Monthly Archives: August 2011

Congratulations Alyssa



Yay Alyssa!  Great job.  You will be going to Colorado soon for 10 months.  You get to help in disaster areas, build homes with Habitat for Humanity, clear trails, tutor kids, and the like. 

You had just changed your major to Anthropology and was looking forward to finishing college up soon, but that will have to wait.

Dad and Jill and I are happy for you (and sad too).

Quick Pickles

Quick Pickles
Quick Pickles!!!  These are the best-tasting, crunchiest, easiest pickles to make. 

And this recipe does not require any stovetop work, unlike most of the other quick pickle recipes I've seen.  Make these a day ahead of your planned eating time.

Got this recipe from a veggie burgers cookbook…

Quick Pickles Recipe
…and got my cucumbers from a friend's garden.  Thanks Adrienne! 

Wavy Sliced Cucumber
And if you have a wavy slicer from Pampered Chef in your kitchen drawer, patiently waiting every two years to be used because your kids are grown and you no longer need to make raw veggies or cheese fun-looking in order to get them to eat it … now's the time to get it out.

Quick Pickles
Compliments of JennaDish

from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way by Lukas Volger


4 Kirby cucumbers (I only used 2 pickling cucumbers)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 Tblsps kosher salt
2 Tblsps sugar
3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Cut the cucumbers into whatever shape you want.  Mine are 1/4" wavy rounds. 

Combine 2 cups water, the vinegar, salt, and sugar in a nonreactive bowl or jar that comes with a lid, stirring to dissolve.  Add the cucumbers, ensuring that they are completely submerged, adding more water if necessary.  Cover the bowl or jar and let stand at room temperature overnight, or for 12 hours.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the cucumbers to a colander and rinse with cold water.  Divide the cucumbers, garlic, peppercorns, and mustard seeds between 2 pint jars or place all in 1 quart jar.  Pour the brine over, ensuring that the pickles are entirely submerged.  Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.  Can be kept, refrigerated, for about a month; the flavors of the garlic and other aromatics will be enhanced over time.  UPDATE: I would take the garlic out after a couple of days.  It becomes overpowering in my humble opinion.


Happy Anniversary JennaDish!

I started this website to nourish my creative soul while getting my Master’s Degree in Education.  It kept me excited to learn many new dishes and to create a journal that my kids and grandkids may be interested in some day.

It was so much fun but now I’m on to new things.  Here are my two short anniversary videos of the fun food I created in my first 2 years. (spoiler alert: cute dog at the end of 1st Year video.) I hope you are fortunate enough to find time to do the things that make you happiest.  Because…

Everybody Has Something They Love to Do.


My Animoto Video

Grilled Zucchini Strips

Grilled Zucchini Strips IMG_9775
Love grilled veggies. So simple and easy.

Slice some zucchinis lengthwise, toss in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, cook on medium grill until browned.  Flop them on your plate and enjoy. Yum.

Why is this a recipe worth putting on a blog?  Well, in my many years on this earth, I had never seen or thought of cut zucchinis lengthwise for the grill.  I thought it was a great idea and wanted to share.


Crunchy French Toast Sticks

Crunchy French Toast Sticks
Well, this isn't exactly diet food, but I did my last interview for my research paper Friday at Panera Bread and this Challah bread was gleaming on the shelf, saying,

"Take me hoooome.  Make me into French Toooooast."

So I did.

Isn't this a beauty?

Challah Bread
I tried once to make Challah bread from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day method. The above photo is not of mine.  Or else I would make bread for a living.


Here's mine … don't laugh.


I mean it.


Oh well, that's why they make teenagers dogs trash cans. 

Sliced Challah Bread
Back to the good stuff.  The above photo shows slices that are less than 1" thick.  Great for regular French Toast like this…

Crunchy Challah French Toast
But we want French Toast Sticks, so slice the bread, before it's cooked, a full 1" to 1 1/8" wide.  Then cut the slice down the middle lengthwise so each slice makes 2 fat sticks like this size …

I like the idea of fat sticks so they won't flop over.  However, you will have to go find that huge wide-mouthed mug you got as a gift.  You know, the one where you'd have to pour half the pot of coffee just to fill up the mug.  Alyssa loves elephants so she had to have this mug from the San Diego Zoo. 

I use the bottom of a sturdy plastic cup to crush the cereal.  It's greener than using a plastic bag and rolling pin.


Crunchy French Toast Sticks
Compliments of and by Jenna Dish


Two 1" slices of Challah Bread (or similar sturdy bread)
2-3 large eggs
1 large stream of milk (no more than 1/4 cup)
pinch of nutmeg and/or cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)
1 cup crushed breakfast cereal like Special K or Corn Flakes
2 Tbslp butter/ few drops oil for skillet

Cut bread into fat sticks.  In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs, stir in milk, spices, and vanilla (if using).  Put crushed cereal in a separate shallow bowl.  Heat 10" or 12" non-stick skillet on medium heat and melt about 1 tablespoon of butter and a few drops of canola oil (butter alone will burn – oil alone smokes – mixture works best). 

Dip bread one stick at a time in egg mixture, covering completely.  Roll bread stick in cereal covering all sides and lay in skillet, filling skillet but not crowding.  Let cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Remove from pan and keep warm until ready to serve with syrup or fruit.