Sunday, June 27, 2010

Birthday Bounty

Thought I'd wake you up with this nice spread. Zoe's cupcake cakes turned out nicely. The green strawberry flavored fruit roll-up leaves were a big hit on the chocolate icing. Go figure!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Toasted, Not Dead

I know! I haven't posted anything since June. I've been dieting. It's been successful for the most part. For the least part, I've eaten chocolate cake. Ugh. Anyway, I've lost eight lbs. So, there.

I want to post some not only good but, good for you recipes. I just don't have any right now. Oh, but here's a trick. I've been dicing fresh fruit (peaches, strawberries, etc.)into a bowl of skim milk with Splenda and sticking it in the freezer. It's good.  Try it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Caribbean Rice and Beans

I had two girlfriends drop by yesterday! 
That is almost unheard of for these parts so, in celebration, I whipped up this recipe.
It was fantabulous and if you want something simple yet full of exotic flavor, try it.
I swear you will not be disappointed.

1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp butter
3/4 cup Arborio rice or short grain rice
1 15.5 oz can small red beans or light red kidney beans, rinse and drain
1 14 oz can vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp snipped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion

In a saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot butter until tender; add rice. Cook and stir constantly over medium heat about 5 minutes or until rice is golden.

Stir beans, broth, coconut milk. jalapeno pepper, dried thyme (if using), salt, and allspice into saucepan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender and mixture is creamy. Stir in fresh thyme (if using). Sprinkle with green onion. Makes 4-5 main dish servings.

*Per serving: 380 cal., 15 g total fat, 11 g sat. fat, 8 mg chol., 913 mg sodium, 52 g carbs., 7 g fiber, 10 g protein.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mexican Layered Salad


4 cups torn romaine
1 large cucmber, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 medium ripe avocados, peeled and sliced

1 1/2 cups mayo
1/4 cup canned chopped green chilies
2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a 2-qt trifle bowl, layer the salad ingredients. Combine mayo, chilies and seasonings; spread over the top and sprinkle with cheese.

*I served this last night and it was a big hit! It does not have cinnamon in it so it's a safe bet when Mel's around. That cookie Zoe tried to feed her was NOT a safe bet as it was chock full o'cinnamony goodness*

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Best Coffee Cake That Ever Was. Seriously.

Walnut-Cinnamon Coffee Cake

1 18.5 oz Classic Yellow cake mix
1 3.4 oz Instant Vanilla pudding mix
1 3.4 oz Instant Butterscotch pudding mix
1 cup water
1 cup oil
4 Eggs
1 cup Brown sugar
1 cup chopped Walnuts
1 Tbsp Cinnamon

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the cake and pudding mixes. Add the eggs, water and oil; mix well. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, walnuts and cinnamon. Pour some batter into an oiled bunt pan. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture over the batter. Add another layer of batter and layer of sugar mixture. Finish up with the remainder of the batter. Bake for 35 minutes at 350. Then turn the temperature down to 325 and bake for additional 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

*This is what we baked for gifts on Mother's Day. It is the best!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Balsamic Roasted Fingerling Potatoes


1 ¼ pounds of fingerling potatoes, washed and halved
2 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine (optional)
2 to3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


*Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place your oven rack in the lower third of your oven.

1. Prepare your potato wedges. Attempt to cut each wedge into similar sizes for even roasting. (I didn’t cut mine at all.)

2. Toss the wedges in a bowl with the olive oil, sea salt, pepper and rosemary (optional).

3. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until fork tender.

4. Sprinkle with the balsamic vinegar, shaking the pan to coat the potatoes. Roast until vinegar evaporates, about 4 minutes.

5. Season with more sea salt, pepper, fresh rosemary sprigs and serve.

*These were a huge hit at the luncheon I attended earlier in the week*

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Crazy For Quinoa

Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is not a true cereal grain, but rather the botanical fruit of an herb plant. It is treated as a grain in cooking. The grains are small yellow flattened spheres, approximately 1.5 to 2 mm in diameter. When cooked, the germ coils into a small "tail" that lends a pleasant crunch. The leaves of the quinoa plant can also be eaten.

The ancient Incas believed quinoa to be sacred and called it "Mother of all grains". It contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it an unusually complete protein source. Quinoa has grown in popularity in the past few years and is carried in many well-stocked groceries as well as health food stores. There are several varieties of quinoa which range in color from dark brown to near white. The larger whiter varieties are most common and are considered superior. Quinoa should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer if storage beyond a month is desired.

We had friends over for dinner and I served the usual fare along with this Greek Quinoa Salad. It was a big, big hit!

Call me a hippie. I don't care.

Greek Quinoa And Avocado Salad


1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained*
1 cup water
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion (1 small)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Spinach leaves
2 ripe avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and sliced**
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. In a 1-1/2-quart saucepan combine quinoa and water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

2. Transfer quinoa to a medium bowl. Add tomato, spinach, and onion; stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, and salt. Add to quinoa mixture; toss to coat.

3. Place spinach leaves on 4 salad plates. Arrange avocado slices on spinach leaves. Spoon quinoa mixture over avocado slices. Sprinkle with some of the feta. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

*Note: Rinse quinoa thoroughly before cooking to remove a bitter substance called saponin that coats the seeds.

**Note: Brush avocado slices with additional lemon juice to prevent browning.

Try may like it.