Category: Recipes/Cooking

catch (71k image)

Linda and I have not been out of the house (doing fun things) in about 3 weeks due to weather.

Yesterday we went to Penzey’s for spices, Cinzetti’s to eat, went to Whole Foods Market and got Linda a new pair of shoes (Crocs that are a whole shoe with leather that ties- pretty cool).

Today we went to the Cinemark VIP room and watched “Catch & Release”. They serve your drinks and food at your seat and you can recline- very comfortable and enjoyable. The movie was good and then we did a little shopping. We then came home and made potato soup which was outstanding and warmed us up (only 10 degrees here today). It was a very pleasent weekend. Need to rest up as I am currently teaching Tuesdays and have 3 families through the court to work with, Thursday I get my crown and Friday is a professional development day- so the weeks are busy. Nice to relax for 2 days!

For those who might want to make soup…

1/2 stick butter
1 small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced about the same size as the onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 cups milk, whole, reduced fat (2 percent) or low fat (1 percent)
2 chicken bouillon cubes, dissolved in 1/2 cup hot milk
1 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Crumbled bacon bits, for garnish
Grated sharp Cheddar, for garnish

In a 4-quart saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion and carrots until both are slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, milk, and dissolved bouillon cubes. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are very soft and some of them have begun to dissolve into mush. Add the half-and-half, salt, and pepper.

Serve soup sprinkled with bacon bits and grated cheese.

Family News Recipes/Cooking

katemat (79k image)

Materials Needed:
* Zip-Top Sandwich Bag
* Small Red and Green Candies
* Paper
Simply put a handfull of of red and green candies (use holiday M and Ms, jelly beans, ect.) in the zip-top sandwich bag to be the “poop”. If you want a little more variety, add some Christmas colored sprinkles or some edible glitter.
Print out the poem, cut it out, and stapled it to the top of the sandwich bag …

elfpooptag (41k image)

Holidays Recipes/Cooking

candy-train (26k image)

I could not believe that we couldn’t remember how to make these, so I did a search and look what I found! This one has other elements on the back, but we only did the front one. My mom said that we did these for the Bazzaar one year. Too fun!


reindeer (13k image)

1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave according to package directions.
2. Lay pretzel on wax paper. Spoon melted chocolate into each pretzel hole.
3. Place green M&M’s for the eyes and red for the nose.
4. Place broken pretzel at the top to resemble antlers.


yummy (244k image)
Yes, you can have your cake and eat it, too! Enjoy and stay healthy!

1. Read all package labels very carefully. You don’t want to add unknown fats and sugars to your diet.
2. Try the milk step-down. If a recipe calls for cream, try whole milk. If it calls for whole milk, try 2 percent and so on.
3. Use less whole eggs. If a recipe calls for 3 eggs, try using 1 whole egg and two egg whites.
4. In baking, substitute 1 cup of applesauce for 1 cup of margarine or butter. For better results, don’t substitute all of the fat for applesauce just half or less of it.
5. Substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar. This will work in many recipes. There are so many to
choose from these days be sure to choose just the right one for your recipe.
6. Variety is the spice of life. When making low fat or low sugar desserts make sure there are plenty of good flavors.
7. Make all your own desserts. You’ll know exactly what’s in them.
8. Literally save room for dessert. Save your fat calories for dessert.
9. Share your dessert. You’ll save half the calories.
10. Eat any desserts you desire. Unless you’ve been otherwise medically advised, why not? Just eat them occasionally, once a month or week.


street-vendor (95k image)

While we were in the Dominican Republic, we had many of these little treats called Dulces de Coco and Mani Molado. Street vendors walk around everywhere selling them. This one, in particular, was near David’s dad’s house and carried the bowl on his head {{popup street-vendor-2.jpg street-vendor-2 499×350}}street-vendor-2. I had not even tried these treats until this precise moment. After I did, I told David we should have bought the whole bowl! They were delicious!

street-vendor-3 (75k image)

David’s favorite are the Dulces de Coco, which are little coconut bars. I liked the Mani Molado, which are little ground peanut bars. They are both delicious and I searched for their recipes online. These were the best I could find… DULCES DE COCO and TURRON DE MANI (I think this is the same thing – it is pretty close).

Photos Recipes/Cooking Travel

ed-sleeping (73k image)

4 a.m. – that’s what time we actually got home this morning. You see, we flew out of NYC and then had to drive, so we went from the Dominican Republic, to Fort Lauderdale, FL, and then to NYC, only to jump in the car and drive back to Virginia. Yes, we traveled across many countries and states just to get home to a comfy bed. Our trip was great and we have so much to share (good and bad), but we have to unbury the house first so it may wait a little while. For now, we are happy to be home. For those who have never seen some of these types of countries (and I’m not talking about the resort areas), there is a lot to be learned:

1. A toilet seat is a wonderful luxury and I still don’t know how they balance.
2. Hot water is non-existant for showering. And that water is COLD!
3. The electricity goes out at least twice a day.
4. It’s hotter than shit there.
5. Bugs are just a part of it (I’ll tell about the 1.5″ cockroach that ran down my leg later).
6. AC… what’s that?
7. Moli Molado (Ground Peanut Candy Sweets) and Dulce de Coco (Coconut Candy Sweets) are amazing little treats.
8. Family is the most important thing.
9. Clubs in caves are so cool – pictures to come!!!
10. Don’t drive there… EVER! Very scary. As David put it… you get to drive the way you always wanted to (i.e. no laws on the road what-so-ever – worse than Puerto Rico).

These are just our top ten and we’ll have to elaborate on later. You need to learn to appreciate what you do have because many people in the world are not so lucky. These few things were ideas that I never even questioned or even thought of as luxeries before, and now my eyes are wide open. We all need to remember this the next time we are upset that we do not have the money for something. We all have a lot more than you even realize. Please appreciate it. I saw first-hand and the culture shock put me into a tail-spin. But regardless, it is a beautiful place and we can’t wait to go back.

Photos Recipes/Cooking Travel

I tried this stuff at Whole Foods Market where they served it with fried pita chips, and it’s awesome! I don’t even really like hummus, but this stuff is delish! They also have a roasted red pepper hummus that is great! I’ll have to find that recipe and post too! Lala could not find this one at her Whole Foods, so I found a recipe. I have no idea why it has no tahini (sesame paste), since most hummus’s do, but this is the second/third recipe I have seen without it, so it must be right. ENJOY!

Cilantro Jalapeno Hummus

2 cloves garlic
2 15-oz cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced

Place garlic in food processor and process until minced. Add beans, lime juice, and salt. Puree. Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Process until the mixture thickens (1-2 minutes). Add cilantro and jalapeno and pulse for 10 seconds. Serve on breads, tortillas, or pita bread.


My friend just taught me how to make Gumbo and I made it for the first time this weekend. It was excellent, so I thought I would share the recipe… it is not exact, but as close as I could get it to how I made it. I thought it would be good to share since my parents are preparing for a trip to New Orleans soon and since Nonie and Jef have already been.

It probably is not one of the healthiest recipes for those doing diets, but it sure does taste yummy! I used brown rice with mine and I thought it was great! Click on the “more” link for the recipe….


Well, I told you all about drunken chicken a while back… David and I made a different version of it when we went camping because our grill was not big enough to stand the chicken up. We thought we should share because we make it all the time now and love the “gravy” that it produces (it’s just the juice, but it’s good)! I have also heard that you can do this with wine.

Drunken Chicken

1 whole chicken
3-4 Tbsp. oil
Seasonings (we like Goya’s Adobo and Sazon Spanish seasonings; my uncle Jef likes Emeril’s Essence or Emeril’s Creole Seasoning, Bayou Blast–both recipes are in our cookbook or in the grociery store – but use whatever)
1 can beer
1 Reynolds Foil-wrap bag

Drizzle the chicken with oil and smother it in all the seasonings you want (we like Adobe and Sazon, but Emeril’s Essence is good or you can use Emeril’s Creole to give it some spice). Add some salt and pepper or other herbs if you prefer.

Place the chicken in a foil-wrap bag and pour in one can of beer. Seal it very tightly and place on a grill or in the oven. Cook the chicken for about 2 hours or until the meat is falling off the bone. Cut up the meat and serve it with some of the “gravy” left in the bag if you desire.

Variation: there is another version of this called beer-can chicken. Season your chicken and place it over the top of a opened can of beer in the grill. The beer steams throughout giving it great flavor.

You can buy a beer can cooker stand at Wal-mart near the grilling stuff for $5. I know, b/c I bought one and cannot wait to use it this summer!


During and right after the Super Bowl, it seemed like Chili was the hot item. I watch Food Network and saw a show on the Chili Cook-off and even Emeril shared some interesting recipes. Whole Foods Market even put out three recipes in their flyer not too long ago too! So I got thinking… everyone has their own recipe for chili, and every person thinks theirs is the best (and let’s face it, they are all good!). Let’s share our recipes and see how many different ones we have and can taste. I know my aunt/uncle have a white chili (it’s in the cookbook – but you can still post it), and I make mine with ground turkey and black beans. My dad makes his with ground beef or venison and kidney beans. My friend does more of a chili con carne and adds chunks of beef and pork to hers. There is white chili, vegetarian chili, meaty chili, bean-less chili… some have corn and veggies, while others are very simple. Let’s have some fun and share…maybe some day we can have a chili cook-off of our own!


Since many of us have specific dietary needs this year, I decided to look for a few recipes that we might be able to include in our Thanksgiving dinners this year. Many of them are either diabetic or they are South Beach friendly, such as a wheat bread stuffing and many diabetic desserts. I just thought I would put them up here for people to use if desired.

The second file is for my mom (who has cheated – naughty girl), so I figured that if she was going to cheat, she might as well have something that is not as bad. This does not mean that any of these are good for us, it just means they have a little less sugar. Some came from a diabetic cookbook and others came from Splenda’s website. They include some different cookie and pie recipes. ENJOY!

Holiday-Recipes.pdf (125k file)
Diabetic-Treats.pdf (78k file)


-Friday night we went bowling- I haven’t done this in 30 years- my body noticed- today I can’t sit- but it was fun.
-We tried a new restaurant- “Mamas” it was so-so- hear they have great breakfast- we’ll try that sometime.
-Saturday we went to the Mexican restaurant and had strawberry daiquiris– we don’t usually drink- they were yummy- trying to kill the pain in my body!
-We soaked in the hot tub many times- Linda 5- Karen 4.
-Talked to Delaney- what can I say- just too cute and she loves the phone.
-We watched “Anger Management” & “The Core”
-Sunday we had eggs benedict with grilled asparagus and fresh tomatoes- again- Yum
-Tonight I am making a “Tex Mex” dinner (made by the Barefoot Contessa)
-Now- I must prepare my lesson for this week- I am teaching childhood diagnosis- not thinking Yum! If you would like to see what I teach in my class here is my web page.

Family News Recipes/Cooking

I just wanted to let the family know that while Beth was here visiting this last weekend, we had a little pizza party with the two of us and my friend Patrick. I made Zucchini-roni Pizza and Beth made my Uncle Bo’s Nuevo Mundo Pizza… AND IT WAS AWESOME! If you haven’t tried this pizza, it is listed in the family cookbook and is excellent!

In doing this, we started thinking about different kinds of Pizzas and I had the idea to open a Pizza Shop (not really, but it would be cool), called something like “Around the World Pizza.” We started placing different pizzas with different states/cities. NYC Style pizza, Chicago Deep dish pizza, Buffalo Wing pizza, Wisconsin Three-cheese pizza, Hawiian pizza (ya know, the kind with the ham and pineapple), a gumbo-type pizza for new orleans, a BBQ pizza for the South, Bo’s pizza for someplace spicy/hot (Texas?), etc… Anyone else have any ideas? Even if we don’t have a real pizza shop, it’s still fun to think about. I might use the idea just to design a fun menu to put into my prortfolio. The ideas are endless… Help us out! We may generate some great family recipes out of this.

I have a great grilled pesto/artichoke pizza too, not to mention white garlic pizza, but I didn’t know where any of these would fit in the “World of Pizza.” I had wondered if a rueben pizza would be good? Yum, ruuuueeeebbbbeens….


I was watching food network the other day and Rachael Ray was making two very healthy pizzas that looked great! I thought I would pass them on for people to try! The Zucchini-roni pizza is supposed to taste just like real pepperoni, or so she said twenty times in the program. She said kids will love it! I’m excited to try it.

Also, I have a great pizza in the Family cookbook additions that’s worth trying! It’s my favorite and I make it at least once a month. It has pesto, tomatoes, spinach, Monteray Jack cheese, and artichoke hearts (and any additional veggies you’d like to add – like mushrooms – YUM!). …(click on the More button below for the recipes)…