Tag Archives: cooking

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni and What Day Is It?

13 Dec

“All cooking is a matter of time. In general, the more time the better.”

John Erskine


While I’m visiting my sister, I decided to to some major cooking, and healthy cooking, for that matter.

I love to cook and she hates to cook, so right there, that’s a great combination. We went to the store and bought tons of fresh fruit and vegetables,

My first big project was some vegetable soup. What kind you ask? I call it, “Everything but the kitchen sink soup.” First, I gathered all her vegetables that were neglected in the fridge, then added the fresh ones from the store, Because the contents of the one large pot started to get too full, a second big pot was employed.

At the very end, I added some small thin egg noodles. My poor sister has been eating this for a few days and still had enough to freeze a few containers.

There’s a new project in the oven now, as we speak, but I’ll save that for another day. It’s still roasting. Yum! I can smell the wonderful aroma from the kitchen.

NOW! FOR WHAT DAY IT IS… 12-12 is the Feast of Our Lady Of Guadalupe. It’s a good day.

About Our Lady of Guadalupe Day

It is believed that a man named Juan Diego encountered the Virgin Mary twice in Mexico City, on December 9 and December 12 in 1531. According to legend, Mary told Juan to ask the bishop to build a church on Tepeyac Hill. However, the bishop needed proof of Juan’s encounter and asked for a miracle. Juan returned to the hill to see roses in a spot where there were previously cacti. When Juan Diego returned, he showed the roses to the archbishop and also revealed an image on his cloak of the Lady of Guadalupe. The bishop was convinced of the miracle and built a church in honor of the event.

Did You Know?

According to the story of the Lady of Guadalupe, Mary spoke in the Nahuatl language when she appeared to Diego. It is said that millions of indigenous people in Mexico were converted to Catholicism as a result of her appearance and miracle.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

29 Nov

“Cooking is like painting or writing a song. Just as there are only so many notes or colors, there are only so many flavors – it’s how you combine them that sets you apart.”

~Wolfgang Puck


I like this quote. Not only is cooking like painting, but with me, I also paint my wine glasses and vases and then cook them. I like to cook and bake and paint. A win-win.

A while back, I painted a couple of martini glasses for my friend Jerry. He collects martini glasses. So, I thought for Christmas, I’d give a couple of matching wine glasses. I had already painted two, which were the prototype or practice before I painted the fancy martini glasses. But, I was afraid that if I gave those two away, I’d forget how I painted them for future reference, so I painted a few more to have in my collection.

I finished painting late last night, or rather, early this morning. They needed to air dry a while, and they are in the oven now. Heat setting at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Besides painting and baking, I also did a little cooking. I love to cook. Really, I do. I’m not fond of the clean up, but that’s all part of the experience. I had a few girlfriends over for lunch today, and I’ll admit I tend to go a little overboard.

I prepared a build your own taco buffet extravaganza. It’s difficult to know what everyone likes, so it’s best to let them help themselves. Do you think this was enough for four ladies?

Of course, the special secret ingredient to any Mexican meal is Bernard’s world famous salsa. David and Michele Bernard are not only good friends, but they make the best salsa that I’ve ever had. With all this food, needless to say, there were a few leftovers.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni

15 Nov

“When the weather is cold and gloomy, warm up your home and spirits with fun baking and warm comfort food.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It’s been sooooo cold these past few days, so I’ve been baking and cooking up a storm. Many a pan of brownies have been prepared and shared. Ah, and the house always smells divine.

The other day, I made a big pan of roasted vegetables. There was enough for a LOT of meals. I ate some just alone, and a couple of times I sprinkled with shredded cheddar cheese and put in the broiler till it got toasty and melty.. Yum. Then, I added some to a can of cream of chicken soup. More yum.

I also had a couple dozen eggs in the fridge, so I boiled about 15 eggs and made a big bowl of egg salad. My secret is, I use a package of softened cream cheese combined with mayo. The best part, I also sauté and caramelize a large onion and add to the mixture. Ooooh! So good.

Warm soup and egg salad on a tortilla with spinach and/or tomato and avocado.

Good food and a warm heart. Life is good.

Well, that’s going to be a long wait, even here in north Texas.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tasty Tip For Today:) Pasta Salad

2 Oct

“If you want to feed a lot of people, make pasta. If you want to cook a lot at a low cost, make pasta. If you want to eat delightful delicious food, make pasta OR go out to a fancy Italian restaurant and waste $50 or more per person. Better yet, come on over.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Yesterday was the Monday Country Dance at the Senior Center, and yes, I’m old and go to the senior center. At 2 o’clock, they take a break and there’s a potluck. I’ve been bringing brownies or chocolate covered strawberries or some dessert. Usually, there are tons of cakes and cookies and pies, and when someone brings actual food-food, it goes really quickly. We usually have between 50-75 people on any given Monday.

I thought, hmm, what could I bring that would feed a lot of people and not be too expensive? Remember, we do this every Monday. Aha! Pasta salad! Now here’s the thing. I have little to no room in my fridge, so I needed to prepare this right before leaving. How in the world will the pasta get cold so I can take it? Where there’s a will, there’s a way, because…. I AM AMAZING!

I got two big pots of water boiling, then used three boxes of pasta. I only had 2 bow ties, so I also used 1 mini penne. Heck, it all gets mixed up anyway.

While it was boiling, I washed and cut up broccoli, cherry tomatoes, tossed in a bag of frozen peas, added some shredded cheese, (I just use what I have handy), then added some canola oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. (I don’t measure) In order to cool off the pasta, I rinsed it in cold water, drained, then added lots of ice cubes. It makes the pasta cold and sets it from getting mushy. Drained again and poured it into the bowls. For dressing, I had half a jar of Miracle Whip, poured some apple cider vinegar into the jar, a little lemon, a little more oil and shake, shake, shake. Added to pasta and stir. It was already cold, ready to garnish with a little spinach and cheese for decoration, then… out the door.

It was a big hit, and I actually had some left over. It wasn’t easy finding room in the fridge, but I manage, after I gave some to Kathy across the street. It’s always good to share. I told you it makes a lot!

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tasty Everything But the Kitchen Sink Salad

20 Jun

“Never underestimate the power of good food. Eating delicious food can be a life-changing experience.”

Shon Mehta


Many people say they hate cooking or they have trouble thinking of what to prepare for meals. I know I’m crazy, but I love to cook and bake. The secret is being creative.

I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan, but I’ll admit that I very rarely buy meat when at the store. Plus, I don’t eat fish, yuk. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll order a burger or chicken when I go out to lunch or dinner. Oh! Don’t get me started on chicken fried steak at Rick’s or chicken fried chicken at The Pantry. I just don’t prepare it at home.

I’d say that I fix salads 9 out of 10 times when I eat at home. My favorite salad is my Everything but the kitchen sink salad. I love organic baby spinach, so I buy the big plastic box to last me all week. I put a huge handful in a big bowl then add … a mixture of a lot of stuff.

Here’s my lunch for today.

I get a large bowl and add drained cans of….

I can garbanzo beans

1 can white navy beans

1 can sliced/diced beets (turns everything red, but that’s ok)

I can black eyed peas or whatever

1 chopped cucumber

1 chopped celery stalk

I diced apple

Some diced tomatoes

Some diced strawberries

30 or 40 grapes sliced in 1/2

Sometimes I add red onion…add whatever you like or have on hand.

Then I pour in some organic AC vinegar and a few squirts of Italian dressing. S &P and a few dashes of garlic powder. I don’t measure anything. Then, refrigerate. This is enough for all week, 5 or 6 salads.

I put a big handful of spinach in a bowl, top with about a cup or more of the bean/fruit mixture. Oh, I forgot. Sometimes I’ll sprinkle with some of the nuts that I keep around for snacking, adds crunch and salty.

I love my big easy-peasy everything but the kitchen sink salads, very filling, pretty tasty, and pretty good for you. And, it lasts all week.

After fixing this and feeling creative and healthy, that’s when I bake a few pans of brownies. I said I was creative. I didn’t say I was a health nut.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni? TOni’s Ten Bean Soup

4 Apr

“Life is delicious. Waste not one bite!”

A.D. Posey


When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right? When your friends invite you to dinner on Easter, and are going to throw out their left over ham bone, you say…”Stop, I can make soup!”

My big problem is I love to cook and bake. It’s a problem for me, but not for my friends and neighbors, and local firemen, and let’s see, Desra the mail lady, the guys who mow my lawn…and the list goes on. So when I get in those moods, I cook, I bake, and I share.

Another big problem I have is I tend to get carried away. This tiny little ham bone and a few slices of ham turned into two huge pots of Toni’s Ten Bean Soup. Really, the soup packet, given to me by a friend, had my name on it.

Of course, the ingredients were enough to only make a few cups of soup. NO!!! So, I boiled the ham bone and pieces of meat and added tons of other ingredients. To the bean mixture, I added a bag of carrots, an entire stalk of celery, eight potatoes, a couple of onions, a can of Rotelle tomatoes with diced chilies, and a few extra cans various beans.

Well, it made a few gallons of soup. I shared with a few neighbors, and have plenty to take to my senior art group at Towne Creek on Friday.

Friday:) From the Oven

10 Feb

“When it’s freezing cold outside, and the snow is piled up, it’s time to crank up the oven.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It’s winter in Chicago, it’s been snowing, so I’ve been cooking. What else is new? After a week of homemade tacos, Chicago pizza and Chicago hot dogs, I figured it’s time to fix a few healthy meals.

Thank goodness for weather predictions. Everyone and there uncle was at he grocery store yesterday stocking up on food and essentials. We have enough Fritos, Bugles, and potato chips in Mom’s cabinets, so we stocked up on fruit and veggies. (Hmm, I hope I have enough vodka for Black Russian Friday!)

I think we should be set for a while. Lots of roasted veggies. Yum!

When the going gets tough, the tough get cooking.

If you’re in the cold, stay warm and enjoy the view. If you are nice and warm….don’t talk to me. Just kidding. Have a good one.