Saturday, February 25, 2017


This soup is absolutely delicious! As you can tell by the photo below my collards are doing great. No need to find people to give some to, I'll be eating them up in no time.

As usual I adapted the recipe. I cooked the soup in the crockpot. The direction for stovetop are on Eat Healthy Eat Happy where I found the recipe.


1 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
pinch red pepper flakes
1 onion, chopped
3 large carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
10 c water
15 oz. can no salt added diced tomatoes
6 oz. can no salt added tomato paste
2 Tbs lower  soy sauce
2 Tbs lime juice 
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp fresh garlic -minced
fresh black pepper to taste
1 c dried lentils
6 c packed collard greens, stems removed -Note:If you don't like or can't find collards, feel free to substitute your favorite greens. Quicker-cooking greens such as spinach should be added right at the end of cooking. 


Add the oil to a medium size skillet and saute onions and celery for about 8-10 minutes.

Add to your slowcooker the chopped carrots, paprika, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, tomato paste, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, brown sugar, pepper, lentils,onion and celery from the skillet and all the water. Stir to combine.

Add the collard greens which were de- stemed or you can use collard which they sell in bags.

Make sure everything is thoroughly combined.

Place lid on slowcooker and cook on high for 4 hours.  

Sunday, February 19, 2017



1 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
15 oz diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted), undrained
45 oz chickpeas (3 cans), rinsed and drained
1 cup vegetable broth
10 oz fresh baby spinach( I subbed collard greens)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and salt. Stir and let simmer until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, ginger and cayenne. Stir to combine and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes (with juice), chickpeas and broth. Stir and let cook for another 5 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, potato masher or large fork. You want to have a combination of mashed and whole chickpeas.

 Add the spinach to the pot, folding the leaves . If you need to add a little bit of water to loosen things up, no problem—try adding it a few tablespoons at a time. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Add lime juice and cilantro and stir well. 

 adapted from Allrecipe's Magazine

Featured 2/26/17 on Smell Good Sunday #9

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


 FIVE years of blogging. I started for a few reasons but the main one, I love to cook and wanted to share recipes with others.

Many thanks to my 95 followers- each one of you are very special to me. I wish I could hug each of you.

I have a pinterest page- BestofLongIslandandCentralFlorida. I don't post on as many parties as I use to but new recipes are always added the day I add them to the blog.

To the hosts of parties I attend - thank you for allowing me to share recipes.

2016 was a good year for recipes on Best of Long Island and Central Florida. Many of my recipes were featured and hope they were enjoyed and became part of readers "keepers".

                          I did have one HUGE surprise. In 2015 I posted

                                       Copycat Taco Bell *Bell Beefer *

 The first week in January 2017,this recipe suddenly became extremely popular.  This was a first for me. I didn't link it, I made it in 2015 and it wasn't featured. Someone saw it and posted it on facebook and from there it became popular for a few days. I will never know who saw it then shared. Who ever you are thank you!

Comment from  AnonymousSaturday, January 28, 2017-
I don't know how you did it, but this is an EXACT clone of the original and I want to thank you soo much! After 35 years, I finally got to enjoy these again. The meat mixture is right, the sauce is right to the original vinegar-based in the small plastic tubs with the foil on top you had to peal. If you follow this to a "T" and proportion, lean sirloin meat, it will be PERFECT! Like stated in the recipe, heat the buns ( I did 20 seconds with Kaiser in the microwave), add the tablespoon of sauce, add the meat and 2T of sauce on top. I then added, as I remember it with the cheese (not sure if mild or sharp, but i used mild), diced roma tomatoes, shredded lettuce with bun on top. BAM, absolutely perfect and amazing! I've been eating them all week!! Thank you, thank you for sharing! :)

This is the reason why I add recipes, I made someone whom I will never meet happy. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Chocolate Mint Brownies

I've made several Chocolate-Mint Brownies over the years and I think that this is one of the prettiest that I've made!  I think that all it needs as a finishing touch is a sprig of mint which I had plenty of in NY!  It IS time-consuming as it must cool thoroughly before spreading the next layer. 

 These are a "rich" bar, so cutting it into 16 pieces would be perfect!  

Chocolate-Mint Brownies

1/2  cup   Butter, softened
2  ounces semi- sweet chocolate
1     cup   Sugar
2  eggs            
1      tsp   Vanilla
1/2  cup   Flour 
1/4   tsp   Cinnamon

Butter & flour an 8" square baking pan and shake out excess flour.  Melt chocolate and whisk until smooth and shiny.  Remove from heat and set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream butter & sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in melted chocolate & vanilla.  Add flour and beat just until incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.  Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes or until tester comes out clean.  Cool to room temperature.

6     oz      White Chocolate
3     Tbsp  Heavy Cream 
3/4   tsp    Peppermint extract

Melt white chocolate & cream, stir constantly until mixture is smooth.  Stir in peppermint extract.  Spread filling over cooled crust.  Refrigerate until cool and set (approximately 30 minutes or longer).

4    oz     Semisweet Chocolate
1/4 cup   Heavy Cream

Melt chocolate and cream.  Whisk until melted and smooth.  Remove from heat and spread over the white chocolate layer.  Refrigerate until glaze is set (approximately 30 minutes or longer).  Cover and refrigerate.  Bring to room temperature before serving. 

Recipe from:  Mildred Miller

Featured 2/22/17 on Home and Garden Thursday