A cooking experiment

I had never tried it, but Ajvar was a sauce that was highly recommended. When I looked at the ingredient list and saw how small it was, I was intrigued. How could you make something so good with so few ingredients? Then, I went on line and saw how easy the recipe was and I thought, ‘I have to try it’. So I did.

These are all the ingredients required.

I have to warn you, gentle reader, that I am, at best, an okay cook. I can follow a recipe but that’s about it. I had no idea how this was going to turn out.

This is the first step. Chop everything up and put it into the oven.
A little heat sure does change things.

After this, the instructions say you have to put the roasted veggies into a bowl and cover them with a plastic. The idea is that the steam will make them easier to peel. Like I said, that’s the idea. The reality was a little different.

I did what the recipe called for. Into a bowl they went with a plastic top.

I had a heck of a time trying to part those peppers from their skins. I used nails, curses and a knife and it was a still a long and arduous process. Maybe this is a sauce better enjoyed bought than home-made.

This is the veggies without their skins.

Then, it’s the easy part. Add vinegar, salt, olive oil, pepper and blend.


And then put in a container.


So, how was it? I have never tasted the real thing so I can’t tell you if mine was awesome or not. I can say that the resulting sauce was mild and certainly appealing but it didn’t blow my mind. I wonder if it’s because I was expecting too much or because we had just finished eating sushi and the mixture didn’t work.

I don’t know if I put too much eggplant and that made the taste too bland and the colour too orange. I suspect that might be the case. If I had to do it again, I would recommend less eggplant (some say you can skip it altogether but I was following that recipe as if my life depended on it). Still, it’s a vegan dish and super famous, so there must be a reason.

If you have tried ajvar before or have experimented in the kitchen, give me a shout. I’d love to hear what you think of this famous sauce.


I’ve never, ever made risotto before but this one is super yummy. It’s pretty labour intensive, because it basically asks you to be stirring the rice for 45 minutes but it’s so worth the work. The taste was unbelievable! Even my meat-loving hubby loved it.

Here are some pictures and the recipe comes from Oh She Glows.

Oh, I did cheat at the end a put a dab of real butter into the dish. Just to be completely honest. Still, man alive, it was good!

A visit to the doctor and a new menu

Well, hubby was due to go to the doctor and I sat in. He still has high cholesterol, though better than before and the doctor advised us to follow a Mediterranean diet. I mentioned our previous attempt at a plant-based diet but he countered that doctors never recommend it.

His advice made us both think and the result was we decided to add some mediterranean dishes to our cuisine. Now, this recipe below was a first attempt at Mediterranean cuisine for me.

It comes from this site. And this is what we got:

Leeks and shrimp before cooking

the ingredients we needed

This was the sauce after we cooked the shrimp

The cooked shrimp

All of it mixed together

The final dish

It was actually really yummy. If you do give this a try, let me know how it turned out for you.


Well, this is not a recipe. It’s more like a desperate attempt at feeding us. I grabbed what I had in the kitchen and threw them into a pan. This was the result.

I had some red sweet peppers, some portobello mushrooms, some spinach and a lonely onion. I chopped it all up, cooked it with a tiny bit of olive oil and hoped it would work with some sauce and pasta. Oh…I also added some garlic and a bit of nutritional yeast at the end (so it doesn’t get cooked and loses its nutritional value.

I have no idea if it’ll turn out okay or if it will be inedible. But, since it’s pretty much all we have to take to work, that’s what we’ll be eating for lunch for this week. Or peanut butter sandwiches.

Okay, pasta is done. I’m off to try my concoction. Wish me luck!

Where I’m sick and…obsessed

So, I’m sick. Really sick. My entire body seems to be oozing some sort of fluid and it’s all pretty disgusting. My eyes are runny, my nose is a sore, congested mess and my lungs are trying really hard to keep air in them. It’s not easy with all the coughing and sneezing I’m doing.

I blame this illness for the obsession that has taken over me. It started innocently enough with my hubby mentioning that he’d love homemade bread. I went online and watched a video where a calm, serene man kneaded dough into submission and made beautiful bread effortlessly. It seemed so easy, so simple and so lovely that I had to try it.

First, I had to buy the machines to make such bread. I opted for a Dutch Oven.

This is a dutch oven. I had no idea these things even existed.

So I got flour and threw in the ingredients. Well, first of all, my dough didn’t look at all like the well-behaved, even sphere I had seen on the video. Mine was a messy, sticky goo that seemed determined to ooze its way through the kitchen but, hey, what did I know? Time to bake! In it went and out it came…looking as thick and heavy as a brick.

It looked amazing…and tasted awful

My lovely hubby, innocently tried a piece and chewed and chewed before finally swallowing the mess. It tasted nothing like bread.

Anyone else would have probably shaken it off, realized you can buy freshly baked bread at the store and moved onto better projects but not yours truly. I was, and still am, pretty sick and one cough after another, I was going to bake something! So, on came attempt number two (where I doubled the amount of salt).

Second attempt was even heavier than the first. The dough didn’t even pretend to rise.

The second attempt was even more depressing than the first. See the above? It’s about as light as cement and feels like that in your stomach. Ugh.

But did I give up? Nope. I went back to the store and bought a new contraption.

A baking stone will sort everything out!

Well, I haven’t actually used this one yet. I’m in the middle of production.

Guess what’s under that kitchen cloth? That’s right! More dough.

In my desperate attempt to not create another ‘bread-brick’ I’m going to knead this thing like there’s no tomorrow and let it rise overnight! Let’s see if that makes any difference. Oh and I’ve switched from white to whole wheat flour because hubby said ‘The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead’. So who am I to contradict him?

Oh yeah. Another post is headed your way. 😀


We’ll see how this goes…

Well, I made up this recipe. Completely made it up out of my little noggin. So the result is…well, I can’t really tell because it’s still in the oven, but I will definitely let you know.

I started by cooking some spinach in a pot. It cooks really well if you just keep stirring and it doesn’t stick. It turned out like this.Then, I made some tomato sauce. I sautéed some onions with garlic and added crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and some more tomatoes for good measure and then, once it was cooked, I blended it with the immersion blender. Oh! And I chopped some fresh parsley and some fresh basil to add to the sauce.

This was the basil

This was the parsley

This was my tomato sauce

And then I cooked some portobello mushrooms with some onion and garlic and olive oil.

This was the mushroom mixture after they were cooked. I also had to chop them up.

I then added the spinach (after I cut it into small pieces) and some roasted walnuts that I also chopped.

these were the roasted walnuts

this is me mixing it all together

Finally, I had some fresh pasta lasagna sheets and filled them up with the mixture, then put them in a glass bowl, wrapped them so that they would contain the mixture and covered them with tomato sauce.

Issues? Well, I didn’t measure anything. I might have overdone the salt in the mixture (so that’s going to wreck the entire thing).

Hubby is on his way over and he’s going to be my guinea pig. It’s my real first attempt at cooking without a recipe…and this could easily be a disaster. Oh! And here I was all delighted that the recipe is vegan…well, turns out that the pasta is made with eggs.

Sunday biz

I usually spend Sunday cooking. Eating mostly plant-based requires a little prepping and time that I just simply don’t have during the busy work week. My Day Job is of the type that I can continue to work at home and, unfortunately, that has had to happen the last week and this weekend. There has been barely any time for petting our beloved akitas and certainly no time for fancy cooking.

But today, I had to get busy with the veggies and beans or we’d be eating peanut butter sandwiches all week.

I chopped some onions

Added some chopped spinach (I had already cooked it) and mushrooms.

So far…nothing very exciting, right?

This is my veggie meat of choice

And these pasta are super healthy

I cheated and got sauce from Costco

And I got this.

Final product. Hubby loved it!

Hubby did love it and, in our house, that’s all it takes to declare it a success. But there was  more.

These aren’t that good for you…but they’re so yummy!!!

I made potato rings that are sooo good. They were right out of the oven and crunchy to boot! And we ate them with home-made refried beans and felt like we were in heaven.

Now for the week, I’ve made this salad:

I got all these recipes from Oh She Glows. It’s my go-to for something that’s healthy yet yummy. Love it!

Curry lunch

After two days of nothing but turkey and the gastrointestinal nightmares that came with it, I had enough of the bird. When my hubby announced he had to go to work, I schemed and planed…and started mentally cooking.

I had never tried these two recipes, so I wasn’t sure if they would work. And now, after cooking them, I’m still not sure mostly because I changed the recipes. I substituted the cream for almond milk and added mushrooms to the aloo peas and potatoes. Still, by the time I was finished, I was starving and I ate a full plate of the stuff with delight.

This one was the Dal Tadka…or my attempt at it.

This one was my attempt at aloo peas and potatoes.

This is just basmati rice. Even I can’t mess that up.

This was lunch. Sooo good!

Well, I should include the sites where I got these recipes and ask, if you do try them, to let me know what you think. So, here we go.

This one is the Tadka Dal. It’s a curry dish with lentils and, since I love lentils, I was super excited about it.

Dal Tadka Recipe Step By Step Instructions

I should add that mine looked almost nothing like this one. But I’m sure that was because of me and not the recipe. Still, I really liked my creation.

And this one is the aloo peas and potatoes. It’s a video, which I found incredibly helpful.

Image result for aloo peas and potatoes

That’s what it’s supposed to look like and…well, mine didn’t look at all like that. But I still thought it was super yummy…

If you do give them a try, let me know how they work for you! And if you know of other curry, vegan dishes that work well for those who aren’t too adept in the kitchen, pass them this way!

Where I’m cooking like a witch

My recipe doesn’t call for eyes of newt or tongues of frogs, though, but it does involve the biggest pot we have. It’s super simple and easy (the way I like) and yields the best results ever.

I’m talking about refried beans. I love refried beans. But I’ve never really known what true refried beans tasted like until I made them at home. And the recipe is super easy!Image result for pinto beans

Add a bit of rice and some veggies, and you’ve got yourself a dish fit for a king…or queen.

Wanna try it? Here’s is where I got the recipe.

The best part is how cheap this is and how much it produces. They freeze really well and are incredibly nutritious.

Let me know if you give it a try! 😀


If we were having coffee

If we were having coffee, I’d moan that the crack in our ceiling has gotten worse and I fear the house might collapse on us. Sad, because we’d probably die…still, how is your coffee?

The crack in all its horror

If we were having coffee, I’d also complain about my latest cooking catastrophe. There was a spill inside the oven and things burned. It wasn’t pretty.

This was inside our oven…yikes!

This was the casserole that created that mess. It was actually really good.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that we’ve also been able to see friends and family during the last few days and the laughs we shared were belly shaking things that I loved. Nothing like a romp down history lane to find some really funny anecdotes.

Finally, I’d send a huge thanks to  Eclectic Alli for hosing Coffee Share and to you, my lovely reader, for reading!