Old Diary


I recently had my first experience of Ceviche and I was blown away.  Not sure how a guy who likes to experiment with food and thinks nothing of eating sushi (as in RAW seafood) missed ceviche which is actually cooked seafood:  cooked by the acids in the citrus juice.

Please, use only the freshest seafood!  Do not take chances with your health, or risk misjudging the wonders of ceviche by using old product.

Do NOT make excess to your requirements.  The acid in the  ceviche will continue to cure and break down the fish the longer it sits in the liquid.

Do not try to freeze ceviche


  • Ceviche1-1/2 pounds extra-large shrimp, peeled, deveined and halved lengthwise
  • ¼ pound bay scallops
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice plus more for dipping glasses
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup diced white onion
  • ½ cup diced red onion
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
  • ¾ cup diced tomato, seeded
  • 1/8 cup minced cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon diced jalapeno, seeded
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon hot sauce
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • Slices of lime

Add orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, ketchup and garlic to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add shrimp and scallops; reduce heat and cook for 3 minutes.  Using a sieve, drain shrimp reserving citrus juice mixture.

cevicheditedPlace shrimp and scallops on a plate and put in the fridge to chill.  Cool down the citrus mixture by placing it in the freezer for 30 minutes or nested in a bowl of ice water.

Add tomato, white onion, red onion, green onion, jalapeno, cilantro, olive oil, and hot sauce to the cooled citrus mixture.  Add chilled shrimp and scallops stirring well to coat.

When ready to serve, dip serving glasses into lime juice and then into kosher salt.  Spoon diced avocado into the bottom of each glass and spoon shrimp-scallop mixture with juices on top.  Serve immediately or chill up to two hours.  Garnish with lime slices.

Old Diary

Chili with Beer Served in a Bacon Bowl

OK — there is nothing healthy about this recipe. But when I saw BACON BOWL I had to stop. Then I had to taste.Beer-and-Beef-Chili-in-a-Bacon-Bowl-6


  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can chili style beans or kidney beans – partially drained
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 t Hungarian paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bottle of beer
  • 1 5.5 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 t granulates sugar
  • 2 packs of bacon  (As needed to line your baking container)
  • 1½ lbs ground beef


  1. Prep veggies by slicing them into bite-size portions. Beer-and-Beef-Chili-in-a-Bacon-Bowl-3
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, add in the ground beef. Cook for 5 minutes and then add onions and carrots.Remove excess fat.  Continue cooking until meat is browned. Add in the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Stir in the seasonings and let them toast then add salt and pepper. Stir in tomato paste and cook for a few more minutes. Add in the beer, tomatoes, and beans. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 30 minutes. Add peppers and sugar. Taste for seasoning. Cook for another 30-45 minutes, or until veggies are tender-crisp.Beer-and-Beef-Chili-in-a-Bacon-Bowl-1
  4. NOTE If you want to make this in a crockpot: brown your meat, onions, and garlic in a large pan. Add all the ingredients except for the bacon to your slow cooker and cook on low heat for about 8 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 375F.
  6. Prepare your cast iron dutch oven by layering the bacon slices around the inside of the pan, overlapping slightly. You want to leave enough overhang so when you fold back the bacon, it covers the top nicely. The amount of bacon slices depends on the size of your dutch oven.
  7. Pour the chili into the bacon wrapped pot and then bring the overhanging slices of bacon over the top to cover the chili (almost like the chili is sitting in a giant bacon cup now.)Beer-and-Beef-Chili-in-a-Bacon-Bowl-2
  8. Place pan into the oven, uncovered, and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until your bacon reaches desired crispiness. Allow to cool slightly and dig in!
  9. NOTE: bacon will add salt to your chili, salt lightly when you season your chili. The beer adds quite a bit of liquid to this dish.

This may not be the kind of thing you eat often — but if you’re really hungry for chili and want something different the instant heart attack might be worth it.  🙂


Ceviche Stuffed Avocados

After my recent introduction to ceviche I’ve been experimenting.  I kinda like this one.


Ceviche Stuffed Avocado1⁄2 pound large shrimp, shelled, cleaned and tails removed 1⁄2 pound sea scallops
1⁄2 jalapeno or serrano chile, diced, plus 8 thin slices
1 shallot, diced or thinly sliced
4 limes, juiced
kosher salt
1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped plus extra leaves for garnish

4 Avocados halved and pits removed


Chop shrimp and scallops into large, diced pieces and add to a large bowl Add jalapeno, shallots and lime juice and stir well to coat. Season with kosher salt and cover and refrigerate for 1 hour for flavors to meld.

Add cilantro and pomegranate seeds and mix. Prepare avocado halves and divide ceviche evenly among them. Garnish with cilantro leaves and sliced jalapeno or serrano peppers.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: serves 8


Roasted ‘Taters and Lemon with Dill

Ok — these are the easiest thing since sliced bread and they’re better than  that.  Everyone loves roasted potatoes!  But adding a little acid zing to your potatoes without making them soggy can be a challenge.  When I found this recipe all I had to say was:



  • roasted potatoes and lemon with dill2 lbs – new potatoes, halved
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • kosher salt  & black pepper to taste
  • 2 T coarsely chopped fresh dill


  1. Heat oven to 450° F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes and lemon with the oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  2. Roast, tossing once, until tender, 25 to 35 minutes. Toss with the dill before serving.

Simple,  Eh?  🙂


Minestrone – Rosemary Soup

I love soups — specially during the calendar winter months (no matter how hot or cold). I guess it’s part of my lifelong internal rhythms.  Ever 9 months I need hearty soup!

More importantly I crave recipes that use less meat or no meat. This one’s a simple winner.

A mix between minestrone and a rosemary soup, it’s oh so refreshing. This soup is chock full of vitamin-rich vegetables wrapped in a warm broth that feels just perfect on a crisp fall evening.


  • enhanced-4550-1415045416-151 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 4 cup vegetable broth (use homemade if possible)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 cup pasta (not spaghetti or long noodles)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and washed thoroughly (or about a cup and a half of cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated and chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • parmesan, for garnish (omit to make vegan)


  1. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes or until the veggies begin to soften. Next, add in the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Then add the tomato paste, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes (with the juices from the can), and oregano. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Add in the stems of swiss chard, chickpeas, and pasta. Let cook for another 10 minutes. Finally, add the swiss chard leaves and let cook for 30 seconds or just until the leaves start to wilt. Remove from heat.
  3. Add salt / pepper / red pepper flakes to taste and top with Parmesan.

Yum OH!

Old Diary

Muffin Method Crumb Coffee Cake

I have a 1960’s version of Joy of Cooking that contains a special recipe that we have enjoyed in our family for a long time.  The Joy calls it’s version a Muffin Method recipe.  But this recipe allows you to use a mixer.  It’s an amazing light, crumby coffee cake that is great of a Sunday Morning when you want to snuggle up with your sweetie in bed (after you’ve made the coffee cake and she sleeps in until it’s ready)

Muffin Method Crumb Coffee Cake

ff625f715501c6deba79b74555b08af8Crumb Topping 

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 1/2 ounces)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
(1/4 cup chopped almonds)


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 1/2 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 350º F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan and set aside.

Make the Crumb Topping:
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, wisk together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the mixture and set aside. Melt the butter in the microwave on 50% power until just melted. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Pour the melted butter mixture into the well in the center of the flour mixture.  With a fork, gradually pull the flour mixture in to the butter. Continue to toss/combine until all the butter is absorbed and you have a uniformly moistened crumb mixture. If texture of crumb is too small, gently squeeze small clumps together to make large crumbs ranging in size from that of a pea to that of a grape, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in size. If the crumb mixture forms a solid dough, simply use your fingers tor a fork to break-up the solid crumb mixture into big crumbs, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch in size. Crumbs don’t have to be uniform, just try to get most about this size. Set aside while you make the cake batter.

Make the Batter:
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and sour cream, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
NOW PUT YOUR MIXER AWAY!  Gently fold the sour cream mixture into your dry ingredients and mix just long enough to wet the dry ingredients. DO NOT OVERMIX — LESS IS BETTER

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the batter with your fingers, covering the batter evenly and completely. Bake or 30-35 minutes. Cake is done when a wooden pick or cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean, and the sides of the cake are light golden brown and slightly pulling away from the edge of the pan. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in its pan set on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.


Bake Bread in a Slow Cooker?

I have got to try this. Have not yet, but I’ll be in need of bread tomorrow and may just give it a go.

How To Make Bread in the Slow Cooker

What You Need

51e9a86674c5b630320020b8._w.540_s.fit_ Ingredients
1 batch bread dough (enough to make 1 one-pound loaf), any variety, prepared to the point of shaping and baking

Parchment paper
Slow cooker


  1. Shape your loaf of bread: Shape your loaf into a round or a loaf depending on the size of your slow cooker and/or what kind of loaf you’d like to make. Set the shaped dough on a square of parchment paper. (If you’re baking the bread in a pan, there’s no need to use parchment.)
  2. Lift it into the slow cooker: Lift the loaf by the parchment and set it in the middle of the slow cooker. Try to arrange flatten the parchment as much as possible against the sides of the slow cooker to 51e9a87674c5b6306000213a._w.540_s.fit_prevent it from getting caught in the bread as it rises. Cover the slow cooker with its lid.→ Pre-Baking Rise? You do not need to let your bread rise before baking. However, if your bread dough has been in the refrigerator, letting it warm a bit on the counter can reduce the overall cooking time.
  3. Set the slow cooker to HIGH: Turn on your slow cooker to the highest heat setting (or quickest time setting).
  4. Bake for 1 to 2 1/2 hours: Baking time will vary depending on your slow cooker. If this is your first time baking bread in your slow cooker, begin checking the loaf after 1 hour, then every 30 minutes, and then more frequently as it nears finishing. Record this baking time for future reference.
  5. Bread is done with an internal temperature of 190°F to 200°F51e9a85a74c5b63091002380._w.540_s.fit_: Checking the internal temperature of the loaf is the best way to tell when it is done baking; a finished loaf will have an internal temperature of 190°F to 200°F. The top will also feel soft but no longer spongy, and the bottom will be hard and slightly golden.
  6. Brown the loaf under the broiler: If a darker-colored, crustier loaf is desired, set the loaf on a rack positioned in the middle of the oven and turn on the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes. Check frequently to avoid burning the loaf.
  7. Cool and slice: Let the loaf cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Slow Cooker Corn & Red Pepper Chowder

Slow Cooker Corn & Red Pepper Chowder

slow_cooker_corn_and_red_pepper_chowderPrep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

This creamy vegan chowder is much lighter than most traditional versions, but with its sweet and smoky notes, it’s still packed full of flavor. It simmers in the slow cooker all day, making it the perfect easy weeknight dinner.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, diced (about 3 cups, or 1 pound)
  • 4 cups frozen sweet corn kernels, divided (or fresh corn kernels – approx. 4 ears of corn)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup soy or almond milk
  • Additional salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Chopped red bell pepper, corn kernels, and sliced scallions to garnish


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until transparent and soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer the onion to the slow cooker, along with the red bell pepper, potatoes, 1 cup corn, broth, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt.
  2. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours, until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Turn the slow cooker off and remove the lid. Allow the soup to cool slightly. Using an immersion blender or working in batches with a regular blender, puree the soup. Return it to the slow cooker and turn it back on.
  4. Stir in the remaining 3 cups corn and soy milk. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for another 20-30 minutes, until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve topped with additional corn, diced bell pepper, and/or sliced scallions.

If you’re going with frozen corn, I recommend Trader Joe’s fire-roasted corn. It adds an extra note of smoky flavor that can’t be beat.