Sunday, May 19, 2013
I know not everyone is a fan of beets but once again I ask you to give them a try. I have a track record of converting several people into "beet lovers" and as you all know I am a self-proclaimed fan of beets. If you do not try them for the taste alone, give them a try as a natural, digestive aid. Beets are great liver and blood detoxifiers. This is one of the prime reasons that I have incorporated them into my diet in any way possible. I am a huge believer that all the nutrients and health that our body needs can be found in nature. I believe that the body has the ability to heal itself if you feed it with the best nutrients possible. Beets are one of those ingredients, especially if you have digestive issues. Why take in some foreign substance produced in a lab with 200 possible side effects when right in your grocery store you have the answer that all that ails you??
Since it has rained almost every weekend here in SC, last Sunday, while I was doing all my regular household chores (laundry, vacuuming, and cleaning the kitchen) I decided to throw some beets in the oven for a slow roast. Not sure what I would make with them when they were done, I knew that I could whip up something that I would enjoy all week long. After the beets were finished, I made this recipe up with a few ingredients I had around the kitchen. These were great. I ate them warm that first night but then ate them as a cold side dish for several nights after; even serving them to a friend.
Click here for more of my favorite beet recipes.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Rain, rain go away! Or I will be forced to keep making delicious things in my kitchen!! Last weekend, it rained- no it poured and I was BORED. After cleaning my house, doing all my laundry, grocery shopping, making dinner, cleaning my closet and even venturing out to the gym, I was still bored. As I was taught by so many generations of women in my family, it is not possible to rest when you are bored you must DO SOMETHING!!! Yes, we are incessantly busy. Why?? I am not sure. This is a conversation my Mom and I have had many times. Her suggestion is just sit down and rest; read a book or watch TV. This advice comes from someone who does not sit down for one minute and neither does her mother my Gram. I was raised by a group of continually moving, active women and the sad thing is when we are not in action we are thinking about what we can do next, or tomorrow or planning next Christmas dinner- in July! It is exhausting!
So..... I sat down for approximately 5 min (hope Moms not reading) and felt guilty. What can I do?? I began looking through my recipe cache on my iPad and quickly came across this recipe that I have made before and absolutely love. Since I was bored..... up I sprang and began searching for ingredients. WhooHooo! I had a task and I was happy..... in my strange obsessive, genetically predisposed way....
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
|Melon & Chicken Herb Pasta Salad|
What is better summer eatin' than a pasta salad? I woke up this morning to make a fab pasta salad for a friend and I to snack on while we were downtown at the Fidelity Moonlight Movie in Falls Park. I love this event. Every Wednesday night in May and September here in Greenville, SC they transform the park downtown into an outdoor movie theater. It is a BYOP (bring your own picnic) and BYOB event and it is tons of fun. A few friends introduced me to this event last year and this year my goal was to go as often as possible. Unfortunately, due to the gloomy, cold weather we have been having here in SC we never made it to the movie but we did eat some awesome salad! I was so excited with the results that I had to share them with you. I plan to go next week though so if you are there, let me know and we can share some good eats.
|Lemon Balm in my backyard|
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Summer is fast approaching! And for me it can not come fast enough! One thing I love about summer is the fact that my back porch becomes my second living room. Most nights you can find me outside reading with my golden retriever Charlie at my feet, blogging on Bonbons and Biscotti or laughing with friends while sipping some red wine. Everyone knows when they come to my house that if you knock on the front door and no one answers, walk around to the backyard and you will find me- on my porch. Every year, I decorate my porch with pots of fresh herbs and flowers and last year my Mom and I went shopping for some great new bright cushions and accessories that make this area the cheeriest place in my house. It really is THE place to be from April till October.
So why am I sharing this recipe? This recipe is the perfect little individual dessert to have in the freezer whenever those surprise guests show up for some porch sittin'. Make these mini cream pies ahead of time in whatever citrus flavor that you like and keep them on the ready. These are refreshing and tart. They are perfect for an after dinner treat, a talk with a friend or a decadent snack when you have had a bad day. Go ahead eat two! You deserve it!
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Happy Birthday to Bonbons and Biscotti....And what better why to celebrate a birthday than with CAKE!!! Not just any cake but ice cream cake- just in time for spring!! There is nothing better than sitting on the back porch in the sun eating ice cream cake- YUM!
OK, there is a reason that I chose this recipe; actually a few. First I love malted milk balls and we have already established my love for dessert, but the need to make this recipe is more about having something that I never got to have for my personal birthdays. Yes, as I mentioned in my previous post, I always had a great birthday with a awesome cake made by my Mom, Toni "the master baker." However, every year when my little sister's birthday rolled around in sunny June she had a cook out and a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake! I wanted an ice cream cake sooooo bad but as in most small towns in rural Pennsylvania, the Dairy Queen was only open in the summer months. This made a lot of sense for my region. Really, who wants to sit outside on a picnic table and eat ice cream in 2 feet of snow? Since I was born on a blustery day in late January, an ice cream cake (or a cookout!!!) was never a possibility for me. My birthdays were always rushed events that people came to, ate and left before the roads got to snowy to travel. In their own way, my birthdays were festive and memorable but to this day... still no ice cream cake. Well, by making this cake I have solved that dilemma. Now I can have decadent chocolate cake on my birthday in January and mile high ice cream cake for my blog's birthday. I am a happy girl!
I want to personally say thank you to all of you that followed my blog and watched me grow in this past year. As I have noted, I have had some hard days these past 2 years and every time I get a note of encouragement or hear that someone else has read my blog or tried one of my recipes, it warms my heart. I hope that I have inspired some of you as well. Remember Love Begins In The Kitchen... show someone that you love them.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
OK, so I do not have a huge story about this recipe, other than I have fallen in love with this soup!! I have made this soup 3 times in the past 3 months. It was a recipe that I found in my Eating Well magazine a few months ago and put aside in "my vault of recipes that will never be made." My BFF Ginny also saw this recipe and decided to make it. She brought me a bowl and it was delish so I began chopping, and chopping and chopping. Yes, this soup takes a lot of prep, but it is worth every bit of work and it makes a ton of soup. Since I have some late nights at work, I have been making this soup and freezing it in individual serving size containers. I get it out in the morning before work and it is ready to heat up for dinner. Also if I want to add a little more bulk to my bowl, I will drop in about 1/3 of a cup of organic brown rice and stir and enjoy.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
|Baked Turkey Thighs with Baked Bourbon Sweet Potatoes|
So, I know, where have I been again?? Well..... this time I have a legit excuse- actually multiple excuses! First, I had a death in my family and had to go home to PA for services and family responsibility (more to come about this in a future post.) Secondly, as some of you already know, I went into battle with a new mandolin and the mandolin won. Three Fridays ago I decided to cut some beet chips with my new mandolin that I got for my birthday. As I proceeded, I thought this is not so hard and that I needed to be careful as my Mom just sliced off the end of her finger in a mandolin accident just a few weeks before. As I thought this, I tilted my hand back to avoid cutting my fingers and in one swift motion, shaved off a huge piece of my palm.... yep down to the muscle. (Insert SCREAM here!!!!) So off to the ER I went. Sparing you the painful, bloody details, I have been in a huge bandage for weeks now. I have not been able to cook, type, see patients, write or even wash my hair, so blogging was completely painful and out of the question. My friends and family have stepped forward in a huge way to take care of my daily duties and hand wrapping, but certain things you just have to do yourself.
This is one of the first recipes that I have made since mauling myself and it felt so good to be back. I love to be in the kitchen. Being able to make food again was a great relief. There is something to being able to sustain yourself that is empowering to me. I like making things with my hands, and as you all know, that is one of my big stress relievers- baking, knitting, gardening. Moving my hands quiets my mind. Needless to say, in a time right now when I could use stress relief the most, I have been without the ability to quiet my mind and make something beautiful or delicious. It has been depressing.
I hope that you make this recipe and enjoy it. It is something I threw together with ingredients I had at home. The sweet potatoes are amazing. Just a suggestion though- cut them by hand!
Is there anyone out there interested in a mandolin?
Saturday, March 23, 2013
|Beer Braised Beef Stew with Brussels Sprouts|
Thursday, February 21, 2013
|Next time you are feeling under the weather, cuddle up with a blanket and my Gram's tea|
For the past three days this girl has been S-I-C-K. Yes, I have caught whatever crap has been going around and it is a doozie! My symptoms have ranged from cough, congestion, body aches, and worst of all a fever of 101. Aside from being sick I am now officially bored to death. I have slept, knitted, watched every House Hunters Episode on HGTV and bubble bathed my way to raw skin. I am an active person and this is depressing!!!
OK enough complaining, right? You all have probably already had this bug and recovered.
When I was a little girl and got sick, I was very privileged to have my Gram and Pap H come to the rescue. Since my mom was a teacher it was not often that my sister and I got to stay home from school. As in most families, since both of my parents worked it made it hard for one of them to take off of work to stay with us at home. So those rare moments when we woke up a little ill, my mom would come in and take our temp, bring ginger ale and the bathroom trash can (in case of barfing emergencies) and head off to the phone to call my Gram. My Gram was a nurse for the majority of her life but by the time we were children she was retired. She worked in all wings of the Miner's Hospital but loved pediatrics the most. They lived about 30 minutes away, so after my mom called we waited for Gram. When she arrived, she was stern but sweet and I knew not to mess with her. As I sat on my pallet, that was then made up on the couch in front of the TV (Strawberry Shortcake pillow and all,) Mom would begin telling her my symptoms. Shortly thereafter, Mom would leave for work and Gram would take over. She was a nurse of the old school variety and a lot of it was very holistic. (Most of it is being prescribed now because more and more modern medicine is failing.) If a fever was involved, she believed in sweating it out. So the footie PJs would be put on as well as multiple blankets. She kept us hydrated and she always made us this special tea. Of course, at that age there was no whiskey in it, but as I grew up, this is the one ingredient that she added to the mix. As a kid, I hated this stuff and I hated laying there "sweating it out" but I knew there was good things to come- Chicken noodle soup, a hand of Rummy or Kings on the Corner and of course Price is Right. If I was real lucky, my Pap would go out and buy me some Cherry Soda. And a the end of the day, there was always the hope in the back of my head that maybe tomorrow I will still be coughing too much and I will get to spend another day in Gram's care.
|My Gram on duty at Miner's Hospital. Isn't she beautiful?|
Today, I still make this tea when I am sick and especially before I go to bed. It is sooo much better than any cough syrup that you can buy and while it does have whiskey in it ........ have you ever looked at the ingredients in NyQuil???, give it a try and if you have a fever throw on a blanket and Sweat It Out!!!
Guess what?? I still have lots of cabbage from this weekend. Sooooo.... I cook!! This is a really simple recipe that is really filling and great from a cold winter day. My Dad used to whip up this soup after a holiday or any time we had a left over ham bone. He still does. I called him for the basic recipe and then added some of my special touches. No matter how you make this soup it will be great!
|One of my cabbages- after 1 month in the garden. I just love the pic!|