Tuesday, September 29, 2009



so...i've been excited about the new starbucks ready brew since i heard of it. of course...it wasn't available everywhere. until today.

no...i can't tell you how it tastes...because i haven't tried it yet. i just wanted to be able to purchase it. and now...i have.

i will have a cup tomorrow...and let you know what i think of it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

chopped nicoise salad...

last saturday morning i saw this being made on the food network. it is a salad i eat a couple of times a month when i'm out. so...i thought i'd try my hand at making it at home.

steaming the potatoes took forever!!! perhaps i should have cut the potatoes...or used smaller ones. the recipe says to steam them for 12 minutes...but i steamed them for over 20 before adding the green beans...and could have probably gone to 30.

  • 4 small red potatoes (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1/3 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 12-ounce can light tuna packed in water, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted Greek or Spanish olives
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 5 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Boil water in a large pot with a fitted steamer basket. Put the potatoes in the steamer, cover and steam for 15 minutes. Add the green beans and steam for 6 minutes more. Put the cooked potatoes and beans in a dish and set in the refrigerator to cool, or plunge into a bowl of ice water to cool quickly.

Put tuna, olives, onion, tomato and lettuce in a large bowl. Dice the potatoes and green beans, add them to the bowl and toss.

In a small bowl whisk together the oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss well and serve.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

good for what ails ya...

this morning...i woke up with what i thought were allergies. i'm still not 100% sure they're not. i've sneezed a kazillion times...and either i have a temperature...or i'm having hot flashes. but...i promised my mother homemade blueberry pancakes...so...i've no time to be ill. at least...not yet.

i gathered my ingredients together. measured out the bisquick & put the milk and eggs into a portable measuring cup. so that i wouldn't have to look around my mother's kitchen to find the tools i needed, and didn't want to chance that she might not have any of the ingredients...i took my own. measuring spoons and microplane...lemons, blueberries, vanilla and nutmeg. my recipe also called for a tablespoon of sugar...but i know they have splenda blend in the house...and i will use that instead.

i phoned ahead to make sure they hadn't eaten. my mother didn't answer her cell...so i called my father. i inquired about breakfast, and he replied that my mother told him i was making pancakes. i put him in charge of 'bacon'...and told him i was on my way.

when i arrived at their house...i chopped the blueberries, grated the nutmeg and combined the rest of the ingredients.
with each passing minute...i seemed to be feeling worse. my head began to pound...and i was feeling faint. between flipping pancakes...i was going to stand in the doorway...hoping to catch a breeze.

with the breakfast preparation complete...i went to lie down. i awoke feeling better...but knowing that it was more than allergies. my daughter concurred that i was sick when she saw a couple of tweets i'd done...and told me that i'd responded to myself on my facebook page.

i'm writing this post in the car on the ride home...and i plan to have a healthy dose of cherry nyquil upon arrival.

depending on how i feel tomorrow will determine when i arrive in the office. the movers are bringing our furniture...and unfortunately...i have all the keys...so i must make an appearance.

it's raining out...football's on...and i'm gonna go grab a bowl of chili before this nyquil kicks in.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

eight-ball zucchini parmesan...

2 slices whole wheat bread, diced & crumbed
1 eight-ball zucchini, halved lenghtwise
4 basil leaves, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small onion, peeled & diced
olive oil
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1 chili pepper, minced
salt, to taste
1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese

preheat oven to 350.

place bread in food processor. pulse until crumbs are coarse. set aside.

cut zucchini in half lengthwise, scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4 inch thick shell. set pulp aside. steam zucchini shells.

saute zucchini, basil, garlic, onion, pepper and tomato in olive oil. salt, to taste. remove from heat, stir in breadcrumbs.

fill each zucchini half with 1/2 of mixture. top with prosciutto and grated parmesan cheese. drizzle olive oil over top. bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until cheese melts.

*this is my altered version of a recipe i found online.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

homemade pesto...

last year was the first time i made my own pesto. why? because i had a lot of basil. well...this year...i planted a lot of basil on purpose!

this morning i went out and picked basil and cilantro for today's pesto. i'm not particularly fond of pine nuts... so i used unsalted cashews.

and some fresh-squeezed lemon juice. since i will be freezing the pesto...i did not add the cheese.

my herbal olive oil gave it just the kick it needed to send this batch of pesto over the top!

i can't wait for the basil to grow again so i can make some more. or...maybe i'll pick some up at trader joe's.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

worldwide moment 2009...

up. down.
left. right.
love. hate.
peace. war.

we all have choices.


Worldwide Moment is a non-profit arts organization which encourages people around the world to celebrate peace and international collaboration by taking simultaneous photographs and sharing their stories. 2009's Moment occurs when the time is Wednesday September 9, 2009 at 9:09AM in the +09GMT time zone, or 09.09.09+09GMT@09:09.

So that means when it's:

  • Wed morning September 9 at 9:09AM in Japan and North Korea
  • Wed morning September 9 at 3:09AM in Darfur and Iraq
  • Tues evening September 8 at 8:09PM in New York and Chile
  • Tues afternoon September 8 at 2:09PM in Hawaii...

...all you have to do is take a photograph for peace.

Monday, September 7, 2009


my parents also have a garden...and my mother wanted me to pick & cook some of the collards that they grow.

i went out with my camera...and coaxed (more like begged) my father into pretending he was cutting them so i could photograph the moment.

i picked an entire bag full of collards...then...i had to wash them all. my back was aching & my fingers were wrinkled!

i did remember to take a photo as soon as i'd put them into the pot...but...i'd already eaten them before i thought of taking a photo of the finished product. and...since i'm home...and the rest of the collards are at the parents...no photo ops today.

*i also made some flavored vinegar for them from the peppers that i took over.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

today's harvest...

lots of chilis and one eight-ball zucchini.

the zucchini will make a nice side dish for today's bbq. not quite sure how i'll prepare it yet...but perhaps i'll scoop out the inside...saute with garlic and homemade bread crumbs.


the chilis will become many things. add-ins for a stir fry. flavor some olive oil. i'll dry most of them. they're pretty darn hot...and a little goes a LONG way.

i added ONE finely diced chili to a pasta dish i made the other day. how how was it? well...lets just say i was looking carefully to make sure there weren't any other tiny bits of chili on my plate!

Friday, September 4, 2009

the great pumpkin...

i think i may finally get to harvest one of my own pumpkins this year.

i've attempted to grow pumpkins once before...and had NO luck at all.

this year...the blossoms continue to form on the plant...and baby pumpkins appear...and then unfortunately...shrivel and die.

except for this one.

this one...i have named 'golden'.

this one...is my biggest pumpkin...and it grows in an urn at the base of the hill in my backyard.

i see a jack o'lantern...pumpkin seeds...and pumpkin soup in my future!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

sage & honey corn muffins...

a couple of weeks ago...i was browsing recipes on epicurious.com and saw this recipe.

i cut the recipe in half and made 18 mini muffins instead of cornbread...but...pretty much followed the recipe.

i served them with a garlic butter baked chicken and oven-roasted artichoke hearts.

yes...it was experiment night in my house again...and mrchazman enjoyed the meal. my mother says she will pass on the artichokes...but to bring her a corn muffin.