Wednesday, February 27, 2008


OH NO, I forgot it was Wednesday! I was just preparing to make tomorrow’s treat when I realized today is Wednesday. Not feeling well makes it easier to mix up the days and I was feeling kinds puny this week. I called my hubby and everyone was wondering where the treat was. I did make suckers yesterday, for one of the guys who asked for cinnamon last week. My hubby just told them that is the treat so ….. I may make them something for tomorrow.

I use the highly concentrated flavor you get in the tiny bottle, it is the perfect amount. The smell was so strong when I added the flavor my husband in the next room asked if I spilled an extra bottle. I was worried the flavor would be to strong but once they were shaped and cooled the flavor was perfect. I don’t use artificial colors in my suckers and the cinnamon flavor has no color so they were a light carmely color. They were a big hit with the guys but I better make some cookies for tomorrow.

2 c fair trade organic sugar
1 c water
2/3 c light corn syrup
Powdered sugar for later

Stir till the sugar dissolves and then let it boil without stirring till the candy thermometer reaches 300 degrees then take off heat let the boiling sugar settle and then add 1 dram of flavor. Any flavor is the same recipe I made grape last week for the kids. Immediately start to put in molds or just pour into a silicone pan once cool break it apart. Put it in a plastic bag and add a little powder sugar about a teaspoon should be enough. Shake it up and it will keep the candy from sticking. If you use a mold or make a cute design you can sprinkle more delicately so you don’t break them up. You can use sticks or not depending on what your needs are I use both. I also lay sticks in a silicone mat and with a teaspoon pour a little on each stick I go back after they cool for a minute and add another layer so they are a little thicker but just make sure the sticks are not to close. Just do this quickly as they set up fast as soon as it comes off the heat it starts to set up.

It does seem to take a few minutes to go from 225 to 300 degrees but just leave it alone and let it boil without stirring or bothering it.I always want to rush it but I try to be patient.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tonight is Sesame Chicken with Broccoli and Brown Rice Night

This is a great meal for company as it smells good and looks good. We used to order Chinese delivery at least once a week but as I try to cook at home more and no one delivers in this town I found this. It smells just like our favorite sesame chicken takeout but I used sweet rice that adds to the sweet flavor of the dish. I used bulk rice from Whole Foods that still has the outer hull. This had a nice flavor and even the kids liked the chicken.

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli and Brown Sweet Rice

1 cup organic brown rice
6 tablespoons local honey
4 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted till slightly golen
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 organic garlic clove, minced
2 large free range egg whites
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 pounds boneless/skinless organic free range chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2"chunks
salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds organic broccoli, cut into large florets

Cook rice according to package instructions.
In a small bowl, whisk together honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce and garlic.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites and cornstarch.
Add chicken, season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat.In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Place half of the chicken into the skillet - cook, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and chicken. Place all of the chicken back into the skillet and pour in the honey sauce - toss well to coat and remove from the heat.Meanwhile, roast broccoli until crisp-tender, about 44 min.
Serve sesame chicken over the rice and broccoli.
Makes about 4 servings

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New Healthy Diet May be to Late

Well I come from a long line of diabetics and now it is my turn. I had a bunch of blood work done and it appears I am now a diabetic with high cholesterol. I am on a new diet from my doc for 2 weeks no bread no sugar and even no fruit!!!! Argggg! Will I survive it? I am still planning to feed my family the same as always and just modify my plate. We eat healthy enough that it might work ok. I have not always been as concerned about eating more fruits and veggies so I am glad they are already a part of my and the kids diet so this won’t be a big change. If you are wondering I am 31 and my kids are 2 and 4. I will still be adding yummy items but I may need to have my hubby to describe the taste. :( Have a happy and healthy weekend.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Today is Wednesday so that means treat day. I try to have him take something yummyish every week. It seems to help them to relax a little bit so this week I made a spiced pumpkin cookie with vanilla sugar icing. I left one batch in the oven a little long, about 20 min extra, but it still came out great in fact my husband ate all the crispy bottomed ones first. I use a cookie scoop that is about a tablespoon size. These hardly spread at all so you can fit a lot on the cookie sheet my first batch I put them few and far between but the next time I fit 16 on a medium size sheet. The dough doesn’t look like cookie dough it is very light and fluffy. The cookies are also very airy and light. My changes are in bold

Pumpkin Spiced and Iced Cookies (Adapted from Nestle)

For the cookie batter

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
I used 1T of pumpkin pie spice instead of all the different types
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
8 tablespoons spectrum organic shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups mashed pumpkin
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
Dark block of chocolate 3.2 oz chopped up
1/2 c chopped walnuts

For the glaze1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
4 T milk I just kept adding till it was smooth and creamy
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375

To make the cookie batter
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla. Slowly mix in the flour mixture and beat until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.Scoop out dough using a tablespoon cookie scoop and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake until lightly golden, about 13-18 minutes. 16 min was perfectRemove and let cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.To make the glazeIn a small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cookies.
Makes about 66 cookies. It only made about 30 cookies for me. I don’t know how they got so many as I wound up with smallish cookies about 1 inch across. My husband really, really loved these. He likes pumpkin pie so i assume...

I again used all organic including the canned pumpkin I got from Whole Foods.

If I am feeling bold I may start adding pictures but for now i am dreadful at taking pictures.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Food of the Week - Brociflower

I have made a decision my food is dull. Yes, I cook many meals every week but I wonder is there more out there? I have been reading lots of blogs lately and realize as I meander thru Whole Foods I have no clue about certain foods. I was raised on mcdees and pizza then as a single gal on my own it was Raman or Mac n cheese (out of a box). The foods my mom did cook were fatty like real Mac n cheese and chicken and rice both are two of the best foods in the world and nothing compares after a bad day but I am trying to change how I think about food. Food was the most important thing to my dad if he was in a burning building and had to choose between his child or the pork chop, the pork chop would win no contest. My memories of my daddy are always food related. Trips are remembered for the food good or bad. So now I am going to try one new item every week. This week I actually got two new items brociflower was the first I had heard about it for years but never found it in a store. The other item is also a kind of cauliflower but it is purple so pretty. I got the purple as it is my friend’s favorite color and she was coming to visit so I thought it would be fun. In the oven I have the brociflower roasting with olive oil and salt. It just came out. OHHHHHHH the taste is amazing I am eating it just like I cooked it olive oil and salt. The taste is so different from boiling or mixing it with other items in a heavy cream. The taste stands out and it is perfect. A little crunchy and crisp but still soft so good. I roasted carrots last week so I am in a roasting mood. I may not share with my husband this is so good. I love not boiling all the good stuff out of the veggies. I roasted for 45 min at 350 yes some edges were crispy but I like that but if you don’t you could always cover them to cook. GO Roast that will be a theme in Oklahoma come summerJ.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

What makes a person ORGANIC?

Can a person who eats organic ever eat at a fast food restaurant? I am surprised at the anger some people have about this. I feed my kids as natural and organic as possible. I use fair trade items like sugar and coffee as I think everybody should get their piece of the pie. All people deserve a safe working environment. I also feel that when you buy local and organic it is better for the earth. I sometimes am running late and I run thru a fast food place. Panera Bread has a great organic selection but alas they are not in my town. I live in a tiny, I mean TINY, town which means if I want fast I get grease. I say does this make me a bad person? So if my choice is they don’t eat or they get something I wouldn’t normally feed them what would you do? I think that every person has the right to do the best they can without being mocked for being different. In my home I buy all organic, all natural and fresh as possible but if I need something and it isn’t available in an organic form I may choose to buy the item as is or I may not make the item after all. I choose how my family will live and I think everybody has the right to eat how they want. I welcome herbivores, carnivores, vegans, vegetarians that think fish is ok and vegetarians that don’t eat fish. Everyone has the right to be themselves. Don’t you think so?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wow did you catch how bad I spelled?

Oh my that is some spelling i wasn't paying as close attention as i should as i was also having a conversation re thomas the train. The pre-k is closed for student teacher conference and so my son is home. He lives for 2:30 on pbs. Today we meet Neville!!!! A high five of excitment is required when life is that good.

Making Hamburger Buns

Well I was going to my mothers house sunday afternoon, I always want to make something to bring. I try to make something divine but last time i made a very rich and i mean VERY rich carrot cake that was roll your eyes back good but my stepdad is a dieabetic and i put his sugar really high. He only ate a tiny piece,i swear i like him. I decided to make hamburger buns because mom is making sloppy joes i offered to cook something else but that is what she wanted. I thought i would make the buns in the bread machine and try something new. I love my bread machine for kneading it enables me to get alot more done while it works. I always bake it in the oven even if i am just making plain bread. I didn't use a good recipe for it to be a soft light roll. It did however make a wonderful harder roll. I used a egg wash and added some sesame seeds so thye seemed more like packaged bread. My mom is a big fan of processed foods so i try to make it resemble what she likes.

Hamburger Buns
1 cup milk
1 cup water
2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
21/4 teaspoons instant yeast
Egg wash
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

In a small saucepan, add milk, 1 cup water, sugar, butter and salt. Heat over low just until the butter melts - cool to lukewarm.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups flour with the yeast.Pour the milk mixture into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the flour/yeast mixture, 1 cup at a time, until all 3 cups are in, beating until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make stiff dough.Scoop the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8-10 minutes), adding enough of the remaining flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. Move dough into a large bowl lightly coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 60 minutes.Uncover and punch down the dough. Evenly divide into 12-16 pieces, depending on how large you want the buns to be. Form each piece into a tight ball and place about 2" apart on a parchment lined baking sheet - you may need to use 2 sheets depending on the size. Slightly flatten each ball. Cover and let rise until doubled - another 30 to 45 minutes.Preheat oven to 400In a small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and water. Gently brush egg wash over each bun.Bake about 20-25 minutes, until golden and they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
I got the recipe from . It came out delish but i couldn't change it to a bread machine it just wound up getting a wee bit tough. Next time i will just do it 100 percent by hand.

Of course, i used unbleached organic flour and organic butter. I used farm freash local eggs. My salt is a natual sea salt that is a browish color that is lovely. I also use fair trade sugar.

This is my very first post so i plan to get better and if anyone asks i will post the carrot cake recipe. I hope that you will visit again as my posts will get better as i learn how to do this:).