Highlights From BFF’s Birthday November 20, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Special Events, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: Birthday, Dessert, Food, Happy Hour, Ice Cream, Vegetarian
Because we haven’t figured out how to turn back the hands of time or stop the clock, we keep adding rings around the middle to mark the passage of years.
Rather than shopping for STUFF that requires dusting (NOT a good use of our limited time on the planet), we now celebrate birthdays with FOOD and VIEWS.
This year, we went to the Chart House on the southern tip of Longboat Key for Happy Hour where we quaffed beverages over two shared appetizers and a decadent dessert.
First up, a trio of Hummus (plain, roasted red pepper, and edamame) with Pita and Fried Plantains:
Next, an order of hot and cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Dip with crisp crostini:
Yes, please! Note to self: Calories don’t count during birthday celebrations.
On BFF’s birthday proper, we headed to the island to pick up pizza from our favorite pizzeria, located opposite the beach.
Due to Oma’s location, we NEVER call ahead or order delivery. Instead, we place our order and hang out on the beach to watch the waves while our pizza cooks.
Not only are the views grand, the salty sea air perks up our appetites! Mangia!
Aah . . . that’s better!
What’s your favorite way/place to celebrate? Does it involve FOOD or VIEWS?
“Finicky Eaters” September 24, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Animal Welfare, Humor, Sustainable Living, Word Play.
Tags: Einstein, Humor, Lifestyle Choices, Vegan, Vegetarian, Word Play
Someone had chosen to characterize vegetarians and vegans as “finicky eaters.”
Hmm . . .
Thinking that maybe she was using some antiquated or esoteric definition of “finicky,” I went off to investigate.
Googling “finicky,” I found these definitions:
* Insisting capriciously on getting just what one wants; difficult to please; fastidious
* excessively particular, as in tastes or standards; fussy
* full of trivial detail; overelaborate
Next, I googled “capricious” to make sure I wasn’t overlooking the obvious:
* subject to, led by, or indicative of a sudden, odd notion or unpredictable change; erratic
Nope. ”Finicky” is NOT the word I would choose to describe someone who has adopted a sustainable lifestyle designed to minimize the suffering of animals while, at the same time, improving their own health and well-being.
Instead of “finicky,” the word “discerning” springs to mind:
* Exhibiting keen insight and good judgment; perceptive.
And from Merriam-Webster:
* able to see and understand people, things, or situations clearly and intelligently
* wise, insightful, perceptive, prudent, sagacious, sage, sapient
Aah . . . that’s better!
“If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.”
~ Albert Einstein
10 Fabulous Cabbage Dishes April 12, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: Cabbage, Cook, Fruit and Vegetable, Recipes, Vegetarian
Our staples include:
* potatoes and sweet potatoes in the pantry
* onions and tomatoes on the counter
* lettuce in the keeper
* celery, carrots, and cabbage in the crisper
In the freezer, we have a number of other veggies ~ chopped spinach, corn, peas, broccoli, green beans, and sliced bell pepper for pizza. We seldom buy frozen veggies with sauce. One exception: Green Giant’s Cauliflower in Cheese Sauce ~ delicious side with a baked potato.
We keep a few canned veggies on hand: fire roasted tomatoes, beans (black, red, kidney, pinto, garbanzo), and beets. Canned beets are almost as good as fresh beets without the hassle of dealing with bleeding pink dye.
Now that I’ve whetted your appetite, here’s the main course ~ 10 Fabulous Cabbage Dishes . . . with links to recipes:
1. Cole Slaw ~ raw cabbage contains more anti-oxidants than cooked. Ideal: 2-3 servings per week in tossed salads or cole slaw.
2. Harvest Soup ~ wonderful on a cold rainy day. If you don’t eat it all, freeze in 2-3 cup servings for a quick meal down the road.
4. Veggie Stir Fries ~ serve over cooked rice or stir into spaghetti noodles for lo mein.
5. Curried Lentil Soup ~ hearty, delicious, nutritious, and budget friendly.
6. Caribbean Cabbage Slaw ~ a rather fluid recipe, ingredients and quantities. Ya mon!
7. Split Pea Soup ~ great served with garlic bread, corn bread, or French bread, warm from the oven.
8. Thai Noodles with Peanut Sauce ~ delicious hot or cold.
9. Vegetarian Egg Rolls ~ so good fresh out of the frying pan.
10. What Say You? What’s YOUR favorite way to serve cabbage?
Aah . . . that’s better!
French Onion Soup November 8, 2012Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: French onion soup, Recipes, Vegetarian, Worcestershire Sauce
In restaurants, French Onion Soup is not always a vegetarian entrée (despite the vegetarian sounding name).
When we make it at home, we substitute vegetable broth (or vegetarian bouillon cubes) for the beef broth. Even then, purists would turn their nose up at the anchovies in the Worcestershire Sauce.
We never turn up our noses at this soup.
It smells and tastes as good as it looks!
French Onion Soup
4 onions, sliced thin
2 Tbsp. butter
6-8 cups vegetable broth or bouillon
2 tsp. Worcestershire
Cracked black pepper
Toasted French Bread
Grated Cheese (Swiss, Gruyère, Muenster, or Mozzarella)
Cook onions in butter over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes until soft and translucent.
Add 6-8 cups vegetable broth or bouillon, Worcestershire Sauce, and fresh cracked black pepper.
Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Ladle soup into oven proof bowls. Top with a slice of toasted french bread and sprinkle bread with grated cheese or top bread with a slice of cheese (swiss, Gruyère, Muenster, or mozzarella).
Brown under broiler for 3 minutes until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.
* * * * *
A few months ago, Tammy tossed out a tasty tip: carmelize onions in a slow cooker . . . whenever you’re Oniondated!
This morning, I used the slow cooker to make Onion Soup. I cooked the onions on high for an hour before adding the broth and simmering for another hour.
Next time, I might give the onions two hours before adding the broth.
Aah . . . that’s better!
For more vegetarian ideas and recipe links: A Month of Meatless Meals
* * * * *
Susanna posted the 8 Finalists from the Halloweensie Contest on Tuesday morning . . . and I’m in the running!
If you want to vote, click this link and Vote for your Favorite!
They’re all in one place . . . so it’s one stop shopping. No clicking back and forth between blogs. Simple, right? You can vote while your onions sweat.
Curried Lentil Soup October 18, 2012Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: Curry powder, Lentil, Lentil soup, Olive oil, Recipes, Vegetarian
This fragrant soup is easy, inexpensive, healthy, full of fiber, filling, and delicious . . . perfect for creating welcoming aromas on a cool rainy day.
Curried Lentil Soup
1 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp. curry powder
4 cups vegetable stock or bouillon
2 cups water
16 oz. can, fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups dried lentils, uncooked
2-3 carrots, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 c. red wine (optional)
1 c. chopped parsley (optional)
In a large saucepan, heat oil. Sauté onion and garlic until soft, not browned. Stir in curry powder, sauté 1 minute. Add broth, water, tomatoes, lentils, (wine), carrots, celery, and red pepper. Simmer covered until lentils are cooked, about 45 minutes. Stir in parsley, simmer 5 minutes.
For an even heartier soup or stew . . . serve over cooked brown rice or pearled barley.
Lentil soup is also delicious with chopped cabbage or spinach stirred in during the final 10 minutes of cooking time.
Serve with fresh baked bread or cornbread.
Aah . . . that’s better!
Quote: An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that roses will also make better soup. ~ H. L. Mencken
Related post: 5 Homemade Seasoning & Soup Mixes (Clover & Thyme)
A Savory Sampler @ Panera Bread September 9, 2012Posted by nrhatch in Bulletin Board, Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: Avocado, Bagel, Panera, Panera Bread, Pico de Gallo, Vegetarian
A few days ago, we received an invite to a series of cooking demonstrations at Panera Bread.
The price was right . . . FREE!
We attended the first yesterday, not knowing what to expect . . . Panera did not disappoint!
Elise prepared three “bread and spread” recipes while her helpers handed out generous samples to the audience:
(1) Avocado and Goat Cheese on French Baguette Crostini
We decided to be brave, like the Grouch in Green Eggs and Ham.
We took a tentative bite. Hmm . . .
I would not eat it in a box.
I would not eat it with a fox.
But the goat cheese, garlic, and olive oil masked the taste of the avocados . . . making the spread a bit easier for us to swallow.
(2) Bagel Chips with Cucumber Yogurt Dip
Like Greek tzatziki, this light refreshing spread of cucumbers, yogurt, sour cream, garlic and dill paired well with Panera’s crisp bagel chips, but was a tad too salty for our tastes.
Of course, if they’d been serving Margaritas or Sangria with the demo, that salt would have come in handy.
(3) Asiago Bread Chips with Pico de Gallo
Definitely the winner . . . even if Pico de Gallo does translate as Beak of the Rooster!
Served on a slice of toasted Asiago Cheese Bread, this sharp salsa of tomato, jalapeno, garlic, onion, cilantro, and cumin grabbed the attention of our tastebuds.
For Panera Recipes . . . click HERE.
Before leaving the tasting arena, we received generous portions of Pico de Gallo and Cucumber Dip to take home . . . causing us to head straight to the bakery to buy bagels and baguettes (hot~out~of~the~oven!) to go.
Yup . . . there’s a method to their marketing.
Demos still to come ~ Pizza Pizzazz and Bread Basics. Yum!
Aah . . . that’s better!
Happy Haul~idays!!! November 10, 2011Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Bulletin Board, Food & Drink.
Tags: Books, Chronicle Books, Contest, Cookbooks, Food, Vegetarian
Winning $500 of FREE Books in the Happy Haul~idays Sweepstakes from Chronicle Books.
To enter, post your $500 Chronicle Book WISH LIST on your blog and share the link at Chronicle Books: Happy Haul~idays!
Or . . . just post a comment below.
The featured prize will be Chronicle Books items valued at $500 for one blogger, one blog reader, and one charity, non-profit, library, reading room, or literacy program.
I choose the Island Library on Anna Maria Island!
Here’ s my Book Wish List:
1,001 Ways To Live In The Moment $9.95
Surfing Your Inner Sea $15.95
A Beautiful Bowl of Soup $19.95
Fresh From The Farmer’s Market $19.95
1,001 Pearls of Buddhist Wisdom $9.95
2012 Under the Tuscan Sun Calendar $15.99
Why Did I Buy This Book? $16.95
Secrets of Simplicity $19.95
1,001 Pearls of Yoga Wisdom $9.95
52 Things to Try Once in Your Life $6.95
1,001 Ways to Save the Earth $9.95
Pizza: Delicious Homemade Pizza $18.95
52 Ways to Make A Difference $6.95
1,001 Pearls of Wisdom $9.95
Everyday Celebrations $24.95
How Now ~ 100 Ways to Celebrate the Present Moment $14.95
How Now Deck ~ 50 Ways to Celebrate the Present Moment $13.95
Whole Grains Cookbook $19.95
1,001 Meditations $9.95
Living Out Loud $17.95
Everyday Calm $9.95
Gratitude: A Journal $14.95
1,001 Ways to Relax $9.95
Simply Organic $24.95
New Vegetarian $19.95
I, Me, Mine, George Harrison $16.95
Foodie Fight: A Trivia Game $18.95
2012 Calendar of Awesome $12.99
4 Seasons Pasta $19.95
Greetings from the Onion $19.95
The Art of Pixar $16.95
If I win, one of YOU will win too . . .
One blogger AND one commenter on the winning post each WIN the list! Just leave a comment below!
Official Rules. Winners will be announced in December.
Tis the Season to start WISHING . . .
Food For Thought: 7 Money Saving Tips August 8, 2011Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Home & Garden, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: Compost, Cooking, Food, Food waste, Meatless Monday, Vegetarian
Want to stretch your food budget a bit further? Here are 7 Money Saving Tips:
1. Avoid food waste. Shop smart. Plan meals ahead. Use a shopping list. Don’t buy more perishable fruits and vegetables than you’ll use in a week . . . unless you’re planning a canning party (see tip #7)
2. Keep food fresh. Store new purchases in pantry and cupboards behind older residents. Do the same in your fridge ~ placing up front what needs to be consumed first.
3. Love your left-overs. When planning meals for the week, leave a few nights open to serve up recycled left-overs. Getting into the habit of planned left-overs will save you time and money. Make a pot of Harvest Soup with extra veggies, rice, potatoes, or pasta.
4. Watch expiration dates. When creating your menu plan, incorporate food that’s closing in on critical “use by” dates.
5. Don’t have a cow! Add a Meatless Monday to your meal plan every week. Need ideas? Check out A Month of Meatless Meals. Cutting back on meat is good for you, good for your wallet, good for your waist . . . and good for the animals and planet.
6. Start a compost pile. Turn vegetable trimmings, fruit peels, and coffee grinds into compost to fuel next season’s food production.
7. Yes, you can! Have a canning party with friends to eat locally year-round while saving money and having fun. Ideas: garlic and basil tomato sauce, pickled green beans, watermelon pickles, peach jam, pineapple chutney, applesauce, and zucchini relish.
No rules. Just write!
How about you? What are your favorite tips for stretching your food dollar?
Related posts: Great Nutrition Starts On Your Plate * 10 Ways to Fiber Up Your Diet * To Market, To Market * Top Ten Reasons to Become A Vegetarian (AgriGirl’s Blog) * How To Save On Your Grocery Bill (Real Simple)
Spinach Cornbread April 29, 2011Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: Cornbread, Food, Recipes, Spinach, Vegetarian
Here’s another versatile vegetarian recipe that allows you to swap ingredients easily and still end up with a crowd pleasing and filling meal.
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 pkg. (8.5 oz.) Jiffy Cornbread Mix
4 eggs, lightly beaten
8 oz. cottage cheese, small curd
2 tsp. sugar
1 med. onion, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain spinach well. Mix all ingredients together.
Pour mixture into a greased 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Wonderful paired with a tossed salad, baked beans, and/or sliced fruit.
1. Substitute sautéed greens (kale, collard, swiss chard, beet) for spinach.
2. Substitute a small can of chopped chili peppers for the red pepper.
3. Add a 15-oz. can of corn or black beans, drained and rinsed.
4. Substitute 4 oz. feta cheese or pepper jack for half the cottage cheese.
5. Add 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. cumin, or 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes.
Welsh Rarebit Dip December 19, 2010Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, People, Vegetarian Recipes.
Tags: Recipes, Vegetarian
Tammy posted ten delicious appetizer ideas that are quick, easy, and don’t require a recipe, perfect for holiday gatherings: Easy Holiday Appetizers.
Here’s an appetizer idea based on Welsh Rarebit that requires a recipe, albeit a simple one:
Welsh Rarebit Dip
6 oz. beer
8 oz. Wispride cheddar cheese spread
8 oz. whipped cream cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
dash Worcestershire sauce
Round (or Oval) loaf of Sourdough, Rye, or Pumpernickel Bread
Blend first 3 ingredients together in a mixing bowl, blender, or food processor. Add garlic and Worcestershire.
Hollow out center of the bread by cutting off the top and scooping out the center. Leave at least 1″ of bread on the bottom and sides to form a bowl.
Cut the removed bread into cubes for dunking.
Pour the Cheese Dip into the center of the hollowed out bread bowl. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley or paprika to garnish.
Serve cubed bread on the sides for dipping.