quick & tasty

Easy Garlic Lemon Pasta

  • pasta of your choice (last night mine was rotini)
  • olive oil
  • one large clove of garlic, peeled & smashed with the flat of a knife
  • kalamata olives, pitted & halved
  • half a lemon
  • grated parmesan

Boil pasta until al dente; drain and return to pan.

Drizzle with olive oil and turn on lowest flame.

Add garlic and toss.

Add olives and squeeze lemon over; toss.

Remove from heat, sprinkle generously with parmesan, and savor.


for undoing the winter blues

at least this is a sathead’s happy tactic.

A Delicious Cup of Cocoa

  • 2 heaping teaspoons of cocoa powder– I use Droste, or else, if I must, one of the standard available baking brands, Hershey’s or Nestle
  • milk– I prefer 2%; just, I beg of you, do not use skim
  • a pinch of salt
  • one large cup or mug
  • one soft throw
  • one good read

Pour a goodly measure of milk into a saucepan– for me there is no measuring this, but then it is my Tiny Talent. Say, enough to fill up your favorite big mug.

Turn the flame up high, even tho all the books say low– milk scalds faster with more heat, and I am preternaturally impatient. Simply stick very close by to catch it before it boils over, because that’s just a big mess all over your stove; trust me.

Dash in just a splash of warmed milk, and stir to a rich paste. If too pasty, dash in a splash more.Mix your cocoa, sugar, and salt in the bottom of your big cup.

As soon as the milk begins to rise in the pan, turn off the flame and pour into the cup. Stir mighty well. And you might want to hang onto your spoon, since it tends to settle.

Install yourself with throw blanket and book.



for good luck in the new year!

here’s what I’ll be making today:

Hoppin’ John

1 lb dried black eyed peas
2 T olive oil
1 smoked pork jowl or 1/4 lb thick-cut smoked bacon
Andouille sausage
1 onion, chopped
1/2 t black pepper
1 t crushed red pepper
1 t salt
1 28 oz can tomatoes
1 c uncooked rice

Presoak black eyed peas. Brown pork in olive oil. Add onion, and cook for 5 minutes. Add 8 cups of water, black pepper, red pepper, salt, and bring to a boil; cook for 10 minutes. Add peas, and cook on low boil, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Add tomatoes and rice, reduce heat to low, and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Turn off head, let stand, then fluff. If you used a jowl, remove, shred meat, and add back in.

(Note: you can sub in frozen black eyed peas, if you, like I often do, fail to plan sufficiently ahead. Ahem.)