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5 Perfect Grilling Recipes to Try Out This Holiday Season

While I’m taking a break for a few weeks, Tiffany from the website Dilesia – Where sweet treats and good eats meet – is filling in with a timely post on five perfect grilling recipes for the holiday season.  Thank you Tiffany!  All of these dishes look fabulous!

Five grilling recipes to try for the holiday season from Dilesia @mjskitchen

Tiffany ….

The holidays are approaching, accompanied by the plethora of activities that are involved in feeding and entertaining large numbers of people. Beginning from Thanksgiving, spreading across Christmas and stretching well into the New Year, you will find yourself having to come up with delicious and nutritious meals for friends and family.

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Conversation With a Cheesemonger

A conversation with Derrick Sanders, Cheesemonger at the Nob Hill La Montanita Co-op

Derrick Sanders, Cheesemonger @ La Montanita Co-op |

The other day I was perusing the cheese section at the Nob Hill La Montanita Co-op looking for a particular cheese. When I couldn’t find it I asked Derrick, the cheese clerk for help.  You know what it’s like having a sommelier help you select a wine to go with your meal?  Well, that’s how I felt with Derrick helping me select a cheese.  This guy knows his cheese!  So rather than keep Derrick’s knowledge of cheese to myself, I thought I would share some of it with you.

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Beans, Bacon, Chipotle – What’s not to love?

A sweet and spicy side dish with white beans, bacon, chipotle, and a few more secret ingredients. @MJsKitchen


If you like baked beans, then you’re going to love these Beans, Bacon, and Chipotle!  They are somewhat similar in flavor to baked bean, but not near as sweet and with a smoky, spicy kick in every bite.  And if you already have some cooked navy beans or any white beans, this recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make.

Earlier this year I shared these beans with my friend, Judy, over at Savoring Today, a tasty blog filled with healthy and delicious food.  I love browsing through Judy’s recipes and drooling over her pictures and ingredients. Like Judy, I love making healthy food that tastes good and, even though this recipe has a little bit of bacon which is good for the soul, and a secret ingredient that feeds the spirit, it’s packed with all of the healthy nutrients found in a great pot of beans.  So please head on over the Savoring Today and check out some of her recipes.

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Fenugreek Fish and Clam Bisque

Fish and Clam Bisque: A light and delightful bisque of white fish, clams and fenugreek @MJsKitchen

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She’s back! My sister Nadalyn is sharing another one of her mouth-watering recipes with us today – a Fish and Clam Bisque with Fenugreek.  To see all of Nadalyn’s recipes here in MJ’s Kitchen, check out the links at the end of this post.


You may remember that MJ introduced us to the amazing spice shop, Season With Spice, last fall. One of the spices there that intrigued me was fenugreek. Not only had I never used it, I had never heard of it. It seems that fenugreek, besides in cooking, is used in folk medicine for a little bit of everything, including but not limited to stomach and digestive ailments both constipation and IBS, cardiac conditions of all kinds, lowering cholesterol, increasing the production of milk during breast-feeding and even ED. If you don’t know what ED is then you don’t watch TV ads. 🙂

MJ told me that she had dared to experiment with fenugreek, in cooking of course, so I decided to give it a go as well. This Indian inspired dish is a result of that daring do. If you like curry dishes, this should appeal to you.

Oh, and you may want to grab a loaf of French bread to sop up the yummy broth.

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Aloo Paratha/Aloo ka Paratha: Potato stuffed flat bread

Indian flatbread stuffed with a spicy potato mixture by Zesty South Indian Kitchen


Bet some of you are probably thinking – Is MJ taking on Indian Cuisine?.  NO!  I’m going to leave that to the experts, and the expert that made these beautiful parathas (Indian flatbreads) is the lovely Swathi of the Zesty South Indian Kitchen.  I first introduced Swathi to you about a year ago when she asked me to share my Southwestern Pileup on her site.  Now she is doing me the great favor of sharing one of her authentic Indian recipes on my site.  Swathi is from Trivandrum Kerala, India, and currently living in Texas. Her Ph.D. studies in Microbiology allowed her to work in Japan, Sweden and the United States.  As a result of this worldwide exposure, she has a love of ALL foods and her site is full of delicious recipes from all around the world.  For this post I asked her to share a traditional Indian recipe and I was so thrilled when I saw these gorgeous pictures of paratha!!!  I love paratha and am thrilled that she is sharing this recipe you.  I hope you enjoy.

It’s all yours Swathi!

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Not My Aunt’s Chicken Pot Pie

Serving of chicken pot pie

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I’ve been tied up for a couple of weeks, so my wonderful sister Nadalyn, has graciously stepped in and made us a chicken pot pie.  Before I turn this over to her, I have to say that this recipe is SO Nadalyn.  I cook meals with a lot of leftovers because I learned not to waste anything from my mother, but Nadalyn – she has taken it to a whole new level.  She is the frugalista of leftovers and this chicken pot pie is a great example.  It’s all yours Babe…

My husband’s aunt and uncle made a living running a diner in a small rural town. They were the sweetest, kindest, most generous couple you ever met. Honestly, I think that was the main reason people ate at their diner, and also the fact that their diner was one of only two sit-down eateries in town. His aunt’s chicken pot pie was her staple. It was the diner’s special every day and the dish she brought to all family gatherings. Unfortunately, we use to say that the closest a chicken got to her pot pie was if one ran past on the road. The dish consisted primarily of a small bag of frozen mixed vegetables in thickened chicken stock covered with a pie crust in a restaurant size baking pan. It was a game among us seeing if anyone would actually find a piece of chicken in their serving of pie. That’s where I got the tongue-in-cheek name for my dish.

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Orange Brown Butter Tart from a Sweet Heart

A beautiful orange brown butter tart


I wish I could say that I made this beautiful Orange Brown Butter Tart, but I can’t. Instead I’m thrilled to say that it was made by my dear friend Anne @ a Salad for all Seasons (previously From My Sweet Heart) who is sharing it with us today! In case you don’t know Anne, Anne makes some of the best desserts, sweets, treats, mouthwatering delights and now salads on the web. Every once in a while she’ll surprise us with something savory like her Black Bean Tart with a Chili Crust. Oh my!!!  Anne has a passion for baking, and you can definitely see that when you visit her site. She’s fun, she’s creative, and she’s one hell of a baker! So let’s check out this wonderful tart.  Thank you so much for sharing this with us Anne!

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Stewed Cushaw and Yummy Deliciousness Cushaw Coffee Cake

Cushaw squash for stewed cushaw |

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Two delicious recipes from my sister Nadalyn – Stewed Cushaw and Cushaw Cake
Thanks Nadalyn for putting this delicious post together!!!!

“Coo-what?” It always amazes me how many people have never heard of cushaw, much less tasted its rich deliciousness. The cushaw is one of the oldest varieties of pumpkin-like squash in the western hemisphere and was an important staple among ancient people. Today it is still important in traditional cooking in southern Louisiana and among Native Americans. It is technically a squash but has many of the characteristics of pumpkin. The most common is the green-striped cushaw which average 10 to 20 pounds, grow to be 12 to 18 inches long and roughly 10 inches in diameter at the bowl. They are mostly grown in the southern and southwestern United States. Cushaw is more resistant to many insect and weather conditions than most other squash or pumpkins and after harvesting, it can be stored for up to 4 months.

The flesh of the cushaw is yellow and buttery looking when cooked. In fact, in some areas it is called cushaw butter. There are infinite ways to cook it or cook with it. The most popular is to use it in pie just as you would pumpkin or sweet potato. Some like it best bake in the oven, still in the rind, with butter, sugar, and cinnamon sprinkled on top. To eat it this way, remove the seeds, quarter or cut into large chunks. Score the large pieces with a fork, sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon, top with a pat of butter, and bake in the oven until a fork pierces it easily.

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Experimenting With Pizza Stone – Pizza with Poolish Method by Alterkitchen

Pizza with Stracchino, Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula


We’re into the last week of our kitchen remodel (hopefully), so my dear Italian friend Giulia of Alterkitchen has brought us pizza to help get us through the week!  What a friend!!!  When I first came across Alterkitchen well over a year ago, I knew that I needed to know more about the person behind the blog.  Everything on her About page hit home.  She loves to read, travel, watch movies, cook, knead bread, and even though she is only in her 20’s, she loves 70’s rock music! Talk about having a lot in common (everything but being 20 something :))!  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my young Italian friend, her food, and her country.  She has taken me to places I have never seen and has turned me on to dishes that I had never heard of.  Thank you Giulietta!!!

Today Giulia is sharing a traditional Italian method for making pizza (pizza crust) – the Poolish method; something else I’ve never heard of and can’t wait to try!  To check out her other wonderful recipes, be sure to click on Alterkitchen before you leave here.  So I’ll shut up now and turn you over to Giulia!

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