Sunday, January 31, 2016

Lentil Salad

This recipe is from "Favorite recipes from the Old Rittenhouse Inn" @1992 Inside Press, pg. 57
NOTE: This needs to be made the day before serving.

Serves 6-8

2 cups dry lentils (half green/half red).  I used French lentils for the green ones.
5 cups chicken stock
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 T. chopped cilantro
6 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 t. salt
1/2 t. coarsely ground pepper
12 green pimento stuffed olives, sliced
12 black olives, pitted and sliced
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 cup sliced mushrooms


  1. Cook lentils in chicken stock until done, but al dente (still firm to the bite. (NOTE: my red lentils were half lentils so I add them to the green lentils half way through the cooking process.)
  2. Drain excess liquid and chill.
  3. Combine all other ingredients
  4. Mix cooled lentils and the other ingredients. Cover and marinate overnight in refrigerator
  5. Adjust seasoning with more garlic,lemon juice, cilantro, salt or pepper before serving.
I served the salad with avocado slices and tomatoes.  

So delicious.  I will definitely make this again.

Menu - Puzzling with Friends in January

Thanks to the collaborators on this menu: Chef Patrick Moran, Katey Kinealy (Dailey), Katlyn Rodriguez and Sommilier, Claire Dailey.  The wines paired beautifully with the food.

First wine: 728 Bubbles from Fiddlehead Cellars, 2012
  • Truffle popcorn
  • Cheese crusted olive balls.  (Note: not a winner.)
  • Apple and pear slices. (NOTE: Forgot to prepare.)
Second wine:  Hungarian dry white: Pannonhalin Apatsagi 2009 Tramini
  • Butternut squash soup. Served with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar and toasted pumkin seeds.
  • Lentil salad

Third wine: French, Campuget Syrah, 2012
Fourth wine: Prager Royal Escort Port, 2010

Used a bamboo steamer to cook the squash

As a result the squash turned out to be a beautiful color.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


What would a cookbook from a Yooper be without a pasty recipe.  I get a hankering for pasties at least once a year, most often in the dead of winter.

January 2016

More to come.......

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cinnamon and Honey

People have asked me to re-post this! So here it is again!

Great information!! Cinnamon and Honey...! Drug companies won't like this one getting around.
Facts on Honey and Cinnamon:

It is found that a mix of honey and cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also note honey as very effective medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without side effects which is also a plus. Today's science says that even though honey is sweet, when it is taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm even diabetic patients. Researched by western scientists:

HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, put it on toast instead of jelly and jam and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol and could potentially save one from heart attack. Also, even if you have already had an attack studies show you could be kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of cinnamon honey strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as one ages the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and the veins.

ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients can benefit by taking one cup of hot water with two tablespoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. When taken daily even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week (out of the 200 people so treated) practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain -- and within a month, most all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis now started walking without pain.

BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder....who knew?

CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water given to a cholesterol patient was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, when taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol-could be cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and, clear the sinuses, and it's delicious too!

UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also is said to clear stomach ulcers from its root.

GAS: According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that when Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles (where DNA is contained) to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food is eaten relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals

INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural 'Ingredient' which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Use four teaspoons of honey, one teaspoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of boiling water to make a tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans increase and even a 100 year old will start performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

RASPY OR SORE THROAT: When throat has a tickle or is raspy, take one tablespoon of honey and sip until gone. Repeat every three hours until throat is without symptoms.

PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it off the next morning with warm water. When done daily for two weeks, it removes all pimples from the root.

SKIN INFECTIONS:Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin Infections.

WEIGHT LOSS:Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast and on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. When taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, even when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, when taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M., the vitality of the body increases within a week.

BAD BREATH: People of South America, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water first thing in the morning so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing.

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Salted Almonds

Thanks again to Kyle Gruening and Dennis Kohl for another great recipe. This class from Nicolet College was called Tapas and Wine.  I made these for the 1st time for our 2015 Christmas Eve Tapas event. Easy to make and to have available between courses of tapas.

1 1/2 cup whole almonds, in their skins,
4 T Spanish olive oil (I am not sure what this is so used a high quality olive oil)
Coarse sea salt
1 tsp paprika or ground cumin (opt) I used paprika

Preheat the oven to 350. Place the olive oil in a roasting pan and swirl it around so that it covers the bottom of the pan. Add the almonds and toss them in the pan so that they are evenly coasted in the oil, then spread them in a single layer.

Roast the almonds in the oven for 20 minutes, or until they are light golden brown, tossing several times during the cooking, Drain the almonds on a paper towel. (I saved the oil and used it for other purposes.) Then transfer the almonds to a bowl.

While the almonds are still warm, sprinkle with plenty of sea salt and the paprika or cumin (if desired), and toss them together to coat.  Serve the almonds warm or cold.


  • The almonds are best served freshly cooked, so, if possible, cook them on the day that you plan to eat them, However, they can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Hazel nuts, walnut halves, pistachios, peanuts and cashews could also be treated the same way.

Fondue Cheesecake Bites with Red Grape Relish

I made these for our 2015 Christmas Eve Tapas event and forgot to serve them. They are delicious! This recipe came to me from Kyle Gruening and Dennis Kohl via a Nicolet College class, Appetizers, Wine and Why, May 2008. These were such fun classes. I don't recall the wine pairing but am thinking a dry Riesling maybe a Sauvignon Blanc.

1 c. panko crumbs
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
6 T Parmesan, shredded, divided
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup shallots, minced
6 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 cup Boursin cheese, crumbled
1 egg
1/2 cup red grapes, chopped
1 tsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 325; coast mini muffin pans with nonstick spray. Combine panko, butter, 2 T Parmesan and pepper in a bowl. Spoon 1 tsp panko mixture into each muffin cup and press down with the back of a tablespoon measure. Bake 10 minutes.

Boil wine with shallots in a small saucepan over high heat until liquid is nearly evaporated. Reduce heat to low, then whisk in cream cheese until melted; stir in Boursin and remaining Parmesan until smooth, then whisk in the egg. Spoon 1 T cheese mixture into each muffin cup, then bake 15 minutes, or until set in the center.  Cool 5 minutes before removing.

Toss grapes, lime juice, and parsley together in a small bowl.  Top cheese cakes with relish before serving.

NOTE: I am not sure how well these will freeze but did give it a try.