Sunday, May 31, 2015

Menu Plan Monday - What can you do in 30 minutes?

This week, many of my recipes come from a book that has been sitting on the shelf, much too long, The Best 30 Minute Recipe from the editors of Cook's Illustrated.  Everyone should have one of their books because it is chock full of information besides clear recipes.

At random, I opened the book and came to side bars such as, "Preparing Fennel", "Shredding Cabbage", "Best Whisk for Pan Sauces", "Supermarket Chicken Broth" and "The Best Potato Masher".  These are just a few pages I looked at in this 263 page book.

There are color pictures sectioned off around page 100 and the recipes themselves have diagrams and how to drawings of different procedures.

The directions have clarity that is not usually found.  each step is explained completely but not like they are talking to a novice.  My instinct tells me anyone could cook from this book no matter the experience and expertise.

I am excited about using the book and will be able to tell you more after I make some recipes.  I did make one and had no difficulty making it my own and still  use their valuable guidance.

Menu Plan Monday - May 31st, 2015

Sunday - Rustic Potato Leek Soup - Cook's Illustrated

Monday - Glazed Salmon (Cook's Illustrated) with goat Cheese Muffins
 Tuesday - Pasta with Smoked Salmon and Dill Sauce, -- Donna Hay


Wednesday - Savory Carrot-Cashew Soup-- Ellie Krieger

Thursday - Savory Tomato Goat Cheese Pie

Friday - Pan Roasted Chicken with Apricot Ginger Glaze - Cook's Illustrated

Saturday - Meatloaf Chulent

Please do check out what others are making this week at Menu Plan Monday

White Bean Soup

I was at one of my favorite blogs, Ms.enPlace  the other day.  Go on over and meet  Michelle and learn about Louisiana and good food and be charmed by her.

She was making her weekly recipe for IHCC . IHCC is holding a virtual potluck in honor of Deb from Kahakai Kitchen. Deb recently lost her mother and in her memory members are cooking any potluck recipe from the numerous chefs, they have cooked from, in past years as well as presently.

I saw the white bean soup on Michelle's blog and wanted to make it.  It dawned on me, if I made it, I could also post it and share my condolences with Deb.  Although, I am a week late, not having known about this in time, I still want to offer my condolences to Deb and share this recipe.

Thanks to Michelle and to Rick Bayless for this recipe.  We enjoyed it. Even my granddaughter ate it up.

White Bean Soup - adapted from Rick Bayless


1 can cannellini beans
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 white onion, diced
2 small carrots,  diced 
1 stalk  celery, diced
salt to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons Mexican hot sauce 
1 teaspoon dried cilantro


Using an immersion blender, puree the rinsed beans with 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth until smooth. 

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. 

Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown around the edges, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the carrots and celery and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until they have softened. 

Add the bean puree and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth. 

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so that the soup is at a gentle simmer. 

Partially cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are softening. 

Season with salt.

Stir in the hot sauce and the chopped cilantro. 

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to:   Treasure Box Tuesday    Hearth and Soul Hop     Tuesday’s Table            Fat Tuesday          Weekend Potluck        What'd You Do  This Weekend           

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cauliflower Salad

I have cooked cauliflower so using it raw, in a salad, is new to me.  The clean crisp bite was a pleasure to eat with the other ingredients, it is a sure winner.  It comes from Taste of Home magazine - October-November 2005.  The original recipe included a pound of bacon which I did not use.  While, I would guess that the bacon would make it even more crispy and tasty, it was just fine without it.  I also eliminated the cheese.  It just did not seem to need it.
Cauliflower Salad


1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets

 1 medium red pepper, chopped

 1 medium onion, chopped

 1/2 cup mayonnaise

 2 teaspoons honey


In a large salad bowl, combine the cauliflower, bell pepper and onion. 

Combine the mayonnaise and sugar. 

Spoon over cauliflower mixture and toss to coat. 

Cover and refrigerate before serving. 

Eat and enjoy.

linked to Happiness is Homemade     Treasure Box Tuesday    Hearth and Soul Hop     Tuesday’s Table            Fat Tuesday          Weekend Potluck        What'd You Do  This Weekend           

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cheesy, Creamy, Yummy Mashed Potatoes

This is not diet food but it is so good that it should be used for a spluge if you are counting calories.  I grew up loving mashed potatoes but I never made them as rich as this recipe did and I am guessing that there are many more with more fats added.  I did cut back on the butter and used a half of a stick instead of a full one.  For me, that seemed like way too much but for this one time, it was well worth  it.  Even hubby who usually does not appreciate much fat in a dish loved this one.

Cheesy, Creamy, Yummy Mashed Potatoes (adapted from Nancy Fuller of Food Network)


3 poundst potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 tablespoons  butter
1/2 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar or a little more


Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. 

Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to simmer. 

Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain.

Return the potatoes to the pot and add the butter, milk and some salt and pepper. 

Mash the potatoes to the desired consistency. 

While still hot, fold the cheese into the mash and stir to melt.

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to:   Treasure Box Tuesday    Hearth and Soul Hop     Tuesday’s Table            Fat Tuesday          Weekend Potluck        What'd You Do  This Weekend           

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Green Beans with Balsamic Butter

Margaret has chosen Asparagus with Balsamic Butter form New Food Fast, found on page 134, for our recipe for this week in Wednesdays with Donna Hay.

As you might remember, my hubby despises asparagus although, my daughter in law made a creamy asparagus soup which he did not know had asparagus and he loved it.  In all fairness, it did not taste at all like asparagus.

When we got married, he told me no tuna, no chicken and no asparagus.  I could handle no tuna and no asparagus but no chicken, was just too much.  My only guess is that this comes from his mother who tended to burn food or undercook it.  I am not saying that this is the truth but hubby has mentioned it quite a few times so it probably is based on fact.

I didn't make asparagus until last year when it came up in another group.  I enjoyed it and he tasted.  Now, I don't think it is worth the effort to insist on it and I substitute with another vegetable.  Tonight, I used green beans and it went well with the balsamic butter sauce.

A side note -  hubby eats and chicken and loves it as well as fresh tuna but not canned.

This is an easy recipe and I think the balsamic butter can be used with a variety of vegetables as well as fish.  I am happy, I used green beans as my substitution.  They were one of the best green bean dishes, I have had, in years.

Ingredients were also easy to get, the asparagus or beans, balsamic vinegar, butter, Parmesan cheese and black pepper.  I had all on hand and it took only a few minutes to do everything needed for this delicious dish.

To see what others have done with this recipe, stop by Wednesdays with Donna Hay.

Linked to Lou Lou Girls   Whimsy Wednesday             Waste Not Want Not Wednesday         Lou Lou Girls      Creative Munster  

Creamy Spinach and Mushrooms

There are  certain vegetables, I purchase without any plans for them such as mushrooms and eggplant.  I usually have them on hand and decide what to do with them, as I am cooking.

This time, I also had some spinach in the refrigerator.  It was not enough to make a full casserole for company but enough for the two of us to enjoy.  I suggest adding garlic to this recipe.  I didn't because of hubby's reaction to it but it would enhance the whole dish.

I buy spinach, usually two pounds at a time and spread it out in many dishes.  It is amazing how some greenery makes a dish look better as well as adding flavor.  What I used in this dish was those last two cups from the large package.

Kale is even better because it maintains a shape and does not shrink down to very little.  I don't like cleaning kale though and I like the taste of spinach better so you will find more spinach in this blog.

Dairy Spinach and Mushroom

Ingredients :

1 ­1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 teaspoon butter
2 cups fresh baby spinach 
3 ounces whipped cream cheese
salt and pepper to taste


In a small skillet, saute mushrooms in oil and butter until tender. 

Add spinach; cover and cook for 1 minute or until wilted.

Stir in the cream cheese, salt and pepper. 

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to  Lou Lou Girls

Monday, May 25, 2015

Hot Potato Mustard Dressing - Donna Hay

Last week I missed posting my weekly Donna Hay recipe but I did make it.  The schedule came out that this was due before the holiday of Shavuos and my priority was cooking for the holiday.  Actually, I ended up using this dressing for one of the holiday meals.

Although, this is behind schedule, I want you to see it because it is delicious.  I didn't have time to make the potatoes as suggested.  I had made some baked potato knishes and I used this dressing on them.  Yummy.

In my opinion, this would be great on meat, fish, vegetables or as a salad dressing.

Kayte is the brilliant lady who chose Hot Potato Mustard Dressing from Off the Shelf on page 143. Check out what Kayte and the other members made at Wednesday with Donna Hay.

Linked to:  Treasure Box Tuesday    Hearth and Soul Hop     Tuesday’s Table       Weekend Potluck        What'd You Do  This Weekend           Whimsy Wednesday             Waste Not Want Not Wednesday         Lou Lou Girls      Creative Munster  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chicken Creole

Three cheers for Gaye!!!!

Gaye selected Shrimp Creole on page 184 on Weeknight Wonders. Shrimp, not being an option for a kosher cook, I substituted chunks of chicken. I was fortunate to find two cooked chicken breasts in my freezer and cut them up and we had a fabulous creole with them.

I cut the amount of canned tomatoes down also. I thought it would be a soup, if I used the recommended amount. Hubby commented on how much he liked it twice. That is a really good sign. I agree with him. It was tasty and had everything needed for a meal in the dish.

You can check what our other members made by going to Eating with Ellie website. Eating with Ellie is a group of cooks who enjoy Ellie's healthy and yummy recipes. There are no requirements to participate. Just link up the choice for the week. The book we are using, Weeknight Wonders, has a diversity of recipes and the real challenge is selecting with so many good choices.

Linked to:            Fat Tuesday                   Lou Lou Girls      

Monday, May 18, 2015

Sugar Cookies in Minutes

My husband usually asks for cake or muffins.  Suddenly, he requests cookies and pies.  It will  be fun changing my style of cooking.  Today, I made simple sugar cookies.  I planned to make Pecan Sandies but had no pecans.  

I have made different sugar cookie recipes and this one is the most simple.  It took no time to put the ingredients together, mix and make balls.  These spread more than the average cookie and resulted in almost perfect circles.  

Hubby approved and I got of with a minimum of work.

Sugar Cookies in Minutes  (adapted from Allrecipes)

Ingredients :

2 3/4 cups gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.

Beat in egg and vanilla. 

Gradually add the dry ingredients. 

Form small rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto parchment covered cookie sheets.  (These spread so leave about two inches between each cookie.)
Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. 

Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

Eat and Enjoy.

Menu Plan Monday

This week is particularly busy with Jewish holidays following on the heels of the Sabbath.  Report cards have to be written and I have to take a quick trip out of town.  There is not going to be much time for cooking.  I do want to get my dishes for Eating with Ellie and Wednesdays with Donna Hay done, as well.  I will check with you, at the end of the week and see how I have done. I wish, I was feeling more optimistic.

With all this, today, I decided to bake and made some yummy sugar cookies and a caramelized apple cheesecake.

Sunday - Stuffed Cabbage 

Monday -  Salad Night - Egg Salad, Cauliflower Salad and a tossed green salad                                                       


Tuesday - Salmon and Donna Hay's Hot Potato Mustard Dressing 

Wednesday - Vegetables Creole - Ellie Krieger

Thursday -  Sweet Potato Soup for Soup Night

Friday - Baked Chicken with Quinoa and Spinach Kugel

Stop over at Menu Plan Monday and check what others are cooking this week.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Creamy Goat Cheese Mac and Cheese

I don't remember goat cheese being popular a decade ago and certainly not twenty years ago.  Today, goat cheese seems to be a buzz word for yummy.  At least, it is for me.  I see goat cheese and I have a new recipe to make.  I made this Mac and Cheese and it proved me right.  The tangy flavor of the cheese and the creaminess it brought to a simple mac and cheese made all the difference.

I used to add some sour cream to mac and cheese recipes and it made the dish a lot creamier but it did not add the flavor, one gets from goat cheese.


1⁄2 pound gluten-free macaroni (Elbows, Shells, Ziti)
2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter)
2 tablespoons brown rice flour or any other gluten-free flour of choice
2  cups milk
fresh ground black pepper
1⁄3 cup packed grated parmesan cheese
1⁄3 cup goat cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. 

When the butter is melted and sizzling, stir in the flour to create a paste and cook 1 minute.

Slowly add the milk, to create a smooth sauce. 

Let cook about 5 minutes or until thick enough to coat pasta when you add it..

Remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the grated Parmesan and the goat cheese.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the drained macaroni in the dish and pour the cheese sauce on top, stirring gently to coat all the macaroni.

Eat and enjoy.

 Treasure Box Tuesday    Hearth and Soul Hop     Tuesday’s Table            Fat Tuesday          Weekend Potluck           What'd You Do  This Weekend            Lou Lou Girls

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Yummy Bok Choy Salad

As I explore new vegetables, I find that I like them. I don't quite understand this. How did I get through life without bok choy, kale, asparagus and purple carrots? There is a whole new world out there and as a great grandmother, I am now discovering it. " Better late than never," definitely fits.

OK, you guessed. I bought bok choy with no plans for it and I made this yummy salad. I definitely did not want a salad. I wanted cooked bok choy but I asked my hubby to get me a recipe and he brought me a salad. Being fair, I decided to make it. It turned out to be one of the best salads, I have made.

This is an dish which you can find here. Of course, I altered the recipe. It is much more fun to be creative when you cook. I do remember the days when each word of a recipe had tremendous meaning. Now, it is change in the middle of everything and make a completely different recipe, using one of the ingredients.

I did use the dressing in this recipe and we like it and I can see using it on broccoli, green beans, rice ...... use your imagination.

Yummy Bok Choy Salad

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 bunches baby bok choy, cleaned and sliced
1 bunch green onions, chopped

2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 orange pepper, chopped
1/8 cup slivered almonds


Mix together olive oil, white vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. 

Combine the bok choy, green onions, almonds, bell pepper and cabbage in a salad bowl. Toss with dressing, and serve.

Eat and Enjoy.

 Treasure Box Tuesday    Hearth and Soul Hop     Tuesday’s Table            Fat Tuesday          Weekend Potluck          Whimsy Wednesday             Waste Not Want Not Wednesday         Lou Lou Girls      Creative Munster             

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Zucchini Mozzarella Pizza - Ellie Krieger

Tonight was supposed to be an aspargus mozzarella pizza but knowing hubby's dislike of asparagus as well as his sportsmanship when I have served asparagus as a group recipe, I decided to use zucchini.  Granted, asparagus has a more distinct flavor but the zucchini picked up flavor of the other ingredients.  We loved it.  (Photo Above)

Thinking, it might need something more, I made another one with sauce and chopped zucchini instead of sliced and I think, I liked the plain one better but I loved the chopped zucchini in place of the spokes. (Photo Below)

Peggy selected the Asparagus and Mozzarella Pizza which is found on page 215 of Weeknight Wonders and I love Peggy for this.  I could see serving this regularly and using other vegetables as well.  Broccoli or cauliflower would work well.

Do check out our group page to see what others have done with this recipe.

Linked to:            Whimsy Wednesday          What's Cooking Wednesday    Waste Not Want Not Wednesday         Lou Lou Girls      Creative Munster     

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Humorous Spinach Ravioli

Usually, I have little to say about my weekly Donna Hay recipe for WwDH (Wednesdays with Donna Hay) except that the dish was yummy, easy to make and used available ingredients. This week is a different story, thanks to Gaye who selected the Spinach Ravioli with Basil Oil found in Donna's book, Seasons, on page 174.  It was not easy for me, nor did I have all the ingredients, nor did I think to use them, even when I did have them.  Great way to start.

Ravioli to me is an Italian dish with tomato sauce - boring probably but good. To make ravioli with Vietnamese paper rolls and lemon juice sounded out of kilter to me.  The cheeses were right (Oy vey, I forgot the Mozzarella).  Just another mistake in this recipe for me.   Give me credit, I did use Ricotta and Parmesan.  What's a little Mozzarella? 

I started off feeling lost and never caught up.  I didn't have the paper rolls so I used so I used rice paper which should have worked beautifully.  They certainly worked for Brittany, where you will find the correct recipe.  Note, she actuallty used the rice paper. I only thought I did.

I boiled the first one which was too large and promptly fell apart.  I could have predicted that.  I read what was on the packager of rice paper and it said to fry.  Out went the boiling water and in came the oil and frying pan.  Actually, the instructions said to deep fry and these would have turned out a lot better, if I had but I just can't seem to put food in all that oil so I simply fried and ended up with lots of gritty "ravioli", if you have a good imagination.

I made the basil oil but after frying these, there was no way to add more oil to this dish and it also went to the side.  

While all this is going on, I am glopping spoonfuls of the ricotta-spinach mixture both into the pan and on the stove top.  How silly of me?

You will be surprised that this has a happy ending; these were delicious, not at all like ravioli  but really good.

You will probably not be surprised that this also had an unhappy ending and my husband after eating three of these asked what these were made of  and I assured him, it was rice.  He mentioned reading the ingredients and seeing wheat in the list.  Another, "oy vey".  He was right and I am waiting for him to be feeling ill, later.  He is probably waiting also but I am hiding in under the sink, typing this at my special hidden away computer that he does not know about.  If you believe this last sentence, I will sell you the Brookly  Bridge.

Now, for the fabulous photos.  Do, please, check out the other members who I am sure will be less amusing but may have real food, for you to admire ............ please do come back again.  I will try to behave myself.

Looking like an egg roll

Linked to:            Whimsy Wednesday          What's Cooking Wednesday    Waste Not Want Not Wednesday         Lou Lou Girls      Creative Munster     

Monday, May 11, 2015

Cinnamon Roll Quick Bread

The aroma of cinnamon fills the house and I am happy. What is it about cinnamon that is relaxing and dreamy? I want to sit in my kitchen, sniffing the air and have pleasant dreams about cinnamon buns or this cinnamon roll quick bread.

I enjoy working in the kitchen but add on the warmth of brown sugar and/or cinnamon and the kitchen becomes a place for love and happiness.

Cinnamon Roll Quick Bread 


2 cups gluten-free baking mixture
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup Tofutti sour cream


1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons water

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons coconut milk 


Preheat oven to 350 degree. Grease a 9in loaf pan. 

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. 

In a separate bowl, combine sugar, egg, milk and sour cream. Mix well. 

Add flour mixture and mix well. 

Pour batter into prepared pan.

In a small bowl, mix ingredients for cinnamon swirl. Spoon by tablespoon randomly into the batter. Swirl with a butter knife to create a marble pattern.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. 

Let cake cool for about 15 minutes before adding icing.

Mix ingredients for icing in a bowl. Drizzle over semi-cooled bread.

Eat and Enjoy.

 Treasure Box Tuesday    Hearth and Soul Hop     Tuesday’s Table            Fat Tuesday          Weekend Potluck                    Whimsy Wednesday          What's Cooking Wednesday    Waste Not Want Not Wednesday         Lou Lou Girls      Creative Munster     
Showcase Your Talent Thursday          Full Plate Thursday      This is How We Roll           

Cabbage Pancakes

I have discovered that using cabbage in unusual ways results in making delicious dishes.  I decided to look up recipes for cabbage pancakes and found many.  Two appealed to me, the one below and another that was a partial potato latke and a partial cabbage latke combined.  I hope to make it also.

These pancakes were delicious and served with a little soy sauce mixed with a bit of honey, even better.


16 0unces shredded coleslaw
1 red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons gluten-free flour
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
olive oil for frying


Heat a large skillet (I have a huge electric skillet, I used ).  Add olive oil.

Scoop the mixture into the griddle with an ice cream scoop . 

Flatten with a spatula.

Cook 3-4 minutes on each side, until browned on both sides. 

Eat and enjoy.

 Treasure Box Tuesday    Hearth and Soul Hop     Tuesday’s Table            Fat Tuesday          Weekend Potluck