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It's Christmas Day and I'm inspired to get my diet back on track quickly this year.  I've got two quarts of spinach/pea curry and one quart of cauliflower/potato/cumin cream curry in the fridge to start off with.


I'm getting a little bored with my curry thing and I'm on the hunt for other healthy eating ideas.  What do you have going on in the kitchen?




Chickpea Chili



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I had a success after Christmas with some leftovers.  I had a half pound of uncooked shelled shrimp and a small diced yellow bell pepper.  I stir fried that in oil and butter for a few minutes and then added some cream, scallions, salt, pepper and paprika.  Then I added a quarter cup of flour to thicken it up.  And I had some dried spaghetti left over from a spaghetti casserole I made a few weeks ago.  It sure was good meal.  I'm a huge fan of using paprika. IMG_20221226_105937915.thumb.jpg.b34685d9ad6683d8072f37b0fad040b1.jpg

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On 12/25/2022 at 4:44 PM, Lydia_R said:

What do you have going on in the kitchen?


Hi, Lydia!


Tonight we had slow-cooked lasagna, based on an Italian recipe that uses bechamel (white) sauce rather than the ricotta you tend to see here. For brunch this morning, we had chocolate waffles with hot chocolate and watched the Rose Parade via a streaming channel (I marched twice in the parade many years ago and love the beautiful floats!). Yesterday, it was homemade pizza with roasted veggies (I've taken to spreading a bit of Dijon mustard on my dough for extra zing before spreading homemade tomato sauce and toppings and baking it at 515 F. for about 8 minutes).


You may be able to detect that I love cooking!😎  If you'd like to chat in more detail and perhaps exchange recipes, just send me a PM. 


Warm wishes,



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  • 2 weeks later...

Tonight we're having fried rice.  Its our way of dealing with a surplus of eggs.  We're making it with goat meat, carrots, peas, and lots of onion. 


Fried rice is so easy to make, but when you have tons of people to feed, you have to have a huge container to cook in.  Or a bunch of smaller ones.  Everything we cook here ends up being cafeteria-style in big metal trays.  I think there's more art to the production of the ingredients, the shopping, and the stirring of these large quantities than the actual spicing and cooking of the finished product. 

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13 hours ago, awkward-yet-sweet said:

when you have tons of people to feed, you have to have a huge container to cook in.

My ex and I raised 8 kids.  There was always a crowd to feed.  Living by myself now, it has been hard to learn to cook for only one.  I usually fix too much.


This morning's bread.


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@Ivy, Me too. I swear cooking for one is harder than cooking for a multitude. And the bread sure looks good. There's nothing quite like home made!


Ans, @awkward-yet-sweetI'm glad you have a surplus of eggs. Here in AZ they're up to nearly $6.00 a dozen, and living in an apartment, raising chickens isn't an option. (I wish it was.) Stir fry is one of my favorite dishes, and yours sounds yummy!

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@Marcie Jensen I can't believe how expensive eggs are!  Our big household easily consumes 3 dozen a day, between breakfast, boiled eggs for school lunches, and baking.  We probably couldn't afford to feed everyone if we didn't grow almost everything at home.  


Sometimes, I think cooking for one would be easier.  We're having meatloaf tonight.  Well, I should say **meatloaves**. Ever seen a 20-inch long meatloaf pan?  I've got two of them in the oven right now, and there won't be a crumb left over.  And mashed turnips.  I peeled and boiled 15lbs of turnips 🙄 


Since I work from home, I'm often on kitchen duty.  I don't mind, but sometimes I feel like this less a family dinner table and more of an army mess hall.  😆

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38 minutes ago, awkward-yet-sweet said:

Since I work from home, I'm often on kitchen duty.  I don't mind, but sometimes I feel like this less a family dinner table and more of an army mess hall.  😆

Lol! Based on many years of personal experience, I suspect your cooking is much tastier than any army mess hall.

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2 hours ago, Marcie Jensen said:

Lol! Based on many years of personal experience, I suspect your cooking is much tastier than any army mess hall.

I've heard that military food isn't exactly...good.  I've tasted MRE's, since we have a number of cases in storage for emergencies.  IDK if my husband kept them from the National Guard, or if there's someplace that sells them.  He calls them "three lies in one" but I don't think they are that bad.  The food just feels heavy, like swallowing a stone that sits in your guts.  Hopefully the fresh food the soldiers get is better than that.  I'm not sure my cooking is that great, but it disappears.  I suspect our crowd would eat cardboard soaked in bacon grease if I served it.  😝


My GF is making cookies tonight.  She's a rather gruff parent, but she spoils the kids something terrible.  She makes these simple shortbread cookies.  The secret is clarified butter, and they melt in your mouth.  The kids pester her frequently to make them.  She calls them "Pechen'ye Goryunov."  I've tried to figure out the origin, with no luck.  Not sure if I wrote it correctly, but it translates to something like "cookies for those who grieve." 🙄  Maybe a simple dessert for funeral receptions? 


There's no recipe, either.  Just from her head, something her mother would make.  There are only three ingredients - clarified butter (ghee?), sifted confectioner's flour, and sifted powdered sugar.  The butter is liquid-ish and room temperature.  1 part butter to 2 parts flour and 2 parts sugar by volume.  The ingredients get mixed until sticky, then chilled in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.  The dough is rolled into balls, then flattened into a cookie with a thumbprint in the middle.   Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes maximum.  The cookies come out white and falling-apart tender.  The depression in the middle of the cookie can be used for raspberry jam, a whole pecan, a dot of honey, or anything else.  I like a slice of fresh strawberry on mine.    

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  • 1 month later...

Just getting back to this thread.  About the time you were all posting, I had a bug infestation crisis going on!


Lovely bread Ivy!  I love the presentation in that basket with the cloth!  I love this lasagna idea and the dijon on pizza.  15lbs of turnips?  LOL~!


This cookie recipe is interesting awkward-yet-sweet.  I like the idea of putting a fruit filling on it!  I made blueberry scones a couple days ago.  They are just so much better with the tart blueberries from my yard, but I'll have to wait another 6 months for that.

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On 1/15/2023 at 9:35 PM, awkward-yet-sweet said:

Maybe a simple dessert for funeral receptions? 


Ah, that reminds me of my favorite (dark humor?) Minnesota/Scandinavian food joke...


Ole was not long for this world, lying on the sofa to rest, when he weakly lifted an arm and reached

for a cookie from a plate piled high with them that his wife Lena had just baked and put out. 

Lena spied him reaching for the cookie and immediately barked out, "Ole!! Put that cookie down! Those

are for your funeral!!!" 


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1 hour ago, Lydia_R said:

I made blueberry scones a couple days ago


Yum!  This week I did a fruit crisp with a filling of blueberries,, a little cornstarch, combined with the zest and juice of one fresh lemon.  Lemon and blueberries work well together!  And that crisp has already gone....poof!  



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@Astrid That seems like a variant of a "Sven and Ole" joke.  Funny stuff.  One of my partners is half Finnish by way of Argentina, and there's apparently a great deal of ribbing that goes on between Swedes, Finns, Norwegians, and Germans. 


Since each of my partners has a different cultural background, sometimes our meals can be an interesting mix. Some of the things we end up eating are totally unique, but really good.  Usually totally without a recipe.  Tonight's dinner menu was the result of my Russian GF and my Mexican partner cooking together:


Dark rye flatbread...usually supposed to be leavened, but made like a thick tortilla 😆

Italian sausage, cilantro, and turnip soup

Sauerkraut and black beans 

Whole crabapples from last summer, canned with cinnamon and cloves 


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11 hours ago, awkward-yet-sweet said:

Usually totally without a recipe.

I usually work with what I have.  If there is a recipe, it's only a vague suggestion.

Basically, I try not to poison myself.

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58 minutes ago, Ivy said:

I usually work with what I have.  If there is a recipe, it's only a vague suggestion.

Basically, I try not to poison myself.


Being free of 'the tyranny of a recipe' is a wonderful skill to have; it allows you to go to the pantry or refrigerator, pull out things and make a tasty dish from them.  Once you learn basic principals, you can create endless variations on all sorts of meals.  Its one of the things I really love about cooking, and why I spend happy hours in the kitchen.





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  • 4 weeks later...

Here is the butternut squash soup recipe I developed a few years ago.  I've got some butternut squash cooking this morning.


1 large, or 2 small, butternut squash

1 quart of soup stock

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp fine black pepper


Split the squash and place face down in a casserole dish.  Cook in the oven at 320 for one hour.  Turn the oven off and let sit in the oven for another 20 minutes.


Make veggie stock.  I chop some onion, celery and cabbage.  Fry the onion in 2tbsp oil for 2 minutes.  Add the celery and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the cabbage, stir and put the lid on to braise for 3 minutes.  Add 4 quarts of water, bring to a boil and then simmer for one hour.  Strain, add 1 tsp salt (preservative) and 1/2 teaspoon paprika.  Put into quart mason jars and put in the fridge.  Makes 3 quarts.


Scoop the squash out into a sauce pot.  Add a quart of the veggie and bring to a boil, stirring to break up the squash.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the spices and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Puree in a blender.  Chill in the fridge.  Serve cold.


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Another beautiful loaf Ivy!  What, are you baking these in a pie dish?  Do you bake these every day?  What do you eat these with?


I've been using a bread machine with two paddles.  I made another perfect banana bread in it this week.  I've been making rye bread and a 10 grain bread lately too.  The rye bread is nice because it is simple and low calorie.  The 10 grain tastes wonderful, but it has 4tbsp of butter and 1/4 cup of honey in it.  It also has powdered buttermilk.


I got into a thing of making dinner rolls a few years ago.  I make 3-4 different varieties.  I bought a nice dish that is dedicated to them.  I finally learned to take each dough ball and fold the sides of it into the center and then make that side the bottom side and then you have a perfect looking top.  It took me a little practice to get that right, but that is the ticket!

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1 hour ago, Lydia_R said:

What, are you baking these in a pie dish?  Do you bake these every day?  What do you eat these with?

It is an extremely easy recipe.

I use a 6-7" (at the bottom) iron pot with an iron lid.  I got the recipe from my daughter.  She has a nice unglazed earth-ware pot with a lid, but cast-iron works fine.  It is a no-knead bread.  You mix up the dough before going to bed and let it work off overnight.  Then when you get up, you put the ball of dough into the preheated pot.


I use the bread for everything, toast, sandwiches etc.  

It's very forgiving, I switch up the flours for variety.  This loaf is Rye, whole wheat, and unbleached white -- equal parts.  Sometimes I put in some buckwheat, but the rye is my favorite.  The lady she got the recipe from makes raisin bread from it.  I haven't tried that yet but will.


It's just 3 cups flour, 1Tbs salt, a Tbs yeast (way more than it calls for) 1 1/2 cups water. ( have used whey when I had it).  Bake about 30 min 450º.


You do have to use it or it will go moldy though.


TBH, I'm not very good with recipes.  I kinda get the basic proportions down and then play with things.  There's so many things to try, some work better than others.  


I was always intimidated when my ex was baking.  It was a mystery to me.  Now I really feel like myself when I put on my apron and do it.  It's early morning, bread is in the oven, I step outside and shake off the flour.  I mean, does it get any better? 

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We have a single paddle bread machine.  We had a double for those years when the kids were growing up but now smaller loaves work better for us.  2 cups of flour.  We get ours from the pizza shop, 50# at a time.  It gets a good time in the freezer to kill any bugs.

1/3 cup 10 grain cereal

1 tbs sugar

1 tbs dehydrated milk

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tbs yeast.


Hot bread as i walk into the kitchen in the morning.  I love the idea of dusting flour off my apron in the morning but fear i'm spoiled now.





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