Friday, June 20, 2008

Faux Mashed Potatoes (Cauliflower)

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Here's a great low-carb recipe for fake mashed potatoes, using cauliflower. You just cut up the cauliflower, boil it, then mash it. You can add any of these ingredients to your liking: cream cheese, half and half, sour cream or butter as you would to mashed potatoes. For a healthier version, you can use the reduced fat version of those dairy products.

1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
2 oz. cream cheese
3 T butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to boiling. Add a dash of salt. Add the cauliflower and cook until completely done. Drain. In a food processor or blender, add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve as you would mashed potatoes. Makes a great side dish.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sue's Mozzarella-Tomato Appetizers

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Sue Ceglinski made these appetizers at a recent baby shower, and everyone enjoyed them. They are easy, easy, easy to make and are a mini-salad on a stick. Sue is a multi-talented person. She made the most awesome cake for the shower, decorated with a sleeping baby on top. Not only did it look good, it tasted great. Sue also enjoys beading and is an exceptional craftsman.

Mozzarella balls
Cherry tomatoes (vine-ripened are best)
Fresh basil leaves
Fresh ground pepper
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

Thread the cherry tomato, basil leaf and mozzarella on a cocktail toothpick, and place on a serving platter. Grind some pepper on top. Drizzle balsami vinegar and olive oil on top.

Val's Orzo Spinach Salad

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Here's a great salad from my friend, Val Kane. It is a light, delicate and colorful salad, sometimes called Tri-Colored Orzo Salad. You can vary the amount of the ingredients to your taste. You can also substitute arugula for the spinach and add toasted pinenuts or walnuts. It can be made ahead of time and served chilled. Simply scrumptious!

1-lb orzo (cooked according to package directions and cooled)
1-2 bags fresh spinach (Trader Joe's brand is good), washed
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted nuts (pine nuts or walnuts) optional
Lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
Olive Oil (3T for the orzo, plus 1/4 cup for the dressing)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Cook the orzo according to package directions and drain. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the orzo as it cools. In a large salad bowl, mix the orzo, spinach, feta and cranberries. Sprinkle with lemon juice and additional olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add nuts on top. This can be chilled for a few hours or served immediately.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sam's Honey Garlic Spareribs

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I got this recipe from the Sam, the Cooking Guy's "Just a Bunch of Recipes" Cookbook, which my son, Stephen, gave me for Mother's Day. I love this cookbook. Sam Zien is a regular guy with a great sense of humor, who loves to cook. He is a "no frills" chef. His recipes are uncomplicated, simple, easy to follow using every day ingredients and focusing on great flavor. He has a cooking show on the Discovery Health Channel (8 Emmys) and a website: If you can't get the Discovery Health Channel, he has videos on his website that are very entertaining to watch. There, that's my plug for him. This recipe closely resembles Corinne's teriyaki sauce, and your house smells unbelievable as it bakes. I used baby back ribs, and they were so tender, the meat was falling off the bone.

4-5 lbs. pork spareribs, cut up
2 T garlic powder
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup honey
2 T cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
4 green onions, white and green parts only, thinly sliced
1 tsp sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the ribs into individual pieces and season with garlic powder. Wrap tightly with foil and place in a baking dish. Bake 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the sauce in a sauce pan, combining soy sauce, honey, cider vinegar, garlic and black pepper over medium-low heat for about 5 min. After 1 hour of roasting, remove the ribs from the oven, unwrap the foil at one end, and drain the liquid. Be careful, as it is very hot. Pour the sauce over the ribs making sure they are well-coated. Return to the oven, and bake uncovered for another hour, basting every 10 min. The sauce will burn if left unattended, so watch it carefully the last 20 min. Place the ribs on a serving platter and top with green onions and sesame seeds.

Corn and Edamame Salad

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This is a very refreshing salad, a nice accompaniment to Corinne's Teriyaki Chicken or Sam's Honey Garlic Spareribs. The dressing is light and sweet.

14-16 oz. shelled edamame (cook according to package directions)
1 ear of corn - boiled and cut from the ear
2 T red onion minced
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup miso
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 T Canola oil
1-1/2-2 T grated ginger

Cook the corn, then cut the corn kernels from the ear. Mix the dressing: miso, mirin, rice vinegar, ginger and oil. Layer ingredients in a shallow bowl: edamame, corn, red onion and walnuts. When ready to serve, add dressing on top. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Roger's Adobo Chicken

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Adobo is the popular national dish of the Philippines. Roger’s recipe, which originally came from his daughter-in-law, Gina, is combined with a Pike Place Market Filipino restaurant recipe. So good and easy!


One fryer, cut up
¾ cup palm vinegar (buy at an Asian market)
1 cup soy sauce
1 T pickling spice (important)
1 T brown sugar
Lots of bay leaves
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a large pot. Place chicken skin side down and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Simmer for 50-60 min. until tender, turning chicken occasionally. Serve with white rice.