Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Spinach Lentil Stew # vegetarian

This is a quick dish I made for a lunch one day that I'd been meaning to post.  I rely on my blog to look up some recipes instead of pouring through my hand written recipes stashed in a big notebook. This is hearty, full of protein from the lentils and fast if you use canned instead of dried.

Here is the photo - lentils with spinach, tomatoes and carrots over rice made a great hot lunch.  Served with warm naan and makes good leftovers.

I have the recipe listed below but admit to not using dried beans.  For a shortcut version I opened two cans of lentils and used vegetable broth rather than bouillon cubes. Those have way too much salt in my opinion.

Spinach Lentil Stew
from Taste of Home magazine


1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

5 cups water

1 cup lentils, rinsed

4 teaspoons vegetable or chicken bouillon granules

3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 bay leaf

1 cup chopped carrots

1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


 In a large saucepan, saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add the water, lentils, bouillon, Worcestershire sauce, salt, thyme, pepper and bay leaf; bring to a boil. 

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the carrots, tomatoes and spinach; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15-20 minutes longer or until lentils are tender. Stir in vinegar. Discard bay leaf.

Linking with Marg at The Intrepid Reader for Weekend Cooking

Friday, March 17, 2023

Weekly Update

Weekly update - Glad to have had the pressure washers gone and the house looks good.  Well, except for some of the peeling paint in some places.  We have two companies come out for estimates to paint the house and have new gutters installed.  Waiting on the estimates so we know which to choose.  The house should look shiny and appealing after  some much needed TLC.

Reading / I was starting to wonder if I'd find just the right book to spark my interest in reading again.  I tried several books which were on my Goodreads list and couldn't connect.  Maggie O'Farrell came through for me with This Must Be The Place . It's nice to get lost in a book again.

Also read the Ann Cleeves book The Woman of the Island about Vera Stanhope.  It's billed as Vera 9.5 as it's a short story. 

In the kitchen for this week I posted about the couscous and scallops, wines and more HERE.

Watching / London Kills has been a hit with us and we finally have season three.  Just picked up these DVDs from the library.  As there is a wait list for the Man Who Fell to Earth we will start it first, see if we like it.

Linking up with

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Making use of pantry and freezer items

This is another adaption of the North African Couscous recipe from Moosewood Cooks at Home.  This time we used scallops which were stashed in the freezer.  Winner!

Wine / As the weather changes we shift from reds to white. Here is a Chianti and Pinot we recently enjoyed.

Louis Latour Pouilly Fuisse is always refreshing on a warm night.

This salad was billed as Mediterranean and looked like a decent vegetarian offering from our grocery store.  We had been grocery shopping and saw this, picked it up as a quick lunch for when we returned home.

I realize I could have made a better salad at home but at least I know I can whip this up quickly.  Chick peas are always in the pantry, I usually have the cucumbers, tomatoes and red onion around.  The feta and black olives were a nice touch as well.

A few days ago we sat outside and ate lunch.  Now we are back inside as temps headed back to close to freezing again.  Oh well, it is March.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Weekly Update

Hello, my friends. I have a few updates but no big news on a move to a new locale. The pressure washing is completed and that was...interesting.  They fired a guy on the spot, if you are interested in that story click HERE

The RV is gone!  Ok, that's big news because anyone who has ever had a RV knows about the upkeep and expense.  If we move to a neighborhood we won't need to worry about storing it (another expense) or if may be parked on the property.

We  have a large RV port which is now set up with the rug and the folding camp chairs.  Great place to sit and read or chat out in our field.  Loki is unsure about sitting out there so I bribe him with green beans, then he will sit a bit as I read.

Interest rates have foiled the relocation plans.
Two weeks back we toured a very nice quiet neighborhood with smaller houses and I was hooked.  We talked to people who were walking and they were all nice. It was quiet, no traffic noise. We floated a contingency offer with our real estate agent but lost out on the house we liked.

Alas.  With the interest rates climbing high it would make zero sense to look at a mortgage right now. So, focusing on getting our place cleaned up more and waiting things out.

Fact is, home is where we spend time together.  We aren't miserable here, just want to downsize into a single story home and socialize a bit.

Watching / Well it isn't Vera that we're watching. I very much enjoy the books and have read 9 of the novels but the show was a bust for us.  We tried two episodes as we like to see if the character development grabs us. Joe wasn't so moody in the books and you could have more empathy for his home life situation verses Vera's demands. I thought the actor looked the part I imagined though. Holly was not what I expected nor was she on the team as early as presented on the tv show.  Oh well, different tastes.  I will stick with the books.

 Currently we are watching London Kills and like it (thanks Jackie!). I remember Hugo Speer in The Full Monty.  Love the connections and interactions of the detective squad.

Linking up with Deb at Readerbuzz for Sunday Salon and Joy for British Isles Friday

Thursday, March 09, 2023

Don’t stay home during pressure washing!!!!

I mentioned we had pressure washing done Wednesday and I'll tell ya, try and stay away during the job :-)

The pressure washers arrived on time Wednesday. We decided to leave the house as it would be loud. Boss man said they’d be done about 2:00. We took Loki and did some errands, walked around a park then ate at a local place with outside dining situated in the shade. Finally headed home around 1:00. 

Ugh. Apparently our house took longer than expected and they weren't done until 4:30ish through no fault of theirs. They showed up on time and were very professional.  They had a young man with them as a new hire and he was so bad they fired him during the job which left them shorthanded.

We are inside and Loki is about to bark himself hoarse. The back patio door had water come inside and we quickly placed towels down to mop it up.  Some of the water was sprayed in and landed on the back of a chair which backed up to door. Doug’s albums even had a bit of water on top but - thankfully we were home to see this immediately. No damage. 

This was not the fault of the pressure washer guys. It was a former contractor who did not hang the French doors properly, leaving it without a proper seal.  But that was almost 20 years ago so, what can ya do?

Anyway, I immediately step out to tell the new guy to stop, it looks good enough and let them know water was coming in. I went out without shoes and I’m thinking the chemicals were what made the bottom of my feet tingle for a bit. 

Loki is meanwhile barking nonstop and I wish, so very much, that I’d given him his Xanax. We honestly thought they’d be done much earlier so if I don’t need to drug the dog I’m not going to. 

As I stepped out the owners were giving the guy spraying the house a hard time. Boss guy couldn’t see me as he was on a platform handling the metal roof. They were fussing him about time management and how he needed to get across town because of another job that had to be done today, told him he spent too much time spraying trees, instead of what he needed to do.  Yes, he was apparently shooting trees with water.  Yikes! 

Later I see the kid cross our yard and for a second I thought, horrified, that he was drinking from the birdbath! Turns out he was keeping his soda in the bath. Ok, whatever.  Then he left and I thought it was for the job in Tallahassee. 

Turns out he was dismissed.

The inside of the house smelled like bleach for a short time. 

After dinner Loki went into a deep coma sleep. All is well, the house, patio and roof look great.  No more bleach smell and I hope we don't need to do this again!

Tuesday, March 07, 2023

🥘 Fassoulatha! 🥘
(or plain old white bean soup)

This week we are still clearing out the house of items we don't use/wear/read/etc.  That post was HERE.....if you want to catch up on my nerdy life :-) 

Tomorrow  the house and roof are scheduled for pressure washing so, not sure if we want to hang around as I bet it will be very noisy. Also not sure where to go for 6 hours.


In the spirit of making life simple we cleared out the fridge and made a hearty soup for dinner.  This is from a magazine called Eating Well.  There is an easy recipe for white bean soup. As we had all the ingredients in the pantry and fridge it was on the table for dinner in no time.

For the dinner we had it with garlic toast and a salad.  There was a bit left over so for the next day's lunch we had it over rice with toast.  Perfect.  

You'll see I forgot to take photos so, here is a snap from the magazine.

White Bean Soup
1 can white beans, drained
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
some olive oil
roughly 1 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and mashed (I used a can of diced tomatoes)
2 teaspoons oregano
little bit of salt
optional is cayenne pepper if you like it

Heat olive oil in a pan and saute onions, celery and carrots, 3 to 5 minutes or until soft.  Add broth, beans, tomatoes, oregano salt and pepper if using. 
Simmer about 20 minutes, adding more broth if you like it thinner.

Spinach Lentil Stew # vegetarian

This is a quick dish I made for a lunch one day that I'd been meaning to post.  I rely on my blog to look up some recipes instead of pou...