Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

A person can tell what kind of day it is going to be when the strawberry rhubarb crisp they so lovingly crafted for today’s photo shoot ends up getting smeared all over the floor.  The pancakes they made to replace the crisp in the photo shoot, a recipe they have made a million times before, ends up up burning to a crisp.  Yeah, I am going back to bed.

In the meantime, you will just have to imagine a lovely blush pink filling covered by a rustic, golden brown crust.  Fortunately, I did get to taste a piece of the crisp before it hit the floor so I can honestly say it tastes very good.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp



6 TBS all purpose flour

4 TBS rolled oats

1 /4 cup brown sugar

4 TBS butter, room temperature

1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional


1 cup  rhubarb, cleaned and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces

1 cup strawberries, hulled and halved

2 TBS sugar

3/4 tsp cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp fresh orange juice

Prepare the topping by combining the flour, oats and sugar in a bowl.  Cut in the butter with your fingers or two knives until the mixture resembles course crumbs; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, and orange juice.  Transfer to a shallow two cup baking dish.  Dot the topping over the fruit mixture.  Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until the crisp is golden brown.

10 Recipes Every Beginning Cook Should Know #5 The Basic Omelette

1025My Mom was definitely the cook in my family when I was a kid.  I can only remember seeing my Dad in the kitchen on two occasions.  Once helping my mom with dishes the night my youngest brother, Russell, was born and on the occasional Sunday, when he would make us omelette after church.

My 5th recipes every beginning cook should know is the basic omelette. Omelettes are a great way to use up all the little bits of meats and vegetables that accumulate over the course of the week.  The secret to a good omelette is not to over stuff them.  A couple tablespoons  of ingredients is all you really need. If you overstuff your omelette you will have a hard time getting it to roll nicely.  You don’t want your fillings to come out of the ends.

The Basic Omelette


2 eggs,  lightly beaten

1 TBS milk


whatever you want for fillings


In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until a uniform yellow color.  Add some of your favorite spices if you like; set aside.  Heat an 8 inch pan over medium heat.  Lightly spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Let set for a few minutes then gently lift the edge and let the uncooked egg run under the cooked portion.  Continue to do this until the egg is almost all cooked.  Add a your toppings to the lower third of the omelette.  Fold the bottom of the egg over the filling and gently roll the egg until the filling is covered let cook for a few minutes to heat the filling through.  Use a spatula to gently flip the omelette unto a plate and serve. 

Tangy Coleslaw

IMG_0649I don’t mind mayonnaise based salads when they go directly from the refrigerator to the table but mayonnaise based salads freak me out if they have to travel any distance.  Even if I have just seen the salad come out of a cooler packed with ice, I am sure it is going to give me food poisoning.  I know it isn’t logical but mayonnaise based salads bring out my inner hypochondriac.  Whenever I am asked to bring coleslaw to an event I bring a vinaigrette based coleslaw.

You can use any vinaigrette you like on this salad so use your favorite.  I like to embellish my salad with a handful of Craisins and sunflower seeds just before serving it.  I really like that salty, sweet pop of flavor.

Tangy Coleslaw


3 cups shredded cabbage

½ cup shredded carrot


2 ½ TBS white vinegar

2 TBS sugar

2 TBS vegetable oil

1 tsp salt

1 TBS grated or minced onion

Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the shredded cabbage and carrots in a medium bowl. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and toss.

Chicken Tikka Masala


I never really experimented with Indian food because of one unfortunate visit to an Indian restraunt where everything on the menu was scorching hot, even when we ordered from the mild side of the menu.  I wasn’t cooking for myself at the time so it never occurred to me that not all Indian food was hot and I could probably find recipes more to my taste with a little research.  Let me tell you, it sucks to be me.  I have been missing out on some really good food.

The day after I mad my red curry chicken and vegetables this recipe for chicken tikka masala showed up on my reader already scaled for two.  I guess I was destined to keep trying for Indian food.

This recipe is a little more involved then my recipe for red curry chicken and vegetables because you have to marinate the chicken for at least an hour before cooking it.  Once the chicken is marinated, however, the recipe comes together pretty quickly.  The only changes I made to this recipe was to use coconut milk instead of heavy cream because it was what I had on hand and reduce the cayenne by  half.  The substitution worked very well.

I was allowed to reprint this recipe here by the lovely blogger over at Simply Delicious. So do me a favor and go give her blog a little love.  She isn’t a completely  recipe for one or two blog but she has a lot of good-looking food on her site.

Chicken Tikka Masala


1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cayenne pepper, I reduced it to a 1/2 teaspoon

1 tsp black pepper

1 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger

2 tsp salt

1 1/2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Tikka Masala Sauce:

1 TBS butter

1 medium onion, diced

2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1/2 cup heavy cream,  I used 1/2 cup coconut milk

2 TBS fresh chopped cilantro

In a medium bowl, combine the first 8 marinade ingredients.  Spread the marinade over both sides of the chicken and marinate at least 1 hour up to 24 hours.   When the chicken is done marinating, cook the chicken and set aside.  To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large skillet, saute the onions and garlic, until translucent, about 3 minutes over medium heat.  Season the onions with garam masala, tumeric, cumin and paprika. Cook for about 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomato sauce and heavy cream (or coconut milk) .  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat.  Simmer 20 minute or until the sauce thickens over low heat.  Add the cooked chicken and simmer 5 minutes.

This recipe is reprinted courtesy of Simply




Barbecue Sauce, 2 Ways


Summer is fast approaching even if the weather hasn’t gotten the message yet. Whose idea was 40 degree weather in May?  The cold weather hasn’t dimmed people’s desire to get out the grill and barbecue stuff, however.   Last weekend my neighbor and his wife invited me over for dinner.  They were going to barbecue ribs and chicken  and have all the fixings. When I got there, however, they told me they were going to take me out for dinner instead because someone forgot to buy barbecue sauce at the grocery store.  Oops.

I asked if I could see if they had the stuff I needed to make barbecue sauce.  I was met with an amazed look and asked ” You can make barbecue sauce? You can really do that?”  Yeah, I can really do that. About 15 minutes later, I had a nice homemade barbecue sauce ready to go.

Barbecue sauce isn’t that difficult to make from scratch.  You probably already have most, if not all, the ingredients in your pantry right now.  I realize that what constitutes a good barbecue sauce is highly, highly personal so feel free to experiment with your own ideas.

Classic Barbecue Sauce


1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water

2 TBS plus 1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar

2 TBS brown sugar

1 TBS Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

3/4 tsp kosher salt

3/4 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small pot  over medium heat, without bringing to a boil.  Stir occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Vinegar Sauce


1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup ketchup

1 1/2 tsp brown sugar

1 TBS hot sauce, or to taste

dash of Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small pot over medium heat, without bringing to a boil.  Stir occasionally, for about 5 minutes.