Monday, September 25, 2006

Shrimp Curry( Everyday food).....

I was looking through some old Everyday Food magazines for recipes I could make for a client( I'll be teaching a 19yr old w/ down's syndrome to cook). I came across this recipe and since I had a bag of shrimp, I thought I'd throw it together tonight. It was easy to prepare, but I failed to see that it was a "light" recipe so there wasnt much substance to it. I threw in the cauliflower and subbed light coconut milk for the water that was called for( I did add some water to thin it out). I bought a bag of 70/90 shrimp on sale. Can you see them? They are miniscule and I'll never buy that size again.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


I had an interview yesterday morning in Grand Bend.( I got the job, I'll be working for a caterer) After the interview, I drove another hour and crossed the border into Michigan. I'd received an email a few days ago telling me I had a box to pick up. It's funny, because I smelled this package before I even opened it. My wonderful package came from Barbie2be.
. I was excited to see the Christopher Ranch garlic because I used to buy that when I lived in Cali. She also included some dulce de leche, a wonderful dulce de leche drinking chocolate( Chels would absolutly love that), red pepper flakes( she read my mind because I needed to replace mine), a fantastic oversized mug and saucer and some raspberry jam from a farmer's market in Barbie's home town. Blogging by mail 4 was hosted by Stephanie. She did a great job hosting this round.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fast and Easy Turkey Chili.....

I came home from Charlotte, NC on Tuesday. I was greeted by a very happy Robin, and very different weather. It was hot and humid in NC and its chilly and breezy here. Yesterday was perfect for making some Chili. Poor Robin, she told me she hasnt had a salad since before I left for NC. She deserved some home cooking and I was in a cooking mood. I didnt cook anything except for a batch of tollhouse cookies with my friends 4yr old( that was fun).

This turkey chili is very easy and fast. I entered it into a recipe contest for our local turkey farm and I won 1st place.

2lbs ground turkey( I use 100% breast meat because I know you all know by now that I can't stand dark meat).
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can chili beans( undrained)
1-2 large cans tomatoes, crushed. ( I used Muir Glen fire roasted)
2-3tbls chili powder
1tbls cumin
1 chopped onion( sauteed in some oil)

I threw this together in about 10 min. I sauteed the onion, and normally, I'd add some chopped peppers, but I didnt have any frozen. I sauteed the turkey meat, then dumped everything in the pot and let it simmer. I also added 2 ears of corn that I shucked. ( we still have 1 roadside stand that sells fresh sweet corn).

I ALWAYS serve with some crushed tortilla chips, light sour cream and light cheddar.

I "took some help from the store" and made up a box of Trader Joe's corn bread. I made it into jumbo muffins.

I must have cornbread with chili( Robin thinks cornbread is like eating cake, I told her I'd make some southern style cornbread next time because that is unsweetened).

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Peach Chutney....

A couple weeks ago I bought a basket of Ontario Peaches. They were very juicy and sweet this season. I made that peaches and cream pie with half and this peach chutney with the other half. I looked at a couple recipes online and ended up combining too. The main ingredients besides the peaches are cider vinegar, brown sugar, ginger, raisins and apricots. This would be really great with grilled meats or mixed with some cream cheese for a dip.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Tofu and veggie stir-fry........

In an effort to eat at least 1 vegetarian meal per week, I picked up a block of firm tofu. There is one grocery store in London that sells tofu for the ridiculously low price of $1.35. I wanted to make the tofu crispy, but I didnt want to deep fry it. I thought I would dip it in egg and then panko and fry it up. That didnt work so well. I also though I wouldnt add it to the sauce so it would stay crispy, so I placed it on top of the stir-fry. That didnt work either, because it was really bland. Duh, I should have remembered that tofu soaks up other flavors. I also made a light( too light) sauce for the veggies. I used some sherry, orange juice( light), soy( light), orange peel, hoisen, ginger and garlic. The sauce was a little too light in taste( read: Bland). We did eat it with some short grain brown rice( my favorite kind of brown rice). Next time, I'll stick to a recipe for the sauce and I'll throw the tofu in so it can soak up all the yummy flavors.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Raspberry spinach salad.....

This is another dish I brought to the birthday party. I modified a recipe for strawberry spinach salad I found over on allrecipes. Robin is allergic to strawberries so I used rasberries and I replaced the cider vinegar in the original recipe with some raspberry vinegar. I also cut the sugar way back. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup( WHAT??). I was going to use splenda, but sometimes the aftertaste really annoys me, so I just used 3tbls of sugar and that was plenty. I bought a package of sunkist honey roasted sliced almonds to throw on top. It was an easy salad to throw together, I thought it was tasty, but it didnt seem to go over so well. People around these parts have issues with foods that are "new" or "different". Thank gawd Robin was open to my way of cooking when I met her, or we'd have had big problems.

I'm leaving for Charlotte, NC on Thursday. I wrote a few posts before I left so I wouldnt go 5 days without blogging. Does anyone know how I change the dates on these?

Rainbow Jello Mold....

I've had my eye on this for awhile now, ever since I saw it over on egullet. We had a birthday party to attend over the weekend and I knew there would be a lot of kids there and jello usually goes over well with kids. This isnt hard to make, but it is rather timeconsuming. Each layer has to chill for 15minutes before the next layer is added. I used 6 flavor's of jello, sticking with the rainbow theme. Each opaque layer is mixed with a few tbls of either sour cream, yogurt or coolwhip. I made this in my bundt pan and filled the center with vanilla coolwhip.

9/11/2001 Remembering John Schwartz......

A Lifelong New Yorker

John Schwartz may have spent his childhood in the suburbs, on a rustic property in Alpine, N.J., but by the time he was grown it was clear to his family that he would be a lifelong New Yorker. "It was hard to drag him out to the country to see Mom and Dad," his mother, Joyce, recalled, "because there was always so much in the city that interested him."

Mr. Schwartz, who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, frequented museums and took long walks along the river with his wife, Ching-Ping Peng. In warm weather he could be found on the roof of his apartment house on the Upper West Side, sometimes with a glass of wine in hand, always gazing out at the urban panorama below.

He loved art and music and history. When he traveled abroad, he always knew more about historic sites than most of the other people visiting them.

"If he went to an old monastery, he would walk in and he already knew what to look for, or he recognized the old masters on the walls," his mother said.

Here are some of the nice things people had to say about him.


John's passion for his work was without limit. When he worked for Prudential Bache, he would call me nearly every day and keep me on the phone for an hour, though most of the time he put me on hold so that he could deal with his accounts.
When he moved to Cantor, his time was at a premium and communication between us during the day was mostly by email, but there was a ton of that coming from his desk. After 27 years of friendship, this gave us the opportunity to communicate by writing, which opened up new levels of expression. His accounts of watching hawks from the roof of his apartment building were very florid, or he would go into great detail about a new opera CD he had just acquired. When I visited him at his apartment, after removing my shoes, giving his cats a loving scratch and settling in on his sofa, I might be subjected to a healthy dose of Wagner, followed by Mr. Tambourine Man, by The Byrds, his favorite rock and roll group.

In recent years, John became an avid fan of European travel. He adored the French countryside and the beauty of Italy. A few weeks ago, my phone rang. It was John calling from Pienza, Italy. It was 11PM there and I could hear churchbells tolling the hour. John had called to share the experience with me. He wanted me to feel, see and hear the peace and beauty of the people and the place. I'll never forget his saying, "It's only $1.35 a minute... Who Cares?!" He continued walking from church to church so I could hear the bells. He said he was in heaven. We will all miss him deeply.

And, my message to John is, "My heart and mind have a permanent place for you."

Mark Lee Rotenberg (Milford, NJ )

March 11, 2002
John and I were basically aquantances for 6 years. I would see John at the gym almost everyday(and I work there) and we would always say hello by name. He was one of the people that made going to the gym feel like home and I am only sorry we never got to know eachother better. Always happy and always sweating and working hard. I envied his work ethic.

pete dominick (new york, NY )

Friday, September 08, 2006

Project 2996...

Please go here and sign up to host a victim from 9/11. You'll create a post about the person assigned to you and post on or before the 5th anniversary of 9/11.

Peaches and Cream Pie......

A get a lot of inspiration from other bloggers. If I'm at a loss for what to make, I just search through my favorite foodblogs and I'm sure to find something. I bought a 3litre basket of Ontario Peaches( so freaking sweet and juicy this year) and I made some peach chutney( to be blogged about later). I had a bunch leftover and I didnt know what to do with them. I was going to make some peach jam, but Christine and I had a jam making session a few months ago and I have a lot of jars to give away as gifts. I found this award winning peaches and cream pie on Nic's blog. The original recipe comes from It's not a pie in the traditional sense as it doesnt use a pie crust. The "crust" is made with vanilla pudding( non-instant, which I couldnt find in this town so I bought it in Michigan), flour, milk, egg, butter and baking powder. The original recipe calls for canned peaches, but I chose to use the fresh peaches. I diced them up( after removing the skin) and let them macerate in some sugar. That made a nice peach syrup that you mix with more sugar and cream cheese( I used light). Spread that over, sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top and pop the entire thing into the oven for 30 minutes. I chilled it for 5hrs before we had some for dessert.

Verdict: It was good but odd. I wouldnt rush out and make it again, Id rather have a cobbler or a crisp, but it was different. Robin suggested I bring the majority of it to the neighbor's( He snowplow's our driveway constantly in the winter, so I always bring them goodies). Hopefully they enjoyed it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Barb's peanut butter squares......

I was perusing my file and I came across these squares( Canadian speak for a bar cookie). We all know by now how much my Robin loves peanut butter so I decided to make a half batch. I saved the original recipe from CanadianBaker's wonderful blog. You can find the recipe here. The original recipe calls for a 9 x 13, but I cut it in half and used an 8inch square pan. They were very peanutbuttery and very yummy.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Snickerdoodles( America's Test Kitchen)......

And yet another recipe I've never made before. I love snickerdoodles, I used to get one occasionally at the Starbucks in Long Beach when I went there to study. Robin asked me to bake something so I picked these. I made a half recipe because whenever I bake cookies, I end up throwing some out. They were fabulous hot out of the oven, but the next day, they tasted a tad stale. I even had them in my favorite lock and lock storage containers.

1 3/4 c. sugar
1 tbls cinnamon
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tarter
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbls( 1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup veg. shortening.( I buy the crisco sticks in the states because they have easy to measure markings on the package)
2 large eggs.

Oven at 375f. Combine 1/4 cup sugar with connamon and a small bowl. Set aside. Whisk together flour, cream of tarter, baking soda and salt. Set aside( I put this on a paper plate)

Beat butter, shortening and remaining 1 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs. Add flour mixture. Using wet hands, roll 2tbls of dough into a ball and roll in cinn/sugar mixture. Bake for 10-12 minutes. These will spread so don't crowd the pan.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Lasanga Rolls( Giada De Laurentis).....

Yesterday was a dreary, rainey stay at home day so I decided to cook something a little bit more labor intensive. I saw Giada make these on foodtv last week and I knew I had everything to make them. As it turned out, I didnt have lasagna noodles so I ran uptown for that and some more milk. Giada says you should only use whole milk, but I used 2 percent with no ill effects.

Giada also uses jarred sauce. I made my own marinara using imported san marzano tomatoes. I also throw a reggiano rind in my sauce while its simmering so that the wonderful flavors of the cheese infuse the sauce. The rest of the recipe is quite simple. Make up a bechemal, boil the noodles until al dente, fill the noodles with a mix of ricotta, parmesean, egg and spinach( Giada uses proscuitto, but I don't care for that so I used some italian sausage). cover with marinara and cheese and bake for 20 minutes( foil covered). Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more.

I asked Robin how she liked it and that led to a discussion about how much I like Ricotta and how she really doesnt. Growing up, her mother made lasagna with cottage cheese. I understand why as Ricotta is expensive here,( I buy it in Michigan). I grew up in Florida where most people are transplated NY'ers. In fact, I can't wait to eat a Calzone or baked ziti in Ft. Lauderdale because they are filled with Ricotta. Here, the calzones are called Panzerotti's and are filled with Mozzarella. It's still funny to me that we like and crave what we grew up with.

How do you make your lasagna?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Happy Birthday Oliver....

Oliver is 8yrs old today so I did what any self respecting chef and dog lover would do. I made him his very own birthday cake(he was generous enough to share it with his brother Harley). I actually made it a couple days ago because Chels was here and wanted to help. I frosted it with some fat free blueberry yogurt( just a few spoonsful). He loved it, although he wasnt sure about the candle.
Peanut Butter Carrot Cake

Naturally sweet, colorful and flavorful, this cake is simple and easy to make. Great for Fall.

1 cup flour
1tsp baking soda
1/4 cup peanut butter( I used cashew butter because I had some hanging around the back of the fridge)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup honey
1 egg

Mix flour and baking soda. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into greased 8" round cake pan and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Let cool. Puree cottage cheese in blender for icing. Decorate with more peanut butter and carrots.