Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Leftover Stew is Always New

I usually begin with frozen Mirepoix, since carrots, celery, and onions are a good base. My leftovers this time were green beans and potatoes, hominy, tomatoes, and kale. I used vegetable bouillon for the broth, and Penzeys Bouquet Garni to flavor it further.

Very delicious!

I'm posting today at my own blog about a chicken BBQ that was also delicious.

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Cottage Cheese Jello Salad Doesn't Look Like This

Charlie is waxing nostalgic for a Jell-O salad his mother used to make. Fortunately, I know where to go for such things: a church ladies cookbook. I found several in one my own church put out a few years ago, and mixed them up, depending on what ingredients I had in the pantry.

I made it, we ate it, we (and, more importantly, since I made it for him, Charlie) liked it.

When I took a picture of it, though, it came out looking yellow instead of pinky-orange, which it was, so I colored the picture.


It was a little unset, and I don't know why. Maybe it was the juice, which I drained, but maybe not enough? It was good, anyway.

Cottage Cheese Jell-O Salad All Messed Up


  • 3 oz package Jell-O (I used orange)
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (maybe I should have drained this)
  • can of fruit, drained (I used cocktail fruit mix)
  • 1/2 cup nuts, chopped
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries, cut up (I used less, since there were some in the mix)
  • 1 container Cool Whip (I whipped cream, since I had some)
Put Jell-O and sugar in boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Set aside until cool. Add cottage cheese, fruit, nuts, and cherries. Stir in the whipped cream. Mix gently but well. Chill.

He asked for something similar for his upcoming birthday. When I complained about how sloppy it turned out, he quoted my grandfather: That don't hurt the eatin' of it.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Another Soup for the Instant Pot -- Or Not

If the only thing you have to cook with is an Instant Pot, you can make this soup in it. If all you have is a heat-proof container and a heat source, you can still make this soup. It's soup, y'all. You know how soup cooks. It just does.


So mostly from the farmers market: potatoes, green beans, tomato. Also leftover hominy, tomato paste, and quick barley. Season to taste. Cook till done. The end.

I'm posting today at my own blog about sauerkraut. Which I made. From raw cabbage. My own self.

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

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Refreshing Summer Salad

This is not what you think it is. You think you know, but you don't.
Well, maybe you do know. How do I know what you think? Am I a mind reader? No, I tell you quite frankly, I am not.

ANYWAY, what it is is watermelon salad. YES, WATERMELON!

We had a version of this at an open house #4 Daughter, SIL, and I attended, where it was presented as a sort of watermelon pizza: wedges of seedless watermelon with the other ingredients on top. I think, but I'm not sure, it was drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

The salad above was made according to a reimagining by #4 Daughter, the amazing Sara Marian.

So I decided to make my own version of the watermelon salad we had at the wine tasting. SO GOOD! SO EASY! So flexible. I took this for lunch in the field yesterday and OMG it's the best field lunch.

Watermelon Salad 

  • 1-2 lbs. watermelon, cubed
  • 2-3 oz. crumbled goat cheese or feta
  • 0.5 - 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ~1/4 cup crushed walnuts or roasted almonds
  • 1 lime
  • Sprinkle of salt & pepper
Mix everything except lime together. Cut lime in half and squeeze juice of at least one half onto salad. Toss. *If you use feta, don’t add any salt.
 I loved it! Even Charlie loved it, though he got tired of it quickly and I got to finish it up all by myself. He said he prefers his watermelon plain. Watermelon plain is hard to beat, but this salad is wonderfully complex and refreshing.

Oh, and when Sara says "in the field", she means digging shovel tests on an archaeological project. I told you she's amazing!

I'm posting on my own blog today about another thing we had at that open house that I made at home. Yay, us!

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