Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I Ate Three Eggplants In One Sitting and Lived to Tell the Tale

True story.

Okay, first, yeah, the eggplants were tiny. Like teeny tiny. They were literally the size of duck eggs, if they were even that big.

I saw them in the grocery, and I was like, "Oh! Look at those adowaboo li'l eggplants! I gotta get 'em!" #4 daughter was coming to dinner, so I got three. I said to my husband, "I know you don't care for eggplant, but these are so wee, you'll hardly know you're eating one, right?" He's like, "Whatever."

An additional attraction was the stickers they had on them.
Hard to see the name, but the sticker has a dragon on it, and the brand is Asian Pride. Asian Pride Indian Eggplant, product of Mexico. I ask you: Could I resist them? And Echo answers: No.

I cut each eggplant in half, smeared them with olive oil and Jane's Crazy Mixed-Up Salt, and put them in the George Foreman-style Rip-off Grill until they were blackened outside and creamy inside.

This is a wee li'l saucer. I should have put a dime in there,to show scale, but I di'n'.

And -- joy of joys! -- nobody else wanted theirs! Well, Charlie ate half of his, the dear man, but #4 Daughter, although a fan of Indian food, informed me that eggplant isn't a taste she cares for.


Today is the next-to-last day of Story A Day May. Feel free to hop over to my blog and read today's story and, indeed, all the many free stories posted there. You also have my permission to buy as many of my books and story collections you fancy. You're welcome. ;)

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

Friday, May 26, 2017

Refreshing Summertime Salad

This Refreshing Summertime Salad is from AllRecipes.com. Visit the page for tips and photos.


4 cups mixed baby greens
1/2 cup diced mango
1/2 cup cubed seeded watermelon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon frozen mango juice concentrate, thawed

Combine the baby greens, mango, watermelon, mint, feta cheese, and minced onion in a mixing bowl. Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, and mango juice concentrate together in a small bowl, and pour over the salad. Toss gently to evenly coat.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2017 Allrecipes.com

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

WHAT Kind of Salad??

I went to a Japanese steakhouse, and my friend ordered seaweed salad. So I did, too. Because I had never had that, and Adventure is my middle name. Actually, my middle name is Lois, but never mind.

It looked like this.
Yes, it really was that green.

How was it? The dressing, a light and delicate sweet-and-sour, was delicious. The seaweed was ... seaweedy. Really chewy, a little bit fishy, with little seeds all in. Not bad, but I'll never order it again, because a little goes a long way, and this was a hella lot of seaweed. Even though the bowl was mostly lettuce with a big hank of seaweed on top, I took half of it home and Charlie couldn't eat that much.

I'm really glad I ordered it and tried it, and I'd eat some again if there was only a couple of bites of it, but I would like it more as a garnish than as a dish.

Have you ever had seaweed salad? What did you think?

I'm still doing Story A Day May, so hop over to my blog and help yourself to some free stories.

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

Friday, May 19, 2017

Flank Steak Sandwiches With Blue Cheese

This Flank Steak Sandwiches With Blue Cheese recipe comes from MyRecipes.com. Click the link for reviews, photographs, yield, etc.


2 large sweet onions
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 red bell peppers
6 (2- to 3-oz.) ciabatta or deli rolls, split*
5 ounces soft ripened blue cheese
1 1/2 cups loosely packed arugula
Herb-Marinated Flank Steak
6 tablespoons mayonnaise

How to Make It
Preheat grill to 400° to 450° (high) heat. Cut onion into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Brush with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cut bell peppers into 1-inch-wide strips. Place pepper strips in a large bowl, and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper; toss to coat.

Grill onion and bell pepper strips, covered with grill lid, over 400° to 450° (high) heat 7 to 10 minutes on each side or until lightly charred and tender.

Brush cut sides of rolls with remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and grill, cut sides down, without grill lid, over 400° to 450° (high) heat 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned and toasted.

Spread blue cheese on cut sides of roll bottoms; top with arugula, bell pepper strips, steak, and onion. Spread mayonnaise on cut sides of roll tops. Place roll tops, mayonnaise sides down, on top of onion, pressing lightly.

*French hamburger buns may be substituted. We tested with Publix French Hamburger Buns.

Note: We tested with Saga Classic Soft-Ripened Blue-Veined Cheese.

Flank Steak Sandwiches With Brie: Substitute 5 oz. Brie, rind removed, for blue cheese. Proceed with recipe as directed.

Herb Chicken Sandwiches: Substitute Herb-Marinated Chicken Breasts for flank steak. Proceed with recipe as directed.

Herb Chicken Sandwiches With Grilled Peaches: Reduce onions to 1 and red bell peppers to Cut 2 large peaches into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, cutting through stem and bottom ends. Proceed with recipe as directed, grilling peach slices, covered with grill lid, over 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Assemble sandwiches as directed, topping onion with peach slices. Prep: 20 min., Grill: 32 min., Stand: 10 min.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Boy Soup #NotVegetarian

This isn't boy soup because it's made of or from boys. It's called boy soup because it was made by my boy, aka my husband, aka Charlie. He makes soup a lot. He has pretty much the same recipe for soup that I do: boil stuff. His recipe usually includes putting the soup over lettuce, though.

So here's the soup he made the other day:
He diced carrots, celery, and potatoes, and cooked them in chicken bouillon. He tossed in some leftover peas, some chopped leftover cooked porkchop,and some egg noodles, and served it over lettuce.

Very satisfying.

I'm still doing Story A Day May on my blog. Hop over and browse this year's 16 (so far) stories, or do a sidebar search for the Story A Day May category and read many stories from this and previous years.

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

Quinoa Greek Salad

With the dog days of summer, social calendars are filled with activities, picnics, and of course, cookouts. Rookie and seasoned hosts alike can benefit from a go-to list of impressive food finds for even their most discernible guests. While the classics will always satisfy, it can be fun to shake things up with new ideas. Over the next ten weeks, I'll share recipes that run the gamut from simple summer salads to simply impressive picnic foods.

This Quinoa Greek Salad recipe comes from Food.com.


2 cups chicken stock
1 cup quinoa
1⁄2 cup red pepper, diced
1⁄2 cup green pepper, diced
1⁄2 cup cucumber, diced
1⁄4 cup green onion, diced
1⁄4 cup black olives
1⁄4 cup red onion, diced
3 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese


1⁄4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon basil
1⁄2 teaspoon oregano


In a saucepan, bring stock to a boil.
Stir in quinoa.
Reduce heat to med low and cover.
Cook 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
Transfer to a large bowl and cool.
Stir veggies and cheese into cooled quinoa.
Whisk together dressing ingredients.
Pour over quinoa mixture and toss.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Cabbage and Mushroom Soup #Vegan and Very Good

Charlie and I love soup. We don't really have lots of recipes for soup; we just make all kinds of soup out of whatever sounds good. Yesterday, I made this:

Cabbage and Mushroom Soup

  • water
  • vegetarian bouillon
  • portobello mushrooms, sliced very thin
  • green onion (scallion, spring onion) sliced
  • cabbage, cut up into pieces
  • marjoram
  • barley

Bring water and bouillon to a boil. Add vegetables, marjoram and barley. Cook until the barley is done.


BOY, was it good!

I'm still doing Story A Day May. Hop on over to my blog to read today's story, Time Will Tell.

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

Friday, May 5, 2017

Simple Homemade Waffles

Here is a yummy homemade waffle recipe from Epicurious. Click on the link to visit Epicurious and read the reviews for this recipe.


2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs


1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. 2. Whisk the milk, vegetable oil, and eggs together well. 3. Gradually pour the milk mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until almost blended. There will be a few lumps. 4. Pour the batter into your waffle maker (about 1/3 cup)and cook according to instructions - approximately 4-6 minutes on medium high or until the waffle maker stops steaming. Optional: To make Blueberry Waffles, pour the batter onto the waffle maker, sprinkle fresh blueberries on top, and close the lid. Cook as usual according to the waffle maker instructions.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mozzarella Salad

We went to a book sale event this weekend. Because it's so hard to go get something to eat, we usually take our own food. One of my contributions was this mozzarella salad.
That's fresh mozzarella, walnuts, diced orange bell peppers, mushrooms, and pesto. It was very nice, and I didn't bring much of it home with me!

It's Story A Day May, and I'm attempting to write and post a story every day for 31 days. Come to my blog (link below) and see if I can do it, however poorly.

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