Sunday, October 15, 2017

Minestrone Soup With Beef

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
 
1 T olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 C beef broth
28 oz can crushed Italian tomatoes
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 T parsley, chopped
1/2 C small pasta (tiny shells, stars, orzo, etc.)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Heat oil in a large soup pot and add ground beef, onion and garlic. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Add eggplant, carrots, celery, broth, tomatoes, nutmeg and parsley. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add pasta and simmer for an additional 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Hint: This soup freezes well. You can substitute ground turkey or chicken for the beef.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Honey-Glazed Chicken With Apples

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
 
1 chicken, quartered
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
4 apples, cored, peeled and sliced
1/4 C apple juice or cider
1/4 C honey
1 T brown sugar
Rind of 1 lemon, grated
Rind of 1 orange, grated
1/4 C orange marmalade

Place the chicken in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Place the apples around the edges of the pan. Roast at 350° for 40 minutes. Drain the accumulated liquid and discard. In a small pot, combine the apple juice or cider, honey, brown sugar, lemon and orange rind and heat until the honey is dissolved. Baste the chicken and apples with this mixture. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, basting every 5 minutes, until the chicken is golden. Brush orange marmalade over the chicken and apples and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. If not as brown as you would like, put chicken under the broiler for a few minutes.

Hint: This recipe is perfect in the fall and winter when apples and cider are plentiful. It is even more delicious if you make it a day in advance and reheat it.

Pumpkin Muffins

 
1½ C flour
1/2 C sugar, plus extra for topping
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 C milk
1/2 C pumpkin
1/2 C butter or margarine, melted or canola oil
1 egg
1/2 C raisins

Mix all ingredients by hand just until flour is moistened. Batter should be lumpy. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon sugar over batter in each cup. Bake at 400° for 17 to 19 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan.
Yield: 12 pumpkin muffins

Hint: These muffins are equally delicious with fresh or canned pumpkin. They freeze well.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Kid's cooking birthday party

"Thank you again for making Anaiya's birthday party so great! You were amazingly patient with such a large group of all different little personalities. Anaiya and her friends had an absolute blast. The chef hats and aprons were adorable. It was particularly helpful to assign every kid to a job. Nobody complained about not being included and they all felt they played an important role in the cooking process. They are a picky bunch of eaters but all of them really enjoyed the meal. I was extremely pleased with everything from set up to clean up. I can't wait to try out some of the recipes from your book with her!

"Thank you again for an awesome 11th Birthday that Anaiya will never forget!”
Nikiya J., Cambridge, Massachusetts

Friday, September 1, 2017

Vegetarian Chili

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
 
1 medium onion, chopped
1¼ C green peppers, diced
1¼ C red peppers, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ to 2 T chili powder, or to taste
2 tsp sugar
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
15½ oz can kidney beans
15½ oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
15½ oz can black beans
2 C corn (canned or frozen)
2 T tomato paste
1 T balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Few T shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

Rinse and drain all the beans. Spray a heated soup pot with nonstick spray. Add onion, peppers, and garlic and sauté until tender. Add remaining ingredients. Heat until it comes to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour. Serve with brown rice, corn bread or tortilla chips. If you like, garnish each serving with cheese.

Hint: This recipe is extremely high in fiber and very low in fat.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Hazel's cooking lesson

s "Thank you again for a wonderful experience for Hazel yesterday!”
Beth W., Southboro, Massachusetts

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Peach Upside-Down Cake

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
 
Topping:
½ C brown sugar
1 T butter or margarine, softened
2 C peach slices, fresh or canned, well drained

Grease or spray an 8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine brown sugar and butter or margarine and pat into bottom of the cake pan. Arrange peaches on top.

Cake:
1¼ C flour
1¼ tsp baking powder
Dash salt
¾ C sugar
2 eggs
¼ C butter or margarine, softened
⅔ C milk
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend on low speed until well mixed. Turn mixer onto high speed and continue mixing for 3 to 4 minutes, or until everything is well blended. Pour batter over peaches. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out clean. Cool cake in pan for about 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm, garnished with ice cream, frozen yogurt or whipped cream, if desired.

Hint: Although this is best when served warm, it is still tasty at room temperature.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Basil and Spinach Salad

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
 
6 C spinach leaves
1½ C basil leaves
1/4 C olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 C pine nuts (pignoli)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 to 1/2 C fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Toss the spinach and basil together in a large bowl. Heat the oil in a skillet and add garlic and pine nuts. Sauté until the nuts begin to brown slightly. Pour oil mixture over the greens and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toss immediately and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Kid's cooking birthday party

"Thank you for doing Tanisha's party. She and her friends had an amazing time.”
Amita R., Westborough, Massachusetts

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Chicopee Public Library

"I was so glad you could come. The patrons who took part were thrilled with the program and loved being able to taste the recipes. Thanks so much for making such delicious food for us.”
Carol L., Chicopee Public Library, Massachusetts

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Red Potato Salad a la Moutard

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
 
1½ lbs red potatoes
2 scallions, chopped
2 T Dijon mustard
1 T Pommery mustard
¼ C olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar
3 T parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Scrub the potatoes and cut in half. Boil just until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool well. Slice into ½-inch pieces. In a jar, combine both mustards and oil. Add red wine vinegar, scallions and parsley and shake well. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Pour this mixture over the potatoes and toss until potatoes are coated with dressing. Serve at room temperature or chill for a few hours or up to 2 days before serving.

Hint: This potato salad is low in fat and is very flavorful!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Grilled Tuscan Salmon

 
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder or finely minced fresh garlic
(4) 6 oz salmon filets
4 tsp olive oil

In a small bowl, combine spices. Brush each skinless side of fillet with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle a quarter of the spice mixture on each fillet and press into oil. Allow this to stand for about 15 minutes. Place salmon, skin side up on a well-greased grill. Cover grill and cook over high heat for about 3 minutes. Flip over and cook, skin side down, for about 5 to 6 additional minutes, or until done. Grilling time depends on the heat of the grill and the thickness of the fillet.

Hint: To prevent fish from sticking to the grill, before cooking make sure the grill grids are very clean. Scrape grids with a brush and then wipe with a damp cotton rag. Then apply oil to the grids before heating the grill.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

German Blueberry Kuchen

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
 
1½ C flour, sifted
Dash salt
4 C (1½ to 2 pts) blueberries
3 T quick-cooking tapioca
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 C sugar, divided
1/2 C butter or margarine, softened
1 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
Whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or vanilla frozen yogurt

Combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar, dash salt and butter or margarine. Mix with pastry blender or fork until crumbs form. Measure 3/4 cup of mixture and set aside. Press remaining crumbs over bottom and about 3/4-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Combine blueberries, lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar, tapioca, salt and cinnamon. Let stand for 15 minutes. Spoon blueberry mixture into crumb-lined pan. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes. Then sprinkle with 3/4 cup reserved crumbs. Bake 20 to 25 minutes longer, or until crumbs are golden. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or vanilla frozen yogurt.

Hint: Although this looks like a very fancy tart, it is simple to make!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Korean Flank or Skirt Steak

 
2 lbs flank or skirt steak
1/3 C low sodium soy sauce or tamari
1/4 C packed dark brown sugar
2 T fresh lime juice
6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
4 scallions, chopped
2 T toasted sesame seeds d
1/4 C sesame oil
2 tsp coarse salt

Place steak in a large enough pan to keep pieces of meat flat. Mix remaining ingredients together, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour marinade over steak and turn steak over so that all sides are coated. Cover dish and marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours. Bring steak to room temperature before grilling or broiling. Grill over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, per side, turning once for medium-rare or grill until desired doneness is reached. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for about 10 minutes. Thinly slice against the grain.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Baked Salsa Dip

 
16 oz cream cheese, softened
2 lbs salsa
12 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Nachos, for dipping

Spread cream cheese in a 9”x13” pan. Cover with salsa. Sprinkle Monterey Jack cheese over salsa. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with Nachos.

Hint: Vary the taste and spiciness by using whatever salsa you like best. For a small group, cut the recipe in half and bake in a 9-inch pie plate or square dish.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Kid's cooking birthday party

"Thanks again - Caroline has been enjoying cooking for us out of your cookbook! The Greek Lemon soup was a big hit, and she made a shrimp stir-fry as my birthday dinner this year.!”
Leah D., Grafton, Massachusetts

Monday, May 1, 2017

Yogurt Pancakes

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
 
1¼ C flour
1 T sugar
½ tsp salt, if desired
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1¼ C plain yogurt or buttermilk
1 egg
2 T canola oil

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add yogurt, egg and oil. Mix until just combined. Drop by tablespoons onto a slightly greased skillet and cook until tiny bubbles appear. Turn over and brown on the other side.
Yield: 14 pancakes

Hint: Leftovers may be frozen and reheated in the toaster oven. You may add 1 cup diced apples, cranberries, blueberries, etc. to the batter before cooking. These pancakes are both low cholesterol and low fat if you use nonfat yogurt, egg substitute or 2 egg whites instead of a whole egg.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Roasted Red Potatoes and Green Beans

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
 
8 small red potatoes (approx. 1¼ lbs), unpeeled and cut in quarters
24 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 to 3 T olive oil, divided
1 lb green beans, ends removed and cut in half
¼ C parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Scrub and quarter potatoes. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Add garlic and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes, stirring once or twice. Toss green beans with 1 tablespoon olive oil and add to potatoes and garlic. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times. Remove from roasting pan and place in a bowl. Toss with parsley, salt and pepper. Add the last tablespoon of oil, if desired. Serve either hot or at room temperature.

Hint: Don’t be shocked at the amount of garlic in this recipe. As garlic cooks, it develops a nutty, almost sweet flavor.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Chocolate Macaroons

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
 
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 T butter or margarine
⅓ C sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2⅔ C (7 oz pkg) coconut

Melt chocolate and butter or margarine in a double boiler over low heat. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and blend in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Stir in coconut. Drop by teaspoon onto greased, or parchment-lined, cookie sheets leaving 1½ inches between each. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Yield: 3 dozen macaroons

Hint: These are quick to make and quick to disappear!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Mini-Reuben Sandwiches

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
 
2 loaves cocktail rye bread
3/4 lb Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
1½ lbs corned beef
16 to 24 oz sauerkraut, well drained
6 to 8 oz Thousand Island or Russian salad dressing
Butter or margarine

Spread several pieces of bread on counter at a time. Spread one side of each sandwich with salad dressing. Top with cheese, sauerkraut and corned beef. Place other half of sandwich on top. Place in frying pan or on grill and cook in butter or margarine until cheese melts and sandwich is crispy. Instead of grilling these, they may be baked at 400° for 5 to 7 minutes, or until sandwiches are hot and the cheese melted.
Yield: 42 to 44 mini sandwiches

Mini-Rachel Sandwiches

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"

Make these the same way as the Reubens except substitute turkey breast for corned beef. To make the Rachels lower in cholesterol, fat and sodium, substitute low fat Swiss cheese, low salt turkey breast and low calorie or fat free Thousand Island or Russian salad dressing.

Hint: The sauerkraut that is packed in jars or Cryovac, usually kosher or deli style, is much tastier to use in this recipe than a canned sauerkraut. Use coleslaw as an alternative to sauerkraut.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Split Pea Soup

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
 
8 C chicken or vegetable broth
2 C split peas, rinsed
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, minced
1 potato, peeled and cubed
2 T fresh parsley, minced
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp marjoram
1½ tsp soy sauce
Black pepper, to taste

Bring the broth to a boil. Add the split peas and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the vegetables, herbs and seasonings to the soup. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

Hint: This is a very healthy and hearty soup. Split peas are high in protein and low in fat. When combined with a grain, such as bread, they can serve as a "complete meal". This soup is very inexpensive and freezes beautifully. In fact, I usually make a double batch and freeze the leftover in freezer bags or plastic containers.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
 
2 chickens, cut into quarters (8 pieces)
1 onion, sliced
18 oz BBQ sauce of your choice

Place chicken in the bottom of the crock pot. Cover with onion slices and sauce. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until tender.

Hint: This easy and delicious recipe is very healthy, especially if you use all chicken breasts and remove the skin before cooking. The gravy is wonderful over rice or pasta.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chocolate Candy Pizza

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
 
12 oz (2 C) chocolate chips
9 oz white chocolate, divided
2 C miniature marshmallows
1 C crispy rice cereal
1 C unsalted peanuts
1/3 C flaked coconut
1 tsp oil

Microwave chocolate chips and 6 ounces of the white chocolate in a large microwaveable bowl on high for 2 minutes. Stir and microwave for 1 to 2 more minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until completely melted and smooth. Fold in marshmallows, cereal and peanuts. Pour onto a greased 12-inch pizza pan. Top with coconut. Microwave remaining 3 ounces white chocolate and oil on high for 30 to 40 seconds. Stir. Microwave for an additional 30 to 40 seconds, or until smooth. Drizzle over top of pizza. Refrigerate for at least 40 minutes, or until firm. To serve, slice into wedges.

Hint: To make this more festive, especially at Christmas, sprinkle drained and halved red and green maraschino cherries over top before sprinkling with coconut and drizzling with white chocolate. Colored mini-marshmallows could be substituted for white ones. Other Christmas variations would be to use red and green M&Ms instead of cherries. For Hanukkah, you can use yellow and blue M&Ms.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Nicole's Cooking "Farewell" Party

"Thanks for the wonderful cooking party on Friday. The cooking was simple, fun and tasty! Everyone had a fabulous time."
C. H., Lexington, Massachusetts

"We had a great time learning to cook the recipes with you! Everyone loved all the food we prepared! Thanks again and a big thanks to Ching for hosting such a fun party again!"
Nicole L., Lexington, Massachusetts

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Simple Chickpea Salad

 
Salad:
15½ oz can chickpeas (garbanzos), drained
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

Place in a bowl.
 
Dressing:
2 to 3 T olive oil
2 T wine vinegar
Oregano, to taste
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad mixture. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, stirring occasionally..

Hint: Other beans may be substituted for the chickpeas.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Southwestern Barley Bake

 
1 lb ground beef, turkey or chicken
1 medium onion, diced
15 oz tomato sauce
1 C water
1/2 C barley
1/4 C olives, sliced (optional)
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1 C Cheddar cheese, shredded

Garnishes:
● Avocado slices
● Sliced olives
● Chopped tomatoes

In a fry pan, sauté ground beef, turkey or chicken with onion until onion is soft. Drain. Add tomato sauce, water, barley, olives, sugar and chili powder. Pour into a greased 7”x11” baking pan. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350° for 50 to 55 minutes, or until barley is tender. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with garnishes, if desired.
don’t have time to make this bread when your bananas are overripe, peel and freeze them for a later date. Before using, defrost and discard most of the accumulated banana juices.