Saturday, May 31, 2008

My new Cookbook!

Okay, so I just got my new Artisan Bread book from Amazon yesterday!
Quite possibly the most fantastic bread book ever!
Today I will be spending all day making different doughs.
Then storing them in my backyard fridge for up to 2 weeks!
Yep, fresh homemade bread every day of the week if I choose! From one batch!
The best part?
No kneading!
I make bread probably about once a week. No, not with a bread machine, with my hands.
I do not enjoy bread machines.
There is something spiritual about kneading dough and watching it rise and knowing you did that. I don't like baking cookies and sweets, but bread?
I could make it my lifes work and be happy forever.
One of my dreams is to open a bread bakery of artisan breads. You know, those hard crusted, big boules of bread that you can slice up and do anything with? Yeah, like that.
My men are bread snobs now too. I make focaccia for them and it is gone in minutes.
I have to make 2 batches just so we can have leftovers for the next day's sandwiches at school.
I don't love to eat bread as much as I enjoy making it.
And my newly acquired cookbook has just made having homemade bread on a daily basis a real thing! Who knew you don't have to knead dough, or wait for it to rise, as long as you let it rest for a day in the fridge!
One day, I want to have everyone over to make this kind of bread
The book is called
Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day
and there are over 100 recipes in it.
Letti, Angela, you will be my official guinea pigs when I make different kinds.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I didn't know we could make homemade Marshmallows until I saw an episode of
The Barefoot Contessa and bought her book.
These are AWESOME! They taste SO much better than the store bought variety!
You REALLY need a Kitchenaid mixer for this one.
It can stand the 15 minutes of mixing. Enjoy!
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
*** Instructions
Combine the gelatin and
1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment
and allow to sit while you make the syrup. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan
and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches
240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Remove from the heat. With the mixer on low speed slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin.
Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick,
about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly. With a sieve, generously dust an 8 x 12-inch non-metal baking dish with confectioners' sugar. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan,
smooth the top and dust with more confectioners' sugar.
Allow to stand uncovered overnight until it dries out. Turn the marshmallows onto a board and cut them in squares.
Dust them with more confectioners' sugar. Yield: 20 to 40 marshmallows, depending on cut size

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bread in 5 minutes!

I do not enjoy baking.
All the measuring, precision, balance etc...
Nope, don't enjoy it.
I do love, love, love baking bread. That is something I could do for a living... easy!
Almost for free! Almost! Gas is stupid high!
I was rummaging around Google on Monday night, and came upon a way to make bread without kneading. Needless to say, I was skeptical, but tried it anyway, because I happened to have all the ingredients! Water...check, yeast...check, Kosher salt...check... All Purpose Flour (King Arthur is my personal choice)...check.
I was in business!
I was so surprised to find out you just dump all these ingredients into a bowl... stir with a wooden spoon and let it sit for 2 hours on the counter, then refrigrate it for up to 5 days. During those 5 days, you can take a piece out of the bowl make a loaf of bread by just forming it and baking it!
I tried it! AND IT WORKED! I.... me!... I... was actually speechless!
As you can see, it didn't last long.
Last night after Bill came home from practice, I put a small ball into the oven and gave it to him with a little butter and honey. He swooned!
I still have a bunch of dough in the fridge! If I want more dough... I just have to mix the 4 ingredients again!
So... of course there was a book attached to this whole process.
So, of course, I bought it.
It's called Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day!
There are lots of videos on Youtube showing the authors in action!
I can't wait to get it!
When I do, I want to have a bread making party, where everyone comes over with the flour and yeast and a big bowl or bucket to store it in, and we mix the dough,
while we bake all kinds of dough that I had already prepared ahead of time!
This all fits in SO WELL with my prep ahead methodology!
I'll take pictures of my next boules!
Until we eat again!
tes a day

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

King Arthur Flour

Wow! A person from King Arthur Flour company commented on my Staples post. Needless to say, I was very excited.
Since they were so generous to take time out of their day to post a comment on this blog,
I thought I would post about them.
When I wrote King Arthur Flour on my Staples list, I mentioned them by brand name for a reason. It really matters what kind of flour you use when baking, especially baking bread.
There's the white stuff at the store, and then there is King Arthur.
It tastes better, it smells better, it isn't bleached or super mass produced
like every other flour.
Sure, it costs a little more, but your family is worth it! No?
It sure lasts a lot longer than a tank of gas!
They are committed to giving us the best quality wheat available, no matter what.
The proof is in the taste.
My bread rises higher, tastes better and is better for us since I started using King Arthur.
It is finally available at Stater Bros and not just at Trader Joes.
Pick up a bag, and revel in the taste. It looks a little different.
It actually has color because they haven't bleached all the goodness away.
I love supporting small, quality loving, employee owned companies that are always
striving to be the best and not resting on their laurels.
No, I am not being paid for this post.
I really do love this flour, and have used it for about 2 years now,
and will never go back to the
"white stuff".
Thank you PJH for commenting and Thank you King Arthur Flour!

Monday, May 26, 2008

This blog is growing!

I am very happy to report that this blog has become
a popular place for my readers and newbies alike.
That being said, I feel an even greater responsibility to share the stuff in my brain
with you, and will do my best to provide concise, up to the minute product and recipe information.
Please comment and ask questions. I don't know what you need unless you tell me.
Also, PLEASE, share my blog address with everyone you know!
Here it is:
I am trying to make it not just another recipe blog. Lord knows there are plenty of those.
I like sharing tips, treasures and time saving ideas too.
I used to say I hate cooking... well, I must not hate it if I blog about it.
What I do hate, is having to come up with dinner solutions at the last minute.
Over the last 15 or so years, I have developed a sense to just look in my pantry and come up with a meal. I want you to be able to do that too, but not take as long as me doing it!
I can't stress enough how important pre planning (prep) is.
Picture your household like a restaurant.
All those chefs and cooks pre prep EVERYTHING... absolutely everything!
I am reading a book right now called The Soul of a Chef, and it is mind blowing how much real work is involved in prep. Where they do 20 lbs of onions, you may only have to do 2!
See! Perspective!
Brown that meat up!
Pre cook that chicken!
You are cooking on Sunday or Wed or whatever day you choose anyway!
Cook once and eat for days!
Yesterday I chopped onions, made a huge vat of Macaroni Salad for the week for the boys lunches, filled all containers with various necessities, and cleaned out the fridge to make room for my containers of chopped and prepped food.
Don't use onions? So what! Chop ANYTHING that needs chopping for your meals you know you will eating at home. Report how much time it saved!
Did you know that most people say they hate cooking because of the prep involved? It takes about 20 minutes to prep a meal before we even cook it, cut out what you hate in one hour session once a week, and relax when you cook!
Once I get you properly brain washed and doing your prep,
we can move on to bigger and better things.
So, knives, food choppers, utensils up and at the ready...
Onward cooking soldiers! Onward!
Oh and Mama's with kids over 6?
Let them do the dishes!
Every night!
I promise... it won't stunt their growth or hurt them in any way!

Sunday, May 25, 2008


Todays prep consisted of cooking up a bunch of pasta and bagging it up,
chopping up the onion, celery and various veggies for the week,
and refilling all my containers of olive oil, flour, sugar, pepper, salt etc...
I wanted to bake some fresh bread this weekend, and every trip to the store, I forgot to pick some flour up.
I hate running out of things in my kitchen.
So I am devising a new plan to always keep my personal staples on hand.
Not really a plan, just a list.
It will keep changing with the seasons, but these are my staples for right now...
King Arthur Flour
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oils
Krusteaz Cornbread Mix
Slivered Almonds
Various Pastas
Frozen Corn and Peas
Cans of Crushed and Whole tomatoes
Chicken Stock
Canned Salmon
So there you have it! My list Du Jour!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Oh! This weather has me wanting to
cook, cook, cook, cook!
Heck! I might even bake, AND I HATE BAKING!
Tonight, my whole family will be complete again,
because Bill and William are coming home from the 3 day long field trip,
so I am making
Mexican 2 bean Chicken Chili
2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic chopped
32 oz chicken stock
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes or whole ones squished
1 cup salsa
1 can black beans rinsed
1 can white beans rinsed
handful of chopped broccoli (added last 5 minutes to retain color and crunch)
2 Tbs taco seasoning
1 tsp cumin
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas (added last 5 minutes)
Cook it all together in one large pot for 20 minutes. I often forget to add the chicken and it still tastes great! Very good vegetarian dish (if you switch out the chicken stock for veggie stock)
Crush some tortillas chips,
cut up some green onion
shredd some cheddar cheese
For sprinkles after you dish it up.
Also ridiculously good over a nice hot piece of cornbread
Some more add ins if you want:
ortega chiles
fresh frozen green beans
garbanzo beans
zucchini (last 5 mintutes)
You can add anything to this recipe except raisins!
:) Hi Max!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sweet N Tangy Popcorn

2 tablespoons oil
· 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
· 1 cup salted peanuts
· 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
· 1 cup sugar
· 1/4 cup light corn syrup
· 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with nonstick baking mats; set aside. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add 3 popcorn kernels and cover until they pop. Add remaining popcorn kernels, cover, and shake pot continuously over burner until popcorn is completely popped, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer popcorn to large bowl; add peanuts and set aside. Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook, without stirring, until golden brown, about 5 minutes, swirling pot occasionally. Remove mixture from heat and quickly stir in salt with a heatproof spatula or spoon. Immediately pour over popcorn mixture and stir to incorporate. Divide popcorn mixture evenly between baking sheets. Transfer to oven and bake, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool on sheet pans before breaking apart into clusters. Store popcorn in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Saundra's Cucumber Salad

We camp a lot, and I like to pre cook or make everything ahead of time so all I have to do is reheat when we are there.
Making marinated, non Mayo salads is one of my favorite ways to get veggies while camping, and my recipe for Cucumber Salad hits the spot every time, winter or summer.
We use this salad on sandwiches, as a snack, and of course, as a side dish.
You can alter the dressing ingredients if you want, but I will say that Balsamic Vinegar is the best choice, and substituting it will bring about a sour taste.
Cuke Salad
3 Hothouse Cucumbers very thinly sliced
(I use a mandoline)
1 thinly sliced red onion
2 large carrots julienned
(I use the Pampered Chef Julienne Peeler)
2/3 cup Olive Oil
1 cup Balbamic Vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp All Purpose Dill Mix (PC)
1/4 tsp pepper
Mix Well and pour over sliced veggies. Cover tightly and let it sit in the refrigerator for hours or overnight, shaking it around a bit every once in a while.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Easy Sauce

Quick Easy Pasta Sauce ... Revisited.
I heard Joy Behar from the View say "I don't get why everyone buys jarred Pasta Sauce, when it's so easy to make at home!"
I completely concur!
I am SUCH Sauce Snob it is unbelievable. Here's how far it goes. I won't even eat Pasta at other people's house unless I know it's homemade. I will just pass on the Pasta or only eat the pasta plain. It's true. It's a curse my family bestowed on all of us, (my cousins and my bro and me) many years ago.
You wanna know something funny? My HUSBAND is now a sauce snob... and a cheese snob, and a bread snob and a pizza snob.
Before you start commenting to me how it's okay to buy the jarred junk, and how good it tastes, and how convenient it is and all, let me just say... Fine! Eat what you want! No skin off my nose.
Make you own sauce.
Just try it.
Okay another rant... NO ADDING SUGAR! What IS that?
Makes NO sense to me.
Buy good quality canned, roma tomatoes or do your own from the vine, and sugar is not needed.
Don't over think cooking.
Keep it simple, fresh as possible, and in season, and everything else will fall into place.
Quick Sauce
2 large cans tomatoes
(no seasonings added, NOT sauce, just whole or crushed tomatoes, no salt, nothing!)
1 small onion chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
olive oil
If you bought whole tomatoes, crush them with your hands or whiz them in a blender for 2 seconds or put a hand held stick blender on them for a second.
Put some Olive Oil into a pot and let it get hot... add onions and saute them until translucent
lower heat and add garlic and toss it around for one minute
add the tomatoes
add salt to taste
add pepper to taste
Only add herbs at the very end, whether fresh or dried.
Cook for 1/2 hour on low heat, covered.
If you want meat sauce, just brown it up and add it at the beginning.
Put meatballs in with the sauce at the beginning.
It is very easy, tasty and fresh!
Also economical!
I buy the canned tomatoes with Italian names or the words POMODORO on it.
Pomodoro is Tomato in Italian.
Product of Italy best too.
If you have fresh grown tomatoes at home, just peel them, and squish them and do the same.
and don't get mad because I dissed jarred sauce.
My friends of Latino descent are mad that I used to buy pre done taco shells,
and buy beans in a can. Every nationality has it's "ick" factor.
Jarred Sauce is mine.
Ciao, Ciao!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Easy Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Want a SUPER EASY, totally yummy cookie you can make for all the
end of school year parties and graduation festivities you will be attending?
Then you HAVE TO try these
two sticks softened butter
3 c. oatmeal
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Fold in oatmeal one cup at a time. Drop mixture by level teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheet. (This is NOT a recipe than can be altered. About the only thing you can add to this is finely chopped Almonds. Other nuts have far too much oil in them.)
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until cookies are thin and golden brown. (Every oven is different. Just make sure they get browned a little all over)
Allow to cool slightly before carefully removing from sheet.
Place cookie sheets side by side, do not stack cookies sheets in oven.
Makes about 100.
I usually get about 70 cookies from this recipe.
Wanna know what I do with them?
I try to get them to be very round by using a small cookie scoop to shape the ball before putting it on the cookie sheet to bake.
When they are cool, I get two of them, and spread a thin layer of NUTELLA on one side and sandwich them together...
can you say NIRVANA?
Make them small and bite sized and you can get a ton more out of the recipe.
Make them bigger and as soon as you get the out of the oven, turn a small glass bowl upside down and place a warm lace cookie over the top of it. When it is hardened, you will have a COOKIE BOWL!
OR roll up a warm lace cookie around a one inch dowel and slide it off when it's cool and you can fill it with a lovely, lightly sweetened whipped cream! Perfect hollow too, right beside a wonderful steamy cup of coffee!
Mangia Bene!
Enjoy! Ciao!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Keep it Fresh Bags

I have never wanted to hug a machine more in my life! Weird? Yep... what of it? Hee hee!
So I am trying out some new bags I bought for produce. I'm sure you've heard of them. I've actually had them for about a year, but forgot I bought them. (Way back when, I bought stuff just to buy it, I'm over it)
Now, I am going to use them.
The things I am talking about are those reclosable plastic bags that have a treatment inside them to prevent food from rotting quickly. I bought them from QVC and there are 36 of them. They are reusable 8 times each and come in three color and sizes.
Last night I put my carrots, apples, oranges, & zucchini in them. We'll see if they work.
The produce is supposed to be unwashed and dry before placing them in the bags.
I just HATE throwing out produce! It's like throwing money straight into the trash!
I'm waiting for strawberries to go on sale. They will be the true test of these bags.
Until later...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Prep today!

Yes, I know what day it is... yes... I prepped.
I had to! I hate deciding what's for dinner at the very last minute, like I used to.
I always seem to need onions, cheese, celery, and carrots all cut up, so that's what I do... every week. If I get nothing else at all done, I have at least saved myself 15-20 minutes of prep each night by doing it all on Sunday night!
I also cleaned out my fridge today. You know how all those heels of bread get jammed into the back of the fridge every week? Well, I had lots of those to throw out.
Fruit in season NOW!!!
Buy on sale in season to save much needed dough!
Look for bright green stripes, push on skin and make sure it's tight, no give.
Shake it... if the seeds are loose, it is very ripe and ready to eat. It should smell very sweet.
I shake this one also. Also, smells sweet, I like large cantaloupe.
Really check those cartons... stores tend to put beautiful fruit on top, with moldy fruit on the bottom. Don't wash berries until just ready to use or eat.
On the vine is best. Stay away from refrigerated tomatoes. They are devoid of all flavor.
Better yet.. buy a couple of plants and put them in a pot in the sun. Enjoy your own fanatastic tomatoes. The flavor is so different than store bought.
Have a great night!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Make Mama some Fudge for Mama's Day!


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Did you know?

Here are some random pearls if wisdom I thought you might enjoy.
1. Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.
2. Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store.
If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
3. Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.
It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!
4. Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
5. Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef.
It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
6. To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple ofspoonfuls of sour cream,
cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.
7. Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.
8. Tired of mushy Red Apples? Only buy apples that have "stripes" at the stem end of the apple and it is guaranteed to be crisp and white inside.
9. Wake up wilted lettuce by filling bowl with cold, iced water and let the lettuce sit in it for a few minutes. The lettuce will crisp right up.
10. Tape frequently used recipes to the inside of your kitchen cupboards. They are always accessible and will stay clean.
11. When using a microfiber cloth to dust, be careful not to use a dryer sheet or fabric softener when drying it, or it will lose it's magnetic ability.
12. Never store tomatoes in the refrigerator, and NEVER buy them from a refrigerated case at the store. They are void of all flavor after being cold.
Hope this was helpful!

30 Minute Chicken

As most of you know... I sell Pampered Chef and have for 8 1/2 years.
I have never baked a chicken in my life until we got the Deep Covered Baker in the catalog and PC came out with a 30 minute chicken recipe.
The catch is... it is all cooked in the microwave!!!
Yep... you read that right...
The microwave!!!
Here's what I do
Clean one whole chicken
Pat dry
sprinkle salt all over inside and outside of Chicken
Sprinkle Sweet N Smoky BBQ Rub all over or any of your favorite seasonings.
Place a layer of baby carrots on the bottom of baker
Place seasoned Chicken on top of carrots
Microwave for 3o MINUTES
Let rest 1o minutes to redistribute the juices.
Carve and enjoy!!!
I buy chickens when they are on sale, for only $3.00 each and store them in my freezer.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Johnny's favorite Pasta

My little guy, Johnny's, Birthday is coming up in June. No I didn't forget about William, but his birthday dinner choice has already been blogged about, but his Birthday is this weekend.
Okay, so back on task...
This morning on the drive to school, our topic was choices for what my men wanted me to make for their Birthday dinners.
They get to choose whatever they want, even if its all side dishes.
So Johnny pipes up and says
"Mama, you know I love being Italian, and I just want a light pasta with, you know,with the Olive Oil and Zucchini" Yes, I swooned.
He was so grown up about it too.
He even used his little fingers to show me the sprinkling of Romano Cheese he wanted on it too.
When I asked what sides he wanted he says "Just a salad with a creamy Caesar dressing, and come good garlic bread... that's all, pasta has to stay simple... right?"
I almost died. He listens when I speak!!!
He also loves to cook, and is my official "al dente" tester.
So here is Johnny's Zucchini Pasta Recipe
1 lb pasta, cooked al dente in salted water, drained and sprinkled with olive oil
While pasta is cooking
Slice into 1/4 inch disks, 3 Zucchini and lightly salt them.
In a frying pan or on a baking sheet, layers the slices and cook them in Olive Oil (brush them if cooking in the oven under broiler or at high heat in center rack) until lightly browned.
To the Pasta after it's cooked, add olive oil so it doesn't stick and sprinkle with grated cheese and freshly cracked black pepper
Pour into a large serving bowl and place the cooked zucchini on top of the Pasta,
Say grace and dig in!
My favorite pasta to use here is Vermicelli, or angel hair. It cooks very quickly so do the Zucchini first.
Mangia Bene!

Monday, May 05, 2008

What is a Salt Pig?

What is a Salt Pig?
I get asked this question a lot.
A salt pig is a container of salt that you place right next to your cooking area so you can pinch the salt you need at any given time.
Apparently, it used to be in the shape of a pig, hence the name Salt Pig.
They are also called Salt Cellars.
The ones pictured above are good, but I have big hands and I grab salt with three fingers, not two, so I use Glass apothecary jars with lids. You know, the ones that are very ornate and have pointy tops.
I use one for salt, one for my favorite Mesquite rub, and one for multicolored CousCous,
and it is always right by my stovetop. I would have another one for cracked black pepper, but I am also a pepper snob and only like it freshly ground from peppercorns when needed.
Eat well!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Salt...who knew there were so many different kinds?

I don't claim to be an expert in salt.
All I know is that too much of it makes my ankles turn into cankles.
But it is such an important component in flavoring our foods.
Allow me to offer a little vacation from Lunchboxes to "season" your tastebuds to the intricacies of salt.
There are so many different kinds of salt out there.
Sea salt, iodized salt, black salt, gray salt, Pacific Sea Salt, Atlantic Sea Salt, salt from almost every country in the world and the list goes on and on.
My favorite?
Good ole' Kosher Salt.
Yep, that stuff in the blue box at the store for a buck and a quarter.
Because it sprinkles well, doesn't taste as "salty" as regular table salt and it melts well.
Once you try Kosher, you never go back.
I think the reason is really because it takes less Kosher salt to flavor food well.
Grab some in your fingertips and you can immediately feel the difference. The granules are larger, but you actually grab less salt.
Regular salt tends to stay on your tongue in the exact same spot you place it, and larger granuled salts melt and wash over your tastebuds for a less intense flavor, but better flavor nonetheless.
One my cousins, Frank Terzoli, from Top Chef season 2, came and did a cooking demonstration for me at one of my Pampered Chef meetings last year, and he brought some Black Hawaiian Sea Salt for one of his dishes, and he left it behind for me to try. He, being the consummate Chef he is, before the demo, took a pinch and just popped it in his mouth.
I, being of sound mind, and knowing what my ankles would look like the next morning, did not try it, but I was intrigued anyway.
I used it in a few dishes and it did impart a delicate, "different" kind if vibe to my dish.
It was a "wet" salt. It may have been volcanic salt for all I knew... but I like to try new things.
Here are my favorite ways to use large granule salts...
1. Sprinkled over homemade dough just before baking.
2. Over fresh cut veggies just before roastin.
3. Wetting the rim of a Martini or Margarita glass.
4. In any recipe calling for salt.
Try it... I NEVER use regular salt anymore.
I am a salt snob now.
Penzeys Spices has a great collection of different kinds of salts.
And they are very reasonable too.
So that's my bit about Salt.
Have a great Sunday night... what's left of it.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Make Sandwiches interesting...

Since I gave you a break yesterday from my brain purge of the last few posts, I thought I would talk a little about breads and hopefully give you a few ideas about what
constitutes bread in my house.
First... a list
1. Crackers
2. Pita bread
3. Pretzels
4. Bagels
5. Cocktail sandwich bread
6. Wholesome Chips
7. Tortillas
8. Rolls, Kaisers, subs, biscuits, english muffins, scones,
and of course, the ever present sliced bread... we buy only whole wheat with the nuts
and seeds. I try to buy bread with 5 grams of fiber per slice.
So, there you have it... but what to do with some of these odd ingredients? That's why I write this blog.
We've already talked a little about pretzels, but they make great alternatives to chips for dipping into hummus or ranch dips, or just buy the bigger, sourdough kind (yummy) put a couple in a baggie, and include a dipping cup of mustard and honey.
Ever had PB&J on saltines? mmmmm!
Or just slice some cheese and tomato, put them separately into a bento or compartmental plastic box, with some great crackers and you have just made your own "Lunchable" without the 59 grams of fat and
all the hydrogenated oils. Add anything you want! Mine love sliced cucumber, cheddar cheese, cherry tomatoes and hot sauce. (I know, weird, but hey!!! veggies!!! not complaining!)
In a hurry? Schmeer some cream cheese on a bagel and you are done making a lunch sandwich!!! Mine beg for that!
Buy a big bottle of your favorite salad dressing and pour them into little 2 oz. dip cups with lids and keep them in the fridge. Make up your own snack bags of carrots, celery, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes or whatever veggies your kids love and just grab them for lunches!
Cocktail sandwich bread makes everything fun! Use them just like regular bread and fill them with whatever floats your boat!
I love using them for Nutella spread on special days, like the kids birthday or on Fridays.
Tortillas are great for things like veggies wraps or my famous Salmon Spread or tuna.
They love them rolled up.
When food is different and fun to eat, they are more apt to eat it... all!
I pack a little more than I know they can eat, and encourage them to take a nibble of the leftovers during carpool. That way, while we run errands after school, they aren't famished and cranky. Just make sure to have a good quality ice pack in their lunches.
I like the gel filled flexible packs.
Well, I hope this helped...
More to come!
Also, Please give me your ingenious ideas! I love learning!!