Saturday, October 31, 2009

In Memoriam

It is hard to believe that it's been ten years since Paul died. He was my sister Pat's son. This photo was taken at my mom's house in Wyoming in 1997. Paul was headed off to West Virginia State. He grew up in South Jersey. Over 700 people attended his funeral. He was a fantastic person...and is still missed very much.

Ten years...yesterday. RIP. We love you.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Piranha Chops? Really?

Okay...I saw this and had to post it.

Been craving piranha lately? Check THIS out.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Jewish Cooking....Holishkes!

Just before I poured the chopped tomatoes over.
So we have sliced onions and chopped onions...and 5 minced garlic cloves.
I used two kinds of cabbage...blanched each and pulled leaves off for rolling meat mixture in.
I also used some beet greens...because I could. Not in original recipe.
This is how I roll.
Nice little package.

Two blogger friends and I are going to be cooking and blogging thru Marlena Spieler's Jewish Cooking cookbook, which was originally published under the name Jewish Heritage Cookbook. More to come on that project very soon!


2 lbs of lean ground beef (could use lamb or mixture of both)
3 -4 oz of long grain rice (not cooked)
4 med. onions, two chopped and two sliced
6 finely chopped garlic cloves (could make it less if you don't like garlic so much)
2 lightly beaten lg eggs
2 - 3 TBS water
2 large heads of cabbage ( I used one plain white and one napa cabbage)
*note: if you don't want to boil the heads, put them in the freezer for no less than 24 hours. Take them out about an hour before you start making the holishkes. The leaves will peel off.
2 14 oz cans of tomatoes...chopped
1/3 TBS sugar
1/3 TBS white wine vinegar (or apple cider or rice wine vinegar)
1/2 TBS fresh lemon some wedges to put on the plate for serving
pinch of ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Okay..put the ground meat, chopped onions, rice, garlic, salt and pepper into bowl. Mush together with your impeccably clean hands. Add the water to the two beaten eggs and combine. and the mixture.

2. Cut the core from the cabbage...or get as much out as you can. Have a large pot of boiling water at the ready..unless you froze the cabbage. Blanch the cabbage for about 2 - 3 minutes. Take out with big tongs....and a big spoon. Let cool slightly and then gently peel leaves off. You will have to re-submerge to get more layers off. Any cabbage that is left over, just chop roughly and add to pan for cooking! Preheat that oven to 325 degrees.

3. Form the beef mixture into ovals or eggs shapes. Don't overwork the mixture...that makes em tough. Same for meatballs! Wrap each one in a cabbage you are putting a diaper on. Make sure the mixture is completely enclosed. Keep going. I also used some blanched beet greens that I had saved..just scooched em in there with the cabbage leaves.

4. In a large oven-proof pan or dish (I sprayed mine with Pam), lay the rolls side by side and then layer with the onions. To the tomatoes, add the cinnamon, sugar, vinegar and lemon juice and then slosh that over the entire top. Add a bit more salt and pepper. Cover and bake for 2 hours. Baste during cooking least twice, with the tomato mixture. If I recall, I think I also poured over a bit of low sodium V-8 juice..adjusted seasonings. I don't know why I did that...except that I cannot follow a recipe for the life of me!

5. After two hours, uncover and let cook for another 30 - 60 minutes. You don't want the cabbage to melt away.

Enjoy! This is something my mom made for us all the time.

She used to freeze it and send it (packed in dry ice) to my Aunt Kitty in Illinois! I actually froze it solid once and sent it to Dave here in Sacramento. At the time, I had no idea how hot it gets in Sacramento in April. Dave came home and as soon as he got out of his truck he could smell the stuff on his doorstep. Needless to say...he didn't eat it.

If you want to ship, insure the trip...dry ice!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Lori Rocks

lori rocks Thanks for helping me with my blogging difficulties!

Love ya ya!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Down Memory Lane via Marlena Spieler

A couple of friends (and bloggers) and I are about to embark upon a project. We are going to make recipes from Jewish Marlena Spieler, and blog about it. Photos too! I was reading the author's acknowledgements in the back of the book and so googled her dad, Izzy Smith. I found this 2001 article in the SF Chronicle so decided to post it. For more info about Ms. Spieler, go to or check out her cookbooks on Amazon.
A perfect picnic for dad and Joe DiMaggio by
Marlena Spieler...

Wednesday, June 27, 2001.

When I was born, my arrival was announced on the radio - as part of the sports report.

It was a harbinger of things to come. I've never ever excelled in sports, but radio, on the other hand - now you're talking. Or rather, now I'm talking, and talking and talking, usually about cooking and eating and, well, having adventures.

However, my birth was big sports news because my dad, Izzy Smith, was a baseball player. He was famous in Sacramento, where I grew up, and while he never became a famous national hero, his buddy Joe DiMaggio did.

During World War II, they both played on the same team, based in Hawaii. I have a photo of them, the picture all grainy and black and white, my dad and Joe DiMaggio and a few other famous faces, all looking very, very young and handsome.

Those who asked Joe DiMaggio about Izzy Smith usually got the reply, "Yeah, Izzy. What a ball player! What a guy!"

We were always proud to have a dad known by everyone in town - Izzy Smith, what a ball player! In fact, he is in the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame. You can go there and visit.

Sadly, neither my brother nor I inherited his great talent. It must break my dad's heart, at least a little. As a child, I couldn't even hit the ball with the bat, let alone hit it in the right direction, nor could I run fast between the bases. As far as catching the ball in the outfield, I was terrified and covered my face or just ran out of the way.

I dreaded baseball season as much as my father looked forward to it. My Phys Ed excuses became a wonder of creativity, and if I couldn't get my mother to sign 'em, well, I just had to do the writing myself. And people wonder where I got such a well-developed medical vocabulary.

My brother played Little League, but I think he shared my idea that a ball heading - at an alarmingly high speed - right for your head was not a good thing. I vaguely remember him trading baseball cards, and he once caught a baseball at a Giants game that was later signed by Willie Mays.

Whenever I did get dragged to a game, I might not have followed the plays, but I did get caught up in the excitement. The sound of the organ playing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" gave me shivers, and the excitement of the players running onto the field was pretty heady.

And then the thrill of the hot dogs, wrapped in paper and carried in a steam hot box hung around the vendor's neck. "Dogs! Get your hot dogs right here!" I slathered mine with more mustard than any sane person would (I still do) and my dad always let us have sips of foamy beer from his cardboard cup, daringly illegal for my very law-abiding father.

Some people don't associate baseball with food, but I, of course, do, although it might be that I associate everything with food. I can tell you that Gordon Biersch serves up some fine brew at Pacific Bell Park, along with the garlic fries. And I can also wax lyrical about our baseball evening picnics.

On particularly hot Sacramento summer nights, my mother would pack up dinner or my dad would drive to a local stand and pick up fried or grilled chicken, or a bag of hamburgers from the local burger joint that served a deliciously gooey dressing of shredded lettuce, mustard and mayo. Sometimes we had barbecues. I may have never excelled at baseball, but I became very good at picnics and barbecues.

We lay on a blanket in the sweet cool grass after a long, hot dog-day of summer, then unpacked our goodies and ate dinner. By the time we were finished,

the ball game was about to begin.

Later in life, my brother, though he was never really good at baseball, surprised us all by playing basketball on the Unicef basketball team in Beijing. He played until his untimely death; basketball was just one of many things we didn't know about him, and it seems he played very well. I know my dad was as proud of him as if it had been baseball.

My dad's life still includes baseball. When spring comes around, he starts visiting the local games. In the evenings when it cools down, he stops off at the diamond, sizing up the Little League. He loves Pac Bell Park and the Giants, and supports the Sacramento Rivercats, too.

And he still can throw the ball around, hit it, run the bases - give him a call any time and I'm sure he will offer to take you to the park with his ball and bat. Especially if you bring the picnic.

My dad's tastes run to all-American food, much to my distress when I see an alluring exotic restaurant and we're on the way to a steak-and-salad joint. However, he has a secret gastronomical passion - raw garlic. If you can't find him elsewhere in the house, you can find him hanging around the garlic drawer, nibbling on a few raw cloves. Just like me.


Serve this with a plate of olives and a basket of raw vegetables: strips of red pepper, cucumber, fennel, wedges of ripe tomato, a handful of crisp tender blanched green beans. Adapted from Oded Schwartz' ''Fast and Fresh Mediterranean'' (Kyle Cathie Publishers).

4 ounces country-style bread, such as pain levain, crusts removed

6 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled

Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt, to taste

Place the bread in a shallow bowl and cover with water. Set aside for about 5 minutes, or until the bread is completely moistened. Squeeze dry, then transfer to a food processor.

Add the garlic and process until incorporated.

Add the lemon juice and process until very smooth.

Slowly add the olive oil, starting with a few drops at a time, proceeding gradually to a thin, slow, steady stream as if you were making mayonnaise.

Season with salt, give it another whirl to emulsify, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

This keeps well for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Yields about 2 cups.

PER TABLESPOON: 75 calories, 0 protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 0 cholesterol, 22 mg sodium, 0 fiber.



2 pounds chicken wings, each cut in half

6 to 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 to 2 tablespoons anise-flavored liqueur, such as Pernod (optional)

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cumin

Large pinch of ground cinnamon

3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Shredded lettuce or other greens, for garnish

Lemon wedges, for garnish

Combine the wings with the garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper, optional liqueur, the cumin, cinnamon and olive oil.

Mix well, until the chicken wings are coated with the marinade.

Let marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Better still, tightly cover the container and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Prepare a fire in a barbecue grill.

Grill the chicken wings over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, turning them from time to time, until they are cooked through, crisp and lightly browned/charred in spots.

Serve hot, on a little bed of shredded lettuce, or tender watercress, or any little green.

Serve with lemon wedges alongside.

Serves 4.

PER SERVING: 390 calories, 23 g protein, 4 g carbohydrate, 30 g fat (7 g saturated), 94 mg cholesterol, 91 mg sodium, 0 fiber.



4 garlic cloves, chopped

6 tablespoons softened butter, preferably unsalted

Juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

Several large pinches of ground cumin

Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 ears of fresh sweet corn, husks pulled back away from kernels

Mix the garlic with the butter, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, salt, cayenne and cilantro.

Grill the corn, turning, until the ears are lightly charred.

You don't want them to overcook, just slightly scorch, which brings out the corn character.

While the corn is cooking, brush with a little olive oil if the kernels seem either dry or in danger of sticking.

Remove the corn from the grill and slather with the garlic-chile butter.

Serves 4.

PER SERVING: 270 calories, 3 g protein, 18 g carbohydrate, 22 g fat (11 g saturated), 47 mg cholesterol, 18 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.

Marlena Spieler, a food writer who divides her time between the Bay Area and London, is the author of more than 30 cookbooks and is a regular contributor to BBC Radio. You can e-mail her at

This article appeared on page WB - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

© 2001 Hearst Communications Inc. | Privacy Policy | Feedback | RSS Feeds | FAQ | Site Index | Contact

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Holishkes are in the oven!

I'll post all of my pics was labor intensive. It's all I got done today...but I couldn't let that ground beef go to waste!

I also had to post a photo of all the tomatoes Dave picked while I was in Portland!

The recipe for Holishkes is from Jewish Cooking by Marlena Spieler. We'll see if mine look as good as hers!

Do I Love My Brand New Roof?

I took the first pic the first evening...kinda dark. Yes, we have those crappy popcorn ceilings in some of our rooms!

I took this photo the next morning. The other leak, in the kitchen, was leaking through the light fixture so you can't see the damage it caused. rained for the first time and look what happened? Our roof was less than one month old. They forgot to put new flashing around the fireplace vent and the heater/air con. which is also on the roof. I asked "so what should I do about my wet ceiling?" The worker said, "let it dry and paint it." If I wasn't feeling so poorly, I would have cussed him out. People who know me..realize I must've been feeling pretty sick. I still have to go back to Angies List and give a report on Rankin Lyman roofing. I am glad I waited until it rained. I really liked em when they were here!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

More of Portland Trip

Can't wait to go back to "Sushi Train".

This chicken and rice was so fabulous..chicken was moist and tender.

My granddaughter is not short on fun play dresses! They are popping out all over!

Ethan reminds me of my bro John as a kid and my great nephew this photo

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cooking, and Dining..... in Portland (part 1)

Lavender Tea House...tomato/basil soup.

Ethan will eat anything if you stab it with a chopstick first!

Loved "Sushi Train"...really fresh sushi and other stuff too!

She cracked eight eggs and didn't get one shell in the mix! She's three.

Elaina was such a little princess at the tea. Then we walked out and she did a flip around a parking meter thingee...her Barbie panties were cute.

We had a lovely time at The Lavender Tea House in Sherwood, Oregon. We had soup, salad, scones, and little cucumber tea sandwiches. Portions were ultra small..and it was all good. Can you tell Elaina loves her mommy?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Food We've Eaten this Week....

Papa Murphys done my way: veggie pizza with lots more shrooms than they give ya!

I made this spinach and potato frittata in my little cast iron pan. Used 4 eggs, beaten. Started it on the stove-top and finished in the oven at 400 for 10 minutes. It was a lovely lunch for the in-laws and myself. I cooked the potatoes (and onions) first..natch.

I made cranberry beans (from Corti's). I browned some lemon/garlic/chicken sausage and some swiss chard..and more lemon juice with a bit of olive oil. Served it over orzo which I cooked in chicken broth. Delish...really!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Lisa was left to die alone (click to go to lpkids website)

Lisa, her partner, and their children were in Florida planning to board a cruise for gay and lesbian families. Lisa was struck by an aneurysm before they boarded and ended up in Jackson Memorial Hospital..where she died, alone, the next day. They refused to allow her partner, Janice, to be with her. Please gay marriage and gay rights in ALL states..and the world. This shouldn't ever happen. To write to that hospital (be polite as possible) send emails to Please read on:

( links are not being hi-lited and I don't know why. This is a recent problem on my blog. Any ideas why?)