Radio Dish

March 25, 2009 at 12:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments
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 I love things that are passed down. I love the history behind it, the stories and the feelings that are always attached to it.

I love the ring my mom gave my for my 21st birthday – the first nice piece of jewelry she had ever received.

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I love my red hair that I got from my grandpa

J & H in Sanford

And I love recipes. I love the recipes that taste like home. The most infamous recipe in our family is radio dish. My great grandmother got this recipe during the depression. It’s called radio dish because, well, she heard it on the radio. It’s made of simple, inexpensive ingredients. It isn’t a glamorous meal, but to me it’s home.

When I e-mailed my mom for the recipe, this is what I got:

“Here’s the radio dish recipe:  Sliced raw potatoes
                                          Sliced onions
                                          Sliced green peppers
                                          l lb. ground beef
                                          Rice
                                         3 cans tomato soup (original recipe said 2 but 3 is better)
                                         1/4 cup water

                                         Repeat layers in 13 inch casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 3 hours at 275-300 degrees.”

Not too specific! Here are the quantities I used: 3 potatoes, 2 green peppers, 1 medium onion, 2 cans of tomato soup, 1 package of soy crumbles and 1,25 cups of brown rice.

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Apparently the Smart Ground was on sale, but any of the frozen crumbles work too!

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Here’s it out of the package. For some reason I thought people might be interested to see what it looks like…

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The soup:

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In the casserole dish, pre soup:

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Post soup and crumbles:

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After being baked for 3 hours:

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I really can’t even tell you how good this tasted. I’m feeling a little under the weather and this was JUST what I needed. It is just what I remembered it tasting like!! It’s just so warm and  full of comfort. I love it.

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My salad had spinach, mushrooms, and yellow squash with balsamic vinegar and peanut sauce on top.

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Thankfully, this makes a LOT of food which makes the 3 hours of waiting all worth it! And also means that I will be happy with leftovers for a long while!

I have a Physical Therapy appointment at 7:30 AM tomorrow. Blech! Can anyone tell me what to expect?? Will I need to shower again after it ? I hope not (have to go to work directly from PT!).  I’m going to get a foam roller from them. They said they will be able to tell me what density I need…plus the rollers there are waaaay less expensive then other places I’ve looked.

What’s a family tradition that always makes you feel the warmth of home??

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Bring On the Good News!

March 17, 2009 at 1:43 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Today is one of the best days ever because I found out I got into my top choice law school!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m still on cloud nine. I keep saying to myself that I am going to that law school because I still can’t believe it. Gosh I’m sooo happy!

I’m hoping the good news keeps on coming this week…mainly in regards to the ortho appointment I have on Thursday. Eep! Happy thoughts… I actually went on the elliptical today and it didn’t hurt! I went on for 40 minutes and kept it at a really low resistance. I think that made the difference.

Unfortunately James didn’t get home until 8:30 tonight so I was a bundle of energy! So I set out to make something new! We had a head of cabbage in our fridge that I wanted to use so I thought making stuffed cabbage leaves would be fun. I used Kath’s recipe, with some modifications. Here’s what I used:

Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

  • TJ’s Brown Rice Medley (“A blend of long-grain brown rice, black barley and daikon radish seeds)
  • Black beans
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Half a very small onion
  • 1/4 c. crushed blistered peanuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Cup Diced cabbage
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt

I sauteed everything together until everything was soft. Then, after I steamed some of the larger cabbage leaves, I put 1/3 c. of the mixture into each leaf…..

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rolled it up and put it seam down in a baking dish.

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Then I put 1 c. of prepared marinara sauce on top + a big hand full of shredded lite Mexican blend cheese from TJ’s. I baked it at 400* for 17 minutes then broiled it for 4 minutes.

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Post Texas Pete smothering:

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This was the first time I used the garam masala so I was pretty excited and this did not disappoint! It was a different flavor then we’re used to eating, but in a good way. This wasn’t heavy at all. I think the addition of crushed peanuts was a winner. I think even adding a little peanut sauce to the rice would help bring out the other spices more. Or maybe instead of topping it with marinara, topping it with a peanut sauce. James is currently having seconds.

Okay. Now it’s time for chocolate, reading in bed and sleep! See you tomorrow!

Can’t Resist the Chili

March 13, 2009 at 12:30 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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 The thought of getting into the pool after work today was just so completely unappealing.  You know that feeling right before you’re going to jump in?? That kind of dread of not wanting to get in the water? That’s all I could think about.  So I opted for some Dave Farmar yoga podcast. I did 60 minutes of Power Yoga from 10/29/08. It was pretty good. Some points were hard to follow because he wouldn’t say exactly what they were doing. Afterward I did some arm strengthening and a little ab work.

Then it was time to make some dinner! On the menu? Chili and corn muffins! Such a classic combo.

For the chili we we simmered some soy chorizo, kidney beans, carrots, tomato sauce, onions and broccoli. We also added in part of a packet of McCormick Chili seasoning.

Then we made some House Autry cornbread mix  I got for $1.50 at the store. They were really easy to make. James loved em but I found them to be a little dry and bland. Maybe I’m just remembering back to the days of those fat and sugar loaded corn bread muffins of my youth…

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The corn on top really did the deed on here. I just sprinkled some on top before putting them in the oven. And I liked the fact it didn’t sink it. It made it look really good. Definitely gave some color to an otherwise non-exciting looking muffin.

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Can you spy a boyfriend’s  hand already reaching for some corny goodness??

And theeen I crumbled half a cornbread muffin on top.

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Yummm 🙂 This definitely helped with the dryness factor and who doesn’t like a little bread crumb topping on a hot and spicy dish?  It helped balance the spice factor and gave a nice contrast of textures, which I love. Toppings make everything better.

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Hi Toby! Do you like his polka dotted placemat?

What’s your favorite condiment?

That’s a tough one for me! I love so many! BBQ sauce is definitely up there though.

Rollin’ On Up

March 12, 2009 at 1:14 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Hello all! Is everyone enjoying this amazing weather? I am!! Too bad it’s supposed to be rainy the rest of the week 😦 Ah well!

Swimming is going really well for me so far! I have swam the past 3 days and my knee is feeling just fine! Yesterday I was getting a little bored just aimlessly going back and forth so I decided to write out a little work out plan for me for today:

Pool Workout

  • 8 lengths freestyle
  • 816 lengths alternating freestyle and backstroke
  • 60 pool step leg kicks
  • 16 lengths favorite stroke
  • 60 seconds treading water vigorously (x 2)
  • 60 seconds of high knees with hand to opposite knee
  • 4 lengths sprints
  • 60 pool step leg kicks
  • 12 lengths favorite stroke
    Then I did about 400 crunches in different positions. My legs are tired but I miss a good sweat session!! I am thankful there is an indoor pool I get to at least get some cardio in. I really feel like staying off the elliptical and staying off of running (obviously) is helping to heal my knee which makes it all worth it!

Well this has been a delicious day, I have to tell ya. I made a glorious salad to bring for lunch today. It was so good lookin I just had to show you a picture!

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  • spinach
  • kidney beans
  • yellow squash
  • celery
  • carrot
  • TJ hummus
  • salt + pepper

Ahh I looked forwad to this salad all day and it did not disappoint! There is nothing that makes me happier then a big salad filled with tons of different vegetables. 

Tonight’s dinner was inspired by some eggplants that we had gotten from the reduced price produce cart at Harris Teeter. When I saw Kath’s recipe for eggplant rolls that she had found in this month’s Shape magazine I knew we HAD to make it!

Our inspiration:

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Kath mentioned that she couldn’t really taste the ricotta so I whipped out my secret ingredient:

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Sundried tomatoes! These babies totally made the dinner, in my opinion. I mixed some of these into the ricotta + spinach mixture.

  1. Slice up eggplant and roast at 425* for 20 minutes.
  2. Spread ricotta mixture onto each slice of roasted eggplant (mixture contained ricotta, spinach, chopped sundried tomatoes, garlic pepper, salt and pepper)
  3. Roll up eggplants and place seam side down in a pan.
  4. Spoon marinara sauce over the roll ups and sprinkle with cheese (we used a Lite Mexican Blend that was on sale!)

Optional: Sprinkle with red pepper flakes

 

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(note the half with a lot of cheese on top! That’s all James)

5. Bake at 375* for 10 minutes then broil on high for 6 minutes if you like that crispy outer layer!

I put a few of the rolls on top of some whole wheat pasta for James.

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Check out that delicious crispy cheese action

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I put some on top of spinach for me.

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Like I said, the sundried tomatoes totally made this filling for me. It was like stuffed shells only healthified! I could definitely taste the ricotta filling and the smooth texture of that with the chewy texture of the roasted eggplant was fantastic. Did I mention the sundried tomatoes made this meal?  James said this was his new favorite! He said it was very “gourmet.” And it was so easy with minimal clean up! I love that!

Check out our beautiful flowers we got at Trader Joe’s this weekend: 

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Now it’s time for more West Wing. This show is SO AWESOME! I’m so glad there are so many seasons. It makes me so happy. What ever will we do when we’re done with it?! I don’t even want to think about that day…

What is  your favorite TV series?

Mine is definitely Law & Order: SVU with West Wing as a competitor…

Black Bean Burgers and Microwave Chips

January 28, 2009 at 1:08 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments
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Boy was tonight’s dinner good!!

We’ve made these Homemade Black Bean Burgers a few times and they always turn out great. Instead of using bread crumbs we used Panko bread crumbs. I’ve also used rolled oats instead of the bread crumbs and that turned out good too. James also wanted me to note that he added a little bit of Worcestershire sauce to the mix. We baked them in the oven since, in the past,  when we’ve tried to make them on the stove they would stick and it was just a hassle. 

They took a little longer to bake since James made 2 instead of 4 like the recipe says (I had half of one and am putting the other half in a wrap for lunch tomorrow! Leftovers are such a good thing)

James also sauteed some onions and mushrooms to put on top

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On the side we had the COOLEST THING!

Chips that we made in the microwave!!!

We got the recipe from the February EatingWell magazine (recipe found here).

James used Red potatoes to make them.

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Sliced up in a bowl with Olive Oil and salt.

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Spread out on a microwave safe plate.

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Out of the microwave (they took longer in the microwave than the original recipe called for and apparently they crisp up as they cool)

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On my plate. I would like a repeat performance please.

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All together! This was so. so. delicious. I ate the burger opened face with ketchup and mustard on top.

We WILL be making this again. Next time I want to put vinegar on the potatoes before microwaving so we can have salt + vinegar chips (my fave!)

Work was good today. When I got home I did some yoga. I downloaded a few of the YogaDownload free podcasts over the weekend. Tonight I did David Farmar’s 20 minutes Sun Salutations. I really want to keep doing this! After sitting for so much of the day, it just feels great to move around a little. Afterward I felt calm and happy. I even danced around a little.

Poor Toby was sick all last night so we didn’t get much sleep. Thankfully he seems to be feeling better (he’s snuggled up on his bed as I type). Tonight will definitely be an early night. 

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Back to our disk of West Wing we got from Netflix today!!

Tofu-in’ and Stir Fryin’ It Up

January 24, 2009 at 12:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Stir fry seems to always sound appealing to me. It can be different every time you make it, using seasonal veggies or whatever is on hand. And then there’s the sauce! Yup. I would say stir fry is up there as one of the most versatile dinners.

With starting a new job and James and I both working full time now, I am working on creating meals that are fast to make and easy to clean up without sacrificing nutrition or taste.

Tonight’s stir fry included:

  • Kale
  • Mushrooms
  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini
  • Onions
  • Garlic

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  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Peanut Sauce

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  • Extra Firm Tofu

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First I sauteed all the veggies except the kale until they were soft and then I took them out of the pan and put them on a plate off to the side.

I poured a mixture of the sauces in a pan and placed the cut up tofu in it. I pretty much just eyeballed everything. Once they were in there, I topped em with a little more of the sauces. The soy sauce is definitely soaked up the easiest so keep the salty factor in mind.

Cook until water is evaporated (a few minutes) and then flip. Put the veggies back in the pan and top with kale. Cover with a lid so kale will wilt. Cook for another few minutes.

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The finished product:

 

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I liked the tofu in this dish a lot. I tried baking tofu a few weeks back and it did not turn out well at all. I had smothered it with BBQ sauce and followed the baking instructions others had and it turned out like cardboard! I was so disappointed since everyone always raves about how great baked tofu is. Maybe I just needed to cut them thicker?? Anyhow, the tofu in this dish was not cardboard-y at all. It was full of flavor and was browned just a bit on each side. Perfection!

Cooking the veggies first and then setting them to the side made it so I only had to use (and then clean) one pan. Adding them back to the pan after flipping the tofu allows them to warm back up.

James and I always split this Bavarian Hefeweizen beer from Trader Joes:

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I usually like wheaty beers but this one had a strange aftertaste. We didn’t even finish it.

It took me a while to figure out what kind of beer I like but after a trip to The Flying Saucer with their extensive beer list, I found my love of all beers wheat (okay not ALL beers as demonstrated above but you get the idea).

I am planning on doing some baking this weekend so stay tuned!!

What is your favorite kind of beer?

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