Friday, April 14, 2017

L is for....Leon's Lunchbox

This cookbook is just a small little cookbook with some fast recipes, designed to for a healthy lunch time.  Today I took time to make some gazpacho.  It was super easy and used up some ingredients that I needed to use up anyways....and it got me lots of healthy veggies.

Gathered up the ingredients -- had most everything I needed,
though it did ask for a green pepper, I had a red pepper that
was in desperate need of being used.  I also was missing
the white wine vinegar, so I opted for seasoned rice vinegar instead.

My yummy bowl of gazpacho, which I garnished with slivers of
basil leaf.

One thing to note though....I only had one garlic bulb left on my counter....forgot it was Georgian gazpacho had a bit of a kick.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

K is for....Kidron Mennonite's Fall Favorites Cookbook

It is a beautiful morning in my little valley and this morning I got to enjoy it on a walk with Vanilla Bean....well sort of.  Last evening, both of us had just finished an evening run when I called her to check who was taking care of our post today (she has been good enough to pick up some slack that I created the last couple days - I had told her I was taking care of I.....).   However, we got sidetracked in our conversation and in the end scheduled a morning walk together via cell phone.  And we actually managed to do it.  I don't know if I would have talked myself into a walk this morning if I was "meeting" up with her.

The site of my morning walk.

It was a bit nippy, but what a joy.  And how can one celebrate a beautiful morning, a brisk walk, and time with one's sister -- a delicious Morning Orange Drink.

This is a cookbook I have no idea how I acquired....well, I think I know how I got it...but a key character in my recollections is confident she never had this cookbook, so I don't know how I got it...perhaps I stole it and I apologize if I did but you may have to pry it from my hands now as I don't really desire to give it up.  A month or so ago, I realized there were several smoothie type recipes in this cookbook and I was eager to try one, but had never gotten around to it and today was the perfect day.  And it was delicious.  I think I am going to have to make this a recurring event.  Blessings, have a good day.
I even enjoyed my Morning Orange Drink on the porch.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

J is for....Joy of Cream Cheese Substitutes

Okay, I confess, that title was really bad. Alas, none of my cookbooks start with J!

So instead I decided to make two versions of cream cheese substitute for those who can eat dairy but can't eat all the assorted additives.

The first is easiest for everyday use. Say on bagels!  or in the dressing of cold sandwich salad. Simply take your favorite yogurt, drop it in a coffee filter/, and let it drain overnight in the fridge.  I use a 6 % plain yogurt from Snowville Creamery.

Take two is a new try from a cookbook of my sister's The Home Creamery.  It suggests making your own buttermilk (2 c milk, 2T vinegar, let sit 15 minutes) and  then heating/wait 2 hours/draining that for a Buttermilk Cheese that can be substituted in cooking for cream cheese. Say making a cheesecake.

One thing that surprised me in the making of this one, was that it formed a sort of melted cheese mass at the bottom of my pot when I was heating this. Not sure if it was supposed to do this....

And now in the morning, I can see that it has a more grainy ricotta look to it. May have not gotten some part of following  this recipe quite right. Oh well, still tasty results!

yogurt "cream cheese"                    buttermilk "cream cheese"

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I is for...Ideals Around the World Cookbook

Doesn't this cover make you feel like you've stepped into an Italian kitchen half a world away?

This cookbook brings back memories.  One thing I am very grateful for is all the diverse international foods I was exposed to in my childhood before all the food allergy/sensitivity biz kicked in, and this book was one of several Mom used with us in making the homemade variety of foods.

For tonight's midnight snack/slash lunch tomorrow, I went for the Mexican Open Face Sandwiches. I happened to skip a sauce tonight, but  replacing the tomato sauce with butternut squash sauce is a good alternative for this and for pizza if you can't have tomatoes.

Monday, April 10, 2017

H is for ....Happy Salads

Today you get to meet one of my favorite cookbooks.  It has made the Travelling Spoons blog before, just not during April.  I met "Leon" not the actual Leon but the restaurant one day as I was strolling around London and needed to find a place to have lunch.  I had a delicious meal and loved the atmosphere and was instantly drawn to the many cookbooks they had for sale.  This day I was able to overcome my impulse to buy one...mostly because of the thought of carrying a heavy cookbook around for the rest of the day.  Well, I bought one when I got home off of amazon....and later I bought some more....   The most recent one of I have acquired is called "Happy Salads".  It is an inspiration to eat more salad, I initially saw it and wanted to buy it for a birthday gift for my good friends birthday, because she makes the best salads, but couldn't resist getting one for myself also.

Every salad I have made out of it so far has met approval.  In an early post - the "B" post, I served a salad with our Pizza-in-a-Burger and it just happened that that salad was from this book also.  Today I am going to share with you Leon's Mexican Salad.

First I lightly fried my peppers in my cast iron skillet - they were to be grilled
but I wasn't looking to grill today, so this worked. 

And it was to be grilled corn on the cob...which would have been fabulous,
but it is not the right time of the year for that.

Chorizo, looks like one is being stole, before it made it to the salad...
Mix that all up together with halved tomatoes.
Slice the peppers before adding them.
Cut up corn tortillas and crisp them up for 10 minutes in the oven.

Toss the dressing over the veggies and mix.

Place the greens in a bowl and then top with the veggies and gently fold together.
After that garnish with tortilla straws.
If it is a beautiful day like we had, eat outside.

G is for.....Grocery Store Impulse Buys

When you go grocery shopping on Saturdays, sometimes they have food sampling.  I many times am able to resist going and buying items to make those tasty morsels, but this time I immediately snatched up the three items needed.  It is interesting the look your friends give you when you tell your friends the package of seaweed you have sitting on the counter was an "impulse" buy.  I am not sure if I was so eager to grab it because it was so good - which it was very tasty...or because it was easy and healthy....or rather it was because I had just come from a 4 mile run and it was lunch time and anything would have tasted fabulous about the time - yes, one of the worst times to go grocery shopping.

So what were the three items I needed.  Well you already know one was seaweed, the other two were a cucumber and couscous salad - which I am going to have to figure out how to make.  I am thinking it was couscous, garbanzo beans, lime juice, olive oil, chopped parsley, and maybe some parmesan cheese - but I am not sure.  All you have to do is slice the cucumber and then top each cucumber slice with a square of seaweed and a dollop of the couscous salad and wallah you have a tasty little snack, as well as a good intake of veggies.

We enjoyed ours over a hand of cards...and yes the spring flowers are blooming.

Friday, April 7, 2017

F is for.....Friends

As I was looking through my cookbooks, I came across  a few that particularly remind me of friends. So today in honor of them, today I have chosen a thin little "pamphlet" some might call it.  I am not sure I would entirely call it a cookbook, but it is stored with my cookbooks because it has recipes in it.  It came with a stoneware casserole dish I purchased a number of years ago at a friend's party.  The dish broke some time ago, long enough ago, I don't even remember how.  My friend who had the party died of cancer eight or nine years ago and when I pulled it out it made me think of her.  I miss her kind heart, sweet words, and smiling face.  When I had a period of time when I wasn't able to drive, she would frequently send her son to take me places, whether it was to church, or to get home from somewhere, or even to get to and from youth group.

So for today's post I looked through that little pamphlet and chose "Mexican Enchilada Casserole", truthfully it is not really a typical recipe for me, because though they taste very good I try to avoid recipes that take cream soups and this one takes two.  It turned out good, but I would serve it with sour cream or use regular Rotel tomatoes rather than hot, because it has a bit of a kick.  However if you like spicy that is fine.  It is a rather easy recipe and would be good for an easy dinner with friends.

First you layer quartered tortillas.  Then layer it with onions, chicken, cheese, and the sauce (which is made of the cream soups, Rotel, and chicken broth).  Another layer of tortillas, and so on, until you end with tortillas and an extra layer of cheese.  Bake for an hour, and it is ready to eat.

I don't really have any really good photos of Connie, but here
you can see her smiling face as she looks on from the back.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

E is for Easy Slow Cooker Cookbook

A few days ago, I stumbled across the Danish word hygge (hoo-ga) and The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort, and Connection by Louisa Thomsen Brits, and I've been quietly working my way through its beginnings.  The word represents that feeling of settled contentment one experiences on a perfect Saturday morning at home or when out spending time with friends at a local coffeehouse.  I find I love not just the sound of the word and the feel of it on the tongue as you say hygge, hygge, but I also love finding a word for that wonderful sense of place and space  and being present in moments of simple abundance and pleasure.

So it seemed appropriate this rainy, stormy evening to make a Beef and Noodle Supper in the slow cooker, first making up a bit of pasta and browned beef before tossing everything in the slow cooker and letting my apartment fill with its warm, filling aroma of heartiness and comfort.

Boiling in the crockpot:

Served over mashed potatoes:

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

D is for....Don't Tell My Sister

My original plan for this post was to use a cookbook called Dining In, which is filled with all sorts of wonderful and fancy recipes. Things like Cathedral Cinnamon Twists or Grilled Brined Lemon Chicken or Fluffy Banana Pecan Pancakes or Pizza Puttanesca or Blackberry Bread Pudding....

But well,  #FoodAllergies, #RotaryDiet, #Procrastination, #RoughBrainDay, #CookbookThatRequiresMultiIngredientChangesForEveryRecipe, meant that after an hour and a half of flipping through said cookbook to find a recipe for this post, I put it down and went for a run instead.  And then took to the internet to find a rice milk recipe alternative to assuage a craving for ice cream.  

The end result?  Mocha Rice Milk Popsicles.

Hopefully my lovely sis Tinbugs won't start looking for her kitchen knife when she discovers I finked on our challenge "rules" on my very first post!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

C is for.....Central Christian School Alumni Cookbook

So yesterday was a 80th anniversary cookbook, today is a 40th anniversary cookbook.  This cookbook I have used more than yesterday's and it has a number of recipes in it that I like, but today I chose a rather simple one --- Edna's Pancakes.

My choice was largely influenced by my forgetfulness over the weekend.  I had been looking forward to a local church's Maple Syrup Festival that they have every year to raise money for missions and I managed to forget about when Saturday morning rolled around.  However, my good friend who goes to church there gladly agreed to get me a pint of maple syrup on Sunday and offered to pick me up some sausage also.  Sunday afternoon after watching "Singing in the Rain" at one of the local high schools, I stopped by her house to pick it up.  Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, her boys were watching Zootopia and sucked me into the end of it, followed by a reading of Dr. Suess's "Fox in Socks"(read by their 7 year old)  and then "Green Eggs and Ham" (read by me after being prodded by their 3 year old), my one pack of sausage was starting to thaw till I got home so I put it in the refrigerator to use this week.

My own Pancake Breakfast.

Sonnenberg Maple Syrup -- I am not really a syrup person when it comes
to pancakes, I would rather wrap my pancake around a sausage and add
mustard, however in this case, I put some syrup on my pancakes.

Monday, April 3, 2017

B is for.....Beach City Firemen's Cookbook

This cookbook is not one I have utilized much, I haven't had it more than 3-4 years and purchased it mostly for nostalgic value.  It reminds me of summer days as a child.  We lived outside of town and most of our trips to town were for milk, the bank, or the occasional video rental, but we were close enough we could always hear the fire whistle when it went off and if the ambulance or firetruck came out of the south side of town we would dash to the window or the backyard where we would catch glimpses of their flashing lights if they made it out to the main highway.  The days I remember most though, when I look at this cookbook, are late summer Saturdays when we would hear a menagerie of sirens and whistles coming from town and we would run to find mom and remind her that we had forgotten or missed the sign announcing the firemen's dinner yet again and could we go get chicken.  Most times, we would be told to freshen up and hurriedly pile in the van and make our way to town for chicken, saving mom from having to make dinner and giving dad an opportunity to visit with some of the locals in town.

The last time I happened to be at mom and dad's on a Saturday like that, it was held at the new park where the old school had been torn down and they had games for the kids and a car show.  At one of the tables they were selling these cookbooks so I decided to get one.  Yesterday while visiting my dear friend Holly, another friend called about having an evening of supper and cards and Holly why don't you all just come here, so I cooked supper at Holly's and we then finished the evening with a game of Hand and Foot.  After looking for a recipe a little I opted for Pizza-in-a-Burger and threw together a salad to go with it.  It was pretty good, but I forgot to add the parmesan and they fell apart rather easy, but we still ate them up pretty readily.

A new recipe to try.

Burgers, filled with onions, olives, oregano, and tomato paste,
ready to cook...minus the time I might add some garlic too.

Some yummy bread.

Ready to eat, minus Nick who was taking care of Timothy.

The salad ready to be served.

A delicious looking supper.
 I may have lost at cards, but we had a good evening together.

Saturday, April 1, 2017 for Abigail's Tea Room

We start off April with Abigail's Tea Room cookbook, a cookbook I can't recall where I got.  However it is inscribed to yeah, one would think I would remember but I don't.

Despite the fact that I have my camera this post will be light on pictures until I can edit it, as my days plans have changed and I won't have access to my photos until later.  Lunch was delicious though and I got to enjoy it with a good friend.  We made Abigail's "Secret" Cheese Soup with Homemade Croutons.  Quite tasty.

We gathered all the ingredients, with one or two adaptions to keep from
making a visit to the store.
Our homemade croutons baking.
It was delicious, despite our adaptations, very tasty.

My friend's little boy had chicken noodle soup and yogurt instead.

Friday, March 31, 2017

What Lies Ahead --Success or Failure? We are Banking on Success. Here Comes April.

Well, Tinbugs here, hoping for another successful April.  We missed the theme reveal this year despite having talked about it multiple times and having a theme picked out by the new year.....

Although I have been planning to do the A to Z Blogging Challenge the entire time, I have been struggling to get motivated, not because I am unexcited about our theme this year but rather because my camera has been on the blinks.....and somehow I just couldn't be excited without being able to share with you all on some level a visual stimulus of the food I would love to share with you, if it were that you were here on my very own front porch.  I had sent my camera to get fixed earlier in the year and got it back just before lending my other camera to a friend who is in New Zealand until June, only to find out that it wasn't really fixed and I needed to send it back again.  I was beginning to think that I would not be able to do the challenge this year as desired and began to think of other ways to participate and in doing that came up with another theme that I find equally exciting (My NaNoWriMo Rebellion meets April) and now instead of trying to do just one blog, I have somehow talked myself into doing two blogs through April, because my camera arrived back yesterday---and hopefully it is truly fixed this time.  Perhaps I am setting myself up for failure all around, but lets hope not.

So what is the theme for Travelling Spoons this year?

Ah...but I had that recipe all along.

The plan for this year's April blogging is to just make recipes from cookbooks we already own (or recipes we have already collected), no heading to the internet or library this year in search of a recipe to fit our needs, only to our very own shelves and crooks and crannies.

Now don't worry that there won't be variety, as my cookbook and recipe collection is quite extensive. I will even give a quick glimpse into some of those crooks and crannies...

This is my official cookbook cupboard.

And unfortunately, these don't fit in my cookbook cupboard.
And there are a few more about the house, that were recently being perused.

My recipe box that needs reorganized.

My personally collected recipe book.....needs some work also....

And if all that fails....grandma's recipe collection or at least some of it.
And in case you are still worried, none of this includes Vanilla Bean or the Colonel's own stashes of recipes.