Category Archives: Recipes

Sammich Pr0n – Italian Beef

20160726_134110(1600x1200)My dough-fu is still weak.  I don’t know why I laid these out on the tray like that.  I’m going with “brain fart” because I’m old.  Still, they do work pretty much as intended:20160726_172527(1600x1200)I dropped a beef roast into the crock pot yesterday with onions and the usual array of Italian herbs, a can of beef broth, and a healthy splash of Marsala cooking wine.  I wanted to try out the Marsala because I just bought a gallon and wanted to see if it was any good.  I think it worked out fine.

Peach Cream Cheese Braided Danish

20160721_132116(1600x1200)These things look like they are hard to make but they are really easy.  Easy if you use ready made puff pastry sheets, that is.  I had fun with Google’s image search, using “puff + pastry + peaches’ as search terms I found a picture that looked like what I was aiming for and followed the link to the page it appeared on.  There’s a nice video how-to and the ingredient list at the link.20160721_120235(1600x1200)The recipe used canned peaches but we had fresh to use.  Mrs J peeled and sliced the fresh peaches we bought yesterday and we cooked them in 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of Splemda.  They were ripe enough that they just got a brief simmer.  We cooled them before proceeding.20160721_120445(1600x1200)I wish I had taken this photo after the “braids” were cut, the recipe video goes into that.20160721_112618(1600x1200)Here is one ready for the egg wash and sugar sprinkles.20160721_112850(1600x1200)It’s ready for the oven!  We have a convection oven that tends to cut down on the listed cooking times, we left these in a 400 oven for 10 minutes, then turned them around for another 10.  We cooked the two pieces separately, one stayed in a minute too long.20160721_134737(1600x1200)Delicious!


Mmm… Tomato Soup

20160716_200234 (1600x1200)I think a large part of the tomatoes we harvest this year will go towards making more of this fab tomato soup to can.  There’s just something about tomato soup and grilled cheese.  I would hate to run out.

Mmm… Breakfast For Lunch

20160716_124411(1600x1200)Mmm… sausage egg and cheese muffin.  I like my pepper jelly on these things.  Mrs J is a fan of grape jelly on hers.  Of course you will need some muffins…20160716_122126(1600x1200)I broke out my cast iron griddle for these.  A half recipe worked pretty well, this one called for 6 cups of flour but it downsized well enough.  Note the little orange infra-red thermometer in the upper left of the photo – it’s a great addition to your kitchen gadget arsenal.  Amazon has them, this particular one was on sale at the time for $10-$15, I forget the exact figure.  I was able to keep the griddle temps between 350 and 400.  The recipe says 10 minutes a side but 7 or 8 worked pretty well for these.  I popped them into a 350 oven while the sausage patties and the eggs cooked.DSC_1987(1600x1200)

Vinegar Cole Slaw with Turmeric

DSC_1978(1600x1200)I promised yesterday to experiment with yellow slaw and did a little thing with mustard on a slaw I had in the fridge.  When I see a yellow tinge to salads and such I expect to see mustard as an ingredient. I was pleasantly surprised to see this one with turmeric, instead.

The prep is similar to what you might see in a recipe for pickles, and that’s what Mrs J thought when she came into the kitchen as the vinegar mixture was heating in the microwave.20160712_124828(1600x1200)I thought that the slaw didn’t look quite as yellow as what I was after so I added a tad more turmeric.   I think it might have turned even more yellow during an overnight chill in the fridge.  I didn’t have much green pepper, I had a very small one hanging on a patio plant I used and then some of those multi-colored mini peppers from the store.  I used Splenda for the sweetener and left out the onions.  I think some finely chopped green onions would work in this.

Leftovers for Lunch

20160707_115651(1600x1200)Another rain day.  We’ve had over 4 inches come down in the last couple of days.  I made a flat meat and cheese sammich, Mrs J is working on a bit of leftover hamburger noodle bake as she watches a cooking show on the wall mounted TV.  Leftovers – we generate lots of leftovers.  I made a soup of the broccoli and rice leftovers we had in the fridge – simmer a little chicken broth, add a corn starch slurry to thicken it a little, stir in shredded cheddar, add a splash of half and half, dump in the rice and broccoli and it’s soup!  Now I have leftover soup.

Ginger Boy seemed interested in my sammich so I offered up a sliver of salami.  Not interested in that particular component.

Grillin’ ‘n Chillin’

20160704_120844(1600x1200)It’s still raining here so we can extend our guilt free stay-at-homing for another day.  I bet the grass will really pop when the sun comes back out.20160704_121049(1600x1200)The hummer battalion is not quite at full strength but they do hit the feeders hard on these rainy days.  I suppose they need more fuel when it’s cooler out.DSC_5493(1600x1200)Here’s another kitteh!DSC03629 (1600x1200)They’re calling him Mr Wiggles.  He’s 6-8 weeks old and is ready for adoption.  He looks a little nervous but now that he has  joined the rest of the kittens in the kitteh room he will settle down.  He’s just coming off of a week in an isolation room prior to neutering.  [edit:  Mrs J tells me it’s Ms Wiggles:)]

Chicken with Lemon and Green Olives

20160702_170908(1600x1200)I made this one using this  Bon Appétit recipe, using my last jar of preserved lemons instead of fresh.  It makes a good change  of pace from the usual chicken dishes and it sure smells good while it’s simmering.  Not the best presentation in the photo I took, should have taken one of Mrs J’s plate with the leg and thigh instead of the big lumps of breast meat.  She won’t eat the white meat when the dark is available so I default to the breast portion.

Friday Recipe Exchange: Cookout Favorites

Jicama Slaw Final

It sounds like many will have rain for the holiday weekend. Luckily all the recipes I pulled together work well for an indoor picnic or backyard cookout.

The first compilation I arranged was for a variety of not-your-typical Pasta Salads, click here for four very tasty recipes.


The second group of recipes (found here) I put together from the archives was for garden fresh salads. Recipes include the Jicama Slaw (pictured at top of post) that I am making for a cookout this weekend. The smallest jicama I could find was 2.5 lbs. Anyone have ideas what I can do with the 1.5 lbs I’ll have left over?

I’m also making Watermelon Granita, recipe here, but you can use the recipe to make any flavor you desire.

My new garden has quite a few ready to harvest rhubarb plants. I’ve had this recipe tucked away for just such an occasion. Click here for Rosemary-Lemon-Rhubarb Spritzers. 

Buttermilk Pie 1

Buttermilk Pie, above, is such a show stopper and foolproof to make. Click here for the recipe.

What’s on your Fourth of July menu? What food is an absolute must for your table on this holiday?

Tonight’s featured recipe takes potato salad in a different direction and I hope it inspires you to share your favorite  potato salad recipe in the comments.

Italian Potato Salad

  • 2 lbs of small red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh snipped rosemary
  • 2 tbsp fresh snipped basil
  • 1/2  tsp crushed dried oregano (or  2 tsp fresh)
  • 2 tsp stone ground mustard*
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 24 to 28 oz fire roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 oz shaved Parmesan

Large saucepan, baking sheet, large serving bowl

In saucepan, cover potatoes with water, add salt and bring to a bowl.  Reduce heat to low boil and simmer until potatoes are just fork-tender.  You don’t want them to be soft, as for mashing, you want them to still hold their shape.

Mix together vinegar, garlic and spices.  Drain potatoes and spread over a baking sheet in one layer,  pour 1/2 of vinegar mixture over them and let cool completely.

Add mustard and oil to remaining vinegar mixture.  Add sliced peppers to potatoes, stir and then transfer to serving bowl.  Toss with remaining vinegar mixture, salt and pepper to taste and Parmesan.

*I have an aversion to Dijon mustard, but if it a favorite of yours, you can easily use it in this recipe.

That’s it for me. There will not be a recipe exchange next week. I am officially moving next weekend. I may post photos of that if I have internet setup. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July – TaMara

Declaration of Independence



4th of July: Fresh Salads

Jicama Slaw Final

Looking for something a little different for your cookout this weekend? I’ve compiled some fresh favorites.

I’m making my favorite slaw for this year’s 4th of July cookout. Jicama Slaw, recipe here.

You’ll find a great guest recipe here for Corn and Black Bean Salad.

And a fresh take on an old standby, Spring Potato Salad, recipe here.

Finally:Watermelon salad final

Watermelon-Cucumber Salad

I chose to use mint because it’s what I had handy, but I’ve seen it with basil or oregano and white wine vinegar instead of limejuice. For a spicier version, try limejuice and Pico de Gallo

  • 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced (if using unwaxed, no need to peel)
  • 2 tbsp limejuice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • mint leaves, torn into small pieces
  • Pecorino Romano, feta or other similar cheese, cut into small chunks or crumbled

serving bowl

Add watermelon and cucumber to a serving bowl, drizzle with limejuice and oil, add mint leaves, then toss to combine. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, sprinkle with cheese just before serving cold.



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