Category Archives: recipes

Chicken Sandwich

Another dinner thrown together with leftover Costco roast chicken. I never measure, so the amounts are of course approximate.

3/4 cups cooked chicken, diced
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1 Tbs. sweet relish
4 Tbs. light mayo
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
a dash of smoked paprika
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and serve on wheat toast with lettuce and your favorite cheese.

Cheesy Broccoli and Quinoa

What’s a girl to do when she’s craving mac & cheese but is out of mac and is already in her PJ’s and doesn’t feel like going to the grocery store? Why, rifle through the cupboards till she finds something resembling mac & cheese, of course!

I feel better though that I made quinoa instead of pasta because it’s healthier overall; but I guess the cheese part cancels that all out. But there’s broccoli in it!

Serves 3, or 1 with lunch for tomorrow and Tuesday

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 small broccoli crowns, cut up
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar
a couple of tablespoons of grated pecorino romano cheese
a couple of tablespoons of grated pizza cheese
1 tbs butter
1/3 cup milk
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tbs Wondra flour
salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa according to package. I make mine in the rice cooker and overfill the water past the “1” line. Meanwhile, steam broccoli in a covered saucepan till bright green and tender, about 8 minutes?
In a serving bowl, combine the butter, milk and garlic. Microwave for 40 seconds or until butter is melted. Whisk in the flour and microwave another 30 seconds. If sauce is too thick, add more milk. If it’s too thin, add a bit more flour and microwave another 15 seconds. Add the cheeses, salt and pepper. Stir in cooked quinoa and broccoli. If sauce is too thick, add a bit more milk. Serve with a big glass of milk. I’m trying to use up my milk before tomorrow, can’t you tell?

Breakfast Skillet

This is supposed to be a weekend breakfast skillet, but it’s so dang tasty and easy I’ve started making it during the week.

Serves 2
4 eggs
6 Tbs. milk
2 slices of bread, cut into cubes
2 green onions, chopped
2-3 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
4 baby portobello or crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 Tbs. butter
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. In a small frying pan melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute till they are lightly browned on all sides. Set mushrooms aside. In an oven-proof medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat till crispy. Set aside the bacon and reserve about a tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan. Add bread cubes from only one slice of bread and brown on all sides. Set aside with the untoasted bread cubes. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and milk in a mixing bowl. Add the salt, pepper, green onions, bacon, mushrooms and cheese. Add the egg mixture to the now empty pan and stir around for about a minute, till eggs are just starting to set. Fold in all the bread cubes and pat everything down with a spatula. Place in oven and cook for 7 minutes.

Asparagus with Cheese Sauce

I don’t love asparagus. I don’t hate it either. So I thought I might like it more if I smother it in cheese sauce. Cheese sauce makes every vegetable super delicious and totally less healthy.
This recipe is based on one from Cooks Country Magazine April Edition. After starting the recipe, I realized I was lacking half of the ingredients, so I improvised. I really like what I came up with.

Serves Two

1/2 pound asparagus
3/4 cup water
pinch of salt
1/4 cup chicken stock
pat of butter
1 tbs Wondra Flour
1/2 cup sharp cheddar

Trim about 2 inches off the ends of the asparagus. Reserve the trimmed ends. Boil the water in a saute pan and add the trimmed ends. Cover and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the trimmings with a slotted spoon and throw them away. Add the asparagus to the pan with a pinch of salt, recover and cook for 4 minutes. Set asparagus on some paper towels to drain and dry. Reserve the asparagus liquid in a measuring cup and add enough chicken stock to make 3/4 cups of liquid. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk over medium-low heat for about a minute. Add the liquid and whisk for another few minutes till thick. If it’s too thick, add more chicken stock. Too thin, sprinkle in more flour while whisking vigorously (this may create lumps). Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese till melted. Add pepper to taste. Pour over asparagus. Yum!

Stuffed Baby Portobello Mushrooms

I love Costco, but when there are only two members in your family, it’s difficult to use Costco quantities without everything spoiling. That’s why I buy carefully — I buy foods that last a long time, such as mini bell peppers, olive oil and chicken stock. But yesterday I just couldn’t resist the baby portobello mushrooms in the refrigerated produce room. Also too delectable to avoid — the Costco rotisserie chicken. Such heavenly flavor for only $5 and there’s so much you can do with the leftovers.
This recipe I threw together in about 20 minutes. It uses some chicken leftovers and makes good use of my perfect mushrooms. These make colorful appetizers, but I was craving them as my main meal. They were delish!

3 mini bell peppers (red, yellow and orange) or 1/4 of a bell pepper
1/8 of an onion
1 clove of garlic (I was out, but I would normally add this with the onion)
about 12 mini portobello mushrooms (crimini or buttons would work too), stems removed and saved
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbs fresh chopped oregano
2 tbs bread crumbs
2 thick slices of roasted chicken breast
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Carefully remove the stems from each mushroom and with a melon baller, scoop out some of the flesh inside each mushroom so there’s room to stuff. Save what you scoop.

In a mini food processor, pulse the peppers, onion and mushroom stems and innards till finely chopped. In a small frying pan, heat up about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the peppers, onion, garlic, mushroom innards, oregano, salt and pepper. Saute till everything is softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop the chicken.
Transfer the cooked ingredients to a bowl and combine the chicken, bread crumbs and half the cheese. In a small baking dish, fill each mushroom cap with the mixture so it mounds up on top. Top with shredded parmesan cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

Pink Champagne Cake

By far my most successful cake to date. Modified from a recipe in Booze Cakes, a cookbook Rosey gave us for Christmas. Since I was making cake for two, I made a single layer round cake in a 10-inch pan. I bought a four-pack of inexpensive Californian Champagne, the tiny bottles, so I didn’t have to waste a whole bottle. The other bottles I saved for dinner.
The cake turned out really short, but I loved the look of it after I added the frosting. Since my frosting skills are terrible, I called up my sister-in-law and asked her to give me a frosting lesson. Lesson learned!


1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 stick of butter, room temp
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg whites
2 drops red food coloring
1 cup Champagne

12 oz. cream cheese (like a brick and a half)
1/2 stick of butter
About a cup of powdered sugar
Fresh strawberries for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and butter cake pan and place parchment paper in the bottom. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter till light and fluffy, about four minutes. Add the egg whites one at a time. Mix in the food coloring.

Now add the flour in four parts and the champagne in three, alternating starting and ending with flour. This will prevent the batter from curdling. Pour batter into pan and bake for 35 minutes or until a knife pulls out clean when inserted into the center.

Let cool for about 30 minutes and remove cake from pan. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter till fluffy. Start adding the sugar and taste it once and a while till it’s to your liking.

Frost the cake Slice the strawberries and place them around the sides of the cake. Add a pretty strawberry design on top.

Oliver’s Marinara

This simple marinara sauce is the backbone to many of my father’s recipes. He would make a far larger quantity than the recipe I’m providing so he could freeze it and use it anytime. I have fond memories of my dad standing over the stove and instructing me to stir in the corners of the pot so none of the sauce would burn. My sister and I would bring small cups to him, which he’d fill with piping hot sauce, and we’d sip on it like soup.

To this recipe you could add several ingredients. I sometimes saute some chopped onion and mushroom in butter and toss that in. My dad adds reconstituted porcini mushrooms that we pick in summertime. I have porcini powder right now, so I sprinkled about 1/2 teaspoon into the sauce. For a putanesca sauce you could add fried up bits of pancetta and kalamata olives. Add a splash of red wine to give it some depth. Add fresh chopped herbs at the end of cooking such as oregano, basil or thyme.

Ingredients (most are eyeballed):
2 large cans of crushed tomatoes
2 tbs. olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 dried chili pepper, or 1 tsp. dried pepper flakes
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tbs. dried basil
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar

In a saucepan, heat up olive oil over medium flame. Add the garlic, and cook till golden brown on all sides. Be sure not to burn the garlic. If you do, just start over. Garlic is cheap. Add all of the other ingredients. When sauce is bubbling, turn heat to med-low, cover and cook for at least 30 minutes. Stir frequently so the sauce doesn’t burn. Freeze leftover sauce in jars.