Recipe books grow with tasty tidbits as time goes by |

Recipe books grow with tasty tidbits as time goes by

I recently found the beaded evening bag I inherited from my aunt. It’s so slim, it only holds a comb and a dance card.

My purses get larger and heavier every year. I explain to my daughters that as you age, it’s necessary to carry more items. A lipstick and a hairbrush just aren’t adequate any more.

Now my make-up bag is crammed with sun block, a toothbrush and floss, moisturizer and a pill assortment that could stock a pharmacy. I even admit to Band-Aids in torn wrappers and emery boards too smooth to file a nail.

It used to be that wallets held only money. Now mine’s crammed with credit cards, discount coupons and pictures of my granddaughter.

There’s also a slot for a checkbook and a pocket filled to the brim with sales receipts of things I’m planning to return. I carry these purchases, by the way, in the back seat of my car.

And then there’s reading and sunglasses, a magnifier in case I lose my readers, and a notebook for ideas I’d forget if they weren’t written down.

Of course I have a key ring. It’s just that I don’t remember what some keys open. Some of these look antique, but I figure I better keep them anyway.

Another container that holds more now is my recipe book. Try these.

(4 servings)

Should you find your freezer filled with frozen peas, turn them into this elegant soup. Who knows what this will influence globally?

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

3 garlic cloves, pressed

2 cups veggie broth

3 cups frozen peas

1 cup buttermilk

2 scallions, thinly sliced in Os

A few gratings of nutmeg

Salt and pepper

Sauté the onions, celery, and garlic in the olive oil until the celery is almost tender. Add the broth and frozen peas and simmer for 5 minutes. Purée the mixture until smooth.

Pour the mixture back into the pot and stir in the buttermilk, scallions, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Gently reheat the soup before serving.

(Serves 4)

This scrumptious and serene salad just happens to compliment the above soup.

4 handfuls organic salad greens

2 avocados, cubed

2 oranges, sectioned and cut in bite-size pieces

1/2 cup toasted walnuts (Nutty advice: the easiest way to toast nuts is to put them in a dry frying pan over a low flame. Shake them so they don’t burn and watch as they turn a satisfying golden brown.)

10-12 thinly sliced radishes

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion


Whisk together:

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons sweet orange marmalade

Combine the salad ingredients in a glamorous bowl. Pour on the dressing and toss well. Who says that green salads all taste the same?

(1 dozen)

Surprise your family one morning with these eye-openers. Sometimes getting up is definitely worth it.

1 3/4 cups white flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1 cup vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup salted butter, melted

2 eggs, beaten

3 teaspoons sweet orange marmalade

Stir together the dry ingredients and make a well in the center of the mix. Combine the vanilla, butter, and eggs in a separate bowl. Pour this into the well of the dry ingredients.

Mix the ingredients with as few strokes as possible. Overmixing results in a flat specimen that resembles a pancake and not a muffin.

Divide the batter and fill a greased muffin tin. Make a dent in the top of each muffin and press 1/4 teaspoon of marmalade into each.

Cover the marmalade with batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes until the tops spring back when lightly touched. These are so yummy, you don’t even need butter.

(4 to 6 as an hors d’oeuvres)

A Greek-inspired munchie that would even make the Greek deities swoon.

18 medium cremini mushrooms

1/2 cup crumbled Feta

1 tablespoon seasoned breadcrumbs

1/4 cup marinated sun-dried tomatoes, drained (These are the latest addition to my pantry. You can find them at your local grocery shelved with the marinated artichoke hearts.)

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

1/2 to 1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large garlic clove, pressed

Gently remove the stems from the mushroom caps. Purée the Feta, breadcrumbs, tomatoes, dill, oil and garlic until fairly smooth. Divide the mixture and stuff the mushroom caps. Put them in a lightly oiled glass pan and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes until the mushrooms release their juices. Serve immediately.

I have to go and buy a package of pens now. I’ve been rummaging around in my purse and can’t even find the one that’s out of ink.

Ronnie Paul is a freelance writer and vegetarian chef. She can be reached at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User