We didn't have our Meatless Monday this week due to the fact that we had guests and that included a chicken BBQ. Since I'm committed to at least one meatless meal a week today is the day. Actually, we've been having more meatless meals than meals with meat. Today will be one of our favorite meals: beans/rice/ tortillas.

A week or so ago I made tortillas and messed up the recipe. I've used this recipe for years and this was the first time I goofed. I added double the amount of shortening and they turned out like pie dough instead of bread. They crumbled to pieces and you couldn't make burritos with them. Today I'll be more careful. I have cilantro and some nice salas verde on hand so instead of spanish rice I'll make green rice to go with our meal.

I like to listen to the program "The Splendid Table" on PBS radio on Saturday's at noon. The host mentioned this last week while talking about cooking beans, that you can ignore what you've heard about adding salt at the beginning of the cooking time. It does not affect the way the beans turn out. This is the first time I heard this advice, but I am going to try it today. I've always been told that it makes the beans tough...so I never add salt until the end. When I make potato salad I peel the potatoes and add salt to the water when they cook. It flavors the potatoes while cooking and makes the salad much better, so it only makes sense to me that the beans will have more flavor if they are cooked WITH the salt.

It's important to build flavors when you cook. Just adding the salt at the end doesn't have the same result so I'm looking forward to this mini experiment. I'll saute onions and garlic in olive oil first then add that to the beans as they cook for a little added flavor.

I was so excited last night to be able to make salads for dinner from our garden. The lettuce is coming on strong and we'll be overrun with it before long. We had spinach and lettuce and it was so delicate and nice to use! Arugala isn't far behind. Can't wait for the radishes to be ready, too!

Remember to eat at least one meatless meal every week!!!!



Here is a favorite dessert recipe that came from my grandma. My mother would make this recipe typically at Christmas, but it was also made for special occasions during the year. I don't have a picture of it to post, which I wish I did, because it's a beautiful dish. It's served in a trifle dish, layered with dollops of whipped cream.

At Christmas my mom would use food coloring to make the whipped cream pink and green and then layer green, pink, and white cream in the dish. I actually prefer the whipped cream without the food coloring but you could make it whatever color you wanted, I suppose, if you wanted to coordinate with a theme.

What's YOUR favorite dessert recipe??

Date Pudding
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. water
1 Tbsp. butter
Combine water and sugar and cook together for 3 minutes to make a syrup. Take off heat and add butter and set aside.
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. milk
1 c. dates, chopped
1/2 c. chopped nuts (I usually use walnuts or pecans)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk and stir until smooth. Fold in nuts and dates. Pour syrup into greased baking dish. Pour batter over the syrup and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Serve topped with whipped cream on in a trifle dish with alternating dollops of pudding and whipped cream.
My mom baked this in a 9x13 dish.


Asparagus & Chive Season

I haven't been very good at keeping up the blog lately. I usually at least post on Meatless Monday, but this week, our monday menu was just left-overs and it didn't seem like anything to blog about!!

I'm a member of The Food Network on facebook and each week on Friday they post the same question : What are you cooking this weekend? I look forward to reading the 'hundreds' of answers, and sometimes wonder if people just write something to impress, because it doesn't seem like some of the answers are very reasonable! But, this week was different. The posts were all very down-to-earth recipes and I get ideas for the weeks' menu by reading them.

On Friday we always plan our next week's menu and grocery list. This weekend we have a wedding to go to on Saturday so I probably won't be cooking that day. On Sunday I'm making paella!!! I'm so excited, because I haven't had a pan to cook it in for a few years after I had to get rid of the old one. I now have a nice big pan to make it in! It's one of my FAVORITE recipes. I'll take pictures and post them after the weekend and share the recipe I have.

I'm also making 6-week muffins. You know the ones. They make a huge batch and you bake a dozen and put the remaining batter in the fridge where it keeps for 6 weeks! They are so delicious and you can have fresh warm muffins when you want them! I make some in my large muffins pans for a breakfast treat, and also some in my mini muffin pans for tea and coffee breaks.

What are we eating this week? Meatless Monday: zucchini casserole. The rest of the week: cipotle beans, spanish rice, homemade tortillas (we have this almost weekly), mushroom barley soup, and the ever abundant asparagus. I'm getting some prosciuitto to wrap the asparagus in before grilling them. Since we have so much right now, I'm also going to do a creamed asparagus to eat over baked potatoes with lots of chive clippings from the beautiful chives in my herb pot.


Cinco de MARCO!!!

Charlene with some of the nieces

In our family, the 5th of May is Cinco de MARCO!! Let me explain!

My brother Lamont's wife Charlene, is from Canada. You wouldn't think there would be a lot of differences but there are. There are a lot of words that they use that we have never heard of, and when Char says something that we think is funny, my brother gets on the phone right away and calls to tell me and we laugh and laugh. Being with Lamont and Char is always lot of fun and laughing...sometimes at her expense, but she knows we love her. In fact, I consider her a sister...I will miss them soo very much when they move to Phoenix this month. We have wonderful memories of times together. I'm sad to see them go.

Their daughter, Julia, was born on the 5th of May and Lamont was mentioning the fact that she was born on Cinco de Mayo to Char, when she said "what's Cinco de MARCO??". Well, of course, he played along and aswered her with this explanation. "In Mexico, there is a holiday on the 5th of May for all families who have children born on that day who were named 'Marco'...thus..Cinco de Marco"...and she fell for it!!!! Well, he got on the phone right away and told me and I think that I laughed harder at that than anything before!! It was soooo hilarious!!! SO...of course, being the teases that we are...it's always Cinco de Marco day in our family.

I'm smelling my pinto beans cooking, thinking about making tortillas, and realizing that in just a few weeks, they will be moving to Arizona and couldn't help posting this funny story.

So..what are YOU eating for Cinco de 'Marco'???