Touch of Nectar

{March 14, 2009}   Bento Lunch Prep


I read about this on  blog somewhere and thought it was a great idea for my bento lunches. Mini quiches! They are made in muffin tins.

I used store bought pie dough. Half of the box was enough dough to do six mini quiches (very generous with the dough). I filled the quiches with leftover diced prosciutto, five kinds of cheese and fresh basil, but you could use absoultely anything in these. A great way to use up leftovers! They can be made vegetarian or very plain. I used 6 eggs and about an equal amount of milk – that was a tiny bit too much with all the fillings I put in.

I was shocked how much they puffed up, but they sank back down again as they cooled. These, with a mixed green salad will be wonderful in my lunches this week. Eaten hot or cold. Next time I will make a full dozen and freeze half of them.

How do they taste? Amazing! I’m having a hard time not eating them all up before they go in my lunches! LOL.


{March 14, 2009}   Girly Stuff.

toesYesterday I met up with my best friend and her sister for a little wedding planning and girly time. It was so much fun getting pampered. Not to mention the great foot rub that always comes with pedicures. Why don’t I do this more often!? The photo totally doesn’t do her artwork justice. There’s at least three colors in there, with sparkles and the center of the flower is a little blue gem. Yup. Pretty girly.

{March 14, 2009}   Happy Pi Day Everyone!

Time to embrace my inner nerd.

Happy Pi day! 3-14

{March 13, 2009}   Quickie Dinner – Pizza

pizza1Just a quick and easy dinner last night.

Trader Joes has ready-made pizza dough in a couple of different flavors – for a little over $1/each. When it’s that cheap, I don’t feel bad about being too lazy to make my own!

I usually have some dough stashed in the freezer. I just restocked for more pizzas in the near future.  Last night’s pizza was made with their herb crust, homemade tomato sauce, diced onions, proscuitto, fresh basil and 4 kinds of cheese.

I’m getting pretty good at stretching out the dough. I’ve found that if you let it sit and rise for a good 15 minutes, it makes it easier to form the crust. I’d love to be able to do the tossing/shaping thing, but I’m just not that coordinated. I pulled the dough out into a more-or-less pizza shape and put it on my Pampered Chef pizza stone. I let the crust bake for about 5 minutes before adding the sauce and toppings. This makes a non-soggy pizza.

Of course, we can’t have pizza and movie night without a good bottle of wine to go with it! Last night’s wine was a bottle of Rex Goliath Pinot Noir aka 47 Pound Rooster. One of our favorites. Very affordable and very drinkable. Under $10 for a Pinot. Awesome!  Great night. The movie, however was terrible! It was the 70’s cartoon version of Lord of the Rings. Awful. Just awful. We didn’t even finish watching it.

First I have to tell you the history of this tattered little book. I belong to Bookcrossing, which is a website that allows you to follow books on their journey in life. You “register” each book and it gets a number, which is used to track the book as it travels from person to person. Sounds a bit Big Brother-ish? It’s not! You can remain annonymous if you choose to. Bookcrossing also has forums to discuss what you are reading or trade books with other members.

One of the forums is specifically for book “rings” and “rays”. Someone starts with a book and people sign up to read it. It gets passed (mailed) from one person to the next until the end of the ring/ray. Rings go back to the original owner of the book and rays continue on their way. Often a new ray is started by the person at the end so the book can travel more.

Anyway, there is a LOT more to Bookcrossing, but I have a lot of fun seeing where my books have traveled and reading what others think about the same books I’ve read…

parrot-in-the-pepper-tree-bookThis book is from a ring I signed up for. The poor little thing got lost in the mail for almost two weeks. When it arrived it looked like this. Tattered and well loved.

At some point the book was completely falling apart, so someone put a ring binding on it so that it could continue on its way. It is still completely readable. It’s nice to see people expressing such love for books.

This is the sort of sequel to Driving Over Lemons, which I read a couple of years ago. Both books are about a couple’s life in Andulucia, Spain. Non-Fiction

I must say, I think I enjoyed Driving Over Lemons more than this one.  Too bad too, because I was really looking forward to it. I do like how each chapter is a different story about the author’s life in Andalucia, but I was expecting to see more of his wife and daughter in the book and less about his personal history.

The chapter about the bird (which the book is named for) annoyed me. I dislike birds. I don’t think they make good pets. They certainly wouldn’t be sticking around my house very long if one was attacking me… But I can see how some people find this chapter funny.

My favorite chapter was the one where he had to write notes to the bus driver and school head master. That was funny!

In general, this is a good book. I’m not sorry I read it, but I won’t be looking for more books by Chris Stewart. Now I need to find out where I am to send this little book so it can continue on its way.  16 readers so far!

For the record, this is book #5 in my 52 Week Book Challenge… I need to get reading!

{March 11, 2009}   Bento #31 – Leftovers

bento31Have you been wondering where all the bentos have gone? Well I’ve been busy working on new recipes for my “other” blog – One Pan Wonders.  So lately lunches have been hiking and backpacking food.

But not yesterday! Yesterday I finally did another bento. The upper portion contains Caramelized Onion and Chicken Pasta. The lower left is chocolate covered mini marshmellos and a small can of mandarine oranges. The lower right is carrot sticks and banana yogurt. The tiny little pink box has ranch dressing for the carrot sticks. Needs some green in the box, doesn’t it?

Lunch was just okay. Nothing to get terribly excited about. Next week my goal is to plan a bit better. And to get some green veggies in there!

caramelized-onion-noodlesA couple of nights ago we had roast chicken for dinner. I was at a loss as to what to serve for dinner last night, so I scanned the fridge and this is what I came up with.

I caramelized an entire onion in some butter and olive oil. We had chicken breasts and peas leftover. So I added those after deglazing the pan with water and chicken stock concentrate from Trader Joes.

Meanwhile I cooked up about 1/2 a pound of pasta. When the pasta was done, everything got tossed together and dinner was ready. Served with bread and wine, of course. Easy! This made enough for 3 adult servings (or 2 adult servings, 1 toddler serving and 1 lunch serving.)

{March 5, 2009}   Treats for Troops needs help.

Treats for Troops  is becoming a victim of the economy, we need to help if we can. Deborah Crane, the creator of TFT is a friend that I met via a backpacking message board. She is an amazing caring woman, and she needs our help.

This is what she has to say about TFT:

When I started Treats for Troops over five years ago I was determined to do whatever it took to turn my dream of supporting our troops year round into reality. I gave TFT my all. I invested most of my savings, and took out loans and lines of credit and credit cards. I put together a team of people who share my dream, and care about our mission.

Today we’re the most popular provider of care packages for our troops. But my dream is turning into a nightmare that threatens TFT’s survival. I had my goal of being debt free in sight when the economy went to hell in a hand basket last year. Orders started falling faster than the stock market. I discovered our Web site needed a vital and very expensive security update. And I had to cross my fingers that the holidays would be good, and borrow even more to buy the inventory we needed…

Read more here.

So please share with your friends, , This is for the troops and for a friend. Thanks!

et cetera