Sunday, January 20, 2013

It Is Time...

I started My Kitchen By The Lake in 2010 when I moved to a  lake house in Georgia with my daughter and two dogs.  At that time, everything was new and fun and different and I had the best intentions of keeping this  second  "Just for Fun" blog as a place to share our activities and  easy recipes.
It didn't take long to realize how tough it is to maintain two blogs at once yet it seemed that every time I went to write this note,  more subscribers would come on board and I felt bad cutting them off.  I thought I could do it but, at least for now, I can't. I need to focus on my main blog in the new year instead of spreading myself so thin.  I will, from time to time, drop off something here and, who knows, come Spring life may change and I may change my mind, but I don't want you to depend on it.

Thanks to everyone who has followed My Kitchen By The Lake over the past three years. Please come over to my primary blog Lindaraxa and subscribe for free.  It is fun over there too!

Julieta and Lucy

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Beef Stir Fry With Peppers

This popular recipe comes from one of my favorite food blogs, Rasa Malaysia . Quick, easy and perfect for any day of the week, all the ingredients should be right in your pantry.

Yield: Serves 2 as a main dish with rice or 4 as part of a multicourse meal


8 oz (250 g) beef tenderloin, flank steak or flap meat, cut into pieces
2 ½ tablespoons cooking oil
1 clove garlic, minced
One 1 in (2.5 cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
½ small green bell pepper, deseeded and cut into pieces
½ small red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into pieces
½ onion, cut into strips
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt, to taste


1 ½ teaspoons Maggi seasoning sauce
½ teaspoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
½ teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon sugar


1. Marinate the beef with all the Marinade ingredients, about 15 minutes.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Stir-fry the beef until the beef is browned on the outside but still pink inside. Dish out and set aside.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Stir-fry the garlic and the ginger until aromatic, and then add the green bell pepper, red bell pepper, onion, and black pepper. Stir-fry until you smell the aroma from the ingredients in the wok.

4. Transfer the beef back into the wok or skillet. Stir-fry until the beef is cooked through and the center of the meat is no longer pink, about 1-2 minutes. Dish out and serve immediately with steamed rice.

Photo: Rasa Malaysia

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Easy Chocolate Brownies With Peppermint Bark

I have so many of these to make this year I decided to take a shortcut...Ghirardelli's Triple Brownie Mix which, by the way, you can find at Costco.   Because it already includes three types of chocolate chips I decided to omit the peppermint bark squares in the middle and add a teaspoon of peppermint extract to the batter.  They are finished with Peppermint Bark AND crushed peppermint candy.  I think that's enough peppermint, don't you?!  Below, the original recipe and my shortcut.

Chocolate Brownies with Peppermint Bark
Original Recipe

1 1/2 cups Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (12 tablespoons)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
8 Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark SQUARES™ chocolates, chopped into large chunks (for the brownies)
18 Ghirardelli Peppermint Bark SQUARES™ chocolates, broken in to large chunks (about 8 pieces per square) (for the finishing)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil and grease with pan spray. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a gentle simmer. Put the 60% chips and butter in a heatproof bowl and set it over (but not touching) the simmering water. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until the better is melted and both ingredients are completely combined. Turn off the heat and leave the bowl over the warm water. Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, salt, sugar and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk together gently. With a spatula, fold in the flour. Immediately pour ½ the mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread it evenly. Next, sprinkle the chopped peppermint bark over the batter and then pour the remaining batter over this. Spread evenly.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. The center should be fudgy but not dry. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
Place Peppermint Bark chunks on top of warm brownies and allow them to soften for 1 minute. Using a spatula, gently swirl the melting Peppermint Bark to create swirls of melted chocolate. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Trim the 4 edges of the brownies by 1/4 inch. And cut into 18 squares.

My Easy version:

1 Box Ghirardelli's Triple Chocolate Brownies
1 tsp. Peppermint Extract
16 Perppermint Bark Squares
Crushed Peppermint Candy

I used a 9x9 square pan (glass)

Follow the directions on the box .  Add a teaspoon of the peppermint extract to the batter.  Cook as directed.

With the brownies still hot from the oven lay the peppermint squares side by side and touching on top so the will melt.  Place back in the oven for a minute or two until almost melted.  Take out and swirl with spatula or tooth pick.  Sprinkle the crushed peppermint candy on top. Wait until cooled to cut.  Cut into 16 squares.

Notes: If you lay the squares whole instead of broken up, they take about 4 minutes to melt in the oven.  If you go that route, take brownies out about 5 minutes before they are done so they won't over cook. 

Original Recipe from Ghirardelli

Monday, December 3, 2012

Lime Meltaways

This post was originally published in Lindaraxa last August.

We make these cookies every Christmas and give them away to our friends and neighbors.  Today I am making them for Madame Mere who arrives tomorrow.  She loves to have a cookie with her espresso after lunch and the Sous Chef gets another just because.  Of course my Wheat Belly regime will go out the window as well!

If you can find key limes, and they are around these days, they are a great substitute.

I'm so ready for this visit!

For the recipe click below

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Easy Monkey Bread

Gooey incredible stuff. Perfect for the holidays, specially Christmas morning with the grandchildren!

For 12


1/2   cup granulated sugar                                  
1     teaspoon cinnamon                                   
2     cans (16.3 oz each) Pillsbury® Grands!® Homestyle refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2  cup chopped walnuts, if desired
1/2  cup raisins, if desired
1     cup firmly packed brown sugar   
3/4  cup butter or margarine, melted

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted tube pan with shortening or cooking spray.
  3. In large -storage plastic food bag, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon.
  4. Separate dough into 16 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Shake in bag to coat. Arrange in pan adding walnuts and raisins among the biscuit pieces.
  5. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter; pour over biscuit pieces.
  6. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in center. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn upside down onto serving plate; pull apart to serve. Serve warm.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Quesadillas With Chutney And Brie

To make the tortillas more pliable, heat them over a direct flame until just warmed through (or heat them a few seconds in the microwave).
Everyday Food, November 2005
  • Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Total Time 30 minutes
  • Yield Serves 4


  • 4 flour tortillas, (10-inch or burrito-size)
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 pound sliced leftover turkey
  • 1/2 cup leftover Cranberry Chutney, plus more, for serving (optional)
  • 8 slices thick Brie cheese (8 ounces)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread one side of each tortilla with 1 tablespoon mustard. Divide the turkey over one half of each mustard-coated side; dress with cranberry chutney (about 2 tablespoons per quesadilla). Layer each with 2 Brie slices, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold and press to seal edges. Brush on all sides with olive oil; transfer to two rimmed baking sheets.
  2. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing into wedges. Serve topped with more chutney, if desired.

Cook's Note

Because Brie melts so quickly, it's important to use thick slices, and to place them toward the center of the tortillas. This way, the cheese won't ooze out of the quesadillas during baking.

 Everyday Food, November 2005

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Three-Pepper-and-Sausage Corn-Bread Dressing



When I saw this recipe in the New York Times this morning I immediately thought of my daughter in law.  She is fast becoming a good cook but more importantly, she is developing her own style.  I can see from her choice of recipes a love for the hot and spicy and what we call in this country Tex Mex style.

Last night we went to an early Thanksgiving dinner at her parents house and one of her contributions was a green bean casserole with cheese and jalapenos.  It was not only delicious but also a standout in what has become perhaps the most traditional menu of the whole year.  Amidst  the turkey and gravy, the mashed and sweet potatoes, the collard greens and the cranberry sauce here was a new twist on an old recipe that made the meal rather unique and special.  It was what really stood out in my mind apart from the collard greens which I had never had in my life!

So if you are just starting to venture into the kitchen,  cook what you like, don't be a slave to tradition and develop your own style.  You'll be a great cook in no time.


Three-Pepper-and-Sausage Corn Bread Dressing


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds andouille sausage, or substitute fresh chorizo or hot Italian sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, cleaned and diced
  • 2 red or orange bell peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 poblano or Anaheim peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 serrano or jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups turkey or chicken stock (recipe here; if using store-bought broth, use low-sodium variety)
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 1 pan corn bread (recipe here), cut into chunks and allowed to dry overnight (alternatively, toast fresh corn bread in warming oven for approximately 10 minutes)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 375. Heat olive oil in large flat-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and sauté until browned, approximately 10 minutes. Remove to a large bowl and set aside.

Add onions and reduce heat to medium, then sauté until they begin to turn clear and soften, approximately 5 minutes. Add celery and peppers and continue cooking until peppers begin to soften, approximately 10 minutes.

Pour vegetable mixture into bowl with sausage, add cilantro and toss to mix.

Return pan to heat and deglaze with a splash of chicken stock, then scrape contents into bowl with sausage and vegetable mixture.

Pour mixture into a large roasting pan and add beaten eggs and cubed corn bread, mixing by hand. Add turkey or chicken stock to moisten, cover with aluminum foil and place in oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is soft and the flavors well incorporated. For a crunchy top, remove foil for final 10 minutes of cooking. Dressing can be made ahead of time and reheated later. Add additional stock if needed, and salt and pepper to taste.
8 to 10 servings
  • Originally published with Three-Pepper-and-Sausage Corn-Bread Dressing
  • By SAM SIFTON, November 11, 2012
  •   Schierlitz for The New York Times; Food stylist: Brian Preston-Campbell. Prop stylist: Bettina Budewig.


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