Cabbage Cups

January 31, 2011 § 5 Comments

It’s still stupid cold up here and it’s making me grouchy.  It’s also making me do way more cooking than I normally do, which is actually a good thing.  Homemade is healthier in my opinion.

Yesterday I cooked up about 40 1″ meatballs having no idea what I was actually going to do with them.  I asked Daughter what she thought and she said, “Cabbage Cups!”  Huh?  So I asked her what the heck that was and she said she had no idea but that it sounded good.

Okkaaaay.  Good thing I like a challenge.  I did some research on the internet and finding nothing but the standard cabbage roll recipe, I went into my kitchen and hoped something would jump out at me.  It did.  My muffin tin fell on the floor at my feet while I was putting away the cookie sheet.

Fate?  Whatever, I’ll give it a go.

I boiled three cabbage leaves until just tender but not soft.  Once cooled, I cut each leave into four pieces removing the hard stemmy bit in the middle and then set them aside.

At the bottom of each cup of the muffin tin I put about 1 tblsp of tomato sauce – to keep the cabbage from scorching and/or sticking.  Then I placed a piece of the cut cabbage into each one, folding it to make a cup.

Into each cabbage cup I put two (already cooked) meatballs, some more sauce, 2 tiny cubes of mozerrella cheese, a sprinkle of diced sweet red pepper, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and then a dollop of more sauce.  (Just omit cheese if you don’t eat it.)

Cover with tin foil and bake at 325 F for about 20 minutes or until cabbage is soft. Remove foil, turn oven off but leave in for another 10 minutes to crisp the edges of the cabbage.

Remove from the oven and let stand for as long as you like.


I Had A Dream…

January 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

I had a dream last night that really shook me up.  Not in a bad way, but rather in an unsettling reminder kind of way.

The jist of it was that Hubby and I were in this strange bidding war to purchase a pub/restaurant.  There were lots of people around by way of staff who were concerned we were going to fire them all, the smug owner who was enjoying watching me sweat (I wanted it really badly) and the competition who reminded me of the nasty drugstore clerk who I try to avoid when I can.

There was great debate about selling the house or getting a second mortgage. For my part, neither options concerned me too much.  Rather the energy of the dream surrounded me trying to convince Hubby we could make a real go of it.
Well that and the never being quite sure if we actually bought the place or not.  Just when I would think we did it, something else would happen that would leave me confused.

So that’s the dream that hasn’t really left me since 6:00 am.  It’s lingering about poking at me, begging of me further contemplation.  Just what is it that I really want so badly?  I’m not convinced it’s actually a restaurant/pub, though Hubby and I have talked about that before.

I’ll be chewing on this for a little while.


I Think I Had My First Hot Flash

January 29, 2011 § 4 Comments

And frankly, I’m still hoping I’m totally wrong and it was one those 20 minute flus you hear so much about.

But earlier this week, for no reason at all, in -30 C , I started to sweat.  At first I thought, “That’s kind of weird” and let it go. Then I started feeling warm. But not a happy, sitting by the fire warm but an “Okay, who turned up the heat to this ridiculous temp?” it’s way too hot in here warm.

Am I wrong?  Please tell me I’m wrong.

I really would rather have the flu.

Leftover Pork and Blueberry Salad

January 28, 2011 § 6 Comments

How do you make leftover night your family’s favourite meal night?

By making the easiest and yummiest (and Paleo/Gluten Free friendly) meal I ever made.  Seriously, you’re going to LOVE this.

Leftover pork from a roast we had earlier in the week.  1/2 cup of blueberries.  1 tblsp of honey.

Leftover greens, sweet red onion and dill from the previous night’s fish dinner.

That’s it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  No kidding.

I fried up the pork with a bit of bacon until it shredded easily and then tossed it all with the greens.

Then I added the blueberries and honey to a small pot and cooked over low heat until the berries were soft.

I let the berries cool almost completely before pouring over the salad.

And that my friends is the story of the easiest and yummiest dinner I ever made!  Really, you’ve got to try it.  The best thing is you can switch it up with any leftover meat and fruit to suit your own tastes.

I hope you try it and please let me know if you do and how it worked out for you.  It was a totally off the cuff, what have I got in the fridge kind of meal.  In my experience, usually the best kind.

Project 2011 – Week Four

January 27, 2011 § 10 Comments

It’s Week Four of Project 2011 hosted by my good friend Cate @ MomentsofWhimsy.  Click on the above pic to link to her entry and of all the other participants.  Please feel free to join us as we make new friends and encourage each other in working towards our goals/resolutions for 2011.

I have to admit that I’m really thriving on the support I’m getting and I can’t thank you all enough for stopping by and lending your “Way to Go”s…it really means a lot.

Okay, onto my Week Four.

1)  Taking better care of my body.  This is going surprisingly well for me.  As a side effect of all my research on gluten-free baking and the Paleo diet, I’m suddenly much more conscious of what I’m eating.  I even ate an entire piece of fish for dinner last night…first time ever.  I’ve also kept the commitment to myself to work out on the exercise bike daily, more often than not twice a day.  In 5 days I’ve lost 3lbs.  I know I said it wasn’t about the weight as long as I felt better and had more energy.  And I do, but I still can’t deny how good it felt.

2) I did write.  Two paragraphs.  I know, I should be pleased that I wrote at all considering my track record.  Still, after last week’s three pages, I’m a little disappointed.

3) Tomorrow I make my hair appointment and get a long awaited and much needed new do.  I’m so excited.  I’m going all in too; wash, condition, cut, blow dry and style.  Woohoo.

4) Still no poetry except for that lapse last week. I’m beginning to understand though, the depths of the sadness that sparked all that prose.  As much as it was a perpetuation, my poetic outlet also served as a bandage. Like a salve that one would apply regularly to a seeping wound, it was not the cure but it did help to ease the pain of the injury.  Not writing poetry has been like exposing it to the fresh air, it hurts sure…but I’m healing much faster.

5) Be kinder to myself came by way of not allowing myself think I was vain for getting excited about losing weight and by not beating myself up for writing so little.

It’s been a good week.


Facing My Fear of Fish

January 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

I’m not a big consumer of aquatic life.  I just never developed a taste for it and the few times I have tried shrimp or a piece of rainbow trout, it was usually after much cajoling and that’s not a good way to try new foods.

I know that fish is an excellent source of protein with all kind of benefits when a regular part of a healthy diet.  I really should be making an effort to incorporate it into mine.  I figure the best way to do that is to make some for myself – oh and Hubby and Daughter can have some too.

The thing is, I have absolutely no clue about how to cook fish.  Today I’m going to change that.  I’m starting simple though so don’t expect anything fancy, I’m just hoping for edible at this point.

We’re starting off with frozen (thawed in the fridge overnight) cod fillets.  It seems like the least threatening fish to start with.  Hubby bought a salmon steak as well but I’m not ready for that.

After rinsing and laying the fillets in a deep cookie sheet lined with tin foil, I added salt and pepper, pats of butter (2 per fillet),a squeeze of lemon, sweet red onion and some fresh dill sprigs.  I then covered the fish with another sheet of tin foil and sealed the edges.

I baked them at 300 F for about 20 minutes, removed them from the oven and let rest for another 5 minutes.

I also made my first ever bacon mushroom cream sauce…

I used 1 cup of sliced button mushrooms, 5 slices of bacon cut into 1″ pieces, 2 tblsp of butter, 2 tblsp of flour, 1/2 cup of cream, 1/4 cup of white wine, 1/2 tsp of celery salt, 1/4 tsp of ground thyme and 1/4 tsp of ground cumin and some crushed black pepper

Cook the bacon on medium in a pot until it’s mostly cooked, add the mushrooms, spices and wine and cook until bacon is crisp but not burnt.  Remove bacon and mushrooms, draining the fat. (You can save it or toss it, it’s up to you.  I like to save mine for making eggs…mmmm.)

Using the same pot, add butter and stir over medium heat until melted, add flour and stir until mixture thickens, add cream and the bacon mushroom mix, remove from heat.

And voila!

The sauce ended up being to thick for my taste and I found it overpowered the flavours of the fish.  Next time, I won’t make the rue and I’ll just sprinkle the cooked bacon and mushrooms on top.  Still, for my first ever fish dish, it turned out pretty good…I mean the true test was that I actually ate it.


The Rewards of Encouragment

January 26, 2011 § 4 Comments

Back in November I encouraged Daughter to write a fan letter to David Tennant (Dr. Who).  Though she thought it was a great idea she was a little hesitant and unsure of what she would say.

I told her to write down whatever she thought she might like to say to Mr. Tennant and ask him anything she wanted to know.  The process evolved into a mini-project as she made both a rough draft and good copy of her letter.  She researched the address, cost of sending it and found out exactly what an International Reply Coupon is.

Then together we walked to the nearest letter box and she mailed it.  Since then it’s been a daily routine of “Mom, has the mail come yet?” with me responding, “Why don’t you go check?”

As it happens today I checked the mail because Daughter was taking her time getting herself going.  With the weather as it has been I don’t make a big deal of this because the mail box is as far as anyone is going anyway.

Well, guess what arrived today????

An autographed postcard of Mr. Tennant dress in his Dr. Who get up.  It’s even addressed to Daughter personally.  I swear you’ve never seen such a delighted 15 year old girl and I think it would take a crane to get the smile off her face.

I’m so glad I encouraged her to do something so extroverted.  I’m also extremely proud of her for doing it and waiting so patiently (almost 10 weeks) for the reward.

It’s a happy day here let me tell you.  😀

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