Om Nom Nom!

Blog Post #349

Lately, I’ve had a craving for Greek food — briny olives, salty cheese, luscious tomatoes. Maybe a Greek salad with a twist — something that would make a light, but satisfying meal. So… I opened up my Pinterest boards to search for the answer to “What’s for dinner?” and I found it — a recipe for Greek Pasta Salad! Om Nom Nom!

The recipe I found is quick, easy and delectable. It held its own as a main course, but if you wanted a heartier meal, you could add grilled chicken or a couple of lamb skewers. I would recommend this dish to anyone who likes Greek food. Give it a try — you won’t be sorry!

All the veggies for the salad, chopped and sliced and ready to go in the bowl!

Greek Pasta Salad

(This recipe is adapted from 20-Minute Greek Pasta Salad from Baker by Nature)

Servings: 8 as a salad; 4 as a main course

For the salad:

1 box of farfalle pasta (or your favourite short pasta)
1 english cucumber (I used 2 of the mini ones)
2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 cups romaine lettuce
3/4 cup fresh parsley
1 red onion
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted
Crumbled feta (8 ounces or to your taste)

For the dressing:

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste – I omitted this)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
1 cup tzatziki

Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise and then slice into half circles. If you are using mini cucumbers, simply cut them into rounds. Cut the tomatoes in half, tear the romaine into bite sized pieces, finely chop the parsley, slice the onion very thinly, and slice the olives in half.

Cook pasta according to package directions, until it is al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, make the dressing.

Combine the garlic, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt (if using) and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until combined. Mix in the tzatziki and set aside.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it and rinse it under cold water for a minute or two until cooled. Place the pasta in a large mixing bowl and in the tzatziki mixture and toss to coat. Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, parsley, onions, olives and feta. Toss to combine. Serve and enjoy.

Pasta Salad
Om Nom Nom! Pasta Salad



Six For Dinner — A Short Story

Blog Post #336

Another attempt at a six word story. It is more difficult than it sounds, but I’ll keep trying. Hint: This one is meant to be funny!

The smoke cleared — we ordered pizza.



Dinner is Served!

Blog Post #123

Don’t you love it when you try out a recipe for the first time and everything turns out perfectly? You found all the ingredients at the store — even that obscure one that you weren’t quite sure was an exotic vegetable or a fancy cheese. The recipe was easy to follow and it turned out looking exactly like the professional photo of it on the chef’s blog.



That kind of perfection doesn’t usually happen to me when I attempt to cook something new. I often end up with a kitchen that looks like a hurricane hit it after deciphering an impossibly complex set of instructions and making a number of ingredient substitutions because I couldn’t find the right ones or I forgot to get them!

Today, however, I had immense success with that new recipe that I found on Pinterest — Penne with Prosciutto, Tomatoes, Zucchini. The recipe was easy to follow and  I didn’t need to make a single substitution! And the dish was delicious!

I even like the photo — it’s not studio-perfect, but it looks okay — it’ll do!


There is only one small thing — the next time I make this meal (and there will be a next time), I am going to use kale and spinach instead of zucchini. I love zucchini and it was good in this dish, but I think that kale and/or spinach would add just a bit more oophm!





What’s on the Menu?

Blog Post #122

I’m still stuffed from dinner, but here I am poking through recipes on Pinterest, trying to figure out what I’m going to cook tomorrow night!

Admittedly, I don’t usually need an excuse to spend a few minutes more than a few minutes, browsing through the vast bank of appetizers, salads, and entrées that live on the popular online bulletin board. I was thinking, though, that I should PLAN out a dinner every now and then — so that’s what I am doing!

Fresh produce from my garden — from a few years ago.


After looking at hundreds (sure seemed like hundreds) of recipes, I settled on Penne with Prosciutto, Tomatoes and Zucchini.

This main dish includes onion, garlic, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, prosciutto, and balsamic vinegar mixed in with penne and parmesan cheese.  I may leave out the prosciutto — I’ll decide that at the last minute!

Sounds delicious, right?

I’ll try to post a photo tomorrow of my version of this meal — if I remember! Usually, I’m so hungry that I forget that I want to take a photo until my plate is nearly empty — and that NEVER looks good!

What are you making for dinner?






I’m Hungry — What’s For Dinner?

Blog Post #67

I got home after a long, long day of trying to figure out someone else’s coded pages so I could make some revisions — countless hours (well, okay, a few hours) staring at the lines of php configurations. I’m no coder, but I can grope my way around a cascading style sheet and make sense of it all. Sometimes …

Finally, I gave up for the day — it’s going to have to wait until Monday. I left the office, a bit defeated, feeling forlorn and — HUNGRY!

For a burger. But not just any burger. I was hungry for THE BEST-EVER VEGGIE BURGER!!


I was tired of the same old, same old. Beef patties, turkey burgers, fish sandwiches, MEH. I was craving a lean, mean, mouth-watering veggie burger, topped with onions, roasted tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, melty cheese, and a thick slathering of creamy mayo, served on a lovely sesame seed bun.

That kind of burger.  The delicious kind. *Drool!

I found the recipe for that burger in the current issue of Rachel Ray’s magazine, Every Day.

This veggie burger is very satisfying with all the different flavours and textures. It is easy to prepare — not too fiddly and it stays together when frying, making a delectable patty ready for the bun and a pile of tasty toppings.

I adjusted the recipe a little — scaled it down a bit, omitted* an ingredient or two, substituted stuff here and there. I served it with my homemade potato salad and I think it all turned out great. They sure disappeared fast. Yum!

The recipe as I prepared it follows below. If you want to try the original one – it’s featured in the June issue of Every Day.


Makes 4 to 6 burgers


4 green onions, coarsely chopped
½ cup chopped, toasted walnuts
¼ cup ancient blend porridge oats
1 28 oz can of lentils
1 medium sweet potato (roasted and mashed) about 1 cup


Sauté the green onions in a bit of olive oil until soft and slightly caramelized. Let cool.

Pulse the walnuts and the oats in a food processor until a coarse meal is formed. Add 1 cup of the lentils and pulse until a thick but not mushy paste is formed. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the remaining lentils, mashed sweet potato and the green onion. Season to taste. Mix well and form into patties about ¾ inch thick.

In a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the patties and cook until browned on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Add a slice of smoked cheddar to each patty during the last minute of cooking. Let the patties rest for 5 minutes before building the burgers.

Oven-Roasted Tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350° F
Roma tomatoes (or your favourite kind) as many as you want to roast, but at least 4 for the topping.
Cut the tomatoes into quarters and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Season with pepper and a little coarse sea salt. Drizzle with olive oil and add a splash of balsamic vinegar. Roast until the tomatoes are softened and browned in spots. Remove from oven and let cool. (I think my way of doing this is a bit different than the one in Every Day. Different but similar, how many ways can you do a simple roast tomato?)

Balsamic Fried Onions

Melt 1 tbsp of butter with 1tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add 2 thinly sliced red onions, sauté until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and continue to cook for a few minutes until vinegar is absorbed. Set aside.


Spread mayo, mustard or ketchup on the bottom bun. Add the patty, roasted tomatoes, balsamic onions and any other topping or condiment you desire. Finish with the top bun.

Rachel Ray’s recipe suggested iceberg lettuce, smoky scallion mayo (recipe in magazine) and zucchini pickles (recipe in magazine) on the burgers. I was satisfied with the balsamic fried onions and oven-roasted tomatoes. It was delicious!

What do you think — is it the BEST-EVER VEGGIE BURGER??

*I omitted the farro (from the original recipe) because I didn’t know what it was or where to find it. Also, I didn’t make the zucchini pickles, or the smoky scallion mayo. (I was too hungry and just wanted to eat fast!!)


Brynne’s Daily Drawing #67

Brynne's Daily Drawing #67








Where’s the Chili?

Chili pepperI was reading yesterday’s blog post because one of my FB friends commented that there is no mention of chili or cumin in the recipe that I posted for Bruce’s Black & White Chicken Chili! Wait —what?!  Did I just goof up? He gave me the directions verbally since he never cooks from a recipe — he always cooks on the fly, so to speak.

I asked him if he put chili and/or cumin in last night’s dinner. This elicited a long silence then a hearty chuckle — nope, the recipe was correct as written — he forgot to add in the spices! Laughing, he said maybe we should call it “Bruce’s Black & White Chicken Stew”! Hehehe!

So if you want chili for dinner tonight and you are thinking of trying the recipe previously posted, please add in 1 tablespoon of chili and a teaspoon of cumin (or season to taste) when you add the chicken back in. You could even toss in some chopped chile peppers if you want the extra heat!

Of course, you could make the “chili” just as I wrote it yesterday. It was delicious and no one missed the “chili-ness”!

From Wikipedia:
Chili con carne (chili with meat), more commonly known simply as chili, is a spicy stew containing chili peppers, meat (usually beef), tomatoes and often beans. Other seasonings may include garlic, onions, and cumin.


Freaky Friday

It was an ordinary Friday, at least so it seemed on the surface.

My husband had taken the day off and we decided it would be fun to shop around for anniversary gifts for each other and then go out for a nice dinner. (As I have written previously, we are a bit cavalier about anniversaries, but as is this was a big one, we decided to buy something special — and silver.)

It didn’t take too long before I found a beautiful ring that I loved. It has an amethyst stone encircled with 14k gold set in a sterling silver band. Very vintage looking, I thought, and a perfect gift for a silver anniversary. The icing on the cake was that it was 70% off the regular price!! Oh, and it fit perfectly, too!

The saleswoman worked out the total for me and I was ecstatic — I LOVE a good bargain and this one was a great one! Done deal. She rang up the sale. It seemed more than I thought it was going to be, but I handed over the cash, complaining to myself about the enormous sales tax that we all have to pay. I was about to stuff the receipt in my purse when I decided to take a good look at it – that total just seemed way too high even with a 12% tax added on.

Good thing I did. The ring cost fifty dollars more than the saleswoman had said. After a bit of checking, it seems that the prices had been entered into the system incorrectly. I got my fifty dollars back. And, my confidence went up 100% regarding my math skills!

I usually never check my bills.


We shopped a bit more then decided to go for dinner, and made a plan to go to Granville Island to search for Bruce’s gift on Sunday.

We went to a nearby restaurant so we could use the gift card we had (a present from our daughters). We enjoyed a delicious dinner and chatted amiably throughout the meal. The service was excellent and our waitress was outgoing and friendly. Then it came time to pay. I handed over the gift card and my debit card. The waitress keyed in the numbers and handed me the terminal and I swiped my card and entered my pin. The total of our meal seemed high, but I assumed that the gift card had not been subtracted yet. Even though I still had a niggling feeling that we had been over-charged, I accepted the amount and handed the terminal back as the transaction was approved.

For the second time that day, I decided to check the bill. (It really is out of character for me to do so.)

Good thing I checked! Our bill included someone else’s meals! We had paid an extra $40 for dinner! Yikes! It was all sorted out. The waitress was apologetic and the manager gave us $50 in gift cards — we left happy.

I can’t believe this happened twice in one day! Freaky!! …and I saved us $90 — I AM a math genius!

You can bet from now on, I am going to make a point of looking over my bill before I hand over the cash!