Tag Archives: vegetables

Eggs in Mini Pumpkins with Squash or Sweet Potato Hash


Eggs in Mini Pumpkins with Squash or Sweet Potato Hash

mini-pumpkin, egg and squash hashegg in mini pumpkin w sweet potato hash

Serves 4

Left picture with squash; right one with sweet potato

This is probably not a dish that you will make more than once or twice a year, but for around Halloween or Thanksgiving, it’s a colorful and yummy dish with which to surprise your family and overnight guests for a breakfast or brunch. It’s a pretty and unique dish to serve and I think just plain memorably fun.


  1. 4 mini orange pumpkins (4 inches in diameter) which you’ve cut about 1/3rd of the way down, seeded and spoon-scraped clean the insides so that an egg will fit in nicely. The pumpkin inner flesh is delicious to eat with the egg. SAVE THE TOPS FOR DÉCOR and if they have a stem, all the better.
  2. 1-2 Tblsp. olive oil for the frying pan
  3. 1 small package cut up fresh squash and cut up even smaller by you into 1/2 inch diced pieces or 1 sweet potato peeled and coarsely shredded or grated.
  4. 1/2 C. onion or shallot, minced
  5. 1 red pepper cut longwise into slender strips
  6. 1/2 C. uncooked bacon, diced or Black Forest ham diced
  7. 1/2 C. olive oil
  8. 1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
  9. 1-2 Tsp. red chili flakes
  10. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  11. 2 Tblsp. fresh sage or rosemary, minced
  12. S&P
  13. 4 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 375 the day of serving.
  2. In a small bowl whip together the olive oil, vinegar, chili flakes, garlic cloves and sage or rosemary. Reserve about 2 Tblsp. to either brush on the bottom of the pumpkins before placing in an egg or to drizzle on top of your egg when the egg is cooked.
  3. In a medium sized frying pan, heat up the 1-2 Tblsp. olive oil and sauté the onion or shallot along with the red pepper strips until both are softened (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the vinaigrette to the onion/red peppers and quickly add the sweet potato or squash; gently stir everything so well mixed.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, uncovered until softened and tasting pretty good (about 10 minutes).  At this point you can put a lid over the skillet to keep warm until you serve your egg/pumpkin or you can refrigerate it and reheat it with the pumpkins and eggs when you cook them. If you refrigerate the hash, let it come to room temp before putting in the oven with the pumpkins. Baking the hash in the oven will crispen the hash and you may prefer it like that.
  5. The day of serving, for the pumpkins, line a baking sheet with foil and place them on the foil lined baking sheet, cut side down.
  6. Bake the pumpkins on the sheet for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
  7. Turn the pumpkins right side up on your baking sheet and if you wish, brush the inside of the pumpkins with a little of the leftover vinaigrette and season with S&P or save the vinaigrette for top of the egg drizzle when the egg is cooked. Crack one egg into the center of each pumpkin and if you wish to have a crisper hash or need to reheat your room temp hash, single layer that around your pumpkins.
  8. Return the baking sheet to the oven and continue baking until the eggs are almost set—around 15 minutes.  Start keeping a close eye on them about 10 minutes on and remember that when the pumpkin is out of the oven, the eggs will cook a bit more inside the hot pumpkins.
  9. To serve: Spoon the hash onto plates and nestle the pumpkins in the center. Lean one pumpkin top on the side of each pumpkin.  Drizzle a bit of the vinaigrette on top of the egg if you desire.

Winter Greens, Potatoes and Chickpeas Stew


Winter Greens, Potatoes and Chickpeas Stew

Serves 4

Greens, Potatoes and Chickpeas Stew

This is a nice soup for those desiring a vegetarian meal for a cool day’s lunch or dinner. The ingredients can be varied which I feel always adds interest to your dish. It’s also a complete protein meal so you don’t have to worry about having poultry, meat or fish as well.  Bon Appétit.


  1. 1 Lb. Chard, stems removed (I used the rainbow variety) You could also use spinach or Kale or a combination of the greens.
  2. 1 ½ Lbs. Baking Potatoes (I used 2 large ones but 3 medium ones would be OK as well)-Sliced in 3/4 inch-slices
  3. 1-2 Onions, rough chopped or even thinly sliced
  4. 2-3 Garlic Cloves-minced
  5. 3 Tblsp. Olive Oil
  6. 1 Tsp. Paprika
  7. 1/4 Tsp. Turmeric
  8. 1/8- 1/4  Tsp. Cayenne Pepper (depending how “hot” you want your stew)
  9. 1 Tsp. salt (optional)
  10. 4 C. of  Vegetarian Base Bouillon or Chicken Stock, heated
  11. 2 C. (1-16 oz. can) of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (you can also use another type of white bean)
  12. 2 Hard Boiled Eggs, Sliced or cut into wedges (optional)
  13. One Tasty Tomato, Sliced (optional)
  14. Shaved Parmesan or Jack Cheese for topping (optional)
  15. Chopped Parsley for garnish (optional)


  1. Cook your greens any which way you wish; drain thoroughly and set aside.
  2. In a large stove top Dutch oven or similar kind of pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the potatoes, onions and garlic cloves.  Sauté for 5-10 minutes—watching carefully and stirring quite often—until the potatoes have started to brown. Add to this the paprika, turmeric, salt and cayenne until the mixture smells fragrant (around 1-2 minutes).
  3. Add the bouillon, greens and chickpeas and bring to a simmer.  Simmer with a tipped top for about 15 to 20 minutes—or till the potatoes are tender.
  4. Serve the stew topped with the hard boiled eggs, tomato slices, cheese and chopped parsley.

Artichokes Spells Green Goodie for St. Pat’s



Frost Kissed Artichokes are in town—just in time to celebrate the GREEN of St. Pats (PART ONE)

This is the first of a two series presentation of Artichoke Recipes—so stay tuned!!


I do really enjoy artichokes and have had a lot of fun with new comers in the instruction of the “how to eat” an artichoke.  When I resided in CA I used to grow these edible thistles in my yard so I garnered very fresh chokes that barely needed to be cooked.  Here our chokes are usually a bit older however the ones I picked up the other day at the Bellevue Atkinsons’ for such a good price were the frost kissed variety so I knew that they weren’t very old. Sure enough, when cooking them I started smelling their fragrant aroma in 20 minutes and 5 minutes later, they were done and delicious. Frost Kissing occurs when the temps drop below 32 degrees resulting in an enhanced nutty flavored artichoke. So if you like this veggie, hurry and get some.  They also make great appetizers.


There are a myriad of ways to which to treat this thistle in a culinary fashion.  I’ve even been given a recipe dealing with using raw artichoke strips in a salad.  Sad to say, I was very disappointed with that recipe. Below is the way I’ve always cooked my choke plus another easy greener recipe I thought you might enjoy.  Next week will be another very tasty recipe that my editor, Leslie Thompson, a terrific cook, is offering for the followers of this column.   


Basic Instruction for Prepping an Artichoke:

Hold the choke by its long end and with a scissor, cut the individual leaf ends off so that the thorns are removed; next, with a serrated knife, cut both ends of the choke: the stem close to the choke bottom and the very top off about 1/2 inch.  Now wash them and they are ready to be cooked.

Margot’s Favorite Way:

Cooking instructions:

Place the chokes in a tall pot that accommodates your chokes and fill the pot with water (I put in warm or hot water) that goes about half way up. In the water add a dash of olive oil,  one or two bay leaves, one or two whole peeled or even unpeeled garlic cloves, some pepper corns and a dash of sea salt and a squirt of your favorite vinegar or lemon juice.  You can also add some fresh tarragon or thyme.  Put the pot on the burner and when the water comes to a boil, turn it down to a rolling simmer and place a top that will fit in and not on top of the pot. This will keep the chokes under the liquid and from discoloring. If you don’t have that size top, just put a regular top on the pot. Start testing in 25 minutes by trying to take a leaf off with ease to see if it is tender. I use tongs to do that. Also I’ve noticed that when the choke starts smelling good, that’s when you know that it’s about done.  An artichoke can be done in as little as 20 minutes or as long as a bit over an hour—depending on size and age.  When done, turn the choke upside down in a bowl to drain. If you have left over’s, they can be stored in the frig for several days and reheated in the micro or just enjoyed cold or stuffed for hors d’oeuvres. Oh my, so many options with a choke—————–

I like to eat my chokes plain but many people like to dip the leaves in melted butter, olive oil or mayonnaise.  You can even combine the butter or olive oil you are using as a dipping sauce with a dash of minced garlic, lemon juice and S&P or/and some grated Parmesan or some dill or Dijon mustard.  And if serving the choke cold as an hors d’oeuvre, mayo with a dash of curry or other powder is a breeze to whip up. Well, you get the idea—- imagination is the ingredient here.

Lastly, no matter how you cook and eat your choke, don’t forget to remove the uneatable furry/fuzzy part to get to the best part—the heart. Also remember to provide an empty bowl on the side of the artichoke for discarded leaves and when guests are present, I usually put one discarded leaf in the bowl as an example.

Thinking of St. Pats, here’s an extra green to stuff in your choke:

  1. When choke is cooked, remove the interior including the fuzz and heart and fill it with 1/2 C. of frozen peas. Place a bit of butter on the peas and add some fresh mint, garlic or other seasoning.  Microwave in a covered dish for about 1 ½ minutes.  The peas will be done. If your artichoke had been refrigerated, the micro waving time may take a bit longer. Garnish with fresh mint and serve with fresh mayo and a shamrock.

There are so many choices in cooking a choke and as time goes on, I’ll pass on some more yummy recipes concerning this wonderful thistle.  However, don’t forget, if you have a special recipe concerning the artichoke or anything for that matter, be sure to pass it on directly to me or Leslie and you’ll get a nice Albertson’s $20 gift card.

For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Frost Kissed Artichokes are in town—just in time to celebrate the GREEN of St. Pats (PART TWO)

This is the second of a two series presentation of Artichoke Recipes


It’s amazing when looking up the history on various vegetables how very long ago they were mentioned in the discovered writings of ancient times.  The artichoke was mentioned by the Greeks and the Romans and even in the excavations of the Roman-period in Egypt.  So I imagine that  Cleopatra and Julius or Mark enjoyed them at one of their soirees.  Later in time, they found their way to France (Avignon) and Italy and down to the hinterlands of Holland.  The Dutch introduced them to England and they grew in Henry VIII”s garden at Newhall in 1530. He also probably dined on them at one of his lively soirees.  Then by the French immigrants coming to Louisiana, the choke was introduced; it also was introduced to California by Spanish immigrants.  Presently, can you believe, 100% of the U.S. crop is provided by California (if they aren’t torn up for vineyards—I hope not) and 80% is grown in the Steinbeck country of Monterrey County. Castroville, on the Pacific in Monterrey County proclaims itself to be “The Artichoke Center of the World”.  They hold a very fun festival there each year.  Don’t miss it if you are in the area.  If I remember correctly, there’s even artichoke ice cream to be tasted.

Leslie Thompson’s (the Weekly Sun’s Editor) Favorite Way (when time allows):

Preheat oven to 425.  Prep them as above, THEN, take loads of fresh minced garlic; pull the leaves back and sprinkle the garlic among the leaves. Then, add some Parmesan cheese in the leaves too (stuff down anything that’s left sticking up). Next lightly sprinkle them with a favorite herb mix (I usually make a thyme and sage blend that I mix myself) and S&P. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice and drizzle some olive oil over it all. Then wrap them up in a double layer of heavy tin foil making sure that they are totally sealed. Bake them in a 425 oven for an hour or 45 minutes for small ones.

There are so many choices in cooking a choke and as time goes on, I’ll pass on some more yummy recipes concerning this wonderful thistle.  And don’t forget, if you have a special recipe concerning the artichoke or anything for that matter, be sure to pass it on directly to me or Leslie and you’ll get a nice Albertson’s $20 gift card.

Roasted Red Pepper/Artichoke Dip: (a very colorful dish when placed on cooked artichoke leaves)


  1. 4 Artichoke hearts (fresh is preferable of course)
  2. 1 leek, diced
  3. 2 Tblsp. butter
  4. 1 C. of roasted Red Peppers (from a jar) drained
  5. 3/4 C. Grated Parmesan
  6. 3 Tblsp. mayonnaise


  1.  In a small sauté pan over medium high heat,  add the butter and when it’s melted and warm, add the leeks.  Cook until leeks are tender. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add artichoke hearts, peppers, cheese, mayo and cooled leeks to food processor or blender.  Pulse until dip is smooth and well combined.
  3. Serve with artichoke leaves, chips or fresh veggies.


For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

Chicken and Cabbage Soup to cure the bbbbrrrrs


chicken cabbage soup 2The Creative Cooking Edge on A Very Cold Day

Chicken and Cabbage Soup (to cure the bbbbbbbrrrrrrs)

Serves as many as you wish

OK—enough I say.  It’s 2:37 pm on a Monday afternoon, January 14th to be exact, and it’s only 6 degrees.  Actually my outdoor thermometer had been registering the below -0- F mark most all day and in keeping with that thought, my refrigerator was sort of empty and extra cold as well. In it I had 6 partially still frozen chicken legs, a head of green cabbage, some celery, and 2 carrots. Oh my-not very appetizing.  On the counter top, I had one onion and one head of garlic.  Yes indeed like Mother Hubbard, my cupboards were bare.  I was up for the challenge mainly because I didn’t feel like braving the cold outdoors; I was shivering, even indoors; so what to make to warm myself with my few at home ingredients?: soup of course—including the special ingredients that  I do keep in my freezer such as a stash of herbs as well as cilantro and parsley.  So, I used those, but if I hadn’t them, I would have used my dried variety(substitution mix is usually 1 Tblsp. of fresh equating to 1 Tsp. dried). This clear and delicate tasting soup actually turned out so nice that I wanted to share it and my lovely creative experience with you.


  1. Chicken parts- 6 legs or what ever else your heart desires
  2. 1 small green cabbage cut into 6 (more or less) wedges
  3. 1 onion- cut as above for the cabbage
  4. 4 or 5 stalks of celery—cut into 4 inch pieces- leaves included up to you
  5. 2 carrots—peeled and also cut into 4 inch pieces
  6. Bacon-I chopped the ends of some whole bacon that I had frozen
  7. Parsley—5 sprigs—once again from my frozen stash
  8. Thyme- 3 sprigs- once again from my frozen stash
  9. Basel Leaves-chopped-from my frozen stash
  10. Whole Star Anise- 1/2 of one
  11.  Whole Cloves-3 or 4
  12.   Bay Leaf—1
  13.   Pepper Corns- 4
  14.  Salt—1/2 Tsp.  and more if you wish
  15. Potatoes (peeled if need be and cut into smaller chunks) optional


  1. In a tallish pot, place enough water to cover the chicken and veggies-that’ll probably be a couple of quarts or more.  Bring water to boil.
  2. Throw everything in that water except for the green cabbage and potatoes.
  3. Bring back to a boil and then turn to simmer.  Simmer for half hour.
  4. Add the cabbage and the optional potatoes and bring back to a simmer for another half hour.

I didn’t feel like potatoes, so I made myself some noodles. Boy my soup warmed me up immediately. Additionally, I enjoyed the light and fresh taste of the seasonings that I had randomly chosen for the broth. Finally, the challenge of using the few ingredients that I had in my space kept me on my toes on a freezing cold day and gave me a creative challenge and an ending satisfaction.  So, that’s what I really wanted to share with you because you too can do this or maybe something even better.  If so, email the Sun with your unplanned and sudden creative dish. Don’t be shy!!!

Asparagus and Prosciutto Strata (an overnight casserole dish)


Asparagus Prociutto Stratta

I used black forest ham in this picture and it reacted a bit like bacon so it’s a bit crispy and very browned.  However, it was delicious, much more economical than prosciutto and still very tasty—always trying to be economical here in my kitchen. This dish was made in an aluminum pan for a friend who had just injured herself in a down hill ski accident.

Asparagus and Prosciutto Strata (an overnight casserole dish)

Serves 8

It’s always such a great pleasure to host a breakfast for a group of people and have them enjoy your cooking efforts with big smiles on their faces.  That’s part of what was so rewarding in having been an inn keeper at my B&B and now that I have the privilege of writing articles for our wonderful local Weekly Sun, they allow me to play inn keeper every now and then.  That’s what just recently happened at our January get together and this is one of the items which I prepared.  Of course I want to share this with my readers as well.

Here though, before you get to the recipe, are a few little known facts about the asparagus that might be of interest to you.  In France, Louis XIV had a special greenhouses built for growing it.  The finest texture and the strongest yet most delicate taste which is in the asparagus tips, were called, once again in France, “Les points d’amour (love tips)”. Leave it to the French to make a love connection to the asparagus tips.  They were served as a delicacy to Madame de Pompadour.  Asparagus was pictured as an offering on an Egyptian frieze dating to 3000 B.C.  Romans would even freeze this healthy vegetable high in the Alps, for the Feast of Epicurus.  Emperor Augustus reserved the “Asparagus Fleet” for hauling the vegetable and coined the expression “faster than cooking asparagus” for quick action. As well, asparagus is often grown in conjunction with tomatoes because: the tomato plant repels the asparagus beetle while the asparagus repels some harmful root nematodes that affect the tomato plants. So here’s a salute to that “Point D’Amour”.


  1. One Lb. asparagus, tough stem ends snapped off and the remainder cut in 2 inch pieces.
  2. 1 loaf 3/4 lb. crusty artisan style bread, cut into 1 inch pieces.  I use a French bread loaf
  3. 3 ounces thinly sliced Prosciutto cut into 1/2 –inch thick strips
  4. 1 ¼ C. shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese
  5. 1/2 C. chopped chives
  6. 1 Tblsp. grated lemon peel
  7. 6 eggs
  8. 3 ½ C. milk
  9. 1/2 Tsp. salt
  10. 1/2 Tsp. pepper


  1. In a medium pan bring about 2 quarts water to a boil; add asparagus and cook for about 3 minutes-till they are bright green and barely tender. Immerse them in cold water to stop them from cooking more.
  2. In a lightly oiled or sprayed 9 X 13 Pyrex or other oven proof dish spread half of the bread cubes.
  3. There will be 4 layers. Top the first layer of bread cubes with 1/2 of the following ingredients:
    1. Prosciutto or some sort of thin sliced ham–smoked or not
    2. Asparagus
    3. Chives
    4. Shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese.
  4. Now place the other half of the bread crumbs on top and layer again as above in #3.
  5. In a blender blend the eggs, milk, S&P and lemon peel and pour over the layered ingredients.
  6. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 and bake until center of strata is set and the top is lightly browned (40-50 minutes).
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.


The Magic of Beets


beet greens cooking beet greens beets and greens on plate beets in aluminum foil

golden beets

The Magic of Beets

Beets weren’t one of my most favorite veggies, however, when I started encountering the golden and other colored milder tasting beets, I became very fond of them.  So, when I saw these three gold beets at the market, I couldn’t resist.  Beets are truly multi faceted because not only can you use the root but the greens as well.  So for dinner last night, I devoured both and it was truly divine.

The history of beets is very interesting.  It has had a long history of cultivation stretching back to the second millennium BC.  Aristotle and Theophrastus mention them.   This little root has been used for food, sugar, fodder, food color, medicine and health, as an aphrodisiac, juice, and wine.  It can be consumed deliciously cold or hot.  Various countries of our world have made this root into a specialty dish and it’s even used as an integral part of a Jewish prayer for Rosh Hashanah.  And that is just the root—because the tops are delectable as well.  So here are two of my favorite recipes for this miraculous vegetable.

Beets Baked in Foil (oh so easy and delicious—try to buy beets which are uniform in size so that they’ll cook evenly.  Additionally, you can store just the uncooked roots in a plastic bag in the frig and they’ll last for weeks.)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Wash/scrub the beets well and leave an inch or so of the green top on to minimize bleeding.
  3. Wrap them individually in foil and place them on a baking sheet.
  4. Cook, undisturbed, for 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours—until a think-bladed knife pierces the beet with little resistance.  (They may cook at different rates—so watch for that.)
  5. You can peel them right away and serve them sliced or whole with butter or olive oil, any vinaigrette, or freshly squeezed lemon juice.  I like them with just butter or olive oil.
  6. You can also remove, cool and refrigerate them in their foil until ready to peel and use.  They’ll last for several days.  Then you could serve them cold with a good dressing; or sliced mixed with olive oil, balsamic, ground pepper and salt served over some Greek yogurt. A bit of fresh chervil to top this last suggestion will make this a perfect dish.

Beet Greens: They actually were “the in- green” eons ago—that is until spinach came along.

  1. Wash the beet leaves, cut and then chop the stems.  Separately chop the leaves.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil; salt it.  Cook the stems until they are almost tender (about 5 minutes) and then add the leaves.  Cook a couple minutes more or until it’s tender.  Add butter or olive oil at the very end as well as S&P to your taste.  Additionally you can also add the ingredients in the optional #4 paragraph below.
  3. Optional: add sunflower seeds (or other seeds of your desire) and raisins at the very end.  If you wish you can pre- soak the raisins in warm water for 10 minutes.  Also, you can pre- roast the seeds in a pan.

Zucchini and Mushroom Casserole


Zucchini and Mushroom Casserole

8 serving


This is a good, easy and nutritional dish to serve.  Zucchini and mushrooms are so versatile so it’s nice to see them meld together.  Enjoy.


  1. 1 ½ Lb. zucchini, trimmed and scrubbed
  2. Pinch of chopped or dried dill
  3. S&P to taste
  4. 1-2 cloves of garlic
  5. 3/4 Lb. mushrooms, sliced
  6. 4 ½ Tblsp. butter
  7. 2 ½ -3 Tblsp. flour
  8. 1 ¼ C. sour cream
  9. Bread crumbs dotted with butter
  10. Up to 1/4 C. chopped parsley (optional)
  11. Up to 1/4 C. shredded Parmesan (optional)


  1. Cut the zucchini crosswise into one-inch slices.  Place in a pot with salted water to cover. Add the dill and garlic and some S&P.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the vegetable is barely tender (about 8 minutes).  DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  2. Drain, reserving 2 Tblsp. of the cooking liquid, and discard the garlic. Set the zucchini aside.
  3. In a skillet, sauté the mushroom in the butter (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally till they glisten; then stir in the flour. Cook about 2 minutes longer till flour is well absorbed.
  4.  To the mushrooms in the skillet add the sour cream and zucchini and the reserved 2 Tblsp. zucchini cooking liquid stirring constantly.  DO NOT BOIL but heat thoroughly.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a buttered or Pam sprayed casserole dish and top with some buttered bread crumbs.  If you wish, you can mix the crumbs with chopped parsley and/or some shredded parmesan.
  6. Brown quickly under the broiler.

Caesar Salad Spears


Caesar Salad Spears

Serves around 6-8


This is a wonderful light and delicious hors d’oeuvres to have-particularly before a hearty dinner.   For a faster version, I have used pre-made Caesar bread crumbs and anchovy paste—but the homemade version is a bit tastier I think.  No matter, you and your guests will enjoy this and beware-they do go quickly.



  1. 2 C. 1/4 –inch-diced white bread or for shortcut use somewhat crushed Caesar store bought croutons
  2. 1/4 C. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese plus some for garnish
  3. 5 Belgian endives
  4. Lemon wedges for garnish and additional color

For Dressing: (you can double this recipe because it’s good for a left-over salad dressing)

  1. 2 minced anchovies or a comparable amount of anchovy paste
  2. 1 egg yolk
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. 2 Tblsp. grated Parmesan
  5. 1 Tblsp. red-wine vinegar
  6. 1 Tblsp. lime juice
  7. 1 Tsp. Dijon mustard
  8. ¼ tsp. Worchestershire sauce
  9. 2 dashes Tabasco
  10. 1/2 Tsp. salt
  11. 1/2 Tsp. ground black pepper
  12. 1/2 C. olive oil



  1. If you wish to make your own croutons, preheat oven to 350.  In a medium bowl, toss the bread with 2 Tbls. of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread the bread on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, stirring once, until golden and crisp.
  2. In a food processor, blender or by hand, whisk together ingredient #4 through #14. When well blended slowly add the olive oil.  Taste to see if you wish to add more S&P.
  3. Trim the endives and remove the largest leaves from 3-4 of the heads. If you wish you can stack the leaves and trim them to about 4 inches. (I don’t do this.)
  4. Thinly slice the remaining endive and toss with the dressing and the croutons.
  5. Spoon the salad onto each spear and garnish with grated cheese.
  6. Note: If you wish you can use a combination of endive and romaine heart leaves to fill and also you can chop very finely some of the romaine for the inclusion in your salad mixture.  So then you would have a mixture of endive and romaine hearts.  I personally like this combination.  It’s also more financially economical.

Creamy Watercress Soup-Good Hot or Cold


watercress yes 2 creamy watercress soupwatercress yes 2

watercress yesCreamy Watercress Soup

Serves 4

 Watercress is usually pretty pricey to purchase, but every now and then, it’s a real treat to have and to serve for guests.  Because of the potatoes, this can become a pretty thick soup.  If you wish a thinner consistency, cut down on the dairy and make up for the amount in the stock.  All in all, I really like this soup because of the unique taste of watercress.  As well, it’s also good cold.


  1. 2 Tblsp. Butter
  2. 1 large onion, coarsely choppedwatercress yes 3
  3. 2 Yukon gold potatoes, coarsely chopped
  4. 4-6  C. coarsely chopped watercress (more if you want a stronger watercress taste)
  5. 2 C. vegetable stock (you can use chicken or beef)
  6. 2 C. half-and-half or milk
  7. S&P to taste


  1. Place the butter in a large, deep saucepan and turn the heat to medium.
  2. Add the chopped potatoes and onion.  Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and onion are nearly tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Then add the coarsely chopped watercress and cook, stirring, until it’s wilted—about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the stock, bring ALMOST to a boil, lower the heat and cook briefly till the watercress is tender ( this won’t take very long).
  5. Put through a sieve or food mill, or carefully puree in a blender.  Return to heat and add the half-and-half or milk.  DO NOT BOIL.  Season with S&P.
  6. Enjoy and Bon Appétit.
  7. Remember, you can add more stock and less cream/milk and don’t let the mixture come to a boil.
  8. I like to top mine with a bit of sour cream or yogurt, slivered green onion tops and avocados.  Well—you get the idea.

Braised Celery and Julienned Carrots Caribbean Style


celery carrots caribbean

Braised Celery and Julienned Carrots Caribbean Style

Serves 2-4

This is such an easy and delicious dish.  Celery is rarely thought about other than enjoying it in its raw state which is too bad because it really is delicious when cooked.  So, give it a try in this recipe and enjoy.



  1. 5 to 10 leafless stalks of celery—cut into small pieces
  2. 1 to 2 carrots–julienned
  3. 1-2 Tblsp. butter
  4. 1-2 Tblsp. olive oil
  5. 1-2 Tblsp. flour
  6. 1- 1 ½  C. chicken stock
  7. 1-2 Tsp. of the Caribbean Marinade Recipe found on my blog and here as well.
  8. Dash of soy sauce
  9. 1/4 to 1/2 C. slivered almonds which you have lightly browned in 1-2 Tblsp. butter.


  1. In a deep wok like pan melt and heat the butter and olive oil
  2. Cook and stir the celery and carrots stirring for about 2 minutes.
  3. Season with S&P and sprinkle with flour.  Cook, stirring for about 2 more minutes.
  4. Add the stock, marinade and soy sauce, stir, bring to a boil then turn the heat to low. Cover and cook until the celery is tender but still a bit crunchy (about 10- 15 minutes).
  5. Uncover and if you think that you have too much liquid, boil off some of the liquid.
  6. When the mixture has a saucy garnish, add the almonds.  Perfection!!!

Caribbean Marinade

Makes about 1/2 to 3/4 Cup

  1. 1 head of garlic, peeled
  2. 2 Tblsp. oregano
  3. 2 Tsp. cumin seeds
  4. 1 Tsp. black peppercorns
  5. 2 bay leaves
  6. 1 Tblsp. olive oil
  7. 1 orange—rind sliced off and chopped small; orange juiced
  8. 1 ruby grapefruit-rind sliced off and chopped small; grapefruit juiced
  9. 1/4 C. lemon Juice
  1. In a food processor, put ingredients listed above.  The orange, grapefruit and lemon juice should add up to 1/2 cup total of juice.
  2.  Process so nice and smooth but still chunky.