Archive for the ‘Recipe Basics’ Category

What’s New in Wabasha

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

It’s been such a busy week here, like everyone is realizing hey, it might be the last of summer over the next few weeks. Here in Wabasha, we have had it all. The best of the summer festivities, music, and food!

Our farmer’s market grows each week as more food becomes available from mother earth and I have to say, the last batch of radishes and zuchinni we got was superb. Sweet and delicious.
We got duck eggs and they were great. I made a fast omelet with tomatoes, zuchinni, oregano and vinegar, a dash to lighten up the eggs for me. It was great. I’ll have another tomorrow! The farmer’s market also has three ways to pay. Credit card, ESB card, and another one you have to ask Sara about. Liam played guitar and sang for us and we were happy to give him a gift of money for his efforts.
We have had a few good meals at the Bluff View. Last night, a half a dozen scallops with pineapple salsa on a bed of baby greens was superb at 11 bucks, and the scallop were decent size. My husband had a steak which I thought looked delicious and he said it was indeed. We have also had a very nice Sunday buffet there a couple of times and relished in the fact that everything was so much better than the usual fare. Also about 11 dollars.

What’s New in Wabasha

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Had another great day at the Wabasha Farmer’s Market yesterday by the hospital. Abigail sold us the bread she promised, we took it home and had some this morning as toast and we put some avocado on it. Man, that was good. It’s a very dense but doesn’t go down like a heavy rock. It’s dense, but light and mighty tasty. Just really good ingredients. For four bucks a loaf, I think I can make several meals with it as a base. Good work, Abigail!

Later, we tried baking French toast with Abigail’s bread. It was awesome. We cut 5 pieces of 3/4 inch thick slices into quarters and soaked them in 5 eggs with vanilla, milk and cinnamon. Then placed all 20 pieces into two buttered glass pans, put them in the oven for 25 minutes at 350 degrees F. SO good with real maple syrup or honey.

Sara George got us some of the MOST wonderful tasting strawberries we ever had. We love strawberries and these were so worth the money. Get there early, they might be gone soon.

Another lady had radishes, but we didn’t get there early enough. Maybe next time!

Thanks so much to the wonderful farmers who weed and wait for us to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Thank you so much for your support. I know they really appreciate it.

Planning for Next Thanksgiving

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Now I have heard everything! White Castle Hamburger Turkey Dressing.
You can replace the bread cubes or crumbs and meat with one White Castle
hamburger for every pound of turkey. So a 10 -12 lb turkey would get a dozen white castles, some celery,
walnuts, onions and herbs, or however your momma made it,
and OMG! White Castle Stuffing!

Remember to be thankful for all your blessings each day of the

Times Are Tough Tender Recipe

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Times are tough and people are staying home to eat more and more. Some people are even learning to cook. Nice.

Here is a basic recipe that every civilized culture has some version of. It’s very versatile. You will need at least a two quart stove top pan with lid. I like stainless steel cookware.

Start with long grain brown rice. Very little gluten, high fiber, filling and nutty flavor. Takes on all sorts of herb and spice flavors. I always add a tab of butter cuz the brain needs some fat, and a bit of olive oil for the heart. A tablespoon will do. Throw in one or more cloves of garlic for health and an odoriferous addition.

Then take some canned red beans. Throw those in to two cups of uncooked rice in a pan with four cups of water
Bring water and rice and beans to a boil and then set on low simmer for one half hour until rice is tender.

That’s a meal right there. Now, let’s get fancy. Add one quarter onion, any color, red, yellow or white. Add a handful of raw carrots. Now you have a more complete meal.

Add cumin and hot peppers for flavor and heat, if you like. Serve over a bed of raw spinach or romaine lettuce. Now you have a fancy, highly nutritional meal.

Still, not enough. With the leftovers next day, heat up the rice and all. Once heated, add a raw scrambled egg or two and stir it in, slowly for a minute or so. Melt some cheese on top after plating. This is now borderline gourmet, and you never had a live lesson yet! Easy, huh?

You can change the type of rice, beans, veggies or spices and herbs. You can add boiled chicken, leftover hamburger, or any meat or fish you like. Leave out any ingredient, add some potato. It’s like Legos!

Back to Basics

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Terrific weather has kept us moving, and eating all over the SE Minnesota area. We have tried lots of new places to eat and have been generally satisfied, but truth be told, I think the restaurants have quit trying to provide ambiance. Sure the location may be nice and the parking sweet. The restaurants are clean and the rest rooms followed suit. However, I sure miss some of the things that made restaurants a fun place to go, places that were a lot different from my home, our home kitchens.

I miss the juke boxes and the quarters the owners would hand out when things got a bit too quiet. I miss the old Sinatra tunes at the steak houses, because it’s so loud when they have a full house, which is because it’s all tables and walls and no booths to buffer the sounds. What happened to booths? Why are we all being sat down in open seating. What about the lighting? I cannot tell you when I have seen anything in the way of lighting that suggested a thoughtful plan on comfortable, non glaring, non harsh lighting. Or too much lighting. I sometimes feel like an experiment in a scientific lab, the light is so great.

I’ll admit, walls seem to have gotten some attention at one time and there is usually some collection of paintings or objects that fit the bill. Nice.

But, what about a few kind words. The last place we went the hostess said, You can have either table that’s available and one of them was still not cleared. No, welcome, how are you this evening, or anything. Gheesh. Well, anyway. What can I expect when they have taken our pickles, our lemon wedges, our lettuce and our spoons. One waiter asked me to keep my used fork for dessert. Hang me now.

Oh, this isn’t all the restaurants, and I am not meaning to damn them all. But we all know which ones I mean and they should take heart and provide offerings that bring people a nice experience to the restaurant guest.

So, I am protesting by eating out less. Back to basics for me means rice and red beans. with whatever I have on hand tossed in…red peppers, eggs, onions, garlic, oregano, or curry, cumin, maybe dill and fresh lettuce. I can throw in
a handful of cheese ravioli, some salmon or chicken. It’s a world unto itself, rice and red beans, and I make it healthier by using either half white and brown rice or all brown rice, long grain and organic. Keep it basic.

For dessert, any fruit or fruit juice and an oatmeal raisin cookie. Nothing better and I can play any music I want on
my dvd player.

I Scream (with laughter)

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

This is where I usually go on and on about some restaurant food that I have eaten. Well, not today. I haven’t been to London in years and I didn’t go to any British restaurants lately, but I have to link to this story.

The Recipes I Promised

Monday, January 31st, 2011

A Breakfast Sausage Casserole and a Regal Ham Sandwich

Winter for me sometimes means I need to eat some meat. So I invent meals with a lot of pan appeal, so I will get hungry and eat like a lioness. But I don’t want to marinate and fry and broil and all that. These are fast and furious and deliciousio.

Breakfast Sausage Casserole


Johnson’s Original Breakfast Sausage, 14 links.

1 pint fresh button mushrooms

1 soup can of white jasmine rice or your preference of any rice or pasta.
1 can of mushroom soup
1 soup can of water

1 cup of frozen sweet peas, green beans or veggie or veggie combo you prefer.

Stir rice, mushroom soup and water together and cook for fifteen minutes, according to rice directions.

Place mushrooms in a glass soup bowl and microwave for 2 minutes on high (using a 1000 w microwave) When mushrooms are done set aside and retain juice.

Note: I stab each piece of sausage link with a fork to make holes to degrease the meat somewhat before cooking.

Place all 14 sausage links, cut into thirds, into a glass bowl and microwave for 3 minutes and remove from fat juices.

To Cook:

Butter a casserole pan, I use glass. Place rice, sausage, mushrooms in the pan and add your veggies. Put three pieces of your favorite cheese, I used cheddar on top of the dish and place in an oven for about three minutes at 325 degrees.

You can add more or less rice, or fewer sausage links. Make it work for you. Enjoy. Serves 3-4 people. Add a fresh green salad to round it out.

Regal Ham Sandwich for Two

4 pieces of Rye Bread
2 tablespoons of Butter
2-3 pieces of Cheese
8 pieces of thinly sliced deli Ham
2 Eggs

Take four pieces of Rosen’s Hearty Rye or Dark Rye Bread and place them in a large buttered frying pan of any sort. Make sure there is enough butter to fuse with flavor the bread. Then in the cracks, or in another small frying pan, add 8 thin slices of deli ham, or you may call it lunch meat ham, to warm it up. Place thinly sliced Swiss cheese on two pieces of the rye bread in the pan, then set the warm ham on top of the cheese. Close up the sandwich and flip over the sandwich in the pan.

In the place that you have made available, break open two eggs to make eggs over easy. When the eggs are done, place them either in the
sandwiches to eat by hand, or on top of the sandwiches to eat with a knife and fork.

This takes only a few minutes and is so good you’ll want more soon.

Bright’s Living On The Edge

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Sun rays dispersed by ice crystals

A few weeks back I promised to post our first good sunrise. This one was unimaginably beautiful and far more spectacular than many many sunrises I have seen in Minnesota over the last eight years. It’s been pretty grey and white around here with little blue showing this winter. I am hoping for an early spring like we have had for the last two years. But, until that happens, I am going to order some seeds, getting into parrot tulips this year if I can find some, and more herbs and more herbs again. Problem here is the deer and squirrels. I rather see them eat, so I’ll have to keep my flora under tight wrap this year.

We had a lovely after lunch scene here today. Two does came up to our hill and just looked at us sitting near the sliding glass doors, then cknowledged us and barking Zinger, our beautiful collie dog, and commenced to grooming each other and themselves for quite some time. Then, my the older doe laid down, Zinger laid down, dh laid down and they all went to sleep, leaving me here to blog in peace. Nice. Well, I think they all have a pretty good idea there, so I’ll join them and dream of sweet future blogs, cuz today is kinda sleepy.

Oh, I do have a couple of fast, but really nice recipes for a winter’s day or night that I will post a little later. Stay tuned and enjoy the sun wherever you can.

A Little Bit Can Go A Long Way

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

While we haven’t been to any new places to eat lately (still waiting for Pan Pan, Norman!) we have a few tidbits to report on for you amusement and information today.

First of all, let me say that my days of eating whatever I want whenever I want are over. While I have mostly maintained a 50/50 diet, that is half of what I like and half of what is really good for me, I am moving forward into the 80/20 realm, which means only one treat per day and less eating out, unless I can manage more like this next bit; We love George’s Vineyard on Hwy 3, and I have tried just about everything, and it’s all good, but this week I tried the Hawaiian Pizza again. I usually order pizza with a light amount of cheese, but I forgot this time and Man oh Boy oh Girl oh Goodness! It was good. I ordered a small pizza for myself. Usually D and I split one, but I could see that look of the hungry hunter in his eyes and suggested he go ahead and order his usual gyros platter. I promote that because I usually steal some fries with the Greek yoghurt as a dip, or If I have spaghetti, I will put the yoghurt in the sauce. A tablespoon or so, does the trick.

I know I am saying ‘usually’ a lot, well that’s about to change! :)

The tip is that I ate about one third of the small fully cheesed pizza, and packed up the rest for home. The next morning, I nuked the second third of it for 10 seconds and had it for breakfast. The next morning I did the same. So, pizza, yes, full cheese, yes…break the caloric barrier? NO! And it was good as can be with a very light crust, thinly sliced Canadian bacon and nice little chunks of pineapple. I like the very refreshing trend towards lightening up some recipes with citrus. Any citrus. But I wonder if I can contemplate pizza with mango?

My new favorite food recommendation is chutney. People are making chutney from more combinations of food than I can shake a stick at…and some of them sound quite delicious. Apple, cranberry, walnut chutney for example. Or string bean chutney with curry spices. The list is endless. Chutneys can be served with any mild food that takes on other flavors, like chicken, cheese, crackers, potatoes, rice, pasta and so on. So if someone offers you chutney, don’t crinkle up your nose…give it a go. It’s the most flavorful food I have ever tasted.

We got some great salsa from our Farmer’s Market, as well as some of the meatiest tomatoes I have seen in my life. We had some really delicious Yukon Gold potatoes from there last week, which we cut up, throw into a pot, boil them for 15 minutes, let them cool a bit, toss on some oil and vinegar, and drop them in a green salad with hard boiled eggs for lunch or dinner. It’s budget friendly, and tastes awesome.

We broke down and bought homemade bread, and cookies, too…but we didn’t eat them all at once. WHEW! Do check out the Farmer’s Market Real Soon! They have some great deals for you.

Lunch at Bright's

FYI, House Plants

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

This is in reply to the many people I talk to who say they only kill plants and do not have a green thumb…it’s not that hard, just pay atttention for a few minutes once or twice a week…

For your home oxygen and cleaning, plants are an easy way to get
something pretty, natural and healthful in your home.

Most house plants need water, light, good fresh soil and that’s about
it…transplant every few years to accommodate growth, too.

1.  Buy a plant, or get one from your friend.

2.  Find a window with light and place your plant there, rotating it
every week by about one quarter turn.

3.  Water the plant either once a week, where you have humidity
or twice a week, where you have dry air.

You need about a cup of water each time for a six inch planter.

Here are the details;

If you water too much the roots will rot and the plant will die.
If you don’t water enough, the leaves will turn yellow and die.
It takes a lot to kill a plant, you really have to ignore all
the signs for over a week to kill it and then sometimes even
though a plant looks dead, watering it can revive the roots
and new growth will appear.  Give it a chance, even if it
has been ‘dead’ a while.

If you have good fresh soil, don’t bother with food.  Soil is food.
Over time, adding a cup of fresh soil will revive your plant’s home
food source and that’s all you need to do.

It’s nice to have a planter with a small dime size hole at the bottom
so excess water will run out, but you don’t need that if you are
careful.  If you do have the hole, you’ll need some type of saucer to
catch the water.

Use a pencil to stick into the soil to test and see if the soil is
moist, insert to about an inch down. If the pencil comes out clean,
it’s probably too dry.  Water it.  Once you see how much water your
plant needs, and when, you won’t need the pencil test anymore. But, be
sure to check the timing again as the seasons change.

If, after a few years, your plant is growing too big and is about to
topple over, you may be able to split it at the roots and give some away or plant
another pot.  Just take a pot, put slightly moist soil into it, almost
to the top, then dig a hole in the center of the soil for the plant,
and lay it down in the soil, cover up the roots and slightly up the
main stem of the plant, make sure the soil tightly packed so no air
holes form around the roots, and then add water and more soil to about
one inch down from the top edge, so water doesn’t spill over it.

Now think about where you would like to be if you were a plant…if it’s a hot spot
near a window, it’s no good for you or the plant.  If it is a spot
where dry air is blowing on it from a fan or vent, most plants won’t
like that either.  Other than that, just make sure you don’t have a pet
or child who will knock down your plant and you should be good to go.

Use one plant for every 100 sq ft of room to provide oxygen and cleaning properties.