Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Well, as all of you know, I have written a memoir/cookbook that was rejected by a local publisher.  While looking for another publisher what do I do?  I write!

I have been asked by a local author to participate in a reading on December 21st at the Boardman, Ohio, Barnes & Noble Bookstore from 6 to 8 pm.  The link for "Celebrating Short Fiction" is: http://tinyurl.com/CSFD2015.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Well, I am just back from an 11 day cruise on the Equinox of Celebrity Cruises of the Western Caribbean!  Needless to say of all the excursions we took, I had to take a cooking class in Cozumel, Mexico.

It was a far cry from the usual Eastern European foods that I blog about but just as delicious in different ways.  Our menu was:

Appetizer:  Masa pancake with shrimp in tomato/tamarind sauce.
Main Course:  Pan seared grouper with sautéed vegetables & tequila
Dessert:  Fried plantains with chocolate sauce

I will be posting the recipes as soon as I unpack.  Our chef was a Ricky Ricardo (for those of you old enough to remember who he was! Hint:  He was Lucy's husband.) look alike and he was just as happy! He made the class entertaining as well as delicious.  I learned a few kitchen tips from him too which I am sure I will remember - - once I get all those magaritas out of my bloodstream!

There is also exciting news on the employment scene - - I think.  More about that once it is confirmed tomorrow.

So muchachos, until tomorrow! (I may have the recipes by then! LOL!)

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Being a blogger is no easy task when you are as busy as I am!  No excuse, you say?  I must agree!  Just because my book got kicked to the curb, it is no reason to give up on it!

My writing life continues with monthly meetings with my critique group in Akron, working on a novel, polishing Melting Pot Memories and now GIVING READINGS!   I have been asked to participate in a short fiction reading at the Barnes & Noble store in Boardman, Ohio on December 21st, 2015 from 6 to 8 pm.  Please come and see me! 

Since this is short fiction, I am reading a short story NOT from Melting Pot.  I look forward to seeing you there and PROMISE TO DO BETTER WITH THIS BLOG!

Monday, February 23, 2015


Apologies to those of you who follow this blog. I'm afraid I lost interest when the contract, I was offered from the University of Akron press was withdrawn. I made the mistake of putting all my hopes for the publication of my book on the promises made by that press. But it's a New Year and I'm determined to find a home for my book, even if it means self-publishing.

That being said, we here  in northeastern Ohio subzero temperatures for weeks now  (Not as much as the people in Boston!),  and it's getting pretty old!

I've been involved in a number of projects since I last posted. One of the most fun was The Cookie Table & Cocktail event  at the Tyler Mahoning  Valley  Historical  Center.  This event  brings some of the most talented bakers  in the area  to compete  in categories  like " Most Unexpected Ingredient," "Best Traditional Cookie," " Best Decorated  Cookie,"  and many more.

 I was lucky enough  to be named Cookie  Contest  Coordinator which put me in touch with the wonderful women and men  who do such a beautiful job as homemakers.   I enjoyed meeting them, receiving their cookies for judging  and, of course,  tasting  their cookies!  For photographs of this amazing array of cookies, .you can follow the link  on my blog for the Tyler History Center.

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I was so pleased to find in SAVEUR magazine, a recipe that I remember from my childhood. My mother made this soup based on a recipe that my father's mother used to make. I never knew my maternal grandmother because she died shortly after I was born. However, I have always heard from everyone what a wonderful cook she was.

Enjoy this soup on a chilly evening, and when you do, think of all the wonderful ethnic cooks you grew up with!

CSULKOS BABLEVES (Hungarian Bean and Ham Soup)

 Serves 8-10.


1/2 cup canola oil
5 cloves garlic, , minced
1  medium carrot, minced
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 small parsnip, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
1 lb. dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained
2 bay leaves
1 large smoked ham hock
1/4 c flour
1 1/2 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 c sour cream

 1.  Heat half of  the oil in a 6 quart sauce pan over medium-high. Add  garlic, carrot, onion, parsnip, and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 7-9 minutes. Add beans, bay leaves, ham hock, and 12 cups of water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook partially covered, until beans are very tender, about 2 hours.

2.Transfer ham hock to a cutting board and let cool, then discard skin and bone. Shred meat and stir into soup. Using dry paper towels, blot the soup to remove surface fat.  Heat remaining oil in a 2-quart sauce pan over medium heat.  Whisk in sour cream.  Stir mixture into soup and cook, until slightly thickened, 4-6 minutes more. Ladle soup into serving bowls; garnish with more paprika.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Deborah Madison is one of America's leading vegetarian cooks. She's the author of several wonderful cookbooks but her latest, called Vegetable Literacy, is a tour de force. In this book she looks at the relationships between vegetables, flowers, herbs, and even some wild plants. She too is an avid gardener and her recipes reflect that fact.  Recipes like tarragon mayonnaise with orange zest, mushrooms stuffed with caramelized onions and blue cheese, buttermilk skillet cornbread with heirloom flint cornmeal, and zucchini logs simmered in olive oil with onions and chard are just some of the offerings.  I've always found Deborah Madison's books to be a little intimidating in that some of the ingredients are very hard to find but the book is worth it just to read about the various vegetables, fruits and grains and their properties. I'm sure it will make a great winters read when snow is piled around the door.

Until next time, stay warm and get cooking,.


Recently, I have begun to think that eating a little less meat is probably a good idea.  I really have major issues with industrially raised meat products, from the inhuman treatment of animals to the carbon footprint this practice leaves.

Regardless, I recently invested and a three new cookbooks (I'm an avid collector.)  that feature vegetarian fare.  I bought each of these used, from Amazon or from one of their suppliers, at very affordable prices.

As some of you may know, I am an Orthodox Christian. Therefore, I'm about to begin the Advent Fast.  This means that, as of November 16, I will fast from all meat and dairy products  for six weeks. an exception is made for Thanksgiving day since it is a national holiday, so these cookbooks came right on time !

PLENTY:  Vibrant vegetable recipes from London's  Ottolenghi. Yotam Ottolenghi is a chef that I've been reading about for years.  I was first exposed to one of his meat recipes when I attended the Ballymaloe cookery school in Ireland this past summer.   That recipe was for a roasted chicken dish , which had been marinated overnight in saffron, olive oil and onions. The dish was finished with a mixture of ground hazelnuts, honey, and rosewater. It was so good that it made a believer out of me.  I knew he had come out with a vegetable cookbook , but I wanted to wait until it was a year or two old before by one, so it would be more affordable.  This book features   such things as poached baby vegetables with caper mayonnaise, artichoke gratin, spiced red lentils with cucumber yogurt and mushroom with herb polenta.  I cannot wait to get started on some of these.

RIVER COTTAGE VEG by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is another English offering.  Hugh has been a BBC  chef since 1998 and has established the River Cottage in Dorset as a working organic farm.  Like Ballymaloe in Ireland, the River Cottage is home to cooking classes, lessons on sustainable farming and foraging, as well as a studio where the TV series is sometimes filmed. Just Google River Cottage to see what a great place this is.

Recipes in this book feature both vegetarian and vegan dishes like zucchini and rice filo pie, creamy mushroom soup, spiced spinach and potatoes, and Summer stir-fry with fried rice.  Hugh's recipes feature fresh garden produce , but almost everything can be found at local grocery stores here in Ohio .