Monday, August 30, 2010

Vegetarian dinner party

Please please please don't take offense! 

Baked lasagna

This recipe comes from Jean Bowler, editor of Ageless Beauty, a website about all things anti-aging.  It was originally adapted from a recipe Jean found on, but her experimentation with it has made it truly hers.  She sent me the glorious picture up above...don't you want to dive right in?  Make a double batch, freeze one, and you'll have an amazing dinner twice!

BAKED LASAGNA – adapted from

PASTA: or fresh noodles from Sam’s deli case – makes double recipe
3 qts. water
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
8 oz. lasagna noodles

1 lb. Johnsonville Italian sausage thinly sliced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 med. onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.) can peeled Italian tomatoes
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1/2 tsp. crumbled dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crumbled dried sweet basil
1 tsp. sugar

8 oz. Ricotta or pot cheese
8 oz. Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced or shredded
1/2 scant c. dried Parmesan cheese

Prepare pasta. Combine water and salt in large kettle. Float oil on surface of water; bring to boil. Slowly add noodles, a few at a time; cook 15 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water. Arrange on toweling to drain.
Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Brown sausage slices in large skillet, crumbling with a fork while you work. Remove from pan; pour off drippings.

Add oil to skillet; saute onion and garlic over low heat 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, broken up with fork, tomato paste and seasonings. Stir well; add meat to sauce. Cook over low heat 40 minutes or until thick.
Lightly grease 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Ladle approximately 3/4 cup sauce into pan. Top with 1/3 of noodles. Dot with 1/2 the Ricotta and half the mozzarella. Add layer of sauce and 1/3 of noodles remaining Ricotta and Mozzarella. Top with more sauce; add remaining noodles. Top with remaining sauce; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake one pan at 350 degrees F. 40 to 50 minutes or until heated through. Yield 10 servings.

If double batching, freeze the second pan. Defrost and bake as above.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Chicken Florentine pizza

I'm fast coming to the end of my "lazy month" that I allowed for myself to regroup and refresh.  There are still a few "lazy meals" left to come though, like this terrific pizza from the Charcoal Corral in Perry NY.   Sorry, I don't have the recipe, and isn't that a shame?!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Low-country shrimp

I used a mixture of beans this time when I made Low-Country Shrimp and Black-Eyed Peas.  I didn't have the black-eyed peas on hand, so I used a mixture of small white Goya beans and pigeon peas.  Great with a Corona!

Monday, August 23, 2010

One of our favorite cheater's dinners!

Can't you just smell the dogs grilling?  Hebrew National, of course!
Here's a link to the tomato-mozzarella salad :-)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Salmon cakes

I don't really have a specific recipe for salmon cakes, because there are lots of different combinations of vegetables that you can use.  Other fish can be used instead of salmon, but it's our favorite!

Salmon Cakes

Large filet of salmon
Bell peppers and onion, chopped fine
Olive oil
Bread crumbs (we prefer Panko)

Steam the salmon until it is almost cooked through.  Saute the vegetables in olive oil.  Place in a mixing bowl along with the salmon.  Break up the salmon into chunks and mix with the vegetables, egg, and bread crumbs by hand.  Pan fry until brown on both sides.   

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blueberry pie crumble topping

Tomorrow is my mother's birthday, so I thought I should share another of RuthAnn's extra special treats!  When Mom makes a blueberry pie, she uses a very simple (but delicious) crumble topping instead of a second pie crust.  First, I guess I should tell you that Mom makes the ultimate best pie crusts in the known world, and I live for them, so for me to praise something that isn't a crust is high praise indeed. 

You might be wondering why my slice of pie is in a bowl.  Well, a lot of people from Pennsylvania (and I am one) eat it this way, with milk:

Anyway, here's the recipe for the topping:

Crumb Topping for Pies

1/2 c flour
1/2 c quick oats (or grind up whole oats)
1/3 c (5 1/3 T) butter
1 c white sugar (brown sugar for apple pies)

Stir together.  Use slightly less sugar in your pie filling when you use a crumb topping.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cucumber wasabi soup

The most amazing cold soup that I've had in forever, cold and refreshing, but with a wicked after-burn!  I found this recipe at Lark Crafts, courtesy of Chris Bryant.  I don't usually go to Lark Crafts for the recipes, but maybe I should!  Hit the link for Chris's instructions.   I changed them slightly to suit our tastes, leaving out the cottage cheese after making it by the letter the first time.  I hope Chris won't mind.  I would recommend starting with the original recipe and then changing it to suit your family and friends!

This is the amended version for our family:

Cucumber Wasabi Soup

2 c cucumbers, half peeled, coarsely chopped
½ c scallions, coarsely chopped, including green tops
2 c nonfat yogurt (note - all dairy must be low or nonfat)
1 T chives, chopped
1 t sugar
1–2 t wasabi paste
½ t dry mustard
Salt and pepper

2 c nonfat buttermilk
1 c lowfat sour cream

Cayenne pepper
Fresh dill
Additional cucumber cubes, optional

Place the cucumbers through the salt and pepper in a food processor and puree. Pour into a serving container and stir in the buttermilk and sour cream. Serve with cayenne pepper and fresh dill to taste.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Walleye for eveyone!

Nate, Lizzie, and Katherine are still with us, but I had to share this feast that we had, thanks to DH.  Isn't he amazing?  The walleye was 24 inches long!!! And delicious!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Furlough from Guatemala

Our son Nate, along with his beautiful wife Lizzie and our delightful grandbaby Katherine, will be visiting with us for a few weeks.  They live and work in an orphanage in Guatemala, and every 6 months they are required to leave the country.  That makes a handy excuse for a good long visit.

I'm sure you'll understand that I would rather spend the next few weeks with Katherine rather than writing about food.  I'll be back soon, when I'm finished playing Grammy  ;-)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tomato-mozzarella salad

This is a super-simple salad to put together and is very refreshing in the summertime.  The ingredients are basically the same as a Caprese saIad, but instead of slicing and stacking, you just cube everything.  If you are looking for a really light meal, just add some bread and call it dinner...with a glass of chilled white wine!

Tomato-Mozzarella Salad

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
6 oz mozzarella, preferably fresh, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 c red onion, chopped
3 T fresh basil

Marinate in:
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 c olive oil
Salt and pepper