Monday, December 16, 2013

Thanksgiving Tapas


Pumpkin Gratin                  Gwurztraminer

Lime Drizzled Shrimp        Miner Viogner

Goat Cheese Pistachio       Savignon Blanc
Stuffed Apricots

Tuna                                   Viogner

Wine Tasting Menu - Spring

Shrimp                            Pinot Gigio (Cellio Schiopetto, 2004)

Garlic Mushrooms          Rose (Les Tamelles Cinsault, 2004 France)

Mediterranean Palmiers Dessert wine (Olivares 2001, Spanish)

Brie with Raspberry Caps Pinot Noir

Christmas Eve Tapas Menu

2012 (Mike, Beth, Claire, Lorraine, Katie, Reina) Wausau, WI

2013 Menu (Beth, Mike, Claire and Pat) Minocqua, WI

Blue Cheese Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates (one of our very favorites)
Hot Spiced Meatballs w/pineapple
Shrimp cocktail, great with the chardonnay
Three Cheese Walnut spread w/apples and pears (this is amazing)
Antipasto plate with various cheeses, olives, veggies, crackers (smoked gouda a huge favorite)
Herb dip
Roasted garlic, yum!
Rum Cake

We served Miner wine: Wild Yeast Chardonnay, Odessey, and Oracle.
Conversation went well into the night with a delicious port

Brunch on Christmas morning:
Egg dish
fresh baked cinnamon rolls
Grape fruit salad
Cranberry Kir Royale

NOTE: I had planned more food for an evening meal.  We were still too full a tired so leftovers were perfect while watching The Hobbit.

Sweet Barbecue or Baked Salmon

This recipe is from Colorado Colore (2002)

4 (6 oz) salmon fillets
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 T honey
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T minced parsley
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced

Pierce the salmon with a fork a place in a sealable plastic bag. Combine the soy sauce, honey, Dijon mustard, parsley, & garlic in a bowl and mix well. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the salmon and seal tightly. Turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 - 4 hours, turning occasionally. Grill over medium hear - high for 5 minutes per side or until fillets flake easily.  I have also baked the salmon in the oven for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.

Great in a salad and outstanding for salmon burgers.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pumpkin Gratin

This is one of the coolest things to make.  It is crazy putting a whole pumpkin in the oven and so much fun.  I first served it as one of the tapas for a pre Thanksgiving event.  Pairs great with a Gewurztraminer and even better with Prager Aria (a white port).

Small pumpkin with a flat bottom.  I suggest a pie pumpkin for the best flavor and a perfect size.
12 oz Swiss cheese, grated (I like using Gruyere but Emmenthaler or Appenzeller will also work) 
French bread, sliced and toasted (Get a good loaf)
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cup cream
1 t. salt
some pepper
some grated nutmeg
vegetable oil

  1. Cut off the top, as if you were going to carve a jack-o-lantern, and hollow it out. (Note: the seeds can be spread out and dried to eat later.)
  2. Slice French bread into 2-inch thick slices with a sharp knife. (Optional, Brush each side of the French bread with olive oil.) Place the French bread pieces on a cookie sheet. Put the cookie sheet into a 400 degree oven. Remove the cookie sheet after five minutes and turn the French bread pieces with tongs. Place back into the oven for another five minutes. Remove from the oven when fully toasted.\
  3. Grate about 12 ounces of one of the Swiss cheeses - Emmenthaler, Gruyere or Appenzeller (or create your own combination).
  4. Alternately layer the toast and cheese inside the pumpkin until it's almost full (leave a half inch on the top because the filling will expand a bit). 
  5. Mix 1 cup of chicken stock into a cup and a half of cream. Add a teaspoon of salt. Grind in some black pepper and grate in some nutmeg. (Optional, reduce the chicken stock and add 1/4 cup Prager Aria)
  6. Fill the pumpkin almost to the top with this mixture, 
  7. Brush the outside of the pumpkin with oil, it will look better when it emerges.
  8. Replace the top of the pumpkin, place on a sheet pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 2 hours. (Note: you will need the oven rack lower in the over to allow room.
Bring the whole pumpkin to the table. When you serve it be sure to scoop out the pumpkin flesh with the cheese and the cream. I like to serve this for our pre Thanksgiving tapas party, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. It could also be served with a light second course.

I first discovered this recipe through Ruth Riechel I follow her on Twitter @ruthreichel

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chocolate Pecan Pie

This recipe is from "The Kitchen Detective" by Christopher Kimball from America's Test
When you make this recipe it
helps to have GREAT sous-chefs
Kitchens, 2003.  I love  America's Test Kitchen!!!!  I served this for Thanksgiving.  My family isn't too crazy about pecan pie but this combo they love!!!

5 T unsalted butter
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the dough and work surface
1/2 t. table salt
2 T granulated sugar
5 T all-vegetable shortening (Crisco), chilled
4 - 6 T ice water

2 c. pecan halves
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
2 T unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 c dark corn syrup
1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 T bourbon or dark rum
1/2 c heavy cream
1/2 t table salt

1, FOR THE CRUST. (I suggest using your favorite crust recipe or buying a crust.) Cut the butter into 3/4 inch pieces and place it in the freezer for 15 minutes.  Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Place the shortening in 1-T. lumps into the food processor along with the frozen butter pieces. Pulse about 8 times (1 second pulses) or until the dough appears slightly yellow, pebbly in texture and the butter is reduced to very small pieces, the size of peas or smaller.  Check the dough after 5 pulses and every pulse thereafter. Turn the mixture into a medium bowl. (this dough can also be made by hand.  Use your finger to work the butter and shortening into the flour.)

2. Sprinkle 4 T. of ice water over the mixture.  With the blade of a large rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix., then press down on the dough with the broad side of the spatula until the dough sticks together, adding more water if the dough will not come together. (Do NOT worry about adding more water; add as much as you need to make sure the dough easily comes together and is moist. If the outside of the dough becomes very wet, simply flour it before you warp it in plastic.) Work slowly, mixing the dough to evenly distribute the water.  This should take abut 1 minute. Shape the dough into a ball with your hands, then flatten it into a 4 inch wide disk. Dust lightly with flour, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling.  (Overnight is best.)

3. FOR THE FILLING. Adjust the oven racks to the lower and middle positions and heat the over to 375 degrees. Spread the pecans on a baking sheets and toast on the middle rack until slightly darker and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Check frequently to avoid burning. Chop coarsely.  Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees.

4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave oven at 50% power for about 2 minutes.  Stir to mix. (Heat in additional 30 second intervals, if necessary.) In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk until blended.  Whisk in the corn syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, bourbon, heavy cream, salt and the melted butter-and-chocolate mixture.

5. Roll out the pastry dough and fit it into a 9 inch Pyrex pie plate. Trim, leaving 1/2 inch overlap. Fold the excess dough back under the crust and crimp with your fingers or a fork.

6. Fold the pecans into the filling and pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake on the lower oven rack for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake until the edges puffy and cracked and the center 3 - 4 inches is slightly wobbly, about 20 minutes.  Do not over bake; the pie will become tough. Cool to room temperature (about 4 hours) before serving.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Homemade Yogurt

This recipe is from Our Life Simplified


Crockpot Yogurt

Prep Time:
Cook Time:
1/2 gallon


  • 1/2 gallon milk*  (I used whole pasteurized Milk)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt with active cultures
  • * 1/2 cup powdered milk if using 2% or lower milk or ultra-pasteurized milk (I also added powdered milk.  The powdered milk is a thickening agent.)


My first batch 1/2014.  turned out GREAT!!!!! (BD)
  1. Pour milk into croc kpot.
  2. Cover, turn on high and let the milk heat until almost boiling.  The actual temp is 180 F, but I don't use the thermometer. (I do use a thermometer, BD)  Mine takes about 2 hours.
  3. Turn the crock pot off. Take the lid of and let cool back down to 115 F or where you can stick your finger in and leave it for 10 seconds.   Stir it around every once in a while as it's cooling.
  4. Stir in 1 cup of plain yogurt from the store.  If you're using powdered milk, stir in now. NOTE:  stirring the powdered milk in with a small amount of the milk separately
  5. Put lid back on, wrap entire crock pot with a beach or bath towel and set away for 8-12 hours.   I usually stick it in the oven--keeps it away from drafts and it will retain some more of the heat longer.
  6. Stir it up and put in your containers.
  7. Remember to freeze some of this in 1 cup portions (of this first batch that has been cultured from store bought yogurt) for your next batch!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sweet Potato and Squash Soup

I can't believe this is the third squash soup recipe. It's the closest I have come to my favorite squash soup from the Carlin Club in Presque Isle, WI.  The cranberry sauce is a must!!!  The recipe came to me via Addie Halfmann, Food Writer - Cooking Consultant "Fall Favorites 2004"

1 T. butter
1 lg. onion, chopped
4 c. chicken stock or broth, divided
1.5 # peeled, deseeded, cubed butternut squash, about 1 medium
1/2 # peeled, cubed sweet potato, about 1 large
2 lg carrots, peeled and sliced
1.5 t. crumbled dried sage (1 used freshly chopped)
1/2 t ground mace (I didn't have mace se used a little ground nutmeg)
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t hot pepper sauce (I used less, definitely add this too taste)
Salt to taste
1/4 c. sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 T orange juice

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently until softened and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add 2 cups broth, squash, sweet potato, carrots, sage, mace, and ginger. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low and cook until vegetables are very tender, 25 - 30 minutes.

In a food processor or blender, puree vegetable mixture. In batches, if necessary, pulsing until smooth. I used an emulsion blender. (Can we made to this point 2 days ahead and refrigerated or frozen for 1 month.)

Return puree to saucepan, whisk in remaining 2 cups broth. Simmer gently until heated through. Season with hot pepper sauce and salt to taste.

In a small sauce pan, over medium heat, combine sugar and water; bring to boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add cranberries. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally until cranberries soften and burst, about 10 minutes.  Cool slightly. In food processor or blender, puree cranberries with orange juice until smooth.  (Can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerated)

Ladle hot soup into bowls. Top with spoonful of cranberry puree; draw tip of knife through puree to create a decorative swirl, or pip through pastry bag using small tip.

6 servings

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Sweet Potato Enchiladas

    • Annie 
    • September 27, 2007
The vining sweet potato plant spends the summer collecting and funneling energy into its roots, culminating in a fall crop of beautiful, bronze tubers. The sweet potato’s rich and creamy orange flesh and earthy, sweet flavor is incredibly versatile, and lends itself perfectly to this easy and delicious recipe for Sweet Potato Enchiladas.
Irresistible and comforting, these enchiladas are also easy to make. This is a weekday meal you can throw together after work and be completely satisfied. Prepare the sauce while the potatoes are cooking, and the rest comes together quickly. Sweet potatoes make a unique yet fabulous filling.
3 medium sweet potatoes (about one pound)
3 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1½ teaspoons)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
12 corn tortillas
1 recipe enchilada sauce (below, or 4 cups prepared enchilada sauce)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch backing dish.
2. Bake the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet until soft, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool, and then peel and mash.
3. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions; sauté until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
4. Stir in the cumin, oregano, coriander and salt; cook stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the mashed sweet potatoes and cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
5. Wrap the tortillas in a dish towel and place in a steamer basket over boiling water for about 10 minutes.
6. Fill each tortilla with about 1/3 cup of the sweet potato filling and roll up. Place the filled tortillas in the prepared baking dish. Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes.
Enchilada Sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
8 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups pureed tomatoes
Salt to taste
1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, chili powder, cumin, and oregano; cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is soft, 2 to 3 more minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes and a pinch of salt, Cook over low heat until flavors are fully developed, 30 to 45 minutes. Season with more salt to taste.

Read more:

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta

Sweet potatoes and pasta may seem counter-intuitive, but here’s a recipe that uses sweet potatoes and red bell peppers in a bright “power vegetable” pasta dish that’s loaded with fresh herbs and very delicious. Any fresh herbs you have on hand, like basil, oregano, sorrel or chives, can be substituted for the tarragon.
8 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups shredded, peeled sweet potato (about 1 medium)
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup diced plum tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar or lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes or according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon oil and garlic in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is sizzling and fragrant, 2 to 5 minutes. Add sweet potato, bell pepper, tomatoes and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell pepper is tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and keep warm.
3. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the vegetable mixture, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, parsley, tarragon, vinegar (or lemon juice), salt and cheese; toss to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 2 tablespoons at a time, to achieve the desired consistency.
Recipe Nutrition: 4 servings, about 1 3/4 cups each
Per serving: 402 calories; 12 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 6g mono unsaturated fat); 7 mg cholesterol; 62 g carbohydrates; 12 g protein; 9 g fiber; 546 mg sodium; 738 mg potassium
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (140% daily value), Vitamin A (120% dv), Potassium (21% dv), Iron (15% dv).
3 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings
Exchanges: 4 starch, 2 fat

Read more:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Researching Bean & Rice recipes

I was reading "5 Food Combinations To Avoid" on Care2 Make a Difference and came across this statement about rice and beans. “Rice and beans have a synergistic effect, promoting better assimilation of each when they are together,” says Bhattacharya.

Read more:

This peaked my interest so I decided to begin investigating various rice and bean recipes.  This is not something I usually cook.  

This link has a number of different variations.  I plan to give them a try over the next few months. (BD 10/26/13)

This Red Bean and Rice recipe from Emeril Lagasse received 5 stars

I am open to other ideas and recipes so please conribute

Quiche Lorraine

Rules for a good Quiche from Jeff Smith (1984). The Frugal Gourmet. p.102
March 16, 2014
1. Always precook the pastry shell a bit - prevents soggy bottom.
2. Saute the vegetables a bit before adding them to the egg mixture to remove  unnecessary moisture.
3. Have your eggs at room temp for easier blending.
4. Use a wider pie plate or better yet a quiche pan. A simple pie plate will result in a rather thick quiche.

I want to jazz up Quiche Lorraine with some extra vegetables. Saute any combination you like: mushrooms, onions, zucchini. I tired a leek, mushroom and asparagus combo.  Next time I need to cut the asparagus and leeks into smaller, bite size pieces.

Line a quiche pan with pastry, prick with a fork, line with aluminum foil and pie weights or beans and cook for about 12 minutes at 400 degrees.

Fill half full with alternating layers of chopped boiled ham or crisp bacon, veggie mixture and Swiss cheese (can use any type of cheese) about a pound of each.

Beat and pour over: 5 eggs, 1 cup light cream or milk & 1/2 t. salt.

Top with thinly sliced tomatoes, optional.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until brown and firm on top.

This recipe can be frozen before cooking & saved for weeks before using. Thaw and cook as directed below.

This Quiche Lorraine version comes from Ruth Reichl, "The Gourmet Cookbook." @2004

In this recipe there is no cheese which is the true French approach

Basic Pastry Dough for single crust
1/2 # bacon (8 slices) cut crosswise into 1/2 inch wide pieces
4 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 t. salt
1/8 t. fresh ground nutmeg

Prepare the pastry dough and then refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and weight and bake shell until golden brown, about 10 minutes more, Transfer to a rack to cool

Meanwhile, cook the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel to drain

Whisk together eggs, cream,, and milk in a large bowl, then whisk in salt and nutmeg.  Pour into baked pir shell and sprinkle with bacon.

Bake quiche until brown and puffed, 35 - 40 minutes (center will still be slightly wobbly but not liquid.)

Serve warm or at room temp.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Coconut Cookies

This recipe is from my Mom's recipe box. I've made a few modifications.

1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup oatmeal (whole oats blended)
1 cup unsweetened coconut

1. Blend the butter and sugars together
2. Add the egg and vanilla, blend
3. Stir the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
4. Add the wet and dry ingredients together and blend.
5. Shape into small balls.
6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
7. Bake for 12-15 minutes in 350 degree oven

ENJOY these taste treats!!!!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Blueberry Pie

This recipe is from Kyle Gruening. it's a perfect bit of sweetness with a bold berry taste.  Thanks Kyle!

9" baked pie shelll
3/4 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1/8 tsp. salt
1 c. water
3-4 c. fresh blueberries
1 T. butter

In medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn starch and salt. Stir in water and 1 c. of the blueberries. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in butter. Cool and stir in remaining blueberries. Pour into pie shell. Serve with whipped cream (or ice cream). It is also great with honey Greek Yogurt (BD). Refrigerate any remaining pie after serving. (Some people like to refrigerate the entire pie before serving.)
NOTE: it takes a little time to prepare the pie crust and to let to cool before adding the blueberry picture, otherwise this is a very quick recipe and a great way to take advantage of blueberries in August.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Goat Cheese Pistachio-Stuffed Apricots

These are great paired with a sauvignon blanc.

6-8 oz softened goat cheese
1/2 # dried California Apricots (not Turkish, they lack flavor )

Soak apricots in a small amount (1/2 cup) of fresh orange juice for about 30 minutes, drain and place on paper towel.

Let the fresh soft goat cheese come to room temperature. Meanwhile, shell enough pistachios to make 1/2/ cup.  Grind 1/2 of them very fine in a spice grinder and coarsely chop the other half.  Mix the coarsely chopped nuts into the goat cheese and spoon into the apricot halves.

Sprinkle each apricot with a dusting of bright green ground pistachios.  If you have any pistachios left over, put one on top of each little filled apricot.

I can't wait to add this to our Christmas Eve tapas menu. Thanks Ruth Riechl for the recipe.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Best Spinach Salad Ever

another recipe to try.......
  • 6 Cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 Cup dried sour cherries
  • 3 Scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Green apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1/4 Cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Ounces crumbled goat cheese (optional)
1. In a large bowl, combine spinach, cherries, scallions, apples, grapes and walnuts.
2. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar and oil, and season dressing with a little salt and pepper to taste.
3. Add dressing and optional cheese to spinach-cherries mix, toss and transfer to serving plates.
Recipe Credit: Martha Stewart.

Read more:

Spinach-apple Smoothie

A recipe to try......
When I make a smoothie, I usually don't use a recipe but I do usually put in spinach.
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Granny smith apple, peeled
  • 8 Ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 Cup water
1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.
Recipe Credit:

Read more:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Boursin Cheese (Homemade)

This recipe is from Home of the Home Cook.  

2 garlic cloves
8 ounces butter, at room temperature
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (the real stuff, and freshly-grated)
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon chives
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

  1. Have cheeses and butter at room temperature.
  2. Crush garlic.
  3. Mix cheeses, butter and garlic.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, mix well.
  5. Pack into a container just large enough to hold the boursin and store in refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
  6. To serve, bring to room temperature.
  7. Serve with crackers.
  8. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving.

Can-Can Canapés! Boursin Baguette Bruschetta Recipe
Out of this world with a slice of garden fresh cucumber on a cracker!
boursin stuffed bacon wrapped chicken 
To Die for Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes Recipe
No cream cheese for me so I used a well drained block of fat-free yogurt cheese (my own drained for 24 hours). Skipped the butter as well. The flavors were just like the real thing and more than offset the loss of fat.
I served it with freshly baked whole wheat French bread and a salad, delicious. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Leeks Braised in White Wine

Leeks Braised in White Wine


6 Medium leeks, white and light green parts only
Coarse salt and freshly-ground pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Cup dry white wine
4 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
1. Prepare the leeks: dark leaves and roots off. Cut leeks in half, lengthwise. Let sit in a bowl of cold water for about ten minutes before running under a faucet to removed any debris hidden in the layers. Cut washed and cleaned leeks into two-inch pieces.
2. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and parboil leeks for about two minutes. Drain.
3. Add olive oil to a large, lidded skillet. Add leeks in a single, even layer, along with wine and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Let mixture go to a boll before covering. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes. It’s ready when most of the wine has reduced and the leeks are soft yet still intact.
4. Remove from heat, but do not drain; let the leeks cool for just a few minutes in the wine before serving. Top with parsley if desired and serve warm.

Recipe Credit: Martha Rose Shulman via the New York Times

Read more:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Marinated Mushrooms

Marinated Mushrooms
From Flickr by lydiajoy1
Looking for a great marinated mushroom recipe. I have been loving mushrooms this winter, all types mostly sauteed in butter. Below are 3 recipes I found on line.

They will be a great addition to an antipasto tray and served with sliced baguettes to dip into the marinade. I want to use a mix of cremini and oyster mushrooms.

This recipe is from the Food Network - Tyler Florence

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds cremini or button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2 lemons, zested and juiced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 small bunch fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Add 1/4 cup olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook them for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Pour over the remaining olive oil and season the mixture with salt and pepper. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool. Serve at room temperature.

This recipe is from Whole Foods Market

1 pound fresh cremini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

  • Method: 
    Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Simmer mushroom caps in salted water for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Add olive oil, vinegar, garlic, red onion, oregano, parsley, salt, peppercorns and coriander. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.
    Nutritional Info: 
    PER SERVING:110 calories (70 from fat)7g total fat1g saturated fat0mg cholesterol160mg sodium8g carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber2g sugar)3g protein

    This recipe is from Martha Stewart  Living, November 2004
    Prep Time 10 minutes   Total Time    30 minutes  Yield Serves 4  
    • Ingredients
    • 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, or a mix of cremini and oyster mushrooms
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano
    • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


    1. Trim stems from cremini (break apart oyster mushroom clusters, if using). Put mushrooms in a medium bowl, and set aside.
    2. Whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, and oregano in a medium bowl. Whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream; whisk until mixture is emulsified. Whisk in the salt and pepper. Pour marinade over mushrooms, and let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, at least 20 minutes; if desired, refrigerate mushrooms in an airtight container overnight. Serve at room temperature.

Spinach and Artichoke Pie

This recipe is from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen  by  on APRIL 18, 2006

I have been wanting to try some recipes with artichokes and plan to give this recipe a try. (BD 3/17/13) Yikes, it has tofu. This will be a first.  I am not telling mike there is tofu in here.


  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12-16 ounces baby spinach (I used the pre-washed, bagged kind)
  • 1 pound extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. minced Kalamata olives
  • pinch cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 14-ounce can quartered artichokes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, slightly crushed (or toasted pinenuts)
  • 12 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
  • olive oil in spray bottle


  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in a large, deep non-stick skillet for 3 minutes. Add the spinach and 2 tablespoons water, stir, and cover the skillet. (If you couldn’t fit all of the spinach in, wait a minute for the spinach to shrink and add more.) Cook until the spinach is completely wilted and shrunken. Set aside.
  2. While the spinach is cooking, mash the tofu and stir in the nutritional yeast and all the seasonings, including the olives. Add the artichokes, almonds, and the spinach mixture, and mix well.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 F and lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil. Unwrap the phyllo dough and arrange it beside the baking dish as described above. Lay a sheet of phyllo over the bottom of the pan, spray it lightly with olive oil, and repeat the process until you have 6 sheets in the bottom of the pan. Make sure the remaining phyllo is covered with a damp cloth, and pour the spinach-tofu filling into the pan, spreading it to completely cover the phyllo. Repeat the phyllo process, covering the filling with six more sheets, spraying each one lightly. Make sure to spray the top sheet thoroughly, so that there are no un-oiled spots.
  4. With a sharp knife, cut through the top layer of phyllo to form 9-12 equal pieces. (This helps to keep the phyllo from breaking when you cut it after baking).
  5. Put it in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. Enjoy!
Preparation time: 20 minute(s) | Cooking time: 35 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 9
Per serving: 187 Calories (kcal); 5g Total Fat; (24% calories from fat); 11g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 
0mg Cholesterol; 531mg Sodium; 6g Fiber.
OK here is some info on nutritional yeast.  This is new for me as well.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Kale Mallung (Sri Lankan Kale and Coconut)

by  on AUGUST 17, 2011

Mallung is a dry dish, so resist the temptation to add much water. I made mine mild so that I could taste the kale and coconut, but feel free to use more peppers and even keep some of the seeds in for added heat.


  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 to 2 hot chile peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 12 ounces kale, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • generous grating of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, fresh or frozen
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • salt to taste


  1. Heat a large, deep, non-stick skillet. Add the onions and peppers, and cook, stirring often, until onions soften and turn pink. Add water by the tablespoon if needed to prevent sticking.
  2. Add the kale and a splash (about 1/4 cup) of water, along with the cumin and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring every minute or so, until kale is wilted but still bright green, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the coconut and 1 tablespoon lime juice and leave on the heat just long enough to heat through. Check the seasoning and add more lime juice if needed and salt to taste. Serve hot or cold.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 10 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 94 calories, 34 calories from fat, 4.1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 40.5mg sodium, 460.9mg potassium, 13.9g carbohydrates, 3.3g fiber, 1.3g sugar, 3.7g protein, 3 points.