Foccacia Bread

1 tsp sugar or honey
2/3 cup warm water
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 - 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T fresh herb of your choice
1 tsp kosher salt
1 heaping T grated Parmesan

Dissolve sugar in warm water, sprinkle yeast over top and let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to foam. Stir in 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp olive oil, and flour until the dough starts to come together.

Knead on a well floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil.

Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 20 or 30 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 415 degrees F (215 C)

Place dough on oiled baking sheet and flatten to 10" x 10" square.
Use the tips of your fingers to make indentations about 1" apart.
Drizzle with olive oil and top with herbs, cheese, salt, and whatever else you desire.
Let rise for 10 minutes.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Lentil Soup

Aunt Kathy discovered this recipe and gave me a copy. This version includes the changes she made. It's yummy, it's hearty, it's good for you. What more can you ask?

1 16 oz. pkg dried red lentils, sorted and rinsed.
3 (14 1/2 oz each) cans chicken broth
1 6 oz pkg sliced Canadian bacon, coarsely chopped
2 med carrots, cut into 1/2" pieces (I made them much smaller)
1 med potato, peeled and cut into 1/2" pieces
1 med onion, chopped
1 med stalk celery, cut into 1/2" pieces (I left this out because I didn't have any)
4 cups water
1 scant tsp dried thyme leaves (I used Italian Seasoning because it includes thyme and I didn't have any straight up)
1/2 tsp salt or garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper (note: go easy of the pepper or it will be all you can taste)

Mix all ingredients in 3 1/2 to 6 quart slow cookers.

Cover and cook on Low heat setting for 8-9 hours or High for 3-5 hours or until lentil are tender (they pretty much disappear). Stir well before serving. Serves 8.

I sprinkled a little cayenne pepper on the top of mine and it was a fabulous addition!

{bonnie's black bean chili soup photos}

have you all tried my sister ellie's black bean chili soup ?
i had never made it before the other night
i had eaten it
cooked by ellie while we were in denver
but never cooked it myself

i decided to double the recipe so i'd have leftovers to freeze
and i'm glad because it was freakin' delicious !!!


here's the onion, red/green/yellow capsicum (bell peppers) all chopped up


and now with the garlic

oh man, my mouth is watering ...
good thing i'm having leftovers for lunch !

i didn't serve this on rice
just as is, with corn chips
and topped with avocado, homemade greek yogurt
and grated cheddar cheese

go get the recipe ... it's on this blog already ... and try it

try it ! try it !
and you may.
try it and you may, i say ...

like it that is
green eggs and ham ... if you haven't read it, you need to.

Green Smoothie ~ Day Nine ~ Bonnie


This one was delicious.
Might be my favorite one yet ...


One frozen banana
strawberries picked out of our garden
frozen cherries
one whole orange
home made greek yogurt
acai berry power
heaps and heaps of spinach

Green Smoothie ~ Day Eight ~ Bonnie


if you are paying attention, you will notice that i skipped from day five to day eight
smoothies on the weekend didn't work
no biggie

this smoothie was nice

not my favorite one yet but nice

here's what i put in it :

one frozen banana
one whole orange
frozen raspberries
fresh strawberries
one whole tomato
acai berry power
greek yogurt
a heap of spinach
agave nectar



I was directed to this recipe by way of a friends blog ...
I made a few modifications, of course, but not too many. Next time I'll make a few more.
Anyone who knows me won't believe this but I totally forgot the garlic and onion !
It's true ... I'll be trying this again soon WITH those necessities !!

Here's the recipe ...
1/2 onion, diced
garlic, to taste, crushed
1 can (400g) tomato puree
olive oil
Zucchini - Green and Yellow (I couldn't find yellow this time though)
Eggplant - I used a lebanese one.
Red and Yellow Capsicum ( bell peppers )
fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Few tablespoons soft goat cheese, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, 180 C.

Pour tomato puree into bottom of an oval baking dish. Cover with garlic and onion . Season with salt and pepper.

Thinly slice the veggies into rounds.

Alternate veggies and lay around the dish. Working around the outside and finishing in the center. I chopped up the remaining capsicum and sprinkled them on the top.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the vegetables and season them generously with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.

Cover dish with a piece of parchment (baking) paper cut to fit inside.

Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes, the veggies should be cooked, not limp and not brown at the edges. The tomato sauce will bubble up around them ...

She served with a dab of soft goat cheese on top, I was going to use feta but totally forgot. I think I was in a rush !!!

I served this on top of mashed potatoes, with steamed bok choy on the side.

Green Smoothie ~ Day Four ~ Bonnie


Today's was the greenest yet.
The kids think it was the best tasting one so far.
I agree, they just keep getting better !!


Here's what was in it :

One frozen banana
Two big chunks of watermelon
Handful frozen raspberries
One whole tomato
Couple spoonfuls homemade Greek yogurt
Teaspoon berry power
Agave Nectar
As much spinach as I could fit !!

Green Smoothie ~ Day Three ~ Bonnie


Call me crazy, plenty of people do it regularly, but I just can't help but photograph my green smoothies in the garden. I don't know why but it just seems like an appropriate place !


Today's smoothie was the best one yet ... and the kids agree !

Maybe it was the homegrown strawberries ...


Here's what it had in it.

One frozen banana.
Leftover fruit salad that I threw in the freezer last night.
One tomato.
Fresh strawberries ... picked from our garden this morning !
Bok choy ... also picked from our garden this morning !!
A chunk of watermelon.
Agave nectar.
Probably 2 cups of spinach ... that's all I had left ! Bought more today !
and a couple heaped spoon fulls of homemade Greek yogurt.

oh yeah, water too. They always have water in 'em !

I blended it heaps more than the previous days.
I think that is why it is finally

Green Smoothie ~ Day Two ~ Bonnie


Moving more towards green. Yesterday was pink. Today, we're more of a brown ...
Maybe tomorrow I'll finally get a green one ??

Although, after reading Khrista's post, I'm thinking maybe I need to blend longer.


Here's what I put in today's ...

One banana
handful frozen blueberries
half handful frozen raspberries
5 big fresh strawberries
1 whole roma tomato
agave nectar
and two or three cups of baby spinach


It was yum, and no, you can't taste the tomato ...

Green Smoothie - Day One - Khrista

My artsy portrait of Day One's green smoothie. :)

Stage 1: 5 oz. frozen strawberries, 2 frozen bananas, 2 clementines (peeled), 1 1/4 cups filtered water.

Stage 2: Fruit blended for approx. 3 minutes, agave nectar, and 4 cups organic baby spinach waiting.

Stage 3: In they go!

So pretty!

Stage 4: Blended for at least 3 more minutes.
In the end it made approx. 4 cups.
3 of which I drank, and my daughter drank the remaining cup.
Ready to pour...

My beautiful glass that I sipped on for about an hour. Held me over until lunch.

This was my lunch:

Fresh green salad with cucumber, grape tomatoes, diced fennel, sliced almonds, and crispy chow mein noodles. I know they aren't the best for you (I haven't actually checked the ingredients as this was in an unmarked baggy from a previous salad, I wonder if they are terribly awful?)
Neither was the Asian dressing I topped it off with.
Baby steps. :)

On the menu for dinner:
Equadorian Quinoa Vegetable Soup

My First Green Smoothie ...

.... was so NOT green !!!


I'm not sure why ... I had lots of spinach in it. All picked from our garden, I might add ...


We'll see how today's goes !

Here's what I put in the NOT green smoothie ...

1 frozen banana
handful frozen blueberries
handful frozen raspberries
a squeeze of agave nectar
a bit of vanilla
a couple scoops of the fruit salad I had in the fridge
(it contains rockmelon, strawberries, blueberries and kiwi fruit)
a cup or a bit more of water
and then the spinach

It was yum.
A bit tart though.
I'll use less raspberries next time ...

{30 days green}

I happened to see a link to this on Khrista's facebook today. It starts tomorrow and I am TOTALLY in !! And just in case you are wondering, the green in this challenge has nothing to do with global warming and everything to do with spinach !! I have been wanting to get back into my morning smoothie routine and since I love a challenge, this is just what I needed to kick my behind into gear ! Some of you may want to join me, and Khrista, who is also going to do the challenge. Here's what you have to do. I'm copying and pasting from the Happy Foody ...

"Last year I launched the Happy Foody 30 Day Green Smoothie Challenge…it was a huge success and helped many people change their eating habits. SO…we’re going to do it AGAIN! It’s the perfect time to kick start a healthier you…summer is coming to a close soon and fall upon us. Seasons are changing…and you can change too! Adding a green smoothie to your day is the BEST thing you can do to get on the path to a healthier you. When you drink a big green smoothie in the morning, it fills your body’s need for those vital nutrients to function throughout the day. You will slowly STOP CRAVING junk food. It’s like magic!

We will begin on August 17 and end on September 17. Here is what you are committing to:

  • Drink at least 16 oz. of green smoothie per day (a quart would be even better!)
  • Do some sort of activity every day. This could be an intense workout, or just dancing with your kids around the living room. It could be a 15 minute yoga session or a walk around the block.
  • Add a green leafy salad to your lunch or supper (with light dressing…stay away from the creamier sauces).
  • Stop drinking pop.
  • Cut out all white sugar.

So who is in?! Leave a comment below with your intention and watch your life change. Feel free to grab the little icon from above and link it back to this post. Tell your friends. Tell your co-workers. Tell your family. Get yourself a green smoothie buddy. Can’t wait to hear your stories!

Be sure to join our Facebook group here for additional motivation and inspiration."

I am going to go for the quart a day smoothie to start my morning. I'm going to walk 30 minutes a day while the kids play at the park. I love salads ... the greener and leafier the better so bring it on !! I don't drink pop so no prob. Cutting out white sugar will be my biggest challenge ...

I hope to share some great smoothie combos as I'll be totally making it up. I did my shopping today and THEN read about this. Since tomorrow is the starting day, I'm going to have a be extra creative for the first week !!

PS ... If you don't know what a green smoothie is or how to make one ... check out this great video by the Happy Foody !

Yup, it IS delicious!

I made this recipe of Bonnie's. I changed a couple of things due to availability, but it was very very yummy!
I used a Serrano chili instead of thai chilies. I did spoon a little garlic chili sauce over the top at the end for a little more spice.
I also have never heard of, nor could I find tamarind concentrate. But I found a web site that suggested I substitute some lime or lemon juice mixed with a touch of brown sugar. So I did.


I printed this recipe ages ago but had never tried it.
I just went looking for the website where I got it (to give credit where credit is due)
but it no longer exists ....


These were my favorite cookie as a kid.
And, I'm going to have to say ... still, as an adult !
Our kids loved them too but
oh my goodness ... there is a bit of an issue with the name here
in Australia.
You see ... as much as we have tried to teach the kids the proper names of human anatomy,
they still go to school, and at school the kids call the bit that boys have a doodle !
So ... you can only image the giggles that erupted when I said
these cookies were called snickerdoodles !
Alia said "it's got doodles in it" ... and Jono thought she meant the cookies had
"doodles" in them ... but she was just talking about the name.
Oy vey !
What's a mother to do ?

Give you the recipe ?
Ok ...

1 cup softened butter
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 and 3/4 cups self-raising flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • Preheat over to 350 F or 180 C.
  • Cream together butter, sugar and eggs.
  • Stir flour and cream of tartar together, and then stir that into the creamed stuff.
  • Chill dough completely. I just made the dough while I was cooking dinner, stuck it in the fridge and then baked them after dinner.
  • Roll dough into small walnut size balls.
  • Roll each ball in a mixture of 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon.
  • Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes on an ungreased baking sheet until lightly brown but still soft.
Eat and enjoy and snicker about the doodles ....

COPS ~ Cabbage Onion Polish Sausage


I ordered a box of veggies last week.
It included a whole cabbage.
What the heck does one do with a whole cabbage ?

Rory and I do this.

Chop up half the cabbage.
Chop an onion.
Chop up some polish sausage.

Heat a bit of olive oil.
Brown sausage.
Add onion.
Add cabbage.
Pour a big of soy sauce on top.


Put it on top of rice.

We still have 1/2 a cabbage and 1/2 a polish sausage ... we'll be having this again next week !


Lunches ...

But first ... dinner dishes.
I've always hated doing the dishes after dinner.
Ok, ok ... I always hate the dishes.
But especially after cooking dinner.
I cook dinners that take a bit of effort ... sometimes a lot of effort.
I do it because I love it.
But to have to do the dishes after has always been so discouraging.

A couple of months ago, Rory started doing the dishes after dinner !
Just out of the blue, he suggested that I have the dishwasher emptied before dinner
and he'd take care of the cleanup after dinner.

I'll tell you what ... it is wonderful !
I wake up every morning to a shiny clean kitchen and I didn't have to clean it !!

One thing that Rory has always hated doing is packing his lunch.
We've tried different things but really ... he just wanted me to do it ! :)
I don't mind doing it but the problem always was that I would be too tired after cooking
and then cleaning up to even think about packing lunches at night
and he leaves WAY TOO EARLY for me to do his
in the morning.

So ... this week, I started doing all of our lunches, at night.
And it works wonderfully !!

There's no scurrying around in the mornings anymore !!

And I pack much healthier lunches this way !

Here's the whole lot so you can see ...


I made a big fruit salad at the beginning of the week. It lasted three days.
This is the first time I've done that, I'll definitely be doing it again.
It was so easy to just grab the big container and scoop it into each of our boxes !

I also try to incorporate as many leftovers as possible.

Here's the kids lunches for tomorrow ...
The spaghetti is leftover from earlier in the week.
The foccacia from last night's dinner.
They have fruit salad,
"greek" salad ... it's just tomato, kalamata olives, feta cheese and yellow bell pepper chunks,
a hard boiled egg, and a yogurt.


My lunch is similar to the kids, except I'm having leftover spaghetti with the leftover sauce.
And I'm having crackers instead of foccacia. And no yoghurt.

Rory needs a much bigger lunch.
He works loooooooooooooong hours.
He has lasagna that I pulled out of the freezer.
A ham sandwich.
The tomato/lettuce are to put on the sandwich at work.
(I keep 'em separate ... who likes a soggy sandwich ?!)
Fruit salad, hard boiled egg, crackers, and a bar.


And here we are ... all stacked up in the fridge, ready to go in lunchboxes in the morning !


Chicken Fingers ... the Quinoa Way

I can't believe I haven't posted this recipe yet.
I've actually got a list of recipes I need to post,
I've just gotten out of the habit of posting regularly to this blog !!
I'm going to change that ...

Starting now ...


I got this recipe from
I served it with Yummo Spinach Salad ... a Pioneer Woman recipe that I changed a bit.


These are a bit of work but totally worth it !!


Here's what to do ...

1 kg chicken tenders or skinless boneless breasts, sliced into 3-inch long tenders
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil

Spread out the quinoa on a piece of baking paper. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs onto quinoa. Push the breadcrumbs into the quinoa ... they will soak up the moisture of the quinoa.

Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt, garlic powder, pepper, and paprika.

Dip the chicken in the egg and then into the quinoa mixture.

Warm the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and reduce the heat to medium. Cook each side 4-5 minutes, turning once, until the crust begins to brown, and the chicken is cooked.

Serve immediately.

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 10 August 2009

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Remember how last week I said I was going to "make a huge batch tomorrow night so there is plenty to freeze to have on hand for those nights when I need to pull something out of the freezer quickly. I think I will try to make one meal like this each week to keep the freezer stocked with easy to re-heat home cooked meals ..." I was talking about spaghetti sauce and I did. We have four dinners worth of sauce frozen ! Then last night, I double a lasagna recipe and we now have four lasagna dinners and four lasagna lunches frozen !! I'm so excited about this !

Do you have any recipes that freeze really well ?? I'd love for you to leave a comment with a link so I can get some ideas for what to fill the freezer with. Rory is even talking about a deep freezer now ...

Here's this week's menu.

Trying a new Ratouille with Crusty Bread on the side. I'm going to serve it on quinoa ...
I want to try Khrista's one next ...

Zucchini Pie with salad from our garden

Cabbage/Polish Sausage
Will serve on rice or mashed potatoes

Spaghetti ~ from the freezer

Funky Lime Pizza

ooops ... haven't planned for Saturday

or Sunday either ...

A Revelation in Omelets

After going to see the move Julie & Julia, I went immediately home and youtubed old Julia Child cooking shows. The first one I stumbled across showed how to make French omelets. It looked pretty easy, so I gave it a whirl today.


I will never eat scrambled eggs again. Also, I may need to build a small, tasteful shrine to Madame Julia in my apartment.

What you need:
A non-stick frying pan at least 7 inches in diameter (cooking surface).
A whisk
A bowl
2-3 eggs (I used 2)
Salt & Pepper

Crack open the eggs into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and add a smidge of water (I never measured, but it couldn't have been more than a teaspoon). Whisk together until well incorporated.

Meanwhile, heat the pan to VERY hot. Seriously, use the highest heat setting your stove can manage. Once the pan is hot, add a tablespoon of butter (yup, a whole tablespoon!) and swirl it around the pan, making sure to get some on the sides. Once the butter has stopped foaming, but before it turns color, add the egg mixture. It should sizzle.

Wait a moment then firmly grasp the pan's handle and start swirling it over the burner. When it looks like it is starting to set up, start vigorously jerking the pan back and forth until the eggs sort of fold over themselves and collect at the far end of the pan. It should finish cooking in a few seconds.

Turn upside down onto a warmed plate and either top with a little parsley or just enjoy plain (which is what I did). Seriously, it's quick and super easy and seriously impressive! Also, Julia says it makes a fantastic lunch when combined with a nice green salad. I made these for a couple of friends today and we indeed had them with a spinach salad. Oh that Julia - she's always right.

One a side note...the third one I made also happened to be the ugliest one I made. Sadly, it was the only one I thought to take a picture of. So sorry 'bout that, maybe someone else can make this a take a nicer photo.

Excuse me, this is delicious, shrimp salad !


I got this recipe from Zested.
I didn't change it very much but I'll do a few things differently next time ... here's what I'll do.

3 T. peanut oil
1 large shallot, thinly sliced (i used a few spring onions)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
2-3 Thai chilies*, with seeds, minced
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and cleaned

* I can't find these here. I've bought some seeds and am going to grow some, 'til they are ready though, I just use a jar of chili/garlic paste when something calls for these ...

2 heaping teaspoons tamarind concentrate
3 T. sugar
2 T. soy
2 T. Asian fish sauce
2 T. lime juice

2 avocados, chopped
1 large cucumber, chopped
1 half sweet onion, diced
3 T. lime juice
1 t. sugar
1 t. Asian fish sauce
3 T. fresh coriander, chopped
Rice, cooked ... to serve

Make tamarind sauce by mixing all sauce ingredients.

Make salad from salad ingredients. I didn't know if you were supposed to combine the lime, sugar and fish sauce, I didn't. I just threw them on top.

Cook shrimp. Heat peanut oil in a heavy skillet and sauté ginger, shallot, garlic, chilies, stirring constantly ... for about 30 seconds, don't burn them ! Add shrimp and sauté until barely pink, about 2 minutes. Stir in tamarind mixture and simmer until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes more. ( I think this took me a little longer than 2 minutes ... )

Spoon shrimp and salad over rice.


Ps ... you'll notice the peaunuts in this photo ... I didn't think they added to the meal and I won't put them in the next time so didn't include them in the recipe I posted. If you think you'd like them check out the original recipe ...

Menu Plan Monday - Khrista - 08.03.09

Zucchini Pie #4 on her menu

This was new to us, and really yummy. Almost like a Frittata. Used up the zucchini we had!
Grilled Ratatouille Salad with Whole Wheat Pasta

Never did get around to eating this last week, so it's making an appearance on the menu again this week. I have to use the eggplant before it goes bad!
Cauliflower with Mustard-Lemon Butter New to us...will let you know how it is!
Yellow Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa, Corn, and Feta - From a book I borrowed from a friend titled: "Vegetarian Suppers" by Deborah Madison. It is the book cover recipe! ;) I'll post the recipe if it's good.
Broccoli with Asian-Style Dressing This recipe came in our farm share newsletter last week. Will let you know how it is.
Lemon Spaghetti with Salad

One of our favorites for Summer...Winter...Fall...Spring...ANYTIME! :)
Pizza Night!

Pictured is Pizza Primavera...minus the asparagus I believe...
Stress-Free Pasta with Salad

Eat Out or "Raid the Pantry"