Thursday, April 30, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Jackson is allergic to a ton of foods. The most mentionable ones are wheat, eggs, beef, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, red dye, and a host of others. There are not very many treats that he can have so I was very pleased to see a real apple juice slush on the Sonic menu. Well, I don't have to tell you how much he enjoyed his first slush!! I mean could his smile be any bigger? This morning I was looking at this picture and I was wondering.....I bet he smiles even bigger for Mickey Mouse!! I can't wait to see that smile!!
First let me start by saying that I am so happy I finally found my copy of Stirring the Pot. I knew it was somewhere. The funny thing is that I found it under the bed. I must have took it to bed with me and forgot about it! Well, things have been pretty chaotic around here lately. I knew I wouldn't have time to cook this week. I decided to make egg salad, which I love, with the leftover Easter eggs. I wonder how many other people thought of the same thing? Tyler's recipe can be found here and also on food network.
Everyone loved this egg salad and it was super easy. I was surprised that everyone loved it because my mom loves all kinds of things in her egg salad and my husband does not. It was simply eggs, mayo, a tad of dijon and 1/2 lemon, juiced. I liked the idea of the lemon to thin the dressing out. It makes things a little healthier and adds an extra little zip. I also left out about half of the yolks.
I won't be able to post next Friday because we will be on our Disney Cruise. We are going with one of my best friends and her family. She and I have been friends since we were about 4 or 5 years old and she lives in Ohio, along with most of my other friends and relatives. I usually only see her a couple times a year for a couple hours. Starting Saturday I will get to see her and her family for about 8-10 days straight!! We are so excited. Our oldest children were born only 1 month apart and they love spending time together when they get the chance. We are also going to go to the Magic Kingdom and try to go to another park. My 2 year old is going to probably freak out when he sees Mickey. I am convinced he is about the biggest Mickey fan around. This is his first real trip to Disney. We are hoping for a safe drive and also a safe vacation.
Thanks to Megan and everyone who helped me figure out how to add the link to my posts without actually copying and pasting it. I really appreciate it! I am hoping to become my computer literate this year.
I'll be back the last week of April!! I'll miss my blogging and feel like I might be sneaking down to find a computer at night...how bad is that?
Friday, April 10, 2009
I have made and ate the same banana bread recipe for my whole life. It is the classic recipe from the red and white checkered Better Homes cookbook. I felt very safe to make Tyler's recipe because his baking recipes are really spot on and delicious. The difference in Tyler's recipe is that he whips the banana with sugar for 3 minutes in a mixer and makes a banana creme. All other ingredients are mixed into this mixture. I was curious how the final product would be and I have to say it was good. I may have overbaked mine slightly. They were a tad on the dry side. Maybe what I need to do is add butter!!
There is usually a debate on whether or not to add nuts to baked goods. Some people enjoy them and some do not. I have to say that I enjoy nuts on their own. (Yes, Donna....I enjoy nuts on their own!!) I don't usually like them in quick breads or muffins. I'm wondering if the additon of the nuts contributed to making the banana bread a little drier?? So, I would say that if you are not a fan of nuts in your quick breads, then just leave them out. I had never added pecans before so I thought I'd give it a try. I would make this recipe again without the nuts in a regular sized loaf pan.
Here is a link to the banana bread recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/banana-bread-with-pecans-recipe/index.html. Someone please help me about this link I just posted. In other blogs when people post a link to a recipe or webpage, they might say Here is the recipe. Then the word here or recipe might be highlighted in purple or some other color and when you click on that one word you are redirected to correct site. I have tried to figures this out and just can't do it. I'm so computer challenged over here! If someone could explain that to me I would be very grateful. I've been wanting to do a special post to forward a blog award and would love to be able to make links to other blogs this way.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
I spent an hour or so this morning looking over recipes for chicken online. Within minutes of trying to deal with the food network website, I gave up on them. What is going on with their site? I decided to try Recipezaar and I loved it!! Why haven't I checked out this website before? They have a ton of recipes and the website is a dream. You can search by ingredient (ex. chicken), ratings, course, cuisine, diet, occasion. You can search by crockpot, casserole, I think you're getting the idea. My favorite is to search by ingredient and then search by ratings. I like to find the top rated recipes and pick from one of those.
Today, the second most popular chicken dish was this Crockpot Chicken with Black Beans and Cream Cheese. In fact 767 people have rated it a 4.5 out of 5. The best part was that the recipe uses frozen chicken breast! Yes, frozen ! No waiting to thaw. The only other ingredients that were needed was a 15oz jar of salsa, 15oz can of corn, 1 can of black beans and 8 oz. cream cheese. I was so happy that I had everything on hand. I was even happier that I didn't have to wait for my chicken to thaw.
To make the dish, you drain the corn and black beans. Then you add the frozen chicken breast, the corn, black beans, and jar of salsa. This cooks on high for 4-5 hours until the chicken is cooked through. Do not worry that the chicken will overcook. I was worried the chicken would get tough, but it doesn't. Once the chicken is cooked through (for me this was 4.5 hours), add the 8 oz. of cream cheese. I kinda cubed it up with my fingers and stirred it in. Once the cream cheese is added it cooks for another 30-40 minutes. The chicken breast will shred like a dream. It was tender and moist and absolutely delicious. Serve on top or on the side of your favorite carb.
I was completely happy with this dish. I thought it was perfect comfort food and think that everyone would enjoy this dish. This is a great pantry dish that can be thrown together in about 5 hours.
Variations and changes on this dish are endless. You could do many combinations. I was even thinking of using a can or cans of tomatoes with cilantro and chiles instead of jarred salsa. You could add peppers, onions, etc. The dish was a little on the bland side and could use some extra seasoning. I read online that one lady used some taco seasoning to spice up her dish. I'm sure you could add any seasoning you saw fit. I had a fresh jalopeno on hand that I added as a final touch, but now wish that I would've sliced it up and added it to the pot. This recipe is wide open to changes and variations!! Get creative with it! Great also for feeding a lot of people.
Here is the link to the recipe: http://www.recipezaar.com/Crock-Pot-Chicken-W-Black-Beans-and-Cream-Cheeseyum-89204
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Note: I did substitute plain yogurt for the creme fraiche. I couldn't locate any creme fraiche and didn't really like it much to begin with. The plain yogurt was a replacement that I found online and is a much healthier option.
1 cup creme fraiche *or like me use 1 cup plain yogurt*
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 lemon, juice only
1 tablespoon sugar
1 shallot, minced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heads of endive, leaves separated
2 heads baby radicchio, leaves torn into large pieces
1 orange, peeled and cut into slices through the equator
1 blood orange, peeled and cut into slices through the equator
Another NOTE: I halved this recipe and had only one head of endive and radicchio. I would maybe double the endive and buy 2 endive for every radicchio to create more of a balance between the two. My mom and I both found we really liked the endive and wished there was more of it.
For the dressing, in a small bowl combine creme fraiche/yogurt, mustard, lemon juice, and sugar. Fold in shallot and season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside in fridge to let the flavors come together. (I was starving and my flavors only came together for a short 10 minutes).
For the salad, toss together the endive, radicchio, and both types of orange slices in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with dressing and gently toss to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately. Eat everyday, three times a day, for three weeks straight and pray to lose 5-10 pounds.
On another note, I may not be posting too many recipes in April. I am trying to stay away from the fridge, the kitchen, the cooking shows, and all other ideas of food in order to get ready for the cruise. We all know what happens on a cruise........eating, and more eating, and I think you get the idea. I gotta shave off the weight I'm gonna gain on that cruise. On the other hand, I could decide this is my April Fool's hoax and start making all kinds of unhealthy food again. I really haven't decided.......................