Monday, February 27, 2017

Deviled Eggs

Before you make your deviled eggs check your expiration date. You can also check your eggs by placing them in cold water. If they sink they are good, but if they float throw them away. I have more information on eggs in my post..How to Make Basted Eggs and More. We always made deviled eggs for special occasions and served them as an appetizer or a side dish with the meal. My daughter makes hers without vinegar, but this recipe has a very small amount; which I like. Do you?

Ingredients for 6 servings:

6 eggs, hard boiled
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
3/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
Fresh ground black pepper, optional
Smoked paprika, optional


Submerge the eggs in boiling water, cover then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes. When done rinse in cold water right away. When eggs are cool enough to handle peel and cut lengthwise removing the yolk.. Place the halved egg whites on a plate.  (Preferably a deviled egg plate)

 Mix the yolk with the mayonnaise, mustard, white wine vinegar, salt and black pepper, if desired.
Spoon out yolk mixture in each egg white and sprinkle with smoked paprika (optional). Yum Yum!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Yum Yum for Spices: Chipotle

I bought some ground chipotle for something different, now what can I do with it. First of all chipotle is a smoked red jalapeño pepper 🌶 and  second it's known for Mexican and southwestern dishes. The majority of the peppers are grown in Chihuahua, Mexico.  Typically, a grower passes through a jalapeño field many times, picking the unripe, green jalapeños for market. At the end of the growing season, jalapeños naturally ripen and turn bright red. In Mexico and the United States, there is a market for ripe red jalapeños. They are kept on the bush as long as possible. When they are deep red and have lost much of their moisture, they are picked to be made into chipotles.

Penzeys Spices advertise their chipotle ground red as "The charms of Chipotle are many. There are multiple ways to bring smoke and heat to a dish but with most it can be all too easy to overpower and to overwhelm. With Chipotle the smoke is soft and the heat is contained. And there's nothing brash or bell peppery about the flavor of Chipotle, instead it's comfortably rich and surprisingly pleasing. And while it might be superficial to say, the color of our Chipotle may well be more attractive than anything else we sell. Add wherever a little something extra is needed. Delicious."

Speaking of delicious, here is a delish dish that uses ground chipotle.


  • 3 c. fresh (from 6 to 8 ears), frozen, or canned corn
  • 1 c. half-and-half
  • 1 can chopped green chiles
  • ½ c. Chopped red onion
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. skirt steak
  • 1 tsp. ground chipotle chili pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil


  1. In a large, preheated cast-iron skillet, sauté corn over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until lightly charred, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan, heat corn, half-and-half, chiles, and onions. Add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for about 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare an outdoor grill or heat a grill pan over medium heat for 5 minutes or until very hot. Pat skirt steak dry and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix ground chili pepper with olive oil. Brush steak with chili mixture and grill, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  4. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes, loosely covered with foil. Slice across the grain and serve with corn.

Chicken Frito Pie

This Chicken Frito Pie is really good. I have one suggestion...only put the Fritos on the dish when you are spooning out individual servings. If you put them in the dish and on top but don’t finish all the pie the Fritos become soggy. Not good for leftovers. Serves 4 Total Time: 35 minutes


1 tablespoon olive oil 
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts 
Salt and vinegar, to taste 
1 onion, chopped 
1 tablespoon cumin 
1 tablespoon chili powder 
1 15oz can fire-roasted tomatoes 
1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed 
1 cup corn, fresh, canned or frozen 
3 cups Fritos 
1 4oz can green chilies 
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 
Sliced green onions for garnish 


Preheat oven to 350F. In a large oven-safe skillet over medium high heat add the oil. When it’s hot add the chicken and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until no longer pink inside, 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate to cool and rest then dice. 

Add the onion to the skillet season with salt, cumin and chili powder; cook until soft then add the tomatoes, black beans, corn and green chilies, stir until combined. Return diced chicken to skillet, mix well and let simmer for 15 minutes. Sprinkle all the cheese on top and 1/2 the Fritos (if you think you’ll not have leftovers); bake for 10 minutes or until melted and bubbly. To serve: Garnish with green onions and remaining Fritos. Yum Yum! 

I was lookIng this recipe over and realized I didn't have a can of fire roasted tomatoes. I didn't even know you could buy fire roasted tomatoes...Dum Dum. Yep,

we are learning a lot. Ok so since I just bought some tomatoes I thought how hard would it be just to make my own. So here goes....preheat your oven to broil. Wash the tomatoes, cut them in half and discard any bruise areas. Over a bowl squeeze the seeds and some of the juice out, but not too hard.
Place tomatoes in a single layer cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet. Broil 15-20 minutes. Watch them as you want some brown/black spots but not burnt completely. When done put a clean towel over them for 10-15 minutes. This will steam the tomatoes and make them easier to peel. Once cooled start peeling the tomatoes. Be careful as they will be hot. You might want to use tongs. And there you have it..fresh fire roasted tomatoes without the added ingredients you find in some store brands.

If buying from a grocery store or online it's better for an organic option like Muir Glen

Creamy Chicken and Angel Hair Pasta


  • 1 package (16 ounces) angel hair pasta
  • 1-1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 5 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the chicken, salt and pepper in 2 tablespoons oil until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm. 
  2. In the same skillet, saute carrot in butter and remaining oil for 1 minute. Add onion and celery; saute 3-4 minutes longer or until tender. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the cream, bacon, lemon juice and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. Return chicken to the pan.
  4. Drain pasta; toss with chicken mixture. Garnish with cheese and fresh parsley, if desired. Yield: 6 servings.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage

This is one of my favorite meals. Is it yours? I bought some corned beef and couldn't wait for St. Patty's Day. This is an easy recipe in the crockpot.


3 stalks of celery, cut into 3 inch pieces
3 large carrots, cut into 3 inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 medium red potatoes, quartered
Dash of thyme
2.68 lb corned beef with seasoning packet
1/2 head of cabbage


Cut all the vegetables and place them on the bottom of the crockpot. Put the corned beef fat side up on top of the vegetables. Fill with water almost covering the corned beef, 4-5 cups. Add the seasoning packet that came with the corned beef. Sprinkle with a dash of thyme. Cook 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Then add the 1/2 head of cabbage and cook for another 45 minutes on high or 1 1/2 hour on low.

Have a missing corned beef seasoning packet?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Cooking with Pressure: Meatballs and Noodles 🍝

I bought a Power Pressure Cooker XL a few months ago and with a few failed attempts I decided not to use it. But, my daughter and my granddaughters loved one of the failed recipes, which was the meatballs and noodles. 

The reason why it failed was due to putting too much dry ingredients (over the max line) and too little liquid. I couldn't get it to pressurize. This time I watched a number of videos as I couldn't find my original recipe and decided to take another crack at it.


1 1/2 24 oz jars of spaghetti sauce
36 oz of water (use empty spaghetti sauce jar 1 1/2 times)
2 Tablespoons olive oil (enough to cover the bottom)
1/2 cup white wine
26 oz bag of frozen meatballs
16 oz box of macaroni
2 handfuls of mozzarella cheese
Season with Italian seasoning, garlic salt and black pepper


Add in order olive oil, wine, meatballs, noodles, sauce, water, cheese and seasonings not go over max line and make sure liquid covers dry ingredients. I picked beans/lentils 15 minutes, but should have adjusted the time to 11 minutes. If I was using rigatoni 15 minutes would have been fine. My macaroni was a little over cooked, but still good. I was just happy 😊 that it pressurized! After the time runs down to zero release steam. Then the top will unlock. Stir and serve. Add Parmesan cheese, if desired Yum Yum

Dried Pasta Cooking Chart
Cooking Time
Cooking Time
Acini de pepe5 to 6 Penne9 to 13
Capellini5 to 6 Radiatore9 to 11
Egg noodles, regular8 to 10 Rigatoni12 to 15
Egg noodles, extra wide10 to 12 Rosamarina (orzo)8 to 10
Elbow macaroni8 to 10 Rotelle10 to 12
Farfalle13 to 15 Rotini8 to 10
Fettuccine11 to 13 Shells, jumbo12 to 15
Fusilli11 to 13Shells, medium and small9 to 11
Japanese curly noodles4 to 5 Soba noodles6 to 7
Lasagna noodles12 to 15Spaghetti8 to 10
Linguine9 to 13Vermicelli5 to 7
Mafalda8 to 10Wagon wheel10 to 12
Manicotti10 to 12Ziti14 to 15
Mostaccioli12 to 14

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Trouble Sleeping Eat a Fresh Spinach Salad

What foods can you eat that will help you fall asleep easy? According to Dr. Axe it's foods with tryptophan. What is tryptophan? Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that acts like a natural mood regulator, since it has the ability to help the body produce and balance certain hormones naturally. Supplementing with tryptophan-rich foods or taking supplements helps bring on natural calming effects, induces sleep, fights anxiety and can also help burn more body fat. Tryptophan has also been found to stimulate the release of growth hormones and even reduce food cravings for carbohydrates and help kick a sugar addiction in some cases.

What foods are high in tryptophan? Well the food with the highest concentration of tryptophan is on the endangered species list and that would be the stellar sea lion. 
The Japanese still eat seal meat🙁

The stellar sea lion kidney contains 2580 mg of tryptophan, while just the meat has 1322mg. Next comes elk meat with 742mg, then seaweed and soy protein isolate. Number 7 on the list is fresh spinach with 690mg and cooked spinach with 594mg. I don't know about you, but that's something I can eat. The spinach salad below also has sunflower seeds and hard boiled eggs that also have some tryptophan. If you don't have champagne vinegar substitute with white wine vinegar. One stalk and bulb of spring green garlic is equivalent to a small onion, or a leek and one clove of mature garlic.


Vegetarian, Gluten free, Paleo


  • 1 Garlic, stem green
  • 4 cups Spinach, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup Sun-dried tomatoes


  • 1/4 cup Black olives
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tsp Lemon juice

Baking & Spices

  • 1/4 tsp Black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Salt

Oils & Vinegars

  • 2 tbsp Champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil

Nuts & Seeds

  • 3 tbsp Sunflower seeds, roasted

In a bowl, toss together the spinach, sunflower seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, and black olives. In a blender, pulse the green garlic until in small pieces. Measure in the remaining dressing ingredients and run the blender until the dressing is smooth and emulsified. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as desired.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 🍪

There's nothing better than making chocolate chip cookies with the grandchildren, if they don't eat all the chocolate chips first! Within the first 30 minutes of purchasing the chocolate chip bag was reduced by a third. So we prepared to make these pretty fast. I have to say our first batch was pretty bad because someone made them too big...I won't name names.

The directions are pretty easy...first I like to gather all my ingredients together, just to make sure I have everything. Then I soften the butter in the microwave just so that it is creamy and not melted thoroughly. Mix your butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar until it is smooth. Now you can add in the rest of the ingredients and blend. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat your oven 350F. Roll the cookie dough in small balls and place them on a nonstick cookie sheet or one that's been covered with wax paper. Bake 11 minutes. Cool and serve...Yum Yum

Monday, February 20, 2017

Easy Crockpot Creamy Chicken and Noodles

Be prepared to serve your family 2 or even 3 helping! Here is an EASY crockpot recipe you can throw together in the morning and the chicken will be ready when you get home from work. Serves 4


4-6 chicken breasts, doesn't matter if thawed or frozen
2 cans of condensed Cream of Chicken soup
1 bag of egg noodles
14oz can of chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste


Put the chicken in the crockpot and pour the soup to cover. Cook on low 8-10 hrs or high 4-6 hrs.
When the chicken is almost done boil water for the egg noodles. Cook noodles according to the bags directions. Take the chicken out of the crockpot and cube it. Add the can of chicken broth to the crockpot and whisk it with the soup. Add the chicken and the drained noodles to the crockpot. Season with salt and pepper, stir and serve. Yum Yum

Saturday, February 18, 2017

One Pan Sausage and Vegetables Meal

This One Pan Sausage and Vegetable Meal was a hit with the family. Serves 4 with a prep time of 10-15 minutes and a cook time of 30 minutes.


6 baby red potatoes, cut small bite size pieces
1 bell pepper, red, orange or yellow, cut into inch squares
8oz of organic green beans, cut into 3rds
1 head of broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
12 oz kielbasa sausage,  1/4 inch pieces
2 carrots, chopped
6 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Serve with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven 400F
Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick Pam
Place sausage and vegetables on baking sheet
Drizzle olive oil over sausage and vegetables and sprinkle with seasoning
Bake 15 minutes
Turn meat and vegetables over, continue baking for another 15 minutes
Sprinkle with parsley and cheese when done
Serve over rice or buttered noodles....Yum Yum

Thursday, February 16, 2017

One Pan Chicken Dinner with Herb Lemon Butter Sauce

I cheated a little bit on this recipe, because I went to Target and got the Archer Farms Chicken that was already pre-breaded. It looked so good, I couldn't help my self. This means the method I'm using to cook the one pan recipe will be based on the instructions on the chicken's packaging.

To make this Keto friendly or without cheating you’ll have to buy 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts and dredge them in almond flour then brown them on both sides for 6 minutes each before adding them to the baking sheet. 

You’ll also have to substitute the potatoes for more vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli for a Keto recipe. 

My ingredients:

4 chicken breasts, one package of Archer Farms pre-breaded chicken
3-4 med size red potatoes, quartered
1 12oz. Bag of organic green beans, cut into thirds
1/2 lemon, sliced
1/2 cup herb lemon butter
1/4-1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)


1.Preheat oven to 450F. Line baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick Pam.
2. Place cut potatoes in a bowl with the herb lemon butter sauce and coat.
3. Put chicken on the baking pan with the potatoes and bake for 10 minutes.
4. Turn chicken over and place the green beans on the baking pan.
5. Drizzle any remaining herb lemon butter on chicken and place sliced lemon around pan.
6. Bake for another 10 minutes or until potatoes are cooked throughout. (You might have to remove chicken, check internal temperature after 8 minutes, if 165F or more set aside while potatoes and beans finish baking)
7. Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh parsley, if desired and serve. Yum Yum

Herb Lemon Butter Sauce 


1 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 teaspoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place the butter, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice and thyme into a bowl and whisk well to combine. Season the mixture with a few pinches of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and then continue to whisk until completely blended.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Creamy Red Pepper Soup

Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 35 minutes
3 red bell peppers (or yellow or orange)
2 tomatoes 
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes 
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup half and half (or just regular milk works well too)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil (or you can always just 1-2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Toppings: sour cream and parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat your oven to 425° F.
Line a cookie sheet with foil. Wash your red bell peppers, core and seed them, and slice them into 1/2 inch strips.  Wash tomatoes and cut them into quarters, put them in a bowl with the garlic and oil and cover. Place them on the foil-lined cookie sheet.  Place in the oven on the top rack.  Cook for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and place peppers in the blender.
2.  Place can of diced tomatoes, broth, half and half, salt, pepper, basil and red pepper flakes in the blender.
3.  Blend the soup until smooth and then heat on the stove or microwave.
4.  Serve the soup topped with a dollop of sour cream and parmesan cheese, if desired.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How to Make Roux

How to make roux? The short version is fat plus starch, cookout the protein and add a cold liquid. The longer you cook it the darker it becomes, but just remember a brown roux will take twice the amount to thicken your recipe then the white or blond roux. So you will need twice as much. Brown roux is known to be in gumbos and jambalayas.

In culinary school you will find that a sauce is one of 5 components that makes up a recipe. The other four are; cooking method, ingredients, aromatic and seasonings.  So learning to make a good roux is important not only to the flavor of your food but can also save you money and be beneficial to your health.

Let take a jar of a well known Alfredo sauce in the store. Not only do you not know how long it's been sitting around on the shelf, the ingredients are; Water, CreamButter (Cream, Water, Salt), Parmesan Cheese (Part-Skim Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Enzyme Modified Liquid Egg Product (Egg Yolks, Salt, Phospholipase), Modified Food Starch, Soybean Oil, Contains Less Than 2% of: Romano Cheese (Part-Skim Cow's Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Salt, Sugar, Dehydrated Whey, Disosium Phosphate-Dihydrate, Granular And Parmesan Cheese (Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Xanthan Gum, Monosodium Glutamate, Garlic, Spice (Black Pepper), Flavoring (Contains Malt Extract), Yeast Extract, Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Sodium Phosphate, Lactic Acid, Wine, Enzymes, Caramel Color, Disodium Phosphate, Anhydrous Milkfat

Why do you want all those chemicals when you can make your own Alfredo sauce with 5 ingredients? You need to start with a white sauce. Your fat is melted butter, remember as you melt the butter you don't want it to separate, make sure to keep it yellow next add in the flour a little at a time to make a paste. Cook out the proteins means to keep it on a low heat until it bubbles and turns white. If you smell a nutty smell the proteins are cooked out. This process prevents the sauce from becoming lumpy. Next add cold milk and stir until thickens add in the garlic (2 cloves, minced) and gradually add in the Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 cups) until melted. Other recipes exclude the flour and use 1 cup whipping cream instead.

Make homemade mac n cheese. Use the same white roux with cheddar cheese and a splash of lemon juice to keep the cheese from becoming stringy.
You can even make gravy from roux.

Cheddar Bacon Egg Salad

Saw this recipe and had to have it. I changed it a little because I love onions, so they are optional. I also cut the amount of eggs in half and I think there is still enough to make 2-3 sandwiches. The ingredients are:

3 eggs, hard boiled
4 slices of bacon, microwaved and crumbled
1/2 cup mayo
1 Tablespoon of mustard
1 teaspoon of vinegar
1 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 green onions, chopped (optional)


Place eggs in a pot of boiling water, then reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. While the eggs are cooking, place bacon on a microwaveable plate cover with paper towel and cook for 3 minutes. When done let cool then crumble. Chop the green onions. In a small bowl mix the mayo, bacon, green onion and mustard. When the eggs are done peel off shell and mash; add to bowl and stir. Add in the parsley, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Serve on toast. Yum Yum

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday's Leftover Chicken Rice Casserole

I always make too much chicken, so it's always good to have a few recipes on hand for the leftovers. This recipe was for uncooked chicken so I changed it a little. The ingredients are:

Leftover chicken, cut into cubes
1/8 cup olive oil
1 celery/onion packaged mix
2 carrots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 package of boil in bag rice, precooked
2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
dash of chopped or dried parsley


Add oil and cubed chicken to a pot on med/high heat. Season with salt and pepper and cook about 3 minutes then add the onion/celery mix, garlic and carrots.  Add the chicken broth and precooked rice, let simmer for 15-20 minutes; stirring occasionally. Add the Parmesan cheese and parsley right before serving.

PS: When I buy celery and onions I tend to waste a lot of it, so I've been buying packaged onion/celery mix and freezing it until I need it. I freeze it if I'm going to be using it in a cooked recipe, otherwise, I'll refrigerate it for salads.

Ninja Blended Frozen Strawberry Yogurt

Does anyone have a Ninja BL 660? Do you like it? I had some money coming from Macy's so I decided to upgrade from my Magic Bullet to a Nutrition Ninja BL480D, because it was on sale from 174.99 to 99.99. Unfortunately, the only model left was the floor model. That meant no box, no directions and no recipes. So, I ended up getting a Ninja BL660 Professional Blender with Single-Serve Cups for my smoothies. When I got home I started to look up recipes that I could make with this fancy 1100 watt blender. A couple caught my eye, especially this Frozen Strawberry Yogurt. Seemed simple enough only 5 ingredients: 4 cups of frozen strawberries, 1/4 cup almond milk, 2 Tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup Greek plain yogurt.


Put the strawberries and milk in the blender pulse until crushed. Add the yogurt, honey and vanilla, blend until smooth. Place in a covered container and freeze for 3-5 hours. Let soften 15-30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

What's your favorite Ninja BL660 recipe?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Spicy Potatoes and Scrambled Eggs

Need to jump start your metabolism in the morning?  Try these spicy potatoes and scrambled eggs, they are sure to do the trick.   Some spices not only boost your metabolism they can also help you lose weight and burn calories a lot faster.  The spices in this recipe are cumin, coriander, turmeric powder and chili powder.  Dr. Oz metabolism-boosting spice herb blend contains cumin and ground chili peppers.

Ingredients per person:

2 red potatoes, scrubbed
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Poke the potatoes with a fork to pierce the skins. Microwave on high until cooked inside usually around 12-14 minutes. Turn half way through. Let cool then peel and cut them into cubes. Set aside. Instead of microwaving you can also boil the potatoes around 20 minutes until they are fork tender, be sure to cut them in cubes first.

2. Add 2 tablespoon of olive oil to a skillet and scramble the eggs. Salt and pepper, to taste.

3. In another skillet, add oil, spices and potatoes; cook until potatoes are brown and crispy.  Serve with eggs. Yum Yum

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

This Indonesian Ginger Chicken is coated in a honey glaze and baked until crispy.  With only 5 ingredients its easy and only takes a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes to prepare.  The recipe below serves 4-6, while my video will serve 2-3.  The ingredients are:
1 cup honey
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger (See Yum Yum for Spices: Ginger Root)
3 1/2 lbs of chicken (A 3-1/2-pound whole chicken will yield about 3 cups of diced cooked chicken)
If you are just using chicken breasts, I generally use 1-1 1/2 breast per person depending on the size of the chicken breast.

TIP: Since I am learning a lot making these recipes. I have discovered when using frozen chicken breasts it is easier to cut off the fat when the breast is partially frozen then when waiting for it to be totally thawed. 


1. Cook the honey, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is melted.

2. Arrange the chicken in 1 layer in a shallow baking dish (skin side down, if you have skins) and pour on the sauce.

3. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and marinate over night in the refrigerator

4. Preheat the oven to 350F

5. Place baking dish in the oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and turn the chicken over. Increase the temperature to 375F and bake for another 30 minutes.  Serve with your favorite sides. Yum Yum

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Yum Yum for Spices: Ginger Root

Okay, how many of us thought ginger root was a root, hence the name?  I'll have to admit I did, but ginger root is not a root it is a rhizome. Rhizomes are an elongated horizontal subterranean plant stem that produces roots below and shoots above.  Its also been known as Shringavera (translates to 'shaped like a deer's antlers'), East Indian Pepper, Ground Ginger or Ginger Powder. Ginger root originated from India and their plants contain the greatest amount of genetic variation.  The greatest amount of genetic variation is due to the longer the plant has been grown in a region.

This is one of the first Oriental spices in the Western world, brought to west by fabled caravans and spice Marco Polo. The first recorded use of ginger goes as far back to ancient China and also mentioned in the Qur'an as one of the drinks of paradise.  In the 1800's barkeepers in Europe taverns put small containers of ginger on the bar for patrons to put in their beer-the origin of ginger ale.

The flavor and quality of dried ginger varies depending on where it is cultivated.  Jamaican ginger that is peeled is said to be the best and is also the most expensive because of its rarity.  African ginger tends to be unpeeled and harsh while Australian ginger has lemony undertones.

India is currently the largest distributor of ginger but its also grown in China, Nepal, Nigeria, Thailand and Indonesia.  The best grade of Indian ginger is Cochin which is partially peeled with a pungent aroma and flavored. The US ginger is grown in India and considered the Cochin grade. Ginger is recognized as a baking spice for cakes, cookies and pies.

Ginger pairs well with carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes and fruits like: bananas, pineapples, pears and oranges.  It also works well with other spices such as cinnamon, cloves, paprika, nutmeg and cardamom.

While fresh ginger is much less expensive than ground, you'll need much less ground ginger in recipes and ground lasts a lot longer. 1 Tablespoon of fresh ginger equal 1/8 teaspoon of ground. It is not recommended to substitute one for the other in recipes as they have very distinct flavors.

Ginger is also good for you. Here are some of the health benefits of ginger.

One of my favorite Chinese take out dinners uses ginger, Kung Pao Chicken. But why take out when you can make this dish at home....

Serves 4


1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 teaspoon sesame or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons green onion, chopped with tops
2 gloves garlic, minced
1/4-1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup of dry roasted peanuts
4 cups cooked rice of your choice

1. Combine chicken and cornstarch, toss to coat. Heat oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet. Add chicken and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes on medium heat or until no longer pink in the center. Remove

2.  Add onions, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes to wok. Stir-fry for 15 seconds then remove from heat.

3. Combine vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl stirring well then add to skillet.  Add chicken back into skillet. Stir until chicken is well coated. Serve over rice.Yum Yum