Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas with Yogurt

Another hit from Smitten Kitchen!

Serves 4
4 large sweet potatoes, washed and dried, cut into 4 to 8 wedges.  Sometimes I cut those in half
1 T honey
a dash of red pepper flakes
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and patted dry
4 T olive oil
1/4 t paprika
kosher salt
1/2 cup Greek style plain yogurt
2 T lime juice
2 scallions, both green and white parts, thinly sliced.

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Line two baking sheets with foil.  In the first sheet, put 1 T of olive oil.

Toss sweet potatoes with honey and 1 T of olive oil and the pepper flakes.  Stir.  Let sit in bowl for 10 minutes.  Spread out yams on foiled sheet.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 30 minutes.  Turn wedges around with spatula and cook for 5 minutes more.

Toss chickpeas with 1 T olive oil, paprika and salt.  Spread on uncoated baking sheet.  Cook for 20 minutes.  Shake once or twice during cooking.

Whisk yogurt, 1 T olive oil and lime juice in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.

Put sweet potatoes on platter. . . . put on chickpeas.  Garnish with scallions.  Serve with yogurt on the side.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Mushroom Ragout with Poached Egg

This recipe was adjusted from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty.

This serves four people.

.50 oz dried porcini mushrooms
2 ½ cups water
1 ¼ lbs mixed fresh mushrooms 
1/2  lb sourdough bread
6 ½ tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium onion, sliced
½ cup white wine
3 thyme sprigs
4 eggs
Vinegar for poaching
½ cup sour cream
2 tbsp chopped dill
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Black pepper

Soak the dried porcini in one cup of water for 30 minutes.  Clean up mushrooms.  Cut mushrooms into large chunks.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut bread into one inch cubes.  Toss with 2 T olive oil, garlic and salt.  Spread on baking sheet and toast in oven for 15 minutes, or until brown.

Pour 1 T of oil into saute pan and heat over medium high heat.  Add some of the mushrooms.  Cook for about 2 minutes without stirring.  Turn over to cook for another minute.  Remove from the pan and continue with more batches, adding oil as needed.  For me this took four batches.  Once all mushrooms have been cooked, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and toss in onion and carrot.  Saute for 5 minutes.  Add wine and cook for one minute.

Take out porcini mushrooms and squeeze out liquid.  Pour all liquid into pan and add 1 1/2 c of water to pan along with thyme and salt.  Cook for 20 minutes.  Strain.  Discard onion mixture and return stock (1 cup) to pan.

Start poaching the eggs, with bringing a shallow pan of water with a splash of vinegar to a rapid boil (I used two pans).  Break an egg into a small cup and pour into boiling water.  Turn off heat and put on cover and let sit for 5 minutes.  Once all eggs are done dry.

Heat up stock, and add mushrooms, sour cream most of the fresh herbs and salt and pepper.

Put 1/4 of the croutons into each soup bowl.  Top with mushrooms and sauce.  Add an egg to each bowl.  Top with herbs.

While this makes an amazing winter meal, my kids HATE mushrooms, so we ate this as a summer meal and it was delicious.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Amazing Almond Torte from Chez Penisse

This was another hit in the cake parade!

1 1/4 c sugar
7-8 oz almond paste (can be found in the baking aisle)
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into slices
1 t vanilla extract
6 eggs
1 c all purpose flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Take 9 inch spring form pan and spray Pam with Flour.

Put the almond paste into the food processor with the steel blade and process well.  Add sugar.  Add butter and vanilla and process until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and process in between.

Mix in flour, baking powder and salt, and process until blended - not very long.

Pour into pan and bake for 42-48 minutes, checking often.  Should be a dark golden color and the center feels firmly springy when you push it.

Let it cool for 20 minutes.  Run a knife along the inside and release the sides of the spring form pan.

Dust with powdered sugar.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Corn and Tomato Pizza

This is a great pizza and easy to make:

First step is to make the pizza dough using this recipe.  This recipe makes enough dough for two pizzas that will fit on a traditional sized pizza stone.  I have two stones.  Be sure to place the stones in a cold oven and then preheat the oven and the stones to 400.


28 oz can chopped tomatoes, drained
2 cups corn (frozen corn that is thawed)
1/4 cup freshly sliced basil
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Asiago cheese

In a bowl combine the tomatoes, corn, basil, salt and pepper.  Stir.

Put each pizza round on a stone, which is spread with some cornmeal to prevent sticking.

Spread one cup of mozzarella cheese on each pizza dough, followed by 3/4 cup of asiago cheese on each dough circle.

Spread half the corn and tomato mixture on top of each round.

Place in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Health Care - a few thoughts

Many of my readers know that health insurance is important, and I believe Americans should have the ability to access and afford quality health care.  There are so many things that bother me about the new proposed health care act, including the pre-existing conditions.  So many Americans who exercise and eat healthy, still have pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes and sleep apnea.  Some of us have bad genes but we still eat healthy, don't smoke and exercise.

Let me discuss one point that angers me - mental health issues.  In this country, if you have a cardiac episode you are treated with dignity.  If you go into the same ER with a full blown mental health issue, most likely you will be released because there are not enough in patient beds to treat people who are in crisis for mental health, because we as a country have created that situation.  We have young people who are in crisis.  We have older people with dementia and there is NO safe and healthy place for them to go.

Let me tell you, the first people I notice to blame an active shooter for killing innocent people are pro gun rights.  And they will then tell me that the person had mental health issues.  I can tell you that the person who has been struggling with mental health issues might have tried to see a therapist, however the therapist might not accept their health insurance or have any space.  It is time for our country to come together and treat patients with mental health issues with the same care, compassion and medicine as heart attack patients.  They are all patients and they all need medical care.  The person with the mental health issues needs help, but our country is on the road to now label that as a "pre existing condition" and many health insurance companies will not cover treatment.  Unless you have the wealth similar to the Trump Family or the Gates Family, the ability for you to help a family member receive mental health care will disappear.

Please help American's save their own access to health care.  Please make sure mental health is included in all health plans.  Please make sure every American can access good care and affordable care.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pasta Maker

As loyal readers know, I love my food appliances.  I love my food processor.  If you follow my Facebook page, you will know that I was OUT of the food processor business from December to the beginning of April, which really put a crimp in my food prep.  I was unable to use it due to the recall of the blade, but I am back in business.

One of my co-workers raved about a pasta maker, so we purchased one and we love it:

Pasta Maker

We really love it, and I plan on using it tonight for dinner!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day, and women wore red and many did not attend work (similar to a day without immigrants in February, 2017).  I decided to work today, as did many other women in my company.

Here is one article from CNN.

Here is one article from MarketWatch.

Another interesting article from Kveller.