Wednesday, November 4, 2015

EwE - Guinness Beef Stew

Well it's Thursday again!   You all know what that means at my house.  Another delicious Ellie Krieger recipe.  This week is a hearty stew with Guinness beer, sirloin steak, potatoes carrots and  green peas.  It seems like every week I am leaving out one ingredient.  This time it was the green peas.  I went back the next day and added them!

This was a tasty stew but the beer flavor was a bit bitter to us.  I liked everything else about it.

Come join us or check out our website!  Ellie


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

EwE-Orange Sesame Chicken With Snow Peas

I was thinking today how sometimes our lives take twists and turns when we least expect it!  I started blogging eight years ago when my mother passed away.  At the time I was working full-time, taking violin lessons, going to yoga twice a week, enjoying five cooking groups, and spending weekends at the lake where we worked and cleaned all the time!   I truly do not know how I managed all that!  Now I am completely retired and it seems I have filled my days once again with commitments.   Mostly fun stuff.  It is good to stay busy.   But I have been thankful for my food blogging and for the wonderful friends i have made because of it!

Gaye chose this dish for our Ellie group.   It is really good.  Comes from her weeknight wonders cookbook which I love.   It is chicken, oranges, garlic, soy, vinegar, red pepper flakes, snow peas.   I did cheat a bit and used sugar snap peas because i had them.  We agreed this was a hit at our house!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

WWDH - Roasted Brussel Sprouts with parmesan and vincotto

We love brussels sprouts at my house!  So anytime the opportunity presents itself to cook brussels sprouts, I do!   These are very flavorful.   They are roasted in the oven with garlic and lemon juice and Parmesan cheese added at the end of roasting time, then vincotto drizzled on top.   Delicious!

Never disappointed in Donna Hay recipes.   

Gaye thank you for choosing this!  Loved it!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

EwE - Mini jar pumpkin cakes

This week was my choice and I chose these mini pumpkin cakes   I thought with fall in the air it would be something to go with the season!   The recipe said you could cook them in little jars or ramekins.  As you can see I went with the ramekins.  Honestly these were so easy to put together and only took 45 seconds in the microwave to cook!  You cannot get any easier than that.  I sampled one of them and it is delicious!   Later tonight I will serve them to my husband with a dollop of vanilla ice cream on top.  But I could just eat it right out of the bowl!   The ingredients were eggs and brown sugar, flour, milk, spices, oil and canned pumpkin.   These are so easy to whip up I am sure they will be on my rotation for this season!   The recipe comes from Ellie Kreigers Off the Shelf book.   Great book and I would suggest you purchase one!
Check out our website to see how the others like these little cakes! Ellie

P.s.  I'm so excited I'm going to see the movie Woodlawn this weekend!   

Wwdh -chocolate banana and coconut muffins.

I am running a little behind this week on my blog.   Today our group made chocolate banana and coconut muffins.  I left out the coconut because the three flavors just did not appeal to me!   The jury is still out as to whether banana and chocolate muffins go together.  I have not tasted these yet as I'm saving them for breakfast tomorrow.   These called for cocoa but I just used chocolate chips instead since i was out of cocoa!

So the big home issue this week is tile for my foyer.   I ripped up the white tile over a month ago.  I had a thought that I would put the hardwoods all the way to the front door.  Well long story short I could not get hardwoods to match and was scared it would look too pieced together so I'm going back to tile.  I have three different ones I'm trying to choose between.   One of them is a light beige  so it will be almost like what I ripped up in the first place!   Do you find yourself with dilemmas like this?

Check out the muffins!   You can find the recipe   Also check our website to see if the others enjoyed these!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

WWDH-Simple Vanilla Cake

This is a simple vanilla cake that came from Donna Hays recipe book called Off the Shelf.   It was my choice for the group this week.   When I chose this I was imagining all sorts of ways to serve it.  Maybe a yummy chocolate ganache on top, or some fresh berries and whipped cream.  The cake has a ton of butter in it, but no other liquids which surprised me a bit.  At first ai thought it looked like concrete when I removed it from the oven.  But once I cut into it, it was pretty moist.  I cooked it ten minutes less than the redipe called for.   The ingredients are three eggs, vanilla, butter, flour, sugar and baking powder.  Pretty simple.   Chandler said it would be good in a bowl with milk on it!

Check out our website and see if any of the others made it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Eating with Ellie - Cauliflower with Almond Olive Tapanade

Who does not love cauliflower!!!  It is a great side dish and very versatile.  It can be mashed like potatoes, topped with cheese, or just steamed and topped with butter.   Kayte in our group chose this delicious side for us to try this week and it is a winner!  First you just steam a head of cauliflower for six minutes.   The tapenade is made in the food processor.   It was supposed to have toasted Almonds but I used walnuts instead.  Green olives, roasted red peppers, garlic, parsley, olive oil and white wine vinegar blended together with the walnuts made the topping.   This was very flavourful and a recipe I will definitely make again.   Check out our website to see if the others in the group enjoyed it.  Or come join our weekly group.

Just want to mention that we saw the movie War Room last weekend and what a beautiful story!   I highly recommend it.   

We will be traveling next week but should get back in a normal routine after that.  We are going to the New England states to see the foliage.  Very excited about this trip!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

30 minute thursdays with hazan

This week i made guliano hazan's fusilli with sausage and zucchini.  As always it took approximately thirty minutes to prepare.   I did not have fusilli in my pantry so i substituted rigatoni.

I love this book!   I think everyone should have a copy in their collection.  How can you go wrong with a good pasta dish and especially one that is so quick and easy to prepare.

This was onions, italian sausage, zucchini, and tomatoes served over pasta.  Delicious!

The others in the group are:  KayteMargaretChayaGlennis

EwE - Mulled Cider Sweet Potatoes

How does one take a delicious looking photo of a blob of mashed potatoes?  These probably would have looked more tasty had I just taken a picture of the entire bowl and not just one serving!  In our Eating with Ellie group this week it was my choice and I thought these cider potatoes would be a good beginning to fall weather.  Even though it is still hot here I can feel fall in the air.  It is coming people and soon!    However we are a bit early because Apple cider is not in season yet.  At least not here in the south.  So I substituted good old Apple Juice!   

Even though the recipe calls for two sweet potatoes i used only one but it was a big one!  And that one sweet potato made about four servings.  This was a very simple side dish to make and we liked it a lot.      You just peel your sweet potatoes, cube them, cook in boiling water until tender.  Meanwhile you make a sauce on your stove top of apple cider mixed with cinnamon nutmeg and Ginger, with butter.  The recipe called for honey but I substituted brown sugar.   Even though the spices and cider were subtle they definitely gave flavor to the potatoes.   

Come join us on Thursdays for delicious and healthy dishes.  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hazans Fettucine with Spring Vegetables -Thirty Minute Pasta

30 minute Pastas.   From Guliano Hazans Thirty Minute Pasta recipes.  This is a delicious mix of fettucine, zucchini, onion, red pepper, and asparagus finished off with some heavy cream to make a delicious pasta dish.    As with all recipes in this wonderful book, you can whip this up in thirty minutes!   It was delicious.   Check out the others and see what they made this week.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

EwE- Chicken Sausage with Quinoa

It's Thursday!   Thursday's may mean something different to me than they do to you.  For me it is cooking with Ellie Kreiger from her cookbook Weeknight Wonders.   This week Margaret chose this delicious dish with quinoa.  I have not done much cooking with quinoa. And the jury is still out as to whether I want to do a lot with it.   Having said that I did make this dish for lunch and it was delicious!  Hubby will eat the leftovers tonight while I enjoy a girls night out with my red hatters!

This was a mixture of quinoa chicken sausage onions red peppers.  It seems like I always leave out one ingredient and this time it was cilantro and lime juice.  Meant to put them in but I guess I was too hungry!   It all just smelled so good when it came together!  Again, can we say DELICIOUS?

Oh no!  I forgot to add the corn!  A key ingredient for sure!

Hope your thursday is a happy one!  The weekend is coming soon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

WWDH - Pear and Almond Galettes

It was my pic this week in our Wednesdays with Donna Hay group. I chose the pear and almond galettes.   Because I do not eat almonds however I substituted pecans.  I used red pears.  These came together so quickly and easily.  I did have to cook them a little bit longer than the recipe called for.  We really enjoyed them and had leftovers the next night!   I will definitely be making these over and over again.  I'm sure you could use apples or any other fruit or berries you chose.   They had a base of puff pastry sprinkled with nuts, Pear slices, brush with melted butter, and topped with some sugar!  You cannot get much easier than that!  If you do not have Donna Hay's Off the Shelf book you should go to Amazon right now and purchase it!  Check out our website to see what the others did with theirs.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ewe-tarragon chicken with squash curls

Kayte chose our recipe this week and a delicious one it was!  Thursdays with ellie krieger.   This week was tarragon chicken that was garnished with zucchini and yellow squash curls.   The fresh tarragon gave the chicken a lot of flavor.   We really enjoyed this!

I have had a lot going on lately.... It is summer here after all.... And that takes me outside more.  I guess my cooking and blogging have taken backseats to the beautiful weather this week.  I hope you all are enjoying good weather as well!  Check out our website to see what the others did with their chicken.   Ellie

Oh and sharknado three was the pits.   Although it was good for a chuckle or two.   I highly recommend the new mission impossible movie however!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thirty minute thursdays - Hazans Oriechetti with Broccoli

Thursdays with Hazan.   yum.  these are truly thirty minute recipes so great for working women or men who like to cook pasta.   Get his book Thirty Minute Pasta by Guliano Hazan.  amazon sells it.   i know because I ordered it when I already had one at home!   it just looked so good -- twice!  LOL.   this was really easy to prepare.  Unfortunately it called for anchovies and I do not do anchovies.  but it was delicious with just the pasta shells and broccoli, with garlic and red pepper flakes.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Weekend in a French Kitchen

Is it really the weekend again already?  A busy week means it goes  faster.  This weekend we made Red Berry Barquettes from Mimi Thorrison's book A Year in My French Farmhouse.   I did not own a barquette pan, so I substituted and used a big muffin pan.  the dough was a bit dry at first and I had to work with it just a bit.  and the barquettes crumbled easily when we tried to eat them.  but eat them we did!  Mimi said they are best eaten the same day.   we had a social function and when we got home at midnight we "tried" to eat them all!  they were that good!  I used strawberries for my red berry in these.


Next, we cooked Andrew Carmellini's Mango, Kiwi, and Coconut Tart.  I found the dough in this one to work very easily.  Loved the taste of the fruit and coconut together.  We had a garage sale here today and I treated our next door neighbors to a slice after we closed up shop!  I will say I had to cook this tart a lot longer than the recipe called for.  But it was worth the wait.  It really is delicious!

Check out our website at

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

EwE Pacific Rim Salmon Burgers

Thursdays.   Cooking with Ellie is always a treat.  You can be sure it will be tasty and healthy.  Sarah has chosen Pacific Rim Salmon Burgers found on page 91 in Weeknight Wonders.   Even though they are burgers, I chose to just serve them without the bun.   The sauce was really good but I am used to eating the salmon burgers with ketchup.  So this was quite a change for me.  It was light but with a spicy bite to it.  The ingredients were plain Greek yogurt mixed with mayonnaise, Sirachi sauce, and sesame oil, salt and pepper.   The dh said he could eat that sauce just by itself!  It is so nice to cook for those that appreciate the food.

Next week it is catch up week so no telling what we might cook.  Check out or website to see what the others thought of this dish.

Spinach and ricotta pies

It's Wednesday and that means cooking with Donna Hay!   Chaya chose for us to make these spinach and ricotta pies.  I made ginormous ones!  I think my puff pastry went into orbit or maybe I filled them to more than capacity!   They look bigger in the photo than they actually are.  Plus they are on a small plate.  There is a video of Donna Hay actually making these online and you can see it here.   In the video, Donna leaves her pies sort of open faced.  i closed mine up.   The DH is going to love having this for his lunch tomorrow.   For me personally I like foods with a little bit more flavor.  These are so easy to make and you could put many different ingredients.  Might be good with mushrooms!  Check out our site to see what the others did.

Friday, July 17, 2015

WIAFK (CB) - Andrew Carmellini’s Bow Tie Pasta with Tomato, Arugula, and Mozzarella and Mimi Thorrison's Cherry Clafoutis

Here we are back at the weekend and enjoying some french deliciousness!  First we made Cherry Clafoutis from Mimi Thorrison's book A Year in My French Farmhouse.  I believe it is pronounced cla-foo-tee.  If I am wrong please correct me!  Mimi said to leave the cherries unpitted, but to avoid broken teeth, I chose to pit mine.  This was pretty easy to prepare, but I had a hard time getting it out of the pan.  Next time I will line the pan with parchment paper as I think that would help.  It puffed up beautifully in the oven, but when you take it out, it quicky loses its puffiness.

 I finally got it onto a plate, and we took two pieces out to taste test.  It was delicious.  My photos really do not do it justice!
Next, we cooked Andrew Carmellini's Bowtie Pasta with Tomato, Arugula and Mozzarella.  This had several steps to go through to get to the finish.  At first I was unclear as to why we were discarding the spices, but after tasting it became clear that the spices were infused in the oil and gave a very rich flavor to the sauce.  I found these beautiful tomatoes at Williams Apple Orchard store nearby.
I loved how the mozzarella cubes on top of the pasta melted the next day when I reheated it.  Delicious.  This was a very good pasta.
Kind of looks like Mr. Boulud is looking over my pasta there in the first pic.  I was trying to get a shot of the pasta with the book cover Café Boulud.  Best laid plans do not sometimes pan out. 
Check out our website at


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thirty Minute Thursdays with Guliano Hazan - Fusilli with Pancetta, Peas and Cream

In our Thursday pasta group, we get to choose which pasta dish we want to prepare from Hazan's Thirty Minute Pasta cookbook.  This is the BEST book if you are a pasta lover! 

Instead of fusilli, I used farfalle, or bowtie pasta.  That is the only substitution I made in this recipe.  It was so creamy and delicious.  Will definitely be a repeat for us.

You cook your pasta.  You cook your pancetta in a little olive oil until brown. Then you add frozen or fresh peas and cook for six minutes.  Then cream is added and you cook for a few.  Mix with the pasta and voila. . .. delicious!!

Buy the book and get started or see what the others made this week by clicking these links:

Kayte, Margaret, Chaya, Glennis 

Eating With Ellie - Thai Pad Noodle Salad

Thai pad noodle salad.   The recipe I simply would have overlooked normally since no shellfish for me.  But I decided to substitute chicken and give it a try.   Am I glad I did!   Maybe I was just in the mood for it. But honestly it was the BEST lunch I've had in a long time.  I wanted to eat the entire bowl.   I halved the recipe so it really makes a lot.  Lucky for Chandler he gets the other half for his lunch today and I am jealous.  I will make this again and again but I will most likely leave out the scrambled egg. I did not think it added anything to the salad.   I used rotisserie chicken for the ease of it.  Tai-pad  noodles, carrots, Napa cabbage, fresh basil with a tangy dressing made from siricha sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, olive oil and lime juice!  I left out the mint and peanuts.  The cabbage had a nice crunch to it.  And the rice noodles were oh so good!  
Thank you Glennis for choosing this!
Come cook with us.  Check us out at Ellie

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

WWDH - Sesame Sweet Potatoes

This week  our Wednesdays with Donna Hay made sesame sweet potatoes.  super easy and super good!  Just peel and slice your potatoes, drizzle with some olive and sesame oil, sea salt, then bake.  i did not have sesame oil so just sprinkled some toasted sesame seeds on them and baked that way.   delicious!  will definitely be a repeat at this house.

Join in or check out our website at WWDH

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Weekend in a French Kitchen - Chilled Pea Soup

So chilled pea soup.   If you asked me even six weeks ago if I would be making pea soup in the near future the answer would have been no.  Peas are not my favorite vegetable.  I can eat them, and I do sometimes, but they are not my first choice.  Having said that, this was quite tasty and an experience I am glad I got the chance to enjoy.   We are cooking from the book Cafe Boulud....With Daniel Boulud and this is only my second recipe to cook from this fabulous book!   The chilled soup was nice for summer fun.    I'm sure I prefer hot soup for the winter.  This is served with a rosemary cream and bacon pieces scattered across the top.   I'm not sure the rosemary cream did much for the overall taste of the soup, but the bacon added a lot of flavor.  It was a nice beginning to our meal.

Now that is some green soup!
Check out how the others fared Here

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

EwE - Tomato Braised Green Beans

It never fails when you use the word "secret" you automatically get an audience.  The crowd rushes in.   Ears perk up.   Eyes open wide.  Promises of confidentiality come pouring forth.   Secrets bond people to other people.   There is just something exciting about knowing something no one else knows!

What is my secret you ask?  Well funny you should ask!   How weird is it is this day and time that secrets are posted online on twitter, facebook, etc. and then once it is out there, it is a secret no longer and interest wanes.  People quickly move on.

It is no secret to anyone that I love to cook!  And I love to entertain!  A new recipe to try, with new ingredients, and the smiles it brings when that first taste touches lips.  Sometimes it is just that one secret ingredient that makes the difference between good and extraordinary.   In this case it was the tomatoes.  Who knew I would love green beans mixed with tomatoes!  And yet.....I did!   even to my own surprise.

We cook from Ellie Kriegers Weeknight Wonders book.  It is a healthy book full of deliciousness.   You can order from Amazon!

Easy to prepare after a long day at work or home.  Filled with onions and green beans and tomatoes and oregano seasoning.   

Guliano Hazans Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Bay Leaves

This is my first post for Guliano Hazan's Thirty Minute Pasta group.
I recently purchased Guliano Hazan's Thirty Minute cookbook.  There are so many wonderful pasta dishes in this book!  I know at our house, we could eat pasta pretty much every day of the week!  For this particular recipe, I already had my pasta cooked so I used farfalle in it.  It was simply fresh tomatoes and bay leaves, with some parmesan on top.  Simple, yet so delicious.  I am excited to try some of the other recipes!  Check out these other blogs to see what delicious recipe they made for this week.  We all make our own choice of recipe so each will be different each week.  Come join us if you love pasta!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

WWDH -Cannellini Bean Salad

What is in a bean salad you ask?  It is cannellini beans, green beans, cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley, with a delicious dressing of olive oil and lemon juice.  Kayte chose this salad and it was a very good pick.  I did not know that cannellini beans were just white kidney beans!  I love learning new things in our groups.

I took a close up of the salad and it looks like the parsley has moved in and taken over!  It really was not much parsley at all.

Cooking and blogging keeps me out of trouble, or does it?  wink wink.    You will just have to keep checking back with me to see if I am behaving or not!

Loved this healthy salad and it is a keeper recipe.  Great for summer.

You can buy this book Off the Shelf by Donna Hay.  Great purchase.   Come join the fun!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Mimi's Tomato Salad with Shallots and Parsley

This is my second post for the new group I am in called Weekend in a French Kitchen.  This recipe comes from the second book we are using which is Mimi Thorisson’s book A Kitchen in France.   I am very excited to be in this group, cooking along with dear friends, and enjoying a new adventure!Thank you to the Three French Hens and their Chickadee for managing this group!

The author of the book says the first thing she tells her students is that a shallot is not an onion.  Well in my household, if it looks like an onion, smells like an onion, and tastes like an onion, husband does not eat it!  I did the recipe exactly as written however and it was quite tasty.  I love fresh tomatoes and the dressing was a simple Dijon mixed with olive oil and it was very flavorful.  Very easy to put together and delicious compliment to our meal.  The salad consisted of fresh tomatoes, parsley, shallots and a Dijon dressing.

Check out our website and join us!  You can purchase the cookbooks on Amazon.  I look forward to cooking and learning more about French food with this group. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

WWDH - Apple Blueberry Coconut Cobbler minus the coconut

This week in our Donna Hay cooking group we made this Apple blueberry coconut cobbler.  I was donna hayunsure whether to make it or not because I cannot eat oats and it called for oats and coconut as a topping.   Then I decided I would just leave the coconut and oats off the top.  Because we do not need a lot of sugar in this household I also decided to make it into two small servings    I tried my best to measure the  portions correctly and ended up just eyeballing everything!    i think it turned out pretty well!   It has fresh apples, blueberries, cooked with sugar and vanilla bean a d then topped with a biscuit like dough.   Check out our website at

Weekend in a French Kitchen - Skate with Brown Butter and Capers

I signed up for a new cooking adventure!  It is called Weekend in a French Kitchen.  We will be cooking authentic French dishes from two separate books each week.  Chandler has been to France many times and explored so he was super excited to try my new dish and he was not disappointed.  I hope to get the chance to visit France in the near future.
Our first dish was Skate with Brown Butter and Capers and can be found on page 50 of Daniel Boulud's book (which he co-authored with Dorie Greenspan) named Café Boulud.  Since I am highly allergic to shellfish, I tend to shy away from any seafood dish due to cross-contamination, but I wanted to try this one and make it completely by the recipe.  Skate fish was not available here so I made it with tilapia, another mild white fish.  This was not a difficult recipe and came together quickly.  We really enjoyed it.  I only had a few bites of the fish but it was very tasty!  It was fish, capers, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, parsley and butter, plus salt and pepper.  The entire meal took only about thirty minutes to prepare.

The other book we will be using is A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse by Mimi Thorisson.  My first recipe out of this book will be posted tomorrow.

     If you would like to read about our group and see how the others prepared their dish, click this link here.   Next week's recipe is Chilled Spring Pea Soup, page 112.  We are not allowed to publish the actual recipe, but you should purchase the books.  They are wonderful.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

EWE - Spinach, Goat Cheese Frittata

This week in our Eating with Ellie group I chose for our group to make a frittata.  To me, a frittatta is nothing more than a baked omelet.   This one had ten eggs in it.  i thought i was choosing an economical dish but since the Asian Bird Flu scare the prices of eggs are skyrocketing!  Along with the eggs came spinach and onions and I added a few mushrooms.  then it is topped with goat cheese and broiled for two minutes.  I left off the chives.   It wa just okay to me.   I would have preferred a bit more flavor.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Eating with Ellie - pizza strudel

This week Margaret chose pizza strudel in our Ellie Kreiger group.  We get our recipes from the Weeknight Wonders book.   i do not know if it is just my taste buds this week but I have not made anything this week to rave about.  this strudel was just okay to me.  however, my DH thought it was quite tasty.   I think it needed a little more flavor.  But it was easy to prepare for sure.  I forgot to spray my pan with non stick spray and I had a little trouble getting it off the pan in one piece but it finally let loose.   check out our website if you want to see how the others in the group liked it.
It was filled with spinach and tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese.