Thursday, August 22, 2019

Diet Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 pint fat free sour cream
1 large chicken breast or two small breasts/thighs
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot hot sauce (or more/different hot sauce to taste)
Salt & Pepper

1. This is a great way to use leftover baked chicken - or pat breast dry, season with salt and pepper, and bake chicken in oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

2. Shred the chicken with a fork. Break up the biggest blue cheese chunks into smaller pieces.

3. In an 8x8 baking dish, combine chicken, blue cheese, half the cheddar cheese, and the hot sauce. The key here is the right amount of hot sauce. I usually use 1/4 a cup, or more of Ricky's Red Hot Hot Bonnet Sauce - a more potent option, but Frank's is a very recognizable taste for most Americans.

4. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese on top.

5. Bake for 20 minutes at 350. Easily reheated in the microwave on high for a minute or two.

Serve with tortilla chips, veggies, or anything at all.

I learned this recipe from a woman while stationed at the naval base in Newport, RI in 2011.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oatmeal Caremelitas

Recipe courtesy of Becky, who has won our cookie exchange for the second year in a row with these amazing cookies!

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Stir together:
2 Cups Flour
2 Cups Oats (I use 1 cup instant, 1 cup old fashion)
1 1/2 Cups PACKED brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda (make sure its fresh!)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup melted butter

Press 1/2 of the mix into 9X13 (or so) baking pan.

Bake 10 minutes (should look slightly puffed and golden).

Sprinkle 2 cups chocolate milk chocolate chips (one small bag is perfect).

Squeeze Caramel ice cream topping liberally over top (or make your own caramel: sugar, water, cream).

Layer remaining mix and loosely pack.

Bake for another 15 to 20 min (all choc should be melted).


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Watermelon Salad

2 cups watermelon (cubed)
2 scallions
1/2 cup feta cheese (cubed)
1/2 red onion
1/2 cucumber
1 clove garlic
spring of mint
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cube watermelon and feta. chop cucumber, scallions, red onion. Put into a large serving bowl.

2. Mince garlic and put in a separate bowl for the dressing. Add the olive oil, vinegar and mint.

3. Toss together. Chill if not served immediately.

Source: My own recipe!

Notes: this was also good when I added some pitted calamata olives, tomatoes and a little cilantro. Really refreshing for the summer.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


1 cup dried chickpeas or 16 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons flour
Oil for frying

1.Place dried chickpeas in a bowl, covering with cold water. Allow to soak overnight. Omit this step if using canned beans.

2. Drain chickpeas, and place in pan with fresh water, and bring to a boil.

3. Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then let simmer on low for about an hour.

4. Drain and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

5.Combine chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper (to taste) in medium bowl. Add flour.

6. Mash chickpeas, ensuring to mix ingredients together. You can also combine ingredients in a food processor. You want the result to be a thick paste.

7. Form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a golf ball. Slightly flatten.

8. Fry in 2 inches of vegetable oil at 350 degrees until golden brown (5-7 minutes).

Source: About Middle Eastern Food

AMENDMENTS: Firstly, I like that the chickpeas make a popping sound when cooked. Secondly, this recipe was slightly dry and so you should serve these with tomatoes and humus or tahini to get a balance.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


1 box couscous
1/4 cup chopped parsley
handful of raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds
3 threads of saffron (for taste and color)
2 tbs butter
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 tbs lemon juice

1. Boil water per the instructions on the couscous packaging.
2. Chop the pepper and the parsley and set aside.
3. When the water comes to a boil add the couscous and saffron, stir periodically.
4. After the couscous has absorbed half of the water it should look yellowish/ orangey. Add the pepper, butter, almonds and raisons and mix well.
5. When the couscous is done (absorbed all the water) add the parsley for garnish and serve hot.

Serves 2-4 depending on portion size. This can be the main dish or a side.

Recipe source: My father/ time in Morocco.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tomate du Saltambique

6 tomatoes ( I used plum tomatoes, but beefsteak or large tomatoes are probably best)

1/4 cup pecans
1 orange
1 mango or passion fruit
1/4 cup cranberries

1 cup sugar
6 tbs butter
1/4 cup cream
1/8 tsp salt

1. Make the caramel by heating the butter and the adding the sugar and salt. Dissolve the sugar slowly and add the cream. this should turn into a brown liquid.

2. Core the tomatoes, discard the and skin but save the insides for filling. Blanche the tomatoes in the caramel for thirty seconds and then place on a baking sheet. (I actually made a grid of rolled tin foil on the so the tomatoes would have their own compartments, this worked out well, and prevented the tomatoes from spilling over.) Preheat the oven to 250 F.

3. Dice the fruit and nuts and add to the caramel. Stew for 20 minutes. The cranberries will become sweeter the longer they stay in the caramel. But so will everything else. If you are try to avoid overly sweet things, perhaps leave them in for only 5 minutes, and use different fruits to substitute the cranberry like apple or kiwi instead of cranberry.

4. Drain the fruit from the caramel, while preserving the caramel. I used a meat strainer to pull out the fruit.

5. Stuff the tomatoes with the fruit. Over stuff slightly as it will cook down a little.

6. Cook in the oven at 250 F for 10-15 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream and the extra caramel sauce.

Recipe Source: The IDEA comes from Alain Passard when he cooked at the White House, but since this recipe doesn't EXIST I used the description provided on the West Wing as well as my VERY FORTUNATE one time experience from eating at L'Arpege in Paris. The recipe is therefore my own meddling with the ideas of a true master, so forgive me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Spinach and Goat Cheese Ravioli

Two hand fulls of fresh Spinach
1/2 small log Goat Cheese
1 lb. Ravioli (I used spinach and cheese, but four cheese or plain would be fine)
a small handful of pecans, chopped
1/4 cup cream (I later tried this again with 1/2 cup milk which I cooked down and bit and it was AS GOOD IF NOT BETTER)
2 tbs. butter
1 clove garlic
1 sprig rosemary
Parmesan cheese (if you like that on top)


1. Boil a pot of water for the ravioli, add a tsp. salt. Wait for this to come to a boil. When it boils, add the ravioli and cook for the time stated on the packaging.

2. In a frying pan melt the butter (I also clarified the butter, which was to take off the white stuff that floats to the top. This is protein and it burns.), add garlic finely chopped or minced.

3. Add the chopped pecans.

4. Add the spinach and wait until it wilts only slightly. Try not to over cook it or it will get bitter.

5. Add the cream/reduced milk (see above) and cheese and stir together. The cheese should not melt too much.

6. Combine sauce and pasta in a bowl.

Recipe Source: MY OWN! yay!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Heath Bar and Pecan Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
14 tbs unsalted butter, softened (1 3/4 sticks)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups chopped Heath Bar pieces (six 1.4 ounce bars, or One bag from the baking aisle)
1/2 cup choppedpecans (I obviously use pecans cause I'm a fancy pants)

1. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine Heath Bar pieces and chopped pecans. Set aside.

2. Cream butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy (make sure this is mixed well). Beat in eggs one at a time, and vanilla.

3. Alternately mix the Heath Bar mixture and the flour mixture, a third at a time, until well blended. Chill cookie dough for 30-60 minutes (so... I missed this step and still got cookies. obviously they were flat and crispy).

4. Preheat oven to 350°F. On buttered cookie sheets, spoon out the cookie dough in small 1-inch diameter balls (size of a large marble). Place dough balls 3 inches away from one another. (Make sure there is plenty of room between the cookies, because these cookies spread!)

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: Simply Recipes

AMENDMENT: The original recipe said that this made about 6 dozen cookies. THAT was a big old fat lie. It made 3 dozen 3 inch cookies. AND the cookies were really more like salty/sweet crunchy bites, which makes them better but also more like a wafer. They would be great with ice cream.

Viennese Crescents

3 dozen (depending on size)
1/2 vanilla bean
1 1/2 to 2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) and 1 tbs butter (at room temperature)
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup almonds walnuts, grated or finely chopped

1. pulverize the vanilla bean and mix it into sifted confectioner's sugar. The longer it sits the more vanilla-y the sugar will be.
2. Preheat over to 350 F degrees.
3. Mix flour and butter with your hands. Add granulated sugar, nuts, and mix until smooth.
4. Shape dough into crescent shapes, a tsp to a tbs of dough at a time.
5. bake on an non-greased baking sheet 15-20 minutes, or until points of the crescents are browned on the bottom. Allow to cool so the cookies set.
6. One at a time place the cookies in the bowl of confectioner's sugar and coat and then shake off excess powder.

AMENDMENT: Our family only uses walnuts now. But I suppose the original Viennese Crescents were Almonds. I never looked at the original recipe before. This is a family change though. I also learned the dark family cookie secret: that my grandfather cheated and got the original recipe from the New York Times in, I believe, the late 1960's/ very early 1970's and my father stole it from him. Somewhere in there our family changed it from almonds to walnuts though. So even if we DID get the recipe from a newspaper, we augmented it to make it our own. Plus, my family is actually Austrian, so Viennese Crescents are our family favorite for the holiday season.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vietnamese Crab Coleslaw

1 Thai chili or other small hot chili pepper
1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 scallions, finely sliced into rings
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces cabbage (inner white leaves only), shredded
1 medium carrot, peeled, and shredded, julienned or grated
2 cups loosely packed white crab meat
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, more for garnish

1. In a small bowl combine chili, garlic, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, fish sauce, oil and scallions. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine cabbage, carrot, crab meat and 3 tablespoons cilantro. Add chili dressing, and toss slowly until everything is coated evenly with a thin layer of dressing. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
3. To serve, arrange salad on large, flat plates. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves, and serve immediately.

YIELD: 2 to 4 servings (more like 6)

Recipe Source: The New York Times

AMENDMENT: This is one of my dad's favorites. It's a really fresh, clean salad (and really filling). Perfect for after a huge holiday weekend!

Also, I happen to think there is NOTHING better than crab and avocado as a flavor combination. Serving this with slivered avocado in it makes it really awesome.

My Dad's Peanut Satay Sauce

1/2 can coconut milk
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
2 Tbs Seasame oil
3 Tbs Thai fish sauce
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs sugar (I use brown sugar)
1/4 cup sriracha or other oriental hot sauce
1 clove garlic

1. Combine and puree in the lender or processor
2. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Source: My dad's secret cookbook

AMENDMENT: So this begins the slew of recipes I've stolen from my dad's top secret cook book. Enjoy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Potato Parmesan Soup

8 peeled and chopped potatoes
3 green onions chopped (save green for garnish)
1 minced garlic clove (I personally like more garlic, but when i tried more in this recipe it was really overpowering.)
1 1/2 tablespoons course ground pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 quart heavy cream (for a less rich option I did half cream half milk)
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
5 Tbs Chives (I used Scallions but I think adding chives make it taste even better)
6 strips Bacon

1. Boil and puree potatoes (be sure to salt the water). The creamier the mash, the better. Mine was kind of lumpy, which my mom liked but I did not.
2. Add chopped white part of green onion, chives, bacon, garlic, heavy cream, salt, and pepper. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
3. Add parmesan cheese five minutes to the end of the cook time. Take off of the burner and allow the cheese to melt completely into warmed soup.
4. Salt and pepper to taste. add greens as the garnish and more bacon bit pieces for a colorful look.

Recipe Source: My Friend Anthony! (Thanks Anthony!)

AMENDMENT: OKAY! So now that I've made this I think what would make this OUTSTANDING is to add a little finely chopped bacon or lardon to the soup. Alternatively, if you're a vegetarian, it really does NEED the fat content. Try mashing the potatoes with the cream in order to get the smoothest possible texture. Also maybe add some rosemary or some other herb to give it an additional dimension of flavor. Very good basic soup recipe. Very simple recipe and perfect for a cold winter night when you don't have much in the fridge. Could be done with Cheddar Cheese too, for a totally different and very American classic feel. Thanks Anthony!

Tonight I added 6 strips of bacon, chopped into "bacon bit" sized pieces as well as some chives, about 5 table spoons to 2 quarts of soup. IT WAS FANTASTIC. My mom even said "this soup was so perfect for a cold winter night like this!"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dad's Stuffing

Note: this recipe is also known as "Pennsylvania Dutch Stuffing" and as long as I can remember it has been a staple in my Thanksgiving. Whenever I think of the holidays, I think of this food.

1 package seasoned breadcrumbs
4 medium white/yellow onions
2 lbs potatoes
1 pint chicken stock
1 sprig fresh thyme
handful fresh parsley
fresh sage (quantity dependent on taste... we use about 10 leaves fresh sage)
salt to taste

1. Peel potatoes and boil until soft. (will be mashed)
2. Peel and chop onions. Saute in butter in a iron skillet until translucent, stirring consistently.
3. Chop sage, thyme and parsley. Add to onions, stir.
4. In a large mixing bowl, add the bread crumbs, a cup of water and chicken stock.
5. Add the onions to the breadcrumbs and stir.
6. Mash the potatoes with a little milk and butter.
7. Add potatoes to mixing bowl and stir together. Be careful not to over stir or it will get mushy.

Recipe Source: My dad <3

Amendment: It is JUST NOT THANKSGIVING without my dad's stuffing. And I wouldn't change a single thing. Photos from Thanksgiving 2009.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fresh Tilapia Croquettes

1/3 Cup divided tartar sauce
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp grated lime peel
4 4-oz. fresh tilapia fillets
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 Cups breadcrumbs
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 Large clove garlic, minced
2 Tsp. lemon pepper

Stir together tartar sauce, lime juice and peel.
Coat a large nonstick skillet with 2 tablespoons of the butter. Cook the fillets for 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes with a fork. Flake the fish fillets and place in large bowl. Add 1/3 cup of the tartar sauce mixture, breadcrumbs, egg, garlic and lemon pepper, stirring gently to combine ingredients. Shape into 6 patties.
Cook patties in batches in remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Super market cards.

Amendment: This was quite tasty but there wasn't enough citrus. I also suggest serving with a dipping sauce like cocktail or hollandaise sauce. would also work with cod or another light white fish.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lemon and Fennel Cake

For fennel:
1 fennel bulb
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
4 3-inch thin strips lemon zest
1 tsp fennel seeds

For cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Prepare cake pan:
Lightly oil pan and line with a large piece of wax paper, pleating the sides and trimming to fit. Lightly oil the paper. Line side with a 2-inch-wide strip of wax paper long enough to wrap around inside of pan to cover pleats, then lightly oil. (This will make the sides of the cake smooth.)

Make candied fennel:

1. Cut fennel bulb lengthwise with slicer into enough 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 9) to cover bottom of cake pan.
2. Cover fennel with cold water in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil. Drain fennel and set aside. Add sugar, water (3/4 cup), zest, and fennel seeds to saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add fennel slices and very gently simmer until tender and translucent and liquid is syrupy, about 40 minutes. Lift fennel slices out with a fork and arrange decoratively in bottom of cake pan. If you have more than 1/3 cup syrup, boil to reduce; if less, add water. Cool syrup slightly, then pour (through a fine-mesh sieve if desired) over fennel.

Make cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF with the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in lemon zest.
4. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and mixing until just combined. Gently spoon batter over topping, spreading evenly.
5. Bake until cake is golden-brown and a wooden pick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan 15 minutes, then invert onto a plate and continue to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Source: Gourmet Magazine, April, 2009

AMENDMENT: My dad made this tonight and it turned out pretty okay. He was upset that our slicer didn't make perfectly thin slices. Also make sure not to under bake because our wooden pick came out clean but part of the cake was undercooked and we had to put it back in! I also would suggest maybe using an olive oil infused with lemon instead of a tasteless oil on the baking pan. This will add a nice kick to the bottom of the cake.

Monday, November 9, 2009

EASY Risotto

1 medium-size onion
4 tablespoons butter (about 1/2 stick)
5 cups or more chicken broth, canned or homemade
2 cups Arborio rice
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Peel onion and finely chop.
2. melt the butter into a sauce pan and add the onion. cook until golden and translucent. Stir regularly. During this time you can add additional things like mushrooms, or later you can add green veggies you've cooked separately like asparagus.
3. In a separate saucepan bring the broth to a simmer, not a boil.
4. add the rice to the ONION. make sure the heat is low so that the rice does not brown.
5. Start adding the broth one ladle full at a time. Wait for the rise to soak up the liquid before adding more. The rice takes time to soak up all the liquid so it will look like soup before it looks like risotto. Stir constantly. This whole process will take about 20 minutes. If you run out of broth use water, or milk/ cream for a richer taste.
6. When it's done the rice will have a creamy consistency. Add the salt and pepper and stir in the cheese.

Variations: there are SO many variations but some of my favorites are mushroom, artichoke hearts, lobster or crab, chicken tomato and basil, and four cheese.

Recipe Source: trial and error. SO many errors...

AMENDMENT: The risotto pictured is a artichoke heart and leek risotto.

Sucari Cookies

1 kilo flour
1/4 tub blue band
1 pint milk
1 tbs. baking powder

1. Make a dough with the flour, baking powder, butter, and milk.
2. Add water for consistency of dough.
3. roll and cut into strips. (optional cut into shapes, make pretzels, form dough as desired)
4. fry in oil until golden on edges.
5. drain excess oil from cookies and dip or brush in syrup. leave to crystallize.

For sugar coating:
mix syrup in a ration of 1/3 water and 2/3 sugar
heat in a pan until a syrup.

Recipe Source: Aisha and Maryam Muhammad, Lamu, Kenya



1. Brown onions in a pan with oil.
2. Add tomatoes.
3. Add carrots, wash spinach.
4. When carrots are soft add spinach.
5. When the water in the spinach cooks out it is done. (note: spinach shrinks as it cooks)

Recipe Source: Aisha and Maryam Muhammad, Lamu, Kenya

Basil Pesto Sauce

Recipe One

1 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
5 tablespoons pine nuts or chopped walnuts, toasted lightly and cooled
2 large garlic clove, chopped
5 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 cup olive oil

Blend all ingredients together with salt and pepper, to taste, until smooth. if paste becomes to thick, add more olive oil, too oily, add more basil, cheese or pine nuts to maintain consistency and taste. Pesto keeps, covered and chilled, up to 1 week.

Yield: about 2/3 cup

AMENDMENT: This is a great basic recipe for pesto, and the basil can be substituted with parsley or cilantro or a combination of herbs for any pasta sauce, toast spread or appetizer dip.

Mom's Beef Stew

Ingredients: (measurements are not exact, and do not need to be)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Beef chunks
Tomatoes, canned and peeled, 2 medium size cans
Carrots, sliced, bit sized
A bay leaf

1. Dredge chunks of beef bite sized pieces in a mixture of salt pepper and flour and then brown in olive oil in a iron sauce pan until brown on all sides, leaving a floury scummy stuff in the frying pan.
2. Peel potatoes and onions. Hard boil the potatoes for a little, not all the way, and that gives you a stock
3. Then take tomatoes and put then in the pan you friend the beef to de-glaze the pan with the tomatoes. Add the beef back in and add carrots. and then you add that to the potatoes and onions.
4. If that dries out a little, add some of the potato onion water, if its not thick, add some flour.
5. Cook it all until the veggies are cooked.

Recipe Source: From my mom, from her mom (so from my grandmother).

AMENDMENT: Be careful to keep mixing this or put it on a raised burner or trivet when simmering as the bottom may burn and it can affect the taste.
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