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Day 246: Warm Pepper Salad ♥

Okay so for yesterday's Swagman Stew I tried anchovies -- an anchovy paste, to be precise -- for the very first time and could hardly tell they existed.

So today I decided to live daringly and eat real, live (well, not LIVE) anchovies. I fully expected (already half-writing the post in my head) that the entire dish would be so awful it'd go straight into the rubbish.

Instead -- oh my oh my oh my. This warm pepper salad is so unusual, so delicious, so, well, un-fishy. And all for 10 minutes hands-on and 30 minutes in the oven. Who can beat THAT?

I suspect you're going to feel reluctant about this, the anchovies and all. Here's what I suggest. Make it once, using only the anchovy oil. If you like it -- and I think you will, no fishiness, remember?! -- then make it another time, using the anchovies themselves and the anchovy oil.

For other recipes using anchovies, check the Recipe Box. Oh wait, there ARE no other recipes using anchovies in the Recipe Box. (Update: Yes there a…

Day 245: Swagman Stew ♥

"Once a jolly swagman,
sat beside a billabong ..."


So sang my mother, as a lullaby, to my sister and me; so sang my London-born, WWI veteran grandfather to my mother and her sister when they were girls.

But the lilting Waltzing Matilda is perhaps all that many Americans, myself included, know about the hours-, kilometers- and hemisphere-away Aussies of Australia.

(Top-of-mind check. Fosters beer. Great wine. Vegemite. Mutton. Humour and vocabulary. Kangaroos and koalas. That movie guy with the cowboy hat, what was his name? And yeah, Muriel, the one in the wedding movie. Russell Crowe!!! A remarkable 60-something white-haired Aussie named Martha who trekked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes carrying a red umbrella and wearing a long-sleeved, high-collared white -- WHITE! -- linen shirt somehow kept immaculately fresh during five days of hard hiking and third-world camping. The Sydney Opera House. The Outback. A Town Like Alice. The Shackleton Antarctica ques…

Day 244: Your Basic Freezer-Burned Broccoli

Today's Christmas Prep To Do List:
#1 ...
#2 ...
#3 ...
... ... ... ... ... ...
#29 Clean out the basement freezer
... ... ... ... ...
#95 Cook a vegetable in a new way

Items #30 through #94 received no attention but I did manage to counteract some of the day's sugar'n'butter cookie baking with a freezer-burned bag of 'specially cut broccoli & florets'.

(Hmm. Yes. I remember this Birds Eye bag from before, 80% stems, 20% good stuff. Not all bags of frozen broccoli are all stem, you just have to check the words and ignore the pictures.)

The broccoli was okay but frankly there wasn't much hope of counteracting the severe freezer burn.

TOOL TIP: Recycle favorite wine bottles for different oils. Just add pouring tips (like those used by bartenders) and store in a handy but cool, dark place. I've got three bottles going, vegetable oil, everyday olive oil and good olive oil. And it's fun to be reminded, often, of the occasions that made the bottl…

Day 243: Brussels Sprouts Dijon ♥

Fresh Brussels sprouts stirred with a bright mix of good mustard, vinegar and a little butter. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free.
Do these Brussels sprouts look familiar? If so, no surprise since there's been a whole lotta baby cabbages getting cooked in the food blog world – and even an occasional convert. This batch comes straight from a blog called Seriously Good and is yes, seriously good, and quite seriously, simply good and perfect, taste-wise, for a weeknight supper.

On a personal note, Seriously Good was authored by a food blogger named Kevin Weeks, someone I considered a friend even though we never met in person. Kevin was a mainstay of our early food blog community. He passed away in 2012, rocking that community. His blog is gone, even his writing about illness, mortality and impending death is gone. Me, musing, wishes there were a "cemetery" of sorts for the best work of people we remember so fondly.

The only trou…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Quick Supper: Hoisin & Honey Pork Tenderloin ◄

From the sight of things in the food blog world and the cinnamony scent in my very own kitchen, it's cookie-baking season.

That means supper better be fast and healthful, like this easy-easy pork tenderloin, the latest in Kitchen Parade's Quick Supper series that features recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher.

It's featured in this week's Kitchen Parade column.

Vegetable Pulao (Indian Rice & Vegetables) with Tomato Raita ♥

A traditional Indian rice dish made with a mix of on-hand vegetables and served with a tomato-yogurt sauce called raita. It starts off on the stove, then finishes in the microwave.

Fresh & Flexible. A Great Way to Use Up Vegetables. Perfect for Meatless Monday. Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free.

Special Report: Veggies Can Make You Sick

Many thanks to Jen Gray for her inspiring photo ...

Yesterday's Wall Street Journal included this eye-grabbing headline: "When Eating Your Vegetables Makes You Sick".

Vegetables? Make us sick? Oh great, just what maligned-broccoli needs!

But it's serious business. (Hmmm. Or is it? Keep reading.) Here's a summary of the story:
The good news is that Americans (sorry, rest of the world, no data cited ..) are eating more fruits and vegetablesIn 1990, per capita consumption was 287 pounds per year, about 3/4 a pound a day In 2003, it increased by 15+ percent to 332 pounds per year, about nine-tenths of a pound a day

The bad news is that fruits and vegetables are now responsible for more large-scale outbreaks of food-borne illnesses than meat, poultry or eggs due, it's said, to:
Centralization of produce distributionIncreased reliance on imports
Growing popularity of 'convenience' produce (think bags of spinach, pre-cut coleslaw, cantaloupe halves) Examples cit…