Thursday, March 3, 2016

Spiral Carrot, Beet and Apple Slaw

Spiral slice on course shred:

1 beet (scrubbed, skin on)
1 carrot (scrubbed, skin on)
1 cored apple (skin on)

Toss in a bowl  with 1/2 tsp crushed fennel seeds

Lemon Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 C Oil of choice
juice of 2-4 slices of lemon
Dip fork in honey and use it to stir hard, using the fork as a whisk
(that is how much honey I use, use more if needed, but its supposed to be heatlhy)

Services 4

I love my Veggie Spiralizer.  It's on the of best out there and you can spiral slice bigger produce in this one, compared to most spiralizers on the market. To get yours and a free veggie spiralizer ebook, click here.
You can view a video in action of it on the site. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Pressure Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Pressure Cooker Creamy Tomato Basil Soup 

3 T butter
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
a sliver or two of fresh fennel if you like it. 

28 ounces chicken or veggie broth (I use homemade, frozen from past pressure cooker meals)

3 lbs tomatoes, diced (seeds removed)
OR  1-28 oz can stewed w juice and 1- 28 oz can diced drained

T tomato paste
3 T dried basil
A pinch cinnamon (optional, its something that I always add to tomatoes. 
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/2 C shredded parmesan cheese
1 C half and half or whole milk (or more, to taste) 

In the pressure cooker, saute the onion, celery, and carrot (and fennel if using it) in the butter until tender.  Add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, cinnamon, salt and pepper

Pressure cook on high for 5 minutes, then let pressure come down for 5 minutes and release the pressure.
When the valve drops, remove lid and Put it in the blender (careful of the steam, its hot), add parmesan cheese, fresh cracked pepper and half and half.

This could only be better by putting a slice of crusty bread on top, sprinkling cheese on it and broiling.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Cinnamon Raisin Bread No knead, 5 minute dough

I can't stress enough how versatile this dough recipe is.  It's probably one of the best cookbook investments I ever made.  One of my many older posts raving about this shows my husband's famous breakfast pizza.
The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is their revised book.  I have the old version, that I bought when it first came out back in 2007 and since have also aquried a few of their books.
 I bought the revised version and it as worth buying again. Who knew they could improve the first book. This has what the first book had in it, and so much more, including information on freezing the dough, making bagels and soft pretzels with it, and so much more!  

I had the pleasure of chatting with one of the authors  via email back when it first came out. Very nice guy. I also ran a group on yahoo for awhile that people shared recipes they made using his dough.
They have a book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day too, that I love.

I still make it in the big commercial food container but now I throw it into a baggie in the fridge and use a twix it clip that allows some air out but not in. It takes up a lot less of the precious room in my refrigerator.
 I also don't worry about using bread flour as much.  Sometimes I use it, but most times I just use all purpose flour.

Artisan Bread Dough Master Recipe

In a big container like the one shown below (you can get these at the restaurant stores), add these ingredients in this order and stir with a wooden spoon:

3 C lukewarm water
1½ T yeast
1½T kosher salt
6½ C all purpose flour 

Mix will with a wooden spoon and let it set out on the counter three hours, then refrigerate up to two weeks.  Cloak the dough with flour and grab a wad and put it onto a flat stone, freehand, or in a bread stone (sprinkle a little corn meal on the stone to prevent sticking...especially if you are rolling it out to make stromboli or pizza, and bake at 400 for about an hour, the time will depend on the size.  They say to let it rise first, but we have just bake it as is and it works.  If you have the time, let it rise 30 mins before baking. I let it rise if I am making cinnamon raisin bread. 

To make the cinnamon raisin bread, you can either roll it out and sprinkle the cinnamon, sugar and raisins on it and roll it up or knead it in.  That is up to you.  You do not need to knead it, but you may want it incorporated and not just swirled in.  Put it into an oiled bread stone. 
If you are using the dough fresh risen, not yet refrigerated, you let it rise for 45 minutes.
If the dough was refrigerated, you need to let it rise for 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Then brush it with a beaten egg and if you want, you can sprinkle some sugar on the top.

Bake the cinnamon raisin bread at 375° for 35-40 minutes.

Simple ingredients: water, yeast, salt, flour

Toss it in

mix and let rise

it has risen 

Allen's famous breakfast pizza 

Hub's famous breakfast pizza
Roasted peppers, spinach and homemade ricotta. 
Roasted peppers, spinach and homemade ricotta. 

just bread 
cinnamon raisin bread 
and another loaf

Sunday, January 31, 2016

250 Meals in a Mug...seriously!

Anyone who has been here has seen my cookbook collection....or should I say addiction...I just got a new cookbook...its not my normal type of cookbook but after making the mug cakes and mac and cheese, I wanted to check this one out.  Its actually a good book.

Its a great book for those with older kids, pre-teens and teens, and lazy cooks too.  And those who live alone but don't want to mess up the whole kitchen to get a hot meal...You can get a pretty descent "home cooked" meal in a few minutes. Yes, I didn't say it was healthy but I have to say its healthier than fast food.

A few meals in it that caught my eye are, Salmon and Dill Orzo, Primavera Quinoa Mug, Southern Sausage and Grits (yes, in a few mins), jalapeno popper dip, french toast, cinnamon roll mug, peanut butter cookie, Irish Brown Bread..I could go on for days....most of these things are made from scratch.
If you want to read the reviews on this book on Amazon, its rated pretty nicely.

250 Best Meals in a Mug: Delicious Homemade Microwave Meals in Minutes

I just made the Salmon and Dill Orzo (using tiny stars pasta because I don't have orzo in my pantry), and the Cinnamon Roll Mug.
The Cinnamon Roll Mug is delicious...and the salmon and dill orzo was not too shabby either.  
It's not restaurant quality but it's  healthier than fast food. 
If you're home alone a lot, have eternally hungry teenagers, or there's just two of you it's a nice quick way to have something, hot, fast. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Don't laugh at the schmutz on the side of my pan...I am no food stylist..we are real people in this house and we eat real food..I could have re-baked one for the pic, but I was busy living my life. 

Preheat oven to 350°
if not using a bread baking stone, grease bread pan

In a medium bowl:
1 C flour
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
Pinch Cardamom
Pinch Cloves

Mix with a wire whisk.

In mixing bowl:
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix well (about 2 minutes
 fold in
1 1/2 C shredded zucchini (use medium grater or shredder)

Add in dry ingredients and beat until just combined.

Add in
3/4 C chocolate chips

Bake at 350°for 55-65 minutes until toothpick comes out clean

Place on wire rack for about 10 minutes.
Turn out onto wire rack and cool, or cut right in the bread pan and serve.

I have three of these Stoneware Loaf Pans..they bake an awesome product!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Oyster Cracker Snack Mix

You can mix almost any snacks but here's what I did

1 9 ounce bag of oyster crackers. 
1  11 ounce box of cheese nips. (For some wonderful reason these are half the price of cheese its, and just as good. Thanks Nabisco) 
Half a bag of waffle shaped pretzels. 
1 pack ranch dressing mix
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dill weed 
3/4 c oil

Mix the snack mixes in a bowl add oil seasoning and spices. Pour into 2 baking stones
Bake at 250° for 30 minutes. Stir or toss around halfway through baking. 

Cool completely before putting into a air tight container. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Dying a leather sofa. See the dramatic transformation

We were given this white (beige?) leather sofa set and my sofa has seen better days thanks to my pets.  The leather set was in pretty good shape but the color was loud for me.  A friend described it as "Godfather-like tacky italian" lol.  
I decided if it was going to stay, it needed a makeover.  A local guy dyes sofas, so we called him.  $3000.00!  WHAT!  I could get a new sofa set for that!
My first thought is, if he can do it, so can I.  All I needed was the product he uses and I am sure he wouldn't want to share his secret, so I googled leather dye. has a product, and lots of product support, testimonials etc that looked pretty simple.  What do I have to lose?  If I ruin it, I didn't want a white sofa anyway..and if it turns out, I salvaged a nice set.
This will NOT rub off on your clothing when it is dry and sat on it 15 minutes after dying it. 

I wasn't sure how much I would need so I over bought.  I got two of their large size bottles and a bottle of the primer/clear. It was about 150.00...but they take returns and I didn't even open one of the bottles. I decided to keep it around for future projects though.  about 90.00 for one bottle of mahogany dye and one bottle of clear coat/primer.  One bottle did both sets. I can't believe it. 
 Here are some before and after was nearly impossible to get good lighting but I did the best I could. 
I am SOOOOO happy with the results and it was simple.  It did take a little muscle to get into the cracks (the cushions on this set do not come off so getting down in the cracks took some work but I got a good arm workout).  Anyone can do this. I can't believe someone charges $3000.00 for this. I got it done in one day.  It dries in minutes and is ready for the next coat. Because it was a dramatic change, it took about 5 coats...but it was fast and easy.  

People also dye purses, boots  and even some old dashboards with this stuff (look on their website and also search it on pinterest).  
 I am not affiliated with Rub N Restore, I do not gain anything by raving about their company, except that I hope to turn people on to them, to keep their business booming so I can come to them in the future and know they will be around for a long time.  

I did not use the clear coat on the top.  I like the shine it offered with just the dye..but I may clear coat it in the future.  I did use the clear coat to prime it.  

Love Seat Before
Sofa before
Rub N Restore (I only used one of those bottles of dye for both pieces)
First I cleaned it with vinegar and water. 
I kept a spray bottle to keep my sponge moist but not too wet. 
first coat
first coat
after first coat (we liked the distressed look but kept on going) 
first coat on half and second coat on half

second coat 
third coat
done after 5 coats 
sofa complete
sorry for the glare
I highly recommend this product. Its available in so many colors and you can restore yours to the color it was when you bought it, or change black to white or white to black, etc.  

After seeing this, 2 people I know who have white leather sofas that were given to them, want me to help them dye theirs. Why did so many people buy and give away white leather sofas?

I do want to add that I used a hair dryer to get into the cracks and dry it will stick and pull the color off before it dries if you don't.
This will NOT rub off on your clothing when it is dry and sat on it 15 minutes after dying it.