Saturday, July 31, 2010


I forget where, but I got this recipe for basil cocktails on the same day that d2d brought me a big bunch of fresh basil and strawberries. It was fate.  Now, Friday nights are basil nights!!
This cocktail calls for 3 strawberries and 5 basil leaves, muddled in a 16 ounce glass. Then, you mix 1 oz of strawberry puree with 1.5 oz of strawberry flavored vodka, dump it in the other and top it off with 4 oz of lemonade.
So, as you can imagine I made this Cocoa style. Which means...Magic Bullet! I pretty much just dumped everything in a cup and zipped with the bullet and it came out GREAT! Oh yeah, and I used regular vodka. Partly because I was too lazy to go to the store and partly because I don't trust flavored alcohols to be gf. But that's just me.
Then everyone gets a fun colored top for the cup - whee it's a party!
Now, I'm going to go eat my yummy breakfast: stuffed omelet.
I basically sautéed up the leftover insides of the zucchini after I made Zucc noods, a whithered tomato, some onion and tucked it into a plain egg omelet. MMMMM.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Like at a restaurant

One of my favorite things now are Suzanne's zucchini noodles. I have found them to be delightful! So, I coupled them with a steak and leftover mushrooms sautéed in red wine and olive oil. I felt like I'd just ordered a meal at a fancy restaurant.  The mingling flavors and textures were really fun!
I'm such a lazy simple cook that I don't often go to the bother of using things like spices, herbs, wine or garnish. So, when I do it feels really special. When I do it just for myself, it feels indulgent!
By the way, save the insides of the zucchini and use them in salads - so refreshing and a nice option besides cucumbers. *tips from Cocoa's kitchen*

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Door To Door Organics some more

I'm kind of happy to spread the love and got a friend of mine to sign up for D2D. So, like this week, it is not only a great deal it's also a lifesaver because I just really don't want to go to the store! It's so nice to have a box show up on my door step and know that I'll not starve to death this week despite my aversion to shopping.
So, in thankfulness to the d2d people, thought I'd post a few pics of past boxes that I forgot to share:
If you think you'd like to try it too use code: happy, to get $5 off your order and tell them I sent you to share the love (I'll get a credit too). I'm finally endorsing it because their track record with me has been great. Also, I love the fact that they will pick up your old packaging and recycle it. Not only is it a hassle to try and recycle or trash it myself, but it's economical for them!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Look what I found, leftover (never even opened!) from my F$ project!! Grits!
What a great snack, with butter and salt.  I have a feeling they will be a staple this week since I'm just not feeling like going to the grocery store.
Related to the anti-grocery week, I'm cleaning out cupboards and fridges.  I found a chunk of fresh mozzarella in the crisper - it was beginning to mold - green! So, I cut off the mold and threw it on a pan with the leftover pepperoni for a "pizza". No crust, unless you count the aluminum foil I lined the pan with...
Just broil it on high until the pepperonis sizzle and the cheese gets bubbly
And finally, the last of a jar of marinara sauce (could be a week old!) and some pasta
Now, I've got to go scratch a mosquito bite and see what else I can dig out for sustenance. See ya!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cinnamon Raisin Bread (Bob's Redmill mix)

Good morning!
Yesterday I made cinnamon raisin bread in my bread maker. If you don't have a bread maker for your gf bread- go get one NOW! Cuisinart brand - I'd recommend. 

This was cuisi's first bread and I want to be the kind of girl who can set it and forget it, but I'm not. I was checking on it and making sure it was doing it right! And, control freak that I am, I had to take a spatula and jab at the dough to make sure it all got mixed in right.
We all think it turned out good. Barfy cat had to have the first bite, naturally so I gave her a bit and she l.o.v.e.d. it. She pretty much goes nutsy for any gf baking I do. No idea why. I mean, she will beg for a gf muffin with more desperation than for steak.  It's pretty obvs God picked her out special for me.
I ate a huge chunk right out of the pan smeared with butter. It was good!  Today, I'm going to toast some and see if it lives up to my memories of cinnaraisin toast.
In all fairness, I will admit. I've never liked bread and I couldn't tell you if any gf kind is really tasty or not, because I still don't really enjoy bread. I'll eat it and I know if it's bad, but mediocre isn't going to raise flags with me.
So, I called my mom and dad and offered them some, if they'd come to my house for a visit. And sure enough, they showed up! I toasted some for them - on the stove! Yeah, I don't own a toaster and tell you the truth - it's faster and easier to just throw the bread or whatever in a non-stick skillet on the stove.  Then you can butter the first toasted side (while the other toasts) without burning your fingers! *tips from Cocoa's lazy kitchen*

I'm off to have some breakfast now :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Finished the spinach bread - ham and cheese style. I luv that stuff! Gotta get more eggs and make another batch.
In other news, I'm currently baking some Cinnamon Raisin bread, from a Bob's Red Mill mix, in the bread maker. Will fill you in on it tomorrow!!
So, I haven't been blogging much. Partly because I'm tired of talking about food. I can't seem to figure out what I'm eating or if it is what I'm eating that keeps upsetting my system.  I'm down to 2-3 good days a week when I'm not in acute pain or worse...
So my food is boring. I eat a lot of stuff picnic style:
And I'm still getting my door to door organics delivered every week:
That means trying new recipes like Chard Chips.  Look how gorgeous this chard is! It was a shame to cook it and then eat it - would've liked to just hung it on the wall!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Somer Enchiladas

After an especially sweet breakfast of canteloupe and raspberries (drool, drool!!), I got brave and ready to fire up the oven and decided to make Suzanne's enchiladas.  It was surprisingly easy and fairly tasty, although I'd skip the tomato paste and go for something know cuz of my boat load of tomatoes.

So, the egg crepes were much faster and easier to make this second time. I used a smaller pan and a pour-able container rather than the ladle. Much better!

Cooked the sausages and rolled them up with onions and cheese...

Baked and done!

Would I do it again? No. Why? because I'm lazy that way. I'd have just made the crepes and put them on a plate with the stuff and covered it with sauce.
Should you try this anyway? Yes! Why? Because it was a yummy dinner and presented nicely if you're cooking for a group.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

There once was a girl with a boat load of tomatoes

Yeah, so I have a lot of tomatoes!!

And other stuff too.  Desperately eating them now that I'm not so under the weather and all that.

It's really hard to fit anything else into my meals than veggies since I'm getting them delivered in a bitty big box. I was craving chocolate and cake the other day and realized, there just weren't enough hours in the day or room in my stomach for them. Weird, right?
Here's my sample pics of the salads I eat all day every day!

Monday, July 12, 2010

We have the most fun!!

I got so sick last week so I'm taking it easy!
Snackies of the week:
More mozzarella with basil and tomatoes, sort of a poor man's caprese. And what's left of my celery and peas :)
For my "carbos" I did a little cucumber with non-fat plain yogurt and dill (S&P too)
Look at these cukes from door to door!
 Had to peel the crusty skin off but the insides taste deeelish.
Also on the menu ham and cheese roll-ups and salads.  Simple foods for a simple girl!

Friday, July 9, 2010

hot food, coming up!

I had to give in and fire up the cooking appliances!
First, it was the micro (ok, that doesn't really count) and the stove to make some pepperoni chips and sauteed mushrooms.
 Then I turned George on and he cooked me a nice steak. 
I had to make my own zucchini noodles on the stove though. 
So good! Gotta say that Suzanne, she knows her veggies!
I'm starting to dread the return to work. Isn't that sad? I still have days left of my vacation yet I start to think of all I'll have to do when I get back. I need a new job.
Any suggestions?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How to use a gallon of milk in 20 minutes or less

Woke up one morning afternoon thinking about the week ahead and how desperately lame the thought of cooking during these gorgeous days of summer can be and decided to throw together a few big bowls of stuff to make it through the week.

Still too sleepy to do much of anything about it, I flailed myself down the stairs in my underwear to grab some kind of fruit for breakfast. My "ripen up" bowl was full of goodies - apricots, pears and tomatoes.  

 So, I grabbed a couple apricots and stood in front of the open fridge trying to pick some carbs. That's the nice thing about being a grown up and owning your own house - no one can nag you to shut the fridge door...well except that voice in the back of your head that sounds vaguely like your mother, reminding you about the lack of money bearing trees in the city.

So back to the carbs. I have a gallon of skim milk in the fridge, about to expire and about 1/2 cup of it was ever used. On what, I still can't remember. What to do?  Rice pudding and ice milk, that's what!

Rice pudding is easy, it goes a little something like this: 1 cup rice, 6 cups milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, salt, vanilla & cinnamon in the crock for 3-4 hours on High. DON'T FORGET THE SALT! I did this time and it came out flat tasting. It can be added before serving though so don't stress.

Ice Milk is similarly simple: 6 cups of milk, 1 cup of sugar, vanilla. Dump it in an ice cream machine and whirl it for 30 minutes or so. I like to put mine in a rectangular pan and freeze it totally solid so I can cut it into chunks to serve later.

Just as I was turning on the heat to the crock pot I hear a key being pushed into my lock! Then feet scraping on the mat (yeah it's deadly quiet in the morning here). So, my first thought was, "someone at the wrong house?" My next thought was. "NO! it's my parents and I'm in the kitchen in my undies!!!"
So, I ran up the stairs as fast as I could and grabbed the first shirt and shorts I could find to throw on. It is moments like that I'm am super thankful I'm not too neat!
Lest you think my parents are completely rude, the door bell did ring twice during this mad dash, then the door opened and the hollering commenced.  Nonetheless, the whole thing probably played out in less than 2 minutes and makes me rethink letting them have an emergency key! I am an adult and as such would like the convenience of wandering around less than presentable in my own house at any hour, even if it is 2:00 in the afternoon.  And no, just because you've been calling all day and I didn't answer doesn't mean you can pretend it's ok because you thought I might have fallen dead.  

I have the right to be dead in the privacy of my own home too. maybe if I don't call back in 24 hours and you've made it clear to my answerer that you're coming over to see if I'm dead and I still don't pick up you can use that excuse. OKAY?!?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I'll be at the pool if you need me

Vacations are wonderful, even if your penny pinching employer forces you to take 2 weeks of your PTO at their scheduled convenience just to get it off the books thus always leaving you with a lean 3 days that you hold on to just in case you need a sick day due to swine flu or some such.!
This week is one such forced vacation, and I'm spending it wisely: reading, sunning, lolling about the pool, taking long walks, and possibly camping.
I bought this:

It's for my porta potty to go camping. I'm a city girl, people! I require running water (even if I have to use a plastic pump or a water jug with a spigot) and a private bathroom of my very own. Is that too much to ask?
I don't think the camping will come to fruition though. Too many anomalies. Which is sad, because I really want to get away to the boonies for a while.
Anyway...I'm standing in my kitchen in a skirt that I deemed long enough to call a dress (ahem) for sunning, filling a mason jar with ice and water to go start my new book out on the porch. When Luke alerts me to the fact that we have not had lunch yet (it's well after noon!) So, here's what I throw together:
I call them nibblets, because I'm not french. It's fresh mozzarella with scallions and tomatoes. I ate a few before I thought to take this picture - I'm on vacation and that means my brain too!
And I always buy the pre-cut mozzarella - why not?

Breakfast looked something like this, after I had a sweet organic pear (seriously, grocery produce is not this good!):
Can't see the lumps eh? I tried to make this with the last of the milk and it tasted f.u.n.k.y! I guess not all my experiments can be successful.
George made dinner for me:
What book am I reading, you ask? Why, it's by the most fabulous Jill Connor-Browne who has taught me so much about life and it's called: "American thighs: the Sweet Potato Queens' guide to preserving your assets"

Monday, July 5, 2010

All hail the salad!

The sun streams through my skylights in the late afternoon and there are only 2 things I'm willing to do then. Cook or sit in my reading chair with a good book. This time, I'm "cooking". 

So my fridge looks a little like that. And I need to eat that Romaine before it turns into something ugly. But it's full of dirt, and mud and I think even a bug. Organics seem to be this way. After a lifetime of nary a grain of sand in my supermarket lettuce, it's an experience. And somehow a pleasant one. Still, I put off the washing.
Just as I get each leaf ripped apart and in the sink full of ice cold water to wash it, the phone rings. As usual, I let the machine get it. I'm scared of the phone and I'm elbow deep in muddy ice water. Ever since a traumatic experience at work answering phones, I freak out just thinking of answering, especially if I don't know who it is. If I thought I'd answer to this, I might get over it:
But you know, most of the time it's this, and that's not worth my time:
Anywhoo, the water thing is also a plausible excuse to give when I call them back.
 Not to worry, it was a debt collector. They've been calling for weeks looking for someone with my same last name. I have no debt - so it's definitely not for me! I delete them.
The romaine, finally washed and ready to be my Caesar goes into a bowl in the fridge, while I run to the store for some dressing.  BRB.
Paul Newman will be missed. I'm so glad that they keep making food the same way! So, I picked up his bottle of dressing (thanks for the coupon mom and dad!).
Thank you to Suzanne Somers (again) for her Parmesan crouton recipe as well!  I make these in batches and put them in the fridge to go on things, in things and sometimes just to snack on! You can find the recipe in her books. Simplified: put some parm in a non stick pan and brown it on both sides - cut up to sizes you like.

Then, I watched 500 days of Summer. Luvd it! I am that girl. Relationships suck the life out of you and you just end up hurting every man in your path. Then, when she gets married, at the end, I was thinking to myself, "yeah right, it's just the way they had to end it so the lame chicks of the world don't complain about a bad ending." The test audiences must have made them do it. Although, I do wonder, are men really like in the beginning? He thinks that playing some song she likes is "giving her a chance"? This could explain a lot...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!!

I just have to say I feel so blessed to have been born and live in the United States, where I enjoy so many freedoms. On this day, especially, I think about the forefathers of this country and how they were so obviously guided by God! I also think of all the sacrifices that were made so that I could be here, getting ready to have a cook out with my family and not worried about the horrifying things people around the world have to worry about, every day. 
If you don't know this about me, I'm an American - through and through and nothing moves me as much as this day.

When the sun goes down behind those grand Rockies and the fireworks begin to burst all over the city, I can't help but be proud.  From the top of the hill we can watch about 5 different shows. I always tear up and my heart just about bursts thinking of all those brave souls who came to this land looking for a better life for their family and future generations. Those strong people who fought for every last bit of freedom they could after knowing the unbearable weight of tyranny, linger in my thoughts. It strengthens my resolve to continue to fight that good fight, even today as I watch many of my countrymen betray those freedoms without a second thought.
God bless the USA and I hope that you don't just think of it as a day to blow things up and eat too much, but think about the sacrifice and ultimate joy and relief the revolutionaries must have felt on this day over 200 years ago.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mocha oats

We tried something different yesterday. Mocha overnight oats. Yes, my very own creation. Would I recommend? mmmmaybe.
The concoction: 1/3 cup oats, 1 Tbl cocoa powder, 1 tsp decaf coffee granules, 4 scoops of plain non-fat yogurt.
On the side: fresh mango and strawberries. I even ate some of the mango skin!! I'd recommend.  The flesh is almost tart and the skin is so sweet.
Overall the oats were not bad, not great.  I think I've decided to quit the fat free yogurt overnight oats. They leave a weird taste in my mouth all day until I eat something completely saturated in onions and garlic.
When I made them with the naturals coffee yogurt - so good! Creamy & Addictive!
So until I move to Phase 2 of Somersizing - no more oats :( unless I get brave and cook them.

I won't bore you with pictures of the tuna salad or the cooked pepperoni and cheese salad again. Cuz I'm nice that way!  ;)

So, I'm thinking about trying something new with the blog. For fun and entertainment (mostly mine). So, if you hate it let me know! As with most things in my life I'm sure it won't last long anyway.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Rotten fruit, but not bad apples

These looked great at the store but after a couple days on my shelf there were 5 very moldy and rotten Cuties in there! Sadly, this is par for the fruit I get at the Walmart by my house. Things are often rotten 24-48 hours after I get them home. 
Interestingly, I've had much better luck with the Wally's by my parents' house.  Sometimes I even stock up over there and have had things last a week before they look questionable.
Just goes to show ya, you gotta shop around!
Door to Door also failed me with these peaches that were molding from the inside out. But, for all the great produce I've gotten from them so far, I'm still on board. I just sent them an email and they credited my account for them, just like that.
So much love to Door to Door!
And on a freakish note, there is an apple in my fridge that has been there since before Easter that is still ok. What's that about?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I'm adding more ~ing - some more!

This post is a little different because I'm talking about something that inspires me - not related to food. Not too long ago I was introduced to an amazing lady, Gabrielle Bernstein. Ok, so not in person but her book was recommended and it spoke to me. Then I looked at her website, watched some of her lectures and followed her on Facebook and just feel more and more inspired by her. And I relate to her!
If you're curious go here: ~ing chapter 1 and download chapter one of her book (in PDF).
So, she has started a book club on, the website she has put out there, and each month is going to post about a chapter. I'm fairly excited about this because although I got her book, read it and have done exercises from almost every chapter, I'm left feeling like I can't do it. Or maybe that I can't do it right.
For instance, the forgiveness chapter was great and I definitely did several meditations to forgive people, including myself, for the bad stuff and felt quite a bit better. Then I thought I was done. I didn't have 30 people that needed forgiving in my life and moved on. Similar actions in each of the other chapters.  Also, I didn't do the physical activities like I should - dabbled is a generous description of my dedication to them.

So, I fully intend to follow along now with the book club and see if having a little help from Gabby and the group will make me (feel) more successful with this journey. It sucks to feel disappointed in myself for not being dedicated enough to something that really inspires me.

So, if you read this and you think you might want to give it a try - let me know!