Category Archives: Recipes

Peanut noodles with Chicken and Vegetables

Don’t know the next time I’ll be cooking for anyone but in case the opportunity pops up, I’ll have to try this recipe from my mom:

1 lb. skinless chicken breast
½ cup smooth peanut butter
2 T. soy sauce
2 t. minced garlic
1/8 t. ground red pepper
1 t. fresh ginger (I used powdered)
8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti
1 bag fresh vegetable medley, such as, carrots, broccoli, snow peas. 12 oz. bag

Cover chicken with water bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until cooked through. Shred chicken into bite size pieces. Boil water for pasta and then cook for the time required, add the bag of vegetables and cook for another minute or 2. Drain pasta and vegetables but reserve a cup or so of the cooking water. Add the chicken to the pasta/vegetable mix. Whisk peanut butter, and rest of ingredients in a small bowl, toss with pasta mix…adding a little pasta water as needed. I added the entire cup. Enjoy..

Dinner Tonight

This is what I am making for dinner: Easy Baked Chicken Parmesan. The one difference from the recipe is my chicken breasts aren’t halved. Which makes me wonder how much longer I should cook them for? The other difference is my breadcrumbs aren’t seasoned so I just seasoned them myself (Pepper, Italian Seasoning, Salt). I am hoping it comes out okay!

Borshch: Beetroot Soup

My mom made this and everyone loved it! Said it spoke to their souls. Will have to try it.

Recipe: (Ukraine)
Serves: 6


3 medium/2 large fresh beetroots (beets), about 1 pound, 2 ounces, peeled and cut into small dice
2 medium waxy, red-skinned potatoes, about 11 ounces, peeled and cut into small dice
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks (stalk), ideally from the heart with leaves, chopped
4 cups water
Sea salt and fresh black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, about 9 ounces, chopped
1 green pepper, cored & chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups tomato juice
7 ounces shredded Savoy cabbage (about ¼ head)
1 14-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
Sour cream or crème fraîche, to serve

To make: Place the beets, potatoes, carrot and celery in a large saucepan with the water and add plenty of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the butter. When butter has melted, add onion and green pepper and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add to the soup pan with the tomato juice and return to a simmer. Add cabbage and red kidney beans and cook until cabbage is barely tender, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve each bowl hot, with a dollop of sour cream.


Yummy DIY Pizza in an Iron Skillet

One of my favorite things to make anymore is Italian Sausage and Broccoli Rabe. It’s not hard at all to cook. I boil the Broccoli Rabe for 5 minutes and then blanch it for another 5-10 minutes. As it’s sitting in the cold water, I fry up the sausage with garlic (I like it crumbled rather than in links, sausage that is, not the garlic) and red pepper flakes. When the sausage is done I move it to a bowl and then sauté the Broccoli Rabe for about 5 minutes. Once the Broccoli Rabe is almost done, I throw in the sausage and mix them up together and sauté just a little bit longer to mix the flavors. At this point you can serve it as is or mix it in with pasta. Last night I did something new.

I bought a can of the Pillsbury Pizza thin crust pizza dough and placed it in my iron skillet and cooked it in the oven for 5 minutes at 400 degrees. After 5 minutes, I took it out and spread some canned Pizza sauce on the dough. I then heaped it with the Broccoli Rabe and Italian sausage, sprinkled some fried diced green peppers and shredded mozzarella cheese on it and cooked it for another 15 minutes.


If you make it, let me know what you think!

Boilo Recipe

At Christmas Eve dinner my dad mentioned Boilo. Boilo is a drink served at the Lithuanian households where he grew up. I’ve never had it but it sounds pretty good— a bit like Glühwein. Maybe I’ll try to make it for New Year’s. We shall see. If anyone decided to give it a go, please report back on results!

Boilo recipe: Stovetop style

1 bottle whiskey (any relatively cheap, blended whiskey will do)
Several oranges. Quantity depends on how much you wish to make. Use at least 4.
Same number of lemons
1/4 cup raisins
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups of honey
2 cinnamon sticks

Boilo is traditionally made during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. It’s great on those cold winter nights. Beware, this can knock you for a loop! Cheers!

Peel the oranges and lemons and cut into quarters. Squeeze the fruit into a pot, then throw in the remaining fruit pulp. Add some water (some people use ginger ale). Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the whiskey. Cook everything at a slow simmer, stirring constantly. This will take about 15-20 minutes. If necessary, add orange juice and a bit more water. The color should be a yellow-orange. Don’t overcook; the name is misleading. You don’t want to boil this. Then slowly stir in the whiskey. Be careful – this can catch fire if splashed on the stove. Keep adding whiskey to taste. It’s not uncommon to use the whole bottle. Simmer for just a few more minutes once the whiskey is added.

Strain and serve hot in shot glasses (a regular glass may crack). Drink in sips. Individual servings can warmed later in a microwave.


Broccoli Rabe, Italian Sausage and Gemelli Pasta

Second week in a row someone I am only very slightly connected to has died. Hopefully this will be the last one for a long time. I woke up with a scratchy throat and a heavy feeling in my sinuses. My trusty old neti pot helped a little bit. Pookie heard me choking in mid-pour and asked what was up, “I am waterboarding myself,” I replied. I am hoping tomorrow I will be fine. This evening I made Pookie’s favorite meal, Broccoli Rabe, Italian Sausage and Gemelli Pasta. It was delicious and it’s kinda my own recipe. It’s based on a recipe by Proud Italian Cooking. Here are my directions:


1 lb. of Spicy Italian Sausage from Home | DCWCasings either in patty form or if in a link, rip off the skin and crumble it.
1 lb. of Broccoli Rabe
1lb. Gemelli Pasta
4 tsp of chopped Garlic
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
1 can of Cannelloni Beans
Grated Romano Cheese
Reserved Broccoli Rabe Water
A splash of Chicken Broth

Broccoli Rabe DIRECTIONS:

1. Boil Broccoli Rabe for 10 minutes. Rinse (but save some of the water). Place in bowl full of cold water for about 5 minutes.
2. Saute your Broccoli Rabe in oil along with the crushed garlic for about 10 minutes
3. Take off heat and get ready to start the sausage. (At this point I saute more garlic in a small sauce pan and then I add the Cannelloni Beans. I also start boiling water for the Gemelli Pasta.)

1. Saute sausage in oil along with the chopped garlic, till no longer pink. I chop at the sausage with my spatula so it’s all crumbly.
2. Add in about a 1/2 cup of the broccoli rabe water and 1/2 cup of chicken stock.
3. Add cooked beans, and cooked broccoli rabe.
4. Cook pasta and toss in.
5. Season with salt, pepper, and the grated romano, and maybe a little extra olive oil.

The picture of the dish on the Proud Italian Website doesn’t look anything like the actual dish as I make it. Because I really cook down the broccoli rabe, there’s an almost pesto-quality to it. I serve it with Italian Bread. It’s delish. Give it a go and report back! Oh, and it tastes better the next day when eaten for lunch.

Amazingly Simple Recipe

One of my Facebook friends (Tom Woods) recommended this recipe. He said it was easy and delicious. OH MY GOSH HOW RIGHT HE WAS! I love recipes that have limited ingredients!

Give this a go, people! You will be glad you did!

2 (9 inch) pie shell
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 (16 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
3 cups cooked, diced chicken meat

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
In a large mixing bowl combine soup and softened cream cheese. Mix until thoroughly blended. Stir in vegetables and chicken.
Pour chicken mixture into pastry-lined pie pan. Cover with top crust. Seal and cut steam vents in top. Cover edges of crust with aluminum foil to prevent overbrowning.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil halfway through baking to allow edges of crust to brown. Check often late in cooking time to ensure crust is not burning.

NOTE: You may need to get a deep dish pie crust because the regular one I used left me with excess. So I heated it up a couple days later, stirred in some rice and VOILA! Fantastic leftovers!

Easy Coconut Cakes

My mom found this recipe in the Parade magazine. These little coconut cakes are delicious- they taste like macaroons. LOVE THEM! And they are really easy to make.

Easy Coconut Cakes

4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1. Whisk the egg whites until they are smooth and a little foamy, then add the remaining ingredients one by one. Be especially light-handed when you stir in the butter and flour.

2. Butter two 12-cup mini-muffin pans or fit them with paper liners. Divide the batter among 20 of the cups and bake in a 350ºF oven for 17 to 20 minutes. The coconut cakes should be puffy, springy to the touch, and easy to pull away from the sides of the pans.

3. Remove the cakes from the pans immediately. If they’re reluctant to come out, rap the pans against the counter. Cool to room temperature before serving with coffee, tea, or even a little jam.

Makes 20. Per cake: 110 calories, 12g carbs, 1g protein, 10mg cholesterol, and 6g fat.