Thanksgiving -1, Innovation! 11/22/17

No food pictures today I have been busy cooking for tomorrow. We have been just noshing on what is cooking and leftovers.

I thought I would share my great innovation with you that John thought up. The question was how to identify people’s wine glasses when there are no stems to hang charms on? The solution, modern day Color-forms! They have been around for a long time. I played with them, my kids played with them, and now they are available in forms other than shapes. These are Melissa and Doug’s, My Town. They stick on glasses!CE03F386-7507-4C03-9CA8-68445149FA5F

Here is my glass. I am doing a little quality control before Thanksgiving.

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Thanksgiving -2. 11/21/17

Here we are two days from Thanksgiving and it seems like we are going to the grocery store every day! I am trying to be organized but it seems like there is always something I have forgotten.

John has made gravy over the weekend and taken the turkey apart. He cooks it in stages making sure that nothing gets over cooked. Daughter and I have been working on the table  washing all the glasses and checking the silverware. Right now the dining room looks like this!

Table ready to be set

We are having ten people, we three, son and his wife and two children, daughter-in-law’s sister and parents. I am trying to make things a little easier this year by doing a lot of the prep early and by asking the participants to pitch in with a dish and also with some clean up help.

In the meantime life goes on and John and I need to have a daily meals. I had a mashed chickpea sandwich for lunch and made a big pot of spaghetti with meat sauce which will hopefully last until tomorrow night.

Smashed chickpeas with olive oil in a whole wheat pita with lettuce and tomato

Spaghetti with meat suace

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Upside down day! 11/20/17

Usually my days are vegan for breakfast and lunch and then whatever for dinner. I guess it is loosely based on Mark Bittman’s Vegan Before 6 (VB46) plan of eating. Today, though, my whatever happened at breakfast and the rest of my day was vegan.

This morning we were having the house cleaned so John, our daughter, and I went out for breakfast. At this place we go to, Bill’s Cafe, they have what they call a mini-breakfast which is actually way more than I normally eat for breakfast. I have no idea how the people who get the regular breakfasts manage to eat them. So my mini-breakfast consisted of one egg, one piece of toast, two pieces of bacon, and a bunch of hash browned potatoes. Today I ate the egg, the toast, and the bacon. The potatoes suffered from being cooked too quickly getting them brown on the outside while leaving the inside  cold. Not happy with the breakfast.

For the rest of the dayI needed to be vegan. So here is lunch. It is warmed up brown rice on the bottom with chickpeas, tofu, and kale salad.

Bowlful of brown rice, tofu, chickpeas and kale

Later on I made this vegan dinner of puréed cauliflower soup with crispy baked tofu and flaxseed plus a kale salad. It was an upside down day but good nonetheless.

Cauliflower soup with crispy tofu croutons

Kale salad with croutons and home grown tomatoes

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Immersion circulators, a boon in the kitchen. 11/19/17

Vegan Part of the Day

Today started off with the usual oatmeal, flaxseed, and blueberries. I really hope all the great benefits I’ve read about come true. When I go see my doctor in six months I would like to be slimmer with a lower blood glucose level and a better cholesterol reading.  Otherwise, it will be a lot of boring breakfasts for naught.

I am trying hard to make lunch more interesting. I bought some baked tofu and had it over brown rice with chickpeas and almost the last of our wonderful tomatoes. One minute in the microwave and lunch was ready. I will be sad when the tomatoes are gone. We’ve been spoiled. BTW this is a salad plate not a dinner plate.

Brown rice with chickpeas, baked tofu, and tomatoes

Non-vegan Part of the Day

About the immersion circulator – Not only did we use the immersion circulator to cook the steak to a perfect medium rare, we took the brussel sprouts that I made yesterday and heated them up in their own bag. The meat cooked at 125F and so did the sprouts until John took out the meat for a sear on the grill. Then I bumped the water up to 140F. The sprouts came out warm and not overcooked. I think I am going to try heating some of my Thanksgiving sides this way.

Ribeye cap steak with grilled russet potato and brussel sprouts

 

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Such a great daughter! 11/18/17

We are settling back into the home routine and gearing up for Thanksgiving. Our adult daughter who lives with us has offered to really help out and protect my poor aching back from too much time on my feet in the kitchen. Already she has helped me peel 42 onions for our Thanksgiving roasted creamed onions and accompanied me to the Farmer’s Market to get butternut squash and brussel sprouts. Plus she made dinner!

As a part-time vegan I started off the day with steel-cut oatmeal with flaxseed and blueberries and then for lunch had one of my Trader Joe’s Quinoa Cowboy burgers that I stuffed into a pita pocket. I tried to get around the mushiness by microwaving it briefly and then searing the burger on the stovetop. It still came out pretty mushy and did not hold its shape as I put it in the pita. Actually that worked out pretty well since I could get the burger into the corners. The picture looks pretty unattractive but it tasted good.

TJ’s Quinoa Cowboy burger

For dinner our daughter made a pork curry with brown rice and black sesame seeds. It is creamy and and tart from buttermilk and sour cream.  Here is the recipe from her site, Braisinhussy.  http://www.braisinhussy.com/2016/10/24/improving-on-an-old-favorite/Seriously this could be great with tofu instead but she is not the vegan/vegetarian type and I was certainly not going to undermine her kind effort.  She was afraid that she had made it too spicy for me but I found probably less spiced than I would have liked. Anyway what a great daughter to be so helpful and considerate!

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Easy chicken dinner. 11/17/17

First here is a look at the breakfast served at TownePlace Suites (Marriott) where we stayed. This is John’s breakfast. The egg looks like one of those joke rubber items and the sausage is pretty greasy. While I applaud their use of compostable plates, the grease soaking into the plate is pretty unpalatable.

 

We got home midday and spent the afternoon unpacking, doing some shopping, and taking a rest. We opted for an easy dinner. Along with a grocery store rotisserie chicken, we tested some pre-made Costco mashed potatoes that I want to use on Thanksgiving. Since my back is still pretty achy I am trying to take a few shortcuts where they probably won’t be noticed. I also made some broccoli.

Chicken breast with wing, mashed potatoes, and broccoli

Chicken breast with wing, mashed potatoes, and broccoli

 

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A tasty lunch on the road. 11/16/17

I have been searching for a restaurant that serves a decent vegan/vegetarian lunch on the road. Granted my travels take me along I-15 through the Mojave Desert where towns and dining choices are few and far between. I use Yelp! as my guide. Finally I found a reasonable choice on the rather seedy side of Barstow, CA called Mr. Kabob.

Mr. Kabob’s business card

Mr. Kabob serves Persian style Mediterranean food. There were choices here for John such as chicken and beef kabobs but also for me. I ordered green rice, eggplant, and a roasted tomato with pita. It was so good! The lady who works behind the counter is lovely and really wants you to enjoy their food. There are only two tables and it appears that most of their food is take-out. If you are ever driving through Barstow at lunchtime, give Mr Kabob a try!

My lunch of green rice, eggplant, and roasted tomato.

For dinner we ate at the Macaroni Grill in Bakersfield, CA. I had eggplant again with a side of pasta but this eggplant was breaded and spent too long in the fryer so was kind of a disappointment. Their tomato sauce is really good though.

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