Monday, February 27, 2012

Ketchup

I am the worst blogger because of how inconsistent I am at posting. I want to post more often. I miss blogging. Like now, I thought I had enough time to eek out a post of recipes I’ve tried over the past month and LOVE….but I hear my Darling through the monitor starting to stir from his morning nap.

My most exciting news is that Baby Bennett has been sleeping more regularly, through the night. I believe I’ve found my “groove” to getting more sleep. May I say, sleep is not overrated.

So…back to those recipes:

I got this from a friend. She brought it for New Year’s Eve. I am addicted. I had no idea how much I love beans until this recipe:

Texas Caviar

1 can black beans, drained & rinsed

1 can black eyed peas, drained & rinsed

1 can white, shoe peg corn

8 oz. (or a skosh more if needed) Zesty Italian Dressing…(it does make more juice as it sits)

1 tomato, diced

1/2 onion, diced

1 green & 1 red pepper, diced.

*I have also used a can of chick peas [drained and rinsed] because I was using my memory….and thought I was to use chick peas instead of black eyed peas. It’s still very delish.

I copied and pasted this recipe as my friend emailed it to me. I laugh at the word “skosh”. [pronounced skoash] She is the only person I have ever known to use the word. I like it.

texas caviar

 

This next recipe is for the BEST cinnamon rolls I’ve ever made. I’ve had one recipe that I’ve used for years now and thought IT was the best. Well, it now takes a far second. When I saw the recipe for this I thought it looked like it was going to be ridiculously sweet, to the point, of cutting my throat. You know that feeling when sugar actually feels like it’s scraping your esophagus as it slides down? I thought this recipe may do that. It did the exact opposite! It was light and allowed me the pleasure of enjoying the roll itself. It complimented the dough….which…by the way was fabulous to work with. Anyone who knows me, knows that I like to roll in the dough. Winking smile No, not money. I mean dough…it’s so sensual. It’s too bad that it’s not that good for us because it totally turns me on. When I am working with dough, I feel like I’m learning something new. There is something beautiful about being vulnerable to elements and pliable at the same time.  Also, working with dough, like putting a rub on meat, allows me the honor of applying my love into the food I’m preparing. This recipe for cinnamon rolls came in my holiday Taste of Home publication that I bought the day Bennett was born on my final trip to Walmart. That’s a funny story.. I was nesting….but didn’t realize it.

Majestic Cinnamon Rolls [copied from Taste of Home’s website]

  • Prep: 40 min. + rising Bake: 35 min.
  • Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 3/4 cup warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • FILLING:
  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • TOPPING:
  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half cream

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Add the milk, eggs, butter, salt, remaining sugar and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down. On a lightly floured surface, roll into an 18-in. x 12-in. rectangle. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon; spread over rectangle to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Cut into 1-1/2-in. slices.
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter and cream; pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Place rolls, cut side down, in brown sugar mixture.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in dish for 5 minutes; invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm. Yield: 1 dozen.

Lastly, for today, go to www.afarmgirlsdabbles.com and to the February 24, 2012 post for

Chocolate Chip Scones with Peanut Butter Glaze. I saw this recipe on Pinterest [my newest addiction along with….did I mention….Three Olives Cake vodka?] The recipe from “a farm girl” was the first time I’ve made scones…ever. They were SO delicious! We paired the scones with the 100% Kona coffee which my MIL brought home for us, from her trip to Hawaii. I had no idea scones were easy to make. Truthfully, I didn’t have interest in scones because they always looked dry. Well…hello…they look dry but they’re moist and light and I’m kind of a dingbat for waiting this long to try them, because, guess what? Making scones means working with dough!

Enjoy the recipes. Also, enjoy the “farm girl” blog. There are so many blogs that I enjoy. She is one I just discovered and totally admire. I want to be a farm girl.  I really, really do.

 

 

 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Goal Setting Session

We had a great weekend. A couple highlights:

Steve and I had a goal-setting session for our family. This is part of his duties, working for the city. However, we’ve never applied it to our family. It was a lot of fun. At Steve’s direction, we each made a list of accomplishments from the past year to year and a half. Then, we each made a list of goals we’d like to achieve over 2012. After that, we balanced our own financial budget. It was fun and we got to realign our focus on the things that really matter. I’ve heard of couples doing this and I wish we had started this sooner, in our marriage. Alas, no regrets – Onward Ho!

After the fast last week, I have clarity, and much more energy. I am still juicing twice a day. I have a juice packed with fruit and some hearty green for breakfast. I have found that when I eat a baked treat, ie., the chocolate chip cookies I baked for Jacob’s snack today, or chocolate cake – I instantly get heartburn, very unpleasant heartburn. The only time I’ve ever had heartburn is when I was pregnant. This development is an affirmation to how my body is telling me what it wants and doesn’t want. My mind is what gets in the way. I am still sleeping very well, while I juice and eat more balanced even though Bennett is still waking for a feeding a couple times a night.

Yesterday, Jacob and I roller skated! It was so much fun for a couple different reasons:

1. I could still heft this body around the rink and I never fell. I looked ridiculous at first. Then, I relaxed and remembered the key to balance is not gripping air and clenching butt muscles to the point of knuckles turning white or ….  ……moving on….the key to balance,even with wheels attached to our feet is to RELAX!

2.Jacob learned the lesson, for this activity, anyway – to fall and get back up is a great accomplishment! Watching Jacob want to let go of me and sport  his own independence was very gratifying. Seeing the joy on his face as he made it around the rink each time – well, there is just nothing quite like it.

3. It was something I got to do with Boy Wonder while Daddy looked after our Darling Prince.

4. It was a superb workout!

What did you do over the weekend?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Day 4 1/2….I’m done.

Ok…so, it turned into a stressful afternoon. Then, I was making a fabulous supper and I’m just too dang good of a cook to fast on veggies and fruit alone, especially, in juice form. So…scratch the fast. I know it was good for me. I’m ready to move on. I discovered I’m not a soldier for the cause of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead….unless maybe I was nearly dead and sick. As we have it, I’m just fat. Winking smile I will definitely be incorporating juice in my family’s menu. I believe it is still the best way to get the required amount of veggies and fruit our bodies require.

The demise began when I wanted to cook hubby a splendid meal after a rough day. He will be in meetings far into the evening tonight. I had it ready and called and offered to take it to him. By the way, it’s Ragu Bolognese. Even Jacob walked in after playing outside and was instantly hungry and exclaimed, “It smells GOOD in here!” Well, the sauce was to die for, and I knew it, so I tasted it. I didn’t stop there. I had a 1/2 cup serving on my own plate and sat down and ate with Jacob. Since I find therapy in cooking and baking, I decided to see if Jacob wanted to help me bake a cake. Of course, he was very excited to! We put on our matching gingerbread men aprons from Aunt Krissi, several years ago and got to work on a Peanut Butter Meltaway cake. Here we are:

 

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Enjoy your evening lovely readers. I truly hope you don’t find me a quitter, I am just creating experiences and ….experiencing them. Open-mouthed smile 

Day 4–Fresh O.J.

As I posted last night, we made fresh orange juice this morning.

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We used 4 large navel oranges to make 3 servings. One smaller glass for Jacob and 2 large glasses for Steve and I.

 

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Jacob’s first sip was a pucker-face. Smile

 

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Then, he decided to give me a darling smile for the camera. Smile

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Why…Good morning Bennett! Open-mouthed smile 

 

Again, this morning, I woke up feeling rested and refreshed. It certainly helps that Bennett woke up at 12:30AM for a feeding and not again until 7AM. Woohoo!! 

All is well and I’m feeling good. The Wii Fit weighed me down another 2.2 lb.s for a total of 8.2 lbs. since Sunday at 11:17pm. I drink a lot of water, but that is no different than normal for me. I’ve added fresh lemon to it and that certainly is a nice change.

Now, I must research and plan out another meal that my guys will enjoy and is good for them. I am intending to do this fast through tomorrow. It’s time to start adding exercise to this endeavor!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Day 3– pass or fail…

Am I hungry? No. Am I thirsty? No. Am I cranky? Not as long as I don’t have to interact with anyone – Pah! I’m kidding. I do find my patience level is minimal. So what is the struggle? The struggle is that I LOVE to cook and bake and watch my family LOVE what I make. I still have to cook for Jacob and Steve. Yes, Steve has called the fast off for himself. I can’t blame him. I am proud of him. He sat in one of our fave restaurants in town last night, for a meeting and didn’t eat a thing. Instead, he came home prior to and guzzled half a glass of vegetable juice. Then, Jacob said he’d try a sip of daddy’s drink. Jacob spit the mouthful he took, back into daddy’s glass! I am actually craving nuts, beans and almond milk and to bake. But I know that will put me past the point of no return…the baking that is.

I think to myself often, how I love to bake and cook. I can see how cooking can change to be healthy and still totally delicious. I have a hard time giving up the baking, the way I know how to bake and for others to think it’s still so delicious. It looks like I have a new mission ahead of me.

On day 3, the headache is gone and I am physically satisfied after each juicing, I have more energy, and generally feel cleaner, I sleep very well. That was a surprising effect that I discovered even on Monday night – it’s true rest. Bennett still wakes up 1-2 times/night and I’m not totally lagging. I am down a total of 6lbs. on the nose as of 7:30 this morning. I also found a new parental tool – threaten Jacob to eat all his vegetables, on his plate or he’ll be drinking vegetable juice. heehee…Poor kid! But it worked, and right now, I’m looking for what gets the task done!

I’ve struggled knowing that I’m blogging about this experience as well. Kinda kicked my arse for that choice, earlier this evening, when I totally wanted to devour the bucket of ice cream, in the freezer. So, while I am hoping to make it through this fast. I am not putting pressure on myself to do it to be “credible”. This blog is about real life and it’s about my real life. I know that I got through today. I’m starting to freak a bit about Super Bowl Sunday when I typically make a lot of yummies for us. But here’s the flip side, how much disease and obesity is driving up our insurance costs because our society has embraced that anything truly delicious is a result of following an inverted traditional food pyramid?  The really sad one, for me, is seeing obese kids. But guess what? Even the school with the Box Tops for Education program is promoting food that is ultra processed and full of refined sugars. Ya, I’ll end it there for tonight. Except here is the picture of my lunch today:

 

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A veggie cocktail made of kale, romaine lettuce, tomato, carrot and a few blackberries. I decided to use a wine glass, to make me feel “special”. It made it a worse experience because anything that goes in a wine glass should never have the smell of this concoction and it certainly should not have the texture. Winking smile I did it again at supper. The kale went straight to the bottom of the glass. Jacob saw me almost gag and when I downed it, said, “Good job Mom!” Tomorrow morning, should be a lot of fun. I bought a 10lb. bag of oranges today. We’re having homemade orange juice in the morning! Jacob is very excited for that!