Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes

I made these for the first time, about a year ago, and these became popular with the family.  The spark of the tomato and the shagginess of the spinach worked together, in taste and appearance.  It is also a light and healthy dish.

If you would also like to get your calcium with the tomatoes and spinach, add some Ricotta to the spinach or top the whole thing with shredded cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan or your favorite,  I recently found a Munster with olives that is wonderful to flavor a dish.  I bet that would be good.

For the following event, go here and here.

Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes

In all fairness, I came across this recipe, in several places, each one unique but similar.  I am not sure who to credit it but the Food Geeks’ recipe is on  the paper, I had when I was making it.  I will share the changes, as I go along.  Visit them.  They have some really interesting recipes.  I plan to return there.
Baked Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes      adapted

2 servings

2 tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen spinach, thawed, chopped, well-drained
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup taco chips, crushed in the food processor                                                                   
1 egg, slightly beaten

Using fully ripe tomatoes, cut tops from tomatoes about 1/3 of the way down.
Gently scoop out pulp from tomatoes, leaving a 1/4″ thick shell.
Turn shells upside down to drain.
In a medium skillet, heat olive oil.
Add  spinach, 1/2 tsp. salt and black pepper. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in taco chip crumbs and eggs.
Sprinkle tomato shells lightly with salt.
Fill with spinach mixture.
Place in small baking pan.
Bake in 350°F until hot, about 25 minutes. If desired, sprinkle tops with buttered crumbs.

As the tomatoes grow on the farms or your garden or from the stores, you may want to make an easy and tasty recipe.  Add a little Worcestershire sauce or Sriracha to the spinach if you want some heat.  Sriracha wins the heat contest.


Lemony Rice

Sometimes, I amaze myself.  I have been cooking for the next Jewish holiday, which starts the eve of The Tuesday after next.  Although, I like fresh food on the holidays, it was necessary to change our normal pre-holiday schedule, since I am going for minor surgery.  I have no idea if I will be up to doing everything necessary.  This comes down to freezing the meals, now.

I just did not have it in me to cook all day.  I had other things to do and I busied myself with errands and phone calls and the wash.   We did not have big plans for today and at the last minute changed from the barbecue, we planned to a simple meal of potatoes and eggs.  I was craving potatoes, not hot dogs and hamburgers.

I decided, I had better do some cooking so out came the lentils, the rice, the quinoa and some chicken breasts.  I ended up making lentil latkes and lentil pancakes, quinoa, and two rice dishes.  The chicken was turned into a Polynesian dish and will go well with one of the rice dishes or the quinoa.  What I was amazed at was how I managed to throw all the dishes together quickly and correctly.  I did a lot of improvising to make it work but we are now ready for at least two meals.  I already have pepper steak and meatballs.  I have a few cakes baked, as well.  A  butternut squash mashed together is also awaiting the holidays.  My youngest said, she would do some cooking and I am ever so thankful for this.  I think we are in good shape and since, I am not able to do much more about it, I am not fighting it.

Lemony Rice


  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small red sweet pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice


In a saucepan heat water or broth to boiling. 
Stir in rice, cumin, and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. 
Stir in chopped  sweet red pepper and green onion; return to boiling. 
Cover and simmer about 15 minutes more or until rice is tender. 
Stir in peas, parsley, and lemon juice.
Heat thoroughly.

Lentil Patties

365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian
I go on cooking sprees. This afternoon, I pulled out the quinoa and the orange lentils.  I have this wonderful book which seems to be sitting around forever.  I pick it up, occasionally, get excited about the recipes and put it down without making anything.  There is no rationale behind this.  I really have wanted to use this book.  I bet, I have had it for twenty years.  It is called 365 Ways to Cook Vegetarian.  If you should own it, take a look and you will find a gold mine.  It is part of a series - 365 Ways To....

I think, I didn't follow through with the recipes because I only became a real veggie lover, recently.  The first time, I have had a lentil, knowingly (not in a restaurant or someone's home) was within the past two years.  The book has some interesting lentil recipes. The recipe, I used, is found on page 66 and is called Lentil Patties with Coconut Relish.  If you have read my blog for any length of time, you probably know, I change recipes around and sometimes, there is no way to tell that it came from the original recipe.  This time, I used most of the ingredients but I shifted gears completely, adding the relish to the patties and adding flax seed flour and ground nuts in place of the flour.

You can find a recipe that was most likely based on this recipe, here.  This one has a mango relish which I can imagine being delicious. 

Lentil Patties

  • Time 40 minutes
  • Serves 6


  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked dried orange lentils
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1/4 cup flax seed flour
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts 
  • 1 egg
  •  1/4 cup shredded coconut
  •  canola oil  (as needed to cook patties)


    • Rinse lentils thoroughly in colander under cold running water.
    • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
    • Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, 30 to 40 minutes until lentils are tender; drain.
    • Combine half of lentils, onion, cumin, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce in food processor; process until just combined.
    • Add carrot, flour, egg and coconut
    • Process using pulsing action until well blended; transfer to large bowl.
    • Coat bottom of large skillet with oil.
    • Heat over medium-high heat until very hot.
    • Using large cookie scoop place scoops of lentil mixture in skillet.
    • Cook patties over medium heat 4 - 5 minutes on each side until browned on both sides, adding additional oil if needed.
     I did not get any good photos but to get an idea what these looked like, here is one.  They do look like hamburgers.  I browned them a little too long or on too high a heat so be careful, if making these.

    Monday, May 30, 2011

    Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake

    The Jewish holiday of Shevuot is  coming and one of the delicious foods, we eat is cheesecake.  From home to home, we find different kinds of cheesecakes, some plain, others elaborate.  I plan to make a fancier one but then, I revert back to a nice plain cheesecake, rich in flavor and creaminess.  This year, I made the Cheesecake Factory cake.  It has a nut crust made with three different nuts which is yummy.  It needs more crust so that it is thicker but it is good.  I didn't want to cut the cake so I don't  know what the filling tastes like.  I was going to slice strawberries and put them on top but I decided to make a nut topping.  I took some cinnamon, sugar and nuts and sprinkled the combination on top.

    Tia from Buttercream Barbie posts a monthly list of Copy Cat recipes.  This is for her.


    Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake  (adapted)

    Ingredients:  Servings:  8

    ·       1/4 cup of each, finely chopped pecans , walnuts and almonds
    • 3/4 cup finely chopped gluten-free ladyfingers
    • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
    • 1 1/2 lbs cream cheese
    • 1 1/3 cups sugar
    • 5 large eggs
    • 16 ounces sour cream
    • 1/4 cup flour
    • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
    1.  Crust: Mix all nuts and vanilla wafer crumbs with melted butter and press into a 9 inch buttered springform pan, trying to line the sides as much as possible about 1 1/2" up the sides of the pan, set aside.
    2.  Cheesecake: All above ingredients should be at room temperature before your begin.
    3.  Start by beating the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
    4.  Keep the mixer on a low setting throughout the beating and mixing process.
    5.  Add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until creamy.
    6.  Add one egg at a time and beat after each egg.
    7.  When eggs have been mixed into the cream cheese add flour, vanilla and lemon juice, mix well.
    8.  Add the sour cream last and beat well.
    9.  Pour cream cheese into the spring pan.
    10.  Place on the top rack in the middle of a 325 degrees preheated oven for one hour and 15 minutes.
    11.  When time is up, prop open oven door and leave in oven for one hour.
    12.  After one hour, remove from oven.
    13.  Let cool enough before the cheesecake is put into the refrigerator for 24 hours

    Sweet Indulgences SundayMingle Monday
    Tasty Tuesday  3

      Chocolate Drool and Kisses

      Sunday, May 29, 2011

      Praline Apple Bread

      IMG_3034I got Southern Living for a year and this recipe made my subscription worthwhile.  It has everything good, in it.  It is the perfect quick bread for my husband. A  moist sour cream bread with pecans and apples.

      This does not imply that I have not gotten lots of good recipes from Southern Living.  I found wonderful dishes to make.  The recipes appear to be relatively easy and ingredients quickly located.  Recently, I am finding Eating Well and Cooking Light to have more of the recipes, I am looking for.

      I am slowly working my way through my magazines.  One year, I went on a spree, ordering subscriptions to every foodie magazine, I could find.  It is taking me way more than  a year to make a dent in these.  I enjoy reading them and inevitably find recipes in each and every one.  I am torn between magazines and books, both which line the shelves.

      Praline Apple Bread – adapted from Southern Living – September 2009

      •  1 and 1/2 cups pecans, divided into 1/2 cup and one cup, chopped
      • 1 cup granulated sugar
      • 8 ounces sour cream
      • 2 eggs
      • 2 teaspoons vanilla
      • 2 cups flour
      • 2 teaspoons baking powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1 teaspoon guar gum
      • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
      • 1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped Granny Smiths
      • 1/2 cup golden raisins
      • 1/4 cup margarine
      • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
      2. Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
      3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the granulated sugar, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla until blended.
      4.  In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, guar gum, baking powder, soda, and salt,
      5. Add to sour cream mixture, mixing until combined.
      6. By hand, stir in the chopped apple, raisins and 1/2 cup of the toasted pecans.
      7. Spoon batter into greased loaf pan.
      8. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and press nuts lightly into the batter.
      9. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 65 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
      10. Cool in pan for ten minutes.
      11. Remove to wire rack.
      12. In a small saucepan, melt margarine and brown sugar. 
      13. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  (I did it in the microwave without the stirring)
      14.  Remove bread from pan.
      15. Drizzle top  of bread with brown sugar and margarine.
      16. Let cool completely.  We didn’t.  We couldn’t.    

      Kuzak's Closet


      Sweet-Spicy Glazed Salmon

      I have been making salmon, once a week, for almost two years without repeating a recipe.  I am not saying, there are not similar recipes but I have searched, each week to find new ones.  The biggest problem, we are having, it that we like so many of these recipes and don't get repeats.  Maybe, it is time to make a different chicken recipe, each week.

      This week, we had this sweet and spicy glazed salmon and it was one of the best (how often do I say this?).  I found the recipe on My Recipes and I made almost no changes. 

      Sweet-Spicy Glazed Salmon

      • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
      • 3/4 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
      • 2 teaspoons Chinese-style hot mustard
      • 1 teaspoon garlic rice vinegar
      • 2  salmon fillets
      • Cooking spray
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1/4 teaspoon  black pepper
      • Preheat oven to 425°.
      • Combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.
      • Place fish on a foil-lined jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes. Remove from oven.
      • Preheat broiler.
      • Brush sugar mixture evenly over salmon and bake for another three minutes.

      Enjoy!  In case, you are looking for other recipes, you can find those below, on this blog.  Others can be found on My Sweet and Savory.  I hope you like salmon.

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      Friday Favorites at Simply Sweet Home