Saturday, December 30, 2023

Entertianing Idea for New Years- ice cubes and ice molds

Free Wine Glasses photo and picture

I was at a holiday party Saturday night, and I loved this idea for serving champagne or white wine which can easily be used for a New Years Eve party as well!

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas Recipes

I'm sharing some last minute Christmas recipes.
Hoping your holidays will be filled with blessings of joy, peace, love, friends, and family! 

Merry Christmas

Recipes below

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Marinated Cucumber Salad

Got cucumbers? This is a simple recipe with a robust flavor that can be thrown together very easily and quickly.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Cruising In The Caribbean

cruise ship

We just returned from our cruise in the Caribbean to Belize, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Key West. The weather was warm and lovely except in Belize. It was raining and windy in Belize and since we had not planned any excursions in advance, we did not get off the ship. It was sunny and beautiful in all of the other stops. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Who Wrote The Christmas Songs?

This is interesting. Did you know that many of the popular Christmas songs were actually written by Jewish composers such as one of my favorites, White Christmas

1. “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” by Mel Torme

Written by Mel Torme, a Jewish singer who was born in 1925 as Melvin Howard Torme, He grew up in Chicago to a working class Jewish family.

Read about the other 12 songs!!

Sunday, December 10, 2023

It's Beginning To Look Alot Like Christmas

Do you remember the iconic song, It's Beginning To Look A lot like Christmas, written by Meredith Wilson in 1951 and recorded and popularized by many artists including Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis, and most recently in 2011 by Michael Buble. 

In South Florida, where I spend my winters, the Christmas decorations are in full bloom right now throughout the multitude of high rise lobbies, on the streets, and the many balconies.
read on to see all the photos

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Peter, Paul, and Mary's Tribute to Hanukkah

Do you remember Peter, Paul, and Mary? 
They were a very popular singing group who recorded and performed folk songs in the 1960's such as, If I had a Hammer, Blowing in the Wind, Lemon Tree, Where Have all the Flowers Gone, etc.  In this Youtube they perform If I had a hammer (1960's)

What you might not remember is their amazing song, Light One Candle from the 1980's. 

Sunday, December 3, 2023

In My Kitchen -December

December we will be looking into my  kitchen in my Florida condo. I'm joining Sherry's IN MY KITCHEN where anyone can share!

I've bought a box of dripless Hanukkah candles for the upcoming holiday. 

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Vegetables With Crushed Roasted Peanuts -Delish

This colorful vegetable dish takes only 10 minutes to prep and 5 minutes to cook. 
You will be delighted with the delicious flavors  in a dish that lends itself to many variations! I love it.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Curried Red Lentil Soup

Free Lentil soup Stock Photo

Keep the soup coming!! 
Do you like the flavor of curry? 
I never used to like it, but it's been growing on me, and I'm actually beginning to really enjoy it. It has a strong intense flavor that I now find delicious in lentil soups. This recipe is delicious!

Monday, November 27, 2023

Asian Mushroom Soup- Vegan and Gluten-Free

I bought a quart of baby portobello mushrooms for Thanksgiving and never used them, so I decided to make an Asian mushroom soup to use them up. This recipe is very similar (with just a few variations) to my original recipe for hot and sour soup (link) that I published way back in 2011. 

It is delicious and easy to make!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Green Bean Salad

green bean salad with almonds  and tomatoes

This green bean salad was totally enjoyed along with the more traditional Thanksgiving fare that it accompanied on the holiday table this year. It's easy to make and light and tasty!

Monday, November 20, 2023

Thanksgiving Recipes for 2024- Gluten Free and Vegan

As I sit on the beach in 85 degree sunny beautiful weather, watching the waves, and listening to the gulls, I'm thinking about my Thanksgiving plans and my Thanksgiving recipes. 

Free Miami Florida photo and picture

We usually fly home for Thanksgiving to be with our family, but this year we are remaining in Florida. We decided not to fight the crowds in the airport or deal with hustle bustle of traveling on a holiday, despite wishing to be with our kids and grandkids. Check out my recipes!!

Free Thanksgiving Thanksgiving Dinner photo and picture

Friday, November 17, 2023

How to Freeze or Store Bananas for Future Recipes

Free Bananas Fruit photo and picture

Too many bananas? 
Are they ripening more quickly than you can eat them? 
There are two ways to save those bananas that doesn't involve making banana bread!

Monday, November 13, 2023

Plant Based Paella

plant based paella

Isn't this beautiful? I made it for dinner the other night!!

Paella is to Spain what spaghetti is to Italy! 
While visiting Barcelona this past May, we marveled at the different varieties of paella offered throughout the city. Of course, the only paella I tasted was the plant-based paella that we found in just a few restaurants. It was delicious, and I wanted to make it now that I'm home. This is an update of my previous recipe. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Quick Homemade Tomato Soup

brown soup on white and blue ceramic bowl

Do you love tomato soup? Would you like a recipe that can be made from start to finish in about 10 minutes? 

I used a few short cuts in this absolutely delicious recipe, but they didn't reduce the taste of the soup or the nutrients!

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Zaalouk- Moroccan Eggplant Appetizer

bowl of eggplant dip with olives

Looking for an interesting dip? Perhaps something different? It's fun to try recipes from a variety of cultures such as this delicious Moroccan Zaalouk (pronounced Za'alouk)

With the holidays coming, I'm always on the look out for healthy low calorie ways to entertain.  I was originally introduced to this tasty moroccan recipe at a Moroccan friend's appetizer party a few years ago, and had totally forgotten about it!

Moroccan appetizers in little round platesIt's made with eggplant and tomatoes, lemon juice, garlic and spices; cilantro and jalapeño are optional. After searching the Internet for Moroccan bloggers, I found that every Moroccan cook has his/her way of making this popular Moroccan appetizer.

White flat bowl with Moroccan vegan appetizer

Traditionally, zaalook, is smooth and creamy. Yet, there are those who prefer it a little chunky. I am one of "those".  

Roast or Cook the Eggplant? 
I've experimented with a variety of recipes that I found on some authentic Moroccan blogs. Some of which call for broiling or roasting the eggplant; others that call for cooking the eggplant in a saucepan. Personally, I like the way it tasted both ways.

However, I found the broiling (even in my air-fryer) messier, more time consuming, and it heated up my kitchen. Then I needed to remove skin from the eggplant, scoop it out, and chop it for the saucepan to finish cooking with the tomatoes. 

Therefore, I prefer cooking it on the stove top. 
The stove top method took about 20 minutes of prep including peeling and deseeding the tomatoes. 

Free Eggplant Aubergine photo and picture
Roasted eggplant need to be scooped out, chopped, and added to the saucepan 

Peeling and de-seeding the tomatoes
Ethnic cooking is delicious but can take a little effort. In this case, it is suggested that you peel off the skin and remove the seeds of the tomatoes before adding them to the saucepan to cook with the eggplant cubes, which is an extra step in the process.

I found a Youtube Video here that will teach you how to easily peel and de-seed the tomato!

Free Tomato Vegetables photo and picture

Eggplant is very popular in Moroccan cooking and makes a tasty low calorie base for a dip. Eggplant is cholesterol-free, naturally low in fat, yet provides a nice amount of fiber. 

It is a good source of manganese which is a mineral that works together with calcium and Vitamin D to help support bone health. A deficiency of manganese may reduce bone mineral density (source).

Moroccan eggplant appetizer in a bowl

Finally, I decided to add some Kalamata olives to my za'alouk. I think it gave it a little added texture and flavor. Serve with 
(GF ) crackers or crudités. 

If you are not a fan of eggplant, try one of my other Moroccan  recipes: Moroccan Quinoa, Moroccan Carrots, or Moroccan Chickpea Olive Salad

Recipe for Zaalouk 

4 cloves garlic, pressed 
2 tablespoons of water for sautéing garlic (see notes)
1 med/large eggplant, washed, peeled, and cubed
3 tomatoes, peeled and seeded and chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup of freshly chopped cilantro (or parsley if you dislike cilantro)
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin 
Himalayan salt
Cracked pepper
1/4 cup of sliced Kalamata olives
*extra seasoning if needed (taste and decide-cumin, salt, garlic powder, pepper, lemon)

Add pressed garlic to a 3 qt. saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water. Cook slowly over a low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring. Add eggplant, tomato, lemon juice, cilantro, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook on a low heat until the eggplant and tomatoes cook down and are very soft. Using a spoon, stir and make into a chunky paste. Add the olives and extra seasoning if needed.

My Notes: 

1. I like to keep my recipes oil-free. If you prefer, sauté in olive oil instead of water.

2. The addition of olives is my idea and not traditional to this recipe. 

3. I also saw a recipe for Zaalouk last week on a blog that I enjoy called Cocoa and Lavender. The author recently published a post featuring Moroccan appetizers that included zaalouk. You can see his recipe and his other Moroccan appetizer recipehere 

4. Keep this wonderful dip in mind for holiday entertaining. 
  •    Can be made a day in advance before serving
  •     Freeze (omit the olives) add them after defrosted
  •     Defrost in refrigerator and pour off any extra liquid
5. If you try making the zaalouk and make adaptations to the recipe, please share in the comments. 


  •                  Amazing Prayer for Israel:Sung so beautifully by a Cantor In a Florida, it brought tears to my eyes! Avenu Shabashamayim- means our father in heaven.

Wednesday, November 1, 2023


Free Vegetables Basket photo and picture

It's November which means we are now in our Florida kitchen for the winter. I'm participating in November's IN MY KITCHEN ( link)hosted by Sherry over at Sherry's Pickings.

My Florida kitchen is much smaller and completely different than my Pennsylvania kitchen.

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Spaghetti Squash With Black Beans and Salsa

spaghetti squash cut and seeded

It's fall and I am making another recipe using winter squash- specifically spaghetti squash. 

a bowl with black beans, spaghetti squash, and salsa

The trio of ingredients that I use in this recipe produces a delicious, warming, low calorie and low fat dinner that is naturally gluten-free and vegan.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Quinoa Chickpea Salad- High In Protein

quinoa salad in a bowl

If you are looking for a simple healthy meal, this high protein salad is perfect. It's filling and satisfying without being heavy and high in fat. It's a crowd pleaser that everyone seems to like! 

Monday, October 23, 2023

Carrot Apple Breakfast Slaw- Vegan

bowl of grated carrots and apples, vegan, gluten free

Grated carrots, apples, and pomegranates- oh my!! A deliciously sweet juicy slaw loaded with valuable antioxidants and nutrients. 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Perfect Steel Cut Oats In the Instant Pot

Free Blueberries Oats photo and picture

It's officially fall- the season of pumpkins, gorgeous mums, and trees displaying their colorful leaves. The temperatures have been dipping to the low 40's in the mornings, and I've started to crave a nice cozy bowl of warming oatmeal for breakfast. I use the Instant Pot and my oatmeal comes out perfect every time and doesn't stick to the pot (a bonus). It is important to have the correct ratio of oatmeal to water.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Kitchen Wisdom- Reduce Sprouting In Potatoes

What's an apple doing in the potato basket? 
Does it help reduce sprouting? Our grandmothers may not have had all of our modern technology, but they knew some basic kitchen wisdom that worked for them. 

Monday, October 16, 2023

Vegan Stuffed Peppers - Israeli Style

Cooking pot filled with bell peppers stuffed with rice, vegan

Vegan stuffed peppers are colorful, tasty, and nutritious. I love this easy Israeli-style recipe that I originally tasted and then recorded when I visited my sister-In Law on our recent trip to Israel (June 2023). 

Friday, October 13, 2023

Perfect Spaghetti Squash In The Instant Pot

Free Spaghetti Squash photo and picture

Have you ever cooked a spaghetti squash? It is a unique yellow hard shelled squash that cooks up in strands that resembles spaghetti!

strands of spaghetti squash

Although it has a bland taste, this fun-to-eat squash pairs well with all kinds of sauces or sautéed vegetables for a delicious low calorie, yet nutrient dense "spaghetti" type dish!

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

I Stand With Israel

Israel is home to many of our close relatives. 
This is a very sad and scary time for us!

Free Architecture Jaffa photo and picture

As some of my readers may know, my husband (Jewish) was born in Cairo Egypt in 1948 to Jewish parents who were born and lived their lives in Egypt and grandparents who lived their lives in Egypt as well. 

Future Food Summit In Philadelphia (Oct 20-21)

Free Cities Worldwide illustration and picture


Mark your calendar for Oct 20-21 for the Food Summit in Philadelphia. Chef AJ will be teaching a cooking class on desserts, along with many other amazing speakers. 

Monday, October 9, 2023

Beautiful Murals in Philadelphia

Free Love Philadelphia photo and picture

We met friends for dinner in the city of Philadelphia last week. 
(We live 1/2 hour from downtown Philly)

Free City Cityscape photo and picture

I am always blown away with the amazing murals that one sees throughout Philadelphia, which are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen. 

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Waldorf Chickpea Salad With Honey Mustard Dressing

Waldorf chickpeas salad

Do you like chickpeas? 
You will love my easy to make Waldorf chickpea salad.
This Waldorf Chickpea salad contains celery, parsley (or cilantro), apple chunks, finely grated carrot, cashews, raisins (or Craisins) and scallions dressed in a vegan "honey" mustard dressing.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

The Signs of Fall

Just because it's well past Sept 22 and officially fall, it still doesn't feel like fall to me. 

neighborhood with green grass and green trees

The temperatures have dropped into the 50's at night and in early morning, but it still doesn't feels like fall to me

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

My Last Summer Salad- Raw Corn and Tomato

salad vegetables with corn, olives, tomatoes

Although its officially fall, the temperatures are still in the mid 80's, so I'm still making summer salads for dinner.

corn cut off the cob

I went to a local farm (Shady Brook) and they were still selling the last of the corn on the cob, summer tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes. 

Monday, October 2, 2023


Free Large Pumpkin Yellow Orange photo and picture

Typically, I join in with Sherri (at Sherry's Pickings) and other bloggers to share what's IN MY KITCHEN at the beginning of each month.

Here is what I have for the beginning of October. 

Friday, September 29, 2023

Spiced Lentils in The Instant Pot

I love my lentils cooked firm, not mushy. The Instant Pot is the perfect (and easy) way to get a perfect lentil.

This spicy lentil recipe is delicious. It can be eaten as a plant-based entree with a salad and or a cooked vegetable such as butternut squash, or it can be made into my delicious (link to recipe) lentil loaf or even lentil meatballs.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Pumpkins and Mums, But Where is Fall?

I'm starting to get ready to pack up for Florida for the winter. 
We will be leaving in 3 weeks, so I'm really hoping to enjoy some fall weather here in Pennsylvania before we leave. 

trees on a street

I bought 3 pots of colorful mums today for our front porch and one for under our tree. The rust colors and bright yellow and golds feel like fall. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Air Fryer Roasted Potatoes-Oil-Free

potato wedges on white ceramic plate with rosemary

Roasted potatoes can be made in the air-fryer and are absolutely delicious. I make them oil-free, which substantially reduces the calories and fat yet they still taste really good.

What do I use instead of oil to crisp up the potatoes? 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

The 25 Hour Fast and Yom Kippur

Free Synagogue Jewish photo and picture

Tonight at 6:30 PM EST,  I will begin a full food and water fast that will last for 25 hours. It is the Jewish day of atonement, called Yom Kippur!

It is the holiest of all Jewish holidays lasting from sundown to sundown. It comes just 10 days following the beginning of our new Jewish New year according to the original Jewish calendar.  

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Not Eating Red Meat? Plant-Based Iron Sources

Not eating red meat? 

Where will you get your iron? It turns out that there a plenty of plant-based (vegan) foods that supply a significant amount of iron, in fact in many cases, more iron than in beef! 

Free Plate of Assorted Vegetables Beside a Plate of Nuts and Beans Stock Photo

How much iron does a man or post menopausal woman need? 
8 grams of iron per day (a pre-menopausal woman needs 18gm/day) 

Beef: A 4 oz serving of lean ground beef provides 2.5 mg of iron which is about 14 percent of your daily value (source)

Which non-meat (non-heme) sources have more iron?

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Black-Eyed Peas With Onions and Spinach

bowl of cooked black-eyed peas on paisley table cloth

Have you ever cooked black-eyed peas? They are flavorful, creamy, and easy to make.

If you are looking for ways to increase your fiber intake, beans may be a logical solution. With just 80 calories and zero cholesterol, a cup of cooked black-eyed peas provides over 8 grams of fiber as well as many valuable nutrients and some protein. (other beans contain up to 15 grams of fiber)

Thursday, September 14, 2023

End of Summer Recipes and Fall Soups

Free Sunflowers Field photo and picture

Summer has been slow to say adieu with the mid-day temperatures still lingering in the lower and upper 80s. Thus, local summer farm produce is still readily available. I a finding an abundance of corn, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini still available at the farm stands!

I was looking through end of summer recipes that I had posted over the years (13 years of blogging) and selected six of my favorites to share today. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Cape Cod Zucchini Mint and (Vegan) Feta Salad

This zucchini, mint, and feta cheese (I used vegan cheese) salad makes a perfect side dish or interesting appetizer! I'm calling it Cape Cod zucchini salad because that is where I first was introduced to it.

Friday, September 8, 2023

Waldorf Salad with Vegan Dressing

Red Apples hanging on the branch of a tree

It's the beginning of apple picking season, and I have Waldorf salad on my mind!  I'm sharing my vegan spin on this popular classic. 

Free Apple Fruit photo and picture

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Computer Issues and The Story of Three Technicians

Free From above of unrecognizable woman sitting at table and typing on keyboard of computer during remote work in modern workspace Stock Photo

Why haven't I posted on my blog in a week? It's a long story!

My husband and I pay for a yearly computer service with a major chain store that gives us free yearly computer tune ups. They go through the computer and look for viruses, unneeded programs, and lots of other stuff to help it run faster. They work remotely, so I don't have to take my computer anywhere. 

Free Desktop Computer with Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Stock Photo

The other day, I decided to sign up for the tune up. It was rather painless and quick. My computer was worked on remotely for about an hour and half. 

However, when the remote technician was done ( it's a big company and the tech person may have been working from overseas) my Facebook, instagram, and lots of features were no longer working and the technician was gone (without a goodbye or any communication) too!! 

Free Mosque Stock Photo

WHAT!!!!! My computer worked fine before the tune up, and now it was obvious that something was amiss.

Since my computer was no longer capable of accessing the program for remote access, after a few phone calls, it was decided that I needed to drive the computer to the actual store in my local area. They made an appointment for me, and I waited to take my computer in. 

Free Usa Flag Waving On White Metal Pole Stock Photo

It was Labor Day, so I was surprised they made an appointment for me for that evening at 7:40 PM.  When I arrived, the major chain store was EMPTY and the employees were laughing, goofing off and just plain having fun together. 

Free DIY Emoji Easter Eggs Stock Photo

The young man who was scheduled to assist me looked disappointed that he had to leave his friends. His disinterest in my computer problem was evident. After explaining the situation to him, he opened my computer and verified everything I had already observed. I tried to explain to him that the remote tech person may have deleted a program by mistake or forgot to re-instate it and I wanted him to check for such an error. 

Free Grey Bird in Close-up Photography Stock Photo

Nah! He was too disinterested and just decided that I would need to leave my computer for 2 days so a REAL tech person could work on it. 

A day later I was notified that the REAL tech person went through and found 4 threats that the remote tech person missed. Satisfied, they deemed that my computer was now fixed and ready for pick up. 

white iMac

I return to the store and was greeted by the disinterested tech guy from the night before who didn't recognize me despite spending 20 minutes with me before closing (duh??). Anyway, he proceeds to retrieve my computer from the "fixed" pile and proceeds to check me out. 

"Wait ! Stop"!!  I said to him.

red stop road sign on green grass field during daytime

"Could please turn on the computer to make sure all is working before I drive back home". 

Well what do you know?? It still wasn't working!!!!!

dead end signage

Now I am FRUSTRATED AND FURIOUS as I explain to whoever would listen that there was NOTHING wrong with my computer when "they" did the tune up, and NOW I can't use Instagram, Facebook, my mail, Blogger, etc. 

The REAL tech person just shook her head as if she had no part in this and wasn't getting involved, but the disinterested tech person all of a sudden became interested and actually listened to me when I said, "Let's figure out which program is needed to use FB, Instagram, Yahoo mail, and Blogger." 

I asked if my Javascript was working (which I had also asked the day before and was ignored).. and a light bulb went off in his head and he said "that must be it". 

Free Clear Light Bulb Placed on Chalkboard Stock Photo

He (disinterested tech) re- enabled Javascript ( something I did not know how to do) and problem solved!!  all's well that ends well. My computer is working!! YAY! 

Free Word Printed on a Card Stock Photo

My computer was out of commission for 4 days due to the 'tune up" . This is my first post for the month of September!!

If you have ever read Lori's blog  at  Culinary Adventures with Lori , you may be familiar with her weekly post that includes "Who Needs a Good Slap"? 

This week I am giving a good slap to: 

Remote tech person, disinterested tech person and REAL overnight tech person- JEEZZ!!