Saturday, April 22, 2017

Roasted Asparagus

For roasted asparagus follow Ina Garten's easy recipe on at

Basically, clean, trim off hard outer areas of stem, place on parchment paper (the best as I hate to scrub pans) add a tiny bit of oil (or not as in my family) and roast at 400 F in the oven for about 25-30 minutes.

My husband prefers his veggies more cooked than most, so I often leave his portion in the oven while serving everyone else.

When I roast root veggies, like fresh beets, they need 45 minutes of roasting and I crank the heat up to 450 F.

Happy husband, happy life!



My husband loves scones, but per his restricted diet, I had to come up with a fool proof recipe that he would love and not feel restricted about eating more than one! This is a wonderful scone recipe. I use baking powder without aluminum or salt. Since my husband became allergic to dairy, he makes the recipe without using the buttermilk powder, but once the buttermilk is removed, the recipe no longer tastes like traditional scones. The scones need the buttermilk powder or the product is more cake-like.

Reduced-Fat Scones

4 cups flour 2 tablespoons baking powder (no aluminum, no salt) 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 2 tablespoons sugar plus additional sugar for the topping 2 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk powder 4 tablespoons canola oil 1 1/2 cups water and some extra milk or water for brushing the dough 1/2 teaspoon orange rind 1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, dried cranberries, etc.)

Place the dried fruit in the 1 1/2 cups liquid to soak. Add the oil and orange rind creating a liquid mixture. Sift the first four (dry) ingredients, add the buttermilk powder, and the water mixture containing the dried fruit. Stir until just moistened, knead about 6 times, form into 9-13 balls (depending on the humidity the dough may be sticky, so wet hands to form the balls), and brush with milk (or water) and sprinkle on some sugar. Bake at 400 F. for about 15-18 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. I brush the tops with water or milk and roll each ball in sugar.

As luck would have it, in addition to being restricted on fats, my husband became dairy intolerant, thus, below is the current recipe he uses. The recipe substitutes applesauce for some of the fat, reducing the oil to one tablespoon. I have made the recipe without oil, omitting the one tablespoon of oil, but the product was not as good as with one tablespoon of oil.

The recipe below, for lowest-fat scones, results in a product something like scones, but so much has been modified that it might pass as a cake-like cookie!

Lowest-fat, Non-dairy, Scones

2 cups of unbleached flour 1 tablespoon baking powder (no aluminum, no salt) 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 2 teaspoons honey 2 tablespoons applesauce 1 tablespoon oil (canola) 3/4 cup liquid (water or juice of choice) 1/2 cup raisins 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Put the raisins in the liquid and add the honey, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients together including flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Dump the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix, and knead about 5 times. Drop by spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet (spray a cookie sheet and place the parchment paper on top of the cooking spray). Bake at 400 F. for about 8-12 minutes until the scones are lightly browned.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Braiding a Challah Bread

When braiding a challah bread I have to remember to number the 4 strand positions as

1, 2, 3, 4

Then, put strand 4 (the farthest to the right) over strand 2.
Then put strand 1 (the farthest to the left) over strand 3.
Then move strand 2 over strand 3.
Repeat the above until all 4 strands are braided into the bread.

I will add photos the next time I make a bread!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Chocolate chip, fruit cocktail, Noodle Kugel

We are trying to make something for a meal or side dish, that everyone will eat. The idea is to entice a preschooler who is a chocolate lover. As she said to me, "Auntie Rosie, I love any kind of chocolate."
I thought of lots of recipes and then came up with this one. This recipe makes 12 kugle cupcakes and one larger, flatter, 9" x 13", kugel. I will also include the ingredients for a dozen kugelettes and a larger rectangular 9" x 13" thicker kugel.

The recipe for 12 cupcake kugelettes and one 9" x 13" rectangular pan of thin kugel include:

butter and/or cooking spray (I suggest using both in the cupcake tins)
22 ounces of medium noodles
6 large eggs slightly beaten
10.3 ounces (two small containers) of vanilla, Greek Yogurt
1 cup of dried cranberries (craisins or raisins)
2 cans of fruit cocktail in juice (drain, but save the juice from both cans)(save a few cherries too)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup or more of mini chocolate chips

Take the cold eggs and the yogurt out of the refrigerator for a few minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Spray and butter the insides of the cupcake and rectangular baking pans.

Boil the 22 ounces of noodles in a large pot per package directions, drain well, and set aside to cool. In another bowl, beat the 6 eggs slightly, add the yogurt, add the dried cranberries (or raisins), and add the drained two cans of fruit cocktail, saving the fruit juice. Add the cinnamon and stir the egg mixture gently. One should have about one cup of fruit juice for later use in the baking of the kugelettes and larger kugel.

Temper the egg mixture by adding a few of the luke warm noodles (tempering not needed if cooked noodles are at the same temperature as the egg mixture). Then gently add the entire egg mixture to the big pot of drained noodles. Fill the well-greased cupcake tins and 9" x 13" pan. Add mini chocolate chips to the tops of the kugels and add a cherry, dried cranberry or other fruit for extra decoration.

Bake at 350 F for about 20-30 minutes and spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the saved juice on each of the 12 kugels and spoon the rest of the canned juice on the large kugel. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the tops look brownish and crunchy.

Cool slightly and gently remove all of the kugels from the pans.

Kugels may be eaten at any temperature, warm, hot, or cold.

To make a thicker rectangular kugel, in addition to the 12 smaller round kugels use:

33 ounces of noodles
3-4 cups of vanilla, Greek yogurt (15-20 OUNCES)
9-12 eggs
3 cans of fruit cocktail
1-2 cups of craisins or raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
mini chocolate chips per taste (optional)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Black Bean Brownies using Two Eggs

I made the black bean brownies with a can of pureed, no salt, black beans, two eggs and a box of brownie mix (family-size).

Since one 15.5 ounce can of no salt black beans makes the perfect amount of puree for one package of brownie mix, I had to remove about 1/3 cup of the fluid from the can of black beans to account for the two eggs I added to the recipe.

The ingredients are as follows:

One can of NO SALT Black Beans (15.5 ounces) minus 1/3 cup of bean juice
Two eggs
One box of family-sized brownie mix.

Remove about 1/3 cup of liquid from the can of beans. Puree the remaining entire can of black beans and add them to the slightly beaten whole eggs. Add the dry brownie mix to the bean-egg mixture and stir about 30-40 strokes or until the mixture is moist.

Spray a 9" x 13" baking pan and dump the mixture into the pan and bake at 350 F for about 30-35 minutes.

Cut the brownies when cool. These are very reasonable and delicious "protein" bars and should have more fiber than brownie mix made with oil or butter.

If eggs are not tolerated, skip the step of removing the 1/3 cup of bean liquid from the can and see photos in an earlier post.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Black Bean Brownies -- alternative to buttery, rich, made-from-scratch egg-type brownies

I am nervous today about the election, so I tried a 2 ingredient recipe for very simple brownies. 1 can of no-salt black beans 1 box of family-sized brownie mix

Dump the entire can of black beans (no-salt from Whole Foods, 99 cents) into a blender, I love my little Ninja for this. Pour the smooth bean contents into a bowl containing one box of family-sized brownie mix. Stir about 40 times, pour into sprayed pan (I used a 9" x 14") and bake at 350 F for about 28 minutes or as directed on the brownie box.

These brownies look great and are delicious!

For a richer brownie see "Cleveland Treats" or "Cleveland Treats:Sweet Recipes on

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Cleveland's Signature Dessert in Two New Books


Contact: Rosa Shine Raskin
Address: 451 Lassiter Drive, Highland Heights, Ohio 44143
Phone: (440) 461-4125

New Books: Cleveland Treats and Cleveland Treats: Sweet Recipes

Cleveland, Ohio - August 31, 2016 – Cleveland's signature dessert, Coconut Bars are included in two new books published this summer by Rosa Shine Raskin. The first, Cleveland Treats, includes nature photography of the Greater Cleveland area along with treats to eat. The second book, Cleveland Treats-Sweet Recipes, is a subset of the larger Cleveland Treats. Both cookbooks contain color photographs.

The motivation for the books was the author's nephew born with 30 food allergies and earlier that same year, Raskin's husband had to be taken to zero fat after a heart attack at the age of 49. A treat for everyone is included in the variations of the recipes, which include low-sugar, fat-free, dairy-free, and/or gluten-free versions. The modified recipes took months of trial and error to create. The variations of a recipe are presented with the traditional version. When the author's nephew liked a recipe, he would say “Auntie Rosie, put it in your cookbook.” He was 3 years-old the first time he asked his aunt to document the invented dessert. The books were published this summer, 20 years later.
Recipes include Russian Tea Biscuits, Baked Brown Bread, Lady Locks, Banana Cake, Pies, Dutch Apple Squares, Eier Kichel and Cleveland's own version of cassata cake, etc.
Print copies of both books are available from and

Cleveland Treats-Sweet Recipes -

Cleveland Treats -
Cleveland Treats-Sweet Recipes -

Saturday, June 11, 2016


It is easy to make granola using ingredients we keep in the pantry. I use old fashioned oats, ground or chopped nuts, a bit of maple syrup, and dried fruit.

I start by placing parchment paper on a cookie sheet, spray the entire sheet. Place about 1/2 of a small box of old fashioned oats and toast in the oven. After 15 minutes, I add about 1/2 to 1 cup of ground nuts over the oats in the pan

I squirt the mixture with some maple syrup (not too much as we do not want our granola to be too sweet). I continue toasting the mixture in the oven, using a metal spatula, I turn the mixture once during the toasting process.

When I see the level of browning I prefer (about another 15-20 minutes --  I do not want the granola to be too hard), I add about a handful of dried fruit such as cranberries, cherries or blueberries, and toss the mixture. We love it warm or at room temperature.

When it is cool I place it in a gallon storage bag.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Alternative to Sugar

Looking for an alternative to sugar and tired of using applesauce?

Try adding a ripe, sliced banana to your oatmeal. For a pumpkin pie, the banana is processed to a creamy consistency and may be substituted for the sugar in a pumpkin pie (previous post on this blog). The pie will have a bit of a banana flavor and my family loves anything banana.

The oatmeal includes dried cranberries and a teaspoon of real vanilla extract for that added zip we need some mornings. The great thing about oatmeal is it holds you until lunch!

For those of us on diuretics, oats are a source of magnesium and bananas have potassium.  Great for breakfast or a snack anytime, ?Sometimes we add small pieces of fresh apple as a garnish, enjoy!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tart Cherries

Tart cherries are doing very well this year at my Mom's house.

The tart cherry is a fruit that is melatonin-rich, used for pies, syrups and concentrates, and are the cherries sold in cherry pie filling. It is the preferred cherry in Europe and the one used in famous desserts such
as Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte, Black Forest Cherry Cake, see

They are available sweetened and dried like raisins at stores like COSTCO and my husband loves the dried ones as a snack. The tart cherries seem to help him sleep longer.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cleveland Treats

Last night I uploaded the first draft in a new cookbook series to celebrate Cleveland, OHIO, entitled, "Cleveland Treats." It is in full color and includes treats for our eyes, unique nature photos of our area including Chagrin Falls, the monarch butterflies, as well as recipes for our taste buds.

My friend Connie's husband, Tamotsu, once said to me, "We eat with our eyes," which was also an inspiration for the series. The recipes he made for dinner were most beautiful.

The book is in memory of my Mom and I thank my sisters, Cecile and Maria, for their willingness to be taste testers, and my husband Jules who has wanted me to write down the recipes for years. I did not mention my niece Julie, the inspiration for the cookbook as she once asked me for my original recipe after making so many modifications. Original and modified recipes are included if applicable.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Toughest food critics

While writing several cookbooks, I have been searching google for the toughest food critics for a couple years and found the best video. If the kids receive my kids' cookbook the way they like this pizza, I will be thrilled:

Searching for cooking videos led me to this incredible treasure!

The video is great, I have to make pizza tomorrow, just as it is pictured with fresh basil, sauce, and cheese.

The kids are all great, but check out Jack and stay tuned for his last words in the taste test!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Baked Brown Bread

Easy Baked Brown Bread

This no fail recipe for baked brown bread is from the grandmother of my friend, Carolyn Turner. I have tried many brown bread recipes,this one is by far the best tasting, and the easiest to make. The brown bread is moist, baked in cans, and fun for children to make with you. Use melted butter and make the brown bread exactly as described. Trust me, if you like baked brown bread, this recipe is a winner. Thanks Gram Harcourt for passing this wonderful recipe to your granddaughter Carolyn!

The only issue I have recently discovered is that the large size soup cans, at least the ones that I tried, have a bottom that is hard to open and the top lip is narrower than the inside of the can as the cans now have tabs for easy opening.

Although the brown bread was completely loose in the can sprayed with cooking spray, I could not get the bread out of the can. My husband had no problem, but used an interesting technique. There is no suction problem he explained to me, the lip of the can is made too narrow, so he patiently and gently put his fingers in the can and gently gave the bread a slight touch, so that it would be a bit narrower for a second, and that portion would proceed out of the can. He continued to do this until the entire round brown bread was out of the can completely in one piece. As soon as he went on to the next section the first expanded back and the new section emerged from the can, all in one piece and beautiful. He did it so that the lip not cut into the brown bread --- truly remarkable. Next time I will study all the cans at the grocery to see if they are all now made this way. Worst case scenario, I buy cans of brown bread and save those cans for Gram Harcourt's fantastic brown bread, better than any you can ever find in a grocery store.

1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup raisins
3 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups boiling water

Mix the above and let the mixture cool. When cool, add the ingredients below, but do not overmix.

2 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar (3/4 white and 3/4 brown) (use 2 cups sugar for sweeter brown bread)
2 eggs
4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup nuts (ground nuts may be used or nuts omitted)
5 empty "chunky" soup cans sprayed on the inside with Pam

Fill the five cans, which have been sprayed with Pam, 1/2 full and smooth the tops. Don't try to fill four cans as the mixture will overflow -- use five cans and fill each 1/2 full. If the cans are smaller than "chunky" soup cans, more than five cans will be needed. Bake at 325 F. for 50-60 minutes. After the cans are baked and cooled, open the closed end of the can and push the baked brown bread through, slice and serve.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dairy-free Milk Pudding

I love non dairy puddings made with coconut milk (the 45 calorie version) or almond milk (the 30 calorie version). I use 2 cups of milk and one small box of pudding and add 3 tablespoons of Kraft Minute Tapioca. Sometimes I skip the box of pudding mix and add sugar to the tapioca and dairy-free milk. I never add the eggs or include beaten egg whites as stated on the tapioca pudding but might try it one day with pasturized eggs.