France – Steak with Bearnaise, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and String Beans with Shallots

Ok the real question is why are the French not fat. This was the real deal – heart attack on a plate – and the yummiest thing I’ve made in years. We all decided that for the rest of the week we’ll be eating salads. But – it was worth it!

The Barefoot Contessa Steak with Bearnaise –

Easy French Food – Garlic Mashed Potatoes –

The Barefoot Contessa String Beans with Shallots –


~ Nana Morena


Thailand – Sukhothai Pad Thai

This was a hard one for a girl in Idaho. I couldn’t find tamarind pulp or oriental radish in our stores. I don’t know how much they would have changed the dish. This one I’d say is just OK. It was a little sweet for me. I’m not familiar with Thai food, so maybe that is what it was supposed to be like. I’m sure it would help to live somewhere with an oriental grocery store. 

This recipe was from  

Sukhothai Pad Thai



~ Nana Moreno (Grandmother to the cutest grand-baby)

Argentina – Steak Gaucho-Style with Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce and Homemade Fries

I got both of these recipes from the Food Network. They were both just as good as you would expect. Ryan would love the steak. (I did!) The sauce is well worth the effort.

Argentina  –  Steak Gaucho-Style with Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce –

Emeril’s Perfect French Fries –


~ Nana Morena


Israeli Sarah’s Sabih

I made this Sabih which was billed as “The Best Pita Ever!” I don’t know if it is the best pita I’ve ever had, but it may be the best one I’ve ever made. The only drawback is the eggplant. I do love eggplant, but it really soaks up the oil when you fry it. That made the dish higher in calories than I’d like. I honestly think you wouldn’t miss it if you left it out. Then it wouldn’t be a Sabih, though. I think all the recipes I found had eggplant. Does anyone know how to fry eggplant so that it doesn’t soak up all the oil?

Sarah’s Sabih or “The Best Pita Ever!”


~Nana Morena

Israeli Chicken Sandwiches



This recipe is just a slight variation of this Rachael Ray recipe:

I have no idea how authentically Israeli this recipe might be, but as with absolutely every Rachael Ray recipe, it is deeelicious. Also not exactly what you would call healthy, but that’s because the two of us ate the entire recipe.
Finally, this was quick! Yay for an easy weeknight meal!
Serves 2 people who like to eat.
2 chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 red tomatoes
1 yellow tomato (I was so excited to find this at Kroger, but it just tasted like a tomato)
1/3 red onion
1 tbsp parsley flakes
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 naan breads
Rachael recommends grilling, but we don’t have a grill. AND I really wanted to play with my new toy: this 12 inch cast iron skillet!
Preheat the oven to 400. Dip a paper towel in vegetable oil and wipe the inside of the skillet so it glistens greasily. Place over burner on medium heat. While it heats, mix up paprika, cumin, oregano, pepper flakes, and salt. Rub olive oil into chicken thighs. Rub spices into both sides of chicken thighs. When you can smell the pan (but before it smokes!), place thighs in pan. Cover loosely with foil. After about 2 minutes, flip the thighs. Give them another 2 minutes, and then put the whole pan in the oven. Set timer for 15 minutes.
While those thighs bake, chop tomatoes and onion. Mix with parsley, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt, and olive oil. Add more salt to taste.
Check the chicken. If done, pull out the pan and place the naan in the oven. Use tongs to pull the meat off the bones. I also removed the huge chunks of skin because they gross me out. Swirl the chicken meat around in the spicy juice in the bottom of the pan. 
Fix up some sandwiches! 
p.s. In case you’re wondering what that sauce in the picture is, it’s an Idaho classic: fry sauce. Mayo, ketchup, and a dash of cayenne. It’s a way to make oven fries a bit healthier!

French Chicken Cassoulet and Peasant Bread


This meal definitely needs a good red wine!

Cassoulet (recipe adapted from

Serves 4


5 ounces smoked sausage (1/3 off a big ring), cut into little rounds and then into fourths

4 slices bacon

2 chicken breasts, diced into small pieces

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp bay leaf flakes

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 cup water

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cans Great Northern Beans


Six hours before dinner (or the night before). Fry bacon until crispy. Set aside for later. Add onion to pan. Cook until soft. Add chicken. Cook until browned. Add sausage, garlic powder, bay leaves, pepper, and salt. Stir in water, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes. Dump entire mix in crock pot. Turn on low.

One hour before dinner, add beans and crumbled bacon to the pot. Stir. Serve when beans are heated through.

Peasant Bread (not my recipe, but I don’t remember where it came from!)


For the Poolish:
1/4 tsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water (not hot! You don’t want to kill the yeast!)
3/8 cup flour
For the Dough:
1 1/4 cups warm water
1/4 tsp yeast
3 cups flour
1 tbsp salt


The night before, mix poolish ingredients until completely combined. Cover and store in the fridge.

Bring poolish to room temperature. Place in bread maker pan. Add dough ingredients in the following order: water, yeast, salt, flour. Cook on french bread setting.



So, I think I’m going have to go ahead and not recommend this one. I loved the concept of a rolled steak and was expecting a lot of well blended flavors. While the steak did take on a nice vinegary flavor in the marinade, the stuffing of the steak had an unpleasant texture and not much flavor. The egg yolks and bread crumbs combined to a sticky mess. The only hope inside the steak was a bite of red pepper or carrot, but this did little to flavor or counteract the unpleasant texture of the bread crumbs. I would like to try this type of recipe again (particularly when it is really cold outside), but revamp the stuffing. It might be tasty with just an assortment of vegetables and maybe a little cheese, or it would be really tasty with a red wine marinade and a Swiss cheese and mushroom stuffing (although I’m not sure how Argentinian it would be). 



~Morenita Unoa

September Challenge: International Cuisine!

September Challenge: International Cuisine!

September Challenge: International Cuisine!

A culinary Tour de France, Argentina, Thailand, and Israel.

Vegetarian or Vegan Roasted Veggie Salad Wraps

Serves 4



feta cheese (optional–omit for vegan recipe)

chopped kalamata olives

chopped lettuce

chopped tomato


1 can garbanzo beans (save the juice!)

1 lemon, juiced

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp tahini or sesame oil

2 tbsp olive oil



red bell pepper

red onion or sweet onion


yellow squash

yellow bell pepper


Chop all veggies into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Make a foil boat large enough to place veggies in a single layer. Heat grill or oven to 400. Begin to roast veggies, tossing every 4 minutes. 

While veggies roast, place all hummus ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend and thin with garbanzo bean juice until desired consistency. Salt to taste.

Once veggies are tender (but not mushy!), create wraps by spreading tortillas with a good amount of hummus, about a cup of veggies, feta, olives, lettuce, and tomatoes. Eat while veggies are hot.

Steak Salad

Steak Salad

This is yummier than my original recipe. I of course didn’t use Belgian endive as it doesn’t exist here. Also, I used way less onion. Giada recipes are always wonderful.

Picture of Steak Salad Recipe