Saturday, December 29, 2012

Roasted Greek Lemon Potatoes

After much trial and error to recreate this Greek favorite, I finally found a recipe. It will knock your socks off, I promise.

From the May 1999 issue of Martha Stewart Living Magazine


  • 4 large russet baking potatoes (8 medium), peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Greek oregano, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Place potatoes in a metal roasting pan large enough to fit potatoes in a single layer. Add 1 cup water, olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss potatoes until well coated.
  2. Bake, uncovered, until fork-tender and brown on the edges, about 50 minutes. Turn potatoes halfway through for even browning; add water if all the liquid has been absorbed, before they have fully browned. If desired, garnish with oregano; serve.


You probably want to double this recipe. It's that damn good. The recipe did not call for garlic but I added about 2 tablespoons of minced garlic to step one.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

The secret to making this soup is buying pre-cut butternut squash and using an immersion blender. It is more expensive, but a total time saver!

From the December 2012 issue of Cooking Light'


  • 1 (2 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cups no-salt-added chicken stock
  • 4 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • 2 small Thai red chiles, thinly sliced

1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place squash in a bowl, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and toss. Bake at 450° for 35 minutes or until golden and tender.
3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash mixture, stock, and curry paste. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice and coconut milk. Let stand for 15 minutes.
4. Place half of squash mixture in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour soup into a bowl. Repeat. Divide the soup evenly among 8 bowls, and top evenly with cilantro, coconut, and chile slices.

We served ours with some garlic naan bread, but any fresh bread would suffice. We substituted chicken stock with smoked turkey stock.
Make it Vegan/ Vegetarian! Swap chicken stock for vegetable broth.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Fake out/ take out: Glazed chili tofu with noodles

With a meal like this, there's no need for take out. (From Oct 2012 issue of Sunset Magazine)


  • 1 qt. reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 4 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • About 1 tbsp. Thai or other Asian sweet chili sauce

  • 1 pkg. (14 oz.) extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces fresh ramen noodles or fresh Chinese 
  • wheat noodles
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cups spinach leaves


1. Combine broth, 2 cups water, the ginger, garlic, and 3 tbsp. soy sauce in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook 10 minutes.
2. Mix the remaining 1 tbsp. soy sauce and 1 tbsp. chili sauce in a small bowl; set mixture aside.
3. Cut tofu crosswise into 8 slabs, each 1/2 in. thick. Heat oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Cook tofu, turning once, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat; pour soy-chili mixture over tofu and turn gently to coat.
4. Add noodles and carrots to broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook just until wilted. Ladle noodles, broth, and vegetables into bowls and top each with 2 slabs of tofu. Drizzle tofu with more chili sauce if you like.


We modified this recipe and added miso paste and only 1 tbsp. soy sauce. We added a soft boiled egg to each bowl as well as froze corn and fresh mushrooms and scallions. We substituted smoked turkey broth for chicken broth and kale for spinach. Instead of ramen we used dry soba noodles.

We will be making this again. It was so savory and filling. One of our new fall favorites!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pumpkin-Apple Pancakes


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • About 2 tbsp. butter, divided 
  • Syrup


  1. 1. Mix together all ingredients except butter and syrup in a medium bowl.
  2. 2. Melt 2 tsp. butter in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Spoon batter by 1/3-cup portions into pan, making 3 or 4 pancakes at a time. Cook, turning once, until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Continue making pancakes with remaining batter, adding more butter to pan for each batch. Serve with syrup and more butter if you like.
We were out of nutmeg so we used pumpkin pie spice.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich

This is also from the December 2012 issue of Real Simple. It was also really easy and satisfying and will be in my regular rotation.

  • 2  cups  low-sodium beef broth
  • 1  medium onion, sliced
  • 2  cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2  tablespoons  Worcestershire sauce
  • 1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2  pounds  beef brisket, trimmed
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 3  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 2  tablespoons  red wine vinegar
  • 5  ounces  mixed greens (about 6 cups)
  • 1  large baguette—cut into 4 pieces, split horizontally, and lightly toasted
1. In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the broth, onion, garlic, Worcestershire, and flour. Season the brisket with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and place in the slow cooker. Cover and cook until very tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total recipe time).
2. Ten minutes before serving, transfer the brisket to a cutting board and thinly slice against the grain. Strain the cooking liquid into a small saucepan and reserve the onions. Boil the cooking liquid until reduced to 1½ cups, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the greens and toss to combine.
4. Dividing evenly, form sandwiches with the baguette, brisket, and reserved onions. Serve with the cooking liquid, for dipping, and the salad.
We skipped the salad and served it with roasted broccoli and homemade french fries.

Sweet Potato and Apple Soup

This comes from the December 2012 issue of Real Simple Magazine. It is AMAZING. And really easy.

  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1  medium onion, chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2  pounds  medium sweet potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3  apples (such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady), 1 peeled and chopped and 2 thinly sliced
  • 2  cups  low-sodium vegetable broth
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 4  ounces  blue cheese (such as Gorgonzola or Stilton)
  • 1/3  cup  walnuts
  • 16  crackers or crostini
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
2. Add the sweet potatoes, chopped apple, broth, nutmeg, and 1½ cups water to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Use a handheld immersion blender in the saucepan to puree.
3. Serve the soup with the blue cheese, walnuts, crackers, and sliced apples.

This was an unbelievably simple, yet rich dinner. We served it with almonds and a Gorgonzola (which I also crumbled into the soup) along with some white wine.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Thanksgiving menu staples

This is my classic Thanksgiving spread.

1 17 pound turkey, smoked on grill

Mashed Potatoes (adapted from a 2008 recipe in Real Simple)


  • 4  pounds  red potatoes (about 8), halved
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2  cups  nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2  cup  skim milk
  • 4  tablespoons  (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • scallions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (more to taste)
  • Directions

  • Place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover. Add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot.

  • Add the greek yogurt, milk, butter, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the potatoes and mash to the desired consistency. Sprinkle with the scallions.

  • Serves 8

Apple & Sausage Stuffing (adapted from a 2011 recipe in Real Simple)


  • 1  tablespoon  olive oil, plus more for the baking dish
  • links sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (about 1 pound)
  • stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • medium onions, chopped
  • Gala apples
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh sage
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • large baguette (about 3/4 pound), cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 7 cups)
  • 3  cups  smoked stock from turkey (only works if you smoke a turkey early. Otherwise use homemade chicken stock)
  • large eggs, beaten


Heat oven to 375° F. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch or some other shallow 3-quart baking dish. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a large bowl.

To the drippings in the skillet, add the celery, onions, apples, sage, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, tossing often, until the vegetables are tender, 7 to 9 minutes.

Add the vegetable mixture, baguette, broth, and eggs to the sausage a
nd toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and cover with foil.

Bake the stuffing for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

Serves 8

Orange-Cranberry Relish (adapted from a 2008 recipe in Real Simple)


  • 1  pound  cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1  cup  orange guice
  • 1/2  cup  granulated sugar


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange juice, and sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries begin to burst and the sauce thickens, 15 minutes. Let cool. Serve at room temperature.

Bourbon Gravy (adapted from a 2011 recipe in Real Simple)


  • 4  tablespoons  (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 3 to 4  cups  low-sodium chicken broth
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • roasting pan and its contents, from the Smoked Turkey
  • 1/2  cup  bourbon 


  1. Make the gravy base: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking, until smooth and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in 3 cups of the broth, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Discard the vegetables from the reserved roasting pan and strain the pan drippings into a large measuring cup or bowl. You should have about 1½ cups of liquid. Let stand for 5 minutes, then skim off and discard the fat. (Alternatively, use a fat separator.)
  3. Place the empty roasting pan across 2 burners. Add the bourbon and cook over medium-high heat, scraping up the bits stuck to the pan, for 1 minute. Add to the gravy base in the saucepan, along with the strained drippings, and cook until warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Strain, if desired, and adjust the consistency with additional broth if necessary before serving.

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie


3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated Milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
2 tablespoons Bourbon
Whipped cream (optional)


Mix sugar, cinnamon, salt, pumpkin pie spice in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk and bourbon

Pour into pie shell.

Bake in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving. 
Serves 8

Green Bean Casserole


1 (10 3/4 oz.) can Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp. black pepper
4 cans green beans, drained
1 1/3 cups Fried Onions
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms


Mix soup, milk and pepper in a 1 1/2 -qt. baking dish. Stir in beans and 2/3 cup French Fried Onions.
bake at 350°F for 30 min. or until hot.
Stir and top with remaining 2/3 cup onions.
Bake 5 minutes until onions are golden.
Serves 6

Also serving: homemade rolls, apple pie, and assorted casseroles

Thanksgiving Pizza

This is quite possibly the best use of leftovers. It turned out and tasted better than I imagined.


Homemade pizza dough
cranberry sauce
mashed potatoes
goat cheese


1. Heat oven to 450 and warm pizza stone
2. Roll out dough
3. Spread layer of cranberry sauce
4. Add layer of mashed potatoes
5. Add shredded turkey, small pieces of stuffing, and goat cheese
6. Bake 20ish minutes
7. Enjoy!

Note: Add whatever leftovers you want. I advise against gravy as a base. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Soy-glazed sesame tofu

From the October Issue of All You Magazine


  • scallions, chopped
  • cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 12-oz. package extra firm tofu, drained, cut into 8 slices
  1. Directions
  2. 1. In a small bowl, stir scallions, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes and honey.
  1. 2. Warm vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Pat tofu dry and add to skillet. Cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, 8 minutes total.
  1. 3. Spoon sauce mixture over tofu, cover pan and turn off heat. Let stand 3 minutes. Transfer slices to a serving platter and serve immediately.

Cook's Notes
  • 1. Add brown rice with chopped cilantro and steamed snow peas as sides or a salad with sesame dressing.
  • 2. The cheapest place to find sesame oil is an Asian market. The cheapest place to find tofu is usually Trader Joe's.
  • 3. I think this will become a Meatless Monday staple in our house. 
  • 4. Also, you might want to cut the tofu into smaller slices for easier chopstick handling.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vegetable couscous with Moroccan Pesto

This was a find in my recipe bin, obviously photo copied from a book. I have no idea where this came from, so I can't give credit to whomever created this awesome dish.


For Pesto:
 1 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and some stems)
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoons whole raw almonds
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt

For Couscous:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
kosher salt
1 onion cut into wedges (I chopped mine)
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 bunch kale, chopped
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/3 cup raisins
 1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous
1tbsp cinnamon


1. Make the pesto. Combine everything for pesto in a food processor and pulse until smooth
2. Prepare vegetables for couscous. heat pan and add 3 tbsp butter and 1 tsp salt.. Cook until butter is brown. Add onion and cinnamon. Cook until onion is lightly browned. Add tomatoes, 1 cup water, carrots, kale, raisins, salt and pepper taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender or about 15 minutes.
3. Make the couscous as label directs.
4. Top couscous with vegetables and pesto.

Cook's notes:

1. This can be served as a main dish or a side dish. We added roasted lemon chicken thighs and garlicky bacon kale.
2. I don't even like Moroccan food and I liked this.
3. Waffle loved this.

My famous enchiladas

A few years ago a friend sent me this recipe. I've since modified it and it's become a Snowgoose staple. It's always a hit with company and leftovers are fought over.

Danielle's Famous Enchiladas


2 1/2 cups shredded or cubed chicken (shredded works best, so save your rotisserie scraps)
8 oz cream cheese (we like the Philadelphia cooking cream cheese)
28 oz green enchilada sauce (do not get red!)
5 oz mild chili peppers
1/4 c diced onions
1/2 c sliced bell peppers (frozen is fine)
10 flour tortillas
8 oz cheddar or Mexican-blend cheese


1. Cook chicken in a skillet. Add peppers and onions
2. Add cream cheese and chilies to chicken and vegetables
3. Divide up mix in the tortillas, roll tightly and place in a large baking dish or 2 8x8 dishes (these work best).
4. Layer enchilada sauce on top of rolled tortillas. Make sure everything covered.
5. Add cheese on top of sauce
6. Cover with foil, bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
7. Serve with rice, black or refried beans, and corn.

Makes 5 servings.

Cooks notes: You can fill these with pretty much anything you have on hand.