Jamaican Yam Casserole



 2  Large Yams, sliced

1  med  Banana — thickly sliced

1/4   cup  Orange juice

Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 Cup Pecans — coarsely chopped

1/8 Cup toasted flake coconut

Heat the oven to 350 F.

In a buttered a casserole baking dish, arrange yams, banana. Pour juice over all. Sprinkle with salt, pepper. Top with pecans and coconut. Bake, covered, 30 minutes.




Grilled with orange


2  Tablespoons Allspice berries (or ground Allspice, just not as tasty)

2  jalapeno or serrano peppers cored, seeded and minced (more or less to taste)

3  garlic cloves minced or pressed

3 green onions minced

1/4  cup  freshly-squeezed orange juice (fights scurvy)

1 Tablespoon grated orange zest

1 Tablespoon  vegetable oil

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

1 1/2 to 2  lb  sea bass fillets  (Snapper, Rockfish or Halibut substitute nicely)

2 navel oranges cut in 1″ slices


Finely crush the allspice berries with a mortar and pestle, or grind them in a spice grinder.

In a small bowl, combine the allspice with the peppers, garlic, onions, orange juice, orange zest, oil, salt and pepper. Stir to mix well.

Preheat the grill. Put fish fillets in a shallow dish and lightly spoon the marinade mixture over them. Turn the fillets so they are evenly coated with the marinade and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes. Put the fish fillets on the hot grill, with the orange slices alongside. Cook until the fish 3 to 4 minutes per side. Turn the orange slices occasionally, so they brown evenly.

Serve the grilled fish with grilled orange slices.

This recipe yields 4 servings.



Anne Bonney and Mary Read

March 8,1702-1782 (?) –  1685 -1721

Anne Bonney and Mary Read are the most famous women pirates in history.  They were the only ones known to have sailed in the new world.

Anne Bonney, born March 8th, 1702 (there wasn’t an International Women’s Day then) in County Cork, Ireland, the daughter of lawyer William Cormac and his wife’s housemaid. The happy couple relocated to a plantation near Charleston, South Carolina, to escape the shame of their daughter, and the wrath of Mrs. Cormac.

Anne grew up as a headstrong girl, with a known ferocious temper. She eloped with a sailor/pirate James Bonney when both were quite young. There is some question that her father drove them away, and that is not in the Ford Bronco sense. Bonney took his new bride to honeymoon in the Bahamas, not the resort area we know now, but a known haven for pirates.  James picked up a temp job as an informant, and Anne, disgusted with his cowardice, proceeded to fall for Captain Jack Rackham a.k.a. Calico Jack.  Disguising herself as a male, she sailed with Calico Jack on his sloop the Vanity, She is now sailing under the famous skull-and-crossed-daggers flag.  Anne is believed to have become pregnant by Jack and returned to shore only long enough to have her baby and leave it with friends in Cuba before rejoining him on the high seas.

Mary Read was born at Plymouth, England, about 1685. Her mother’s husband was a seafaring man who went to sea and never returned.  He had left his wife pregnant and she gave birth to a son who soon died. Not long after his illegitimate half sister was born, Mary.  Mom kind of waited for her husband to return for years, and was forced to go to her mother in law for help.  She knew that the old woman was partial to boys and disliked girls.  This is the beginning of Mary’s cross dressing habit.  It worked, with the old lady enough to support them, and it worked with scores of others even after granny died. When Mary was a teenager, she hired out as a footboy, and she was growing more and more bold, looking for a bigger adventure.  She signed onto a man-of-war ship and the military moving her male persona into a career of distinction.  You know how intriguing a man in uniform can be, especially to a cross dressing young woman, and she revealed her sex to a fellow sailor/soldier.  Since he did not appear to have a problem with her fashion sense, they married.  The happy couple became innkeepers, owning the Three Horseshoes near the castle of Breda in Holland.

Mr. died and money became scarce so Mary donned her work clothes.  She knew that job opportunities in the 1700 were much easier for a man, and Mary returned to the sea on a Merchant ship.  Sailing off to the Caribbean her ship was commandeered by English pirates, bad for some and a promotion for Mary. Later her ship was taken by Calico Jack and his pirates; she quickly submitted her resume. Anne Bonney was already part of the crew, and they quickly discovered each other’s secret (probably at the Tampax machine in the women’s bathroom).  They had much in common and they became close friends possibly very very close friends.  Anne and Mary may have been lovers who could have included Calico Jack, which is its own pot of stew.

Anne and Mary were both known for their violent tempers, savage fighting and often called “fierce hell cats.” The crew members knew that in times of action — no one else was more ruthless and bloodthirsty than these two. Calico Jack was one heck of a pirate, but he is remembered more for his involvement with the women.  Unfortunately Calico Jack did not take well to Anne’s flirtatious nature and his authority waned. He sought comfort in rum while, Anne and Mary assumed the real leadership of the ship no longer did they hide their true gender.

In October 1720, they were anchored off Point Negril, Jamaica, for a hard drinking celebration of recent victories. A British sloop surprised them, sending the drunken men scampering below deck to hide.  Anne and Mary were left to defend the ship, and yelled at their mates to “come up, you cowards, and fight like men,” They angrily raged against the crew, killing one and wounding several others. It made little difference the two women were left to fight the Brits alone.  The British Navy was victorious and every survivor was taken to Jamaica.  Jack and the male crew were tried, and sentenced to hang. Anne was allowed to visit him before his execution, and not one for sentimentality her words live in history as “Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hang’d like a dog.” Anne and Mary were tried one week after Calico’s execution and found guilty. At the sentencing the judge allowed them to speak, and they both replied, “Mi’lord, we plead our bellies.” Both were pregnant, and since British law forbade killing an unborn child, their sentences were stayed – temporarily. Mary is said to have died of a violent fever in the Spanish Town prison in 1721, before the birth of her child, (or during the birth per the History Channel). Another theory suggests she feigned death and sneaked out of the prison under a shroud. There is no record of Anne’s execution. Some say that her father bought her release and she settled down to a quiet family life on a small Caribbean island. There is another belief that she lived out her life in England, owning a tavern telling long tales of the sea and adventure.  Choice number three say that Anne and Mary moved to Louisiana where they raised their children together and were non traditional to the end.

Mango Cream Cake -Easy



2 C butter softened

3/4 cup sugar

1/2-3/4 cup powdered milk

1 (170 g) container cream

3 big ripe mangoes

2 chopped and 1 sliced, to garnish the top of the cake

24 lady fingers (not the ones from live ladies especially not First Ladies)

Assorted fruit for topping.
Blend the first 5 ingredients (except for the mango slices) to make mango cream mixture.

Lay lady fingers on a 9×9 inch dish or pan.

Top with mango cream mixture. Place a second layers of ladyfingers.  Repeat process, until you are out of stuff.

Top with mango slices and any other fruit you chose.  Cherries and strawberries add nice color.

Refrigerate for 5-6 hours or overnight to set.

PANCIT CANTON – Stir Fried Noodles


Pancit Canton

Philippine Stir Fried Noodles

1 pack of oriental egg noodles (you can substitute if you must
2 lbs of chicken breast cut into strip
1 lb of shrimps, shelled, deveined
1 Package of firm tofu (or a little more chicken and shrimp if you insist) cubed
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium-sized yellow onion
1 medium sized green bell pepper
1 Cup of snow peas
2 stalks celery 1 inch strips
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium-sized carrots cut into 1 inch strip
1 small-sized cabbage cut lengthwise intro strip
1 bunch of parsley diced
1/2 cup of soy sauce
3 stalks of green onion minced
Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Cut chicken breast into strips. In a medium-sized wok or pan, sauté chicken and when nearly done add shrimp in garlic, onion, carrots, cabbage, and parsley stalk strips in vegetable oil, in medium heat for 10-15 minutes.

Add the flat egg noodles and stir. Add about 2 cups of chicken stock and add soy sauce. Cover wok or pan. Simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir. Add tofu and more chicken stock until the noodles are cooked.

Add green onions, snap peas, and bell pepper, and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes more. Sprinkle with lemon juice and ground pepper to taste, serve immediately.


Dic-tater Soup


Todays Dictator



1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 clove garlic, minced
4 medium potatoes, peeled, cubed (or 3 cups of yesterdays mashed)
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups half-and-half
2 carrots, sliced thin
2 cups ham cubed (this is the dic part)
1 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided (4 oz)
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried lemon grass (if using fresh use double)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium high heat.

Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until soft. Add carrots and cook 2 minutes more.

Add garlic and lemon grass and cook 1 minute. Add potatoes; cook 5 minutes.

Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  If you use the mashed you don’t have cook as long.

Stir in half-and-half, 1/2 cup of the cheese, salt, pepper and basil..

(Soup can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead.) Before serving, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese).

Sweet & Sassy Filipino Sole



 1/3 C Fruit juice Citrus or a mixture of tropical juices (Grape juice is just wrong)

(Check out the salsa recipe below for extra juice)

2 pounds sole fillets (or other white fish)

1 1/4  Cup cashews or pecans

1 1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs (Japanese Panko crumbs are good)

2 tsp salt

2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Vegetable oil as needed for frying

1 large egg, beaten with 1 T water

Make the Citrus salsa first and then place fillets in a heavy zip-lock bag and pour in some of the juice. Seal the bag and chill fish for 15 minutes.

While the fish is marinating, crush the nuts (I used the blender) until finally ground  Place in shallow bowl and mix in bread crumbs and salt and pepper.

Pour 2 tablespoons oil into a 10- to 12- inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat; when hot, lift fillets from juice. Dip each in beaten egg, then in cashew mixture to coat.

Place single layer in hot pan, don’t crowd them.  Cook until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes; turn with a spatula and cook until other side is browned and fish is opaque but still moist-looking in center (cut to test), about 2 minutes longer. Drain briefly on paper towels; keep warm in a 200 degrees oven.

Transfer fillets to plates and top with citrus salsa; serve.


Makes about 3 cups

1  Grapefruit (sectioned)

1  Honey tangerine (sectioned)

1  Sweet orange(sectioned)

1  Mango peeled and diced

1/3 cup chopped pineapple

1  Large lemon (peeled, and chopped)

1  lime (yeah you have the drill)

1  avocado

6  kumquats minced

1  fresh hot red chili pepper (de-veined, seeded, and minced)

2  tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1/2 teaspoon salt

When you section the fruit, be sure to remove the peel and membranes (white stuff).  Save some of the extra juice to marinate the fish.

Cut fruit into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then cut into smaller cubes, discard seeds.

Pit, peel, and dice avocado. In a bowl, gently mix citrus cubes, avocado, kumquats, chili, mint, and salt.


Imelda Marcos – This weeks dish



July 2, 1929 –

Imelda Romaludez was born to a prominent family in the Central Visayas in Leyte Province, Philippine Islands.  Imelda was the oldest of five children in Vicente Orestes Romaludez second family(sounds like another story).  While still young her mother died and near the same time the Philippines was invaded by Japan in WWII.

1952 Imelda moved to Manila with her cousin Daniel who was the leader of the Nacionalista Party.  Within a year she won a national beauty contest and was crowned Miss Manila.  Not one to sit on her laurels she leapt from the runway to the limelight when she met Ferdinand Marcos and they wed within 11 days. 

After just a couple years of marriage her health was failing and a psychologist told her to embrace her husband’s political life or die. Imelda decided a second opinion wasn’t necessary and  returned to Manila and after having their second child. She took to politics with a vengeance. In 1965 Ferdinand Marco was elected president of the Philippines and she became one of the most recognized first ladies in recent history, often compared to Jacqueline Kennedy and Eva Peron but not Melania. 

Imelda was often called the Mother of the Philippines and the Steel Butterfly. In 1970 student protests began turning to violence. They were demonstrating about the disparity of wealth and the single party leadership of the country. Things began to escalate and President Marcos declared martial law.  At the same time Imelda stated that it was her responsibility to appear beautiful for the people as the masses needed her to make a perfect appearance.  Buying top designer labels would label her. In 1975 the poor average $200 a year income, and at the same time Imelda was responsible for building 14 luxury hotels, a multimillion dollar Nutrition Center, Folk Arts Theater, Convention Center, Heart Center, and a Lung Center.  In her spare time she began the Green Revolution a nationwide beautification campaign. New homes for the poor, wayward children and the aged were built. During natural disasters such as fires, typhoons, floods, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes (the Philippines is part of the ring of fire) people turned to Mrs. Marcos for relief and assistance. Not only because they believed she was compassionate, but because she would take action.

In 1978 she won a seat in the assembly, and it was discovered that due to Ferdinand’s poor health she had been running the government all along. 

President Marcos long time rival, Benigno Aquino Jr., former Philippine Senator, was assassinated on Sunday, August 21, 1983 at Manila International Airport. Aquino’s assassination is credited with transforming the opposition to the Marcos regime from a small, isolated movement into a national crusade. It is also thrust Aquino’s widow, Corazon Aquino, into a run for president in the election of 1986. Marcos was officially declared the winner of the election, but widespread allegations of fraud and illegal tampering, sparked the People Power Revolution, which resulted in Marcos fleeing the country and conceded the presidency to Aquino. During all of this upheaval, Imelda power shopped.  She doesn’t only buy designer outfits but also multi million dollar buildings in New York.

After they fled, it was discovered that she had accumulated massive amounts of personal items, jewelry and most famously 3,000 pairs of shoes.  She denies the number and states that it was only 1060 (does that include the tenny runners and flip flops?).The shoes became a symbol of the corruption and luxury that they enjoyed. They resettled in Hawaii, not the usual exile location. Three years later Ferdinand is dead.

Imelda was allowed to return to the Philippines to bury Ferdinand and she stayed.  In 1992 she ran unsuccessfully for president.  After that run she was convicted of corruption and sentenced to 12 years, but the Supreme Court overturns the decision.  In 1994 she rises from the ashes and is elected to a seat in congress from her home district.  Legally she has been fined $2 billion for a human rights settlement, found guilty of funneling $659 million to a personal account which she has been ordered to repay, and more than 100 other suits (law not Ralph Lauren) still pending.

She was been awarded $90 a month pension as the widow of a war veteran, and began shopping at Walmart. It appears that Imelda dreamed of becoming Queen, and came close. 

“The problem with First Ladies is that you have to set the standard. My role is to be both star and slave.”  Imelda Marcos

Australian Pavlova


Perfect finish for any meal.

Or is it New Zealand

  4 Egg whites

½   tsp  Salt

1½  cup Confectioners sugar

½  tsp  Vanilla

1   tsp White Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch

1¼  Cup whipping cream, whipped

4  Cups Strawberries, sliced

4  Kiwi fruit, peeled and thinly sliced

You can also add Passion fruit, Raspberries or blueberries, up to you what fruits are your separate

2 Cups almonds

Place egg whites and salt in a large, CLEAN and DRY glass or metal bowl and beat until soft peaks form. *** see FYI below.

Gradually add the sugar, a tablespoonful at a time, beating well after each addition. Lightly fold in the vinegar, vanilla and cornstarch.

Turn out onto a prepared (greased and floured or covered with parchment paper) and mold the mixture into a large round shape (approx. 9 inches in diameter) and make an indentation in the center.

Bake at 250 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until firm to touch. Shut off oven, and leave door open, cool in the oven. When cool, place on serving plate, fill with whipped cream and decorate with strawberries, sliced kiwi fruit or whatever you chose.

If you wish do several layers and fill and stack.

Top with nuts.

If you are a real con artist, you can just buy some meringues at the store and fill them with fresh fruit, whipped cream and lovely little seasonings.

***FYI:  For a crisp white meringue layer is filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit. To keep your meringue from being flat and grainy, try beating egg whites until stiff but not dry. Overbeaten egg whites lose volume and deflate when folded into other ingredients. Also, when beating in sugar, beat in about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition. Then beat until meringue is thick, white and glossy. Be absolutely sure not a particle of grease or egg yolk gets into the whites.



New Zealand Brown Rice Salad


1 cup brown rice
2 kiwi fruits

1 granny smith apple
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red pepper, strips
1/4 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 Tablespoon if dried
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Cook rice in water according to package directions. Drain and cool.

Peel kiwifruit and cut into 1/4″ thick slices. Cut slices in half to form semi circles.

Core and dice apple into 1/2″ cubes.

Toss together rice, kiwifruit, apple, celery, red pepper strips, walnuts, green onions and parsley in salad bowl.

Mix together vinegar and oil. Drizzle over salad. Toss to mix well.

Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours, to allow flavors to blend, before serving.