Val's Masala Chai...

My friend Valerie brought homemade Chai tea to a little get together once and it was to-die-for! Recently, I got ahold of the recipe and cannot wait to try it out on one of these frigid January days.

Masala Chai Recipe: (serves 2)

1 1/2 c. water 1 inch cinnamon stick 8 cardamom pods 8 whole cloves 2/3 c. milk 6 teaspoons sugar 3 teaspoons loose black tea 1 inch +/-  fresh ginger (grated or sliced) (this is her secret addition, extra spice!)

Put 1 1/2 c. of water in a saucepan. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat to a low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the milk and sugar and bring to a simmer again. Throw in the tea leaves, cover and turn off the heat. After 2 minutes, strain the tea into two cups and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Yowzers thats a lot of Eggplant!

Tonight's mission: Figure out what to do with all of the eggplant in my fridge before its too late.

Recipe #1: Grilled Eggplant slices (for atop salads or sandwiches) (courtesy of Giada, love you girl!) 

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 7 Japanese eggplant, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch wide slices
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup basil, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle the olive oil over the slices of eggplant and toss to coat. Grill the eggplants until tender and grill marks appear, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Place the eggplants side-by-side on a serving platter. Sprinkle with the pine nuts, goat cheese, basil, and mint. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.


Recipe #2: Baba ganoush (without tahini, no time for a trip to the supermarket!)

(courtesy of

This baba ganoush (eggplant dip) recipe has no oil and no tahini, making it a fat-free vegetarian and vegan appetizer or dip that you can enjoy any time! I like to spread a little baba ganoush on a flour tortilla with some lettuce and veggies for a quick and healthy low-fat vegetarian sandwich wrap.
  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 cloves minced garlic, preferably roasted
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp parsley

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Slice eggplants in half and pierce with a fork in several places. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until soft. Allow to cool slightly, then scoop out inside of eggplant, leaving skin behind.

In a blender or food processor, process eggplant with remaining ingredients until smooth.

Sunday Night Dinner - "BFD"

Wintertime in our house equals BFD more often than not.  What is BFD, you might ask?  BREAKFAST FOR DINNER! So, instead of eating waffles with Mrs. Buttersworth every night (believe me, it could easily happen in our house), we opted tonight for the healthier version of BFD - Crustless Quiche.

Crustless Quiche Recipe:

1 cup of Sauteed Kale and Baby Spinach

1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper Julienned

2 Fresh Roma tomatoes

6 eggs

Splash of Skim Milk

Sprinkle (approx 1/4 cup) of Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese (thank you, Costco)

Mix all ingredients together, arrange in an impressive way (it always helps to make the veggies disappear faster!) and bake in a shallow dish for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.

Sunday Dinner = Great success!

Grapefruit Upside Down Cake

Today's snow day brought some lovely house guests and an inventive new (almost, Martha Stewart has already tried it, surprise surprise!) Recipe for Grapefruit Upside Down Cake. The bright pink / orange color the grapefruit makes this cake quite bright and sunny on a snowy day and the juice from the fruit makes the cake itself super fluffy and light!


1 box of Duncan Hines Pineapple Upside Down Mix (basically just yellow cake mix)

Sprinkles of ginger, ground cinnamon, dark brown sugar and nutmeg

Ingredients on the Cake Mix Box

(Mix with hand mixer until combined)

Spray Pam in bottom of  11"x14" pan.

Sprinkle bottom of metal non-stick pan with grapefruit pieces (with pith and seeds removed) and then sprinkle with brown sugar.

Bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes (depending on oven temperatures).


Thanks Martha for the inspiration -

What to do with aging grapefruit?

In December, I impulsively bought a crate of grapefruits for charity from one of my students....they are STILL in the fridge and starting to look a little less fresh and delicious.  So my friend Helen (another victim of the charity selling grapefruits) recommended that I make a Grapefruit Yogurt Cake (Ina Garten's recipe featured on smitten kitchen blog).

See you later grapefruit...hello tasty breakfast / dessert bread!  Wouldn't it be great with some fresh strawberries on top?

Do you have any ideas for elderly grapefruit?  Please share!

Please let me know, there are quite a few to use up before their rapidly approaching expiration date!


Greek Yogurt-Quiche

I tried to make a quiche the other day and once I had steamed the spinach and cracked the eggs, found out that I had no milk to use.  Plan B, make a quiche with greek yogurt (plain, yoplait brand).  It was delicious and fluffier than quiches made with milk. Here is what is left of it!

The "Recipe":

Crack 5 eggs and mix together with 1 small plain greek yogurt

Add 1/2 cup water

Add steamed spinach (1/2 large bag)

Add 2 cups of shredded cheddar (mixed kinds work fine as well)

Mix all ingredients and place into pre-made pie shell from the grocery store

Bake for 20 minutes approx. depending on how quickly the center solidifies

Easiest breakfast, brunch or "breakfast for dinner" around and super healthy too!

Merry Christmas!

Headed to family get-togethers and celebrations for Christmas today and tomorrow. Be back soon with some fun NYE recipe ideas, New Years Resolutions (not your typical resolutions) and brand new ideas.

For now, enjoy a travel daydream for the Holidays.
If I could go anywhere right now...
El Golfo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Absolutely incredible!