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Cannelloni Beans with Kale and Bacon

Continuing, like I usually do with a new cookbook.  This recipe is from new WW cookbook.  This is more of a vegetarian meal except the bacon.  In Jim’s opinion the bacon saved the meal.   I thought it was excellent.  Only 6 WW points and filling.   

Ingredients:

2 slices of bacon

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 t red pepper flakes

1 onion, diced

1# kale, though stems removed, leaves chopped

1 C reduced-sodium chicken broth  (I used my new unsalted Duck vegetable broth.)

1 (15 oz.) can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained

1 T balsamic vinegar

1 t kosher salt

1 t raw (turbinado) sugar

Directions:

  1. Cook bacon in large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Transfer to a paper plate to drain.  
  2. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to skillet and cook stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 30 seconds.  Add onion and cook stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 4 minutes.  
  3. Add broth and bring to boil.    Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered , until kale is tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir in beans and simmer uncovered, until liquid is almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Stir in vinegar, salt, and sugar. 
  4. Divide evenly among 4 shallow bowls. 
    Crumble bacon evenly over each serving.  

 

This is probably the best cookbook WW has written in years.  


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Pork Chops with Fig Sauce and Parmesan Green Beans

First dinner home was the beet gnocchi and the cashew pesto that I had made and frozen.  We really liked this combination.  Monday after painting class we went to the grocery store together.  That night we had a salad of tomatoes, avocado, romaine, dried chick peas with raspberry vinaigrette.  I was going to put canned tuna in it, but Costco had a great looking piece of tuna, so we had it grilled.  

Before leaving I bought a new Weight Watcher Cookbook called Dinners in a Flash.  We used it for the first time Tuesday night.  Surprise the dish was wonderful, easy, and fast.  We loved the sauce, and green beans.  Jim thought the chops were tough.  Mine wasn’t, but that is not the recipe ’s fault anyway.  We drank French rose’.  

Ingredients: 

4 (1/2#) lean boneless center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed

3/4 t salt

1/2 t pepper

2 t EVOO (I sprayed the skillet with Pam.)

1/4 C onion (did not use, see below)

2 T fig jam (My jam was fig onion jam, so I did not use the onion)

1/4 C reduced sodium chicken broth

1/2 C water

1# pre trimmed fresh green beans

2 T grated Parmesan

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle pork with 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper.  heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pork and cook, turning once, until instant-read thermometer inserted into the sides of each chop registers 145 degrees F about 6 min.  (Mine took longer, and were thicken than 1/2”)
  2. To make the sauce, reduce heat to medium.  Add onion to skillet and cook, stirring constantly , until the onion is golden, about 1 minute.  Add broth and jam to skillet.  Cook, stirring to scrape up browned bits on bottom of skillet, until jam is melted, 1-2 minutes.  
  3. Meanwhile, bring water to boil in a large skillet.  Add green beans and cook, covered, just until crisp tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain and toss with parmesan, remaining 1/4 t salt and remaining 1/4 t pepper.  Place green beans on serving platter.  Top with chops and spoon sauce over chops.  (I boil my beans a little longer.  I also put salt in the water not on the beans.)

All of this was just 6 points.  My guess is that one of my pork chops was more like 6 oz.  


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Trip to Newport News VA

We have been in Newport News VA and Gainesville VA.  Two days longer than planned.  First we went to Newport News for a Change of Command Ceremony.  Our friends the Hill’s son Matt was being given Command of the Dragonmasters Brigade.  It is an Army battalion Helicopter unit, active reserves.  Quite an impressive ceremony.  Before we hooked up with everyone, we got in Newport News in time to go to dinner and found a lovely seafood restaurant called Fin.  The chef owner is Kenny Sloane and he has won many James Beard Chef of the Year awards.  After our dinner there, I can vouch that they are deserved.  The photo is of my scallop dinner.  Jim started with a SHE crab bowl of soup.  We shared the best sushi dish ever.  For dinner Jim had a special called Coal Fish.  We had a Vouvray La Vigne wine with the meal.  Perfect.  

The next day was taken up with the ceremony.  Not sure but best not to post online all we saw.  The day after we toured two Jamestown sites in 95 degree heat.  That night we collapsed and ate at Carrabbas Italian grille as it was next to the hotel.  

Then we traveled to Gainesville. We stayed with friends Lynn and Rod and had a delightful time visiting with old friends and neighbors.  Joyce had a delightful dinner for us Tuesday. Time to leave was Wednesday afternoon at 5:00.  Well, United strung us along until 10:30 PM including 2- 1 1/2 hour stints sitting in a hot airplane.  Then United cancelled the flight.  Our car was turned in and luckily Rod came in the middle of the night to pick us up.  The real kicker of the adventure was that our luggage made it back to Nashville without us.  I had been so pleased with myself.  I got everything in my suitcase and my carry on was light with only jewelry, souvenirs, and a hairbrush.  So Thursday am, Jim and I went to Target to get day and sleeping clothes, underwear, and toiletries.   We all went to dinner down in Warrington Thursday.  Friday we were delivered by Rob back to Dulles and we finally made it home.  Picked up Jo from Barbara and Joel.  Jo had a great time and he in Soufflé the cat even touched noses a couple of times.  


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Rice Noodles Salad with Avocado, Mango, and Chile

Last night we went to a great party and a jazz concert.  Jim belongs to a coffee group that has been together for over 30 years.  One of the men and his wife were celebrating their 66 wedding anniversary.  They live in a premier assisted living as his memory is not what it used to be.  They invited the men and significant others to join them for appetizers and then a jazz concert.  When you have been married for 66 years, the party starts at 3:00 PM. The display of appetizers was outstanding.  The jazz band played for 2 hours.  They were really good.  We had a great time.  After the event we went to Dalts.  It is an inexpensive restaurants near our house for a dinner.  Dan, who belongs to the coffee group and our dance club, joined us.  His tales of his Irish ancestry and their connection to Nashville, were very entertaining.  

Today was a long day at the opera.  I am now VP of Membership.  So I met with the new president to inform her of what I feel is a target group and some changes that need to be made to attract more members.  After I came home and started to form my committee.  

Tonight was a planned dinner.  It is from Fine Cooking; an article on Avocados.  We really liked it.  They say great on a hot summer night as a main course.  They also say you could grille shrimp or scallops and add to it.  We did not and thought it was a great dinner after a swim.  

Ingredients:

1/2 C EVOO

1/4 C fresh lime juice (2 limes)

1/4 C mirin

4 t minced fresh Thai bird chile

Kosher salt

8 oz. rice noodles

2 firm-ripe Has avocados, diced

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced (I used frozen)

2 T chopped fresh basil

1/3 C salted dry-roasted peanuts, chopped

1 lime, cut in wedges for serving

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the EVOO, lime juice, mirin, sesame oil, chile, and 1 t salt.  (I then added the whole amount to a mini-food processor.)
  2. Prepare the noodles according to package directions, drain, and rinse with cold water.  (In case your noodles are like mine, no directions.  Let water run until it is hot.  Place noodles in a large bowl and soak for 10 minutes.  I put them in a pan and placed on the stove on low to make sure the temperature did not lower.  Perfect)
  3. In a medium bowl, gently toss the avocados, mango, and basil with enough of the vinaigrette to coat lightly.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the noodles with enough of the remaining vinaigrette to moisten well.
  5. Serve the noodles topped with the avocado mixture, peanuts and basil. 
  6. pass the lime wedges and any remaining vinaigrette at the table.  

 

Jim and I both enjoyed this meal.  Surprising as it is a meatless meal for him.  It is very good.  I have to bring a salad with a protein for the August meeting of the Guild.  We have a lunch after.  I think I will triple this and bring it.  


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Jo's 8th birthday, Breakfast, Dog Treat and Dinner Menu for the Humans

I feel like all I did today was cook.  Hopefully there are leftovers as tomorrow painting starts.  It has been a very busy time.  Friday was the spring show.  This is the one that Jim and I have been training for the last 8 weeks.  We had to be there at 1:30 for rehearsal and the show started at 7.  It was over and we could leave by 11:00.  I was fairly nervous the whole day.  I screwed up during rehearsal, so I was extra nervous.  The floor in this hall was polished concrete, not wood and I nearly fell on my but.  They served dinner, pizza and salad.  I was a little nervous about the kind of pizza so I just brought carrots, peas and and broccoli to nibble on.  We both brought protein shakes and I brought an apple.  I drank a ton of water.  I was right about the pizza; greasy looking NY style   After my dance I drank wine.  I think we got home at 11:30 PM.  We watched the news and went to bed.  The next morning I got up to go to arm class and then I didn’t even pretend to swim.  I floated and slept in my pool lounge chair until time to get ready for Opera on the Mountain.  

Saturday was a beautiful day.  It was sunny with no humidity.  We took veggies, hummus, deviled eggs, sausage and crackers.  Our friends brought home made bread, butter, homemade jelly, more veggies and dip.  We of course all brought wine.  The music was wonderful.  Home again, I crashed.  

This morning, and yes, I got up before noon, we just had bacon and scrambled eggs.  I put blue cheese and salsa mixed with Greek yogurt in them.  I also chopped a little fresh basil.  They were out out of this world good.  

Next I made another different kind of pesto.  This one was from the Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook.  This was pesto made with cashews.

Ingredients:

1/2 C firmly packed fresh basil

1/3 C roasted, salted cashews

2 cloves garlic

1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/8 t sea salt

1/8 t black pepper

1/3 C EVOO

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in the food processor and pulse a few times.
  2. Drizzle in the EVOO with the food processor running.  Blend until smooth.  

I froze it.  I will do a taste test with the gnocchi that is in the freezer with the other pesto.  

Today is Jo’s 8th birthday.  I made him special treat I found in messenger from my sister-in-law Mary.  For breakfast I made him a whole piece of bacon.  After his dinner, I gave him the first of 8 frozen treats.  After a couple of loud sniff, sniffs, he ate it.  So let us assume it was good.  

Ingredients:

1 C yogurt

1C blueberries

1/2 C strawberries, chopped

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  
  2. Divide between 8 rubberized freezer molds.
  3. Serve in a bowl on the floor.

Happy birthday Jo!

Continuing on.  At the end of August we will be hosting our wine club.  I plan to make roast beef tenderloin and roast turkey.  All the others will bring sides, desserts, and appetizers.  I have wonted to make this peach infuse turkey from Little Big Town’s Kimberly’s cookbook for a long time.  Georgia peaches are here now, but turkey’s are not.  They had Butterball brand, but I generally don’t like them.  So I bought a large roasting hen to test the recipe on.  i will have to make more sauce and freeze it as the Georgia peaches will be gone by August if we like it.  So this is a test.

Ingredients:

Peach Sauce

2 T butter

1 C chopped yellow onion

4 fresh peaches, roughly chopped (or 4 C frozen peaches)

2 t mustard powder

1/2 C apple cider vinegar

1 C orange juice

1 T salt

Turkey

1 (12-14#) whole turkey

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 peaches, peeled and quartered or 1 C frozen

2 lemons quartered

10 thyme sprigs

10 rosemary sprigs

Directions:

  1. Make the peach sauce:  Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the peaches, mustard powder OJ, salt and vinegar.  Reduce heat , cover, and simmer until the peaches are soft and cooked through, about 20 minutes.  Puree the sauce in a food processor until smooth.  
  2. For the Turkey:  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Generously season the inside cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper.  Stuff it with the peaches, lemon quarters, thyme, and rosemary.  Tie the legs together with twine.  Tuck the wings back and under the body to keep them from burning.  You can also cover the wings with foil as they begin to brown, if needed.  
  4. Fill a meat injector with peach sauce and inject the sauce into the turkey, making sure to hit every part to distribute of the sauce evenly.  The turkey will start to plump up and you’ll see the sauce ooze out a bit.  Wipe it off, as it can burn.  You’ll have some leftover sauce, but use as much as you can to get that flavor in there.  
  5. When all the parts are injected, generously season the outside of the turkey with salt and pepper.  
  6. Roast the turkey until the skin is browned, about 45 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to roast until a meat thermometer reads 165 when inserted deep into the thigh, 2- 2 1/2 hours.  The juices in the thigh should run clear when pierced with a fork.  remove the turkey to a carving board and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving.  

Then I made Spicy black bean, Jicama and Mango salad from Fine Cooking.  

Ingredients:

1 (15 oz.0 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 C jicama

1 C diced mango (unless you live in Hawaii, substitute peaches)

2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro, 1 1/2 T fresh lime juice, 1 t Sriracha

1/2 t Asian sesame oil

3/4 t kosher salt.  

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients.  Toss season to tasted with salt, and serve.  

Serves 6

If that wasn’t enough, I found this broccoli recipe on the Food Network app.  iIt is from the show called Down Home with the Neelys.  It says serves 4-6.  Remember I am hoping for leftovers.  

Ingredients:

2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets.  (I have florets from a Costco veggie tray)

2 C cherry tomatoes

1/4 C plus 2 T EVOO

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 oz.baby arugula

4 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

  1. preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Add the broccoli florets and cherry tomatoes to a rimmed sheet tray.  Drizzle with 1/4 C EVOO and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss to coat completely.  
  4. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until the broccoli is tender and lightly golden brown.  
  5. Toss with arugula and crumbled feta cheese.  
  6. Drizzle with remaining 2 T EVOo.  Season with salt and pepper and toss. 
  7. Serve immediately.  

Well that is all I made today.  The chicken was very food but Jim announced even if it is the day before he will not deal with turkey in August.  God, the older he gets the worse he gets.  So I will come up with a great salmon recipe.  I want something for those who don’t eat beef.  

 

The finality is we do have enough for leftovers for tomorrow after painting.  The side salads were great.  Jo had a great birthday with food.  We didn’t get a toy as he just doesn’t play with them.  Poured rain during dinner. Great day at home.  Jim served a Veansa Pino Noir.  

The cartoon will be presented in a series in the next few days.  The ending is very funny.


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