African Yam Stew ~ Amazing, Spicy, Sweet Peanut Buttery YUM!


This is divine!  I made it two nights ago and was crazy over the depth of flavor it has.  The small amount of peanut butter truly added this whole level of yum, beyond the awesome spices it has.

I have to say the next time, I would half the recipe because it simply made too much for just the Mr. and myself.  The girls tried it and well… not so much mom!  Perhaps the flavors are just too grown up for them, yet.  Enjoy!

Two popular vegetarian soups of Central Africa were the inspiration for this stew. In this region, sweet potatoes, beans, chili peppers, onions, ginger, garlic and peanuts are common ingredients. The peanut butter makes this a creamy stew, but there is only a small amount per serving. To decrease the richness serve over a whole grain or use only ¼ cup of peanut butter. Feel free to kick up the heat by using jalapeno pepper or more red pepper flakes.

Forks Over Knives

Serves: 6-8


• ½ cup water
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1-2 tablespoon(s) Anaheim or jalapeno pepper, minced
• 1 tablespoon ginger, ground
• 1 tablespoon garlic granules
• 2 teaspoons cumin, ground
• 2 teaspoons coriander, ground
• 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
• 6 yams, peeled and chopped
• 2 cups vegetable broth
• 24 ounces tomatoes, chopped
• 14 ounces garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
• 14 ounces black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
• 1/2 cup almond or peanut butter, unsweetened natural
• 1½ cup corn
• 6 cups collards, chopped


In a large pot, sauté onion and pepper with water for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally

Add ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and red pepper.

Cook and stir for 1 minute.

Mix in yams, vegetable broth, tomatoes, beans and nut butter.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Stir in corn and collards and cook for about 10 more minutes, until yams and greens are tender.

Serve over brown rice or other whole grain.

Italian White Bean, Potato and Kale Stew


“Let food be thy medicine.”  Hippocrates

A few days ago while on Facebook, I got one of those “suggested posts” for a website ‘Forks Over Knives’ and it showed a recipe for Italian White Bean and Kate Stew.  It sounded delightful and very healthy.

I clicked on the link to the recipe and was happy to find this amazing site and documentary on being mindful with food choices.  The documentary is quite telling and should be watched by all.

Italian White Bean, Kale and Potato Stew
Serves 6


• 1 cup diced red or white onion
• 3 cloves garlic
• 2 28 ounce cans diced tomatoes (salt free if you prefer)
• ¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 5 cups red-skinned potatoes cut into one inch squares
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• 1 tablespoon dried parsley
• 6-8 packed cups of kale, after it has been de-stemmed and chopped
• 2 15 ounce cans Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• salt (optional)


Place a large soup/stock pot over a medium high flame and pour some of the liquid from one of the cans of the diced tomatoes into the pot to cover the base of the pot. When the tomato liquid starts to bubble, add the onion and stir. Lower heat a little. Press garlic into pot. Add red pepper flakes (to taste). Continue to cook and stir, lowering heat as the time passes, for a total of about 10 minutes or until onions are soft.

Add the rest of the first can of diced tomatoes and the entire second can into the pot. Bring heat up to medium-high again so that tomatoes begin to simmer. Place diced potatoes, oregano and parsley into the pot and stir. Cover pot, lower heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place all of the kale into the pot and cover the pot again. Let kale steam and shrink for 3 minutes. Uncover pot and stir in kale. Add Cannellini beans and stir. Taste and season with salt (or not). If potatoes are not as soft as you desire, continue to let simmer.

Making NYC Street Meat: Middle Eastern Chicken and Rice Recipe


A couple of days ago an old friend of mine who now lives in Manhattan posted on Facebook that he was making a late night trip for halal chicken and rice from 43rd & 6th street.  Not being familiar with it, I Googled it to see just what halal chicken was in New York city.  I came across an article where the author decided to figure out how to replicate the halal chicken and rice dish, sold on 53rd and 6th.

Last night I decided to give this  NYC street chicken and rice a whirl and I have to say, it’s probably the best chicken dish I’ve ever made, hands down.  Honestly.

This recipe has so much depth of flavor with the fragrant spices and Greek yogurt based marinade that I never could have imagined it would be possible for an Irish gal to make something this amazingly complex in flavor!

I followed the recipe pretty much to the letter, but found their recipe did not discuss the cooking of the chicken all that much.  Here is what I did.

I purchased boneless, skinless chicken and did not trim the extra bits of fat off.  I decided not to, only because we generally eat healthy here, so I was not too worried about a tiny bit.   I figured having the extra bits of fat would keep the meat tender and juicy.  I am glad that I did.

I used a non-stick skillet and did not add oil at first.  That is not advisable.  The marinade is too thick and is dairy based, so it immediately got stuck, making a mess of the pan.  I’d either use a non-stick with oil or a well seasoned cast iron pan and a bit of vegetable oil.  Personally, I think I’d go for cast iron.  I believe the overall end result would be better and a bit more like the seasoned flat top that would be used in it’s preparation on the street.

Cook on relatively high heat and in small batches as if you were stir frying.  This way you can cook it quickly, get a nice sear on your chicken and you won’t crowd the meat, which would cause it to steam.

I cooked the meat about 7 minutes per batch, removed it from the heat, let it rest, and added the next batch to cook.

I served it with Mujadarra (rice and lentils) and a gorgeous carrot salad from my new Middle Eastern cookbook that The Mr. ♥ gave to me.  I found one of our WordPress friends actually blogged about this amazing carrot dish here!


I had originally planned on making homemade pita bread to go with it, but come six~ thirty, I was so done with cooking.  However, I highly recommend making homemade pita if you can.  It’s not overly taxing to make if you have a bread machine.  I finished cooking my pitas on a pizza stone in the oven and they were amazing little pillows.  So, so much better than store bought pita breads!


So, What is Halal?  You can read all about it here.

Pad Fry ~ Thai Sweet Potato Fries


I have a weakness for sweet potato fries.  I’ve managed to have gotten one of our daughters totally hooked on my sweet potato fries with curry mayonnaise, an old fav of mine from the British pub days back in New England, that I’ve recreated.

Looking around today on Food Network I found this recipe for Thai sweet potato fries!  A warm and spicy combination of sweet potatoes, cilantro, lime, fried onions Sriracha and yes, BACON!



1 16-to-20-ounce bag frozen sweet potato fries
3 strips bacon, chopped
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons Asian chile sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Prepared fried onions or fried shallots, for topping


Bake the sweet potato fries as the label directs.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the brown sugar, fish sauce, chile sauce, lime juice and lime zest to the drippings. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Transfer the fries to a serving dish. Drizzle with the chile sauce mixture, then sprinkle with the bacon, cilantro and fried onions.

Photograph by Charles Masters

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Crabmeat Stuffed Sole Fillets

100 years ago I had the best job ever!  I was a fish monger at Harbor Fish Market in Portland, Maine for quite a few years.

It was a BLAST!

I used to have fresh fish at my fingertips daily and I used to prepare it often.  Now, it’s not so readily available since moving from the coastal area, so it’s become a luxury in our house.  For those of you who are lucky enough to have fresh fish around, this is an easy and delicious recipe.

If you’re ever in Portland, Maine… Do stop by Harbor Fish.  It’s the greatest!

4-6 fresh Sole fillets
• 1 cup cooked crab meat
• 2 tablespoons butter
• ¼ cup minced bell pepper
• ¼ cup minced onion
• ¼ cup bread crumb
• 4 tablespoons cream
• salt and pepper
• paprika
• fresh parsley, minced

Sauté bell pepper and onion in butter over medium heat until tender. Do not brown. Remove from heat. Mix in crab meat, bread crumb, cream, salt and pepper to taste. Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of mix onto one open fillet and roll to close with ends under. Place on foiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture and fillets. Dot with additional butter and sprinkle with paprika and fresh parsley. Bake in 375 oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves two to four.

Broiled Feta with Carmelized Cinnamon Pears

Photo from How Sweet It Is

I adore this gals blog.  She’s witty and has the best recipes.

I thought this sounded divine!

Ages ago we used to frequent a small cafe in Vermont.  One of the appetizers they made was crostini with toasted goat cheese, pear and a warm honey mustard drizzle. Oh my was that awesomely good!  And it’s super quick and easy to make too!

I thought you could do the same sort of thing and instead of adding cinnamon, drizzle it with a warm honey mustard sauce and throw it on a toasted crostini.  Just a thought!

Bread Machine White Breakfast Bread Recipe

Another one of my old favorites from the best bakers ever.  King Arthur Flour.

This always tastes great and is not too overly sweet.  Lovely!  Lovely!

One (1 1/2-pound) Loaf

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dried milk
3 3/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Place all of the ingredients into the pan of your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Program for white or basic bread, light setting, and press Start. Check the dough’s consistency about 7 minutes after the kneading cycle begins, adding additional water or flour to form a smooth, soft ball of dough. Allow the machine to complete its cycle. Remove the bread when it’s done, and let cool completely before slicing. Yield: 1 loaf.