Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

This is a wonderful, fairly guilt free soup with tons of flavor that gets the creamy taste by using an immersion blender or food processor. I have made this with and without the cheese and either way is great. This makes about 4 servings.





  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp unbleached or all purpose flour
  • 1 medium head cauliflower – chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot (optional)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup white sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  • 4 cups fat free chicken broth (vegetarians can use vegetable broth)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan, make a roux by melting the butter on low heat.
  2. Add the flour and stir about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken broth, onions and cauliflower and set heat to medium.
  4. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes.)
  5. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add cheese if using. Season with salt and pepper.
Crock Pot Lima Bean Soup

Crock Pot Lima Bean Soup



I will be honest. I am not a big bean fan. Especially Lima Beans. My mother will back me up on this. But my husband loves them. I love him. SO I make things that involve beans. This is a great soup even if you are not a bean fan. And it is really great on a cold winter night. I did not have a ham hock so I used cubed ham. You will need to rinse and sort your beans and soak them overnight or at least 6 hours (follow directions on the bag). I used a 6 quart slow cooker but you could probably use a 4. I added the celery because I had some leftover and it was a nice addition but optional. This freezes well.





  • 1 1 b bag Dried Large Lima Beans – Sorted Rinsed and Soaked
  • 2-4 cup Meaty Ham Hocks or 8 oz ham, cut in chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Onions- Chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped (optional)
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 4 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • Additional Water
You can skip this step but I find it adds some nice flavor: Add oil to large frying pan and sauté onions until tender, add celery and carrots.
Place beans in crock pot
Add ham hocks and onion/celery/carrots.
Add broth and any water needed to bring the waterline 2 inches above the beans.
Stir in seasonings.
Cook for 6 hours or until beans are tender





Scallops in Jade Sauce

Scallops in Jade Sauce

I used to love to go to this little shop called “Lexington Gardens” in Connecticut. I spent afternoons there with my mom and dad on visits home. They had a wonderful little cooking and cookbook section.  I found one of my favorite cookbooks there one afternoon back in the early ’90s – Pacific Flavors by Hugh Carpenter. This lovely dish is from that book. I modified slightly over the years. This is also wonderful tossed with fresh pasta and seafood.


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11/2 pounds large sea scallops
4 Tbsp butter cut into small pieces
salt to taste


1 12-oz bunch of spinach
1 Bunch chives
2 Tbsp finely minced ginger
6 Basil leaves (optional)
1/4 cup Chicken stock
1/4 Cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce
1 Tsp cornstarch


Rinse scallops and pat dry. Rub with ginger and chill until ready to use.

Make sauce. Chop spinach, chives, basil and ginger. Mince greens to a fine consistency and add stock. Process 30 seconds more and add the cream, salt and chili sauce. Process for about 15 seconds until pureed. Chill until ready to cook.

Preheat oven to the broil setting. Season with a little salt, pepper and dot each scallop with butter. Place the scallops on a baking rack. Broil, without turning until they turn white and are just firm to the touch. Cut one in half if you are unsure.

While the scallops are broiling combine the cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water. bring sauce to a low boil and stir in a little at a time to help thicken the sauce.

Glaze the dinner plates with the sauce and position the scallops in the center. serve at once.

Ravioli Di Ricotta

Ravioli Di Ricotta

These are just plump pillows of wonderful cheesy goodness. Serve with a simple tomato basil sauce or butter with some sage leaves. I used a 3 1/4 inch cookie cutter and got about 30 ravioli. You can also used refrigerated pasta sheets if you don’t want to make your own pasta dough.

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Ravioli Dough

  • 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)


  • 1 3/4 cups ricotta cheese (I used part skim)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To make the ravioli filling:

1. In a large bowl combine the ricotta, nutmeg, lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, and 1 egg. Season to taste with salt and pepper, stir well,
and set aside.

To make the ravioli dough:

1. Mound the flour on a clean work surface and create a well in the center. Place the eggs, egg yolks, and oil (if using) in the center. Using a fork, whisk the eggs and oil together and slowly start dragging the flour into the egg mixture. Knead by hand until all the ingredients are well combined and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. With the mixer on medium speed, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place it in a covered bowl and let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

2. Set up a pasta machine and turn it to the largest opening. Cut off pieces of dough about the size of an egg. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into sheets about 1/8-inch thick.

3. Lay a pasta sheet flat on a lightly floured work surface. Using a 3 or 3 1/4 inch cookie cutter, cut out circles in the pasta dough and set on a cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Spoon mounds of the filling, about 2 teaspoons each, onto the middle of the pasta circle. Fold in half to cover the filling. Press the pasta together to seal the edges around the filling, and press out any excess air. Use a fork to crimp the edges. As you cut out the ravioli, place them on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal to keep them from sticking. Repeat with the remaining pasta and filling. You can refrigerate them until you are ready to cook.

4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ravioli all at once and stir a few times to submerge and separate them. Cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil until the pasta is just tender to the bite, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain the ravioli thoroughly and serve with a desired sauce or cheese.

Pumpkin, Walnut & Date Biscotti

Perfect for tea time. Or anytime.






  • 2-1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon roasted ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon roasted cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped dates
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup pure pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the brown sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and eggs on low speed until well combined. Add the flour mixture, one cup at a time, until a thick dough forms. Stir in walnuts and dates
  4. Form dough into a large loaf on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until loaf just starts to crisp on the outside. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  6. Using a serrated knife, cut the loaf into ½ inch thick slices and place flat on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, flipping biscotti every 15 minutes, until it is dried out and crisp.

Do not store the biscotti in an airtight container as the moisture will release from the pumpkin and make it chewier and moister than it should be.

Red Beans & Rice

Red Beans & Rice

This is adapted from a New York Times recipe. I have been tweaking and finally got it to where my husband loves it. He likes to add a little extra hot sauce and some cider vinegar. I used brown rice this time and chicken andouille sausage to cut down on some of the fat. I assembled everything and then put in the crock pot for 6 hours.





  • 1 pound dried red beans 
  • 1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick and cut into quarters (or Andouille chicken sausage)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 2 large rib celery, finely diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  •  teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Emeril seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • ¾ teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh green onions, chopped
  •  Cooked white long-grain rice, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, cover beans in water and soak for at least 4 hours or overnight. (Water should cover beans by at least an inch.)
  2. In a large, heavy pot, brown sausage in 1 tablespoon of oil until slightly crisp. Add remaining oil, then the garlic and onions. Sauté over medium heat until onions become transparent and limp. Add celery and bell pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour soaked beans and water into the pot and bring to a simmer. Add black pepper, cayenne, salt and all herbs except parsley.
  4. Cook until beans are softened, about 11/2 to 2 hours. (Or in crockpot for 6 hours). Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Fifteen minutes before serving, remove 1 cup of beans to a bowl and, using a fork, mash them and stir back into the pot to enhance the creamy texture of the dish. Add parsley and green onions. Simmer about 15 minutes, taste and adjust seasoning, and add up to 1 cup more water if beans seem too thick. Remove bay leaves. Serve over white long-grain rice.
Pistachio and Golden Raisin Biscotti

Pistachio and Golden Raisin Biscotti

These are wonderful with a cup of tea!


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  • 3cups all-purpose flour
  • 1teaspoons baking powder
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • large eggs
  • cup sugar
  • 1cup butter 
  • 1cup coconut oil
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12teaspoon almond extract
  • 1teaspoon grated orange rind
  • cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup golden raisins, dried apricots or dried cherries


  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Position rack in center of oven.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  4. Whisk eggs, sugar, butter, oil, vanilla and almond extracts and lemon peel in a large bowl.
  5. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until smooth.
  6. Stir in nuts and raisins.
  7. Form dough into a 15×4 ½-inch log or prepared sheet.
  8. Bake 30 minutes until edges are lightly browned.
  9. Cool for 15 minutes.
  10. Keep oven on.
  11. With serrated knife, cut log on angle into 18 ½” thick slices.
  12. Lay slices flat on cookie sheet and bake until bottom of cookie turn golden about 10-12 minutes.
  13. Turn cookies over and bake 10-12 minutes more.
  14. Cool cookies on wire racks.