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)  

Peas with Meyer Lemon, Orzo and Feta


Serves 6

This salad uses both English and snap peas. It’s great for picnics or as a side dish for Easter ham or lamb. Salty feta and a tangy Meyer lemon dressing accentuate the sweetness of the peas.
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup sugar snap peas, cut in half on the bias
Kosher salt
1 cup orzo pasta
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely minced shallot
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
A few grinds of black pepper
3 ounces feta, crumbled
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Freshly chopped herbs, such as parsley or chives, to taste

Handful of pea shoots, optional

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Prepare a large of ice water and set aside. When water comes to a boil, add the sugar snap peas and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain the blanched peas in a colander or strainer, then transfer them to the ice water to shock them and stop the cooking.
2. Add fresh water to the pot and return to a boil. Add a couple of teaspoons of kosher salt to the boiling water, then add the orzo, cooking according to package directions.
3. Make the dressing: In a bowl, combine the lemon juice and shallots. Slowly whisk in the oil. Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper and set aside.
4. When orzo is cooked, drain and allow to cool slightly. Transfer the still-warm orzo to a large bowl, pour in the dressing and toss gently. Refrigerate for half an hour.
5. Fold in peas crumbled feta, lemon zest, herbs and pea shoots (if using). Serve at room temperature or chill up to one day.
Published in: on March 11, 2018 at 1:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Swedish Neighbor Cream Cake

Slightly modified from a recipe in Scandinavian Gatherings: From Afternoon Fika to Midsummer Feast by Melissa Bahen


10-12 servings

Start at least 6 hours ahead.

1 1/4 cups Baker’s Sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup buttermilk

filling & topping
1 1/2 pounds fresh strawberries
1 Tablespoon Baker’s Sugar
1 pint whipping cream (NOT ultra-pasturized)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray two 9″ round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.  Add the vanilla and 1 egg, and beat until smooth, then add the remaining eggs one at a time, beating between each addition.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

With the mixer on low, add one-third of the flour mixture, then half the buttermilk, beating each addition just until combined.  Repeat until all the flour mixture and buttermilk have been added.  Then turn the mixer to high speed and beat 30 seconds more.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cake pans.  Smooth out the thick batter with your rubber spatula.  Bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean and the edges are beginning to brown.

While the cakes are baking, make the filling and topping.  Finely chop the berries (reserving several whole berries for garnishing the finished cake), then put them in a bowl and stir in the granulated sugar.  Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the cake.  In a medium bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form.  Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, beating until combined.

Remove the cakes from the oven.  Allow them to cool for 10 minutes in the pans.  Flip the cakes onto non-stick cooling racks (or spray regular racks with cooking spray) and allow them to cool completely.

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a serving plate flat side up.  Top with half of the berries and half of any juice that has accumulated in the bowl, then half of the whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining cake layer, berries, and whipped cream.  Cover the cake, and refrigerate for several hours before serving to allow the berry juice to soak into the cake layers.  Just before serving, garnish with halved strawberries.



Published in: on February 24, 2018 at 3:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Chocolate Ice Cream

Significantly modified version of a recipe in Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones.

4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup Baker’s sugar
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa, measured then sifted
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup non-fat milk
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks with half the sugar.

In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, combine the cocoa powder with the other half of the sugar.  Whisk in about 1/4 cup of the milk to make a paste, adding a little more of the milk as needed to make it smooth and uniform.  (If you add the milk all at once, the cocoa will be lumpy).  Whisk in the remaining milk, the cream, and salt and put the pan over medium-high heat.

Continue with the method as described in Vanilla Ice Cream

Published in: on February 3, 2018 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Vanilla Ice Cream

Significantly modified recipe, but same instructions, from a recipe in “Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones: 90 recipes for making your own ice cream and frozen treats from Bi-Rite Creamery” by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker & Dabney Gough

Makes about 1 quart.  Keeps for about 1 week.

1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup non-fat milk
1/2 cup Baker’s sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla
4 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, stir together the cream, milk, half of the sugar (1/4 cup) and the salt. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and use the knife to carefully scrape the seeds from the bean (or use the ground vanilla).  Add the seeds and the split bean to the pan.

Put the pan over medium-high heat.  When the mixture just begins to bubble around the edges, remove from the heat, cover the pan, and let steep for about 30 minutes.


In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk the yolks just to break them up, then whisk in the half of the sugar (1/4 cup).  Set aside.

Uncover the cream mixture and put the pan over medium-high heat.  When the mixture approaches a bare simmer, reduce the heat to medium.

Carefully scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture, and whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks.  Repeat, adding another 1/2 cup of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks.  Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the cream in the saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.

Cook the mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it is thickened, coats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container.   Set the container into an ice-water bath , wash your spatula, and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool.  Remove from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.


Add the vanilla extract to the cold base and whisk to blend.

Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  While the ice cream is churning, put the container you’ll use to store the ice cream into the freezer.  Enjoy right away, or for a firmer ice cream, transfer to the chilled container and freeze for a least 4 hours.


Published in: on January 15, 2018 at 7:29 am  Leave a Comment