No, I haven’t given up…

It’s just that this is the busiest time of the year for real estate appraisers. People are paying me to work. Nobody’s paying me to cook. Most of the time, I don’t even get a pat on the head. So, I hold out my hand and weigh my choices. Money on one hand, thankless servitude on the other. Kind of a no-brainer.  One hand’s hanging a whole lot lower than the other.

That’s not to say we’ve given up eating. We always do plenty of that. There just hasn’t been much going on worth sharing.

But, Tuesday’s Mr. Man’s birthday, so things should be a little more promising. His dream dinner is pretty much some kind of grilled meat and a baked potato, skimp on the veggies and don’t waste your time on a salad. But he won’t be the only one eating dinner, so we’ll see if we can’t do a little better, make everyone happy, and hopefully I can at least get a recipe or two posted.

Till then…

Sorry Vegans

lamb shanks served

Today isn’t your day. OK, at my house it really isn’t, as the “Friends” theme song goes, your week, your month or even your year. But today sure isn’t your day. Today we’re cooking braised lamb shanks.

It may sound Baaaaaad to some, but they’re really pretty darn Gooood! I promise. I used to think I didn’t like lamb, but I’ve changed my mind. It’s not something I cook very often, but every once in a while you just have to get out of your rut and cook something different.


What? Vegan???

Shut the front door. I made minestrone soup. Which can be vegan. Or gluten free. But if you’re feeling scared don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be.

My grasp of Italian is pretty limited. My Nonni used to call me “squirrely” a lot, so I know what squirrel is in Italian, and some other choice words. But near as I can figure, minestrone is Italian for “everybody in the pool”.

Nonni used to throw in whatever veggies she had on hand and somehow it always tasted about the same, which was awesome. I can’t rock soup like Nonni did, but I make some pretty good minestrone if I do say so myself. Which I don’t. My friend Jeanne says my vegan version is pretty darn good. I make it with gluten free pasta for her.

For Mr. Man, I sometimes add MEAT, which makes him very happy, although he’ll go along with the meatless version too. Either way, it’s a good way to get some veggies in your belly and sometimes clean out the fridge.



Something Sweet

oatmeal pecan chip cookies

Life is nothing without dessert, right? Ice cream is my favorite, but cookies come in a close second because they go great with coffee and coffee just rules my world.

I’m partial to crunchy, buttery cookies. Others like soft, chewy cookies. These loaded oatmeal cookies have a little something for us all, chewy oatmeal AND crunchy pecans…plus chocolate chips, because who doesn’t like those? Or you can add raisins instead, even though I can’t imagine why.

Cooking For The Family

If you have to cook, nothing beats cooking for those you love. (Say Awww….) It helps take away some of the pain of slaving over a hot stove, even if you have to fish for compliments afterward.

When you have company, you have to make a little more effort than usual. Well, that’s assuming you want them to come back of course. Since I rather like our kid’s company, and they were working hard out in the shop all day, I set them up with some beef kebobs for dinner.

These are pretty darn awesome, particularly if you make them out of prime rib. I didn’t have prime rib, so I used tri-tip, which is good. Still, if you really want to wow company with a special dinner, nothing beats prime rib.

I usually buy a huge hunk which is $100+. We’ll cut off a big chunk to roast on the rotisserie out on the grill, covered with my favorite rub. Then I might cut up the rest into steaks, or into cubes to marinate for beef kebobs.

When you cut the prime rib into cubes, there are always little bits and pieces of meat left that are too small to do anything else with, so I fry those up, make beef in mushroom gravy, and serve over egg noodles. I know, it’s not diet food, but you can’t throw away even a scrap of prime rib at those prices.

But enough about special occasion expensive prime rib. Last night it was just good old tri-tip, and Jace said they were the best beef kebobs I’d ever made. We were so busy eating, I forgot to take a photo. So here’s one lonely kebob. The rest were in our bellies!

Beef kebob

Where’d Mom Go?

Well, it’s been a week, that’s about all I can say. Definitely not a week for cooking. We did manage to eat, but not much to brag about and nothing you’d give someone a recipe for and no time to post anything anyway.

But it’s the weekend! Yay! Time to take a breath!!! The kids will be here all day, so there will be some cooking going on. I’ll be posting the recipe for some awesome beef kebobs, but we get to eat them first. Sorry! How else can I post a picture?

I did make some yummy fried rice the other night. Fried rice is the reason we love teppanyaki, right? Especially when it involves BACON! I had some leftover grilled pork tenderloin so I just threw that in and called it a meal. You could put some teriyaki chicken in there, or just add more bacon:)

fried rice

Did Somebody Say Panda Express?

NO time to cook today. I haven’t even had time to eat. I’ve had a banana, a no wheat zero sugar mug muffin, and I’m sending Mr. Man to Panda Express to pick up dinner. Either that or he can shove the dog aside and muzzle down in the dog dish. There are just days like this and there’s no way around it.

I did cook some teriyaki chicken skewers last night with tamari instead of soy sauce and a little stevia in place of the brown sugar. Side of brown rice and carrots, because I’m doing the eating healthy thing for the next eight weeks on Livestrong’s Whole Life Challenge. But I’ll give you the tasty version I usually make because no need for us all to suffer.

teriyaki chicken

Happy Mother’s Day!

Here’s to not cooking all day! I’m very goal oriented, so I’m sure I can succeed.

As I write this, Mr. Man is in the kitchen making me breakfast, so we’re off to a good start. Smells like….bacon!

There’s a lovely new plant to kill sitting next to me. I give it about a month.

Son Jace and his fiance Angela are cooking dinner for me. I don’t know what, but I do know Jace will be making homemade cinnamon rolls for dessert. Maybe I can get the recipe for you!

So, sadly, on the second day of the Whole Life Challenge, I’ll be taking a mulligan. So glad there is room for failure built in!

I plan to do absolutely nothing today. Perfect! So Happy Mother’s Day to all the ladies out there. May you do exactly as you please and enjoy your day!

Maybe I can even get a hug from my son today without him gritting his teeth or saying, “It BURNS”! We all live in hope.

Reality Check

Mr. Man wanted to go to the grocery store with me the other day. Silly me, I thought he just wanted an outing with the wife, a little togetherness, a little bonding over the mundane chores of daily life.

So I was happily cruising through the store thinking, “Well, isn’t this nice?”, when I looked down, and a slab of baby back ribs had somehow magically jumped into the shopping cart. Ah, now the veil was lifted and all became clear. So much for true love.

So I fixed awesome, man pleasing, bbq pork ribs for dinner last night. You can use regular ribs, but I like the baby backs because they have a higher sauce to meat ratio and the sauce is yummy, a little Texas meets Asia flavor.

These are great for parties. You can get them prepped ahead of time, then finish them up on the grill at the last minute. They’re falling-off-the-bone tender, and sticky good. I’ve tried lots of ways to fix pork ribs, but these are the best by far.

Made some roasted cauliflower too. Merl prefers his dripping with cheese sauce, but he said it was pretty good and ate it all, so I’ll call that a win. Besides, he got his ribs so veggies were my choice. Mashed potatoes weren’t a very colorful addition, but today begins the eight week Whole Life Challenge, and white potatoes are forbidden, so it was my last chance!

pork rib dinner

Comfort Food

salisbury done

Salsibury Steak smothered in gravy, so tender Grandma can eat it without her dentures. Mashed potatoes smothered with more gravy. Or not, so you can mix them into your peas and make a real mess. Now that’s what I call comfort food.

We did that last night. Everyone was happy. End of story.

Not enough fruits and veggies for you? Well, I made some carrot cupcakes and they even had pineapple in them. So, we had fruit and veggie for desert. Boom! That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

Carrot Cupcakes