Sunday, December 2, 2007


Introducing Clark by KaleidoWarper

Copyright © 2007, All Rights Reserved

Tasty Healthy Chinese Dumplings

  • 1 lb of lean ground pork or any ground meat
  • 3 stalks of celery, cleaned
  • 2 cans of water chestnuts. drained
  • 3-5 leaves of nappa or chinese cabbage
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 1tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1tbsp of sesame oil
  • 2 packages of wonton wraps

Instructions for dumpling filling

  1. Using the food processor, chop the celery stalks and water chestnuts until very fine. Drain most of the juices and add to the ground meat.
  2. Chop the chinese cabbage and drain any juices. Add to the meat mixture.
  3. Chop the green onions fine and add to the mix.
  4. Using a spatula, mix all the ingredients until well mixed.
  5. Add soy and sesame oil, mix them in.
  6. Open one package of wonton wraps at a time.
  7. Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Fill a small bowl with warm water.
  8. Using a teaspoon, spoon the mix into the center of the wrap and moisten all the edges of the wrap with the water. Fold the wrap in half and seal the edges. The wontons will look like pillows. We like to use this shape because my kids like the dumplings fried and they fry much more evenly when done in the pillow shape. Place the dumpling on the sheet and fill the rest of the wraps. Do not overfill or it will be hard to seal the dumplings.

Cooking instructions

  1. Boil a large pot of water. When water comes to a boil add approximately 10 dumplings, one at the time in the water. When the start to float to the top of the water, they are ready.
  2. Using a slotted spoon or colander spoon, remove the dumplings from the water and rest them on a cookie sheet.

Ways to serve the dumplings
A. saute them in a frying pan using canola or vegetable oil. Enjoy with Chinese Dipping Sauce.

B. place them on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil on one side. Place in a pre-heated 400F oven and bake until golden brown. About 10 minutes. Use the convection setting, if you have a convection oven. These are lighter and crisper than the sauted version. Also re-heat really well in the toaster oven or regular oven as leftover.

C. My favorite way: Heat some chicken stock or use the water that the dumplings were cooked in as a soup base. In a large soup bowl, place sheet of torn nori, some nappa cabbage, green onions. Add dumplings, about 8. Pour the desired liquid as the soup base. For flavor, mix in soy sauce, hot sauce, sesame oil. Enjoy the wonton soup. Delicious.

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Copyright © 2007, 2008, All Rights Reserved



  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix, prepared as directed
  • 1 can of chocolate frosting
  • 1 can of white fluff frosting
  • 16 oreos


  1. Bake the cake using either 8 or 9 inch round pans. Cool completely.
  2. Remove one cake from the pan and place on a platter.
  3. If desired you can flatten the top, but slicing the top of the cake. Frost from the center to about 1/2 inch from the edge with the white fluff frosting.
  4. Crumble 6 oreos and sprinkle on the frosting.
  5. Remove the other cake and place it on top of the first cake.
  6. Frost the center to about 1/2 inch from the edge of top of the cake with white fluff frosting.
  7. Frost the sides and unfrosted top edges with the chocolate frosting.
  8. Crumble 6 oreos and sprinkle on the white fluff part of the frosted cake.
  9. Take remaining oreos and decorate the cake with them.

Great recipe for kids to help with and a tasty treat too. It will look like you spent hours making this eye and palate pleasing treat.

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Copyright © 2007, 2008, All Rights Reserved

Chinese Beef-ala-Lizabetti


  • 1.5 lbs of top round/bottom round or chuck beef
  • a piece of fresh ginger mashed
  • 5-6 fresh cloves of garlic mashed
  • 1/8 cup of mushroom flavored soy
  • 1/8 cup of dark soy
  • 1TBSP vodka
  • 1 TBSPsesame oil
  • 1/2 cup of stock
  • canola or olive oil
  • ground pepper
  • boiled eggs (optional)


  1. cut the beef into cubes and trim if needed. Pat the beef dry with paper towel and set aside
  2. combine the soy, vodka and sesame oil
  3. in a large skillet that has a cover, coat the bottom of pan with canola or olive oil and heat on medium/high.
  4. when the pan is hot, add the beef and sear on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant.
  6. turn the heat down and add the soy mixture. The liquid will bubble. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the stock.
  7. leave the beef simmering for a few hours, until the beef is tender. Taste the beef and if necessary you can add a little more soy to suit your taste
  8. (optional) about 30 minutes before serving, peel boiled eggs and add to the pan. Turn the eggs at least once so they are well coated with the sauce. Pepper to taste.

Serve with white rice and a vegetable like baby bok choy or cabbage. Serves 4-6. Here is a picture of how Old Man River enjoys this dish.

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Copyright © 2007, 2008, All Rights Reserved

Simply Smooth Creme Caramel

This is a recipe that has been handed down from my mother and it originates in Brazil, where they call it Pudding. The custard comes out so smooth and delicious. It is a favorite desert.


  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 can of condensed milk
  • 2-3 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 metal ring mold
  • a metal roasting pan, large enough to hold the 1 ring mold


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. Warm milk till lukewarm, do not boil.
  3. Using a wisk, wisk eggs and condensed milk.
  4. Gently incorporate the warm milk and wisk together.
  5. Using the metal ring mold dissolve the sugar in a little warm water.
  6. Over a medium burner, caramalize the sugar water until it is nice golden brown.
  7. Fill the mold with the creme caramel. Carefully place the filled ring mold in the roasting pan.
  8. Fill the roasting pan with warm water, about 1/3 of the way up the ring mold. The water will provide steam which will help the custard to bake properly.
  9. Bake for 50-60 minutes.
  10. Cool completely.
  11. Run a narrow metal spatula along the edges of the mold. Place a platter over the mold and carefully unmold the caramel.

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Copyright © 2007, 2008, All Rights Reserved

Mediterranean Pasta Salad w/Fried Egg

  • 1 package whole wheat penne or rotini pasta
  • 2 or 3 eggs
  • 1 large tomato or 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1/4 bunch of fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tea spoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 tea spoon fresh chives, chopped
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 1 pinch coarse sea salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 oz Feta cheese, preferably Bulgarian
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar


  1. Boil pasta according to package directions and drain. Reduce cooking time by 1 minute to ensure that the pasta is al-dente
  2. Lay pasta in an attractive dish
  3. mix oil, vinegar, oregano, and chives in a bowl
  4. pour half the dressing directly on the pasta and stir well
  5. Slice tomatoes and place over pasta
  6. Crumble the feta cheese over the tomatoes.
  7. Fry the eggs sunny-side-up, sprinkle with cumin and sea salt
  8. lay the fried eggs over the salad, sprinkle with parsley

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Copyright © 2007, 2008, All Rights Reserved

You Can Build a Stone Pizza Oven

A stone oven is relatively simple to build and can cook every bit as well as an expensive brick oven. It serves the purpose of a great grill that you can use year round. It also has the advantage of allowing you to bake awesome pizza in the summer without heating up your house. I make many different dishes in this oven including my beloved Rustica Shrimp Gorgonzola Pizza and the ever popular Smoked Turkey and Sausage Barbecue.

After you read this article, please see the follow on Build an Improved Stone Pizza oven

Since rocks vary so much in size, I will give you general directions. You will need to fill in some of the gaps with your own ingenuity.


  • Rocks - I suggest you get them from your nearest construction site. They probably want to get rid of them anyways. Flat rocks are the best for rock walls, barbecue grills, and of course stone ovens. Do not use river rocks, as they tend to explode under extreme heat. The rocks should be roughly brick shaped, but they can be a variety of manageable sizes.
  • Soil or Dirt - It does not need to be high quality, just not sandy.High clay content is desired.

  • Water

  • A used smoker barrel or any barrel with the top and bottom removed

Theory of Operation

The oven operates on a basic furnace principle where the heat from the fire causes air to flow up the chimney. This causes more air to be drawn in which gets heated up and shoots upwards. In this way it creates its own draft. The taller the chimney, the greater the temperature difference between the top and bottom, the greater the draft.

The heat diffuser barrel spreads the heat out for move even cooking.


Site Preparation

In a level spot, far from the house, dig a rectangular hole 6 inches deep and 4 feet wide by 4 feet long. Fill with gravel. The gravel provides a stable platform for the rocks as well as helping to drain the oven in the case of a rain storm. This is your foundation.

Dig 2 4 foot long by 6 inch wide trenches in a down hill direction from the edge of the foundation. Fill the trenches with gravel. These are your oven's drains.

Mix the Cement

The cement is really mud with organic material mixed in to give it strength. This is basically the same principle as adobe bricks, but used between the rocks. You can also do crazy things like putting tulip bulbs in your mud, and yes they will grow out the side of your oven.

  1. Use a large tub, I used my kid's old sandbox.
  2. Dump in about 10 shovel fulls of loose soil. It does not have be great soil, but it is better if it is high in clay. Sand is no good
  3. Mix in about 2 shovels of grass clipings. Even weeds will do the job here.
  4. Pour in just enough water to bind the mixture into a thick mud. Don't overdo the water.
  5. Mix thoroughly with your shovel, this will be a great workout.
  6. Let stand for at least one hour. You will need a rest anyways.

Build the First Level

  1. Never build more than 2 or 3 layers per day. The cement needs to set, and you need to rest and watch sports on TV anyways.
  2. Build 3 walls, rock wall style, leaving the front open. The 3 sides should be close enough that the barrel rests on all 3 walls.

  3. Continue building until the height is about 2 feet.

  4. Rest the barrel on 3 sides.
  5. Use a large stone to cross over the gap on the front side, make sure you use lots of cement to bond all surfaces.
  6. Build more walls on all four sides of the barrel. Use plenty to cement between the barrel and the rocks.

  7. Keep building until the walls reach the top of the barrel.

Complete the Oven


  1. Build the back and side walls up for another 1-2 feet. Of course leave the front open. Remember to use plenty of cement.
  2. Lay a large flat stone over the top to form the roof, bonding with plenty of cement. Make sure to keep a 6 incg gap open to the rear to form a chimney.
  3. The chimney is very important, so be creative. You can use a steel stove pipe, but I chose to build it out of rocks.
  4. After you have made the chmney cover the remainder of the gap in the rear roof with  flat rocks and bond thoroughly with cement.
  5. Cure the oven by running a fire in it for several hours. This will help the cement set. You can use crappy wood and even burn yard junk for this fire since you are not going to cook on it.
  6. You may want to build some accessories for your oven. I made a heat proof door and an electric rotisseri. I will describe those projects for you on another day, meanwhile, enjoy your oven.


Don't forget to see the improved version at Build an Improved Stone Pizza oven.  

 Copyright © 2007, All Rights Reserved

Smoked Turkey with a Side of Sausage

This is one for the barbecue. I make in this the Stone Pony , my home made stone oven, but you can make it in any grill that has a rotisserie.

  • A quality barbecue grill with electric rotisserie.
  • A rotisserie basket attachment. You can find this in the second most popular home improvement store (AKA not a depot).
  • A good sharp knife.
  • A fork.


  • 1 hotel style turkey breast, or a small turkey.
  • 2 tbsp Dry oregano.
  • 2 tbsp Coarse Sea Salt
  • 3 tbsp Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 12 cloves garlic,chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, cut into spikes
  • 2 Packs Italian Sausage (optional, but required if you are a real man)


  1. De-bone the turkey breast by removing the rib cage from the meat.
  2. Rub the turkey meat with salt and rinse with cold water, pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. pat the turkey meat with salt and chopped garlic
  4. poke the turkey with a knife and insert spiked garlic
  5. mix oragano, paprica, salt and cumin in a bowl. You can use this dry rub for any barbecue meat.
  6. rub entire turkey breast with the dry rub, let stand for at least 2 hours, or overnight in the fridge.
  7. Stuff the turkey meat tightly surrounded by the optional (though manly) Italian sausage into the rotisserie basket.
  8. Using the rotisserie, grill the meat for at least 2 hours on low heat with the cover over the grill. When the food is done, the color will match these pictures.

I usually grill with apple wood. If you are using a gas or charcoal grill you can throw in some moist or green apple wood chunks to give a smoke flavor.

One turkey breast makes enough meat for a week's worth of lunch sandwitches for a family of four. The sausages are usually consumed on the spot by Lizabetti, who always seems to have room for sausage, even when she is too full to finish her salad.

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Copyright © 2007, 2008, All Rights Reserved

Asian Noodles with Chicken and Veggies


  • 1 boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp of soy
  • 1 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp of rice wine
  • 1 tsp of cornstarch
  • 6 tbsp of canola oil
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 8 oz. of low mein noodles or thai noodles
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted peanuts


  • 1/8 cup soy or mushroom soy
  • 2 tbsp of wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp of rice wine
  • 3/4 cup of stock
  • 1 tsp of cornstarch
  • pinch of sugar


  • 3 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp of chili paste with garlic (use less if you don't like it really spicy)
  • 1 tbsp of minced ginger
  • 3 stalks of green onions minced

  1. Cut chicken breast into small thin strips. It is easier to do if the chicken breast is slightly frozen. Toss the chicken with the soy, sesame,wine and cornstarch mixture. Set is aside.
  2. Clean celery stalks and peel carrots.
  3. Cut celery and carrots on into thin slices on a slant. The carrot slices can be further cut in half.
  4. Chop the remaining green onions and set aside.
  5. Peel onion. Cut the onion in half and thinly slice the halves.

Noodle Preparation
  1. If you are using the low mein noodles, the type that is found in the refrigerated section on the supermarket, heat them in about 3 tbsp of sesame oil and add 1/2 cup of stock, toss lightly. Set aside. (The stock will be soaked up.)
  2. If you are using the dry thai noodles, soak them in boil/very hot water until they are soft, probably about 5 minutes. Don't cook them in the water or they become too mushy.


  1. a large skillet, add 3 tbsp of canola oil and heat until the oil starts to shimmer. Add the chicken and cook thoroughly. Add 1 tbsp of spice mixture and coat the chicken thoroughly. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add 3 tbsp of canola oil and the remaining spice mix. Cook until fragrant. (It is important to add the veggies one at the time, since they all have varying cooking times. This will ensure that all the veggies are cooked while still retaining their flavor and texture)
  3. Add the white onions and cook until it starts to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook until it starts to wilt.
  5. Add the carrots, cook a few minutes.
  6. Add the celery and cook a few minutes.
  7. Return the cooked chicken to the mixture and mix it thoroughly with the vegetables.
  8. Add the peanuts and mix them in.
  9. Add the noodles and thoroughly mix them into the pot.
  10. Make sure that the cornstarch is thoroughly mixed into the sauce and pour sauce into the pan.
  11. Mix and thoroughly combine all the ingredients. Put the lid on the pan and let the dish rest on the stove with the heat off. Rest for about 3 minutes.
  12. Now it is ready to serve. Sprinkle the chopped green onion.

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Salad Nicoise

Pronounced neess-waz, this salad is a favorite on the French Riviera. It's name literally means salad from Nice, the famous Cote d'Azure resort city.
  • salad greens such as mescalin mix, Boston lettuce or baby spinach
  • 1 medium boiled potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2cup of green beans
  • 2 small cucumbers
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of pitted black olives
  • 2 boiled eggs, peeled and thinly sliced
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • 8 oz of leftover grilled swordfish or salmon ( can substitute 1 can of tuna, drained)

  1. Chop the green beans into 2 in long pieces and blanch by placing them in boiling water for about 30 seconds. 

  2. Remove immediately and drop them in cold water. 

  3. Remove from the water and add vinagrette.  Set aside.

  4. In a small mixing bowl, mix potato with vinaigrette dressingand set aside.

  5. In a separate bowl, using a fork, flake the salmon or swordfish. Add vinaigrette dressing and mix. Set aside. (If using tuna, mix it with vinaigrette and set aside)

  6. Place salad greens in a nice salad bowl.

  7. Slice cucumbers diagonally and add to the salad.

  8. Add olives and red onions.

  9. Place the tomatoes that have been quartered along the edges.

  10. Line the thinly sliced eggs along the bowl.

  11. In the center of the bowl, add the dressed potatoes and on top of that add the dressed fish.
Additional dressing may be added to the salad. Salt and pepper the salad to taste. Serve 4.
Copyright © 2009, All Rights Reserved

Light and Healthy Mooshoo


  • 1/2 a small cabbage (about 2 cups shredded)
  • 1/2 cup of dried wood ear mushrooms (auricularia)
  • 1 cup of dried chinese black mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 4-8 oz of thinly sliced meat (pork, chicken, beef)
  • 1tsp of sesame oil
  • 1tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1tsp of cornstarch
  • 2tsp of vodka
  • olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • dark soy or dark mushroom flavored soy
  • Mandarin pancakes
  • hoisin sauce


  • It is easier to slice the meat if it is slightly frozen. So if the meat is frozen, it will be ready to slice about an hour after you take it out of the freezer. Or, place the meat in the freezer for about an hour and then slice.
  • Use pre-sliced wood ears if you can find them at your local asian market .


  1. Reconstitute the dried wood ears and mushrooms in hot water or stock for about 30 minutes or until soft. Drain the liquid and reserve for later.
  2. Marinade the meat in the soy, sesame oil, vodka and cornstarch.
  3. Thinly slice mushrooms and wood ears.
  4. Core the stem of the cabbage. Using a sharp knife thinly slice the cabbage. Rinse with water and spin dry with veggie spinner.
  5. Clean the green onions, set aside 3 stalks of green onions. With the remaining stalks slice them diagonally so they are about 1 inch long.
  6. Finely chop the rest of the green onions.
  7. Heat a large skillet with a 2tbsp of olive oil. .
  8. Saute the meat until cooked. Remove and set aside
  9. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan.
  10. When the oil has began to shimmer, add the cabbage.
  11. Saute for about 2 minutes and add mushrooms.
  12. Add the wood ears.
  13. Stir and continue to cook until the cabbage starts to wilt.
  14. Add the cooked meat and stir it in.
  15. Salt and add a splash of soy.
  16. Transfer to a dish and top with finely chopped green onions.

To serve, heat Mandarin pancakes according to directions. Fill the pancake with mixture and add a dollop of hoisin sauce. Wrap the pancake and enjoy.

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Copyright © 2007, 2008, All Rights Reserved

Sweet Home Made Apple Sauce

  • 2-3 apples such as gala, braeburn, fiji or delicious


The number of apples you use will depend on how many servings you need and the size of the apples. Plan for 1-2 apples per person.

  1. Wash the apples and peel with a veggie peeler. Then using an apple slicer, slice each apple.
  2. Place them in a microwave safe glass container that has a lid.
  3. Microwave the apples 2-3 minutes per apple. The apples will have nice pale color and there should be some liquid released by the cooking.
  4. Using a mini food processor if you are doing 3-5 apples, otherwise use the regular food processor. Puree the apples to the desired consistency.
  5. If you are serving this to kids, you may want to puree it to a fine and smooth consistency. Others might enjoy it on the chunkier consistency.
  6. Refrigerate any unused portion. The applesauce will be naturally sweet and delicious.

For a change of pace, you can also add a few pears to the dish. Also pears can be substituted to make pearsauce.

This recipe is great to use up those fruit that might be a little less than perfect. A truly organic applesauce for babies.

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Copyright © 2007, 2008, All Rights Reserved


  • 1 cup of couscous or bulgur wheat
  • 1 bunch of parsley finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions finely chopped
  • 1tbsp of dried mint
  • 1-2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1-2 chopped cucumbers
  • juice of 2-3 limes
  • 1/4 cup of first press olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • pepper to taste


  1. Place couscous in a fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water. Drain all the water from the couscous and place into a large bowl.
  2. Add the olive oil.
  3. Add the parsley, green onion and mint. Mix well with couscous.
  4. Add the lime juice, one lime at the time. Keep adding to taste. We like it on the tart side so we use 3 limes.
    Add the salt and taste. If necessary you may add a little more salt. At this point you can let the tabouleh sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and cucumbers and mix well just before you are going to serve it. Serves 4.

The measurements given are a starting point. As you make the salad, taste and you can adjust the seasonings based on your own particular taste. In the summer when we grow fresh hot pepper, we add these to the salad for an extra zing.

The couscous we like to use is the Trader Joe's whole wheat couscous because it has 7g of dietary fiber per 1/3 cup of dry wheat as compared to 1-2g per serving with others. It is a finer type of couscous and that is why we don't recommend soaking it in water. In fact, we don't soak the bulgur as a rule because it tends to make it very soggy especially if you have left over.

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Copyright © 2009, All Rights Reserved

Mustard-Oregano Vinaigrette Dressing


  • 1/4 cup of dijon or grainy brown mustard
  • 1 tbsp of finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar (may need additional to get desired consistency)
  • 1/4 cup of first pressed olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of garlic

  1. Place mustard in a small mixing bowl.

  2. Add oregano and garlic, mix thoroughly with mustard.

  3. Slowly whisk in vinegar. Check consistency as you go. If you like it on the thinner side, add more vinegar.

  4. Once the vinegar is thoroughly incorporated, beginning to whisk olive oil, by drizzling it as you whisk.

  5. Check for consistency as you go. Let it rest for about 30 minutes.

  6. Keep refrigerated and it will stay fresh for about 5 days.

Copyright © 2007, 2008, All Rights Reserved

Chinese Dipping Sauce

  • 1tsp fresh grated ginger root
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp Chinese sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayene pepper, reduce for a less spicy sauce
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar


  1. Use a fine cheese grater to grate the ginger root into a mixing bowl
  2. Mix garlic, green onions, and cayene pepper with the ginger. Stir thoroughly.
  3. Add sesame oil, soy, and vinegar. Stir thoroughly.
  4. Serve with Chinese dumplings, pot stickers, egg rolls, or any other Chinese food.

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