Chard and Cabbage Stir Fry


I’ve found a new supermarket in Hawley (about 10 miles away) that was recommended by the refrigerator guy in Home Depot after we rubbed our little hurts together about the paucity of quality produce in our region.  The supermarket is an IGA and I’ve passed it many times on the road without seeing it.


The IGA had some lovely local vegetables including cabbage and chard that I purchased. Good, another option in the unrealistic search for France in Pennsylvania.

I made this tasty, quick and easy stir fry to go with some big, bloody(rare, not accursed) steaks.  The vegetarian could make this stir fry without the bacon and it would still be good, just sprinkle it with some of Frugal’s pumpkin seeds for protein :D

Chard and Cabbage Stir Fry

1/2 cup bacon, cut into dice or batons

1 tbsp olive oil

2 small shallots, thinly sliced

1/2 head cabbage, shredded

1 bunch chard, trimmed and shredded

Cumin seed

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp water

In a wok, brown the bacon, remove and drain on a paper towel.  Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat, then add the olive oil.

Briefly soften the shallots in the wok, then add the cabbage and chard, stir frying for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle on some cumin seed, salt and pepper, add the water, then cover and steam for 5 minutes.  Stir in the bacon and serve.




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An interesting thing about the traditional American St. Patrick’s Day meal of corned beef and cabbage is that corned beef is not a traditional Irish food at all.  When they could get it the Irish ate bacon with their cabbage, beef being reserved for the Anglo-Irish landlords and too dear for even a once a year splurge, even if it had been available.  In fact, historically, corned beef was associated with the Atlantic slave trade and poverty; undesirable cuts of beef were corned and traded to France or other countries, while the “better” portions were sent to the British colonies.  In any case, corned beef was not on the menu for the common Irishman.


It must have been quite a shock when the Irish landed in the U.S. and found that corned beef was both readily available to all and cheap!  No wonder corned beef became the Irish-American celebratory centerpiece for the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.


This past Saturday we went over to Jeffersonville, New York to watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade.  My husband’s grandfather, son of a machinist immigrant from Ireland, moved to the area from New Jersey in the early 1900s.


He and his wife Margaret had 5 sons and Jeffersonville and the surrounding towns are teeming with their descendants, most of them named Brian, Kevin, Patrick and Michael, with Coleen, Meaghan and Maura for good measure  :)


The family has done well in this town and had the good sense to secure ownership of the town’s only pub, among other things.  I didn’t get a picture this time of the pub.  I don’t know what I was doing.


For Saturday’s celebration, the pub featured corned beef dinners and sandwiches with live music after the parade.  After greeting the family we decided to head back to Pennsylvania for a late lunch because the pub was so jam packed with celebrants, we would have died of thirst and starvation before we could work our way to the bar :)


Little known in the Irish communities of the United States, colcannon is a rich, buttery mix of cabbage, potatoes, leeks and cream, a both common and authentic dish of Ireland.


When sauteing the leeks and cabbage, be generous with the butter.  In the good times, many Irish families owned at least one milk cow which supplemented their diets with milk, cheese, cream and butter.  So dash it in there!


I don’t add cream to my colcannon because I don’t put milk or cream in my mashed potatoes either, thinking that the butter is enough and liking the texture of un-creamed potatoes.  Please yourself.


Of course, some Irish Americans could care less about old country authenticity and contend that if they had wanted to be vegetarians, they would have stayed in Ireland :D



1 lb potatoes

1 knob of butter

Cream (optional)

1 knob butter

1 leek, thinly sliced

1/2 cabbage, chopped

Salt and pepper

Peel and cut the potatoes into chunks, then boil until done.  Mash the hot potatoes with the knob of butter and add cream if preferred.  Set aside.

Melt the second knob of butter in a large saute pan, then add the leek and saute until just soft.  Add the cabbage and continue to saute until the cabbage is crisp tender.  Mix the cabbage with the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.










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Teriyaki Glazed Roasted Country Pork Ribs


I guess you never really know your spouse until you get to see them every day, all day when you are retired.  It’s not like I didn’t know my husband, I knew he would have to be busy or we’d drive each other insane.  I imagined that he would get some hobbies or go somewhere and do some short term consultancies.

But no, he lurks in the kitchen, turning in circles and sampling food that isn’t quite cooked or ready.  Thank God it’s warming up, maybe he’ll go outside.


The Shur Save Supermarket, down the road in Waymart, PA, calls these vegetables yellow and green squash.  Is this a tongue in cheek joke or can’t they spell “summer” or “zucchini/courgette” ?  It’s not just Shur Save, I think it’s State-wide :D


Anyway.  I roasted the yellow and green squash with my still vibrant fresh oregano, salt, pepper and olive oil.  This always works and you can sprinkle some of Frugal’s pumpkin seeds on these too :D


Country style ribs are not really ribs to me, they seem more like a chop and very, very meaty.  My husband likes that :)


I was thinking of doing these Asian style but loss concentration and added some Emeril’s essence to the garlic and ginger, which turned out to be a good idea.  It would have been better if I had marinated these overnight but I was in a hurry.


After the ribs bake for an hour, they are ready to eat but you can also glaze them with a little barbecue sauce for another additional 15 minutes.  I used a teriyaki sauce but you can use whatever strikes your fancy.


Teriyaki Glazed Roasted Country Pork Ribs

3 lbs country style pork ribs

1 inch fresh ginger

3-4 garlic cloves

2 tbsp Emeril’s essence

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

Teriyaki flavored barbecue sauce

Grind the ginger, garlic, essence, salt and pepper together to form a paste.  Add the olive oil, blend well, then rub the paste into the ribs.  Marinate overnight or at least for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 F, place the ribs on a rack in a roasting pan, then roast for 1 hour. Brush both sides of each rib with the barbecue sauce and continue to roast for 15 minutes.












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Breakfast Thoughts

Not giving a fuck

Sometimes, not often, I receive comments on my blog posts that seem irrelevant or mean spirited.  Occasionally they’re funny but probably only to me :), so I trash them or if the comment is obviously from a looney tune, I block the sender.  I am never really upset by these comments, just puzzled why anyone would waste their time reading a blog that doesn’t suit them.  I found the image above on an article by Mark Manson that perfectly sums up what my life philosophy has been and still is.  Please check it out, it’s called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**K .  It’s hilarious and liberating!


I ate this for breakfast.  Roger will probably not care :D


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Butter Roasted Chicken Elbows with Spinach


What I really wanted today was “baby beef” liver or boudin noir or veal sweetbreads or lamb kidneys, of which I had none.  Les abats or offal are tricky things and I’m “offaly” selective when it comes to freshness and source.


What I did have was a big bag of frozen chicken elbows.  There’s no telling when I bought them but they did come from Super Duper.  The elbows were huge, not from any spring chickens but probably from old, worn out, granny layers.  I resolved immediately to roast them longer than usual ;)


I made a quick stir fry of shallots, baby spinach and “lose” mushrooms from the Chinese store in New Jersey.  I’ve never heard of lose mushrooms before but they resembled portobellos with dark, wide striations on the cap.  I refuse to think of this as a misspelling of “loose”  but to assume that the mushrooms are a rare, exotic variety of Asian, voodoo fungi.


In the event that an iron deficient vegetarian stops by and decides to sample the spinach recipe, I sprinkled some of Frugal’s pumpkin seeds on top for a protein boost because I care  ❤


And here’s the omnivore plate, because I care more :D


Butter Roasted Chicken Elbows

2 – 2 1/2 lbs large chicken elbows, pointy thing removed

Choice of your favorite chicken rub ( I used our neighbor Caroline’s Smoked Spanish: cumin, paprika, dry mustard, fennel, black pepper and salt)

1 large knob of butter

Season the elbows with the rub.  Melt the butter in a roasting pan, then add the elbows, skin side down, and roast in a 400 F oven for 30 minutes.  Turn the elbows skin side up and continue to roast for another 30 minutes.



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Cheesy Cube Steak with Egg


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The Bogeyman


The Irish food board, Bord Bia, is an organization that I follow on Facebook because of their fabulous recipes using homegrown Irish ingredients.  I have duplicated many of their recipes and they have always been good, a la Conor Bofin.


Food blogs, whether authored by an individual or organization, have certainly broadened my horizons, in that many times they have discouraged my myopic and stereotypical opinions about other cuisines, pointing out those cuisines’ progression and evolution.  I sincerely apologize for my ignorance, Ireland.  You too England :D


That being said, I have been thrown into an almost suicidal depression this winter by the paucity of good quality food in my beloved country, the U.S. of A.  I have never made puff pastry from scratch, nor have I felt the need to because when I wanted it, it was readily available in the refrigerated section of the French supermarkets.  The only puff pastry I found in the supermarkets here was Pepperidge Farms and there was no butter in it.  

My husband had to pry the razor blade from my hand.  But let’s move on, I took a lot of pictures :)  The recipe called for ham/bacon and I found a nice chunk of smoked ham at the Super Duper.  I think it’s really cool that my, still green, parsley plant flowered.


Just reading this recipe, I salivated.  So many good things in one place; leeks, ham, mushrooms!


I love sauteing with my Paula Deen pan!  I know I’m not supposed to because she is apparently politically incorrect when it comes to “Knee-groes” or whatever she calls us :D  I did buy the pan before I heard of Paula’s contretemps with the P.C. police, but I don’t think that knowing about it would have prevented me from purchasing the pan.  Number 1, they were practically giving them away :D  And number 2,  to some extent, I felt sorry for her.


As we all are, Paula Deen is a product of her environment and we can’t pretend that these environments don’t exist, nor should we pretend that tolerance can be legislated.  In parts of West Africa, children are told that Caucasians are demons whose bodies are turned inside out and that if they are not good, the white man will come for them when they’re sleeping.  When I was in Burkina Faso, children always surrounded me and followed me everywhere until my husband showed up, then poof, no more kids :D  I thought this was hilarious but my husband didn’t.  My sense of humor has always been a lot better developed than his :)


Still, intolerance is inexcusable in any member of whatever society but I think we should tone down our indignation and righteousness in order to save it for things that matter, for example, the sanctioned shooting and murder of Black children.


Of course, after I saw that there was no butter in the Pepperidge Farms puff pastry, I didn’t expect much and I, no baker anyway, was incapable of/uninterested in making the best of a bad product.  I did cut out some pastry hearts because I thought they would be cute.


Above is real puff pastry with butter.  My husband’s apple pie, made in France.


No butter, not real, case closed.


In the meantime, Frugal made some wonderful looking spicy pumpkin seeds that looked interesting.  I found some good quality shelled pumpkin seeds at


I sprinkled these with fleur de sel and piment cheveux d’ange.  Really good!  Check out Frugal’s recipe at the link above.

I changed the Bord Bia recipe methods a bit and maybe some quantities.  For the original recipe, go to the Bord Bia Facebook link above.

Bord Bia’s Ham, Leek and Mushroom Pie

2 tbsp butter

1 onion, diced

2 leeks, thinly sliced

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

1 lb smoked ham, cut into chunks

2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

White pepper

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

2 cups milk

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp white pepper

1 sheet of puff pastry

1 egg beaten with 1 tsp of milk

Melt the butter in a saute pan, then add the leeks and onion, sauteing until the vegetables are soft.  Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms begin to release their juices.  Add the ham and parsley.   Season all with the white pepper, then set aside.

Make a white sauce with the butter, flour and milk; melt the butter, add the flour and stir for 1-1 1/2 minutes.  Gradually add the milk, constantly stirring and continuing to cook until the sauce has thickened.  Stir in the mustard, salt and white pepper, then fold the sauce into the ham mixture and pour into a pie plate.  Cover the pie plate with the sheet of pastry, making a slit on the top to release the steam.

Brush the pie with the egg mixture and bake at 400F for about 30 minutes.


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