Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Cheesy Broccoli Orzo

I often make Cheesy Broccoli Rice, but this is just as tasty and cooks in half the time. Cheesy Broccoli Orzo is an easy side dish at dinner or a hearty meatless lunch.

Prepare this while Braised Chicken with Tomatoes is in the oven.  Then open up a pre-washed bag of salad and you have a meal that everyone will love.

Cheesy Broccoli Orzo
Serves: 4-6
Time:  Prep: 5 minutes, Cook: 20 minutes
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a sauce pot, and a wooden spoon

  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • ½ a small onion (¼ cup)
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 cups liquid (I used 1 cup water and 1 cup chicken stock)
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli florets
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Cut the onion and broccoli into tiny pieces.
  2. Heat the onion and butter on medium until the onions begin to sweat. Add the orzo and stir. Toast the orzo until it is golden brown.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir. Allow the liquid to come to a boil.  Stir, lower the heat, and cover. Simmer the pasta for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Add a few grinds of fresh black pepper.  Taste and adjust the salt.  Serve warm.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Braised Chicken with Tomatoes

This is so easy to make that I cannot believe that I haven’t written it down for you before.  This is my go to meal when I have no idea what to make for dinner. You need NO SKILLS to make this delicious main dish. If you can chop vegetables and use a can opener, you can do this.
This is also versatile. You can change the herbs to create a completely different meal. I used rosemary because I had extra on hand.  However, you could use Herbs de Provence, Italian seasonings, chili powder and cumin, or even curry. If you use curry, substitute water for the wine. 
Only use the fresh tomatoes if you plan on serving them as a side dish. They are delicious served over rice. If you just need a braising liquid, the can will do.

Servings: 4
Time:   Prep: 5 minutes; Cook: 60
Hardware:  measuring cups, a cutting board and knives, a large heavy bottom skillet that can be used on the stove and in the oven (I prefer a cast iron skillet), a wooden spoon, tongs, a can opener, a plate, a thermometer

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 1-14 ounce can diced tomatoes –DO NOT drain
  • 1 cup white wine (maybe less)
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary (½ tablespoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh or dried parsley
  • 2 or 3 large tomatoes (optional)
  • Salt

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375˚.
  2. Dice the onion and garlic. Slice the tomatoes. Set aside.
  3. Salt both sides of the chicken very generously.
  4. Heat the olive oil in the skillet on medium high. Add the chicken skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes or until the skin is crispy. Turn the chicken with the tongs and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove the chicken to the plate and pour off most of the fat.
  5. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet. Cook until the onions are translucent, for 2-3 minutes. Lay the tomato slices down in the pan. Pour the can of tomatoes on top of the fresh tomatoes.
  6. Sprinkle in the parsley and the rosemary if you are using dried. Toss in a pinch of salt.
  7. Lay the chicken on top of the tomatoes, skin side up. Pour in enough wine for the liquid to come half way up the thighs.  Don’t cover up the crispy part of the skin as it will get soggy.
  8. Tuck in the rosemary if you are using fresh.
  9. Place in the oven for 45 minutes or until the thermometer reads 160 degrees when inserted into the meatiest thigh.
  10. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving.  Remove the rosemary stems.  Taste the tomatoes and adjust the salt.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

I realized that I don’t make many desserts.  I don’t have a very sweet tooth.  Also, my husband and I are a little round so the last thing we need is sugary treats.  But my summer is over.  And to celebrate (mourn?) the beginning of the school year, I wanted a little something.

So cheesecake.  I also realized that this would be my 3rd cheesecake so I changed the shape and made cheesecake bars.  That’s different? Right?  I used raspberry preserves because that is what I had.  You could use any preserves or even marmalade. I think this would especially  taste great with orange marmalade. I was also thinking of using peanut butter cookies in the crust, and calling this peanut butter and jelly cheesecake.  If you are an adventurous cook, try one of them and let us know.  But we’re getting away from ourselves.

This, the way I made it, turned out well.  Enjoy the end of summer and the beginning of school.

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Servings:  9 squares
Time:  Prep: 15 minutes, bake time 1 hour
Hardware:  Measuring cups and spoons, a food processor, a mixer, a large mixing bowl, a rubber spatula, a 8x8x2 inch glass pan, parchment paper, a knife or skewer

  • 1½ cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (1 sleeve crackers)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2-8 oz. blocks cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 room temperature eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • ⅓ cup seedless raspberry preserves
  • Cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Melt the butter.  Set out the cream cheese and the eggs. Spray the bottom and sides of the pan.  Cut two pieces of parchment paper wide enough to fit into the bottom of the pan and long enough to stick out over the edges. Place one piece of paper in the bottom of the pan in one direction and the other piece in the opposite direction
  2. Crush the graham cracker in the processor.  Add the sugar and then the butter.  Blend until the mixture is a fine crumb.  Press the crust mixture firmly into bottom of the pan. Bake 8 minutes.
  3. Place the cream cheese and sugar into the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and zest. Continue to mix on low speed until smooth. Pour ¾ of the cream cheese mixture evenly over the hot crust. Add the raspberry jam to the remaining cream cheese and mix until smooth. Dollop the raspberry filling over the cream cheese layer randomly. Use a knife or skewer to gently swirl the two layers.
  4. Bake 45-50 minutes or until center does not wiggle when shaken.
  5. Cool completely.  Use the bottom piece of the parchment paper to carefully lift the whole thing out of the pan.  Cut it into 9 squares. Store covered in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature topped with fresh raspberries.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Carrot Zucchini Pancakes

Savory over Sweet
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.  I am also not a huge fan of bread.  So pancakes are not one of my favorite foods.  The thought of a big piece of dough drowned in syrup does nothing for me at all.  However, pancakes need not be sweet.  They can be savory.  So I whipped these up for brunch.  They are really, really good.  Really.

I tried a few different herbs.  Tarragon, basil, and oregano (separately-not together) were very tasty.  I just happened to like dill the best, but you could substitute any of the others.  You could also add a little onion or garlic to the batter.  Experiment, but don’t add lemon zest, I had to throw those out.  Also, don’t over stir the batter once you’ve added the flour as that makes the pancakes tough.  You can make the batter the night before, just store in the fridge in an airtight container and stir before using.

Servings: 12-15 silver dollar pancakes
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes, Cooking:  6 minutes per batch (I finished in 30 minutes)
Hardware:  A veggie peeler, a food processor (or grater), measuring cups and spoons, a large mixing bowl, a wooden spoon, a non-stick skillet, a spatula, a plate

  • 1½ lbs. zucchini (3 medium squash)
  • ½ 1bs. carrots (2-3 large carrots)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 to 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh dill (depending on your taste)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Sour cream and chopped green onions
  • Cooking spray
  1. Peel the zucchini.  Use the grater attachment on the processor to grate the carrots and the zucchini.  Then use the processor to chop the veggies into little crumbs. Alternatively, you can grate and roughly dice the veggies.
  2. Mix the veggies, herbs, eggs, and salt.
  3. Gently stir in the flour and baking powder.
  4. Spray the skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium. 
  5. Use about ¼ cup of batter for each pancake.  I use a measuring cup or an ice-cream scoop to make sure my pancakes are uniform.  Cook for 2-3 minutes per side.  You might want to adjust the heat because you want the center to cook before the outside gets too brown. Keep the pancakes warm by placing them onto a plate in the oven on the lowest setting while you finish.
  6. Top with sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and chopped green onions.

Carrot Zucchini Pancakes

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Caprese Burger

Caprese Burger
I am having a harder time coming up with new ideas for this blog. I have created roughly one recipe a week for almost 5 years.  I had a sudden inspiration after eating a Caprese Salad. I have used the ingredients from that delicious salad-basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella-and put them into a burger. Bingo.

This tastes best if you make your own basil pesto. The cheese will be easier to slice if you freeze it first.  Serve with a side of Rosemary Parmesan Potatoes

Servings:  4 burgers
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and a knife, mixing bowl, a spatula, a plastic container with a lid, a spoon, a heavy bottom frying pan
Time: Prep-10 minutes, Cook-7-10 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef (the best that you can afford)
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1½ tablespoons + 1½ tablespoons basil pesto
  • ½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt + more
  • 4 thick slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large vine ripened tomatoes
  • Olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan
  • Fresh shredded basil leaves for garnish
  • 4 buns
  1. Mix the mayo, 1½ tablespoon pesto, and the balsamic vinegar. Place into the plastic container and put in the fridge until you need it. Thinly slice the tomatoes. Cut thick slices of cheese. Set aside.
  2. Mix the beef, 1½ tablespoons pesto, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and salt. Don’t over handle the beef as it will make tough burgers.
  3. Divide the ground beef into 4 equal ¾ inch patties. Salt both sides. Make a small dimple in the center of each burger, this will keep your burgers from having a hump in the middle as it cooks..  In the pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high. Place the burgers into the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes and then flip. Cook for 3-4 more minutes. Check the largest burger for desired temperature. Place a cheese slice onto each burger during the last minute or so of cooking so that it will melt.
  4. To serve, place the warm burgers onto the split buns, cheese side up. Top each burger with 1½ tablespoons of mayo and 2 tomato slices. Add a few shreds of fresh basil.

Rosemary Parmesan Potatoes

Every Sunday my husband makes breakfast.  Usually he prepares waffles.  Banana nut waffles or orange cream waffles or cinnamon waffles with apples.  If he doesn’t make waffles then he makes sausage, eggs, and breakfast potatoes. My favorites are orange cream waffles and breakfast potatoes. I could eat my own weight in breakfast potatoes. Why just have them for Sunday breakfast? This recipe is a variation on his breakfast potatoes.  I tweaked them for dinner.

I just added rosemary, garlic, and Parmesan and substituted 2 ounces of shallots for ¼ cup onions. I have a coffee grinder dedicated to mincing herbs, which I used for the rosemary. I save a few sprigs of rosemary and chop them for aesthetic reasons.  So, you could reverse engineer these for breakfast.
I served these with Caprese Burgers. 
Rosemary Parmesan Potatoes
Servings:  6-8
Time: Prep: 5 minutes; Cooking: 20-25 minutes
Hardware: A cutting board and knife, measuring spoons, a heavy skillet with a lid, a spatula

  • 2 pounds new white or red potatoes
  • 2 small shallots-2 oz.
  • 3 cloves garlic 
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan
  • Salt
  1. Wash the potatoes but do not peel them. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Try to make the cubes the same size so that they will cook evenly.
  2. Chop the shallot and garlic. Mince the rosemary.
  3. Heat the oil on medium high. Add all the veggies and rosemary. Salt generously and stir. Allow the bottom of the potatoes to crisp, about 5 minutes. Flip the potatoes. Lower the heat to medium low and cover.
  4. Cook until the potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Flip occasionally. Remove the lid, turn the heat up to medium high and allow to crisp again, another 3-5 minutes.
  5. Taste and adjust the salt.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.  Serve warm.