Archive | Recipes

tofu cheese shells

Have you ever thought to put tofu, egg and cheese into a dish? I think it’s strange and for some reason it reminds me of the Paul Simon song, Mother and Child Reunion, except that was about a chicken and egg dish that Paul saw on a Chinese restaurant’s menu. Did you know that’s how the song got that title? It’s true. Greg taught me that! He was full of that kind of knowledge, probably after reading it in one of his Bathroom Readers!

Anyway, on to tofu…

My Aunt Cathy gave me a book of her favorite recipes and this one was in it. It’s yum. My girls like it too except I have to keep the sauce off of a few of the shells because they don’t like sauce. Oh and this recipe originally called for cannelloni but I swore too much while trying to fill those effing things! Shells are easier. :)

Tofu Cheese Shells
14 oz tofu, crumbled
3 oz. grated mozzarella
2 oz. grated cheddar
2 oz. grated parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. fresh parsley
basil leaves
salt and pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
jumbo shells (you won’t use the entire box – my girls will eat the leftover plain shells for a snack over the next couple days)
1 jar spaghetti sauce or homemade

Preheat oven to 350. Add all ingredients except shells and sauce to tofu. Cook shells. Fill with mixture into greased 8×11 pan. Top with sauce. Bake until heated through, 35 minutes.

Sorry, no pretty pictures to show…but, try it!




vegetarian mulligatawny soup

Years ago, I checked out the New England Soup Factory Cookbook from the library and had Greg scan a few of the recipes for me. There were many great soups in there but this one is my favorite. The cookbook tells me that mulligatawny originated in India and the name comes from the word for “pepper water”.

This is also the soup from the famous Seinfeld episode where the guy yells out, “No soup for you!” I honestly have never seen it (are some of you yelling at me?) but Greg was a huge fan of Seinfeld. When he got sick, his co-workers at AmFam had some bracelets made as a fundraiser for us and they had that phrase on them. :)

I just made this soup for a friend’s baby shower this weekend and I didn’t get any photos of it so I’m going to borrow a photo from another website/blog, The Good Weekly. She takes great photos of the process and gives great instructions. Hmmm… I wouldn’t blame you if you just followed her blog on this one. BUT if you just want the basic recipe, scroll down for my version with all the extra carrots I add!


Vegetarian Mulligatawny Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced (I usually use yellow onions in my cooking)
2 ribs celery, diced (I use at least 4)
4 carrots, peeled and sliced (I use at least 6)
1 lb dried lentils
2 cups (16 oz) canned whole tomatoes, cut into pieces (I use whatever tomatoes I have)
1 can (16 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained (I always double this because when the girls were younger they insisted on having a chickpea in every bite of soup so only one can, or 16 oz, was not enough)
8 C vegetable stock
2 C tomato juice
3 tsp yellow curry powder
3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can (16 oz) coconut milk
2 Tbsp honey
1-1/2 C cooked basmati rice (I mess up the recipe by always using brown rice)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a humongous stockpot (this recipe makes a lot!) over medium-high heat. Add the oil, garlic, onion, celery and carrots. Saute for 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, chickpeas, stock, tomato juice, curry powder, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes (I don’t simmer this long because I don’t like my lentils to get too mushy). Stir in the coconut milk, honey, rice, cilantro, salt and pepper. Makes 12 servings.

Whenever I make soups, I never think the recipes include enough carrots or celery so I always add more than they call for. I think I’ve always thought that if this is going to be our meal, we all need more veggies!

This soup really is delicious. You should try it. The recipe makes a lot so invite some friends over and make it a party!




spaghetti squash with turkey balls

Yes, this recipe is for turkey MEATballs. Greg liked using the word balls. Whenever he referred to his eyes, he just called them his balls. “That light is bright on my balls”, “I can see the cancer in my left ball”, “I’m rubbing my balls”…you get the picture. :)

Last night, I was telling a friend that I’m running out of things to write about on my blog. I think the intense posts recently have wiped me out a bit. Anyway, she told me that she misses my recipes so I immediately started searching for one.

This is a recipe that I used to love to make (still not really cooking much for myself and my two birds who peck, peck, peck away at things). I got this from another magazine that has since gone under. It seems like all my favorite magazines are no more. There was Domino, Wondertime, Whole Living, Parenting and Everyday Food. All of them gone. This recipe is from Whole Living and you can still find it online HERE.

I buy the 20 oz pkg of Jennie-O ground turkey so I had to adapt the recipe a bit. If you want to make their recipe using 8 oz turkey, click to the link. Here is mine, adjusted:

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey (Meat)balls


  • 1 large or 2 medium spaghetti squash (about 4-5 pounds), halved lengthwise
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano (I usually only have dried on hand)
  • 6 Tbsps grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoon dried breadcrumbs (I’ve used herb stuffing or panko breadcrumbs)
  •  20 ounces lean ground turkey
  • 16 ounces mixed mushrooms, I usually use baby bellas
  • 2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 6-8 ounces baby spinach (about 8 cups), washed well
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season cut sides of squash with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bake, cut sides down, on a baking sheet until tender, about 45 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Scrape flesh into strands using a fork. Let drain, covered to keep warm, in a colander set over a bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring, until soft but not brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add oregano; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Divide mixture between 2 bowls.
  3. Stir 3 tablespoons cheese into 1 bowl of onion-garlic mixture. Mix in breadcrumbs, turkey, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper using your hands. Form mixture into 16-20 balls.
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. You might need to do half at a time since you now have lots of balls. :) Brown meatballs, turning, 4 to 6 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add remaining teaspoon oil to skillet. Cook mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, adding a few tablespoons water if skillet browns too quickly, until soft and beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add remaining bowl of onion-garlic mixture, meatballs, and stock; bring to gentle simmer. Cook, partially covered, until meatballs are cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Add spinach; cook until just wilted, about 1 minute.
  5. Divide squash and meatball mixture into 4 servings. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

It’s worth every step – very yummy. Enjoy your turkey balls!






This weekend we spent a night visiting Greg’s family in Illinois to celebrate Chanukah. A few minutes after walking in the door, my sister-in-law asked me what I’d like to drink and listed off a ginger mixed drink as an option. Then, she handed me a glass of deliciousness. I don’t usually have mixed drinks (especially a bourbon mixed drink!) and probably would have passed on it for a glass of wine had it not been for the ginger. I felt a need to try it…for Greg.

Greg loved ginger. He gobbled up those sushi ginger slices. He nibbled on candied ginger for dessert. He juiced a chunk of fresh ginger every morning in is fruit/veggie juice. He added fresh chopped ginger to his famous chili. He even liked girls with ginger hair. Tee hee.

I will be serving this gingery drink all holiday season!

3/4 C light apple juice (low sugar)
1/3 C honey bourbon (Jim Beam)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp sliced fresh ginger (muddled)

Thanks for the recipe, J!

Greg would have loved this drink too, but I’m guessing he would have added more ginger.





rosemary butter cookies

This weekend, I baked for Squeaky’s daycare bake sale. This was the first time using my apartment oven to bake so I really had to pay attention. But I guess I didn’t pay enough attention because I kind of burned the first thing I made…orange almond biscotti. I felt bad so I made something else and burned that a bit as well! Oops.

Actually, even a little over-done, these rosemary butter cookies from Martha Stewart were very yummy.  Mine weren’t as pretty as this picture but that didn’t matter because they were delicious. The rosemary adds a surprisingly nice flavor and that lovely rosemary and cookie smell hung around the apartment all afternoon.

rosemary butter cookies


Rosemary Butter Cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup fine sanding sugar

1. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, rosemary, and salt, and mix until combined.

2. Halve dough; shape each half into a log. Place each log on a 12-by-16-inch sheet of parchment. Roll in parchment to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Transfer to paper-towel tubes to hold shape, and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 375. Brush each log with egg white; roll in sanding sugar. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake until edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

My oven baked these babies up in about 15 minutes. I didn’t buy special sanding sugar but I think that would have given it a really nice crunch and probably would have made them look prettier. I was glad I had time to freeze the dough into shape because I hadn’t read ahead and almost panicked when I had to wait an hour for it to harden in the freezer. But I got it all done in time for the bake sale…maybe just a teeny tiny bit burnt. If anyone complains, I’ve enlisted Squeaky to deal with them…





carrot spoon bread

Yes, this is another carrot recipe. Hey – I like carrots. I was going to make some joke about how I got my red hair from carrots but my hair is auburn so that joke would be ridiculous!

I really wanted to give you a recipe for sweet potato biscuits but I can’t find it and I don’t remember where I got it. So here’s another one of my favorite recipes instead. This carrot spoon bread is yummy and like the sweet potato biscuits, it’s a warm and cozy food – perfect for this time of year.


This is a great side dish. I could suggest what it might accompany but I really have no clue so just make it alongside something else one night and there you go – a meal. Or you could even bring it for Thanksgiving this year!

Carrot Spoon Bread

  • 3 cups packed finely grated carrots (1 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-quart baking dish. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine carrots with 3 tablespoons water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave until tender, 4 minutes (if you don’t feel comfortable microwaving plastic wrap, cover with whatever you would normally use in the microwave, just make sure the carrots get soft). Drain carrots in a fine-mesh sieve. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in eggs, sugar, and butter until combined. Fold in carrots and transfer mixture to prepared dish. Bake until top is golden brown, edges pull away from sides of dish, and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

This recipe comes from Martha Stewart.

Happy Spooning!




carrot soup

This soup is so good that I usually want to put it in a mug and drink it! We call it our slurping soup. It’s a simple recipe but so good. I grabbed it out of a children’s book, called Carrot Soup by John Segal.

We don’t own this book, just checked it out from the library. I’m the mom who checks out 20-30 books at a time. I see other moms telling their kids that they can pick 1 or 2 books and I look at my girls and say, “You can have a hundred books!”. And Squirmy looks at me with a big-eyed, raised-eyebrow smile like we’re doing something so naughty.  That’s as bad as we get!

carrot soup

Carrot Soup

2 lbs carrots, shredded (Sometimes this doesn’t seem like enough so I add 1 or 2 or 10 more carrots! And use a food processor if you don’t want a sore arm – ouch.)
4-14 oz cans chicken broth (if you make your own broth, bless you)
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 lg onion, chopped
1/4 C butter
5 sprigs fresh dill, chopped (more or less, depending on how dilly you want it)
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and celery in butter until celery is getting soft. Add carrots and broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Let cool and blend in batches. Add salt, pepper and dill. Slurp.

This carrot soup is delicious any time of year but it really needs fresh dill so whenever you can get that, MAKE this! While it is a simple recipe to follow, it can get a bit sloppy. I always make a mess and my kitchen is covered with bright orange splotches after all the shredding, pureeing and pouring of the beautiful carrots. I have a mound of dirty dishes from pouring from this pan to that, but with some fabulous soup to slurp up, I don’t even care.

Greg used to add Sriracha and would always offer it to Squirmy and Squeaky too. They still pay homage to Daddie by adding one drop of hot sauce to their soup.

And if you check this book out from our library, the orange splotches on the recipe page may or may not have been from me! I should probably buy my own copy.





slow cooker chicken tikka masala

I’m going to lighten things up a bit with a recipe. I feel nostalgic posting a recipe from life with Greg since I haven’t really cooked (thoughtful meals, like I used to) since Greg died…and probably even since he got sick. That means the last day I cooked was February 23rd, 2013. But before that, I cooked a lot. I used to plan out our meals for the entire week. I have a binder full of recipes that I miss making. Every Sunday night, I’d go through my recipes, make the menu and write a grocery list. Maybe this will inspire me to start cooking again. Especially with a meal this easy.



This is a slow cooker recipe that I pulled out of a Real Simple magazine a year or two ago. Greg and I used to love going out for Indian food. He would always choose the spicier dishes – he tried everything (well, everything without mammal!) but I remember seeing a lot of green on his plate, like the Mahttar Paneer or Saag Paneer dishes. I always got the Chicken Tikka Masala. All the time! So this recipe isn’t exactly like the dish in an Indian restaurant but it’s still yummy.

The only thing I think I changed on it was to double (or maybe even triple?) the garam masala. Plus, it was never hot enough for Greg so he always had to add something to his to make it spicy. Oh and I never let the cucumber and cilantro sit with lemon juice for 8 hours because I always forgot about that part. So I’d chop them up just before serving and I’ve never used the lemon juice…still great! Actually, I think the cucumber and cilantro  makes the dish so don’t skip that part…unless you hate cilantro. Because I think cilantro is possibly a love/hate herb, isn’t it? Then I will let you skip it. But don’t skip the cucumber! If you hate cucumber, well, then don’t even make this!

Anyway, you can get this recipe over at Real Simple HERE.



P.S. Do you think it’s funny when you look at websites with recipes and there is a looooong list of people adding their details on how they changed the recipe and who ate it? That’s annoying to me. But I think I just did that in this post. I am annoying to me. :)


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