Sunday, October 16, 2016


Who doesn't love the smell of a chicken roasting in the oven on a Sunday afternoon? Or the aroma of a potato dish cooking in the oven? No one that is who! My recipes for this blog post is just that...roast chicken...and a really good French potato dish...that everyone will want seconds with!

If you have never tried cooking or even eating French will be surprised how easy it really is...and ever so fulfilling. And I have also included a French dessert...a delectable apple tart...that is made easy for using frozen puff pastry... I believe it is as good as homemade puff pastry...and a heck of a lot easier on your nerves.

"Because nothing says something homemade."

 Makes 4 servings

1 4-5 whole chicken
2 tablespoons butter...softened
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 375. Rinse chicken cavity...then pat dry. Tuck wing tips under back.Place chicken breast side up in shallow roasting pan. Combine butter...and garlic...then spread over chicken.In a small bowl...stir together remaining ingredients...then sprinkle over chicken.

Roast the chicken about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours or until chicken is done. If the chicken starts to get too brown...cover loosely with foil. When the chicken is dine...remove from oven...covered with foil... for about 10 minutes...then carve and serve.

Makes 6 servings

3 tablespoons unsalted butter...cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon melted butter for buttering the pan only
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
1 1/2 cups ( 6 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese
freshly ground pepper
6 russet or Yukon gold potatoes...unpeeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 1/2 cups chicken stock... ( I use low salt organic chicken stock)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the brush and sides of a 2-quart baking dish with the 1 tablespoon melted butter. In a small bowl...stir together the garlic...parsley...cheese...and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Layer one-third of the potatoes in the prepared dish...sprinkle one-third of the garlic-cheese mixture over the potatoes and dot with 1 tablespoon of the cut butter. Repeat with the rest of the remaining potatoes...garlic-cheese mixture and butter.Top with any remaining potatoes. Pour the stock over the potatoes... sprinkle the rest of the garlic-cheese mixture evenly over the top...and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Cover with buttered piece of foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the foil...and continue baking uncovered until the top is browned and crusty and the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork...30 to 40 minutes longer. Serve at once.

***I add about 1 cup more Gruyere cheese to this recipe to be what works for you.

Serves 6

1 cup superfine sugar or granulated sugar
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
4 Golden Delicious apples...peeled...cored...and sliced
1 sheet frozen...ready to eat puff pastry
all-purpose flour for dusting
vanilla ice cream to serve (optional)

Place an 8-inch ovenproof skillet ( a cast iron skillet is perfect for this) over low heat and add the sugar.Melt the sugar until it starts to caramelize...but do not let it burn...then add the butter and stir it in to make a light toffee sauce... ( a light brown color). Remove from heat.

Place the apple slices in the skillet on top of the toffee sauce. The apples should fill the skillet. Put the skillet over medium heat and cover. Simmer...without stirring...for about 5-1-0 minutes...until the apples soak up some of the sauce...then remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.Roll out the pastry dough ( make sure it is really cold...for easy handling) on a lightly floured surface...making sure it is large enough to thickly cover the skillet with extra space on the sides. Lay it on top of the apples...and tuck the edges down between the fruit and skillet until it is sealed. Do not worry about making it look too will be inverted before eating.

Put the skillet with the apple tart in the oven now...and bake for 25-35 minutes...checking to make sure the pastry doesn't burn. The pastry should be puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and let rest for 30-60 minutes.

When you are ready to eat...make sure the tart is still a little warm...and place a plate on top of the tart.Carefully invert it ( flip it upside down) and lift the skillet off. Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream if you wish. This dessert will get be ready to bow with pride!!!  

Happy Sunday Suppers,

Sunday, October 9, 2016


Wishing you all a wonderful and relaxing Sunday...including keeping the timeless tradition of making a Sunday Supper...and gathering around the table with family or friends.

Sunday Suppers have a long history...and used to be a "must" in our culture. Even families who weren't religious would come together on Sundays to share a big home cooked meal and be together.

I believe this tradition should never be lost...especially in our busy and often disconnected world. Make time for your family and friends...and have a big Sunday and laugh together...because that is really what the tradition of Sunday Suppers is all about.

"Because nothing says something homemade."

The recipes for this post...are good...easy...and budget wise...because as you know...Seasonal living is all about eating seasonal food...which is being resourceful...making it yourself...and living within your means.

I am featuring pork...for the main is darn good eating...budget wise...and most everyone loves pork.

serves 4

This is such a very tasty version of saltimbocca...which usually calls for expensive cut of meat

1 pound 2 ounces pork tenderloin...fat and membrane removed...sliced into 8 equal pieces
16 slices sliced prosciutto
8 sage leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon drained small capers
freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Put the pork pieces on a cutting board...cover with plastic wrap...and then beat with a meat mallet...or rolling pin until 1/16 inch thick. Season each piece with a little pepper.

Lay 2 slices of prosciutto...slightly overlapping...on a clean cutting board...or large plate...and put a sage leaf in the middle. Sit a piece of pork on top.Wrap the prosciutto around the pork to make a package...the prosciutto should stick to itself...but if you want you can secure it with a wooden toothpick. Repeat this process...making the 8 pork packages in total.

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over...medium high heat. When the butter is foaming...add the pork packages and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side until the prosciutto is crisp. You might need to cook these in two batches. Transfer the pork salimbocca to the oven to keep warm.

Add the wine to the deglaze. Let it bubble about 1 minute...being sure to scrape the meat morsels in the pan to add flavor to the dish. Remove from heat...and stir in the capers.Take the pork from the oven and spoon the sauce and capers...over the pork saltimbocca. Serve immediately...garnishing with fresh sage. Serve this dish with fresh green beans...and creamy polenta.

serves 2-4

Who does not love a decadent dessert? Bananas are always in seasonal...and caramel sauce is easier to make then you think.This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 ripe bananas...but still firm...peeled and sliced into 1/2 thick slices

In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat...melt the butter...and swirl it over the pan. Sprinkle the sugar and salt over the melted butter and stir gently.Cook this mixture...stirring occasionally until it begins to melt. As it melts...scrape the sides of the pan down...using a rubber scraper or wooden spoon. Continue doing this until the mixture is completely melted.

Gently whisk the mixture while you pour in the cream. Let it melt...then start stirring again. Continue cooking until you have a creamy...golden-brown caramel sauce.

Add the sliced bananas and arrange in the they are submerged. Cook for 1-2 minutes...just until bananas have softened. Remove from heat.

Let cool for 2-3 minutes...then serve over vanilla ice cream. Oh will enjoy will want to lick your spoon!

Happy Sunday Supper,

Sunday, October 2, 2016


October...I love the tradition of Sunday Suppers...that many cultures practice throughout the world...and I know... many of you also embrace this lovely weekly tradition and bonding with loved ones...each and every share a special meal...and spend time together. matter where you live...or who you are...always brings people together... to a common ground... and common connection...the pleasure and joy...of shopping for...preparing...and eating a good meal.

In a world where we always seem to be in a hurry...striving for more...seeking instant gratification...and grabbing food on the go...the value and tradition of Sunday Suppers...can and will add something vital...something look forward to each week...and add so many happy memories to each and everyone you love and care about.

Your Sunday Suppers do not have to be fancy...or perfect...just good food... made with care and well as... good old-fashioned family time.

All of my October Sunday Suppers are seasonal...and call for seasonal this month's recipes work perfectly for this month. Cooking by the a wise...and more healthy way to eat...and please be sure to buy your ingredients support your local economy.

So let's get going on my Sunday Suppers for your apron on yet?

Because nothing says something homemade!

Short ribs are a very inexpensive cut of meat...and very tasty. Your wine you use for cooking does not have to be an expensive wine...just one that you would actually want to drink will do fine.

Serves 6
1/4 cup olive oil
5 pounds beef short ribs
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 large onions...chopped
4 large carrots...chopped
3 cups red wine...such as a Merlot
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic...split in half and sliced
1/2 bunch fresh chives...about 1/4 cup...chopped for the garnish

Heat the olive oil in a heavy- bottomed pot on medium-high heat. Season the ribs with salt and pepper...then add to the pot and brown...turning frequently...until the ribs are nicely browned and caramelized on all sides.

Remove the ribs from the pot...and most of the fat...leaving about 3 tablespoons...and then add the onions and carrots...and cook over medium heat until the veggies soften and are lightly browned.

Add the wine to the veggies...turn the heat to high and boil until the wine is reduced by about half.

Return the meat to the pot...add the thyme...garlic...and add 4 cups cold water or beef the meat is just covered. Cover with a lid...and simmer for at least 3 hours...or until the meat pulls away from the bone.

Transfer the cooked meat to a plate...and discard any bones or fat.Strain the liquid into a bowl. Next put the strained liquid back into the pot...and cook until it has thickened or reduced about 15 minutes. Put back the short ribs and bring to a simmer over medium high heat to heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve...sprinkle fresh chives over the short ribs and sauce. This would be really great served with mashed potatoes or  wide egg noodles.

And of course no Sunday Supper would be complete without a really good dessert.

Make this ever so yummy tart early in the day...or the day before serving... as it requires cooling...and chilling. This is a very rich and wonderful dessert.

Makes 8 servings
1 1/2 cups finely ground chocolate wafer cookies...about 30 wafers
6 tablespoons unsalted butter...melted

8 ounces 60% bittersweet chocolate baking bar...broken or chopped into 1-inch pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter...cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 large eggs...beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
unsweetened powdered cocoa for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, Butter the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform cake pan.

To make the a medium bowl...stir together the ground wafers...and melted butter until the mixture is evenly moist. Transfer to the prepared pan...patting the mixture onto the bottom and three-quarters up the sides of the pan. Bake for about 10 minutes...and then cool completely in the pan.

To make the filling...melt together the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl over barely simmering water...stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from the heat and let stand for several minutes.

In a medium bowl...mix together the eggs...cream...sugar...salt...and vanilla, Mix in the chocolate mixture and stir until well combined. Pour into the prepared crust. Tap the pan several times on a flat surface to eliminate any bubbles.

Bake for 20  or 25 minutes...until the filling has risen to an inch from the top of the set...and has slightly raised in the center. The center will continue to set...then fall slightly as it cools.

Transfer the tart still in the a rack and let it cool completely... about 2 hours. Then transfer to the refrigerator...uncovered...until the center is firm...3 to 4 hours. Remove the sides of pan...and sprinkle tart with cocoa...serve with whipped cream.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


September is slowly October gently awaits to celebrate this month with a really great cake recipe...that you will want to make again and again. With the holidays right around the to you having this cake will not only have a great dessert... for holiday company...but a wonderful homemade gift to give as well....when the occasion arises.

This cake recipe below continues my month of September Olive Oil recipes...and I hope you make and enjoy this wonderful recipe. This is a super moist cake due to the olive well as the sour cream. Because nothing says something homemade!

Makes 1 Bundt cake

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon  fresh lemon zest
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream

Glaze (optional)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a Bundt pan with olive oil. In a small bowl...combine the flours...baking powder...baking soda...salt...and poppy seeds. In a large bowl...beat the eggs with a handheld mixer...until light and slightly increased in volume. Add the sugar slowly while continuing to beat.The mixture will become light and fluffy. Slowly add the olive oil...then the lemon zest...lemon juice...and vanilla extract and beat another 2 minutes.

Alternately add the dry ingredients and the sour cream to the batter...beating between additions.Pour the batter in to the prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the Bundt pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then invert the cake in the pan to a cake or serving platter to cool completely.

If you are making the glaze ...just whisk the fresh lemon juice...powered sugar...and vanilla extract in a small bowl until the mixture has a smooth consistency. Drizzle over the cake...when the cake is cool.

Eat more cake,

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


September 22nd the Fall Equinox...officially the first day of the Fall or Autumn season. With the harvest season in full swing this month...what better way to celebrate this day and the beginning of this wonderful cycle of the year than to get in your kitchen and make a great tasting loaf of bread for those you love...including yourself.

Bread has a long tradition of being a symbol of prosperity... as wheat...the main ingredient used in bread...was once used as a form of money...and still is...a source of income for today's farmers.

Bread in its many forms and ingredients is a world wide food and in many cultures eaten daily. Bread is also a symbol of hospitality...and in many countries...a loaf of fresh bread is always taken to the host or a gift...when one is asked over for dinner.

Bread is more than just a piece of bread that you has such a long history of literal...cultural...and religious significance...and is truly a food steeped in history and tradition... for all of humankind.

As September is the harvest season...I thought it would be nice for you to make this wonderful bread the form of muffins...because everyone loves to use their hands eating tasty morsels of goodness. These muffins will be a symbol  of "prosperity" for all you have harvested this year...which of course includes the star ingredient this month...olive oil!



4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Using an electric mixer...beat the eggs at high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and continue to beat until mixture is very foamy and pale in color. With the mixer running...drizzle in the olive oil. Fold in the rosemary. In a separate bowl...combine the flour...baking powder...and the salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and combine gently.

Divide the batter among 12 medium muffin tins that you have prepared by wiping each muffin tin with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes or until tops are golden brown...and a knife comes out clean when you test them. Serve with real butter...and as you eat a muffin...think about all you have harvested this year...and give thanks for all of your prosperity,

Happy Fall Equinox to you

Saturday, September 10, 2016



With the cooler weather...that September brings... the inner nudge to get in your kitchen and putter...stir...measure and cook... rings true for most of us. Preparing and cooking good...seasonal food is an art...and allows you to express your own creative juices as well as be the perfect avenue to nurture yourself and those you love..with the smells...and taste of really wonderful and enticing dishes.

This month I bring to you...and your containing olive oil...that wonderful natural elixir that has been used for thousands of turn any recipe that you use olive oil in...a true feast.

Last posting I mentioned to you...that the taste of olive oils varies from country to country...some olive oils are nutty...or fruity in flavor...while others have a peppery or even grassy taste. Just experiment with different olive oils from diverse regions of the world...until you find the one that you and your family enjoy the most...but one important tip to remember...the greener in color the olive oil is...the better quality the olive oil is.

Below is a very simple chicken recipe...that will be a go to recipe for you time and time again. Great for a family supper...but fit for a company dish too.

Serves 4

1 3 1/2 pound chicken cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
10 cloves fresh garlic thinly sliced
1 lemon peel removed and pulp chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place the olive oil...rosemary...lemon juice...garlic...lemon...and salt and pepper to taste in a shallow roasting pan...and stir well. Next add the chicken...and marinade for at least 1 to 2 hours.

Heat the oven to 475 degrees. Arrange the chicken pieces in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and pour the remaining marinade on top of the chicken. Roast the chicken...turning once...about 30 to 40 minutes or until cooked through. Serve immediately. I would serve this dish with creamy polenta or mashed potatoes and a green salad, Enjoy!

Remember...nothing says something homemade!


Thursday, September 1, 2016


September musings...I take a big sigh of relief...when September rolls in. I am not a fan of hot weather...that the Summer season September  brings with it...the promise of cooler weather...and the first signals of Fall.

And with the change of the season this month...from Summer to Autumn...the inner nudging of "nesting"...and "gathering in" speaks to me...and to you...and all living this ever changing circle of life.

One of my favorite Autumn to watch the squirrels scamper around in my back yard... finding acorns and other store up for the coming Winter.They search...find...and then stuff their cheeks to bulging...then climb as fast as they can to their homes in the trees...packing in as much food as they can in their "nests" to keep their bellies full during Winter months.My flowers...and their own "gathering in" shedding leaves and blooms...and seem to fold protect themselves...for the coming cold weather.

I love to prepare too...for the coming season of own rhythms resonating with this more quiet and reflecting time. I ponder the changing seasons as a woman...and in doing my pondering...I learn about myself more deeply...and really about well.

It is not the things I bought...nor the new outfit or shoes I acquired...along the way... that I remember fondly...but the moments with loved ones or friends...or that beautiful sunset...that I "gathered in" ... nesting close to my heart...that I recall easily...and with warm feelings I was blessed with this year. You has never been...about the material world...for me...but about the experience and good feelings of the heart and soul of my life...that makes me come alive...and truly live.

I find a season of my own life...where home and family...friends and nature...matter even more to me than ever before. My heart...and soul seem to yearn for the basics...for the real and simple living...and big meaningful experiences.

Because my speaking very loudly to return to a more simple...authentic way of life...I am also smitten with the creative idea of old-fashioned everything...especially cooking...and this month of sweet and soothing will find me in my kitchen...measuring spices...stirring up batters...and whipping up good healthy food...using only the very best seasonal ingredients. My love of cooking...has always been a passion of mine...but I want to experiment this season...with different spices...  food cultures... making chocolates...and homemade know... cooking on a different level...with different textures...tastes... smells...and the traditions of food...and it's people from far off lands. A person can discover unknown aspects about themselves through cooking and food...and this is what my heart yearns this present season of my life.

And have I shared with you my love of history and tradition? Well to me...history...tradition...and the pleasures of cooking and eating go hand to hand....plate to fork...fork to mouth...heart to I invite you my wonderful follow me this month of I cook and share with recipes...from my kitchen to yours!

Happy cooking and eating to you,


This month I want to focus on the long history and world traditions of cooking with olive oil.The wonderful taste of olive to savor history in the making... enjoy timeless food cultural traditions.. and to taste the earth itself.

If that isn't wonderful enough for you...olive oil has many health benefits too. Some of the longest living humans on earth...are those that eat olive oil everyday...because olive oil reduces heart disease risk...lowers high blood pressure...reduces the risk of stroke...and maintains healthy cholesterol levels.

Olive oil also improves your skin and hair health.

The use and pressing of olive oil is currently documented no earlier than 2500 BC...although olives were first domesticated in the Mediterranean some 6,000 years ago.

The original use of olive oil...was for lamp fuel...pharmaceutical ointment...and in traditional rituals for anointing royalty...warriors and others.

Cooking with olive oil began at least as long ago as the 5th-4th century BC.


I love olive oil...I mean really good extra-virgin olive oil...and certainly not just one region of the world...but all they do taste different from country to country. I cook everything in olive oil...and even substitute olive baking...instead of vegetable oil. It makes everything you bake...more moist...and taste better. I want you to believe below is my recipe for an olive oil cake.

Serves 8

This is a very moist and delicious cake...serve as is...or with fresh fruit. A piece of this cake is also a great snack or breakfast too...with fruit and yogurt.

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
powered sugar to serve

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 (9 inch) cake coating lightly with olive oil...and dusting lightly with flour.

In a large bowl...mix together the eggs...and the sugar. When well blended...add the olive oil...milk...lemon juice and lemon zest...and mix well.

In a separate bowl...mix together the flour...baking powder...baking soda and salt.Add this mixture to the eggs and stir just until blended. Pour into the prepared pans.

Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and remove from the pans, Dust the cakes with powered sugar and serve,