Dutch Apple Pancake

  • 2 large or 3 small apples (peeled, cored, and very thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons butter (melted)
  1. Heat the oven to 425 F. Put a cast iron or oven-proof 9- or 10-inch skillet in the oven.
  2. In a bowl, combine the apple slices with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; toss gently to coat well.
  3. In another bowl, whisk flour with salt.
  4. In a large cup or small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
  5. Carefully take the hot cast iron pan from the oven, set it on a cooling rack, and add remaining butter; swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Careful – it may spatter.
  6. Arrange apple slices over the bottom of the pan.
  7. Pour batter over apple slices.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until puffed and lightly browned.

This would make a great dessert with a little ice cream on top.

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Thin and Crispy Chocolate Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups (195 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (70 g) natural, unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick, 110 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
  • 1 egg (size large)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon molasses

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne.

In a stand-up mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and molasses. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, a third at a time. When well mixed, remove the dough from the mixer, and form it into a ball. Dough will be stiff; if it is unworkable, add 1 tablespoon of water .  Then wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175° C). You can either roll the dough out and use a cookie cutter to make the cookies, or, if you refrigerated it in a log, slice off very thin slices. You are aiming for an even 1/8-inch thickness to make a crispy cookie.

Place cookies on a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking sheet, allowing 1/2 inch between cookies on the cookie sheet.

Bake in the middle rack for 8 to 10 minutes, less or more, depending on the size and thickness of the cookies. The cookies should bounce back when you press on their centers. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before removing the cookies from the tray to cool completely on a rack.

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Corn Chowder

6 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 (11 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper

Place potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes; drain. Meanwhile, saute onions and green pepper in butter. (If you like a thicker broth, add 1 tablespoon flour to the butter and onions and heat to foamy. Add 1 cup broth and whisk until thickened.)  Combine potatoes, corn, bell pepper, onion, red pepper flakes and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, simmer 5 minutes; remove from heat. Add cream and heat over low heat for 5 minutes; do not boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Red Wine Sauce

2 tablespoons canola oil
8 ounces shallots, sliced (about 2 cups)
1 6-ounce package sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 750-ml bottle Pinot Noir or other dry red wine
1 14-ounce can low-salt chicken broth
1 14-ounce can beef broth
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1 Turkish bay leaf

1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and mushrooms; sauté until tender, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle sugar over; sauté until mixture is deep brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add vinegar; stir until liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Add wine; boil until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Add both broths, thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer uncovered 35 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally.

Strain sauce through fine strainer into small saucepan; discard solids. Mix butter and flour in small bowl. Bring sauce to simmer over medium-high heat; gradually whisk in flour mixture. Cook until sauce is reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 5 minutes. (Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm over medium heat.)


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  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño chili, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 6 oz. andouille sausage, sliced
  • Optional:  3/4 pound ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay or Creole Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (15-oz.) can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

In a heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat oil & butter. Add onion, jalapeno, and bell peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes, then stir in chicken and season with salt, pepper, and oregano. Cook until the chicken is golden, about 5 minutes, then stir in andouille sausage, ham (if using), garlic, and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.

Add chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, rice, and remaining seasonings. Reduce heat to medium low, cover with a tight fitting lid, and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is almost absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Add the shrimp and cook until pink, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in green onions just before serving.

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Corn & Black Bean Salad

  • 3 ears of corn, cooked & shucked or 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 or 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • Optional: 1 medium jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
  • Optional: 1 medium avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced


  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or honey
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine, balsamic or cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili pepper or paprika or both

Mix together the salad stuff. Blend together dressing stuff. Combine.


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  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef, ground turkey, or a mix
  • 1 large yellow onion , finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic , finely minced
  • 2 (14.5) oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilies*
  • 3 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water or broth
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of diced vegetables (carrots, zucchini, corn, or a mix)

Serve topped with:

  • Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese , sour cream, chopped red or green onions, cilantro, roasted peppers, or hot sauce

Optionally serve with:

  • fresh cornbread or biscuits , baked russet potatoes, saltine crackers or tortilla chips


Heat olive oil in a large and deep non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add onion and saute 3 minutes, then add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer. Pour onions into a 6 or 7 quart slow cooker.
Return skillet to medium-high eat, add beef and cook stirring occasionally until beef has browned. Drain fat from beef (some prefer to leave about 2 Tbsp in with beef as added flavor but I drain it all). Pour browned beef into slow cooker.
Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1/2 cup water or broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, sugar, coriander and season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Stir mixture, cover with lid and cook on low heat for 5 – 6 hours.
Stir in drained canned beans and allow to heat through, about 10 minutes (if you want the soup to have more liquid you can add in another 1/2 cup water or beef broth).
Serve warm with desired toppings (I say the cheese and sour cream is a must, everything else is optional).
*If you don’t like heat then you can use canned tomatoes without green chiles since they are a little spicy.
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