Effie’s Chicken & Lemon Potatoes


Almost every American child has had meatloaf for dinner…it’s common to us and an easy meal… well in Greece what would be considered their meatloaf is this fabulous chicken dish…I went to Greece when I was 19 years old with my mom and my cousin Danielle. To this day, it’s one of those trips that I think was one of, if not the BEST vacation of my life! The sites, the beaches, the people and mostly THE FOOD! Some of the best meals I’ve ever had were on that tiny island in Santorini!

One of them was Greek Chicken and Lemon Potatoes. I’m not a huge chicken lover and I find it to be bland sometimes, but this chicken… I can’t even begin to tell you! It was so moist and packed so much flavor and the potatoes were crispy and rich! For years after, I tried a hundred times to make it just like they did in Greece and it just wasn’t the same… that was until my cousin Danielle, who was with me on that amazing trip to Greece so many years ago, married a fantastic Greek man, who’s mom Effie knew exactly what I was talking about when I said I had eaten this potato and chicken dish while there… so she shared this recipe with me.

Thanks Effie! It really is true, you really can relive an entire memory through a dish. In this case, I’m back on that Greek Island having the time of my life!  -Michelle Karam



6 Medium Yellow Potatoes Quartered

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)

1 teaspoon garlic salt

2 teaspoon oregano

½ cup lemon juice


1 whole chicken quartered

¾ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

¾ garlic salt

2 tabespoons. butter melted

1/4 cup lemon juice

Peel & quarter the potatoes. Place in bowl and combine with all ingredients. Let marinate, mixing it every so often so chicken and potatoesthatpotatoes do not discolor or turn brown.

Combine all of your dry seasonings together in a bowl and rub all over both sides of your chicken pieces.

Place chicken, skin side up, in roasting pan and drizzle butter and lemon juice over the top. Add potatoes all around the sides of the chicken, juices included. Roast,uncovered, in preheated,395 degree oven for 45 min to 1 hour.

Greek: Recipe for Bodino Stifado (Beef Stew with leeks)

I recently got exposed to the culinary stylings of Chef Michael Psilakis at the Buick Discovery Tour near the Los Angeles beef stewarea.  Chef Psilakis  has a number of restaurants in New York featuring Greek Cuisine.  Additionally, he competed against fellow Greek and Iron Chef Michael Symon.  Here is his recipe for Bodino Stifado. (Beef Stew with leeks)

Serves 4 to 6 family-style with potatoes, rice, or orzo
Braises like this are perfect for meat with tough muscle tissue and tendons (which come from the part of the animal that works hard), a great example of poverty cooking. This less expensive cut of meat develops its own natural and luscious sauce as it cooks. You want a little marbling in the meat, because it melts down as you cook and adds a lot of flavor to the sauce. You can use brisket, shanks, shoulder – all fairly tough meats – but save the filet mignon for the grill or a pan. It takes a little time to cook and become tender, but it’s a relatively easy setup, and once you get it onto the stove you don’t have to worry about it for about an hour. So you can do your laundry, or walk the dog, or make a salad.
A couple of days later, if you have any leftovers, you can shred the meat, then return the meat to the sauce and add your favorite pasta. The resulting dish is a Greek version of beef stroganoff.
The herbs are very important to the flavor development here, since I’m using water instead of stock, so use fresh herbs if possible.

  • 3 tablespoons blended oil (90 percent canola, 10 percent extra-virgin olive)
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 ½ – inch chunks
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • ½ large Spanish or sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large leek, cut into thick rounds, washed well in cold water, drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 to 5 cups water
  • 1 fresh bay leaf or 2 dried leaves
  • 1 large sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig sage
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley

See Directions

7 Korean soups for the soul

Dongtae jjigae (동태찌개), Pollock stew

The word “soup” can have different shades of meaning in Korean. Jigae is more like a stew, and while tang and guk are similar, a guk can be put together in a day, but a tang requires more time. Whatever the case may be, a good soup requires a good base, whether it is made from a radish and dashi broth, or simmering ox bones for hours on end.

Arm yourself with one of these hale and hearty soups and you’ll be ready to brave the winter once again. (READ MORE)

5 Foods That Help You Sleep

Should you let yourself have that midnight snack if you’re having trouble sleeping and you think hunger might be part of the problem? Here are five foods that can actually help you drift off:

1. Cherries. Fresh and dried cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin, the chemical that controls the body’s internal clock to regulate sleep. Researchers who tested tart cherries and found high levels of melatonin recommend eating them an hour before bedtime or before a trip when you want to sleep on the plane.

2. Bananas. Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle relaxants, and bananas are a good source of both. They also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP in turn is converted to serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin. READ MORE

Grilled Cheese & Wine Pairing

Photo Credit: Yum Sugar

One day I was flipping through stations and stopped on an old soap I use to watch called the Young & the Restless. On this episode the popular characters Phyllis and Jack were munching on Grilled cheesed paired with white wine.    I began to imagine the possibilities.  Recalling a review I did at the Sportmen’s Lodge on Ventura Blvd in California about two years ago.   On the menu were bited sized grilled blue cheese sandwiches.  The grilled cheese sandwich experience can be gourmet by choice of cheese wine and even a good soup for the sandwich experience.   Add horseradish, chutney, mushrooms or pesto to the melt for a little added kick.- Crystal Johnson- MCCN Editor

The Soups

  • Navy Bean
  • Black Bean
  • Lentil
  • Butternutsquash

The Cheese & Wine Pairings

  • Blue Cheese  Pairs well with Tawny Port,Madeira, or Sherry
  • Sharp Cheddar, an English Cheese Pairs well with Cabernet, Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc
  • Gruyere, a Swiss Cheese Pairs well with Chardonnay & Sauvignon Blanc
  • Muenster, a French Cheese Pairs well with Beaujolais, Zinfandel

This special pairing is from Chow and we decided to add it.  MCCN suggests the Wine Pairing.

Asian Pear and Gouda Grilled Cheese – A White Wine is best but the type of white wine depends on whether your Gouda is mild(Light Whites) or aged(Medium Whites).

George Lopez and Don Cheadle talk Ethnic Comfort Foods

A- listers came out in Support of George Lopez on May 4th for his annual Celebrity Golf tournament.  Dennis Quaid, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Allen, Benjamin Bratt, Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, Don Cheadle and may more came out to support the launch of the Ann and George Lopez Foundation.  Watch Video of George Lopez and Don Cheadle speaking about favorite ethnic comfort foods:

Watch Funny Video of Bill Bellamy at the George Lopez Celebrity Golf Tournament. Hear what he has to say about the best food towns.

Nutty for Nutella: The History of Nutella

Nutella cake

Nutella cake adorned with hazelnuts.

Nutella was made by Italian confectioner Pietro Ferrero.Yes, it’s the same Ferrero that brought us the delectable Ferrero Rocher (and Tic Tac’s too). Nutella was the solution to a less expensive chocolate. Since the supply of cocoa was limited during World War II, Pietro Ferro used hazelnut which was plentiful in the Piedmont region of Italy. This simple solution extended the supply of chocolate and began a trademark taste found in Ferro’s products.

At first Nutella, originally called Pasta gianduja, was sold in loaves and mothers would slice a slab and put it in between two pieces of bread. However, children being children discarded the bread and went straight for the sweet stuff. So, innovative minds went to work to outsmart kids wanting to have their cake and eat it too, by making Nutella spreadable.


Formerly sold in loaves in the forties, Nutella is now sold in spreadable form.

Although Nutella has been around since the forties, it was only imported from Italy to the United States in the early eighties. Now it is marketed in over 75 countries outselling all brands of peanut butter combined worldwide. Nutella is eaten on all types of bread, from bagels to muffins to toast. It goes great on waffles, crepes and crackers as well.

Here’s an idea for an informal gathering. Get some pretzels and fill your dipping bowl with Nutella…what a delicious treat! For more formal affairs, instead of chocolate, why not try Strawberries and Nutella? It’s a different taste, and sure to be the talk of the party.

Recipe for Nutella Cake: Nigella.com

Article by Monica Johnson

Touched by a Culinary Angel with a Cajun Twist (Now Closed)

Lozina “Lo-La” Stephens, owner of Nubian Queen Lola’s Cajun Soul Food

East Austin, Texas is the proud home of the Nubian Queen Lola’s Cajun Soul Food. The charming purple restaurant, unforgettably covered in alligators, is the brainchild of Lozina “Lo-La” Stephens. According to Stephens, after having a series of God-influenced dreams depicting the minute and major details of her eatery, she created the Nubian Queen.

An experienced cook, Lola learned the ropes of food preparation while “…sitting on a rice sack…” in her mother’s kitchen. The culinary diva expresses her love of cooking by working in the kitchen with love, Jesus, and olive oil. “Cooking,” she declares, “is the best way to a person’s heart.”

There are no guests, patrons, or customers at the Nubian Queen. Stephens affectionately refers to her clients as angels. These angels help the Nubian Queen stay open and fulfill Lozina’s God-appointed duty of aiding the homeless.

Every Sunday “The Queen” is closed. Although the doors are closed to paying angels, the restaurant welcomes the homeless in every Sunday for a meal. In the backyard of “The Nubian Queen,” Lola distributes her culinary blessings to the less fortunate.

With tasty menu items ranging from crawfish etouffe to burgers and fries, Nubian Queen Lola’s Cajun Soul Food will continue to be a blessing to all of Stephen’s angels-paying or not.

For more information on of Lozina “Lo-La” Stephens, check out her website at http://nubianqueenlolas.com/.

Checkout her short film.

Article  by Catrina A. Sally

Sweet potato Biscuit Recipe

As a teenager, I use to dream of opening a restaurant which would feature the sweet potato prominently on the menu.  My family made sweet potato jacks which is an empanada filled with sweet potato, sweet potato pie and sweet potato biscuits.  This  Sweet potato Biscuit Recipe is from my paternal family side – MCCN Editor, Crystal Johnson


  • 3 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) coldunsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium size sweet potato boil until soft.  Then let cool
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

Sweet Potato Biscuit retouch


Mix dry ingredients with butter into mixer.  Use a dough hook.  As it mixes it will begin to build into a ball.   Add sweet potato and egg little by little.   Flour the surface you are going to use then use rolling pin over your dough mixture.   Use biscuit cutter, round cookie cutter or mouth of a glass to cut biscuits.  Place in pan and cook at 400 degrees for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Let’s say you’re not above a shortcut, try this version using Bisquick

Check out our Fun Cooking/Food Apparel

Spotlight on Italian Comfort Food

As a Comfort Food Restaurant critic for the Los Angeles Examiner, I learned very quickly that comfort is very individual.  My approach to understanding what is comfort food is to learn from people of various cultures what the food norms were for them while growing up.  Thus these foods which remind one of home and times with relatives become a source of comfort.  MCCN puts the spotlight on Italian Comfort Food- Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN Editor


…Just as with many other cultures in the world, Italians do have certain foods they tend to gravitate toward when they need a little extra comfort. Italian comfort food can mean different things to different people in different regions, however there are some popular choices shared by all.

Italian comfort food does not only nourish the body, it nourishes the soul. This type of food has the ability to soothe the body during an illness, calm the nerves on a rough day, and bring back cherished memories of another time and place.

Some of the most popular Italian comfort foods are one-pot dishes. Creamy bowls of mushroom risotto, warm plates of polenta, hearty crocks of minestrone, and deep plates of satisfying pasta make every day just a little bit better.

Rustic dishes of slow cooked meats like osso bucco, and chicken cacciatore warm the deepest parts of the soul. Calzones, pizza, and pasta favorites take us to a comforting place. Ravioli, manicotti, cannelloni, lasagna, and gnocchi transport the mind to a soothing place.

Of course we cannot forget all the sweet Italian comfort foods. A nice assortment of crispy amaretti cookies, colorful pressed cookies, fruit filled cookies, or crunchy biscotti with a steaming mug of Italian hot cocoa, or cappuccino can make just about anything seem better. Indulge the senses even more with a large serving of delectable tiramisu. Sometimes, nothing is more comforting than a nice bowl of gelati. Curling up with a good book, a soft blanket, and your favorite flavor of this frozen treat is sure to ease away the stress.

Whether it’s sweet or salty, hot or cold, there are hundreds of delicious Italian comfort foods to choose from. So dish up your favorite, sit back, relax, and enjoy.

Article by Paul Quirk, a lover of good nourishing food and has created a number of sites to help others appreciate good food. Your can find more articles on Italian Food and Cuisine at http://Italian.Foodpublic.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paul_Quirk