My pick this week and evidently I am in an Italian mode because my pick for Wednesdays with Donna Hay this week also had lots of oregano, basil, and tomatoes.


I loved the ingredients in these meatballs: carrots, oats, Parm. I make meatballs often but never thought to put in a few shredded carrots. Such an easy way to get some extra veggies in. While I liked the meatballs, I thought the marinara was a little thin. The flavor was great but I like my sauces to be a little thicker.

You can find more meatballs and sauce on Eating with Ellie

You can find the recipe in Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders on page 107.

Several years ago I marked a recipe for this soup that I really wanted to make.  And never did.  In fact I completely forgot about it.  Until I was looking thru Donna’s modern classics.


Admittedly it’s not the original recipe I found but it was quite tasty.  And filling.  I was so afraid it would be rather bland since the only flavors added were sliced garlic, pepper, and basil leaves but I worried for nothing.

Donna called for wood fired bread, not gonna happen unless I build an outdoor oven, and over ripe tomatoes.  I had some good crusty bread in the freezer and some canned tomatoes.  Since the tomatoes had already been peeled and canned they worked out perfectly.

I only made 1/2 of the recipe but that was enough for 3 nice servings.  Next time I will make more.

Want to see more soup – visit Wednesdays with Donna Hay to see how the others liked my pick for this week.

The recipe is on page 24 of modern classics.  I also found it online if you want to try it out, too.

This was going around the Blogverse back in late 2008. I am reposting because it is fun. The foods I’ve tried since are in GREEN. What’s on your food list?

This seems to be doing the rounds amongst the blogs and it’s been interesting reading what people have eaten. It was all started by Andrew at Very Good Taste. As someone has said, “You are what you eat.” I love interactive blogs.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at verygoodtaste.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile Does alligator count??
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes Sorry, don’t like raw tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper I am not a masochist!!!
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects Not on purpose….
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more Johnnie Walker Blue & Gold Label
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi (if you tell me what this is, I may try it)
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (no clay, but I have eaten dirt, haven’t all children….)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake Yes, all 3.
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill {One rainy night I hit a deer!}
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail It really does taste like chicken – with lots of garlic.
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky (chocolate covered biscuit – how did I miss that?)
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

I have been around a long time to have actually tasted almost 1/2 of these. How about you?

While we are cooking with Ellie Krieger for the next 6 months with I Heart Cooking Clubs we take a break and have a monthly Featured Chef. This month – Mark Bittman. I love cooking with Bittman. His recipes are healthy and delicious. And this recipe fits right in with his ideas of Conscious Eating – lots of veggies and whole grains.


Curried Lentil Soup with Potatoes

    2 tblsp oil
    1 medium onion, roughtly chopped
    1 tblsp minced garlic
    1 tblsp minced peeled fresh garlic
    salt & freshly round pepper
    3 tblsp curry powder
    2 medium tomatoes, peeled, chopped
    1 cup dried lentils (wash and picked over)
    1 quart vegetable stock or water
    1 can light coconut milk (or another 1 1/2 cup of water)
    2 medium or one large potato, peeled & cut into chunks {Bittman says you can just about any root vegetable here.}
    1 small zucchini, roughly chopped
    1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or mint leaves

Heat oil in deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium high heat. When hot, add onion and cook until soft/translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add garlic & ginger and cook for another minute.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir in curry powder – stir frequently until darkened and fragrant, about 1 or 2 minutes
Stir in tomatoes and lentils. {I used red lentils and they will fall apart unless you put them in with the potatoes.}
Add stock and coconut milk.
Bring to a boil, partially cover and turn down heat to simmer.
Stir occasionally until lentils are just becoming tender; stir in potatoes and more stock if needed. Cook another 10 minutes, then add the remaining vegetables. Cover and cook until all the veggies are done.

Stir in cilantro or mint, adjust seasoning & serve

I really enjoyed this soup. It is filling, hearty, spicy, and delicious. I’m glad I made the full recipe.

Visit IHCC for the rest of Bittman’s dishes.

This recipe is on page 204 of Bittman’s Food Matters and you can find it several places on the WWW.

This week’s choice, from Chaya, is simple and delicious. It’s perfect for just any meal. Breakfast? Yes! Lunch? Definitely! Dinner? Oh, yeah!


Lots of color with the cherry tomatoes. Lots of flavor with the feta and parsley. Lots of good eats with the eggs and potatoes.


Thanks, Chaya, for this one. It will show up often in my kitchen.

If you want to try it the recipe is on Donna’s Website. You won’t be sorry.

And if you want to join us cooking with Donna, just leave a comment on our Wednesdays with Donna Hay website.And while you are there check out the other’s frittatas.

I like tabouli. I would not have believed that until a few months ago when I finally had some GOOD tabouli. I had had many dishes of BAD tabouli. And by bad I mean no flavor at all. I have even made it before but it wasn’t very good. This time it was different.


I was Donna Hay’s good tabouli. And it was easy to make. Especially since I actually had all the FRESH ingredients in the house: bulghul wheat, fresh mint, fresh parsley, fresh lemon juice, fresh onions, fresh tomatoes. Easy to put together. All you have to do is soak the wheat until it is hydrated and then all all the other ingredients. Perfect with just some pita bread or as part of a Mediterranean Feast.


Served with some nuts, dates, pita, olives, humus, and feta it was a filling meal. Donna’s recipe is on page 46 of modern classics and my pick for this week’s Wednesday’s with Donna Hay. Check out the other’s tabouli while you are there.

Or the name you might be more familiar with – Eggplant Parmesan.

When we visit antique stores and flea markets the first thing I look for is cookbooks. I don’t NEED any more but they are so fun to look through and sometimes I find one that is ‘reasonable’ and has great pictures and recipes. I found one just like that in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago. Elodia Regante’s Italian Immigrant Cooking . Inside were 150 or so recipes handed down through 4 generations. And each one with a story, picture, and family hints. The whole book is full of stories with the introduction telling the story of Elodia’s grandparents arrival in the U.S., meeting in Little Italy, having children, losing children, and celebrating holidays with family and food. And that is what is wonderful about this book – family recipes: authentic, unchanged for 100+ years except to adapt to American ingredients. I have so many recipes marked and ready to share.

This one caught my eye immediately because I have found/tried so many recipes that really aren’t ‘real’. This one was simple and delicious. I even made her Marinara sauce {1 hour, maybe 2} to go with it.


    3 medium eggplants, peeled if the skin is tough
    6 eggs, beaten
    4 cups Italian bread crumbs
    Olive Oil
    8 cups Marinara sauce {you COULD use your own recipe}
    2 cups grated Romano cheese
    1 1/2 lbs Mozzarella Cheese, shredded


Slice the eggplants about 1/4″ thick. Place on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt. Cover with more paper towels. Weight them down to drain as much liquid as possible. This may take up to an hour.
Dip slices in the eggs and then in the bread crumbs. Fry them until olden brown, drain, and cool. {You can also bake them.}
Place a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of your baking dish. Layer with eggplant, then Mozzarella and Romano cheese. Cover with sauce. Repeat until your pan is just about full. You may get 4 – 5 layers.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes or until the Mozzarella melts.
Allow dish to sit for about 10 minutes to let the ingredients settle before slicing and serving. (serves 6)

Marinara Sauce Salsa al Pomodoro

    1/8 cup minced garlic
    3 Tbl olive oil
    5 lbs ripe tomatoes {I used some I canned this summer}
    1 cup red wine
    1 Tbl oregano
    1 Tbl basil
    1 tsp thyme
    1 pinch rosemary
    Salt and Pepper to taste

Sautee the garlic in a large saucepan until soft but not browned. Remove the pan from the heat.
In another pot boil some water and add the tomatoes just long enough to soften and slip the skins. Smash the tomatoes with a potato masher. Add the tomatoes, their juices, wine and some of the boiled water to the pot with the garlic. {If you used canned tomatoes you don’t have to do this, just add the contents to the pot with the garlic.}
Add the spices and season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer, covered, for about an hour. Two if you have the time. Stir periodically.
{Original recipe page 127}

This was delicious and one of the easiest recipes I have found for the Parmigiana. I made just 1/2 of the recipe and it was plenty for two people.

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