Sunday, 28 July 2019

Rosemary - Lemon Nuts

Rosemary - Lemon Nuts
This recipe is from our good friend Kathy from Saint Paul, MN.  They make a nice hostess gift at Christmas packaged in cellophane bags with a ribbon.  They are delicious!


1 pound (450-500g) unsalted mixed nuts (walnuts, pecans, and cashews)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
½ tsp cumin
1 Tbsp white sesame seeds
Zest of 1 lemon (use a micro plane to zest the lemon)
1 to 2 tsp kosher salt (depending on how salty you like them)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix the nuts in a large bowl.
3. Combine the chopped rosemary, cumin, sesame seeds, lemon zest and kosher salt in a small bowl and mix until fully combined.
4. Add the maple syrup to the nut mix and toss until nuts are fully coated.
5. Once the nuts are fully covered with maple syrup, add the rosemary mixture on teaspoon at a time, mixing each time, to ensure that it is evenly distributed.
6. Pour the nut mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
 One recipe will fit on a cookie sheet with sides.
7. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes; stirring every six minutes. Cool.
8. Store in an airtight container for up to one week. Or, refrigerate to store for a longer period.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Orzo Salad with Chicken or Shrimp

Orzo Salad with Roasted Chicken
This salad recipe is from my friend Annie.  You can use a cooked chicken, purchased from the grocery store, or 2 barbecued chicken breasts.  For a variation you can substitute grilled shrimp.
This salad can also be vegetarian or used as a side salad (without the chicken/shrimp) for a lamb or beef dinner. For a vegan salad, use tofu instead of feta and substitute cauliflower or jack fruit for the chicken.

Serves 4 (can be doubled) for 8


8 oz of orzo (uncooked)
3 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup of red & yellow grape tomatoes, halved
3 1/2 oz of feta cheese (1/2 package) cut into 1/2-inch cubes
(about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cup chopped fresh spinach, stems removed
2 roasted red peppers, skin removed, chopped *
2 cups of cooked chicken or shrimp

1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 TBS fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 cup olive oil


To make the dressing, whisk the vinegar, lemon juice and honey in a small bowl.  Gradually whisk in the oil.  Season with salt & pepper.  The dressing can be made 2 days ahead.  Cover & chill.

Bring the broth to a boil in a large heavy saucepan.  Stir in the orzo, reduce the heat to medium. Cover partially and boil 9-11 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender, but still firm. Drain.  Transfer to a large wide bowl, tossing frequently until cool.

Mix in the tomatoes, feta, basil, spinach, red peppers and green onions.  Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat.  Season with salt & pepper. (Can be made 2 hours ahead.)   Top with the chicken or shrimp.  Let stand a room temperature to serve.  Sprinkle with pine nuts before serving.

* You can use roasted red peppers from a jar.

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Elaine's Famous Barbecued Chicken

This is the chicken ready to go on the BBQ. Place the chicken directly on the grill (no pan).

This recipe is from my friend Elaine in Naples, FL.
Guaranteed to be better than buying a cooked "cook" from Publix!
Super easy as it doesn't need a lot of time in preparation and cooks in one hour!


1 4.5 - 5 lb Organic whole chicken
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS butter
2 tsp seasoning, lemon pepper or your favorite chicken seasoning
1 apple, cored and cut in quarters
1/2 lemon, cut in 2 quarters


Heat the barbecue to 400F, using all burners.
Turn one side off.
Cut up the apple and lemon and put the pieces inside the cavity. Tie the legs with string to hold in place. Rub the oil and butter over the chicken and sprinkle with the seasoning all over.
Place the chicken, breast side up, directly on the grill,  on the side where the burners are off.
Close the lid.
In 30 minutes, turn the chicken over. Close the lid.
Check the temperature using an instant read thermometer. It should be about 145-150F in the thickest part of the breast.
Remove the chicken and let it rest covered with tinfoil for 10 minutes.
Slice and serve.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Crab & Cucumber Bites

Serves 4


1 Cup of Jumbo Lump Crab
1 TBS Mayonnaise
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 tsp chopped cilantro
salt & pepper
Sprinkle of paprika
1 English cucumber, sliced


Slice the cucumber into 1/4" rounds.
Gently mix the crab with the mayonnaise and lime juice
Add salt & pepper.

Spoon the crab mixture onto each cucumber round, and sprinkle with the cilantro and paprika.

Serve chilled.

This is a good brand of pasteurized jumbo lump crab meat. There is less shell and large pieces of crab. 

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Corn & Red Pepper Stir Fry

Serves 4


1 TBS butter
1 TBS olive oil
3-4 cobs of fresh corn
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1 TBS chopped shallot or mild onion (optional)
1 TBS fresh parsley or dill, chopped
Salt & Pepper


Heat a medium size frying pan to medium.
Add the butter and olive oil.
Add the onion /shallot and fry gently for 1-2 minutes.
Add the corn and red pepper.
Gently stir for about 3-4 minutes. Do not overcook. The corn should be just heated through.
Remove from the heat, and add the parsley.
Season with salt & pepper.
Serve as a side dish.

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Crab Pizza Dip

This is delicious dip that looks like a pizza, served on a round plate with crackers to dip.

Serves 6


1 8 oz package of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
1-2 tsps finely chopped shallot or green onion (optional)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional - for color)
10 oz chili Sauce
5-7 oz white, jumbo lump crab meat
1 TBS chopped Italian Parsley


Mix the cream cheese, Worcestershire sauce and shallot together in a bowl till smooth.
Spread it on a 8" pie plate or decorative plate.
Top with the chili sauce.
Break up the crab and spread it evenly on top of the chili sauce.
Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
Cover & refrigerate.
Take the dip out about 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with a firm cracker for dipping.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Perogies - Potato & Cheese Filling

A Ukrainian tradition, these dumplings can be filled with Cheese & Potato, Cottage Cheese, Sauerkraut, or Blueberries. We always had them at Christmas and Easter celebrations. They are also called Varenyky (dumplings).

Dough Ingredients 

3 cups of all purpose flour 
1 egg 
1/2 to 3/4 cup of warm water 
1 tbs butter 
1/8 tsp salt 

Combine water, egg, salt and butter. Add to flour and mix well.  Form into a ball and knead until smooth. 
Brush with oil and let stand 15 to 30 minutes in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. 

Break off a piece of dough about the size of a tennis ball and roll out using a bit of flour.  Cut into circles - 3" in diameter. Put about 1 tbs of filling in the center and fold the circle in half.  Pinch the edges to seal, careful not to get any filling in the edges.  Set aside on a floured plate and cover with a tea towel.

To make a mushroom sauce, fry one lb of mushrooms in butter with 1 small chopped onion.  Add 1 cup of sourcream, salt and pepper and heat through
Potato & Cheese Filling

4 potatoes 
1 tsp salt, pepper to taste 
1 tbs butter 
1/2 pound of extra old (sharp) 
cheddar cheese, grated 

Peel the potatoes and boil them.  Drain.  While still hot, add the butter and cheese, salt and pepper and cover till the cheese melts a little.  Mash until smooth. Add fried onions if desired. The filling can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for the next day. 

Cooking Directions  

Drop into boiling, salted water one at a time and stir gently.  Cook on medium heat, 15-20 minutes.  Test if they are ready when they float to the top.  Strain and add 2 tbs of butter and toss gently. 

Serve with sourcream or mushroom sauce.  Add fried onions on top if desired.