August 17, 2014

Zucchini Chips

I don't know about you, but I've made zucchini every which way lately!  I have so much in the freezer too for future muffins, stews, soups, etc.  Our garden went a little crazy this year!

Anyways, I decided that the last recipe I was going to try this summer was making zucchini chips.  Oh my gosh. . . these were really, really good!  And I'm not a super fan of zucchini to begin with.  You've got to try them and then tell me what you think!

Zucchini Chips
Zucchini Chips

1 zucchini
1 - 2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper (about 4 shakes should do!)
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Cut off the ends of your zucchini.  Then slice them thin (no need to peel).   Make sure the slice them thin so they will crisp up.  Place between two sheets of paper towels and blot them.  Then place them on parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Lightly brush with olive oil.  Mix salt, pepper and paprika.  Sprinkle on top of zucchini being careful not to use too much.  The chips will curl up as it bakes so a little goes a long way.  Bake for about 2 hours until chips are browned and crisp.  Every oven is different so check periodically.  If you have any left over (!) put in a sealed container to store.

August 6, 2014

Health and Fitness

I've already told you a few health benefits of cherries (go to this link) but here are a few more. . .

Because of the melatonin, cherries can naturally help you get a better night's sleep.

Cherries can also improve your memory due to it containing anthocyanin.

A study in 2012 discovered that people experiencing gout had less of a chance of having an acute gout attack after eating cherries.

Because of the fiber, eating cherries may also improve your cholesterol.

The beta carotene found in cherries helps with eyesight as well.

July 3, 2014

What's For Dinner

What's on your kitchen table this week?  Here is what ours is looking like!

*Barley Veggie Chili, Corn on the Cob, Pears, Rolls

*Honey Garlic Chicken, Rice, Sweet Carrots, Cherries

Honey Garlic Chicken
*Spaghetti with Garden Marinara Sauce, Spinach Salad, Watermelon, Garlic Toast

*Grilled Turkey Sausage, Baked Fries, Corn on the Cob (we still have some corn left to use up!), Blueberries

*Grilled Hamburgers, Potato Salad, Fresh Veggies, Sliced Apples

*Tomato Pie, Italian Salad, Fruit Cup

*We have a BBQ to attend!

 Note:  if the dish is highlighted, the recipe has been posted

June 29, 2014

Patriotic Trifle

Do you need a quick dessert idea for the Fourth?  Here's one that fits that bill and it tastes good too!

Patriotic Trifle
Patriotic Trifle

Angel Food Cake
21 oz. can cherry pie filling
21 oz. can blueberry pie filling
12 oz. Cool Whip
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons almond extract

Cut the angel food cake into 1" squares.  Place half in a large trifle bowl (or any large bowl). Spread cherry pie filling over cake.  Mix Cool Whip, sugar and extract together.  Spread half of Cool Whip mixture over cherry pie filling.  Place rest of angel food cake on top.  Then spread blueberry pie filling.  Top with remaining Cool Whip. Refrigerate until ready to serve.  (Although this is one of those desserts that tastes better the next day so allow the flavors to blend!)

Servings:  a lot!

Did You Know. . .

that Thomas Jefferson was the first person to bring a pasta making machine to the United States?  The year was 1789 and it was after he was finished being the ambassador to France.

that the word "noodle" actually comes from the German name of "nudel"?

that in 1848 pasta was made in America for the first time commercially?  Antoine Zerega, a Frenchman, opened his factory in Brooklyn, New York and used one horse to power the machines; he also would dry his pasta by putting it on the roof and letting the sun do the work!

that the top brand of pasta in Italy is Barilla as well as in the United States?

June 28, 2014

Tip of the Day

Would you like to try your hand at making your own noodles? Well, here's a few tips to keep in mind:

*Kneading is crucial.  Make sure the dough is smooth and elastic.

*A dough that is moister will be easier to work with; a drier dough will be more crumbly and can be more frustrating.  Be careful though. . . if it is too wet it will stick to the rollers in a pasta machine.

*Make sure once the dough has been kneaded, it is allowed to rest if that is what the recipe calls for. This usually takes anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.  Don't skip this part!

*You will have better noodles if you just use egg yolks.  Whole eggs will make your dough a little bit tougher.

June 22, 2014

Daily Deal

Here's a freebie that will go fast. . . Lipton Iced Tea K-cup samples.  Just click on this link.

June 12, 2014

Chicken Noodle Dinner

There's a restaurant I go to and I've always liked their chicken noodle dinner.  I figured I could make it even better at home.  So. . . when my dad gave me some of his homemade noodles I decided to see if I was right.  I was!  This actually turned out really, really good.  I think the key is homemade noodles though -- thanks Dad!

Chicken Noodle Dinner
Chicken Noodle Dinner

3/4 carrot, chopped
3/4 celery, chopped
3/4 onion, chopped
10 Tablespoons butter, divided
5 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons chicken bouillon
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
7 cups water
12 oz. cooked chicken, cut into chunks
4  to 5 cups cooked egg noodles (homemade are the best!)

Melt 8 tablespoons butter.  Cook carrots, celery and onion until slightly tender.  In a separate small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter.  Add flour making a roux and cook for 1 minute on low.  Add to vegetable mixture.  In addition, stir in chicken bouillon, parsley, salt, pepper, sage, poultry seasoning and water.  Bring to a boil.  Turn down to low and simmer for 40 minutes (?).  Add chicken and noodles and cook until heated through.  Serve over mashed potatoes.

June 11, 2014

Did You Know. . .

that corn tortillas were actually made before even Christ was born, actually about 10,000 years before? They, of course, were made of native corn using the dried kernel.

that flour tortillas weren't created until the Spaniards brought wheat to America?

that there is a Mayan legend that states that tortillas were created by a peasant who wanted to feed his hungry king?

June 7, 2014

Let's Talk

Have any of you ever tried making homemade tortillas?  I've never tried this but somewhere in the near future, I plan on trying it.  I would love to get a tortilla press -- it looks so much easier to use then rolling it out by hand.  Here's a video showing you how. . .

June 6, 2014

Freezer Fun


I freeze tortillas all time  -- this comes in handy when you want to make a quick meal and don't want to run out to the store.  It's also great to stock up on them when you can get them on sale.

All you need to do is place wax paper between each one as well as at the bottom and again at the top of the stack. Place in a freezer bag, lay flat and freeze.

When you're ready to use them, just unthaw on your countertop for 12 - 14 hours.

May 20, 2014

Veggie Tortilla Appetizers

I had some friends visiting recently and needed to throw a quick appetizer together and this is what I came up with.  They loved them!  These would be good to take to all those Memorial Day picnics.

I think tortillas are so versatile.  Besides making your traditional burritos and fajitas with them, I have made tortilla noodles with them (see my tortilla soup recipe) as well as main meals (such as margherita pizza and black bean quesadillas) and the sky's the limit when it comes to using them to make appetizers. Feel free to add your own ideas in making this appetizer and then share with us the concoctions you come up with.

Veggie Tortilla Appetizers
Veggie Tortilla Appetizers

8 tortillas (fajita size)
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
4 oz. mushrooms, chopped
olive oil
mozarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place tortillas on ungreased cookie sheets.  Put onion, green pepper, tomatoes and mushrooms evenly on top of tortillas. Sprinkle on the basil and oregano.  Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.  Lastly, sprinkle cheese over all.

Bake 6 - 10 minutes or until lightly browned and crisp.  Cut into wedges and serve warm.

Servings:  32 appetizers

May 18, 2014

What's For Dinner

I haven't posted a "What's For Dinner" for a while so I thought I would tell you what we had this past week. Did you have anything yummy to eat on your dinner table?

*Chicken Noodle Dinner, Strawberries, French Bread

*Veggie Rice Medley, Homemade Applesauce, French Bread

*Spaghetti, Romaine Veggie Salad, Bananas

*Flounder, Broccoli, Baked Potatoes, Clementines

Italian Parmesan Chicken
*Italian Parmesan Chicken, Panko Herbed Potatoes, Corn, Berry Cup

*Beef Tenderloin, Veggie Noodle Dish, Green Beans, Pears

*White Veggie Flatbread Pizza, Pineapple

Note:  if the dish is highlighted, the recipe has been posted

May 17, 2014

Let's Talk

Did you ever hear this country song by Joe Diffie?  It's all about "Good Brown Gravy"!  Just click on this link:

"I can't get rich; I can't make a living,
But I sure do something for the neighborhood women.
I wake up every morning with a knocking at my door;
You can't keep 'em waiting when they're beggin' for more."

"Back! Back!" I hollered to my hound,
"You're supposed to keep 'em from coming around."
I used to think they were after me
but they're just after my recipe, for
Good Brown Gravy, Good Brown Gravy, i said Good Brown Gravy, Good Brown Gravy

"you can sop it with a biscuit, you can eat it from a pan,
You can lick it off your fingers when it's running down your hand.
If I could get a backer I could cause a big comotion
I'd put it on the market, call it "Biscuit Lotion."

"Back! Back!" I hollered to my hound,
"You're supposed to keep 'em from coming around."
I used to think they were after me
but they're just after my recipe, for
Good Brown Gravy, Good Brown Gravy, i said Good Brown Gravy, Good Brown Gravy

"Well, granny told my momma 'bout the power that it had;
Good Brown Gravy is the way she got my dad.
They tried to get me in the Army,tried get me in the Navy,
Just to get the secret of my Good Brown Gravy."

"Back! Back!" I hollered to my hound,
"You're supposed to keep 'em from coming around."
I used to think they were after me
but they're just after my recipe, for
Good Brown Gravy, Good Brown Gravy, i said Good Brown Gravy, Good Brown Gravy

May 16, 2014

Question of the Day

Ham gravy is made by using drippings from fried ham, adding some water and also many times coffee.  Do you know which president is associated with calling this type of gravy Red Eye Gravy?  

If you think you know the answer or just want to take a guess, comment below!

Answer:  It was our 7th president, Andrew Jackson.  His cook had been having a little too much corn whisky the previous evening so his eyes were somewhat red.  The next day when General Jackson wanted his lunch prepared he asked the cook to make some country ham with gravy as red as his eyes.  Apparently, others overheard this and that is why ham gravy is now known as Red Eye Gravy.