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

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
(Excerpt 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.

Microwave: 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.

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.

Microwave: 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.