Tag Archives: InCity Yum Yums

Chef Joey parked in Rose’s space! 🎄🎄🎄 Make Creme Brulee for Christmas🎄!

Reposting this Chef Joey yum yum. ❄❄❄Make it special for the holidays!🎁🎁🌃 – R.T.

Crème Brulée!

Text and recipe by Chef Joey

💜Rich, Chef Joey, Gigi and Santa!

What is a magical dessert that sounds too good to be true?

It is none other than Crème Brulée!

This delicious concoction, traditionally made with vanilla flavoring, first started appearing in cookbooks around 1690. It was translated into English mid-1700’s but kept the name. By 1800 it was called “Burnt Cream” in England.

Other names are Crème Anglaise. In Spain it is called Crema Catalana and is the dessert served once a year on Saint Joseph’s day (March 19). But instead of vanilla, it is flavored with the zest of lemons or oranges. You can do Nutella, chocolate, raspberry, etc – that’s what is so great about this dessert!

I recently reintroduced myself to this dessert, thanks to my new friends Stephanie and Penny who were constantly being served custard, which is cooked on top of the stove vs baking. It is an easy technique, and you don’t have to put the sugar on top and burn it.

It’s a delicious concoction that takes minutes to prepare and can be made ahead of time and keeps for a couple of days!

You will need ramekins for individual servings – or a glass pie plate will do for family style.

For the basic recipe you need:

1 quart of cream

6 eggs, separated

1 cup of sugar

and a vanilla bean!

I’ll list them below again. The fun is you can substitute the vanilla and add lemon, orange, almond, chocolate, pistachio, coconut etc – endless combinations!

So turn your oven on to 325, separate the eggs and save the whites for breakfast.

Add ½ cup sugar to the yolks and whisk until light in color and very fluffy.

In the meantime, add the seeds from the vanilla bean to the milk/cream in your sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Let it sit for 15 minutes to cool down, then slowly add it to the eggs whisking constantly.

Prepare your baking pan by placing the ramekins in the large rectangle pan.

Fill the ramekins with the filling, then pour HOT water into the holding pan – so it comes up just over halfway up the ramekins or pie plate.

Place in your hot oven and bake for 45 minutes.

The center should be a little jiggly and yet firm to the touch. Depending on your oven, adjust the cooking time.

Remove from the oven, take the ramekins out of the water, place on a cookie sheet and bring to room temp, then refrigerate.

They are ready to eat like this or dust with the rest of the sugar, just a light coating, and using a blow torch, fire it evenly on the sugar until it melts! You can do it under the broiler, but just keep a close eye on it!


6 eggs separated

1 quart cream or milk

½ cup sugar

1 vanilla bean (just the interior seeds)

325 degree oven – rectangular pan – 8 ramekins


Chef Joey will be baking, grilling and simmering all sorts of goodies for CECELIA …

CECELIA est tres Francais et tres Woo! Chef Joey est tres continental!


Some of Chef Joey’s InCity Times beauties:

“yum yums” and photos by Chef Joey!⭐








Food fest for four! 4 of Chef Joey’s “babies” enyoy the pet food Joey cooks – from scratch – for them!

Speaking of pets/animals … in CECELIA, we’ll try to keep cows, pigs and sheep off your dinner plate, a la InCity Times! For a slimmer, healthier you! Besides, animals belong in …


And don’t forget … this weekend!!:



Joey – always in style! Tomorrow! CELEBRATE CINCO DE MAYO!

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Love this taco recipe from Chef Joey. We’re reposting it in honor of the holiday! You can substitute tofu for the meat or get creative with a mock meat, pictured below. – R.T.



Recipe and text by Chef Joey

Cinco de Mayo. This is actually a celebration, as much as I hate to say it, of the victory of the Battle of Puebla against the French in 1862. It was led by General Ignacio Seguin. Not the Independence day that is on September 16th.

The French occupied Mexico after the Mexican / American War and that lasted for a couple of years in the 1840s. Then again in the late 1850s – that basically stemmed from a church and state separation issue. Napoleon III thought it was a great opportunity to establish a “Latin” interest in Mexico to favor French interests.

Bla bla bla .. skipping past all the names and details … basically the French army encountered heavy resistance from the Mexicans close to Puebla … The 6,000 French soldiers attacked the much smaller and unprepared Mexican army of fewer than 2,000. However, on May 5, 1862, the Mexicans managed to decisively crush the French army, then considered “the premier army in the world.”

A 2007 UCLA Newsroom article noted: “The holiday, which has been celebrated in California continuously since 1863, is virtually ignored in Mexico.”

TIME magazine reported that “Cinco de Mayo started to come into vogue in 1940s America during the rise of the Chicano movement.” The holiday crossed over from California into the rest of the United States in the 1950s and 1960s but did not gain popularity until the late 1980s when marketers, especially beer companies, capitalized on the celebratory nature of the day.

Bottle of Corona, anyone?


1 pound ground turkey / pork / chicken / beef

1 red pepper, chopped fine

1 yellow pepper, chopped fine

1/2 cup chopped onion

3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced

1-1/2 cups salsa

1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

8 cups torn romaine or shredded lettuce

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

Toppings can include:

Chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese and crushed tortilla chips

In a large skillet, cook meat, peppers, onion and garlic over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.

Stir in salsa, beans, chili powder and cumin; heat through.

Divide the lettuce among your plates.

Top with the meat mixture.

Sprinkle with cilantro and your choice of toppings.



And for all you vegetarians out there!



Tomato and Hot Pepper Salsa!

2-3 medium-size fresh tomatoes, finely diced

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1 jalapeño, seeded, de-ribbed, and finely diced

1 serrano pepper, or to taste, seeded, de-ribbed, and finely diced

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup Sriracha sauce

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tsp. dried oregano, or to taste

1 tsp. ground toasted cumin seeds, or to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.

Let sit for 1 hour before serving.

Makes 3 to 4 cups

Adapted from The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour by John Schlimm. Suggested beer pairings: pale lager, American wheat ale, or an amber lager.



Mexican Noodle Soup

Written by Ashley Palmer

This noodle soup was inspired by our growing PETA Latino community! The popular Mexican dish, referred to as “sopa de fideo,” is versatile and can be altered to your liking. Want a thicker base, spicier flavor, or splash of lemon juice? No problem!

4–6 large tomatoes, cut into large cubes

1 medium white onion, cut into large cubes

1 clove garlic

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 16 oz.-pkg. cut fideo or 1 16 oz.-pkg. angel hair pasta, broken into 1-inch pieces

32 oz. vegetable broth

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 Tbsp. pepper

2 Tbsp. oregano

2 Tbsp. cumin

Chili flakes, chopped serrano chilies, or diced jalapeños, to taste (optional)
Cilantro, soy sour cream, and sliced avocado, for garnish (optional)

In a blender, purée the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and oil.

Transfer to a large pot and cook over medium heat.

Add the noodles, broth, salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin.

For a spicier soup, add the chili flakes, serrano chilies, or jalapeños.

Cook for approximately 12 to 15 minutes, then simmer until the noodles are tender.

Garnish with optional toppings, as desired.

Makes 10 to 12 servings


Cece and Lilac, what are you doing in this post?!😘


4 medium, very ripe Haas avocados, peeled and minced

1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup finely diced red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. sea salt

In a large bowl, mash all the ingredients together with a potato masher until well combined.

Makes 3 1/2 cups



Enchilada Bake!

12 oz. vegan burger crumbles

1 packet taco seasoning

2 15.5-oz. cans enchilada sauce

18 corn tortillas

2 15.5-oz. cans pinto beans, drained

2 green onions, chopped

2 cups vegan cheddar cheese, shredded

1 4.5-oz. can diced green chilies

2 cups corn chips, finely crushed

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a small bowl, combine the burger crumbles and taco seasoning and set aside.

Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch pan with oil.

In layers, spread a generous amount of enchilada sauce, 6 corn tortillas, 2 cans of pinto beans, a handful of green onion, a third of the shredded “cheese,” half the can of green chilies, lots more enchilada sauce, 6 more tortillas, all the seasoned burger crumbles, another third of the “cheese,” the remaining green chilies, more enchilada sauce, then the final 6 tortillas, more enchilada sauce, and the rest of the “cheese.”

Cover in foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the foil, top the entire casserole with the corn chips.

Bake for another 15 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and browned. Makes 6 servings.

A Week’s Worth of Vegan Dinners From Trader Joe’s market – on Rt. 9 – Shrewsbury (just over the bridge)🍞☕🎶

Cece!🐺 Trader Joe’s sells cat and dog food! pic: R.T.

We do our grocery shopping here and love it! Open ALL DAY, 7 days a week. Fun!💋 They’re located in Shrewsbury, Rt. 9, just over the Worcester line, just over the cool bridge! They sell EVERYTHING, including organic, veggie fare – cheap! Plus plants, cut flowers, greeting cards, soaps, lotions, personal care products – all BEAUTIFULLY PRICED! CHECK ‘EM OUT!

– R.T.


Whether you’re brand new to vegan eating or a seasoned pro looking for extra inspiration, we’re here to help you find great food.

The wide array of vegan products at Trader Joe’s, for example, makes finding plant-based foods especially easy and convenient.

Check out the sample meal plan we’ve laid out below based on vegan items at Trader Joe’s, where one-stop shopping for an entire week’s worth of dinners is a snap.

Monday: Meatless Meatball Subs

Tuesday: Black Bean and Beefless Crumble Tacos

Wednesday: Sriracha Baked Tofu Stir-Fry

Thursday: Cashew Cream Tomato Pasta

Friday: BBQ Tofu Sliders with Broccoli Slaw

Saturday: Pizza

Sunday: Corndog Muffins


Monday: Meatless Meatball Subs

Costs approximately $1.85 per serving

These four ingredients will cure your case of the Mondays.

1 pkg. frozen Meatless Meatballs
1 jar Traditional Marinara Sauce
1 pkg. vegan hot dog buns
1/2 pkg. Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds

Prepare the vegan meatballs according to the package instructions.

Add the marinara sauce to a skillet and heat over medium heat until warmed through.

Toast the buns and fill with the vegan meatballs (about 6 per bun). Top with the sauce and vegan cheese shreds and, if desired, toast in a toaster oven for 5 minutes or until the “cheese” melts.

Makes up to 5 subs


Tuesday: Black Bean and Beefless Crumble Tacos

Costs approximately $3.50 per serving (2 or 3 tacos), not including toppings

Grab your favorite oil and fry up these ingredients.

1 pkg. Beef-Less Ground Beef
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning Mix
1 jar Traditional Marinara Sauce
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
5 taco shells
1 avocado, sliced
Salsa, shredded lettuce, and vegan cheese (optional)

Prepare the beefless ground beef according to the package instructions and transfer to a skillet. Add the taco seasoning mix and tomato sauce and cook over medium heat until thickened. Stir in the black beans and cook until warmed through.

Fill the taco shells with the beefless crumble mixture, avocado, and any other toppings of your choice.

Makes 5 tacos


Wednesday: Sriracha Baked Tofu Stir-Fry

Costs approximately $2.36 per serving

Warning: You may get addicted to this Sriracha tofu!!

Oil, for frying
1 pkg. Sriracha Baked Tofu
1 pkg. frozen Vegetable Fried Rice
1 pkg. fresh broccoli florets or baby broccoli

Cut tofu into strips.

Combine all the ingredients in a lightly oiled pan and cook covered for 12 to 15 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Makes 3 to 4 servings


Thursday: Cashew Cream Tomato Pasta

Costs approximately 65 cents per serving

Your friends won’t believe how easy this dish is to make.

1 16-oz. pkg. penne or rigatoni pasta
1 jar Organic Tomato Basil Marinara
1 cup cashew pieces
1/2 cup almond milk

Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions.

Blend the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender.

Add the pasta and the sauce mixture to a large saucepan. Stir over medium-high heat until warmed through.

Makes 8 servings


Friday: Tofu Sliders with Broccoli Slaw

Costs approximately $2 per serving

These vegan sliders are the perfect potluck dish.

1 pkg. extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 cup Organic Brown Sugar BBQ Sauce and Marinade
1 pkg. Organic Broccoli Slaw
3/4 to 1 cup Vegan Spread & Dressing
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
1 pkg. Mini Hamburger Buns

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Coat the tofu with the BBQ sauce and bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 20 to 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

In a large bowl, combine the broccoli slaw, vegan spread, sugar, salt, apple cider vinegar, and raisins or dried cranberries, if using.

Toast the buns and layer on the baked tofu and broccoli slaw.

Makes 5 servings


Saturday: Pizza

Costs approximately $1 per serving, not including extra toppings

This is what pizza should look like.

1 pkg. Regular, Whole Wheat, or Garlic & Herb refrigerated pizza dough
Flour, for dusting the work surface and baking sheet
1 jar pizza sauce
1/2 pkg. Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds (optional)
Toppings of your choice (mushrooms, olives, artichoke hearts, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Knead the pizza dough on a lightly floured work surface and then flatten onto a floured baking sheet.

Spread the pizza sauce evenly on top and add the vegan cheese, if using, as well as your favorite toppings. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Makes 4 to 6 servings


Sunday: Corndog Muffins

Costs approximately $2.22 per serving

We’ve got a recipe video ready to help you throw these together.

And of course, Trader Joe’s has plenty of other vegan products that aren’t on this list, too — including fresh produce and beverages.

This list is just a template to help you get started, but there are thousands of recipes on PETA.org, if you want to swap anything out. And if you’re ever feeling stuck in a rut, cooking the same foods over and over again, just pop by the PETA Living food page for some new inspiration.

You can go vegan, and we can help you eat all the same foods that you ate before, just without the animal-derived ingredients. Help create a compassionate, sustainable future by always opting for vegan products when you dine out and shop for groceries!

It ain’t Rt. 9…

Hot soup for cold spring days!

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Zupa’s on!

Garbanzo & Spinach Soup

Recipe by Chef Joey


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

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.

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!💙

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


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💗 …


Photos, recipe and text by Chef Joey


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.”


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!💗💚💗💚💚💗

pic: R.T.


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



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.



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


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 … 🎵

pics: R.T.



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


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!


Mark your calendars for an REC Special day:


The Stripes!


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

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Chef Joey made all the great cakes, below!


Pics, text and recipes by Chef Joey

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

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:


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.


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!🍀🍀🍀🍀💚

Papa Joey and some of his family!

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!!

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!

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)


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.



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!

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