Wednesday, February 24, 2010


The "cocktail)of Lyrica, Tramadol, and Flexeril, along with the cortisone shots, seem to be doing a good job of keeping me relatively painfree, depressionfree, as well as giving me a lot more energy. For the most part I'm betternatured at work, and quite a bit more productive, too. We won't talk about home, ok? LOL! Actually, I did such a good job on my week of "30 Minutes," that things are still in good shape as far as laundry and dishes go, and The Routine takes care of the bedroom and the bathroom. So my little home looks company-ready. My biggest problem now is the stacks of books and magazines I have, lol. And the fact that I don't know where to start reading!! And when can I do a alittle craft project I have in mind? Not to mention getting the craft room itself in order, sigh. I have TOO MANY THINGS TO DO, and not enough time to do them in, sigh. I'm going to try to convince my boss to let me work either 5pm-5am or 4pm-4am. three nights a week(36 hours)and be off Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I sincerely think I'd like that, but, don't know if he'll go for it, or even if I'd reallylike it once I got it, lol.

So, instead of worrying about schedules, etc., let's talk about food, shall we? This Noodle recipe just plain sounded good, as well as fairly easy, and I just happened to have all the ingredients needed. I found it on in the vegetarian pages, posted there by the site's blogger, Jolinda Hackett, who found it in the forum from a poster named Siddhi.

................................................VEGETARIAN SINGAPORE NOODLES..........................................

2Tbs. olive oil
1 each diced green pepper, and red or yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
Chili garlic sauce, to taste(I used about a half tablespoonful, and for me, 'twas plenty, lol.
3 Tbs. curry powder
2-3 Tbs. soy sauce
Egg noodles for four people, already cooked(Vegans: Use eggless noodles, or, rice.)

Saute bell pepper, onion, garlic, and chili garlic sauce in olive oil for a few minutes(in a medium sized pan, over medium heat, it takes about five minutes, and the onions will be a sort of translucent yellowish colour. I know I'm not very specific here, but, um, hey: Neither was Ms. Hackett, ok?), add the cooked noodles and mix well. Add the curry powder and the soy sauce and enjoy your Singapore Noodles.

Like I said, this just plain sounds good, as is, right? Well, you know me, I'm not going to leave a recipe the way it is, or at least, not often, and this wasn't one of those "not often" times, lol. When I cooked the onions, peppers, and garlic, I also added about two good handsful of presliced mushrooms, diced, some roasted red peppers from a jar, diced, some shredded carrots(about two good-sized ones), and a couple stalks of celery. All of this I sauteed with the onions, peppers, and garlic. I added 2 heaping tablespoonsful of curry, and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and should've added more of each. Even so, this was really good, I enjoyed it, and ate it twice: The first time over Basmati rice cooked with coconut milk(helps take the fire out of the chili paste...stuff is REALLY hot, believe you me, and the second time, over a baked potato. For this meal, I actually preferred the rice, in spite of my love of potatoes. If you try this, let me know if you like it, ok? Until next time, Happy Eating!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I didn't give quite the proper directions for the way I made the sorbet, in yesterday's post. So, please ignore it, and use these instead.

This is MY way of making it, not the recipe's way. My way turned out really really really good, and is darned near foolproof for anyone who, like me, does NOT have an ice cream maker. In fact, I don't know if this would work in an ice cream maker or not,lol.

........................................JB's Chocolate Sorbet.....................................................

1 cup granulated white sugar
2 cups boiling water
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder(I use Hershey's, and NOT the Dutch processed kind...I hate that stuff, lol.)
1/4 tsp. salt(I didn't use it)
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix the sugar and cocoa together in a medium-sized bowl, until they are well blended. Add the salt if you're using it, and stir it well. Pour the boiling water over all of it, and stir stir stir, until the sugar and cocoa are dissolved. Be sure to stir from the bottom up, as the cocoa tends to lump and sink to the bottom of the bowl. Let this sit on your counter, or, if you prefer, in your 'fridge, until it's cool to the touch, and that's when you stir in the 1 teaspoonful of vanilla. Pour the mixture into a shallow container and freeze. Stir every 30 minutes or so, until the desired consistency, about 2 hours.

What I use for containers isn't flat, but the sorbet is usually ready to eat in about an hour and a half. My containers originally held 3.5oz. of goat cheese, but they hold about 3/4 of a cup of sorbet.

So, that's the corrected version. I think that if you're pouring it into a flat pan to freeze it, you could probably stir in some chopped nuts(I'd use cashews, youcan use what you want. How about Macadamia nuts? I love those, and can't usually afford them)or maybe some shredded coconut? You can add more sugar and less chocolate, too. Or less sugar and more chocolate. Make the recipe your own.
Until next time, God bless.


I am so totally psyched, but not as much as I was yesterday. Yesterday...well, Friday...afternoon, around 1pm or so, it started to SNOW, and I do mean SNOW. It was coming down in blizzard quality, but sadly enough it stopped around 5 or 5:30pm-ish, sigh. I was soooooo disappointed, but, at least we got about three inches or so. Enough that it's still hanging around, lol. My friend Norene picked me up at 2pm, and she and I headed for the used bookstore, the BookHouse. The roads weren't too bad, even tho the trees were already starting to have that "Winter Wonderland" look, and we couldn't see much more than a block or so ahead of us. Beautiful, I tell ya, beautiful!

So, we got to the BookHouse, which is under new ownership and had moved location, and it's just a wonderful place, it truly is. The books are in categories, just like they would be at Barnes and Noble or Borders, and they are alphabetized by author. She has a small sitting area with three HUGE and oh-so-comfortable armchairs, and, as long as you're buying books, the coffee is free(Take that, Borders and Starbucks, lol), and she provides French Vanilla powdered stuff to put in your coffee. Ok, seriously. I think I fell in love, lol. Much to my delight, the sitting area is in the cookbook section, and what is the first book I happen to see? A copy of the first "Vegetarian Epicure," and I just hollered, lol. I've been trying to find that book for a long time, to replace the one I lost, because it was one of my very first veg cookbooks, back when I was in my late 20's. It was in fantastic shape, and it's now sitting by my table, because I want to "read" it before it goes on the bookshelf. I also found Frances Moore Lappe's "Diet for a Small Planet," which was another of my first veg cookbooks. Then I found Molly Katzen's "Still Life with Menu Cookbook," and bought it mainly for her coloured paintings. The last cookbook I bought was a coffee-table sized book, called "Elegant Food," and I seriously bought that one for the food photos in it, which are some of the best cookbook photos I have ever seen. I bought a few other books, too, and I'm just going to let you wonder about those, lol. I had to put several books back, tho, but hopefully I can get back there again, and hopefully again, nobody else but me wants the ones I put back, lol.

The recipe I'm going to share with you today comes from the vegetarian pages of I followed the recipe, with unbelievably disastrous results, so then tried it again, and "I did it my way.' Turned out pretty good, too. So, with no further talking, here it is. Well, almost...if you do try it the way the recipe calls for, I'd be interested in knowing how it turns out for you, please. You can either email me(scroll down and my email is on the left side of the page, or you can leave me a note at the end of this post.

........................................................CHOCOLATE SORBET...................................................................

1 C granulated sugar
3 C water
3/4 C pure cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Heat sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat, and don't sir until the sugar begins to melt. Then stir frequently until completely melted and caramelized.

Reduce heat to medium losw, and add water to create a caramel. Stir frequently.

Stir in cocoa and salt until smooth and dissolved.

Remove from heat and let cool. Add vanilla, cover, and chill in 'fridge about 2 hours.

Use in ice cream maker, according to directions.

Without an ice cream maker, pour sorbet into shallow container and freeze. Stir every 30 minutes until desired consistency, about 2 hours.

Makes about 1 quart(4 servings) of low-calorie, almost fat free vegan chocolate sorbet.

I put my sugar on the stove over medium heat, and went to sit down and read for a minute, waiting for supper, as well as for the sugar to do it's thing. Well, it did, ok. Man, I had some of the weirdest stuff in my kitchen for awhile. When that sucker blew up, it made a glorious mess, and turned black...and caked onto my pan like you wouldn't believe, sigh, and I don't know if I'll ever get it clean again.

So I decided to do it my way. The measurements were the same, but I only added 2 cups of water instead of three. The resulting chocolate mixture is very rich, thick, and chocolately. Ok, I added the teaspoonful of vanilla, and poured the mixture into some little "cups" I have, cups that were containers for the only brand of goat cheese I like. Put the cups in the freezer, stirred them after 30 minutes, and then left them alone for a while. I caught them before they froze too solid, and even tho they weren't really frozen enough, they were really great, and I've got some cooling on the counter now to go in the freezer in a minute or so, lol.

So, until next time, Happy Eating!!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jigzone link

If you'll scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page on the left hand side, you'll see a jigsaw puzzle there. If you'll click on the puzzle itself, it will take you to, a great jigsaw puzzle site. It's one of my favorite ways to waste time.

I'm delighted that I have over 5,000 visitors now. My concern is whether or not my readers have found what they wanted here, or, maybe something new. Also, how many repeat readers do I have? I wish I knew, sigh. It does bother me that I can't post pics of the food I cook, but I don't have the equipment and doubt that I'll have it any time soon.

My new shift starts tomorrow evening, 6pm. I only have to work three hours, but Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday I'll be working anywhere from 8-10 hours. Weird shift. Don't know if I'm going to like it or not, but I'm willing to try. I certainly hope the money is good.

Supper tonight is going to be Pinto Bean Cutlets, instead of Chickpea Cutlets, from the Veganomics cookbook. The recipe for the Chickpea Cutlets is listed under chickpeas and/or cutlets, on the left side of the page. I made some more of the onion/apple sauce, and will also have a boiled potato and some carrots and peas with it. Yum.

Time to go eat. Until next time, Happy Eating.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tofu with Steak Sauce and Onions(Vegan); Three-Cheese Pasta with Spinach

Hi, there, it's sure been a while since I last posted, and I didn't realize just how long until I got here. For a while, I just didn't feel much at all like cooking, as I've been pretty depressed, very tired, and probably you can understand, right?

A couple weeks ago, I had my second appointment with my rheumatologist, and he gave me two shots of cortisone in my lower back, on either side of my spine. It took a couple weeks to take effect, but boy howdy, I can sure tell the difference at work now. As to how long they will last, I of course have no idea , but I'm enjoying it for now. The results of the lab work and x-rays showed that my problem is "a touch" of arthritis, some degenerative discs, caused by the arthritis, and from the questions he asked me and the places he poked and prodded, he determined I also have fibromyalgia. No surprise there. Y'know, I think I've already told you this, tho. Anyway.

The flexeril and the lyrica together have helped me sleep...too well, in fact, so I've cut the flexeril in half. My insurance, however, has run out for the BC/BS fiscal year, and this time, it included my prescription plan!!! Some of my meds are extremely high, over $100, so I don't quite know yet what I'm going to do. But, in the meantime, I sure don't hurt as bad as I did. Even tho I'm not going to stop working, I will start receiving the early Social Security retirement checks, starting towards the end of this month, so that will help some, I'm sure.

Ok, let's get to the important stuff, right? The food, lol. This recipe came from's vegetarian pages, and it's really good. I made it last night and loved it, and will make it again.

.......................................Tofu with Steak Sauce and Onions........................................

1pkg.firm or extra firm tofu, well pressed
2Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. steak sauce
1/3C water
1Tbs. flour

Slice tofu into 5 or 6 strips, about 1/2 inch thick.

Saute onions in oil until they turn brown and begin to carmelize, then add tofu and allow to cook until lightly golden brown. Add balsamic vinegar and steak sauce and stir to combine. Add next the water and flour and whisk to combine . Allow to cook until the sauce thickens.

Serve over rice, or hamburger buns.

First of all, I used a vacuum-packed firm tofu, and I think that I should've used a water-packed extra firm, pressed. The flavour most likely wasn't affected, but the tofu simply crumbled, so the strips didn't happen. Actually that was ok with me, as I was able to cut it into cubes. The steak sauce is your own choice, of course. Mine was the Kroger brand knock-off of A-1, which I really like. Instead of rice, I used toasted hamburger buns, and really enjoyed this a lot. My sides were plain boiled potatoes, and green beans with bacos sprinkled over.

This next recipe isn't really a recipe at all, it's just a general idea of the ingredients and sort of guessing at the amounts. You can adjust this to fit your own likes, and what your family likes. Basically, it's failproof, and quite easy. It came about because I needed to use up about three ounces of garlic and herb goat cheese before it went bad.

...............................................Three-Cheese Pasta with Spinach.................................

Set a large pot of water to boil, well salted. While the water heats, melt about three tablespoonsful of butter in a medium-sized skillet, or a sauce pan if you prefer, over fairly low heat. I like my skillet. When the butter melts, stir in a couple tablespoonsful of flour with a whisk, and let it heat for a few minutes, to take out the raw flavour of the flour. Then add about a cup of cold water(use milk or soy milk if you prefer, I just didn't have any milk), stirring constantly with that whisk. Once this is all stirred in, add another cup of water, and turn up the heat to a little less than medium. Stir often. When the sauce starts to simmer, it may thicken up more, so you can add more water or milk if you prefer.
When it reaches the consistency YOU like, start adding your cheeses. I used the three ounces of garlic and herb goat cheese, one slice of smoked provolone, and a few good shakes of Parmesan. Keep stirring, because this has a tendency to scorch, and stirring helps the cheeses to melt. If you want to...and I can season the sauce with black pepper, thyme, and just a dash of nutmeg. Your water should be boiling by now, so turn the heat down on the cheese sauce, and add as much spaghetti as YOU want to the pot. Try not to add too much at a time, as the water should stay boiling, or at least at a simmer, as you add it. Stir the spaghetti around and around until it's all under water, and let it justkeep boiling until it's done as much as YOU want. I like my spaghetti really soft, you may prefer al dente. Your choice. Ok, while the s'getti boils, take some frozen chopped spinach from the freezer, and add a couple good-sized handsful to the cheese sauce, and stir it well, to make sure the spinach isn't in large clumps, and that all of it is coated with cheese. It won't take but about five minutes for it to thaw, get hot, and be tender enough to eat. Drain the s'getti thoroughly, and put it back into the empty pot you cooked it in, pour the sauce over it, mix it all together, and that's it. It's done. Your sides can be whatever YOU want...I don't think I bothered with a side, just ate the pasta. After all, it had spinach in it, so there was my veggie, right? I really thought this stuff was great, and I hope you enjoy it, too.

Ok, I was going to post a couple soup recipes, but I'm tired and hungry, to they'll just have to wait. Until next time, Happy Eating!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Alfredo Pasta Sauce(non-vegan, but might be able to veganize ot)

There's a little story behind this recipe, a story that proves that at least one large corporation listens to its customers. I've browsed the Kroger website time and time again, and have never been able to find the vegetarian products on their site that I know darned well they sell. They have recipes and menu plans for other products in the store, but nothing about the vegetarian products. So, in their comment box, I typed them a message telling them that I felt like they were discriminating vegetarians, and that I wished they would post vegetarian recipes on their site. And yes, I was nice about it. Really. Well, I got an email thanking me for my comment, and telling me that someone would be in touch with me concerning it. Yeah, right, was my thought. HA! I got an envelope in the mail from Kroger, and when I opened it, there were three pages of vegetarian recipes using tofu. Plus, someone had clipped a piece of paper to the front page, giving the source of these recipes: So, that's the story behind this recipe. I made it for my supper last night, and loved it.

................................................................Alfredo Pasta Sauce.....................................................................

1(12 oz.)package soft tofu, drained
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4C Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4C Romano cheese, grated
1 Tbs. soybean oil
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 Tbs. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender. Blend until creamy and light, about 1 1/2 minutes. Heat sauce in microwave or stove top and serve over hot pasta.

Ok, of course I didn't follow the recipe exactly, but I came awfully close. The only tofu I had wasn't soft, and it came in the vacuum-pack box, so it made a very thick sauce, which I didn't mind. I also didn't have any Romano cheese, so I used all Parmesan instead. I don't like basil, so I used Italian seasoning blend instead. And, I thought this stuff was wonderful, I really did. It's very easy, and I usually have the necessary stuff to make it...with my substitutions, that is. I think that if you didn't heat it, it might make a good dip or spread for crackers and chips. If you live where you can buy vegan "cheeses," then I think you could make this as a vegan recipe, altho I'm not really sure what's available out there.

Anyway, that's it for today, and until the next time, Happy Eating!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Chana Masala(vegan)

The holiday season finally came to an end, and boy howdy, am I ever glad!!! We were so busy at work, and my schedule was so screwed up, I almost lost my mind, and came close to a meltdown a couple times. Managed to hold up, tho, and now I have three days off in a row!!!! I don't have to go back to work until Saturday morning, and I'm definitely grateful, believe me! The best part is that I have NO plans of any kind, and that means that I don't even have to so much as open the door if I choose not to, lol.

Monday morning I had a bone density test, and then a bunch of x-rays taken, mostly my lower back and hips, but a few of my hands. Tuesday I came home from work, and my rheumatologist's nurse was on my answering machine, telling me that the blood work they did last week was fine, and the bone density test came out fine, too. But. As for the results of the x-rays, the doctor wants to discuss those with me on my next appointment, which is the 18th, so, I'm guessing that he's not happy with those results. More will be revealed, lol.

Sometimes when I'm browsing thru recipes, one will jump out at me, looking so good, sounding so easy, and with ingredients that I just happen to have, that I have to try that recipe right then, and this one is one of those. Chana Masala is from India, and I found it on's vegetarian pages. It's basically a chickpea and spinach curry, and I was very happy that I tried it. didn't say how many servings, but I reheated it four times, and got seven servings for myself from it, so let's round it down to six, just to be on the safe side.

Chana Masala

1 can chickpeas in water(garbanzo beans)or 1 1/2 C precooked and 1/2C water
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
3 Tbs. olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon(about 2 Tbs.)
1/2 tsp. EACH curry powder, coriander powder, cumin, garam masala
1 lg. bunch spinach...or...2 handsful, rinsed

In large skillet, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft, 3-5 minutes
Add chickpeas straight from the can, including all the water. "Add spices and lemon juice, cover, and simmer about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more water if needed, until chickpeas are cooked and soft.

Reduce heat, add spinach, and cover. Allow spinach to wild for 2-4 minutes.

Serve immediatelyl

Note: For heartier Chana Masala, toss in some tofu, cubed, with the chick peas, and serve over rice.

Ok, now I'll tell you what I did, lol. You know I never follow a recipe exactly the way it's written. First of all, I didn't have any garam masala(I've tried to find it at Kroger, and haven't had any luck), so I used a whole teaspoonful of curry powder instead of the half spoonful. For spinach, I used frozen, about two handsful. And instead of tofu cubes, I used three small potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1/2 inch cubes, so that meant that I extended the cooking time, to about 20 minutes, I guess, until the potatoes were done.

This stuff is sooooo good, and while it's cooking, the smell is enough to drive ya crazy, it's so nice. Try it, you'll like it!!! Until next time, Happy Eating!!!
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