Saturday, September 28, 2013

Slow Cooker Chana Masala

I have become addicted to this dish and have been buying the pre-packaged, prepared version that is microwavable. It is one of my new go-to, easy foods that I look forward to making after a long day. The fact that makes this meal so convenient also makes me a little wary of eating it too often. The drawback- microwaving food in a plastic bag. It seems...hmmmm... not so natural. Right? We hear so much about carcinogens and PCBs, yet these options are still available, Why are they so alluring? Because we are all busy and need food fast!!! While microwave beans and rice are still more healthy than the "fast food" alternative, it still is not a prime food choice. So I decided that this would be a great recipe to make in bulk with fresh ingredients. No.. it is not as quick but, the truth is, one Sunday afternoon before I went out to work in my garden, I threw the ingredients in the crock pot and in about 6 hours it was finished. Not bad when you consider all the "yucky stuff" that you are eliminating.  Feel good about yourself and your food and serve up another bowl.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tomato Basil Jam

My garden goodness is almost gone. The summer garden is done. I have two last recipes that I just finished this weekend from all of the last plants that I have harvested. For me this is always a hard time of the year. I now have to buy tomatoes from the store and those never have the same taste as a good, fresh garden tomato. The other thing that I will miss is the fresh basil that I use on a daily basis. I put it in mixed drinks, scrambled eggs and just about everything. In order to hold on to those flavors a little longer, I whipped up some more of this jam. I made it last year as well and it helped get through the tomatoless time of the year.

So long summer garden. Can't wait for your garden goodness next year.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nutella Pizzelles

When I was in college, I bought my sister a gift that I thought that she would love! One of my sister's favorite cookies is an anise flavored pizzelle. Her other favorite is my Gram's anise Biscotti. When I was in college, due to the dorm circumstances, I was pretty challenged in my ability to cook and bake. I went to college before everyone lived in a suite (this is not your invitation to guess my age!) One weekend, I went shopping with a friend and I saw an electronic pizzelle press. I had to buy it for my sister. I had thoughts of her making pizzelles any time she wanted them, in any flavor that interested her. I spent most of the money I had on that shopping trip (and had at all) to get her that pizzelle press.

There was only one problem, I was thinking about what I would do with a pizzelle press, not my sister. At the time, she and I were in very different places when it came to kitchen conquests. Let's just say she was more interested in buying her pizzelles than making them. And I think she still feels that way. I was so excited when I gave it to her, but her face told me that the excitement was not contagious....

Overall I think that I am a good gift giver but I did mess up with the pizzelle maker. I will admit that! This Labor Day when my parents came for their annual visit, they brought that pizzelle maker and approximately 16 years after it was purchased, I pressed my first batch of crisp wafer thin cookies.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Baba Ganoush

So what do I do when I am stressed and feel like life is not going my way??? Anyone paying attention out there??? I cook!! And in this case, I knit as well. (Uh Ohh! that is not a good sign.) This weekend has been a trying one but unfortunately my life has been this way for so long that I know that "busy is best." So I planned doctor's appointments, craft parades, event with friends and lots of activities for this weekend. I have been fairly successful.... NO! I am proud of myself and I will say I have done excellently, considering. (If you are lost, you have not been reading often.... shame! Lol!)

So this morning when my wonderful, sweet pups who love me dearly, woke me up at 7am  on my only day off, I needed something to do. (Do you sense the sarcasm here?) Thankfully, one of my employees and friends brought me 6 Japanese Eggplant and boy did I have plans for them. Here is the outcome and it is fabulous! Once you eat this you will never order Baba Ganoush at a restaurant again when you can make it so easy! I promise. It is smoky, garlicky goodness!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Banana Pudding Cheesecake

This recipe is somewhat symbolic of my life right now. Let's just say that it is BANANAS!! Yes, and not in a good way. This week marks the end of my marriage of 10 years (relationship of 14 years.) It has been a horrible past 3 years and it is coming to an end. I have so many mixed emotions right now and unfortunately everyone else has an idea of how I should feel or act. Some have even suggested that I have a party. Obviously, they have not gone through this process. I am a person who does not give up and the downward spiral of the past few years has made me feel very let down in myself and all things that I believed were good and trustworthy. In my heart, I know that I have tried all that I could possibly have, I loved, I listened, I cared, and I tried so hard, even at times I knew I could never break through. So many of my friends and family have watched my struggle; that is the best word for it, a struggle. I kept hoping and trying that everything could be worked out and it couldn't.  I never considered divorce to be a choice for my life,  but as I have learned all of what I did was not enough to overcome life's obstacles or how people change over the years.  Through all the trying and pain, not only have I lost someone that was the most important person in my life at one time; I have lost myself. And that is a sad place to be. I gave and gave and gave and I lost myself.

This week I have allowed myself to finally mourn this process and yes there have been tears. In so many ways, this is a death of a huge part of my life.  Now I have to move on and find out who the new Rebecca is and unfortunately that will be very difficult. I have so many choices to make right now; personally, professionally and all of them can affect me for years to come. I am moving forward slowly, cautiously and most importantly making every decision for me, something I need to learn how to do again. Please keep me in your prayer and send love in my direction.



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