Saturday, December 31, 2011

A delicious new grain-free main dish

The latest installment in my fabulously infrequently updated blog...

Jeff and I have been on a grain-free diet for about 2 months now and we are both feeling much better.  He's lost 20lbs or more and I've lost 7lbs.  His blood sugars are mostly normal now, except one time he forgot his meds and it was 131.  Cravings are much less, too.  Catie and Ben are on it also.
This is a main dish I made up last night to take to game night for Jeff, me, Catie and Ben to eat instead of home made pizza. I didn't realize how many others would like it. I wanted to put it down for posterity in case someone else might want the recipe.

I didn't get a photo but, it looked a lot like this image from Noble Pig.

Grain-Free Lasagna

1 ½ lbs. ground beef
½ lb. bulk mild Italian sausage
1/3 c. chopped pepperoni slices (so maybe Jeff wouldn't miss his beloved pepperoni pizza)
1 jar homemade spaghetti sauce
1 c. homemade mild salsa
1 small can tomato paste
3 small zucchini
1 ½ cups chopped fresh vegetables ( I used carrots, red peppers, mushrooms, broccoli)
2 c. fresh spinach
2 c. cottage cheese
2 eggs
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese (not shakey cheese!)
3 c. grated mozzarella
¼ c. chopped Italian parsley

Fry ground beef and Italian sausage until browned. Add pepperoni and cook till it is soft. Add spaghetti sauce, salsa, and tomato paste. Simmer all together for a few minutes while you get the other layers ready.

Cut the ends off the zucchini and slice them thinly length-wise into noodle-like pieces.

Chop the fresh vegetables of your choice. Toss them with a drizzle of olive oil on a cookie sheet then roast in a 400F oven until they look yummy. Don't let them burn.

Mix the cottage cheese, eggs, Parmesan, mozzarella, and Italian parsley together.

Layer in this order in a 9X13” baking pan:
      1. meat mixture
      2. zucchini slices laid down like noodles
      3. cheese mixture
      4. roasted vegetables
      5. spinach
Repeat these layers, ending with meat mixture. Top with more grated mozzarella and lastly, more Parmesan. Bake 30-45” in a 350F oven or until bubbly, brown and cooked through.

Note: These measurements are approximately what I used. I cook with years of experience behind me, so many things are made up on the fly. This dish is not going to be inedible if your measurements are different than mine were.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Does everyone know...

Why their dishwasher isn't getting the dishes clean anymore?  Whether you use Cascade or Electrasol or something generic, the federal government mandated awhile ago that dishwasher detergents cannot have phosphates anymore (or at least enough phosphates to get the dishes clean).  There may be a white film on them  that won't wash off or your aluminum items may be gray and weird-looking or maybe the dishes are just not getting clean.
You don't necessarily need a new machine.  Try using about a tablespoon or so of trisodium phosphate (also known as TSP) in one cup of your dishwasher along with your regular detergent.  TSP is available at hardware stores because it is used to wash down walls before painting.  I got mine at Home Depot.  No more problems... Unfortunately, I didn't discover this tip until I'd bought a new dishwasher...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Made this...

(She posted this photo on Facebook, but I can't figure out how to get it on here in a larger size.)
Farmstand Greek Salad from Food to Live By again for the doins' at Sarah's last night. It's relatively easy and everyone likes it.

3 romaine hearts
1 small regular cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch dice
½ small red onion, very thinly sliced
15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half, or 2 large tomatoes, cut into ½-inch dice
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
30 kalamata olives, pitted
About 1/3 cup Red Wine Vinaigrette
3 ounces feta cheese, grated or crumbled (about 2/3 cup)
1 red bell pepper, roasted and cut into 1-inch strips, for garnish (I use jarred roasted red peppers)


1. Remove the cores from the romaine hearts. Carefully rinse the leaves under gently running cold water, drain them well, and spin them dry. Cut the leaves crosswise into 1-inch strips.

2. Just before you plan to serve the salad, place the romaine in a large salad bowl. Add the cucumber, onion, tomatoes, capers, and olives and toss to combine. Add about one-half of the vinaigrette. Toss to lightly coat the leaves, then taste them to see if more vinaigrette is needed.

3. Transfer the salad to a platter or individual salad plates. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top and garnish with some of the bell pepper strips. Serve immediately.

Red Wine Vinaigrette


1 small clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon finely minced shallot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil


Place all the ingredients in a glass jar and seal the lid tightly. Shake the jar vigorously to combine. The vinaigrette can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 1 month. Let it return to room temperature before using.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


It's Micaela!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More delicious food...

Every recipe I've tried from Food to Live By has been so good!  Really, you must buy it.  I first used Catie's copy until she got back then I ordered a used copy for myself.  I've made the aforementioned Albondigas Soup, Farm Stand Cornbread, Farm Stand Greek Salad, and tonight's Cheesy Zucchini.  Since I started getting Bountiful Baskets I have to find lots of recipes for things I wouldn't normally buy.  It's actually fun.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A tiny shirt...

I re-purposed an adult T-shirt into this size two one for Buddy.  If you look closely you can see all kinds of musical items on it.  I probably wouldn't have gone to the trouble if it weren't for the fabric.  The pattern is an Ottobre one that I made a little different, using the existing sleeve and bottom hems instead of binding and hemming it myself.  Next up, one for Rocco.  Like this only different!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I just realized...

These numbers of visits will probably never increase:

Korea, Republic of (KR)20

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (LY)17

Not that I'm complaining...

Cracker Jack...

Not Cracker JackS, just the singular.  I always thought it was plural, but I guess not.  Or, maybe they changed the name because it's not the same.  It came in a Mylar bag, not a box.  The popcorn tastes the same, but with less molasses-y coating on it.  See where it says "Caramel Coated Popcorn & Peanuts"?  Frito-Lay must have studied Van Camps Pork 'n Beans to determine how many peanuts to include because I have only seen two so far in a relatively large bag.  The "toy" is in a whole 'nother realm of lame.  It's a tiny paper picture of George Washington and a brief history of his life.
 Whatever happened to the cute, creative little plastic bits of joy that I knew as a child?

 I feel violated...

Monday, March 21, 2011

We had this tonight...

And it was so yummy!  Not to mention it used up a lot of the things I got in our Bountiful Baskets order (mushrooms, garlic, broccoli, tomato, basil).  The original recipe was in the Parade magazine this past Sunday from Jessica Seinfeld.  I added and subtracted based on what I wanted to do.  Here is her version.  We also had shredded stir-fried Brussels sprouts and baked yams.

Balsamic Chicken Sandwich

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed in 1" pieces
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp. olive oil (or more, if needed)
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
3  cloves garlic, minced
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. broccoli puree (*see note)
6 whole grain sandwich rolls
6 large slices tomato
grated mozzarella cheese
fresh basil leaves

1.  Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Toss in flour to coat.  Preheat oven to 350F.
2.  Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high.  Add chicken.  Lower heat to medium and continue to cook until chicken begins to brown, 8-10 minutes.
3.  Add mushrooms, garlic, chicken broth, vinegar, and brown sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer 10-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center.  Add puree and cook 2-3 minutes more until flavors are blended.
Place rolls on a large baking sheet.  Top each of the 6 bottom halves with a tomato slice and fresh basil; divide chicken among them and sprinkle with mozzarella.  Bake until cheese is melted and edges of rolls are crisp, 5-7 minutes.  Serve immediately.
* Steam broccoli florets 6-7 minutes. They should be tender but still green.  Puree in a blender or food processor, about 2 minutes. If needed, add a few teaspoons of water for a smooth texture.

Friday, January 21, 2011

An oldie, but a goodie...

This is the granola recipe that I have used since Sarah was little.  I found it in The Good Breakfast Book.  Mine isn't this edition, but maybe this one is better.  This recipe is infinitely changeable, depending on what you have on hand, like, or don't like in a granola.

                     *  Exported from  MasterCook  *

                             Susan's Granola

Recipe By     : The Good Breakfast Book
Serving Size  : 14   Preparation Time :0:20
Categories    : Breakfast                        Tried & True

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
   7 1/2  cups          oats, rolled (raw)
   1      cup           wheat germ
     1/2  cup           wheat bran
   1      cup           coconut shreds
   1      cup           sesame seeds
   1      cup           almonds -- chopped
   1      cup           pecans -- chopped
     1/2  cup           honey -- (up to 3/4 cup)
     1/3  cup           water
     1/2  cup           peanut butter
     1/2  teaspoon      vanilla
     1/2  teaspoon      cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375F.  Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Heat together sauce ingredients, stir into dry ingredients, then spread onto two shallow baking pans.  Bake about 15 minutes, until dry and golden.  You may have to stir it half-way through the baking time to avoid overbrowning.

                   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

NOTES : Add dried fruit such as raisins, chopped dates, etc. after it is cooled or at serving time.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I just noticed...

I've had one visitor to my blog from Iran!  Wow...  I wonder how they found it.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

And the piece de resistance...

The toe of Jeff's sock done using Judy's Magic Cast On. It isn't perfect, but it looks a heck of a lot better than any other toe I've ever done. I did sweat a little blood over the first one I tried, but that was with size 5 aluminum dpns. They kept slipping out of the stitches. I went and got some Cascade 220 Quatro Superwash and Brittanys and that is much better. Maybe I'll be done with them in this decade because the yarn is worsted...maybe.
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This started life as a neck ruff, but I just wanted to finish off the two free skeins I had of Handpaint Originals seconds that my TBD friend, Julie, in Colorado gave me. So now it's long enough to be a scarf, but I'm still not quite done with it.
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Some recent handiwork...

I hastily made this for Rocco for Christmas before Lissie left to go back. She picked out the fabrics and it's backed with Minky. I thought it would be hard to get it not to go wonky, but it wasn't.
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