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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

I’ve been experimenting with some basic ingredients and healthy foods…

This dish is surprisingly easy and light, but so tasty!

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Thinly slice 2 large potatoes, and half a small onion.  Fan out the slices of potatoes in a tart pan or pie shell.  (You can add 1/4 cup of water if you like).  Place the sliced onions over the top, and add a drizzle of olive oil over all.  Sprinkle some fresh chopped rosemary (or dried), salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Bake at 375 for 30-45 min, until potatoes are tender.

This is a delicious and light alternative to most potato dishes we see this time of year, (especially if you’re watching your fat or caloric intake).

You can easily customize this to fit your family and tastes – add more potatoes, more onion, or anything you fancy.

Enjoy,

and Happy Thanksgiving week!!

Daisy
xo

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Baking bread is just wonderful….

 

It’s therapeutic for me mixing, kneading, waiting for the dough to rise…

 

 

 

The house smells so good while the bread is baking…

 

 

 

And then you get to enjoy the bread – in my case, I’m giving it to a friend, along with jars of homemade preserves.

I have to say, I love giving homemade food gifts to friends – the look
on their faces,
I can just tell they appreciate it and I’ve brought some joy to their day.

That makes my day!

 

 

Here’s the recipe:

Italian Bread

In a bowl, stir:
1 cup warm water
1 Tb sugar
1 packet of active dry yeast
Let stand about five minutes, until it’s foamy.

In a large bowl, mix together:
2 cups bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
Add to the bowl:
the yeast mixture and
2 Tb olive oil
Stir with a wooden spoon
Add up to 1/2 cup of flour until it forms a dough.

Turn onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes.
Shape dough into a ball, place in an oiled bowl and turn to coat.
Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise for one hour, until doubled.

Head oven to 400 degrees F.
Lightly oil the surface of a baking sheet with olive oil.
On a lightly floured surface, punch down dough and begin to
shape dough, long and tapered as in photo above.
I finished shaping it on the baking sheet so it would be easier to move.
Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 20 minutes.

Use a serrated knife to make three slits in the surface of the loaf,
about 1/4 inch deep each.
Bake 20 minutes until golden brown.

Cool for a bit.
If you like warm bread, slice it while it’s still warm,
spread some butter and honey, or jam,
and Enjoy!

Have fun today.

Bake some bread. 😊

Daisy

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I went to the Farmers Market this week and found they had baskets of tomatoes for $1!

I bought three and went home excited about making tomato jam.

I had never tasted tomato jam until just last year, and I thought it was so delicious, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen it before, or that it wasn’t everywhere, in every super market, next to strawberry jam or blueberry jelly!  I felt deprived…

So when I saw those tomatoes, I immediately thought, “I could make some jam!  I mean, how hard could it be?

 

 

Five hours later, after peeling five pounds of tomatoes, simmering & stirring the pot, checking the consistency countless times, I wondered if this “soup” was ever going to turn into “jam”.

I decided to go sit down, after all, I’d been standing in the kitchen for hours (I already had met my 10,000 steps quota and it was only 5pm!).  While I was checking my emails and Instagram, I fell asleep…

Next thing I know I smelled a hint of something burning… I jumped out of the chair and ran to the kitchen, exclaiming, “no, no, no…!”

I stirred the pot and realized the bottom was starting to stick, but it wasn’t burned!  I tasted it quickly, hoping there was no burnt taste…

Oh, I have to tell you, I breathed a sigh and was so thankful that it tasted fine!  It was still really, REALLY hot from those red chile flakes, but it was delicious.

I grabbed the jars and filled three of them with about four tablespoons left over.  That’s it!  Three pints from FIVE pounds of tomatoes!  I had to laugh…
 

 

I was so proud of myself.

For years, (since I first got married and went to college in a rural area), I’d wanted to try canning and I finally did it.

It only took a couple decades.

Now, the jars sit it on my kitchen shelves and I can’t wait until next week when I can go to the Farmers Market, buy whatever is in season, and try canning again!

I can almost see it…my kitchen shelves stocked with colorful jars, filled with all kinds of good food.

Of course, what will really happen is that I’ll end up giving these jars away in pretty gift baskets…

…But I love to do that, too!

So it’s a win/win situation 😊

Enjoy summer bounty,

Daisy

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Oatmeal

My doctor gave me a list of foods I need to eat frequently…

Oatmeal was on that list.

Apparently it lowers your cholesterol.

But the oatmeal I was used to eating, was the one that I made
and it included lots of dried fruit, a few (maybe 2 or 3) almonds,
whole milk, brown sugar (or honey), and cinnamon.

I don’t think that’s the kind the doctor meant.

Sooooooo………

I had to come up with a healthier recipe for me to eat
since I have want to have it at least 3 times a week.

Here are a few options I came up with:

 

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I love this one!  It’s an apple topping I thought of one day
probably because I love apple pie and I can’t have that right now.

Apples are also on that doctor’s list, btw.

 

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Apples are on sale again and they look and smell wonderful!!
I just bought 5 lbs today so I can make some apple sauce.
(and oatmeal, too, of course!)

 

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I choose a nice, firm apple . . .

 

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I know all these pictures aren’t really necessary…

It’s like I can’t help myself.

I just love the colors, the apples, …
Thought it would make a great photo…
(I’m always looking at the world as through the lens of a camera —
that’s my only excuse).

Please bear with me.

 

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After I peel, core, and chop the apples,
I add a little brown sugar…

 

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And some cinnamon.

 

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I stir it and cook it in a small skillet or sauce pan (doesn’t really matter)
for about 5 minutes, just until the flavors blend and the apples soften a bit.

 

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The whole house smells wonderful when this is cooking!

 

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While the apples are cooking, I make the oatmeal in the microwave.

I use 1/2 cup of oatmeal and 1 cup of milk, a pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon,
and 1 tsp of brown sugar (or honey).  If you like it sweeter, add a little more
sugar.

 

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When the oatmeal is done, and the apples have cooked enough,
I put the oatmeal in a pretty bowl, then spread the apples on top.

 

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If it’s too dry, I add a splash more of milk.

 

My husband prefers slicing a banana over the oatmeal
and sprinkling just a tiny bit of cinnamon over the top.

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He also loves some almonds, a few raisins, granola, …
whatever he can find in the pantry that he thinks will go well with it.

I don’t add nuts to my oatmeal because they are a headache trigger,
so it’s just better if I stay away from them.

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I’m always looking for new toppings for the oatmeal,
and I’m really enjoying the nice, warm breakfast it provides.

It’s delicious and very comforting.

Now, not many things are both delicious AND “ordered suggested by your physician.”

This is one thing I can eat and feel great about.

Let me know if you have any other ideas,

Daisy

 

 

 

 

 

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Homemade Pizza

I was craving pizza last night,

but I’ve been away and haven’t had time for grocery shopping,

so I just used what I had in my fridge & pantry…

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The result was an interesting (but tasty) combination
of some random items I normally would never consider putting on pizza.

 

I started out by making the dough for the crust.

I actually love this part.

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Peeking inside the bowl…

I love the smell of dough, and when I let it rise
and come back, it’s amazing how it’s doubled it size!

 

I cover the bowl with a light-weight towel and forget about it for about an hour.

 

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It’s pretty cool how it grows and becomes so soft.

I love this part, too… Now I get to play with the dough
and form the pizza crust.

It reminds me of playing with Play Dough! 🙂

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When the dough has risen, I put a little bit of flour on the counter
and I either roll it out to the size I want, or I just plop it onto the greased
pizza pan (or cookie sheet, in this case).

 

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I like this part, too!  I use my fingers to softly spread the dough
over the cookie sheet.

Someday I’ll buy a pizza pan!
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These are the simple ingredients I used on the curst.

 

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First, I sprinkle garlic powder over the crust,
then I spread olive oil on that.

 

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Then I pour some of the sauce…
Sometimes I make my own sauce, but this time I just decided to make things easy.

 

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I use this cheese for sandwiches…

I’ve never used this one on  pizza before, but it works well
if you like some heat.

I think it would’ve worked out fine…
…but I also put some hot chiles (in lieu of red/green peppers)…
In my defense, …I was tired, hungry, sleepy, exhausted,…
I wasn’t thinking.
…let’s just say the pizza was HOT!
But delicious.

 

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These are the toppings I came up with in my limited pantry:

Corn (I know! I know! It’s not traditionally a pizza topping, but…
I was desperate,…what can I say?)
Black beans (same excuse as with the corn)
Chiles (I didn’t have any red or green peppers so I thought this was the next best thing)
Black olives
Meatballs (Leftover from last night’s dinner) Cut into quarters.

 

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After the cheese, I put the meatballs…

 

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Black beans,…

 

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Black olives, and green chiles…

 

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I’m SO glad I had this cheese!!

I sprinkled it all over the pizza.

 

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It actually looked pretty good.

I baked it for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees.

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I was surprised at the flavor.

I didn’t expect it to be so spicy
—-(I’d forgotten about the cheese slices underneath everything)

I didn’t expect to like the mixture of the toppings as much as I did.
—-(maybe the fact that I was so hungry had something to do with it?)

 

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 The crust was crispy on the outside and soft on the center.

It was tasty and just what I was craving.

Not as good as the Pizzeria, but a little healthier.  🙂

 

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It’s really not difficult to make pizza
and it’s fun!

Hope you’ll give it a try!

Daisy

 

RECIPE FOR PIZZA CRUST:
1 cup warm water
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 Tb sugar

I warm the water in the microwave;
warm enough but not hot.
Then I add a tablespoon of sugar to the water,
add the yeast, and use a whisk to mix it well.
Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until bubbly.

While the yeast is working, I mix the dry ingredients:
3 cups bread flour
1 Tb sugar
2 Tb olive oil

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, until a dough begins to form.
Transfer to floured surface and knead until soft and smooth.
Place in greased (with olive oil) bowl, and let rise for one hour.
Remove from bowl and either roll dough or use fingers to desired
shape in pizza pan or cookie sheet.

Top crust with your favorite toppings and sauce.
Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees, in preheated oven.
Enjoy!

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Lemonade Slushy

Its been SO hot lately…

We needed something COOL to drink!

 

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Lemons were on sale!

 

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Don’t you just love the beautiful color of lemons??

 

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They just say SUMMER to me.

 

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Lemons, water, sugar, and ice.

That’s all you need for this refreshing lemonade slushy.

 

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I used 3 lemons
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup ice
1-2 cup(s) of cold water

Put in blender
then pour into chilled glasses.

 

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It is so good!!

 

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You can add more lemons/sugar/water according to your taste.

 

 

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So refreshing!
So easy!
So quick!

 

 

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My family loves when I make this.

It lasts about 1 minute.

 

 

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One good thing about summer,

LEMONADE SLUSHIES!!!
Daisy

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A Visit

It was so good to visit my Dad recently.

I don’t get to see him as often as I’d like.

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Visits to see Dad usually include a walk in the backyard.
It was the end of the mango season for his trees…

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He counted seven on this tree…

 

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They would be the last ones of the summer…

 

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I did get to eat one or two that he’d pick earlier.  They were delicious!!
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They smell so good!
I wasn’t the only one enjoying these delicacies…

 

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There he is in his workshop, enjoying the fruits of his labor,
taking a break from work.  That’s his lovely wife.
They’ve been married for over 15 years (my Mom passed away many years ago).

 

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I did get to bring one or two of these home with me.  🙂

 

Later that night he decided to cook some ribs on the grill.

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I made a rub for them, and he put them on the bbq.

 

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He kept a close eye on them until they were done.

 

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We had a great time that night.
My brother & his wife & kids came over and we laughed a lot
as we always do when we get together.

 

It was a short visit but oh, so sweet.

Enjoy your summer.  🙂

Daisy

 

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