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Anything is good, in moderation. I cook because I love to and because I can share with those around me. I crochet for the same reason.

Do what you want to do, enjoy what you do and use it to touch those around you.

Jul 31, 2011

Toffee Chocolate Oat Cookies

These cookies have a distinctive flavor and were a big hit at the beach.  I used Heath Toffee bits, bagged, from Hershey's as well as Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips.  If you cannot find Toffee Bits and/Or Milk Chocolate chips, you can purchase Heath or Skor bars and crush them.  If you use that route, you would need 3 cups + 4 ounces of crushed toffee bars.

  1 Cup Shortening                                                                     1/2 Tsp Salt
  2 Cups Flour                                                                            4 Ounce Milk Chocolate Chips
  1 Cup Sugar                                                                             2 Large Eggs
  1 Cup Brown Sugar                                                                 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  2.5 Cups Oatmeal                                                                    1 Tsp Baking Soda
  2 Bags Heath Chips                                                                 1 Tsp Almond Extract

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream the butter and sugars.  Add eggs and almond extract, set aside.  In a food processor, pulse the oatmeal until powdery.  In a bowl, stir together flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda.  Mix into the wet ingredients.  When blended, fold in chocolate chips and Heath pieces.  Bake for 10 minutes.

Jul 30, 2011

BBQ White Beans

I had peppers to use and didn't want to super heat my kitchen, so I made beans.  Because this recipe has beans and ham, it can be served as a stand alone dish, or it can be used as a side. 

  1 Cup Sweet Pepper, Chopped                                               2 Tbl Yellow Mustard
  8 Ounce Ham, Diced                                                             2 Tbl Cider Vinegar
  1 Tbl Vegetable Oil                                                               1.5 Tbl Light Molasses
  1/4 Cup Onion, Minced                                                          1 Tbl Worcestershire
  3 Clove Garlic, Minced                                                          1 Tbl Crushed Red Pepper
  30 Ounce Cannellini Beans                                                    

In a 2 quart saucepan, cook ham in hot oil over medium-high heat until browned.  Add onion and garlic to skillet and cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until tender.  Remove from heat, Add beans, chopped sweet pepper, mustard, vinegar, molasses,  Worcestershire sauce, and crushed red pepper - cover and refrigerate overnight (up to 24 hours).

Stir 2 Tbsp. water into bean mixture. Reheat over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through.

Per Serving (about 3/4 cup): 290 Cal (26% from Fat, 27% from Protein, 47% from Carb); 20 g Protein; 8 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 3  g Mono Fat; 35 g Carb; 7 g Fiber; 5 g Sugar; 91 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 1108 mg Sodium

Dog Friendly is People Friendly

Ever since we moved into a house, we have had a dog - two at times.  We made every effort to ensure that those dogs were well socialized so we could take them with us when we went out.  Today, through the Human Society of Harrisburg, we had the opportunity to take our Sheltie on the Pride of the Susquehanna River Boat.  They provided the ride on the riverboat, lunch for the dog parents and goodie bags for the dogs.  Water was plentiful for the dogs and multiple beverages were available for the humans.  A photographer was available to you could have a picture of everyone in your group and the entire fee was donated to the Human society.  So, if you have a dog, get out there and get active.  Try your local human society - both if you need a dog and if you have one and are looking for activities.  Try the websites below for other travel and activity options.

Jul 29, 2011

Plum Peachy Cake

This summer fruit cake is very much like a shortcake with the fruit baked underneath.  You can make it with any mixture of fruits, but the recipe calls for peaches and plums.  Cut into 10 pieces and topped with plain yogurt, it makes an excellent breakfast.

  Fruit Mixture                                                                            
  2.5 Cup Plums                                                                         
  2.5 Cup Peaches                                                                      
  3 Tbl Sugar                                                                              
  1/2 Tsp cinnamon                                                                    
  1/4 Tsp Nutmeg 
  Cake Mixture                                                                           
  1/2 Cup butter
  3/4 Cup Sugar
  2 Large Eggs
  1 Cup all-purpose flour

  1 Tbl Sugar
  1/4 Tsp cinnamon  
Preheat the oven to 350F and butter a deep dish pie plate.
Peel the plums and peaches and cut into large pieces.  Toss the fruit in a bowl with 3 Tbl sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread into the plate.

Melt the butter in a saucepan or small frying pan and keep cooking it for about five minutes until it turns golden. (Swirl the pot occasionally and watch it carefully; it goes quickly from brown to black.)  Pour the butter into a bowl and add the 3/4 cup of sugar, then the eggs and flour. Spoon the batter over the fruit.  Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on top.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until golden and the juices are coming up around the edges.

Per Serving: 258 Cal (36% from Fat, 5% from Protein, 58% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 11 g Tot Fat; 6 g Sat Fat; 3 g Mono Fat; 39 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 28 g Sugar; 19 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 82 mg Sodium

Jul 28, 2011

Cinnamon Brownies

I had cinnamon chips that I didn't have anything to do with, so I tried replacing walnuts in a brownie - this was the result:

  4 eggs                                                                                     1 Tsp vanilla extract
  1 Cup butter                                                                            1 Cup all-purpose flour
  4 Oz bittersweet chocolate                                                       1/2 Tsp salt
  2 Cup Sugar                                                                            2 Cup Hershey's Cinnamon Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.

In 3 to 4-quart saucepan over very low heat, melt butter and chocolate.  Remove from heat, and stir the sugar into the chocolate. Stir in the vanilla and allow to cool slightly.  Slightly beat and egg and add it slowly to the chocolate mixture, stirring well.  Repeat for each remaining egg. Combine the flour and salt; stir into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the cinnamon chips. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.  Bake in oven 40 to 45 minutes. Brownies are done when toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan.

Per Serving: 297 Cal (49% from Fat, 5% from Protein, 46% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 16 g Tot Fat; 11 g Sat Fat; 3 g Mono Fat; 34  g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 29 g Sugar; 13 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 118 mg Sodium

Jul 27, 2011

A Great Beach Read - or anywhere

Looking for a good book that is fun, easy to read and makes you laugh out loud?  Then try A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  It is about a witch who has been trying to hide her powers and what she goes through as she learns to embrace them - and those around her whom she had been taught to mistrust.  It covers centuries of history as well as vampires, daemons and just a fine story.  Be Warned - it is one of three and the second one doesn't come out until next year.

Grilled Marinaded Peppers

These peppers are great as a side dish or as a lunch.  Add some crushed red pepper to the cheese for a satisfying kick.

  3 Medium Sweet Peppers                                                        1/2 Cup Goat Cheese
  2 Clove Garlic, Minced                                                            1 Tbl Lemon Juice
  2 Tbl Olive Oil                                                                        

Core and seed the peppers and cut in half.  Place in a container, add garlic and drizzle with olive oil.  Marinade over night.  Heat grill and grill skin side up until charred.  While skins char, mix goat cheese and lemon juice.  Turn the peppers and divide the cheese evenly among the peppers.  Close grill and cook until peppers are charred and the cheese is warm.

Jul 26, 2011

Find that motivator

Are you looking for an event to get you motivated?  My first was a 5K, then a 15K and finally a half marathon - and they all kept me moving.  Who wants to spend good money to not complete the event.  Try these websites to find an event that strikes your fancy and get out there.

For Pennsylvania -

Countrywide - Search options are available on each.:

Jul 25, 2011

Peach Daiquiri

Peaches are just coming in season, so find some ripe ones and whirl up these Daiquiris.  Replace the rum with orange juice to make them kid and pregnancy friendly.

  3 Cups Peaches                                                                        4 Tbl Powdered Sugar
  6 Ounce Limeade                                                                    3 Cups Ice Cubes
  1/4 Cup Orange Rum                                                              

Pit, peel and slice peaches and put into a blender.  Add limeade, rum and sugar and blend until smooth.  Add ice and crush ice with blender.  Serve and enjoy.

Jul 24, 2011

Sifting Ingredients

Recently, I had a friend post the question on facebook "If I had to go to the basement for my flour sifter, does it mean that I don't use it enough."  My response was that she had inspired a post. 

While sifting ingredients when called for is a necessary evil, not keeping a flour sifter in easy reach is not unusual for many reasons.  1.  It is not often called for, unless you do significant amounts of cooking, 2.  Most standard flour sifters are good only for that one thing and, if you fit into item one, that means you do not have much use for one and 3.  It is not a forearm friendly tool to use.

I prefer tools in my kitchen that are multi use and easy to clean - a flour sifter does not fill either bill.  If you get them wet, the flour gums up.  If you don't clean them, you can get old flour mixed into your new ingredients.  Furthermore, you sometimes have to sift other things than flour and you don't want to mess up your ratios - or your sifter.  Does this mean that I say NAY! DON'T USE A STANDARD SPRING LOADED FLOUR SIFTER?  Not at all - it just means that I prefer another method.  What is that method, you ask?  First, a question for you - what does a flour sifter do - what is the purpose of sifting dry ingredients such as flour?  It is to remove any clumps and aerate the ingredients.

The tool I prefer to use is a fine mesh sieve.  You can put it over a bowl, drop the ingredients in and just shake.  It moves the dry ingredients through, you can use it for other things - both sifting and draining.  What else do you sift?  I actually have a recipe that calls for sifted brown sugar.  For draining?  Small pasta, such as orzo or chicken stock - you really need a small one for chicken stock.

Jul 23, 2011

Parmesan Puff Pastry

This simple appetizer calls for Asparagus, but broccoli, peppers or a mix of vegetables would be just as good.  For the parmesan on top, you can use either grated, as written, or shaved.  When buying frozen puffed pastry, reach toward the back of the freezer.  The few in the front may have been affected by the open/close of the door and be more difficult to work with (thank you to the lead chef at the Kitchen Shoppe for that tip.)  Try it different ways, you'll like it.

  8 Oz Cream Cheese                                                                 1 Lb Asparagus
  1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan                                                        2 Tbl Olive Oil
  3 Tbl Lemon Juice                                                                   2 Tbl Parmesan
  2 Puff Pastry                                                                           

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and press the puff pastry into the bottom of the pan.    Combine the first three ingredients and spread on puff pastry to within half inch of the sides of the pan.  Trim the asparagus and line up on top of the cheese, alternating the ends.  Drizzle with oil.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Slice and serve warm.

Per Serving, if cut into 16 pieces: 121 Cal (73% from Fat, 12% from Protein, 15% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 10 g Tot Fat; 5 g Sat Fat; 4 g Mono Fat; 5 g  Carb; 1 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar; 66 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 120 mg Sodium

Jul 22, 2011

Corn and Quinoa Salad

You know you want to know what Quinoa is - besides good food.  Quinoa is a seed that is closely related to spinach and beets.  Now that I have a supply, I will be finding more recipes, but this was an excellent second dish (I tried one about a year ago, but I currently cannot find that one.)  If you are shopping your friendly, neighborhood Giant, you will generally find this in the organic section.  Enola sells it in the bulk organic section (or it did the last time I looked) while Camp Hill only carries pre-packaged product in the organic section.  So jump out of your comfort zone and try something new, you'll like it.  If you need to ask for help finding it, it is pronounced KEEN-wah.

  3/4 Cup Quiona, Uncooked                                                     2 Cups Corn Kernels
  1 1/4 Cup Chicken Stock                                                         2 Tbl Lemon Juice
  3 Tbl Olive Oil                                                                         1/2 Tsp Cumin
  8 Ounce Spicy Turkey Sausage, cut                                         1/4 Tsp Salt
  -into chunks                                                                             1/4 Tsp Black Beans
  1 Tbl Onion, diced                                                                   1/2 Cup Red Bell Peppers, diced
  2 Cups Zucchini, diced                                                            1/4 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

To Prepare the fresh corn:  Purchase 4 ears corn.  Blanch the corn and remove it from the cob, set aside.
Put the quinoa and chicken broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and pour into a large bowl, set aside.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer sausage to the bowl with the quiona. Add another tablespoon oil to pan, then add the onion and cook until softened. Add the zucchini and cook about 5 minutes and then add the corn and cook an additional 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender-firm.  Pour into the  bowl with the quiona and sausage.  Add the pepper to the bowl and stir.

In another bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, remaining oil, cumin, salt and black pepper. Pour over the quiona mixture and chill in the refrigerator at least 60 minutes or up to two days. When ready to serve, stir in the parsley.

Per Serving (if divided into 5 bowls): 272 Cal (49% from Fat, 26% from Protein, 25% from Carb); 18 g Protein; 15 g Tot Fat; 3 g Sat Fat; 9 g Mono Fat;  18 g Carb; 3 g Fiber; 4 g Sugar; 33 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 569 mg Sodium

Jul 21, 2011

Get Motivated - Get Fit

If you have looked through my posts, you see that I recommend finding an activity and doing it.  My personal preference is walking, but whatever you do, find something to motivate you and do it.  The President's Challenge may fit that bill for you.  This is not a political movement and politics should not keep you from using this challenge if it will get you motivated.  So go to the website by clicking on the president's challenge above, check it out, register and GET MOVING!

From the President's Challenge website:

The President’s Challenge isn’t just for schoolkids anymore. It’s for anyone who wants to track their physical activities and improve their fitness. Maybe you want to lose a few pounds or gain muscle mass? We can help you do that. (And our BMI calculator will help put your weight in perspective.)
The bottom line is this: couch potato or triathlete—the President’s Challenge is an equal-opportunity exercise program.

Physical Activity Is Your Friend

Think about your current level of physical activity for a minute. Which one of these challenges is right for you?
  • The Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA) challenge is for people who want to make physical activity part of their everyday lives. If you want to set yourself on the path to fitness success, try this entry-level challenge. 
  • The Presidential Champions challenge is for people who want to be more active more often. Try this program if you want to step your current fitness plan up a notch or two.

Sign Up Today

Go ahead—pick a program. No matter which you choose, you’ll get encouragement and tips, and you can even earn awards from the President’s Challenge. We want you to be active—why not create an account today?

Marinaded Vegetables

This is a sweeter marinade recipe and is written with cucumber, carrot and pepper, but you can use any vegetables you have on hand.  Broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, yellow squash - all would be good.  The marinade will cover up to 8 cups of vegetables.  Make sure you use a bowl that has extra room.  The marinade will pull liquid out of your vegetables.

  1/2 Cup White Wine Vinegar                                                   2 Cups Carrot
  2 Cups Sugar                                                                           Salt, To Taste
  2 Cups Cucumber                                                                    Pepper, To Taste
  2 Cups Bell Pepper                                                                 

Cube the cucumber, removing seeds if large.  Cut the bell pepper and carrot into pieces.  Put everything in a bowl.  In a small pan, combine the vinegar and sugar and cook until the sugar dissolves - IT WILL BE THICK.  Pour over the vegetables.  When cool, refrigerate for several hours.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Jul 20, 2011

Refrigerator Cucumbers - or other things

This is a refrigerator vegetable recipe that marinades vegetables in a brine.  Once in the brine mixture, they can be stored up to two weeks.  This recipe says it is for Cucumbers, but feel free to mix it up with zucchini, cauliflower, carrots - any vegetable that you enjoy pickled.

      4 lb Cucumber
      1/2 cup md Onion
      3 c  Sugar
      3 c  Cider Vinegar
      4 t  Canning Salt
    1/2 T  Mustard Seed
    1/2 t  Alum

Cut cucumbers into 1/4 inch slices and onions into 1/8 inch slices - combine in a large container.  In a large pot, combine the remaining ingredients and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.  Pour over
cucumber mixture and mix well.  Cover and, when cool, refrigerate overnight.  May be kept up to 2 weeks.

Jul 19, 2011

Fruited Romaine Salad

This salad was passed along to me while at the beach.  My friend's husband brought it home from a hunting trip - the lodge they stayed at served this salad.  The recipe calls for a neutral vegetable oil, but olive oil will work in a pinch.  If you don't like cashews, try toasted walnuts or pecans.

  3 Cup Romaine Lettuce                                                           Dressing
  1 Cup Cashews                                                                        1/2 Cup Sugar
  4 Oz Swiss Cheese, Shredded                                                   1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
  1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries                                                         1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
  1 Medium Apple                                                                       1/2 Tsp Salt
  1 Medium Pear                                                                         1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil

Chop lettuce.  Core and dice apple and pear.  Combine all salad ingredients, set aside.  Combine all dressing ingredients and pour over salad.

Jul 18, 2011

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This recipe is a great hot dip - serve with crackers and cut vegetables.  Add a little spice - stir in 1 tsp of crushed red pepper.

  10 Oz Frozen Chopped Spinach                                              3/4 Cup Light Mayo
  14 Oz Artichoke Hearts                                                           1/2 Cup Mozzarella, Shredded
  3/4 Cup Parmesan, Grated                                                       1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder

Preheat oven to 350.  Thaw and drain the spinach thoroughly.  Drain and chop the artichoke.  Stir everything together and spoon  into a 9 inch pie plate.  Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Jul 17, 2011

Make a Mandoline Sing

Until about a year ago, I resisted getting a Mandoline - a kitchen tool used to slice or julienne fruits and vegetables to even widths.  I have fairly good knife skills and just didn't see the point.  A year ago, I stumbled on the OXO good grips mini mandoline and decided to give it a try.  I found that I used it much more than I expected.  Hubby recently requested the Refrigerator Cucumber recipe, posted earlier, to be made so he could take it for lunch.  Great, I thought, I can really use the mandoline for the four pounds of cucumbers.  Unfortunately, the mini only goes up to a 1/8 inch slice, and I needed 1/4, so I found myself on the way to Linens N More For Less to purchase a full sized mandoline.

When I arrived, they directed me to the location of the slicers and I had 5 choices ranging in price from about $10 to about $55.  The $10 was made by the company Progressive and had a very nice case.  However, I expect that I will be using this heavily and the Progressive seemed more like a temporary solution for someplace like a college dorm or first apartment instead of a long term solution.  Next, I looked at the Oneida.  That was nice, but it did not go to the 1/4 inch that I needed.  Farberware was the next contender and, while nice, I could not find anywhere on the box that gave the actual dimensions of the slices made, so I moved onward and upward.  OXO, which makes very nice products, had a slicer that had adjustable slices, two julienne options, the dimensions I needed and, as a bonus, a crinkle cut option.  This slicer folds flat and all of its blades store right on the mandoline.  This was indeed a strong contender.  Finally, I looked at the Kitchen Aid.  This slicer also offered the width that I needed and one larger and came with an external case for its blades.  While also a good option, I preferred the OXO and went that route.

I took the slicer home and I loved it.  The cucumbers fit nicely into the handle/finger guard and the plunger option assured that I would have even slices and easy use.  The base had excellent silicone grips and did not move at all during use. 

So, if you find yourself in the market for a mandoline slicer, consider all your options and what your needs are.  If you live in the Harrisburg area, try Linen's N More For Less in Camp Hill Near Michael's - the staff is very helpful and were very nice to talk with.

Jul 16, 2011

Distance Tracking

When I walk, I like to know how far I have gone.  I have tried a couple of different options and I have found RunKeeper to be the most accurate at tracking distance, no matter what method you use.  At first, I had an app for my smart phone and it would track distance, speed and elevation for me.  As I was considering getting rid of my smart phone, I was looking for other options for measuring walking loops - driving was not always an option.  I went to the RunKeeper website and found that I could manually map walks (I thought to do this because a friend told me that the tool she used was an online tool - it also happened to be the other option I had tried as an app only.

So, no matter how far you choose to walk, get out there and get moving.

Jul 15, 2011

Orange Creamsicle Blondies

These are orange blondies with vanilla cheesecake topping.  When completely cool, keep refrigerated.  If you don't have Cake Flour, you may use all purpose.

-Blondie Ingredients-                                                             
  2 Stick Butter                                                                        -Topping Ingredients-
  2 Tbl Vegetable Oil                                                                 12 Ounce Cream Cheese, Softened
  3 1/3 Cup Flour                                                                       4 Tbl Butter
  2 Tsp Baking Powder                                                              1/2 Cup Sugar
  1 1/2 Tsp Salt                                                                          4 Tbl Cake Flour
  2 Cups Light Brown Sugar                                                       1 Tsp Vanilla
  4 Large Eggs                                                                           2 Large Eggs
  2 Tsp Orange Extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 baking pan, set aside.

Blondie Instructions:  Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.  Put the butter and brown sugar in a bowl and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and orange extract, mix until combined. Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture, mix, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined. Pour into prepared pan, set aside.

Topping Instructions:  Put cream cheese, granulated sugar, 4 tablespoons butter, cake flour (can use all purpose), eggs, and vanilla into a clean bowl and beat on medium speed until just smooth.

Gently spread cheese mixture over blondie batter in the pan.  Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, 45 to 47 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.   Blondies can be stored between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 days.

Jul 14, 2011

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Blueberries just exploded this year.  As a friend was picking them, she said she would finish a section and move on and when she looked back, she could not see where she had been because they ripened again.  This recipe makes two quarts of ice cream, my Cuisinart makes 1/5, so I freeze this over two days and refrigerate the unused portion overnight.

2 Cup Sugar                                                                           3 Cup Half & Half
8 Ounce Low Fat Cream Cheese, softened                              3 Cup Blueberries, Fresh 
4 Large Egg Yolk                                                                   1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
3 Cup Heavy Cream                                                               1/4 Cup Water

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Combine cream and half-and-half in a medium, heavy saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Gradually add half of hot milk mixture to cheese mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan. Cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160,  stirring constantly. Place pan in an ice-filled bowl. Cool completely, stirring occasionally.

Combine blueberries, powdered sugar, and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 10  minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and cool completely.

Stir blueberry mixture into milk mixture. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to  manufacturer's instructions. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm.

Jul 13, 2011

Beach Broccoli Salad

I commandeered this recipe while at the beach.  I really like the fact that this uses the entire broccoli plant, not just the head.  It may take a little more time to chop the stems, but the time is worth it.  The nutrition and fiber you get is well worth the time.

  1 Cup Mayo                                                                             6 Cup Broccoli
  2 Tbl Sugar                                                                              12 Slice Bacon
  2 Tbl Vinegar                                                                           1 Cup Cheddar, Shredded

Cook and crumble bacon.  Cut broccoli heads and stems into pieces., combine with bacon.  Stir together mayo, sugar and vinegar  - pour over broccoli, add cheese and stir together.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Jul 12, 2011

Ricotta Pancakes

These pancakes have a slightly sweet flavor and are wonderful with jam or fresh fruit instead of syrup.  The ricotta adds protein and calcium.

  15 Oz Nonfat Ricotta Cheese                                                  2/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
  2 Tbl Honey                                                                           1/3 Cup Wheat Bread
  3 Large Eggs                                                                          2 Tsp Baking Powder
  1 Tsp Vanilla                                                                          

Mix Ricotta, Honey, Eggs and Vanilla.  In another bowl, stir together the dry ingredients and mix into the cheese mixture, stir until well blended.  Heat griddle and coat lightly with cooking spray.  Drop batter onto griddle using a spring loaded ice cream scoop.  Cook until bubbles form on the top then turn and cook until done. 

Jul 11, 2011

Broccoli Beef Casserole

I recently had the opportunity to work with someone who wanted to learn some new recipes that are easy one dish meals that reheat easily and can be used for lunches after the first meal.  This was our first.

  1 Lb Lean Ground Beef                                                         8 Oz Sour Cream
  3 Cups Potatoes, Thinly Sliced                                                2 Cups Cheddar, Shredded
  2 Cups Broccoli, Chopped                                                      1 Tsp Horseradish Mustard
  1 Cup 1% Milk                                                                      1 Cup Ritz Crackers, Crushed
  2 Can Condensed Broccoli Cheddar Soup                              

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Cook and drain ground beef.  In a large bowl, combine beef, potatoes and broccoli.  In a smaller bowl, stir together remaining ingredients, except crackers.  When combined, pour over beef mixture and mix thoroughly.  Pour into a 9 x 13 pan, sprinkle with crackers and bake for 1 hour.

Jul 10, 2011

Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

This is a great meal for carb loading before a long walk or strenuous activity.

  1 Tbl olive oil                                                                          3 Cups broccoli
  6 chicken thighs                                                                      1/2 Cup hot water
  3 Garlic Clove, Minced                                                            8 Ounce Whole Wheat Pasta
  1 1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme                                                           1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan
  1/2 Tsp crushed red pepper                                                     Salt to taste

Bone and skin chicken thighs, cut meat into bite sized pieces.  Cut the broccoli, stems and all, into pieces.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta to package directions.  While that is working, heat olive oil in a nonstick pan. Add chicken and cook over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Add garlic, thyme and red pepper and cook 30 seconds more. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.  Add broccoli to pan and saute for 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup hot water and cover.   Cook about 4 minutes, until broccoli is slightly soft. Drain pasta, stir in all other ingredients and serve.

Jul 9, 2011

Spicy Southwest Spaghetti

Need something new to do with zucchini or a healthy meal that is nutritious and affordable?  Try this - even my Italian friends like it:

  1 Lb Ground Beef                                                                   1/2 Tsp Salt
  1 Tsp Ancho Chili Powder                                                       1/2 Tsp Ground cumin
  2 1/4 C Water                                                                          6 Ounce Angel Hair Pasta, broken
  14.5 Oz Diced Tomatoes                                                         -in thirds
  2 Tsp Chili powder                                                                  2 1/2 Cup Zucchini, cut into chunks
  1/2 Tsp Garlic powder                                                            

In a large skillet, heat oil and add ancho chili powder.  Add beef and cook over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Remove beef and keep warm. In the same skillet, combine the water, tomato's, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and cumin; bring to a boil. Stir in spaghetti; return to a boil. boil for 6 minutes.  Add the zucchini. Cook 4-5 minutes longer or until spaghetti and zucchini  are tender, stirring several times. Stir in the beef and serve.

Per Serving: 370 Cal (49% from Fat, 27% from Protein, 25% from Carb); 25 g Protein; 20 g Tot Fat; 8 g Sat Fat; 9 g Mono Fat;  23 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; 6 g Sugar; 42 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 932 mg Sodium

Jul 8, 2011

Parmesan Cream Puff Pastry

Another recipe that I learned at the beach.  This is made with asparagus, but feel free to substitute seasonal vegetables (broccoli, peppers, etc).

  8 Oz Cream Cheese                                       1 Lb Asparagus
  1/2 Cup Parmesan                                        2 Tbl Olive Oil
  3 Tbl Lemon Juice                                         2 Tbl Parmesan
  2 Sheets Puff Pastry                                     

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and press the puff pastry into the bottom of the pan.  Combine the first three ingredients and spread on puff pastry to within half an inch of the sides of the pan.  Trim the asparagus and line up on top of the cheese, alternating the ends.  Drizzle with oil.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Slice and serve warm.