Mar 31, 2016

Tomato and Mozzarella Gratin

I found this recipe in a cookbook of mine, 365 Recipes, and couldn't wait to try it. Caprese salad is big at my house, and this is similar, but with melty, sometimes browned cheese.

Other than boiling the noodles, it's as easy to put together as Caprese salad, and easy to make ahead. I like to feel that the nutrition in the tomato offsets the dense calories of the delicious cheese. It's girl math!

I accidentally cooked too many noodles the first time, so I just saved the extras in a baggie until I got the chance to make it again.

To the recipe:

Tomato and Mozzarella Gratin 

Serves 2


5 oz. light lasagne sheets
4 Tbsp olive oil
10 ripe vine tomatoes (I used 3 -4 large tomatoes)
1 ball Mozzarella (4.5 oz)
1/2 bunch basil


1. Break the sheets of lasagne into pieces (or use already broken pieces) and cook in plenty of boiling salted water with 2 Tbsp olive oil for 10 minutes. Sitr frequently so that the pieces do not stick together. Drain, run under cold water, and drain thoroughly.

2. Cut the tomatoes into slices about 3/4 inch thick. Cut the Mozzarella into slices. Arrange some of the pieces of lasagne in a greased gratin dish (about 10x8in.) Next arrange the tomatoes, Mozzarella, and then more lasagne on top so that they overlap. Arrange in layers until the dish is full or you run out of ingredients. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

3. Brown lightly in the oven, preheated to 430 degrees (fan oven 390 degrees) on the middle shelf for 12-15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and possibly browned. Tear some fresh basil leaves into pieces and sprinkle on the gratin before serving.

Enjoy while warm!

*Adapted from 365 Recipes, A Recipe a Day, by naumann gobel Verlagsgesellshaft

I like this cookbook because it's ttranslated from German, so it gives a European perspective on food, but with US measurments for cooking. It contains lots of interesting recipes, like Waffles with Avocado Sauce, and Veal Escalopes with Pears. Lots of unexpected gratins too.

Dec 3, 2015

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

I love sweet potato pie! Sometimes I make it for Thanksgiving and serve it with dinner. I was watching Rachel Ray a few weeks ago, and saw her making a pie with Miss Robbie from St. Lois. Rachel commented on how Miss Robbie adds a bit of lemon flavor and almond flavor in addition to vanilla, and how good it was.

So I broke out my old sweet potato pie recipe and added a teaspoon of each, and it was great! I even overbaked it (Opps! Forgot!) and it was delicious.

This recipe calls for a long baking time. If that's a problem, I've seen other sp pie recipes with fewer eggs and a shorter baking time.

I hope you enjoy!


1 graham cracker crust (I buy these)

3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup sweet potato puree, cooled. (Bake, cool and mash)
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon flavoring
1 tsp almond flavoring
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until combined. Add sweet potato puree, half-and-half, lemon juice, vanilla, salt and allspice. Whisk together until smooth. Pour filling into crust, and smooth the top with a spatula.

Place the pie one a baking sheet, and bake until filling is set, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool completely, about 2 hours.

This pie can be made ahead and reheated. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream or iced cream.

Oct 8, 2015

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Siracha Stout Barbecue Sauce

Image result for stout beer 




I saw this recipe on Facebook, of all places! It was a PopSugar video, and I kept having to replay it to read all the ingredients. The woman in the video credited the "Beeroness" for the recipe. My family says I have now ruined them forever for other BBQ sauces. Try it yourself!


1 tsp oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Stout beer
1/3 cup soy sauce
1-4 Tbsp Siracha (I used 4)
2/3 cup ketchup
2 tsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp minced onion
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/3 cup brown sugar


Mix ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat and stir. Eat with the BBQ meats of your choice. Save remainder when cool.


Image result for sriracha




Sep 14, 2015

Zucchini Cilantro Soup

 This is the first year I've had success with zucchini in my garden. It wasn't a huge success, but hey, a step in the right direction. It was called a Black Zucchini when I bought the plants, but this looks pretty standard to me. I picked it before it got too big, as I didn't want it to get too seedy.

 My friend Laura has a more successful garden, and she offered me a recipe she said was really good. She was right! I had to buy some cilantro, and she turned me on to a product that substitutes for buttermilk. It's really hard to find small quantities of buttermilk. Follow the directions on the container.

I made a half recipe because just two of us are at home now, and it was just about right. A little was left over for lunch the next day. If you're feeding more, double the recipe. Although the original recipe called for it to be refrigerated at least 8 hours, we did not. We're not big fans of cold soup (except maybe Gazpacho!) Leave out the chicken broth or use vegetable broth for a vegetarian soup.

Zucchini Cilantro Soup

(serves 2)

1/2 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp melted butter
1 largish zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth (I used broth seasoning)
1 cup buttermilk, divided
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper

Melt the butter then saute onion in 3 qt pot over medium heat. Add zucchini and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, until tender. .Remove from heat and cool.

Combine half the zucchini, half the cilantro, and half the buttermilk into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the container. Pour into a large bowl.

Combine the other half of the zucchini, cilantro and buttermilk, plus the lemon juice and a little salt and pepper. Process until smooth and pour into the bowl with the rest. Stir to combine flavors.


(Actually I forgot about the lemon juice, and it was still good.)

Aug 27, 2015

Easy Banana Nut Muffins

The other day my husband was pressuring me to eat a banana. There were two left, and they were already getting spotted. Normally I like to blend them into smoothies, but two were too many. And time was short.

So to use them both, I looked up an easy banana muffin recipe. I adapted it from this:  

I had to adapt it since I only had 2 large bananas. Reading the comments, I felt safe reducing the sugar to 1/2 cup, and started with 1 cup flour to see if more was needed. It was perfect.

I also added my new favorite ingredient:  coconut oil! Love it on oatmeal, just love it so much! Thinking that it is good for you, no need to swap out applesauce for oil.

They were easy, only cooked for 20 minutes, and tasted great! Oh, and I added walnuts. Because I could.

I hope you enjoy!

Easy Banana Nut Muffins

makes 10-12

  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 13 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup walnuts 
  • Dash cinnamon

  1. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add sugar and egg.
  3. Add coconut oil.
  4. Combine dry ingredients and gently stir into banana mixture. 
  5. Mix in nuts. Don't over mix batter.
  6. Pour into well-greased muffin tin or 10-12 paper muffin cups.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.