Louie Noftsier: B and L’s loving father. Devoted, sweep-her-off-her-feet husband. Chicken breeder. Organic gardener. Zip-line provider. Cooking adventurer. Scrabble dark horse. Photographer of traveling hat.

Last December, Louie and his wife, Ann Marie, saddled their pick-up and whizzed off to Atlantic City. Ann Marie’s sister had extra tickets to the Viking School at Harrah’s Resort where they learned some new recipes. Louie replicated the recipes in his New Jersey home.

Crab “Martini”

4 oz. Jumbo Lump crabmeat (around 4 oz.) marinated in a mixture of
1/4 cup tomato juice
1 tsp horseradish
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
A pinch of celery salt
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon
1/4 tsp Old Bay seafood seasoning
1 tbl vodka

1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh chive

Wet the rim of a martini glass with lemon. Put Old Bays seasoning on a flat plate, and swirl wet glass rim in it. Place marinated crab in a glass and sprinkle fresh chive on top.

Tiramisu Trifle

Coffee syrup
1 tbl Amaretto
1/2 tsp espresso powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbl sugar
1/4 cup water

Mix all ingredients in a small pot and bring to a boil while stirring. Let it cool.

Mascapone Cream

3/4 cup Mascapone
2 tbl confectionery sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp espresso powder
3 tbl sweet Marsala
2 cups of cubed pound cake
2 tbl almond slivers

Mix Mascapone cheese with confectionery sugar and 1/4 cup cream until smooth and set aside. Dissolve espresso powder in Marsala, then add mixture to remaining cream and beat until they’re shaped into soft peaks. Fold whipped cream into Marscapone mixture.

Put small cubes of pound cake into a bottom of a wine glass, about 1/4 full. Add a drizzle of coffee syrup. Add Marscapone mixture to cover. Add another layer of cubed pound cake and a drizzle of coffee syrup and Marscapone to cover. Sprinkle slivered almonds on top.

Wedding Soup

2 cups bok choi
1 cup lentils
1/2 cup sliced carrots
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 medium onion, minced
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup beef stock
2 cups water

Pour all ingredients into a pot and let the soup simmer for 2 hours.

Make meatballs that are around 3/4 inches in diameter using the following mixture:
1 small onion minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg
1 tsp minced garlic
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz ground beef
4 oz ground pork
4 oz ground veal
Salt and pepper to taste.

Saute the meatballs and drain off the fat, then add to the soup mixture.

Yummy! Thank you once again, Louie, for sharing! The next recipe I’d like to steal from you is salmon poached in the dishwasher!

Bon appetit! 🙂

Do you have a recipe you’d like to share? Email me at Happy cooking!

I know that I got carried away with my story in my last entry. My purpose in doing this blog is to eat healthy, and practice photography and writing. Sometimes I find myself stumbling upon personal stories about traveling, people, art and life. I don’t want to restrain this organic progression, thus the off-the-beaten-track posts. Bear with me! 😀

During the fourth of July weekend, Linda whipped up a taco salad for me and B, which coincidentally, is also a popular salad in Manila. Here’s a healthy recipe that serves two!


For cooking the beef:
1 cup lean ground beef
1 cup bottled salsa (Linda’s personal touch)
1/2 medium sized red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste

For making the salad:
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced
1 white onion, diced
1/4 cup black olives
1/2 cup low fat cheese, shredded
1 cup corn chips (optional)

Heat a pan and pour the olive oil. Add the garlic and onions. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and salsa and cook for around 30 minutes. Add the paprika, salt and pepper.

Place the ingredients for making a salad on separate bowls or a platter with dividers. Assemble your own taco salad by filling your plate with lettuce, beef, tomatoes, olives and onions. Add the corn chips if you like. Sprinkle the low fat cheese on top. Bon appetit!

Healthy Eats Facts:
Lean ground beef — good source of protein
Lettuce – besides having vitamins A, C and K, lettuce has manganese and chromium. It also has a lot of fiber.
Tomatoes – has lycopene which contains anti-oxidants and cancer preventing properties
Olives – have monounsaturated fats and vitamin E
Garlic and onions – has anti-bacterial and anti-viral benefits
Low fat cheese – has calcium which can contribute to preventing colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraines and PMS

The World’s Healthiest Foods

I was determined to finish Louie’s garden veggies before B and I left for our fourth of July Croghan trip. So I popped my head into the fridge and voila! Broccoli!

This is another healthy eat for those who are always on the run, and again, this was one of my non-thinking Manila recipes. The slight acerbic taste and the broccoli’s vivid green refreshes and awakens one’s senses after a stressful day of toiling.

This recipe serves one.

1 cup of broccoli
5 cloves of chopped garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of shredded low fat cheese

Pour the olive oil into a pan. Add the garlic and saute until it’s light brown. Toss in the broccoli and watch it turn a vivid green! Saute for two to three minutes, then transfer the dish to a bowl. Sprinkle the cheese on top and there you have it. A low calorie meal which you can eat guilt-free as you plop down in front of the TV.

Healthy Eats Facts:
Broccoli – associated with cancer prevention
Garlic – contributes to cardiovascular health
Olive oil – contributes to cardiovascular health and cancer prevention
Low fat cheese – prevents colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraines and PMS

The World’s Healthiest Foods

I’ve been cooking pasta dishes for years because it’s one of the easiest recipes to cook if you’re always on the run. I also like experimenting with different ingredients that go with different kinds of pasta, and I encourage you to do the same. Here’s an easy recipe that serves two.

(If you’d like to know how to sear tuna, check out my recipe on Seared Tuna with Greens.)


1 cup whole grain pasta
4-6 chopped garlic cloves (adjust according to your taste)
1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup capers
olive oil
1/4 cup of shredded low fat cheese
salt and pepper
Italian seasoning

Boil water in a pot, then add the whole grain pasta. Cook the pasta for 7 to 10 minutes over medium heat and drain.

On a sauce pan, pour some olive oil and pan fry the garlic until brown. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes. Add the capers and cooked pasta noodles. Mix the ingredients. Add salt, pepper and Italian seasoning to taste.

Serve on a plate and sprinkle cheese on top. Bon appetit!

Healthy Eats Facts:
Whole grain pasta – associated with developing a significant lower risk of cardiovascular diseases
Garlic – is also good for the heart
Button mushrooms – boosts the immune system
Capers – low in calories and rich in anti-oxidants
Cheese – has calcium which can contribute to preventing colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraines and PMS

The World’s Healthiest Foods
Science Daily

Yesterday was grocery day. B peeked into the fridge and said that we needed to finish what was in there. We bought cherry tomatoes from Wegman’s three weeks ago and they weren’t overripe, but the slight mushiness in the texture told me that they sure were getting there. Slightly overripe tomatoes are perfect for this classic soup that brings out the taste of pasta and/or whole wheat bread which you can dip into an olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix.

Again I wasn’t planning to post this recipe today, but a friend wanted to try it out. So Gracie A., this one is for you!

This recipe serves 2-3.


2 cups of cherry tomatoes (or any tomatoes that you have)
1/2 red onion chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 cups of tomato sauce
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of grated cheese
salt and pepper
Italian seasoning
basil leaves to garnish

Pour the olive oil into a medium sized pot and heat for a minute or two. Add the garlic and onions and saute until they are brown.

Pour the water, tomato sauce and tomatoes into the pot. Sprinkle salt and pepper according to taste.

Bring the soup to a boil, then let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cool the soup for around two minutes and transfer to a blender. Liquefy the soup.

Grate the cheese and sprinkle on top of the soup. Add Italian seasoning according to taste and garnish with basil leaves.

Bon appetit!

Healthy Eats Facts:

Tomatoes – has lycopene which contains anti-oxidants and cancer preventing properties
Garlic and onions – has anti-bacterial and anti-virus benefits
Olive oil – I’ve been using extra virgin olive oil for the past few years in almost all my recipes because it’s good for the heart and bones. Research has also shown that it can improve one’s cognitive functions.
Cheese – rich in calcium
Basil leaves – rich in vitamin K and has anti-bacterial properties

The World’s Healthiest Foods