Foodie Pen Pals!

I recently started participating in the Foodie Pen Pal Club (program? mass hysteria? Fun? 😛 ). This was started by the wonderful Lindsay of the blog
The Lean Green Bean . What started out with just 30 people has grown to an endeavor of over 200. I have to wonder if Lindsay sometimes wants to bang her head off of her desk when she sees what she has created hehe. You oughta see the ten page spreadsheet of names we get at the beginning of each month. Yikes! I admire Lindsay because I would never be able to keep up with it. I would end up with one person having to send to ten others and 46 people totally forgotten.

Foodie Pen Pals is just what is sounds like. We all get matched up with another foodie (they don’t have to have their own blog, just a hankering {yes, I used the word hankering…sue me 😛 } to give and receive some fun foods.

This month I was sent a box from a lovely lady named Claire. She doesn’t have her own blog so I can’t link to her *sobs*. She sent me a nice assortment of goodies that are already all gone here in my house of gluttonous piggies hehe

I got some delicious granola (that I TRIED to hide from the kids…), some salsa that my husband immediately called dibs on, a chocolate bar with almonds and sea salt that I confiscated and threatened life and limb if touched (Claire… you MUST have read my blog at some point to know not to send me dark chocolate hehe) and a totally amazing loaf of Cranberry Orange bread. The smell alone was fantastic!

So are you interested in joining the Foodie Pen Pals!? You should be darn it! If you are, all you need to do is follow the directions below (I copied and pasted this straight from Lindsays blog).

If you’re interested in participating for March, please send  an email to me at and include the following information:
-Your full name
-Your email address
-Your blog name/address
-Your twitter handle (if applicable)
WHETHER YOU ARE A US RESIDENT OR CANADIAN RESIDENT. – this is SUPER important so you get on the right list!

You must submit your information by March 4th as pairings will be emailed on March 5th!

***PLEASE NOTE: if you send an email, you WILL GET A RESPONSE within 48 hours. If you don”t…please re-send your email or contact me via Twitter (@LeanGrnBeanBlog). Last month we had a few emails get lost as spam so we’re trying to avoid that!

Warning… if you end up with me as your pen pal, I am already notoriously late at getting things sent out because I always run short of cash lol. But I make up for it with baskets that may be just a little bit *coughs innocently*  over the price limit. So with me, you may get a late box but darn will it be guilt ridden good!






Foodie Penpals

A Blogger By Any Other Name…

…is NOT a good thing. The other day I went to a blog I go to frequently. I loved what I saw, made a comment and realized a few hours later when it popped into my mind, that I had called the lovely lady, a blogger I know (know as in blogs) by the wrong name. Needless to say, when I went back and looked, the comment I had made had NOT been approved. Lol… this aging thing sucks. In my defense I had been to about 40 gazillion blogs that day (t’was before I got sick and kind of disappeared), reading and buzzing and commenting and at that point, I’m surprised I remembered my own name, much less that of anyone else.

Anyone else find things like that happening as you age? And by as you age, I mean anyone over 25 hehe because God help me, I remember it happening back then too. I blame my kids. The memory loss and the fact that I haven’t had a full nights sleep or hot meal since 1985 are all the fault of my kids 😛 I’ve found though that It really does get worse as you get older. I can think to myself, while sitting here at the computer, “Oh, I need to look up such and such” and literally by the time I get Google pulled up to do a search, I’ve forgotten what I wanted to look up. Talk about wanting to slam my head into my desk! I frequently decide I’m just gonna give up trying to remember things and go adopt 36 cats, buy a pair of glasses that hangs by a string around my neck (though I just know I’ll still forget where they are), a case of Geritol and call myself the Crazy Old Cat Lady. It suits me… the crazy part anyway. Right now we only have 4 cats so that isn’t enough to qualify me. At least I think we have four cats. I can’t remember. Continue reading

Sometimes Simple And Old Are The Best


I have NO idea who ate some of this before I could get a photo *blinks innocently*

I should know… I mean, look at my husband. Ok, I’m so gonna die for that but I couldn’t resist that one hehe

Seriously though… have you ever noticed that in the blogging world, it is always something new, something unique, something that is all about “OMG, I made elk tongues with a balsamic reduction and served it with bacony coleus plants sauteed in bear fat!”

Mind you, I love the new stuff; don’t get me wrong. I’m no different there than anyone else in trying to be unique and have something here on my blog that isn’t on 396 other blogs. Erhmmm, other than that elk tongue thing… you can have my share. Honest; I don’t mind.

Sometimes though, I just want something comforting, easy and old fashioned. Especially recently. I’ve been battling a fun fun fun tooth and jaw infection (thus my absence {didya miss me? 😛 } and also why no new posts recently) and have been taking massive doses of Penicillin. And while I’m not allergic to it, I’m sensitive to it big time and spent the better part of a week nauseous and unable to eat. I’m eating again but am still doing better with soft easy foods because my jaw isn’t 100%.

Point being (whining over lol) that when I’m down, physically or emotionally, I like, as I said, easy and comforting. One of my go to recipes for that (other than the ubiquitous mac and cheese that is practically everyone’s fave comfort food) is an old Amish recipe. I absolutely LOVE so many Amish foods. I have the same fascination with their culture, religion and foods that so many living in the mainstream world do.

Continue reading

I Need C.P.R.

That of course stands for Chocolate Public Relations cause this really needs some media attention! 😛

Ok, that was really corny but I couldn’t help myself.

If you’ve been a regular reader of my blog for a while, you may recall that up until last year, I had never eaten, much less cooked, a lava cake. It was one of those much hyped foods I avoided.

Then… I tried one. This one to be exact . And yeah, I admit it, I liked it. Just a little bit. Honest. I was still blase and ultra sophisticated, saying that I was so above all that… so not into the idea of a crispy edged cake with a center of soft gooey chocolate. Pshaw. You know how hip I am (I just lost “hip” status by using the word hip, didn’t I?) and too good for trendiness.

OK, OK, I LOVED IT!!!! *falls to the floor sobbing in abject “oh so not hip” shame*.

It was chocolate heaven on a plate. Crisp, yet gooey… chocolate yet in the case of that one, offset by fruit. So I decided a few days ago that I wanted more. I WAS going to make a white chocolate one but realized I had no white chocolate so that one will wait for now. I did however want something a LITTLE different than a plain one.

Well, I had a can (or six) of home made dulce de leche in the fridge ( I have to come clean and admit that I am one of those risk taking people who makes my dulce de leche by just boiling the unopened can for hours. What can I say? I like living life on the edge 😛 ) Moving on… I decided I was going to make a lava cake with a center of dulce de leche. Yeah I know; as if the cake in it’s normal form isn’t enough with it 35,000 calories and 4 bazillion fat grams, I added dulce de leche. If it makes you feel better, I have a black bean and polenta recipe coming up soon? Nice and healthy. Well, except for the cheese and cream in the polenta. Sigh. I give up.

It turned out quite nicely. Mind you, after eating all of the one I photographed, I may never eat again, but that’s ok. I can live off my own fat and the fat in the cake for at least a decade, maybe more.

So give this a try. It’s actually really easy. And darn, does it taste good! The chocolate lava cake part of this is from The Neeleys on Food Network. The only addition here that is me is the dulce de leche. On a side note, this recipe makes Paula Deen recipes look like they are for health nuts. On a side side note, are health nuts anything like Corn Nuts? Are they edible? On a side side side note, when did corn get nuts?

Ok, I’m stopping now. Continue reading

The Lonely Outcast Citrus

Yes, this is already sliced in thick slabs and ready for me to dig in….

You all know the one I’m talking about. It’s the citrus that gets grimaces instead of drools, the one that never gets invited over for dinner and a movie, much less dessert and an attempt to get to third base. It’s the one that get ignored because it has a tendency to be a bit…shall we say… bitter about life. It’s the citrus that has very little middle ground. You either love it or you hate it. I’m one of those weirdos in the love it camp. Just add that to the list of things that makes me strange and wonderfully lovable.

What citrus? Why Grapefruit of course. People tend to think of it in terms of either juice for breakfast, juice beverage aka grapefruit juice that has been sweetened. I admit that I prefer that to the straight up kind myself, or as a fruit to eat, grimacing the whole time, because they are on a diet and their mothers best friends sisters cousins stepgrandmother lost 45 pounds in two days doing that Continue reading

Oh The Things I Do For You

I mean… seriously? Who else will, out of love for you, make the noble sacrifice of frequently working with butter, sugar, cream and all things decadent? Who else, out of love for you, would practice over and over again, making treats JUST so that I could blog about them here for your pleasure? Who else, out of that great enduring love for you, would torture herself eating creations filled with said butter, sugar and cream, JUST so that I could then describe to you what it tasted like? No one else! No one I say! Ok, maybe a few other bloggers but they too do it out of a great love for you! It has nothing, nothing I say, to do with the idea that we like shoving gooey, rich creamy treats in our gaping maws! Perish the thought! It’s that love thing… yeah, that’s it. The love thing.

You believe me, right? *bats eyes innocently* Continue reading

I Have No Brain Cells Left

This why you haven’t had a post in a handful of days (not counting the guest post as that was written quite a while ago). I’ve been cooking, I’ve been eating… just have been in one of those blogger moods of not knowing what to write. Yes, every once in a while, my extreme creativity and ginormous  writing skills go on hiatus *cough cough… gets hip boots*.

I like to think that right about now, my writing “skills”, such as they are,  are lying on a beach on Tahiti with a Mai Tai and a trashy novel. I just hope they haven’t forgotten sunscreen cause I burn easily.

I have however been spending way more time than usual reading cooking blogs. It never fails to amaze me how many of them there are out there now. Some totally suck donkey toes, others are outstanding and make me feel like I need to give up blogging because in comparison to them, my blog sucks donkey toes. Continue reading

Woohoo!!! I Did A Guest Post…

For one of my favoritest (yes, that too is now a word. Please add it to your dictionary.) people. She is nice, she is funny and she actually tolerates ME. That makes her a saint by any measure.

I made this *points down*

So if you want to know what this is (Ok, I’ll tell… it’s Buffalo Chicken Meatballs Pasta With A Light Bleu Cheese Sauce… but you have to go see her to get the recipe 😛 ) as well as revisit a blogger you probably already know and love OR get to know a blogger you will soon know and love, go over to visit Ann at
Cooking Healthy For Me

. She’s on vacation in England right now *please don’t turn green with envy and yell at my blog…* which is how I was honored to get to guest post for her.

So go check her out, but don’t even think of just looking at this one post. Her whole blog is filled with wonderful recipes and a wonderful personality to match.



Ready To Take A Chance Again…

I’m one of those people that if I have a bad experience with a particular food person, relationship, friendship, I tend to stay away from it from then on out. It’s the “once bitten twice shy” syndrome.

Take fried eggs for example. For YEARS, and I’m talking well into adulthood going on the assumption that I’ve reached adulthood at 47 I wouldn’t eat fried eggs. Why you ask? Ok, so we’ll pretend you asked  with total and sincere interest in your voice, because otherwise my ego will nosedive. Well you see *hunkers down around the campfire* when I was a little sprout, a babysitter made fried eggs for me. What she DIDN’T do was clean the spoon well at all. So when I ate the eggs, there was this awful bitter taste in them. Come to find out, my older brother had been using that spoon with his chemistry set (for you young pups, back in the day, you could get kits that had all sorts of things in it to do experiments at home. How do you think Dr. Frankenstein got started? His mother bought him a chemistry set) and neglected to wash the spoon. SO I ended up with a mouthful of something that explains all my mutations today.

Same with Pomegranates. I loved them when younger…until the time I peeled one and a writhing live worm was in it. Now I’ll eat Pomegranate flavored things but not the actual fruit. Traumatized, thy name is Janet.

Then there’s coconut. When one gets a case of stomach flu after eating coconut, it can be rather off putting for a while… like say, life.  Plus, to be honest, while I love coconut milk and would happily sit down with a can of it and a spoon, and I love things flavored with coconut as well as enjoying Mounds Bars, I don’t like the texture of coconut when it is cooked.

I do however love things made with jam, jelly, preserves, marmalade’s, whatever. I have a very sad addiction to condiments, be they sweet or savory. My husband quickly steers me away from the jelly aisle and the condiment aisle in the stores.

So when I saw the following recipe, I decided I wanted to try it, coconut or not. It had jam and it had a crumbly oatmeal topping thing so I was won over. I figured if I hated it, oh well, I could lick all the jam out 😛 and my family would like it anyway. I mean really, is there much you can put sugar in and NOT have kids like? Lo and behold, I like it! It’s very sweet so the gargantuan chunk I ate have been a bit much but then, I’ve been told that my face turns a lovely and very becoming shade of green when nauseated.

This is sweet (I mentioned that sweet thing right?) and buttery and crispy on bottom from the crust and on top from the crumbs and even with the coconut I would totally make it again. Though I still don’t like the texture of it cooked 😛 and no one is getting me to ever eat a Pomegranate. So give this a try… it’s extremely easy, makes a nice sized pan and oh yeah btw, it’s pretty sweet, in case I failed to mention that. So don’t eat gargantuan chunks all at once. Spread them out over a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This originally comes from Epicurious and for the most part, other than using more of the crumbs on top, and maybe less coconut on top, I didn’t change anything important enough to mention.

Oatmeal Coconut Raspberry Bars

  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked oatmeal (NOT instant)
  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam (I used almost a full jar because I was too lazy to measure)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To be honest, I did it at 350 because 375 and baking makes me a wee bit nervous. Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. Spread 3/4 cup of the coconut on a baking sheet and toast at 350 until light golden brown, about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir it around once or twice otherwise your edges will burn.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars and salt. Using a pastry blender (they used a food processor but I saw no sense dirtying anything else) cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add in the oatmeal and toasted coconut and using your fingers (trust me… fingers work best here), work them into the flour/butter mixture.
  4. Reserve 1 1/4 cups of the mixture (they held back only 3/4 but I wanted a bit more crumbs on top and not a too thick bottom because when crusts are too thick they can get tough) and press the rest into the bottom of the greased pan.
  5. Spread the jam on top as best you can then sprinkle the rest of the crumbs on top then sprinkle the rest of the coconut over that.
  6. Bake at 350 until golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack. I found the easiest way to cut these was to cut the full batch into quarters while still in the pan, then lift each separate piece out and cut into squares the size you desire. I did four per piece. Trust me when I say….cut them smaller. Just.Trust.Me.


Where Did Winter Go?

Creamy Turkey Soup

I’m weird. No, not cause of that! Or that! Shame on you for mentioning that one… I was young and foolish! What do you mean that was last week!?


As I was saying before you so rudely interrupted me, I’m weird. Quit giggling darn it. The reason I’m weird? Because I like Winter. Yep. I do. I like the cold weather though I admit that I don’t venture out into it much because I have the worlds worst circulation and I get cold in August. I like the snow when it happens, I like the coziness, I like being all bundled up in my recliner with a book and a cup of tea while the wind whistles outside my door. The problem this year is that as much as I like Winter, there hasn’t BEEN much of one this year. Where did Winter go!? Who hid it!? I want a REAL Winter! But no matter what, I like all the aspects and feelings that go with Winter.

And I definitely like the foods. We humans eat heartier in Winter. We eat meals that simply wouldn’t work in the full blown heat of Summer. Foods like stews and casseroles and pork roasts full of fat and massive flavors. Also, foods like soup. Continue reading