Friday, December 28, 2012

Pasta with Asian Twist

Pasta with an Asian Twist

This is the kind of dish that you can make depending on what you find in your refrigerator. The key is the sauce. If you have those ingredients then you're good to go. You can then combine any veggies, pasta, and/or protein and you've got a tasty dish!

Here's the sauce: 

•1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce 
•2 T brown sugar  
•1/2 t kosher salt  
•1 t fish sauce  
•1/2 t  Sriracha spicy chili sauce 
•3 T sherry cooking wine  
•1 T cornstarch
Combine all these ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

8 oz of pasta--I used whole wheat Udon noodles

For protein I used 10 large cooked shrimp that I thawed and threw into the sauce while I cooked the pasta and veggies. 

Pkg of sliced mushrooms
1 red pepper sliced
1 yellow pepper sliced
1 bunch of broccoli (just the tops) I microwaved them for two minutes before adding to the stir fry.
Sesame oil

Boil the noodles according to pkg directions--drain and put back in pot and toss with a couple T of sesame oil

Sauté the mushrooms and peppers in large skillet or wok until well cooked (ten minutes or so) add the broccoli and continue to stir fry for five minute more. Add the sauce and shrimp and turn heat down as you combine ingredients. Add noodles and combine--and enjoy!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Harvest Chipotle Soup

This is a good soup to make when you have some leftover meat in the fridge. I had about 1/2 of a left over pork tenderloin. You could use chicken, turkey, beef or not even bother with meat. The cashew nut topping is very tasty and adds some crunch to the soup and can also be a snack.

 Harvest Chipotle Soup
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut in small cubes
1 14.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz can hominy, rinsed and drained
2 cans of 14.5 oz stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
1/2 a cooked pork tenderloin, chopped
1/2 can of beer
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 t kosher salt

Sauté pepper and onion in a little olive oil in a large soup pot. Add peppers and garlic and sauté a little more then add all the rest of the ingredients--NOT the nuts! Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

Topping:  Spicy Chipotle Seasoned Nuts (recipe follows) or chopped dry-roasted cashews.
Need: 1 1/2 cups cashews, fresh rosemary, Worcestershire sauce, 1 t chipotle chili pepper or chili powder, garlic powder, butter

Spicy Chipotle-Seasoned Nuts

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Preheat oven to 325

Melt 2 T butter in small saucepan, add 2 t Worcestershire sauce, 1 t snipped rosemary, 1/2 t garlic powder, 1 t water and simmer 2 minutes. Add the nuts and coat with mixture and turn out onto baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes--stirring half way and watch so they don't burn. Sprinkle some kosher salt over the nuts when you take them out of oven. Let them cool. Store in airtight container for up to two weeks.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Susie-Q Stew

I was having lunch with a friend the other day and she was describing this southwestern dish she likes to make and it just sounded so good I had to try it. Love the flavors! This is a keeper!


1 medium onion, chopped
12 medium tomatillos (cleaned) and quartered
4-5 medium red potatoes (skin on) and quartered
boneless skinless chicken thighs (one package 6-8), cut into chunks

1 cup loosely packed cilantro
pickled jalapenos

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Spread the onion over the bottom of an oven proof Dutch oven. Sprinkle with salt. Continue with layers of the chicken thighs, cilantro, tomatillos, potatoes, sprinkling a teeny bit of salt over each layer before moving on to the next.

Scatter 1/4 cup sliced canned pickled jalapenos (nacho slices work too) over the whole thing, then drizzle on 2 T jalapeno packing juice. Next time I will use more jalapenos as we like spicy!

Set the lid in place and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer to reduce the juices. Spoon directly from the pot onto


Monday, October 15, 2012

Like Bacon and Bleu Cheese? Read On!

Warm Salad of Savoy Cabbage, Bacon, and Pears

Cook 4 slices of bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and reserve. Remove all but 2 T of fat from pan.

Add 6 cups of sliced savoy cabbage and a sliced red onion and sauté for 4 minutes.

Whisk together 2 T cider vinegar, 2 T olive oil, and a 1 t Dijon mustard in a large bowl.

Add cabbage mixture and 1 thinly sliced pear. Toss well and season. Top with 2 T bleu cheese and crumbled bacon.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rainy Day Pot Roast

When it's a rainy, dreary day, there's nothing like a yummy pot roast baking slow and low in your oven all afternoon. How luxurious to sit by the fire and read letting the house fill with those enticing aromas. 
There is no pot roast recipe better than this one. It's a variation on Laurie Colwin's recipe for Pot Roast from her wonderful book Home Cooking.

Yield: 8-10 servings


  • 5 lb. beef chuck roast
  • 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 cup red wine OR beef stock
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried marjoram leaves
  • Carrots. peeled and cut in 1/3s and small white and red potatoes


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Heat olive oil in heavy pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle roast with paprika and brown, about 15 minutes total. Place in Dutch oven or any large oven proof casserole dish with a lid and add bell peppers, onions, carrot, and garlic. In the same skillet used to brown roast, add wine or beef stock, tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and salt, scraping to loosen any brown bits; add pepper and marjoram. Pour over the meat and vegetables and cover. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 4-5 hours. I planned on four hours. I added the carrots when the roast still had about an hour and 1/2 to bake, and I added the potatoes with one hour to bake.

When the pot roast is tender, remove and cover it with foil to keep warm. Remove the large pieces of carrot and potatoes and cover to keep warm. I have an immersion blender and I just stuck that in the pan juices and well cooked peppers, onions and carrot and whirled it all up in to a great gravy. If you don't have one of those handy devices, you can use a food processor. You might want to add some more salt to the gravy--try just a little, taste and then add slowly. The gravy is good, so you don't want to ruin it with too much salt. Slice the pot roast and spoon the gravy over it.

This gives us plenty of leftovers! Cook once, eat twice :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Breakfast for Dinner!

Isn't it interesting how you can have just a little leftover something in the fridge and it can be the catalyst for an entirely different dish? So, I had leftover roasted veggies and I thought why not heat them up and use them as a bed for a sunny side up egg, heat up some Canadian bacon, sauté some frozen hash browns and voila, Breakfast for Dinner is born! Totally yummy!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Crunchy Asian Cabbage & Chicken Salad

What to do with leftover Beer Can Chicken? Found a great recipe that calls for cooked chicken on Peggy Lampman's blog, Dinner Feed. The original recipe came from Linda Cole and Peggy made a few adaptations. I pretty much followed the recipe which I usually never do!


  • 1 pound Savoy cabbage, chopped or shredded
  • 1 large cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • 2 cups small (1/2-inch) broccoli florets, blanched
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, blanched
  • 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper; seeds and membranes removed then sliced
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 1/2 cups whole cashews
  • Chopped cilantro, optional
  • 1 recipe for dressing (below)

Ingredients for sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white or rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil


  1. To make the salad, toss cabbage, chicken, broccoli, peas, peppers, scallions, and cashews together, adding cilantro to taste, if using.
  2. To make the dressing, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, sugar, garlic, canola and sesame oils. Thoroughly combine.
  3. Slowly add dressing to salad to taste, adding kosher salt to taste, if desired. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Beer Can Chicken!

A can of beer, opened at the top with herbs thrown in for good measure and flavor, makes a handy pedestal on which to prop an unsuspecting 6 pound bird. The beer inside the bird keeps it moist as it roasts in the covered grill.

5 or 6 pound chicken
veggies of your choice: I used chunks of zucchini, red onion, red pepper, and turnips. Tossed the veggies in olive oil, salt and pepper and some of the spices used for the chicken rub.

I used a mix by McCormick, Fiery 5 Pepper, and salt and pepper for the chicken rub.

I used a meat thermometer set for 175 degrees. I also used indirect heat with the middle burner turned off and the other two set at medium which kept the grill at about 350. Took about an hour and 45 minutes for the 6 lb chicken to roast--but grills do vary so that's why using a thermometer is a good idea.

I added the veggies during the last hour.........they get nice and caramelized as they roast--yum!

Monday, September 17, 2012

New York Sunset

The sun is setting over Lake Erie in Hamburg, New York and we're having a fried perch dinner to celebrate the end of a great trip!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Little Gem in Lee, Mass

If you ever find yourself in the cute little town of Lee, Massachusetts and are looking for a good place to eat, head to Timothy's on Main Street. It's a great spot with good drinks and wonderful Italian fare. Luscious pasta dishes, good bread and pizza that is SUPERB! We, of course, ordered more than we could eat because hubs wanted lasagna and I wanted to build my own pizza: fresh garlic, anchovies, and jalapenos! Not for the fainted-hearted and pass me the breath mints. However, it was delicious if I do say so myself :-)

French Toast and Eggs!

Great breakfast cooked by sister-in-law, Dyanne and brother-in-law, Alec.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

On the road in Maine!

Stopped for lunch in one of my favorite Maine small towns, Belfast. Love the architecture and the ambiance. Ate lunch at a great local bar, Rollie's. Time for a perfectly prepared fried haddock sandwich and hand cut fries!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 3-Rolling through the Green Mountains of Vermont

 I love Vermont! Case in point, as soon as we crossed the border on a little two lane road, we saw this!

And then, on down the road, we came upon a cute little town, Chester, and stopped for coffee and a macaroon at the Moon Dog Café--where you can get breakfast, lunch, buy jewelry, fresh produce, a tie dyed dress, and really a whole lot more...........see below :-)

 Of course, there's lunch to think about and we made our way to the tiniest, yet darling sandwich shop, Stella's in Hartland, Vermont. This place has about eight tables and, friendly service and food so fresh and just good, good good. Hubs had the special of the day, Bar-B-Cue Beef with hand cut fries and I had the Falafel with green salad. Both plates were delish!

 In the afternoon, we made our way into New Hampshire and rolled into Gorham around 3 PM which gave me a little shopping time before our dinner reservation at Libby's Bistro. We have eaten at this restaurant before and I just have to say if you are ever in the vicinity of Gorham, New Hampshire do not leave without taking one meal at this exceptional establishment. Everything about this place is perfect--from the service, to the drinks, to the food--unpretentious, inventive, authentic American food in a restored house with mismatched chairs and silverware. The chef, Liz, is an award winner and when you taste her food you'll know why.

We shared a starter of house-made bread and spreads--see below: French and olive breads with goat cheese and sweet corn spread, kale pesto, and heirloom tomato bacon jam--oh yeah-you heard that right!

 My camera's batteries ran out so I only captured one main dish: Deconstructed Cassoulet which had duck, sausage, and pork over white beans and baby carrots. My dish was Chicken Breast with a fresh tomato "gravy" over mashed fingerling potatoes served with a fresh Vietnamese Salad--sounds odd but you had to taste it to know how scrumptious, yummy and inventive it was!

Deconstructed Cassoulet
 Of course, I've heard their desserts are out of this world, but honestly, we have to have SOME restraint!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Road Trip-Day 2- Lunch & Dinner

I LOVE small town America: If ever on Rt 86 East, stop into OWEGO NY. A very cool little city right on the Sesquehanna River. Entrance to the city is over a flag-festooned bridge. Several great lunch spots from which to choose. We went to the  Calaboose Grill and had a fab lunch of burger with blue cheese (hubby says it rivals Knight's :-) and I had a fab Cobb salad with grilled shrimp.

And, then, of course, a girl needs to shop a little and I found a cool, cool gallery on Front Street--the Black Cat.

And now for dinner: we're on the eastern edge of NY--just  a hop, skip, and jump to Vermont and we
are staying at a great little inn with a terrific restaurant. Perfect martini and no one needs to drive :-)

Hubby had a perfect strip steak and I had a tender Filet Mignon. Even better, we have New York Cheesecake-to-go for the room while we watch Obama's speech! Life is good and tasty :-)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Road Trip! Michigan to Maine!

First stop:  Ellicottville New York. If you're ever in this area I can recommend this very cute little town in western New York. Several streets of "girlfriend" worthy shopping and a couple good restaurant choices. We had a lovely dinner at the Kabob Kafé next to the Ellicottville Brewing Company. Hubby says their Pale Ale is quite tasty. Both of us were pleasantly surprised with our flavorful chicken tikka dinners: spicy chicken, rice, salad and warmed pita--total yum! The weather was so pleasant we dined on the porch. Great first night of vacay!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Roasted Eggplant, Zucchini, and Red Onion

Here's a great side dish to whatever (in this case, salmon)

 Preheat oven to 425
1 medium eggplant, cut in quarters lengthwise, then sliced into half moons
2 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then into half moons
1 large red onion cut into wedges
olive oil
fresh basil and thyme--large handfuls
salt and pepper
red wine vinegar
feta cheese (optional)

Toss the cut up veggies with a couple T of olive oil, salt and pepper and a handful of chopped fresh basil and thyme. Spread out onto two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Roast for 15 minutes, rotate pans and stir veggies and then roast 15 minutes more.

In the mean time, in a small bowl combine a couple T of olive oil, a couple T of red wine vinegar, some more fresh chopped basil, and a clove of chopped garlic, and a T of Dijon mustard. Whisk together.

When veggies are done roasting, transfer to large bowl and stir in sauce and plate adding some feta cheese on top of each serving if you wish.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Thai Pork Salad

 Thai Pork Salad

1/2 pound ground pork
3 T Asian fish sauce
1 t sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 jalapeno sliced thinly
1 head of Boston lettuce torn into bite size pieces
1 small shallot sliced thinly
1 medium carrot shredded
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts

Saute pork, breaking up into small pieces until brownish. Add 1/4 water and 1 T fish sauce  and cook until evaporated.

In small bowl, stir together the lime juice, 2 T fish sauce, jalapeno pepper, and sugar.

Divide lettuce into two bowls, top with pork mixture, shallots, carrots, mint and peanuts and drizzle with lime dressing.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mexican Fiesta!

Sometimes you just feel like some Mexican food, right? When the mood strikes, here are a few recipes to keep you busy...........lots of chopping!

Black Bean Enchilada Bake

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 green pepper, chopped
1 pkg. mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 jar Trader Joe's Enchilada sauce
8 oz low fat cheddar, shredded
8 oz mozzarella, shredded
10 white corn (or just corn) tortillas

Preheat oven to 350
Saute onion, garlic, green pepper and mushrooms for a few minutes, then add beans and enchilada sauce and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Spray 1 1/2 qt casserole. Layer with tortillas, cheeses, and sauce until all ingredients are used ending with some cheese on top. Bake 20 minutes or when top looks all melted. Let stand for about ten minutes before cutting. Serve with toppings of salsa, chopped avocado, and sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Serves four to six depending on what other "sides" you're making.

Summer Corn Salad

1 bag frozen sweet corn, thawed
1 red pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 fresh jalapeno, minced
1 t ground cumin
2 T olive oil
2 T cider vinegar

Make the dressing using the oil, vinegar, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the rest of the ingredients, mix and refrigerate for several hours to let flavors develop.

Cilantro Lime Basmati Rice

Make three cups of brown Basmati rice however you like to make rice--using stove top or rice cooker. Use Vegetable broth instead of water.

Make this dressing:
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 1/2 T olive oil
1/2 t kosher salt
1 t oregano
1/2 t pepper

Mix together. 

To the cooked rice add 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Gently mix in the dressing and serve warm or at room temp.

Serves four to six

Slaw with a Kick

Just search on this blog for slaw and you'll get that recipe!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I Love Soup!

Here's a super easy, throw it together soup. Perfect if you have a left-over cooked chicken breast lurking in the fridge!

Creamy Chili-Corn Soup with Chicken and Black Beans

Olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 T chili powder
1 t cumin
2 cans creamed corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 can black beans, drained
1 can diced green chilis
1 shredded cooked chicken breast
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

In soup kettle, heat oil and garlic until it starts to sizzle, add the chili powder and cumin and then throw in all the rest of the ingredients except the cilantro and the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered to blend flavors--around 15 minutes or so. Taste a little and decide if it needs salt or pepper--I didn't think it did. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cilantro.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cauliflower Pasta Puttanesca

Another winner from Real Simple Magazine:

1/2lb whole wheat shells pasta
olive oil
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 28 oz can peeled tomatoes
1/4 cop chopped Kalamata olives
2 T capers
1/4 t red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and black pepper
Chopped parsley ( I didn't have any)
Grated Parmesan

Cook pasta according to box, drain and reserve some pasta water.
Meanwhile in large skillet, heat olive oil and add cauliflower, salt and pepper and cook stirring around 6 minutes. Add the garlic and stir cooking about one minute. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, and red pepper. Keep cooking and stirring around 10-15 minutes more til cauliflower is as tender as you like it. If the mixure seems to be getting too dry , add some of the reserved pasta water.

Throw the pasta into the sauce and toss. Serve with cheese.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

I love Real Simple Magazine and I saw this in their latest issue and, of course, made a few changes. However, these were mighty tasty.

1 cup brown or white rice, cooked
1 T olive oil
6 scallions, thinly sliced-white and green parts separated
1/2 pound ground chuck
1 cup frozen corn
4 oz. chopped green chilis
1 t cumin
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
4 large red peppers, halved lengthwise
plain non-fat Greek yogurt
salsa verde

Heat oven to 375

Heat the oil in skillet and add scallion whites and beef and cook until beef is no longer pink. Stir in corn, chilis, cumin, cooked rice, 1/2 cup of cheese, salt and pepper.

Arrange peppers in 9X13 pan, cut side up. Divide beef mixture among the peppers, add 1/2 cup water to dish, cover tightly with foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake ten minutes more.

Serve with dollop of  yogurt and salsa of your choice (I used salsa verde)