Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
My daughter loves egg casseroles, and I always thought they were a pain to make. She has corrected my negative thinking. This casserole is prepared the night before you want to serve it. It has to sit overnight in the refrigerator. How handy for the busy Sunday morning. Throw this casserole together Saturday night and you have instant breakfast for Sunday morning, and the oven will already be preheated for the roast that will cook while you're in church. Great idea!!
The egg....there are so many uses for the egg; egg salad, breakfast eggs, fried rice, deviled eggs, macaroni salad, potato salad, plain boiled eggs (with a dollop of mayonnaise, of course), and the list goes on, and on....
Eggs have gotten a bad rap over the last few decades. Viewed as bad for the heart by health experts, the egg has been the subject of criticism and examination. But are our white and brown friends really that unhealthy for us? In the last few years, numbers of health organizations have been justifying eggs' reputation. So, what are we to believe? Why were eggs deemed to be bad, only to be applauded again?
Cholesterol....First one has to understand that cholesterol is not bad. Humans need it to maintain cell walls, insulate nerve fibers, and produce vitamin D. There are two types of cholesterol; dietary and blood. Both are important.
Eggs are actually quite nutritious. They are not just fat (yolk) and protein (white). They contain a wide variety of essential vitamins and minerals.
A: good for the skin and growth. I fed my kids scrambled eggs all the time when they first starting eating solid foods.
D: strengthens bones.
E: protects cells from oxidation.
B1: helps properly release energy from carbohydrates.
B2: helps release energy from protein and fat.
B6: promotes the metabolism of protein.
B12: an essential vitamin in the formation of nerve fibers and blood cells.
Iron: essential in the creation of red blood cells.
Zinc: good for enzyme stability.
Calcium: most important mineral in the strengthening of bones and teeth.
Iodine: controls thyroid hormones.
Selenium: like vitamin E, it protects cells from oxidation.
I don't know about you, but I think eggs sound pretty healthy. I know eggs have a chance of carrying salmonella, so an egg should never be eaten raw. And an egg fried in gobs of butter wouldn't be too healthy, but all-in-all, sounds like the "bad" in eggs has been very over-rated.
Make-Ahead Scrambled Eggs
5 TBS butter, divided
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. milk
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/2 lb. breakfast sausage
12 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 cup soft bread crumbs
In a saucepan, melt 2 TBS butter. Add four; cook and stir until the mixture begins to bubble. Gradually stir in milk; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in cheese until melted; set aside. In a large skillet, saute onion and your choice of breakfast sausage in 2 TBS butter. Add eggs and salt; cook and stir until the eggs are completely set. Add the cheese sauce; mix well. Pour into a greased 11x7x2 inch baking dish. Melt the remaining butter and toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Broccoli can be added to this recipe when adding the cheese sauce. I think it would even be good with cooked asparagus added.
Monday, July 26, 2010
The Blue Berry.....Do you ever wonder about the health benefits of blue berries?
The blue berry is a very important food that the body needs. Just listen to all the benefits....
Aging: The blue berry will definitely bring you a ray of hope in the aging process because they are loaded with anti oxidants, and rank number 1 in the world of anti oxidants. This is due to the presence of Anthocyanin, a pigment responsible for the blue color of the blue berries. Do you think I have hope?
Urinary Tract Infection: The building of colonies of certain bacteria like b-coli along the lining of the inner walls of the urinary tract is responsible for this infection. The blue berry has a compound formed of big polymer like heavy molecules which suppresses the growth of such bacteria. These heavy and big molecules almost wash-off these bacteria along the tract, therefore preventing the infection. I think I will eat a handful of blue berries daily.
Eye Care: The blue berry is one of the best alternatives for spectacles, contact-lenses, eye drops, medicines and eye surgeries. They can prevent or delay all age related eye problems.
Brain function, Memory, and Alzheimer's: To keep it short, all the vitamins that a blue berry holds can prevent and heal neurotic disorders by preventing degeneration and death of neurons, brain-cells, and also by restoring health of the central nervous system. Now you know what to eat before a big test.
Cancer: Blue berries can prove to be bliss for the cancer patients. They contain certain compounds that perform miracles to prevent and cure cancer.
Heart Disease: The high fiber content, the anti oxidants, and the ability to dissolve the "bad cholesterol" make the blue berry an ideal dietary supplement to cure many heart diseases. It also strengthens the cardiac muscles.
Immunity: All those anti oxidants boost your immune system and prevent infections. No more colds, fevers, and nasty viral and bacterial diseases.
Other Benefits: Blue berries keep you fresh, active, fit, sharp, close to nature, and in a good mood, as they are very good anti depressants. So, sneak your boss a bowl full of blue berries every once in a while.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
This is a perfect time to share my Cut-out Sugar Cookie recipe. These little gems are so buttery and soft, they just melt in your mouth when you eat them. I always top them with butter cream vanilla frosting. The frosting and the buttery cookie go absolutely perfect together.
This recipe was given to me by a friend many, many, many years ago when I was a teenager. I loved these cookies so much that I kept track of this recipe and guarded it with my life.
My kids always look forward to the holidays so they can eat these cookies, but I have also used this recipe for Valentine's Day. Huge heart shaped sugar cookies are a huge hit on Valentine's Day.
I have a story to share with you. I was attending the local Farmer's Market in my area during Sweetest Day. I used this recipe and made heart shaped frosted (pink) cut-out cookies. I packaged them up 3 in a box with a clear lid. I displayed them on my table with a sign saying, "Don't Forget Your Sweetie". Ten boxes of heart shaped cookies were gone (sold) within fifteen minutes.
Would you like to know the history of Sweetest Day?
Sweetest Day is celebrated each year on the third Saturday of October. Even though it is thought of as a second Valentine's Day, it is actually a day meant to celebrate all the people who make your life special.
Sweetest Day was founded around 1922 in Cleveland, Ohio by Herbert Birch Kingston who was a local candy company employee. Herbert wanted to bring cheer and happiness to the lives of those who were often forgotten. With some help from friends, he began distributing candy and small gifts to children living in orphanages, people with illnesses and disabilities, shut-ins, and many others.
Within a decade, the being sweet idea gained such a popularity that the city of Cleveland officially declared the third Saturday of October as Sweetest Day.
Sweetest Day will be celebrated on Saturday, October 16, 2010. Remember to celebrate the holiday and touch the life of someone special.
"Don't Forget Your Sweetie"
Cut-out Sugar Cookies
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
Mix flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Cut in butter (I use two knives, or a pastry blender). In separate bowl, beat eggs, add sugar and beat well. Blend egg mixture into flour thoroughly. Chill dough 4-5 hours or over night. Roll out dough on floured surface using cookie cutters to cut out in various shapes. Bake on un-greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees F. for 6 to 8 minutes.
You have to be very careful not to over-bake these. Remove them from the oven when they look like they are just starting to brown. Baking stones work wonderful for these cookies.
Good luck~Happy eating~Enjoy
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I was suppose to have this up sooner, but I got wrapped up in homework and was up till wee hours of the morning. Now I have slept, I have my caffeine fix entering my body, and I can concentrate all over again.
This recipe was taken from the Zucchini/Blueberry Muffin attempt. I made some changes and left the zucchini out this time. The result is, beautiful looking mini bread loaves. I think a mini bread loaf is so cute. They make great gifts, and they are just the right size to share with a friend or neighbor.
Mine are going camping....my family and I are getting together with friends this weekend for a camping/corn hole adventure. We have made this a tradition and we always have fun. In the past I have tried to turn the outing into a cooking pleasure, but quickly found out that when I go camping I need to enjoy myself. My thoughts; there is nothing better than campfire food. Fire pot chili, foil packs, and nothing smells better than a fresh breakfast outside in the morning, leaving the camping neighbors jealous....MUAHHHHH!!! This year I have decided it's going to be hot dogs on sticks and finger foods. I am going to enjoy myself!!
The recipe that I have come up with for these beautiful mini loaves is this:
Blueberry Mini Bread
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
3 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 c. white sugar
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 TBS ground cinnamon
1 pint fresh blueberries
Cane sugar to sprinkle before baking
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a mini loaf pan (notice mine had 8).
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, applesauce, vanilla, and sugar. Beat in the flours, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer to the prepared mini-loaf pan. Bake 50 minutes (I started out at 30 minutes, with a complete bake time of 40 minutes). When my toothpick came out clean, I knew they were done. Cool 20 minutes in pan, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.
Soft cream cheese on warm blueberry bread.....
Good luck~Happy eating~Enjoy
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Who would have thought I could make home-made garlic bread? This is amazing, but you have to eat it warm out of the oven, while the cheese is still gooey.
Alrighty then....we are going to leave the sweets behind for a little bit (maybe a minute or two).
What's for dinner? You have got to try this recipe. Here is the story behind my wonderful mishap:
I went to the grocery store with list in hand. I bought all my supplies (ingredients), but when I got home I realized I bought feta cheese instead of ricotta. OOPS!! Well, I was bound and determined to make this for dinner. I was looking through my refrigerator and noticed a partial container of ranch chip-dip. "HMMMM"...my mind is saying. Chip-dip has sour cream in it. So I created a masterpiece!!
When I completed the filling part of the enchiladas (with help from my daughter), and tasted it of course, we had to break out a bag of tortilla chips. The filling tasted exactly like warm spinach dip. Am I making your mouth water yet? I am not going to make you suffer any longer. Here is the recipe my way:
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 c. sliced green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 c. feta cheese
1/2 c. ranch chip-dip
2 c. pepper jack cheese
10 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 can (19 oz.) enchilada sauce (I used Carlita)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat olive oil in a sauce pan or deep skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for a few minutes until fragrant, not brown. Stir in spinach, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat, and mix in feta, chip-dip, and 1 c. of pepper jack cheese.
In a skillet over medium heat, warm tortillas one at a time until flexible, about 15 seconds. Spoon about 1/4 c. of the spinach mixture onto the center of each tortilla. Roll up, and place seam side down in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cup of pepper jack cheese.
Bake for 15-20 minutes in the preheated oven, until sauce is bubbling and cheese is lightly browned at the edges of the pan.
Good luck~Happy eating~Enjoy!!!!
The original recipe can be found at http://www.alrecipes.com
Saturday, July 17, 2010
One thing I have to say, I am definitely not a pastry chef. This is called Heavenly White Cake, and I would not change one thing about this recipe. It is perfect!! The cake smelled heavenly (maybe that's why it's called Heavenly White Cake?) as it was baking. My whole entire house smelled of white cake. The cake itself has a sponge texture and consistency of an angel food cake.
Friday, July 16, 2010
This is definitely another crying recipe as I so (fighting) easily give it away. My Dutch Apple Pie is a famous one. Guaranteed, this pie will be wiped out in seconds. The best way to eat this pie is when it is still warm, and with family. This one is a must during the holidays, but if you are going to a family gathering, make sure you take more than one.
The oatmeal crust sets off this pie, creating an amazing flavor combination. Have you ever had apple/cinnamon oatmeal? Isn't that just the most amazing flavors in your mouth? When I eat apple/cinnamon oatmeal, I never want the flavor sensation to end.....MMMMMM!!! The sensation caused from this pie is the same way. "Oh please, don't let this end...."
I have topped this pie with whipped cream, but it can easily stand alone.
Dutch Apple Pie
2 c. all purpose flour
1 c. packed light brown sugar
3/4 c. butter melted
1/2 c. quick cooking oats
1 1/4 c. water
2/3 c. sugar
3 TBS cornstarch
1 1/4 c. diced peeled tart apples (3 large granny smith)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (don't be afraid to let this run over the tsp.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the first four ingredients; set aside 1 c. for topping. Press crumb mixture into an ungreased 9-inch pie plate; set aside. For the filling, combine sugar, cornstarch, and water in a saucepan until smooth; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute, or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in chopped apples and vanilla. Pour into crust; top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40-45 minutes. The top should be nice and brown.
Good luck, happy eating, and enjoy...
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
I have been involved in school (Axia College of University of Phoenix (online)) for a year and a half. My graduation date (associate degree in business management) is November 7, 2010. I am counting down the days....
2010 is a new year for me (even though it is half over), and I am going to make some major changes to my blog. When I started this blog, I had every intention of using it for feedback on my food creations. How can I get feedback on a food item if I do not share the recipe? I will be sharing all of my recipes, thoughts, tips, tricks, and flops.
Hang on tight, because here we go....