Roasted Veggies!

I’ve been stuffing myself with way too much meat lately.  So, last night I scrounged through my ref and put together a medley of veggies that will soon waste away from neglect.  I cut up a piece each of zucchini, carrot, onion, and some breakfast sausages – just for flavor.

I sprinkled on to the veggies a small amount of rub, which I got when I was in Healdsburg a couple of years ago, coated it with a bit of olive oil, and popped into the oven to roast till veggies caramelized.

Turned out quite well, if I may say so.  As the label suggests, it is best with pork or lamb but it surprisingly is very good with grilled or roast veggies too.  The sweetness of the veggies combined well with the herbs and spice blend.

Luckily, this all-purpose rub is sometimes available at Chelsea.  Would you believe I went crazy when I recently caught sight of it and bought one of each variant they had? Heehee!


Orange You Glad?

Credits:  Typed letter paper from JSprague’s Thank Ya Kindly kit; Brush from J Crowley’s Beautiful Evidence.

That’s one in a series of vinaigrettes that came out in the market of late.  One thing I love about salads aside from the healthiness it accords one’s body is the ease of preparation.  Packed washed salad greens are plentiful in the groceries with so many varieties to choose from nowadays.  And although I like making my own dressings, sometimes ready-made dressings are a blessing especially if all you want to do, after a long day’s work, is to plop on the couch and have Ellen Degeneres liven up your evening.  So yes, orange you glad there are washed salad greens just waiting to be eaten or served, yummy ready-made dressings to perk up your salad and of course, the frozen chili I made a few weeks ago, apportioned and ready to be heated anytime you feel like it?  Yes, I am glad to have these on lazy nights such as tonight.   😀

My Very First Chili con Carne

I love food and cooking has always fascinated me.  But cook I seldom do.  I can come up with a good number of reasons why but that would just be justifying.  Admittedly, it has been a while since I endeavored to cook something new and exciting, let alone raved about it.  I attempted to start several years ago and failed miserably.  The sorry number of posts listed on my “culinary endeavors” category is proof of that.  But that will hopefully change soon.  Yeah, I have resolved to cook one new dish a month.   Pretty doable, right?  Who says you can’t start a resolution mid-year?

So I flipped through my cookbooks that were collecting dust, wandered through some of my favorite blogs and stumbled on this.  I love Chili con Carne but A (I found out) is not too crazy about it.  Yikes!  He gave the thumbs up though, but maybe that was just to cheer me on.  Hee hee!   😛

I was enticed to try this because of the many versions that can be made depending on one’s preference.  It’s a recipe that I can own.  A good first attempt, don’t you think?  Here’s the recipe I ended up with.

Baked Chili Con Carne

  • ½ kilo ground beef
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 cup corn kernel
  • 1 16 oz.  canned kidney beans
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • ½ bottle of dark brown beer
  • 2 14 oz. cans diced or crushed tomatoes with liquid
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dash of cayenne pepper

For Garnish:

  • shredded cheese (I used cheddar & mozzarella)
  • 2 eggs

Here’s what you do:

  • Brown the beef in a large pot.  Remove. Set aside, drain the fats.
  • Add around 2tbsp. canola oil to the pot and cook the vegetables until soft.  Add the beef back and then the seasonings.
  • Add the beans, tomatoes, and beer.  Then add salt & pepper to taste.  Adjust seasonings if needed.  Let simmer, partially covered, for an hour.  Stir every 20 minutes.
  • Transfer to a baking dish, crack the eggs and top with cheese.
  • Bake in 180˚ C until the egg white is set.

I would have loved to try it with chocolate, which goes well with chili, but A is not a big fan of spicy hot dishes so I decided against it.  This one turned out well.  With a little inspiration here, I added eggs and truth to tell, I think this was what won A’s  approval.

Broccoli Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Parmigiano Regiano.  That’s what I have a lot of nowadays.  A friend got hold of a whole wheel and he found 4 of us to share.  That was how I ended up with a quarter of a wheel of Parmesan cheese.  Yummy though as it may be, I think it is way too much even for a cheese aficionado like me.  So I am thinking cheese a lot nowadays.  The other day I came across this and thought… hmmm.

The recipe called for 12 eggs – 12!  Well, living alone and all, I never have that much so I used 6 although I think it could use 1 more.  I had some gorgeous mushrooms and to the casserole it went too.  As for the cheese, we all know what we used.  I also had a block of Roquefort so I used a tad just to add more flavor and it did not disappoint.  I’d probably add a semi-soft cheese like Gruyère or a Fontina next time to achieve a smoother melt.  Perhaps I should have added the cheese before the egg mixture as per the recipe — but you see I don’t follow instructions very well.  Overall however, I think it came out beautifully.  On a scale of 1-10, I’m giving it a 7 because I didn’t have enough eggs and the cheese didn’t melt very well.

WS# 9: I love Pesto!


Absolutely love it!  It has become one of my favorites since the time I discovered it in the early ‘90s.  Love it on anything and as anything.  Be it a spread on sandwiches, on pizza, as dressing, or simply in pasta, the more common application.  Best of all, it is the easiest thing to do.

Last Saturday, while browsing around my favorite Saturday market, I chanced upon gorgeously fresh basil leaves.  Bought me some, went home, got my processor, got some garlic, pine nuts (I always have them just in case but you can use about any kind of nuts — cashew is yummy too), olive oil and some cheese (again parmesan is the norm but since I ran out of it, I used aged cheddar or any hard cheese you may have).  Had some left over parsley so I threw that in too.  Blend them all together, don’t forget to season with salt, boil some Penne and voila!  Lunch!

So here’s some testament that I haven’t forgotten the resolution I devised early this year and that is to eat more greens.   😀

WS# 3: Salad Delight


Credits:  Katie Pertiet -Delight underlay

After all the devouring done over what was the holidays, I’ve resolved to go healthy this month (stretching perhaps to the whole year?) with more salads, less meats, more exercise, less time in the computer.  Just sharing my first delightfully refreshing salad concoction for the year.

Mixed together salad greens (spinach, tatsoi, arugula) with grapes, pomegranate, mushrooms and blue cheese crumbles.  For the salad dressing, I mixed together Apple Cider Vinegar, olive oil and some pomegranate juice from the fruit.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Loved the combination of salty (from the blue cheese),sweet (from the grapes), sour (from the vinegar) and tart (from the pomegranate).

Spinach & Arugula Salad w/ Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

Got myself a new toy for Christmas!  Yipee!  And so I played around with it some and here’s a shot of the salad I made from whatever I found in my ref and pantry.  I’m a salad kinda girl so consider this a warning, you’ll see a lot of salad experiments around here.   😉

Spinach & Arugula Salad w/ Fig Vinaigrette

Mixed together spinach, arugula and a nut blend snack I found in Healthy Options called Sahale Snacks.  The variant I chose is called Soccorro Macadamia Nut w/ Hazelnuts, Mango, Papaya and Southwestern Chipotle… yum!


For the Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette:  I mixed together olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of Fig Conserve I got as a gift from Australia (but any preserve of your liking will do, I’m sure).  Then topped it with shaved Parmesan.

Hey, the salad and the pic… turned out well!  Who would have thunk?!   😉