Egg Roll Stir Fry


It’s all the goodness of an egg roll minus the egg roll wrapper. The husband has requested this to be placed into regular rotation.


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. pork sausage
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 head of cabbage, sliced into shreds
  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 – 4 inch fresh ginger root, peeled & finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce


Brown the ground beef and pork sausage with the onions in a large skillet. Do not drain.

While the meat and onions are cooking, cut cabbage in half and then cut into thin shreds (or use a grater if you don’t like long shreds); set aside. Peel the carrots and then cut the ends off the carrots. Using the peeler, shave the carrot into thin slices; set aside.

Combine the garlic, ginger, pepper, sesame oil, vegetable oil and soy sauce in a small bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.

Add the cabbage and carrots to the meat mixture and cook and stir over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce mixture until full incorporated. Reduce heat to medium, add lid to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes until the cabbage and carrots are tender.

Adapted from:


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Jamie Oliver’s Basic Hummus Recipe


I know I’ve said it before, and I’ll likely say it again, I’m always so amazed that recipes with the exact same ingredients can vary so much in taste based on the amounts of said ingredients. What can I say? I’m a simple girl and easily impressed. This makes my third hummus recipe I’ve posted here and my personal favorite. Third times a charm!

At one of my favorite Mediterranean restaurants in town, I spied on the back of their menu that they sell bottles of their Fattoush salad dressing and packages of their pita bread. Sold! My two favorite things on their menu. I was surprised to find out they don’t make their own pita bread, but rather buy it. The waitress asked if we had a George Foreman grill at home & we do. She instructed me to brush each side of the pita bread lightly with olive oil and then place it in the George to warm and crisp up just slightly prior to serving the hummus. Mmm! So good!


  • 2 cans of chickpeas (reserve the liquid)
  • 4 tsp. tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 6 tbsp. good quality extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
  • 3 1/2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Paprika for the top (optional)
  • Parsley for the top (optional)


Rinse the chickpeas in cold water and add to the food processor. Add the tahini, crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice and seven tablespoons of the reserved liquid from the cans of chickpeas. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour in the oil while it runs.

When the mixture is fully combined and smooth, transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil and garnish with paprika, parsley, cut up Roma tomatoes, and Kalamata olives, if desired.



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Chocolate Espresso Scones


Just looking at this picture makes my mouth begin to water and I’m tempted to pour myself a tall glass of cold milk to go with this scone even though they are long gone. A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine was scheduled for knee surgery. All she knew prior to the appointment was that she would either have a *simple* Meniscus repair or a full fledged knee replacement, but the doctor wouldn’t know for sure until he was in there. Gee, toss a coin, I’d opt for the repair vs. the total knee. As luck would have it, that’s all she needed. I gave her a few days of recovery time before I made her these tasty treats.


for the scones:

  •  2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup Cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. espresso powder
  • 8 tbsp. cold butter, cut in chunks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, plus more if needed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chunks

for the espresso chocolate glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • milk or cream to thin


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Add the dry ingredients of the scones to the bowl of a processor and pulse to combine. Add in the chunks of cold butter and pulse several times until the mixture is crumbly. Pour the buttermilk into a measuring cup and then add the egg and vanilla and blend it together with a fork or whisk. While the machine is running, pour the liquid in a steady stream until the dough comes together.  If the dough seems too crumbly and dry, add a little more buttermilk. Stir in the dark chocolate chunks, distributing evenly. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times. Shape into an 8 or 9 inch round and then cut into 6 or 8 triangles and add to the already prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 -14 minutes.

Transfer to a rack to cool completely before drizzling with the glaze.

For the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Add the vanilla extract and just a tablespoon or two of milk or cream to the sugar mixture and stir well to fully incorporate ingredients. Add more milk a teaspoon at a time until you have a thick glaze.

Adapted from:

Note: These were great the day of. The following day; however, they were a bit more dry than I like my scones so in the future, I might swap out the buttermilk for sour cream or greek yogurt to see if that helps maintain the moisture content.



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Chicken & Chorizo Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Chicken & Chorizo Stuffed Poblano Peppers

No commentary necessary. Just good food.


  • 6 Poblano peppers
  • 1/2 lb. cubed chicken
  • 1/2 lb. chorizo
  • 2 tbsps. oil
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for the top)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. chili powder


Preheat oven to 375°. In a large skillet, over medium high heat, heat the oil and add the chicken and chorizo. Crumble the chorizo and cook until chorizo is browned and the chicken has cooked all the way through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil.

Rinse and dry the poblanos and cut in half, lengthwise. Remove the seeds and membrane.

In a large mixing bowl, add the meat, black beans, 1 1/2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, and spices and mix well until fully incorporated. Lightly spray a baking dish with non-stick spray and add in the peppers. Poblanos can be a bit wonky and not necessarily flat, but once nestled into the baking dish alongside the other peppers, it works just fine. Stuff the peppers full with the mixture and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle remaining cheese over the tops and return to the oven until cheese is melted.



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Loaded Cauliflower Mash

Loaded Cauliflower Mash

I don’t have anything against potatoes. I really don’t. I like them and eat them regularly whether that be baked, roasted, mashed, fried, or sliced and diced. However, say you’re watching your carb intake or trying different vegetables or you’re out of potatoes, but the main course would really be complemented by a potato, you can improvise with a head of cauliflower. If done right, you can be ninja sneaky and prepare said cauliflower, add it to the dinner table and no one would be the wiser that what they were enjoying wasn’t really potatoes after all.


  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 block of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • cheddar cheese, shredded
  • S&P
  • 4-5 slices of bacon, cooked & diced


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the florets into a microwave safe covered baking dish and steam on high for 4 minutes. Transfer the florets to a bowl and using a mixer (or masher), combine the florets, cream cheese, and sour cream and blend on high until smooth. Season with S&P, per taste. Stir in some shredded cheese, half of the green onions, and half of the bacon and transfer back to the baking dish, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top with additional cheese and bacon. Return to the oven, without the lid, and back for another 5-10 minutes until top is golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and top with additional green onions. Serve and enjoy.

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Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

Lemon Curd Mousse Cake

Admittedly, this is not a good picture for a variety of reasons: the partial lighting, the shadow, the disheveled surface of the lemon curd on top (I’ll explain later), the scratches on the plate etc., etc., but you know what? Like I used to tell the girls when they were little: “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” The sole purpose of this blog is for me to house my recipes (both trials and tribulations), my girls (for the day they eventually move out and into their own homes), my friends and family (who better to swap recipes with and cook for?), and lastly, for the random person scrolling through who happens to see something they might like and want to try. I’m not in this little corner of the web for the likes (nope!), money (ha!), or fame (I cringe!). I’m a social worker for God’s sake! While I usually try to get the best picture available with my trusty iPhone, I’m not going to let it interfere with the occasion. And this occasion was to celebrate my dad’s 76th birthday in July. He’s the youngest 76 year old I know!

I’ve likely mentioned before that my dad HEARTS lemon big time so when I came across this recipe months ago, I knew he was the sole reason for which I would make it. It looked a bit daunting at first with homemade lemon curd and all, which I’d never made, but I acknowledged my fear and then tossed it aside. Isn’t that what we do when we love someone? For the right reasons, anyhow. Plus, you never know until you try it, and try it I did, and it was a success. In the event I make it again, I will forgo reserving some of the mousse to decorate the top with rosettes. Decorating is not my forte even with the easy peasy Wilton tips. So, while I did it, I removed it from the top of the cake before taking the picture because it simply was not aesthetic, and hey, this girl knows her strengths, and that is not one of them. That is why the lemon curd is dented a bit. Not only did I remove it, I then tried to smooth it out and well, you know what happened there. Nevertheless, it tasted great and my dad was happy. What more can a daughter ask for?

Recipe source & notes:

*I found the notes to be incredibly valuable and efficient. I read them several times before starting (and even during) the process. They were very useful so that’s why I included them after the recipe.


for the curd:

  • 2 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 tsps. cornstarch
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

for the crust:

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (I used Keebler’s Simply Made Butter cookies)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

for the mousse:

  • 5 tablespoons water
  • 4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream


for the curd:

Mix sugar and cornstarch in heavy medium sized saucepan. Gradually add lemon juice, whisking until all cornstarch dissolves. Whisk in eggs and yolks. Add butter.

Stir over medium heat until curd thickens and boils, about 12 to 15 minutes. You’ll want to make this on the thick side – make sure it coats the back of the spoon well and leaves a very distinct line.

Transfer to medium bowl, press plastic wrap onto the surface of the curd and chill until cold. The chilling time will vary, usually four to six hours. This can be made a week ahead.

for the crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 8 or 9 inch diameter spring form pan with nonstick spray.

Blend cookie crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press onto bottom of pan. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Cool.

for the mousse:

Pour 5 tablespoons water into small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over, If necessary, gently press down on the gelatin to submerge. Let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir 3/4 cup curd in another small saucepan over medium-low heat until very warm.

Place an additional 1 3/4 cups lemon curd in large bowl.

As soon as the gelatin has softened, stir over low heat until dissolved and liquid is clear (do not boil).

Whisk warm gelatin mixture into the 3/4 cup warm curd. Gradually whisk gelatin-curd mixture into the 1 3/4 cups of curd in large bowl.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until whites are thick and glossy. Fold whites into curd mixture in 3 additions.

Using same beaters and bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into egg white-curd mixture in 3 additions.

Spoon enough mousse over cooled crust to fill pan completely, but make sure to save at least a cup and a half into small bowl and reserve. Cover and chill mousse cake, reserved mousse, and remaining curd overnight.

Note: if there is a concern about the raw egg whites, use pasteurized eggs or heat the whites and the sugar over a double boiler, whisking constantly until temperature reaches 160 degrees. Remove from the heat immediately.

to serve:

Using a long thin knife, cut around cake to loosen. Remove pan sides. Gently spread 3/4 cup of remaining curd over cake. (I prefer to refrigerate the cake at this point and take the reserved mousse out to warm up to room temperature or close to it, about an hour.)

Transfer reserved mousse to pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe rosettes of mousse around top edge of cake. Chill cake until ready to serve. (Can be made up to 8 hours ahead.)


  • First of all, the cake has to be refrigerated for quite a while for the mousse to properly set up so it’s a great make ahead recipe. You’ll need to allow for this; at least 8 hours, preferably overnight. That makes this a beautiful recipe to make ahead for a part or event. I like to start two days ahead with the lemon curd and crust.
  • The lemon curd needs to be made several hours ahead of the mousse (at least 4 to 6 hours) and the crust has to be baked and cooled before assembly. If you do both of these steps a day before you make the mousse you’ll make it much easier on yourself.
  • When I make the curd, I strain the eggs and egg yolks before adding them especially if I can see quite a bit of the white chalazae. It really just depends on the eggs, not the skill of the cook. I don’t worry about the whites going into the mousse. It’s much easier to strain the eggs than the finished curd.
  • Speaking of eggs, this recipe does contain raw egg white, so be aware of the safety aspects. You can use pasteurized eggs or do what I do and put the egg whites and sugar in a double boiler and gently heat, whisking, before whipping into stiff peaks.
  • You’ll use a lot of eggs! 4 yolks plus 4 whole eggs in the curd and 6 egg whites for the mousse. That’s 10 eggs. Do yourself a favor and separate the ones that need to be separated all at once. Set aside your four whole eggs for the mousse, then divide the 6 eggs and yolks. You’ll put all six whites aside in the fridge for the mousse the next day. For the yolks, you’ll be using four and have two extra.
  • Instructions say to make this in an 8 inch spring form pan; I did today, but usually make it in a 9″ pan. In my very standard spring forms, with an 8″ the crust is quite thick and I end up with about 4 cups of mousse left over. In a 9″ the measurements work out a bit better. Although, you’ll lose just a touch of drama in the width to height ration, it’s still plenty high. I like how a bite of this cake, when made in the 9″ pan, has a good ration of curd to mousse.
  • While the recipe says the filling should be even with the top of the pan, I try to very gently smooth so there is a very teensy rise, not even noticeable, about 1/4″ around the edge. That helps keep the curd in place. Also, don’t put the curd all the way to the outside edge. Leave a slight border; otherwise, when you pipe the rosettes, the curd will be pushed to the edge and drip down the side and may even take the rosettes with it.
  • The crust is good with shortbread or gingersnaps. I look for Lorna Doone or Walker shortbread cookies. Today I used Sandies and I used 21 of them.
  • When working with the gelatin and curd, make sure to follow the instructions closely. Heat the gelatin gently while stirring until it is no longer opaque. It won’t really be “clear” as the recipe states and there may be a little foaminess from the stirring. You can check it by running a bit of the liquid between your fingers. It if’s perfectly smooth and warm, it’s good to go.
  • Make sure to stir the gelatin into the warm curd, then whisk it into the large bowl that contains the 1 3/4 cups of curd. These steps prevent the gelatin from setting prematurely in the cold curd and causing lumps. I do not find this tastes of, or find the texture, to be at all gelatinous using the four teaspoons of gelatin.
  • When you add the curd to the top layer, DON’T STIR IT! It will very likely turn watery. Just gently spoon across the top and nudge it into place, smooth it a little and it will find it’s level. This isn’t a thick, thick curd, so don’t use it for other cake recipes and expect it to stand up.
  • I like to spread the curd on the Lemon Curd Mousse cake while it’s in the pan and then refrigerate again for at least an hour. I generally bring the remaining mousse up to room temperature during that time and pipe the rosettes on right before serving.
  • While this extra chilling step is really not strictly necessary, it will help keep the curd from getting too drippy.
  • Many people complain this dessert is too sweet. Feel free to cut back on the sugar, but served in fairly thin slices (it’s supposed to serve 12) and served well chilled, I think it’s perfect. If there’s any left over, I find people will literally bicker for any remaining slices.
  • Don’t expect this to travel well for long periods of time, and if you are, bring the well chilled cake in the spring form pan, along with the rest of the curd and mousse and your piping bag along with to assemble at the destination & keep it cold.








Posted in Cake, Desserts | 5 Comments

French Onion Chicken

French Onion Chicken

One of my all time favorite soups is French Onion Soup. For me, it’s the perfect soup with the broth, the onions, and of course, the bread and cheese. So good! It’s not for everyone, this I know and anticipated as much when I made this dish. Mostly, my husband is happy simply when I cook, but I knew ahead of time this would be my dish, not his. And the girls? Of course not, but when I made it, they were on vacation with their grandparents. Note to self: when I make this next time, halve the recipe because even with as much as I enjoyed it, I got burned out on it.


  • 2 lbs. Vidalia onions, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsps. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed (I used chicken thighs)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsps. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1 baguette, sliced


Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add onions and stir to coat with oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook onions, stirring occasionally to avoid burning until onions are tender and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Place cooked onions in a small dish and set aside.

Return skillet to stove over medium heat and add remaining olive oil. Season chicken with S&P and thyme. Add chicken and cook until all sides are brown and cooked thoroughly. Transfer chicken from skillet to a plate. Increase temperature to high. Add in beef broth and deglaze skillet. Reduce temperature back to medium. Gradually whisk in flour until broth is thickened. Season with a pinch of S&P and thyme.

Stir in cooked chicken and onions until combined with beef gravy. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese and place in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until cheese in melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with a pinch of thyme if desired. To serve, place a few baguette slices in a shallow bowl. Top with chicken and gravy. Bake for 15-18 minutes.




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