sauce):
1/4 cup of flour
2 tbsp of butter
2 Cups (or more) milk
Melt butter in a pan and add flour while stirring gradually and add the milk. Keep stirring until it reaches a flowy pudding consistency (add salt and pepper to taste).
Mix pasta, vegetables, tuna and Bechamel sauce thoroughly and place it in a oiled oven proof dish. Top with the biscuits and bake it in 350 degrees oven for 20-25 minutes or until the to is golden.

I guess my husband liked it a lot....

Monday, January 16, 2012


Yesterday was a very cold day.  I postponed my grocery shopping to another day and decided to clean my house instead. After a long strectch of cleaning I felt my stomach grumbling,  reminding me that it was time to have lunch. We usually don't have lunch on Sundays due to having a late brunch. However, working up a sweat and cleaning the house  I realized I needed a break. I opened the fridge and oops! I was out of sandwich fixings. However, I spotted a tub of left over rice, a jug of tomato juice and brie cheese. My lunch menu was formed. I poured the tomato juice in the pot and added the rice with a pad of butter. I buttered opposite sides of my wheat bread and placed a slab of brie cheese in the middle and made grilled cheese sandwich. Once the tomato soup was done I sprinkled it with dried basil. It was a belly warmer for sure. Getting up from the table and going back to house chores was quite difficult.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


One of my husband's favorite sandwich is sweet Italian sausage with caramelized onions and peppers. There's really not much work involved or any big preparation. Just my type of meal for a warm and cozy evening. I sauteed peppers and caramelized the onions and added the
sausage to the mixture. Once it started to sizzle I poured cane sugar liquor which I had available at that time. Actually, any type of liquor is fine and save some to drink with your delicious meal. Enjoy...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


This is one of my favorite recipes. It is fast and easy to make. I cook my vegetables  with the chicken to save time and an extra pot. Since I like dark meat, last night I used chicken thighs and drum sticks but it can also be made with chicken breast with bone. I think the bone gives broth the added flavor. I use fresh dill  with salads and other green vegetables. It gives flavor and aroma to sauces as well.  Paired with jasmine rice this meal was very tasty. I also made (not pictured) fruit salad to go with all this.

2 Chicken drum sticks and 2 thighs (bone in)
1/3 Cup chopped green peppers chopped
1 Medium onion chopped
1 Clove of garlic chopped
2 Tbsp of chopped dill (1 tbsp of dried dill will work also)
1/4 Tsp sage
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 Cups of fresh green beans
1/3 Cup of  chicken broth
1 Tbsp of flour

(*Salt & Pepper to Taste)

Saute chicken in a large preheated skillet with skin sides down, turning occasionally until the skins are crispy. Remove from pan set and aside.  In the same skillet saute onions and green peppers. Add garlic, dill, sage and place the chicken back in the pan and pour the vine over. Cover and cook for approximately 30 minutes . Place the beans back into the skillet. Add the chicken broth,  cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Remove and separate chicken pieces from the beans onto a warm platter. Carefully strain the broth from the skillet onto a sauce pan, reserving the vegetables. Add flour to the broth  and stir until  thick and smooth. Pour over chicken.
I drizzled the gravy over the rice also but it is not necessary. I pictured the Jasmin rice I used because I really like the flavor.  Its not overly fragrant. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Doesn't he look like as if  he is reaching into the cookie tin?? ( I didn't stage it)Well he is a funny character anyway.
I made "Hermit" cookies for New Year's Eve. It is an old recipe but I tweaked it a little with my left over spice concoction and candied fruit from the "Stollen" recipe.   The result was better than I expected. Soft, chewy spice cookies that are easy to bake... Who wouldn't like them with a cup of coffee???

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 1/2 Cups flour (all purpose)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp half and half or milk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp of  my mixed spices (cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, allspice) 
1 cup of mixed candied fruits and raisin mixture.

Sift together flour and spices set aside.  In a large mixing bowl beat butter for few minutes.  Add 1/2 of the flour mixture, sugar, egg, milk and beat well. Stir in fruit and remainder of the flour. Drop by rounded spoon onto greased baking sheet and bake in preheated 375 degrees oven for about 10 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned. They are ready to eat as soon as cooled.