Let’s Cook Something New: “DYI Bandanna Face Masks”

What? We’re cooking face masks now? No, we’re sewing them. It looks like we will be required to wear a face mask out in public due to the Covid-19 virus — at least in Louisiana. And, ideally, a person should wash his/her cloth face mask in hot, soapy water frequently. So, we’ll need alot of these face masks. Since I don’t have a “Sewing Blog,” I decided to share my original “recipe” for sewing an easy “DYI Bandanna Face Mask” on my cooking blog using a bandanna that I found in a drawer. This bandanna face mask is really simple to make. You only need a bandanna, two shoe laces and several pipe cleaners (or floral wire). Plus a sewing machine, measuring tape, pins and one safety pin. Oh yes, and an iron.

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Cookin’ in the Kitchen: Carrot Salad with Golden Raisins & Pineapple

A recent survey showed that carrots are our country’s third most popular vegetable after corn and potatoes. (I wonder if this could refer to raw carrots rather than cooked carrots?) I do remember that carrot sticks were packed in practically every brown bag lunch that I ever ate when growing up. I can’t say that I loved the carrots, but I did tolerate them. Recently, Marie made a delightful carrot salad which is a delicious way to serve this vegetable. Marie’s recipe combines carrots with golden raisins and pineapple for a flavorful combination. And I used pre-shredded carrots to make this an easy “one-bowl” recipe. So while we are cookin’ at home, here is an easy variation of Marie’s recipe.

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Cookin’ in the Kitchen: Easy Classic Coleslaw

While we are “cookin’ in the kitchen” and staying home rather than eating out in restaurants, let’s make coleslaw. This vegetable salad is very nutritious and we all need to try to boost the Vitamin A and C content of our meals to keep up immune resistance. Plus, my husband declares that this is the best coleslaw that he has eaten. We decided that this is due to a “secret ingredient.” The recipe has a couple of twists and is easy to make in one bowl without any fuss. Continue reading

Old-Fashioned Beef Pot Roast with Vegetable Medley

Last summer, I took a trip back to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia for my high school class reunion. In addition to visiting with classmates whom I hadn’t seen in years, I made time to stop at the town’s farmers market. It is interesting that the farm vegetables which are ripe in Virginia are several months behind the ones that are ripe locally in Louisiana. Carrots, potatoes, beets and early English peas filled the stands in the market in Virginia in June. Of course, I brought back some of these vegetables. Although it is now winter again, some of these vegetables –such as carrots — are easily available all year around.

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Coconut Lemon Bars for Passover

I made this delicious “Coconut Lemon Bar” recipe in December using Meyer Lemons from my backyard citrus fruit tree. The combination of lemons, coconut and walnuts on a buttery crust made a great holiday dessert. These bars can easily be adapted for Passover and so I decided to make this dessert for our “virtual” Seder meal coming up this week.

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Apple and Walnut Compote a.k.a. Haroset

Passover will soon be here. My husband’s family is planning a “virtual” Seder meal and service via “Zoom.” With family is scattered all over the country and unable to travel and local folks trying to maintain 6 feet of space at a table, this seems like a good solution. We are living in a new era. One dish at the Seder meal which I particularly enjoy is Haroset which is served along with Matzah. Several years ago, a friend brought Haroset to our Seder which was absolutely delicious. The combination of apples and  walnuts in a sweet sauce is good to eat anytime of the year — whether or not you are celebrating Passover or another religious observance. I made the recipe to share with you.

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Cookin’ in the Kitchen: Cowboy Baked Beans with a Kick — during the Coronavirus threat

Wow, so much has changed in the world in just a few weeks. It is hard to imagine at the start of 2020 that Louisiana and many other states would be under a “stay at home” order for the very serious health treat of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Our governor says that Louisiana has one of the fasting growing trajectories of this virus — due to the city of New Orleans and I’m guessing the tourist trade. Stay at home also means to cook at home. This includes being flexible and adaptable with ingredients on hand in your pantry. But who wants to spend all day cooking and washing dishes? For the next several weeks,  I’m going to post one-pot dishes which are simple to prepare and allow for substitution of ingredients. “Cowboy Baked Beans with a Kick” is one of these recipes.

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Easy Vegetarian Breakfast Quiche

Last summer, I posted a recipe for “Quick Breakfast Casserole.” I love the flavors of sausage, egg and cheese combined into a casserole, but wondered if I could adapt the recipe to make a vegetarian version. I tried substituting black beans and more vegetable seasonings in place of the sausage. My husband loved it stating, “this tastes like a quiche.” He’s partially correct. And so I have named my one-bowl vegetarian–not vegan–adaption, “Easy Vegetarian Breakfast Quiche.” Continue reading

Easy Cook: Green Pistachio Swirl Cake for St. Patrick’s Day

If you want good home-style cooking, you will probably find it at covered dish buffet. Everybody brings their best cookin’. This is where I sampled a Pistachio Cake which was absolutely delicious. It was green — yes, a green cake. The pistachio pudding gives a hint of green color and  a nice nutty flavor to the cake along with a bit of almond extract. So I’m making the dessert with St. Patrick’s Day mind and plan to bring it for an supper event where everybody is asked to bring desserts.

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Hamantaschen Pastries for Purim

Hamantaschen are delectable pastries made for the “Purim” Holiday. The cookie dough is rolled out and cut into round circles and then shaped into triangles. They are filled with poppy seed candy and honey or fruit preserves and nut fillings. The cookies are shared with family and friends. And my 96-year-old mother-in-law shared a delightful story from her childhood about these treats. Those special stories make the cookies worthwhile. Continue reading