Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Not much of a menu this week

We are eating what is there this week.  Some is leftovers, some is just what we feel like at the moment and some is going out for the holidays.

Tonight, I am making one of my favorite short cut meals.  It is a ravioli bake.  Take a baking dish and cover the bottom liberally with your favorite tomato sauce; homemade or jarred is OK.  Layer frozen ravioli putting grated Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese and more sauce in between the layers.  End with more sauce and cheese and be sure that the edges of the ravs are covered with sauce.  Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 40 minutes or until bubbly.

I sometimes add spinach or kale in the layers or thinly sliced zucchini or eggplant works too.   If you want to add sliced cooked hot or sweet sausage or small already cooked meatballs, that would work too.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu 12/19 - 12/26

Mon 12/19 - Pizza
Tue 12/20 - Spaghetti Moily **
Wed 12/21 - Chinese Take-Out
Thu 12/22 - Italian Antipasto Pasta Salad, homemade Focaccia
Fri 12/23 - Pastrami Paninis, Red Cabbage Slaw
Sat 12/24 - not sure
Sun 12/25 - Christmas out with the family

Spaghetti Moily
Spaghetti tossed in mildly spiced South Indian Curry

Ginger paste and garlic paste are available at Indian and Asian grocers.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
10 fresh curry leaves, plus more for garnish
2 medium onions, chopped
2 teaspoons ginger paste
2 teaspoons garlic paste
3 small green chiles, stemmed and slit lengthwise
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1/2 medium tomato, seeded and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup heavy cream
9 ounces spaghetti
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

1. Place a large pot of water over high heat to come to a boil.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds.
3. Lower the heat, add the onions, and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in the ginger and garlic pastes, chiles, and turmeric. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.
5. Stir in the lemon juice and coconut milk. Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the sauce does not stick.
6. Stir in the tomato and cream, cover again, and keep warm over very low heat until the spaghetti is ready. 7. When the water boils, add salt and the spaghetti. Cook about 9 minutes or until al dente, stirring occasionally so the spaghetti doesn’t stick together.
8. Drain the spaghetti well. Add to the sauce and stir to coat.
9. Divide the spaghetti and sauce onto serving plates. Garnish with cilantro and curry leaves.

Menu 12/12 - 12/18

Mon 12/12 - Pizza
Tue 12/13 - Ranch Pork Chops, Asparagus, Rice Pilaf
Wed 12/14 - Take out Chinese
Thu 12/15 - Pasta Alfredo in Rice Cooker
Fri 12/16 - Buffalo Wings, Carrot and Celery Sticks
Sat 12/17 - out?
Sun 12/18 - Roast Chicken, Smashed Garlic Potatoes, String Beans

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Jeweled Cranberry Chutney from Aarti Sequeira

I think this will be our cranberry sauce for Christmas dinner. It looks so good! and easy too!

Jeweled Cranberry Chutney from
Aarti Sequeira

Cranberry Chutney with Mango, Pomegranate and Black Peppercorns
1) Crush 1 teaspoon black peppercorns with 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
2) Warm some grape seed oil in a pot until shimmering. Add spices. Cook 20 seconds. Add 1/2 red onion, minced. Sauté until softened and slightly browned.
3) Add one bag fresh or frozen cranberries, pinch of salt, hefty pinch of cardamom, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water (might actually need 1 cup, I can’t remember). Bring to a boil, then simmer 10 minutes.
4) Off heat, add 1 diced mango and a handful of pomegranate seeds. Stir. Bring to room temperature. Chill and serve. So good.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Tips for Leftovers

Leftover pumpkin pie has lots of uses (besides being eaten cold!). Remove and save the filling and discard the crust. The creamy pumpkin custard can now be used to make trifles or added to a custard mixture for bread pudding. Or if you are like me and rarely have leftover pumpkin pie, you might have leftover filling that didn't fit into the crust.

If a trifle is in your future, simply layer a store bought pound or sponge cake with the pumpkin custard and whipped cream. Crumble the crust in there too!

Or mix up the egg and milk mixture for a bread pudding and add the pumpkin filling. Be sure to use up that crust by including it in the torn bread base of the bread pudding.

Or, construct an ice cream sundae with caramel-swirl ice cream, pumpkin topping, and crushed ginger snaps.

Or even stir the leftover pumpkin custard into a steaming bowl of oatmeal.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet potatoes are the most nutritious vegetable in the entire produce section of the super market. After I discovered that fact, I started cooking with them much more than with white potatoes. So, why not make dessert with this king of nutrition???

Sweet Potato Pie
makes 8 servings

1 pie shell - pre-baked until brown and set (make your own or use whatever store bought variety you like)

Preheat oven to 375F.

For the filling:

3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds) - roasted fork tender
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream (I use evaporated skim milk)
1/2 cup light brown sugar (I use Splenda brown sugar)
1/4 cup light corn syrup (I use grade B amber maple syrup)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch ground cloves

Peel sweet potatoes and mash lightly with a fork. Transfer to food processor with butter and process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, pulse to combine. Pour filling into pre-baked crust and bake until set, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

Serve with freshly whipped cream. For a special treat, when whipping the cream add a tablespoon of bourbon or rum for flavor in addition to the normal vanilla and sugar.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Leftover Biscuits

We spent Thanksgiving in a cabin in the woods; just my hubby and me. I packed up the food to take with us and we drove most of the day on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. So, I made our turkey dinner on Friday.

Saturday morning arrived and we had turkey leftover, like most folks do. However, no bread or rolls for sandwiches and no mayo or mustard either. So, I baked some biscuits and made a compound butter with thyme, sage and garlic. I threw in some dried cranberries and put in the microwave on low to melt the butter enough to help soften the cranberries. Opening the biscuits, I used a teaspoon to drizzle the butter mixture onto one side and then places turkey slices cut to fit the biscuit.

I think it may have been the best turkey sandwich I have ever had!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Hints

Warm your Thanksgiving serving platters to make your meal extra-special. No room in your already over-crowded oven? Put the platters in an empty dishwasher (and it should already be empty for easy clean-up following the feast) and run on the dry-cycle. It will heat them up perfectly.

The giblets that come enclosed in your turkey usually include the heart, liver, neck and sometimes the gizzard. All are great for flavoring the gravy stock, except the liver, which will make it bitter. Add a pound or two of turkey wings (either smoked or not) to your stock as well to really punch up the flavor.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What to do with winter squash

I love winter squash and have cooked it in many ways. But, as with most foods, simple is almost always the best when you have really good food.

Cut the winter squash into wedges. Don't bother peeling it. Lay it on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with a savory spice blend like chili powder or adobo and with salt and red pepper flakes. Then roast in a 425F oven until softened and golden brown in spots.

Splash a little red wine vinegar over it when it comes out, and some fresh or dried herbs, like mint or oregano. This is great either hot or room temperature, and is a refreshing change from the standard sweet topping for squash.


What to do with all the leftover Halloween Candy?

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Bread Pudding

4 slices stale bread, spread lightly with butter, and cubed (about 3 cups)
8 to 10 mini candy bars, chopped into chunks (mainly chocolate, but all types mixed up works well.)
1/2 cup or so dried cherries
1 14 ounce can evaporated skim milk
2 large eggs, beaten with fork
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine cubed bread, candy chunks from 8 mini candy bars, and dried cherries in cooking-sprayed 1-1/2-quart baking dish. Scald milk and half-and-half. In bowl, combine eggs, sugar, salt, brandy, and cinnamon. Add scalded milk slowly to egg mixture, stirring to combine. Pour liquid over bread mixture in pan. Sprinkle top with remaining candy chunks. Bake in preheated 350-degree F. oven 50 to 60 minutes, or until firm and browned on top. Serve warm or at room temp topped with whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 4 to 6.

Yes, you can make risotto in your rice cooker!

Rice Cooker Recipe for Asparagus Risotto


2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup shallots or onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
1 cup Arborio rice
3/4 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
3 cups chicken stock or broth (24 ounces)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
salt and freshly ground pepper


Set your rice cooker for the "Quick Cook" or "Regular" cycle. When the bottom of the pan gets hot, add one tablespoon of butter and the olive oil and allow butter to melt. Add the shallots or onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes.

Add the wine, stir to combine, and cook until the wine heats and the most of the alcohol evaporates, about 4 minutes. Add the rice, stir to coat evenly with the contents of the pan, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the grains of rice are mostly translucent, and only a dot of white remains.

Add the asparagus, stirring to combine, and saute for a minute or two.

Add the stock all at once. Stir to combine. Close the cover and turn off the rice cooker, then reset for the "Porridge" cycle if you have a Fuzzy Logic rice cooker; or the "Regular" cycle if you have an on-off rice cooker. Set your timer for 20 minutes. Every 7 minutes or so, open the rice cooker and give the rice a stir to recombine the liquid into the rice. (If you have a fuzzy-logic rice cooker, you don't have to check and stir)

When the cycle shuts off or 20 minutes have elapsed, check your rice. A little liquid should remain, and rice should be "al dente," or slightly firm to the bite but not hard. If there is still a lot of liquid left but rice is done, you might need to carefully spoon out some of the liquid that's on top. If the rice is not yet done, give it a stir and cook for another few minutes, checking often.

When rice is cooked, add 1 tablespoon butter and parmesan cheese, stir to combine and melt cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

I love Brussels sprouts. I can eat them raw or cooked. But, I also know that many people don't like them. I am always looking for new ways to cook them. Here is one that most won't be able to resist. After all, what doesn't taste good with bacon??

2 ounces slab bacon, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup walnut pieces
2 (10 ounce) packages fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 - Preheat oven to 375F
2 - Cook bacon and walnuts in a large oven-proof skillet over medium heat until bacon begins to crisp and walnuts are toasted, about 4 minutes. Transfer bacon and walnuts to a bowl using a slotted spoon; set aside.
3 - Add Brussels sprouts to skillet and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Transfer pan to oven and roast for 30 minutes. Add bacon and walnuts and continue to roast until sprouts are cooked through and golden, about 10 to 15 minutes more.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Menu 11/17 - 11/24/2011

Menu 11/17 - 11/24/2011

Thu 11/17 - BBQ Cowboy Burgers, Fries, Slaw
Fri 11/18 - Buffalo Wings, Carrots and Celery Sticks
Sat 11/19 - Popcorn Shrimp, Roasted Ranch Potatoes, Red Cabbage Slaw
Sun 11/20 - Autumn Beef Stew with Cranberries in slow cooker
Mon 11/21 - Pizza
Tue 11/22 - Chicken Alfredo over Brown Rice in Rice Cooker
Wed 11/23 - Asparagus Risotto in Rice Cooker
Thu 11/24 - Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Corn Bread Casserole

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tonight is curried lentils and kielbasa in the rice cooker

Curried Lentils and Kielbasa

1 bag lentils
1 pound ring kielbasa
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 envelop onion soup mix
2 tablespoons curry powder (or more if you like it very spicy)
1 14 ounce can tomatoes
1 onion diced

Add all ingredients into the rice cooker and press cook.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lamb Burgers

Lamb Burgers with Feta Sauce and Spinach


Handful walnut halves, about 3 to 4 tablespoons
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup whole milk yogurt
2/3 cup feta crumbles
1 tablespoon freshly chopped marjoram or oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
Few sprigs mint, leaves chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
A couple pinches ground cinnamon
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 bunches farm spinach leaves, stemmed, washed and dried
Nutmeg, freshly grated
Pita bread with large deep pockets


Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Add 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, and the onions. Cook for 5 minutes to soften, then put them in mixing bowl to cool.

While onions cool, put the yogurt, feta, half of the marjoram or oregano, mint, salt and pepper, to taste, and the nuts in a food processor and process to a thick, smooth sauce.

Add lamb to the bowl with the onions and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the remaining marjoram or oregano, paprika and cinnamon. Form the mixture into 4 patties. Heat 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook the patties 3 to 4 minutes on each side for pink centers.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in another skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic clove and let it infuse the oil for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the spinach and let it wilt, then remove the pan from the heat, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste.

Shake off excess liquid as you place the spinach into an open pita pocket. Add the lamb patties to the pocket. Drizzle in some of the feta sauce. Add a few more leaves of spinach on top and serve.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tomato Curry Lamb

Tomato Curry Lamb

Ready In: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Servings: 4

4 bone in shoulder lamb chops
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion sliced in rings
2/3 cup apple cider
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Place chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, then stir in cider, soup, curry powder, basil and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, then pour over chicken.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour
4. Serve over rice or couscous

Menu 9/19 - 9/25/2011

9/19 - Mon - Pizza
9/20 - Tue - Ravioli Bake
9/21 - Wed - Chinese Take-out
9/22 - Thu - Mixed Bean Chili and Corn Bread
9/23 - Fri - Buffalo Wings, Carrot and Celery Sticks
9/24 - Sat - Sausage, hashed brown bake with broccoli **
9/25 - Sun - Roast Chicken, home fried potatoes, asparagus

Hash Brown and Egg Casserole
Servings: 6

1 (2 pound) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 pound pork sausage
1 1/2 cups frozen chopped broccoli
1 small onion, diced
4 eggs
1 can evaporated skim milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and ground black pepper to taste (because the sausage and cheese are salty, I only add pepper)
12 ounces shredded cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 2 quart baking dish. Place the hash brown potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish.

2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook and stir the sausage and onion until the sausage is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink; drain. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and pour over the potatoes. Layer with half the Cheddar cheese, the broccoli, the sausage mixture, and the remaining Cheddar cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove cover; return casserole to the oven and bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Diane's Creole New England Clam Chowder.

We got lots of snow last winter and needed soup but I have to admit to being lazy and I doctored a few cans and invented

Diane's Creole New England Clam Chowder.

1 can good quality clam chowder (I use Snows)
1 can cream style corn
1 can clams with juice
1 Andouille sausage, diced
1 slice bacon, diced
1 onion, sliced
1 teaspoon (or more) Creole seasoning or Emeril's essence.

Cook the sausage and bacon until done but not crisp, add the onion to the fat and sauté till translucent. Add the can of chowder, clams and corn and stir to blend. Add the Creole seasoning and heat to serving temperature.

It was YUMMY! even thouugh it came from a can. We used more Creole seasoning on each bowl.

Menu 9/12/11 - 9/18/11

9/12 - Mon - Pizza
9/13 - Tue - Rice Cooker Sausage Lasagna**
9/14 - Wed - Chinese Take-out
9/15 - Thu - Kielbasa and Red Cabbage Braised in Slow Cooker
9/16 - Fri - Granny's Chicken Stew with Polenta
9/17 - Sat - Chili and Corn Bread
9/18 - Sun - Ravioli Amatriciana

Rice Cooker Sausage Lasagna

1 pounds (dry - uncooked) lasagna noodles, broken into pieces (or any pasta, I always use whole wheat)
1 pound loose hot Italian sausage, out of casing, browned
16 ounce container ricotta cheese
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 28 ounce can tomato puree or diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups marinara sauce (I always have home made, but store bought is fine)
1 cup warm water

Brush inside of rice cooker pan with olive oil.

Brown sausage in a skillet. Use wooden spoon or potato masher to break up into smaller clumps.

Mix together the ricotta cheese, garlic, oregano 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and half cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a bowl.

Cover the bottom of the rice cooker pan with 1/2 of the can of tomato puree. Place one third of lasagna or pasta on top. Add half of the sausage. Using a tablespoon or ice cream scoop place dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture (using up half)on top of sausage. Repeat with the tomato puree, pasta, sausage and cheese. Top with the last third of pasta.

Add warm water, then 2 1/2 cups of marinara sauce and top with the remaining cup of mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Place pan in rice cooker, and close cooker. Cook on mixture setting (or white setting if you don't have a mix setting) until done.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Menus changing because of Hurricane Irene!

One week ago today,Irene came to visit. Hurricane Irene that is. We lost our electricity for over 48 hours and had to change a bunch of meals around. Also, our favorite local music place where we had planned to go tonight for dinner was destroyed in flooding so another meal changed. So, here is a current menu for today going forward.

Menu 9/3/11 -

Sat 9/3 - Pineapple Pork Ribs, String Beans
Sun 9/4 - Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Mon 9/5 - Pork Chops Murphy**
Tue 9/6 - Kielbasa and Black Bean Stew
Wed 9/7 - Chinese Take Out
Thu 9/8 - Arroz Con Pollo in Rice Cooker
Fri 9/9 - Out
Sat 9/10- Buffalo Chicken Strips over Spinach Salad with (Blue Cheese Crumbles and dressing for me, vinaigrette for hubby)
Sun 9/11- Meatball Strogonoff over Egg Noodles in Rice Cooker

Pork Chops Murphy

8 small red potatoes, quartered
4 thick pork rib or loin chops (on the bone)
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 cup bottled HOT cherry peppers in vinegar (with juice)(I use more!)
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce

In 2 TBS olive oil, brown potatoes and let cook until knife can be inserted easily, but not falling apart. Remove from pan.

Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. In same skillet from potatoes heat the other 2 TBS of olive oil and brown chops on both sides. Remove from pan.

Add onion slices and cook over medium heat stirring often for 10 min. Slit peppers and let juices run into pan. Add peppers and stir into onions. Return pork chops to pan and spoon peppers and onions on top. Add tomato sauce and cook 10 minutes until cooked through. Add potatoes back in before serving.

**I love the hot peppers! I often use the ones stuffed with prosciutto and provolone for this recipe. I slice them open and add at least 2 tablespoons of the vinegar brine to the pan in addition to what comes out of the peppers.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Menu 8-27 to 9/4

Sat 8-27 - Thanksgiving Dinner in a Rice Cooker
Sun 8-28 - Swiss Corn and Ham Bake
Mon 8-29 - Pizza
Tue 8-30 - Meatball Strogonoff over Egg Noodles
Wed 8-31 - Chinese Take Out
Thu 9-1 - Pasta Amatriciana
Fri 9-2 - Out?
Sat 9-3 - Out for sure
Sun 9-4 - Chicken Enchilada Lasagna


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Turkey or Chicken Dishes for the Freezer

Roast a small turkey or 2 chickens. Cool and shred the meat into bowls. You should have about 10-12 cups of meat. Or buy a few of those HUGE chicken breast family size packages and roast them all off at once. I personally like dark and white meat mixed, so I choose to roast the whole chicken/turkey. It also saves money to use the whole bird.

Also for growing teens you would probably want to double these recipes.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole
4 cups shredded chicken
garlic salt to taste
18 (6 inch) corn tortillas, torn in half
1 (28 ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce
1 (16 ounce) package shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (8 ounce) container reduced fat sour cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
With metal tongs, char each tortilla half over the open flame of a gas stove burner for about 1 minute, until lightly puffed.
Pour about 1/2 inch enchilada sauce in the bottom of a medium baking dish, and arrange 6 tortillas in a single layer. Top with 1/2 the chicken, 1/3 cheese, 1/2 the sour cream, and 1/3 of the remaining enchilada sauce. Repeat. Coat remaining tortillas thoroughly with remaining enchilada sauce, and arrange on top of the layers. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top with any remaining enchilada sauce
Cover, and bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool slightly before serving.
Freeze before baking. Thaw in refrigerator, then cover and bake for 45-50 minutes in preheated oven.


1 cup white rice
1 cup boiling water
2 pkg. frozen broccoli (cook according to pkg directions)
10 oz. cream cheese
2 c. milk
1/2 c. sour cream
dash garlic and onion powder
4 cups shredded chicken
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

Line a 3 qt. casserole dish with butter. Pour rice into pan. Add boiling water. Chop broccoli and layer on top of rice on bottom of casserole dish.
Mix cream cheese, milk, sour cream and seasonings together. Add shredded chicken. Mix well and layer on top of broccoli.
Sprinkle Parmesan cheese ever top. Bake at 350°F for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly and rice is cooked.
Can freeze. Thaw in refrigerator. Add 1/2 cup milk before reheating at 350 until heated through - about 15 minutes.
Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

(This can be varied with frozen spinach or kale.)

For this one - I would mix all of the chicken part without the hot water in a large freezer baggie. When ready to make, thaw in refrigerator. Pour into the slow cooker and add the hot water and then the cornbread topping and continue with the recipe.

Barbecued Chicken and Cornbread Casserole in the Slow Cooker

--2 pound of cooked, or practically cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
--2 small sweet potato, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks
--1 red onion, diced (optional. I didn't use this, although I intended to, and am kind of kicking myself for the accidental omission.)
--2 cup frozen or fresh corn
--1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (18 oz)
--1 can (28 ounce) diced tomatoes
--1/4 cup molasses
--1/4 cup apple cider

cornbread topping:

use a mix (2 boxes of the Jif Cornbread mix are the perfect size)and follow the directions on the box (minus the oil or butter), or mix together the following:

--3/4 cup corn meal
--1 1/4 cups of flour
--1 cup milk
--1/4 cup sugar
--1 egg
--1 tsp. baking powder

The Directions.

I used a large 7 quart slow cooker for this one.

Grease the inside of your slow cooker with butter or margarine. Or to save calories I often use a brush and olive oil or the "I Can't Believe it's Not Butter Spray". Cut up the chicken and sweet potato, and add to the crock. Add the remaining ingredients. Empty the contents of the barbecue sauce bottle, and then add 1/4 cup of apple cider to the bottle, shake, and pour that out, too. Mix well with a spoon.

In a separate bowl, mix together the cornbread topping. You don't need to mix well, I just used a fork. Spread the topping on to the chicken mixture.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Cooking for the Freezer

Brown up a huge amount of ground beef. Portion in 1 pound (2 cups).

Beef Tamale Pie

This one can be done in slow cooker and also oven. If using oven, combine all ingredients in a greased 4 quart casserole. Put in preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes. (It is important that the filling is hot before you add the corn bread on top of it or the bottom of the corn bread won’t cook.) Remove and top with the corn bread batter. Spread to edges as well as possible. Bake for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the cornbread comes out clean. If freezing, combine all ingredients except corn bread topping in a large freezer baggy. Thaw in fridge and pour into casserole or slow cooker to continue with the corn bread topping.

If using slow cooker follow directions below.

The Filling.

-- 1 pound ground beef, browned and crumbled
--1 can drained and rinsed black beans
--1 can fire roasted tomatoes
--1 can drained corn
--1 T chili powder
--1 t cumin
--1/2 t paprika
--1/4 cup diced onion
--1 small can diced chilis (if you don't like spicy, use 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper instead)
--1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

The Directions.

Spray your crockpot with cooking spray. Dump in the filling ingredients--cheese, too!-- and stir well to distribute the spices. You will not be able to stir this again, so please check to see that the spices aren't in a clump anywhere.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cornbread topping. (2 Jif mixes works or use recipe I sent earlier )
When finished, pour evenly over the filling, spreading with a spatula if needed.
Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 2-4.



1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
10 3/4 ounces cream of mushroom soup, condensed
4 ounces mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup sour cream, or yogurt

In medium skillet, brown ground beef and onion; drain excess fat. Stir in garlic salt, pepper, soup and mushrooms and Worcestershire sauce. I use the Worcestershire sauce to clean out the can of mushroom soup. Simmer covered, 15 to 20 minutes. (If freezing, this is the place to do it. When ready to use, thaw in refrigerator, pour into a slow cooker and heat for 3-4 hours on low) Stir in sour cream; heat through, but do not boil. Serve over rice or noodles.

Serving Size: 4

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner in a Rice Cooker

OK, to some people this might seem extreme. But, it is a great way to use up the leftovers from your Thanksgiving feast without having to work as hard as you did when you originally made it. And, it is a great way to have Thanksgiving dinner any time you want.

3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups wild rice
1 cups diced celery
1 onion, diced

2 cups leftover cooked turkey or 2 cups ground turkey, browned and crumbled
2 cups crumbled corn bread or 2 cups corn bread stuffing mix
1 cup frozen or fresh chopped broccoli

1 1/2 cups turkey gravy, homemade or from a jar/can
1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon dried sage or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 can cream of celery soup
2 cups chicken broth or water

In rice cooker on rice setting or a browning setting if you have one, melt the butter and add wild rice, celery and onion. Stir to coat the wild rice and let the celery and onion soften a bit.

Add turkey, corn bread and broccoli to rice cooker. Stir to mix.

In a bowl mix up the rest of the ingredients and pour over the mixture in rice cooker. Cook on white rice or mixture setting until rice cooker turns off.

Serve with fresh cranberry sauce if desired.

Note: I add no salt to most of the things I cook. In this recipe even people who love salt will probably not have to add any especially if you use canned chicken broth, cream of celery soup, gravy and cornbread stuffing mix. But, if you find the need, salt to your preference.

Today's Bottom of the Jar Cooking - Asian BBQ Sauce

I have posted before about using up the small amounts that are stuck at the bottom of jars. Today I made an Asian inspired BBQ sauce with what was left in the bottom of a chili sauce jar. Chili sauce is a spicy ketchup already, and I thought it would mingle well with Asian flavors.

One of the reasons I started doing this is to stop from washing away the good stuff in order to recycle the containers. No matter how you scrap, it seems there is always some left.

Here is what I did:

Into the jar of chili sauce that already had about 1/8 cup left in it I added:

2 tablespoons honey
1 inch piece of ginger grated
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced onion (you can used dried)
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (Thai hot sauce) - or to taste. Leave it out if you don't like spicy

Close the jar and shake to combine.
Right now it is on top of chicken that is roasting in the oven. I think it would be great on ribs and fish too.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hot Sausage Pasta

Right now I have a hot sausage and pasta dinner cooking away in my rice cooker.

1 1/2 pounds of HOT turkey sausage
1 1/2 boxes of whole grain spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves minced
4 cups water
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon oregano

1-2 cups of your favorite homemade or jarred tomato gravy (sauce to most Americans)

Put everything except the tomato gravy in rice cooker. Set to mix or white rice setting. Press start. When rice cooker turns to keep warm, check to see if it needs more gravy and add as necessary. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Friday, August 19, 2011


1/2 stick butter
1 c. rice (uncooked)
1/2 cup dry thin spaghetti, broken into one inch pieces
1/2 cup slivered almonds
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts , chunked
1 pkg. dry onion soup
2 c. chicken broth

Melt butter in rice cooker on browning cycle or white rice cycle. Add rice, pasta and almonds. Stir to coat rice with butter. Top with chicken. Add onion soup mix and chicken broth. Cover. Cook on white rice cycle or mix. Cook until rice cooker shuts off. Keeps warm for hours and doesn't lose much in flavor or texture.

Swiss, Corn, Ham and Rice bake in RICE COOKER

I invented this one for the week after a holiday when I had left over ham and corn.


2 cups fresh, frozen or 2 (14 ounce drained) cans corn
1 can evaporated skim milk
1 egg beaten
2 tbsp. chopped onion
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 cups chunked ham
1 cup rice
1 1/2 cups water

This one requires that it is mixed in a bowl first. It cooks up very thick because of the egg and if you mix it in the rice cooker pan, the egg won’t get distributed as well. Also, even though the pan in most rice cookers is non-stick, be sure to grease the pan well.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Menu 8-16 to 8-26

Diane's Menu 8-16 to 8-26

Tue 8-16 - Asian Grilled Pork Chops and Miso Sambal Cole Slaw**
Wed 8-17 - Chinese take out
Thu 8-18 - Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta in Rice Cooker
Fri 8-19 - Buffalo Wings, carrot and celery
Sat 8-20 - Black Beans and Pork Stew in Slow Cooker
Sun 8-21 - Hot Sausage and Ziti in Rice Cooker
Mon 8-22 - Pizza
Tue 8-23 - Chicken and Snow Peas over Brown Rice
Wed 8-24 - Chinese take out
Thu 8-25 - Roast Chicken Thighs and Potatoes
Fri 8-26 - Steak Wraps with Caesar Salad


Miso Sambal Cole Slaw Dressing

2 TBSP chile paste with garlic
2 TBSP chopped peeled ginger
2 TBSP white miso
2 TBSP rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 TBSP sugar or Splenda
1 1/2 TSP dark sesame oil


Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta in Rice Cooker (serves 4-6)

1 pound sturdy whole grain pasta like rigatoni, ziti or rotelle
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
4 ounces sliced prosciutto or leftover ham or deli ham
2 ounces thick sliced swiss cheese, cut up or torn
2 TBSP minced garlic
1 medium onion, diced
1 can evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup dry white wine (or sherry) and 2 1/2 cups water (or 3 cups water)
6 wedges laughing cow Swiss cheese

Put all ingredients in rice cooker. Press start. About 30 minutes into cycle check to see if there is enough water for pasta. You might have to add another 1/2-1 cup. Stir well when rice cooker is done before serving.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Celebrate Creamsicle Day with a Creamsicle Pie


serves 8, active time 30 minutes, total time 9 hours

1 packaged graham cracker crust or make your own
12 ounces evaporated skim milk
2 packages instant fat and sugar free vanilla pudding mix (3.4 ounces each)
Zest of 1 orange
16 ounces low fat cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
Garnish: Candied Orange Zest or crushed orange candies


1 Whisk together evaporated milk, pudding mix, and zest in a bowl for 2
minutes or until mixture is thickened.

2 Beat cream cheese and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer
until fluffy. Add orange juice concentrate, beating until smooth; add evaporated
milk mixture, and beat until blended.

3 Pour into crust. Cover and chill 8 hours or until firm.

4 Combine cream and confectioner's sugar in a bowl and whip with a whisk
until it holds soft peaks. Dollop or pipe each slice with whipped cream, and
garnish with candied zest or candy if desired.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fruit Risotto Oatmeal

Fruit Risotto Oatmeal
*Serves 4-6

(For anyone counting: this is fat and sugar free)

1/2 cup steel-ground oats (such as McCann’s Irish Oatmeal) (regular rolled oats works but no where near as good)
1 cup Arborio rice
1 14 ounce can evaporated skim milk and 5 cups water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean scraped
1/2 cup Splenda (sugar works too, but I don't use sugar in anything)
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup ripe raspberries
1 cup ripe strawberries, quartered
1 bag frozen raspberries, thawed and lightly drained
2 cups of any ripe fruit, peaches are my favorite

In a rice cooker (or large pot) add all the ingredients, except the fruit. Cook until done in a rice cooker. If using a pot, bring the mixture to a quick boil and then lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the raspberries and stir to combine. If using fresh fruit, stir in the strawberries and continue to stir until the berries have turned the risotto slightly pink, 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately. If you are planning on saving leftovers and heating up in the morning, only add berries to each individual serving the morning of and not to the whole batch.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad

I am always looking for a new way to use eggplant. I love the stuff. I made this salad because I have had the combo of eggplant and goat cheese on a panini and loved it. It didn't disappoint. YUMMY!!


Grilled Eggplant and Goat Cheese Salad
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
TOTAL TIME:18 min Prep:10 min
Inactive Prep:--Cook:8 min
YIELD:4 to 6 servings


3 tablespoons olive oil
7 Japanese eggplant, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch wide slices
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup basil, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped mint
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the olive oil over the slices of eggplant and toss to coat. Grill the eggplants until tender and grill marks appear, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Place the eggplants side-by-side on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, goat cheese, basil, and mint. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Cook's note: Plating the eggplant salad this way allowed the cheese to stay bright white. The salt and pepper showed up on it. The herbs remained green and fluffy. The grill marks on the eggplant were distinct.


Chicken Paninis with a side of salad tossed with my Risingwoods Vinaigrette

Ingredients for the Risingwoods Vinaigrette:

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons real maple syrup (preferably amber grade)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced or 1 teaspoon dried
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dried cranberries, minced
1/3 cup canola oil

Mix the first 6 ingredients well. Whisk in the canola oil. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Grilled Chicken Panini (makes 4)

2 large chicken breasts, butterflied and flattened slightly
8 slices sharp cheddar cheese, or 1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup fresh baby spinach
4 ciabatta rolls

Marinate the chicken breasts in 1/3 cup of the Risingwoods vinaigrette for 2-8 hours, or overnight.

Remove chicken from marinade and dry lightly with a paper towel. Grill chicken (indoors or out) for about 5 minutes on each side, depending on how thin you pounded it. It might be more or less, just be sure to cook through, but not overcook.

Slice rolls open. Toss spinach with 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette. It should be very wet. Pile spinach on bottom of rolls. Place 1 slice of cheese on top of spinach. Place grilled chicken on top of cheese, and the remaining slice of cheese on top of that. If using shredded cheese, just split 1/4 cup for each sandwich. Cover with other half of the roll.

If you have a panini machine or electric grill, like Foreman, grill the sandwich, pressing as you go, until the cheese is melted. If you don’t have one of these machines, you can grill the sandwich in any heavy skillet and use another heavy skillet to weigh it down. Some people even cover bricks with foil and grill the sandwiches on an outdoor grill.

Serve with greens tossed in the remainder of the vinaigrette.


I have made many rice pudding recipes in my rice cooker. This isn't my favorite, but it is very good and the easiest too. Since today is Rice Pudding Day, I thought I would share it.

Rice Pudding In A Rice Cooker

1 cup of short grain rice
2 cups of water
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup amber maple syrup (don't use the fake stuff, leave it out if you don't have the real stuff)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
milk to make up 4 cups total including the condensed milk (just under 3 cups)
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Rice Pudding Recipe Directions

Put the rice and water in your rice cooker, and set it to cook as plain rice.

When the rice is done, add the milk, spices, maple syrup and vanilla extract, stirring to make sure the condensed milk is mixed through. Set the rice cooker to cook again - if your rice cooker has a setting for porridge or congee, use that setting. Check it every 10-15 minutes or so, giving it a bit of a stir until you achieve the desired consistency. Coconut milk may be substituted for all or part of the milk.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Today is National Lasagna Day and I am contemplating all the possible things you can do to make Lasagna more healthy. Nothing about the traditional recipes can be considered healthy. It is laden with white pasta, full fat cheeses and lots of tomatoes and meat. All of which make for lots of fat, calories and carbohydrates.

Here are some ideas for making it a bit better for you. Pick and choose a few ideas and go ahead and try it.

- use whole grain pasta
- use lower fat cheeses
- alternate the pasta strips with strips of zucchini or eliminate the pasta and
substitute with layers of zucchini.
- use ground turkey instead of beef and sausage
- eliminate the meat and use mushrooms instead
- bulk up the cheese and meat layers with frozen and thawed and well drained

Any other ideas?

Join my Healthy Gourmet YAHOO! group for more ideas.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Green Pea Salad for 2

Green Pea Salad For 2
Serves: 2


1/3 cup fresh broccoli florets
1/3 cup fresh cauliflowerets
1 cup frozen peas thawed
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion
1 pkg ranch salad dressing mix
1/3 cup fat free plain yogurt
1 bacon strip cooked and crumbled
1 tablespoon salted cashews pieces


Place broccoli and cauliflower in a steamer basket; place in a small saucepan
over 1 in. of water. Bring to a boil; cover and steam for 2-3 minutes or until
crisp-tender. Rinse in cold water.

In a small bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, peas, celery and onion.
Combine the ranch dressing mix and yogurt; stir into vegetable mixture. Cover
and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in bacon and

Yield: 2 servings.

Summer Tips

** Oiling a grill after it's hot is the best way to prevent food from sticking,
but using a basting brush can lead to drips, which can lead to flare-ups.
Instead, saturate a tightly rolled paper towel with about a tablespoon of oil
and, using tongs, gently rub it across the grates of the grill.

** As watermelons do not ripen after picking, it's important to know a few
tricks to select a good one. A ripe watermelon should have a drab but smooth
rind; a glossy coating is a sign of immaturity. Watermelon experts listen for a
thump when they lightly smack the melon instead of a hollow or musical ring. If
you buy a precut one, look for a moist, dense, firm texture, without any white
streaks. And, if you end up with a not-that-great one, a small sprinkling of
salt - kosher salt is fine, but large crystal sea salt is better - will sharpen
the flavors and add a delicate crunch.

** Look no further than your refrigerator for simple summer sauces. Add pesto,
chopped herbs, roasted garlic, wasabi or a squeeze of citrus to store-bought
mayonnaise for cool and creamy accompaniments to poultry, meat, or fish.

** This summer, make oven-dried tomatoes. Smaller varieties like cherry, pear
and plum tomatoes work best; just make sure you use tomatoes of a similar size.
Preheat the oven to 250F and puta rack on a baking sheet. Halve the tomatoes
lengthwise and lay on the rack, skin side down. Generously sprinkle with kosher
salt and freshly ground black pepper, and strew some fresh herb sprigs, like
thyme or rosemary, over the top. Roast until the tomatoes are barely moist and
shriveled, anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, depending on their size. Pack oven-dried
tomatoes tightly in a sealed jar drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and keep
in the fridge. Use within 10 days.

Radiatore with Grilled Chicken and Eggplant

Radiatore with Grilled Chicken and Eggplant

2 large tomatoes (12 oz. each)
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 tbsp. EVOO, plus more for brushing
Salt and pepper
2 sprigs basil, plus 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
1 box (12 oz.) tricolor radiatore pasta
1 eggplant (1 lb.), sliced crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick rounds
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Preheat a grill to medium-high. Shred the tomatoes on the large holes of a box
grater set in a bowl. Stir in the garlic and 1 tbsp. EVOO; season with salt and
pepper. Add the basil sprigs and let sit at room temperature for at least 20
minutes. 2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al
dente; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to
the pot.

While the pasta is cooking, brush the eggplant with a little EVOO and season
with salt and pepper. Lightly oil the grill grate and grill the eggplant,
covered and turning halfway through, until grill marks appear and the flesh is
soft, about 10 minutes. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill,
covered and turning halfway through, until nicely marked, about 10 minutes. Set
aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Chop the eggplant and chicken and add to the pasta. Add the torn basil leaves
and the onion. Remove the basil sprigs from the sauce and discard. Toss the
sauce with the pasta, adding some of the reserved pasta cooking water to thin
the consistency, if desired; season with salt and pepper.

Use up that overflowing produce - Zucchini Pancakes

Zucchini Pancakes
2006, Barefoot Contessa at Home, All Rights Reserved

Total Time: 24 min
Prep 20 min Cook 4 min
Yield: 10 (3-inch) pancakes


2 medium zucchini (about 3/4 pound)
2 tablespoons grated red onion
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
6 to 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Unsalted butter and vegetable oil


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Grate the zucchini into a bowl using the large grating side of a box grater.
Immediately stir in the onion and eggs. Stir in 6 tablespoons of the flour, the
baking powder, salt, and pepper. (If the batter gets too thin from the liquid in
the zucchini, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.)

Heat a large (10 to 12-inch) saute pan over medium heat and melt 1/2 tablespoon
butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil together in the pan. When the butter is hot but
not smoking, lower the heat to medium-low and drop heaping soup spoons of batter
into the pan. Cook the pancakes about 2 minutes on each side, until browned.
Place the pancakes on a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven. Wipe out the pan
with a dry paper towel, add more butter and oil to the pan, and continue to fry
the pancakes until all the batter is used. The pancakes can stay warm in the
oven for up to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Honey Vinaigrette

I had a plastic jar of honey that had a slight amount left that wouldn't come out of the top. So, I used the plastic jar to mix up a vinaigrette that turn out fabulously.

Honey Vinaigrette

1-2 teaspoons honey (I am guessing at the amount left in the jar)
2 tablespoon oil from a jar of sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Mix well. In my case I just put the lid back on the bottle and shook hard. I served it over a tomato and onion salad. I think it worked so well because the honey sweetened the slightly tart tomatoes.


Menu 7-24 to

7-24 Sun - Indoor Picnic Food - Cold Roasted Chicken Drumsticks, Tomato, Cucumber and Onion Salad in a honey vinaigrette
7-25 Mon - Hawaiian Meatballs with pineapple over couscous
7-26 Tue - Grilled Chicken Sandwiches, Spinach Salad
7-27 Wed - Stewed Kielbasa in slow cooker with Cabbage and Apples
7-28 Thu - Pasta Amatriciana
7-29 Fri - Out for Wings and Music
7-30 Sat - Out with friends

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Roasted Vegetable Salad

I love roasted vegetables and I am always looking for a new way to fix them. I
have made this recipe a few times and last week, I grilled the veggies instead
of turning my oven on. It was even better grilled. If you decide to grill the
veggies, slice them lengthwise into strips so they don't fall through the grates
of the grill.

Roasted Vegetable Salad
Total Time: 1 hr 5 min
Prep 20 min
Cook 45 min
Yield: 8 cups, 10 to 12 servings
Level: Easy

2 large (1 1/4 pounds) eggplant, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 large (12 ounces) zucchini, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 medium (6 ounces) yellow squash, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 cups diced onion
1/2 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup finely chopped assorted fresh herbs, such as chives, tarragon, dill,
chervil, basil, cilantro, and parsley
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
8 ounces goat's milk feta, crumbled (about 2 cups)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the vegetables in a large mixing bowl and toss with the olive oil, salt,
and pepper, to evenly coat.

Spread the vegetables in one layer in a large roasting pan, and roast in the
preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and allow
the vegetables to cool for 15 minutes.

Place the vegetables in a large mixing bowl and toss with the fresh herbs, olive
oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Toss with
the cheese and serve.

The Mayonnaise Spoilage Myth

I have long known that commercial mayonnaise is a preservative, not a spoiler. Most people are under the misconception that it goes bad quickly and causes the foods you eat to be unsafe, especially in the summer. Nothing could be further from the truth. Read about it here:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Diane's Chili Mac in Slow Cooker

I am sure many people cook chili in their slow cooker. This is my version. It makes enough for 6 people.

2 lbs ground beef (a mixture of beef and pork also works)
1 29 ounce can tomato sauce
1 29 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 29 ounce can black beans (I often use a mixture of different beans - kidney, white, garbonzo - whatever you prefer)
2 large onions, diced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons minced garlic (approximately 6 cloves)
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1-3 teaspoons cayenne pepper or 2-3 diced fresh jalapenos
1/2 pound sturdy whole wheat pasta (like rigatoni, shells, rotini, elbows etc)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Brown ground meat in skillet, breaking up chunks.

While meat is browning put the rest of the ingredients in a slow cooker except the pasta and cheese. When meat is browned add it to slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on medium for 8-9 hours. One hour before it's done, turn to high and stir in pasta. When done, stir in cheese. Pass hot sauce if not spicy enough.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today's Bottom of the Jar Recipe

I have posted before about using the bottom of jelly/mustard jars for creating flavor profiles. Today, I made a new one.

I had about 1 teaspoon or so of mustard stuck at the bottom of a squeeze bottle of spicy brown mustard. It just wouldn't come out of the container anymore. So, I added 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup. Shake well. Covered 4 chicken leg quarters with the mixture and roasted in the oven at 375 for 1 hour and 15 minutes. YUMMY!!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rachael Ray's Fig and Fennel Chicken Review

This recipe was our dinner today. I made it exactly as written with the exception that I used bone in chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts. I cooked it on high for four hours and the chicken wasn't quite done yet. I expected that because it was dark meat. It was done perfectly on high after 5 hours.

I love the flavor of the chicken with the herbs, marsala and the flavor added to the chicken by the fennel and figs. However, the fennel in the big hunks like described never got softened enough to eat for me. I love my vegetables crispy and raw, but the large hunks of fennel were hard and difficult to eat. Next time I make it, I will shave the fennel to the same size as the onion so the flavors mix better.

My husband ate the chicken and tasted the fennel and figs, but didn't like them. Luckily there was plenty of chicken for him to eat.


Friday, June 3, 2011

What's cooking this week?

Menu 6/3/2011 - 6/11/2011

Fri 6/3 - Ravioli Lasagna with Spinach
Sat 6/4 - Beans and Kielbasa
Sun 6/5 - Mediterranean Chicken from Rachael Ray
Mon 6/6 - Pizza
Tue 6/7 - Beef Stew with Apple Beer, Potatoes and Carrots in slow cooker
Wed 6/8 - Country Style Ribs in slow cooker
Thu 6/9 - BOGO
Fri 6/10- Creamy Chicken and Noodles in Rice Cooker
Sat 6/11- ROTN - Krista's Birthday and Carnaby Street


Willy McBride's and Kilkenny Beer

My husband and I visited a restaurant called Willie McBride in South Branch, NJ this week. It is a new location for a well established place in Hoboken, NJ. I was very impressed. It is decorated like an old upscale Irish Pub. They have an awesome menu, a huge amount of high definition televisions playing your favorite games and great choices of beer.

One of the beers they had on tap is a Guinness product that is very new to the USA called Kilkenny Beer. It is a red ale with a nice foamy head. It drinks very smoothly and the taste is creamy and delicate with a malty dry finish. I could drink this all day and night. It has quickly become my very favorite beer.

I can't wait to go back and try more items from the menu, but the beer I will choose will be Kilkenny!!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Kielbasa and Apples in the Rice Cooker

This was a German inspired recipe that I made up today. The idea is to slightly sweeten the sauerkraut using the onion and apple. The red cabbage, the onion and buckwheat noodles melt into the sauerkraut so unless you really stare at it, it just looks like white and red sauerkraut.

2 cups sauerkraut, drained well (fresh, frozen, canned)
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 Vidalia onion (or any sweet onion will do), thinly sliced
1 apple, seeded, skinned, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon hot mustard
1 tablespoon horseradish
1 inch diameter bunch of buckwheat noodles, broken into 1-2 inch pieces.
1 pound ring of kielbasa, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 cup apple flavored beer (I used a Belgian wheat beer with apple, but you could also use apple cider. Apple juice would also work, but be inferior.)
3 cups water

Place all ingredients in rice cooker or slow cooker. Stir to mix. Set at white rice setting and turn on and cook until rice cooker shuts off. If using a slow cooker, cook on high for 3 hours.

Serve with more mustard if desired.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Bombay meets the Berkshires

Bombay Meets the Berkshires Chicken Salad

12 ounces Roasted Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, diced (or any leftover chicken you like)
3 ounces sliced almonds
1/2 cup diced onion, or scallions
1/2 cup dried cranberries (Try to get the unsweetened ones.)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons curry powder (We like spicy, but if you don't, start with 2 teaspoons.)
2 large handfuls baby spinach, washed and dried thoroughly

In a skillet dry roast the almonds until just starting to color and fragrant. DON'T BURN!

In a large bowl add chicken, almonds, diced onion and cranberries.

In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, yogurt and curry powder. Add to the chicken mixture. Mix well to coat.

Cut or tear spinach up into bite size pieces. Add to chicken mixture and mix well.

Serve as a salad, or in a pita as a sandwich.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

What's cooking this week?

Diane's Menu 5/12/2011 - 5/21/2011

Thu - 5/12 - Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta
Fri - 5/13 - Ditalini and Peas
Sat - 5/14 - Chicken Caesar Salad
Sun - 5/15 - Ravioli Lasagna
Mon - 5/16 - Pizza
Tue - 5/17 - Pork Meatloaf and Roast Potatoes
Wed - 5/18 - Baked Beans and Franks in Slow Cooker
Thu - 5/19 - Asian Ribs and KimChi Style Cole Slaw
Fri - 5/20 - Hot Dogs and Sweet Potato Fries
Sat - 5/21 - Buffalo Chicken Tenders over Rice, Carrot Sticks


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo with my Slow Cooker Pork Stew and Cornbread

Cinco de Mayo Pork Stew

2 1/2 pounds pork cutlets (country style pork ribs or pork for stew would also work)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 jalapeno, diced
1 link chorizo sausage, halved and sliced into half moons
1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 oz can kernal corn, drained (or 1 1/2 cups frozen)

Place pork in slow cooker.

Saute chorizo and jalapeno in a dry skillet. (If you start the chorizo first, you won't need any oil at all.) When chorizo is browned and peppers are fragrant pour over the pork in slow cooker. Add seasonings and vegetables then pour orange juice over it.

Cook on high for 4 hours or until pork is cooked through.

Serve with cornbread.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Mexican Style Chicken and White Beans

After watching a television show about the value of eating white beans I put my thinking cap on and came up with this one.

Mexican Chicken and White Beans in Slow Cooker

3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (about 18 ounces)
2 14 ounce cans of white beans (sometimes called cannellini)
2 large jalapeno peppers, diced
2 inch piece of chorizo, diced
2 leeks, cleaned, halved and sliced (just the white parts)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano

In a skillet on medium high heat saute the chorizo until heated through and browned. Remove from skillet and add to a slow cooker pot. In oils from chorizo, brown the chicken breasts and then add to the slow cooker. In same pan again, saute jalapenos and add to slow cooker.

Slice up leeks and add to slow cooker. Open cans and add to slow cooker with the liquid. Add the seasonings.

Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is cooked through.


Spices and Indian Cooking

I have become so enamored in exotic spices over the past few years. I follow quite a few blogs for Indian and Thai cooking. Monica Bhide is one of the best bloggers for this. She writes easy to read stories and even easier to follow recipes. Join her on Facebook and also on her blog A Life of Spice


Saturday, April 30, 2011

Diane's Menu 5/2/2011 - 5/11/2011

Diane's Menu 5/2/2011 - 5/11/2011

This is a celebration week! Cinco de Maya and our anniversary!

Mon 5/2 - Pizza
Tue 5/3 - Out for anniversary dinner
Wed 5/4 - Pork Cutlets and veggies with Quinoa in Rice Cooker
Thu 5/5 - Mexican Corn Cakes (filled with chorizo, jalapenos, corn, black beans and spices)
Fri 5/6 - Chicken Chili with White Beans and Spinach with Brown Rice in Rice Cooker
Sat 5/7 - Whole Wheat Pasta with Hot Sausage
Sun 5/8 - Spanish Chicken and Yellow Rice in Rice Cooker
Mon 5/9 - Pizza
Tue 5/10 - Short Ribs Stew in Slow Cooker
Wed 5/11 - Kielbasa Stew with Sauerkraut and Apples


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Diane's Menu 4/21/11 - 5/1/11

Thu 4-21 Left Over Curry Chicken and Rice
Fri 4-22 Thai BBQ Ribs, Orzo, Spinach and Pea Salad
Sat 4-23 Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry over Brown Rice
Mon 4-25 Pizza
Tue 4-26 Turkey Burgers and Red Cabbage Slaw
Wed 4-27 Take Out Chinese
Thu 4-28 Pork Cutlets and Asparagus
Fri 4-29 Pasta Primavera
Sat 4-30 Buffalo Wings, Carrots, Celery (Yes, for DINNER!)
Sun 5-1 Turkey Pizza Burgers, Carrots

Recipes for some will be posted soon!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Middle Eastern Skillet Chicken

Since I am trying to combine Simply Filling Weight Watchers with the Belly Fat Cure (counts sugar), I am using a low carb cookbook this week.

I have included the directions for skillet cooking. I will probably be making this in my rice cooker, with the rice at the same time.

Middle Eastern Skillet Chicken (Monday 4/18)

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 counces)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chicken broth

1 - Cut the chicken breasts into cubes. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet, and add the chicken and onions.
2 - Saute for a couple of minutes, then stir in the coriander, cumin cinnamon, turmeric and pepper. Cook until the chicken is white all over.
3 - Add the ginger, tomatoes, garlic and broth; stir. Cover, turn the burner to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Yield: 3 servings, each with 14 grams carbohydrates and 1 gram of fiber, for a total of 13 grams of usable carbs and 26 grams of protein (270 calories per serving)

I will probably serve this over brown rice.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Diane's Menu 3/8/2011 -

Diane's Menu 3/8/2011 -

Tue - 3/8 - Chili corn bread
Wed - 3/9 - Red Curry Shrimp over Spaghetti Squash
Thu - 3/10 - Ham and Beans
Fri - 3/11 - Veggie Stir Fry over Rice Pilaf
Sat - 3/12 - Spicy Polenta with Sausage
Sun - 3/13 - Mung Beans and Chicken Indian Style
Mon - 3/14 - Pizza
Tue - 3/15 - Pasta
Wed - 3/16 - Apricot Chicken and Veggies
Thu - 3/17 - Corned Beef, Slaw, Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Curried Quinoa and Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage

Today's Dinner in Rice Cooker: Curried Quinoa and Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausage

Put rice cooker on brown, or high - If you only have an ON/OFF cooker, you can skip the browning or brown in a skillet first

1 large onion, chopped
4 chicken sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons curry powder (we like it very hot and I make my own)

Stir to combine and let onion get soft.


1 14 ounce can fat free chicken broth
1 14 ounce can water
Empty Can filled with Quinoa

What I did was empty the can of chicken broth into the rice cooker and used the can to measure the quinoa. Then I filled can with water, which washed out any remaining quinoa.

Set rice cooker for white rice and close it to cook. When it switches to keep warm add 1 1/2 cups of frozen peas and close to allow peas to thaw and warm.

Makes enough for 3 hungry people.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Diane's Menu 2/11/2011 - 2/18/2011

Diane's Menu 2/11/2011 - 2/18/2011

Some Adjustments to Previous Menu

Fri - 2/11 - Red Curry Cod
Sat - 2/12 - FREE NIGHT OUT FOR BEEF!!!!
Sun - 2/13 - Roast Chicken, Potatoes, Carrots
Mon - 2/14 - Baked Ziti (Fat free cheeses and whole wheat pasta)
Tue - 2/15 - Kielbasa and Beans (Slow Cooker)
Wed - 2/16 - Chicken (leftover from Sunday roast) Quesidillas
Thu - 2/17 - Pea Soup with Ham (Rice Cooker)
Fri - 2/18 - Spanish Chicken and Rice


Friday, February 4, 2011

Adjustments to last Menu - 2/5/2011 -

Due to changes in diet and availability of food delivered and on sale, I have changed our menu.

2/5 - Sat - Green Chili Chicken (Weight Watchers in 20 minutes Cookbook)
2/6 - Sun - Vindaloo Beef (Aarti Party)
2/7 - Mon - Apricot Chicken
2/8 - Tue - Left over Vindaloo Beef
2/9 - Wed - Slow Cooker Chicken and Grits
2/10 - Thu - Ravioli Lasagna
2/11 - Fri - Out with friends
2/12 - Sat - Ham and Beans


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Diane's Menu 2/2/2011 - 2/10/2011

Diane's Menu 2/2/2011 - 2/10/2011

Tue - 2/2 - Sweet and Sour Pork Stew with Cherries and Pineapple
Wed - 2/3 - Ditalini and Peas
Thu - 2/4 - Red Curry Chicken over rice
Fri - 2/5 - Haddock Florentine over Lentils
Sat - 2/6 - Turkey Burgers
Sun - 2/7 - Pasta and Hot Sausage
Mon - 2/8 - Pizza
Tue - 2/9 - Beef Stew
Wed - 2/10 - Chicken Parm Wedges


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Diane's Menu 1/21/2011 - 2/1/2011

Diane's Menu 1/21/2011 - 2/1/2011

1/21 - Fri - Pasta
1/22 - Sat - Out for Birthday Dinner
1/23 - Sun - Red Curry Tilapia and String Beans
1/24 - Mon - Pizza
1/25 - Tue - Shrimp Cocktail, Peach Melba for dessert
1/26 - Wed - Beef Bourguinon a la Julia Child
1/27 - Thu - Green Chili Chicken, Broccoli
1/28 - Fri - Spanish Style Everything Rice (Rachael Ray)
1/29 - Sat - Apricot Chicken (Rachael Ray)
1/30 - Sun - Sinacore's
1/31 - Mon - Pizza
2/1 - Tue - Pork and Beans


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Today's breakfast was an experiment in spices

Today's breakfast was an experiment in spices. I filled my masala dabba (Indian spice tin) this morning and I was making my breakfast at the same time.

I heated 1 teaspoon of canola oil in a skillet. I added a heaping teaspoon of yellow mustard seeds and when they stopped popping I added a package of broccoli slaw, 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 teaspoon grated ginger. I stirred until it softened and then cracked 2 eggs right into the pan . Stirring to mix the eggs, I flattened it out to let it cook and crisp slightly on the bottom. I added 1 heaping teaspoon cilantro. Then stirred it in and served.

It is YUMMY!! And so healthy!


Monday, January 10, 2011

Slow Cooker Peach Preserves


8 cups sliced peaches, nectarines, plums or a combination
3 to 4 cups sugar (tart plums will demand the extra 1/2 to 1 cup)(Splenda works well)
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons apple juice, freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon) or

Drop the sliced fruit into the ceramic container of a slow cooker.

Mix the sugar, cinnamon and ginger in a small bowl. Toss with the fruit.
Drizzle the apple juice over the top. (We used lemon juice.)

Cook, covered, on low heat for 10 hours or until the jam passes one of the
doneness tests (see below). Alternatively, cook over low heat for 3 hours,
then increase the heat to high and cook 4 hours longer, or until the fruit
passes one of the doneness tests.

When cool, remove the fruit (use a slotted spoon if there is a lot of juice,
and reserve the juice) and puree in a blender or food processor. Add the
reserved juice, as desired. Alternatively, smash the fruit with a fork to
create a chunkier preserve.

Spoon the jam into airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for 1
to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 1 year. Leave at least 1/2 inch of
head space when storing in the freezer.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Red Thai Curry Haddock

Red Thai Haddock:

1 lb cubed, skinned, haddock
1 tbsp oil
1 onion thinly sliced
2 tomatoes diced (out of season, 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes works well)**
14 oz can coconut milk
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp Soy sauce
Pinch fresh basil & cilantro leaves
Salt & pepper

Heat the oil in large pan and add the onion - cook well until brown in color.
Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute then stir in the curry paste & coconut milk.
Bring to gentle simmer and add the fish, cook gently for 4 - 5 minutes until the fish is tender.

Stir in the lemon juice, soy sauce, fresh herbs and season to taste.
Serve with jasmine rice.

** I used stewed tomatoes that already had basil in them and skipped the fresh basil.


Red Thai Curry with Cauliflower

I love cauliflower. It is my very favorite vegetable. Unfortunately, my hubby doesn't like it at all. So, this is something that I make for myself for lunch sometimes when he isn't home. I have done it over tofu and shrimp as suggested and also over leftover shredded chicken. It is all wonderful!

Red Thai Curry with Cauliflower

This recipe is pretty fast…for a slow cooker. It only needs 2.5 hours, so you can set it in the afternoon for dinner, or start it in the morning and it’s ready for lunchtime. The leftovers are fabulous; heat up a container of this at work and everyone will be sniffing the air at lunchtime, asking “Mmmm, what is that?” In fact, I often make it just for leftovers, I’ll start it after work when I get home, (have something else for dinner) and before bed pack it up for the next few day’s lunches.

Red Thai Curry

If you’re not a tofu fan, don’t sweat it. Serve the curry over 1 pound of cooked shrimp instead for your protein. It is delicious either way. Sometimes I use both the tofu and the shrimp.

Notice in this recipe I used regular (not light) coconut milk, and kept the amount to 1/2 cup to keep the fat content moderate. If you choose to use light coconut milk, use 1 cup). I have no preference either way and find them equally enjoyable and creamy. :)

• 1 head cauliflower (6” diameter)
• 1 cup frozen cut green beans
• 1 cup frozen peas
• ½ cup chopped yellow onion
• 2 tablespoons minced ginger
• 2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste
• 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
• ½ cup coconut milk
• ¼ cup fresh basil, shredded
• Salt to taste (or 1 Tablespoon fish sauce)
• 1 pound extra firm tofu (or cooked shrimp)

1. Chop cauliflower into large florets and place in slow cooker. Add green beans, peas, onion, and ginger.
2. In a bowl, combine vegetable broth and curry paste, and stir until smooth. Pour over vegetables in slow cooker.
3. Cover and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.
4. Stir in the coconut milk and shredded basil, and season to taste with salt or fish sauce.
5. Cube the tofu and place into serving bowls. Ladle hot curry over tofu to serve.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 262 calories, 12 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 24 g total carbohydrate, 8 g dietary fiber, 17 g protein, 637 mg sodium.

Per serving (with shrimp instead): 263 calories, 8 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 218 mg cholesterol, 20 g total carbohydrate, 6 g dietary fiber, 29 g protein, 884 mg sodium.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Persian Food?? What's next for me??

This is on my to try list. I love lamb, and I absolutely love cinnamon in savory dishes. It imparts a warm and comforting feeling on the tongue. And the fragrance when cooking is heavenly.

Adas Polow (Persian ground lamb, lentils and rice)

•1 cup small black lentils, green lentils, or
brown lentils -- I used black
•1 cup basmati rice
•1 lb ground lamb
•olive oil
•1 onion, chopped into small pieces or thin strips
•zest of 1 lemon
•1 cup dried fruit -- I am going to use dried apricots, they recommend raisins or dates
•cardamom (ground)
•cumin (ground)
•saffron: 3/4 t dissolved in 1 cup hot water, plus 1 pinch dry
•yogurt (optional)
•flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Serves 4.

1. Soak rice and lentils separately in advance of cooking, preferably overnight. (I NEVER soak rice or lentils)

2. Cook lentils and rice separately until just barely done, about 15-20 minutes. Do not overcook. (I am cooking them together in my rice cooker.)

3. In a heavy-bottomed pot, preferably one that doesn’t stick terribly much, heat butter or oil. Add onion, lemon zest and a pinch of saffron. Cook until onion is clear and a little browned, adding some salt as you stir.

4. Add lamb, salt and pepper, and stir to break up chunks and mix the lamb with the onions well. Add some of the cumin, cardamom, cinnamon and turmeric. Let lamb brown, and then add a cup of water. Let the lamb and water cook together until the water has nearly evaporated. Remove lamb mixture and set aside.

5. Mix about half a cup of the cooked rice with a tablespoon of the saffron water, a tablespoon of olive oil, and 3 tablespoons of yogurt. Spread this mixture on the bottom of the heavy bottomed pot. Add the other ingredients in layers: a layer of lentils, then of dried fruit, then of lamb, and so forth. While adding lentil- and lamb-layers, sprinkle in more salt, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and cardamom. Your top layer should be rice. When you have reached this layer, pour the remainder of the saffron water over the rice.

6. Cook the contents of this pot together for about 15 minutes. You can avoid stirring and intentionally get a browned layer on the bottom, and try to leave the dish in layers, or you can do what I did: let it cook in layers for a few minutes and then stir it all together. If you stir it together, add in more salt or spices if needed. I also stirred in a few tablespoons of butter and a few spoonfuls of yogurt.

Serve with yogurt and chopped parsley.


Bottom of the Jar Cooking

I have posted about using up the bottom of jelly and mustard jars before. Today I used up the bottom of a mayonnaise jar. I made a vinaigrette very similar to my Risingwoods dressing and left out the oil. I poured some into the nearly empty mayonnaise jar, attached the lid and shook to remove all the residue of the mayonnaise from the bottom of the jar.

Voilà!! Perfect dressing for the shredded cabbage to make a slaw for dinner.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Testing Cookbooks

There is a niche that the Food Network has missed and that the new OWN Network has filled. Cooking is great; eating is great; but how do you know if the cookbook that you are drooling over is worth it.

Anna and Kristina can help you. The show is called Anna and Kristina's Grocery Bag. On a regular basis they choose a cookbook and test quite a variety of recipes from it. So far they have chosen Julia Child's Art of French Cooking, Jamie Oliver's At Home and a Betty Crocker tome.

The girls are not cooks. By that I mean that they are less capable than most home cooks. Their inability to understand measurements (Yesterday, they couldn't figure out what a pint was) really irritates me. However, they do a great job judging the cookbooks. One could easily watch the show and decide if the cookbook would suit their tastes and their abilities.

I highly recommend this show.


Diane's Menu 1/14/2011 - 1/20/2011

Diane's Menu 1/14 2011 - 1/20/2011

Fri - 1/14 - Lentils with Lamb Sausage
Sat - 1/15 - Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Penne
Sun - 1/16 - BBQ Pork Stuffed Baked Potatoes, Broccoli Slaw
Mon - 1/17 - Pizza
Tue - 1/18 - Chicken Fried Rice, Hot and Sour Soup
Wed - 1/19 - Chili
Thu - 1/20 - Pork Roast over spiced braised Red Cabbage


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Diane's Menu 1/4/2010 -

Diane's Menu 1/4/2010 -

TUE 1/4 - Hawaiian Pork Chops, Sweet and Sour Carrots
WED 1/5 - Apple Cider Pork Roast, German Hot Potato Salad
THU 1/6 - Pasta Carbonara and Peas
FRI 1/7 - Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries
SAT 1/8 - Chicken Parmigiana
SUN 1/9 - BBQ Pork, Slaw
MON 1/10 - Pizza
TUE 1/11 - Fish Sandwich, Slaw
WED 1/12 - Twice Stuffed Baked Potatoes with BBQ Pork and Cheese
THU 1/13 - Spinach Ravioli Lasagna