Friday, December 6, 2013

Hash Browns in the Waffle Maker

I saw it on Pinterest! Results: meh. I brushed the grates with vegetable oil for the first shot, and used peanut oil for the second round. The peanut oil hash browns tasted better. For both experiments, I used frozen shreds and sprinkled them with seasoned salt. The upside is that they cooked more quickly than the regular frying pan method.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Fried Rice - Basic Recipe

I was so fortunate to receive a fried rice cooking lesson from a friend from China. The best tip: use rice that was cooked at least 24 hours ago.

She did the cooking in an electric wok. I used a large frying pan (not a non-stick).


2 cups of rice (long grain, cooked the day before and refrigerated overnight)
2 eggs - beaten
sliced green onions
sliced carrots, peas, whatever vegetables you want to add
diced or chopped cooked meat (again, whatever you want, I used Chinese pork)
Vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
garlic granules
soy sauce 
sesame oil

Heat the wok or skillet so it's very hot and add a tiny bit of vegetable oil - maybe a teaspoon. When the oil shimmers, add the egg. When eggs are almost done, add the green onion and break everything up. Add rice and vegetables. Stir while everything fries, add salt and pepper. When you see some browning of the rice, add the soy sauce. Only about a tablespoon. Sprinkle the garlic granules over everything and keep stirring until as done as you want it. Add a drizzle of sesame oil (optional) and stir in after the rice is done cooking. 

You can freeze this. To refresh - just start over with the egg and sliced green onion step - and then add it all in and no need to thaw.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Green Olives Stuffed with Cranberries

Picked these "Citrus Crantini" olives up at the Capital City Public Market a couple of weeks ago. Green olives stuffed with cranberries with citrus zest and soaked in vodka. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mini Pumpkin Pecan Cakes

Made from the Pumpkin Pecan Quick Bread mix from Williams-Sonoma. Topped with cream cheese frosting [pkg of cream cheese, 4 tbs butter, 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla - whipped]. If I had pecans on hand, I would have topped these minis with a half.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Eating From the Garden

Yellow squash, onions and tomatoes fresh from the garden. Chopped and seasoned with oregano, salt and pepper. Baked at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Topped with slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and run under the broiler until bubbly. Life is good!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Squash turned into "Spaghetti"

Fresh from the garden: summer squash. The squash was julienned, and then softened in a hot skillet with a tiny touch of butter. Fresh pesto stirred in and topped with Parmesan cheese. Simple dinner for a 100-degree day.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pesto Without Pine Nuts

Basil is booming in the home garden, so it's time for pesto. Traditionally, pesto contains pine nuts, but I don't add them because they leave a strange taste in my mouth for a couple of days. "Pine nut mouth." Basic recipe: about 2 cups of fresh basil leaves, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of high-quality olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 cups of shredded Parmesan cheese, or Romano, or Pecorino. Pulse everything except olive oil in the foot processor. Then add the olive slowly to the food processor. Adjust measurements to your liking. We always like more garlic. You can freeze this in an air-tight container if you have any left over. Our favorite way to eat pesto? A "green on red" presentation. Add a big scoop of pesto as a topping on homemade spaghetti sauce. Life is good. My teeth are green.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Snow Pea Slaw

Slice snow peas length-wise and mix with a few traditional slaw ingredients: shredded cabbages and carrots. Dressing: orange balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, soy sauce and brown sugar. Toss and top with crunch onions.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cream Puffs: Alternatives to Cupcakes

I've seen a lot of fancy cream puff recipes over the years, but I'm sticking with my grandmother's easy-peasy version. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bring 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of butter to a boil in a large pan. Stir in 1 cup of flour and 1/4 tsp of salt until a dough ball forms. Transfer dough to a heat-proof large bowl. Add 4 beaten eggs, one at a time, while mixing with a hand mixer on low speed. Mix until all eggs are incorporated. Drop mounds of sticky dough (your call on the size) on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake about 25 minutes, until outside is brown. Puffs may deflate a little while cooling, but don't panic. Cut off about one-third of the top and stuff with whatever you want: ice cream, custard, pudding, fruit, or as we used, freshly-whipped cream. Top with powdered sugar. Or maybe chocolate syrup?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Chicken Summer Slaw

We were able to use some garden goodies for the salad last night. Snow peas and cucumber from the yard, plus sliced rotisserie chicken, sliced carrots, cabbage, sliced toasted almonds - tossed with a dressing made of orange balsamic vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, sugar, soy sauce and lime juice. It tasted like summer.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Deli Days at Ahavath Beth Israel

My hubby wanted pastrami. My kiddo wanted hot dogs. All I wanted was a pickle, so I purchased two. Details about the annual Deli Days event at:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Toasted Tortellini

I think I saw this tip on Pinterest. Toss frozen cheese tortellini in a little melted butter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and roast at 325 degrees until brown and toasty. It worked as promised.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Popcorn 101

Take a close look at the popped kernels above. The one on the left is butterfly popcorn, the one on the right is mushroom popcorn. I adore popcorn of all types (except microwave-packet corn), and popped all kinds of ways. But knowing the difference can be helpful when adding toppings. The butterfly popcorn has deeper nooks and crannies to hold liquid additions - like butter. The mushroom top, with its multiple tiny cracks, holds powdered toppings well. Butterfly is the kind normally sold in grocery stores. You may need to go to a specialty store to get mushroom popcorn. Best popping method? I think they're all good as long as they get the job done.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

What's Fresh in Idaho? Interesting Chart

Yes, I love potatoes. Yes, I love Idaho. But we don't harvest them year-round for fresh delivery to the people. Same goes for apples and onions. All are still tasty, but they're not a just-picked crop in all those months.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter Leftovers, with an Olive Twist

Egg salad. Chopped, boiled eggs. Mayonnaise. Dijon mustard. Salt. Freshly-ground pepper. Green Olives. Perfect lunch.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Looks Aren't Everything

 What a delicious-looking pot roast. Onions, garlic, shredded carrot, beef broth and a Williams Sonoma braising sauce. Potatoes added a few hours later. My kitchen smelled just like Williams Sonoma for hours.
However, even though I browned and seasoned the meat, the whole thing was bland. Lesson learned: The cheater sauce was no benefit for this meal.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Watermelon Love

Valentine's Day healthy sweets. Dust off the cookie-cutters for this easy snack.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A New Addiction

These fresh-roasted peanuts from the City Peanut Shop in Downtown Boise start out sweet, and then! comes to the spice.