Crispy Black Forest Granola


6 tablespoons  butter
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Heaping 1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick-cooking/instant oats, such as Quaker Quick 1-Minute Oats (do not use regular old-fashioned oats)
1-3/4 cups crispy rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
1/2 cup almonds, sliced or chopped coarsely
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup coconut (optional)

1/2 dried cherries



Preheat oven to 350.

Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large pot, combine the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Lower the heat and simmer until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
Add the oats, rice cereal, almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds (and coconut if you’re using it).  Fold with a rubber spatula until well combined.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and spread out evenly.  Bake the mixture for about 20 minutes to toast the grains and nuts.


Remove from oven and cool for an hour.  Once the pan is cool, add the cherries to the grains and nuts and mix well.


Store in an air right container.  Keeps for months but will eaten in days.  🙂

Rick’s Gluten Free Lasagna

Note on the pasta sauce:  you can use your favorite jarred sauce for this recipe.  If you wish, you can also make your own.  The recipe I use for pasta sauce is identical to the recipe I use to make the tomato base for Shrimp and Grits (here) but instead of using cajun seasoning I use either an Italian seasoning mix or an equivalent amount of dry oregano or basil.  For either of these tomato sauces, you can also easily add meat.  About 1 lb of ground beef or your favorite sausage can be browned and added to the sauce and simmered for about 25 minutes on very low heat before using for lasagna.


  • 30 oz pasta sauce*
  • 2 cups ricotta or cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 oz, grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 box Jovial gluten free lasagna noodles


  • Preheat oven to 375.  Line two 8×8 pans or one 9×13 pan with foil.
  • Beat the two eggs lightly then mix with the ricotta/cottage cheese.  Set aside.
  • Cover the bottom of the pan with a small amount of the pasta sauce, no more than 1/2 cup, so the noodles don’t stick to the foil.  Line the pan with dry pasta, keeping the pasta as flat as possible.  Cover the pasta with about 1/3 of the egg/cheese mix. Next, add about 1/3 of the pasta sauce, being sure that the dry pasta is covered with the cheese and pasta sauce so it doesn’t burn or remain dry.  Next, add about 1/3 of the grated mozzarella.
  • Repeat these steps two more times, being sore that no dry pasta is exposed.
  • Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake for about 45 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven, remove the foil and press the top of the lasagna down firmly to ensure the pasta is immersed in the liquid.
  • Put the uncovered pan back in the oven for 10-15 minutes so the top browns and the cheese is bubbly.

Serves 6. Note:  this recipe can easily be halved.

Beef Burgundy


3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 carrot, diced

1 onion, diced

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons flour

2 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (like Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone, Bordeaux or Burgundy)

2 to 3 cups brown beef stock

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 cloves mashed garlic

1/2 teaspoon thyme

A crumbled bay leaf




18 to 24 white onions, small

3 1/2 tablespoons butter

1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered


Cooking Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Heat olive (or corn) oil in large casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides.


Once all the beef has been browned, add the sliced vegetables to the hot pan and brown for about 7-8 minutes until tender.


Add the tomato paste to the vegetables, stirring constantly until it is browned. (You will know when it is ready because they tomato paste is not bright red but brown, almost like light chocolate.)


Once the tomato paste is browned, add the garlic stirring continuously so the garlic doesn’t burn. Next, sprinkle on the flour and toss until the vegetables are coated. Add the beef to the pot and stir so the flour/vegetable mixture coats the beef.


Stir in wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.


Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily. Test the meat to see if it is tender. If not, cook for another 30 minutes or so.




Onions and mushrooms are traditional ingredients in beef burgundy. They are cooked separately from the beef and added 2 hours into the cooking.




You can use any mushrooms you choose but white or porcini mushrooms are traditional. Once the beef is in the oven, clean and slice the mushrooms into ¼ inch slides. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until it sizzles, and then add the mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms until they have rendered their moisture and are tender. Take the mushrooms off the heat and hold. They should be added into the beef after it has been in the oven for 2 hours.




Pearl onions are the traditional ones used in beef burgundy. Buy a 1 lb. bag of frozen pearl onions for this recipe. Before you begin cooking the beef, thaw the onions and bring them to room temperature. I always put them in a colander so they drain; you will want the thawed onions to be very dry when you start preparing them. Once the beef is in the oven, dry the onions with paper towels. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a sauté pan and heat until the oil is very hot. Add the pearl onions, stirring them to ensure they brown on all sides. That should take about 8-10 minutes. Once the onions are brown, remove from heat and hold. The onions can be added after the beef has been in the oven for about 2 hours.


Beef Burgundy can be served with mashed potatoes or flat noodles. Green beans, Brussels sprouts, or other green vegetables can be served as a side. Apple/pear compote can also be served. To make the apple pear compote, use 6 granny smith apples and 4 pears. Wash, halve and core the apples. Toss them in 3 tablespoons of melted butter. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of white sugar, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon on the apples. Bake in the oven at 350 for about 34 minutes. When they are soft, remove from the oven and let them cool. Use a potato masher to roughly mash the apples and pears before serving them.



Miriam’s Mexican Casserole

2 small or one large package yellow rice (Vigo…..with saffron)

1lb ground beef
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 cup milk
1 can cheddar cheese soup (Campbells)

Make rice according to package directions
brown meet and add taco seasoning
Stir in tomatoes (undrained)
bring to simmer

Put meat in bottom of casserole dish and cover with the rice. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Combine soup and milk….pour over casserole.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes (can cover loosely with foil if necessary)

Smoky Butternut Squash Salad

1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled and diced into bite-sized pieces
1 red onion, peeled and halved then sliced thinly.
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 12 oz. bag frozen whole kernel corn (roasted corn kernels works very well)
1/2 c dried cranberries
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 – 1 tsp chipotle in adobo (available in the international section of grocery stores)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Small bunch of cilantro, washed and chopped
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp white wine vinegar (I use Trader Joe’s Muscat Orange Vinegar)
juice of 1/2 orange (optional and not used if you use the orange vinegar)

Peel, seed and dice the butternut squash. (Some grocery stores have pre-peeled and diced butternut squash in the produce section of the store. I generally buy the prepared squash since it saves time.) Spray a cookie sheet with a light coating of cooking spray. Place the diced squash and the red onion slices on the pan and sprinkle with about 2 tbsp olive oil. Toss gently to coat the squash and onions. Bake in a 350 oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the squash and onion are tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the spices and vinegar or orange vinegar (If using white wine vinegar, add the orange juice here). Using a whisk, slowly mix the oil with the vinegar/spice mix until emulsified. Add the chipotle adobe and mix.

Put the cool squash/onion, diced red peppers, corn, and dried cranberries into the dressing and toss. Set aside for at least an hour (overnight if possible) so the flavors blend.