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.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Dipping Into The Super Bowl

It won’t be long before Super Bowl Sunday becomes a national holiday. When you think of all the major events that take place in the course of a year it is still Super Bowl Sunday that draws the most television viewers. It truly is a phenomenon but for most people it is just good old fun. I come from a long line of football fanatics who have always handled the Super Bowl in the same manner as they would Christmas. I did not inherit that football gene; I can take it or leave it. I enjoy the party going on around the game better than I actually enjoy the game itself. I do however look forward to those new Super Bowl commercials, sometimes they are absolutely brilliant. The best thing about Super Bowl Sunday to me is it has become another perfectly acceptable day to indulge in mass quantities of food. So even though I rarely take a dip in the football pool, there is always something delicious for me to dip into!

Guacamole Salsa

4 perfectly ripe avocados
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup salsa (any kind)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp. chopped or grated onion
Garlic salt to taste
1 jalapeno pepper chopped finely
1/4 cup of cilantro, roughly chopped

Mash the avocados with the lemon juice, using a fork to make a rough texture. Leave a few lumps. Stir in the salsa, sour cream, onion, garlic salt, jalapeno pepper, and the cilantro.
Serve with your favorite chips, also make a delicious condiment for your favorite burgers or sandwiches.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Spread The Love

My love affair with mayonnaise has run its course. Don’t get me wrong it was great while it lasted but then I started to notice the little things….or in my case the big things such as my; stomach, my thighs and don’t even get me started on my hips. I began to realize that this relationship was just not healthy for me and that it was time to make a change.
I caught myself looking around at other condiments with great interest; it made me feel bad at first I wanted so badly to try them all. I felt like I was cheating by not sticking with the one constant condiment in my life, mayo. Then all of a sudden it hit me that I was only cheating myself out of the potential of ever seeing a smaller dress size by staying in this bad relationship, so I have since moved on.
Everyone, I would like to introduce you to my new love, hummus. Hummus gives me everything I look for in a condiment, richness and flavor. It is soft, creamy and very easy to spread. It gets along well with all the other foods in my life and has left me with a much healthier outlook.
I am very happy in my new relationship; I only hope that the rest of you can benefit from my past mistakes and move on to healthier, tastier and less abusive condiments in your own lives.


1 12-oz can garbanzo beans
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp tahini sauce (sesame paste)
juice of 1 small lemon
½ tsp salt

Drain 1/3 of the water from the can of garbanzo beans into a small bowl. Set aside for later use.
In a blender, mix together the garbanzo beans with the remaining can water and the rest of the ingredients.
Blend for 1-2 minutes until a smooth, slightly fluid paste is formed.

Friday, January 16, 2009

On A "Sauer" Note, How About A Nice Bowl Of Soup!

We were at Gram’s house one weekend and she was telling us about some restaurant that she and her husband went to many years ago. While there they both saw something on the menu that sparked their interest, sauerkraut soup. It really wasn’t a hard decision seeing that they were both huge sauerkraut lovers. One of their favorite meals just happened to be pork and sauerkraut, which was my mother’s favorite meal as well. Let’s just say a few bowls later pretty much sized up their love of this soup. This recipe is not identical to what they had at the restaurant that fine day but is just as delicious and extremely easy to make. If you love sauerkraut this soup is sure to put a smile on your face.

Sauerkraut Soup

2 lbs. sauerkraut (canned or bagged)
6 cups canned beef broth
2 cups water
1 cup chopped onions
3 tbsp. butter or bacon grease
1/2 - 1 tsp. paprika
1 cup of flour
2 med. potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 lb. Polish sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices (may also substitute with bacon, pork or any other type of sausage).
3 tbsp. butter
Salt or pepper to taste

Wash sauerkraut and drain, using a large kettle, add beef broth and water. Simmer 30 minutes covered. Meanwhile cook onion in shortening until soft. Stir in flour and paprika. Cook another 3-4 minutes. Mix into skillet 3 cups of sauerkraut mixture with onion. Stir until smooth. Stir in rest of sauerkraut. Add diced potatoes. Simmer 30 minutes. In same skillet used for onion and butter, add Polish sausage. Cook for 10 minutes until slightly browned. Add to soup and simmer another 5 minutes before serving.

Serving tip: A dollop of sour cream compliments the flavor of this soup nicely.


Friday, January 9, 2009

The Sunday Blues

We’ve all gone through those phases where we seem to latch on to a particular food or recipe and just can’t seem to get enough. Our family has been experiencing that very thing over the last several months when it comes to our Sunday meal. Almost every Sunday for several months now we have craved, made and delighted in dining on grilled steak with sautéed mushrooms and crumbled blue cheese. A side of steamed broccoli, a salad and sometimes the addition of a baked potato and we feel like we are at a 5 star restaurant dining in high fashion. This is one meal that will never fade from this families menu.

Steak with Crumbled Blue Cheese and Sautéed Mushrooms

4- 9 to 12 ounce NY Strips (or whatever cut you prefer)
1 pound of mushrooms, your choice
Butter for sautéing
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Grill, Broil or fry your steaks to desired doneness
Slice mushrooms and sauté in butter, season steaks and mushrooms to your own personal taste. Place steak on plate, sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese then top with the hot sautéed mushrooms and enjoy.

Works well with a variety of vegetables, salad, and any type of potato or rice dish.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Caution....Women Eating Dessert....Do Not Disturb!

I cannot think of a better way to spend an evening than by getting together with some of your favorite women friends for an all girls night. Nothing but great food, endless conversation and dessert of course! A million different topics, laughter and giggling so loud it could raise the roof…….until dessert is placed on the table. In an instant all goes quiet, then it starts; “ooooooh, aaaaah, oh my God is this good” then for one brief moment your kitchen sounds more like the bedroom on a really good night. Nothing quiets a woman like a very rich, very creamy, very sticky, very decadent dessert…. I know because I did not utter a word until I scraped the last little bit of sticky goodness off the plate almost taking the designs with it!.
My dear friend Christine planted the idea in my head about coming up with a dessert using one of our favorite treats, “Schutts Homemade Fry Cakes”. Schutts is an apple and cider mill located in Webster NY. It is a family tradition for many Rochestarians. It’s a charming little place wafting with the aromas of fall; cinnamon, clove, apples and lets not forget the smell of fry cakes sizzling away in the hot oil”! They make their fry cakes fresh daily they are sooooo good to eat warm with a glass of their fresh pressed cider or how about one of their infamous apple freezes (a must try)!
Anyhow, Christine and I played around with several ideas for recipes using their fry cakes and ultimately agreed on this one. Please give it a try, you will not be disappointed, if not from this area use your own favorite local ingredients.

Caramel Apple Fry Cake Sundaes

Amounts will vary depending on number of people you are serving.

Ingredients Needed:
Fry cakes (use your favorites) we decided on the sugar cinnamon fry cakes for this recipe.
Apple pie filling (homemade or canned works just fine)
Vanilla Ice Cream or whatever flavor you prefer
Caramel Sauce (jarred or homemade)
Candied Walnuts

Just lightly warm apple pie filling, place fry cake on a plate, spoon a little apple pie filling on top add a scoop of ice cream. Drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle with nuts and just repeat the process depending on how many you are serving!

To candy the walnuts place 1 cup of walnuts, 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar in a fry pan set to medium. Watch closely and stir often so it does not burn takes about 15 minutes but just eyeball it you will be able to tell when all nuts look like they are encased in crunchy candy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 Meet 2009

Sometimes the best way to embrace the new is by recognizing and respecting all the old things that have played a part in getting us to where we are at this very moment. Even the bad things that happen to us have there place in forming who we are and what we can become. Every person, each experience, every moment creates the bridge on which we cross to reach the next chapter of our lives. So instead of doing away with the old let us instead embrace it and find a way to blend it with the new to create possibilities.
I look at the New Year as life’s rear view mirror, always watchful of the things behind us while carefully maneuvering through all of life’s twists and turns to better reach our destination.

Seafood Lasagna

8 tbsp. butter
8 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 c. cream
1 c. milk
1 c. chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg
1 lb. lasagna, "no boil type"
10 oz. frozen spinach, thaw and drain on paper towels
16 oz. ricotta cheese
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
8 oz. provolone cheese
1 can sliced mushrooms or saute 1 cup of fresh mushrooms
2 sliced onions
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 tomato, cut and peeled
1 1/2 lb. seafood (shrimp, crabmeat)
Parsley and rosemary to taste

To make sauce, melt butter and add flour. Take it off the burner, add cream, milk and broth. Put back on burner. Stir constantly. When everything is mixed, take it off the fire. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. To make lasagna, saute onions and mushrooms in butter and oil. Add spinach, tomato, parsley and rosemary. Add seafood. In a greased lasagna pan, pour some sauce, place some lasagna, seafood, mozzarella, ricotta sauce, provolone, and press it down before you begin second layer. Follow same order as first layer, ending with lasagna strips and sauce. Be sure to generously cover with sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 40 minutes.