Friday, July 28, 2006

African Salad

Our driver/tour guide/cook served this delicious salad on several occassions and I loved it for great taste as well as simplicity.

  • White Cabbage, finely shredded (or buy coleslaw mix)
  • Red Cabbage, finely shredded
  • Onions (slice into rings)
  • Hard-boiled eggs (slice or half, your choice)
  • Carrots, grated
  • Tomatoes, sliced
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Dressing of your choice (he used a mixture of mayo, sugar, oil, and vinegar, I think; tasted like Thousand Island dressing, maybe?)
  • Optional: add slices of meat and/or cheese as well

Do NOT mix ingredients -- just arrange in a nice pattern on a large plate and serve dressing separately. It looks and tastes great!

Monday, May 29, 2006


3 eggs + 2 egg yolks
1 tbsp confectioner's sugar (plus some extra for sprinkling)
1 tbsp softened butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups flour (plus some extra for kneading and rolling out)
Jelly or jam (any kind)

Beat the eggs and egg yolks for about one minute. Add sugar, butter, and salt; beat again for about 30 seconds.

Add two cups of flour and mix well with a spoon (not mixer).

Knead the dough, adding flour to prevent from sticking to your hands.

Using a small amount of dough at a time (depends on your surface; I usually use a golf-ball size at a time), roll very thin (about 1/8 inch or even thinner).

Using three sizes of cookie cutters (unless you are in a hurry -- in that case, one size works fine), cut three circles for each rosette. Stack cirlces, beginning with the largest. Press the centers together with a pen. Make about five even slits on the outer edge to form petals.

Preheat oil to about 375 F. Fry three or four rosettes at a time until they "bloom" and turn golden. Do NOT make too many rosettes before frying; I usually work with somebody else -- one makes rosettes and the other fries them.

Drain on paper towels. Lightly sprinkle with confectioner's sugar when still warm. You can also add a dab of jam or jelly to the hollow to make these treats look festive.

Do NOT sample any -- let your guests consume these extra calories. :)

Serves approximately 20 guests

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Salad "Bertran"

Found on and prepared with slight modifications.

  • Fresh cabbage, shredded (buy cole slaw cabbage to save time)
  • Whole corn (canned corn will do)
  • Olives (if you like them)
  • Chicken breast (I had a package of Italian Chicken Strips)
  • Salt, olive oil, vinegar (to taste)
  • Fresh parsley for decoration

Shred about two cups of cabbage, add corn (about 1/4 can per serving), some olives, and chicken breast (2-3 strips per serving). Add salt (about 1/4 tsp) and mix well. Add olive oil and vinegar (to taste). Decorate with finely chopped fresh parsley. That's it!

The original recipe called for 1 hard-boiled egg per serving as well as mayonaise instead of olive oil/vinegar.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Roasted Pork Chops and Garbanzos

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 4 pork chops
  • 2 cans garbanzos (chick peas)
  • Salt, pepper, bay leaves, peppercorns

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a medium saucepan, saute finely chopped onions in 1 tbsp olive oil until golden brown; mix in flour and remove from heat (flour will thicken the sauce). Trim fat off pork chops; season both sides of meat with salt and black pepper. Arrange pork chops on top of sauteed onions. Open both cans of garbanzos and pour the contens (including liquid) over pork chops. Add 2-3 bay leaves and 5-6 peppercorns.

Cover and place into a preheated oven for about 1 hour. Serve with dill pickles or tossed salad.

Cake "Alice"

This is my “signature” cake – it tastes great but does not require a lot of time and effort.


5 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup raisins and/or prunes (I usually use a mixture)
1 cup finely chopped nuts (I usually use pecans)
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup honey
1 tsp baking soda
16 oz heavy whipping cream
8 oz Daisy Regular Sour Cream
1 cup powdered sugar

  • In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with granulated sugar on low or simply use a fork.
  • Add raisins and/or prunes, finely chopped nuts, honey, flour, and baking soda.
  • Mix well – but do not beat.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Spray large round pan (approximately 11” in diameter) with cooking spray.
  • Mix batter again.
  • Pour 1/3 of batter into the pan and move from side to side for even coverage.
  • Bake until dark golden brown and testing reveals (old-fashioned poking with a stick) that it’s done.
  • If you have another pan, set this pan aside and repeat steps 8-9.
  • If you do not have another pan, carefully slide spatula under the cake from all sides until it’s no longer stuck, place an empty plate over the pan, and invert the pan; your cake should land on the plate. If this process results in cracks, don’t worry – you will be able to cover your “crime” with filling.
  • Now repeat steps 8-9.
  • Cool individual layers separately – they are very sticky!!!
  • You will end up with three cakes – three layers.
  • While cakes are cooling, prepare filling:
    a. Beat heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until very thick and there are stiff ridges. I recommend using a glass bowl.
    b. Mix in sour cream – you can beat the mixture but on low!
  • Spoon some filling on the bottom of large cake platter.
  • Place first cake-layer on top of filling.
  • Smooth about 1/3 of filling over the bottom layer – take care of sides, too.
  • Place second cake layer on top.
  • Smooth about 1/3 of filling over this layer.
  • Place third cake layer on top.
  • Smooth remaining filling over the top layer. Also, smooth sides so they look reasonably nice.
  • Decorate with shaved chocolate.
  • Refrigerate for about 24 hours.

Tomato Salad

4 ripe tomatoes
1 can pitted olives
8 oz feta cheese
1 tbsp olive oil

Slice tomatoes. Add the remaining ingredients and toss lightly. That's it!

Hawaiian Sandwich

***Found on Alpine Lace Swiss Cheese package***

1 16 oz round Hawaiian sweet bread loaf
3/4 cup deli spinach dip
4 leaf lettuce leaves
16 slices ham, chicken, or turkey
8 slices cheese (your favorite variety)
Pineapple and cherries for decoration

  • Cut bread into 10 1/2-inch slices; remove 2 small end slices.
  • Spread spinach dip over one side of remaining 8 bread slices.
  • Layer four bread slices with 1 lettuce leaf; 4 slices of ham, chicken, or turkey (I used turkey); and 2 slices of cheese.
  • Top with remaining bread slices.
  • Cut each sandwich into halves.
  • Place a slice of pineapple (I used canned but fresh would taste better, I think) and one cherry on top, secure with a toothpick.

Yield: 8 sandwiches

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ukrainian Fried Potatoes

Ah, lots of calories... very good, though. :)

2-3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced (1/4 inch)
Olive oil, 2 tbsp

Preheat olive oil in a deep skillet, add potatoes, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Add salt and mix. Check -- if almost done, cook on high until golden brown and lightly crispy; if not done, cook for a few more minutes and try again.

Some people add eggs at the end and scramble them with potatoes.

Ukrainian Roasted Potatoes and Chicken

It's a very common dish in Ukraine. Very easy, too.

3-4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (Yukon Gold is great)
1 small skinless chicken breast, cut into small chunks (can use other meat, too)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp flour
1-2 bay leaves
1-2 peppercorns
Olive oil
Salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F. Add potatoes to a deep baking pan. Lightly saute chicken in olive oil; remove and add to potatoes. Saute onions until golden brown; mix flour into onions; add mixture to the pan. Add bay leaves and peppercorns. Some people also add paprika. Add water -- just enough so it barely "peeks" through the mixture.

Bake about one hour -- check several times to prevent overcooking.

Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Healthy, easy, and tasty! :)

1-2 ripe tomatoes, chopped -- fairly large chunks
1 pickling cucumber, chopped -- fairly large chunks
1/2 finely chopped onion (small)
Salt to taste
Olive oil to taste
Optional: finely chopped garlic (just a little bit)

Mix tomatoes, cucumber, and onions. Salt to taste. Important -- do NOT add oil before salt; salt doesn't dissolve in oil. If you like garlic (I don't), add just a little bit. Add olive oil to taste.

Takes only a few minutes but looks festive and tastes great.

Salad "Spring"

One of my favorite salads...

2 pickling cucumbers (small), peeled chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 bunch green onions, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Mayonnaise or salad dressing to taste

Mix cucumbers, eggs, and onions. Add salt to taste. Mayonnaise is used in the original recipe; if you don't like mayo, use salad dressing (don't put too much, though).

Serve immediately -- becomes watery if left for more than one hour. Tastes great in whole wheat pita or as a side dish.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sticky Rice with Mango

I spent one month in Thailand last year and my favorite dish was Sticky Rice with Mango, Chiang Mai specialty. Mangoes were on sale last week so I bought several and prepared this dish for our weekend dessert.

1 cup uncooked Jasmine Rice (A Taste of Thai)
1 can A Taste of Thai Coconut Milk (do NOT buy light -- it's too watered down and tastes like soap)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 mangoes

Cover rice with cold water and rinse until the water runs clear; drain. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups of water to a boil. Add rice, stirring briefly to prevent sticking. Reduce heat to low simmer (I use Low setting on my electric stove), cover, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the water is absorbed; stir frequently.

In a saucepan, combine coconut milk, sugar, and salt. Heat until almost boiling, stirring frequently. Pour coconut mixture into cooked rice. Stir well to prevent clumping. Cover and let rest for about 30 minutes.

Peel and slice mangoes; arrange on individual dessert plates. Spoon the rice. Enjoy!

Grilled Vegetable and Chicken Salad

Adopted from

My parents came for a short visit so I decided to try this new dish. Dad had an open-heart surgery last year so he really has to watch the diet; this salad was perfect for him.

  • 1 grilled green pepper
  • 1 grilled red pepper
  • 1 grilled yellow pepper
  • 8 oz sauteed portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 16 oz package grilled chicken breast
  • Zesty Italian Reduced Fat Dressing

Cut peppers into strips, toss with 1/2 cup of the dressing. Broil for about 10 minutes. Grilling over medium coals would be even better but I didn't want to bother with firing up the grill.

Saute mushrooms for 3-4 minutes in 1 tbsp olive oil.

Toss mushrooms, peppers, and chicken with some dressing; to taste.

Serve with fresh crusty bread.

Bon appetit!