Monthly Archives: March 2014

“Tots” and Ham

Sean only likes ham if it is sliced and cooked in a skillet until carmelized a bit.  Mark and I aren’t the hugest fans of that, but it is fine.  We all eat it and think it’s fine.

Green beans, pineapple, and applesauce went well with tonight’s ham.ham and tots

The exciting part of dinner, however, was trying something new… Cauliflower TotsContinue reading


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Whole Wheat Pasta. yippee…. wait… YIPPEE!

Mark asked me to put rotini pasta on the menu, and he would cook.  I’m not exactly sure why I did it, but I bought whole wheat rotini at the grocery store.  100% Whole Grain PastaNone of us really likes whole wheat pasta.  Rather, we have an active dislike of whole wheat past.  But it is so much healthier.  And that’s what we had for dinner tonight. (yippee.)

I adjusted the tomato sauce early in the day.  Continue reading

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Pork Fried Rice

I threw the leftover pork chop in the freezer last week, and we pulled it out for today’s dinner.

Mark fried up some bacon, chopped the pork chop, and mixed up some delicious Pork Fried Rice.  I don’t know what his technique or seasonings were, but I did catch sight of several lovely ingredients:

carrots and onions

Carrots and Onions Continue reading

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A Vegetable Kind of Meal

The gas tank for the grill is no longer buried in snow, so I planned to grill some “chopped steaks” last night. Rainy, gloomy day; big projects at work; we cooked on the Foreman Grill, again.

The hamburgers were delicious, although Sean wished for a bun.

"vegetable meal"

While I cooked the hamburgers and warmed up green beans and corn (both from last year’s garden), Sean put together a salad. Which is lettuce. But that is fine.

Usually, we have potatoes or rice as a starch, so putting corn on the table instead resulted in one person’s opinion that we were eating an awful lot of vegetables. Good for us 🙂

Everyone liked dinner.

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Judy’s Bacon, or something like that

A friend shared this recipe with me, calling it a casserole.  Knowing that a casserole would not be eaten in our home (which is really too bad, because I love a good casserole!), I quickly renamed it “Djanedi’s Texas Bake”, and put it on the menu.  I was hesitant to tell “what’s for dinner”, because I was afraid it would be recognized as a casserole, and then it would have no hope.  So I mumbled, and Sean thought we were having something called Judy’s Bacon.  Clearly, with no bacon in sight or smell, Sean was disappointed, but he ate it, anyway.

The result?  Each of the guys ate seconds.  I liked it, too.Djanedi's Texas Bake

This is similar to a goulash without peppers; a good comfort food.  Mark was reminded of his childhood favorite, “Noodle Kugel”. [Note to self: put Noodle Kugel on the menu.]  Sean did notice that there was “stuff” in the noodle layer, so I think he suspected it was a casserole, but he ate it, anyway.

Here’s the recipe:

“ms. tex casserole” – a favorite for our family reunions: two pounds of ground beef, cooked…add a can (or two) of rotel or diced tomatoes (if you want it bland). You can also add mushrooms if you want. Boil a bag of egg noodles, after you drain mix 8oz of sour cream and and a block of fat free cream cheese into the noodles. once mixed, spread in 9×13 pan, put meat mixture on top, then sprinkle shredded cheese, put in oven til cheese melts. Not a dish for the lactose intolerant, but it feeds a group well. =)

For just the 3 of us, I made a 1/2 recipe.

First, I cooked half a package of egg noodles (about 8 oz.), drained, and mixed with about 1/2 cup sour cream and 4 oz Neufchatel cheese.  I layered the noodles in a 9″ pan.Noodles

We don’t have rotel, but we do have lots of diced tomatoes canned from last year’s garden.  So, while browning one pound of hamburger, I added a chopped onion and 3 chopped jalapenos (from the freezer).   I added salt, garlic powder, and a pinch of cumin to one pint of tomatoes (which I drained a bit). beef and "rotel"

This smelled great!

We had pepper jack cheese to top the casserole before baking.

We’ll definitely make this again, but I will add more seasonings.

Thanks, Djanedi 🙂

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Sandwiches and stuff

We had a quick and simple dinner Tuesday after a program at school.

Sandwiches, kettle cooked chips, carrots, and apples.

Sean would have liked the sandwiches much better on sub buns, but I’m all for not wearing the extra bread on my hips.

Fixing this meal helped me realize an important truth about carrots and apples:

If we clean them, cut them up, and put them on the table for dinner, they will be readily eaten.

If we do not, they will rot away, no matter how many of us have promised to eat them up.

A lesson to apply.


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Improv with Pintos

I had pulled some pinto beans out of the freezer for yesterday’s dinner.  But then we had jelly beans for dinner, and the pintos were still in the fridge.  We were going to make pinto/cheese quesadillas, but the guys ate tortillas for lunch.

After a quick search on, I was inspired by this recipe.

I browned some bacon with onion, then added a couple of chopped jalapenos (from the freezer) and a lot of garlic.  After that had sauteed for a little while, I drained most of the liquid from a jar of our diced tomatoes and added the tomatoes.  I simmered all of this for about an hour with the pintos while the cornbread cooked.Improv Pintos

This is the best cornbread ever.  CornbreadThe cornmeal in it is ground from corn we grew last summer.  The flavor is outstanding!  Even the smell is “cornier”.

Mark and I agree the beans were much better than Pinto Quesadillas.

Sean hasn’t tried them, yet, but I think he will approve because they have bacon in them.

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Jelly Beans

Friday was full of work frustrations, so late in the afternoon, I told Mark that I only wanted to fix Jelly Beans for dinner.

He is very supportive.  So that is what I had.  Spiced Jelly BeansI think Mark cooked some Swedish pancakes for Sean and him.  But mostly, it was spiced jelly beans.

(The red, pink, and green ones are the best.)

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Dinner in a Bowl

Mark cooked Thursday night; we all liked it.Smoked Sausage Dinner

He sliced the smoked sausage lengthwise before he browned them in a skillet.  I’ve never eaten them that way, but I loved it!  It was easy to get small enough bites to avoid being overwhelmed by the salt in each bite.

It paired nicely with some packaged egg noodles.

And green beans, of course, which we think go with everything.


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Italian Chicken Soup and French Bread

Today, I fixed my favorite soup recipe of all time: Italian Chicken Soup.

I’ve only fixed it twice in the past 7 years, because my family doesn’t like it; I thought it was time for everyone to try it again.

The recipe calls for chicken bouillon cubes; Mark doesn’t like the flavor bouillon cubes give, and I thought we should try to substitute a mixture of herbs and spices as an even healthier option.

I found a recipe for bouillon substitute using nutritional yeast as the base, but with comments that indicated people had mixed the herbs without the yeast with good results.  So that’s what I did, too.  The bouillon substitute smelled pretty good as I mixed it up this morning.  Sadly, the longer it cooked, the less pleasant the soup smelled.  When Sean got home, he asked if he smelled Golumpki Stew.  That was a very bad sign, as he hates Golumpki Stew.

disappointing soup

disappointing soup

It looked nice.  Mark ate it.  Sean and I tried hard to eat it.  The results were extremely salty, and not delicious.  Someone-I-won’t-name even asked for forgiveness for the soup when we prayed before dinner.  I’ll have to try something else as a bouillon substitute another time.

On the bright side…

lovely loaf

lovely loaf

The French Bread was awesome!  Our fall-to recipe, mixed in the bread machine and baked in the oven, turned out perfectly.



On the other bright side, just yesterday on My Foray Into Food Storage I read about a great way to use up the leftover chex cereal I had in the pantry:

leftover cereal yields dessert

leftover cereal yields dessert

The cereal was leftover from making Chex Mix at Christmas, and no one here wanted to eat it.  We had enough cereal to make 3/4 of a recipe of Chex Krispie Treats … That meant we needed 15 oz marshmallows, and we had 16 oz!  After I ate one ounce of marshmallows we had just the right amount.

Mark’s opinion?  “Much Better Than Chex Mix.”

Sean liked these, too.  And so do I.

The soup was bad, the bread was perfect, and dessert was just as it should be!

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