Here's to good food!

I am finally putting my tried and true family recipes here. Check out my old-time favorites as well as newly discovered ones.

I hope you'll find some recipes here that you enjoy cooking, and those you cook for will find them tasty and satisfying.
Are you looking for something special? Something quick and easy? You'll find it here somewhere.
Check in often to see what's cooking in Monterey!

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti

If you are posting from this site, please give appropriate credit and notify me. Thank you.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Lisa’s Tacos

This is a recipe that Lisa got from Girl Scouts or something when she was in elementary school.  She made it several times for us.  Now I am going to make it with her daughter.

1 pound ground beef                                             Sauce:
½ onion, chopped                               1 16 oz cans stewed tomatoes
2 t. chile powder                                 1½ tsp crushed oregano
1 clove garlic, minced                         1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 C tortilla chips, lightly crushed       ½ tsp salt
2 C shredded cheese                           ¼ tsp pepper
2 C shredded lettuce

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cook beef and onion with seasonings until brown.  Drain fat. 

Place crushed chips in a glass pie plate or small casserole dish.  Cover with beef, then cheese. 

Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until heated through.  Serve with shredded lettuce and sauce.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lisa’s Amaretto Cranberry Sauce

Lisa has made this cranberry sauce for the holidays for several years now.  The addition of the amaretto takes cranberry sauce to a higher level.  Enjoy this for Thanksgiving.  Besides serving it with turkey or other holiday meats, it is good on toast or biscuits, or over ice cream.

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 12 oz bag fresh cranberries
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1/3 cup Amaretto
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds

optional: zest and juice from one lemon

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and heat to boiling.  Add cranberries and cook for about 5-10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add marmalade and optional lemon zest and juice. 

Cool completely and add amaretto and almonds.

Pour into glass jars and chill.  Keeps in refrigerator for months.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fresh Tomato & Cucumber Salad

It was prime tomato season and I was asked to bring a salad.  My aunt used to make a simple but delicious salad in the summertime, with tomatoes picked from her garden.  This was reminiscent of those salads.  Unfortunately, the tomatoes are on the bottom and can't be seen. Get creative and adjust to your liking.

2-3 large farmers' market tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1-2 cucumbers, scored, slice about 1/4-1/2" thick
1/2 small red onion, halved and sliced very thinly
1/2 cup pitted olives, black or kalamata
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

2+ tablespoons olive oil
1+ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2-3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Layer tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions in a shallow bowl. Drizzle olive oil, and balsamic vinegar over the vegetables.  Sprinkle with the olives and cheese.  Garnish with basil leaves.

Eileen's Split Pea Soup with Ham

I had a split pea soup recipe that I loved.  But when I went to look for it, I couldn't find it.  It was similar to this, as I recall.  This worked out just fine.  I prefer ones that are not blended, especially with carrots, as they seem to have an unusual color and an odd flavor.  

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
½ lb. chopped ham, (Smithfield package)
1 lb. split peas, sorted and rinsed
6-8 cups water/ low-sodium chicken broth*
3 carrots, sliced about 1/8-1/4” thick

Heat olive oil and sauté onion until softened.  Add ham and brown slightly.  Add the drained peas and the chicken broth/water.  Cook for about 30-40 minutes, then add the carrots.  Cook until the carrots and peas are tender, about 15-20 minutes more.  Season as necessary, but ham will add some saltiness.

*chicken broth gives it a richer flavor.  Use at least partial chicken broth.  Add more water if it is too thick.