Microwave Popcorn

Serves 1

1/4 cup popcorn kernels
large brown paper lunch bag
1 Tablespoon butter
salt to taste

Put the popcorn kernels in the bag.  Fold over the top a few times and place on its side in the microwave.  Put the butter in a little ramekin and place next to the bag in the microwave.  Heat for 20 seconds, remove butter, then heat for 1 minute 40 seconds more.  Carefully open the bag and pour the popcorn into a bowl, drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with salt, and enjoy.

Published in: on October 6, 2018 at 2:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Spaghetti with Zucchini


Recommended by Elena Larssen

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 15 min

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) olive oil
  • 5 small zucchini, sliced into very thin rounds
  • Salt and pepper
  • 11 ounces (320 grams) spaghetti
  • 3 ounces (80 grams) grated Provolone del Monaco (or Parmesan)
  • 1 knob of cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 handful basil leaves
  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil for the spaghetti.
  2. In a wide skillet over medium-high heat, add the garlic clove and olive oil so the mixture sizzles and the oil gets infused by the garlic. When just golden, remove the garlic and add the zucchini rounds. Toss every now and then, letting the zucchini fry away until tender but not brown.
  3. In the meantime, add a teaspoon of salt to the boiling water, then place spaghetti in the pot.
  4. Drain the zucchini on paper towels and season with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Keep warm. Blend together about a third of the zucchini and about 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of water from the pot of pasta—I use a glass jar with a handheld blender for this. Pour this purée into a large serving bowl, where you will eventually add all the pasta.
  5. When the spaghetti is al dente (take out about 1 minute before the suggested cooking time on the packet), drain, saving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Toss the spaghetti into the serving bowl with the purée, the grated cheese, the fried zucchini, and the cold butter. Quickly toss, using tongs or a spatula to help you. You want spaghetti to be silky and just coated with the purée, not dry but not watery either. If it’s too dry, add cooking water a little at a time. Top with the basil leaves and serve immediately.
Published in: on September 22, 2018 at 12:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pizza Bread

Based on “Blitz Bread: No-Fuss Focaccia” by King Arthur Flour

2 Tablespoons olive oil (to spread in the pan)
1 1/2  cups warm water
3 Tablespoons olive oil (to mix into the dough)
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
6 oz (weight) whole wheat pastry flour
12.75 oz (weight) all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon instant yeast

marinara or pizza sauce
grated or sliced cheese.  Be careful of fresh mozzarella – it can be too wet.
sauteed mushrooms
sauteed onion
cooked Italian sausage
halved Kalamata olives
grated parmesan

Use olive oil spray to lightly grease a half-sheet pan (18x13x1″).  Pour the 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over the spray.

In a large mixer bowl, with the dough hook attached, combine all of the ingredients, and beat at high speed for 60 seconds.

Scoop out the sticky batter into the prepared pan, using the dough ball to move the oil around so it evenly coats the bottom of the pan.  Press and spread out the dough evenly in the pan, getting into all the corners.  Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour – it should be nice and puffy, but not fragile-looking.

While the dough is rising prepare your toppings and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Gently poke the dough all over with your index finger.  (Optional, but fun.)

Dab marinara all over the dough – not too much.  Top with cheese, toppings and parmesan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Remove from the oven, wait 5 minutes, then slide it out of the pan onto a rack so the bottom crust doesn’t get soggy.  Serve warm.

Published in: on July 29, 2018 at 7:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Sweet 16 and Fantastic 14 Birthday Party

July 1, 2018

mint water

Swedish Neighbor Cake

homemade vanilla ice cream

Published in: on June 30, 2018 at 2:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Benihana Ginger Salad Dressing

From Genius Kitchen, by Todd Wilbur

    • 1/2 cup onion , minced
    • 1/2 cup peanut oil or canola oil
    • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger , minced
    • 2 tablespoons celery , minced
    • 2 tablespoons ketchup
    • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic , minced
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Blend on high speed for about 30 seconds or until all of the ginger is well pureed.

Serve over shredded romaine, matchstick cucumber and grated carrot.

Published in: on June 10, 2018 at 5:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Kristin’s Cold Coffee

3 slightly heaping coffee scoops of Peet’s ground Mocca Java water process decaf
1 3/4 cups water, heated in microwave to almost boiling
2 Tablespoons non-fat dry milk powder

Brew coffee.  Put dry milk in mason jar.  Add brewed coffee.  Tighten the lid and shake well.  Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate.

Published in: on June 1, 2018 at 7:43 am  Leave a Comment  

Lavender Linen Water

4 cups of distilled water

1/4 cup witch hazel or vodka

25 drops lavender essential oil (1/4 teaspoon?)

– – – –

1 cup water

1 Tbs vodka

6 drops lavender


1/2 cup water

1.5 tsp vodka

3 drops lavender

Published in: on April 13, 2018 at 2:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Taco Beef

1/2 to 1 onion, chopped in 1/4″ dice
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1-3 teaspoons taco seasoning
1/4 cup tomato sauce (use the leftover marinara in the fridge)
1/4 cup water

Put a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil (more if you are using more onion) and let it get warm.  Then add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is translucent.  If Da will be eating, the onions must be completely soft, so it will take at least 30 minutes.  You may add some water in the last 10 minutes or so to help it get softer.

Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in another cast iron skillet over medium heat.  (Grass-fed beef needs to be cooked over lower heat and for less time than regular, to keep it from getting tough.)  Put the whole block into the pan and chop it up with the top of the metal pancake turner/spatula thing.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until brown.  Get a big dinner plate, put the colander on it, and line the colander with two paper towels.  Scoop the beef into the paper-towel lined colander.  The remaining grease/liquid should go into the big can under the sink:  put the can into the sink, bring the skillet to the can, pour into the can.

Return the beef pan to the stove.  Put the beef back in the pan.  Add the onions when they are soft enough.  Add the taco seasoning (jar to the right of the stove) and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add the tomato sauce and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until ready to go ahead with dinner.  Or let cool and refrigerate for later.

Published in: on April 9, 2018 at 6:00 am  Comments (1)  

Brown Beef & Mushrooms

Brown one pound crumbled ground beef in cast iron pan over medium-high heat.  Remove from pan and drain on paper towels on a plate or in a bowl.
Wipe out the pan.
Chop 1/2 lb mushrooms and saute in the same pan with salt and pepper.
Add beef to the mushrooms.
Add 1/2 cup of water, 1 teaspoon (or to taste) beef Better Than Bouillon, 1 Tablespoon tomato paste or marinara sauce, 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Stir to combine and cook over medium heat until it is the consistency you like.

Serve over or next to rice, pasta or potatoes.

Published in: on April 6, 2018 at 4:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Easter Lunch 2018

11:30 AM

For 12:  Anna, Sam, Sean, Kristin, Nana, Auntie Karen, Uncle Mark, Grandma Cindy, Grandpa, Aunt Kristin, Eric, Auntie Laurel

Prosecco (1 bottle)
Tangerine Juice
Homemade Lemonade
Shrimp & Cocktail Sauce over Cream Cheese (4 oz cream cheese, 1/4 lb cocktail shrimp) [smaller round glass serving dish]
Guacamole & Corn Dippers (1 avocado, 1/2 bag of corn dippers)
Cotswold Double Gloucester with onions & chives (Trader Joe’s)
Social Snackers and Golden Round crakers (Trader Joe’s)

Main Course:
Ham with Sweet Hot Mustard (Trader Joe’s spiral)
Karen’s Famous Deviled Eggs
Orzo, Pea & Feta salad  (Mom, half recipe)
Aunt Kristin’s Tabbouli with Yogurt Sauce (half recipe)
Scalloped Potatoes (7 med potatoes)
Carrot Orange Salad (4 carrots, 4 oranges) [oval veg]
Roasted Asparagus (2 bunches) [pottery pie pan]
King’s Hawaiian Rolls
Black Olives, Bread & Butter Pickle Chips
Ham Wine (Eric)
Chardonnay (Aunt Kristin)

Jelly Beans & Fruit Jellies (Trader Joe’s)
Burnt Toffee Dark Chocolate Almonds (Sprouts)
Swedish Neighbor Cream Cake
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream


Make ice cream base


Churn ice cream
Make carrot orange salad
Bake cake
Prep fruit for cake


Whip cream and assemble cake

prep potatoes and press plastic wrap onto surface
mix shrimp with cocktail sauce, keep in fridge
Prep ham:  unwrap and cut around the bone.  remove slices and place in 13×9 Pyrex dish.  Cover tightly with foil and leave on counter to come to room temp.
put cream cheese on plate to come to room temp
peel asparagus and put on baking sheet, roll in oil

potatoes in oven at 350 degrees F ON A BAKING SHEET!

make guacamole, press plastic wrap over top and put in fridge

Spread out cream cheese on plate
put shrimp & cocktail sauce over cream cheese & serve

guests arrive
serve guacamole
ham in oven if potatoes almost done

ham & potatoes out if done
raise oven temp to 425 degrees F, roast asparagus

when potatoes are done:
asparagus in oven for 12 minutes
put out all the food

top cake with reserved berries before serving

Published in: on April 4, 2018 at 4:23 pm  Comments (1)