Archive for March 21st, 2009

Tonight’s feast was Red Lentil Stew, serving 6. 


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, halved, seeded, cored and chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 12 baby carrots, sliced
  • 6 mushrooms and stems, peeled and sliced
  • 1 18 oz container of Red Pepper Soup OR use same amount of tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 10 grinds of black pepper from pepper mill
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian spice mix or curry power
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 cup Shiloh Farms Organic Red Lentils

Saute onion over medium heat (no oil unless you prefer to include it).  After 5 minutes, add the peppers and cook about 3 more minutes.  Add the celery, carrots and cook another 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and after 1 minute add the soup/juice, water, pepper, salt, spices.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the red lentils and cook another 15-20 minutes.

Three Morning Star Sausage links were added to the stew for the Vegetarian Version. For the Meat Eater in the house, a cube steak was grilled.

We served oven roasted cauliflower on the side.  The cauliflower was boiled for 15 minutes and drained. Put into an oven safe baking dish, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and just a hint of curry powder (Ted doesn’t like curry – bummer!). Roast for 20 minutes at 425F.


The Great Blondie Experiment.


Vegan Blondies

Vegan Blondies Topped with Cinnamon




Standard Blondies with Dried Cranberries

For a couple of weeks now and after reading a very good blog by Veggie Girl, it was decided that a blondie experiment would take place:  Vegan Version   (no dairy nor eggs) vs. Standard “Martha Stewart” Version.

The main changes were as follows:

VEGAN:  The dried, chopped figs were soaked in hot water (just covered) while preparing the rest of the batter (10 minutes, approximately).  The figs AND water (because that water takes on the sweetness of the figs) were added to the batter to make it spreadable.  MARTHA:  Used dark brown sugar, no nuts, and added dried cranberries.

The results:

The Blondies

The Blondies

 The VEGAN version is cake like with a relaxed sweetness. Your teeth will be happy. 

The MARTHA version is more “brownie” like and sugary sweet.  Make a dentist appointment…NOW!

For children, they would most likely appreciate MARTHA’s version however, for adults, the VEGAN blondie would be a winner.




As for today’s “to do” list, most of it was completed.  As a reward, the two-some on Hingham are going to see “The National Acrobats of China” performing at The Stanley Theater Center for the Arts.  The expected company includes Rocko and Jackie, Bob and Nancy.   Let’s go have some fun!


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Beginning with Saturday morning events, the normal activities of waking early and running were not done today.  There were sore legs all around so the long walk seemed the best therapy.  If all goes well, running day will be Sunday.  Besides, it was cold this morning, 19 degrees. The snow had melted however and it was a pleasant sunrise and lovely to see the water flowing again.




Last night, as mentioned yesterday, it was dinner at Franchettas. 

Beginning with wine, followed by the Baby Spinach and Chevre salad, another dinner salad, and finally the grilled tuna served on a bed of spicy green beans.













Since the photos do not offer a picturesque detail of the wonderful tastes experienced in last nights dinner, the following is offered:

Walking into Franchettas is like walking into a family member’s home, so welcoming and friendly. 

Wines are recommended and offered to try.  Tasting glasses, which are standard wine glasses in most restaurants, are swapped for a truly luxurious mouth experience through a glass.  The wine is poured with no limits to quantity restrictions…”Oh look. There is only a small amount left in the bottle. You better have it or I will”.  Words from Pierre, the owner.  Hence, the wine glass over flows.

Orders are taken as the waitress says “Oh I remember you! No starch. Extra Veg.!” 

Salad appetizers are served. Salads are served.  Finally dinner is placed on the table.  All courses spaced perfectly in a well choreographed manner. 

We enjoy Franchettas so much. It ranks number 1 in our books.

At home, about 9pm, we decided to watch this adorable DVD:


Or should I say, ONE of us decided to watch it. Ted’s head fell back and he was out for the night.  As for me, I did get emotional rooting for Diablo, the German Shepherd.  My Hero! Lot of love:10142

Today is a cake delivery, grocery shopping, baking more cakes and making more frostings.  There is a lot of reading to be done on test products as well as enjoyment.  One more item on the agenda is a “Blondie” comparison bake off. That’s right. A test is being conducted on the best recipe of two. 

Hope to report back later with what was accomplished and what wasnt’.  What? Cleaning?  Oh No! It’s SATURDAY!

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