All posts filed under: cooking secrets

Food: Dinner Tonight – Beans In Variation

I care for my mother and cooking is part of that package – which I don’t mind. So every afternoon after work, I visit with her and help prepare her dinner. She’s always excited at the recipes I come up with, and the ones I find online where I add my own spin to the whole thing. Yesterday, while my head was spinning out of control, she asked about dinner and the quickest option I could come up with was a simple Cannellini bean dish which goes something like this – open two cans of beans. I use this one.  Bring to a boil, add finally chopped parsley, and sliced green onions, olive oil and lemon juice to taste and serve with toasted pita bread. Simple and easy. So today, I decided to expand on bean dish recipes since that is what we are having for dinner tonight. And here’s another middle eastern product my family has used for decades – and I sort of giggle now when I see it popping up in restaurant …

Food: Garlic Butter, Salmon, Creamed Spinach

I realized as I was multi-tasking this morning that it’s nearing noon – which means I am hungry and need to get a quick bite for lunch and think of dinner – which for tonight is this wonderful recipe. I am on the fence about the creamed spinach part, with heavy cream or coconut milk + cream cheese + Parmesan. So, I am sharing the recipe and considering switching it up or adding my own take. I am going to go with heavy cream + a dash of Marsala wine, and a spritz or two of extra-virgin olive oil. I am not a fan of  any cheese on fish. Everything else is perfect. INGREDIENTS 4 salmon filets, skin on or off (your preference) kosher salt and black pepper 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons salted butter 1 small shallot, thinly sliced 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk, or heavy cream 2 ounces cream cheese, cubed 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 4 cups fresh baby spinach juice from 1 lemon 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for serving {more} On …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Hummus

Over the weekend, while doing the usual grocery shopping, I brought home chicken as usual, and a half dozen fresh sweet potatoes with the intend that I would dice up the chicken, and the sweet potatoes  and stir fry it with garlic, olive oil and herbes de Provence blend of spices and then I saw this recipe and decided to shift gears and try something new. INGREDIENTS 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon honey 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes juice of 1 lemon kosher salt and black pepper 2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 4 cups baby arugula 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes + 2 tablespoons oil from the jar 4 ounces cubed feta cheese 2 cups plain hummus, homemade or store-bought naan, Persian cucumbers, and fresh dill, for serving  {more} In case you are curious about cooking with herbes de Provence – there is a whole list of recipes to incorporate the spice –    

Sunday Edition: Movies, Novels and Chocolate

If someone were to ask me what my plans were today, I’d  say, stay in bed all day, napping in between reading, and watching classic films. It’s just that kind of day. I did much walking yesterday, along the beach and Land’s End in San Francisco – yes the weather cooperated enough, and while walking did too much thinking. So today, here’s the plan: After waking up at four in the morning to feed my dog, crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head (I lied- shoulders) and go back to sleep. Wake up, make coffee, and crawl back into bed, and read a few chapters of this novel – which is too well written to put down, but too depressing to read all of it at one sitting/laying/lounging. Play on cellphone – color-by-number for about thirty minutes, or until I fall back asleep Then a classic film, another snooze, after which I sit up, to watch in full  a second film before slowly crawling out of bed, just in time to eat …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Lemony Chicken and Orzo

I got a late start today – after waking up at 330 in the morning, to get glimpse of the only blood moon for 2019 – which was more silvery by the coastal San Francisco. But that’s ok. It was a beautiful sight no less – clouds stacked upon clouds, and the full-moon larger than usual, adding the perfect soothing shades to the fluff, glistening over the Pacific. I grabbed a fresh-bought novel from the stack I brought back with me from England, and got back into bed – with dog by my side, I attempted to read, but ended up falling asleep instead – waking up suddenly and realizing I hadn’t shared a subject of interest with all of you this morning. So – first of all – thank you to those who emailed me for a copy of a novel I had written a few years back. Your copy will be in the mail in the next few days. Second, I am jumping right into an easy dinner on this cold San Francisco …

Food: In Search Of Olive Oil and Lemon Cake

I had a recipe a decade ago that I seem to have misplaced. It was a simple cake, baked in one round pan and no frosting. I mean who really needs frosting? Not Europeans and not me, especially if the cake is the best of flavors combined. A few days ago, while in an assembly belt style restaurant, where you pass by a dozen dishes and pick and choose what your eyes think your stomach can handle, and end up ordering too much – sort of place. But it was organic, freshly made variety of proteins, and side dishes, and very creative salads which changes using seasonal veggies and fruits. So, I queued up, and with my eyes opened wide, and my mouth-watering, ordered more than I needed to and by the time I reached the cash register, I noticed a lemon cake made with olive oil and I pointed to the very slice I wanted – making the person behind the counter laugh at my reaction of pure joy. The cake was good enough, …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Sticky Korean Chicken

It is Friday. I’ve managed to complete most everything on my to-do list this week, leaving (intentionally) a few minor items for next week – in an effort to lessen the anxiety I feel when I think I must do more and then some more. One of those things was that  I finished watching Amazon Prime– Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season two – and I have to say, the show thus far is fascinating in every sense of the word – from entertainment, content, decor and naturally the fashion – best yet since Mad Men.  Which I will be discussing more about over the weekend but for now, here’s what I am aiming to make for dinner tonight, serving it up with a bottle of lite beer – yes you read right – beer is the only go with sticky Korean chicken. INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari 1/4 cup honey 1-2 tablespoons Gochujang (Korean chili paste) 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 1 inch fresh ginger, grated 2 cloves garlic, grated 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts steamed white rice, for serving 1 cup kimchi 1 mango, sliced toasted sesame …

Food: Puff Pastry Treat

I saw this recipe, which reminded me of something I’d done over a decade ago. When  I found  a packet of puff pastry nearing  its expiration date in my mother’s refrigerator and asked if I could take it home. I had a jar of Nutella (naturally) and a jar of apricot jam. So I layered the puff pastries all buttered up in a pan and baked them in the oven.  Then I cut them into squares the size of brownies, and pulled them apart in the middle to drop a spoonful of Nutella in some and apricot jam in others and served my creation to the family for breakfast.  Rich – sure, tasty – of course, worth the carbs – yes indeed. But I love what the below recipe calls for – Ingredients Ingredients for the rustici Approximately 80https://en.julskitchen.com/savoury-cakes/rustici-a-street-food-from-salento0 g of ready-made puff pastry 3 rectangular sheets 200 g of fresh mozzarella 2 peeled tomatoes 1 egg Ingredients for the béchamel 25 g of butter 25 g of flour 300 ml of whole milk 1 …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Korean Sticky Chicken

While in England over December, I craved Korean food and since I was tucked away in a small town hours from London, I made do with frozen or ready-made meals bought in a grocery store. I missed a home-cooked meal every single day I was there and have already planned out all the meals I intend to prepare over the next few weeks. For example – there is nothing tastier than sticky Korean chicken dish and this recipe is on point with the perfect ingredients to satisfy my taste buds: INGREDIENTS 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari 1/4 cup honey 1-2 tablespoons Gochujang (Korean chili paste) 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil 1 inch fresh ginger, grated 2 cloves garlic, grated 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts steamed white rice, for serving 1 cup kimchi 1 mango, sliced toasted sesame seeds and green onions, for serving {more} Some of my favorite recipes are included in the book below