Spicy Eyes

or, How to Throw Together A Soup When You're Poor
2 cups cooked lentils (cook them according to package directions) ($0.50)
3 cups hot water ($0.01)
3 chicken bouillon cubes ($0.05)
1 clove garlic, minced ($0.03)
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped ($0.09)
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch rounds ($0.10)
Saute garlic in 1 Tbsp. olive oil ($0.12) over medium heat ($0.01) 2-3 minutes. Add chopped carrot and jalapeno, cook another 2-3 minutes or until carrot begins to soften.
Add lentils, water, and bouillon, 1/2 tsp. salt ($0.001), 1/4 tsp. pepper ($0.002), 1/2 tsp cumin ($0.09) and 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper ($0.01). Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If you've got leftover $$$ to spend, splurge on a crispy slice of bacon crumbled over the soup ($0.15) with a little bit of feta cheese ($0.25) to boot.
Makes 3 or 4 main dish servings ... not bad for 91 cents. Or $1.31, if you're a big spender.
The only advice I have in the making of this soup is this: do not rub your eyes or touch your eyelids or bring your fingers anywhere close to the eyes during the making of this soup or the following 4 hours. Jalapeno residue is long lasting.

the worst

One of the worst things about being sick, besides being sick, is that I have no appetite. I'm mourning the loss of my appetite. I miss it. I really do.


I got it from my mom. who got it from Glenna, who got it from Bea ...

Bea's Cornbread
1 10-oz. package frozen broccoli, thawed and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 oz. cottage cheese
1/2 c. butter
4 beaten eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 package Jiffy cornbread/corn muffin mix
Mix first six ingredients together; add muffin mix. Mix well.
Bake in 9" x 13" pan at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
I went on a walk in my parents' neighborhood with my parents yesterday. We stopped to visit a friend who shared this recipe with Mom. The friend, Glenna, had gotten this from another friend named Bea. I just liked the history of the cornbread, and the women who have passed it along to each other. The ingredients and instructions are easy. The friendships, however, are anything but simple - they are part of a beautiful web of community - an interconnectedness that I miss but am happy to join in on whenever I can!


versatile, schmersitile pancakes

I get tired of buying baking mix because it's expensive for the amount you get, and I've been wanting to find a good made-from-scratch pancake recipe that DIDN'T use baking mix but was still fluffy and tasty ... so here goes. Pancakes are fantastically versatile, as I will get into later ...
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs, well beaten
2 c. buttermilk (or 2 Tbsp. vinegar or lemon juice with enough milk added to make 2 cups)
Combine dry ingredients.
Combine wet ingredients.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Mix but do not over-beat.
Pour by 1/4 cup-fuls onto hot, greased griddle or pan and cook for a few minutes until the edges are dry and the top is bubbly. Flip and cook for a couple more minutes.
Pancakes ... can you get any more versatile than that? Breakfast? Sure, that's expected. But what about the peanut-butter-and-jelly pancake sandwich for lunch? (I've done that, and my employee laughed at me). There's also the Pancake Burrito (ay, caramba), the Hotdog in a Pancake Bun - Complete with Mustard and Ketchup (I advise the use of fresh pancakes, as 2-day-old ones are crumbly and do not hold the hotdog well), and the PancakeSlicedIntoBreadstick Pasta Accompaniment. Do you have any others?
My quest for versatility in food is stemming from my search for the perfect summer "occasion" dress. Though thus far I have been unsuccessful, I have hope that I will either be able to find said dress, or make it.
Here are my criteria:
1. black
2. comfortable
3. versatile
4. will STILL be in style next summer
5. on sale
Should be easy, right? NOT AT ALL. I dragged my new friend Mary Katherine across town with me last Saturday in search ... all we got was wet. I just have this dream of a perfect occasion dress for the 2009 season, and I just might be losing hope of finding it.
This is how it all started ... if we were together at any event over the past two summers, you might recall my '07-'08 summer occasion dress, a lovely brown deal with large white swirls and a twirly skirt, as my friend Lauren would say. Off the top of my head, I remember wearing it to 4 weddings, 2 graduations, 3 rehearsal dinners, 2 dates with my husband, and 1 Sunday at church. Versatile? Absolutely. Comfortable? You bet. Still in style? Yes, except that I still have the same friends, and I'd like for them to know that I do indeed have more clothes than my one awesome brown swirly twirly dress. So, I'm beginning my 2009 Search For The Great Occasion Dress. I shall keep you posted as I seek my dream versatileschmersitile dress.


Lentil "stallingonthekohlrabi" Stew ... ish.

Cat, I can't figure out where to buy kohlrabi (see previous posting and comments for purpose). I shall be on the lookout, but in the meantime I thought I'd post this anyway.
Makes 4 servings.
1/2 c. dried lentils
1 can diced tomatoes with jalapenos (I used Rotel) -- drain, reserving liquid
1 can kernel corn or 1 c. frozen kernel corn
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 c. uncooked rice
2 c. water
Reserved liquid from tomatoes
Cook lentils according to package directions.
Cook rice according to package directions, adding the reserved liquid from the can of tomatoes to the cooking rice. Keep warm.
Drain excess water from the cooked lentils, but leave enough so that liquid is up to the level of the beans. In medium-sized saucepan, combine lentils, tomatoes, corn, and spices. Add other seasonings to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Serve over prepared hot rice.
"ISH" happens to be my new favorite descriptor. You can't argue with the "ish." I decided that this lentil recipe isn't so much of a stew, but it's stew-ish. It's more stewish than soupish; it's more stewish than side-dishish; and it's more stewish than entreeish.
I'm embracing the "ish" right now for personal reasons too ...
... I'm adult ... ish ...
... I'm happy ... ish ...
... I'm creative ... ish ...
... I'm lonely ... ish ...
... I'm hopeful ... ish ...
... I'm fearful ... ish ...
... I'm growing ... ish ...
... I'm Katherine ... ish ...