Saturday, August 30, 2014

Beef stew

Today we're making some beef stew. I pulled some beef cubes from the freezer and coated them with garlic pepper, barbeque rub, parsley and Italian seasoning. I poured the a few dollops of oil and some strawberry basil vinegar into the bottom of my cast iron skillet.

I seared the meat on high heat and then added some tomato and store bought beef broth. I transferred it to the crock pot, added more broth, and dumped in about 3/4 pound of baby carrots.

After a few hours, my husband will probably lower the heat and add peas.

I don't have red wine to really do it right.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


My daughter has never had spam. I don't think this is a bad thing. For cultural reasons, I felt it necessary to expose her to this processed American classic. 

I noticed it at Bottom Dollar and grabbed it. I bought the generic version because I was too cheap to spend the extra fifty cents.

She loves it. Tried it cold and hot.

I served it fried with a side of zucchini.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


My husband realized that we hadn't had our grill out this summer... We both had a hankering for hamburgers so...

We made this masterpiece.

Local corn, silk removed, soaked in ice water 15 minutes than sprinkled with A1 dry rub and put on the grill for about 25 minutes. Turning frequently.

Hamburgers from the freezer. My husband had made hamburgers the last time he bought ground beef. We have a small charcoal grill, and he didn't expect them to cook so fast so dinner was 4 pm.

Local zucchini. Sliced. Marinaded in balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing and also sprinkled with the rub.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Child's chicken marinade

My ten-year-old daughter is marinating drumsticks for dinner. 

She has selected for her sauce:
- 1 part extra virgin olive oil
- 1 part balsamic vinaigrette 
- 1 part maple syrup

For her spices:
- generous amounts of parsley
- curry
- paprika
- ras el hanout
- ginger

Will let you know how it turns out.

Verdict: cooked at 375 for an hour, then broiled on high for five minutes.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Peanut butter banana smoothie for two

This peanut butter banana smoothie turned out to be a delight.

For two people, throw in the blender:
- two bananas
- about four ounces coconut water with pulp
- about two tablespoons peanut butter
- about one cup plain yogurt
- one packet carnation breakfast essentials vanilla

Friday, August 8, 2014

Peanut Sesame dressing

I had a Thai chicken salad from Wawa Friday which inspired me to make my own peanut sesame dressing.

I think I have decided on:
- 1 part extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
- 1 part pure sesame seed oil
- 1/2 part apple cider vinegar
- ginger
- 2 parts peanut butter
- sesame seeds and crushed red pepper for the actual salad

Fitness, Fitbits and coconut water

I have not been indulging in much cooking lately because I have been eating boring items as I bring my weight and general health back into line.

Salad, fresh fruit, lots of water and no more sweets have been the norm. And it's worked. I've shed between ten and fifteen pounds. Now my goal shifts to gaining muscle, strength, endurance and flexibility. I have health issues and I'm not getting younger.

So, I started walking, biking, doing 20-minute yoga routines, stretching and doing my physical therapy routines, lifting weights and punching the bag in my garage... Something... Every day.

Having a child helps this. When you say, "What are we going to do today?" you get ideas & someone to hold you accountable.

I use myfitnesspal to track my calories, mapmyfitness for cute little maps of distance activities, talabata lite to time intervals, freepedometer to track steps during housework & my job and I have a weight lifting one too. But I thought this was getting neurotic of me.

So I made myfitnesspal my "homebase," linked my mapmyfitness and bought a fitbit flex. Yup. A fitbit.

After that crazy breakfast and sending my daughter to her grandparents, I suited up with my laptop and my wallet for a morning walk. I planned on stopping at the corner market for sparkling mineral water as a bribe for myself and at the library. I had to head to the library to sync my fitbit as I don't have internet at home and my iPhone 4 is a dinosaur with no 'low energy Bluetooth' capabilities.

Coconut water starts here...

I headed to the corner store and they didn't have sparkling water as the neighborhood is more Hispanic than European. I tried coconut water, as coconut water has calcium just like mineral water. 

My friend Gayle has a fitness challenge where she pushes herself to try new things, I may start a food challenge...

I gagged after the first three sips. Lightly syrupy yet water with chunks of coconut and sweet yet not... Weird. But I kept walking and got thirsty. Tried another sip. Not appealing but not bad.

I continued this every five minutes for a half an hour.

Verdict: weirdly refreshing and staved off dehydration. Still don't like the chunks. Spit them out. Would certainly do it again for something different and not fake like sports drinks. Cannot chug it. 

Would be delicious as a smoothie base... Or with pineapple juice and light rum...