Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Leftover Spaghetti Pie







Lunch today,  Leftover Spaghetti Pie.

As I looked in the refrigerator today, I am trying to keep the leftovers to a minimum, so I can buy the good eats for during the holiday. Usually I have a nice cold snap during the holidays and water, drinks and some produce can sit in the chilly garage. Of course these last few weeks in Ga, have been warm.

I found a quart of leftover spaghetti, and then I thought...hmmm.. like a pizza pie. I had about 1/4 jar of sauce hanging out. 1/2 onion already diced up, and I sauteed some breakfast sausage and split it in half and with my all time favorite (SPINACH), and some cheese, I had it made.

I have these great pans, I actually found them at the goodwill. They are like a set of Pizza Hut Deep Dish Pans. They are so seasoned and they seem to heat up so nice and always crispy.

I also have a wonderful habit of using parchment paper. It keeps everything from sticking, and I can keep a watch on browning, but just pulling up a side. It also is great for no mess clean up.



Leftover Spaghetti Pie

Ingredients:

2 cups of leftover spaghetti

2 eggs

spaghetti sauce (this is optional too) I didn't really taste it will all my toppings. 

Toppings (what ever you like)
I used onion, mushrooms, a 1/4 cup of sausage crumbles, spinach and mozzarella cheese.

Instructions:

1) Spray a non stick pizza pan (or use parchment)

2) Mix the 2 cups of spaghetti with 2 eggs.

3) Spread into the pizza pan.

4) Put on toppings.

5) 400 oven for 15-20 minutes.. until the crust is brown and the cheese melts.

See the brown 


We had to eat ours with a fork, because we couldn't let it cool.
It was very filling and I even have some left for the crew when they get home today.



 I really like it, and I hope if you give it a try you will. Maybe what I write may help you rethink leftovers. I love trying such new stuff.
Hopefully next week, I will get to make a few new things. I found some cool cookie recipes. I will give them a shot.

Until, next time..enjoy your holidays.. kick your feet up, pop some music on and relax......It really is just that simple..

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Songs of Christmas Past




Merry Christmas.  

Just sitting here reminiscing about my childhood and the Christmas Holiday. I think we took them alot more seriously than they do these days. These days, they make shopping the thing and they speed us along. 
These weeks before Christmas were made for enjoying family and friends. Always church was a big part of it, in my home. We would have the annual church Christmas Pageant. The baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and let's not forget all the manger animals, I am sure that I was a few. 
There was also midnight mass on Christmas Eve. I was always ready for that one. We would sing beautiful songs, the church lights would be lowered to show the lights and the candles all lit. I found it to always be so comforting and beautiful. You could actually feel God in the room. I would look around and see all my family and friends and remember how lucky I was. Then we would all head home. Laughing all the way, usually all bundled up and in the snow. The church was a few blocks away, and we would never even think of pulling the car out for something that short away.  
We would all get home, wet from the snow, because you know, someone always slipped and fell. One time, I was talking so much (me, yea right) and not looking where I was going, ran smack into a telephone pole. About knocked myself out. Big old knot for Santa. We would hang up the jackets, jammies on and in the bed we went. Just laying there listening for Santa. My parents never pre-wrapped and put them under the tree. Well a few times they did and my older brother thought they were all to be his and opened every one of them. So needless to say that was the end of that.
Christmas would come early enough, let us say around 4am. My siblings and I would run to see what Santa brought and the Christmas songs would be playing. 

Here are a few I like to remember the most.

"White Christmas" Bing Crosby


We kept our Christmas ornaments in some cardboard boxes up in the
hallway in probably an 4x4 space..now I have 20 tubs. We would just love when we would start pulling things down. My father would get the 6ft ladder out and slowly hand down the dusty boxes that contained the most treasured things in the world. Well we were little...


"Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer".. Gene Autry

Then we can't forget back when we were younger, these favorite shows would come on all the time before Christmas. We would all plan the entire days around when it came on. A quick dinner, a quick bath, jammies, your spot on the couch and a blanket and snuggle into a great family show.

"Frosty The Snowman"

Another great favorite for us children, was Frosty the Snowman... I am sure that we all sang along. These shows have endured for years and years. Actually my littlest, still believes..and Frosty is one of his favorites. Like Paddy said today, "This is my favorite time of the year" Keep that "child like flame" burning in your heart. Open it up wide and feel the season.

"The Grinch"

Ooops seems I am stuck a bit on some great Christmas Classics.

Who doesn't know every word to the song? And having the last name Lynch, I like to  transpose Grinch into Lynch and sing this to my husband, when he is a crabby man... that is true love...

"Silent Night"

Silent Night. This one actually holds so many memories of my childhood. I have 3 sisters and two brothers. I have two younger sisters than myself. My father always loved to line the last little three of us up and have us sing this for him. We of course would push, shove and put on a show. Just brings tears of when things were so simple as being a child. Then this song also brought us to midnight mass over at Trinity Lutheran. Where many of my friends were there to share the joy of the Christmas Seasons. I remember those fondly.

"O Tannenbaum"
"O Christmas Tree"

Who doesn't remember this one we all thought we could speak German. 

  • As we would pull the Christmas stuff out. We would sit the boxes down where of course, all of us would start digging. My father would get the lights out. I can remember all sort of lights. We at one time had the figure heads (Santa, angel) 


    then the snow ball ones, 

    and of course the large size regular ones. With the thick green cord and large plugs. 
     After the lights were on, then we would start placing ornaments. We had all sorts then too. When we were little we always had handmade ones. At Ruffner church we learned about chrismon trees


    This an actual newspaper clipping of us doing the tree. I am upfront on the left and my sister is behind me.

    and there would be those ornaments. Jacobs symbols, picture frame ornaments. Of course a hand print in flour clay to hang on the tree. I had three favorites. A heavy angel kneeling and two elves. Kinda looked like the elf on the shelf. I would hang them low, so I could lay under the tree and play. 



     My mother had a friend, Virginia Johnson, and she would always make handmade ornaments for each one of us kids, every single year.
    She was one of the most craftiest people I have ever known. She would attach such cute things to our gifts too.  This is not mine, but a picture of what mine looked like. 

    I haven't been able to go home in years and I am sure that all these things are probably gone or old and broken. That now they are just a fond part of my memories. 

    Which makes me think of that Christmas show, about the ornament. "Noel" 
    In the story, he gets taken out year, after year and then put up for many years. In the story it shows the memories, the love, the hope,the season.... and in the end he falls to the floor and shatters...and he becomes a great light out into the world...

    Just like God's love, and to have his son, Jesus, born in a manger....to go out and spread...love, hope, and the season....

    Merry Christmas To You and All your family and friends.

    Love

    PS
    One last throw back from the 60-70. The pull light Santa lapel pin.
     

Friday, November 21, 2014

Breakfast Hotpockets (Quick and Easy)







This is a batch that I made today. I have a big family so after these cool I will just put on in a sandwich bag and the lot into a gallon bag in the fridge and by the end of the day, they will be gone.

I do all kinds of combinations on days when I feel like making some for the week. Ham and cheese, Pepperoni and cheese about anything you like.

What makes these quick is that you use the grands or the generic jumbo biscuits (I don't like the ones with the layers, because they come apart.)

Of course with the ham and cheese or the pepperoni pizza kind, there is no reason to even heat up anything unless you are going to elaborate in the ingredients, peppers, onions, garlic, spinach....

Breakfast Hot Pocket  (8)

Ingredients:

4 eggs
1/4 of minced onion
5 little sweet peppers
a handful of spinach (cut in strips. I roll it all up and then just cut thin strips)
1/4 cup of shredded cheese

Instructions:

1) After prepping the veggies, saute them in a pan. When they are soft and the spinach has wilted then add the scrambled eggs.. Scramble as usual. When finished just leave in pan.

2) On a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet, take each biscuit ( I do them one at a time.) Stretch out to at least 5 inch circle.

3) Place one big tablespoon in the middle of circle, put a little cheese on top.

4) At this point you could just roll up and make a big ball and put sealed end down on the parchment. I folded over and then placed on parchment sealed and took a fork and sealed the entire edge.

5) Poke all with a fork for venting on top.

6) Baked at 350 for 10 minutes, keep in until they are brown.



Be sure to let them cool. They are very hot. Do not put them up hot, they will get all steamy and soggy.  Also if you freeze lay them separate on a cookie sheet and pre-freeze them. Then pop them into a freezer bag.

I love that I cook my own things. My kids all love hot pockets but there again, we really don't know what we are eating. Sodium levels are out the roof. So again, even though I used the biscuits I still feel okay as to all the veggies I snuck in.

You can also do this with a batch of dough. We make dough all the time. A little time on the weekend can mean a quick meal during those hectic times.

As I post this, next week is Thanksgiving. I will be posting my entire dinner.. just for the heck of it..

Until then ... It really is just that simple. Make is simple, enjoy what you do.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions Casserole - ish







I have found a great way on how to use a few leftovers and make an ordinary meal taste even better.
This week I did a bunch of freezer meals and one of them was the Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions.

 Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions



Ingredients:

5 Italian Sausage Links

1 nice green pepper or I used about 8 of the sweet Peppers (I had them in the fridge) slice them up.

1 really large onion (I sliced them length wise like strips to match the peppers)

1 12oz jar of tomato sauce (can or jar) (if you have any leftover sauce- use it)

Instructions:

1) Poke the Italian Sausage Links and then saute them in a pan. When they are done, cool a bit and then cut into chunks.

2) In the pan with a little olive oil, start the onions, peppers and when they are soft, dump back in the sausage and the tomato sauce. Saute for a bit to warm through.

At this point you can layer into a 9x13 and freeze for a meal. You can eat this on pasta, or even hogie rolls with a bit of cheese.

We however are going to use this for the Casserole-ish....

Onward.....

Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions Casserole - ish

Ingredients:

Italian Sausage with Peppers and Onions (all ready) (warm it up)

Bread (any kind of bread. I used my leftover hamburger buns. But you could use any kind.)

1 cup Mozzarella Cheese


Garlic Salt

Olive Oil

Instructions:

1) Rub your pan with Olive Oil, this will make a crispy bottom to your bread layer.

2) Lay in the buns inside up.



3) Sprinkle a thin layer of motzerella cheese on top.



4) Put this pan in the oven at 400 for about 5 minutes, so the cheese melts and the bottom is a little crusty.

5) Remove pan from oven and gently empty put the warm Italian Sausage, Peppers and Onions Mixture on the top.

6) Sprinkle with the rest of the Mozzarella cheese on top.



7) Pop back into oven and let it come together and the cheese brown a bit. check the bottom to make sure they don't burn.



This was very good, the bottom was so crusty and crunchy. The sausage and peppers was very good.  I also found out that instead of eating three sandwiches, they became open faced sandwiches. Actually saved on how much bread we actually ate.

I can see this for meatballs, sloppy joes, and even bq. Great family style way to eat a meal.

See sometimes, the easy stuff is just delicious. It really is just this simple.

Well I am off to get my kid to bed, just wanted to do quick share...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Pop Tart Maker..... (new gadget)






Sooo... coming from the Queen of Gadgets House...That is my name to myself. I find such delight in the small cool stuff. Must have been all those years raising kids.

We found this one ...marked down..yea, for reals.. for 5 bucks.. wow, can't imagine why and 5 bucks is in my price range..and of course I got space for it...not...

The Pop Tart Maker.. on a stick.
The thing is you cut your pastry and push in the molds, fill with a filling,

ATTENTION
********(we used raspberry jam- which you need to be super careful, cause when it is hot it is like molten lava.)
YOU MUST LET COOL.

Then you put a top piece of pastry and shove a stick in it. I did it the instruction way the first time.
 See aren't they cute.. They are about 3"by 2" in size. I used one box of pastry with two pastry round pieces and I made 28 of these babies.

Cute, and quick. Was fun for the kids and for the newness.


Me, of course I have to find something else to do with it. Thinking I will get some pizza dough tomorrow, make a mixture of sauce, cheese, minced pepperoni and bammmm...

Pizza Rolls.. YEA BABY..

Good thing will be there will be very little preservatives and I will use whole wheat crust.. hmmm.. Maybe a bit healthy.


I will get back with you this week and share what I did.

So here is to a great weekend.. It is now 80 again here in GA.. trying to squeeze in a few more days in my pool.


Have a great one.. and It really is that simple.,...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pumpkin Cake (3 ingredients)







This was the first attempt at a recipe, that I saw a while back. I tried to find it again, but alot of them had eggs, butter and stuff. This one only has three ingredients.
I am going to share again. If it is your recipe, holler at me and I will tag it. This is just too good not to share.

Pumpkin Cake

1 15oz can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)

2-3 tsp of pumpkin spice

1 cake mix (light color)

Instructions:

1) Spray a 9x13 cake pan with pam spray or layer with parchment.

2) Mix can of pumpkin, and spice into the dry cake mix. Stir until all the powder flour of the cake mix is gone. This batter will be thick.

3) Pour into pan and spread it out, as far as you can get it, and gently.

4) 350 for about 30 minutes, then check for browness..and doneness. If the knife comes out clean.

I couldn't get enough of this. I squirted a little whip cream on top and yummy, yummy I was eating it again at 3am.

This I researched.  A regular yellow cake mix has like 800 something calories and the pumpkin is like 240 and I got like 15 nice size pieces which would average about 80 calories...you could make cup cakes and what average about 50 a cup cake.. and think of the vitamins and the fiber...

This is one of the easiest desserts I have made in a long time. I will be doing it again soon.

Hope everyone is enjoying a lovely fall. Here in GA we are climbing back up into the 80's shewww..

Well gotta hop out to the bus stop, for my baby.. take care.. and really keep it easy.. it is that simple...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Turkey Salad - quick and single serving







Today, I was hungry for something cold and would fill me up. I had made a turkey breast this weekend, and before I served it I took about 1/3 of the breast and put it up. I am a pushover for a nice salad.

I am also in love with these, different colored sweet peppers. You can eat them raw, stuff them, cut them in half, use as scoops. They are very crispy and crunchy and refreshing.

So I began my hunt in my fridge to create a single portion of turkey salad. But as I finished it actually with the veggies, made enough for two . Next time I make it I think I will create a larger size. My problem is with kids, is one day they like it and gobble it all up, and then the next you make enough and they don't touch it.. go figure...

Turkey Salad

1/3 turkey breast (3oz maybe)
1/4 diced carrots
1/4 diced celery (today I had no celery so I subbed for sugar snap peas)
1/4 cup diced onion (real small)
1/4 of crushed pineapple (drain a bit)
1tbs of light mayonnaise

Instructions

 1) Cut the turkey very small, it makes it more, spreads it out into a bit for every bite.
2) Mix everything together.
3) Salt and Pepper to taste.

Eat how you would like it.

I actually cut my sweet peppers open in half and scooped it on top of them. I ate 4 peppers which gave me 8 filled scoops and I was truly full. It was a very filling dish, cold and refreshing. I would say one of my lighter dishes.




The best part is that I still have half for tomorrow, unless I share with my husband. Hmmmmm, gotta think about that.

I am taking simple stuff you have in a fridge, pantry and stuff leftover and making a completely different meal and taste.
It really is just that simple


Fried Rice (Homestyle) in 5 minutes







Fried Rice is one way to actually stretch a meal. Maybe use up something you have left over. I actually plan ahead for making it.
I always make an extra pork chop, or an extra chicken breast. That is all the protein you need, and I can feed 6 people. With this recipe however only feed 2 and was very quick and simple to make.

I keep Uncle Ben's 90 second rice on hand. I used the chicken flavored one, that way I wouldn't have to do any spices, except a bit of soy sauce.

It was perfect for this dish.

Fried Rice for 2 in 5 minutes

1/4 cup of diced carrots
1/4 cup of frozen peas
1/4 cup of diced onions
1/4 cup of diced (small) of pork chop
1tsp of garlic powder
1 bag of Uncle Ben's 90 Roasted Chicken
1tsp of olive oil
1tsp of soy sauce

Instructions:



1) Take a medium size saute pan. Dump in the carrots, peas (you can buy these frozen in a bag and just throw in a handful frozen), onion, and the diced pork chop (or protein you like)

2) Saute until the onion are tender, while you are waiting, make the Uncle Beans (follow instructions on bag).



3) Pour in ready rice into sautee pan, a pinch of garlic powder and a splash of soy to your liking and mix around.

**At this point, if you would like the fried egg in it. Pull ingredients to one side and pour in a scrambled egg. Mix the egg a bit to cook through and then cut up and mix back in with the ingredients.

Mine is usually so good, I forget about the egg, sometimes I even forget about the protein.
This can serve 2 medium portions or 1 large portion.
I confess, I ate it all myself. It just was so good. Next time I make shrimp I am going to hold back a few for a good fried rice.

I hope that you enjoy the things I share. If you notice alot of it, is taking left overs or making leftovers into other things.
Stretching that grocery food dollar. Seems like it is the only way to keep a family feed, and feed healthy.
If we had gone out to Chinese it would have cost us, 50 plus dollars. By making the rice, and if I made a simple broccoli and chicken to go with it, I could feed my family of 6 for less than ten dollars. That to me is a no brainer.
Don't get me wrong, I love take out. I adore Wendy's but who has that kind of money to throw down on food, that is not nutritious for your family.

If you try anything of mine, holler, I love feedback.
Have a nice day, and do something nice for yourself..
It really is just that simple.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wednesday Food Save Ripe Bananas


Wednesday Food Save..

In this day, groceries are getting to be very costly. Fruit is outrageous, and it really never lasts very long.

I once a week, check on my produce and make sure that it is either eaten, or made into something to be eaten, or cut up and frozen for something.
Bananas are one of those fruits, that I don't mind cutting and freezing, cause at the point where they are black, they are the sweetest. I cut them freeze and use them in all kinds of stuff.

A favorite is a banana bread, you know great that tastes on a cold winter afternoon with hot chocolate.

A lot of us have a yonana maker. Love mine, frozen bananas in and other fruit and a ice cream out. Forget the chemicals, calories, just healthy eating.

After I cut up three I bag them in a regular quart bag. I will do a few baggies, and then put into a freezer gallon. That way I can take a portion out at a time.


So my friends get in that kitchen take a minute and decide on what is needing attention and save it.. save you money.

It really is just that simple.

Green Tea Simple







Green Tea...

Has such a rap as being a wonder tea for losing weight, speeding up metabolism and such. I actually like the taste of it.
I used to buy it pre-made by the Arizona Tea Company. After awhile of splurging and buying a gallon. I started to wonder how that it stays good for more than a week if kept in fridge. HMMMMM....
So I bought a big box of green tea bags and I make two quarts at a time. Fresh, mine only really lasts about 3 maybe 4 days. It is usually gone before that.
It so much cheaper to buy the bags..I use 5 in a small pitcher, pour in about a quart of boiling water. Put a top on and leave for about 1/2 hour. Then I make it in a 2 quart pitcher. Pouring plain water to fill up the container. Add your sweetener of choice. If you use sugar, I would put it in the tea while it is steeping hot. I use sweetener and it is small and dissolves quickly.
I also sometimes, but in small bits of candied ginger in it while it is steeping. Ginger is a great anti-inflammatory.

I have a Keurig and I used it for the hot water. I actually have a small quart pitcher for my Keurig, in which I steep the water.


So for less than oh, a dollar I now have 2 quart  of refreshing tea.
Isn't it a really pretty color.

I wanted to share with you another simple way to keep from throwing those dollars out the window.

I also do this with regular tea too. If you feel adventurous, use 2 tzso passion tea bags, 3 green tea bags. fill a quart with boiling water and steep. Then in a 2 quart pitcher, add 2 cups of real lemon aide, 2 cups of water, then the tea steeping...chill and yummy...

Life is really just this simple...so enjoy

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ball Parks Finest Beef Dogs... New Item...Tried this flavor and fell in love with them



Last week in your coupons you should have had one of these. I am usually not one to buy much brand name stuff and I also steer away from processed things. Hot Dogs has pretty much just been a treat, every now and again.

I picked these up and was very impressed with them. You put them in a medium fry pan with a bit of water, let boil, and then I just let the water boil off of them and then pick up the crispy outside. They were very juicy. I also was amazed at the seasoning. Mine was cracked Dijon mustard and wow, I could really taste it. I even had my ketchup and mustard out to put on it, but I enjoyed the naked taste. I am also low carbing so there was no bun and I was still okay.. Yes, I know for real?

I would recommend these for a quick meal, with maybe sauerkraut and mashed cauliflower...hmmmmm...

Well gotta go, just thought I would pop in and share..

Have a wonderful Sunday and enjoy....Life is really that simple..

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Quinoa Pasta New Item -- Tried It - did not like it


Bought this the other day, thinking that it would provide a bit more protein to my meal. I bought it on Amazon.com. The best place to find the newer stuff coming out on the market.

I am a big fan of quinoa anyway. I make mine in the rice cooker, perfect every time.

I made this today and when it was warm it was just like any other pasta. I thought it was pretty good.

Today I put it in my BLT Pasta Salad. I just snuck in to try it after it had set for a few hours in the fridge, and I was sadly disappointed.
The pasta had taken on the flavors of the tomato and stuff, but it had hardened back into a very aldente toothy bit..yucky..

Sad cause I used the last of my tomatoes on it...but it is okay. I will go on a tomato hunt tomorrow..

But I will not be buying this again.

Friday, August 15, 2014

BLT Pasta Salad


BLT Pasta Salad
((actually by ingredients it is a BSTRO Pasta Salad.. Bacon, Spinach, tomato, ranch and onion Pasta Salad)) But that is alot of words to describe this. I actually have one...Delicious.

I know by now all of you know that I planted 5 tomato plants, and I did not think that they would grow at all. Well I was pleasantly surprised. Each one of my plants all grew to about 6ft plus in height, about 10-15 really big ones, then a lot of medium ones and now I am still in the middle of August and have many medium green ones and about 10-15 baby green ones. Hopefully now that the bigger ones are gone, they will have the strength to grow larger and red by the fall. I just love home grown tomatoes. Swear by the white bread, mayo and tomato sandwich.
This was my start of my tomatoes

This is now

I have this summer not wasted, one tomato. I have tried to use them in different ways. A tart,  marinated, spaghetti pizza, low carb cheese pizza and then today decided to make a BLT, get the T is for tomatoes, Pasta Salad.


Now when you make this if you don't have spinach you can leave it out. I keep a container every week of spinach, just to sneak into anything I can.  I also always keep on hand a large bag of hormel real bacon bits.

I buy the large bag at Sam's and it keeps forever. Great to heat up in a pan and add to egg salads, salads, or even cold for anything you like a bacon bite and taste to.

BLT Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

2  12oz box of pasta (any kind you like, I use spirals, so that mayo stuff gets all in the grooves.)

1/3 cup of mayonnaise ( I love the one with the olive oil in it)

1/4 cup of Hormel Real Bacon Bits ( or use real bacon, chunked up)

1/2 small red onion ( you can use regular if you like or  a lighter onion taste might be the green onions) (go  light on onion)

4 medium tomatoes (diced into small bites, also throw the juice and the seeds, it mixes with the mayonnaise and gives it a great taste.)

1 cup of spinach (I julienned these and then cut them into smaller bites)

1 pkg of ranch dressing ( any kind, you could also in a pinch 1/2 and 1/2 mayo and the ranch in a bottle)

Sea Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

1) Prepare pasta as directed ( my new tip for pasta is that I rinse it twice before I put it in the pot to boil, just seems to be less heavy and a I think makes it taste better)

2) In a big bowl, start to cut up everything. In a small bowl mix the ranch and the mayonnaise together.

3) Drain Pasta, let cool. ( I rinse mine until cooled)

4) Dump in big bowl with the stuff you cut up, mix with the mayo mixture, taste, then season. Remember add a little at a time, you can always add more, but you can't take away.


I went ahead and made me a bowl for lunch.  The rest I put in the fridge. Which ideally is how you should do it. Leave it for a few hours to soak up the flavors. I can't wait for dinner to try it again.





Mine all Mine....

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. It helped me finish up my tomatoes that I had around, now I am waiting for my next batch to turn red.

 I also hope that I inspire you to cook at home more.
 Home is where the heart is, so open your heart and cook, make it something that is yours. Your spice, your favorite.
 It really is just that simple.




 ____________________________

Want to share a little of my dream with you. I am thinking of putting together a cook book.
Here is the start of my idea...

Name for my first cookbook, I have been working on..

"Waste Not Want Not....Recipes for a New Era..."

Being frugal and spending less at the store in groceries is now the new thing. It isn't anything against that great new recipe you want to try, and you still can every now and then, it is about taking what we have in hand and remaking it. Now when you make that grocery list it starts with, what do I have in my refrigerator, pantry, I don't want to waste...Simply leftovers remade or food started as one recipe that bleeds over into many other new dishes for the weekly meals

Thinking of making an EBOOK through Amazon.. just to get my stuff out there...

Any thoughts....still on the drawing board?



Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tomato Tart





For those tomato people, you know the ones, the ones who just love this time of year, when those ripe ones are coming off the vine. The sweet tangy garden fresh tomato.  I decided to try a tart. It is kinda like a pizza but the crust is either a puff pastry or a phyllo dough.. a very light start to show case all the ingredients.

I uses the cheese that I had at home, which were blue cheese ( I wanted a little bite, but feta would have been nice too)  The Parmesan in the jar I used to dust just a bit in between the phyllo layers to give it an airy texture.

Well let me get to that recipe.

Tomato Tart

Ingredients:

Tomatoes (enough to thinly slice, for the entire tart) (the thinness guarantees not such a wet tart)

1/4 cup of blue cheese crumble ( I used these lightly)

1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese (the powdered kind in jar)(this is for in between the layers)

1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese (this is for on top)

2 cups of thinly juilenned  spinach

1/2 small onion (cut juilenned also) )( thin so they cook well)

2 cloves of garlic ( thin, thin slices)

1 stick of butter (melted, to brush between the layers)

Pam spray

Oregano

Garlic salt

Phyllo dough. ( I used one pkg from a two pkg box, 20 sheets)

Instructions:

1) Precut all the vegetables for the topping. Melt your butter and get a brush.

2) Put parchment paper on a sheet tray. Spray with pam spray.

3) Open phyllo dough and lay out on towel, keep a towel to cover it while you work with it, it is very thin so slowly pull it apart,

4) Lay down one layer of phyllo, brush with butter, ( I dabbed it and then lightly spread it.)

5) Sprinkle a little grate parm from the jar. ( this gives it lightness between the layers)

6) Do this until you are finished with the phyllo dough. ( some recipes called for less, but I liked the layers)

7) On the top, break up the crumble blue cheese and lightly sprinkle it out.  Next, put the thin onions on, the spinach, the garlic slivers, and then lay very carefully out the slices of the tomatoes. Making them real pretty, Then sprinkle with the real grated parm, and sprinkle with oregano.

8) Pop into  oven at 400 for 20 minutes, check it after 15 minutes to make sure it does not burn.

9) Remove from oven when nice and brown and let rest and cool at least 5 minutes. Then cut and enjoy.

It was really light and tasty. The tomatoes being fresh were a very summery taste. Made this as a starter for our meal, but it was very filling and we really didn't need much more. Salad would have been nice with it.


So now that I shared this, you gotta try and make it, just for a snack, just so you can taste summer in your mouth, before summer is gone. I am actually trying to figure out how I can freeze my tomatoes in slices to make it again, when it is cold outside.

This was just so yummy...
And really it was so very simple..
So get out there and enjoy your day.. come back any time.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Hummus and Chips


Hummus

This is one of those foods that I will only eat if I make them at home, I find that the store one's are just too tart or tangy. I also like to make things so that I know what is in them. I even made my own chick peas from the actual dried ones. Doing that gave me at least a quart full of chick peas. I used half and froze half. Giving me equal to about 3-4 cans. And mine were only a dollar a bag. A can of chick peas can run about a dollar. So I save a bit but still in a pinch using the can is easier, and of course quicker.


This is really easy and alot of the ingredients you will need to taste to get the right taste that you prefer.

Hummus

Ingredients:

2 cans or 2 cups of chick peas (save the liquid to use if it is too thick to blend)

garlic salt (you can use garlic powder, or some use garlic clove but the clove is bitter to me)

1/4 cup of tahini paste

1/4 cup of lemon juice (to taste, add just a little first and them more)

1/4 cup of olive oil.

sea salt (to taste)

Instructions:

1) Blend this all together. To make a nice puree. Some like it chunky. You can make it the way you like it.



Serve with a warm pita, or cold pitas. Or you can make a quick pita chip. Take your pita and cut in 8ths and then split it apart. Lay on a microwaveable plate. Squirt with Pam spray and sprinkle a little sea salt.
Microwave for one minute. Wait a minute and they will crisp up as the cool. Then proceed to dip.



My kids will eat hummus on a spoon, on a chip, anything. I love the taste of the chick peas. I like it warm and then I like it ice cold from the fridge.

This is a great summer time snack. When dinner is just a bit too heavy when it is hot outside.

So get to trying this and let me know..

Keep it yours, add spinach, add basil. there is so many different things you can do . It really can be just that simple.

Papadoms A New Food Find





 Gotcha a new food to try....

Papadoms - Papadum

Well not really sure how to spell this neat little snack, but I can tell you that I really did enjoy eating them.

I have never heard of them, but I was chatting with my sister the other day and she was talking about a new snack that she was loving. Papadom's. So you know me, anything new, different, I am off. It is an Indian (made in India) Cracker. You can serve them with anything. They are even good plain. I like the fact that they have protein and fiber in them. They are made from Chick Pea flour. There are recipes to make your own, but I was in a big hurry to try them.

 I have read alot of reviews on which is a better brand, but that I really didn't look into too many choices. I use Amazon all the time and this is the plain that I found in their online store. I think Publix might carry them in their international isle, or an international Market.

I actually bought the 20 packs. Which I really did not realize that, that is alot.
Each pack has 200 grams in it. Each pkg is a little over 7oz and 1 oz is equal to 28 grams. If I did my math right. There are like 17 of them in one package so a serving is one ounce, and one oz would be 3 of these little gems.

Which gives me this little nutritional info:
1 oz= 28grams = 3 pieces
total calories = 104
total fat = 1
carb = 17
fiber = 5
protein = 7

and if you are a weight watcher person. I figured in the calculator 2pts for this serving.


To Make these:

1) Place one on a microwaveable dish. 

2) Spritz with a Pam spray

3) Sprinkle with a bit of salt. (I bet Lime would be good too. or chili)

4) Microwave for around 40 seconds to a minute, watch them kinda puff up, and get a bit brown, stop before they burn.

Please be careful removing them, they are hot. I let cool a bit and then crack them into nice big pieces.

I dipped mine in my hummus dip. I bet a tiziki sauce would be good too. I also read they are really good with curry and Indian type foods.

This I guess, since I bought the giant 20 packs is my new snack food. But that is okay, because I have a few curry chicken recipes and a lamb briyani I want to try and this would be a great addition to my meal. 

I am writing this at 3:30 in the morning, another one of those sleepless nights.
School has started back and I am all off schedule. So enjoy this find. If you try it holler back and let me know what you think.

Until then.. enjoy your day.. make time for yourself. Put your feet up, a cup of tea and keep it light...because it really is just that simple.



Monday, August 4, 2014

Fruit Popsicles

this is my peach one

Fruit Popsicles 

I come to find out this summer a lot of things produce do not last more than the time they are supposed to as a matter it sometimes just a few days. I find that I buy batch of bananas and maybe half get eaten and there is always a few turning black. I have bought also a lot of watermelon and it always seems you get halfway through and the crew has lost interest in the delicious sweet watermelon. Their attention span is not too long, but that is a totally whole other subject. 

This summer as usual I always try to stay on my game and I  keep watch on what I bought to save money. Everyone knows with black bananas you can make banana bread, you can put them in the freezer peeled, smoothies or use it make with the Yonanna Maker. I decided this year, to make Popsicles. I know in the store a box of fruit Popsicles,  pure fruit Popsicles are about $3-$4 for six. 


Fruit Popsicles

Ingredients:

Fresh fruit 

A bit of sweetener ( you will have to taste mixture to see if needed) 

Coconut Water ( or any liquid you like, just to help blend or to add to the Popsicle )

Popsicle Molds ( dollar store has the plastic one, I purchased mine through amazon and they make twelve)

Popsicle Sticks ( bought a huge box at walmart)

Instructions:

1) Take your fruit and purée the fruit. (Or if you like chunky, purée a bit and cut small chunks to drop into the mold and then  pour in juice mixture)

> At this point... I used watermelon, with a touch of sea salt and lime. I also did a watermelon and dropped a few blueberries in it. I made a set of banana ones just with a little coconut water to make smooth. I also did a few in peach, the peach although I used a bit of coconut water, I did add just a bit of sweetener, it was a tiny too tart. SO BE SURE AND TASTE.. before you pour into your molds.

2) Fill molds, put on top, and put in sticks and freeze.. To unmold just run a little hot water over them and they will come free.

3) You can put each one in a sandwich bag and then all into a freezer bag and keep like that. I found that the single portion bags is the perfect size and they even zip close with the stick in them.
 Here is a picture of the portion bags and one of the popsicles being packaged.





Here is the picture of the molds that I bought at Amazon. I just love mine. I actually have two. I really enjoy a nice fruit pop in the evenings. The kids like the sweeter ones, I make with jello mix. That is just making jello mix and pouring in, and I add a few fruits, strawberries, blueberries.

Making your own fruit popsicles is actually a saver. You can have the comfort of knowing you didn't waste, you know the ingredients and you actually get a good treat.

What could be better than that on a hot summer night..

So my friends, It really is just that simple..

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Zucchini and Summer Squash Casserole







Been waiting and waiting for my zucchini plants to take off. Sadly, I think they are never going to get going..lots of blooms, but still nothing. My cucumber and tomatoes are going crazy. So I gave in and found a farmers table in town and bought some wonderful squash. I just love zucchini, because it really doesn't have a strong vegetable taste and it is a great way to sneak into things.

This time a Zucchini and Summer Squash Casserole, doesn't quite hide it, but it sure was delicious and easy.

So I wanted to share.



Zucchini and Summer Squash Casserole

( This fed 5) (If you need more just add more squash if you need more or leftovers)

Ingredients:

1 tbs of coconut oil
1 medium zucchini (diced)
1 medium spring squash (diced)
1 medium onion (diced)
1 garlic clove (minced)
2 eggs
1/4 of shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 of Panko crumbs
(Hold back a little cheese and a little panko for the top)

Instructions:

1) Take the coconut oil and put into a large saute pan, add in onions and garlic, saute a bit, then add in the two squashes, saute a bit, until a little tender.

2) In a large bowl break 2 eggs, add the 1/4 cup of shredded cheese (reserve a little for top) the 1/4 cup of Panko crumbs (also hold a little back for top), and a dash of salt and pepper. mix together.

3) Add the sauteed vegetables into bowl and mix altogether.

4) Pour into a Pam sprayed casserole dish. Sprinkle a little panko and cheese on top.

5) Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes checking to make sure starts to turn brown.

When it is finished take out and let cool at least 15 ,minutes, it makes the flavors taste better and you don't burn your mouth.

This was really a great little casserole and I am sure it will freeze really well. I am going to make a few smaller ones for my freezer for those really "I don't want to cook days" and while it is abundant for a good price

I was also really happy, my littlest ate two servings and enjoyed it. I even have a small little bit for my lunch tomorrow. Yummy.

I hope everyone is enjoying all their garden harvests. I will try to make a few new things next week. I love that you enjoy my posts and enjoy what I am making.

If you ever want to shoot me a recipe, a question or just a comment, always feel free to holler.

So for now "It really is just that simple" Keep it simple in the summer. Make it your own and spice it up.


* Was also working on WW points for this
coconut oil - 4
zucchini/squash/onion/garlic - 0
1/4 cup Panko -1.5
1/4 cup shredded cheese - 3
2 eggs - 2

This made a 12" round casserole dish, I would say a regular portion would be 8 servings from this container.
So each serving would be = 2 or so...



Friday, July 18, 2014

Fried Green Tomatoes (revamped for lower carb)


I am now pursuing the low carb alternatives to what I am eating. I am now using almond flour. It is a bit expensive, but I really only use it in small amounts.

I have been waiting and waiting...and waiting for my tomatoes to turn red and to no avail as of today, they are all still green, and now they are 3 short. I couldn't wait anymore.

SO fried green tomatoes is my snack for the evening. I serve it also with just fat free sour cream with hidden valley ranch dressing mix.

Fried Green Tomatoes (revamped for a lower carb) 

Ingredients:

2 medium size green tomatoes (slice in nice thick...hmm about 1/4 inch, I got about 3 from each tomato, and don't waste any of the tomato, cut the smaller pieces around the stem part and be sure to fry them too.)

1/4 cup of almond flour
1tsp of garlic salt
1/4 cup of egg beaters
1/4 cup of coconut oil

Instructions:

1) cut those slices.

2) Dip into egg beaters and then lay into the almond meal, I just flip over and gently coat them.

3) Place directly in the hot coconut oil.  Let fry and get pretty and brown. Flipping very carefully.

4) Lay on paper towel to cool and get all nice and ready.

Serve with a fat free dressing of your choice. I use hidden valley ranch mix and fat free sour cream. You can also use Greek yogurt.

This made about 6 nice slice tomatoes and all the little parts.. so I would say about 8 slices.

* on the weight watcher plus side.. I figured that each 6 points per tomato..maybe 2 per thick slice.

Three slices filled me up and filled that wonderful craving.

I just had to share.. you know I did...

Bacon Cauliflower Soup

(this is not mine, had to borrow a picture.. but mine was like that. They put a little green onion on top.)

 Bacon Cauliflower Soup

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower (riced)
1/2 onion (diced)
3 celery stalks (diced)
3 garlic (diced)
1 medium carrot (diced)
4 sliced of bacon
1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese 
2 tbs of flour
3 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of milk

Instructions:

1) Take your bacon and cut up into bite size pieces, throw in soup pot on medium and start to brown it.  (so you can brown it quickly)

(At this point you can remove the bacon and use it as a topping. I left mine and blended it all together at the end.)

2) After bacon is finished drop in all the diced veggies ( you can dice them so they are bite size, if you prefer a lumpier soup/chowder)
(I just blended them all together at the end)

3)Drop in the two tbs of flour and mix and let turn a little brown, then add the chicken broth, and the cauliflower.

4) Stir all the while until it comes to a boil. Letting the cauliflower get tender. Then add the milk.

5) The shredded cheddar you can also save as a garnish, I just put mine in for the flavor with the milk.
Keep stirring until it is all hot and mixed together.

6) At this point check for salt and pepper.
Also you can decide to leave it all chunky.
I pureed mine with my immersion blender.

Let cool just a bit. With my immersion blender I did not get a smooth texture, but a grainy texture, but it was really good. I should have let my cauliflower get more tender but flavors were spot on, I would have thought it was potato, if not for the little bit of grainy from the texture of the cauliflower.

This will actually be one of my new go to ..low carb..potato replacement meals.

I enjoyed this soup. I am a big fan of potato soup and this was right up there with it.

So another thing from " At My Kitchen" to yours..
Have a wonderful weekend.