Rosemary and Sea Salt ...


I wanted to make Andrea's Rosemary and Sea Salt Bread last week but was out of butter.
Since we weren't shopping I had no choice but to not make it.
Grrrrrrr ... (that's me growling in disgust !)

Instead, I stuck to what we had planned and made foccacia.
But, I added Rosemary and Sea Salt to the top and it was AMAZING !!


~ Rosemary Flower ~

Growing Coriander

So ... I had a great crop of Fresh Coriander (Cilantro) this year.
And I'm about to have it again !
And my plan is to keep planting it so that I have a continuous crop !

Once it went to flower, I just let it go wild !
It grew and grew.
Amazing !


When the seeds turned brown,
I pulled the plants out of the ground,
put a big garbage bag over the top
of the plant and hung it
on my patio.


Once they had dried out
~ maybe a week or two later ~
I took them down and gathered
all the seeds.


I have plenty to plant
repeated plantings from here until
forever, I think !


When I was finished, there were heaps
all over the ground too.
I swept them into
a dustpan and
threw them
an open
spot in our
garden bed. I noticed today
that they have sprouted and so we are well on our
way to having more yummy fresh coriander at our fingertips !


Easy to grow.
Just don't disturb the roots.
That's what I've learned ... the hard way !

Grilled Steak Continued ...

Step 13:
Wave a magic wand over the plates...and look what appears!

One Blizzard BBQ ready to enjoy!

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Clip ends off of asparagus spears. Cut prosciutto into two inch wide strips (usually that's in half length wise). Barber pole wrap one strip of prosciutto around each spear of asparagus. Place wrapped asparagus in single layer on baking sheet. (We sprayed Olive Oil Pam spray on the sheet. Not sure if we needed to or not) Bake in 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes (depending on how thick your asparagus is and how tender you prefer your veggies). Enjoy!

Grilled Steak

Best Grill Steak Recipe a la Uncle Jim

Step 1:
Look for sale on Rib-eye steak at Safeway

Step 2:
Buy steak and freeze

Step 3:
Wait for blizzard


Step 4:
Have wife and niece shovel path to bbq


Step 5:
Put on bbqing clothes
(ie: shorts, t-shirt, and sandals)


Step 6:
Thaw froze Rib-eye

Step 7:
Remove snow from bbq utensils

Step 8:
Carefully remove plastic from steak packages

Step 9:
Place steak on hot grill

Step 10:
Flip steaks

Step 11:
Remove steaks from grill

Step 12:
Serve and Enjoy!

Rosemary and Sea Salt Bread

I love Trader Joe's Rosemary and Sea Salt Bread. But since moving to Richland, Wa. (where there is no Trader Joe's I haven't had much. I found this recipe though and thought it turned out pretty close to what they sell at the store...pretty tasty!

I got the recipe from here on RecipeZaar
  • 1 T yeast
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T Rosemary (fresh if you have it)
  • 2 T butter
  1. Mis yeast, sugar and water in large bowl, allow to bubble. About 5 minutes
  2. Mix in 1 T butter, salt and 2 cups flour
  3. Add 1 T Rosemary
  4. Knead until smooth
  5. Add more flour if need be
  6. Oil a bowl and allow to raise for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size
  7. Punch and divide in 2
  8. Rest 5 minutes (you and the bread)
  9. Spray baking pan (stone or cookie sheet)
  10. Shape into two oval loaves
  11. Sprinkle with remaining rosemary and press it in
  12. Sprinkle with Sea Salt
  13. Rise 45 minutes
  14. Pre heat oven 375F
  15. Bake 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. (I took mine out a little earlier than I would have liked since my son was demanding my attention and I didn't want to walk away and forget about it. It was done but next time I will let it get a bit darker.)
  16. Brush with butter
  17. ENJOY!

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 26 October 2009

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

So, last week, we spent way over our grocery budget. Various factors contributed to it ... including my constant frustration that our weekly budget is too low. But ...the way we have structured our finances doesn't leave room to make it bigger, and that is totally our choice (meaning we could change it but we've chosen not to) so I'm DETERMINED to find a way to make this budget work. $220 a week. Feeding a family of four, three meals EVERY DAY. We eat out very infrequently. Working it out per meal, you're looking at $10 a meal EXCEPT that we buy toiletries, laundry/dishwashing/cleaning supplies and cat food out of that $220 as well. I don't know exactly what the breakdown is to be able to determine how much that makes it per meal that we are working with ... But, that one of my new goals.

In my menu planning, I am going to use the online shopping site to determine how much each meal will cost to make. I'm going to do it as if I had to buy every item and then list that price with my recipes. So ... for future menu's I'll be able to choose according to price as well ... and if I already have some of the ingredients then the price will come down and that is a BONUS ! I think that with proper planning, I can still cook the way we are accustomed to me cooking, but within the confines of our budget that we want to stick to.

I need to shop more in season too. I'm not real good at knowing what is 'in season' since we can get most things year round here. But ... obviously, there are seasons when they are 'in season' and they are cheaper. I'm going to buy meat at the butcher. I'm going to try and get back to doing one bulk meal a week (or maybe a fortnight) to freeze for later weeks. I am going to try and bake something each week to go in the lunches. And I'm going to experiment with making grain bread in my bread maker. Did I mention I am determined ?!?!

We've also got grand plans to expand our little garden beds so we can grow as much as we are able. Australia has great weather for growing veggies year round and we are trying to get our garden established so we can take advantage of that.

Our plan for this week, through Thursday ... I will shop on Friday ... is to get through without going to the grocery store. I had to buy milk and a bag of oats this morning. Cost me $3. But ... we were totally out of cereal and Rory needs milk for his coffee so those had to be bought. As for the meals, we're getting creative ... using up what we have in the pantry and fridge/freezer, which isn't much.

Here's what I've thought we can have ...

Spaghetti Aliolio
we were supposed to have this last week but plans changed so we still have the ingredients !


Black Olive Salad



Egg Curry
Doesn't look like I've posted this recipe yet.
I will take photos this time and get it posted for you.
It's a great, cheap, fall back meal !
And ... I have chutney in the fridge already !!
I can see I need to post that recipe too.


Pumpkin Soup (frozen from last time we had it)
Homemade Foccacia Bread
Frozen peas and corn



Cold Soba Noodles

but without the spring onions because we don't have any ...



Well, this will be a bit more of a challenge.
We have cans of black beans, lentils, chickpeas.
One jar of pasta sauce.
We have israeli cous cous.
Fresh Carrots.
Frozen Peas and Corn.
The eggs will most likely be gone.

I think I will probably make some sort of rice or pasta salad using lots of
herbs from our veggie garden and the carrots,peas and corn.
Maybe some beans if it is a rice salad ?
Any suggestions ??

and get our budget back on track !!
I am hoping anyway !!

Roasted Tomato and Black Bean Soup

Yay! Another fabulous BEAN recipe! I found the original recipe in the Reader's Digest, modified it extensively, and oh yum! It was just exactly what I wanted on a chilly rainy day. This is my version.

4 medium tomatoes, quartered (I used roma, 'cause they were on sale!)
3/4 of an onion, cut into large pieces (about 1")
1 small head of garlic (the original called for twice the beans and only 3 cloves of garlic! Ha!)
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1 can chicken or vegetable broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 tsp cumin (I used curry powder, since I didn't have any cumin)
1 tsp chili powder
Splash of lime juice

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut the top off the head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt (preferable sea salt), wrap in foil and stick in the oven. In a bowl, toss tomatoes and onion with some more olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until edges of onions have browned and the tomatoes have collapsed, 35 - 40 min. Stir once after 20 min.

2. Transfer roasted veggies to a large saucepan. Squeeze out the garlic cloves into the pan and add broth, beans, and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 min.

3. Remove from heat and blend to desired smoothness (I left mine just a touch chunky and really enjoyed the texture) using an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender.

4. Garnish with some Tabasco sauce (or, if you have none, substitute packets of Taco Bell hot sauce...seriously, it ain't easy cooking so deliciously in such an obviously deficient kitchen!), sour cream, and/or cilantro. It's also all kinds of spectacular with tortilla chips.

Meat Pie and Taters

So ... this was linked up in one of my old menu plans but it was on an old blog
of mine that is private and no longer used. Andrea stumbled upon it and wanted the
recipe so I'm cutting and pasting it to here !!


This is another leftovers/use up what I have recipe.

A while back I made a pot roast in the crock pot.

It was ok but not something we wanted to eat for leftovers so I froze it.

It's a super easy recipe.

You just chop up some carrots, potatoes and onions.

Add them to the crockpot along with a big hunk of beef.

Mix a can of cream of mushroom soup with a package of french onion soup mix.

Pour the soup on top of the meat/veggies. High for 8 hours.

So, tonight, I used the thawed leftovers.

Added some mushrooms and instant gravy.

Poured that into pie tins lined with puff pastry.

Topped with pasty.

Baked in oven ~400F, 200C ~ for about 40 minutes.

It was delicious !


you could try this beef and guinness pie recipe that is delicious as well !

I served it with these potatoes that I found through super cook !!

I changed them a bit so I'll tell you how I did them.

I boiled the potatoes for about 15/20 minutes.

Skin on. But that's my personal laziness preference.

Drain. Cool. Chop.

Add a finely diced onion, big handful of chopped fresh parsley, 1 tbls (?) chopped fresh rosemary, salt and pepper to the a frying pan with hot olive oil in it. Add the potatoes first. Fry til they are your desired crispiness.

Ajiaco Soup (Columbian Recipe)

This is one of my all time favorite Fall soups. I got it from a friend who got it from a Wycliffe Dinner Theatre.

1. Cook 1 full boneless chicken breast in 2 cups of water, with 2 chicken bouillon cubes, until done. (A lot of times I will just boil a whole chicken and use that meat and broth)

2. Chop cooked chicken and return to pot.

3. Saute 3-4 teaspoons of minced garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil until tender.

4. Add 2 tablespoons onion flakes (I usually saute onion with my garlic)

5. Add garlic and onion to chicken & broth.

6. Add 4 cups of water and 4-6 chicken bouillon cubes.

7. Start cooking broth and chicken mixture on medium heat.

8. Add 3 small/medium white or yellow potatoes, unpeeled and diced.

9. Add 1 and 1/3 cup of instant mashed potatoes-whisk until dissolved.

10. Add 1 can of each: Garbanzo beans, Kidney beans and Green beans.

11. Add 1 bunch chopped green onions.

12. Add spices: 1 and 1/2 teaspoon basil, 3/4 teaspoon white pepper and 3/4 teaspoon paprika.

13. Simmer (at least ten minutes...or until potatoes are tender.

I usually let mine cook slowly for a couple hours. Sometimes just throwing it in the crock pot on low)

14. Serve in bowls and garnish with (this is the BEST part!!!) :

-Chopped cilantro

-Corn on the cob: cobs cut into 3 pieces, cooked, one per bowl

-Capers: add on top - 1-2 teaspoons per serving

-Avocado: slice and add on top

-Heavy cream: add on top

Arepas ( or gyro bread is very tasty on the side

Serves 6
Soup can be easily frozen!

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 19 October 2009

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



Lunch ... Funky Lime Pizza


Dinner ... Fish Taco's


We're going to try Aunt Jo's stuffed peppers.
I'm not keen on cous cous though so I'm going to use quinoa instead.
I'll let you know how they turn out ...

I'm going to serve them with our favorite
Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli


Crock Pot Meatballs.
Alia has been requesting these for weeks now !

Mari's Crock Pot Soy and Garlic Chicken
This is a new recipe for us.


Black Olive Salad


What's cookin' at your place this week ?
Do you menu plan ?
Why ?
Why not ?
You got any great recipes you think I should try ?
I'm always looking for good ones ...

The Fish Taco Verdict

A week ago, I'd never had a fish taco.
I've now made them TWICE !

I've gotta tell ya, I'm glad my parents made me eat whatever they put in front of my face and that I grew into a person who will try just about anything. I draw the line at brains and things still alive. BUT ... had I not grown up all over the world, eating new foods and discovering many culinary delights, I may not have tried this. I mean, seriously, fish AND taco ?? Together ?? Nah. BUT ... I did try it and I love it !!! My cousin Jill invented this recipe and I'm so glad she did ! My whole family is. The kids love this ... although, Alia prefers her in a bowl with the tortilla on the side, and we make the kid's batter a bit less spicy than ours ...


Here's take one ... last Sunday night.
I made the batter and I did not do a good job of it.
It was watery.
As well, I forgot to dip the fish in the flour before the batter.
Sometimes I get so excited, I forget to read the recipe thoroughly !
It was still delicious ...

But tonight ...

Uh, yeah, Sunday night again ...maybe a tradition is starting (??)
we made them again only this time Rory did the batter.

And he did a better batter.

He didn't forget the flour.

And it was even more delicious !!


If you haven't tried these, you should ... I'm serious.

Don't let the fish and the taco scare you off.

PS ... the recipe looks complicated, but it isn't ... as long as you don't get too excited !!

This is for you Bonnie!!

Its a Friday night and I really want homemade food. So here is the recipe.

1 lb Stew beef

1/2 C White onion

1/2 C Red Wine (Shiraz is what I used)

1 can Low Sodium Beef Broth

1 t Olive oil

2 t Balsamic Vinegar

The Spices



Onion Powder

Ms Dash Original Blend

Cayenne Pepper


Lemon Pepper

Take the meat and the list of spices. Massage them into the meat making sure each piece is coated. Add the olive oil and massage that in as well. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge. I let it marinate for about 2 hours.

Heat some oil in a skillet and coat the beef with flour. Once the oil is rippling, add the beef and onions and brown them. Once all brown, add the wine and broth. Use the can to add water as well. I used about 1 to 1 1/2. Cover and let simmer for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to add some more water to keep meat covered.

Depending on how thick you like your gravy, you may need to make a slurry of water and flour to thicken it. Once you have the desired gravy, add the balsamic at the very end.

Eat it on whatever you feel like. I've done rice, noodles, toast, and tonight I did biscuits. The gravy is so good, you could probably eat it on a flip flop. Enjoy!!!!

{Couscous Stuffed Peppers Photo}

The recipe for these beauties is here.
I can attest to their extreme deliciousness!

Menu Plan Monday - Bonnie - 12 October 2009

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


We had the prosciutto pizza again.
It's too good !!

Make Your Own Sushi

We are trying Jill's Fish Taco's
I realize this is Menu Plan Monday but I'm typing this up on Sunday afternoon ...
I have NEVER eaten a fish taco before.
I'm excited to try one !!

Ellie's Black Bean Chili Soup


Spanikopita Meatballs
with Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli

Nachos ... makin'em up.
Will take photos and post my recipe ...

Thai Apple Salad


I recently read an article about apples.
I found this recipe in that article ... I modified it to look like this.

The Salad:
50 g (about 2 oz) raw cashews
2 spring onions, finely chopped
150 g (5 oz) sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
1 cup rocket (arugula) - I used a bit more than this ... I like rocket !!
5 wombok (Chinese cabbage) leaves, chopped into thin strips
½ cup fresh coriander leaves ... I used way more than this but you may do it to taste.
2Fuji apples, thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
1 Pink Lady apple, thinly sliced

The Dressing:
1½ tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2.5 cm (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, grated

  • Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • Toast cashews over med. heat. Make sure to watch and shake or they will burn !!
  • Combine Salad ingredients.
  • Top with dressing and cashews.

EASY PEASY and soooooo tasty !
Not to mention totally good for you ...

PS ... I've made this twice and both times I've served it with fish.
A white fish cooked in garlic.

Lemon Tea Cookies

What could be better on a cold night? Or any night really!

Tea and Cookies!

I had another cooking night tonight with some of the girls from youth group and couldn't believe it when I realized that this recipe has never been posted on here. These are probably my favorite cookies of all time. You must drop everything and make them RIGHT NOW!

Lemon Tea Cookies

1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon shredded lemon peel

1 3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir vinegar into milk. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and peel. Sift dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk; beat after each addition. Drop dough from teaspoon 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes (I discovered tonight that small cookies work better at altitude, but I cut the cooking time down a lot. I baked 5 minutes, then turned the pan and baked another 2 minutes - perfect fluffy cookies!). Remove at one; brush with lemon glaze (Lemon Glaze: combine 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup lemon juice).


Prosciutto Pizza

You all may have noticed that we have a new addition to the beans blog ! Andrea posted her first recipe today !! I'm very excited about this !! She's always talking (on facebook) about amazing things she makes that I finally just sent her an invite and a suggestion that she post some of them here ! I think you all are going to be as glad as me that she took me up on the offer !!


And now ... the Prosciutto Pizza recipe !!

This was so yummy.
I started with a homemade pizza dough. I make mine in my breadmaker. Easy.

For the topping.
I used a few scoops of Roasted Garlic and Onion Pasta Sauce for the base.
Baby Spinach
Prosciutto, I used about 7 thin slices
Basil leaves, I used Greek Basil (from my garden) which has very small leaves
Kalamata Olives
Mozarella Cheese

Baked in a pre-heated 200 C oven for about 10/15 minutes til cheese was my desired level of brown ... and dough was cooked.



PS ... The photo in my last post was of a lamington ...

Pumpkin (Tofu) Cookies

We've been trying to watch what we eat in our home the past couple months so when Starbucks brought out their "Holiday" pastries and beverages last week I was pretty sad. I've been craving one of their pumpkin scones for awhile. Normally I would just get one with my coffee and then be good for the rest of the season. Well...not this year. So when I ran into this "Fat-free Pumpkin Cookie recipe" I got pretty excited. Well not too excited but thrilled enough to give them a try. And they satisfied my sweet tooth for the moment. If you are feeling healthy and generally just want to try something different this might be right up your alley...if not just head over to Starbucks and pick up a 400+ calorie pumpkin scone...and have a bite for me.

I found the recipe here on FatFree Vegan Kitchen. And I took her recommendation to exchange half the tofu with margarine to make the cookies a little lighter...and tastier.

I want to try her Yellow Split-Pea Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Kale next.

such a {slack}er


I've been cooking up some amazingly yummy dishes these past few weeks. I am so going to share but between me, Jono and Alia being sick, school holidays being on, birthdays, parties, art exhibits, weddings, and LIFE in general, I just haven't been able to post.

I did get a menu planned this week. I'll try to post it tomorrow and hopefully get back on track with posting recipes.

I've got a prosciutto pizza ready to go into the oven now. Should be ready just in time for Rory to get home !! It's a new one. I have no doubt that it will be good. Seriously, how can you go wrong with homemade dough, basil, prosciutto, kalamatas ... oh man, I'm salivating ! HURRY UP RORY !!!

Can anyone tell me what is in the photo ? Rory and Alia made them last week. It was so hard, I'm quite certain they won't be making them again any time soon !

Peach Hand Pies

I had a couple of the girls from youth group over the other night for a baking party - SOOO fun :-) We made these fabulous peach hand pies and Bonnie has been asking for the recipe. I was to busy and distracted to remember to take any photos, but these are SUPER yummy and you'll want to drop everything and go make them. So, whoever makes these next should post a lovely, mouthwatering photo!

Pie Crust
(This is my mom's recipe, not sure where she originally got it, but it's definitely my go to recipe. If you want to have homemade pie crusts in your freezer handy for when you don't have a lot of time, just make a couple batches at once. Instead of rolling the dough out after you divide it into balls, just wrap each ball individually in wax paper and then foil and stick in the freezer. When you want to use some, just take them out, thaw, and then roll out! Easy-Peasy!)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening
1/2 to 2/3 cup cold water (THIS IS KEY!! I use ICE WATER so it's REALLY cold - your crust will be much flakier if you have cold cold cold water)

Mix flour and salt together; cut in shortening with a pastry blender until the pieces are the size of peas. Sprinkle water one tablespoon at a time in the middle of pastry until all is moistened. Form the dough into a ball. Divide ball into two equal parts. Roll out from center to edge until 1/8 inch thick.
Peach Hand Pies

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 lbs ripe peaches (about 4 large peaches - I also discovered that it was right at 6 cups of cut up peaches)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (trick: put the lemon in the microwave for 5 seconds and you'll get more juice out of each lemon)
4 unbaked pie crusts (you can use the refrigerated kind from the store or make your own)
1 large egg, lightly beaten

In large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. In cup, mix cornstarch with 1/3 cup sugar. Stir peaches, sugar mixture and salt into butter in skillet. Cook 25 minutes or until peaches are very soft and mixture thickens and boils - stir frequently. Boil 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat ; stir in lemon juice (I forgot to do this in one of the batches and it turned out fine). Cool completely (or until you can't wait any longer!). The mixture can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerated until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Lay pie crusts out flat and cut into quarters. Spoon ~2 tablespoons of filling in strip down the center of each quarter, leaving 3/4 inches of dough uncovered at each end. Fold dough over filling. Press edges together with a fork to seal. Transfer pies to ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Make sure there is a little space between each pie on the cookie sheet. Brush tops of pies with egg; sprinkle with remaining sugar. With knife, cut 1-inch slit on top of each pie to allow steam to escape during baking.

Place cookie sheets on 2 oven racks. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown, rotating cooking sheets between uppper and lower oven racks halfway through baking. Transfer pies to wire racks to cool.

(NOTE: Do not eat as soon as they get out - you will burn your tongue. Take my word for it!)