Thursday, June 30, 2011

What is a Beet?

Last night my young neighbor asked me What is a beet? I showed her. I said it looks like a clod of dirt but it is brightly colored under the skin. Then I brought out my potato beet salad for her to taste. Her two friends and her brother came over to see what was happening, and I gave them all forks. Help yourselves I said, holding the big pot over the fence. I am not afraid of germs.

Johnny Goric

Damn the new junk food, because it made us forget our grandmothers and our mothers good taste of food.
-Johnny Goric

Cast Iron

Cast iron has been an obsession of mine ever since I visited Old Sturbridge Village as a child. I still marvel at the magnificence of this heavy duty Colonial cookware. Last night I made my summer potato salad in my Dutch oven instead of my pressure cooker (recipe posted here), but this time I added a beet for color. One beet packs a lot of pigment! Lately I have been taking advantage of the residual heat held by the cast iron. When steaming vegetables or making oatmeal I turn the burner off just as things come to boil and the residual heat does the reminder of the cooking. Also, when making fried eggs, I cook and then serve them in my little iron skillet rather than transferring them onto a cold plate. Iron cookware keeps the heat and is extremely efficient. Don't scrub the cast iron pots with soap, and be sure to season them often. They'll last forever.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Community Garden

I just went to the library with Lily to return books. Then I walked next door to the community garden. Nobody was there. I watered the beds using the big plastic watering can floating in the rain barrel. I found a huge Styrofoam soda cup and gave Lily water in it. I watered a few beds, mine and other people's, and then on my way out I picked a few basil leaves and dill weed from someone's plot, pretending I was the neighborhood woodchuck. When I got home I rinsed the leaves, snipped them with scissors, and added them to my cucumber yogurt salad. I also added the thinly sliced beets I had cooked this morning and the whole salad turned pink! I'm communing with my borscht-eating ancestors. Speaking of which I think I'll make German potato salad this afternoon (potatoes pressure-cooked with mustard, olive oil, garlic, vinegar, celery seed, and a pinch of salt and sugar) and return some more books.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Yogurt Ice Cream

4 cups home made whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup sugar (or more)
1 teaspoon vanilla, almond, mint, or rum!
a pinch of salt to taste
Add your favorite things. . . semi sweet chocolate chips, fresh mint, fresh peaches, mulberries, dried cranberries, raisins, toasted almonds. . . (infinite possibilities)
Mix and place in freezer. Stir mixture every so often until it becomes ice cream (unless you have an ice cream maker)

Apple, Banana, Pumpkin, or Carrot Bundt Cake

I am crazy about cast iron and 17 years ago I bought a cast iron Bundt pan made by Lodge. It is well seasoned now and I love it because it is like making a gigantic muffin but it's even better than a muffin because the cake stays moist longer.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the pan.

2 eggs,
3/4 cup oil, (I use corn oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup of sugar (or less if the applesauce is sweetened)
2 cups of applesauce (or 2 cups of mashed bananas or 2 cups of canned pumpkin or 2 cups of cooked carrots (puree cooked carrots 1/4 cup of orange juice in blender.)
3 cups of whole wheat flour (or 2 cups ww flour and 1.5 cups rolled oats or wheat bran)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, or raw sunflower seeds
sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of any of these ground spices; cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, allspice.

Whisk eggs sugar oil and vanilla until creamy. Stir in dry ingredients pour into hot preheated greased pan. You can also bake in large or small loaf pans or even muffin tins. For the bundt cake bake for one hour or until broom straw comes out clean.

Cooked Carrot Cake

I just made a carrot cake but I decided to cook the pound of carrots first. I didn't even peel them, just lopped off the sprout ends! This worked out well and the recipe is the same as the cake I made using canned pumpkin or applesauce. All of these recipes are posted on this blog. These are one pan cakes that are good for you! I bake them in my pre-greased cast iron Bundt pan. Enjoy!

Half a Cake

Today is my half birthday. I am going to make a carrot cake with home made yogurt frosting for my band mates to eat with me. How does one bake half a cake? A delicious physics problem.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Temple Grandin

I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we've got to do it right. We've got to give those animals a decent life and we've got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect.
—Temple Grandin

Domestic Pollution

Dryer sheets cause cancer, dementia, Alzheimer's, and asthma!

Okay, now will people stop using them? I wish. Dryer sheets are a never-ending source of urban and suburban pollution. Their dreadful "fresh" scents, smelling like baby powder or cedar shavings, stink up the neighborhood. In the spring and summer I can't open my kitchen windows, and in the winter the smell seeps into my dining room! I wish consumers would consider buying an unscented brand, or better yet skip this purchase altogether and go green by hanging their clothes on the line. I adore clotheslines. Maybe if the scent was something fabulous, like the smell of roasted coffee, baked bread, fresh hay, or sauteed garlic and onions, I wouldn't mind so much.

Monica Bhide

My new favorite food writer is Monica Bhide. I found her writings and recipes on the NPR web site.

In India, yogurt is integral outside the kitchen as well. In fact, one of my favorite Indian festivals stars yogurt. Celebrated in North India, the dahi-haandi ("yogurt in a bowl") festival is a loud and magnificent festival to celebrate Lord Krishna. Yogurt (or sometimes buttermilk or butter) is placed in a terra-cotta bowl and tied up high (like a pinata). Teams of young men climb on top of each other, trying to break the bowl. The team that succeeds wins money — sometimes big money. The festival showcases Lord Krishna's love of yogurt (and butter).

My favorite childhood memory of yogurt, though, comes paired with my least: final exams. Before each school exam, my mother would feed me tablespoons of yogurt loaded with sugar as is typical in some Indian homes. She said it enhanced brain power. I just think it was because she loved me and wanted to send me off with something delicious in my mouth.

Nutrition Guide

A few friends of mine have ben diagnosed with diabetes. I was researching what foods I could make them and found this guide on the Mayo Clinic web site. It turns out that this is a good guide for everyone.

Make your calories count with these nutritious foods:

Healthy carbohydrates. During digestion, sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) break down into blood glucose. Focus on the healthiest carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) and low-fat dairy products.

Fiber-rich foods. Dietary fiber includes all parts of plant foods that your body can't digest or absorb. Fiber can decrease the risk of heart disease and help control blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes (beans, peas and lentils), whole-wheat flour and wheat bran.

Heart-healthy fish. Eat heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish can be a good alternative to high-fat meats. Cod, tuna and halibut, for example, have less total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than do meat and poultry. Fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart health by lowering blood fats called triglycerides. However, avoid fried fish and fish with high levels of mercury, such as tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel.

'Good' fats. Foods containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — such as avocados, almonds, pecans, walnuts, olives, and canola, olive and peanut oils — can help lower your cholesterol levels. Eat them sparingly, however, as all fats are high in calories.

Foods to Avoid

Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease and stroke by accelerating the development of clogged and hardened arteries. Foods containing the following can work against your goal of a heart-healthy diet.

Saturated fats. High-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as beef, hot dogs, sausage and bacon contain saturated fats. Get no more than 7 percent of your daily calories from saturated fat.

Trans fats. These types of fats are found in processed snacks, baked goods, shortening and stick margarines and should be avoided completely.

Cholesterol. Sources of cholesterol include high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks, shellfish, liver and other organ meats. Aim for no more than 200 milligrams (mg) of cholesterol a day.

Sodium. Aim for less than 2,000 mg of sodium a day.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What Goes Around. . .

Manual push lawn mowers are making a comeback!

Tuscan Proverb

An olive won't ripen any quicker, however much you mess around with it.

-Tuscan proverb

David Tannis

We all want to believe in the myth of one-stop shopping, but the truth is, you won’t find everything you want at a regular supermarket. More to the point, life would be a lot duller if you could.

-David Tannis, NYT

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Whole Wheat Pasta (without a machine)

This recipe is copied from a terrific blog called written by a home cook who is also a lawyer living in NYC. Bravo to her wonderful recipes.
Whole Wheat Pasta

2 cups 100% whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
Water, as needed

Blend together flour, eggs and salt. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together, but is not sticky. Check after each tablespoon to see if dough has firmed. I used about 7 tbsp of water for this recipe, but my whole wheat flour is two months old and really dried out.

Roll dough as thin as you can, forming a rectangle. If dough starts to spring back when rolled, let the dough rest for ten minutes and resume rolling.

Trim the edges of the dough and roll the flat sheet of dough into a jelly roll. Using a very sharp knife, slice the roll into small rounds. Unroll the rounds into long noodles, and toss them with flour on a baking sheet to dry, or serve immediately.

Fresh noodles will only take about 4 minutes to cook — they are done when they float to the top of the water.

Makes two medium-sized portions of pasta, can be doubled.

Labneh (strained salted yogurt)

Labneh is the Lebanese version of cream cheese. To make it strain yogurt through cheesecloth or through a coffee filter overnight, then add salt. It's a lot tastier and lower in calories than cream cheese. Serve on a plate, sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil, Kalamata olives, red ripe tomatoes, cucumbers and mint. Or simply spread it like cream cheese on pita bread. You can also make a Boursin style cheese by adding dill and fresh garlic and cracked black pepper.

How to Cultivate Friendly Bacteria (Yogurt)

Have ready a double boiler, whole milk, a candy thermometer (optional).

Heat milk in a double boiler to 180F or to just about boiling. Then pour the milk into a clean glass canning jar and set the jar in a cold water bath for ten minutes. When cooled to 110 degrees (or wrist temperature) it is ready to receive a teaspoon of live active plain yogurt as a "starter". Cover the jar of warm cultured milk and place it in a picnic cooler with a few bottles of hot water and a towel as added insulation and set aside for 4-6 hours.

When the yogurt has cultured it will thicken. Keep it refrigerated. You can strain yogurt through a coffee filter overnight to make yogurt cheese. You can add garlic, herbs, and spices or cinnamon, vanilla, and honey to the yogurt cheese. Save the whey for baking and cooking - it is excellent in breads and soups or steaming veggies, it's vitamin-packed.

Yogurt can be used in baking and cooking and is a remedy for many ailments. Yogurt has more vitamin A and D than the milk it was made from! Yogurt is a WORLDWIDE super food!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

José Julián Martí Pérez

We light the oven so that everyone may bake bread in it.
-José Julián Martí Pérez (1853-1895)

Organic Pesticides: Not An Oxymoron

From NPR

Organic Pesticides: Not An Oxymoron
by Maureen Langlois

Saturday, June 18, 2011

10 Things You Can Reuse

Use old, worn cookie trays to line the bottom of your oven or your grille
Use an old coffee can as a charcoal starter. Cut off both ends of the can and lay it on its side in the bottom of your grill.
Put the briquettes inside the can and when they are ready, use a pair of tongs to remove the can and spread the briquettes evenly throughout the bottom of your grille
Wet a wash cloth and place it in the freezer to use as a cold compress for bruises and sore muscles
Use an ice cube tray to make juice pops instead of buying them
Buy balloons instead of cold packs with chemicals inside that may leak and cause environmental damage.
Blow up the balloon and add a little water. Freeze the balloon and use it as an ice pack
Buy and use an old-fashioned ice pack instead of the less-sturdy, 'blue' cold packs that you will have to replace (and that will leak and damage clothing, furniture and the environment)
Use old 35 mm film canisters to store quarters for tolls or to do your laundry
Use a pint or quart-sized takeout container for a child's bank. Cut a small slit in the top and watch the money add up!
Use a quart-sized plastic storage container to feed ribbon for wrapping packages.
Put the ribbon inside and cut a small hole in the top of the container.
Then pull the end of the ribbon out through the hole and feed it around your gift as you are wrapping
Instead of buying large 'under the bed' plastic boxes to store summer or winter clothes, use cardboard shipping boxes.
Mark the side of the boxes with magic markers so you will know what each box contains.

And one last item, for good measure:

Buy and use RECHARGEABLE batteries.

They are a bit more expensive to buy, but when you buy a package with a charger and use them for CD players, MP3 players, flashlights and the like, you save a lot of money in the long run.

Doesn't it seem like you are ALWAYS buying batteries? And, batteries are NOT cheap!

Do yourself a favor and switch to rechargeable batteries.

Home Made Yogurt

This morning I am making whole milk yogurt from local Wright's Dairy milk. I find that when I have a few quarts of home made yogurt around I use it in everything: salad dressing, lasagna, pumpkin bread, and fruit smoothies.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Yogurt Peanut Sauces

Mix plain yogurt, peanut butter, salt, sugar vanilla and make a dip for apples and raisins or eaten on top of toast or pumpkin banana apple cake.

Mix yogurt balsamic and red wine vinegar salt sugar black pepper mustard honey garlic peanut butter for a shredded cabbage dressing or an Asian cold noodle dressing (with a dash of toasted sesame oil too) or green salad dressing.

Yogurt and peanut butter with white wine and fresh garlic and salt and a pinch of sugar or honey or maple syrup for a chicken marinade.

Coffee Root Beer Float

last night I added a dash of milk and cold coffee to my iced root beer to counter balance the sweetness. It was good. Then I Googled to see if anyone else has ever added coffee and milk to root beer and I found this recipe reposted from Crissy Conte
1/4 cup of coffee

2 cups of water

1 cup of vanilla ice cream

1 cup of root beer

whipped cream


Brew the 2 cups of water with the 1/4-cup of coffee


Pour the chilled coffee and root beer into a glass

add ice cream and top with whipped cream

makes 1 serving

I still prefer to add a little whole milk and black coffee to my root beer to counter the sweetness but keep the bubbles because I never buy cream or ice cream.


I am making home made very thin semolina lasagna noodles today layered with Asiago cheese and my home made eggplant tomato sauce.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Melanzana Napoleon

I copied this recipe from The Hungry Blogger - a great food blog.
Melanzana Napoleon (Eggplant Napoleon)
AIME! AIME! AIME! (Italian for OH DEAR! OH DEAR! OH DEAR!) Bad news! Red tide has spread along the New England coast from Maine to Cape Cod. And weeks will pass before it is safe to eat shellfish! Lobster and fin fish are not affected, but what will Isabella do now that her beloved vongole are vietato!

We will always have melanzana. And no red tide can stop us from eating this royally purple vegetable.

I found this eggplant recipe in Tom Colicchio's How To Think Like a Chef. The dish is made with slices of eggplant and a roasted eggplant, mushroom, red pepper, and pinenut filling spread inbetween the stacks and served with a lemon vinaigrette. I made some minor changes to it and served it as a light Sunday night supper. I also served it with plain penne, but the pasta isn't needed. In fact, my dinner companion and I tossed out the pasta and ate the eggplant dish with the lemon vinaigrette, and it was perfect on its own.

This dish takes a little time, but that's the fun of cooking, isn't it?

Melanzana Napoleon (serves 2)

3 medium eggplants
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 ounces of fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 medium red pepper
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/2 cup unflavored bread crumbs
sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish
lemon vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Take one of the eggplants, cut it in half, score the flesh, sprinkle the halves with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a roasting pan and roast in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the eggplant's flesh is soft. Remove the two halves from the oven and cool.

While the eggplant is roasting, cut up the red pepper and saute in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until just tender in a small saute pan. Set aside, wash out the saute pan to use for sauteing the mushrooms. Clean and slice the mushrooms and saute in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until just cooked. Toast the pinenuts over medium heat in a small saute pan (no oil is used in toasting the pinenuts) until they just turn brown. Set cooked red pepper, mushrooms and toasted pinenuts aside.

After the eggplant halves cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh out of the skins and place in a bowl. Add the red pepper, mushrooms, and toasted pinenuts, and salt and pepper to taste. (I added a teaspoon of lemon zest, and a squeeze of lemon to the mixture to brighten the flavors. This is optional.) Set this filling aside.

Take the two remaining eggplants and slice six rounds of about 1/2 inch thick (three rounds from each eggplant). I take the slices from the middle of the vegetable so that the thicknesses are even. Save what is left of the eggplants for making caponata or pasta al'Norma (recipes for these two dishes will be posted in the future). Take a paper towel and pat dry the eggplant slices.

Take three bowls and place the seasoned flour in the first, the slightly beaten eggs in the second, and the bread crumbs in the third. Take one of the slices of eggplant, place in the seasoned flour, pressing the flour so that it adheres to it. Shake off excess flour. Dip the floured slice into the slightly beaten egg, and then dip into the bread crumbs, again pressing the crumbs into the slices. Place the prepared slice on a clean dish. Repeat this procedure with the other five slices.

Place the remaining olive oil into a large frying pan so that it holds three slices of the prepared eggplant without crowding. Heat the olive oil until it slides around in the pan. Saute the breaded eggplant slices and drain on paper towels. Continue until all the slices are cooked and take on a golden brown color. Add more olive oil to the saute pan if needed.


On a cutting board or large work area, take one of the breaded and cooked slices of eggplant and spread it with the eggplant, red pepper, mushroom and pinenut filling. Add another slice, more filling and the third slice. Don't put on too much filling or the slices will slide off. Make a second stack with the breaded slices and filling. (You won't use up all the filling, so save it and spread it over warmed Tuscan bread the next day--it'll keep for a few days in the refrigerator).

Place two or three tablespoons of the lemon vinaigrette on the bottom of a plate, carefully lift the eggplant napoleons onto the vinaigrette sauce, add a sprig or two of thyme to the top and serve.

This can also be served as an elegant first course, followed by a fish or chicken dish of your choice.


1 lemon
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small clove of garlic, cut in quarters
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper

Squeeze enough juice from lemon to measure 1/3 cup. In a bowl combine lemon juice with salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in oil in a slow stream. Add garlic and thyme leaves. Vinaigrette may be made 3 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Bring vinaigrette to room temperature before proceeding, and take out garlic bits before serving.

Lasagna alla Isabella

I found this and copied it from The Hungry Blogger, a fabulous blog!
Lasagna alla Isabella
This is not a thick, heavy, drowning in red sauce and ricotta and meat lasagna that weighs a ton and takes two weeks to digest. Ugh! This lasagna is delicate and vegetarian.

The filling is lightly seasoned steamed spinach, roasted tomatoes and toasted pignole (pinenuts), topped with a good quality mozzerella cheese and a sprinkle of real parmesan and served with a cardinale sauce.

This recipe is for 2 servings, so I use 8 sheets of lasagna noodles, total (four sheets for each serving).I use homemade lasagna noodles that are available in a local store specializing in homemade pastas. If you don't have this resource near you, I recommend Barilla's thin lasagna noodles (not those thick curly edged Prince brand noodles that overwhelm the dish). And I pre-boil the fresh homemade or the Barilla noodles to soften them up a bit and so that they don't absorb too much of the sauce.

Ingredients for the lasagna:

8 sheets of fresh made lasagna noodles or Barilla brand lasagna noodles(the noodles are approximately 6 inches by 4 inches)
8 to 10 oz. fresh spinach, stems removed and washed thoroughly
2 medium tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup pinenuts, toasted
4 slices (about 1/4 inch thick) of good quality mozzerella cheese (not that white rubbery stuff you get in the supermarket. Buy the real thing!)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cups cardinale sauce (recipe below)
fresh thyme sprigs for garnish

Cardinale Sauce:

1 small clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon good quality olive oil
14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup half and half or cream
a knob of butter

Saute the garlic in the olive oil until tender. Discard or leave in, as you choose. Add the tomatoes and cook gently for a minute or two. Add the thyme and nutmeg. Cook for another 2 minutes. Add cream and cook until it thickens. Add the butter and cook another minute. Turn off heat and let rest.

Lasagna preparation:

Cook the lasagna noodles for 2 minutes in a large amount of boiling water. (I cook them two or three at a time so they won't stick together.) Lift out of the water with tongs and set on a large plate. Continue until all 8 sheets of the noodles are parboiled. Set aside.

If you have a microwave, place the spinach on a microwave safe platter and nuke them until they just wilt (about a minute and a half). If you don't have a microwave, place the spinach in a large saute pan and heat through using only the water that clings to the spinach leaves after you've washed it. Cook until it just wilts. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Put the sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet with sides (so the juices don't run all over the oven), sprinkle them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Toast the pinenuts on top of the stove in a small saute pan over medium heat until they take on a golden color. Remove from heat and set aside.

Take an oven proof casserole dish that can hold the lasagna noodles (a 13 x9 will do) and spread some of the sauce over the bottom just to coat it.

Place two sheets of the lasagna noodles side by side in the casserole. Spread some of the spinach on each of the noodles, sprinkle some of the pinenuts on top. Place a second sheet of the noodles over the spinach layer. Place two or three of the roasted tomato slices on top of this layer. Sprinkle some parmesean cheese over them. Place a third layer of noodles over the tomatoes and use up the rest of the spinach and pinenuts and whatever is left of the tomatoes. Place the fourth and final lasagna sheet on top of this. Spoon some cardinale sauce over it, just to cover it (don't drown it! No one wants to eat dead lasagna!). Place two slices of mozzerrella cheese on each top layer, cover with aluminum foil and bake in 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Place under broiler just until the mozzerella cheese bubbles and takes on a golden brown color. Remove.

Take two warmed platters and spoon a puddle of the cardinale sauce on the bottom. Take a large spatula and carefully lift each serving of the lasagna out of the casserole dish and place one on each of the platters. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, place a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme over the top and serve immediately. Serve with a nice dry chianti.

Delicioso! And light!

Total time for preparation to table: about 1 hour.

For dessert: a few chunks of red formaggio di Parma (very expensive, but oh, so worth it!) with a sprinkling of aged balsamic vinegar. I will post on this in a day or so.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dough Head

I just made semolina and whole wheat herbed-and-spiced noodle dough, and the noodles are draped on my wooden clothes rack, drying. I placed the setup in my empty bathtub safe from Sammy and Lily!

Lasagna or dumplings or spaghetti . . . I'm not sure yet which way the dough will go.

Yogurt Mayonnaise

re-posted from

I came up with this recipe about seven or eight years ago, when I tried making regular mayonnaise for the first time. Being a little worried about the mixture not emulsifying I whisked the oil in really, really slowly. The result? A very, very thick mayo. So I thinned it with yogurt and I haven't looked back. Because it's a little thinner than regular mayo it makes a great dipping sauce, as well as being useful for the usual mayo purposes. Of course it's much healthier than regular mayonnaise, but even if you don't care about health there's a creaminess and lightness to this that you may prefer. It's also very, very versatile, as you'll see.

1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup plain fat free natural yogurt
salt and pepper to taste

Put the egg yolk and mustard in a bowl and whisk together.
Very, very gradually drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil, whisking all the while.
(It's important to go very slowly at first, once you've got 1/3 to 1/2 of the oil in there you can go a bit faster)
Whisk the yogurt in. There's no need to go slowly with this part.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Because the yogurt is naturally sour there's no need to add lemon juice or vinegar as you normally would with a mayonnaise, unless you're using it for tartar sauce (see below), in which case you may want it a bit more tart.

1. Add some blue cheese, and maybe a few chopped chives, and you've got a blue cheese dip, delicious with chicken wings (or, if you're being healthier, with spicy grilled chicken breast strips)
2. Add chopped pickles and capers, and some chopped dill if you like, and you've got tartar sauce. Or you can mix it with tuna, for a delicious tuna salad sandwich.
3. Add more mustard and a bit of honey and you've got a honey mustard dressing for coleslaw.
4. Add chopped anchovies, minced garlic and grated Parmesan and it's Caesar dressing.
5. Add some wasabi and you've got a wasabi mayo that goes really well with grilled salmon or tuna
6. You can also add rehydrated and minced chipotle peppers, pureed roasted peppers, chopped herbs, pureed roasted tomatoes...

Also you can also substitute egg and yogurt with tofu!

Not Just Vanity

Some research suggests that gaining as little as 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) at age 50 or later could increase the risk of breast cancer by 30 percent.
-Mayo Clinic

Whey Cool Potato Soup

1-2 quarts of whey
potatoes cubed
olive oil
fresh peeled garlic chopped on cutting board with kosher salt
green red or white onions chopped,
carrots chopped,
more salt,
leftover wine

simmer while you work!

Whey Biscuits

I have been making yogurt cheese and the by-product is the nutritious liquid called whey. I found this recipe on-line.

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup whey
1 teaspoon salt (more for whole wheat flour)
4 tablespoons shortening

Sift flour measure and sift with baking powder baking soda and salt. Work in shortening with the finger tips or cut in with 2 spatulas. Add sufficient whey to form a soft roll dough. Turn onto lightly floured board. Knead lightly. Pat into sheet 3/4 inch thick. Cut with floured cutter. Place on slightly oiled baking sheet or skillet. Bake in hot oven (450 F) about 10 minutes. 10 servings.
-Olive C. Leary Hastings MI.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cool Interior

Sometimes when I get up in the night and open my refrigerator in the dark kitchen I marvel at the luminosity of this cool interior city in my kitchen's universe. I arrange the shelves. I place the cauliflower next to the broccoli up above, and admire the apples and carrots, visible through the clear plastic drawers below. I love the glass bottles of milk and the jar of orange juice and the half gallon of home-made yogurt, cathedrals of sustenance standing on Main Street beside the City Hall of bagged spinach. The eggs nestle beside the celery beneath the cold clear city street.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I buy semolina flour from Hilltop Poultry on Federal Hill in Providence Rhode Island. Yesterday I made lasagna noodles using a cup of semolina 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour, salt, black pepper, garlic powder and an egg. I added cold water to moisten. I let the dough rest for 20 minutes before rolling out the noodles. I love making noodles. It's play dough for grown ups.

April Lindner


by April Lindner

Turn the knob. The burner ticks
then exhales flame in a swift up burst,
its dim roar like the surf. Your kitchen burns white,
lamplight on enamel, warm with the promise
of bread and soup. Outside the night rains ink.
To a stranger bracing his umbrella,
think how your lit window must seem
both warm and cold, a kiss withheld,
lights strung above a distant patio.
Think how your bare arm, glimpsed
as you chop celery or grate a carrot
glows like one link in a necklace.
How the clink of silverware on porcelain
carries to the street. As you unfold your napkin,
book spread beside your plate, consider
the ticking of rain against pavement,
the stoplight red and steady as a flame.

-April Lindner, from Skin.

Summer is Here!

Authentic Jewish pickles and home made coleslaw for breakfast with iced coffee. Summer is here!