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Category Archives: main dishes

Japanese Curry Udon with Teriyaki Minced Beef

Japanese Curry Udon
Minced Teriyaki Beef
Udon in Boiling Water
Japanese Curry

This recipe is from a blogger called CravingsinAmsterdam. She has great travel and food videos in Amsterdam! We love this recipe. I’ve never made minced beef which is a plus to try a new kind of meat preparation. I hope you enjoy this as well!

The udon absorbs the curry sauce as the leftovers set overnight. Just add some water to make more of a saucy soup when that happens as you reheat this delish soup!

I find it easiest to make the Teriyaki Minced Beef first. Then I move on to the curry. The original recipe uses a precooked curly udon. I did not find that so I cooked the dry straight udon in water as directed. Then after draining I add it to the curry.


Teriyaki Minced Beef

2 tablespoons oil

1 pound thinly sliced lean sirloin beef

1 onion chopped

4 cloves garlic minced

Japanese Curry Udon

2 tablespoons oil

1 white onion chopped

4 cloves garlic minced

1 can coconut milk

2 cubes Golden Japanese Curry

2-3 cups boiling water

2 packets udon, precooked or raw that is cooked

Sliced green onion

Sesame seeds


  1. To prepare the beef mince the thinly sliced beef into small tiny pieces about 1/4 inch size
  2. Heat frying pan over medium heat. Add oil. Sauté onion until tender. Add garlic and sauté 1/2 minute
  3. Add beef and sauté or stir fry until browned. Add 4 tablespoons teriyaki marinade or sauce
  4. Simmer a few minutes. Taste and add more sauce if needed. Set aside
  5. Next cook the udon per package directions unless you’re using the precooked variety
  6. In a medium saucepan heat the oil
  7. Add onion and sauté until tender. Add the garlic and sauté 1/2 minute.
  8. Add the coconut milk and the curry cubes. Whisk and simmer until dissolved
  9. Whisk in the 2 cups boiling water
  10. Add the drained udon and simmer a few minutes until thickened. If it’s too thick add more water
  11. Serve the curry in large bowls. Place a large spoon of Teriyaki Beef on top of the Curry.
  12. Sprinkle with minced scallions and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Eat with chopsticks!
  13. This makes 4 servings
  14. Voila!

Cuban Black Bean Soup

Cuban Black Bean Soup with Ham Hocks & Rice

This is a traditional soup served in Cuba and Puerto Rico along with many other countries. My recipe is made with ham hocks and it’s served with a short grain rice. Red wine vinegar is sprinkled on at the table! It’s delish! I’ve made it for years!

The recipe is based on Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times Cookbook recipe. It was published in 1975 and is a collection of The New York Times best recipes from their food pages

I was introduced to this soup in 1978 when I visited my cousin Donna Rountree and her family in San Juan Puerto Rico. She shared this cookbook with me. Donna entertained a lot and loved to use this cookbook! Her husband Dekle and daughter Jodie enjoyed her cooking too.

To serve the soup pour it hot into bowls. Then top with hot rice that’s been patted into a 1/3 cup measuring cup or something similar. Invert it onto the soup. Sprinkle with cilantro. Sprinkle with red wine vinegar at the table!

Enjoy! And let me know what you think!

Sautéed onion, green pepper and garlic
The sofrito: onion, green pepper & garlic with tomato & seasoning
Ham Hocks have a Rind, Meat & Bone
A Ham Hock After Cooking in Soup
The ham cut from the rind and bone
Black Bean Soup
Hot Rice Patted into 1/3 Measuring Cup


  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 12 cups water
  • 3 ham hocks
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Cooked short grain rice
  • Fresh chopped cilantro


  1. Place the beans in a bowl and cover with cold water to a depth of 1 inch above the top of the beans. Soak overnight. Drain.
  2. Add the olive oil to a heated large cooking pot. Add onion, garlic and green pepper. Sauté over low heat till onion is wilted.
  3. Add oregano, tomatoes and cilantro. Cook 2 minutes. This is the sofrito.
  4. Add the ham hocks, beans, and water to the cooking pot. Bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and cover. Cook for 1 1/2-2 hours or until beans are thoroughly tender.
  5. Remove the ham hocks to a cutting board. Cut off the rind and discard. Cut off the meat and return to the pot. Discard the bones.
  6. Simmer another few minutes
  7. Dilute the soup with broth to your desired consistency if needed. The soup thickens with time and refrigeration.
  8. Serve piping hot in bowls
  9. Take the hot rice and press into a 1/3 or 1/2 cup measuring cup. Invert over bowl of soup and tap out. Make sure it’s hot rice. Cold rice won’t pop out of the cup
  10. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Add red wine vinegar at the table
  11. Voila!
Cuban Black Bean Soup!

Chili with Ground Beef

Chili Served Over Pasta & Topped with Cheese

Craig Claiborne wrote The New York Times Cookbook in 1975. It is a collection of the best recipes from The New York Times food pages from the previous decade. This recipe comes from that book. He called it Chili con Carne with Ground Meat.

My cousin Donna Rountree introduced me to this book in 1978 when I visited she and her family at their apartment in San Juan Puerto Rico where she lived with her husband Dekle and daughter Jodie. Donna did a lot of entertaining and she loved this cookbook!

I substitute olive or vegetable oil for the bacon fat and use 2-28 ounce cans tomatoes. My preferred canned tomato is the whole tomatoes packed in tomato juice. I break these up with my fingers because I like the big chunks of tomato in my chili. San Marzano tomatoes are the best!

I find the best results with a very lean ground beef that’s at least 90% lean such as Laura’s brand. I also serve it over pasta and top with grated cheese. I’m also flexible with quantities of onion, green pepper, garlic and seasonings. Use your own judgement

Let me know what you think. It’s a very meaty chili and has no beans!! Be careful with the heat of the chili powder you choose. Some are extremely hot. I use a mild heat chili powder. Everyone can add more heat to their own bowls!

When you serve each bowl of chili over pasta, everyone can each add their own chopped raw tomato, chopped lettuce, avocado, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro and/or hot pepper flakes.

Another option is to use 2 pounds ground turkey and 2 cans drained and rinsed cannellinni beans instead of the 3 pounds ground beef


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped green pepper, optional
  • 3 pounds 90-93% lean ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2-28 ounce cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, break apart in chunks with your hands
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste with garlic, optional
  • Serve with chopped raw tomatoes, chopped lettuce, sour cream, grated cheddar, chopped cilantro, hot pepper flakes, avocado if desired
  • Serve over small pieces cooked pasta


  1. Pour oil into a hot large deep cooking pot. Add onion and green pepper and cook over medium to low heat until onion is wilted
  2. Add meat. Using a heavy metal spoon cook and chop up beef to break up lumps
  3. Add garlic and black pepper and stir to blend
  4. Add chili powder, oregano, cumin and celery salt. Stir and add vinegar
  5. Add tomatoes and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Add water. Add chili paste if desired. I usually don’t
  6. Heat to a boil while stirring. Cover and lower heat to a simmer for 30 minutes
  7. Voila! Serve over pasta. Add some fresh toppings too!

Meatloaf 1950s Style

Traditional 1950s Dinner
90% Lean Beef Meatloaf
I Bake in Multiples to Freeze for Later
Sauté Onion and Garlic
Use White Bread Dried Out Overnight
Slice Dried Bread Into Small Cubes
4 Cups Dried Bread Cubes
Hot Milk and Bread Mixed to a Paste
All the Ingredients Ready to Mix by Hand
Mixing Technique
Meatloaf Ready to Bake!


  • 3 pounds 90% lean ground beef or more lean
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups hot milk
  • 4 cups dried white bread cubes (dry overnight 6-8 slices bread)


  1. Slice bread into small cubes and set aside
  2. Sauté onion in butter and oil until tender but not browned. Add garlic and sauté 1/2 minute. Set aside
  3. In a large bowl place beef and add onion mixture, salt, pepper and eggs.
  4. Heat milk in a medium saucepan. Add bread cubes. Mix with a whisk until it becomes a paste. Add to the beef mix.
  5. Use your clean hands to mix the meatloaf together
  6. Divide mixture into 4 loaves on 2 shallow baking pans covered in parchment paper. Rinse hands in cold water to help pat each loaf into shape. This helps with the stickiness.
  7. Drizzle ketchup over loaves making a pattern.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F about 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  9. This is my mom’s recipe which I’ve adapted. She would add a squirt of mustard and ketchup to the mixture. But I place ketchup on the top of the loaves and serve it also at the table to dip each bite into!
  10. Voila! Enjoy and let me know what happens!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Cheesy Creamy Broccoli Soup

Tieghan has another delish recipe I love! She’s at Half Baked Harvest and this is hers! I added potato instead of flour and bumped up the spices! She calls it Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup

This reminds me of the Canadian Cheese Soup I have made. Sautéed veggies, broth thickened up and cheese added at the end! Comfort food!

Check out Tieghan’s blog! She is a powerhouse of talent!

A stick or immersion blender is essential to making this. Using a standard blender or food processor also works but is more tedious

Tender cauliflower, carrots, broccoli stems ready to purée
Broccoli florets and spices added to purée
Shredded Gouda and White Cheddar
Left some tender broccoli whole after 2nd purée


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme or 2 tablespoons fresh
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups broth
  • 1 head cauliflower, not too big, chopped
  • 4 cups broccoli florets and their chopped crown stems. Don’t use the long stalks
  • 2 bay leaves (Morton & Bassett is my favorite)
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon smoky paprika
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon cayenne
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 cups hard cheddar like cheese, shredded plus more for serving. I like the sharp cheddar and also aged Gouda is super here too! Use a mix of cheeses if you have them


  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven heat oil and butter. Add onion, thyme and carrots and sauté till tender
  2. Add potatoes, broth, broccoli STEMS and cauliflower. Cover and simmer. When tender remove from heat. Purée with stick blender till smooth
  3. Return soup to heat and add broccoli florets, bay leaves, cayenne, and smoky paprika. Simmer until broccoli is tender. Remove bay leaves and remove from heat. Use the stick blender to slightly mash up. Make sure to leave much of the broccoli in whole pieces
  4. Return soup to heat. Add coconut milk and cheese; stir till melted. Add salt and pepper to your taste.
  5. Top each bowl of soup with additional cheese and thyme
  6. This is a very forgiving recipe. The quantities of ingredients don’t have to be exact. But I do love these seasonings! I’ve been using a fresher version of bay leaves rather than the brittle dry style and enjoy their taste and fragrance. Smoky paprika and cayenne are a must!! Add more broth if needed. I like Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base to make broth. Combine no more than 1 teaspoon base per cup of water
  7. Voila!

Corn & Andouille Soup

Corn & Andouille Soup

Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Tastes is a gold mine of recipes. This one in particular is easy and sooo flavorful! Fresh corn is essential!! Don’t use frozen or canned

Most of his recipes have their own seasoning mix. It gives the recipes a special zest and flavor I don’t find anywhere!

The soup takes an hour and a half or so to prepare. I use the Better than Bouillon Organic Roasted Chicken Base to make the stock

Fresh andouille is also a good thing. I order it from Jacob’s World Famous Andouille and Sausage. The link is here

A substitute for andouille is your favorite smoked pork sausage.

This makes 10 or so servings that are about 2 cups in size. It’s hearty and full of flavor but not heavy and fatty. There is no roux or added fat in preparing this soup. The only fat is from the andouille which is lean. We love it!!


Seasoning Mix

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Other Ingredients

  • 3 cups chopped onion, in all
  • 3 cups seeded and chopped green peppers, in all
  • 1 pound andouille, quartered lengthwise, then cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 7 cups chicken stock, in all
  • 7 cups fresh corn kernels, 6 ears
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon mixed fresh garlic


  1. In a small bowl combine seasoning mix
  2. Heat a heavy 4 quart pot over high heat until very hot, about 3-4 minutes
  3. Add 2 cups onions and 2 cups of the green peppers, the andouille, and 2 tablespoons of the seasoning mix
  4. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot often for 20 minutes. If necessary add a little of the stock to prevent burning
  5. Turn heat to low and add the corn, tomatoes, flour, garlic, the remaining onion and green pepper, 4 cups of the stock and the remaining seasoning mix
  6. Cook and scrape the bottom of the pot often for 40 minutes
  7. Add the remaining stock, increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil.
  8. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately
  9. If you like, sprinkle some cayenne or paprika on the outer edge of each serving bowl for a fun visual touch as I did!


Grilled Chicken Caprese

Burrata and Grilled Pesto Chicken

This recipe is from Half Baked Harvest, my favorite food blogger! It’s easy, simple and quick!

Make a marinade with pesto for the chicken. Skewer it with tomatoes. Grill. Serve on a platter with burrata, mini mozzarella balls and more pesto marinade. Tieghan serves it with grilled bread, but it’s also yummy on pasta!

To see more photos of this dish and to read more about it go to


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup pesto
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes or more
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • Salt, pepper, and chili flakes
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 8 ounces burrata or more
  • 1 cup mini mozzarella balls or more


  1. To make marinade in a small jar combine pesto, balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon juice, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Cover and shake it up!
  2. In a medium bowl combine half the marinade and the chicken. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and mix well.
  3. In another small bowl combine 1 tablespoon olive oil and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper
  4. Thread the chicken and tomatoes on skewers. Grill over medium high heat till chicken is just done and tomatoes slightly char. Don’t over cook! Grill just a few minutes to the internal temperature of 160 degrees F. No higher!!
  5. Break open the burrata onto a platter. Add mozzarella balls and then the chicken and tomatoes on or off the skewers. Drizzle remaining marinade over it all. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic if you want. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Top with torn basil leaves.
  6. Serve with thick slices of grilled bread. Spread and pile the toppings on the bread or pasta
  7. Voila!

Grilled Chicken with Yogurt Marinade

Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs

The New York Times has given me so many inspirational recipes and this is one of them! Quick and easy. I doubled the recipe to make leftovers for my kids to take to their homes. Making easy recipes my family likes encourages them to try something new too!


  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 2 cloves minced garlic or more
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or more
  • 1/2 teaspoon or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme or more
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large lemon, ZEST AND JUICE


1. In a large bowl whisk together all ingredients except lemon juice and chicken.

2. Add chicken and mix well. Cover and refrigerate 3-24 hours

3. Remove from frig 30 minutes before grilling

4. Clean grill grates and coat them with a bit of oil. Grill on high to medium high heat until done or reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees, about 6-8 minutes per side.

5. Place chicken on a serving platter. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper and pour lemon juice over all. Add chopped parsley and lemon wedges if you like

Absolutely delicious!!

Mediterranean Style Chicken


Custard Baked Eggs

Pickled Red Onion & Custard Eggs
English Muffin Egg Sandwiches

Joanne Chang & Food52 is the inspiration for this recipe. Theirs was a Breakfast Sandwich made with brioche buns and hot sauce and lettuce. I also like these custard eggs with Pickled Red Onions and a salad or some sautéed veggies like zucchini.

Here’s the recipe for their eggs


  • 9 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup half & half
  • Butter for the pan
  • 6 slices cheddar cheese optional


  1. Preheat oven to 300 F
  2. Butter an 8-9 inch square baking pan
  3. In a medium bowl whisk eggs and salt
  4. Add half & half and whisk again
  5. Pour eggs into buttered pan
  6. Place pan of eggs into a larger size pan and then pour hot water into the outer pan to reach halfway up the sides of egg pan
  7. Place foil over eggs or cover with a baking sheet
  8. Bake 20-35 minutes or until inserted knife comes out clean
  9. Cool 10 minutes and slice into 6 squares with a sharp knife
  10. If adding cheese, lift squares out of pan and place in another baking pan. Cover with cheese slices. Return to oven until melted.
  11. Serve on buttered brioche buns with lettuce and hot sauce or serve with Pickled Red Onions and sautéed zucchini

Lemon Marinated Fish Salad

Lemon Marinated Lin Cod

We discovered Lincod from Alaska which we buy frozen from an Alaskan fisherman. Whitefish or walleye or any other mild flavored fish would work too.

This recipe is adapted from an Italian recipe that uses salted cod or bacalao


  • 1 pound whitefish or cod, grilled
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 3 green onions sliced


  1. Season fish and grill till just done
  2. Set aside to cool
  3. In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar
  4. Stir in parsley, capers and green onion
  5. Taste the marinade and add more of any ingredient to your taste. I prefer the tart lemony flavor,
  6. Gently break apart fish into smaller pieces about bite size. Don’t make them too small
  7. Pour marinade over fish and toss gently
  8. Serve room temperature as an appetizer or as a main dish. It can be eaten with a fork or on crackers, Naan or sliced baguette,