Category Archives: Chaos Cuisine

Peppered out…

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OK, so I just had the soup for dinner. It was good and filling and yum. Only problem? Got a bit heavy-handed on the pepper and spices. I’d say one less tsp of the “21 Spice” stuff and grind in a bit less pepper. Other than that, I’d add more zucchini, more carrots and probably more of something else I have yet to think of…

So, if any of you can suggest any other veggies that would be yummy in a soup besides what’s in the recipe and what I’ve added already, please let me know.

Oh, and I’d add more water.

Category: Chaos Cuisine

Someone’s in my kitchen cooking all day…

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…oh yeah, that would be me!

Started off today with a short ride to the farmer’s market down the street. Note to self, drag your bum out earlier and you won’t have to dig and dig for the few really good veggies that are left.

Anyways, got some fresh ingredients for some healthy veggie soup. Healthy as in not so full of sodium, but still tasty. I’ve tried just about every low-sodium canned soup out there and have yet to find one that I like, so I decided to try my hand at making my own. I was channel surfing last night and came upon the Dr. Oz show and lo and behold, they were talking about a healthy veggie soup that this woman made that helped her lose weight. I thought I’d give it a try. Don’t care whether it helps me lose weight, but being that I am currently obsessed with finding a tasty low-sodium soup, well, there you go.

Since I wanted it low-sodium, I substituted 4 tsp. of Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute spice mix (no salt in it that I could find in the ingredients) for the 4 cubes of chicken bouillon (which is way too salty for me). It still has an hour to cook, but so far, the broth tastes good.

I added zucchini and cut back on the celery and cabbage cos we don’t like those too much here in the Chaos. Also, the cans of Plum Tomatoes at TJ’s are a bit smaller than needed, so put in all of the two rather than waste the extra, so now it’s a bit more. I believe I also cut back to 3 cans of water instead of four.

I’m going to make some Mexican Star pasta later (since I’m using my pasta pot to cook the soup) and will add that if I want to make more of a meal out of it. It’s an uber chunky veggie soup, which is what we like here. And oh boy does it smell GOOD. My turn to fill up the hallway with the smell of what I’m cooking. Hee hee.

The only problem I have is…how to store it all? Not sure if I have enough containers….I’m pretty sure I’ll be using them ALL…sigh.

Can’t wait to take this to work for lunch!!!!!

Category: Chaos Cuisine, Health, YUM

A Good Day

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Woke up extremely tired this morning. Promise not to whine about getting old, etc tho.

Weighed myself last night and saw the little red thingy pointing at a smaller number. Hmmmm….weighed myself this morning and saw the little red thingy pointy to an even smaller number.

I knew I had probably lost a few pounds as I have been eating sensibly/healthy and riding my bike almost every day. The biggest clue is how baggy my jeans are…I had to dig out my belt.

It may sound like I’ve lost a lot, but it’s only been a few lbs. I’m happy tho as the baggy pants bit tells the bigger story. Things are shifting, I’m gaining muscle, etc etc. If I could only stop having to bundle up so much, you could actually see my curves trying to reappear.

It’s fascinating watching my body react to what I’ve been doing. It changes almost daily.

And that’s a very good thing.

The temptations are extreme tho. Spence made the most awesome lemon bars I’ve ever tasted last night. He’s going to a community service thing today and baked them (from scratch no less) to take along. I’ll post a photo and a link to the recipe sometime this weekend.

OMG they were good, but I only had a few little bites. Good thing he took them out of the house!

Drive by Update…

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Still adjusting to the work routine. Getting quicker on my rides to BART, but they still wear me out. Just wish it wasn’t so darn cold in the mornings still…

Haven’t done much crafting/knitting -wise. With all this coming home and falling asleep on the couch after work, things have gotten rather cluttered and creativity-stifling.

For a few nights this week, I have been putting things away and so on, so I should be able to get back to all my projects soon. This weekend as a matter of fact.

This weekend is a busy one. Antonella and I are off to San Francisco for a friend’s Art Showing, some bead store blitzing (mostly of our wallets, I’m sure) and a stop off at our fav stores on the way home if we’re still standing by then (and if we have anything left in those poor abused wallets).

Then we’re off to my place for a girl’s-night-in-crafting. I’ve been teaching Antonella how to make jewelry, so we’re going to make some stuff for ourselves, then she’s agreed to help me get some work done on some things for KublaCon.

There will be my 30min Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner, some snackage, and prob some instant viewing on Xbox while we work.

A full day!

Updates

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Still recovering from the fun of the wee hours of this morning. I didn’t sleep at all.

Maintenance men have been going in and out all morning and the carpet cleaner will be here “sometime today”.

Kitty is in hiding. With all this coming and going of strange people, I don’t expect to see her for at least 2 days.

Pumpkin pie is actually pretty good. Especially after sitting overnight. The real test is when the pie expert tries it tomorrow (that would be Spencer).

A Pumpkin Pie Poem

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I smell something baking, it’s another pumpkin pie.
I’ve failed at this already, I keep asking myself why?

I put in all the ingredients, just like in the list.
I should have gotten a pumpkin pie, but all I got was pissed.

I pulled it out of the oven, it was not a pretty sight,
The center was still mushy, gah, that sure wasn’t right!

Beep beep beep goes the timer, it’s time to check the pie,
It sure does smell good, could this be my final try?

I turn on the oven light, so far it looks good to me.
I open up the oven, and GAH, what do I see?

The middle is still liquid, it’s happening again.
I put it in for more time, let’s see what happens then.

Beep beep beep goes the timer, it’s time to check the pie
I’m beginning to think, YES! This IS my final try.

The whip cream is at the ready, the pie is cooling on the rack.
I hope when I cut into it, I won’t be screaming FRACK!

If it doesn’t work, that’s ok, I’ve got more pumpkin cans.
I’ll keep trying til I get it right, for we are pumpkin fans.

I’ll update you all tomorrow on the status of this second try at Pumpkin Pie. I followed the recipe on the can of Trader Joe’s organic pumpkin mush and that was not only a failure, but it was EPIC. And on Thanksgiving. Not a good scene – we had our hearts set on pumpkin pie that night.

This all came about as a brilliant idea to stock up on cans of Pumpkin mush while it was in the stores so we could enjoy Pumpkin Pie during the non-Holiday season – whenever we had the craving for one. I figured it would be easy to make. Can’t be that hard right? Silly me.

I googled online and found a website with recipes using Trader Joe’s ingredients. So far so good.

If this one doesn’t turn out, I have several more to try.

Not yer grannie’s nachos…

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The “Oh no, not more turkey and stuffing leftovers I can’t take it anymore” Nachos

Spread some corn tortilla chips on a plate.

Chop some turkey into wee little chunks and sprinkle across chips.

Chop up some stuffing into little bits and sprinkle across chips.

Sprinkle shredded cheese liberally over the top of it all. Oh crap, ran out of shredded cheese. Pull out a slice of cheese, tear it up and put it over the last half of the nachos.

Heat it all up in the microwave until the cheese is melted.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I am so sick of Turkey Day leftovers. Wouldn’t be so bad if Spencer was here with me, it would have all been gone Friday…but it’s just me and I can’t take it anymore. I think I’m going to toss whatever is left after tonight. No more turkey…please.

Category: Chaos Cuisine, Holidays

Drive-by posting…

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Still gettin’ things done over here in the Chaos.

OMG…so who else is going to run off and make some of these?!?!?! I’m stopping on the way home to find something to put in them…either chocolate chips or blueberries or something otherwise yummy! Must. Make. Some…

Mom’s recovery is coming along. Not only is she back to her normal self (as evidenced by some annoying parental habits), but the doctor even says she’s healing well. 🙂

I finally remembered to ask Mom if she still had some old beads laying around the house. Sure enough, the old candy tin housing my Grandmothers glass seed beads is alive and well and soon to be on it’s way to the Chaos. I used to “play” with those beads when I was little, pouring them out of their vials, putting them back in, arranging the little glass vials “just so” in the tin. Counting the strands on the tassels – that’s how seed beads used to be sold, strung on cheap string and made into cute little bunches, or tassels as I called them. Well, the strings have long since deteriorated, it’s a good thing I put the tassels into old film canisters. 🙂

Now that I sort of know what I’m doing, I’m going to try and make some jewelry out of these family antiques. I can’t wait to see them again (the memories!). There will be photos as soon as my Mom and Sis find a good way to pack it all up and ship it safely.

I’m back in the saddle – have been bike riding Friday, Sunday and Monday! Today I rested as I’ve managed to get out of riding shape and am quite sore from the waist down. Tomorrow I go for a ride again. Yay!

My poor little kitty (my 16yr old fluffy white baby) was sick this morning…sure hope she’s feeling better. Can’t quite tell as she’s been sleeping all day. Guess that’s a good thing – since that is normally what she does anyway.

Rites of Passage…

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Today has been a good day.

Spencer and I have entered into new phases of our lives.

He is with his Father in Texas visiting family. I got a mysterious text from Dad this morning to “Check your email. :)”

I open his email and what do I find? A photo of my son shaving. I won’t post it here, even tho it is the most adorable photo of him I’ve seen in a long time. Although that statement alone is probably embarrassing enough. (My work is done.)

I cried when I saw it. And I’ve got a bit of welling up going on now as I type this too. Can’t help it. The “growing up train” is charging full steam ahead. I can either jump on and enjoy the ride or stand by on the platform and watch it pass.

Wow, that was deep.

My friend Antonella was over today. Yes, I had a visitor in the Chaos. I haven’t had anyone over to visit since Honey came over the winter Holidays. Spencer has had friends over and stuff, but I haven’t had any visitors.

This is a big step for me. The place is still a wreck, but it was clean. As is the usual. I wish I had a magic storage closet. A closet where I could put all this stuff that came out of my old storage unit and the closet itself would just be a small space. Sigh. A Tardis of a closet if you will – “Bigger on the inside.”

Anyway, I’ve accepted my Chaos. Not to say I won’t still keep working on it, but I’ve accepted that I like company, and I really do like having friends over to visit. And that if I ever want friends over to visit before I’m too old to care, I need to accept that the Chaos is there and have friends over ‘around’ it, so to speak, until it is gone.

So, early this morning, I rode out to Antonella’s place, where she was waiting with her shiny new bike, and we pedaled over to my place. I showed her how to navigate the trails, how to bypass the hills (that’s important for a rider who needs to get used to her bike) and where to turn off for shops restaurants and what nots.

It was a wonderful ride and when we got to my place, I had my daily chat with Honey, we headed across the road for some groceries and I cooked up some home made turkey burgers.

It was a wonderful ride, visit and meal with my first visitor in too long.

It’s about time for a recipe, don’t you think?!?

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Surprisingly enough, I “do” cook, and have discovered that what I do manage to churn out of the kitchen that is not charred beyond recognition or still cackling or gobbling is quite good.

I present…

The “This really only takes 30 minutes” Pasta and meatballs – with sauce of course. 🙂

This has become one of Spencer’s favorite meals…and mine too I must admit. Servings per ingredients as listed below – we usually have enough for a dinner for two, and then 2 more dinner portions and a lunch portion left over. It’s all personal preference though as your servings may vary from mine.

Make sure you have the following pots, pans and food in house and ready for action:

Big pot for pasta, one large pan to make meatballs and sauce – that’s all the pots/pans you need – seriously.

Ingredients:
1 package of Trader Joe’s frozen turkey or beef meatballs
1 28 oz can of Trader Joe’s Marinara sauce
1 bag of your favorite pasta
1 med or large onion
1 med or large bell pepper
half a container of sliced mushrooms
some olive oil to cook up the veggies
fresh baguette
bag of pre-washed salad leaves
cherry tomatoes

Start your timer folks and lets get to it!!!

  1. Fill up your pasta pot with the appropriate amount of water, cover, put it on the burner, and crank it up!
  2. If meatballs are frozen, put on plate, cover and start defrosting in microwave.
  3. Place large pan on burner, at just above medium heat, add a bit of olive oil.
  4. Chop entire onion and add to pan – the oil should be hot enough by now.
  5. Chop entire bell pepper and add to the pan.
  6. Check water, keep an eye on your veggies.
  7. Meatballs should be thawed by now, cook on regular micro setting for a few minutes.
  8. Onions and peppers should be just about cooked, add the sliced mushrooms.
  9. Water should be boiling by now, add the pasta and set the timer.
  10. Your veggies should all be just about done, so open up that can of marinara and add it to the pan! Don’t forget to lower the heat a bit and let it simmer while the pasta finishes – it’s a good idea to partially cover it to minimize mess on your cooktop.
  11. The meatballs should be finished in the micro and nice and warm, add them to the pan with the veggies and the marinara sauce – partially cover and continue to simmer.
  12. There should be a few minutes left on your pasta – now’s the time to cut a few slices of baguette and/or toss together a side dish. (We usually make a salad using cherry tomatoes and a bag of prewashed salad.)
  13. Depending on your pasta, it should most likely be done by now.
  14. Drain, put it back into the big pot, dribble some olive oil on it, sprinkle on a bit of black pepper, and give the pasta a good toss.

Ring the dinner bell and chow down!!

I made this over the weekend to feed Spencer and his friend that was over visiting. We did have less leftovers tho. Hee Hee. Teen boys LOVE this! I set the timer for 30 minutes when I did it, just to see if I could stay within the time “limit”. I had the pasta, meatballs and sauce ready to eat in 23 minutes. Plenty of time to throw together a simple salad like we do and/or cut up some fresh bread.

Happy Nomming!!

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think. It’s quick and easy and takes pre-made sauce and meatballs to the next level. And I don’t have to tell you it’s quick – which is good when you are being stared down by a few hungry teens!!!

I used all Trader Joe’s ingredients because they are the store I go to the most. I have found frozen meatballs at other grocery stores though, and you can use whatever jar or can sauce you like. I do recommend that you have at least about 28oz or your sauce will be all veggie chunks and meatballs and hardly any sauce.

Ooh, and it’s inexpensive too. If I ever remember, I’ll jot down the prices of all the ingredients and let you know – no promises tho!

Damn, it took me longer to write this post than it did to cook this up the other day!!!

Category: Chaos Cuisine, Ranting