Saturday, February 4, 2017

spaghetti squash to try

Cut spaghetti squash in half, remove seeds, brush with olive oil, and roast face down for 35 - 45 minutes,,,,depending on size,
Cook until shell is soft with a poke...pokey test.
Tip: squash is easier to cut if microwaved for 1 minute...poke shell with fork first!

In the meantime, fry some bacon. 1/2 a pound?
In the residual grease, sauté some diced onion onion?
Add a bag of baby spinach.
Season w/ salt and pepper to taste. (Nutmeg?)
Add a dollop or 2 of ricotta cheese.
Stir and set aside. Dice bacon.

Use fork on squash to separate fibers to create "spaghetti" strands.
Add spinach and ricotta mixture.
Top with bacon and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
Return to oven until melted and hot all the way through.

Try w/o ricotta...substitute a pat or 2 of butter.

Note: squash, bacon, onion, and Parmesan make a really nice flavor combination. Spinach and bacon make a great flavor combination. The spinach adds protein and nutrients. Hadn't though to try spinach and spaghetti squash together.

Recipe was viewed on Tim Farmer's Country Kitchen, but at this time, was not available on website. Will check back.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Miss Daisy's Beef and Cabbage Casserole

Watched "A Chef's Life" and saw this recipe. 
It looked good, so I gave it a go today.
I had a large package of ground beef, so just took a bit out of the pack....perhaps a pound, maybe less.
Added 1/2 an onion when meat was browned.
Added not quite 1/2 a head of cabbage to my casserole pan...used a disposable.
Salt & Pepper.
Then added a layer of Yukon gold potato slices.  Salt & pepper.
Added 1/2 a can of diced tomatoes to hamburger mix, plus 1 can of cream of celery and a can of cheddar cheese soup.
Spread mixture over potato and cabbage.
Followed Vivian's baking directions.

Things I would do differently:
I might add more meat. But, if we are downplaying the meat portion and focusing more on the veggies, then I would season the ground beef. A little Lawry's Season Salt would have gone a long way.
I also think it could use some garlic....a sprinkle, or a bit of minced in the sauté.
Some chopped carrot mixed in with the cabbage would add some color.
I made the casserole in the morning and popped it in the oven after work.  I think upping the temp to 375 would have helped the cooking process...cabbage was still a tad too crunchy after an hour of cooking as prescribed.
Another thing I was concerned about is liquid coming from the cabbage. It was a little watery.
I don't see anyway to prevent...a glass casserole dish instead of an aluminum disposable might have conducted the heat better (better evaporation) and perhaps cut the milk going into the burger/soup mixture.
I also topped with a bit of grated cheese...just a quick minute or 2 more in the oven.

Leftovers...think I'm going to try wrapping in puff pastry. Individual parcels, seasoned, and perhaps a bit more cheese...Swiss and gruyere? Avoid excess liquid.


We received a ton of requests for Miss Daisy’s beef and cabbage casserole that was featured on our “A Casserole Says Plenty” episode. Miss Daisy was so gracious to provide it to our viewers. If you make it, be sure to post some pictures on our Facebook page. We’re sure Miss Daisy would love to see them and so would we!

• Lightly sauté chopped bell pepper and medium onion in 1 TBS olive oil (or you can use ½ to 1 stick of butter instead). Set aside.
• Brown 1 ½ lbs. of ground beef or chuck. Drain fat.
• Put approximately 3 cups of chopped cabbage in the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
• Thinly slice 3 medium potatoes (approximately 3 ½ cups) over layer of cabbage.
• Salt and pepper to taste.
• Add 1 can of cheddar cheese soup and 1 can of cream of mushroom soup along with ⅓ cup of milk to ground beef along with the sautéed bell pepper and onions. Stir well.
• Pour mixture over potatoes.
• Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.
• Then remove the tin foil and bake uncovered for 10 more minutes.

A Note from Miss Daisy "I vary this recipe considerably, depending on how many people I am cooking for. Feel free to adjust the amount of cabbage, potatoes, etc. This is a good dish for covered dish dinners. Still tastes good, even at room temperature. Enjoy!" 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Caribbean Corn Bread

Caribbean Cornbread

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 20 mins
  • Servings: 9


"Pineapple is the surprise ingredient in this Caribbean-style cornbread! Originally from a food section newspaper article about a restaurant in Anguilla. It's delicious with ham and will go well with summer barbeques!"


    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup cornmeal
    • 2 tablespoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup butter, room temperature
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups canned cream-style corn
    • 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
    • 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese or 1 cup mild white cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Butter and flour a 9-inch square glass cake pan (you can use a metal pan but the recipe states that glass works better).
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar.
  5. While mixer is running, add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add corn, pineapple and cheese; mix to blend.
  7. At low speed, add flour mixture and mix until well blended.
  8. Pour batter into pan and bake until golden brown around edges and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour.


Serving Size: 1 (164 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 9
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Calories 461.1
Calories from Fat 245
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 27.2g
Saturated Fat 16.1g
Cholesterol 159.4mg
Sugars 19.4 g
Sodium 870.8mg
Total Carbohydrate 47.5g
Dietary Fiber 1.9g
Sugars 19.4 g
Protein 9.4g

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Alfredo - by request

I have one recipe written down that I refer to often because I can't remember some of the technical how-to details from one time to the next.  I made it recently and took the leftovers for lunch.  A co-worker has asked for the recipe, so now it's time to commit it to the site for future reference.

Alfredo Sauce [ with Chicken and Broccoli]

1 pint heavy cream
1 stick [plus some] butter
5-8 oz grated Parmesan cheese [Refrigerated grated parms are normally 5 oz. This amount is good for the sauce, but you might want a little extra for garnishing.]
3-4 cloves fresh minced garlic
1 small onion, diced.
2 -3 stalks of celery, diced.
Broccoli florets [I used dehydrated broc. the last time, but fresh or well thawed and drained frozen will do.]
Chicken [I used left-over chicken breast smoked on our Cobb grill.  You could  bake a couple of lightly seasoned breasts before hand or dissect a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken for convenience.]
1lb. pasta of choice
Salt & Pepper to taste.
Fresh parsley, finely chopped.  [Optional]

Prepare/cook chicken.  Once in bite-sized bits, set aside.
Lightly steam fresh broccoli, or thaw and drain frozen.  Set aside.
Boil 1 lb pasta.  Drain and reserve 1 cup liquid.  Set aside.

In large skillet/frying pan, add 1 tbl. butter on medium heat.  Add a small amount of olive oil if available to keep butter from burning.
Add onion and celery to the pan.  Stir and cook 1-2 minutes then add garlic. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and continue cooking for 1-2 more minutes or until vegetables start to get soft.
Add cream and stir.  Bring to a boil.  Stir often.
Reduce heat.  Let cream reduce for 5-6 minutes.  Lid off.

Add remaining butter.  Stir.
Heat should be very low before adding the next ingredient!
Slowly stir in Parmesan cheese.
Taste and adjust seasoning - salt & pepper
Add broccoli.  
Add chicken.  **Note:  You could leave broccoli and chicken out and serve on top or to the side of the alfredo pasta.
Stir in pasta.  Add reserved cooking liquid as needed for consistency.

Serve with a sprinkle of Parm, a crack of black pepper, and a dusting of fresh parsley.
Good with crusty garlic bread.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Parmesan Pork w/ Cheese Tortellini and Spinach

This yummy dinner kind of came together by accident. I was doing a grocery shop for all those little things we like to have on the boat but were out of...provisioning. But since I was in the store, I might as well pick out something for dinner. I eyed up a Hormel Parmesan Crust Porkloin and decided that would be easy enough to throw on the grill.

Now for a side item. Since we've gotten the new Cobb grill, Jeff has done a lot of the cooking which I greatly appreciate...but it means we've had a lot of corn on the cob and baked potatoes - those being the obvious choices for throwing on the grill. Not tonight, though, I was picking out something different. The Parmesan crust suggested Italian so I picked out a roasted garlic and cheese tortellini and went back to the produce section for a bag of baby spinach...that should make a nice side dish.

By the time I got home from work a little after 7, Jeff had the pork started. Time to relax, have a cocktail, and enjoy the breeze and the sunset. The great thing about this new grill is that you can cook very slowly with it if you chose and as neither of us were hungry, we took our time cooking the tenderloin. I'm sure you could just follow the directions on the label and cook it in the oven as suggested.

Jeff got out his newest guitar, and spent a very pleasant evening checking on the pork occasionally. But, now it's gotten late, and I'm still not hungry. We took the tenderloin off the grill and let it rest. I thin sliced it and made Jeff a sandwich...the rest could wait.

The next day, to make dinner quicker and easier, I went ahead a boiled the tortellini for a minute less than the lowest cooking time, drained them, gave them a pat of butter and a dash of salt, pepper, and garlic...then [after sneaking a few] threw them in the fridge for later.

Dinner was a cinch. I heated my large skillet with a bit of oil, ran a knife through the pork slices to make them bite size, and threw them in the hot oil. Next, the tortellini went right in on top. Shake, shake...sizzle, sizzle. After just a minute or 2, I reduced the heat, threw in a large scoop of minced garlic [the kind in oil], tossed in a couple handfuls of spinach and a pat of butter and put the lid on.

One minute later [just enough to be put a wilt on the spinach but not really cook it.] and I was putting dinner on a plate. A quick sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and in Jeff's case, a bit of tomato sauce, and VIOLA!

Jeff told someone today that it was the best thing that he's eaten in months...since he's been doing most of the cooking, I'll take that as a compliment.

It was certainly good enough to fix again...whether or not we do it in the same manner will remain to be seen. I think all kinds of left-overs...steak, chicken, chops...could be used in the same manner with yummy results.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Guest Menu part 3 [Ribs and Rub]

Another never-fail-favorite when I have people to feed is ribs cooked in the rotisserie.

Yes, we have a rotisserie on the sailboat.

We've all seen the late night infomercial for Ron Popeil's Showtime Rotisserie Grill..."Just set it and forget it!"

Well, Jeff used to have one and gave it away because he thought it was a ridiculous thing to try to make space for in the small confines of a sailboat.
It only took a short period of time before we both missed it enough to order a new one.

It's just hard to screw anything up in one of these things and everything turns out to be delicious, moist and flavorful.

The secret though is in the rub.
A good rub can be made by just simply sprinkling a nice cut of meat with your basic spices...salt, pepper, onion, and garlic or any one of the myriad of spice blends found at your local grocer.

But, I have developed a rub that is my personal favorite and seems to be good on just about everything I've tried it on beef and pork wise. I haven't tried it on chicken or fish.

It all started when Jeff made the java rub from the book "How to Grill" by Steven Raichlen.
I would take some of his rub and mix it with other things of my choosing.
When the rub ran out, I decided to mix a batch of my own.
I looked at the java rub recipe but I don't like the smell of coriander and couldn't see adding it to my recipe.
So here is approximately what I threw, I usually make a container full and use what I need and save the rest for a later date. So, if you only want one application adjust your amounts accordingly.
And keep in mind that I don't measure...we're mostly just winging it here.

2 packs of Starbucks instant coffee [3.3 grams/each makes a cup]
1 Big heaping tablespoonful [from here on to be known as BS] garlic powder
1 BS onion powder
1 BS parsley flakes
1 BS Hungarian if there were any other kind.
1 BS Hershey's Special Dark cocoa
A few generous sprinkles of oregano...flakes or ground or both.
Fresh ground pepper until you arm feels like it might fall, and then add a bit more.
A dash of cumin
A dash of cayenne pepper...flakes or ground or both.

And now for the secret ingredient...drum roll, please...
A BIG heaping spoonful of beef broth granules. I've used Wyler's or Maggi and both have been fine.
This is the whole reason I keep any other salt to a minimum and is probably the only salt the recipe needs. I have been known to add smoked or hickory salt to the mix. If it gets too salty you can always add more of the other ingredients.

Once you've got everything combined, take a fork and smoosh everything together. This will break up the granules and any herb flakes you might have added.

Now you need to lick a finger and give it a taste.
At this point, you're on your own.
Add more garlic, coffee, chocolate, pepper, salt, or anything else your heart taste.

When you get it how you like it, seal it up in an airtight container and run down to the store for a slab of meat.
Ribs, brisket, London broil, pork tenderloin, Boston butt...whatever you like to cook.

I like to rub the meat the day before I plan on cooking it.
Wrap it up nice and tight and let it just sit in the fridge.

Then through it on the grill, under the broiler, in the pressure cooker or if your one of the fortunate...skewer it up and "Set it and forget it!"

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Guest Menu Part 2 [Lobster Mac & Cheese]

My Mac & Cheese is always a crowd-pleaser and a favorite among our guests. This time I wanted to try something a little more special.

First I bought 2 lobster tails of the Florida spiny persuasion...about a pound a piece and frozen.
I let them sit and thaw while I prepped the other parts of the recipe such as grating the cheese [8oz. of cabot's low fat sharp white cheddar] and boiling the pasta [barilla pasta plus shells to go with the seafood theme.]

Next I steamed the tails in the veggie steamer for about 5 minutes...then dumped them in a colander and covered them in ice to stop the cooking process. The tails were slightly under-cooked...definitely no trying a nibble...but it made them easy to remove from the shells. I gave the lobster meat a quick chop and set aside.

Next I prepped my liquid which consisted of 4 eggs and a quart of fat free half and half. I have had pretty good luck with the fat free stuff although the results would probably be creamy with the regular.

Usually in my mac and cheese, to complement the flavor of the cheddar, I add a dash of Worcestershire and a squirt of good mustard. This time, I thought sherry would be good. I bought cooking sherry at the grocery and although it worked just fine, it is very salty and you have to be careful. Next time, I'll spring for a small bottle of the real stuff and have a sip or 2 of it while everything is baking.

I added maybe a 1/4 cup of the sherry to the egg and cheese mixture with a sprinkle of garlic powder and a dash of pepper.

Now for the cheese part. As I previously mentioned, I grated the block of cabot's but then added to it a bag of the new Kraft cheese with Philly cream cheese...the triple cheddar, I think.
The cream cheese added to the shredded cheese has got me thinking about the next time adding some actual cream cheese to the recipe...perhaps 1/2 the cream and a block of softened low-fat Philly whipped into the egg mixture.
Just something to think about.

So now it's it's time to put it all together.

Melt 1/4 stick of butter in your casserole dish...swish it around and pour the rest into the egg mixture.

First layer 1/3 of the pasta...I tried to make this a smaller dish with more lobster to pasta ratio so I did not use a full pound of the cooked shells. The dog was all for this decision and graciously helped with the extra shells I no longer required.

Next sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese with 1/2 of the lobster. Don't get hung up on the all works out.

Now 1/3 more pasta...1/3 more cheese....the rest of the lobster. Finish off with the rest of the pasta and the last of the cheese. Give it all a good pat and then pour the egg/cream/sherry mixture over the top.

Now bake it according to whatever the other page says or covered for about 45 minutes in a hot oven.

In the meantime melt the rest of that stick of butter, combine with a generous amount of panko, a fair amount of parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle or 2 of old bay.

When the timer goes off, remove the covering and spread evenly over the top.
Bake for another 15 minutes or until it's done.

Let me know how yours turns out.
Mine was quite yummy and I look forward to tweaking the recipe just a bit to make it even more delicious.