Stir fried Vegetables with oyster -flavored Sauce

This fast ,nutrritios and above all delicious stir fry is so versitile you can practically use any combination of vegetables you choose. But ,I love Martin Yan’s combination here with Asparagus,Bok Choy,and Chard.

serves 4

1/3 lb asparagus

1/3 lb chard

1/3 lb bok choy

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 teaspoon minced ginger

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt


2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon wine

2-3 vegetarian flavored oyster sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Wash and trim the asparagus,chard, and bok choy.. Place a wok over high heat until hot. Add 2 tablespoons cooking oil,swirling to coat sides. add ginger,garlic and salt;stir -fry until fragrant,about 10 seconds.

place vegetables in wok;add 2 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon wine. cover and cook until vegetables are tender-crisp and pan juices have evaporated,about 3 minutes.

slide vegetables onto serving plate. Drizzle vegetarian oyster sauce and sesame oil over vegetables. Serve


Hakka-Style Eggplant with mint

This Hakka style Eggplant dish is hearty and satifying. Eggplant is stirfried with bell peppers, garlic,chilis,basil and mint and finished with a spicy chili-garlic sauce. Great for spice loving vegetarians and vegans alike.


2 tablespoons  vegetarian Oyster -flavored  sauce

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves

3/4 pound Asian eggplants

Cooking oil for deep-frying

6 cloves garlic,peeled

2 teaspoons cooking oil

1 fresh red jalapeneo chili,thinly sliced

1/2 small onion ,cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 small green bell pepper,cut into 1 inch diamond -shaped pieces

1/2 cup lightly packed Thai basil leaves.

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Wash mint leaves and dry throughly. Roll-cut eggplants.

In a wok ,heat oil for deep-frying to 375 degrees. Deep -fry eggplants and garlic until golden brown,about 2 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels.

Deep -fry mint leaves until crisp about 30 seconds. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels.

Place wok over high heat until hot. Add 2 teaspoons oil,swirling to coat sides. Add chili,onion and bell pepper,cook,stirring, until fragrant. About 30 seconds. Add eggplants,garlic,basil and sauce. Reduce heat to medium and cook until eggplant is tender 5-6 minutes. Garnish with mint.

Serves 4

Recipe courtesy Martin Yan

Tony Roma’s Original Baby Backs

“This is the sauce that made the chain famous”. Whatever it is this is a favorite of my husband. Todd Wilburn cloned it again. Amusing as it sounds , on family vacations my children go in search of a Tony Roma’s. Strange when I lived in NYC we had a great one a few blocks from my apartment which suddenly closed down…hence the quest!!

4 pounds baby back pork ribs or 4 pounds pork spare ribs

Barbecue Sauce

1 cup ketchup

1 cup Vinegar

1/2 cup dark corn syrup

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon Tobasco pepper sauce

Combine all of the ingresdients for the barbecue sauce in a saucepan over high heat. Use a whisk to blend the ingredients until smooth.

When the mixture comes to a boil,reduce the heat and simmer uncovered.

In 30-45 minutes,when the mixture thickens,remove it from the heat. If you want a thicker sauce,heat it longer. If you make the sauce too thick,thin it with more vinegar.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

Tear off 4 pieces of Aluminum foil that are roughly 6 ” longer than the ribs.

Coat the ribs with the barbeque sauce. Place a rack of ribs ,one at a time,on to a piece of foil lengthwise and wrap it tightly.

Place ribs into the oven with the seam of the foil wrap facing up. Cook for 2-21/2 hours, or until you see the meat of the ribs shrinking back from the cut ends of the bones by about 1/2 “. This long cooking time will ensure the meat will be tender and fall off the bone.

Towards the end of the cooking time prepare the barbeque.

Remove the ribs from the foil and smother them with additional barbeque sauce. Be sure to save some sauce for later.

Grill the ribs on the hot barbeque for 2-4 minutes per side, or just until you see several spots of charred ,blackened sauce. Watch the flames and do not burn.

When ribs are done,use a knife to slice the meat between each bone about half way down. This will make it easier to tear the ribs apart when they are served.

Hard Rock Cafe Orange Freeze

Todd Wilber found a way to clone chain restaurant recipes. I have decided to introduce you to some my family simply love. There is nothing more refreshing than this orange freeze, served as dessert or beverage.

2 cups orange sherbet or sorbet

1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1/4 cup milk

1 spring of fresh spearmint

Put the sherbet ,juice and milk in a blender and blend for 15 seconds or just until all the sherbet is smooth.

Pour the orange freeze into a tall ,chilled glass. Place a sprig of fresh spearmint in the top and serve immediately.

Easy Almond Cake

I am a huge fan of anything made with almond paste, as, growing up in Malta we were treated to the greatest cookies and cakes oozing with the freshest almond paste and almods imaginable. So it is with great skepitsism I tried this cake by Nigella Lawson. Its easy because its simply whirled in a food processor and baked in a springform tube pan. The only concession is I added her suggested orange peel not instead of but along with the Vanilla , which I increased.

1 cup +2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter

1 cup +2 tablespoons softened Marzipan

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

6 large eggs at room temperature

1 cup self -rising flour

10 inch springform tube pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Chop the butter and marzipan to make them easier to break down,put them in the bowl of the food processor,fitted with the metal blade with the sugar. Process until well combined and preety well smooth. Add almond , vanilla and zest and process again,then break the eggs one at a time through the funnel processing yet again, and then pour the mixture into the prepared pan,scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 50 minutes, but check from 40. Then when the cake looks golden and cooked and a cake tester or fine skewer comes out cleanish, remove from oven and leave to cool in pan before turning out

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve

Cinnamon ‘N’ Sugar Shortbread

You know I have always had a weakness for cookies, especially anything with cinnamon. That super warm spice drives me crazy as the aroma fts from the oven. As a bonus from the “cookie gods” this is an eggless delight…how great is that!!!


13/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup cake flour

1 cup Land O lakes, unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For shortbread, in a large bowl combine all shortbread ingredients. With a fork stir together until a soft dough forms. Divide dough in half. Press on the bottom of 2  9″ pans.

Stir sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle over cookie dough. Score each cookie into 8 wedges. pierce each wedge several times with a fork. Bake for 20-30 minutes till golden. Cool on wire rack. Cut into wedges.

Courtesy of Land O Lakes

No bake Cheesecakes

The beauty about a no bake cheesecake, in my experience, is that they are fit for people with egg allergies, or vegetarians. Plus there is no long waiting for the cheesecake to cool once baked. This recipie is the creation of Sherry Yard , the executive pastry chef of Spago

12 Vanilla wafer cookies

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

12ipe strawberries , hulled and halved.

Pulse cookies in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Line the cups of 2 mini muffin pans with paper liners and spoon a layer of cookie crumbs into the bottom of each.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with a hand held mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar till smooth on medium speed, about 3 minutes.

On low speed beat in sour cream and lemon juice till combined, about 1 minute.

Spoon or pipe mixture into the cups. Refridgerate 2 to 4 hours until set, or overnight.

Before serving top each cheesecake with a strawberry.