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!

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Sunday, August 16, 2020

Immunity Boost Mango Broccoli Salad

This tasty salad is full of ingredients that have a reputation of being very good for health. The mango is hydrating, the broccoli is high in vitamin C, the ginger boosts immunity, the walnuts have omega 3, the apple cider vinegar supposedly prevents nasty problems  and the curry-like spices jump start it all!

But I think what really helps to keep us from experiencing disagreeable maladies is the kindnesses we extend to others, the positive thoughts we have and the love in our hearts.  No doubt, it’s hate and the inability to see another’s viewpoint that makes us sick!

So join me in letting go of old resentments and please- let me know if you enjoyed this yummy side dish! 

Ingredients for Four Servings:

2 mangoes cut into cubes or 2 cups frozen mango cubes
1 head broccoli, cut into small bite sized florets                                   
3 tablespoons minced purple onion
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup golden raisins
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated (or 1 teaspoon ground)

½ cup olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 garlic clove put through press or minced
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes


In a large bowl gently mix the florets, mango cubes, onions, walnuts, raisins and grated ginger.


Whisk together all the dressing ingredients: oil, vinegar, honey, coriander, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, cinnamon and chili flakes. 

Pour dressing over ingredients in bowl and gently toss. 

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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. 

Does anyone out there have an olive burger experience to share? I’d love to hear about it! Email me at

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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! If you have a question about substitutions, please email me at I'd love to hear from you!

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! 

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Poor Girl’s Fatty

When we went down to Florida this winter, we had about 18 little one-pound packages of ground beef in our motor home freezer. We had split a cow with Roy’s brother and our home freezer was full of  it. Having all that meat was perfect for making lots of burgers (and even for smoking meatloaf!), but after a while I needed a cure for hamburger boredom. Our next door site neighbor, Dave, is a genus when it comes to BBQ. He told me about a Fatty. It is supposed to be stuffed with what ever you fancy, wrapped in bacon and cooked in a smoker  I decided to cheat by ditching the bacon and doing  it on the grill- but it could easily be baked in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 25 to 30 minutes. Anyway, I had fun! The first time I did it, it looked perfect- but I didn’t take photos! The second time was a disaster and the third, mostly seen here, was average looking. I hope you have as much fun as I did with it. Let me know at

What you need:

A ziplock plastic bag
A pair of scissors
At least a pound of ground beef
Lemon pepper
Garlic salt
Things to add such as spinach leaves, hard boiled eggs, olives - anything goes...


Put the hamburger in a plastic bag.

Roll it from side to side, but not too thin- it's better not to roll it all the way up to the zip top.

Use a pair of scissors to cut the bag open, but leave the rolled out meat on the bag. Sprinkle the meat with the seasonings.

Let the plastic bag sort of aid you, as you start with one side and roll it up. Above is what happened when I rolled the meat out too thin.

This one worked out a little bit better! Sprinkle more seasoning on top before cooking.

Either bake the rolled up meat at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25-30 minutes, or transfer to a  quarter sheet pan and place on a medium heat grill. After about 10 minutes, carefully roll over the "fatty" and let it cook on the other side. If you have a meat thermometer, it is done at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you aren't sure, cut into it and if it looks raw, put it back in the oven or on the grill.

Slice it and serve it up. It doesn't look pretty, but its pretty yummy!

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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.) So what do you think? I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts at 

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.