Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I took these pictures of my Magnolia tree last Friday. They were in full bloom with all their glory.  Every single bud was open. They were enjoying  the beautiful warm sunny day. Having a very cold weather over the week-end their delicate flowers were shriveled and turned into saggy brown dish rags...

I'm glad that I  snipped my Hyacinths and one little Daffodil from my garden before the cold weather got to them.  Now, they are happily residing on my coffee table and filling the room with their sweet aroma.

Monday, March 26, 2012


                                  Can you see the steam coming out of my little pie????

How do you name a new dish that you just whipped up and that it looked good,  tasted good and you wanted to share it with your friends??  That's what my this recipe is all about. Yesterday morning preparing for our Sunday brunch I looked into my refrigerator and spotted a box of phillo (also spelled phyllo or fillo) dough (phillo dough is very thin sheets of unleavened flour dough for making all sorts of savory and sweet pies). They can be stored tightly wrapped in the fridge for 10-15 days or can be frozen. Some very talented people can prepare and roll out  the dough at home but be assured that it isn't easy. I usually buy a few boxes at a time and store them in the freezer. Who knows maybe one day I'll get ambitious enough to make it from scratch..   Anyway when I picked up the box  it felt very light and sure enough there where only two sheets of   dough left in it. .Then I remembered a couple of weeks ago I had made a cheese pie and saved a few sheets  to try a new recipe. I must have stuck the box in the fridge and it got hidden away from my view. Now there it was ready for me to try my new recipe, but what ???? .  Pan pie.....!!!!

2 Eggs whipped with 2 Tbsp. of cream (milk etc..)
2 Small breakfast sausage (without casings) chopped 
1 Small red pepper chopped
1 Small tomato chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Sheets of phillo dough shredded

Whip eggs with cream set aside.  Saute sausage, peppers tomato and add to the egg mixture.

Oil the bottom and sides of  a medium size frying-pan. Add the  shredded dough half way up to the sides of the pan, almost like   making a well. Place it on the stove in medium heat. Once the bottom is crispy and golden  pour the egg mixture in to the well.
 Cover the top for few minutes for eggs to cook. With a wide spatula flip it over to give a nice crust for the top ( pictured on the left).  Flip it over again and invert it to a plate. It is crsipy and savory.  Enjoy.   

Monday, March 19, 2012


This is a very simple dish and for that reason I thought twice before posting it.  I usually make  this  in summer and put it in the fridge and take it out just before we are ready to barbeque. By the time we're ready to eat it 's at the right temparature. It's very refreshing when chilled. I usually squeeze  lemon juice to make it more summery. This dish can be eaten as entree, side dish or even as a salad. I used the frozen beans yesterday because I was pressed for time.  If you have time and can find thin beans or haricot verdes or even cut the regular beans thin,  that'll work and it will be tastier.

1 Lbs bag of frozen French cut beans thowed (or fresh haricot verde)
1 Large onion
1/4 Cup Olive oil
1 Cup diced  (or any other style) canned tomatoes
1 Cup or more water
a pinch of sugar 
salt to taste
Sautee onion in a large pot until they're translucent. Add tomatoes, beans and water (If not on a special diet a pinch of sugar can be added at this stage), stir and cover. Cook in medium heat until beans are soft. Place on a dish, chill and enjoy. How simple is this???

Monday, March 12, 2012


 First signs of Spring in my garden

There is a Cardinal family living in  my back yard. They made a nice living quarters in a big bush and live there all year long. Males  are all red with a touch of black  around their face. Females aren't as showy. They are light brownish.  They mate for life and they are always around each other. When you see a red male, there will be a female somewhere nearby. Their song is very unusual especially during  mating season. They are very protective of their nest and brood. We've seen them flying furiously in circles to chase away the other birds if they're too close to their nests.  
That must be the papa Cardinal on the branch  taking a rest from the hustle and bustle of the nest life ....

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Today,  I salute all my sisters around the globe. Today we remember and thank our female ancestors for championing this day for us. 
Briefly,  this day started with a handful of women in New York City on March 8, 1857 to end the inequalities in the work place. The movement was squashed at that time but the idea and the will of women wasn't.  Years later on March 8, 1908, again in New York City, women rallied to stop child labor and demand to vote in elections and this was following their sisters movement some 51 years later. During French revolution Parisian women  marched for "Liberty, Equality and Fraternity" to demand women's suffrage. In 1909 first Women's Day was observed in Europe on February 28. Later  continued to be observed on the last Sunday's of February until 1914. Between 1910-1914 International Women's Day was celebrated on different days in different countries. On March 8, 1914 women in Europe held rallies to protest the war and expressed solidarity with all women around the world and by  March 8, 1917 International Women's Day reached global dimensions.

There is still a lot of work to be done for women's rights globally,  but as the saying goes " a women's work is never done".  

Monday, March 5, 2012


My mom is a great cook. She has a huge collection of recipes from all around the world. She used to cook unusual and delicious foods for holidays. When we were kids we used to look forward to our Sunday meals. Every Sunday meal was different than the previous one. Funny thing is, our meals would start with only four of us and ended up six or eight people around the table. It seemed like our  friends always had an excuse to stop by our house just as we sat down to eat and of course my mom would invite them to come in and eat with us. It was my mom's pleasure to entertain. Her food was always delicious and fun. She taught me how to enjoy cooking.  She tells me that she is reaping what she sowed in the past. I'm so glad to be able to give back and hope that she and my dad enjoy the meals I prepare. Last Friday I took my mom to her doctor. On the way back I told her that I was going to prepare her a surprise dish from the past.  So when we returned home while she rested I got busy in her kitchen preparing their meal for the evening. This recipe is from my mother's archives. I changed it a little but it still tasted the way we all remembered and she was glad that I remembred.
 This is a good recipe to induce children and non-vegetable eating adults to eat vegetables (like my dad).

For this recipe you'll need:

4 or 5 medium to large potatoes mashed
1 Clove of garlic
1/2 Cup finely chopped onion
1/2 Cup fresh or  (1 Can  beets) cut up
1 Cup frozen peas thawed
1 Cup finely shredded carrots

Make ahead: 
Firm mashed potatoes and divide into five equal parts. Set aside.

For Beets: Boil beets with garlic until soft  (If using canned beets, drain half of the liquid from the can reserving the rest to boil with garlic). Mash until smooth with infusion blender (or in the small food processor). Set aside.

For Peas: Saute peas with half of finely chopped onion until soft. Cool and mash until smooth. Set aside.

For Carrots: Saute with the rest of the onion until soft. Cool and mash until smooth. Set aside.

To assemble: (I used grape shaped mold). 
Place a stretch film (*Saran wrap) inside and over the sides of your mold covering all crevices.

Mix pureed beets with mashed potatoes until well blended. Pour into prepared mold, press into place.
Place the second batch of plain mashed potatoes on top this mixture and press down with the back of a spoon.
Mix pureed peas with the 3rd batch of  potatoes. Spread this over the 2nd layer.
Place the fourth batch of mashed potatoes over peas until it's all covered.
Mix pureed carrots with the last batch of the mashed potatoes and spread it over the last layer.  

Invert the mold  on to a platter, remove the stretch film. Voila! Your piece d' resistance is ready to consume. I used a knife to cut the slices. I guess it can be scooped out also. It was a good accompaniment for breaded Tilapia and Jasmin rice. 

My hubby took the picture of his plate...