Tarator (Bulgarian Cold Cucumber Soup)

This is one of Martin’s favorite soups.  Since he has moved to NYC I am moving some recipes he enjoyed at home to the front of my blog. Simple and Delicious!


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1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and diced or grated. (I generally grate)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk greek yogurt (not low fat or no fat, use the real stuff please)
1 – 2 cups water (depends on the consistency you like. I generally use 1 cup)
2 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1 Tablespoon oil (I use vegetable, olive or sunflower oil depending on what is in the pantry)


1.  Mash the garlic and salt together in a large bowl.
2.  Add grated cucumber to the garlic and salt mixture.  Mix together.March 17 2013 321
3.  Add yogurt to above and mix together
4.  Add water.  It should be the consistency of whole milk.
5.  Add dill and season with more salt to your taste.
6.  Serve chilled.



Simple and delicious!


May 2014 083


1 1/2 cups plain yogurt (I use whole milk yogurt.  You could strain the yogurt.  I skipped that step.)
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh chopped mint or dill (Actually, I prefer mint flavor over dill, kids like the dill and Kent doesn’t care!)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt


1.  Grate or dice the cucumbers.  (I grated and then chopped) Wrap the diced/grated cucumber in a cheesecloth.  Squeeze over the sink and try to get rid of as much liquid as possible.  Cucumbers are very watery. ( If you don’t have cheesecloth, use a paper towel or thin dish towel.)
2.  Add the cucumbers to the yogurt along with the rest of the ingredients.
3.  Mix well and refrigerate 1-2 hours.  This is a flavorful condiment for your falafel, duner or any sandwich.  You could use as a salad dressing.


Banana Bread

This recipe is from a Betty Crocker cookbook I have had forever. I have baked this bread for as long as I have been with my husband and that is 36 years.  Timeless, huh!!  Our whole family enjoys this recipe every. single time.  As always, Simple and Delicious!

Banana Bread



1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
3 medium mashed ripe bananas (I used a fork to mash them is separate bowl)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup water
1 2/3 cup all purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped nuts (we don’t usually use nuts)


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom of loaf pan.  I use a 9x5x3 inch pan.  I also mix this recipe by hand.  No stand up mixer for this one!
2.  Combine sugar and butter in large bowl.
3.  Mix in eggs until well blended.
4.  Add bananas and water and blend together.
5.  Stir in remaining dry ingredients until moistened.  (If you like nuts, add now)
6.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes.
7.  Loosen sides of loaf pan and remove from pan.  Cool completely before slicing.



Ethiopian – Doro Wat -Chicken Stew

Paige and Lily went to Chicago over the summer and mentioned they went to an Ethiopian restaurant. They really enjoyed the flavors.  I have been looking for a recipe since they put that in my mind.  Doro Wat is a slow cooking chicken stew with the main spice being Berbere. I have the recipe for Berbere below or you can get it at Penzeys in Appleton. I follow Festival Foods and saw this recipe while scrolling through Twitter over the weekend.  I enjoyed the flavors, Kent not so much.  See what you think!

Slow Cooker Doro Wat



2# boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 lemon, need the juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger (I used 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 Tablespoons Berbere spice (see below)
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken broth
4 hard boiled eggs, shelled and halved (I did not do this – next time!)

Berbere Spice  (This makes a little over 4 Tablespoons.  I used it all in my stew.)

2 1/2 Tablespoons sweet or smoked paprika (I used combination of both)
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds  (I used ground fennel for a substitute)
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Directions for the stew

  1.  Season chicken breasts with lemon juice and set aside for 15 minutes. (that is about how long it takes to make the Berbere)
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic and ginger.  Cook until softened – about 5 minutes.  Place onion mixture in slow cooker. (you could also slow cook in a dutch oven – 275 degrees for 2-3 hours)
  3. Place the chicken breasts on top of the onion mixture.  Add turmeric, Berber spice mix, tomato paste and chicken broth.  Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3 hours.  (slow cookers differ in times so be sure your chicken is cooked through)
  4. Add eggs to the dish and serve warm with rice or flatbread

Simple and Delicious.  Enjoy!!

Bacon and Egg Rice Stir Fry

I found this recipe a long time ago in Bon Appetit magazine.  I have been making it for about 10 years.  Everyone in our family loves this very simple stir fry.  I make it for breakfast once or twice a month.  We always enjoy this simple and delicious meal.

October 25 011

Bacon and Egg Rice Stir Fry


1 cup long grain white rice (I use jasmine, basmati, arborio or long grain white, depends on my mood)
2 cups water

8 bacon slices, cut into 1/2 inch strips
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I use peanut oil)
1/2 cup green onion
1 teaspoon sesame oil (I use 1 Tablespoon – no, it is not too much)


  1. Bring rice and water to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Set aside. (I make rice almost every Sunday.  That way when I make a rice dish during the week that part is done.)
  2. Cook bacon in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until golden and crisp.  It takes about 5-10 minutes.  Pour into a sieve over a heatproof bowl and reserve bacon and fat separately.
  3. Whisk together eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
  4.  Return 3 Tablespoons of bacon fat to skillet and sauté onion over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs and cook, stirring until eggs are just set, about 1 minute.  Make a well in center of egg mixture, then pour in peanut (or vegetable) oil and 2 Tablespoons reserved bacon fat.
  5. Add rice, remaining salt and pepper and cook stirring about 2 minutes.
  6. Add bacon, green onions, sesame oil and cook mixture,October 25 012stirring until mixed through.
  7. Serve starving family and/or friends!

Shepard’s Pie – Simple and Delicious

Shepard’s Pie is a great comfort food.  That is what this Sunday was all about.  I had a recipe I have used for years which called for a dry onion soup mix.  I wanted to try a recipe that did not have onion soup mix in it. I found this recipe on Food Network.  Gotta love Rachel Ray.  I changed the recipe up a bit but it worked for us!

Shepard’s Pie

March 007


2 pounds potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup cream
3 Tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
2  cups beef stock or broth
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon sweet paprika


1.  Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl.
2.  Combine sour cream, egg yolk and cream. Add the butter and cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.
3.  Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with ground beef.
4.  Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes.
5.  Drain the drippings from the pan.
6.  Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix together.
7.  In a  small saucepan over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute.
8.  Add gravy to meat along with 1/2 cup of broth & 1/2 teaspoon thyme to ground beef and vegetables. Stir in peas.
9.  Preheat broiler to high. I used the skillet as a vessel or you could fill a small rectangular casserole with the meat and vegetable mixture.
10.  Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. (If you don’t have paprika that is okay too!)

That’s it.  Simple and Delicious.  No leftovers for this one.  Enjoy!!

Asian Chicken Salad

Trying to find some new recipes.  I actually bought “The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook” and found this recipe along with several more.  Gotta do something to get of Twitter!! The best place for destressing is my kitchen.  Why not try some new recipes while I am at it!  Here is a “Simple and Delicious” meal!

Asian Chicken Salad



2 oranges (took 3 for me)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger (I used 1 Tablespoon. That was all I had and it was plenty.  Also, if you don’t have fresh ginger you can use 1 teaspoon dried ginger.)
1 Tablespoon Asian Chili Garlic Sauce (I had sweet chili sauce and added 1 garlic clove, minced)
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
4 – 6 to 8 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
2 Romaine Lettuce hearts (12 oz), sliced thin
1/2 Napa Cabbage, sliced thin
2 red bell peppers, sliced thin
1 cup cilantro, chopped (Cilantro is a challenge in my family.  I love it. No one else does!)
1 cup dry, roasted peanuts (Cashews would be nice too!)
6 green onions, sliced thin (did not have any, maybe next time)


  1. Cut thin slice from top and bottom of oranges, then slice off rind and pith. Working over bowl, cut orange segments from thin membrane and transfer segments to second bowl; set aside. Squeeze juice from membrane into first bowl (juice should measure ¼ cup).  **I only got a 1/4 cup – this is correct.**
  2. Combine orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and chili-garlic sauce in bowl; transfer ½ cup orange juice mixture to 12-inch skillet. Slowly whisk vegetable oil and sesame oil into remaining orange juice mixture to make vinaigrette; set aside.
  3. Bring orange juice mixture in skillet to boil. Add chicken, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until meat registers 160 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken to plate and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, boil pan juices until reduced to 1/4 cup, 1 to 3 minutes; set aside. Using 2 forks, shred chicken into bite-size pieces. Off heat, add chicken, any accumulated juices, and 2 tablespoons vinaigrette to skillet. Toss to coat and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Toss romaine, cabbage, bell peppers, cilantro, peanuts, and scallions with remaining vinaigrette in large bowl. Transfer to serving platter and top with chicken and oranges.

I did not mix all together.  I put the cabbage, romaine lettuce and red peppers in a large salad bowl.  The cilantro, peanuts and chicken in separate bowls.  That way people can take what they want.  This salad did take some time but it’s Sunday and that’s what they are for – taking your time.  It definitely was delicious!!


Pizza Dough 2019

Got a call from Martin in NYC today.  He was attempting to make pizza dough. He made me realize I needed to update the instructions on this recipe. YIKES!

Needless to say, I make pizza almost every Friday.  I have a couple of ‘go to’ recipes for pizza dough.  Any pizza dough I make I throw into a food processor.  It is quick and painless.  It is a great recipe for 1 pizza.  You could split in half for 2 personal size pizzas.  Here it is;

Go To Pizza Dough 2019



  • 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 packet (or 2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 3/4 teaspoon table or sea salt)
  • 7 ounces warm water (105 degrees F – 115 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (extra for the counter when you take out of bowl)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cornmeal or semolina, for the pizza peel (if you don’t have, use flour)
  1. Be sure to preheat oven to 475 degrees 30 minutes before baking pizza.
  2. Place dry ingredients in bowl of food processor or stand up mixer or mixing bowl if doing by hand.  Pulse or mix the dry ingredients together.  If using stand up mixer you can use the dough hook or the beater.
  3. Add water and oil slowly through the food processor tube or into the mixer bowl. Mix until a ball is formed. If doing by hand mix the ingredients together and place the dough on a floured counter. Knead the dough into a ball.
  4. Place some oil (1 Tablespoon) on counter and place the dough on counter.  Roll in the oil and form into a small ball.
  5. Place dough in 2 quart bowl sprayed with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap.
  6. At this point you can put in your refrigerator overnight and take out 2-3 hours before you plan on using it. (You can put in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or place in a gallon storage bag. Be sure to spray with oil before placing dough in he bowl or bag.)
  7. Or, put in draft free area, let rise 2 hours and use that day.
  8. When I am ready to make the pizza I place parchment paper on a pizza peel.  I sprinkle  a tablespoon of flour on the parchment paper. I place the risen dough on the parchment paper and use my hands to spread into a 12-14 inch circle.  You may have to sprinkle a tablespoon of flour on top of the dough to spread out. After you spread out the dough you can add your toppings and cheese.  Then place in the preheated oven on your pizza pan.  I use a pizza stone. If you don’t have a pizza peel still use the parchment paper.  That way you can slide the pizza onto your pizza pan.  Parchment paper is way worth the purchase if you are going to make pizzas. I use it for more then pizza but that’s for another day!

Bake your pizza 10-15 minutes until bottom lightly browned and cheese is golden.

Simple and Delicious!  Enjoy!!


Veggie Pesto Pizza – Simple and Delicious

Lily and Paige enjoy a restaurant in town called Rustique Pizzeria and Lounge.  Believe it or not, I have never been there.  Paige enjoyed the Veggie Lover’s Pizza.  She requested this for New Years Eve but with the bad weather we ended up making it Friday.  Paige, Rachel and I really enjoyed this pizza.

Veggie Pesto Pizza


(PREHEAT OVEN 475 degrees)

Pizza Dough (you can make or buy at your local grocery store)
Pesto (you can do the above)
Artichoke Hearts (I bought a jar)
Mushrooms (I bought a jar of these too.  My family likes them out of a jar.  I don’t like them fresh or in a jar but they were good on this pizza!)
Spinach (I bought fresh)
Roasted Red Peppers (I bought a jar of these too! You can roast your own if you like.)
Onions (you can use red, white, yellow or a shallot.  I used a shallot.)
Black Olives
Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese (if you like)


  1.  Spread pesto over the pizza dough.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients as you wish and top with cheese. img_9001I did not measure any of the ingredients.  I think you got this!!
  3. Bake at 475 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

img_9002 The Friday Motley “Crew” begging!


Pesto – Simple and Delicious

This is my go to pesto recipe.  LOVE it!!


May 26 2013 010May 26 2013 011


1-2 cloves garlic – If you like the garlic flavor add another clove! (you can toast if you like.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  If you toast, don’t take out of skins.)
1/4 cup toasted almonds (pine nuts are most popular but we don’t like that taste. You can use any nut you like.)
2 cups basil (I usually use 2 small or 1 large package.  The stores around here usually have the smaller packages.)
3/4 cup Olive Oil (Less or more, depends on the consistency you desire.)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese (You can use less if you like.  We like the cheesiness.)
1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (You may want to try 1/2 teaspoon salt and taste as you go)


1.  If you toast – Toast the garlic in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until softened and spotty brown.  It take 5-8 minutes.  When cool, remove and discard skins.
2.  Personally, I would take the time to toast the nuts – Toast the nuts in a medium, dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently (Pay attention or you may burn and have to start all over) until golden and fragrant, 4-5 minutes.  Cool the nuts.
3.  In a food processor place all ingredients but the olive oil.  Pulse until mixed together.  Pour in the olive oil slowly.  I use 3/4 cup and let it process for 3-5 minutes.
4.  Transfer the pesto to a small bowl. Done!!

We like to mix with pasta or use as a base for pizza.  What about YOU?