Our Favorite Grilled Chicken

Last week I promised you some recipes for marinated, grilled chicken. This is probably one of the most frequent items on our dinner menu. Chicken is so versatile! I think that if I had to, I could come up with 365 ways to cook it!

I’m not offering 365 chicken recipes (hmmm, maybe I should write a cookbook?), but here are three of our favorites. If I ever feed you dinner, there’s a good chance you’ll be eating one of these!

Continue reading

Menu Planning for Saving & Sanity

meal menu-001

It’s late afternoon and you still have no idea what you’re making for dinner. Everything that comes to mind requires either time you don’t have or ingredients that would require a trip to the market. Sure, you have food in the fridge, and more food in the freezer, but frozen broccoli, mustard and a jar of green olives doesn’t sound like a meal. Our daughter once described the situation like this: “Mom, there’s no food in the fridge, only ingredients!”

This same daughter is also the one who suggested I explain how I do my meal planning. If this scenario sounds too familiar, maybe today’s post will help.

Continue reading

Strawberries for Dinner

2015-05-23 20.16.28

If there was ever a Holzmann family signature dessert, this would be it: buttery whole wheat biscuit, mounds of sweetened whipped cream, and far more luscious, red strawberries than strictly necessary. It’s filling enough to make an entire meal, and at times (usually on Father’s Day) we’ve considered it one.

The story behind this amazing feast is from the 1970s. Teenaged Pete decided to ride his bike the 30+ miles to his aunt and uncle’s home in upstate New York. When he finally arrived, hot and hungry, a plate-sized strawberry shortcake was waiting to reward his efforts. I could tell from the way his eyes lit up every time this landmark event was mentioned, that creating a repeat performance would be enthusiastically welcomed. So I did. And it was.

Continue reading

The Very Best Christmas Cookie

“Here, you will need to learn these recipes!” My future mother-in-law pressed the cookbook into my hands. She was smiling, but I knew that she was serious. Pete’s mom was 100% Finnish, and now she expected me to help carry on her family traditions.

Finnish cookbookThe Finnish Cookbook, by Beatrice A Ojakangas, was published in 1964, and to a great extent, the contents reflected that era. There were numerous casseroles and few vegetable dishes. Almost half the book was devoted to the “coffee table”—a spread of cookies, cakes, breads, tarts, and tortes all containing huge quantities of butter, cream, and sugar. It all looked delicious—and really, really bad for you. I quickly realized that while I might learn to make these things, I was going to have to ration them carefully!

Continue reading

Whole Egg Masala (Ande ki Kari)

Looking for something to do with all those hard cooked eggs? Tired of deviled eggs and egg salad sandwiches. Here’s a way to use them for dinner, and no one will complain.

I often make chicken masala, one of my favorite Indian dishes, but you can use other protein sources instead. This recipe uses eggs, but you could substitute tofu for a vegan dish. The recipe was adapted from Classic Indian Cooking, by Julie Sahni. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients. Most of them are spices, and combine quickly. The tedious part is browning the onions. It’s vital to arrive at the point where they’re very soft but not burned.

I like to serve it with a vegetable dish such as muttar paneer (peas and fresh cheese), veggie korma, or cauliflower and green onions with turmeric and black mustard seeds. Add a raita (cucumbers in yogurt) and brown basmati rice or chapatis for a complete meal. Then invite me over, please!

Continue reading

As Easy as Apple Pie

20131221_162652My husband, Pete, loves apples. His formative years spent in the apple country of upstate New York left a lasting mark on him. He eats at least an apple a day, preferably a crisp, tart McIntosh. Even better, he loves apples baked into a pie. I’m not talking about a mere platonic relationship here. This is true love. He really enjoys a towering slice of deep-dish apple pie.

On the other hand, I am allergic to apples. Eating even one bite causes me severe digestive distress, to put it politely. So of course we up and married each other.

Continue reading

Some Sweet Advice

I know. This isn’t really a food blog. But I’m so frustrated with some of the misinformation out in web-land, I’m going to rant about food today. Specifically, I’m targeting sugar.

Friends recently posted a couple of recipes on Facebook, claiming they were very healthy:

Banana Bread with honey and applesauce instead of sugar & oil….Delicious & Healthy….

When you have a sweet tooth and want to stay on track, here’s a nice treat. Sugar is NOT an added ingredient. (The recipe for oatmeal cookies includes three ripe mashed bananas and ½ cup raisins.)

Wondering if either recipe fits my low-glycemic (that means food that won’t spike my blood sugar levels) diet, I did some calculations. Are they really healthy? Is either recipe actually low in sugar?

Continue reading

Cold Roast Beef Salad

Roast beef salad_LAH_7894It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, and this one is perfect for the coming summer months (now that the weather has finally warmed up). You don’t have to heat up the kitchen. We frequently enjoy salad for dinner, and I have a good assortment of recipes to choose from. This is a roast beef and lettuce dish that is hearty enough to satisfy even those who think main dish salads are only for wimps. I simply buy thinly sliced roast beef at the deli. It’s pricey, but you don’t need much. This recipe serves two hungry people or three women watching their weight.

Continue reading

Reverse-engineered Phở

Pho_Everett-WA_LAH_13One of the delightful things about visiting the west coast is the opportunity to eat at a large variety of ethnic restaurants. Of course we have international restaurants here in Colorado, but they’re small change compared to the abundance I’ve enjoyed in California or Washington. Just for example, within just a couple of miles of our old house in Cupertino there are now seven Chinese places specializing in dim sum. That’s more than exist in the entire state of Colorado. (I highly recommend the dim sum at New Port in Sunnyvale.)

The problem with visiting other places is that I develop a passion for certain foods, then discover that they aren’t readily available at home. When we first moved to Colorado Springs, twenty years ago, the only Indian restaurant was run by two Brits, and the food was pretty awful. The only solution was to learn to make our favorite dishes myself.

Continue reading