Posts filed under ‘Recipes’

Best Homemade Brownies

I’ve Googled “Best Homemade Brownies” at least 20 times, and I’ve made a lot of stinkers.

These might be the ones though:



  • 1 cup Butter (salted)
  • 2 cups White Sugar
  • 4 whole Eggs Beaten
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • ⅔ cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Powder

Preparation Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). Grease and flour an 8×8 inch pan.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, remove the saucepan from heat. Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat in cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder with a whisk.

Spread the batter into the greased/floured pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Make sure to not over-cook!

(My add: a little sugar and salt sprinkled on top!)


See link:


February 5, 2012 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

Paella Recipe

One lobster . . .

And one shrimp . . .



Happy Halloween!

November 11, 2009 at 8:20 pm 1 comment

Something New . . .


Chopped Veggie Salad with Watermelon and Feta Cheese

OK, this is the picture from epicurious, I admit it. Mine didn’t look like this at all, the creaminess of the yogurt puree made mine a lot, well, creamier. This dish was really something different for me, and I loved it. I am in a serious cooking rut, some of you might be able to guess why, but this was a great step out for me. This is great for a party or to be eaten all in one day, I think, because you don’t want it hanging around too long. It got really watery and soggy, not as nice.


  • 1 pound Campari or plum tomatoes, diced, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups diced seeded watermelon
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
  • 1/2 large English hothouse cucumber, seeded, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup very thinly sliced radishes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 10 ounces feta cheese, broken into small cubes (about 2 1/2 cups), divided
  • 2 green onions, chopped, divided
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves, divided
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt*
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • *A thick yogurt; sold at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores (such as Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Markets) and Greek markets. If unavailable, place regular yogurt in cheesecloth-lined strainer set over large bowl. Cover and chill overnight to drain.
  • (I used Fage yogurt and it was delicious)


Toss first 5 ingredients and 2 tablespoons oil in large bowl. Add half each of cheese, green onions, and mint. Mix remaining cheese, green onions, mint, and oil in processor; add yogurt and oregano. Process just to blend (do not over-mix or dressing will get thin). Season dressing with salt and pepper; mix into salad.

Ingredient tip: Campari tomatoes are about the size and shape of golf balls. They’re sold on the vine, and they’re available at many supermarkets. These tasted like in-season tomatoes when it is clearly not so. Love them!

Anyone else doing something new out there? I need inspiration, (and less-than-10 -ingredient recipes). Why?


July 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm 3 comments

Softshell Crab Season

They’re here! It’s time to suspend all sensitivity to small lovely creatures and eat the WHOLE THING. Every succulent bite.


If your fishmonger doesn’t get them, he isn’t worth a lick. Pay anything. Dip it in egg wash, flour, and fry in butter – salty, salty butter. Oh yum yum yum!

And for more yums:


I hope they never show up smothered in salty, salty butter or I will surely eat them!!!

June 1, 2009 at 9:43 pm 2 comments

3 Breads, Well, 2 Worth Repeating

Went to my sister-in-law’s and her family’s Thanksgiving Celebration, an absolute bonanza of food and family fun. My 2nd Thanksgiving away from home in 36 years, and I was feeling a little sad. So happy when I asked “What can I bring?” she replied, “Something special from your family celebrations.” Easy right? Except we, like everyone, have an amazing amount of gorgeous food, some traditional and some experimental, but very little that repeats itself, except for “the basics.” But here’s what I made, and I’m putting it here so I can find the recipes again in years to come, since these breads are delicious, and, like everything on Thanksgiving, even better the next day!

Lemon Bread

(I hear this was much beloved by my Aunt Marg, who snitched at regularly)

1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. salt
8 T. Crisco (I think I often use softened butter)
Rind of one lemon
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 c. chopped nuts
Glaze: 1/2 c. sugar and juice of one lemon
Stir together first four ingredients. Grate lemon rind into this mixture. Add Crisco/butter and mix well. Add milk and unbeaten eggs. Add nuts.
Spoon into 3 small or 1 regular loaf pan (greased). Bake at 350 for 40-50 min. As soon as the loaf is done, remove from oven, prick the top (like for lemon cake), loosen the sides, and spoon the glaze over the warm loaf. Remove from pan while still warm. When cool, wrap and freeze. (It’s easier to slice thinly while frozen.) Voila!
I really like this lemon bread toasted – so buttery!
Cranberry Bread (This recipe is from the back of the Ocean Spray fresh cranberries bag)

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons shortening
1 egg, well beaten
1 1/2 cups Ocean Spray® Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, shortening and egg. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan.

Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight. ( I freeze all the breads to make them easier to slice thin – nobody wants much, too many other good things). Makes 1 loaf (16 slices).

Pumpkin Bread
OK, I got this recipe online to round out the “trio” of breads, and it does not bear repeating. Can anyone help me with their favorite pumpkin bread recipe? Raisins? Nuts? Chocolate chips? I’ll try anything. I made this one with applesauce, which is a concept I like, but the bread itself just came out too boring. Oh well, it looked pretty.
Happy Holiday Season, no reason these yummies can’t attend other holiday brunches, dinners, whatever – enjoy!

December 2, 2008 at 12:58 pm 1 comment

Cilantro Time!

Finally, Anna, time to blog on a Friday! My friend Anna does “Food Fridays” at her wonderful blog. Check her out at Hank & Willie on blogroll, all is delicious and tested. I am a kitchen “MacGyver” – will make anything work to avoid excessive (that being more than 1 time a week) trips to the grocery store. Makes for fun, creative work, and some wonderful, and horrible, outcomes. So, readers, play away with these two. Very forgiving recipes. They’re great on the road, and a hit with many (my poor Dad being an exception, he is one of those poor souls who find cilantro revolting).

My first Food Friday recipe of the day comes from Rachel Ray’s All-Occasion Cookbook.

Calbacitas Casserole with Polenta and Cheese

2 tubes prepared polenta (I scale it down to one)


2C Frozen corn kernels, defrosted (or do something with extra fresh corn!)

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 green chile pepper, seeded and chopped, or 2 jalepenos, seeded and chopped

2 small to medium zucchini, diced

1 large yellow onion, chopped

s & p to taste

2 t. dark chile powder

1 can stewed tomatoes (or use fresh! I do!)

2 C shredded Monterey Jack cheese

3 scallions, chopped

2 (more! More!) T chopped cilantro (or if you are a hater, use flat-leaf parsley)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Don’t do this if you are making ahead – cover it and just warm it up later!

Drizzle 1 T evoo inot a shallow baking dish or casserole. Spread and coat the pan. Cut polenta into 1/2 inch slices lengthwise (I go a little thinner) and line the bottom of the pan. Slice the other tube of polenta into discs – 1/2 inch again and reserve.

Heat a large skillet over med/high heat. Add remaining 2 T evoo, the corn, garlic, and chiles. Saute 3 min, add zucchiini, yellow squash, and onions. Season with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook 7 to 8 min. Add stewed tomatoes and heat through. Transfer vegetables to the baking dish. Top with reserved polenta disks (I skip this – too much polenta!) and cheese. Place in hot oven to melt cheese and warm through, 8 to 10 min. Garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro or parsley.

AND, if it’s too hot to even DREAM of turning on your oven, even for 8 lousy minutes (today!)

Cevice -recipe totally adulterated – freestyle it, it’s very hard to screw it up!


  • 1 lb scallops, whitefish, shrimp – almost any tender fish will do!
  • 5-6 limes (Enough Juice to cover fish)
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 chopped pepper – I like to add a little red/yellow/orange for color and taste
  • 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro (or parsley, if you must)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (or more to suit your taste), can use canned, and add some of the pickling juice for flavor
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Tabasco, to taste
  • Lettuce leaf (to line serving bowls)
  • Avocado (optional), can chunk into ceviche or add as garnish
  • black olives sliced (for garnish) (optional) – yes – I LOVE oil-cured, there is no other olive!


  1. Dice the fish (approximately 1/2-inch)
  2. Marinate the fish in lime juice, at least 30 min. but can go overnight. Stir often
  3. Pour off most of the lime juice (just leave it moist).
  4. Add remaining ingredients except lettuce, avocado and olive. Do this preferably a few hours before serving & refrigerate.
  5. Toss well and arrange in individual serving bowls that are lined with the lettuce leaves. Or serve with crackers as an appetizer, my favorite way.
  6. If you wish garnish with sliced avocado and sliced black olives.

July 18, 2008 at 11:39 am 1 comment

Eat Your Breakfast

I don’t. Haven’t in years. Hate it. Gack.


But, Nigella is convincing me differently. Click here to hear her story on breakfast. She says my body is hoarding calories because I don’t eat breakfast. Yeah, right, and it has nothing to do with my nightly chocolate sundae.

But, she is so lovely to listen to, and now I, too, want a “glossy coat” like the dogs who live on avocado farms she mentions. So I ate the english muffin smeared with avocado this morning. And it’s delicious. She says sprinkle with lime, and a little salt. YUM.

I am thankful for breakfast. And COFFEE, of course.

November 21, 2007 at 3:08 am 4 comments

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