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Ottolenghi’s Cauliflower Cake And Apple Pear Crumble With Creamy Cider Syrup


I just have to say what a lifesaver it has been to have the guest posts. I have been so extremely busy I really haven’t cooked much of anything and most of what I have cooked is not noteworthy enough to blog about. Thank you so much to everyone who has submitted guest posts, you truly are amazing. I also have been delinquent in reading and commenting on your blogs. I will not be able to catch up there are just too many, once Halloween is done I should be able to breathe and get back to my routine.


Searching through the hundreds of cookbooks I have (and rarely use) I happened upon this recipe from “Plenty More” by Yotam Ottolenghi. Since my latests obsession is cauliflower this immediately grabbed my attention, the list of ingredients sounds delicious, I decided this is a recipe I have to try. It does contain some flour, one cup of all purpose flour but I subbed spelt flour making it lower in carbs and more healthful. It’s a simple recipe, easy to put together and with my current crazy busy schedule this was a must. I really do love Ottolenghi’s cookbooks, the photo’s are drool worthy and recipes are not complex they use simple ingredients but how they put it all together is genius.


Cauliflower Cake

from Plenty More- Yotam Ottolenghi

Serves 6-8

1 small head cauliflower broken into 1 1/2 inch florets

1 medium onion (recipe calls for  a red onion)

5 tbs olive oil (I didn’t measure)

1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

7 large eggs

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1 cup all purpose flour (I used spelt flour)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/3 tsp turmeric

1 1/2 cups grated parmesan or your favorite grating cheese

melted butter for brushing – about 1 tbs

1 tbs white sesame seeds

1 tsp nigella seeds (I misplaced them so just used sesame)

salt and pepper to taste

Pre heat oven to 400 degree’s

Place cauliflower florets in saucepan filled with salted water, simmer for 15 minutes until the florets are quite soft, they should break when pressed with a spoon. Drain and set aside in a colander.

Cut 4 round slices approximately 1/4 inch thick from one end of the onion and set aside. Coursely chop the rest of the onion and place in a pan with some olive oil and the rosemary. Cook for 1o minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer the onions to a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and basil and whisk well, then add the flour, baking powder, turmeric, cheese and 1 tsp salt (I used less salt) and plenty of ground pepper stir to combine and add the cauliflower stirring gently so as not to break up the florets.

Line the base and sides of a 9 1/2 inch springform pan with parchment paper. Brush the sides with melted butter then mix together the sesame and nigella seeds and toss them in the pan and swirl the pan around so that the seeds stick to the buttered sides. Pour the cauliflower mixture in the pan smooth the top and arrange the onion rings on top ( I sprinkled some of the grated cheese on top as well). Place in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown and set. A knife inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave for at least 20 minutes before serving. It should be served warm or at room temperature rather than hot.


For Dessert was an apple Pear crumble using no refined sugar and almost no flour. To sweeten the fruit and crumble I used a little bit of maple syrup and served it with a creamy cider reduction, again made completely without sugar. The natural sweetness of the cider when cooked down into a syrup is intensely sweet, I softened it with a little heavy cream (to make even more decadent you could add a little butter also) and the end product was amazing on this simple crumble. The cider syrup would be great on oatmeal, pancakes or waffles also, instead of adding cream just add a little butter.

This dessert is great and you don’t feel badly eating it, you could even use a little less maple syrup because the cider syrup is sweet enough that you would never know that this is not loaded with sugar.


Apple Pear Crumble

Made 2

Crumble topping

1/4 cup whole oats

1/4 cup spelt flour

2 tbs toasted hazelnut flour (or any nut flour)

pinch of salt

2 tbs softened (not melted) coconut oil

1 tbs cold butter

2 tbs maple syrup

Mix everything together with your fingers until it is blended completely (it will look more like a cookie dough). Pre heat oven to 375 degree’s

2 -3 apples  (if you don’t have pear use 3 apples)

1 ripe pear

1 tbs maple syrup

pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and salt

Peel and slice the apples and pears. Oil or butter the baking dish, mix the fruit with the maple syrup, spices and salt, lay the fruit in the pan. Add the crumble topping and pour a little apple cider over it. Bake for 30-40 minutes until crumble is browned and fruit is soft.  Note: The crumble topping was patted into place rather than dropping in crumbles, after baking I broke it up  kind of like a cookie crust.


Creamy Cider Syrup

Apple cider

Heavy cream

Pour about 1 cup cider in saucepan  over medium high heat until reduced to a very thick syrup, it took about 20 minutes. One cup of cider reduced to about 1/4 cup of syrup. The more cider you use the longer it will take to reduce of course. One cup of cider in a saucepan took a little over 20 minutes on medium high heat.

Reduces to almost nothing

Reduces to almost nothing you can see my hand reflected in the pan, LOL.

Add some heavy cream about 2 tbs and continue to cook another 30 seconds approximately. The sauce will be thick.

Spoon over the crumble and enjoy.



Guest Post- The Frugal Hausfrau

I am thrilled to introduce Mollie –The Frugal Hausfrau. One look at her delicious recipes and beautiful blog and you will be hooked. Her food is home style with an elegant twist, whether a main course, side or dessert you will be drooling. She is one of sweetest and kindest people I know and I have to mention that she is the force behind Throw Back Thursday. Allow me to introduce Mollie, if you don’t already know her I know you will love her as much as I do. Take it away Mollie. One more thing, she hit the nail on the head when she chose this recipe, it has my name written all over it.


I’m so happy to be here today with a guest post for Suzanne. When she put out the call, I jumped. Here’s a woman who does so much for everyone whether she’s just inspiring quietly in her own way, stopping by with lovely comments and encouragement, or working for fundraisers and charities.

I admire Suzanne and her cooking style and over the years I must have read nearly every post Suzanne has ever put out. I’d like to think I have a handle on her taste and I want to be mindful of the healthy direction she’s been moving toward.

So I found some inspiration in a recipe for a roasted cauliflower from Martha Stewart, changed it up a bit and added an Italian flair, just for Suzanne. I used my fave Fennel Spice Rub, and it’s worth making, even if it is and extra step. After your first taste you’ll want to sprinkle that magic on everything!

The nutty roasted cauliflower steaks in this dish are gorgeous with the mushrooms, and those mushrooms – oh my gosh, they’re golden brown and nutty and the flavor intensifies with the roasting. I used Baby Bellas, but just about any mushroom or a combination would be wonderful.

And oh, yeah, I can’t forget the cheese. Just a smidge…it’s wafer thin. If you’re not as old as I am, you might not get the joke…Google it!🙂 l left a section of the cauliflower steaks “nude” so you could see what it looks like before the cheese.

Then to top it all off, I went a little crazy and added my rather loose interpretation of a Chermoula Sauce (optional) made from the last vestiges of my dying garden. That piquant green sauce, kind of like a Chimichurri, adds a bright counterpart to the earthy dish.

I hope you all like it! Be prepared to have a use for the extra cauliflower if you have any.


Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Chermoula Sauce

1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 4 inch thick slices
3/8ths cup of olive oil, approximately
8 ounces mushrooms, shiitake, cremini or a combination, cut into 3/8″ slices
2 slices rustic bread, or enough so stacked it will be about 1″ thick, crusts removed and torn into small pieces, about 1/2 inch across
1 teaspoon (or to taste) Fennel Spice rub (see below) or salt and pepper to taste
4 thin slices of Provolone
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Position racks, one each in the upper and lower third of oven.


Prepare the ingredients:

Rub the cauliflower on both sides with olive oil, season with the Fennel Spice Rub and place on a single layer of a rimmed baking sheet.
Toss the mushrooms with about 2 to 3 tablespoons oil and spread on a second baking sheet.
Toss the breadcrumbs with the remaining oil and set aside.
Place cauliflower on the upper rack and bake for about 10 minutes. When the time is up, add the mushrooms on the lower rack and roast for 12-15 minutes more, until the bottom of the cauliflower is golden brown.

Flip the cauliflower and mushrooms, sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the mushrooms and continue to roast both trays for another 10 minutes.

Remove the trays and combine the mushrooms and cauliflower. Spread into a single layer, top with cheese and place back in the oven for three to four minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

Serve immediately.

Fennel Spice Rub:

1 tablespoon Fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Coriander seeds
3/4 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 teaspoon sea salt
Toast seeds and peppercorns in a small skillet, tossing often until fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool before crushing. When cool, crush using a blender, mortar and pestle or pan. Mix with the salt. Store excess in small container or zip type bag.


Chermoula Sauce, about 1/2 cup

3 tablespoons crushed nuts, hazelnut or pecans
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander
3/4 cups of roughly chopped herbs and greens, lightly packed, parsley, cilantro, arugula are good choices
1 teaspoon orange zest, reserve 1/2 the orange if juice is needed
1/4 teaspoon garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
pinch or two of salt
Mix all ingredients together in blender, blend until a cohesive sauce is made. If necessary add a little orange juice to get the blender moving.

Guest Post – Keralas Creative Kitchen

The next guest post comes from Sumith whose amazing blog Keralas Creative Kitchen is a compilation of delicious recipes and artistic food styling. I was so thrilled that he agreed to do a guest post for me. Thank you so much Sumith this is a gorgeous dish and everyone please visit his blog you will be inspired and amazed because it is about much more than just cooking.  Sumith takes you on a journey of the senses, an artistic romp with food. I hope you enjoy, follow the link below to see this post.

Thank you Sumith!!


Spiced Stir Fried Sirloin Steak- Sense of touch in cooking and eating food


Guest Post From The Thankful Heart

When I asked for some help from everyone with guest posts I was thrilled and honored that so many of you wonderful and talented people stepped up to help me out. If you don’t already know her I want to introduce you to Rhonda, her lovely blog The Thankful Heart is not just chock full of delicious recipes and stunning photography but it also gives us a peek at her beautiful family and unwavering faith. She is truly an inspiration and I want to thank Rhonda for sharing two of her great recipes with us all.

Without further ado I want to introduce you all to Rhonda, The Thankful Heart.


Hi friends– It’s September and the oven has been put back to good use around. I’ve been baking up a storm. And nothing smells so good coming out of the oven as something laced with cinnamon. This little muffins are kind of second cousin to cinnamon rolls, lots of the same flavor and the crunchy nuts, but a whole lot less time and effort is involved.

I made them for our lovable group of 20 & 30 something’s who come in on Thursday nights– and the muffins all disappeared! I love baking for those guys– such an appreciative group of eaters. And just all around fun to spend an evening with them.


1 cup brown sugar
1 tab. cinnamon
1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3 tab. melted butter

2 cups flour
1 tab. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 cup milk

2 oz. cream cheese (1/4 of a block), softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tab. milk
few drops of vanilla


First make the topping. Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Then completely fold in the melted butter. Set this aside for later.

For the muffins, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Then mix in the oil, egg and milk. (The batter will be stiff.) Take 1/2 cup of the brown sugar topping mixture and stir it into the batter.

Use muffin papers or spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray– then scoop the batter into the muffin tin. Put of spoonful of the brown sugar topping on top of each muffin, patting it down a bit with the spoon to make it stick well to the batter.

Bake them up at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes until firm to the touch.

While they are baking, make the frosting. I softened the cream cheese in the microwave for a few seconds. Then with a whisk, beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk and the vanilla. If the frosting seems runny enough to drizzle over the muffins from a spoon, that’s great! If it is too thick, add the second spoon of milk and blend it completely.

Drizzle that luscious frosting over the muffins, hot from the oven and enjoy that cinnamon smell while you do it! Scrumptious eaten with friends and mugs of tea.


Cheddar Zucchini Rice
Posted on August 4, 2016 by Rhonda Sittig

Hey there– here’s a new favorite side dish, easy, fast, fresh and creamy delicious. It is a good match for a whole list of main dishes. I made it a couple weeks ago when my dear friend Jenon came for dinner– lime salmon, asparagus, sturdy bread, a bright salad and this yummy rice. Add in easy conversation with an old friend and it makes a fine dinner…

2 tab. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup rice
2 cups water
1/2 tsp. salt
2 zucchini, grated to shreds
1 cup grated cheddar cheese*
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Stir in the garlic and cook 30 seconds over low heat. Then stir in the rice, water and salt. Bring up to a low simmer and cook 10 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Stir the uncooked, grated zucchini and the cheddar into the hot rice. Taste and add salt and/or pepper if you want to season it a bit more. Easy, beautiful and delish!

*I used Colby-jack cheese, any easy melting cheese will do.

Roasted Chicken And Vegetable Dinner


The method I use for both chicken and turkey is pretty much the opposite of the way most people prepare it. The usual method is to start out in a high oven temperature for a short time and then lower the temperature to finish cooking, the chicken or turkey is also roasted uncovered. For turkey I use my black and white speckled enamel graniteware pan which is where I learned about steam roasting. The poultry turns out moist and delicious every time and also cooks in record time. Today I made a small chicken, about 4 1/2 lbs, my graniteware is huge so that wouldn’t work for this little bird. A cast iron pan is great to roast chicken in, everything just seems to turn out perfectly. The chicken was done in a little less than 2 hours (this includes both rounds in the oven and resting time),  I then roasted the potatoes, shallot and carrot in the same pan with the drippings. My Mom made chicken like this and always added the vegetables in with the chicken,  I remember it being one of my favorite meals that she made.

I have been a bad girl and have not gone to the party at Angies for a few weeks so this week I am bringing this chicken and roasted vegetable dinner with me to the party. Fiesta Friday #140 is co hosted this week by the talented and beautiful Julie @ Hostess at Heart and Linda @ Fabulous Fare Sisters


Chicken With Pan Roasted Vegetables

Serves 4 generously

1 whole chicken 4-5 lbs

1 whole shallot

1/2 lemon

3-4 sprigs thyme

handful of parsley

olive oil

salt and pepper

potatoes (I used micro potatoes)


shallot or onion

Heat oven to 375 degree’s. Coat the bottom of your cast iron skillet with olive oil. Wash and pat dry the chicken.  Place in the pan and drizzle olive oil on the skin of the chicken and rub so that it covers the entire chicken. Sprinkle a little salt in the cavity, had lemon half (cut in half) shallot, handful parsley, 3 sprigs of thyme.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and drizzle a little more olive oil, squeeze the other half of the lemon in the pan. Cover tightly with foil and roast for 50-60 minutes. Take chicken out of the oven and remove the foil, increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Put the chicken back in the oven uncovered for approximately 20-30 minutes, just until nicely browned. Remove from oven and place the chicken in foil on a sheet pan,  spoon some of the pan juices on the chicken and cover it to keep the chicken warm.

Put the potatoes, carrots and shallots in the pan with the drippings, stir around to coat the vegetables, season if you need to but I didn’t. Place another sprig or two of thyme in the pan and roast uncovered at 425 until vegetables are browned and tender approximately 20-30 minutes.  At the end I put the chicken back in the pan with the vegetables, place back in the oven (after I turned it off but it was still hot) for about 10 minutes to heat through. Serve immediately.


Guest Post- Cheryl “Cheffie Cooks” Wiser

Over the next few weeks I will be highlighting some of the wonderful bloggers I know who have stepped up to do guest posts. First is my dear friend Cheryl whose blog Cheryl “Cheffie Cooks” Wiser is one I have been following for a while now, I have mentioned Cheryl before on several occasions, she manages 9 blogs, 5 children and about a thousand other things all at once. How does she do it, well, I wish I knew, and she seems to do it all seamlessly. Cheryl is sharing her recipe for a seasonal favorite, Pumpkin Nut Bread.  Thank you so much Cheryl.


A Special Post for Suzanne!
I hope you will enjoy this easy and tasty Pumpkin Nut Bread for the Fall-Autumn months ahead.

Pumpkin Nut Bread

Yields one loaf (approx. 16 slices).
1-2/3rds cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 Beaten large Eggs
one 15.5 ounce Pumpkin Pie Filling ( I use Libby’s brand, any will work)
1/4 cup Canola Oil
1/4 cup Cold water
1/2 Cup chopped Walnuts (or pecans)
Optional 1/3 cup golden raisins
I use a food processor but you can use a mixing bowl and hand mixer, add dry ingredients into processor and pulse to combine, add wet ingredients and run processor to fully incorporate batter. Fold in chopped nuts and optional raisins. Transfer to a prepared 5″ x 9″ Loaf pan and bake @ 350 for 65 minutes. Allow to cool, remove from loaf pan and slice.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.
Thanks to Suzanne for allowing me to share a recipe with you all.
Cheryl “Cheffie Cooks” Wiser.

Cauliflower Mash


My food choices lately are really pretty uninteresting and I apologize for that, my food repertoire is not that varied. Right now I am eating what works for me and my schedule and my taste and maybe later I will do a little more experimentation. This is not a recipe, and I am sure that many of you have made or tasted cauliflower as a subsitute for potatoes. It looks just like them, and really tastes very close but doesn’t have the high carb count that potatoes do. I put butter and sour cream or cream in the cauliflower just like I do potatoes. I don’t really count carbs but as a comparison I wanted to see what the difference is. One cup of cooked or raw cauliflower is 5 carbs and 1 medium size potato is 37, big difference. If you have leftover mashed cauliflower you can make soup with it, simply add some vegetable or chicken stock or even water, heat it up and you have creamy cauliflower soup.

Request: I would love to have some of you do guest posts, if you would like to please let me know in the comment section and I will contact you, or you can email me directly my email address is listed on the site. I would love to schedule several guest blog posts. Thanks so much.

I don’t know how cauliflower mash is usually prepared but here is what I did and it worked great.

Cauliflower Mash

Makes approximately 6-8 servings

1 large head cauliflower cleaned and cut into florets

3 tbs softened or room temperature butter (2 when you blend or process and one on top when serving)

approximately 1/4 cup hot cream, milk, half and half or sour cream (that has been brought to room temperature)

salt and pepper to taste

Place cauliflower florets in pot of salted water and boil until tender. Drain. Turn oven to 200 degree’s and put the cauliflower on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for about 45 minutes so that it dries out.  The reason for this step is that Cauliflower absorbs liquid almost like a sponge and if you process the cauliflower straight from the boiling water it will be more like soup.  NOTE: Alternately you can steam the cauliflower which would prevent it from absorbing so much water so the time in the oven to dry would be less, maybe 15 minutes.)

Put the cauliflower straight from the oven into the blender or food processor breaking it up into small pieces. add the butter, salt and pepper and a little cream or sour cream. Blend or process until smooth adding more cream as needed so that it’s the right consistency.

Dinner of roasted chicken, cauliflower mash and oven roasted asparagus

Dinner of roasted chicken, cauliflower mash and oven roasted asparagus

Percy is going to go to a Pug Meetup Halloween party next weekend and I am working on his costume, the cape was made by one of our Instagram friends at Fauxpaws Accessories. I am trying to find him a white tuxedo type bib to go underneath the cape and an amulet as well, I won’t push my luck with vampire teeth.

Notice a similarity?

Notice a similarity? Bela would be proud!


Block Party, Tofu, And It’s Finally Autumn


It has been a crazy few weeks, the last week especially. Saturday the 24th our block association (I happen to be President)  had our annual block party and the planning and preparation was non stop,  I was so nervous, hoping and praying that it did not rain. The last block party was cancelled because of heavy rain and one thing for certain is that you cannot control Mother Nature.  I watched the weather report every day and was so pleased that the weather was beautiful, we started out with some rain in the morning but it cleared to a bright, sunny slightly cool day. Everything went well, a few technical issues but our neighbors all banded together and the problem was solved. The block party is carefully orchestrated and members of our block all work together as a team. I started in June by filling out all the paperwork for a city permit which includes closing our street to cars, getting a sound permit from the police, getting insurance for the day among other things we have to do to prepare. We always have a blow up bouncy castle for the children to play in, this year we were so lucky that the local police precinct brought their rock climbing wall, the police supervise the children and make sure they are safe. We hired a DJ so there was great music and we collaborated with the local elementary school which is on the block and they provided a rock band comprised of students who attend after school programs at the Brooklyn Music School, they were amazing. When they played Nirvana’s great song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” the crowd went wild. All in all a great day for our neighborhood, we grilled burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers and fish, there were assorted beverages and we had a bake sale.

rock climbing wall

rock climbing wall- not our block but thats what the wall looked like

It is starting to feel like Fall, up until a few days before the party it was almost 90 degree’s, humid and pretty miserable. All of a sudden, there is a slight chill in the air and the telltale signs of Fall are slowely becoming apparent. Today walking to the store I noticed they were setting out beautiful  Mums, I love the colors and when displayed with pumpkins it makes such a beautiful Fall decoration, some local shops have painted fall scenes on their windows, our neighborhood seems to come alive at this time of year. The days are shorter and I am so happy to not be using my air conditioner which has run non stop the entire summer, it was so unbearably hot. I am looking forward to Halloween, a favorite holiday of mine, there is nothing about this time of year that I don’t like.

I’ve barely had time to cook or post on the blog, and have been absent on all social media as well. I continue with the change in my eating, avoiding sugar, grains, flour etc… but have not cut dairy or fats and I’ve lost weight. This is going to be a life style change for me, it’s not a diet, of course there will be times when I indulge but I plan on staying on this course for the long run. For the block party I had a bake sale and made cookies and cupcakes, I gave some to neighbors and the police and sold the rest. I love making cupcakes and made vanilla and chocolate using my favorite chocolate cake recipe from Hershey’s Cocoa can and my Tender Yellow Cake recipe for the vanilla cupcakes. The frosting is a simple vanilla buttercream using butter, cream cheese, confectioners sugar, vanilla and cream.


My meals are small and consist of mostly vegetables and protein. I recently made a quick and easy stir fry using tofu shirataki, noodles made from tofu and Japanese yam, they are wonderful and so easy to prepare. I used what I had on hand, kale, red bell pepper, zucchini, egg and garnished with peanuts. This is not really a recipe you can use whatever you have on hand.

Tofu Noodle Stir Fry

Made 2 servings

red bell pepper sliced into strips

zucchini chopped or cut into strips

kale, leaves only, no stems chopped

2 scallions, white and light green parts chopped

1 tbs minced ginger

1 clove garlic chopped

soy sauce

toasted sesame oil

neutral vegetable oil to cook the vegetables

tofu shirataki noodles

1 egg beaten and cooked into a thin omelette, cut into strips

chopped roasted peanuts for garnish

First pour the noodles (they are fresh and are packaged in liquid) into a strainer and rinse well several times. Set aside to drain.

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet and add the ginger, scallion and garlic, cook until it’s fragrant and soft. Add the vegetables and cook until the vegetables are cooked through. Cook the egg either in the microwave or skillet and cut into strips. Add the tofu noodles to the vegetables and stir to combine, add soy sauce and a few splashes of sesame seed oil to taste. Stir in the egg and serve with some chopped peanuts.


Tofu is a great source of protein and I think of it like white walls, a blank pallet waiting to be transformed and enhanced. I bought a package of firm tofu the other day and made a marinade using white miso, soy sauce, mirin, honey, ponzu, rice wine vinegar, ginger and garlic chili sauce. I patted the tofu with a paper towel to remove excess liquid, cut into bite size pieces and added to the marinade and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. The next day I oven roasted at 425 degrees after drizzling with some sesame oil.  The tofu absorbed the flavor of the marinade and became crisp on the outside, tender on the inside and was delicous with some broccolini steamed first then finished in the oven drizzled with the marinade from the tofu and some sesame oil.



Crab Cakes


I make crab cakes once a year, not sure why only once but it’s sort of a tradition with me although it’s at no particular time but whenever I think of it or feel like having them. This recipe is from one of the older Martha Stewart cookbooks and is the only recipe for crab cakes I have ever used. It calls for jumbo lump  or lump crabmeat, has very little filler and is really delicious. As an aside I recommend lump not jumbo lump it makes it easier to form into patties and stays together better.  You can make your own bread crumbs by first grinding bread in a food processor then drying in the oven or use dried breadcrumbs from your supermarket. This is a super simple recipe that comes together very quickly.  They are not coated with bread crumbs although you could if you wish,  they have a nice amount of vegetables in them and are delicious served with cole slaw.

The recipe made exactly 12 nice sized cakes so my friends got a crab cake sandwich on fresh ciabatta rolls slathered with a dressing made from mayo, sriracha, pickle relish and ketchup then piled high with a homemade traditional cole slaw. I made a few changes in the recipe to suit me, Martha calls for 2 lbs crabmeat, I found 1 lb was sufficient and if I did use 2 lbs I would add an additional egg, more mayo and breadcrumbs.


Crab Cakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart Cookbook- Collected Recipes for Every Day

Makes 12 crab cakes or 22-24 appetizer size

1 cup dried breadcrumbs

2 large eggs lightly beaten

1 lb jumbo lump or lump crabmeat (picked over for cartilage)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley (I use parsley)

3 scallions  finely chopped

1 small red bell pepper- seeded and diced

1 small yellow bell pepper – seeded and diced (I didn’t have yellow so used green)

1 jalapeno pepper – seeded and diced (I used pickled jalapeño)

2/3 cup mayonaise

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Vegetable oil to fry

Gently mix all the ingredients together, you don’t want to break up the crab meat to much.

Form into patties, you can choose the size but make them quite thick. Heat some vegetable oil in  a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the crab cakes until browned on each side. Place them on paper towel or paper bag to drain. Serve hot. NOTE: Because there is very little filler you have to work a little to form into patties. If they absolutely won’t hold together add a little more mayo and breadcrumbs.

I happened upon a photo that the media outlet Pop Sugar took of Percy and put on their site. I was tickled to see this and thought he looked so cute smiling. This was taken at Pugs Take NYC event which by the way was a huge success raising $4150 for Pug Nation Rescue of LA and the little pug Bella has had the surgery and is being fitted for a wheelchair.

Photo from

Photo from

Pugs Take NYC, Block Party And No Time To Cook


I haven’t really been cooking, at least not anything noteworthy or blog worthy. Yesterday Percy and I went into Manhattan for a big pug event, Pugs Take NYC, hundreds and hundreds of pugs converged on the big apple for a 2 day event. I volunteer for Pug Squad SOS and we held an auction/raffle to benefit Pug Nation Of Los Angeles and specifically Bella who needs surgery and a wheelchair.  The kick off of the event was at Central Park moving to Times Square and ending up on Wall Street for the auction/raffle. I donated baked goods to the auction, a gift basket filled with home baked goodies for humans and pugs. The auction/raffle was Halloween themed and pugs came in costume, there was a costume contest and there were celebrity pugs there, the Pugdashians were all decked out. It was so nice meeting our Instagram friends, so many were there and travelled from other cities to come to the event. I think I was more thrilled than Mr. Percy but thats ok, he was a good sport and indulged me.

I also just have to say how horrible it is that some sick criminal (terrorist?) decided to place a bomb in a dumpster on a crowded street in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood and 29 people were injured, thankfully no one died, cars were damaged, windows of nearby buildings were blown out. Police have surveillance video, hope they catch whoever did this, they found another bomb a few blocks away but thankfully were able to get it defused before it went off. A pipe bomb also exploded in New Jersey where a 5K charity race sponsored by the Marines was being run.  What is wrong with people?

The Pugdashians, pug celebrities

The Pugdashians, pug celebrities they are so over the top cute and well behaved

Percy does not like to be dressed or fussed with but I did manage to get a bow tie on him and he looked awfully cute. He literally layed on the step that faced the water (Brooklyn) and didn’t want to budge. When we finally got a car and headed back he kissed me almost the whole way home. He was one happy boy. He is a bit of a loner, curious at times but basically likes nothing more than laying on the bed or couch and resting, he’s a real homebody.


This coming Saturday, September 24th is our block association’s annual block party.  It’s crunch time there is a lot to do coordinating everything. My days have been crazy busy, between work, the block party the auction (now past) hosting guests through air bnb and anything else that gets thrown in I just haven’t been cooking.  I also still continue with the dietary changes and have been doing really well. I feel like I have to get into some sort of groove and post more regularly. I really don’t have too much on my plate today and am making crab cakes, will post the recipe sometime this week, they are really good.  The weather here is starting to cool down and we get a sneak peek of the cool crisp Fall air from time to time. September and October in NYC can be a mixed bag weather wise. I so look forward to cooler temps, leaves changing color, apples, pumpkins and everything that Fall brings. Hoping that you all have a great week.