Friday, July 25, 2014

Banana Nutella Ice Cream

I discovered T4 this week and had been back 3 days in a row and was tempted for a 4th today since it went up to 97 degrees and I have no AC.   So as I am sweltering in my 81 degree house, I decided to be good and make Sunny Anderson’s 2 ingredient “ice cream” out of frozen bananas instead. 

Sunny Anderson’s Banana Nutella Ice Cream - Rachael Ray Show
4 ripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1/4 cup Nutella

Place frozen bananas in a food processor. Process until bigger chunks are broken down, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. If ice cream isn’t forming quickly, you can add a splash of water to get things moving. Add in Nutella and process until completely combined. Serves 4.


  1. I added in a splash of nonfat milk to loosen it up
  2. Instead of Nutella I added in a spoonful of TJ’s speckaloos
  3. To make it even healthier, you can use straight cocoa powder
  4. Only had 1 ½ frozen bananas so got 2 servings out of it

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lemongrass Chicken

A couple of weekends ago, I finally got an R&R day which I literally took to heart swimming for an hour at the Intercontinental and then taking advantage of their eucalyptus steam room before my 80 minute massage.  We dropped by the Ferry Building before heading home and came upon a table selling Cambodian sauces and condiments in front of the Village Market.  As you can tell, I like cooking almost anything and everything so figured why not try Cambodian and picked up a jar of lemongrass paste which is the base of many Cambodian dishes. 


Lemongrass Paste

Chicken Drumsticks

Olive Oil


1.  Marinade the chicken with lemongrass paste a few hours before cooking
2.  Preheat oven 350 degrees
3.  Place pre-marinaded drumsticks onto greased baking pan
4.  Roast for about 40 minutes turning once
5.  Make sure chicken is cooked thoroughly where it is no longer pink and juice runs clear.  
6.  Serve with jasmine rice and a side of green beans


1.  Check out for your own jar of lemongrass paste
Price:   Under $8 for 3 servings = $2.67 a serving


Monday, July 21, 2014

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

I use this make this dish pretty often mainly because it was easy so when I saw butter lettuce on sale, I decided to revisit one of my old time favorites.  Just like my favorite dessert,  was from a Joanne Fluke mystery book, this one was from one of Diane Mott Davidson’s earlier mystery books Killer Pancakes. 


½ cup of pine nuts

1-2 tbsp olive oil

1 lb ground turkey

½ jar of hoisin sauce

2 cups of cooked rice

Iceberg Lettuce Leaves


1.  Preheat oven to 400°. On a rimmed cookie sheet, toast the pine nuts for 5 to
10 minutes or until golden brown and set aside
2.  In a large skillet, add olive oil and brown the ground turkey over medium-high heat cooking thoroughly until no longer pink in the center.  Drain well and return to the pan.  
3.  Stir in hoisin sauce, heat and stir over medium heat until bubbly
4.  Add the pine nuts and the rice and stir until heated through 
5.  Spoon the hot turkey mixture onto each lettuce leaf

  1. Since I used turkey breast, there was barely any fat to drain
  2. Bibb lettuce is the best for lettuce cups due to its shape but I have used iceberg, romaine, and now butter lettuce for this recipe and they all taste great with it.  Just be aware that it is messy
Price:   Under $6 for 4 servings = $1.50 a serving

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Linguini with Clam Sauce

My parents are big fans of linguini with clam sauce and I had attempted a few different recipes hoping to come as close to what I may find at the restaurants and this is so far my favorite recipe.  I found this recipe in the Spirit of Aloha in flight magazine when I flew for the first and only time the now defunct Aloha Airlines back in Sept of 2007.  Unlike the white wine based ones that are too runny and therefore does not stick to the pasta, or the super creamy ones that are too rich and overpowers the dish with too much cream or butter, I find this one has a good balance of flavor that transfers to each bite. 


3 Tbsp butter or margarine

1 Tbsp flour

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp garlic salt

2 cans (8 oz) chopped clams in clam juice (save liquid)

3-4 tbsp chopped parsley

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

8 oz linguini


  1. Melt butter in a medium skillet over low heat
  2. Stir in flour, garlic, and garlic salt with wire whisk
  3. Add liquid from chopped clams and continue to stir
  4. Add seasonings and parsley
  5. Add clams last
  6. Simmer for 10 minutes
  7. Toss with cooked linguini

  1. Start boiling your water for pasta before you start you sauce
  2. You should be cooking your linguini per your box directions by the time you are ready to simmer your sauce
  3. I did not have garlic salt so left it out and only used a little salt vs. the full ½ tsp
  4. I used one can of chopped clams and one can of whole clams
  5. Since I had to have a non-shell fish dish, I tossed the other 8 oz of linguini with sun dried tomato pesto topped with roasted broccoli (Roasted Broccoli Recipe -
Price:   Under $4 for 3 servings = $1.34 a serving

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

French Dip Soup

As a child, all I ever brought to school for lunch was sandwiches, Virginia Ham mostly and if I was lucky, Beef Bologna and occasionally Hard Salami that my dad still pronounced “haad” with that Bostonian accent that still stays with him almost 60 years since leaving Bean Town. 

Unlike the typical sandwich, mines were about ½ an inch of deli meat in between two pieces of Wonder Bread with the crust cut off.  The crust-less part was my idea but it would have been nice to have some tomatoes, lettuce, or at least some mustard but no such luck.  Unfortunately that meant half way through my sandwich, I became super thirsty when my little Mott’s Apple Juice box ran out so I rarely finish my entire lunch.  Not feeling it at that time, looking back now, I do have fond memories of the love that did go into that sandwich as I got the high end Boar’s Head deli meat that my dad would pick up weekly on his way home from work from one of the NY delis. 

Only in recent years have I been really seeing Boar’s Head offered here in the West Coast and when I happened to be at Farmer Joe’s this weekend and passed that end of the store, I found that childhood staple of mine so ended up picking up some BH Virginia Ham and pastrami for my parents and roast beef for myself with this recipe in mind that is a bit of a cross between a sandwich and a French Onion soup, one of my dad’s favorite soups, after that Manhattan Clam Chowder -


  1. I like onions but not enough to consume 6 large onions so usually I only use 1 which is sufficient
  2. Instead of 6 cups of beef stock, 1 quart is also sufficient for me
  3. I have topped it with parmesan in the past but since I was out this time, I topped it with a slice of Swiss which is often found in French onion soup and poured some of the hot onion broth over it to soften the cheese.  You can also put the cheese on top of the roast beef before the onions to soften quicker.
Price:  $15 for 4 servings = $3.75 per serving


Monday, July 14, 2014

Garlicky White Bean and Artichoke Dip

I had a family b-day party to go to for our nephews’ birthdays and since family parties usually mean 30+ people, everyone normally brings a dish.  However, since I originally had another birthday party to go earlier in the day with an up to 2 hour drive between the two, I needed something really quick that I could just whip up in between the two parties.  So as I was frantically trying to figure out what to make, I ran across this recipe for a quick and easy dip that I already had all the ingredients for.   All I needed to pick up was a bag of pita chips to go with it.  The first b-day party ended up getting cancelled but was immediately replaced with my second Taiko class.  If that did not pan out, we would have gone to SF to the temple so yes, my schedule is that crazy that I end up having 3 possible things at the same time with my general philosophy being to go with who asked first. 

Garlicky White Bean and Artichoke Dip – Brian Boitano Recipe on Rachael Ray Show –

Price:  $6 total for this appetizer


Friday, July 11, 2014

Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Shells

I was not kidding when I said I would be eating leftover BBQ all week as I finally finished my last hot dog yesterday as part of my lunch.  But that is not to say that I have been eating BBQ for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Instead I have been remaking some dishes like the roasted cod, this time topped with a Kurtz Culinary plum garlic sauce that I picked up last year vs. the salsa verde (note – liked the salsa verde better).

I had previously made a deconstructed but less time consuming version of stuffed shells and finally got around to making the actual version of stuffed shells since I did not cook much this week. 


1 Box of Barilla Jumbo Shells

1 Jar of Classico Pasta Sauce (tomato and basil works well but any of them should work)

1 15 oz container of fresh ricotta cheese

1 box of chopped frozen spinach, cook according to package and wringed dry

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

8 oz of shredded mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cook shells in boiling water for about 9 minutes
  3. Drain and cool shells on a sheet pan
  4. Mix together the ricotta, spinach, half of the parm and half of the mozzarella, salt and pepper
  5. Fill the shells with the mixture
  6. Spray a baking dish like a Pyrex with some olive oil and add a light layer of sauce to cover the bottom of the dish
  7. Arrange shells (open side up), cover with the rest of the sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese
  8. Place foil over it and bake covered for 30 minutes
  9. After removing from oven, let rest for 10 minutes before serving

1.  The picture is not even half of what I made.  There was another 9 x 13 glass Pyrex full of shells so this is my week of making enough to feed an Army.