What I cook

A family cookbook I created called "Stuff  You Ate as a Child:  Family food you may or may not have liked but here's how to make it" .  This contains both "depression recipes" from my family and Cuban recipes from my husband's.

Chicken Nicoise from the Williams Sonoma catalog

Chicken Marbella, everyone's go-to dish which can be made ahead of time and serve bazillions of people!

Amazing Soup! A chicken and black bean soup that is truly amazing!

Risotto - From Vickie at Part Three

Lemon and Honey Chicken - Excellent and could be made for a large crowd.  I did make a couple of small changes because I wanted to use ingredients on hand and would never be able to find specialty tomatoes at the beach.  I used 1 scant tablespoon dried oregano instead of fresh, and I used plum tomatoes. For the haricot verts I used whole green beans.  This was excellent and I just had this and a salad for dinner.  To make it more family or man friendly I would also have rice pilaf or some roasted potatoes.

Parmesan Cheese Sticks 

Cold Green Beans with Lemon Dressing -  To cook green beans to crisp but cooked, add green beans to heavily salted, BOILING water.  Remove lid and keep beans cooking at boil for 4 minutes.  TIME THIS.  Then drain beans and dump into a pot of ICE  water to stop cooking.  Let beans cool.  Just before serving coat with dressing - 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon),  zest of 1 lemon, 2 tsp of dijon mustard, 2 T of olive oil, a bunch of snipped chives (maybe 1-2 T.)  This can be made ahead but don't put it on the beans until just before serving or the acid will make the beans turn an ugly muddy color.

Easy Greek inspired beef - stew meat (3/4 to 1 lb), 1 can stewed tomatoes, 1 can diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, oregano (lots), bay leaf, basil, 1 cinnamon stick.  Put it all in the crock pot on high for 5 hours or on high for one hour and low for 7 hours.  Adjust all spices to taste.   Serve over basmati rice. 

Cold poached salmon  - salmon filets, chopped carrot, sliced onion, thyme, white wine (1/3 cup or so), water to cover salmon filets.  Put in large skillet and bring water and everything but salmon to a boil.  gently place salmon filets in skillet and cook and simmer until just barely cooked.  Remove from heat.  Remove from water and refrigerate.  Serve cold or at room temp.

Dill sauce for the salmon - 1 cup yougurt or sour cream.  1/4 cup mayonaise, 1/4 cup  fresh dill,  1 tsp tarragon  1 tsp dijon mustard.   Mix all and refrigerate.
Summer salads -
Chicken and Green Bean Salad - great non-mayo based salad

Corn and Kidney Bean Salad - This is also known as Natascha's Salad.  Natascha was one of our nanny's when the children were small.  The only two things she could cook were this salad and German Quark Cake which I still have dreams about.  If anyone has a Quark Cake recipe please send it to me.

Quinoa Salad - nice sweet/tart flavor.

Salad Nicoise, the traditional Julia Child and Jacques Pepin recipe!  Fabulous!

Chicken Waldorf Salad - Served at book club and everyone LOVED it!  Thank you, skinnytaste.com.

Rosemary/Basil bread - found this recipe at "so tasty, so yummy" but I added about 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped basil, a touch of fresh parsley, and a sprinkle of dried oregano.  Also did the dough setting on the machine and turned it into two baguettes.  Let sit for an hour and then baked at 425 for twenty minutes.  Put a metal pan in oven with about a cup of ice cubes to make steam.  Don't open the door!

The Best Cinnamon Rolls Ever, really.

Bread Machine Dinner Rolls   Everyone LOVES these rolls and they are easy and absolutely no fail.  I make them a smaller size than the recipe calls for since I want dinner rolls, not hamburger buns.  The freeze well and you can take a couple out of the freezer and by the time your dinner is prepared they are thawed and ready to heat in the toaster oven for a sec.


Cuban Bread Pudding   Follow the recipe with this important exception - use stale Cuban or French bread and grate it or put it in the food processor until it is so fine it is like coarse flour.  If you don't do this you won't get the real Cuban Bread Pudding texture which has no hint that it was actually made with bread.  Otherwise this is the best bread pudding, ever.  I promise. Even people that don't like bread pudding like this.

 Red, White and Blueberry Trifle  This is truly fab-u-lous!  and easy to make.  I did substitute vanilla pudding for the white chocolate pudding since no one in my family likes white chocolate.  And it went together very quickly.

Things I want to try:

BRAVA Sauce!
Put it on everything but perfect for Patatas Bravas!

1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic
splash of olive oil
           saute until carmelized

! tsp paprica
1/2 tsp smoked paprica
2 tsp (or 3 or 1 or however much heat you want)  cayenne pepper (I think 2 is perfect)
         Add to saute and cook a bit

1 can diced tomates, including juice
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp red wine vinegar
       Boil all together to break up tomatoes
       Add any additional spices you think it needs

use immersion blender to smooth it out.

use on deep fried potatoes Spanish style or use as a condiment on anything.  It really is great!

Crockpot Stew
A little more trouble than some recipes but the rich flavor is worth it.

Cooking oil
 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 T tomato paste
1/2 C red wine
2 T dijon mustard
1 1/2 cup beef broth
bay leaf
Stew meat
1/3 cup Flour, salt pepper

Rough the carrots, celery and onions and saute in oil about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and saute a couple more minutes.  Add tomato paste, and thyme and stir to coat all vegetables.  Cook another couple of minutes until carrots just barely start to soften.  Add red wine and mustard and cook to reduce liquid to half.

Coat meat with flour mixture and put into crock pot, including all the left over flour mix.  Add the potatoes to the pot.  Once the vegetable mix has reduced put it into the crockpot and stir to mix everyting.  Add the beef broth and the bay leaf.

Cook on low until done.

Cauliflower and Leek Soup -   http://jaykaym.blogspot.com/2014/01/cauliflower-and-leek-soup.html