a young army wife exploring the worlds of housekeeping, yoga, and public speaking

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    thai food

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

Boneless leg of lamb!

Need help: apartment birthday dinner with dietary restrictions

He is definitely a meat and potatoes guy! He hates fish. And he is iffy on veggies.
The restrictions are a low carber and then a person allergic to most grains you can think of.
My husband suggested steak, but we live in an apartment without a grill. We cook steak on the stovetop when it is just the two of us, but I don't think we can do that for five people. I have never cooked a roast in the oven, so that makes me nervous! Plus our meat selection is limited around here.

So far I am thinking bacon wrapped asparagus, cauliflower rice, salad.... And? Lol I just need to insert main dish, but am drawing a blank.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Thermapen Thermometer

Officially I would use it first on my first christmas prime rib! Unofficially I would make sure I knew how to use it right and do a trial run with a pork tenderloin.

Help Me Help My Vegan Friends

Smoked paprika is good for a smoky flavor too

Help Me Help My Vegan Friends

Coconut oil! It adds great richness to everything and is great for frying.
Nutritional yeast is great for a cheesy flavor especially in tofu lasagna.
Ground flaxseed is a great binder.

Bromelain...meat tenderizer

Isn't that like the enzyme in tropical fruits like pineapple that aid in the digestion of proteins? I sometimes purée up some kiwi for beef marinade, but only a short marinade because it can break down protein to mushiness

Where to have dinner in Tacoma, Washington?

I like Harmon brewing company. It is new American/brewery cuisine plus beer of course in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. The menu has something for everyone. We went with a giant party and just called ahead of time.
If you are in the mood for pizza, the rock is a fun place. It is rock and roll themed. Tis is the original location, so they sometimes offer experimental specials. You should totally get the brown sugar mozzarella bread for an appetizer.

3 Washington State Breweries You Should Know

Iron horse is our favorite! I like their high five hef best. Their Irish death is also very popular. Iron horse makes solid beer that appeals to craft diehards and beer lay people as well.

Where to eat in Seattle and Portland?

Not a restaurant, but Batch 206 in lower Queen Ann makes the best gin! If you lie gin, you will love this. If you are on the fence about gin, this will convert you! Plus it is fun to see a working distillery. It is just a few blocks from pike place.

Vegetarian Meats and Cheese

I leave out the tahini and usually add a thickener, like cornstarch or ground chia seed,

Vermecelli in my Belly!

Back when I ate noodles I loved vermicelli in homemade chicken noodle soup. Make the soup then add noodles to each serving so they don't get clumpy/gross. Add some cilantro to brighten it up since the noodles make the soup seem heavier.

What dish best represents the food of your region?

I have been living in all sorts of different parts of Washington state. I must say, the wine is amazing!
We are also well represented by coffee.
Clam chowder.
Fresh cherries as well as chukar cherries.
Applets and cottlets.
Fresh apples.

Beautiful bottle of local mint vodka... Ideas!?

Super intrigued by the cucumber soda idea.. Have never heard of it... Do you know where I can find it, or brand to look for?
We don't do many sweet things in this house due to some insulin issues...
I like the limeade idea too. Maybe diluting the sugar dose with some seltzer...

Your Personal Best

Spanish "rice"! I am allergic to rice, ugh, so I made one with riced cauliflower. Normally riced cauliflower doesn't even come close to satisfying, but this was amazing and awesome! I am so excited!

Flavors for infusing gin

Cucumber, and or lavender

Any salmon eaters?

The secret to frozen fish is that after it is defrosted, pat off as much moisture as possible with paper towels before cooking. This keeps the filets from being mushy.

Good Entry Level Food Processor?

I love my 11 cup cuisinart. It is perfect for just me. I use it every other day. It is sturdy and effective.

Need help with nutless pesto

I use spinach, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic, nutmeg, thyme, and lemon juice.

Help! My roommate wrecked my bakeware!

I love mr clean erasers on that residue stuff

Favorite Yogurt

1 cup Fage total nonfat greek yogurt, cinnamon, 2-4 tablespoons vanilla protein powder, 3 dashes cinnamon, 1 dash salt, 1 tablespoon cocoa, sugar substitute to taste..
I cannot stop eating this!

Using Ground Turkey

I cut ground lamb with turkey in Alton brown's gyro recipe. The lamb is so strong the turkey is unnoticeable.

Food Quotations

Zinniat, I always say, "you're on a roll, but don't slip on the butter!"

My favorite quote is, "if wishes were horses we'd all be eating steak."

What drink should be offered in a post wedding party?

How many people? We had a few pony kegs of craft beers and then one red and one white wine option. There was lemonade for nondrinkers and champagne for toasting.
If there are fewer people you could always do growlers from your favorite brewery and winery (you could send the growler jugs home with people too so you don't have a bunch).
A friend of mine is having a taco truck with sangria.
Margaritas are easy and most people like them too.

Prime Rib Roast Carving

Only related because it is prime rib...
I went to a relatives house for Xmas eve. I was very excited because they were serving prime rib. I have only become a red meat eater in the past year, and I was more than happy to finally enjoy this beautiful cut of meat... What was served was no longer recignizeably prime rib. They could have saved a few bucks and just cooked a chuck roast! It was cooked so long and slow that is basically what it became... I became even sadder when my mom described hers as perfectly rare enough that they seared leftovers on the grill the next day. "Wow it melts in your mouth" means something different when it has been cooked properly and when it has been overdone!


I second the shredded carrot, it will cook down so the texture won't even be there and it will have the sweetness. My mom's spaghetti sauce calls for a tb of brown sugar; we don't keep any sugars in the house. I found one carrot will sufficiently do the job of cutting acidity

Beautiful bottle of local mint vodka... Ideas!?

So I got a wonderful bottle of "mad mint" made by Batch 206 here in Seattle. It is delicious! My buddy, the master distiller, served me a drink made with mad mint, local grenadine, orange juice... Maybe something else?
Now I have a bottle of it. It tastes great straight, but wold love some mixing ideas. I am not he best cocktail mixer

Fun with fermenting! Ideas, tips..?

I just finished fermenting my first batch of veggies.
I did shredded cabbage, carrot, beet, onion, ginger, garlic, and black pepper. Oh and of course plenty of salt! i fermented for 7 days. It came out delicious but SUPER pink, lol,
I am excited to try fermenting other things.
Have you tried fermenting? Does it weird you out? Have any winning combinations/recipes?

Overloaded pomegranate tree...

I am visiting my folks and they have a huge pomegranate tree that is loaded with fruit. Yesterday I seeded 6 of those suckers and we have been eating them by the handfuls. What else can we do with these beauties?

Kcups and cookies for overseas...

My husband is deployed with the army. He has requested homemade cookies and kcups (those coffee cup thingies).
First of all, do any of you use those kcups? Which are the best for me to get him? I have never tried them, and there are so many options!
Secondly, I have never sent cookies that far. Any good hardy and tasty recipes? My mom already sent him cowboy cookies (oatmeal, walnuts, coconut, walnuts).... His other favorite cookies are snicker doodles and snowballs. I would like to veer way from those 'cause his mama will probably send them....
Thoughts, opinions, tips? Maybe a new recipe and also send Oreos?

Wine tasting picnic ideas

It's Spring Barrel in Yakima, Wa. This is basically a party at all the wineries. The wine they made in the spring hasn't yet been bottled, so you have the chance to taste out of the barrel and even preorder cases of your favorites. It is so much fun! Even better, a bunch of my family and friends from California are coming up here to attend. I want to pack a good picnic lunch but ran into a few problems....
these include a diabetic, a vegetarian, a low carber, and a small pocketbook on my side of it all! I don't have enough money to make a million different things, so I need help! also this is not a sit down picnic. nothing that needs forks or even necessarily plates...
so far i am planning on making popcorn (cheap, and I can't drink wine without it), and bottled water....i

I cant believe I made bad tasting cookies!

So, I tried a new recipe for cookies.

I used white whole wheat flour. The dough didn't taste sweet enough, so I rolled the uncooked cookies in granulated sugar. I baked them and they turned out thick and dense and cakey and not very sweet. I tried flattening them out, thinking that they wouldn't taste so bad if they were more like crackers. They tasted the same, just less thick.
Now I have about 2 dozen, dense, not tasty cookies. What do I do? Scrap them all? Maybe frost them?
Any ideas would be welcome!

Creative Lettuce Wrap Ideas

My husband and I have found what fun it is to eat things as lettuce wraps.. This isn't a diet issue, but more of a fun way to mix up dinners!
So far we've tried korean style beef with kimchi, cucumber salad, fried tofu, and bean sprouts; vietnamese braised pork with boiled eggs, bean sprouts, pickled daikon/carrots, and fresh herbs; chicken fajitas with fresh pico de gallo and black beans; the pf chang style chicken/tofu wraps; italian wraps with fresh bruschetta, sausage filling, and sauteed peppers and onions;
do you have any creative ideas for us that you've tried or even just thought up?

Chocolate meets "chocolate"?

So I have a lot of unsweetened baker's chocolate squares, and i was wondering if i could melt it with chocolate flavored almond bark (you know that cheap stuff that melts really easily and tastes like crappy easter bunnies?).
I'm imagining making something that tastes more like a semisweet. But I'm afraid mixing fake with real will be disaster! Does anybody have experience with this (or any ideas?)?
FYI the intended end product is chocolate/candy drizzled christmas pretzels, so gourmet is not foremost! lol

I hate brown gravy...

Making mac and cheese from scratch (mil's recipe, so i got to make it taste like childhood memories!)... misread roux ingredients, and put in 1/4 c butter and 1 c flour.... hmm, that looks more like a shortbread cookie....reread recipe. Ohhh, 1/4 c of each!
Well, I have instant roux in the cupboard, let's make that instead of using more flour and butter.
Turns out, instant roux = brown gravy.
Well I really can't make mac/cheese with brown gravy in good conscience. Scrap that. Back to recipe! Now I have the makings for a shortbread cookie, brown gravy, and hopefully soon mac and cheese!
Problem. I do not like brown gravy... But I have like 2 cups of it. What do I do with it? My cuz already said to freeze it, but that still doesn't help me use it since i don't like it.
Ideas would be appreciated!

Portland Ideas!

We have been falling in love with Portland lately, but we live 3 hours away...
so we are going there for next weekend...where are some must places? we are staying near the convention center, so we can catch the light link into the city center (and we're willing to walk). we all like wine, and craft beers. so far we are hitting up voodoo donuts (my folks are tagging along and have never been), bushwackers' cider bar, kell's, maybe mcmanimans (sp?), and that's all i've got... go!

Failed yogurt... now what?

So I tried making homemade yogurt in my crockpot. Sadly, I forgot to let the milk cool before adding my culture. Now I have a pot of slightly yogurt flavored milk. It barely set at all.
What can I do with this "milk"?

Kamut and other wheats....

I recently got a large amount of whole Kamut to make Essene bread.
Do you have any tried and true recipes for Kamut/other-wheat berries? Sprouting is so much fun, but since I'm not RAW i like having the option of experimenting with grains/nuts/seeds i wouldn't normally have on hand.
Tonight I am making a warm grain salad with spinach, onion, garlic, lemon juice, tomatoes and either nutmeg/thyme or cilantro.

Walla Walla Sweets!

So I just got the biggest, most gorgeous bunch of walla walla onions at the fm. What should I do with them? They came with about a half foot of greens attached. Can I use those too?

Why did I even bother asking?

So, I am going to the extended family's fathers' day celebration. My mama raised me right so I asked what I could bring. The hostess said a veggie platter "because you did such an awesome job last time!" All I did was cut up some veggies and threw them on a plate with ranch. Whoop de doo. All they ever ask me to bring is veggies. And most of them don't even eat anything close to a fresh vegetable!
To add insult to injury, the food that other people will bring will be things like sushi from costco, salami and cheese cubes, mushy soy sauce marinated chicken tenders, meat balls (if we're lucky with jarred gravy rather than grape jelly), doritos, and any other premade/unnatural/no-effort food you can think of.
I can cook. I cook great food. And I'm bringing veggies. Should I ask to bring something else? Is there some way to make this more exciting? Does this happen to you?


Fat tuesday is coming up! Are you celebrating? If so, what will you be eating/drinking?
We will be drinking a nice 2002 cabernet from Apex and a nice champagne leftover from valentine's day (because i am giving up wine for lent). Between drinking and smoking a pack of cigarettes (i am also giving up smoking, yikes!), i am attempting to make a jambalaya (we miss living in the south even though we're not from the south!)
How bout you?

Feb 14th is coming up! Time to start planning!

For my husband and I, this will be our first Valentine's day together. For the past several years he's either been out of state for army training or I've been in the hospital. It was even the same when we were dating!
So. I would like to make something extra special. A fancy dinner complete with complimenting drinks and a light dessert. Any ideas? Or even better yet, how are you celebrating this awesomely cheesy holiday with your sweetie!?!?!

Drunken apple pie?

I was wondering if anybody had a apple pie recipe that uses booze in it... specifically rum?
I'm open to anything. I just don't know how to make it boozy. Lol

I bought smoked garlic... now what?

So, the fruit stand had these wonderful smelling brown cloves of smoked garlic. I bought one, but am not sure what to do with it. The guy at the stand said to mix it in cream cheese to make a yummy spread.... what else could I do with it?

Pickled or Marinated Garlic?

What do I use this kind of garlic for? I am putting together a xmas present for my bro that includes garlic and garlic paraphenalia... i have seen a lot of pickled or jarred whole cloves in specialty stores. but what do you do with these?!?!
also if you have any good garlic themed suggestions for my present, I'm all ears!

We Check Out the World's Largest Gin Bar at The Flintridge Proper in Southern California

"Gin is having a renaissance right now," says Brady Caverly, owner of The Flintridge Proper, which recently opened in La Cañada Flintridge, just north of Pasadena, CA. The bar offers over two hundred different gins—a selection they claim is the largest in the world. We chatted with the Flintridge team about their favorite gins for mixing and sipping straight. More

Turkey Au Vin

Turkey legs get slow cooked in a classic French sauce of mushrooms, shallots, thyme, Cognac, red wine, and stock. The resulting stew is perfect over creamy mashed potatoes or buttered gnocchi. More

Eggplant and Tomato Sauce with Israeli Couscous

Turmeric and some other spices used in this recipe are notably Moroccan, and, while in Morocco it's typical to serve the couscous alongside the stew or sauce, I chose to stir it all together to keep in line with this quick and easy dinners column—and it turned out great. The couscous had a chance to absorb the extra sauce and flavor. More

Mongolian Stir-Fried Lamb with Cumin

Dry-style stir-fried lamb is a Northern Chinese dish originating in Mongolia. It's primary flavor comes from cumin, soy sauce, and Sichuan peppercorns. It's musky, hot, and well, awesome. That it doesn't have a sauce makes it once of the quickest, easiest stir-fries to prepare at home. It works equally well with beef. More

Grilling: Daeji Bulgogi

When I told people I hadn't experienced Korean barbecue yet, they were shocked. The fact that such a meat enthusiast had never enjoyed the wonders of this cuisine brought such strong reactions, I had to try it. And when I finally did, I was underwhelmed at first. Starting with beef bulgogi, the evening continued with one pleasant meat after another, but nothing quite lived up to all the hype. That was until I got to the Daeji Bulgogi. The thin slices of spicy marinated pork were exactly what I had imagined Korean barbecue would be—perfectly tender and flavorful pork with a unique and bold spiciness. More

Dinner Tonight: Pork Chops with 'Magic Dust'

If you're done much research in the realm of barbecue, you may have come across a spice mixture, credited to the great barbecue pitmaster Mike Mills, known as "magic dust." It is a marvelous, intoxicating mix of spices that can be used as a dry rub not only on a rack of ribs for smoking, but just about any cut of meat (or even sprinkled over vegetables), making it a handy mix to have around at all times. I always make up a big batch and use it regularly, which is how I found myself with a gorgeous, marbled, thick-cut pork chop and the inspiration for an easy way to dress it up. More

Dinner Tonight: Amagansett Raw Corn, Tomato, and Snap Pea Salad

When looking for recipes to cook, I sometimes head to Food52 and look for the little widget on the side that tells you how many people are currently viewing their recipes. Big surprise that on a day in early August the most popular recipe was the Amagansett Corn Salad made of raw fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and not much else. The idea of raw corn might seem odd but as long as the corn is super fresh, it's all sweetness. More