Sunday, October 30, 2016

Romeo & Julieta Wine Cafe

Went to

Just slightly too much food - but we ate it all!

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms
White mushrooms stuffed with lumps of crab, sautéed, and topped with parmesan & mozzarella cheese then baked. Garnished with a spicy Portuguese Churrasco Sauce and served on a bed of lettuce and tomato slices.

Pierogis & Fresh Dill Cucumber Salad
Choose 4 pierogis sautéed with either Bacon or Veggie Style (Butter & Bread Crumbs) served on a bed of fresh spinach and cucumber salad. Beef, Spinach, Beef & Spinach, Kraut, Kraut & Mushroom, Potato & Cheese, and Potato & Cheddar Cheese. (We had kraut and mushroom and beef and spinach)

Pulled Pork Sliders (4)
Sweet & Spicy BBQ pulled pork with sautéed onions & cabbage on a soft warm bun. Served with sweet potato fries or seasoned curley fries (We had mixed fries)

Brie Cheese & Strawberries
Warn brie cheese topped with sliced strawberries and drizzled with a fig balsamic glaze

Flatbread Pizza Julieta Fig
Caramelized onions in a fig sauce with sliced dried figs, goat cheese, bacon, and shaved parmesan cheese. After it's baked it's topped with fresh arugula and drizzled with a fig balsamic reduction

Friday, October 28, 2016

Apricot, Jalapeno and Bacon Zingers — Nourished Kitchen

Our version:
Makes 20
  • 40 dried apricots
  • 20 pickled jalapeño slices *
  • 10 bacon slices, cut into halves

* We pickled ourselves.

~ 1/3 c water
~ 1/3 c vinegar
~ 3 T sugar
~ 2 t oregano
In sauce pan bring to boil

sliced cross ways as quarters
place in the boiling solution, return to boil

let stand while doing other work,
remove to plate

make little sandwiches of apricot and pepper, wrap in bacon, put wooden toothpick thru and place on parchment paper.

When people arrive place in 400 degree preheated oven.

After 15 minutes use tongs to turn over.

Continue baking until bacon is crisp.

Enjoy with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt. (removing the seed from the peppers might mean it's okay without this)

The apricots sort of melt so it's like eating jam wrapped in bacon!

Did not need to be hot to enjoy.


Made for I and L and B
Rest of dinner was raw vegetables (carrots, celery, turnips, sugar snap peas) with hummus and ranch dip
kale and lettuce salad with avocados, grape tomatoes (not cut as she is allergic and he doesn't like), pumpkin seeds, dried cranberry and apricot, with a poppy seed dressing)
stuffed salmon

Monday, October 10, 2016

Department Taco Event: Unplanned for Microwave Cake

I planned on making cupcakes for the department gathering last weekend.

1small jar Maraschino cherries (3 oz?) - blended/chopped
1 can pinapple (12 oz?) - blended/chopped - saved about half for topping
1/2 - 3/4 c coconut
about 3 T softened butter
about 2 T softened cream cheese
3 eggs
cake mix box (cake box called for a cube of butter and a cup of water but I only added what is listed)
mix together

Put in cupcake tins to bake.  The oven worked until I clicked to set the timer.  I turned it off as it was not recording the time and the oven would not go on again.

So I transferred the batter to a casserole and put in the microwave!

After 4 or 5 minutes I started pulling out to test with knife.  I wasn't sure it was going to work at all so I didn't record how many times I did this...

Eventually though the cake was done.  The pan was hot.

I used a knife to separate from the sides and flipped it over onto a plate while it was still hot.

The cake came out - just a little stuck to the top of the casserole.  I tasted it and it was fine.

Waited for it to cool, then put in the frig.

Right before serving I topped with whipped cream and then poured about half the remaining pineapple on the top.

It was tasty and good.

There were some left overs so I put in little boxes and topped with the rest of the pineapple and some whipped cream before closing the lid.

: )

The department arranged for a taco company to come to make tacos on demand and guests brought desserts.  Mine was the only home-made one.

Lots of left over meat, rice, beans so now I need to come up with things to do with this food so it tastes a little different at the many meals we will be eating!  (I was told to give left overs to faculty but none have responded to email to come by to pick up or to tell us to bring to campus for them to pick up there.)  Next time have to go back to offering to the students then there would not be as much to deal with......

Alex came to this event too!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bernie Birthday BBQ 2016

Vegetable tray from Costco

Brie and Gouda with fig jam/walnuts

Assorted crackers


Selzer Water

Two kinds of BBQ Chicken

Grilled Vegetables

Quinoa/Rice/Red Onion/Mushrooms/Butternut Squash

Green salad - cucumbers - tomato - dried apricots - avocado - pumpkin seeds and cranberry - My dressing

Swedish Summer Birthday cake:

lemon cake

two layers each divided in half

put lemon curd (2 jars) between and sugared small diced strawberries (3 boxes)

frost with whipped cream (1 pt)

topped with strawberries

Next year:

Work on arrangement of appetizers ahead of time

Ask someone to be in charge of drinks at the event

Signs to help people - where to put dirty plates, where to put purses, restroom, drinks

Do all BBQing ahead of time

Put food in heaters so ready when people arrive,  put water in the dish with the sterno!

Spend more time decorating the cake

We all sat in the back - three long tables together.  Any more people would have to have different eating arrangements!

Spend more time chatting!


Bernie and June

(Allison and Sue)

Donn and Barb

James and Rebecca and Zack

(Sean and Sophie)

Alex (and Maria)

Pam and Sandy

Brad and Vicki

Bey-Ling and Guy, FIL Pierre, and 2 children

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Pineapple Earthquake Cake/Custard

A few years ago Mary from Panama shared a delicious cake recipe that I have made several times.

When I was thinking of recipes for birthdays I had sort of assigned this one to use to celebrate our son's birthday, but the ingredients weren't used and were sitting in the pantry staring at me almost everyday.

I ended up eating the bag of chocolate chips - can't believe I did that! and I froze the cream cheese so it was preserved.

Last night we had students over and I thought it would be nice to make a dessert with what I had in the house.  It was delicious.

Preheat oven to 350

Bottom of 9 * 13 pan 
sprinkle about 1/4 cup coconut and 14 cup chopped pecans.

Mix together
Yellow Cake Mix
Can of pineapple chunks - blended smooth
3 eggs
less than 1/4 cup canola oil
pour on top of the coconut and pecans

Heat together
7 T butter
8 oz cream cheese (this had been frozen)
3.5 cups powered sugar
(This was very liquid so I added about 1/4 cup coconut and a few nuts)
Spoon over the cake mixture. It was so loose it spread evenly on it own so I did not have the earthquake effect I expected.)

Place in the 350 degree oven for 30 minutes
Then add foil to the top and bake 15 minutes more

It was still too jiggly so I turned the oven off and left in for a long while more, maybe 30 minutes!

It was still a little jiggly, but after that was placed on the counter to cool for about 45 minutes before putting in the frig.

Slice dried pineapple so very thin.

Served with a small scoop.  Each serving was two scoops.  Topped with whipped cream.  Sprinkled some coconut, pecan and dried pineapple.

There were ten plates served.

I gave most of the left overs to the two guys who helped set up the VR software for the event.  One had come to the house last fall when I also made a dessert that he remembered as being delicious too! So at least in his mind I made good desserts!

It was more like custard than cake, so very different than the original earthquake cake! Yum!

Of the original ingredients I just have some coconut, that I will probably end up freezing.

And next year will suggest cheese cake for my son's birthday, maybe that will be better choice for him....  Hopefully he'll come over then so we can make it together!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Prep time
Total time
1-ingredient cauliflower rice, perfect for practically any dish that calls for brown or white rice!
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves: ~4 cups
  • 1 large head cauliflower
  1. Wash and thoroughly dry cauliflower, then remove all greens and cut into 4 even sections (see photo).
  2. With a box grater, use the medium-sized holes (see photo - the side commonly used to grate cheese), or a food processor with an "S" shaped blade, to grate or pulse the cauliflower into the size of rice, leaving any large, tough stems behind.
  3. Transfer to a clean towel or paper towel and press to remove any excess moisture, which can make your dish soggy.
  4. Once you have your cauliflower rice, it's easy to cook! Simply sauté in a large skillet over medium heat in 1 Tbsp oil. Cover with a lid so the cauliflower steams and becomes more tender. Cook for a total of 5-8 minutes, then season as desired (such as with soy sauce or salt and pepper).
  5. Use cauliflower rice in recipes that call for rice, such as stir friesfesenjan, or fried rice!
*This recipe is not my original concept! It's just my preferred technique.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup (of 4) Calories: 25 Fat: 0.1 g Carbohydrates: 5.3 g Sugar: 2.4 g Sodium: 30 mg Fiber: 2.5 g Protein: 2 g
Recipe by Minimalist Baker at

I've started to see this in the frozen food aisle.  It was in a dish I had in cafe, was good.


Prep time
Cook time
Total time
30 minute, 1-pot chana masala with green chili, cilantro, and garam masala. Easy to make, extremely flavorful, and satisfying. A healthy, plant-based meal.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian, Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves: 6
  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) grape seed oil (or sub coconut oil)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, finely diced (110 g)
  • 1 Tbsp (7 g) ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (3 Tbsp or 16 g)
  • 2 Tbsp (12 g) fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2-3 fresh green chilies, sliced with seeds (I used serrano peppers)
  • 1 Tbsp (7 g) ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 28-oz can pureed or finely diced tomatoes (if unsalted, you’ll add more salt to the dish)
  • 2 15-ounce (425 g) cans chickpeas, slightly drained
  • 1 tsp garam masala* (see instructions for DIY blend)
  • 2-3 tsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice, plus more to taste
  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, cilantro, and green chilies to a mortar and pestle and grind into a rough paste (or use a small food processor to pulse into a paste. Alternatively, just finely mince.) Then, add to the pan with the onions.
  3. Next add ground coriander, chili powder, and turmeric and stir to coat. Add a little more oil at this point if the pan is looking dry.
  4. Next add pureed tomatoes and chickpeas and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. If the mixture looks a little too thick, add up to 1 cup (240 ml) water (I added ~1/2 cup (120 ml)). You’re looking for a semi-thick soup consistency at this point, as it will cook down into more of a stew.
  5. Increase heat to medium high until it reaches a rolling simmer, then reduce heat to low or medium-low and maintain a simmer (uncovered) for 15-20 minutes, or until thick and stew-like. Stir occasionally.
  6. In the meantime, if you don’t have garam masala seasoning, make your own by adding 2 small dried red chilies, 1 tsp black peppercorns (or 1/2 tsp ground black pepper), 1 tsp cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp ground cumin), 1 tsp cardamom pods (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom), 1/2 tsp cloves (or 1/4 tsp ground cloves), and 1/8 tsp nutmeg to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind/mix into a powder. Set aside.
  7. When the chana masala is thickened and bubbly, taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, chili powder for heat, or a bit of coconut sugar for sweetness and to offset the heat of the chilies.
  8. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and garam masala. Stir to mix, then let cool slightly before serving. Fresh cilantro and lemon juice make an excellent garnish. Chana masala can be enjoyed as a stew on its own, or it can be delicious with white or brown rice (see my favorite method here), or cauliflower rice. Lastly, my favorite is over roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli (see notes for instructions).
  9. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 4 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month.
*To roast sweet potatoes and broccoli, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C), and chop broccoli into chunks and sweet potatoes into 1/4-inch rounds. Add to a bare or foil-lined baking sheet and top with 1 Tbsp grape seed oil and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Toss to combine, making sure sweet potatoes are evenly coated with oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes total, flipping/tossing near the halfway point to ensure even baking. Broccoli may cook faster than the sweet potatoes.
*Recipe adapted from The Guardian.
*DIY Garam Masala adapted from The Kitchn.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/6th of recipe (without toppings or sides) Calories: 275 Fat: 8.5 g Saturated fat: 0.6 gCarbohydrates: 41.1 g Sugar: 14.8 g Sodium: 496 mg Fiber: 5.3 g Protein: 9 g