Herbed Lamb


Spring is in the air, the flowers are poking through the dirt, but no herbs yet, and definitely not my lavender.  Herbed lamb chops sounds enticing.  My parsley weathered the winter well on our side porch and I’m wishing for some new recipes with a nice light herbed flare.  Springtime is always reminiscent of herbed lamb in a herb de Provence blend of molasses and spices.  This blend can easily be utilized on pork or chicken as well with equally successful results.  If you never tried an herbed lamb encrusted with the sweetness of molasses or honey it is definitely a must try.  This blend of spices encompasses the savory and slight sweetness from the lavender. A complex blend of herbs including Rosemary, thyme, savory, fennel, and lavender to name a few.  Lavender when added to a savory meat adds an additional layer of flavor.  Prevalent in the region of Provence in France this herb has been used in many forms. If wishing to learn more check out http://www.provenceguide.co.uk/explore/lavender-38-1.html. Herbed lamb can be prepared with most cuts of the meat whether a chop or loin.  In the following I generally prepare the herbed lamb with a loin for a little more tenderness.


Herbed Lamb

1-1 1/2 lbs. lamb loin chops

1Tbs. Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen Herbs de Provence blend

1/2 cup molasses

1 tsp. Dijon style mustard

Begin to prepare the marinade mixture by combining the molasses and Dijon mustard together in a non-reactive bowl.  Add in the Herbs de Provence blend into the liquid marinade, incorporating together.  Once fully combined add in the lamb loin chops, coating each chop throughly  with the marinade.  Cover bowl and refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes up to two hours.  If grilling the herbed lamb start grill on high heat quickly searing the chops before continuing cooking on medium heat till desired doneness.  Generally for about 20 minutes based on thickness and desired wellness.  The herbed lamb may also be roasted in the oven in a covered roasting pan.

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Gluten free brownies


A special sweet treat for a Friday afternoon is just a few easy steps away.  If your craving something lite and sweet, try my new gluten free brownies.  They are easy to make with just a few simple ingredients I actually had on hand in my cupboard, with no flour and gluten free.  These gluten free brownies have a lite creamy texture without the gritty texture some gluten free desserts have.

Gluten Free Brownies

1 15oz. Can of black beans (drained and rinsed)

3Tbs. Canola oil

3 large eggs

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 light brown sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. Saigon cinnamon

3/4 cup chocolate chips (divided)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Lightly grease an 8×8 inch baking dish.  Set aside.  Place first eight ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until  completely combined with a smooth texture.  Fold in 1/4 cup of chocolate chips to blended mixture, reserving remaining chips.  Transfer mixture to greased baking dish.  Sprinkle on top of mixture remaining reserved chocolate chips.  Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until pick inserted comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly before slicing and cooling on a wire rack.  To serve transfer slice of brownie to plate drizzled with chocolate sauce.  Sprinkle with additional cinnamon and your favorite fruit.

Try an additional version of spiciness by adding in 1/4 tsp. of Ancho chili powder.

So, in trying to develop a low fat gluten free brownie my children would like, I decided to spice it up a bit.  After all, that is what the spice lady does.  A few unexpected secret ingredients and added spices take this dessert from plain to wow!  Instead of flour my secret ingredient is a can of black beans!  Black beans are naturally cholesterol free.  In addition black beans are rich in vitamins and minerals.  These little beans are a powerhouse of nutrition containing potassium, folate and B6 vitamins just to name a few. Check out https://www.organicfacts.net for more information of the benefits of black beans.

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A pot of Hot Chili



Every day’s a chili day!  Cook up a pot of simmering low fat turkey hot chili this week.  Whether looking for a fast afternoon snack, quick dinner or side to your nacho chips Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen’s Hot Chili Cabin Mix is the way to cook. Turn a chilly day into a spicy hot night with dinner It’s simple, tasty and loaded with protein, essential vitamins and minerals.  Mrs’ Claus’ Hot Chili Cabin mix is the right blend of assorted chili peppers, cumin, cilantro, cayenne, onion and a touch of garlic.  Studies have shown consuming spicy foods may also boost one’s metabolism, in addition to other health benefits.  For a listing of the benefits of chili pepper check out an informative article at  http://www.livestrong.com/article/434794-chili-powder-health-benefits/. Looking for a fun place to buy our spice blends, if  in the area check out the local farmer’s market at www.spacitymarket.com. , every Sunday at the historic Lincoln Bath House in Saratoga Springs.  The last weekend in January boosts our annual Chili cook-off.  It’s a fun and tasty way to spend the afternoon.


Low-Fat Turkey Chili Recipe

1lb. 93% fat-free ground turkey

2Tbs. olive oil

1 1/2 Tbs. Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen Hot-Chili Cabin Mix

15 oz. can of tomato sauce

15 oz can of chili beans

Heat oil in stock pot on medium heat adding in ground turkey.  Brown turkey on medium heat, stirring till evenly cooked.  Once meat has browned add in spice mixture, stirring into browned meat.  Combine in tomato sauce and chili beans.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes until heated through, stirring occasionally. Yields 4 to 6 servings.  May also be used with other ground meats if desired.  May be topped with a dollop of sour cream, cheddar cheese or even chives.  Makes a great accompaniment to your nacho chips as well.  Just layer on the cooked chili, top with grated cheddar cheese and broil till cheese has melted.  Enjoy!

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Irish stew


Classic Irish Stew With Stout

1 Lb. cubed lamb (beef, chicken or veal may be substituted)

1 small onion diced

4 large carrots sliced

2 celery stalks sliced

4-6 large red skinned potatoes

4-6 cups water

1/2 cup dark stout beer

1/2 cup red wine

1 1/2 tsp. garlic flakes

1 tsp. black cracked pepper

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/4 cup fresh parsley

Dilly Yogurt sauce (recipe included)

Heat 3 Tbs. olive oil in large stock pot.  Brown chopped onions till tender in olive oil.  Add meat, searing quickly on all sides on medium to high heat till browned. Sprinkle on pepper, garlic and thyme, stir in with meat.   Remove pot from heat, scraping residual browned bits from pot base adding in 4 to 6 cups of water to meat. Stir all ingredients,  returning pot to burner.  Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer for 3 to 4 hours depending on choice of meat chosen. If using chicken or veal for your Irish stew cooking time will be considerably less.  After one hour of simmering meat add in the sliced carrots, celery and diced potatoes.  Slowly add in the stout and wine simmering the Irish stew for an additional 2 to 3 hours.  When meat  and vegetables are tender serve with a parsley topping and dill yogurt sauce.

Dilly Yogurt Sauce topping for Irish Stew

1/2 Tbs. Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen Dilly Dip mix

1/2 cup Greek plain yogurt

Combine yogurt with dilly dip mix.  Set aside yogurt mixture 30 to 40 minutes for flavor to develop.  Serve atop Irish Stew for a flavorful dip blend.

It’s that time of the year again, still a chill in the air, potatoes still plentiful at the farmer’s markets, carrots in my vegetable keeper and a fast approaching Irish holiday.  Check out the farmer’s market this Sunday in Saratoga at www.spacitymarket.com.  Irish stew comes to mind when in a hurry and at a lose for what to make for dinner.  Classic Irish stew generally made with lamb can also be made with whatever is on hand, whether beef, chicken or veal.  If looking for local meat especially stew beef check out Willow Marsh farm in Ballston Spa.

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Lemon-Garlic Yogurt Sauce


Crab Cakes with Lemon-Garlic Yogurt Sauce

1 1/2 cups lump crab meat

1/2 cup mayo

1 Tbs. Dijon mustard

1 Tbs. Bread crumbs

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/8 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen Lemon-Garlic Mix

Dash of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, ginger and allspice

Zest of lemon.

Combine all ingredients together.  Form into palm sized patties.  Place on baking dish and bake at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes.  Remove lemon infused crab patties from oven. Top with lemon-garlic yogurt sauce.   Serve with side salad topped with drizzle of fresh lemon.

Lemon-Garlic Yogurt Sauce

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt (Greek will work as well)

1/2 tsp. Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen Lemon-Garlic Blend

1/2 tsp. capers (optional)

Combine yogurt with Lemon-Garlic Blend.  Let sit 10 minutes for flavor to develop.  Enjoy as an accompaniment  to fish or as a dip for your veggies.  Capers may be added for a salty finish.

Feeling like needing something light and lemony to get my mind off winter.  Made crab cakes with a dash of “Mrs. Claus. Kitchen” Lemon-Garlic Blend.  Topped with a drizzling of my lemon-garlic yogurt sauce, just enough creaminess with a kick to balance out the dish.  Lemons not only are a refreshing side but also have added health benefits.  Check out the benefits of lemons at www.lovelivehealth.com/7-amazing-benefits-lemon-water. If needing a pick me up from your winter blues stop by the local farmer’s markets this weekend.  You can find my products at the YMCA in Clifton Park every Saturday from 9-1:30 or on Sunday in Saratoga at the www.spacityfarmersmarket.com at the Lincoln bath house from 10-3.  If not willing to venture out I will be happy to ship your order simply place through www.santasatticandkitchen.com

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Lentil Soup


A great source of calcium. zinc, niacin, dietary fiber, folate and iron, the lentil proves to have it all when it comes to nutrition.  Lentils are one of the oldest legumes in history to be consumed covering many different ethic breakfast, lunch and dinner tables.  Whether prepared as a meal or in a soup 1 cup of cooked lentils provide 18 grams of protein and up to 16 grams of dietary fiber.  As an added bonus studies have shown that increasing our intake of dietary fiber may lead to a healthier smaller waistline.  Wow, comfort food and dietary fiber, what better way than enjoying a bowl of “Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen’s”  Soup’s Ready lentil soup.  Not only is our soup line free of salt and preservatives but it’s delicious and a wonderful comfort food anytime of the year.

Healthy eating does not need to be time consuming.  Our soup line was developed not only for the busy cook but anyone who enjoys eating delicious food without all the work.  Simply add the spice package to a soup pot with a little heart healthy oil.  Heat the spices, add in the lentil soup mix, stir with the spices, add water or stock, cook down and enjoy! By adding some legumes such as lentils to your menu it can be quick and heart healthy.  According to an article in www.besthealthmag.ca/best-eats/healthy-eating/6-reasons-to-eat-more-beans-and-lentils#.com, the American College of Nutrition found that people who eat beans (such as lentils) had a 22 percent lower risk of obesity and were more likely to have smaller waistlines than people who didn’t.  In addition lentils are high in iron, may control high blood pressure and may reduce your cancer risk.  Order some up today at www.santasatticandkitchen.com, or when in town stop by the Spa City farmer’s market in Saratoga on Sunday’s at www.spacityfarmersmarket.com

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Garlic Herb Mussels


Whether basil, oregano, garlic or every herb and spice is your desire, Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen herb and spice blends are sure to please your pallet.  The secret ingredient to a gourmet meal is our ready made herb and spice blends readily available year round. Our “Garlic Herb Spread” can be added to any dish.  Simplicity is added to your meal prep by simply sprinkling our herb blends dry onto any vegetables, meat or fish before or during the cooking process.  Everyone is pressed for time today,  making a one pot meal is simple in prep and clean up.  Keep it light and simple, tasty with some added garlic by using the “Garlic Herb Spread”  for your summer meals.  Worried about garlic breath, don’t bother.  An article in the “MNT Knowledge Center” states experts at “Kew Gardens” in England found in ancient India garlic was consumed as an aphrodisiac!  Check out http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265853.php. for more information on the benefits of garlic. Prepare our Garlic Herb Mussels for two this week and enjoy not only the easy meal prep with this dish but also some heart healthy benefits of garlic.  This is a highly nutritious meal with a combination of fresh kale, mussels and “Santa’s Attic And Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen” Garlic herb Spread.

Garlic Herb Mussels Recipe

2Tbs. olive oil

Small red pepper (diced)

1 lb. fresh or frozen mussels (cleaned)

4 cups fresh kale

1 Tbs. Santa’s Attic & Mrs. Claus. Kitchen “Garlic Herb Spread” (use dry)

Heat olive oil in heavy skillet.  Add in diced red pepper to oil in pan. Combine in mussels and “Garlic Herb Spread”.  Cook several minutes till pepper starts to soften and mussels start to open.  Cut up fresh kale, removing heavy stalks.  Discard stalks and add kale to frying pan.  Continue cooking mussels until mussels open and kale is wilted.  Remove from heat.  Discard any unopened mussels.  Enjoy meal! ‘

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Peppercorn Asparagus

new asparagus


Spring brings the warm days and chilled nights and an abundance of freshly harvested asparagus to our farmer’s markets and right into our kitchens.  The crisp tender stalks of asparagus, the zest of a lemon and the spiciness of “Peppercorn Garlic Rub” can be an afternoon  meal in itself or served as a side dish of your choosing.  Spices and herbs can enhance the flavor of your vegetable dishes bringing out a distinctive flavor to the meal.  Santa’s Attic And Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen “Peppercorn Garlic Rub” containing chili peppers, garlic, peppercorns and spices is just that spice.  The spicy heat of the chili peppers and peppercorns will awaken the senses.  Simple to make with just a few found ingredients.  This week all ingredients were grown locally and freshly prepared.  Check out the newest market Spa City Market in the town of Saratoga on the grounds of the National Dance Museum every Tuesday afternoon.  Visit their site at http://www.spacityfarmersmarket.com.  The asparagus crisp and fresh from Saratoga Apple in Schuylerville .  A wonderful farm not just for apples.  Fresh fragrant lemons grown  locally (yes right here in the Northeast) at the hot house of Malta Ridge Farm as well as the fresh green scallions.  Check out their site on facebook for Malta Ridge Orchard and Garden’s.   And the crisp pink red flavorful radishes and parsley were grown at Gomez Veggie Ville, a family run farm with plenty of fresh veggies.  The “Peppercorn Asparagus” dish takes minutes to prepare using Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen “Peppercorn Garlic Rub”

“Peppercorn Asparagus”

1 bunch fresh asparagus (about 1/2 lb.)

1 red radish

2 sprigs parsley

1 ripe lemon

1 scallion

1/4 tsp. Santa’s Attic and Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen “Peppercorn Garlic Rub”

1Tbs. olive oil

Remove bottom one to two inch hard stems of asparagus and discard.  Sauté asparagus in heated olive oil in pan till tender but still crisp.  Add in diced scallion for a few seconds to slightly heat.  Remove from pan.  Slice radish atop asparagus.  Zest on lemon to cover, add in your parsley and sprinkle on the “Peppercorn Garlic Rub”.  Enjoy!




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Onion Burgers



onion dip-1

Simple is good, festivities are fun, but the party is tasty and  best with our stuffed onion burgers.  The onion, part of the allium family, adds flavor grown right in a backyard garden.  First used for their antiseptic properties the onion over the centuries has become common place in most family kitchens.  To find more of the health benefits of consuming this part of the allium family log onto http://www.thevegetariansite.com/health_allium.htm.  The warm weather months brings on the use of the family backyard barbecue.  Santa’s Attic and Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen “Chockful Of Onion Dip” blend can be used dry in a multitude of recipes.  Add in a big flavor to your scrambled eggs, toss into a salad, or sprinkle on your chicken before cooking.  This blend of course makes a wonderful onion dip when combined with 1/2 cup of mayo, 1/2 cup of sour cream with one tablespoon of the dry blend added in.  Our “Chockful Of Onion Dip” blend contains a trio of onions (the allium family), garlic, parsley, pepper and spices adding a delectable balance to your dishes, whether used dry or mixed as a dip.  Perfect for a quick lunch, dinner or gathering of friends our stuffed onion burgers will be a hit at your next gathering.  These onion burgers can be prepared in advance of your gathering and refrigerated or frozen till needed.


Stuffed Onion Burgers

1 Lb. ground lean turkey breast

1 egg

1/2 cup gluten free quick cooking oatmeal

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1Tbs. Santa’s Attic and Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen “Chockful of Onion Dip”

4 oz. goat’s milk cheese (or other soft cheese of your choice)

Combine first four ingredients thoroughly together dividing into six equal hamburger patties. Combine “Chockful Of Onion” dip blend with the cheese dividing into six servings .  Take each patty dividing in half and making a well in one half of patty.  Into each well insert the cheese onion blend topping off with the remainder of the turkey mixture. Continue with remaining five burgers.  Cook accordingly.


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Cooking Kale


A powerhouse of nutrition, kale provides a bounty of minerals and vitamins.  Kale has been noted to be high in fiber being able to aid in the digestive process.  Not only is kale abundant in iron, vitamin K, A, C, and calcium but is also powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.  Check out all the health benefits of kale at http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4408/Top-Health-Benefits-Of-Eating-Kale.html.   Plentiful fresh and at the local farmer’s markets, kale bunches are readily available and in season in Spring.  Kale is one of the first seasonal Spring vegetables along with asparagus.  It makes a wonderful side whether as a salad, sautéed or even roasted into a kale chip.  Similar in texture and flavor to spinach, kale can be substituted in most of your dishes calling for leafy greens.  The website http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/leafy-greens-rated.html, offers information on many of the leafy greens available and their benefits.

Spring generally brings a seasonality to one’s cooking process, lightening up the menu with the arrival of the warmer days.  Adding a little spice to your sides and vegetables can dramatically change the flavor of your meal.  Our range of spices and herbs can add a little garlic, perhaps some hot chili pepper or even onion to one’s dish in a flash.  Variety in your diet from the main vegetables to the spice you choose can potentially offer you a full range of nutritional benefits from the vitamins and minerals.  Choose a variety of blends to keep on hand, experimenting with the flavor in your kale, asparagus or even broccoli dishes.   A staple in our kitchen is always garlic, in particular Santa’s Attic and Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen’s “Garlic Herb Spread”.  When used dry the variety of this blend is endless.  Incorporating garlic, basil, oregano, dill, parsley and chives, “Garlic Herb Spread” is wonderful sprinkled onto sautéed kale.  Try some tonight.


6 cups leafy kale (cleaned, stems removed)

2 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 Tbs. Santa’s Attic & Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen “Garlic Herb Spread”

1/4 cup raisins

Heat olive oil in pan.  Add in kale and raisins.  Sauté kale and raisins till kale wilts and raisins are tender.  Sprinkle on “Garlic Herb Spread” dry, tossing in with the kale.  Remove from heat and enjoy as a side.


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