Sunday, December 31, 2017

Instant pot

Recently, I got an Instant pot and still learning how to cook in it. Today I made two simple things that worked:


Place beets in bottom with 1 c water.
Cool on manual for 12-13 minutes (for smaller ones).
Let naturally release pressure.

Hard boiled eggs-

Place eggs on the rack with 1 c water.
Cook on manual for 5 min.
Quick Release pressure.
Drop in ice bath. (Don’t  drop on counter than add to ice bath, as I did)

Popovers when exploring Yorkshire pudding

i didn’t realize the difference between popovers and Yorkshire pudding until I was done. It seems that the batter is the same but popovers tend to be small and puddings larger with meat.

Well, this recipe is better for popovers than my original as it has pools of butter. Now I know why my grandmother remarked they were missing. It’s the best!

Adapted from NYT:

3 eggs
3/4 c milk
3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 t kosher salt
12 t of butter
  1. Mix the eggs, milk, flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Let sit for 30 min.
  3. Add teaspoon of butter to each of 12 muffin cups.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C).
  5. Melt butter for 5 min while preheats.
  6. Pour batter in cups til half full.
  7. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 11-12 minutes until puffed up and golden brown.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Xmas Pasta

it was the night before Christmas and I had to think of something to take for dinner...

The night before I made basil-ricotta raviolis from Cooking Light (July!)- but it was great so made a modified version for Xmas- both below!

Basil-Rocco’s Ravioli-

3/4 c ricotta
1/4 c parm cheese
1/4 c basil
1/2 t lemon zest
Black pepper
1/4 t kosher salt
16 wonton wrappers
4 t olive oil
3 cloves garlic
10 oz spinach
2 T lemon juice

Mix the ricotta, half parm, half basil, lemon zest, S&P in a bowl.
Dip the edges of the wonton in water and place 1 T of mix in the middle. Fold in half to make a triangle- seal  the wrapper with a wet finger.
Boil the raviolis for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile- sauté garlic in oil. Add salt and spinach. Stir in lemon juice.

Top with remaining parm, basil, oil, S&P.

For Xmas eve version -

Didn’t make the handmade raviolis but bought tortellini instead.
Added leftover cheese mixture to the pot with the spinach and lemon juice. Added more zest as well.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Instant Pot Banana Bread

I got an instant pot this week and decided to try banana bread in it. I dont think it was any faster than in the oven- so not sure why one would use the instant pot for this- other than the ability to leave the house while it cooks (maybe...)

I didnt have any eggs- so here is the recipe I used:

Spray the pan. Mix in the pan:
3/4 c applesauce
3/4 c brown sugar
1 T coconut oil
Mixed together until fluffy. 

Add 2-3 ripe bananas (mine were frozen, so I let sit out to defrost).

Add 1 t of vanilla and 1/3 cup of milk.

Mix in 2 cups flour, 1 t baking soda and 1/2 t salt. 

Optional, add 1/2 c of chocolate chips and/or walnuts.

Cook on the pressure cooker setting for 50 minutes, then natural release for 10. It was moist on top when it came out- but tastes good.

One-pot pasta with spinach and tomatoes

1 T olive oil
1 c onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic
14.5 oz diced tomatoes
1.5 c stock
1/2 t oregano
8 oz pasta
1/2 t salt
10 oz spinach
1 oz parm cheese

Heat oil- add onion and garlic for 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, stock, oregano, pasta- in that order. (Press down.)

Bring to boil- cover & Reduce to med-low for until pasta is done (see box for time).

Add salt, spinach to wilt and let stand 5 minutes.

Serve with cheese.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Swordfish and rice bowl

1 c rice
1/4 c honey
2 T tamari
2 T olive oil
1.5 lb swordfish, cut into 1 in pieces
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 red onion
4 Boy bok choy or 1 regular sized
1/2 c cilantro
1/4 c sesame seeds or peanuts
lime wedge or juice

In skillet on high, heat oil- add fish and season with S&P.  Cook until brown (2 min)- flip.

Add onion. Cook 3-4 more minutes.

Meanwhile, mix tamari and honey together.

Add bok choy - Cook until wilted

Pour dressing on top and heat.

Serve over rice and top with cilantro, seeds, and lime.

Adapted from Real simple

Wednesday, November 22, 2017


Until today, if you asked me how long ago it was when my brother gave me a CIA cookbook- I wouldve said no more than a few years ago- but I found the receipt- and it was 2009.

Well, since then, I've been making their Garlic Cheese Grits- and every time I fret over why it isn't on the blog!

Here's my version:

1 t salt
2 c water
1/2 c grits

Cook 10 minutes, then add:

1/4 c butter
1/2 c cheddar cheese
1/2 c milk
1 egg
1 garlic clove
1/4 t Worcestershire sauce
1/8 t hot sauce
dash cayenne
salt & pepper

Bake about 30 minutes at 350.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Pappardelle with Chicken and Pistachio-Mint Pesto

I had so much mint this year that I had to find recipes just to use it up!

1.5 c mint
1/2 c pistachios
1/4 c lemon juice
1/2 c olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 oz pappardelle pasta
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
Shredded chicken- optional

Make pesto- add mint, nuts, juice to processor- and slowly add oil. Add S&P.

Make pasta and save 1 c water.

Drain pasta and then add 1 c reserved water, squashes, tomatoes and pesto. Toss and add S&P. Added chicken if desired.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Bucatini with kale and ricotta

I love bucatini- spaghetti with a whole in it!

12 oz bucatini
1 bunch lacinato kale
1/4 c olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 oz parm cheese
1/8 t red pepper flakes
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
1 c ricotta cheese
lemon zest*

Cook pasta in salted water.

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts.

Add kale to pasta and water until wilted. Strain, but keep 3/4c of water.

In a skillet, heat garlic and then add pasta, kale, parm, red pepper, and water.

Season with S&P and serve with nuts, ricotta and lemon zest.

* My friend JD (the same who asked about mashing potatoes) once tried to call me to ask where to buy lemon zest in the store. She is now the proud owner of a zester...

Adapted from Real Simple May 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl

I've been trying to post for a while- but the app on my phone broke- and using a real computer felt daunting. But, here it goes- Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls!

These are so good- and since I stopped eating meat in July, they are good for both JW and I since I can easily add chicken to just his.

2 cloves garlic
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t Dijon
1/2 c olive oil
1/2 lemon
1/2 t sugar
1 T red wine vinegar
1/2 t basil
1/4 t oregano

Frozen peas
Chick peas or cannelloni beans (or both)
Chicken (optional)

Toss pre-cooked chicken in the juice of 1/2 lemon and 1/2 of the oregano.

Cook 1/2 quinoa per bowl. Add frozen peas to defrost.

In a bowl, add the quinoa w/ peas, chick peas/cannelloni beans, artichokes, feta, and top with chicken (optional).
Add dressing. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Caesar dressing

Taken from BA magazine


The Dressing

  • 6 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more
  • ¾ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper

The Croutons

  • 3 cups torn 1" pieces country bread, with crusts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

The Lettuce

  • 3 romaine hearts, leaves separated

The Cheese

  • Parmesan, for serving


The Dressing

  1. Chop together anchovy fillets, garlic, and pinch of salt. Use the side of a knife blade to mash into a paste, then scrape into a medium bowl. Whisk in egg yolks, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and mustard. Adding drop by drop to start, gradually whisk in olive oil, then vegetable oil; whisk until dressing is thick and glossy. Whisk in Parmesan. Season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired.
  2. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead.

The Croutons

  1. Make your own. Tearing, not cutting the bread ensures nooks and crannies that catch the dressing and add texture. Preheat oven to 375°. Toss bread with olive oil on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden, 10–15 minutes.

The Lettuce

  1. Use whole leaves; they provide the ideal mix of crispness, surface area, and structure.

The Cheese

  1. Caesars crowned with a mound of grated Parmesan may look impressive, but all that clumpy cheese mutes the dressing. Instead, use a vegetable peeler to thinly shave a modest amount on top for little salty bursts.

The Assembly

  1. Skip the tongs. Use your hands to gently toss the lettuce, croutons, and dressing, then top off with the shaved Parm.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Mushroom Marsala Pasta Bake

We were invited to a friend's house for dinner and he made a lovely pasta bake that I then re-created at home. So good!.

Prep time: 30 minutes, tops
Cook time: 30 minutes, tops
Servings: 4 really generous or 6 slightly more moderate ones
To serve a crowd: Double it in a 9×13-inch or lasagna pan
8 ounces pasta of you choice, such as a ziti or twisty shape
1 T olive oil
3/4 lb fresh mushroom, sliced (I used pre-sliced cremini, my new favorite thing)
1 small-to-medium yellow onion, halved and sliced thin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 c dry marsala wine (or red wine and brown sugar)
3 T unsalted butter
3 T all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c stock
1/2 c finely grated parmesan cheese
4 ounces mozzarella, cut into small cubes
3 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cook the pasta: 
Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 1 to 2 minutes before perfect doneness. Drain and set aside.
Heat oven: To 400 degrees.
Make the sauce: 
Reheat your empty pasta pot over high heat- Add oil and once it is hot, add mushrooms and cook until they’ve begun to brown and glisten, but have not yet released their liquid. 
Reduce heat to medium-high, add onions, salt and pepper and saute together until the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated. 
Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until it has almost or fully evaporated (depending on your preference). 
Add butter, stir until melted.
Add flour, and stir until all has been dampened and absorbed.
Add stock, a very small splash at a time, stirring the whole time with a spoon. Make sure each splash has been fully mixed into the butter/flour/mushroom mixture, scraping from the bottom of the pan and all around, before adding the next splash. Repeat until all stock has been added. 
Let mixture simmer together for 2 minutes, stirring frequently; the sauce will thicken. Remove pan from heat.
Assemble and bake dish:
If you’re cooking in an ovensafe dish, add cooked pasta and stir until combined.
Stir in half the parmesan, all of the mozzarella and two tablespoons of the parsley until evenly mixed. 
Sprinkle the top with remaining parmesan. 
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until edges of pasta are golden brown and irresistible.
Sprinkle with reserved parsley and serve hot. Reheat as needed.