Twice Baked Potatoes

This is a modified recipe from Horne of the Moon Cookbook, a vegetarian restaurant in Vermont. It is simple, but not as simple as a baked potato. Well worth the extra effort. I am not listing the amount of each ingredient because it varies depending on how many potatoes you cook. Just keep tasting the mix.


  • Large russet potatoes (however many you care to serve).
  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork (1-1 1/4 hours). Cut the top of each potato so that the inside can be easily scooped out. Scoop out insides and place in a bowl. Mash with butter, lower over temp to 400, add sour cream, cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Fill the potato shells and sprinkle each with paprika. Bake for 15 minutes and serve.


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Patti’s Spaghetti Sauce



My mom’s wonderful neighbor and friend, Patti, shared this delicious recipe for spaghetti sauce with sausage and pesto. The kind of chorizo sausage used in this one is not the same kind you can find in the grocery stores in the Bay Area of California. It is not the tubes of  chorizo but actually sausage that stays bonded when cooked. At home, I used bratwurst or any kind of yummy sausage. In Canada, you can find the chorizo sausage in the original recipe:


1 jar Mezzetta Napa Valley Roasted Garlic and Carmelized Onions

5 Garlic cloves minced

1 yellow onion diced

8 oz. mushrooms sliced

2 chorizo sausages sliced and cooked



Sauté garlic, onion and mushrooms until tender. Cook sausages. Add all to sauce and simmer approx. 30 minutes. Add pesto to flavor. Serve over noodles of your choice.





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Jamaican Jerk Chicken from Smokey Joe’s

I found this recipe while craving the flavor of jerk chicken and have made it several times. I’ve never been to Smokey Joe’s on Negril Beach in Aruba, but its on the bucket list. This chicken dish is full of flavor and spice.

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Recipe found on:


1 bunch green onions, cut into 2 inch lengths

4 garlic cloves

1 (2 inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, cut into 1/2 inch discs

1 TBS heaping fresh thyme leaves

1 tsp ground allspice

1 whole cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces

1 tsp ground nutmeg

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 to 3 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile peppers, stems and seeds removed (jalapenos for less heat)

2 TBS dark brown sugar

1/2 cup soy sauce

4 limes, juice equaling 6 TBS

1/2 cup canola oil

4 skin-on, bone-in chicken leg quarters or 1 (3 pnd) chicken cut into quarters


Place all ingredients, except oil and chicken, into blender or food processor. With the blender still running, slowly add a thin stream of the oil until the mixture becomes thick. Save 1/2 cup for basting while cooking.

Marinade chicken for at least 2 hours or overnight

Remove from marinade once grill is prepped. Place chicken on grill, direct heat, searing the first side for 3-5 minutes. Turn, baste with reserved marinade and grill another 5 minutes. Move chicken to indirect heat and cook until internal temp reached 165 degrees.


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Crispy Cod Sandwiches with Red Cabbage & Apple Slaw and Roasted Potato Wedges from Blue Apron



I received a gift card from Blue Apron from a family member (thank you Pat and Fred), and I decided to give it a try for a week. 2 dishes and only one was a keeper that I will continue to make on my own. My assessment of Blue Apron was, although convenient and everything was fresh, it is over priced if you don’t have a coupon. Above pictured is the 2 meals I received from Blue Apron, pork dish is not reflected here because we didn’t really like it. Here is the recipes we all enjoyed:


4 cod fillets

4 potato buns

2 carrots

2 scallions

1 apple

1 lb. red cabbage

2 russet potatoes

3 TBS sweet pickle relish

2 TBS red wine vinegar

1/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning (they provided their own spices, but this one is a great substitute since I don’t know what was in there’s)

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sugar

Olive oil




Preheat the oven to 475 degrees

Cut the potatoes into 1 inch wedges

Remove and discard the core of the cabbage, thinly slice

Core the apple and cut into matchsticks

Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions, thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops

Peel the carrots and grate on the large side of a box grater, place in a bowl with 1/4 of the vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes

Place the potato wedges on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, toss and arrange skin sides down, roast for 28-30 minutes

While potatoes are roasting make the slaw: combine sugar and  remaining vinegar and whisk until dissolves. Add cabbage and apple, stir thoroughly, season with salt and pepper, set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes

While the slaw marinates, make the sauce: combine mayo, relish and white bottoms of scallions, season with salt and pepper

Once the potatoes have roasted for at least 10 minutes, place the Old Bay Seasoning on a plate, pat the cod fillets dry, season with salt and pepper, coat with seasoning, tapping off excess

In a large , non stick pain, heat 1 TBS olive oil on medium high, add cod fillets and cook 5-7 minutes on one side, flip and cook 2-3 minutes on reverse side, or until lightly browned

Leave browned bits in the pan as you transfer fish to a plate and set aside in a warm place

Add the buns, cut side down, to the pan you used to cook the fish, toast for 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned

Spread a layer of sauce on the buns with the cooked fish and marinated carrots

Serve with potatoes and slaw and garnish with green tops of scallions




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Chow Mein (Panda Express Copycat)


I know, I know, when you think of Panda Express you don’t think of yummy. At least I don’t. However, my daughter brought this recipe home from her cooking class at school and I have made it several times. Its really good stuff and no MSG!


1/3 cup soy sauce

2 gloves garlic, minced

1 TBS brown sugar, packed

Black pepper to taste

1 package refrigerated Yakisoba noodles, seasoning packets discarded

1 TBS olive oil

1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced

2 stalks celery. sliced diagonally

2 cups (heaping) shredded cabbage


Combine soy, garlic, sugar and pepper in a bowl, set aside. Pierce noodles (all 3) and microwave for 1 minute. Loosen noodles and rinse in colander; place aside. Heat oil in wok or skillet. Add onion and celery until wilted (3-4 min) then add cabbage until soft and heated (2-3 min). Add noodles and soy mixture until all is well heated and mixed. Enjoy!

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Hazel’s Fudge



My best friend Georgette’s mom, Hazel, makes the best fudge I have ever tasted. I am not joking, no other fudge has compared. Well, I have the recipe and I have yet to master it. When I do, I will tell you how I did it. For now, I am going to get the recipe up and see what you can do with it.


4 1/2 cups sugar

1 can evaporated milk

8 ounce marshmallow cream

2 cups softened butter

2 cups chopped walnuts (I prefer no nuts, so I omitted this)

2 tsp vanilla


Use a deep pot and bring sugar and milk to a boil. Stir constantly for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add all additional ingredients, use a hand mixer for this (that’s one of her secret moves that makes this recipe so tasty). Pour into a buttered pan and refrigerate.


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My Mom’s Butter Tarts

I wanted to share this recipe again because I am just about to make them for Christmas and they are just that good. Try this one and your loved ones will thank you. Merry Christmas!!

Chez Starz

My mom is from Canada, and a popular dessert in Canada is Butter Tarts. They are so delicious and you cannot find them in the USA. One of the key ingredients is starting out with my moms pastry passed down through the generations and it calls for lard. If you don’t want to use lard, that is fine, but it will change the taste. I have tried many butter tarts while visiting Canada and I have never found one comparable in taste to my mom’s.


Mom’s pastry (recipe follows)

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup syrup (Use golden syrup, Cost-Plus has great stuff imported from England or Scotland).

3 tbsp. butter

1 egg beaten well

½ tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

1 ½ tsp white vinegar

1/3 or ½ cup raisins


Roll out pastry and cut pastry to fit muffin pan. Paper baking cups will help avoid sticking…

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