Archive for May, 2009


The original recipe for this yummy cake called for buttermilk, which is very disagreeable with my digestion. I subbed plain soy yogurt instead, measure for measure, and this cake was a real winner.

Raspberry cake

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick margarine, softened

2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 cup plain soy yogurt

1 cup fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, rack in the middle. Grase and flour a 9″ round cake pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat margarine and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale an fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then beat in vanilla; add the egg and beat well.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with yogurt, beginning and ending with the flour, and mixing until just combined.

Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over the top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm. Invert onto a plate. Serves 6.

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This week’s edition of the Presto Pasta Nights Roundup (best darned pasta blogfest in the universe) is being hosted by ImAFoodBlog, and what finer pasta recipes you’ll never find anywhere. Please go check it out, and bring your appetite.

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From my friend Jerry comes this outstanding salad. I’m a big fan of Thai food, although I’m not in love with triple-star heat. So I toned this down a little, and it is reflected in the amounts of chili paste and chiles that I used in this recipe. I couldn’t find any kaffir lime leaves, or lemongrass, so this version reflects that. The flavors of this salad hit all the right tastebuds on our palates; save room for seconds.

Chicken salad, Thai style

For the chicken:

4 roasted chicken breasts, shredded

1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger

juice of two limes

1/3 teaspoon chili paste

2 shallots, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

Mix all the dressing ingredients. Toss the shredded chicken with the dressing.

For the salad base:

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup lime juice

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, minced

1 bunch watercress, trimmed

8 Napa cabbage leaves cut in a chiffonade

16 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half

1 cup blanched green beans, cut into 1″ lengths

1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped

1/2 bunch mint, leaves trimmed and chiffonaded

1/2 cup roasted peanuts or cashews (non-salted), chopped

Mix the fish sauce through to the jalapeno in a jar. Shake well to dissolve sugar. Store in the refrigerator overnight if you so desire so that the flavors come together. (You can also omit that step.)

Mix together the watercress through the mint in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing.

To serve: Divide the vegetables mixture among 4 plates. Add the chicken on top of the vegetables. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Makes 8 servings.

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Kudos to Chef John of Foodwishes.com blog, and his celebration of spring with this pasta recipe. I made a nondairy modification with soy parmesan, and I also used a little less oil than called for. Oh, and one less jalapeno. Make this dish and feel the green!

I’m including the list of ingredients below, then watch Chef John’s enjoyable video instructions on how to put it all together.

Pasta primavera

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 large leek, chopped, washed thoroughly

1 jalapeno, diced

1 bunch basil

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 cloves garlic

2 green zucchini, diced

1/2 cup freshly shucked peas

1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped

1 bunch asparagus, stalks diced, tips left whole

1/2 cup soy parmesan

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 pound fettuccine

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This recipe comes from my friend Ida. I have included the nondairy adaptations, and I also used less creamer than originally called for. The taste of the artichokes comes through loud and clear. Delicious. Although it’s a warm soup, it has spring written all over it.

Cream of artichoke soup

3 tablespoons margarine
4 tablespoons minced shallots
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 cans of artichoke quarters in water (drained), chopped
1/4 cup nondairy creamer
Salt and Pepper

Melt margarine in a skillet over medium heat, allowing it to brown just lightly. Add shallots and saute briefly until softened. Stir in flour and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

Heat stock or chicken broth in a 2 qt. saucepan. Add flour mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the chopped artichokes to thickened chicken stock, and then the creamer. Blend thoroughly with an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 8 servings.

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One of my favorite daily-read blogs is The Pioneer Woman, and one of this blogger’s favorite salad recipes is this one. So why not try it? I did, and it was everything she said it would be, and more. Delicious and addictive. Colorful and filling. Easy to make, easy to clean up. Did I say addicting? Try it, you’ll like it. Disclaimer: it makes a boatload – great dish for a crowd. Make sure you prepare it in your largest bowl you can find.

Asian noodle salad


1 16-ounce package linguine noodles, cooked, rinsed, cooled

1/2 – 1 head sliced napa cabbage

1/2 to 1 head sliced purple cabbage

1/2 to 1 bag baby spinach

1 red bell pepper, sliced thin

1 orange bell pepper, sliced thin

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin

1 small bag mung bean sprouts

3 sliced scallions

3 peeled sliced cucumbers

up to one bunch chopped fresh cilantro

1 can whole cashews, lightly toasted on skillet


juice of 1 lime

8 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons sesame oil

8 tablespoons soy sauce

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped

2 cloves chopped garlic

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (recipe called for 2, I only used 1)

more chopped cilantro

Mix together salad ingredients. Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over salad. Mix with tongs or hands and serve.

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I made this recipe the cheater’s way, using store-bought refried beans and enchilada sauce. It’s another one of those quick and easy meals that come together almost effortlessly and are perfect for making when you come home from work and wanna get something good together. The cheese on top is soy cheese (a triple combo package that is already shredded, from Trader Joes’). I made this in a smaller baking dish than called for, therefore using smaller proportions than called for. Same very tasty results, though.

Enchilada casserole

1/4 cup chicken broth

3/4 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound ground raw turkey breast

1 can refried beans

1 large can enchilada sauce (I used mild)

8 six-inch corn tortillas

2 cups shredded soy cheese, cheddar preferable

Heat chicken broth in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, til tender. Add turkey, and cook over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add the refried beans and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spread 1/4 – 1/2 cup enchilada sauce in bottom of 13×9″ baking dish (I used 10×7″). Dredge both sides of 6 tortillas (I used 4) in sauce; then arrange tortillas, overlapping, in the baking dish. Top with half of bean mixture and 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce, and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Brush both side of the remaining tortillas with enchilada sauce, and arrange tortillas, overlapping over the cheese. Top with remaining bean mixture, 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, and remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Makes 9 servings. Tastes even better the day after!


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I am so proud to be hosting my second Presto Pasta Nights roundup….and what fun it’s been. I’ve met folks from all over the planet, literally. I have had the utmost pleasure enjoying their blogs and their amazing ingenuity in the kitchen.

So let’s kick things off already! I am presenting these submissions in the order they were received. Here we go ….


First to send me their submission was Graziana, who blogs from Italy with the Erbe in Cucina blog (that means cooking with herbs, for anyone who is fairly Italian-illiterate, like me). Her recipe, Gnocchi with bacon and marjoram uses simple, healthy ingredients, and nothing really says spring like some fresh marjoram. Check out her photo galleries while you’re there – amazing!


From Canada comes this tasty-looking dish called Spaghetti with Garlic and Spinach, courtesy of Bellini Valli of the More Than Burnt Toast blog. After a bite of this, I think I could definitely be living the dream.


Let’s move south now to Vermont, where Singing Horse of The Peaceable Kingdom blog has offered a delightful dish that I can’t believe is so easy to make – Artichoke Lover’s Pasta. Yep, I think she’s referring to me – totally in love with artichokes. Add this one to my (long) list of recipes to try.


Heading slightly south to Massachusetts, and we find some really good-lookin’ bites at Eats Well With Others blog. Joanne has cooked up some Sweet Potato Carbonara, where she combines homemade sweet potato papardelle (YUM – I kid you not!) with bacon. Is that a marriage made in heaven or what? It looks heavenly to me!


Next we find ourselves in Tennessee – let’s make a delicious and refreshing pitstop at Sidewalk Shoes blog. A delightful array of recipes here, I must say. And Pam’s Big Cool Noodle Bowl with Roast Chicken, Cucmbers, and Mint has all the flavors that I love and crave in a big salad – sweet, sour, hot and cool. The dipping sauce is to die for!

5.18.09 003

Sogkonnite is the Native American word for the land where Sogkonnite Living blog is located. (after googling, I figured out that we are now back somewhere in New England). And look at this Creamy Chicken and Pasta Bake that is being offered up for PPN! Definitely drool-worthy.


Let’s head down to Mississippi now and enjoy some Spaghetti Carbonara, courtesy of Pots and Plots blog. I know you’re craving it. I know I am. I just love any pasta made with peas!


All this travelling around, and I haven’t lost my luggage yet! Gotta love the internet. Now we’re on our way back up to Canada, and PPN founder Ruth, of Once Upon A Feast blog has an enlightening recipe on how to make homemade fettucine. This is something I’ve never done, and how good does that pasta look- seriously and intensely mouthwatering!

Market Ravioli 02

Is your seatbelt fastened? We’re about to take a trip across the pond to the Taste My Plate blog, where Sarah has presented us with her rendition of Market Ravioli. If you’ve never been to Borough Market in London, then you’ve never been to foodie heaven. Lucky for us, Sarah picked up these pumpkin and goat cheese ravioli, and I just love her presentation, don’t you?

Wild Leek (Ramp) Pesto Pasta 500

Oh my! We’re zooming back to Canada now, and none to soon! Wouldn’t want to miss this great new dish Kevin’s serving up at Closet Cooking blog. Wild Leek Pesto Pasta looks to be a real pleaser – I can’t say I’ve seen ramps in my markets, though, Kevin. I’m gonna have to look harder – that dish, and the one with the asparagus added, looks way too good not to try.


Now we’re really racking up the frequent flyer miles –Thyme for Cooking blogs from France, and she has offered us a beautiful Pasta Primavera with Tuna recipe – it’s warm, it’s spring-y, and it’s the main course. It’s divine!


An easy hop, skip, and a jump over to Singapore, and look what Food 4 Tots blog has made for us – Stir-fried brown beehoon (also known as brown rice vermicelli). This is something I could very readily sink my fork into – thanks, LK!

mushroom & spinach linguine dish

OK, time to cross a few more time zones again (and gee, no jet lag!) and visit Tinned Tomatoes blog in Scotland. Jacqueline has whipped up some pretty fabulous looking Spinach and Mushroom Linguine. I think I can almost smell the aroma through my screen. (slurp!)


Time to fly back across the pond, this time to Florida and The Allergic Kid blog. How clever is this Pasta Squidward? And cute! What a great way to get some great foods and nutrients into your kid, and even have him join in the preparations and fun. Ingenious!


Turkey Tetrazzini is looking awfully good over at D-lightful Designs blog. Please give her a warm Southern hello, as this is her first PPN entry. Welcome to the world of pasta, D.


Finally back home (Pennsylvania), I am submitting my entry for this edition – Coconut curry chicken noodle soup. I tweaked this one a little from the original, using less heat and also less coconut milk – outstanding results, IMHO.

Well, that about winds up another Presto Pasta Nights Roundup – what a trip! Many many thanks to all of you who played with us, and a special great big thank you to Ruth Daniels, creator of the Presto Pasta Night roundup and also her most excellent Once Upon A Feast blog. When you visit her blog, tell her Kitchenetta sent you!

I don’t know about you, but after all that blog travelling, I’m exhausted. In a good way, of course! And with visions of all the new pasta recipes I can try. The next PPN (#115) will be hosted by Sara of I’m a Food Blog fame. Send your entries to sara(at)imafoodblog(dot)com and cc ruth(at)4everykitchen(dot)com, then check for the roundup on May 29.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

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With strawberry season in full swing, I just love to take advantage of this lucious berry. Inspired by this recipe, here is my take on a classic, but with a nondairy twist. Probably a few less calories, too. First I made some some scones:



2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

4 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons margarine, diced

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 cup nondairy creamer

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease and flour a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut in the margarine until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the egg and creamer, stirring gently until the dough holds together.

Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead several times. Then roll out to a thickness of 1/2″. Using a biscuit cutter, cut the dough into 2″ rounds, reworking the scraps as you go. Place the circles 1″ apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until lightly golden. Makes 10-12 scones.

Then I got the strawberries ready

2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar

Place about one third of the strawberries in a large bowl and crush them with a potato masher or a fork. Add the remaining sliced strawberries, along with the sugar (the amount will depend on the sweetness of the berries). Set aside to macerate at room temperature, about 30-60 minutes.

Then came assembly


Cut the scones in half and place the bottom half of the scone (soft side up) on a dessert plate. Top with some of the strawberries. Place the top half of the scone on the strawberries. Top with soy whipped cream (as much or as little as you like) and a few more strawberries. If there is any juice from the strawberries, drizzle a little over the top of the scone. Serve immediately. Makes about 8 servings.


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First, let me just say, Mmmmmm! We all loved this soup. The flavors are clean and fresh and light, and with a lovely little spicy kick. I don’t like things too spicy, so I did cut back on the heat from the original. Also, I don’t eat raw onions. But for a really good Mexican soup, this is the one to try.

Fresh corn soup topped with roasted corn guacamole

Roasted corn guacamole

2 cups frozen corn, defrosted

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 lime, finely grated zest and juice

1/2 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped

1 avocado, pitted, chopped


3 cups frozen corn, defrosted

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 jalapeno, stemmed, chopped

salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Roast the corn for the guacamole: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with foil. Put the corn kernels on the baking sheet and toss with oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Spread the corn out evenly on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, until the corn turns a golden brown. You want the corn to caramelize and get a little crunchy. Remove from oven and set aside.

Prepare the corn for the soup: Put the kernels in a blender. Combine the oil and the garlic in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper and saute until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the blender and puree until smooth.

Pour the corn puree into the soup pot. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the roasted corn, cilantro, lime zest and juice, and jalapeno. Gently stir in the avocado. Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into a bowl. Place a generous spoonful of the guacamole in the center of the bowl. Makes 4 servings.


Just a quick note thanking all who have contributed thus far to the next edition of Presto Pasta Nights #114, which I am hosting. If you want to join the party, send me your recipe at tfree123(at)comcast(dot)net and a cc to ruth(at)4everykitchen(dot)com. Deadline for all entries is Thursday, May 21, at 8pm Eastern Time.

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