Mashed Potatoes Recipe

I buy a CSA box–a Community Supported Agriculture box–that is stocked with produce.

The latest offering featured dried chili peppers, mint, parsley, and thyme, two potatoes, and red leaf lettuce. I couldn’t tell what the other produce item was–it was a thick green frond. Not like Swiss chard–it was thicker and harder.

I figured out how to make mashed potatoes. The good news is you don’t need a recipe for them to come out right. It’s nearly foolproof so here goes:

For one person:

Peel two potatoes. Cut them into chips and cut the chips in quarters.

Boil the potatoes in water in a sauce pan with the water covering the potatoes.

Boil for about 40 minutes. Drain the water from the saucepan.

Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until there are barely any lumps.

Pour in milk slowly from a measuring cup. Use a teaspoon or tablespoon to beat the potatoes.

Use a tiny amount of milk and add more milk as you go along.

Once the potatoes are as creamy as you’d like them:

Serve with butter and if you’d like you can salt them.

Voila: an easy recipe for mashed potatoes.

As you’ll see below I served them with a parmesan-crusted chicken cutlet.

I’ll be making another recipe for chilled avocado soup and will return with a photo of the soup.

It’s summertime–and the living ISN’T always easy. Yet if you ask me it’s a wonderful season for cooking from recipes. The abundance of fresh and tasty produce is a cook’s delight for at least the next six months.

mashed potatoes

CSA Boxes

A CSA is Community Supported Agriculture.

In New York City you can get a CSA box delivered to your house or apartment via Fresh Direct instead of having to travel to an inconvenient location to pick up a CSA box and then schlep it home.

The photo below features a salad created with CSA box produce: red romaine lettuce, red oak leaf lettuce, greenhouse tomatoes, and french breakfast radishes.

You can buy the indispensable book Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop.

I go running to this cookbook all the time in Greenmarket season.

Also in the box was kohlrabi and I’m going to make a recipe with this vegetable too.

The box contained yellow chard and baby red bok choy too.


This is the spring table decor. A joyful table can put you in the mood to linger over your food.

I didn’t post the zucchini recipe. I realized I had posted a blog entry with this recipe years ago. It might be in the recipes category link on the right.

I will return in the coming week to topics I refer to in my upcoming non-fiction books.

Organic Zucchini Recipe


This organic zucchini recipe is quite simple: cut zucchini in half and hollow out center and fill with grated parmesan cheese.

Heat in oven for 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Voila–a healthful summertime and early fall meal or dinner.

The ceramic Starbucks Venti cup is a Rodarte limited edition design. Rodarte is a fashion house. The cups were available about five years ago.

You can buy some nice ceramic cups in Starbucks. That coffee shop has some OK bistro food selections.
I will return with other recipes in the coming weeks. As always, you can click on the recipes category to the right or on the bottom of this page if you’re on a cell phone. I’ve posted a number of other recipes that are in season now.

Happy Eating!



Quick Asparagus Recipe


I don’t feel like it violates copyright to offer you this asparagus recipe because it’s quite simple.

Roasted Asparagus with Olive Oil and Salt

1 1/2 lb asparagus tough ends snapped off

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place asparagus in large baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the spears and toss gently to coat from end to end. Place the spears in a single layer.
  3. Roast in the oven until the asparagus are lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Shake the pan once or twice within that time to turn the spears.
  4. Transfer asparagus to a serving platter and sprinkle with salt.

This meal can be served hot, warm or at room temperature.

I used only 1 lb asparagus so reduced the amount of olive oil I used.

I heated the asparagus in a glass baking dish. You can get a glass baking dish on the cheap in a dollar store. They can be bought at a dollar store in various sizes.

Again: the scallops take only at most 10 minutes to saute in a pan and are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acid.

Total time for this late spring healthful dinner: 15 minutes to cook.




Chockfull of Salad

I tend to have a lot of salads. You can buy Earthbound Farms organic kale on the cheap and it will last for four days of servings.

Here’s an easy simple recipe:

Cut kale or other greens up. Peel and chop carrots. Use olives. Cut tomatoes into wedges. Slice an onion. You can also slice bell peppers.

Toss into a salad bowl. Add olive oil and vinegar or olive oil and lemon. Squirt onto the salad to your taste and toss.

I add grated parmesan on the salad after I use the dressing on it.

Here’s a handy secret that I really shouldn’t be giving away:

You can buy pre-made salads and place them in individual salad bowls to serve to guests at a dinner party. You can find store-bought salad dressing to use that is a healthful option like Cucina Antica organic salad dressing

Fresh Direct is an online delivery service in New York City and Philadelphia. Peapod is available in a lot of other places online. Either way you get groceries and household supplies delivered right to your front door.

I buy Greek salads this way and found a Fresh Direct olive oil-and-sundried tomato vinaigrette dressing to use on the salads.

Bobbi Brown the famous makeup artist in her book Living Beauty describes how to make what she calls a “chopped kitchen salad.”

Whether it’s her version or mine I make the case for having more salads and other greens for lunch or dinner.

You can get a CSA box delivered from Fresh Direct–a community-supported agriculture box of 8 to 10 items of produce from June through end of December. It comes from a local organic farm.

The $30/box has enough produce to make a variety of meals or side dishes. I received butter leaf lettuce and created a salad for dinner one night along with a recipe for lemon-and-thyme carrots.

It’s true I’m obsessed with eating mostly only real food that comes from God’s green earth not a laboratory.

Get the cookbook Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop. I find myself running to this book every week to cook the produce I buy. The recipes are simple and easier to cook because they don’t often take up a lot of time.

Happy eating!


Fall Into Winter Favorites

I want to return to talking about nutrition.

The fall through early winter is my favorite time of year for eating well.

One recipe that is easy and healthful is for butternut squash soup:

Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Roast in 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Take out and scoop out squash and blend in a blender with vegetable stock. Add about half a container of stock and add more to suit your taste if you’d like. I buy the vegetable stock boxes.

Pour soup mixture in saucepan and add 1/2 cup heavy cream. Simmer until heated.

Serve with a couple slices of cheese and some whole grain bread. I like the organic whole wheat sourdough bread you can get from Bread Alone in New York City.

Hearty! And oh so filling!

Up next I’ll talk about my kind of a garden salad that I call a chockfull of salad salad.

Pear and Cheese Panini

This recipe is from the Women’s Health Tastes Better Together column.

Pear and Cheese Panini

2 tsp grated fresh ginger
8 slices whole-wheat sourdough bread (1/4-inch thick)
4 oz blue cheese
1 pear, sliced and cored
1 cup baby arugula
Cooking spray

Rub ginger across one side of each bread slice. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons blue cheese over 4 bread slices.

Top with pear slices and arugula, then the remaining cheese, then the remaining bread to make 4 sandwiches.

Spray a grill pan with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. Place 2 sandwiches in the pan, cover with parchment, and place a large skillet on top to press.

Cook until grill marks form, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip sandwiches, cover, and press, until grill marks form and cheese melts, 1 to 2 minutes.

Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

You can halve this recipe to serve two people. You can also use a panini press machine with a cover to grill the sandwiches instead of using a grill pan and a skillet. Buy a round container of crumbled blue cheese to make it go even easier and quicker.

I served the pear-and-cheese sandwich to a friend with a bowl of chunky tomato bisque soup.

Voila: an easy, quick, healthful Autumn lunch.