Sunday, July 26, 2009


Well it has been exactly two months to the day of "no meat" and I have lost 20 POUNDS! Can you believe that!? I haven't even tried!! Just by not eating meat. I never intended this to happen-although I am surely not complaining-it is just so awsome that I really haven't had to sacrifice much-besides meat, which was never my "can't live without staple." Now if only I could figure out how to get the laundry done without trying...or cleaning bathrooms...or mopping floors. Why can't those be as easy? I'm gonna not think about them and maybe they will follow suite.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Simple Slaw

This is the easiest thing you will make for the next backyard BBQ. But you better get to it, cause the season is going to be over before we know it. This is a slaw of few words (and ingredients), but often times actions speak louder than words. I love lots of spice and lots of this and that, but with this I love it just how it is.

Simple Cole Slaw
  • 1 1/2 pounds shredded cabbage (with carrots if you're feeling brave)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup whipping cream (not whipped)
Place cabbage in large dish and add ingredients in order given. Cover and shake. Chill a couple hours shaking when you remember.

We interrupt this program

This is what I am up against! Can you believe this!?! My man has never shown so much passion towards food before, but now that it's up to him to make such things he is putting in the man hours. I should have gotten a few pics but I missed the opportunity! He was outside ALL afternoon Saturday sitting next to his grill and this is what came back! He read up online on how to smoke a mean rack of ribs and he went out Friday and bought everything he needed. Let me just tell you all bets were just about off. These ribs smelled good, they were award winning color and they were juicy-well, according to Bryan. I wouldn't know. I had salmon. And it was good, don't get me wrong. But this is rediculously tempting. S.O.S. Help me!
He said he soaked the mesquite wood chips in water in a pan on the grill and then the other half of the grill was off so the ribs were not under direct heat. Then he filled a squirt bottle with 1/3 cup BBQ sauce and the rest water and he just kept spraying them every 5-10 minutes of so. He cooked them about 3 hours. I have never seen him last that long doing anything! He belongs in Texas! He is officially my grill master.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mongolian BBQ

Well, I pretty much love Mongolian BBQ joints so I had to try and recreate a yummy sauce with all my favorite fixin's so I threw a few things together and I think I may have come pretty close. Of course I didn't get to hand my bowl to someone that threw it onto the giant flat cooking thing and walk around and around stirring it and tossing it. Is that not the coolest part? Although for them it probably really sucks cause it's swealteringly hot in there! But that's why you tip them.

I digress-So last night I made Mongolian BBQ with rice and it was tasty! I sort of followed pioneer woman a bit, but made some tweeks to it.

I used onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, baby corn, and sugar peas (they really added some color to the otherwise bland picture). Oh, and I used shrimp. That was yummy!

So I started out by cutting all the veggies up. It makes it way easier to just throw it all in. Here we go:

Monglian BBQ

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 carton mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • sprinkle of ginger (I used jar, but I am sure fresh is better)
  • 1 regualr can baby corn, chopped
  • couple handfuls of sugar snap peas, whole
  • 1/2-1 pound shrimp-marinade in soy sauce and sesame oil drizzled over the top no more than 20 minutes ahead. It gets mushy if you marinade too long. And I had precooked shrimp so really they were just thrown in at the end to be warmed up
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (any broth will do but I'm on a mission!)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons peanut oil
  • Splash of rice vinegar
  • 3/4 cup cilantro, chopped (you can use more or less, but this adds a taste that you cannot leave out!)
  • chopped peanuts

Heat up your skillet on high heat with 2 Tablespoons peanut oil. Throw in your onion and garlic and when almost brown add bell pepper. Stir around a bit then add mushrooms, baby corn and sugar snap peas. Give it a few good stirs. Now you are thinking it is really dry so let's sauce it up a bit. Add in the soy sauce and sugar and give it a good stir coating all the veggies. Then add the broth and rice vinegar. Reduce the heat and let it boil on low for about 10 minutes. This was when I added in my already cooked shrimp. Remove from heat and right before serving stir in the cilantro. You can even add chopped peanuts to the top and you will be in heaven!

I served it over cooked brown rice, but you could use whatever tickles your fancy!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Homemade Beans

Oh man do I love some home cooked refried beans!! And if you've ever had them (not mine in particular, just someones) then you always wonder what the heck is in the canned stuff!! The color just isn't right, the texture is really wierd and the flavor isn't even close. So I made a batch of my very own the other day and they were so delicious!

Homemade Pinto Beans

  • 1 pound dry pinto bean
  • baking soda (1/2 Tablespoon)
  • water (lots and lots)-I'll explain
  • spices of your choice (I used garlic, onion and cilantro)

So you can either soak them overnight (which is best, but I can't ever remember so I go with the quick soak method). Put all the beans in a 5 quart pot (make sure you look through them and take out all the wierd ones and rocks and stuff) and cover with water and inch over the beans. Bring to a boil and do so for 4 minutes. Add a little baking soda to them (takes the "gas" out-if you know what I mean-beans beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you...oh you get the idea). Turn heat off and let sit covered for about 2 hours (oh don't you roll your eyes. Like you have to do anything while they are just sitting there!). Then about 2 hours before you want to eat them drain them, rinse them and then fill the pot again about an inch or two above the beans. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium/medium low and leave the cover tilted to vent. Mash with a masher thingy (see photo) or use a blender. Add the spices you ever so desire and devour!

We also had these yummiest homemade tortillas. I didn't make them but they are packaged uncooked so you just throw it on a skillet for a 1/2 minute and voila! They are so yummy and thin, so you aren't filling up on flour paste-you can eat more beans! They are really light and they are super delicious. I found these at Wal-mart (evil store) in the refrigerated section (like by the refrig bagels and rolls and stuff) but I also just saw them at Costco too. Sorry all my Wyoming pals. You loose out there.

Check out your local super market and see if they carry them. They are worth the hunt to find.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Last night I made Tilapia. And it was so yummy! I just mixed together some seasoned bread crumbs, grated parmesan, garlic powder and italian seasonings. I sprayed a tiny bit of EVOO on it and coated it. Baked it and it was GOOOOD! Topped it off with some sweet potatos and salad.

Here is a recipe...sort of

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

  • 1/3 cup season bread crumbs
  • 1-2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • sprinkle of garlic powder
  • sprinkle of italian seasoning
  • pinch of rosemary (man that smelled good comin' from the oven!)
  • 1-2 Tilapia fillets

Preheat oven to 450. Mix all dry ingredients together in a wide bottomed bowl. Lightly spray tilapia with EVOO on both sides and coat with the bread crumb mixture. Place in an 8x8 non-stick pan and bake about 12 minutes (10 minutes per inch of thickness-not per side!).

This stuff is the best find I've had in a long time!! I got it from Oliviers & Co. (you can order online) and it is seriously delicious! The olive oil is pressed with basil (not infused) so it is really flavorful! and the Balsamic Vinegar is mouth-watering good! It is thick and almost like a syrup so a little goes a long way. I used these on my salad and it was to die for!

I just thought this salad looked so pretty with the spices dusting the top of it. I visited a spice store in Arvada (Penzeys Spices) while we were in Colorado and they had some of the yummiest stuff! This spice was one of the ones I picked up and it is great on a salad! There are shallots, chives, garlic, onion and green peppercorns in this one (Fox point). It was a great addition to the salad.
The sweet potatoes I just diced and topped with a little Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb seasoning and heated in the microwave.
I will try to do better with the recipes. Promise!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Scallops con Pesto

So, the picture didn't do it justice, so I'm just gonna tell you about it. I had a whole heep o' pesto 'cause we just went to Costco-and oh how I missed thee, let me count the ways. So I wasn't sure now that I had the whole heep what I was going to do with it, so I just topped my scallops. They were sooooo good! I just heated up some Basil pressed EVOO and 2 cloves of garlic and sauteed the scallops (about 3-4 minutes per side) and then topped them off with the pesto sauce on my plate. Oh my heavens! They melted in my mouth! So yummy! I am going to make my own pesto one of these days-I promise you and me that, but I am intimidated. My mom's is so good I don't want to screw it up! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Let me Explain!

Well, please, let me explain! If you know me you know that I LOVE meat! But I recently read this book called Skinny Bitch and my eyes were opened to how fowl meat can actually be! I had no idea that the entire process from raising to slaughtering to processing was so inhumane! Plech! So I have made the decision to try this whole vegetarian thing out for a year and see how it goes. Now the authors of the book are vegan (they don't eat meat, seafood, or any dairy) but I am just taking baby steps here, so I have decided that I will not eat any meat except seafood and see where I end up after that. Plus, my husband Bryan doesn't think I can do it, so you have to help me out! I thought I could make this more fun by sharing with you my recipes, stories and photos of what I'm up to in the kitchen and otherwise on my quest for meatless living. So I have until June 1st of 2010! Wish me luck...