Tag Archives: Recipie

What’s for Dinner?

Four Bean Salad

Homemade Four Bean Salad


The traditional Four Bean salad consists of a few things that I do not put into my own salad. First of all, a lot of the recipes used canned beans, which is great if you are in a hurry, but I prefer beans that I need to soak overnight. I feel as though they taste better. So, here is MY recipe for a Four Bean Salad:


  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 scant teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tarragon vinegar, or substitute cider vinegar
  • 14 onces of garbonzo beans (soaked overnight)
  • 14 ounces of Kidney beans (soaked overnight)
  • 14 of soy beans (soaked overnight)
  • 14 ounces of green beans (cooked)
  • one red bell pepper, chopped.
  • small jar pimientos, drained, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
Combine sugar, celery salt, olive oil and vinegars in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 seconds. Combine drained beans in a large bowl; add pimiento and sliced onion. Toss to blend ingredients. Pour dressing over beans and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.

Serves 8- 10 people.

Hints: Now, sometimes I like to add some edemame to the salad too. I like to use soy beans instead of wax beans because I really like soy beans and am not a real big fan of the texture of waxed beans. If you are a fan of any kind of other bean, go ahead and use it. If you like pinto beans or black beans…add ’em! I usually do not use as much sugar as 2/3 cup (I use about 1/3 cup). If there is too much liquid in the bowl, drain it.

Uncooked beans

Tastes great alone or a side to a protein dog and spinach salad. Even great with marinated tofu and some red potatoes. Or… if you are a carnivore  (I am a vegan, as of the January 1, 2011-and LOVIN’ it!) BBQ a shrimp skewer or a strip steak and some potatoes!



What’s For Dinner?


butternut squash
Vidalia onion
chicken stock
half and half (may use fat free)
salt and pepper


Peel 1 large butternut squash. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds and pulp. Cut into 1-inch chunks.Sauté 1/2 chopped Vidalia onion in 2 tablespoons butter until translucent.

Add cubed squash and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Add 6 cups chicken stock or low sodium bouillon.

Simmer for 25 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. Puree in blender. (Do not do this while squash is hot. Steam may crack the glass or cover of blender.)

Return pureed squash to a pot. Stir in 1 cup half and half or milk (more for a thinner soup).

Add 2 tsp. dried dill, 1 tsp. nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish each bowl with a sprig of fresh dill.

Serve with a French baguette.

What’s For Dessert?

Tis the season for Hot Cocoa….

Spiced Hot Chocolate
Today we think of hot chocolate as being sweet, but the ancient Mayan people’s original version included hearty spices. They may sound odd in theory, but they blend beautifully with chocolate in execution.(Recipe source: WholeLiving.com)

1 quart milk (dairy or non-dairy)
6 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and whisk over medium-low heat until the chocolate has melted completely and the mixture is steaming hot, about five minutes. Serves four.

Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate
Whereas the previous recipe subdues hot chocolate’s usual sweetness, this one takes it to a whole new level, thanks to its use of white chocolate. Pumpkin and a touch of nutmeg and vanilla give it an extra spicy—and fragrant—kick. (Recipe source: Goodlifeeats.com)

4 to 5 cups whole milk
12 ounces white chocolate, chopped
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

In a heavy saucepan, combine two cups of milk, white chocolate, and cocoa powder. Cook over medium heat, whisking periodically, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is well combined. Whisk in the pumpkin purée, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, and ginger. Add the remaining milk, one cup at a time, until your ideal consistency is reached. If desired, serve topped with whipped cream and a sprinkling of nutmeg. Serves four to six.

Fluffernutter Hot Cocoa
Adults who grew up eating peanut butter–and–marshmallow fluff sandwiches will especially appreciate this unique chocolate concoction. (Recipe source: Seattle Times)

1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup Fluff (marshmallow sandwich spread), plus extra for topping
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter chips

In a small saucepan over medium, heat the milk until it’s hot but not boiling. Whisk in the Fluff, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips. Whisk until completely melted and smooth. To serve, top with additional Fluff. Serves one.

Italian Hot Chocolate
Also known as cioccolato caldo, this version of hot chocolate is much thicker than what we’re used to in the United States. You can actually eat it with a spoon! Be sure to use high-quality chocolate; it’ll be worth the extra price. (Recipe source: What’s Cooking America)

5 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 ounces dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cacao solids), finely chopped
2 cups milk

In a small saucepan, add the cocoa powder, sugar, and two tablespoons of the milk. Heat over low heat until the sugar melts and no lumps remain, stirring well. Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly; add the remaining milk. Turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Serves two.

Seventh Heaven Hot Chocolate
This one’s for adults only; it also lends itself to dairy-free substitutions for twenty-one-and-over vegans. According to the author, the drink will take you “to seventh heaven.” It’ll also give you a nice, toasty buzz. (Recipe source: DivineCaroline)

3 cups unsweetened chocolate almond milk
3 cups sweetened chocolate almond milk
1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream or Frangelico
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cardamom

Heat almond milk and spices in a pot until they’re hot, but not boiling. Add Bailey’s and Grand Marnier. Note that you can use all sweetened or all unsweetened almond milk. Serves four to six.


Frrrrrozen Hot Chocolate

On days when the sun peaks out behind winter’s gray clouds and the chill subsides for a moment, you might want something a little less hot, but by no means less chocolatey. This icy treat made New York’s Serendipity one of the most famous restaurants in the United States. (Recipe source:Epicurious.com)

6 half-ounce pieces of a variety of your favorite chocolates
2 teaspoons store-bought hot chocolate mix
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups ice
Whipped cream
Chocolate shavings

Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place it in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, stirring occasionally until melted. Add the cocoa and sugar, stirring constantly until thoroughly blended. Remove from heat and slowly add 1/2 cup of the milk and stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In a blender, place the remaining cup of milk, the room-temperature chocolate mixture, and the ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and the consistency of a frozen daiquiri. Pour into a giant goblet and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Enjoy with a spoon or straw … or both! Serves two.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate
A true classic never goes out of style, especially in the realm of cold-weather drinks. The combination of mint and dark chocolate is always good, but around the holidays, it’s somehow even more delicious. Maybe it’s the red-and-white stripes on the candy cane? (Recipe source: Bon Appetit)

1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
1 teaspoon plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups whole milk
4 ounces bittersweet (preferably 60 percent cocoa) chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
4 small candy canes (for garnish)

Beat 1/2 cup cream and 1 teaspoon sugar in a bowl until soft peaks form. Cover; chill. Whisk 1/2 cup cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and milk in medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth. Whisk in extract. Divide chocolate among mugs. Top with cream and garnish with candy canes. Serves four.