Sunday, June 18, 2017
I've used Shake and Bake coating mix throughout my life on those nights as it's sort of a "comfort food" memory for me that the family likes. I've even made my own DIY version to save money. But there was one Shake and Bake product that was out about 10 years ago I really missed. It was a GLAZE that was honey/mustard. It was really good on chicken and awesome on wings - only to be discontinued. I HATE mustard so the mustard flavor was beyond subtle, to me it tasted more like honey garlic.
I was seriously bummed. My friends even requested it when coming over for cookouts where there would be wings.
Just like regular Shake and Bake you just put the seasoning in the provided bag, moisten your chicken (or veggie protein substitute) and bake until done. Directions are there in English and French.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
So I want information that helps me make a good purchase in an easy to use format
There's a great website called http://www.reviews.com/ that takes some of the guest work out of that as their team of experts are your unofficial "research partner" guiding you to the best products for your buck.
Everything they review they've tried themselves like I do with products I feature on my blog. They don't have fancy testing facilities but they do get their hands on the products, sometimes hundreds of them before making a determination of quality. If that means brewing 500 cups of copy they are willing.
It saves ME having to brew 500 cups of coffee. (I have red hair - you do NOT want to see me with that much caffeine in my system).
For example - let's say you have adult acne. I don't but I DO use some salicylic acid products to help exfoliate. Trust me, I threw away several before finding a Paula's Choice one I liked that didn't burn my very sensitive skin ("ow ow ow - I think this has SADISTIC acid in it, not salicylic!")
What's worse than acne is those of you who are (ahem) older that don't want to turn your face into a desert in the treatment of it.
Research dot com did a great page of research on what the best products are for acne. You can see it
Wasn't that easy? So whether you are looking for acne treatment, sunscreen, whey protein powder or other health and beauty products check out their review dot com's website first. It will save you a lot of time AND money. (You know so you can go meet your favorite author at a book signing :-)
Friday, June 9, 2017
The Montreal bagel is a distinctive variety of handmade and wood-fired baked bagel. In contrast to the New York-style bagel, the Montreal bagel is smaller, thinner, sweeter and denser, with a larger hole, and is always baked in a wood-fired oven.
Montreal bagels are still produced by hand and are usually baked in full view of the patrons.There are two predominant varieties: poppy seed and sesame seed.
The bagel dough includes egg and honey. Honey is also added to the water used for poaching the bagels before baking. I love honey and understand why jars of honey that are thousands of years old have been found in ancient excavated tombs in Egypt and at one time was considered a form of currency. When bagels are poached in this slurry of sweet honey and water, it adds something magical to the overall chewiness of the Montreal bagel as well as giving it its distinct color and crust.
The bagels are baked in a wood-fired oven which gives them their unique taste and texture, the fire licking each one gently so that each batch has its own unique hue, never overdone, never underdone. I like the handmade part as well, as we know the New York Style grocery bagels are made by giant machines with neither personality or souls (though my mechanical engineer husband would probably disagree).
They are also significantly less in calories, sodium, and sugar than grocery store bagels and a Montreal bagel with a simple smear of cream cheese or sugar-free jam keeps me full until lunch. Although they are available in Chicago, the restaurant/bakery that makes them is a pretty good drive from where we live and parking for my extended cab long bed truck in that very popular shopping and restaurant area is really difficult. So I was SO happy to see that St.-Viateur in Montreal now sells the bagels online to BOTH the USA and Canada. Sure, the shipping was a bit pricey but even so, they were a dollar less per bagel (even with shipping) than the local bakery that makes them and 50 cents less than a bagel with cream cheese at the local donut chain. To order - click on the link below.
St.-Viateur just advertises the poppy seed or sesame seed on the website, but if you call for a quote, they can also ship Whole Wheat, Flax Seed, No Seed, All Dressed, Rosemary & Sea Salt and Multi Grain bagels. (call toll free 1-866-662-2435)
Comparing a very popular grocery store New York Style Brand to the St. Viateur seed bagel.
Calories: 260 120
Fat: 1 gr. 2.5 gram
Carbs 52 gr. 20 gram
Sodium 460 gr. 5 gr (yes, only 5 grams, no salt is added)
Fiber 1 gr. 2 gr.
Sugars 6 gr. 1 gr.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Create with some sliced roasted chilled sweet potato, avocado, tomato, a slice of sweet onion (optional), a few sprouts, AND some mayo (or Vegan Veganaise) to which you've added a pinch or two of lemon zest and poppy seed. On a dense whole grain, lightly toasted bread, it's 3 degrees of yummy.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
• 6 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
• Kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion, diced (or substitute celery)
• 3 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
• 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
• 1 bunch baby turnips, halved or quartered if large
(I also added in a small handful of leftover roasted asparagus)
• 6 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
• Freshly ground pepper
• 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, leaves chopped (stems reserved)
• 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 3/4 cup chopped veggie burgers or vegetarian protein crumbles (optional)
• 2/3 cup low-fat milk
• Grated parmesan cheese, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat the broiler. Cover the potatoes with water in a pot; season with salt, cover and boil until the potatoes are fork-tender, 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a stovetop casserole dish or shallow enamel pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, turnips and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables brown, 8 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid from the potatoes to the casserole dish. Lower the heat and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Tie the parsley stems with twine and add to the casserole. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 8 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons butter and the chopped veggie burgers and warm through, 5 minutes. Remove the parsley stems and stir in the chopped parsley. Keep warm.
Drain the potatoes and mash with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and the milk; season with salt and pepper. Place the casserole in a single dish or individual serving side dishes. Spoon potatoes over the casserole (s). Sprinkle with parmesan, if desired. Broil until golden brown, 5 minutes.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
That makes it easier to slide the burned, slimy mess into the trash while you get pizza. :-)
Friday, May 26, 2017
Most of you have seen at least the lower front of his shirt over a dinner table. For those of you that haven't met him, Partner in Grime is my husband, but also that fellow I share a last name with (trying to look all serious for me, vinegar and yes, he has blue eyes)
Plus, with the tornado sirens going off to our south, I needed something that could get interrupted with no ill effect. Abby was NOT leaving the closet and showed no interest in what I was making.
Champagne Balsamic Chicken - It's not the most photogenic dish in the world, but it was really good. I made it with a champagne balsamic vinegar I picked up at Artisano's the last time I was in Indianapolis and hadn't tried yet. For those that don't live in Indiana, they ship, and if you order something - get a 1 or 2-ounce sample of the applewood smoked salt, ghost pepper salt (hot!) and espresso sugar.
It was pretty simple, cooked on the stovetop in my favorite Red French Oven (you can use any big, sturdy pot.
In the pot mix:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup champagne balsamic vinegar (or any good quality balsamic)
3/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons chicken stock (or canned broth)
3 generous teaspoons of jarred minced garlic
2 dashes of sea salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 heaping teaspoon mixed dried herbs (I used a mixture of chives, basil, tarragon, chervil and a tiny bit of dill, but just tarragon or basil would work).
a couple grinds from the pepper mill
Add 3-4 skinless chicken breasts and bring to and maintain, a low boil. Cook for 15 minutes, flip chicken pieces over then reduce heat slightly and cook at a gentle simmer until internal temp is 165 F. on a meat thermometer, (around 30-40 minutes for the pieces I had), keeping lid OFF so that the liquid is reduced to better caramelize the chicken pieces, still leaving enough for you to drizzle on other things.
When the chicken is about 160 degrees F., remove the bay leaf, lower the heat slightly and put some bread in the oven. What's good? Popeovers, (Moosewood Kitchen recipe) always good on a cold, blustery day.]
I hope all of you out there are safe, warm and happy and if you're going to play chicken, do it in the kitchen, not with the weather.
OK, I'll come out of the closet for a piece of chicken.
Thursday, May 25, 2017
But I did update my beauty products based on new finds and a couple friends recommendations. Today, I'm going to show you three collections and the reasons for them.
Starting at the upper left - Eminence mineral foundation. I have super dry skin and this is the FIRST mineral foundation that didn't look like I had talcum powder on my face. It's great light coverage that looks very natural.
Next to that is my favorite mascara - Benefit Bad Gal Lash. (has over 3200 five star ratings on Sephora). A simple black mascara with a huge brush - it builds beautiful big lashes.
Below that is my newest find. Rodan + Fields Lash Boost. A clear serum you apply to the lash line at night - it gives you visibly longer lashes in a month without some of the nasty side effects (such as eye color change) earlier prescription lash products had. I found that if I used it nightly, my eyes were a little itchy. An R + F rep suggested using it every other night and it worked perfectly. I can eve skip mascara now my lashes are so long.
On the left Paula's Choice Resist Weightless Body Treatment with 2% BHA with Salicylic Acid and Antioxidants. As I hit middle age I started getting this itchy bumps on my face and back. The dermatologist said it's common and they're called keratosis pilaris. This product zaps them in no time and leaves my skin overall much smoother (I even use it on my face).
To the right of that is my Honey Girl Organics Skin Care, some full size, one a travel size. I LOVE Honey Girl - organic, smells wonderful and SO moisturizing and made of such pure ingredients you could eat it. They are also moderately priced given the ingredients and the owner always throws in free travel sized samples. The detoxifying Hawaiian blue-green algae, honey, and French clay mask is incredible.
The light blue tube to the right of them is a new try - First Aid Beauty mineral sunscreen. I think it might be a little heavy for summer (for which I'll wear my Rodan + Fields Sooth Mineral sunscreen) but it was great during the cold weather and didn't break me out.
Eyes and Lips at the bottom - A Mac and a FitGlow (Canadian organic line) in light and dark pink, and a MAC shadow and highlighter. To their right is Victoria's Secret pink lipgloss (purchased when I was getting some V.S. Heavenly - one of my favorite inexpensive perfumes).
That's pretty much my products at home. I do use other organic skincare lines - Frangipani Organic and Meadowlake Farms bee products, for blemishes and other issues that pop up with hormones and weather. Their products are awesome and mix and match well with anything, but what you see above is what's in my cosmetic and beauty tray in the bathroom right now.
(2) What I keep at Dad's so I'm not hauling stuff back and forth. Mostly cheap, with an exfoliating product that's TSA size to transport out there since I buy it on the internet only. From left to right.
Paula's Choice 1% Retinol Treatment. With rosacea I have to avoid any manually exfoliating products and this works really well, just a couple times a week keeps my skin smooth and it does smooth those really fine lines.
Next up is Alba Kids Mineral Sunscreen. It's pretty thick so I wouldn't use it on my face every day at home, but it's super cheap and is a great all over chemical free sunscreen for when I have a lot of yard work to do when tending to Dad's place.
Makeup is just a drugstore mascara. whatever lipstick is in my purse, and a Boom color stick for cheeks and eyes.
For cleansing and moisture all over you can't beat the Ceravie cleaners and the giant tub of CVS cream (their version of Cetaphil).
The products are the priciest of the group but they also pack an incredible "bang for the buck" giving me excellent anti-aging with only a handful of products. The larger jar is individual little capsules of retinol - I just put those in a sandwich bag. The larger square is Rodan + Fields facial and eye cleansing clothes - as well, a few go into a baggie. That allows me to put everything in just a tiny makeup bag.
From left to right.
NARS tinted sunscreen. It actually has a shade light enough for me (called Alaska, how fitting). It leaves a luminous finish (not shiny) and provides light coverage AND sun protection that doesn't break me out.
Next, BOOM by Cindy Joseph Color and Glimmer sticks with another Bad Gal Mascara lurking in the background. The "Color" one can be used as eyeshadow, blush, and lip color and the "Glimmer" stick provides highlighting to bring out your best features.
For skin care it's simple. Rodan + Fields Redefine night cream (which when traveling I use day and night as flying dries out my skin) and a travel sized eye cream (hidden in the picture), their retinol capsules, and a sunscreen stick that's part of a two part hand treatment I use, perfect for hands and neck. Rather than haul a cleanser that may leak I use the R F Makeup Removers, then just wipe my face with a warm washcloth (in the winter I'll replace the clothes with a small R + F Sooth cleanser for extra moisture)
The red thing? Well, that's a clown's nose - you never know when one will come in handy at a meeting.
For product link for items you can't get at the local drugstore:: note: (none of the products were provided to me, all were purchased)
Paula's Choice: http://www.paulaschoice.com/
Honey Girl Organics: https://honeygirlorganics.com/
Sephora : (mascara and First Aid Beauty sunscreen): http://www.sephora.com/
Eminence makeup and Skincare: https://buynaturalskincare.com/skin-care/type/
Fitglow Cosmetics: https://fitglowbeauty.com/
Victoria's Secret" https://www.victoriassecret.com/
Rodan Plus Fields - One of the Lab Rescue volunteers is a consultant: Her contact info is below. Jane's a good friend and a very caring consultant. (my consultant is actually in Chicago but I could NOT find her contact info today). Jane is in Maryland but the products can be shipped anywhere.
Consultant ID: 1432479
Market: United States
PWS URL: http://jslavin.myrandf.com
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Hot and Sour Vegetable Soup
3 Tablespoons sherry or rice wine
2 tablespoons cold water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or substitute coconut aminos for soy, gluten and vegan option)
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 ounce dried Chinese black mushrooms
8 cups water
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 chopped onion (or substitute 1/3 cup celery or water chestnut)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried ginger
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped fine
1/2 sweet potato - diced into small pieces
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 zucchini - chopped
1/2 bell pepper - chopped or sliced thin
1/2 cup tofu, cubed or chicken cut into thin strips
a small handful of baby boc choy
8 ounces diced tomatoes (small can)
salt to taste (no more than 1 tsp).
Whisk together the soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, salt, white pepper, and cornstarch in a separate bowl. Set aside.
Heat two cups of the water to boiling and pour over the mushrooms in a dish. Cover with a plate and let rest 30 minutes.
Drain the mushrooms, squeezing out the liquid (save) and cutting off the hard stems.
In a dutch oven heat mushroom liquid and remaining six cups of water to a full simmer
While the broth heats, saute the onion, ginger and jalapeno pepper in a little oil until softened (2-3 minutes). Add sweet potato, cabbage, and carrots and cook covered for 4 minutes (cabbage should be starting to wilt).
Add softened veggies to fully simmering or gently boiling broth. Reduce heat slightly and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the zucchini, bell pepper, and protein and simmer until the veggies are tender the protein cooked through (about 10 minutes).
Add in the soy sauce mixture and cook until soup is thickened (about 7-8 minutes)
Stir in the tomatoes and boc choy, raise heat slightly and bring back to a full simmer.
Stir in sesame oil and serve.<
Friday, April 21, 2017
We do Thai every month but it does get expensive eating out so I tried making curry and it was a hit with my husband who loves it. I'm normally not a big curry fan but I really enjoyed this.
2 – 15 oz. cans light coconut milk
3 Tbsp red curry paste
1 Tbsp curry powder
dash of crushed red pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
1 teaspoon of brown sugar or honey
a dash of salt
15 oz. can pineapple chunks, well drained
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1 large chicken breast diced
rice as a side
Cook the rice, as directed. I cook mine in a tray that sits inside my steamer and it's always perfect.
In a large saucepan, whisk the coconut milk, curry paste, curry powder, crushed red pepper, ginger, garlic powder sugar or honey, and salt.
Stir in the pineapple, bell pepper slices and pieces of chicken. Cook until the chicken is done (about 20 minutes). Taste and add more crushed red pepper if you wish it "hotter".
Makes four generous servings.
Serve with rice.
Friday, April 14, 2017
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
splash of vanilla extract
Ghee is a class of clarified butter that originated in ancient India and is commonly used in South Asian, Iranian and Arabic cuisines, traditional medicine, and religious rituals. Ghee is prepared by simmering butter, which is churned from cream, skimming any impurities from the surface, and then pouring and retaining the clear, still liquid fat, while discarding the solid residue that settled on the bottom. It packs a lot more health benefits than butter. I make my own.
3/4 cup RAW cashews (not roasted)
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast (I think it's made of ground up hippies) and is Vegan and full of nutrition
3/4 teaspoon Penzey's roasted garlic powder (or your favorite garlic powder)
1/4 sea salt
Pulse in a food processor or powerful blender until the consistency of cheese (for me - pulsing a few seconds at a time for a minute).
For an afternoon snack, some Kitchfix grain-free granola, made with nuts, coconut oil, and shredded coconut, with a coconut milk yogurt.
Then time to curl up with a friend's book that Amazon delivered today. Her delightful pet blog is
Foley Monster, Pocket, and River Song
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
So I'm going to be adding in more lean grass fed and free range animal protein and paleo protein shakes, still doing at least one vegetarian (no soy or beans) meal once a day, and a veggie only day with high protein vegetables, some ancient grains or gluten-free bread with a little nut butter for protein twice a week. I've got a grass fed, ethically raised, had its own smart phone and personal trainer, chuck roast from Whole Foods that cost as much as a small car in some countries in the crockpot with some garlic, beef stock, and balsamic vinegar reduction to have for dinner with mashed cauliflower and some steamed carrots on the side.
But today, after a lunch of coconut yogurt with a Tablespoon of berries and an apple, I was hankering for both bread and sweet and modified a recipe I found online to make this.
An easy, super moist muffin in less than 4 minutes, with NO wheat flour and white sugar
Apple Cinnamon Coffee Mug Muffin
Spray a coffee mug with nonstick spray.
In a cereal bowl melt 1 Tablespoon butter or coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons applesauce
2 Tablespoons applesauce
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon honey (or use sugar if you want a vegan version)
1 egg or equivalent vegan egg substitute.
Whisk in until smooth:
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 Tablespoons almond flour (do not substitute)
On top sprinkle:
heaping tablespoon of finely chopped apple
pinch of finely chopped walnuts
two small pieces of a thin shaving of butter or vegan buttery spread
Pour into mug and microwave 1 minute 15 seconds to 1 minute 45 seconds (microwaves vary, when it's done, it will be puffed up but other than the sheen from the butter it won't look wet).
Let sit at least 3 minutes and enjoy.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Chocolate Raspberry Dessert Bars (gluten free, no flour or white sugar)
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted;
1/2 cup coconut butter (comes in a mayonnaise style jar, found at most health food stores or online)
1/2 cup maple syrup or raw honey;
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder;
1/2 cup fresh raspberries;
1/4 cup dark chocolate, thinly chopped;
1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped;
Combine the coconut oil and butter, maple syrup, and cocoa powder over a double boiler, and whisk until blended and smooth.
Add in the dark chocolate bits, raspberries, and chopped almonds, gently stirring.
Line a 9×9 or 8 x 8 square baking pan with parchment paper and pour the chocolate in evenly.
Place in the freezer and freeze 15 to 20 minutes.
Slice while the mixture is still cold, and serve at room temperature. Store in refrigerator.
Monday, April 10, 2017
Seriously, try her products - you'll ditch the giant bag of makeup in no time.I got some as a gift and I had to order refills. There's a sheer tint for cheeks and lips, an illuminator to highlight your best features and a moisturizing stick to add some healthy glow to where you need it. They're made out of all natural ingredients and are perfect, before, during and post workout for a healthy beautiful look. She also has a line of honey-based skin care products I'm going to try and review next. At age 58, I think "less is best" as far as looking great. Too much makeup is more aging than paring it down and these products are great for that.
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Face it - conventional laundry-care products often contain chemicals with negative health effects ranging from skin and throat irritation to carcinogenicity. Because laundry care product manufacturers are not required by law to list all their ingredients on packaging, it can be difficult for buyers to make an informed choice. Laundry detergents are often derived from petrochemicals and contain synthetic fragrances, (even the “fragrance-free ones). The term “fragrance” alone may refer to a combination of hundreds of chemicals, many of which can be hazardous. Many detergents also contain added optical brighteners. Those are additives that emit blue light, which makes the whites APPEAR more white, as they trick the eye. Such additives also stay in the clothes after rinsing, like fabric softeners do, causing potential irritation by lingering chemicals that come in contact with the skin. I figured my skin issues was due to one of the many synthetic ingredients in the brand we were using and decided to find a more natural solution.
When placing an order for "bath bombs" at one of my favorite soap places
Measuring it out I determined this box would be 40 large (full) loads in an HE Washer, and 20 in a regular washer. My old store bought detergent advertise 32 or so loads for about the same money but then I looked at the label carefully. My old detergent bases the load on a medium load. If you are doing a large load it's only 16 washes and 11 for a full load (which is what we always do).
So the SACS & Company product is actually CHEAPER than the store bought since it is concentrated. Simply add the powder to the water as the washer fills and go find something more fun than laundry to do.
There are several scents as well as unscented. I chose lavender. They also list cashmere, unscented, Yuzu, and country apple. The dried clothing doesn't have a strong perfumy smell, but a very subtle clean smell that was extremely light and more natural smelling than those "springtime fresh" chemical laden products. I had my husband give it a sniff - and he agreed it just smelled "fresh". If you want a stronger scent on your clothes you can add a note to your order as owners and artisans Marta and Lauri will gladly customize it.
They will also enclose a frequent buyer card. It's punched with a star for each $10 you spend. When you get 10 stars, you simply take a photo of your card(s) and email it and they will give you a code for $10 off of your next order. Good online or in their store in Indiana.
The best part - no more itchy skin! Crafted from SACS & Co. line of goats milk with pure essential oil soaps the laundry detergent is free from all petroleum or preservative ingredients and comes in a resealable bag within the box
I will definitely be purchasing more. Better for me, better for the environment.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
OR, if your husband is out of town for a week - with Amish bacon, and lingonberry jam.
Cornmeal Buttermilk Biscuits
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup buttermilk (or use a cup of milk replacing 1 Tablespoon with lemon juice)
3 Tablespoons honey
2 cups gluten-free baking mix (or all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
4 oz.(1 stick) COLD butter, cut into 1/2 tablespoon sized pieces.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with two layers of parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, buttermilk, and honey. Stir well and let sit for 10 minutes to soak the cornmeal. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a food processor and pulse to mix. Add cold butter and pulse until mixture is coarse. Pour the flour mixture into the buttermilk mixture and stir to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 8 times until smooth. Using a biscuit cutter or the top of a glass about 2 inches wide dipped in flour (I dip mine in a little water), cut out 6 rounds. Arrange rounds on cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for 5 minutes or until biscuits really start to rise in the oven, then turn heat down to 400 and bake for another 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and serve with jam or butter and honey.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Other than that, I'm not a big fan of most sandwiches made at home. Just meat and cheese and iceburg lettuce is too boring and unless you add a bunch of mayo (I HATE mustard) too dry. My husband happily goes off to work each day with one, mayo-free, just some sandwich sprinkle spice from Penzey's, but his work has a nonprofit cafeteria where he can add a side salad for a dollar or two. But I decided to start adding more veggies to my sandwich and it made a lot of difference. Try sprouts (I make my own as grocery store sprouts do have a higher risk of salmonella than most lettuces), add mushrooms, or avocado, tomatoes or spinach. Cranberry sauce is good with turkey or "veggie turkey" especially with a thin smear of fat-free or dairy-free cream cheese. Ditch the mayo. Keep the meat lean or a vegetarian protein adding a little pepper, teriyaki sauce or barbecue seasoning to it before baking and only use a thin slice of cheese (better yet use hummus, keeps the sandwich moist and also healthy). Decorate with a toothpick with a pickle spear or add some shredded cabbage with rice vinegar as a side (a non-fat "coleslaw")
Serve on a whole grain, sprouted grain, or gluten-free bread, whatever you prefer. No thick white bread - that defeats the whole purpose of a healthy sandwich.
Yum - I didn't know a lunch sandwich from home could be this good!
Friday, March 24, 2017
I actually like this better than just the carrots and could eat it regularly (and it's less than 200 calories a cup and SO creamy.)
Browned Butter Carrot and Sage Soup
2 Tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
handful of fresh sage (leaves only, and washed)
5 cups chopped carrots
1 and 3/4 cups water
4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth (or use chicken or vegetarian "chicken" broth, both also good)
3/4 cup reduced fat half-and-half
dash of salt and white pepper to taste
Heat butter in a Dutch oven and heat until it's starting to brown and go frothy. Add sage and cook until starting to crisp up, remove with slotted spoon. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in carrots. Add water and broth; bring to a lively simmer over high heat.
Reduce heat to medium and gently simmer until the carrots soften (25-35 minutes). Cool 10 minutes minimum (so you're not pureeing piping hot liquid) then puree the soup a cup or so at a time in a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir in half-and-half and salt and pepper, return to saucepan and heat on low until warm. Garnish with a few croutons and a sprig of fresh herb of choice.
Use olive oil instead of butter.
Instead of cream, omit the onion and make a "creme" substitute out of roasted onions (it's really amazing, not tasting exactly like cream but with the same texture and depth to add to recipes). If you don't do onions and can eat soy, blend tofu and water in a 1/1 ratio to make a "cream".
Veggie "Cream Substitute:
Makes 3/4 to 1 cup
3 large sweet onion
Salt, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Olive oil, to taste
Coat the onions lightly with extra virgin olive oil, and roast them at 400º F in a pan that's not a lot bigger than they are until they are very dark on the outside and molten soft on the inside—the insides should not have taken on any color. That's about 45 minutes in my oven. Let cool. Once they have cooled, Remove the peels, and add the onions into a blender. Blend until very smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. Finish by adding salt, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and olive oil to taste, then blend 20 to 30 seconds more. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Use as you would cream to finish a dish. Will keep in the fridge for 3 days and in the freezer for a couple of weeks. Great to make mashed potatoes with for vegan friends.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Although eating better quality food and starting a serious work out program this last year has made me feel better (and I lost 9 pounds without any sort of structured "diet"), I also am making an effort to make more "me" time. Working full time, maintaining a couple of blogs plus twitter and facebook for marketing the books and working on the next book (which is almost like having two full time jobs) and family leave little time to just relax. For me, it's the occasional board game with my husband after dinner with a glass of wine and a long soak in the tub while my husband then happily curls up with nothing else to do but enjoy a book or putter in his shop.
I love my baths and have a number of bath products, my new favorite being the new "Tub Tingle" bath bombs from SACS & Co. But I was out!
DIY Bath "Bomb"
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup Epsom salts (I gave them a few pulses in the food process to make them finer)
1/2 cup Citric Acid (I found on Amazon)
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup corn starch
2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 and and 1/2 teaspoons water
Essential oil (I used lavender) 10 drops for lightly scented 1/4 tsp for heavier scented.
1 teaspoons beet juice (for color).
Mix dry ingredients in one bowl, wet in another. Combine (it will fizz up, that's the expected chemical reaction.) Stir until combined and spoon into muffin tins, pressing down with a spoon or with gloved hands
Leaves some room as they do expand as they dry. Let sit at room temperature to dry out 3 hours to overnight. Store in baggies away from kids and pets (these would be toxic to eat) and enjoy in your bath. When they are done, they will have risen up to the top of the muffin pan and smoothed out, and will be dry and firm to the touch. They were a little more "crumbly" than the purchased ones, so I just stored them in baggies and dropped the contents into the tub.