2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,600 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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A Simple Dinner:  SPICED CHICKEN WITH TURMERIC – CLOVES – GARLIC – ROSEMARY – ETC. – IN WHITE WINE

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–turmeric, cloves, garlic powder, rosemary, cayenne pepper (optional), bay leaves, salt, pepper (bottled)

–white wine (cooking wine is fine)

1 – Place the chicken in a covered baking dish with a little white wine.  Season with turmeric, cloves (minimally), garlic powder, rosemary, cayenne pepper (optional), bay leaves (2), salt, pepper, and olive oil.

2 – Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

3 – Serve the chicken hot.  I also served broccoli and zucchini (for recipes, use the search box on this blog).

–chicken adapted from Edward Giobbi’s Eat Right, Eat Well—the Italian Way.

COD CREOLE WITH CELERY – ONION – PARSLEY IN SPAGHETTI SAUCE / COUSCOUS

–cod (size of 3 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–celery (1 stalk, chopped)

–onion (one-half, chopped)

–parsley (fresh, 1 handful, chopped)

–spaghetti sauce (bottled, two-thirds cup)

–Creole seasoning (bottled)

–couscous (boxed)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Chop the celery, onion, and parsley, and place in a covered baking dish with two-thirds cup of spaghetti sauce.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Then place the cod atop the sauce.  Season with Creole sauce, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Set aside.

2 – Place three-fourths cup of couscous in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt.  Add 1 cup of water and a little olive oil.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes.

3 – Microwave the cod on high for 8 minutes.

4 – Serve the cod and sauce, hot, atop the couscous.  I also served tomato pie (for recipe, use the search box on this blog).

–adapted from To the Taste of a King (a shrimp recipe).

CHICKEN TENDERS WITH CHOPPED PEAR IN RED WINE – CURRANT JELLY SAUCE / QUINOA WITH BROTH

–4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–pear (fresh, medium)

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–red currant jelly

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–quinoa (boxed)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

1 – Place two-thirds cup of quinoa in a covered baking dish.  Add 1 and one-third cups of chicken broth.  Season with olive oil.  Microwave on high for 6 minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 9 minutes.  When finished, keep covered to preserve warmth.

2 – Place the chicken in covered baking dish.  Place 2 tablespoons of currant jelly and one-fourth cup of red wine in a microwaveable cup.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  In a separate cup, place 1 heaping tablespoon of flour.  Slowly add the jelly/wine to the flour, stirring briskly.  Then pour the sauce over the chicken.   Chop 1 fresh pear, and place in the baking dish around (but not covering) the chicken.  Spoon sauce over the pear.  Microwave on high for 7 minutes.

3 – Serve the chicken hot with pears and sauce atop the quinoa.  I also served turnip greens with pickle relish and (as a first course) split green pea soup (for recipes, use the search box on this blog).

–recipes original.

An Encore Holiday Dinner for 2:  THYME CORNISH HEN WITH FAUX BACON IN RED WINE – CURRANT JELLY SAUCE / DRESSING WITH MUSHROOMS – ONION – PARSLEY IN BROTH

Note:  It will take 3 days to thaw a frozen Cornish hen in the refrigerator.

–1 Cornish hen (game hen)

–thyme (bottled)

–Bac’n pieces (soy bacon)

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–red currant jelly (bottled)

–chicken broth (non-fat, low sodium)

–breadcrumbs (I used Pepperidge Farm herbed)

–parsley (fresh)

–onion (one-half, sliced)

–mushrooms (sliced, baby bellas)

1 – While still encased in plastic, cut through the Cornish hen lengthwise, just to one side of the backbone.  Place in a large, covered baking dish with a very little chicken broth.  Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 7 minutes; then turn the hen over, and microwave for 7 minutes more.

2 – Place 2 tablespoons of red currant jelly in a microwaveable cup.  Add one-fourth cup of red wine.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Pour over the cooked Cornish hen.  Then sprinkle the hen with Bac’n pieces.

3 – Place one-half sliced onion, chopped parsley, and sliced baby bells mushrooms (1 handful) in a covered baking dish with a little chicken broth.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Then add a generous amount of breadcrumbs and more chicken broth.  Stir well.  Season with olive oil.  Microwave for 1 minute more.

4 – Serve one-half Cornish hen to each person, with sauce spooned over the hen and the dressing.  I also served baked potatoes with plain yogurt and broccoli (for recipes, use the search box in this blog).

–Cornish hen adapted from astray recipes.com; dressing adapted from To the Taste of a King.

BALSAMIC – GLAZED SALMON WITH ROSEMARY – GARLIC – BROWN SUGAR

–salmon (size of 3 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–balsamic vinegar

–rosemary (bottled)

–garlic powder

–brown sugar

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–clam juice (fish sauce)

1 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish with a little clam juice.  Drench in balsamic vinegar.  Season with rosemary, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Sprinkle brown sugar on top.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

2 – Serve the salmon hot.  I also served broccoli and baby lima beans (for recipes, use the search box in this blog).

–salmon adapted from allrecipes.com web site.

PARMESAN COD & SHRIMP IN WHITE SAUCE / FRESH TURNIP GREENS WITH PICKLE RELISH

–cod (size of 3 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–shrimp (8 to 10, thawed from frozen)

–Parmesan cheese

–milk (dairy or almond; soy isn’t advised)

–flour

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–turnip greens (fresh)

–pickle relish (bottled)

1 – Place one-half package of fresh turnip greens in a large baking dish with 1 inch of water.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

2 – Place one-half cup of dairy or almond milk in a microwaveable cup; microwave for 45 seconds.  Place 1 heaping tablespoon of flour in a second cup.  When the milk has heated, slowly add to the flour, stirring briskly.  Place the cod in a covered baking dish.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese, generously, on top.  Pour the white sauce into the dish.  Microwave on high for 8 minutes.  Pour the shrimp atop the cod.  Microwave for 2 and one-half minutes more. 

3 – Serve the cod and shrimp hot, with the turnip greens as a side, accompanied by pickle relish.

–cod/shrimp adapted from allrecipes.com; turnip greens original.

GARLIC – HERB CHICKEN TENDERS WITH MISSISSIPPI COMEBACK DIPPING SAUCE / SPRING MIX WITH STRAWBERRIES & HONEY – BLUEBERRIES – FETA – PECANS IN BALSAMIC VINEGAR – EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL DRESSING / PARMESAN CAULIFLOWER WITH WHITE SAUCE

Note:  Mississippi comeback dipping sauce originated in Greek restaurants in Jackson, Mississippi in the thirties.  It has remained popular in the Deep South ever since, encouraging a “come back” for more.

 –4 chicken tenderloins or breast strips

–garlic – herb breadcrumbs

–comeback dipping sauce (see recipe below)

–spring mix salad greens

–strawberries (6 to 8, sliced and dipped in honey)

–blueberries (1 handful)

–feta cheese (one-half small carton)

–pecans (one-half small package)

–balsamic vinegar

–extra virgin olive oil

–cauliflower (1 head, fresh)

–milk (dairy or almond; soy doesn’t do well in the microwave)

–flour

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Prepare Mississippi comeback dipping sauce ahead of time to allow flavors to meld.  The recipe:

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup chili sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place in the refrigerator until time for dinner.  May be kept safely for up to a week.

 2 – Wash and cut apart the cauliflower into large chunks.  Place in a covered baking dish.  In a microwaveable cup, place one-half cup of dairy or almond milk, and then microwave on high for 45 seconds.  In a second cup, place 1 tablespoon of flour.  Add the milk to the flour very slowly, stirring briskly.  Then pour the white sauce over the cauliflower.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.  Microwave on high for 15 minutes.  If sauce appears to be too thick, add chicken broth to desired consistency.

3 – Place one-half package of spring mix to a mixing bowl.  Add 6 to 8 sliced strawberries that have been marinated in honey.  Add 1 handful of blueberries.  Add one-half package of pecan chips.  Add one-half small carton of feta cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Wait to add dressing until just before dinner.  At that time, add balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil to taste.  Stir well.

4 – Place the chicken tenders in a plastic bag.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Pour a small amount of garlic – herb breadcrumbs into the bag.  Shake well.  Place the tenders in a covered baking dish with a little water.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

5 – Serve the salad as a first course.  Then serve the chicken tenders hot, the comeback sauce cold, with the cauliflower as a side.  I also served baby lima beans (for recipe, use the search box on this blog).

–comeback sauce retrieved from “my recipes” web site; other recipes original.

CHUNKY SALMON & PASTA WITH ONION – PARSLEY – PARMESAN IN MARINARA & RED WINE SAUCE

–salmon (size of 3 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–bowtie pasta (1 cup)

–onion (one-half, medium)

–parsley (fresh, 1 handful, chopped)

–Parmesan cheese (shredded)

–spaghetti sauce (bottled; I used Ragu with herbs)

–red wine (cooking wine is fine)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

1 – Place 1 cup of bowtie pasta in an uncovered baking dish.  Add water to 2 inches above the pasta.  Season with salt and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 2 and one-half minutes; then microwave on 50 percent power for 8 and one-half minutes.  Keep submerged in water to preserve warmth.  Set aside.

2 – Chop one-half onion and place in a covered baking dish in a little red wine.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Set aside.

3 – Place the salmon in a covered baking dish with a little red wine.  Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.  When finished, break the salmon apart with a fork, discarding the skin.

4 – Place one-half jar of spaghetti sauce atop the cooked onion.  Chop 1 handful of parsley, and add to the baking dish.  Stir well.  Microwave on high for 5 minutes.

5 – Drain the pasta in a colander, and then add to the spaghetti sauce and onion.  Stir well.  Add the chunky salmon to the top of the dish, in the middle.  Then sprinkle the whole with Parmesan cheese, generously.

6 – Serve the salmon and pasta hot.

–recipe original.

SEASONED COD WITH TOMATO & ONION IN COCONUT MILK / WHITE RICE / 15 – BEAN VEGETABLE WITH THYME & TARRAGON / BACON – FLAVORED TURNIP GREENS

–cod (size of 3 decks of cards, one-half pound)

–tomato (fresh, medium)

–onion (one-half, medium)

–banana peppers (8 to 10 sliced pieces, bottled, optional)

–cumin, coriander, cilantro, turmeric, ginger (bottled)

–garlic powder

–cayenne pepper (optional)

–coconut milk (one-third cup, canned, lite)

–15 – bean variety (dried; soak overnight)

–thyme, tarragon (bottled)

–turnip greens (canned)

–Bac’n pieces (soy bacon)

–salt and pepper

–olive oil

–white rice (instant, boxed)

1 – Place two-thirds cup of 15 – bean mix in a slow cooker.  Add chicken broth just to the top of the beans.  Season with salt, pepper, thyme, tarragon, and olive oil.  Cook on low for 7 hours; then place setting on “warm” until time for dinner.

2 – Chop the tomato and onion, and place in a covered baking dish with the one-third cup of coconut milk.  Season with salt and pepper.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.  Place the cod amid the vegetables, in the coconut milk.  Season with cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic powder, cayenne pepper (optional), salt, pepper, and cilantro.  Spoon some coconut milk over the cod.  As an option, sprinkle cut banana peppers on top.  Set aside.

3 – Place two-thirds cup of white rice in a covered baking dish.  Add two-thirds cup of water.  Season with salt and olive oil.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  When finished, keep covered for at least 5 minutes.

4 – Place the turnip greens in a covered baking dish.  Season with pepper and Bac’n pieces.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes.

5 – Microwave the cod on high for 9 minutes, checking toward the last to be sure that milk is not bubbling over.  If so, microwave on 50 percent power for twice the remaining time.

6 – Serve the cod hot, atop the rice, with the turnip greens and beans as sides.

–cod adapted from the food.com web site; other recipes original.