Category Archives: Recipes

The Young Ones ate Lentils

The NYTimes published a lentil soup recipe. I really want to make it. The recipe looked pretty easy until I got to this line: A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf, 2 sprigs each thyme and parsley, and a Parmesan rind. I had no idea Parmesan had a rind! I thought it just came in a plastic bottle with a big green top. And I never heard of a bouquet garni before although I do get what they mean. I will probably make this recipe, I’ll just find another way of doing the garnished bouquet.

Gym Jam

I went to the gym this evening! It was very strange moving my body for such a long duration. I am not used to activity. Somehow my body has retained some elasticity because I did pretty good in the Yoga class. There were very few positions that were too hard. It’s a shame I didn’t devote myself to Yoga earlier in my life because I do feel like I have a natural ability for it.

Last night I helped Pookie set up his digital receiver and antenna. I was pretty impressed with the reception and number of channels. I counted 20 stations. Not bad for a one time fee of $40.00.

Saturday night I made Chicken Tikka Masala. I was really happy with how it turned out. Compliments were received! Here’s the recipe.

READY IN 2 Hrs 20 Min


  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 4 long skewers
  • +++++

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a large bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, black pepper, ginger, and 4 teaspoons salt. Stir in chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat a grill for high heat.
  3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Grill until juices run clear, about 5 minutes on each side.
  4. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and jalapeno for 1 minute. Season with 2 teaspoons cumin, paprika, and 3 teaspoons salt. Stir in tomato sauce and cream. Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Add grilled chicken, and simmer for 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Bow-Tie Lasagna

I get a newsletter from a local Real Estate agent. It’s a real folksy-type of newsletter. There are recipes and house care tips among other items. The last newsletter had a recipe for Bow-Tie Lasagna and it looked really good to me. If I post it here, there is a much better chance I’ll make it.

Bow-Tie Lasagna
4 oz. bow tie pasta
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 oz. soft-style cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
1 clove garlic minced
15-1/2 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan cook pasta in boiling water for 10-12 minutes or just until tender.

Drain and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl stir together ricotta, cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan and Italian seasoning. Set aside.

Preheat wok or large skillet over high heat.

Stir fry ground beef and garlic until meat is brown. Pour off any fat. Stir in spaghetti sauce and cooked noodles.

Spoon cheese and seasoning mix over meat and noodles. Do not stir.

Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.

Cover and cook about 5 minutes or until heated thoroughly.

Makes 4 servings.

Mrs. Hockmeyer’s Banana Bread

I am baking banana bread right now. My plan was to use my usual Funny Fruit Bread recipe but I couldn’t quite figure out if I would need the boiling water since I was using bananas rather than dates or prunes. Instead of guessing, I googled Banana Bread Recipe and found this recipe page. Maybe it’s premature posting the recipe since I haven’t taken the bread out of the oven yet but I have a feeling it’s going to be good mainly because it was so simple to make. (UPDATE! IT’S DELISH!)

Mrs. Hockmeyer’s Banana Bread

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup of flour

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.


It’s not that these are the tastiest looking recipes in Mark Bittman’s Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less, they just seem like the ones I could do without tears.

1 Make six-minute eggs: simmer gently, run under cold water until cool, then peel. Serve over steamed asparagus.

2 Toss a cup of chopped mixed herbs with a few tablespoons of olive oil in a hot pan. Serve over angel-hair pasta, diluting the sauce if necessary with pasta cooking water.

17 Soak couscous in boiling water to cover until tender; top with sardines, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil and black pepper.

14 Put a few slices of chopped prosciutto in a skillet with olive oil, a couple of cloves of crushed garlic and a bit of butter; a minute later, toss in about half a cup bread crumbs and red chili flakes to taste. Serve over pasta with chopped parsley.

17 Soak couscous in boiling water to cover until tender; top with sardines, tomatoes, parsley, olive oil and black pepper.

18 Stir-fry a pound or so of ground meat or chopped fish mixed with chopped onions and seasoned with cumin or chili powder. Pile into taco shells or soft tacos, along with tomato, lettuce, canned beans, onion, cilantro and sour cream.

20 Cut eggplant into half-inch slices. Broil with lots of olive oil, turning once, until tender and browned. Top with crumbled goat or feta cheese and broil another 20 seconds.

22 Make wraps of tuna, warm white beans, a drizzle of olive oil and lettuce and tomato.

30 Quesadilla: Use a combination of cheeses, like Fontina mixed with grated pecorino. Put on half of a large flour tortilla with pickled jalapenos, chopped onion, shallot or scallion, chopped tomatoes and grated radish. Fold tortilla over and brown on both sides in butter or oil, until cheese is melted.

33 Sauté 10 whole peeled garlic cloves in olive oil. Meanwhile, grate Pecorino, grind lots of black pepper, chop parsley and cook pasta. Toss all together, along with crushed dried chili flakes and salt.

39 Taco salad: Toss together greens, chopped tomato, chopped red onion, sliced avocado, a small can of black beans and kernels from a couple of ears of corn. Toss with crumbled tortilla chips and grated cheese. Dress with olive oil, lime and chopped cilantro leaves.

41 Raita to the rescue: Broil any fish. Serve with a sauce of drained yogurt mixed with chopped cucumber, minced onion and cayenne.

59 Brown bratwursts with cut-up apples. Serve with coleslaw.

81 Combine crab meat with mayo, Dijon mustard, chives and tarragon. Serve in a sandwich, with potato chips.

96 A Roman classic: In lots of olive oil, lightly cook lots of slivered garlic, with six or so anchovy fillets and a dried hot chili or two. Dress pasta with this.

Date and Nut Bread

3/4 c. chopped nuts
1 c. chopped dates
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c. shortening
3/4 c. boiling water
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. sifted all purpose flour

Combine nuts, dates, soda and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the shortening and boiling water. Allow this mixture to stand for 15 minutes. Stir to blend, beat the eggs slightly, add the vanilla. Stir in the sugar and the sifted flour. Add to date mixture. Do not over mix. Place in greased 9 x 5 x 3′ loaf pan. Bake fo 1 hour at 350 degrees. When done, toothpick inserted in the center wil come out clean. Cool before removing. Loosen sides with a spatula. For perfect slicing, allow the load fo cool several hours. -Fran Pollack

Chicken with Rice and Beans

I made this tonight and it was DELISH! Took 1 1/2 hours to prepare and cook.


* 1 tablespoon cooking oil
* 4 chicken thighs
* 4 chicken drumsticks
* 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
* 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
* 1 onion, chopped fine
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
* 1/2 cup bottled pimientos, drained
* 1 2/3 cups drained and rinsed black beans (from one 15-ounce can)
* 1 cup rice, preferably medium-grain
* 1 3/4 cups water
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
* 4 lime wedges (optional)


1. In a large, deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper and add to the pan. Cook, turning, until well browned, about 8 minutes in all. Remove. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan.
2. Add the onion to the pan and reduce the heat to moderately low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds longer. Add the tomatoes and pimientos, scraping the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits. Stir in the beans, rice, water, parsley, the remaining 11/2 teaspoons of salt, and the cayenne, and arrange the chicken on top in an even layer.
3. Bring to a boil and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Turn the drumsticks and reduce the heat to very low. Cover and cook until the chicken and rice are just done, about 15 minutes longer. Serve with the lime wedges, if using.

A fruity red wine such as a merlot is best with this classic dish. If you can, try to find a bottle from a producer in Argentina or Chile, or open your favorite California merlot.

Don’t put Clearasil on your Baked Ziti

Friday night, Rob and I went to a fancy Italian restaurant where we had the most incredible meal. The salad was served warm with grilled eggplants sitting happily on top. Rob ordered Pumpkin gnocchi that just melted in the mouth. I ordered candy-shaped ravioli filled with bits of lobster and other shellfish. It was so yummy! I told Rob that we should try our hands at making dinner and he agreed. So last night, I made Baked Ziti. I didn’t follow my mother’s recipe. Instead I googled BAKED ZITI, hoping to find a recipe that contained both meat and ricotta. You’d think that would be pretty easy but it wasn’t. I must have been 5 or 6 pages into the search before I found this recipe. It was very easy and pretty quick. I have made an edit on the sauce and mozzarella amounts and because I changed the recipe a bit, I gave it a new, kick ass name. HOO HA!

Warm and Comforting Baked Ziti

1 lb Ziti, cooked
1 lb Hamburger, cooked
1 15 oz pk ricotta cheese
¼ c Parsley
½ c Parmesan cheese
1 Egg
1 c Shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 – 2 jars Tomato Sauce of your choice

Mix ricotta cheese, egg, parsley and Parmesan cheese together. Carefully mix hamburger with this mixture. Add ziti. Mix in 3/4 of the sauce of your choice. Spread in a pan. Put the rest of the sauce on top. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes. Yield: 6 servings

As I made the made the main course, Rob grilled eggplants so we could try to duplicate the Eggplant Salad. He found that the eggplants really soaked up a lot of the Olive Oil which turns out wasn’t a good thing. Regardless, once they were cut into little squares and placed on the salad, I thought it was delicious and just as fabulous as the salad at the fancy schmancy Italian restaurant near Rob’s farm.

Dessert was Lemon Squares that I made from a mix. I think it was Betty Crocker. It was so easy and didn’t take more than a 1/2 hour to mix up. After our fabulous dinner we put Thunderbolt and Lightfoot into the DVD player. Our running commentary seemed to focus on whether the Jeff Bridges character was supposed to really be as gay as he seemed. Sadly, something was wrong with the DVD. It just froze and no matter what I tried I couldn’t get it to budge so we just turned it off and went to bed.

Today is my cousin Preston’s Christening. I am looking forward to seeing my cousins. Rob is coming along so he gets to meet the rest of my dad’s side. Should be interesting.

Marti Mojito

I had a meeting in Quakertown yesterday afternoon. Instead of going straight home I went to Green Acres, or rather as Rob terms his farm house, Wuthering Heights. We sat on his porch and ate peach pie and drank Mojitos. The Mojito was so very easy to make and very refreshing. it’s not an authentic recipe but it works!

Here’s the recipe:

1 part Marti Mojito Rum
2 parts Sierra Mist Soda
Mint leaves
Slice of lime

Place ice in glass. Mash mint. Spoon mashed mint into glass. Pour in rum and soda. Place slice of lime in glass. Mix it all around. Sip!

Measurement Conversion

Tablespoon/Teaspoon Conversion
3 teaspoons = 1 Tablespoon
1/2 Tablespoon = 1 and 1/2 teaspoons
1 Tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
1.2 teaspoon (US) = 1 teaspoon (UK)
1.2 Tablespoon (US) = 1 Tablespoon (UK)

Tablespoon/Cup Conversion
4 Tablespoons = 1/4 cup
5 and 1/3 Tablespoons = 1/3 cup
8 Tablespoons = 1/2 cup
10 and 2/3 Tablespoons = 2/3 cup
12 Tablespoons = 3/4 cup
16 Tablespoons = 1 cup
1/8 cup = 2 Tablespoons
1/4 cup = 4 Tablespoons
1/3 cup = 5 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 cup = 8 Tablespoons
1 cup = 16 Tablespoons

Ounce Conversion
1 teaspoon = 1/6 ounce
1 Tablespoon = 0.5 ounce
2 Tablespoons = 1 fluid ounce
8 Tablespoons = 4 fluid ounces
16 Tablespoons = 8 fluid ounces
1/4 cup = 2 fluid ounces
1 cup = 8 fluid ounces

Pint/Quart Conversion
1 cup = 1/2 pint
2 cups = 1 pint
2 pints = 1 quart
4 quarts (liquid) = 1 gallon

Bushel/Peck Conversion
8 quarts (dry) = 1 peck
4 pecks (dry) = 1 bushel

Metric Conversion – Volume
1/4 cup = 60 milliliters
1/2 cup = 120 milliliters
1 cup = 230 milliliters
1 and 1/4 cups = 300 milliliters
1 and 1/2 cups = 360 milliliters
2 cups = 460 milliliters
2 and 1/2 cups = 600 milliliters
3 cups = 700 milliliters
4 cups = (1 quart) .95 liter
1.06 quarts = 1 liter
4 quarts (1 gallon) = 3.8 liters
50 milliliters = .21 cup
100 milliliters = .42 cup
150 milliliters = .63 cup
200 milliliters = .84 cup
250 milliliters = 1.06 cups
1 liter = approximately 4 cups or 1 quart

Metric Conversion – Weight
1/4 ounce = 7 grams
1/2 ounce = 14 grams
1 ounce = 28 grams
1 and 1/4 ounces = 35 grams
1 and 1/2 ounces = 40 grams
2 and 1/2 ounces = 70 grams
4 ounces = 112 grams
5 ounces = 140 grams
8 ounces = 228 grams
10 ounces = 280 grams
15 ounces = 425 grams
16 ounces (1 pound) = 454 grams
1 gram = .035 ounce
50 grams = 1.75 ounces
100 grams = 3.5 ounces
250 grams = 8.75 ounces
500 grams = approximately 1 pound
1 kilogram = approximately 2 pounds