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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.

Feb 29, 2012

Easy Pork Roast

This pork roast is flavorful, easy to make and a hit.  I use more hot sauce, but if you are like my niece and prefer less spicy foods, feel free to omit it.  Serves 10.

  2 1/2 Lb Pork Loin, Boneless                                                    1 Tbl ketchup
  1 Cup hot water                                                                       1/2 Tsp black pepper
  1/4 Cup Sugar                                                                          1/2 Tsp salt
  3 Tbl red wine vinegar                                                              1/4 Tsp garlic powder
  2 Tbl soy sauce                                                                        1 Dash Frank's Red Hot

Place the roast in a slow cooker.  In a bowl, mix together water, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, black pepper, salt, garlic  powder, and hot sauce; pour over roast.  Cover, and cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours, or on High for 3 to 4 hours.

Per Serving: 186 Cal (33% from Fat, 53% from Protein, 13% from Carb); 24 g Protein; 7 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 3 g Mono Fat; 6 g  Carb; 0 g Fiber; 6 g Sugar; 20 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 382 mg Sodium

Feb 28, 2012

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

This is a nice way to enjoy an non stir stir fry.  The only prep work is to cut the chicken into bite sized pieces - the vegetables are used frozen.  I like to use the broccoli/carrot/water chestnut mix.  No Orange Marmalade?  No problem - use Peach Jam.  Serves 4 - or 2 for dinner and a leftover lunch.

  12 Ounce Frozen Vegetable Mix                                              1/4 Cup Orange Marmalade
  10 Ounce Chicken Breast                                                        3 Tbl Low Sodium Teriyaki Sauce
  1 Cup Chicken Stock                                                               1.5 Tsp Spicy mustard
  1 Cup Orange Juice                                                                 1/2 Cup Brown Rice, Uncooked

Put the frozen vegetables in the bottom of a 4 quart slow cooker.  Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and put on top.  In a small bowl, combine chicken broth, orange juice, orange marmalade, teriyaki sauce, dry mustard and rice. Pour over vegetable-chicken  mixture in cooker.  Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 2-1/2 hours.

Per Serving: 299 Cal (9% from Fat, 32% from Protein, 59% from Carb); 24 g Protein; 3 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 45 g  Carb; 4 g Fiber; 15 g Sugar; 83 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 592 mg Sodium

Feb 27, 2012

Tex Mex Turkey Soup

If you saved some cooked turkey from the holidays, take it out and make this soup.  It is a great use for leftover turkey - or chicken.  Use turkey stock if available, otherwise use chicken stock.  Serves 6.

  15 Ounce Diced Tomatoes                                                      30 Ounce Pinto Beans
  2 Clove Garlic                                                                         6 Cup Turkey Stock
  1/2 Tsp Chili Powder                                                               1 1/2 Cups Turkey
  1/4 Tsp Cumin                                                                         Salt
  1 Tbl Olive Oil                                                                         Black Pepper
  4 Ounces Pasta, Uncooked                                                     

In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, garlic, Cumin and Chili powder. Process until smooth.

In a heavy soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Break up raw pasta, add to the oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta starts to turn golden, about 5 to 7 minutes.  While cooking, drain and rinse the beans.  Add to the pan along with the tomato mixture and the stock. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until the pasta is al dente, about 5  minutes.

While the soup simmers, cook and dice the turkey.  Add to the soup and heat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

Per Serving: 383 Cal (21% from Fat, 28% from Protein, 51% from Carb); 27 g Protein; 9 g Tot Fat; 2 g Sat Fat; 4 g Mono Fat; 49 g Carb; 8 g Fiber; 7 g Sugar; 93 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 1162 mg Sodium

Feb 26, 2012

Week 8 - 47.39

Week 8 - 30 miles to go to the Ohio state capital.  This week lands us near the Buckeye Lake State Park.  Buckeye Lake is a 3,100 acre lake that is open to any type of boat.  There are public and private docks, 3 swimming areas and fishing.  The lake currently holds Perch, bluegill, crappie, muskellunge, largemouth bass, channel catfish and bullhead catfish. There are multiple picnic areas, one with a playground, and other activities within an easy distance (Hebron Fish Hatchery, Buckeye Lake Historical Society Museum and Dawes Arboretum.

Feb 25, 2012

Toss or Not? Chicken and Spinach

This dish can be served as is or tossed with cooked pasta or spaghetti squash.  It makes four servings and we like to put two on our plates and two into lunch containers to make an easy work lunch for both of us the next day.  The nutrition listed is for just the recipe as written, no pasta.

  1 1/4 Lb Chicken Breast                                                          14.5 Ounce Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  1 Tsp Garlic                                                                             1/4 Cup Fresh Basil
  1/8 Tsp Salt                                                                              6 Ounce Spinach
  1/8 Tsp Black Pepper                                                               2 Tbl Parmesan

Mince garlic and cut chicken into 1 inch pieces.  Coat an unheated 12-inch skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Sautee minced garlic until soft.  Add chicken and cook until done.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add tomatoes and basil - heat through.  Add  spinach and toss until wilted.  Divide among plates or storage containers, sprinkle with cheese, enjoy. 

Per Serving: 220 Cal (15% from Fat, 68% from Protein, 17% from Carb); 36 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 9 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; 3 g Sugar; 163 mg Calcium; 3 mg Iron; 494 mg Sodium

Feb 24, 2012

Crabby Corn Chowder

This was a great soup to have after a cold walk - or play in the yard.  I like to use red, orange or yellow bell pepper since they are a little sweeter.  Nutrition is for 4 meal sized portions. 

  29 Ounce Low Sodium Chicken Broth                                    1/4 Tsp Old Bay
  3 Cups Frozen Corn                                                              1 1/2 Cup Bell Pepper
  1 Cup Potatoes                                                                     8 Ounce 1% Milk
  1 Cup Baby Carrots                                                              2 Tbl cornstarch
  1/2 Cup Celery                                                                     8 Ounce Pasteurized Crab Claw Meat
  1/2 Tsp Thyme                                                                       

Combine chicken broth, corn, diced potatoes, diced carrots, diced celery, crushed thyme and seafood seasoning in a large oval  slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours.

In a bowl, stir together evaporated and cornstarch.  Uncover slow cooker and stir in diced peppers and cornstarch.  Replace cover
and cook on LOW for 1 hour.

Stir crab meat into soup and heat through. Serve warm.

Per Serving: 290 Cal (13% from Fat, 30% from Protein, 57% from Carb); 23 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 43g Carb; 6 g Fiber; 10 g Sugar; 164 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 892 mg Sodium

Feb 23, 2012

Walking Safely - Petiquette

Okay, so you may have seen the title and thought "This isn't for me, I don't have a pet."  Hopefully, you stuck with me to this point - Petiquette isn't just for animals and their humans.  I'll admit, I almost typed dogs, but I have seen a lot of critters being walked in a park, so I edited.

Biggest note - Don't assume a pet is friendly.  Always address the owner before you address the pet.  For example - "That is a beautiful bird, is he friendly" before reaching out toward said bird.

Along those same lines, retractable leashes are the preference of some dog owners.  I get that.  However, allowing your dog to cross the street toward another person and animal while asking "Is your dog friendly?" is not a good thing to do.  It has happened to me and I have been tempted to say no.  What if there is no dog accompanying the other individual?  Maybe that person is just afraid of dogs and you are causing anxiety.  I know, hard to believe, but not everyone is a dog (or animal) lover.

Now that we have addressed passing, one other thought:  Passing should always be done large human to large human.  This way, the dog/dog or dog/small human don't have the chance to interact without the *ahem* responsible party verifying that everyone is okay with it.  Kids get that - they even are usually the ones who have asked for permission before petting.

So, if we are passing large human to large human, that means that walking in parks is best done as it is on the road - on the left side (i.e., into traffic).  This allows the largest *target* to be on the outside and address oncoming traffic (car, truck, bus, large human).

Retractable or not, except in specified dog park areas, leashes are the law.  Attaching a leash to your pet's collar and then letting the pet drag it DOES NOT COUNT.  Recently, during a walk on state game lands, we passed an area where someone had field dressed a deer the day before.  Abby caught the scent and wanted to explore.  Since leash was in hand, that did not happen.  Not long after, we passed another pet owner who did not have leash in hand.  Not wanting the dog to get sick, we warned the owner of the upcoming entrails.  That owner, otherwise, might have had an interesting day.

Finally, poop happens.  Clean it up.  Yes, you can take your pet to PetSmart.  Yes, they have islands of grass outside.  It is not your yard.  Other pet owners don't want to have to step over or prevent their pet from eating poop.  Most of these locations offer poop bags, but you can get a bag container to attach to your leash or just stick a bag in your pocket.  I am guilty of being caught bag less.  I went into the store and asked for a plastic shopping bag.  Worked just as well.

Feb 22, 2012

Spicy Sausage Recipe

The recipe, and nutrition information, is for pork sausage and full fat cheese.  I like to use hot Italian turkey sausage and low fat cheese to increase the nutrition and decrease the calories.  Put the casserole together the night before and cook for a quick supper.  Add 5 to 10 minutes to the cooking time if taking from refrigerator to oven.  The recipe makes 8 servings.

  2 Cup Brown Rice                                                                   8 Ounce Cheddar
  1 Lb Sausage                                                                           1 1/2 Cup Broccoli
  16 Ounces Sliced Water Chestnuts                                         

Cook the rice to package directions - use two cups cooked rice.  Brown and drain the sausage.  Drain the water chestnuts.  Cook the broccoli.  Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Stir all ingredients together and pour into a 2 quart casserole dish.  Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Per Serving: 541 Cal (45% from Fat, 17% from Protein, 38% from Carb); 23 g Protein; 27 g Tot Fat; 11 g Sat Fat; 10 g Mono Fat; 52 g Carb; 4 g Fiber; 3 g Sugar; 250 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 618 mg Sodium

Feb 21, 2012

Southwest Vegetable Bake

Hubby requested this recently so we had a meal, leftovers and a couple of lunches.  If you don't have black rice, use brown.  I like to use Lundberg Black Japonica - it is a blend of Black and Mahogany Rice.  It has a nice nutty flavor.  At Giant in PA, it is carried in the organic section.  This recipe makes 8 servings.

  1 Cup Black Rice, Uncooked                                                  14 1/2 Ounce Diced Tomatoes
  1 1/2 Cups Water                                                                     1 Cup salsa
  15 Ounce Black Beans                                                            8 Ounce Reduced Fat Sour Cream
  8 Ounce Corn                                                                          1/4 Tsp pepper
  4 Ounce Green Chilies                                                             8 Ounce Sharp Cheddar Cheese

In a large saucepan, water to a boil.  Add rice and cook to package directions.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and bake for 30 - 40 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Per Serving: 384 Cal (38% from Fat, 17% from Protein, 45% from Carb); 17 g Protein; 17 g Tot Fat; 10 g Sat Fat; 5 g Mono Fat;  44 g Carb; 8 g Fiber; 5 g Sugar; 280 mg Calcium; 3 mg Iron; 661 mg Sodium

Feb 20, 2012

Toffee Almond Blondies

If you like Toffee, you'll love these.  Makes 24 blondies.  Great with a little chocolate melted on top, too.

  1 1/4 Cup Butter                                                                      1/2 Cup Sugar
  2 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour                                                    3 Large Eggs
  1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder                                                         2 1/2 Tsp Almond Extract
  1 1/2 Tsp Salt                                                                           1 Cup Almonds, Chopped
  2 Cup Light Brown Sugar, Packed                                           12 Ounce Toffee Bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it turns golden brown; remove from heat, and let cool. While cooling, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine browned butter and both sugars; beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, combining thoroughly after each, until light and fluffy. Add almond extract and beat to combine. Add flour mixture, almonds,  and toffee bits. Mix until thoroughly combined, and pour into prepared pan.

Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.

Per Serving: 336 Cal (47% from Fat, 5% from Protein, 48% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 18 g Tot Fat; 9 g Sat Fat; 6 g Mono Fat; 41 g  Carb; 1 g Fiber; 31 g Sugar; 54 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 310 mg Sodium

Feb 19, 2012

Week 7 - 50.2

This week takes us within miles of two outdoor recreation areas in Ohio - Senecaville Lake and Salt Fork State Park. 

Salt Fork State Park offers a Lodge, Cabins and camping.  For activities, there is fishing, golfing, picnicking, boating, winter sports, basketball, mini golf, a beach and hiking.  There are 14 hiking trails that total 13.8 miles.  Per their website, Salt Fork is said to have derived its name from a salt well used by Native Americans which was located near the southeastern corner of the park.  There is some very interesting geology to find, more information is available at the Ohio State Parks website.

Feb 18, 2012

Cuban Beans and Rice

We have been eating quite a few vegetarian meals the last few weeks - mainly because we cook it once then have leftovers for a couple of days, but that works for me!  Try this recipe as is or wrap it in burrito shells - both work well.  It may seem like a lot of spice, but it is not, we add more to taste when we serve.  Great topped with salsa.  Makes 4 servings.

  1/2 Cup Brown Rice                                                                1 Tsp Oregano
  2 Tsp Vegetable Oil                                                                 1 Tsp Hot Hungarian Paprika
  4 Clove Garlic, minced                                                            1 Tsp Salt
  15.5 Ounce Black Beans, rinsed                                              1/4 Tsp Pepper
  1 Cup Water                                                                            1 Lb frozen pepper stir-fry
  1 Tbl Cajun Jerk Seasoning                                                     -vegetable blend
  1 1/2 Tsp Cumin                                                                     

Cook 1/2 cup brown rice to package directions, set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in remaining ingredients (including
 rice). Bring to simmer, cover and reduce heat. Cook 10 minutes until vegetables are tender and flavors have blended.

Per Serving: 327 Cal (11% from Fat, 18% from Protein, 70% from Carb); 15 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 60 g Carb; 15 g Fiber; 0 g Sugar; 78 mg Calcium; 4 mg Iron; 647 mg Sodium

Feb 17, 2012

Citrus Squash Glaze

You can still find some nice squash at your local farmers market - maybe even in your cold storage.  This glaze works well with most, but especially acorn, butternut and Kaboca squash.  Prepare the squash by seeding, cutting into 1 inch slices, brushing with olive oil and roasting in a 400 degree oven until soft.

While the squash cooks, prepare the following:

  2 Tsp Olive Oil                                                                       1/4 Tsp Rice Wine Vinegar
  1 Tsp Garlic, Minced                                                               2 Tbl Orange Juice
  3 Tbl Honey                                                                           1 Tbl Orange Zest
  2 Tbl Water                                                                            2 Tsp Fresh Ginger, Minced
  1 Tbl Lime Juice                                                                     1/4 Tsp Cayenne

Heat oil in a small saucepan or skillet.  Saute the garlic until softened.  Whisk together remaining ingredients and add to the pan.  Heat over medium until the mixture becomes syrup like.  Pour over roasted squash and serve immediately.

Feb 15, 2012

Zippy Macaroni Soup

Sometimes, using a mix as a base is just quicker.  If you cannot find a chili macaroni mix you like, you can use 7 ounces of macaroni and a packet of McCormick's Chili Seasoning mix.

  1 Lb Ground Beef                                                                   4 Oz Chopped Green Chile
  5 C Water                                                                                1/2 Tsp Ground Mustard
  15 Oz Pinto Beans                                                                   1/8 Tsp Pepper
  14 1/2 Oz Diced Tomatoes, Undrained                                    7 Oz Chili Macaroni Dinner Mix
  7 Oz Corn, Drained                                                                

In a saucepan, cook beef until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in water, beans, tomatoes, corn and chilies.  Stir in mustard, salt, pepper and contents of macaroni sauce mix.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Stir in contents of macaroni packet.  Cover and simmer 10 - 14 minutes longer or until macaroni is tender, stirring once.

Feb 14, 2012

The Eighth Commandment

What a great title for a book about stealing - and solving the crime.  Thanks to Freecycle, I have a new author to enjoy.  Lawrence Sanders wrote "The Eighth Commandment" about a young woman who starts working with a numismatist and slowly learns the business.  When he decides to sell his shop, the heroine, Dunk, is employed by an appraisal house and a coin appraiser.  Her first big job is tainted by a theft - of a coin she signed, and was therefore responsible, for.  You'll learn about Dunk, the Havistock family as well as the two men investigating the theft.  One, a police detective, the other; an insurance investigator.  So if you are looking for an entertaining story that, find a copy of "The Eighth Commandment" - you'll be glad you did.

Feb 13, 2012


Hubby wanted just plain red chili with beef, so I made this.  Too bad I didn't have for after our walk yesterday - we both had a bit of hypothermia and this would have helped quite a bit.  The nutrition information is for 15 servings.  I kept several containers of this aside to put in the freezer - both 2 and 4 cup size.  Freezes beautifully.

  2 Lb Ground Beef                                                                   28 Ounce Diced Tomatoes
  2 Tbl Garlic, Minced                                                                2 Tbl Cumin
  1 Tbl Cider Vinegar                                                                 2 Tbl Chili Powder
  29 Ounce Tomato Sauce                                                          1 Tbl Ancho Chili Powder
  29 Ounce Kidney Beans                                                          2 Tsp Oregano
  29 Ounce Pinto Beans                                                             1 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
  3/4 Cup Diced Onion                                                               1 Tsp Red Pepper
  4 Ounce Diced Green Chiles                                                   2 Cups Beef Broth

In a large pot, brown the ground beef, stirring constantly to crumble.  Spoon into a colander to drain.  In drippings, sauté garlic and onion until soft.  Return beef to the pan and add all remaining ingredients.  Bring to a simmer, reduce to low heat and cook for 2 to 3 hours.  Stir every 15 minutes.

Per Serving: 311 Cal (33% from Fat, 28% from Protein, 39% from Carb); 22 g Protein; 12 g Tot Fat; 4 g Sat Fat; 5 g Mono Fat;  31 g Carb; 8 g Fiber; 5 g Sugar; 76 mg Calcium; 6 mg Iron; 1084 mg Sodium

Feb 12, 2012

Week 6 - 47.57

This week, we cross through three states - exit Pennsylvania, cross West Virginia and enter Ohio.  The jaunt through West Virginia takes you directly through Wheeling.  Billing itself as the friendly city, Wheeling is 55 miles from Pittsburgh and 120 miles from Columbus.  If you would like to see their state parks, they offer a link at Wheeling State Park Webcam.  There is also a map available online of Wheeling's Popular Places

Barnesville, Ohio, is the final destination passed through this week.  Their website indicates that they are where history meets progress.  They have a week long pumpkin festival each fall and are working on a Rail's-to-Trails project in their community to create recreational trails in the area.  They also have a historical marker for the Watt Car and Wheel Company, which started in Barnesville and was moved to Washington, PA after being purchased.  The historical markers are a state initiative started in 1953 for Ohio's sesquicentennial. 

Feb 11, 2012

White Rocks Trail

Today's failed attempt to visit my parents led to a beautiful, snowy hike through Central Pennsylvania.  The White Rocks Trail is off of Kuhn Road in Boiling Springs, PA.  Latitude N 40 degrees, 7 minutes 57.48 seconds, Longitude W 77 degrees, 5 minutes, 17.84 seconds.  Parking is alongside Kuhn Road and prominent blue blazes mark the area.  There is a yellow gate near the trail head.  You can go in there, but if you face the gate, turn left and look ahead, you will see a boulder marking the trail head and the following signs on the tree:

Follow the blue blazes and you will go up the hill on a wide, but somewhat rocky, path.  Once at the top, you will bear right.

After a short walk, you come to an rocky outcropping.  Follow the path around to the right.  When you get to the far side, if you stop and turn around, you will see an arrow indicating that you can scramble on top of the rocks - we saw it after stopping to take this picture.

Since my name is Faith, not Grace, I chose to sit with Abby while Hubby took a scramble to the top and took pictures.  I am glad he did. 

 We kept going until we came to the second outcrop, but did not go past because of the snow on the ground - we didn't think it would be safe with the dog.  Had we continued, this trail connects with the Appalachian Trail.  There is also another trail, toward the bottom, marked with yellow markers if you want to just do a short loop.  We went on it briefly, but it did not appear to be as clearly marked.

Feb 9, 2012

Smashingly Good

This recipe has it all - stress reduction, chocolate, ease and low calorie per cookie goodness.  If you don't have coconut powder, you can use all flaked coconut.  No old fashioned oatmeal?  Use quick.  Allergic to chocolate?  Replace the chocolate with all purpose flour. 

  2 Cups Old-Fashioned Oatmeal                                               1 1/2 Cups Butter
  1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar                                                          1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  1 1/4 Cups Flour                                                                      1/2 Cup Coconut
  1/4 Cup Special Dark Cocoa Powder                                       1/2 Cup Coconut Powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to mash it together until your oven is heated.  Keep mashing as long as you like.  Once you have worked out your frustrations, drop by 2 Tbs scoops onto a cookie sheet.  Bake for 12 - 15 minutes until  crispy.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container.  Makes 72 cookies.

Per Cookie: 72 Cal (51% from Fat, 4% from Protein, 45% from Carb); 1 g Protein; 4 g Tot Fat; 3 g Sat Fat; 1 g Mono Fat; 8 g Carb; 0 g Fiber; 4 g Sugar; 12 mg Calcium; 0 mg Iron; 39 mg Sodium

Feb 8, 2012

Southwest Spaghetti (Squash)

This is a great recipe for spaghetti, spaghetti squash or a combination of the two.  If using spaghetti squash, stir it in with the zucchini.

  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, tomatoes, 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.