Spinach and Vegetable Soup



1/2 lb spinach washed and ready to use

3 carrots, sliced lengthwise, quartered, and finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 stalks celery, sliced lengthwise, and finely chopped

3 scallions

1/2 cup of diced mushrooms

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped  (may use parsley)


1/3 cup of fresh dill or 2 TBSP of dill pasre

¼ cup olive oil

curry powder, salt and pepper to taste

3/4 to 1 cup of Acini Di Pepe Pasta (optional for extra energy/carbs)


In a large (8-Qt.) soup pot add the oil, the garlic, the onion, carrots and scallions and simmer until golden brown.


Add the wet spinach and cover to let shrivel, stir occasionally.


When spinach is reduced, fill with 6 – 8 cups of cold water (vegetarian) or chicken stock; if use water you can add a chicken boullion.


Bring to a boil.

Add the mushrooms and cilantro.

Add  fresh dill or 2 TBSP of paste

Add salt and pepper to taste. (I like to add some curry powder too!)

Lower flame and cover, allow to simmer for  45 min to 1 hour, add salt and pepper as needed

At the last ten minutes bring to a boil and  add the optional Acini Di Pepe and cook for ten minutes


Once cooked, allow to stand covered for 20 minutes before serving.

Serve with a Caesar salad and/or a nice crusty French or Italian bread that can be dipped in the soup!  Invite a friend over and share life over a hot meal.  Nothing better!




Grace’s Deep Fried Whole Zucchini Flowers



30 zucchini flowers washed and pre-soaked in water

1.5 cups regular unbleached flower

0.5 tbsp Baking Powder

2 to 3 small zucchinis shredded (optional)

Grapeseed Oil, it Cannola Oil for deep frying

Parsley (fresh), salt and pepper to taste

Handful of parmagiano reggiano gratagiato


Wash the whole flowers (including stamens) and drain free of water

Add 0.5 cup of water to start to the flour and baking powder mixture

Add the still wet zucchini flowers and optional shredded zucchini and kneed by hand

Add 0.25 Tsp of salt

Use a TBSP to add the zucchini flower/flour “paste” to the oil

Coat a dish with a paper towel to soak up residual oil when removing the fritters from the oil











Artichokes With Fava Beans

In My Kitchen/ Nicholas Tanis


Springtime brings a wonderful new variety of fresh produce heralding the season ~ the colors and the textures are a plus to both the eye and the palette.

My grandmother traditionally kept pace with the calendar, in shopping the market early in the morning, selecting the vegetables that she intended to prepare into that day’s meal. One of her favorites for spring were the small tender artichokes, that unlike their larger counterparts are much easier to prepare and cook, as well as eat. The potpourri of this vegetable mix is deliciously fragrant, as the garlic and dill permeates the kitchen air. The sauce itself is rich in flavor, that a crust of bread is wanting to be sopped. This “stew” can be served as is, making it a wholesome and hearty vegetarian entrée, or it may be served as a side dish accompanying broiled lamb chops and a fluffy white rice pilaf. Sprinkling crumbled feta cheese over it, adds an extra zing of flavor! A glass of red wine is highly recommended as well.


6 artichokes

2 lbs small red new potatoes

3 medium yellow onions

3 Roma plum tomatoes

1 lemon

6-7 cloves garlic

(2) 15.5 oz cans of fava beans (pre-cooked), rinsed

(1) 8oz can tomato sauce

1 quart water

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine

7 sprigs fresh dill

Course Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste


Wash artichokes under cold running water.

Cut off the stems to the base of each artichoke.

Quarter the artichokes and place in large stock pot filled with 1 quart cold water and the juice of one whole lemon.

Cover pot and bring to a quick rapid boil under high heat. Allow to boil for 5-8 minutes and then reduce to low heat.

Wash all potatoes under cold running water. Do not peel. Quarter all potatoes and add to pot, atop of artichokes. Continue cooking under low heat.

Peel and coarsely chop 6-7 garlic gloves.

Peel and cut in half, length-wise 3 medium onions. Once halved, cut evenly creating demi-lune slices. Add the garlic and the onions to the pot, and continue to cook under low heat.

To the vegetable mixture, add one small can (8oz) tomato sauce, and ¼ cup olive oil into the pot and continue cooking under low heat.

Check water level and add more water as need be, by 1 cup.

Using a large wooden spoon lift the vegetable mix from the bottom up, continuing so, around the entire circumference of the pot. In this way you do not shred the quartered artichokes or mash the potatoes.

After 30 minutes slow cooking over low heat, add the butter beans together with the coarsely chopped plum tomatoes.

Again, stir gently with wooden spoon.

Add ¼ cup red wine.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook for and additional 10 minutes, then shut off heat, and let stand for 20-30 minutes before serving.


Artichokes with Fava Beans

Istanbul Spice Bazaar

The spice of life!

Around The World With Steve

As I indicated in a previous post, I have done quite a bit in Turkey, albeit, having the flu slowed me down significantly the last few days. Consequently, I haven’t had the time to post about all the places I have been. One of those places I discovered by mistake was the Spice Bazaar, i.e., I went on a long walk, that encompassed part of the Bosphorus shore line and came upon the Bazaar during this walk.

View original post 403 more words

Oven Grilled Rosemary Lamb Chops With Sweet Potatoes & Steamed Broccoli



4 lamb cops


salt and pepper


2-4 sweet potatoes or yam

3 broccoli crowns

balsamic vinegar

2 limes/lemons



marinate the chops the night before in a pan immersed in a micture of 1/4 cup balsamic and 1/8 cup EVOO salt and pepper

cut the garlic into slivers and put on top of the chops

sprinkle rosemary over chops

use a baking sheet with a grilling rack for the chops (hint: use a sheet of Al foil to make clean-up easier)

spray the rack with olive oil and place the chops on it; grill chops with potatoes at 400F for 15-20 min then rotate (heat to desired cooking)

b)Sweet Potaotes

slice the potatoes in 1/4 to 1/8″ slices along the length

use a grilling rack on baking sheet (as above)

spray the rack with olive oil and place the potatoes on the rack and spray with olive oil or drizzle EVOO on them

season the potatoes with rosemary, salt and pepper  (I also like some curry powder on them!)

oven roast  with lamb for 15 min on each side rotating from top to bottom shelf in oven , as needed (if not using a convection oven) and then set on broil for 5 min


cut the broccoli after washing

steam in microwave or on stove top using a mixture of water and lemon juice or balsamic vinegera; 50:50 1/4 of a cup

e)Plate and serve with lemon/lime wedges to squeeze over broccoli and lamb



Greek Faki Soup ~ Lentil Soup

In My Kitchen/ Nicholas Tanis

MAR'13 003


1 pound (454 grams) lentils

3 medium yellow onions, chopped small                    

1 small green bell pepper, chopped small                   

3 stalks celery, chopped small

4 small carrots, chopped small

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (8oz) of tomato sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

a dash of paprika

4 whole cloves

3 bay leaves

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Soak the lentils in cold water overnight; rinse in cold water and drain. (If you don’t soak, cook the lentils, after bringing to a boil, for 40 min on simmer, while covered, in the 6 Qt water, as indicated below, before proceeding!)

Add the lentils into a large (at least 8Qt./ @8L / 32 cups) soup pot, with 6 quarts (@6L/24 cups) cold water.

Stir, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, continue cooking.

Add all of the vegetable ingredients, plus the tomato sauce, olive oil, and spices.

Stirring occasionally, continue to cook for about another 30-45 minutes; until soup broth begins to slightly thicken (when the lentils are tender).

Remove from heat, and allow to sit uncovered for approx. 15-20 minutes before serving.

Using a deep ladle, pour soup into individual bowls.

You may add red wine vinegar to each soup serving as per taste.

Serve with a hearty crusted bread – either French or Italian.

MAR'13 013

The Simple Things in Life are Good!IMG_00001155

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