Saturday, December 15, 2018

Pesto Cheese Spread

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
8 oz cream cheese, softened
⅓ to ½ C pesto sauce

Using an electric mixer or food processor, thoroughly blend pesto and cheese together. Serve as a spread for crackers or crudités (raw vegetables). You can also thinly spread it on slices of ham or roast beef and roll them up, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to a day ahead. When ready to serve, remove plastic and cut into ¾-inch slices. Turn on end to resemble pinwheels.

Hint: Pesto spread is also delicious used in place of mayonnaise on roast beef or turkey sandwiches. Another attractive and easy way to serve pesto cheese spread is to place it in mini-filo shells. Before serving shells, defrost. For added crispness, bake at 350° for about 5 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Then, using a pastry bag, or plastic bag which has a corner cut off to resemble a pastry bag, pipe some of the cheese mixture into each filo shell. Serve as is or top with a small piece of red pepper or pimento.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Jann Hagle Cookies

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
1 C butter, softened
1 C sugar
1 egg, separated
2 C flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 T water
2¼ oz (1 small pkg) almonds, sliced
1 tsp baking soda

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg yolk and mix well. Add flour and cinnamon and blend well. Press lightly into a greased 10½"x15½"x1" jellyroll pan. Beat egg white with water and brush over the dough. Sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Cut immediately into 1½ to 2-inch squares.
Hint: I use a stick of butter and a stick of margarine. These are great cookies to make when you're in a hurry, since it is easier cutting squares than making drop cookies. These keep well in a tin for a few weeks or they may be frozen.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Yam Pecan Casserole

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
3½ lbs yams or sweet potatoes
4 T butter or margarine, melted
1 egg, beaten
½ C milk
⅓ C dark brown sugar

3 T butter or margarine, softened
3 T flour
6 T dark brown sugar
¾ C pecans, coarsely chopped
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp vanilla

Bake yams or sweet potatoes with skins on at 400° for approximately 40 to 50 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Decrease oven temperature to 375°. Scoop out pulp from cooled yams or potatoes and place in a large bowl. (There should be about 4 cups.) Mash until very smooth. Add melted butter or margarine, egg, brown sugar and milk which has been heated on top of stove or in microwave. Blend well and then spread into a greased 7"x11" casserole dish. Make topping by combining butter or margarine, flour and brown sugar. Add remaining topping ingredients. Sprinkle over yam or potato mixture in casserole. Bake for 30 minutes at 375° or until topping is crusty. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving.
Microwave: To cook 2 pounds yams or sweet potatoes, prick with tines of a fork, set on paper towel and cook on high for 13 to 15 minutes. If cooking more than 2 pounds, place yams or potatoes in a circular pattern in microwave and adjust time accordingly.

Hint: This casserole may be completely assembled hours before your family or guests sit down to dinner. It is perfect for holiday dinners or buffets.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Cidered Baked French Toast

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
4 slices cinnamon-raisin bread
2 eggs
1/2 C apple cider or apple juice
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling on top

Place bread in a 9-inch square baking pan. Whisk together eggs, cider, sugar and vanilla until well blended. Pour this mixture over the bread. Let stand, turning once, until egg mixture is absorbed, about 5 to 10 minutes. Place bread slices on a cookie sheet that has been greased or sprayed with a nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 12 minutes and turn slices. Continue baking until puffed and golden, approximately 12 additional minutes. Serve with applesauce or with confectioners’ sugar sprinkled on top.

Hint: If you don’t have raisin bread, use plain bread and add 2 tablespoons raisins to the egg mixture. This recipe is lower in fat than traditional French toast because it is baked rather than fried. Also, egg substitutes can be used. People who are lactose intolerant will appreciate the fact that this is made with cider instead of milk.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Walt's cooking lesson

"Despite my being a total novice in the kitchen, Ellie had no trouble guiding me to some recipes that I could handle, and I had no trouble tracking down the ingredients she specified. The lesson itself was great fun, the food was delicious, and I have no doubt I can reproduce the recipes we did!

Thanks again,”
Walter B., West Roxbury, Massachusetts

Monday, October 15, 2018

Pumpkin Apple Soup

© "So Easy, So Delicious"
3 lbs fresh or (2) 16 oz cans pumpkin
6 C chicken or vegetable broth
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1/2 C milk or half and half
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 C sour cream or yogurt, for garnish
Croutons, for garnish

Peel and cube pumpkin and cut into 2-inch pieces. Heat broth in a large pot. Add pumpkin, apples, onion and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until apples and vegetables are tender. Purée in a food processor or blender. Return soup to the pan and add milk or half and half and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and croutons, if desired.

Hint: If using fresh pumpkin, to avoid the drudgery of peeling and cutting it, wash it and poke it all over with the tines of a roasting fork. Place on a plate, uncovered, in the microwave and cook on high for 10 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 10 minutes. Remove from microwave and cool briefly. Cut open, remove and discard the seeds (or roast, if desired). Using a spoon, scrape flesh of pumpkin from the skin and place in the soup pot and proceed with recipe.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Kid's cooking birthday party

"Thank you for the follow up. Everyone enjoyed the night and I was very impressed by your patience and passion of working with the kids. Overall the event was an A++++. I am happy to have you include pictures from the event. You deserve lots of praise. I will tell Mom and Avery for sure. I hope our paths cross again soon. Thanks again,”
Mike C., Waltham, Massachusetts

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Keller Williams - Westford

"We all had a fantastic time!! Thank you so much for traveling to Claire's and for your wonderful cooking! Thank you and have a great day!”
Stacie G., Westford, Massachusetts

Monday, October 1, 2018

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.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

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.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Peach Kuchen

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
2 C flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sugar (reserve 2 T)
1/2 C butter or margarine
12 peach halves (fresh or canned)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 egg yolks
1 C sour cream

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and 2 tablespoons sugar. With a pastry blender or food processor, blend in butter or margarine until it resembles cornmeal. Pile into an ungreased 8-inch square pan or springform pan and pat an even layer of crumbs on bottom and half way up sides of pan. Place peach halves on pastry. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over peaches. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Combine egg yolks with sour cream and pour over kuchen and bake 30 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.

Hint: This is especially delicious during peach season when you can use fresh peaches. It's very impressive looking, but so simple to make.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Spaghetti Salad

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"


8 oz spaghetti, cooked and drained
4 medium tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 cucumber, peeled and cut in chunks
1 onion, chopped
1/4 C parsley, chopped
1/3 to 1/2 Ib Feta cheese, crumbled


1/4 C olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice
3 T wine vinegar
1 T sugar
1 T fresh basil, finely chopped or 1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
Dash Tabasco sauce

Combine ingredients for dressing and refrigerate for several hours or up to a few days ahead. Cook spaghetti and drain. Transfer to a large bowl. While spaghetti is still hot, mix with Feta cheese. Add tomatoes, cucumber, onion and parsley. Add dressing and toss.

Hint: If you find that Feta cheese is too salty, try the imported Feta from France. It is much creamier in texture and a lot less salty than domestic Feta. You may substitute 1 heaping tablespoon of dried parsley for the fresh parsley. The ratio between fresh to dried herbs is 3:1. You need three times as much of the fresh as dried. This salad is fantastic in late summer when fresh basil and native tomatoes are at their peak!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018


© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
6 very ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1½ C tomato juice
3 T olive or canola oil
2 T red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt, or to taste
Black pepper, to taste
2 to 3 drops Tabasco sauce
Croutons (for garnish)

Purée all ingredients, except croutons, in a blender or food processor. Serve in chilled soup bowls or mugs. Garnish with croutons.

Hint: To peel tomatoes, place them in boiling water for about 30 to 40 seconds. Remove and immediately plunge them into ice cold water. Using a sharp paring knife, peel off skins. Gazpacho is a very refreshing soup that I first tasted in Spain many years ago. It is very low in calories and fat and is a great way to use any surplus vegetables you may have from your garden.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Chicopee Library

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Grilled Lemon Mustard Chicken

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, halved
1/4 C fresh herbs such as basil, parsley,
  oregano or rosemary, chopped
1/4 C Dijon mustard
1/2 C fresh lemon juice
Rind of one lemon, chopped
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a small bowl combine all ingredients, except chicken, to make the marinade. Place chicken in a nonaluminum pan and pour marinade over it. Marinate for 2 to 4 hours in the refrigerator. Grease grids of grill with oil or spray with nonstick spray. Grill chicken for 6 to 9 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Check carefully for doneness so that the chicken will not get overcooked and dry.

Hint: This is a wonderful fat free marinade that has an intense lemon flavor. If not overcooked, it tastes very moist and juicy.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Flag Pizza

1 lb pizza dough
Approx. 2 C pizza sauce or thick spaghetti sauce
Black olives, sliced or cut into star shapes
8 to 12 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 lb pepperoni slices
1 red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
15 to 20 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
Few T flour for rolling out dough
Oregano, for sprinkling on top
Few tsp olive oil for pan and for sprinkling or spraying on top
Cornmeal for sprinkling on pan

On a lightly floured surface, roll out pizza dough and place on an oiled 10½-x15½-inch pizza pan or cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Spread pizza sauce thinly over entire surface. Mark off a portion in upper left corner of dough to reserve for sliced or star-shaped olives. Make “red” horizontal stripes, using pepperoni, then a white stripe using Mozzarella, then red stripe using diced red pepper, then Mozzarella, then sliced tomatoes, etc. Sprinkle top of pizza with oregano and a little olive oil. Bake at 450° for about 15 minutes, or until golden, and top crust starts to get golden around the edges. Fold up a piece of the bottom crust to look for patches of golden brown and feel for stiffness of dough to see if done. When done, remove from oven and cool for at least 5 minutes and then cut into squares.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Strawberries Romanoff

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
1 qt strawberries
Sugar, to taste
1/2 pt vanilla ice cream, softened
1/2 C whipping cream
2 to 3 T cherry (Kirsch) or orange liqueur
Mint sprigs, for garnish

Wash, hull, slice and sugar berries. Add liqueur and refrigerate for a few hours. Whip cream and fold together with softened ice cream. Lightly fold in the berries and refrigerate until serving time, at least one hour. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired.

Hint: This is a simple, delicious and beautiful dessert. If served in champagne glasses, it is especially elegant.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce

12 to 16 oz pork tenderloin
Freshly ground pepper
1 T olive oil

Cherry Sauce

6 T cherry jam
1½ T red wine vinegar
1 T brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 Pinch allspice

Remove excess fat and silver skin from tenderloin. Sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat. Sear tenderloin on all sides, about 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer the tenderloin to a roasting pan and roast at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer or meat thermometer registers 145° to 150° when inserted in the thickest part of the meat. While tenderloin is roasting, prepare cherry sauce. In a small saucepan, combine jam, vinegar, brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. When tenderloin has reached desired temperature, let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with warm cherry sauce.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Chocolate Chunk and Cherry Cookies

1½ C flour
1 C cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 C unsalted butter
¾ C granulated sugar
1¼ C dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1½ C chopped bittersweet chocolate
1½ C dried cherries, chopped

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter and both sugars together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then add vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture just until combined. Stir in chopped chocolate and cherries. Shape 1 tablespoon dough into rough balls, press lightly and place 2 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350° for 9 to 10 minutes, or until cookies seem done. Cool cookies on pan for about 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.
Yield: 3 to 4 dozen cookies

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Spicy Hoisin Salmon

2 T hoisin sauce
1 T soy sauce (reduced sodium, preferred)
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
12 to 16 oz salmon filet
1 scallion, sliced

In a small bowl, whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and red pepper flakes. Place salmon in a greased or sprayed baking pan. Spread or brush half of hoisin mixture over fish. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes. Spread or brush remaining hoisin mixture over the salmon and top with scallion. Bake for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until fish flakes.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Farroto with Peas and Parmesan

1 T olive oil
½ C chopped onion
1 C farro
4 C chicken broth
1 T butter
1 C finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 C fresh or frozen peas

Place oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and stir for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Add farro and stir for about 5 minutes, or until toasted. Add chicken broth, about ½ cup at a time. Cook and stir after each addition, until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth, stirring often, until farro is tender, but not mushy. (The process takes about 40 minutes.) Stir in the butter, Parmesan and peas. Cook and stir until heated through.

Hint: Cooking farro this way is like making risotto, but farro contains more antioxidants and fiber than rice and is therefore healthier.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Lemon Meringue Cookies

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
3 egg whites
½ tsp cream of tartar
1 C sugar
1 T lemon rind, grated
Nonstick cooking spray

Beat egg whites until foamy and add cream of tartar. Gradually beat in sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold in lemon rind. Drop by teaspoon onto baking sheets that have been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 275° for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Yield: 5 to 6 dozen

Hint: These delicious cookies have no fat or cholesterol and contain approximately 35 calories each. The lemon imparts a wonderful flavor. These make a wonderful gift for someone who is on a very restricted low fat or fat free diet. To achieve maximum volume from the egg whites, they should be at room temperature when beaten.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Mandarin Salad

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
½ C sliced almonds
3 T sugar
½ head iceberg lettuce
½ head Romaine lettuce
1 C celery, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
11 oz can mandarin oranges, drained

½ tsp salt
¼ C olive or canola oil
2 T sugar chips
2 T cider vinegar
Dash Tabasco sauce

In a small pan over medium heat cook almonds and sugar; stir constantly until almonds are coated and sugar is dissolved. Cool and store in an airtight container. Combine all dressing ingredients and chill. Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Add celery, scallions and oranges. Just before serving, add almonds and dressing and then toss

Hint: When heating almonds and sugar, watch constantly so that they don't burn. The almonds may be caramelized several days in advance and stored in a tin. The only problem is that they are so delicious that there may not be any left when you go to serve the salad! This salad has gotten rave reviews at many of my cooking classes and dinner parties!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Contemporary Passover Recipes Cooking Class

Temple B'nai Torah, Sudbury, MA

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Raspberry Orange Sauce

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
10 oz pkg frozen raspberries, defrosted
11 oz can mandarin oranges, drained
¼ C orange liqueur

Combine all ingredients and place in a tightly covered container and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Serve over vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Hint: To make this fancier, place ice cream on a slice of pound cake or on a meringue glacée and pour topping over it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Chicken with Hoisin Sauce

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
1 lb boneless chicken breasts cut into 1" cubes
1 T soy sauce
1 T sugar
1 T cornstarch
½ can water chestnuts, sliced
2 T hoisin sauce
1 C mushrooms, sliced
¼ lb pea pods
1 red or green pepper, cut into 1" cubes
½ C cashews, salt rinsed off
2 to 3 T peanut or canola oil

Combine soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch and marinate chicken cubes in this mixture for at least ½ hour in the refrigerator. Heat wok and add 1 to 2 tablespoons oil. Stir-fry chicken until it turns white. Remove. Add 1 tablespoon oil to hot wok. Stir-fry vegetables until slightly cooked (still crisp). Add reserved chicken, cashews and hoisin sauce. Stir until heated through. Serve with white rice or fried rice.

Hint: This is one of the easiest and most delicious stir-fry dishes. You can substitute peanuts for the cashews. Organization is the key to preparing any stir-fry dish. Everything should be cut up before you begin cooking. You can do this several hours in advance. The chicken may be marinated for several hours or overnight. Once the wok is hot, toss everything together, as directed. Also, if you don't have a wok, an electric frying pan or Dutch oven will work well for stir-frying. The reason a wok is so beneficial is because you only need a small amount of oil to cook in it. The sloping sides allow the same small amount of oil to be tossed around, whereas a flat bottomed vessel seems to "eat up the oil" and you constantly have to add more to it.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Kahlua Brownie Heart

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 stick butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp instant coffee or espresso powder
1 C flour
3 T coffee liqueur (Kahlua)
Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)
Whipped cream, for garnish
Raspberries or strawberries, for garnish

Melt chocolate and butter or margarine over a double boiler or in a microwave on medium power for 2 to 2½ minutes. Whisk in eggs. Beat in remaining ingredients. Pour into a greased and floured 9-inch heart-shaped pan. Bake at 350° for approximately 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick, inserted in center, comes out clean. Do not overbake; cake should be fudgey and moist. Cool on wire rack and turn out onto a platter. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and decorate border with whipped cream. Garnish cream with fresh raspberries or strawberries.

Hint: If you are making this for Valentine's Day garnish with heart-shaped candies. You can also make this recipe as Kahlua Brownies in a 9-inch square pan or make 6 or 7 mini-hearts in 3-inch heart-shaped pans. Fill these pans halfway with batter and bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until toothpick, inserted in center, comes out clean.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Italian Ground Beef Sub

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
16 oz loaf Italian bread
1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 C spaghetti sauce
1 tsp oregano
1 to 1½ C Mozzarella or Cheddar cheese, shredded

Cut loaf of bread in half lengthwise. Remove bread from inside of bottom half so that only the shell remains. Sauté beef and onion on top of stove until meat is no longer pink. Drain off fat. Add spaghetti sauce and oregano to meat. Place meat mixture in hollowed-out bread and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Cover with top half of bread. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, or until cheese melts. Let rest for about 5 minutes before slicing. Cut into large slices and serve.

Microwave: Beef may also be cooked in the microwave by placing it in a plastic colander in a deep microwave bowl. (This allows any fat from meat to drain.) Cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes, or until beef is no longer pink. Stir halfway through cooking.

Hint: This has also been called a Superbowl sandwich for it is great to serve while watching the Superbowl or any football game. It's even good when you're not watching TV.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Quick Corn Chowder

© "From Ellie's Kitchen to Yours"
16 oz can cream style corn
16 oz milk
1 large potato, diced
1 green or red pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 T butter or margarine
Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil diced potato until almost tender and set aside. Melt butter or margarine in a 2-quart saucepan. Add onion and pepper and sauté until tender. Add corn, milk, potato that has been cooked and drained, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Adjust seasoning
Yield: 4 servings

Hint: Since I've gotten this recipe, I always keep a can of creamed corn handy. The other ingredients are usually staples in my house so I use this as an emergency dish on a cold fall or winter evening. It's a real comfort food that everyone enjoys. This even tastes good with skim milk!