Sunday, March 7, 2021

Vegetarian moussaka

 1/4 cup Greek extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 package ground plant “meat”

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, cored, and thinly sliced

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup red wine or broth

1 (28-ounce can) plum tomatoes, pureed until smooth with their juices

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

1 eggplant, cut into tiny cubes (1/4”)

Bechamel Sauce:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup flour

2 1/2 cups milk

1 bay leaf

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup soft goat cheese

1 cup grated Romano

1 lemon, zested

Sauté the “meat”, add onion, and seasonings. Add chopped eggplant and bell pepper. Sauté until reduced and cooked through. Add tomato paste and wine/broth. Add tomatoes, sauté. Add oregano and parsley.

Separately, melt butter and add flour. Add milk and bay leaf. Cool until reduced. Beat egg yolks, and add. Remove bay leaf, add salt and pepper.

Later eggplant into pan, add sauce on top. Add cheese to top. 

Bake at 400 for 45 min.

Based on:

Beer bread

 Oddly, there are times when we have a flat can of beer. If that’s you, or you just want a fast homemade bread- this could be easy and quick:

Preheat oven to 375. Butter pan.

Mix together:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (sometimes I do half sugar, half maple syrup)
  • 1 (12-ounce) can beer (the blander the better)
Pour into bread pan, and add on top:
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Bake about 35 minutes.

Monday, February 15, 2021

Quarantine Cooking Continues

 You would think with all this time at home, I would have tons of time to update the food blog- but nah... However, I have been cooking EVERY MEAL - so there are a few new recipes I want to share / save:

Minestrone soup: 

Vegetarian Burritos: 

Enchilada sauce: 

Huevos Rancheros:

Vegetarian Tortilla Casserole:

Lentil & Mushroom Stew over mashed potatoes:

Mushroom lasagna:

Creamy Mushroom Pasta:

Goat cheese & caramelized onion pizza:

Shrimp pasta:

Maple Balsamic Dressing:

Greek Goddess Dressing:

Buttermilk Ranch dressing:

Applecider Donut Cake:

Pear Bread:

Spoon Bread: OR 

Items I haven’t made yet but want to:

From Thanksgiving, my friend AG sent this gem:


Cauliflower Tacos:

Mahi mahi:

Chickpea and Rice soup:

Cauliflower Korma:

Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Ginger Molassess Cookies:

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Quarantine cooking

With Covid 19 having us locked down for the last (going into) 8 weeks, we have been only cooking every meal. Needless to say, I’ve stock piled recipes to post. A friend of mine sent around a recipe exchange that I failed at doing, and instead sent a snapshot into what we’ve been eating.

Here it is (but I added a few recipes that I forgot I made!):

To make it up to you, figured I’d send a few recipes I’ve been making during the last 2 months:

This eggplant pasta has become very frequent, and neither of us liked eggplant:

This is a rif on a broccoli salad from Whole Foods that is fast and the bomb, I don’t candy my nuts but throw in whatever ones I have like cashews or pistachios:

Made this Tuscan pasta dish from canned goods with success:

I’ve always made quesadillas without a recipe but this changed by mind:

Had lots of ricotta and too lazy to make lasagna:

Made this to use up some random veggies and added chick peas:

Been making this spaghetti and clam pasta for a while now, so good, and I just used canned clams:
These potatoes were tasty:

Made congee after our trip to Thailand and watching the porridge episode of Somewhere South:

I’ve made a few things from my blog I recommend that we have been making: fried rice!!, ramen, broccoli cheddar soup, black bean soup, breakfast bowls, salmon cakes, banana bread, pizza, carrot cake!

This deep dish pizza was perfect:

Love using up old bread with any version of a bread pudding or a veggie strata:

Mexican rice:

Randomly got mangos in my Veggie box this week so going to make this tonight with shrimp or fish (since I don’t eat chicken anymore)- always a favorite in warm weather:

Emptying the freezer of frozen fruit into these muffins:

Been loving beer bread when I have no patience for yeast rising or kneeding (make half portion and just mix in the baking pan):

Grocery store sent me pie dough so I made these and they were great with frozen spinach:

Made these cookies a few times, and although very tasty, not as good as when my friend Vicki makes them.... maybe I’m being too stingy with my butter:

Random— Made pudding: and added some chocolate chips during cooling, that was nice


Sunday, April 26, 2020

Pizza in Quarantine

I’ve tried a few different pizza dough recipes over the years, but I don’t have patience- if I want pizza it has to be today. I also can’t get the cook times right. But this recipe for deep dish might be perfect!

Adapted from

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine salt (like table salt or fine sea salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast or active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil for the pan
  • 6 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, grated (but I think James wanted more!)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cups tomato sauce or pizza sauce.
  • Place the flour, salt, yeast, water, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer or other medium-large mixing bowl.
  • Stir everything together to make a shaggy, sticky mass of dough with no dry patches of flour.Then gather the dough into a rough ball, then cover the bowl.
  • After 5 minutes, uncover the bowl and reach a bowl scraper or your wet hand down between the side of the bowl and the dough, as though you were going to lift the dough out. Instead of lifting, stretch the bottom of the dough up and over its top. Repeat three more times, turning the bowl 90 degrees each time. This process of four stretches, which takes the place of kneading, is called a fold.Re-cover the bowl. Repeat for 4 total times. 
  • Cover the bowl and let the dough rest, undisturbed, for 40 minutes. 
  • Then refrigerate it, covered, for a minimum of 12 hours, or up to 72 hours. (transfer the dough to a gallon-sized ziplock bag with a little extra olive oil to coat the inside of the bag.) 
  • About 2 hours before you want to serve your pizza, prepare your pan. Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil into a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet coating it.
  • Transfer the dough to the pan and press the dough to the edges of the pan, dimpling it using the tips of your fingers - if it begins to shrink back—that’s okay, just cover it and let it rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Cover the crust and let it rise for 1.5 hours at room temperature.
  • With rack on bottom- Heat the oven to 450°F.
  • sprinkle about three-quarters of the mozzarella evenly over the crust. Cover the entire crust, no bare dough showing—this will yield caramelized edges. Dollop small spoonfuls of the sauce over the cheese (don't spread it!)—laying the cheese down first like this will prevent the sauce from seeping into the crust and making it soggy. Sprinkle on the remaining mozzarella.
  • Bake the pizza on the bottom rack of the oven for 22 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and the bottom and edges of the crust are a rich golden brown. ( If the bottom is brown but the top still seems pale, transfer the pizza to the top rack and bake for 2 to 4 minutes longer.)
  • Remove the pizza from the oven and place the pan on a heatproof surface. Carefully run a table knife or spatula between the edge of the pizza and side of the pan to prevent the cheese from sticking as it cools. Let the pizza cool very briefly, then as soon as you feel comfortable doing so, carefully transfer it from the pan to a cooling rack or cutting surface. This will prevent the crust from becoming soggy.

Saturday, February 8, 2020


We recently had a layover in Tokyo, and had cups of noddles at the airport lounge. It's really made me crave ramen, but not college ramen, something with less sodium.

So I bought college ramen, threw out the flavor packet, and doctored it up!

2 T ginger, minced
2 scallions, diced
1 t garlic powder
5 mushrooms, sliced
8 baby carrots, sliced
1 c bok choy, diced
1/2 can of pea shoots
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 c sugar snap peas, chopped on bias
3 c water 
2 c stock
1/2 c miso paste
2 T soy sauce or tamari
1 T chili oil
1 T cilantro, chopped
1 T basil, chopped
1 T sriracha

2 blocks of ramen noodles 

In a pan, add 2 T oil to a hot pan. Add the ginger, white parts of the scallion, and garlic.

Add diced mushrooms, sliced carrots, bok choy, peas, pepper, and pea shoots. 

Add stock/water, miso, and sauces. 

Top with herbs and sriracha as desired.

*for JW's portion, I added some diced steak- that I cooked in the stock water in a corner of the pot.

Fried Rice

I had all this rice leftover from the swordfish- that was generally overcooked. So, the perfect option is to make fried rice!

Shrimp Fried Rice:
8 oz Shrimp
4 c pre-cooked rice
1 T ginger, minced
2 scallions, diced
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t cornstarch
3 eggs
1 c baby carrots, diced
1 c frozen peas
1 pepper, diced
1 c bok choy, chopped (I had it leftover from the swordfish too!)
2 T soy sauce or tamara
2 T fish sauce (optional, but I had it)
1 T basil, chopped

Peel and devein the shrimp. Toss with cornstarch and salt and pepper. Heat pan with 2 T oil, and once hot, saute on each side for 1 minute, almost cooked through. Set aside.

While shrimp cooks, crack eggs and beat lightly. Once shrimp are done, add the eggs to the pan and scramble until just almost done. Add to the shrimp set aside.

In the pan, add 2 T oil, and add scallions and ginger. Then, add rice. Do not stir- but leave to cook for 2 minutes on high. Then toss, and fry for 2 more minutes.

Meanwhile, put the diced carrots into a bowl and microwave for 3 minutes.

On top of the rice, sprinkle in the soy sauce and fish sauce. Add the carrots, peas, pepper, and bok choy. Add the shrimp and eggs back. Toss to heat.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I made my variation of the Bon Appetit recipe...
1/2 onion, diced
1 t garlic powder
2 T olive oil
1/4 t red pepper flakes
2 heads of broccoli
4 yellow wax potatoes, diced
2 bouillon cubes
6 oz cheddar cheese
3/4 c Greek yogurt

Add the olive oil and onion to a large pot to hear. Add the garlic powder and red pepper flakes.

Then, cut the stalks of the broccoli and the potatoes- add to the pot. Add 4 cups of water and 2 bouillon cubes. Boil, then simmer on medium low for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, from the broccoli florets that are remaining, take a handful to make into smaller bite sized pieces. And, shred the cheese.

Into the pot, add the florets that were NOT made into smaller pieces about halfway through cooking time.

Once the potatoes and broccoli chunks are soft- puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the remaining small florets and the cheese, and stir. 

Remove from heat and add yogurt and salt and pepper to taste.