Tuesday, April 17, 2012


When I posted I had made chili and beer bread, I was asked for the beer bread recipe. Beer bread is very easy. It does call for self rising flour and if you don't have that, you can easily make it and use in the recipe.

Plain Beer Bread is

3 C self rising flour
1/2 C sugar
12  oz beer
3 tbs butter

The kind of beer you use can make a huge difference in taste, I like you lagers.

Mix the flour and sugar and pour into the beer, mix only well enough to get it in a batter, do not overwork it. Put it in a greased loaf pan and melt the 3 tbs butter and pour over the top. Bake at 375 for 50-55 minutes.

One of my favorite variations is Salsa Beer Bread--

3 C self rising flour
1/2 C sugar
2 tsp cajun or salsa seasoning
1 C shreeded cheddar cheese
14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1/2 C water
3 tbs butter

Combine first 6 ingredients.
Spread in a 9x13 greased baking pan
drizzle with the leted butter and bake @ 375 for 40-45 min.


3/4 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt.

mix and sift together and use in place of self rising flour. You may need to increase it if you need more of course.


PORN = Peas + Corn!  (What were you all thinking...this is a clean blog you know!) A little food humor!

Today was a cooking day, made chicken cordon bleu with scalloped potatoes and spring asparagus, and then for tomorrow chili with beer bread. Here's a pic of my scalloped taters.

My recipe for scalloped potatoes is pretty basic.


2-3 lb red potatoes sliced thin
2 onions chopped
several TBS flour
3-4 C scalded milk
2 C cheddar cheese
italian bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs, roughly 1 C

I spray a 9x11 casserole dish with PAM, then layer potatoes and onion to cover the bottom. Sprinkle layer with bit of flour, salt, pepper, garlic, parsley and thin layer of cheese. Add next layer of sliced potatoes and onions, sprinkle with more flour, salt, pepper, garlic, parsley. Then scald the milk and pour over the potatoes. Then sprinkle the last of the cheese, and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees for about an hr or until potatoes are done.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


                                    Pesach same'ach" (פסח שמח)!
                               (HAPPY PASSOVER!)

I have the privilege of getting to double dip on the holidays as I am 3/4 Jewish by birth from Swiss, Prussian and German Jews and also believe Christ, which would make me in modern circles considered a completed Jew as they say. The Upshot is that I celebrate both Jewish and Christian Holidays with equal vigor!

Some of the foods I post here are a fusion of recipes that represent that, like my latkes. And to be honest, it is amazing how similar many of the traditional Jewish, Slavic, Polish and German foods all can be with the slightest of variations. I definitely love all the food! 

Passover is a very special time as it represents the freeing of the very oppressed Jewish people at the time with great miracles. It was also a somber time because of how this was accomplished. The Passover Seder, pictured above, is very ceremonial and all the foods listed represent a particular piece from that first Passover. Passover was named so the Angel of death would pass over the Jewish home's door marked with blood at the top so their firstborn children would be spared and not killed. The Egyptians did not know about this so therefore, had no blood marking their doors and the Angel of Death entered and killed their firstborn children. This made them so afraid and heartbroken, they finally freed their Jewish slaves. So it is also a lesson of obedience to God and a fulfillment of promise. This is a nice look at how a Seder is handled in a completed home. 

Now to one of the most important aspects--FOOD! The Passover menu is done with great care as it contains no leaven, which is a symbol of sin, and you may not mix dairy with your meat in any way. 

My Menu usually goes like this:


Roast leg of lamb that I slow roast in the crockpot, seared first with a rub of montreal seasoning and basted with maple syrup, later served with mint jel
Roasted Garlic Cauliflower


  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a large casserole dish.
  2. Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared casserole dish.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.

Spring Asparagus


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter with olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add asparagus spears, and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes, or to desired firmness. Drain off excess oil, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

 Creamy Vegetarian Borscht 


  • 3 cups Dannon® All Natural Plain Yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives or scallion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 large red pepper, diced
  • 10 ounces Yukon gold potato, diced
  • 3 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 1/2 pounds beets, peeled and finely chopped in food processor
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and finely chopped in food processor
  • 1 1/4 cups strained tomatoes
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dill for garnish (optional)


  1. Mix together Dannon® All Natural Plain Yogurt, garlic, dill and chives and set aside until ready to serve soup. You can make this ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  2. In a large 4 quart soup pot, heat butter and olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onion and celery and saute for 7 to 10 minutes until vegetables have softened. Add red pepper and continue to saute for another 3 minutes. Add potato, cabbage, beets, carrots, tomato sauce, water, vinegar, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for about 40 minutes or until vegetables have softened and liquid has reduced.
  3. Serve hot or at room temperature with 4 tablespoons yogurt mixture stirred into each 1 cup serving of soup. Garnish with dill (optional).

Matzo Apple Kugel


  • 4 matzo crackers, crushed
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 3 Granny Smith apples - cored, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place the crumbled matzos in a medium bowl, and add enough water to cover. Let stand for 2 minutes, then drain off excess water. Do not squeeze.
  2. To the bowl of matzo, add eggs, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, lemon juice and applesauce. Stir to combine. Mix in the apples and dried cranberries. Spread the mixture evenly into a 2 quart casserole dish. Mix together the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, and cinnamon; sprinkle over the top.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden, and the apples are soft.

Raisen Farful Kugel:


  • 2 cups farfel
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch baking dish.
  2. Soak farfel in water 10 minutes. Drain.
  3. Add beaten eggs into the bowl of farfel, and let stand 10 minutes. Stir in raisins, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Transfer mixture to prepared dish.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 50 to 60 minutes.

Hot Artichoke and Spincah Dip--I LOVE this:


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a small baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, garlic, basil, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Gently stir in artichoke hearts and spinach.
  3. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake in the preheated oven 25 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.

Passover Chocolate Chip Cocoa Meringues


  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift 1/4 cup sugar, cocoa, and salt into a small bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks begin to form. Mix in remaining 1/4 cup of sugar gradually, and beat until medium-firm peaks form. Sprinkle in cocoa mixture gradually, and continue beating until egg whites are stiff. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop mixture onto baking sheets by rounded teaspoonfuls, spacing about 1 inch apart.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes for crispy cookies. Cool cookies on baking sheets.
Chocolate Chip Cheese ball-- This is so good and easy:


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans


  1. In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in confectioners' sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  2. Shape chilled cream cheese mixture into a ball. Wrap with plastic, and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  3. Roll the cheese ball in finely chopped pecans before serving
Matzo Ball Soup


  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 2 inch julienne strips


  1. In a small bowl, mix eggs with the melted butter or margarine. Stir in matzo meal, parsley, salt, pepper, and water to form a soft dough. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Bring chicken broth and carrots to a boil in a large pot. Reduce heat to a simmer. Shape the matzo dough into 12 balls. (For easier shaping, dip hands in cold water from time to time). Drop the matzo balls into the simmering broth. Cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
I am an approximate:
I fill up my 11 cup food processor with grated potaoes and about 2 onions also grated in there. I put that in a big bowel, add a couple of beaten eggs, salt, pepper, chive and garlic, and then a few tbs. of flour. You want the mixture just thick enough to not be runny. I then have a heated fry pan with a little olive oil, and i put dollops in the fry pan, flatten them out and fry until it is golden brown on medium heat, flip, finsih frying and then put on plates with paper towels on them. I serve them with a side of sour cream and chives.

Jewish Apple Cake:


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups matzo meal
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 large apples - peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C and grease a 9x13 inch glass baking dish.
  2. Combine eggs, oil and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer. Stir in matzo meal, potato starch and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
  3. In a separate bowl, toss apples with brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Layer half of the dough into the prepared 9x13 inch dish. Pour the apples into the dish then pat remaining dough over the apples. Sprinkle with some brown sugar, if desired.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 45 minutes.