Winter Roasted Carrots


Another winner from the old Desperation Dinner Recipes newspaper clippings. Not the correct photo because it’s missing the onions, garlic and balsamic that make this dish so yummy.  (Just realized this recipe is already incorporated under roasted vegetables, but I never could find it. Go figure! Putting it on its own ensures that I won’t forget about this tasty dish.) Makes about 4 1/2 cups.

  • Cooking oil spray
  • 2 pounds baby carrots
  • 4 small onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried tyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Spray an 11 by 13 inch roasting pan with cooking oil spray. Place the carrots in the pan. Peel the onions and cut them into quarters. Cut the quarters in half again and add the pieces to the pan with the carrots. Peel the garlic and add the cloves to the pan. (If they are very large I cut them in half or quarters.)

Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle the thyme, salt and pepper over them.  Stir and toss until all is coated with oil. Bake, uncovered, 12 minutes. Remove the pan from oven and stir. Return to the oven and bake 12 more minutes, stirring every 4 minutes, until the carrots begin to brown and are tender when pierced with a knife tip.

Remove from oven and drizzle vegetables with balsamic vinegar. Stir and toss the veggies until the vinegar is well-distributed. Serve immediately or cool and refrigerate in a covered container for up to 4 days.

NOTE: Sometimes the water sprinklers in supermarket produce sections waterlog the bags of baby carrots.  Your carrots will brown better if they have not been saturated with water.


Published in: on January 25, 2018 at 11:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Mushroom Tortelloni and Curry Cream Soup

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Soup!  I think this is my first soup entry. (oops, no the second in 6 years) I clipped this from the newspaper years ago and just found it with the words “Excellent!” written on it.  Well I can’t make these “excellent” recipes if I don’t run across these small snippets of paper.  So, it’s time I enter it here so I might actually find it. The recipe says it was adapted from a Better Homes and Garden Soup book. Who knew Better Homes and Garden had such exotic taste? I found a variation of this recipe on the Internet that doubled the chicken broth and added a cup of sliced mushrooms. (and I stole her photo above as I rememeber this is sort of what it looked like.) I like the idea of those additions so may consider experimenting the next time I make this.

  • 3 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry poweder
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can unsweeteened coconut milk
  • 1 (9oz) package of refrigerated mushroom tortelloni
  • 1 Tablespoon snipped fresh basil
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped peanuts

In a medium saucepan, cook shallot, jalapeño pepper, garlic and curry powder in hot oil about 1 minute, or until shallot is tender.  Stir in chicken broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered for 5 minutes.

Stir in coconut milk, tortelloni and basil. Cook and stir about 5 minutes more, or until pasta is tender but still firm. Stir in the tomato and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until heated through, but do not boil.

Garnish each serving with peanuts.


Published in: on May 20, 2017 at 9:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Thai Turkey Zucchini Meatballs


I always love to find recipes that use ground turkey. This recipe was just for the meatballs and the sauce, but I felt it needed some vegetables in there as well. I didn’t want to add zucchini because that was in the meatballs and I thought it would be boring. Red and green pepper slices, carrots and green onions all had just the right amount of crunch to help make this a very tasty meal that was pretty easy to make. But honestly, any vegetables would taste great with this sauce. I was lucky I just happened to have everything in this recipe at home, even the Thai red curry paste. It had been sitting in the refrigerator for more time than I want to admit because I didn’t have a recipe for it. Well, I have one now!

For Meatballs:

  • 2 lbs ground turkey, extra lean
  • 1 cup zucchini, shredded and liquid squeezed out
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup green onions, finely choped
  • 2 Tbsp basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp red curry paste
  • 2 Tbsp coconut milk, light (canned)
  • 1/8 tsp hot pepper chili flakes (I didn’t add this because the red curry paste is hot enough for me)
  • Cooking spray

For the Sauce:

  • 1 + 1/2 cup coconut milk, light (canned)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste (can be increased to 3 Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp red curry paste (with caution; this stuff is hot!)
  • 1 tsp fish sauce  (had to add more at the end for my tastes)
  • 1/8 tsp hot pepper chili flakes, or to taste
  • 5-6 kaffir lime leaves (optional)

For Veggies

  • 1 small green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red pepper thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • (have also added zucchini sliced like matchsticks and broccoli)
  • lime, fresh cilantro or lemon basil and green onions for garnish


  1.  In a medium bowl, combine ingredients for meatballs, and mix with your hands thoroughly.  Make 28 meatballs by spooning a heaping Tbsp of mixture and rolling between your hands.  Lay on a cutting board or plate. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients and set aside.
  3. Wash and slice vegetables. You can microwave the carrots a bit so they are somewhat softened.
  4. Preheat large, 12″ or larger skillet on high. Spray with cooking spray. Add meatballs and cook until brown, for about 2 or 3 minutes.  No need to cook the meatballs through. Add the sliced vegetables. (For al dente vegetables, add them after the meatballs have cooked for 10 minutes.) Add the sauce, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.
  5. Taste and readjust seasonings. If you want it saltier, add a bit more fish sauce.  If you want it spicier you can add the red pepper chili flakes now. I always squirt fresh lime into the sauce to brighten the taste a bit.
  6. Serve warm with brown rice or brown rice noodles. (Have used soba noodles, yakisoba or ramen.)  Add garnish like fresh cilantro or basil and green onions and more fresh lime.
Published in: on May 20, 2017 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Pork Stir Fry with Apple and Mango Chutney

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Something a little different from the norm from a ‘Desperation Dinners’ news clipping.  Just another way of saying you can get this one on the table pretty fast. But, as they say, fancy enough for company, but simple enough for just a midweek meal.   (This is not my photo and it doesn’t really look like this because the meat is cut into small pieces, but need a placeholder. Though this photo does make me think I could do this with pork steaks too.)

Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil (divided use)
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin  (I’ve used pork loin chops too)
  • 1 large tart apple such as Granny Smith (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 1/2 cup mango chutney (we like hot chutney, but either works)
  • 1/4 raisins
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-2 chopped green onions (optional)

Place flour, thyme, salt, and black pepper in a gallon-size zipper-top plastic bag and shake to mix. Cut pork into 1/2-inch-thick slices. (Some pieces may look more like strips.) Place in plastic bag and shake to coat well.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil on medium-low in a 12-inch non-stick skillet. Shake excess flour from each piece of meat and add it to the hot oil in the skillet. Discard the bag and flour mixture.

Raise the heat to medium. Cook pork for about 4 to 5 minutes on the first side. Turn the meant and drizzle the remaining oil around the pieces. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the meat is just barely pink in the center.

While pork cooks, core and finely chop (do not peel) the apple. Stir the apple, chutney, raisins, and water together in a 2-cup glass measure. Microwave on high, covered with a paper towel, for 1 minute.

When the pork is done, reduce the heat to low, add green onions if using and add the apple chutney mixture. Stir to coat the pork well with sauce.   Serve over rice.


Published in: on April 1, 2017 at 8:15 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Chicken, Salsa, Mushroom Bake


We bought a large container of fresh salsa at Costco and I was worried that it would go bad before the two of us could eat that much salsa. So I looked for a recipe to use a larger quantity of it.  We were skeptical, but this turned out so good!  First of all, I really like the taste of the salsa we bought.  (I sometimes get fresh salsa at the supermarkets and it just doesn’t taste very good.)  So, I think that is important.  Make sure you LIKE the salsa you are using.  I used half and half and not cream and that didn’t blend in during the baking, so it didn’t come out looking great.  I don’t know if regular cream would have done better baking with the salsa.  But looks don’t matter, just taste and this was very tasty!


  • 2 Boneless Chicken Breast Halves
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground Black Pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons Fresh or Dried Thyme, Sage or Oregano (or herb of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
  • 1/2 15 ounce container Fresh Salsa (or more), or jarred (see above)
  • 8 ounces Fresh Mushrooms, small dice
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup Cream (Milk will substitute but will result in a thinner sauce)

* It is not necessary for ingredient measurements to be exact.


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice chicken breast halves in half horizontally; pound lightly between wax paper or plastic wrap to an even thickness. (You can skip this step to quicken the preparation but pounding produces a more tender chicken breast.)
  3. Place the chicken in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sage (or other herb), salt and pepper. Using a large spoon, turn to spread the oil and flavors among all of the chicken pieces.
  4. Heat an oven safe skillet on medium flame for one minute or until hot. Pour in 1 tablespoon of oil (or use a spray) and cook the chicken for 2-3 minutes a side or until lightly browned with an internal temperature of 155 degrees. (The chicken will continue to cook while in the oven.)
  5. Take pan off the heat.
  6. Spoon salsa over the chicken pieces and sprinkle with mushrooms
  7. Pour the chicken broth and milk or cream over the chicken.
  8. Place in the oven.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
Published in: on February 5, 2017 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Provençal Chicken Bundles


This is a recipe from an old newspaper clipping that we’ve always enjoyed. I’m not very good at making bundles with meat.  Mine always fall apart and the inside goodies escape into the pan. But I’ve had better luck with this recipe, especially if I buy very thin chicken breast and keep the mozzarella in the middle. Of course I always mess with recipes depending on what I have at home. I currently have a big basil plant so I lined the chicken breasts with basil leaves before putting cheese on them.  Very tasty!

Serves 6

  • 6 large chicken thighs or 6 chicken half breasts, boned and skinned (I always buy thinly sliced chicken breasts so I have no work, and they are easier to role into a bundle.)
  • Seasonings (salt pepper, garlic, herbs, spices) to taste
  • 6 ounces Mozzarella cheese, grated

Pound chicken to 1/8-inch thickness. Put small mound of cheese in center of chicken. Sprinkle on seasoning to taste. Pull edges into center and secure with toothpicks. Bake in 350 oven 35 to 45 minutes. Remove toothpicks.  Serve with following sauce.


  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1- 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon each basil and oregano (dried) or 2 teaspoons fresh
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons Marsala wine
  • 1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 4 ounces Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (have never used this and still think the recipe is great)

Sauté onion, mushrooms and herbs in butter 3 minutes. Add Marsala wine; stir in tomatoes. Mix cheese and flour together; add to sauce. Add cream and simmer 8  minutes, until thickened slightly. Serve with chicken.



Published in: on August 3, 2016 at 10:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tomato and Basil Baked Cod


My mother’s breaded and fried cod was always the best on Friday nights. But after 40 years it got kind of boring, so I wanted to try something different. Luckily this was very good so now I have an alternative to mom’s Friday fish fry recipe.

  • 1/3 cup 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 3 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (can also use garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 firm mild white fish fillets such as cod, walleye or flounder (about 1-1/3 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Roma tomatoes (I used tasty cherry tomatoes. Tasty is KEY to the recipe. Used more than the proportion to bread in this recipe.)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon capers (optional add-in)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil

Heat oven to 375F

Lightly coat bottom of 13X 9-inch pan with 1 TBSP olive oil.

Chop bread until bread crumbs form (I made cubes like croutons) making about 1-1/2 cups.

SAUTE bread crumbs in remaining olive oil, in heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until they begin to brown. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning. Continue to cook and stir until golden brown. Remove from heat; season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pat fish fillets dry with paper towel. Place skin side down in prepared pan. Season fish generously with salt and pepper. Combine tomatoes and bread crumbs. (I threw in a few capers at this point, but very few; cover top of fillets completely with mixture. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until fish reaches an internal temperature of 145°F and flakes easily with a fork. Garnish with fresh basil and serve.


Published in: on April 22, 2016 at 12:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Scampi Primavera


It seems I got this recipe from a box of Ronzoni pasta long ago. It’s been a standard in our home for many years.  Always a little different, but always delicious.

2-3 portions

  • 1/2 box (about 1/2 pound) of pasta (Fusili as shown in photo is our favorite.)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped lemon peel
  • 1-2 carrots, cut in 2-inch thin strips
  • 1/2 medium zucchini, cut in 2-inch thin strips
  • 1/2 medium red pepper, cut in 2-inch thin strips
  • .5 – .7 lb cleaned medium shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (also have used chicken broth)
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
  • pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (or 1- 2 teaspoons dry)
  • 2 tablespoons torn Italian parsley (optional)

Cook pasta as directed on package.  Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet, add and stir garlic and lemon peel about 30 seconds. Add vegetables. I normally add the carrot first. Then add zucchini and shrimp.  Cook, stirring in lemon juice, salt and pepper and red pepper.  Stir in basil or parsley when the shrimp is pink all over and just cooked through.

I pour my cooked pasta into the skillet so it will absorb the juices. (warning; you don’t have to put all pasta in; You don’t want to drown out the shrimp and veggies with too much pasta. Put only as much in as you feel will balance the shrimp and veggies.  If I have it I may add a bit of chicken broth to keep everything slightly juicy.  Of course I sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top as well

Published in: on March 19, 2016 at 8:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Spicy Potatoes Side Dish

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This is an easy way to make potatoes a little more exciting as a side dish. We had them most recently  with a roasted chicken.

4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • 1 medium clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • optional  – Cumin seeds

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and margarine over medium heat. Add the garlic, potatoes, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Cover and sauté until the potatoes are tender and lightly browned, about 20-25 minutes.

I threw in a handful of cumin seeds the last 5 minutes or so.  I really like the stronger taste the whole cumin seeds give these potatoes.


Published in: on March 7, 2016 at 5:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Safaid keema (ground meat & potatoes)


Meat and potato comfort food with wonderful Indian spiciness.  Another old recipe by  Julie Sahni clipped from a newspaper who knows when.  I just researched her and found that she is a chef and teacher of Indian cooking and has written several Indian cookbooks. I also found this recipe online in many different versions, so either she has changed it, or others have. (For example, they all list ground cumin as one of the spices, but don’t use the seeds at the end. I really like the seeds.) I did add peas on my own, and I see the others all have done the same.

We ate this as is (with big dollops of yogurt) because to me our carbs, the potatoes, were already in the pan. However I see that others serve it over rice. I’ll list my original recipe here and note my slight changes.

  • 5 tablespoons corn, peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
  • 1 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 4 medium potatoes, about 1 pound, peeled ( I used red, but I think any firm potato would be fine)
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground lamb or beef
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2/3 cup unflavored yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. salt, optional
  • about 1 cup of frozen peas, or as many as you’d like
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and add the onions.  Cook, stirring often, over moderately low heat, about 15 minutes, or until onions are golden brown.  Do not let them become dark brown or the sauce will become dark.
  2. Cut each potato in half or in quarters (depending on the size; I cut mine so I had 1-inch thick disks; I thought they would take too long to cook if I only halved them.) Drop pieces in cold water and set aside.
  3. Put the cumin seeds in a skillet and cook, shaking the skillet, until they are lightly browned.  Do not burn!  Pour the seeds from the skillet and set aside.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger to the onions and cook, stirring, about two minutes longer.  Add the meat and cook, stirring and breaking up any lumps with the side of a heavy metal spoon. Cook until the meat loses its raw look.
  5. (The recipe calls for lean meat, but if you have quite a bit of grease in the pan, drain it from the meat now. Also possible later, but might be easier now)
  6. Drain the potatoes and add them to the meat.  Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, cayenne, yogurt and milk. Add the salt if desired. (In newer versions of the recipe I’ve seen online,  1 1/2 cups of water is added at this point. I did not do that. I did not have a “sauce,” at the end; just wonderfully spiced meat with potatoes. I did add a tiny bit more milk at one point to keep it moist. If you want a sauce, try adding water and/or chicken broth at this point.)
  7. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer about 35 to 45 minutes. Check carefully and do not allow the sauce to stick and burn. (Without that extra water, burning might be possible, but OK to add a little more milk or yogurt if necessary.) I also checked for taste and added a little more of the spices to taste.
  8. In the last few minutes, I thought of adding the peas so I threw them in, frozen.  It didn’t take long for them to heat up in the skillet. Be careful not to break the potato pieces. You want potatoes cooked through, but not so soft they turn into mashed potatoes.
  9. Remove from heat.  First time I made this, I thought it was too greasy so I removed some of the grease at this point, but it would be better to do it earlier on.
  10. Add roasted cumin seeds and stir gently. Serve with yogurt.  Cucumber and yogurt salad makes a nice side. Chutney also goes well according to author, but we used only yogurt and loved it.
  11. Yields 4 servings.

I always have some fresh herbs around.  I chopped some mint and cilantro to sprinkle on top, but it tastes wonderful without it.  We ate the leftovers two days later and I think it was even better. So, this is a good one for a make-ahead dish.  Also, freezing is recommended.

Just found this recipe in a 1983 New York Magazine article online.  That is probably exactly where I cut it out from!  33 years ago!

Published in: on January 6, 2016 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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