Mama w her babies

Mama w her babies

Monday, April 30, 2012


Pelicans on the shrimp boats in Mexico
Lemonata is Italian lemonade with a little carbonation.  I like to use San Pellegrino sparkling water but you can use any type available.  It is not as sweet as most lemonades so if you need to add more sugar then go for it.  I like to garnish it with a little sprig of mint and a slice of lemon.  In Mexico limes are used in place of the lemons but it is still called lemonata which is what I drink when I go to Mexico and the way I drink it most of the time in the summer. 

2 ea............... Lemons
¼ c................. Sugar
1½ c............... Soda Water

1.    Juice the lemons, removing the seeds.
2.    Add the sugar and mix until it dissolves.
3.    Add to the soda water, top with ice and serve.

 You would want to use 3 limes to the 2 lemons.  Try adding some crushed strawberries, a little grated ginger or some fresh orange juice to make it a little different. 

Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fruit Omelet

Mother's day is just a couple of weeks away and I thought this would make a nice brunch idea for mom.  You can garnish this by topping it off with some of the yogurt and some nuts or a little granola.  I like to do my bacon by placing it on a sheet pan and sprinkling it with cracked black pepper and brown sugar.  Then bake in a hot oven.  Watch carefully.  Also, try using sweet potatoes for hash browns and sprinkle with a little cinnamon.  Of course butter can be used in place of the oil to give the omelet a buttery flavor. 

3 ea............... Large Eggs
¼ tsp.............. Vanilla
½ tsp.............. Sugar
1 c.................. Diced fruit
½ c................. Vanilla Yogurt
3 Tbs............. Vegetable Oil

1.    Whip eggs with vanilla and sugar.
2.    Heat a well-seasoned 8” skillet with oil.
3.    Pour eggs into hot skillet and stir with a rubber spatula, lifting so raw egg can seep under to cook.
4.    Flip so top can cook.
5.    Add fruit and yogurt.
6.    Fold and slide out of skillet onto a plate.

Some other ideas for the omelet try adding some rum to the eggs and filling it with some sautéed diced apple and pecans with some cinnamon and brown sugar.  In this one I used berries and Kiwi. 

If you don’t have a seasoned skillet you can use a coated one or season one your self.  To do this, place a skillet on very low heat with vegetable oil for about an hour.  Make sure you watch the skillet so it doesn’t get too hot and catch fire.  You will also need to roll the oil around the skillet making sure to coat the sides.  Once you have a well-seasoned skillet it should never be washed.  If something sticks add some oil and salt and heat on low.  Then scrub with a wad of paper towels thick enough not to burn your hands.  

Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lemon Curd

As the days get warmer we look for ways to spend more time outside. A tea party is always nice in the garden.  Afternoon tea is what the Queen partakes in with the little sandwiches, cakes and scones.  Lemon curd and clotted cream were traditionally served with the scones.  But It can be used as a filling in a cake or to fill pastry shells.  Try folding it in to some whipped cream for a light frosting.  You can also keep some around in the fridge for your morning toast. 

6 ea... Lemons
1¼ c... Sugar
1 c...... Butter
6 ea... Eggs

1.    Grade and juice lemons.
2.    Place the grated peel and juice in a double boiler with the sugar and the butter.
3.    Beat the eggs and slowly add to lemon mixture when the sugar and butter are melted.  
4.    Whisk until combined thoroughly then continue stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture coats the back.
5.    Do not let the mixture boil because it will cause the eggs to curdle.
6.    Strain through a fine strainer to remove the peel.
7.    Continue cooking in double boiler to a creamy consistency.
8.    Cool and refrigerate.

There are many recipes for lemon curd.  Some recipes will use just the yolks, which make it very thick and creamy.  If you want to use just the yolks, use 12 yolks.  Using the whole egg creates a lighter texture that will hold its shape better.

Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Miso Soup

Miso soup is an accompaniment to most Japanese meals and found in almost any sushi restaurant.  Miso is a fermented product made from rice, barley, or soybeans.  It comes in white, golden and red.  The white is milder with a sweeter flavor and the red’s flavor is more intense with a sour flavor.  White miso is fermented for the least amount of time. 

5 c.................. Water
1 piece.......... Kombu
2 c.................. Bonito Flakes
¼ c................. Miso Paste

1.    Cut kombu into 1” pieces and place in a pot with water.
2.    Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until kombu is soft.
3.    Add bonito flakes pushing them into the water with a spoon.
4.    After 3 minutes strain through a strainer with cheesecloth.
5.    Return liquid to low heat and add the miso.
6.    Simmer until miso dissolves.
7.    Strain through a strainer removing larger chunks.

Garnish with small cubes of silken tofu and some chopped green onions for a basic miso soup.  You can add seaweed, vegetables or chunks of meat/seafood to make the soup hardier.  

Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

A Favorite Meal of Mine

A favorite meal of mine is a Fattoush Salad & Hummus with warm pita bread. It's light and very healthy so you can't go wrong with it.   I would often go to a Lebanese restaurant in down town Denver for this meal, sit out on their patio and be very happy.  Sadly, it closed. It was the first hummus I had ever tried and of course after trying many other versions, found out it was the best I had tasted. And as for a fattoush salad, it was impossible to find any where else.  So, I had to match these two yummy dishes. I grow mint and parsley in my garden in the summer so it makes it the perfect summer meal.

Fattoush Salad

(Lebanese Mixed Salad)

2 ea... Pita bread
1 ea... Cucumber
2 ea... Tomato
1 ea... Small red onion
1 ea... Romaine lettuce head
1 c...... Fresh parsley
½ c..... Fresh mint
¼ c..... Fresh lemon juice
¼ c..... Olive oil
3 ea... Crushed garlic cloves
½ tsp.. Kosher salt
4 Tbs. Sumac

1.    Toast pita bread in oven at 400°F until golden and crisp.
2.    Chop lettuce into small bite size pieces and place in a bowl.
3.    Dice cucumber, tomato, and red onion and add to lettuce.
4.    Finely chop parsley and mint and add to lettuce.
5.    Make the dressing by adding the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt.
6.    When ready to serve break the toasted pita and toss with the dressing and lettuce mixture.

This salad is often eaten without the lettuce in Lebanon because it is very expensive.  Also in Lebanon sumac is often used but is hard to find here. I found it in a little local Greek market. I always use pita bread, the market usually will carry, as apposed to pita pockets. Pita chips are always a quick and easy alternative but will a lot of fat and salt not needed. 

If you want to make this more of a meal add chopped grilled chicken or fish.  


 2 cans... Garbanzo beans (15½ oz)
½ c......... Liquid from Garbanzo beans
½ c......... Fresh lemon juice
1/3 c....... Tahini
10 ea...... Garlic cloves
½ tsp...... Kosher salt

1.    Drain garbanzo beans but save the liquid.
2.    Place beans in a food processor with rest of ingredients until creamy.

I like my Hummus very garlicky and lemony.  You can always tone it down by cutting back on the garlic.  If you want to add a little spice to it you can add some Cayenne pepper or Tabasco.  You can garnish it with fresh chopped parsley, which will give it a fresh taste.  I always use kosher salt because it will dissolve faster but regular salt can be used in the same amount. I usually use dry garbanzo beans and cook them until they are very mushy. They have a fresher flavor. I like to garnish my hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and small diced tomato. Then it's bring on the warm pita bread cut into wedges. 

Try it on a veggie sandwich with sliced cucumber, carrots, spicy sprouts and sliced tomato. 

I’ve tried this recipe with Navy beans in place of the garbanzo beans, which gave it an Italian twist.  Black beans with limejuice and fresh chopped cilantro sounds interesting. 

This is a staple at my house because, as I said it before, it is easy and healthy.  There is no added fat but the garbanzo beans and tahini do have some fat.  It is a healthy fat that the body needs so don’t get stressed over it. 

Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Grilled Pork Tenderloin

This week I picked up I picked up a package of pork tenderloins at the store to roast for this weekend. They usually come 2 per package. You can do them out on the grill or roast them in the oven which is what I will be doing.  Hopefully you will have leftovers.  They are great in salad or on a sandwich.  

In the old days commercial pork was raised on slop, which were scraps from the kitchen so trichinosis was often found in pork products if the meat was not cooked well enough.  However, new regulations have put a stop to this and in doing so have pretty much put an end to trichinosis in pork.  Cooking meat to 160°F will still have some pink, which will make the pork juicy.  If the pork is contaminated, cooking it to 137°F will kill any trichinosis.  Trichinosis is caused by little parasitic worms that get into the muscles including the diaphragm and can be fatal if not treated. Please note that if your pork comes from a small farmer & was raised on slop, trichinosis could most likely be present. 

Pork Tenderloins
Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Kosher Salt
Italian Seasoning

1.    Preheat grill.
2.    Place tenderloin in a dish and coat well with enough olive oil.
3.    Liberally sprinkle each of the remaining ingredients over the tenderloin.
4.    Grill turning often until done, internal temperature should be about 160°F.

To roast them in the oven, place them in a baking dish/roasting pan and place them in the oven at 450°F until the internal temp reaches 160°F, about 45min to an hr. 

Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tropical Granola

My Nephew Ry surfing on Christmas day

I have a sister that lives in Hawaii that we will visit from time to time. The last trip was over Christmas. We get there in the early evening so we had to hit one of my favorite restaurants called The King & I for some Thai food. Sadly it is now closed. Of course while at dinner my sister informs my husband that he is making Paella, which I will save for another post. She likes to do this to us from time to time so there are a few things that I make her stock her shelves with. One such item is Anahola Granola. She got me stuck on it and it is the Bomb!!! Well I don't get to visit very often so I had to come up with my own recipe so here it is. 

8 c.................. Old Fashioned Thick Rolled Oats
0.75 lb............. Mixed Tropical Dried Fruit 
½ c................. Crystallized Ginger
1 c.................. Raw Coconut
1 c.................. Raw Macadamia Nuts
¼ c................. Flax Seeds
1 c.................. Raw Sunflower Seeds
½ c................. Corn Oil
½ c................. Honey
1 Tbs.............. Vanilla

1.    Pre heat oven to 300ºF.
2.    Mix oats, nuts and seeds
3.    Add oil and vanilla and mix well.
4.    Drizzle honey in parts while mixing.
5.    Place on 2 sheet pans lined with foil and place in oven for 10 minutes.
6.    Remove from oven and stir.
7.    Place back in oven for 6 minutes then remove and stir again.
8.    Repeat until golden brown.  About 30 minutes.
9.    Dice fruit into ¼” pieces and add to the hot granola mix.
10. Dice ginger into 1/8” pieces before measuring and add to oat mixture along.

I found all of the ingredients at the local health food store.  If you don’t like one of the fruits in the tropical fruit medley then you can get each of the ingredients by them selves so you can leave one out or replace it with something else.  You can also replace or delete any of the seeds or nuts. If you want a maple flavor, you can cut back on the honey by adding ¼ c brown sugar with ¼ c honey to give it a maple flavor. With this version I like to add some dried cranberries and blueberries. 

Granola is a great way to get lots of fiber and protein which will give you lots of energy for the day a head.   Oatmeal is, also,  good for lowering your cholesterol. 

Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Zwiebelkuchen (German Onion Cake)

When we visit family in Germany life stops at around 4:00 pm so we can eat cake or pastries. No matter where we are or what we are doing, at 4:00pm we stop for cake.  I will watch the time to make sure I don’t miss out.  In the fall there are about 2 weeks that you can get new wine which is the wine after it is put into the berrels but before it is corked. It is a little effervescent and is very tasty with Zwiebelkuchen so it is often served with it.  …So, needless to say, while out sight seeing on the Mosel river we stopped at 4:00 pm and had some Zwiebelkuchen and new wine in one of the small towns.  It was one of the most memorable meals I had in Germany and I will often crave it.  It isn’t easy to find new wine here so I like to serve it with a nice Riesling.


½ oz............... Yeast
1 c.................. Milk (lukewarm)
2½ c............... Cake Flour
pinch............. Sugar
½ tsp.............. Salt
3 Tbs............. Butter


1½ ea............ Extra Large Yellow Onions
5 oz................ Raw Bacon
1 c.................. Sour Cream
2 ea............... Eggs
½ tsp.............. Salt
pinch............. Nutmeg
pinch............. Pepper

1.    Heat oven to 425ºF.
2.    Mix 2 Tbs flour, yeast, and sugar together then mix in milk.
3.    Set aside in a warm place.
4.    Cut butter and salt into remaining flour .  Set aside.
5.    Dice bacon and Julian the onions.
6.    Add milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix until it forms a ball.
7.    Cover and set aside in a warm place.
8.    Sautee bacon and onions until the onions start to caramelize. Let cool.
9.    Mix remaining topping ingredients in a separate bowl and add the onions and bacon.
10. Place dough into the bottom of a greased spring form pan and top with onion mixture.
11. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes.

I created a warm place to let the dough steps rest by placing a container with about 2 cups of water in the microwave and heating it for about 3 minutes.  I then place the dough in the microwave with the container of hot water the door shut.

Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hollandaise Sauce

Today is National Eggs Benedict Day!!! One of my favorite things to eat for breakfast. The hardest part is the Hollandaise sauce because it is an emulsion of butter and egg. Which is why it is soo good. Hollandaise sauce is a very delicate sauce but is worth the extra trouble to make from scratch.  The powdered mixes don’t come close. 

To make clarified butter melt down one stick on low until only the fat is left.  I like to continue cooking my butter so that the solids toast just a little bit. It adds a little flavor to the sauce.  The clearer your butter is the better your sauce will come out so I will strain it through a strainer with a cheep paper towel or a coffee filter.  

It is important to whip your sauce with a wire whip because the sauce can break with too much friction.  It can also break if you add in the butter too fast or reheat the sauce later on.  A trick used by many chefs if the sauce does break is to add in just enough cream to bring it back together.

4 ea................ Egg Yolks
¼ c................. Warm Clarified Butter
to taste........... Salt
1 Tbs.............. Fresh Lemon Juice
¼ tsp.............. Tabasco

1.    Place egg yolks in a small bowl and slowly whip in the butter with a wire whip.
2.    Whip in the remaining ingredients,
3.    Serve right away.

When I make Eggs Benedict, I like to grill my English muffin with butter on a flat grill. Then instead of a traditional Benny with Canadian bacon, I like to do thick sliced & grilled tomato, steamed spinach and bacon. I also scramble my eggs because I don't like poached. If you want a fancier Benny you can use crab/crab cakes and asparagus. 

Hollandaise sauce can be used for many different things.  You can also take it a step further and turn it into béarnaise sauce by adding in some tarragon reduced in red wine vinegar.  I love to eat good French fries with béarnaise sauce.  Both sauces can also be used on  beef, chicken, seafood and veggies.  

Be creative, have fun and enjoy!!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Ok so I am back to blogging, or at least I am going to try. I am getting ready to do more cooking classes this month & they will go through the summer. I am very excited to be doing them. I have missed doing them. I am starting with a Pantry class which is a basic informational class explaining what I like to keep around the house for easy through to gather meals. Then onto Spanish & some of the countries that it has influenced such as Mexico, Chile, the Caribbean & New Orleans. But the Caribbean & New Orleans are influenced by other foods so I will be doing an East African & a French class.  And, sense I am touching on French & Spanish I will go into Italian & German to cover the rest of Europe. 

 Pantry                   4/24        5:00 pm                 $60pp
Spanish                5/8          5:00 pm                  $60pp
Mexican                 5/22        5:00 pm                 $60pp
Chilean                  6/5          5:00 pm                 $60pp
New Orleans        6/19        5:00 pm                 $60pp
Pantry                     7/17        5:00 pm                $60pp
East African          7/31        5:00 pm                 $60pp
Caribbean             8/14        5:00 pm                $60pp
French                   8/28        5:00 pm                $60pp
Italian                     9/11        5:00 pm                $60pp
German               9/25         5:00  pm                $60pp

You can contact me at (719)351-4859 or by email at to sign up.

Each class is about 3 hours long. They will sometimes go a little long if there are a lot of questions. I only allow 6 people per class to keep it focused.  I do the classes in Palmer Lake, CO. nestled up against the mountains of the Front Range. I don't like to use any fancy tools or a microwave because they are not needed & I like to get back to the basics. So come join me it the fun this spring & summer.