Thursday, August 13, 2009


Waaaaaay back in 1981, I was watching Eyewitness News. Bob Lape did a segment on the new recipe book that was benefiting the American Cancer Society. He was making one of the dishes from the cookbook with Matilda Cuomo, who has a few recipes in the book and was the Campaign Chairman at the time. Whatever they were making, looked delicious so I ordered the cookbook.
I remember reading it like a novel, page by page, sticking in little pieces of paper for the recipes that I wanted to try.
I have a bad habit of trying a new recipe whenever we have company over. I don't know why I do that because it can be risky. Maybe I actually have a daring side to me!
One of those recipes was for Caponata. Our parents and Grandparents were coming over to spend the day with us to see their new Grandaughter (Great Grandaughter). I made the Caponata. My Grandmother LOVED it!
And I mean SHE LOVED IT!!
For the next 20 or so years, Nanny would always request that I make that. Her eyesight was very bad and couldn't follow a recipe anymore or even cook much so she relied on me. That was fine! I loved watching her eat it. She didn't gobble, she savored it!
It's been a few years now since I made it so that had to change. I made it again last week when Brooke was home. It instantly brought back memories of Nanny, parking her chair right up next to the Caponata, and enjoying herself!

Caponata (Eggplant Appetizer)

1/3 c. olive oil
3 c peeled and cubed eggplant
1/3 c diced green pepper (I sometimes use red peppers)
1 onion
3/4 c sliced mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
1/4 c water
2 TBSP wine vinegar
1/2 c sliced pimento-stuffed green olives
1 1/2 ts sugar
1 ts. oregano
2 TBSP capers
1 ts salt
1/4 ts pepper

In a large skillet, place the olive oil, eggplant, green or red pepper, onions, mushrooms and garlic. Cover and cook gently about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add the tomato paste, water, vinegar, olives, sugar, oregano, capers, salt and pepper. Mix well and let simmer, covered, until eggplant is tender, about 30 minutes. Chill. Serve with crackers.
**I usually make this a day ahead of time so the flavors can meld but also to make my party day easier.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


About a week and a half ago we had a family BBQ. One of the items that I made was LouAnn's Steak On A Stick. LouAnn won a Family Fun magazine recipe contest with that recipe. It was then sent on to Disney (they own Family Fun) for a possible spot in their Disney Family Cookbook. She won! That was in 1996.
Flash forward to Aug of 2009. While PJ and I were on the 50 mile garage sale up state, we stopped at one of the houses. We were ready to leave when my eye caught the sight of a cookbook. I had to go over and look to see what it was. I IMMEDIATELY grabbed it. It was Disney's Family Cookbook with LouAnn's recipe on page 132!!! I talked the lady down from 75 cents to 50 cents!
Everyone loved these, especially Brooke and Scott! If there were 100 of them, they would have eaten them!!


1 1/2 lbs. London Broil or Flank Steak, sliced about 1/4" thick
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. vegetable oil (opt)
1/4 c. water
2 TBSP molasses
2 ts. dry mustard
1 ts. powdered ginger
1/2 ts. garlic powder

Bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water
Cut the steak on the diagonal in 1/4" slices and place in a sealable bag. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl, stir together, then pour into the bag. Seal the bag with no air pockets, shake, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or freeze until ready to use.
When you're ready to cook, skewer the meat, ribbon style with 3 to 4 pieces on a skewer.
Broil or grill the meat, about 3 minutes on each side.
Makes 10-16 skewers.