Tag Archives: InCity Yum Yums

Hot soup for cold spring days!

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Zupa’s on!

Garbanzo & Spinach Soup

Recipe by Chef Joey

INGREDIENTS:

4 tbsp olive oil

1 onion chopped

1 celery stalk chopped

1 carrot chopped

3 cups spinach, chopped fine

1 cup garbanzo beans (cooked is
cheaper – 89¢ a pound = 3
pounds cooked) $1 a can/cup

1 cup soup pasta (ditalini is my
favorite)

Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Here is the easy part: bring the stock to a boil.

In a sauté pan, add 3 tbsp oil and the carrots, onion and celery.

Sauté 5 minutes until soft.

Add the spinach and salt, pepper mix and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Add this and the beans to the stock and cook for a half hour.

Then add the pasta to cook for 6 or 7 minutes – to “al dente” because the pasta will continue to swell.

Drizzle with 1 tbsp oil and serve.

Stay cozy!💙

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Soup and pup-running weather! 💜 Yesterday … Jett! pics: R.T.

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Lilac!💙

Baking your own Easter bread – always in style!🌷

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Here’s an Easter bread recipe from Chef Joey’s Greek and Italian family💗 …

EASTER BREAD!🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷🌷

Photos, recipe and text by Chef Joey

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That wonderful spring holiday, Easter, is upon us and, as with holidays, food is involved. Main courses vary for Easter, as it is the end of Lent, but meat is usually at the top of the menu. Depending on your heritage, Easter lamb is right up there, but there is one staple food that is widely known and on just about everyone’s table: Easter Bread.

In many European countries, many traditions exist with the use of bread during Easter. Traditionally, the Easter bread is sweetened. I was curious to learn that “Communion” bread traces its origin back to Byzantium and the Orthodox Christian church. However, the recipe for sweeter bread – sweetened with honey – dates as far back to the Homeric Greek period! Many classical texts mention a “honey-bread.” It is also widely known that sweetened bread desserts similar to today’s panettone, were always a Roman favorite.

The Easter holiday is one where “sweet” bread brings itself into the symbolic realm.

The Sweeter breads indicate Easter Sunday and the rising of Christ.

Although bread is significant for religious purposes, it is also symbolic of life. A peasant proverb: “Chie hat pane mai non morit” — “One who has bread never dies.”

Throughout history there have been many shapes of Easter breads. One usually contained two points and an egg covered with a cross. The egg and the points that recall birds in flight speak of fertility, sexuality and procreation — basic themes in Easter and its pagan origins. This was most likely the influence of today’s braided bread.

The second bread was designed to have no general shape, but was rather baked to encircle an egg, with the initials BP put on it. The initials BP stand for Buona Pasquaor – “Happy Easter.”

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Babka is a Polish bread also made at Easter. Babka typically is tall and cylindrical, like panetonne. It frequently contains raisins, may be iced on top and is sweet.

Here is a simple, basic Easter bread recipe. You can adjust the sweetness. It is extremely delicious on a Monday morning toasted with butter – just sayin’! It is a basic sweet bread recipe my Greek and Italian family used with a few modern touches. You can place colored, pre-cooked hard boiled eggs in your braid, and there is no limit, usually one egg per household member was incorporated into the bread.

FYI: My Greek family used to boil the eggs in red onion skins to color them; the Italians used red wine instead of water. Try 4 cups of blueberries in water and boil your Easter eggs for lavender! Curry for yellow – the list goes on!💗💚💗💚💚💗

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pic: R.T.

Ingredients:🌸🌸🌸

1/2 cup whole milk

10 tablespoons sugar, divided

1 1/4 envelope active dry yeast

4 large eggs, room temperature

6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup (2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1″ pieces, room temperature, plus 1/2 tablespoon, melted

Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave until an instant-read thermometer registers no more than 110°F.

Transfer milk to a bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon sugar.

Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend.

If the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add eggs and whisk until smooth.

Combine remaining sugar, flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Add milk to mixture. With mixer running, add the room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions.

Mix on medium speed for 1 minute.

Knead on medium-high speed until dough is soft and silky, about 5 minutes.

If kneading by hand, have the flour in a separate bowl and add the milk mixture and butter so it incorporates.

Take a bowl double the size of the dough and wipe the inside with some melted butter.

Place dough in bowl. Brush top of dough with remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap.

Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down the dough and divide it into 2 equal pieces.

Then divide each piece into 3 equal pieces.

Dust your hands with flour and roll out to about a foot a half (18”). Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Arrange ropes side by side lengthwise on prepared sheet.

Pinch top ends together. Braid dough. Pinch bottom ends together to secure (braided loaf will be about 12″ long).

If adding hard boiled eggs, tuck them between braids, spacing evenly. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until puffed but not doubled in size, 45-50 minutes.

Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°F.

Whisk remaining egg with 2 teaspoons warm water in a small bowl.

Avoiding dyed eggs, brush dough all over with egg wash. Bake until bread is golden usually about 20 – 25 minutes and a thermometer inserted into center of loaf reads 190°F.

Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.🎷🎷

Happy Easter!🐰🐰🐰🐰

******

How I Saved Money by Going Vegan

From PETA.ORG:

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By Shekalia

Back in the day, I wasn’t necessarily swimming in cash. I was a student, so you can imagine how empty my pockets were. When I found out that animals suffer miserably on cramped factory farms for our food, I was determined not to let my financial situation deter me from going vegan. But I was surprised to learn how affordable vegan foods are and that I could actually save money by ditching animal-derived foods and planning my meals.

I created a budget and became a money-saving ninja. And now I’m here to pass on what I’ve learned. Here’s how I saved money by going vegan:

Brainstorm Meal Ideas Before Making Your Grocery List

Some folks make the mistake of creating a shopping list without actually thinking about what they’re going to cook. Don’t do that. Instead, sit down and think, “What dishes do I want to make?” By doing this key first step, you’ll avoid overspending at the store and start saving money.

Here are some ideas for meals that are cheap and easy to make:

Stir-fry: This can be made up of anything, and it only takes one pot. Just chop up your fave veggies, heat up some oil, and start frying. Add some cooked noodles and tofu.
Pasta: You can buy pasta for as little as $1—and pasta sauce is just as cheap. Add veggies like onions and mushrooms for texture.

Chili: All this dish requires is beans, veggies, and spices, and voilà—you’re done! You can’t beat this simple go-to meal, plus chili can be used in a variety of ways: Put it on fries, on Fritos, on nachos—the list goes on. If cooking isn’t your thing, most grocery stores carry “vegetarian” chili that’s actually vegan. Just check the label to make sure that it doesn’t contain animal-derived ingredients.

Don’t Forget the Staples — and Buy in Bulk

Food is usually cheaper when you buy it in large quantities — and if your kitchen is always stocked, you won’t be tempted to order expensive takeout when cravings hit. Stock up on staples like beans, grains, nuts, and frozen fruits and veggies. (I like to buy quinoa in bulk because it can be more expensive in smaller amounts.) Sometimes, I prepare a large portion of beans and rice to eat with other dishes that I cook during the week. This saves me time and brain power, as I don’t have to come up with a meal from scratch.

Shop Sales

We all love a good deal. Plan your grocery shopping around when stores and markets have sales. And don’t skip the dollar store — most stores carry staples like beans, rice, pasta, and frozen produce as well as other vegan options. Go to your local dollar store and browse the aisles — you never know what you may find.

Cook!

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I started cooking when I was 6 and was quite the little chef — although it involved mostly meat-based dishes. When I went vegan, I realized that preparing meat-free meals is far simpler. Cooking your own meals saves you money, too, while sparing your body the negatives effects of eating unhealthy takeout.

While cooking at home will save you money, there’ll be moments when you need to grab a bite to eat on the go. Taco Bell, Subway, and other vegan-friendly fast-food places have meals that’ll fill you up for just a few bucks!

Try Mock Meats and Tofu

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Mock meats like those made by Gardein and Tofurky are great sometimes. Don’t focus on replacing meat with mock meat, though. Instead, concentrate on eating more whole foods — and don’t forget about our friend tofu. One block can cost as little as 99 cents, it’s extremely versatile, and it’s also a better, cheaper substitute for meat that can be found at pretty much any grocery store.

By going vegan, you’ll be able to eat well for cheap and you won’t contribute to animals’ suffering. Knowing that piglets’ tails are cut off without painkillers, male chicks are ground up alive, and cows are separated from their calves inspired me to change my lifestyle — and as a result, I was able to cut my spending in half. I no longer buy meat, dairy foods, or eggs, which accounted for most of my budget in the past. I now buy and prepare affordable, nutritious plant-based foods. What could be better than saving money and being kind to animals and my body?

Saturday … “S” is for special … 🎵

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pics: R.T.

Soup!

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Text and recipe by Chef Joey

As this wacky weather tries to confuse us, one thing is certain on a cold raw day … soup. Soup is good food, inexpensive and nutritious. All you need are a few veggies and the basis of most soups – ONION!

For centuries humans have had some sort of soup – hence the word to “SUP” or SUPPER – it means soup.

Onion Soup

Here is a quick onion soup recipe that is easy to make, and the first few steps are the basis to many soups – like lentil, barley, minestrone – you just keep adding to it.

If you ever make a soup with pasta or rice – cook those items separately and add them to the soup last minute. What you don’t eat can be frozen separately. When you add these items to a soup, they continue to swell and take over the broth!

Basic Onion Soup – serves 6

3 Large onions, peeled cut in half then sliced

3 cloves of garlic chopped fine

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💗💗💗💗💗🎵

3 tbsp butter

2 tbsp sugar

8 cups water

Beef Bouillon

3 tablespoons flour (cornstarch for gluten free)

If using cornstarch, mix with cold water then add to soup to prevent lumps.

In a large soup pot, melt the butter and add the onions and garlic.

Stir to make them sweat, then add ¼ cup water and cover.

Simmer until soft.

This is the base for most soups.

For French onion, add the sugar and stir constantly. As the water evaporates the onions will start to brown. As they get nice and caramelized, add the flour mix by sprinkling a spoonful at a time and stirring. Once incorporated (or thickened with cornstarch), add the rest of the water and your beef base (follow the instructions on the container). I like the Knorr MSG free individual containers.

Basically, that’s it. Stir and let simmer for a ½ hour.

Salt and pepper to taste – if it seems too watery add some more base.

For other soups: add your veggies or lentils or barley or mix them – they are 70 cents a bag and can feed 8 people and the protein is amazing.

Cube up a couple of potatoes and carrots. Add celery tomatoes and corn – and you have a minestrone!

Enjoy!

Mark your calendars for an REC Special day:

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The Stripes!

Stephen!

Cake🎂🎵🎂🎵🎵 – yum yum!🌺 and a song for Gigi!🐰

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Chef Joey made all the great cakes, below!

CAKES AND FROSTING!

Pics, text and recipes by Chef Joey

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Chef Joey made a Smiley Cake last Sunday for Gigi! Go, little girl, go!!

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A Smiley cake made easy – and WITH LOVE – by Chef Joey!

Basic Vanilla Cake:

The base for homemade cakes is so simple – keep this recipe for life!!

2 ½ cups sifted flour

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

½ tsp baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

2 cups HOT water

1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the flour, sugar and oil until well mixed like a thick paste.

Sprinkle with the baking soda and powder and pour the hot water on it. It will start foaming.

Mix BY HAND with a wooden spoon.

Add the vanilla extract.

Pour into your pre-dusted cake pan and bake 20-25 mins for 2 rounds and about 35 for a rectangle cake at 350 degrees.

For Chocolate cake, add 6 tbsp of powdered cocoa to the flour before you sift it.

For Orange cake, add the zest of one orange and substitute ½ cup water for juice.

For Citrus cake, add the zests of lemons and limes and 1 tsp lemon or lime juice during the final mix.

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Chef Joey at work!

Sooo Easy Frosting:

Ingredients:

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 ½ 1teaspoons vanilla

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

In medium bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed.

Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk. Add your yellow food coloring* if making a Smiley Cake.

Or make an ALL NATURAL YELLOW COLOR:

You can make natural food coloring by taking a small saucepan … add ¼ cup water, bring to a boil.

Add ½ tsp of turmeric for 3 to 5 minutes.

Allow to fully cool.

Add 1 tsp to your icing.

You can store this for up to 2 weeks in an air-tight container …

… Or add it to chic peas with some oil, salt and lemon juice for a refreshing snack! Turmeric stains so be extra careful.

Back to the frosting: Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to make frosting smooth and spreadable.

If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time.

If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.

You can frost a 13- x 9-inch or fill and frost an 8-inch two-layer cake. Make another ½ cup for a 9 inch cake.

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🍀🍀St. Patrick’s Day Yum Yums and March Musings by Chef Joey

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Chef Joey!🍀🍀🍀🍀💚

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Papa Joey and some of his family!

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Gigi celebrates her birthday in March. This fab cake was not baked by Chef Joey, but by a neighbor who adores Gigi! WE ALL DO!❤ Happy Birthday, pretty Lil’ One!!

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Go, little girl, go!!!🌸🌻🌹🌺💐

It’s March!

Text, photos and recipes by Chef Joey

Can you even believe it is March?! And March 1 was the first day of Lent – kicking off my “Plan B” of the New Year Resolutions for the 40 days of Lent. I gave up giving up for my Lenten resolution!😉 February was such a tease – brilliant snow storms and record heat … Welcome to New England! So as commences our Lent and what Christianity taught us leading up to “Fat Tuesday” or Mardi Gras, we are done with the fats and in with the lean!

This year is odd because the entire month of March is during Lent, except March 17 – the one meat-eating “sin day” allowed by the Catholic church because, after all, St. Patrick saved Ireland in the 1600s, and it would be a shame to forget him!

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meat …

Lent also reminds me of LENTils! Lentils are wonderful! They are so nutritious and inexpensive and HEALTHY, it is not even funny! The protein and fiber alone in lentils should make them a weekly staple in your diet. So instead of making corned beef this St. Patrick’s Day, you can eschew animal suffering and make a tasty dinner with the same ingredients – minus the meat. You will save yourself money – and your waistline!

So instead of a corned beef and cabbage soup – try a Barley and Legume Soup …

It’s easy to make, oh so healthy and it costs less that $10 to feed 8 people!

You will need:

9 cups (basically a ½ gallon of stock) or water with Bouillon.

You can buy “better than Bouillon” – a jar of paste that has no MSG, and it will last you a few recipes. Knorr has individual ones, as well. You can go the extra mile and boil any kind of veggies, onions, garlic and fennel down to make stock.

Also, this recipe calls for beans. If you buy dried beans, they go a very long way! A ½ cup soaked beans turns into 1 cup of regular beans after expansion.

What’s in the soup? Here is a list:

4 tbsp olive oil

1 onion chopped small (the smaller the pieces the faster they cook)

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Garlic!💚💜💙💛❤😄

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup cannelli beans (presoaked or canned)

1 cup soya beans (presoaked or canned)

½ cup chic peas (presoaked or canned) – also called garbanzo beans

¼ cup lentils

½ cup barley

salt and pepper

In a sauté pan, add 2 tbsp oil and the garlic and onion.

While doing this, in a soup or stock pot, bring your stock to a boil.

Sauté the onions and garlic about 10 minutes on a low heat until they start to turn brown.

Add the barley and lentils and coat them with the mixture.

Add all the ingredients to the stock and bring to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for a good hour.

Just before serving add the 2 remaining tbsp of oil to the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

*****

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Chef Joey makes the dog food for all his pups! How cool is that?!

Another Quick Lentil Dish … “Puré de Lenticchie” – or Lentil Puree

It is very simple and costs less that $5 to make and serves 4 people. Its called Puré de Lenticchie, or Lentil Puree. You do not have to mash the lentils, but it is a great base if topped with fish or meat. Or you can enjoy it as is.

You will need:

1 ½ cups lentils soaked for 3 hours then drained

1 celery stalk

1 carrot

2 tbsp butter

1 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

Add the soaked lentils to a pan and cover with water.

Add chopped celery and carrot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for an hour.

Drain and pass through a food mill or a blender.

Use the same pan and heat the cream. Stir in the lentils, and when mixed, add the butter.

Season to taste and enjoy!

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Yummy yummy in kitty’s tummy! (Joey doesn’t make his cats their cat food – but he does make them homemade kitty treats!)

🎵🎶🎵🎶 InCity Yum Yums … Peas are green. Pea soup is green. St. Patty’s Day is green. You see where this is going …

But first …

*****

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Chef Joey🍻🍀🍻🍀!

Pea Soup, Please!

Text and recipe by Chef Joey

Here is another interesting point about St. Patrick: His colors were blue! If you google “Saint Patrick,” you will soon discover his name is associated with several shades of the color blue. It was called the “Anglo-Irish Order of Saint Patrick.” Often referred to as sky blue. As it progressed in Ireland, it got darker and darker, becoming a dark rich blue that still shows in symbols of the state. However, it has morphed into green, now being the usual – but not official, mind you – color of Ireland.

Immigration does strange things to traditions, local availability, color blindness and tastier items. Let’s take corned beef and cabbage, a nice, boiled St. Patrick’s Day dinner… It’s not Irish! Traditionally, it was bacon and cabbage, as bacon was readily available. “Bacon” in England and Ireland is much leaner and more ham-like than what we have here for breakfast. It’s the same back flesh, just cut differently. The meat was readily available, as many people had farms and raised livestock, and the vegetables were usually grown as well. It was, and still is, a tasty meal, originally made with onions, turnips and carrots. Occasionally, they would use smoked bacon. What is completely different, is they would make a roux, or a white sauce made with the broth, flour, butter, milk and usually parsley.

So let’s get back to the immigration part of my story. The mid to late 19th century is the traceable origins of using corned beef to bacon, and the addition of cabbage. Like the original, it does include veggies, especially potatoes and carrots, and somehow also became known as the “New England Boiled Dinner.” Substitute a ham for corned beef and you’ve got yourself a Jigs dinner, a traditional Sunday feast in Newfoundland, Labrador and Canada.

So here is the real kicker: During Lent many people became vegetarians as tradition required. Realistically, because it was a growing season for seedlings and animals and was basically to make the ignorant let everything grow and, since you could get drunk on the 17th, who wants to take a spring lamb to slaughter? So rhymes like “Pease porridge hot, Pease porridge cold, Pease porridge in the pot nine days old!” came about.

Pease is plural for pea! Pea soup or “Pease porridge” is a low-cost and high-protein food, easily made from easily stored dried peas, and it was “Green.” Usually, boiled with salt pork or ham, it was the ideal food for sailors – and the origin of today’s ham and pea soup.

So getting back to immigration yet again, “Pease” was substituted in the new world by potatoes! Back in the “Old Country” they still eat mushy peas as a side dish with fish and “chips,” as well as with meat pies.

Peas go back to 400 BC with Greeks and Romans cultivating them. Hot pea soup was a staple of vendors on the streets of Athens back then – basic, inexpensive and unlike what we consume today extremely nutritious and full of protein and fiber. You can make these soups for less than $5 and feed 8 people. When I was a kid, my mother frequently made these soups and tossed in cubed kielbasa, hot dogs or any kind of meat as a supplement and it was often all we had for dinner. It is all we needed. She added other veggies, so it was a complete meal!

I leave you with a vegan pea (really Pease) soup recipe. Add meat, tofu, beans – whatever you want – because remember this stuff is the best! There was no fast food, just healthy food, which, ironically, is the focus of losing weight.

Pea Soup

2 1/4 cups dried split peas

2 quarts cold water

2 onions, chopped into small bits

1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper mixed

2 bay leaves

1 pinch dried marjoram

3 or 4 stalks celery, chopped

3 large carrots, chopped

1 potato, diced

Options:

1 1/2 pound ham bone
1 cup cubed ham
1 cup cubed sausage/chorizo

In a large pot, cover peas with 2 quarts cold water and soak overnight.

If you need to make a quick soup, just boil the peas for 2 minutes and then soak for l hour.

Once your peas are soaked, add all the other ingredients.

Bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour.

If you want to be decadent, sauté the onions in butter. Add your veggies – sauté for a few minutes. Then add the rest of the ingredients and cook – a whole different dimension of flavor!

Enjoy!

Chef Joey parked in Speaking Out: Irish “Soda Bread”!🍀🍻🍀

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Chef Joey!🍀🍀🍀

Text and photos by Chef Joey

We have a few things to look forward to this month – we get to change the clocks this weekend and gain more daylight! The days have been waxing right along and now a whole extra hour to adjust to. Then, of course, we have a parade to honor the city’s Irish population for good ol’ Saint Patrick.

Little is known of Patrick’s lifeline, but it is sort of narrowed down to the second half of the 5th century – that’s a long time ago, for sure. What is known about this Saint is that he was born in what is now called Great Britain. His first name was Sucat and he was kidnapped by pirates when he was about 16 years of age. He was a slave to these Irish pirates for about six years, and he managed to escape and get back to his family.

He became a cleric and took the name Patrick, which means “nobleman” and decided to return to northern and western Ireland. Following the path, he eventually became an ordained Bishop. Unfortunately, not much is known about the places he worked – he does get credited for Christianizing the island and for being the first Bishop of Armagh, which is the of ALL of Ireland versus being the Bishop of Dublin.

So Patrick is known as the “Apostle of Ireland” and is the patron saint of Ireland, out showing poor Brigit and Columbia.

What makes his day so special?

It is actually the day of his death. Indecently, Patrick was so sacred it took two centuries to celebrate because it was a sacrilege to mention his name! Well, the real reason I believe is that it falls during Lent, and Catholics lifted the restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol for the day. This religious miracle has promoted and encouraged the tradition of over consumption!

There’s more to the holiday than drinking – eating is a big part of the celebrations. And what meal goes without bread?

So here is an Irish “Soda Bread” to whet yer whistle!

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It is actually a quick bread and its roots go back far by mixing cake or pastry flour, baking soda and buttermilk, causing a chemical reaction to make bubbles in the bread.

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons white sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter softened

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup buttermilk

Optional: 1 cup Soaked Raisins

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and butter.

Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly.

Soak the raisins in warm water for a half hour and drain them and add to the mixture, if desired.

Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk.

Brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an ‘X’ into the top of the loaf.

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.

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Check for doneness after 30 minutes.

You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

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Chef Joey’s Irish “Soda Bread🍀: Yum Yum!

Chef Joey in Rose’s space … Supa Zupa!🎸

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Soup’s on!

Text, photos and recipes by Chef Joey

SOUP!

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Soup (and photo) by Chef Joey!

Ok, why is society so hooked on “ON SALE” items that are mostly GMO-filled atrocities? We have the simplest ingredients that are so natural and INEXPENSIVE and loaded with protein and vitamins, but they go neglected by the mainstream.

If kale were not pushed on television, no one would know it existed. Arugula became famous in the States in the 1990s. Odd. Thank you, Travel Chanel. Now Quinoa is a super food … oldest grain in the world. Thank you, cooking shows.

Here are two recipes using Old World ingredients. The stock can be made homemade – so I will give you three recipes actually. … Or you can use canned and up your food cost by a couple dollars.

The base of these dinners for six is less than $10 per person. These recipes are all VEGAN, back to the earth. Thank our ancestors because that’s why we are here. And stop taking shortcuts on nutrition!

Vegetable Broth

2 potatoes chopped

2 leeks cleaned and chopped

2 carrots peeled and chopped

2 onions peeled and chopped

2 turnips peeled and chopped (cut in half, then slice, then cut slices)

2 celery stalks, chopped

a handful of cherry tomatoes sliced in half

salt

Place all the veggies in a pan with 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer, for another 30 minutes.

Let it “rest” for another 15 minutes.

Take a potato masher and press down on the veggies. Strain the mixture into a bowl – and there is your stock for six people. Double or triple, as necessary.

Recipe 1 – Garbanzo (chic pea) and Spinach Soup

4 tbsp olive oil

1 onion chopped

1 celery stalk chopped

1 carrot chopped

1 cup garbanzo beans (cooked are cheaper 89 cents a pound = 3 pounds cooked) $1 a can/cup

3 cups spinach, chopped fine

1 cup soup pasta (ditalini is my favorite)

Salt and pepper

Here is the easy part: bring the stock to a boil. In a sauté pan add 3 tbsp oil and the carrots, onion and celery and sauté 5 minutes until soft.

Add the spinach and salt, pepper mix and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Add this and the beans to the stock and cook for a half hour.

Then add the pasta to cook for 6 or seven minutes to al dente because it will continue to swell. Drizzle with 1 tbsp oil and serve.

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Pal Joey’s pal eating veggies!

Recipe 2 – Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup

Foot note: lentils are dry beans and need to be soaked for 3 hours before cooking OR boiled for 45 minutes in water prior to using. Also: cooked lentils substitute nicely for any meat in a recipe!

6 cups veggie stock

4 tbsp olive oil

1 onion chopped

1 large clove of garlic chopped

1 celery stalk chopped

1 carrot peeled and chopped fine

1 bag (12 oz or 16 oz) or head Swiss chard finely chopped

1 cup lentils soaked for 3 hours prior

2 tbsp (optional) or a handful of cherry tomatoes sliced

½ cup rice (I like jasmin)

salt, pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top

Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup

In a large pan bring your stock to a boil.

In a sauté pan, add the celery, onion, carrot and garlic. Cook over low heat with 3 Tbsp oil.

Add ¼ cup broth to prevent burning, for about minutes.

Add the Swiss chard and cook an additional 5 minutes or less until it wilts. Then add this to the stock, with the lentils and tomatoes (your choice). Bring to a boil.

Add the rice, then reduce heat to a simmer.

Cook for 15 minutes or so until the rice is done.

Ladle into your soup bowl and sprinkle with cheese.

Enjoy!

Chef Joey in Rose’s space … InCity Yum Yums: February is a funny month

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Chef Joey keeps it cozy in February with tasty treats!

Text, photos and recipes by Chef Joey

February is that funny month: it is shorter than the others and has a “Leap Year” attached to it. Here in New England there can be a roller-coaster ride of seasonal activity – from mild almost spring- like weather to frost-bite severe. We seem to be mirroring storms that graced us in 2015, not as severe yet, but just as menacing.

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Chef Joey’s Vinny and Mikey lounge on the couch. Spoiled babies💙!

Some useless trivia: Because February is only 28 days long, it can actually have no full moons. The last full moon in February was in 1999, and the next gap is predicted on the 2018 astrological calendar.

It also is the host month of Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday,” literally translated), the kick off to Lent by Ash Wednesday followed, for some people, by 40 days of giving up something (albeit excused one day for St Patrick’s Day, March 17). Ironically, Fat Tuesday is the last day of February this year on the 28th, making March 1 Ash Wednesday.

Having grown up in France, this day was a build-up event. Basically eating everything that is fattening for 7 days before the fast!

We in the south of France made crêpes. In the middle country, they made Beignets or small doughnuts, and in Northern France, folks made waffles. All three meals are synonymous with the much celebrated day. Carnivals take place all over France. Carnival is a Latin word deriving from carnelevare, literally meaning “Lift out the meat”!! The following 40 days of fasting were virtually meat-free; butter and eggs were sparse in meals, as well.

In France, February 2 is always National Crêpe day, called “La Chandeleur.” It is a family event that involves Crepes, a gold coin and a flipping contest. My grandmother would make the crepe batter, and we all got a shot at flipping our delicate pancake. Tradition has it that if you flip the crêpe successfully, you won’t have any money problems. Oh, but there is a catch! You hold the coin with the hand you write with and flip your crepe with your other hand. It keeps things fun.

So, for French Crèpes, you make a simple batter:

1 cup flour, sifted

2 eggs

½ cup milk

½ cup water

¼ tsp salt

2 tbsp soft butter

Mix the eggs and flour together …

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… adding the milk and water slowly. Add the salt and butter and whisk until smooth. In a hot skillet, add a tsp of butter, or cooking oil for savory crêpes coat well. Add ¼ cup batter for each crepe and tilt the pan so the batter swirls out – the back of a ladle also helps to spread it out.

Cook for about 1 minute or until the sides are brown. Lift with a spatula to loosen it and cook the other side. Stack them on top of each other and cover with a cake pan (for height) or a piece of foil.

Crepes can be savory (salty) filled with ham and melted cheese, or sweet, say filled with Nutella or something as simple as strawberry jam.

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COOKIES!!!!!🍪🍪😍😍

This is the easiest cookie recipe you will ever need for your entire life! The base is magic! And the fillings are what you want. When you make them from scratch, it takes 20 minutes and costs less than 20 cents a cookie. So bake a batch for your loved ones – they are nutritious and healthy.

You can add cinnamon, raisins, chocolate chips, dried fruit, glazes, frostings. Or you can roll this cookie dough out and get creative with cookie cutters. Or just roll into small balls for the perfect cookie.

You will need:

1 pound of soft BUTTER

1½ cups sugar

3 eggs

2 ¾ cup flour

2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

Mix the sugar and butter until light and fluffy …

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… add the eggs and mix well.

Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar. Add flour mix in small batches – mix well.

Use a small ice-cream scoop to form round balls and place dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 mins in a 350-degree oven.

I make these cookies all the time for my foster daughter, and when she says, “Papa, I want a cookie!” I know she is getting good stuff. Tomorrow, when we’re snowed in …

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Chef Joey’s backyard, winter 2015 …

… I may make a few dozen 😉!