Saturday, August 27, 2011


Necessity really is the mother of invention! Had guests coming over for a pancake breakfast yesterday and discovered I was OUT of syrup! OH NO! So I took my blueberry sauce recipe and reinvented it for the strawberry pancakes I was serving.


Strawberry Sauce for Pancakes of Waffles

4 Cups frozen strawberries
1/2 Cup water
2 Cup cranberry juice
1/3 cup evaporated cane juice

Combine in sauce pan, over medium heat. Bring to a boil, Stirring occasionally. Once comes to a boil, turn off heat and...

1/2 Cup cold water
6 Tablespooons corn starch

Whisk together the cornstarch into the cold water and pour into boiling mixture. Stir quickly to get the cornstarch evenly mixed through the fruit mixture. As soon as it thickens, add...

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Stir well and serve over hot strawberry pancakes or over waffles. For best flavor results - use whipped cream too!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ideas to Make Lunchtime Easy!

Lunchtime can be hard or boring, depending upon how limited your diet has become. I thought I would post a few ideas of things we have done and hope that you will add your ideas below. Here's to making lunchtime fun again!

Egg salad with crackers and/or sliced veggies. Cucumber slices, carrot and celery sticks, bell pepper sticks and jicama sticks all make great scoopers for egg salad.

Black beans and rice. If you have time to cook up a pot of black beans yourself, you can bag them and freeze them for later use. Or used canned black beans because they are EASY! Use left over rice from dinner the night before, or put on a pot of brown jasmine rice at snack time which will be hot and ready for lunchtime! Don't forget to add salsa and sour cream and a dash of lemon juice if you have it on hand.

Leftovers....a no-brainer, but sometimes we think leftovers are only for dinner! We do a COTF meal, where we put out all the bits and pieces and everyone gets to pick what they want, no matter how weird the combination.

Snack for lunch - one of my kids favorite meals! We start out with a traditional snack item, say bugs on a log, and then Mommy rummages through the pantry and fridge looking for other typical snack foods...when they finish one thing, I offer another til they are full. Makes for a zany, fun meal!

Banana Split Oatmeal
- amazing what happens when you take regular old oatmeal and serve it in a banana split dish and allow the kids to pick whatever frozen fruit, nuts or fresh fruit toppings they like. Bonus points if you have whipped cream for the top!

Daddy Lunch - my husband does not eat as much bread as he used to, so he will often fix a lunch plate of sliced lunch meat, sliced cheese and a veggie. The kids love this too, and often roll up their veggies in the meat slices, creating strange combinations that make Mommy cringe!

Euro Lunch - Grapes, goat cheese, crackers, olives, fresh bread - you get the idea...anything that you think you would enjoy if you were on an European Tour

Millet and lentils - We did this one quite a bit last year...I would put on a pot of french green lentils and a pot of millet mid-morning and we would have a nice, hot lunch ready for us when it was time to eat. Top with EVOO and a bit of coarse ground kosher salt...yum!!! Can sub any grain you like...rice, quinoa, etc...

Nachos - I was first introduced to nachos when I was in highschool and have loved them ever since. We use refried black beans, shredded cheese and any leftover meat that happens to be hanging out in the fridge. You can make a big pan and bake it in the oven on foil and then slide the foil to the middle of the table for a free-for-all, or do individual plates and micro for a minute or two. Again, don't forget the toppings....salse, sour cream, jalapenos...whatever you have on hand!

OK, now I am hungry! What ideas do you have to add to the list?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pizza Bread...Yum!

I got a hankering for something I headed to the kitchen to play about a bit. I started out with my version of Karina's Focacia bread, and then the fun began! This might just become a family favorite! This is gluten free, and can be egg-free if you use the flax seed/hot water substitution, and dairy free if you leave out the cheese. The basic recipe is hands down my favorite bread ever!

Pizza Bread

Grease and corn flour a large iron skillet or 9" cake pan. Preheat oven to 170 degrees

Whisk together these dry ingredients:

1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup millet flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp dry minced onion
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Add in:
1 egg
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/3 cups plus 2 T HOT water
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Beat to mix, then scrape down and turn mixer to high. Beat til smooth, about 5 minutes. Add in 2/3 cup Feta cheese, 1/2 cup chopped pepperoni and stir through dough with spatula. Dough will be thick; scrape into prepared pan then take two forks and spread dough evenly into pan. Sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt.

Put in warmed oven to raise for 25 minutes. Don't take out of oven, and turn temp to 400 degrees. Let bake for 25 minutes once oven reaches temp or till bread sounds hollow when you tap it.

Serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

You could add just about anything to this bread, as long as it is not wet..I am thinking well drained sausage, sauteed mushrooms, etc.

Link to Karina's Focaccia:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Keep It Simple!

Sorry, it's been awhile since I posted here...but it is a little hard to cook when you are in bed! I am now almost five weeks post-op, and feeling pretty good, though I still feel it if I am working too hard.

I know that a lot of you have mentioned in the past how hard it is to get a good, filling dinner on the table that everyone will eat. I encourage you to keep it simple! Start a card file or a note book with your family's favorite meals, and start a two week rotation. As you add to the meals you all love, you may be able to break it down by seasons, with your soups, stews and casseroles for the cooler months, and salads, grilling and lighter fare for the warmer months. Again...keep it simple - this is not rocket science ladies!

That said, I wanted to share another COTF meal with you. While I was recovering from my back surgery, a friend brought over a roast for dinner. We had lots in the fridge at the time, so I froze it, and last night pulled it out for a quick-thaw dinner.

We had a good bit left over, so this am I got inspired to play...I diced the roast into bite sized pieces and set it aside. In a large oven-proof pot (my darling, my dear husband bought me a cast iron/enamel lined dutch oven for Christmas...sigh...) I heated a few tablespoons of olive oil and I sliced one large white onion, the heart of a bunch of celery, four large carrots, one leek and four cloves of garlic. I put the lid on this so that it could steam, then added 2-3 T dried rosemary, salt and pepper. Then I dumped in the beef, and covered it with 4-5 cups of red wine. Taadaa!! That's it. Covered it and put it into a 250 degree oven. (*) Tonight, by 6 p.m., we should have a tasty melange (don't you love that word?!) of beef and slow cooked veggies.

The key to a meal like this is to use what YOU have. You could add any kinds of veggies or meats you have in the fridge. This would also have been good with potatoes and acorn squash, or mushrooms and chicken. If you have NO idea of what flavors go together, then check out this awesome is chock full of food combinations, for great flavors every time!

Have fun in your kitchen today, and make some memories with your family!

* P.S. About two hours in, I added two juice glasses of water to the pot. Then about the time I pulled it out of the oven, I did two more juice glasses with cool water and 2-3 T cornstarch per glass, mixing it together well, then added that to pot, stirring all the time. The cornstarch thickened the gravy and I have to say, this was one of the best stews I have ever made!! Served this yummy stew with home baked bread and butter - YUM!