Thursday, May 29, 2008

Salmon Patties with Succotash: Budget Friendly and Healthy

In my efforts to make the perfect salmon patty I have gone through recipe after recipe with long lists of ingredients and when I finally settled on the perfect one I was kind of surprised because its really only three simple inexpensive ingredients.

~Canned Salmon

~Plain Bread Crumbs


That's it. That's all. No seasoning, nothing.

We like to dip them in wasabi mayo (YUM!) or hot pepper sauce when we eat them. I love them served with grits or baked mac n cheese and red beans and rice....BUT I'm really making an effort to stay away from pasta and cheese. The cheese hasn't been that difficult because it is just almost too expensive to buy at the grocery right now. Pasta is tough though. We were doing whole wheat pasta for awhile-but that's expensive and it still tends to make me hold weight. So, today I made a sort of succotash to go with the salmon and een without the extra carbs it was really filling.

Oh yeah, and check out that lovely spinach leaf in there! Straight out of the garden, baby!

Simple Salmon Patty

(makes 18-20 patties-enough for a meal, leftovers or throw some in the freezer to eat another day)

5 cans boneless skinless salmon in water

about 1 cup of plain bread crumbs (give or take)

2 eggs

Drain the cans of salmon and put them in bowl. Flake with a fork if needed. Crack two eggs into bowl and stir to coat. Add bread crumbs until there is a nice consistency and when you handle the salmon mixture it sticks together. Form 15-20 patties (depending on how big you prefer to make them) Heat a large skillet and add a couple of turns of olive oil. Add patties to pan and brown about 3-5 minutes each side. Remove to paper towel lined dish to soak up excess oil.


1/2 bag frozen sweet corn

1 can red beans, drained and rinsed

1 small onion, chopped

1 small orange or red pepper, diced

cayenne pepper

dash of black pepper

dash of kosher salt

olive oil

Heat pan and add one turn of oilve oil. Add all ingredients to pan and sort of stir fry them until onions are translucent and beans begin to break open. (Add cayenne pepper until you reach the heat you desire)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Grow Spinach, Its your birthday! that would make a lovely salad wouldn't it? Everything is growing pretty nicely now. I've got a few pea pods forming and have already pinched off some pole beans.
I really really need to get it all transplanted into a real garden though. I'm such a slacker. I got a cool new book called the New American Kitchen Garden that gives me a ton of information and I'm also using a handy dandy pdf guide from the Colorado Extension service on building a raised bed garden.

Lunch. Yum.

Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Sammich
-Chicken-Grill it with some chicken and rib rub
-Romaine Lettuce-break a leaf off the head and tear it in half-rinse it.
-Roma Tomato-slice it.
-Onion-slice it too.
-Pineapple-open the can. (Fresh pinepple would be better-but I'm po'. ie-"POOR")
-Stack it on bread.
-Add some kind of sauce if you want. Teriyaki, BBQ or even mayo would work well.
-Sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Birthday Flowers

I have a thing for taking pictures of flowers-I'm definitely not a pro but I like to pretend I have some sort of skill. I wish I had a Rebel SLR with a macro lense. I just love the fine details of the inside of a flower.

These were part of a bouquet sent to me by a friend for my birthday-which just happens to be TODAY!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Old School Home Remedy: The Hot Toddy

I know most people tend to think of colds and coughing in the winter months-but I'm prone to a Spring and Fall outbreak of bronchitis or some other nasty congested chest and cough plague. I'll be sick for a day or two and then feel better except for a horrible cough that likes to stick around for weeks afterwards. This wasn't something I dealt with as a child-its just another one of those things I like to blame on Georgia and its nasty smog polluted air and murderous pollen counts.

Anyway-I'm dealing with it right now, the cough can get so bad I've actually bruised my ribs and caused inflamation in the tissue surrounding my ribs. That my friends does NOT feel pleasant-so in an effort to combat the cough this year I'm taking it back, way back to the old school methods my momma use to use on me. Now I must say Chris Rock's famous 'Tussin does the job if you want to get some sleep, it will knock you right out (I swear by the children's 'Tussin-it works better than the adult version) but if you really want to kick that congestion out of your chest...

Its Hot Toddy time!

The recipe is really simple.

1. Juice two lemons into a glass microwaveable container ( I like to use my Pyrex measuring cups)

2. Add 1/4 cup honey to the mix (if you can get some local honey-that's even better)

3. Bring the lemon and honey to a boil in the microwave-probably about 1.5 minutes.

4. Set the honey and lemon aside to cool until warm.

5. Brew a cup of tea-I like to use wellness echinachea tea-but any kind will do.

6. pour the warm honey lemon mixture into the tea.

7. Add about a 1/4 cup of brandy or whiskey.

8. Stir and then add a dash of cayenne pepper.

9. Drink.

Ahh..relief. something about the lemon and honey being brought to a boil chemically changes it and gives it some healing properties. Either that or the whiskey gets you just drunk enough to forget the annoying cough all together.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

1979 and Rhubarb Pie

While browsing blogs on the Internet this afternoon, I came across one that had a recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. You know how somethings just transport you back to a place and time or some fond happy memory? Well Rhubarb is just one of those things for me. Takes me right back to 1979. Takes me back to a little farm on County Rd 8 in Arlington Ohio where one of my favorite cousins lived. Where we could run through corn fields and swim in the pond, ride on the tractor, collect peacock feathers and love on the abundance of kittens living in the old barn.

Check me out-I'm the one on the far left that looks like a boy with a really bad haircut. that's 1979 all the way right there...I'm somewhat surprised there isn't some random patch sewn on the knee of my pants. My Mom was an avid user of those little patches.

Anyway, we would visit my cousins Chris and Kim and Aunt Marge and Uncle Floyd in the summers and fall when I was young. We'd play "kick the can" and eat wild berries and explore the land without a care in the world.

Aunt Marge made two dishes from scratch that have stayed etched in my mind for all of these years-homemade baked macaroni and cheese and strawberry rhubarb pie. They were both heavenly. I've never had a mac and cheese like it. It was very rustic-not fancy-no added flavors. I've come to find out later that fresh goats milk cheese was part of the recipe.

OK, OK back to the real reason for the blog...rhubarb! Aunt Marge's Rhubarb Pie was so frackin' good! Most people have a sweet tooth-but I tend to think I have more of a "tart" tooth. I love tart flavors and rhubarb is most definitely tart. Click HERE for the recipe I found that inspired this blog-it is of course, complete with lots of wonderful pics.

I know I just said I was going to plant tomatoes and sunflowers-but I think I'm adding Rhubarb to the garden as well. I am seriously going to drive my husband insane-he's anti-plant. I think he's just tolerating all of this planting right now because he sees it is something that is bringing me joy.

THIS ARTICLE tells me rhubarb doesn't do well in the south-its apparently a cold climate crop. It does tell me how to grow it as an annual though. I guess I will be waiting until around August or so to start my Rhubarb plants. That's kind of disheartening-but oh well-if I get a good enough crop I can always freeze it for later use.

I'm off to learn more about my beloved Rhubarb and humming 1979 by The Smashing Pumpkins all the way... (Great song!)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Simply Saturday


That's about the best way to describe today. Its rainy and cool and...quiet. The husband is at work, the child is napping and I could be doing something productive and domestic like vacuuming mattresses, washing baseboards, or tackling this mountain:

But nooooo, you know because I so enjoy being rebellious and all, I have instead opted to produce this random meaningless blog and indulge in some of this:

You're with me now, right? I threw some Boney James on for background noise and voila! Zen hath arrived.

Check out the present my sweet boy gave me this morning-he wrapped it himself with a Spaghetti Warehouse kids menu coloring page. He's apparently frugally innovative like his momma!

Here's what was inside:

A jewel! The boy is good, right? Way to win over a ladies heart with giant jewels! Oh, he threw the pirate ship in because as he told me "its a treasure!" This kid is smart y'all!

What else, what else? Oh yes, scrapping. I scrapped recently and here's what I came up with:

Nothing spectacular, my creative juices weren't really flowing that day. It took hours just to get to a starting point. I think I'm going to start working on some 8x8 pages. I've got plenty of single pictures that I'd like to highlight on smaller pages.

Finally, to just be completely random and out there...check out my sparkly gold flip flops! Don't focus on the feet, I'm in desperate need of a pedicure.

Garden Update: Week 6

Its rainy and cool outside (I know! I'm completely abnormal because I tend to prefer the rain to sun). I just love the way everything becomes more vibrant and alive after a spring rain. The plants seem to love it-check em out! They are coming along nicely, no?

The winds kicked up a bit today so I added some bamboo skewers for support to the beans just to be safe-I just used some twist-ties to loosely hold them to the skewer. There is probably some product at the nursery specifically made to tie and support plants but ya know I work with what I've got. SHOOT-check out the old baby gate I'm using as a trellis for the pea plants to attach to and the rubber maid bin I'm using as a planter. I'm not so sure if I'm being frugally innovative and creative or plain trashy anymore...

Hmmm. Well the 88cent price tags ARE still attached to the green pots so, me thinks I might be leaning more towards the trashy. Oh well, it is what it is.

The beans have also begun to flower! Ooh PRETTY!

The other plants are slow and steady with the exception of one pot of pea plants. I had run out of organic soil when I was potting these and got the bright (insert rolling eyes here) idea to use some old peat moss type potting stuff I had in the garage from the year before. So its rather telling that this is the only pot of plants that is not flourishing-its either don't use peat moss-or don't use old peat moss or both. I added some plant food to the mix today-we'll see if it brings these plants some life back.

They are a rather sad lot, no?

I really NEED to get out into the backyard and prepare the area for the official garden. I'm actually really apprehensive about putting them into the actual ground though. Its as though somehow the deck high above the ground below is a safe haven for them.

Stay tuned for the tomato plants I will be adding to the mix next week, sunflowers, and oh I've been told coffee cans make interesting planters too. So maybe I will have to force myself to drink more coffee just to have some fun cans to use as planters? Maybe I'll do some flowers in those, and paint them brick red? Oh the excitement of it all! I know you can hardly stand it, can you?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Wilted Spinach with Edamame, Garlic and Tomatoes

I threw this together last night on a whim. I was going to throw some spinach tomatoes and feta together, but the Edamame in the freezer has been calling my name for the last week so I figured I'd see what I could do with it.

I first discovered Edamame at the Ruby Tuesday's salad bar. For awhile I thought it was fava beans, but later was informed it was actually Edamame or soybeans. I love it so much I actually tried to purchase the entire supply of it from Ruby Tuesday's and have been known to go in and buy salad bar to go and simply fill up my Styrofoam take out container with Edamame!

Its got such a nice fresh from the garden taste and it has about 4g of fiber in a serving and 10 whopping grams of protein!

So here is my attempt at a recipe ingredient list and instructions, since I didn't exactly measure anything:

1/2 half bag frozen shelled edamame (fresh would probably work just as well too)

1 bag fresh pre-washed baby spinach

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 can no salt added diced tomatoes

kosher salt

1 cup uncooked couscous (I used a sundried tomato, spinach and whole wheat blend)

For the couscous:

1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. I like to add just a touch of olive oil to the water. ( you can use butter and a touch of salt if you would like as well)

2. Stir in couscous and then cover and remove from heat.

3. Let stand about five minutes and then fluff with fork.


1. Heat large pan on medium-high heat and add olive oil.

2. Add spinach and stir around until it begins to wilt. Add kosher salt, edamame and garlic and continue cooking until all of the spinach is wilted, and edamame is thawed and bright green.

3. Add diced tomatoes and stir until heated through.

4. Serve on top of couscous.

Ah, I also have some chicken there in the picture, don't I? That was pretty easy and tasty too. I had some thin sliced boneless skinless breasts and simply put some chicken and rib rub on them and drizzled them with a bit of olive oil and then grilled them on an indoor grill.