Asparagus and Artichoke/ Spring has Sprung Recipes

Every spring as I start to approach that dreaded day, (no, not April 15 or the last day of school for my kids) where I have to make the decision as to whither or not to actually purchase that new swim suit I’ve been trying to avoid for the past 3 years (deciding to actually put it on and then go outside in it is another column relating to nervous breakdowns).
I look back at all the candy bar breakfasts, french fry and or pizza lunches, and milk shake and corn chip dinners that I snarfed my way through this last winter and I think, “WAS I OUT OF MY MIND?!?”
I know, that unlike my sister Lois, who’s mottos is “I never met a swim suit I liked (or who liked me)” and “Control Top forever” that I’ll inevitably get into that “Oh yeah, it’s spring, I’d better start eating right, diet” mind set.
This isn’t actually that much of a hardship as it might appear to be. Right now, I know that the 2 vegetables that I love the most but ignore most of the year because they’re SOOOOOO expensive can be mine at bargain prices (rain, floods and other natural disasters inCalifornia not with standing). Every produce section I’ve visited in the last few weeks has been full to overflowing with my produce pals the Artichoke and Asparagus.

For inquiring minds the artichoke is a native of theMediterranean. It’s also a perennial in the thistle group of the sunflower (Compositae) family. The “vegetable” that we eat is actually the plant’s flower bud. The Asparagus is a member of the Lily family and its spears grow from a crown that is planted about a foot deep in sandy soils.

When choosing an artichoke it should look compact, (not necessarily small) plump, have the leaves tightly packed and have an even green color overall. The asparagus should have firm stems, tight closed leaves at the end and should be a bright green. (If you’re lucky enough to find the white variety of asparagus grab it quickly. It’s very difficult to find in the United States. It may cost a small fortune but once you taste it you’ll be forever hooked.

If the asparagus is more than 1/4 inch thick, peel it if you like. Snap or trim the bottom base off (about 1 inch from the bottom) and rinse. Gently steam or boil the asparagus until it’s crisp tender. Serve immediately if you wish to serve it hot. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process if you wish to serve it cold. You can also roast it with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Serve it crisp tender, hot, warm or room temperature.
Rinse the artichoke. Cut off the tip of each large leaf. Then cut off the top 1/2 to 3/4 inch of the artichoke with a sharp knife. Cut off the bottom 1/2 inch of the stem. Boil or steam the artichokes in a covered pot. Cook 30 to 40 minutes at a rolling boil or until the outer leaves pull away easily. Remove from heat and serve either hot or cold with butter or other sauces for dipping. To eat. Pull off the leaves, dip the meaty bottom part of the leaf in the dipping sauce and bite off. You can remove all the leaves and just eat the bottom or heart of the artichoke. You must however remove the top part of the  heart (small bitter leaves and filaments in the center) before you can eat the bottom portion. Fresh artichoke taste wonderful, however if you need to use a large amount for a recipe the canned or frozen variety work almost as well.


Now is the time to grab these first offerings of spring and go for the gusto.

1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into thirds
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted*

Cook asparagus in a large pot or frying pan of boiling water till crisp-tender, about 3-5 minutes.  Drain and rinse asparagus under cold water.  Drain well.

Heat vegetable oil in  a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add bell pepper and stir 1 minute.  Add asparagus and sauté till heated through, about 2 minutes.  Add soy sauce and sesame oil.  Toss till asparagus and bell pepper are coated.  Transfer to platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

* To toast sesame seeds, place them in a toaster oven on a metal pan and toast 1-2 cycles, till lightly browned and popping.  Alternatively, place in a frying pan over medium heat and cook, stirring, till lightly browned and popping. Serves 4.



8- to 9-oz dried egg fettuccine
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon drained bottled horseradish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
6 to 8 oz smoked salmon, cut into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package instructions. Add asparagus to pot for last 3 minutes of pasta-cooking time.
While asparagus is boiling, heat cream, horseradish, and dill in a large skillet over moderate heat just until hot, about 1 minute. Drain pasta and asparagus and add to cream mixture, tossing. Gently toss in salmon and season with salt and pepper. Serves 6

For a lighter sauce, you can replace 1/3 cup of the cream with an equal amount of the pasta-cooking water



4 ounces uncooked pasta, bow tie style
1/2 half pound of asparagus spears, cut up, steamed crisp tender
1/2 cup shredded carrots
4 teaspoons chopped green onions
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 to 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Herb Vinaigrette
salad greens
4 hard cooked eggs cut into quarters



2/3 cup wine vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon basil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain in cold water and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the pasta, asparagus, carrot, green onions and cheeses. Add the dressing and toss lightly. Spoon onto salad greens and garnish with egg quarters.  Serves 8.


For the vinaigrette: combine all the ingredients in a jar with lid and shake well. Makes 1 1/3 cups


12 new potatoes cut in half or quarters depending on their size
1 pound asparagus, cooked crisp tender and cooled and cut in 1/3’s
1 pound smoked white fish, broken into small pieces
1 head shredded red leaf lettuce
4 to 5 hard cooked eggs
2 to 3 tomato cut into wedges
2/3 cup tarragon vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 bay leave
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Cook potatoes in boiling water until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and set aside.   Combine the vinegar, oil tarragon, bay leaf, garlic and salt and pepper in a jar with a lid and shake well. While the potatoes are still slightly warm slice them and arrange them in the bottom of a shallow dish. Add the asparagus. Remove the bay leaf from the dressing and drizzle 1/4 of the dressing over the asparagus and potatoes. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours. To serve place the lettuce on the serving plate and arrange the marinated vegetables on top. Then place the white fish chunks, tomatoes wedges and egg wedges on the top. Drizzle the remaining dressing on the top. Serves 8


6  cooked artichoke hearts
1/2 tablespoon margarine
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
2 oranges, peeled, and segmented
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper
salad greens
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Saute the garlic in the margarine and place in a small bowl. Cut the hearts into quarters and set aside. Add the oil, orange juice, grated orange rind and the lemon juice to the garlic. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine the orange segments and the artichoke hearts in a large bowl and drizzle the sauce over. Let set for at least 1 hour. To serve: arrange the artichoke and oranges on the salad greens and sprinkle with the parsley. Serves 4. This can be doubled.

10 artichoke hearts, uncooked and halved
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced

Soak the artichoke hearts in the lemon juice, salt and water for approx 1 hour. Pour them and the liquid in which they were steeped in a pot with the oil, garlic, and sugar. Simmer gently until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the artichokes to a serving dish. Thicken the sauce with cornstarch and pour over the hearts. Cool sprinkle with pine nuts and parsley and serve cold as a side dish. Serves 4 this can be doubled.




16 baby artichokes

1/4 cup olive oil

4 half chicken breasts, skinned, boned and cut into chunks

2 red or yellow onions, sliced thick

4 cloves garlic minced

1 tablespoon each chopped fresh basil and rosemary or 1 teaspoon each dried

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 pound fettuccine, cooked and drained

Prepare artichokes as directed (see Basic Preparation); cut into halves. Brown chicken in large skillet with 2 tablespoons oil.  Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and saute the onions until tender. Add the artichokes to the skillet with garlic, basil and rosemary. Cook until artichokes are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in browned chicken and drizzle with chicken broth; heat thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Serve over hot fettuccine. Makes 4 servings. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.


Quintessential Club Sandwiches/ Recipes that make you say “make me a member” (kosher)

To paraphrase the words of Grocho Marks, why would I want to belong to a club that would have me as a member? Well, obviously, he wasn’t talking about a club that loves club sandwiches because everyone I know who’s ever eaten one is a member of that organization for life.

A classic club sandwich for those of you who have never had this tasty treat is a triple decker sandwich combination of bread, turkey, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce and mayonnaise. The most popular theory is that the club sandwich was first served in 1894 at the famous Saratoga Club House the very same place where potato chips were invented.  What is probably more likely origin story is that club sandwich was created in the club cars of the trains zipping in and out of New York, Chicago and Philly (and yes, Philly cheese steak sandwiches are a subject for another column).

I belong to the cooking club of tweaking a recipe once I’ve got it right the first time just because I can and well, I usually end up with something if not better at least more interesting. The following club sandwich recipes are all variations on a theme and all delicious.  For the very best eating experience I suggest that, when possible, you use leftover turkey or chicken rather than the processed and sliced kind of deli meat you usually find in this kind of sandwich if you’re ordering it at a restaurant. Real meat as opposed to processed is always better for you. You can use whatever type of bread you like (whole grain is nice) and low or no fat mayo is just fine.



1/3 cup buttermilk ranch salad dressing

2 red peppers, seeded and diced and divided

1 12-oz. can solid white tuna, drained and broken in chunks

2 stalks celery, diced

1 cup whole kernel corn, drained

4 or 5 thin slices of red onion

12 slices toasted whole wheat or rye bread



In blender container combine the dressing and 1 diced red pepper; process but not too much, you want there to be chunks of the red peppers in the sauce. Set the sauce aside. In a bowl combine the remaining diced pepper, tuna, celery, corn, and 1/4 cup of the sauce.  For each sandwich, spread two slices of toasted bread with the sauce. Top one with the tuna mixture, a slice or two of red onion and lettuce. Place another piece of bread on top and repeat finishing with a third piece of bread. Secure with 2 toothpicks and then cut in half diagonally. Makes 4 sandwiches



2 to 3 boneless chicken breasts, sliced into 10 to 12 pieces

Salt and pepper

2 teaspoons oil

1 long loaf multi grain bread or Italian bread (not sliced)

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup honey Dijon mustard

1 to 1 1/2 pounds kosher breakfast beef, cooked and drained

4 roma tomatoes, sliced

2 avocados, pitted, sliced thin

1/2 carton alfalfa sprouts

1 thinly sliced English cucumber

6 to 8 lettuce leaves



Slice the loaf of bread in thirds lengthwise and set it aside. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a grill pan and cook the chicken pieces for 1 to 2 minutes per side, until just done. Set the pieces aside on paper towel to drain. Slice the loaf of bread horizontally and set aside. In a bowl combine the mayonnaise with the honey Dijon mustard and mix to combine. Spread the mustard-mayonnaise on the bottom third of the sliced bread. Arrange 1/2 of the chicken slices on the bottom layer of the bread. Top with the 1/2 of the breakfast beef, 1/2 tomatoes, 1/2 avocados, 1/2 the bean sprouts and 1/2 the cucumber and lettuce leaves. Place the middle third of the bread on top and repeat the layering starting with the mayonnaise. Spread the top of the bread with the remaining mayonnaise mixture and top the sandwich. Secure the sandwich with toothpicks and slice into 6 sandwiches. Serves 6




1/2 (16-ounce) Italian bread loaf

1/4 cup Italian dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup mustard

1/2 pound sliced salami

1/2 pound sliced smoked turkey

lettuce leaves

3 roma tomatoes, sliced

8 turkey pastrami


Cut bread diagonally into 12 (1/4-inch-thick) slices; arrange on a baking sheet. Brush slices evenly with Italian dressing. Bake at 375 for 5 to 6 minutes or until lightly toasted. Spread untoasted sides of bread slices evenly with mayonnaise and mustard. Layer 4 bread slices, mayonnaise side up, with salami, and turkey. Top with 4 bread slices, mayonnaise side up; layer with lettuce, tomato, and turkey pastrami. Top with remaining 4 bread slices, mayonnaise side down. Cut in half, and secure with wooden picks. Serves 4.


Modified from Southern Living, JANUARY 2001




4 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)

1 tablespoon minced onion

8 slices kosher breakfast beef, cooked and drained

6 slices hearty grain bread

8 slices deli hickory smoked or barbeque turkey

4 large tomato slices

1 avocado, pitted, peeled, sliced

red leaf lettuce leaves


In a bowl combine the mayonnaise, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, minced onion and chili powder. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Spread the mayonnaise mixture evenly over one side of the bread slices. On the first piece of bread layer a 1 lettuce leaf, 2 slices of turkey, then 2 slices of kosher breakfast beef, then a slice of tomato and then a 2 slices of avocado. Season with a little salt and pepper. Place another piece of bread on top and repeat. Place the 3rd slice of bread mayonnaise side down. Secure with toothpicks and cut in half. Repeat for the second sandwich. Serves 2.


Submitted by Roxanne Lemers Fort Meyers FL




3 slices whole grain bread

2 leaves lettuce

2 slices fresh tomato

4 strips cooked turkey bacon

3 to 4 oz leftover cooked turkey

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon leftover cranberry sauce


In a bowl combine the mayonnaise and cranberry sauce. Toast three slices of bread. Spread one side of each slice with the mayonnaise mixture. On the first piece of bread place lettuce on top of the mayonnaise. Put a slice of tomato on top of that, then the a few pieces of turkey and 2 pieces of turkey bacon. Place the second slice of bread on top of the cheese, mayonnaise side down. Spread the top of this slice of bread with the mayonnaise mixture. Repeat the layering sequence and top with the remaining slice of bread. Secure with toothpicks and slice diagonally. Makes 2


Submitted by Charles Katrell Chicago IL



1 package puff pastry

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

4 tablespoons honey, divided

6 ounces thinly sliced deli chicken breast

6 ounces thinly sliced turkey pastrami

1/3 to 1/2 cup raspberry preserves

1 tablespoon poppy seeds


Preheat oven to 400. Defrost the puff pastry sheets and place them on parchment paper and then place the puff pastry on cookie sheets  Cut along the lines so that each sheet is cut into 3 pieces. In a microwave bowl combine the butter and 2 tablespoons honey. Microwave for 15 to 20 seconds and then brush the mixture over the dough. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until just lightly golden browned. Cool to room temperature. Spread the top of 2 layers with the raspberry mixture. Top the preserves with the chicken. Place the second layer of the crust on top of the chicken. Spread this layer with more preserves.  Layer the pastrami on top of the preserves. Top with the third crust. Spread the remaining honey mixture on top. Sprinkle the top with poppy seeds. Return the loafs to the oven and bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes before cutting. Cut each loaf into 4 sections. Makes 8 pieces



Even though this isn’t technically a club sandwich this recipe from is sooooo delicious I just had to share it.


Peanut streusel:


1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter


8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

6 eggs, beaten to blend

1/3 cup milk

12 slices firm white or egg bread

3 to 4 bananas, sliced 1/4-inch thick

Ground cinnamon

Maple syrup, optional


For streusel, combine brown sugar, oats, flour and cinnamon. Add peanut butter. Work into mixture using 2 forks or your fingers, until blended and crumbly. Set aside.


Blend cream cheese, sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice and vanilla in a medium bowl. Beat together the eggs and milk in a large, flat dish. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons cream-cheese mixture on each bread slice. Top a slice of bread with sliced bananas. Place second slice of bread with cream cheese side down on bananas. Repeat for remaining bread slices. Spray 2 (13-by-9-inch) glass baking dishes with nonstick cooking spray. Dip a sandwich in the egg mixture, turning to coat each side. Repeat. Place 3 sandwiches in each dish; sprinkle with cinnamon. Have oven heating to 375.Sprinkle about 2 1/2 tablespoons streusel topping over each sandwich, pressing lightly to make it adhere to the bread slice. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Slice in half, corner to corner, for each serving, and serve with maple syrup, if desired. Serves 6.


Cilantro, Love it or Hate it/ Recipes for Everyone

There are very few things in the world of herbs and spices that evokes as strong an opinion and feelings as those generated by cilantro. Love it or hate it, it is a fundamental flavor/ingredient in many a recipe. I freely admit that I belong to the not so fond of it group. To me, the taste is sort of a cross between parsley and soap. Still I do find it occasionally does really perk up a dish and that quite a few of my readers adore the stuff. I’ve always know that cilantro is part of the coriander plant and is sometimes referred to as Chinese parsley but what I didn’t know is that it is front and center in recipes from around the world.

Coriander is used in Middle Eastern/Mediterranean, Central and South American, Indian, Thai, Mexican, Chinese and African cuisine and so is cilantro.  You can get cilantro year around and it looks a lot like flat-leaf parsley. The best way to tell if what you’re getting is cilantro is to smell it. The leaves should be bright and crisp (avoid the wilted stuff). You can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just cut off the ends and plunk it in a jar or glass of water and cover it loosely with a plastic bag. I suggest that you change out the water every other day.  You can, of course, store it in a plastic bag but it won’t stay as fresh.

There are health benefits associated with eating cilantro and it’s considers a really good addition to any diet due to its anti-inflammatory and cholesterol lowering properties. It also been shown to help lower blood pressure and is a good source of fiber, magnesium and iron.

So, even though I’m not cilantro’s biggest fan I have tons of readers who can’t live without the stuff. The following recipes are all just a little different and use cilantro in really wonderful ways.



4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled, cooled and cut into bite sized pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

1 to 2 avocados, diced

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 cups fresh or frozen corn

1 red pepper diced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 to 1 teaspoon cumin

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/8 teaspoon chili powder


In a bowl combine the chicken, avocado, corn, tomato, red pepper, oregano, cumin, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, and chili paste. Mix together gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with corn chips or pita.  Serves 6 to 8




2 1/2 cups pasta shells or bow tie pasta

4 cups chicken stock or 1/2 stock and 1/2 water

4 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 avocados mashed

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves

1 cup white cheddar, grated

1/2 to 1 cup pine nuts, toasted



1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

Zest of 1 lemon or lime, grated

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

cilantro leaves for garnish


Cook the pasta in the stock until al dente about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. Place pasta into a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil. In another combine the celery, avocado, garlic, and cilantro and set it aside. Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl or tightly lidded jar. Whisk or shake until well combined. Toss the dressing with the celery/avocado mixture. When the pasta has cooled add the dressing to the pasta and stir to coat. Add the cheese and pine nuts and toss gently again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the cilantro leaves. Can be refrigerated and served later or served immediately at room temperature. Serves 6


Modified from Cooking with Herbs & Spices




2 to 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/3 cup lime juice

1 small bunch cilantro, chopped and divided in half

1/3 cup olive oil

12 oz ziti pasta cooked and drained according to package directions

2 medium zucchini, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 diced tomatoes

6 green onions, diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese

16 oz whipping cream

pepper, to taste


Cook In a plastic sealable bag combine 1/2 the cilantro, lime juice and olive oil. Add the chicken breasts, close and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour, turning once. Remove chicken from marinade and cook in a grill pan until just done, turning about half way through cooking. When done, remove from pan and cut into bite size pieces. In a skillet, while the chicken is cooking saute the zucchini with the tablespoon of oil until the zucchini is just starting to soften. Add the tomatoes, remaining cilantro and garlic. Simmer for 4 or 5 minutes. In another pan the cream to a simmer and then add it to the vegetables and simmer on low for 2 or 3 minutes stirring constantly. Add the pasta to the vegetable mixture and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pasta and vegetable mixture from the heat and add the chicken pieces and the Parmesan and toss to combine. Place in a serving bowl and garnish with the green onions. Serves 4 to 6.





2 cups oil, plus 1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 ounce hot chili garlic sauce

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon white wine

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 pound green beans, cleaned

2 tablespoons chopped peanuts

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves


In a Dutch oven heat 2 cups of oil to 350. In medium saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add ginger and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until it turns light brown; quickly add soy sauce, chili sauce, rice wine vinegar, hoisin, mirin, sesame oil and cilantro.


Fry the green beans in the canola oil for about 45 seconds, or until beans turn dark green. Remove, strain, and add to sauce. Toss and garnish with peanuts and parsley. Serves 4 to 6.


Modified from the



1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 (8-ounce) bags coleslaw mix

2 cups fresh or frozen corn

1 cup shredded carrots

1 red pepper, chopped fine

6 medium green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup mandarine oranges, drained


In a bowl combine the orange juice concentrate, vinegar, and oils in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. This dressing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.


In a large bowl combine the coleslaw mix, oranges corn, carrots, red bell, sliced green onions, and cilantro. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes for flavors to blend. Toss again and serve.


Submitted by Candi Simmons Boca Raton FL modified from




1 cup pecans, chopped and toasted and divided in half

2 1/2 cups chopped cilantro

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 6- to 7-ounce salmon fillets, with skin


Season salmon with salt and pepper and set them aside.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1/2 the pecans, cilantro, cheese, stock and vinegar and process to a puree. With the machine running gradually add the olive oil in a thin stream. Season the pesto with salt and pepper. In an oiled grill pan grill the salmon until done, about 4 minutes on each side. When done place the salmon on a plate and top with a dollop of the pecan pesto. Garnish with the remaining toasted pecans Serves 4.


Submitted by Raymond Liturie Chicago IL




1 to 1 1/2 cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

6 to 8 sliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

3/4 cup peas

3/4 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

3/4 cup couscous

Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)


In a large saucepan saute the onion, mushrooms and garlic in the oil until the onion is tender. Add the cumin and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute. Add the broth, peas, tomato and cilantro. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the couscous. Stir over the heat for 1 minute, cover and then remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and spoon the mixture into a serving dish and garnish with extra cilantro if desired. Serves 6




1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon minced cilantro

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried ginger

12 chicken drumsticks

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Cilantro sprigs for garnish


Mix the hoisin sauce, cilantro, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a large bowl to blend. Use a sharp knife score the drumsticks in at least 4 or 5 places. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight. Preheat the oven to broil and place the rack in the top 1/3 of the oven. Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with heavy-duty foil. Place the drumsticks on the foil covered pan and broil for 15 to 20 minutes turning every 4 or 5 minutes to make sure they don’t burn.  When the drumsticks are done, place them on a serving platter and garnish with the sesame seeds and cilantro. Serves 4 to 6.


Beer Recipes Just in Time for St. Patrick’s Day /some kosher recipes

Despite what some party hardy leprechauns may think, on St. Patrick’s Day, all beers are not created equal and not all dishes made with beer are really a good idea. It takes research, taste tasting (lots and lots and lots of taste tasting) and really good recipes to assimilate beer into your menu and make the dish better than the sum of its parts. With a little help from yours truly, I aim to make this the best culinary St. Patrick’s Day ever (if you were expecting corn beef recipes, sorry).

If you are already a “let’s try anything as an ingredient kind of cook”, then you already know that beer can be used in just about every method of cooking know to man. You can use it when baking, braising, in batters for frying, sauces, marinating, poaching and even glazing. However, knowledge about what beer is and what its complex mix of flavors can do to other ingredients is what’s key to making a so so recipe really terrific.

Beers fall into three different categories: lagers, ales (the difference between them is the type of yeast used in fermentation) and specialty beers. The four main ingredients for most beers are water, malted barley (or wheat), hops and yeast. Ales are usually higher in alcohol content and have a more complex flavor. Lagers are usually lighter in color and can be somewhat drier than ale. In specialty beers, just about everything but the kitchen sink goes. I’ve seen brewer’s use, chocolate (pretty good), pumpkin (really yucky), fruit juices (the jury is still out), candy, and just about anything else you can think of. The specialty beers I drink on a dare, I don’t cook with them.

Beer can be used in marinades to tenderize meat as well as with sweeter vegetables like onions, carrots and corn. It gives them an earthier flavor but you may need to add just a touch of sugar or honey to the vegetable dish to counteract the bitter component of the beer. The yeast in beers is also terrific when used as a leavening agent in baking or in batters.

So what type of beer works best (for cooking, and not just drinking)? I suggest you start with pale ale, for my money it’s the most adaptable for most of the following recipes.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day

NOTE: For those of you who don’t imbibe alcohol you can utilize the non alcohol types of beers and get pretty much the same results



This marinade is great for grilling chicken, beef and seafood.


1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 cup onion, chopped

1 red pepper, diced fine

1 bunch parsley, chopped

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons Worcestershire or soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

8 ounces beer

2 tablespoons black pepper

Juice of 6 limes


Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor.   Process until smooth. Makes a generous 2 cups of marinade



12 ounces beer (a lighter beer works best)
8 slices bacon or or turkey bacon (about 1/2 pound)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/2 cup minced celery
1/4 cup minced red pepper
1 10-1/2 ounce can condensed chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup flour
1 cup half and half
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Open beer and let stand while dicing vegetables. Sauté bacon until crisp. Drain and crumble. In large soup kettle, sauté vegetables in two tablespoons of bacon grease until soft. Add chicken broth. Fill chicken can with beer and add to mixture. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low.
Pour remaining beer into a small mixing bowl and whisk in flour. Gradually add to broth, stirring constantly, till thick. Add half and half, bacon and cheese. Heat until cheese melts. Stir in sugar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 6 to 8.


Submitted and modified by Carrie Sneiger Lake Forest IL



12 ounces amber ale
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 1/2 cups oil
8 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/3-inch thick rings (Granny Smith are best) soaked in ice water till ready to use, then pat dry.
sugar and cinnamon mixture for dusting


In a large bowl, whisk together ale, flour, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and melted butter. Set the mixture aside. Pour oil to deep Dutch oven cast-iron frying pan. Heat the oil to about 350 -360. Dip the dried apple rings into the batter and coat them evenly. Fry the apple rings in small batches. Turn once to cook evenly. Skim the extra pieces out of the oil and add more oil as needed. Be sure to keep the oil hot. Let the cooked apple fritters drain on paper towel for a few minutes then sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar mixture and serve. Serves 8.


Modified from




6 to 8 boneless ribs, cut away excess fat

salt and pepper

2 onions, chopped

2/3 cup hickory brown sugar barbeque sauce

1/2 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon mustard

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup beer


Salt and pepper both sides of the ribs. Spread the chopped onions over bottom of a roasting pan or crock pot. Put the meat on top of the onions. In a bowl combine the beer, ketchup, mustard, pepper flakes, brown sugar and barbeque sauce and mix to combine. Pour the mixture over the meat, cover and cook in the oven for 350 for 4 to 5 hours or in the crock pot on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours. To serve place the meat on a serving platter and cover. Let liquid sit for a few minutes, skim off the fat and then pour the gravy over the top. The gravy will be kind of thin so you can thicken it with a little cornstarch and cold water mixed together added to the gravy and heated for 2 minutes. Serves 4.




2 whole chickens (about 4lbs total)

1 tablespoon salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon black pepper, or to taste

1 1/2 to 2 limes, halved

1 can beer

Paprika to taste

1-1/3 cups water

1 lb baby carrots


Preheat the oven to 350. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice from the limes over the whole chicken, and then place the squeezed halves into the cavity of the chickens. Pour 1/2 of the beer into the chicken and the place the chicken on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Pour the remaining beer over the top of the chicken and then pour the water into the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the top of the chicken lightly with paprika and a little more salt and pepper. Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and roast for 1 hour. Remove the foil, add the carrots to the bottom of the pan, baste with the juice in the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle a little paprika on the carrots and cook an additional 30 minutes, basting occasionally. To Serve, remove the chickens from the oven, let set for 3 minutes and then cut them into quarters. Place the carrots on a serving platter, place the chicken quarters on top and serve with the sauce on the side. Serves 8.


I’ve had this recipe forever and my kids love it


3 cups self-rising flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup grated cheddar or pepper jack cheese

6 to 8  green onions, chopped

12 ounces beer


Preheat oven to 350 and REALLY grease the bottom and all the sides of a loaf pan. Set it aside In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and sugar together. Add the cheese and chopped green onions. Mix to combine. Add the beer and mix until the ingredients are combined but be careful to not over mix. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to a 1 hour, or until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow sound when thumped. Cool on a rack and then serve. This can be made up to a month in advance and frozen. Makes 1 loaf


Never Too Late for Valentine’s Day Chocolate Recipes


Chocolate has been the “high priestess” of aphrodisiacs since it was discovered over 3,000 years ago inMexico.  Montezuma (of the don’t drink the water fame) would drink 50 goblets of a chocolate drink a day to give himself stamina to handle his harem of over 600 women.

So with my quantum leap of food logic I say what better way to say I love you on Valentines Day than giving or serving chocolate (for breakfast lunch AND dinner).

Hold on a second before you go rushing out to buy DeBrands, Godiva, Ghirardelli, Hershey’s or even Nestles. You need to know a little bit about the chocolate you’re about to use or eat. Not all chocolate or cocoa is created equally. Different recipes call for different types of chocolate.
Unsweetened or baking chocolate is simply cooled, hardened chocolate liquor. It is used primarily as an ingredient in recipes, or as a garnish. Semi-sweet chocolate is also used primarily in recipes. It has extra cocoa butter and sugar added. Sweet cooking chocolate is basically the same, with more sugar for taste. Milk chocolate is chocolate liquor with extra cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla added. Milk chocolate is the most popular form for chocolate. Cocoa is chocolate liquor with most of the cocoa butter removed, creating a fine powder. Each form of chocolate can create a different taste so make sure you’ve got the right ingredient for your recipe.

White chocolate is somewhat of a misnomer. In theUnited States, in order to be legally called ‘chocolate’ a product must contain cocoa solids. Most of the stuff you get in the market place today does not contain these solids so technically it’s not really chocolate. Real white chocolate is primarily cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla.

Chocolate in its many forms is always welcome as an expression of love. The making or serving the following recipes won’t guarantee the love will be returned but they could give you a shot a few extra brownie points.

1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 bars (1.5 ounces each) Dark Chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Coarse sugar


In bowl of a food processor, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pulse until well blended. Add butter chunks and process for a few seconds, just until butter is size of peas. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in sugar.

In small bowl, whisk together heavy cream, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour cream mixture over dry ingredients. Add chopped chocolate and stir to form dough. Knead dough lightly in bowl about 10 times. Transfer dough onto lightly floured work surface and shape into 8-inch round disc. Transfer round to plate, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Remove dough from refrigerator and cut round into 8 wedges. Transfer scones to ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle tops with coarse sugar. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until set. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Or serve slightly warm. Makes 8


Modified from


2/3 cup flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon unsweetened chocolate powder

1 egg

1 egg white

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup milk

strawberries or raspberries or sorbet


Mix all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Add all liquid ingredients and stir until batter is smooth and creamy.  Let batter rest in the refrigerator until the air is settled, about 2 hours. When ready to prepare crepes, heat crepe pan over medium heat and pour 1/3 to 1/4 cup of the batter into hot pan. Rotate pan until batter is cooked through and then turn to cook the other side. When done remove from pan and let cool on a rack. Store until ready to serve. May be made one to two days ahead of time. Fill with berries, sorbet. Serves 2.


This recipe is a fun way to portion out cake mix into individual servings much like cupcakes, but with a much quicker bake time.


1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup of boiling water

2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup of softened butter

1 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs


In a bowl whisk together the cocoa and boiling water. Allow to cool to room temperature before using. In another bowl mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add 2 large eggs to the butter mixture, stirring between each egg to combine thoroughly. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the cocoa water mixture to the butter mixture, stirring until just mixed. Batter may be stored in the refrigerator until needed. Makes 4 waffles.



This recipe should be started the night before you want to serve it as it has to sit for at last 4 to 5 hours before you cook it.
12 slices white bread, crusts removed
2 cups skim milk, divided
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 eggs
2 cups half and half

3/4 cup butter, very soft or melted
1 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup flaked coconut
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
Whipped cream or maple syrup, optional
Generously grease a 9×13 baking dish that is at least 2 inches deep. Arrange trimmed bread slices on bottom of pan in 2 layers. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup milk, chocolate chips and sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until chips are melted and sugar is dissolved. Do not let mixture come to a boil. Stir in vanilla. Let cool. In a large bowl, beat eggs, remaining milk and half and half. Mix chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Pour over bread slices. Cover pan tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. In the morning, remove from refrigerator and prepare topping.


Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, walnuts, coconut and dark corn syrup. Spread or spoon the topping over the bread slices. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour or until center is set. If edges are browning to fast, cover with foil. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes or so until cool enough to spoon or slice. Top with whipped cream or syrup, if desired. Serves 8




1 orange – peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

1 cup cold milk

1 cup crushed ice


Combine orange pieces, chocolate syrup, milk, and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and serve. Makes 1 serving



2 loaves (1 pound each) frozen white yeast bread dough, thawed, divided

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 cups semi sweet or milk chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans, divided

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons milk
Grease two 9-inch-round baking pans. Roll out 1 bread loaf into 16 x 10-inch rectangle on lightly floured surface. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle 2 tablespoons over dough leaving 1/2-inch border around sides. Sprinkle with 1 cup morsels and 1/2 cup nuts. Roll up the dough starting at short end; seal edges. Cut into 6 slices; place cut side up in prepared baking pan. Repeat with remaining bread loaf, sugar mixture, morsels and nuts; place in second prepared baking pan. Cover; let rise in warm place until dough almost fills pans. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool slightly in pans on wire racks. In a small bowl combine the powdered sugar and milk and mix into a stiff glaze. Drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls. Serves 10 to 12.



3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup oil

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 can of pumpkin (1 pound)

1 tablespoon cinnamon

3 cup of flour

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon allspice

8-12 oz. chocolate chips (miniature or regular)


Preheat oven to 375. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar, oil, eggs, Mix to combine. Mix dry ingredients separately; then add slowly to wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips. Grease muffin pan and fill cups 2/3 full. For full size muffins bake 20 to 25 minutes. For mini muffins bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 12.



Enter the Banana /Recipes for the fruit minded

    I am, by nature, someone that loves to entertain and have company stay for the weekend. I’m talking LOTS and LOTS of company. My husband, not quite so much as me. So, for the most part, we compromise and have lots of company. When I first start to plan the menus for the weekends one of the first things I have to determine is whether or not said company falls into or out of the banana category.

Ok, you ask, what heck is the banana category? Well, the banana category is where the guests I have to feed like to snack on fruit and if that fruit is likely to be bananas. Inclusion in this category determines the amount of bananas to be purchased and approximately how much time it will take for any left over bananas (and trust me, there’s always left over bananas) to get mushy after the company leaves.

There truly is a reason for this somewhat bizarre banana thought process. Bananas are actually one of the few foods for which I don’t have a lot of recipes. Not because I don’t like them but rather, because both my children and husband are highly allergic to them in the raw state. I eat them with pleasure when we have company and cook them for the family after the company leaves leave. I have always tried to make really different and exciting recipes because I never know when the next banana company will arrive. The following recipes are all utterly delicious and have come to me from a variety of sources.



2 1/2 cup chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon
5 tablespoons melted butter

1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoons allspice
4 bananas — peeled and sliced

Pastry Cream:
3 cup half and half
1 vanilla bean — split in half lengthwise
8 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Grease a 10-inch spring form pan. To prepare crust, in a medium bowl,
combine cookie crumbs, sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Stir in
melted butter. Press mixture into prepared pan on the bottom and up
the sides of the pan about 21/2 inches and place it in the refrigerator
to chill. To prepare the filling, put the butter and brown sugar in a
large saute pan over high heat and heat until bubbling, about 2
minutes. Add cinnamon, ginger, allspice and bananas and saute until
tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and
spoon the bananas evenly over the bottom of the crust. Set aside.

To prepare the pastry cream, put the half and half in a saucepan with the vanilla bean and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, remove and discard vanilla bean. In a medium bowl, place egg yolks, sugar, dark rum and cornstarch and whisk together. Whisk about 1 cup of half and half mixture into the egg mixture to temper it. Add the egg mixture to the remaining half and half and place the pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until thick, 3-5 minutes. Pour the mixture over the roasted bananas in the crust and refrigerate for 2-3 hours
or until well chilled. To serve, carefully remove the outer ring of the pan, cut the pie into slices, and top each slice with whipped cream and several mint leaves. Serves 12


Submitted by Cheryl Cerdanadski Warsaw IN


1 can (8 oz.) unsweetened crushed pineapple, well drained, reserve
1 pkg. (14 oz.)  banana quick bread and muffin mix
2 eggs
2 tablespoons oil
1/3 cup Maraschino cherries, chopped
1/3-1/2 cup semi-sweet miniature chocolate chips
1/3 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons semi-sweet miniature chocolate chips, melted
4 teaspoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 . Grease and flour bottom only of a (9×5 inch)
loaf pan. Add water to reserved pineapple liquid to make 3/4 cup In a
large bowl, combine all bread ingredients. Stir 50-75 times with
wooden spoon until mix is moistened (don’t over mix!). Pour batter
into prepared pan. Bake 55-65 minutes or until toothpick placed in the
center comes out clean. Cool in a pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
Remove from pan to cool for 45 minutes or until completely cooled. In a
small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Stir until well blended. Pour
over loaf. For gift giving you can use (3×5 inch) pans and bake 35-40
minutes. Store in refrigerator to slice when chilled. Serves 6 to 8



3 extra ripe, peeled medium bananas
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine, softened
3 eggs
3 tablespoons almond liqueur OR 2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted, ground


Banana Chocolate Glaze
1 pureed, extra ripe small banana
1 ounce melted semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10 inch bunt pan.  In a bowl mash the bananas and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the sugar and margarine and beat until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, liqueur and vanilla. Beat to combine. In another bowl combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix the dry ingredients to combine.  Stir the almonds into the flour mixture. With the electric mixer running, alternately add the flour mixture with bananas to the sugar mixture. Beat well. Turn batter into greased pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out nearly clean and cake pulls away from sides of pan. Cool 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan to wire rack to cool completely. Glaze: Combine the pureed banana with the melted chocolate and whisk together. Pour glaze over the top of the cooled cake and let it drip down the sides of the cake. Serves 12 to 14



2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 1/2 cup chopped Butterfinger® bars

2/3 cup whipping cream
7 tablespoons butter, cut into large pieces
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
14 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup chopped Butterfinger® bars

Position rack in top third of oven; preheat to 350. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1-1/2-inch-high sides. Line bottoms with waxed paper rounds. Butter and flour paper.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat 2 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in dark rum and vanilla extract. Combine sour cream and baking soda in medium bowl. Add mashed bananas to sour cream mixture and stir until well blended. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately with banana mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in chopped Butterfinger® bars.

Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until center of cake feels firm and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans on rack 10 minutes. Run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Turn out cakes onto racks and cook. Peel off waxed paper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap cakes tightly and store at room temperature.)

FOR GLAZE: Combine cream, butter and corn syrup in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat; add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Stir in rum and vanilla. Pour glaze into small bowl. Cover and refrigerate just until cool and thick, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.

Transfer 1 cake layer to platter. Slide waxed paper strips under edges of cake. Stir glaze until smooth. Spread 1 cup glaze evenly over top of cake layer. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining glaze over top and sides of cake. Cover top and sides of cake with chopped Butterfinger® bars. Remove paper strips. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover cake and store at room temperature.)






3 large bananas, peeled, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted, divided
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs

Additional melted butter


Cut 2 bananas into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Combine 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup water in heavy large skillet. Boil over medium-high heat until mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract and sliced bananas. Remove syrup from heat.


Whisk flour and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in large bowl. Mash remaining banana in medium bowl, then whisk in buttermilk and eggs. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients (some lumps will remain). Mix in remaining 1/4 cup melted butter.

Preheat oven to 200. Heat griddle over medium heat; brush with additional melted butter. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook pancakes until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Serve pancakes with caramel-banana syrup. Makes 4 servings.


Bon Appétit, November 2005



1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (about 8 ounces)
2/3 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 1/3 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 large)
3 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan. Stir chocolate chips, brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in small bowl until well blended; set streusel aside. Sift all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, room temperature butter, and egg in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in mashed bananas and buttermilk. Add dry ingredients and blend well.


Spread half of batter (about 2 cups) in prepared baking pan. Sprinkle with half of streusel. Repeat with remaining batter and streusel. Bake coffee cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool coffee cake in pan on rack. Makes 12 servings.



4 (17- by 12-inch) phyllo sheets, covered with 2 overlapping pieces plastic wrap and then a damp kitchen towel
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 firm-ripe bananas
2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
1 large egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Confectioners sugar for dusting

Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 425. Arrange 1 phyllo sheet on a work surface with a short side of phyllo nearest you, keeping remaining sheets covered, and brush with some butter. Top phyllo with 3 more sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter. Arrange bananas one above the other, horizontally, on lower third of phyllo, leaving a 1-inch border on both sides (trim bananas if too long). Sprinkle chocolate over bananas, then fold sides of phyllo toward middle (over ends of bananas). Fold bottom edge of phyllo over bananas and roll up bananas in phyllo.


Transfer strudel, seam side down, to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or to a buttered baking sheet, then brush strudel with beaten egg. Cut 4 (1/2-inch-long) steam vents diagonally along top of strudel with a sharp knife. Bake in middle of oven until golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly on a rack, and then dust with confectioner’s sugar. Makes 6 servings.


Gourmet October 2001


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 firm-ripe bananas
1/4 cup apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 350. Blend crumbs, butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and salt in a food processor until mixture begins to hold together and pat onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Bake in middle of oven until side of crust is firm to the touch, 14 to 18 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chips into hot crust and let stand 5 minutes to soften. Spread evenly over bottom of crust. Beat cream with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and rum until it holds soft peaks. Cut bananas into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Whisk preserves and add bananas, tossing to coat. Spoon banana mixture into crust and top with whipped cream.
Serves 8.

Gourmet January 2000


1/2 cup pure maple syrup (not the fake stuff)
1/4 cup pecans, toasted lightly and chopped coarse
2 teaspoons orange juice or fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ripe medium banana
1/3 cup water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
vegetable oil for brushing waffle iron

Preheat oven to 200. In a small saucepan bring maple syrup and pecans to a boil and stir in juice. Remove syrup from heat and keep warm, covered. In a bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Quarter banana and in a blender purée with water. Transfer purée to another bowl and whisk in eggs and melted butter. Add flour mixture and stir until combined well.

Heat a well-seasoned or non-stick waffle iron until hot and brush lightly with oil. Pour half of batter into iron and cook waffle according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer waffle to a baking sheet and keep warm, uncovered, in oven. Make another waffle with remaining batter in same manner.

Serve waffles with syrup. Serves 2.





1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons beaten egg

1/4 cup oil

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 medium)

1/3 cup unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained


In a small bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In another bowl, whisk the egg, oil, milk and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and pineapple.
Coat muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or use paper liners; fill three-fourths full with batter. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Serve warm. Makes 6 muffins.


Are they Chickpeas or Garbanzos? /kosher recipes

This is that magical time of year when all things, especially my dieting start anew. After warding off the cold and chill of winter with that extra 10 pounds of excess weight (blubber sounds so harsh) I know that I have got to get a grip on the inhalation of comfort food (ie: chocolate, pizza, chocolate, mashed potatoes, chocolate) that have comprised my fuel for the past few months. I’ve taken stock of my eating habits and have decided that salads and high fiber foods are now on the menu in full force.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they want to shed a few pounds is that they think they have to starve themselves. That’s a big no no. You should eat sensibly and eat smart. Fiber and roughage should play a big part in any

Chick peas are perhaps better known by their name garbanzo beans. They are a round-ish, beige to light green members of the legume family grown primarily in part ofWest Asia,India, and in theMediterranean. Most are familiar with chick peas as either used whole in salads, or ground up to make the popular Middle Eastern dish hummus and falafel. You can get them dried or canned and for my money and the amount of time needed I tend to always use the canned variety.

Chick peas are incredibly versatile and are a frequent ingredient in pacific rim,Mediterraneanand Italian dishes.  They are considered a starchy carbohydrate and are a great staple for people with diabetes. A serving of chick peas (about 4 ounces or half a cup) has about 17 grams of dietary fiber and 19 grams of protein. They are considered more digestible than most other beans making them a wiser option for suffers of how shall I put this delicately…….. excessive flatulence.

This is so not a case of beans beans the magical fruit the more you eat the more you…….ok, you know what I mean. These recipes are all easy, a little different, delicious not so high in calories and oh so good for you.




1 tablespoon oil

1 onion, chopped

1 (14.75 ounce) can creamed corn

1 tablespoon curry paste

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 lb cooked shredded chicken (leftovers work great)

1 bunch fresh spinach stems removed

1 teaspoon dried basil or to taste


In a large wok or skillet heat oil over medium heat; saute onions until translucent. Stir in creamed corn and curry paste. Cook, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes. As you stir, add salt, pepper and garlic. Stir in garbanzo beans and gently fold in cooked chicken. Add spinach and cover. When spinach is tender, remove from heat and stir in basil. Serves 4




2 (15 ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained

2 cucumbers, halved lengthwise and sliced

12 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (15 ounce) can black olives, drained and chopped

1 ounce crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup Italian-style salad dressing

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Combine the beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, garlic, olives, cheese, salad dressing, lemon juice, garlic salt and pepper. Toss together and refrigerate 2 hours before serving. Serve chilled. Serves 8

HUMMUS (pareve)


1 can (15-oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas); drained (reserve liquid)
1/2 cup sesame seed
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
Snipped parsley
pita bread; crackers or vegetable dippers


Place reserved bean liquid, the sesame seed and garlic in blender container. Cover and blend on high speed until mixed. Add the garbanzo beans, lemon juice and salt; cover and blend on high speed, stopping blender to scrapes sides if necessary, until of uniform consistency. Garnish with parsley. Serve as spread or dip with wedges of pita bread. Makes 2 cups.


// // //



16 oz canned garbanzo beans; rinsed and drained
7 oz Jar roasted red peppers; rinsed and drained
1/2 cup plain yogurt or non dairy sour cream substitute
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Makes 2 cups.

// // //



2 pounds lamb shoulder or stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
Garlic powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 cup 1/2-inch pieces peeled carrots
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 10-ounce package ready-to-use spinach leaves
Lemon wedges


Sprinkle lamb with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add lamb and sauté until brown, about 10 minutes. Add onion and carrots and sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garbanzo beans, broth, tomato sauce, and lemon juice and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot and simmer gently until lamb is tender, about 1 hour. Add spinach to stew. Cover and cook until spinach wilts, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Season stew with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled




1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon smoked paprika*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup non dairy sour cream substitute
4 chicken breast halves with bones
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 12-ounce container cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, divided


Preheat oven to 450. Mix the olive oil, garlic, paprika, cumin and red pepper in medium bowl. Pour 1 teaspoon spiced oil mixture into small bowl; whisk in non dairy sour cream and set aside for sauce. Place chicken in a roasting pan. Rub 2 tablespoons spiced oil mixture over chicken. Add beans, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup cilantro to remaining spiced oil mixture; toss to coat. Pour bean mixture around chicken. Sprinkle everything generously with salt and pepper. Roast until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cilantro. Transfer chicken to plates. Spoon bean mixture over. Serve with sauce. Serves 4.


2 (15 ounce) cans of garbanzo beans, drained
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup of diced sweet yellow onion
1 cup of cherry or grape tomatoes

2 cups shredded lettuce
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
3 minced garlic cloves
10 black olives
1/2 cup chopped parsley

In a large wooden salad bowl combine the red and green peppers, lettuce, onion, tomatoes, olives, garbanzo beans and chopped parsley

In a blender combine the lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the garbanzo bean mixture. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so. Serves 6




2 (15-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, rinsed, drained

2 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 medium (1/2 cup) red onion, chopped

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh garlic

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 cup sweet and spicy French salad dressing

4 ounces (1 cup) Cheddar Cheese, shredded

1/2 cup sour cream

Chili powder, if desired


Place all ingredients except salad dressing, cheese, sour cream and chili powder in slow cooker. Cover; cook on Low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or High heat setting for 3 to 4 hours or until flavors are well blended. Just before serving, stir in the salad dressing. To serve, place chili into bowls; sprinkle with cheese and a dollop of sour cream; sprinkle the top with chili powder, if desired. Serves 4 to 5.


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