Strawberry Risotto

I posted this recipe on Taste of Home’s website, and I am proud to say that it ended up in one of their cookbooks.

http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/strawberry-risotto

 

Strawberry Risotto

 

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Watermelon “Cake”

While in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, I grabbed the closest magazine and started flipping through it.  I came across this photo:

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photo courtesy of Good Housekeeping magazine

Now, I am not a big watermelon fan, but I thought this was a clever idea.  Made from seedless watermelon, whipped topping, and fresh berries, this dessert is simple to make and certain to be a hit at summer parties.

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipes/seasonal/watermelon-recipes#slide-1

 

 

Obsessed with Food (?)

Coconut. Fresh rosemary. Mint. Roasted peppers. Dark chocolate. Winter squash. No, I am not making a grocery list or naming ingredients of a recipe.  These are certain foods which I enjoy a lot, to the point where I start to crave one and include it in most things I cook and eat. When on a coconut kick, I will add shredded coconut to my baked goods and coconut milk to curry dishes, and buy coconut-flavored coffee K-cups and coconut milk-based ice cream.  Then after a couple of weeks, I have had enough and don’t want to see any coconut again for a while.

The food which I am obsessed with at the moment is cabbage, or more specifically, cole slaw. The other day, when ordering dinner, I was given the choice of soup or salad as a starter. Now, I don’t remember which restaurant it was, but one  used to give you the option of soup, salad, or cole slaw. And, that is what I did; I asked for cole slaw.  The next day, I went to Quizno’s and tried the barbecue pork sub.  There were two varieties: regular which had pickles and spicy which had cole slaw.  I asked if I could have the regular barbecue sandwich with cole slaw instead of pickles.  The manager told me that it is the cole slaw that makes it spicy, as it is a jalapeño-cole slaw.  When in the mood for it, I enjoy certain spicy foods and not wanting to give up the cole slaw, I tried the spicy variety.  It was good, not too spicy.  I’d definitely order that sandwich again.

What started me on this cole slaw kick was a recipe I saw on Taste of Home‘s webite (http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/hamslaw-salad), basically a salad of cole slaw and ham. On my next trip to the grocery store, I bought the ingredients for this salad.  At first, I was going to use chicken instead of ham, to make it a little healthier.  Also, the salad also uses pecans, and for some reason chicken seemed as if would be a better pairing with the pecans than ham. Before leaving the store, though, I put back the chicken, thinking the ham would just taste better in the salad. At home, I mixed the shredded cabbage and carrots, minced white onion, and diced ham.  The dressing in the recipe is made from mustard and sour cream.  I made my own dressing with low-fat sour cream, low fat mayonnaise, fresh basil, fresh lime juice and lime zest, and black pepper. I did not add the pecans onto the salad itself, but put them in a small dish, figuring that I may or may not like it with the nuts.  Also, if I was serving this to others, I would serve the pecans on the side for that same reason.  I tried it with the pecans and also some shredded cheddar.  I did not care for the pecans in the salad, and did not use any pecans in my second helping or leftovers which I would enjoy for the next few days.

The picture below is Taste of Home’s from their website; I do not have a photo of my salad, as I started eating it almost right away. It’s been at least two weeks since my cole slaw cravings began and these cravings are still hanging around.  I guess I will still have to try the slaws at various restaurants and experiment with different cole slaw recipes at home.

Hamslaw Salad Recipe

photo courtesy of Taste of Home

 

Gummy Bear Layer Cake

Gummy Bear Layer Cake

 

Clever idea, very colorful, great for a kid’s party.  As gummi bears are rather chewy, though, I wouldn’t think that they are the best for decorating the cake.  In fact, the creator of this cake stated on her blog, “The gummy bears are a lot chewier than I remembered. So as awesome as it looks as a cake decoration, it makes it a little impractical when you are trying to have a bite of everything at once.” Then she added that she did not regret this choice, from people’s reactions to the cake.

I might think that M&M’s or Skittles would be a better candy choice for the decorating of the cake, although not having quite the same “Wow” effect as the gummy bears.  However, it is a beautiful-looking cake, making me want to try it.  You can find the recipe on the blog Raspberri Cupcakes:

http://www.raspberricupcakes.com/2013/04/gummy-bear-layer-cake.html

 

 

Gummy Bear Layer Cake

 

 

 

Chia Seed Pudding

I’ve noticed chia seeds added to a lot of products lately – nutrition bars, cereals, breads, and also drinks. I asked about the health benefits of chia seeds while at a local health food/organic grocery store, and apparently, there are many health benefits:

  • Chia seeds are rich in Omega-3 acids.
  • Chia seeds are rich in protein.
  • Chia seeds are gluten-free.
  • Chia seeds are high in fiber.
  • Chia seeds are rich in minerals and antioxidants.
  • Chia seeds can help regulate blood insulin levels.

While looking at some smoothie-type beverages which contained chia seeds, one of the store employees told me ways that I could make my own drinks and puddings with very few ingredients and save myself some money.  Since I hadn’t eaten chia seeds or chia powder before, and not knowing if I would like the taste or not, I bought a small amount from the bulk section.

At home, I mixed a cup of blueberry flavored Kefir milk and about 1/3 cup of black chia seeds.  As instructed, I let it refrigerate overnight.  The next day, the pudding-like mixture was ready.  I added some fresh berries, slivered almonds, and unsweetened coconut on top, as I might do with a yogurt parfait.  After a couple of bites, I drizzled a little blue agave nectar on top, as I felt it was missing something, taste-wise.

 

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To me, the chia seeds had the texture of sesame seeds, yet very little taste.  I would not object to using chia seeds again for their health benefits; I would not have them be one of the predominant flavors in recipes, though, opting for something with more flavor.

May 11 is National “Eat What You Want” Day

Isn’t everyday Eat What You Want Day?

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays

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What would you like to have to eat today?

Ready to have any and all of your favorite foods and snacks?

Because today, May 11th is the National Eat What You Want day!

Did you know…

Five Most Popular Foods in US

  1. French Fries
  2. Hamburgers
  3. Fried Chicken
  4. Eggs
  5. Pizza

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Today’s Food History

  • 1838 R.I.P. Thomas Andrew Knight. British horticulturist and botanist who experimented with geotropism, phototropism and heliotropism.
  • 1886 W. Marshall patented a ‘grain binder.’
  • 1934 The Dust Bowl.  One of the worst dust storms ever to hit the Great Plains occurred. It lasted 2 days and the area lost massive amounts of top soil.
  • 1946 The first CARE packages for survivors of WW II in Europe arrive at Le Havre, France. (Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe).
  • 1947 B.F. Goodrich announced the development of the tubeless tire.
  • 2002 Joseph Bonanno, a former Mafia boss known as ‘Joe Bananas,’ died in…

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Gluten-Free Recipes

On delicious living magazine’s website, there is a gluten-free cookbook to download for free.  The booklet includes 25 recipes for desserts, smoothies, main dishes, and side dishes:

http://deliciousliving.com/gloriously-gluten-free-cookbook-25-all-time-favorite-recipes

 

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Gluten-Free Buckwheat-Flaxseed Blueberry Pancakes from deliciousliving.com

Greek Yogurt Pops

As warmer weather settles in, we will need something cool to eat….

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Why I LOVE Greek Yogurt Pops:

  1. You might just mistake them for ice cream
  2. Fruit + yogurt + freezer = deliciousness
  3. They cool me down on a hot summer day
  4. Healthy & guilt-free
  5. They totally satisfy my sweet tooth
  6. Pink. Sweet. Fun.

A perfect summer recipe! Fresh. Healthy. Yummy.

I love cold desserts during the hot summer months, so I thought it would be fun to try out this healthy popsicle recipe!  I started by visiting World Market and purchasing a popsicle maker kit, but you can use ice trays as well.

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This recipe makes 6 standard sized popsicles.

Greek yogurt Pops


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups frozen fruit of choice (I used strawberries, bananas, kiwi and pineapple)
  • 6 Tbsp honey

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Directions

1. Combine 2/3 cup fruit, 3 tbsp Greek yogurt and 2 Tbsp honey in blender or food processor until smooth.

2. Scoop the mixture…

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Sausage & Cheese Muffins

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I made breakfast yesterday, using one of the breakfast muffin recipes that I posted last week.  The bacon and cheese muffins sounded good to me, so that was the plan.  I had sausage  but not bacon, and remembering my vow to be resourceful and not wasteful, I decided to use the sausage on hand instead of buying bacon.  I used Applegate Natural links which are gluten free.  I thinly sliced two links for the recipe.

 

20140501_112016      Usually, when I fill muffin tins, I tend to put too much batter in each cavity.  As a result, I often end up with only 10 or 11 cavities filled , and thus not a complete dozen. This time, though,  there was only enough batter to fill six of the twelve cavities.

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The recipe came from a muffin cookbook I bought years ago.  It did not specify using a mini-muffin tin, and the muffins in the photo appeared to be regular sized.  So, why after using the measurements prescribed, did I end up with only a half-dozen?  The biscuit mix was a gluten-free variety.  That sometimes affects the consistency of what is baked, but it shouldn’t affect the amount of  batter produced. Any thoughts?

Muffins for Breakfast on the Go

I had a request for recipes for hearty muffins for a quick breakfast, so here are links to two recipes, plus one more below. After that recipe are suggestions for a hearty, yet meatless muffin idea.

http://www.food.com/recipe/ham-cheese-and-mushroom-breakfast-muffins-331669

 

http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Easy-cheesy-bacon-biscuit-pull-aparts-334779

 

 

And, here’s one more quick and easy recipe:

Bacon and Cheese Muffins

2 cups biscuit mix

5 pieces bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled into small pieces

3/4 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

12 cubes cheese (1/2 inch), of your choice – cheddar, Swiss, Colby, pepper jack, or mozzarella

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease or butter a 12-muffin cup pan. In a medium bowl, combine biscuit mix and bacon.  Add milk and egg, stirring just until moistened.  Fill each cavity of the muffin tin halfway with batter.  Press a cheese cube into each cup.  Top with remaining batter, covering each cube of cheese.  Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve warm.

 

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If you want to go more sweet than savory, try this:

Use a serrated knife, to hollow out the center of a muffin, leaving about a 1/2-inch base.  (You can use the removed pieces for another recipe or as garnish next to the muffin.) Spoon yogurt into each muffin and then top with assorted fruit such as mandarin oranges, sliced strawberries, blackberries, seedless grapes, or sliced apples.