Honey Mustard Chicken with Asparagus


Usually when I do a honey mustard flavored meat/fish dish, I use the mixture as a marinade before grilling or oven roasting.  This time I had some young asparagus and wondered if I could substitute a honey mustard sauce drizzled on top, instead of my old stand by of lemon sauce.  Home alone, I thought I’d take the risk.

The sauce is easy to make and, lightly sweetened, was fabulous with the asparagus.  I poured some over the baked chicken too.  Perfection!


Honey Mustard Sauce

1/4 cup honey

3 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp Dijon mustard

Mix the ingredients together and warm before serving

Pan Roasted Asparagus with Honey Mustard Sauce

2 tbsp butter

1 lb fresh, young asparagus, tough ends cut off


Heat the butter in a skillet, add the asparagus and saute for about 3 minutes.  Add about 1/3 cup of water, bring to a boil, cover and steam for about 5 minutes, drain and drizzle with warm honey mustard sauce before serving

Baked Chicken with Honey Mustard Sauce

4-6 chicken thighs, skin on

Salt and pepper

Smoked paprika


1 tbsp butter

Season the chicken all over with salt, pepper and paprika.  Dredge the chicken in flour and set aside.  Melt the butter in a roasting pan, then add the chicken, skin side down, and roast at 425 F for 25 minutes.  Turn the chicken over and continue to roast for another 20 minutes.  Serve with warm honey mustard sauce.





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Tuna Helper


I remember when Hamburger Helper first hit the shelves in the supermarkets.  My mom thought it was a cool idea; easy for her and filling.  She also thought Tuna Helper was pretty good because she regularly made tuna casseroles.  After a while we thought she used these boxes a little too much and we mildly whined for the “normal” food she made so well.  I say mildly whined because we didn’t want to be backhanded from the table and miss a meal, whatever it was.  She got over this fad after a few months, I think out of boredom.


Aburaage are Japanese fried bean curd pockets that come in a can.  You open the can with a can opener (I suggest opening the bottom because the top has a lip on it that makes it hard to get the pockets out without ripping them.), drain away the liquid and stuff them with sushi rice and other things which changes them into Inarizushi.  They are delicious and I thought I would bring some to share at the card party this Tuesday.  I thought that I had two cans of aburaage in the pantry, so I made a large amount of tuna salad to stuff between two layers of rice in the pockets.  Unfortunately, I only had one can and that left me with quite a lot of unused tuna salad.  So I made Rosemary’s Crazy Tuna Helper with orecchiette pasta boiled in two cans of chicken broth, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, leftover tuna salad and about 3-4 cups of baby spinach stirred in.  Living the life.


This is my new blue and white plate I found at an antique store😀


Posted in Appetizer, Cooking, Food and Wine, Japanese, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Rognons d’Agneau aux Champignons


I’ve found a trusted source for lamb kidneys!  My friend Laura McPherson recommended White Oak Pastures, a family owned farm with an online store, for a boneless pork loin roast I wanted for Thanksgiving.  While browsing the store’s products, I found some lamb kidneys and thought, why not?  Disappointingly, their products came frozen; I thought  they would come fresh, packed in ice.


No chef, I was at first horrified by the grayish color I saw through the thawed transparent package.  After un-enthusiastically opening the package, I realized that the gray was membrane and that I had never bought kidneys that were not cleaned and cut up into attractive slices by a butcher!  Well, bless my heart😀  My mother made kidneys all the time but apparently I only popped in for the eating part.


Lovely.  Of course I had to clean out the little white bits but it wasn’t too bad.  I cut the slices into bite sized pieces and added whatever I thought I’d like, including mushrooms.


This was excellent and I have another package in the freezer!  I wonder if the company has calf’s liver?

Lamb Kidneys with Mushrooms

2 tbs butter

6-8 lamb kidneys, membrane removed, cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces

1 tbsp butter

2 shallots, thinly sliced vertically

1/2 bell pepper, diced small

1 tbsp butter

1 1/2 cup whole fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup Chinese cooking wine

Salt and pepper

Heat the butter in a large skillet on high until hot and bubbly.  Add the kidneys and quickly saute on high until cooked medium rare.  Remove the kidneys from the skillet, set aside and wipe out the skillet with a paper towel.  Add a tablespoon of butter, the shallots, bell pepper and saute until the onion is soft.

Add another tablespoon of butter and the mushrooms.  Saute the mushrooms until they begin to release their water, then add the wine and boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the cooked kidneys and heat for 1-2 minutes.  Serve over rice.








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Mac N Cheese


I was invited to a cards and appetizer party on Tuesday but, for the life of me, I couldn’t think of an appetizer that I wanted to make.  I honestly wasn’t being a contrarian, I just didn’t want to make any of the appetizers that came to mind.


So I decide to make my mac n cheese casserole.  Even though it’s certainly not an appetizer, I thought I would be forgiven, and I was🙂  The casserole is made with 3 kinds of cheeses, sour cream with a crispy top of cracker crumbs and a soft, moist interior.  It’s good and easy!


In the meantime, I’m busy wracking my brain for an appetizer I want to make for the next party🙂


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Baked Pork Chop with Cabbage


Tragically, my little black Le Creuset omelette pan is in France😦  I thought, no problem, I’ll get another for the house here.  Unfortunately, I cannot find a black cast iron Le Creuset omelette pan anywhere!  The only thing I found was an 8 inch, I thought, cast iron omelette pan made by a company called Denby?  Never heard of it.


The first one came in the mail with the handle broken off.  Bizarre.  I’ve didn’t know a cast iron handle could break off!  Still, instead of asking for my money back, I allowed them to send me a replacement and it arrived in one piece.  It’s no Le Creuset nor Le Frugal’s skillet, let me tell you!  Oh well.


I like cabbage and I don’t know why I don’t have it more often.  This is an easy way to prepare it with vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, onion and bacon.


I served the cabbage with truly gigantic (GM?, hormones?) salt, pepper and flour coated oven baked pork chops.

Cabbage with Bacon

5 slices of thick sliced bacon cut into batons

1 small onion, halved and sliced

1 small cabbage, medium shred

1/3 cup vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Brown and crisp the bacon in a large skillet.  Remove the bacon and leave to drain on paper towels.

Remove all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the skillet and add the onion, sauteing until the onion is soft.  Add the cabbage and stir fry for about 3 minutes.

Mix the vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper together until well blended, then stir into the cabbage.  Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.





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Ground Steak, Cucumber Pickle and Spinach


I bought a package of mini cucumbers the other day because they were cute and had a picture of what looks like a little Haitian boy on the cover.  Maybe he’s not Haitian, although the cucumbers came for Canada (all the U.S. cucumbers apparently died from blight) and there are a lot of Haitians in Canada, or I was just thinking of my husband still resisting retirement in Port Au Prince.


I decided to make a quick Japanese inspired pickle by first removing the seeds before slicing.


I added a little sliced ginger to the cucumber because I like ginger in general and it’s good pickled.  I refrigerated this with rice vinegar and sugar for about 2 hours and it was great! Tomorrow it will be even better.


One thing leading to another, with pernicious anemia dogging my heels, I thought I could use a boost from some spinach, which means I wanted some spinach  ;)


I knew that if I found a really large garlic clove, which I did, things couldn’t go wrong.  The Disney World tomatoes and scallions were just side issue.


Now if I were Nepali, vegetarian or had sensitive teeth or something, I would have just eaten the spinach over an enormous pile of bland rice with the pickle on the side.  But, thank you Lord, that isn’t the case.  I had some bespoke( I love the British people) ground steak that I pan seared to satisfy my carnivorous disposition.

Cucumber and Ginger Pickle

6 mini cucumbers

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thin into batons

2 tsp salt

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

Roasted sesame seeds

Score the outside of the cucumbers with a fork, half and remove the seeds with a small spoon, then slice.  Gently stir the cucumber slices in a bowl with the salt, mixing well, then put into a strainer for about 10-15 minutes to release most of the water, rinse with cold water, then pat dry on paper towels.

Place the dried cucumber and ginger batons into a zip lock bag.  Mix the vinegar and sugar together, then pour into the zip lock bag with the cucumber.  Squish around and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Garlic Spinach with Tomatoes

1 tbsp peanut oil

1 tsp sesame oil

2 scallions, sliced

1 really large garlic clove, thinly sliced

8 oz (weight) baby spinach

2 tomatoes, seeds removed, then diced

Roasted sesame seeds

Heat the oils in a skillet, then add the scallions and garlic to lightly brown.  Add the spinach and stir fry to just wilt.  Add the tomatoes until heated.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.









Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Japanese, side dish | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lamb and Chickpea Stuffed Aubergine


I found some enormous eggplants at Dave’s SuperDuper Market this week.  I don’t really like this eggplant size; I’d rather the smaller Japanese variety or a small to medium young, domestic eggplant.  If you make this recipe, I’d suggest 4 small to medium eggplants, if you can find them.  I’ve made a variation of this recipe with a medium sized, round Italian eggplant.  Very pretty🙂


Anyway.  I cut about a fourth of each eggplant half per serving with a salad of lettuce and some very tired tomatoes😀


Lamb and Chickpea Stuffed Aubergine

4 medium size eggplants

1 lb ground lamb

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 basil leaves, chopped

1 large can diced tomatoes

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp Mexican chili powder

Salt and pepper

1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed

Olive oil

Crumbled feta

Fresh basil leaves, snipped

Cut the eggplants in half horizontally and hollow out both sides.  Chop the eggplant flesh and reserve.

Quickly cook the ground lamb in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and saute the onion, pepper and garlic until the onion is almost soft.  Add the reserved, chopped eggplant and continue to saute the mixture for 2-3 minutes.  Add the basil, sugar and tomatoes, chili powder and season with salt and pepper then simmer for about 20 minutes.

Spread half the sauce on the bottom of a baking pan.  Mix the other half with the ground lamb and chick peas, then stuff into the eggplant halves.  Put the stuffed halves in the baking pan on top of the sauce, brushing the cut edges with olive oil, cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 F oven for 40 minutes.  Remove the aluminum foil and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes.

Top each serving with feta cheese and basil.


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