Can We Eat This Yet? You Better Ask Nana! - Penny Lane Blog at - 268978

Penny Lane

Can we eat this yet? You better ask Nana! 
Feb. 29, 2012 5:10 pm 
Updated: Mar. 20, 2012 1:08 am
"Don't eat the berries!"  ......
"Are you done with that? Can we eat it?"  ..... 
"Nana, can we have some now?"  ..... 
"Who ate the bacon?" .....
"I didn't know I wasn't supposed to eat that."  ....
"You better ask Nana!"  ......

February has been a whirlwind of activity in my kitchen. For anyone that follows my blogs, you know that I set out to use what I had in the freezer and pantry.  As an AR Ambassador we are asked to make 3 faceless recipes. 

At the beginning of the month I set a personal goal to complete 29 faceless recipes. My thinking was, one new recipe a day for the month.   By mid February I had completed my goal of 29 - did I stop..... heck no!   

I had to keep feeding my addiction.  So who do I feed all this food to, other than NB Papa?  My hungry grandchildren.  They arrive after school STARVING.  "Jewels" coined the phrase "The Locust" - oh so true!  They are indeed my Lovable Locust.  They are the ultimate taste testers - willing to take on anything I might dish out.  

I did complete my activities for Fiber One and then returned to my quest for a new challenge.  All in all - as of February 28th I had completed 62 new recipes - with photographs and reviews.  (At least I think I managed to review them all - I better double check.)  

What I didn't realize then, was this would become an addiction. 
Thanks Pam3BoysMama.  See what you created!    :)

I am sure that my kids and grand-kids are starting to worry about me.  As for No Baking Papa - well, he is used to my antics.  He just shakes his head and eats what is offered.  

The Rules:
1) The recipe must need a picture.
2) It must sound like something we would like.
3) It must use ingredients that I have on hand.

I will not bore you with every recipe but just highlight a few that I think are memorable. 

Southern Chicken Salad 
Here is a recipe that I have had in my box for months.  Another hit!   The crunch of the cashews & celery, the sweetness of the grapes was wonderful.  The amount of dressing is excessive - I used maybe a third of the stated amount.  Will I make this again?  You bet!  It is going on the catering list!  

Serendipity Bread  
I made this for the grand-kids that were spending the night.  They ranked this and A+
They don't understand the star system.  
I served it with spaghetti and a salad.  Easy and delicious.  It was devoured!    It is a keeper.  

Creamy Asparagus and Peas

I made this on a night that NB Papa wasn't interested in dinner - he is not fond of asparagus and I love it!  I reduced the pasta by half but kept the sauce the same - WONDERFUL!  See my review.  This is going on the menu for sure!   Oh, BTW - I used some really thick Peppered Bacon for this and I am sure that it what put it over the top!  

Donna's Nest Eggs 
We all loved these 'Scotch Eggs'  and the Honey and Onion Mustard Sauce.  I haven't made Scotch Eggs in probably 35 years - they involve frying pork and although I ate many while living in England, my one lone attempt here stateside was a frying disaster.  These were great - the grandkids and NB Papa loved them.  Wouldn't they be great for Easter?   Plotting and planning.....  These are going on the menu for sure.

Parsnip and Carrot Puree

These were the biggest surprise of the month.  
I had been to Winco and found Parsnips - bought four large Parsnips and came home looking for a recipe.  These were wonderful....probably the best thing I made all month.  RUN do not walk to get parsnips.  They look like big white carrots.  I didn't need to add anything to these - maybe it is prime Parsnip season.  I don't know, but I will be making these again for sure!  

Buttery Lace Cookies

This is my one and only dessert creation for the month.  I had to learn the hard way to read the reviews (I know, I know....lessons learned!)  These were really good but make way more than the stated amount of 56 and if you use 1 teaspoon per cookie you will have a complete sheet pan  full of cookie mess.   About 1/4 tsp per cookie and they were perfect.  These fed the locust, the neighbors, the gardener and NB Papa.  Will I make them again?  You bet!  These are going on the catering list. 
Slow Roasted Beef for Sandwiches. 
This is a special 'personal recipe' from bd.weld.  So good!  This is a great method that I would recommend to anyone.  See my review to see how I had to adapt this to my electric oven - none the less, it is a keeper for sure.  My daughter is on her way to buy Eye of Round just to have me make this for her and her family of locust.

Mashed Potatoes with Spinach Pesto

I will leave you with this recipe.  
Perfect for St. Patrick's Day.  A  perfect way to start March.   As written this is doomed for failure.  I used all the same ingredients but a different method and it was a huge success.  For our St. Patrick's Day meal I will make these without the garlic and sub either onion or green onions, as the garlic is very distinct.  
Please see my review for success!

I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador(a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Penny Lane. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Penny aka Baking Nana. 
Feb. 29, 2012 5:30 pm
Such a well done blog. Well written and the photos are unbelievable. I wish I could take credit for the eye of round recipe. I just put in my recipe box so I would have it on hand while I'm in "My Office". I hope to meet you in May at the LV round up. Yes, mauigirl twisted my arm.
Feb. 29, 2012 5:37 pm
bd.weld - A recipe / method shared is a a gift....this is your gift to us. A great recipe /method. I can't wait to meet you in Las Vegas! I will be there with 'bells on'! In my mind this is "your" recipe. Thanks for the gift of sharing.
Feb. 29, 2012 6:04 pm
Great blog! Thanks for sharing some of your recipe favorites from the month!
Feb. 29, 2012 6:11 pm
Holy Cow, B'Nana, you are a cooking fiend! I enjoy the kitchen, but I like other things, too! And if that weren't enough, you're a pretty good photographer to boot. I have a friend who swears by parsnips, but I haven't taken the plunge tempt me, though!
Feb. 29, 2012 6:14 pm
Loved your blogs this month BN! The pictures and descriptions were great. I think these blogs challenged many of us to "shop from our freezers". I too enjoy making faceless recipes. Thanks for sharing your talents with us.
Feb. 29, 2012 6:15 pm
My sister told me how to save things in the frig (like candy bars)Wrap them with foil and make it look like a one will touch it! LOL!
Feb. 29, 2012 6:16 pm
That beef is PERFECT! Makes me hungry!
Feb. 29, 2012 6:19 pm
62 new recipes...that is truly inspiring! Nice that you have locust to feed. Wonderful pictures. Wonderful blog.
Feb. 29, 2012 6:42 pm
the Serendipity Bread looks good to me, maybe some roasted chicken would be good too added with it. me and my wife like feta cheese.
Feb. 29, 2012 6:48 pm
Wow! 62 new recipes in a month! My family thinks I fix a lot of new recipes. They just don't know, do they?! Very enjoyable blog. I loved reading about your favorites this month.
Feb. 29, 2012 7:18 pm
Alley - Thanks for stopping in. There were so many good ones if was hard to choose which ones to feature. This has been a fun adventure.
Feb. 29, 2012 7:22 pm
Hi Bibi - Oh I do other things too. Gardening is a favorite. Cooking for my clients and of course playing with the kids. I start my day at 4 am - start the bread etc... head out for a walk with the dog and get back in time to start in the kitchen. It's a good life.
Feb. 29, 2012 7:26 pm
Hi Molly - Thank you so much for your kind comments. Believe it or not I still have chicken in the freezer! I really needed to stop buying and start using! I wonder what March holds in store for me.....
Feb. 29, 2012 7:30 pm
LOL - Cindy! No Baking Papa hid Halloween candy in the produce bin! Nobody looks in there! I will tell him about the foil - fool proof for sure! bd.weld's method for that beef was spot on. I hope you try it!
Feb. 29, 2012 7:38 pm
Marie C. - I am indeed blessed! Those lovable locust are the light of my life. They arrive with a hug and a smile and are the most appreciative group I have in my life. Who could ask for more? They even liked the bright green potatoes!
Feb. 29, 2012 7:40 pm
Oh, BN, you amaze us!! Have so enjoyed your Feb blogs you have shared with us. This one was amazing. BTW,,,, I was at the grocery store this aft and they had BLSL breasts on sale for $1.29 per pound. I smiled and walked by the meat case.... and thought of you. I was so proud that I walked by!! (However, the sale goes thru next Tues, so I must continue to be strong!!) Again, thx for sharing!
Feb. 29, 2012 7:41 pm
King Sparta - I tried a couple of new chicken recipes this month - none were so stellar as to feature. The bread was really good though and you can add what you like. Enjoy!
Feb. 29, 2012 7:47 pm
Paula- did you notice that I ditched the fried chicken etc.... ???? These weren't exactly WW friendly but easily could be. NB Papa is still waiting for a repeat of any recipe. BTW - some of the "recipes" I made can hardly be classified as real recipes - but they did need a picture! Thank for stopping in.
Feb. 29, 2012 7:53 pm
Hi Chris! $1.29 !!! - How did you resist???? This is why I try to stay out of the grocery store - well, unless I have a plan and a list. This has been a great challenge and has made me think about each and everything in a recipe and each and everything I have on hand. This is a great adventure. I don't know what March will bring.
Mar. 1, 2012 5:13 am
That was a cooking marathon if ever there was one! Are you going to give your kitchen (and yourself) a well-deserved break for a while??? If not going out to eat, at least consider take-out. Well done!
Mar. 1, 2012 5:27 am
Great blog Baking Nana. For several years, I was a drop in for a quick recipe on AR. Then we started preparing for our move across the Pacific and I appraised my freezer and pantry and I started using the AR ingredient search religiously. That one feature helped me plow through so many groceries and I found some winners in the process too. Anything not opened went to the local food bank and I had my girlfriends over to raid all the other groceries they might need. As my grandma & mama always said...."Waste not,want not".
Mar. 1, 2012 7:29 am
Great blog and great pictures. You have been one busy lady. Everything looks so delicious.
Mar. 1, 2012 7:34 am
Ooooh those cookies look good! So does that beef. Great pictures and recipes to share again!
Mar. 1, 2012 8:06 am
Good morning, lutzflcat! I won't be taking much of a break. Actually, it has really been nice making new recipes. We went out to eat with some friends a week or so ago - our share of the bill was only $40. but I still found myself thinking about the nice cut of meat I could buy for $40. It would sure feed more than 2 people, one meal. Thanks for stopping in.
Mar. 1, 2012 8:09 am
Hi mauigirl - Isn't the search feature the best? I love it. It really helps to find different recipes for some of the picky people I cook for. It is always nice to find some winners along the way!
Mar. 1, 2012 8:18 am
The roast, asparagus and peas pasta and the parsnip and carrot puree seem to be a fitting Sunday main meal! Certainly will be colorful Thank you, Baking Nana!
Mar. 1, 2012 8:19 am
Baking Nana, you are so talented. I love the way you use natural light to shoot your recipe photos. Just beautiful!
Mar. 1, 2012 8:27 am
Very impressive BN! I've been "shopping my freezer" too, though I just have that little freezer above my fridge. I don't cook a lot of meat though, so even though I've been doing that there's still lots left in there! Three weeks in a row I've grocery shopped just for produce and things like milk, sour cream and a couple of pantry items I was out of. Even when the extra lean ground beef was on sale for $2.99/lb at two different stores! I still have like four pounds of it in my freezer from when it was at that price in December, so I figure I am ok to wait until the next time it goes on sale, or the time after that even! Just this week I used up a bunch of stewing beef from the freezer (which I bought solely because it seemed like a good price, I rarely cook it), a pound of ground beef and I cooked and shredded three chicken breasts that were quite freezer burned, and returned the cooked meat to the freezer to use later. Curious, how do you cook your chicken for chicken salad? I tend not to buy anything but boneless chicken breasts and when I want to cook the chicken plain to use in something else, I usually go with poaching but the finished breast always seems to want to be shredded, it doesn't chop well without falling apart. Maybe roasting would work better? Can I do that for blsl? I mean of course I CAN but would that be better?
Mar. 1, 2012 8:36 am
Thanks for stopping in Susie. It was hard to pick which ones to feature. We had some real keepers and a couple of dogs too. :/
Mar. 1, 2012 8:40 am
Hi Cat. The kids are asking about those cookies. They were a hit for sure. I have to say - the beef was wonderful. I am going to use this same slow roast method on a pork loin too. I will report back on that adventure. :)
Mar. 1, 2012 8:43 am
Good morning Mike. I love colorful food! Those carrots and parsnips were so pretty and delicious too! I didn't use all the butter the recipe called for and they were still great. Thanks for stopping in.
Mar. 1, 2012 8:50 am
Hi Lela. Morning light is the best! I often plate something in the evening and wait till the next day to photograph it. I have a very expensive Nikon DSLR camera that is gathering dust. I use an inexpensive Nikon Cool Pix L110 It is my "kitchen" camera. Got it at Costco for $150 - they were clearing them out cheap and I scored. But you are right, lighting is everything when it comes to photography.
Mar. 1, 2012 8:59 am
Good morning Alex. The chicken you see there is from a whole roasted chicken. If I roast I use either whole chickens or breasts with skin and bones. For BLSL I poach. Bring seasoned water to a boil - drop in the breasts and turn the heat to the lowest setting possible. Cover and let poach for about 30 minutes. Remove and let cool before trying to dice it. It sounds like you are either over cooking your chicken or you are cutting into it while it is still hot. Good for you for passing on the "deal" of ground beef. It is no deal if you aren't going to use it. As for that chicken you just cooked and returned to the freezer.....find a meal to use it in before you end up tossing it. :)
Mar. 1, 2012 9:12 am
Thanks for the tips BN. I don't think I'm overcooking since I don't let it go for 30 minutes (but I *have* been putting the chicken in the water first, then bringing to a boil - I will have to try bringing it to a boil first!) but I do cut it into while it's still pretty hot, so next time I will let it cool totally! I will definitely used my cooked chicken soon, I don't seem to have a problem using up already cooked chicken, since it defrosts quickly and is ready to be used! I like shortcuts like that :)
Mar. 1, 2012 9:18 am
Alex - depending on the size of the breasts they may not need 30 minutes. I hope this method works well for you.
Mar. 1, 2012 2:15 pm
I am surprised you just discovered parsnips - I first had them in England and was led to believe they were a bit of a staple. Try roasting them, so good! You can slice them very thin and make chips. As you can see I love them. They are a winter crop so, while available year round, who knows where they actually come from and they aren't as tasty in summer. That roast is gorgeous and the asparagus and pea pasta went right in my recipe box. Thanks for sharing!
Mar. 1, 2012 5:41 pm
Good grief, what an endeavor! I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Everything looks awesome!
Mar. 1, 2012 6:43 pm
Beautiful food, beautiful photography! Thank you so much! I am inspired!
Mar. 1, 2012 7:40 pm
BSM - I have eaten Parsnips many times - they were usually cooked to death in my father's "root mash". Roasted they are great but again, as a kid, my dad cooked them to death. These were bright and sweet - it must be a good time for parsnips. :)
Mar. 1, 2012 8:12 pm
MB - I swear it is an addiction... sigh... March is birthday month around here, which requires lots of birthday dinners. There will be lots of cooking in my future.
Mar. 1, 2012 8:18 pm
Mamaw - Sometimes it is nice to step outside my norm and actually read a recipe! Thanks for stopping in & for the compliments.
Mar. 1, 2012 8:21 pm
Wow, Baking Nana, I knew you were killing it in the kitchen lately, but I didn't realize that it was by leaps and bounds! I like parsnips, but DH think they taste odd. Serendipity bread looks a little like naan. Way to go BN!
Mar. 1, 2012 8:34 pm
Hi Lissa - the Serendipty bread is a lot like Naan. Very good, indeed. NB Papa liked the Parsnips with carrots - that surprised me. We have had some hits and some misses - just like real life. Thanks for stopping in. I am looking forward to March!
Mar. 2, 2012 4:49 am
WOW! Give yourself a pat on the back! All recipes looked wonderful
Mar. 2, 2012 7:01 am
Hi luv2cook. Thanks for stopping in. I am not alone on this quest ... I found out yesterday that the AR Ambassadors 1,007 faceless recipes between January 1 - February 22nd. Pretty amazing!
Mar. 2, 2012 7:50 am
Wow, what a busy month you had! I saved the serendipity bread in my recipe box, because it sounds so good. I may give it a try with ww flour and see how that turns out. I'll have to try the recipe with the parsnips, too. I love them. Your pics make everything look so good!
Mar. 2, 2012 11:22 am
Hi wisweetp - I am sure you will like those parsnips and carrots. Have you tried the White Whole Wheat flour? It isn't bleached it is made from white wheat. Very good for breads. Thanks for stopping in.
Mar. 2, 2012 9:19 pm
The southern salad sounds like supper for tomorrow. Yumm yumm. I love the asparagus and pea pasta, I am always creating new and exciting things with pasta especially the wheat penne. Thank your for sharing :)
Mar. 3, 2012 4:28 am
Good morning mae. The Southern Chicken salad is very good - it will be a good addition to our spring and summer meals. The asparagus and pea pasta would be great served with some grilled shrimp. Thanks for stopping in.
Mar. 3, 2012 9:59 am
BN - you are a cooking, photographing machine. Can you come and clean out my freezer and pantry before we move? I seem only to be able to put stuff and am not very good at taking it out. Had a long talk with my partner in crime about eating and cooking from the pantry and freezer for the next 2 months. Then...I went out and bought a few things to make A recipe I had been wanting to try. Apparently, I need a lesson in shopping the pantry. Keep up the hard work and keep takin those awesome photos.
Mar. 3, 2012 10:09 am
Is it too late to be adopted? Lol, your dishes look Fabulous!! I love the white wheat flour, can't stand the thought of Bleach in my food! Double Yuck!! The white is a great choice and makes you feel good about the food you are feeding your loved ones. Baking Nana, those children are the lucky ones to have a Grammy who loves them like you do:):) 62 recipes? What my Friend do you do for an Oncore? Great blog! Looks like Pam has some friendly compatition! (sp?)
Mar. 3, 2012 1:33 pm
I want to live at your house too! I will definately try the parsnip dish :)
Mar. 3, 2012 3:11 pm
is there a dressing that would go with the southern chicken salad besides the one in the recipe? I intensely dislike dill! 0^0
Mar. 3, 2012 3:56 pm
Hi, Baking Nana. To your question, yes, I love the white whole wheat flour. I always have a bag of King Arthur white ww flour in my pantry! I'm trying the mashed potatoes with spinach pesto, too.
Mar. 3, 2012 6:14 pm
Cookin Up A Storm - Getting ready to move is the pits! Been there done that. I would love to shop you pantry! In the past few weeks I have taken a different approach. Rather than looking for something that sounds good - I search for ingredients I need to use. I have hit some winners! I use the search feature - there are a lot of recipes out there waiting to be made and given a face. :)
Mar. 3, 2012 6:16 pm
Patty Cakes - Those kiddo's are so special to me. They know it too! Pam has inspired a lot of about leaving a mark on the world...she did it! :)
Mar. 3, 2012 6:18 pm
Carrie - Get PARSNIPS immediately! With the carrots they are so great. You can come eat here any time!
Mar. 3, 2012 6:20 pm
Hi Petey - let me look for another similar dressing.....any Buttermilk, Ranch type dressing would do. I even thought of Marianne's Blue Cheese dressing. I love blue cheese - but that would be a different recipe, wouldn't it. :)
Mar. 3, 2012 6:22 pm
wisweept - beware of the garlic in those - unless you really like garlic! It definitely is for garlic lovers. Enjoy!
Mar. 4, 2012 3:07 pm
are broccoli leaves edible like turnip greens, collards, etc? I know this is not nearly as exciting as the beautiful creations pictured. Many thanks, elizabeth
Mar. 4, 2012 6:25 pm
elizabethtsatterfield - Yes they are - they can be bitter if too mature but they are totally edible. The small leaves of broccoli and cauliflower are great.
Mar. 4, 2012 6:25 pm
Mar. 4, 2012 6:26 pm
There is a link to some good information.
Mar. 6, 2012 4:34 am
Impressive! I envy you your "locusts"-it's no fun to cook/bake when there is no one to eat the food. Great blog.
Mar. 6, 2012 10:06 am
Elle - you are so right. Having people to cook for is a blessing. If I were just feeding myself I doubt it would bring as much joy.
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Baking Nana

Living In
Corona, California, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2009

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site.
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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