Adventures in the kitchen

So what do you do when you can’t go out and do the normal things you would do on a Friday night? Well I don’t know about all of you, but I tried out a new recipe, and boy, are my feet sore!

(Tile floors + thin slippers with no support + a long night = very sore feet.)

I absolutely adore Panera’s French onion soup, and there was recently a recipe for said soup included in one of the New York Times newsletters I receive. I bought most of the ingredients earlier in the week, but I didn’t get a chance to try it out until last night.

The recipe…is behind the cut!


Photo 365 #131

It’s hard to beat a sweet treat every now and then:


One of my favorite treats as a kid was sliced bananas with sugar (or sprinkles – sprinkles are always good, too), so when Seymour brought home a couple of green bunches last week, I couldn’t wait to dig in.  But then, of course, we headed out to the hospital before they’d ripened, and before I knew it they were starting to spot.

So this morning, I dug in.  And they tasted every bit as sweet as I could have hoped.  You slice up the bananas into a bowl, sprinkle a quantity of sugar over them, then stir it all up.  The sugar and the banana secretions (for lack of a better word) combine to form a syrup, and it’s a little bowl of heaven.

What are some of your favorite childhood treats?

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Photo 365 #78: Recipe time!

The other night I whipped out one of my mom’s old recipes for supper.  I hadn’t made it in ages, and it just sounded good.  Something about this time of year makes me long for childhood classics: hearty soups, savory casseroles, and the like.

The title on the top of the recipe card is “Help for Hamburger,” but growing up, we never called it that.  We called it what it was – Hamburger and Rice.

I can hear it now – what’s so comforting about something so bland?

Well, dear readers, this dish is anything BUT bland.  Check it out:

hamburgerriceHelp for Hamburger (aka Hamburger and Rice)

1 lb. ground beef
2 Tbs. onion flakes
2 1/2 c. minute rice
3 1/3 c. water
1/4 c. soy sauce
Salt to taste

Brown hamburger together with onion flakes; drain.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Boil together 10-15 minutes.

It’s simple, warm, filling, and delicious.  I doubled the recipe and ended up with lots of leftovers, but that’s okay with me. 🙂

What are some of your favorite childhood recipes?

(c) 2014.  All rights reserved.

Happy food!

downloadSo for the Writing 101 Day Ten post, I’m supposed to write about my favorite food, and do it in my own voice. But everything I write is in my own voice, so what does that even mean?  I mean, I have different voices, obviously – there’s the voice I use with my kids, the voice I use with my kids when they’re in trouble, the voice I use when I’m talking to other adults, the voice I write novels in (and that changes depending on the story), the voice I write blog posts in, the voice I write my diary in…

I guess I’m just going to have to pick one, aren’t I? 😀

Alrighty, then.  I have about as many favorite foods as I have voices (apparently I have a lot of those), but the one that immediately comes to mind is pork chops and rice.  I usually replace the pork chops with chicken breasts, though, which is also fantastic (maybe even better than the pork chops), and my dad would often substitute steaks.  My mom used to make this dish, and I adored it.  Couldn’t get enough.

But the rice is the best part.   The recipe:

Time to slip into something more comfortable…



…like this delicious casserole I fixed for supper last night.  We’re in a rut food-wise, so I decided to try a little something different.  Seymour sometimes gets a little nervous when I start experimenting in the kitchen (and after the lasagna casserole incident, I suppose I can’t blame him, but I still say my pepperoni, green onion, and parsley pizza rocks), but this recipe – which I made up as I went along – was a bona fide crowd-pleaser (Bubbles cheered when I told him I wrote down what I did so I could duplicate the results).

So, without further ado, my recipe for Comfort Casserole (so called because it just felt comfort foody):

Sweet therapy

Today has been a day of dashed expectations and…interesting results.  If you follow me on Twitter, then you’ll know that today’s forecasted 30% chance of a trace to an inch of snow turned into yet another raging blizzard.  We’re supposed to get five to nine inches now, we’re in a winter storm warning till noon tomorrow, and the wind has once again been blowing like a banshee.  This time the speeds have been around 20-30 mph with gusts a little higher.  I left work early after hearing how treacherous the roads were; it was a nightmare of a drive that necessitated some cookie therapy.

Once I got the boys up from their much-delayed naps, I started on supper.  Since both the older kids are with their other parents today, I had to leave Cricket and Thumper to their own devices in the living room where they could be contained while I threw some chicken in a pot with some rice and cream of mushroom soup (delish, by the way).  When I came back, I found them sneaking out of my book collection, phone and books in hand, and Thumper pantsless.

Excerpt time!

That’s right, I’ve finished another chapter, so it’s time for another excerpt.  Today’s snippet comes from the newly-finished Chapter 5:

When the servants brought out the food, Michael was relieved to see what looked like roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, and fresh bread.  He was even more relieved when his tongue confirmed what his eyes suspected – he hadn’t had a thing to eat since breakfast and he was starving.  Michael couldn’t count the number of times he’d eaten this same meal growing up.  It was one of his favorites; it should have tasted like home.

And yet…it was different somehow.  The meat had a different flavor.  And it was juicier, more tender.  The potatoes were lumpier; the gravy richer, more flavorful.  And the butter – was it hand churned?  He’d had samples of hand churned butter a few times at the local pioneer fair.  Was this what it tasted like?  I can’t remember.

So there you have it!  Michael’s journey through the strange new world of Lokana has only just begun.  I hope you’ll stay tuned for further adventures – rest assured, there will be plenty.

(c) 2012.  All rights reserved.