Sunday, January 29, 2012


One of my favorite parts of travel to the Arab sections of French cities and to North Africa is lamb sausage, Margez.

This particular platter posted is from a café in the Tunisian resort city of Sousse, about 2.5 hours by train from the capital city of Tunis.

What's interesting about Franco-influenced Arab cuisine is the flood of bread with every meal, even more prevalent than in France. The North African region gives a basket of baguette slices its own twist-- by serving it with the chili pepper paste known as harissa blended with olive oil.

See the empty bowl in the background with red smears? That was harissa.

My travels have renewed my interest in checking out the halal butcher in my neighborhood.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

En route

Dinner stop at Popeye's Louisiana kitchen in Detroit metro airport

Easing my way back

I left Marseilles in the South of France at 10:55 am Saturday, having woken at 6:45 am. That, in American time, starts me at 12:45 am. We took a bus to the Marseilles/Provence airport where we ate our final pain au chocolat with coffee.

Boarded the plane to Paris, enjoyed the airport lounge for several hours, and embarked on an 8 hour 40 minute flight to Washington, DC. We landed around 8 pm.

I checked my luggage for my final plane home, and departure was delayed until 10:40. Then the plane broke and we were sent back into the terminal until about 12:30 am.

By that point I'd been awake 24 hours. We finally got to my fair town at 2:10 am.

And the spring semester started Monday. And I had dental surgery Tuesday for my implant. My digestive track did not survive Africa unscathed, so I haven't eaten much.

Last night I graduated from clear liquids/Gatorade/bananas/applesauce to rice-- because if I didn't eat something soon I was going to kill someone.

And so I made my family teriyaki snow peas and vegetarian meat to go with it.

It smelled so good... I ate it. No issues.

I had applesauce, coffee, Greek yogurt, Cipro and Motrin for breakfast. All is good.

For lunch I made half a tuna sandwich with Miracle Whip, a small serving of sweet potato fries and a Bolthouse Berry Boost anti-oxidant smoothie.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Final preparations

So, my traveling companion's Algerian visa did not come through and the embassy referred to mine as a mistake. Plans have been canceled and remade and we are departing for Paris tonight, with plans later in the week for Tunis (Tunisia) and Marseille (South of France).

The most stressful part of this upheaval has been eating. I have labeled certain pantry items for my husband and daughter and to eat them now feels like I am stealing food from their mouths.

While a friend takes me to the airport today (husband has to work but daughter will be done with school) husband plans a trip to Aldi on the way home.

These are my suggestions for upcoming menus:

- spiced peaches and the exotic plums I canned over the summer will jazz up some breakfast

- fresh spinach in a tortilla shell with some of the spicy turkey/bean pâté in the freezer

- steak with brandy sauce, potatoes or sweet potato fries

- chili (in the freezer)

- zaatar bread with feta

- boxed Mac and cheese

- Market Pantry orange chicken

- leftover daddy pasta (rotini, red sauce, ground beef, and a touch of cheddar)

- nachos with black beans, olives, cheddar and fancy salsa

- SteamFresh parmesan risotto with vegetables and added tuna

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Crazy goodbye dinner

I am scheduled to leave for Algeria tomorrow, though if my traveling companion does not get his visa tomorrow, our journey may be rescheduled and our destination for this week changed.

So, hoping that tonight will be my last dinner at home, I whipped up some family favorites:

- spinach and spring mix with hot bacon dressing (my mother-in-law's frozen from thanksgiving)
- Market Pantry sweet potato fries
- buffalo blue cheese broccoli with Cheetos topping
- tuna sandwiches on wheat bread
- mango cherry Bolthouse Farms smoothie
- Edward's Key Lime Pie for dessert

My freezer is packed with vegetables, chili, turkey/bean pâté, a steak ready to cook and my brandy cream sauce to go on it...there's vegetarian sausages and Gardein beef tips, snow peas, and water chestnuts. Spaghetti. Boxed Mac and cheese. Fruit I 'canned' over the summer.

Plus cheddar, black olives and salsa for nachoes.

They won't starve.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pumpkin oatmeal

Based on:

Looking for an evening snack that had more nutritional value and less required chewing than Christmas cookies, I made pumpkin oatmeal. Leftovers for breakfast!

I don't measure when I cook so measurements are approximate and based, for herbs and spices, on smell. Adjust to your liking.

- 1.5 cuts old fashioned oatmeal
- not quite 3 cups unsweetened soy milk
- 16 ounces pumpkin
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger

In medium saucepan, combine milk and spices and bring to boil over medium heat.

Add oats. Cook five minutes.

Add pumpkin. Cook until hot.

Spinach salad with fruit and seeds

Mix in proportions that make you happy:

- spring mix
- spinach
- mandarin oranges
- dried cranberries
- dried blueberries
- raisins
- unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
- unsalted pumpkin seeds
- sliced honey crisp apples
- dehydrated peas

Top with Newman's Own Light Raspberry & Walnut Dressing

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Almond pancakes

Tonight I made dairy-free almond pancakes with hot strawberries. For dinner.

Honestly, the jury's still out on whether or not the sliced almonds in the pancakes worked or whether I should have placed them on top with the strawberries.

2 eggs
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Very Vanilla Silk
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons baking powder
About 3/4 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon almond extract

Beat eggs and add other ingredients. Fry up on hot griddle or frying pan in butter.

About 15 pancakes.

Strawberry topping
16 ounces frozen strawberries
1/8 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons strawberry preserves

Heat strawberries in microwave or thaw in fridge. Combine water & sugar in saucepan and stir well. Add strawberries, their juice and preserves. Heat to boiling.

Let boil about five minutes.