Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Seafood Cakes

335.  A light, fresh meal is always welcome at my table.  And seafood always seems to satisfy.  I have a delicious recipe for Salmon Cakes but you could substitute crab, shrimp or any fish including tuna.  This could be used as a main dish for a dinner meal or as appetizers if you form them small and bitesize.

Seafood Cakes

3 cups salmon, crab, shrimp or other fish, chopped fine.  (May use 2 8oz cans salmon, 3 6oz cans of   
            tuna or crab or shrimp.)
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 large egg or 2 small eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup scallion green onion sliced thinly
1/2 cup finely chopped celery & celery leaves
1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay Seasoning
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Blend with hands until all ingredients are incorporated and hold together (If mixture is too dry you may add water by teaspoon if necessary).  Form the mixture into patties making them as large or as small as desired.

Prepare a large frying pan or griddle with olive oil and bring to high heat then turn down to medium high. Fry the patties on each side till a light brown crust forms and seafood is cooked through.  Adjust your heat to medium if using fresh seafood after you turn them over to the second side.  If using canned product, once the patty is browned it is ready to serve.

Serve with Tartar Sauce or Cocktail Sauce and wedges of lemon.

Tartar Sauce

1 cup Mayonaise or Sour Cream
1 large dill pickle, chopped in small pieces
dill pickle juice, small amount at a time
salt and pepper
fresh dill chopped

Blend all ingredients together in small bowl adding a little pickle juice till desired consistency, not runny but not too thick.

These patties are always satisfying and hit the spot!

Pair these patties with rice, coleslaw, fresh salad or place on a fresh roll or lettuce wrap.

“Fish should smell like the ocean. 
If they smell like fish, it's too late.”

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Perfect Dinner Rolls

334.  Warning!  You are about to enter into the territory of fresh, home baked, soft and fluffy, delicious dinner rolls.  My favorite recipe that always turns out perfect.

Perfect Dinner Rolls

1 cup warm water 
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 cups all-purpose flour

Combine the warm water and yeast in a large bowl.  Let the mixture stand until yeast is foamy, approximately 4 minutes.  Stir in the melted butter, sugar, eggs and salt.  Beat in flour, 1 cup at a time until dough is too stiff to mix.  Dough will be sticky with no kneading necessary.  Cover the bowl loosely and place in a warm draft-free place to rise.  

Grease a 13 x 9" baking dish.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Gently divid dough into 24 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a smooth round ball and place in even rows into the baking dish.  Cover and let rise until doubled in volume.  Approximately 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375∘  Bake until rolls are golden brown, 15-20 minutes.  Brush top of rolls with butter.  Break apart to serve.
"The sky is the daily bread of the eyes." 
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, March 6, 2017


333.  Here is a simply easy and great meal for any night, Rollatini.
My process is simple and easy to follow, and you can make a meatless variation with spinach, kale, broccoli rabe or any other veggie you choose.  I made a similar meal a while back with spinach and prosciutto.  You can find that post here


1 16 oz container of Ricotta Cheese
2 cups hand shredded Mozzarella Cheese or 1 16 oz bag of shredded
3 cups Marinara tomato sauce homemade or 1 16 oz bottle of prepared Marinara tomato sauce
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
Salt and Pepper
1 box Lasagna Noodles
1 lb ground pork or beef sautéd and drained, set aside to cool
options:   Spinach leaves, onion sautéed, Shredded cooked chicken, Kale leaves, Broccoli steamed

Boil a large pot of water and partially boil the Lasagna Noodles till flexible.  Drain and place in a cold water bath.

In a bowl place ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, egg and salt and pepper.  Mix till incorporated.  Set aside

In a large greased baking dish spoon about 1/2 cup sauce onto the bottom and spread around.  
Take one lasagna noodle, spread 2 Tablespoons of ricotta cheese mixture across the noodle, then place 2 Tablespoons of meat.  Take one end and roll the noodle up to form a rollatini.  Place flat side down in baking dish.  Repeat till all the noodles and filling has been used.

Spoon remaining sauce over the rollatini then sprinkle with parmesan cheese and remaining mozzarella cheese.  Cover with tin foil.

Bake in a 350∘ oven for approximately 1 hour or till bubbly and cheese is melted.  You may remove the tin foil in the last 10 minutes of baking to brown the top of the cheese. hard was that?

"When your Italian mother asks, 'Do you want a piece of advice?' it is mere formality.
It doesn't matter if you answer yes or no.
You're going to get advice anyway."
- Anonymous

Friday, March 3, 2017

Chicken and Waffles at Pies-N-Thighs

332.  Discovering Brooklyn, New York and all its many tastes and pleasures, inexhaustible.  Driving down the many residential streets which interlock with commercial streets you get the feeling  that everything you need is right here.  Whether food or clothing, sporting events or cosmetics, the newest shoe debut or a green space to read.  Brooklyn has it all!

One little beauty, in this bustling borough is "Pies-N-Thighs". A quaint corner restaurant with vintage seating, painted windows by the season, killer fried chicken and of course pie.
The menu is filled with stick-to-your-ribs options for a very reasonable price and "Where Everything's Special!!!

It's a "Brooklyn" twist on southern comfort food and it delivers!
You're seated at a table with wait staff and the food is hot and fresh.
 Here is a peek at what we devoured.  Chicken and Waffles with cranberry chutney and brown butter.
 Grits...Kale with eyed peas
And fresh biscuit with chicken, hot sauce and slathered in butter.  The coffee was perfect and we ordered pies to go...that's one of each.
Here is the map link for Pies-N-Thighs    on 4th Street in Brooklyn, New York.  You will not be disappointed.

"No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars,
or salted to an unchartered land
or opened a new heaven to the human spirit."
- Helen Keller

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Marinated Cheese

331.  While searching for appetizers that were unique and tasty I came across this recipe for marinated cheese.  It can be served with toothpicks, crackers or crusty bread.  There are little bits of lemon zest, garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes and pepper corns.  I like to make it several hours before serving for the flavors to develop.

I found the recipe in a Better Homes and Garden Magazine from 2006 while tossing old issues.  
The recipe is simple, easy to follow and has flavor plus!
 Save this link the next time you are making appetizers and surprise your company.  It brings a smile to your face and will come alive on your palette.

"The early bird may get the worm, 
but its the second mouse that gets the cheese." 
- Jeremy Paxman

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Matzo Ball Soup

330. The months of February and March call for hot, hardy soup.  This recipe for Matzo Ball Soup is a staple and has always delivered.
When I was young, in college and lived in New England, I would collect recipes and other household items for my future home.  One of my favorite past times would be to catch the local radio show "Gus Sanders Yankee Kitchen" out of Boston, MA.  Here is a video of the actual show.
This is a link to a blogger who devotes her entire blog to Yankee Kitchen recipes: 
Also, an online cookbook from Gus Saunders, the tenth edition here:

I would wait patiently by the radio and grab whatever paper was nearby to jot down recipes that women would call in and give over the radio. 
As years went by and I established my own home and family, I took time to type out the recipes and try them.  This is where I learned my Matzo Balls recipe from Mrs. Finkelstein...and if you can see the date on the recipe...1984. 
 I like to date my recipes and make notations of changes or if I liked the recipe or not.  It helps when you don't make a certain recipe often to remember your thoughts at the time of preparation.
In addition to the matzo balls, I make a chicken soup, sometimes with veggies sometimes as a consommé broth.
This recipe always turns out beautiful but you must make sure the transfer is quick.  My Matzo Balls fall sometimes in the transfer.

I loved that time of life...young, expectant and hopeful for a family I could cook for and spoil with homemade meals.

Mr. Saunders gave aspiring cooks advice that was practical and to the point, telling the Herald American in 1973, 
“I feel food shouldn’t be a big, complex mystery.”
- Gus Saunders

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Nosh Snack Bar

329.  Nosh - noun;  early 20th century Yiddish; denoting a snack bar.   This post is my celebration of the "Nosh" display that is to me the perfect meal in itself.  What more could you need than cheese, nuts, great bread, fruit and veg.   It could be in any form, any type of cheese (Although brie to me is always a must) any type or grain of bread, whole loaf torn or cut to smaller pieces.  

The mix of salty, sweet, cheesy, brine-y, crunchy, soft, smooth and flavorful.  It is a perfect combination.  Your imagination, personal choices and creativity are the tools needed.

Start with fruit: grapes, figs, blueberry, strawberry, apples or pears, a walk down the special cheese & meat aisle in a deli or your local grocer.  Then stop in your local bakery and pick up a crusty bread freshly baked.  Many grocers have beautiful bread that is rustic and varied as well as a variety of olives and marinated veggies.  I love shopping at Fairway  or Wegmans Markets.  They have a beautiful selection of all of the above.  Add mustards, nuts, honey, jam, raisins, dates, crackers, bread sticks, wafers,  peanut or almond butter, mushrooms, infused olive oils, salsas and tapenade...and the list trails on.  You are only limited by the items you are able to obtain or items you've never experienced before.  Take risks, experiment new cheeses, breads, olives and other delicacies.  Lucero Olive Co. is a must: link Here.    You could go for a theme or ethnic slant such as Italian or Greek with cheeses, breads and meats or a sweet nosh as a dessert with fruit, honey, whipped cream and a variety of cake slices and tarts, fruit sauces and chocolate fudge sauce or caramel.

Then lay everything out on a large tray, multiple wooden slices or directly in the center of your table. All you need are your guests to pick, dip, spread and sample in a variety of creations.  Now this is noshing to me.  Add whatever music, movie or beverage you prefer that tops off this culinary experience.  It transports you from just eating to a satisfying adventure.

Make tonight a "nosh" night and enjoy!

"My whole artistic life has always been about change,
change, change, move on, move on.
It's the only thing I find interesting."
-Paul Simon

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Chocolate Coconut Pecan Pie

328.  There is no better way to start off your week than with a slice of warm Chocolate Coconut Pecan Pie.  And don't forget the whipped cream on top.
I adapted my recipe to satisfy the chocolate lovers, coconut lovers and pecan pie lovers in my household.  Needless to say, all the lovers were satisfied.

Chocolate Coconut Pecan Pie

1 pie crust (or two if you double the recipe)

1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup soft butter
1 cup light corn syrup
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
pinch of salt
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
8 oz dark chocolate chips or chopped Ghirardelli baking bar
2 cups pecan halves


Prepare your crust, roll out and place in a 9" pie plate.  Crimp edges to your desired look.

First, spread flaked coconut in a non-stick pan and toast on the stove.  Allow the coconut to heat up watching carefully and stir occasionally making sure edges do not burn.  Remove from stove and allow to cool completely.
In a mixing bowl place brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, eggs, salt and extracts.  Blend till incorporated.  With a spatula, stir in the toasted coconut, chocolate and pecans.  Transfer the mixture to your prepared pie crust.  Turn over the pecans with your fingers for desired look and even texture on top. The filling will rise in baking so make sure you do not overfill your crust.
Bake at 350∘ for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or till no longer wet in center. Check by running a cool knife into the center. The filling is set when the knife comes out clean.

Serve warm or cooled with a dollop of whipped cream

You may choose to toast coconut in the oven but for myself, it is easier to eliminate burned batches.
I used dark chocolate chips but would have preferred the chopped chocolate bar.  The chocolate just seems to be softer and doesn't harden up once the pie cools.  
 This was a delicious pie!  The chocolate hides beneath the surface and is a sweet surprise.  If you are a hardcore pecan pie may want to stick to the original.  But if you are a chocolate lover...this is the pie for you!

"I just clipped two articles from a current magazine. 
 One is a diet guaranteed to drop 5 pounds off my body in a weekend.  
The other is a recipe for a 6 minute pecan pie."
- Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Kerber's Farm Long Island New York

327.  Do you like to explore?  Try new foods or go to new places?  This has always been a happy place for me.  To jump in the car with a fresh cup of coffee, my yarn project and good music.  Heading off to a new destination mapped out or unknown.

The day after Thanksgiving, for the past 35 years, we have always made a day of cutting down our Christmas tree from a local tree farm.  I heard about this great little place on Long Island that celebrates good food and has been making a name for themselves recently,  Kerber's Farm.  Here is their website:    They have delicious homemade foods and baked goods, guest houses for overnight visits, produce and antiques.  It is rustic and basic, a farm stand vibe yet upscale Hamptonesque.  The fact that they describe their offerings as provisions leads your expectations to experience something needful, homey and gosh, I can't live without it!

It was an A+ from my experience!  We set out earlier than usual and when we pulled into the parking lot at 9:00a.m., it was busy.
Walking in the front door you are welcomed with large cases filled with everything that makes life delicious!  Pies, muffins, biscuits, cookies calling to you..."You need me!"
We ordered breakfast sandwiches and coffee and found a garden table to sit and wait for our order.
My sandwich was egg, cheese, bacon and Swiss on a homemade biscuit.  Hot, fresh, delicious and so satisfying! 
 Outside was a small yard with chickens, antiques and quaint seating.

 If you go onto their website you can read their 75 year history.  It is a great place to visit, enjoy baked goods, breakfast or lunch or just to sit and read a book.
 If you live on Long Island or plan to visit sometime, make a day trip to Kerber's Farm.  You will be happy you did.  Article features here:

"The farm was always known for its
 fine baked goods, chickens, eggs, ice cream and fresh produce."
- Kerber's Farm History


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