Thursday, July 31, 2008

My New Endeavour

Yep, you heard right. I am on a journey of sorts, and I will explain why I came to this conclusion.

I had been a vegetarian years ago(During my daughters pregnancy) and then fell off the wagon of sorts. I have missed being a vegetarian and longed to get back to the way I felt oh so long ago. My daughter decided, on her own, to become a vegetarian, about 6 years ago, all on her own. I supported her 100% and I had the knowledge to give her as well. So off she went and she began blazing a trail, and she has never looked back. She has had to defend her choices on more occasions that I care to count and she tries not to be rude when replying to these people, but they don't have the same respect towards her. They do not think of her feelings when they jump down her throat about why she is a vegetarin.

So, when I came home from recent spinal surgery, I had a bout of my stomach not doing well by me upon my return. This was put into motion by two events. 1) They prescribed me iron when I got home , and if you are not familiar with what iron does do your body, it plugs up your bowels terribly. This was not a supplement, but straight iron. So needless to say, things were not running smoothly. 2)Staying at my sisters and the way she eats just sent my stomach into more turmoil, and even when I got home and began eating better, it did not help. The damage had already been done.

I knew if I eliminated meat from my diet that things would run smoother. But again, the damage had been done, but I knew as I was trying to right my gut, that I definitely wanted to either cut out or severely cut down my meat consumption, and truth be told, I have not missed meat and I have not consumed any in four days. Now that may not sound like a lot to most folks but for us carnivores, it is a lifetime.

I feel rejuvenated, and happy about my endeavour and hope that I can succeed. If my 8&1/2 year daughter could do it way back when, then I can do it at 46.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Favorite Ethnic Foods

While I was in the hospital, one of their representatives came in to see if all was well with me. Hellllloooo, I am in the hospital. Anyhow, this kid and I began tlaking about how bad the hosptial food was, and beleive you me it stunk!!

He then told me had just converted to vegetarianism. I had a ton of information for him. I also told him my daughter had decided when she was 8&1/2 that she wanted to be a vegetarian. I supported her from point one.

What we did talk about was what ethnic food we liked best. He was Latin(I think he was Cuban decent) and I told him without missing a beat, that if someone told me I could eat only one style of food, that I would eat Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food...hands down.

I like how they do not make meat their main dish. It is just as small or big as what we know as side dishes. Lots of grains and beans, so that is right up my alley.

I was wondering what you people would eat if you could eat only one style of food. Let's hear it folks!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sweet Potatoes and Applesauce

This one is great around the holidays, but good anytime.

2&1/2 cups cooked sweet potatoes(I have used canned in a pinch)
1/2 t salt
1 cup applesauce(I have made my own on occasion)
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/2 t cinnamon
2T melted butter(Vegans do your thing)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put sweet potatoes in a baking dish. Put applesauce on sweet potatoes. In a bowl on the side, mix brown sugar, rolled oats and cinnamon. Stir in butter. Sprinkle over sweet potatoes. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Black Bean Soup

Just make this and eat me on this one!

10 cups of water
1&1/2 cups dry black beans
3T oil
1 carrot grated
1 onion chopped
1 potato grated
1 bay leaf
1t oregano
1/4 t savory(Do not omit this spice)
2t salt
1/2 t pepper
Juice of 2 lemons
Wash beans and pick out debris. Beans need to be cooked(Duh) I have used a pressure cooker if speed is of the essence, but I prefer my slowcooker. Once beans are cooked add 1T of oil.

Chop and grate onion, carrot and potato. Heat remaining oil in medium to large frying pan. Add onion first until soft, then add carrot and potato. Stir until heated through. Add vegetables to soup. Add seasonings. let simmer for about 15 minutes. Pour in lemon juice, stir and enjoy.

Brown Gravy

Who does not like a mound of mashed potatoes with a big scoop of gravy, if you said, "I don't." then you are unamerican. All that aside, I serve this at Thanksgiving, and no one knows it is a vegetarian gravy. Carnivores can be so easily fooled!

2&1/2 T butter(Vegans use your stuff)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups vegetable broth
2T tamari(Soy Sauce)
1/4t pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley(Optional, and I have used dried, but only 1/8 cup)
Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk together for about 30 seconds, then add broth slowly while whisking. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add tamari and pepper to gravy. Whisk until gravy reaches desired consistency.

Potato Kale Soup

This recipe I was given when I had first become a vegetarian from a friend I met in Michigan. We are still friends, and I think of him and his family every time I make this soup! Enjoy!

1 lg Spanish onion(May use yellow as a substitute)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
A pinch of pepper flakes
1/3 cup of oil(Do not skimp on this)
4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 qt of water
2-3T tamari(Soy Sauce)
1 bunch of kale,(Stems removed) cut into long slivers
Dash of hot sauce
Saute first 5 ingredients in oil. then add potatoes and water. Bring to a boil until potatoes are soft. Take a potato masher and mash potatoes until they are all broken up. Add chopped kale, tamari and hot sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Veggie Hot Dog Mush

This recipe has a connection to me...but then again, shouldn't all food? Anyhow this recipe is a variation of something my mother threw together one year when we were kids and stranded in a hotel room waiting for our van to be repaired.

All she had was an electric skillet to cook with and whatever had been left in the cooler we used when camping on vacation. I loved it then and I love it now. We have just veggie-ized it. Hope you like it. And for all you carnivores, by all means add sausage or meat dogs, but trust me when I say the veggie dogs are AOK in our book.

This recipe feeds 4-6 of normal servings.

1 cup of raw rice(cooked)
3-5 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 veggie dogs per person, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 can whole tomatoes(28 ounces)
Salt and pepper
Cook rice. In a large pot, heat oil. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add veggie dogs and pan fry until they have a browned sides. Take canned tomatoes and break up(either by cutting up or by squishing in your hand), and add to dogs and onions.

When rice is finished, take one cup of cooked rice and add to mixture. You will have left over cooked rice. Use it for a future recipe, or if you like a thicker dish, you may add all of the rice. Heat through and serve hot.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Holiday Biscotti

Do not be fooled by the title of this recipe. Please enjoy this whenever you have the chance. I have recently tweaked my diet and made even better choices than I was already making. But I am also a person who believe sin moderation. I believe if you deprive(for lack of a better description) yourself long enough, that you may go completely in the opposite direction and super-splurge. So if I take a homemade cookie once and a while I have no problem with that. My motto is...'moderation', healthy moderation mind you, but moderation all the same. My homemade cookie is ten times better than any store bought, super processed, over preserved thing sitting on the shelf.

2 cups all purpose flour(We use our own ground, soft white flour)
1&1/2 t baking powder
3/4 cup sugar(Or sweetener of your choice)
1/2 cup(1 stick) unsalted butter(Many bakers use unsalted butter) room temperature
1 t grated lemon zest(I did not have any and managed just fine)
1/4 t salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup pistachios(Or any other nut you have), coarsely chopped
2/3 cup dried cranberries(Or any dried fruit you have )
12 ounces good-quality(Very important for melt-ability*my own word*), chopped
Red and green sugar crystals(Sprinkles), for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper(We do use this, it makes a difference). Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar, butter, lemon zest and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add the flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in the pistachios and cranberries.

Form the dough into a 13-inch long, 3-inch wide log on the parchment baking sheet. Bake until light golden brown, about 40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes(Resist the temptation).

Place the log on the cutting board. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the log on a diagonal into 1/2-3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the biscotti, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Bake the biscotti until they are pale golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a rack and cool.

Stir the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Dip half of the biscotti into the melted chocolate. Gently shake off the excess chocolate. Place the biscotti on the baking sheet for the chocolate to set. Sprinkle with the sugar crystals. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, about 35 minutes.

**This may seem complicated, but once you get going, it is pretty much like any other cookie you make. I but time consuming, but oh so worth it in the end**


P.S. If my 14 year old daughter can make these can you.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Marinated Cheeses

I got this from my friend who introduced me to bread baking. I have not made this dish, but I have eaten it at her home. And let me tell you...Oh-My-Stars! I could roll myself in this stuff like a pig in slop. Yes, it is that good, no, it is better. Take the time to make this. And as an extra added bonus, it is beautiful to look at. Marinate away ladies.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 white wine vinegar
3T chopped fresh parsley
3T minced green onion
1t sugar
3/4t dried basil
1/2 t salt
1/2t freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic minced
1 (2 ounce) jar, diced pimiento, drained
1 (5&1/2 x 2 x inch) block sharp Cheddar cheese (8 ounces chilled)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, chilled
Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs
Combine first 10 ingredients in a jar, cover tightly, and shake vigorously. Set aside marinade mixture.
Cut block of Cheddar cheese in half lengthwise. Cot crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices; set aside. Repeat procedure with cream cheese. Arrange cheese slices alternately in a shallow baking dish, standing slices on edge. Pour marinade over cheese slices. Cover and marinade in refrigerator at least 8 hours(Very important)
Transfer cheese slices to a serving platter in the same alternating fashion, reserving the marinade. Spoon marinade over cheese slices. Garnish if desired. Serve with crackers(Or hide in a closet and share with no one!)

Yield: 12-16 appetizer servings

Liquid Laundry Detergent

Yes, this is a recipe. Just not with food. I got this from a friend of mine who knows how to pinch pennies(That is a good quality in my book) and this recipe makes a clothes detergent that is environmentally friendly. But beware, your whites will not be super white any longer. But if you have given up bleach like I have you are already use to the 'dingies'. My clothes are clean and I am happy. I do have to purchase some of these items in certain grocery stores. Not all supermarket chains carry these items. But I did not have to go to any speciality stores to purchase any of these items.

3 pints water
1/3 bar Fels Naptha Soap, grated
1/2 cup Washing Soda(Not baking)
1/2 cup Borax
2 gallon bucket
1 quart hot water
Hot water
Mix Fels Naptha soap in a saucepan with 3 pints of water, and heat on low until dissolved. Stir in Washing Soda and Borax. Stir until thickened, and then remove from heat. Add 1 quart hot water to 2 gallon bucket. Add soap mixture, and mix well. Fill bucket with hot water and mix well. Set aside for 24 hours, or until mixture thickens. Use 1/2 cup of mixture per load.

**A few things I have learned since making this mixture. It is usually ready within the 24 hour limit. However, once the mixture is complete, it is very clumpy and gooey, all at the same time. I have been able to somewhat remedy this by smooshing(I like that word) it through a fine, yet large strainer(I found mine at a flea market). I used to just squeeze it with my hands, but that was messy and did not do as good a job as pushing it through the strainer. Also, as you come to the end of you mixture, you will see that it may not flow through your old detergent container(We kept an old large container and that works fine) as it comes to the end/bottom. At that point, I have to open the knob and actually pour it out instead of pushing the release valve to let out the mixture. I minor inconvenience, but due to the fact that you are at the bottom of your mixture, the container is easily lifted**

I hope all of this makes sense, and if not please feel free to ask any questions. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Making Bad Bread

I love confusing titles, and this one unfold as you read this post. For those of us who do, or have ever attempted to make bread, either by hand or in a machine, you will know what I am saying when I say, we have all made bad bread. I can list a plethora of reasons as to why your bread did not do what is was supposed to, but suffice it to say, you will at some point in your bread baking career, make a dud. Do not panic! There is hope.

Do not throw your bread out, there are many a things you can do with bad bread. So hand on to your boots and read on my friends.

Make bread crumbs:
Trim off the burned area, break apart, put into a blender or food processor and blend down to consistency of bread crumbs. If there is enough, then freeze what you will not use. You can also add herbs before freezing if so desired.

Make bread cubes:
Do as instructed above, but do not blend and cut into cubes. You may freeze if ample enough is around. Use cubes for stuffing recipes.

Make bread pudding:
I have made this even with good bread. I do not make it often, but it is such a comfort food and not sickening sweet either. It settles my sweet tooth and fulfilling at the same time.

So do not think you have to trash your bad bread. Just learn to improvise

This is for all you ladies using bread machines. I had one for nearly my entire time of 27 years of marriage. I just gave it to Goodwill a few months ago. I do not miss it. It served a purpose, but not anymore. I can now make bread once a week(by hand) and still get 4 loaves of fresh baked bread, with three of them going in my freezer. We are a family of four and my son is a wheat hussy. That is to say that he will put down anywhere from 3- 6 slices of any type of bread per day.

You have to remember that bread machines while very convenient, can only make one loaf at a time and the shape is not conducive to bread for sandwiches. That motor will not handle the whole grain I use, and if it does it will only do so for a little while. It will eventually burn out the motor. I do not have machine any longer...I have my teenage daughter to do my kneading for me/us. I have not been able to knead since a stupid injury, but hope to be well after surgery so I can hopefully get back to my bread making/baking.

From tip to top, it takes us about 3-4 hours to make 4 loaves a bread. Our family of four goes through about 1-1&1/2 loaves of bread a week. So the 4 loaves we make goes for quite a while. We also make other breads for special occasions. those breads I did not calculate into the 3-4 hours of bread making.

I am by no means an expert, I am learning all the time. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer or get your question answered. Happy bread baking.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Homemade Hummus

I learned this form my husbands family. People think it is difficult to make. WRONGO! So simple. And all the ingredients can be purchased in any local grocery store...OK, maybe not in the middle of Montana.

1&1/2 cup dry chickpeas(Garbanzo beans)
2T baking soda
1/4-1/3 cup tahini
1/2-1 t salt
Juice of one lemon
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
You can start this process before you go to bed, or if you are an early riser, as soon as you get up.(I prefer before I go to bed)

Soak your dry chick peas in enough water to be covered by about 2 inches(The beans will swell) and baking soda. the next morning, drain your beans and rinse thoroughly. Place chick peas in cooking pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, taking care to remove any foam that occurs during boiling. Once beans are cooked through, turn off heat and let beans cool down(Very important)

Once chick peas are cooled, use a straining spatula and place chick peas in a food processor. Add tahini, salt, lemon juice, and garlic. Puree, until smooth. Your hummus should be the consistency of pancake batter. If too thick, then use the reserve liquid form the boiled chick peas to thin out your hummus. If you prefer more lemon, then add it, and the same goes for the salt or garlic. I like mine garlicky and salty, you may not.

Transfer finished hummus to shallow bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika. Serve with pita bread or raw veggies.

So Many Recipes

Many of you may be wondering why I am flooding my new blog with all this recipes. Well there is a good reason. I will be having surgery in a little over a week. I want you folks(that do visit) to have some food to try in my absence. then when I return I will look forward to hearing what you all have to say about the dishes you have tried.

So enjoy and ask any questions you so need to and I will answer them until I check into the hospital.

Paula Deens Mexican Wedding Cookies

Not everything I post here will be super healthy. I believe in moderation. So I will use the processed sugar, and refined white flour for the rare occasions I do use this recipe. I feel confident enough in my diet to know when to stop stuffing my face with foods that are not healthy.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for coating baked cookies
1 t vanilla extract
1&3/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting hands
1 cup pecans, chopped into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer at low speed, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the vanilla. At low speed, gradually add the flour. Mix in pecans with a spatula.

With floured hands, take out about 1 tablespoon of dough and shape it into a crescent. Continue to dust hands with flour as you make your cookies. Place them 1 inch apart from one another. Bake for 45 minutes. Roll in additional confectioners' sugar while still warm. Cool completely on wire racks and store in airtight tins.

Nanny's Hush Puppies

Nanny was my grandmother, and was a spitfire. She was a difficult but loving woman. She was ahead of her time and was a woman who stood out in a crowd and stood up for what she believed in and if you didn't like it, then 'Hit the Road Jack.' She taught me most of what I know about Southern Cooking. She was born and raised in Georgia, so she had no clue what low-fat was. It was bacon drippings or nothing at all. Over the years I have learned to health-ify(It's a word now, cuz I made it so)her recipes, but some of them you just have to eat as they were intended. I hope you enjoy this one.

1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 egg
A pinch of baking powder
1 small can of tomato paste
Mix all ingredients until a sticky paste/batter. Heat frying pan with about 2 inches of grease, or you can use a deep fryer. Spoon golf ball sized drops into grease and turn until golden brown.

Zucchini and Lentils

This was one of the first dishes my daughter ate when we introduced her to solid foods. We could not get it in her mouth fast enough. Now that she is a vegetarian she still loves it. The timing on this dish is kind of tricky. If your zucchini is too soft...Yucko. If your lentils are too hard, then call a dentist. So don't fret if you don't get it right the first time out. Simple easy ingredients, and the taste is fantastic.

1 cup dry lentils
4 zucchini, wiped off, quartered and chopped
1 large onion, sliced form top to bottom
2-4 T oil(I prefer olive)
Salt and pepper to taste(I prefer mine a little bit on the salty side)
In a small pot, pre-boil your lentils in enough water to cover about 1-2 inches. Cook until 1/2-3-4 of the way cooked. When the skins are cracked, you are close. Meanwhile, saute onion in oil until soft. Add zucchini and cook down partially, then add cooked lentils and cooking water. Stir together until mixed. Cook until zucchini are done but not mushy. If not cooking down enough, you may need to add some extra water. Add salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Tofu Tuna Salad

So many people are scared of tofu...don't be. Once you learn what to do with it, you will love its versatility. It is extremely healthy and can pick up any flavor you give it. If you look at it like a potato...flavorless until you give a flavor, then you will be good to go.

1 pound firm tofu-frozen
2 green onions, minced
1/2 cup mayo(vegan if you prefer)
2T tamari(aged soy sauce)
1T lemon juice
1 t kelp (optional)(I have never used this ingredient)
Thaw tofu(Usually 24 hours in frig, on a plate). Break into chunks and squeeze out excess water. Break down into consistency of crumbles.Put drained tofu in medium sized bowl. On the side, in a small bowl, stir together all other ingredients, mix well and add to tofu. Serve on bread or on a bed of lettuce.

I love this one, but no one eats it with me. So I make this rarely.

Vegan Ice Cream

My vegan friend Erin told us about this and even took us into her home and showed us how to make this dish. Easy Schmeazy I tell you.

1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen berries
1T nut butter
1/2 T agave
1T carob or cocoa powder
Dash of salt and vanilla
Place all ingredients in food processor and whirl until the consistency you desire for ice cream.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Broccoli Slaw

When I was in the work force, a woman I worked with made this, and I loved it then and I love it still. Simple and loved by many.

1 package broccoli slaw salad
1 bunch green onions
3/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
2T butter (for almonds and sesame seeds)
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2T vegetable oil(Use what you have, but keep it light)
1/4 t pepper
1/2 cup sweetener(We use natural or raw sugar)
1t salt
Combine salad ingredients and set aside. Stir together vinegar, oil, pepper, sugar, salt, in a separate bowl(It is important to mix wet ingredients separate from salad ingredients). Heat butter in small frying pan. Once melted, add almonds and sesame seeds and toast until light brown and no more. Add wet ingredients to salad, then add nuts and seeds. Mix well.

Stringy Cheese Loaf

I openly admit that there are times I cannot cook every meal 100% from scratch. There are days that m y MS medication kicks my butt and I am on the sofa the entire day, so I have recipes I can eat in a pinch and not totally give up my good eating habits. And if I fall off the saddle, I get back up on the next day and keep on going.

1loaf(1 pound) French bread
1 package(3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese(about 4 ounces)
1/4 chopped green onion(try to use green onions, it's a plus)
2T butter, softened
1/2t garlic powder
This recipe was originally supposed to be on an outside grill, but I adapted it to be in the oven. My homeschooling students did not mind that we made this in the oven.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut bread diagonally into 1-inch slices, cutting almost to the bottom of the loaf, but not all the way through. Mix remaining ingredients; spread between slices of bread. Place bread on 28x18 inch piece of heavy aluminum foil; securely wrap.

Place foil on pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Unwrap foil and let cook for additional 5 minutes.

Italian Salad Dressing

I found this one in a Better Homes & Garden book a friend of mine gave me. And since I prefer to make things from scratch and not come out of a box or bottle, this one suited me just fine.

1 cup vegetable oil(Use what you have but it should be a light oil)
1/4 lemon juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1t salt
1t sugar
1/2t dried oregano
1/2t dried mustard
1/2t onion powder
1/2t paprika
1/8t ground thyme
2 cloves crushed garlic
Shake all ingredients in tightly covered jar. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Yield: 1&1/2 cups(24 Tablespoons)

Potato Rice Burger

I love this one. I found this recipe when I was a vegetarian, and to me this is a comfort food. We use this as a burger or as a side dish, whatever works for you the night you make it.

1 cup cooked rice(whatever is in your pantry)
1 large potato peeled, and diced, cold water to cover
1/4 cup bread crumbs(We make our own form our homemade bread, use what you have)
1/2 onion minced
1-2T tamari(soy sauce that is more aged, worth the try)
2T chopped parsley(I have used dry)
Prepare Forman style grill or frying pan. Cook potatoes in water until tender. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Drain potatoes and reserve liquid. Mash potatoes into mixture with potato masher. Add reserved liquid if mixture is not pliable enough. The mixture should be close to the same consistency as meat style mixture.Form into 4 patties and grill or cook in frying pan until lightly browned on both sides.


Corn Bread

A fellow blogger just got a bag of cornmeal, so this is for her.

1&1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour(I use whole wheat)
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 cup milk
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup sweetener(Sugar, turbinado, agave, whatever you have)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and sweetener. Mix separately, milk, egg and oil. Add milk mixture to cornmeal mixture. Stir just to combine ingredients. Pour into desired pan and bake for 25 minutes, or until slightly brown.

Mashed Potatoes and Carrots

I made this when I was teaching my little kiddies in my homeschooling group. What a great way to add some veggies in our your little ones. This one calls for carrots, but I can't see any reason you cannot substitute another vegetable in its place.

2 cups vegetable broth or water
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 medium potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup half and half, or milk
1T butter
1t cumin seed (I used cumin powder)
1t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground nutmeg
Heat broth to boiling. Add carrots and potatoes. Cover and heat to boiling. Cook until carrots are tender, 18-20 minutes; drain. Mash carrots and potatoes until potatoes are smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients.

This one is a great holiday dish, but can be eaten at any time

Rum Balls

This one I make mostly around the holidays, but it will warm the cockles of your heart, trust me on this one. Take a bite and wait for it.

2 cups vanilla wafers(chopped into a crumb consistency)
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup confectionery sugar
2T cocoa powder
2T corn syrup
1/3 cup of rum
Mix all ingredients and roll into bite-sized ball. Roll them into confectionery sugar and place on platter and refrigerate for several hours. *Keep a bowl of warm water nearby to keep the food flowing and not sticking to your hands*

Oatmeal Pancakes

These have been with us for so long, I can't remember when I acquired this recipe.

1&1/4 cup milk (I have used soy or cows milk)
1 cup rolled oats
1T oil
2 eggs beaten
1 cup flour(possibly more)
1T brown sugar
1t baking powder
1/4 t salt
Combine milk and rolled oats and let sir for 5 minutes. Add the oil and beaten eggs, mixing well. Stir in flour(Adding more if necessary if consistency is too runny when all ingredients are combined), sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix until dry ingredients are moistened. Cook on a hot lightly oiled griddle.

Oven Fries

I know I said I would not make anything low calories, and oddly enough I found this recipe in a book I picked up at Goodwill, who knew. But this recipe is worth the time, trust me on this one.

3T unsalted butter(I have used salted butter)
1 pound large red or white all purpose potatoes(I use what is in my pantry)
1/2 t salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Skim the foam off the top and discard, set the butter aside. (This is the toughest part of this recipe)

Peel the potatoes, and slice into julienned strips about 2-2 1/2 inches long, by 1/4 inch thick. Soak the cut potatoes, in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Sandwich between several layers of paper towels and pat dry. Transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl.

Skim off 2 tablespoons of the clear yellow part of the reserved melted butter and discard the white milk solids in the bottom of the pan. Pour the clarified butter over the potatoes and toss to completely coat the potatoes.

Spread the potatoes on a large baking sheet, making sure they don't stick together. Bake for 15 minutes in the top of the oven, then toss the potatoes with the salt and rearrange them with a metal spatula to brown evenly. Bake for 5 minutes longer and toss again, and bake for another 5 minutes until the potatoes are brown and crisp.

P.S. The baking is a bit time consuming but will be worth it in the end. Enjoy!

My First Cooking Blog

I decided to start a second blog just for recipes. When I had posted three recipes on my original blog in succession I knew I had recipes to offer my viewing public.

I do not profess to be a whiz in the kitchen or anything close to being a chef. I just love cooking and eating what I cook. I have learned that you can have your cake and eat it to. I am not a low-fat, low-calorie, low-cholesterol...or anything like that, type of cook. I cook with real ingredients and throw the processed stuff out the window. I am also not a slave to my kitchen. I do not stand there for hours on end chopping, dicing, slicing, boiling and what-have-you. OK, well maybe on Thanksgiving, but that is all. OK, maybe on Christmas as well, but that is it. All right, I confess to Easter, but that is the last of them.

Come join me on my journey through the cooking world and let me show you that you do not have to give much up in order to eat healthy and still love what you eat.