Thursday, November 17, 2011

Refrigerator Dill Pickles


1/3 to 1/2 pound cucumber slices (or summer squash)
1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 TBS kosher salt
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/4 tsp mustard seed, crushed
1/8 tsp red chili flakes
1/4 tsp black peppercorns


1. Place all seasonings (except salt) in bottom of a 1-pint mason jar. Add cucumber slices, packing tightly.
2. Measure vinegar, water and salt into separate container and stir until salt is dissolved.
3. Pour liquid into jar, making sure to cover cucumbers completely. (Mix another batch if necessary.)
4. Screw lid tightly on jar and shake for about a minute. Put in refrigerator.
5. Shake jar every day for about a week. After a week, they are ready to eat!

Sweet Tea Vodka

Let's face it, even sailors get tired of drinking rum everyday. This summer, we found a quick, easy way to make our own Sweet Tea Vodka:

Pour vodka into a pint-sized mason jar.
Add two teabags (we used Lipton Tea).
Wait two hours. Shake. Serve with Lemonade and simple syrup (1 part sugar to 1 part hot water) to taste.

For Fall, try soaking Apple Cinnamon teabags in vodka or rum and mixing with apple cider.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Peachy White Sangria

It was sweltering hot here on the 4th of July so I wanted a drink that would be light and refreshing. Sangria is always good but I thought the red wine would be a little too heavy for the weather so I decided on this peachy sangria. It was delicious and it seems to be my new drink of choice ever since. Here's how you make it:


1 Bottle of Chardonnay (or whatever white wine you prefer)
1/4 cup Peach Schnapps
1/2 cup of ginger ale or club soda (optional)
2 sliced peaches (frozen peach slices work well)
1 sliced orange
1 sliced apple
1 mango peeled and sliced


Soak sliced orange, apple and mango in just enough wine to cover. Pour remaining wine and Schnapps in a pitcher and add sliced peaches. Chill mixture for at least one hour. Add ginger ale or club soda just before serving. Top each glass with some sliced orange, apple and mango as garnish.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Orzo-Stuffed Tomatoes

This tomato dish was really tasty and could almost be a meal in itself. The next time I make this recipe, I'll probably create a Greek version with feta, or maybe add some sausage to the orzo mixture to make it a full meal. (FYI: The orzo-and-sauce mixture is more than enough to fill 4 large tomatoes. Three options: prepare for leftovers, half the recipe or stuff a few extra tomatoes before you bake.)


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 red chile, finely chopped
1 (14.5-ounce) can whole tomatoes
12 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped small
1 cup dried orzo
4 basil leaves, torn
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 kalamata olives, finely chopped
4 large tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°. Cook orzo until al dente; set aside. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic 1 minute. Add onion and red chile; sauté 6 minutes. With clean hands, crush canned tomatoes into saucepan. Add minced sun-dried tomatoes, basil leaves, brown sugar, sea salt, and pepper to pan; bring to a simmer. Cook until most of liquid is cooked off (~ 20 minutes). Add olives to pan; remove from heat. Add orzo to sauce, mixing well. Core tomatoes; stuff with orzo-and-sauce mixture. Top each tomato with 2 tablespoons mozzarella. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pasta Puttanesca

I make a lot of one-pot concoctions with pasta and tomatoes. I heard this one mentioned in a book and when I looked it up, I learned that Pasta Puttanesca is Italian for "Whore's Pasta" . For that reason, and because I love salty foods, I decided to try it. I thought it was delicious, but it was a little too salty for Ben.


8 ounces pasta
3 Tbs cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped tomatoes, pushed through a sieve
4 anchovy filets, rinsed and chopped
3 Tbs capers
20 Greek olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste


1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

2. Heat oil in a skillet over low heat; cook garlic in oil until golden. Add sieved tomatoes, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in anchovies, capers, olives, and red pepper flakes. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Toss pasta with sauce, and serve.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cheese Ravioli with Crabmeat Cream Sauce

I borrowed this recipe from my brother-in-law's brother's website, Mr. Mom Cooks. It was really delicious, and I even used the leftover sauce to make a sort of Crab Eggs Benedict the next morning. I added some chopped red peppers with the butter and shallot when I made it, just to get some extra veggies into our diet.


1 Dozen Fresh Cheese Ravioli
1/2 Shallot, chopped
2.5 oz unsalted butter
6 oz heavy cream
3 oz tomato sauce
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp sugar
2.5 oz can of lump crabmeat
Fresh Crusty Bread

This is quick and easy and should take 20-30 minutes depending on how thick you like the crab cream sauce.

Boil ravioli until about a minute before they are done. Arrange on a platter so they don't stick together.

Put butter and shallot into the pan on med heat. Cook until shallot is soft. Add crabmeat and cook for a few more minutes. Add oregano and sugar to tomato sauce. Add heavy cream and tomato sauce to the pan. Reduce (stir) the sauce until your desired consistency. I like it thicker so it takes about 20 minutes of stirring. Pour the hot crab cream sauce over the ravioli and have at it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Space Saver: Flat Out!

Anyone who lives in a boat or other small compartment knows how valuable every inch of space is. Dishes, pots and pans are tough to store because of their awkward sizes and shapes. I'm always on the prowl for better storage ideas, and a couple years back I was turned on to the Flat Out! line of Tupperware bowls. Luck was on my side this year when my sister (who coincidentally sells Tupperware) sent me a set of 5 Flat Out! bowls with organizer. Now I can rid myself of all my awkwardly-shaped storage containers and free up space in my cabinets for other important items. Unfortunately for anyone reading, Tupperware discontinued the set of 5 Flat Out! bowls for now. But you can still procure a set of 2 (4-cup) bowls.

My Flat Out! set hangs in the Galley (lower right)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Greek Salad Bites

If you couldn't already tell, I'm a huge fan of "bites". It has a lot to do with the boating lifestyle. Not every boat has a stove or a fridge, so I like to show up to a boat party with something that is ready-to-eat. Caprese Bites were my appetizer of choice for 2010, but I've been searching for something new. So this year, we have Greek Salad Bites.


1 English Cucumber
1 block of feta cheese
Cherry Tomatoes
Kalamata Olives, pitted
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Greek Cucumber Dill Yogurt Dip (optional, for dipping)

*You'll also need toothpicks


Cut the cucumber into 1/2-inch slices and then quarter each slice. Cut the block of feta cheese into tiny cubes, about 1/4-inch squares. Cut the olives in half lengthwise. Cut the tomatoes into halves. Place one cube of cheese on top of each cucumber piece, then top with a piece of olive and a piece of tomato. Skewer down the center of the stack with a toothpick. Repeat until you have your desired number of "bites". Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and Enjoy!