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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Can you peel 2 heads of garlic in 20 seconds? Yes, you can!

Joe's Dad once told me he was certain my family hailed from Transylvania because my motto is, if it doesn't start with garlic, it isn't worth the effort.
Garlic lovers know that you cannot use the minced garlic from the grocery...fresh garlic is the ONLY option.  But, I admit, I hate peeling it.  
I heard a tale of peeling garlic using two stainless steel bowls, so we had to try it out.  It WORKS.


Part the cloves from the head and throw them in a stainless steel bowl.

Place another stainless steel bowl on top of the first and shake HARD for about 20 seconds.  This is what you'll get.

Garlic peeled for the entire week...just pop it in a baggie!  Amazing!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Breakfast Rolls & Calzones (homemade fast food)

These breakfast rolls and calzones are perfect to pop into the microwave as your kids head out the door late for bus or before the soccer game.  The best part is they can serve themselves in 90 seconds or so!

Breakfast Rolls:
  1. 1 recipe of pizza dough: See
  2. Cut the dough and roll into balls about 1-2 inches in diameter.
  3. Flour dough ball generously and roll out very thin. Your dough should look like a mini pizza shell.
  4. Place your favorite scrambled eggs in the middle of the dough.
  5. Gather the ends of the dough and pinch to form a ball.
  6. Lay rolls seam side down on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  7. Brush with egg wash.
  8. Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes.
  9. When done, transfer to cooling rack and pop the entire rack into the freezer.
  10. When frozen, bag, label and stick in the freezer.
  11. From the freezer, microwave on high for 60-90 seconds (depending on your microwave).
  1. 1 recipe of pizza dough (optional: add 2 T onion powder and 1 t oregano to dough mix): See
  2. Cut the dough and roll into balls about 2-3 inches in diameter.
  3. Flour dough ball generously and roll out very thin.
  4. Your dough should look like a mini pizza shell;  Spread on as much pizza sauce as you like but too much will make the calzone difficult to handle.
  5. Add your favorite pizza toppings on half of the pie.
  6. Fold dough over creating a half-moon shape.
  7. Roll up the seams and press with a fork to seal.
  8. Brush with egg wash.
  9. Bake at 500 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
  10. When done, transfer to cooling rack and pop the entire rack into the freezer.
  11. When frozen, bag, label and stick in the freezer for a quick meal on the run.
  12. From the freezer, microwave on high for 90-120 seconds (depending on your microwave).
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Sushi & Miso

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Barley, 3- Bean Salad

My Dad loves Barley; so, for Easter, I decided to make him a barley salad.  Lately I've been using dried beans and what a payoff!  They taste so much better than the canned version!  However, in a pinch, I'd use the canned beans in a second.  Here's my recipe:

Barley, 3-bean salad

1. Cook dried beans(chick pea, black beans, and kidney beans) according to directions OR use 1 can of chick peas, 1 can of black beans, and 1 can of kidney beans.
2.  Cook barley according to directions  ending with 2 cups cooked barley;  allow to cool overnight in the fridge.
3. Add 2 cups of cook barley, 1 cup of each; chick peas, black beans and kidney beans to a large bowl.
4 Chop 1/4 cup (or more) chopped green onion.
5. Stir gently.

1.  2 T good olive oil
2. Combine the juice of 2 lemons with the olive oil and whisk well
3. Add 1/2 tsp salt.
4. Add 1/2 tsp white pepper
5. Add 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
6. whisk well.
7. Add dressing to bean-barley mixture and gently stir until mixed well.

Optional Additions:
1 cup of steam green beans.
1 small can chopped black olives
1 chopped tomato
1 cup steamed asparagus

Serve in a lovely glass bowl and enjoy!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pasta Carbonara ; Bacon, Pasta, Cheese, Eggs...what's not to love?

My boys offered to take me out for Valentine's Day dinner but I declined;  I don't enjoy dining out when the restaurants are packed, chaotic and rushed!  They will be taking me to One Block West for dinner next weekend instead!  In the meantime, I treated the boys to a wonderful dinner of Pasta Carbonara.  I've made this before, and Jack loves it...we all do.  Jack doesn't get why it's just not called pasta with cheese, eggs, and bacon. 


  • 8  ounces  uncooked linguine, angel hair, whatever pasta you prefer
  • 1  cup milk
  • 1/2  grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 3T Pecorino Romano cheese (you can omit this if you don't have it, but we like the extra flavor)
  • 1 lb bacon (you can use pancetta if you want to be fancy)
  • 1 small  finely chopped onion
  • 2  garlic clove, minced
  • 3  large eggs


1. In a large skillet cook bacon, place cooked bacon on plate for later use and drain all but 2T fat from skillet.
2.Cook pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid before you drain pasta.
3. Combine milk and cheeses in a small bowl; set milk mixture aside.
4. Chop cooked bacon and set aside.
5. In the skillet you used for the bacon, drain all but about 2T of fat from bacon. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté for about 3 minutes or so, reduce heat to medium and add milk mixture and pasta to pan; toss gently to coat.
6. Place eggs in a bowl and whisk. Gradually add 1/2 cup reserved hot cooking liquid, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add egg mixture to pan, stirring constantly; cook 5  minutes or so or until sauce is thick and creamy.
7. Salt & Pepper to taste, garnish with chopped fresh parsley.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Homemade Pizza

Years ago, a friend gave me his recipe for pizza dough, and it was good.  I made it so often that I started messing with the recipe to bring it to what it is now.  It's really good and you should try it!  I don't mix by hand, after all, that's why God has provided the Kitchen Aid mixer!  Enjoy!

Pizza Dough

6 cups King Arthur Bread Flour (Trust me, this IS the best flour for the job although, King Arthur All-Purpose will work in a pinch)
2 cups lukewarm water
2 T instant yeast
1 T good olive oil
1 t sugar
1 t salt

1. Spray the dough hook with cooking spray or oil it up; this will keep the dough from sticking to the hook too much.

2.  Into the Kitchen Aid Mixer bowl, place 2 cups lukewarm water, 2 T (yes TABLESPOONS) instant yeast, 1 t sugar.  Mix gently and let sit for 15 minutes or so.

3.  Once the yeast mixture is bubbly, turn the mixer on, add the olive oil and salt, then begin adding the flour 1 cup at a time.
4. Continue adding the flour until the dough ball forms and the sides of the mixer bowl begin to look clean, see picture below.

 5.  Let the mixer do what it does best for about 5 minutes or so;  When the dough is not sticky, but springy to the touch, it's ready to remove from the bowl.

6.  Place the dough ball on a lightly floured surface.  Form it into a nice ball and let it rest for 10 minutes.

7.  Spray a large bowl with cooking spray or oil it; add the dough ball to the bowl and cover.

 8.  Allow the dough to double in size then punch it down.

9.  Allow the dough to rise a second time;

10.  The dough is ready to use  OR you can portion it out into small dough balls and freeze it for later use.

 Pizza Sauce:

1.  Into a pot, place one large can of crushed tomatoes, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 T olive oil, 2 T romano cheese and salt/pepper to taste.  Cook on low just until heated through.

Making the Pie:

1.  Place a dough ball onto a lightly floured surface;  work it into a pizza shell with your hands, or roll it out with a rolling pin.

2.  Place pizza crust on a pizza peel dusted with cornmeal.

3.  Add sauce, cheese, and toppings.

4.  Bake on a pizza stone for 7 minutes at 500 degrees.

5.  Enjoy!