Tuesday, May 23, 2017

WHAT Kind of Salad??

I went to a Japanese steakhouse, and my friend ordered seaweed salad. So I did, too. Because I had never had that, and Adventure is my middle name. Actually, my middle name is Lois, but never mind.

It looked like this.
Yes, it really was that green.

How was it? The dressing, a light and delicate sweet-and-sour, was delicious. The seaweed was ... seaweedy. Really chewy, a little bit fishy, with little seeds all in. Not bad, but I'll never order it again, because a little goes a long way, and this was a hella lot of seaweed. Even though the bowl was mostly lettuce with a big hank of seaweed on top, I took half of it home and Charlie couldn't eat that much.

I'm really glad I ordered it and tried it, and I'd eat some again if there was only a couple of bites of it, but I would like it more as a garnish than as a dish.

Have you ever had seaweed salad? What did you think?

I'm still doing Story A Day May, so hop over to my blog and help yourself to some free stories.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, May 19, 2017

Flank Steak Sandwiches With Blue Cheese

This Flank Steak Sandwiches With Blue Cheese recipe comes from MyRecipes.com. Click the link for reviews, photographs, yield, etc.


2 large sweet onions
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 red bell peppers
6 (2- to 3-oz.) ciabatta or deli rolls, split*
5 ounces soft ripened blue cheese
1 1/2 cups loosely packed arugula
Herb-Marinated Flank Steak
6 tablespoons mayonnaise

How to Make It
Preheat grill to 400° to 450° (high) heat. Cut onion into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Brush with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cut bell peppers into 1-inch-wide strips. Place pepper strips in a large bowl, and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper; toss to coat.

Grill onion and bell pepper strips, covered with grill lid, over 400° to 450° (high) heat 7 to 10 minutes on each side or until lightly charred and tender.

Brush cut sides of rolls with remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and grill, cut sides down, without grill lid, over 400° to 450° (high) heat 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned and toasted.

Spread blue cheese on cut sides of roll bottoms; top with arugula, bell pepper strips, steak, and onion. Spread mayonnaise on cut sides of roll tops. Place roll tops, mayonnaise sides down, on top of onion, pressing lightly.

*French hamburger buns may be substituted. We tested with Publix French Hamburger Buns.

Note: We tested with Saga Classic Soft-Ripened Blue-Veined Cheese.

Flank Steak Sandwiches With Brie: Substitute 5 oz. Brie, rind removed, for blue cheese. Proceed with recipe as directed.

Herb Chicken Sandwiches: Substitute Herb-Marinated Chicken Breasts for flank steak. Proceed with recipe as directed.

Herb Chicken Sandwiches With Grilled Peaches: Reduce onions to 1 and red bell peppers to Cut 2 large peaches into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, cutting through stem and bottom ends. Proceed with recipe as directed, grilling peach slices, covered with grill lid, over 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Assemble sandwiches as directed, topping onion with peach slices. Prep: 20 min., Grill: 32 min., Stand: 10 min.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Boy Soup #NotVegetarian

This isn't boy soup because it's made of or from boys. It's called boy soup because it was made by my boy, aka my husband, aka Charlie. He makes soup a lot. He has pretty much the same recipe for soup that I do: boil stuff. His recipe usually includes putting the soup over lettuce, though.

So here's the soup he made the other day:
He diced carrots, celery, and potatoes, and cooked them in chicken bouillon. He tossed in some leftover peas, some chopped leftover cooked porkchop,and some egg noodles, and served it over lettuce.

Very satisfying.

I'm still doing Story A Day May on my blog. Hop over and browse this year's 16 (so far) stories, or do a sidebar search for the Story A Day May category and read many stories from this and previous years.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, May 12, 2017

Quinoa Greek Salad

With the dog days of summer, social calendars are filled with activities, picnics, and of course, cookouts. Rookie and seasoned hosts alike can benefit from a go-to list of impressive food finds for even their most discernible guests. While the classics will always satisfy, it can be fun to shake things up with new ideas. Over the next ten weeks, I'll share recipes that run the gamut from simple summer salads to simply impressive picnic foods.

This Quinoa Greek Salad recipe comes from Food.com.


2 cups chicken stock
1 cup quinoa
1⁄2 cup red pepper, diced
1⁄2 cup green pepper, diced
1⁄2 cup cucumber, diced
1⁄4 cup green onion, diced
1⁄4 cup black olives
1⁄4 cup red onion, diced
3 ounces reduced-fat feta cheese


1⁄4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon basil
1⁄2 teaspoon oregano


In a saucepan, bring stock to a boil.
Stir in quinoa.
Reduce heat to med low and cover.
Cook 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
Transfer to a large bowl and cool.
Stir veggies and cheese into cooled quinoa.
Whisk together dressing ingredients.
Pour over quinoa mixture and toss.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Cabbage and Mushroom Soup #Vegan and Very Good

Charlie and I love soup. We don't really have lots of recipes for soup; we just make all kinds of soup out of whatever sounds good. Yesterday, I made this:

Cabbage and Mushroom Soup

  • water
  • vegetarian bouillon
  • portobello mushrooms, sliced very thin
  • green onion (scallion, spring onion) sliced
  • cabbage, cut up into pieces
  • marjoram
  • barley

Bring water and bouillon to a boil. Add vegetables, marjoram and barley. Cook until the barley is done.


BOY, was it good!

I'm still doing Story A Day May. Hop on over to my blog to read today's story, Time Will Tell.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, May 5, 2017

Simple Homemade Waffles

Here is a yummy homemade waffle recipe from Epicurious. Click on the link to visit Epicurious and read the reviews for this recipe.


2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs


1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. 2. Whisk the milk, vegetable oil, and eggs together well. 3. Gradually pour the milk mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until almost blended. There will be a few lumps. 4. Pour the batter into your waffle maker (about 1/3 cup)and cook according to instructions - approximately 4-6 minutes on medium high or until the waffle maker stops steaming. Optional: To make Blueberry Waffles, pour the batter onto the waffle maker, sprinkle fresh blueberries on top, and close the lid. Cook as usual according to the waffle maker instructions.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mozzarella Salad

We went to a book sale event this weekend. Because it's so hard to go get something to eat, we usually take our own food. One of my contributions was this mozzarella salad.
That's fresh mozzarella, walnuts, diced orange bell peppers, mushrooms, and pesto. It was very nice, and I didn't bring much of it home with me!

It's Story A Day May, and I'm attempting to write and post a story every day for 31 days. Come to my blog (link below) and see if I can do it, however poorly.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, April 28, 2017

Candy Apple Jelly

This recipe is from Taste of Home. Visit the website to get a video for this recipe for reviews, tips, and even a video.


4 cups apple juice
1/2 cup Red Hots candy
1 package (1-3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
4-1/2 cups sugar


1. In a large saucepan, combine the apple juice, candies and pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil. Boil and stir 1 minute.

2. Remove from heat; skim off foam. Ladle hot mixture into six hot sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.

3. Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool. 

Yield: about 6 half-pints.

Editor's Note: The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. Add 1 minute to the processing time for each 1,000 feet of additional altitude.

© 2017 RDA Enthusiast Brands, LLC

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

After the Ice

No, this isn't a post about Spring. It's about a book. Steven Mithin's book, AFTER THE ICE: A GLOBAL HUMAN HISTORY 20,000 - 5,000 BC is part anthropology, part archaeology, and part informed fiction.

Why am I posting about it on Fatal Foodies? Because, my dears, one of the motives for murder, individual or group-wide, is competition for a desired object/person or resources.

Sometimes, the resources coveted are food/food-related. Stored grain. Domesticated livestock. Grazing lands. Rich fishing grounds. And always, in pre-history, everything was centered around hunting/gathering: just finding and preparing enough food to survive was the main occupation of everybody, all the time, every day.

Mithin gives the excavation evidence of foods, climate, ecosystems, social activities, folds in observational details from people living similar lives in similar climates and ecosystems in recent times, and extrapolates possible scenarios in pre-history. He never says, "It WAS this way," and he always cautions against assuming too much, but his recreations are compelling.

Whether you're writing a mystery set in pre-history or a modern hunter/gatherer society, or a science fiction/fantasy world with hunter/gatherers, or maybe have a survivalist character/group in your book, this book is a fascinating and useful read.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Nectarine-Ginger Preserves

This recipe is from Southern Living. Check it out here.


4 1/2 cups unpeeled and diced nectarines (about 2 1/2 lb.)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 (1.75-oz.) package powdered fruit pectin

How to Make It

Stir together all ingredients in a 4-qt. microwave-safe glass bowl.

Microwave at HIGH 8 minutes (mixture will boil). Stir mixture, and microwave at HIGH 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened. (You're going for the viscosity of pancake syrup here. The mixture will thicken to soft-set preserves after it cools and chills.) Cool mixture completely (about 2 hours). Serve immediately, or cover and chill preserves in an airtight container until ready to serve. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Risotto is SO GOOD! and #vegetarian!

I usually like the kind of rice you bung into the water and take off the heat when it's done BOOM! But sometimes I like to make risotto. Some people will tell you that you can make risotto the same way, just using Arborio rice, but it isn't the same. Just no. I mean, yeah, you can do it, but it isn't the same.

So this happened.
  • vegan margarine (or butter)
  • Arborio rice
  • four times as much liquid as rice (I used white wine and water)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • mushrooms, halved
  • flour
  • more white wine
  • peas, cooked
  1. Heat some margarine or butter in a skillet and in a saucepan. Put the mushrooms in the skillet and the rice in the pan. Add 1/4 of the liquid to the rice and cook on high medium, stirring almost constantly, until the liquid is absorbed. Add another 1/4 of the liquid and continue cooking and stirring until THAT liquid is absorbed. Continue until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Add salt, pepper, and Parmesan.
  2. Meanwhile, in between stirring, cook the mushrooms on medium heat until they start giving off liquid. Add enough flour so you can toss the mushrooms around in it and coat them. Cook until the flour browns a little. Add a little wine and cook until all the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Put some rice in a bowl or on a plate. Top it with mushrooms, then top that with peas. You can sprinkle it with chopped parsley and/or more cheese, if you want to.
It's a little fussier than I usually cook, but sometimes it soothes me to fuss over cooking. You could leave the cheese out, if you want to go vegan. Add a little ground cashew or some nutritional yeast. Still good.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, April 14, 2017

Peach Preserves

Today's recipe also comes to you from All Recipes. Check out tips, photos, and reviews from the All Recipes Peach Preserves page.


12 fresh peaches, pitted and chopped
4 1/2 cups white sugar
1 (2 ounce) package dry pectin


Crush 1 cup chopped peaches in the bottom of a large saucepan. Add remaining peaches, and set pan over medium-low heat. Bring to a low boil, and cook for about 20 minutes or until peaches become liquid (my family likes a few bits of peach left).

Pour peaches into a bowl, and then measure 6 cups back into the pan. Add sugar, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Gradually stir in dry pectin, and boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat after 1 minute, and transfer to sterilized jars. Process in hot water bath canner for 10 minutes. Let cool, and place on shelf.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2017 Allrecipes.com

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Baked Basghetti

Basghetti is what our particular children called spaghetti. So this is it, baked.

Baked Basghetti

  • leftover cooked spaghetti
  • tomato sauce
  • basil
  • oregano
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • olives, sliced
  • cheese, shredded
Mix the tomato sauce and herbs (and powders). Oil a casserole dish, and cover the bottom of the dish with some sauce. Spread about a third of the spaghetti on. Top with mushrooms, olives, cheese, and sauce. Add another layer of each, then a final layer of each. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about half an hour. Remove the foil and top with more cheese. Broil until top cheese is melted or bubbly or browned, or however you like it.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, April 7, 2017

Damson Plum Cardamom Jam

To celebrate the release of SILENCE OF THE JAMS this month (Tuesday, April 4), every Friday in April I'll be posting a jam or jelly recipe. Today's recipe comes from All Recipes. Check out photos, reviews, and tips here.


5 pounds fresh Damson or Damask plums
1 cup water
12 whole cardamom pods
4 cups white sugar
1/4 teaspoon butter


In a sink full of cool water, rinse and de-stem the plums. Place them in a thick-bottomed pan suitable for slow cooking and deep enough to allow frothing when the plums begin to boil. Add the water and cardamom pods and bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat. Turn heat to low for a slow simmer and allow the fruit to cook down uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Allow the plums to cool.

To pit the plums, strain the cooled plums with a colander, pressing the juice out with your hands and collecting it in a large bowl. Pick up the pit-and-fruit slurry in the colander by small handfuls and squeeze the plum pulp and skins gently into the bowl with the syrup, retaining the pits in the palm of your hand and then discarding them.

Put the plums back into the original pot with the sugar and butter. Cook at a very low simmer until the mixture begins to thicken, about 4 hours. To test for adequate development of pectin, drop a spoonful of the jam on a plate and put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes: the mixture should be soft-set and no longer syrupy.

Ladle the hot jam into hot, sterile jars, wipe the rims clean, place sterile lids on, and tighten the screw caps. Allow the jars to cool to room temperature and check to be sure that each jar has sealed.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2017 Allrecipes.com

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Salmon and Pickles? Seriously?


Dill is sort of a traditional flavor with salmon around these parts, but I used up all my dill weed.

So I got out a frozen salmon filet. I minced a slice of my homemade garlic dill pickles and mixed it with mayonnaise. Then I slathered the frozen salmon with the pickle-and-mayonnaise and fried it in vegan margarine, seven minutes to a side.

That was just a tad long, but Charlie likes his fish dry. He's an odd duck.

We split that bad boy.
I served it with sides of buttered Jasmine rice and kale chips.


Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, March 31, 2017


According to Bon Appetit (where this recipe is located), there are as many colcannon recipes as there are cooks in Ireland. This one uses softened and crunchy savoy cabbage, as well as garlic and leeks for extra depth.




5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1¾ pounds)
Kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, sliced in half lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups (packed) shredded savoy cabbage (from about ¼ large head), divided
1¼ cups milk
½ cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper


Cover potatoes with water in a small pot; season with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until a paring knife slides easily through the flesh, 30–40 minutes. Drain, let cool slightly, and peel.

Meanwhile, melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant and leeks are just beginning to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes longer. Add 1 cup cabbage and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted. Add milk and cream and bring to a simmer.

Add potatoes and remaining 1 cup cabbage, then coarsely mash with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer colcannon to a large serving bowl. Top with remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and sprinkle with scallion.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Imitation Canned Cream of Broccoli Soup

I made it for realz. I had half a head and all of a stalk of broccoli and some half-and-half I needed to get rid of -- er, I mean, I needed to make something delicious from.

First, I cut off the florets and set them aside. Then, I trimmed off the woody bits from the stalk and cut it into rounds. I put it, and some scallion, into salty water and cooked them until they were tender and most of the water was gone. While that was happening, I roasted a clove of garlic in the toaster oven -- 350F for about 15-25 minutes, until it was soft. The clove of garlic, not the toaster oven.

I sliced some mushrooms thinly and chopped up more scallions. I shredded some cheddar cheese.

Then, I mashed the now-soft scallion and broccoli stems. I put the broccoli florets, the peeled and mashed roast garlic, the sliced scallion, the cheese, and the half-and-half in the pan with the broccoli stems. I added some thyme leaves and some grated nutmeg and simmered it for about 20 minutes.

The result?

Honestly, I used too much salt in the cooking water, and the soup was WAY too salty! Otherwise, good.

The next day, I cooked some rotini without adding salt, drained it, and poured the leftover broccoli soup over it as a sauce. Much better.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, March 24, 2017

Beef and Guinness Hand Pies

This recipe comes to us from Frugal Mom, Eh! Blogger Elizabeth says, "Typically it is made with good cuts of beef, stout, mushrooms and all sorts of good stuff. I’ve modified the recipe to simplify it and make it accessible no matter your budget and of course kids love eating with their hands so even the pickiest eaters will enjoy this one!"

Beef and Guinness Hand Pies

Makes 16 Hand Pies


1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2 Medium Sized Potatoes, diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup sweet peas
1 bottle Guinness Stout
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt & Pepper, to taste
2 packages of Deep Dish Pastry Shells (4 Shells total) OR your favourite pie pastry recipe doubled.


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease a baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown beef and onion then stir in the vegetables, thyme, Guinness, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings then bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 7-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Roll out pastry dough and cut out 16 – 5 inch rounds and 16 – 5.5 inch rounds.

Spoon filling onto 5 inch rounds, brushing milk around the edges and cover with the 5.5 inch rounds and press with a fork to seal.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Stuffed Green Peppers - Could Be #Vegetarian

We fell off the turnip wagon. A friend of a friend offered us half a pastured pig, and we and two other friends split it. Lots of sausage. Lots and lots of sausage.

The first thing Charlie thought of was stuffed green peppers. We usually have these vegetarian, and you can, too.

Stuffed Green Peppers

  • olive oil
  • green peppers, cored and halved
  • onions, chopped
  • cooked sausage or hamburger (or veggie crumbles or nothing remotely meat-like)
  • (if you don't use spiced sausage, you want to use chili powder and cumin)
  • onion
  • cooked rice
  • tomato sauce
  • shredded cheddar cheese
Oil the peppers and put them into a 350F oven to soften and cook a little. Meanwhile, cook the sausage and onion or spices and onion. Add the rice and tomato sauce and some of the cheese. Remove the pepper halves and put them into an oiled dish or dishes. Stuff with the stuffing. Bake at 350F for about half an hour. Sprinkle with more cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and (if you like it the way we do) browned.

The green stuff on the side is roasted broccoli: Spray the broccoli with oil spray and sprinkle with salt. Put it in the oven alongside the pepper dish. Crispy and delicious!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, March 17, 2017

Southwest Shepherd's Pie with Mashed Cauliflower Cheddar & Bacon

Delish brings us a healthier take on the traditional shepherd's pie. See the full recipe and video here. It sounds yummy and is rated as easy to prepare. (That's my skill level!)

Southwest Shepherd's Pie with Mashed Cauliflower Cheddar & Bacon


2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 tbsp. jalapeno, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground turkey
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 (14.5 oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 c. corn kernels, fresh, frozen, or canned
1 (20 oz.) bag Green Giant Mashed Cauliflower Cheddar & Bacon, cooked according to package directions
2 green onions, sliced, greens and whites separated


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Cook onion and red pepper until slightly softened, 5 minutes. Add jalapeno and garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes more.

Add ground turkey and sauté until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Stir in tomatoes and corn and let simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix cooked Green Giant Mashed Cauliflower Cheddar & Bacon with the white parts of the green onion. Spread cauliflower mash over turkey mixture and smooth top.
Bake until mashed cauliflower begins to turn golden, 20 minutes.

Garnish with darker ends of the green onion.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Roasted Vegetables #Vegan

Here's something our #4 Daughter (the amazing Sara Marian) made while she was visiting.

She called it Roasty Vegetables. I call it a casserole, even though it has no liquid, which a casserole has.

We all called it good, anyway.

She lined up sliced potatoes, green beans (these were from a can), and baby carrots, and topped them with onions. We sprinkled them with minced garlic and herbs (I think we used thyme, rosemary, and sage). Then she melted vegan margarine and poured it over. [EDIT: She reminded me that she also poured some Italian dressing over it! She doesn't always, but she did that night.]

When she makes this at home, she also tucks in a line of chicken thighs.

She covered it and baked it at 350F for an hour. It looked like this.

Savory and delicious!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, March 10, 2017

Irish Soda Bread

This recipe is from Food Network's Claire Robinson. There is a video tutorial here, along with the recipe, that shows you step-by-step how to make the bread.

Claire's Easy Irish Soda Bread


1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading surface
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk


Watch how to make this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, oats and salt. Pour in most of the buttermilk and mix well, adding more buttermilk, if needed, to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and lightly knead into a shapeable dough. Avoid overworking the dough. Shape the dough into a round disk shaped loaf and cut a deep "X" in the top with a sharp knife. Put the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes at 425 degrees F. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake another 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven to a cutting board. Cool slightly before cutting and enjoy warm!

Recipe courtesy of Claire Robinson, 2010

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Tale of Two Squash - Thing One #Vegan

So we had two squash. They were YUUUUUUUGE! I cut them in half and gave half of each to #4 Daughter, the amazing Sara Marian, who gave me a recipe for squash casserole which I'll post on my own blog tomorrow.

MEANWHILE, I scooped the seeds out of both of my halves, pulled off and discarded the fibers clinging to them, tossed them in olive oil, sprinkled them with salt, and roasted them at 350F until they started turning brown.

Mmmm! Toasted squash seeds!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, March 3, 2017

Slow Cooker Corned Beef Dinner

I thought March would be the perfect time for some Irish recipes. Let's start with this slow cooker corned beef dinner from Food.com (http://www.food.com/recipe/corned-beef-dinner-crock-pot-14537)


2 -2 1⁄2lbs corned beef brisket
1 medium onion, sliced
1 stalk celery, cut in 3
4 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
4 medium carrots, peeled cut in 3
1 cup beef bouillon
bay leaf
garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard
4 small cabbage, cut into wedges
1 teaspoon caraway seed


Trim brisket of all visible fat, cut to fit 4 qt or larger crockpot, if necessary.

Place onion, celery, potatoes and carrots in bottom of crock pot, lay brisket on top.
Whisk together bouillon, bay leaf, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard.
Pour over brisket, cover pot.
Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours, adding cabbage wedges and caraway seed for the last hour of cooking.
To serve, discard cooking liquid, slice meat onto hot serving plates, accompany with the cooked potatoes, carrots, celery, cabbage wedges and your favorite mustard.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Quinoa Mandarin Little Bit Salad #vegan

This is a Little Bit salad because I made it by adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that until I liked it.

We had a BUNCH of quinoa, which we had flavored with cumin, left over from another dish, so I started with that. I peeled two mandarin oranges, cut them sideways in half, and pulled the pieces of one of them apart. I squeezed the juice out of the other one into the quinoa. I added a little bit of mint, a little bit of cardamom, a little bit of lemon juice, a little bit of olive oil, a little bit of salt, and a little bit of honey.

I loved it, and so did #4 Daughter, the amazing Sara Marian. Charlie was Meh. He usually is.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, February 24, 2017

Thin Mint Cheesecake

Did you go overboard with the Girl Scout Cookies this year? Is some lucky girl headed off to camp because of your contribution? Never fear. There are some amazing desserts that you can make with Girl Scout Cookies. This Thin Mint Cheesecake is a great recipe to help you use up some of your stash.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wee Pizza

The Jay C Food Store had a sale on mini-Naan, so of course I got some. Then I was like, "Charlie hates Indian food. What do I do with these?"

When you ask that question of veg, you make soup. With meat, you make chili. With bread, you make pizza.

Take a Naan round (or, you know, whatever). Top it with tomato sauce or pizza sauce or white sauce or Alfredo sauce or, you know, whatever. Then put -- you know what. We used mushrooms and green olives. Top it with cheese and bake it until the cheese is melted.

These are very nice, quick, easy, and just right for a light lunch. YMMV

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, February 17, 2017

World's Best Lasagna

What is it about lasagna that makes it so delicious? It's a go-to comfort food for many and has been served up in so many romance novels you'd think that's all fictional women know how to make. Seriously, though, it is a romantic meal that will have your husband begging for more. Whether you're looking for romance or just need that honey-do list to be knocked out, you'll love having this recipe on hand.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Seems Too Good To Be True -- But Truly Good! #vegetarian #GF

When I saw this recipe on Delish's Facebook page, I was all like, "Nuh-uh. That'll be narsty."

Still, I had about half a head of cauliflower threatening to go manky, and that much cheese will make just about anything palatable, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Yes, it really is that good!

425F for 25 minutes. Dee-vine!

Imma make that again!

Oh, what is it? It's Cheese Cauliflower Breadsticks. Mine weren't stiff enough to be breadsticks, more like flexible pizza, but SO GOOD!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Homemade Truffles

Is there anything more romantic than chocolates? And when it comes to chocolates, truffles win hands down. However, you may feel that truffles are simply too expensive. The good news is you can make them in your own kitchen. Best of all, they are super easy to make and you can customize them with extracts and coatings.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Corn Chowder #vegan

I got this recipe from the Humane Society's Meatless Monday newsletter, although NATURALLY I didn't make it exactly the way they said to.


  • olive oil
  • onions
  • mushrooms
  • potatoes
  • Great Northern or other white beans
  • corn
  • Italian seasoning

Heat olive oil in a pan. Chop onions and add to hot oil. Cook on low. Slice mushrooms and add to pan. Continue to cook until onions are tender. Move onions and mushrooms aside and add beans (undrained). Mash the beans. Add the beans, mushrooms, and onions to the potatoes. Add the corn and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes to get all the flavors swapped around.

GREAT for a cold, yucky day!

Meanwhile, peel and cube potatoes and cook in salted water until tender.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, February 3, 2017

Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

Want to give your sweetheart a sweet treat? These Valentine's Day cookies are easy to make and sure to put a smile on his or her face. Have fun decorating them with different colors of frosting and sprinkles. You can even decorate them to look like Conversation Hearts.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Fun With Cauliflower #vegan

I actually like it when we have leftovers, so I can slop 'em together and make A Thing. Like this one:
So I heated some vegan margarine in a skillet, added some cauliflower florets, onions, and mushrooms, and cooked them until the onions were tender. Then I added some leftover tomato sauce, covered it, and cooked it until the cauliflower was soft. It wasn't tomato-y enough, so I added two tablespoons of tomato paste. Salt, o' course.

We had it on Naan bread. I added curry powder to mine. I loved this. Charlie said, "It's edible." ~sigh~

Marian Allen, Author Lady

Friday, January 27, 2017

Easy One Dish Roasted Potatoes with Beef Tips

This month, I've been featuring one dish meals and this is another great one. This dish is perfect for winter as it's a hearty combination of meat and potatoes. This recipe uses a lot great flavors to kick your plain old beef and potatoes up a notch. Top it with sour cream and chopped green onions for even more flavor.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Saraghetti #vegetarian

What's Saraghetti, you ask? It's spaghetti the way #4 Daughter, the amazing Sara Marian, makes it!

This is actually not exactly as she makes it. I bought a container of Herbs and Spices Cream Cheese Spread for a gathering, and most of it was left uneaten. So, instead of using regular cream cheese and adding herbs and spices, I used that stuff.

To make Saraghetti, you cook the spaghetti, drain it, put it back into the pot, and stir in cream cheese, herbs and spices, and tomato sauce. Or spaghetti sauce. Or pizza sauce. Or, you know, whatever.
Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, January 20, 2017

Chicken Casserole Recipe

Do you love comfort food classics? Those recipes your mom or grandma made when you were growing up? This recipe is a throwback to the past and is often served in the South when someone passes away. That's just how things are in the South. When someone passes on, people bring food to the family.

This casserole is creamy, meaty, and oh so good. The cracker topping is one of the best parts. This is another meal that is great on its own, but you could add a salad and bread if you'd like.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Omelets -- Not Just For Breakfast! #Vegetarian

We get fresh eggs from our neighbors, so we eat eggs often. One of the things we like are omelets. Or maybe they're frittatas. There's a difference, but bless me if I can ever remember what it is. Okay, I just looked, and what we eat are frittomelets.

We mix the veg in with the eggs, but we don't "finish it in the oven" and we fold it over when it's done.

That there frittomelet contains broccoli, mushrooms, and cheese.

Next to it are sweet potato fries (frozen in a bag), baked in the toaster oven and drizzled with honey butter.


Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, January 13, 2017

Amy's Chili Recipe

Amy's back with her favorite chili recipe.

It's January and you can never have too many soup, chili, and stew recipes. This chili recipe is super easy and can be made as hot and spicy or mild as you like. It's loaded with fiber and protein and made with 93% lean ground beef so that it remains low in fat and calories. The best part about this recipe is that there's no playing around with seasonings. It uses basic salt, pepper, and chili powder. You can add hot sauce and cayenne if you want to make it hotter. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Bowl FAIL, Bowl WIN

So "bowls" are A Thing, right? A "bowl" is like a plate lunch, only with all the food touching the other food. It's like Mr. Monk's worst nightmare.

I make bowls sometimes, in the hope it will make leftovers look classy. Sometimes it works. Sometimes, not so much.

The one on the top, not so much. It was rice and peas, cabbage, black-eyed peas, and sausage, topped with Pad Thai sauce. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking, either.

The one on the bottom -- YUM! Also rice and peas (I made a BUNCH, y'all), and a slab of breaded and fried seitan, topped with mango chutney. OMG SO GOOD.

Less is more, I guess.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, January 6, 2017

Chicken and Dumplings

Today's recipe is from my friend, Amy Brantley. Amy, take it away! :)

Cold weather is here and it's time to start thinking about comfort food. In the South, nothing could be more comforting than a big ol' bowl of chicken and dumplings. There are so many recipes for this wonderful dish, but if you're looking for a quick and easy version that packs a lot of creamy flavor, this is the recipe for you.

This recipe is far different that most chicken and dumpling recipes that have more of a broth base. These are thick, creamy, and rich. The only thing you'll need to enjoy this meal is a big spoon and a big appetite.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Roast Broccs and Shrooms #Vegan

SO easy, and delicious!

Cut broccoli into florets and cut plain white (or whatever kind you like) mushrooms in half or whatever. Toss with olive oil and salt.

Spread in a single layer, pieces not touching, and roast at about 400F for about twenty minutes, or until the tips of the florets kind of start to brown.

Looks like this.
SO GOOD! Charlie said he likes broccoli better this way than any other way. He isn't a major broccoli fan, it's true, but we both really really liked this, and the mushrooms were succulent, too.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes