Lunch With Loni

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Stuffed Cabbage March 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 1:34 am

This is the second time I’ve made stuffed cabbage, and since I couldn’t recall what recipe I used last time I fell back on my trusty “search by ratings” on  It didn’t let me down, although my method for prepping the cabbage leaves is different, and I did add in some spices since it didn’t call for many and I didn’t want it to lack in flavor.  Oh, and I made it in the oven because I’m too lazy to stand by the pan (and too busy entertaining our two dogs, who would otherwise be too involved in the cooking process).

Recipe courtesy of: Judy (at

Original recipe located at:


  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup uncooked white rice
  • 8 cabbage leaves
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
  • I added paprika, garlic and Italian seasoning (about a teaspoon of each)


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Bring a large, wide saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add cabbage leaves and cook for 2 to 4 minutes or until softened; drain. I learned the “dunk” method from a different recipe, which I found very helpful.  Stick a fork into the base of the whole head of cabbage and dunk it into the hot water for approximately one minute.  It makes it much easier to pull the leaves off the cabbage.  Then I put the leaves in for an additional minute or two.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, 1 cup cooked rice, onion, egg, salt and pepper, along with 2 tablespoons of tomato soup. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Divide the beef mixture evenly among the cabbage leaves. Roll and secure them with toothpicks or string.
  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, place the cabbage rolls and pour the remaining tomato soup over the top. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring and basting with the liquid often.  I baked the cabbage in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. 

I hear this also makes a good crockpot dish (mine was still full of soup)!


Baked Ziti in Mornay Sauce w/ Sausage & Fennel March 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 1:17 am

My first recipe using fennel AND my first Emeril recipe (bam-less at that).  I really liked the flavor the fennel added to the dish.  My only “complaint” is that it is rather monotone, but I could have put a sprig of something on it to jazz it up for the photo.  It’s my fault for not having fresh basil on hand and forgetting to pick it up.   Yummy Italian comfort food and a little snazzier than the typical mac & cheese (which I love, don’t get me wrong)!

Recipe Courtesy of: Emeril Lagasse

Original recipe located at:


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 6 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds hot Italian Sausage links, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound ziti pasta, cooked al dente
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded


In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, 1/2 cup at a time. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cook, stirring constantly for 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the fennel. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft. Add the sausage and continue to saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta, sausage mixture and Mornay sauce. Mix well. Pour into a greased 2-quart oval baking dish. Sprinkle the top with cheese and place in the oven on the top rack. Bake until the top is golden brown and bubbly, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Spoon onto serving plates and garnish with fresh basil.


Crustless Quiche March 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 1:12 am

I always liked the idea of quiche…but didn’t care for the combination of eggs with “pie crust.”  But then my mom discovered crustless quiche and I became a huge fan.  We both love that you can whip this together with leftovers and turn out an impressive looking dish.

Tonight’s quiche is actually for a soup/salad/bread/dessert luncheon tomorrow at work (yes, we have a lot of them–I made mac&cheese for our “Fat Tuesday” lunch last week).  A friend of mine doesn’t eat soup, so I told her I’d bring this broccoli/ham/cheddar quiche for her, in addition to the chowder I’m also making (potato/corn/ham chowder from December 2009 post).

Recipe courtesy of: Mom


4 ounces of cheese, shredded

6 to 7 slices crisp, crumbled bacon (or in this case, approximately 3/4 cup of chopped cooked ham)

A few sauteed mushrooms, optional
4 unbeaten eggs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper
1 1/2 cups milk


  • Butter a 10-inch pie plate or a regular size quiche pan.  Sprinkle bottom of the plate with the cheese, bacon or ham,and mushrooms. 
  • Put the eggs, onion, flour, butter, salt, pepper and milk in a blender.  Blend for one minute (or beat it hard with an eggbeater if you don’t have a blender).
  • Pour egg mixture into pie plate.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes if the pan is metal, a bit longer if it’s glass.  Let it stand for 3 or 4 minutes before serving.

Chicken Sate w/ Spicy Peanut Sauce March 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lonislens @ 1:10 am

So I cheated and didn’t grill these on skewers…instead I served the chicken over noodles (and still had the dipping sauce on the side).  The chicken was delicious!  The dipping sauce was too sweet for me, but I think it’s my fault because I used regular peanut butter that I had in the cabinet, as opposed to going out and buying “all natural” peanut butter.  I tweaked the sauce afterwards, but it still wasn’t quite what I was looking for.

Recipe courtesy of: Ellie Krieger

Original recipe located at:


  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (or 2 additional teaspoons low sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast pounded slightly and cut into 1-inch strips


In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the chicken stock, coconut milk, soy sauce, shallot, garlic, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime zest, and ginger. Add the chicken strips and marinate for 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Spray a nonstick grill pan with cooking spray and preheat over a medium-high flame. While pan is heating, thread chicken onto skewers. Grill 2 to 3 minutes per side, until meat is cooked through and has light grill marks.

Serve chicken skewers with Peanut Dipping Sauce, and garnish with basil or cilantro and chopped peanuts. 

Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Sauce can be made 1 day ahead of time, and will keep 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.

It does make quite a bit of sauce.  I plan on blending the leftovers with a little more chicken broth and using it as a marinade.  Otherwise, you could adjust the recipe.