Archive for January 18th, 2009

Have you ever been following along using a recipe which you neglected to read through thoroughly before beginning.. ah  hem…and found you didn’t have one of the ingredients?  This happens to me quite frequently, however I have learned to read through a recipe before beginning but a lot of times I don’t have all the ingredients and have to use my imagination for substitutes.  Here are 10 items which you most likely DON’T have on your shelves with the applicable substitute for 10 more common items.  This was extracted from a “Cooking Light” magazine years ago (had it stuck to the fridge – my “pin up board”). Unfortunately, I can’t give the date of the article/publication but refer you to the site:  www.cookinglight.com

  • 1 TBS capers = 1 TBS chopped dill pickles or green olives
  • 1 stalk chopped lemongrass = 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp chile paste = 1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup honey = 1/2 cup molasses or maple syrup
  • 1 cup tahini = 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter and 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar = 2 tsp lemon juice mixed with a pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp wasabi = 1 tsp horseradish or hot dry mustard
  • 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup whole milk and 1 TBS lemon juice, stirred well
  • 1 tsp baking powder = 1/4 tsp baking soda mixed with 1/2 sp cream of tartar
  • 1 TBS cornstarch = 2 TBS all purpose flour or 4 TBS quick cooking tapioca.

Sunday Dinner: Baked Haddock with Curried Pears and Oven Roasted Snap Peas with Yellow Squash


Curried Pear:

  • 1 pear, peeled and choppe
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 TBS fresh dill
  • 1 TBS dried parsley
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1/4 cup water

Mix all ingredients in pot and put on medium high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside untl ready to use. May be prepared a day in advance.

Oven Roasted Snap Peas and Yellow Squash


  • 1 package or 8 oz Snap Peas
  • 2 small Yellow Squash, chopped
  • 1/2 TBS EVOO (flavored is best)
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 400 F. Put snap peas on the bottom of baking dish. Add the chopped squash. Drizzle some infused/flavored EVOO, plus lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Mix all around and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes.



Baked Haddock in Curried Pears

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Spread 1/2 of curried pear on the bottom of a baking dish sprayed with non stick spray.  Top with fish. Salt and pepper fish to taste.  Top fish with rest of curried pears.  Bake 20 minutes.


One of Ted’s retired work buds stopped by this past week and dropped off some home made sherry.  This one tasted like Apricots. Now I’m not a sherry drinker but this was very good. Smooth and so full of fruit flavor, it burst in your mouth.  Good job and Thanks Ed!

Ed's Homemade Apricot Sherry

Ed's Homemade Apricot Sherry


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It was 6:30AM.  Ted had taken most of the covers. At least he wasn’t snoring. I was awake but so wanting to get another 15 minutes to 1/2 an hour of rest, but it wasn’t going to happen. My mind began going over the day ahead. I surrendered and got up, brushed, washed, got dressed.  It was 11 degrees.  Not as bad as the past few mornings. 

I decided it was going to be a walking day meaning minimal amount of jogging, if any.  So the direction option was up the very steep hill of Sherman Drive (south).  As we approached the top, I thought the plow was coming so we cut to the right, the first available side street (about 1/2 mile up from our home) which would take us down Tilden, the parallel road from Sherman, just as steep,  however we would use that for our descent.  We went around a few of the side streets off to the left and ended up on ….think it’s Pleasant St., the back road toward Valley View, or rather, from the Parkway. 

A fair amount of snow had fallen but the streets were plowed so it wasn’t too taxing on the legs…that’s until we crossed the Parkway at Mohawk St, onto the streets of Utica.  You see when we go up Sherman and to the point of Valley View, that is zoned New Hartford.  New Hartford apparently has the funds to allocate for snow plowing.  Utica, it seems, does not.  I soon found out more snow had fallen than originally thought.  The streets were a mess. At this point, the snow began falling, stinging my eyes.  Some wind picked up.  Ok, so the somewhat pleasant walk with a “chill” in the air now turned into a leg breaking, eye stinging, 10 force wind resistant enhanced plod home.  The end result?  We managed 4 1/2 miles by the end of an hour.  One big PHEW!

Once home did some chores, vacuumed, laundry…Ted hadn’t made an appearance yet.  I began to wonder since it was 8AM. Unusual.  There he is!  Donning gym shorts asking what happened while he was sleeping.  I gave him the synopsis… unexciting.  He was headed to the gym to loosen his back up.  Both of us were suffering from an achy back due to the sitting in one position for that long movie yesterday.  We’re just not used to it. 

Breakfast:  One mega pear.  I mean it was HUGE (Billy Fuccillo )!  My stomach is making some pretty obnoxious noises right now…too MUCH pear?!!!!

Now for the Sunday omelet.  I tried practicing my food photography:

  • 6 trimmmed, chopped asparagus spears
  • 1/2 cup of the left over veg (broccoli, onions, tomatoes) from last evening
  • 1 cup Baby Spinach
  • 2 Egg Whites (Shane had the yolks-cooked) + 1/4 cup Egg Beaters
  • Feta cheese (1 oz, about)
Sunday Omelette

Sunday Omelette

Ok. So…who can recommend a class on Food Photography…or a book?! Anyone? Help?!!!!

I’ll leave you with this little tidbit of calorie cutting news:

As per RealAge, a great way to reduce the fat and calories in some of your favorite foods is to substitute mushrooms for the meat. A great place to start is with pasta dishes, stews, chili’s….  According to the article, you can cut as much as 420 calories by this substitution.  They also recommend a book: Mushroom Magic: 100 Fabulous Fungi Feasts and Marvelous Mushroom Meals.   * I checked on that book and there is limited copies… it might be out of print. But there are probably other great resources for mushroom dishes.

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