When the Chips are Down…

Crispy Baked Vegetable Chips

*Beets*   * Sweet Potatoes*    *Fennel*


Potato chips are at the top of my list as a favorite snack, and I’m probably not alone in the craving for that crunchy, salty and not very healthy choice. Vegetable crisps are available, but often fried or made with a good deal of potato starch and sometimes food colorings. Using a dehydrator or a microwave are options for drying sliced vegetables, but my choice is making use of my ovens.

Experimenting with all sorts of veggies has been an adventure and having two ovens has allowed me to work in larger quantities. Although I have supplied recipes, the baking times may vary depending upon variables such as type of oven…gas or electric…convection or non-convection, as well as the accuracy of each person’s oven.

I begin watching the chips closely once they have been baking for about forty minutes…even less time if they are sliced very thin. Try and do so without constantly opening the oven, which drops the temperature from an already low 250 degrees F. Also make sure to remove those outliers…those sliced thinner than the rest on the cooking sheet…before they burn.  The vegetable chips will continue to crisp as they cool.

They are fun and easy to make…my greatest difficulty has been trying to not eat an entire batch of chips as they cool!

*Recipe for Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Chips*


*Recipe for Crispy Baked Beet Chips*


*Recipe for Crispy Baked Fennel*




Happy as a Clam at High Tide: Three Clam Appetizers

*Clam & Corn Fritters*

*Baked Stuffed Clams*

*New England Clam Chowder*


Thoughts of cooking shellfish typically surface with the first days of summer, but as I gaze out at the snow piling up outside, I am thinking of ways to turn that seafood into a steaming, piping hot dish. Fresh clams make delicious dishes, but I have opted for fresh chopped to shorten the prep time. Better than canned, I use an excellent brand that has proved to be as close to fresh clams as possible…they are wild caught, hand-shucked (not steamed) and packed in their own juices.


Clam Fritters

Fried foods typically not a part of my culinary repertoire, but after an attempt at creating a baked version of these, I accept that there is a reason why fritters are fried. My baked versions were dry, tasteless, lumps…there is probably someone who can make them baked, but not me. Made the conventional way, they are satisfying, crunchy appetizers when accompanied by a creamy buttermilk dip




Baked Stuffed Clams

This recipe is easy, quick and delicious, but not for those who prefer the traditional baked clam made with the whole, fresh clam. I have found a brand of natural chopped  clams that are hand-shucked with no salt or preservatives…they are fresh and tender.



New England Clam Chowder

This chowder is the indulgent, full-bodied sister to the healthier Manhattan clam chowder, but it is worth every calorie. With most of us placing an emphasis on better nutrition, my soup regime is typically lentil, bean, minestrones, butternut squash, chicken…you know the ones.  Certainly all delicious, but having commended myself for eating healthy soups,  I decided I’m entitled to a second bowl of this creamy clam chowder.





Smashed Potato Appetizers

*Minted Peas*   *Steak*    *Kale or Spinach*



Smashed Potatoes with Minted Peas, Filet Mignon & Kale

Smashed Potatoes with Minted Peas, Filet Mignon & Kale





I feel as if I am cheating because this posting did not require the amount of time normally devoted to this process. Working a few less hours did not diminish the quality of this recipe as a worthwhile appetizer. The smashed potato…love the perfect description…is everywhere, with an endless choice of toppings. A friend suggested caviar…consider toppings you may be using for other appetizers. My choices were based on some of my favorite ‘potato and’ combinations as well as what I had in the fridge on that day.











Recipe for Smashed Potatoes…

Recipe for Minted Peas…

Recipe for Steak…

Recipe for Kale or Spinach…


A Hill Of Beans: Three Cannellini Bean Recipes



  *Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans)* *Cannellini Beans and Red Chard with Toasted Walnuts*

*Cannellini Bean Salad with Anchovies & Orange Segments*



Cannellini Beans


As a child, who knew the popular rhyme about beans being good for your heart was in fact, true. Apparently kidney beans have a multitude of health benefits and the white, cannellini beans, have been a part of my diet since childhood. Tricked by a mother into eating delicious meals that were nutritious and economical…well, my mom was always ahead of her time.

Cannellini beans are creamy and will absorb a variety of flavors and spices, making them perfect for a wide range of recipes, both hot and cold. There is a long list of dishes and these are three of my easy favorites. Another benefit is the canned beans are as good as cooking the dried beans, so opening a can of beans and adding a few ingredients is a quick meal. The dark red kidney beans are in the same league, but I usually reserve those for meals requiring a longer cooking time or simmering because they hold their shape. Red ones are delicious in all sorts of salads, too, but recipes for another time.





Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta & Beans)

Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta & Beans)

Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta & Beans)


A dish with as many different recipes as there are cooks and mine is a slight variation on my mother’s recipe. Although one of the simplest, it took me many attempts to achieve just the right flavors and consistency as in her dish…and still not quite as tasty. It probably has to do more with the emotional childhood, food and family connection that always makes her dishes remain the best…but that is a good thing.  Attempts at additions or changes always return me to the original version…simple and satisfying.






Cannellini Beans with Red Chard & Toasted Walnuts

Cannellini Beans & Red Chard with Toasted Walnuts

Cannellini Beans & Red Chard with Toasted Walnuts


The texture of the cannellini beans and the addition of some grated cheese make this a creamy side dish.





Cannellini Bean Salad with Anchovies & Orange Segments


Cannellini Bean Salad with Anchovies and Orange Segments

Cannellini Bean Salad with Anchovies and Orange Segments



A prerequisite is that you like anchovies in order to enjoy this recipe. If made without the anchovies, then it is a green salad with beans. A substitution could be a can of tuna packed in olive oil, but then you are headed in the direction of a salad Niçoise.