Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Poundcake of Prevention

Having a Sara Lee Pound Cake in the freezer has saved my dessert woes on several occasions. This weekend we had people over to watch the Tennessee Vols play football. Wanting something bite-sized and different, I turned to the pound cake in my freezer. By modifying a recipe for pound cake petit fours, I came up with a simple, delicious recipe: Lemon-Berry Pound Cake Cubes Cut pound cake (horizontally) Spread top of each half with strawberry jam. Cut cake into cubes. Put a can of lemon frosting in microwave for 39-45 seconds. Spoon melted frosting over cubes. Now, I need to replace my emergency freezer poundcake!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Winner, Winner, Not-Chicken Dinner #vegetarian

I know it looks like it's chicken strips, but it's Meatless Griller Strips made out of wheat -- seitan.
I cooked them according to package directions, then stirred in some black bean and corn salsa, put it on a plate, doused it with queso blanco, and topped it with crumbled corn tortilla chips.

Co-starring in this production are lima beans cooked with dill weed and buttered jasmine rice.


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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"It's Here! It's Here!"

If you live with a tween girl, chances are she is excited about the debut of MOCKINGJAY PART 1. For my daughter and her friends, the Friday premier night was sizing up to be the social event of their 5th grade year. That is, until a school dance was scheduled for the same evening. Now, it looks like movie plans might be put on hold till next weekend. If you have not seen any films based on THE HUNGER GAMES series; they are excellent. In fact; I am a little disappointed that I am not seeing the newest installment this weekend with a few giggly tweens.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

#Vegetarian Deliciousness

I keep telling people I'm not vegetarian, but they keep thinking I am because I love my veg so much. Which is weird, since I was a carnivore all my life until various family members eased off eating meat.

Rather than make "regular" meals and expect them to live off the side dishes, I got interested in cooking non-meat food, and find it much more interesting than fiddling about with meats.

Here's what we had the other night:
The big section is whole wheat pasta cooked according to directions, then slightly browned in peppery garlic olive oil and topped with cheese. The carrots are glazed with vegan margarine, Turbinado sugar, and local honey. The mushrooms and onions are cooked in vegetarian margarine until the onions were soft and the mushrooms gave off some liquid, then I stirred in some flour, then some red wine and cooked that down into a sauce.

Oh. My. Goodness.

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

Friday, November 14, 2014

Oatmeal Pecan Pie

I'm sharing a recipe today from Holly Clegg's book, Eating Well To Fight Arthritis. The recipe is below with a link to the recipe on Holly's site. Please visit the site for more great recipes! :)

Oatmeal Pecan Pie

Pecan pie and oatmeal partner together for a melt-in-your-mouth divine pie. Crave chocolate, add about 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips.
Makes 8 – 10 servings


1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell


1. Preheat oven 325°F. (
2. In bowl, whisk together brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, and vanilla.
3. Stir in oatmeal and pecans. Pour into pie shell. Bake 40-45 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely.

Food Facts

Calories 272, Calories from Fat 40%, Fat 13g, Saturated Fat 3g, Cholesterol 40mg, Sodium 139mg, Carbohydrates 39g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Total Sugars 16g, Protein 3g, Dietary Exchanges: 2 1/2 other carbohydrate, 3 fat
Terrific Tip: If using refrigerated pie crust, coat the pie plate with nonstick cooking spray first to easily remove pieces.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Something amazing happened in my house. I made soup; and everybody in my family got excited! Usually, soup is not such a hit with everyone. Most of my soup recipes have at least one hater. So, what was this magical, family-pleasing recipe? This is the good part. It is so souper-simple! Broccoli-Cheese Soup Boil about 2 cups of cut-up, fresh broccoli in about 3 cups of salted water. After the broccoli is tender, add a can of cream of chicken soup (do not drain water). Turn down to a simmer. Add about three cups of desired cheese. I have fun with the cheese! This time, I cleaned out the fridge. So, I used Velveeta, American, cheddar, Colby jack, feta, Parmesan and baby Swiss. Simmer till cheese is melted. Finally, I slurry it all together with an immersion blender and add about 3 dashes of hot sauce. Soup-erb!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Good For Cold Weather #Vegetarian

So it got cold. Well, cold-ISH. It's due to get cold this week. Still, it was cold enough for us to want something warm in our bellehs. So I made chili.
This is not the way I usually make it -- and don't ask me why the photo is so shakey -- it honestly was NOT that cold.

Into this concoction, I put garlic-infused olive oil, chili powder, cumin, chopped fresh parsley, onions, Great Northern beans, diced tomatoes with green chilis, water, tomato sauce, chopped Gardenburgers, and Not Chick'n vegetarian bouillon from Edward & Sons. True to my Ohio River Valley traditions, I served it over spaghetti, with shredded cheese on top.

Hit the spot!

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

Friday, November 7, 2014

Adorable (and Probably Delicious) Chicken Pot Pies

How cute is this chicken pot pie?! And very convenient if you're cooking for only one or two.

Quick and Easy Chicken Pot Pies


1 can (18.6 oz) Progresso™ Rich & Hearty chicken pot pie style soup
1 cup Green Giant™ Steamers™ Niblets® frozen corn
1 cup Green Giant™ Steamers™ frozen broccoli cuts
2 Pillsbury™ Grands!™ frozen buttermilk biscuits (from 25-oz bag)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley


Heat oven to 375°F. In medium microwavable bowl, microwave soup and vegetables uncovered on High about 5 minutes or until warm. Divide soup mixture between 2 ovenproof baking dishes (about 5 inches in diameter). Top each with 1 biscuit. Place dishes on cookie sheet with sides.
Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

For nutrition information, click on above link.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Candy, Candy, Candy....Help!

This photo is from our church's Trunk-or-Treat. That was the first night of our 3-night Halloween celebration. What happens after 3 nights of trick-or-treating? You have a tired family and an overwhelming amount of candy. Here is what I am doing to get rid of some candy: 1) My girls' school is having a Fall Festival this weekend. I am donating 2 gallons of candy to use for game prizes. 2) Our church enters a float in a Christmas parade on the first Saturday in December. My kids already have tons of candy to throw! 3) Chocolate candy will be chopped up and stirred into brownie batter and ice cream. 4) Lollipops will be inserted into sugar cookie dough for cookie pops. 5) Hard candies will be chopped up for a pretty stained glass effect on Christmas cookies. 6) My book signing table will be more appealing when I offer candy to passers-by!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Macs and Peas #vegetarian #food

What can vegetarians eat? Oh, such delicious things!

We had a cold snap here, and I craved some hearty comfort food. So I made macaroni and cheese and buttery peas and it was like stuffing my tummy with a flannel blanket. Only, you know, digestible.

This is whole wheat elbow macaroni. Okay, you cook and drain that. Butter a casserole. Put in a layer of macaroni. Sprinkle it liberally with flour. Conservatives, you can sprinkle it double-conservatively instead. Sprinkle on some salt. If you like pepper, sprinkle on some pepper. Cover that with a layer of shredded cheese; I used sharp cheddar and 3-cheese Italian blend. Do another layer of all those. Top it with a final layer of macaroni and cheese. Pour in some milk until you can spot the milk coming through the macaroni. Dot the top with butter or margarine. Cover with foil. Bake at 350F for about an hour. If you like crusty cheese, take the foil off and let the top toast.

Charlie doesn't like pepper, so I leave the pepper out and add it to my plate at the table. Oh, my goodness, that was good!

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