How to get the best prices on Amazon

Here’s my trick. About 2 weeks to a month before I run out of a product I will start shopping for it on Amazon. I’ll check their price and compare it to several other websites and get an idea of what the item is selling for. Then………….I wait………………………..

Within a few days/weeks I will get an email sent to the account I have registered with Amazon telling me the items I’ve been shopping for is on sale! Then, I buy. Works almost every time. If they see me looking at it several times on different days and not purchasing it they know I’m interested. They wait me out and if I don’t buy it, they discount it for me and game on. That’s when I buy.





Thai Chicken Soup


1-IMG_0128With the rainy dreary weather we’ve been having lately; I’ve been in a soup mood. But I’m tired of the same old soups I’ve been making for years. So I’ve been branching out and trying new recipes. This one is a keeper. I loved it.

When I have a chance to go out for Thai food I love to order their chicken soup. I really wanted to try to make it at home and it turned out wonderful.

1 1/2 lbs chicken – I used two chicken breasts

2 T veg oil

3 stalks lemon grass – I used lemon grass in a squeeze tube I found in the produce dept

4 medium shallots – I didn’t have shallots so I used a small onion

8 sprigs cilantro – a must have

3 T fish sauce – the stuff stinks, but get past the smell cause it makes a difference if the recipe

4 C chicken broth – I used the paste from Costco added to water

2 cans coconut milk

1/2 pound white mushrooms sliced

1 T sugar

3 T lime juice

2 tsp thai red curry paste


1/2 c cilantro leaves

2 fresh jalapeno or thai chiles seeds and ribs removed – I skipped this and it was just fine

2 green onions sliced thin – a must

1 lime cut into wedges for squeezing into soup – a must

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil and brown chicken. Remove chicken and to the same pan add the lemon grass, onions, cilantro sprigs and 1 T of fish sauce and cook for a minute or if you’re using fresh lemon grass then cook till lemon grass softens. Stir in broth and 1 can of coconut milk scraping up any bits. Add the chicken back and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 mins.  Stir the remaining can coconut milk, the mushrooms, and sugar and cook over medium heat about 3 mins till the mushrooms are tender.

Whisk the lime juice, curry paste and 2 T fish sauce together. Off the heat, whisk the mixture into the soup. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro, chiles, and green onions. Serve with lime wedges.

Super yum. We ate the whole pot in two days. Even my husband who doesn’t usually like thai food gobbled it down. It was just the right amount of spicy from the chile paste..

Pizza Perfected

I love my standing mixer and this pizza dough is one of the reasons why. It kneads for 30 mins! The secret is to allow proper rising times and use a super hot oven. Perfect pizza would be a wood fired oven, but lacking that, I use a super hot oven and a pizza stone. pizza2

This recipe comes from a book called Pizza Napoletana and I’ve used it for years. It does take a bit of planning since it has to rise twice but is so worth it I don’t mind. 

Authentic Neapolitan Pizza Dough

Preheat oven to 475 (I leave my pizza stone in the oven to reach max temp then

transfer my dough onto the hot stone which makes it crispy)

1 1/2 C warm water (105-115)

1 t active dry yeast (or half a package)

3 C all purpose flour

1 C cake flour (make your own if you don’t have any. 2 T of cornstarch in a one cup measure then fill the rest of the cup with all purpose flour. Sift together)

1 T sea salt

Combine water and yeast. Proof till it foams about 10 mins

Mix flours and salt in bowl of heavy duty stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the proofed yeast mixture to flour and knead on low for 30 mins. Shape dough in a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise 4 hours. After 4 hours punch down dough and divide into four balls in four bowls. Brush lightly with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for another 2-4 hours. Shape by pressing fingers into dough leave an edge to create a rim. Working your way around the circle I let the weight of the dough pull itself to desired thickness.

As the dough dangles, it stretches while the edge stays plump. I bake my pizza on a pizza stone. Make sure whatever pan you use it can take the heat. It cooks pretty quickly because the oven is so hot. If your oven is dirty you may wanna scrape out any loose debris cause it will likely smoke (I happen to know this from experience).

Greek Pizza

Pesto (Buy a jar at Costco and make mounds on plastic wrap and freeze in a gal ziploc so you can pull out a bit of pesto whenever you need it)








Chinese Hot and Sour Soup


Hot and Sour Soup

dried mushrooms

Soak the dried mushrooms


Cook the pork

fresh mushrooms

Sautee the fresh mushrooms


Simple yummy flavor




Chinese Hot and Sour Soup

10 C shicken stock (I use chicken stock paste)

1/4 lb lean pork strips ( I used a lean pork chop )

1 T siracha

2 T soy sauce

3/4 tsp white pepper

1 egg

5 T cornstarch

small can bamboo shoots

small can water chestnuts – sliced

1 C mushrooms sliced

1 C dried mushrooms ( had some dried mushrooms I bought at Costco – it was a variety mix but any kind would do )

1 cake firm tofu

1/4 white vinegar

1/2 tsp sesame oil (I was out, but it was still yummy)

finely chopped green onions (not pictured, I was out and didn’t want to run to the store)

Pour hot water over dried mushrooms to rehydrate. Bring stock to a simmer.  Cook pork slices in skillet with a T oil. Remove pork.  In same skillet, sautee the fresh sliced mushrooms. To the stock add soy sauce,  the cooked pork, cooked mushrooms and rehydrated mushrooms chopped up and chili paste.  Simmer for 10 minutes. Add pepper, vinegar, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and chopped up tofu. Simmer 5 mins.

Mix cornstarch with 5 T water and add to the pot . Bring back to simmer and pour the slightly beaten egg in a thin stream over the surface. Let stand for 10 seconds before stirring in the sesame oil. Serve with garnish of chopped green onions.



photo (1)

A long time ago, at my son’s football award banquet, one of the moms brought these delicious lumpias.  I had never had, nor even heard of them but once I tasted them, I immediately requested the recipe.  These are filipino lumpias, which are a take on egg rolls. Now since I never actually saw her make them, here is my translation of the recipe she gave me.

1 pound ground pork
1/2 C. finely chopped celery
1/2 C. finely chopped carrot
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
3 minced garlic cloves
1 egg
1/4 C. soy sauce
Salt and pepper
Egg roll wrappers (she recommended TYJ spring roll wrappers, found in the freezer section)

Mix well all of the ingredients (except the wrappers, of course).  Since the wrappers are rather large, we cut them into fourths.  On each little square of wrapper, put about a 2-3 teaspoons of the filling near one corner.  Roll up the corner over the filling, fold the sides in and continue to roll toward the other corner.  Put a little bit of water on the corner to help seal up the lumpia. 

Heat about 3/4 cup of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cook the lumpia in batches in a single layer in the oil until brown on all sides and cooked through, about 5-8 minutes.  Serve with sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce.

Makes about 50 or so.  The uncooked lumpia freeze really well.  I freeze them on a cookie sheet and when frozen through, I transfer them to a zip-lock bag..

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