Monday, January 02, 2006

Have We Had Enough Football Yet?

I'm done for now. Until Wednesday (GO USC!!!!) I watched my alma mater, Texas Tech, lose to Alabama this morning. Tech should have scored more, and Alabama should not have made that sorry field goal at the end. Bummer.

Knowing that I had to go back to work tomorrow, I decided to make some of Kaylin’s “muffins” for some breakfasts for the next week or so (when I’m not at Kiwanis or Breakfast Club). I had a large bag of real bacon bits that I bought at Costco, plus a bar of Kraft sharp cheddar from when we went camping last week. I thought I’d get clever and use foil baking cups. MISTAKE! You see, Kaylin had suggested using two paper cups so the egg didn’t leak through. I thought, “Why not use the foil ones? They won’t leak.” Okay. They don’t leak. But I can’t microwave them. So I had to take them all out of the cups before I stuck ‘em in the freezer bags.

I did have one for lunch. Yum!!!. [Wait. Spellcheck says “yum” isn’t a word. And since I’m an English teacher.....forget it. It’s a word to me. ] Now I want to try sausage and cheddar. And asparagus and swiss. Do tomatoes freeze well once they’re cooked? I’d like to add tomatoes to this. Like Kaylin said, the variations are endless.

Dinner was a treat - comfort food for a snowy, blustery day. I wanted a salad like the one I had a Mario’s Place in Riverside called the Leona. It’s named after Mario’s wife, I believe. Except for the roasted peppers, which I could do without anyway, I think I did a pretty good job. It was a basic baby greens salad with cherry tomatoes, piñon nuts and feta cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette. Then the main course was pasta with a swiss cheese sauce and diced ham and peas. I could have eaten seconds and thirds, but was good and just had the one serving. DH liked it. I had thought there would be leftovers, but he was hungry and said, “You outdid yourself, bub.” (To me, that’s the ultimate compliment.)

Now–what to call my salad, since it’s not really Leona’s, but mine. I think I’ll still call it Leona’s, since that’s what I think when I make it. Wait, maybe I’ll call it Mario’s. That’s a pretty generic name and sounds good. Okay. Mario’s it is.

Mario’s Salad

1/2 bag baby or spring greens
14 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 c piñon nuts, toasted
1/4 c feta cheese

Divide greens, tomatoes, nuts and cheese equally between two plates. Drizzle with a couple spoonfuls of balsamic vinaigrette.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1/3 c olive oil
1 t Splenda brown sugar blend
2 t Dijon mustard
dash salt
dash ground pepper

Whisk together all ingredients; store leftovers in refrigerator for up to a week.

Linguine with Swiss Cheese, Ham and Peas

8 oz. linguine (I use Dreamfields)
2 T butter or margarine
2 T flour
1 c milk
dash salt
dash pepper
dash nutmeg
1 c grated Swiss cheese
1 c diced cooked ham
1 c frozen peas, thawed

Cook linguine according to package directions; drain. In a large pot, melt the butter. Add flour and whisk till smooth. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Add milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Continue to cook, stirring, until thickened. Add cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Add ham and peas. Add hot cooked pasta and toss. If the pasta has just come from the pan, serve immediately. If not, then heat over very low heat until hot throughout. Makes 4 servings.

I can’t believe the flooding up north. Here we had some minor flooding and mudslides, but I’ve been seeing on the news how horrific it is up in northern California. San Anselmo is a disaster area. How sad.

I was looking at the blackeyed pea soup here(I’m Mad and I Eat), and began to wonder: Have I jinxed my year? We didn’t have blackeyed peas for New Year’s. We have had them every year but this one. Maybe it’s not too late. I’ll pick some up just in case! I like to fix Black-eyed Peas with Rice. DH eats it up. I’ll put that on the menu for sometime next week.

Black-eyed Peas with Rice

3 slices bacon
1 small onion, chopped
1 16-oz can black-eyed peas, drained
1 14-1/2-oz can stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped
1 1/2 c cooked rice
1/4 t hot sauce
1/8 t garlic powder
1/8 t pepper

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, reserving drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon and set aside. Saute onion in drippings until tender. Drain onion and discard drippings; return onion to skillet. Add peas and remaining ingredients; cover and cook over low heat 8 to 10 minutes. Spoon into a serving dish; sprinkle crumbled bacon over top. 6 Servings.

Weather update: We have about two inches of snow on the ground. It rained all day, and later this afternoon it got colder and turned to snow. It's gonna be icy traveling in the morning.

1 comment:

cookiecrumb said...

It's never too late for good luck! Enjoy the black-eyed peas.