Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Perhaps this war will make it simpler for us to go back to some of the old ways we knew before we came over to this land and made the Big Money. Perhaps, even, we will remember how to make good bread again.
-M.F.K. Fisher How To Cook A Wolf

Monday, December 29, 2008

Everything Soup

Last night I steamed up a head of cauliflower and chopped up three green peppers and added them to the pot. Then I added leftover black bean soup and carrot mushroom tomato sauce and the little bit of cooked noodles I had. With a few dashes of soy sauce and olive oil it became a spectacular soup.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Breakfast Beans

Most of the time I don't plan what I am going to cook. I just look in the fridge and see what the ingredients and leftovers suggest. Last night I spotted celery, carrots, mushrooms and garlic, and I decided to make a tomato sauce adding black olives and herbs, olive oil and red wine. The aroma was intoxicating! While the sauce was simmering I diced up the pound of sliced ham we were given on Christmas and cooked it with a batch of collard greens. While that was steaming I baked a pound of black beans. Everything came out so good that I ate greens and beans for breakfast! Today maybe I'll make pizza dough or homemade pasta to go with the tomato sauce.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sun Ray Bread

Last night all of the snow melted in the warm rain. Then fierce winds blew in sounding like ocean waves crashing through the neighborhood. This morning the sun is out and I am baking a whole wheat sweet filled yeast bread. I made a mixture of cinnamon, vanilla, brown sugar, and toasted slivered almonds. I flattened out the dough by hand and decorated it like a Sicilian pizza. Then I rolled it up into a log and shaped it into a circle trimming off the ends so they join at the same diameter. I snipped two inches at three inch intervals making what looks like sun rays. I took the extra blob of dough scraps and formed a ball and filled the center hole.
Happy Christmas.
Love from us.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fruit And Nut Holiday Bread

I've mixed up a yeast bread and threw in raisins, Job Lot's bargain cashew pieces, pumpkin puree, molasses and oats. The dough looks great. It will probably need 18 hours of slow rising before it is baked. I am thinking of making a cinnamon walnut raisin holiday tea ring next. The kind you roll up in a log then forming it into a circle. Then you cut sun rays exposing the sweet inside swirl.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Toasted Almonds

I just purchased whole almonds from Rhode Island's Job Lot and toasted them in a 350 degree oven in my shallow clay baking dish for 30 minutes. I stirred them around every ten minutes. Set the timer, don't let them burn! They smell fabulous and taste magnificent.

Waffles On The Brain

I know people will laugh at me but I sliced tofu into slabs and put them in my hot waffle iron and they steamed as they got squeezed. Then I took them out and placed the tofu slabs on top of a plate of steamed vegetables. I sprinkled them with soy sauce which accumulated in the cool indentations created by the waffle iron. Try it! Who knows, I might try making savory spinach and egg waffles next. I have waffles on the brain! I'm even wearing waffled fabric long underwear!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Waffling Omelette

I got an idea tonight to try using my waffle iron as an omelette maker. I beat 6 eggs with a splash of milk and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and poured it into the hot waffle iron. It puffed up, cooking in two minutes! It was delicious and light and had a cool waffle pattern. I will do it again and put the egg slabs on vegetables or make an egg sandwich.

Winter Solstice

It is snowing rapid tiny snowflakes and I am baking tiny round sourdough pumpkin raisin breads and drinking tea.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pumpkin Love

Last night I added pumpkin to the waffles recipe. Delicious! This morning I am making a pumpkin raisin sourdough yeast bread with oats and whole wheat from the leftover pumpkin. It's a gorgeous color orangey brown. It's rising next to my boiler.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Waffles For Honey

This morning I made waffles and shared them with Honey. She is on round two of her antibiotics and temporarily has a dwindling appetite but she loved these. I mixed this up in a big bowl and ladled the batter into my waffle iron. Feel free to wiggle around with the recipe. I always do!

2 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup of wheat bran (optional)
2 teaspoons of baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup of sugar
6 tbsp. corn oil
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla


The snow and ice woke me early. I have been awake since three thirty. But I climbed into bed with a Chinese cookbook at 8 PM and fell asleep in its arms!

Hot Peanuts

My favorite local Asian-American market on North Main Street in Woonsocket, opposite Jaime Sullivan's butcher shop, sells bags of raw peanuts in the shell. The other night I was reading my Chinese cookbook and Ken Hom suggests roasting the peanuts for ten minutes in a 350 degree oven. So I roasted them in the shell. I had just enough to cover the bottom of my dutch oven. Of course I lost track of time even with my kitchen timer! But they came out great.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Super Green

I just went to Fernandez Market my favorite hole in the wall produce market located on Arnold Street the heart of the red light district of Woonsocket. They had green beans that were the greenest I had ever seen. I can't wait to make Chinese style garlic green beans cooked in olive oil with soy sauce and ginger and leftover red wine.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


The more I think about it, the more I realize there is nothing more artistic than to love others.
-Vincent Van Gogh

As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed.
-Vincent Van Gogh

Sunday Soup

I am making soup from bits I have in my kitchen; onions, mushrooms, freshly chopped kale and collard greens, leftover red wine, olive oil, soy sauce, leftover basmati rice, Goya Adobo seasoning, one big white potato grated, salt and then more olive oil and soy sauce to taste. When I baked it in the oven at 250 degrees for a few hours this soup became gloop. It was a cozy, comforting and delicious Winter supper. We ate it with some grated sharp cheddar and black olive tapenaude stirred in.

Untidy Recipes

Checkout my pal Donna Ruzzano's new blog, Untidy Recipes. She lives in Cypress with her beau Moncef but grew up in Rhode Island cooking in her parents Italian restaurant on Federal Hill in Providence!


Happiness... it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
-Vincent Van Gogh

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hypnotic Chocolate Pudding

A few years ago my husband hypnotized me to remember the delicious chocolate pudding from Leo's a famous bar restaurant where we would often meet on a Friday night. Leo's was on Chestnut Street in downtown Providence. I worked in the kitchen as a prep chef twenty five years ago and loved it. Tonight I dug out the recipe and made a whole wheat oil crust sweetened with sugar and pre-baked it at 350 for 20 minutes and then poured the chocolate pudding inside and refrigerated it.

Leo's Pudding
Melt 2 oz unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler. When fully melted slowly stir in 1/3 cup of sugar. Then in a large measuring cup combine a cup of milk and a cup of coffee and hold back 1/4 of the liquid. Slowly add the (nearly) two cups mixture to the double boiler while stirring. Add 1/8 teaspoon of salt and one tablespoon of butter. Dissolve 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in the withheld 1/4 cup of coffee milk. Then stir slowly adding cornstarch mixture to the liquids in the double boiler. Cook for ten minutes stirring constantly. Then cover and cook another ten minutes. Uncover. Turn off heat. Add one teaspoon vanilla, stirring gently. Pour into one pre-baked crust or a few small glass bowls. Refrigerate. I am going to try this recipe again with even more unsweetened chocolate.

Oil pie crust for two sweet wholesome crusts (withhold the sugar for a savory crust)
2 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup corn oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Mix flour and salt and sugar together. Pour milk and oil in, stir with fork and fingers press with fingers into two pie pans. Bake for 20-30 minutes at preheated 350 degree oven.

Perfect Cookie

I love Carr's Whole Wheat Crackers as the perfect cookie with tea because they are wheaty and not too sweet. I must figure out how to duplicate them. I always try to recreate something I like. When I first ate Thai food I raced home and played in the kitchen until I recreated Pad Thai.

Jar of August

I love spinach. I should be married to Popeye. I just steamed fresh spinach and added soy sauce and a teaspoon of pesto, leftover carrots and rice and it was divine. Having the wide mouth jar of green pesto in my fridge is like having a jar of August. I urge everyone to make basil pesto to brighten these short days. You can make it with garlic and Asiago cheese and peanut butter if you don't have walnuts or pine nuts on hand. I also find my vintage Waring blender is a better tool for this than a food processor. Enjoy the tastes of Summer in Winter.

Peach Tea

I feel like Alice In Wonderland on most days but especially when I am drinking tea out of my gigantic tea cup. I make plain black tea with two teabags in my blue and white rice patterned Chinese teapot and I put in one teabag of Celestial Seasonings Country Peach and let it all steep for five minutes. Then I add milk and honey and it is so delicious.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Spontaneous Pie

I just put two scoops of whole wheat flour and sprinkles of salt in a bowl. I poured a generous amount of corn oil over it to moisten it along with two splashes of water, forming a ball. I pressed the whole crumbly mess into my clay pie pan with my fingers. Then I chopped a huge white onion and tossed it into the crust. I grated a raw white potato on top of the onions. Then I beat eight eggs with a little water and a sprinkle of Mrs Dash and poured it carefully into all of the pie's crevices. I baked it in my preheated 350 degree oven. While it was baking I steamed a bunch of chopped carrots in my small lidded iron pot. The onion pie baked for about an hour. The eggs puffed up a bit - it was simple and delicious. I want to make it again and tomorrow and try it with spinach.

Dough Hoe

The Egyptians mixed their batches of dough with a hoe.

Pumpkin Spice Cake

Your home will smell so good when you bake this cake. It is very good and a gorgeous orange color. I bake it in my pre-greased cast iron Bundt pan. This pan is nearly 20 years old and it's finally perfectly seasoned! This cake is basically a gigantic muffin!

Preheat oven to 350.
Beat the eggs and oil together with a whisk, then add the vanilla and pumpkin. In separate bowl mix dry ingredients, then mix all ingredients together in a big bowl by hand or with a mixer.
Pour into the pre-greased, pan and bake for 55-60 minutes.

2 eggs
3/4 cup of corn oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 cups of canned pumpkin*
3 cups of whole wheat flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of raisins or dried cranberries or a mixture of both! (optional)
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
sprinkles of ground cardamom, allspice, and cloves

This is an adaptable recipe. You can use applesauce in place of pumpkin puree or mashed bananas or even blueberries! You can add walnuts or sunflower seeds too. The batter should be the consistency of thick mud! If the better is too dry add a splash of orange juice. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes. Insert a broom straw! It's done when it comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Enjoy with hot tea or coffee!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Peace goes into the making of a poem as flour goes into
the making of bread.
–Pablo Neruda

Moose Milk And Sheep Cheese

Moose milk has much higher levels of aluminum, iron, selenium, and zinc than cow's milk. I love sheep cheese and goat cheese. But I have not yet had moose milk.


Saute chopped onions, fresh spinach, red chili flakes and freshly chopped garlic in olive oil. Add sliced mushrooms, red wine, soy sauce. Eat on top of whole wheat angel hair noodles.

Baking Zone

I am baking two braided sourdough whole wheat breads made with molasses and oats. It's after two in the morning but I had a five hour nap so I am in a different time zone.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Red And Green

I just ate pesto and spinach on my bread with roasted red peppers. Summer flavors, Winter colors.

Bread Head

I woke with music in my head. I want to have olive tapenaude and roasted red peppers on my bread!

A Much Greater Poverty

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.
-Mother Teresa

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Three AM

This morning my dog woke me at three AM licking herself. Thankfully I'd gone to bed at eight. I realized I was wide awake and ready for my day! I got up and watched a bit of a PBS documentary about WWII. I read Brenda Ueland's book Me while baking my pre-soaked black beans. When they were cooked thoroughly, I added ground beef, olive oil, sea salt, canned tomatoes, chopped celery, a bulb of garlic and fresh basil, and put it back in the oven. It smells great! A hearty black bean chili. Then I made pesto in the blender from the bouquet of basil I had purchased from Fernandez Market on Wednesday. It needed to be rescued. I didn't have walnuts or pine nuts so I used peanut butter instead. I also added garlic, olive oil, asiago hard cheese, red chili flakes, and salt. It tastes great.