wayfarer in the kitchen

Friday, June 05, 2009

Ultimate Pizza Sauce

LOVE this recipe. It truly is the best.

Cream of Poblano Soup

Yummy recipe for Cream of Poblano Soup.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

chicken tortilla soup

chicken tortilla soup
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
I never posted a picture of this soup. It's delicious. I just made a big pot and have ate it every day since.

Recipe can be found here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

check. check. check one.

is anyone out there?

Wondering if i should give up this blog or start posting to it. You tell me.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Homemade chicken alphabet soup


Chicken stock. Add chopped carrots and finely chopped celery. Bring to a boil and then add the pasta, chicken (i used a leftover breast that i had boiled), tomatos (because they are his favorites), and peas.

He made the entire thing himself except for chopping. He was responsible for the telling me the timer went off, he did all the stirring, etc. Not bad for an almost 3 year old. :-)

Eggs-ellent late breakfast/lunch

Originally uploaded by wayfarer
I love having this for a late breakfast/early lunch or when i have skipped breakfast. So good.

Here's what you do.

Take a baked potato, slice it open and add the following to it...

- a couple pats of butter
- salt and pepper
- a couple dallops of cream cheese
- a couple dallops of sour cream
- a small handful of cheddar cheese

Micro for a few seconds to get it all gooey and the cheese soft.

Fry an egg overeasy and put on top. It'll finish melting the cheese. Break the egg and let the gooey yolk mix in with the potato.


Homemade convenience items

Check out this great resource for making all kinds of homemade mixes and condiments. I'm loving how easy it is to make Sweetened Condensed Milk and Ricotta Cheese/Cottage Cheese. Yogurt too. Oh, and kettle corn. Yum. Fall is slowly arriving and this sounds perfect for a cool September afternoon snack.

I've been tempted to make yogurt for years. I think i have to give it a go this winter. Fruit leather too (fruit leather is in the Super Baby Food book).

I have a thousand blueberries to use and fruit leather is calling me. We went grocery shopping and often Little Dude will quietly slip something in and blueberries are a favorite so at first i thought he did it but then after unloading 7 extra pint containers of blueberries from a shopping bag and realizing i never put them on the conveyer belt i have no idea how they ended up in our groceries. But since we also bought 2 that ended up being a lot of blueberries. Happy for us, sad for the poor people who didn't get theirs. I made blueberry pancakes, blueberry buckle (OMG..........delicious and will be made again next blueberry season), and blueberry jam. I let LD eat a pint and then i froze the rest. I think with the frozen ones (i also already had two bags of frozen ones in the freezer - we can't have too many blueberries in the house...well until this happened!).

Poor abandoned blog, i have neglected you, but i promise to give you life once again..............

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Shrimp and Tomato Pasta on angel hair pasta - Yum!

Originally uploaded by wayfarer

Monday, June 02, 2008

my version of juevos rancheros

I love juevos rancheros but without being able to make green chili i gave up for a long while. I have tried recipes without pork for green chili but they just don't work right. But i found this salsa which is pretty good and fresh tasting on them.

All i do is pan fry some white corn tortillas, fry a couple of overeasy eggs. Place on top of the fried tortillas, put some of the salsa on there and then cheese (i use half cheddar and half mexican or pepper jack too). Micro until cheese is melted. That's it. I love having them with hash browns.

homemade pizza

homemade pizza
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
I love homemade pizza especially since we don't have any halal pizza places around here. There was a good one in Atlanta i miss a lot.

I like jalapeno and pineapple pizza while hubby likes pepperoni. The halal pepperoni is pretty good, so is the veggie.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

lamb burgers, homemade potato chips and fixins

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lamb burgers & homemade potato chips

(picture coming soon!)
This has got to be one of the most satisfying meals I've made recently. Very quick and easy too. I sort of adapted a recipe from Everyday Food but only followed the picture. I changed all the ingredients.

Here's how i made it... (sorry i didn't measure anything...a sprinkle is probably about half a teaspoon in my book)

Lamb burgers

Take a pound of ground lamb and add to it:

a sprinkle of chili powder
a bigger sprinkle of smoked paprika (or regular if you don't have smoked)
mint (or fresh if you have it)
fresh parsley chopped
1 small to medium garlic clove chopped

Mix together lightly but well and form into small patties (about an inch a half all around). Set aside.

In a bowl (or yogurt container - what i use) combine about a cup of yogurt, a sprinkle of mint, sprinkle of salt, a couple tablespoons of finely chopped onion, half a cucumber chopped into less than bite size pieces but bigger than fine so there is still some texture there. Add a little splash of water to it just to thin it out a little and mix well.

Grill or fry the lamb burgers. I used a little olive oil in a cast iron skillet to do this. Rainy day. Cut the pitas in half and warm covered for 15 seconds or so each in the microwave so they don't break when making the sandwiches.

Put two lamb burgers in each pita, some lettuce, tomato and plenty of raita sauce. Serve with homemade potato chips.

Homemade Potato Chips

Finely slice potatos widthwise. Make a few thicker slices if you like a chewy center (i do! those are the prized ones for me!). Heat the oil and fry until lightly browned, take a few out a little earlier if you want some chewier. Place on paper towel and sprinkle with salt and paprika (smoked if you have it).

You can make them other ways too. If you've ever had those gourmet type ones that are rosemary and other herbs, the way to do that is just heat the oil and put a spring of rosemary or clove of garlic or whatever you want to use and then fry them up. Nothing like natural homemade potato chips. Awesome awesome stuff and no additives or msg.

Let me know if you try this. It rocked our worlds tonight - even the little dude, picky eaty that he has become liked it.

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Originally uploaded by wayfarer
I miss mexican food. i loooove mexican food. But here in farm land new jersey i can't get mexican food and even if i could it would of course be pork ridden because it's practically impossible to find a porkless green chili sauce anywhere. Anyway, craving mexican food i made 7 layer dip (in the back), firecracker chicken enchiladas (spicy ones), and chili relleno casserole. I FINALLY found chili rellenos in the can here and as of last weekend fresh ones too but i'm seriously dying for hot tamales. Dying for them i tell you. But i can't find corn husks here anyyyywhere. Would some wondeful blog person send me some? I'm seriously dying here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Not all my food is pretty.

Meatloaf, potato and spinach
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
Someone was telling me how my food looks pretty all the time and how do i do that. Here is proof that not all of my food is pretty. :-)

But it's absolutely fabulous tasting!

One of my favorite american foods on a cold winter night.

I just found a new favorite meatloaf recipe here and new favorite mashed potatos here and the spinach i just sauteed with a little garlic, salt and lemon juice.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

2 fake eggs and an apricot.

2 fake eggs and an apricot.
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
I love giving the little man this for breakfast. It's just so fun and makes me want to make bento boxes for him.

Plain yogurt topped with apricot halves.

new food for the little dude

LD lunch
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
I can't believe I got my kid to eat this. See he'll eat anything seperate there but he usually doesn't like food mixed up with sauce. So i feed him in stages. He ate all this up.

Monday, February 04, 2008



breakfast - cereal and toast
lunch - veggies, plain yogurt with raspberries for dessert
dinner - pasanday


breakfast - pancakes
lunch - chicken nuggets, veggies
dinner - spiced cod, jasmine rice


breakfast - toast and fruit
lunch - cheesebagur ;-) that's how he says it...loves them too.
dinner - lamb burgers, home fries, hummus


breakfast - waffles
lunch - rice and lentils
dinner - something from the freezer - tomatar ka salan, butter chicken or dopiaza


breakfast - egg and cheese
lunch - pizza
dinner - tilapia bengali style

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Aloo gobi

Remember i was looking for a good aloo gobi recipe. I found one here. Way yummy! I added a little extra spice than they said though. I think i doubled the garam masala and added a little extra chili powder and cumin as some reviewers had suggested. I think i added a little ginger and garlic paste too. Like a teaspoon. I would definately used diced tomatos on this and cook a little longer than they suggest. It was very good though.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lamb chops on spaghetti

I made this recipe up using the theory of mint and lamb go well together and boy do they. My husband questioned this before trying it and became a believer. Actually I had no idea if it would be good or not - i just thought it would. It may not look like much but this meal is packed with flavor and healthy for you too!

Boil water. Add spaghetti. When you add the spaghetti put the chops in the oven assuming you preheated it.

For the sauce, just do whatever you do for spaghetti or pasta sauce and add fresh chopped mint to it. I always keep a jar of spaghetti sauce on hand. Occassionally i'll make it too but more often i doctor up a jar. For LD i make it from scratch. That boy is spoiled and i feel sorry for his wife because i totally spoil the kid.

For the lamb chops... I did two each. Drizzle olive oil over them and then salt and pepper. Do both sides. Put on broiler pan. The water will keep them moist. Broil for 6 minutes a side.

Mix your spaghetti sauce and noodles and top with the chops. Add a sprig of fresh mint for garnish. MMmmmmm.

Interesting blog

She does it better than me! This lady can spend $45 or $70 for a weeks worth of groceries for a family of 4-6. That's pretty good. That's exactly what i spend on my family of 3. There's some good tips on there. And look at this guide about eating healthy and thrifty meals. Here's another one preparing healthy meals with minimal cost. Here's one on menu planning. This blog is a great source of information. Check it out!

A lot of what i say...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

chicken stock in the making

chicken stock in the making
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
I've been asked before how to make chicken stock and i've been lazy about posting or i gave a half answer. Here's how i made it today.

What i often do is when veggies need to be used up like celery, onions or carrots, chop them and put them in the freezer in cup portions. Today i had fresh so did it that way but either way works well and if you have them in the freezer it's easy to make when you have some chicken bones with a little meat on it like today when i was making chicken and dumplings. I cut a lot of the bone off the breasts and that's what i'm making stock from. It's at the bottom of the pot btw.

For the amount of bones i had (you really can't go wrong though with chicken stock). It may taste more vegetably but that's okay.

Anyway, here's what i did for my chicken breast bones with a little meat still stuck on.

I added :

1 very small onion roughly chopped
1 stock of celery and all the celery leaves (tons of flavor in those...my favorite part for salads and this too)
1 chopped carrot
1 bay leaf
a splash of thyme (i hate dried herbs but didn't have fresh so just added a splash but you will probably want more)
a dash of salt
and a couple grinds of pepper

Let it simmer away for an hour or so, strain through a strainer/seive and let cool then pour into 1 cup portions. I use the rubbermaid/glad ones. Those small little ones hold exactly one cup. Put in the freezer. Done.

Here's one in use today...



Breakfast: Waffles
Lunch: pot pie
Dinner: leftover lasagna


Breakfast: Muffins
Lunch: Chicken and Dumplings - LD's favorite and he's not feeling well today
Dinner: Chicken curry


Breakfast: eggs and toast
Lunch: kitchery (rice and lentils)
Dinner: chicken and dumplings


Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: peanut butter and marshmellow sandwich (!)
Dinner: green thai curry


Breakfast: egg and cheese
Lunch: mac and cheese
Dinner: tomato ka salan

Monday, January 07, 2008

aloo gobi

I want to make aloo gobi this week but haven't made it before. Does anyone have a recipe for it?



Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: pasta with chicken and sauce
Dinner: Corned beef and cabbage


Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Pizza
Dinner: Dopiaza


Breakfast: egg and toast
Lunch: chicken nuggets and broccoli, cheese for dipping
Dinner: Spicy chicken curry


Breakfast: waffles
Lunch: turkey tentrazini
Dinner: leftovers, probably lasagna


Breakfast: yogurt and blueberries
Lunch: graham cracker peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Dinner: Pasanday and aloo gobi

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Menu this week

Desserts this week: Lemon coffee cake, gingersnaps, fudge


Breakfast: cereal
Lunch: Thai soup and rice
Dinner: Butter chicken
Snacks: crackers and cheese, fruit

Breakfast: eggs, sausage, toast
Lunch: snacks
Dinner: Dalcha

Breakfast: waffles
Lunch: chicken nuggets and green beans
Dinner: Chicken vindaloo
Snacks: yogurt and blueberries

Breakfast: pancakes
Lunch: peanut butter and jelly rolls
Dinner: leftover lasagna from weekend
Snacks: fruit

Breakfast: egg and toast
Lunch: meatball soup
Dinner: spaghetti and lamb chops (didn't end up having this last week)
Snacks: chickpeas and tomatos

Monday, December 31, 2007


baked eggs
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
My mil talked about baked eggs before and fondly so when i saw this recipe in a book i went for it. Oh dear God! Yum! I didn't follow the recipe very much though.

Here's what i did.

Buttered a pie pan, laid phyllo sheets and buttered each layer and layered oh 6 or 7 times. Then i spread chopped provolone around the bottom of the pan, put the eggs on top of that and then topped with a mixture of chopped provolone and dried herbs. I think i used just a little bit of thyme, pepper, salt, and parsley. I don't like dried herbs much and didn't have fresh so i went real light on the herbs.

Then, you take heavy cream and put a tablespoon or two on top of each yolk. Bake until done. Recipe said 7 minutes. It took almost 25 minutes and my oven is fast. But i think they were doing them individually and they didn't use phyllo. I really strayed but they were good. I could only eat one though because they are super rich. They may cause a heart attack lol.

mac and cheese for kids (i have an adult recipe that's different)

mac and cheese
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
Here's an easy mac and cheese recipe for kids. I never do the box sort because after being spoiled with homemade food from birth the kid is a foodie and demands homemade.

Boil 1/2 pound of elbow macaroni or whatever pasta you want.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in pot, when melted add 2 tablespoons flour, stir for a minute then add 1 1/4 cups of warm milk slowly. Stir a minute then add 1 1/4 cups shredded or cubed cheese (i don't measure i just take a chunk of cheese and dice it up, toss it in). We like cheese around here. Add some pepper, little bit of salt and dash of nutmeg. Mix and when pasta is done, introduce them to each other and pour into a buttered casserole dish and bake until bubbly, about 20-30 minutes. I put these in baby food jars and freeze them that way. Quick meals for him. I use baby food jars for this, kitchery (not true kitchery...enhanced ld kitchery), chili, soup, whatever. You see what they are, it's the perfect portion for a main course and it's easy to microwave and put into a dish.

We like ours topped with sliced tomatos. You can also add bread crumbs or broccoli. Usually though, we eat our broccoli all steamed with cheese sauce poured over it and share a plate.

BTW, you can make extra sauce and freeze just that. Add it to whatever...quicky meals.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Our freezer is officially empty of leftovers. Time to cook.


Breakfast: Pancakes
Snack: Fresh apricots
Lunch: Hotdogs and green beans
Dinner: Stuffed steak rolls, spinach artichoke dip and swiss roll for dessert. I can't wait.


Breakfast: eggs and toast
Snack: oranges
Lunch: Turkey sushi rolls
Dinner: Spaghetti with lamb chops


Breakfast: french toast
Snack: goldfish and fruit
Lunch: Soup
Dinner: Chicken souvlaki and salad


Breakfast: cheese croissants..if i can find a recipe..i'm really craving them
Snack: Fruit and yogurt
Lunch: Spaghetti
Dinner: Turkey Tertrazini - to use our leftover frozen turkey from thanksgiving now that i'm not sick of it


Breakfast: Crepes
Snack: Fresh fruit
Lunch: Soup
Dinner: Nihari

What are you having? I want to start a weekly thing and would like you guys to join. To get ideas from each other. All you have to do is post your menu for the week on your blog on Mondays. I'll do the same and then put a comment in that you did and i'll post the links in the post at the end of the day. Anyone up for it?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Making food fun and healthy...

Originally uploaded by wayfarer
Here's a breakfast LD was surprised to see the other day. An overeasy egg instead of a broken one. He was really surprised when he realized it was yogurt with peaches. :-)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Beef Bulgogi

Originally uploaded by wayfarer
Marinate the following for at least 2 hours...longer the better. If it's frozen, put into a bag with marinade and let it thaw out in it.

Get 1 lb beef cut into thin slices - as thin as you can get it from the butcher. Then cut in crossgrain (against the grain) - this helps make it chewable and not tough.

Marinate in:

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple juice or white grape juice (recipe calls for rice wine but this is a good substitute)
1/4 cup sesame oil (i just used regular oil and added a tablespoon and a half of sesame seeds...you can toast them in a dry pan to really draw out the flavor).
1 clove garlic crushed ( i used 1 tablespoon of garlic ginger paste and highly recommend that because the ginger really added to it. If you don't have or use the paste, add some fresh chopped ginger...i think it would be bland without it.)
1-3 green onions finely sliced (i used whole green beans instead and it was delish!)
fresh ground pepper to taste

Stir and add beef, marinate at least 2 hours, not more than 12 though.

Recipe says to grill it, i just poured it all into a pan with a little bit of oil and cooked until done. It only took about 5 minutes...this depends on how thin your meat is cut. Add salt to taste.

Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How i plan menus...

menu planning
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
Look at that horrid handwriting. I usually write much better but anyway. Recipe book, note pad, printed recipes. I go through until have about 10. I do 10 because that's enough for two weeks. I don't always eat in order of the menu but eventually i make it all. I always cook the things first that have veggies that may go bad etc.

Then i plan snacks, a dessert or two, LD's lunches. Breakfast i tend to wing. I ask him two things and make him choose one.

Then, I write my grocery list putting a note next to anything i may have or not sure if i have it, I put down if i need to look up a substitution like alcohol or something like that. I also note page numbers of books that i get recipes from so i can find them quick when needed. I keep the printouts that i need that week hooked on the fridge on the side.

For LD's meals...often from books i just put the initials of the title and then the page number.

Sometimes if I'm really motivated i'll collect coupons but since i don't get the paper i don't do this often.

This habit keeps everything organized. I don't feel pressured to figure what is for dinner as long as i've done my homework and have the shopping done. When the shopping isn't done it's annoying to stick to a plan. I also like that i don't make myself stick to a day. For instance, last night we had leftovers instead of beef bulgogi because i didn't have the apple juice i thought i did. Tonight i'm making the beef bulgogi. Instead of nihari nachos which my husband totally stuck his nose up to, i ate it for lunch. This is a guide, more than a strict plan. It helps immensely but make it work for you...don't make it more work. Hope that helps someone.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Originally uploaded by wayfarer
Thank you Farhana! Thought you might like to see the pic! (I didn't make this...it was a surprise gift from a sweet friend).

Last night's salad

yummy salad
Originally uploaded by wayfarer

last night's dinner

salad, israeli spiced chicken and zucchini casserole

Recipe for Zucchini casserole:

I just drizzled some olive oil in a casserole dish, put in some sliced onions, then sliced zucchini, a lot of pepper, a little salt, a drizzle of butter and then mozarella cheese and italian flavored bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or so.

Israeli spiced chicken is real good - gotta try it! It's a Rachael Ray recipe and it totally rocks. Nice and spicy if you smother it like i do. Husband gave it two thumbs up. This was his first time having it.

Monday, November 26, 2007



Breakfast - Pumpkin muffins
Lunch - Wagon wheel pasta with broccoli, cauliflower and cheese
Dinner - Israeli spiced chicken (this stuff rocks!), zuccini bake and mediteranean salad


Breakfast - pancakes
Lunch - chicken nuggets and homemade fries for him, soup for me
Dinner - Beef Bulgogi


Breakfast - oat date bars
Lunch - zuchini and hummus, raisins
Dinner - Cous Cous, chicken tangine (morrocan chicken) in the crockpot, spinach salad


Breakfast - eggs and sausage
Lunch - spaghetti
Dinner - Keema, daal, carrot halwa


Breakfast - waffles
Lunch - sweet and sour veggie stirfry
Dinner - Nihari nachos (Gulnarita's great idea!) - we'll see if my husband goes for it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Back on Monday

I'll be back here on Monday. With that trip, a deadline and Thanksgiving and no school break i haven't been able to post but I have a heck of a menu for next week. Was going to be this week until i realized it was thanksgiving and we know what i'll be eating the rest of the week.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Little Dude's dinner

Freezer meal
Originally uploaded by wayfarer
I wasn't ready with dinner yet but LD was. This is how you can make your freezer really work for you. I had some frozen cooked pasta in there, some crushed tomato's with basil and frozen peas and carrots. The tomato's were put into an ice cube tray and then popped out and into a bag. I warm this for 60 seconds, add ricotta or mozarella cheese (this day it was mozarella) and warm for another 45 seconds and your good to go.

Leaving town...

When you leave town, take all the veggies and fruit you have and cut them up and freeze them. Here's a pomegranate i took apart before leaving town this last week. Now it's ready for me to use however i want, i can put some seeds in a salad or cook with it, however...and i didn't waste it. I do this with everything before leaving town if it will spoil before i get back.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


That's how much this last trip was...we're going over the $200 mark but not by much. And there were extras this month...pumpkins, squash, etc.

Safa...for baby stuff...are you wanting recipes, tips, let me know what you want mostly and I'll dedicate a post to it next week. In the meantime, see if your library has the book "Super Baby Food" by Ruth Yaron. If they do, get it from them.

I've been bad this week at posts - i knew it was going to be a lot to commit to this but i am liking it and will keep on doing it - each week i'll post once or twice of variety stuff. I'll keep posting recipes and menu's. Maybe even $ - dunno. I'm not getting a lot of comments so I know there's not very many reading but there's a few of you I know really like and want this so i'll keep at it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Menu this week

Dessert for the week: Apple Pie, double ka meeta (maybe)


Breakfast - chocolate chip pancakes and fruit
Lunch - pizza (we go out for pizza whenever we go to the post office - LD requests and i can't refuse)
Dinner - Eggplant parmesan and bread (was already in the freezer)
Snacks - Pomegranite for 1, goldfish for 2

***(i like to introduce LD to whole foods this way...letting him look at the thing (pomegranite and pineapple this week) for a few days, touch it, then sit him on the counter and let him watch me cut it and then eat it right there on the counter...we've done this with lots of foods....he'll try anything on the counter).


Breakfast - eggo for LD (i do buy eggos...they are a quick convenient breakfast). I don't have a waffle maker...i need one so i can make him really good waffles.
Lunch: Tuna casserole
Dinner: Nihari (from the freezer)
Snacks - Fresh cut pineapple - a treat because we usually get this in the can and he loves pineapple


Breakfast - "fried egg" - yogurt spread into the shape of a fried egg and half of an apricot round side up in the middle to be the yolk. Fun food. Toast with jam.
Lunch - Pasta with veggies
Snack - Toddler sushi
Dinner - Beef and potato curry (from the feezer), dahl on the side.


Breakfast - cereal or oatmeal
Lunch - chicken pot pie (from freezer)
Dinner - Butter chicken
snack - fruit and yogurt


Breakfast - french toast
Lunch - out to lunch
Dinner - Sag Paneer and biryani (freezer)

You can see how easy "cooking" can get when you freeze leftovers.


There was a request from Safa for baby food - i'll do a whole post on that this week or next week.

Also requested was the brussel sprout meatballs and sadly i didn't get to it because LD was sick and then i got sick etc etc. It was a recipe in Taste of Home and i'll try it soon and post the results. There was the toddler sushi request and i'll post that. I made it again today and took pictures. And the green bread recipe. I'll post that whole meal here because it was fun together. I think that was all wasn't it?

Penne wise Pumpkin Pasta

I added sausage to mine and I'm glad i did because it would have been missing something i felt if i hadn't. Both hubby and i thought so.

Green Gobble-'Ems Garlic Bread Chunks - i didn't cut them up though and i used regular bread.

Monday, November 05, 2007

will post soon

Been sick and just can't seem to get computer time. I'll hopefully catch up early this week.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Eating in season

Originally uploaded by wayfarer
Eating in season is natural. There are lots of websites that give you a guide to what's fresh when. Get to know it...you can usually tell but get to know it anyway. Eating in season always tastes good and is always cheaper.

Friday, November 02, 2007

cleaning with vinegar

Vinegar is a wonderful cleaner. I use it for cleaning the air too. After cooking pakistani or indian food it stinks, i filled a bottle with vinegar and a few drops of essential oil (i use eucalyptus or lavendar) and spray around the room. It really freshens the place up naturally.

Cleaning with vinegar

1001 uses for vinegar

More vinegar cleaning tips including pesticides etc

Tips on first time of using vinegar...getting rid of the chemical residue

boy the time flies

I really don't know where it goes sometimes. Well, we are actually on the last week of this project (the $ spent on grocery test) but i've decided to keep part of it going. I will continue to post tips, my menu each week and recipes. I don't know how often i will post but i'll definately do the menu each week since it's something i do anyhow.

Okay, we left off last week with how much i spent. I spent $53 something but that included meat for the next week or two and also halloween candy which was like $10 on it's own but i'll include $50 in my total anyway because my husband did stop for me a few times for milk or bread so that'll buffer the total. I'm not shopping this week and i'm only cooking for LD because our freezer is too full and I'm still real sick and don't feel like cooking.

So, the total for this past week is $53 which brings our grand total to ($136 + $53= $189). Not bad right? There's a few things i need from the store for this current week so i think i'll be right on target for $200. I didn't go out of my way to hit that target either. This is the typical month for us. It really is about not wasting food, using fresh food and always always having a list and staying focused on that list.

I'm going to backdate these posts so it's consecutive and isn't confusing.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Whew, busy week! Sorry I'm late...it seems only 1 or 2 people are actually reading these anyway...


Breakfast - Waffles
Lunch - Ravioli's and sauce
Dinner - Black pepper chicken and fried peas and corn. Salad on the side.


Breakfast: Waffles - it's his favorite these days
Lunch: Orange, grapes, goldfish - yeah healthy one that day eh?
Dinner: Scary pasta (spinach pasta i forget the name of but it looked like eyeballs to me with pumpkin sauce and green bread (spinach and garlic). Fun scary looking meal.


Breakfast: Boiled egg and cheese
Lunch: Chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries
Dinner: I skipped it, leftover biryani for husband, leftover chili (and candy) for LD


Breakfast: Sweet potato hash (onions, garlic, spices, sweet potatos, apples and sausage) and fried eggs. Healthy to make up for yesterday.
Lunch: leftover green pasta
Dinner: biryani and butter chicken


Breakfast: pancakes
Lunch: turkey and cheese sushi rolls.
Dinner: Brussel sprout filled meatballs. My husband is excited about this one lol.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

not forgotten...


will update tonight insh'allah

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Recipes - nachos, pumpkin cream cheese muffins and chili relleno casserole

I believe the only recipes that were requested were:

homemade nachos, pumpkin muffins and chili relleno casserole

The chili relleno casserole didn't happen because it's just impossible to find chili relleno's here. I've tried 5 stores. But this is delish. Now i didn't follow this recipe because it just didn't sound right to me at the time. I was going to write up a recipe based on this recipe when i made it again but this is the recipe i based my version off of and it was absolutely delicious. I've been wanting to make it again for so long!

The Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins can be found here. I added some ground ginger. I only did a little bit of cream cheese. I filled the cups 3/4, used only a small dime sized chunk of cream cheese (skipped the freezing part altogether) and skipped the nuts because i thought i had them but realized i didn't. They were delicious just how they were. I am making them again soon for sure. Next week i'm doing a chocolate chip version to see which one is better. For the pumpkin spice mix - i was too lazy to look up the recipe for it so i just added a little pinch of each of (cardamom, ground clove, all spice, ground ginger, cinnamon).

Homemade nachos - this is the first time I've made these. My mom used to make them for me in the summers when i saw her and i was feeling nostalgic. I normally wouldn't eat cheddar out of a can - guess you could use fresh but like i said, i was feeling nostalgic. Anyway...


1 bag dorritos
1 lb ground beef
taco seasoning (either make your own or buy from the store)
1 can cheddar cheese (soup aisle)
1/2 can milk
green onions

Saute onion in a little oil, when soft, add meat. Cook until brown (add in seasonings...cumin, etc or taco seasoning packet). At same time, cook cheddar cheese (but use half the suggested milk). When both are done pile a plate with dorritos, add the meat, then the cheese, then tomatos and green onions. Sour cream if you like too.

and this is why you don't go shopping without a list!

See, whenever i go without a list, i'm forced to go down every aisle and when you go down every aisle you pick up things that sound or look good. I forgot my list but since we were there i had to shop. After all, it's almost the weekend and i'm just doing my week's worth of shopping. Thank God for the freezer because that's what we've been eating. I had to rearrange things and tonight I had a strong craving for butter chicken so goodbye chicken jalfraizi and hello butter chicken.

Anyway, long story short... I spent $89.23. So last week was $47 so the total for 2 weeks now is $136. If I had brought my list it would have been half this. I didn't include the pumpkin i got, the batteries or the fixings for LD's school mac and cheese (i'm making a big batch for the fall festival). I don't know if it'll be less than $200 for the month. We'll see!

Here's what I came home with that wasn't on my list (and i forgot 3 things too):

Large box of organic spring salad mix - i was feeling healthy.

2 bags of spinach - got it because it was 2/1

brussel sprouts - because they sounded good - yeah, i'm twisted like that. :-)

oranges, pomegranate, grapes, avocados, broccoli , kiwi- because LD wanted these things and who can turn down a kid begging for such healthiness - he eats veggies and fruits for lunch - not much of a meat eater

hot chocolate - this really should have been on my list because i've been craving it with the rainy weather

french fries - 2 bags. One of regular crinkle fries and one of sweet potatos. This is why you bring a list and you stick to it! I never buy these. I always make my fries. Argh.

Mocha peppermint creamer - this is okay...i always buy cream in the winter for the special flavors. I'll let this one slide.

Canned fruit - i was going to get it next week but since i was there...

There's some other things but you get the point. Go with a list!

Monday, October 22, 2007

All caught up!

Comments have been responded too. I'll post on Thursday how much i spent and the recipes. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. Hope you guys are enjoying these posts. :-)


Here's my list so i can skip this step tomorrow. This is how i write it out for my husband usually too. I sometimes go too. Tomorrow I'm going.

Frozen aisle:

milk for us
milk for ld
yogurt - plain
cheese slices for grilled cheese

Fruit and veggies:

vanilla wafers
nescafe instant coffee
bread (whitish for double ka meeta)
english muffins
Desi store: (i need it next week so i buy it now) - i use the curry leaves for the first few days then immediately put into a glass jar in the freezer. They turn brown but it doesn't matter. It's just moisture that changes them in the freezer. They are still fine to use.
curry leaves
ginger paste
Halal store: (again, for next week)
ground beef
ground chicken


Phew what a day.

Here's the menu plan for this week:


Breakfast: Avocado, egg and english muffin.
Lunch: Pumpkin soup and corn.
Dinner: Tomato ka salan (didn't have it last week, had something from freezer instead) and Begari beghan (eggplant dish)

Breakfast: oatmeal for LD, toast for me
Lunch: busy day...don't know...probably just snacks (fruit, veggie etc)
Dinner: Biryani from the freezer (busy day tomorrow so no time to cook). Love thy freezer.

Breakfast: yogurt pancakes
Lunch: zuchini and tomatos for LD, sandwich for me
Dinner: Israeili Chicken, corn on the cob, garlic and dill potatos

Breakfast: oatmeal and fruit for LD, fruit for me
Lunch: Pasta with hidden veggies
Dinner: Chicken Jalfraizi

Breakfast: french toast
Lunch: english muffin pizza
Dinner: Eggplant Parmesan from the freezer

breakfast: eggs, breakfast burritos or pancakes
lunch: snacks...fruit etc
dinners: leftovers from freezer


Boy, it's been one of those days. I have no clue what's for dinner at it's 4:19. Sigh. Better get to it. I'll respond to comments and get a menu up hopefully tonight.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Nontoxic cleaners

I'll post more each week. Here's some links to get you started...





There's a ton of websites out there, just google natural cleaning recipes, organic cleaning recipes etc. I have some pesticide recipes, air freshener ones, etc. too. Bath products and beauty products are out there too. A non toxic world is a good world. I do use chemicals too but i try to use natural when i can.

I let LD squirt these cleaners and he loves doing it. He'll wash something for a half hour and let me do something i don't want him doing (cleaning toilets for example). I only let him use his "cleaners" when i'm cleaning so he doesn't get bored with it. It's a treat.


No food recipes were requested. right?

Where does the time go?

I haven't lived up to my promise this week...been busy. I had the intention of sending out eid cards and a few presents and haven't done that either (sigh). Okay, let's catch up.

I spent $25 on halal meat and still have some left. We got 2 lbs ground beef, 2 whole boneless chicken breasts, 1 whole chicken cut up and a couple pounds of legs and thighs.

We hardly bought anything fresh this week because i was already stocked up on most things. We did spend $22 at the farm...that included what is apparently a play pumpkin for the little man. He carries it everywhere with him. Don't know if we are going to be able to eat it or not.

So total this week is: $47

I know it's a bit unfair this week but this is what i do.

Okay, some ways to save money. I planned to organize this better but i have limited time so it's just gonna come out like this...

Buy what you use often in bulk when it's on sale. For instance, i know we go through beans, chickpeas, tomatos, frozen veggies like hot potatos so whenever they are on sale, i go crazy. I buy tons of tomatos canned, i buy them crushed, diced, whole, the paste and even sauce and i'll buy a ton at a time because i know i'll use them. I use fresh tomato's too but i like them on hand in the can. Beans i buy in the can for chili or snacks. I buy them dry too because they are much cheaper that way but they are a quick snack for LD in the can. I always always have lentils, beans, and other dried legumes for our meals. They are super cheap and super healthy. Buy the big bag and use often.

When cooking, mix in veggies to meat dishes to maximize meat (expensive and also not exactly good for you eaten in bulk). Add okra, potatos or tomatos to beef or goat to bulk up the meal. Dried legumes are good for this too. Have side dishes that are veggies also. By doing this, you will usually have leftovers (hence a frozen dinner for later) and it's healthier.

Never buy prepared foods. It's 200% inflation.

Make your own baby food (i'm a wealth of knowledge on this subject...ask away).

Don't buy things already sliced up, diced, shredded etc. The shelf life is shorter and it's twice as much. (frozen is different because the shelf life problem isn't there). Chopped veggies are a timesaver and a great snack for kids.

Don't buy things because they are on sale unless they are on your list or something you always use (like tomato's).

Bargains are at the top and bottom of the shelves - they place the higher priced items at eye level. They also put toddler enticing items lower so kids can get at em.

Always eat before grocery shopping. Don't go hungry. If you go hungry you are going to come out with snacks you don't need.

Freeze things about to expire (milk, chicken stock, veggies (chop and put in small containers or bags), fruit (i buy strawberries and blueberries on sale in the summer and chop and freeze myself) - they don't make it to winter like intended but still the dollar stretches a lot further when they are on sale which is the next point.

Eat by the season, that's what is usually on sale and it's what is fresh. Can't lose. Farmers markets are good for this.

And most important, plan your menu, make a list and stick to it. You will probably avoid the cookie, chip, etc aisle which is $$$$. Make your cookies, skip the chips and soda. I do buy juices in the box. It's good for play dates and car drinks and treats. It's also a splurge because they are high but then so is juicy juice and i buy it. I'm still looking for organic juice here.

Often people go to the store hungry and without a list and come out with a ton of snacks but no meals. Plan ahead - it'll save a bundle as well as a lot of patience (if you have a toddler).

Okay, that's enough for now. More next week.

Monday, October 15, 2007

a note about my freezer

I'll post a picture soon too. I don't have a seperate deep freeze. My refridgerator is a typical side by side so bigger than the top freezer but i think you can do the same thing i do but rotate meals more quickly. This is what is typically in my freezer:

A bunch of small portions for the little man. What is in there now for him is kitchery which i add a pureed veggie too when serving, mac and cheese, chili, northern beans, chickpeas will be added this week.

Leftover meals. I cook a decent size batch of food so we'll eat 3/4 of it and i'll freeze the rest. Then one night, usually the weekend, but any day that i don't get to cooking or something comes up or i just don't feel like it, we go to the freezer and take a few leftover meals.

I always have leftover rice and leftover dahl. I have a three portion container that i put these into so we can just pop it out into a bowl and heat.

Whenever i buy veggies, i buy the best bag for the money for things like carrots, celery, and often you have to buy bigger sizes than you need so with these, i use what i need then immediately chop into different sizes (cubes, grated, finely diced) and freeze into small portions for soups, stews, etc. These are always in there.

Chicken stock cubes. You can freeze leftover chicken stock - however you buy it there's always leftovers. You can also make it which i sometimes do. I freeze in an ice cube tray and once frozen i transfer the cubes to a bag. This is also handy if you leave town for an extended time. If you notice your cubes are melted and refrozen you know your electricity went out and the food is probably bad.

I'm sure there's more and i'll post a pic of my freezer soon showing how i organize it all.

Menu for week #1

Now the shopping list is going to be very small for this week because i'm in the habit of planning ahead and tend to buy for two weeks except for milk, eggs, cheese, vegetables and fruit which i usually have my husband pick up once or twice in the week along with any missing ingredients. I don't need much this week so the shopping is very light but this is the way i do things so I'm not going to be spending much. I will add $25 though for ingredients used this week although it won't be accurate. I still think i'll spend less than $200 so I'm not going to worry about it. Okay, here goes...


Breakfast - boiled eggs and pumpkin muffins
Lunch - LD will eat chicken nuggets and veggies. I'll eat his leftovers or chili from the freezer.
Dinner - homemade Nachos - been craving this for weeks now but was waiting for Ramadan to end because it's a little salty.
Snacks - fruit and cheese


Breakfast - yogurt and blueberries (i usually just drink coffee btw or have toast and boiled egg - this week it's muffins)
Lunch - eggplant casserole for LD and stuffed curried eggplant for me
Dinner - biryani and kut tomato (will make biryani, kut tomato is in freezer)
Snacks - goldfish and fruit


Breakfast - breakfast burrito for me, insides of breakfast burrito for LD (from freezer i think...if not i'll make a big batch)
Lunch - mac and cheese (freezer) with turkey lunchmeat or hot dog for him, mac and cheese for me (i add stuff to mine)
Dinner - chili relleno casserole
Snacks - apple slices


Breakfast - cereal
Lunch - pasta for LD (pasta is in freezer and so is sauce), something for me...i tend to eat a very light lunch if any at all...often his leftovers.
Dinner - tomato ka salan (2 days worth - one for the freezer) and dahl (i'll make a good size batch and freeze two or three portions)
Snacks - fruit


Breakfast - oatmeal in the crockpot (apples, cinammon, dates, oatmeal and other whole grains)
Lunch - fish and peas
Dinner - keema (2 days worth, one for freezer too) and squash
Snacks - fruit

Weekend: We eat almost entirely out of the freezer on the weekend and usually skip lunch or grab something out. This week for dinners we'll be eating leftover beef and spinach one day and beetroot curry and dahl the other day. For breakfast we'll eat whatever...cereal, eggs, etc.

Desserts for the week are: leftover Apple Pie from last week, Pumpkin and cream cheese muffins and i'll be making an apple cake midweek.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Okay, here's the plan for the month.

Monday's: Menu for the week and shopping list.

Tuesday's: What I spent and tips for saving money while shopping.

Wednesday's: Crock pot recipe for the week and other tips for speedy cooking.

Thursday's: Other recipes for the week and if i use a new recipe, i'll review them on this day. I'm not going to list every recipe because that's a lot of work especially if the recipe isn't even wanted so here's the way it'll work - if you want a recipe, leave a comment letting me know and i'll post the recipe on Thursday. If i receive a comment past Thursday, I'll put it up the following Thursday.

Friday: Cleaning recipes.

I won't post on Saturday's or Sunday's.

How's that sound? The only thing is I want some input (ie comments). That way I know I'm not doing this for nothing. Cool?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Potato bread from the other day...

Here is the recipe for that lovely Potato Bread I posted on my other blog the other day. I must say, the bread is delicious but it was a little plain for us. It's very good for sandwiches and stuff like that but for just plain break - which i love for dunking etc, it was a tad plain so next time I'm going to jazz it up a little.

Some ideas I have for adding are honey, zeera, or dates. Any other ideas?

Not forgotten...

Boy, it's been a long while since i posted in here, but the good news is that once Ramadan is over and we are back to our normal eating I'm doing a whole lot of posting. What is coming is this:

1. Weekly menu's
2. Shopping list and pricing
3. How to plan a menu (tips for budgeting, wasting less food and general tips like that)
4. Recipes for the entire month
5. Homemade cleaners that are non toxic and safe for kids

Yeah, it'll be a lot of work but i've been promising this for a while and am going to do it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Rachael Ray

I've tried several RR recipes in the last month and am surprised at how well they turned out. I think the trick is to use fresh herbs...it just makes everything taste good. I'll post the ones i tried soon.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Chocolate mousse

Chocolate mousse
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

Double ka Meeta - shahi tukray

Double ka Meeta - shahi tukray
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

Pizza before

Pizza before
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

Pizza after

Pizza after
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

Monday, April 09, 2007

buffalo chicken salad

buffalo chicken salad
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

Buffalo Chicken Salad - Rachael Ray recipe

2 hearts romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup shredded carrots, available in pouches
2 ribs celery with greens, chopped
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
1 package, 3/4 to 1 pound, chicken tenders, cut into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup hot sauce

Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat.
Combine lettuce, carrots and celery in a salad bowl. Combine ranch dressing and blue cheese crumbles in a small bowl.

Add oil and butter to hot pan with the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and sear for 2 or 3 minutes, then add hot sauce. Reduce heat a little and cook 5 minutes more.

Toss salad with dressing and season with salt and pepper. Top salad with Buffalo chicken and serve.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spanish Potato, Chard, and Bean Soup - Spain

1 cup dried white beans such as cannellini or navy
5 cups vegetable stock (i used chicken
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 smallish onions, peeled, and cut into 1/4 inch dice
4 lightly packed cups chopped chard (both stems and leaves)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
salt to taste
extra virgin olive oil

Soak beans overnight or however you prefer.

In a medium pot, bring beans and stock to a boil, skimming off the froth. Add the garlic and oregano. Stir and turn down heat to low. Partially cover and simmer gently for 40 to 60 minutes, or until beans are tender. (Older beans will take longer to cook). Crush garlic clove against the side of the pot and mix well.

Put oil in a large pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add onions and potato. Stir for about 1 1/2 minutes or until chard has wilted. Add cooked beans and their liquid and bring to a boil. Cover partially, turn heat down to low. Simmer gently for 30 minutes stirring every so often. Mash some of the beans and potato pieces against the side of the pan- adds thickness to broth. Taste for salt, you will probably need to add salt even if your stock was salted. Mix well.

Ladle into soup plates and dribble extra virgin olive oil over each serving. I suggest serving with crusty bread too.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Balti Chicken

Balti Chicken
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Chocolate Mousse Recipe

It's up!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Iranian food

Iranian food
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
More Iranian food...

Gorme Sabzi, rice and kababs, salade shirazi, garnish plate, off to the right is mast o khiar, dolmeh, torshi etc....

Gorme Sabzi

Gorme Sabzi
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
This is a very simplified version of gorme sabzi but has every bit of the taste.

.75 pounds of small fillets of beef or cubed beef
1 bunch parsley finely chopped
3 spring onions finely chopped
1 bunch spinach chopped
.5 pounds kidney beans or 1 can
1 large onion chopped
fenugreek chopped (you can use dried…about 2 tablespoons)
½ cup lemon juice
olive oil or vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in oil until golden. Add the beef filets and cook until browned slightly on the outside. Just cover the fillets with water. Cover and simmer. As the water dried keep adding to cover the meat. It’ll take a few hours for the meat to get tender. After about 2-3 hours cooking, add the kidney beans, salt and pepper. In a separate pan, put a little olive oil and sauté the spinach, parsley and green onions just until they wilt and then add the pot with the meat. Add the fenugreek and simmer for another 30-45 minutes. At the end, add the lemon juice and stir.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Asian glazed Salmon and salad with asian dressing

I just got done making this and had no idea it was going to taste so good so i didn't take a picture but I want to record this recipe now so i don't forget it. It was delish! Everyone loved it. Next time i make it i'll take measurements and a picture and repost.

Roast some sesame seeds. When toasted add to the pan.... sesame oil, minced ginger, soy sauce, mayonaise, tad of dijon mustard, brown rice vinegar.

In a bowl mix spring greens, add mandarin orange segments.

With salmon, spread some olive oil in a roasting pan, add some of the glaze to the salmon and broil for 5 minutes. After five minutes, check on it and add more glaze. If salmon is browning cover for the rest of the time, letting it broil at the very end to get the glaze to crust over. Cook another 7 minutes or until fish is easy flaked.

Add the remainder of the glaze to the salad and mix well. It will wilt the salad and make it a little warm and oh so yummy...definately good on a cold night.

I served this with edamame on the side. Sooooo gooooood. Going to have to make this for hubby when he's home.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Chocolate mousse

Chocolate mousse
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

I do believe this is one of the most beautiful things I ever made. Rich, bold, and unapologetic.

(from The Joy of Cooking)

Heat 1 inch water in a large skillet over low heat until bubbles form along the bottom; adjust the heat to maintain the water at this temperature. Combine in a large heatproof bowl:

6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons coffee or water
1 teaspoon gf vanilla flavoring (if using water)

Set the bowl in the water bath and stir until the chocolate is melted. Remove from the water and set aside.

Whisk together thoroughly in a heatproof bowl:

3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons coffee
3 tablespoons sugar

Set the bowl in the water bath and, whisking constantly, heat the mixture until thick
and puffy, like marshmallow sauce. Remove from the water bath and whisk thoroughly into the melted chocolate. Let cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl, beat on medium speed until foamy:

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

Add and beat until soft peaks form:

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Gradually beat in:

1/4 cup sugar

Increase the speed to high and beat until the peaks are stiff. Using a large rubber spatula, stir one-quarter of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the remaining whites. In another bowl, beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form:

1/2 cup cold heavy cream

Gently but thoroughly fold the cream into the chocolate mixture. Turn into a 5- cup bowl or six 6- to 8- ounce individual cups. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Serve with:

Whipped cream.

If you wish, sprinkle with:

1 ounce semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, grated.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Iranian food

I just finished compiling all the Iranian recipes. That was a lot of work to make all this food, cook it, write up the recipes and make it all pretty enough to be filmed! Here's what I made:

Sabzi khordan (vegetable, cheese, herb and bread plate)
Mast-o-khiar (yoghurt with cucumber, onion, mint)
Dolmeh (Leila's recipe)
Torshi-e-makhloot (pickled vegetables with herbs and spices)
Chelow Kabab (Saffron steamed rice, tahcheen, kababs)
Baqala polow (Rice with fava beans or black eyed peas)
Khoresht Gorme Sabzi
Rose Water Syrup
Saffron Ice Cream (Leila's recipe)

My husband's favorite (well, one of em anyway) cuisine is Iranian and I love it too. When my inlaws are here, I plan on making this all again.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Chicken and avocado quesadilla

Chicken and avocado quesadilla
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
Using some of the chicken from the soup below (after it's cooked) I made these...

Take a tortilla (i use soft taco size), layer on it, mozarella cheese, chicken, slices of avocado and then a little more cheese. Put another tortilla on top.

Heat olive oil in a pan and let it get nice and warm. Put the quesadilla in there and cook for a minute and then flip and cook again. Garnish with sour cream, green onions or chives and salsa.

Absolutely delicious especially since the chicken is full of flavor too. Roasted chicken would work well too.

Chicken Noodle Soup - or Jewish Penicillin

Chicken Noodle Soup
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
This is why it's better for dh to be home sick than me. He got this yummy bowl of soup. After tasting it he said it was the best chicken soup he ever had so I figure it deserves a post.

Boil a couple cups of water, add chicken cube or chicken stock if you have it (making the soup is essentially making stock but for time's sake, i add the cube so the soup is ready to eat in 45 minutes).

Add the chicken, chopped celery, chunks of onion, minced garlic, salt, pepper and parsley. When chicken is done, put everything through a strainer. Put the broth back in the pot and keep on the heat. Take the chicken pieces off the bone (they should come off very easily if the chicken is done). Discard the bones, skin etc.

Now, I use baby cubes of food because i have them but what you can do is chop in a food processor a little carrot, celery and onion from the vegetables that cooked with the chicken...not a lot, just a little to add some more flavor. Make sure it's soupy and not chunky and add it to the broth...it should only be a half cup or so. You are now done with those veggies. I grind it up for LD, but do what you will with it. (BTW, a shortcut is to add a little vegetable broth but i never have that so i do this but that would be easy with a cube).

Once chicken is back in the pot, add diced potatos, sliced carrots and whatever pasta you want. Rotini is good, so is tortellini or regular noodles. Check for taste adding more seasoning if you want. I bet I use about a tablespoon of parsley, a half teaspoon to maybe a full of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon or so of black or white pepper.

It truly is a hearty soup and easy on the stomach.

Leftovers salad

Leftovers salad
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
Using everything in my veggie bin.

Chopped spinach
Various kinds of tomatos
Green onions
Roasted red peppers
Feta cheese
Olive oil, salt and pepper

Seafood ravioli with white sauce and garlic bread

Got the ravioli's from Trader Joe's. I'm so glad they are beginning to open stores here now. Awesome goods there. Made a basic white sauce by simmering milk with a bay leaf, cloves, onion, nutmeg etc adding a rue of butter and flour and simmering again.

Old fashioned jelly roll

Quick way:

Box of cake mix - use pound cake box if making white cake with jelly inside or chocolate or devils food if making chocolate with cream filling.

Mix cake per directions on box, line a jelly roll sheet (cookie sheet with lips) with wax paper, grease and lightly flour. Spread cake mixture evenly and bake at 400 until done (somewhere between 8-15 minutes). Let cool completely and then flip onto aluminum foil. Fill with filling, layer of jam and/or whipped cream and then roll gently using aluminum foil to help. The top layer will come off on aluminum foil but that's okay...it's what you want. It may crack at first but by the end it shouldn't. Tighten and wrap. Put in fridge for an hour or so and then enjoy. :-)

Chicken with 40 cloves garlic - crock pot recipe

(sorry no picture - camera was broken at the time)

Not very pretty but very tasty and very tender... I've learned to love the crock pot. LD gives me very little time so it's working wonders in the kitchen. I'll get the crock pot going when he goes down for a nap and it frees me up for the day, plus there's the benefit of the house smelling yummy and I'm not doing anything. :-)


2 teaspoons thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teapoon kosher salt
1 whole roasting chicken or a chicken cut up (recipe called for whole one but i used a cup up one)
40 whole, peeled garlic cloves
2 tablespoons white grape juice or apple juice

*** Original recipe called for white wine. I also a splash of white grape juice and apple juice instead. I changed many things about the recipe so i'm posting as my own. And don't let the garlic scare you. After it cooks this long, it no longer tastes like garlic, it's sweet.

Add first four items and mix. Put chicken in and roll around in the oil mixture. Add the garlic cloves trying to get them below the chicken. Cover and cook until done. My crock pot is a cheapo one and has only one setting so can't tell you what it is. Just cook it until it's done. Meat will fall off the bone and garlic will smell and taste sweet.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Baby Mousaka

LD loves this...

Take an eggplant and either bake it or saute it or even steam it then layer as follows:

Thin layer of tomato sauce then a thin layer of eggplant, then cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, then repeat. Top with mozarella halfway through baking. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Delish!

pictures and recipes

I haven't posted much on here because my camera broke...well it was always broken from the time i bought it but I sent it in for warranty repair. I hope it gets back soon...until then, i'll post a few recipes but they'll be pictureless. Now that i'm caught up on things, i should be posting more often too.

Egg Scramble or Omelette

I had this yesterday and it was awesome. LD didn't like it though. I think the feta threw him off. If you don't like feta, add something else...it's still good. I was using up some leftovers from my huge iranian feast.

Heat olive oil, add chopped onions (green and white is what i used), add garlic, when onion gets clear, add chopped tomato and olive (i used kalamato) and then the scrambled egg. Add salt and pepper. Either make it a scramble or an omelette.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Crockpot Meatballs

Delicious and oh so easy! I had 'em on a hoagie with mayo and cheese. I couldn't believe how easy. I love meatballs and this recipe will have me making them more because you don't have to fry them and then bake them etc.

From Taste of Home Ground Beef Cookbook

1 cup milk
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar

In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Crumble beef over the mixture and mix well. Shape into 1-in. balls. Place in a 5-qt. slow cooker. In a bowl, combine the ketchup, water, vinegar and sugar; mix well. Pour over meatballs. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the meat is no longer pink. Yield: 6 servings.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Strawberry Cheesecake

My first attempt at homemade cheesecake. It may not be pretty, but it was GOOOOOD.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Chicken Breakfast Sausage

Chicken Breakfast Sausage
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

Homemade sausages. :-) cause halal breakfast sausage stinks...i made my own and they were yummy!

Here's the basic recipe - add to it as you wish... I haven't quite perfected it yet but here's where I'm at with it:


2 pounds ground chicken or turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped apple
1 garlic clove minced
seasonings - salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme, sage, chili powder

Last time, i added maple syrup and that really made it good. It's not quite perfect yet, i'll post again when i get it right where i want it. I've only made it twice so am working with it, but this is it so far...

Okay, so saute the onions and apple in oil, add minced garlic. Saute for another minute. Let cool. Add this to the chicken or turkey along with the spices and mix well. Cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Freeze leftovers and just pop them in the microwave.

Christmas tin cookies

Christmas tin cookies
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
For the neighbors...not as good as last year but alas...

Ginger snap Stockings, Sugar cookie Christmas Trees, Peppermint candy canes etc....

Chicken 65

Chicken 65
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

Leg of goat

Does anyone have a good leg of goat recipe. I'm wanting to roast one for Dec 25.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Persian/Iranian recipes

Does anyone have any tried and true Persian/Iranian recipes? Please send to me asap...


Saturday, December 02, 2006

Chicken Cacciatore - Crock Pot

Chicken Cacciatore
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
The picture isn't very good...never is with brothy dishes...don't know why.

Anyway, this recipe came from a book called "The Everyday Low-Carb Slow Cooker Cookbook. I just started using a crockpot for cooking after finding one insanely cheap. I would add more salt and pepper to it as well as adding basil and more spices...a touch of marjoram, savory, sage and thyme would be nice. Fresh basil would pep it right up. It was pretty good as is for following the recipe to a t.

(i made a half recipe since my crockpot is very small)

Add to crockpot:
1 Tbsn olive oil
1 Tbsn minced garlic
14 oz can of crushed tomatos (i used crushed tomatos with basil)
7 oz can of mushrooms
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsn dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tbsn red wine (see my chart for alcohol substitutions on the sidebar under food links)

Stir until blended then add:

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 medium onion
2 green bell peppers

Cook on low for 8 hours (my crockpot only has one setting...i cooked it for 6 hours and it was perfect).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
Here's the recipe...it's from a book called Greatest Ever Indian: easy and delicious step-by-step recipes

I varied it a little when i made it but i it's a pretty good recipe as it is... I do recommend marinating the meat a little while in the sauce...an hour or so and also cooking it much longer than they say...cook it until the chicken is tender and falling off the bone.

scant (whatever that is lol) 2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped or crushed fresh gingerroot
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp black cumin seeds
1 garlic clove crushed
1 tsp salt
3 green cardamoma
3 black peppercorns
2/3 cup plain yoghurt
2 tbsp tomato paste
8 chicken pieces skinned
2/3 cup water
2 bay leaves
2/3 cup light cream

garnish: chopped cilantro, green chili's

1. Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook until golden brown, stirring. Reduce the heat.
2. Place the ginger in a bowl. Add the garam masala, ground coriander, chili powder, cumin seeds, garlic, salt, cardamoms, and peppercorns and blend. Add the yogurt and tomato paste and stir well.
3. Add the chicken pieces to the yogurt and spice mixture and mix to coat well.
4. Add the chicken to the onions in the skillet and stir-fry vigorously, making semicircular movements, for 5-7 minutes.
5. Add the water and bay leaves and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Add the cream and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and chilis.


Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

Red Lobster Biscuits

Red Lobster Biscuits
Originally uploaded by wayfarer.
I found a recipe for these and they taste just like the restaurants. Yummmmmmmm!

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits #1
"makes 12 servings"

2 c. Bisquick
2/3 c. milk
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 c. butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp parsley flakes

1. Heat oven to 450
2. Mix Bisquick, garlic powder, milk and cheese until well blended.
3. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 8-10 minutes.
5. Combine butter, garlic powder, old bay, parsley and salt.
6. Melt in microwave for 20 seconds +/-
7. Brush top of biscuits with butter mix.

How easy is that?

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