Archive for January, 2011

January 31, 2011

Butternut squash soup and Challah bread

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Tonight’s dinner. Was delicious. W enjoyed both soup and bread (especially dunking); KG only the bread. I’ll count that as a 75% success rate 🙂

Photos: dinner; challah bread; bread ready for 2nd rise.

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January 29, 2011

What’s for breakfast?

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Omelette, cinnamon almond bread, cantelope. Bread turned out great! KG asked if we could make it again… I think I will.

I used my pink KitchenAid Stand Mixer to both mix and knead the bread dough – easy peasy! Just popped off the mixing head and popped on the bread hook.

The recipe was for a 1lb loaf, which fit perfectly in one loaf pan. I could have mixed more in the mixer, probably doubled the recipe, but then would have had to figure out how to split the loaf after rolling it out to add the filling. I think 1lb worked perfectly, we have about half the loaf leftover!

January 29, 2011

Cinnamon Almond Bread

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Ended up getting a recipe for Cinnamon Pecan Swirl bread from my friend CM. J is allergic to pecans, so I went with almonds, which I ground fairly fine so W could have some bread. Looks delish!

Side note: went to Wegmans to get the yeast & bread flour I needed. After looking everywhere in the baking aisle and not finding it, I asked the stock guy. He couldn’t find it either. Luckily, another customer was walking by, and she told us the yeast was in the dairy aisle, by the cream cheese. Um, insane stocking much?

January 28, 2011

Bread ideas?

I’ve got the afternoon off again today. Thinking about making bread for tomorrow, ideally something we could have for breakfast. I’m intrigued by slow cooker steamed bread, but also pondering yeast bread.

Our former next-door neighbour gave me a recipe for English muffins I haven’t tried yet.

Ideas? Thoughts? Any breads you love for breakfast?

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January 27, 2011

“Mexican” corn muffins

The muffins are done! I cut one open for the photo and of course, had to try it. Delish.

Here’s the final recipe:
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
* 1 cup cornmeal
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 large egg
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
* 1 1/2 cups shredded lime/cilantro poached chicken
* 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
* 1/2 cup finely diced red bell peppers
* 1/4 cup finely diced cilantro

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffins pans with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine egg whites, milk and applesauce. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

3. Stir chicken, bell peppers, cilantro and 3/4 cup of cheese into cornmeal mixture.

4. Spoon mixture into muffin cups, about 3/4 full. Any given scoop of batter should have lots of visible meat & cheese. If there seems to be too much muffin mix per scoop, you may need more meat & cheese. Top each muffin with a bit of cheese, using up remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.

5. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 20-25 minutes.

6. Cool on cooling rack. Can be served warm, or refrigerated and frozen for later use.

Notes: I was cooking these for the kids and this is obviously their first time having them, so went fairly light with the peppers and cilantro. You could definitely add more. I also used whole milk and a whole egg instead of the original recipe’s lower-fat counterparts, since these are for kids not adults.

The lime/cilantro poached chicken I made yesterday in the crock-pot – the recipe is from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, which I love. Amazing and unusual slow cooker recipes, many of which are easy to do.

Final verdict from KG and W: Nom!

January 27, 2011

Cinnamon Cardamom Pancakes

Excerpt from my Twitter last Saturday:

KG wanted cinnamon rolls, W wanted pancakes. And thus were born cinnamon cardamon pancakes with cream cheese frosting. Nom

My MIL asked me for the recipe shortly after I posted that note. (Sorry Mom for not posting this sooner!)

The pancake base came from a box. Box called for egg, oil & water, but said that I could sub in applesauce for the egg & oil, so I did. I made the “double” recipe knowing how many pancakes our two kids can inhale at a sitting.

Once I had the base mixed, I added about 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon and roughly half that of ground cardamom. (After trying the first pancakes, W and I decided we needed more cinnamon. I added another tsp or so.)

For the frosting, I used this recipe:

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/08/low-fat-cream-cheese-frosting.html

I wanted to be able to use the frosting on other stuff (although I haven’t yet) so I left it plain. If I did this again, I’d probably add some spices into that too.

January 27, 2011

First recipe

Was reading BentoLunch.net yesterday and was inspired by this recipe:

http://www.bentolunch.net/2010/04/new-bento-gear-recipe.html

However, being me, I can’t just try it as is. I would like the muffin base to be a bit more healthy, and I don’t have ground beef on hand.

I do however, have leftovers from last night’s make-your-own-tacos spread (more on that later). I think chicken, cilantro, diced red bell peppers, and cheddar cheese will work nicely in this concept.

I’m going to be using this corn bread recipe:

http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/low-fat-corn-bread/Detail.aspx

Plan is for the kids to have this for dinner tonight – I think J and I will stick with the plain poached chicken, but we’ll see!

January 27, 2011

Welcome

I’ve been finding lately that many of my food-related ramblings are getting a bit too long for Twitter’s 140 characters, and aren’t really Facebook fodder. So I thought, how about a blog focused on our family’s food adventures?

A bit of background on me: I grew up in California. My parents tried to always serve us healthy food, and a wide variety of foods, too. My brother and I will eat just about anything. When we were kids, artichokes were among our favorite appetizers (still are, actually). My mom packed lunches for us every day. We did eat a lot of sandwiches, but looking back, I have no problem with that. What’s wrong with a sandwich at lunch? She also tried to be as creative as possible within the limits of a lunch bag – things that can be easily carried around all day without getting warm/squashed etc.

I went off to the Midwest for college. Our university had a decent dining hall. I still tried to eat healthfully, but let’s face it, college kids will cram down just about any food/beverage in front of them, and a lot of the time that included pizza, ice cream, crazy coffee drinks. I gained weight. I met my husband, J, who had grown up eating standard Midwestern fare. I spent 3 months in Italy eating pretty much all carbs, thanks to our “dorm” kitchen. When my husband and I got married, we both were working a lot. 70 hour weeks were not uncommon, and our food choices tended to be fast and easy. By the time we had been married a couple of years, I had gained more weight, and knew something had to change.

I kept a food diary for a week or two and was shocked. I went on some diet management sites and re-learned what healthy choices were, and how to manage my food consumption. I cut my daily fat and calorie intake, and exercised a lot. It took a long time, but I eventually was down to a more reasonable weight (back in the “average” BMI).

I got pregnant for the 1st time about five years ago. While pregnant, I tried my best to follow my doctor’s nutritional advice, and gained about 40 lbs. Thanks to breastfeeding, I dropped that within months after our daughter, KG (now age 4) was born. Same thing with our son W, who is now almost 2. I’ve never gotten back to how skinny I was when our daughter was a year old and still nursing, but I think that’s a good thing. (Family and friends were starting to worry about my eating habits.)

This brings us to now! I strive to cook most of our family’s dinners. J and I eat leftovers for lunch. The kids have breakfast, lunch and two snacks five days a week at their full-time daycare. On the weekend, I try to make all six meals and four snacks. Trying to get a preschooler and a toddler to make healthy choices can be challenging!

I plan to use this space to make recipe notes, jot down ideas, and comment on how different items have turned out. I hope you enjoy.

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