I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Yucky Sprouts

I know that I have said this before and I am about to say it again, I absolutely love brussel sprouts. I am actually surprised that I do not post about them more often. I am sure my grandmother could care less if I ever posted about them again…..she is not a big fan. My grandmother puts it quite nicely; she merely states that she has never developed a taste for them unlike those who cannot resist shouting out a big “Yuck” at the mere mention.
Well for those of us who happen to love the little green gems here is another way to prepare them that I am sure most of us will gladly enjoy.

Brussel Sprouts in Sour Cream Onion Sauce

1/2 lbs. Brussels sprouts (leave whole or cut length wise)
1 Large Onion (any) chopped
1 pint of sour cream
2 Tablespoons of butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Steam or boil brussel sprouts for 15 minutes or until tender. Sauté onion in butter until rich brown, add in sour cream, stirring constantly. Add brussel sprouts and mix well, leave on heat for 2 more minutes then serve.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stella, Stella.....Stanley Kowalski's Favorite Dessert

If you are ever invited to one of those everyone bring a dish type gatherings, volunteer to bring dessert. You will be the star of the party with this one and you better bring copies of the recipe with you because everyone will be asking you for it, that’s how I got it!
The hot pudding soaking into the crunchy almond toast creates a taste and texture that just drives your mouth crazy, you’ll see.

Stella Doro Almond Toast Torte

2 pkgs. of Stella Doro Almond Toast
1 container of Cool Whip
1/2 cup of slivered almonds
1 lg. pkg. of chocolate pudding mix
1 lg. pkg. of vanilla pudding mix

Line the bottom of 9"x13" pan with 1 package almond toast. Cook package vanilla pudding mix, pour hot over toast. Place second package toast on top of vanilla pudding. Cook package chocolate pudding mix and pour hot over 2nd layer of toast. Cool several hours or overnight. Before serving cover with Cool Whip and sprinkle on slivered almonds.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

"They're Grrreat!"

I love these types of recipes, to this day I am still a devoted rice krispie treats kind of girl.
These recipes are more on the playful side and fun for the entire family no matter the age.
These tend to run sweeter than some of the other cereal bar recipes because the frosted flakes have quite a bit of sugar. All this sugar is perfectly safe as long as you do not consume this entire recipe by yourself……. In which case, I will not be held responsible.

Tony the Tiger Bars

1 (10 oz.) of the large marshmallows
1/4 cup of butter
1/3 cup of peanut butter
7 1/2 cups or 1 (10 oz.) pkg. Kellogg's Frosted Flakes

Microwave method: In a 4 quart microwavable bowl, melt marshmallows and butter on High 3 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Stir in peanut butter until mixture is smooth. Add Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, stirring until well coated, using a buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture into a lightly greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan. Cut into 1 1/2 x 2 inch bars, should make 32 bars.

Range top method: Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and follow the steps above.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wild Thing... You Make My Heart Sing

On its own this is a truly delicious salad and makes the perfect side dish to compliment any meal. The wild rice is both soft and slightly chewy with its own distinct nutty flavor and with the addition of the other ingredients it has a little of everything to please all the senses. I remember many years ago we had gone to a cousin’s house for dinner and she served us stuffed Cornish hens. The taste was out of this world and I just couldn’t quite put my finger on all the wonderful flavors that I was experiencing. Turns out, she had used this wild rice salad as the stuffing for her little birds and as they baked all the sweetness from the raisins and the tartness from the vinegar permeated the meat. It really was one of the most delicious Cornish hens that I had ever eaten.

Wild Rice Salad

1/2 cup wild rice mix, cooked (uncle bens long grain and wild rice original mix works great)
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
3/4 cup golden raisins, soaked in hot water and drained
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (any vinegar will do except balsamic, the balsamic seems to be a bit overpowering)
1/4 Teaspoon of black pepper
2 or 3 strips of crisp bacon crumbled
1/2 cup of scallions, thinly sliced

Cook wild rice according to package directions. While rice is cooking, soak raisins in hot water.
Whisk together oil, vinegar and seasonings in salad bowl. Add rice and remaining ingredients mix and serve, tastes even better the next day.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

More Greens For Less Greens

Prices are going up everywhere and for everything and by huge amounts not a penny or two like in the past. Something as simple as the greens that my family and I have regularly enjoyed have hit all time highs. We had already given up purchasing most of our produce at the regular grocery store chains and have been opting for the fresher and much more affordable farmers markets but their hours tend to be limited. One of our favorite greens;” Broccoli Rabe” also known as Rapini has been close to $2.00 a pound in some of our local supermarkets. Recently we had our first Price Rite store open and we have been going crazy with their amazingly low prices. Price Rites Broccoli Rabe has only been .69 cents a pound and the quality has been terrific along with so many of their other products. I got my grandmother hooked she is going every week and I am happy to say that we have been eating Broccoli Rabe on a regular basis.

Broccoli Rabe

2 lbs. broccoli rabe
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chicken broth
1 Teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt to taste
Grated Parmesan or Romano is optional

Wash broccoli rabe and remove stems. Heat oil and sauté garlic lightly brown, but do not burn. Add broccoli rabe and sauté until soft like spinach, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add chicken broth and cook 20 minutes longer, or until tender. Add crushed pepper and salt to taste.


Friday, April 18, 2008

My Roots Are Showing

Radishes are one of those roots I tend to forget about until I see a gorgeous bunch of them in the grocery store or farmers market just calling to me. For the most part I just like munching on them as is, they are so crunchy and have that nice peppery bite. I didn’t realize that they were part of the mustard family until I read it somewhere. It seems that radishes are most commonly used in their raw state but for something different try cooking with them, you will be in for a pleasant surprise.

Ruby Radishes

3 Tablespoons butter
20-25 red radishes (leave whole)
2 Teaspoons sugar
2 Teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. snipped fresh dill
Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt butter over medium heat, add radishes and toss to coat with butter. Cover pan and cook for 4 minutes, shaking occasionally. Add sugar and vinegar; cook for 1 minute more then sprinkle with dill and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Memories Never Die

We’ve lost two terrific people over the last few months, my Aunt Flo and Uncle Dick. This was my mothers’ older sister and brother-in-law. Uncle dick had pancreatic cancer and lost his fight a few months ago, his wife had Alzheimer’s which was bittersweet in the sense that as awful as the disease can be it turned out to be a blessing in disguise when the love of her life for the past 50 + years passed away (her memory of who he was to her had been gradually fading) so her sense of loss was lessened. Aunt Flo passed away Sunday April 13th leaving six children, 5 sons and 1 daughter, many grandchildren, nieces and nephews. My mother and I have some great memories of staying with them in California, that is where we both learned to love avocados it just seemed like they used them in everything.
They will be so dearly missed but the memories they have given us will live on forever.

California BLT
In Memory of Richard and Florence Leonard

12 bacon slices, cooked crisp, crumbled
1 1/4 c. cooked, cubed chicken or turkey
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
2 med. avocados, diced
2 c. shredded lettuce
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. sour cream
4 pita breads (6" size) cut in half
1/2 c. Thousand Island dressing

Combine bacon, chicken, tomatoes, avocados and lettuce in a large bowl. Toss carefully with mayonnaise and sour cream until thoroughly mixed. Fill pitas with chicken mixture, spoon dressing over each.


Friday, April 11, 2008

Bloggers Take a Bow

One of my blogger friends, Chris over at Mele Cotte was nice enough to present me with the “E for Excellence Award”. I would very much like to thank Chris for her kindness and for sharing her wonderful recipes, stories and humor.
Here are the rules friends: You have to choose 10 more blogs of any kind which you deem to be excellent. It’s tough to choose since there are so many excellent blogs out there but limit we must. I’m sure over time all of those much deserving bloggers will be awarded.

Here are my 10:

Mimi (French Kitchen in America) – Mimi gave Noshtagia its first mention in one of her posts for which I will be eternally grateful. Mimi’s blog takes American cooking and puts a French twist on it and her photo’s are amazing.

Butta Buns (Butta Buns) – What can I say with a tag line; “Well butter my buns and call me a biscuit! What’s not to love? Butta Buns has a terrific blog loaded with food, wit and humor.

Nic (Cherrapeno) – Nic was so generous to me, she sent me some smoked garlic that I had expressed an interest in, thank you once again Nic. You will love Nic’s blog the food is always fabulous.

Patricia (Technicolor Kitchen) – Patricia always leaves the nicest comments and her blog is a wonderful read in two languages English and Portuguese.

Gretchen Noelle (Canela & Comino) – Gretchen has a real passion for Peruvian food which she shares brilliantly and the photography is beautiful.

Tracy (Rah Cha Chow) – Tracy is a fellow Rochestarian the name of her blog reflects our slang pronunciation of Rochester. I’ve been rooting for Tracy’s entry in the Pillsbury Bake-Off “Jalapeno Popper Cups”; hope you get that Million Tracy.

Lidian (Kitchen Retro) – If you are a cookbook junkie you will love this blog. Lidian highlights recipes from old cookbooks that stir up delightful memories.

Catherine (The Dish) – I’ve enjoyed meeting Catherine through the blogosphere her blog has so much wit and humor but most importantly really great food.

Joe (Italyville) – I just love Joe’s blog, it reminds me of home and family there are some wonderful old world recipes to be found here that you will absolutely love.

Becky (Biker Chickz) – What’s not to Love about a wife, mother and mother-in-law who rides a motorcycle. Becky may be cool but her recipes are warm and comforting and easy to make.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008



A girlfriend of mine turned me on to this glorious root back in the seventies and I have loved it ever since. I have had it in a variety of ways but the majority of the time I eat it as a snack (recipe below). The only thing I sometimes change is using lime instead of lemon or I may leave out the chili powder. It’s a great low- cal snack. Jicama is mostly water, Jicama is high in Vitamin C, low in sodium, low in fat and has only 45 calories per cup. I think it tastes like a cross between a water chestnut, potato and a pear with a really nice crunchy texture. It’s a terrific little vegetable and easy to find in most produce sections. Try Jicama in salads, Jicama is especially good mixed with certain fruits especially oranges. You may also cook Jicama just treat it in the same way as you would a potato.

Jicama Snack

1 Jicama
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder

Peel Jicama, cut into slices, sticks or cubes, arrange slices on serving plate. Drizzle with lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and chili powder, best when chilled.
I put them in a Ziploc bag or plastic container and take them with me; they are a great on the go snack.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Care Packages From Meema

My grandmother is back from Florida, we went to her house Saturday night for dinner and cards. Dinner was delicious. We had cutlets, salad, bread and her wonderfully soft and fluffy zucchini puff squares. I found myself really looking forward to dessert because I knew there would be some of those rugelach that Aunt Jay had made while Meema was there. The rugelach was delicious Aunt Jay filled them with chocolate and dried cherries. My grandmother had two huge bags started for me of things to take home and kept adding things as the night went on. By the time that we were ready to leave theses bags had become quite heavy. It was like Christmas in April, there was date nut bread, pizzelles, peanut butter balls, crackers, some zucchini puff squares, frozen chicken livers and even a ton of magazines. I cannot think of anything better than getting care packages from Meema.

Zucchini Puff Squares

3 cups zucchini, unpeeled and grated
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup salad oil
1 cup Bisquick
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
1 tbsp. parsley
1 tbsp. of basil

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Mix zucchini, onion, oil, Bisquick and eggs. Add cheese, salt, pepper, parsley and dill. Mix well. Pour into a casserole sprayed with Pam. Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.


Friday, April 4, 2008

German Sticky Pasta


My mother and I use to go to a little German restaurant downtown and get some sauerbraten (meat marinated in vinegar) or assorted German sausages with side orders of spaetzle. It was always such a treat for the two of us, unfortunately the restaurant closed so we had to start making the spaetzle ourselves which luckily for us was quite easy to do.
The spaetzle dough is soft enough to be forced through a sieve, colander or spaetzle-maker with large holes. The small pieces of dough are usually boiled (poached) before being tossed with butter or added to soups or other dishes. In Germany, spaetzle is served as a side dish much like potatoes or rice, and is often accompanied by a sauce or gravy. The cooked spaetzle can also be pan-fried with a little butter and onions; it is especially good with caramelized onions.

Spaetzle (German Dumplings)

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
2 tbsp. water
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of nutmeg
2 qts. Boiling salted water
5 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. toasted bread crumbs

Beat the eggs and add the milk and water. Stir in the flour, salt, baking powder and nutmeg, mix well. Bring the water to a boil and add 2 teaspoons salt. The spaetzle should be light, so check batter by dropping 1/2 teaspoon into boiling water. Cook 6 to 8 minutes and check the noodle. If it is not light, add a couple more tablespoons of water to the batter.
Force the dough through Spaetzle maker or use a plastic bag for forming the noodles. Put all the dough into a heavy 1 quart self sealing plastic food bag and cut one corner off. Make the cut fairly small so that you can press the dough about the size of a pencil. Cut off 1 inch pieces quickly right into boiling water. Boil 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and drain.
Heat a large frying pan and melt butter. Lightly brown the Spaetzle in the butter. Top with bread crumbs and serve.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

LeMoyne Manor Marsala

My Godmother was inducted into the “United States Specialty Sports Association Hall of Fame” this past Saturday. This was her second induction into a hall of fame over the last five years. My Godmother is a very prominent figure in Women’s slow pitch softball. The awards dinner was held at LeMoyne Manor in Liverpool, N.Y. Since there were several of us attending the cost of a Limo was a bit high for our budget so my Godmother who works part-time as a school bus monitor got us a school bus for the trip.
I haven’t been on a school bus since the early seventies, I do not remember them being comfortable to ride in then and they still aren’t any more comfortable to ride in today.. All in all we had a good time; I just wish I had felt a bit better.
The food was excellent, it was the standard buffet menu; baked macaroni, roast beef, assorted salads, rice and green beans etc…The one dish that really stood out was their chicken marsala, it was absolutely delicious.

Chicken Marsala

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 stick butter
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup milk
3/4 cup Marsala wine
1 cup sliced mushrooms

In large sauté or fry pan, melt butter. While butter is melting, combine flour, salt and pepper in small bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in milk; shake off excess. Dredge chicken in flour mixture and add to fry pan. (I like to cut chicken breasts in half before coating.)
Sauté chicken in butter over medium to medium-high heat until browned and cooked through; turning often, add more butter as needed.
Remove chicken from pan and place on platter. Keep chicken warm while making the sauce.
Turn heat to medium high and add the mushrooms; sauté until cooked. With mushrooms still in the pan, deglaze with the wine, stirring to get all of the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to medium low and continue to cook sauce, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened slightly.
When sauce is ready, add chicken back to the pan and turn to coat.
Remove chicken to serving platter and top with remaining sauce. Decorate with parsley sprigs.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Orange You Glad!

While sitting here enjoying an orange and admiring its vibrant color and the smell of its oils as they burst through its skin permeating my nose. While separating away each perfect segment and drinking in each and every drop of its sunshine it dawned on me that some of the best foods in the world require no recipe at all.
I had been racking my brain trying to decide what to post and in this instance I decided to leave well enough alone, nature’s got this one covered.
So I am just going to sit back and reap the benefits of what God has placed in this perfect edible package while it nourishes my body back to health and save the recipes for another day!