Sunday, December 31, 2017

shakshuka with feta

This is shamelessly taken from NYT and adds feta. Which I have a fair amount of to use up. And simplifies prep because I don't to turn on my oven most of the year.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (I usually omit, but could be jarred peppers)
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 6 large eggs
  • Chopped cilantro, for serving
  • Hot sauce, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper and garlic. Cook gently until very soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, pour in tomatoes and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in crumbled feta.
  2. Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon hot tomatoes over eggs and let cook on stove top until eggs are desired texture, about 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with bread.
Note:  I make a whole batch like this, cook two eggs in it and eat that, then use the leftover sauce to make another meal or two by reheating it and cooking more eggs in it.  

Thursday, December 21, 2017

bierrocks from More with Less cookbook

I have no idea how I came upon this cookbook as a young adult.  Was it a family member's that I liked and gifted to me?  My father's family are from a church very closely related to Mennonites, so that sounds plausible. 

Anyway, my dietary world was shaped by More with Less, Diet and Recipes for a Small Planet, Laurel's Kitchen, and Moosewood.  I know I can find just about everything on line and I've long since gotten rid of most books, but I'm thinking of rebuying these.

I bought a big head of cabbage at the farmer's market and for some reason I started to crave these bierrocks, which are handpies with yeast dough, ground beef, and cabbage.  They freeze up well and are very satisfying.  So, it's a long weekend project.



2 c. warm water 
2 pkg. dry yeast 
1/4 c. sugar 
1 1/2 t. salt 
1 egg 
1/4 c. oil or butter 
6-6 1/2 c. flour 

Meat mixture: 

1 1/2 lb. beef 
1/2 c. onion 

Remaining ingredients:

3 c. cabbage, finely cut 
1 1/2 t. salt 
1/2 t. pepper 
Dash Tabasco sauce 
Minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and smoke flavoring, optional 

Chill dough for several hours and prepare as for roll dough (or substitute frozen dough). 
Brown beef and onion in a skillet and add remaining ingredients. Cover skillet and continue 
cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender. Do not add liquid. 
Cool slightly. Roll out dough into thin sheets. Cut in 5-inch squares. Place 2 T. meat 
mixture on each square, pinch edges together, and place pinched side down on greased 
cookie sheet. Let rise 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. 
This recipe 
is from the More-with-Less Cookbook (Doris Janzen Longacre, Herald Press, c 1976).

Monday, July 31, 2017

spaghetti carbonara

from NY Times 


  • Salt
  • 2 large eggs and 2 large yolks, room temperature
  • 1 ounce (about 1/3 packed cup) grated pecorino Romano, plus additional for serving
  • 1 ounce (about 1/3 packed cup) grated Parmesan
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 ½ ounces of slab guanciale, pancetta or bacon, sliced into pieces about 1/4 inch thick by 1/3 inch square
  • 12 ounces spaghetti (about 3/4 box


  1. Place a large pot of lightly salted water (no more than 1 tablespoon salt) over high heat, and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with hot water, and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks and pecorino and Parmesan. Season with a pinch of salt and generous black pepper.
  3. Set the water to boil. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the pork, and sauté until the fat just renders, on the edge of crispness but not hard. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Add pasta to the water and boil until a bit firmer than al dente. Just before pasta is ready, reheat guanciale in skillet, if needed. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain pasta and add to the skillet over low heat. Stir for a minute or so.
  5. Empty serving bowl of hot water. Dry it and add hot pasta mixture. Stir in cheese mixture, adding some reserved pasta water if needed for creaminess. Serve immediately, dressing it with a bit of additional grated pecorino and pepper.

Sunday, May 28, 2017


Sauerkraut - also from the fermentation class -

Chop up a head of cabbage in consistent-ish pieces.  Put into a bowl and salt it (somewhat less than 1 tsp to 1/2 cabbage).  Mix it up. 

Let it sit on counter 30-60 minutes to draw out the water.  Mix it and massage it.

Make a brine of 1 c. unchlorinated water and 1 tsp. salt.

Fill the jar with cabbage and brine.  Put an outside cabbage leaf on top, held down by rock or avocado pits to keep cabbage under brine.  Cover with lid or cloth with rubberband.  Leave on counter.  If use a lid, open to "burp it" every couple of days. 

Keep out of direct sunlight.  Leave it a minimum of 7 days per taste. 

Take out leaf, put in fridge.  It will stay good for a long time (many months).

water kefir

I took a fermentation class a few weeks ago and she gave us water kefir grains.  They're not the same as milk kefir and they're supposed to make a carbonated beverage that can be mixed with juice.  Or, as one site said, can be like a light lemonade.  That appeals to me, as we're pulling into a hot summer.

First ferment:

Warm up 1 quart water with 1/4 c. sugar to dissolve sugar.

Drain grains and put into quart jar.  When the sugar water is room temperature, add it to the jar.  Cover with cheesecloth, thin cloth towel, or coffee filter and rubber band it.

Leave it on the counter 24-48 hours.  The grains want to be refed every 48 hours.

Second ferment:  
Strain.  (Save kefir grains for another first ferment.)

Put the strained kefir water into a bottle, like the old Grolsch bottles with the flip top lids.  She suggested 2/3 water kefir and 1/3 flavoring such as fresh juice, whole fruit, crystallized ginger, mint).  I think I want to try it with cucumber pieces and watermelon juice.

Close it and keep it on the counter for 24-48 hours.  Then put in fridge if storing for longer.  Be very careful opening it as the pressure can build.

Longer-term storage:
for the first ferment, just put into the fridge for up to two months or so.  Some molasses will help revive the grains.     

I have now made it with strawberries, cherries, lime-cucumber, watermelon, and calamondin.  All good.

In the heat here I've been warned to do a second ferment in flip-top bottles for no longer than 12 hours.  So ... I'm putting the in the shower for a 24 hour ferment and no explosions yet (knock on wood).  The 12 hour secondary ferment made it slightly effervescent (drinking lime-cucumber now); when fermented longer (with strawberries) it was so bubbly it exploded a third of it all over my kitchen when I opened it and it tasted like a carbonated soda.  But better. 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

incredibly good pancakes

I was looking for a recipe to use up sour cream, and found this one for blueberry pancakes.  SO GOOD.

Blueberry Sour Cream Pancakes
  • 2 cups (283g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp (42g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (295 ml) milk (anything but skim)
  • 1 cup (8oz) sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 Tbsp (2.5 oz) unsalted butter, melted, plus more cold butter for griddle
  • 1 1/2 cups (8 oz) fresh blueberries
  • Preheat an electric griddle to 400 degrees (a non-stick skillet set over medium heat will also work).
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt 20 seconds, then create a well in center of mixture. In a separate medium mixing bowl whisk together milk, sour cream and eggs until well blended (melt butter at this point, if you haven't already).
  • Pour sour cream mixture into flour mixture and whisk just until about 3/4 of the way combined (there should still be large lumps and some flour streaks). Immediately pour in blueberries and melted butter and fold just to evenly distribute, about 5 times. Butter griddle (only butter spot you'll be adding batter because the butter will burn quickly if you don't immediately drop batter after buttering) then pour a heaping 1/3 cup batter onto griddle. Allow to cook until bottom is golden brown then flip and cook opposite side until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
  • Recipe source: adapted slightly from Taste of Home

Saturday, May 6, 2017

dog treats

Posted by a woman in a Facebook group I'm in (in the UK), these all look very promising at making my Catahooligan attentive.  I'll gradually try to convert to US measurements.

Peanut Butter Treats
50ml oil (60ml is 1/4 cup)
2 eggs
3 tbsp peanut butter
8oz flour rice, rye or potato or any mix you like
2oz cornmeal - 3/8 c.
2oz oats - 3/8 c.
120ml water - 1/2 c.
Herbs, garlic (optional),

Mix well you need a soft but not sticky dough, roll out to approx. ½” thick, put the whole piece onto a baking tray, cut into biscuits or small treats 1/4” square for training treats, before baking, turn over ½ way through baking. A pizza cutter works well
Bake at 160/170c until dry and slightly golden.

Tuna Treats

110g plain flour, white/ wholemeal/rice/ rye
1 medium sized egg
1 x 140g can of tuna flakes in sunflower oil (drained)
Half a teaspoon of garlic powder or granules

Puree the tuna, mix in the egg add the flour to the egg and tuna, sprinkle on the garlic as you stir it all into a mixture, when it's fully blended to a thick paste, make it into a ball then spread very thinly on the baking sheet using your hands.

line your baking sheet with non- stick silicone paper
Bake in the oven 180c for 30-40 minutes, flip over after 20 minutes and continue baking , it should be golden and fairly hard, let it cool the cut up into desired sized pieces, use a pizza cutter.
I turn the oven off and when I have cut it up I put it back into the oven to dry a bit more
Refrigerate in a plastic dish, or your fridge will smell of garlic for weeks!

Liver treats

I lb of liver (beef/lamb)
1 cup of whole wheat flour or rice/potato
1 cup of cornmeal
1/2 cloves crushed garlic, if desired!
2 eggs

Puree the liver in a food processor, add all the other ingredients and mix well.

Spread onto a greased lined (use non- stick silicone paper) baking sheet, bake in at 180c for 20 minutes flip over half way through cooking, cut into pieces ( I use a pizza cutter)I keep ½ of this recipe in a plastic box and keep in the fridge. The other half I freeze in small lined pieces ( I use a pizza cutter)

This makes 1lb 8oz of treats. For a small dog I would only make ½ quantity

Fishy treats
1 tin of sardines in tomato sauce or oil. Or a small tin of pink salmon, which I prefer
1 lge egg
1 Tbsp rolled oats
several heaped tbsp rice flour.

Regular plain flour can be used if you prefer, however rice flour ensures that the treats are suitable for dogs with a wheat or gluten intolerance.

First you need to preheat the oven to 150c - 300 F

Put the sardines in a large bowl a and mash with a fork
Beat the egg and stir into the sardines
Add the flour 1 tbsp at a time and mix until you reach a soft dough like consistency that you can roll out use less or more flour as required.

Roll the dough out thinly and cut out using a small cutter, or I simply roll on a piece of nonstick paper then transfer to the baking sheet and cut into small tiny treat size squares on the baking tray with a pizza cutter,
Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until the biscuits turn golden – about 30 -40 minutes. They might have some give to them at this stage, so if you prefer them to be really crunchy leave in a little longer.................................................................................................

Beef biscuits for dogs

200g of Beef mince (ground beef)
200g of flour I use either Rye flour or Brown Rice flour but wholemeal is fine (approximately 2 cups)
1 tbsp of mixed dried herbs/parsley
1 Egg
1 tsp of sunflower oil
150ml of water how much water you need depends on what flour you use - 2/3 c.
you can also add a clove of crushed garlic if you wish

Mix the flour, herbs and Beef Mince together thoroughly. Best in a mixer
Then add the egg and sunflower oil to the mix,
Add the water a little at a time till you get a pastry like dough (not too sticky)
The easiest is way is to put the rolled out pastry on to a baking tray and lightly cut into the size you require with a pizza cutter
Roll out mixture on a floured surface to about a centimetre thick and cut up into about 1 inch size pieces ( bigger or smaller if you want) I use a pizza cutter, for training treats make them very small ¼”.

Place on a greased/ lined baking tray in the oven about 160 turn down if they get too brown, for about 30 minutes, then turn over, break up and cook for a bit longer

If you want them really hard when they are cooked turn the oven off and leave them in the oven for a while longer to harden.

Keep in an airtight tub so far the ones I have made have kept well

Saturday, April 22, 2017

green beans

Here is a recipe for green beans that is super easy and tasty


  • 12 ounces trimmed green beans
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

How to Make It

Step 1
Place green beans in a large skillet; pour in 1/4 cup water.
Step 2
Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as water comes to a boil, cover pan and cook 3 minutes.
Step 3
Uncover pan, and stir in butter. Cook 1 minute or until water evaporates and beans are crisp-tender.
Step 4
Sprinkle beans with salt and pepper.

Monday, April 17, 2017


As usual I have WAY too many windows open and I'm getting frustrated with trying to find the appropriate ones, so ...

I made this frittata with kale and leeks to use up stuff I had.  Not a fan of the kale in it, or the eggy crust.  But otherwise a good texture.

This tortilla looks really good.

Hope my zucchini plants are prodigious and we can have this.

Fontina?  OK.  add this to the list when I want mushrooms.

Now that I'm getting a dozen eggs every couple of days, I gotta be strategic!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

rosemary meatballs with dijon collards and apricots

I don't remember where I first saw this recipe but now see it's many places, including here.



  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef (using local lamb today)
  • 3 sprigs of rosemary, de-stemmed and minced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, pressed
  • salt, pepper, granulated garlic
  • 1 T oil


  • 4-6 heaping cups shredded collard greens
  • 1 T. dijon mustard
  • 4-5 dried apricots, pitted and chopped


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
  2. Add your ground beef, chopped up rosemary and pressed garlic into a large mixing bowl. Using clean hands work the meat until the garlic and the rosemary are evenly disbursed throughout the meat. Add in some salt, pepper and granulated garlic to your liking and mix again. Form your mixed meat into meatballs. I made mine on the small side and yielded eleven or so out of my pound of ground beef.
  3. Coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet with your tablespoon of oil. Make sure that the bottom surface of the pan is covered. Arrange your meatballs neatly in the pan. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until your meatballs are cooked through.
  4. Remove the meatballs from the oven and transfer the skillet to the stove top. Using tongs, remove your meatballs from the pan and set them aside on a separate plate. Add your tablespoon (or more if you like) of dijon mustard to the fat drippings in your pan. Whisk together lightly.
  5. Add in your shredded collard greens and allow them to cook down in the leftover beef fat and mustard mixture over medium heat. Once your greens have wilted, add in your apricots and allow the entire mixture to cook down until the apricots and lightly softened.
  6. Place the meatballs back in the pan over the greens and serve! Enjoy!

Friday, March 24, 2017

tuna dog treats

In a variety of places on-line, here are the tuna dog treats that I've made:

  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tuna in oil (do not drain)
  • 1 12 cups  flour - wheat, coconut, tapioca
  • 1 teaspoon garlic power
  • 2 eggs
  • some (a couple Tablespoons) parmesan cheese
Toss all of these in a food processor and blend up, then press into a greased 9x9 pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then chop into small pieces.

My dog loves loves loves these.  I refrigerate and freeze them.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

beet farro feta greens salad

This salad is FANTASTIC and I've made it a number of times.  Recipe for Farro Salad With Beets, Beet Greens and Feta found here.  Below with my modifications.


  • 2-3 beets (any color), roasted  
  • Beet greens or chard or kale, de-stemmed and washed well 
  • 1 cup farro, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced or pureed
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  •  1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil (may substitute walnut oil for up to 2 T of it)
  • ½ cup broken pecan or walnut pieces 
  •  4 ounces feta or goat cheese, crumbled
  • Herbs if you like (I don't generally add because no need) 


  1. Roast the beets, cool, chop.
  2. Blanch beet greens/kale for 2 minutes or saute until slightly tender.
  3. Cook farro to package directions. 
  4. Make the vinaigrette. Whisk together the vinegars, garlic and mustard. Whisk in the oil(s). Add to the farro. Peel and dice the beets and add, along with the beet greens, feta or goat cheese, herbs and walnuts. Toss together, and serve warm or room temperature with a little more cheese sprinkled over the top if you wish.

Friday, January 6, 2017


Halusky - or "how to eat a half a head of cabbage and love it"

More from Budget Bytes.  Yum!

  • 8oz. wide egg noodles $1.00
  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided $0.33
  • 1 yellow onion $0.25
  • ½ head green cabbage, shredded (5-6 cups) $1.78
  • Salt and pepper to taste $0.05
  1. Cook the egg noodles according to the package directions (boil until tender) and then drain in a colander.
  2. While the noodles are cooking, thinly slice the onion. Remove any dirty or damaged outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into wedges, remove the core, then slice thinly to shred.
  3. After draining the noodles, add 1 Tbsp of the butter and the sliced onions to the pot used to cook the noodles. Sauté the onions over medium heat just until they begin to soften (about 3 minutes). Add the cabbage and continue to cook until the cabbage is tender (5-7 minutes).
  4. Return the drained noodles to the pot with the cabbage and onion. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and stir until the butter is melted and everything is evenly coated. Season the cabbage and noodles liberally with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Serve warm.