Meatless Monday: Quiche

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My well loved and used Copy of The Joy of Cooking

Quiche is one of those go-to dishes that shines in many situations: brunch (of course) is where it is usually used but don’t count it out for dinner.  Add veggies and serve it with a quick soup or salad.  It contains all of the things you need: A nice dose of protein and a little bit of comfort in the flaky crust.  Plus, if you have any leftovers, take them for lunch.  Have some fruit with it and you’ll be set for a productive afternoon.  And, if you’re rushed for time, you can eat it cold at your desk.  I know I’ve done that many times. [Read more…]

Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash and Crispy Kale

Though butternut squash is scarce in Tucson at this time of year, I have some

From Tori's blog, this picture looks tasty!

From Tori’s blog, this picture looks tasty!

in my freezer, which made this little gem of a recipe possible.  It is quite delicious.  I did serve it with grilled lamb chops…so that Monday was not a true “Meatless Monday.”  You’ve seen me post from this blog before.  Tori Avey has a wonderful food blog on which you’ll find lots of yummy recipes like this one.

[Read more…]

What I’m Reading…The Andy Cohen Diaries: A Deep Look at a Very Shallow Year

Reading has always been a priority in my adult life.  I tried to read as much as I can in between meal planning, cleaning the house and staying current on my favorite Bravolebrities.

[Read more…]

Standing on the Edge

Oh snap!  This just got real!

Oh snap! This just got real!

Standing on the Edge

 

As I sit on at a table outside of the James E. Rogers College of Law, I am excited and completely terrified.  I’m not a law student yet, but I plan to be in the Fall of 2016. 

Chase will be 6 and Andrew will turn 4 as I enter a 3 year journey.  But first, I have to get there.  I have to prepare for and take the LSAT. [Read more…]

Meatless Monday: Chia Seed Banana Breakfast Pudding

This recipe had the potential to be a texture disaster.  I’ve tried the chia/kombucha drinks and have not been impressed.  I

I topped my pudding with blackberries

I topped my pudding with blackberries

love the nutrition that chia seeds offer so I wanted to give a recipe like this a chance.  I wanted an easy “overnight” recipe that the boys would like.  After several incarnations and tests, I found this one via Yummly.  The flavor is very heavy on the banana side but I liked it.  In my version, I also added cardamom.

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EAT THIS NOW…CA BLTS

What can I say…I love bacon.  When I was in college, I would occasionally go home on a Friday afternoon and enter my parents’ house to the smell of bacon.  Friday night was BLT night.  The combination of salty bacon, fresh tomatoes, crisp romaine and REAL mayonnaise on whole wheat bread was delicious.  The only thing that made it better was a beer and some Mikesell’s potato

Who doesn't love bacon lattice work?

Who doesn’t love bacon lattice work?

chips on the side.

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Meatless Monday: Roasted Garlic and Parsnip Soup

There just aren’t enough recipes for parsnips!  I love this one and think you will too.  It is satisfying and super

FYI - When I made this, it was a little darker.  There was quite a bit of caramelization on the parsnips

FYI – When I made this, it was a little darker. There was quite a bit of caramelization on the parsnips

healthy, which is a bonus.  It is from the Clean Eats Blog.  I always feel good about making items from the cook book and blog.  I paired the soup with a big salad and called it a dinner!

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Eat This Now…Bacon Quinoa with Almonds and Herbs

I’m always on the look out for interesting but easy side dishes that I can make for a weeknight

Les Herbes!  It's easier and much cheaper to buy your herbs and plant them.  Plus, it adds a touch of green to your world!

Les Herbes! It’s easier and much cheaper to buy your herbs and plant them. Plus, it adds a touch of green to your world!

dinner, a crowd, or dinner party.  With health in mind (I know bacon isn’t the definition of healthy but you don’t use that much) I also like to use ingredients that are fresh.  This recipe is straight up delicious!  When I served it, I paired it with steamed green beans and a salad.  However, you can serve it with steak or roasted chicken and another veggie and you’re set!  I found the recipe on Food and Wine.com.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 thick slices of applewood-smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small shallot, minced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups chicken stock
1 sage sprig
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the almonds in a pie plate and toast in the oven until golden brown, 4 minutes; let cool.

2.  In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderately high heat until the fat has rendered, about 2 minutes. Add the shallot and cook, stirring a few times, until softened but not browned, about 1 minute. (At this point, I removed the bacon and shallots and put them aside.  I added them back in at the end, I wanted them to stay crispy) Add the quinoa, stock and sage and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the stock has been absorbed, about 17 minutes. Remove the quinoa from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the sage and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Stir in the chives, parsley and toasted almonds. Season the quinoa with salt and pepper and serve.

Siggy-Q

Meatless Monday: Tabouleh-Hummus Layered Dip

Potluck and BBQ days are in our future.  I saw this recipe and it reminded me of the 7 Layer Nacho Dips from the 1990’s.  Remember the layers of canned bean dip, tomatoes, olives, green onions, onions, jalepenos, and cheese sauce?  Oh yes, I’ve eaten my share.  It’s right up there with “chile con queso cheese dip”.  After I took some Spanish, I realized the name of the that creation was redundant.

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Red Dirt, Roosters and Rum

What a week we had!  We celebrated my mother in law’s 70th birthday with a trip to Kauai in Hawai’i.  It was my 3rd trip to the islands but my first to Kauai.  I had always heard that Kauai was relaxing and more remote than some of the other islands and really great for families.  It was both of those things and more.  We rented a house right off of

Roscoe the Rooster.  They not only lived in our backyard but they also roamed the beach for entertainment.

Roscoe the Rooster. They not only lived in our backyard but they also roamed the beach for entertainment.

Poipu Beach.  It was a 5 minute walk to the water, a restaurant with delicious food and a park for the kiddos.

We arrived in the afternoon and immediately went down to the beach.  We had to dip our toes into the water!  We picked up some fish and chips for the boys and then Ryan and I headed to the grocery store to stock up on fresh fish, Rum and pineapple.  We had a delicious grilled fish dinner and waited for Casey (Ryan’s brother) and his two girls: Indira and Zyra.

Around 4am the ruckus began.  Roosters were signaling the start of the day.  And they didn’t stop until the evening.  This cycle repeated itself every day.  These roosters and hens roam the island and have since 1991 after a hurricane decimated the island’s chicken farms.  Apparently, the residents decided the chickens were better off roaming free.  This gives a whole new meaning to the term: free range chickens.

Casey took advantage of the Farmers' Market and brought home delicious tropical fruits, grown locally of course.

Casey took advantage of the Farmers’ Market and brought home delicious tropical fruits, grown locally of course.

Our days were filled with tropical fruit breakfasts, beach time, lots of fresh fish, sea turtles and dips in the pool.  Chase and Andrew delighted (most of the time) in spending time with their cousins.  Ryan was able to go on a mountain bike ride with his brother.  And, most importantly, my MIL had all 4 of her grandchildren in one place.  She relishes this time and takes advantage of it.

Andrew and Chase shared a room for the first time.  It worked pretty well.  I was hopeful this would work out because eventually we want them to share a room.  The only downfall was that Andrew went to bed a little later than usual.  The upside was that Chase went to bed a little earlier than usual.  No one fell out of bed…it was a success!

Captain and Poopsie never played tennis but they did go on a run AND have a date night.  It was a delicious dinner with great cocktails.

I was lucky enough to find some locally made rum.  The cocktail of the week was obviously a maitai.  The first one was

My two best friends during our stay on Kauai.

My two best friends during our stay on Kauai.

usually made around 4:30pm local time, but on several days MIL made herself a margarita at lunch and so I felt it was my obligation as her loyal DIL to join her.  Wow!  That made the day fly!  With easy dinners on the menu, I didn’t have to expend a lot of brainpower during the trip.  I wish I could find this delicious rum on the mainland.  I’ll have to do some research on where to find it.

With hikes, fresh fruit and lots of beach time we didn’t venture out of Poipu beach that much.  But, my dear friend Charlotte Casey, who lives in Waimea came to visit us with her kiddos in tow.  It doesn’t sound that remarkable except for the fact that she has a 9 year old, 7 year old and 6 month old TWINS!  I was thrilled to meet the twinsies and indulge Noah

Charlotte and me.  I will admit to cropping the picture so that my arm wasn't in it.

Charlotte and me. I will admit to cropping the picture so that my arm wasn’t in it.

and Avalon with some shave ice, which they informed me was the best on the island.  It had been a couple of years since I had seen beautiful Charlotte but we picked up right where we left off.    While Chase and Noah played, Avalon dashed to the beach on her own.  Andrew however, was smitten with Audrey and Tessa.  To this day he still calls them his babies.  It was a sweet encounter while he touched their toes all while being very gentle.  It may have been a particularly good day, or maybe she just hides it well but I was amazed at the ease with which Charlotte handled to brand new babies and two active and spirited older kiddos.  I would have been sweating profusely at the daunting task of handling that many kids on an outing.  Charlotte, you’re an inspiration!  I can’t wait to see you again!

It's all smiles as the sun sets!

It’s all smiles as the sun sets!

The week was capped off by a Luau.  The food, the drinks, and the sunset were beautiful.  And, don’t forget the dancers! Indira, Zyra, and Andrew were all about going on stage to join the pretty ladies.  There were wonderful musicians playing and singing the traditional music of the islands and telling the history of luau through all of the dances.  I love attending luaus and I am so glad that we were able to see this one.

Kauai is a volcanic island.  It is known for the red dirt that infiltrates every inch of every structure and being on the island.  There is even a t-shirt company that, during the same 1991 hurricane that set the chickens free, was flooded and had its entire stock of white t-shirts “ruined” by the red dirt/water mixture.  It now sells products dyed with the famous red dirt of the island.  We saw many of them during our trip.  I tried to leave as much red dirt on the island as possible.  However, I think I ended up with enough sand to start a sandbox.

So happy together!  All of the cousins at the beach.

So happy together! All of the cousins at the beach.

Needless to say, I can’t wait to go back.  Chase asks me every other day when we are going back.  I think he may want to move there.  Luckily, my friend Charlotte is a realtor, so if we decide to make the move, she could find a place for us. (By the way, if you need a realtor on Kauai, let me know and I’ll put you in contact with her).  I hope we can go back to Kauai, but I would not be opposed to visiting the other islands again either.

The trip back was long…and got us back on the mainland pretty late, but it was well worth it.  The last 40 minutes of the flight were a little touch and go.  I’m pretty sure I was head-butted 6 times and I subsequently threatened bodily harm to both of my children.

Top Three Quotations from our week on Kauai

3. Andrew: “I high fived the little lady,” referring to the luau dancer.

2. Ryan: “Are her shorts made out of doilies?” seeing the shorts of a gal in the airport

1. Chase: “That’s the thing about Hawaii.  You need to put on your pants,” after waking up for a nap and wanting to go to the beach with just his underwear on.

Siggy-Q

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