by Nanc permanent link to article on 24-Dec Comments(2)

I baked up two batches of doggie biscuits a few weekends ago as part of a Secret Santa gift exchange at work. A single batch makes plenty, but I wanted to try out two varieties and figured that I could gift the extras to my puppy-lovin' friends, too.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 20-Oct Comments(1)

I lovelovelove going to the farmer's market. Sadly, this trip downtown is less frequent than I would like (and 22 miles is getting to be a far trek just for veg).

But when I do make it, I have a great time, gather up tasty vittles, and find happy things that make my day. This time, I got a new recipe that is uber tasty! Yay for introducing new veg to my diet.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 10-Sep Comments(3)

In the 'Look what I can do' category: Saturday, Matt and I enjoyed a delicious* salad procured completely from our own garden! What a power trip!


by Nanc permanent link to article on 07-Jan Comments(2)

Both Matt and I have this delicious and easy curry leftover as lunches today. This doesn't make for pretty bentos (thermoses just aren't that attractive), but it does make for a tasty lunch.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 25-Jan Comments(5)

Eating our dinner in the den/TV room isn't all that new and wonderful, we do this all the time. But yesterday our den got a bit of an upgrade, which makes it special.

Yes, we do have a dining room and table, but we've gotten into the bad habit of watching TV while eating. Maybe this will change some day.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 15-Dec Comments(4)

The weather outside is... well, mild and pleasant. Thick banks of fog this morning, but highs in the 70s and 80s. Very nice. And even for Dallas, this is a little crazy. But last week was totally different.

Which would explain why I made a huge batch of soup. Delicious, hearty minestrone soup from scratch (well, except for the canned food bits). Minestrone soup which was supposed to warm our bellies and chase off the chills. But there are no chills.

Good thing our souls need a little comfort.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 31-Oct Comments(5)

Even though I hear Eric Cartman's (South Park) voice ringing in my ears when I make it, I love me some Chicken Pot Pie!

BTW - Happy Halloween!


by Nanc permanent link to article on 10-Apr Comments(4)

To celebrate the upcoming arrival of our dear Purling Pirate's squid, we had a shower!

Now, to some of you that sentence made absolutely no sense, so I will now try to explain:
P-lala, the pirate of Purling P's fame, is "with child." This wonderful bundle of human goodness, however, picked up the nickname of the Squid. (Sometimes, it's best NOT to know why.) Ergo, the Pirate's Squid Shower!

Now that we're all caught up. To lend a hand in the celebration, I made, well what else? CUPCAKES! But not just any cupcakes...


Read on, my curious friends. Read on.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 31-Mar Comments(5)

The title says it all. Brownie goodness - yum, yum! These brownies are so good that while I won't share them with anyone, I'll share the recipe with you. And if you want to share your brownie goodness? Well, that's your business.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 17-Mar Comments(4)

Not quite, but possibly a Cupcake O' Gold.

I've been searching and testing and trying out cupcake recipes from scratch on my dear friends and hubby. Oh, sure; they acted like my past attempts were tasty and good as they gobbled them down and smiled their sugar-crazed grins. But they couldn't fool me, no siree-bob. But this time I might have struck gold. Budget Gold Cake, that is.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 16-Mar Comments(4)

What do you do when it's nearly Easter and it's chilly?


by Nanc permanent link to article on 15-Mar Comments(3)

My interest (and the world's, it seems) in cupcakes has taken me down the road of trying to find the perfect cake and frosting recipe. And I mean from scratch, y'all. It's not that I'm against box cake mixes, but I would like to find a good, from-scratch recipe. You wouldn't think that would be so hard, would ya?

This is my quest

Update: photos added to article, thanks to Skittermagoo.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 22-Feb Comments(6)

As promised, I've got a tasty recipe for my vegetarian/vegan friends. In fact, it was taste-tested by these same friends and it passed muster. So I'm proud to share with you my recipe for vegan cupcakes.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 19-Feb Comments(2)

Here at TAGF, we know that some toys are indeed 'good food', but that others aren't meant to be eaten or totally missed the flavor bus. But man can't live on toys alone. So today, I post about food.

Oh sure, I've done this before: offer up tasty vittles that make you salivate all over your keyboard. Well get a bib already, 'cause I'm at it again.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 14-Feb Comments(3)

There's been a resurgence of cupcake love lately. (Or perhaps I'm slow on the times?) There are bakeries that specialize in cupcakes (none here - phooey), websites devoted to these wee lil' cakes, and folks clamoring for a cake of their own. Even the NY Times. (It's worth it to watch, listen, and salivate.) And I just went with the flow.

On this day of commercialism, I put a little bit of homemade sweetness back into the holiday. A recent discussion between gal-pals, and I decided to bake from-scratch, chocolate cupcakes. I found the recipe in The best of better baking cookbook and now have a great, new site to reference, ta' boot.

I made mini 'Cola Cupcakes' with 'Master Brownie Frosting' from the book. But to add my own spin, I took the traditional Valentine box-of-chocolates idea and filled some with tasty morsels. Carmel, cherries, and cream - yum! I wanted to frost the mini-cakes in a similar manner, but that just didn't work out. So they weren't the purtiest, but they are tasty indeed.

I believe I like baking cupcakes. I believe that I will shower my friends with 'cakes on many occasions. Watch out - I may have a cupcake for you!


by Nanc permanent link to article on 09-Feb Comments(2)

Happy 4703! Happy Chinese New Year!

There are a few reasons why I like this new year's holiday better than the western version (Jan. 1). For one thing, the focus of the holiday seems based on nicer traditions. Sure I still drink and have fun, but I don't usually drink-drink to get drunk-drunk crazy. And that seems to be expected or the norm for New Year's Eve. Also, I think that there are too many holidays crammed into a small amount of time as it is. Relax a little, take a breather... better? Good, now celebrate again. See, ain't that nice?

Of course, then there's the fact that I like food. And I like Chinese food. (Although a fairly recent event that occurred only in my adult years.) Besides champagne, I can't recall any tasty traditional foods that are savored on New Year's Eve. Oh sure - corned beef and cabbage or black-eyed peas are some traditional foods for New Year Day. But those aren't really tasty treats in our house. So give me Chinese New Year and a fork (or chopsticks), I'm ready!

Matty and I have had trouble in the past finding any restaurants that celebrate or have festivities for this event. So this year, we decided to just run a few errands and then dine at where ever looked good. But we lucked out. We stopped at the May Dragon, where we used to lunch when we both worked in that area. Oh, joy! They are totally celebrating Chinese New Year. And with the help of a local Tai Kwan Do center, the Lion Dance is performed. (Yeah, Shannen, we thought of you. And laughed.)

So if you haven't celebrated yet and want an entertaining floor show along with dinner (but not in a dinner-and-theatre sort of way), swing by the May Dragon. I believe that the celebration and dancers continue on for a few more nights this week. (The Lion Dance is performed at 7:30 pm for one hour each night of the celebration.)

Go. Enjoy. Eat. And have a good New Year.

by Nanc permanent link to article on 25-May Comments(2)

Lately, I've been on a Peeps® kick. I'm new to this snack item (nope, never had them before) and am amazed at the cult following these lil' guys have. It's not as straight forward as whether you like them or not; there's a wide range of feelings about them.

Personally, I started simple (just ate one out of the package) and moved on to more complex methods of consumption and snackage. I plan to post a synopsis of my overall trial and tribulations with the Peeps, but for now let me tell you about the marshmallow and rice bars.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 07-Apr

Last night, I learned that it's easy to get restaurant-quality chicken at home. And I'm not talkin' about some MickyDee's or KFC. I'm referring to some tasty, skillet-sautéd chicken breasts. In particular, an Italian dish called Chicken Piccata. Yum.

There's not a lot of fancy ingredients, 'cept capers (and they won't break your budget). Preparing the chicken itself is easy and will work for a variety of dishes.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 25-Mar

Okay, so everyone probably has some generic, Tex-Mex casserole dish of some sort. They're not fancy (ergo, 'casserole'), but they are tasty. And they hold up well as leftovers.

That's all this is. A record of my gringo-fied, Mexican-esq baked meal. Enjoy, mi amigos.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 24-Mar

If you read that title and make a face at 'spinach', then go. Leave now. There's nothing for you here. Good riddance!

Are they gone yet?

Okay, for the rest of you smart ones with good taste and fine manners, let me continue... Spinach Bake is an awesome, healthy, over-the-top tasty casserole that defies the old, Popeye stereotypes of this nutritional delight.

Bonez and I are meat eaters, okay? But we crave Spinach Bake at times. It's that good. Served with cheesy garlic toast, it's a no-meat, heavenly meal.

We went to the farmer's market this past weekend and came home with loads of goodness, including tons of fresh spinach. My heart pounded at the thought of Spinach Bake.

Are you ready to become addicted to a leafy, green, veggie dish?


by Nanc permanent link to article on 22-Mar

If it sounds ridiculously sweet and god-blessedly yummy, that's because it is. It's also simple and a crowd pleaser (if you like that kind of thing).

Personally, I've always kind of shied away from the sweet or desert dips, happy to keep my appetite focused on cheesy queso, savory spinach, and the classic chip&dip/salsa routine. But I've seen the light with this number.

Now don't go expecting me to get all gushy about a fruit/yogurt dip next. I've still got snack time priorities.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 21-Mar

Smooth, chocolaty, creamy goodness in a cookie crust. Pretty yummy, no?

Yet inside this dessert lurks healthy stuff; and trust me, they really shouldn't know about it. They'll only make a face.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 27-Feb

The true title of this recipe is 'Chicken, Date, and Apricot Tagine', but that all sounded so complicated and bewildering. And you should try this recipe, not run from it's name. This chicken is oh-so tasty and tender, the kitchen will smell miraculous, and it's fun and new. What more could you want from a recipe? [please note the rhetoricalness of that question]

This is definitely one of those recipes where you should gather and prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking. And don't leave out lemon - it really puts the zing in the dish. I didn't have ground turmeric, so I subbed with curry powder which had all the spices listed plus some. (I still added the other spices in qtys listed, but I could've used only curry powder I'm sure.) My only change that I'd wish on this dish is for the flavors to match the aromas. The chicken was very mild tasting (which isn't all bad).

Well, go ahead. What are you waiting for? Cook this!


by Nanc permanent link to article on 26-Feb

When I look for new recipes, it's usually for entrees or deserts. I tend to glance past the side dishes and salads. And it's not that I have a large assortment of vegetable and sides that prepare. In fact, usually I'm stuck in the same-old/same-old rut. So I'm trying some sides this time.

I made this first one last night for dinner with steak and it was good. It's a traditionally Greek dish and that shows in the bright flavors that 'pop'. It makes 8 servings, which was a little much for just Bonez and I, but tasted great as a filler in my lunch wrap today.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 13-Feb

There are probably tons of claims to that title. Much like there are tons of kinds of chili; Texas (meat), black bean, red bean, Cincinnati-style, white (chicken), etc. The list goes on and on. I like a variety of chili, but White Chicken Chili is THE BEST, hands down.

It's a dish that nearly everyone in my family makes and enjoys. All of my friends* have tasted it and raved reviews. And to note that it's low in fat, well that just beats all! Try a bowl for yourself and let me know what you think.

* Okay. So it's "friends that have come to dinner when I've prepared white chicken chili." Sheesh - do ya' gotta be so detailed?


by Nanc permanent link to article on 06-Feb

I'm usually not a huge fan of leftovers. I rarely take the extra portions from restaurants, and if I do I usually throw them away within a few days. Home-cooked leftovers retain their original form (unless they can be made into a burrito of sorts) until I'm tired of reheating my history. Cooking - that I can do, but reanimating a meal into a fantastic new beast? Nope.

So that's why I was surprised at both myself and the latest two leftover dishes that I've made.

Is that beef roast (or stew) leaving you cold? Did the holiday ham overstay it's welcome? If these meats are still good [read: not green, slimy, or mush], I've found a way to make them new and tasty... again.

by Nanc permanent link to article on

The remaining bit of leftover ham had been taunting me all week. We had used up portions in all of the normal places, like omletes and fried up in the skillet. But still, there it waited for something - a sign, some movement that I might make. What did it want of me?!

My quest took me to to make use of their 'ingredient search' feature. From here, I found a quick and easy (and yummy) way to use up that ham. Ha! That'll show 'em.

Although the name "explains" this dish, it doesn't really do a good job of describing it. (Where's marketing when you need them.) This recipe is simple to do, works up pretty quickly, and looks fabulous, därling! It would be perfect to take to a pot luck luncheon or dinner party. So come on, check it out!


by Nanc permanent link to article on

Always thought that Shepherd's Pie would be too much work, too starchy, bland, or Irish? Well, this might change your mind.

There I was stuck with leftover beef roast (slow cooker) with carrots and onions. (Too bad I didn't save any of the jus, 'cause it would've come in handy.) I know that I didn't want a plate of roast and veggies again, but I didn't know what I could do with it and I didn't want to waste it. Along comes my superhero Google search engine, seeking out sites dedicated to leftover ideas and doling out justice. I stumbled upon a seemingly okay idea of making Shepherd's Pie from my ignored beef.

And to my surprise, it was good. (Yeah, it made it's own reincarnation of leftovers, but we worked through it.) From now on, I will plan this second life for my beef roasts.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 02-Feb

These are tasty-good yum-yum. I highly recommend them for most any- and everything. I'm currently eating on the Sundried Tomato Basil variety, but am anxious to taste the Garden Spinach Herb.

I've always been a little put-off of the sandwich wraps, especially in the bland flour tortillas. These, however, give that extra bit of boost that was needed to reach tasty-good heights.

In a similar, but failed vein: French's® GourMayo does nothing for me. Perhaps I picked the blandest of the bunch, Sun Dried Tomato, but I got no "zing" of taste excitement. More like, ugh - taste like mayo. I may try the Wasabi Horseradish if they ever come out with a small sampler or single-serving package.

Tip: Don't use mayo on the wraps, it's too... blah. A little bit o' honey mustard is the way to go.

by Nanc permanent link to article on 28-Jan

I never used to like stir-fry, or Chinese food for that matter. The brown sauces reminded me of gravy - yucky and thick, coating anything tasty in sludge. Thanks to Bonez, I've been shown the light. Good things can come from the wok, and there are more seasonings for stir-fry than just soy sauce. I've also learned that there are plenty of non-gravy/sauce dishes on a Chinese menu.

Last night, I made a simple and tasty stir-fry based on a Cooking Light® recipe, but changed for my tastes. So simple, anyone could enjoy it. I served it with steamed rice (thank g*d for the rice cooker) and a tasty ambrosia. (Pineapple chunks, honey tangelos and clementines, some coconut flakes and 2 Tbls of powdered sugar. Yum, yum.)

So get your wok out and make some Pork and Broccoli Stir-Fry.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 19-Jan

This stuffed pork loin dish is much fancier than I'm used to serving for just Matty and I. But it was good, real good.

I don't know why people are afraid of prunes, but this irrational fear has encouraged marketing goobers to retitle them "dried plums." Like that's gonna fool anyone. Ha!

Try the Pork Loin with Dried Plum Stuffing and accept that they're really prunes. I served it with leftover Smashed Potatoes and a bottle of Il Bastardo Sangivese opened for the recipe.

I'd definitely make this again for company, and it's not as much work as you'd think. Enjoy.

by Nanc permanent link to article on 15-Jan

It's not that it's Matt's favorite, or that he's renowned for the entrée. It's just that it was the first meal that Matty made for us (in his wee-tiny Columbus apartment). He makes it fairly frequently and he makes it well.

Tender, succulent pork chops and magnificent smashed potatoes. Heaven on a plate.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 12-Jan

With a statement like that I better be able to back it up, right? Well, make the dip and then you tell me. It's grrreat! [Finger in the air like Tony the Tiger.]

I made this for a fairly impromtu get-together of friends and it was appreciated. Luckily for Bonez and I, I kept some hidden back from the crowd so that we could enjoy it on Sunday while yöging and watching the Discovery channel. Ain't life swell?


by Nanc permanent link to article on 08-Jan

Simple and tasty.

Tonight's delish meal was served up with steamed aspargas & Israeli couscous. Mmmmmm, yum. And leftovers ta'boot.

Nan happy.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 02-Jan

Many of the folk I know wax poetic about having a big, juicy stuffed turkey for Christmas dinner. But for me, it's always seemed like we've just finished the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers and I'm ready for something different.

This year I conceeded to the ham request and I was justly rewarded.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 30-Dec

You'll want to trade your soul for this fine soup. So easy and so tasty. Don't worry about the length of the ingredients list, most of this stuff you should have on hand.

This soup made an excellent meal served with Chili-Cheese Black Bean Enchiladas .


by Nanc permanent link to article on 27-Dec

Yes. I know 'circle' is misspelled. I was trying to be clever. But nothing should distract from the tasty goodness of these turkey rounds. Not even the lack of a good title.

These aren't holiday-turkey leftovers, they're made with ground turkey. But don't think of them like hamburger patties, either. This is better than either of those, ya' turkey.


by Nanc permanent link to article on

A bit belated, but here they are... the cookies I baked for Christmas.

None were very fancy or traditionally festive, but we're starting our own traditions. A favorite for both Matty and I, and a shared fav between us. Three recipes, all good.


by Nanc permanent link to article on 04-Dec

Tonight I made a delicious soup from the Thansgiving turkey bones. (Yes, our friends were glad to have someone take it from their house - they weren't gonna use it.)

This isn't the traditional turkey noodle soup, but a luscious and tasty curried broth with couscous, spinach and onions. Sounds good, right? :-P Click on the 'read more' for the recipe, or read on knowing that our bellies are happy tonight.


by Nanc permanent link to article on

Or my search for a tasty blonde brownie.

This wasn't quite it, but still yummy and good. These had more of a cookie, crumbly texture instead of moist brownie goodness. Still, I'll make them again as a treat.