Marste is a daily reader (and frequent commenter) here. She and her mother Marlyle (who is TOTALLY new to the blogosphere) had been kicking around the idea of writing a cookbook, but never could get past the tedium of actually doing it. So in the spirit of seizing the day, they decided to blog it instead!
Since Marlyle is a vegetarian and Marste is an avowed carnivore, their cooking styles are obviously different. What they DO have in common is a love for experimenting with food, and a commitment to eating as healthily as they can for their bodies. Since that means different things for each of them, you’ll find a wide variety of recipes featured on their blog as it grows.
They also agree on one more thing: they’re incredibly excited to be featured on MizFit’s site (she of all things fitness-fantastic!), and appreciate the opportunity to introduce themselves!
Marste: I think the way this started was back in 2008 when I was home sick one day, watching the Food Network. I called my mom and announced, “I think we should start a cooking show!”
Mom: I said that to you months ago, you turkey, and you told me it was too complicated!!
Me: You did? Oh. Well, now I think it’s a good idea!
Mom/Marlyle: I actually said that to you three years before.
Marste: You did? I don’t think it was that long.
Mom/Marlyle: looks dubious, nods head – Mm-hmmm.
Marste: So why did you think we could start a cooking show?
Mom/Marlyle: Because everybody seems to think we’re funny when we’re together, regardless of whether or not we’re cooking. We bicker, we swear and call each other names, and people don’t know what to make of that.
Marste: I wish I could say that was a lie. But the cooking show turned out to be complicated. Plus we didn’t have any credentials, which we found out was kind of a prerequisite.
Mom/Marlyle: No, all we had was people asking constantly for recipes that neither of us ever wrote down and so couldn’t give out. For a while, Chelsea (my youngest daughter) was coming into the kitchen with a notepad and pen when I was fixing dinner. She wanted to write the recipes down, because I wouldn’t do it!
Marste: Yeah. Why write it down when you can just make something new next time? And who needs recipes when I already know what to do with the stuff in my fridge? (Please ignore my ENORMOUS collection of cookbooks in light of that statement. I hardly ever use them for anything but inspiration. ) But I’d seen some good cooking blogs that turned into books, and I called Mom and announced that I had a new plan! (Please imagine Mom rolling her eyes right about now.) We would start a COOKING BLOG!!!! (More eye-rolling.)
Marlyle: You really need to add that I’m fairly computer illiterate. I’d never been on a blog in my LIFE.
Marste: The original idea was to cook together, but well . . . Mom doesn’t eat meat. And I eat a LOT of meat. Problem the first, right there.
Marlyle: Plus there’s the slight problem that you live 2 hours north of me. Getting together to cook nightly dinners was NEVER going to happen! Ha! But I can’t eat lots of starch without gaining lots of weight (and most vegetarian cookbooks are FULL of starch), and I didn’t want to do gain weight. I couldn’t understand why people couldn’t just get filled up on vegetables. But that meant I had to do some experimenting. I HATE THE TASTE OF “HEALTH FOOD.” So I had to figure out how to make vegetarian food that TASTED good. (Just so you know, my mother was from the South – I’d rather eat “comfort food” than health food!)
Marste: But I need a LOT more protein than Mom does. When I ate vegetarian, I was always tired. Adding meat back in helped a LOT.
Marlyle: Vegetables have protein!!
Marste: *Snort*. WhatEVER. Do you know how many vegetables I would have to eat to get enough protein?? I eat more vegetables than most people, but even I can’t put that many away!
Marste: So that’s it! We started a blog: “To Meat or Not to Meat: A Vegetarian Mother and a Carnivorous Daughter, Living in Peace. Relatively Speaking.” I post recipes on Sunday, and Mom posts Wednesday, and sometimes in between we post whatever random food-based things we think of. Eventually, we hope that blog will become a website with recipes for both beginner and advanced cooks, as well as some other cool stuff. And maybe, just MAYBE we’ll get a cookbook (or 2 or 3) out of it. (And I’m not ruling out a cooking show, either. In case the Food Network is listening.)
As a sneak preview of coming attractions, below are a couple of recipes (one from each of us) that will be published on our blog in the next week or two! Enjoy!
Before you run screaming, you should know that I’ve fed this to many, many people who dislike eggplant, AND THEY LIKE THIS!!! (They still don’t like other eggplant dishes!) I think it’s because I don’t—DO NOT!—salt the water in which the eggplant is cooked. Salting it (ostensibly to remove bitterness and water, which cooking does) gives it a very sharp, bitter taste, which none of us like! AND this eggplant isn’t peeled or fried! Woohoo! Less work! I hope you try this and enjoy it! Happy eating!
2 medium eggplants
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1/8 tsp. garlic powder (or 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tsp. jarred garlic, or 1 frozen cube)
1 heaping tsp. dried basil (or 1 Tbl. fresh, chopped)
1 tsp. paprika (not smoked)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. flour
1 tsp. sugar (Taste the sauce while it’s cooking. If it’s sour or bitter, add another tsp. sugar!)
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. Simmer, covered, in unsalted water for 10 minutes. Drain.
While the eggplant is cooking, combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil, paprika, salt, pepper, sugar, and flour in a sauce pan. Cook over medium high heat until it’s slightly thickened.
In a 9×13 baking dish, layer all the eggplant, the mozzarella, and the tomato mix. Top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned. MMMMMMM!
If Bouillabaisse had a Cousin . . .
It would be this quick and easy, one-pot seafood stew. High in protein, low in just about everything else, this will warm the cockles of your heart on a winter night. (Yeah. I said “cockles.” Stop snickering!)
Makes 6-8 large servings or 8-10 medium ones
2 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
3 large celery ribs, chopped
1 onion, chopped (or 1 cup chopped onion)
3-4 Tbs chopped fresh thyme (the entire contents of one small grocery-store package)
3-4 Tbs chopped fresh flat-leaf (sometimes called Italian) parsley (the entire contents of one small grocery-store package)
1 cup white wine
4 cups chicken broth
2 15-oz cans UNSALTED diced tomatoes (the unsalted part is important)
1 Tbs Old Bay seasoning
3 pounds assorted fish (I use 1 lb each: shrimp, scallops, tilapia)
juice of 2 lemons, plus extra lemons for serving alongside
In a stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, celery, thyme and parsley, and sauté until the onions get soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add the wine, broth, tomatoes and Old Bay seasoning, and bring to a boil.
While the broth mixture heats, chop the tilapia (or other fish) into large (approx 2-inch) pieces. When the broth boils, lower the heat, add all the fish and shellfish, as well as the juice of 2 lemons. Stir gently to combine, then cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and/or the fish flakes with a fork.
Serve with a lemon half for each person to squeeze into their bowl, and some crusty bread for sopping up the broth. I also like a little pepper on mine. *happy sigh*
There you have it, Oh Bumbling Band.
A new blog to read, an amazinghilarious mother/daughter duo, & some sneak peak recipes to boot.
What more could you ask for
except for the M&Ms to come to your domicile & whip you up some taste sensations, right? Im working on this last part.