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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

cucumber tofu salad

It's true... I've had to loosen my apron strings again while I prepare for baby number 4! For the last few months, I've had morning sickness so bad that I haven't spent much time in the kitchen. But as summer is coming, and the fresh food is hitting the market, my appetite is coming back bit by bit. One thing I have really wanted to eat non-stop is cucumbers. I made a cucumber salad last week but I used a normal amount of onion which was just too much for me still at this point. And the flavors just weren't anything too exciting. Today though, I used those ideas with the old cucumber salad I've made many times and found a perfect combo! Dressing: 8 TBSP vinegar 2 TBSP sugar 1 tsp salt 4 TBSP EV Olive Oil Add to: One peeled cucumber, sliced 1 package firm tofu, cubed 1-2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced 1/8 - 1/4 vadalia onion (you could use a whole onion but it is my strongest food aversion so I really just let it soak in the vinegar for some light flavor) Then add: 4 large basil leaves, chopped 8 chive stalks, chopped 4 TBSP chopped fresh dill

Saturday, May 5, 2012

single malt orange marmalade

I've been wanting to make this marmalade since Robert Burn's Night when I found the recipe. Today I had a few hours to myself so I finally got to making it. It is very time consuming but after my first real taste this morning, it is very worth it. First step is to get the zest off 6 oranges and 1 lemon. My peeler wasn't nearly sharp enough so this took forever. Then chop it very fine. Also, grate 4 carrots and 1 granny smith apple and get the juice from the lemon and reserve.
Add all this into a stainless pot with a small handful of allspice wrapped in a cloth. Segment and juice the 6 oranges being careful to keep all seed and pith out of the pot.
Let this cook down for 15 minutes and then add 4 cups of sugar and the lemon juice.
After the marmalade passes the set test, add in 1/4- 1/3 cups of single malt scotch (I used glenfiddich). Skim off any foam and fill clean, boiled jars. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.
The color is spectacular! And the taste is beyond words!

Friday, March 2, 2012

my new diet drink

Fresh Brewed Green Tea and Ginger Tea, iced. To this I ad a splash of juice. My new favorite is Ruby Cherry. Then I made ice cubes out of lemon juice, raspberries and a little filtered water.

Chicken Orzo Spinach Soup

I put the raw chicken breasts in the crock pot early in the day with chopped onion, red pepper, carrots and spices. After it had cooked all the way through, I took some of the stock out to use a different time. I shredded the chicken and then I added a can of garbanzo beans and ripped up spinach. Then an hour before dinner I added 2 cups of orzo.
We had this with cheesy pesto bread- what a perfect dinner for a chilly night!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Candy Apple Upside Down Cake

It's become a tradition for me to make canned candy apple rings around Christmas. I try and save a few jars for myself to use throughout the winter. Last night my Mama was coming over for dinner so I wanted a yummy dessert. I used the traditional Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe but used the Candy apple rings instead.

Preheat over to 350. In the cake pan, heat 2 TBSP butter and then stir in 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place the candy apple rings around the outside edge of the cake pan.
For the cake batter, cream 1/4 cup butter and 1/3 cup sugar. Add 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp salt. Then add 2/3 cup milk and slowly add 1 1/3 cup flour and 2 tsp baking powder. Pour over top of the brown sugar glaze with apple rings. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a can plate.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chicken Curry with Chicken Stock rice and veggies

I've had curry on my mind and tastebuds lately but I knew I had to do it mellow to make it family friendly. Saturday I slow cooked a chicken and turned it into curry chicken with chicken stock rice.
For the curry sauce, I sauteed a red onion and 2 cloves of garlic. in olive oil. Once the onions were soft, I added 1 TBSP of curry powder, 1 TBSP cumin and 1 tsp red pepper flakes. I let the spices open up and get fragrant. And then I added 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1/4 cup sesame oil. I let this all cook together, maybe 5 minutes, on low and then added a few cups of the fresh made chicken stock and pieces of the warm chicken to soak up the curry flavor. I didn't want to have it cooking in there too long because I was afraid that would overpower it and the family wouldn't enjoy it as much.
For the rice, I used all fresh chicken stock and no water. It was delicious! Also, in a separate pan I cooked a medley of broccoli, carrots and celery. I added 1 TBSP of olive oil and 1 TBSP sesame oil to the bottom of the pan. And then as it started to cook, I added 2 cups of the fresh chicken stock and put a lid on it to let the veggies steam. This way everyone got to pick the vegetables they would actually eat.
It's rare I'm nervous to present a meal to the family but in this case I was rewarded with compliments and kids asking for seconds!!

tee shirt necklace

I found this t-shirt a few weeks ago and fell in love with it. It's a little cheesy but it was my kind of cheesy. It was also a dollar and I loved that too! But when I went to put it on the other day, I found a hole in it in a very obvious place. (not where you want attention when you are a woman trying to practice modesty). I've seen these patterns around Pinterest so I thought I would give this a go.

I kept the hems intact here.

For the top part, I cut the sleeves off so the strips where shorter. I made them a bit thicker too. I used these to wrap around the ends of the necklace to bind them together.

The short strips I used to tie the parts of the necklace together. The middle sized strips I tied to make longer strips and made the braided part and the twisted part. The longer part I kept as in, just tued it together with one of the shorter strips. And then I used some black thread and sewed the three groups of strips together.

It turned out good! But I'm afraid it might be another one of the projects I make for myself that I never use. Maybe I'll find it a good home.