Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stuffed Tomatoes just got even better!!

 So I have loved stuffed tomatoes so much lately, I have made them at least 4 times in the last couple of months! mmmm
Tonight I decided to try something more with them. First I got some Wild Rice cooking. I dumped about 2 cups of Wild Rice in a pot of about 4 cups of water, and a couple Tblsp. of olive oil, brought it all to a boil for about 2 minutes, and then let it simmer on low for about 40 min, or until done.
Then I hollowed out the tomatoes, and mixed the following ingredients with the juicy insides.
1. juicy insides of tomato (1 tomato per person eating)
2. 1 can of Kidney beans
3. 1 can of sliced black olives
4. about 5 or 6 sliced green onions
5. a bunch of fresh basil leaves
6. I also added some vegetable base seasoning mix
 When the rice is done, mix the rice into the mixture in a casserole dish.
 Then spoon some of the mixture into each hollowed tomato, and set the tomatoes in the mixture so the mixture is supporting tomatoes. Put it in a pre-heated oven of 350 degrees F. and for about 30-40 min, until the tomatoes are tender and the water in the mixture is gone.
While the casserole is cooking.................make your pomegranate salad :)
Get your leafy greens, I used spinach, and mix them in a fruity vinaigrette, like Raspberry vinaigrette, or Strawberry vinaigrette, and a Tblsp. or so of Olive oil. Then add your Pomegranate seeds, stir and that's it! I am so excited that it is Pomegranate season! This salad is soooooo healthy and delicious! You need olive oil or a healthy oil everyday, at least 3 Tblsp's. Your spinach or dark leafy greens are packed with protien and vitamins and minerals, vinegar is good for you, and Pomegranate seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins. I could just eat this salad for dinner and be happy :)
This is optional, we try not to eat to much cheese, especially during the winter time when all the sicknesses are running rampant, but I couldn't help putting a light dressing of PepperJack cheese (on the adults tomatoes) and Mozzerella cheese (for the kidlets) on top of it all. It was a great addition, but it was still Oh So Deliciosa in the parts that didn't have cheese.

Here is an up-close look..........:)
And what it looked like on my plate...............mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
 You reeeeeeally should tryyyyyyyyyyyy it!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

creative play with our food-my husbands food

I made some rice with Teriyaki sauce in it, and we were supposed to put it together like Hawaiian haystacks. Well my husband had a different idea, then my daughter did too, and then my baby.
First my husband thought the cherry tomatoes looked like frog eyes, so he shaped his pile of rice into a frog head and put the tomatoes on, but then it started to take the shape of a bird's nest. The cherry tomatoes were then bird eggs. The chow mien noodles were an awesome addition to the nest, and even better we were eating spinach for our salad, so they added nicely to the effect of the nest being in a tree. All we needed was a mother bird. hmmm....how could the peices of meat play a part in this?
Now, for the morbid part. I thought it was morbid anyway.....
I was totally grossed out about having the chicken for dinner, I cannot stand to touch raw meat, I just. don't . deal well with it. I did it for my husband and kids though, so they wont say they were deprived.....I bought a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to carve, use some of the meat for dinner and save the rest for another night. I was having a hard time cutting out the chicken, and I was safely going for all the white meat in the easiest part to cut, the chest.
My husband decided to help me, and he ended up plucking all the bones, the legs, wings and tummy(bleh) of their substance and getting all the veinee, cartilagee parts too. I was nauseous. I don't know why I have become such a pansy about dead animals in my kitchen. Its sad. I was feeling really bad for this poor mutilated chicken, and chose not to have any for dinner, haha
So can tell what the chicken ended up being?
Yep, a mother bird.
I don't know how my husband got the pieces to look like a skinned mommy bird so well.It even has a wing and a beak it looks like. It was even more hilarious when my daughter decided she needed her food to be a birds nest as well, and then wouldn't eat it, because she was "emotionally" attached to it.  

I am glad we can have so much fun together at the dinner table, that is what it is all about right?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stuffed Tomatoes........mmmmm

I briefly saw an article about Stuffed Tomatoes recently, which of course made my mouth drool. I had never had a stuffed tomato before I whipped up our dinner tonight, but I have now found a new favorite dinner :)

 I wasn't quite sure how to cook it, so I googled a few recipes, then tweaked it to make it my own. Our taste buds were pleasantly pleased.

Its easiest to use the tomatoes with a good round shape and make sure they will have a good thick skin, so they won't fall a part as much when they cook. Then wash how ever many tomatoes you are going to need, and cut the top part off, making sure to get any green out from the stem. They would look about what the above picture looks like.

Then with a spoon, scoop out the insides into a bowl to put aside for the filling.

and like the above picture here too.

Then mix in your seasonings, I used about a tsp of the Nature's Seasons, I like it because it has salt in it and NO brain cell killing MSG :)  I put in some Italian seasoning too. mmm mmm

I noticed other recipes called for seasoned bread crumbs, so I just used croutons and they worked awesomely. The croutons I used worked great because they were smaller.I put about a cup of them in, you will probably want to use more though, depending on how many tomatoes you are stuffing. Mix them into the tomato mixture too.

This next part really made the flavor of these. My sweet beautiful mother in law planted me a Basil plant when she lived with me a few years ago. I am sorry to say I have personally never used it until now. Boy was I missing out!! Wow does it have flavor! I picked a few leaves, o.k. maybe 20 because they are small, and just put them in singularly into the mixture.  Such a good idea on my part I must say, hehe

Then I put filling in all of the tomatoes, stuffed them to the rims and a little above!

Then topped them each with a little mozzerella. Next time I am going to put about a Tbs of cottage cheese in each one.  Put each tomato in a cooking sheet, you can stuff them close together if you have a lot. More will actually help keep them from falling while cooking.

Set the heat to 400 degrees, and the timer to 30 minutes

I forgot to take a picture of them all once they were done, but this one was still in the pan (not for long).
We ate it with a chicken and spinach salad and some cottage cheese. It was delicious!! My only regret was that I didn't make more! This will definitely be repeated as a future dinner meal. I try personally to not eat a lot of cheese, but the cottage cheese was worth it this time, and my kids and husband got bigger chunks of chicken on their salad. Next time I want to add rice to the meal and put chunks of crispy bacon in the stuffing. Do any of you have any good ideas for stuffing tomatoes? I would love to learn about them!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Twice baked deliciousness-potatoes almondaise cheddar and broccoli

So first, I would like to tribute this deliciousness to Traci's Transformational Kitchen. These potatoes were inspired by her, and the official recipe for Almondaise is hers too :) You can get it from her awesome healthy cookbooks :)

I love a good baked potato...but even better, a baked potato, which is then gutted, and then stuffed again only to be shoved into the oven again! (that is about the extent of horrific cooking you will ever see come from this blog, [I don't cook meat that often].

Anyway, I always thought pictures of twice baked potatoes were drool worthy, yet I had never tried one, or tried to cook one for that matter. That is until I recieved Traci's Transformational cookbook, and discovered she has a HEALTHY recipe for twice baked potatoes!!!

Her recipe is different, and delicious, but this time I did it my way a little (meaning I didn't follow the recipe I just put it together out of what I thought would be yummy) :)

So here is how you would turn these:

Into these:

Don't underestimate the size of a red potato.(like I did)
6 people don't need 2 potatoes each. These potatos Will double in size once stuffed!:)

My bottomless pit when it comes to dinner time of a husband-if that made sense, said a small one would suit him just fine, so you don't need a big potato to fit a big appetite. You just need lots of yummy stuffing(not the bread kind) :) 

Use red potatoes, because they are yummy! Any potato will do, I just love red potatoes :)and smiley faces.

Clean and scrub your potatoes, after you start to preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Then prick each potato with a fork a couple of times on each side of the potato. 
Then using a small puddle of olive oil in your hand, coat the potatoes in the olive oil. 
This will help make your skins crispy, and it will help the potato not fall apart when you split it open to gut and stuff. (there I go again being gross, I am glad this is just potatoes I am talking about here.)

Then put your potatoes directly on the rack in the oven, and cook them for 45 minutes, or until tender inside. Bigger potatoes might take longer, but I told you not to use bigger potatoes anyway.

While the potatoes are cooking, mix in a bowl, almondaise, or something creamy like unto it, probably mayonaise, about a cup or so for 9 potatoes, with a half a chopped onion, and some seasons. I used about a tblsp. of Thyme, and a small amount of "Natures Seasoning". "Natures Seasoning is a bunch of spices with some salt in it. Taste it to gauge how much you want in it.


Tenderize some broccoli, I boiled mine, two stalks

and add about 1/2 cup of cheese to the mixture. And when your broccoli is tenderized cut it into the mixture too. 


Once your potatoes are done, pull them out onto a cookie sheet. Watch out, they will be hot. Leave your oven on.

Now with a knife split open the potatoes like this

scoop out all the insides of the potatoes being careful not to rip the skins more, or burn your hands, and mix the potatoes into the cheesey broccoli spicey onionee, creamy mixture. You can mix it with an electric mixer to make sure it comes to a fluffy mixture.
Then stuff those potatoes back up with the completed mixture, there will be a lot so be generous with the stuffing :)
They will then look like the potatoes above. Sprinkle a little more cheese on each one, and put them back in the oven for 5 more min. Then you can put the oven on broil for a few minutes to make the cheese crispy, and then Ding! They should be done!    

Here is another picture of them done:


 You can freeze these, if you make extra, but the 3 left overs we had, didn't make it 1 day. Soooo Good!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Will someone try this recipe for me?

So the other night I was sitting down, watching a movie all by myself, eating jalepeno cream cheese poppers, when........
A big, yummy, fattening, delicious, mouth watering recipe popped into my head. The fattening part is why I haven't made it yet. So I was wondering, if someone else could try it and then let me know how it is, since I am supposed to be on a raw foods diet right now?
Think of chicken, cream cheese, jalapeno juice and a biscut crust.
You can experiment and make it your way, but here is how I was thinking.

1 jar of pickled jalapenos
1 4 oz thing of cream cheese
(to make biscut crust/ or your favorite biscut recipe)
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of butter
a pinch of salt
little bit of water to mix dough

Now, I am not sure how to go about this next part.

Scenario #1
I am imagining boneless chicken strips marinated in the jalapeno juice overnight or something.
Then in a sauce pan, put the cream cheese in on medium heat and soften and warm and stir the cheese, then add the biscut dough and mix the cream cheese together with it. Then put the chicken strips in and coat them in the mixture, put it all on a cookie and bake it, for however long chicken would normally bake to reach the safe internal temprature.


Scenario #2
still marinate the chicken the same way with the chopped jalapenos. Melt the cheese in a sauce pan, and then put the marinated chicken in the cream cheese and coat it. Make biscut dough, like a pastry and leave it crumbly, ready on a cookie sheet, to roll the chicken in or layer it on the outside of of the cream cheese chicken somehow, and then bake.

So.........will you try it out and see what you can come up with? I would love to, I am just afraid of the lbs. I will gain back if I do :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

buttery coconut chocolate things

I have no idea where this idea appeared in my brain from, except that they are a lot like the yummy candy "Almond Joys". If you like those candies, you are sure to like these. I have been meaning to make peppermint patties and my own version of Girl Scout Samoa cookies, and I have all the ingredients, just not the time to make them yet. 

This recipe literally only took me 5 minutes....

I really do have a bad side to my eating habits. lol
I usually focus on eating healthy, major salads, and fruit, and steamed veggies, but every once in a while I will get a sweet craving, and for some unknown reason I always have the ingredients on hand to make something taste bud satisfying worthy :)

My cute new almost sister law even said to me over the weekend "So J.T. says you used to have a real sweet tooth" or something like that. That's right, I couldn't deny it, and I had to sheepishly tell her I still do! I just try really really hard to ingnore it. hehe
 Ya know when I think about it though, its in my genes......after all my mother and my grandmother claim to be made out of chocolate and butter, and so, its inevitable that a major case in the descendant line has to show up somewhere. :) (not to mention J.T. is the same way). 

These treats remind me of the birds nests you can make for Easter, only you would use Jelly beans or Jordan almonds

So, I was sitting here thinking, I really want to make a treat out of what I have, so I went in the kitchen and my hands started just putting things together. I had a 1/2 bag of chocolate chips... (The other half had been munched on earlier in the day) and a  bag of sweetened coconut. I started melting the chocolate in a frying pan on low heat.........

I added about a tsp. of butter, and a tbs of caro syrup. You don't need very much. I may have put to much butter in, in fact next time I am thinking of just putting butter flavor in.

Add 1/2 of the coconut

and mix until it looks like the picture above :)

spoon the mixture onto wax paper and plop the almond on top

put the wax paper and treats on a plate and shove em in the freezer for however long it takes for them to become cold and solid :)

then sprinkle the yummy pearls on the cookies to make them festive for easter :)

These are the pearls I used. I found them at Target actually in the food section by their cake mixes and stuff. I thought they were pretty :)

Make sure you save some treats for your hubby when he gets home from work, because they go fast!

Another way to do this would be to toast the coconut in the butter in the frying pan before adding the chocolate :) 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Butternut squash soup/chocolate covered cherries

So, we are to have butternut squash for dinner tonight. I started cooking squash for the first time last year, in all my 8 years of marriage, and it has become a favorite. I have been craving a squash soup, even though I have never tried squash soup, it just sounds soooooo good! I looked to see what a basic recipe would include as far as how to prepare the squash, and I found this great blog that teaches you how to cube butternut squash! One of those mysteries since I started cooking it. I always just washed the squash and then cut it in half, d-seeded it, and then placed each side into a 1/2 inch of water in a cookie sheet, and cooked it at 350 for 45 min. Worked great always, but then when I would scoop the squash out of the shriveled skins, I could never get it all out.
Cubing a butternut squash seemed hard enough, since it took all the force in my energy field just to cut through it once. Well, the Veggie Evangelist at this site:
helped me feel peace of mind that it didn't take wonder woman to be able to cube a butternut squash. You should check out her site and recipes, they are awesome, and I think I will be referring to them often. :)
Anyway, so I am going to be making butternut squash soup, my own style for dinner, Pictures will for sure be posted.

Now, the chocolate covered cherries. I came across a recipe for mint patties. I love myself a big York Peppermint Pattie, my favorite, especially after its been in the freezer for an hour or two. I plan on making them, but I thought I would throw a twist on them and add some maraschino cherrys to the mix : ) I might not be able to add the peppermint, I forgot to buy some extract, but I have almond and vanilla, that I think will make them just as delicious!
Now the question is, do I keep all those chocolate covered cherries and make myself fat, or find someone to share them with :)

Stay tuned for pictures and recipes :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chili crackers made with Quinoa

My taste testers modeled their snacks for me :)
So I was a little disappointed with the chili crackers I previously posted about, because the rice cooked a little hard and was a little to grainy for my teeth. So I went to the health food store Shirlyns, and found some rice flour, and Quinoa flower! The Quinoa flower is wheat/gluten free. Now, I am not very familiar with cooking gluten free, but my amazing cousin over at thepinkcowgirl.blogspot.com is a master at it, and she is so inspiring with her recipes! It makes me want to cook gluten free, just because its healthy, and its becoming necessary to a lot people now-a-days. :)
So I decided to try the crackers with the Quinoa flower. Success! My husband loved them so much, he made me take home a handful for himself from my parents house. The next day, he kept commenting on how they tasted like cheezits without the cheese and other chemicals you would find in the store bought ones. Best of all, my cute little nephew who is allergic to wheat could have them. They are just Qiunoa flower, almonds blended with olive oil, and a few spices and salt.
Again, the best way to go about these is to sprout the almonds and Quinoa first to get the ultimate nutritional value out of them :)
So cool! I just thought I would update on that :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Apple crumbly shortbread yum

I was craving shortbread. I had one stick of butter, and a can of apple pie filling. I know I need to make my own filling, but I couldn't waste the can in the pantry.
I thought about making an apple pie, but butter is so much better for you than crisco/shortening, so I decided to make make shortbread and put the apple stuff with it. Then I decided it would be yummy to make it crumbly :)

1 1/4 cups of flour
1/2 cup butter
3 tbs of sugar

Mix the flour and the sugar together, then soften the butter just enough to cut through it easily. (Don't do what I did and melt it for 30 seconds in the microwave........it melted........all over.) Cut the butter into the flour and sugar with a pie thingy(sorry I forgot what it was called), like in my picture below, or a fork. Do not pack it together at all, make it as crumbly as possible, and mix the butter into all of it evenly. It should be slightly moist from the butter, mine wasn't because I lost a lot of butter in the microwave, so mine was slightly dry. But it still turned out good. Just remember if you get to much butter though, the crust wont stay together as well, and the same for to little butter.
take a 9 inch pan, and put a little more than half of the mix into the bottom, spread evenly and press slightly, so the crust will still be crumbly, but together, or if you like a more firm crust you can press it more.

Now add the pie filling, I actually wish I had more filling, the idea is to get the gooey part to kind of saturate the crust part. I sprinkled a tiny bit of water onto the syrupy part to help.

Now with the remaining crust crumbs, add 1/2 cup of sugar, some cinnimon and nutmeg if you want, and if its not real moist add a little bit more butter, mix it well, keeping the flour as crumbs

then sprinkle on top of the pie filling

so it looks like this......

taste tester #1 approves

taste tester #2, takes this stuff seriously

sprinkle a little sugar and cinnimon on top

Bake for 35 min. at 400*F
Then cool for 5 minutes, and serve! So Simple! So yummy! Next time I want to try Cherry, its my favorite. The only thing I wish I could have added to it is carmel sauce to drizzle on the bottom crust before adding the filling, and then a little on top too. :) I will post my invented carmel sauce with some carmel corn soon :) Its one of our favorite treats!