Archive for the 'recipes' Category

Aug 19 2008

my favorite late summer recipe

Published by under cooking,recipes

  1. Go out to your garden, gather up a whole mess of cherry tomatoes.
  2. Snip off a big bunch of basil.
  3. Go back inside to your kitchen, and get out a box of plain couscous. Follow the directions for the whole box. (I’ve made it with both water and broth and haven’t found any big difference.
  4. While it’s sitting, rinse your tomatoes & basil, cut the tomatoes in half and chop up the basil. Inhale deeply, because that late summer basil smell = SO GOOD!
  5. Pop a lemon or two into the microwave for about 10-15 seconds (makes them easier to juice!) Slice in half, position a mesh strainer over a bowl and squeeze. Bang the seeds into the trash and toss the strainer into the sink.
  6. Take your bowl of lemon juice, add a pinch of kosher salt, some black pepper, your chopped up basil, and a swirl or two of extra virgin olive oil. Whisk.
  7. By now your couscous has absorbed all the liquid, and may have even melded itself into a pan-shape (if you were doing it in a pan that is). Pour it into a new bowl, fluffing with fork as you go. If you have some chunks that won’t fluff (because it melded itself into the pan-shape) no biggie. They’re yummy too.
  8. Pour your basily-lemony dressing over the top, add the tomatoes, combine gently and then dig in.
  9. I think this is supposed to be chilled, but I usually can’t wait.
  10. Also, this is good the next day, but significantly LESS lemony, so plan to add more lemon juice, if you want.
  11. Last thing – if you do all this when the couscous is still hot, the basil will lose some of it’s super-greenness, especially if you keep leftovers. It won’t affect the taste, but if you want it to stay pretty, cool the couscous first.

So yummy. I’m all out now (used store tomatoes) and need to make more. Hopefully I will have nice red tomatoes in my garden now ready to be EATEN.

The non-narrative version after the break.
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Feb 21 2008

menu for week 2/17 – 2/23

Published by under menus,recipes

Sunday: Slimmer Chicken Parmesan (registration required, but it’s free)
Monday: Homeade Pizza (storebought crust & sauce)
Tuesday: Spaghetti
Wednesday: chicken nuggets & fries
Thursday: fettucini alfredo (lighter version)
Friday: (kids only) mac & cheese
Saturday: potato soup (my own version, but kind of like this one here

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Nov 12 2007

my day off

Published by under crafty,daily,kids,photos,recipes

jocelyn warm blankey

One response so far

Jul 02 2006


Published by under daily,house,likes & irks,photos,recipes

I decided I wanted to make a quiche today.

I have a lot of herbs growing, and the only ones we actually use is the rosemary, on chicken and on roast potatoes. I should make some pesto, but I’ve actually never had pesto, so it never occurs to me.

Anyway, so I decided I wanted to make a quiche. I did a search on foodtv and came up with one from Paula Deen, the woman who uses a stick of butter in EVERYTHING. It HAD to be good. It was for bacon and spinach quiche, with swiss cheese.

So I knew I had a bag of spinach in the fridge, but it was bolting rapidly.. I sifted through it, picked out some good leaves and carefully washed and spun them dry in my spinner and chopped them up. then I decided they were too far gone, and I knew if I put spinach in it, there’s no way James would like it. So I ditched the spinach and picked some of my basil. Because hey! that was the whole point anyway!
It called for a pound of bacon. I never use bacon in cooking really. I keep a package in the freezer that I use whenever I make potato soup, but it just never comes out often. I was fortunate that the bacon in the freezer wasn’t freezer burned. So I pulled it out, cut some off the slab, and cooked it up.


I realized it wasn’t nearly enough.

So I pulled out the bacon again and cut up the remaining slab. that’s right. ALL OF IT.


Look at all that precious artery clogging GREASE! Gee, I wonder why I don’t eat this stuff very often?

I didn’t have any swiss cheese, so I just used cheddar.

It called for cream, but nope, haven’t got any of that, so I just used 2% milk. I figured there was enough extra fat from the bacon anyway.
I also didn’t have any pie crusts on hand, and sure as hell wasn’t going to make any.
So…. I’m making a Spinach, Bacon and Swiss Quiche.

Except there’s no crust, basil instead of spinach, and cheddar instead of swiss. Also, I like corn, so I put some corn in it too.

So really, it’s a Crustless No-Spinach, No-Swiss, Plenty-o-Bacon, Corn & BASIL Cheddar Quiche. YUM!

I also forgot to put the basil INTO the quiche. I slid it into the oven when my eyes lit on the chopped basil that WASN’T IN THE ACTUAL QUICHE ARGH, so I kind of stuck my hand full of basil into the hot oven and tried to fling it in there on top (where it will now probably burn, oh goody!) without losing a limb.

You know how those chefs on the food network are always sliding stuff into the trash as they prep and cook and saute and they finish with something and have a cloth to handily wipe it off their cutting boards and countertops, and by the time they’re done everything in the kitchen is sparkly-er and shinier than it was when they started?



Yeah, I’m not like that.

6 eggs
1 1/2 c. 2% milk
lots of pepper
1 lb of bacon
a handful of grated cheddar cheese (I didn’t measure, I just used the bit of cheese that was left.)
couple of handfuls of corn
chopped basil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

I sprayed my tart dish with a Pam-like spray, and then put the bacon in the bottom.


(Holy shit that’s a lot of bacon.)

Then came the corn and the cheddar cheese.


then I poured the egg-milk mixture carefully over the top.



Put in the oven, but remembered the basil and tossed that in there on top.


10 min. update: Quiche is in the oven cooking now. It smells delicious. Anything with that much bacon should be good.

20 min. update: Basil isn’t burning. Yet. Smells yummilicious. I’m getting hungry.

Baked for about 45 minutes – until there was no jiggling. My oven tends to take 5 minutes longer than most recipes call for.

post-cooking: this quiche is so yummy. I was correct, in that lots of bacon = GOOOOOOD. Now I will probably go bacon-free for another 5 years. Basil didn’t burn, everything was soooo delicious. If I had one complaint, it would be that it was a touch on the salty side. I salted the eggs, which was probably unnecessary, since bacon has plenty of it. Still. Yum.

UPDATE: James even liked it. Or he knew what was good for him and made himself eat it. And lie to me with a straight face. He’s a smart man.


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Jun 12 2006

sunday breakfast

Published by under daily,kids,recipes

Sunday morning found us in the comfy bed in the guest room having a bed party, with the kids climbing all over squirming and kicking and generally too wide awake and too crowded to really snuggle. Something had to be done to take their mind off their desire to kick each other (and us) and then point at each other and state, “He/She’s kicking me!”

So I said, “What should we have for breakfast?”

Jocelyn: “OATMEAL!”


Me: Hmmm… how about some FLAPJACKS!

We’ve never called pancakes anything other than pancakes, so this name struck them as funny.

James: That would be good, some johnny-cakes!

This name struck them even more, Jocelyn especially.


Me: Mmmm, I could make johnny cakes. Anyone want some hoe-cakes?

James: Ho-cakes?

Me: Yeah, Hoe-cakes. You know, they used to make them on the back of a hoe, out in the fields for a snack.

James: OOOoohhhh. HOE cakes.

Jocelyn: No. No hoe cakes. JOHNNY CAKES I WANT JOHNNY CAKES!

So off I trekked downstairs and made something vaguely resembling Paula Dean’s Hoe-cakes, except that I tried not to use any flour.* So instead of the cup of flour she used, I used a cup of rice flour. And I didn’t have any of the self rising stuff, so I randomly added a teaspoon of BP and a 1/4 teaspoon of BS into the mix. Didn’t have any buttermilk, and also didn’t want to risk Jocelyn’s nose exploding into a newfound river of snottitude (which happens when she has certain dairy), I used soy milk.

Them there’s a lotta changes to the recipe, eh? I mixed them up thinking, ho boy this has a huge potential to go majorly wrong” and spooned them into hot butter to fry. However, they were delicious.

* Um… by the way. We have recently discovered that James is allergic to WHEAT. Yes. Wheat. Thus, the rice flour. Wheat is in FREAKING EVERYTHING. This is going to be hard. Trip to Wegman’s planned for this week.
Seriously, how bad can something be when it was fried in butter to cook?

The rest of the day, Jocelyn still remembered breakfast and would come over to inform us, “I had JOHNNY CAKES, Daddy, I had JOHNNY CAKES, mommy!”

I told james I should have taken a picture.

“Why?” he asked with a puzzled look.


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Apr 12 2006

the unceasing plague of bunnies, and how i dealt with them:

Published by under daily,house,kids,photos,recipes

It all started when someone left out a few baby carrots. I’m not going to point any finger (ETHAN!!!), but what’s done is done.

april 2006 0401.jpg

It started out benignly enough.

april 2006 041.jpg
Do you see that? DO YOU SEE IT? A rapid, blood sucking bunny rabbit. SURE, it looks all cute now, but have you seen Monty Python’s the Holy Grail? I don’t want to RISK seeing how fast that bunny can move.

It only got worse. BEHOLD!

april 2006 037.jpg
THEY WERE MULTIPLYING! I tried to ignore them, but that proved to be the wrong choice.

april 2006 039.jpg

Oh. My. God. Well, there was only one thing I could do. You may want to skip the rest of this. It gets a little gory.

First…. I killed them. These rapid, carnivorous bunnies had to go. I had children in the house to think of!

april 2006 045.jpg

Notice how Friday, our cat, on the couch doesn’t even pay attention to what I’m doing. she’s too busy checking out the book she ordered from Amazon. I knew I should have torn up that credit card offer that came for her.

But what to do next? I was a little desperate. What to do?! What to do!! I grabbed the handiest thing to staunch all the bunny blood.. plastic grass. that’s right… I stuffed them.

april 2006 047.jpg

It’s surprisingly effective. Of course, even though the blood was stanched, I still had all these bunny corpses to dispose of. Trash? No, first place anyone would look. Paper shredder? My god, man, even I’m not that cruel! I will stuff them with plastic grass, but I won’t shred their empty husks of bodies! The humanity! THE BUNNIMITY!

I did the only thing I could do. How to get rid of eight bunny corpses??

Luckily, I had just the thing.

april 2006 048.jpg april 2006 051.jpg

Put cookies in them and send them to school for my son’s class. Toddlers can handle anything. They won’t even blink. Plus, due to their inherent destructive nature, those feeble bunny corpses probably won’t last the day through. I was as good as HOME FREE.

What was that? Did you hear that?

I gotta go. I think the bunny police are after me.

– amy points out that when everyone’s after you, paranoia is just good thinking.

Make your own paper bunny baskets, and many other paper toys, courtesy of The Toymaker.

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Jan 16 2006

Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage

Published by under recipes

1 butternut squash, about 1 1/2 pounds – cooked and cubed into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups uncooked U.S. arborio or medium grain rice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmegianno Reggiano cheese

  1. Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook until onion begins to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice and sage; stir 1 to 2 minutes. Add nutmeg, cayenne pepper, squash and broth. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until rice is tender and mixture has a creamy consistency, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat; stir in cheese. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

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Oct 30 2005

pineapple fluff

Published by under project skinny,recipes

2 cups fat free vanilla yogurt
1 container fat free cool whip
20 oz can crushed pineapple (with juice)
medium can mandarin oranges (drained)
2 boxes fat free sugar free white chocolate pudding mix

mix everything together except pudding, then add and mix again.
Refrigerate a couple of hours before serving.
1 pt per cup
note: substitute different flavor pudding as wanted.

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