Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Diet Information

Ever typed diet into the internet search? Well I did today and got 613,000,000 hits. OK, granted not all the links have to do with diet and exercise. My point is t here is a lot of information out there about dieting and exercise. Especially this time of year. Believe me marketers know just when to release the ads.
You know New Year's Resolution time? I think more people sign up for these programs at this time of year. Of course, they will drop out by Feb 1st. Not all will. but enough. So if you are serious, or even if you are not, there is one website t hat really breaks it down. They have bought and tried several diet and exercise prorgrams and they have put together a really nice website. They are Youonadiet.net. Here is one of thier videos.

Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year's Resolutions and Feasts.

Are you making your New Year's Resolutions yet? Or did you give up on that stuff years ago? Well if you do, did, are planning too keep reading.

Many of us tried on our favorite party clothes this Christmas Party season, looked in the mirror and grimaced. If we could put the thing on at all.

See most of us gain a couple of pounds a year if we don't do anything to keep it off. We're such couch potatoes, and junk food addicts.

I don't know how many of you are aware of this but there is even what I call Vegan Junk food. Ok so it doesn't contain any animal products or bi-products, but there is still no point to eating it. Except that we re such junk food junkies. I'm sorry but a cookie is a cookie whether it is make the traditional way with white sugar flour, eggs and butter or not.

So what about that New Year's thing?

Who’s going to stop smoking?

How about loose weight?

Notice how most of our resolutions are health related?

Ok, who’s concerned about debt?

Why else do we make resolutions? Why do we break them?

I again am going to make that same resolution as I do every year. I’m going to lose weight, and get in shape.

My apartment is on the second floor, and I’m tired of being winded when I get to the top of the stairs.

So, I’ll be telling you about things as I go along- New diets, new programs and such. This will still primarily a food blog, but hopefully about more healthy choices.

All right now here is your New Year's feast for a good New Year. And its healthy too.

Black eyed pears are a staple for Southern Americans on New Years, and I'm not talking about the band, al though ....

Differnet day

Hoppin' John By Diana Rattray, About.com Guide

slight variation by me.


•1 pound dried black-eyed peas

•2 small smoked ham hocks or meaty ham bone

•2 medium onions, divided

•3 large cloves garlic, halved

•1 bay leaf

•1 cup long-grain white rice

•1 can (10 to 14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with chile peppers, juices reserved

•1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

•1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

•3 ribs celery, chopped

•1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

•3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

•3/4 teaspoon salt

•4 green onions, sliced


In a large Dutch oven or kettle, combine the black-eyed peas, ham bone or ham hocks, and 6 cups water. Cut 1 of the onions in half and add it to the pot along with the garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until the beans are tender but not mushy, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove the ham bone or hocks, cut off the meat; dice and set aside. Drain the peas and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaf, onion pieces, and garlic.

Add 2 1/2 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and simmer until the rice is almost tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Mince the remaining onion then add to the rice along with the peas, tomatoes, and their juices, red and green bell pepper, celery, thyme, cumin, and salt. Cook until the rice is tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the sliced green onions and the reserved diced ham. Serve with hot sauce and freshly baked cornbread.

I cook mine in a crock pot and let them simmer all day.
The other ingedients I leave out is Creole Seasoning and hot peppers. This recipe is "kicky" enough.
Well try it both ways. See what you think.

To you're heath America!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Too Cool

Happy happy happy as a girl in chocolate!. Google Blogger and Amazon Associates have teamed up. Now I can add my favorite cookbooks right into my blog with no hassle.

just like this!  

or this!

or whatever from amazon, without going through the thrid party widgets on my side bar. too cool.

hum, what's for dinner?


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hello Kansas City BBQ!

Ok, my big news of late is moving to the Kansas City area. As a foodie I am thrilled, because I can't wait to try the BBq!
Kansas City is one of the BBQ capitals of the world, (the other is Memphis) there are big countests, and at least 50 restaurants in the city with feature the saucey stuff. I have to metion Memphis because the worlds biggest contest is on Mud Island every spring. people compete from all over the world. My family being from Arkansas, Memphis style bbq was my first.

KC is known for the sauce, sweet and tangy. I found this on Wikipedia:

Kansas City barbecue refers to the specific inner city style of barbecue that evolved from the pit of Henry Perry in the early 1900s in Kansas City, Missouri. The Kansas City Metropolitan Area is renowned for barbecue. Kansas City, Missouri has more than 100 barbecue restaurants and is known in Missouri as "world's barbecue capital." There are large, well attended barbecue cooking contests, the two most notable being in nearbyLenexa, Kansas and at the American Royal.

Kansas City barbecue is characterized by its use of different types of meat (including pulled pork, pork ribs, burnt ends, smoked sausage, beef brisket, beef ribs, smoked/grilled chicken, smoked turkey, and sometimes fish) along with its sweet and tangy sauces which are generally intended for liberal use. A majority of restaurants also offer a spicy variety of the staple sauce. Ribs are mostly pork, but also come in beef varieties and can come in a number of different cuts. Burnt ends, the flavorful pieces of meat cut from the ends of a smoked beef or pork brisket, are a popular dish in many Kansas City area barbecue restaurants. Kansas City barbecue is also known for its many side dishes, including a unique style of baked beans, french fries, cole slaw, and other soul food staples.

My mom made a sauce that involved diet cola, and ketchup. There are pit masters shuddering right now at the thoutht.

Anyway as I trip into BBq heaven, I'll pass out the details

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Orzo and Meatballs

Everybody loves pasta.
today's recipe is includes "Orzo". it is a rice shaped pasta, and is quite versitle. It can be used in soups and stews, or can be the main dish like todays feature.
Orzo and Meatball salad.

Start by cooking 1/2 a box of orzo pasta
chop 1/2 a cup of celery
1/2 cup of bell peppers, mix the colors, red, green and yellow
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 oz of chicken breast

to the cooked pasta add the veggies, chicken, peas, and about 16 cooked meatballs, about 1 1/2 in diameter.

For the dressing,
1/2 cup mayo
3 Tbls of grain mustard
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup marinara sauce
(for a spicy kick substitute barbque sauce for the marainara.

toss together cover and refrigerate. this makes a lot, so why not take it to your next bar-b-que or pot luck.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Candle of Month

Hello! I wanted to let you know about this month's Candle of the Month fragrance. Check it out below! If you would like to order, please contact me by replying back to this message or order directly from my Web site: http://www.thebishopscandle.scent-team.com/shop/home.php
Candle of the Month Notice

Fragrance: Harvest Time 16oz Jar
Stock Number: 244
Description: Experience this comforting fragrance combination of warm apples and spices reminiscent of a crisp autumn day

If you would like to read more news about what is going on with Scent-Sations, Inc. & Mia Bella's Gourmet Products, check out the monthly company newsletters: http://www.thebishopscandle.scent-team.com/company/newsletters.php

Are you interested in our products? Go here to see a full line of all the products we have to offer: http://www.thebishopscandle.scent-team.com/products.php

Are you interested in becoming a Candle of the Month member? Go here to read more information about the great Scent-Sations, Inc. business opportunity: http://www.thebishopscandle.scent-team.com/opportunity.php

CAN-Spam Act Notice: This message is being sent to you as an advertisement from your Scent-Sations, Inc. representative, Kimberly Bishop. Their physical address is: P O Box 1415, Middletown, CA 95461 United States. To opt-out, simply reply to this message with "Unsubscribe" as the subject, and your e-mail address will be removed within 10 business days. This message meets the CAN-SPAM Act requirements for commercial emailers.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Good Morning from the Resaurant

I just wanted to share a little about my life, and my cooking experience.
I was in my Grandma's kitchen from the age of 2, and helping my mom cook from about the age of 8.

there was always something to help with. at gram's, I had my own table and apron. My mom was teaching about food safety at 6.

I was making "Bubble Gum casseroles" at 10. What is a Bubble Gum Casserole? Ground meat, cheese, rice or potatoes, and veggies, don't forget seasoning. At that time, I think it was seasoning salt.

I think Chili and Spaghetti may have started out that way.

I worked in many fast-food types growing up. When I got to California 18 years ago I hung up my apron for administrative work for the resort.

But now I am in the restaurant, and having fun. It's so different to work at job, and be in charge of the operation.

Skip ahead.. About a month ago, I started working as a cashier in a resort/retreat restaurant. We serve breakfast and dinner. there is always something new.
We use organic and local produce and eggs.
So I'm going to be sharing with you as much as I can with out giving away too much. I have to keep the confidence of the resort, restaurant and my fellow staff, but we will still have fun.

Every morning we serve a fruit salad. This is my favorite combo.

1 pint of strawberries
1/2 watermelon
1 cantaloupe
2 oranges
2 mangoes
1 pineapple
1 cucumber
1 bunch of red grapes

peal and chop all fruits to bite sized. Come in, order this with some granola, and yogurt, and you have a the perfect light breakfast on a hot day.

Cucumber? yes not only does it provide some green into all that red fruity flesh, but on supper hot days, cucumber is cooling. that is why you see it a lot in Mediterranean cooking.

Anyway, off soon.
Bon Apatite!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Great Grillin'!

Hey Gang- I found another great website full of helpful infromation. As grilling season is in, and the fourth is this weekend here are some great tips form http://www.simpleanddelicious.com/. Enjoy and and have a happy holiday

Basic Grilling Tips
Grill season is just around the corner. Before you start cooking, make sure that you get your grill cleaned and in tip-top shape. Be sure to check back often as our Grill series continues.

Clean Your Grate

Make sure that you purchase propane or charcoal so that you are ready to clean your grate. Then if your grate has burnt-on food from your last grilling extravaganza, you’ll be ready when it’s time to fire up the grill. After about 15 minutes, scrub the grate with a stiff wire grill brush until all food particles are burned or scraped off. Let it cool down and cover.
Spray the cold, clean grate with PAM® for Grilling Spray (and your utensils, too). Then preheat grill about 15 minutes before starting to cook.
After cooking, scrape grill down with grill brush to remove burnt-on particles. ‘Cook’ another 15 minutes to help burn off remaining traces of food. Brush once more and extinguish fire. You will have a clean grate for your next meal.
Prepare Your Foods
Choose a thicker cut of meat and fish for more tender and flavorful results.
Trim excess fat from meats, leaving only about 1/4 inch of fat for flavor. Less fat helps avoid flare-ups and makes cleaning easier.
To avoid cross-contamination when handling raw meat, always bring out two plates when grilling—one for the raw meat and one for the cooked meat.

Wash and cut veggies in half or into 1/2 inch thick slices that won’t fall through the grate.
Smaller vegetables can be skewered for easy grilling—or use a grilling basket.
Spray vegetables lightly with PAM®; season with salt, if desired, before cooking.

Choose Your Tools

Use long-handled tools and long barbecue mitts to protect your hands from the heat.
Use tongs to turn and serve the meat, not forks—you will pierce the food and lose flavorful juices.
Use a meat thermometer to help determine internal temperature.
Before You Grill
Spray PAM® For Grilling on the cold grill and tongs.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Beef and Blue Salads

Today let's talk about salad. It is another of those quick meal ideas. i love salads, but i can never make enough of them.

For a Beef and Blue salad you just need a few ingredients and you have a delicious meal in a bowl For a twist use sandwich steaks. Some of you may know the joys of a Philly cheese steak. They use a very thin cut of meat the cooks quickly and can then be torn apart like the lettuce.

For one salad:
2 "Steak-Um" slices
1 Roma tomato
1 oz blue or Gorgonzola cheese
1 thin slice of red onion with its rings separated,
1/4 celery
a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts
2 cups romaine lettuce

cook the meat. it just takes a minute each. salt and pepper to taste. Set them aside to cool. slice the onion, and dice the tomato. slice the celery

tear the lettuce leaves to bite sized pieces. add all the ingredients. top with the nuts and serve with your favorite dressing. I like buttermilk ranch with this salad.

Now who said you can't have your steak and eat it too?

thanks for stopping by...
Kimberly, your kitchen fairy.

Blue Cheese on Foodista

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Joy of Pasta

More pasta!

How to create love and magic in the kitchen.

Sometimes success in the kitchen depends on being kind of fearless, you can’t be afraid to make a mess, and you have to be willing to throw out the occasional disaster. You can be creative, and have fun. Like anything else you get better with practice. Don't be afraid, have fun. Just pay attention, and you won't set your hair on fire or scare the dog.

How many people were allowed in the kitchen as children? Were you turned away from the door because your mother was fussing about getting dinner on the table, and you needed to occupy yourself elsewhere?

Don’t worry. That other room in your house shouldn't be scary. Your mom did ok, didn’t she? Or was dinner often bad? And you learned early not to complain? Feed the burned beans to the dog?

OK, that part of your life is over. Can you pour milk on cereal? Can you make a cup of tea? Good, that is not scary is it? You can warm up a can of soup? Excellent!

Let us begin….

This week’s recipe is a simple pasta dish.

You need a box of spiral shaped pasta

½ one large onion
1 clove of garlic
½ each red, green and yellow bell peppers
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped zucchini
1 cup of sliced mushrooms
1 chopped tomato
1 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
Seasoning salt
Italian herb blend
Black pepper

Put the olive oil in a skillet. Chop the onion, garlic, and peppers in to small pieces. Chop the mushrooms if you are not using canned. And chop your tomato. Heat the skillet on medium. Add first the bells peppers, broccoli, zucchini and then the onion, and then the garlic.

Tip: if you put the garlic in first it could burn.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add salt and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When it boils, add the pasta. Add the mushrooms to the veggie mix.

Keep an eye on the vegetables; don’t let them get too brown.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Add the seasoning salt, Italian herbs and pepper to taste. Now add the tomato and the broth. When the broth comes to a simmer do not boil. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are done, turn off the heat, serve and enjoy. You just made Pasta Primavera!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Splenda anyone?

I know, I know, there is a lot of controversy around artificial sweeteners, but there is an epidemic of diabetes in this country, and they need to eat well. Some guide lines to pay attention to when you are cooking for a diabetic are.

Diabetes Friendly recipes have:

No more than 35% calories from fat
No more than 10% calories from saturated fat
No more than 3 carbohydrate exchanges per serving (45 grams of carbohydrate)

A recent small study done in 27 rats using saccharin ("A Role for Sweet Taste: Calorie Predictive Relations in Energy Regulation by Rats") alleges a link between low-calorie sweetener consumption and weight gain. However this study needs to be considered in the proper scientific context, especially since there are many other previously published research studies in humans that reached the opposite conclusion. In fact, a 2007 study published in Pediatrics®, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that using sucralose (SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener) or sucralose sweetened beverages as part of an effort to decrease caloric intake by 100 calories per day, and to increase physical activity by 2000 steps per day helped to maintain and lower body mass index in the overweight children from the 111 families who participated in the "Families on the Move" program. It is important that the cause of obesity is not over-simplified, as it has many origins.

Also smaller more frequent meals are better. that way your insulin and blood sugar seem to balance out better.

No I'm no diabetic. but cooking for blood sugar issues do run in my family.

I don't cook with artificial sweeteners but other people do. So i found this nice recipe on Splenda.com. Nice site by the way.

Angela Tustin's Blueberry and Lemon Thyme Scones with Sweet Lemon Cream

Read Reviews (3)

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 8 Minutes
Serves: 12
Submitted by: Maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products
"Moist, light scones with a golden crusty exterior are served warm with a sweet lemon cream."
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1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups soft cake flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
4 ounces butter, cubed
1/4 cup SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
1/2 cup dried blueberries
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3 sprigs lemon thyme, stems removed, whole leaves

Sweet Lemon Cream:
8 ounces Neufchatel cream cheese
3 tablespoons SPLENDA® Sugar Blend
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the first 11 ingredients except butter and buttermilk into a large mixing bowl. Add cubed butter and press butter into dry mixture by hand until butter mixture is coarse, not smooth (this is especially fun for the kiddies, but beware, it can get messy).
Add buttermilk slowly and mix dough together until lightly combined. Remove dough to a floured surface and knead until ingredients are blended but dough is not over worked.
Roll dough with a rolling pin until 2/3 inch thick. Cut out with a 2 round cutter (re- roll dough when needed) and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 6 minutes until tops of scones are golden brown. Remove from oven and serve warm with Sweet Lemon Cream (recipe below).
Sweet Lemon Cream: Place the remaining ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer. Whip on medium speed until mixture is fluffy and homogenous. Serve with Blueberry and Lemon Thyme Scones.
Serving Size: 1 scone, 2 tablespoons sweet lemon cream


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What's for Dinner?

Do you hate asking that question night after night? Or, maybe you are the one asking? Do you get the same response? "Oh, What ever you decide is fine" (grin)

Well tonight, how about a little salad? Salad? yes, we can make this fun...

grab some of your favorite greens.
some sliced tomato
a grilled chicken breast
a little green pepper
crumble a little bacon

and voila! dinner.

now for the dressing...
apple cider vinegar
the smooth Dijon mustard
some olive oil
and salt and pepper.

a great light dinner... feel free to add anything else you like. For instance, beans, and avocado for a southwestern touch.

or how about olives and feta cheese for more of a Mediterranean meal?

That is the beauty of a green salad. It can be what ever you want.

Ciao. bellas.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Orzo Salad

This is not your ordinary pasta salad. but it is so simple. It can be served hot or cold. Why not do something different for dinner? A Pork and Orzo salad. Simple to put together, and tasty. Why not make a little extra for lunch? Take this to work and your co-workers may be jealous.

Peppered Pork tenderloin, I like buy them already marinated. cut into bite sized pieces.(Turkey and be substitued if you can't/don't eat pork.)
One medium onion, minced
2 cups of bell peppers-mix green, red and yellow, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
teriyaki sauce
soy sauce
Chinese 5 spice.
One box of Orzo pasta.
One cup of sliced mushrooms
½ a bag of frozen pineapple chucks
2 tablespoons of apricot/pineapple jam
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
Bring a big pot of water to boil and salt and a tablespoon of sesame oil.

Chop up green beans. Be sure to remove the tip and strings add to the pork

Add mushrooms

Add pineapple

Heat until the mushrooms and cooked and the pineapple is hot.

To finish the sauce, add a little more teriyaki and soy sauce, the jam and the mustard. Bring to a boil in order to melt the jam and incorporate into the dish

Drain the orzo and Mix it into the pork.

This dish is good hot or cold. Keep the leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It is good for a about a week.



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Easter Dinner

Almost Easter- Do you have favorite dishes for this holiday meal? How about a spiral cut Ham and scalloped potatoes? Do you make homemade rolls?

Our family sort of does. Call it a new tradition. Mom get a honey baked ham and reheats with the glace. She puts champagne mustard on the site for who ever want it. Yummy. Of course peas. I think spring peas are her favorite food.

A few years ago, when the series The Mitford Years, was popular she added the orange cake.

Every Easter dinner is different. In more traditional homes its lamb. After all, lamb is served at Passover, which is closely tied to Easter. After all Jesus was Jewish. The “Last Supper” was the Seder meal for Passover when he made the new covenant with his apostles.

Here is a great Lamb recipe:

Lamb and rosemary is a match made in heaven. Meat will be tender and oh-so flavorful, with a wonderfully caramelized exterior.
Butterflied Lamb with Fresh Rosemary

6 pounds boneless leg lamb roast, butterflied
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
1. Trim fat from lamb. Discard fat and place lamb in a pan large enough to hold it flat.
2. In a small mixing bowl, blend olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, pepper, garlic powder, salt and crushed bay leaf. Coat lamb with mixture and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Before cooking, let lamb sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat broiler.
4. Place lamb in a broiler pan and cook 5 inches under broiler for approximately 15 minutes on each side; this will produce a medium-rare roast. Remove lamb from heat about 5 degrees from desired doneness* and let sit for 10 minutes loosely covered with foil. This allows the meat to finish cooking while the juices distribute evenly throughout the roast before slicing.
Makes 16 servings.
*Cooking temperatures: Rare 140°F, Medium 160°F, Well Done 170°F.

For me if you are going to serve lamb, then skip the peas, and serve asparagus instead. First wash the spears. Take one end in each hand. And snap them. You want to cook the tender tips. Save the ends for soup. Put them in just a little boiling water with some salt, butter and lemon juice. Cook until barely tender.

Scalloped potatoes are still a go.

Don’t forget to hide the Easter eggs for the kiddies!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Southwest Mac and Cheese

Sometimes when you're just learning to cook it is easy to take prepackaged meals and add things to them.
This is my "Adult" mac and Cheese dinner.

1 package of macaroni and cheese. Kraft is the best.
1 lb of ground beef
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/2 diced onion
1 clove a garlic
1 small package of frozen veggies-something with a southwest theme
taco seasoning
vegetable oil

Get everything out of the pantry and refrigerator before you start. Carefully dice the onion and garlic. Set them aside. Put about 1 quart of water in a large pot and start it to boil.
In a large skillet and the oil, and heat it slowly. Add the onion and garlic. keep stirring them occasionally. don't let them stick to the bottom or burn.
When the water is boiling add about 1 T. of salt and the macaroni. set the cheese pack aside. stir the pot so the macaroni don't stick together. turn down the heat to low and cover the pan.
add the ground beef to the onions. break it up while browning. add some salt, pepper and taco seasoning. I always add to taste. add the veggies. and continue to stir and break up the meat.
when it is brown add the tomatoes. turn down to low simmer and cover.
drain the water from the macaroni. set the macaroni aside. in the sauce pan, on low heat melt the butter that the mac and cheese package requires. slowly add the milk. When the it is melted and well Incorporated add the cheese pack. stir it around break up any lumps.
add the macaroni to the pot and fold slowly.Let the macaroni heat back up. Add the meat and veggie mixture to the pot and fold in slowly.
That's it. Make sure you have enough seasoning. and serve.
Refrigerate any leftovers after it has cooled.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Beef Stroganoff

Beef stroganoff

Everybody loves a good beef stroganoff. My favorite is a blend of recipes The first I found in an old cookbook called “My Favorite Recipes”, and the second part is my Mom’s.

This is a true definition of comfort food. It is warm and creamy, and can be served over rice, noodles, or even mashed potatoes. I believe the cook book called for egg noodles. My Granny (father’s side) made a stroganoff to serve over both noodles and mashed potatoes.

Ok, I think I got my bubble gum casserole ideas came from a combination of lots of sources--.One of them being Granny.

1 lbs of round steak
Flour, salt, and pepper for dredging
1 lb of sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic (2 if small)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 cups of beef stock
1 cup sour cream
1 tbls of Worcestershire
1 tbls of Balsamic vinegar
1 pinch herbs de Provence
2 tsp of Lowry’s seasoning salt.

Slice the mushrooms, onion and garlic. Set them aside. Cut the meat into bite sized pieces. Dredge them in the salt, pepper, flour mixture. Heat a large skillet with a little oil. When the pan gets hot, add the meat. Cook on medium heat stirring occasionally for 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t let the flour burn in the skillet.

Take the meat out and set aside. Add the mushrooms onion and garlic. Cook on medium low until some of the moisture has cooked out. Add back the meat. Add the stock and the soup. Cook on low for another 10 minutes. If you are serving this with noodles, now is the time to boil them.

Add the rest of the seasonings, and the sour cream. Turn off the heat stir to combine all the ingredients, cover and let sit until the noodles are ready.


Mistress of the Kitchen

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cabbage Salad

Do you remember the ½ a head of cabbage from the corned beef? Well this is something you can do with the rest of it.
Make a fun slaw.

But this one is special. It’s almost like ambrosia.

½ head of green cabbage
1 apple
1 cup shredded pineapple
1 cup of seedless green grapes
1 cup of chopped pecans
1 Tbs. of lemon juice
½ a cup of mayonnaise
½ Tbls. Of sugar.

Tear the cabbage into small pieces. Place in a medium bowl. Chop and seed the apple, add to the cabbage. Add the grapes and nuts. In a small bowl mix the lemon juice, mayo sugar and salt to taste.
Pour over the cabbage and mix. Chill in the refrigerator for about ½ hour before serving.

This is a good side dish with any picnic food. It is even nice enough to take to a pot luck- which is where I first discovered this treat.

Mistress Kimberly

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

One pot wonders

Caracoles are great. Ever wonder what to do with left over’s? Why not put it all in one big pot. Of course if you do this you have to watch out not over season. Sometimes mixing ethnic spices is a bad idea.

Herbs de Province and oregano don't really go with the plum sauce or the teriyakis of Japanese cooking.

Other times things are good together, like balsamic, Worcestershire and teriyaki can make a wonderfully bold statement in a hearty stew. You just have to experiment.
One experiment I am interest in trying is called a tomato soup chocolate cake. My assumption is that the condensed soup helps the cake stay moist.

Any way we humans have been doing one pot meals since the days of fire pits and the big cauldron hanging in the middle of it.

The French cassoulet is an example. The pot and the family recipe would be handed down from generation to generation. Generally the cassoulet is lamb, pork, partridge. The meat would also depend on the season, and region of France your family was.

Bean casseroles have been around for ever, over course in the old slow cook method, pot in the fire place it took days to make a good pot of beans. How we figured out how to eat a bean. Legumes when picked are as hard as little pebbles, but after washing and soaking for hours then cooking slowly for days, they can almost become pasty as the starch cooks up.

I love to cook in big pots. This way gives you a meal tonight, and tomorrow, and sometimes... it is even better later, because the spices have a chance to marry.

Today's one pot wonder:


1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 cup mixed bell peppers, green, red and yellow
1 can of diced tomatoes with green challis added
1 package of frozen corn mixture with onion and peppers added
1 can of refried beans with lime
1 can kidney or pinto beans drained.
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Seasoning salt
Ground cumin
Ground chili powder. (I like the Spanish style)
Dash of taco seasoning.
Squeeze of ketchup

Sauté the onion and garlic, then add back the ground beef. Add the corn mixture, the tomatoes, and 1/2 the peppers.
Leave it alone for 30 minutes. Add a little beef broth if it seems too thick, it seems to soupy, take an emulsion blender, and give it a few pulses. Add the rest of the pepper mixture. Cook for another 15 minutes.

This is one of those that are better the next day.

Serve with corn chips, and your favorite beer or soda.

Later Gators

Mistress of the Kitchen

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring is in the Air!

Spring is here!

Spring always reminds of light suppers and different types of salads, and meals that take no time to make.

Why not do something different for dinner? How about an orzo salad with a Chinese twist? Simple to put together, and tasty. Orzo is always fun. It is this small rice-shaped pasta. Sometimes you can substitute it for rice, and visa versa. The cool part of this dish is that it can be served hot or cold.
Why not make a little extra for lunch? Take this to work and your co-workers may be jealous.

Pork tenderloin marinated in teriyaki cut into bite sized pieces. (Turkey and be substituted if you prefer)
One medium onion, minced
2 cups of bell peppers-mix green, red and yellow, cut into bite sized pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced
teriyaki sauce
soy sauce
Chinese 5 spice.
One box of Orzo pasta.
One cup of sliced mushrooms
½ a bag of frozen pineapple chucks
2 tablespoons of apricot/pineapple jam
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

Bring a big pot of water to boil and salt and a tablespoon of sesame oil.
Chop up green beans. Be sure to remove the tip and strings add to the pork
Add mushrooms, add pineapple

Heat until the mushrooms and cooked and the pineapple is hot.
To finish the sauce, add a little more teriyaki and soy sauce, the jam and the mustard. Bring to a boil in order to melt the jam and incorporate into the dish
Drain the orzo and Mix it into the pork.
This dish is good hot or cold. Keep the leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It is good for about a week.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

How to make Corned Beef and Cabbage

Top of the Mornin' to ya'. March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day.

This is a semi favorite for St Patrick’s Day—although not exactly a traditional Irish meal. It was definitely born here in America. Next to all the beer and whiskey you can drink, and the "wearin' of the green".

This is a variation of the “New England” Boiled dinner. Basically every thing went in one pot the beef or pork shoulder, some vegetables, and what ever root vegetables were on hand. Most of the newly immigrated Irish were poor, so they couldn't’t but the best cuts of beef or meat, so they improvised, and learned that if you cook shoulder and brisket for a long time, it will come out tender. The more traditional dinners were just boiled in water. Later we learned, things taste better when cooked in stock or beer.

I spend part of my childhood in New England, so maybe that is why I relate to the one pot meal. Mom called my early versions of the one pot meal “Bubble Gum casseroles”. More on that topic later.

This is my version of Corned Beef and Cabbage.
You need a crock pot
Beef stock and dark beer
1 bay leaf
An onion
Beef roast
Whole pepper corns
Worcestershire sauce
Coarse ground sea salt.

One of the nice features of our modern super markets is that you can buy a package of beef brisket with the packet of pepper corns included.

In the bottom of a 5 quart crock pot layer a diced onion, the bay leaf, and celery chopped.
On top of that add the beef and the pepper packet. Add coarse sea salt, and beef broth. Add a dash of Worcestershire.
Cook on low for 6 hours.
Cut the potatoes in large cubes and place on top of the beef. Add the sliced carrots. Chop the cabbage into large chucks place on top season with more coarse sea salt, and let simmer for about another hour.
Just before serving, remove the bay leaf,and discard it. Carefuly take the beef out of the pot, and let it rest before carving.

Serve this with lots of hearty brown bread and butter. Yummy!

Mistress Kimberly

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rice Ole

I think it is time to take one direction and follow it. I admit I have been all over the place lately. It feels rather chaotic. I think the direction this is going to take is cooking.

I know, type cooking into any search engine and you will get thousands of hits. Well, cooking is one of first passions, My Mother, and Grandmother have let me "play" and create in the kitchen since the age of four. I remember in my Grammy's kitchen, I had my own work table and apron. Somewhere in the family albums is a picture of me being my "creative" self. So this is my tribute to her. If she were still live, Gram, it would probably embrace her. She was a very modest woman. And she knew how to make dishes "quick and tasty" on a budget.

So first up:

This was a favorite. All you need is one skillet. i am glad this recipe is still around.

Riceland Rice Ole'
1/2 cup uncooked Riceland Extra Long Grain Rice
1 lb. ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. butter or meat drippings
2-1/4 cups water
1 beef bouillon cube
1/4 cup tomato paste
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 lb. Cheddar cheese, cubed

Brown meat and onions in butter, stirring to break meat apart. Stir in rice, water, bouillon cube and tomato paste; add seasonings. Heat to boiling; stir well and cover. Simmer 25 minutes. Add cheese cubes and toss lightly. Serve immediately. (From our "Riceland Rice Cookbook")

Serves 6

We just added a green salad, and some bread and had a great lunch. Yes, bread, it is southern thing, One always served bread with a meal.

I want to thank Riceland Rice for their recipes and ideas. Gram had a recipe booklet from them. She used it all the time.

Riceland is an Arkansas company. You can not get it where I live, but that would be competition, I live near the rice fields of California.

Anyway check out their website. there is a section for their classic recipes, and a section call "All About Rice".

Well y'all, till next time


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

adventure time!

It's adventure time! It's raining, and this is a good thing. Northern California really needs the rain. I think our reservoir, Indian Valley, is only about half full. Any way, sitting inside- I have a little cabin fever perhaps. maybe.

Well I started going through and touching up some photos. I'm really excited because I didn't think some of the would be too dark, as they were taken inside Il Duomo di Sienna. Magnificent place, beautiful place, awe inspiring.

Actually my whole week in Tuscany was. i can't wait to go back. Who goes and only spends a week? Well that was the budget then. Next time it is a month.

When we were there, in 2006, the cathedral was getting a face lift.

I know you've heard of Sienna: that is where the famous horse race around the city is every July.

I went to Wikipedia for a little history.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Siena Cathedral.
The Cathedral of Siena (Italian: Duomo di Siena), dedicated from its earliest days as a Roman Catholic Marian church and now to Santa Maria Assunta (Most Holy Mary of Assumption), is a medieval church in Siena, central Italy.
The cathedral itself was originally designed and completed between 1215 and 1263 on the site of an earlier structure. It has the form of a Latin cross with a slightly projecting transept, a dome and a bell tower. The dome rises from an octagonal base with supporting columns. The lantern atop the dome, was added by Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The nave is separated from the two aisles by semicircular arches. The exterior and interior are constructed of white and greenish-black marble in alternating stripes, with addition of red marble on the façade. Black and white are the symbolic colors of Siena, etiologically linked to black and white horses of the legendary city's founders, Senius and Aschius...

Well we went in June. The weather was incredible. At the villa I eat my breakfast under a haze of honeysuckle. Very special....
Thanks for letting me share.
Mistress Kimberly
Keep dreaming.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Your 7 day program

 I read and download so much about self improvement, This is part of a series I found. I don't remember the source. Sorry, but it came with 39 others. 

It is still January and many of us have not yet broken our new year's resolutions to work on ourselves this year. So... KEEP GOING! and enjoy.

"A Better You" Your 7 days program to self-improvement

I seem to lost count on how many times I've read and heard of celebrity marriages failing almost left and right. Not that I care (and personally I don't), it seems strange that we often see movie and TV stars as flawless people, living the fairytale life of riches and glamour. I suppose we all have to stop sticking our heads in the clouds and face reality.

There are many ways to lose your sense of self-esteem despite of how trivial it could get. But whatever happens, we should all try not to lose our own sense of self.

So what does it take to be a cut above the rest? Here are some of the things you can think and improve on that should be enough for a week.

1. Know your purpose 
Are you wandering through life with little direction - hoping that you'll find happiness, health and prosperity? Identify your life purpose or mission statement and you will have your own unique compass that will lead you to your truth north every time.

This may seem tricky at first when you see yourself to be in a tight or even dead end. But there's always that little loophole to turn things around and you can make a big difference to yourself.

2. Know your values 
What do you value most? Make a list of your top 5 values. Some examples are security, freedom, family, spiritual development, learning. As you set your goals for 2005 - check your goals against your values. If the goal doesn't align with any of your top five values - you may want to reconsider it or revise it.

The number shouldn't discourage you, instead it should motivate you to do more than you can ever dreamed of.

3. Know your needs 
Unmet needs can keep you from living authentically. Take care of yourself. Do you have a need to be acknowledged, to be right, to be in control, to be loved? There are so many people who lived their lives without realizing their dreams and most of them end up being stressed or even depressed for that matter. List your top four needs and get them met before it's too late!

4. Know your passions 
You know who you are and what you truly enjoy in life. Obstacles like doubt and lack of enthusiasm will only hinder you, but will not derail your chance to become the person you ought to be. Express yourself and honor the people who has inspired you to become the very person you wanted to be.

5. Live from the inside out 
Increase your awareness of your inner wisdom by regularly reflecting in silence. Commune with nature. Breathe deeply to quiet your distracted mind. For most of us city slickers it's hard to even find the peace and quiet we want even in our own home. In my case I often just sit in a dimly lit room and play some classical music. There's sound, yes, but music does soothe the savage beast.

6. Honor your strengths 
What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List three - if you get stuck, ask those closest to you to help identify these. Are you imaginative, witty, good with your hands? Find ways to express your authentic self through your strengths. You can increase your self-confidence when you can share what you know to others.

7. Serve others 
When you live authentically, you may find that you develop an interconnected sense of being. When you are true to who you are, living your purpose and giving of your talents to the world around you, you give back in service what you came to share with others -your spirit - your essence. The rewards for sharing your gift with those close to you is indeed rewarding, much more if it were to be the eyes of a stranger who can appreciate what you have done to them.

Self-improvement is indeed one type of work that is worth it. It shouldn't always be within the confines of an office building, or maybe in the four corners of your own room. The difference lies within ourselves and how much we want to change for the better.

What are you Dreaming Today?


Gluten free Gnocchi

Once upon a time in Santa Rosa, CA at my one of my favorite little eatery’s, (Mary's Pizzza), I discovered something so tasty, so good...