Sunday, August 31, 2014

Window Cleaner

I am on Facebook with a friend who I think was probably raised much the same as I was.  My mother was very practical, cooked "from scratch", sewed many of my clothes, and also repaired them to extend their life.  That was pretty much the life of everyone living in the 40's and 50's.  I messaged my friend to ask if she had the window cleaner formula that circulated on Facebook.  She said her daughter's in-laws sent her this formula.  While this is for a gallon, I reduced the ingredients to one quart which was perfect for the spray bottle I had. 
Window Cleaner
1/2 cup of sudsy ammonia 1 pint of rubbing alcohol 
1 tablespoon Dawn dish soap
Add enough water to make one gallon.

To make one quart
2 Tablespoons sudsy ammonia  
1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
3/4 teaspoon Dawn dish soap
Add enough water to make one quart.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Paleo Peach Crisp

Paleo Peach Crisp
I follow a blog, "Elana's Pantry".   The recipes which are very tasty, also are gluten free.  I give credit for this recipe to Elana.
Paleo Peach Crisp is made with only six ingredients: peaches, almond flour, salt, butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. This healthy gluten-free crisp is another one of my easy-to-make Paleo recipes that has even less added sweetener than usual. The entire recipe has one tablespoon of maple syrup. Better yet? My boys and their friends devoured it last night.

If you make this healthy dessert recipe with frozen peaches, be sure to let them thaw completely before you make the crisp. When I used frozen peaches they took around three hours to thaw out to room temperature. Of course, it’s fantastic with fresh peaches.

Paleo Peach Crisp
Ingredients:2 pounds peaches, sliced
1¼ cups blanched almond flour
⅛ teaspoon celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons butter or palm shortening
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Place peaches in an 8×8 baking dish
In a food processor, combine almond flour and salt
Pulse in butter, maple syrup, and vanilla
Sprinkle topping over fruit
Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes
Remove from oven, then cool and serve

Serves 4

From Elana:
I love serving desserts made with almond flour to my growing boys (now teenagers) because almonds are far more nutritious than the wheat flour that traditionally makes up such desserts. Almond flour is higher in protein, lower in carbs, and full of more nutrients than its wheat flour counterpart.

My strategy (getting as much healthy food into the boys as I can) seems to be working since ours is the home that my sons and their friends gathered at all summer long and now come to for “snack time” everyday after school.

Sometimes my children and I make this crisp with apples, and then it really becomes a family affair. The boys have been pealing and coring apples for our baking exploits since they began grade school and it is one task that they heartily agree to and enjoy –probably given the pot of gold (in this case dessert) at the end of that rainbow! What kind of crisp will you make? How will you adapt this recipe to fit your needs? Leave a comment and let me know!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Grilled Pizza Margherita

Grilled Pizza Margherita
Minimize your work when entertaining.  Let everyone be in charge of their pizza dough and grilling it. Done!
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cups tomato sauce
4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
3 pounds tomatoes sliced 1/2" thick
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped or torn
Combine the yeast and water with a pinch of sugar in a large bowl and stir to dissolve.  Allow to set until a thick foam forms on top.  Add flour and salt to the yeast and stir to incorporate or use a dough hook with an electric mixer and mix until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  

Transfer the dough to a second bowl that has been lightly oiled.  Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise at room temperature until the dough is nearly doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.  Gently fold the dough over on itself a few times.  Cover again and allow to rise for an additional 45 minutes.

Preheat a gas grill to medium high.  If you are using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn down until the coals are glowing red with moderate coating of white ash.  Spread the coals in an even bed.  Take care to make sure the grill is not too hot or your pizzas will be overdone.  
Evenly divide the dough into three pieces.  Roll or stretch each piece into three 10" rounds.  Lightly dust an oven peel or the back of a baking sheet with semolina flour and lay a dough round on top.  Lightly brush olive oil over the top of the entire dough round.
Place each round on the grill, oiled side down.  Brush the other side of the round with olive oil.  Grill the pizza Grill the pizza until the dough is marked and puffs up slightly, about two minutes.  Use tongs to flip the pizza dough over and spread about 1 cup of pizza sauce leaving 1/2 inch border around the outside edge.  Evenly sprinkle the surface with 1/3 of the cheese on each round and top with a few slices of tomato.  Close the grill lid.  Cook the pizza until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is slightly brown and bubbly, about two to three minutes more.

Remove pizza from the grill and sprinkle basil on top.  

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Grilled Spare Ribs

Grilled Spare Ribs
Remove the membrane from the underside by making a slit along the top of a rib bone and with the tip of a sharp knife lift an edge.  Pull to remove membrane.  Place in a pot of water and bring meat to 195 F degrees.  Be careful not to boil.

Place meat on a tray and glaze with marinade bone side first and meat side next:
2/3 cup lime juice, fresh
1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Stir ingredients until well mixed.  Keep 1/3 of marinade to be used passing at the table

Move ribs to grill, place meat side down.  When you have nice grill marks, brush with marinade and flip and brush top with marinade again.  When the ribs are done, remove to tray, apply another coat of the marinade.  Tent with foil for ten minutes.  Cut to seperate the ribs and serve. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fresh Fig Chutney

Fresh Fig Chutney
Our daughter Barbara used this Food Network recipe today making this batch of Fresh Fig Chutney.  Barbara said her kitchen smelled so good and the chutney in the jars was a picture!
2 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 pound light brown sugar
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1/4 lemon, zested
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/4 pounds firm, slightly underripe fresh figs,  
   rinsed, stemmed and cut in halves.   
In a large saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar, onion, ginger, mustard seeds, lemon zest, cinnamon stick, salt, allspice, and cloves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until mixture is thickened and reduced by 2/3, forming a thick syrup. Add the figs and cook gently until the figs are very soft and beginning to fall apart and most of the liquid they've given off has evaporated, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the chutney to a non-reactive container and allow to come to room temperature before serving. The chutney may be made up to 3 weeks in advance and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. (Alternately, hot chutney may be ladled into hot sterilized canning jars and processed in a hot-water bath according to manufacturer's directions.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blueberry Custard Pie

Blueberry Custard Pie
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix the sour cream, 3/4 cup sugar, egg, 2 tablespoons flour, vanilla extract and salt with a spoon until smooth. Gently fold the blueberries into the sour cream mixture. Spoon the filling into the unbaked pie crust.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

While the filling is baking, prepare the streusel topping: In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar and flour. Mix the butter in (I always use my hands) until the mixture resembles course sand. Fold in the chopped pecans. 

After the filling has baked 25 minutes, sprinkle the streusel crunch topping over the top of the pie. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until filling is set and topping is brown.
Make sure your crust doesn't burn. Either use a crust shield or make a loose foil tent towards the end of baking.

Remove from oven and let pie sit for at least 10-15 minutes. Serve pie warm or chill it and serve cold.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rainbow Slaw

Rainbow Slaw
Salting the cabbage before making the salad draws out excess moisture, so your slaw won’t be watery.


½ small head green cabbage (about 1 ¼ lb.)
½ small head red cabbage (about 1 ¼ lb.)
1 large carrot, peeled
1 Tbs. kosher or coarse salt
2 Tbs. mustard seeds
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
¼ tsp. chili flakes
½ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (about 1 ½ cups)
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips (about 1 ½ cups)

1. Slice cabbage into thin strips. Grate carrot on largest holes of box grater.

2. Combine cabbage, carrot and salt in large colander set over bowl. Refrigerate 1 1/2 hours. Rinse off salt under cold water. Pat dry.

3. Put mustard seeds, oil and chili flakes in small skillet; cover and cook over medium-high heat 1 minute, or until seeds start to pop, shaking constantly. Remove from heat and continue shaking pan until popping subsides. Cool in bowl. Whisk in vinegar, sugar and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Combine cabbage, carrot and bell peppers in large bowl. Add dressing, and toss to coat. Adjust seasonings. Serve immediately, or store up to 1 day in refrigerator.  Serves 8

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Apple, Onion and Sage Pork Chops

Apple, Onion, and Sage Pork chops


1 1/2 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 boneless pork chops, 1-inch thick (about 1 1/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 red apples, thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple juice or orange juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar


Mix flour, all of the spices and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with 1 tablespoon of the seasoned flour.

Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add pork chops; brown on both sides. Remove from skillet. Add onion; cook and stir 3 minutes or until tender. Add apples; cook and stir 2 minutes.

Stir in juice, sugar and remaining seasoned flour until well mixed. Return pork chops to skillet. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until desired doneness.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Apricot Sherbet

Apricot Sherbet

It’s remarkable to discover that a sherbet is simply just cooked fruit or fruit juice and sugar (not too much, or the sherbet won’t set and the fruit flavor won’t shine), chilled and then churned in your ice cream maker. That’s sorbet, actually—add a cup of cream and you’ve got sherbet. Add the same of yogurt or labneh instead, and you’ve got frozen yogurt.  From the blog, Rose Water and Orange Blossoms.

1 pound ripe apricots
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup heavy cream

Pit the apricots by simply splitting them in half with your fingers. Coarsely chop them, leaving the skin on.
In a heavy medium saucepan, bring the apricots and water to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover, cooking until the apricots are broken down and very soft, about 5 minutes. Lift the lid now and then to stir the pot and take in the scent of summer.
Add the sugar and lemon juice and taste. If the apricots need more sweetening, add more sugar a tablespoon at a time until it tastes perfect.
Puree the apricots in a food processor or blender. Add the cream and puree until combined.
Chill the mixture quickly by pouring it into a zip-lock bag and immersing the bag into a bowl of ice water. Massage the bag numerous times, opening the top of the bag to release steam. Or, chill the mixture in the refrigerator for at least a few hours.
Pour the cold apricot mixture into your ice cream maker and churn. Serve the apricot sherbet soft right away, or freeze for a couple of hours for a harder, colder effect.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Corn and Crab Soup

This soup is quick to prepare and the corn's fresh flavor is deliciously highlighted by the ginger, mint and lime. Crab makes a great addition but diced shrimp or even lobster would also work.

3 to 4 cobs of corn, shucked
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
7 oz. crab meat, drained
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup packed fresh mint leaves, shredded

Using a knife, remove the corn kernels from the cobs, placing them in a bowl. You should have about 3 cups. The the back of a knife, press down on the cob extracting any milky juice. Add it to the kernels: set aside.

Heat the oil in a saucepan; add the corn, green onions, ginger and sugar. Cook for 2 minutes to 3 minutes, then add the stock and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Skim then reduce the heat and simmer until the corn is tender, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the crab, lime juice and mint. Check the seasoning and serve. Serves 2 or 4

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

National Lemonade Day

National Lemonade Day
Celebrate!  Today is National Lemonade Day.  Check the post of August 17 for nature's best beverage containing all natural ingredients.  So why lemonade?  Lemon juice keeps the organs of the body working at their best level.  Also a glass of room temp water or warm water with the juice of a half of a lemon first thing in the morning also puts the ph factor of the body in check.

Another of the healthiest reasons to enjoy lemonade: you are not punishing your body with chemicals causing calcium to leach from the bones. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mediterranean Portabello Burger

Mediterranean Portabello Burger

Here is one of my favorite ways to eat a portabella mushroom as a sandwich.  You can make so many variations of this sandwich just like a regular burger.  The meatiness of a portabella is a great sub for any meat entrée that is much healthier and cheaper than any meat counterpart.

Mediterranean Portabello Burger
Yield : 4 servings

1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 Portabella mushroom caps, stems and gills removed
4 large hamburger buns
1/2 cup sliced red peppers
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups loosely packed mixed baby salad greens

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Mash garlic and salt on a cutting board with the side of a knife until it's a smooth paste. Mix the paste with 1 tablespoon oil in a small dish.

To remove the gills, use a spoon and carefully scrape the gills away.  The gills add a bitterness if not removed.

Lightly brush the oil mixture over portabellas and then on one side of each slice of bread.

Combine red peppers, tomato, feta, vinegar, oregano and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl.

Grill the mushroom caps until tender, about 4 minutes per side; grill the bread until crisp, about 1 minute per side. Assemble sandwiches and serve.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

How To Make Lemonade

How To Make Lemonade
This is a repost from Elana's Pantry.

Making lemonade from scratch is fantastic for a bunch of reasons.

First, it tastes incredible. There’s nothing like freshly squeezed juice from real lemons. Making your own also allows you to avoid the nasty chemicals and preservatives in store bought lemonade. However, the biggest reason I like to make homemade lemonade is to avoid the sugar in the store bought stuff.

Lemons are incredibly healthy and full of amazing phyto-nutrients. They are also a great source of Vitamin C, one of the most important antioxidants around. Further, lemon juice is very alkaline, balancing the pH of the body, and it is also incredibly helpful to the immune system.

How to Make Lemonade

2 quarts water
1 cup lemon juice
½ teaspoon stevia

In a large pitcher combine water, lemon juice, and stevia.  Serve over ice.
Garnish with herbs of your choice if desired.
Serves 4

For the best flavor result in this lemonade recipe be sure to use a brand of stevia that is of excellent quality. My preference is NuNaturals stevia. I cannot consistently find it at the grocery stores in my area, so I purchase it online.

A hand held juicer as pictured gives the greatest health benefits and flavor.  The beneficial oils in the skin of the rind are released adding great depth to the flavor as well as health bebenifts.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Adding Flavor

My daily paper had this article this week which I thought was worth keeping. The title was Adding Flavor.


"Particularly cornichons, you know, the little pickles. The liquid in there really makes a great vinaigrette. And it really adds a lot when you have a mayonnaise-based sauce or an aioli or a tartar sauce or a spicy mayo. Just throw in a splash of that. It's sort of like adding some salt and some vinegar at the same time and I find it has a way of really rounding flavors out."


"That is another underground flavor helper. If I make something spicy, it adds both a touch of sweetness and a bitter note. I'm always looking for jars of things that I can just add a tiny dot of to round flavors out and make them more complex, and I find marmalade does that. Sometimes when I'm making a salad dressing, like a lemon vinaigrette, I add a little bit of lemon marmalade to that. It adds body to the dressing, but it also adds a little bit of pleasant bitterness. My grandmother used to make chicken with marmalade on it, she used to brush the chicken with it to glaze it."


"If I am making a spice rub or a spice mix for a braise or even just to crust a piece of fish, I'll use mustard seeds. If you soak them in a little bit of vinegar and let them get plumped and soft and then you puree them, they're delicious. And there's just a touch of heat to them. The texture, the taste, the pop, I love that. Add them to a vinaigrette or a sauce. It's an ingredient that doesn't just add body, it really can be transformed by a little hydration, a little spa treatment."


"I find that it's good in anything, especially a marinade for a chicken or a steak. Mix it with a little bit of mustard to make a delicious marinade. I can pretty much add a splash of it to almost any soup under the sun with good results. Any fish stews, fish soup, even meat stews, I just find a splash of that at the end takes things to the next level. It's like adding the fortified wine version of vinegar. I've also cooked it down, cooked that raw boozy taste out of it, and used that to make a vinaigrette. It's delicious."


"People think of them as this misshapen lonely, lumpy overstewed kind of bland vegetable. First of all, they're delicious chopped up raw. I love to slice them thin and lay them out over a plate and then lay some slices of apple over it with olive oil. They're really a lot more like radishes than one might think. They're also delicious roasted. Toss them with a little olive oil and throw them in a really hot oven with nothing, and then I just toss them with a vinaigrette when they come out and they're dynamite. They're really good roasted with fruits. I love roasting them with pears and putting them underneath chicken. You can also peel them and cook them down and puree them and use that puree to thicken a vegetable soup instead of flour. There's got to be more nobility for the turnip in 2014."

Friday, August 15, 2014

Brown Sugar Cured Grilled Salmon

Brown Sugar Cured Smoked Salmon
This grilled and smoked salmon recipe calls for curing the fish for several hours with salt, brown sugar and spices before smoking it over indirect heat on your grill. While the fatty fish absorbs the smoke beautifully, the fish can also be successfully cooked in a grill pan, or under the broiler. The salt and sugar cure, laced with sweet spices, both flavors the fish and firms up its flesh, giving it a meaty, silky texture. Serve it with a crisp salad for a light supper, or with rice for something more substantial.

Total Time 25 minutes, plus at least 4 hours’ curing

4 skin-on, center-cut wild king or other salmon fillets (2 1/2 pounds total)

1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving
Olive oil
1 1/2 cups hickory chips, soaked for 30 minutes and drained

Pat fish dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt, pepper, spices and zest. Rub mixture all over fish. Place in a dish, cover and let cure in the fridge for at least 4 hours and preferably 8 hours. Rinse fillets and pat dry. Generously oil salmon.

Light the grill. Once coals are hot, scatter drained hickory chips over coals. (If you’re using a gas grill, place them in a disposable metal pan on the grill next to the salmon.)

Place salmon flesh-side down on grill and cover, closing top vent so not much smoke is released. Smoke salmon, covered, for about 5 to 6 minutes, then flip. (If the fish is sticking to the grill grate, then it’s not ready to flip. Cook for another 3 to 10 minutes, depending upon how hot your fire is. The fish is done when the interior is medium pink and exterior crisp and smoky. Serve with lemon wedges.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Asian Pork Ribs With Hoisin, Sriracha and Honey Glaze

This is another recipe I received from my favorite instructor at Great News Cooking School, Phillis Carey.  Any recipe she offers is always a hit.
I have a slab of ribs in my freezer and will try recipe.
3 slabs baby-back ribs 
1 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 T. minced garlic
3 T. minced ginger
2 T. Asian hot sauce (Sriracha)
1 T. Asian sesame oil
1/3 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil 

1/2 cup minced green onion tops

1. Cut ribs between the bones into individual ribs. In a large bowl, large enough to hold all the ribs and the marinade, combine the hoisin, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, Sriracha and sesame oil. Remove 3/4 cup; cover and refrigerate. Stir oil into remaining sauce and add the ribs, tossing to coat well. Cover and refrigerate ribs for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill the bottoms of a broiler pan or two half full of water. (Or you can place an oiled rack in a baking sheet or roasting pan and pour water in the bottom.) Oil the top rack and set on pan. Remove ribs from marinade, reserving any remaining marinade, and arrange on the pan; roast for 30 minutes, brush with any remaining marinade and turn ribs over. Roast another 30 minutes and brush with half the reserved refrigerated marinade and roast for 30 to 45 minutes longer or until tender and well browned.
3. Remove ribs to a serving platter and drizzle with remaining reserved sauce and sprinkle with green onion tops.  Serves 8

Monday, August 11, 2014

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

Most often Spanikopita is made in small appetizer sized triangles with phyllo dough.  This recipe is a less labor some edition and wonderful to use as a side dish or meatless entree.

Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)


20 oz. curly leaf spinach, rinsed
1/4 cup water
12 oz. feta, crumbled into fine pieces
3/4 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
4 medium scallions, sliced thin
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 lb. phyllo, thawed over night in the refrigerator
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano

Place the spinach and water in a large microwave-save bowl. Cover the bowl with a large dinner plate. Microwave on high until the spinach is wilted and decreased in volume by half (about 5 minutes). Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and keep covered for 1 minute.
Remove the plate and transfer the spinach to a colander in the sink. Using the back of a rubber spatula, press the spinach against the colander to release the excess liquid. Transfer the spinach to a cutting board and roughly chop. Wrap the spinach in paper towels and squeeze to remove excess water. 
Transfer the spinach to a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients up to and including the cayenne pepper to the bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
Preheat the oven to 425F. Grease a pie or cake pan with melted butter. Lay one phyllo sheet on the buttered pan, pressing the dough into the corners and letting the edges hang over the edge of the pan. Repeat with 9 more phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter until you have a total of 10 layers of phyllo.
Spread the spinach mixture evenly over the phyllo. Fold the edges of the bottom layer of phyllo over the filling. Add 6 more phyllo sheets to the top, brushing each with butter and sprinkling each with 2 tablespoons Pecorino cheese. Add 2 final phyllo sheets, brushing them with butter but not sprinkling with the Pecorino. Trim the edges, then use a spoon to neaten the edges of the pastry case.
Use a sharp knife to score the pie through the top 3 layers of phyllo into 8 even pieces of pie. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the phyllo is golden and crisp. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Watermelon Peach Salsa With Tomatoes

Watermelon Peach Salsa
With Tomatoes
Yesterday my supermarket was sampling this wonderful salsa served with tortilla chips.  The recipe was available to the shoppers.  It is also suggested to  serve with chicken, pork, or fish.  It is an amazing blend of flavors.
2 cups watermelon, diced 1/4" size
1 cup fresh peaches, diced 1/4" cup size
3 cups vine ripe tomatoes, diced 1/4" size
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup jalapeño jelly
1 tablespoon lime zest
Juice of 1 lime
1/3 cup basil chefinade
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in medium bowl and serve within the same day.  Serve with chicken, pork, fish, or with your favorite tortilla chips.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tomato and Avocado Salad With Gingered Tomato Vinaigrette and Toasted Peanuts

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Tomato and Avocado Salad With Gingered Tomato Vinaigrette and Toasted Peanuts

2 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced 1/3" thick
1 cup assorted small tomatoes, chopped
Salt and ground black pepper 
1 small ripe tomato (4 to 6 oz.) coarsely chopped
1/2 small garlic clove, smashed
2 inch fresh piece ginger, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, preferably grape seed oil
1 fim ripe avocado, halved, pitted and sliced
1/2 to 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced crosswise 
1/4 cup shredded fresh mint
1/4 cup roasted peanuts

Sprinkle the beefsteak tomato lightly on both sides with salt, then arrange them on a plate and let them stand for 15 to 20 minutes.  In a small strainer, toss the chopped tomatoes with a bit of salt and set them in a strainer over a bowl or in the sink to drain for the same period of time.

While the tomatoes are draining, in a blender combine the small tomatoes, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar and oil.  Blend until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Pat the tomato slices dry, and on a platter arrange alternating layers of the beefsteak tomato slices and avocados with most of the dressing then top with most of the dressing , then top them evenly with the small chopped tomatoes.  Scatter the serrano slices, mint, and peanuts evenly over the top.  Serve the remaining dressing on the side.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Broiled Salmon with Cannellini Bean Risotto

Broiled salmon with Cannellini Bean Risotto

These rustic cannellini beans don't cook for very long, but they have a rich, rustic flavor because they're simmered with prosciutto and escarole. Along with the mustard-and-garlic-glazed salmon, it's a great one-dish meal.

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp finely chopped thyme
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans,
rinsed and drained
¾ cup chicken stock
1 3/4-pound head of escarole, dark green 

leaves discarded and remaining leaves torn
2 oz prosciutto, chopped
½ tsp grated lemon zest

Make the Ragu: 
In a deep skillet, add the oil, shallot and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, thyme and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes start to break down, 4 minutes. Add the beans and stock and simmer until the beans are hot, 2 minutes. Add the escarole, prosciutto and lemon zest and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the escarole is just wilted, 4 minutes; if the bean ragù is too thick, add a little water. 
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
Salt and Pepper
1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
1 ½ Tbsp whole-grain mustard
2 tsp dry white wine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp finely chopped thyme

Prepare the Salmon: Preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and brush it with oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper and set on the baking sheet. In a bowl, whisk both mustards with the wine, 2 teaspoons of oil, the garlic, thyme and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Broil the salmon fillets 6 inches from the heat for 2 minutes, until the top just starts to brown. Spoon the mustard on the salmon and broil for 5 minutes, until the fish is nearly cooked through and the top is browned. Spoon the bean ragù into bowls, top with the fish and serve.

MAKE AHEAD: The beans can be prepared through Step 1 and refrigerated overnight. Rewarm before proceeding.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Quinoa And Spinach Patties

Quinoa And Spinach Patties

1 cup uncooked quinoa2 cups water
4 eggs, whisked
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
3 large scallions, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup steamed spinach, chopped (frozen is fine)
1 cup plain breadcrumbs (for GF, be sure to use GF         breadcrumbs)
1 teaspoon olive oil

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and place the grains in a medium sauce pan with 2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook until quinoa is tender and has absorbed the liquid, about 20 minutes. Let it cool.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, eggs, Parmesan, scallions, garlic, salt, steamed spinach, and breadcrumbs. Let everything sit for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. The batter should be moist, but not runny. Form patties 1/4 cup each.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. In 2 or 3 batches, cook the patties covered for 8-10 minutes on each side, or until browned and golden.   Makes 14 patties.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Cookies And How You Like Them

I found this article on Facebook and thought it would be of interest.  We all like our cookies a certain way.  For me, I like a soft cookie that I can dunk in a glass of chilled milk!

Monday, August 4, 2014

German Red Cabbage

German Red Cabbage

This is the recipe from our cousin Bill who with his sister Susan spent time last week bonding and canning 27 quarts of this delectable dish.  At our family reunion, which was held last Saturday, we auctioned items which the different families offer for our fund raiser raffle.  Bill and Susan donated two food baskets with the "fixins" for a German Dinner.  The funds are then donated to the orphanage in El Salvador that a late cousin Fr. Ken Myers founded 30 years ago.  Thank you Bill for sharing this recipe.
1 medium head red cabbage, cored and sliced
2 large tart apples, peeled and sliced
1 medium sweet onion, sliced and separated into rings
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon salt
6 peppercorns
2 whole allspice
2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water

In a large pot with tight fitting lid, toss together cabbage, apples and onion.

Add water, vinegar, sugar, butter and salt.

Place the peppercorns, allspice, cloves and bay leaf on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with kitchen string to form a bag.

Add spice bag to pot.

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/4 hours.

Remove spice bag. I.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; stir in cabbage mixture.
Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Grandma's Polish Perogies

Grandma's Polish Perogies 
Tonight I had my first taste of perogies.  Jodie is Polish and an accomplished culinary artist with the ethnic foods.  I enjoyed a tasty dinner with Jodie and her husband with a promise that she would share her grandmother's recipe.  Following dinner I visited with  other neighbors Barb and George.  George has a bag of perch for me, that Lake Erie delicacy.  I shared with them what a great dinner of perigees I had.  Barb offered me her recipe of perigees.  When I receive Jodie's recipe I will share hers.
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups sour cream
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
onion salt to taste
salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl combine the flour and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, sour cream, eggs, egg yolk, and oil.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well blended.  Cover the bowl with a wet towel and let stand for 15 minutes.
Place potatoes in a pot and fill with enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain, and mash with shredded cheese while hot.  Season with onion salt and salt and pepper.  Set aside to cool.
Separate the perogie dough into two balls.  Roll out one ball at a time on a lightly floured surface until it is thin enough to work with, but not to thin so that it tears.  Cut into circles with a cookie cutter, perogie cutter or a glass.  Brush a little water around the edges of the circles, and spoon some filling over into half-circles and press to seal the edges.  Place the perogies on a cookie sheet and freeze.  Once frozen, transfer to freezer storage bags or containers.
To cook perogies:  Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Drop progies in one at a time.  They are done when they float to the top.  Do not boil too long or they will be soggy.  Remove with a slotted spoon.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Perfect Madeleines

Perfect Madeleines
6 large eggs 
1 1/4 cup unrefined sugar
Zest of one organic lemon, finely grated
1/2 cup milk
about 2 3/4 cup flour plus more for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 3/4 cup melted unsalted butter, hot, plus more for brushing

    Prepare the batter the day before. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and lemon zest, then whisk in the milk.

    In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and stir with a clean whisk to remove any lump. Sprinkle the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, whisking all the while.

    Whisk in the melted butter, cover, and refrigerate until the next day. The batter will keep, tightly covered and refrigerated, for up to three days.

    Two hours before baking, brush a madeleine tray, preferable tin, with melted butter, making sure no excess butter pools in the ridges. Sprinkle the mold thoroughly with flour, then tap upside down over the sink to remove excess flour. After my first batch, I forgot to flour the mold and merely buttered it, which turned out to be enough to prevent sticking. Place the tray in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
    Madeleine mold
Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Pour some of the batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip. (To make this step easier, you can place the piping bag in a tall measuring jug and fold the sides over and out to keep it open.)

    Piping bag
    Pipe the batter into the prepared madeleine tray, filling each mold to three quarters. Bang the tray once on a cutting board (or your counter if it's sturdy) to remove any air bubble.

    Madeleine batter in mold
Insert into the oven, lower the heat to 360°, and bake for 12 minutes, until the sides of the madeleines are golden brown and the domes buttercup yellow.
Remove from the oven and unmold immediately: holding the tray with both hands, tilt it forward so the madeleines face away from you, and bang the side of the tray on your cutting board or counter so the madeleines will pop out. Depending on how well-seasoned your tray is, it may take one to three bangs to pop them all out.

Transfer to a rack to cool. The madeleines freeze well in an airtight container.