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
All I’ve got’s this lazy summer afternoon, food, and wine, and you…..
Face it, on a nice warm summer’s day, the last thing we want to do is spend ages in the kitchen. These dishes are perfect for summer, and they’re all amazingly easy; the kind of recipes where you can do much of the prep work in your yard, in the sunshine…..
It seems a while since I did a Food on Friday, so let’s see if I can still pull together a good menu. There are a lot of peaches involved this week.
First for this Friday we have summer spaghetti with tomatoes and burrata from Chungah at Damn Delicious. (I guess if you can’t get burrata then a mozzarella would work pretty well too.) This really is a 25 minute meal which would be perfect for lunch, a light dinner, or to take to work and zap in the microwave.
Summer Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Burrata
Next this week we have a fabulous 30 minute recipe from Sabrina Modelle; grilled salmon with peach salsa. This dish has so much going for it; you can cook the salmon on the BBQ, which means you can make the whole recipe in your yard. Anything with grilled salmon looks really special, so this is something you can serve to guests. And, best of all, it’s a 30 minute recipe that will make a great lunch, dinner, or something to take to work the following day. (This recipe was found for us by Elise at Simply Recipes).
Grilled Salmon with Peach Salsa
Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has posted a lot of great recipes recently, but for this Food on Friday I’ve chosen to feature this 25 minute recipe for pesto zucchini and peach pizza with burrata. This really is a taste of high summer, and so very easy to make. Again you could serve this dish at lunch, dinner, as a snack, or take some to work the following day ~ maybe.
Pesto Zucchini and Peach Pizza with Burrata
From San Diego girl Averie Sunshine at Averie Cooks, we have this very, very easy recipe for sheet pan summer vegetables and chicken. I love sheet pan recipes, they are just so simple and there is so little clean-up afterwards. Averie says this easy, healthy, one pan meal should be ready in half-an-hour or so.
Sheet Pan Summer Vegetables and Chicken
The Minimalist Baker concentrates on vegetarian recipes of 10 ingredients or less that take less than a half-hour to prepare. This cheesy spaghetti squash pasta will actually need about an hour and a half , including cook time, but the prep is dead easy. This 9 ingredient dish looks fabulous
Cheesy Spaghetti Squash Pasta
Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats says this following recipe is THE SALAD OF THE SUMMER; or less shouty, the best summer panzanella salad. You know what? Jessica may just be right, this easy dish looks delicious.
The Best Summer Panzanella Salad
For something to drink that isn’t sucking down beer from a bottle, Jessica also has this delicious pinot peach sangria ~ another sangria recipe, and more peaches…… You can’t have too much of a good thing.
Pinot Peach Sangria
A little while ago Food on Friday was about summer vegetables and salads.
Some perfect side dishes to go with this week’s recipes.
Never let your head hang down. Never give up and let your soul grieve. Find another way. And don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.
I do have very severe mood swings, that range from euphoria, to very bad temper, to suicidal depression. But, one can get severe mood swings with both bipolar disorder, and borderline personality disorder.
All I know is that my behaviour over the last week had been disgraceful, and right now I have become seriously depressed.
Today I can begin thinking about making changes in my life and my responsibilities. I can ask for help from my friends, and do some rearranging so that no day is completely overwhelming.
All I hope is that I don’t turn into Mr. Hyde again.
Turning into Mr. Hyde is the very worst thing that can happen to me.
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?
To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the lunatic prisoner was you. ~ Louis B. Smedes.
There has never been much forgiveness in my life, and mostly I have been very unforgiving of myself. I expect to cope, whatever happens, and be a high achiever. At times I can act like a lunatic.
This has led me into a very disruptive pattern in my life. A pattern which others can often recognise better than I can. These words of advice were sent to me a couple of days ago, by a very good friend. This is how she describes my life.
- High on Life …… very optimistic….. on top of the world.
- Sexual buzz is strong.
- I forget all the things that were said when I tried to confront past problems and issues
- Minor irritation sets in when I don’t feel appreciated. I become resentful and mistrustful.
- I start looking for the hidden dark meaning in things said, or not said. Become more distrustful, and often angry ~ often very angry with myself.
- Get totally pissed-off when feelings, emotions, and thoughts that have no basis in truth fill my mind. Start to apply twisted logic to situations and conversations.
- Voices in my mind tell me to escape, say ‘Fuck It All’, and then I will have a drink or 10.
- Go missing from the world for days at a time, during which something very bad will happen.
That’s been the pattern of my life for a very long time. I need to recognise it, and cut it off at the neck when the darker, depressive thoughts begin.
I agree with my friend that I need to try to live with inner peace, mindfulness, and serenity.
Escaping into booze is no solution.
Marmaduke lives very peacefully
Insomnia turns an earthly paradise into a place of torture.
If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed and turning off the lights, if you toss and turn and wake up several times in the night, if you don’t wake up feeling instantly refreshed and ready to hit the ground running, then you are not getting enough good sleep.
Scientific studies show that for good health almost everyone needs 7 or 8 hours of good sleep, every single night of their adult lives. Not getting enough good sleep does really bad things to you.
Just some of the bad effects of lack of sleep are; depression, diabetes, fatigue, heart diseases, heart attack, high blood pressure, poor immune system leading to illness, impulsive behaviours, irritability, paranoia, stroke, suicidal thoughts, and Death.
All of us know exactly that some of the things some of us do from time to time will prevent us from sleeping well at night; not getting enough fresh air and exercise during the day, drinking too much booze, eating late at night, using social media late at night, not going to bed at the same time every night, staying in bed late at weekends, having unresolved issues that prey on our mind, having an untreated mental illness, having our bedroom too warm, too noisy, and not dark enough, being in a dysfunctional relationship, hanging out in bars, casual sex…..
I’ve got a bad case of the 3.00 am guilts ~ you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression, paranoia, and self-loathing. ~ D. D. Barant.
Some things that most of us do will disrupt our internal body clock, our circadian rhythm, and prevent us from getting a decent night’s sleep, for night after night after night. Who knew that our internal body clock is so important to good sleep and good health? If you do stuff that
fucks up disrupts your internal body clock, resulting in a lack of good sleep, you will seriously damage your physical, mental, and spiritual health and fitness.
All the things that will help ensure that we will always have a good night’s sleep are so
bleeding obvious that a child of 5, or 6, or 7 already knows them, instinctively.
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends and vacations.
- Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Get out and walk for an hour a day, (10,000 steps), but not too late in the day.
- Get plenty of sunlight during the day ~ tricky if you live in northern England like me, (or Canada, or Alaska, or Scandinavia…).
- Avoid caffeine later in the day. It’s a stimulant, and the caffeine in a cup of coffee will take about 6 or 8 hours to wear off.
- Do not smoke. Nicotine is a stimulant, smoking affects your breathing, you will get nicotine withdrawal through the night and wake up, you will have nightmares for years after you stop smoking. Smokers never sleep well.
- Booze. Don’t drink to much, especially late at night. A glass of wine / hard booze just before you go to bed will stop you from getting a decent night’s rest. Trust me, people who drink late at night, most nights, are three parts of the
smeggingway to being an alcoholic.
- Do not eat late at night. Don’t eat anything much for a couple of hours before bed-time.
- Don’t take a nap after three in the afternoon.
- Have a relaxing hot bath just before bed-time. Light some candles, play some relaxing music, turn off your racing mind.
- Have a dark bedroom, quiet bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget free bedroom, and no
fuckingblue light from your phone / tablet / computer shining all night.
- Forget all the bad things from the day, especially the ignorant
son of a bitchperson who cut you up on the freeway on your way to work.
- Finally, if you just cannot get to sleep, then don’t just lie in bed fretting. If you really cannot sleep, get up and do something else instead, (but none of the bad things listed above).
One thing that some doctors say will result in a restored sleep cycle and better sleep is using marijuana, pot, cannabis. There are some serious downside risks to the cannabis user, such as; anxiety, breathing problems, poor coordination, damaging a child in the womb, hallucinations, heart attacks, impaired thinking and cognitive functions, nausea, road traffic accidents, smoking anything is a known health risk, suicide, paranoia and schizophrenia, being arrested, losing your job, and Death. All other drugs you can take to help you sleep are worse than marijuana, especially in the longer term. (Anyhow, I would never sleep with anyone who uses drugs. Come to that, I wouldn’t have lunch with a drug user.)
Some say that going without sleep for night after night is dangerous. And, that eventually going without sleep will kill you, after 11 days or so. All I know is that not sleeping is very, very unpleasant.
you may be able to tell that I didn’t sleep well last night
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.