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Sundays are for relaxing

10 Mar

So I decided I missed basically every birthday since August of last year. Some I kind of missed on purpose, others more of avoiding and still others just shear goofiness.

Today I’m crafting three birthday cards in advance! Sneak at one.

waiting for the ”paint” to dry.

Meal Planning (back from hiatus)

6 Aug

One can only live on Rita’s and Eggs for so long. So I have been finding recipes (and modifying as needed) while on hiatus, but I have not actually “planned” anything. I have 2 weeks off to breathe.

And plan.

So my menu plan is simple for this week (mostly because I am going to NY and the BF will fend for himself!)

Monthly Menu

The recipes I will be using are

  • Pasta Verde
  • I will be using Kale for my greens its in the fridge
  • No pine nuts too expensive and I really dislike them
  • Lemon Walnut Chicken
  • I will be using white onion and onion powder instead of shallots. its in the pantry!
  • I will be using brown rice (with diced tomatoes) because again, its in the pantry!
  • Red Lentil Soup, entree salad, and rest of brown rice
  • Please do not post a picture of your cat above your delicious recipe. Cats + food = gross
  • I get the bourbon salmon from the fish market, ready made!
  • I do not take shortcuts with caramelizing my onions. Some think that caramelizing just means to cook all the way down to a brown shimmer. Not so much. True caramelizing of onions is a process.
  • Lies recipes tell.
  • My go-to. I use European butter, dark molasses and thick butcher’s bacon.

Thanks for stopping by!


The pasta verde was delicious. I did use fresh bunched spinach because it was on sale. I used plump imperfectly perfect farmer’s tomatoes and did not de-seed them. They were juicy but not seedy. Before I added the tomatoes I felt that it was going to be cooking dry- so I splashed some vegetable stock and then added the tomatoes, then added the spinach and then placed the lid to steam it up.

The lemon walnut chicken was okay. I felt it was lacking something. Particularly something green. I am still not sure what I would have added but I know it was missing something. I am going to eat the leftovers and try to figure out what was missing.

Gluten Free FAIL

24 Jun

I had a recent and quick trip to my home for my gramma’s funeral. My brother has a gluten intolerance. I am very interested in the whole process of baking without gluten. I feel that so much science must go into it to make it and I want to learn more.

I premade a brunch for the morning of the funeral. I made everything but the eggs and bacon the day ahead and packed everything up for the 7 hour trip. I picked a scone recipe and decided to make it gluten free. I looked up every ingredient to check on the tolerance level.

I found out that not all vanilla extracts are gluten free! I ended up using my Mexican vanilla extract which is much stronger than the Madagascar one I tend to use when needing vanilla, but do not want it overwhelming the dish.

Along all of the gluten free recipes using Gluten-Free AP flour, they would include Xanthan gum. I never heard of it and figured… well I don’t think I need it.

I was wrong. Again it goes back to baking is a science. You cannot just substitute and expect equal results. My scones flattened and spread while baking. When they finished baking they held a nice scone-like crust but they were very cake-like. But not a good cake. I hoped the glaze I made would help. IT did not. If I used the not-sure-if-gluten-free Madagascar vanilla the glaze might have been okay. It was just too strong.

It turns out that xanthan gum acts like a binder. Which is what is missing in gluten free products. oops.

So sadly I present these pictures. I am not deterred though. I will try again.

Never open the oven while baking. But I have no oven window.

Post Baking

Menu Planning is back!

7 Jun

I am slowly getting my life back into the routine it was before. There are going to be a few changes though 😉

I bring to you the next two weeks of my menu planning. I decided to do two weeks, which is against my method of menu planning but mostly because I will be gone this weekend, next weekend, and busy each weekend after that. As always, I began by filling in the dates that have something special going on.

I will be pre-preparing all of the brunch items that I am bringing up from W. PA to NY. My mom’s kitchen is not conducive to cooking (though better than the gourmet’s kitchen I used a few weeks ago)

I will be making

An overnight buttery streusel coffee cake (starting thursday, bake it friday, glazing it saturday)

Apricot Yogurt Scones (baking friday)

Oatmeal whole wheat and olive oil pancakes which are possibly the best pancakes in the universe (grilling friday, heat up in oven on saturday)

Strawberry-Lime cupcakes (baking tomorrow, making icing today, icing them saturday)

And buying my favorite peppered bacon (oven baking it saturday)

I found a couple of great recipes from the kitchn and dr oz that I will try.

White bean and veggy salad, brought to you by The Kitchn

Sweet potato, kale, and chicken patties with coleslaw, by the Healthy Foodie

Bulgur salad, by Stephanie Lewis, brought to you by Dr. Oz

Lemon Braised chicken and beans with mint pesto, brought to you by The Kitchn

Healthy Bean Enchiladas, by Trish, brought to you by Dr. Oz

Monthly Menu(In PDF)

Big Welfare Green Pepper Burgers

21 May

So I made burgers yesterday. I am house sitting and get use of a grill. I love grilling. One of my favorite Public Access cooking shows is Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen. I was excited until I opened the grill.

This grill is busted. In every sense of the word. I am sad just posting this picture.

They have a gorgeous back yard with a large pool and two levels of decking. Beautiful. They have an $8,000 stove and a beat the heck up grill! You can get a nice simple grill for $99 (put together courtesy of Walmart). So I made burgers and the BF was watching me. Watching me and wondering what I was doing-


85/15 ground beef
ground pork
bread crumbs

I mixed all the ingredients together and started making into patties. He asked if I was making burgers or meatloafs. I said burgers- meatloafs have no pork and more seasonings. I asked him how does he make burgers. He says that burgers have one ingredient- ground beef. no eggs. Nothing but ground beef.

He asked if i was making house burgers- big welfare green pepper burgers. I didn’t understand what he meant.

Watch this video. You will understand what he meant.

Upgrading for the Weekend

19 May

Actually I am Doggy Sitting. Family went to Florida for the weekend and left the dog, critter, and fish home. So I moved in. With all of my dirty laundry.

I was not planning on cooking all weekend, nor the next two weeks. Mostly because I am not going to be home. But this weekend should be warm. Summer Cooking Style in my apartment. I am thinking of baking in this house. They have central AIR! And a very big oven. And a KitchenAid Mixer. None of the things I have.

So I believe I will cook. Something tasty. Something delicious. Something in season. Something in a wrapper with icing. Something like Strawberry-Lime cupcakes.

This is my favorite cupcake site. Your Cup of Cake. Her pictures are beautiful. Her recipes are perfect. I am envious. Check it out.

Attached are pictures from the Strawberry Malt Cupcakesyou I made for a new mommy in the hospital!

Not Very Vegan, Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

14 May

The first time I tried to make shepherd’s pie, I followed a recipe from Racheal Ray. TOTAL FAIL!

So I decided to try again. This time I picked a highly rated recipe from

Traditional Style Vegan Shepherd’s Pie.

I kept everything pretty much the same except for one major thing- I substituted 1lb of ground Turkey for the 1lb of vegetarian ground beef substitute.

I also used Philadelphia cream cheese instead of vegan cream cheese. I had the Philadelphia in the fridge. I can tell you that vegan cream cheese is pretty good. I am lacto-intolerant so I had all of the other ingredients on hand.

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