Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Wordle Word ot two about cooking

Vegetarian Cooking - Veggie spaghetti

I don't know about you, but each trip to the grocery store makes my debit card quiver with fear. groceries have gotten expensive. One way we are coping is to eat a few meatless meals each week.

Today's Offering is Vegeterain Spaghetti Sauce

From the outset I'll say that you can add meat and I often do to this sauce. But today, the store had some great looking veggies so we are meatless tonight. My sauce is home made

I used

2 15 oz cans stewed tomatoes
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 12 oz can tomato paste
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
4 cloves of garlic (we like garlic so you can add less or more
1 onion chopped
2 yellow squash diced
Mushrooms ( you won't see this in the pictures because some of us don't like mushrooms (I kno very very sad) so if there is no picture of the said fungus it can't be proven.
olive oil

I also used
italian seasoning
and crushed red pepper

in a hot pan go twice around with the olive oil. Sautee the onions, peppers and squash. Then , once the onios are soft add the garlic. When the onions are almost opaque very stealthly add the mushrooms Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste (I don't use salt - the tomato products have enough

In a large sauce pot add your spices, and veggies. When the spice are fragrant add the canned tomatoes and then sauce and then paste - stirring well.

Let the sauce simmer over low for about two hours. I let mine go all afternoon - usually stirring every 45 minutes.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Grilling Greats - Tomato and Olive Salad

This Dish is one I make often. It is easy, simple and can be made ahead. It is popular at potlucks and goes great with any and all things grilled. I make this salad the day ahead to let everything come together.

you need:
Roma Tomatoes
Green Olives
Italian dressing - you can make your own or use a bottled kind.
Red Onion

Slice the tomatoes into disks and put in a bowl cut the whole olives into wedges and add to tomatoes and then slice the onion into thing rings. Pour Italian dressing over the top and let marinate in the fridge. Remove about 15 minutes before serving.

How easy was that?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Girl Scout Tacos

and no- we're not talking about tacos made of Girl Scouts. This is an easy one pot meal that I learned to make at Girl Scout day camp when I was in fifth grade.

We make it now and the kids love it. We also make it when camping. This is great to make for a crowd - just add more ground beef, another can of refried beans and another can of tomatoes. You can also use vegan ground "beef" or grond turkey. I use spices in this but - for the flavorng challenged use taco seasoning.

Another great thing about this recipe is the ability to customize the toppings. You can top it with all of the taco stuff or you can use what you like - this ends the Ion't like tomatoes or lettuce" or whatever discussions.

What you need:

The cast

ground beef
refried beans (a 150z can)
tomatoes with green chilies
salt and pepper
an onion
spices -

Spice mis

I use chili powder (this time plain San Antonio Chili powder)
Mexican Oregeno
and crushed red peppers

We top ours with
shredded cheese
sour cream
and salsa.

Brown the ground beef in a dutch ovenwith your spices or taco seasoning.
Dice the onion and garlic and add to the meat mixture.
When the meat is browned and the onions transluscent, add the refried beans

Ridgedgoodnes in a can

and the tomatoes Mix it all up and let it simmer for about 15 minutes

Mix in the tomatoes

To serve line a bowl with tortilla chips ladle on the meat mixture and top with whatever makes your socks go up and down.

The Finished Product - Yummo

Nice, easy and a crowd pleaser :-)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

As a busy mom – I think the best meals are things that are easy to make. Can be modified to fit the items you have on hand and can please as many of us as possible. This meal can be made in one dish. Clean up is a breeze so that makes it a winner in my book.

What you need
What you Need

Chicken – I used a whole roaster cut into pieces
Green beans – my kids love them raw and cooked
Red pepper
Salt and pepper to tase
Ground mustard
And various herbs – I used herbs de provence

First roll the lemons around – this makes the juice more abundant – a scary half transformed Transformer standing guard makes the juice flow better too.

Rolli it

Then, use a fork and get ALL the juice out of the lemons – if you get the meat in – that’s okay too.
Juice it 1

Juice it 2

Then, grate some of the zest into the juice

Grating the Peel

Add some herbs, mustard and whisk in the olive oil (It’s easier to cook with a banana sticker on your forehead)

Whisk it Like Vinagrette

Cut the potatoes into quarters and then add the onion

Seed and destem a pepper

Trouble with Stems

Look at the lovely stem – see how all the eeds are attached

Stem with Pleasing Bokeh

If you are truly brave , try the pepper bits.


Deend the green beans
Green Beans

Then, mix all the veggies with your hands.

Use your Hands

Pour the mixture in the baking pan and then add the chicken pieces.

Ready to Bake

I salt and pepper now and then put it in the oven for an hour at 350°F.

This time, I used green beans, peppers and potatoes. I've use asparagus, squash and eggplant as well.

Cooking with Kids

Okay, I don't mean actually using the kids in the kitchen as a recipe component. I'm talking about allowing kids to HELP you cook in the kitchen.

Since Charles was young, I'd say 18 months old or so, I've allowed him to help me in the kitchen. I let him do easy things like pour in thing's I measured and stir things in a bowl. As he grew older, I allowed him to do more, like wash vegetables and peel potatoes. When Tommy got old enough - he began to help out in the kitchen as well. Tommy is wicked fast with a veggie peeler.

I've used kitchen things to teach skills like fractions. We need 2 teaspoons of vanilla. How many 1/2 teaspoons do we need to get 2 whole teaspoons. Making things like gingerbread has been a good science lesson. There is something about the baking soda foaming up the acid that just makes little boys giggle.

Charles is now accomplished in the kitchen. He can make omletes and can follow recipes from a cook book.

Little feet

Joey is always in the kitchen with me. As soon as he thinks I am headed that way, he comes running, dragging the green chair behind him.

What about the mess you say? There is none. If you teach them to do it right, the mess is minimal and then you teach them another important life skill - ClEANING UP!!!! Cleaning up is an important a skill to learn as cooking. Trust me, nothing shows how important it is to practice good clean up skills like scrubbing baked on egg out of an omlete pan.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008