Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Eggs & Hash Browns for Dinner

This post is for my darling friend Anne and her lovely daughter Grace!

As observed, this meal fits in an iron* skillet! After preparing stovetop it is finished in the oven! The combination was inspired by Cindy Petters from Hidden Pond Farm in the Finger Lake region. You can peek at an article about Cindy in Where Women Cook on page 40 or buy the fall edition.

Using an oven safe skillet brown thinly sliced small red potatoes in olive oil on med-hi heat. Be sure the potatoes are nearly cooked before moving to the next step. Sprinkle with paprika, salt & pepper. Make as many spaces as needed to melt a pat of butter and drop an egg. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes. Remove & sprinkle with favorite cheese (coarsely grated), green onions, and parsley. P< enjoys bacon so The RQ added a few yummy slices of Hickory Smoked. This dish can be tweaked in many ways. Just peek in the fridge and in the garden for fresh ingredients and ENJOY!

* An iron cast skillet is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment for the cook!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner

Roasted brussels sprouts, root veggies, marinated 'shrooms, popovers, cranberry sauce Spinach-Artichoke stuffing, and turkey roulade made a scrumptious feast for this year's Thanksgiving meal. Plenty of vegan dishes for CC and turkey for our meat lovers! We hope ALL of you enjoyed a leisurely & festive day with family and friends enjoying delicious eats and good company!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Seared Scallops & Chestnut Soup

Really, all it takes is a little butter in a skillet on the stove and The RQ is a happy woman! Sea scallops are a favorite and cook in just a few minutes! A sprinkle of Hungarian paprika and they're ready to eat! In this dish I followed Rachel Allen's recipe adding slices of Clementine oranges, brussels sprouts and bacon; a positively lovely combination.

As for the soup, chestnuts are in season so, why not! Prepare the nuts (4 cups) by first cutting a healthy "X" on the flat side of the nut. Roast the nuts in their shells in a 250F oven for 5-10 minutes . They pick up just enough moisture to easily peel the shell and skin and not burn your fingers;-) Be sure to leave the nuts in the oven while working in small batches to peel & skin. Dice/chop veggies & saute: yellow onions, carrots, & parsnips. Add chestnuts and sprinkle with cayenne & salt to taste. Deglaze with a little cream sherry then add chicken stock (6 cups). Adding a bunch of fresh thyme while cooking the soup lends a wonderful aroma and flavor emphasizing the earthiness of this hearty soup. Remove the thyme and puree with an immersion blender. When plating, add a dollop of heavy cream and sprig of fresh thyme to each bowl. For The RQ, this soup was surprisingly delicious!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dinner in "a snap" - Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp scampi, a tried and true favorite. Butter with a healthy sprinkle of red pepper flakes and smashed garlic is my preferred way to saute shrimp. A bit of white wine to deglaze the skillet is a lovely touch. Lemon juice is also nice if you prefer not to have the wine. You can also choose to use both! Boil up some linguine or fettucini, al dente and presto, dinner is ready. For your side veggie, simply add red pepper flakes and garlic to melted butter or olive to quickly saute your chopped chard. Your favorite sharp Italian cheese and freshly chopped parsley, salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste, and dinner is served.

Shopping List

shrimp, uncooked, fresh or frozen
parsley/basil, fresh
swiss chard
white wine, cooking/drinking (1/3 cup)
butter/olive oil (4 Tblsp/shrimp+desired amount to toss with pasta)
red pepper flakes (1 tsp)
Sharp Italian grating cheese: Asiago, Fontinella, Parmesan, Romano
black pepper

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dinner in "a snap" - New England Clam Chowder

The key to this rich chowder is PanaPesca's frozen clam meat. The RQ's latest find, rather P<'s find because he did the shopping;-)! As you can see from the photos the clam meat was scrumptious!

New England Clam Chowder
(recipe & shopping list)

PanaPesca Baby Clam Meat in their Natural Juices, frozen (1 pound - 300-500 pieces)
Clam Juice (32 oz)
Cream Sherry (1/3 cup)
Heavy Cream (6-8 oz)
Butter 4 Tblsp (for sauteing the veggies)
Flour (3 Tblsp)
Yellow Onion
Gold Potatoes
Red Pepper
Thyme (dried/fresh)
Red Pepper Flakes
Fresh Parsely

Melt butter in a dutch oven over med-hi heat. Add flour stirring constantly until the color reaches a medium-dark brown; making a roux*. The RQ does not make this roux as deep in color/flavor as in the etouffee dish. Next add chopped/diced veggies, red pepper flakes and dried thyme (if using fresh thyme add after liquids are added to the pot); be sure to keep veggies moving so they don't stick. Then deglaze with sherry. Gradually stir in 8 oz of the clam juice to incorporate the liquid into the roux. Add remaining juice and clams with their juices. Cover the pot and continue heating the soup over med-hi heat another 10-15 minutes. Remove lid, add cream and fresh parsley. Salt to taste. Enjoy!

*If you feel roux is too thick add more butter till desired consistency is reached.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Italian Sausage Soup

It all began with an invitation to join friends at a local establishment, The American Hotelknown for their soups! The Kale Soup that night was delicious! I was determined to duplicate it!
I began by using local Italian sausage from Aberdeen Hill Farm in Gorham, New York~yum! 
I browned the sausage, onions, and garlic creating a rich base for deglazing.
Then I added beautiful purple potatoes from our Sunday Farmer's Market (for you CC)!
All the veggies are from our local farmers!
The result of my first try was a yummy sausage soup, but not the delicious green, kale soup my friends all enjoyed! This is a work in progress and one of the many reasons The RQ loves to spend time in the kitchen! Local readers, don't wait for The RQ to solve this mystery. Head on down to the American Hotel and ENJOY a hot bowl of soup!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hearty Beef Stew

With the crisp air of autumn upon us, it is time for hearty stews and soups. Beef stew over mashed potatoes is a standard for many of us home cooks; and welcomed by all as we begin experiencing the shorter days of light and nippier temperatures. This beef stew is one of two we enjoy, and both share the fruits of a long summer harvest of local red table wine in the stewing! ENJOY!

Hearty Beef Stew

3 pounds beef brisket, chopped 1" pieces
8 strips thick cut hickory smoked bacon
2 Tablespoons butter
2 large sweet onions (vidalia/mayan), coarsely chopped
1-1/2 pounds carrots, chopped 1" pieces
2 cups red wine
2 cups chicken/vegetable broth
1-1/2 Tablespoons Penzey's Boquet Garni Seasoning Blend (savory, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, dill weed, marjoram, sage, tarragon)
salt & fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Although this meal is easy and quick to prepare, you can't forgo the 2-3 hours in the oven that make the meat in this stew fork tender! In your dutch oven cook the bacon stovetop, but don't burn. Then add chopped beef, browning all sides. This will take two batches. Place first batch in a heat proof bowl with lid. Once second batch browned, add to bowl and cover. Next add a couple Tblsp of butter to the pot. Once melted, add chopped onion, carrots, and spices. After several minutes, stirring occasionally, return resting meat and juices to dutch oven. Add wine and broth; stir, cover, and place in a 250 degree oven for a few hours. A side of mashed potatoes or egg noodles are excellent compliments that make this stew a meal.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


P< and The Red Queen have been boiling and steaming lobster for decades! 

The MOST delicious lobsters accompany the RQ's sister when she visits from Maine! 

I can't think of a better way to celebrate twenty-five years than cooking for the man who always LOVES my cooking;-) Cooking lobster is easy as pie; and this year, steamed in beer, which makes for very tender meat.

Not to worry followers, b/c P< and The RQ will celebrate in style with a five course dinner paired with Scotch at our local restaurant, The Rabbit Room. Many of you may have read about this restaurant in Where Women Cook, Autumn 2012 (Alison DeMarco, co-owner & founder)!

As always, ENJOY!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ginger-Citrus Pork Shoulder

This little piggy is slow cooked in the crock pot.

The nights have been cooling off reminding us that we have entered the autumn months. In The RQ's kitchen that means lots of root vegetables, slow cooked stews, and meat. This season pork shoulder took the lead. After soaking overnight in a sherry vinegar/orange juice seasoned (coriander) marinade, 4 1/2 lbs of flesh slow cooked for 12 hours. Only 15 minutes of browning stovetop before setting off to work and everyone returns home with tender meat to be paired with mashed potatoes and a side of your favorite cooked green.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dinner in "a snap" - Lentils, Couscous, & Fresh Veggies

Two medium pots of water. Measure half a cup of lentils to thick bottomed pot, add plenty of water to cover, a bay leaf, and bring to a boil; cover & simmer 20 minutes. In a second pot, boil 1-1/2 cups water, chicken broth, or vegetable broth, add 2-3/4 cup Couscous. Stir, remove from heat, and let stand uncovered 15 minutes, and fluff.

Drain water from lentils once cooked; remove bay leaf. Add roasted plum tomatoes prepared earlier in the week, fresh basil or mint. Saute garden fresh swiss chard in butter/olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste.

Mix chopped garlic & scant amount of sea salt into plain greek yogurt. Layer and serve it on one plate!

Shopping List
Green Lentils
Broth (chicken/vegetable)
Swiss Chard
Fresh Basil
Plain Greek Yogurt
Bay Leaf

*roasted plum tomatoes

Slight variation from my favorite Irish cook, Rachel Allen!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Thai Red Curry

Lovers of food and time spent with family P< couldn't resist taking a stab at one of our favorite dishes everyone orders at our local Thai Restaurant, THE KING AND I. Our extended family has been enjoying the delicious flavors of Thailand cuisine for decades! With all of the wonderful vegetables from our local farmers and the essential Thai seasonings that we keep on hand, P< whipped up Evil Jungle Prince, a hot, spicy, coconut sauce with fresh herbs, green beans, and bamboo shoots. You can add chicken, shrimp, fresh/fried tofu, or keep it simple and just add your favorite vegetables. The experience is all in the sauce!

Thai Red Curry Sauce

vegetable oil
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
1 Tblsp red curry paste
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup chiclken/vegetable broth
2 Tblsp fish sauce
2 Tblsp sugar
1 dried hot bird pepper, crushed (Tien-Tsin, red pepper from China, I use Penzeys)
pinch of ground turmeric

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Frozen Cocktail for a HOT Summer Night

Cream Puff, The Red Queen, & Port-less thoroughly enjoyed bringing in September with this inspiriting drink! Be sure to include something to munch on because this liquid will vanish right under your nose! Thanks Ladies!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Roasted Garden Plum Tomatoes

Enough olive oil for a healthy coating, freshly chopped garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, & black pepper slowly roasted in a jelly roll pan for six, yes SIX hours, at 250 degrees maintains the juicy factor of these tomatoes. Some recipes roast at a higher temperature for shorter periods which results in a dryer tomato. The longer roast yields RICH garden roasted tomatoes!

Note: Variation...add a bit of anchovy...and ENJOY!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dinner in "a snap" - Crab Quiche

The RQ loves quick and easy meals that take advantage of leftovers. So not only is this dinner ready in "a snap," it also made use of extra "crabmeat" not needed in an alfredo sauce prepared earlier in the week.  I've been using this quiche recipe from Craig Claiborne for over twenty years. You can doctor it any way your creativity takes you, such as pesto and Italian cheese quiche or traditional Quiche Lorraine. Enjoy!

The crust for the pie comes together quickly while the oven heats to 450 degrees. Be sure to weight this crust down while crisping! Anything that needs to be sauteed or whipped up is done easily while the crust is in the oven. This includes the quiche filling! The sauteed veggies are added first to the awaiting crust, then the crabmeat and cheese, and finally the milk & egg mixture. Pop back in the oven at 450 for 15 min then reduce the oven to 350 for about 10 till center is set. The quiche can be served immediately or allowed to cool.

Crab Quiche
(8" quiche dish)

1 1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup water, COLD

scallions or shallot chopped and sauteed
4 oz imitation crabmeat, flaked (half a package), chop/slice further if desired for smaller chunks
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan or other sharp dry Italian cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (any preferred soft cheese, i.e. swiss, smoked gouda)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups half n half (3/4 milk, 3/4 half n half is fine)
salt & pepper

Thursday, August 16, 2012

RAW Food & Leftovers for Lunch

Just another summer day enjoying the fine fruits of our local farmers. Today CC and The RQ began by layering a beautiful mauve round eggplant and yellow sweet pepper leftover from last night's steamed veggies. The RQ then whipped up a quick tapenade (kalamata olives, capers, artichoke hearts, garlic, parsley, olive oil & lemon juice) to add some rich flavors. A healthy spread of room temperature goat cheese layered with the eggplant slices added an extra nice touch for cheese lovers!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sodam Korean House

Last Thursday we attended Party in the Park. As a young adult I have never been to Party in the Park. Party in the Park is Rochester's equivalent to Thursday in the Square in Buffalo, which I have also never been to. So when my parents asked me to go with them I jumped at the opportunity! The concert was featuring Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings and actually took place at the Main Street Armory because it was going to rain. Before we went to the concert we went to Sodam. Sodam is in a very unique location at Genesee Regional Market. The interesting thing about its location is that you would have no idea that it was there unless someone told you about it. Someone that my dad works with suggested going to dinner here and we finally went! Oh my goodness. The food was delicious. We started with several small plates of kimchi, seaweed, bean sprouts and fish cakes. Then we were served roasted corn and barley tea which was very earthy tasting and delicious. After our tea we had the kimchi jeon as our appetizer. The kimchi jeon is a korean style crispy rice flour pancake with kimchi and vegetables. This was my favorite part of the meal. I could live on kimchi pancakes and be perfectly satisfied. For our entrees we ordered Dolsot Bibimbob, Shrimp and Broccoli and Bulgogi. All of the food came to the table steaming! We even saw a cup of noodles come out and broth was still boiling! I can't wait to go back and try out some other dishes at Sodam.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Flour's Sticky Buns

I have really enjoyed being home these past few weeks. I have been baking and cooking up a storm. To accompany these activities I have also enrolled in Denton Bootcamp to help even out all of this eating. So yesterday, I was on a bike ride with DD, and we were deciding what we wanted for breakfast today. She decided that she wanted sticky buns. We made the brioche last night and we got up around 7:30am and finished the buns. We made the warm goo and rolled them up with sugar and pecan goodness. Currently they are in the oven baking. I have made these once before and they were delicious! I am waiting for them to come out so I can grab a picture and put this post up! The recipe is from Flour Bakery + Cafe in Boston. I have been to the Flour Bakery at their South End location but unfortunately they were already sold out of the sticky buns before I got there. So I've never had one of theirs to compare. If you find yourself in Boston check out one of their three locations or try the recipe here. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Blueberry Cheesecake

A few nights ago for dessert we enjoyed a delicious blueberry cheesecake! This is my all time favorite cheesecake recipe because it has about half the amount of cream cheese as the other recipes. I also like this one because you can make a variety of different fruit toppings. Last week we made a blackberry, raspberry combination for the top, and tonight I decided to try blueberries. It is all depends upon what you have on hand or prefer.

Blueberry Cheesecake

12 oz Vanilla Wafers
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts
1/2 cup melted butter
1 1/2 t vanilla

24 oz cream cheese (3 packages)
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 T water
1 T cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place vanilla wafers and nuts in a food processor. Pulse until crumbs form. Add melted butter and vanilla until combined. Pout into 10-inch springform pan and press crumbs into the bottom. The crumbs should come up the sides of the pan.

In a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and the sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Add sour cream and mix again. Whip until no lumps are visible. Pour mixture into the crust and bake for 1 hour. Turn off oven and allow cheesecake to sit in the oven for an additional 30 minutes with the door open.

For the topping. Add the berries, sugar and water into a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Then mix cornstarch and a small amount of water until dissolved. Add this to the mixture and bring to a boil for at least a minute. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Pour over cheesecake and place the pan in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours before serving.

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blueberry Peach Crumb Pie

The farmers markets have been filled with delicious peaches and blueberries this summer! I have enjoyed eating and baking with both of them! I did a variation on the blueberry crumb pie and added peaches and used dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar for the crumb topping. The picture above is before I put the crumb topping on. Delicious! I think next time I might experiment and add some rum to the peach mixture! I've been reading a lot of recipes with that combination and I think it might add some jazz to this pie! I can't wait!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Chocolate Fallen Cake

In celebration of a close friends new job opportunity I decided to make a cake to share with her over a bottle of my favorite moscato, Santero Moscato d'Asti. It is very sweet and bubbly, perfect for desserts! This recipe for chocolate fallen cake is very easy to make, doesn't require a lot of ingredients and can be served with vanilla ice cream. I would recommend making this as a quick dessert that would please any chocolate lover! The texture is meant to be oozing out of the center when the cake is cut. If this does not happen then the cake is too dry for this recipe. Enjoy!

Chocolate Fallen Cake

8 T unsalted butter
8 ounces semisweet chocolate
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 T flour

Preheat oven to 375F. Generously butter and dust an eight inch springform pan with cocoa powder. 
Melt butter and semisweet chocolate together in the microwave or a double boiler. Once smooth, 
remove from heat. 

In a stand mixer, combine eggs, yolk, sugar, salt, vanilla. Beat on the highest speed until thick and pale and the volume has tripled. The mixture is done when it falls away from attachment in a smooth stream. Scape the egg mixture over the melted chocolate and fold to combine. 

Pour into your pan and bake for 27-30 minutes. The cake will look puffed with a thin top crust. Carefully remove from oven and run a knife around the outside of the cake to separate it from the pan. Cool cake for 15 minutes before serving.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blueberry Crumb Pie

I would like to sincerely apologize for my lack of presence on Together Cooking recently. After returning from Colorado I was extremely busy with moving back to school and returning to the the life of being a student. My basic day is breakfast, work, lunch, class, class, class, dinner, class, work out, homework, sleep. I promise that now that I am back to my regular routine I will be back blogging and sharing my culinary adventures with my friends and readers. I am planning on putting up some Colorado leftover posts and some new posts as well. To start this off I would like to share with you a recipe for Blueberry Crumble Pie. I decided to make this after dinner one night for dessert. If you would like to make this pie I would recommend making it ahead of serving it so that it cools to room temperature which allows the pie to set up. Otherwise you will have a liquidy mess of blueberry all over your plate. Enjoy!

Blueberry Crumble Pie

Pie Dough:
1 1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
5 T cold water
dash salt

Cut the butter into chunks and combine with the flour and salt. Add cold water until the dough forms a ball. Roll out and place in pie dish. Place the rolled out dough in the freezer for 20 minutes before adding the filling and the crumb topping.

4 cups blueberries
1 T lemon juice
3/4 cups sugar
3 T cornstarch
1/2 t lemon zest
1/4 t salt

Place the blueberries in a large bowl with lemon juice. In a separate bowl combine sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and salt. Add to berries mixture and stir. Set aside.

Crumb Topping:
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup butter, melted

Combine the dry ingredients then stir in melted butter. Remove crust from freezer. Add blueberries. Add crumb mixture. Place in 375F oven for 45 minutes. Until the berries start to bubble. Remove and let sit until room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Almond Milk

~Dedicated to Mollie and her brood!

The RQ began making almond milk when CP, CC, & LB were very young. Now they are older, and so are the RQ and P<. Making almond milk from scratch is a treat we ALL enjoy and it promotes good health. It is easy to prepare and can be tweaked to preference. We like to add a tablespoon or two of local maple syrup and a teaspoon of vanilla.

Almond Milk
1 cup almonds
4 cups water
1-2 Tblsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla

To remove almond skins
Place almonds in a heat tolerant glass/ceramic bowl.  Bring enough water to boil to cover an inch above almonds. Poor boiling water over almonds and allow to soak till cool enough to handle. Drain, rinse, and peel, using your fingertips skins pop easily off nuts. Rinse skinned nuts.

To make milk
Measure 4 cups of cold water. Place almonds in blender adding enough water to create a smooth paste that blends easily (about 1 cup of water). After about a minute or two slowly add the remaining water to the paste. I do this in two batches as my blender will not hold the full 4 cups of liquid plus almond meat. Thus, poor the first batch thru a fine mesh strainer sitting over a pot/bowl large enough to hold liquid and without strainer sitting in liquid. Use a rubber spatula press & fold any remaining water from meat of nuts. The more you press, the meatier your milk will be, or as P< says, grainy. The milk can be strained a second time if a less grainy liquid is desired. Add maple syrup and vanilla to awaiting carafe. Poor in a bit of milk and swirl to mix. Then add remaining milk, and stir. Refrigerate and enjoy!

To make banana shake
Freeze a banana (peel & wrap in plastic). Mix frozen banana with 8-10 oz of almond milk for a delicious shake!

The almond meat can be refrigerated and used as a nice body scrub in the shower! OR Dehydrated on low for 2-3 hours for a nice almond meal to be added to baked goods!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dinner in "a snap" - Grilled Chicken Salad

~Dedicated to our LOCAL FARMERS
Dinner in "a snap," code for 30-minute meal, easy as pie, duck soup, or effortless! When you want a quick easy meal any night of the week simply search for Dinner in "a snap!"

In western New York our local Farmer's Market opened last week. The connection to local farmers and produce is a magnificent way for the RQ to revive her relationship to the source of the food, the earth, as well as to the farmers who grow the crops and the family and friends for whom she is preparing the food. Our local farmer's market is open from June thru October. Available are fresh produce, all natural meets, granola, organic pasta, and much more. But the ultimate jewel is bringing home fresh local vegetables and fruits from the market. The unfolding of tonight's meal started with a vibrant head of Romaine from one farmer and a bunch of asparagus from another. It's too early for home grown tomatoes in New York so tonight the RQ used flavorful Campari tomatoes, greenhouse vine ripened and herbicide free. While the oven heats to broil for the asparagus, salad preparations begin. For blue cheese lovers the RQ tosses the lettuce with a scant amount of blue cheese dressing and then gives the pepper grinder a few turns. The tomatoes are cut in half and tossed in a simple balsamic vinaigrette (below). The asparagus as featured in the Roasted Asparagus with Lentils post is simply tossed with a bit of veggie oil, salt & pepper and broiled in the oven for a few minutes. Chicken breasts are grilled stovetop in a few tablespoons of oil in a HOT iron skillet for about six minutes each side; a quick and tasty compliment to the salad makes this a meal. Dress it all with any remaining vinaigrette from the tomatoes and blue cheese crumble. To satisfy our appetite for something sweet to follow, we simply munched on fresh local strawberries.

Shopping List-
Chicken Breasts
Romaine Lettuce
Blue Cheese Crumble
Blue Cheese Dressing
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper to taste

Balsamic Vinaigrette- 3:1 Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Balsamic Vinegar, salt & pepper to taste

Friday, June 1, 2012

Homemade Italian Pimientos

Just have to share this simple roasted red pepper recipe from The RQ's Italian grandmother. These have been a staple since Gram first shared how easy they are to prepare. Italian seasoned pimientos are great as a side to many a meal. Roasted pimientos are also great chopped up and/or added to many a salad, sandwich, veggie or baked casserole. Pimientos can include the basic red bell pepper, cherry pepper, & of course, the chili pepper.

3-4 red peppers (bell, cherry. chili)
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
13/4 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper
olive oil just to almost cover

Bake (500 degrees) or broil, or char peppers over a gas burner (personal preference). I prefer baking or broiling as it is the least messy. Place foil on bottom of oven or lower rack if want to avoid leaking juices while the skins blacken. Don't forget to turn peppers to blacken all sides, about every 10-15 min.. Once blackened place in glass bowl and place lid on top to allow the skins to peel away from flesh. Once cool. Peel and slice. Add to oil & spices, refrigerate...ENJOY!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


This Memorial Day weekend felt like July here in western New York! So for a casual outdoor meal P< fried up some beer battered catfish, oven baked fries, and cole slaw. LB prepared our standard oven fries while DD prepared the slaw. The slaw recipe came from a very dear friend, AS.  As I've always said, a recipe that can be adapted is an excellent one for the home cook.

Old-Fashioned Cabbage Salad

4 cups shredded cabbage (half a med head)
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
half a med-large onion, chopped or shredded
1/8-1/4 cup chopped pimiento


1/3 cup white vinegar (white balsamic or apple cider are also nice)
3 Tblsp salad oil (sunflower is lovely) *
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tblsp. sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt or celery salt

*if you desire a thicker dressing simply add a bit more oil till you get the desired thickness

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Stewed Beef Chunks

After a couple of weeks of sweltering heat, the rains cooled the temperatures and DD couldn't resist making a favorite Italian dinner of tender beef, stewed in red wine. Mashed potatoes, sauteed portabella mushrooms with fresh herbs and fresh plum tomatoes completed this hearty meal.

Stewed Beef

Pre-heat oven 375 degrees. In a dutch oven (med-hi stovetop) saute diced onions, carrots, and celery till golden. Add beef cheeks or any lean cut of meat traditionally used for braising or slow cooking meat (meat is packaged cut in chunks). Brown meat on all sides. Add to the pot 2-3 Tblsp of whole peppercorns, 1-2 bay leaves, and 1 cup of favorite red wine per 1 pound of beef. Cover and place in the oven for 20 min.. Reduce heat to 275 degrees for up to an hour, till meat is tender to fork. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Roasted Asparagus with Lentils

DD found this recipe from Delicious Living. What more is there to say. Surprisingly delicious~and totally good-for-you-eating! I will say this. Until this recipe I'd never broiled asparagus. I was pleased to find the asparagus cooked to perfection, maintaining a nice edible firmness.

Broiled Asparagus-Place coated asparagus (cooking spay, salt & pepper) directly under the broiler on a baking sheet lightly sprayed with oil 3 to 5 minutes. Done;-)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Shrimp Etouffee

A rich mahogany roux provides the foundation for a mouthwatering sauce for this New Orleans specialty. Cajun cooking at its best and shrimp lovers will agree, this stew is heavenly. Etouffee literally means, to smother. The oil based roux, vegetables, and spices create an amazing sauce which ultimately smothers the rice. Yes, there is rice beneath that pile of succulent shrimp and sauce. For this dish DD uses Chef Paul Prudhomme's Louisianna Kitchen recipe for basic cooked rice. I use half each clam juice & water to bake the rice, as I am making a shrimp (fish) dish. Just a hint of onions, celery, green peppers and cajun spices added to the rice for baking yields amazing flavors. The rice is covered snugly and baked for about an hour at 350 degrees. The Etouffee comes from an unknown source, and is simply delicious.

Shrimp Etouffee

Roux Base:
1/4 cup veggie oil
6 Tblsp all-purpose flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 cups clam juice (I use less for thicker sauce)
1 tsp basil, dried
1 tsp thyme, dried
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt

Shrimp saute:
6 Tblsp butter
8 green onion, sliced
2 lbs shrimp, large, deveined & peeled
2 Tblsp lemon juice
1 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce (vital ingredient)
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp hot sauce

Roux: Heat oil in heavy bottomed saucepan over med-hi heat a couple of minutes, careful not to burn. Add flour and stir constantly, cooking until the color reaches a rich mahogany. Add onion, pepper celery, & garlic until veggies begin to soften and flavors are released. Next stir in calm juice & bring to boil. Stir in spices and reduce to simmer covered an additional 10 min..

Shrimp Saute: 
Cook shrimp in a few Tblsp of butter over med heat. After a few min when shrimp begins to turn pink 2/3 up the side, add green onions and turn shrimp to cook on other side. After a couple of minutes add Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Add shrimp mixture to roux with the parsley and hot sauce...and ENJOY!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Shepherd's Pie with Lamb

Shepherd's Pie is an excellent choice for leftovers anytime of year for vegan and meat lovers alike. For this occasion, the little bit of lamb left over from our night grilling provided just enough meat to add to our basic Shepherd's Pie. This is what DD LOVES about spending time in the kitchen. It's knowing just enough about how a recipe comes together to really get creative with you meals and frugal with the ingredients you have on hand. A roux will nicely bind your veggies and meat. You can top with mashed potatoes or a simple fine bread crumb (with a couple Tblsp butter to combine). Bake in a hearty crust and ENJOY!

Wholesome Crust
3/4 cup unbleached white all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter or Vegan Buttery Sticks
3 Tblsp water (COLD)

Cut butter into combined flour & salt mixture till pea-sized lumps. Sprinkle with water pressing with the back side of a dessert fork against the bowl till dough comes together (don't overwork). To finish, bring tog with hand pressing gently against the bowl. Flatten to 4" disk and refrigerate for 30 min.. When filling is ready, roll out resting dough for desired pan size. Place in pan. Filling, roux, and topping are added next, and the pie is baked at 375 for about 35 minutes.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lazy Loaf

I found this yummy and very healthy bread recipe in Nigella Lawson's book, Nigella Express. Her book was filled with many quick recipes that I have yet to try but I made this one as soon as I stumbled across it because it was so easy and required few ingredients! I have to admit that it is quite a dense and hearty loaf. I ended up freezing it and then defrosting and toasting a piece at a time for breakfast. It reminded me of an English muffin! And despite its dense qualities I will make it again soon!

Lazy Loaf

2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups muesli
2 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup 2% milk
1 cup water

1. Mix flour, muesli, yeast and salt in a bowl then pour in the milk and water and stir. It should be runny and thick.
2. Transfer this mixture to a greased loaf pan.
3. Put into a cold oven and turn to 225F and leave for 45 minutes. Then turn the oven up to 350F for 1 hour.
4. Enjoy with butter and jam.