Sautéed Red Cabbage - Easy

Ever get into a mood for red cabbage?

Me neither.  Usually, anyway.

So I wandered through the produce section of my local Try-n-Save the other day, when I noticed a lovely display of red cabbage.  You know the type of display:  a short pyramid of cabbage heads, just daring me to pull out the bottom one, letting a cascade of cabbage waterfall bouncily onto the floor.

Curried Lentil Soup

After getting spoiled this weekend, running around outside in a T-shirt and light jacket because the temps were in the 60s, New Jersey is slowly returning to its regular scheduled winter weather of 20s to 40s. So while the chill is in the air, nothing beats an easy to make lentil soup with a few veggies tossed in just because.

The curry and other Indian spices lend an amazing exotic flavor to "ordinary" lentils.  And red lentils are much less earthy than the regular ol' brown version.  So even if you normally hate lentils, try this soup anyway. 

Easy Creamy Pasta Sauce with Mascarpone Cheese

I recently had the pleasure of visting my daughter and her hubby out in sunny CA. Aside from the required day at Disney (tip:  go when it's threatening to rain  ... not as crowded), we did another fave of mine that was more food-related: home cook a few meals. One of those dinners particularly stood out in my mind, and NOT because it was fancy-schmancy. Quite the contrary ... it was one of those surprise dinners where you pull out whatever is in the cupboard and go forward.  Like one of those reality show dinner wars, but without the trophy.

Ooh!  A jar of sauce and a box of spaghetti. Yay! Yay?  I have to explain …

Salami Antipasto Cups - Easy

One of my favorite co-workers chose to defect … I mean leave for a better job elsewhere. While other places of biz might bring in a cake or cookies during a quick afternoon break, our unofficial slogan is “any excuse for a party.” So after work, around 15 of us piled into our favorite party manse … I mean one of our personal homes, for a pot-luck blowout to send him off with fond memories.

My contribution was a platter of Salami Antipasto Cups. Wide, paper-thin slices of salami, baked into little flower-like “cups,” then stuffed with bits of lettuce, olives, tomatoes and other yummies, finished off with a drizzle of balsamic. Looks major-league impressive, but mad easy to whip up in advance so you can labor on something more important, like dessert.

I found the base recipe while researching for last season’s Oscar Appys workshop.   It was voted winner of the “most likely NOT to be a leftover” category. Or would have been, if I had thought of it in time (note to self – include…

Chicken 'n Dairy-Free "Buttermilk" Biscuits

So I was cleaning out the freezer, getting ready for Passover, and rediscovered a forgotten container of leftover soup chicken.  Ooh!  Perfect for a casserole or tacos or something equally exotic.  So I tossed it into the fridge to defrost, and to give me time to figure out what exactly to do with it.

A few days later Pi Day happened.  And since there is no rule that pies have to be sweet, a savory Chicken Pot Pie would be perfectamente!  Except for one slight problem:   I'm terrible at making tender, flaky crusts.  So I instead topped the filling with drop biscuits instead.  No rolling, no cutting, just a little scooping.  Totally easy and very delicious!  Even crust-haters ask for seconds.

Pasta with Green Olive Sauce

A few friends and some Dear Readers have mentioned giving up meat, either temporarily for religious purposes or for a myriad of reasons long-term.  So to help them a little, I am sharing this amazing, easy to make meat-free pasta dish.

Chock full of olives and herbs and kissed with a bit of lemon two ways, theHubs says it's amazing as is.  But I prefer the addition of Parm cheese to jazz it up dairy-style.  Either way, this weeknight olive sauce is so easy to make, you will have to wait for the pasta to finish before you can finish off the sauce.

Pasta with Green Olive Sauce
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Yield:  4 Servings

1 (12-16 oz.) box linguine, spaghetti or spaghettini (thin spaghetti)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 (19 oz) can green olives, chopped (use sliced olives to speed up the prep)
2 Tbl. drained capers
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread) crumbs
1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
finely grated lemon zest of 1/2 lemon
1  loosely packed cup fresh parsley leaves, cho…

Shainghai-Style Noodles with Spicy Meat Sauce - Easy

Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Hey Fat Choy or Happy Chinese New Year!  No matter how you say it,  celebrate the Year of the Dog with this easy to make dinner.  Only 20 or so minutes from lining up  the ingredients to sitting down to eat.