Posts Tagged ‘easy’

This was a hearty lasagna sans meat.  I used layers of fresh baby spinach and finely diced yellow bell pepper between an italian cheese blend and ricotta mixed with egg and marinara sauce.  The noodles were whole wheat and uncooked.  Seriously easy to assemble.  Just wait for it to bake, first covered with foil (about 40 minutes) and then topless to brown the final layer of cheese (15 minutes).   Use plenty of sauce since the pasta will use the moisture to cook in the oven.


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Hardly a recipe, it’s just a dinner during the week that is easy to throw together.  Chicken breasts seasoned with Montreal Steak spice blend, red pepper and onion slices were added a few minutes after the breasts were flipped.  Make fluffy rice.  Steam veggie mix from the freezer.  Do not use canned veggie mix, or canned green beans.  On the farm, we always froze our garden peas for winter.  I never had canned veg until Hubby made them for me for dinner when we were dating.  Sure, he can cook, but leave the ingredient shopping to me.  Well, I guess I did have canned tomatoes, as Grandma canned them from her garden.  Let me rephrase:  I never had commercially canned vegetables until 2003! 

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Adapted from several muffin recipes in Babycakes (Erin McKenna)

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 2/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp guar gum
  • 1/4 cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 325ºF.  Prepare two muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.

Mix the banana, milk, oil, sugar and vanilla in a bowl.  Set aside.

Sift (or whisk) together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, guar gum in a separate bowl.  Set aside.

In a small bowl or cup, combine the hot water and cocoa powder until the cocoa is disolved.  Pour the cocoa into the banana mixture and mix well.  Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix well.

Pour a little less than 1/3 cup of the muffin batter in each muffin tin.  The batter will rise slightly so don’t over fill the tins.  Bake for 20-24 minutes, just until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle of one of the muffins.  If your oven is notorious for uneven baking, rotate the pans half way through.  Gluten-free flour tends to dry out in the oven very easily so check the muffins as they get close to the 20 minute mark.

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Eggplant Tomato Hash

See that there tomata?  She was the reason I decided to make a hash.  I was going to make squash soup with the pretty little butternuts I found at the farm stand today until this gem caught my eye!

If you can wait a few minutes to chop up vegetables, this is a great way to quickly get some grub in the ol’ tummy.

  • 3 bacon rashers, cut crosswise
  • 1 eggplant (the white and purple ones), diced
  • 1/4 of a red onion
  • 1 Cubanelle pepper, cut crosswise (you can keep the seeds in)
  • 1/4 of a yellow bell pepper
  • 2 – 3 garden tomatoes or one medium beefsteak chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil (if needed)
  • salt and pepper

Render the fat from the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until the bacon is cooked and crisp.  Remove the bacon and wipe most of the fat out of the pan with a dry paper towel.

Add the onion and eggplant first.  Get the eggplant turning and browning.  Add the peppers and continue cooking, add olive oil if needed and salt and pepper.  For the last minute, add the tomato and garlic.  You don’t want the garlic to burn.  Lastly, add those crispy bits of bacon!

For those who want to keep this vegan, skip the bacon and use olive or coconut oil instead to brown the onion and eggplant.  You could add a little smoked paprika if you want a hint of smokey flavour.  I should have done that anyways.  Oh well.

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  • natural beef patties (hand made)
  • sharp cheddar cheese
  • cooked red bell pepper slices
  • cooked sweet onion slices
  • fresh tomato slices
  • homemade roll (used multigrain instead of rye)

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Rarely do I get phone calls that I actually want to receive at home.  Most are recordings from the Mayor’s office, political opinion polls, telemarketers for TV-phone-internet companies or otherwise annoying people.  Earlier this evening was one of these calls.  The woman spoke with a smile and asked if I could take a short 60 second survey.  Sure (like there’s something else I’d much rather be doing now than talk to you.)  Oddly, the questions she had were quite benign.  Things like “Do you drive a foreign or domestic model vehicle?” foreign. Everything was fine until the last question.

Smiling Woman: “You don’t have to say which companies you or your spouse work for, just what type of work that you do?”

Me: “Engineering.”

Smiling Woman: “And, so, are you the homemaker?”

Me: “No, I’m the engineer.”  Well, I’m really an Engineering Technologist that does engineering type of work under the supervision of an EE.  But that would have confused the poor lady.

Smiling Woman: “Oh! I’m so sorry.  And your spouse? Does he stay at home, is unemployed, or a student?”

Me: “Unemployed.”  And he’s not *technically* unemployed either, but again this would have extended the 60 second survey far beyond the time promised by Smiling Woman.

I hung up after she thanked me for participating and said someone might call me about entering a sweepstakes or about a prize that I might win.  My brain was still in the middle of barfing to understand what she said at that point.  How is it, in this day and age, another woman assumed I was a homemaker?  She didn’t even offer the other options that were given for Hubby’s lack of occupation.  Am I supposed to be a homemaker?  How could I support my kitchen toy buying habits if I stayed at home?  Really?!?

I made some fish, hand breaded fresh fish, despite Smiling Woman’s assumptions.  Yes, I do work outside the home.  And, yes, I can make my own food thankyouverymuch!


Rinse the Pangasius fillets (one per person if they are a good size) in cool water and pat dry.  Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet.  Spread a thin layer of mayo over the top, followed by a sprinkle of Cajun seasoning and breadcrumbs.  Drizzle the breadcrumbs with olive oil.  Tuck asparagus around the edges of the pan.  Top with olive oil, garlic slivers and sea salt.

Set a 350ºF oven to simultaneously roast the asparagus and fish.  Everyone will be done at the same time, the asparagus will be soft, the fish will feel firm.  They trade textures!


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We all love a freshly made doughnut, no matter how unhealthy they may be. However, it can be a pain making that trek to the grocery store or bakery every morning. Fortunately, doughnuts can be easily made at home. Then, you can sit down with your hot doughnuts and coffee as you study for your online courses.

Here is a simple, easy-to-follow recipe for basic doughnuts:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter or margarine
  • 2 whole eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar for topping
  • Granulated sugar for topping

Mix two cups of flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a bowl.

Combine the butter or margarine and milk into a different, medium-sized bowl

Add eggs, sugar and vanilla extract into a large bowl and beat the ingredients together until they’re thick.

Add the milk mixture to the egg mixture and beat the ingredients together. Combine with the dry mixture. Add the last cup of flour and mix well. Cover and chill the dough for two hours.

Roll the dough out a half-inch thick on a floured surface and cut it with a floured doughnut cutter.

Fry the doughnuts in oil at about 375ºF. Cook until each side turns a golden color. Drain the doughnuts on a paper towel and let them cool on a rack.

You can decorate the doughnuts with either powdered sugar or granulated sugar by placing warm doughnuts in a bag filled with sugar and shaking them. You can also enjoy them plain if you desire.

To learn more about online education, such as online culinary schools, check out www.onlinecollegedegrees.net.


eHow (2012)

HubPages (2012)

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Short on time and resources?  Take one package of Udon Noodle Soup and add diced cooked chicken.


Split between two bowls for a quick lunch.

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A Simple, Delicious Gluten-Free Dessert

Simply hearing the word “dessert” after a good meal can conjure up smiles and anticipation. But, couple that with “gluten-free” and some cautious diners run for the hills. However, going gluten-free, either because of Celiac disease or simply thanks to dietary decisions, doesn’t mean giving up the sweet, gooey, chocolaty treats that draw a crowd to the table like nothing else. Nor does it mean scouring shelves and emptying wallets in pursuit of exotic flours or obscure ingredients, although many pastry schools now include these gluten-free techniques in their standard curriculum.

These Peanut Butter Cup Krispies are a twist on the classic Rice Krispies treat, a dessert that many enjoy without ever realizing that it is inherently gluten-free. Nutrition Degree Online recommends checking the label on your crispy rice cereal of choice to ensure that it is certified gluten-free, as some rice cereals do also contain wheat products. These crispy rice treats are a hit at barbecues, picnics and parties. They may even change some people’s minds about what it means to eat gluten-free.

Peanut Butter Cup Krispies

  • 21 large peanut butter cups
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 10 oz. package of marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips

Unwrap the peanut butter cups and place face down in a foil-lined 9-inch square pan, sprayed with cooking spray.

Melt the butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until melted, then remove from heat.

Stir peanut butter into butter and marshmallow mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the crispy rice cereal.

Using a buttered spatula, evenly press cereal mixture into the pan, fully covering peanut butter cups. Let cool for 20-to-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt peanut butter chips using stove or microwave for 20-30 seconds at a time.

Flip the cooled pan upside down onto cutting board and remove the foil.

Drizzle melted peanut butter chips over crispy rice treats. Allow the dessert to set, then cut into squares of desired size.



Cookies & Cups (2012)

Rice Krispies.com (2012)

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At the request of Big Brother, we made noodle soup together for dinner.  He stirred the garlic and noodles (dry pasta) in olive oil while I peeled and chopped the vegetables.

Tomato Noodle Soup (Caldo con Fideo)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2/3 cup dry pasta broken in small pieces (angel hair) [fideo]
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 white potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • half a bunch of swiss chard, thick stalks removed, shred the leaves
  • chicken stock
  • 1/2 small can of tomato paste
  • fresh thyme
  • chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Sauté the garlic, onion, and pasta in the olive oil until it begins to turn golden but not burnt.  Add chicken stock and water, about 2 cups of each ( I just fill up the small stock pot used for soups).  Add salt and pepper, thyme, tomato paste, celery, carrot, and potato.  Bring to a slow boil and reduce to medium-high for about 10 minutes or until the potato pieces are almost fork-tender.  Add the swiss chard and remove from heat. Serve garnished with fresh parsley.

Pizza Toasts

To use up the remaining half of the tomato paste, I made “pizza” under the broiler using leftover French bread.

  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 4 slices French bread
  • olive oil
  • Monterrey Jack cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • pinch of oregano

Turn on the broiler to low.  Drizzle olive oil on one side of the bread slices.  Toast under the broiler until crisp.  Spread the tomato paste on the bread, top with the cheeses and oregano.  Return to the broiler until the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

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