Category: In the Kitchen/Recipes

I Learned a Cooking Tip on Criminal Minds

I posted on Living Large’s Facebook page on Sunday morning that Dale didn’t pick up the remote on Sunday morning and instead, kept the house nice and quiet while we both read.

While I do not like the television blaring 24/7, I’m not anti-TV. I think there are some good educational, as well as entertaining programs.

Not many, but Dale and I have favorites we watch together.

Sometimes, if I’m paying attention, I can learn from the entertaining shows too.

Take “Criminal Minds,” for example.

We watched an episode last week we had DVR’d (as we do most programs to be able to fast forward through the ads) and two of my favorite actors, Kathy Baker, who starred in the 1990s  series “Picket Fences” and William Russ, who played in the 1980s series, “Wiseguy.”

The two played (bad) parents trying to appease their son who was paralyzed in a car accident.

Little did I know, Kathy Baker would be opening up a cooking mystery that has boggled my mind for a couple of years.


Comfort Food Includes Lasagna at Our Little House

I love spring and summer for the weather and the bounty of fresh vegetables available, but I love winter for the comfort food dishes.

When I was a kid, I always knew when it was vegetable soup night as I could smell it as soon as I stepped on our front stoop after getting off of the school bus.

My mother was a huge Italian food fan, particularly spaghetti and lasagna and one of my favorite recipes is a variation of her lasagna recipe, which I’ve modified from a big pan to a pan for two.

The recipe gives us four pieces, one each for dinner and one each for our lunches the next day.


Recipe Sharing and a Request

First, I have a request of Our Living Large community. I’ve been blogging now for over two years and have enjoyed every minute of it and I hope you have enjoyed Living Large enough to ask for a couple of minutes to help me out.

I’ve been told these Bloggie Awards are important to literary agents and publishers and since I am writing a memoir out about Living Large, I am begging for your nominations.

Before January 15, please to the 2012 Bloggie Awards website at and nominate Living Large in our Little House in the categories of “Best Topical Weblog” and “Best Kept Secret Weblog.” In the space asking for Nominee, please put Living Large in our Little House and the url is

You will have to provide at least three nominations – so you can nominate other favorite blogs – and also provide your email address so the system can verify you’re a person and not a ballot stuffing bot.

I will be forever grateful if Living Large makes it as a finalist in either category.

Now something for you.


Meatloaf Conquered

(Congratulations to Annette, who won “The Organized Kitchen” book! Thanks for everyone who entered!)


It began as a roast.

Well, it began as an idea to make a roast in the crockpot for  New Year’s Day. I removed a large chunk of meat from the freezer and began  thawing it on the counter.

It wasn’t until it was well into thawing that I looked  inside. This was free-range, grass fed organic ground round, not the roast I  thought I had grabbed.

Two pounds of ground round meant for a meatloaf. I scrambled  to find a packet of the Lipton dry onion soup mix I had always used to make my meatloaf.


The Organized Kitchen a Book Giveaway

Who doesn’t strive to be more organized?

In a small space, it is essential or I would drive myself crazy.  That’s why I was so excited when Brette Sember announced she was writing a book on kitchen organization.

“The Organized Kitchen: Keep your Kitchen Clean, Organized, and Full of Good Food – and Save Time, Money (and your Sanity) Every day!” is now available.

You might remember that Brette also wrote “The Parchment Paper Cookbook,” which has all kinds of yummy recipes that can be cooked in parchment paper. A great book, especially for those of us who don’t have a dishwasher but still would like to have a nice meal after a long day without all of the clean-up.

“The Organized Kitchen” combines all of Brette’s kitchen wisdom, organization talents and even some good recipes to one book.


The Parchment Paper Cookbook Giveway

Today, Living Large community, we’re beginning a series of Friday book giveaways, just in time for the holidays. We’re beginning with one of the best, “The Parchment Paper Cookbook,” by Brette Sember.

I did an interview with Brette this week about her work and her book:


Homemade Goodness, the Stuff of Legend now

I made my mother’s traditional pot of Halloween chili last night and we watched a couple of scary movies to put us in the mood.

My mother would make her chili recipe, usually the first for the season, on Halloween. My sisters would bring my nephews over and we would all warm our bellies before heading into the neighborhood to beg for candy.

In addition to homemade chili goodness, we always enjoyed going into some of our neighbors homes and receiving homemade candy and caramel apples, Rice Krispy treats, popcorn balls, hot cider, cookies and other homemade goodies.

Oh, sure, in the late 60s and early 70s, there were plenty of packaged candy too, but the neighbors who had those homemade goodies were the ones with the real treats.

As rumors spread of pins in candy bars and razor blades in apples, those homemade treats themselves became legends of the past.

I read an article after I was grown that only a handful of those incidents ever occurred, I think less than a half dozen of confirmed treat tampering across the country, but when the rumors started, you would have thought everyone knew someone who had been harmed.

Makes you wonder if it was the processed food industry that helped those rumors along.


Meatless Mondays at Our Little House

When I posted the other day on Living Large’s Facebook page that it was Meatless Monday, one of our friends there asked what this movement is all about.

I’ve been doing it for so long, I had forgotten where I read about the movement. I looked it up and found out Meatless Mondays was an initiative actually started during World War I to help conserve resources for that war effort. You can read more about that here, as well as get some recipes:

I just know it’s a good idea for us for 4 main reasons: