Cheryl’s Spontaneous Shrimp and Pasta Diablo

I came up with this recipe in the sixth month of the pandemic when I had nothing planned for dinner and couldn’t stand the thought of coming up with a grocery list, let alone going to the grocery store. I looked in the pantry, the freezer, and the refrigerator, and got a little inspiration. I figured if it bombed, we could always order a pizza. However, the result was so delicious that I even surprised myself, and this is now one of my go to recipes. Ingredients: 8 oz large shrimp 6 ounces linguine one can diced tomatoes ½ cup white wine ¼ TSP red pepper flakes 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cloves crushed garlic Directions: Heat olive oil in large fry pan frying pan over medium heat. Add crushed garlic stirring constantly for two to three minutes. Add shrimp, cook for 3 minutes on each...

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Delish Fish Dish

I like fish, but I wouldn’t say that I love it. At least, not the way I love chocolate. But fish has so many wonderful health benefits, and when it’s cooked right (and well), it makes for a tasty and satisfying meal. This is a recipe I found many years ago, and I was shocked at how light and delicious it was. Besides, not only is fish full of amazing health benefits, the other ingredients can be regarded as superfoods. As an added perk, the recipe is simple and so easy to follow. What more could you possible want, except a small piece of chocolate for dessert? Ingredients: 1 cup sliced leeks 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 tsp olive oil 1-1/2 pound orange roughy, cod, or other white fish 12-15 fresh basil leaves 2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced 1 small can black olives, sliced thin 1...

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Irish Soda Bread

Since St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, why not celebrate by baking a nice Irish soda bread? Many (and I do mean many) years ago when I was still working at a local hospital as a respiratory therapist, my colleagues and I loved to share all kinds of food and special dishes with each other. One of the therapists had an Irish background, and every St. Patrick’s Day she brought several loaves of fresh baked soda bread for us to enjoy. She was kind enough to share the recipe as well, and the first time I made it I was shocked at how fast and easy it was, especially since I remembered what my Eastern European grandmothers went through to make fresh home made baked bread. I much prefer the Irish way, although after doing some research, I discovered that soda bread actually...

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Mom’s Apple Pie

My mom learned how to make her famous crowd-pleasing apple pie from my grandmother. Our entire family loved it so much that every Thanksgiving my mom made both a pumpkin pie and an apple pie for us. What a woman! The first time I made her recipe, I was blown away by how time consuming it was, and I had to recruit help from my then college roommate to get it done. Of course, in those days I didn’t know how to cook. However, the results were well worth the effort, and I’m sure you’ll agree. This is one recipe that I did not change at all, because sometimes we just need to splurge a little. Besides, apples are healthy, and so very good for you, especially when they are baked in a pie. Crust: 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 2/3 cup shortening 5 to 7 tablespoons...

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Not Your Nona’s Lasagna

I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting recipes. But when I saw a recipe for pumpkin and kale lasagna, I shuddered and moved on. However, it kept calling my name and I looked at it more closely. It certainly intrigued me. After all, I love pumpkin, and I love lasagna. I even love kale, with certain reservations. But the recipe was loaded with heavy and calorie-laden ingredients that seemed unnecessary, and kale sauteed in garlic added to pumpkin was too much for me to even think about. I had a few other misgivings as well, so I incorporated a few of my sneaky ninja moves, as well as substituted almond milk for whole milk to come up with something that might be palatable. One weekend afternoon, it was time to test it. However, before tying on my apron, I warned my husband...

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Chicken Dijon

I was going to name this recipe after my favorite mustard, Grey Poupon, but my husband advised me not to. He said that Poupon Chicken didn’t sound very appetizing, and I guess he had a point. After doing diligent research, I discovered that Grey Poupon is a dijon mustard and has a small amount of white wine in it. No wonder why I like it so much. I also learned that the word poupon means little baby, or baby doll. Who knew cooking could be so educational?  I used a few of my ninja tricks to combine a few recipes, cut what I didn’t like, kept what I thought would work, used my imagination, and came up with a variation on a theme. So here it is, my Chicken Dijon, and Poupon too! 6 thinly sliced chicken breast fillets (I buy them already sliced thin. No need to pull out my sharp...

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Cranberry Sweet Potato Bread

I’m not much into baking, but I sure do love whipping up a fresh and tasty tea bread. I also love cooking with cranberries. Fresh, not canned. Of course. When fresh cranberries start appearing in the produce section of the grocery store, I buy out the store and stock up my freezer. Yep, you can freeze cranberries for up to six months, although I have been known to keep them in the freezer for up to a year, and they haven’t killed me yet. I found this recipe with fresh cranberries and sweet potatoes so many years ago that the cookbook is literally falling apart. Although I loved the bread, I was totally bummed out by the amount of sugar in the recipe. Sweet potatoes (or yams) are certainly sweet enough on their own. So, I took out my handy dandy Ninja knives and started cutting...

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Magic Mandarin Cranberry Sauce

Since the holidays are right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about preparing our holiday meals. Which, of course, includes the inevitable side dish of cranberry sauce. And I don’t mean the canned gelatinous stuff that some of us grew up with, although that was probably the only way we would eat it. I’m talking about the real deal, homemade cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries. When my mother stopped serving the canned stuff and started making her own, I thought it was a minor miracle. Whoever thought such magic was possible? But then I discovered how much sugar she used. Well, that explained why it tasted so good. I pulled out my ninja knives to cut the sugar content, and after much experimentation, I came up with a recipe using those cute little mandarin...

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Perfectly Satisfying Pumpkin Soup

The first time I ever heard of pumpkin soup, my knee jerk reaction was, “Ewe, pumpkin soup???” And then I tasted it. It was delicious. Nothing warms the heart and soul like soup does, and it sure hits the spot on a cold winter day. Especially when it’s snowing outside, which it did for three days straight last week, giving me the perfect opportunity to putter around my kitchen. I had a can of pumpkin in my pantry that had been staring me in the face for months, and it was time to set it free. I found a recipe for pumpkin soup in an old cookbook, and true to form, I used my ninja skills to cut the bad stuff and include some healthier options, like decreasing the amount of butter and substituting the whole milk (ack!) for unsweetened almond milk. It was delicious! And, here...

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Sunshine Beet Salad

I love beets. My husband, not so much. But I don’t know what to do with them when I buy them. Until recently, when I found myself at a Farmer’s Market looking at a beautiful basket of yellow beets. They seemed to be calling my name, and since my husband wasn’t around to stop me, I bought a small bunch. When I caught up with my husband, he asked me what I had in the bag. I avoided his eyes. “Beets,” I muttered. He got a very guarded look on his face before he asked the obvious question. “And what are you going to do with them?” “Darned if I know,” I replied. But I knew I’d think of something, or these lovely golden beauties would end up like all of the other beets I buy. Shriveled up in the compost. I didn’t want that to happen,...

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