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Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad with Mint Dijon Vinaigrette

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Fortunately we still had mint in the garden bed, not a lot, but enough for this delicious salad. We have made many beet salads here of late, but when you cook with what is in season you will have repeated ingredients, but there is no reason to have repeated recipes. And I am very happy I made this salad. 

This is my first lentil salad, but it will not be my last. I was a bit nervous cooking the lentils to get them just right, cooked but not mushy, and I am proud to say it is fairly easy. I did a couple of taste tests along the way, about 4 minutes apart and took them off the heat at that "they could use another minute" stage, knowing they would soften a bit when cooling. 

If you like beets and/or lentils, I hope you give this salad a try, it really is so good. It is also perfect as a light supper or a meat-less entree if desired. This is adapted from a recipe found in Urban Pantry - tips & recipes for a thrifty, sustainable and seasonal kitchen. I had picked this book up, along with many others from our visit to the library last week. I upped the flavor with additional vinaigrette as the salad seemed a bit dry for my tastes and made a change in how the onions were presented, but the overall salad is right out of the book. 


Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad with Mint Dijon Vinaigrette, can also be served as a light dinner or meat-less entree.
Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad with Mint Dijon Vinaigrette

Roasted Beet and Lentil Salad with Mint Dijon Vinaigrette
adapted from: Urban Pantry - tips & recipes for a thrifty, sustainable and seasonal kitchen

3 medium beets, scrubbed and cooked until tender, you may cook on the stove or roast in the oven. Note: this can be completed ahead, refrigerate after slipping the skins. When ready to assemble the salad, dice the beets. 


Oven roasted beets are very tender and sweet in this salad.
1 medium onion, cut in half crosswise 
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 c black lentils (you will want these lentils for a salad, they are firmer and do not mush up as easily)
1 t salt
water

1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 t salt
fresh ground pepper
1/4 c thinly sliced mint leaves

1/2 c feta cheese

Slice 4 1/4 inch slices from the center of the onion, set aside. 



Combine the leftover onion piece (saving the other half for another use), 2 cloves garlic, bay leaf, salt, lentils and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 25 minutes until tender. Very important, do not over cook, you want firm lentils. 


Simmering lentils.

When lentils are tender, drain in a fine mesh sieve. Find and reserve the garlic cloves, to be used in the vinaigrette. 


Blanch the onion in hot oil, to soften the flavor and raw crunch for this salad.
To make the vinaigrette, heat the olive oil in a medium size pan, mince the reserved sliced onion (save the other half for another use). Add minced onion to the hot oil, it should sizzle, stir and let the onion blanch in the oil for 1 minute, onion should not brown and will not be cooked. Set aside to cool.

When the oil has cooled, add  the remaining ingredients, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper, and the sliced mint leaves. Mash the reserved garlic and stir into the vinaigrette. 

Remove the cooked onion and bay leaf from the cooked lentils, and place in a large bowl, add the reserved beets and feta cheese. Pour the vinaigrette over the lentils and beets, gently combine. Taste and adjust final seasoning if desired. Refrigerate until serving time. Let come to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving, stir gently and serve. 


Roasted Beets and Lentil Salad with Mint Dijon Vinaigrette and Feta

Enjoy!




Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

this post is shared with:
souper sundays @ kahakai kitchen


Sunday Supper Suggestion, 5 minute Brownies

Celebrate the family with your own Sunday Supper. Sunday Supper is one of our favorite ways to bring the family together! We offer the following suggestion, and hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

I have been making these brownies for ages! They originally came from the side of the Hershey's can, I think, but no matter they are delicious, easy, economical and we made them again last night. They aren't much more difficult than a box mix, so, make some already!


I have them titled in my aging recipe binder as 5 Minute Brownies, which leads me to believe they were part of a recipe series. Not too long ago I shared a delicious 5 Minute Chocolate Cake. And they really don't take much more time than that. All mixing is done by hand.

Another childhood favorite, 5 Minute Brownies.
5 Minute Brownies

5 Minute Brownies
adapted from Hershey's (I think)
makes 1 9X13 pan
350-degree oven

3/4 c cocoa
1/2 t soda
2/3 c oil - divided
1/2 boiling water
2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt

1-2 c broken walnuts - if desired


In a large bowl, combine cocoa, soda and 1/3 c of the oil.




Add boiling water. The mixture will foam up.















Add the remaining 1/3 c oil, and sugar beating well. Add eggs and vanilla, beat again.  Add flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in until mixture is smooth and no dry pockets remain.


Turn into a prepared 9X13 pan, sprinkle with nuts.

Bake 35 - 40 minutes or until done in your oven. Let cool, cut into bars.


Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!

PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

this post shared with:
dishing it and digging it @ rustic and refined

Turn your desk into a "stand up" workstation.

This is not our usual topic to share, but when I mentioned what my husband was building for me, I was asked to share the results, so we are about to do that. This is an outline or suggestion if you will, as there are so many different styles of computer desks. You can see what we did and make the changes you might want.

To begin: We share one room for office and crafts, and it gets a bit crowded, especially since I have begun working on Christmas gifts. But it really began some time ago, when I realized that my computer desk did not fit the space and more importantly, it did not fit me, in that I felt very crowded. Crowded as things were, I was not able to comfortably move the office chair to sit down or get up. Worse still was that the chair pad kept moving away from the desk as the chair glided over the top. Frequently it would need to put back in front of the desk.

Which seemed to happen almost daily, urrrgh.

But there was more, because things did not fit, I was hunched over to operate all the different items needed, keyboard, mouse, camera, etc. And thank you very much but nature is doing a fine job of rounding my back and shoulders, I don't need help there!

And then I had that ahh-ha moment. Years ago I stood all day in front of a computer serving the public, it seemed to me, it was time to go back in time.....

So I asked my dear husband to build me a platform to put the desk on and turn it into a standing workstation. So he did.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • If your computer desk has wheels/casters take that into effect for measuring. You will want the frame directly on the platform for stability.
  • Make sure you have room for your feet, or else you won't be comfortable. We built in a toe-kick.
  • Leave room for any cords or electrical outlets that might be behind the desk by leaving the back open. You are then able to slide the platform closer to the wall, saving valuable room space. 
  • We used (note: We usually refers to my dear husband doing the work, I disclose this because I do believe in truth in all things, especially here on the blog!) 2X8 lumber, it is strong enough to hold the desk and equipment and was about the right height that we needed. If you need more height, 2X10 might serve your needs better.  
And now...
Use 2X8 lumber to make a platform and turn your computer desk into a stand up workstation!
From desk to workstation!
Starting at upper left and moving right:

There is a toe kick, giving room for your feet and the ability to get close to the keyboard.

The back side is open for electrical wires and outlets to fit under the platform.

Before the change over, messy desk and big office chair took up so much space!!!

After, now I have a sleek workstation!

Now all we need to move the snarky artwork that was above the desk, I still need a good chuckle from time to time!

Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for
Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!

this post shared with:
dishing it and digging it @ rustic and refined
merry monday @ meatloaf and melodrama

Wow, That's A Lot Of Bacon in my Beans, a slow cooker recipe

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

I have noticed in my cooking routines that I absentmindedly repeat what I saw my mother do in her kitchen. Case in point, I rinse the tomato product cans with water and add the "tomato wash" to whatever it is I am cooking. Just like she did. 

I always knew I had brought my Grandmother into my kitchen. It was always such a treat to spend time with her as a child, I kept those memories close. We always cooked together as she did not eat out often. Eating out was a treat for Grandmother, but I was always glad we stayed at home, when I spent time at her house. 

But now that I have more time for cooking, I see my Mother in my kitchen also. This has been a pleasure to realize, as each lady was a lifelong cook. They each cooked every day, using what was in the kitchen and pantry, to cook for those they loved. I am proud to say, that is my legacy and one I am passing on to my daughter. We enjoy cooking together and planning what to cook for the next family gathering. 
My beautiful daughter!
Right now in our kitchen, it was time for another pot of beans. I don't say that with dread as my dear mother use to do. No, instead we look forward to another pot of delicious beans. There are no boundaries with beans, they are wonderful just about any way you cook them. The last pot of beans contained no meat, they are served as a side dish to a sandwich or light meal. This time called out for meat. So we did!

Don't let the ingredient list throw you off, while the Jowl bacon is browning, it is easy to have the slow cooker loaded, then just stir in the bacon and let it all mingle and cook. 


Wow, That's a lot of Bacon in my Beans, a slow cooker recipe.
Wow, That's a lot of Bacon in my Beans.
Wow, That's A Lot of Bacon in my Beans
by the seat of my pants
a slow cooker recipe

2 pounds Jowl bacon cut into 1-inch pieces

1 pound of white navy beans, soaked overnight or quick soak - well drained 
1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, small dice
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c brown sugar
1/3 c molasses
2 T honey
2 T yellow mustard (ball park style)
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t chili powder
2 t thyme leaves, crushed
1 12-oz bottle dark beer
fresh ground pepper
1/2 t salt - start with this small amount, you can adjust before serving
water - if needed


Rendering bacon of excess fat. 

Slowly brown the jowl bacon to render excess fat. 

Load the slow cooker with remaining ingredients through, the 1/2 t salt.  


Wow, That's a lot of Bacon in my Beans

Add the bacon and just enough water to cover the beans. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until done in your slow cooker. (like ovens, they are all different!) 

Enjoy!


Thank you for visiting Our Sunday Cafe, as always we appreciate your time when you visit and your wonderful comments! 

If you like what you see here, we would appreciate it if you told your friends (we would love more followers!), if not, tell us. Our goal is to share relevant information that you will use and enjoy. 

And now, it is very easy to sign up for Our Sunday Cafe posts by email. You will find the form located in the left sidebar, thank you for subscribing!


PS, you may also enjoy our Homemade Household page, it can be found right at the top of the blog!


this post shared with:
celebrate it @ freshman cook
friday favorites @ condo blues
foodie friday friends @ walking on sunshine
funtastic friday @ olives and okra
friendship friday @ create with joy
foodie friday @ rattlebridge farm
weekend cooking @ beth fish reads
whats for dinner @ the lazy gastronome
merry monday @ meatloaf and melodrama

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