Baked Alaska — Happy Anniversary Second Act Kitchen !

wm baked alaska newToday marks one year for secondactkitchen.com. To celebrate the day, I thought it would be fun to make something special like Baked Alaska, a family favorite that I have been eating since childhood and making for almost as long.  One of my first memories of eating Baked Alaska was at summer camp when I must have been about 10 years old.   I still vividly remember the waitresses (counselors) parading through the mess hall with Baked Alaska for all of us to celebrate some special occasion I can no longer recall. What an introduction to this wonderful dessert!

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Gluten Free Low Fat Blueberry Muffins

gluten free wm blueberry muffin IMG_4263 (2)

I don’t personally avoid gluten, but I know many people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity who do.  Today local grocery stores stock a vast number of gluten free products.  You can also modify many of your favorite recipes to be gluten free.

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Japanese-Style Cabbage Slaw

wm slaw 2 550Cabbage often gets a bad rap as a vegetable to avoid — it can cause GI distress in some people, frequently  has a strong odor when cooked, and conjures up thoughts of long cold dark winter nights.  However,  I happen to like cabbage and would like you to consider making cabbage a part of your healthy diet as it is packed with nutrients, fiber and vitamins C, E and K.

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Weekend Brunch: Tomato and Sardine Tarte Tatin

wm tomato tarte tatin 2A few years ago I had the chance to spend a week with my daughter in Provence.  It was a wonderful trip filled with long beautiful vistas of sunflower fields, a day trip to the Mediterranean coast near Marseille, small cafes on quiet streets of a small village square, and a slice of wonderful tarte tatin with a cup of tea in the afternoon while we lingered over gentle conversation and an occasional good book. Continue reading

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Weeknight Quick and Easy: Indian Spiced Turkey Pita Pockets

wm turkey pita 2It’s Wednesday — time to cook dinner again!  One dish I like to make is Indian Spiced Turkey Pita Pockets, made with ground turkey breast and frozen vegetables.  I first learned how to make this dish a few years ago in a local cooking class and have modified it over the years to its current version.  The ingredients are typically things you can easily keep on hand, and it does not take a lot of time to put this dish together.  This recipe makes enough for 10 servings (1 serving = 1/2 filled pita), so it is a great choice if you like Indian spices and like to cook once and eat twice.

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Corn and Potato Chowder

wm corn chowder IMG_5097 (2)Around this time of year, it seems I usually get around to making some corn chowder. I don’t know if it’s the change of the calendar to September, the long warm afternoons of late summer and early fall, or the bounty of fresh corn you find in nearly every market you enter, but somehow it just seems like the right thing to cook for an easy light supper or weekend lunch.

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Nutrient of the Week: Fiber from Barley Squash Risotto

wm barley risotto IMG_3913 rev2

We all need some fiber every day.  While it may not be very exciting to talk about fiber, it is important because it helps us stay healthy in a number of ways. And,  the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 show that most Americans are not getting nearly enough fiber in their daily diet.

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Early Fall Picnic or BBQ? Try Black Bean, Tomato, Watermelon Salad

wm watermelon black bean IMG_5071 (2)It’s that time of year again, we’ve just finished up Labor Day weekend. End of summer, start of the school year (if you still have kids in school), beautiful late summer/early fall days, cooler late summer/early fall evenings. I don’t know about you, but we seem to nearly always have some sort of get together picnic or bbq at this time of year to top off the summer, greet the fall, and reconnect with friends.  The challenge, of course, is what to bring to the party.

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Cinnamon Almond Biscotti

wm biscotti IMG_4365 (2)Once in a while you just need something crunchy and sweet to finish off a meal.  This recipe for biscotti, made with olive oil instead of butter to reduce the saturated fat, is a nice choice for a change of pace.  These cookies are tasty, but are a little high in calories, so if you are watching your weight, you probably want to eat just one as a serving.

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Eggplant with Garlic Yogurt and Tomatoes

wm turkish eggplant2Sometimes simple is best…

One of my favorite summer dishes is eggplant with garlic yogurt and tomatoes.  I was taught this dish many years ago by a Turkish friend who frequently served it as a side dish to accompany chicken shish kebab or kofte kebab.  It is super easy and can be eaten hot or cold; it can also be refrigerated and served the next day either as a side dish or in a pita pocket for lunch.

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