Sunday, November 29, 2015

Lentil Tacos or Burritos

This recipe has been on my to try list for years.  I finally made it and it is a keeper for me.  It can be used for tacos, burritos, enchiladas or over a salad.  It is a very good filling.

Lentil Tacos

Lentil Tacos

1 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2-1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup salsa(I used cron and black bean salsa)

taco shells
shredded lettuce
chopped fresh tomato
shredded reduced-fat or regular cheddar cheese
sour cream

1. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
2. Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly. Stir in salsa.
3. Spoon about 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell. Top with lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream. Yield: 6 servings.


Saute garlic and onion in oil until tender:

 Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute.  Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. 

Uncover and mash the lentils:

Stir in salsa of your choice:

Finished filling:


And dinner:

This was a very good meal for a meatless night.  Enjoy!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Little Van Work and a Small Garden

Hello everyone…Mike and I were at the flea market this morning so I am a bit late.  Today's story is about some van work that needed to be done.

Last by year we had a squeaking noise in the van.  We took it to Dodge and they told us it was two different things.  One was the rear bearing on our drive shaft and the second was our starter.  Mike told them to change the bearing because there was no way it was the starter.  So $700.00 later we had a new bearing and no problems until last month and the squeaking started again.

We went back to Dodge and they told us we needed a "front" bearing and a new transmission for a over $3000.00.  By now Mike was a little ticked at the Dodge dealer and we picked up the van…again there was no way it was the transmission.  It seems this dealer wants to add a big ticket item each time you bring a vehicle in for repair when there is no way for the average person to the check the work.

Mike did some checking and calling around and found out that our original drive shaft had a problem and was defective.  I'm sure Dodge knew about this problem but they were going to milk it for all they could get.  Mike decided we could do it ourselves….so that is what we did.

Mike called around and found a new drive shaft for our van with a lifetime warranty from AutoZone.

While waiting for the part and our new ramps Mike started working on the garage garden since we have some extra rock:

Then we got a call that our parts were in.  Here is the new drive shaft which will connect the engine to the rear wheels.  It comes in 3 pieces.  Looks like fun right?

Mike puts the van up on the ramps and makes it safer by also adding a jack:

The van is up on front and rear ramps so we can fit underneath:

While I wait for Mike to take out the old drive shaft I tear out the rest of the grass in the garden:

The old is out and Mike needs my help.  I have to get underneath the van with him to help him hold up the different parts so he can bolt them in.

Niki thought this was a new game and tried to come under with us but I told her no.  It's bad enough that we were both under there.  We laid on some cardboard which was kind of fun when Mike dragged me out.   I actually got the giggles….I know I am a strange one, lol.

Mike working:

The hardest part about this job was figuring it out on this van for the first time and having the right tools.  Now that we did it it was a pretty easy job:)  I am so thankful Mike can do all of this.  The van is running great and it cost us less than half of what Dodge wanted to charge us and we did it "right".

Back to the garden….

Once I got the grass up Mike added the end rubber curb:

Then I stapled down some weed cloth and Mike and I added the rock.  Mike making it nice and clean until we find plants:

Fast forward…the plants have been found.  We are only doing a few here just to dress it up.  They will grow in pretty fast here in Florida.

Mike digging the hole:

My turn to plant the plants:

And Niki walking away saying we did good:)

That's all for now.  Wishing everyone a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving!!!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Lemon Chicken and Squash Zoodles

My mother use to make Chicken Francaise when I was young and I loved it.  She never used a recipe but I tried one to see if it was the right one.  It was good but I need to tweak it next time:)

I also made squash zoodles with the Vegetti that Nicole got for me.

The finished product:)

The ingredients…the recipe calls for 4 chicken breasts but I made only two:

Pound the chicken to make them an even thickness:

Dredge in flour and fry in butter and oil:

Brown on both sides:

Take the chicken out and set aside.

Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute until the mixture boils.  Add the lemon juice to the chicken broth and whisk into the saute pan. Reduce heat to a simmer.  Return the chicken to the pan to heat through, thickening sauce to desired consistency:


Clean a couple of small squash and get ready to spiral slice them:

Pretty cool:

It's almost like spaghetti:

Once the spirals are done and cut in half, place in microwave to cook…just a couple of minutes or so.

Serve all together:

Lemon Chicken:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
flour ( for dredging)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons flour
2 lemons, juice of
2 cups chicken broth(I made my own with cubes)
fresh parsley, chopped
lemon slice ( to garnish)

Pound chicken breasts with a meat pounder to a uniform thickness. Dredge lightly in flour, shaking off excess.
In a large saute pan over medium high heat, melt the butter and oil until it sizzles. Add the chicken breasts and saute, turning once or twice, until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove chicken and set aside.
Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute until the mixture boils.
Add the lemon juice to the chicken broth and whisk into the saute pan. Reduce heat to a simmer.
Return the chiken to the pan to heat through, thickening sauce to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Garnish with lemon slices.

Next time I will use an egg wash before I dip the chicken in the flour…other than that it was very good.


Monday, November 16, 2015

Working on the Dock

Little by little Mike and I are putting this house back together.  This week I will take you back to us fixing our dock.

Mike has to start with replacing any rotted boards:

Ha, ha…big decisions:

Marking the cut around for the poles:

It looks like a good cut:

Filling in with new boards:

Mike had to cut down some of the poles so we don't trip over them.  Whoever built this dock had no idea what they were doing:

Now we will have a full walkway with no pole in the way:

Just another pole that has to go:

Niki resting…it was so much hard work, lol:

All the rotted boards are replaced and now it's time to pressure wash:

My turn:

Mike pressure washing the inside of the dock:

And the outside:

What a difference a cleaning makes:

I painted the edges and Mike rolls the paint on:

It looks much better:

And lastly…cleaning up the steps:

That's all for now.  I'll write again next Monday.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Steak Bites

Here is another one of Mike's favorites and it is super easy.  Surprisingly enough Mike saw this recipe on The Pioneer Woman's show, which is very strange that he even saw it.  He was scanning the TV channels and saw beef…enough said, lol.  So thank you Ree for a great recipe.

Only 4 ingredients:
1 pound of sirloin steak or pre cut beef tips
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 Tbl butter

The beef:

Cut off any fat and cut in into cubes:

Add the butter to a hot skillet and cook on medium high heat:

Wait until the butter gets good and brown:

Add the meat…it should sizzle:

After only 30-45 seconds(depending on the size of your beef cubes) flip the meat over:

It is finished in another 30-45 seconds.  Put the meat on a plate, pour those buttery juices on top and serve with rice.

Now that is Mike's kind of meal.