Thursday, June 7, 2018

Rakott Krumpli=Hungarian Layered Potatoes

As a child, growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, I have fond memories of traditional Hungarian classic dishes my mother used to make for us...bringing these 'hand me down' recipes with her from Hungary. I hesitated to make this dish for so many years...although I did make it here in S. Florida for my family and it turned out great. I don't recall using Hungarian Paprika, but when you can get the 'best' Paprika imported from know it's 'authentic'!
I've been absent from my blog for 3 weeks now, visiting my family in Cleveland, and not wanting to deal with their computer, and me not able to sign in to my own blog from my cell phone😐(just not acceptable!)...anyway, certain ethnically prepared dishes require the right spices, and ingredients, such as in this case the special Hungarian smoked can 'omit' the paprika, but I chose not to!
As far as I'm concerned this is not the most photogenic dish, and I did google it to see others which have even worst photos than mine, but I must confess, this is soo very delicious if you are a 'potato' lover such as I...of course, you can omit the sausage, and make it 'vegetarian'...but it will have an entirely different taste. You can substitute with Polish kielbasa, which will also make it so good, but the smoked Hungarian kolbász...Polish, Italian, or Croatian is the best used in this casserole! I will guide you through, step-by-step how to make this 'vintage, classical' dish, although you have to be cautious of your cholesterol because it is loaded with it, and very filling!
So, let's get started...

Rakott Krumpli=Hungarian Layered Potatoes
recipe source: Elisabeth

8 medium Idaho (baking potatoes)
8 large eggs, (hard boiled)
1 cup sour cream
salt, and pepper to taste
1 link of smoked sausage (abt. 1/2 lb.)
1/4 cup canola, or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet Paprika

Boil the potatoes in their skins, just not quite till soft (easier to peel that way and to slice and to bake)
Peel and slice the potatoes, just not too thin, about a quarter of an inch thick, so they don't crumble apart.

 In a large bowl, add them, and take a tablespoon or two of the oil, and also the salt and pepper, to mix carefully, and start layering them in the casserole dish. Also add the remaining oil to the sour cream and stir carefully.

Slice the hard boiled eggs, and layer them carefully over the potato slices.
Next step, slice the smoked sausage into 1/2 inch thick slices, you can remove the thin casings if you like, but in my opinion, the casing holds the slices together, and will not fall apart.

Layer them in one row over the sliced hard boiled eggs, and cover them with a generous layer of the sour cream (you can also add the layer of the sour cream in-between the potatoes and the layers of the eggs and sausage if you want more saucy finish)...although I only used a generous amount over the top, and sprinkled it with the paprika.

 Bake for 30-45 minutes on 350 degrees F. until it is nice and bubbling and top has a nice shine to it and you can see the individual potato slices.

Linking to: Full Plate Thursday #383

Thursday, May 17, 2018

New York Cheesecake

I have been making cheese cakes for fact, my friends and neighbors call me the 'cheesecake lady'😊 which is really a nice compliment! I made this wonderful, not so dense, but just the right texture cheese cake, exactly 1 year ago when I was visiting my hometown in Cleveland, and I've never posted this, on my blog because I was juts 'anti-blog' and now, as I was browsing through my photos I came across why not feature it?...and I'm doing so now!
Spring has really 'sprung' last year up north, and as you can see in the background the beautiful green grass, and flowers sprouting out everywhere. I will be leaving again tomorrow for my 2 weeks stay, but this year the weather is not as nice as it was last year. I love my hometown, and also my family there, as well, so it will be a nice visit again!
Served with marinated strawberry was 'heavenly'...I must admit! By the way, this time I omitted the sour cream topping, and baked it 15 minutes less, which was the extra time for the topping! The recipe is on my blog...going back to 'memory lane'...when I started to blog, a long time no wonder why I need to stay 'on board' and keep blogging! Check out the link to this amazing cheesecake, you won't regret it if you decide to try it out!

New York Cheesecake

Linking to: Full Plate Thursday #380

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Banana Cream Cheese and Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

I don't know how you feel about homemade Banana Bread...but, as for me; I never get tired of it. I always buy a nice bright yellow bunch of bananas every week and look forward to leaving at least 3 or 4 bananas to ripen to a 'brown spackled' stage that is the perfect way to make banana bread, muffins, or switch it around and make a nice bundt cake with just about the same recipe...the basic for banana bread, just adding more ingredients to 'spike' it up!

It depends what you have on hand to add to the batter, but I do get excited when I find that I have at least 1 block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and as always...I do keep chocolate chips around when I'm in the mood to make Chocolate Chips Cookies. In this case I decided to add these yummy ingredients to the Banana Bread recipe...which in this case...became the Banana Cream Cheese and Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake...wheww, that was a long title for this simple coffee cake or with your favorite tea...on a leisurely afternoon!

The recipe is too long for me to type, so I will guide you to the source where I actually got the idea from!

Banana Cream Cheese and Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

Linking to: Full Plate Thursday #379

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Antipasto Salad... two ways

Ever wonder why would anyone want to call this colorful, healthy, and so delicious fresh salad mixed with black and green olives...and don't forget the pepperoncini, the artichoke hearts, and if you like, add some little cubed feta cheese, some vinaigrette dressing, some nice crusty bread, and you got yourself a meal that you will truly enjoy! It really is more of a vegetarian antipasto because there is no prosciutto, or salami in this...and that's fine with me!

The best part is that you can be so creative with this amazing salad, that you can first start off with the fresh salad part of it, fresh chopped Romaine lettuce, the best of the best red ripe tomatoes diced, I love fresh crunchy red radishes sliced, cucumbers if you like...which I did not use this time; I adore sweet onions like Vidalia or another brand if Vidalia is not avaiable, also sliced.
Not to be confusing the first version...with this version, which is the second, that in this salad, there is no 'lettuce'...just a simple Vegan Antipasto! This one has the artichoke hearts, which are already marinated, and comes in a cute little jar...made in Italy, some cherry or grape tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chopped Italian parsley. Both are mixed with the simple and the best extra virgin olive oil, and red, or white wine Balsamic at all for me, it changes the color, and for me it's too sweet!

I got the inspiration from Rachel Ray, whom I adore, ever since her old cooking show was featured on the Food Network, and I subscribe these days to her magazine as well!

Antipasto Salad
adapted from Rachel Ray



Combine lettuce, salami, chopped hot pickled vegetables, olives, red peppers and artichoke hearts. Drizzle vinegar and oil over the salad. Toss salad and season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

Linking to: Full Plate Thursday, #378

Thursday, April 26, 2018


I have discovered this amazing Bulgur (cracked wheat) back in the late 80's which would be at least 30 years ago, and have been making it quite often.
It is originated from the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern Region.

Tabbouleh is a Levantine vegetarian salad made of mostly finely chopped parsley with tomatoes, mint, onion, Bulgur, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Some variations add garlic or lettuce, or use couscous instead of bulgur. 

This is a vegan dish, and can be gluten-free if you replace the bulgur with quinoa. Here are the health benefits of each of the ingredients, which make this dish a combination of superfoods! Bulgur is high in fiber and protein, low in fat, has a low glycemic index, and contains potassium and iron!

I stay away from purchasing 'store bought' Tabbouleh, simply because it has very little grains, and it is mostly with soggy parsley, and mushy pieces of tomatoes, and mostly because it's costly. You can get a whole bag of these lovely cracked wheat, and make enough for an 'army' that is super fresh, tasty, and will last throughout the entire week to snack on or have it as a side dish!


    • 1/2 cup fine bulgur
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup boiling-hot water
    • 2 cups finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from 3 bunches)
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
    • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 1/2 seedless cucumber*, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


    1. Stir together bulgur and 1 tablespoon oil in a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over, then cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand 15 minutes. Drain in a sieve, pressing on bulgur to remove any excess liquid.
    2. Transfer bulgur to a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients, including 2 tablespoons oil, until combined well.
      • These long, narrow cucumbers are often marketed as "European" and are usually sold in plastic wrap to protect their thin, delicate, unwaxed skin.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Linguine and Clam Sauce

As you have noticed it by now, my most favorite dish is 'seafood', and of course Chicken...and more chicken ...not to advertise it, but that is the actual name on my PINTEREST board! Here, in S. Florida we get the freshest seafood from our local fish stores, and supermarkets, but better yet, just go to the docks where the boats return from their fishing trips every early evening and you could have the choice of the day, and have it scaled and cleaned ready to take home and prepare your way! As for the clams...well, it is always available all year round!
 I love, love shellfish, especially clams and  mussels, which are so easy to prepare. The main thing is not to overcook them. You can't miss overcooking them, because as soon as the shells open up they are ready, which take only a few minutes. The ones that are already open when you purchase it...make sure you toss them because they are bad! All you need is a few ingredients for this simple dish and the main 'star' is of course the clams. Linguine is so comforting to go with this dish there is no other way to serve it as far as I'm concerned!

The only ingredient I did not use which I always have plenty of...fresh, or in a jar which I prepare, is the Fresno red chile...I added them separately to my dish since young children and some adults in my family do not like it so spicy. Notice my 'treasured' serving bowl with the cute flowers?...this bowl is an 'antique'...going back to 1938, 'made in the USA'...purchase at my local favorite Goodwill store from a few years ago, You would have to pay ate least $30. at a real 'antique' shop, but I paid less than $5.00...what a great 'thrift find' from someone that cherished it for decades and now I gave it a 'good home'😊

I've been subscribing to Cooking Light magazine for years, and I also have several of their annual cookbooks. You can't go wrong with their recipes and they are light...light...light, which is what we are aiming for in cooking these days. Everyone is health conscious, for looking and feeling better. Longevity, and being healthy is what's important in our life which we can achieve by watching what we eat!

For the recipe: right here...Linguine and Clam Sauce

Linking to: Full Plate Thursday #376

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Roasted Vegetables with Roasted Branzino

When you don't have much time to prepare a healthy and delicious dish for dinner, there's always fresh seafood available right here in S. Florida. Branzino is an Italian Sea Bass, very delicate and fairly small, but you have to make sure to have it properly filleted! Broiling, baking, poaching, and roasting is always a great option, just never...ever fry these babies or they will fall apart and the grease will absorb!

The Branzino is rather a little expensive, but it's so well worth it! The veggies only cost a mere couple dollars, purchasing them at our local produce market. $1.00 per each bag of tomatoes, onions, and the greens...which are baby dandelions, I think...never a label on the bag to let you know what it is😃

This is a perfect 30 minute meal, and guaranteed that your family will love it, that is if they like fish...this is the 'top of the line' fish!

Roasted Vegetables with Roasted Branzino
recipe by; Elisabeth

4 - 6 plum tomatoes sliced lengthwise into strips
1 med. onion sliced
2 - 3 garlic cloves sliced thin
1 bunch of greens, such as dandelions, escarole or kale
4 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of water
few leaves of fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
3 pieces of Branzino (Sea Bass) filleted in half
and tail cut off

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Just as in the photo, first line the bottom of a large broiling pan, or baking pan with a rim, with aluminum foil, dull side up. Drizzle 1 Tblsp of the oil on the foil, and line the pan in a row starting with the sliced tomatoes, sliced onions, sliced garlic, and the greens. Drizzle another Tblsp of the oil over the vegetables, and sprinkle the salt and pepper over them. Drizzle 1/4 of the water over the vegetables, and bake for the first 10 min without checking on it.

After the first 10 minutes check the vegetables, stir them gently and add the other 1/4 cup of water so they don't dry out! After the 20 minutes, gently push the vegetables to one side and line the fish pieces. Drizzle with the remaining 2 Tblsp of extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle the salt and pepper, and add the chiffonade slices of basil. Bake for exactly another 10 minutes, (not 1 min. over)
You can easily serve right out of the baking pan, over rice, or just plain, but don't forget to serve some nice crusty bread to mop of the pan's soo good!
Serves 4.

Linking to: Full Plate Thursday #375

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Quick Chicken Pho

While all you nice northern friends of ours are still having such awful cold and some snow flurry weather in the first week of April, which is almost unheard of...we, in S. Florida are getting your 'cold front' with lower temperatures, and windy sometimes quite chilly weather. It is certainly a goo 'soup' day again, so I concocted an easy, yet interesting Vietnamese version of a Quick Chicken Pho!
There's a good reason why I call my blog 'Food and Thrift'...because I'm always looking to find ways of using everything up in my frig, and pantry, and of course looking for sales and 'thrift finds'. In this case I'm using up the breast part of my purchased rotisserie chicken, which is the breast! Instead of using the boneless chicken breast that the recipe calls for, I add the roasted chicken, cleaning it from the skin and bone and shredding it in small section to add at the end of the cooking process!

Just look at the beautiful golden color of this Asian version of chicken soup, with fresh herbs and spices...not to mention with my favorite little red hot chili pepper slices.

The recipe is so easy, you really want to try this which will take you no longer than 45 minutes!

Quick Chicken Pho
recipe adapted from: 
Cooking Light magazine, March 2017
my adaptation in blue

1 3/4 section ginger
2 med. large green onions
1 small bunch cilantro sprigs
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 whole clove
3 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 cups of water
1 8 oz. skinless boneless chicken breast
1 whole breast saved from leftover rotisserie purchased chicken
3 oz.dried flat rice noodles, such as Pad Thai
3 oz. dried thin spaghetti broken into 3rds
1 tsp. fish sauce (optional)
1/2 tsp. organic sugar or maple syrup (opt.)
Fresh basil leaves, mint leaves, mung bean sprouts
sliced red Fresno chili, and lime wedges for garnish

Peel and slice the ginger crosswise into 4 or 5 coins, then smack with the flat side of a knife. Set aside. Cut the hollow green parts of the green onion into thin rounds to yield 2 to 3 tablespoons; set aside. Cut the leftover white sections into pinkie-
finger lengths, bruise, then add to the ginger.until fragrant. Add the ginger and green onion mixture; stir 30 seconds or until aromatic. Slide the pot off the heat and cool for about 15 seconds, then pour in the stock. Return the pot to the heat; add 2 cups water, cilantro sprigs, and chicken. Bring to a boil over high. Lower the heat, and gently simmer for 30 minutes. While the broth simmers, soak the rice noodles in hot water until pliable and opaque. Drain, rinse, and set aside.

After 5 to 10 minutes of simmering, add the skinned and boned rotisserie chicken pieces. and cook and additional 15 more minutes. the chicken should be firm and cooked through (it should yield slightly when pressed). Transfer the chicken to a bowl, flush with cold water to stop the cooking, then drain. Cool and cut or shred into bite-size pieces. Cover loosely to prevent drying.
Bring the strained broth to a boil over high. Put the noodles into the boiling broth and cook for an additional 10 minutes. in a noodle strainer or mesh sieve and dunk into the hot broth to heat and soften, 5 to 60 seconds. Lift the noodles from the pot and divide between 2 large bowls. Lower the heat to keep the broth hot.
When the broth is done, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer positioned over a 2-quart pot (line the strainer with muslin for a super-clear broth). Discard the solids. You should have about 4 cups broth. Add fish sauce and sugar or maple syrup, if needed, to create a strong savory-sweet note.
Lower the heat to keep the broth hot while you arrange the chicken on top of the noodles and garnish with the chopped green onion, cilantro, and a sprinkling of pepper. Return the broth to a boil before ladling into the bowls. Enjoy with basil, mint, sprouts, chili and lime if desired.
Serves 2.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Grilled Lamb Chops with Tomato, Mint, and Garlic Sauce

I don't know how you feel about grilling on an outdoor barbecue grill whether it may be a simple charcoal grill or, a fabulous spacious gas grill that just with one click of the starter button, it lights instantly...just stay away from the fire and not let your hair catch on!

Grilling is not just for men...your hubbies are not always the 'grill masters'! When you watch those cooking shows you can see how many women are quite competent in the grilling contest against the men and win! Well, this is not a grilling or cooking contest post, I'm getting way too off from the subject!
If you're a 'meat lover' and like grilled meats, these succulent 'bone in' lamb chops are perfect and easy grilling, once they have been properly marinated for at least 30 minutes in a simple drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper...ready to grill!

I do recommend the delicious Tomato, Mint, and Garlic Sauce to go along with it. Easter is around the corner this Sunday and if weather permits just get out to enjoy the beautiful Spring weather, and light up your grill. There are other enjoyable side dishes to grill along with the lamb, and have yourself a fun and blessed day!

Grilled Lamb Chops with Tomato, Mint and 
Garlic Sauce

recipe ispired by; William-Sonoma

  • 8 thick-cut bone-in lamb loin chops, each 1 1/2
     inches thick, 2 to 2 1/2 lb. total weight
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for coating, plus 1 Tbs.
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper,
     to taste
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil

For the sauce:

  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, cut into narrow strips
  • 6 to 8 fresh mint leaves, cut into narrow strips
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine

  •  In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallot and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes soften and release their liquid, 3 to 4 minutes. 
  • Add the wine and vinegar ,season with salt and pepper. Cook until flavors have incorporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil and mint, and set aside until the lamb chops are roasted.

Chops cut from the loin are the most costly of the various types of lamb chops, but they are also the tastiest and most tender. This recipe calls for double loin chops, which are simply cut twice as thick as a typical loin chop. While the chops are resting, a quick pan sauce of tomatoes, garlic, basil and mint that will be drizzled over them at once it is served. Roasted potatoes on the side, couscous or Basmati rice would round out the plate.

Light up your outdoor gill on high and let it heat up for about 10 minutes. Place the lamb chops on the hot and high grill and sear for 2 minutes. Turn the chops and sear for 1 minute on the other side. Immediately turn the grill temperature down to medium and grill the lamb until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, away from the bone, registers 125° to 130°F for medium-rare, 5 to 6 minutes. 

Remove the pan from the grill, and transfer the chops to a warmed platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest for a few minutes and add the  accumulated juices to the sauce.

Divide the chops among warmed plates. Divide the sauce evenly among them, spooning it over the top. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Linking to:
Full Plate Thursday #373

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Roasted, Corned Beef and Cabbage

St. Patrick's Day has come and gone now, and before you know it, Easter will be coming sooner than we think. Already Spring has 'sprung'...only to find out that some parts north of us are still dealing with snow dreadful! I must share this amazing new way of making Corned Beef and Cabbage...Do Not Boil...seriously, even if the package says so!

I didn't have to google this recipe of mine...just practice, and the common sense of how to roast meats! Here are all the ingredients, that I already love to roast, or bake...but roasting is more appropriate, in fact on the newer models of the stoves there is an option for actual 'roast' selection and do take advantage of it if you can...if you don't have that option, a higher temperature of 425 degrees is the ideal temperature to use for the first 25 minutes will be a great help!

This is how it looks after the first 25 minutes on 425, plus an additional 30 minutes on 350 degrees temperature...but we're still not done roasting yet! As you can see, I even cut a nice chunk of the the corned beef off to sample for my sweet grandson who could not wait to enjoy this feast...still not quite done.

Accompanied by Gold Smashed Potatoes, (no dairy)...just some of the cooking water, and the pan juices used to smash them!d not so tender!

Irish Soda Bread is a must have for St. Patrick's Day, and I must admit this was a perfect combination...half of the bread was gone before the roast was even served. My daughter Lora made the bread this year, and with the raisins which we love so is called the 'Spotted Dog'...what a cute, and odd name for Irish Soda Bread! Link to my daughter's recipe...on Savoring Italy

Irish Soda Bread=Spotted Dog

Before I even go any further, I'm gonna share my recipe with you for the Roasted Corned Beef and Cabbage!

Roasted Corned Beef and Cabbage
source: by, Elisabeth

1- 3 to 3 and 1/2 lbs. Round Beef (with spices inc. in packet)
1 head of Cabbage quartered and core removed
1 or 2 sweet potatoes peeled and quartered
3 stalks of large carrots scraped
1 large sweet onion peeled, and cut in quarters
1 head of garlic with top cut off (optional)
2 cups from a (32 ozs Beef, or Vegetable Broth)
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

Remove beef from plastic bag, wash and pat dry if bloody. In a 9x13 in. baking pan, or a small roasting pan, arrange the beef in the middle, empty the packet that has the seasoning spices, and rub it on top of the beef, patted down well, so it doesn't slide off. Sprinkle the extra virgin olive oil on top, and pat it down firmly. Arrange the vegetables around the pan, and also the garlic with the top cut off.

Sprinkle 1 Tblsp. of the oil on the garlic head and the rest, sprinkle around the vegetables. Add 1 cup of the broth around the vegetables, cover with Aluminum foil, and with a sharp knife slash some vents on the top of the foil.

Roast, or bake at preheated 425 degree oven for the first 25 minutes, remove the foil, and add the other 1 cup on top of the beef, and around the pan over the vegetables, but not the garlic. Lower temperature to 350 degrees...bake for another 30 minutes covered, and remove the aluminum foil....and bake for an additional 30 minutes uncovered until it gets a nice crust on the top and vegetables are roasted nicely. Let the roast rest for 15 minutes and slice across the grain. Serves 6-8 generously

Linking to:
Full Plate Thursday #372