The Lazy Way To Cook

Tart Cherry Pie

April 5, 2011

Tart Cherry Pie


Pastry For 9 Inch Two Crust Pie (Top & Bottom)

1 1/3 Cups Sugar

4 Tablespoons Quick Cooking Tapioca

6 Cups Fresh Or Frozen Pitted Tart Cherries

¼ Teaspoon Almond Extract

3 Tablespoons Butter

Preheat oven to 400° F.  Prepare pie pastry.

In a large bowl, combine sugar and tapioca.  Add cherries and stir well until blended.  Pour into a 9 inch pastry lined pie plate.  Sprinkle with almond extract and dot with butter.  Cover with remaining pastry and flute.  Cut slits in the pastry so that steam can escape.  Cover the edges of the crust with foil to prevent excessive browning.  Place pie on baking sheet and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through the slits on the crust.  Remove foil during the last 15 minutes of baking.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before cutting and serving.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you wish.  Serves 8

Chicken Tikka Masala

April 4, 2011

Chicken Tikka Masala


1 Cup Basmati Rice

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Chopped Onion

2 Teaspoons Grated & Peeled Fresh Ginger

1 Crushed Garlic Clove

2 Tablespoons Indian Curry Paste

1 ¼ Pounds Skinless & Boneless Chicken Breast Halves (Cut Into 1 Inch Chunks)

¼ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon  Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 Cup Crushed Tomatoes

½ Cup Half & Half

¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro (A Bit More For Garnish)

Prepare rice. 

In a large skillet heat olive oil on medium for a minute.  Add onion and cook for about 6 minutes.  Stir frequently.  Add ginger, garlic and curry paste.  Cook 3 minutes longer.  Add chicken, salt & pepper and cook about 2 minutes or until no longer pink on the outside.  Stir occasionally.  Add tomatoes.  Cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer or until chicken loses its pink color throughout. 

Uncover and stir in half & half and cilantro.  Spoon rice into 4 shallow bowls.  Top with chicken mixture and garnish with extra chopped cilantro.  Serves 4

Veal Piccata

April 3, 2011

Veal Piccata


¼ Cup Unbleached Flour

½ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 Pound Veal Cutlets

4 Teaspoons Olive Oil

1/3 Cup White Wine

1 Cup Chicken Broth

2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

2 Tablespoons Capers

1 Tablespoon Butter (NOT Margarine)

1 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley

Place cutlets between two sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper.  With a meat mallet, pound cutlets to ¼ inch thickness.  On waxed paper, combine flour, salt and pepper.  Coat cutlets with seasoned flour.  Shake off the excess. 

In a large skillet heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot.  Add half of the cutlets and cook until brown (for about 2 minutes).  Turn cutlets and cook 1 minute longer.  Using tongs, transfer cutlets to platter and keep warm.  Repeat with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and remaining veal.  Transfer to plate with the other cooked veal. 

Increase heat to high and add wine to skillet, stirring until browned bits are loosened from the bottom of the skillet.  Add the broth and heat to boiling.  Boil until sauce has reduced to ½ cup (4 to 6 minutes).  Stir in lemon juice, butter, capers and parsley.  When butter has melted pour sauce over veal.  Serves 4

Chicken Mole

April 2, 2011

Chicken Mole


15 Ounces Diced Tomatoes

4 Ounces Chopped Mild Green Chiles

½ Cup Whole Blanched Almonds

½ Cup Coarsely Chopped Onion

1 Peeled Garlic Clove

1 Tablespoon Chili Powder

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander

¾ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Sugar

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

½ Ounce Chopped Unsweetened Chocolate

¼ Cup Water

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro

3 Pounds Bone-In Skinless Chicken Parts

To prepare mole sauce, in a blender or food processor with a knife blade attached, puree tomatoes, chilies, almonds, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, salt and sugar until smooth. 

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until very hot.  Add chicken and cook until golden brown (about 5 minutes per side).  Use tongs to transfer chicken pieces to a large bowl. 

Pour mole sauce, chocolate and water to the skillet.  Cook while stirring until chocolate melts.  Return chicken to skillet and heat until boiling.  Reduce heat and cover.  Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until chicken juices run clear when pierced with tip of a knife.  Remove from skillet and serve with rice and/or tortillas.  Garnish with cilantro.  Serves 6

Salmon Tetrazzini

March 30, 2011

Salmon Tetrazzini


½ Pound Spaghetti

15 Ounces Cooked Salmon

12 Ounces Cream

½ Cup White Wine

1 Minced Garlic Clove

¼ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

¼ Cup Italian Breadcrumbs

½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook the spaghetti and drain (do NOT overcook).  Coat a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil.  Place the spaghetti in the baking dish so that it is spread along the bottom.  Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Remove any skin and bones from the salmon.  Place salmon in a medium sauce pan and add the cream and wine along with garlic, black pepper and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.  Cook over medium heat until everything is blended and the cheese has melted and the mixture begins to boil.  Pour the mixture evenly over the noodles.  Mix the bread crumbs with the remaining Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the top.  Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is crisp and browned around the edges.  Remove from oven and serve hot.  Serves 4

Naughty Nachos

March 27, 2011

Naughty Nachos

If I had to pick my last meal on earth it would be Naughty Nachos!


1 Pound Ground Sirloin

2 Teaspoons Chili Powder

2 Teaspoons Cumin

1 Teaspoon Paprika

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

8 Ounces Refried Beans

15 Ounces Black Beans

¾ Pound Grated Monterey Jack Cheese

1 Pound Grated Cheddar Cheese

1 Large Chopped Red Onion

½ Cup Chopped Green Onions

2 Chopped Tomatoes

8 Ounces Chopped Black Olives

3 Diced Jalapeño Peppers

16 Ounces Tortilla Chips

Iceberg Lettuce

Sour Cream  (optional)

Guacamole   (optional)

Salsa  (optional)

Brown ground sirloin in a medium skillet. Drain and add chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder and salt.  Set aside.  Spread the refried beans over the bottom of a platter or shallow heat proof dish.  This is to anchor the first layer of tortilla chips.  Next, spread a layer of chips over the refried beans, top with layers of cheeses, ground sirloin, black beans, red onion, green onions, diced jalapeño peppers, tomatoes and olives.  Repeat until all ingredients are used.  Bake in preheated oven at 375° F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve warm.  Top with lettuce, guacamole, sour cream and salsa. Serves 6

Asparagus In Vinaigrette

March 26, 2011

Asparagus In Vinaigrette

I learned how to make this dish while living in France.  It is so easy and tasty!


2 Pounds Trimmed Fresh Asparagus

1 Minced Garlic Clove

1/3 Cup Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

¾ Teaspoon Salt

¼ Fresh Ground Pepper

Place trimmed asparagus in a steamer basket.  Place in a saucepan over 1 inch of water and bring to a boil.  Cover and steam for 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp and tender.  Do not overcook!  Rinse with cold water and drain well.  Set aside. 

In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  Pour over asparagus and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled.  Makes a great side dish.  Serves 8

Caramel Popcorn

March 25, 2011

Caramel Popcorn

Who doesn’t love caramel popcorn?!  I have heard that there is a movie theater in LA that sells homemade caramel corn.  I would go to the movies just for the caramel corn!


3 Quarts Popped Popcorn

3 Cups Dry Roasted & Unsalted Mixed Nuts

1 Cup Firmly Packed Brown Sugar

½ Cup Light Corn Syrup

½ Cup Butter

½ Teaspoon Salt

½ Teaspoon Baking Soda

½ Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 250° F.  In a large roasting pan combine the popcorn and nuts.  You wish to leave the nuts out or just use one type of nut. Place in the oven while preparing the glaze.  In a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt.  Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, and then continue to boil for 4 minutes without stirring.  Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla.  Next pour over the warm popcorn and nuts.  Toss to coat the popcorn well. Bake another 60 minutes.  Stir frequently (about every 10 minutes).  Cool and break apart.  Store in an airtight container.  Makes 4 quarts

Victoria’s Crab Cakes

March 24, 2011

Victoria’s Crab Cakes


1 Pound Lump Crabmeat

½ Stick Unsalted Butter (Divided – 1 Tablespoon & 3 Tablespoon)

½ Cup Chopped Shallots

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

2 Large Eggs

1 ½ Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 Teaspoon Paprika

½ Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 Teaspoon Tartar Sauce

1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest

¼ Teaspoon Tabasco Sauce

2 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Parsley

2 Cup Cubed White Bread (About 4 Slices)

2/3 Cup Bread Crumbs

Pick through crab to remove any bits of shell.  Try not to break up the lumps of crabmeat as you pick through.  Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots and a half of teaspoon of salt.  Cook until the shallots are translucent (about 2 minutes).  Do not brown.  Let the shallots cool.  Whisk together the eggs, Worcestershire sauce, remaining half teaspoon of salt, paprika, freshly ground black pepper, tartar sauce, lemon zest, Tabasco, parsley and the cooked shallots.  Gently fold in the crabmeat and bread cubes, taking care to not break up the lumps of crab meat.  The mixture will be very wet.  Using your hands, take a scoop of the crab mixture and gently form into a patty form about 2 ¼ inches across and ¾ inches thick.  Continue until you’ve made 12 crab cake patties.  Line a rimmed tray and a piece of wax paper just large enough to hold the cakes and sprinkle the bottom of the tray with half of the bread crumbs.  Set the crab cakes in one layer on the top of the layer of bread crumbs and sprinkle them with the remaining bread crumbs.  Cover the crab cakes loosely with another sheet of wax paper and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. 

Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet on medium-high heat.  The butter will melt and foam up.  When the foam subsides, working in batches, place the crab cakes in the pan.  Make sure not to crowd the pan.  Cook until golden brown – for about 3 minutes on each side. 

Remove from skillet and serve.  Makes about 12 crab cakes

Granola Bars

March 22, 2011

Granola Bars


2 Cups Rolled Oats

¾ Cup Packed Brown Sugar

½ Cup Wheat Germ

¾ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 Cup Unbleached Flour

¾ Cup Raisins

¼ Cup Sunflower Seeds

¾ Teaspoon Salt

½ Cup Honey

1 Beaten Egg

½ Cup Vegetable Oil

2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins, sunflower seeds and salt.  Make a well in the center and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla.  Mix well using your hands.  Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared parchment paper pan.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges.  Cool for 5 minutes and cut into bars while still warm.  Do NOT allow the bars to cool completely before cutting or they will be way too hard to cut.  When bars are cool store in an airtight container.  Makes approximately 24 bars.

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