Saturday, January 31, 2015

Roasted Mushrooms

I think mushrooms are deceptive.  They aren't pretty.  They don't have a romantic fragrance.  They just sit there or are chopped up, hiding in a greater dish.  Yet, this simple dish is simple in its success.  It is a quick and easy dish to throw together any time, you have mushrooms and don't know what to do with them  

Roasted Mushrooms

1 pound baby mushrooms, washed and pat dry.

1 tablespoon grated onions
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 cup olive oil 

In a medium size baking dish, toss the mushrooms with the garlic, thyme and olive oil. Roast until dark and tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to: Weekend Potluck      Foodie Friday    Saturday Night Fever      See Ya at the Gumbo     Real Food Recipe Round Up        Sweet and Savory Sundays 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Chicken Apple Meatballs in Onion and Apple Gravy - Joy Bauer

Meatballs with apples had instant appeal to me.  I particularly like that the apples are both in the meatballs and in the sauce.  There seem to be a lot of ingredients that go into this  but when I collected everything, it was all in the cupboard or refrigerator.

I made the meatballs first and while they were cooking, I prepared the gravy.  The final dish was a dream come true;  I left small apple pieces in the sauce instead of making it plain creamy and this was a good decision.  It was a delight to get these chunks of apple which were still crisp with the creamy sauce and meatballs.

I served this with roasted potatoes and a tossed salad.

A true success story...... I felt happy feeding this to hubby and even better, I love it.

Chicken Apple Meatballs in Onion and Apple Gravy adapted from Joy Bauer


for the meatballs:

1 pound package ground turkey

2 (heaping) tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 apple (any variety), peeled and grated with excess juice squeezed out
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

for the gravy:

1 tablespoon  oil
1 onion, sliced
1 large shallot, sliced
2 apples, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2.5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Couple dashes of low-sodium soy sauce
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste


For the meatballs:

Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together using your hands until well combined. Form into balls. 

Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook in oven for 10 to 15 minutes, just until browned on the outside. They will finish cooking in the gravy.

For the gravy:

Using a heavy bottomed pan or Dutch oven, over medium high heat, place oil in pan.

Add onion, shallot, and apples. Sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. 

Add chicken stock, mustard and soy sauce. 

Stir and let cook for 5 to 7 more minutes. 

Add salt and pepper.

With an immersion blender, purée the mixture to desired consistency.

Add thyme and meatballs and turn heat back to low. Let gravy simmer, cooking down to desired thickness.

I had extra gravy which I froze.

Eat and enjoy.

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Italian Sunday Brunch Bake - Joy Bauer

I had not planned to make this but with a snow day, I had the perfect excuse to make it for brunch and we loved it.  As you can see, this will fill one up.  With the potatoes, onions and red pepper added to the eggs, we walked away completely satisfied.  The original recipe called for mushrooms but I was out and since we are kind of snowed in, I just ignored them.  It lacked for nothing as far as we are concerned.

Having an unscheduled day off is a real treat and I think, I used it well.  Report cards are due soon so I worked on them.  I did some cleaning, I have been putting off and I cooked.  I feel accomplished and it is only early, early evening.

Italian Sunday Brunch Bake - adapted from Joy Bauer


1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded & diced
1 pound small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2″ pieces

2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs 

2 cups baby spinach leaves

6 egg beaters
1/2 cup Mexican cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Coat a large casserole dish  with oil spray. 

Place a tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. 

Cook onions about 4 minutes until they have softened. Add a little water if pan is drying out.

Add bell pepper and potato and cook until the potatoes begin to soften, 6-8 minutes. 

Add herbs and stir well. 

Reduce heat to low, add spinach and stir just until spinach wilts. 

Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. 

Mix veggies, cheese and egg beaters together and place in greased casserole. 

Bake 25-30 minutes or until the eggs are set and potatoes are cooked through. 

Serve hot.

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to: Weekend Potluck      Foodie Friday    Saturday Night Fever      See Ya at the Gumbo     Real Food Recipe Round Up        Sweet and Savory Sundays 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Shotgun Wedding Soup -EwE Ellie Krieger

Not too long ago, I made an Italian Egg Drop Soup with Mini Meatballs which is similar to the soup, we made tonight in our Ellie Krieger group, Eating With Ellie (EwE). I knew, I would like tonight's soup, Shotgun Wedding Soup which is also of Italian origin because it had chopped turkey, spinach and egg drops, as did the previous soup.  I liked the meatballs better than the browned turkey but it was still a very good soup.

It contained, onion, (garlic), ground turkey, salt, black pepper, broth, parsley, eggs and spinach.  It was easy to make and I had it ready quickly for my hungry hubby.  He is happy that once again, I am cooking Ellie Krieger recipes and so am I.

All the members who made this soup will be found at this site dedicated to Eating with Ellie.  We welcome new members so come on and join in or if you just want to cook, on occasion, that is also fine with us.

weeknight On February - 5 - Peggy  has chosen Penne with Grape Tomatoes, Spinach, and Toasted Garlic found on page 224 in Weeknight Wonders.  Sounds good to me.

Showcase Your Talent Thursday      What's Cooking Wednesday    Full Plate Thursday

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

spinach, feta and pine nut baked risotto - Donna Hay

I selected this dish for this week.  It is the kind of dish that will always call my name.  Especially after refilling the arborio jar when it didn't need it is as  anincentive to make more risotto.  Who could turn away nice and creamy rice like this?

This is for my Donna Hay group, WwDH. Wednesdays With Donna Hay.  You can find all of the links here.  Please do go and see what others have done with this dish.

As it turned out, we made risotto, two weeks in a row but this is the kind of dish that is usually welcome.  I selected it for the spinach and feta.  Actually, I forgot to  add the nuts.

Spinach, feta and pine nut baked risotto - 

The ingredients are  arborio rice,  chicken stock, parmesan. butter. sea salt and cracked black pepper, baby spinach leaves, feta, and  pine nuts.   Sounds like a good combination and it is.

Since this is baked in the oven, it is easier to make than the top of the stove type when you are adding as you go along in time.  This is basically cover and bake.  A snap to do........and ever so creamy.

Eat and enjoy.
Linked to Waste Not Want Not Link Party     Tuesday's Table     Showcase Your Talent Thursday      What's Cooking Wednesday    Full Plate Thursday

Monday, January 26, 2015

Parsnip, Potatoes and Spinach Casserole - Rachel Ray

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I made this during the week I cooked mostly Rachel Ray recipes.  I am happy to report that every recipe was filled with flavor and disappeared quickly.  Three cheers for Rachel.

Right now, we are waiting for snow, snow and more snow and the temperature is presently 24 degrees.  Although I have to go to work today, I doubt tomorrow that school is going to be open.  Warm food is called for and I am thinking of trading off my roasted eggplant with a nice hearty soup.  Menu plans are meant to be changed when one only hears warnings of what is to come.

It brings to mind,  Hurricane Sandy, some time over two years.   My daughter had just gotten engaged and we invited everyone over to celebrate (before we knew what was coming) and I started cooking and baking.  Then the hurricane hit and we lost our power for two weeks including the evening of the big shindig.  Fortunately, the mother of the groom jumped in and took over.  
I forgot to take pictures of this dish except one in the pan.  It isn't good and only serves as proof of the dish.
Even going there was an issue since gas was not easily available.  We went that night but did not do much traveling otherwise.  Even if one could get gas, the lines were blocks long and there was no guarantee, when you got to the pump, there would still be available gas.

Our area was evacuated although not strictly mandated so we stayed.  What a lonely neighborhood it was.  For blocks there was no one.  All went well for us but those people by the water got hit hard and had tremendous damage.

I remember going to the dentist as he casually told me he lost two cars.  That was what it was like.  People's lives were overturned.  We counted our blessings and I am still thankful that we only lost a freezer full of food.  We were well and we managed.

We are taking the upcoming storm seriously for good reason this time.

 Parsnip, Potatoes and Spinach Casserole (adapted from Rachel Ray)


3 large starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 large peeled onion
1 box frozen chopped organic spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
2 tablespoons butter
About 1/2 cup milk, divided
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup cheddar cheese,


Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

Put the potatoes and parsnips in large pot and cover with water. Bring the water to a boil, over medium heat. Salt the water and cook the vegetables until tender, 12-15 minutes. 

Drain and return them to the hot pot. 

Grate in 3-4 tablespoons of onion, then add the spinach, butter, half of the milk and all of the cream. 

Season with salt, pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg, to taste. 

Mash the mixture together and taste to adjust the seasonings. 

Cool to room temperature, then stir in the eggs and transfer the mixture to a casserole dish. Cover with cheese and sprinkle with paprika. 

Place the casserole on a baking sheet and put it in the lower third of the oven. Bake until hot and golden, about 35-40 minutes.

Eat and enjoy.

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Menu Plan Monday - Joy Bauer

Slim and Scrumptious

A while back, Joy Bauer sent me her book, Slim and Scrumptious.  At the time, I made a few dishes and posted them although I am not sure what blog, this was on.  I pulled the book off the shelf where it unfortunately has been living.  What a waste of time.  Joy has delicious looking recipes and it was easy to find several to make this Joy Bauer week.  In fact, I selected too many and I am still trying to decide which to eliminate.
"Joy Bauer is one of the world's leading authorities on health and weight loss. As the nutrition and health expert for NBC’s TODAY show, Joy shares reliable, practical, and easy to follow advice that helps millions of people eat better, live healthier, and lead more fulfilling lives. She also hosts the program’s popular “Joy Fit Club” series, which celebrates determined people who have lost more than 100 pounds through diet and exercise alone."
Sunday -  Chicken Apple Meatballs in Onion and Apple Gravy

Monday - Roasted Eggplant Parmesan 

Tuesday - Spinach, feta, and pine nut baked risotto

Wednesday - Shotgun Wedding Soup

Thursday - Hoison Glazed Salmon

Friday - Chicken and Vegetable Curry with Quinoa with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms

Saturday - Vegetable and Cheese Frittata

For lots of other weekly menus check out Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Oriental Chicken

I make chicken weekly and over the years have made a variety of dishes.  I wonder which wins in quantity salmon or chicken.  Both are popular in our household.  Both are easy to adapt with different spices or with different vegetables.  Both go with pasta, rice or quinoa.  

Here are just a few ideas on how to use chicken.  Each one has a link attached so you can find recipes, not my recipes but good ones.  I chose, from this Wikipedia list, the chicken dishes, I have made.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Peanut Butter Noodle Salad - Nigella

I found this wonderful recipe on Bon Appetit, a blog, not the magazine.,  Go take a look and see for yourself. I knew it would be a hit and even though, I was missing some of the ingredients, I went ahead and put it together. What a success!!!!

It was easy to make and delicious to eat. For the original recipe, go to the source and get all the details.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that this is a recipe, originally from Nigella Lawson, one of my favorites. What I like about her is the way she writes her books, with cute phrases, hints and interesting pieces of information.  It is like reading a novel with fantastic recipes included.

This recipe is from a few years ago and I see that she has a new recipe for this salad that looks interesting too.  It is on Food Network.

Peanut Butter Noodle Salad adapted from Nigella Lawson



2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon sesame Oil
1 teaspoon garlic flavored rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons chili sauce
2 tablespoons peanut  butter


12 ounces thin white rice noodles
2 cups shredded cabbage
4 scallions, thinly sliced
sesame seeds - a generous sprinkling
1/2 green bell pepper, thin sliced
1/2 orange bell pepper, thin sliced
1/2 cup carrots, thin sliced

Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and put aside.

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing. Mix until it is well blended. If necessary, heat peanut butter in microwave for a 10 seconds so that it is easier to incorporate. 

Slice all the vegetables, slicing as thin as possible with a sharp knife. Cut the green pepper strips in half. 

Place half the noodles in a serving dish. Cover with vegetables and mix. Add the remaining noodles and mix, once again. Pour dressing over and mix well enough to coat the noodles and vegetables.

Sit down and feast on the flavors and the crispy vegetables.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Italian Egg Drop Soup with Mini Meatballs

I made something similar to this, in the past, but the meatballs had rice in them and the seasoning was different.  

I am sure, I am not the only one who does not want to repeat recipes but after a certain amount of time, without even knowing it, finds it has to happen.  I found out about this one, when I went to get my photo and saw a picture and grabbed it.  My mistake  of course, was that it was a different soup.  Below is the photo and you probably can see, why I confused them.  If you look closely, you can see the rice in the meatballs and even the way, I broke the egg down is different.

Italian Egg Drop Soup - adapted from Rachel Ray


4 cups vegetable  broth
1 pound ground turkey
Salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons grated onion
1/2 cup corn flake crumbs
4 eggs, divided ( 1 & 3)
2 tablespoons  parsley, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Bring the stock to a simmer.

Season the chicken with salt, pepper and nutmeg and combine with the onion, garlic, corn flake crumbs and 1 egg. 

Roll mini balls and drop them into the soup. 

Simmer the meatballs in the broth for 10 minutes.

Mix the remaining 3 eggs with the, parsley, salt and pepper. 

Stir into the soup. I drop about a teaspoon of egg mixture into hot broth.

 Take the soup off the heat, then add the scallions and lemon juice.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Salmon and Leek Chowder

When, I first started blogging, I used a lot fewer ingredients than I use today, particularly in the area of produce.  I was a lettuce, tomato and cuke kind of person, of course using potatoes and onions.  I didn't use too much more.  I did buy lots of frozen vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower and i still do.

If you asked me about leeks, kabacha, bok choy, even garlic.  (I knew what garlic was but not what it looked like.)  We ate well despite these limitations.

If you have followed the blog, you probably have seen my, praising a new vegetable that I just "discovered" and now use frequently.  This happens regularly.  Thanks to the groups I have cooked with and recipes with some of the exciting additions, I now call them friends.  Leeks is one of these - newish to our household and other than the dirt, it comes with, I love it.  Tonight's soup was great and I think the flavor was from the leek. All I know is, I made enough for 4 and the two of us finished it off.  (He did it.)

Salmon-and-Leek Chowder adapted from Rachel Ray


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped

2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced ( I used a mandolin)

3 cups vegetable broth

1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1  skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1-inch pieces (2 would have been better)

1 cup milk

1/2 cup whipped cream cheese

2 cups baby spinach

1 teaspoon chopped parsley


In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. 

Add the leeks and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. 

Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes.

Stir in 2 cups water, the vegetable broth and paprika.  

Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. 

Lightly smash the potatoes, stir in the salmon and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Add the milk and cream cheese and using a tablespoon, blend the cheese into the soup.

Stir in the spinach and parsley and season with and pepper.  Cook for another 3 minutes or until spinach is hot.

Eat and enjoy.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chicken with Spinach, Garlic and Smoked Paprika - EwE

This is the first week of Eating with Ellie, the one and only Ellie Krieger, who cooks health consciously and deliciously.  The recipes, at this point are coming from the book, Weeknight Wonders .

About a year or so ago, we had a group of dedicated women who belonged to CEiMB (Cooking Ellie in My Belly), a name I never liked.  What I did like were the participants and the recipes.  Each week, hubby and I would kvell over the delicious meals, I made with ease and joy.

I have three of Ellie's books and they are well used.  

To be honest, in recent months, I have not been making recipes by Ellie, not for any good reason, just because........ The starting of the new group is good for me. I love the recipes, we have chosen for the first two months. A new group feels like an adventure. Although, I know most of the women participating, it is nice to regroup and cook together again. Some are already in the Donna Hay Wednesday group. We welcome anyone who wants to cook Ellie Krieger recipes to join us. Contact any of the members. We have a new website going up and we will share it as soon as it is finished, if not in this post.
Out first recipe, selected by Kayte, is Shrimp with Spinach, Garlic and Smoked Paprika , which can be found here As a kosher cook, I do not use shrimp and I subbed in chicken. Also, hubby does not eat garlic.  It makes him ill enough that I won't use it.  Therefore, my recipe was adapted to meet our needs and has its own style.  It was delicious and we loved it and I still give Ellie the credit for such an excellent recipe.  I followed her directions, cutting chicken breasts into about one inch chunks.  I added onions to sort of replace the garlic and browned both together.

I added the other ingredients as directed and we ended up full and happy.  Hubby was the same ole Ellie fan, he used to be, and I think, he is happy, I am once again committed to this group.

Next week, we are making Shotgun Wedding Soup - hmmmmmmm. sounds interesting.

***** We have a page to share our recipes from EwE.  Please take a look and see what others have made.  Feel free to join us.  Just go to the page and share the URL for your recipe.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Eggplant with Tomato, Basil and Parmesan risotto - WwDH

Hey, Hey Donna Hay.....we are back with this lovely eggplant with tomato, basil and parmesan rissoto.  Sound good?  Well, it is.

Margaret  chose this recipe and it is from one of Donna Hay's books,  New Food Fast.

Hubby wasn't thrilled with eggplant and would have been happier eating only the risotto. I had no idea, he is not a fan of eggplant.  I love it, made in certain ways and  I make if often.  He has never said a word.  I am pretty sure, it does not fall into the same category as asparagus which he simply despises.  I think that it is more a "take it or leave it" dish.

This was not my favorite way of making eggplant either so this dish is probably not going to be seen again.  I think, if you like risotto, this is worth a try.  The sauce was broth, wine and tomato puree and I liked that very much.  Lots of basil and a little black pepper and Parmesan seasoned the dish.

The dish is a three pot dish, one for the eggplant, one for the sauce and one for the rice.  I cooked the eggplant before I went to school, today and came home and made the risotto.  I thought I was out of arborio rice and sent hubby to pick up some, when he was out.  Being a wonderful husband, he did so, to find out we did have some, in the cabinet, it belonged in.  Hanging head......

We have a new page a new page set up by Margaret.  You can find it here.  Soon, you will also find our links to the weekly recipes.  As you see, you now know what we are cooking ahead of time, and you can jump in at any time.

Go and visit our other  members and our webpage.

Gaye   Kayte     Sarah    and     Margaret

Sicilian Potato and Egg Cake

I was about to make a Rachel Ray Potato Cake when I remembered, I had torn out from a Food Network Magazine, a recipe for a potato cake that looked more interesting.  Rachel's used sliced potatoes like a crust and the Food Network recipe used mashed potato.  I will always vote for mashed over sliced.

This is the epitome of comfort food.   The mashed potatoes are creamy, the cheese adds zest and roasted red peppers were just right.  I am proud, I took only one generous slice.  Hubby ate the rest of the nine inch cake.

My guess is children would like this even with the red peppers.  Next time, I would like to add caramelized onions to the cheese mixture.  I used smoked Mozzarella because I had it, in the house.  I had gotten it for my grandkids but they left a good share of the package behind.  It worked perfectly.

Sicilian Potato and Egg Cake  Adapted from Food Network magazine - November 2014

 Sicilian Potato and Egg Cake


2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 tablespoons Panko crumbs, divided

1 cup grated parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese
3/4 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
1 tablespoons chopped parsley
spray olive oil


Set a rimmed baking sheet on the top oven rack; preheat to 475 degrees F. 

Put up water in a large saucepan. Put the potatoes into the water.  Cook for about 10 - 15 minutes until potatoes are soft enough to mash.....not mushy.

Meanwhile, generously spray an 8-inch-round cake pan; sprinkle in 2 tablespoons Panko crumbs and shake to coat, then tap out the excess.

Add 2 tablespoons butter and the parmesan to the potatoes.

Remove and place in a bowl and mash.

 Gradually mash in the beaten eggs. 

Spread half of the mixture in the prepared pan; top with the cheese, peppers and parsley. 

Top with the remaining potato mixture and smooth evenly. 

Sprinkle  1 tablespoon breadcrumbs. Spray top of potato cake.

Set the pan on the hot baking sheet and bake until puffed and golden, about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen, then unmold.

Let rest 5 minutes before slicing. 

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