Friday, April 16, 2010
When I was a kid, every once in a while my family would have a meal of 'finger foods'. Mostly it would be meat, cheese and crackers. I loved that kind of meal. We all used our fingers and shared off of the same big plate in the middle. We seemed to talk more and have more fun. So, I wanted to do that with my husband. We made up the platters and sat on the floor in the living room and watched a movie. It was cute, it was fun, and best of all, no cooking on a busy night.
It's a little bit of an expensive meal because I have this love affair with certain cheeses and just HAVE to have them when I do a thing like this. Namely, smoked gouda. Mmmmm... So good. We got monterrey and colby jack, Laughing Cow spreadable swiss, smoked gouda, and a port and wine cheeseball. Turkey and ham were our meats. I threw in some carrots with the crackers so we'd have some kind of vegetable for this finger-food meal.
We tried Roasted Vegetable Ritz crackers and I LOVED them. I like them a lot better than the original flavor. I just think they have a lot more to offer, flavor-wise.
We also tried these babies. SO good! There's shredded cheese melted on top of the crackers, so they're super tasty. They're a little expensive for how much you get, but if you're treating yourself, why not? They're good!
I hope everyone has at least one fun, easy dinner in their repertoire!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
My husband and I so often eat fast food that we almost never get the veggies we need. We blame it on the 'no time' we have, but really, it's just a lie that we use so that we can be lazy. We've got to stop eating out so much, first and foremost. Secondly, we need to eat more vegetables! I started this last night with an AMAZING recipe which I will talk about in my next post. Third, we need to eat more fruit. Fruit is best for breakfast, by itself, because fruit tends to digest rather quickly on its own which means you will get the nutrients, fiber, and vitamins faster. If you eat fruit with other slower-digesting food, you'll have the fruit just sitting there for much longer than needed in your hot stomach. Yuck! Fermenting fruit=so not tasty! So, I want to eat raw fruit for breakfast and wait at least 30 minutes before eating anything else. That way, I'm guaranteed to get the servings of fruit I need. Take, for example, this morning. I ate most of a medium mango, a small kiwi, and 1/4 of a cantaloupe. Took me about 5 minutes to prep and cut up, but I stayed satisfied for a little under 3 hours, which is rather unusual for me (I'm ALWAYS hungry, even if I just ate a huge meal at a buffet.) I know that I started my day off with plenty of vitamins and enzymes and fiber and just... delicious. I should do this every day. See?
I'll post more about the vegetables and recipes I'm going to start adding to our diets soon.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
8 oz. almond milk
3 tablespoons flax meal
2 large bananas
3 large handfuls of greens (spinach, kale, mixed baby greens)
1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled
1 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon agave (note about agave at the bottom)
drizzle strawberry syrup (optional, and shouldn't really be in this list)
Place the almond milk, flax, and bananas in your regular old blender and blend. Add your greens and blend until smooth. Add in all your strawberries until completely smooth and taste. If you think it needs a bit of sweetness, add some agave nectar (or maybe a simple syrup if you don't have/don't like agave) and taste again. It should be thick, cold, and taste like strawberries with a hint of banana. You won't be able to taste the greens at all. (I accidentally pu too much flax in mine and the flavor of it over powered the drink so I put in some strawberry syrup. I realize this was a silly thing to do since I'm drinking this for the ton of healthy stuff in it, but oh well; we can't be perfect all the time! =D) Pour it in a tall clear glass, and garnish with a strawberry. It's pretty, tasty, and healthy. You'll have several servings of fruit, a couple servings of vegetables, healthy fats from the almond milk, and plenty of Omega-3s from the flax. Not to mention plenty of fiber from the strawberries and flax. Very tasty.
And look who else liked it!
She mostly just wanted the strawberry, though.
Now, about agave nectar: If you've never tried it, you must! It's amazing stuff. The agave is closely related to the lilly and amaryllis, and the nectar is a delicious sap called aguamiel (honey water.) It is sweet and delicious, and healthier than processed white sugar, especially if you get raw agave nectar. It is a great vegetarian replacement for honey, and some tequila is made with agave. I use it in sweet tea, on pancakes, in coffee, to sweeten up vegetable shakes, etc. It's cheaper than honey, and lasts me a long time. Try it out!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
"Research shows that 60-70% of what ends up in your grocery cart is unplanned!
So, there you have it. Ten ways to save money while shopping. Check out both blogs up there. You'll find lots of neat stuff.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
My 16-year-old-going-on-30 sister, Krystal, is going to be moving in with my husband and I (if everything goes according to plan), and I've been working on some presents to make her move much more pleasant. When I am done with that project, there are a few more things I'm longing to get done. I want to try my hand at selling a thing or two on Etsy.com or Artfire.com.
Since my passion is children, and I love to make things, I thought I would try and make just one or two baby things, put them up on Etsy, and see what people think. The thing I want to make most is an adorable little baby girl's pinafore with matching bloomers. I want to make it reversible (because who doesn't love 2-in-1 outfits?) but I'm not QUITE sure how to go about that. Also, I don't know if there are laws concerning fabrics. I don't know if it is legal for me to go to, say, JoAnn's, buy fabric, make something out of it and sell it. I don't think there would be laws like that, but I need to be on the safe side, so I am going to research that. I cannot wait to get something up for sale and see what happens!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Here is her original post (but don't forget to visit her blog. It's wonderful!)
Rich, Dark Hot Cocoa (Dairy and Refined Sugar Free)
by KimiHarris on January 18, 2010
I’ve had a sudden fixation on dark chocolate. Long time readers here will know that I’ve always loved chocolate but I’ve been going weeks on end without having chocolate. Well, no longer. To satisfy my chocolate tooth, I started turning to hot cocoa. This version is dark, creamy, and delicious. I find it a perfect treat to have mid-afternoon (or an almost mid-night snack, which we did last night). And it’s pretty guilt free too, sweetened with a drizzle of maple syrup, full of the healthy fats from the coconut milk and unsweetened cocoa powder too.
Chocolate (without all of the yucky other ingredients added to it in most candy bars) is actually considered a very healthy food by many. Like cranberries, apples, onions, tea and red wine, chocolate is loaded with flavonoids. According to The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth by Jonny Bowden, the particular flaonoids called flavanols found in chocolate “prevent fatlike stubstances in the bloodstream from clogging the arteries. When you reduce the blood’s ability to clot, you also reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.” The author also mentions that chocolate is high in magnesium (which, by the way, is why many crave chocolate when they are low in magnesium). I’ve also read of several studies connecting chocolate to a healthy blood pressure.
Because I use coconut milk powder (I ordered mine from Wilderness Family Naturals), this is dairy free, though you could easily use whole milk instead. I’ve sweetened it with maple syrup, but honey would work too. I wanted to use a liquid sweetener because it would dissolve more easily, but use rapadura or coconut sugar if you are willing to do a little mixing. Feel free to use canned coconut milk too. Maybe half full fat coconut milk with an equal amount of water for a rich taste, or more water for a less rich taste.
Rich, Dark Hot Cocoa
See notes above for ingredient substitutions.
- 2/3 cup of coconut milk powder (see notes above)
1/4 cup of full fat cocoa powder
Scant 1/4 cup of maple syrup or honey
4 cups of water
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
French Press Method: While water is being brought to a boil, add the coconut milk powder, cocoa powder and sweetener to the french press. Add the boiling water and with a gentle motion, use the press to help mix everything together (I use an up and down motion in the top half of the french press). Add the vanilla and serve.
Regular Method: Place the coconut milk powder, cocoa powder and sweetener in a four glass pyrex measuring cup. Add just enough boiling water to moisten this mixture and whisk to form a smooth paste. Add more water to a bit over the four cup mark. Add the vanilla and serve.
*I’ve labeled this recipe vegan and dairy free, but do note that their are trace amounts of milk in the coconut milk powder. To be completely vegan and dairy free, use canned coconut milk.
1 lb. thinly sliced boneless pork chops
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 10 3/4 oz. can of condensed cream of mushroom soup with roasted garlic
1 c water
1/2 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
8-12 oz. egg noodles, cooked
Cook chops in large skillet on medium high heat for 4 minutes on each side. Set aside.
Heat canola oil in pan and add onions and mushrooms. Stirring constantly, cook until onions start to get tender and mushrooms start to get lightly brown. Deglaze the pan with the water, being sure to get all the tasty 'bits' from the bottom. Add soup, soy sauce, sage, thyme, and pepper and stir well. Return chops to the pan, and bring to a boil, uncovered. Allow to simmer until pork chops are cooked through and the sauce has reduced. Add sour cream, mixing well. Serve mixture over egg noddles.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
1 lb. ground turkey (or very lean ground beef)
1 packet chili (or taco) seasoning
12 ounces taco sauce (or chunky salsa)
1 12 ounce bag of nacho cheese flavored chips (I use Doritos, but using a store brand doesn't change the taste of the dish much)
8 ounces mexican cheese
Brown the ground meat (if using turkey, use a tablespoon of two of canola oil; this is not needed for fatty ground beef), drain if needed, add the entire packet of seasoning and the taco sauce. Allow the meat to simmer for a couple minutes so that the sauce is absorbed. Crunch up all your chips and put a little less than half in the bottom of a 13x9" baking dish. Spread half the meat evenly in a layer, top with half the cheese, and repeat the layers. I like to top the dish with a little bit of chips (instead of just cheese) and it comes out looking cute. Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees, or until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream and enjoy! I hope you try this!
Sunday, January 3, 2010
I can't wait to get sewing!