All posts by visualdebris

Sooji (Semolina) with Berries

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This is a no-sugar-added recipe. We use it for breakfast or dessert. It keeps well in the fridge for four or five days.

As a child I loved the Sooji Halwa my grandmother made and I’ve always loved the German breakfast version. Two totally different ways of cooking this very versatile and nutritious food. Semolina is not safe for people who cannot digest gluten or have celiac disease. If you are able to include this in your diet you will benefit from its amazing properties. And it is a great comfort food at the same time.

Semolina is rich in protein, B-complex vitamins, selenium, and iron. It gets its calories from carbohydrates a great source of fuel for your tissues.

Most Sooji Halwa is rich and has a lot of nuts and sometimes dried fruit. Pistachio, raisins, and slivered almonds to name a few are often sprinkled over the top and sometimes added during the cooking. It is absolutely delicious. We used to have it for special occasions and generally for breakfast. The German versions I’ve had included breakfast dishes and desserts.

My version of this recipe combines my grandmother’s recipe with a German one and to pack more nutrition into it I add more fruit.

Makes six larger breakfast servings or eight smaller servings


  1. One cup of Sooji or Semolina
  2. Quarter cup of cooking oil
  3. Two cups of hot water
  4. Half a cup of evaporated milk
  5. Five or six green cardamom crushed
  6. Two  cups of frozen blueberries and strawberries or fresh (chop the strawberries) – save half a cup for garnish.
  7. A sprig of mint for garnish
  8. Sweetener to taste


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Add the cooking oil to a saucepan over medium heat (you can also use butter or margarine instead)

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Add the sooji and stir into the oil

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Stirring frequently cook until the sooji is a light brown in color

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Take the sooji off the stove and allow to cool a little then add the hot water and stir in so it’s all mixed in well without lumps

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Return to the stove, then add the milk and continue to stir

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Add the crushed cardamom. Once the sooji starts to pull away from the sides, remove from the stove and add sweetener. I used Stevia for this one. Stir in well before you add the fruit.

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Add the frozen berries (I defrost them first, a minute in the microwave). Do not return to the stove.

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I use extra blueberries to garnish.  Make a well in the center with a spoon and add defrosted blueberries and pour the juice over the sooji.  A sprig of mint from my garden or yours.

If you try out this recipe please let me know how it turned out. Leave a comment. Thanks and happy cooking!

Juno Beach – Dogs, Kite Surfers, and a Musician


The day started out a bit cloudy with a chance of rain but it turned out to be a perfect beach day and we were already there early this morning. This time we checked out the dog-friendly part of Juno Beach which is about half a mile further north of the fishing pier. A great place to set up folding beach chairs (we brought ours), perhaps pick up some coffee on the way, watch the kite surfers and dogs playing. And today we met Sam who was walking along the beach playing his ukelele.

Chai with Anise and Cardamom

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This is a Chai recipe not just for rainy days but for any time you want a little break from whatever you’re doing. I love chai and I make this twice a day. Once for breakfast and then again mid-afternoon. I’m a chai addict. For me there is no day without it.

Serves two and more… depending on the cup/mug you use.


  1. Three cups of water
  2. One tablespoon loose leaf black tea
  3. One tablespoon anise seed
  4. One half tablespoon cardamom seed
  5. One cup of evaporated milk
  6. Sugar or sweetener as desired


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Add one tablespoon of loose leaf tea to 3 cups of water and bring to a boil (I buy my loose leaf black tea from a local Indian store).

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Add a tablespoon of anise seed

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and a tablespoon of green cardamom (I get my spices from the local Indian store)

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Boil for a minute (at this point I add half tsp ginger powder sometimes If I want a more wintery mix in my chai)

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Add a cup of evaporated milk (I use whole but fat free is ok too) and bring to a boil. Watch this closely because I have had many accidents at this point with boiling tea all over my stove. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove from the stove and pour into a teapot.

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I have a teapot with a built-in strainer so I pour it directly into it. Works great for me but before I had this teapot I would  pour it through a strainer into a regular teapot or a jug. Pour into cups and sweeten with sugar or sweetener. I use Splenda. Hubby uses Stevia.

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Enjoy! The tea will keep for the day and you can warm it up as needed. You can refrigerate it for four or five days and it tastes just as good. Just remember to strain it and not leave the tea leaves in the mix.

Chickpea and Pomegranate with Tilapia

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When I can’t get to the beach, I love to cook. I like to eat everything raw and the rest of my family prefers cooked. This recipe works well for all of us. It combines cooked and raw vegetables. There are many ways to vary it. Use your imagination. I’m using some of the ingredients I love and always have in my kitchen.

Serves four


  1. Two cans of chick peas (drained, rinsed)
  2. Four frozen fish filets (Tilapia is what I happen to have today)
  3. One medium yellow onion
  4. Handful of parsley leaves
  5. One bunch of celery
  6. Seven or eight baby carrots
  7. Seeds of one pomegranate
  8. One lemon (you can add apple vinegar as well)
  9. One tsp each dried rosemary and thyme and salt to taste


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Chop the onion and add half the onion with a tablespoon of cooking oil in a sauce pan and cook for five minutes (I use canola for cooking and olive oil for raw)

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Chop the celery and carrots. Add half the celery and all the carrots to the onions in the saucepan.

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Add a tsp each of dried thyme and dried rosemary.

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Add a cup of water or enough to just barely cover the chickpeas. Cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for an hour. At this time, get the frozen tilapia out and leave on the counter to thaw.

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While the chickpeas are cooking, wash the raw vegetables and herbs.

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Chop the parsley and mix with the remaining chopped onion.

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Add the pomegranate seeds, onion, parsley, remaining celery, and the juice of one lemon. I sometimes add apple vinegar also. Add salt to taste. I use an iodized sea salt.

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Use a slotted spoon to lift the chickpeas into the raw mix.

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I sometimes bake the tilapia (still frozen) at 360 F for 25 mins or I fry thawed for about five minutes on medium to high heat or until soft and flaky. Serve while fish is hot and the vegetable mix is cool.

Downtown West Palm Beach

On our way back from the Green Market which is at the end of Clematis Street near the waterfront, we walked slowly so I could get a few more pictures of our beautiful Downtown. Still early, some of the restaurants had not yet opened for lunch but the chairs and tables were out under the colorful awnings and flowers that are everywhere at this time. Sometimes we stick around after the market and have lunch in one of the restaurants before we come home. We left earlier today to do a some gardening, watch a movie, and later… a barbeque dinner.

While driving around town, we also noticed lots of newly planted palms, especially around the new mall due to open on Valentines Day. Can’t wait to see it.

Green Market, West Palm Beach, FL

The Green Market in West Palm beach opened to a warm and sunny day today. Dogs and their families showed up in droves. I have two pups of my own so I love this market and how friendly it is to pets. There is even a water fountain for dogs. Since it’s on the waterfront, even warmer days like today are lovely because of the ocean breezes. For me, lugging around my camera and my larger than life pocket book, short breaks under the shade of tree or tent was very welcome. The market is completely accessible for wheelchairs and lots of places to sit on the green under umbrellas or on concrete benches. The produce at this market is the best for miles. There is also a lot of cooked food so we generally have breakfast there. Today it was cuban coffee at the Havana tent and the most amazing sweet and savory chicken and mushroom Italian muffin at Thoroughly Modern Muffins. We also picked up a jar of Pascale’s mango chutneys and enjoyed it with our lunch.

Thank you to all who let me take photos of their pups for my blog.