Monday, November 28, 2011

Lobster Bisque and the Recipe!

Joan was given a lobster tail to take to Betty. She said she doesn't like lobster. So Joan took it home and made lobster bisque....2 bowls fore John, one for Joan. MMMmmmm.

Recipe is below the picture.

Here is the recipe I used, but I had to cut it in half. It was great! I love how the paprika gives the bisque it's pinkish color

lobster bisque

6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
4 1/2 cups milk 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons minced onion
3 cups cooked lobster meat, shredded
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 cup light cream
1. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper and celery salt until well blended. Gradually stir in the milk so that no lumps form, and then stir in the chicken stock. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the soup begins to thicken. Add the onion and lobster; season with paprika. Cook and stir for 10 more minutes. Stir in the cream, heat through and serve.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Caramels for Sale

OK..Here's the story. We were in Upland, buying garments at Beehive Clothing and this
man came in and started to talk to one of the clerks. "Have you tried the caramels they sell at the bookstore? They are incredible." So I, Joan, had to go on over there real was just 2 doors down...and buy just one to try out. It was 50 cents...for one!!!!!!!
It was quite small. Delicious, yes! You could taste the real butter...but 50 cents a piece kind of shocked me.

Bake Potatoes in your Slow Cooker!

It's true! I never knew this before. Megan told me about this and she got ti from the cookbook Fix It and Forget It.

Just scrub your potatoes, pierce with a knife and wrap in foil. Place in slow cooker for 4 hours. Amazing!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Our Favorite Pizza

John and I sat at this table (too bad photo is so small-it is from the site, not my camera). So you feel like you are right there in Times Square...they have this big photo it! from New York Pizza Company in Upland...on Foothill. They have the best thin crust pizza.

The day we went they had a special: 12 " pizza for 5 bucks. $1 for each extra topping. John's extra topping was BBQ chicken, and mine was bacon. We watched the cook stretch the twirl the pizza dough. The oven was 600 degres (I asked!) and I saw how they maintained the lovely ridge on the pizza...half way through the baking process, the pull the pizza out for a second and run the pizza cutter lightly around the area between the crusty rim and the edge of the pan.
Close up of my bacon pizza...
See the golden brown rim of the crust?
Close up of the thin crust.

Carrot Know How

Did you know that the carrots you bring home are alive? And they will continue to "grow" green leafy fronds on the top...and as this happens, the carrot gets a bit rubbery and loses some nutrition. But if you cut off the tops as you see in the picture, when you bring them home from the store, your carrots will stay fresher much longer!

Sunday Lunch

MMMmmm...we each had a baked sweet potato, a half of a butternut squash, and half of an acorn squash. (We also had a beef sandwich). This was at noon. Boy! We weren't hungry the rest of the day!
Cracked pepper and real butter is all you need to add. Some folks don't even need that...this food is so rich!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

John's Favorite Breakfast

John sliced open a perfect avocado the other day. Then he put it on this 9" plate and took this picture and said...Let's have my favorite breakfast.

Which is Huevos Rancheros.

So I whipped it up for us...I like my eggs easy over, with a runny yoke. John likes his with the yoke cooked hard. To make the guacamole, I basically just chop the nice soft avocado with a knife and mash some of it down a bit with a fork, and that is it. We like it chunky, not smooth. I sometimes will put in a fine diced garden ripened tomato, and a tiny bit of fine diced onion, but I am a purist and just love the pure taste of the avocado. We drizzle Tapatio on it and the eggs and beans. John also puts ketchup (yuck) on top of the Tapatio.
So here is John's plate.We love Tapatio because it doesn't have vinegar in it lie a lot of sauces do.

Chicken on Sale

I love to buy whole chicken when it is on sale. This one was 69 cents/lb. and over 5 lbs.

I baked it in the oven with carrots, onions, celery inside the cavity. Then I cooked the carcass after I took the meat off the bone....with water in my crockpot on low for 8 hours. Got the best broth!!

I got 6 one cup bags of chicken for the freezer ( I nibbled on some so actually the yield was higher than 6 cups) use when whipping up a quick meal such as chicken curry...or chicken and gravy and mashed potatoes...or to put in stuffing, or to make BBQ chicken sandwiches (just thaw in microwave and add some BBQ sauce and pile in toasted buns. are the baggies before I put them in the freezer (In another heavier plastic bag of course.)

Clever Megan

So, I made pancakes one morning while we were in Gilbert: my favorite buttermilk pancake recipe...and what do you know? Clever Megan whipped out her pizza cutter to cut the kids' pancakes nice and cleanly! Wow! If only I had used this device when the kids were growing up and I made pancakes several times a week...for nearly 2 decades.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Favorite Lentil Soup

This nice glass bowl is actually holding quite a bit of soup.

Once, when John and I were making one of our many trips to Wisconsin
and had been eating quick fast food or road food for a while (we had been in Missouri visiting Molly and family and had so many things to do -places to go- that Molly didn't have time to make any gourmet meals like she is wont to do. We even had a meal at Sonic. We had frozen custard at Drew's. Then on the long drive from St. Louis up to Wisconsin, we had Burger King, etc. ) When we got closer to Wisconsin, I called Jane, my dear friend in Point, and asked her for a favor.

I said:"I NEED some Lentil Soup! Can we come visit you and can you, will you please, make some for us and we can talk while we eat. We want to come to your house before we even go to 509 First Street. " She agreed to and we drove along happily, in anticipation (at least I was happily anticipating the soup, John could take it or leave it.)

When we got to her house, she did not have the soup even started. She had had a very busy day that included riding her bike a long way to one of her doctor appointments. She had other things going on, too. Nevertheless, she assembled the ingredients and followed the recipe exactly, like it is written here. I don't grate the carrots, but fine dice.

So we talked while she made the soup and while we ate it. Fully recharged with this wonderful nutrition, and our visit, we then got into our rental car and proceeded to my folk's house. can subsitute a bottle of spaghetti sauce for the diced tomtaoes.

My Favorite Lentil Soup from (from Jane Brody’s Good Food Book- a bit tweeked)

2 T. oil
2 large or 3 medium onions, chopped (2 cups)
3 carrots, coarsely grated (Joan prefers tiny diced)
¾ t. marjoram, crumbled
¾ t. thyme leaves, crumbled (or just use 1 1/2 teasp. Italian seasonings if you do not have the marjoram and thyme )1 28-oz. can tomatoes with their juice, coarsely chopped (I buy S&W’s diced in juice)
4 cups broth (I use salt free broth made with boullion)
4 cups water
1½ cup dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
¼ to ½ t. freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley or 2 T. dried parsley flakes
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, and sauté the onions, carrots, marjoram and thyme, stirring
the vegetables, for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, broth, and lentils. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan, and simmer the soup for about 1 hour or until the lentils are tender.
3. Add the salt, pepper, and parsley, and simmer the soup for a few minutes.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Best FOOD Product of the YEAR

This product deserves an award! I would love to know the history of this product:who thought it up, who designed the very appealing packaging? It is so comfortable to hold and lovely to look at! Inside this genius packaging is one of my favorite dried fruits. What is it?


Plum Amazins! Look! It almost sounds like raisins, which is very appropriate since they are a dried fruit like raisins. For some reason, people don't like the word "prune" and I have noticed that in the last little while packages of prunes were being labeled "dried plums".
I found these at the Apple Valley Wal*mart this past week. I paid $2.00. The plastic container is definitely re-usable...just peel off the plastic label.

I looked for them at WinCo and at Stater Brothers grocery stores. Not there.

Here is the Nutritional label.... the other side of the box has bar graphs that show that this product has 50% more fiber than raisins or cranberries....and half the sugar! Wow!
Have you ever tried to dice a prune? ...the pieces stick to your is just a mess. Well, here you have chopped prunes ready to go...ready to sprinkle on your hot oatmeal, put in cookies...
...or sprinkle on your yogurt fruit salad. Thank you Sunsweet!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Moores Pasta Salad

Whenever we go to Moores Cancer Center in San Diego, love to go up to the snack bar where they serve great chicken curry sandwiches on the best fresh bread and always with aside of this wonderful savory cold pasta salad.
I was craving it again...(I made some while we were at Megan's,too) so got the ingredients and made some.

Moores Pasta Salad

1/2 box whole wheat rotini, cooked
1/3 cup basil pesto
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced red pepper,
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley

Finished product! You can add more diced celery and red pepper and even more pesto if you want. If you don't have parsley, it still will be very good. I love the fact that the whole wheat pasta has lots of fiber.

Butternut Squash

I found butternut squash at the 99 Cents Only Store Today!

This is how I cook it.

I first poke it with a sharp knife in several places and microwave it for about 90 and a half minutes.
Then I take it out of the microwave and cut it in half. Then I scoop out the seeds, and place cut side down in a glass baking dish and bake at 425 degres for 45 minutes...sometimes less...It is done when you poke it with a fork and it goes in so easy...The softer the finished product, I believe, the better.
Golden and sweet...with a little is my FAVORITE squash.

Taste Test Today

At Winco today I was ready to by some La Victoria Salsa (Medium) for $1.78 when I noticed an new brand: Spikes...which was $1.03. They were both 16 oz. And in glass jars. So I bought both of them and took them home to try.
I already had some Mission tortilla chips and it was time for "second breakfast"so I dug in.
The winner was Spike. Why? It was chunkier (well I did bring home the bean and corn style instead of their regular style), and sweeter. I still will eat La Victoria, though, when I want a more tomato-y and "hotter" taste.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Black Bean Brownies

Thanks to Kelsy for sharing these recipes with me. I put off making these for the longest time, thinking they would not taste very good. Finally I made them and took the pictures you see here. I got 16 brownies form one 8 x 8 pan. They are light and chocolate-y...very good! I look forward to making the variations.

Flourless Black Bean Brownies

1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar (can substitue agave nectar)
3 Tbsp. oil
3 or 4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. peanut butter (optional, but I always go for this one!)

Blend everything up in a blender or food processor. Pour into a greased 8 by 8 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes (mine were done in my superhot oven at around 25 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick). Cut in pieces and enjoy!

Here are some Canellini (white bean) variations I'm excited to try:

Lemon Ginger: Use canellini beans instead of black beans. Add 1 tsp. lemon extract, 2 tsp. ground ginger and zest of one lemon to bean mixture. Top with sliced almonds.

Cranberry orange: Use canellini beans instead of black beans. Add 1 tsp. orange extract, 2 tsp. ground ginger and zest of one orange to bean mixture. Top with minced dried cranberries.

Cherry almond: Use canellini beans instead of black beans. Add 1 tsp. almond to bean mixture. Top with minced dried cherries and sliced almonds.

Pumpkin: Use canellini beans instead of black beans. Add 1 cup pumpkin puree, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp salt to bean mixture. Top with chopped pecans.

Apple spice: Use canellini beans instead of black beans. Add 1 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1/4 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp salt to bean mixture. Top with chopped walnuts.

This recipe I copied exactly from what Kelsy sent me via email. I have not made them yet, but when I do, I will not use espresso flavor...just cocoa.

Amazing Black Bean Brownie Recipe

For those of you who have a hard time tracking down agave nectar (which is becoming much more readily available) substitute honey 1:1 for the agave nectar. Ania's head notes encourage you to keep these brownies in the refrigerator, they will slice much better if refrigerated several hours or preferably overnight. I used instant coffee this time around, but you can find natural coffee substitute at many natural food stores.

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups soft-cooked black beans, drained well (hs: canned is fine)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (granulated) natural coffee substitute (or instant coffee, for gluten-sensitive)
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 large eggs
1½ cups light agave nectar
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 11- by 18-inch (rimmed) baking pan (hs note: or jellyroll pan) with parchment paper and lightly oil with canola oil spray.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high. Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely. Place the beans, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor. Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth. The batter should be thick and the beans smooth. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, coffee substitute, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the agave nectar and beat well. Set aside.

Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the coffee/chocolate mixture. Stir until blended well.

Add the egg mixture, reserving about 1/2 cup. Mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup egg mixture until light and fluffy. Drizzle over the brownie batter. Use a wooden toothpick to pull the egg mixture through the batter, creating a marbled effect. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set. Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares. (They will be soft until refrigerated.)
Makes 45 (2-inch) brownies

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Joan's version of Philly Cheesesteak

I got some sirloin steaks for 2.98 per pound...2.68 lbs. I cooked them on low overnight in the crockpot with pickle juice to cover. (Pickle juice leftover form Betty's pickle jar. All it needed on low was about 6-7 hours in my particular crockpot.

Then using my big comal, I toasted the buns and piled the meat in ...
The I thought it needed some cheese so I spread a spoonful of this wonderful product on one side of the bun on the inside...the heat of the meat further melted the creamy sauce.
John and I agreed these were heavenly. The toasted bun and the spicy cheese sauce made them outrageously yummy!
And now I will reveal this most special ingredient...which will now be a staple at our house. I bought it originally to put over cooked broccoli...

Keep scrolling down..

This is it! So good...comes in glass jars even!
I imagine using it in other dishes..with cauliflower, with noodles, with potatoes...
This is also, I realize, a great pantry item for those of us who liked to be prepared for emergencies. I can't wait to experiment some more with this sauce!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Most Beautiful Plate

Thursday night for supper, we had potstickers. On the side we had steamed broccoli with some slivers of steamed carrot slices. We also had a salad consisting of chopped romaine letuce, yellow tiny pear shaped tomatoes and blue berries.

The best thing about this meal was, to me, the cherry tomatoes.

You see, they are slightly cooked...and oh so very yummy!

So after I finished cooking the pot stickers according to package instructions in my iron skillet, I turned off the flame, tossed in some cherry tomatoes from the garden and put a lid on the skillet for a few minutes. The heat in the pan cooked the tomatoes to perfection: they still kept their shape. They were not over cooked, just cooked...or warmed enough to change the taste from 100% raw to something incredibly delicious.

WARNING: you must pop one whole cherry tomato at a time into your mouth. Make sure it has cooled off a bit. Do not bite into it with lips slightly parted . It will squirt hot tomato-y juice all over. Keep your lips closed as you bite into this delcious round red globe.

Better than Dibs

Want a bite of something cold and creamy and yummy? And that is beter than "Dibs"?
Freeze ripe banana slices on wax paper or parchment on a cookie sheet. When frozen, remove them and serve or store in ziploc bag in freezer for instant creamy and fiber filled, vitamin mineral filled natural frozen bananas.

Eat them in a bowl with a spoon, or with your fingers from a plate. And you can, of course, blend them in a blender with milk or soy milk or almond milk and make a thick creamy shake. The Hulihan household has been doing frozen banana shakes for over 20 years now. I like the sliced frozen ones even better than a shake. I don't have to clean out a blender...and each cold creamy slice in my mouth is heavenly and cools me off!
Eat me!

Friday, August 19, 2011

What David Taught Us

Progressive International Jumbo Potato Cutter from! I paid 15.99 last week but now it is 21.99. Hmm...Anyway, after you peel a half pound of carrots and cut them in half, it takes just seconds to make a plate full of bright crunchy carrot sticks! Mmmm.

The dip he taught me is..get some good refrigerated ranch dressing and some Srirachi Sauce and blend them together.
This is such a great healthy snack! Thanks, David!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Produced in our backyard

Green grapes are ripe about first week of August. This is about all we got..the birds ate the rest. These are kind of sour. Have to do research on how to get the grapes to be sweeter.

Apricots are ready early July. We got maybe a dozen...its a small tree. But we need to prune it better.

Cherry tomatoes! We picked a cup every other day starting in early July. MMMmmm.

The Red Barn

On our way home from our adventures in Idaho and Utah, we had to stop in Santaquin to go to The Red Barn to check out the cherries and other items they sell.
Since these cost over $16.00 a bottle, we passed. Maybe next time.
A cute display. Did you know...?

1 bushel= 4 pecks
1 bushel = 8 gallons
1 peck = 2 gallons
1/4 bushel = 1 peck
John getting a free sample of cold fresh raw apple cider!
Berries and cherries galore here.

We bought some huge cherries that were so dark red they were black. Funny thing-they did not sell cherry pitters. This is a great place to stop. They also had ice cream comes, fudge, cookies fresh baked, aprons, books, and chocolate covered cherries and blueberries, etc.