Friday, August 10, 2018

Berry Pie Tarts

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy guys and gals..If you've ever wanted to eat pie like a cookie, these pie bar cookies are for you. The bright berry filling and buttery, flaky crust make them totally irresistible.


Butter or nonstick vegetable oil spray (for pan)

1 batch Our Favorite Pie Dough, divided into 2 discs,

chilled All-purpose flour (for rolling)

3 cups mixed berries, preferably a mix of blueberries and hulled, quartered strawberries

1 cup blueberry preserves

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large egg (optional)

2 teaspoons milk (optional)

1 teaspoon coarse sugar (optional)

Special Equipment 

An 8x8x2" baking pan (preferably metal)


Butter baking pan and line with parchment, leaving a 1" overhang on both long sides. Roll out 1 disc of dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 13" square. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin, then unfurl into baking pan. Gently lift and settle dough into bottom and up sides of pan. Trim any excess dough that extends past top lip of pan. Chill.

Roll out second disc to a 13" square. Transfer to parchment or a large cutting board. Using a ruler or straight edge, cut dough into 10 (1"-wide) strips for lattice, or use a round cookie cutter or glass to cut into circles. Chill both crusts while you prepare the filling.

Place racks in center and bottom of oven; preheat to 425°F. Place a rimmed baking sheet on bottom rack to preheat.

Bring berries, preserves, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently to avoid scorching, until berries are broken down and mixture has thickened, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl and chill 15 minutes.

 Pour cooled berry mixture evenly over bottom crust. Arrange strips in a lattice pattern or overlap circles on top. Fold excess dough from top lip of pan down over itself to create a border. Crimp slightly, if desired. Chill 15 minutes. Beat egg and milk in a small bowl, if using.

Brush top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar, if using. Transfer baking pan to preheated baking sheet. Bake bar until crust begins to turn golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate sheet, move to center rack, and reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue baking, covering loosely with foil if crust gets too dark, until crust is golden brown and thickened juices are bubbling, 30–35 minutes more. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Lift bar out of pan using parchment overhang and cut into 16 squares.

Do Ahead

Bars can be made 3 days ahead; Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

ENJOY!  Eat well my friends!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Banana Walnut Bread

Hey Folks...Here is an easy to fix Banana -Walnut Bread recipe that is actually good for you....You know how most things you love aren't...Well this is the exception...This is healthy, nourishing, and incredibly indulgent. Quick-cooking oats, tangy buttermilk, brown sugar, a double nutty dose of chopped walnuts and walnut oil, and course—bananas—take this moist banana bread to a whole new level.Check it out.


¾ cupOrganic Coconut Flour
¼ teaspoonBaking Soda
6 Eggs
¼ cupCoconut Oil
1 teaspoonVanilla Extract
½ teaspoonAlmond Extract
2 bananas ripe
¼ teaspoonground Cinnamon
¼ teaspoonNutmeg
1 cupChopped Walnuts
½ cupAlmond Flour
2 tablespoonsCoconut Oil
2 tablespoonsHoney
1 tablespoonground Cinnamon
½ cupChopped Walnuts (chopped)

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl, set aside. Whisk the eggs and vanilla together in a liquid measuring cup with a spout, set aside. Lightly brush a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan with butter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with an electric hand-held mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter while mixing until incorporated. Add the bananas (the mixture will appear to be curdled, so don't worry), and remove the bowl from the mixer.
With a rubber spatula, mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the nuts and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack. Wrap in plastic wrap. The banana bread is best if served the next day.

Don't Sweat The Technique- 

 Banana bread is easy to make-just a few simple steps-and irresistible to eat. I recommend making a few extra loaves, wrapping in plastic, and freezing. Thaw at room temperature for an hour and you'll have fresh banana bread ready to go by the time everyone wakes up. Freezing individual slices works well too.

Enjoy!  Eat Well My Friends!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Apple Cabbage Salad

It's in the middle of Summer...It's hot...Sooooo maybe you don't feel like turning on that oven....

How about something light like a salad...But you don't want the traditional salad...

This one is for you!

  1. 1/2 head Savoy cabbage
  2. 1/2 head red cabbage
  3. 1 Fuji apple
  4. 1/4 red onion
  5. 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  6. 1/2 cup golden raisins
For The Dressing-
  1. 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  2. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  3. 1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  4. 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  5. 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  1. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice the cabbage, apple, and red onion to resemble extremely fine confetti; transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Add the walnuts and raisins. Toss gently to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing.
  4. Top the salad with the dressing. Using salad tongs, mix until evenly dressed.
There you have it...Enjoy ! Eat Well My Friends!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Yakisoba Noodles

I was introduced to this dish when I was a cook in the U.S. Air Force...Stationed in Japan, Okinawa, to be exact...

I've loved it ever since...I don't know if this is a Japanese dish or not...(I was in a Restaurant run by Americans..Ex-Servicemen who specialized in "Pan Asian "Cusine..I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.)

It is Japanese...If you’ve never had stir-fried Japanese yakisoba noodles before, I urge you to invite them into your work week rotation. They are fast, highly-adaptable, and couldn’t love summer’s bounty any more. In Candice Kumai’s Kintsugi Wellness, the cookbook author and wellness writer shares her nostalgic recipe for Light Yakisoba Noodles.

Here, I used a mixture of shiitake mushroom, kale, onion, and garlic to befriend the fresh yakisoba noodles, but you could easily swap in any number of vegetables to suit your taste (cabbage, carrot, scallions, and bean sprouts are traditionally used), as well as adding in some cut-up chicken, pork, shrimp, or tofu if you fancy a protein.
This easy-to-make (and easier-to-love!) yakisoba hits all the right notes, and scales up readily for a larger group. Throw it together on any given busy weeknight, with plenty of time to let you sit back and soak up the last of the evening's pinky orange-hued suns.

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps
  • 3 cups fresh yakisoba noodles (look for these at the Japanese market)
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Light yakisoba sauce
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (or try sriracha)
  • 1/4 cup vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup purified water
  1. In a medium sauté pan warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes more, stirring well.
  2. Add all the ingredients for the light yakisoba sauce to the pan and stir. Add the fresh yakisoba noodles and sauté for a few minutes, tossing to coat all the noodles with the sauce, and cook until the water evaporates.
  3. Add the chopped kale and toss to slightly wilt and coat with the sauce. Divide the noodles among individual serving bowls and top with 1⁄2 teaspoon of sesame seeds per bowl. 
There you have it....Enjoy...Eat and Drink Well My friends... Special thanks to Candice Kumai  for this great recipe!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Ground Meat Ragu

Here is a nice easy meal for those nights like this when you don't feel like really cooking.

Serves: 6 to 8
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 4 hrs 30 min


  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 small Spanish onion,15 peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 bunch flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, sage, thyme, or a combination
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 pounds mixed ground meat, such as 2 pounds beef, 1 pound pork, and 1 pound veal
  • 1 tablespoon Italian double concentrate tomato paste
  • 1 35-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Chop the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, herbs, and parsley finely in a food processor.
  2. In a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven-type pan, sweat the vegetables out over low heat in the olive oil with a pinch of salt.
  3. Let them sweat about 7 to 8 minutes, until the onions become translucent but are not taking on color. Add about 3/4 cup water and the tablespoon of tomato concentrate and let cook down briskly until the liquid is almost completely evaporated.
  4. Now add the ground meat, breaking it up continuously and moving it about so that no lumps or balls form and all the meat gets broken down into its individual strands. Once the meat is all broken down and just cooked, add the can of San Marzano tomatoes and cook, simmering gently, stirring occasionally on the lowest heat you can go. The longer and slower this cooks, the better the ragu. We're talking 3 or 4 hours. You will know it's done when all the fat has cooked out of the meat and floats lazily on top of the sauce, colored orange from the tomato. At this point, the ragu can be eaten immediately or refrigerated for 3 to 4 days or frozen for 3 to 4 months.
Have with a nice glass of wine..

There it is...Not too complex...Enjoy! Eat and drink well my friends..

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Grilled New York Strip Steaks

Mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn,I can eat Steak every night of the week...And I would except that is probably not healthy or very good for a man my age...

But here is a recipe for Perfectly Grilled New York Strip Steaks...

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground coffee (regular or decaf)
  • 1 teaspoon (dried) granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 (1½-inch-thick) New York strip steaks
  • 1½ tablespoons good olive oil

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, the brown sugar, coffee, garlic, chipotle powder, and red pepper flakes. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels, place them in a baking dish, and rub them all over with the olive oil. Rub the steaks on both sides with the spice mix, using it all. Cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to get into the meat.

When ready to cook, heat enough charcoal to cover half of the grill (I fill a charcoal chimney ¾ full). Pour a layer of hot coals on one side of the grill, leaving the other side empty.

Cook the steaks on the hot side of the grill for exactly 2 minutes on one side, turn them over, and cook for exactly 2 minutes on the other side.

Move the steaks to the cool side of the grill, put the lid on, check to be sure the vents are open, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted sideways into the middle of the steak registers between 115 and 120 degrees for medium rare and 120 and 125 degrees for medium.

 Transfer the steaks to a plate, cover the plate tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the foil after 15 minutes or the steaks will continue to cook. Slice the steaks, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot or warm.

Fire up that grill tonight and have a ball...

Enjoy!  Eat well my friends!

Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.

1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website

Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household