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.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Praises for CHEF GREG

Chef Greg Barnhill of Charles Court restaurant of THE Broadmoor was awarded Best in Show for the second year in a row, as well as best entrĂ©e for this year's April 2012 Chefs' Gala in Colorado Springs. GB's avant-gard approach provided a surprising and succulent main dish! Readers can read all about the event in the Colorado Springs Independent. With a few tips from AM, ones of chef's trusted apprentices, DD couldn't resist trying the unexpected pairings of spices with a favorite of hers, pan-seared scallops. In honor of GB's entree, DD prepared the pan-seared scallops with vanilla bean, mashed potatoes with saffron, and spring-asparagus with pancetta for an unexpected and elegant weeknight indulgence.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I used to not like pancakes. Then I had a change of heart! And now I love pancakes. I love that you can add just about anything to simple pancake batter and have an amazing pancake! This week I made Sweet Potato Pancakes! Delicious! I made a simple pancake recipe and added half a mushed up roasted sweet potato. Mushed is technical term for roasted vegetables that have been crushed to a creamy consistency. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 cup flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 Sweet Potato Roasted & Mushed

1. Sift the dry ingredients together.
2. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Add the mushed sweet potato. Bake on a skillet with butter!
3. Serve with maple syrup!

Another variation that I concocted when I was camping once was with a store bought pancake mix that only needed water added to it. I then added bananas, cinnamon and wheat germ! The addition of those three things made a to die for camping pancake recipe that was easy to whip up in the morning on the gasoline powered camping stove.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bubble Tea

In Buffalo....I used to drink a lot of Bubble Tea. Bubble Tea can be found at most Japanese and Chinese restaurants and seemed to be a big fad in Buffalo about a year ago. In between work and class I used to stop at the Japanese restaurant and grab a bubble tea and slowly sip on it during class enjoying the occasional bubble that used to slip through the fat straws that they give you to drink it with. When I went to the Asia Pacific store last week...they had bubble tea supplies...so I bought some. I decided on a watermelon mix and multi-colored tapioca balls. The drink is a powdered mix that you combine with simple syrup in milk. The tapioca balls just need to be boiled and then you are good to go. Pour over ice and enjoy! Currently I am out of bubbles...I need to get some more!