A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Golden Beets

I am honestly not a fan of cooking beets in my kitchen, they are just WAY too messy- and they tend to stain EVERYTHING. Some members of my family do love them though. So, the compromise is the Golden Beet.
They are easy to make....

2 Bunches golden organic Beets, remove top leafy greens and save if you like, scrub clean

Preheat oven to 450
Place a sheet of tin foil on a baking tray, place the beets on top (drizzle with oils dash of salt and pepper if you like but remember you will still need to peel the beets later)

Wrap the beets if foil and cook in oven for 45-60 minuted depending on size of beets -

When beets are finished cooking (tender) allow to cool. When ready to use the beets peel and plate them - I suggest stacking them with avocado, radish and goat cheese like below, but they can be tossed into salads also.. enjoy!

Sunday, April 20, 2014


A few years back I planted many beautiful daffodil bulbs at our home. They are beautiful and come up every year without replanting. The great news is that they also make for a very nice springtime/Easter table arrangement which is from the yard (which means its FREE). Simply find a nice vase or pitcher and arrange them as you see fit. The money you save on the arrangement can be used to splurge on special cakes and cookies at the bakery as I have done here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

New York Botanical Garden

First I would like to say That the weather has finally turned an bit nicer hear - so welcome springtime! This past week I was lucky enough to take a trip to the New York Botanical Garden. The pictures here are to inspire your own garden. I will add extra photos also on the Garden page.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Easy Slaw

Here is a super easy recipe for coleslaw. Its light, refreshing and not bad even if you are trying to diet.

1 bag shredded coleslaw mix or
4-6 cups shredded cabbage of your choice - you may want to shred a carrot also for color - I am using a bag mix because they are on sale this week in my area for 25 cents a bag! Now that is an inexpensive salad!
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup dried cranberries or cherries

Combine all three ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl combine
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbs sesame oil
and optional but nice if your are not dieting 2-3 Tablespoons of honey
stir to combine then toss with the slaw mixture

So easy, inexpensive, and tasty! You can also throw in some cooked shredded turkey, chicken or even cooked soy based meatless product for protein. Follow Me on Pinterest Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rainbow Chard (and what to do with it)

Rainbow Chard is beautiful. If you cant find it you can use Swiss Chard. After the recipe I have listed a few ideas of ways to use the chard once it is cooked...

1 Bunch Rainbow or Swiss Chard, rinsed
2 TBS olive oil
3 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced thin
(3 or so TBS toasted nuts of your choice I am using Hazelnuts but you can skip the nuts if you wish)
2 TBS water
pinch of salt and pepper

First you will want to remove the stalk just below the leaf part. (** Please note the stalks can be chopped up into bite size pieces and simmered in water until tender this takes some extra time - others choose to just throw it out)

So after the stalk is removed place the leaves, the olive oil and the garlic in a deep saute pan, ideally a pan with a lid, turn your heat to medium and cook covered for 6-10 minutes. I turned the leaves several times to make sure the garlic was not burning. You can add a splash of water if the pan seems too dry. After cooking add nuts (optional)and salt and pepper to taste.

Serving suggestions:
1.Simply serve with crumbled cheese or cherry tomatoes
2.Stuff chopped mixture into baked potatoes
3.Stuff into calzones or serve on top of flatbread
4. Serve with cooked couscous, pasta or rice

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Green Cauliflower for St. Patrick's day (or any day)

This is a healthy option for a side dish to go with my Slow Cooker corned beef (March 18 2008)

All of the colored varieties of Cauliflower can be cooked in the same manner - some unusual colors are a golden color, a beautiful shade of purple, and great for today green... Steaming helps retain the beautiful colors

1 Head of Green cauliflower ( if you can find it in you store by all means use regular white)
you must trim the leaves and cut it into florets.

1 cup water

2-3 tablespoons toasted nuts- pine nuts are great also hazelnuts and almonds would work well, just be sure to roughly chop the larger nuts to the size of pine nuts
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
pinch of salt
cheese to crumble on top optional such as Parm or goat cheese

Place the florets and water in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on High for 8-10 minutes or until tender- I stopped the oven once during cooking and mixed the veg around.
Remove from oven and drain. Drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil over the top and sprinkle with salt nuts and cheese- serve- it cant get any easier than that right?

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I just wanted to mention that if you search up at the top in the search box you will find my recipe from Tuesday March 18 2008 for Slow Cooker Corned Beef.

As a vegetarian option today I am also making cheese stuffed baked potatoes.
Hope you enjoy the day!

Friday, March 7, 2014

This week on the garden page I have mentioned some of my favorite seeds to buy for a kitchen garden - I hope this inspires you, the end of winter can be a bit gloomy, planning ahead for the kitchen garden bursting with basil and tomatoes is always a nice pick me up...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"healthy" Oatmeal Cookies

Another snowy day here in the northeast- at least it is a good day to stay inside and bake these yummy oatmeal cookies- what makes them healthy you ask? Flax seed- it sounds strange but I was able to buy it at a local drug store and most natural food stores would also carry it.

Makes about 24-26 cookies
Preheat your oven to  350

In a large mixing bowl you will need to combine
1 cup all purpose flour
1 TBS ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons organic cold milled flax seed
1/2 cup brown sugar

In another large bowl or a stand mixer add
1/2 cup regular sugar
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons room temp butter
mix these two ingredients on high speed until no lumps then add
1 large egg
2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups oats
mix to combine then add in the dry ingredients from the first bowl
mix then lastly add in
1 cup raisins

scoop onto 2 siplat or parchment lined baking sheets - I used a 1" scoop but using a tablespoon per cookie soul be fine Bake for about 18 minutes rotating the cookie trays once during cooking Enjoy!

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Very easy chocolate mousse for Valentines day

This mousse is super easy & fast to prepare...

2 bars of Giradelli semi sweet chocolate - 4 oz each
16 oz of heavy whipping cream

Break the chocolate into chunks and melt on MED power in the microwave for about a minute at a time, stir and repete until all of the chocolate is melted.

In a mixer whip cream until medium to stiff peaks form. Fold melted chocolate into cream and chill until ready to serve.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Roast Mushrooms

I am always looking for new ways to make my life a little easier during the hectic week. I have found that making some things ahead (such as pesto) and having them on hand can do just that. Here is a simple recipe for roast mushrooms. They are easy enough to make... use them in soups, risottos, to top pizzas or add to sandwiches or serve with creamy polenta on a cold winter night.

Preheat oven to 400
Place 2 pounds of mushrooms on a sheet tray ( I like a mixture of 1 pound white button mushrooms and 1 pound of other mushrooms such as a gourmet mushroom mix)
drizzle with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons)
season with salt pepper
Add other seasonings- about a tablespoon (by that I mean your choice of grated ginger or thyme or basil or sesame seeds, or maybe a spice rub that you like)

Toss together and roast for about 30 minutes...

once cooled store in fridge until needed Follow Me on Pinterest Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Pantry

I am inside today because of the very cold weather... so I thought now would be a great time to add a "my pantry page" - you can click on the link and use the list as a checklist to make sure that you have everything you need for these cold winter days...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

no blogs for a while

So as you may see this bog has not been active for a bit of time... We remolded our kitchen which took up quit a large amount of time. That is my first excuse.

My second is that in the remodeling period my family has changed and grown. One person has become a vegetarian and another has been on a strict low carb diet. Humm... as far as cooking that left me wondering- what is left to cook?

In all of my web searching for vegetarian and other healthier meal choices I realized that if I started up my blog again maybe I could help others who are also out there looking for the same type of foods. The objective here is to encourage sharing new meal ideas. Many may be "flexitarian" to include meat and non meat eaters alike.

The comforts of home concept is mainly about embracing and enjoying home decorating and cooking, and in that spirit trying to include meals for those family members on "greener" diets. Enjoy!