Friday, August 26, 2011

Crock Pot again!

So, there are no pictures to go with this one but it was success!!!

I love my crock pot/slow cooker and with the temps at 105 and higher still, it is getting a work out. Last night, it was chicken. I am not putting this one in recipe format because it is so simple!

I got out the slow cooker about 3 PM. I poured a couple of tablespoons of canola oil in and them poured in about 1/4 - 1/2 C of red wine vinegar. I put in about 3 pounds of chicken breasts (bone-in) and sprinkled it over the top with creole seasoning (Tony Chachere's). That was it. Put it on 3 (medium) until 6 PM and it was done and yummy. The girls like it a lot and even asked if I would send it for their lunch today. I was more than happy to! Oh, and there was plenty of leftovers!

Hope you enjoy this sweet, flavorful, juicy chicken.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Vegetables and Grits

The grits were a hit! Yea! The veggies were not. Boo! I can't seem to hit a home run very often but I will keep trying.

Once again, I really liked these veggies. They had a sweet and creamy flavor, without being too sweet. I think I have to figure out how to hide the green and red bell peppers. I am guessing that is why two of the three girls wouldn't eat these. I enjoyed it and will have plenty of leftovers for a couple of meals for myself.

The recipe is what I think of as easy. I hope you do, too. Here it is...

  • Grits - prepare as instructed on package
  • 2 T total canola oil and/or margarine
  • 1 onion - diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper - diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper - diced
  • 1 carrot - cut into thin disks
  • 1/2 C frozen peas
  • any other veggies you want to include
  • 2 T flour
  • rice milk - about 2 C, more or less to consistency desired
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  • parsley
  1. In a large saucepan on the stove top, add the oil and/or margarine. Put in the onion and bell peppers. Cook for a few minutes and then add the carrots. Cook for 5 or 6 minutes, until the carrots are tender enough to stab with a knife or fork but not so tender they mash. Add the peas and any other veggies that need to go in. Cook for another minute.
  2. Add the flour. Stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly to help avoid lumps. Continue adding the rice milk until the consistency you want is achieved.
  3. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and parsley to taste.
  4. Serve with grits. You could also substitute a rice or a pasta for the grits.
The menu for this meal was grits and veggies, baby oranges (mandarin oranges), and broccoli.
    I hope you try grits. They are so much better than the reputation they get from so many of the old books. I really enjoy them and with the veggies they make a great main dish.

    Sunday, August 21, 2011


    The grits were good served with a vegetable medley.
    What do you think of when you think of grits? Me? I think of Grandma Terrell. Not because she made them for us that I can remember but because I seem to remember her talking about grits and milk. I may be remembering wrong but that is what comes to mind. I don't know that I ever had them growing up at all.

    However, not long ago, my wonderful mother-in-law brought me a whole bunch of different grains from a gristmill they had visited. One of the things she brought was grits. I had no idea how to make grits so I just followed the directions on the bag.

    It took 10 minutes in the microwave. The measurements were 1 C grits to 2 1/2 C water. I also added salt to taste and a couple of tablespoons of margarine when they came out of the microwave. I really like them. They can be cooked on the stove top or in the microwave. I served them with some veggies that I cooked on the stove top. I will give you that concoction in another post.

    All in all, I would certainly recommend trying these. You should know that there are some rather large pieces of corn hull or husk or something in the grits that I had. Just be aware of how coarsely ground your grits are if you are serving them to small children. Also, if you have a corn allergy, these are not for you since most grits are ground up corn. But, this is allergy free otherwise.

    At any rate, something new that the girls ate - a positive dinner.

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Not Your Normal Bean Dip

    For dinner the other evening, I cut up some fresh veggies. The girls normally balk at just plain old veggies so I thought I would whip out some kind of a dip. What came to mind is hummus. Now, I don't know if I can technically call this hummus or not since it is not made of chickpeas so bean dip it is.

    I just mentally ran through what I had around, including the freezer, and in the freezer I had great northern beans. When I cook beans, I take the whole bag of dried beans and cook them all at once. Then I freeze whatever I didn't use in 2 cup portions, which is about the same amount as 1 can of beans from the store. So, white beans it was.

    I pulled them out and threw them in the microwave to thaw, along with a bunch of red bell peppers that I had already cut up. After they were thawed, I dumped them in the blender with some sunflower butter (again, what I had), lemon juice, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. I pureed it all up and served it.

    Once again, the girls wouldn't eat it even though 2 of them said it was good. I don't know. I will just keep trying, I guess. The next "try" will be to see if hummus freezes and thaws since I can't eat all of this by myself and I don't think my husband will help.

    Oh, here's the actual recipe!

    Not Your Normal Bean Dip -
    • 2 cups OR 1 15oz can any kind of white bean
    • 1/2 sliced red bell pepper
    • 1/2 lemon, juice only OR about 2 T lemon juice
    • 2 T sunflower butter (you could probably do peanut butter or tahini instead, but have not tried that)
    • 1 - 2 tsp cumin, to taste
    • 1 - 2 tsp paprika, to taste
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

    Blend it all up and use as a dip or spread. Eat up!

    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    Dinner Menu

    Dinner the other evening was a success. Of course, when I choose sausage, it is seldom anything else. The girls all love sausage. Usually, I just cut up the smoked sausage links and brown the pieces in a skillet. I needed something different though.

    I took the turkey sausage, about 14 ounces, and boiled it with the juice from a large can of pineapple chunks. It turned out sweet, with a nice citrus flavor, without being overwhelmingly pineapple-y. I just simmered it until the rest of the dinner was ready and the sausage was heated through.

    So our menu was this:
    • turkey smoked sausage boiled in pineapple juice
    • canned pineapple
    • sliced red bell peppers and cucumbers
    • black beans (prepared ahead and frozen, then thawed for this dinner)
    • carrots and broccoli (from a bag of frozen veggies)
    That's all. It was simple and easy because much of the prep work had been done ahead of time. I seem to get bogged down in side dishes a lot of the time but these ended up being quick. I will have to remember this menu.

    Saturday, August 6, 2011

    Cupcake Failure

    After I posted about the egg substitutes, I had to make cupcakes. Well, I think I used the wrong substitute. Or it could have been that I used the wrong two substitutes, since I had to substitute for milk as well. Whatever it was, they were weird!

    I made the cupcakes following a recipe out of the red and white cookbook for a one layer chocolate cake. I substituted water for the milk; probably, this was the first bad substitute making it too liquid. The other substitute I made was for the egg and I used the 1 T water + 1 T vinegar + 1 tsp baking powder. Oh, and I only had wheat flour (but I have done that before and it wasn't a problem.)

    At any rate, they tasted good, though with a grainy texture due to the wheat flour. They not only rose and then sunk, leaving a hollow like a volcano cone, but they spread out over the top edge of the muffin tin. Oh, and they were really crumbly. However, they were eaten and approved of, even if I couldn't ice them and pass them out like cupcakes.

    Lesson learned, though. I remember reading in one of the vegetarian cookbooks I have borrowed from the library that some egg substitutes are heat activated and work better for baking. That was probably the biggest problem; I should probably have used the arrowroot sub. I will have to go through and see if I can find a good website that has a list of the best application for each sub. If not, I will try to contact the author of that cookbook and see if I can reproduce it because it is gonna be useful!!

    Happy baking.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011


    Cookies are always a hit. One of my favorite things to make in the kitchen has always been cookies. I love cookies.
    However, if you have food allergies in your family, you know just how few recipes are out there without something that your child is allergic to. Well, here is a good one that does not have milk or eggs. It comes from my childhood and my mother, who taught me so much. Actually, I modified the one from my mom so that it does not include eggs but she won't mind. So here we go.

    • 1 1/2 C sugar
    • 1/2 C margarine, softened
    • 1/2 C vegetable shortening
    • 4 T arrowroot flour
    • 4 T water
    • 2 3/4 C flour
    • 2 t cream of tartar
    • 1 t baking soda
    • 1/4 t salt
    • 3 T sugar
    • 3 T ground cinnamon
    Heat oven to 400. Mix sugar, margarine, shortening, arrowroot flour, and water. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Shape dough into walnut sized balls.

    Mix 3 T sugar and 3 T ground cinnamon. Roll balls in mixture. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 - 10 minutes. Cook on rack. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

    Enjoy this treat.

    Monday, August 1, 2011

    Egg Substitutes

    Did you ever get up and decide to work on a recipe only to read eggs in the list and know you didn't have any? Used to be that I would put that recipe aside. Now, I know better. Since DD number 2 has been diagnosed with an egg allergy, I have found out that there are actually a huge number of possible substitutes.

    These Snickerdoodles were made with arrowroot flour.
    I have used several of them. In fact, the cookies in the oven right now used the arrowroot flour substitute. You will do better if you have an idea of the taste of what you are making is like - mainly sweet or savory. I am going to be making cupcakes tomorrow using an egg substitute. I will let you know how that turns out.

    For now, here is the list that I have compiled of possible substitutes for eggs.

    Use one of the following bullets  for each egg, up to 3 eggs, paying attention to the type of dish you are making and the flavors that will compliment it.
    • 1 tsp baking powder + 1 T liquid + 1 T vinegar
    • 1 tsp yeast dissolved in ¼ C warm water
    • 1 ½ T water + 1 ½ T oil + 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 pkg gelatin + 2 T warm water; mix just prior to use
    • 2 T arrowroot flour
    • 2 T applesauce + ¼ tsp baking powder
    • ½ banana (medium, mashed) + ¼ tsp baking powder
    • 1 T vinegar + 1 tsp baking soda
    • 2 T lemon juice + 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 T cornstarch + 3 T water
    These have worked really well for me. I hope they work just as well for you. Happy baking.