Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Omelets -- Not Just For Breakfast! #Vegetarian

We get fresh eggs from our neighbors, so we eat eggs often. One of the things we like are omelets. Or maybe they're frittatas. There's a difference, but bless me if I can ever remember what it is. Okay, I just looked, and what we eat are frittomelets.

We mix the veg in with the eggs, but we don't "finish it in the oven" and we fold it over when it's done.

That there frittomelet contains broccoli, mushrooms, and cheese.

Next to it are sweet potato fries (frozen in a bag), baked in the toaster oven and drizzled with honey butter.


Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, January 13, 2017

Amy's Chili Recipe

Amy's back with her favorite chili recipe.

It's January and you can never have too many soup, chili, and stew recipes. This chili recipe is super easy and can be made as hot and spicy or mild as you like. It's loaded with fiber and protein and made with 93% lean ground beef so that it remains low in fat and calories. The best part about this recipe is that there's no playing around with seasonings. It uses basic salt, pepper, and chili powder. You can add hot sauce and cayenne if you want to make it hotter. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bowl FAIL, Bowl WIN

So "bowls" are A Thing, right? A "bowl" is like a plate lunch, only with all the food touching the other food. It's like Mr. Monk's worst nightmare.

I make bowls sometimes, in the hope it will make leftovers look classy. Sometimes it works. Sometimes, not so much.

The one on the top, not so much. It was rice and peas, cabbage, black-eyed peas, and sausage, topped with Pad Thai sauce. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking, either.

The one on the bottom -- YUM! Also rice and peas (I made a BUNCH, y'all), and a slab of breaded and fried seitan, topped with mango chutney. OMG SO GOOD.

Less is more, I guess.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, January 6, 2017

Chicken and Dumplings

Today's recipe is from my friend, Amy Brantley. Amy, take it away! :)

Cold weather is here and it's time to start thinking about comfort food. In the South, nothing could be more comforting than a big ol' bowl of chicken and dumplings. There are so many recipes for this wonderful dish, but if you're looking for a quick and easy version that packs a lot of creamy flavor, this is the recipe for you.

This recipe is far different that most chicken and dumpling recipes that have more of a broth base. These are thick, creamy, and rich. The only thing you'll need to enjoy this meal is a big spoon and a big appetite.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Roast Broccs and Shrooms #Vegan

SO easy, and delicious!

Cut broccoli into florets and cut plain white (or whatever kind you like) mushrooms in half or whatever. Toss with olive oil and salt.

Spread in a single layer, pieces not touching, and roast at about 400F for about twenty minutes, or until the tips of the florets kind of start to brown.

Looks like this.
SO GOOD! Charlie said he likes broccoli better this way than any other way. He isn't a major broccoli fan, it's true, but we both really really liked this, and the mushrooms were succulent, too.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Tree Shortbread Cookies

Sprinkles and colorful drizzle dress up any regular cookie and make it spectacular. These cute trees are fun to decorate and even more fun to eat. The buttery taste melts in your mouth like the best Southern cooking you've ever had. They're also triangle instead of a circle so it makes them a little unique. The recipe calls for candy melts as the drizzle, but white chocolate is a great substitute.

Christmas Tree Shortbread Cookies


1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at cool room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup green candy melts (See Kelly's Notes)
1 Tablespoon
vegetable oil
Assorted sprinkles


Preheat the oven to 300ºF and grease two round 9-inch cake pans with butter. (If the pans are not non-stick, line them with greased parchment paper).

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing just until combined.

Divide the dough evenly between the two greased pans and press it into an even layer. Using a fork, prick the dough all over. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the shortbread is pale golden in the center and slightly darker around the edges.

Remove the shortbread from the oven and immediately invert the pans onto a cutting board. (If the shortbread won't release from the pan, use a sharp knife to cut around the edges.) Using a sharp knife, immediately cut each shortbread round into 8 wedges. It is important to cut the shortbread while it's still warm, otherwise it will crumble if you try to cut it after it has cooled.

Transfer the shortbread wedges to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Melt the candy melts with the vegetable oil in a microwave or double-boiler, stirring until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag or plastic bag, snip off the tip of the bag and then drizzle it onto the cookies. Immediately top the cookies with sprinkles and serve.

(Get the step-by-step tutorial at Just A Taste.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Main Dish Veggie Casserole #Vegan

This was supposed to be a lasagna, but I decided to make it with eggplant instead of noodles. No reason, I JUST DID, OKAY?


SO ANYWAY, this recipe started out to be Roasted Butternut Squash and Sage Lasagna with a Creamy Bechamel Sauce, from SPORK-FED, a cookbook by Emily and Zooey Deschanel.

And they are dirty, rotten liars, because the Bechamel Sauce was NOT creamy, it was watery and thin, even after I added more flour. But it tasted good, so I forgive them.

It was WAY more of a production than I EVER make. I don't know what I was thinkin'. Got the Christmas Crazies, I guess.

I peeled and sliced the eggplant, soaked it salted water for 30 minutes, drained it, laid it out on parchment paper on a baking sheet, and baked it at 350F for about 30 minutes. Some of it was still soft and some of it was scorchy. Baking it in the casserole softened it up, so, if I ever did this again (ha, ha, I fancy I see myself, meaning I WON'T), I would slice it into rounds rather than strips. The crunchy bits a broke off and nibbled before putting them into the casserole were quite nice, though.

Yeah, also cut the butternut squash and roasted that at 375F for an hour and THEN took out the seeds, which I am totally always going to do.
I also didn't think their filling was vegetably enough, since all they had was baby spinach. And I was doing baby spinach in something else, so I used kale instead, and a package of frozen roasted zucchini/carrot/onion mix.

The Squash Part
1 large butternut squash, roasted
2 tablespoons vegan margarine
6-to-8 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon agave nectar (which I thought I had, but I didn't, so I used real maple syrup)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mash it all up.

The Non-Squash Veg Part
1 package frozen roasted veg
olive oil
chopped green onions
chopped kale

Cook it in a saucepan until the frozen veg are hot and the kale is wilted.

The Bechamel That Wouldn't Thicken
1/3 cup vegan margarine
1/3 cup flour
4 cups unflavored unsweetened almond or soymilk (I used almond)
1teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
dash freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Melt margarine. Stir in flour. Add the rest of the ingredients. Whisk. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about three days, cursing steadily, then try adding five pounds more flour. Give up and use it anyway, even though it's runny.

Put It All Together
Spread a layer of runny bechamel on the bottom of a lasagna dish. This will be easy to do BECAUSE IT'S RUNNY. Add a layer of cooked lasagna noodles or, if you're me, a layer of baked eggplant. Add a layer of butternut squash, noodles, bechamel sauce. Add a layer of the veg mixture, noodles, bechamel, then -- oh, you get it: LAYER ALL THE THINGS, ending with "a thick layer of bechamel sauce," and good luck with that.
But it was DELICIOUS. Worth the trouble? Oh, HELL, no. But delicious, all the same.

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes