Sunday, August 2, 2009

Handstands in the Pool

This is Michelle's husband Rob and I doing handstands in the pool. I love that those 2 enjoy doing silly wacky things at the pool, like I do. Michelle took this picture. I didn't know she had the camera out. No wonder she told me to point my toes. :)
I haven't really cooked since the summer began. Planning on starting up again in the fall. Cooking on a Sat. afternoon with football on sounds great. I think I am slightly ready for fall but will still make the most out of August.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

From SouleMama

This looks very good and I want to make it sometime. I took it from Her blog is entertaining, to say the least (he he).
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 small jalapeño, seeded, deveined and chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 small garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 -3 big handfuls baby arugula (or other salad greens), well washed and dried
3 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Start by making the dressing. I use an immersion blender - but a blender or food processor will work just as well. Combine the lime juice, vinegar, honey, jalapeño, salt, garlic and mustard and puree. Add the olive oil and puree until everything comes together. Taste and adjust with more salt, honey, or lime juice if needed. Set aside until you are ready to serve the salad.
Just before you are ready to serve the salad gently toss the arugula with a bit of the dressing. Arrange it on a platter. Now toss the beans and most of the almonds with a generous splash of the dressing. Arrange the beans on top of the arugula and finish by sprinkling with the remaining almonds and the crumbled feta cheese.
Serves 4 - 6.

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Funny from David

This is from my brother. It's a label on a toy bought from a Japanese store in CA. These are always pretty funny! See below if you cannot read it.

-- Be attention to avoid child eating.
-- For security, don't use damaged or transformed goods.
-- Do not use for other purpose.
-- Dispose of properly if you want.

And here are a few more I dug up from an email he sent once (also from a toy from the Japanese store):

1. Keep in dried places after clean it well.
2. Don't wind up too much, it causes broken.
3. Please understanding the natural wood likely to have the status of distortion, cracks, rot, rust, and other phenomena if the wood with water and wet.


Taco Casserole

Mom made this for dinner at their house last weekend. It was so quick and easy, and good too.

I think this would also be real good inside hard taco shells, although a little less healthy.

1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning (recipe called for Taco Bell brand)
1 box macaroni and cheese dinner (Kraft, etc.)
1 cup mild salsa (recipe called for Taco Bell brand)

Cook ground beef with taco seasoning. Prepare mac and cheese dinner according to box directions. In an 8 x 8 baking dish, layer meat, mac and cheese, and salsa. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hearty Bean and Pasta Soup

This is from my "Cooking for Less: Pasta" cookbook. It happens to have many non-meat recipes, probably since it's geared towards recipes that cost less. The meatless recipes naturally attracted me. Mary liked the cookbook too, and bought the same one a few weeks ago while in Toledo. :) Do you mind me talking about your goings-on in my blog, Mare?

Next time I will double the beans (I love beans) and double the balsamic vinegar. Love that stuff too, and this recipe was an excuse to buy a bottle. That was partly why I chose it!

Less spinach would be fine too. I used only a 10 oz bag, not a pound, and it was plenty. Maybe Popeye wouldn't agree.

I had never bought marinara sauce before. Asked Mary about it and she mentioned the brand Newman's Own. That is what I ended up picking up, since it was right in front of me and I had no opinion/favorite. I got Newman's Own Cabernet Marinara and the slight wine flavor seemed to work out great! I loved this soup.

PS -- I still plan to get my mitts on a digital camera soon so pics can be included with these postings!

1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups water
2 cans, about 14 oz each, chicken broth
1 jar, 26 oz, marinara sauce
1 can (about 15 oz) Great Northern or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 lb spinach, stemmed and chopped (see note above about using less)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional

1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes or until onion is tender.

3. Stir in water, broth, marinara sauce and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach, vinegar, and pasta; cook 5 minutes.

4. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with cheese, if desired.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lull in the Cooking Action

Well, I haven't cooked in a few weeks. There have been good reasons though. Mary came to visit a couple weekends ago. We had so much fun. Here are some things we did, in about the right order: Picked up Schlotzkey's, watched college b-ball, ate at Grape Leaf Diner, shopped at Libbey Outlet and Barnes and Noble, ate at Abuelo's, poked around at Meijer and got wine, drank wine while watching more college b-ball (hey it was tournament time, why not?), lunch at my house, Bed Bath and Beyond, picked up Subway. It was a fun time!

I am picking out the next recipe out of a recently-acquired pasta cookbook bought from B and N after a rehearsal. Mary liked the cookbook and bought the same one during our B and N visit. Now we have a couple of the same cookbooks. :)

Soon I plan to get a digital camera. I'll be spicing up this blog with some pics. Much more entertaining to look at.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchiladas

This is on the list to make sometime. I've never had quinoa but I'd like to try it. It sounds similar to rice but it is high in protein and is a complete protein. And it has other nutrients that rice and pasta do not. I plan to pick some up at Whole Foods in Ann Arbor sometime soon after a band rehearsal.

The rest of this post is taken directly from

Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is from South America and I like to describe it as a cross between couscous and rice. It is extremely high in protein and is in the whole grains family.

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchiladas

Prep time: ~ 40 minutes
Cook time: ~25-30 minutes

1 green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (15oz.) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15oz.) can of diced tomatoes and green chilies
1/4 cup picante sauce (she uses medium)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups cooked quinoa
whole wheat tortillas, warmed (at least 8 or 9 6-inch tortillas- depends on how full you make the enchiladas)
1 cup salsa (she uses medium)
shredded cheese (Cheddar, fiesta mix, etc)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

In a large nonstick skillet, saute the green pepper, onion, and garlic in the olive oil until tender.

Add the beans, tomatoes/chilies, picante sauce, cumin, chili powder, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until heated through and mixture thickens.

Add quinoa, cook 5 minutes longer or until heated through.

Sprinkle shredded cheese onto tortilla. Spoon 1/2 cup or so (more or less depending on how full you want the enchiladas to be) into the middle of the tortilla and roll. Place in 9 X 13 pan, coated with non-stick spray. Repeat until the pan is full. Spoon salsa over the enchiladas and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Remove and sprinkle top with cheese and chopped cilantro. Return to oven for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Makes about 9-12 enchiladas.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Greek-like Salad I Made Up

During the summer of 2007, I had a cucumber from the neighbor’s garden to use up. Cucumber is in fatoosh and I love fatoosh. So I made up this recipe that resembles fatoosh or some sort of Greek-ish salad. I don’t recall the amounts of each ingredient. I believe I gradually added them to the chopped cucumber until it looked like a good amount of each for my tastes.

It turned out quite good. I love the way feta cheese absorbs the dressing. Yum! The salad had a pretty strong flavor but I liked it that way. Using less dressing would have toned down the flavor.

1 cucumber
Red onion
Fresh parsley
Baby carrots
Feta cheese, crumbled (I bought a container of feta flavored with peppercorns and it was an awesome ‘extra’ in the salad)

Dressing: Extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice

Dice the cucumber, onion, carrots. Finely chop the parsley. Combine everything together along with feta. I made the dressing according to taste. I believe it was mostly olive oil and vinegar, with a little lemon juice.

Turned out yummy for my first made-up recipe!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

De-lightful Tuna Casserole (Cheesy name, good food)

Tues. 3/10/09:

This turned out very good and it was super easy. Got a big thumbs-up from the folks too (they are my guinea pigs). It is from an edition of Taste of Home's 'Healthy Cooking', February 2009.

1 package (7 oz) elbow macaroni
1 can reduced-fat condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (I used canned)
1 cup (4 oz) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1 cup fat-free milk
1 can (6 oz) light water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
2 tablespoons diced pimientos
3 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt (I omitted this)
1/3 cup crushed cornflakes (I used Cheerios b/c that's what I had)

1. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the soup, mushrooms, cheese, milk, tuna, pimientos, onion, mustard, and salt. Drain macaroni; add to tuna mixture and mix well. Simultaneously fend off kitties who are madly begging for tuna.

2. Transfer to a 2-qt baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with cornflakes. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Midwinter Minestrone from Racheal Ray

Sat. 2/28/09:

I made this last weekend and today, half-batch each time. It is more like a stew than a soup. This weekend I used fewer veggies and more pasta and beans. I also dropped out the carrots and added a can of kidney beans, and used double the garbanzo beans and half the kale. I would possibly leave out kale altogether next time.

Oh yeah -- left out the pancetta, used canned mushrooms instead of fresh, used a can of diced tomatoes instead of sundried tomatoes, and doubled the garlic (love garlic!).

Liked this a lot and so did the folks. Definitely making it again!

Here is her recipe, which I halved and modified:

2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 pound sliced pancetta, diced (optional)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
3 ribs celery, cut into small dice
1 large or 2 medium red onions, cut into small dice
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 cup (about a handful) dried porcini or mixed wild mushrooms, chopped
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (I might use white northern beans next time, they seem softer)
1 small bunch purple or green kale, stems removed and leaves shredded
1 cup whole wheat fusilli or other short cut pasta
1/4 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese, for garnish

Place a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the pancetta to the pan (if using) and cook until crispy, 5-6 minutes.

Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic and bay leaves to the pan with the pancetta, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the veggies are tender, 6-7 minutes.

Add the sun-dried tomatoes, dried mushrooms, stock and 2 cups water to the pot, and bring up to a bubble.

Add the chickpeas, kale and pasta to the pot, and cook until the pasta is al dente according to package directions (the kale will be done at this point too). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish the soup with the Pecorino Romano and serve.


Welcome to my blog! I will post recipes and other random goings-on here. I have never been much of a cook, although I've had an interest in cooking and intentions to be more of a cook for a handful of years. I have even enjoyed collecting cookbooks for the last few years, too.

Recently I've begun cooking more and really enjoying it! This will be my place to record what I make, for my own reference and for anyone else who is curious. Much of what I make will be vegetarian. I have always had vegetarian tendencies, often prefering the taste of non-meat dishes. And, raw meat is icky to deal with! And it's expensive. So considering all that, why not find interesting meatless recipes? Works better for me. Although I'm definitely not a true vegetarian. I would have trouble giving up sausage, well-done bacon, ground beef (esp. in tacos), processed lunch meat, hot dogs (woo hoo!), chicken/beef broth as ingredients, turkey on Thanksgiving, ham, and seafood.

Hope you enjoy my recipes and other ramblings.