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Showing posts from April, 2019

Shrimp Salad

I love shrimp. I used to hate them and most seafood when i was young (except flounder, I have always loved flounder). People often complain about growing older but one of the definite perks is developing the ability to appreciate delicious foods! Now I love shrimp, scallops, moldy cheeses, spicy food, mushrooms and a lot of other things that 6-year-old me viewed with contempt.  This shrimp salad is healthy and delicious. I love the earthy heat of cumin and coriander (spice I think of as best friends and must always be paired in a dish). I like toasting the chick peas until crispy; I make them into a kind of healthy crouton that way, I suppose. The green snap peas add a beautiful fresh crunch and the shrimp is cooked perfectly pink and tender. A delicious week night salad! Ingredients: 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tomatoes, diced 1 can chick peas 1 bag iced greens 12 ounces snap peas 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon coria


It’s spring! The sun is out, the grass is peaking through the mud, and more days are warm than cold. I am wearing layers so I can shed them when warm and don them when cold. I need to eat something fresh but also something warm. I want minestrone! Use your favorite seasonal veggies in this; I can suggest the peas, green beans, spinach and butternut squash as listed below  but also potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini and kale. Use whatever vegetable you like most and looks best at the grocery store; in season will always taste best! I like to eat this with crusty bread and plenty of grated warm on top if I am in the need of serious sustenance and comfort, or just with and extra pinch of red pepper flakes if I want something lighter in the middle of the day. I adore how this soup is so healthy but so hearty; no matter how you serve it you feel utterly satisfied. Enjoy! Ingredients: 4 tablespoons olive oil 1 sweet onion, chopped 2 medium carrots, chopped 2 ribs

Potatoes O’Brien

So Potatoes O’Brien hold a special place in my heart. I could tell you it’s due to my Irish heritage, and that this simple breakfast side dish came to me from my grandmother, but that would be a lie. I am Irish (both sides- both of my great-grandfathers immigrated from Ireland) and I do love potatoes, but that has no bearing on my nostalgia for this recipe. My mother worked as a nurse. Some nights, she’d be at the hospital working. When I was young, our babysitter would watch us and fix us dinner. As we got older, my older sister would watch over me in the afternoons, and my dad would make dinner. Because we were children, he made fairly simple things but ones we adored. One dish was spaghetti, peas and butter, which we named Rubaboo.  When I was around 11, I wanted to cook dinner for my sister and father while my mom was away. (Don’t worry- we always set aside a plate special for mom when she came home. I always looked forward to her coming home. She’d run a bath when s

Slow Cooker Chili

I have been run ragged lately. I just closed a show, I sang arias at 8:30 am in the morning for the Governor’s Conference on Tourism, I am in rehearsals for a brand new musical which opens in three weeks, I am singing in a fundraiser in 2 weeks, I teach a full roster of students, I have signed on to sing the chorus and cover a lead role in the opera this summer, I agreed to sing all female roles for a toy version of Carousel, and I am still keeping up with my ballet, piano and horseback riding in addition to caring for 7 animals (2 of whom recently had medical procedures requires cones). Plus I want to find time to make delicious food that will power me through my hectic schedule! I don’t always have the time to putter about the kitchen for hours (even though I’d delay love to be making a three-tiered, multiple-flavored and heavily decorated cake each weekend!) but I do still want the joy of healthy, delicious food. This is when my slow cooker comes very much in handy.

Baked Oatmeal

This baked oatmeal is perfect for breakfast; I mix all the ingredients together and pop it in the oven. I have time to do my morning exercise while it bakes and my chores while it cools. The end result is like a healthy bread pudding; creamy, soft and chewy with the crunch of the nuts and seeds for contrast.  If I happen to have fresh berries on hand, I toss them in. In this version, I used apple butter that I had on hand. This recipe is endlessly changeable so view it more as a blueprint for possibilities- raspberry and almond, blueberry and walnut, strawberry and pecan….  Store the leftovers in the fridge; it heats up beautifully in the microwave or toaster oven and then you have a delicious breakfast all week long. Enjoy! Ingredients: 1 3/4 cup milk 2 eggs, beaten 1/2 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled 1/4 apple butter 3 cups old-fashioned oats 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspo

Chicken Curry

I love curries. The very first time I ever went to an Indian restaurant was with my childhood friend, J.J. Her family brought me to a place in downtown Portland. I had curry, a mango lassi, naan- it was divine. Curries aren’t just spicy; they are hundreds of different varieties. Some can be spicy hot (with multiple chilies); all are chock full of aromatic spices and herbs, including turmeric, cumin, coriander, and ginger.  I cheat when I make curry; I use curry powder. Curry powder is a blend of spices. The idea for curry powder dates back to the 1700’s, first prepared by Indian merchants to be sold to the British Colonial government and army returning to Britain.  This curry is a wet curry, consisting of a gravy made from coconut milk, yogurt and a touch of tomato paste. I love saucy curries- you can pour the sauce over lovely, floral jasmine rice and  dip your generously ghee-slathered naan into it as well.  Bon appetit! Ingredients: 3 tablespoons ghee 1 sw

Raspberry Chocolate Cake

This cake is sheer chocolate perfection. The cake itself is deeply, darkly chocolate and incredibly moist. The frosting is light, yet rich chocolate decadence, topped by perfectly luscious, seductive drips of ganache and offset by deep magenta raspberries on top and between the layers. This was a birthday cake for my friend; I am so happy to have been in a show with her and formed this friendship. It gives me an excuse to test cake recipes all the time! Be sure to purchase chocolate that you would eat in hand, and really good Dutch-processed cocoa powder. I bought Guittard this time but Valrhona is a very famous and excellent brand as well. The better the chocolate, the better the cake! Be patient with the Swiss meringue; do NOT add the butter until the meringue is thoroughly cooled or else you will have a soupy mess. I speak from sad experience. Also, make sure the chocolate is cooled enough to not melt the frosting when you pour it in. Again, experience. Finally, do be sur

Mexican Rice Bowl

This is another recipe in my series of delicious meals made with leftover rice and things you have in your pantry. It’s easy to make, cheap, healthy and delicious. Modify the spiciness to your taste by adding more or less chili powder or add jalapenos for an extra crunch and kick. I love recipes that are yummy and help me clean out my fridge. Leftover salsa but no chips? Leftover rice from sushi? Leftover pepper jack from enchiladas? A half a can of black beans from black bean soup? Toss in some spices and some veggies and you have a satisfying meal and more room in the refrigerator. Win win! Ingredients: 2 cups cooked rice (dealer’s choice!) 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon coriander 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained 1/2 cup salsa 1 avocado, diced 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 ounces pepper jack cheese, sliced 2 scallions, snipped salt and pepper to taste Method: Combine all ingredients except the avocado. Mi