Smoky Little Devils


I'm still working my way through the many files on my camera. See what I found today. These Smoky Little Devils can be found on the FOK - Recipes app, which I HIGHLY recommend! FOK stands for "Forks Over Knives," which I pray and hope you have all heard of. Excellent movie and excellent resources. Be forewarned -- viewing this movie might just change your life .... for the BETTER, I must say.

I served these at a church potluck last December and they weren't well received....not because they're not delicious, but because the crowd was very 'meat-centric' and couldn't get enough chicken and ham and cheese and whatever else was filling them up. So, I just ate them all myself, with no prob! Literally, walk past and pop one in my mouth...put three more on my plate....walk past again and pop another in my mouth.... and on and on and on....

The filling is a green onion hummus and it has just a bit too much turmeric for my taste. I'll cut back next time.

Spring Cleaning

I have been going through old files on my camera - a sort of spring cleaning, if you will. So many great meals were hidden away there, like this one! I have no idea what cookbook I used, or if I made this recipe up, but I do remember I made it on a weeknight. I recall feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of using phyllo on a work night. What was I thinking? (The truth is that phyllo is pretty easy to work with and completely forgiving.)


I think this recipe might come from Dreena Burton.....looks like it has white beans, red peppers, and spinach. Something in there made it creamy. 

See how many tears and rips and shreds the phyllo has? No prob! Just glue it together with olive oil and bake. Who cares what it looks like when it tastes good on a week night? 

Mushroom and Cannellini Paprikas - Isa Chandra Moskowtiz


Look what I found on my camera, buried underneath all the photos of various this and that. A photo of a beautiful meal I made last summer (notice the summer dishes and the deck table.) I remember that we loved this dinner - as you know, we devour mushrooms like there's no tomorrow. I can highly recommend anything from Isa Chandra Moskowitz - her recipes are easy to make and very tasty. She did not disappoint on her variation of paprika. The original recipe can be found in "Appetite for Reduction" and I probably made a few changes --- like eliminating the smoked paprika for regular paprika.

I can't tell if I served the goodness over mashed potatoes or caulipots.... either way would be good. And I bet that's fresh parsley from my little deck garden. You can find the recipe all over the internet, or do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this excellent cookbook. 

Chickpea Avocado Salad - Forks Over Knives



The sun was shining yesterday and I felt the hope of spring. I feel encouraged and ready to open windows, walk outside and eat lighter meals. Here's the perfect salad to wake up the spring in you. It's amazingly simple and incredibly delicious. Find the original recipe here posted at Forks Over Knives on their Super Bowl 2015 menu. (Looking back at the recipe just now, I realize I did not include the jalapeno pepper and I can't decide if this salad needs the heat or is perfect as is.)

Burgundy Mushrooms (a 9 hour recipe)



More mushrooms. I know! I know! Sorry. But these are very special. "The best mushroom experience of your life," according to the Food Network Magazine, December, 2014. My photo is exceptionally bad…. So embarrassed. Be sure to serve these babies with lots of crusty bread to soak up the buttery burgundy sauce. Heavenly as it, or with pasta, pizza, salad, any kind of rice. Literally, they melted in my mouth. I couldn't get enough, which was a problem because I took them to a party and you know what that's like....you *should* be tasting everyone else's food, but you only *want* to eat yours. Been there? This recipe made way too many – next time I will cut it in half for a more manageable amount. 


4 pounds white button mushrooms
2 sticks butter (I used Earth Balance. Next time I will reduce this amount)
4 cubes chicken bouillon
4 cubes beef bouillon 
( I used 2 cubes vegetable bouillon - it was plenty. Be careful not to add too much sodium)
1 t dill seeds (I used dried dill)
5 cloves garlic
1 liter burgundy wine or other dry red wine
1 1/2 t Worcestershire sauce

Put everything in a large Dutch oven. Pour 2 C boiling water over all. Stir. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and simmer for 6 (yes, six) hours. Remove lid, simmer for another 3 (yes, three) hours. 

Roasted Cabbage Steaks



Take the largest head of cabbage you can find. Slice it into thick slabs, leaving the stem intact. Mince lots of garlic and mix it with lots of olive oil. 


Brush the garlicky oil over each cabbage steak. Sprinkle with pepper. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about an hour. Flip over once at the half way point, being careful not to break the delicate leaves apart. Devour. 


Beans and Cabbage and Pasta, oh my!


My first attempt at cooking dried fava beans was a big failure which was rather disappointing because everyone and his uncle rave about fava beans. Mine just turned to mush and the ugly skins peeled off in big clumps. Plus they tasted horrible. They went straight to the compost bin.


I was hesitant to cook these gorgeous beans for the same reasons. But I am happy to report they not only turned out perfectly, they tasted delicious. Tim brought them from Japan; the directions are in Japanese, but I figured I couldn’t go wrong with the standard bean method of a quick pre-soak and then a slow simmer till soft.  Google tells me they are called Japanese black kidney beans.



 All I know is that they were beautiful before they were cooked and even more beautiful when they were ready to be eaten.


I served them with a simple garlicy tomato sauce and pasta. As a side, I made a killer roasted garlic cabbage steak.  I’m telling you – this was a good meal. 

Tribes and a Stolen Stollen


Certainly by now you have all heard the theory that we belong to different ‘tribes’ of people. I am a member of the “Middle School Teachers” tribe. I want advice and support from as many others middle school teachers as I can get! Some folks call us crazy…..but we’re just awesome.

I’m also a church choir director, so I belong to that tribe as well. I follow blogs, subscribe to magazines, participate in workshops, and join discussion groups. Most likely, the funniest (and most fun) tribe I belong to is my ukulele tribe. (Yes, I am a closet ukulele player…..) I travel to various cities to sing and strum with other ukulele enthusiasts.

Don’t forget about the vegan tribe! I joined 2 years ago and intend to stay for the rest of my life. This tribe has changed my life! Don’t know where I’d be without the other vegans in my life – whether virtual or in the flesh.

I absolutely believe this quote from Seth Godin (Google him. Love him. Have learned tons from him.)

“A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”

Another tribe I belong to is “Lutherans who love to cook” and this stollen recipe was shared on our Facebook page. It would be simple to Google a stollen recipe – this one has a marzipan filling, so look for that if you’re actually interested.

A crazy, crazy amount of ingredients and lots of steps. Time spent soaking, kneading, rising, worrying. I have to admit that I over baked my loaves and had to cut off the toasted bottom of two of them. I also admit that my dog Lucy ate AN ENTIRE LOAF. (a stolen stollen, if you will) 

The one pictured here was by far the best looking one.  I share it here just to brag about my culinary achievement.









The Really Hungry Burger –from Veganuary





Great for you mushroom addicts out there. Also great for those of you who are toying with the idea of going vegan. The recipe is a solid ‘A’ and the program ‘Veganuary’ is solid too. Basically, the good folks at Veganuary are challenging everyone to go vegan for the month of January. Guess what? It’s not too late! What are you waiting for? At least try their burger? 

Recipe found here and photos found below.... don't be too judgy when you compare my photo to their photo..... 


Yes, that a Medjool date in there..... somehow, it worked!
The binder is beans, parsely, Tahini, garlic, etc
Mix it with sauteed Portabello mushrooms, bread crumbs, etc
Fry in some oil, serve with the usual suspects.














Marinated Mushrooms – from “Vegan Finger Foods”


I am having lots of fun working my way through my new cookbook, “Vegan Finger Foods” by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes. Click back a bit on the blog to see their amazing (and unusual) Brewpub Cauliflower Dip.  As I wrote then, and repeat now, I can’t believe the strange combination of ingredients in that dip. Somehow they work!

The cookbook also has a great stuffing for jalapeno peppers. Again, unusual ingredients, but they come together beautifully. I have a freezer full of jalapenos from my bumper crop last summer, so it’s poppers, poppers, and more poppers around here. I imagine this beany-creamy-lemony stuffing would be good on a pizza as well ….. I’ll let you know.


Today I present the Marinated Mushrooms from “Vegan Finger Foods.” No unusual ingredients here: olive oil, lemon, herbs, vinegar. So incredibly simple and amazingly delicious. I liked that the ‘shrooms are fresh, and not cooked. Not only were these great as a finger food, they would be great on pasta, salads, or stuffed in a tortilla. 

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