Category Archives: Cooking

Homemade Bagels


I LOVE bagels. The chewy texture and the plethora of uses for them, sandwiches, mini pizzas, or just plain toasted with cream cheese they’re always tasty. (Although the last option doesn’t always work out so well, as the main site pic testifies.)

So without further ado or fuss, BAGELS!

(Recipe from Williams-Sonoma Baking Book)


2 large Russet Potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 1/2 cups Water

5 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast

1/4 cup Vegetable oil

4 Eggs

7 1/2 cups Flour plus extra for  kneading

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 large Egg, beaten

Toppings of your choice

In saucepan combine potatoes and water, bring to boil, and cook till tender, about 10 minutes drain and reserve water. Use potatoes for something else.

Measure 2 cups of the potato water into a large bowl and let cool to warm. Dissolve yeast in water and let stand till foamy about five minutes. Add oil and eggs, whisking. Whisk in 2 cups of the flour and the salt till smooth. Stir in remaining flour with a wooden spoon 1cup at a time till a soft dough is formed, turn out on floured surface and knead till smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.


Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise till double, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough and transfer to a work surface. Cut  into quarters with a sharp knife or bench scraper and cut each quarter into thirds. Roll and form each piece into a 10 inch rope and shape each into a bagel pinching together and lightly rolling the ends. Set aside and cover with  kitchen towel, let rest till puffy about 15 minutes.

till puffy

Set oven on 425 degrees F and line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper.

In a large pot boil water and using a large slotted spoon gently lower three bagels into the water. Simmer 1 minute, turn over, and simmer 1 minute on other side. Transfer to prepared pans.


(I know there are four, I was making small bagels.)

Brush bagels with beaten egg and sprinkle with toppings, if using.

brushing bagels

Bake until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.


Enjoy with any number of toppings, or  simply toast.


And for once get it right!


New York, Greeks, and Bagels



I made these a while ago but haven’t posted them till now and looking at them makes me really want to make them again! These are SO easy to make (for bagels) and so delicious!

They also make a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner. With cream cheese, with tomato soup, or like this…

Greek Goodness

This is like a Greek bagel sandwich. It reminds me of my favorite bagel shop, Mike’s, on 5th Ave.  in Brooklyn.

I walked into Mike’s one of my first days in New York and the proprietor, Augustus, or “Gus” as everyone called him, looked up from a frank conversation with a friend across the counter to greet me with a “How you doin’?” I kept my composer with difficulty, wanting to squeal in tourist-like glee, but at that moment I knew that I was indeed in New York, and that I was gonna like it there.

The rest of my stay I frequented the bagel shop often, bringing some crocheting to enjoy with my morning coffee and bagel, while I watched Gus and his Greek costumers from the neighborhood advise, joke, and sometimes argue amongst themselves and with members of the middle eastern community that also frequented the shop. When it once got particularly heated Gus pointed me out and “Hey fellas! There’s a lady!” I felt incredibly cool.

I love New York.

The sandwich is basically feta, tomatoes and thin sliced red onions on a bagel. I never had one at Mike’s, but I think Gus would approve.

Did I just get completely side-tracked? Yes, yes I did.

Next post I’ll teach you how to actually make the Bagels.

Carmen’s Taquitos, Revised

Is this wrong?

To revise something as famed and beloved as Carmen’s Taquitos must be what it felt like for the first person who changed the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. Why bother?

Because this is good, so good that my husband thinks it may be his favorite. And that’s sayin’ something.

But I won’t go so far as to rename them, that would be wrong. However much the taquitos have changed, at their heart they are still Carmen’s.

Carmen’s Taquitos (Made with Sweet Potatoes and Pork)

4 dozen Corn Tortillas


1 1/2 pounds Pork cooked and shredded (Use some leftovers from your taco pork)

1/2 small Onion, diced

1 teaspoon  Coriander

Salt and Red Chili Pepper

2 medium Sweet Potatoes, grated

Reheat pork and and cook onion in saucepan for five minutes and add coriander, potatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Cook till potatoes are cooked about five minutes more. (Stir well to keep potatoes from sticking.)

Lightly fry and drain the tortillas in the oil (I use a deep fryer, if you don’t have one you can use a deep pan with about a cup of oil.)

Stuff the tortillas and roll tight, (How full you want them is up to you!)

Deep fry till golden.

Serve with mango salsa!

Unfortunately in a mad frenzy of file cleansing I deleted the pic of the taquitos… so you’ll just have to take my word for it that they were awesome!

Mango Habanero Salsa

"Knock your socks off clean into the washer!" Yeehaw!

My husband’s words about this salsa were something like “The combination of sweet and fire is really good.” This is not your mom’s mango salsa. (Unless your mom is me.) It’s really sweet from the ripe mango, and then it has a kick that will “knock your socks of clean into the washer.” As Paula Deen would say.

And it’s great with taquitos.

Mango Habanero Salsa

3 Mangoes, cubed

1/2 a Habanero Pepper, (trust me you only need half) diced very small

1 clove Garlic ground in a mortar with 1 teaspoon course Salt

2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro

Use the Mango 101 directions to cut up your mangoes and mix all the ingredients well. Make this in advance and store in the fridge so the flavors can combine. Put it over anything even remotely related to salsa.

Fried Egg Fajitas

Better in Pastry


Just a quick note  to say that everything is better wrapped in pastry. Especially Indian food leftovers.

Jamie Oliver’s One Cup Pancakes (with Mango)

I love Pancakes!

Have any of you heard of Jamie’s Ministry of Food? Jamie Oliver, amazing chef and cookbook writer has this movement he’s starting trying to get everyone to cook and to “pass it on.” I learned about it through my mother-in-law’s cookbook, which I immediately started copying recipes out of. This one is my favorite because I don’t even need it written down, it is that simple. It is also very good.

So in the spirit of the movement I thought I’d “pass it on.”


Jamie Oliver’s One Cup Pancakes

You’ll Need

Any old cup. (I used this cool mug)

Self-rising flour

Fill it with self-rising flour (or with your best guess at it, say 2 teaspoons or so of baking powder and a little salt, maybe a dash of sugar… there’s really no getting this stuff wrong!) and dump  it in a bowl.


Now fill it with milk.


You’ll need to be melting a “knob” of butter. (Don’t ask me how much a knob is, everything online is conflicting, but it’s more than a pat and less than a stick, if that helps.) To pour in.

Putting it all together

Throw your butter, an egg, and the milk into the bowl with the flour and stir it up.


Now, pour some of this into a pan and cook it over medium heat until you see bubbles forming, like in the picture above.

"They call him Flipper..."

Flip it.

Here's the mango-y part

And once it is golden on the other side, serve it with fruit (like mango, or strawberry, or both!) and maybe a little whip cream, or some maple syrup… have fun!

The BEST way

You can also add chocolate chips to these… and they are even better. (But don’t tell Jamie I said so!)

Now go make it, master it, and pass it on!

Mango Rhubarb Coconut Muffins


Have you ever made something that just excited you? I did that today. In my quest to give fun and delicious ways to use your mangoes, (which you should be an expert at cutting by now) I have created these. Mango, rhubarb, coconut… they’re sweet, they’re tart, they’re co-co-nutty. (How do you describe coconut flavor without saying coconut?) I warn you, if you attempt these, they are addictive. You cannot eat just one, you will want more. But don’t worry, they have whole wheat and nuts in them, so they’re healthy, right? Well… maybe if you limit yourself to only a half dozen  in one serving.

Mango Rhubarb Coconut Muffins

3/4 cup All Purpose Flour

1/4 cup Wheat Flour

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon each Cinnamon and Ground Ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dried shredded unsweetened Coconut

1/4 cup Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

3/4 cup Greek Yogurt

2 tablespoons melted Butter

1 diced Mango

1/2 cup diced Rhubarb (about two medium size stalks)

1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

Mango in a Muffin

Pre-heat oven  to  400 and prepare 12 cup muffin tin.

Stir together all dry ingredients through the brown sugar, set aside.

Whisk together the eggs yogurt and butter. Pour over dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula til half moistened. Add mango, rhubarb and almonds and mix to incorporate, try  not to over mix.

Spoon into prepared muffin tin and sprinkled with sweetened flaked coconut, pressing down softly to be sure it sticks. Bake 15-18 minutes or till toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Try not to eat them all strait out of the tin.