Friday, November 30, 2012

Shopping Saute

There are certain items, I like to eat, and when I shop, I generally pick these up and figure, I will make use of them.  When I looked in my refrigerator, I found these ingredients to be used: Spinach, Sausage, Mushrooms and Bok Choy.  They tended to make sense to me as possibilities for a dish.  I thought about it and decided, the most logical dish, would be a stir-fry.

This was such a delicious meal.  Sausage may not be the healthiest food but it has such a yummy flavor and I love it.  I don't often make it so when I do, I doubly enjoy it.  It adds a wham to any dish.  I bought a sweet sausage for hubby who is not a fan of spicy and found this sausage too much for him.  Strangely, he managed to eat it, heartily.

Spinach-Sausage Saute  


2 sausages (I prefer chicken)
spray olive oil
2 bok choy, sliced
1 cup spinach, torn
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
4 button mushrooms, sliced


Spray large skillet with olive oil.  Heat to medium temperature.
Slice sausage and add to pan.  Brown lightly.

Add mushrooms and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes until mushrooms are cooked.
Add bok choy and spinach.  Mix in with sausage and mushrooms and cook for 2 additional minutes.
When everything is hot, serve.  This is delicious with rice, quinoa, noodles or potatoes.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lunch is Served

My lunches, this week, were not inspired, at least on Tuesday and Wednesday, when I made a Ramen dehydrated soup. I will say, it comes with tons of thin noodles, and is very good. I am not missing anything, eating this.  Tons of noodles = tons of enjoyment.

Today, I opened the refrigerator door and spied, a bit of left over Spinach Egg Puff, from last night's dinner.  I decided to plop at egg on top of it, and microwave it, for two minutes.  This lunch seemed inspired or perhaps, I should say, it tasted inspired.  A little pepper on top perfects it. 

The recipe for the Havarti and Spinach Egg Puff is found here.  It was certainly quick, easy and delicious.

 Quick, Easy, Delicious

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Recipe Box # 25 Cinnamon Cake

There is this small cookbook called The Complete Yom Tov Cookbook which has a number of good recipes.  Yom means Day and Tov means Good.  Good day and for the Jewish people Yom Tov refers to a holiday.  The recipes, in this book are meant to be used in three of our major holidays.

I was looking through it, since I hadn't used it, in a while.  Hubby wanted a cake, easy to cut and neat to eat.  The cinnamon cake sounded right to me.  I have mentioned before, hubby likes plain cakes, especially with nuts.  They are not necessarily exciting to make but they are usually easy to put together.  I lose some of the creativity while I do save time.

Cinnamon Cake


3 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking power
1/4 teaspoon salt

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon margarine
2 teaspoons flour
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped 


Beat eggs until light, then add sugar and beat again. Stir in oil, vanilla, and orange juice.

Blend in flour, baking powder, and salt. 

Pour half of mixture into a greased Bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan. 

In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping. Sprinkle half the topping over the cake in the pan. Pour remaining half of batter into pan and sprinkle remaining half of topping on top. 

(I did not put anything on the top.  Can someone tell me how to do this, when in a bundt pan, the top is on the bottom?)

Bake in a 350° oven for about 50 minutes until golden brown on top.

 Looking back:
Galley Kitchen has this delicious looking Sesame Chicken Salad which I would love for lunch,

 Santa Hat Pizza from Make the Best of Everything looks like fun.

 Frittata Cups - one of my favorites - minis from Lamberts Lately

Our featured recipe is Pumpkin Coffee Cake from Kitty's Kozy Kitchen is a dream cake.

 This week's picks have made me extra hungry.  Please share some more great recipes below and thanks for your inspiration.

Monday, November 26, 2012

My Love Affair with Karl Kabocha

I fell in love with Karl Kabocha the first time I met him.  Yes, love at first sight.  I bet you did not believe it happens but I am here to tell you that it certainly does.  While other look across a crowded room and their eyes meet, I tasted kabocha and my life changed.

Karl must be in the house, at all times.  Who knows when I will crave kabocha?  What is especially good about Karl Kobacha is that he is willing to change for the occasion.  If I need a side dish, he is mashed.  If I want soup, he is liquified.  Other "men" have to be dressed up in a suit and bow tie or a pair of jeans and turtleneck.  Not Mr. Kobacha.  He is delicious plain.

When I am done with Karl, I think, I will be able to write a book.  Will the book start with today's lunch, Roasted Kabocha Soup with Caramelized Onions?  Hmmm, it could.

Truthfully, this soup is out of this world.  I was going to leave it completely plain but for soup, it did have to be thinned out.  I ate the first bowl as is and I could not imagine it any better until I added a little sour cream with just a bit of honey.

I will gladly share Karl with you.  Start by making this recipe and getting to know Karl, a lot better.

Roasted Kabocha with Caramelized Onions


1 Kabocha Squash
1 cup organic vegetarian broth
2 cups Almond milk
2 medium onions, sliced
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 teaspoon honey


Preheat oven to375 degrees.

Roast kabocha in 375 degree oven for about an hour or until it is cooked through.  (I made mine in the microwave, cooking for about 25 minutes)  I took it out, every 5 minutes and scraped the cooked flesh out.)

Using an immersion blended, blend kabocha and vegetable both.  Add the almond milk and onions.  Blend until smooth.

Heat in a saucepan just until hot.  Top with the sour cream and honey and swirl it through the soup.

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to Keep it Real Thursday   Pennywise Platter 

Menu Plan Monday


 It is time for me to get organized again.  I am finding my lunch project is helping tremendously.  Now, I am returning to Menu Plan Monday.  I found, last year, having dinner planned when I am teaching, makes all the difference in the world.  Knowing what I am doing,means having the ingredients, in the house and being able to cook in the mornings or at least, set up so when I come home, I will be able to get to work, without hesitation. 

Most of the recipes will be new ones so I don't have the appropriate photos for the dishes.  I plan to post these after, I make them and we hopefully enjoy eating them.

All my food is gluten-free unless, (very unusual) I mention there is an exception.  When I bake for my class, the cookies are not gluten-free.  Otherwise, there should be no issue. 

This week, I am using Faith Durand's, "Not Your Mother's Casseroles".  This is an interesting book, not a photograph in sight.  Usually, I want the photos.  They inspire me and I do a check if I made the "right dish".  I am always pleased with myself when my dish looks something like the one, in the book.

The recipes have appeal.  The ingredients used are available and sometimes, a little outside my own thinking.  For example, I hope to make the Greek Braised Green Beans which include cinnamon as a spice. Along with red pepper flakes, white wine, black pepper and garlic, this is slightly different.

Here goes:

Monday - creamy cabbage casserole served with potatoes & salad
Tuesday - sweet potato hash with sausage and red pepper (served with salmon)

Wednesday - spinach egg puff plus a yummy salad

Thursday - baked spaghetti with tomatoes and pine nuts plus green veggies

Friday - a Shabbos side dish - butternut squash pasta casserole plus chicken and potato kugel or a rice dish

 Go on over to Organizing Junkie and see many menus that you will be inspired by.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Glazed Sweet Potato Wedges

Sometimes, the best recipes are the simplest. This one took very little effort, except for peeling and cutting the sweet potatoes. It tasted as if it were fit for a king. Sweet potatoes are good alone but with this caramelized glaze, we have gone to a whole new level. It doesn't surprise me that this is a Cooking Light recipe. I do love Cooking Light.  On the other hand, for a Cooking LIght recipe, this did not turn out to be the healthiest recipe around.

This would be perfect for Thanksgiving.

Glazed Sweet Potato Wedges 


1/8 cup margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in half crosswise, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 400°.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 

Add sugar, water, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon; bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Combine sugar mixture and potato wedges in a large bowl; toss well to coat. 

Arrange potato mixture on a large jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray

 Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until tender, stirring after 20 minutes.
 Cooking Light    NOVEMBER 2004

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Okra with Tomatoes in a Fragrant Sauce - An Edible Mosaic

I have only had okra, once before, and could not remember if I liked it but I am a braver cook, now and I made this recipe from Faith's book, An Edible Mosaic.  This could be made as a vegetarian dish but I liked the idea of meat being included.  That may be because we don't usually eat meat.

This is yet another successful dish from our friend Faith.  I tried to use the recipe from the book but it would not allow me to save this post so I had to remove it.  I know, this does not do justice to a delicious meal but it clearly shows the different ingredients. 

Okra with Tomatoes in a Fragrant Sauce BAMIEH BIL ZAYT

Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.

To make this dish a full meal, cook some stew meat (lamb or beef) and add it to the okra before serving. (I used chopped beef.)

Serves 4 to 6

Preparation Time: 12 minutes Cooking Time: 35 minutes


4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 pinches ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground allspice
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lb (500 g) tomatoes (about 3 medium), diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup (125 ml) water
1 lb (500 g) baby okra (fresh or frozen; if frozen, there’s no need to thaw), stem ends trimmed


1. Heat the oil in a large lidded skillet over medium heat; add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the  coriander, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and black pepper, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

2. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and water and bring up to a boil. Cover the skillet, turn the heat down to simmer, and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add the okra, turn heat up to high, and bring up to a simmer. Once simmering, cover the skillet, turn the heat down, and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

4. Uncover the skillet, turn the heat up to moderately-high, and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. 

Tomorrow, I plan to make a rice dish and a salad from this book.  I can't wait.

 Linked to Full Plate Thursdays.

Scrambled Eggs with Meat and Onions - An Edible Mosaic

As I mentioned previously, each week, I hope to cook from another published cook book. This week, I am proud to be cooking from Faith's, "an edible mosaic".  I have admired Faith's blog and particularly her photos for a long time, which means, I was enthusiastic about cooking from her newly published book. 

There is a major problem with this cook book.  There are just too many recipes, you are going to love.  I decided to be organized and write down those recipes that I wanted to make and had the ingredients, in the house.  My list went into the tens, twenties, thirties.  You get the idea.

Faith has a chapter where she has recipes for basics you can use in a number of recipes.  Now that I have used some of the seasonings, I have to make up batches and save them in small containers, for future use.  Great flavor.

The first recipe, I chose to make, was these eggs with meat.  Although, I have made eggs with sausage, I have never made them with ground meat.  Sure, I put an egg in a meat loaf but this is different.  Honestly, I was more curious than anything.  I was not sure, we would like this.

As it turns out, we did love it, and it disappeared all too soon.  Next time, I use more chopped meat and additional eggs and enjoy this, even more.  Thanks Faith.

Scrambled Eggs with Meat & Onion

Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic:  Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.

This dish is a great way to stretch a little bit of meat. Raw green onion (scallion) is tasty to eat alongside, and of course flatbread is perfect for scooping it up.

Serves 4 as part of a maza platter or 2 as a meal
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes

2 tablespoons canola oil (I used olive oil)
1/2 lb (250 g) lean ground beef or lamb
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 sprig fresh parsley leaves, chopped (optional, for garnish)

1.    Add the oil to a large nonstick skillet over moderately-high heat. Add the meat and onion, and cook until the meat is browned and the onion is softened, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and using a wooden spoon to break up the meat. Stir in the salt and pepper.

2.    Turn heat down to medium and pour in the eggs. Let the eggs cook until slightly set, about 1 minute, then gently stir upward from the bottom so the uncooked eggs are exposed to the bottom of the pan; continue stirring like this until eggs are set, about 1 to 2 minutes more.

3.    Sprinkle the parsley on top, if using.

Check out Faith's blog here.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Smoky Chicken Patties

When I make chicken soup, I always question, what to do with the chicken pieces.  Sometimes, I shred it all and freeze the pieces to add to some of the containers of soup, I also freeze.  Other times, I make a dish out of the chicken.  If I bake it with a sauce, it is good.  Other times, I shred the chicken and make patties.

That is what I did, today, and I topped them with smoked paprika for added flavor.  Often, I shred the chicken in the food processor and I get more of a minced chicken.  I like to have a more meaty texture so this time, I took the bench scraper and used it and it made a decent texture.
I have said it before and I am going to repeat myself.  I love this tool and use it, almost daily.  Have you ever spilled flour or sugar on the counter?  Sure, you have and if you really haven't, please don't tell me about it.  I spill much too often.  I use this scraper to pick up the sugar or whatever else and it gets every grain.  I use this to chop, slice and dice and then pick it all up with the tool.  Chop your nuts with this and you get the right size.  This is my handy dandy favorite.

Smoky Chicken Patties


3/4 chicken, chopped
1 cup potato flakes or mashed potatoes
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon parsley


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix everything  together except the paprika.  Form into patties.  I used an ice cream scoop and then flattened the patties to between 1/4 and 1/2 inch in height.

Sprinkle paprika on top lightly.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

Eat and enjoy.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Squash Alfredo

Squash Alfredo on Spaghetti

How could I resist then when the Alfredo Sauce was made with squash?  Miriam suggest yellow squash but I only had zucchini.  This was a lot more healthy than a full fledged alfredo sauce.
I made this because, I had to find out, how this sauce turned out.  It is a first for me.  I apologize for the poor quality photo.  None of the pictures came out but I expect to make this again and hope to add a better photo.

Squash Alfredo Sauce on Spaghetti (adapted from Meatless Meals for Meat Eaters)


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
¾ cup milk
¾ cup pureed zucchini squash (puree the raw squash in a food processor)
1 tablespoon  GF flour
2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
In a saucepan, heat olive oil and cook onion. 
Whisk in the milk, pureed squash, and flour.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and continue to stir frequently until all of the cheese is completely melted (no lumps).
Salt and pepper to taste then serve over cooked pasta.
What a great surprise this was!