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8 Minute Meals

December 6, 2010

When I was first starting to come into my own in the kitchen, I was a big Rachael Ray fan.  I had a few of her cookbooks, and I loved her tv show—it always amazed me how she was able to cook pretty complicated meals in under thirty minutes.

Nowadays, I find her a little *loud* (that’s putting it politely) for my taste—her antics seem to have gotten a bit out of control in the last couple of years, and lately, when I flip to her show, I kind of feel like I’m watching the Kitten Mittons infomercial. 

So much voice inflection! So many hand gestures!

Even so, I still appreciate her uncanny ability to cook tasty meals in less than thirty minutes.  Some nights, you just don’t want to be in the kitchen for an hour.  Or half an hour.  Or hell, fifteen minutes. 

Tonight was one of those nights.

And so, Ray-Ray, I have you beat: 8 minute BBQ tempeh:

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For this, I simply crumpled half a block of tempeh, doused it with some barbeque sauce and about a third of a cup of water, and cooked it down for about 5 minutes over medium heat.  Served it over an Ezekial pita with some carrot sticks, and BAM! Dinner!

Wait, that’s Emeril.  Now I’m getting my Food Network chefs confused.  Pretty soon I’ll be driving around the Hamptons in a convertible, declaring every meal that I make as “fabulous.”  


This has nothing to do with food, but check out the adorable vintage Christmas ornaments that I found at a local antique store this weekend:

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I love these old-fashioned ornaments! When I was little, we had a ton of ornaments just like this that had been passed down to our family from my great-grandmother.  But, over the years, one by one, most of them were broken or replaced with more contemporary ornnaments, and now only a few remain—but those are some of my favorites to hang on the tree.  Finding these ornaments struck a major nostalgia chord with me…so I snatched up a bunch to take home!

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Because we’re not here for very much of December, we don’t have a tree, so I had to find an alternative method of display: I put them all in a big silver bowl for a coffee table decoration.  Cute!

Hope you’ve had a great weekend!

17 Comments leave one →
  1. December 6, 2010 1:40 am

    I love all your ornaments! they remind me of xmas time when I was growing up. My mom & grandma had tons of ornaments!

    • December 6, 2010 2:27 am

      I remember you saying that about my juice glass collection too! I think your grandma and I could have been friends 🙂

  2. December 6, 2010 1:56 am

    Those ornaments are awesome =) It’s great that they hold so many memories for you too (not being the exact ones from your childhood but being pretty darn close visually!)

    I forget where I saw it, but there’s someone who sautees up a plate of veggies and puts bbq sauce on them on a regular basis…. now I want to put it on everything all day everyday. haha


    • December 6, 2010 2:28 am

      A few of them actually look exactly the same! Pretty cool!

  3. December 6, 2010 12:10 pm

    I love your ornament display! Just as good as a tree! 🙂

    Dinner looks great! I agree, RR is a little loud to say the least, but I do love her quick meals!

  4. December 6, 2010 1:03 pm

    I’ve done something similar with salsa + tempeh instead of BBQ + tempeh…I love how versatile the stuff is!

    Gorgeous ornaments. I’ve always loved the glass-ball-display look when I see it in decorating catalogs!

  5. December 6, 2010 2:16 pm

    haha. My husband always moans and groans when I turn on Rachael Ray. He doesn’t comprehend how her husband deals with her all the time. I do enjoy a lot of her recipes (although I usually lighten them up a tad). Dinner looks fab. And LOVE the ornaments in a bowl. I have ornaments in vases around my house too 🙂

    • December 6, 2010 4:45 pm

      Lol…my husband has made comments like that too 🙂 Giada, on the other hand, I’m pretty sure he would leave me for. 🙂

      • JenATX permalink
        December 21, 2010 12:27 am

        yep, my boyfriend feels the same way about Giada. Idk if I’ve mentioned this before, but does anyone else find it strange that she sometimes smiles while she’s chopping or stirring? Giada, you aren’t performing. You’re cooking.

      • December 21, 2010 12:28 am

        Ha! Yes! And she kind of has a weird smile too 🙂

  6. December 6, 2010 4:31 pm

    I love tempeh.

    I love BBQ Sauce.

    I love your meal. 🙂

  7. December 6, 2010 6:02 pm

    Your ornaments are so cool! The photos are beautiful too. I’ve never tried tempeh- I’m tempted to though! Is it similar to tofu?

  8. December 6, 2010 8:34 pm

    Oh tell me about it.. so often I’m just too lazy to spend ages in the kitchen.. Your tempeh dish looks lovely!

    But those ornaments look gorgeous!!!! We have lots of similar ones at home which were also passed down. Christmas isn’t such a big thing over here but I love pretty Christmas trees. 🙂

  9. December 6, 2010 9:36 pm

    Ha, great episode of It’s Always Sunny…, my hubby is obsessed with that show. The tempeh looks wonderful!

    I just added a bunch of similar ornaments to my tree that my mom dug up from her childhood years, they’re so fun and I got them since my sisters were afraid they’d fall victim to their little kids. 🙂

  10. December 6, 2010 10:00 pm

    Hello dinner idea. I have tempeh marinating in BBQ sauce right now. THanks doggie!

  11. Ginger permalink
    December 7, 2010 12:06 am

    Beautiful ornaments! I laughed about Rachel Ray – you know you actually introduced me to her show, as well as The Bachelor, way back when you were at College of Charleston. I can’t believe I’m nostalgic for those days now! And, as far as the ad for Kitten Mittens, sometimes, I wonder if Dad and I did something wrong when we were raising you. Nah!! You’re perfect the way you are!!

  12. December 7, 2010 3:03 pm

    I need to go antiquing with you! These ornaments are fantastic.

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