Posts made in March, 2015

Shifting Sides

Posted by on Mar 18, 2015 in Breakfast and Brunch | 2 comments

Strata, similar to a frittata or a layered casserole is a quintessential American brunch or potluck wonder. Cubed bread, eggs, and cheese combine naturally to form layers of savory baked squares. With oodles of bread and cheese choices, tasty aromatic and vegetable additions, plus the simple convenience of overnight preparation; it is ideal for taking on the road.  Strata is perfect for a morning Bible study spread; wedged next to crudities, puffed quiche, mini  fruit muffins, studded pastries,  crunchy granola cups, tangy yogurt, and deviled eggs.










Truth be told, I have never been bowled over by frozen artichoke hearts.  They seem sort of bland and coarse.  The allure of Cooking Light’s recent Artichoke and Spinach Strata was the use of frozen vegetables (from TJ’s) ready for thawing.  The recipe reviews weren’t very encouraging either.  But, I had the stuff and I upgraded it to MP approved status anyway. My first thought was the size of the dish seemed off.  For my purposes, 9x13 seemed right—so I matched the increased size of Trader Joes’ products accordingly-- with more bread, eggs, milk, and cheese.








I didn’t bother cooking the spinach; I just thawed it and squeezed it dry.  I combined the ingredients, adjusting the eggs to 6 jumbo, the Jack to 6 ounces, and covered the top with Parmesan.  I bumped the milk up to 2 1/4 cups 2% and the Dijon to 1 tablespoon.








The bread needs to be wet.








Also, amp up all the seasonings; that carries every bite of flavor.








The strata chilled overnight.  In the morning, it was set on the counter for at least an hour.  It baked covered for 40-45 minutes and then uncovered until it was golden brown.









I set it on the long buffet with a substantial square missing.  (MP sighs a little when he sees a savory dish leaving our compound).  It was gone in very short order.  Another meatless side dish to offer this springtime--



Read More

Counting Moments

Posted by on Mar 16, 2015 in New | 2 comments

This post marks my 500th blurb here at cococooks.  It has been a remarkable footpath; my eye and thoughts stay in the moment-- remembering you who take the time to log-in and share my day.   Now, I am counting to one-thousand jotting down simple things that give me joy; naming them one by one. --A bruised soul –celebrating the power of naming blessings in real time.

Now in the Bible a name… reveals the very essence of a thing, or rather its essence as God’s gift. …To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God.  To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.—Alexander Schmemann


  1. Cooing doves on a still morning
  2. Wind in the trees breezing through an open door
  3. Ryder’s sweet voice calling me, coco
  4. The heavy scent of perfumed magnolias after dark
  5. The beep—then the childhood smell of toast and coffee
  6. The old grandfather clock keeping time like a heartbeat
  7. The pages of the newspaper ruffled and rattling as he turns the story
  8. Marinara bubbling dark and spicy clamoring for shellfish and pasta nests
  9. The fresh sunrise in a glass of blood orange juice
  10. Buttermilk skies
  11. Van Morrison heralding  a brand new day
  12. The Pink
  13. Tumbled sea glass and sky







Who else is counting?




Read More

Cousin Love-In

Posted by on Mar 13, 2015 in New | 1 comment

We ate six pizzas, conquered salad mountains and

 sweetened the night with Britton's Gluten-free Brownies

Rushing toward Ryder, Wyatt threw his arms out from his sides and said, “One last hug!"

Read More

“Not Everyone Eats Like You”

Posted by on Mar 11, 2015 in Meat | 1 comment

Family dinners for our tribe look different now.  Carnivores sit alongside Dairy-free, Gluten-free or Veg-Flexitarians and ‘No Thank-You Bite’ floaters.  My sister reminded me, “Not everyone eats like you.”  So, I pulled off Curried Beef Short Ribs because my family is company.









Prepared in a slow cooker this recipe is a winner for making ahead.








Season the beef well-- just like The Pioneer Woman.








Brown the meat and








move it to the slow cooker;








sauté the shallots, garlic, and ginger.  Stir in water, curry paste, coconut milk, sugar, and fish sauce.








Stir the coconut mixture into the ribs; cover and walk away for six whole hours!








Straining the liquid was a bit messy, but it finally landed over shredded beef and steamed rice; I made it fancy with scallion and cilantro.











My nephew, Scott and I agreed it is morph-worthy feisty street food. Rich Asian flavors wrapped up with pickled slaw and a slather of something sassy.


Read More

So Close to the Cross

Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in New | 1 comment

There is no language he will not speak.

He speaks in any language that we will understand.

He Chose the Nails—Max Lucado

Read More