Time is what we want most, but what we use worst of all.
These days a lot of us don’t have a lot of time to cook, and we certainly don’t have much spare time for finding recipes, meal planning, shopping for ingredients, meal preparation ~ and a lot of us tend to eat on the run. Real life gets in the way of an idyll spent in the garden / yard and kitchen. For some of us work chews up 10 hours an day and then family commitments chew up whatever time is left.
Ergo, I’ll try to help with some recipe collections that are mostly easy recipes, with just a few ingredients that you can use for several meals during the week for dinner and a healthy lunch to take to work.
First up this week, from Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes we have 21 best recipes with ripe summer tomatoes ~ what could be easier or healthier? From the collection I like this very simple dish, avocado heirloom tomato salad ~ you can serve this with any leftover chicken, steak, or cheese you may have in your refrigerator, or just drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, and have a very healthy lunch.
Avocado Heirloom Tomato Salad
Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has a cool collection; 25 of my favorite easy dinners ~ (she says this is for back to school, but I don’t care much about that…..). What I do care about is the very first recipe in this collection; rosemary chicken, bacon, and avocado salad. Once you’ve made the rosemary chicken you have endless possibilities, but this salad looks fabulous.
Rosemary Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Salad
Chungah at Damn Delicious has posted 12 quick and easy summer recipes ~ I do love quick and easy. From Chungah’s collection I’ve chosen these garlic butter scallop bowls ~ scallops served with cilantro lime rice and pico de gallo, how fabulous is that? This will take you a little time to prepare, but doesn’t it look worth it?
Garlic Butter Scallop Bowls
Here’s a super-sized collection from Olive Magazine; 42 best ever quick and easy healthy recipes ready in under 30 minutes ~ wow! From this collection I have chosen to feature a chargrilled chicken chimichurri salad. This will be ready in just 15 minutes and it’s perfect for dinner ~ but make enough to that you have some to take to work for lunch.
Chargrilled Chicken Chimichurri Salad
This is a fair-sized collection of quick and easy recipes; from Country Living magazine we have 99 easy dinners that can be made in 30 minutes or less ~ come on, there’s 3 months worth of dinner recipes here. From their list I’ve decided to feature this grilled pesto chicken with summer squash, by Marian Cooper Cairns. This dish is so fast and so easy…..
Grilled Pesto Chicken with Summer Squash
I’ve never done this before, but this is a link to a whole sub-section from the website of San Diego girl Averie Sunshine; it’s her entire 30 minute meals archive. From Averie’s archive I have chosen this foil pack lime cilantro salmon. This is so easy to make, and it will be ready to eat in 10 minutes ~ you heard me right, just 10 minutes to produce this wonderful healthy dish.
Foil Pack Lime Cilantro Salmon
Here’s something else I’ve never done before. Here in the garret I often use packet sauces to make my cooking tastier, quicker, and easier. I guess that in England we are spoiled for choice with this type of product. However, I know you can buy this kind stuff in the USA, for example I know that you can buy exactly the same kind of Schwartz packet sauces I use from Amazon.com. Or if you’re sick of Amazon you can buy Schwartz sachets from BritSuperstore,com; there is an almost endless choice of flavours and cooking methods, and all you need to know is written on the back of the packet.
Some of the Schwartz Range
honey salmon in foil
Life is better with fresh baked cookies in it.
In everything I’ve shared with you in Food on Friday, I haven’t posted much about baked stuff, mostly because I’m terrible at baking. I have no idea why that is ~ but there you go.
On the other hand, I do like cookies, (except we call them biscuits here in England), and if I ever called at a friend’s house and they’d made any of the cookies / biscuits featured in this week’s Food on Friday, I guess I’d have to force myself and eat some / a lot.
From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have some nice looking browned butter coconut chocolate chip cookies. Tieghan says these are both delicious and easy, and I have no doubt that she’s correct on both fronts. Anyhow I like both chocolate and coconut, and I like them better together.
Browned Butter Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Some more chocolate chip cookies, (why not?), this time Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has a great recipe for soft and chewy cherry chocolate chip cookies. Andrea says these cookies are a perfect snack for road trips, and as you all should know, I love road trips.
Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies
You know what? When it comes to cookies you almost can’t go wrong if you add chocolate, and Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français has one of my favourite combinations with her chunky chocolate and hazelnut cookies.
Chunky Chocolate and Hazelnut Cookies
As you might expect Dana, the Minimalist Baker has some very good recipes for cookies, and this recent post caught my eye. So how about; vegan trail mix cookies (gluten-free + grain-free), would you like to try those? I had thought of featuring Dana’s recipe for 1-bowl ginger cookies (gluten free) but thought you may like the trail mix recipe better.
Vegan Trail Mix Cookies (Gluten-Free + Grain-Free)
A blog post about cookies would not be complete if it didn’t include a recipe for traditional Scottish shortbread. So here, from Scottish-at-Heart.com we have the best Scottish shortbread recipe. Although there are actually two recipes and a lot of other good information in this link. And, if you’ve never had proper Scottish shortbread ~ then try some, right away.
I am really not certain how his would work in the USA, but here in England we also have savoury ‘biscuits’, and across the pond you may even call these biscuits instead of cookies. Anyhow, from Petra at Food Eat Love I’m giving you a recipe for chilli cheese buttermilk biscuits.
Chilli Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits
And finally for this week, what would Food on Friday be without a recipe collection. So from Baking Mad we have a whole bunch of cookie recipes, (they don’t say how many and I haven’t counted them), ((actually there are 57 recipes on this page, and that’s so cool)). To go with a coffee I particularly like the look of the vanilla sugar cookies from Nielsen-Massey.
Vanilla Sugar Cookies
cookies are just so versatile and moreish
this is melt in your mouth toffee
from Averie Cooks
Or, how not to drown.
Not so very long ago, during a solo vacation in Turkey, I very nearly drowned in the Mediterranean.
These are my co-vacationers in Turkey- who didn’t almost drown.
As I’m going to Crete in a couple of weeks I thought I should do something about my non-swimmer status, (for all practical intents and purposes). So casting around on the internet I found Sarah Kentish, ( http://www.swimwithsarah.co.uk/ email@example.com ) who could give me some intensive, 1 to 1 swimming instruction, before my vacation in Crete. And believe you me, finding some proper swimming instruction in the narrow time-window I had available was nothing short of miraculous.
Sarah said that she could teach me how not to drown every time I went in the water, and she was going to be teaching in the Imperial Hotel in Llandudno. And so, I booked a series of lessons and sent off my payment. Snag was, I had no real idea where Llandudno is, other than it’s a seaside resort.
Llandudno is in Wales, and about 250 miles from where I live….. which doesn’t sound so bad. Except I was travelling by train. The journey there took six-and-a-half hours and involved 5 different trains. (The journey home from Llandudno was not as bad.)
Still, I got there to find that the Imperial Hotel is a Magnificent Victorian Edifice. My room was nice, the pool in the basement was nice, and Sarah was nice. Under Sarah’s instruction, in 5 x 40 minute sessions I went from being effectively a non-swimmer to a chap who was more than just ok in the water.
Other than just how much I needed proper swimming instruction, the most surprising thing about this trip was that the main dining room at the Imperial Hotel is world-class. They serve the most sublime food in elegant surroundings, (posh frock and expensive shoes elegant). How they can have a world-class dining room in Llandudno is beyond me.
The downsides were; the trip cost a small fortune, the weather was dreary, and Llandudno by rail from my place may as well be on the dark side of the moon.
Llandudno is a pretty smart place, but it seems to attract the elderly more than cute girls in small bikinis. On the other hand there is a hell of a lot more to do in that Welsh seaside resort than you’d think. The Imperial Hotel is fairly pricey, but mostly worth it. Individual, 1 to 1 swimming instruction is also fairly pricey, but very, very worth it. It might save my life one day.
And, that’s why I took a short break in Wales.
The pool at the Imperial Hotel
Do not tell me how educated you are, just tell me how much you have travelled. ~ Mohamed
The apartment I live in is called ‘The Garret’ and I feel very much at home here. However, some recent thoughts, emotions, and events have convinced me that I’ve been spending far too much time in the garret. Ergo, I’ve decided to get out of the garret more, travel more, take more vacations, and relax in the sunshine a lot more.
Travel and change of pace impart new vigour to the mind. ~ Seneca
I have very few responsibilities, a hell of a lot of time on my hands, and more than a little money in the bank ~ so there is no earthly reason why I shouldn’t be taking 4 or 5 vacations a year, or even a round half-dozen should the mood strike me.
And, it’s not as though I want to travel to far-away and strange-sounding places. The camel route to Iraq holds no attraction for me. Neither do the madchen and the gay muchachas. And as for Paris, London, and Rome, I’ve spent so long in those cities that they’re like a second home.
There’s a hell of a lot of the world I just do not want to go to, not ever again. And you can include in that list all of Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand. As for the America’s, I’d never cross the US border going South again. I caught malaria in Mexico.
The places I really like are the nicer parts of the USA, some of the Caribbean, and most of the Mediterranean. I also really like Tuscany and the South of France. Scandinavia isn’t bad either, (at the right time of year). None of which destinations are so very exotic, or so very dangerous. If I’m honest I like going to places where most of the locals can speak some English, and they serve really good food.
In a couple of weeks’ time I’m going to Crete, and after that probably back to California. Next year Malta, Cyprus, and Turkey are on my list. Who knows after that? But a Caribbean Cruise is looking attractive.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. ~ Helen Keller
The one downside for me is that I will mostly be a solitary traveller. But, who knows who I may meet along the way. And, one never knows, I may even find an attractive travelling companion to take along with me. On road trips, in a Mustang convertible, a guy needs an attractive and intelligent Girl Riding Shotgun anyway. A road trip without The Girl Riding Shotgun just isn’t a proper road trip.
Some say that travel is good for the soul. And, that a good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. All I know is that I hate dull routine disrupting my life.
So, from now on, if you can’t find me, it’s because I’m on vacation.
Santa Monica is pretty cool.
Cooking and eating outdoors, in the open air, is far more relaxed and mindful than exactly the same meal prepared and eaten indoors.
It really is high summer, a time for long evenings, barbecues, and alfresco dining. Chill the wine and the beer, and prepare to be relaxed and happy. This week we are going to concentrate on salads and vegetables to go along with whatever meat or fish you have on the grill. Unless you’re vegetarian or vegan, or just like vegetables, in which case a lot of these recipes will make a complete meal for you.
Personally, I just love salads.
From San Diego cook Averie Sunshine we have this dish of grilled vegetables with smoky honey mustard dipping sauce ~ looks fabulous. Averie says this recipe is easy ~ ready in 5 minutes ~ healthy and there’s zero cleanup. Grilling vegetables is so very good.
Grilled Vegetables with Smoky Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
The Bojon Gourmet has a very elegant looking dish, a summer vegan green goddess salad ~ avocado, crispy lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, seeds and a cashew herb dressing. I think this salad looks interesting, different, tasty, and refreshing. I also think that most of us could add our own little interesting twist to this recipe.
Summer Vegan Green Goddess Salad
The cool and together Jessica at How Sweet Eats has published a recipe for a 20 minute Thai avocado salad, and you have to admit this looks fantastic, filled with taste and texture. I guess it’s 20 minutes if you can use a chef’s knife.
20 Minute Thai Avocado Salad
Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has found for us this dish by Summer Miller; lentil salad with summer vegetables. This should take you 35 minutes to make, and is a brilliant side dish, or as a light lunch. Make a lot and take some to work the following day.
Lentil Salad with Summer Vegetables
Heather Christo has a different kind of recipe for a warm summer afternoon, this tomato peach and avocado salad with cilantro vinaigrette. Heather says that this is a beautifully simple 30 minute salad that will totally blow your socks off. I tend to agree. Nice to take to work for lunch too.
Tomato Peach and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
I very much like the recipes from Cookie + Kate, and this one is no exception. Anyway, what’s not to like about colourful strawberry arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette?
Colourful Strawberry Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Lastly for this week, from Chungah at Damn Delicious we have 15 quick and easy vegetable side dishes. This cool collection includes this 25 minute recipe for baked Parmesan mushrooms ~ I love baked mushrooms. Actually I often like side dishes and appetisers better than the entrée.
Baked Parmesan Mushrooms
Marmaduke also likes salads
The blue sky in July trembles like a butterfly.
It’s high summer. I have just returned from Turkey and the best vacation ever. The food in Turkey was fabulous, and went perfectly with their hot summer sunshine.
These recipes may not all be authentically Turkish, but they are all the kind of dishes you would get in the better Turkish restaurants in the tourist areas, and they will all go perfectly with our long summer days.
First up this week, found by Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes, we have 4 Great Add-Ins for Hummus. Hummus is almost an essential component of a Turkish banquet, and these ideas from Katie Workman are just brilliant. I especially like the roasted red pepper hummus, and Katie even tells us how to make perfect roasted peppers.
Now, from at How Sweet Eats we have summer BBQ Quinoa Salad, which is a perfectly Turkish inspired side dish, or a lighter meal to take to work.
Summer BBQ Quinoa and Chicken Salad
Well now, OK, this recipe for orozo stuffed red peppers with lemony basil tomatoes from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest is actually Greek, but I had an exactly similar dish when I was in Turkey. This is a very quick and easy 30 minute vegetarian dish, (other than it has cheese, but you can buy vegan cheese).
Greek Orozo Stuffed Red Peppers with Lemony Basil Tomatoes.
From lovely San Diego girl Averie Sunshine we have this wonderful looking dish of Peach Chili Grilled Chicken, just the kind of thing you could be served in the better Turkish restaurants in the tourist parts of the country. This damn easy 10 minute dish needs no cleanup afterwards ~ how cool is all that?
Peach Chili Grilled Chicken
I almost never feature the same cook twice in one Food on Friday, but here’s another Dish from Tieghan Gerard, at Half Baked Harvest. Turkish fried eggs in herbed yogurt. You could have these at breakfast, lunch, or dinner ~ and the whole thing takes only 30 minutes to prepare.
Turkish Fried Eggs in Herbed Yogurt
For desert, this is another sort-of Greek dish: frozen honey Greek yogurt dipped strawberries, shown to us by Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower. But, there is nothing to stop you from using Turkish honey and Turkish yogurt to make this guilt free desert recipe.
Frozen Honey Greek Yogurt Dipped Strawberries
Finally for this week we have a great collection of Turkish recipes from Delicious Magazine, including this fabulous Lamb Kofte Tagine. This is an easy 30 minute dish that would make a super mid-week meal, or something fast for a Saturday night in with friends. Buy Turkish beer to go with it.
Lamb Kofte Tagine
we sat in an outdoors restaurant watching the parasailors landing.
how cool was that?
Land is the far greatest of fraudulent perpetual monopolies. ~ Winston Churchill
As it goes, and speaking as a guy with 30 odd years of banking under his belt, in the long term, financially, your beach home / house / apartment is worth less than nothing.
You may say that it’s been valued at $1,350,000 but what does that actually mean?
It means that if you sell the place, then that’s what you’ll get. Less all the bloodsucking bankers, lawyers, and realtors fees.
You’ll probably plough the $1,350,000 into a bigger place that’s notionally worth $1,450,000. And, in human terms that new place is worth even less than nothing. You will work much harder to keep it.
All you are doing is paying rent, and working harder to keep the place….. And, then you’ll die.
The only way your $1,500,000 place is worth anything at all to you is if you sell up and live in a van.
Real Estate is all about cost. Look at your monthly / annual bills and you will see that your house is costing you a fucking fortune. Any bum can have 80% of what you have for nothing. Trust me, I know, I’ve been there.
Any First Nations elder will tell you that property is expensive theft.
Banking and the real estate industry is built on the notion that your property is intrinsically worth something, and it isn’t. You can’t take it with you, and when the next Big One comes it won’t even be there.
But, even though I know that the Wizard is a fraud, I will never persuade you.
For the truth means you have too much to lose.
I thought about a school bus once,
but then I’d want a woman to share it with me,
one of sour, two of sweet, three of strong, and four of weak
And that’s how to make Planters’ Rum Punch, an Englishman’s preferred drink to go along with a summer barbecue. The strong is Caribbean Dark Rum, (or try Woods 100), and the sour is fresh lime juice. You can guess the rest ~ (simple syrup and iced water).
Well now, this coming Monday, the 28th of May, is Memorial Day in the USA. It’s also the Spring Bank Holiday here in Great Britain. For some of us this is the first real day of summer, more or less ~ although the weather in most of England and America hasn’t been very summery of late.
Particularly in the USA, this coming Monday is the time to clean the cobwebs of that old barbecue, dust down the patio furniture, invite some friends overs, and hang out in the yard eating, drinking, and shooting the
So, for this week’s Food on Friday I’m going to feature stuff that goes well with kicking back outdoors.
I know a very nice American girl who really likes cilantro and lime. So, first to the BBQ this week is Jessica Merchant from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and her blog How Sweet Eats. Jessica has this cool recipe for Cilantro Lime Flank Steak, and while it will only take you 20 minutes to cook in the broiler, you need to start marinading the steak on Sunday. Make plenty and take the leftovers to work on Tuesday, (if there are any leftovers).
Cilantro Lime Flank Steak
From San Diego we have the sunshine girl Averie with her Grilled Steak Kabobs, (funny we call these things kebabs in England). You will want a good top sirloin steak for these rich looking skewers. Again, these will cook very fast on the grill, but you want to allow at least 4 hours for the marinade to work.
Grilled Steak Kabobs
If you don’t like steak, then what about these Honey BBQ Chicken Kabobs from Chungah at Damn Delicious. Again this dish will only take you 20 minutes to cook on the grill, but you need to allow a couple of extra hours for the marinade to do its work. Looks tasty to me.
Honey BBQ Chicken Kabobs
To go with all this meat you’re going to cook on your freshly cleaned BBQ, you’re going to need some salad, and from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower, we have this good looking dish; Avocado Corn Caprese Salad, dressed with a honey balsamic vinaigrette. Looks so delicious and refreshing.
Avocado Corn Caprese Salad
From the Californian White on Rice couple we have a very different Grilled Romaine and Corn Salad, something you can make on your BBQ in under half an hour ~ while you’re grilling your other vegetables too. (If you’re cooking any vegetables…)
Grilled Romaine & Corn Salad
I know that most of you like the recipe collections I feature, and here’s another one. From Olive magazine we have the 32 Best Ever BBQ Recipes to help you enjoy the sunshine this coming Memorial Day. I particularly like this very quick and easy recipe for Miami-Style Blackened Fish Sandwich with Smoked Paprika Mayo ~ ready in just 20 minutes. Me, I’d use salmon, tuna, or swordfish to make a really top-notch blackened fish sandwich.
Miami-Style Blackened Fish Sandwich with Smoked Paprika Mayo
Should you want to make a dessert for your guests, then Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has found us a collection of 9 Crowd-Pleasing Desserts for Your Memorial Day Party. I particularly like the look of this Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake recipe by Cindy Rahe.
Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
And finally this Friday, for those of us who aren’t content just to suck back beers, we have another collection from Wide Open Eats, 20 Best Big Batch Cocktails for Backyard BBQs and Lazy Sundays. As a very practiced consumer of alcoholic beverages I particularly like the look of this Pitcher Hurricane Cocktail. this recipe is to make a gallon of the stuff. Personally I’d just tip in a whole bottle of both dark rum and light rum, (and I’d also miss out the metrosexual umbrellas), but that’s me for you.
Pitcher Hurricane Cocktail
the English version of Memorial Day is observed on Remembrance Sunday, as near as possible to November 11th
It’s a solemn occasion.
There is scarcely anything that will drag you down like debt.
Basically there are two ways we can have more cash to spend on the things we really like, want, and desire ~ one is to go out and get more money, earn it, marry it, inherit it, steal it….
The other way to have more cash to spend on the things we really like is to spend less on ‘essentials’ ~ the things we have to buy to survive.
For if we remember our Dickens and what Mr. Micawber said in David Copperfield, happiness lies in spending less than we earn, and unhappiness lies in spending more than we actually have.
There are some tried and tested ways to spend less on the boring essentials. In my quest for minimalistic living, I have personal, (sometimes very bitter), experience of all of these following ideas:
- Live in a smaller place. Smaller homes cost less to buy, attract lower property taxes, and use less utilities; water, gas, electricity.
- If you can, switch your utilities provider to a better and cheaper company. All utilities companies are money-grabbing vultures, but try to choose the best of a bad lot.
- Drive a smaller car. Smaller cars are less expensive to buy and insure, and in general use much less gas than a bigger car with more weight and a bigger engine. If you buy a classic smaller car, as opposed to the latest model, then you won’t even suffer from depreciation.
- Switch your car insurance to a better and cheaper company.
- Learn some DIY skills. You don’t have to use expensive and useless contractors, car mechanics, cleaners, or gardeners. It’s cheaper and better if you do as much as you can for yourself.
- Cut out impulse purchases. On impulse, too many of us buy too much stuff that we don’t actually need, want, or really like. All that stuff clutters up our home and convinces us that we need to move to a bigger place.
- Don’t marry a sexy trophy wife, (or toy boy), who will also want you to move into a bigger place. A trophy wife, (or toy boy), will end up costing you most of your treasure, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
- Don’t try to buy love. It doesn’t work, it will cost you a fortune, and you’ll end up with a broken heart.
- Control your addictions….. booze, drugs, gambling, pornography, casual sex, smoking….. All of these will all cost you just about everything you have, including your self-respect.
- Resist the urge to have the latest and most expensive technologies. You don’t need a huge TV, costly cable, the newest computer, the best tablet, the most expensive iPhone with the most expensive contract.
- Buy whole foods rather than processed, heavily packaged, and generally bad for you costly crap.
- Buy generic brands. Trust me, I’ve been into factories where the expensive labels and generic brands are actually made on the same production line with exactly the same content. Only the packaging is different.
- If you can, then buy in bulk.
- Stop going out to lunch at work, instead take a packed lunch. Those people you go to lunch with are probably boring and certainly aren’t your real friends anyway. And, if you’re an average guy the women you take to lunch are never going to have sex with you, so you’re wasting your time and money.
- Don’t join a gym. Most of the people who have gym membership never go there. For great exercise take a long walk in the sunshine instead.
- Visit thrift stores, and if you find clothes you like, then save money and buy ‘pre-loved’ stuff.
- Don’t give to a big charity. (Have you any idea how much the bosses of the big charities pay themselves? The average pay across the top 100 charities is more than £250,000 a year, plus huge bonuses.)
- Don’t spend all your time drinking in pubs and bars ~ the booze is expensive there, and nobody in your favourite pub is your real friend anyway.
And finally, don’t spend on borrowed money, especially credit cards which all charge usury rates of interest. Credit cards are NOT money. Really, really, really NEVER use a payday lender, which all charge eye-watering criminal rates of interest.
You can probably think of some other money-saving tips of your own. For a month try making a note of what you actually spend your hard-earned on ~ I guarantee that you will be surprised and shocked. Learn what you actually spend your money on, and then you can start to control your finances.
Some say that money can’t buy happiness. And that a fool and his money are soon parted. All I know is that having money makes misery more bearable.
you can take the idea of living in a tiny home to the extreme…..