Roasted Paprika Chicken with Potatoes and Turnips

Roasted Paprika Chicken with Potatoes and Turnips.

I love finding new recipes and cooking tips in the Food Section of The New York Times. This chicken recipe, which I modified slightly, was excellent! I intentionally made extra, freezing it for another day. I plan on roasting more potatoes and veggies, and adding them to a future meal.

Happy cooking, hon!

Roasted Paprika Chicken with Potatoes and Turnips


1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ Tablespoons sweet paprika

1 Tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons kosher salt

½ teaspoon turmeric

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1 clove garlic, finely grated or minced

2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts without wings

2 medium Yukon gold potatoes (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 large or 2 medium turnips (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks

1 large parsnip, peeled and diced

3 Tablespoons olive oil


{I didn’t add the cucumbers, but next time I might because they would add a cool complement to the dish’s mild spiciness.)

2 to 3 Persian (mini-cucumbers or 1 large cucumber, peeled if desired, thinly sliced crosswise and kept refrigerated

Chopped dill or parsley, for serving

Sour cream, for serving, optional


  1. In a medium bowl, combine oil, sweet paprika, tomato paste, 1 1/2 tsps salt, turmeric, 1/2 tsp pepper, cumin, lemon zest, and garlic.
  2. Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet pan and rub chicken all over with the marinade. Cover and let rest at least 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Toss potatoes, turnips, parsnip, 3 Tbl olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper together on another rimmed baking sheet or 9 x 13 pan.
  4. Slide both baking pans into the oven. Roast chicken until cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Roast vegetable, tossing after 15 minutes. When you remove the chicken from the oven, turn up heat to 500 degrees F and continue cooking the vegetables until they are golden brown, another 5 to 10 minutes longer. (Tent chicken with foil and let rest while vegetables finish cooking.)
  5. Place the chilled cucumber in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and herbs. Serve with chicken and vegetables, garnished with herbs. Pass the cucumbers and sour cream (if using) at the table.

Yield: 4 servings

Tip: This dish took longer than anticipated. Allow time to prep, for the chicken to cook through, and for the veggies to cool down a bit before serving. Chicken with marinade can be made ahead of time.



Italian Potato-Pasta Soup With Greens

Italian Potato-Pasta Soup With Greens

Some soups are light and refreshing preludes to a meal; others, like this one, are an entire meal in a bowl. Pasta and potatoes, like pasta and beans, are frequently combined in Italian vegetable dishes. The potatoes should be starchy, like Yukon Golds or russets, so that they lend body to the broth. Short pasta shapes add texture; onion, fennel, garlic, tomato paste and fresh herbs and greens add flavor. The soup may be made a day or so before serving: It improves in the refrigerator and reheats beautifully, but don’t add the pasta in this case until serving.

Once I read this description, I had to try the recipe. It was delicious! Happy cooking, hon!

Italian Potato-Pasta Soup With Greens


3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for garnish

2 cups diced onion

1 cup diced carrot

1 cup diced celery or fennel (I used celery)

salt and pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

1 large thyme sprig (I used a couple of dashes of dried thyme)

2 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons paprika

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

3 quarts/12 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water (I used veg. broth.)

2 pounds medium-size starchy potatoes, such as Yukon Golds or russets, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks

8 ounces kale or chard, stems removed, leaves sliced across into ½-inch ribbons (about 4 cups total)

½ pound dried pennette, orecchiette or other small pasta

1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or marjoram, for garnish

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. In a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the 3 Tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add onion, carrot and celery (or fennel), stir, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened and golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the heat to prevent vegetables from browning or scorching.
  2. Stir in bay leaf, thyme sprig, garlic, paprika and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, potatoes and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a brisk simmer. Cook until potatoes are cooked through but still firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste to adjust the seasonings.
  3. Stir in kale and pasta and simmer another 10 minutes, or until greens are well cooked and pasta is done. (Soup can be made up to this point, without the pasta, cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
  4. Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and Parmesan. Drizzle each serving with a teaspoon of olive oil. Pass extra Parmesan at the table. (I didn’t add Parmesan or olive oil on top of servings.)

Yield: 6-8 servings

To make vegan, eliminate Parmesan.

To make gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

Source: The New York Times, City Kitchen by David Tanis

Spring’s Secret Garden

Monarch feeding on a Butterfly Bush.

The Secret Garden was one of the classics I read to my children. We spent many hours in the car driving to Maryland and Long Island to visit family (hon, trust me, we know every rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike), and made the time pass quickly by learning language, discovering stories, discussing characters and predicting plots. I only found out later that “brain imaging has suggested that hearing stories evokes visual images in children’s brains, and more strongly if those children are accustomed to being read to.” (The Merits of Reading Real Books to Your Children  by Perri Klass, M.D.,The New York Times)

Wait! What? Something I did was good for my kids? Woohoo! Hopefully, that balances out the other stuff that might not have been, ummm, as advantageous.

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Story Time in Sweet Sixteen

Grandma and my Plus One.
Grandma and my Plus One.

Happy New Year and Sweet Sixteen! (2016, that is)

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, after deciding what to change (exercise more/ eat less desserts), I try to accomplish those goals. Sometimes I’m successful. Oftentimes I’m not. But, I’ve been itching to make a Story Time Resolution this year. Hopefully, saying my goal “out loud” isn’t like blowing out birthday candles and then revealing a wish. Stories, characters, voice and plot fill my head. Can I put on paper what I see in my head? Most importantly, how will I get my stories in the hands of children?

Two recent articles in The New York Times were gifts to my goal. The quotes below are from The Gift of Reading by Frank Bruni and Long Line at the Library? It’s Story Time Again by Winnie Hu.

Winnie Hu quotes,

“It is clear that reading and being exposed to books early in life are critical factors in student success,” Anthony W. Marx, president of the New York Public Library, said.

Frank Bruni writes,

The list of what a child needs in order to flourish is short but nonnegotiable.

Food. Shelter. Play. Love.

Something else, too, and it’s meted out in even less equal measure.

Words. A child needs a forest of words to wander through, a sea of words to splash in. A child needs to be read to, and a child needs to read.

Reading fuels the fires of intelligence and imagination.

“Reading follows an upward spiral,” said Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and the author of “Raising Kids Who Read,” which was published earlier this year. “Kids who read more get better at reading, and because they are better at reading, it’s easier and more pleasurable so they read still more,” he said. “And kids who read well don’t just do better in English class — it helps them in math, science and every other class, too.”

I’d go even further. Reading tugs them outside of themselves, connecting them to a wider world and filling it with wonder. It’s more than fundamental. It’s transformative.


Amen, Mr. Bruni. Amen.

winter 2005-06-25

Hon, if you are a “New-Year’s-Resolution-Person,” what are your goals this year?

Roasted Cauliflower


Brown cut-up cauliflower in olive oil over medium .heat
Brown cut-up cauliflower in olive oil over medium heat.
Mix browned cauliflower with spices.
Mix browned cauliflower with spices.







Spread cauliflower on a greased baking pan.
Spread cauliflower on a greased baking pan. 
Bake at 400 degrees F, uncovered, for approx. 20 minutes, until top is golden. Serve.
Bake at 400 degrees F, uncovered, for approx. 20 minutes, until top is golden. Serve.


Roasted Cauliflower–Easy, Delicious and Healthy.

I used the recipe from David Tanis’ City Kitchen column* as guidance, and then altered the spices. Tanis baked his cauliflower with pre-cooked rigatoni and added cheese for a main dish. Click Rigatoni and Cauliflower Al Forno to see the his recipe. I’ll definitely be making this side dish again.

Happy cooking, hon.


–1 cauliflower

–olive oil

–1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced

–salt, pepper, thyme, about 1 to 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro or any spices you think will go well with cauliflower


  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut cauliflower in half from top to bottom, cut out tough core, stem and extraneous leaves. Lay cauliflower flat side down and cut crosswise into rough 1/4-inch slices.
  3. Put 3 Tablespoons olive oil in skillet over high heat. Brown cauliflower for about 2 minutes, then turn pieces over to brown other side. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork. Some pieces won’t be brown.  Season with salt and pepper and stir to coat.’
  4. Put cauliflower in a mixing bowl. Add cilantro, garlic and thyme.
  5. Spray a foil-lined baking sheet.
  6. Spread cauliflower evenly on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for approximately 20 -30 minutes, until top is crisp and golden.

*Source:  City Kitchen column in The New York Times