Category Archives: weekend cooking
Listing 45 Power Ingredients, Meatless All Day is the right cook book for the ages. With more and more people going vegetarian, and many eating at least one or two vegetarian meals a week, it is good to have go to recipes that are not only meatless but tasty!
I find as I get older (did I just say that?) I enjoy having meatless meals a few times a week. Perhaps as my palate has refined (HA!) I enjoy the textures and tastes more of pasta’s loaded with vegetables, big meaty mushrooms, egg dishes…
In Meatless All Day I found many mouth-watering dishes I am anxious to try. The book is laid out nicely with pictures and recipes with ingredients I can easily obtain. As I read this book while I was on vacation I can not wait to experiment with some of these mouth-watering recipes!
- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Taunton Press (March 4, 2014)
At one time or another you have probably wondered what some of the ingredients listed on a package really are. And, if you are like me, you soon forgot you were curious because a) the item is tasty good, b) who has time to look that stuff up, or more than likely c) do you really want to know?
Author Patrick Di Justo wrote the articles called What’s Inside for the magazine Wired. He took his investigation of products to the CEO’s of companies (who may or may not get back to him with his questions). He also researched deep into the archives on Google and followed products back to their beginning.
The result? Patrick discovered some interesting things about the foods we put in our mouth. Some are interesting, some are disgusting, some are funny… and some… involved a call (or two or three) to the FDA.
So what really does make that Cheese Whiz can eject that line of cheese product? If I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter isn’t butter…. what is it? And do we want to know what is in a Slim Jim or would we rather just enjoy the spicy snappy flavor and not think about it?
Now before you decide this book if this book is for you, hear me out.
This Is What You Put In Your Mouth is actually an interesting read and not necessarily as disgusting as you may initially think. Sure there is talk about dies that are not good for us, and ingredients that are not only in chewing gum that can also inflate a tire…but for the most part you are not reading about to many gross and disgusting things.
The layout of the book is a product will be listed with its ingredients and a description laid out of what the ingredients are. Occasionally Patrick will add his own funny take on an ingredient. Then, there will be a “backstory”. This is where Patrick shares what steps he took on this product to track down the makers for more information. AT first they would be excited to hear that their product would be featured in a magazine. That is, until they read the magazine and seen what Patrick really wrote about. The cooperation of the company or not did not change the fact that Patrick would write about it.
Not everything in the book is for eating. Patrick also talks about cleaning products, fire starter logs and gasoline.
Here is a fun little video – see below to get what is going on here.
This video is actually about one of the products that Patrick had written about (and he talks about in the book about this product, and this video). What happened was PBS ran a segment called What’s Inside. Watch between 1:30 and 1:33 on the video. You will see there is a product on the table that Chris does not talk about. At the end of the video there are clearly 10 items on the table by Chris only talks about 9 of them. The item that was deleted off the video (cut during those three seconds) was sexual lubricant. PBS did not want this talked about on air so it was cut before the show aired.
While the book was interesting, it is more of a book you want to skim and look for items you are interested in knowing more about than trying to read like a regular book.
I will be adding this to Weekend Cooking as this post is about food. Sort of. ;)
- Print Length: 272 pages
- Publisher: Three Rivers Press (February 3, 2015)
- Sold by: Random House LLC
As you probably know (from all the gushing over here, on Facebook, etc…) my husband and I along with friends went on a 17 day trip to Australia and New Zealand earlier this month. We spent three days in Sydney before we boarded our Cruise ship for the rest of our journey.
This post is for Weekend Cooking and for Saturday Snapshot and it is all about FOOD. Food is really part of the experience and my rule for traveling is that we can never eat at a place that I could eat at around where I live. I love new food experiences!
Disclaimer: Not all food pictured is mine (thank goodness!) I took pictures of the food that my hubby as well as our friends were eating too.
While in Sydney, we stopped at a little pub for lunch. I ordered a burger that was to come with “hot chips” and I was very curious about these chips. Turns out, chips are french fries. Now I am not a huge fan of thicker french fries, I like the crispy fresh thinner ones with that salty yum flavor. These were DELICIOUS. I became a big fan fast of the hot chips of Australia and New Zealand.
We were in Sydney 3 days and at one stop enjoyed a Japanese Cuisine meal. The four of us girls were really excited about this, however the two guys, Ray and Al were not… thinking it was going to be like a china buffet. The boys were converted quickly. The food was incredible and Al (my hubby) said he would stop anytime that he sees Japanese noodles.
At our hotel was a very nice restaurant and the above picture if from their display window. We never had a chance to eat there, we were too busy out exploring.
I wish I had taken better notes, but I did not. While in Sydney we took an all day trip to go and see some of the sights. We stopped at a quaint little town where we had a change to grab a bite to eat. We walked into this corner cafe that displayed the above window. I chose a delicious sandwich pictured below:
On to the cruise….
If you have ever taken a cruise, you know there is a lot of food. There was a buffet area that was open all the time. A pizza place, hamburger and hotdog spot, your main dining area, a steak house, Italian restaurant, and a Sushi restaurant. The food, other than the steakhouse, Italian, and Sushi, were all included in your cruise cost so knock yourself out. :) The above picture is my dinner on the first night we ate in our dining room. This is a chicken Alfredo in a Parmesan shell. I know right? I dont even want to think about that calories in that mouth watering, buttery yummy concoction.
Al and I ate in the steak house twice. Once with our whole group, and then once just the two of us, a gift from our Travel Agent. The steak house menu gave you choices of appetizers, soups and salads, your main dish with choice of sides and of course dessert. Everything came with dessert. Below is one of the appetizers I had, a crab cake with shrimp on top. This was also the night I had the creme brulee. I was so full!
On one of last excursions we went to Christchurch in New Zealand. We had heard that they had amazing fish and chips (there’s that chips word again!). We stopped at three different fish and chips places and all three were closed or out of business. By mid afternoon we were pretty hungry and finally found a nice looking pub style restaurant. (I love these pubs you can find some of the best food there!)
I ordered a chicken sandwich which I was sold on because it came with avocado. I also ordered for all of us, the nacho’s as us girls had been craving nachos but unable to find them anywhere in Australia or New Zealand. Wendy ordered for us to all try the potato wedges.
My sandwich was good, but the nacho’s and potato wedges were excellent. Each had a tasty chili sauce that I would love to try to duplicate. The portions were HUGE, but all 6 of us were able to get our fill of these delicious treats.
I of course have to talk about the deserts on the cruise ship. They were always beautiful and you just had to try them… no matter how full you already were. Below are pictures of some of the deserts we experienced on the cruise. Again – note, these are not all mine :)
If I were to mention any favorite of the entire trip it would have to be the Japanese Noodles we had in Sydney, the chicken Alfredo in the Parmesan bowl, and the nachos at the pub in Christchurch.
This is why I have been on my treadmill almost every day since we have returned. Ha! :)
Do you have a favorite that you see here?
Recently I had felt nostalgic for making apple butter. We have many apple trees in our yard and usually each fall I post pictures on Facebook for people to come and get them and they come in droves to get buckets of apples. I used to make apple butter with my mom and she had learned from my great-grandmother. I have all of grandmothers original tools she used to do this. This year, after a big storm took out most of the apples – I decided I was going to make the butter again…
but this post is not about that. ;)
WHILE looking on-line for a refresher course on how to make the apple butter… I came across Pumpkin Butter. I mean seriously could that sound more delicious of more Fall? I did make the apple butter….and it is fantastic…
and then I bought a pumpkin…
Here is what you need:
One Pumpkin (you can use pumpkin puree from the store but I wanted to go completely from scratch)
A food mill (I use my grandma’s)
Take your pumpkin and cut up into chucks with the hard outside shell taken off.
Place in a large pot covered in water and cook on high until the pumpkin is soft. I used my Grandmothers food mill to puree it went in to the crock pot but I bet you could use a potato masher as well.
Once your pumpkin is in the crock pot I added the spices to taste. I have no exact measurements as it depends on your pumpkin size. I added cinnamon, and about a half cup of sugar, nutmeg and ginger. With crock pot on low, let it cook 8 to 10 hours, or to desired thickness. Add more spice if needed according to your taste as it cooks.
Pour into jars or gift containers.
***Note: Pumpkin Butter is not recommended to hot water seal your jars. The acids in the pumpkin do not allow for safe sealing (I know right? This was news to me too!) You can keep it safely in your refrigerator up to three weeks, or you can freeze it and take it out as you need it.
Final thoughts: I loved the taste and texture. While the canning note was a surprise (I did not know you could not seal it until I had made it) I put in refrigerator and gave away to friends over the next few days. When I do it again – and I will, I will put the jars back in the box they came in and freeze. If you leave an inch head room in the jar for expansion as it freezes, the jars are ok to freeze in.
Pumpkin butter is delicious on toast, but it is also good in yogurt, and on pancakes.
I will be linking this one up to Weekend Cooking at Beth Fish Reads. Go and see what others are cooking this weekend :)
What am I listening to while cooking this weekend? Ocean Beach by Wendy Wax... a fun womens literature style listen. :)
Cherico, Mississippi library director Maura Beth Mayhew faces the challenges of libraries just like everyone else. As she is in such a small town, the ever-present dangers of having the library closed so budgeted money can go elsewhere is all too real. With Councilman Durden Sparks breathing down her neck with an agenda for the upcoming budget to re purpose the funds the library normally receives, Maura knows she has to up her game.
With a few friends she starts a group that reviews classics and calls it the Cherry Cola Book Club ( cute story behind the name). The group ties in food with the discussion and looks to go deeper than your average book club. Surprisingly, Durden Sparks accepts Maura’s invitation to join the group, even though Maura is quite aware that Durden is their to undermine her and keep a close eye on what the library is up too.
Will Maura’s efforts to let her community know the value of a library be enough? Or is it too little too late?
You had me at book club. ~ Sheila
I discovered this little gem while browsing audible.com for an audio to go on my phone while I was working outside. Initially as the story started, I had a strong feeling my review was going to include the words “predictable” but sweet.
I have to admit though, I was surprised at the depth behind this story. Maybe it was because of my involvement in our local library and City Library Board, but Maura’s fears of budget cuts and the community not being aware of the value of the library were all to real fears for our own town and perhaps that made me appreciate this one even more. I actually found some of her ideas to present the value of the library to the community to be good ideas and my own mind started turning these ideas to how they could fit in our own community.
All in all, I really appreciated this audio. I enjoyed the fun diverse characters and I have to say the discussion on To Kill A Mockingbird made me want to insist that my own book club review this classic so we can have such a discussion.
Those who appreciate Libraries I feel will like this book. I also feel book clubs could have a lot of fun with this one as there is a lot of food mentioned with recipes in the back of the book (they were read out loud on the audio). I really want to make that Cherry Cola drink with lime they mention… and the tomatoes and okra sound interesting too….
as I was looking up the audio book picture for this post, I seen the cover for the book version. It is funny but as I would probably not consider listening to a “cozy read”, I would not have given this book a second glance due to the cover. I LOVE the audio book cover.
I am going to link this post to Weekend Cooking as the back of the book (and in the audio!) listed all of the recipes for the southern YUMMY foods they mentioned throughout. I will listen to the last chapter again to pick up on some of these recipes. I LOVE when books talk about food and then give us the recipes to make what they discussed!
Living in the age of more creates some unique opportunities. While we are enjoying going out and eating larger than ever portions with meals that fill platter size plates and every fast food joint now not just offering you up the fries, but also asking you if you want to SUPER SIZE that, or more sneakily, “what size would you like?”
Do you know how hard it is it so stay “I will take the small” at that point?
Beyond the quite obvious obesity problem parts of the world is having there are other things to consider as well….
supply and demand.
The number of chicken, cows, pigs, and fish to sustain our every growing need to have it available at restaurants and at the local markets is not only staggering, but in this reviewers opinion… disgusting. As Author and Chef Dan Barber says, that we are being fed (literally) a false promise of the future of food.
The First Plate is the classic meal most of us grew up with; the prime focus being on a large piece of meat, with very little vegetables on the side. The farm to table movement reflects the current, and second plate where we are becoming more conscious of what we are putting into our mouths. Looking for more local and organically grown choices, however as Dan points out in his book, is not long-term sustainable.
The Third Plate is based on a system featuring vegetables and grains and working with what the local farmers have at different seasons.
At the restaurant I serve a parsnip steak that was soil-aged for 14 months. We roast it like a steak, carve it like a steak and serve it with a rich bordelaise sauce made from beef bones. We flip the classic arrangement on its side. The anatomy of the first or second plate is there, but in keeping with what our landscape can provide. ~ Dan Barber
Dan Barber feels there is a healthy way to make this a win for our bodies, the farmers, and make it delicious.
I am fascinated by foodie books. I love to read about restaurants, cooking, chefs, and new ways to do things. When I stumbled across The Third Plate while looking for my next audio I was intrigued. We have local friends who gave up meat 2 years ago using the logic that some day, it will not be offered to us anyway as truly the world can not keep up n the ever-growing population and the ever-growing demand.
Seriously, kudos to them… but I am not ready for that day to come. Sheila loves chicken!
Author Dan Barber is not proposing a non meat society, what he is offering up in The Third Plate is a radical change on how we look at the dinner plate. His unique way of looking at the plate and how we can use local resources is fascinating. He proposes how each area of the world uses the resources the land gives them to create delicious meals and support local growth and support.
I wish I took better notes when listening to this audio. There are so many interesting facts as Dan visits sheep farmers, fisheries, and more. The numbers are staggering… the supplies required to complete the demand are almost heartbreaking to me. What people have learned about how a goose dies affects the taste of the meat is amazing.
This is one I will need to purchase the book because I hope to refer to this one time and again. I was truly fascinated with everything I learned. While at points it felt drug out in audio format, I imagine the book would not give the same feel.
Recommended for those who love foodie books like me, people interested in trying new things, and healthy eaters. Dan Barbers thinking makes a lot of sense to me.
I am linking this post up to Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking.
The bookies Book Club read and review Moloka’i by Alan Brennert this past week. ,One of things I love about reading for book club is the opportunity to make something I probably never would have tried. Miloka’i based in the late 1800’s Hawaii. I made two things for this review, Sweet Potato Casserole and Poi.
For this weeks Weekend Cooking I will post both recipes.
Sweet Potato Casserole
4-5 large sweet potatoes halved
4-5 bananas peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
16 oz. crushed pineapple in own juice
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tablespoon cold butter
2 tsp. salt
1 cup pineapple juice (saved off the crushed pineapple)
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons honey
Heat over to 350 degrees. lightly butter bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Stir together brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Place the potatoes into a pan of water that covers the potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 15 to 20 minutes until potatoes are tender. Drain and let steam dry until you are able to touch, then peal the skin off the potatoes, rough chop and place in the 9 x 13 pan.
Dot with the cold butter over the potatoes.
Sprinkle the salt over the potatoes.
Arrange the bananas over the potatoes.
Sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar and cinnamon combo.
Top with crushed pineapple.
Whisk together the pineapple juice, lemon juice, and honey until honey is dissolved. Pour over the top of casserole.
Cook at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.
*This was pretty tasty. The banana’s seemed odd but actually complimented the dish. I thought it would be extremely sweet but it was not over the top. I would make this again for a unique potluck dish. ~Sheila
You asked for the recipe… I am giving it but there is really not much to it. :)
2 pounds Taro Root (surprisingly I found this at my local grocery store)
Bring taro root to a boil in 2 quarts of water. Cook for about 40 minutes. Drain, cool, and peal the root. Rough chop taro into a bowl. Blend in blender with 1 cup of water until smooth. (There are more traditional ways to do this that involve a grass skirt, a smooth rock and a hollowed out piece of wood but I went “new school” and “got ‘er done”!) :)
A couple things about Poi. There is one finger, two finger, and three finger poi. This is because traditionally you scoop it up with your fingers. The thicker the poi, the less fingers used. I am happy to say, I made a one finger poi:
Poi tasted like bland potatoes. I was surprised when looking on line I could not find any variations of this recipe to jazz it up a bit. I would have liked to have made three cheese poi, or fully loaded poi with garlic and sour cream and bacon… just saying ;)
And finally why is my poi white when traditionally it is purple? I have no idea. I was disappointing as I was looking forward to the bright purple I seen in pictures. I Googled this question but came up with no answers.
You know him from the show Biggest Loser when he is pushing contestants to their limits. Bob is also a personal trainer, as well as some one who takes care of their own body and what they put in it.
As Bob says in the forward of this book, what he is sharing here is the same foods and meals he eats and encourages those he works with to eat. Healthy eating habits and working out are the keys to a fitter, fuller life.
As soon as I seen this book on-line I knew I wanted to own it. Lots of delicious looking recipes that did not seem to be above my cooking skills. No recipe over 350 calories and balanced so your carbs are eaten by mid afternoon and your suppers are balanced with the fiber and calories you need for burning them through the night.
The forward to the book are basic steps for balancing your meals and not over eating. Bob says always drink a full glass of water before any meal. Even take a glass of water by your bedside so first thing in the morning you can drink it. Not only does it help you feel fuller before you eat, it also helps flush out the things your body does not need. He also suggests no eating after 8 pm and go to bed hungry. Your body starts to burn fat around 3 hours after eating. Why not deal with those “hungry hours” while you are sleeping? ;)
Since purchasing the book I have made several recipes out of it, planning to use it more in the future as well (there is a spaghetti squash recipe filled with vegies I have my eye on to try).
Here is the Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Cream Sauce I tried. Or I would like to call it, “you had me at avocado!”
Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Cream Sauce
- 1 large zucchini (approx. 2 cups worth)
Avocado Cream Sauce
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 cup arugula
- 1/4 cup chopped basil
- 1/4 cup low sodium broth (either veggie or chicken)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 oz roasted, boneless, skinless chicken breast
- Slice zucchini very thinly lengthwise. Then cut each piece into thirds, lengthwise so that they are like thick noodles. Steam “noodles” for 2-3 minutes or until they are just cooked through.
- In the meantime, blend avocado, basil, broth, lemon juice, garlic, and Parmesan in a processor or blender.
- Toss “noodles” with sauce and cubed chicken, and serve.
- 258 calories, 27g protein, 19g carbs, 11g fat
My thoughts – I love the use of strips of zucchini as the “noodle”. It just felt fresher. The avocado sauce was delicious! I enjoyed this very much, it was easy to make and I will make it again. :)
This recipe was posted for Weekend Cooking. Stop over and see what other people are cooking up!
I thought this morning I would do a combo post between Saturday Snapshot and Weekend cooking… both memes that I love to participate in as I enjoy taking pictures and trying new things in the kitchen… but dont always have the time to write the posts. :)
Last weekend I ventured to the North Shore to our cabin… just me and my dog with the plan to do a little spring cleaning, a little reading and movie watching and just wind down… before spring really hits and life winds up and I go go go!
While at the cabin in Finland Minnesota I read two books and watched three movies. It felt great :) I never have time to do things like that.
To post your own pics, or to see others and what they are posting this weekend… check out Saturday Snapshot.
Switching gears, a friend of mine hooked me up with a tasty little recipe I would like to share for weekend cooking. Like reubens? This you will LOVE.
1 tube Pillsbury Pizza Dough
1/4 cup thousand island dressing, + 2 tbsp for top
1/4 pound sliced corned beef or pastromi deli meat, chopped up (I used deli turkey as I am not a fan of corned been or pastrami)
3/4 cup Sauerkraut, drained and squeezed dry
2 cups grated Swiss cheese, + 1/2 cup for top
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Unroll the Pillsbury pizza dough on a greased baking sheet. Press to about 14 inches x 9 inches. Bake for 8 minutes then remove from oven. Spread the 1/4 cup of thousand island dressing over the crust, all the way to the edges. Top with the chopped corned beef, drained sauerkraut, and 2 cups of Swiss cheese. Carefully roll up the pizza into a tube. Place the pizza roll into a 9×5 inch loaf pan, seam side down.
Drizzle the top with the remaining thousand island dressing and shredded cheese. Continue baking for 10-12 minutes longer or until cheese is bubbly in the center. Carefully remove from pan and slice to serve. Enjoy!
It was delicious – I made it this past week for hubby and I and we both really enjoyed it.
See other fun recipes to try (and I have found more than a few!) by checking out Weekend Cooking.
If you have followed my journey, you know that the past year I have “dabbled” in running. I still don’t think I qualify as a runner, but my cousin says that if I am not laying on the couch and I am out moving my body, I am a runner.
Ok… I guess that makes me a runner.
Right before Christmas I treated myself to a purchase just for me. I bought this book. Runner or not, I am always interested in working with whole foods and breaking the habit of the “fast food fix” that tends to occasionally plague my busy lifestyle.
The Runners World Cookbook promotes eating well if you run 10 miles a week or one hundred. (A hundred!) It also encourages “eating the rainbow” a colorful array of fruits and vegetables every day. Mmmmmm
The book starts out with explaining healthy antioxidants, carbs, grains, proteins and fats. Then the book breaks down into chapters:
- Snacks and Smoothies
- Salads and Dressings
- Soups and Stews
- Sandwiches, Pizzas, Burgers
- Sauces and Pasta
- Meat and Poultry
- Fish and Seafood
The recipes look delicious! They are submitted from runners, marathon winners, Olympians, doctors, test kitchens and more. At the top of each recipe is a little paragraph of when is a good time to eat this (pre – run, after run, recovery…. daily….). It also shares how long to prep, how many servings, and of course nutrition values. I also like that each recipe is labeled : V: Vegetarian, VE: Vegan, GF: Gluten Free, Many of the recipes are also accompanied by a photo which I love to drool over!
I admit, I have not had a chance to cook out of this book yet although I have spent time over several days paging through and making note of the ones I want to try. A few that caught my eye are: Egg and bean burritos with avocado and yogurt lime sauce, banana oat energy bars, spinach bacon sweet potato salad, Asian Noodle Salad with eggs and peanut dressing, Thai Avocado soup, Smoked Salmon and Vegie Wraps, Jerk Shrimp with sweet potato and black beans… I could go on forever :)
Tonight, I think we are going to try the Chicken Mango fajita. Seriously, look at that tasty picture. It is labeled as Fast, Recovery and Low Calorie. Since I am planning on running a 5k today to keep up my motivation for the half marathon I signed up for at the end of this month as well as a walk with my dogs in snow shoes- it sounds perfect. :) I think you may see recipes coming out of this book frequently this year :)
I am submitting this post as part of Beth Fish Reads Weekend Cooking. It is true, I always have more time to make good tasty and healthy dishes on the weekends. :)