About Me

My photo
+++Enter At Your Own Risk+++ At the gentle nudging (I said gentle y'all) of a few friends, I have started these blogs in order to share my culinary goings-on and daily misadventures through my own brand of humor (ok, sarcasm). I just write about stuff! At 50, I have learned that living has gotten in the way of life - and I am going to blaze my own personal trail to fun (hopefully)! If it is feminine, great. If it is not, so much the better! Hopefully fun that does not land me in jail............

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Sunday Dinner Done

So I went to a family reunion this past Sunday and had a hard time figuring out what to make.  Since we were going to the Midnight Jamboree in Nashville Saturday morning, I did not have time to cook, go to the show, spend the night and get back for Sunday morning...

So, all this got me to thinking about good foods to take to gatherings.  I mean really?  One CANNOT simply show up at a reunion/covered-dish event with a 6-pack and call it a day...

Not done.

It simply does NOT happen in "The South".

So, here is a short list of dishes that are good for gatherings - that I have written up so far:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Spaghetti Squash

I do like Spaghetti Squash. It is easy to cook and tastes like light pasta under any number of sauces!  OK – so it is healthy-ish as well… My fat arse has nothing to do with this post…………..

This squash comes out in shreds/fibers like angel hair pasta. I ALWAYS serve it with meat sauce because that is what I like. Other folks say butter or olive oil with herbs. Pretty much anything you serve over pasta goes with this ‘pasta substitute”. This veggie makes a great ‘side-dish’ or you can use it as a substitute in dishes requiring thin pasta. Think outside the box. Asian, Italian, whatever you want!

Spagetti Squash hits the stores in the fall (or grow it yourself like I am ATTEMPTING this year).  It is considered a “Winter Squash” so it will “keep” for a while.  A whole fresh squash will keep approximately 1-2 months on the counter and 1-3 months in a refrigerator.

I have read where you can cook this bad boy using:
  • a microwave (which I am not into and you can read that business here)
  • a slow cooker
  • boiling
  • or roasting
I roast in a moist oven.

Preheat oven to 375f.

This is just a post on how “I” do this.  There are other ways that you might find more useful for your situation.
  • I cut the squash in half length-wise.  Make sure you have a very sharp, rather large knife for this task. Be careful.
  • Scoop out the seeds and either discard seeds or save them, clean them and roast them to eat!
  • Place cut halves, cut side down, in a heavy baking dish (9”x13”-ish) and pour a half cup, or so, of water over them. Cook until “just tender” – not mush.  This should be about 30-35 minutes if you preheated your oven proper-like.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit.  You will need to handle the halves so be prepared with oven mitts or some other insulator.
  • Rake a fork back and forth across the “meat” of the squash.  This will create/loosed the strands – and you will see why they call this “Spaghetti Squash”.
  • Serve up with your favorite sauce!
Cooked/prepared Spaghetti Squash can be frozen for extended periods of time. Reheating it is as simple as microwaving or dropping in boiling water for a bit…

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fowur-Bazillion Bean Salad

OK, maybe 4-bazillion is a slight exaggeration, but you can put a lot of items in this salad. I made this bad boy Saturday morning for a family reunion Sunday.  I was headed to Nashville to the Midnight Jamboree (you can read about that little trip here on "This Gal's Fishing Adventure) and would not be able to cook nanner pudding or dumplings this time.

Marinated bean salads of any flavor/ingredient combination are awesome because they:

  • Are great when you need to make a covered dish ahead of time because they need to sit and marinate to be good
    • Honestly, they are not fit to eat unless they have at least set overnight with an occasional stir
  • Are colorful to serve up anywhere
  • Keep well  
  • Come in many spice and herb flavor combinations
    • I like it fairly simple as far as the marinade (dressing) goes
  • Don't need the exact vegetable combination when it comes to getting the awesome flavor 
    • I.e., raid the pantry people!
    • Cheap to make
      • Feeds a lot of folks
*Basic Recipe Ingredients:
1 each 8oz(+-) can lima beans
1 each 8ox (+-) can cut green beans
1 each 8oz (+-) can red kidney beans
1 each 8oz (+-) can bean sprouts
1 medium sweet onion, diced or sliced
1 green pepper, chopped **
2/3 cup vinegar***
1/2 cup oil****
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

In measuring cup, stir vinegar, sugar, and salt together until
Measuring Cup!!!
sugar dissolves.

Stir in oil.
Drain and rinse the canned items well.
Dump all the veggies into a plastic container with lid (sized to fit your goods).
Stir marinade again and pour over veggies.
Refrigerate over night. Stir when you think of it.

*Consider this:
I made mine industrial size for a family gathering. I doubled the above marinade recipe.
I added:                          

1 can cut sweet corn
1 can baby corn whole ears
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can green peas
1 half red bell pepper, chopped
1 half orange bell pepper, chopped
1 half yellow bell pepper, chopped

**The peppers added beautiful color. The garbanzo beans and whole baby corn ears added extra texture changes.  

***Vinegar types only matter in that white vinegar does not add that brown color to the finished dish.

****Oil types are up to you. I used canola because that is what I had. Light olive oil, corn oil, or.....  You choose.

Friday, July 5, 2013

My Personal Work Brunch

Thank you Trader Joe’s
I made my first trip to Trader Joe’s yesterday – and I was HOOKED! 
  • Prices were not as bad as I expected. 
  • The store was spacious enough.
  • Super clean.
  • Fun foods.
  • Cheese counter was well appointed.

So I am here at work drinking and gnoshing as I go. I am attempting to eat a little better since I hit 165 pounds. A NEW ALL TIME HIGH………. 

The R.W. Knudsen Sparkling Essence Cucumber drink – won’t waste desk space again. Cucumber slices in water make it palatable. This drink is not for me.

Joe’s Whole Wheat Pita Bread is good.

Joes Tomato & Basil Hummus dip is awesome!

Joe’s Thai Lime & Chili Cashews have a nice lightly salty taste with a hint of lime. By the time you swallow the first nut, you feel the sinus cavities clearing like a rolling fog of Afrin is up in the house. After you go for the second bite, the light burn sets in…  But they are good.

Banana. Yum. Gone.

OOOPS! I didn't do it again..................

I am so excited! I just got a “pssst, go check my blog, I nominated you for an award”…  So look at that!  Reba K. Writes gave me a purdy shout-out for the Liebster Award!

First, I would like to thank the academy!  Oh, wait, Reba K., I would like to thank Rebe K., my parents, my daughter, my dog, the cats of course…
The rules for the Liebster are as follows:
  • Link back to the blogger who nominated you (Check)
  • List 10 facts about yourself (Check)
  • Nominate up to 11 bloggers with 200 followers or less and notify them that they’ve been nominated (Check)
  • Ask the nominees 10 questions for them to answer on their own blog (Check)
Ein wenig über mich... (My ten things)

  1. My favorite thing in the military was throwing hand grenades which I only got to do a few times.
  2. I love to travel.
  3. I miss my father so much…
  4. I am more proud of my daughter than I could ever say.
  5. I garden, partly for the good grub, partly in an effort to carry on what my grandparents and parents taught me.
  6. I do love East Tennessee. I have lived in Memphis, Europe, Maryland, Pennsylvania and etc., but I came back here. We have mountains, flat lands, water, 4-wheeling, camping….  You can’t beat it – as long as you can breath…
  7. I may never put my MBA into use as far as getting paid more, but what I learned while earning it has come in handy.
  8. I cook, sew, draw, paint, create, sharpen knives plus I love to go to pistol range…  And while my pseudonym is Cookie, I cannot bake cookies much at all.  Just doesn’t work out for me.
  9. I have been wayyy toooo close to being a crazy cat lady……..
  10. I spent 3 years in Germany as a soldier in our army and 4 years as a helo mechanic stateside.  Not a real girly thing to do...
What was your first car? 
My first car was in 1987, while stationed in the military in Darmstadt West Germany (yes,

before Germany was reunited),  an old used blue 4-door
OpelAscona that my then husband and I called the “Opel Ocean” because it would leak into the passenger side of the car and there would be water that would slosh in waves from the front to rear floorboards. The day I got out of the hospital with my daughter, who was 4 days old, the car was rear-ended when my husband stopped for a
Straßenbahn. We kept the car long enough to PCS out back to the states and then sold it to a junk yard…  TRUE STORY>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>!!!

Tell me about your first kiss?
Ha!  Do not remember.  At all…..

Favorite Song?
Strangely enough, there is a tie between
Rammstein’s “Sonne”
Bill Monroe’s "Walk Softly on this Heart of Mine".
What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I like cooking. I used to be a creative sort and lost it while trying to survive.  Blogging allows me to chronicle life events that entertain me, share recipes and etc. without investing tons of money…

If you could make one celebrity disappear, who would it be and why?
Kris Jenner – because if she weren’t here, maybe I would not have to hear about the Kardashians – over and over and ……  The End.

Would you rather get a dream vacation to anywhere for two weeks or spend one week with any one person in the world at home?
I would take one week with my Dad.

Twitter or Instagram?
I have both. I use Instagram more. But I do like Twitter ok.

What was your worst hair mistake?
A curl enhancing haircut, called Ouidad, that cost $150, and all it did was THIN my hair out and make it stringy. It took 2+ years to grow out…  The hair Products are great however. ExPeNsIvE but great!!!

Favorite shoes to wear? 
My white Chuck Taylors

Best cure for a hangover?
Don’t get one. Do I follow this advice? Eh…………….. Well…………. 

For my nominee, here are your 10 questions:
  1. What is your favorite body part, and why?
  2. What is your favorite quote, and why?
  3. What sounds do you love?
  4. If you could spend a day with one person of your choosing, who would it be and why?
  5. If you could stay a particular age forever, what would that age be?
  6. What is your favorite movie?
  7. If you had an hour of free time, what would you fill it with?
  8. Chocolate or vanilla?
  9. You favorite song?
  10. If you could visit anywhere, where would it be?
I nominate – tadaaaaaa!!!  The Loerzels at Rock the Kasbah
I enjoy reading her goods!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Garden Time in Tennessee

I had trouble deciding whether to post here or on "This Gal's Fishing Adventure)


So for the last few years I have been gardening in small raised garden beds.  

The typical haul includes:    
  • Tomatoes                        
    Cucumbers and squash
  • Peppers
    • Jalapeño
    • Sweet bell
    • Banana
  • Basil
    • Purple
    • Greek
      • Hardier and woodier than the more fragile varieties
    • Sweet
  • Flat leaf parsley                               
    Bell pepper
  • Cucumbers
    • I lost 2 of the 8 plants   
 This year I have added:
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
    • I had to replant this
  • Garlic
    • The bulbs stank so instead of tossing, I planted
  • Onion
  • Spinach
    • Tossed seeds under large tomato plants and around back of house in semi-shade cool area
  • Marigolds
    • Because they help keep insects away
  • Spaghetti squash
    • Used this to replace 2 cucumber plants  
  • Potatoes
    • I had potatoes going bad so I planted
I attempted to honor the companion planting concept by researching what plants work together in gardens and what plants are detrimental to one another. I planted basil in the shade of the tomato plants (that are 6 feet tall). Interspersed chives in the dead spaces.
Last year I ate too many tomatoes and got sick enough to miss work, twice, before I realized what I was doing. Apparently they are high in acid and hard on an old gal’s tumtum.

I typically share my bounty with anyone who wants to chow on fresh fresh fresh goodies!!!!!!!!!
Purple basil
Getting ready to pull green tomatoes for frying!

I am already gathering a bounty of cucumbers!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...