Thursday, February 28, 2013

Delicious Healthy Pizza

Delicious Healthy Pizza is one of the Sweet As Pie Cooking Club selections for February.   This is not just your typical lightened up pizza.  There's no crust here.

After looking at the ingredients, I admit I was more than a little skeptical at first.  I had never prepared leeks or portabella mushrooms before.

Leeks are...well...exactly WHAT are they?

And portabellas are...just plain ugly...and BIG...and don't even look appetizing.

But that's what this cooking club experience is about, trying something new!  So here goes.

Brown the onions.  This is always a good start!

Add in chopped tomatoes and garlic.

Add the leek.   I had heard about the dirt inside and about rinsing it well.  So I just went with it.

Squeeze in some lemon juice.

Add yummy basil.

Stir it all together.

Enter the portabellas.  I removed the stem, I don't know why, maybe to make more room for the filling.

Pile on the parmesan cheese.  I might have added more than the recipe called for.

Bake until heated through about 12 minutes or so.

These were good and so filling!  I was pleasantly surprised.  I have been eating pretty heavy lately and this was a healthy meal at just the right time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Follow the Leader

Since the Pope announced he was stepping down, I've been observing the reaction of the Catholic church to his decision.   Most of the reactions I've seen is how upset the people are.  Or maybe that's just what the media is showing.  Since I'm not Catholic I don't have first hand knowledge of the inside scoop on this news.

In the church I attend the leader(s) change regularly.  I know how it feels when the leader changes especially if it is one that everyone liked and enjoyed being around.  It's great to have someone whose leadership and servant qualities are strong and people want to respond to them.  Or maybe the leader is easy to talk to, listen to and one that people want to confide in.  A leader with good qualities will be missed.   When the leader leaves or changes, it creates uncertainty of the future.  What will happen next?  What will we do?

The spiritual leaders of the church have a higher calling.  But they are still human.  And the organization of the church on earth is subject to change.  Humans disappoint and things change, like it or not.

The answer is to know whose you are and who you follow.

That's why it's important to follow The Leader.  There's only one and he doesn't disappoint.  Life around me can change all it wants to, but my Leader's promise is to never leave me or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6). And he's the only one I can count on for a relationship with God (John 14:6).  And He even makes reservations for me (John 14:2)!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chicken Lettuce Wraps Ya'll

We love the lettuce wraps at PF Changs.   The last time I had them though, they were extremely salty!   Since I wanted to make these at home, Chicken Lettuce Wraps from SouthernPlate was my selection for the Sweet As Pie Cooking club.

While the chicken is cooking, chop the mushrooms, water chestnuts and green onion.

When the chicken is done, chop it up too.

I added in extra green onion and mushrooms.

The sauce is simply soy sauce and brown sugar.  Pour it in with the chicken and veges and heat thoroughly.

Spoon the mixture into chilled lettuce leaves and roll or fold over.

I ended up spooning much more into that leaf!   And I skipped the crunchy rice noodles.

My family enjoys these.  To me, they are much milder and less tasty than I remember them being the first time I made them.  I added chili sauce to mine to spice them up.  I guess I was missing that yummy sauce at PF Changs!

This version might be a basic starter that would work for picky eaters or maybe kids.

I have since run across a couple of other lettuce wrap recipes that I want to try.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Activities of the Heart

Since I missed a Valentine Day post, I'll catch up today before February is completely gone!

My scarf obsession turned into Valentines...  My daughter spotted a handmade flannel infinity scarf that she liked so I decided to make them both one.  The pattern is really simple and these can be made in under an hour.   The flannel can be bulky, which she likes.  And boy they are warm, I'm not sure it's been cold enough to wear them!

Scarves ready to go in the mail.

I loved this painted heart tutorial so our littlest sweetie got her Valentine on a shirt.  This shirt is cuter with her in it!  ha ha!!

Heart shirt for the sweet granddaughter

My hubby got his Valentine on his plate.  I have been following Ms enPlace and can always find something that sounds really good and cajun-y on her site.   I chose her Blackened Bacon Shrimp and Cheesy Grits to serve my cajun-lovin' hubby.  This dish was SO good!

And lastly, I played with the camera trying to get some photos of the beautiful velvety red roses that I received.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Easy Pasta Carbonara and Roasted Chicken

I've never had Pasta Carbonara so I was looking forward to trying this Sweet As Pie Cooking Club selection from the Pampered Chef Easy Pasta Carbonara.    We had it along with what I should call "Don't try this at home" Roasted Chicken.

Starting with the chicken, I got one of the "free" chickens.  No additives, no antibiotics, no hormones, no, no, no, etc.  It was a pricey chicken, but it was going to be healthy and hopefully actually taste like chicken.  Just add simple seasonings in a roasting pan and it should be done in 1 hour according to the recipe.

At a blazing 500 degrees.  Sounds good so far.


Now that the chicken is in the oven, I got the pasta going.  We can't seem to convert to the "other" bacon, so I used regular bacon.  This dish was starting to remind me of Hamburger or Chicken Helper, put it all in the pot and let it cook down.  Easy enough.

A few minutes into all this, smoke began coming from the oven.  Oh ok, one of the comments on the roasted chicken recipe said something about smoke but I wasn't worried about it.  But it didn't stop!  The chicken continued to spit and sputter all inside the oven.  Smoke everywhere!

The smoke detector went off and the chicken wasn't even close to being done.  After 1 hour it looked like this.  From all that smoke you would think this thing was burned to the bone!

I made a cut into the leg and it wasn't even close to done.  So I put it back in the oven just to let it "smoke" some more!    I turned on the vent fan which didn't help at all and opened the door to let some fresh air in.  My throat and nose were burning from breathing all that smoke, ugh.

I have NEVER fanned the smoke detector like this, it was so frustrating!

 Now back to the pasta, it's done and ready for the next step.  Add in the yummy cheeses....parmesan

and yes cream cheese too!

Finally, I took the chicken out of the oven, I don't know how long it was in there.  Maybe an hour and half?  It was very moist and I should have checked the temp to see if it was done but I didn't.  I cut off what I thought was done and left what I wasn't sure about.  I had a meeting to go to and just wanted to eat dinner and go at this point!

The Bassman was a bigger fan of the Pasta Carbonara than I was.  He had 3 servings for dinner and took leftovers for lunch the next day.  I thought it was a little bland, but it could be that my sinuses and taste buds were so irritated from the smoke that I couldn't taste it!  I'm glad I used real bacon and added extra red pepper flakes.

And I will never roast a chicken like that again!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fat Tuesday

One of these days, the Bassman (who we believe is part cajun, hee hee :) and I will go to the southern part of our state and enjoy the local Mardi Gras food.   In the meantime, we enjoyed the best crawfish etouffee this side of New Orleans and beignets at Albany Bistro and wiped out a few pounds of steamed crawfish at Tim's Cajun Kitchen.   That brings me to today's fat food.  It happened along with an effort to get some stuff out of my frig without wasting it.  

I have been in the mood for sausage balls.  There doesn't have to be a holiday, football game or other special day to have sausage balls.  So it's time to try these Cream Cheese Sausage Balls.  The Bassman and his friend will be fishing this weekend and they can just grab these on their way out the door (and I won't eat them all).

She mixed it up using the stand mixer and the dough attachment.  Now why didn't I think of that?!  I've been using a big bowl and a big spoon or fork or whatever worked that day to get it all mixed together.

In just a couple of minutes, the mixing was done for me!

I think the 400 degree oven is too high or 20 minutes is way too long or I might have sat at the computer a couple of minutes AFTER the timer went off.  They're very crusty on the bottom.   That's ok, we'll still eat 'em!  The next batch I turned the oven down to 375 and they turned out better.

Too crusty
And the other fat food was some cookies made from that fund raiser cookie dough.  You know the kind that will keep out at room temperature for about 20 days?   They're good cookies, but I've got to wonder about the preservatives that will keep food for that length of time.  

Maybe next year I'll just make a donation and they can keep the cookie dough!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Simple Crochet Shrug

Hopefully this doesn't look too frumpy and grandma-ish.  Even if it does, I don't really care because I love it!

It's this free pattern from Lion's Brand made with Homespun yarn in Painted Desert.  I love the colors, they go with anything.

And it's so warm!  I don't like wearing a bulky coat so I try to layer up when I'm going to be in and out.  So I'll add this to my layers.

A lot of patterns labeled as "beginner" turn out to be not so easy.  This one really is simple.

It's basically a big rectangle folded in half and attached in a couple of places.  Yep, that's it!

This is what I do while the Bassman's watching a game on TV.  This way we can relax and talk in the evenings and spend time doing something we both enjoy!

I'd love to make another one, but I better get busy on a prayer shawl.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...