Monday, December 2, 2013

How to Eat, Seed, De-Seed, open pomegranate - in 10 seconds

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Best Breakfast Ever - Eggs, Salmon and Goat Cheese

It's leftover time, this being day 2, post Thanksgiving.

Lunch on Tday was light - bread, cheese, fruit, smoked salmon.  Just enough to take the edge off to make it till dinner.

Being who we are, there was food for 20, with only 8 attending.

So, in additon to having to much turkey, we had a lot of the above mentioned items left over also.

So is born, THE BEST BREAKFAST EVER.  All Caps, must be true.  Plus, this is going to be on the internet, so there

About 30 minutes before starting, take out the salmon and goat cheese - they need to be room temperature. You are going to need enough of each to cover however many english muffins or pieces of toast you are making.

Warm up teflon frying pan on low for five minutes.  This lets you insure there are not hot spots

Turn frying pan up to medium, add a tablespoon of butter.

Start toasting the bread, muffins, etc.

Crack eggs into pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 2 minutes.  At 2 minutes, turn off heat, cover pan (this is going to set the top of the egg).  Cook for 1 minute or until top of egg is set (the white should just be a little milky looking, not clear.  If you want, you could flip them  instead.

Spread toasted bread items with room temperature goat cheese.  Layer on thinly sliced smoked salmon. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice or add a few capers.  Place egg on top.  The egg needs to be runny, otherwise what's the point?

Eat.  Enjoy the Best Breakfast Ever.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Oatmeal Banana Apple Pumpkin Nut Bars - No added suger, no added fat

My wife said I had to write this one down, so here it is.

Turn oven to 350

Mash 3 ripe bananas
Add 1 cup milk, 2 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp apple pie spice, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt
Stir well
Add 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
Add 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
Stir well
Add 1/2 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds)
Add 2 diced apples (cored and peeled)
Add other dried fruit or cocunut (no more than 1/2 cup)
Mix well
Add 3 cups Old Fashioned Oatmeal
Mix Well

Line 13x9 cake and brownie baking pan (pyrex) with wax paper
Spray wax paper with spray oil

Put the bar ingredients in lined pan
Layer 2 sliced apples on top of mix, push into bar material slightly
Put in oven

Bake for 30 minutes - you want the the bars to start to brown and pull away from the sides

This will be slightly sweet, but not hugely sweet. If you cut that into 20 even sized bars, it's about 70 calories a bar.

If you use almond milk or the like, use the unsweetened variety.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars - No Sugar

Sometimes you want something sweet, but lets face it, added sugar or things made with flour (whole wheat or not) are simply little bombs of diet destruction.

So, this recipe, from Runner's Plate, fits the bill for something reasonably healthy, moderately sweet, and, assuming you only eat one or two, a good fit for proper nutrition

I will substitute 1/4 cup no sugar homemade apple sauce for the egg (perhaps), or one very ripe banana, mashed, but as is, looks solid.  I will be making this today, probably without the raisins or dried cranberries, but with pepitos (dried, roasted pumpkin seeds)

This is a fairly savory bar - not sweet, even if you add raisins, etc.  I suggest cutting at least two chopped apples into this recipe to get the sweetness up, or cut the pumkin some and instead add a very ripe mashed banana.  Canned pumpkin is not sweet

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Apple Oatmeal Bars - No Sugar

Really good recipe from Two Chums

Simple to make, taste good (sweet, but just barely)

Also, I like this recipe because they don't label in "no sugar" and then add sugar such as honey or blue agave or other sugars.

Also, no fat - they use bananas and apple sauce.  Well, I suppose the walnuts have fat, Much as the apples have sugar.  But lets be real

Anyway, very fine and simple.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Turkey Apple Onion Spinach Meatballs in fresh Tomato sauce over Pasta

It is fall, so we have a lot of apples, onions and tomatoes.  In fact, it becomes difficult to find enough uses for them.  So, this is one way.

Festival usually sells one pound packages of ground breast (both chicken and turkey) meat that, while not labeled with nutrition info, certainly looks and cooks like no skin, defatted breast meat.  So, it is.  Ipse Dixit.  Don’t use frozen chubs.  They are almost always fatty, and have lots of bone and nasty stuff in them.  Turkey Store ground turkey works ok also.

Ingredients for meatballs (will make 15 meatballs (or so)
1 lb ground turkey or chicken.
½ onion rough chopped
1 tart apple (I like Wolf’s), peeled, cored, rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 cup fresh spinach, loosely packed
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp italian seasoning

Toss all ingredients (EXCEPT CHICKEN) into food processor.  Pulse until relatively finely chopped.  
Spread ground turkey out on plate
Spread rest of ingredients over
Mix thoroughly with hands
Form into whatever size meatballs you like.  I go for just a shade under golf ball size, they cook well
Brown in non stick pan with cooking spray.  I cook them at medium on my dial (5-6 out of 10).  These are fragile meatballs - don’t be tossing them around the pan and stirring a lot.  You will break them up.  Brown on one side, turn gently, brown on other, then add sauce (see below) to finish cooking process

While browning, make the sauce

Ingredients for Sauce
5 medium garden tomatoes, diced.  You could peel and seed them, but unless I am cooking for company, I don’t bother.  If you do, you will have to add ½ cup chicken stock to replace the liquid
½ onion, diced
½ green pepper, diced (or more if you like)
A zucchini from the garden would be nice also, as would an eggplant if you had it
8 oz of mushroom would be fine also
1 tsp italian seasoning
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper

After meatballs have begun browning, toss onion and pepper in with them.  Once meatballs have browned on at least two sides, toss in rest of ingredients, cook for 10 minutes, covered.  Sauce will be chunky, not smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.  You may need to sweeten the tomato sauce with a bit of splenda if the tomatoes are too tart.  If you felt like it, you could toss another cup of fresh spinach in the sauce

After you add the sauce to the meatballs, cook the pasta.  I cook one (1) dry ounce per person, of high fiber pasta

If I did not add a zucchini or eggplant or mushrooms to the sauce, I would cook some frozen veg and serve the sauce over them, along with the pasta. Basicly, figure out how much veg you need to make your meal big enough.  Don’t use more  pasta to up size the meal.

So, what is the damage….

1lb turkey breast  - 500
½ med onion - 20
1 med apple - 80
1 cup fresh spinach 7
607 calories, give or take

5 fresh tomatoes 125
½ med onion - 20
½ green pepper - 15
8 oz mushroom -40
8 oz zucchini 45
245 calories, plus or minus

3 oz high fiber pasta 225

If you needed to cut calories I would use cooked potatoes in place of the pasta.  I would peel, dice, then nuke for 10 minutes, then add them to the sauce for the 10 minute cook time.  You can figure out the calorie replacement.  Personally, I find one ounce of pasta per person sufficient to satisfy.

So, that is a total of 1,007 calories.

If you split this meal for 3, that is 359 calories.  If you split it in fours, 225 calories.

Like I said, I don’t know the fat levels of the Festival Fresh ground turkey, but it sure looks close to 99% fat free, and there is no fat in the pan while cooking.  If you don’t believe me, buy some turkey store 99% fat free.

If you needed to cut calories more, delete the pasta, cook more veg.  Personally, I find some pasta makes the meal more satisfying, less diet restrictive.  Basically, I am just happier after I have a little.

Calories calculated on

Credit where credit is due - created out of thin air by me, David Carlson

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Slate deigns to do a video on which knife to use to slice tomatoes.  First, they get that simple point wrong by suggesting the second best knife, a serated knife.  The best knife is a slicer, such as the Victorinox

However, that is forgiveable, as a serrated knife is indeed useful.

What is unforegivable is how she holds the tomato, by mashing her hands over it.  That technique invites you to slash yourself.

The correct way to cut with a knife, as virtually anyone who actually has knife skills can tell you, is to hold the item with your finger tips, knuckles slightly bent outward, so the side of the blade is sliding on the knuckles, which means no matter what knife you use, you can nver cut yourself.

However, if you would like a demonstration of the WORST WAY TO SLICE A TOMATO, follow the below link.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Swanson Thai Ginger Stock - Great to Keep on Hand

Swanson has a new product out - Thai Ginger Stock.  A vegitable stock, plus a number of Thai influenced seasonings such as ginger, lemon grass, curry and others.  The question of course is, does it actually taste good?

You know, pretty good.

I picked some up at Walmart, and needing a quick dinner, I made a modified, HMR/Diet freindly version

3 juliened carrots, 1/2 a sliced onion, 3 pealed and diced potato, 1 juliened sweet potato, 1 bag frozen peas and 1/2 a red pepper, sliced.  Plus 4 chicken thighs, sliced.  I used 1/2 chicken stock and 1/2 Thai Ginger broth, as the Thai Ginger Broth is spicy.  Plus 2/3 cup of cocunut milk, some minced cilantro, a lime squirted over the top, all added at the end of the cooking and some chopped jalepeno on the side for me.  No rice, no noodles kept this as a very low calorie dish.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Panara Pasta - Yes, It Does Suck

I like Panera a lot for what it is - a chain that is (seemingly) everywhere, with consistent good product, fast service and free wifi. Is it the best bread?  No.  Is it the best sandwiches? No.  But they are consistently good.  And compared to the rest of corporate food wasteland, really pretty excellent.


They decided that what they really needed to do was add pasta dishes to their sandwiches, soups and salads.  "Signature Pasta Dishes".  They chose poorly.

Gummy pasta, salty, pasty sauce, in small portions.  Think the cheapest, nastiest frozen pasta dish you could buy at the grocer, then nuke at home.  Then think worse.

Really people, this is a bad idea, terribly implemented.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pasta Salad

This may be vegetarian, but it is not exactly low fat or low calorie.  Not high calorie, but not diet food.

I put this together as a side/vegetarian option for a family dinner.  I know - vegetarians hate salads as their dinner option - nothing says we really don't care about you like making great food for the meat eaters and foisting off some dreck to the non meat eaters.

Well, sometimes life makes you salad.  This one is pretty good, and satisfied our vegie.

Salad Fixings
1 Red pepper - sliced
1 Yellow pepper - sliced
1 can black olives, drained and sliced
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh green beans, cooked and cut in half
12 oz cherry tomatoes, halved

16 oz cooked pasta - my preference is whole grain/high fiber - be sure to not overcook - whole grain pasta overcooked is very unpleasant

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp mixed seasoning - basil/thyme/marjoram
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 large or 2 small lemons, juiced)
2 tbs honey

Mix all dressing ingredients, whisk.  Let sit at least 1/2 hour
Pour over all salad fixings except pasta
Let marinate for at least an hour, mixing vegies and dressing several times
Mix in Pasta, toss repeatedly

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The New, The Improved, The Complete Review of All Mexican Restaurants in Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Link to Yelp -

Three good places to go in Eau Claire, plus ratings of the rest.

#1 Taqueria Sandova- 1  La Luna Misma -  New Owners, New Name, Same great food.  Located in the back of Eau Claire's largest Mexican Grocery, this is pretty much just what its name is - Tacos, plus Tortas, Burritos and Soups, The environment is low end tables and chairs, but if you're lucky you will be able to watch soccer in Spanish. Not a date place, unless your date loves the best Mexican food in the Chippewa Valley. Always amusing to see employees from other "Mexican" restaurants eating their before their shifts.

#2 Taco's Juanita - close behind is a slightly more upscale place, with a little more atmosphere and a few more fancy meals as well as some of the more traditional Mexican as well as some Amer-Mex fare 

#3 Casa Mexicana - Chippewa Falls contribution to the top three, Casa houses some of the wildest wall fresco's, chairs and tables you will see. The food tends more towards Amer-Mex, but still good enough. Full Bar, so that is something not available at the top 2. The quality starts falling fast after the top 3, although there are plenty of choices. The order is basically which would I go to first (or last, as the case may be)

For all the rest, click on the above Yelp link

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Butternut Squash and Shrimp Pasta

You know what happens when your internet goes down?  You lose all your recipes.

Since I have basically packed up all my books and now use only the internet for recipes, it’s a little odd to cook when you just can’t look something up immediately.  So last night when I was trying to cook dinner and the internet went out I was stuck going, how is this going to work?

It worked pretty well.  Low calorie, low fat.  Good Tasting.  Serves four.

1 lb shrimp, thawed and peeled
1 butternut squash, peeled, small dice
1 can diced tomatoes (not drained)
1 onion, fine dice
4 cloves of garlic, diced, two piles
½ lemon
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
4 oz whole wheat pasta, variety your choice
1 can vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbs Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Fresh grated Parmesan, 1 oz
2 tsp olive oil

Toss thawed, peeled shrimp in bowl with juice of ½ lemon, 1 tsp olive oil and 2 cloves of garlic crushed.  Let marinate.
Boil squash till almost tender, drain
At same time boil pasta till almost cooked, drain
Sauté onion in 1 tsp olive oil
When onion is translucent, add garlic and Italian seasoning, sauté for 3 minutes
Add squash, tomatoes, beans, pasta, stock to onions, bring to low boil
Stir in shrimp, cover, cook for 5 minutes
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Serve with fresh parm grated on top

No need for the shrimp if you don't want to.  If you wanted to throw some fresh spinach in when you added the shrimp, that would be good to.  Frozen peas would be a fine addition also.  To make it a more complete meal I served it with roasted cauliflower.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Low Fat! Peanut Stew – HMR Diet Worthy! (a.k.a. Maafe)

One of our favorite dishes – Peanut Stew.  Usually attributed to West Africa, I have no reason to doubt that is its original home.  Fairly simple, comprised mostly of root vegetables stewed, it is flexible and easy to make vegetarian.  Basic idea is that this is a vegetable stew, with peanuts and/or peanut butter. If you keep that in mind, you are free to add or drop ingredients as you have them or are available – don’t worry about having the “right” ingredients

However, it is hard to make low fat, vegetarian or not.  Why, you ask? Have you checked out the calorie count for Peanut Butter?  Some recipes call for a full cup!  That’s 1,500 calories.  And that is way too much if you’re on a calorie restricted diet.

So, what’s the solution?  How do you make Peanut Stew low cal/low fat while still using peanut butter?
Why, it’s the perfect time for Bell Plantation PB2 PowderedPeanut Butter – which has 85% less fat than regular peanut butter.  PB2 is peanut butter protein – you get the flavor, not the fat – just reconstitute with water.  PB2 has 45 calories for 2tb, peanut butter has 190 calories for 2tb.  All of a sudden, cooking with peanut butter (or PB2) is great for low cal!    

Making it even simpler is the use of Penzey’s Sate Seasoning – Peanut stew calls for ginger, a little cayenne, a bunch of other spices.  Rather than tracking all of that down, I just use the Sate seasoning.  Buy it online or at their stores.  Penzey’s Sate seasoning includes coarse flake salt, brown sugar, garlic, white onion, coriander, purple shallots, ginger, turmeric, sweet paprika, Ancho pepper, galangal, cayenne red pepper, lemon grass, so it has everything you need.  Feel free to use it fairly heavily even if you don’t like hot – it is not that spicy.

Ingredients for the Stew
1 medium onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2-6 garlic cloves, minced (adjust based on level of vampirism in neighborhood)
1 lb chicken thighs, diced
2  medium sweet potato, peeled diced
2  medium potatoes, diced
14 1/2 ounces diced tomatoes with or without green chilies (or use fresh)
1 lb total of butternut squash or acorn squash or carrots or other root vegetable, diced
1 can garbanzo beans or other bean – I like using Black Eye Peas
8 tbs PB2
2-3 tbs Sate Seasoning -start with two and add more if you like
2 cans (small, not the big honking ones) vegetable broth (or chicken). 

For the garnish – prepare and serve on the side for people to spice as they like
·         cilantro, chopped
·         green onions, chopped
·         jalapenos, fresh, chopped
·         lime quarters
·         unsalted dry roasted peanuts

Serve with Brown Rice or for even lower calorie - cauliflower rice!

 Brown onion and celery (and chicken, is using).  Use 1 tbs olive oil
Add garlic, cook for two minutes
Add vegetables and garbanzo beans (what ever you are using) (but not PB2), broth, spices
Cook for about 30 minutes, or until root vegetables are soft
Add PB2
Cook for five minutes
Adjust seasonings

Serve over Rice and have the garnishes on the side for people to add as they prefer.

Banrock Station 2010 Merlot - the review -

Banrock Station is one of those Australian Wines - cheap, generic, generally drinkable, seldom memorable.  Banrock's claim to fame is their support of conservation.  Really, I don't care about your green washing.  Just make some decent wine.

Some of their wines are blech (2010 Shiraz comes to mind), some are not.

The 2010 Merlot is definitely in the not blech category.  In fact it is quite drinkable.

Purchased at closeout prices from Gordy's at $2.99, I figured why not.

Result - pretty good, really good considering I got it for three bucks.  Would be a good deal at it's more normal retail price of $6.99.

Good fruit, not much tannins, fairly easy drinking but enough body to make it pleasant.  Fruity, but not sweet.  Decent for cooking and drinking.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Talk about a Vacation...

I managed to miss February.  Not sure how that happened.  Well, I will be getting back at it, including reviews of every Mexican(ish) restaurant in Eau Claire.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Basic Indian Curry Sauce

I can't believe I never linked to this on my blog.

Great basic Indian Curry sauce that can serve as a base for so many things.  Make a bunch and freeze portions for later use.  Great recipe from the Curry Guy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kisir - Turkish Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Vegetables

From AZ Cookbook

Pretty cool website that has food from "Azerbaijan and Beyond".  When daughter #3 came back from Turkey with tales of food, off I went to internet and I found AZ.  Since I had also purchased wheat berries, this recipe of Turkish Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Veg sounded great.

And it was.

Basic concept is pretty simple - Cook Wheat Berries, Roast Veg of your choice.  Roast chicken if you like.  Add dressing, serve.

Go to the above link for the recipe, but I made a few changes.

For veg I used zucchini, mushrooms, red peppers, sweet potato and butternut squash

I had some cooked chicken

My dressing was equal parts olive oil, fresh lemon juice and balsamic vinegar.

I did not have the mint nor the parsley, but I did have dried basil.  So I used that.  Tasted great, but I will try it with the fresh mint and parsley this summer when I can grow or buy fresh.  Pomegranate syrup I replaced with the balsamic, but I am sure the Pom syrup would be great.   This would be an absolutely great summer off the grill meal

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sonic in Wisconsin - Who in the World Thought this Would Work?

I mean really - it is Wisconsin people.  Land of the two seasons - road construction and winter.  We have like 8 months of weather where you wear a coat.

Sonic in GB - closed.  That is a shock.  Eau Claire's is closed also

Thursday, January 17, 2013


from Whole Foods

Just a holding spot till I actually make these

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Can't Believe I Lived Without These For So Long - Wusthof Kitchen Shears - Best Ever

Just crazy great.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pork in Salsa Verde (Yes, Another Chip Magnet Salsa Recipe)

This is made using Chip Magnets Salsa Verde - and it is a little spicy (ok, kind of a lot), so you might not want to make this if your not into delicious. 

 Their write up goes....

Tomatillos are the not-so-secret ingredient to a delicious salsa verde. We keep it going green with a helping of freshly-chopped cilantro. Then we heat things up just enough with the help of some serrano chilis. 


3 lbs pork butt or shoulder, diced into 1 inch chunks (or slightly larger)
1 jar Chip Magnet Salsa Verde
7 oz can of diced green chili’s
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon of pepper
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
1 cup chicken stock
Salt to taste

Brown Pork in Pan.  Use cooking spray if your looking to save some calories, oil or lard if not
Remove pork, saute garlic and onions in the same pan
Deglaze the pan with the stock

Pour Pork, garlic, onions, Salsa Verde, diced green chiles, cumin, chicken stock into...
Ok, here you can run two ways with this recipe - pressure cooker or crock pot
If pressure cooker, toss it all in, bring to pressure, cook 20 minutes.  That's it, serve with rice, pinto beans, potatoes, tortillas, whatever.  
Toss it all into the crock pot, stir up the ingredients, cook on low for 8 hours.  And that's it - serve with rice, pinto beans, potatoes, tortillas, whatever.  

If you like, avocado, diced onion and tomatoes, etc. for the side or on top

Monday, January 14, 2013

Indian-Spiced Roasted Squash Soup

From Cooking Light

Pretty interesting recipe.  Very low calorie, and very low fat.

It is a fairly mildly spiced dish - not one of those very spicy Indian dishes.  It also has an interesting surprise in the middle.

This is a savory dish, although you might think of acorn and butternut squash as sweet. However the surprise (the yogurt/honey) is a great juxtaposition of flavors.


1 cup chopped onion
4 carrots, diced
1 (1-pound) butternut squash, peeled and cut into (1/2-inch) cubes
1 (8-ounce) acorn squash, halved
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups water
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper if you like, or not
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
Salt to taste
1 container (sm) Greek Plain Yogurt
6 teaspoons honey


Cook Vegetables.  You can roast them (which will add flavor) or boil them.  Basically, get them soft

When cooked, toss in pan, mix with spices, cook a little longer - I think this helps "bloom" or open up the spices some

Toss in food processor with 2 cups water or vegie or chicken stock, pulse till smooth or whatever consistency you like

Scrape back into pan, add up to two more cups stock, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes

Add whatever salt you need to taste

Combine yogurt and honey

Serve soup with a dollop or two of the mixture.  I served it hot, but I think room temp would be fine.  Probably the yogurt mix would stay on top better.

You could probably also use garlic, ginger or coconut milk in this dish.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Meals for January 12-19 2013

We must own 200 cookbooks.  Our own, plus Meme's.  We have bookshelves of them around the house, in the basement.  I have probably used five of them once each in the past year.  The internet has replaced them.  It is easier to search based on what you have in the house, or feel like eating, or is on sale at the market.  Plus, many online recipes have the calories etc. next to the recipe.  As that is important to us, it makes it much easier to use an online recipe.

Lately we have had a desire for butternut squash.  So this week we have a variety of recipes, mostly involving that.

So, this is a list to help me find the recipes online as the week goes on.  It makes the cooking and shopping simpler - I can refer to this list from my tablet or computer at home or work if I need to.

Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

Winter Squash Soufflé and Greens with Pork Chops

Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash

Indian-Spiced Roasted Squash Soup

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why yes, eggs are good for you

Research shows that for most people egg consumption is good for you, not bad for you

So, yet again, everything you have been told is wrong

Whole Foods FAIL - This is Healthy?

Comes along this tweet from Whole Foods

Sounds great - but read the recipe

It has more than 3/4 a cup of oil (3/4 cup plus 2 tbls, to be exact)

That is more fat than three big macs

More fat than 15 small fries at McDonalds.

Let me put this plainly Whole Foods


Eggs and Peas - Portuguese Style

Eggs Eggs Eggs

We got 'em coming out of our ears.  Four eggs a day, but only two people.  Even if you love eggs, that's to many eggs.  And the usual tends to get old after a while.  So, what to do?

Encouraged by my daughters various challenges, I decided to cook what we had.  Well, we have eggs.  And lately I have been enjoying, time to google peas and eggs.

Up popped this recipe for Portuguese Eggs and Peas.  Why not.

I of course made a few changes....


4 eggs
1/2 medium union, fine diced
1 carrot, diced fat
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounce of mushrooms, diced
1 14 oz can diced tomato
1 cup chicken stock
12 oz frozen peas

Saute onion, carrot, mushrooms and garlic till onions are translucent
Add stock and can of tomatoes (with juice)
When boiling, add peas
When boiling, lower heat to low-medium
Add eggs, cover
When cooked, eat!

Now this is often made with a little spicyness - sounds like a great place for some Chip Magnet Salsa!  If you used Ghoulicious, you would not need to add garlic to the recipe.

I served with hashbrowns.  I am sure it would be great with fresh peas and tomatoes, but it is January in Wisconsin after all...

Next time we make it I will likely fry the eggs in a separate pan.  They really don't pick up anything from the dish flavor wise, and it is hard to cook them to the consistency you want.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Cooking with Chip Magnet Salsa – Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole is a spicy dish, traditionally.  Spicy both with heat (cayenne and black pepper) and with flavor (garlic).    That makes Ghoulicious is a great salsa for this dish, although you could also use the Garlicious if you just wanted to avoid the heat (but what fun is that?)  From the website

Ghoulicious was originally planned to just be around for the Halloween season, but it was so popular, we just had to keep it all year. Our Garlicious salsa has been haunted by the world famous ghost chili! Beware, this one's spookily hot!

1 lb Shrimp
spray oil
1 medium Onion, diced
2 stalks Celery, diced
1 small Green or Red Pepper, diced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1-1/2 Cups fresh tomatoes, Diced or 1 28 oz diced tomatoes, with juice.
1/2 Cup dry White Wine
1Cup chicken or veggie stock
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp thyme
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup goulicious or garlicious salsa
2 green onions, chopped
1/8 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, minced


Heat your pan to medium and spray with oil. 
Cook onions, celery and peppers until onion are soft.

Add the tomato paste, cook, stirring constantly, until the paste begins to brown, then add the tomatoes. 

When hot again, add the wine, and turn the heat to high until the alcohol burns off. Add the stock, bay leaf and Thyme. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes. 

When you start that 30 minutes of cooking, this is the time to start your rice

After you have simmered 30 minutes, add the salsa and Worcestershire.

Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat to low and add the shrimp. Don’t overcook!  This will take about 3 minutes.

Garnish with green onions and parsley.

Serve with the rice

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Atlanta Brisket

Happy Birthday to Daughter #1.  Her dinner request - Brisket.  Of course, it is her husbands favorite, so I am not sure if this is her treat, or his.

Brisket is a great dish.  Beefy, hearty, tender (when cooked right).

But, how to prepare it.  Now smoking brisket is always a great thing to do.  However, its 25 and snowing, and to tell you the truth, I am just a little lazy today.  Plus I have to fix the dryer, so I already have enough on my plate other than babysitting the smoker.

Fortunately this week, Cooks Country pushed out an email with a recipe for Atlanta Brisket.  I love America's Test Kitchen, and almost always find their recipes just great.  So....what is Atlanta Brisket?

Basically, Brisket braised in onions, ketchup and....coke.  Yes, coke.  I have made ham with a coke glaze, and that is pretty good.  So why not.

1(3 1/2-pound) beef brisket, flat cut, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch
  Salt and pepper
4teaspoons vegetable oil
1pound onions, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2cups cola
1 1/2cups ketchup
4teaspoons onion powder
2teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
1teaspoon garlic powder
1teaspoon dried thyme
1. Using fork, poke holes all over brisket. Rub entire surface of brisket with 1 tablespoon salt. Wrap brisket in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 or up to 24 hours.
2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Pat brisket dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place brisket fat side down in skillet; weigh down brisket with heavy Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet and cook until well browned, about 4 minutes. Remove Dutch oven, flip brisket, and replace Dutch oven on top of brisket; cook on second side until well browned, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer brisket to plate.
3. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer onions to 13 by 9-inch baking dish and spread into even layer.
4. Combine cola, ketchup, onion powder, sugar, garlic powder, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in bowl. Place brisket fat side up on top of onions and pour cola ­mixture over brisket. Place parchment paper over ­brisket and cover dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until tender and fork easily slips in and out of meat, 3½ to 4 hours. Let brisket rest in liquid, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
5. Transfer brisket to carving board. Skim any fat from top of sauce with large spoon. Slice brisket against grain into ¼-inch-thick slices and return to baking dish. Serve brisket with sauce.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Green Owl Restaurant Review - Madison, WI

My Yelp Review

Good Food, not just good Vegan Food can be found at the Green Owl.

Lunch for four as my daughter was leaving for a month to go overseas. We picked the Green Owl as being both convenient and vegetarian, meeting our two most important criteria of the day.

What we got was also delicious. As a meat eater, I am often disappointed by the food at vegetarian/vegan restaurants. Basically they seem to assume that they get points for being vegan. Blech.

Not at the Green Owl. I have to say, I would be happy to bring anyone there, and expect to be served food that pleases all palates. 

All four meals were fine, but by consensus the eggplant meatball sandwich was the winner. Really good, I mean better than most meatballs you get anywhere else good. My lunch was the Mediterranean Platter - hummus, tabouli, muhammara (roasted red pepper and walnut spread) and baba ganoush served with toasted pita, olives and pickled vegetables.  Excellent.  

I will say service was slow, and it was not particularly packed (3/4 full?). Prices were not high, but not cheap for lunch either - 10 to 13 is pricier than most places. Portions are ok, but not huge.  It was for those reasons that I gave the Green Owl four stars rather than five.

The cinnamon roll cheesecake loved by the three ladies - myself I found the cinnamon too much, but I will concede I am not a huge fan of it (cinnamon, that is) 

I look forward to returning.