Prepare A Peck Of Perfect Peppers: (Grilled Peppers Tossed In Lime Juice And Coarse Salt)

Here is something Peter Piper might make, especially if Peter Piper wanted an accompaniment to his nice, cold beer, which he was ready to enjoy on a sunny autumn afternoon. It’s something a little bit different than beer nuts as finger food.


(Yes, I realize I’m writing about cocktails and it’s only Monday.)

(Some people enjoy cocktails on Mondays. They don’t wait until week’s end. Why wait? There’s no need to judge people. It’s been a long week.)

(Yes, already. I can already tell you it’s been a long week.)

Anyhow, here’s what you can do if you have a pile of peppers from your garden. I had these:


But you may use any pepper variety you like. Use your judgement.

Place peppers directly on a medium-high grill straight from the garden.


Let them wilt and blacken in spots, according to your liking, about twenty minutes. Close the grill top, but check the peppers often, turning them occasionally. In a large bowl, toss the cooked peppers with freshly squeezed lime juice and coarse salt to taste. Arrange them as finger food on a serving platter, a pleasing accompaniment to that beer I was discussing earlier. I’m no expert, but I say they pair well with tequila shots. Or white wine. Or gin and tonics. Or beer shots with whiskey chasers followed by cosmopolitans, a few martinis and an ambulance. (You’ll need one and not because of the peppers.)


Finger food! Who needs nuts?


How To Cook Without A Kitchen: Part Three (Slow Cooker Gets A Workout)

When we first began our kitchen renovation, even if I had nowhere to cook or hang out, I was enthusiastic almost as though it were the Christmas season! I’m getting a new kitchen! In the meantime, I can use my grill! I can do creative things with my panini maker or my toaster! I can blog about all the different alternatives a person has for cooking without a kitchen! I can write things using a lot of exclamation points!

(See How To Cook Without A Kitchen Part One and How to Cook Without A Kitchen Part Two).

I am now eleven weeks in.

I feel slightly less “Christmas Morning” and slightly more “Monday Morning.”

But listen! I’m hanging in there with my slow cooker and my grill. I hope I never forget how useful these tools are. Today, I’ll round out my little “How To Cook Without A Kitchen” series with a third post. I’m doing another slow cooker meal, which I will share later in the post. I won’t continue the series, because I don’t want to blog about cooking without a kitchen. I want to blog about cooking WITH a kitchen like other normal human beings.

But I can’t get ahead of myself. Here’s a kitchen update!

Our kitchen was drywalled and spackled last week. This is the view of that from my family room looking into the kitchen:


Another view from the family room, but looking toward the back of the house. Where there were three, long narrow windows, there is one wider window. This will allow for a wall of cabinetry. Here is the window framing prior to window installation:


Here’s a view looking from my foyer into my kitchen. This picture will appear in the next issue of Submarine Living. (Not really, you silly thing.)


I opened the front door so I could back up and give you a longer view, but then Louie got in the way (Kelly in the background):


Here, let’s try this:


Paint swatches on the the wall. It’s all very uninteresting.

My color scheme, however, is interesting:


Cabinetry: Schubert’s Custom Cabinetry, West Reading; Tile products and countertop: Malsnee Tile & Stone, Leesport. Contractor: John Beilhart, Reading.

Upper cabinets will be ivory and lower cabinets will be a green/gray/tan color. The floor is shown, lower right. The counter, upper right (granite). The backsplash will be a taupe-colored glass tile, except larger squares (upper left).

The window was finally installed:



And things are looking brighter.

I can’t wait until my family room is up and running again too!


(Friends are wondering where on Earth Pete watches Sunday afternoon golf on television!)


So keep your fingers crossed for us. We are expected to receive cabinet delivery, countertop installation and refrigerator hook-up this week! Yay!

I’ll leave you with a little slow-cooker recipe. I must say I do like dumping a bunch of stuff in and letting it cook all afternoon with very little effort!

Slow Cooker Vegetable Medley With  Corkscrew Pasta

(Serves 8)


One medium-large eggplant, peeled or skins on, your choice (See Note)
Two large or four small green, yellow or red bell peppers, seeded and cut into thick rings
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes or four tomatoes cut into chunks
One tablespoon minced garlic
Three ounces tomato paste
Four cups water
Sixteen ounces corkscrew pasta, uncooked
One teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
One teaspoon pepper
One-half cup snipped, fresh basil

Note: You may swap vegetables and use mushrooms, zucchini or summer squash, whatever you have on hand will work. I can never decide if I want to peel my eggplant or leave the skin on. The peel is good fiber, but it’s tough. Here’s what I do for a compromise:

Some on. Some off!

Some on. Some off!


  1. Place the vegetables, garlic, crushed/chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and water into the slow cooker. Give it all a stir, and place the cooker on high and cook for four hours. Here’s the view of the raw vegetables after I stirred it:IMG_1123

2. Add the salt, pepper, basil and uncooked pasta. Cook for another ten minutes or until the pasta is tender and ready to eat.

It’s a tasty one-pot meal!


The Great “Peas In Guacamole” Debate

This summer the internet exploded in controversy.

What’s that you ask, the Donald Trump running for President controversy?


Wait. What? Donald Trump’s hair?

Noooooo. That’s more of a conundrum, not a controversy.

No. The controversy has to do with using peas as an ingredient in guacamole as suggested by New York Times contributor, Melissa Clark. The BBC published a detailed article about how it all went down:

[In July Michael Gold of the New York Times tweeted], “Add peas to your guacamole. Trust us,” from the official New York Times account along with a link to a recipe – a recipe that happened to be two years old.

According to Gold, it all started innocently enough with a push to promote the New York Times’ new food app, “Cooking.” The idea was to showcase recipes both new and old on the newspaper’s Twitter account, and other members of the staff pulled several summer-appropriate recipes for Gold to choose from. One of them was the 2013 post about pea guacamole.”

The tweet received 1,000 retweets and 700 favorites within the first 24 hours. Not everyone was happy. Someone suggested peas in guacamole was “possibly the worst food advice ever given.”

The Texas GOP account weighed in on Twitter:

“The @nytimes declared war on Texas when they suggested adding green peas to guacamole,” tweeted the Texas GOP account.

President Obama weighed in on Twitter:

“respect the nyt, but not buying the peas in guac. onions, garlic, hot peppers, classic.” wrote Barack Obama.

So, the two sides agree on something! Who knew?

I decided to give the recipe a whirl! I’m not quite as firm in my feelings about putting peas into things. Here’s what happened:

Green Pea Guacamole

(from Melissa Clark, New York Times)


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Vegan Eggplant Un-Parmesan

With all the eggplant I have coming up in my garden recently, I had a craving for eggplant parmesan! Last week I posted a method for preserving tomatoes using a slow cooker to cook a freezer-friendly spaghetti sauce. A great use for the sauce is:

Vegan Eggplant Un-Parmesan


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Slow Cooker Tomato Preserve (And Other Things That Take A Long Time)

I saw a tweet yesterday:


It’s possible only nerds find that funny. I giggled.

Only sometimes waiting is no laughing matter as in the case of kitchen renovations, which notoriously move at snail’s pace. (Snail’s pace is fine for snails, but not for cooking bloggers.)

Oh, things are happening in my kitchen. Reconfigured plumbing, for one thing. The only problem is, you can’t really show off reconfigured plumbing to friends and neighbors. Here’s how an attempt to show off reconfigured plumbing might go:

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Grilled Pasta Alla Norma Over Zucchini Ribbons

Everything coming out of the garden right now–eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, basil, parsley–practically calls out to us, “Make ratatouille!”


Well, I’ve done that enough! I made an alternative, Pasta Alla Norma, using my grill, of all things. I used to be afraid of grilling vegetables, but not any more. And if you think grills are only for meat, you are just plain silly! But that’s OK, because I love silly people. Just open your mind and open your grill. Both actions will serve you well.

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