Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Happy BIrthday Buddy Bucko!!!

The fun thing about adopting a dog, if you don't know his/her birthday, you get to choose!!! I pick this day as his birthday as it was the day he became my little buddy.
The first year started out a bit tough, as he didn't like wearing coats, eating at our mealtime. And he wasn't a fan of walking at night after I got home from work.
Buddy after his spinal surgery

Add that he needed emergency surgery a month after adopting him I never thought he or I would survive the year! But time went on and now he wears a jacket without so much as a whine, he has accepted our letenight meal time, and he is first out the door at late night walk time. And more important, he has become my daily laugh machine, my little buddy who likes a scratch behind the ear and a good belly rub in the morning. He is a great fit with Romeo.

Romeo and Buddy showing off new hair cuts last Christmas

Anyway Happy Birthday Buddy Bucko!!! Hope there are many more to come!!!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

REPOST: From 8/29/2009 How to Pickle anything!

2 pickling techniques! I was reading my new issue of "Ready Made" magazine, found it pretty boring, except for an article on Pickling.
Well I picked the last of the fennel today so tonight I made another jar of pickled fennel. Supposedly they should be pickled with oranges but not having any I pickled them with Walla Walla Sweet Onions (the worlds greatest Table Onion), and the other jar I pickled "Burgermaster"Purple Onions with some garlic cloves. The spices I used were dill seed, whole black peppercorns, some chile powder and some ground cumin. here is the recipe I used:

PICKLE ANYTHING from Ready Made Magazine
1 clean pint jar with lid
1 1/2 cup of Vegetables or fruit , cut into small slices or chunks
1 cup of White Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
Herbs (about 2 tbsp, chopped or a few sprigs) and spices (About 1 TBSP)

Blanche your choice of veggies, for 1 -3 Minutes, Remove veggies and give them an Ice bath (put in a bowl of ice water). Placed Blanched vegetables and/or raw fruit into the jar with Vinegar, salt, herbs and spices. Cover tightly and enjoy within a week.

FRESH PACK TECHNIQUE - This is the method I used
1 clean pint jar with lid
1 1/2 cup of Vegetables or fruit , cut into small slices or chunks
1 cup of White Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
Herbs (about 2 tbsp, chopped or a few sprigs) and spices (About 1 TBSP)
Place your chosen fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices in the jar. Cover and shake Gently to mix - uncover and in a small saucepan bring vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, and then pour over the raw ingredients.Cover loosely with the lid. Allow to cool.
Cover tightly and Refrigerate for up to a week.

Now of course this is not long term preservation, but allows you to keep things for a couple of weeks or so. And a sure fire way to get a blast with your sandwiches or cheese platters and a great change of pace from plain old pickles!

Monday, August 19, 2013

No Fire 'Smores

Now really who doesn't love 'Smores??? Who really has a fire going all the time? I was shopping at Trader Joe's today and saw the grahm crackers and Dark Chocolate covered Marshmallows. You know how my mind wtarts whirling, so I pick some up.
Put a couple of the chocalate covered marshmallows on one graham cracker:
Set it in the microwave, nuke for about 15 seconds, or until the marshmallow expands in ooey goodness
Cover with the other graham cracker and eat. Smores with out a fire...who knew?

Friday, August 16, 2013


After making all these great little meals, what is life with no dessert? Enjoy this repost for 6/29/2009:
A friend from my car club sent this easy recipe for chocolate mug cake- And you cook it in the microwave! Easy chocolate cake! There goes my blood sugar levels off the scale.
But thought I better share this recipe with everyone!

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well..
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts or high.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT ! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Cooking at Work Week: Mini Pizzas!!!

Another quick meal for at work, after school, or just a quick bite late at night. Make pizzas! Just take an Emglish Muffin (Or you can use Naan, any flat bread or tortilla or even slice a piece of french bread!) spread a spoonful of pizza sauce ( I use Trader Joe's brand) put on some Mozzarella, top with a few slices of pepperoni if desired or what ever topping you want! Fresh Pizza at work!!!

Cooking at Work Week- A re-post- Chile Belles

I can't do a week of cooking at work without bringing up one of my fave- The Chile Belle. All  you need is a microwave to make a plate of this warm gooey meal.

Simple, easy dinner. Something my mom use to make with her homemade chili. But something that's even great with canned chili. I have no idea why they call it Chili Belles (pronounced Chili Bellies). But I am glad that someone invented them.

Chile Belles

1 can of Chili ( I like Trader Joe's Turkey Chili, chose your own favorite) 
or 2 cups of Home made chili

1 bag of Frito's Corn Chips (just doesn't taste the same with tortilla chips)

1 medium onion, chopped fine

1/2 cup of cheddar cheese

1/2 cup of sour cream if desired

First prepare the chili. Spread the frito's on a plate or a shallow bowl, Spread the chili over the fritos top with the onions and cheese. Top with Sour cream if desired. Serve. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cooking at Work: Ad Hoc Grilled Cheese

So, I happen to love grilled sandwiches, one of them being the classic grilled cheese. But the problem at work is how to actually grill a sandwich. I could use the George Foreman grill (like a paninni press) but I find the cheese all runs out of the bread so I discovered this method using the toaster oven/broiler:

Butter the tops of 2 slices of bread, insert cheese in the middle leaving the buttered sides outside, and place in a hot broiler. Toast the bread to desired "toastiness" flip and repeat the other side. When you are done, eat. I sometimes warm a cup of tomato soup in the microwave to make a classic grilled cheese meal. This method works so well I quite often use it at home for a quick way to make a grilled cheese.

Tuna Melt (Classic Tuna Salad topped with a slice of American cheese)
Rueben ( I sub pastrami for the corned beef. Add some Sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and 1000 Island Dressing)
Bacon Cheese and tomato (Simple: a few strips of bacon topped with a few tomato slices and cheese of your choice)
Grilled Ham and Swiss (A slice of ham, a slice of Swiss and toasted bread- need I say more?)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cooking at Work week- Chef's Salad with 1000 island dressing

Chef's salads are one of my weaknesses, but like so many foods (taco Salad, Reuben sandwiches) are not the same with anything but 1,000 Island dressing. That's the real recipe here- the dressing... you can make it out of condiment packages. We save all condiment packages at work so I can always have 1000 Island!

Chef’s Salad
2 oz. Cheddar cheese (cubed)
2 oz. Ham, (Cubed)
2 oz. White meat Chicken (cubed)
Lettuce and Cabbage, Chopped fine for salad
Shredded carrot, about ½ cup
Toss cheese, ham and chicken cubes with lettuce, cabbage and carrots. Dress. Eat. Enjoy!

Emergency 1000 Island Dressing
1 packet (or 1 teaspoon) of Sweet Pickle Relish
2 packets (or 2 teaspoons) of tomato catsup
3 packets ( or 1 Tablespoon) of mayonnaise
Mix all. Stir well.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cooking at Work week next week!

At work, I have few choices for lunch, due to the odd hours I work (I work the swing shift) and little time to go somewhere and buy a healthy lunch. So I improvise. At work we are lucky to have a Toaster oven/Broiler, a microwave and a toaster. Along with a refrigerator, and a George Foreman grill, a person can make some pretty good lunches. Join me next week as I will go into some of what I make at work to eat!