"I cannot live without books: but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." -- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Imitation Tuna Sliders

Imitation Tuna Sliders
(Inspired by: https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2018/02/19/carrot-cumin-kidney-bean-burger-17p-was-9p-vg-v-df/)

I wanted to make Jack's kidney bean burgers. I did not have kidney beans, so I tried using Bayos Enteros, a kind of pinto bean but I did not really like the results.


Later, I wanted to make imitation tuna salad but I changed my mind and decided to make imitation tuna burgers or sliders inspired by Jack's recipe.

In my mind, sliders are smaller versions of burgers or sandwiches.

Imitation Tuna Sliders


1 can garbanzo beans, drained
About 2 TBspoons sardine oil, drained from small tin of sardines
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 TBspoon of leftover canned carrots and jalapeno peppers, diced*
About 4+ heaping TBspoons mixture of leftover saltine crackers, crushed, and bread crumbs*
2 teaspoons cumin
Olive oil for cooking or extra
1 Roll
1 TBspoon Mayo
Ground black pepper
Cole Slaw* as a side (Optional)
*the canned carrots and jalapeno peppers, the crackers and bread crumbs, and cole slaw were leftovers, so when you make the recipe you can make your own variations. 


In a large bowl add beans and mash well.
Add sardine oil.
Add onions and carrot mixture.
Add crushed crackers and bread crumbs.
If mixture is too dry, add a little olive oil.
Put 2 heaping teaspoons of flour on cutting board.
Pick up about a golf ball size of mixture. Squeeze, shape into a ball. Flatten in center of palm. Smooth edges. Pat both sides of patty with flour as you shape the patty. If necessary, reshape patty to make sure it does not crumble. Add more flour to outside of patty, this will help it keep it's shape and make it crispy.

Pour oil into skillet to cover bottom, about a 1/4 inch in depth.

Add patties to skillet. Cook on medium-high for about 3+ minutes per side.

I tried to make sure they were crisp.

Remove and place on platter when done.

To serve, I used a hamburger roll, would have preferred a small dinner roll. Added Mayo on both parts. Sprinkled with ground black pepper.

Used a bit of cole slaw from a carryout order as a side or you can add on top of patty.

 I made 7 small to medium sliders/burgers.

They were good!!!

Because of this success, I am going to try to make the Bayos Enteros burgers, again. I think it will work this time.

Microwave Poached Egg Sandwich

First, I need to thank Business Insider (http://www.businessinsider.com/) for this recipe. It made my year. Now, I can have poached eggs.

I had tried the "boil in water" method ala Julia Child but it was cumbersome for me. I don't recall the results but I have not tried it again. Plus, that method uses a lot of water, so with this method, I save water.

Let's not forget, I can burn water. I am not a cook. Plus, all I have is a hotplate and a microwave. So, you can understand my joy!

The original steps in Business Insider were in a video. I like written instructions.

Microwave Poached Egg Sandwich
(Adapted from: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-perfectly-poach-an-egg-in-the-microwave-2016-6)


About 3 TBspoons water
1 clean egg
1 Roll
1 TBspoon Mayo
Ground black pepper
Imitation bacon bits


Put water into a small microwaveable bowl.
Carefully crack egg and open contents into bowl.
Place bowl in microwave and cover.
Microwave on high for about 45 seconds.
Note: I tried varying the time to get a softer egg, 40 seconds works, too.

Spread mayo on both parts of roll.
Sprinkle with black pepper.
Use a slotted spoon to remove cooked egg from bowl.
Place egg on one side of roll.
Sprinkle with bacon bits.


Royal Sussex Mocktail

I watched Harry and Meghan's Royal wedding (5/19/18).

It was a beautiful wedding. Meghan and Harry added so many personal touches like the Forget-Me-Nots from the Kensington Palace garden for Meghan's bouquet as a remembrance of Princess Diana, Harry's mom.

Plus, I really liked Meghan's veil. It was embroidered with the official flower from each of the countries in the Commonwealth.

  Meghan in her Wedding Dress and Veil.
(Source: https://www.elle.com/fashion/a20754091/meghan-markle-veil-royal-wedding/)

 Update: just found out Meghan's veil also included California's state flower, the poppy. Meghan was born in California. 

For more information on Meghan's dress, veil and more, see https://www.royal.uk/wedding-dress-bridesmaids%E2%80%99-dresses-and-page-boys-uniforms. Seems there are crop images on the veil as well. Very interesting. But, I see no mention of the Poppy.

The wedding was also a great break from the doom and gloom in the news.

The bridal party.

Harry, Meghan, the Queen and Prince Phillip, and several other members of the Royal Family.

I admire Meghan for choosing to make conscious choices in living a healthy life. I think she's a vegan during the week. Plus, she has rescued two shelter dogs. She does yoga. She is a spokesperson for women's issues.

This is not from the Duchess of Sussex's official web page.
Link to the Duchess of Sussex webpage at; https://www.hrp.org.uk/kensington-palace/

Megan and her beagle, Guy (Source: conceptnewcentral.com)

Must add pics of Meghan's parents, Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle.

Ms. Doria Ragland at Meghan's wedding

Doria and Thomas Markle at their wedding.

After the wedding, the couple, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, went to their reception at Frogmore House in Windsor. While you can find lots about the menu at the reception on the web, one item caught my eye. They served mocktails!
"With a nod to the no-ABV cocktail movement, guests of the royal couple were offered a non-alcoholic drink: An apple and elderflower mocktail, created to complement the elderflower in the wedding cake."
(Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/elvaramirez/2018/05/19/royal-wedding-prince-harry-and-meghans-official-menu/#57ff35b54709)

Couldn't find the recipe, so I can only guess at the proportions and ingredients.

Anyway, I decided to make my own Royal Sussex Mocktail.

 Royal Sussex Mocktail


1 8 oz glass
Ice cubes
1 capful of Lime concentrate
1 capful of Jamaica concentrate*
Apple Juice
Sparkling Water
Garnish Optional


Add ice cubes to glass.
Add Lime and Jamaica concentrates.
Fill glass about 1/3 with Apple Juice.
Fill remainder of glass with Sparking Water.
Stirring is optional. I liked the layered look.
Add Optional Garnish.

It was tasty!!

*Jamaica Concentrate is made from juice made from the Jamaica flower (flor de Jamaica). The flower is also called Hibiscus. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibiscus_tea

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Fish, Vegetable, and Noodle Soup

Fish, Vegetable, and Noodle Soup

I enjoy it when I can use various leftovers to make a new dish.

I had made some pasta to add to my soups. I had frozen a batch of quickie tomato broth and vegetable soup which I had made from leftover squash, carrots and chayote, and a whole tomato bullion. Then, I had a "doggie" bag of leftover fish from an evening meal.


One serving of vegetable soup, frozen
One small serving of pasta
1/3 of a fish cake (leftover), chopped

Put the pasta and and fish chunks in the bottom of a large soup bowl.
Top with tub of frozen vegetable soup.
Microwave on high for 3 minutes.
Remove, stir and mix soup ingredients.
Microwave on high for 1 minute.
S/P according to taste*

*I added a bit of ground black pepper and no salt. It really didn't need salt.

Came out quite tasty and filling.

Microwave Small Bowl Cake

Microwave Small Bowl Cake Recipe
(Except from: Recipes from the Kitchen of a Frugal Non-Cook)

Searching for simple recipes or ones for one or two persons is like a treasure hunt. So, finding a recipe for Mug Cake on Fun Foods on a Budget was a find. But, I did not have chocolate chips. This is how my disasters usually start; I am missing one ingredient. But, I forged ahead with confidence because the recipe said the chips were optional.

Instead of chocolate chips I used 2 tablespoons of a dry chocolate milk mix. Mixing was the hard part. When done, it was like a brownie but it tasted good. Oh, my egg had two yolks; wonder if that made a difference?

This seemed like a simple recipe, so I tried again with one change. I did not use the dry chocolate milk mix, but it still came out like a brownie.

Now, I was determined to figure out how to get a more cake-like outcome. I made more revisions. I used 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, 5 tablespoons of milk, and cocoa milk mix instead of cocoa. Through the microwave window, I watched wide-eyed as the mixture bubbled and spilled out over the mug. But, it worked! The result tasted like a wonderful piece of chocolate cake.

Then, I made another revision. Due to spillage, I used a small bowl instead of a mug, and surprise, I made a beautiful, small, chocolate cake.

Next, I will revise the recipe again, to get that cake back into a mug. Then, I may venture to make microwave “bread.”

As you can see, this recipe has many possibilities.

(Author’s Note: it was after I made these experiments I found a microwave cake recipe on Fun Foods on a Budget, mine is different.)

Microwave Small Bowl Cake

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons chocolate milk mix or cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
5 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
dash of vanilla flavoring 

Add flour, sugar, chocolate milk mix, and baking powder into bowl. Stir well. 
Add egg and stir. Add milk and oil. Stir well. Add vanilla, then stir. 

Microwave: 3 minutes on high.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Cross One off My Bucket List--Ants by Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson

I enjoy reading the books by E.O. Wilson. When his book, with co-author, Bert Hölldobler, Ants came out, I wanted to buy it, but it's a big, expensive book. So, I put it on my bucket list.

During a visit to my brother's, he treated me to a visit to a used bookstore and there I found "Journey to the Ants: A Story of Scientific Exploration" by Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson.

So, in essence, I can cross off one item on my bucket list. While this book is about Hölldobler and Wilson's early lives, and exploration and research into the lives of ants, it is still satisfying.

I will probably go to a library to look up Ants because I have at least five different species of ants who visit my home.

Buried Baked Potato

My sister is on Weight Watchers. This has stimulated me to reexamine my eating habits and recipes. I try to follow MyPlate.gov and the American Heart Association guidelines but I think I am missing the mark considerably.

ChooseMyPlate icon

 American Heart Association Guidelines (Abbreviated)

Eat an overall healthy dietary pattern that emphasizes:

Limit saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages. If you choose to eat red meat, compare labels and select the leanest cuts available.One of the diets that fits this pattern is the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan. Most healthy eating patterns can be adapted based on calorie requirements and personal and cultural food preferences.

When I look at my recipes and then at My Plate, I see I am falling short on vegetables, fruits and grains.

Now, the recipe below was devised based on what I had on hand but with the idea to bump up the vegetables and proteins.

Buried Baked Potato 


1 medium to large white potato
1 dab of butter
1 tspn red beans, canned, drained
1 tspn Salsa
3 bits & pieces mozarella cheese
2 green olives w/pimento, sliced
2 sprinkles of imitation bacon bits
2 dashes red pepper sauce
1 fried egg
S/p to taste


Wash potato, pierce with a fork.
Place in microwaveable bowl.
Microwave on high for 5-6 minutes. Check, if you can push a fork through, it's done.
Slice potato in half.
Mash insides with a fork.
Add butter, beans, salsa, cheese, olives, and bacon bits.
Sprinkle hot sauce about the whole potato.
Top with fried egg.

My new secret ingredient: a few dashes of red pepper sauce.

 See why I called it Buried Baked Potato :-)

This was a surprisingly tasty and filling dish.