Cookbooks


There are always some foods that you remember eating for ever. Meatloaf! Tuna Casserole! {Child of the 60s.} Spaghetti! And when I got married I could make three things – meatloaf. tuna casserole, and spaghetti. My Mom’s recipe. And I didn’t do any of them very well. I am surprised The Man and I are still married – especially if the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I switched recipes many times for spaghetti. I am always looking for a ‘better’ recipe. I finally found one we really like and then along comes Donna.

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I seldom make meatballs but that just changed. Donna’s mix of beef and pork with Parmesan and breadcrumbs results in a perfect meatball that holds together nicely and tastes great. Definitely making these again. And the sauce is super simple, too. Canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, beef stock, red wine. Super simple.

Check with

for their ‘sketti this week. And it was my choice so I hoped they liked it.

The recipe is from Modern Classics: Book 1 page 134.

I found her recipe for just the meatballs HERE.

It’s potluck week again with I Heart Cooking Clubs. I went with Bittman again. His recipes have so much flavor and they are healthy to boot. It’s a win/win!

There is just something about the flavors used in Asian food that always draws me in. Ginger. Sesame. When I saw this recipe in Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook I knew it would be perfect.

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    8 ounces any rice, buckwheat(soba){which is what I used}, or wheat noodles, preferably whole grain.
    1 tablespoon sesame oil
    2 tablespoons vegetable canola oil
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    1 teaspoon minced ginger
    1 cup chopped green onions
    2 large carrots chopped, sliced, or julienned
    3 celery stalks, chopped, sliced, or julienned
    2 cups snow peas
    1/4 cup chicken stock or water (more if you need it, I didn’t.)
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1 egg, beaten {I left this out cause of the cholesterol. Next time I would add it in.}
    black pepper
    1/4 cups chopped peanuts for garnish


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package, but make sure they don’t get mushy. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water. Toss them with sesame oil to prevent sticking.
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions. Cook for about 15 seconds.
Add the carrots, celery, snow peas, and stock or water and turn the heat to high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender, about 5-10 minutes. If the mixture gets too dry, add more liquid a tablespoon at a time.
Stir in soy sauce and beaten egg(s) and let the egg lightly scramble in the pan. Add the noodles, sprinkle with pepper, and toss well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. I have found that I needed more soy sauce. Garnish and serve.

I added chicken to mine – a 6 oz breast. Slice up the chicken and brown in the oil before you cook the veggies. When the chicken is done set it aside and then start with the veggies, etc. Add the chicken back when you add the noodles.

This fits pretty well with the DASH way of eating. I used less oil than called for and the buckwheat noodles are better for you. Like I said – win/win.

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I liked it better without the chopped peanuts.

<The recipe is on page 208 of his cookbook.

Visit with the other IHCC members for their Potluck picks. So many chefs to choose from!!

What? Friday already. Where does each week go? I simply run out of days – until I remember it’s Friday and I need to at least look at the recipe for French Friday. This week was one I have had marked for a while.

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Colorful! Easy! Very Good! Slices of chicken along with peas, red peppers, and red onions tossed with curry powder and oil. Wrapped in foil and baked. A quick lunch.

I only made 1/2 of recipe but I kept the same amount of Curry Powder – 1 Tbl – which I plan to increase {Thanks to my Friend, Nancy, I have some homemade curry powder.} next time I make this because I love the flavor. (I might also add some ‘shrooms.)

You can visit the other “Doristas” and check out their Curry Packets.

IF you want to try it for yourself the recipe is on page 221 of Dorie’s around my French table

This week it was my turn again to pick the recipe for the Wednesday with Donna Hay gals. I really wanted to do something different. Something I would never make under ordinary circumstances. Cooking with the other three ladies – Gaye, Chaya, and Sarah – I try to not to pick the ordinary. So this time I went with:

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Anchovies have never been an item on any of my menus – or Pizzas – so this recipe of Donna Hay really caught my attention. Even if you don’t care much for the salty little fishies you really need to try out this tart. The onions, black olives, and Parm cheese really blend together well and the little fishies add another layer of flavor that adds saltiness but not fishy-ness. The onions are slightly caramelized, mixed with brown sugar and Balsamic vinegar and then piled on some puff pastry and topped with the olives, thyme, and anchovies. The Parm cheese forms a nice foundation.

I have to tell you – these were GOOD!!! Lots and lots of flavor. No changes to be made. Except—I think next time I would use shredded Parm rather than grated.

Go visit with

    Chaya,
    Sarah, and
    Gaye and see if they liked my pick this week.

    You can find the recipe on Donna’s website. And on page 170 of Modern Classics: Book 1

    AND…if you would like cook/bake along with us we are using the recipes from Donna’s website and from this cookbook. No pressure. We just cook and bake and blog.

It’s POTLUCK week for I Heart Cooking Club. Still going with Bittman so this week I tried his Almost Whole Wheat Quick Bread.

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This is a non-yeast whole wheat bread. And not bad. IT was good toasted with some jam. It was even better as a grilled cheese sammy with some Gruyere.

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    5 tablespoons olive oil
    2 cups whole wheat flour, or more as needed
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt, preferably coarse or sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
    3/4 cup yogurt or buttermilk
    3/4 cup warm water
    2 tablespoons honey, optional

2 Tbl 7 grain cereal {I added this in.}
1. Heat the oven to 375°F Grease a baking sheet or 8-inch square baking pan with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Put the flours, baking powder, soda, and
salt in a food processor and turn the machine on. Into the feed tube, pour first the remaining 4 tablespoons oil, then the yogurt or buttermilk, most of the water, and the honey if you’re using it and the 7-grain cereal.
2. Process for a few seconds until the dough is a well-defined, barely sticky, easy-to-handle ball. If it’s too dry, add the remaining water 1 tablespoon at a time and process for 5 to 10 seconds after each addition. If it is too wet (this is unlikely), add 1 to 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour and process briefly.
3. Form the dough into a round and put it on the baking sheet or press into the prepared pan, all the way to the edges. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top with a little coarse salt and continue baking for another 35 to 40 minutes, until the loaf is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool completely. Cut the bread into slices or squares and serve or store for up to a day.
I made mine in a loaf. I think next time I would make it a free form.


The 7-grain cereal added some extra texture and crunch to the bread.

The recipe is on page 529 of Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook

I have had a bottle of Balsamic Vinegar in the cabinet for a while. Good thing it just gets better! I bought it for a recipe and then never made THAT recipe. Donna has come to my rescue with the recipe I chose for this week’s Wednesday with Donna hay.

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Chicken breasts (and thighs) marinated in balsamic vinegar mixed with chicken stock and garlic then browned and cooked in the marinade. So simple. Simply serve it over couscous infused with garlic. I found some tri-color couscous at World Market that was fun to use. But it made TONS of couscous. 1 cup dry yielded 4 cups cooked.

If you are a balsamic fan then you will love this dish. I am still trying to decide if I liked it. B was definitely NOT a fan.

How did Chaya, Gaye, and Sarah like it? Check out their posts.

The recipe is from Flavours on page 102. I also found it at Food.com

I know I haven’t been in on the Friday Fun lately. Life has been too crazy. And I have been in a cooking/baking funk. Seeing this week’s choice kinda brought me out of it. And while I was expecting more of a cake that fact that it was a filled, with cherry jam, giant cookie was just fine with me.

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According to Dorie this gâteau is a ‘double crusted tart, one in which the crust is like butter cookies.” Bingo! Perfect quick and tasty dessert.

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It was good with just a little whipped cream. Even better with some home made vanilla ice cream.

You can see the rest of the Gâteaus on French Fridays with Dorie.

If you want to try the recipe it is on NPR but you REALLY need to get Dorie’s Around my French Table for your bookshelf

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