About Me

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New Castle, Indiana Zone 5, United States
When I was 55, I decided to embrace the things I love and hold precious and dear - regardless of anyone else's thoughts and opinion. I love flowers - my own flowers, grown by me. I love good, hearty, exotic foods, and I love to prepare them myself. I love my backyard, regardless of how junky it gets. No longer able to afford a vacation, this will have to be it for the time being. In the winter months, I still enjoy it. Anyway, here I am sharing my favorite recipes, cocktails, gardening tips, and just my usual vents and bantering. After all, I'm old enough to say whatever the heck I want to now ... Oh, the two pictures below are NOT of my garden, although the one with the pink French doors looks very much like the backyard I grew up with. I am searching for pictures of that wonderful place and will post soon.

July 7, 2013

Easy Seafood Supper

The other evening, I had seafood on my mind, but I wanted something more than a frozen cod "tail" sandwich or a flimsy piece of tilapia ... I wanted something wonderful, and decadent and tasty as all get out.

Since I am now focused on budget friendly, healthier alternatives, I came up with a marvelous meal that you can literally throw together in a few minutes. This dish makes a fabulous presentation and tastes as if you have your own private chef on hand.

It's so easy, it's like a SEAFOOD DUMP CAKE! ... Well, kind of ...


Start with a 9x13" baking dish. I prefer to line mine with foil for easy cleanup. Cut a piece of foil a little more than double the width of the dish (so you will only need one piece - use 1/2 to line the pan, and let the rest over hang ...)

I used an inexpensive (99 cents) box of red beans and rice -- Dump the contents into the bottom of the baking dish (dry), making sure all of the seasonings, rice, beans, etc. are evenly distributed.

Lay 3 (or however many you like) swordfish fillets on top of the rice mixture. I used 3 because that's what was in the package - on sale - Any firm, mild fish will do; that's up to your taste and budget.

Lightly season the fish with Old Bay® Seasoning - not too heavy; remember, the boxed rice is already seasoned.

Slice a small onion and place on top of the fish.

Take a package (less than $3.00 in most stores) of frozen Mussels in the sauce of your choice that has been thawed. Dump the Mussels, sauce and all, on top of the fish. Spread it out nicely. I used a blend from Aldi's that was garlic and tomato.

Add one can of diced tomatoes, plus 1/4 can water. I used one that had garlic, onion and pepper added.

Drizzle with some olive oil.

Don't mix or blend, stir or toss anything - just let everything trickle down on it's own. Cover everything with the foil that was left hanging out. You're going to bake this in a 350F oven for about 40 minutes - Everything will steam together, and it will be fabulous!

March 5, 2013

Oxtails of the Evening

I was inspired by Frank Fiariello to make slow cooked oxtails. Yesterday, he posted a great recipe for special beef stew using a bottle of wine, garlic and peppercorns, served with blackeye peas.

My recipe is similar to his, but with my own Anastasia Flava.

(Do not stir this; just layer as I say, please …)

In a crockpot (empty, please) toss in about 2 to 3 lbs. of CLEANED beef oxtails.
Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce

Peel an entire bulb of garlic and place all of the cloves throughout the meat.
Generously (to taste) grind fresh black peppercorns on top

Add an envelope of dry Onion Soup Mix
Throw in a few (about 3 Bay Leaves) – remember to remove these before serving.

To the bottom of the crockpot, add one 10-1/2 oz. can of Beef Broth AND
An entire bottle of red wine – I used Shiraz, because it was here.

Cover and slow cook on high for 4 hours.
Add one bag of frozen vegetables – any kind.

Cook for one additional hour.

I served this two ways; plain with just the vegetables, and on top of some seasoned blackeye peas. Both were wonderful. Thank you, Frank.


July 3, 2012

The Colors Of Indian Cooking: The Mango The Avocado and The Pom Part 3. The Anti...

My friend, Kathy Gori shared this wonderful (and delightfully healthy) non-alcoholic cocktail with us. Do try this for the Fourth of July - or ANYTIME you wish to be kind to your body. Enjoy the Summer!

The Colors Of Indian Cooking: The Mango The Avocado and The Pom Part 3. The Anti...:    One thing I've learned living in Wine Country is that not everyone drinks. Or at least not everyone drinks all the time, everywhere....

June 20, 2012

MOMMA'S HOMEMADE SWEET POTATO POUND CAKE 5 16 12.mp4

This is an amazing cake made by my friend Tina Garland, who is sharing her mother's Fabulous SWEET POTATO POUND CAKE! So beautiful, smooth texture, full of flavor - this cake makes a wonderful presentation for any event (if you just HAVE to have an event ...) at any time of the year. Thank you for sharing this with us, Tina!

April 8, 2012

Louisiana Sweet Potato Bars

The Courier-Times (newspaper) in New Castle, Indiana has an annual contest called the Hoosier Cabinet Cooking Contest. This recipe contest has been around for years, and is open to Henry County's talented cooks of all levels. This year, I was a finalist.

My entry, Louisiana Sweet Potato Bars, earned me fifth place in the dessert category, but it could have easily categorized as a healthy food alternative because of it's wholesome ingredients.

To be honest, I was totally shocked when I received notice that I was a finalist with this particular chosen recipe. I had also entered a recipe for German Chocolate Cheesecake Bars - a far superior and decadent recipe, in my opinion - but the judges thought otherwise, and that was fine with me.
Me sulking after the contest because I had to buy a new oven

I did several dry runs of the recipe, mainly because I like it, and my friends enjoyed being guinea pigs for a while. But then, horrors of horrors! The night before the contents when I was about to pour my batter into the pans, I discovered that my pre-heated oven wasn't heating -- at all! It had given up the ghost on that night -- of all nights. So, at midnight on the eve of the recipe contest, I was at a friend's house baking in an unfamiliar oven (I should have taken heed to the omens when I got a flat tire on a country road earlier that day on the way to buy ingredients ...)

There are many variations of Louisiana Sweet Potato Bars on the Internet, in cookbooks and countless southern homes. I am not sure where mine came from, but I have a few variations that I try from time to time. One of which I will share at the end of this post ... probably would have won if I used it (wink!)

I have been asked over and over again for the recipe, and I was not going to share it until the end of April when the newspaper's supplemental cookbook comes out, but I've decided to follow my "oh-what-the-heck" instinct and share it with you here.

Louisiana Sweet Potato Bars
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pound sweet potatoes, pared and shredded (about 2 cups)
2 cups uncooked old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

In large mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Sift together all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and allspice.
With a wooden spoon, stir in dry ingredients, sweet potatoes, oats and nuts.
Spread dough in a 9 x 13 x 2-inch greased baking pan.
Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into l l/2-inch bars.
Makes about 36 bar cookies.

For Drop Cookies: Drop dough by heaping tablespoons on lightly greased cookie sheets, and flatten to l/2-inch thickness. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned. Makes about 36 3-inch cookies.
VARIATION: Soak the shredded sweet potatoes in 1/2 cup of good bourbon for one hour prior to mixing ... This may take a bit of experimentation and tweaking. I suggest practicing this step repeatedly until you get the right flavor ... Oh, come on! Live a Little!

January 18, 2012

Delicious Meatless Lasagna to Cry For

So often I am asked by readers for not just meatless recipes, but those suitable for vegetarians and/or vegans. It's not every day that I do come across one that particularly strikes my fancy, but this recipe (found on PtitChef) is delicious. Some of the ingredients may be new to you, but I assure you, it will be worth the extra effort to secure them in order to make this wonderful "Lasagna to Cry For" recipe.
Please share your thoughts with me and the other readers.

http://en.petitchef.com/recipes/main-dish/lasagna-to-cry-for-fid-1489822

December 18, 2011

Seasoned Cocktail Peanuts

On the 10th Day of Christmas, my true love came almost seven days late! This time, my treat was a bit different. Rather than just a holiday cocktail, he brought me a wonderful garnish -- tastes great in or out of a cocktail - Good for snacking on, but they do have a good kick to them. It felt like Ten Lords A Leaping all over my mouth!

Toss these in chilled vodka for a crisp, winter's eve drink.

Ingredients:


1.25 cup Peanuts
1.5 tbsp chopped red onion
2 green chillies chopped fine
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
salt and red chilly powder as per taste
Dry roast the peanuts in a pan.
Let it cool for 5 minutes. Meanwhile lay some old newspapers on the sink. Transfer the peanuts in a plastic colander over the newspapers. Rub the peanuts with your fingers and shake the colander.

Some of the skin will fall through the holes and which is left can be gently blown by tilting the colander side to side. Put the peanuts in a plate. Add chopped onion, green chillies and cilantro. Season with salt and lemon juice. Gently mix it and serve with any cocktail drink.

I served it with Caesar. Typically it contains vodka, clamato and some sauces. Being gluten free I avoid bringing any sauce that has gluten in it. This is a simple Caesar with Vodka, V8 and pepper ( celery salt optional).

Recipe courtesy of balvinder, www.enpetitchef.com

December 10, 2011

12 Drinks of Christmas - Nine Ladies Dancing

On the 8th Day: WHITE CHRISTMAS DREAM

On the 8th day of Christmas I was actually out of sorts due to those seven swans swimming and wrestling in my pancakes. Most people don't realize that swans can - and do - BITE! So, I rested for the 8th and 9th day, but I have been advised by my friend, "MAE," that I need to get the gifts back on track.

Soooo, on the Eighth Day of Christmas, My True Love made for me a wonderful White Christmas Dream recipe -- Now, it's not that I am lactose intollerant; no, I am not. I just hate milk! And those eight maids were all in the way all-a-milking ... But, this recipe turned out to be delightful!
That's the Spirit! › WHITE CHRISTMAS DREAM Recipe – How to Make the Drink/Cocktail.

http://www.thatsthespirit.com/en/drinks/recipe.asp?recipe_id=2735

My extra twist on this recipe? Some freshly grated nutmeg (mace) right on top! Want the non-alcoholic version of this? Um, that would be called a glass of milk!

This recipe is courtesy of thatsthespirit.com - Oh, come on ... Be serious ... You didn't actually think I would create a cocktail recipe that had milk in it did you?

December 7, 2011

Seven Swans A Swimming in Pancakes with Cinnamon Stewed Apples and an Apple Martini

On the 7th Day of Christmas - Well, he cooked breakfast - or brunch ... a delicious concoction of big, fluffy pancakes swimming in wonderful hot, stewed apples with cinnamon, no less!

Pancakes With Cinnamon Stewed Apples
3 cups flour

1-1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
3 tbsp sugar
1-1/2 cups milk
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla essence
some extra butter for cooking

For the stewed apples
2 apples peeled,cored and diced
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp lemon juice
handful of raisins
In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla essence and milk for a few minutes.
Add to the flour mixture and mix till smooth.
Blend in the melted butter and mix well.
If the batter seems too thick to pour, add a little more milk.
Place a frying pan (preferably a non-stick pan) on low heat and melt in a little butter (about 1/2 tsp)
Pour in about 1/4 cup of batter and cook till golden brown on both the sides.

To cook the stewed apples :-
In a pan heat about 2 tbsp of butter.
Combine the apples, cinnamon powder, raisins, sugar, lemon juice and water in a pan and cook on high heat for about 8 -10 minutes till the mixture thickens up and the apples become soft.
Turn off the heat.
Recipe courtesy of: http://bake-a-mania.blogspot.com/

Candy Apple Martini
1/2 fluid ounce butterscotch schnapps

2 fluid ounces vodka
2 fluid ounces sour apple schnapps (such as DeKuyper® Sour Apple Pucker)
2 fluid ounces white cranberry juice
2 large Granny Smith Apples, cored and sliced (leave skin on if you like)
Fresh Mint Leaves
Turbinado Sugar

Roll (wet) glass rims in Turbinado Sugar and chill.
Pour the butterscotch schnapps, vodka, apple schnapps, and cranberry juice into a cocktail shaker over ice. Cover, and shake until the outside of the shaker has frosted. Strain into a chilled glass, garnish with apple slices and mint leaves to serve.

Six Gray Goose Blushing Dutchess Cocktails

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, my true love was one day late!!!
But, he gave to me - Six (6) Blushing Dutchess Cocktails; an exclusive recipe by Gray Goose Vodka - And a wonderful, wonderful smoked goose supper (I only ate one though ...)

Blushing Dutchess Cocktail
2 parts Gray Goose Vodka
3 wedge of fresh Grapefruit, peeled and seeded
Turbinado Sugar (for rimming the glass)
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 part Triple Sec
Rub the rim of the glass with the Grapefruit, and then quickly roll in the Turbinado Sugar.
Place the sugar and the grapefruit in the bottom of a shaker and muddle thoroughly (you do know how to muddle, don't you?)
Add the Gray Goose Vodka, Triple Sec and Ice and SHAKE WELL!
Pour everything (including ice and grapefruit) into your rimmed rock glasses.
Recipe courtesy of GRAY GOOSE VODKA

Smoked Goose with Wild Rice Stuffing on the Food Network

Smoked Goose with Wild Rice Stuffing on the Food Network

December 5, 2011

Five Golden Rings Cocktail

On the Fifth Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me:

Five Fabulous Fantastic Golden Ring Cocktails. No, they did not come in little pale blue boxes, but decked out in big tumblers molten with deep, golden hot butter. Perfect on a cold, windy winter's night.

Five Golden Rings Cocktail
(Buttered Rum Spiced Cider)
6 cups apple cider

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cinnamon sticks
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3/4 cup rum

Heat cider, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks to boiling in 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Strain cider mixture to remove cloves and cinnamon sticks if desired.

For each serving, place 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 2 tablespoons rum in mug. Fill with hot cider.Crush a couple of butterscotch candies and sprinkle on top of the cider for a pretty--and yummy--garnish.


Serve a delicious non-alcoholic spiced cider by preparing as directed but omitting the butter, brown sugar and rum.


For the best flavor in this spiced drink, be sure to use butter instead of margarine or spread products.




Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker

December 4, 2011

Four Calling Sea Birds Cocktails

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love actually gave to me, Four (4) Calling Sea Birds Cocktails.
Sea Birds?
Yes - Have you never heard seagulls and other sea birds calling to each other whenever there are ships - or food - around?
So, here is this cool, refreshing cocktail - perfect after a busy day of shopping.

Calling Sea Birds Cocktail
In a tall glass, add:
1 part Cranberry Juice
1 part Gin
1 part Ginger Ale
(In the above Order)
Garnish with lime peel

Don't want any alcohol in yours? No problem, just omit the Gin!

December 3, 2011

Three French Hens Cocktails

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me ... Three (3, mind you!) French Hens Cocktails. One for breakfast, one at lunch, and one sometime after dark ... It went something like this ...

Three French Hens Cocktail
1 ounce Rum (dark, not white)
1 ounce Amaretto
Mix the ingredients together with ice in a cocktail glass and cluck, cluck, cluck!
Bonus: Three French (Cornish) Hens
3 Cornish Hens, cleaned and dressed
Place the hens in a roasting pan, and massage front and back with olive oil
Quarter 3 lemons and 3 onions, and insert in the cavity of each hen, along with 1 sprig of fresh Rosemary
Using coarse Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper, season your hens to taste
Cover with foil, and roast in a 325F oven for 35 minutes.
Remove the foil, and roast an additional 20 minutes until golden brown, basting once or twice.

December 2, 2011

On the 2nd Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me Two Turtle Dove Cocktails

Level Turtle Dove (Chocolate Raspberry) Cocktail

1 part(s) Level Vodka
1/4 part(s) Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
4 Raspberries
3/4 part(s) Lemon Juice
3/4 part(s) Simple Syrup
Chocolate Sauce (any recipe or prepared store-bought sauce)

Shake first five ingredients with ice and double strain into a rocks glass with chocolate sauce in the bottom.
Recipe courtesy of LEVEL VODKA



December 1, 2011

On the First Day of Christmas - Pear Wine Cocktail w/Poached Pears and Cheese

On the First Day of Christmas my true love made for me, a wonderful Pear Wine Cocktail -- So rich, so sparkling, so bright and light as we sat by the fire dining on small plates of Poached Pears and cheeses from distant lands afar.

Pear Wine Cocktail:
1 ounce of Pear Wine
4 ounces of Champagne (chilled, of course)
Garnish with one frozen pear slice*
Place frozen pear slice in a tall champagne flute. Add the Pear Wine, and the top off with your chilled champagne.
For a Non-Alcoholic Cocktail, replace the Pear Wine with Pear Nectar, and use Sparkling Cider instead of Champagne!

*How to Freeze Fresh Pears (from busterbucks)

Poached Pears:

4 Anjou Pears (please peel, core and slice them - use a melon baller to remove seeds)
1 cups of Shiraz red wine
1/2 cups of caster sugar
Juice of one (1) freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus the zest
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of nutmeg

Combine all the wine, sugar, lemon juice and zest, vanilla and almond extracts, cinnamon and nutmeg together, and bring to a gentle boil.
Immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and add the prepared pears.
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally until pears are tender, but not mushy.
Take the pears out of the sauce, and let them cool completely.
Let the sauce return to a boil, reducing it by one half (1/2).
Remove the pears from the sauce and let them cool.
Return the sauce to a boil until it is reduced to half its volume.
Serve the pears with the sauce and some Marscapone cheese on the side, along with tender slices of Gouda and Havarti cheeses.
Alternative: You can peel your pears, leaving them whole. While cooking them, be careful not to allow them to break apart.

October 21, 2011

Vegangela’s Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup (with Chickpeas)

I recently had a chat with a young lady from Ontario, Canada (my mother's homeland) about soup. As the cold weather season was approaching, a mutual friend's significant other was feeling under the weather and wanted to know about comfort food for him. It was unanimous that soup was the answer.

My friend, Veganela, has an enormous treasury of vegan recipes that I will be sharing on this blog from time to time. This first installment is for a wonderful, delicious Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup (with Chickpeas)

Veganela's Carrot & Sweet Potato Soup with Chickpeas
• 1 medium red onion
• 2 toes garlic
• 3 large carrots
• 1 medium sweet potato
• 2 ½ cups veggie stock
• 1 cup plain soy milk (or preferred non-dairy milk)
• 1 tsp seasoned salt
• ½ tsp roasted garlic and peppers (spice mix)
• 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Soup Preparation:

1. Peel carrots and cut into short sticks.
2. Peel sweet potato and cut into small chunks.
3. Place carrots and sweet potato in a microwave safe bowl and add a small amount of water.
4. Peel and mince onion.
5. Peel and mince garlic.

Soup Cooking Instructions:

1. Cover bowl containing the carrots and sweet potato with cling wrap and microwave on high for approximately 8 minutes.

OR

If you would prefer to boil instead of steam: Cut them the same way, place them in a medium sized pot, cover with water, cook until tender.

2. Drain.
3. Mash or blend until smooth.
4. In a medium sauce pan combine the onion, garlic, and oil.
5. Cook on medium-high heat until onions are translucent.
6. Remove from heat.
7. Add carrot and sweet potato mash, soy milk, and veggie stock to the sauce pan with onion and garlic.
8. Whisk together and return to medium heat.
9. Whisk/stir frequently to prevent sticking.
10. Add spices.
11. When evenly heated remove from stove.
12. Blend if preferred. (Optional)

OPTIONAL ADDITIONS:

• 1 19oz can of Chickpeas (drained)
• 1 tsp minced garlic (from jar)
• 1 tsp roasted garlic and peppers (spice mix)
• ½ tsp seasoned salt
• ½ tsp Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce
• 1 tbsp cooking oil

Preparation:

1. Add garlic, frank’s, spices, and oil to a large skillet at medium-high heat.
2. Add chickpeas.
3. Cook on medium-high until the outside of chickpeas are crispy.

Final Instructions:

1. Combine chickpeas and soup.
2. Mix well.
3. Serve hot.

August 31, 2011

Crazy Easy Spinach Casserole

A few days ago, I came across a very simple, basic and delicious recipe for Spinach Casserole. Of course, most of us have had some casserole or another over the years that contained spinach, but seldom have I found a recipe for just spinach casserole that I found noteworthy.
The young lady who shared the recipe with me gladly granted me permission to post this, but did not want credit for it, claiming she had found it in an old church cookbook ... tried and true church cookbooks; who hasn't had one or two -- or three?

Anyway, I made the recipe the other night for my mother and myself, and we loved it. She is aging and for some reason or another, really does not like cooked vegetables any more. We don't know why. So, casseroles have become a staple for me as a means to get her to eat more veggies; much like we do with children.

While we enjoyed the recipe immensely, knowing me, I just had to tweak and modify it to my liking, but soon learned the possibilities were endless. I am sharing the basic Spinach Casserole recipe with you, and have listed a few of my simple changes.

Use your imagination and create your own quick, easy go-to recipe perfect for a fast supper or lunch, potluck, picnic, or even a gift for a new neighbor. I know, I know, I'm getting mushy and retro on you. But love and good food never go out of style.

Love & Spinach,
Anastasia

BASIC SPINACH CASSEROLE
3 eggs

6 Tablespoons flour
16 oz carton small curd cottage cheese
8 oz package shredded cheddar cheese
10 oz package spinach, thawed and drained

In a medium size bowl, beat eggs and flour together. Add all other ingredients in order, mixing well after each one. Pour mixture into an 8x8 glass, greased, baking dish. Bake in a pre-heated oven of 350 degrees for an hour uncovered.

Feel free to change the vegetables and cheeses. The lady who provided the recipe says she likes to use cauliflower with or without spinach, and she sometimes will use low fat cheese.

My additions are typical of me:
Feta Cheese
Asiago Cheese
Mexican Cheese Blends
Sour Cream
Mushrooms
Brussels Sprouts
Leeks
Collard Greens (frozen/thawed is best for this recipe)
Eggplant maybe?

Top it off with crushed potato chips (go light, if you must), or French fried onions ... just go for it.

Okay, okay ... it's a retro kind of day ...




July 2, 2011

Stacey's Triple Threat

I don’t really do “The Fourth” like most people do – I do the First of July (in memory of my late Nana, who passed away on July 1, 2000 at the age of 104); I do the 2nd, and the 3rd –in that order … surprised? This has been a hideously stressful month for my family and me, so, I decided to have my own July 2nd celebration.


Right now, there is a crater in my living room approximately 9’ x 11’ – it is in the shape of an “L,” and I am told it will be a “J” before noon tomorrow … hmm. While having simple tile laid on the floor, we learned the support beams and joists are rotted … you can rip them by hand. Oh, Joy! Look, the dog has fallen into the pit chasing his ball … oh, my …

Anyway, for said celebration, I created a drink (I’m sure it’s NOT original, but it popped into my head) that I call TRIPLE THREAT. I’m also sure there is at least one other cocktail by that name, but who cares? I’m feeling the effects of #1 and #2.

Triple Threat is a mistake. I don’t know what I was thinking, but here’s what happened. I found a bottle of Triple Sec on top of the fridge … Lord knows how it got there, but it was calling me (out loud) – “Drink Me, Drink Me … Drink Me, dammit!” So, I poured about 4 ounces of Triple Sec into a 10 ounce glass (plastic party cup, actually) … which I then filled with Home City Ice (my favorite commercially produced ice on Earth) – you really should capitalize the word “Earth” … it is a place, you know … Anyway, after the ice, I topped it off with some orange soda (yeah, yeah, I know – it was diet; but that’s what I had on hand).

Here’s the beautiful part. The soda will not blend into the liqueur; it just sits on top like a perfect bunch of goldenrod on a glass pedestal – so beautiful and graceful. I watched it for a long time, never occurring to me that I should drink it – the Sunkist Orange® just sat there floating like a happy orange moon on a clear silver sky … hee hee … So, I began to sip and sip and sip … it tasted like Sunkist Orange®. Slowly, it began to show a hint of Triple Sec. The thing is, you have to stir this drink if you want to blend it. I, however, thought it made a grand presentation. Heck, I could carry dozens of these around on a tray and look pretty competent, don’t you think?

But then, all of a sudden, BOOM! The two meet in between and all Hell breaks loose (yes, you should capitalize “Hell” too, since it’s also a place). Suddenly, after about 20 minutes, either the soda sinks down into the liqueur, or the Triple Sec reaches up to grab it and pull it down – either way, I was caught in the middle mid-gulp.

My TRIPLE THREAT packs a sweet and gentle wallop. I’ve had three tonight so far.

The purpose of this blog was to give you my recipes for my July 2 nonsense:

Celery: stuffed with anchovies, cream cheese with chives and honey

Egg Rolls with Oyster Sauce

1 (yes, One) pint of blueberries.

1 lb. green, seedless grapes

Orange slices (should’ve thrown them in the cocktail)

Devilled eggs: stuffed with smoked salmon, cream cheese, eggs and dill.

Happy July 3rd and 2nd and 1st you all.

May 26, 2011

Sangria Peach Compote with Ice Cream Recipe

Sangria Peach Compote with Ice Cream Recipe
This has not been an absolutely wonderful day. I'm out of sorts, stressed and saddened. My first inclination was to reach for a tall glass of Sangria and relax ... I tried it, and I couldn't relax ... Oh, come on ... what's every girl's favorite comfort food? Ice Cream!!! Duh!

This recipe for Sangria Peach Compote with Ice Cream is just too, too, too much - love it! Found it on a bhg.com ... Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

April 25, 2011

Easter Pie

Yesterday was Easter Sunday, and we had rain most of the day. This year, Easter was particularly said and sentimental for my mother and I, so instead of church we took a long ride. Like Thanksgiving, we ate huge cod fish sandwiches and leftovers.

Saturday night, I made a Kool-Aid Pie (yes, there's such a thing; both to my horror and delight). It's really a delightful pie. Here's my simple recipe:

1 Graham cracker pie crust (I used deep dish)
1 tub Cool Whip
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 pkg. (unsweetened) Kool-Aid (any flavor)
Mix well - Making sure there are NO lumps and the condensed milk is blended into the Cool Whip.
Mix WELL, and pour into crust; cover & chill over night - Fabulous! - What made mine fabulous was the pint of fresh strawberries (halved) that I added to the mix (used strawberry Kool-Aid).


 
Half a Pie Gone ... Hmm

April 15, 2011

How To Make Grilled Honey Rosemary Lamb Chops With Mustard Potatoes Recipe (Lamb)

How To Make Grilled Honey Rosemary Lamb Chops With Mustard Potatoes


Grilled Honey Lamb Chops with Mustard Potatoes Recipe. Lamb chops served full of flavour from their honey and herb glaze, perfectly complemented with a mustard potato salad. Taste our Grilled Honey Lamb Chops with Mustard Potatoes Recipe.

Step 1: You will need Units: Metric US Imperial UK Imperial

•8 lamb chops
•4 tbsp honey
•2 cloves of garlic, minced
•1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
•1 tbsp sherry vinegar
•1 tbsp water
•2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
•17 fl oz vegetable oil
•1 tbsp whole grain mustard
•1 tsp mayonnaise
•1 tbsp parsley, chopped
•salt
•pepper

•1 small saucepan
•1 large saucepan
•1 slotted spoon
•1 brush
•1 tray
•1 pair of tongs
•1 bowl
•1 spoon
•paper towel
•1 barbecue
•1 bottle of water to douse any flames

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Step 2: Prepare the barbecue

If you have a charcoal BBQ light it 30-45 minutes before you plan to cook. It is ready to cook on when there are no more flames and the charcoal has turned white.

If you are using a gas BBQ, light it up and turn it to the highest setting. Leave it for 15-20 minutes to heat up.

Step 3: Make the honey rosemary glaze

Place the honey, garlic, rosemary, sherry and water Into a small saucepan. Heat gently, mixing well and as soon as it comes to a simmer, remove from the heat.

Step 4: Fry the potatoes

Heat the oil in the large saucepan on moderate heat. When just hot, place the diced potatoes into the pan in batches and let them cook for 7 to 10 minutes until they brown.

Remove them from the pan with the slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain the excess oil.

Step 5: Make the potato mix

Place the potatoes in a bowl and add the mustard, mayonnaise, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and then mix well.

Step 6: Grill the lamb chops

Season the lamb with salt and then brush with the honey glaze on both sides.

Place the lamb on the grill and grill for 2 minutes on each side. Brush the glaze over the chops every time you turn them.

Turn them 2 more times, brushing with glaze every time, for a total cooking time of about 6-8 minutes. Dowse the flames with water if necessary to prevent the meat from burning.

Step 7: Plate

Place some potatoes on each plate and top with a few chops.

Step 8: Serve

You can serve the chops by themselves as a starter or with the potato as main course.

Also known as:
(How Do I Make Grilled Honey Rosemary Lamb Chops With Mustard Potatoes)

Thanks for watching video How To Make Grilled Honey Rosemary Lamb Chops With Mustard Potatoes For more how to videos, expert advice, instructional tips, tricks, guides and tutorials on this subject, visit the topic Lamb.
From videojug.com

How To Make Grilled Honey Rosemary Lamb Chops With Mustard Potatoes Recipe (Lamb)

March 12, 2011

Soda Pop Planters

I found this wonderful website that has the most interesting (and simple) methods for organic & container gardening - two of my favorite things:

February 4, 2011

Lamb Kabobs

12 ounces lean boneless lamb leg (or shoulder)
1/4 cup stone ground mustard
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 green onions finely chopped
2 teaspoons of fresh thyme (finely chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
16 small new (red) potatoes
1 Bermuda onion, cut into wedges
1 red, green or yellow pepper (cubed) - You can alternate the colors (Stoplight) if you wish
Trim fat from meat before cutting into 1" cubes. Place in a medium glass bowl.

Marinade: Blend the mustard, lemon juice, green onion and thyme. Pour half of the marinade over the meat, and coat. Cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 hours.
Cook (boil or microwave) potatoes until they are tender (do not over cook). Allow them t o cool.
Pull onion wedges apart so that they are in 2 to 3 layers.
Drain the meat from the marinade (discard; do not keep the marinade).
Using METAL skewers (don't have to soak and can be re-used), thread the meat, potatoes, onion and peppers (leave 1/4" between each unit).
Broil* on an unheated rack of the broiler pan 4" from the heat for 8 minutes. Turn the meat and brush with the glaze (stop 5 minutes before the meat is done).
Serve with rice, cous-cous or salad.
* Of course, you can do this on your grill also.

December 6, 2010

The Magic of the old Yule Log

It is Christmas Eve, 1972. Picture the home of Archie Bunker or The King of Queens; typical three windows and a door. Inside each of those nearly identical houses (one of which was mine), something charmingly peculiar was going on. Of course, you could not see it from the street – usually, because New Yorkers draw their shades at dusk. You had to live there to appreciate this strangely unique holiday tradition. The Yule Log.


This was not just any Yule Log; and, certainly not a cake, but the WPIX Yule Log, one of television’s most heart warming, time-honored traditions.

I’m originally from New York, although I’ve lived in Indiana much of my adult life. But we (New Yorkers) tend to go over the deep end with holiday traditions, and if it’s an odd one, we keep doing it.

From 1966 to 1989, folks in the Metropolitan area were treated to a televised fireplace (Yule log) on WPIX-11, which burned continuously on Christmas Eve, complete with old fashioned carols playing in the background. I know, you’re probably wondering why in the heck anyone would want to watch a fireplace on TV with carols playing half the night? Well, it goes back to that quirky little New York thing. In Manhattan, and most of the five boroughs, a lot of folks live in apartments; very small apartments. In the 70’s, as today, if you were lucky enough to have a fifth floor walk-up studio with a working fireplace, that was golden. But, most of us did not have a fireplace. The one holiday tradition that brings city apartment dwellers to their knees is the warmth and cheer of a holiday hearth. WPIX-11 provided us with the comfort on Christmas Eve.

The original Log was filmed at Gracie mansion, the official residence of New York City’s mayors. They volunteered its stately fireplace for the taping. This was an offer it probably grumbled about when a spark burned a hole in a very valuable rug in the mansion.

On Christmas Eve, people ran home from work. Stores closed early. Subways seemed to run faster, and cabs drove on the sidewalks – all so we could get home in time to turn on Channel 11. The broadcast was grainy, had a bunch of static, and it “snowed” a lot on our local channel. For you younger viewers, “snow” is what your television or monitors get when you don’t pay your cable or satellite bill.

Liquor stores stocked up, and the delis and specialty shops were filled with last minute shoppers buying treats and comfort foods for their Yule Log parties.

These parties were a common ritual. If you had met someone at a bar or the corner grocer, or a co-worker – or your beau – called and said, “Hey, wanna come by my place for a Christmas Eve nightcap?” you knew what that meant. No, no, no; not that … it was Yule Log Time in NY City! It meant you got lucky, so to speak.

People snuggled up in front in front of their cabinet television sets and watched the mesmerizing blaze, humming along to their favorite Christmas tunes. Couples got engaged over the Yule Log! So what if it was a two dimensional fire? It took you away for a few hours; took you to another place and time. I had memorized that log so well that I knew when each flame would flicker and how. Families gathered around and wrapped gifts in front of the television, decorating them with candles and greenery as if they were real mantles. My young cousin, Reva, asked me if she could hang her stocking on the TV set thinking it was just as good as a real hearth.

In 1989, WPIX-11 decided to take the Yule Log off the air due to financial reasons. Faithful fans wailed in the streets and begged the station to put it back on the air. Poor imitations began to pop up on CDs and DVDs, but they just weren’t the same. Petitions and websites began to surface from past and present native New Yorkers – anyone who had known and loved the Log, as we fondly called it, begging the station to bring it back.

Finally, on Christmas morning, 2001, WPIX-11 reinstated the Yule Log for a few short hours. The ratings went through the roof, surpassing even “Good Morning America.” I believe it was in 2006, in honor of the Log’s 40th birthday, WPIX ran a special, “The WPIX Yule Log: A Log’s Life,” during the holidays. The original film loop and three hour soundtrack had been digitally re-mastered.

The WPIX Yule Log aired on 10 other stations owned by Tribune Broadcasting as well as the WGN Superstation.

Am I sentimental about the Yule Log? You bet your Brooklyn Bridge I am. Early Christmas morning, 2009, I awoke to a familiar crackle and old time version of “The First Noel.” I arose to my feet for fear I was dreaming, but it was no dream. My old Yule Log was on television once more (don’t ask me what channel it was; I was drunk with joy and don’t remember).

My tradition with the Yule Log usually involved me visiting a friend’s house on the way home to Queens from work. We’d catch the early part of the broadcast with the usual Yule Log jokes and a cocktail. But, it always ended the same way. I would accompany my grandparents to church for the midnight service, and then rush back home for the last part of the Yule Log. Gramps and I would sit at the dining room table, and we shared two things; eggnog and some good Barbados rum. We’d toast our ancestors, bask in the aroma of the bird already in the oven, and comment on how much better the Yule Log looked that year.

For more information on The Yule Log, please visit www.theyulelog.com.

November 20, 2010

Honey Rum Glazed Turkey

Do you remember when turkey was still a luxurious treat? The family saved up for one and you only saw the big bird at Thanksgiving, Christmas or other special occasions. The inevitable turkey sandwich was a joy the next day with all of the "trimmings."
Now a slice of turkey is a dime a dozen, sold in every form or shape imaginable.
But Thanksgiving is here again, and I'm honestly sick of the old Tom Turkey and his dull brethren. Yet, I realize there are still millions who are traditionalists and want their bird on the table for Thanksgiving. Fair enough. So, why not dress the bird for the occasion, leaving a tasty lasting impression?
I perused countless recipes in old cookbooks, my recipe files and then online. To my delight, I discovered a rather cool recipe for Honey Rum Glazed Turkey at http://www.tortugarumcakes.com/:

Honey Rum Glazed Turkey


1 - 12 to 15 pound turkey
2 tablespoons butter
1 large Granny Smith apple
8 whole cloves
3 tablespoons Tortuga Dark Rum
6 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
1 medium onion, quartered
1 tablespoon Garlic Mrs. Dash
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garlic pepper

Glaze:
1/2 cup Tortuga Dark Rum
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 teaspoon Grace Jamaican All Purpose Seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Core & quarter apple & place 2 cloves in each quarter. Place on small dish; sprinkle apple slices with rum; set aside.

Make Glaze:
In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat - do not allow to brown. When melted, add rum, honey, orange zest & orange juice & 1 teaspoon All Purpose seasoning, stirring well. Heat just until mixture begins to bubble & remove from heat.
Cool slightly while preparing turkey. Remove giblets from turkey cavities & rinse turkey in cold water. Pat dry with paper towel.
Place turkey in oven roasting pan. Rub the 2 tablespoons of butter into skin over turkey breast & thighs. Sprinkle the body cavity with the salt, Mrs. Dash & 1 teaspoon garlic pepper.
Insert rum-soaked apple pieces, garlic & onion. Seal cavity with piece of aluminum foil shaped to fit or secure with skewers. Spoon half of glaze evenly over turkey, coating breast, wings, legs & thighs well. Use baster to reach all surface skin areas, tucks & all. Sprinkle remaining 2 teaspoons All purpose seasoning & 1 tablespoon garlic pepper evenly over skin.
Cover with a tent of aluminum foil. Place turkey in very hot oven (450 degrees) for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and roast for 2 hours, or according to directions for weight of bird, basting with remaining glaze two or three times. Remove aluminum foil during last 30 minutes to brown skin.
Remove turkey from oven & allow to cool, covered loosely with foil, for 20 minutes before carving. Pour off remaining juices & glaze from pan into 1 quart measuring cup.
You can use the drippings & juices to make gravy or skim off fat as it rises to the surface & serve this delicious sauce as is.

October 7, 2010

It's Pie Time, Y'all

It's that wonderful time of year. Pies in the oven ... the smells of harvest and comfort. Here are two lovely pies to keep you warm this season. (From the Butterball Kitchen)

Easy No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

Make this creamy no-bake pumpkin pie a new tradition in your house this holiday season

1 unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup water
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 cups whipped topping
1 large (10 inch, 9 ounce) graham cracker pie crust

Sprinkle gelatin over water in small saucepan. Let stand 1 minute. Cook and stir on low heat until gelatin dissolves.
Combine pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk and pumpkin pie spice with wire whisk until well blended. Stir in gelatin mixture. Let cool 10 minutes. Gently stir in whipped cream.
Pour mixture into crust. Chill at least 3 hours, or until set. Cut pie into 10 slices.

 
Southern Pecan Pie with Toffee Crunch

Traditional Pecan Pie with a Crispy Sweet Twist

1 (from 15 ounce package) refrigerated pie pastry
1 1/4 cups dark corn syrup
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups pecans, halved
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup toffee pieces, divided
1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll pastry into a 12-inch circle on lightly floured surface. Fit into 9-inch pie plate. Fold edge under and flute edge.

Combine corn syrup, eggs, pecans, butter and vanilla in a medium bowl. Toss 2/3 cup of toffee pieces with flour and stir into pecan mixture. Pour entire mixture into pie pastry.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove pie from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Immediately sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup of toffee pieces over the top. Cool completely before serving.

September 6, 2010

Bananas Foster Cake

As a rule, I am not a fan of banana cake, banana pudding or banana nut bread. In essence, I never liked cooked bananas; that is, until I was introduced to the famous Bananas Foster dessert, which is now the flagship of my dessert madness favorites. I rarely get to eat this dessert, and it is too complicated (for me) to make. There are many knock-offs and short cuts, and Bananas Foster at a family breakfast buffet just does not cut it.


But I love Bananas Foster and I love cake. How could I marry my love of this decadent dessert with my passion for cake making and cake eating? After trying out several cake combinations that failed miserably or simply came up short to my expectations, I finally came up with the perfect - well, almost perfect - Bananas Foster Cake. This is a perfect last supper dessert before embarking on that annual new year's diet.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 large ripe banana, mashed
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup dark rum
1/2 cup melted vanilla ice cream (premium quality)
1/2 cup instant cocoa (sweetened)

Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt® or tube pan.

Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed until light, about 30 seconds. (I prefer to mix my cakes by hand with a wooden spoon, but that is optional). Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In medium bowl, mash banana. Add sour cream, milk, vanilla and rum; stir to combine. Add dry ingredients alternately with banana mixture to creamed mixture; beat well after each addition.

Reserve 2 cups of batter in two small bowls (one cup each). Fold in the vanilla ice cream into one bowl, then stir instant cocoa mix into the other bowl of batter. Spoon half of the plain banana batter into pan. Top with the vanilla (ice cream) batter. Spoon more plain batter over this. Top with cocoa batter. Bake at 350° for 55 to 70 minutes, or until a wooden pick or cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then remove from pan to cool completely.

Fill the center of the cake with the following filling.

1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mashed bananas
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup banana liqueur
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Dust the cake lightly with powdered sugar. When serving, drizzle each slice of cake with a bit of dark hot fudge syrup warmed in the microwave.

August 29, 2010

A New Day is (Always) Dawning Somewhere

Yesterday (Aug. 28), I was invited to the Indianapolis City Market to do a book signing and cooking demo from my new cookbook/memoir, THE BAJAN'S GRANDDAUGHTER. It was a successful event, and much fun. Old and new friends turned up, and I even got my mom and aunt to make the trip to Indy with me.

I made Trinidadian Curried Chicken, as well as Banana Boat Bread (bananas, coconut, pineapple, guava, mango, papaya & raisins). My book is available, should anyone be interested, just send me an email! You can purchase my book in my Etsy Store with FREE SHIPPING for the first copy.

A limited amount of copies will also be available at my Bread Booth in the (Henry County, Indiana) Farmers' Market until the end of our season.

All the best!

August 19, 2010

What's In Your Tomato Sandwich?

I've been feeling a bit sluggish, stressed, and sad that summer is once again leaving me behind without me getting to "join in." Okay, that was the pity party. Usually, to crash such a party, I seek comfort food -- that can be good or bad. But, in this case, it was actually a good thing.
Yesterday, I wanted comfort food - which, for me, involves hot, steamy chicken soup, Chinese ribs (not pre-fab buffet), oxtail stew or Bananas Foster ... none of which would be suitable considering my lowly state of financial affairs and the extreme heat. I couldn't bear to light the stove for stew or soup, and can't afford the ingredients for my all-time favorite dessert; at least not today.
But, just now, a neighbor knocked on the door. I was so surprised that my evil man-eating dog did not make a fuss, but he just raised a lazy eyebrow. The neighbor handed me four delightful Beefsteak Tomatoes, home grown in his yard. I thanked him, and brought the almost too-ripe 'maters into the kitchen. We stared at each other gloomily, and then suddenly, it dawned on me ... TOMATO SANDWICH!
I had not had a tomato sandwich in ages, and it sounded really good (and comforting) right now.
There's several ways to make a tomato sandwich; my favorite is two slices of old fashioned Sunbeam White Bread, some Miracle Whip, beautiful chilled tomatoes, sliced, and salt and pepper.
I improvised with:
2 slices thick, multi grain bread
Mayonnaise (on one slice)
One large Beefsteak Tomato, sliced thick - pile it on!
Garlic Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Smash it together, and go for it.
I've found my new comfort food.

August 8, 2010

Chinese Garlic Sauce

Garlic sauce is the base of so many Asian recipes many reasons. Beyond the fact that it is delicious, aromatic and adds full body to steamed vegetables, pan fried tofu, chicken, beef, pork or seafood dishes, Chinese Garlic Sauce is packed with powerful antioxidants. Asian cooks benefit from the simple sauce that creates wonderful flavor, while providing a healthy accent to many meals.


Don’t think that you must limit Chinese Garlic Sauce strictly to Asian dishes. It is a very good enhancement to lamb, veal and many Mediterranean recipes also.

Simple Chinese Garlic Sauce

6 whole garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons of chili paste with garlic
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
½ cup chopped, unsalted peanuts
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cornstarch

* Quickly saute the garlic and red pepper flakes in the peanut and sesame oils on high.*
* Reduce the heat to low.
* Add the oyster sauce along with the light and dark soy sauces, plus the rice wine, brown sugar, ginger and the chili paste.
* Stir gently and simmer slowly.
* Slice the red and green peppers into thin strips. Toss into the skillet with the garlic mixture.
* Fold in the chopped peanuts to the above.
* In a small bowl, blend the water and cornstarch until it has a smooth texture. Gradually add the cornstarch blend into the simmering pot, and stir constantly.
* Season with salt and pepper to taste.
* Stir the garlic constantly, being careful to not allow the sesame oil to burn.

July 25, 2010

Oven Cooked Steak

Many years ago, my grandmother introduced a steak recipe to our family that was wonderful and tasty. I believe the origins of the recipe was on a Lipton's Onion Soup® (dry mix) box. It has been often duplicated and improvised over the years, and I also have added my own personal touches to the mix.


Her original steak was very simple. Using a plain sirloin or "round steak/roast," place your steak in a Pyrex® baking dish large enough to hold the steak without cramping it. Sprinkle an entire packet (undiluted) of the Lipton's Onion Soup® directly onto the meat. Spread the soup evenly over the entire steak. Cover with foil, and bake in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven until the meat is tender. The meat steams itself under the foil, hydrating the onion soup mix, and the result is a very tasty and tender steak. However, the onion soup mix tends to be very salty.

My new and improved version of the "onion steak" is to make my own lower sodium version. In a small bowl, I blend the following:

1/2 cup of dried onion flakes
1 large yellow onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon (low sodium) soy sauce
1 cup light Italian salad dressing
8 oz. frozen vegetables (your choice)

Mix well with a fork and spoon over the meat. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the steak to marinate sufficiently. Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not discard the marinade; it hasn't sat on the meat long enough to be a threat to you and your loved ones. Cover with foil, and bake until tender (as in the original recipe); usually 40 minutes or so.

Your steak is virtually fool proof. Of course, you can tweak the marinade ingredients if some of them are not to your liking. You can make it as simple as Italian dressing only. It's totally up to you. Oven cooked steak is simple and fabulous!

The Backyard --Today's Vacation Spot

The Backyard --Today's Vacation Spot
A simple garden meal in the shade. No, it's not my backyard, but it looks identical to the one I grew up with at our home in Queens. Looking for an original pic of it to post soon!

Old Fashioned Tips