Category Archives: Cooking

Valentine’s Day

I do agree with those who say that Valentine’s is a commercial holiday and that love towards one another and significant others ought to occur more often than once or twice in a big romantic sweep a year.

On the other hand, it is nice to treat a holiday as a slight depature from the every day and do something a little different.

Valentine's day treats

Some girls were giving people roses. I was the recipient of one 🙂 While I was out of the room, a girl gave me a valentine and then another child brought a little baggie of candy. I got the cupcake from a Valentine’s day party I raided.

Valentine's day gift
Valentine’s day gift from Jan 🙂

I was especially excited about getting my towel. Let me tell you, it’s an interesting story….

So I’ve been mentioning for the past few weeks how I really like this frog towel from walmart. I even showed Jan how I made it the background of my cell phone to help myself remember to go back and buy it. Finally, I told him yesterday that I was going to go get it. Today he calls me as I tell him I’m coming into walmart and acts like he wants to get cooking together right after I get back home. I’m a little surprised since I thought we were getting together later but I don’t make a big deal of it. I go to look for the Frog towel, and I find that there are none on the shelf. None. I’m surprised because this style appears to be the only one out of stock. I text Jan and relay how I’m sad about it. He calls me at least three other times while I’m in walmart, asking  me when I’m coming back home and if I can hurry up a little. I’m start to feel a little  rushed since I still don’t get what made him change his mind about meeting earlier. I leave walmart and tell him. We don’t actually see each other for several more  hours; he’s doing stuff and working out.

When we meet up,  Jan gives me a gift. It’s the frog toothbrush holder, socks, and frog shower curtain holders! I’m happy about it, but there’s a small pang because I had hoped maybe he got one. Then Jan acts like he wants me to look at some pictures on his phone. He shows me some funny work pictures. Then he shows me a picture of a hand holding a basket of 12 or more frog towels. My first conclusion is that he wanted to make them impossible for me to find to be funny. Then he says he has one more thing for me, and it’s the towel! Funny story and good gift.  (Frogs are some of my favorite animals ever).

Smoked Cheddar Drop Biscuits and Chicken Pot Pie soup! (I bought regular shredded cheddar...the other wasn't in the store)
Smoked Cheddar Drop Biscuits and Chicken Pot Pie soup! (I bought regular shredded cheddar…the other wasn’t in the store)

I got recipes for Smoked Cheddar Drop Biscuts and Chicken Pot Pie Soup from lauralayne ( )

The recipe turned out well, despite me lacking a few ingredients. Maybe I’ll repost her recipe later.

It was a nice evening, though a late one. I’m off to bed.


Pizza Margherita

Tonight, Jan and I made Pizza Margherita. The book I got it from is Betty Crocker’s Entertaining Basics.

Here’s the finished product:


The best part about this recipe is how satisfying the dish was, yet it was so simple to make. This is a dish I will definitely make again, as it requires very little prep time (it took us about 10 minutes). Cook time was about 20 minutes, though we took it out a minute or so before the timer went off. The crust I purchased was supposed to be thin crust, but since I don’t’ have a rolling pin, we made do with a cooking spray can and evened the crust out as much as we could. As a result, we ended up with 5 pieces instead of the 6 the recipe claims to make.

Here’s the recipe if you want to make it yourself. It was too fun and simple not to share!

Pizza Margherita

Shortening to to grease cookie sheet (however, I just used parchment paper and was okay. It may have helped me flatten the dough, though)
1 can (10 oz) refrigerated crust dough (The only one I saw was thin crust)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
2 roma (plum) tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil.

1. Heat oven 425 Fahrenheit. Lightly grease cookie sheet.
2. Unroll pizza crust dough. Press into 12-inch cirlce on the greased sheet, pressing from center to edge, edge should be slightly thicker than center.
3. Sprinkle 1 cup of the cheese over the dough. Leave 1/2 inch border of dough showing.
4. Slice tomatoes, arrange on cheese. Sprinkle salt, pepper, 2 tbs of the basil over the tomatoes and cheese. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese, then drizzle with the oil.
5. Bake 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tbs basil upon taking the pizza out of the oven. Cut pizza in wedges.

Yum! If you happen to make this, feel free to comment below and say how it went! As a totally novice cook, I can say this recipe is virtually fail-proof. 🙂

Roasted Pepper and Avocado Soup

I got this recipe from Clean Eating magazine’s November/December 2012 Issue , and typed it out here (not exactly word for word but close enough)

I am just starting to cook every so often since I’ve been back. It gives me something productive to do that doesn’t involve  jobs. I do want to take my future seriously and get a job that will allow me to move out, but for now I’m here at home and I’m going to use this time wisely if I don’t get in the way. I was inspired to start a little bit of cooking when I saw a friend on facebook’s album that she’d made that celebrated her “Homecooked Wednesdays.” I thought to myself “I like the sound of that, I’ll try it too!” So in a sense I coped off of her, but no worries. Each time I have cooked it’s been a different day of the week, so I shouldn’t have too many problems.

Last week I bought a slow cooker, or crock-pot, as they are also called. The recipes that Clean Eating had were supposedly for 4 to 6 quart crock-pots. Do you think it makes any difference what size you use? I can still take it back if I hear that it makes a big difference. I thought the size would be nice because then I can make big and little dishes and not need two crock-pots.

Here’s the finished product: 

Given that it was ME doing this, I was proud of myself. It was somewhat bland, but I did feel accomplished. It went well with crackers, but unfortunately we ran out. Dad didn’t seem to really be into it, he asked “what country it was from,” but was a good sport and to his credit he did eat some of it.

Recipe below:

Roasted Pepper and Avocado Soup

Serves 5
Hands on time: 25 min
Total cooking time (crock pot) 7 hours 25 minutes or 3 1/2 hrs on high

1tbsp safflower oil, divided
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
4 pablano chile peppers, seeded and quartered
2 yellow bell peppers, s&q
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp chile powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 avocado, pitted peeled, and roughly chopped
3 cups skim milk
3/4 cup sea salt (I didn’t have sea salt..don’t know if that made any difference..)
2/3 cup low-fat sour cream
1 large lime, cut into wedges (for topping I guess)

1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 tsp sea salt

In a large nonstick skillet on medium-high, heat 1 tsp oil. Add oniion and cook until very browned, about 8 min. Transfer to a 4 to 6 qt slow cooker (Mine is 7…do you think that makes any difference? I bought it last week. Just wondering what you opinion would be since you cook more than I do)

Two: to slow cooker, add 4 poblano peppers, bell peppers, garlic, chile powder, cumin and remaining 2 tsp oil. Stir well, cover and cook on low for 7 hours (or on high for 3 1/2 hours)

Threee: Transfer pepper mixture to a blender with avocado; puree until smooth. Return to slow cooker and stir in milk and salt. (Cook for 15 more min on high to reheat if necessary)

Four: In a small bowl, combine relish ingredients. Divide soup among serving bowls and top with relish, sour cream, and lime wedges.


So…does anyone have any other crockpot recipes for me to try? 🙂