I love Sushi.
There are not any good sushi places around here.
I make my own.
It's not as good as a great sushi place but we like it.
If I can make it ... you can make it !

We had it for lunch on Saturday and I thought I'd take some
photos and do a little "how to" post for you !
You can put anything in it !
I like to look at the menu's my Dad sent me from a few places in Co
and experiment with those ingredients.
But, when I need it to be easy these are the ingredients I use.
Tamago (see recipe here)
Imitation Crab Meat ( I keep it on hand in the freezer )
Sesame Seeds
Japanese Mayonnaise

Start with the rice. Short grain. I cook mine in a rice cooker.
I usually do two or three cups for our sushi lovin' family of four.
Add the sushi rice vinegar and let rice cool.
I just let it sit (covered) rather than use a fan like a real sushi chef would do.
If you do just let it sit, make sure to cover it with a clean hand towel
(or lid) because it will dry out if you don't.
How much vinegar ?
The back of the bottle should tell you.
Mine says 1 tbls per cup of rice. And I usually add a little bit extra !
Get your piece of seaweed on your little rolly mat.
Add rice ... like this.

Put your ingredients in ... like this.
(The sesame seeds are sprinkled along the bottom)
(The mayo and wasabi are underneath all that too !)

Roll it up ... like this.
Use your finger to put a bit of water along the flat outside edge
so that when you roll it up, it will stick better.

Roll the rest of the way and use your mat to give it a bit of a squeeze.

You can leave it long and just pick it up to dip in Soy Sauce or you can cut it.
Like this ...


"Let's eat."

Fish and Flower

I used Barramundi. Any white fleshed fish will do.
Put the fish on a piece of tin foil.
Top with some thinly sliced onion and slices of lemon.
Add a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil to the top.
Wrap up the fish in the tin foil.
Bake in a hot oven (220C) for 15/20 (??) minutes.

I served the fish with a yummy green salad. You guessed it .. a variation of my
favorite asparagus salad !!


This new cauliflower dish that my Mom and cousins make in Denver.
It's super easy and tastes soooo good.
I didn't even measure.
Just pick apart a cauliflower - into florets.
Slice up a bunch of garlic to whatever size you like it.
Put those two things in a baggie with some olive oil.
Bake in hot oven (220C) about 25 minutes.
Stir half way though.
Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley.
Put under broiler 'til cheese browns. (about 3 minutes)
That's it.
Delicious, I'm telling you !
You've gotta try it !!

Menu Plan Monday - Khrista - Edition 4

I love participating in Menu Plan Monday! It gives me a little extra motivation to keep up with my menu planning, and shopping!
This week's menu is not too exciting. I had to move two meals from last week over to this week. We ended up eating out Sunday, so that meal was moved to today! I also never got around to making the Squash & Flax soup for some reason. I will add the recipe for Sweetcorn & Potato Chowder on Friday, after I've had a chance to photograph it!
The Vietnamese Vermicelli with Grilled Beef is super yummy but not a meal I consider very healthy due to the amount of sodium and oil in it. BUT...if you're interested...the recipe can be found *HERE*. I break down every once in a while for a junk food meal. It has some green in it! I guess it could be worse!

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - Edition 4

I can't believe that it is Monday already !! The week has flown !! I did pretty well with cooking the meals I planned for last week ! ( I love it when I have a week like that !) There was only one meal that didn't get cooked and we had it tonight !!

What's on the menu this week ? Well ... we were away for part of the weekend so ate out. Rory and I found a great Japanese Restaurant near the Uni in St. Lucia. Any of you Brisbane folks want to check it out ... it's called Edamame.

The kids requested sushi for lunch today.
I plan on posting a little sushi making tutorial ( I'm not a professional so don't get too excited !!) later in the week.

Make sure you check back !

Tonight's dinner Tasty Lentil Tacos was delicious. I just finished posting the recipe ... check it out !!!

Tomorrow night we will probably have Fried Rice, with the remainder of the week consisting of various stir fry dishes.

Not the most exciting week ... not trying anything new. BUT ... next week ! Look out. The stuff in the fridge/pantry will be gone and I'll be looking for new ideas ! I'll be stopping by a bunch of the other Menu Plan Monday participants sites to see what everyone else has on this week !! What'd you say ? You want to check them out too ? Click here ...

Tasty Lentil Tacos


I got this recipe HERE.
(I've made a few modifications though so I'll post the modified recipe here)

1 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced ( I used 3 cloves and I finely diced rather than minced)
1 teaspoon canola oil (I used olive)
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder (I didn't use this much since the kids were eating it too !)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 & 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup salsa
12 taco shells
1 & 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1 & 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons fat free sour cream

optional extras :
1 avocado, mashed
mild green peppers and extra onion - saute
flour tortillas


1. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly. ( I didn't mash - oops !! ) Stir in salsa.

2. While the lentils are cooking ... towards the end, sautee the green pepper and onion, if using.

3. Serve with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, avocado, cheese, pepper/onion mixture in either taco shells or flour tortillas.

We all liked these.
No, the lentils are not the same as ground beef ... but they are a suitable substitute.


Want to see where I got the lovely onions and green peppers for this meal ??
From our garden !!! I picked them today and I'm so excited about it, I just had to share !

Here's what they looked like all cooked up ! Yum !!!
They were really really good !!

Welcome to Shabbat

Welcome to Shabbat dinner!!

What a blessing it is, especially after a LONG, HARD, BUSY week (which is a rather good description of how our weeks went here in our house), to sit around a table, enjoy each others' company, and rest in God. Plus, EAT STEAK! :-)

To go with our steak, we made the Quinoa with Spinach and Mushrooms recipe - with a twist! We have a whole Costco bag of colored peppers in the fridge that need using, so we decided to throw one in. YUM!!! We sliced one orange pepper into thinnish slices and added it with the onions at the beginning. Turned out to be a yummy twist that I think ya'll should try!

Note to Bonnie: Thanks for the link help...see, I DID it! :-)

Thanks for joining us at Shabbat dinner. I hope find time this weekend (or week) to rest.

And as we go about the business of life...may the lights of Shabbat (ie: God's love) stay in our hearts.

Linguine After Lent

As usual, the menu for this week has gotten moved ALL around. One night because we decided to go to a Pho place that Aunt Kathy discovered. Another night because it's ending up that no one is going to be home. But never fear, we will, eventaully, use all of the meals planned :-)

Aunt Kathy decided that she wants to eat this pasta recipe every day for the rest of her life. She revised her plan though, after eating the steak last night :-)

Linguine After Lent
-3/4 lb linguine noodles (we used spaghetti because that's what we had)
-1/2 lb thinly slice ham
-2 tomatoes
-1/2 lb fresh mushrooms
-1 1/2 cups frozen peas (we used petite peas)
-1/4 cup olive oil
-Garlic minced (the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of garlic...we in this house, KNEW that the recipe was joking! I think we ended up using several large cloves...add or subtract depending on how much you love garlic)
-ground pepper
-1/2 cup cream
-2T fresh basil
-grated parmesan cheese
Cook pasta.
MEanwhile, cut ham into thin stips, about 2 inches long. Seed and dice tomatoes. Cut mushrooms into thin slices (we bought the already sliced mushrooms). Place peas in a strainer, hold under hot water for about 15 seconds, then reserve.
Heat oil in a large skillet; stir-fry mushroomas about 2 minutes. Add garlic for the last minute or so. Add tomatoes and ham; cook over medium-high heat for another 2 minutes. Add peas. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add cream and basil; bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
Serve over pasta, topped with cheese.
Serves 4

Look how pretty!! It's YUMMY too :-)

Yummy Chicken Dinner

This was good. I thought that I was going to be doing a few drumsticks and a couple of breast pieces but when I opened the pack that I pulled out of the freezer, I realized I'd been given thighs instead. Don't you hate it when that happens !? So, I did drumsticks and thighs.

I got the Mustard Roasted Chicken recipe here. It was easy. I can't wait to try it with breast. I don't really like dark meat ... The veggies are cooked in with the chicken and therefore included in that recipe. I've done the potatoes before. You can find them here.

Foodie Blog Roll

Have you noticed this in the side bar ?

Click to Join the Foodie Blogroll

We are part of the Foodie BlogRoll now. Scroll down in the list to the "P" section and you will see us listed !!!

Potato and Sweet Potato "fries"

These were so yummy and so easy ... I served these with Rory's salmon. I also made Paella de Granos de Paraiso (Amaranth Paella with Peppers and Greens) and it was NASTY. We did not eat it. I hate it when that happens. It happens to rarely that when it does, it really bums me out ! I'm glad I thought to do these as well !! I think it's always a good idea to have a second side when the side you are trying is new !

So ... how to ? I just cut up a big sweet potato and a couple potatoes ... french fry style ! i lined a baking dish (actually, I used two) with baking paper. Drizzled a bit of olive oil and then used my pastry brush to coat them evenly. Sprinkled with a bit of garlic salt. Into a hot (400F/200C) oven for 45 (?) minutes. Delicious !!! The kids weren't that fussed on the sweet potato ones but they ate the three that I made mandatory eating without complaint.


Chowder is a FAVORITE at our house! I call this "corn chowder" but as you can see it has potatoes and carrots and onions and celery along with the corn. There have been several recipes that I have made over the years and I have taken my favorite things and from each of those and created my own chowder recipe and that varies depending on what I have on hand.
So basically the recipe is this:

4-5 large pototes, peeled and diced
1 cup carrots chopped
1 cup celery chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 can corn (or the equivalent in frozen corn)
1 can creamed corn
1 T. dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
About two cups of cream, half and half or milk (I usually just use milk)
Chopped ham or bacon -cooked and chopped(optional)
Fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup white cooking wine -optional, I have been loving this in some soups lately!(If I use the cooking wine I add it very last and I omit the mustard)
Shredded cheese for topping

Put all the vegetables and garlic into a pot and add just enough water to cover. The less water you can get away with using for the veggies, the more milk you can use at the end! MMMMM. Boil until tender. Add the corn, mustard, salt and pepper, parsley and ham. Stir in milk or cream. Cook until heated.
Serve with shredded cheese on top.

I made this for dinner last night. We have cello lessons until 5:00 pm and I like to eat at 5:00, so at about 2:00 I chopped all the vegetables and put them into the pot, covered them with water and let them to sit. I threw the ham steak into the crock pot with a little garlic salt over the top. When we got home from cello I just boiled the veggies, chopped the ham and had it all
on the table in about 20 minutes.

Pasta puttanesca photo op

Here's my pasta puttanesca. I made it without shrimp, and when I opened my anchovies, found that they had bones in them, so I used anchovy paste instead. It was still very good. I'd like to try it again with real anchovies, and more olives- they were my favorite part.

It's coming ...

I'm sooo excited for you guys ! Jimmy just sent me an email saying I could post his Jambalaya recipe !! You're gonna love it !! I haven't got time to do it now so you'll have to check back later. Hopefully I'll have time to do it this afternoon.


Hey all ... I'm playing with the labels ... don't worry if they are wonky for a few days.

AND ... did you know that you can click on Show All
beside the "labels for this post:" box
and it will list all of them and you can just pick the one you want ?

did you know?

At the risk of revealing my ignorance, to possibly help others, I want to share something I just learned.
The nifty navbar above this blog serves another purpose besides being hideously ugly!
There is this cool feature that allows you to search this blog. Type in any item you wish to find, and it will bring up any, and every blog post with your search term in the post!
Now finding a specific healthy recipe is even easier!

Turkey Chili

Another favorite I tore out of my favorite magazine!
Best tasting chili,and easiest to make! You can put all ingredients, minus the beans, in a crock pot on low all day. About ten minutes before serving, add all beans to pot. EASY!

Serves 8

1 pound extra-lean ground turkey breast
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
6 teaspoons chili powder
½ onion, diced
½ teaspoon ground red pepper (add more for hotter chili)
2 teaspoons flour
1 12-oz. can crushed tomatoes (without paste)
1 15-oz. can red kidney beans
1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans
1 15-oz. can black beans
1 can water

Brown ground turkey in a pot. Drain fat. Add crushed tomatoes and water, and all spices. Mix thoroughly. Cover and simmer 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Uncover pot, add flour, and mix through.
Add all beans, mix and let simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

262 calories, 6g fat, 34g carbohydrates, 19g protein, 10.5g fiber

*I made this the other night with ground buffalo. Buffalo (or bison) is significantly lower in fat than beef. Ground turkey is even better! We just wanted to try something new. I couldn't really tell a difference in the buffalo vs. beef. It's kind of pricey too, so I think I'll stick with turkey.*

Menu Plan Monday - Khrista - Edition 3

Two meals were moved from last week. I love that! It means I didn't have to cook two nights last week! :o)
This week we are trying a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis of Food Network's Everyday Italian. The recipe for Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil & Salmon can be found *HERE*
The Soy-Glazed Salmon Steaks from last week were excellent! I'm not a big fan of fish, but this was delicious and easy! I substituted salmon fillets for the steaks to decrease the amount of fat.
I'll post the recipe for Turkey Chili from last week soon!

Warmish Salad

I started by cutting up some asparagus and carrots,
coated with a bit of olive oil and
into the oven on 400F (200C) for about 15 (?) minutes.
'Til tender.
While they were cooking, I made a green salad with oak leaf lettuce,
chopped tomatoes, kalamata olives and feta cheese.
When the others were cooked and cooled for a few minutes,
I added them to the top.
For the dressing, I drizzled with sesame oil, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce.

Artichoke Pasta

Ok people, THIS WAS GOOOOOOOOOD ! Really good !
I got the recipe here ... but I made a few amendments.
I'll give you the recipe the way I made it.
And, yeah, this was supposed to be Wednesday's dinner but when I did the
grocery shopping today ... well, this just sounded sooo good
that I had to try it tonight !!
1 (8 ounce) package spinach fettuccine
2 tablespoons olive oil (maybe a bit more ... didn't measure though)
5 cloves garlic, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
10 ounces marinated artichoke hearts
2/3 (8 ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
2 ripe tomatos chopped OR 1 package cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta in boiling water until done. Drain. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Saute onions, mushrooms, and garlic until tender. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes and a bit of the oil in the jar, olives, artichoke hearts, wine, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by a third, about 4 minutes. Add in the tomatoes and toss pasta with sauce. Top with cheese, and serve.


Seriously, we loved this !!! Even the kids loved it
(minus the artichokes and sundried tomatoes ...)


I served it with this salad and a loaf of fresh bread.


Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - Edition 3

Last week's menu was good.
Two of the meals didn't get made though because we had ( and still have ) so much left over Jambalaya !!
Those two meals are included this week again !
Friday :
Pizza night at our place !
This week I made a veggie one ( my favorite ) with veggies we had in the fridge.
Asparagus, zucchini, onion, garlic, olives - black and green. Pine nuts.
I also made a 4 cheese one. Jono loves this kind and keeps asking for it !
It's got Parmesan cheese, Tasty cheese, Sharp and Bitey cheese (an aged cheddar)
and of course, Mozarella cheese !
I've used other cheeses too ... you can play around with which one you like best.
I also made roasted asparagus because I was afraid the asparagus
wouldn't last too much longer.
No-one but me wanted any ... mmmmmm ... heaven !
Saturday :
Spinach and Pumpkin Dahl
Basmati Rice
Sunday :
Two Minute Noodles - Cold.
This is a yummy and easy meal that we made up.
Just cook up your two minute noodles (top ramen) and drain.
In the meantime, mix together in a bowl:
The flavor sachet (we always use oriental)
some soy sauce
some balsamic vinegar
some sesame oil
some crushed garlic and chili paste
Mess with the flavors 'til you get it how you like it.
Pour on top of noodles and top with shredded seaweed.
For the kids, we just do soy sauce and seaweed.
Quick, Easy, Yummy !
Monday :
Tasty Lentil Tacos
Tuesday :
Rory's Salmon
**new** Paella de Granos de Paraiso
(Amaranth Paella with Peppers and Greens)
Steamed Broccoli
Wednesday :
Artichoke Pasta
Asparagus Salad
Thursday :
Mustard Roasted Chicken
Roast Potatoes with Feta
Peas (from the freezer)
Sounds good to me ...
Be sure to stop by I'm An Organizing Junkie's place for more Menu Plan Monday !

Menu Plan Monday - Pammy - Edition 1

(Even though it’s technically Sunday)

Breakfast for dinner – Bacon, eggs, and toast

Linguine After Lent

Enchiladas of Loveliness

To much going on…everyone fend for yourself!

Garlic steak
Quinoa with Spinach and Mushrooms

Almond Crusted Tilapia (a new recipe…I’ll let you know how it is)
Garlic Green Beans

Fried Rice

Sushi bowl night

We were inspired by Bonnie's Sushi bowls, and decided to give it a try.
The result was AMAZINGLY YUMMY!!!
Here are some pictures :-)

We had miso soup as well as the sushi bowls.

The toppings we had available for putting in your sushi bowl were:





~Shrimp (sauteed in peanut and sesame oil and then a lemon soy sauce was added at the end)


~Sesame Seeds

~Roasted black sesame and salt

~Soy sauce (regular and the lemon one)


We used short grain brown rice instead of white. It was very yummy and we did not miss the white rice at all. I, for one, was surprised at this because I LOVE white rice and have never been a huge fan of the brown. Jill and I made the meal while Aunt Kathy and Uncle Jim were at Church. The only slight mishap we had was that we didn't know about fanning the rice. I think that was pretty good for being novices at sushi making :-)
We had some nice green tea to finish off our meal.