Friday, September 30, 2011

Brown Rice and Mushroom Pilaf

With celiac came lots of rice dishes.  In fact, in the beginning, I remember living on rice.  I am sure that is not true but it felt that way.  You need to understand, I did not like rice, not in any shape or form.  Rice was icky.  It might have been the way, I cooked it.

After a short while, I knew I had to master the cooking of rice.  I was up to the challenge, I hoped.  I started experimenting with brown rice and came up with quite a few really good recipes.  Rice goes with everything.  That was my hint to add anything.  Onions, carrots, apples, nuts, zucchini.......anything.  Sauces were as versatile as the add-ons.

The one rice, I had made for years was fried rice.  It was terrible but it was my best rice dish.  This was the time to learn how to make a good fried rice and I did.  I was like a child, proud, taking his/her first step.

Pilaf was new to me.  It sounded so exotic.  How foolish, I was.  I made this dish and again, it worked.  I can only imagine what I did to the rice before this.  I have blocked it.

Brown Rice and Mushroom Pilaf    adapted from Kraft
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small  onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped celery
1-1/2 cups  sliced mushrooms (about 4 oz.)
3-1/2 cups vegetable broth
a 1/2 cups   brown rice, uncooked
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted
2 Tbsp.  chopped fresh parsley
In a medium to large saucepan, add rice and water.  When water boils, lower the flame and cook on low for 45 minutes.
 HEAT oil in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add onions and celery; cook 3 min. or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.
ADD mushrooms; cook 3 min. or until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. .
STIR into cooked rice; cover.  Remove from heat; let stand 5 min. Add walnuts and parsley; mix lightly.  This is rice, worth making and more so, rice worth eating.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bake with Bizzy

Tonight, the Jewish holidays begin and I am living in my kitchen.  Someone should bring in a bed so I can nap.  Tonight I made a cake for hubby and started four other dishes to finish, in the morning.  

I started to list what I have to cook, tomorrow on top of the dishes, I started.  I scared myself, the list is so long.  We have three days of festive eating, two days with 2 meals and one with 3 meals.  Each of these generally have fish, soup, main course (meat or poultry) a few sides and a few salads.  Of course, there is dessert.  

There are two more holiday 3 day weekends coming up within the month.  Everyone gains weight except me.  I am too busy cooking to eat although I do taste.

I also made something scrumptious tonight, an apple kugel.  It is packed with 7 apples, sliced and coated in sugar and cinnamon and then topped with a crust.  Oh my.  I have several apple kugel recipes, some better than others.  I have not tasted this one yet so I will have to report in, later.

Malky's Apple Kugel      Servings: 8   adapted from

This recipe is not written clearly, in my opinion.  Note that sugar is mentioned twice.  I think the first 1/2 up mixes with the flour and other ingredients and the topping is the cinnamon and sugar.  That is how I did it.


    • 5 cortland apples, peeled and sliced
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup oil
    • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour mixture or AP flour
    • 1 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • sugar
    • cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Placed sliced apples in an 8X8 oven safe dish. (I sprayed it with Canola oil.)
  3. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Mix the remaining ingredients and spread over the top.
  5. Bake for 1 hour.

You can use this as a dessert or a side dish.  Everyone, I know, loves apple kugel.  If you want a different kind of top, you could make a crisp or a crumble.

Just enjoy it.  I had not cut the kugel yet.  It is still hot, very hot.  This is the whole thing.

This my treat for you.  What do you have to share with all of us.  I am still looking for ideas of what to bake for the holidays. 

Linked to: Friday Potluck            Family Friendly Fridays             Simply Sweet Home Friday’s Favorites                  Food on Fridays                Foodie Friday             Food Trip Friday 
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Sweet Indulgences - go check this out for the Sweets you dream of.  Sweets For Saturday  If your tummy says, "more" get over here and find even more dreamy desserts.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baby Bundts - Recipe Blitz

Aren't these sweet?  They would dress up any holiday table. You can use a fruit of choice if cherries are not your favorites.

Cherry Baby Bundts
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh pitted sweet cherries
3/4 cup Canola oil
1-3/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups gluten free mixture
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups Rice Dream

Pat cherries dry with paper towels; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream oil and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well after each addition.
Add lemon peel and vanilla. Mix in.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk.
•Pour into a greased mini bundt pans. I made 6 of these with enough for another leftover.
Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
I did not use topping but if you would like to, the following goes well with these.
•For topping, in a bowl, beat cream cheese, lemon juice and peel until smooth. Beat in enough confectioners' sugar until mixture achieves desired consistency.
This is a Taste of Home recipe.

Menu Plan Monday

I wanted to share a tentative weekly plan for this week because of the oncoming holidays.  The more festive food starts on Wednesday evening and goes through Saturday evening.  It is a lot of eating and I usually can't eat all there is but others do it justice.

Sunday - leftovers (roasted cauliflower, rice with apples, corn pudding)

Monday - cheesy baked potato casserole with a huge salad

Veggie Meat Loaf
Tuesday - veggie meat loaf with baked brown rice and green beans

Wednesday - Spicy Indian Chicken and Mango Curry,
Raisin and Spice Brown Rice, Apple Honey Carrots, 

Thursday - Sweet and Sour Meatballs, Tropical Quinoa,  Cajun Butternut Squash Fries, Greens

Friday - Chicken Cutlets with Apples,  Candied Sweet Potatoes, Oriental Noodle Salad, Greens

There will be loads of desserts.  I have not planned that but I am thinking of a berry crisp or crumble, chocolate chip cookies, coffee cake and non-dairy ice cream.

For hundreds of menu plans check out Organizing Junkie.

Menu Plan Monday ~ Sept 26th

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Maple Vanilla Carrots - Recipe Blitz

This is a sweet recipe for a sweet year.  Rosh Ha Shana, which starts Wednesday night is a Jewish New Year and Rosh means head and shana means year - head of the year.

Sometimes "easy" turns out to be the best.  These carrots are an example.  They are so very simple to make and they are pleasing to the palate.  The taste is subtle.  The maple and vanilla blend with the sweet carrot and go beautifully with almost any other food.  Perfect for the holiday of Rosh Ha Shana.  Perfect for any day.

Maple Vanilla Carrots (adapted from Martha Stewart)


Serves 4
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (pure)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper


Combine carrots and water in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer, and cook until carrots are tender and most of the water has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add syrup, butter, salt, and pepper, and toss.

Read more at Maple-Vanilla Carrots - Martha Stewart Recipes

Sweet Potato Salad with Orange-Maple Dressing

Enjoy this one.  It is really good.  I am always looking for savory recipes for sweet potatoes and this has an element of the savory along with the sweet.

Sweet Potato Salad with Orange Maple Dressing (adapted from Bon Appetit - 2003)


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
4large sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cup chopped green onions
½ chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried blueberries, cranberries and cherries

For dressing:
Whisk all ingredients to blend in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
For salad:
Cook sweet potatoes in boiling water for 20 minutes. Potatoes should be cooked but firm. You don’t want a mushy salad.
Cool to room temperature. Add green onions, bell pepper, parsley, pecans, and dried berries.
Pour dressing over; toss gently to blend. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Linked to the Local Cook

Friday, September 23, 2011

Curried Apple Hash

I admit it.  This did not call my name.  While, apples are marvelous, hash does not have enough oomph to its name.  When one thinks about it though, hash should be delicious. 

Oops, I guess it depends on which definition you use.

This is from Your Dictionary

  1. to chop (meat or vegetables) into small pieces for cooking
  2. INFORMAL to make a mess or botch of; bungle
Origin: Fr hacher, to chop, mince: see hachure
  1. a chopped mixture of cooked meat and vegetables, usually baked or browned
  2. a mixture, as of things used before in different forms; rehash
  3. a hodgepodge; muddle; mess
I would prefer the chopped mixture to the muddle or mess.  Looking at it though, it does look messy.  The taste is far from messy and is a delight to taste.  This would make a good topping for salmon or chicken.  It would enhance rice or quinoa.

Curried Apple Hash Amy  Traverso, author of the Apple Lover's Cookbook (adapted)
Can you imagine a book filled with all kinds of apple recipes?  I want this book.  I am going to have to hint for someone to give it to me.  No way, can I spend any more money on cookbooks. 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
4 large Granny Smith apples, peeler, cored and sliced into matchsticks
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon curry
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
In large skillet over medium low heat, heat olive oil.  Add onion and cook until translucent. (5 minutes)
Increase heat to medium and add apples and cook another 5 minutes until soft.  
Stir in chives, curry powder, brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 8 additional minutes.
If you prefer it less sweet, omit brown sugar.

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