Monday, October 26, 2009

My 'Preventative Healthcare'

Found this little odd bright beautiful orange thing in the squash bin at HEB. Going to steam with Fuji apples and add little wee bit of brown sugar and butter and raw walnuts to go along with roasted chicken and another side veggie dish. Loaded with vitamin A. It is called an organic Kuri squash....I have never seen one before now. Here it goes....will let you know. I love food adventure.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lamb Mafe

We've had some beautiful grassfed lamb in the freezer for about a year now. We got it before I became a frienditarian, so that's why I hadn't really been in a hurry to cook it. ...didn't know what to do with it and wasn't going to eat it. Now that I am eating home and friend-raised animals, I thought it was time to dig out the goods.

Last night I thawed it out and made this recipe I found at

I halved the recipe to work with 1 pound of meat and added cayenne in lieu of the thyme. It was pretty good, but I would make some more tweaks next time - as noted in red in the recipe. Made with one pound of lamb, this feeds 3 adults.


  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I used crunchy and it was fine. I would use at least twice as much as called for next time - it wasn't peanutty enough for my taste.)
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 4 large carrots, scraped and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (I used cayenne instead and would probably use fresh chiles next time. I also googled other mafe recipes and saw that some called for garlic and ginger. That would definitely up the yum factor in my opinion.)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Other recipes I saw said you could add other veggies - eggplant seemed the best fit, but butternut was on the list, too. I was going to add okra, but picked my pods too late and they were too tough to use.


Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan, add the onion, and cook over medium heat until it is translucent. Add the meat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned on all sides.

In a small bowl, mix the peanut butter with the cold water and pour it over the meat. Dilute the tomato paste with the hot water, pour the liquid over the stew, and stir well to make sure all the ingredients are well mixed. Add the remaining ingredients, lower the heat, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour, or until the meat is tender. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Serve hot over white rice.

My husband and our friend who was over for dinner LOVED this. I liked it, but think the tweaks mentioned would make it even better. The recipe says this works with chicken, too.

I served this on rice and our sides were wilted spinach and grilled bread schmeared with fresh chevre. Delicious.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Linguine with zucchini and chickpeas....yum!

This is super easy and super yummy! My family loved it!

Linguine with zucchini and chickpeas

12 oz linguine
2 T olive oil
3 small zucchini, cut into thin half moons
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, rinsed
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 c of the pasta water, drain, and return pasta to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini ans 1/2 t salt. Cook, tossing often, until just tender, 4-5 mins. Add the chickpeas, garlic, and red pepper and cook until heated through, 2-3 mins.

Toss the pasta with the reserved pasta water and 1/4 c of Parm. Divide the pasta among bowls and top with zucchini mixture and remaining 1/4 c Parm.


Friday, October 16, 2009

corn bread

it's that time of year. lots of soup, and with that soup, a skillet of corn bread. after lots of experimenting i have come up with a recipe that i love. as my dad would say "it's so good it makes ya wanna slap yo mama". yeah, he really says stuff like that. i should defend him by saying he (like myself) was born and raised in southern louisiana.

mandi's corn bread

1 C organic corn meal (really shoot for organic with any corn products- as it is such a heavily modified crop)
2/3 C whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 C milk
3/4 C plain yogurt (get a nice sour one- like a greek)
1/4 C organic coconut oil
1 T ground flax mixed in 3 T water (or 1 egg)
(i keep a jar of flax seed in the refrigerator and when i need some meal, i grind it up in a coffee grinder. the seed lasts longer than the meal.)

bake in a well seasoned and greased up cast iron skillet on 375' for about 15-20 minutes. that's when i start checking.

i would have taken a picture, but it was gone really fast.

because it's really good.

it's 'slap yo mama' good!

***disclaimer*** i am in no way encouraging slapping your mama - you hear that all you 3 year olds out there?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

As soon as the weather turns cool around here, my boys start asking for Pumpkin Muffins. I agree, Cheryl...something about fall makes me need to eat pumpkin.

I can't wait to try the other two pumpkin recipes given on this blog. Here are some of our favs...

Pumpkin Bread

From Michele Smith

3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
3 eggs
1 can pumpkin
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon (heaping)
1 tsp. cloves (heaping)
1 tsp. nutmeg (heaping)
1/4 tsp. salt

Mix shortening, eggs and pumpkin in large bowl. In another bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Then add a little at a time to the liquid ingredients until all is mixed well. Put in loaf pan and bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Pumpkin Muffins
From Melodi Henry

2 1/2 c. sugar
8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese
1/2 c. butter
4 eggs
16 oz. can of pumpkin
3 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 c. nuts (opt)

Combine sugar, softened cream cheese, and softened margarine, mixing until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in pumpkin. Add combined dry ingredients, mixing just until moistened. Fold in nuts. Pour into greased and floured muffin pans. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Crunch
From Jenn Bacak

1 can pumpkin
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 t pumpkin pie spice
1/2 t salt
yellow cake mix (butter recipe is best)
1 cup chopped pecan bits
1 cup melted butter
Vanilla Cool Whip

Grease a 9 x 13 pan. Combine pumpkin through salt in a large bowl. Pour it into the pan. Pour cake mix over it evenly. Sprinkle pecans on top. Then drizzle the butter over it, and bake at 350 for 50-55. Golden bubbly. Serve with Cool Whip, and I have paired it with the Vanilla Cool Whip, which is a heavenly combination. I think Vanilla Cool Whip was made specifically for this dessert.

Do you have any favorite pumpkin recipes?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Traci's Easy Crockpot Black Bean Soup

This is certainly someone else's recipe that I cannot remember so since the measurements are approximate...I call it mine. ;-) I triple this for leftovers once or twice for a family of four.

1 cup dry black turtle beans
3 1/2 cups filtered water
1 tsp powdered garlic
2 + tsp. sea salt or Real salt
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp dehydrated onion (or saute' fresh onion and toss in..about 1 large or 2 medium or to taste)
1/2 cup cream sherry (with cooking wines/vinegars in grocery store)

Optional Garnishes: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream with added water to make a little more soupy and pourable, chopped cilantro

Put it together:
In crock pot, place washed beans and water. Simmer on low for 12 - 14 hours. basically, overnight.

Add the next five ingredients for the last hour of cooking. Before serving, stir in cream sherry (add more or less to taste), then garnish and serve. Add margaritas!? Eat....feel good. ;-)

Friday, October 9, 2009

This one is for you Traci!

I am a little late posting my Beef Stew Recipe for you but thought I would anyway. (Lynsey's sounds fabulous!) I first made this when I was pregnant with Jay. It was the first meal that I was able to keep down and really enjoy during my first trimester.

Beef Stew
2 lb beef chuck or stew meat
1/4 c flour
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 1/2 c beef broth
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
1 t paprika
4 carrots, sliced
3 potatoes, diced
2 onions, chopped (don't think I did that much oinion)
1 stalk celery, sliced

Place meat in crock pot. Mix flour, salt, and pepper and pour over meat; stir to coat meat with flour. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix well. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 4-6 hours. Enjoy!

Prudence Pennywise

I must share this other food blog with you. Turn up the volume too...I cook to this blog sometimes. ;-)

I have not made this recipe or any that she writes about but I love her blog!!

I would like to get links to other food blogs from the authors here. If you have one you happen upon or frequent that you feel MUST be shared because the blog or a seasonal recipe is soooooo good to eat or just a plain appealing blog..share it. If I am out of line Brandi, tell me! Share the food love blogosphere I say. Enjoy!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Little Fishy Lunch!

I grew up on fish sticks and hamburger helper and sometimes the convenience and nostalgia of these meals are sometimes hard to pass up! While planning my menu last week I found this recipe and it's just like those fish sticks I grew up, nevermind...these are better!

Oven-fried Fish Sticks

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly oil a baking sheet

Skin and cut salmon into strips/chunks (1 lb of salmon fed my family of 4 easily. I was worried that I didn't buy enough, but it worked out PERFECTLY)

3/4 c whole wheat breadcrumbs
2 T finely chopped parsley
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
Spread this mixture on a plate

Beat one egg in a bowl

Spread 1/2 c whole wheat flour on another plate

Dip each fish slice first into the flour, then into the egg, and finally into the breadcrumbs to coat.

Place fish on a lightly oiled baking tray and cook in the oven for 15 minutes until the fish is cooked.


Our side dish:

Sweet Potato Cakes

1 1/2 lb sweet potato, shredded

1/2 lb potato, shredded

2 t onion powder

1/3 c flour

1 egg

3/4 t ground ginger

1/4 t cinnamon

1/4 pepper

Line baking sheet with foil and grease with olive oil. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until they are moist enough to hold together. Heat 2 T olive oil in skillet over medium -high heat and drop about 1 T of potato mix into the hot pan and flatten with spatula. Cook 2 minutes; flip, flatten, and cook 1 -2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and place on baking sheet. Repeat process. Keep the cakes warm in oven (about 300) until ready to serve!

I have also solved my "can't get a salad on our plate to save my life becaue I hate making them even though we all love to eat them " problem. I pre-make them and store them in ziplock baggies! I wash and chop lettuce and spinach, chop carrots, cut broccoli, boil eggs and they are ready to pull out and serve! (I don't store the eggs in the baggies though) It's been GREAT! We eat salad for lunch and dinner and loving it! The prep work takes about an hour (?) but worth the investment. This seems so simple but it's been the best thing to happen in my kitchen in a while. =)

Happy Cooking!

Mandi's Leftover Mustard Chicken Quesadillas

I love this meal. Mandi, on this blog, introduced me to her homemade/invented mustard chicken about 1 1/2 years ago or so and to this day, it is one of my favorite meals...I don't get tired of it! Currently, I make it once a week or every ten days or so. However, this post is a leftover meal from her recipe. (Mandi, you may have to post it here!)
What you need:
Whole grain tortillas
Cold leftover mustard chicken
Cheddar cheese
Chopped raw baby spinach
In iron skillet, warm to medium, when warm, place tortilla in, on one half of tortilla - add handful of shredded cheddar cheese, a handful or so of spinach and two 1/4 inch slices of the chicken breast with all the good seasonings and skin on. After the cheese on the bottom layer looks melted, in a few minutes or so, then fold the other empty side over to meet it, half moon style as you see in the photo. Flip with a spatula and allow cheese to melt and insides to warm again for a maybe 10 minutes but do not burn the tortilla. It should just be a little brown with a bit of a crunch on the outside.
My sister gave me some little tartish limes from her own homegrown and loved lime tree and with a little more than a half cup of fresh lime juice and the juice of one orange, I added almost total 4 cups of cold water and three half droppers of liquid Stevia. I like it tart, but this is pretty tart so add another cup of water or so if necessary. YUMMY man! Great lunch. Hope you like! The lime/orangeade is taken from Cathe Olsen's Mixed Fruitade recipe.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

take that blue bell

for a little snack today we made milk shakes.

well...milk shakes, barnard style.

i threw two 10 oz bags of organic frozen fruit into the blender (one strawberry, one peach). i added milk to this, covering the fruit about half way up. then i squirted in some honey.

and of course added some fruit dyed sprinkles.

to this, my precious girl exclaimed "mmm...this is better than blue bell!!!". be still my heart!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I Have a New Favorite Sandwich

While antiquing in Warrenton this Round Top season, a friend and I stopped at the little trailer at Clutters for a bite to eat. I have eaten at this great little spot before, but this time I had the most FABULOUS sandwich, a sandwich I am ready to declare my new favorite.

It is a goat cheese sandwich with tomato and basil. OH MY GOODNESS!

I have since made it at home. Spread a little softened goat cheese (I pop mine in the microwave for about 5 secs. so it will spread) on a slice of hearty whole wheat bread. Top with a tomato slice, some fresh basil, and I put a little fresh spinach on there as well. Then top 'er off with another slice of bread. AMAZING!!!!! I wish I would have taken a picture of my lunch today, but oh'll just have to make it for your self.

Just Planted Some Swiss Chard... soon as it is ready, I will make my very favorite recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. I know it sounds a little weird, but try it before you decide. It is SO yummy. We eat it over rice or cous cous.

African Pineapple Peanut Stew

  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard (4 cups sliced) - (use the stems. the crunch is fabulous)
  • 2 cups undrained canned crushed pineapple (20-ounce can)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter – (I like using crunchy)
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional, but it really brightens he flavor if you have it)
  • salt to taste
  • crushed skinless peanuts
  • chopped scallions

In a covered saucepan, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are lightly browned. While the onions saute’, wash the Swiss chard. Remove and discard the large stems and any blemished leaves. Stack the leaves on a cutting surface and slice crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices.

Add the pineapple and its juice to the onions and bring to a simmer. Stir in the chard, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring a couple of times, until just tender. Mix in the peanut butter, Tabasco, and cilantro and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste, and serve.

Most times I don't add extra peanuts, as I use crunchy PB. I also rarely have the cilantro in the season I make this, so I leave it out a lot. No matter what I do, it is always delicious.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dry Erase Freezer Board

Does this count as a product review? This is my meal planner/product review.
Okay, I am a visual person. Usually I like the visual part to be pretty but this is different. The truth is, I have run out of printer ink with all my homeschooling work I guess and the fact that I have an ink jet that is for people who rarely print. (Am I a nerd for printing my meal plan in the first place??) is my dry erase board..the front of my freezer door! You can see the "B" for breakfast, "Prep" for meal prep/thaw type reminders, "L" for lunch and "D" for dinner. The top has the date and seven days of the week marked. It far and is much safer than my original genius plan to "glue" my dry erase board to my freezer..uh, that would have been dangerous. As it is, this is front and center where I need the fridge and near the pantry and kitchen. It does erase well too..however, my fridge is quite old and has marks and dings on it so I am not afraid to play with it like this. Tell me what you think!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Beef and Vegetable Stew?

Maybe this is not what I am to do but here I you have an excellent Crock pot Beef and Veggie stew recipe? My husband loves stew and I want a crock pot meal this week. Can this happen? I know I could go online and search one out but wanted a tested one by friends...that would be better. If you have one, please post. This seems to be a great staple for the Fall season anyway so hope someone on our club has stew on their mind. Thank you and hope to reciprocate!

Thank you for the pumpkin scone recipe and the clotted perfect together!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


These recipes look good; I particularly love scones and thought I'd send the clotted cream recipe - maybe for a Sunday morning treat. You all may be able to get it but I live 100 miles from the nearest Whole Foods.

1 C. heavy cream
1/3 C. sour cream
1 T. confectioners' sugar

Whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form, remove from mixer and had whisk in the sour cream and confectioners' sugar. Store in refrigerator.


The weather is getting cooler and suddenly the only thing that seems appropriate to eat is pumpkin! Here are two of my favorite pumpkin recipes. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Dip

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 (15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon frozen orange juice concentrate

In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Gradually mix in the pumpkin. Stir in the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and orange juice until smooth and well blended. Chill and serve with ginger snaps!

Pumpkin Scones

1 T oil or softened unsalted butter
2 T maple syrup or honey
1 egg
1 C mashed pumpkin
1 C whole wheat or barley flour
1 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 t sea salt
3/4 t pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 425. Lightly oil a small baking sheet. Beat oil or butter, sweetener, and egg together until smooth. Beat in pumpkin until smooth. In separate bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined. Turn dough onto floured board and knead lightly until dough holds together. Form dough into a ball. Place in center of prepared pan and flatten to a circle about 1 inch high. Cut into 8 wedges but dont seperate them. Bake 15-20 minutes. To test for doneness, insert toothpick in a scone to see if it comes out dry. Transfer to rack to cool.