Sunday, November 29, 2009

All Together Dead - Charlaine Harris

All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse, #7) All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read Sookie #5-7 on our Thanksgiving Cruise. Fun, as usual.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yellow Tomato Pasta Sauce

My friend gave me a bag of yellow tomatoes. There was no way to eat them all, so I made some pasta sauce to freeze

Yellow Tomato Pasta Sauce Recipe #136439
This pasta sauce is sweet and simple. Very delicious and easy to make; especially if you are limited on time. You can cook it for just ten minutes or let it simmer for an hour. The longer it cooks; the better it tastes. Very few ingredients also make this a winner. Recipe can easily be doubled and frozen for later too. Ingredient amounts should be adjusted to your preferences.
by jennifer in new jersey
1¼ hours | 5 min prep


5 ripe yellow tomatoes
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 leaves fresh basil (1 tsp dried)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (2 cloves)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
heat olive oil and all spices and basil in saute pan.
cut up tomatoes; any size is fine.
simmer on low for an hour.
tomatoes will start to break down.
stir and press them while they cook.
Cook for about ten minutes if you are pressed for time or an hour for full flavor.
pour or toss over pasta.
top with good quality shaved italian cheese.

Is it Goulash or is it Hash or is it a Scramble?

We made the craziest, most delicious concoction the other night. "Let's clean out the refrigerator". Lots of leftovers that need to be eaten before heading out of town. The only downside....It was PINK. Here's what we cooked/fried in a heavy skillet:

Mashed potatoes
Green beans
Acorn squash
Black Beans

Left to Tell - Immaculee Ilibagiza

Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Amazing story of a woman whose family was killed during the Rwandan genocide in the 1990's. She survived by hiding a a 3x4 bathroom with 5 other women. Wow!

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Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If I could only remember who recommended this book to me, I'd give them a big thank you. Fantastic book. Set in Paris. Parallel stories of an American journalist married to a Frenchman and a young girl who was a victim of a Nazi roundup in 1942.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Weekly Menu #7 -

This is my menu for the week. The only recipe that we have previously made is Pat's Gourmet Burgers.

Day 1:
Pasta Fagioli
Bread (Recipe in week 3)
Green Salad

Day 2:
Shepherd’s Pie

Day 3:
Pat’s Gourmet Burgers
Sweet Potato Sticks

Day 4:
Tofu Lime Ceviche
Cheese Quesadillas

Day 1:

Olive Garden Pasta E Fagioli Soup in a Crock Pot (Copycat) Recipe
7¼ hours 15 min prep
SERVES 12 -14
· 2 lbs ground beef
· 1 onion, chopped
· 3 carrots, chopped
· 4 stalks celery, chopped
· 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
· 1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
· 1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, drained
· 3 (10 ounce) cans beef stock
· 3 teaspoons oregano
· 2 teaspoons pepper
· 5 teaspoons parsley
· 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
· 1 (20 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
· 8 ounces pasta
Brown beef in a skillet.
Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.
Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta.

Day 2:
Shepherds Pie
Beloved by the British, this rich, protein-filled dish is traditionally made with a mashed-potato crust. For a sweeter one, use a blend of potatoes, parsnips, and carrots.
Yield: Makes 6 servingsActive Time: 30 minutesTotal Time: 1 hour

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped (or substitute frozen peas & carrots)
1 pound ground lamb or beef or combination
1 cup beef or chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
1 cup frozen peas
2 pounds potatoes (yukon gold, sweet, or combination), peeled and cut into chunks
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk (any fat content)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 T Worcestershire\

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil, then add the onion, carrot, and meat, and Salt and pepper and Worcestershire. Cook until browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Drain the fat and add the broth, tomato paste, and herbs. Simmer until the juices thicken, about 10 minutes, then add the peas.
4. Pour the mixture into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish; set aside.
5. Meanwhile, bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes; drain.
6. Mash the potatoes with the butter, milk, and salt.
7. Spread them over the meat mixture, then crosshatch the top with a fork.
8. Bake until golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

Day 3:

Pat’s Gourmet Burgers
1 lb Lean Ground Beef
2 T Worcestershire Sauce
5-6 Large Crimini mushrooms
¼ onion
1 clove garlic
1 egg
Salt & Pepper
Hamburger toppings (Lettuce, Tomato, pickle, onion, ketchup, mustard, mayo, et)
Small Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Put burger, egg, & Worcestershire sauce in bowl. Finely chop mushroom, onion, and garlic in food processor, add to burger. Mix. Form into small patties and grill or cook in frying pan.

Brown buns, add toppings and burgers.

Baked Sweet Potato Sticks

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
Ready In: 55 Minutes
Servings: 8

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
8 sweet potatoes, sliced lengthwise into

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
In a large bowl, mix olive oil and paprika. Add potato sticks, and stir by hand to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake 40 minutes in the preheated oven.

Day 4:

Quesadillas (your choice: Cheese, chicken)

Tofu Lime Ceviche
Traditional ceviche is a popular Peruvian dish featuring raw fish marinated in lemon juice. In this vegetarian version, jalapeño, lime, cilantro, garlic and ginger add a spicy kick while coconut milk and tofu provide a soothing, creamy counter-balance. Pairs well with basmati or jasmine rice.
2 pounds firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup lime juice
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
Salt to taste
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup canned coconut milk

Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat tofu dry with paper towels, then transfer to a bowl and toss gently with Worcestershire sauce. Spread tofu out evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, turning once, for 30 minutes. Set aside to let cool to room temperature. Put tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, onions, bell peppers, ginger, garlic and coconut milk into a large bowl. Add tofu and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight, before serving.
Per serving (about 20oz/560g-wt.): 390 calories (230 from fat), 26g total fat, 13g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium, 19g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 30g protein

Friday, November 06, 2009

Weekly Menu #6

Zucchini & Basil Pesto
2 pounds of medium zucchini
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely shredded and tightly packed in a cup
2 T extra virgin olive oil
4 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound angel hair pasta
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

Grate zucchini into a mixing bowl. Toss with sea salt., mixing well. Let mixture sit for 10 min as you prepare other ingredients. Pick up zucchii by the handful and squeeze tighty to extract as much water as possible. Put squeezed zucchini in bowl with shredded basil, and toss together.

In a skillet, heat oil and saute' garlic over moderate heat. As soon as the garlic sizzles, add the zucchini-basil mixture and saute' until the zucchini begins to turn golden, about 5-7 minutes. Spoon over cooked angel hair pasta, and twist a few sprinkles of black pepper over the top.

Fresh Roasted Beets with Maple Glaze *
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter*
6 Tbs. pure maple syrup*
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste*
4 large acorn squash

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and blended, 4 to 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 Wash beets and pat dry. Place in roasting pan. Add enough olive oil to coat the beets and season with salt and pepper, toss to combine. Cover pan with aluminum foil and roast until tender when pierced with fork...about 1 hour.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the beets cool to room temperature, then slip off the skins. Cut with knife into wedges. **** make some extra and put in fridge for later on a salad

Romain Salad with lime and parmesian...I sent this one last time so everyone should have it ....................................................

Turkey Pot Pie.....J's favorite :)
4 T butter
4 T flour
2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t thyme
1 c turkey or chicken broth
1 c milk

melt butter and mix with flour and seasonings. Add liquid and stir till thick

2 c cubed turkey or chicken breast (buy a roasted chicken to make it quick and we will use the leftover later)
3 c cooked carrots
2-3 potatoes, cubed and cooked
1 c frozen peas

add to gravy and top with pie crust
1 3/4 c flour
1 t salt
1/2 c oil
3 t water

mix only till hands together...roll out to needed dimension bake 40 min @ 425 Serve with a nice green salad ............................................................................................................................................

Green Salad with Beets, Chicken, and garnish with cheese (blue cheese or goat cheese)

Sweet Potato Bread rolls
2-3 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup unsalted butter...cut into chunks
2 T packed brown sugar
2 T white sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t ginger
1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 t baking powder

Heat oven to 400 Cook potatoes. Whip together potatoes and butter. Beat in sugars, salt, and spices. Let cool for 15 min. Stir together flour and baking powder with fork. combine potatoes and flour with fork...knead by hand on a floured surface roll or pat 8x8 in square 3/4 in thick. cut into 2 inch squares. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake till golden brown on the bottom and toothpick comes out clean 15-20 min.

Whole Wheat Pesto Zucchini Pizza
I buy the pre-made thin crust WW pizza dough...but you could make your own
4 garlic cloves
1/2 c pine nuts
2 c fresh basil leaves packed tight
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
3/4 t salt
1/2 t pepper combine all ingredients and puree ***you can also buy pre-made pesto sauce...costco has a good one

Spread pesto on pizza crust, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, layer with sliced zucchini, and sprinkle with fresh ground pepper...then bake

The Housekeeper and the Professor - Yoko Ogawa (Book group)

The Housekeeper and the Professor: A Novel The Housekeeper and the Professor: A Novel by Yoko Ogawa

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book. Head Injury, Math, Baseball and Japan. What more could one want?

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Dead as a Doornail - Charlaine Harris

Dead as a Doornail (Sookie Stackhouse, #5) Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another fun Sookie Stackhouse book. Each new book is as fun to read as the last.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Week 5 Recipes - Nathan

Day 1:
Fresh Herb, Potato and Leek Soup
Delicious soup, next time will substitute chicken broth for water and add more hot sauce.
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
3 cups water
3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup minced fresh chives or green onion tops
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried, crumbled
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed
Hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
Chopped fresh chives or green onion tops
Bring first 8 ingredients to boil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are very tender and soup thickens slightly, about 1 hour. Transfer 2 cups of soup to blender and puree. Return puree to pot. Season with salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Reheat before continuing.) Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with chopped chives and serve. (Maybe serving soup with a nice bread to go along with it, buy enough you may need it for Day 2 :) )

Day 2:
Tomato Basil Panzanella
Sadly, didn't get around to making this. Will save it for another time.
1/2 lb day old chewy farm style bread , cubed
Bottled spring water, to cover bread4 vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, torn or shredded
2 Tb red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oilsalt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place bread in a medium mixing bowl, cover with water, and allow it to soak, 3 to 5 minutes. In small handfuls, remove bread from the water and wring it out without mashing or tearing bread. You do not want wet bread, so wring it carefully.Combine tomatoes with onions and basil in a second bowl and dress with vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Add bread to tomato salad and combine. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Day 3:
The BEST pancakes ever! Had a wonderful pancake feed with friends and family. Made this delicious recipe topped with homemade strawberry jam and whipped cream. Also served Gingerbread pancakes (thanks Darla for the recipe) topped with homemade pear sauce. Scrambled eggs with feta cheese and fresh fruit rounded out the meal.

-Those of you who don't want this delicious meal can have cold cereal :(
Ricotta Souffle Pancakes with Berries
4 large eggs, separated
2 Tb. sugar1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tb. unsalted butter, melted plus extra for greasing
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/8 tsp. salt
Berries for topping (or berry sauce??) hmmm.... preserves perhaps
About 1/2 cup creme fraiche or whipped cream

In a bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, then beat in the sugar until medium glossy peaks form. In another bowl beat the egg yolks until thick and pale in color, then beat in the cheese, flour, butter, zest, and salt. Fold a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture to lighten, then fold in the remaining egg whites. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and grease lightly. For each pancake, spoon about 3 large Tbs. of batter onto the hot griddle. Cook slowly for about 1 1/2 min. until golden brown underneath, then turn the pancakes over and cook about 30 sec. longer. Bake the remaining batter as directed.

Choice of bacon, bacon-substitute, sausage, sausage substitute, and eggs. Cook the way that suits your tastebuds.

Day 4:Lentil and Roasted Garlic Soup with Seared Steak
Nathan hit a homerun with this recipe. Fantastic Lentil Soup. The steak wasn't even necessary.
3/4 cup olive oil
10 garlic cloves, peeled, halved
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
3 cups water
1/2 cup French green lentils
1 medium leek (white and green parts only), thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
7 cups (or more) vegetable broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce1/4 cup red lentils
1 1/4 pounds yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
12 ounces kale, ribs discarded, leaves thinly sliced
1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound flank steak
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh parsley
Place oil, garlic, and rosemary in heavy small saucepan. Cook over lowest possible heat until garlic begins to brown, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool. Drain, reserving garlic oil and garlic cloves separately. Discard rosemary. CAN BE MADE 2 DAYS AHEAD ( I SUGGEST IT). Cover garlic oil and garlic cloves separately and chill.

Place 3 cups water and green lentils in small saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 25 minutes. Cool lentils; drain. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup garlic oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leek and sage. Cook until leek is soft, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add 7 cups vegetable broth, soy sauce, red lentils, and green lentils to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until lentils are almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add yams and garlic cloves and cook until yams are tender, adding more broth by 1/2 cupfuls as needed to cover vegetables, about 10 minutes. Add kale to soup. Simmer until kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon garlic oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper. Place steak in skillet and cook until brown and cooked to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to cutting board; let stand 10 minutes. Thinly slice steak. Divide soup among 6 bowls. Arrange sliced steak atop soup. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley, drizzle with garlic oil, and serve.

Quinoa, Mango Salad and Black Bean Salad

Looks yummy.