Monday, April 26, 2010

New Recipes

I've burst out of a cooking rut with 3 fabulous new recipes this week.

First, I was ready to try making granola bars again. I had tried last year, and was bummed by the result (mine were dry and VERY crunchy - not my kind of bar). I gave this a whirl, and they were blissful. I used chopped cherries, chocolate chips, coconut, and pecan pieces. In my next batch I think I'm going to back off the chocolate chips a bit & maybe add in some rice cereal. They are exactly as described: thick & chewy. These are NOT low-calorie, but I find that a small square satisfies my sweet craving, and the kids love them, too. I also appreciate that I can control what goes in them (more dried fruit, NO high-fructose corn syrup), and the serving size.

A few days later I had a hankering for the sweet fruits of summer, and so I made Blueberry Boy Bait. Great name, right?? I only tasted a small piece of the cake, as I ended up donating it for a bake sale. Good thing, as it could have been dangerous - lurking in my kitchen to trip up a ravenously hungry morning muncher. It was much like a coffee cake, and would be delightful with some cheesy eggs & bacon on a Sunday morning.

And finally, I made my beloved Red Beans & Rice. One of the few things I miss about living in the South is Red Beans & Rice & the occasional Crawfish craving. I decided to man up and figure out how to make my own - and I did! All Recipes came to the rescue with Authentic Louisiana Red Beans and Rice. I made it as written, but used Chicken Andouille Sausage, and mashed the beans in the last half hour. I also subbed in brown Basmati rice for the usual white. A thumbs up from the whole family!

Maybe next time I'll post pictures.... but usually I only think of that when we are clutching our full tummies and laying down to enhance digestion. Enjoy!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fab Friday: April 23

Things I Love Right Now:

  1. Dailyburn.com
  2. Bath & Body Works Lemon Pomegranate Lip Gloss
  3. Sunshine
  4. Grilling
  5. Sandals
  6. Homemade Granola Bars
  7. Planning for Summer Fun
  8. Windows Open
  9. Blackberries
  10. Fruit Leather

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Growing Up

We're going from this:


To this:

(That's a Buzz Lightyear "Action Figure")
He thought it was a fair trade.
Let's see if he still feels the same at bedtime!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Home Again

Mercy, it's been a long 2 weeks.

Two days into Spring Break, Big Daddy's father passed away. This news arrived to us after Big Daddy wrapped up an hour and a half in the dentist's chair, complete with gum scraping. A lovely day, no?

Big Daddy and Big Sis immediately flew West (after a 7 hour round trip drive to the airport, of course). They de-planed in Portland sans the 19 movies they packed for entertainment.

6 days and 18 hours of driving later, the 4 of us reunited in Utah for the actual funeral.

After exhausting (but sunny! and warm!) days featuring crowds, a gas guzzling minivan, and little sleep, we finally arrived home to the Eastern Time Zone.

Our weekend was capped with visits to both Urgent Care and the Emergency Room. Due to a freak accident at a Utah bouncehouse, Big Sis walked around for 3 days with a broken arm.

Yep, we are FANTASTIC parents, and generally nice people. You just wouldn't know it after from the past 14 days.

If bad things happen in 3's, I am hoping the dentist visit counts & we can quickly move beyond this unhappy fortnight.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Matt & his Dad on our wedding day, 2002

Sam J Huff
1949-2010

We miss you, Sam.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Going Greek

In an ongoing, somewhat meandering effort to "GET HEALTHY" and "MAKE POSITIVE CHANGE", I've been testing out a few new recipes, and have a found a blue-ribbon winner in the latest Everyday Food.

I was first attracted to it because it's a recipe that Emeril claims to make with his kids, and it sounded pretty innocuous (ie: my kids might actually eat it). As always, I made some changes, but the results were fantastic!!

Emeril's Chicken Patty Pockets

1 lb. ground dark meat chicken (I bought ground chicken, and just assumed it was a mix)
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs (I used Panko, as it was all I had)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion (This seemed like A LOT of onion)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbs. minced garlic
1 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbs. olive oil
Pita pockets + lettuce, tomato, cucumber
Minted Yogurt Sauce (forget this, I have a GREAT Tzatziki recipe for ya)

1. Heat broiler, with rack in highest position. In a large bowl, combine chicken, egg whites, breadcrumbs, onion, parsley, garlic, salt & spices, and mix until well blended. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and drizzle with 1 Tbs. oil (NO! Don't do that! Save the calories!). Divide chicken mixture into 8 portions and place on sheet. Shape each into an oval patty and use your hand to flatten slightly. Drizzle 1 Tbs. oil over patties (Again with the oil! Wouldn't you rather have dessert??)
2. Broil until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook until cooked through, about 4 minutes more. Serve in pita pockets, with lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and Minted Yogurt Sauce, if desired.

Amy's Tzatziki Sauce

1 8 oz container Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded & diced
3-4 Tbs. fresh mint leaves, minced
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
Salt & Pepper to taste

Mix the above & serve with the chicken patty pockets. Also delicious as a dip for pita or veggies.
One patty in 1/2 a wheat pita with veggies & sauce, comes out to about 210 calories!

PS - The healthy living statements are in caps because I always picture them being said by Chris Farley as Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker. Just a little Tuesday Madness.