Bits and Pieces – 12/25/17 to 1/14/17

After almost nobody even bothered to look at my pretty rum cake, I decided to make a change.  I am tired of trying to find vegan recipes and I am going to be traveling quite a bit this year and want to eat what I like. So I guess that I am just going to be truthful and turn my blog into “Omnivore” and post when I feel like it.

Over the past few weeks I have made a few interesting dishes and thought I would post about them.

First is our Christmas Breakfast of Champions, bagels, cream cheese, capers, onions, and lox all washed down with Schneider’s Weissbier (Tap 7).  No mimosas for us!

Bagel with cream cheese, capers, onions, and lox plus Schneider’s Weissbier

Christmas Day our son made dinner. We had prime rib, mashed potatoes, death by broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and several pies made by his mother-in-law. Our contribution was to pay for the meat and bring the wine. He did a great job!

Christmas dinner

After the Christmas hoopla I made a tasty vegetarian fried rice that turned out pretty well with some egg and leftover brown rice and vegetables that were wilting in the refrigerator. It sits upon my recipe folder. I keep all my recipes that I have tried and as you can see I make notes on the ones I have made so I know what to add or subtract next time I make it.  I am making the chickpea soup soon and using my experiences to improve it.

Vegetarian fried rice

This is the chickpea stew made with ditalini instead of orzo and spinach instead of mustard greens.

Chickpea stew with ditalini and spinach

I got an Instant Pot for Christmas and the first thing we tried in it was lamb chili. It turned out well but I learned that I need to adjust the amount of liquid to less or else it will come out too soupy.

Lamb chili made in new Instant Pot with tortilla chips

Never one to stay in one place too long, we hit the road to Utah for sunshine and good times. Along the way we stopped at the surprising Mojave Thai Cuisine in Mojave, CA. We ordered our favorite, Spicy Thai Basil Eggplant, and it was very good and VERY spicy! (Mojave is really not known for cuisine other than fast food so this was a welcome find.)

Spicy Thai Basil Eggplant at Mojave Thai Cuisine (vegan)

I have not been too good about taking pictures here in St. George but so far we have made pasta with meat sauce, chicken breast with brown rice and mixed veg, pasta fagioli, fried scallops with new potatoes and spinach, steak with grilled potato and broccoli, and barbecued chicken with brown rice and broccoli. Whew! That is a lot of cooking! Here are  two pictures I did take, Chicken Monday and Pasta Fagioli.

Chicken Monday

Pasta fagioli

I will be trying to post more frequently and get back to taking pictures. Hope you will enjoy what I eat!



Posted in Beef, Grains, Grilling, Kitchen tips, Lamb, leftovers, Legumes, Meat, Pasta, Poultry, rice, Uncategorized, Vegetables | Tagged | Leave a comment

Rum cake. 12/24/17

I make almost no desserts but I do have a recipe for a Bacardi rum cake that turns out so well that I get requests to make it. You can find the recipe on the internet. One difference is that back in the 80’s when I first used the recipe it called for a box of Duncan Hines cake mix which weighed 18.25 oz. These days cake mixes have shrunk and they now weigh 15.25 oz. In order to keep the proportion of cake mix correct with the rest of ingredients you have to either do a bunch of math and pare off the amounts of the other ingredients by 1/6 or you can simply buy a second cake mix and add 3 ounces to your mixing bowl. Save the rest for next year’s rum cake.

Bacardi rum cake

It turned out a bit boozy but no one seemed to mind. Decorated with red grapes and mint leaves, the cake is a festive addition to your holiday table.

Posted in Desserts | Tagged | 1 Comment

Another vega, vege, carne sort of day. 12/23/17

Started off the day with a nice bowl of oatmeal with flaxseed. John has been unhappily noticing that I tend to call it gruel. I am turning over a new leaf and only saying positive things about my daily delicious and healthful breakfast of amazing grains.

I could not think of anything to make for lunch. I did not feel like a veggie burger since I made the terrible one the other day so I opted for a salad and an egg sandwich.  Those are a few of our daughter’s cookies in the background.

Omelet in a pita pocket and a salad (it is officially winter and we are still having daughter’s tomatoes!)

Pasta for supper tonight. Thought we might just have tomato sauce but during a trip to the grocery store, we bought some ground beef. John made the sauce which was very nice of him. I got to lounge around instead of having my back hurt while I bent over the counter chopping up vegetables and stirring the sauce.

Spaghetti with meat sauce and fresh tomato


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Follow directions! 12/21/17

Today for lunch I took a short cut. On the Masala Veggie Burger from Trader Joe’s the package gives instructions for stove top and grilling to cook the burger. I decided it would take too long to use these processes so I decided to microwave the burger. It turned out mushy and bad tasting. I served it to myself on toasted rye with one of the last of our daughter’s tomatoes and lettuce. It was all I could do to choke it down. Believe the package when it tells you how to cook it!

  Looks good, tastes bad

Having had my oatmeal gruel for breakfast and a rather sad lunch, I decided on some comfort food for dinner.   Since we hadn’t had chicken for the last few Mondays, I decided on Chicken Monday on a Thursday. Chicken breast, spinach, mashed potatoes, and gravy fit the bill. It was quite tasty and enjoyable.

Roast chicken breast, spinach, and mashed potatoes with gravy


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Some things do not go together. 12/20/17

In an effort to clean out the refrigerator and still have a vegan lunch, I took out three containers. One had Rotel jalapeño and tomatoes, one had olive oil smashed potatoes, and one contained black beans. I figured, hey, I like all those things.  I will just put all these in one container and it will be lunch. Nope. It was not tasty. I tried to eat it but finally gave up. This proves once again that just because you can put different ingredients together does not mean you should.


For dinner we ate up the hot and sour soup from our last takeout Chinese dinner. We had saved some crispy knots to crumble on top.

Hot and sour soup

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Latkes and cookies. 12/19/17

It is the holidays and at our house we have multiple holidays with lots of holiday food. The only thing that I can say about last night’s dinner is that it is not healthy but it’s vegetarian.

John made his world-famous (at least in our little world) potato latkes in celebration of the last day of Hanukkah. We lit the candles and tucked into these fried goodies. Since we don’t like getting the grease all over the kitchen, John heats the oil up in our electric wok on the back patio. After squeezing out excess moisture from the potato, onion, egg, and matzoh meal mixture, he slides them into the hot oil.

Latkes going into the oil

In the meantime daughter has made Christmas cookies! So far she has baked macaroons, Moravian spice cookies, and Norwegian drommer or dream cookies. She is taking the global approach this year. She is a really excellent cookie baker. Secret ingredient to great cookies? Don’t forget the salt!

Hanukkah candles and Norwegian drommer Christmas cookies

So our dinner last night consisted of latkes and cookies. December is for celebrating! January is for paying the piper.

Latkes and cookies

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Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger.. 12/15/17

The last of my veggie burgers that I have been sampling is the Morningstar Spicy Bean Burger. At 110 calories and only 4 grams of fat it fits in much better with my diet plan. I microwaved it and stuffed it into a pita pocket with some onion. It tasted pretty good, better than my two other veggie burgers. However, in looking at the ingredients it has calcium caseinate from milk so it is not vegan. Since I am not strictly vegan I don’t mind but I know a lot of people would.

Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean burger with broccoli salad and lettuce

For dinner John requested spaghetti with the meat sauce I make (although I let him make it.) It was delicious.

Spaghetti with meat (ground beef) sauce

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