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Roasted Red Smashed Potatoes

May 22, 2015

I welcome a long weekend with these beauties. There has not been any outdoor grilling since midway through March as it is just too damned hot. But I do use an electric oven outside, does that count? Do yourself a favor and double the recipe and put and egg on a couple of these potatoes in the morning.


Roasted Red Smashed Potatoes


  • 8 Medium Red Potatoes (washed)
  • 1/2 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 C. Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • Chives (snipped for garnish)


  1. Boil the potatoes in cold water with some salt until almost tender (approx. 10-15 min.)
  2. Remove from pot and drain; transfer to a baking sheet
  3. Crush with a masher (keep intact)
  4. Drizzle with the oil and salt and pepper; add the Parmesan
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes
  6. Remove from oven and plate on warmed dish; add more cheese and chives

Use other fresh herbs for variations.




Serves: 4 (2 potatoes each)

Recipe adapted from http://www.epicurious


Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

May 18, 2015

I was given a gift and I mean a wonderful gift.  It was the one and only fabulous Delverde Pasta, but something I had not tried before, their Instant Lasagna Noodles!  A perfect treat for those of us living in Florida and no cook anything sounds like a good plan.


Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna



  • 2 C. Whole Milk
  • 2 C. Vegetable Stock
  • 3 1/2 oz. Unsalted Butter
  • 3/4 C. Flour
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Nutmeg


  1. Heat milk and stock (do not boil)
  2. Melt butter and add the flour with a sifter while stirring; keep stirring for about 5 minutes
  3. Add the milk mixture slowly while stirring to avoid lumps; keep cooking over low heat until thickened (about 15 min.)
  4. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg; set aside

For the Lasagna


  • Besciamella
  • 1 lb. Mushrooms (cleaned, sliced and sauteed)
  • 2 Bags Fresh Spinach (slightly sauteed)
  • 4 T. Unsalted Butter
  • 9 Sheets of No Cook Lasagna (for 3 layers)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 C. Parmesan Cheese (grated)
  • Pinch of Nutmeg


  1. Saute the mushrooms in 2 T. butter, salt and pepper and set aside *
  2. Saute the spinach in 2 T. butter and set aside *
  3. Make the Besciamella and set aside

* Sometimes I add 1 medium onion, chopped and sauteed, or some minced garlic


  1. Preheat oven to 380 degrees
  2. Use a baking dish approx. 12×10
  3. Ladle some beciamella on bottom of pan to cover
  4. Next add a layer of lasagna; more beciamella and then a spinach and mushroom layer; sprinkle with Parmesan
  5. Continue to layer in same way and finish with additional Parmesan
  6. Cover with foil and bake approx. 35 min.; uncover and bake until top is golden (about 10 minutes)
  7. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving






Served here with Roasted Parmesan Tomatoes

Serves: 6

Recipe adapted from


Banana Coconut Upside Down Cake

May 14, 2015

With temperatures hitting close to 90 degrees it’s a good idea to have this simple and fast tropical cake.

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Banana Coconut Upside Down Cake


  • 4 T. Unsalted Butter
  • 3/4 C. Brown Sugar (lightly packed) *
  • 2 T. Maple Syrup
  • 3-4 Just Ripe Bananas (sliced)
  • 1 C. Shredded Coconut


  • 8 T. Unsalted Butter (room temp.)
  • 1/2 C. Brown Sugar (lightly packed) *
  • 3/4 C. Sugar
  • 1 T. Lemon Zest
  • 2 Lg. Eggs
  • 1 Ripe Mashed Banana
  • 1 1/3 C. Flour
  • 1 1/2 t. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 t. Salt
  • 1/4 t. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 C. Milk

* Light Brown Sugar is called for in original recipe.


  1. Melt  4 T. butter over medium heat in a saucepan; add 3/4 C. brown sugar and maple syrup; stir until it bubbles but do not burn
  2. Pour sauce into an 8″ cake pan and coat well; arrange the bananas covering the bottom of the pan; add the coconut
  3. Cream 8 T. butter with the sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl; mix in the mashed banana
  4. Add the eggs one at a time beating until combined
  5. In a medium bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in thirds alternating with the milk; combine thoroughly
  6. Pour the batter on top of the bananas and coconut and spread evenly
  7. Bake approximately 50 minutes at 350 degrees
  8. Let cool and invert cake on serving plate








Serves: 8

Recipe from www.


Put An Egg On It

March 13, 2015

Breakfast, brunch or dinner, here are a few ideas for a meal that is simple and fast, ‘leftovers sometimes required’.  Seems that ‘Breakfast for Dinner’ stops at my home a couple of times a week; less cooking and more flavor.  These wonders make for a luscious planned brunch as well, but always make extra beans, rice, potatoes or vegetables when you have friends staying overnight and you will be surprised what you can make for a surprise breakfast.  I have a few ideas for you here but eggs go with everything.

Put An Egg On It

Fried Egg with Black Beans and Rice

Potato Patty Spinach and Fried Egg

Bacon and Cheese Grits with Fried Eggs

Chili Con Carne con Huevos

Fried Egg with Black Beans and Rice

Potato Patty Spinach and Fried Egg

Bacon and Cheese Grits with Fried Eggs

Chili con Carne con Huevos



Italian Beef Stew

March 7, 2015

This seems to be the end of hearty stew meals here in Southeast Florida and yet seems a bit too early for me. I love beef stew of any variety but with an Italian twist of taste I like it even more.


Italian Beef Stew


  • 4 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 T. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Red Onion (diced)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 1 Lg. Carrot (thinly sliced)
  • 1 Lg. Celery Rib (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 C. Flour
  • 1 lb. Beef Sirloin Tidbits
  • 2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
  • 1 C. Beef Stock
  • 1 C. Red Wine
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 t. Dried Parsley
  • 1 T. Italian Seasonings
  • 1-2 inch Parmesan Rind
  • 1 Frozen Pkg. Green Beans
  • 1 Pkg. Baby Carrots
  • 1 C. Pearl Onions
  • 1/4 C. Parsley (chopped) (if you have it)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Saute the carrots, celery in the 2 T. oil and 1 T. butter for about 5 minutes; add the minced garlic and saute for 5 more minutes; remove from pot and set aside
  2. Dredge the beef in the flour and add salt and pepper; add 2 T. oil to the pot; saute the beef for about 6-7 minutes browning all sides; remove and set aside (May have to do 2 batches)
  3. Add the red wine to the pot, bring to a boil and scrape all bits; reduce for about 5 minutes, return the meat and vegetable mixture to the pot and add the tomatoes, beef stock, bay leaf, dried parsley and Parmesan rind and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes while stirring occasionally
  4. Uncover and stir in the green beans, baby carrots and pearl onions; simmer uncovered for 1 hour (stir occasionally)
  5. Remove bay leaf, add salt and pepper to taste and fresh parsley
  6. Serve immediately in warmed bowls







Serves: 6

Adapted from



White Bean and Tomato Soup

March 2, 2015

This is my basic pantry soup, weekend soup and also if you are having guests arriving tomorrow.  I always have white beans (my favorite is cannellini) and diced tomatoes (both canned) in the house so I make this quick, healthy and comfort soup quite frequently. Add some fresh spinach or kale at the last minute for some variety.


White Bean and Tomato Soup


  • 1 Medium Onion (chopped)
  • 1 Lg. Carrot (chopped)
  • 1 Lg. Stalk of Celery (chopped)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 T. Unsalted Butter
  • Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes (or more if you are feisty today)
  • 2 T. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (14.5 oz.)
  • 1 C. Boiling Water
  • 1-2″ piece of Parmesan Rind
  • 2 Cans Cannellini Beans (14.5 oz.) (or any other white bean)
  • 2 Leaves of Fresh Sage (may substitute with 1/4 t. dried sage)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil and butter on low and add the onion, carrot and celery and saute for about 5 min. until carrots are softened
  2. Add the garlic and saute for about 5 more minutes (do not let the garlic brown)
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for 5 more minutes
  4. Add the tomatoes and boiling water and bring to simmer
  5. Once simmering add the salt and pepper to taste
  6. Add the white beans, Parmesan rind and sage; cover and let simmer 15-20 minutes
  7. Serve immediately in warmed bowls.
  8. Garnish with grated Parmesan, fresh chopped chives (optional)



Serves: 4

Recipe from:

Go see her recipe for White Beans if you are starting from scratch. Delicious!


Corn and Crab Soup

February 23, 2015

We did celebrate Chinese New Year.  This is my comfort corn soup recipe for a super fast dinner so it is always a winner.  Loaded with a corn and vegetable stock, corn niblets and crab with fresh chives.


Corn and Crab Soup


  • 1 T. Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Med. Carrot (diced)
  • 1 Med. Onion (diced)
  • 1 Stalk Celery (diced)
  • 1 Can Creamed Corn (15 oz.)
  • 4 C. Chicken Stock
  • 1 C. Whole Milk
  • 2 Cans Sweet Corn (11 oz.)
  • 1 lb. Lump Crab Meat
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Fresh Chives (snipped) (for garnish)


  1. Saute the carrots, onions and celery in the butter until vegetables are softened
  2. Add the creamed corn and combine thoroughly while heating
  3. Add the stock, milk and corn niblets and heat thoroughly
  4. Add the corn, heat thoroughly and salt and pepper to taste
  5. Add some chives for garnish


Serves: 6-8

Recipe adapted from:

See some other favorites corn soups below.

Corn Chowder with Bacon

Cream of Corn Soup



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