Pasta Salad with Peas and Summer Beans

I am posting more vegetarian dishes because it seems as though my daughter is serious about this no meat business. Being a vegetarian myself for nine years, off and on, I understand where she is coming from and I am trying to make new dishes to keep her fed and healthy. Here is a good one for the summer that was found in Martha Stewart’s Living magazine.


8 ozs penne pasta (recipe calls for whole wheat but you can use what ever you prefer of course)

8 ozs green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds

8 ozs wax beans, trimmed and cut into thirds

6 ozs peas (1 1/4 cups) recipe calls for frozen but we used fresh from the Farmer’s Market

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced (2 TBS)

1 1/2 tsps. grated lime zest, plus 1 TBS fresh juice

1 cup packed cilantro, finely chopped

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water for 6 minutes, add beans, cook until pasta and beans are al dente, 4 to 5 more minutes. Add peas and immediately drain. Run cold water over pasta and vegetables until completely cool, drain and transfer to a bowl.

In a small skillet, heat oil, add garlic until golden, 1-2 minutes, Remove from heat and stir in lime zest and juice. Combine with pasta and salt and pepper to taste, toss cilantro in and serve or refrigerate.

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Spinach & Artichoke Quesadillas

IMG_4353It has finally happened. My daughter has decided to become a vegetarian. I asked her to find me some recipes she might enjoy and she gave me this one from her pinterest. The recipe was found on After visiting the farmers market in the morning and buying some local artichokes, we replaced the canned artichoke portion of the recipe with fresh ones boiled until tender.


1/4 TBS oil

8 ounces artichoke hearts drained and chopped (or fresh boiled until tender)

6 ounces baby spinach leaves

4 ounces cream cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/4 cup parmesan. shredded

8 tortillas


Warm each tortilla on a skillet for 1 minute on each side.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add in the artichoke pieces and cook for 1 minute, add the spinach until wilted, turning often. Mix in the cheeses until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Spread 1/4 cup on 4 tortillas, than top with remaining tortillas. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and heat filled tortillas until desired crispness.


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Pan-Roasted Salmon with Soy Ginger Glaze

I absolutely love a fresh piece of wild caught salmon. If I haven’t said it before, I never buy farm raised fish, no matter the cost. If wild is too expensive I buy something else. I tried this recipe the other night because I didn’t feel like getting the grill going. It is simple and incredibly delicious. I found the recipe on Food & Wine’s website and added minced garlic.


1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger

2-3 garlic cloves, minced (my add on)

1 tsp honey

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

Four 6 ounce skinless salmon fillets (I left the skin on my fillet)

Fresh ground pepper

Cilantro leaves, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, combine the soy sauce, ginger and garlic and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in the honey and mustard.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick ovenproof skillet. Season the salmon with pepper and add it to the skillet, skin side up. Cook over high heat until golden and crusty (2-3 minutes). Turn the salmon and spoon the ginger-soy glaze on top. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.


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Chocolate Mousse


Chocolate Mousse is one of the most decadent desserts and I have tried to make it several times with some successes and some no so much. This batch was yummy and the recipe I used was from the Professional Chef app, which is the Culinary Institute of Americas book in app form.


10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 1/2 oz. butter

5 eggs, separated

2 TBS water

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream

Rum, as needed (optional)


Before preparing assemble desired dishes for mousse. Combine the chocolate and butter and melt over a hot water bath or double boiler. Combine the egg yolks with 1/2 the water and 1/2 the sugar over a hot water bath or double boiler until it holds at 145 degrees for 15 seconds, remove from the heat and whisk until cool. Combine the egg whites with the remaining sugar in a mixer bowl and whisk over a hot water bath or double boiler to 145 degree. Remove from heat and whip to full volume, continue whipping until cool. Using a large rubber spatula, fold the chocolate into the egg yolks. Then, fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk-chocolate mixture. Fold the whipped cream and add the rum if using. Immediately pipe or ladle the mousse into dishes or molds.


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Filet Mignon


Cooking the perfect steak is not an easy task. Getting the temperature just right takes practice. I spent many years of my life as a vegetarian and now that I am eating meat again, filet mignon is my favorite cut of beef. Medium rare is the temperature I strive for. I found this technique on under the how to cook the perfect filet mignon heading, and she isn’t joking around, it is perfect. However, I did add the butter and an extra 4 minutes cooking time in the pan.


2 filet mignons, approx. 2 inches thick

1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 TBS butter


Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them get to room temperature, approx. 20 minutes. Set oven to 425 degrees. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Heat a large oven-proof sauté pan to medium-high heat (I use a cast iron). Add olive oil and let it heat up.

Add steaks an let cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Flip them over and cook on the other side for another 4 minutes. Place 1 TBS butter on each filet and immediately place in pre-heated over. Cook for another 7 minutes or to your desired temperature.

5 minutes=rare

6 minutes= medium-rare

7 minutes= medium

Transfer steaks to a plate and let rest for 5-10minutes while tented with foil.


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Banana Walnut Bread




I am always buying bananas and not eating them before they go bad. This is a great way to use those over ripe bananas and turn them into a decadent bread. Recipe and picture from Food Network Kitchen and, recipe modified slightly by me for simplicity.


1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 large eggs

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for preparing the pan

1 cup sugar

3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork, about 1 cup

1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces


Mix the flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla, set aside. Brush a loaf pan with butter. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter until incorporated. Add the bananas. Note that the mixture will look curdled but is not.

Use a rubber spatula to mix dry ingredients, fold in the nuts and transfer to prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes then turn out of the pan and let cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap. Best served the next day.






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BBQ Turkey Legs



This is a recipe my boyfriend has perfected. He made it for a party that he threw for his skills instructors because he runs an EMS program at the local community college. This is a compilation of many recipes found online so I am giving him credit for it.


2 liter lemon lime soda

1 TBS crushed red pepper

1 TBS black pepper

2 TBS hot sauce

1 onion, sliced

Turkey legs


Light your BBQ for direct heat cooking. Add first 5 ingredients together in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Add the turkey legs and cook, uncovered for 45 minutes or until the meat reaches a temperature of 180 degrees. Remove onions and place on the BBQ to create a bed for the legs, add turkey legs on the BBQ with direct heat and lid on. Coat with honey. Cook until there is a nice char on the meat.

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