Saturday, November 7, 2009

YES.......I am still here!!!!!!

Well, here I am at last. I realize I haven't been around for a while and I am sure most people thought I was probably dead!!!!

No...No....I have had a lot of excitement around the house mostly excitement I can live without. Since my last entry I have had two house sales fall through (same house) The realtor I had didn't prequalify the prospects and they couldn't come up with a mortgage, then they come to me to try to get me to rent....not a possibility but I ended up trying to get a mortgage for one couple (which looked pretty good) I also had to pack and look for alternate accomodation, then after I looked at a whole bunch of extremely expensive rubbish, I started praying for another failure so I don't have to sell and move. My prayers were answered with remarkable speed!!!!! Then I had to unpack ( a task I'm still working on) I then hurt my back and I also landed myself in hospital twice. I also have to do the usual household chores etc. I also decided to do a few things I had put off doing and I had to wait for people to decide to come to do them, most of whom just say they'll come and never show up.

The house is getting too big for my needs, I must admit and it is not suitable for sharing but going by the apartments I saw they can keep them. I do understand that landlords are reluctant to spend money on their properties as most tenants are very careless with the units (I did have tenants a while back and they were awful) but we are not all like that. OH well!!!

Wow, I will now go straight to my recipe for this time just in case something else calls me away.

My apologies for the rush but I am absolutely determined to get this done today.....right now in fact.

So here goes. This is quite in keeping with the title and intention of this blog as well as being one of my favourite recipes. It's inexpensive, healthy and delicious.....what more could one ask for?

Wholewheat Spaghetti with Lentil Sauce

You will need:

1 chopped onion

2 garlic cloves (or to taste) minced

1/8 cup olive oil

11/2 cups dried lentils, washed

1 dried hot pepper, crumbled

1 teaspoon salt

pepper to taste

4 cups beef stock or water with 2 beef boullion cubes

1/2 teaspoon (each) basil and oregano

1 can (19 oz) tomatoes

1 (6oz can) tomato paste

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

12oz cooked wholewheat spaghetti

grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

To make sauce

Cook onion and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes. add next 5 ingredients and beef stock or water and boullion cubes. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except the spaghetti and cheese and simmer uncovered for an hour. Stir occasionally. Serve on cooked spaghetti and sprinkle with the cheese.

The spaghetti should be cooked according to package directions while the sauce is cooking so it is hot when the sauce is done. Enjoy.

Well, I hope everybody likes this recipe and as you can see it's pretty easy and quick. So until next time back to painting.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Recession Proof Gourmet

Hi Everybody

Time for another recipe and a few words from yours truly, words not neccessarily of wisdom.

In the long and distant past when I was still young, (greener than the main ingredient of our recipe today) just moving into my new home as a newly wed. I was faced with a make that huge new backyard where some sod had been laid but moles invaded it and now it was a patch of green with numerous black eruptions. I now realize that black soil is good and well it should have been since this housing project was built on a former orchard.

Well, after we got the mole problem solved (I don't remember how but I do remember it was long and hard as they were determined) I was still faced with this new back yard and I having never even grown one of those beans that the kindergarten kids get to grow in half eggshells (I think that's how it went with my kids) I need to populate this outdoor space. We, of course have no money to buy plants since we had sunk everything we owned into this new house, luckily we had a relative who was a seasoned gardener, a market gardener in fact who supplied us with several rose bushes, the roses on them would be a beautiful pink and they were very fragrant. I planted rose bushes all along the perimeter of the yard saving several feet for what would become a patio eventually. I was still left with several feet along the back fence which I had decided would be a vegetable garden. Needless to say everbody laughed. Why I do not know.....had I not planted the rose bushes?, they may not have been perfect but I didn't hear or see anyone else offering help so I did what had to be done. To put everyone out of their misery with curiosity, the rose bushes thrived and grew to about eight feet tall, the flowers were gorgeous but few but hey.....this is a first attempt.

Unfortunatly at some point during the first spring I was in that house, I got into a heated discussion with market gardener relative who was bewailing the fact that he absolutely couldn't get tomatoes or cucumbers to grow, he had tried for years to no avail. This is where I come in with my big mouth and said I bet you I can grow them here, you should have heard the laughter!!!!

I'll show them, but how? I had to do something quick now that I had put both feet in my mouth, my answer I bought a book and I followed directions and yes, we had tomatoes like crazy, cucumbers were a little less prolific but I had enough to give away.

Now after all the nonsense about "he wouldn't have believed it had he not seen it with his own eyes" I was still left with loads of green tomatoes. I didn't know what to do with them and green tomato chutney didn't sound appetizing and besides too much work.

That was then and how I wish I had this recipe then!!!! Of course my family would have turned up their noses at it but I didn't tell them until they had finished their seconds and licking the plates. So Here it is:

6 to 8 medium sized green tomatoes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon or orange rind
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter or margerine
Pastry for two crust 9-inch pie
Wash the tomatoes, peel and slice them. Combine with next four ingredients in saucepan and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Mix sugar with cornstarch, add to the tomato mixture and cook until clear, stirring constantly. Add butter and cool slightly. Line piepan with pastry and pour in the mixture. Cover with pastry, seal edges and cut several gashes in top to allow steam to escape. Bake in preheated hot oven (425f) 40 to 50 minutes. Serve slightly warm or cool. Good with a dollop of whipped cream.
This is not recommended if you are trying to lose weight but for what it's worth it is really a great pie.
Until next time. Bye everybody.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Hi Every Body

Here I am at last. I haven't had a minute's peace so far this week. You know busy, busy and busy!!!!!

To business now:

First I would like to thank Griz for his kind concern and for putting out the call for help for me. The response has been awesome and I can hardly wait to read all the comments and maybe implement all the suggestions, Please have patience, I am overwhelmed but thanks a bunch.

Hey, Griz I hope you did well at your golf tournament. I also tried to leave a post on your blog but for some reason I couldn't find how. I'm not sure if I left one before, anyway, I promise you a big thank you so here goes:


I have a rather nice casserole recipe for all of you today, I know I say this about every recipe I post but why would I share them if I didn't think they were great.

Only the best recipes go into this blog, I'll have you all know! No rubbish here! Seriously all these recipes have passed my family's taste test and have been made by yours truly regularly and often.

This is going to be quick today as I want to go read the comments and we'll see how far I get.


1 pound sliced bacon

11/2 chopped onion

3/4 diced green pepper

2 packages frozen lima beans (10oz each)

1 cup pitted chopped black olives

1/4 cup dry sherry

1 can tomato soup ( condensed)


1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Saute the bacon in skillet until it is crisp. Drain on paper towel. Pour off most of the fat from skillet and add the onion, chopped pepper and a minced garlic clove. Saute for about 2 to 3 minutes. Cook Lima beans according to package directions but do not overcook; drain. Place Lima beans, onion mixture, half the bacon,olives and sherry in a greased 2 -quart casserole. Mix soup with seasonings and then with the Lima bean mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and bake in prheated moderate oven (350f) for about 20 minutes. Garnish with the remaining bacon.

This is supposed to make enough for 6 portions but it never did at my house, however you all know me if you need more...........boil some noodles, they go well with this too.
So until next time I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Recession Proof Gourmet

Hi Everybody;

Well, today is my day off sort of. I like to sleep in since this is the only day I get to do that all week. I'm sure that was very informative but anyway, there you have it!!!!!

I was awakened by the phone...........a wrong number. Oh well may as well stay up now. Just puttering around in a coma though as I'm still really sleepy.

Time to rustle up some lunch....Oh nuts, fridge almost empty. Let's have a closer look, rummage around deeper. There must be something, I don't want to go downstairs to the freezer.

Let's see here.........aha, we have here about eight ounces of sirloin steak, three peppers...yellow,orange and red but they are only half each as I have used the other halves since for something else earlier this week. OK.....I have onions and garlic but what to do?

I could grill the steak and the veggies and serve them on top of the steak with a baked potato and another veggie.......Oh that's too ordinary besides it still requires a trip to the basement for veggies. Grill everything anyway and while they're cooking, maybe I'll get inspired. Boy I'm feeling really lazy today!!!!!!

Everything is finished cooking, I guess it's going to have to be what I said earlier except that I will cut the steak in half, I don't eat all that meat. My cat won't touch steak but there are some trimmings for her........what's that? the doorbell?

One of my friends drops in (why is it most people visit you at mealtimes?) I ask her if she had lunch, she said no and she didn't come to eat.......well, I know that but I'm hungry and it's not polite to eat in front of people without offering them. She is skinny as a toothpick anyway so I don't feel bad pressing her. I tell her she could use the weight and I keep offering her my extra!!!! Oh yes back to the food nuts and double chocolate covered nuts!!!!!!!

Well this is what I came up with, I hope you like it.


eight ounces of grilling steak

three sweet peppers

one large onion


olive oil

salad dressing

1 cup brown rice

Wash and dry the peppers (colours of your choice) cut them in half and take out the seeds and cut off all the stem, peel the onion and slice in four thick slices and peel the garlic as many as you like or none if you don't like it.

You should drizzle the peppers, onion and garlic with a tiny bit of olive oil when you place them on the grill.

Put the peppers on the grill to roast until they are a bit charred, remove from the grill and wrap in a clean teatowel and grill the steak for about seven to eight minutes, then add the onion slices and the whole garlic and grill until the steak is cooked to your liking and the garlic and onion are a bit soft. Peel the skin off the peppers (should be easy now) and slice in thin slices, slice the steak across the grain and toss the steak, peppers, onion, garlic and salad dressing together in a bowl.

Serve over hot brown rice. You can also serve with noodles, I love soba noodles or you can toss with salad greens.

This way I found that my eight ounces of steak made three servings or two servings if larger appetites.

Well, that's all for today. I hope you enjoy the recipe and I am going to continue the visit with my friend as I don't get to see her too often. Bye for now.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Recessionproof Gourmet

I have been bombarded lately with the word recession. Everybody I know is running around whining and griping and about recession and looming poverty and starvation. Mass starvation, I'm told since you do not have a job and you lost your home.

WOW!!!!! Then on the other hand I see the waste of food and the ideas some people have about what they eat. They can be very finicky. This reminds me of my cat, she has been raised (I am sorry to say) on commercial cat food. After that scare over the pets that died from that poisonous addition to pet foods, I cooked for her myself.

My home cooked cat food consisted of roasted breast of chicken, a few peas and carrots processed to her usual consistency with home made chicken broth. I also made her a beef version with sirloin steak, peas and carrots and home made beef broth. In both recipes I included some fat since cats need fat. When I presented these offerings to my beloved pet, I got the shock of my life.

She went over to her dish, looked at it, sniffed it then she looked at me in a most disgusted manner and said to me: "do YOU actually expect ME to eat this stuff?!!" She had the same reaction to both meal versions and I had to return to feeding her her regular diet from the vet.

EXCUSE ME already, I'm only trying to be nice to you and make sure I know what is in your food but cats can be ingrates!!!!

My dog, however thought she died and went to heaven and had no trouble almost licking the bottom off the dish since, of course she got to eat the cat food as well. I was cooking for the dog the same food but cheaper steak and all the chicken after I made soup. Since she got to eat the cat food as well she got extra, she had no problem with that. My dog was very appreciative but then dogs tend to be.

Anyway, this really is not about pet food but rather about some people's attitude to food and cooking. Are we not, now a days accustomed to sending out for pizza or pasta or any number of fast food meals at the expense of home cooked. I understand that most of us are really busy and tired after a long day at work but eating a diet of fast food is hard on our health and harder on our pocketbooks.

Does not being able to afford as many fast food meals constitute poverty? I tend to think not so for all of you who are of the same opinion as myself and are willing to try something really easy, something quite popular, in fact. Something that you are probably buying right now. How about some really awesome, homemade hamburgers? So Here goes...........

Truly Awesome Surprise Burgers

This recipe make four hamburgers

What you need:

1 pound extra lean hamburger

8 ounces of blue cheese

sliced green onions

2 tablespoons light cream

To make:

With wet hands and on a clean, wet board, flatten out the hamburger meat to an oblong shape of 12 X 6 inches. With a wet knife, cut the oblong into eight equal squares.

To make the filling:

Cream the blue cheese with the light cream, add the sliced green onions, mix lightly.

To assemble the hamburgers:

Spread equal amounts of filling on four of the squares of meat to about a quarter inch from the edges. Place a square of plain meat on top of each cheese spread meat square (you will need a wet wide spatula to lift the meat) and crimp the edges to seal. With the wet spatula lift each assembled hamburger off the board. Broil to the required doneness. YUMM!!!!

Serve on a bun as usual with whatever you usually serve your hamburgers with. These are incredible on a whole grain ciabatta bun.

I know these are not to evrybody's taste (I happen to love blue cheese) so here are a few more suggestions that I have tried.

Most popular with my family was a slice of salami (cut a little thicker) with a slice of Velveeta cheese (cut to the size of the salami with a cookie cutter)

And yet more suggestions: cripy fried bacon and a slice of avocado, sliced cheddar cheese and a slice of onion, cream cheese mixed with baby shrimp, cream cheese mixed with smoked oysters.

You see what I mean......the sky is the limit, try something of your own don't be shy.

It doesn't take that long and it's way better than any fast food you can buy and less expensive.

Above all, the people who constantly grumble about impending poverty are the ones who have the same attitude towards food as my cat. I have seen them waste food by putting a huge heap of food on their plate (like they are not likely to find food ever again) then eat a few fork fulls and throw the rest out. Please don't waste food.....there are people starving and if we don't waste food we can help others by having a few extra dollars to spare for the foodbank maybe and if we can't manage that at least we will not be as poor as we think we are. Even if we do not help anyone else, at least we will have a few bucks to spend on other bills!!!!!
Till next time I hope you enjoy my two cents worth.