Plum Chutney

This is Karen’s Grandma’s recipe.  I felt bad for eating all of Karen’s stores, so I made my own batch. Twice. OK, fine. Four times.


1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup white vinegar


1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional) (I did not use it)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp mustard seed
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup candied ginger, sliced
3 1/2 cups pitted prunes, also sliced

Combine sugars and vinegar. Bring to a boil.

Add rest, and simmer until thickened (One to two hours)

**I usually double the plums to at least 7 cups, and am generous with my measurements of mustard seed, ginger, garlic and onion.


(7 cups of plums should yield about 4 cups of chutney)

It goes well with samosas…and potatoes, rice, crackers…basically anything you can smear it on.


Zucchini Bread

So. We have a garden.  Matthew has planted a plethora of vegetables in said garden, one class of which was zucchini.  We have harvested two batches of three zucchinis each.  Sounds minimal, no?


Need perspective?  I placed a pop can next to the legumes.


The good news is, you can grate it and freeze it for up to six months.  I spent two hours (!) grating zucchini and placing 2-cup portions into Ziploc bags.

I also made some zucchini bread and muffins.

My original recipe is this one:

3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups peeled and grated zucchini
3 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup nuts or chocolate chips
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Stir together eggs, oil, sugar, zucchini.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Add to zucchini mixture.

Stir in vanilla and nuts or chocolate chips.

*** Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, but it may take longer.  Check with a knife.

*** I had used my loaf pans for a batch of banana bread.  I instead used an 8×8 pan and a muffin tin.  The baking time was approximately 40 minutes.


You can use pork for this. I personally dislike pork (Except for bacon!), so we use chicken. This recipe makes approximately 6 servings.

It also goes well with a Greek Salad.


1 lemon, juiced (or lemon juice)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soya sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 pounds chicken (or other meat), cut into 1 inch cubes
2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces

In a large bowl, mix together lemon juice, olive oil, soy sauce, oregano, and garlic; add chicken, onions, and green peppers, and stir to coat.

Cover, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Thread chicken, peppers, and onions onto skewers.
Lightly oil grate. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or to desired doneness, turning skewers frequently for even cooking.

Roasted Potatoes

We have been harvesting potatoes from our garden and I wanted to do something tasty with them.  Homegrown potatoes deserve better treatment than being mashed with butter and sour cream.

I called both Karen and my Mom and I made a hybrid of their two recipes.


2lbs mini potatoes (White or red…your choice)
1 red onion, cut into wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme, or a bit of both (I didn’t have fresh, so used dried)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
1 tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 425. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Cut potatoes in half or in quarters depending on size, and place in the pan. Add the onion, olive oil, herbs, vinegar (if using), and garlic. Toss until well coated.

Roast uncovered for about 30 minutes. They are done when you can easily stick a fork in them.

Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

This is a recipe that Karen emailed to me a few weeks ago.  VERY TASTY.  They go really well with our Friday Night Nachos.

The Meat:

2 ½ lbs chicken wings (about 15)


½ cup hoisin sauce

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup liquid honey

1 tbsp dry sherry or chicken stock (I used sherry)

1 tbsp cider vinegar

2 large garlic cloves, minced


1. Honey garlic marinade: In large bowl, whisk together hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, sherry, cider vinegar and garlic.

2. Cut off wing tips at first joint, discard tips (or use for stock if you’re eager!). Separate wings at remaining joint, trim excess skin. Add wings to marinade; cover and marinate in refrigerator for at least 4 hours, turning occasionally. (make ahead: marinate in refrigerator for up to 1 day, turning occasionally). I put it all in a Ziploc bag to marinate.

3. Reserving marinade, arrange wings on rack on foil-lined baking sheet or on greased foil lined baking sheet. This will work better than a 9×13 pan. Spoon half of the marinade over wings. Bake in 400 F oven for 20 minutes. Turn and brush with remaining marinade; cook for about 20 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced.

4. Broil for about 1 minute per side or until wings are crisp and browned. (I probably broiled it for longer – this is important to get the skin crispy)

Best Lagagna EVER!

Best. Lasagna. EVER.

I originally posted this in October 2005 (!) but thought I should update it with some photos.  Especially after the grief it added to my weekend.

It really is worth all of the hassle, though.  I promise.


1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
12 dry lasagna noodles
2 eggs, beaten
1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


In a skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef, onion and garlic; drain fat.


Mix in basil, oregano, brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.

Adding stuff

Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until al dente; drain. Lay noodles flat on towels, and blot dry.

In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, parsley and 1 teaspoon salt.

Mmmmm…cheese.  And other stuff.

Layer 1/3 of the lasagna noodles in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Cover noodles with 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of the sauce. Repeat. Top with remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese over the top.


Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

It’s about 10 calories a serving.  Give or take a couple of hundred calories.




1/3 cup olive oil
1 can chick peas (garbonzo beans)
2 Tbsp tahini or unsweetened peanut butter
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
Crushed garlic…lots of it
1/4 tsp cumin (optional)


Drain the chick peas and reserve the juice.
Blend the chick peas in a blender – you may have to do this in stages to get it smooth.
Add the oil while blending (Um. Make sure you stop the blender before lifting the lid. But you knew that.)
If it is not smooth, add the reserved juice as you feel necessary.
Add the rest of the ingredients.

This keeps for quite a while, so you can make a big batch and keep it around. That is assuming you don’t eat it all in one sitting. Not that I have done that or anything.