Monthly Archives: April 2016

Greek Style Garbanzo Soup

I’m having this soup for lunch today and I had to share this recipe with you.  It’s quick and easily converted to a vegan meal.  I usually make it for lunch and then have the leftovers for dinner.  It has lots of vegetables in every bite.  That’s how I like my soup.  I like the broth to accompany the veggies, not the other way around, almost like a stew.  A while back, I posted my Oatmeal Pancake recipe.  This soup comes from the same old cookbook with a few changes.

My father-in-law, Doc, really liked this soup.  I remember I would make it often for lunch when he came to visit.  Doc’s real name was Carmen but everybody called him Doc.  This was a man who knew how to enjoy life.  I know there is a story behind his nickname but I can’t recall it anymore.  I do remember that they called his older brother Eskimo Joe because he like Eskimo Pie ice cream treats.  Leave it to me to remember this story with ice cream in it.  Doc was Italian.  Most of his brothers and his sister were born in the old country but he and his younger brother were born here.  His original last name was Farinacci.  Johnny Farr, an older brother, was a boxer and chose this last name because it had a nice ring to it.  Doc got it because of the way he signed his name.  It looked like F-A-R-R and eventually it just stuck. When I really think about this, it makes me realize how time can change anything even something so personal as a person’s name.  Hmmm…imagine what can happen if we just stick to something for a long period of time.  OK, I’m going to schedule some walking time today, right after I have my bowl of soup.  Hope you try it.


2 Tbls. Olive Oil

2 medium Onions, chopped

1 clove Garlic, minced

2 stalks Celery, chopped

1 or 2 Carrots, diced

1 large Potato, diced

1 sprig Parsley, finely chopped

1 can ( 6 oz.) unsalted tomato paste**

1/4 tsp. Black Pepper

2 cans (16 oz. each) Garbanzo Beans, drained

5 cups Water

1 Chicken Bouillon Cube (Use a vegetarian option here & voilá, you have a vegan dish!)


Heat Olive Oil in a dutch oven on medium heat and sauté Onions, Garlic and Celery for about 5 minutes.

IMG_4765Heat the pot to high.  Add the remaining vegetables, Tomato Paste and Pepper. Combine well.











Add Garbanzo Beans, Water and Bouillon. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.  Salt to taste.


Stir well before serving. I like to garnish with a little Parmesan Cheese.


**Just a quick note…I have found that any canned tomato product has a fresher taste if it is unsalted.  I try not to use too many canned products generally, but if it is tomato paste, sauce or whole tomatoes I always buy unsalted.  It makes a difference.  Check it out.

This recipe will give you 14 – 1 cup servings each consisting of 156 Calories, 7.2 grams Protein, 25.3 grams Carbs, 3.6 grams Fat.

Buon Gusto!

Until next time.

Glazed Lemon Monkey Bread

Yes, dear Followers, another lemon recipe.  I must tell you I have a few more up my sleeve.  Kumquats are in queue.  My kumquat tree has branches that just can’t hold up to the weight of all the fruit.  For now, let’s continue on my Meyer lemon journey.  This recipe is not mine.  I got it from  It was on Pinterest where I caught the sight of her picture and went on to her website.  I have made few monkey or pull apart breads in my life.  I think I’ve only baked one.  I think I tasted someone else’s another time.  So, I have limited experience in this category.  This one had lemon in it and so I gave it a try.  It requires a large bundt cake pan.  I don’t own a bundt cake pan.  I did go through all my little used pans, you know the ones that are so far back in the lowest shelf of the bottom cupboard that kneeling on the floor won’t let you reach.  These pans are down by the Antartica and I had to sit and almost lay down with flashlight in hand to get to them.  It’s good to do this occasionally.  One never knows what one might find.   I didn’t find a bundt cake pan but using my Argentine ingenuity, I decided to use a jello mold.  The product of this pan was OK but it didn’t look as pretty as the picture on  So, I looked at my other alternative, an angel food cake pan.  The second monkey bread still didn’t come out like the picture.  Why didn’t you go out and buy a bundt cake pan?, you ask.  I don’t know.

OK, let me fess up.  At first, I thought that the jello mold was a bundt cake pan.  It wasn’t until later that I remembered why I bought it.  I’ve never made a bundt cake, so I don’t own a pan.  I should have gone out and bought one but I became my mom for a moment.  It happens sometimes.  Mom was very, very thrifty.  She made due with whatever she had so as not to spend money and that rubs off on me occasionally.  Enough of the pan! Let’s get to the recipe.


1 batch of Bun Dough (This can be homemade dough, defrosted frozen bread dough or dough in a can.)

4 Tbls. melted Butter

1/2 cup Sugar

4 tsp. Grated Lemon Zest




4 Tbls. melted Butter

1 cup Powdered Sugar

Juice of 2 Lemons




Grease a large bundt cake pan. In medium bowl, combine Butter, Sugar and Lemon Zest.



Roll dough into 1 inch balls and cover in Lemon Sugar.


Place in greased pan.  When done with all the dough, cover with plastic wrap then foil.  Let rise 1 – 2 hours or put in refrigerator for next day.


Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Remove plastic wrap and foil and bake uncovered 55-65 minutes.  Check it in 30-40 minutes.  If the top is browning too much, place foil on it and continue baking.


IMG_4730Meanwhile, combine melted Butter, Powdered Sugar and Lemon Juice.  For a thicker glaze, let it sit for 30 minutes before using.  Take bread out of the pan and drizzle with glaze.




Jello Mold Pan


Angel Food Cake Pan (unglazed and not flipped over)

They may not be beautiful but they are delicious!  Hope you try it.  In fact, you might want to visit and see how they are supposed to look.  I’ll be posting my favorite roll dough recipe soon.  Until next time…eat well, drink well and be well.

The Magic Number 3

There is a saying in Argentina that goes:  No hay dos sin tres. Literally it means:  There isn’t two without three.  I thought this was a common saying in Spanish but I came to find out that many Spanish-speaking countries don’t know this saying but we do in Argentina.  I use it all the time.  Whenever something happens twice, it will happen a third time.  Now, does this saying work for me because I’m always looking for the “third” or does the “third” happen because it is meant to be so.  Like the chicken and the egg, which one came first?  I don’t know.  So, what am I rambling about?  (I know you were asking yourself.)

I’ve been blogging mostly about recipes and you have been very kind to let me go on with my stories and tales.  This time I only have a story.  About one month  ago, I received an email  from Corti Brothers Market.  My first thought was, “Oh, wow, they are having a sale!”  Then I realized that they don’t have my email.  I opened it and saw that Darrell Corti was asking me to judge at the Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition in Pomona, CA.  Well, I was ecstatic and surprised.  This is a great honor and one that I had never considered for myself.  I answered yes immediately and then began to worry.  I was worried to judge in such an important event.  For days, I had this on my mind until one day I decided that enough was enough.  I was going to go down there and enjoy every minute of it.  I love tasting oils and I wasn’t going to let my head get in the way of this.  Needless to say, I really enjoyed myself and met some very interesting people from all over the world.


Here I am with my fellow judges, Margaret and Pablo. Both of them are internationally recognized Olive Oil Tasters.

Mr. Corti and the team at the Fairplex really treated us like royalty.  My hotel room was a suite.  The food and wine was exquisite.  Everything was top notch.  The judging was for three days and I think we tasted about 50 oils a day.  My lips were chapped and my mouth pretty raw but I loved every second of it.


Great food, great wines and great company.


When I got home, I received an invitation to judge at the California State Fair Olive Oil Competition.  I had had my eye on this competition since last year and was very interested in partaking.  That was only one day and again very enjoyable.  So, there is number dos.


This is my panel for the California State Fair EVOO Competition. Deborah has been a miller for 20 years. Both judges were very knowledgeable and enjoyable to work with.

Here is my No hay dos sin tres.  A week later, I’m invited to the Napa Valley Olive Oil Competition.  It was a bit of a drive but I commuted with a fellow judge which made the ride and all the traffic very palatable.  (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)   We had a great time chatting and getting to know each other.  My fellow judges are very friendly and down to earth people.  There are some that are masters at this and I learn something every time I am in their presence.


Well, my story should end there but actually, I have been invited to the Yolo County Fair Olive Oil Competition.  That has yet to happen.  I am sure that I will have a great time judging again.

As always, I am honored that you allow me to share with you.  I look forward to getting my next recipe out.  It is a lemon-glazed monkey bread.  It’s not my recipe but I am happy to share it because it is out of this world.  Eat well, drink well and be well.  Until next time.

Lemon Tart with Olive Oil

I came to the United States when I was 2 1/2 years old.  Every year or every other year, my mom and I would go back to Argentina around Christmas time.  I would spend six weeks down there with my extended family.  I am an only child and Dad stayed here because of work, so it was just my mom and myself traveling.  Many years in my youth, I had two summers.  Maybe that’s why I don’t like the cold and rain and don’t get me started on how I feel about snow.  During my Southern Hemisphere summers, we would often walk to the ice cream store but we had to go to the good one.  In Argentina, ice cream shops are mostly small, family run shops.  There are more and more chain stores but the artisan ones are still very prominent with their own recipes and the quality differs from place to place.  The other unusual fact is that they are only open in the summer.  Argentines can’t fathom the idea of eating ice cream when it’s cold out.  There were no ice cream tubs sold in markets.  That may have changed now with the introduction of Walmart and others.

I remember going out for ice cream with my cousin, Ernesto.  Walking to the best shop, we might pass one or two other shops along the way.  Finally, at the counter, Ernesto would always order two scoops, one of chocolate and one of lemon.  Yuck! was what I thought!  What a combo.  I always ordered chocolate and dulce de leche.  You cannot find a dulce de leche ice cream as good as the ones they make in Argentina.  They did invent it, so there you go.  Now that I’m older, I find that chocolate is still my favorite flavor hands down, but lemon is moving on up to second place.  It has to be lemon as in a pastry, cake or dessert.  I don’t care much for lemon drops or candy, just desserts.  There are a few lemons left in my tree.  I just harvested them.  The tree is starting to flower, so, it’s time.  I will be making a few more things with lemons until I’ve used them up. I came across this recipe not too long ago. Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I got it and there is no website on the page.  It just says “Adapted from Rosa Jackson, May 2008, Les Petits Farcis, Nice, France.”  It is delicious and it has olive oil in it. Perfect!

You will need a 9 inch round tart pan with removable sides and a food processor.


Tart Shell

2 Tbl. Almonds with skins, toasted and cooled

3/4 cup Unbleached Flour

1/4 cup Confectioners Sugar

Pinch of fine Sea Salt

1/2 stick cold Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 large Egg Yolk

3 1/2 Tbl. Olive Oil (It states “fruity” or “preferably French”.  You can use a robust oil.)

Lemon Curd

3 large Lemons

3/4 cup Sugar

2 tsp. Cornstarch

2 whole large Eggs

2 large Yolks

1/2 stick Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

2 Tbl. Olive Oil (“fruity”, preferably “French”)

Start with the tart shell.


Pulse Almonds, Flour, Sugar, and Sea Salt to a fine powder in a food processor.  Add Butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (pea-size) Butter lumps.

Add Yolk, Oil and pulse until just incorporated and a very soft dough has formed.


Spread dough evenly over bottom and up the side of pan.  Use an offset spatula if you need. I used my fingers.  Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. IMG_3848

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with the rack in the middle.  Bake shell until golden brown all over, about 13 minutes.  Transfer to a rack and cool completely for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, work on Lemon Curd. Grate 1 Tbl. Lemon Zest.  Squeeze 3/4 cup of juice from Lemons.



Whisk together Lemon Zest, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Cornstarch, Whole Eggs, and Yolks in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.  Boil, whisking for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in Butter and Oil until smooth.


Pour Lemon Curd into cooled shell and chill until set – minimum 2 hours.


This is a sweet, tangy and lemony tart.  I hope you enjoy it.  Serves 6.


Bon apetit!