Sunday, November 8, 2020

P.S. How to Make Easy Fried Rice

 What to do if there is extra rice? Make Easy Fried Rice!

The Secret to Avoid Soggy Rice? Keep the eggs separate until the very end...

Put a little oil in a skillet, and put it over medium high heat.

Put the left over rice on one side.

Add additional veggies or protein, if desired.

Crack 2 or 3 eggs in a bowl, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of water and whisk it up.

Pour the eggs in the other side of the pan.

Keeping the rice and eggs separate, heat up the rice and scramble the eggs.

When the eggs are scrambled, mix the eggs and rice together.

Top with some hot sauce and dig in!

Salmon with Lemony Rice

The other day I Googled, "How has COVID changed grocery shopping?".  I looked at few suggested sites and they basically all said the same thing. It seems that people aren't going shopping as often, but when they do, they stock up. Apparently, frozen food is popular. But not stuff like T.V. dinners or burritos in wrappers! Even though some cooking fatigue is setting in, people are buying frozen ingredients to cook with. In the recipe posted here, the salmon and peas came from the freezer section. I followed the package directions by soaking the still vacuum sealed fish until it was thawed, and I ended up throwing the frozen peas directly into the cooking rice.  It all turned out better than fine - it was yummy! Plus, it was something different!

Ingredients and Directions

Lemony Rice - Yields Four 3/4 Cup Servings

4 garlic cloves, minced or put through a press
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 cup rice
1 (14.5 oz.) can chicken broth
1/3 cup water
1 carrot, peeled and chopped in small pieces
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup frozen peas

Place oil in pan over medium low heat. When oil is warmed, add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.

Add rice and stir well. Pour in broth and water and scrape up any bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Add carrots, pepper and lemon juice. Bring to boil. Turn heat down to low and cover. 

Follow the cooking time on the rice package, and stir in peas during the last five minutes of cooking. 


Grilled or Baked Salmon

For each piece of salmon:

1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried dill
1 lemon slice
1 teaspoon olive oil

Sprinkle each piece of salmon with the garlic salt, lemon pepper and dried dill. Place a lemon slice on each. Pour the olive oil over the too. Flip the lemon slice over so the seasoning shows.

Grill over medium high heat or grill at 375 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes. The fish is done when it flakes easily and doesn’t look translucent and raw inside. The time needed depends on the thickness of the pieces.

To serve, spoon 3/4 cup lemony rice on each plate. Place a cooked piece of salmon on top. 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Bircher Muesli, Overnight Apple Oats

Straight above is a photo of Bondi Beach in Sydney taken in December 2016. I remember it was a gloomy, overcast day and it didn't look glamorous at all. Roy and I were visiting Jennifer and Allison while they were spending a year exploring Australia and traveling to countries close to that part of the world. For a short time, Jennifer worked at a place named Sejuiced. (I can only imagine how clever someone must of thought they were when they thought up the name.) It was a walk-up juice bar in Bondi Pavilion on Queen Elizabeth Drive. One of her tasks was to make a big vat of Bircher to be ready for sale the next morning. 

The other day, Jennifer mentioned Bircher and explained to me what it was.  It's Swiss in origin and. like foods of many other nationalities, found its way to Australia. Basically, it's a type of overnight oatmeal made with apple juice. The version she made at Sejuiced included yogurt to increase the protein, shredded apples, unsweet coconut and a bit of cinnamon. It seemed so fall forward that I had to give it a try. Yes, it's yummy! It can be zapped in the microwave if a warm breakfast is desired- just don't tell anyone who knows about Bircher! It's usually served straight out of the refrigerator or room temperature.

Ingredients and Directions - Four Servings

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/4 cup apple juice
1 cup plain yogurt (If need be, Kite makes a good dairy free version), plus more for serving
2 Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup unsweet shredded coconut (Can be found at Whole Foods)
1 teaspoon cinnamon. plus more for serving
A few drizzles of honey, for serving

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, apple juice and yogurt. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight. 

In the morning, peel and core one of the apples. Coarsely grate it.
Add the grated apple, almonds, raisins, coconut and cinnamon to the oat mixture and combine well.

Cut the remaining apple into 12 slices.
Divide the Bircher into four serving bowls.
Place three apple slices and a dollop of yogurt on top of each serving. 
Give each bowl a sprinkle of cinnamon and drizzle of honey.
Dig in!

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Hamburger, Olive You!

I am a Hoosier from Indiana, but I'm no stranger to Michigan. For years and years, I’ve spent time every summer at our family cottage on Elk Lake. My grandparent bought it when I was very small  and now I share it with my sister and brother. After all this time, how could I have missed olive burgers?

It wasn’t until this summer that I kept noticing them on menus every time we ate out. Sometimes the green pimento studded little guys were tucked under a blanket of melted cheese. Sometimes the olives were in a salty mayonnaise sauce. Both versions are pretty good, but an internet search revealed that the sauce version is the original. Apparently, the first olive burgers were served in Flint at a chain called Kewpee - and then the burger’s popularity spread  to Lancing and beyond. 

Here’s my version of the saucy style of  olive burgers. It turns out it tastes yummy as a potato chip dip as well.

Ingredients for Four Olive Burgers:

1 pound ground beef
4 hamburger buns
Kosher salt for seasoning burgers
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1/4 cup sliced pimento stuffed green olives
2 tablespoons brine (liquid) from jar of olives
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce such as Franks
Lettuce, tomato and red onion slices

Divide the pound of ground beef into fourths. Form each fourth into a ball and shape each one into a patty by hand or smash it town with a metal spatula.  Sprinkle both sides each patty with Kosher salt. 
Heat grill or pan to medium heat and cook on each side About 5 to 7 minutes according to how well done desired. 

Toast the buns on the grill or oven during the last 2 or 3 minutes of cooking. Not necessary, but a nice touch. Keep an eye on them though- they can go from toasty brown to burnt black in a matter of seconds!

While the burgers are sizzling, make the sauce.
Just whisk together the mayo, olives, brine liquid from jar, Worcestershire, garlic powder, pepper and hot sauce. 

 Assemble by placing a burger in each bun. Top with a couple tablespoons of olive sauce. Place lettuce, tomato and red onion slices on top. 


Friday, April 10, 2020

Red Sauce Enchiladas

Well, we're all cooking at home and it's all about what we have on hand...

A couple days ago, I talked to my neighbor from our driveway as she was sitting in her car. "This stay at home stuff is really cramping my style. I'm used to running to the store everyday to pick up what I want to make for dinner!"

 A bit later, Jenn called up for the recipe for the enchiladas that I made her the last time she was home. Then, I had used chicken, but the meat she had on hand was ground beef. No problem! I just told her to brown and drain it and go on with the recipe. I mentioned my earlier conversation with the thought that during this time, the thing to do is "shop" in your own refrigerator and pantry.

So, in this recipe, go ahead and use any meat or cheese that you have. No tomato sauce? Dilute a can of tomato paste with two cups of water or puree a can of diced tomatoes. No can of diced tomatoes? Chop up fresh ones. It's the spices that make this dish yummy and hopefully, they are in your home store! P.S. Pull yours out of the oven before it looks over baked - like the photo here - Ha!

Ingredients for 6 to 8 Red Sauce Enchiladas:

2 cups any kind of meat (shrimp, cooked chicken, browned ground beef, pulled pork)
6 to 8 tortillas (any size, flour or corn)
1 (15 oz,) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
3 cups shredded cheese (Colby jack, cheddar, Monterey Jack)
1/2 cup diced onions
2 tablespoons canned diced green chilies (or sub 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes)
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper divided
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, divided

Add 2 teaspoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to the tomato sauce.

Stir it really well to combine the spices into the tomato sauce. Set aside.

In a bowl mix the meat, tomatoes, onions, green chilies,  1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 pepper.

Coat the bottom of a casserole baking dish with some of the tomato sauce mixture.
Brush or spread the inside of each tortilla with a bit of the sauce.

Place about 2/3 cup of the chicken mixture and 1/4 cup shredded cheese in each tortilla.

Roll each tortilla and place seam side down in baking dish. If you end up making more than six enchiladas, they could be crammed in lengthwise, below the rolled up tortillas. 

Spoon the rest of the tomato sauce mixture over the enchiladas. Top with the remaining cheese.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes. 

Serve with garnishes, sour cream or a side salad. Dig in!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Brothy, Smoky Beans

These brothy, smoky beans are just great as a side to grilled meats, pulled chicken and pork or even smoked meatloaf. They can be a whole meal if leftover bbq meats are added! I discovered that they are at their tastiest best when left to sit in their seasonings for at least a while before they are  heated up. I’m a big fan of using time saving canned beans and broth. I’d love to know if anyone makes these easy and yummy beans; send me an email at


1 (15 oz.) can black beans
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 (15 oz.) cans pinto beans
1 cup beef broth
1/4 teaspoon Chilean merken spice mix (or sub 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika, pinch cayenne pepper)
Limes for serving

Prepare this the night before- or at least the morning of- (but don’t cook it until ready to serve) to make it the most flavorful .

Drain and rinse the black beans and place in a smallish bowl. Sprinkle the lime juice, chili powder, ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt, garlic powder and pepper. Give the beans a good stir, cover, and store in refrigerator.

Drain and rinse the two cans of pinto beans. Place beans in medium large bowl. And the remaining 1/4 Kosher salt and the merken (or use substitute spices above). Give it a stir and pour in the beef broth.
Place in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook, add the black beans to the pintos.  Either heat the beans in a pot by bringing to a boil and then turning the heat down- or, just heat in the microwave for 5 to 7 minutes until hot.

Serve with lime slices for squeezing.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Roasted Cauliflower with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Roasted cauliflower is a great blank canvas and the perfect vehicle for an easy spicy sauce to ride around in! But this sauce is equally as yummy when it's on any roasted veggie- especially eggplant.

And by the way (don't we all love that phrase!), after years and years, I finally upgraded my phone all the way to an iPhone 11. Instead of taking the photos on this post with my Canon Rebel, I shot them with the iPhone. Besides that- I didn't even alter them with any of filter or program. (Perhaps you are thinking I should have - Ha!)

Ingredients for 2 to 4 servings:

1 head cauliflower
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons vinegar, (I used red wine vinegar here, but plain is best)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced or put through a press 
Greek Yogurt
A handful of  herbs such as cilantro, basil, mint, parsley or dill


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or fire up the grill to medium high heat.

Wash the head of cauliflower, pull back the large green “leaves” and cut off the stem at the bottom. Slice the head in half and then cut out the core at the bottom of each half. Separate into florets and place on baking sheet. A quarter sized sheet works great.

Drizzle the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt.

Put sheet in oven or in grill with door closed. Bake 20 minutes. Gently turn each floret over to allow other side to brown. Continue to bake another 10 minutes. Florets should easily pierce with a fork and have some deep golden brown spots when done.

While cauliflower is roasting, make the spicy tomato sauce.

Combine tomato paste, vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper flakes, cumin, pepper and garlic. Either microwave for 1 1/2 minutes or heat up to just a boil in a pan.

Place roasted cauliflower in bowl, add heated sauce and gently mix to coat.

Serve with handfuls of herbs and a dollop of Greek yogurt.