Thursday, 16 August 2012

Pork in a Dutch Oven

When it's so hot out, I stay away from the oven.  My boyfriend isn't as much a wilting violet as I am and he gets right in there and cooks.  I took this photo of some pork he roasted in the dutch oven.  I can't even lift the dutch over when it's empty!  Much less when it's full and hot. So I appreciate it when he cooks.  Fantastic!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Fresh Salsa and Chili

What is the 4th of July without a crazy hat?

Another lady decorated this cake while we watched.

Guy's chili with fresh cilantro on top.

Flag cake.  Glad I got a picture of it because it vanished before I even saw it cut.
For our 4th of July potluck, my boyfriend made the most awesome chili (no beans) as well as fresh salsa.  I roasted the peppers for the salsa and peeled half of them.  He did everything else.  People were standing in line waiting for the chili to heat up at the pot luck. Many of them used it to make a chili dog. He got lots of compliments on the salsa as well.  Nothing beats fresh. And I never really think of salsa as a vegetarian food, but it kept the vegetarians happy too.

The flag cake is amazing too. I can't take credit for that one. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Day 2 Strawberries For The Win

Good news to report on yesterday's smoothy. No acid reflux or any other nasty side effects.  So Yay.

For today I used a red pear, half a cucumber, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, red cabbage, 1/2 cup spring water, and a handful of cilantro. It was okay but it didn't rock my world.  I put some ice cubes in because I find they taste better cold. As I was putting the tray back, I spotted some frozen strawberries long ago forgotten in the freezer.  I defrosted them for 1 minute in the microwave and tossed them in.  Wowsa, what a difference.  This was like a treat I'd pay big bucks for at a street fair.

In the past when I've done fruit smoothies I used apple or orange juice. Then I got acid reflux.  Also, store bought juices are full of other crap like added corn syrup. Now that I'm using water as my liquid, and a balance of veggies and fruits, I'm hoping to avoid the acid reflux issues. I will say between this and my usual breakfast, I wasn't hungry for lunch until about 4 o'clock.

Adding the frozen strawberries gave me an idea.  I toss out tons of fruit that gets too ripe before I can eat it.  So I'm going to start freezing all my left over fruit (particularly bananas), so I always have a bit of frozen stuff to keep my smoothy cold enough. This is going to save me all kinds of money. And since I added the strawberries today I had almost 3/4 of the smoothy left over, so that goes in the freezer too as a base for tomorrow's smoothy. That will save time on chopping up things.

Tomorrow is the 4th of July so today I'll be roasting peppers for the chili my boyfriend is making for our  4th of July potluck. If you are in the U.S.A. then Happy 4th of July baby.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Purple Monster Drink

I haven't had any energy lately. When I saw an TV ad for the Nutrient Bullet it got me thinking about starting my day with a nutritional smoothy.  But when I looked into buying one it was over $150.  So I'm making due with my blender. I've tried drinking fruit smoothies and they give me acid reflux.  So we'll see if I can handle part fruit and part veggies.

I got up this morning and put together a concoction that is as follows:

Purple Monster Smoothy

Half of a peeled cucumber
1 ripe banana
5 pitted fresh cherries
handful of cilantro
handful of red cabbage
tsp. of sesame seeds
1/2 cup of spring water

I call this one a win, because it didn't taste horrid.  Mostly I tasted banana. I was able to drink the glass without gagging. And it's colorful.

Nutrient facts:  Cucumber: High in potassium and ß-carotene and α-carotene, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, zea-xanthin and lutein.

Banana: This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin B6

Cherry: Scientific studies have shown that anthocyanins in the cherries are found to act like anti-inflammatory agents by blocking the actions of cycloxygenase-1 and 2 enzymes. Thus consumption of cherries has potential health effects against chronic painful episodes such as gout arthritis, fibromyalgia (painful muscle condition) and sports injuries. (source:
Cilantro: This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Thiamin and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese

Red Cabbage: This food is very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese.

Sesame seeds: Not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage. Source:

So, let's hope this gives me more energy.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Fry 'Em Up

For my boyfriend's birthday I gave him some money to get a new frying pan. He found a nice set of them at Sam's Club.  He was going to get the ones with the black exterior, but I spotted the red ones and twisted his arm. We haven't even opened the box yet, but I'll take photos when we do. Is getting him a pan for his birthday like getting a baseball mitt for your mom? (Giggles).

Thursday, 26 January 2012

New Bake Ware

I just ordered some inexpensive bake ware off of Yardsellr. I'm looking forward to getting the muffin pan so I can try out cloverleaf buns.
Yesterday we went to Jon's Market and I picked up some wheat flour and corn meal to round out my baking staples. And I got some feta cheese for some baked breakfast bread with bacon and eggs in it. That should be interesting.

And I got the peanut butter for peanut butter and bacon muffins. It sounds so bizarre that I have to try it soon.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Baked Bacon

After years of hassling with pan fried bacon, including the tiny burns you get with it pops and lands on you and the grease spots all over my counter and clothing, a friend says to be, "Why don't you just bake it in the oven."

He said that is common knowledge but it was news to me so I'm guessing at least one of you out there doesn't know this.
Advantages: The bacon shrinks less.
The bacon lies flat.
You don't have to babysit the pan.
It won't burn if you turn your back.
Less grease splashing everywhere.
It gets nice and crispy and cooks more evenly.

How to bake bacon:
1. Get a baking sheet and cover with parchment paper. The paper with absorb some of the grease.
2. Lay out bacon in a single layer.
3. Heat over to 350 degrees.
4. Put bacon in oven and set a timer for 20 minutes.
5. Check to see if it's done when the timer goes off, and if not, leave it in for another few minutes.
6. Drain on paper towels.
7. Turn off oven.
8. Enjoy

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Korean Market Has Sprouts

One of the advantages in living in S. CA is there are a lot of ethnic markets here. Today we went to a Korean market up on Beach Bl. and they had an amazing collection of sprouts.  The ones I can remember are radish, beans,  and alfalfa. I like sprouts on sandwiches and in salads but I have the seeds at home to grow my own.

I'll have to remember to take my camera next time to show you the shop sign, but it's called Han Nam Chain Super 1 Mart. It's our favorite place to go to get kimchee, fish oil, and things like red pepper paste. They also have food samples, and freshly cooked food ready to go.  And there is also a food court but we haven't had a chance to eat there yet.

Back to Baking

Recently we picked up some used cookbooks.  One of the bread books has me thinking about baking bread again soon. My main problem with bread is my boyfriend barely eats it and I don't need to get any fatter than I already am.  So if I'm going to bake some, I need more friends in real life to share it with. I need to get in the habit of baking for pot lucks or to take to SCA events or to take to friends and relatives.  Then the group of us can have a muffin or two and I don't end up eating a whole loaf of bread or 2 dozen cupcakes. The most bizarre recipe in one book is Bacon and Peanut Butter Muffins. I may make that just out of curiosity. But I am willing to try to make a new sourdough starter or some tofu bread or sopaipillas or onion crescent rolls. I'll keep you posted.