Category Archives: Food & Drink

Eat well on $4 a day?

good-and-cheapLike most people, I have an interest in eating better and saving money.

I was lucky enough to discover the website of author and food studies student Leanne Brown where I downloaded (for free) her new book titled “Good and Cheap”.

I was very impressed. Her work is full of beautiful photography and easy to follow recipes and it promises that the reader can ‘Eat well on $4 a day’.

So far, I’ve tried her recipes for Tomato Scrambled Eggs, Oatmeal, and Corn Soup. All three were delicious, easy and very inexpensive.

Check out her work – you won’t be disappointed.

Sur La Table Cooking School

In what has become an annual Holiday tradition for us, D.O.D. and I took an overnight trip to Naples, FL for an evening at the Sur La Table cooking school. I was very uninspired and less than thrilled the first time D.O.D. suggested a cooking class, but I soon learned they are great fun and very educational. Plus… you get to eat your creations!

Winter Vegetable TangineOur class was a ‘Meatless Meals’ class with Chef Deniece Vella. The kitchen is amazing with top notch equipment all around. One of the best parts of any cooking class is the fact that you never have to worry about clean up. This class was no exception – Chef Deniece’s assistants were incredibly efficient.

The evening started with a short introduction and then we got right to work preparing the vegetables for the Winter Vegetable Tagine with Chickpeas. This dish had to cook the longest so we started with it first.


Spiced Bulgur, Roasted Red Pepper, KaleNext, we assembled the first course, Spiced Bulgur with Roasted Red Pepper and Kale.

D.O.D. wondered how the bitter Kale would taste in this dish, but since we used such a small amount, the Kale added just a bit of flavor and did not overpower. The Roasted Red Pepper added a nice touch of sweetness.


Beet Lentil Goat Cheese SaladThe second course was a simple but delicious Beet, Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad. The beets had been cooked ahead of time, but we sauteed the fennel, carrots, garlic and lentils then assembled the salad on a nice bed of fresh Bibb lettuce.

This was my favorite dish of the evening because I love goat cheese!


Pasta w Basil Pesto ,Potatoes, Green BeansThe third course was Whole Wheat Pasta with Basil Pesto, Potatoes and Green Beans.

We created the Pesto from scratch and learned about the proper ratio of oil so as not to make the pesto too runny. We also learned the trick for perfect potatoes – never drop them in boiling water. Put the potatoes in the water THEN bring it to a boil.


Winter Vegetable Tangine w Chick Peas b Finally after a short break, we returned to the kitchen and were served the Winter Vegetable Tagine with Chickpeas. This dish had been cooking for well over an hour and the flavors blended nicely. This hearty dish was perfect for the weather – a windy and cool evening in South Florida.

We enjoy bringing a bottle of wine to class and sipping as we cook and sample. Conveniently there is a huge Whole Foods right next door to this location. Another thing we enjoy is the 10% off coupon each student receives that is good for anything at Sur La Table.

For the second year in a row, we had a wonderful Holiday trip to Naples, FL and the Sur La Table cooking school.

Hand Tossed Pizza

Pizza D.O.D. created this simple fast meal from a hand tossed pizza crust she purchased at the Farmer’s Market in Sarasota, FL.

She added some fresh cut basil from the herb garden, sprinkled on a little extra mozzarella cheese then baked for 10 minutes.

She served the pizza with a fresh garden salad. It was the perfect Sunday afternoon lunch – inexpensive, fresh and quick.