Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thai Pho Soup

I made this pho soup after having some at a restaurant, I tried to reverse engineer it.

First, I sautéed one small white onion in a little olive oil, added two cloves crushes garlic and about two teaspoons shredded fresh ginger, I added about 3/4 cup mushrooms (I wished I had the black ear type) . Then I added 32 oz seafood stock, 1/2 lb. Fresh lomain nooddles, 1 teaspoon oyster sauces, 2 teaspoons fish sauce, 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Add 1 tablespoon fresh Thai Basil, 1 tablespoon cilantro , 1 tablespoon mint and 1/2 lb. fresh shrimp. Simmer two to three minutes. Add 1/2 lb. mung beans, simmer one more minute. Enjoy!

Note: amounts are estimates.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Festival of Leftovers

Today I needed to eat some stray items in my fridge, freezer and pantry, so here is my lunch:

Trader Joe's Couscous with lentils and baby garbonzo beans, turkey sausage, onions, carrots and zucchini. It was good, but I think I'll use the shredded veggies next time and maybe add some garlic and spinach. What is hanging out in your kitchen that you want to use up?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


So one of my favorite things to do with left over potatoes is to make hash browns.  Luckily for me, my Dad feels the same way.  Here is the yummy breakfast that he made today.  Cheese omlette with turkey sausage and hash browns.  He used his bacon press to get the hash brown crispy.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Grilled Lamb and Yogurt with Black Forrest Sauce

 So, more vacation cooking with my Dad, here in Colorado.  The funny thing is when I'm at my Dad's, I don't cook at all.  I return to the kid, at least now he lets me do the dishes.  As a person who lives alone, it is pure joy not to have to cook and clean up.  Here is one of our dinners:

Grilled Lamb Loin Chops with Pommery Mustard, fresh corn (cooked only for 3 minutes) and boiled potatoes.
Dessert was frozen yogurt with his latest project,
Black Forest Sauce (cherry with coco sauce) and chocolate sauce.  The recipe is from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.  So yummy with leftovers for lunch.


I love to see how people keep their cookbooks.  Here at Casa de Dad, he has not a shelf, but an entire bookcase of cookbooks.  I love how he has enough room to have not only his books, but little art/bookends.  My aunt make one of the pottery pieces, one bookend is made from the bricks of the building my grandfather had his dental practice in for years, the ducks were purchased on a trip to Montreal, so more memories with the books.

 Here is the go to classic section.  I love to look at his Better Holmes and Garden Cook from the 1960's "new" recipes.
Here is his Mexican food on the right and canning section to the left.  Only a tough guy like my Dad can pull off the cute bear in the bookcase.  Here is one of his favorite books.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dad's Canning Stash

My love of food came from my parents. I'm visiting my Dad this week and he was as eager as 1st place science fair winner, to show me this:

His canning stash for his Christmas care packages. I can't reveal all the goodies, but here are two gems.

Cherry and chocolate!

Pineapple Chipole Salsa!

Oh there are going to be some happy faces at Christmas Time.

Mixing Up the Salads

I have so many wonderful salads that I love to make in the summer, but sometimes I don't have all the right ingredients for one, in that case I like to mix-up the recipes.  here I have a lovely mixed green salad with grilled chicken and cilantro lime salad dressing (from Florida Style Grilled Chicken Salad).
This post has brought to my attention that I have not posted this salad, so you'll just have to wait until I make this.  It is from the book list here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Angel Eggs

Today, I was lucky enough to have my little friend L. make me lunch. This her Grandma A's famous Angel Eggs.

In the Western lore of my family we called them Cowboy Eggs. This was a piece of bread, with a hole cut out by a glass, then toasted in a pan, one egg in the hole and one added on top. Flip the whole thing and serve with the cut out on top. Enjoy with someone who can make you laugh!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

No cook dinner

I confess that I am trying to get into shape (to say again would be stretching it). So I got up early on a Sunday and took a spin class. It ruined my whole day. I can hardly walk, fell asleep in my car in the driveway and I just hope I can walk at work tomorrow. So dinner needed to be super simple with good protein for my recovery.

Here it is....
2 ears fresh corn
1 mango
1/2 can black beans
1/2 avocado
Juice of one lime
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper

I also added one slice fresh cooked turkey breast from Whole Foods. Took me less that 5 minutes to make.

So yummy and filling. I even have enough for lunch tomorrow.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Home Made Brunch

A wonderful Saturday morning here in Boston. I wanted a healthy but filling brunch (to counter act my dinner at the movie theater). One egg and two egg whites omelet with sautéed zucchini, onions and red peppers. A touch of goat cheese and cilantro gave it an extra kick.

Ice coffee and strawberries to finish! Stay tuned for movie fun.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hummingbird Cupcake

So, while I was picking up a cake for my brother-in-law's celebration. I saw this at Butter Cup Bakery. It is a hummingbird cupcake (banana and pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting). The cupcakerista said it was devine and she was on the money! Now to the party.

Location:E 52nd St,,United States

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Travel Snacks

Tonight I'm traveling to NYC for my monthly trip. I leave straight from work. After one unfortunate trip where I ate three boxes of cough drops and a pitty granola bar from my seat-mate (who I think was rightly concerned for her own safety); I now pack/buy a meal to go.

Tonight I had the left overs from my farmer's market find. Cricket Creek Farm Cheese. I had the Lavender and Honey soft cheese with a seeded Trader Joe's cracker. It was risky to eat while traveling, but I was hoping the Lavender would keep me calm. Veggie sushi rolls and a pear rounded out the meal. Extra napkins and a side of purel are always good things to keep in the lunch box.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ashley Merriman

So, one of my work friends, asked me if I wanted to go to a fundraiser where Ashley Merriman would be cooking (this was for the  St. Mark's School).  Ummm, of course I wanted to go.  First, let me say, I'm a fan of Top Chef (but maybe a bit less now).  One of the parents from St. Mark's hosted this get together, so it was also a chance to see a beautiful kitchen.  I felt like a kid getting to meet a rock star, it was a real honor and the food was wonderful....
 She started with mussels, she talked about how she is using smoked trout at the restaurant in NYC where she works, Butter, with the mussels, but she used a smoked herring since she did not have her entire bag of tricks with her.  Just watching her flip the food, arrange her space, using all her senses was like watching a pro athlete.  Sorry I don't have the exact recipes, I was too star struck to write it all down.  She sauted garlic, then added the muscles, the stock, the fish, and finished with some butter and fresh thyme.

Here is the end result (this picture is blurry, it is not your eyes).

Okay, I'll break up into more than post....stay tuned for more.....

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Ancient Grains for Modern Meals" by Maria Speck

You must buy this cookbook....Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries & More.  I was fortunate enough to hear Maria Speck speak, then cook from her book at Sofa (I have posted about this wonderful place before).  So, the evening started with some lovely wine and the cafe was closed, so we had to come around to the back part of the kitchen.  First let me say, the place was SPOTLESS.  Maria started with a little bit about how she got was inspired (from her parents' traditions), then she cooked one dish for us.  It was Quinoa with dill, zucchini, currents and scallions. 

Maria was so informative about using grains and her passion was contagious.  Her husband came along as well and they are a very sweet couple.  We received copies of the book as part of the cost for the evening.  I was afraid to look through the book with my greasy paws, but it was hard not to open it right away.  The staff from Sofra made muffins, barley sliders and a shrimp dish that I completely forget what the grain was in it.

So this book has stunning recipes, photos that will make you drool and it is full of wonderful information.  So, use my link here or go to your local book store and get this book.  I'll be cooking my way through this book this year.

Here is Maria in the kitchen talking, sorry for terrible photo.  Stay tuned for the meals I've made from the cookbook.....

Yikes, it has been awhile

I fell of the blogging wagon, but hopefully I'm back are two cupcakes from Butter Lane in NYC.  I had a Groupon for 1/2 dozen cupcakes.  So what I liked about Butter Lane, was that you got to pick the cupcake and the frosting.  So, I went with two vanilla, two chocolate and two banana.  What is pictured here are the chocolate cupcakes with cappuccino frosting and raspberry frosting.  The cake was moist and not too sweet, a wonderful combination.  The show stopper was the banana cupcake with the caramel icing with a touch of popcorn of the top.  Sorry no photo of that one, I was on the bus home from NYC and it was gone before I realized I didn't take a picture.

Friday, February 25, 2011


 So, my friend Mary had a Groupon expiring for this restaurant, so we traded, she got my Cross Country Ski Groupon at Weston Ski and I got her one for $40 for dinner at Mantra.  I hate to say this, but I think I got the better end of this deal.  So, I went after work during the week.  There was a corporate event that night, so it was pretty crowded.  I didn't make a reservation, so the only table was a high top just off the bar.  Not my first choice, but I decided to go with the flow.  After a long wait, the wait staff found me.

I started with garlic and spinach naan.  This was like listening to a beautiful musical solo playing all the parts of a complicated harmony.
 The naan came with this tomato cranberry chutney.  This was very good, the right balance of sweet and acid, but it was served super cold, not to my liking.
 This is the main dish, Goat Cheese and Potato Tikki--Caramelized eggplant, sautéed spinach and tomato coulis with fenugreek.  The tomato coulis was out of this world.  The spinach was a bit salty.  I enjoyed the presentation, but I needed a sharper knife to cut the eggplant skin.
I still had some money left, so I went the bread pudding at my server's suggestion.  This was a dessert for dessert lovers (that would me!).  It had fresh fruit, chocolate sauce, ice cream, carmel sauce and white chocolate crumbles.

Next time I'm going to the Naan bar (and I hope my Dad is in town for that adventure).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Melts!

Okay, this was my favorite this week!  The left over Buffalo Mozzarella Cheese, some pancetta and onions cooked a little pancetta grease. I know that sounds so much more worse than it is, in fact it was so yummy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I talk to my Dad almost every day.  Many of our conversations are about what to eat or how to prepare something.  When you live alone, you have a different perspective on meals.  I miss the evening family meal, but I can have that with my Dad and our cell phones.  We were talking the other days about pizza and he said that he had been having melts on flat bread as a quick pizza alternative.

So, this started me on the path, nothing is quite like a warm melty sandwich on these cold days.  This is roast beef with some leftover cheese I had in the fridge, cooked in the broiler until yum!

Here is today's sandwich, turkey, muenster cheese, yellow tomato, oil olive and mustard.  So yummy when you know you have to go out and shovel and it gives you a little extra.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I can't help myself Buffalo Mozzarella

So, I went to the store armed with a list.  I had been home sick a few days before, so bread was what I really needed to keep things calm.  I was starving (never, never do this, I know this!).  Then I walk by the table, ohhhh, I asked "What is that?", Buffalo Mozzarella, no vinegar in the brine, I had one taste.....
You know where this is going.  It was sweet, creamy, not salty,  and melted on my tongue.   Hey, cheese goes with bread right?

So then I go to bread section, they over baked for the school vacation so buy one get one free. Oh man this bad for me.  Then I see these yellow vine ripe tomatoes, fresh basil after a small backtrack.  I'm done. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Gravy Train Braised Chicken and Tamarind Roasted Vegetables

A friend was having surgery and I wanted to make a dinner to bring over for her and her family.  I went with the braised chicken, but they only like the thighs, so I just used them (I still put some pear under the skin).

The chicken is from a previous post Braised Chicken and the veggies are from from The Splendid Table Newsletter.  I love her show on NPR and listen to the pod casts. Here is the recipe:

Tamarind-Spice Glazed Roast of Brussels Sprouts, Onions and Chickpeas

Serves 3 to 4, and doubles easily
10 minutes prep time; 40 minutes oven time
Serve hot, at room temperature, or reheated. The roast keeps for 2 days in the refrigerator.

Tart, slightly sweet and subtly spiced, this is the soft side of Indian spicing. Along with the sweetness of onions, you'll taste the hint of orange that ground coriander always brings, the funkiness of cumin, and the sweet nutlike quality of roasted chickpeas.

Piled in a soup bowl with a finish of tamarind and plain whole-milk yogurt, the roast is a full supper. That touch of tamarind brings up all the other flavors.

Add a scoop of rice to the bowl and that, combined with the chickpeas in the recipe, will give you a complete protein – the same nutrition as eating a chunk of meat, but without the fat.

Cook to Cook: Tamarind tastes of dense, sour dried fruit with a strong sense of citrus and a lingering sweetness. You must try it. You can find tamarind concentrate in Asian, Hispanic, and Mediterranean groceries, and in some supermarkets. The brand we like is Tamcon. Once opened, it keeps for a year in the refrigerator. Tamarind drizzled in whole-milk yogurt is the stuff of dreams.
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tightly-packed tablespoons fresh coriander leaves
  • One 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 large or 2 medium red onions, cut into 1/4-inch wide wedges
  • 1 tightly-packed cup arugula, curly endive, or spring mix, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon Crossover Spice Blend (recipe follows), or a blend of ground coriander, ground cumin, and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate, or 1-1/2 tablespoons lime juice with a little grated zest and 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold-pressed vegetable oil or good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate (optional)
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat yogurt (optional)
  1. Heat the oven to 450°F, and put a large shallow pan on the middle rack (a half-sheet pan is ideal because you don’t want to crowd the vegetables).
  2. In a food processor, combine the garlic, fresh coriander leaves, and ginger. Process until chopped fine – don’t puree them.
  3. Turn the mix into a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients except the finishing seasonings. Toss to blend. Carefully turn the mixture out onto the hot pan, spreading the pieces to cover the entire pan. Roast for about 40 minutes, turning often and scraping up the brown glaze from the pan's bottom. Once the peppers are tender, the greens browned, and the chickpeas crisp, the roasting is done. Brussels sprouts may still have some firmness, which is fine.
  4. Taste the vegetables for seasoning, then turn them into a serving bowl. If using the tamarind, blend it in. Drop the coriander leaves over the vegetables, and pass the yogurt separately.
Crossover Spice Blend
Makes about 3/4 cup
Keeps for 3 to 4 months in a dark, cool cupboard
There is a trio of spices that easily crosses borders from North Africa to the Middle East, to India, to Mexico: cumin, coriander, and pepper. Make up this foundation blend, then alter where needed as you take it from cuisine to cuisine. For instance, Morocco might demand the addition of sweet paprika, while an Indian recipe could call for more coriander and black pepper, and Mexico more cumin and the addition of ground chiles.

Rub or sprinkle the blend over vegetables and meats when roasting, sauté it into stews and soups, and use it as a finishing spice on salads and grains. Try mixing the blend with an equal amount of brown sugar and rubbing it into meats before placing them on the grill. That same mix offers a new take on grilled fresh pineapple.

Cook to Cook: You can tease even more flavor from Crossover Spice Blend by freshly grinding whole cumin and coriander seeds.
  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup ground coriander
  • 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) freshly-ground black pepper
Blend the spices together in a jar, and seal. Store away from heat and light.

I didn't make the crossover blend, but when I delivered the meal my friends ate the tamarind with the chicken and said it was delicious.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Winner is.....

 So, in December I had a contest for what was in your pantry.  Jeanne was the winner so on my last trip to NYC we made a cooking date.  She picked the menu, Thanksgiving Lasagna,  Jeanne is an long time friend that I do not see that as much as I'd like, when we do get together, it is full of fun.

I have not had a cooking date in awhile, so it was great fun.  Jeanne's daughter has been doing a lot of the cooking and she is a vegetarian, so she wanted to make something that would be enjoyed by everyone.

The recipe was easy and it helped to buy many of the ingredients pre-cut.  It was fun to spend time visiting and cooking, not just cooking to get  the meal on the table.  It was easy to assemble, and ready to go into the oven.
 Now, here is the way to enjoying cooking!

The finished product!  Here is the recipe, cut from a magazine.  I couldn't find where it was from, but I do have the scan of it. Saving clippings, now that is a topic for late.
It was a wonderful visit and I got many envious looks on the trip back to Boston when I ate my dinner. 

Maybe you will the winner of the next contest!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Snow Blindness--Brunch at Masa

 So the snow has beaten us down here in Boston.  I had to get out and about after a week of snow, sleeping over at work. What started out as a trip to Salam for Ice Sculptures and Chocolate, turned into ice sculpting in my driveway, so after I cleaned up for the 2nd time, I just went to brunch in the south end.  I read about Masa in the Boston Globe.  So I was looking forward to trying this place out.  There was some confusion when I arrived.  I opted to sit at the bar, but it was more work that I would have liked, I had to get up to give my order after my neighbors left me their menu.  I also had to ask them to clean off the spot next to me.  But after I got over that,,,,pure joy.
I started with the Caramelized Plantain Empanada / Mexican Cinnamon Cream Cheese.  Oh this was just yummy.  Then came the next course, Santa Fe Style Eggs Benedict Atop Southwestern Biscuits
Avocado, Green Chile Hollandaise and Southwest Home Fries.  The hollandaise was dreamy, with a good amount of lemon and a nice bite.  The pico de Gallo was wonderful, fresh tomato and cilantro and onion. 

I will give the place another try, but sit at a table and see if I can get a ride so I can try one of those great drinks.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


So my New Year started out with a trip to the dentist.  I had emergency root canal, so I have been eating soft foods.  Here are some of basics that have been keeping me going, but I am getting tired of these quick!   Cottage Cheese and jarred or canned fruit.  This was my pre-medication snack for10 days.
Tomato soup with cheese and very tiny bits of chicken.  This was my dinner for 4 days.

What is your favorite feel better meal?

More Soft Food

 So my quest for soft food has brought me to some old favorites.  Here are the chicken dumplings from Lams in Newton MA.  Below is the duck soup.  This was a new find that was perfect for my tired mouth and hurt tooth.  I did cut up the duck to toddle sized pieces but the flavor was perfect.  It was enough food for three meals to boot.