05 December 2007

Sauerbraten Meatballs

Have you ever purchased some ground beef and then wondered what the heck to do with it? Here is one interesting idea. My mom has a brilliant meatball recipe that Tami and I improved upon last evening. We then tossed it with some sauerbraten sauce (German sweet and sour?) - another brilliant recipe of Mom's.

1 lb. lean ground beef
chopped onions (Mom says 1/4 c., I say more)
1/3 c. oats (or crushed corn chips if you want gluten-free)
1 egg
dash of red wine
some fresh parsley or dried parsley flakes
garlic powder
a generous dash or two or three of Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix by hand. Form into meatballs, place on cookie sheet or broiler pan and bake at 400 for 20 minutes. It might help to stir them partway through the cooking to ensure a rounder shape.

Sauerbraten Sauce
1 c. water
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar (or whatever vinegar you have lying around)
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. cloves
6 ginger snaps, crumbled*
1 T. brown sugar

*If you don't have gingersnaps--> sub some powdered ginger, a little more brown sugar, and some flour.

1. Combine all ingredients in small sauce pan. Bring to a boil to reduce a little bit. Simmer for 10-20 minutes over low heat.

2. Remove bay leaf and pour sauce over meatballs.

Best Asparagus Ever

This is Heather Gideon's roasted asparagus method. It is brilliant and I am never going back.

Asparagus, washed and ends snapped off
olive oil
kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 500.

2. Arrange asparagus in single layer on cookie sheet.

3. Drizzle olive oil over the top and sprinkle with salt (and pepper if you want). Bake for 10-12 minutes.

YUM. I did this with just a bit of asparagus for Ken and me, in the toaster oven. Love it.

22 November 2007

Gingerbread Stuffing

I don't know if I should post this, since it is still in the oven - 3 minutes to go - and hasn't even been tasted yet. The idea of gingerbread + bacon in stuffing came from my new food hero, Nigella Lawson, but I didn't really follow her recipe - just used it as a springboard. Another disclaimer: it's not really stuffing, it's technically dressing. I don't stuff turkeys. Just people.

1 recipe gingerbread (Joy of Cooking's is awesome - but I used half the amount of sugar, butter, and molasses)
5 apples - Granny Smith or eating apples (I used a variety)
2 onions
8-10 stalks celery
1-2 cups chicken broth
6 strips bacon

1. Dry out and crumble up gingerbread. Chop apples, celery and onions.

2. In a large frying pan or griddle, fry the bacon. Crumble and set aside. Drain *most* of the fat out of the pan. Add onions to the pan and saute in a little bacon fat until translucent. Add apples and celery; saute 5-10 minutes longer. Add gingerbread crumbs and bacon; stir to combine. Moisten with chicken broth.

3. Transfer stuffing to 9x13 pan, bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

OK I just tasted some... it is amazing. Try this at home.

06 November 2007

Mint Hummus Dip - from Martha

1/2 c. olive oil, divided
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 c. fresh mint, coarsely chopped
1/4 c. parsley, chopped
3 T. fresh lemon juice
coarse salt
black or cayenne pepper

1. Heat 1/4 c. of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions for 8 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes more. Add garbanzo beans and cook for 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool 10-15 minutes.

2. Place mint, parsley, lemon juice, salt and garbanzo bean mixture in food processor or blender (on my blender, the "chop" mode works well) and begin to mix. While the machine is going, pour in the remaining 1/4 c. (more or less) olive oil in a slow steady stream. Remove from blender, add pepper and taste to adjust seasonings.

3. Serve warm, drizzle some olive oil on top and more cayenne pepper, or if you used black pepper, sprinkle paprika on top... something red. :)

27 October 2007

Link to some So Cal wildfire pics

You are probably sick of seeing pictures of these fires, but WSC has posted just a few interesting ones on their website.

The top left one is what we woke up to around 7 AM on Monday morning: half the sky bright blue like a typical San Diego day, and the other half a blackish orangish cloud completely covering the horizon to the south and creeping eastward.

When the whole sky turned pinkish orange, we were like, Peace, and hightailed it to SF.

17 October 2007



A link to good old Greenlake PCA you might suppose? Nope. Click on it. This is a whole new Greenlake.

Greenlake is trying to be Mars Hill... and I find that highly annoying. Mars Hill is an intriguing phenomenon... but is it compatible with the PCA? Apparently. Can someone please explain to me why this bothers me?

18 September 2007

Roasted Fall Vegetables

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into pieces 1/2" or smaller
2-3 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into pieces 1/2" or smaller
1 large onion, cut into 1/2" pieces
olive oil
pure maple syrup
dash of sage
salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450. Place squash, potatoes and onion in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil, syrup, sage, salt and pepper.

2. Turn into a glass baking dish (9x13). Bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, stirring occasionally.

- merged recipes from Claire's Corner Copia, Better Homes and Gardens and Betty Crocker.

This is Mary's and my favorite dish to make in the fall. Last fall we made it like 10 times. The best part was when Esther came along and was like, "yuk," and then had some and wanted seconds. It is really good served along with cranberries. YUMMM

English Scones

for Christa - hope you enjoy!

2 c. flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. shortening
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. currants or raisins (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Sift dry ingredients together into mixing bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles crumbs. Make a hollow in the center; add egg, milk and currants/raisins. Mix into a stiff dough, kneading well.

3. Place dough on ungreased baking sheet. Shape into a flat circle about 1" thick. Using a sharp knife, score the circle with 4 cuts making 8 triangle-shaped scones. Do not cut all the way through.

4. Bake 15-18 minutes. Serve with butter and jam or clotted cream if you are feeling really British. Makes 8 scones.

14 September 2007

Chilies Rellenos

one of the best recipes ever - from Cheryl Hufnagel

1 7 oz. can green chilies - whole or diced
3/4 lb. shredded cheddar or jack (or both) cheese (I never measure)
2 eggs
2 c. milk
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Split chilies if using whole. Lay chilies in a 7x11 baking dish and cover with cheese.

2. In a bowl, beat eggs. Add milk, flour and salt; whisk/stir well to combine. (OK if you can't get all the lumps of flour out.)

3. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes or until set. Let cool at least 5 minutes before serving. Serve with salsa if desired.

29 August 2007

Black Bean Burgers

Inspired by Betty Crocker. Loved by Tami Montgomery.

1 can black beans, drained
1 egg
1 c. crushed corn tortilla chips
1/4 c. TJ's salsa verde
1 tsp. chili powder
dash cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
1/4 c. corn meal
2 T. olive oil
buns, condiments etc.

1. Place drained black beans in blender. Blend (may need to add egg if it's too dry). Pour mixture into bowl. Stir in crushed chips, salsa, chili powder and pepper. Mix well. (If it's not holding together well, add more crushed chips.)

2. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Put corn meal in a pie plate or shallow dish. Form black bean mixture into 6 patties. Dip each side into corn meal. Fry in olive oil until crispy. Serve on hamburger bun with lettuce, tomato, salsa, avocado, or whatever you want.

19 July 2007

Fallen Tree

A tree fell down at work... actually part of a tree. It wasn't windy or anything; it was just a big rotten eucalyptus whose time had come. It very nearly caused damage but just brushed the side of the library. Imagine the librarian's surprise to find this out his window on Monday morning!

Anyway this is Ryan demonstrating what would have happened if it fell during lunch time.

Photo courtesy of Sunny Chung.

18 July 2007

Fruit Salad Dressing

This is a recipe I made up... not stolen from anyone. :) Therefore the measurements are totally arbitrary. This is an fabulous dessert for a hot summer's day.

1/2 c. Plain Yogurt (French Style creamline yogurt from TJ's is the best)
1 T. Brown sugar

Mix together and toss with fresh fruit.

Variation: use 1 T. real maple syrup (not Aunt Jemima) instead of brown sugar. Mm, mm, mm. Tastes extra good in the fall drizzled over apples and persimmons.

11 July 2007

Jamaican Black Bean Pot with White Rice

from One Pot Meals Cookbook

2 14.5 oz cans black beans, drained
1 bay leaf
2 T. oil
1 lg. onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 T. molasses
2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. cayenne pepper or dried chili flakes
Salt & pepper
1 2/3 c. broth
1 red pepper diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 ½ lb. butternut squash, seeded/peeled and diced (1/2 inch dice)

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place beans and bay leaf in casserole dish with lid.

2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium low heat. Sauté onion and garlic about 5 min or until soft. Stir in molasses, sugar, thyme, cayenne/chili flakes and S&P. Cook about 1 minute. Pour into casserole dish. Add broth to casserole dish, mix all well. Bake uncovered 25 minutes.

3. Remove dish from oven, add peppers and squash, mix well. Cover dish, bake for 45 minutes more. Serve with hot rice.

15 June 2007

Mediterranean Strata

Mediterranean Strata
- from Better Homes & Gardens Vegetarian Cookbook

3 c. bread cubes/torn pieces (stale is better)
1 medium red bell pepper
2 T. olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 c. sliced mushrooms (optional, unless you are Jaclyn, then - essential) :)
OR 1/2 c. sliced olives (I've used green and kalamata)
3/4 c. crumbled feta or grated parmesan cheese (or grated swiss = Fake Quiche Lorraine)
6 eggs
2 c. chicken broth (or 1 3/4 c. broth and 1/4 c. white wine)
black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450. Slice red pepper in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place on foil-lined baking sheet skin side up and bake for 15 minutes or until skin bubbles. Let cool; peel skin off and coarsely chop.

2. Reduce oven heat to 350. Grease a 10" pie dish with olive oil; place bread pieces in dish.

3. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions 5-10 minutes or until golden. Add garlic and mushrooms (if using); saute 2-5 minutes more. Add red pepper, heat through. Place onion mixture on top of bread pieces; spread out if necessary. Sprinkle cheese evenly over top.

4. In a large-ish bowl, beat eggs. Add chicken broth (and wine if using) and black pepper; stir to combine. Pour egg mixture slowly over top, pressing with the back of a spoon to moisten bread so egg mixture will soak in.

5. Bake 35-45 minutes at 350. Test for doneness with a toothpick. It will be big and puffy but will deflate after a few minutes.

25 May 2007

Time and Money

You know how you never have time and money at the same time? It's either one or the other? Well right now I have neither one. I am busy AND poor. :) But.. as I have been recently reminded, it is all a matter of perspective.

And anyway, guess what I do have right now...

1. Great Friends
2. Free Avocados.

Life is good.

(OK this was a total Brad Lenzner post.)

15 May 2007

How Washington State are You?


I am 93% Washington State... whatever that means. It was fun though. The only thing that would have made this quiz better is if it showed which ones you got wrong.

04 May 2007


It is easier than it sounds. The only weird thing you have to buy is phyllo dough, in the freezer section by the puff pastry (next to the frozen waffles).

This unbelievably quick and easy recipe for this is stolen from none other than Martha herself. I tried to link to it on her website but it isn't there. So here it is from my memory:

3 T. Olive Oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 lb. baby spinach
1 egg
6 oz. feta cheese
3 T. dried dill
3 T. dried parsley (or 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley)
9 sheets phyllo dough
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute about 8 minutes or until soft. Add garlic, saute one minute longer. Gradually add spinach; saute about 5 minutes or until wilted.

2. In large bowl, beat egg and add dill, parsley and feta cheese. Add spinach mixture to bowl and mix well.

3. Butter a cookie sheet. Place one sheet of phyllo on cookie sheet and brush with melted butter. Repeat twice. (Keep damp towel on top of phyllo while you aren't using it - this keeps it from drying out and breaking.) Spread spinach-cheese mixture over phyllo. Top with 3 more sheets of buttered phyllo and roll in the edges to seal. Butter remaining 3 sheets and crumple over the top.

4. Bake for 40 minutes - spanakopita should be a deep golden-brown.

**Upon tasting this, Ken Montgomery almost died and went to heaven.

02 May 2007

Vegetable Broth from Scratch

... because you asked.

some carrots, peeled and cut in 2 inch chunks
some celery, cut in 2-3 inch pieces
onion, cut in 1/8s
16 cups water (Use asparagus or artichoke leftover cooking water if you have it handy)
salt and pepper to taste

Throw all ingredients in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for a couple hours. Then, freeze 1 cup amounts in plastic bowls/cups so it keeps for longer!

The best way to do this is: if you happen to be cooking asparagus or artichokes or something else that makes green water, pour the water into a big pot and add the cut-up veggies. That was how I did it last time and it worked out great.

- yummy broth that's lower in sodium and has no MSG
- good use for ugly veggies from your garden
- you can feel really resourceful and productive and Martha-esque

29 April 2007

Award-Winning Texan White Chili

Dear Friends, I apologize for my long silence but I blame it on Facebook. It is just way more addicting and fun than blogging. :( Nevertheless, another recipe has come up in recent weeks that needs to be posted here.

Abigail Lundelius, a Covenant College friend who hails from Texas, gave me this recipe. Her parents created it and it won awards because it is so ridiculously good.

Here it is as I received it from Abigail and I will let you in on my substitutions afterward:

1/2 stick butter
2 lg. onions - chopped
2 T. chopped garlic
2 T. cumin seed
2 c. water
4 cans navy beans
3 cans white hominy (one blended to puree)
2 cans white shoepeg corn
1 can chopped green chilis (opt.)
2 or more jalapenos - minced
5-7 chicken breasts, diced
1/2 c. lime juice
2-3 T. ground cumin
salt to taste*

In a large pot, saute onion in butter until translucent. Add garlic and cumin seed and continue to saute 2 minutes or so, but do not allow to burn. Add water, beans, hominy, shoepeg corn, green chilis, jalapeno peppers and chicken to the pot. Simmer awhile. Add lime juice, ground cumin and any additional water to desired consistency. Salt to taste.*

*You will want to add a LOT of salt if you are having Santosh over for dinner.

OK - my subsitutions:
1) Instead of the 2 c. water, I use 2 c. homemade vegetable broth. It makes it more flavorful and you don't have to add as much salt at the end.

2) If I don't have navy beans, I use white kidney beans or great northern beans.

3) I am pretty sure we don't have white hominy in California, so I just use 5 cans of white corn - and if I can't find white corn, I just use yellow. Who cares?

4) This one is obvious but it must be stated for the record: lemon juice can be used instead of lime. :)

5) Not a substitution, but I just leave the cumin seed out at the beginning. I don't have cumin seed - just ground cumin, so I add a little extra at the end when it calls for ground cumin.

Let me know if you make this and how it turns out. Enjoy!

13 April 2007

Ben is a Dad


26 March 2007

Friendly Rivalry

Dude, how do Oregon and Oregon State people co-exist in peace? One wonders.

15 March 2007

Greek Vest

This is what I did over Christmas break - studied Greek. Thanks Marie for the vest. It has been helping a lot - seriously. And even though it looks sunny in this picture, it was sort of cold.

That's all.

02 March 2007

Easy as Apple Pie

Preface: I should really change my blog title. Because I sort of think Martha Stewart is lame. She has a lot of creative people who work for her, and then she sits around and lives in her five homes and swims in her money bin, oh wait, that was Scrooge McDuck, I got confused.

Anyway, here is an anti-Martha recipe (that is, quick, easy and good). It's Easy Apple Pie from Margarete Dvorak. It's almost more like apple crisp... the sweetness is in the crust, not in the apples.

3-4 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced (I don't bother to peel)
cinnamon and brown sugar (optional: dash each of nutmeg and cloves)
1 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 c. flour
3/4 c. white sugar
capful of vanilla flavoring (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Spread half the apples in a pie plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar (and nutmeg and cloves if using). Repeat with other half apples. (Use enough apples to fill the pie plate up)

3. Mix butter, egg, flour, white sugar and vanilla. Drop dough on top of apples. Do not spread (it will spread as it bakes). Bake 45-50 minutes at 375.

Serving Suggestions:
- Ken enjoys his pie warmed up and topped with a dollop of plain yogurt, just like he likes his apple crisp.
- I like mine covered with slices of brie cheese.

22 February 2007


Welp, we are going to Prague in August for 2 weeks! I just found out my own sister did not know that, and I feel very guilty now, so I will share.

Ken and I are leading a team of 8 high school and college-age people, who all happen to be girls, to the Czech Republic to visit the Farniks who are missionaries there. We're going to do an English camp and a VBS.

Two of the girls who are going were at winter camp: Vicki and Janna. Two other girls I already know: Suzzanne and Kathleen Winslow. All the girls are from various churches in the Southern California presbytery of the OPC (which includes Arizona).

Anyway... exciting times!!!

Mealtime's Bday

I wish I could just make signs all day long.

21 February 2007

Winter Camp

These are Tim and Matt from my team. For some reason they were really fascinated with weapons. Our skit was a really bad version of Peter Pan. Tim played Captain Hook. We totally lost but I thought we should have got some points for Tim's mustache.

This is Ken's team, El Templo de los Hijos de la Pilar de something or other... El Templo for short. Their skit was the second funniest and the overall best (in my opinion). They had choreography and an original rap.

L-R: Ken, Kyle, Vicki from Phoenix who is coming with us to Prague (whats up!), Kayla, Mike MEIHAUS, Mark Nelson, Thomas the tank engine, Daniel Gandara from Mexico (he also speaks Japanese!), Erika Shaw, and Daniela Munoz.

You will notice that Thomas is wearing a t-shirt... yeah.... it wasn't too cold.

16 February 2007

The Getty Villa

Dude, the Getty Villa was awesome. We went there on Saturday with Ryan and Jess Roberts. We took lots of pictures of marble statues and mosaics but the best part was seeing Jess. So that is the picture I'll post (not sure why I am doing the David Gay smile in this picture... ?)

The second best part was seeing Malibu... I have heard all about it of course and that you can live in a trailer there for like a million bucks. There are lots of big fancy houses like SF style, only it is pretty sunny there all the time, I think. The ocean is right there, just like Half Moon Bay... only sunny!!! Good times.
Here's a picture I took out my car window but it doesn't do it justice, of course. It was balmy yet breezy, like you could just wear shorts all the time.

14 February 2007

Dave Elliott's Mom's Pancakes

These are the best pancakes. Dave Elliott was a dude who used to live with my mom and dad, whose mom made the best pancakes. Legend has it that although she passed away, her pancake recipe lives on because it rocks. I made these for Ken this morning for Valentine's day. His favorite way to eat them is topped with plain yogurt, seasonal fruit and real maple syrup.

2 eggs, separated
1 c. buttermilk, plain yogurt, or milk with a little lemon juice added
1 c. flour
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
some vanilla flavoring (about 1/2 tsp - eyeball it like Rachel Ray)
some almond flavoring (1/4 tsp?) (special for valentine's day)
1-2 T. melted butter

1. Add a pinch of salt to egg whites and beat until stiff but not dry. Set aside.

2. Beat yolks until thick and lemon-colored. Add buttermilk; beat together. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Add flavoring and melted butter; stir to combine. Fold in egg whites.

3. Pour batter by the half-cup (approx) onto a pre-heated griddle, at around 275 degrees (or if your stovetop temperature is actually manageable, unlike mine, a large frying pan over medium heat should work).

Makes about 12 - 4" pancakes.

07 February 2007

Birth Control Pill...

Interesting how the three little words "birth control pill" immediately spark not only medical, but fiery political and religious discussions! Kind of reminds me of working at the APC. :)

Pizza Florentine!

If I was really Martha Stewart, I would make my own pizza dough from scratch, grow my own spinach and probably even make my own sausage. But... who has time? So, I thank my friend Trader Joe for his help in supplying ingredients.

olive oil
1 bag TJ's plain pizza dough
tomato sauce
1 bag baby spinach (I used about half)
Basil-Pesto Chicken Turkey sausage (I forget the brand name but it comes fully cooked and is about $5 for a pkg of 5 sausages)
mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 450. Brush about 1 T. (eyeball it like Rachel Ray) onto a pizza pan or baking sheet. Flatten dough and shape into a circle. Spread tomato sauce onto the dough (I used about 1/4 cup)

Rinse and coarsely chop about half the bag of spinach (perhaps about 4 cups?). Pile it on top of the sauce. It will be a tall pile, but it will shrink! Don't worry :)

Chop one sausage and scatter over spinach. Top with mozzarella, then a bit of parmesan. Bake 18-20 minutes; let cool for 3-5.

Serves 4 normal, or 2 famished people
Let me tell you why this pizza is the absolute best. The spinach makes the pizza feel healthy, because you know you are eating lots of greens. Ken said, "should we have salad too?" and I said, "the salad is IN the pizza!" :) One thing I was wondering was if it would be flavorful enough since there is a TON of spinach. But there was enough cheese, super-flavorful sausage and tangy tomato sauce to stand up to the spinach. It was a nice balance.

02 February 2007

Baked Ziti with Sausage

Our friends, the Naves, make the best food. Here is one of their specialties: kind of like lasagna, only better (and easier!).

8 oz. ziti or penne pasta
1 ½ cups ricotta cheese } or plain yogurt... it is still so good
1 cup sour cream }
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 jar of tomato sauce (14-16 ounces)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Cook pasta and drain. Combine pasta, ricotta, sour cream, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper. Cook sausage and onion, add tomato sauce. Spread half the pasta mixture in bottom of a 2 quart baking dish, top with half the sausage mixture. Repeat layers, and top with mozzarella. Bake until heated through, and cheese is bubbly, about 35-40 minutes. Can be made in advance and frozen.

31 January 2007

Basil-Avocado Soup

So, Brian Cochran decided to link the world of WSC blogs together, which was sort of interesting and nice, except that now people actually look at my blog, which makes me feel like I should post something. On second thought, maybe this is good.

So Sunny said she appreciates recipes. Here is an awesome recipe that I just tested on Mary Hawkins. It is a good summer soup. Not so great for today with all that rain... but still good.

2 c. carrot juice (if you don't have a juicer, just buy Odwalla or NakedJuice at Henry's)
1 lg or 2 small avocadoes, peeled and pitted
10 fresh basil leaves
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
juice of 1 lemon (1-2 Tbsp.)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth & creamy. I love this soup! If you like cold soups I think you will too! You can also make it thinner by using less avocado and make a lovely creamy orange salad dressing. I am thinking about playing with the seasonings of this and will let you know if I come up with anything else good.

Let me know if you try this and what you think! If you need an avocado, please contact me. :)