Food and Favorite Recipes
The challenge of producing tasty meals on board is one of my favorites.  I love to cook and have spent
many years fine-tuning my ad hoc cooking technique.  I only loosely follow most recipes, the
exception being baked goods.

One of the premier weapons in my armory is my pressure cooker.  The pressure cooker is the ultimate
cook's friend.  It not only saves time, and fuel, but it can be used for an incredibly broad range of
things.   From the creation of succulent soups and stews to baking bread and canning this is a "must
have" item for the galley!  You can do stuff that you thought you needed an oven for without all the
extra propane expense and heating up the salon. Sounds like an ad but I love mine.  I have a smallish
one for everyday use, (easy to handle) and el grande for big jobs!

Another thing that I love is my stainless steel steamer.  It looks like  a flower and the petals expand
outwards or inwards to the size of the pot you put it in.

With it and my pressure cooker I
"bake" potatoes and yams so easily; wash, cut them in half
lengthwise and place in a steamer.  Add an inch of water to the pressure cooker, place steamer inside
and pressure cook for 10 minutes.  Bring pressure down naturally.  I usually do 2 idaho bakers and 1
yam, then let them cool.  They can be frozen and reheated by frying covered in a hot frying pan with a
bit of olive oil.

rice is super easy. For me, white rice takes 4 minutes, brown takes 18 minutes.  I do 1 C at a time
and let the pressure come down naturally.
We enjoy this creamy chicken dish over pasta or rice, with a crusty bread and a salad.  Of course, if you're
feeling lazy , you can skip the salad.

2      skinless boneless chicken thighs (or 1 each breast and thigh)
1      medium onion, chopped
3      cloves garlic, minced
1      cup mushrooms - or 1 small can
1/2   cup diced celery (optional)
1      large yellow squash, chopped
1      can cream of mushroom soup
1/2   cup sherry
1/2   cup white wine
1/2   cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/2   teaspoon  each;  celery salt, Lawry's pinch of herbs, Adadaba (or cumin)

Chop the chicken into chunks,  lightly dredge in flour.   Add a couple of tablespoons of oil to the pressure
cooker and heat to medium-high.  Brown chicken for 3-4 minutes, then add garlic and onion.  Continue
browning for another couple of minutes, then remove ingredients to a bowl.

Next brown the mushrooms and squash (skip this step if using canned mushrooms).  Remove to the bowl
with the chicken.

Using 1-2 tablespoons of wine vinegar, deglaze the stuck pieces from the bottom of the pressure cooker.

Add the can of mushroom soup, and thin with white wine.  Add celery salt, herbs, adadaba and a pinch of
cayenne.  Add to this, the chicken and veggie mixture, cover, bring up to pressure and cook for 5 minutes.  
Release pressure, add sherry and parmesan and serve.
Market Spice - These folks have a mail order exotic teas and spice business.  They have made some
progess on their website and we can now order on line.  Their telephone number - (425)883-1220.

We visited them in Pike Place, Seattle and discovered some new spices, and spice blends that now enhance
many of our favorite treats!  I'd really recommend trying the  "
Adadaba" spice blend.  It is a blend of 42
different herbs and spices, slightly pungent like a curry, that works really well with potatoes, chicken,
turkey, tuna, stews and various bean dishes.
A Few Favorite Recipes
My mother-in-law's most excellent    

2     cups stoneground cornmeal
2     eggs
2     cups buttermilk or plain yoghurt
3     tablespoons oil
3     teaspoons baking powder
2     teaspoons salt
1     teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and baking
soda.  Add eggs and buttermilk.

Place oil in a 9" square pan and pour in mixture.  Bake
30-35 minutes until done.  This recipe can be halved to
make a loaf pan instead of a square pan.
Juggling is the art of maximizing taste, variety, and health using whatever happens to be
on hand at a given point in time... therein lies the challenge!  If you only buy 1 book for
the cruising galley, make it
Michael Greenwald's  Cruising Chef. It's funny, and has some
really, really good recipes!  My copy is pretty dog-eared after all this time!
This recipe is very versatile and ends up being a cross between a soup and a chili.  It is very inexpensive to
make.  The meat can be your choice.  I've used ground beef, ground turkey, sausage, ham, chicken and
shrimp either by themselves or for more flavor, by combining a couple together.  Ground beef with ham is my
favorite combination.

As much or as little meat as you want (or go meatless)
2     cans of sliced stewed tomatoes
1     can dark red kidney beans, partially drained
1     can black beans, partially drained
1     large can mushrooms
1     cup each chopped celery, carrots, yellow squash and onion (more onion if you want) -
1     cup chopped okra, (frozen OK)
3-4  bay leafs, 1 tablespn chili powder, 1 teaspn Lawry's pinch of herbs, 1 tablespn Adadaba (or cumin), 1 teaspn
garlic powder, 1 teaspn celery salt, and optionally add cayenne for some heat.
1     cup red wine (usually I use burgandy)

Brown meats, add all remaining ingredients and either simmer on stovetop for about an hour to mingle
flavors or cook under pressure for 10 minutes and let pressure reduce normally.  This can be eaten "as is" with
tortilla chips, or can be served on rice with crusty bread.  Bon apetit!
This recipe is a very flexible and is based on a rather dark roux with the addition of tomatoes, veggies and
stuff.  Again, learning how to "wing-it" with cooking makes meal preparation much less stressful since you
can substitute ingredients and so forth without compunction.

Some varieties of seafood - I've used shrimp, cleaned crab, firm-fleshed fish.  Tailor the amount to suit your
tastes. Again, combine them if you want.  Shrimp is my favorite seafood to use.

1 can stewed tomatoes - drained, or 1 large ripe tomato chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock (I use bullion and water)
1/2 cup white wine
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.2 cup fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup okra, chopped (frozen OK)
2 tablespn oil    -  (use equal parts oil/flour)
2 tablespn all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspn chili powder, thyme, basil
Black pepper to taste

Start by sauteing the onion, mushrooms, celery, bell pepper and garlic.  Parboil the okra if fresh.  Set aside.

Next, make the roux.  Heat oil over medium high heat then stir in flour. Stirring constantly, continue to cook
for several minutes until dark brown.  It's important to get to the dark brown stage slooowly, so reduce heat
to medium if necessary to prevent burning the roux.

Once the roux is quite dark, begin to add your liquids, slowly.  The idea here is to end up with a 'gravy' thick
enough to serve over rice, so use only as much liquid as is needed.  If more liquid is needed, add it.  
Remember the tomatoes will add liquid, so add veggies then finetune the thickness.  Simmer for 20 minutes.

About 3-5 minutes before serving, add the chopped seafood and stir.  Serve over white or yellow rice with
tobasco sauce handy for those who like things spicier.
This recipe is so simple, and inexpensive.  This is also wonderful served over brown or white rice.

1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh chopped zucchini
1 cup fresh yellow squash
2/3 cup celery, chopped
2/3 cup mushrooms
1  roasted red pepper, chopped (optional - jar kind OK)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Rotel tomatoes and chili's (regular or mild)
oregano, basil, lawry's pinch of herbs - several shakes each
pinch of whole fennel seeds

Saute the onion, mushrooms, celery, and squash over medium heat in a small amount of olive oil  (gently) for
about 6-8 minutes, then add the garlic.  Saute for another 2-4 minutes.  Add the tomatoes first, then slowly, a
bit at a time, add the cream of mushroom soup (don't dilute).  It shouldn't be too thick but thin with white
wine if needed.  Add the red pepper and spices (don't skip the oregano!) then simmer over low heat for 20

If you want, this can be served as a vegetarian entree, otherwise chicken or cooked italian sausage can be
added and simmered along with the veggies.  We like using hot Italian sausage.
Nov 17, 2000 - Hot NEWS Flash! I finished a brief page detailing my first session with a Tilia Foodsaver
Compact II Vacuum Sealer!  Check it out
Pauper's Stew
Seafood Creole
Pasta Primavera
This recipe is very easy and produces a delightfully satisfying but light meal.  I'm sure that many, many
substitutions are possible and that the proportions may be varied without much problem.

3/4 C   Fresh Shrimp, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 C   each - mushrooms, onions and fresh fennel root (substitute celery for fennel)
1/2 C   chopped tomato
1    T    fresh basil leaves, or an appropriate amount of dried.
2    T    red wine such as Cabernet Savignon or Burgundy
2    T    Ceasar salad dressing
1    t     red wine vinegar
1          clove garlic
1          hard-boiled egg, chopped (optional)

Saute onion, fennel and mushrooms in olive oil until crisp-tender and starting to take on color (about 3 to
4 minutes), then add tomatoes, garlic, basil and shrimp.   After 2 to 3 minutes add wine, ceasar salad
dressing, the chopped egg and red wine vinegar.   Stir to blend flavors, then spoon out over salad greens.  
We serve it with toasted asiago bread and a glass or two of Cab Sav.  Yum!
Warm Shrimp Salad
Fennel and Onion Crackers
This recipe makes the tastiest cracker ever!  Absolutely the best and very addictive.

2    cups         all purpose flour
2    tablspn    fennel seeds, roughly chopped
6    tablspn    shortnening  (1/4 C plus 2 T)
2    tablspn    butter   (1/4 stick)
1    teaspn     freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspn  salt
1 1/4  cups     finely minced onion (about 1 medium onion)
2    tablspn    water

Preheat oven to 375.  Combine flour, salt, pepper and fennel and blend well.   Cut in shortening and butter
well, until mixture looks like coarse meal.  Add onions and blend well.  Blend in enough water to form
mixture into a smooth, cohesive ball.   Divide dough into 2 portions.

Use a rolling pin and a floured surface, roll the dough out very thinly, about 1/8"  thick .  Cut into 2" squares.  
This is the important part - the thinner the dough the crispier the cracker.  Puncture the cracker with a
couple of strokes from a fork and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.  
Turn crackers over and bake an additional 5 minutes.  Cool on a rack if possible.  Makes about 65 - 70.
Pasta ala Mario
This recipe makes the most interesting pasta and all from very flexible and readily available ingredients.  
Loosely based on a recipe by Molto Mario, and VERY fast!! Servings:  2 rather large

1/2   C   freshly toasted homemade breadcrumbs  (just grind or chop up some bread and toast in the oven)
1/4   C   chopped onion, mushrooms, celery and shredded carrots
1-2   cloves garlic, minced
1/2   C   chopped, cooked meat  - canned ham, etc.  I had some leftover pork which I chopped up fairly fine
1/2   C   red wine and stock of some sort (probably pork or chicken, but let's not rule out beef)
1/4   C   grated parmesan cheese (parmesan reggiano if possible)
1/2   t    pinch of herbs, adadaba, and fresh basil leaves (slivered)

Saute the mushrooms, celery and carrots, then after a couple of minutes add the onion and garlic. Next add the
meat and saute another 2 minutes.  Of course while this is going on, cook some angel hair pasta to the almost
"al dente" state.  To the frying pan add the breadcrumbs and wine and stock, plus the basil and parmesan.  
When the pasta is just this side of done, drain and add to the frying pan to finish it out.  Loosen with wine or
stock to just coat the pasta.  Serve with crusty bread and viola!!
I was fortunate enough while living in Jacksonville to have access to a community canning facility, so I
took advantage of it to put up some of our favorites.  You bring all your ingredients and prepare your
items there - using their extra large pots.  There is a small charge per hour and per can used, with pint
or quart cans available.

I put up chicken, spaghetti sauce, a beef stew hybrid, italian sausage, chili and ground beef crumbles.  
Here are some shots of the facility and the results.  I use a Sharpie to label the contents on the top and
side of the cans.
Activities during April, 2003
Here's a recipe which is simple, easy and delicious.  It makes a great side dish to have with grilled meats.  This
makes enough for 2 portions.

1      medium zucchini, chopped into 1/2" cubes                 
1/2   fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced into 1/4" slices   (can substitute celery but not as good)       
1/2   medium onion, chopped                                                  
2      cloves garlic, minced                                                       
1/3   C  fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3   C  mushrooms, sliced or quartered
1/4   C  italian breadcrumbs
1/4   C  shredded parmesan cheese
1/2    t  italian herb blend (or a bit of oregano and basil)

Gently saute zucchini, onion, fennel, garlic, mushrooms, herbs, salt/pepper and cilantro in butter/oil
combination until just crisp/tender.  Add bread crumbs to veggies and combine.  Top with cheese, lower the
heat or turn off, and cover pan for 3-5 minutes to melt.  Serve.
This recipe is a bit labor intensive but if you lay out all the add-on ingredients first, it's pretty fast and
relatively easy.  Great for company because you can prepare it early in the day and then just bake it while
you visit with your guests.  A double chicken breast is the entire breast portion of a chicken (both sides).
Two of them makes for a rather large roll.  You can reheat the leftovers in foil within a steamer (or
microwave if you have one!)  Amounts of each ingredient can be adjusted as suits.  It's a bit like building a
pizza.  I first saw this being prepared in La Cava, a gourmet meat market in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela.  After
our first bite we were hooked.

2      double chicken breasts, Butterflied, overlapped slightly and then pounded until about 1/3" thick
1/2   C  sliced, pitted green olives       
1/3   C  capers                                                  
1      C  chopped fresh mushrooms                                                       
8      slices of bacon (raw)
4-6   slices of deli ham
4-6   slices of deli cheese such as gouda or havarti.
1      tsp  oregano, black pepper, garlic powder
Kitchen string

After the chicken has been pounded-out into a rectangle shape, (use saran wrap to help with this process),
sprinkle with oregano, garlic and pepper.  Then lay the bacon slices across the surface.  Scatter olives and
capers evenly over that.  Next comes the mushrooms.  Then the ham and finally the cheese.  Roll the
chicken up from one side to the other like you would a jelly roll.  Using the string go around the entire thing
sideways a few times, then around the other way down the entire length of the roll.  It should be secure
enough to keep things intact during the baking and slicing.   Bake in a medium oven (350) for about 1 hour.  
Test for clear juices to ensure it's cooked.  Let it rest for 10 minutes, then slice into 1" slices.  I tented mine
with aluminium foil for the first 1/2 hour.  If you want you can make a mild cheese sauce to serve alongside.
Zucchini Deluxe
Chicken Sherry
Split Pea and Sausage Stew
2/3 C   dried yellow split peas
1          can diced tomatoes
1 ½ C   chicken broth
2          hot Italian sausage sliced into rounds
½   C   smoked chorizo sausage, crumbled (optional)
½    C   each, chopped - carrots, onion, zucchini, pumpkin and potatoes
2          bay leaves
4         cloves garlic, sliced
1 t       cumin
½ t       Italian herbs, chili powder

Brown the sausage with half of the garlic and cumin, add onion and saute for another 2 minutes.   Add dried
peas, tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaves and half of the remaining seasonings.   Stir to combine, cover and
bring up to pressure.  Pressure cook for 15 minutes.  Let cool naturally.  Meanwhile, saute all veggies in
remaining seasonings until slightly caramelized.  Add to pot, adjust seasonings.  Bring up to pressure again
for 1 minute, let cool naturally.  Serves 4.
Pecan Pie Muffins
1 C       Light brown sugar                                                        Preheat Oven to 350F
1 C       Chopped Pecans                                                            Recipe yields 2 1/2 to 3 dozen
1/2 C   All-purpose  Flour
2/3 C   Melted Butter
2          Eggs

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Pour into a greased mini muffin pan, filling cups about 2/3 full.   Bake 12 to 15
minutes.   Garnish each muffin with a pecan half before baking.  Totally decadent!!

(courtesy of Shawn formerly on s/v Libertas - Thanks Shawn!)
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Banana Nut Bread
Wonderful Banana Nut bread recipe.  Very moist and super tasty.   We eat it with breakfast or as dessert.  It's
yummy.    Serving:  1 loaf    Baking:  350 for 1 hour.

1/2  C  butter, softened
1   C  sugar
2      eggs
3      ripe bananas
1   t  vanilla
1   t  orange extract, (more or less to suit your taste)
2  C  flour,  (I use 2/3rds white and 1/3 wheat or multigrain)
1   t   baking powder
1/2   t  baking soda
1/2   t  salt
2   T brown sugar (or coconut sugar if you have it - I got mine in Marie Gallant just south of Guadeloupe)
1/2   C raisins, chopped - rough measure; you can use more, ditto for the pecans
1/2   C pecans, chopped

Combine butter or shortening with the sugar, add beaten eggs, vanilla, orange extract and mashed up
bananas.  In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt and blend to mix.  Blend in pecans
and raisins to flour mixture then add the wet items.  Stir to combine.  Pour into a loaf pan.  (I use a double
layer of parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray in the bottom to keep the bottom from getting too
dark.)  Sprinkle the brown or coconut sugar on top and a few nuts too if you want.   Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
This loaf is great.  I also add onion and extra herbs to make it a really savory.   Serving:  1 loaf    Baking:  375
for 35 - 40 minutes.    (
Many thanks to Dan on s/v 'Nereia' for the base recipe.)

2 1/2 C   all purpose flour
1/2    T   sugar
2 1/2  t   baking powder
1/2     t   baking soda
1/2     t   salt    
1         t   dried oregano
1/2     t   dried basil and marjoram
1 1/2  C  beer
1         C  shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/3     C  finely diced onion
1         T  finely diced jalapeno slices (or less - to your taste - we like it a bit spicy)

Stir together all dry ingredients and herbs, then add the beer, onion, cheese and jalapenos.  Stir to combine,
mixture will be lumpy.

Spoon batter into greased loaf pan and bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool in pan on
wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from pan and slice.  Great warm or cold and makes a great savory
breakfast toast to go with eggs.  We also use it for fabulous panini sandwichs.
Jalapeno & Cheese Beer Bread
(Note:  The Newest Recipes are at the top of this list)
Wow, we love this casserole.  This was our favorite side dish for Thanksgiving the past few years, and it's cool
because it combines our veggies with stuffing.  Servings:  8    Baking:  350 for 30 minutes.    

1     Pkg   Turkey Stuffing Mix (I use StoveTop)
2     C       Chopped yellow squash, zucchini, or christophene (chayote) or a medley
2     stalks celery, chopped
1      medium onion
1      can Mushroom Soup
1/2  C  warm chicken or turkey broth, or a combo of water & white wine
2     T melted butter
2     C  shredded sharp cheddar
1/2  C  sour cream   OR  herbed cream cheese (really yummy)
1/4  t   marjoram, thyme, garlic & onion powders
a pinch of cayenne or to taste

Combine stuffing mix, broth and melted butter in a bowl and set aside.  Meanwhile, saute the veggies in olive
oil over medium heat.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, thyme & marjoram.  When nicely golden
and a bit caramelized, remove from heat. Combine the soup and sour cream or cream cheese with the veggies
and 1 cup of the cheddar.

Fluff-up the stuffing with a fork, then spoon half of the stuffing mix into greased 8" x 8" pan  and cover with
the veggies, then spoon the remaining stuffing over the veggies.  Top with cheese and bake at 350 for 30
minutes.   This is great reheated in a covered frying pan with a bit of water (1-2 T) and almost makes a meal by
itself.  Enjoy.
Cheesy Stuffing & Squash Casserole
The base recipe came from my Cruising K.I.S.S. cookbook (by Corinne Kanter) and I've modified it slightly for
use with Rapid Rise yeast.  If you don't have Rapid Rise yeast, combine regular yeast in a small bowl with the
1/2 t honey and water heated to about 110 degrees then add to the dry ingredients.  It makes either 1 thick crust
or 2 thin crusts in a 12" pan.  After discovering how easy this recipe is to make and how well it freezes, I make
pizza a lot now and we love it. You can make a half batch too and when I do I use 1 tspn yeast.  Makes a nice
thin crust and fits those foil pans they sell in the grocery stores.  In the French islands they sell these tiny cans
(95 g) of tomato sauce or "sauce italienne" that are the perfect size for one pizza.  Really makes it convenient
not to have leftover sauce laying around.

1/2      t     honey or sugar
1         C    warm water (130 degrees)
1        pkg  rapid rise yeast
1/2      t     salt
1          T    olive oil
1/2      t     oregano and garlic powder
3        C     flour, I use half whole wheat or multi-grain, and half all-purpose flour

Combine dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Heat water to 130, add honey and olive oil, stir then add to dry
ingredients (or add yeast/water combination as discussed above).  Mix to make a sticky dough, then knead on a
floured surface for 5 minutes or so, adding a bit more flour as needed until smooth.

Place in a oiled bowl and cover.  Let rise until doubled.  Punch down.  At this point, I shape into a log and cut in
half, put 1 in a freezer bag and stick into the freezer for another day.  The other half I let rest on the pizza tin
for an additional 5 - 10 minutes, then I press it into the pizza tin and top.  For our favorite pizza, we top with a
little tomato sauce or pizza sauce, thinly-sliced zucchini rounds, parmesan cheese, pepperoni, lots of onion,
mushrooms and black olive slices, then top with mozzarella and bake at 450 - 500 until browned, about 25
minutes for my oven.  
Easy Pizza Dough
A really versatile spread that makes good cracker fodder for sundowners, makes a heck of a sandwich and is
really quick and easy to make.  I use chunked tuna rather than wasting solid albacore for a spread.  Also I like
tuna packed in oil as it seems to have more flavor.  You can also use leftover broiled or grilled white fish if you
have some.

1     can tuna, well drained & mashed up
1     small onion, finely diced
1     heaping Tablespoon capers, chopped if they are the larger size.
1-2 Tablespoons mayo
A few drops each hot sauce and liquid smoke, both very important
A few sprinkles each Adadaba, garlic powder, & onion powder

Combine everything and chill for a half hour or so to let the flavors develop.  You can adjust the mayo and
spices according to your liking.  I like lots of hot sauce and liquid smoke in mine.  Green olives can be used as
a garnish or chop some up and throw them in there too.
Easy Fish or Tuna Spread
Down here in the Caribbean eggplant is readily available, however I always ignored it thinking my husband
would turn his nose up at it, (sorry Honey).  Finally after watching an episode of Bobby Flay's Throwdown
where he threw down on eggplant parmesan I knew I had to try it.  Its very easy and just a little time
consuming but well worth it.  When I make a loaf pan of it we get 4-5 dinners out of it.  Granted these are
smallish servings which I serve with garlicky buttered spaghetti or vermicelli and bread. OBTW, he loves it!

2     small to medium eggplant, peeled and sliced 1/2" thick diagonally, giving you ovals about 4" long
1     small jar of spaghetti sauce - store bought or you can make your own using tomato paste, red wine etc.
1/4 C  red wine
1     large onion, slivered
1     large tomato, diced
2    cloves garlic, mashed and chopped
2    Tablespoons parmesan-romano cheese
1    C  shredded Mozzarella
1    egg, beaten with a small dab of water
Breadcrumbs, I like the Panko seasoned ones to which I add garlic powder, and a bit more oregano

After prepping the eggplant, throw it into a bag with some flour in it and toss it around until covered.  I setup a
production line for battering, frying, and draining the slices.  Dip the floured slice in egg then into
breadcrumbs, and fry it in med-hot oil in a large frypan. I can fit about 6-8 slices in my 12" pan.  Drain hot
slices on paper towels immediately. When finished frying all the slices, wipe out the frying pan and saute the
tomato, onion, and garlic together with a little EVOO until just translucent.  Add the sauce and red wine to the
pan to combine.  

Using a greased loaf pan, begin layering with a spoonful of sauce on the bottom, then 2 layers of eggplant slices,
which hopefully will fit across sideways in the pan.  Sometimes I have to trim off a bit of the end to get the slice
to fit nicely (which I then eat). I try to line the 2 layers up to facilitate cutting & serving. Spoon sauce over the
eggplant, sprinkle with 1/2 of the parm-romano cheese, then with 1/2 of the mozzarella.  Add the next 2 layers
of eggplant, sauce, cheeses and it's ready to bake.   375 for 30 minutes. Hope you enjoy it.  It freezes fine and
can be reheated stovetop very easily.  I often put a fresh slice of mozzarella on top to melt and give it a delicious
look when served.
Eggplant Parmesan
Oatmeal Christmas Cookies
2 sticks   softened butter (1 C)                                           1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
1  C          firmly packed brown sugar                               1 t         baking soda
2              eggs                                                                          1 t        ground cinnamon
1 1/2 t     vanilla                                                                     1/8 t     ground cloves
1 C           chopped pecans                                                    1/2 t     salt
1/2 C       chopped raisins                                                     3 C       oats, quick or old-fashioned, uncooked
1 C           candied peel (YAY! Old English is the brand I use)

Preheat to 350.  Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy, add eggs and vanilla, and mix some more.  
Meanwhile combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices together and mix well.  Next, I add half the flour
mixture, half the oats and half of the fruits, nuts and raisins to the egg mixture, stir and then add the other

I get my husband to help with stirring in the last of the oats and stuff as the mixture is really stiff by then.  
Drop in rounded teaspoonfuls, that way you'll have plenty to share.  Last time I made these I got around
9-10 dozen and they went over hugely well with everyone who tried them.  Bake for 11-13 mins or until just
browning at the edges.  Cool 3-5 mins before removing from sheet.
Indian-inspired Chicken
2    boneless, skinless chicken thighs,
cut into bite-sized pieces                                      1-2                plum tomato, chopped medium             
1/2 large sweet onion, diced                                      2/3  C          chicken stock      
6    fresh mushrooms, sliced thinly                         1/4   tspn     garam masala
2    carrots, diced into medium pcs                          1/4   tspn    curry powder    
3    large cloves garlic, minced                                  1/2   tspn     chili paste (more or less to suit)
1"   piece fresh ginger, minced                                   1/4  C          tomato paste  
1-2 T Olive oil                                                                 1/2  tspn    cumin seed

Saute the mushrooms in a bit of EVOO over med-high heat until nicely golden-browned.  Remove with any
juices to a bowl.  In another Tblspn of olive oil, saute onions, garlic, ginger, cumin seed, garam masala,
curry and chili paste for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, add chicken, tomato and carrots, and continue sauteing
for 3-5 minutes, moving the pan ocassionally. (Add an additional dribble of EVOO or small pat of butter if
too dry during this step).  Add chicken stock,  tomato paste and mushrooms to the pan and simmer over low
heat for 5 minutes or until carrots are tender and chicken is cooked through, adding more stock as needed.
Let rest for 5 minutes.  If sauce is too thick, thin with white wine or stock, if too thin thicken with
cornstarch/stock slurry.  You can add more spices for a more intense flavor according to your tastes.

We served this over spiced-up basmati rice, made in the pressure cooker in about 5 minutes, (see below for
how) and topped it with a few small dollops of sour cream and fresh chopped parsley.  The sour cream took
the edge off the heat factor from the chili paste.  SO YUMMY!  I've been asked to make this once a week, lol.

This is one of those dishes that can be adapted by all kinds of additions like adding a few chick peas and
frozen green peas near the end, or saute some yellow squash or zucchini to make it more vegetarian, use
eggplant instead of chicken etc.  Feeds 2 hungry ppl.

Basmati Rice on Dreamtime:

1   C   soaked (1/2 hour) and drained basmati rice              1 1/2  C  water or half water/stock
1   T   olive oil                                                                              1        tspn cumin seeds
1/2     tspn garlic & onion powder                                           1/2    tspn garam masala
1/4     tspn salt                                                                             1        small pinch of gr cloves or 2-3 whole ones

Heat the oil over med-high heat in the pressure cooker, add all spices, sauteing for 2-3 minutes, then add
rice.  Saute until the rice takes on a golden color, 4-6 minutes, then add your liquids.  Close cooker, when
pressure valve is jiggling or venting, turn heat down to low, set timer for 4 minutes, and shut off when timer
says so.  Let pressure come down on it's own.  Makes enough for 4.
I am lucky enough to have a large freezer both at home and on ROCKY and I've developed a new technique
for dealing with breakfast sausage.  Now, we love our big breakfast - it carries us most days until 1 or even 2
in the afternoon.  What I hate to deal with is raw sausage first thing in the morning.  My time tested
technique isn't rocket science but is very effective and I use it regularly.

I freeze my sausage until it is solid but not hard as a rock (or thaw it to that point if need be), then using
my sharpest, heaviest knife I slice it into patties and lay them out on a wax-papered dinner plate.  Because
they are partially frozen to begin with at this point they don't stick to the wax paper the way they would if
they were raw. They then go back into the freezer to get hard as a rock (haha).  Afterwards I take them off
the plate (which is easy due to the wax paper) and stack them up into 2 columns in a freezer baggie.  A 1#
tube all sliced up fits in just fine.  When I'm ready to make breakfast I can get 2 patties to tumble out of the
bag (no touching involved) and onto a paper plate where they will get nuked at PL4 for 4 minutes then into
the frying pan to brown up, easy-peasy.
Dealing with breakfast sausage my way
Dealing with a quart of buttermilk
I may have been raised up north but being married to a southerner brings my mama's Georgian roots to the
surface.  That means cornbread is on the menu a fair amount but not often enough to justify buying a quart of
buttermilk unless I could figure out a way to handle it.

My solution is to freeze it in 1 cup portions.  I have these straight-sided coffee cups that just happen to be 8oz,
perfect!  After they freeze I decant each one into a baggie and stick it back into the freezer until the next time I
bake cornbread.  I use my mother-in-law's recipe but only make a half recipe at a time - works out great; 1 cup
cornmeal, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 egg plus oil and the leavening ingredients and you've got a nice loaf (made in a
loaf pan) that will last for 3 meals around here.  (Recipe below).  Also, I freeze any leftover cornbread then,
when I have enough, I use it to make Cornbread Breakfast Strata - yum!
"Notes from 2020"
Chicken Pot Pie
1/3  C   Butter                                                   
1/3  C   A/P Flour                                              
1 - 1/2 C  Strong, seasoned Chicken Stock
2/3 C   Milk or Half 'n half
2 T  Basil Pesto
1/2 to 1 t - herbs du Provence, onion powder, Mrs. Dash Garlic &
Herb, poultry seasoning, thyme (or whatever you like)

2 C cooked, chopped chicken thighs

1/2 to 2/3 C each: onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, cooked cubed
potato, (I always have some previously baked potatoes in my fridge
for other uses), and frozen peas
Preheat Oven to 425
Recipe yields 1 pie

1 Box pre-made Pie Crusts, I used
Pillsbury, room temperature
Saute onion, celery, carrots together in butter/olive oil and season accordingly with salt/pepper and any herbs you
like.  Set aside to cool.  Saute mushrooms the same way, reserving any liquid to further flavor the pie's gravy. We
love mushrooms, so I used almost 8oz.  Remove to cool. Make a roux using the butter/flour ratio mentioned up top,
then after a few minutes of cooking/stirring over medium heat, slowly add the stock to thicken, followed by the
milk. Cook a few more minutes then add all the veggies (with juices) back in, plus the chicken, potatoes and peas
and adjust the seasonings if needed.

I like to season each "layer" as I go rather than just dumping the herbs/spices in at the end.  If all is well, line a 9"
Pyrex pie pan with the bottom crust, fill and lay the top crust on, then crimp the edges closed to seal.  Vent the top
with several cuts.  Bake at 425 for 30-40 minutes, covering the edges with foil halfway through to prevent burning.  
I baked on a sheet pan in case of spill-over.  Freezes well and reheats readily in a low oven (~185 - 200 for 1/2 hour.)
Cornbread Breakfast Strata
8 x 8 pan of crumbled cornbread,

1 C cooked, crumbled breakfast sausage

1 1/2 to 2 C assorted veggies pre-sauteed w/herbs and spices - I
use asparagus, grape tomatoes, mushrooms and plenty of onions

2 C shredded cheese - I shredded a block of pepper jack and
used 1 C sharp cheddar shreds.

8 - 10 eggs, beaten with salt/pepper, tarragon, poultry seasoning,
onion powder, garlic powder & hot sauce (all to taste)

2 C milk or combo w/ half n half.  

Adjust ingredients up as needed, maybe more sausage or
mushrooms, cheese, etc.

Remember, it's an art and as such, is fluid.
Layer 1/2 to 2/3rds of the cornbread crumbles in 13 x 9
baking dish (foil or parchment paper lined is suggested)

Place sausage evenly over all, followed by 1 C of the
cheese. Spread cooled veggies next, then top with
remaining cornbread and cheese. Pat down, then slowly
pour egg/milk mixture over all.  

Refrigerate overnight, then warm up on countertop 15 to
30 minutes before baking @ 375 for 1 hour 15 min or until
there is no jiggling in the center.  - ENJOY!

Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting/serving

Consider a baking sheet lined w/foil or parchment to
catch any overflow.
1/2 pkg (or more) smoked sausage, chopped into medium dices
5+ C shredded white cabbage
2 to 3 large carrots, also shredded
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 large onion, diced
2 plum tomatoes, squeezed, seeded and chopped
1/2 C each fresh chopped parsley and cilantro
1 t (generous) Hawaij spice blend (see sidebar)
2/3 C shredded Italian cheese blend (w/asiago if possible)

5 eggs, beaten
1/4 C each mayo, sour cream, and 1/2 'n 1/2 (or more sour cream)

1/4 C flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 to 1t salt
1/2 t cornstarch
Sausage & Veggie Quiche
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sauté sausage until lightly browned, remove to bowl to cool.  Sauté remaining veggies (except the fresh herbs) until
barely wilted and picking up a little color. Sprinkle with spice blend and sauté another two or three minutes to wake up
the spices, then remove to bowl to cool.

Combine beaten eggs with remaining wet ingredients, then whisk in the combined dry ingredients until incorporated
into the egg mixture.  

Combine sausage, parsley, and cilantro with veggies.

Line a 9 x 9 square pan with parchment paper, and spread veggie mixture into pan.  Carefully pour egg mixture evenly
over the top.  Spread cheese over the surface and bake for 35 minutes or until nicely browned.
My version of HAWAIJ spice blend:

I had most of the seeds and a grinder so I
lightly toasted the seeds in a dry pan until
fragrant, let them cool and ground them up.

2 T cumin seeds, ground.
1 T caraway seeds, ground.
1 T coriander seeds, ground.
1 1/2 T ground turmeric.
1 1/2 T black peppercorns.
2 t cardamom seeds, ground
1/4 tsp clove, ground
This dish turned out to be really delicious.  It was light yet very flavorful. I ended up with 12 servings, some of
which I have frozen. I expect I can thaw and reheat in a low oven or microwave just fine.  We had it for lunch
yesterday, fresh out of the oven and even Ed loved it.  Tonight it will be the side for rotisserie chicken and sliced
tomatoes.  Really happy to find a wonderful way to utilize cabbage. By the way, I chopped, shredded everything up
the day before - cool beans!
How we enjoy French Toast in the mornings without any effort.
I have never had much use for an electric griddle, with it just being
the 2 of us, however, one day the Boss Man brought home a "found"
griddle, fixed it and proudly gifted it to me.  Well, it sat in the
cupboard for quite a while until I realized (through a little internet
browsing) that I could make a pretty big batch of french toast and
freeze it for a heat 'n eat at a later date.

So now that's my M.O.  I've made both french toast and pancakes and
had very good luck freezing and reheating them.  After cooking and
cooling, I plate them in a single layer and stick them in the freezer,
then later, stack them in a Z-folded layer of parchment paper, bag
them up, and back in the freezer until one of those lazy mornings
when you want something tasty for brekkie but are too lazy.  Just
add scrambled eggs and meat of your choice and you're all set.
Sausage & Veggie Quiche
Christmas Fruitcake
This fruitcake recipe is really easy and oh so tasty.  It's also something that can be tailored to suit your taste by
adjusting the "extras" such as pecans, fruit peel, raisins and the like.  Here's how I make it:
The "boilables";

1  C  dark brown sugar             1/4 C butter            
1 C   water                                   1 t cinamon & ginger
2 C  raisins                                 1/2 t salt & gr. cloves
1 + C chopped pecans
             1/2 t nutmeg

Gently boil for 5 minutes then let cool.
The dry ingredients;

1 & 1/2  C   A/P  flour     1 t baking soda & vanilla extract

1  C   candied peel          2 eggs lightly beaten plus 1 T dark rum
Preheat oven to 350F or 325F for a dark pan. Line loaf pan with parchment paper (I double it up to keep the bottom
from getting too dark.)   Fold the candied peel, rum, vanilla and eggs into the boiled mixture, then stir in the
combined flour and baking soda mixture.   Bake for 1 hour, then check for doneness using a skewer or toothpick.
EasyBoiled Fruitcake