Posts Tagged ‘Martha Stewart Living’

Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta and Lemon Zest

Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta and Lemon Zest

Perhaps you didn’t read yesterday’s blog about a Month of Sundays;  Besides the mundane explanation of the expression, I intended another nuance to the meaning as it relates to this blog.  Sundays were often “the” family dinner day and a big bowl of macaroni with Sunday Sauce was the norm.  A true Sunday Sauce contains more than one meat and often three.  Sunday was the day of special treats – the extra meat in the sauce and for me growing up, ice cream for dessert!  So I got it into my head that I would do a  month of  Sundays(not literally) of  pasta recipes, nicknamed The MacaroniMarathon.

If you have never experienced pasta with vegetables, you don’t know what you’re missing!  Not only are the ingredients fresh and healthy, the meal is also economical.  With doctors and nutritionists across the country advocating at least one or two meatless meals a week, a pasta dish with vegetables solves your dilemma as to  what to cook.  Roasting the cauliflower brings out the sweetness and the lemon zest adds just enough zing to counterbalance the saltiness of the capers!


1 large head cauliflower (about 2 lbs) cut into small florets (about 7 cups)

1 red onion cut into 1/4 ” slices

1/4 cup salt-packed capers, rinsed

1/4 cup virgin olive oil

coarse salt and ground pepper

8 oz orecchiette or small shells

1/2 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley

2 TBS finely grated lemon zest (2 lemons)


Preheat oven to 450°.  Toss together cauliflower onion, capers and 2 TBS olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread vegetables in single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.  

Roast, stirring halfway through, until cauliflower is tender and browned, about 40  minutes.

Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to boil.  Add pasta, and cook until al dente according to package instructions.  Drain

Toss hot pasta with remaining 2 TBS olive oil, the parsley, and lemon zest.  Add cauliflower mixture and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living, November 2009

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When I was growing up my mother would often use this expression;  Like “You haven’t cleaned your room in a month of Sundays” or “It seems like a month of Sundays since you called” – the latter said to me as an adult no longer living at home, obviously meant to be a minor guilt trip.  Just think how long a real month of Sundays is!

Anyway, I feel like I’ve been gone a month of Sundays when in fact it’s been just over a month.  I don’t know why I went on hiatus from my blog – I just did.  I had some distractions – work being a major obligation of late; then I got hooked on watching Orange Is The New Black and every night and free minute I had I would escape to Netflix and indulge myself with back to back episodes and no commercials.  And then, OMG my neighbor gave us the complete set of Breaking Bad which we watched every night into the wee hours of the next morning.  Not excuses, just reasons.

I’ve decided to devote a week or two (or three?) of blogs to my second favorite food – PASTA!  Well actually we called it macaroni.  I think this obsession/passion for pasta is the direct result of dieting.  After all, when you are abstaining or at least eating a lot less of some favorite food of yours, don’t you find yourself hungering for it (pun intended)?  I just love cooking and eating pasta and although I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, these recipes are just not your mother’s macaroni.  In my house we had two kinds of macaroni meals;  Shells, Ziti or Rigatoni with gravy (red sauce) and meatballs or Linguine with olive oil, garlic and parsley.

Today being Sunday, I’m starting my macaroni marathon with the meal I made tonight.  The butter coaxes the sweetness from the cabbage.

Spaghetti with Savoy Cabbage and Breadcrumbs

Spaghetti with Savoy Cabbage and Breadcrumbs



8 oz of spaghetti, linguine or angel hair pasta

5 TBS unsalted butter

1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced

1/2 cup fresh  (not dried) breadcrumbs (from a rustic loaf)

9 cups of thinly sliced Savoy cabbage (1 medium head)

1/2 cup water

3 TBS heavy cream

1/4 cup grated  Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish


Bring pot of salted water to boil.  Cook pasta until al dente according package directions.  Reserve 1/2 – 3/4 cup pasta water.

Meanwhile, melt 2 TBS butter in medium skillet over medium heat.  Cook garlic till fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in breadcrumbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook stirring until breadcrumbs are golden brown, 4-5 minutes.

Melt remaining 3 TBS butter in large high-sided skillet or braising pan over medium high heat.  Add cabbage, season with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat, cook until slightly wilted 3-4 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup water.  Cook, covered until tender about 4 minutes.  Uncover, and let any water evaporate.  Stir in cream.  Cook until sauce is reduced and thick enough to coat cabbage, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Add pasta and reserved liquid to cabbage.  Cook for 1 minute.  Stir in cheese.  Transfer to platter.  Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over top, and garnish with more cheese.

OPTIONAL: Serve topped with fried or poached eggs or crumbled bacon to add some protein.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living

You can find all of my pasta recipes in the categories: We Called It Macaroni and Tasty Tidbits Tuesday and Everyday Food

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Sweet potatoes Ελληνικά: Γλυκοπατάτες

Sweet potatoes Ελληνικά: Γλυκοπατάτες (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well it’s a week away and I still don’t know what I’m bringing as an hors d’ouevres since that is my assignment for Thanksgiving dinner.  This year we will be sharing the annual feast  with my daughter’s in-laws and other relatives of her husband.  It’s seems like there will be  a lot of famiglia!

But I digress, this post is about delicious and not quite ordinary side dishes.  I really wish I was supposed to bring one of them instead because most appetizers don’t travel well and it’s a 2 1/2 hour trip!

Since oven space is always at a premium Thanksgiving Day, you can make this dish ahead of time and reheat covered in microwave at dinner time.  


Preheat oven 450 degrees

1 TBS plus 1 tsp coarse salt

6 sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise

6 TBS honey

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

1 small fresh red chile pepper, thinly sliced

2 TBS unsalted butter, melted

1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 TBS fresh cilantro leaves

Bring a large sauce-pot of water to a boil, add 1 TBS salt.  Add sweet potatoes and boil 4 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  

In a bowl combien honey, lime juice, chile, butter and remaining teaspoon of salt and the pepper.  Add the sweet potatoes and coat with the marinade.  Put potatoes and any excess marinade in a 17″x12″ roasting pan.  Roast in oven 20-30 minutes, turning occasionally, till tender and caramelized.  Garnish with cilantro. 

Serves: 6-8  – Recipe from Martha Stewart Living


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Peanut butter 14juni09 001

Image via Wikipedia

Late, late just like the White Rabbit who sings: I’m late / I’m late / For a very important date. / No time to say “Hello.” / Goodbye. / I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.” Not late with this recipe BUT this bark is supposed to be a Christmas present for my daughter and I’m making it tomorrow!


Smooth peanut butter and two types of chocolate make up this version of the beloved peanut butter cup.

Vegetable oil cooking spray

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

4 ounces of milk chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Coat a 9-by-12 1/2-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, and line with parchment, leaving an overhang on ends.  Melt bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler or a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring.  Pour into baking sheet, and spread in an even layer.

Melt milk chocolate with peanut butter in a double-boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Drizzle chocolate-peanut butter mixture over bittersweet chocolate, and swirl with a skewer.  Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.  Break into pieces.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living magazine

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After the hottest July I can remember, I sure hope we are not in for more heat and humidity as the dog days of August approach.  But if the temperature soars and it’s too hot to cook, try these recipes for  light summer evening supper.

This meal and recipes comes directly out of Martha Stewart Living, August 2010.

Bacon, Avocado and Tomato Sandwiches Swapping out lettuce for crunchy sprouts and and adding a layer of creamy avocado turns this lunch classic into a more substantial meal.

12 to 16 slices of pepper-crusted bacon (about 8 oz)

8 slices of rustic bread

2 TBS plus 2 tsp of mayonanise

1 1/3 cup radish sprouts

1 Hass Avocado sliced

1 large tomato sliced

coarse salt

Cook half the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally till crisp, 7-9 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined tray to drain. Repeat with remaining bacon.

Lightly toast bread, and spread 1 tsp of mayonnaise onto one side of each slice. Pile on sprouts, avocado, bacon and tomato. Season with salt and top with remaining bread.

Iceberg Lettuce with Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Salad is easy when you don’t have to chop, shred, or tear any of the greens.  Just quarter a head of iceberg lettuce and top with zesty blue cheese vinaigrette.

3 TBS white wine vinegar

1 small shallot finely chopped

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1 head iceberg lettuce quartered into wedges

Whisk together vinegar, shallot and mustard.  Pour in oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified.  Whisk in half the blue cheese. Season with salt ;

Arrange lettuce wedges on a platter.  Drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with remaining blue cheese and season with pepper.

Sweet Corn with Baby Beets and Basil The vegetables in this side dish are simply tossed in olive oil, allowing the earthy-sweet summer flavors and bright colors to shine.

Coarse salt and ground peper

2 ears of corn, husked and halved

8 baby beets (about 1 pound) trimmed and scrubbed

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

1 to 2 TBS torn fresh basil

Garnish: fresh basil sprigs

Bring medium pot of water to a boil, season wit salt.  Cook corn until tender, about 4 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.

Add beets to water and simmer partially covered until tender when pierced with a knife, 30 -35 minutes; Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.  Peel and cut beets into halves or quarters.

Carefully cut kernels from corn cobs using a sharp knife and transfer to a large shallow bowl.  Add beets and drizzle with oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir in torn basil. Garnish with basil sprigs.

Note: Over the past 20 years or so iceberg lettuce fell out of favor, overshadowed by a succession of new and exotic greens, such as Mesclun, Frisee and Arugula.  However, quartered iceberg wedges and blue cheese is an American classic and this version using a blue cheese vinaigrette is an updated version and delicious.

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Sorry this is SO LATE – I was without internet access for almost two days and now have to play catch-up with my blogs! It’s time again to dig into your garden goodies or Green Market treasures and eat light and healthy and delicious summer side dishes.


4 oz. green beans, trimmed

Coarse salt and pepper

1 cup torn fresh mint

1 small seedless cucumber, halved or quartered lengthwise, and cut 1/2 inch thick

1 head Boston lettuce, leaves torn into pieces

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 TBSP fresh lemon juice

4 pitas

2 garlic cloves, lightly smashed

Prepare an ice water bath. Cook green beans in pot of  boiling salted water until bright green and just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain; transfer to ice-water bath and drain again.  Cut into thirds. Toss with mint, cucumber and lettuce.

Pour 1/4 cup oil into lemon juice in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified.  Season with salt and pepper.

Toast pitas over the flame of a gas burner, turning with tongs until crisp and blackened in spots. (Alternatively char in broiler, turning). Rub with garlic and brush with remaining 1/4 cup oil. Season with salt. Tear into large pieces. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss to coat.  Serve with pitas.

Recipe: Martha Stewart Living



Martha Stewart living, fresh mint leaves,

Sugar Snap Peas with Mint Dressing

1 lb. sugar snap peas,trimmed

1TBS finely chopped shallots

1 TBS rice-wine vinegar

1 tsp honey

1 tsp Dijon mustard

6 TBS olive oil

1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

Fresh ground pepper

Brind a small saucepan of salted water to a boil; prepare an ice bath. Add the peas to the boiling water, and cook until bright green and crunchy, about 1 minute

Using a slotted spoon, transfer to peas to ice bath until cold. Drain peas in colander, and transfer to a serving dish.

Combine the shallots, vinegar, honey, mustard, olive oil, and mint in a jar with a lid.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and shake vigorously until well blended.  Let dressing stand 10 minutes.  Pour dressing over the peas.  Toss and Serve

Recipe: Martha Stewart Living


For the Dressing:

Martha Stewart Living, melon salad,

Cucumber, Cantaloupe and Squash Salad

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt

finely grated zest of a lime

1 TBS fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp coarse salt

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

For the salad:

3 yellow summer squashes (about 1 lb) unpeeled

1 English cucumber (about 10 oz) unpeeled

1 1/2 TBS unseasoned rice-wine vinegar

1 tsp coarse salt

1/4 large cantaloupe, rind removed

Make the dressing:  Combine yogurt, lime zest and juice, sale, cumin and pepper., Cover, and refrigerate 20 minutes.

Make the salad:  Using a vegetable peeler or a mandoline, shave squashes and cucumber into wide ribbons, stopping when you reach the seeds. Toss with vinegar and salt. Cover, and refrigerate. Shave cantaloupe into ribbons, and refrigerate.

Just before serving, drain cucumber and squash ribbons, and toss with cantaloupe. Drizzle with dressing.

Recipe: Martha Stewart Living

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I LOVE to play Mah Jongg!  I always wanted to learn and I have no idea why.  Being the Martha junkie that I am, several years ago there was an article in her magazine, Martha Stewart Living about Mah Jongg sets and I fell in love with the tiles and the idea of owning a set.  Soooo being the true collector that I am, I bought one – PINK tiles of course!  I kept the set for years, sometimes opening it up to admire these mysterious tiles and wonder what they all meant because I surely had no clue.

About 5 or 6 years ago I was at work one day and heard one of the brokers talking about going to play Mah Jongg.  I couldn’t believe my ears and immediately I said to Haley, “oh you play? I want to learn” .  Haley invited me to join her group for an evening and they were kind enough to let a TOTAL novice play along with them, well actually Haley and I played together on one card.  That was my introduction and I was HOOKED!!  I played a few more times with them and brought along another friend, Bobbie who also worked with us and who had played when she was younger.  Talk about a CRAK addiction!  I wanted to form a group. I wanted to play every week.  Haley’s group was a little less formalized, they played when they could all get together.   It just so happens that shortly thereafter I was at my friend Gail’s mothers memorial service and somehow I must have uttered the word Mah Jongg – “Mah Jongg” up pipes Sarajane, one of Gail’s friends and soon to become one of mine – she knew how to play and wanted to play and was eager to form a group too.  Now we were three.  We got Haley to play with us a couple of times but her schedule didn’t allow her to join us on Monday nights.  I contacted my sister-in-law Stacey and asked her if she wanted to be in a weekly group and she did and she knew how to play too.  OH BOY – we had a group and we were ready to roll those dice and clack those tiles.

That was, as I said several years ago, and along the way our group has added and lost a member or two but we remain 5 determined committed women who LOVE to play this ancient game of chance and we play every Monday night which has led to our group’s name of Monday Night Mah Jongg Mavens. Corny but cute.  We had another name that I was partial to and not sure why it got dropped as time went on and that was “This is Not Your Mother’s Mah Jongg”.

And as time went on and my CRAK addiction took hold, it was only natural that I would want to collect some vintage Mah Jongg sets.  No new ones for me – I wanted the real thing, the aged smooth tiles worn by time and love to a smooth silky surface, the paint faded away on some but still retaining their original artistry.  OK, so truth be told I now own  a few, maybe several or some might say many sets. This is not an easy item to collect or display in terms of shelf space!  Nevertheless, I love my sets dearly.  Each one chosen because of its rarity, or the sheer beauty of the tiles themselves, particularly the depth of color of the vintage bakelite or style of the One Bams and the White Dragons (also known as Soaps).

Tonight I’m off to the Museum of Jewish Heritage to see a special Mah Jongg exhibition.  I know it will be more than a few sets on display, perhaps I’ll find out what drew so many American Jewish women to this game.  I’ve attached a link to an article that appeared in they New York Times in March about the game and the upcoming exhibition and a couple of photos of some of my vintage tiles.

Martha Stewart Living, pink mah jong mah jonng tiles

My first set - PINK of course!

mah jongg, mah jong tiles, Four Winds, Soap, one bam

Vintage Four Winds caramel backed Mah Jongg tiles- Soap and One Bam

mah jong, mah jongg tiles, bone and bamboo

Vintage Pung Chow Mah Jongg bone and bamboo tiles

Museums Special Section – Recalling the Craze for a Game of Chance – NYTimes.com.

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If you’re lucky enough to have a garden and lucky enough to keep it watered during this drought-like weather (so many water restrictions these days!) you are probably at the point where the fruits of  your labors are beginning to ripen.  AND if you’re not growing your own, I’m not – not to worry – there is SO MUCH fresh, delicious and downright healthy vegetables in abundance in the Green Markets and fruit and vegetable stands everywhere that you SHOULD NEVER  buy your vegetables in the grocery store at this time of the year!!

JERSEY TOMATOES !! One day I’m going to do a blog JUST on Jersey tomatoes, but not today.  Here’s a few tasty recipes that will utilize your tomatoes.

Jersey tomatoes

Jersey Tomatoes


2 slices of state French or Italian white bread, crusts removed

3 lb ripe tomatoes, peeled seeded and roughly chopped

1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves

1 -2  small garlic cloves, peeled

1 cup chicken stock

Salt + ground Pepper to taste

Juice of one lemon or more to taste

Soak bread in cold water briefly, squeeze dry and combine in a blender with tomatoes, and garlic (may have to do in 2 batches).  Drizzle stock into blender at low-speed, blend until smooth.  Pour mixture into bowl, season with salt and pepper – Chill and serve

Yield: 4 servings   Time: 15 minutes plus chilling time Source: New York Times

Ever been invited to a picnic and you need to bring a side dish? Yellow squash is a prolific vegetable at this time of year.  You might consider these casseroles as an alternative vegetable dish.


1  1/2 LB yellow squash

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped sweet pepper

Par boil first 3 ingredients

1/4 cup margarine melted

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 cup sliced water chestnuts

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

pinch of sugar

2 eggs beaten

seasoned bread crumbs

Mix water chestnuts, grated cheese, margarine, eggs, mayonnaise and sugar in a bowl.  Add the par boiled ingredients  and spread in baking dish.  Top with some butter slice and seasoned bread crumbs.

Bake: 300 degrees  for 30 minutes


6 cups summer squash sliced

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 cup low fat sour cream

1 8oz package of stuffing mix

1/2 cup melted margarine

Par boil sliced squash and onion in salted water (5 min).  Drain and set aside .  Combine with soup and sour cream in large bowl.    Fold in the squash and onions.  Combine the stuffing mix and melted margarine.  Spread half of the stuffing mix in an 8″x12″ baking dish and spoon vegetable mix on top.  Sprinkle remaining stuffing on top.

BAKE: 350 degrees Time: 25-30 minutes

It seemed like such a good idea to plant those Sugar Snap Peas in the spring….now what?


To trim a sugar snap pea, snap off the stem end, pull away the string;then remove the small fiber from the pointed end

1 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed

3 Tbsp finely chopped shallots

3 Tbsp rice-wine vinegar

1 tsp honey

1 tsp Dijon mustard

6 Tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

fresh ground pepper

Bring a small sauce pan of salted water to boil;  prepare an ice bath.  Add the peas to the boiling water, and cook until bright green and crunchy(about 1 minute).  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peas to ice bath until cold.  Drain peas in a colander, transfer to a serving dish.  Combine shallots, vinegar, honey, mustard, olive oil, and mint in a jar with a lid.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and shake vigorously until well combined.  Let dressing stand 10 minutes. Pour dressing over peas – Toss and serve.

recipe from Martha Stewart Living

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