Eating Alone In Half The Time

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Impatient Cooking

April 3rd, 2008 · 2 Comments


Icecream PancakeIce-cream pancake. This is for breakfast for someone’s birthday. Just to make it more cake like, there is some sugar – not enough for a stand alone cake, and vanilla. The photography had to be set up for this one beforehand, or at least before I put the ice cream on. And the persons favorite jam, jelly thinned a bit with water. This happened to be blueberry. I am looking forward to my birthday very soon. By the way, my niece is right. putting a little bit of oil IN the batter DOES help. And also be sure that the oil in the pan is smoking hot before putting in the pancake batter. Too much oil and you get that splatter effect.


Red Peppers and humusRed Pepper with red pepper/red onions/pale slaw sided by hummus with canned stewed crushed red tomatoes with garlic. Guess the most appropriate name for this is red-red-red. There was another in the pan in case the two were not enough. They weren’t. I was going to save the third for later but there just was not enough to save. You know how that is. Garlic powder, coriander, and sesame seeds. The hummus had tahini in it which made it a full protein.

You know the old saying “cleanliness is next to Godliness”. I disagree. Taking care of others is next to Godliness. Most of the world’s population live on dirt floors, we travel the world, the parks, and our inner cities and track it into our homes. The air is filled with dust from whereever and whatever and we survive and survive quite well. Our body has become saturated with the planet from birth.  But taking care of others takes effort and love.  Cleanliness just takes a lot of perspiration and the occasional “don’t come in here tracking all that mud. I just washed the floor.”
Potato corn and olive saladDump Salad
Walked into the kitchen, opened the regulator, and there sat a half can of nibblet corn. Got down the bowl and dumped it in. No photo today. I’ve just found the solution for all of my half empty cans of whatever. The last 9 olives in the opened can of olives went in next. The full can of red hot mashed chilies? I still do not know what to do with it. If I put it in the garbage, all the creatures at the dump are going to die. Maybe put it down the drain? No, it will just clog it up. Tomorrow is another day. That did not go in. The half used onion went in next cut into tiny pieces – white and very hot. The cheese – yes. Kashkabal. Crushed black pepper, garlic powder, sweet paprika, mayonnaise – near the end of that which means I HAVE to go to the store. I’m missing something. So in went two leaves of lettuce.  Now that looks good. So I went and got the camera. The cleanup was a snap.


Mushroom TartHad this image as I was walking home. Well,, what you see partly fits the image. It’s eatable. This is supposed to be (and I put it here only to show you that surely you can do better than this) mushrooms and great cheese in white sauce in a pastry shell. Take it or leave it. I decided on the former and it was really good. First of all, make the crust good enough to stand on its own even though this one didn’t do much standing, on its own or with help. Put half a package of instant mushroom soup in the batter (so the mushrooms in the recipe would feel at home). Then I put in just a little bit of sugar, or rather that was the intent. Never pour from a large container of anything directly into the preparation. The sauce has the rest of the instant stuff, cheese and the separately fried mushrooms. Caveat number  1: Always make more than you know you can eat in one meal. Don’t ask me why, you will invariably find out for yourself.


NuteggThe portrait of a perfect start to a tough day. Many times I say to myself  (I do that a lot)  “I can’t think of anything new. Just have breakfast and no photography…” This was one of those times. O.K., when faced with reality, I changed my decision. This is my egg/nut breakfast with 5% cream cheese (the label said ‘vitamins D, E added’),  and my favorite jam – which is to be eaten together with the nuts and egg, but since that would not be a pretty sight, I left them separate for the  time being. All the ingredients for a healthy breakfast, including the nuts fried in the finest cold-press-with-no-refined-oil-added-extra-virgin-olive-oil  as defined by Wikipedia . Great research piece which also included the following:  “There is a large body of clinical data to show that consumption of olive oil can provide heart health benefits such as favorable effects on cholesterol regulation and LDL cholesterol oxidation, and that it exerts antiinflamatory, antithrombotic, antihypertensive as well as vasodilatory effects both in animals and in humans” from Covas MI. Olive oil and the cardiovascular system. Pharmacol Res. 2007 Jan 30. Back to the dish – included in the nuts are walnuts which are high in Omega 3. The nuts giving all sorts of needed nutrients we need plus the fruit in the jam, of course. If anyone wants to comment on what of everything this contains, I will put the best description up here with your name.


 burgers with onion sauceThis is the first course. Then came the salad. Followed by dessert. All separate. I’m not good at multi-tasking. When other people are walking down the street talking on their cellphone, I have to stop when I answer mine. Let’s see, where was I? The dish. Creamed sweet (red) onion on burgers (from the fields), with garlic powder in the sauce. I resisted putting on paprika for the shooting but poured on red hot on one side and sweet on the other. The red hot on first taste was nothing to talk about. WOW, glad that I had the other side to even it out. Read mushroom warning at top.



Experiment spaghettiThe spaghetti I should not mention. It was an experiment which never came to a conclusion. I ate it anyway after trying everything on it. In the end it had coriander and garlic powder, sweet basil and marjoram, and could have used a little bit of honey, but this last I only thought of after I had finished it so I will have to try it again. But what is important here is the scraper behind it. No kitchen should be without it. cleans the counter fast and nothing to rinse out, wring out, wash, hang up, throw out, etc.


Stewed tomato and cheese pancakeBreakfast pizza. Pancake with homogenized sliced cheese (ugh! – actually until I had my first really good imported cheese, that’s all I every ate) and canned crushed tomatoes with garlic. There are two secrets here. One, the crust on the cheese which comes with laying down some butter in the pan and flipping over the pancake with the cheese on it, and then scraping it off the bottom of the pan. Mine came out in two pieces, but the principle is the same. The second is to put honey into the tomatoes while heating, or on top afterwards. The sweet is what makes it a breakfast.  One precaution. Do not put the tomatoes with any juice in them on the pancake (soggy cakes).  I do this (there are of course other ways) by putting it into the pan to heat and then just taking out the tomatoes without the juice. Great taste if you like pancakes, cheese, tomatoes, honey, and for me, a lot of crushed black pepper (the fine stuff just coats everything and gives no breathing space).


Raisins and nuts fried saladRaisins and nuts fried salad. Why deprive the readers. This is another one of those “I’m just going to fix myself supper and no photography”. But when you have a full fruit, nutty tossed salad (tossed into the frying pan), rice with lentils, how can I resist sharing it.  Full protein rice-raisin-nut-salad stir fried in olive oil with sweet basil, vinegar, crushed black pepper. It was like the hot salad above except this had a lot more raisins and nuts so I could give it another name. If you find the solution, use it again and again.


PanacheHoney-on-the-apple – and cheese. The honey? It’s there. But by the time I went to get the camera, gravity had taken over. The flax pancake was supposed to look like a regular pancake but when  in trouble,  go for it and do it all the way. Nothing succeeds like panache.  Topped with my favorite jam mixed with a little bit of water for the syrupy effect.


Pan PizzaPizza-too-large-to-fit-on-a-plate. Three kinds of cheese and oregano on top. What doesn’t get to where it should be in the first place, just pile it on. It’s all going to the same place. My niece said, “I thought that you were supposed to put some oil into the batter. Oh, I guess it works just as well in the pan.” Well, I put some oil in the batter this time. One word on crust: You want to have your crust at the bottom of the pan in pieces so if, in those rare instances, it comes out too hard to cut…  Didn’t have to try to hard to fulfill that requirement. And as far as “When is it going to be done?” Resist the temptation to lift the cover all the time to see how it’s coming along. You just have to believe in fate and let the forces at work, work.


pancake with bananasMoMA you have competition. When I’m hungry, this is my kind of art.


cabbage eggplant mushroomsCab-ePlant-Mushrms. Was it worth the effort? In the words of one of my most ardent fans “Is there more where that came from?” Of course, that’s me. The cabbage is not really cooked but just softened up in the frying pan with hot, hot oil for a few minutes. so as not to look like mush. The fried eggplant and mushrooms were done separately in the interests of space in the pan. And the caraway seeds are just a symbolic gesture for the camera of what you should really put on there when eaten. The paprika on the cream cheese? Always, always read the label of the spice before you dump it on. One often looks like the other in the “heat” of cooking, and you may have remembered putting it exactly there but during the night they switched places. Important. Read the mushroom warning at the top and the comment.


vegetarian burger and pea podsHaving eaten, I am sitting typing this unmindful of the mess I have in the kitchen. Unfortunately, that “out of sight, out of mind” cliché does not always work. This is deep fried burger and pea pods. Very good with a cream vinegar dressing, or teriyaki, or barbeque, and if you twist my arm, catsup, or mayonnaise. Think of it as a burger on a bun totally BUNNED.
Confession time:
Confession 1. The other side of the burger bun is browner than it was supposed to be – no not burned. I got busy finishing off the burger and peas which did not make it through the production line. I do this cooking thing as a profession. This needs explanation. No one pays me to do it. But, by not eating out, I save money and, as I see it, saving is like earning – and that is without the interest, appreciation of stock and dividends, etc. You just have something in the bank at the end of each month which would not be there if you were paying someone else to do the work of feeding you. And the photos? I have this hobby – always have at least one of those, and make sure that it is an active one. Mine is photographing anything that stands still and doesn’t talk back – hence my photos of the dishes, trees, buildings, and, the Dead Sea, being a particular case in point. Those that are moving have to be incapable of signing a release.
Confession number 2. The concept is good but the execution was flawed. The vegetarian burger is fairly good as it is, but what you want here is something different, or why go to all the trouble. The burgers should have been mashed with the addition of coriander, onion, mushrooms, mushed peas, or optionally, crushed stewed tomatoes. Remember the adage: If what’s inside is not good, the covering is not going to help.
Confession number 3. The apple-sunflower-seed-raisin salad needed some sweet taste added – The reason for the honey and ground cinnamon above. Also, the raisins and seeds did not have to be deep fried to give a crunchy taste. It failed and added a lot of oil to my diet which in my case is often overdone.
So, we get to the score on this particular dish. By the time I got to it, I really wasn’t hungry but in all fairness it gets a rating of 6-7 which would have been an 8 if I had been (fair, hungry, throwing dice?). Judging is a tricky business. Everything gets in the way of impartiality.


Some basic principles (on cooking as well as on the rest of it)
1  When in doubt – create.
2  Put your signature on everything.
3  Know that without you, it would not exist.
4  Do it for yourself, and if you really love another, then for them also.
5  Give extra to your hobbies. They, unlike anything else, are you.
6  Share your best results with the world. It needs any enlightenment it can get.
7  Give everybody and everything a way out. This is the only reason you are
    still here.


potatos mushroom vegetarian dogsPotato-mushroom-dog dish. All the parts were boiled together to save on fuel. Then an olive oil sauté sauce was made by combining coriander, garlic powder, sweet basil, and honey which when it had endured the taste test got the rest dumped on it and fried. Its important to keep it moving because it has a tendency to stick due to the honey. You can put that on at the end. But one thing to remember is to taste the sauce as each ingredient is added, or you get to throw it all out as I did, at which point I had to start over. Fortunately, the potato thing was not involved at this point. However, this is an action not to be emulated. So do the taste tests.


All the implements needed for a complete one pan cooking kitchen:
THE pan
large strainer to dump everything in and lose the water
a dish
a bowl
knife, fork, and spoon
one really great cutting knife
and of course, the stove – one burner is all I use so I might as well have Bunsen (described by TheFreeDictionary as: A small laboratory burner consisting of a vertical metal tube connected to a gas source and producing a very hot flame from a mixture of gas and air let in through adjustable holes at the base.) But then, you all knew that.


Burger and pea pods cold with mayonnaiseThis is a cold burger-and-pea-pod with mayonnaise thinned a little with milk, topped with sweet paprika, or if you like to get bitten, the red hot stuff. If you are wondering what the thing on the left side is – it’s a mushroom widget put in there to hold the slice from falling down so you could see the burger inside.


First off, a lesson in sharing. If something is good, always leave a little in the pan for the person who does the dishes and cleans up. That’s you. But the principle here is the same even if it is someone else. It’s always a reward to find leftovers. It makes the going into the kitchen and the cleaning up all worthwhile. Now for the dish which caused all of this. Hot vegetable salad with cream cheese and olive oil. There was an olive on top, but I ate it. The salad part was pan sautéed in olive oil with garlic powder and coriander added. With these you can usually put in more than you feel you should. What? The coriander is finished already? And by the way, what was left in the pan afterwards was great.


Shreds of pancake in Sea of MapleHave you ever had a day when nothing went right? Well, this is The archipelago and outlying islands in the Sea of Maple. And this is sunset on the same sea (literally on) with solar flare. By the way, my day did get progressively better after this.



Eggcake Kashkabal CheeseEggcake2.
Forgot what eggcake1 was. But this is 1/3 cup of flour (self rising flour and enough water to make it fairly runny) and two eggs, with some baking soda added. Was very happy in the skillet but deflated as soon as it hit the plate. These quick transitions are sometime tough on a food’s ego.


Cord and Mushrooms In Red Pepper ShellWhitesauced Corn In Shell and Surprise Fruit Salad.
Precook red pepper shell. If it is not soft enough to eat, you can empty the contents and save the shell for next time. Saved shells are my specialty. The internals are nibblet corn and diced red peppers in a fried-mushroom-white-sauce with parmesan cheese slices mixed in. The banana and apple salad with mayonnaise is rather obvious. What is not obvious is the honey mixed with cinnamon on top.The great thing about doing your own cooking is that the mouth never knows what to expect and is quite often surprised by what the other parts of the system conjured up. In this case, very pleasantly so. Read mushroom warning at top.


Fried Mashed Potatoes with Cream and Parmesan Cheese.
Again, left over boiled potatoes which were fried while mixing in the cream cheese and leftover spaghetti sauce. Strips of Parmesan on top. I wanted to try Teriyaki sauce on it but before I could get up, the tortilla was finished. Very good. 


Hotdog Bun Cookies with chocolate No cake, no candy, no biscuits, no flour and I had to have something sweet. One thing I love about frozen bread and rolls is the fact that they are easy to cut/slice right out of the freezer and maintain their shape. So it is that I took a hotdog roll and sliced it, put peanut butter and chocolate syrup in between and fried them in butter.  There were 5 – since I do not like even numbers. The fifth one is right next to the plate but it’s already been accounted for.


apple/onion rice and tomatoNot rice again! This is flair rice.
Long grain with an apple, onion, and red pepper chopped up and cooked with the rice. Could not decide what would go on it. So I took some out to test before it was done. A little crunchy but I decided the taste test was more important than whether or not I could chew it. Tried sugar, soy sauce. When you have already finished the sample before you have make a decision, than you have succeeded in finding the answer. The importance in using just enough of everything is the secret to success. And in this case it is very little of each. The second secret is height. That’s my form of haute cuisine. The peaks of rice and the special cheese on top of the tomato. The third is color. Nothing says boring like a meal with no color. This is particularly true with photography. You have to know that your stomach and its appendages are out there taking pictures all the time. Some like green, others purple. Mine has an affinity to red.


Rice with everything – but the…
A mountain of long grain unpolished rice for the nutrition we should all have (and the taste I hate) with the ingredients which made it a great dish. Diced apple and raisins for the fruit, opinion and red pepper for the vegetables, sunflower seeds and pecans for the nuts, sugar, and a lot of sweet basil for the spices.  If you don’t care for natural rice, you will change your mind after this – but then who cares about the rice. For those who do not get enough fruit in their diet.

bird shotbird on the move

There’s that bird paparazzi again. Maybe if I move to the end of the pier I will be out of reach of that lousy zoom lens he has.


rice with everythingGladsomethingleftinpantoscrapeitwassogood.
To translate: Glad something left in pan to scrape it was so good.
Rice and entourage (from Rice with everything) with lettuce and humus added. Mixed in at last moment to keep lettuce fresh. Humus was combined with tahini (ground sesame seed) for full protein but if you are getting enough of that, any humus will do. Sweet paprika on top. The entourage consisted of onions, diced apple, sliced red pepper, raisins. I should really have a sliding scale to rate these things. This would be towards the top. 

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ItsMe // Apr 9, 2008 at 2:06 am

    Honey mixed with cinnamon on top
    The apple-sunflower-seed-raisin salad needed some sweet taste added – The reason for the honey. An olive oil sauté sauce was made by combining coriander, garlic powder, sweet basil, and honey. What is not obvious is the honey mixed with cinnamon on top. I took a hotdog roll and sliced it, put peanut butter and chocolate syrup in between and fried them in butter. Tried sugar, soy sauce.

    What’s up? Did you run out of honey?

    Diced apple and raisins for the fruit, opinion and red pepper for the vegetables, sunflower seeds and pecans for the nuts, sugar, and a lot of sweet basil for the spices.

    Ah- ha! Now I understand!! Sugar is a SPICE! :)
    But my favorite is the first one. MoMa’s competition. Beautiful.

  • 2 Disney // May 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    I’m not easily impressed. . . but that’s ipmrsesing me! :)

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