Hide the Salmon

I found this recipe on the The Lean Green Bean.  It is one of those recipes that you immediately know was put there, just for you.  No ego here….

It has so much of what I like, salmon, spinach, eggs, tomato and feta cheese.  How could I not think, it was just for me?  It is perfect and actually, after making some changes that meet my family’s needs, it was perfect.  If you have a moment go over there and see the original recipe.  I do want to make it that way but I took a shorter route which is what I mean by my family’s needs.

I presented my husband with the plate which is a colorful presentation and he happily was eating.  I wondered out loud, if I should have put the salmon on the bottom or the spinach.  His head popped up and he said, “Did you say salmon?  Is there salmon in this?”  He prodded the vegetables and sure enough, he found the salmon.  He asked, “Why did you hide the salmon?”

Hide the Salmon  (adapted)


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red pepper, chopped

1/2 an onion, chopped

1 cup frozen spinach

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 piece of salmon, cooked

3 – 4 eggs

4 slices tomato

1/2 cup Feta cheese

Heat  the olive oil in a large skillet over medium hear. Saute the pepper and onion  for  8 minutes.  Add the spinach (Defrosted) and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Push the vegetables aside and drop the eggs in the free side of the pan and let them cook to your liking.  I turned ours over but either way is going to be delicious.

I, also put the cooked salmon slice in the pan to heat up.  Yes, I used a very  large skillet.

Now is the creative part but I am not creative so do as follows:

I used a square soup bowl which may work better than a round one.  These are the layers.

Salmon on the bottom

Spinach, onions and bell pepper on top of salmon

Cooked eggs on top of spinach layer

Sliced tomatoes with feta on the very top.

This is a delicious combination.  My husband commented on the many flavors.

Thanks to the Lean Green Bean.

This is linked to Hearth and Soul Hop     Slightly Indulgent Tuesday      Fat Tuesday         Naptime Creations Tasty Tuesday Link Party    The Gathering Spot            All My Bloggy Friends    Trick or Treat Tuesdays

I Will Tell You a Story

Sunday was a 25 hour fast.  It is the second most serious fast day in Judaism.  Usually, we break the fast on an omelet with cheese.  When I asked my husband, what he felt like having, he asked if I would mind making spaghetti pie.  It sounded so right to me.  I make it without meat so it is not a heavy dish.  I was planning on using light cheeses and a plain filling.  Sounds good.

I put up the water for the noodles, cooked them, and went to drain them.  I drained them right into the soapy water.  Klutzy me.

While the pasta was cooking, I made a filling of eggplant, onion and tomatoes from the garden.  I stayed away from seasoning since we were looking for more to the bland side.  As it turned out, the tomato flavor is strong when it is a “real” tomato, just picked and ripe.  I had the filling for the spaghetti pie but no crust.  On another day, I would have very likely cooked more spaghetti but, I was grumpy, tired and hot but not hungry.  I was not in the mood to cook it again and I found a way to blame it on the good husband who wasn’t even in the room.  How do we do that?  Maybe, you don’t.  I did.

Bottom line, my filling became the main course.  We took some leftovers out of the refrigerator.  I had potato salad, Oriental spaghetti salad and a yummy egg salad.  A little bit of this and a little bit of that made for the right meal to break our fast.  That is making the best of what one has.

We had the same kind of happening on Saturday, our Sabbath.  At the last-minute, two more guests joined us for dinner.  I usually cook tons of food for the Sabbath but this week, because of the fast that began Saturday evening as the Sabbath ended, I cut way back and made just enough.  It is truly amazing, whatever food, there was, seemed to expand so that everyone had plenty to eat.  Honestly, I can’t figure it out.

I also had to feed the extra guests before the fast.  Keep in mind, we do not cook food on the Sabbath, so it had to be something ready to eat.  I don’t panic when these things happen but before a fast, I have to admit, I was concerned.  We all had to fill ourselves to get through the next 25  hours with food or drink.  Again, we had enough and I think everyone was full.

I do want to share this eggplant dish with you.  The tomato was the dominant flavor of the dish.

The Dish That Wasn’t

1/2 eggplant cut into 1/4 inch pieces

1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

1/4 cup chopped cheddar

Heat olive oil in large skillet.

Put eggplant and chopped onion in skillet and keep gently mixing them around.  The eggplant browns quickly.

When onion is translucent and eggplant, slightly brown(about 6 minutes), add the chopped tomato and cheddar cheese and cook for an additional 2 minutes until tomato is hot  and cheese is melted.  If  you would like the tomato to really permeate the other ingredients, cook for another then minutes.

You could fill a taco or tortilla with this.  You could use it as a filling in a spaghetti pit.  You could use it in a sandwich.  You could use it as a sauce for rice, pasta or meat.  Feel free to spice it up.  I would have if we weren’t purposely keeping it bland….it really wasn’t.


As you can see, the photo, is not clear.  This is still in the skillet.  I apologize but I think, at least, this gives you an idea of what it looks like.

Chocolate Dream

This can be put into a chocolate crust but I like desserts better than pie so I  made this dessert to delight in, every spoonful.

Chocolate Dream


1    cup semisweet chocolate chips                                                                                              
1 teaspoon instant coffee
1 teaspoon hot water
3/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup baking cocoa


When you remove, the almost melted chocolate, stir until it is smooth.  
Melt 1 cup chocolate chips in a the microwave or on the stove.

If it needs additional microwave time, put it back for only 5-10 seconds.  

Stir again.  Continue until smooth. 

Combine coffee granules and water in medium bowl. 

Add sour cream, granulated sugar and vanilla extract; stir until sugar is dissolved. 

Stir in melted chocolate until smooth.
Beat cream, powdered sugar and cocoa in small mixer bowl until stiff peaks form.
Gently mix this into other chocolate mixture.Refrigerate or freeze, depending on your preference.  It is wonderful frozen as it melts in your mouth.  It is creamy when it is refrigerated.  

This is linked to What’s Cooking Wednesday                    Tastetastic Thursday         Full Plate Thursday      Something Swanky

Italian Cauliflower Bake

I came across a recipe for an Italian Zucchini Bake and planned to make it for dinner with a main course salad.  Off I went to the kitchen and pulled out all of the ingredients and set them, on the counter.  I, then went to get out the zucchini, but the cupboard was bare.  No zucchini.  What is a woman to do?  

Substitute, of course……  Now, what to substitute?  What is like zucchini?  Nothing came to mind.  I thought onions and I knew, I would love it but I would probably  be the only one.  I jumped to tomatoes and I do want to try it but it was too far from zucchini.  Then, I noted the fresh cauliflower just sitting there, crowding the shelf and I knew, this was it.  My Zucchini Bake became an Italian Cauliflower Bake and I even used pizza cheese to keep to the theme.

The recipe came from  Jam’s Corner, a brand new blog to me and one, I want to visit often.  There is something about the spirit of the blog that speaks to me.  I bet, you would like it too.

Italian Cauliflower Bake

2 cups chopped cauliflower

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves  garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup  grated Parmesan
1/8 cup  chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup  shredded  Pizza Jack cheese
2 tablespoons cream cheese
  1. Saute garlic, onion and cauliflower in olive oil until tender
  2. Meanwhile, chop the basil and parsley.
  3. When the cauliflower mixture is done, remove from the heat.
  4. Whisk the egg, basil, parsley, tarragon, Parmesan cheese and salt together in a large mixing bowl. After mixing well, add the cauliflower mixture, cream cheese and the Pizza Jack cheese. Mix well.
  5. Add the mixture to a greased 1 quart baking dish  and bake at 350 for 25  minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let it cool slightly.  Cut into wedges and enjoy.

Too Hot To Cook Omelet


The hot weather almost prohibits cooking.  I locked myself in our bedroom, closed the door, turned on the air conditioner and lay down.  I don’t think, I moved for  30 minutes.  It was still hot, oppressively hot, but I was pretty sure, I would throw together something simple so we would have dinner.  Who could eat that much, anyway?

An omelet was what I had in mind but the new me automatically thinks vegetables so my omelet had to have eggs.  This is where the mandolin came into play.  What a difference.  It is not that chopping vegetables is hard work but the mandolin makes them fly from its blade into the skillet.  I took anything, I could find that was already cut or that I had an abundance of.  Yellow squash, green pepper, tomato, carrots, onion, all fell into the pan which had a little vegetable broth in it, enough to cover the bottom.  While they cooked, I made a smoothie to go with it.  Funny, how a smoothie fills me up. 

Both of us were full, after the combo omelet-smoothie dinner.  I guess hot weather is made for dieters.

Veggie Omelet


1 cup vegetable broth, no salt

5 eggs, beaten

1/4 onion sliced thin

1/4 green pepper, sliced thin

1 yellow squash, sliced thin

1 tomato, mushed up to get the juice into the pan to mix with the broth

1 carrot, thin sliced

1/2 cup broccoli florets, broken into smaller pieces

1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese


Heat 1/2 cup broth in medium skillet.  Keep on low flame until you are ready to add vegetable.

Slice vegetables into broth and raise heat to medium.

Add the rest of broth as the original liquid evaporates.

Cook 3 – 4  minutesThe rest of the broth will evaporate in that time.

Add the eggs and cook slowly for about 3 minutes.  Top with cheese, pushing gently down so it is inside slightly.  Cook until top is firm and flip.  Cook other side of omelet for two minutes or until slightly browned.

Cream Cheese Pasta with Veggies

The familiar voice of my husband reached me, “Are we having lunch today?”  That is his way of not asking me to make him lunch but hinting at it.

If I am busy, he will prepare lunch without a whimper but he is a lot happier, If I respond, “On my way.” Good thing for him, that I love to cook and experiment and a good thing for me, he is willing to try my concoctions.

When I asked what he wanted, he mentioned the possibility of pasta and cheese.  That is easy enough so I took out some elbows (the pasta – not the body parts).  I also found a single zucchini, some tomatoes, an onion (actually a lot of onions) to go along with the pasta.  What I made was easy and we both gave it an A for taste.

Cream Cheese Pasta with Veggies

8 ounces elbows

1/4 cup water from the cooked pasta (secret ingredient)

1 zucchini, roughly chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

8 grape tomatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese (the secret ingredient)


Cook elbow pasta according to directions, keeping 1/2 cup of cooking water.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in skillet and add zucchini, onion and tomatoes.  Cook until onions and zucchini are soft.

Add elbows to vegetables, keeping burner on low.

Add two tablespoons cream cheese and 1/4 cup of cooking water.  Add more water to get desired consistency.  These two turned this dish into a creamy concoction.  Mix it until the macaroni is coated.

I served this with a scoop of guacamole on top which I mixed in.  It does not have to have the guacamole.  I tried it both ways and liked it both ways.

This is linked to Mangia Mondays     Savory Sundays   This Week’s Cravings     Tuesdays at the Table    http://www.jamhands.net/

Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs and Blue Cheese – The Food Matters Project

I have been a big fan of Mark Bittman for a number of years.  I particularly like his ability to convey to the cook many ways to make the same recipe.  This attitude was great for me tonight when I thought I was baking the above recipe, only to find that I could not get most of the ingredients.

I have not seen gluten-free rigatoni so I subbed in penne.  Although, I am sure, kosher blue cheese is available, I have not seen it locally.  We are not fans of figs so I subbed apples which were great.  Finally and unbelievably, the local stores were out of brussels sprouts.  I called my daughter and asked her to look around and she also could not locate any.

I guess, I proved that you can  change the ingredients and come out with a facsimile of the original.

I feel particularly bad because this is the first time, I cooked with the foodies of The Food Matters Project.  This group is cooking their way through Mark Bittman’s, The Food Matters.   If you are interested, get the book and join us.

Marcia from Twenty by Sixty chose the  Baked Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts, Figs, and Blue Cheese (page 221), in The Food Matters.   You will find the recipe on her blog.

Marcia shares her hesitation selecting this recipe which about describes my initial reaction.  Figs? Blue Cheese? Pasta? and Brussels Sprouts?  They just shouldn’t go together but I gather they did and did so beautifully.

My combination of broccoli, Monterey Jack, Apples and Penne also worked although I didn’t believe it.  The almonds seemed to disappear into the dish and it was not until the end that I found one. This is unique but trusting Mark Bittman helps.  I had to believe the recipe was good.

Check out the other cooks at The Food Matters Project.

Creamy Cheesy Potato Soup – Wins Awards from Me

I have been making potato soup for quite a while.  Potato soup is the ultimate comfort soup, rich and creamy.  I decided to add cream cheese to my recipe.  Since, I have made mac and cheese and put a little cream cheese in to discover that the creaminess of the dish multiplied, I am adding cream cheese to everything.  It seems to have worked again.

This soup, most likely, should have been blended a little but we like chunky so I cut my potatoes small and left the solids swimming in the white ocean.  If you like smooth and creamy, an immersion blender, should do the trick.  I had leftover soup and have been having a cup  a day, since making it and it gets better and better.  I really love this soup.

This recipe was inspired by  Quick Cooking November/December 2003 — The original recipe had ham in it, used one kind of cheese, cream cheese, and used less onion plus other minor differences.

Creamy Cheesy Potato Soup


4 cups water

1 cup vegetable broth

1 packages (8 ounces ) cream cheese, cubed

1 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese

3 large potatoes, cubed

1 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dill weed

scallions, chopped

MethodIn a large saucepan, combine the water and bouillon.Add cream cheese; cook and stir until cheese is melted.In a large skillet, heat oil and cook onions, on low for about 15 minutes until the onion is translucent.Stir the onion and remaining ingredients into the soup.Bring to a boil.Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 18-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Sprinkle with chopped scallions.

This is linked to Sunday Night Soup Night     $5 Dinners     This week’s Cravings        Real Food Wednesdays                 Permanent Posies    Pennywise Platter                           Melt in Your Mouth Mondays


Vegetable Pizza Puffs

Tonight, I was making an eggplant dish and usually with this, we have rice and a salad.  The timing of my meal was completely off.  I didn’t know how long the eggplant had to be baked and realized, I could do whatever I wanted with the extra half an hour.  I always have a bunch of papers, on the kitchen table, with recipes that I want to make pronto.  Usually, “pronto” is a long time coming.  I don’t know about any of you but I bookmark and print up many too many recipes, probably more than I could make in a month or even a year.  So much looks delicious or interesting or challenging. I want to indulge in all of these interesting, challenging and delicious looking recipes.  The ones, I am referring to are ones, I find online, whether on a blog or a food site.

Of course, there are the cookbooks and my collection has grown since I started blogging.  Actually, this is my second collection.  When I first got married and through the first two kids, I had a collection of those years.  So much has changed in cooking that I finally gave these books away and kept a few special ones.  When, I became a blogger, I knew I was in the wrong place.  Who was Tyler Frances, Bobby Gray, even my favorite Dorie Greenspan.  Yes, I did know who Martha Stewart was but that was more her notoriety than her cooking and crafting.  I was a dud in knowledge.

I could cook but I didn’t use avocados or fresh ginger.  What was kale or spaghetti squash?  Oil – there was vegetable oil and that was it.  I was definitely challenged as a blogger.

I cooked for years and actually cooked a lot.  I even baked everything that came my way.  My yeast breads and rolls were delicious.  Applesauce was a treat.  Cakes and cookies reigned.  Salads were limited to macaroni salad, potato salad and three bean salad.  Stop laughing, please.

We had company at least, weekly and I made gigantic meals.  Despite all of this, I knew little.

Let’s get back to my kitchen table and the top recipe which  is these Pizza Puffs.  Actually the recipe is called Pepperoni Pizza Puffs but as a kosher Mom,  we do not use milk and meat together.  (short explanation)  Out went the pepperoni and in came the vegetables.  I found this in Lynda’s Recipe Box.  If you would like to see here which are different because of the ingredients and because of the shape, stop on over and see what else she has to offer, while you are there.

Vegetable Pizza Puffs

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs(adapted from Lynda’s Recipe Box)


3/4 cup gluten -free flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk- (I only use 1 percent)
1 egg, beaten
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
4 ounces mixture of green pepper, tomatoes and onions
1/2 teaspoon  Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup pizza sauce warmed


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl add the flour and baking powder.

 Stir in the milk and the beaten egg, and then the mozzarella, seasoning and vegetables.

Let the batter rest for 10 minutes.  (I admit it.  I didn’t do this.)

Spray a 12 count  muffin pan with cooking spray. Stir the batter and then spoon mixture evenly into each muffin cup.

Bake for 25 minutes until golden. Remove Pizza Puffs to a plate and serve with warmed pizza sauce for dipping.

We ate them plain, in our hands.  No sauce.

This had a great taste to it.  I ate it while talking to my brother and didn’t pay attention but I remember the first bite got an exclamation, “This is good.”  These are easy to make and versatile to use.

This is linked tTuesday’s Tasty Tidbits                       Healthy 2day Wednesdays!
Totally Tasty Tuesdays         Chef in Training         All the Small Stuff           Tuesday To Do Party      Mangia Mondays    Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays      Muffin Mondays               Hearth and Soul       Makin’ You Crave Monday         Pennywise Platter Thursday

Penne Rigate Macaroni and Cheeses

The Penne dish was scheduled for Monday and it feels good to have accomplished sticking to my schedule.  Tuesday is also as planned.

I made many changes to this dish.  The most obvious one is that I used gluten-free penne.  I also had to substitute some of the cheese, using Pizza flavored cheese for the Muenster and using yellow Cheddar in place of white.  I could not use bread crumbs so I used processed Rice Chex, an idea I got from another gluten-free cook.

I was fortunate to find this recipe online.  I was prepared to type it out, from my book, Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking.

Penne Rigate Macaroni and Cheeses   (adapted)


  • 3/4 pound penne rigate or mostaccioli
  • 1 2/3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1  cups milk
  • 1  cups half-and-half (can be reduced-fat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces pizza flavored cheese, diced
  • 4 ounces cheddar, diced
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, diced
  • 1 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1  egg beater or 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup ground Rice Crispies or bread crumbs


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, taking care not to overcook because it will cook more in the oven. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the milk.
  4. In a deep saucepan, whisk together the remaining 1 cup and 2 tablespoons milk, the half-and-half, and 2 tablespoons olive oil and bring to a low boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and whisk constantly over medium heat until thickened.
  5. Lower the heat to the lowest setting and add the cheeses, one at a time, and leave on the lowest heat to melt slowly, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and add the egg yolks one at a time, stirring constantly.
  6. Place the cooked pasta in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish or oversized gratin dish. Place one-third of the pasta in the dish, then pour over one-third of the sauce. Make two more layers, then top with the crumbs and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until browned and bubbling around the edges. Serve immediately.
 “Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking, by Beth Hensperger, © 2008, and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press.”

This is linked to Daily Organized Chaos
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