Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Patriotic Tableware

Keep it simple, but make it cute! For last nights' Bunco group, I wanted to incorporate a Patriotic theme. I found these cute red, white and blue plates made by Dixie. I paired them with red and blue dollar napkins from the grocery store's party section. For beverages I used the classic red plastic cups. Think I'll stock up on more of these simple, but cute plates before July 4th.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Bean and Lettuce Thing. #Vegan, but why, really?

Sometimes my husband makes supper. Sometimes I'm delighted. This one night, maybe not so much.

He says, "I'm not really very hungry tonight. I want something light."

Me: "Sounds good."

So here's what we had.

As you may have expected from the title, that's lettuce. With beans on.


The beans were heated ... until they hit the cold lettuce.

Well, it didn't wiggle, so it could've been worse.

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

Friday, June 24, 2016

Peach Dumplings

This is another recipe from Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. These peach dumplings are a variation on apple dumplings using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. Check out the recipe here!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Grocery Store Score!

I am constantly searching for healthy lunch and snack items. When I heard some mom friends talking about Boar's Head EverRoast Chicken, I had to give it a try. SCORE! My kids love it. This oven-roasted chicken is great on sandwiches, lettuce wraps, or just by itself. The herbs and spices around the edges of the meat give it THE BEST flavor! Luckily, my grocer's deli section carries Boar's Head. Hope your grocery store has it too!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I Think This Is A Frittata #Vegetarian

I'm sure I didn't invent this dish, but I'm not finding it on the interwebs today, so I can't link to a pretty version.

So I had some leftover spaghetti and some mushrooms and broccoli that were about to go to Jesus. I chopped up the mushrooms and broccoli and fried them in vegan margarine. Then I put in the drained spaghetti and cooked that until it was kind of crunchy. I beat some eggs (actually, I think it was one duck egg from the Lind farm, which equals three chicken eggs) with a bit of milk and poured that over the spaghetti and veg and covered the skillet. When the eggs were almost set, I slid the whole thing out and flipped it back into the skillet. In a minute or two, I slid it out again, folded it in half, and cut that in half so each of us had a wedge. I sprinkled the top with shredded cheese.


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

Friday, June 17, 2016

Cap'n Crunch Chicken Strips

DSC_4257You read that right--Cap'n Crunch! My daughter discovered this recipe by Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. Check out the recipe here. :) 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How Did You Find Your Fish, Madam?

I looked under the Lima beans.

Jasmine rice. Mmmmmmmmmmm.

Frozen tilapia. Melt margarine in a skillet. Sprinkle the tilapia with seasoned salt and dot it with margarine. Maybe sprinkle on some celery leaves and parsley. Put it in the hot skillet and cook it on medium heat for about seven minutes. When the margarine gets melty, sprinkle thickly with seasoned bread crumbs. Turn it over and cook it for about seven more minutes.

The bread crumbs get all toasty and the tilapia thaws and cooks just right.

I put the tilapia on the rice and the Lima beans on the tilapia and paprika on the beans.

What a feast!

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

Friday, June 10, 2016

Ham and Cheese Omelette For Two

This recipe comes from Serious Eats and can be made in fifteen minutes.

Just as with scrambled eggs, the method by which the eggs are heated and stirred is the primary factor that determines what kind of omelette you end up with. This is my basic technique for diner-style omelettes with large, tender, browned curds and plenty of space for fillings.

This recipe is excerpted from J. KENJI LĂ“PEZ-ALT's book, The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science.

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science$29.97 on Amazon

Whisking the eggs with salt and letting them rest breaks down their protein structure, allowing the omelette to retain more moisture and stay tenderer as it cooks.

Combining the hot ham with the cheese gives it a head start on melting.
Finishing the omelette off-heat keeps it tender and moist.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Soda Pop Pop-Tarts

My family loves orange soda! We drink it straight out of the can and especially love it in an ice cream soda with a scoop of vanilla or orange sherbet. Years ago, I worked at a movie theatre. Taking advantage of the employee perk of free popcorn and soda, I found that orange soda was the absolute best beverage for washing down salty popcorn. Well, yesterday my husband requested that I buy Orange Crush Pop-Tarts on my next grocery trip. I never knew there was such a thing! The Pop-Tarts have an orange filling and vanilla frosting. If root beer is your thing, they have those too.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Vegetarian, Mehgetarian

I made this the other night. I thought it was DIVINE, but the husband was like, "Meh."

Okay, I heated some coconut oil in a skillet, then added portobello mushrooms, green onions, fresh asparagus, and chard stems. I cooked those for a few minutes, then added Jasmine rice and toasted it for a couple more minutes. I added water and soy sauce, brought it to a boil, covered it, put the shredded chard leaves on top, and lowered the heat to simmer for about 20 minutes. I had to add some more water toward the end, because the wide, shallow skillet let the water evaporate too quickly. At the end, something seemed to be missing. Then I knew what, and added a squirt of lemongrass from a tube like a tube of toothpaste.

I gobbled mine up. Charlie left about half of his. The next day at lunch, he said, "You can have my leftovers," and I was on it like a duck on a Junebug.

How do YOU cook chard?

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

Friday, June 3, 2016

Chai Tea Cupcakes

chaiteacupcake-12lThis recipe comes from iamafoodblog and makes four cupcakes in jars. How cool is that? The cupcakes apparently stem from a love of Starbucks chai tea latte. Check out the entire story and the step-by-step tutorial at the site.

Chai Tea Cupcake 

Recipe from
yield: 4 cupcakes in a jar


1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons apple sauce
1/3 cup milk
2 chai tea bags
1/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup icing sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

In a small pot, heat the milk up and steep the tea for at least 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and remove the tea bags. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In another large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add the apple sauce and mix until just combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the chai milk and ending with dry.

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and fill each spot with 2 tablespoons batter. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a couple of crumbs clinging to it. Cool completely before frosting.

In a large bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add 2 tablespoons of the icing sugar and combine throughly. Mix in the vanilla and cinnamon. Add the remaining sugar and mix until frosting is light and fluffy. If the frosting is too stiff or dry, beat in up to 2 teaspoons milk, a teaspoon at a time.

Assemble: Slice the domed parts of the cupcakes off. Place one cupcake in your jar and top with frosting. Add another cupcake, bottom side down and close the jar.

**If you want to make regular cupcakes, line your muffin tin with liners and fill 3/4 full.