Posts Tagged ‘food’

Food Friday: Smoothies

January 28, 2011

I asked for (and got) both the Ninja Prep Master (Professional!) and a personal blender for Christmas. I actually just wanted one, but now that I have both I see the need for both. Family and individual smoothies! No, it’s not really the season, but I’ve been really enjoying these as meal replacements as snacks. I’m sure as the weather warms up we’ll experiment more, but this week, this recipe has been keeping me healthy in my personal blender (and sometimes multiplied for the big Ninja pitcher):

Hidden Carrot Smoothie

1/2 cup carrot juice
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
2-6 ounces yogurt (I’ve been using a half of a small container of some greek yogurt I got at Costco)
Frozen peaches (I generally add 3 slices)
Other frozen fruit (I throw in either a few strawberries or a handful of blueberries)

I find this sweet enough that I don’t add any sugar, but you can sweeten if you need.

 I’m sure we’ll revisit smoothies again later (when the high finally gets above the 40s), but enjoy for now!

Food Friday: Berries!

September 10, 2010

We went to the Blackberry Festival in Bremerton for the 3rd year in a row over Labor Day weekend (sorry, no food pics), so today’s post is all about the berries. We picked our blackberries and made jam (canned and freezer) a few weeks ago. This week, it was blueberries from our front yard. Yay for blueberry bushes! Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that’s what they were the first year we were here and almost killed one of the two. But it’s starting to come back and even gave us a few blueberries.

I wanted more jam, so I decided to go with the mixed berry jam (although I want to call it triple berry). We bought strawberries (our plants didn’t put out too many) and raspberries and used our blueberries. I followed a Sure-Jell recipe, I want to say it was 1-1/2 cups smooshed strawberries and 1/2 cup (each) smooched blueberries and raspberries. Plus 100 cups of sugar. Well, more like four, but it’s certainly sweet. It was supposed to make 5 cups but we got 6-1/2.

Mixed berry freezer jam

Since the jam didn’t take all of our berries, we made triple berry shortcake. Yum! I decided to do it up right by making it at home, but took the lazy way out and used Bisquick. Heart healthy Bisquick even. Wasn’t too bad. I’ll have to make sure we do this again next summer.

Berry shortcake

Hump day crafts: beach bash cupcakes

September 1, 2010

I was busy all last week getting ready for Thing 1’s fifth birthday. It was a Hawaiian Beach Blast, and although the weather didn’t cooperate for swimming, it was sunny enough to play in the sand. And eat beach cupcakes. Here’s what we ate:

They got the nummy nod, so that’s good. Plus they were cute. I love this cricut cartridge – Life’s a Beach. It is too much fun! I got to try a lot of cuts with this project (not all shown here) and they were easier to assemble than I had feared. (So is the Hello Kitty Greetings cartridge I picked up on clearance. Will have to post some of those cards later.)

The picks are some wooden ones I picked up at Joann’s. The background “sun” is from Accent Essentials. Each has a colorful sun center on the back with a 5 (from Life’s a Beach) on it. Did I tell you how much fun these were? And flavor? Strawberry with chocolate and yellow with chocolate with caramel frosting (for the “beach) and blue sugar for the surf. You could always do crushed graham crackers for more of a sand texture, but I just ran out of time.

Happy crafting!

Food Friday: Banana S’mores

July 2, 2010

It’s grilling season here in rainy Washington — finally!! Sure I love burgers, dogs, fajitas and the like, but when the grill heats up what I’m really craving is banana s’mores!

Just like regular s’mores but with banana in place of marshmallow, I like to think they’re just a tiny bit healthier. Here’s how we do it here:

Assemble your graham crackers and chocolate on a plate or platter. I like to use dark chocolate for myself, but regular old Hershey bars are fine for the kids. Each s’more needs one cracker square on the bottom and one standing by for the top.

Take your banana(s) and cut them in half lengthwise. Leave the peel on. If our grill is already hot (from cooking dinner), I don’t bother to grease it, instead I grease the bananas to keep them from sticking. I brush a little melted butter or margarine on the cut side. Grill each side for 1-3 minutes. Carefully remove from grill and the peel. Then cut them up and put them on your chocolate and top with the other cracker. Mmmm-mmmm! Melty chocolate! Hot bananas! Num-num-num! Enjoy!

Food Friday: Pasta salad with homemade vinaigrettes

June 25, 2010

A recent article in our local daily paper inspired me to try making my first pasta salad. The article was about vinaigrettes and after reading it, I really wanted to make a summer-y pasta salad with the basic vinaigrette. I had no idea what I was doing, so I just imagined a photo that I might find in a home-making magazine. I got some Wacky mac, cooked chicken, a can of beans (kidney or whatever) and threw in some vegetables I had on hand and felt like including (red pepper and cucumber). The amount of vinaigrette in the recipe was perfect when I used 3/4 of the package, but wasn’t quite enough when I cooked a whole package of pasta.

I really enjoyed the salad, as did G’ma. Thing 1 and 2, not so much. In fact, they spit it out. Maybe if I set some aside to feed them without the vinaigrette it would go over better. Or maybe I’ll just keep it all for myself until their palates mature. Isn’t that what all great moms do?

Food Friday: Arroz con Pollo

February 5, 2010

Being a Navy family, we move around a bit. And sometimes, you have to leave things you’ve grown to love, not only people and weather, but also restaurants. We love to go out and eat Mexican food, but we haven’t always lived where there’s a good selection. One such place prompted me to fiddle with this dish trying to replicate one of my hometime favorites, Puerto Vallarta’s Arroz con Pollo.

No other restaurant has been able to match their dish to my liking, although it’s been so long since I’ve been that perhaps I’ve put it up on a pedestal in my mind. In any case, I come close enough at home now that the craving has been satisfied. In fact, I’ve been living near the restaurant again for over a year and haven’t been in to sample the original. Here’s my take:

Start with the mushrooms. I love mushrooms in my arroz con pollo! Saute in a large skillet with butter and olive oil, then remove from the pan and save for later.

Next, use a box of spanish rice. I like the rice a roni with the brown rice in it, so I feel like I’m making it just a little bit healthy. (Don’t tell me about the nutritional info and ruin the dream I’ve built.) It’s best to have one that calls for a can of diced tomatoes. Otherwise, you have to adjust the liquids accordingly to add one. Start it according to directions.

When it comes time to simmer the rice, add your cooked chicken (I pre-steam mine with cumin and other spices, but you can use any pre-cooked chicken), mushrooms and anything else you want. I often add diced green peppers, so we get some vegetables. Cover and simmer according to the rice directions.

When there’s five minutes left, add a few handfuls of shredded cheese (mexican blend if you got it!). Serve with tortillas, if so desired.

My family eats this up, and I hope yours will to!

Food Friday: Just for you – Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

January 29, 2010

Okay, I tried the Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate last winter and thought it was pretty good. (Except the time they put too much chocolate in it.) I must’ve been in the minority since they pulled it. 😦

Fortunately, enterprising souls can still have their chocolate sweet, hot and salty. Savory Sweet Life has a post on this with some yummy-nummy photos. It looks good, but I’m kind of lazy, so here’s my take on it when you just don’t have time to do it up right.

I start with the Swiss Miss Indulgent Collection Dark Chocolate Sensations. Mix with a bit of Coffee Mate Toffee Nut creamer. Add caramel sauce (anything you like in a squeeze bottle is easy). Then add boiling water. Stir well. Top with whipped cream and a bit of sea salt. And, just to make pretty (and that much sweeter), add a little drizzle of caramel on the whipped cream.

To make it perfect, find somewhere to hide from your children and enjoy. Or make them some hot chocolate with marshmallows and spend some time together. Good times!

First Food Friday: Corny dog casserole

January 22, 2010

Okay, it’s the end of the week. Everyone’s tired, but you don’t want to order pizza again. Or maybe you’re planning next week’s menu. In any case. I’m using Fridays as an excuse to share a recipe or food-related idea.

This week’s recipe is Corny Dog Casserole. My kids can’t get enough of it. The Cat will even eat it without complaining, which is saying something about a casserole.

Shopping/pantry list:
corn bread mix (plus ingredients)
hot dogs (3-4 should do the trick unless you want a lot more doggies)
small can of corn (optional)

Directions: Mix the corn bread according to directions. Cut up the hot dogs. Open the can of corn. Add both to the corn bread mix. Spread in greased 8×8 pan and bake according to directions. Er, well, you’ll need to add a few minutes for the extra thickness.

Ha! It’s that easy. Make sure you do something fun or spend time with your family while it bakes. It is Friday after all. Even moms need a reason to TGIF.