Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Apple Chips!

A new friend of mine is kind of a healthy person like me.  Or like I try to be.  Darned southern food gets in my way... (and cooking shows and great restaurants around here.)  She posted a while back about some chips she made from apples.  Now I have ONE kid who doesn't like to eat fruit.  I also have one kid who will eat fruit until you make him stop. So, I thought I could try this right? Because after all it's both a fruit and a junk food in name!

How do you make apple chips?

Take a big piece of foil and cover your baking sheet.  Spray with cooking spray.  Thinly slice a freshly cored and peeled apple and lay pieces of apple all over baking sheet.  For me one large apple covered the entire sheet.  Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 275 for 1 hour, flip all pieces and bake 30-60 minutes more.  Depending on how thin you slice these, will depend on the final amount of time.  I used a Pampered Chef tool to make this happen for me- the apple peeler corer slicer.  :) peels, cores, and slices the apples for me all in one!

My kids ALL ate them and loved them. I will be making more.

As an aside, my husband reminds me as he's leaving to go work out that we own a dehydrator! ( I married him and discovered this thing we had, which I swore we would never use and threatened over the last few years to get rid of... now I might have to eat my words!) So I will be trying this next with a dehydrator! Wahoo for new recipes! Thanks Liana!

Here's a recipe if you need one to link to... it's essentially the same... Apple Chips and her picture since mine are en route to Melissa, TX with my oldest and my husband.  :) Enjoy!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Granola Bars again... and other food related mumbo jumbo

I have been really convicted lately to put good food into the bodies of my growing children and my aging husband (ha ha) and me too.  I have read labels.  Do you even know what you are eating? Well if the first 5 ingredients of a product I cannot read, pronounce, or be given as a word in a spelling bee that I would spell correctly I don't buy it.  Read your yogurt for example.  Yeah.  Not cool.

So of course, I am on a mission to recreate a granola bar that is both super yummy AND not too crunchy.  There's nothing worse than using your back teeth to both bite and chew a granola bar.  Kinda defeats the purpose.  So the first thing I tried (last night) was to NOT toast the oatmeal that goes into the bar.  I used steel cut oats, as always. NOT instant.  Instant oatmeal is not as good for you.  In the scope of things, probably better for you than a toaster strudel.  So that's something.

So two problems I faced with not toasting the oatmeal: 1. the bars were softer but didn't stick together.  2.  The bottoms were gooey.  I only baked the bars for the recipe standard 20 minutes, but I think it needed possible 30.  I read another recipe that has the baking temp lower and longer.  It also uses less wet ingredients- 6 tbsp butter and 1/2 cup honey.  But not by comparison to my recipe that uses 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp molasses, 2 tbsp butter, and 2 tbsp oil and 4 tbsp apple juice. 12 tbsp in mine = 3/4 cup vs 10 tbsp in the other recipe.

I will keep working on it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Basil Tomato Tart

We had a brunch at our last Bible Study today.  Some sweet dee-lish girl made this recipe and I was glad I was last in the food line (partly because I don't like to wait in line and partly because I wasn't going to eat anything but then I did).  This was divine.  I thought it had egg in it, but it doesn't.  You will be doing yourself a disservice to pass this recipe up.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Food Hospital

There's a new show on the Cooking Channel called "Food Hospital".  I have it set to record on our DVR since I practically NEVER watch television in real time any more. Who has time for that?!

I have to say, I am fascinated with the idea that foods can help your body heal itself.  I am equally surprised at some of the phobias people have with food. A friend of mine is doing some research on food and the body.  In my early 20's I read some dissertations from college students on nutrition and proper digestion.  What a fun topic to have a show over!

Check it out and let me know what you think! Besides, all the doctors on the show are from the UK and I love to listen to them talk!

"Food Hospital" Doctors 

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Little Perspective

Maybe I am at a point in my life where I am redefining what is really "worth it" and what really isn't that important any more.  (apparently spelling or my ability to type isn't that great anymore because I have corrected 3 misspellings in that one sentence!!!)

I remember a friend of mine saying once in the 90's (I was like 4 years old then) that relationships start at home, around the table.  Thanks to Brenda Mikus for reminding me of this. I am still reminded.

Last night, we ate Wendy's. Yes I had my husband go to Wendy's and buy burgers.  I thought I might try to pass off Mooyah burgers as my own.  I didn't really enjoy dinner, though I was glad to not have to make it.  I kept thinking the whole time- I could have made a dynamite burger but instead we are eating this.  Greasy, fast food, tons of carbs.  Insert pout.

Some of my best memories as a kid are of things we did as a family.  Dinner was always one of them.  We ate macaroni and cheese a lot.  A.LOT. and green beans, and pineapples.  And Tuna noodle casserole and hamburger casserole.  These are GREAT memories.

So, Wendy's wasn't a memory making meal night.  But that's okay.  I am not going to sweat it- not today.  The weekend is upon us. ONE Soccer game this weekend is all we have.  My husband will work more on his workbench that he is building.  I will maybe touch up the baseboards, dust the vent returns, and snuggle with my kiddos.  In the grand scheme of things, if my vents don't get deep cleaned, or my baseboards continue to show dollops of tan wall paint on them, it will not be the end of my existence.

I was chatting with my mom this morning about some very unfortunate events happening in the life of my Dad and his journey to put to rest the estate nightmare of his Dad's recent passing.  During that conversation, which only made me mad at some family members and sad for my Dad, it reminded me of this video I watched in Marlow about God.  Louie Giglio is an excellent speaker.  Louie could read the phone book to me and I would learn something meaningful.

This video has nothing to do with cooking.  But it has everything to do with what is really important in life.  I hope you will take a few minutes and watch it.  Share this with friends, and get back around your own table- with Wendy's if you must, and start remembering that the big things in your life are so small.  The people around you are so important.  More so than vent returns and tan paint on your baseboards.

Watch and love... Louie Giglio "How Great is Our God"

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Yesterday it was windy and cold.  It was a great excuse to make some soup!  As per the norm, I was at a loss for what to make... so I started with Food Network. I remembered seeing a recipe for someone's chicken tortilla soup, and I should have printed it off right then. But I didn't.  So I searched for recipes and ended up with this one.  And it was a good one!  So I'm sharing it with you!

Tricia's Chicken Tortilla Soup

Two things I think are important to note: 1. You do not have to use cream of chicken soup in this.  With over 90 oz of liquid, a 15 oz can of creamy soup isn't going to flavor it up much and it won't really thicken this soup.  You can leave this out.  If you must, add a few chicken bouillon cubes! 2.  Half and half can very well be substituted for any milk you have.  In fact, I would recommend that you use more low sodium chicken broth and less milk.  This soup is pretty soupy so if you prefer it to be less liquidy then I would reduce the milk by half.

I DID use a fajita seasoning mix.  I didn't have a recipe for that readily available, so I did a quick fix.  I will be finding one today.  Felt guilty the whole time.  BUT, it was good.

The "heat" will come from your salsa.  I used a medium Clint's salsa.  Clint's is the best in my opinion.  But use whoever you like.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Something fishy...

I normally don't gravitate towards fish. Well, I like the aquarium at Cabela's and other larger ones.  They have fish that are pretty to look at.  But when it comes to fish on a plate, I tend to turn up my nose.  I am allergic to shellfish so I just have avoided ALL fish.  I am sorry to those fish I am excluding.  That's just the way it is.

As a kid, fish sticks were the best, though.  So maybe I can ease back into fish eating if I start with something kids love.  Mostly breaded and maybe a little white flakey fishy taste in there too, this type of fish is doable.  I am not a fish person really. Did I mention that? I have had and loved Snapper soup in my 20's and of course, on a few dates I ate fish, also in my 20's because you cannot order chicken at a fish place right? Well I do now, but that's beside the point.  I can safely say I have been fish free in my 30's.  Wooo hoooo.

Giada De Laurentiis
So, I am trying to ease my way into making fish because it is good for you.  I found a recipe that I just might try to make this week.  It's called Parmesan Fish Sticks.  Giada makes it.  And you know if Giada makes it, it's good.  I cannot even begin to know where to get a good piece of fish since we live in the middle of the state, where we do not have fresh fish markets like they do at the coast.  SO, I will start asking around.

In the mean time, here's the recipe (again)!  Someone make it before I do and tell me it's awesome.  The recipe says 21 minutes start to finish.  I think that can work for us busy food preparers, right? It will help my confidence when it comes to fish if you make it first.  Really, it will.