Monday, June 30, 2014

Chicken & Mushrooms in Wine Sauce

Continuing the theme of using what I have on hand, I made this dish because I had a package of chicken cutlets, in the freezer and mushrooms in the refrigerator.  I bought the mushrooms without a plan, knowing I would adjust my cooking to use them.  Chicken cutlets are usually in the freezer.  I buy a family pack and break it down into several smaller packages with two - three cutlets in each.

We used to eat chickens cut into quarters and suddenly our taste changed and we only like the cutlets.  I am not even sure how it happened.  Both ways provide versatility.  I guess the major difference is that the chicken pieces take longer to cook.

I have made many changes in what I cook and what we eat since I began blogging. 
I use fresh herbs when possible.
I try new foods such as kale, leeks and purple sweet potatoes.
We cut back on beef.
We eat tons more vegetables.
I became more aware of how much hubby does not like spice in recipes and discovered that his garden spices are considered differently.
No garlic.  This one makes me sad.  I love garlic.
I am more comfortable about being gluten-free and that shows in the food, I make.
I reconciled myself to make plain cakes with only nuts or dried fruit.
This is a starter.  How have you changed your food choices since you started blogging?

Chicken & Mushrooms in Wine Sauce  inspired from Allrecipes


1/4 brown rice flour for coating
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
2 skinless, boneless  chicken breast halves - pounded 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I added a little more when I transferred this to a baking pan.)
1/2 cup red wine


Mix together the flour, pepper and oregano. Place in a plastic baggie.

Coat chicken pieces in flour mixture.

In a large skillet, melt margarine in oil over medium heat. 

Place chicken in the pan, and lightly brown. 

Turn over chicken pieces, and add mushrooms.

Pour in wine. 

Cover skillet; simmer chicken 15 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink.

Two Cup Tuesday          In and Out of the Kitchen      Fat Tuesday    Tuesdays Table     Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays       Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays

Menu Plan Monday

Another week has come along and I am getting used to, once again, filling in my plans for the week.  I am posting them with tons of other bloggers on Menu Plan Monday.  If you want ideas and recipes for the coming weeks, that is the place to check out.

This is the line-up for my family.

Sunday:  eating at family's home

Monday:  Honey and Walnut Crusted Chicken 

Tuesday: Cheesy Zucchini Bake 

Wednesday: The Layered Look - Eggplant 

Thursday:  Creamy Cabbage and Noodles

Friday: Chicken and Mushrooms in Wine Sauce

Saturday:  Gluten-free Pizza

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Strawberry Basil Sorbet

I don't know how long other bloggers spend visiting other sites.  I don't have a clue how long I spend doing this either.  When I check out other food sites, I am totally engrossed in what I am doing.  I love to catch up with what people are up to as well as what they are cooking.  It is fun but it is time consuming, time well worth it.

More than that, each blog is a place with tons of information.  How many tips have you picked up?  How many recipes have you made?  I find that if I make the recipe right away, it gets done.  If I bookmark it or print it, it may get lost.

Today, I was at Spiced Curiosity and found this amazing sorbet.  I did the right thing and went to the kitchen and made it.  I don't use my ice cream maker enough.  I was thrilled to make something that was not filled with raw eggs or whipping cream and I was more than pleased with the results.

The strawberry mixture thickened quickly and it is now waiting for our company.  Hubby and I, of course tasted it, and can tell you that it is scrumptious.  Thank you Spiced Curiosity.

Strawberry Basil Sorbet

1 quart strawberries

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 cup loosely-packed, stemmed basil leaves

1/4 teaspoon salt


Hull and half the strawberries. 

Puree in a food processor or blender, then add in the remaining ingredients. 

Adapt maple syrup to your own taste.

Chill mixture in refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

Freeze in an ice cream maker (consult yours for specific instructions). Enjoy!

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Cheesy Spinach Bake - Lunch Break

Today is the second day of my approach to more interesting lunches.  I find it quite amusing that my husband is enjoying this so much.  For decades, the man has taken the same sandwich to work, literally day after day, five days a week.  It is comprised to two slices of gluten-free bread with one piece of  Munster cheese and a little piece of lettuce.  Yep - one single slice of cheese.  To keep myself honest, originally he took a slice of Swiss cheese and somewhere along the way, he made that major change to Munster.  And no, he is not an exciting eater.  You can see why, I am giggling about his very happy attitude toward a new lunch idea daily.

As you may remember, I am using up "stuff" in the house for our meals today.  I think, we did a dual shopping because I ended up with two sour cream, 2 whipped cream cheese, 2 bottles of Parmesan cheese and 2 bags of shredded mozzarella.  I had to remedy this situation for lunch and it didn't take much thought to determine, dairy was going to be the kind of lunch, we were having.

I had both fresh and frozen spinach on hand so I defrosted a small package of frozen spinach as the main player in this dish.  I admit it, I went overboard on the cheese in this dish and next time round, I will cut the amounts a bit.  Of course, it was delicious with the overload of cheese. We are cheese lovers.
I should have baked it for another five minutes so the middle would brown.

Cheesy Zucchini Bake


1 cup Mozzarella plus another cup for the topping
4 ounces whipped cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 box of frozen spinach -2-3 cups drained and squeezed dry  (I put spinach into a clean dish towel and squeeze it over the sink to get rid of the water.)
black pepper to taste -- it needs no salt with the salt from the cheese already present
1 egg


Defrost spinach.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a one quart baking dish or a few smaller ones.

In a medium bowl, mix together all the cheese and the egg (except for the  1 cup Mozzarella for the top)

Add the drained spinach to the mixture.  Add black pepper.

Transfer to prepared dish(es) and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven.  Let cool for 5 minutes.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Honey and Walnut Crusted Chicken

This is another Passover recipe, I have to share.  Passover is a funny holiday when it comes to food.  Some people feel deprived because we do not use many  of our normal choices. There are others and I count myself as part of this group who glory in what can be done with a more limited array of  ingredients.  

When you think about it, there is one week, we eat without using flour and foods with gluten.  No pasta, no bread, no "normal" cake or cookies, no rice for Sefardic Jews, no beans as well.  It is different but I welcome it.  I think we eat as well if not better for this week than the entire year.

Honey and Walnut-Crusted Chicken


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded flat 

non stick cooking spray (olive oil)

½ cup honey

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

3/4 cup potato starch

¾ cup fine chopped nuts (I used walnuts but pecans would be better, in my opinion.)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Spray a shallow baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the honey, salt and pepper. Combine.

In a shallow dish, combine the potato starch and ground walnuts.

Brush the chicken cutlets with the honey mixture and then dip in the pecan mixture.  Make sure the whole cutlet is covered.

Place in a single layer in the prepared pan; spray the tops with cooking spray.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes.

Eat and enjoy.

Now, please tell me, does that chicken look like a breaded cutlet?

Linked to  

Friday, June 27, 2014

Perk up that Quinoa

I had no idea what to call this recipe.  I was supposed to make this for Monday night but I remembered, we had a wedding to go to and there was no need for me to cook.  I changed things around a bit and here we are with one of the best meals, I have had in a while.  I think it is better than the fancy meal served at the wedding.  

Giving a name to a recipe that I put together, with what is on hand, is a challenge and in this case, I came to a dead-end.  Listing the ingredients for a title seems wrong and boring. I thought about what I did and that was to perk up the quinoa. Quinoa is something that takes on the identity of the ingredients or other foods on the plate.  Like rice, barley, orzo or kasha, you can vary what you do with it in innumerable ways.  I think, quinoa is the easiest to cook especially with many of the ones on the store shelves do not need to be rinsed.

To make this recipe work, do a lot of the prep  before hand.  
  • Cook up two cups of quinoa and put aside.  Follow the directions on the package.
  • Cook a piece of salmon (I poached it on top of the stove or 20 minutes so not to turn on the oven.) 
  •  Chop your basil and spinach,  
  • Chop cauliflower  into bite sized pieces.  
  • Combine honey and soy sauce.
Put  all the above aside and it becomes an easy meal to make.


2 cups cooked quinoa
1 small red onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower
2 cups, chopped or sliced fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 salmon fillet, cooked and cut into small pieces
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup soy sauce without salt and gluten-free (for my hubby)


You have done all the above which means you simply mix all the ingredients except the sauce.  When everything is combined, add the honey-soy sauce and gently mix it with the other ingredients.  

Heat in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes or until hot.

Eat and enjoy

Linked to Freedom Fridays     Real Food Friday    Fight Back Friday      Foodie Friday  See Ya in the Gumbo   

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Yellow Squash Crustless Quiche - The Picnic Game

While our friend, Louise brings cheer into our lives throughout the year, she particularly does so when she organizes the SOCIAL EVENT of the year, our online picnic with the most outstanding variety of foods.  Louise can be found  at Months of Edible Celebrations where you will find the fascinating information and delicious recipes.  It is a treat to visit there each day so go on over and enjoy yourselves.

I love this picnic and usually, I choose a difficult letter, but let me clue you all in, there is no such thing as a difficult letter.  This year, I have Y and I decided before hand, if I ran into a problem, my dish would be called Yummy something but there are yams and yellow squash, yogurt and yolks and Yakbraten.

I ended up making this delicious Yellow squash Crustless Quiche.  My inspiration came from Sally's Baking Addiction, a place you should surely visit.

The Parmesan on the top of the quiche turned an ugly dark brown but tasted great.  In the future, I would put the Parmesan on for the last ten minutes.  As a result, you have a limited photo and I do apologize.

Yellow Squash Crustless Quiche

1 yellow squash
1 zucchini (Together the zucchini and yellow squash made two cups.)
1 large red bell pepper, chopped 

1 large onion, thin sliced
4 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup shredded  Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

I recently got a square electric skillet which I love and I used that to make this dish.  

Spray a skillet with nonstick spray. 

Add sliced squash and onion, yellow squash, zucchini and chopped  red pepper to prepared skillet.

Stir frequently, cook for 7 minutes or until veggies are tender. Spoon into prepared pie plate and allow to cool as you prepare the egg mixture.

Add shredded cheese on top of vegetables.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk  and black pepper together until thoroughly combined. 

Pour the egg mixture on top of shredded cheese. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes or until filling is set. 

Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before slicing and serving. 

Come to the picnic to get a taste of this dish.

We are going to a picnic and we are bringing.........

A-Angel Food Cake

B-Basil Leaves in Caramelized Prawns

C-Chicken Piccata

D-Darned Easy Potato Salad

E-Eccles Cakes filled with Leeks, Spinach and Blue Cheese

F-Fourth of July Picnic S'more Tartlets

G-Gluten-Free & Eggless Chocolate Steamed Cake

H-Ham Cheesy Patties

I- Italian Frittata with Vegetables

J- Jelly Roll

K-Kahlua Zucchini Chocolate Chunk Bread

L-Lemon Lavender Cupcakes

M-Meringue Roulade with Raspberries

N-Nutella Rice Pudding

O-Old-Time Favorite Iced Red Bean Popsicles


Q-Quinoa Blueberry Mango Salad

R-Raspberry & Fig Cobbler

S-Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (Helado de frutillas y cheesecake)

T- Two-Ingredient Ice Cream Bread


V- Vegan Mango Salsa

W-Watermelon Salad

X- “Xmas Coconut Wreath Cake”

Y- Yellow Squash Crustless Quiche

Linked to  Freedom Fridays     Real Food Friday    Fight Back Friday      Foodie Friday

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Broccoli, Corn & Goat Cheese Crustless Pie - Lunch Break

Two years ago, I started posting my lunch dishes which resulted in my making better and more interesting lunches.  Since my hubby and I are both home, this summer, I am planning to add some recipes to the page of lunch dishes above.  This is my first choice.  It was originally meant for a dinner dish but I had forgotten, we had a wedding on Monday night and I had no need to cook.  A great dinner became a great lunch.

You could choose other vegetables in this dish such as spinach, red bell pepper or cauliflower.  You could add red pepper to any combination.  You could also flavor this with different spices.  I used basil because the original recipe called for it.  I can see it with oregano or parsley. Chives is a safe bet to be added at any time.  

I was looking for ways to use my goat cheese and found a recipe that intrigued me at Food 52.  I owe them for my inspiration.  I added broccoli to the corn.  I used sour cream instead of heavy cream.

Broccoli, Corn & Goat Cheese Crustless Pie


1 egg yolk

4 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
10 ounces creamy fresh goat cheese
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
2 cups frozen corn, defrosted

1 1/2 cup frozen broccoli florets

4 tablespoons parmesan, finely grated


Preheat oven to 375° F.

Using a hand mixer, combine egg yolk, cream, basil, goat cheese, lemon juice and salt, and pepper. Beat until smooth.

By hand, fold in the corn kernels and broccoli so as not to crush them.

Spread corn and goat cheese mixture evenly into a pie plate sprayed with cooking oil.

Sprinkle parmesan evenly over the top. 

Bake for 30-40 minutes until puffed and golden.

Eat and enjoy.

Linked to Gluten Free Wednesdays    

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Challenge of Kosher Paella

When I saw that the choice for this week in WWDH was paella, I immediately cringed since I knew what was coming, and I was correct.  Mussels, Clams, Prawns and Sausage, none of which are kosher.  Actually, sausage is kosher but it can't be cooked with fish and shell fish is definitely prohibited in a kosher diet.

When I joined the group, Wednesdays with Donna Hay, I made the decision to at least attempt to modify recipes so that we could eat them and in most cases, it is not difficult to accomplish.  When pork is used, I use chicken or turkey.  When fish is used, I sub in salmon or a white fish such as flounder or sole.  Easy to do.....

Donna went all out using so many shellfish and the only course of action I had was to ignore them completely and use vegetables and sausage with the rice.   I also decided to look up what a paella should really be and was happy to find the following at Wise Geek.

"Almost anything can be used in a paella, and it is very easy to make vegan or vegetarian friendly paella which is equally scrumptious. Common meats include seafood such as lobster, mussels, clams, and shrimp, along with sausages, chicken, ham, and pork. Vegetables such as artichoke hearts, potatoes, peas, tomatoes, onion, and garlic are also used. "

I must admit, I had never heard of a vegetarian paella and if I had not already made it with the sausage, I would have added some more vegetables and skipped the meat, especially sausage which is unhealthy and we happened to have, this week.

I was happy to be use my saffron threads which rarely are removed from the shelf. I did not use the vegetable broth. I thought it would be too much liquid with the wine and tomatoes. I chose lots of parsley from our garden. Each time, I select an herb that is "ours", I feel a tinge of pride. I know, many of us grow our own herbs but I can't get over picking something and just using it.

You would find it hard to believe that for decades, we grew almost all of our vegetables. We would pop into the back yard and bring in the corn or peas or zucchini or "you name it". We did not grow herbs and I then, used the dried spices. This is a new dimension although it is a few years old and you would think that the novelty would wear out. It hasn't.

This recipe can be found in Modern Classics 1 on page 144. Kayte selected this and although it is a bit more ambitious than our usual fare, I enjoyed making it. Thanks Kayte.
******Please check out the other WWDH bakers and see what they are sharing with us.*******

 Kayte     Gaye     Sarah     Margaret   You should get a much better view of paella.

Linked to Wednesdays Whatsits    Wonderfully Creative Wednesdays  Waste Not Want Not Wednesdays

Monday, June 23, 2014

Red Pepper Zucchini Soup

I  made this soup during Passover and again recently,.  I had to  make it because it was unusual in the way it was made.  

This time, I added some vegetable broth to it to thin it out.  Look at the photo.  It almost looks like sauce and that is slightly thinned down.

It has very few ingredients for such a wholesome full tasting soup.


2 zucchini
2 onions
2 red pepper
olive oil
1 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste

You can add any seasoning you want to this.  We liked it as is but now that I have my  herbs growing in the garden, I would throw them into the mix.

You do not have to peel the zucchini if you prefer.

Red Pepper Zucchini Soup


Cut onions into thick slices.

Cut zucchini into about half inch pieces.

Red peppers should be cut into chunks.  Remove the seeds.

Heat olive oil in saucepan.  

Add the vegetables.  Cover and cook over low heat for about one hour.

Stir occasionally.  I was sure it was going to burn so I stirred a lot more than a few times.  

Add the broth if you choose to use it and let cook for another 30 minutes.

Add salt and pepper and any spices you would like.

Blend with an immersion blender.  (Don't you love these gadgets?)

Serve.  Eat and enjoy.

The original recipe came from A Taste of Pesach .  For those who observe Passover, this is a book to have for next year.  It is filled with a variety of successful recipes.  I enjoyed every moment using this book.  I never ran out of new recipes, I wanted to make, and hope next year to fill in the gap.

Linked to:   Two Cup Tuesday          In and Out of the Kitchen        Fat Tuesday     Hearth and Soul Hop       Gluten Free & DIY Tuesdays    Simple Supper Tuesday       Making Monday    Southern Special     

Using What is in the House for Menu Plan Monday

 I have not been participating in Menu Plan Monday for far too long.  It is time to get my food ideas lined up and actualized.  I have a new take on this for this week.  I will see how it works for me and if it does, this may be new way of planning.

As I have mentioned before, I cook with what I find on the shelves and in the refrigerator.  I substitute for what I don't have or put it on the shopping list.  It has worked well for me but I have a gut feeling, it will work better, if I plan for the week with the items, I am presently observing in the kitchen.

This does not mean, I am not planning to shop.  I certainly am but those items should not be the main focus, rather the dishes or components that compliment what I already have.  

I stock up on what I commonly cook so you find chicken cutlets, a little chopped chicken or turkey and beef stew for chulent, in the freezer at almost all times.  I also keep at least one package of frozen spinach, frozen broccoli florets, cauliflower, peas, blueberries, peaches and strawberries for when they are not local.

My freezer is also stocked with gluten-free flour and chopped nuts for ready use.  I am planning to freeze some of our home-grown spices as well for the months, they are not productive.

In my cupboards, you will find canned tomatoes, usually diced.  I tend to only use Eden since it has no salt.  I also have several cans of Eden beans, different varieties.  I have some bottles of salt-free Marinara for back-up.
I have a number of bottles of yummy flavors such as gluten-free, soy, teriyaki, Worcestshire, a few dressings for back-up marinades, Duck sauce and my kids' favorite barbecue sauce.  Yes, I do make my own but it is always there to help me out.

I keep, on hand Katz's gluten free items such as bread for stuffing (make our own bread), pizza crusts or pita crusts that can be used for mini pizzas.  I don't buy any of the baked desserts though.  For me, it is one thing not to make a pizza crust but another not to make a cake or cookies.  They do have a line of kosher gluten-free goods that are admirable and you can buy anything from pie to bagels and happily use these.

Back to my menu which is the reason for this post.

Sunday: I purchased a bag of shredded cabbage to make cole slaw for the Sabbath and did not make it so it will hopefully bring us a dish of:
Potato, Sausage and Cabbage - guaranteed there will be onions in this dish.
 All photos are from Bing images.
Monday: I have quinoa and rarely use it even though we like it a lot.  I also have one salmon fillet.  What do you do with only ONE fillet.  You make a dish of quinoa, salmon and fresh spinach.  (I almost always have fresh spinach on hand.  Bing

Tuesday: On Tuesday evenings, I cook for my weekly Wednesday with Donna Hay.  This week is a real challenge for me since it is paella which is not kosher.  My job is to change it to make it so that we can eat it even though it will have to be different from what Donna has in mind. Her recipe can be found in Modern Classics1 on page 144.  Mine  has to be made without the shrimp or mussels.  This should be interesting.

Wednesday I have almost two packages of goat cheese with no plans for them.  I also have a bag of frozen corn so I plan to make this Corn, Goat Cheese and Basil Crustless pie which will be adapted from Food 52.  Did I mention, we are growing basil and have plenty of it which must be used soon.

Thursday: I am reviewing Soups and Sides for Every Season by Alyce Morgan from the blog, More Time at the Table.  She has a recipe for a Vegetable Chili that looks like my husband will fall in love with it. Thanks Alyce.  If you are interested in her book, stop by her site and find out all  
about it. 

Bing Images

Friday night is our Shabbos meal which has a number of course.  The main course is usually chicken with sides.  I am planning orange chicken cutlets over mashed potatoes and carrots.  When I was a child and didn't feel well, my mother made me mashed carrots and potatoes and I felt better.  I have not made these in years.  They are delicious and of course a comfort food for me.  I can't plan the side dishes.  This is one of my delights in preparing for Shabbos.  Not until Friday do I decide what I am making.  During the week, as I read recipes online or from magazines and books, I put aside ideas for Friday and then choose two.  It is more fun to read about food when I can make it in the near future.
Bing Images

On Saturday which is Shabbos Day, we have Chulent which is a combination of meat, potatoes, rice (in place of barley which has gluten) and beans.
Bing Images