Monday, October 31, 2016

Zagnut Cookies for #FoodnFlix

Our FoodnFlix selection this month, as chosen by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen, was Beetlejuice.  You can see Deb's invitation post here.  Food n Flix is a fun little group, started by Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen.  We watch the same movie each month and then head to the kitchen to cook up a dish inspired by the movie.  It is a lot of fun and we welcome others to join us.

Food 'n Flix

Beetlejuice is the iconic 1988 classic by Tim Burton starring Michael Keaton, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis and Wynona Ryder.  It is a goofy and fun film that I had not seen since it first came out.  It does have a large following, I am just not one of the followers.  It is kind of like slapstick comedy to me....I know that it is supposed to be funny.  I catch all the one liners and I know when I am supposed to laugh but.....it just isn't that funny to me.  Nor are the 3 stooges, Airplane, Monty Python, Blazing Saddles and all those hundreds of other movies that I watch my husband crack a gut at while I shake my head wondering how he can find something so stupid so funny.


We moved this month so I finally sat down to watch this movie again on October 30th.  Deadline for submissions is today.  I don't normally wait until the last moment and I almost skipped this month but I love this group and didn't want to miss out on the fun.

There is not a lot of food in this movie.  There are bugs eaten several times.  There is a shrimp cocktail that comes to life.  There is a scene in the kitchen that shows some veggies and a loaf of bread and there is a zagnut bar that comes crashing up through a grave with Beetlejuice.



I have never eaten a zagnut bar.  I am not even sure they make them anymore.  I did a google search and found that it is a candy bar made by the Hershey company that contains peanut butter and coconut.  I like peanut butter and coconut.  I have peanut butter and coconut in the house.  I decided to make zagnut cookies.  These are peanut butter cookies with  toasted coconut added to the batter.  I don't know if they taste anything at all like a zagnut bar but I do know that they are absolutely scrumptious.  YUM!!!  Look for the round up of all the Beetlejuice inspired creations in a day or two at Kahakai Kitchen.

Zagnut Bar Cookies

2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. peanut butter
2 eggs
2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
pinch of salt
1 c. toasted coconut

Place the butter, both sugars and peanut butter in the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on med high speed until creamy.  Add the eggs beating well after each.  Add the flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix on low speed until combined, then increase speed and beat until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and stir in the coconut.

Drop rounded tablespoons full onto parchment lined baking sheets.  Bake in a preheated 375* oven for 10-12 minutes.  You should get approx. 80 cookies.  Print Recipe




Fried Green Tomatoes for a special edition of #SecretRecipeClub

I am a little sad writing this post.  This is the very last special edition of the Secret Recipe Club. Next month, I will be writing my very last Secret Recipe Club post ever on my regularly assigned Monday.

Some of you may not be aware of this but my blog did not originally start out as a foodie blog.  It was more of a journal that I used to document my Life with Mom for whom I was caretaking during her final years as she we struggled through her battle with dementia/Alzheimer's disease.  I did share some recipes as well as the rest of my everyday life here on the farm but not nearly as many as I share currently.  I didn't belong to all the fabulous food and drink groups that I since have joined.

It all started with my friend, Amy, of Amy's Cooking Adventures.  Amy belonged to SRC and I read her blog faithfully.  I asked for information and found that I could request to join as soon as I had at least 100 recipes on my blog.  So, I started focusing more on food and soon I was accepted into this club.  That decision introduced me to all the other cooking groups to which I belong.  Needless to say, SRC holds a very dear spot in my heart.

When I first joined SRC, it was so large that there were 4 groups and a waiting list to be able to join.  As the years have gone on our numbers dwindled and we were downsized to 3 groups but given the opportunity to join in on special events during the months that held 5 Mondays.  These special events were assigned a theme and the blogger to whom you were assigned was not necessarily from you group.  It gave us a chance to meet members of the other groups and I enjoyed that very much.

This final Special SRC theme is Fall Dishes and I was lucky enough to be assigned to Kate of Thyme for Cooking.  Kate was born here in the Midwest area of the USA.  Since then she has spent time living in Ireland, Andorra ( a tiny country between France and Spain) and is currently residing in France.

Kate has an extensive library of recipes.  Knowing that I would get lost and confused without a roadmap, I decided to make a first course from Kate's blog.  That narrowed it down some but it was still a vast amount of recipes from which to choose.  Since our theme was Fall Flavors and I had decided to go savory rather than sweet.  I went to her subset of First Course Vegetables.

When I think Fall foods my mind turns to squash, cabbage, pumpkin, pears, apples, etc.  I started perusing the starters that Kate offered and found a Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Polenta dish that sounds amazing.  The warm Acorn Squash and Walnut Salad also sounded delicious to me. Baby Pumpkins filled with Creamy Spinach nearly won the toss for this month.  In the end, I came across Kate's recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes, and my decision was made.  Our son in law, Pierre, had just given me a huge bag of late season tomatoes that were still green.  When I saw this recipe I knew that I wanted to make this popular dish that I had never tried.


I used Kate's recipe just as written, except that I seasoned the flour with salt and pepper, added some water to the beaten egg and made 8 slices of tomato as there were 4 for dinner and I wanted 2 slices per person.  You start by slicing the tomatoes and cheese.  Then you create a dredging station of seasoned flour, beaten egg and cornmeal.  The entire recipe only takes 10-15 minutes and it was a great starter that I served in lieu of a salad.


Make sure you stop by the other SRC Fall recipes being shared today.  You will find them right underneath my recipe.

Fried Green Tomatoes
slightly adapted from Thyme for Cooking

4 green tomatoes, sliced into 1/4" slices
1 T. olive oil
1/4 c. flour
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
1 t. water
1/3 c. cornmeal 
8 slices fresh Mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in an oven safe pan over med high heat.  Place flour in a shallow bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Place egg and water in a second shallow bowl, beat with a fork.  Place cornmeal in a third shallow bowl.  Dredge the tomato pieces in the flour, dip them in the egg mixture and then dredge in the cornmeal.  Fry in the hot oil about 3 minutes, flip over and top with each with a slice of cheese.  Fry about 2 more minutes then place under a broiler until the cheese is melted.  Print Recipe







Double Corn Muffins #MuffinMonday

Happy Muffin Monday everyone.  Today I am sharing a recipe that I served along with the first meal I cooked in our new home, Venison Gumbo Goulash.  I made these Double Corn Muffins as a side and they were perfect.

Corn muffins are one of my favorite go to's when I am looking for a side dish at dinner time. Sometimes I just have plain old Corn Muffins.  Sometimes I add flavors like in these Pumpkin Corn Muffins or I add ingredients, as I did in these Zucchini Jalapeno and Cheese Corn Muffins.

But sometimes you just want more corn flavor.  On those days I make double corn muffins.  Yep, corn muffins with corn kernels added in for extra flavor and texture.  Perfection in a little paper cup.


Start off with a basic corn muffin recipe and then add in a cup of corn kernels.  You can use fresh, frozen or canned...whatever you happen to have on hand.


This recipe is perfect, making 6 large or 9 small corn muffins, that go perfectly with so many different dinner entrees.  I like serving them with Pulled Pork, Goulash, Chili or Beer Butt Chicken. Let me know what dish you find with which to pair these scrumptious muffins.

Double Corn Muffins
slightly adapted from Betty Crocker

2/3 c. milk
3 T. safflower oil
1 egg
3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. cornmeal
2 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 c. sweet corn kernels

Combine the milk, oil and egg in a large bowl.  Add flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt to the egg mixture.  Stir just until combined.  Stir in the corn kernels.

Line a 6 cup muffin pan with paper cups or treat with baking spray.  Divide the batter between the cups and bake in a preheated 350* oven, for 20-22 minutes.  Alternately, you can make 9 smaller muffins and bake for 18-22 minutes. Print Recipe





#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Settling in and the Weekly Menu for 10/29-11/4

Things are going really well here in the new house.  We have been busy busy busy but life is very good.



The window treatments are up in the bedrooms and kitchen. As you can see Melody's room and the guest room are pretty much complete as is the kitchen except for the floor.  Our room, on the other hand, is still pretty much a shambles.  We are removing a doorwall and putting in a solid wall, replacing the carpet and painting.  Our bedroom furniture is huge and heavy so we will wait to put it all together once the room is done.

The window treatments are ordered for the great room. The bookcases for either side of the fireplace are ordered and Frank has started removing and replacing the windows with walls.


We did get the master bedroom closet installed.  I forgot to take any before pics but, suffice it to say, it was very sad.  There was 1 wire rack on each wall hung so high that I couldn't reach them.  They were dirty and sticky and yucky.  I am very happy to have a new closet to use.

The flooring is here and waiting for the installers and the painter is scheduled to come in as soon as the flooring is done.  Right now, that wine colored carpet you see in the master closet is in every room of the house.  Hopefully by Thanksgiving all will be complete.

Our little Angel Face is spending the night with us tonight.  Tomorrow she will join us at Mass and hopefully behave as we sing in the choir.  We are meeting our friends, the Greens and the Luths, for lunch at noon.  There is a birthday party for my great niece at 3 pm.

Monday is Halloween.  I am pretty excited....I hope to have some beggers come to my door.  We have not had beggers for the past 15 years in the old house but this house is in a slightly more populated area so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday we are going down to the Parish to which Mom Klik had belonged.  There is a memorial Mass being held for All Saint's Day so we will be joining Frank's sister and her husband and his brother and his wife for Mass and dinner.

On Thursday, our niece, Jen, and her daughter, Lil, are coming in to spend the weekend.  We are doing the annual scrapbook event on Saturday so Friday will probably be spent shopping and preparing for that.

It's going to be a great week.  Here is the weekly menu....I'm going to do my best to stick to the FMD eating plan.

Saturday
Asian flavored Chicken Casserole

Sunday
Ham Steak
Sweet Potatoes
Green Beans

Meatless Monday
Pasta Primavera

Taco Tuesday
Black Bean Burritos

Wednesday
Out for dinner

Thursday
SouthWestern Beef and Cabbage Soup

Fish Friday
Cranberry Cod
Wild Rice Vegetable Pilaf




Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

Last night we had our friends, the Bendas and the Lents', over for dinner.  It was the first time the Bendas saw the new house.  I really enjoy the way this house is set up.  It is perfect for entertaining.


Greg and Linda brought us this fun wall hanging as a housewarming gift.  Don't you just love it??!! It will be proudly displayed by our bar each Halloween season.

I had just started the FMD eating plan again on Monday so the meal I served was in accordance with Phase 1 of this plan.  One of the things I like so much about this eating plan is that it uses real food that everyone loves.  I have shared the entree of Chicken Broccoli Rice Bowl the first time I went on the plan.  It has become a favorite in the household.  

The food I planned was all well recieved and I was happy to be able to eat without worry.  I did cheat a bit and enjoy a glass (or two) of wine during the evening and while the sorbet I served for dinner was FMD friendly the cookie was not.  All in all it was a succesful day for the eating plan and a very successful dinner party.


I found this recipe for Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Curried Apples at WholeLiving.com.    It had to be adapted very little to make it Phase 1 friendly.  I did so by deleting the olive oil used to saute the vegetables.  In Phase 3, the use of the olive oil would be encouraged.  I did not use sherry to deglaze the pan as it is not on the eating plan.  I served the soup and added the garnishes of curried apples, mint and Greek yogurt at the end.  If you are sticking to the plan just delete the yogurt although I did add a dollop to my soup.  Without the yogurt it is also vegan friendly and with the yogurt it is still vegetarian friendly and would be great for a Meatless Monday meal.  Make sure you do garnish with the mint leaves though. Everyone concurred that the mint added a great flavor to the soup. 

This soup is out of this world.  Everyone raved about it and several people enjoyed seconds.  There is no better compliment to a cook in this world then when people ask for seconds.

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
adapted from Whole Living

4 lg. Sweet Potatoes
1 med. onion, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
3 mini yellow bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 lg. jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
2 lg. garlic cloves, minced
8 c. vegetable broth
2 t. white wine vinegar
1 t. honey
1/4 t. curry powder
1 med tart apple, cored, peeled and cut into small dice
6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
Chopped mint leaves

Place potatoes on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated 400* oven for about an hour, until easily pierced with a fork.  Remove from oven and cut in half to allow to cool enough to handle. Remove the flesh from the skins.

Place the onions in a skillet with a tablespoon or two of the vegetable broth.  Cook over med heat until onions are caramelized, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the peppers, jalapeno and garlic, cook and stir for a few minutes.  Add the broth and the potato.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. 

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender and place into a clean pot.  Taste and adjust seasonings. 

In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar, honey and curry powder to a boil.  Add the apple.  Cook and stir for one minute, remove from heat.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the curried apples, a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of mint.  Print Recipe



Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Polish Tomato Salad

Last night I took dinner to a function at our church.  We have been meeting for the past couple of months on Monday evenings and are scheduled to meet until the end of November.  The meetings start at 6 pm with dinner.  We have been taking turns providing meals for the group of about 30 people.

We have enjoyed taco night, Italian, Soup and Salads and Fried Chicken with all the trimmings.  I decided to bring Polish food.  I made Stuffed Cabbages, Kielbasa with Sauerkraut, Potato Cheese Pierogi, Spiced Pickled Beets and Creamed Cucumbers.  I also made two new recipes and two desserts.  I will be sharing all four of these with you but tonight I am only sharing one.

Our son in law, Pierre, had brought us some late season tomatoes from his garden.  Some were ripe, some were partially ripe and some were green.  We ate the ripe ones right away and placed the partially ripe tomatoes onto the window sill.  Today I had seven fully ripe and beautiful tomatoes and decided to use them as a side dish for the church dinner.

On a whim, I punched in "Polish Tomato Salad" into Google Search and viola....found a great recipe at the Polska Foods website.  I didn't have everything called for in the original recipe so I adapted it to work with the products in my kitchen.  It was a delicious salad.  I'm not sure what makes it Polish other than the sour cream.  Polish people do love their sour cream!!


Polish Tomato Salad 
adapted from Polska Foods

7 ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 T. Gourmet Garden Basil Stir In Paste or 3 T. fresh chopped basil
3/4 c. sour cream
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients including the juices from the tomatoes.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.  Print Recipe

Sunday, October 23, 2016

We are celebrating National Pizza Day over at #SundaySupper

Did you know that November 12th is National Pizza Day?  Neither did I until the wonderful folks over at Sunday Supper told me and suggested that we all post pizza recipes so that our readers are well prepared to celebrate when it arrives.  They are thoughtful like that.

This event is being hosted by Colleen of The Red Headed Baker.  Colleen has tons of great recipes on her blog.  So when you are done eating your pizza, find your most comfortable chair, put your feet up and head over to relax and peruse her recipe list.


The recipe that I am sharing today is perfect for those Sundays when you have been busy working outside, raking up all those leaves that we are so excited about right now but will be cursing come November.

It is quick and easy to prepare and very satisfying after a hard day's work.  I used leftover chicken but you could also buy a rotisserie chicken for this and still have enough for another meal or two, depending on how many you are feeding.  I was only feeding two of us. Luckily this recipe can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled.  

To make it even easier and to save even more time I used pre-sliced mushrooms, bottled pesto, refrigerated pizza dough and jarred marinara.  It was stuffed and ready to go in the oven in less than 10 minutes and on the table, ready to eat, in half an hour.

Chicken Pesto Calzone

1 can refrigerated pizza dough or 1 recipe homemade
2 t. olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
1 c. shredded cooked chicken
2 T. pesto, store bought or homemade 
3 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
2 T. shredded parmesan cheese
1 c. marinara or pizza sauce, store bought or homemade

In a large skillet, heat the oil over med high heat.  Add the onions and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring until tender.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Remove from heat.  Add the chicken and pesto to the mushroom mixture and stir to combine.

Roll out dough and cut in half.  Place both halves onto a baking sheet.  Place half of the chicken mixture in the center of each dough half.  Top with the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.  Fold the dough over the filling and crimp edges, making a half moon.

Place into a preheated 400* oven for 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden brown.  Serve with a side of Marinara or Pizza Sauce.  Print Recipe


More great inspiration for National Pizza Day

Appetizers

Breakfast

Condiments

Desserts

Mains

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Let's Get Cooking...Here's the Weekly Menu

Have I mentioned how happy I am to have a fully equipped kitchen again?  Do you feel like you're hearing a broken record?  Do I have readers who are wondering what the heck a record is?

Don't worry...soon I will be over the giddiness of my kitchen and finding something else to bore you to tears about.

Today,we have a funeral to attend.  Then we have 3, yes Three, parties to attend.  The first is for our niece, Danielle, who turned 18 on Thursday.  The second is a surprise....shhhhh don't tell anyone.  The third is a 50th celebration for our friend, Dave.  So I won't be cooking tonight.

Tomorrow, though, I am cooking my heart out.  I am supplying the dinner for this week's meeting at the church.  We have been meeting on each Monday for a few weeks and still have several Monday's to go.  I will spend Sunday cooking so that it is all ready for Monday and just needs to be rewarmed.

Tuesday, We are having a small dinner party for some dear friends so that they can see the new digs. I know that not everything is complete and put together yet but they will get the idea.  Besides, we are due a night of relaxation and laughs.

The rest of the week is just typical.  Food pantry, choir, watching the Angel Face....all the things that fill my life with joy and purpose.  In between we will be unpacking more boxes, building walls, building a yard for the hens, having flooring installed (finger's crossed) installing window treatments and bugging the painter for a date certain.

Image result for fast metabolism diet

So, here is the Weekly Menu.  I am back on the Fast Metabolism Eating Plan starting Monday so I am going to enjoy Polish feast I'm preparing for Monday's meeting on Sunday before it starts LOL. Then I am going to follow Haylie's Survival Tips.

Saturday
Dinner out at several places

Sunday-preparing food for Monday
Cucumber Dill Salad
Stuffed Cabbages
Sauerkraut and Kielbasa
Potato Cheese Pierogi
Peanut Butter Bars with Oatmeal and Chocolate Chips
Pumpkin Dump Cake

Monday
Meeting for me, Frank on his own

Tuesday -Dinner Party
Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
Spinach Salad with Pears and Cranberries
Chicken Broccoli Rice Bowl
Cranberry Orange Sorbet
Pumpkin Meringues

Wednesday
Steak Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Thursday
Chicken Stir Fry

Fish Friday
Cranberry Cod
Quinoa Pilaf







Friday, October 21, 2016

Pasta with Smoked Salmon for #FishFridayFoodies

Welcome back to Fish Friday Foodies where, on the third Friday of each month, we all present a recipe containing fish or seafood that complies with the theme for that month.  This month our host is Caroline of  Caroline's Cooking and she has chosen Fish and Seafood Pasta as our theme.

This made me very happy because it takes two things that I absolutely love and combines them into one dish.  What more could you ask for in life??  We eat fish and seafood pasta quite often around here and I have shared with you my recipes for Frutti di Mare, Linguini with Clam Sauce, Macaroni and Tuna Salad. Malaysian Noodles with Sausage and Crab and Seafood Lasagna.


I had some wonderful smoked salmon in my refrigerator so I decided to use that for my pasta dish.  I used brown rice pasta since I had that in my cupboard as it fit into the eating plan that I have been trying to maintain.  But that, my friends, is where any resemblance to a FMD dish ends today!  This recipe uses butter and heavy cream but every once in a while you need to splurge and this was my every once in a while.  So I poured myself a glass of wine and enjoyed every last bite of this creamy and delicious dish.


This dish reminded me of  Tuna Noodle Casserole but with Smoked Salmon.  This is fine with me because I love Tuna Noodle Casserole.  I hope you enjoy this dish and the others that are being brought to the table today.  You will find those right below the recipe.

Pasta with Smoked Salmon

1 T. butter
6 oz. mushrooms
1/2 small onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
1 t. lemon grass paste
1/3 c. heavy cream
6  oz. frozen peas
4 oz. smoked salmon, skin removed, flaked
1/2 lb. Brown Rice Pasta, cooked per package directions

Melt butter in skillet over med high heat.  Add mushrooms and onions, season with salt and pepper and cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms have shrunk and are tender.  Stir in the lemon grass. Lower the heat to medium and add the cream and peas.  Cook until peas are defrosted, warmed through and the cream is reduced.  Gently stir in the salmon.  Toss with the cooked pasta adding a little of the cooking water, if needed, to thin the sauce.  Print Recipe


Interested in joining #FishFridayFoodies? Just leave a comment on this post with your blog name and I will be happy to add you to our group. You can also check out our Facebook Page and our Pinterest Board.










More Delicious Fish/Seafood Pasta Recipes



An InLinkz Link-up

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Spiced Rum Pumpkin Bundt for a Birthday Celebration #BundtBakers

Sunday we celebrated our eldest daughter, Amy's, birthday. When Amy was helping us move last weekend she asked for "something  pumpkin" for her birthday dessert.  She said she had been craving pumpkin and didn't want to wait until Thanksgiving for pie.

As luck would have it, our theme for this month's Bundt Bakers was "Happy Fall Y'All".  This fun theme was chosen by Teri of The Freshman Cook. Providence further smiled on my life when Melissa of   Smells Like Brownies, posted this Drunken Pumpkin Bundt Cake in this months Secret Recipe Club.



I knew, immediately, that this was going to be my inspiration for Amy's Birthday Cake and it fit in perfectly with our #Bundt Bakers theme.  So "Happy Fall, Y'All".  This cake is moist and perfectly spiced.  It was a huge hit with our family and Amy was very pleased with her dessert.  This would be perfect for any of the Holiday dinners or potlucks you may be attending.  Enjoy.


Spiced Rum Pumpkin Bundt
adapted from Smells Like Brownies

Cake:
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
1/3 c. spiced rum
3 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. pumpkin pie spice

Glaze:
3 T. unsalted butter, melted
3 T. spiced rum
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
lge. pinch of salt

Treat a bundt pan liberally with baking spray.  Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in the large bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. When mixture is pale and stiff, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the pumpkin puree and rum.  In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix in the flour mixture alternated with the pumpkin mixture on low speed until combined, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  

Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake in a preheated 350* oven for 60-75 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake removes cleanly.  Remove from oven and cool, in the pan, on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning the cake onto the wire rack to cool completely.

When cake is cooled, melt the butter in a 2 c. measuring cup by placing it in the microwave on high for 15-20 seconds.  Remove when melted and allow to cool.  Add the powdered sugar, salt and rum to the butter and stir until smooth.  Pour from measuring cup onto the cake.  Print Recipe

More Happy Fall Y'all Creations



BundtBakers



#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

Curry Kissed Carrot Soup #ImprovCooking Challenge #MealPrepMadness

Wooohoooo guys.....I am soooo happy to have a kitchen again and to have it filled with all of my appliances that it seems were packed away forever.  I hadn't realized how spoiled I had become with all of my kitchen gadgets.

I, of course, managed.  Women have been "managing" in the kitchen for years.  Then men started cooking and they weren't going to "manage" so they created stand mixers, blenders, food processors, spice grinders, etc, etc... for which I am very thankful.

To be honest, I don't know who created any of these things.  It may very well have been a woman but since they were created early on chances are that even if it were a woman, her man would have taken the credit LOL.  Heck, lately listening to the political statements being made, there are those who would like nothing better than for woman to be back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.

Now, I don't have anything against being in the kitchen. It is where I am happiest.  I love going barefoot and my children are my greatest blessing from God but woman have fought long and hard to be treated as equals and it breaks my heart when I hear and see prejudice of any kind to any segment of society.  Phew, did I get off track or what?!

Ok, I am stepping off of my soapbox now and am going to talk to you about a fun little group I am in called Improv Cooking Challenge.  Improv is, as the name suggests, a group of bloggers, who love to cook, being given two ingredients each month and improvising a great recipe using said ingredients.


Our ingredients this month were carrots and curry.  My husband, who professes to hate curry, enjoyed this soup.  I used a mild curry powder and he helped himself to two servings.


This week we are also celebrating #MealPrepMadness.  A week long celebration where we share our meal prep tricks with others.  As I mentioned earlier in the post, I have been living without my kitchen gadgets for 3 1/2 months.  I never realized how much I depended on them until they were gone.  They make life so much easier and are such wonderful time savers.  This entire soup took less than a half hour to make.  


I started out by chopping all my veggies in the food processor.  They were finely chopped so took only a minute to get tender when added to a med hot skillet with olive oil and curry powder.  When the veggies were softened and the curry was fragrant, I added the chicken stock.  Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and cook for about 5-10 minutes.  

I was then able to pour the entire amount into my vitamix and puree until smooth.  You may have to do this in batches if your blender is smaller or you can use a hand blender which is another handy dandy gadget.

Return the pureed mixture to the pan, place over medium heat and add the lemon juice and salt and pepper.

That's it!  Easy peasy and delicious.  Vegetarian, Vegan and Fast Metabolism Friendly.  It is the perfect first course or light lunch or dinner.  Don't forget to check out the other Carrot and Curry Creations following the recipe.

Curry Kissed Carrot Soup
adapted from Eating Well

3 T.  safflower oil
1 1/2 t. curry
8 carrots, peeled and chunked
2 lg. stalks celery, chunked
1 med. onion, chunked
1 (32 oz) box organic chicken stock
juice of 1/4 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Place the carrots, celery and onion in the large bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan over med high heat.  Add the curry powder and veggies. Cook, stirring, until veggies are softened and curry is fragrant.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle boil and cook for 5-10 minutes, until vegetables are very soft.  Transfer mixture to a blender (in batches if necessary) and puree until smooth.  Return the soup to the saucepan and gently rewarm over medium heat.  Stir in the lemon juice, taste and season with salt and pepper.  Print Recipe


Southwestern Spaghetti Squash Pie for Crazy Ingredient Challenge

The third Thursdays have become pretty crazy around here.  I have three monthly events that are all posted on this day, #BundtBakers, #ImprovCookingChallenge and, of course, #CIC, for which this post is written.

I love all three of these groups and am thankful for the scheduling options offered by blogger that allow me to prepare and serve the meals anytime that is convenient, write out the blog at my leisure and then share it with you on the designated day.

That is how it usually works but not this month.

This month was moving month.  We began moving on October 8th and went nonstop for an entire week.  I was finally back in the kitchen on October 12th and made our first meal in our new home. Now that the kitchen was up and running, I was able to plan a dinner party for our daughter's birthday this past Sunday.  That took care of Bundt Bakers but I still had Improv and CIC due.

Monday night our daughter, Nicole and her husband, Pierre came for dinner. Nicole hadn't had a chance to see the house yet. They had previous plans for Sunday so decided to come over after work the following day.  This was a perfect opportunity for me to get in my next two challenges.  Nic and Pierre are adventurous eaters and always up for trying new dishes.  They also like eating meatless so Meatless Monday is a perfect day for them to visit.


In Crazy Ingredient Challenge we vote between several items on two different lists each month. Whichever ingredients get the most votes is what we use to create a meal.  This month the winners were......Spaghetti Squash and Cornmeal.

I love Spaghetti Squash so I was very happy to participate.  I knew that I wanted to do a casserole of some sort using the cornmeal as a topping.  I stumbled upon this Santa Fe Spaghetti Squash Casserole at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.  Susan has a lot of great recipes on her blog.


Susan had you microwave the squash which would have made this dish ready much quicker than my method of oven roasting it.  You can cook yours however you like.  I used 1 1/2 spaghetti squashes because I had a half left from another meal that needed to be used but wasn't enough for this recipe.

Other than roasting the squash, the rest of the recipe is just combining the ingredients.  We are not completely fat free in this household so I used olive oil to cook my veggies.  I used red, orange and yellow peppers instead of green.  Substituted Ranchero Beans for the black beans and taco seasoning for the chili powder.


I also made the cornmeal mixture a little thicker than Susan had written in her recipe.  This meal was a huge hit.  Pierre ate two large servings and was happy to take the leftovers home with him.  "This is my kind of meal", he remarked.  I think when I next make this casserole, and there will be a next time, I will add some fresh jalapeno peppers in with the onion and sweet peppers.  I thought the dish needed a little extra kick.


Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on your outlook) we got busy talking and visiting and when we sat down to eat, I forgot to take any photos of the finished pie.  I remembered when I was packing up the leftovers for them to take home, so I pulled out a plate and snapped a shot of a piece of the casserole.  It was dark outside and the photo suffered from no natural light but take my word for it, this is a casserole you can be proud to serve.  Thanks, Susan, for the great inspiration.

This is the perfect recipe to ease me back into the FMD eating plan on Monday.  The cornmeal crust would not be allowed but I think and almond meal crust would be delicous and make this dish Phase 3 Friendly.

Make sure you stop by to see all the other Spaghetti Squash and Cornmeal inspired dishes following the links after the recipe.  Have a great day!

Southwestern Spaghetti Squash Pie
adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

1 1/2 medium spaghetti squash, cooked and scraped into strands (learn how here)
2 t. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 each mini red, orange and yellow peppers, diced (or 1 lg red pepper)
1 (15 oz) can Ranchero Beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4 oz) can green chiles, drained
1 c. corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 c. packed baby spinach leaves
1 t. taco seasoning
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 c. corn meal
1/2 c. hot water
pinch of salt
1/2 t. agave nectar

Heat oil in large skillet over med high heat.  Add the onions, garlic and peppers.  Cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the spaghetti squash and allow to cook some of the moisture from the squash for another 5 minutes.  Add the beans, chiles, corn and taco seasoning.  Mix to combine.  Add the spinach and cook for a minute or two until wilted.  Stir in the lime juice, taste and season with salt and pepper.  Turn into a casserole or deep dish pie plate that has been treated with cooking spray.

Combine the corn meal, water, salt and agave in a small bowl. Pour over the squash casserole, spreading the batter to cover.  Bake in a preheated 350* oven for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is cooked through and golden brown on the edges.



HunngryLittleGirl


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Repurposing Furniture and Two Audible Book Reviews




When I started packing for the move, I placed this chair and table in my garage sale.  I had no takers so it made the move with me.  This turned out to be very fortuitous since the sunroom was larger than I had recalled and I needed furniture to make a sitting area.


So I had a green recliner and this wingback chair, both bought shortly after we were married over 25 years ago.  The table came with me when I entered into the marriage.  It was part of my dowry LOL

The table had seen better days and had been scratched up and chewed on by numerous pups.  This was not a problem when it was tucked in my own little corner next to my own  little chair but it didn't look too nice in the middle of a room.


So I decided to paint it using chalk paints.  My sister had taught me how to do this a couple of years ago when we were getting the nursery ready for Little Miss.  You can read about it and learn the technique here.   

It is very simple.  I had Frank tighten all the loose screws to make the table more sturdy.  Then I started by applying my undercoat that I chose to make pink.  I put on two coats of the pink followed by one coat of a sage green.  Then I took a wet rag and distressed it...going down to the pink in some spots and all the way to the wood grain in other spots.  I let it dry overnight and then applied three coats of minwax to it.


I am happy with the outcome but wish I had used a darker green.  My sis said "so put on another coat of dark".  I may do that but not immediately I dressed it up for the Fall and I think it looks fine.

Moving doesn't allow much time for reading.  I normally read at night for an hour or so before going to sleep but I have been conking out the minute my head hits the pillow.  Thankfully, I can listen to audible books while unpacking or while painting tables.

The first book I listened to was recommended by Heather of Based on a True Story.  I knew I wanted to order up this book based on Heather's review and I am glad that I did. 

If At Birth You Don’t Succeed

This is the story of Zach Anner, written and narrated by Zach Anner.  I had never heard of Zach prior to this book because, as some of you may know, I live under a rock.  Zach has been a youtube sensation and has had a couple of reality television shows.  He is a comedian, a filmaker, and an author.  He also was born prematurely with cerebral palsy.  Zach writes about his life with transparency, honesty and humor.  I found myself laughing out loud and then wiping away tears.  It is, at once, uproariously funny and tenderly touching.  I felt like Zach was sitting at the counter as I unpacked and keeping me company.  I would recommend this book to everyone and think it would make the mandatory reading list for my class if I were a high school teacher.   There are so many lessons to be learned from Zach's story of tenacity, responsibility, empathy and perseverence.

Image result for friction by sandra brown

The next book that I listened to and finished while working on the table was Friction by Sandra Brown.  This is the first novel I have read by this author but it won't be the last.  It is the story of a Federal Marshall who lost his wife in an accident and not coping well, gave temporary custody of his daughter to his in laws.  He has now gotten himself together and is in court for his final day of a hearing to determine whether his daughter should be returned to him.  As he is testifying a gunman charges into the courtroom spraying bullets and killing the officer providing security.  The protagonist, Crawford, protects the judge and then flees after the gunman.  Hence starts the story of Friction....Who was the gunman?  Who was his intended target?  Why was there an assasination attempt?  Who deserves custody of the little girl, Georgia?  Can the judge be impartial having been saved by Crawford and finding that she and Crawford are very attracted to one another?....find the answer to these questions by reading or listening to this book that is hard to put away.