Cauliflower tabbouleh

This is the last week for selecting our own recipe for  “cookthebookfridays” . Starting in June we will be going back to working together on a chosen recipe.

After grating the cauliflower and mixing it with the chickpeas, chopped almonds,  herbs and raisins,  I added the mint and parsley to it along with the lemon zest and juices, then I added the oil.  I thought it was a little dry so I  added additional  lemon and oil.

This is the second recipe we have made for tabbouleh, the first being from “My Paris Kitchen”, and sorry to say I didn’t care for that either.   However, we all have our likes and dislikes, and I’m sure many people enjoyed this recipe.

It is very colorful and makes a lovely presentation on the table.




Ricotta Spoonable

This week for CookthebookFriday we are choosing  our recipe depending on the supply of ingredients we can work with.   Since I had some ricotta left from a previous recipe I decided to try Dorie’s Ricotta Spoonable recipe.   The first time that I saw this recipe  I was so curious and could not wait to try it.  it is a simple recipe but it turned out so delicious.

The lemon zest grated on top of the ricotta gives it that little bit more zing.  The scallions and shallots are just what this needs for some bite,  using parsley as the additional herb.

It reminds me of Tzatziki sauce and is great with cut up veggies or chips.



Ponzu Chicken

This week’s recipe was a team effort for Tricia and I since we are still together in isolation.

Instead of using chicken breasts we decided to use chicken thighs from the freezer.  I made the marinade using ponzu sauce, white vinegar that I had on hand rather than the rice vinegar, and also substituted the Gochujang Chile paste for Thai red curry paste that Dorie recommended.

After marinating the chicken thighs for about two hours we cooked them according to the cooking times that Dorie stated for chicken  breasts, but I should have realized the two do not cook the same way.  The thighs were undercooked so we gave them some time in the microwave to finish,   After removing the chicken we added the marinade to the pan and boiled it for 2 minutes and then poured it over the chicken.

Unfortunately, this was not a favorite, but I’m sure had we used the chicken breasts the end results would have certainly been more delicious.


In addition to the Ponzu chicken we made a sheet pan supper with the various vegetables in the refrigerator, adding some dried rosemary and other spices.  Such an easy way to cook veggies and they turn out so delicious.




Pimento Cheese

Perfect for brunch!

Unfortunately when I was shopping I  bought an 8 ounce piece of mild cheddar, and then while reading the recipe I realized it should have been either sharp or extra sharp cheese.   I decided to go ahead and adjust the rest of the ingredients accordingly.

All  blended well in the food processor, and when I tasted a bit of the results, I really thought it was too bland, but overnight  the cayenne pepper kicked in and the next day it was perfect.

I chilled it for two days and then served it with crackers as an appetizer before dinner.


It was so easy to make and has such a fresh delicious taste compared to the packaged cheeses in the supermarket.

Another great treat from Dorie’s newest book “EveryDay Dorie, The Way I cook”.

Atwell’s Mexican Delight

In 1977 we moved to New Jersey from Staten Island,  New York.   The property of our new home backed up to a small airport called Solberg Airport.  About 5 years later the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning held their first ever festival at the airport.   The event was held every July and attracted 40-50 balloons at that time.  In later years as many as 125 balloons ascended twice a day. It was perfect, we had the greatest spot to watch all the activities going on, including the Friday night spectacular fireworks display.   We loved every minute from Friday night thru Sunday night.



With all the entertaining on those days, I was always looking for new recipes for a crowd.  One of my favorites was called Atwell’s Mexican delight, a recipe given to Jim from a coworker.  The combination of ingredients is so unusual.

I have not made this recipe since the 1990’s, but since I am making a collection of family recipes for my grandchildren, I decided to try again and also take photos.

Since Tricia and I are homebound together due to the current conditions in the world, guess what, we are cooking…..

Below is the complete recipe, if it sounds interesting  you might just want to give it a try.



      2 lbs ground beef ,                                           1 large can evaporated milk

1 lb Velvet cheese (grated),                            1 can enchilada sauce

1 onion chopped,                                             1 small can chopped chilies

1 can cream of chicken soup,                        1-2 pkgs. corn tortillas. (about 30)

1 can cream of mushroom soup,

Brown meat and onion together and drain liquid.  Add all the rest of the ingredients and blend well.  Cut tortillas into quarters.  Spray Pam into a large casserole dish. Place one layer of tortillas on bottom and spread some of the mix,  top with another layer and additional mix. Continue until dish is full and then top with tortillas.  Bake at 350 degrees about 45 minutes.




Last of the Bunch Banana Bundt

Due to circumstances in today’s crazy world, Tricia and I find ourselves confined to my house.  She came to visit and we then learned of the “stay at home” orders in Pennsylvania, so she decided to stay ! Her hubby is manning the fort at home and helping us with grocery delivery service (in exchange for meal pick up :). Win win.

We decided to tackle this week’s recipe together and considering the size of the cake, I’m glad we did.




With the exception of the coconut,  we had all the ingredients on hand.   However, rather than using coconut oil, we went with the extra stick of butter.

The cake was perfectly  baked at 75 minutes and looked incredible coming out of the oven.  After resting the cake for about 5 minutes, thankfully, it came away easily from the pan.

I toasted some additional coconut in a frying pan for the icing, and Tricia blended the milk and confectioners sugar to a great consistency.

It all turned out well, looked great, and was absolutely delicious.

Ginger Fried Rice

One of the things I love about cooking through Dorie’s cookbooks is that you experience many new and unfamiliar ingredients.   This week’s recipe of ginger fried rice is a perfect example, using ponzu sauce and gochujang.  Mixing these two ingredients with a little honey into a sauce and adding it to the cooked vegetables  gives it such a delicious finish to the recipe.


I used a mixture of vegetables, (baby bok choy, thinly sliced carrots, and  a combination of small baby greens)  adding half the vegetables to a hot pan and charring them for color and flavor.  Using leftover cooked rice, you add that to the vegetables and stir until the rice is hot, then the  rest of the vegetables are added.   At this point the ponzu sauce is added and any add-ins that you plan to use, such as cooked chicken, shrimp, pork, etc.  Since I had some cooked shrimp, I added that to the mix and let it all cook until hot.


This was an absolutely delightful and delicious recipe with a new twist on fried rice and I will definitely be preparing this recipe again.

Sheet-pan supper: Balsamic chicken +

A few years ago Tricia invited me to go to a cooking demonstration that was featuring sheet pan cooking ideas from a new book by Molly Gilbert, called “Sheet Pan Suppers”.

I had never participated in a hands on cooking demo and was a bit leery, but not to worry, everyone else felt the same way and we had a great time with many laughs along the way.

Which brings me to this week’s recipe of Balsamic chicken with baby potatoes and white mushrooms from “Everyday Dorie, The Way I Cook”.

After a quick coating of the vegetables with a mixture of oil and balsamic vinegar with some fresh rosemary and thyme thrown in,  the veggies are spread out on the sheet pan.   The chicken is added to the same marinade and coated,  then tucked in and around the vegetables.

Rather than using the drumsticks as Dorie mentions in the recipe,  I settled for chicken thighs.  I used multi-colored tiny potatoes, (very strange looking to me, especially the purple), but it all turned out well.

The whole meal took not more than 1 hour and 20 minutes from start to finish,  with an additional  green salad as a side and was really a very delicious dinner.




Chickpea-tahini Salad

Chickpeas are a delicious legume that can be served in many different ways.

Of course, hummus is one of my favorite ways of enjoying them, but, also, I sometimes just heat a little olive oil, add some garlic powder and crushed red pepper and toss in a can of drained chickpeas until warm.  It makes a nice side dish for just about anything.

They can also be roasted with any type of flavoring that you desire, and then used as a snack.  Very delicious and really pretty healthy.

This week’s recipe from ” Everyday Dorie”  has a totally different take on chickpeas, mainly making a salad with additional veggies, such as chopped red pepper and red onion,  but the key ingredient is the Tahini dressing, which is so good.  (And I mean good). Checking our website for “Cookthebookfridays”  I noticed a few suggestions for using the dressing on tuna fish and other items, and I can definitely see doing that.

I prepared the dressing in the morning and finally put the whole recipe together by the afternoon.  I could not believe how delicious this turned out.

I followed the directions for the whole recipe, however, I only used two cans of chickpeas (about four cups)  and it worked perfectly.

This is a great recipe  for summer barbecues or anytime actually, and as Dorie said it is better the next day.  I am looking forward to trying this tomorrow when it has had a chance to chill and blend.

Definitely will be added to my  recipe file.fullsizeoutput_1380


Pasta with cabbage, winter squash and walnuts

I wasn’t too sure if I would like the combination of  these ingredients, but surprisingly,  they were really good together.

For the winter squash I chose a butternut squash,  something I really enjoy, and in place of cabbage, I went with kale instead.   Unfortunately I did not have dried cranberries but used a few dried cherries.

Since I was cooking for one I only prepared 1/4 of the recipe, and even that was quite a lot of food.  But, I love leftovers and this is perfect with a little pasta water that I saved to reheat it.

Many times  when I cook pasta,  (especially spaghetti, angel hair, linguine, etc.) I almost always have leftovers and I save some of the pasta water.  It’s  a perfect way to create a delicious leftover dish adding the veggies as in this recipe.


I added two make-up recipes from December.

First:       Gingered-turkey meatball soup.  Unfortunately, this recipe  did not work for me, but it was interesting.

Second:    Sweet and Smoky Roasted Carrots.   These were so good and I loved the yogurt sauce, great for dipping.fullsizeoutput_1356IMG_4311