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!

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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. 
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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.