Try serving a piece of this as an appetizer on St Patrick’s Day  *  The recipe call for an enticing mixture of leeks, apple, blue cheese and oysters  *  But first the pastry  *  Heat oven to 400 degrees  *  Whisk one cup of all-purpose flour with 1/2 tsp of salt  *  add 6 Tbsp of butter in bits and combine until the mixture’s crumbs are the size of small pebbles  *  Take one large egg and separate yolk from white  *  Beat the yolk with 3 Tbsp cold water ( a fourth may be needed later on) and add the flour mixture  *  toss with a fork or pulse in a by machine until the mixture starts to come together to form a dough  *  With some flour on a rolling surface gather the dough on the floured surface  *  form in a disk and roll in a 12 inch circle  *  Fit the dough into an 8 inch pie pan and crimp the edges  *  Take a fork and puncture the dough five or six times for even baking  *  bake for fifteen minutes with a foil covering  *  remove the foil and bake until golden – another ten minutes or so  *  remove from the oven  *  While the pie shell is baking prep for the pie filling  *  Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a 12 inch skillet and add 1/2 cup of finely chopped leeks, 1/2 cup of peeled and chopped green apple and 1/2 cup of finely chopped fennel bulb  *  Saute on low heat until tender and translucent  *  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and remove from the heat  *  Now for the oysters  *  The oysters may be from the east coast; such as Fishers Island or Beausoleil  *  Or they may be from the west coast such as Hood Canal  *  Place the oysters in a 3 quart saucepan with just enough water to cover and heat the water just above 140 degrees  *  Shut off heat and let it sit on the burner for 5 minutes  *  allow the oysters to cool  *  open the oysters flat side up and remove the oysters over a bowl to catch the juices  *  In a separate bowl mash 5 ounces of blue cheese adding three Tbsp of reserved oyster juice  *  Beat egg white until softly peaked and fold into the cheese  *  Spread the leek, fennel and apple mixture in pie shell and spread cheese mixture on top  *  Place in oven and bake twenty minutes  *  Melt last Tbsp of butter and allow to turn light brown  * Mix in with the oysters  *  Remove the pie from the oven and arrange buttered oysters on top  *  Bake two more minutes and remove from the heat  *  Let pie set about 10 minutes  *  cut in four portions and serve  *  Give yourself about 1 hour to prepare this oyster pie –  layered with blue cheese  *  May want to think about some Irish whiskey  or a Guinness stout if serving this on St Patrick’s Day


Potato and Celery Soup

here are two ways to make this textured soup  *  Yellow Finn or Yukon Gold potatoes are two varieties that work well   *    local grown celery (along with the leaves) usually has extra flavor, but Chinese celery can be considered also  *  This soup is tastefully made without broth and with four cups of water  *  Let’s begin by warming a large soup pot over medium heat and adding and continue warming 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil for about a minute  *  Add a medium diced yellow onion along with 1/2 tsp of sea salt  *  Cook for 7 or 8 minutes – stirring occasionally – until translucent  *  Add three cloves of diced garlic and 1 cup of diced celery for about two minutes  *  Add 1 1/2 pounds of yellow potatoes cut into 3/4 inch pieces with more salt (1 tsp) and 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper and keep stirring  *  Cook or 5 minutes and make sure the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pot by stirring some more occasionally  *  Add four cups of water *  once it comes almost to a boil – reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 20 to minutes or just enough until the potatoes have begun to break down (without loosing shape) and thicken the soup  *  stir in 2 cups of loosely packed celery leaves and cook for five minutes  *  after five minutes turn off the heat and cover the pot  *  let the soup rest for five minutes before serving  *  taste the soup and add additional salt or pepper as needed  *  yields four servings or about six cups if you don’t boil away too much water during prep  *


In a large sauce pan over medium heat cook 3 tbsp of canola oil with 2 tsp curry powder – keep stirring until fragrant  *  Stir in 8 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced, 4 medium stalks celery also thinly sliced and one medium onion, coarsely chopped and toss to coat in oil  *  Cook stirring frequently for 10 minutes  *  Stir in 5 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth  *  Bring to a boil  *  Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are very tender – maybe 10 minutes  *  Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes  *  Use a paper towel to blot away any excess oil that has risen to the top  *  Transfer the soup in batches of no more than two cups at a time, to a blender and puree  *  Return the soup puree to the pan and heat through over medium heat  *  Season with lemon juice , salt and pepper  *  I prefer a milder curry powder for this recipe *  hot curry powder such as Madras can be hard to control  *  The ingredients are simple and the flavor is curried carrot!


The ginger flavor in commercial brands is usually mild and made with refined sugar or high-fructose corn syrup  *  Homemade soda is easier to make than most people think and you can store the syrup without the carbonated water for up to a week  *  To make the syrup combine 6 oz of fresh ginger (peeled and chopped)  and 8 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil  *  Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half  *  Remove from the heat and stir in 2 cups of light-colored raw honey  *  Cover fo twenty minutes and let the ginger and honey steep  *  Strain out the ginger and refrigerate the ginger syrup until well chilled  *  The syrup can be made up to 1 week in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator  *  In a large pitcher combine the ginger syrup with 8 cups of sparkling water and 4 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice  *  Serve over ice when ready to party!  *  If you would like to turn this into a cocktail – I suggest adding some coconut flavored rum and a few berries


This is a fun recipe that requires some preparation  *  take three potatoes and boil them until they are soft  *  mash the potatoes and set them on the side in a medium bowl  *  in a pan with a small amount of olive oil – braze 6oz of chopped sirloin beef  *  add 1/2 chopped onion and 1/2 tsp of chopped chile (or use chile powder to taste)  *  add a small amount of bread crumbs to the meat filling and saute the mix until well cooked  *  set it aside in a small bowl so that the potato pockets can be formed  *  sprinkle a small amount of flour on a work board or the counter top  *  roll the mashed potato into four balls and flatten each one with a roller or by hand  *  using a Tbsp place the prepared meat mixture onto each potato disk  *  with fingers work the potato disk into a pocket that completely surrounds the meat mixture  *  (some recipes suggest that a hard-boiled egg be quartered and added to each pocket before enclosing them)  *  Place the meat and potato pockets into the air fryer pan  *  set temperature to 360 degrees F and the timer for eight minutes  *  This should be enough to give bread like consistency to the potato cover  *  If a firmer fried potato is desired – return the pockets to the air fryer for another 4 or 5 minutes  *  let them cool and serve or package them to be carried and eaten later at an event or on a road trip!

Power Air Fryer Review

Labor Day weekend I woke up a little groggy and when I turned on the cable TV Eric Theiss was on pitching his beloved Air Fryer. For those of you who are not familiar with Air Fryers – oil is eliminated from the cooking process and it is replaced with hot air that circulates and surrounds the food – cooking it to crisp perfection. They have been around for a while and allows you to air fry or air broil or air bake a huge variety of foods. The Power Air Fryer XL has a digital control panel including a Power Button, Timer Control Buttons, Temperature Control Buttons and Preset Buttons. If you would like a pile of french fries to accompany a piece of fish, just peel a potato and cut it into square lengths (although the prepared packaged french fries have much less water and fry great), place them in the fry basket, press the preset french fry button and the potatoes will cook for 18 minutes at 400F. The taste and crunch of freshly air fried potatoes is the best. If you want to add the fish – put some batter on it and press the preset button for Fish – the Air Fryer will run for 10 minutes at 350F to create a delicious crispy battered air fried piece of fish.

The unit uses a standard polarized plug and uses a 120v/60hz outlet. It draws 1500 watts to generate 180 to 400 F temperatures. It comes with a large 3.4 quart fry basket with non stick coating. The dimensions for the unit are 12.7″w x 14.4″h x 12.7″d

Here’s how easy it is to roast a turkey  *  season the turkey with a rub of 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp rosemary 1/2 tsp thyme and 2 Tbsp olive oil  *  place the turkey breast side down in the fry basket  *  press the M button  *  and scroll to the turkey/chicken icon  *  press the power button and adjust the cooking time to 20 minutes at 360 degrees F  *  when the time runs out carefully turn the turkey over and press the M button  * scroll to the turkey/chicken icon  *  press the power button and adjust the cooking time to 20 minutes at 360 degrees F  *  test the turkey with a thermometer for proper cooking (165 degrees F)  *  let it rest for about 20 minutes before serving  *  By the way the frying basket is big enough to fit two small turkey breasts or a turkey and chicken breast at the same time  *   I am very happy with the Power Air Fryer and find myself using it at least once a day – usually twice daily!

ONE pizza dough

this recipe will make a pretty large size pizza – but if you think you will need two pizzas – just double everything  *  take two cups of flour and add 1/8 tsp active dry yeast and 1 1/8 tsp salt  *  stir the dry mix together and slowly drizzle in 4/5 cup of water  *  Do not overwork the dough – 3 minutes should be plenty of time to create a shaggy ball of dough  *  Cover dough with plastic wrap and leave in at a cool room temperature  *  after 12 to 18 hours the dough should be double in size  *  Once ready it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days – until you are ready to bake  *  about one hour before you are ready to bake  – turn the dough out onto a lightly flowered surface  *  stretch and pat the dough in preparation to roll it  *  using a rolling-pin thin out the dough ball to a circle with about 3/8 inch width  *  place the pizza dough on a sheet and add some toppings: such as marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese (perhaps some thin sliced onion and chopped olives too)  *  place in a 375F pre-heated oven and let it bake  *  maybe 15 to 20 minutes  *  visually check the pizza pie so it is baked to your preference  *  remove from oven and let it cool before it is sliced and served  *  remember the thinner the crust the better the pie!

Summer Vegetable Stew

As the temperatures go up – here’s a vegetable recipe that can be served to help cool you off  *  resembles a ratafia in vegetable selection – but with a plentiful 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese added – this stew becomes a luxurious medley of summer bounty  * Here is a recipe for two and as the vegetables pile on it seems like the recipe is for more people, but we really want some leftovers to serve cold or slightly warmed on an extra hot day  *  Get out a cup to measure one cup portions  *  Let’s dice one cup of eggplant, one cup of diced tomatoes, one cup of diced zucchini and place in a medium bowl on the side  *  Saute 1/2 cup of diced onions, 1/2 cup of celery and two chopped garlic cloves in two Tbsp olive oil  *  Add the diced eggplant-zuccini-tomatoes to the pan along with 1/2 cup of corn and 2/3 cup of cold water  *  let it cook for 12 minutes with a cover over the pan  *  Add the 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese  *  Let it simmer for another 8 minutes with the cover still on the pan  * A total cook time of 20 minutes should soften and blend everything enough for a first serving  *  Can be served with bread or a side of grits  *  Guaranteed to bring joy to the tasters!

Cranberry Pecan Jell

I spent yesterday creating a new twist to an old favorite by eliminating a number of ingredients  *  It was mixed, molded and set with gelatin when left in the refrigerator to firm  *  The flavor will remind you of holidays and special gatherings  *  It can also bring a cool moment to extra hot summer days  *  After a number of trials – this is the recipe that worked for me  *  Mix together in a medium size bowl 1/2 cup of cranberry jelly, 1/2 cup mayo, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 10 to 16 oz of flaked canned chicken breast  *  Add a cup of chopped pecan nuts to the mix  *   Bring one cup of water to a boil and dissolve four packets of plain geletin powder in the water  *  Pour and even the cranberry mayo chicken wine vinegar pecan mix into an oiled mold – make sure the mold is not to deep ( 1 inch or less in-depth to start)  *  perhaps a large casserole dish will help  *  Pour the dissolved gelatin over the cranberry pecan mix  *  cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate  *  it should be ready to serve in the most  – two hours  * sides of celery and crackers make it a nice lunch dish!

Barbecue Rhubarb

If you can – a double batch of rhubarb can be used to make this barbecue sauce –  it can be frozen for two or three months and used when desired  *  rhubarb barbecue sauce is delicious on chicken, beef, pork, fish or as a marinate for vegetables  *  Let’s begin with 2 to 4 cups of thin sliced rhubarb placed on the side * a barbecue mix of 1/4 cup ketchup mixed with 1/4 cup brown sugar -plus 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tbsp cider vinegar with salt and pepper to taste are also placed on the side  *  Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat  * add 1 small chopped onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic  *  add the thinly sliced rhubarb and simmer until the onion and rhubarb are soft  *  add the mix of ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and vinegar barbecue sauce to the onion garlic and simmered rhubarb  *  let it meld under heat for 10 minutes  *  remove and let it cool so that it can be covered and refrigerated  for up to three days  *  Or this tangy, healthy barbecue sauce can be frozen for two to three months