Keto beef stew in a white bowl

Keto Beef Stew

Today I have another of my classic recipes that I experimented with to make a lower carb version. I started with Bloody Mary Beef Stew and created Keto Beef Stew. Just as yummy, with significantly fewer carbs! Ingredients needed Beef – I usually buy stew meat but a chuck roast works well also, if cut up Beef stock Tomato paste Parsnips – I use these to substitute for the carrots Turnips – substitute for potatoes Onion – yellow usually Carrot – just one, and this is optional (see below) Worcestershire sauce Spices: garlic powder, dried thyme, dried marjoram Bay leaf

butternut squash spaghetti bake on a white plate with salad

Butternut Squash Spaghetti Bake

I love pasta, but also love it when my jeans fit. 😀 So it’s always a good idea to have some pasta substitutes around for when the craving hits. This one uses spiralized butternut squash baked with a simple spaghetti sauce. It’s delicious! Ingredients needed Butternut squash noodles (frozen 12 oz package) Zucchini noodles (frozen 12 oz package) Ground beef (1 pound) Olive oil (for browning beef) Marinara sauce (24 oz ) Garlic cloves (2) Shredded cheese, 2 cups (Italian cheese blend or mozzarella) Seasoning: salt, pepper, Italian seasoning How to make this Butternut Squash Spaghetti Bake Like most casseroles,

Sauteed mushrooms and onions in a pan

Sauteed Mushrooms and Onions

If you need a fast and easy side dish to complement any meal (don’t we all?) sauteed mushrooms and onions are an easy choice. They only take about ten minutes and can be served with just about any meal! Ingredients needed Mushrooms – white button mushrooms work fine, cremini work great as well Onion – one yellow, adjust size according to your love for onions Olive oil and butter – for frying Garlic clove Cooking sherry or a sweet white wine Tamari or soy sauce How to make sauteed mushrooms and onions Start with some olive oil and butter in

cheesy broccoli cauliflower rice on a red plate

Cheesy Cauliflower Rice

When following a low carb or keto meal plan, side dishes can feel like a challenge. Noodles are out, rice and potatoes – nope. Sometimes I think I’ve been programmed to expect a starch with every meal. Which is of course what we are avoiding. Enter cauliflower rice. Does it taste like rice? No, it still tastes like cauliflower. But cauliflower + cheese = delicious! And for the vegetable-leery in your house, cauliflower in riced form is less in-your-face “I’m a vegetable”, if you know what I mean. Plus, when you make it into Cheesy Cauliflower Rice, what you are

Bowl of keto coleslaw on a wicker placemat

Keto Coleslaw

When you’re trying to cut carbs, its useful to know whether you can modify some of your standby recipes to make them sugar free. Sometimes, it’s just not going to work. But when you find one that does work, you feel like you’ve struck gold! That’s how I feel about this keto coleslaw. Is coleslaw keto friendly? Regular coleslaw is not keto friendly, because the dressing contains sugar, the ultimate simple carb. However, what I discovered is that my simple creamy coleslaw dressing translates very easily to keto with one simple change: replace the sugar with erythritol. The first time

Medicine Ball tea in a clear cup

Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea (Copycat)

September is here, which traditionally means back to school. And somehow, that always seems to translate into the beginning of cold and flu season. I’m willing to bet that this will still be true, even in a social distancing world. When my children were little, I swear they were just mobile Petri dishes, happy to share their germs with every other kid in their orbit. What is Medicine Ball tea? Lucky for us all, an enterprising barista at Starbucks came up with a drink called the “Medicine Ball” which is intended to help us all fight the common cold. Several

zucchini and beef casserole on a small white plate

Zucchini Casserole with Ground Beef

I have one more recipe for all you gardeners with a zucchini surplus. This time, I combined the zucchini with ground beef to make a casserole. Because we all need easy dinner recipes for busy weeknights! Ingredients needed I had a couple priorities with this casserole. Keep it low carb was one, so that means no rice or pasta. I also wanted to avoid using a can of soup, but still wanted a simple ingredient list. I was delighted when I was able to accomplish all these goals. The primary ingredients are of course ground beef and zucchini. The “sauce”

grilled broccoli in foil packet on a plate

Grilled Broccoli in Foil

When I look at the calendar and see the word “September” I feel that summer is basically over. The autumnal equinox isn’t until September 22, so technically it is still summer in the northern hemisphere. But school is back in session and the leaves on my walnut tree are starting to fall. Summer is ending, for sure. But before I cover up the grill for the season (ok, that’s actually not going to be for a couple months) I had to share one more grilled veggie:  grilled broccoli in foil. You’ve seen my other grilled veggie posts, right? I’ve grilled

spinach added to sun=dried tomato pesto chicken sauce

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Chicken

It’s time for an easy and delicious recipe that combines chicken with sun dried tomato pesto in a creamy pasta sauce. Start the pasta while making the sauce and you will be ready to serve this in about 20 minutes! What kind of chicken is needed for this recipe? There are different versions of this recipe floating around, most using chicken breasts. I started out making this with chicken breasts and worked on the sauce. But after a few tries I realized that this sauce is ideal for using cooked shredded chicken. So now I either use leftover shredded chicken

2 Bacardi mojitos

Bacardi Mojito

Today I am celebrating. My little corner of the Internet has reach a milestone. What you are currently reading is . . .  drumroll please! . . . post number 200! Why only yesterday, I was on post number 100. (Cranberry Spritzer, in case you were wondering.) Busy with recipes and posts (and the occasional family visit), I sometimes lose track of time and place. All I can say is, thanks to the many who’ve been so supportive! Clearly, a cocktail is required. Throughout the summer, I’ve been growing a big pot of mint, and because it’s calling to me,

6 smoothie popsicles on a white plate

Smoothie Popsicles

Just before my daughter came to visit this summer, she informed me that she was cutting food dyes out of her 4-year-old’s diet. “Please plan accordingly.” In preparation for this visit I had of course stocked up on large quantities of Jell-O, sprinkles and colored sugar. All were instantly obsolete. She also shared that she had found some healthy popsicles that were very popular in her house and described them to me as containing Greek yogurt and fruit. I knew instantly that I could make my own version: smoothie popsicles. What ingredients are needed to make smoothie popsicles? I love

Zucchini and corn fritter stacked on a plate

Zucchini and Corn Fritters

We are still in “zucchini season” so it’s time for another zucchini recipe. This time, I’m combining zucchini with corn to make a delicious fritter. When zucchini’s in season, it is abundant! I covered this pretty thoroughly in my zucchini and yellow squash post, but to recap: zucchini plants produce fruit, it grows rapidly, gardeners pick often, the plants produce even more zucchini. Most gardeners rely on friends and neighbors to take some of the produce off their hands. So, all the gardeners AND all their friends are looking for ideas to use up all the zucchini! Combine sweet corn

skewers cooking on the grill

Beef Kabobs in the Oven or Grill

There’s something about cooking your meal on a stick that is just so fun! It cooks quickly, looks colorful, and is easy to eat. Traditionally we think of making kabobs on the grill, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate it’s good to have an oven method handy. That’s why today I am making my beef kabobs in the oven, but also including instructions for the grill. It’s all about the beef marinade Anyone can stick hunks of meat and/or veggies on a stick and cook it. But to really get great flavor and texture, a good marinade is key. Over

Zucchini and yellow squash on a plate

Zucchini and Yellow Squash in the Microwave

It’s August and anyone with a garden tends to be overflowing with summer squash by now. So I bring a simple way to make zucchini and yellow squash in the microwave. This recipe will help break up your routine a little, yet it is still easy to make, which is perfect for these hot days of August. Why is zucchini so prolific? Zucchini is considered one of the easiest plants to grow in a garden. In addition, its production is cyclical, meaning the more you harvest, the more the plant will produce (harvestright.com). As my friend Dawn told me, “when

baked potato on a plate

Baked Potato on the Grill

I love a good baked potato, yet I have always considered it “winter food.” But, because a baked potato is great with many things, it can easily be transformed to year-round food by throwing it on the grill. How to grill a baked potato Start by prepping the grill and potatoes. Preheat the grill using medium-high heat. The target temperature for inside the grill cover is 400-425F. Allow 10-15 minutes for the grill to get nice and hot. While the grill is warming, prep the potatoes. Russet potatoes are the classic choice, because their high starch content creates a light

Orange Creamsicle cocktail

Orange Creamsicle Cocktail

It’s time for a dessert. But in liquid form. Dessert drinks can be so fun! And this one is fun, for sure. An Orange Creamsicle Cocktail. Or a Creamsicle martini, if you prefer. It’s delicious, no matter what you call it. Creamsicle vs. Dreamsicle Speaking of the name debate, does everyone remember the Creamsicle vs. Dreamsicle discussion? I researched the names when I made my Creamsicle Pie, and determined that since the Popsicle people use the term “Creamsicle” it must be the most accurate. Although, I do think that for an alcoholic drink, the term “Dreamsicle” might be a little

Chickpea avocado salad side view

Chickpea Avocado Salad

I am always looking for simple healthy salads in the summer, especially those containing plant proteins. So, a salad that includes chickpeas and avocados will always get my vote! Chickpea salad made simple This gluten free salad was inspired by one found at Forks Over Knives. But I must confess, I changed so much that the only ingredients it shares with the original are avocado and chickpeas. I did manage to avoid adding cheese, so it remains a vegan salad for maximum health points. It’s a simple salad, with simple instructions. Start by draining and thoroughly rinsing the chickpeas. Place

Vegetarina Baked Beans on a plate

Vegetarian Baked Beans

I have always loved baked beans in a thick sweet sauce. It’s a universal side dish during grilling season, and a welcome addition to any backyard barbeque. I’ve been trying to make my own vegetarian version — without pork — for years and have finally found a combination of flavors that works for me. This makes them vegan, since no animal products are required. Ingredients needed for these vegan baked beans Beans – clearly the main ingredient. I use canned beans for convenience, and 3 different types to give that “calico” bean appearance and some variety in texture. My preferred

Ina Garten's Fesh Corn Salad

Corn Salad

Every time I look at one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks, I think “Now, why didn’t I name myself something like The Barefoot Contessa?” I really think I could’ve pulled it off! Ina has some fun recipes, and one of these is her Fresh Corn Salad, a fantastic way to take advantage of the amazing fresh flavor of sweet corn while it’s in season. A big plus for this recipe is that it can be made ahead of time. You can put it all together and let it chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the rest of your

Toll House Brownies

Toll House Brownies (Double Chocolate)

For a chocoholic, there is perhaps no bar more perfect than a brownie. What’s not to love? Crackly edges and a slightly fudgy middle. Certainly, you can use a mix, but I personally feel that making brownies from scratch is almost as easy. Is this a copycat Nestle Toll House Brownie recipe? This recipe is not a copycat. It’s an actual copy of the original. Nestle used to print this recipe on the back of Toll House chocolate chips, right next to their chocolate chip cookie recipe. Thankfully, I cut this from the bag long ago, because at some point

chicken legs on the grill

Chicken Legs on the Grill

Again I am cooking on the grill! Today, some BBQ chicken legs. So many people seem to migrate to white meat whenever eating any type of poultry, but I prefer dark meat. It’s moist, tender and has more flavor, IMHO. Why chicken legs, not drumsticks or thighs? Both drumsticks and thighs are fine. This recipe works with all parts of the leg because we cook to an internal temperature, not a specific time. I decided to cook whole legs – drumstick with thigh attached because they’re a healthy portion. These are sometimes referred to as chicken quarters. Pick whichever piece

Grilled stuffed tomatoes

Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes

It’s July and it is HOT. So, I’m trying to keep the house cool. That means my grill and I have become best buds as we conspire to cook everything possible on the grill! I especially love to find vegetarian items to grill, such as beets, zucchini or asparagus. In this chapter of Keep the House Cool, we will select the right tomatoes, we’ll stuff ‘em and then grill ‘em. Easy! How do you prep a tomato for stuffing? If you have ever stuffed bell peppers, you already know how it’s done. Cut a slice from the top, scoop out

Balsamic Cucumber Tomato Salad

Balsamic Cucumber Tomato Salad

‘Tis the season! Salad season, that is. Ring in the summer with marvelous fresh fruits and vegetables. For me, cucumbers and tomatoes are tops. Salads are needed for this in-season produce!!! This salad takes inspiration from two others on this site. One is my Greek Cucumber Salad, with its main ingredients of cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onion. And the balsamic vinaigrette dressing is reminiscent of a Caprese salad. Taking these favorite tastes and making a new salad is an easy button for sure. That’s what summer is all about! Ingredients for Balsamic Cucumber Tomato Salad It’s a pretty simple ingredient

Pork tenderloin

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

In the world of cooking meat, the tenderloin is not only one of the most tender cuts, but also lean and healthy. The only problem with pork is that, since it’s so lean, it’s easy to over-cook (such a fine line between tasty, tender meat and shoe leather). For years I struggled using various ingredients and this technique and that. Finally, it came down to having a good marinade and a careful cooking technique. Marinade for grilled pork tenderloin The inspiration for this marinade starts at allrecipes.com, but I revised it many times to make it my own. You may

easy chocolate mousse

Easy Chocolate Mousse (3 ingredient)

Chocolate Mousse is one of my favorite desserts: delicious, decadent and chocolate. The trifecta! So finding an especially easy version made me deliciously happy! Mousse recipes can take many forms. Some are sweet, others savory. Sweet mousses are typically made with whipped egg whites, whipped cream, or both. Some chocolate mousses call for the addition of egg yolks to give the final product a richer texture. Sometimes the mousse is stabilized with the addition of gelatin. (Wikipedia) I experienced that variety on a trip last year. I went with a group to Madagascar, an island that was part of the

Sugar Free Lemonade

Sugar-Free Lemonade

Summer is here! And lemonade is definitely my fav summer drink. I’m a big fan of tart ‘n sweet in one glass. But the sugar? Not so much a fan. Oh, the taste, for sure. But those carbs? It’s too hot to burn all those extra calories! So I was excited to learn about lemonade made with sugar alternatives. I stock these for when I want to go low carb in order to help my jeans fit. The great thing about making your own lemonade is that you’re in control of the overall sweetness of the final beverage. Win!! How

grilled pineapple

Grilled Pineapple

After using grilled pineapple in a few recipes here, I realized that it deserves its own post. What a surprising taste! You have to try it. Don’t get me wrong. Mother nature’s fresh pineapple,with its sweet-but-tart taste, is a taste miracle, so to speak. If paradise had a taste, for sure, it would be pineapple. But grilling the fruit transforms it. At first you might be skeptical, but give it a try. It’s heavenly! How to grill pineapple Grilling pineapple is pretty darn simple. No marinade, no special prep involved. If starting with canned pineapple slices, here are the steps:

grilled zucchini

Grilled Zucchini

I definitely love my veggies grilled: Grilled Beets, Grilled Asparagus, even Grilled Stuffed Tomatoes, and now: Grilled Zucchini! Zucchini is great because it’s so plentiful during the summer, and frankly, it’s our fault if we can’t find different ways to cook it. As you may know, I prefer to grill on a hot summer day rather than heat up the house. And this grilling method has the added “ingredient” of simplicity. As long as the grill is fired up for the main course, why not use it for side dishes, too, right? And don’t mistake this for a one-note dish.

Frozen strawberry dessert

Frozen Strawberry Dessert

Ah strawberry season! There’s something so special about these beautiful berries filled with sweet juicy goodness. So many berries! So many possibilities! Readers of my blog know that I grew up on a family farm. We grew lots of vegetables, but also strawberries. When you grow strawberries you need some easy desserts to take advantage of the bountiful crop. Another bountiful farm ingredient? Whipping cream, courtesy of Betsy, the cow. For my family, finding both of these food wonders in one dessert was considered a win. This recipe has origins in my mom’s recipe box, but I adapted it with

Grilled Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus

Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. Even though it’s available year-round, I still like it best when I buy it now, when it’s in-season. It just tastes better! In-season asparagus also means it’s bountiful, allowing a variety of ways to prepare it. That way, I can serve it more than once during the week yet feel as though it’s a completely different dish! That’s where this grilled asparagus recipe comes in handy. Keep the kitchen cool by easily grilling outside. If you’re already using the grill for another part of your meal, adding asparagus is a snap. How to

Chinese Chicken on a Stick

Chinese Chicken on a Stick

Sometimes, the appetizers on a restaurant menu are the most appealing to me. Chinese-American restaurants, especially. I love the egg rolls, wontons and soups. And I especially love chicken on a stick, sometimes called teriyaki chicken or chicken satay. They have a taste I cannot resist! You’ll find that special taste at most every mall food court. I count the guy handing out free teriyaki chicken samples as one of my closest friends. Chicken on a stick is also a common menu item at some summertime state fairs. Perfect walk-around-while-eating food! At home, the only walk required is to the

Copycat Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce

Taco Bell Quesadilla Sauce (Copycat)

Ask almost anyone who’s had a Taco Bell quesadilla and they’ll agree: The sauce is BOSS. It provides that little extra something in your quesadilla that keeps you coming back. Quesadillas are so easy to make at home! Can the same be said for the sauce? Is it possible to make yourself? I say yes! 😀 What’s in Taco Bell’s Quesadilla sauce? I am not Taco Bell therefore I do not have the exact recipe, but we all know the result we crave. It starts with sour cream and mayo for a smooth and creamy base. Then, add some chopped

feat image

Jalapeno Popper Hasselback Chicken

For a while during “Covid quarantine,” it seemed like chicken breasts were the only “meat” I could count on finding. So, I started looking for new ways to cook them. From that, comes today’s recipe: Jalapeno Popper Hasselback Chicken. This new twist on an old staple was warmly received in my kitchen. Let’s break down the parts of this: What are Jalapeno poppers? This is an appetizer made of hollowed out jalapeno peppers that are stuffed. The stuffing is typically cheese with spices, and sometimes ground meat. The peppers are typically breaded and deep fried, but also sometimes wrapped in

No Bake Cheesecake

No-Bake Cheesecake

Cheesecake is one of those wonderful desserts that just works. And it works even better with fresh fruit topping. The only problem is, when fresh fruits and berries are in season, it is typically too hot to make a traditional cheesecake. That’s why this no-bake cheesecake is just the ticket. And it’s a wonderful platform to highlight your favorite fruit of the season. I’ve tried a few different recipes for no-bake cheesecake. It’s probably no surprise that my favorite comes from Martha Stewart. Hers, to me, has a taste and texture closest to traditional, oven-baked cheesecake. Simply delicious😀. How to

Dunkaroo Dip, Funfetti Cake batter dip

Dunkaroo Dip (Funfetti Cake Batter Dip)

Have you heard of Cake Batter Dip? It’s a sweet “dessert” dip that starts with a box of cake mix,  and has many variations. The best one, in my opinion, is Dunkaroo Dip. Remember Dunkaroos? It’s a snack made by Betty Crocker, first launched in 1990. It consists of a snack-sized package containing cookies and frosting. As the name implies, the cookies are meant to be dunked into the frosting before eating. (Wikipedia) Dunkaroos were discontinued in the US in 2012 but continued to be sold in Canada until January 2018, at which point they disappeared there too. Rumor has

Image of Kool-Aid Pie

Kool-Aid Pie (3 Ways!)

The weather is warming up and that means we need another no-bake pie for summertime enjoyment! I crave sweet goodness but don’t want to heat up the kitchen with elaborate baked goods. Enter: Kool-Aid Pie. Only four ingredients, 15 minutes and some time in the fridge.   Kool-Aid memories My childhood summers involved a lot of time outside, a lot of it riding a bike with my friends. My trusty little dog, Esmerelda, would sometimes ride along in the basket on the handlebars. Eventually, we’d get hot, tired and thirsty. A sweet drink was in order. We’d stop at the

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Chicken Breast

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

I’m just gonna say it: I love beets! Always have. I was raised on a farm and we grew beets so I understood the yumminess of fresh vegetables straight from the garden. Cook ‘em up, slather in butter — all good! Then came a new way to enjoy my fav veggie: Beet salad. So, of course, I was first in line! What’s in a name? In the US (and Canada), we refer to this yummy vegetable as a “beet.” But in many other parts of the world, it is called a “beetroot.” (Wikipedia) That’s somewhat more descriptive  since the vegetable

Vegetarian Caprese Quiche

Caprese Quiche

Let’s talk quiche, shall we? It’s a French word, but speaking French isn’t required. Just a good sense of taste. This Caprese Quiche has been a go-to breakfast for years in my house. There’s something about the fresh tastes of basil, tomato and mozzarella cheese that just sings “Spring!” to me. Readers of my blog know that I am Caprese crazy! I make Caprese Pasta Salad and Caprese Chicken. I even make a Caprese version of Avocado Toast. So, Caprese quiche? Obvi . . . What is this thing called Quiche? Quiche is a French tart consisting of pastry crust

Baked Pineapple Salmon on a plate

Baked Pineapple Salmon

Time for another salmon recipe. This, a wonderful discovery featuring an unusual taste accent and sauce for seafood. In this house, we default to lemon as the typical accompaniment for our salmon. But, I was in a “mood,” wanting to play outside the lines. So, my mind lighted on . . . pineapple? With salmon? Yes! I was firmly entrenched in a “Damn the torpedoes!” moment. So, carpe diem! I seized the day. HUGE surprise! This Baked Pineapple Salmon worked out amazingly well. It’s so affirming to try something unusual and have it work. It’s currently tied with our other

easy pasta sauce

Easy Weeknight Pasta

I stumbled upon this way to make easy pasta sauce many years ago and usually make it for a quick side dish with chicken breasts or a vegetarian option. The sauce takes less time than cooking the pasta. If fresh pasta is available, that’s even faster. Either way, it comes together in minutes, perfect for a busy weeknight meal. To start, get your water boiling for the pasta. Once the noodles are in the water, you can start the sauce. (Note: if using fresh pasta, make the sauce first) How to make the easy pasta sauce To make the sauce,

Greek Cucumber Salad

Greek Cucumber Salad

Greek salad: a healthy and easy salad, perfect for summer! I just love a simple Greek salad. Chop some veggies, mix a simple dressing and — done! Only five ingredients, plus spices. Not sure it gets much easier! What’s in a traditional Greek Salad? First, let’s look at what’s NOT a Greek salad. On most of your basic restaurant menus, a Greek Salad will be listed based on lettuce. It’s what we expect of our salads in America. But an authentic Greek salad contains NO lettuce. The ingredients are: Cucumber Tomato Onion Feta cheese Olives (Kalamata) See? No lettuce. No

Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast: 13 ways

I’m sure you’ve all heard of Avocado Toast. Most of you have probably tried it. Here are a few variations to keep you from getting bored with this very healthy take on toast! First, a few ground rules. Start with some really good bread. Think whole grain, seedy, healthy. Words to live by: Good bread makes good toast. Next, pick a ripe avocado. Be sure to follow my avocado tips for cutting and storing your avocado. I generally use up to half an avocado per slice of bread. Avocado is very healthy, but the calories do add up. So, be

Baked corn tortilla chips

Baked Corn Tortilla Chips

Fresh baked, homemade chips = Yum! I don’t know about you, but my first impression of a Mexican restaurant is based on its tortilla chips. Bringing that freshly baked, crispy, salty taste home is even better. Fantastico! How to make your own baked tortilla chips I’ve been trying for some time to make these at home, many attempts until I finally found the right combination of techniques. Tip: While this may take you a couple attempts to get it right, you can combine a meal and cooking chips. Very efficient. For instance, when I make Burrito Pie or Cauliflower Tacos

Derby Pie, Chocolate walnut pie

Chocolate Walnut Pie

For the record: This is not Derby Pie Several years ago, I was introduced to this pie by my friend, Julie. She told me “It’s Derby Pie, but you can’t call it that.” Huh? Turns out the name “derby pie” is a registered trademark of Kern’s Kitchen, the restaurant that first developed it. The recipe is a secret, I mean, a BIG SECRET, and the trademark is diligently (some say over-zealously) guarded. As of 2008 it’s estimated that the company has sued 25 times to protect the trademark. In May 2013, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit digital rights group,

Pink Senorita, Seniorita, Pink Lemonade Margarita

Pink Señorita

Another Cinco de Mayo specialty! As we continue the countdown to Cinco de Mayo, Tuesday, May 5, I thought this recipe for a Pink Señorita would be perfect. This beverage is an alternative to traditional Margaritas made with a surprise ingredient: Pink Lemonade! I love Margaritas AND lemonade, so for me, this is combinación perfecto: a Pink Lemonade Margarita. Some lemonade factoids Little known factoid: Both lemons and sugarcane are native to India. That country gets credit for the creation of lemonade! Other little known facts: According to Wikipedia, there are two distinct types of lemonade: cloudy and clear. Clear

Burrito Pie

Burrito Pie

Burrito Pie is perfect for Cinco de Mayo (or any other day) I’m posting this in anticipation of Cinco de Mayo, Tuesday, May 5, but really, Burrito Pie is one of those meals that works year-round. I make both meat and vegetarian versions to suit individual preferences, so you can take these recipes and adjust as preferred. How is Burrito Pie different from a regular burrito? Besides combining two disparate words (i.e. Burrito + Pie), there isn’t much difference. A burrito is a dish in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine consisting of a flour tortilla wrapped into a sealed tubular shape

Potstickers Chinese Dumplings

Potstickers (Chinese Pan Fried Dumplings)

I’ve been on a Chinese takeout kick lately, have you noticed? First Egg Rolls, then Vegetarian Egg Roll in a Bowl. I even make Chinese chicken skewers. Well, no Chinese menu is complete without Potstickers. For some, it’s the best thing offered. What is a Potsticker? It’s a type of Chinese dumpling cooked with a combination of frying and steaming. It is said that they were invented by mistake when a chef left his pan unattended too long and the dumplings  “stuck” to the pan. Turns out that fried dough makes the dumpling mighty tasty! Typically potstickers are filled with

Vegetarian Egg Roll in a Bowl

Vegetarian Egg Roll in a Bowl

What IS an egg roll in a bowl? I know I’m not alone when I say: I LOVE egg rolls! The crispy deliciousness, the oil that warms the meat and vegetables – all the things that make egg rolls so unhealthy! LOL. Whatever health benefits one might search for in conventional egg rolls (let’s face it, there are only a thimble’s worth of vegetables) they are completely wiped out in the deep fryer. Even the meatless varieties contain just tiny servings of vegetables. So that’s why there’s so much to love about a vegetarian egg roll in a bowl. All

Homemade Egg Rolls

Homemade Egg Rolls

Easier than you think As I shared before, I took a Chinese cooking class a long time ago. It was a very casual type of class generously offered by my employer as a quality of life enhancer. My co-workers and I learned how to make stir-fries and other delicious dishes. The most useful thing I learned was how to make homemade egg rolls. Making egg rolls may seem intimidating at first – the filling, the rolling, the stir frying – but it’s actually quite easy. And homemade egg rolls are incredibly delicious and easy to customize to your personal preferences.

salmon with lemon dressing

Salmon with Whole Lemon Dressing

Salmon ❤ lemon! Today I have one more recipe for when life gives you lemons. Lemon on salmon is a classic combination. But it’s usually just a little squeeze of juice. This time, we will use the whole lemon to make Salmon with Whole Lemon Dressing. Sula ❤ salmon! I’ve mentioned before that I get my salmon directly from Alaska, courtesy of Sitka Salmon Shares. I love receiving those boxes of frozen vacuum-packed fillets and I’m always looking for new ways to use them. So I was happy to find a recipe from NYT Cooking which I lightly adapted for

lemon layer cake

Triple Lemon Layer Cake

When life gives you lemons . . . Today I continue the lemon theme with a Lemon Layer Cake. Like my Jelly Donut Cake, this recipe uses a box mix for the cake layers and spruces it up with a special lemon filling and lemon-cream cheese frosting. Lemony goodness! Make the lemon curd filling Pick your pan Please don’t overlook this important step. The choice of pan is important. I am very sensitive to “metallic” tastes, and the acidity of lemon juice can cause aluminum cookware to leach metallic aluminum ions into the sauce. Not only will the reaction create

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

When life gives you lemons Call it what you will: social distancing, quarantines, whatever. At first we all felt united to defeat a common foe. But as the days turn to weeks, many are beginning to feel a bit sour on the whole topic. Well, as the saying goes: when life gives you lemons, make . . . Lemon Meringue Pie! Lemon Meringue Pie is one of the first I learned to make, straight from the Betty Crocker cookbook. It’s perfect for beginners because it’s simple and produces such impressive results! I find the sweet-tart combination of sugar and lemon

Fruit Pizza

Fruit Pizza

With Easter coming, I think spring. And when I think spring, I think fruit. And when I think fruit, I think of fruit-based treats. For many years, it was my tradition to make a Fruit Pizza for Easter. It’s one of those great, easy recipes that everyone loves. And you don’t have to spend hours preparing it. After all, you need time to hunt for those eggs! There are many variations on this recipe. Some people add Cool Whip to the mixture of cream cheese, which sounds interesting but also kind of messy. Some use a homemade cookie dough recipe.

Strawberry Jelly Donut Cake

Jelly Donut Cake

Every spring, I crave strawberries. The craving usually hits before strawberries are actually in season. That’s why I love making this Strawberry Jelly Donut Cake. I get the taste I want from the strawberry filling without worrying about finding those perfect berries. The star of this cake is actually not the cake part. I simply use a box mix for that. What makes it great is the filling layer. I used my raspberry sauce from the meringue hearts recipe as a starting point, and revised it for strawberries. So let’s go through how to make that: Make the strawberry filling

bone broth

How to Make Bone Broth

Previously, I shared an easy way to make your own vegetable broth, which I use regularly. Today, we’ll tackle bone broth, a surprisingly healthy soup. What is Bone Broth? Bone broth is a highly nutritious stock made by simmering animal bones and connective tissue. What are the benefits of Bone Broth? The amounts of nutrients in broth are dependent upon the ingredients used, but in general: Bone: The bone itself yields minerals like calcium and phosphorus. Sodium, magnesium, potassium, sulfur and silicon are also present. Marrow: Bone marrow provides vitamin A, Vitamin K, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and minerals

Nicoise salad

Nicoise Salad

I love a classic salad, and this Nicoise salad certainly qualifies. It’s an easy dish that has many variations, which means you can adjust ingredients to suit individual taste buds. This version comes with a shallot vinaigrette which complements the flavors wonderfully. The origin of Nicoise salad? Let’s explore: Salade niçoise (French pronunciation: ​[niˈswaz]), is a salad that originated in the French city of Nice. It is traditionally made of tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, olives and anchovies or tuna, dressed with olive oil. It has been popular worldwide since the early 20th century, and has been prepared and discussed by many chefs.

salad greens

Dressing a Salad

Like most Americans, I always thought of salad as a bed of greens and a bunch of veggies slathered with salad dressing from a bottle. But when I read that the Italians take an entirely different approach, I needed to give it a try. The basic idea is: stop thinking of dressing as being separate from the salad. Dressing is a verb, not a noun. So the process of “dressing” is the treatment you give to your salad greens before eating. This is how it works: oil, salt and vinegar. Now, each person feels these ingredients should be used in

mississippi chicken

Mississippi Chicken (Crock Pot Meal)

This is a recipe that a friend told me about, saying “you’ve gotta try Mississippi Chicken” – she was right! Its one of those oh-so-easy meals thanks to a trusty crockpot, a couple of seasoning packets (au jus and ranch dressing) and butter. The author at thecountrycook.net, uses boneless skinless chicken breasts. I also made them with boneless, skinless thighs and had great results so don’t get too hung up on specific cuts of meat. As long as it’s boneless and skinless, you will be fine. The recipe calls for peperoncini peppers, the whole kind, but the first time I

Vegetarian stromboli

Stromboli with Puff Pastry

Meat lovers OR Vegetarian versions Looking for some March Madness munchies? Even without a tournament happening, we still get in the mood for game time food, very much like football season, and Stromboli works whether the ball goes through the hoop or the goal posts.   I’m also happy to say that this is my 150th post! Time really does fly! So I’m glad to be bringing one of my favorites at this milestone. How to make Stromboli – meat version Traditionally, Stromboli is made with cheeses and cold cuts wrapped in dough. The dough can be pizza dough, but

broccoli kale salad

Broccoli Kale Salad

with Citrus Vinaigrette To illustrate how cooking sometimes takes its own path, this salad started with a completely different recipe that a friend shared years ago for a farro (grain) salad, which had a unique dressing: Clementine vinaigrette. The salad was good, but the real star was the dressing. I decided to make my own version with this tasty Broccoli-Kale Salad. With this recipe, I’m trying for something that resembles the sweet kale salad I sometimes get from Costco. My version has a little less sugar and a lot more control over the quantity. Plus, I do have occasional negative