Thursday, July 30, 2015

Richard Simmons' Poppy Seed Dressing

This recipe is a tried and true favorite. Love this dressing and have made it many times. I always get a request for the recipe or to borrow the cookbook.

It comes from Richard Simmons' Never Say Diet Cookbook which I bought in 1982. 

Poppy Seed Dressing:

Note in cookbook from Richard "my way of outdoing the Neiman Marcus specialty".


2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 cup canola oil
1/3 to 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/4 cup grated red onion


Combine mustard,oil,vinegar and honey in a blender. Mix well.

Remove the dressing from the blender. Pour into a medium size jar or a small bowl.

Stir in poppy seeds and onion.

Store in a 16 ounce jar. It will separate and when it does just give it a few good shakes.

Use the amount of dressing you prefer. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rum Island Butter with Pineapple, Mango & Banana

One of the many things I'm going to miss when we sell our home in NY is my pantry. It's huge and I made sure I kept it well stocked. When something was on sale I was like a moth to a flame. I never got one or two items it was more like six or more. Plenty of room to store it so why not and in the long run it saved us money.

In the pantry I still have a few cans of pineapple and really didn't think of using them until I found this recipe on Morsels & Moonshine.

I've been on a mango kick lately and always have bananas in the house but when I saw coconut rum- no way was that going in the recipe.

Coconut does not touch these lips and subbed 1 tablespoon of vanilla for 1 tablespoon of rum extract.  The coconut rum I subbed pineapple juice.

My mango was super  ripe and my banana wasn't large, I think that's why I got more of an orange color to the jam but who cares? It taste delicious.

The first thing I added it to was the mousse recipe. OH MY! Can you say make again?


1 banana (no brown spots)- peeled and sliced
1 can pineapple chunks (20 oz), liquid removed
1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
1 c. organic cane sugar*
2-3 T. lemon juice
1 T. Rum Extract **
pinch of cinnamon
1/4 c. pineapple juice ***


Drain the pineapple and save the liquid for later use.

Add the sliced banana, chopped mango's and the pineapple to a large deep skillet. Sprinkle sugar over the mixture and add in the lemon juice and mix until well combined.

Over medium heat bring the mixture to a boil. When it starts to boil reduce the heat to bring the mixture down. You want the fruit to be soft and for the liquid to evaporate.

At this point add the rum extract, cinnamon and pineapple juice.

Stir consistency with a wooden spoon. Should take about 20- 30 minutes.

Once cooked let cool in the skillet.

Place the cooled mixture in a food processor or blender and mix until smooth.

The mixture should have the consistency of applesauce.

Refrigerate once cooled.  

Recipe made about 1 1/2 cups.

* Someone gave me bag of organic cane sugar and found that in the pantry.

**  Rum Extract was my sub. The original recipe use 1 tablespoon vanilla 

*** Didn't use 1/4 cup coconut rum that was in the original recipe subbed pineapple juice .

Monday, July 27, 2015

MM 157 Weeks

                                                                   Max and his buddy Nell. 

                              Perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Jalapeno Popper Quinoa Bites

  This recipe was found on Alida's Kitchen.  Quinoa was in the cabinet and I picked a few jalapeno's from Rita's garden. 

I buy red quinoa from Trader Joe's. For the cream cheese I subbed Laughing Cow creamy mozzarella sun-dried tomato & basil cheese.  My changes are in red.


3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed used red quinoa 
1 1/2 cups Chicken broth ( or water)
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped jalapeno peppers
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese
1 tablespoon Laughing cow cheese- see note below
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning of your choice


 Cook quinoa in a medium size sauce pan according to package directions. I always rinse quinoa a few times and cook the quinoa in chicken broth.  When cooked, set aside

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray.

 Combine cooled quinoa, onion, peppers, garlic, eggs, cream cheese and cheese in a large bowl and mix well.

Put a heaping tablespoonful of quinoa mixture into prepared muffin cups. 

 Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges turn golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes and then gently remove from pan to cool completely.

The original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of cream cheese cut into small pieces.