Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mom's Yummy Corn Chowder

Mom’s Corn Chowder

½ pound bacon, cut-up
1 medium onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
2 stalks celery, (chopped about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk (skim is okay)
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can (17 ounces) cream-style corn, kernel corn is also fine
2 cups cooked potatoes (* see below)
Snipped parsley

Cook bacon in 3 quart saucepan until crisp; drain, reserving 3 tablespoons fat in saucepan. Cook and stir onion and celery in bacon fat until onion is tender; remove from heat. Stir in flour. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in salt, pepper, corn and potatoes; heat through. Stir in bacon. Sprinkle each serving with parsley and paprika.

*Mom would use a portion of the bacon fat to cook the potatoes, that had been cut in to about 1/2 inch square cubes until tender. Cut the potato as if you are making fries, then cut each strip in to squares before cooking.


Monday, October 27, 2008

So We've Been "Boo'd"...

Not sure what to make of this one, maybe I have just been missing all the fun in past years... but this evening when I opened the front door I walked out to find a metal pail full of candy and other festive Halloween items. There was a note included:

You've been BOO'd!
Since this is the time for goblins and bats,
Halloween spirits and ghosts and cats,
Weird happenings and witches brew,
These are the things we wish for you:
My the only ghost that comes to stay,
Be the Holy Ghost to guide your way.
May the only spirits you chance to meet,
Be the spirits of love and friendship sweet.
May the only trick you are asked to do,
Be the treat of helping a child or two.
These are our Halloween wishes for you,
And may God bless you in all you do.
So the kids are now in bed and I am sitting here pondering who dropped this on the doorstep, was it a neighbor? A Friend? A random do- gooder? (As if I don't have enough to get done in the next week... this will be interesting!) We are new to the neighborhood, so it may very well be a tradition that no one has clued me in on yet. After some research I found this website to clue me in to the phenomenon ( http://organizedchristmas.com/youve-been-booed ).
(And yes, I will be making a trip to the local party store tomorrow to get some goodies for a pail to go "BOO"
some unsuspecting person. Why not? It is a cute idea!)


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Chicken Pasta Primavera- Another Kid Favorite!

Chicken Pasta Primavera- Kid Favorite
This is very easy to make and tastes so good! You can easily modify this recipe to include other healthy items or remove ones you don't like.

1 cup broccoli
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, cut very thinly or shredded
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups cut-up cooked chicken
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 cups hot cooked macaroni shells or pasta wheels
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or asiago cheese
2 tablespoons snipped parsley

Cook and stir broccoli, onion, garlic and carrot in oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until broccoli is crisp- tender about 10 minutes. Stir in chicken, salt and tomatoes; heat just until chicken is hot, about 3 minutes. Spoon chicken mixture over macaroni; sprinkle with cheese and parsley.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Creamy Broccoli Soup

Creamy Broccoli Soup
My Mom used to make this super healthy and delicious soup when I was a kid, now I make it for my kids and they love it too!


1 ½ pounds broccoli
2 cups water
1 large stalk celery (chopped about ¾ cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 ½ cups water
1 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon
¾ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg
¼ cup whipping cream

Heat 2 cups water to boiling in 3 quart sauce pan. Add broccoli (cut in to 1 inch pieces), celery and onion. Cover and heat till boiling. Boil until tender, about 10 minutes; do not drain. Place in blender container. Cover and blend until of uniform consistency.

Heat butter in 3 quart saucepan over low heat until melted. Stir in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in 2 ½ cups water. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in broccoli mixture, bouillon (dry), salt, pepper and nutmeg. Heat just to boiling. Stir in whipping cream. Heat just until hot (do not boil). Serve with shredded cheese.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Super Healthy and Yummy Smoothies


  • Kefir Strawberry Cultured Milk (available at most stores)
  • Frozen Sweet Cherries (1 cup)
  • Frozen Blueberries (1/2 cup)
  • Assorted Frozen Berries (1/2 cup)
  • Fresh Banana
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

Blend all of the above (determine the amount of Kefir by how thick you want the smoothie). The kids love this and it is a healthy weekend treat. I frequently have to make two batches in the blender because everyone wants 2nd's!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Toasted Almond Tofu Burgers

Toasted Almond Tofu Burgers

Kids love this one and it's a great way to have "burgers" and add in a bunch of sauteed veggies for added nutrients.

1 12-ounce package firm tofu, drained, patted dry, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 teaspoons minced peeled ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup almonds, toasted, finely chopped
1 large egg white, beaten to blend
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon oriental sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
4 sesame seed buns, toasted
4 tomato slices
1 cup alfalfa sprouts

Wrap tofu in doubled dish towel. Place on work surface. Weigh down with a board topped with food cans or weights for 1 hour. Squeeze towel-wrapped tofu to extract as much liquid as possible from tofu. Transfer tofu to medium bowl. Using fork, mash into small pieces.

Spray medium nonstick skillet with nonstick spray; place over medium heat. Add carrot, green onions, ginger and garlic; sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Cool. Mix carrot mixture, almonds, egg white, soy sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds into tofu. Season with salt and pepper. Shape mixture into four 1/2-inch-thick patties. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

If grilling, spray grill rack with nonstick spray, then prepare barbecue (medium heat). If sautéing, spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and heat over medium heat. Lightly spray patties on both sides with nonstick spray. Place patties on grill or in skillet and cook until golden brown and heated through, about three minutes per side.

Place 1 burger on each bun bottom. Top each with 1 tomato slice, some sprouts and bun top and serve.

*I made a few modifications: added an extra tsp of sesame seeds, an extra clove of garlic, an extra egg white, some oat bran to bind it together better, and a dash of nutmeg. I also frequently add extra veggies in to the saute (spinach, peppers, zucchini, etc.)


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Easy Chinese Chicken Salad

Easy Chinese Chicken Salad
This recipe is super easy and fast. I modeled after one of my childhood all time favorites and it is always a big hit at parties.
Chicken (this can be in any form, pre-baked from the store and just cut in to pieces, barbequed and cut up, or baked then cut-up; the recipe also works just fine if you leave the chicken out)
Hearts of Romaine Lettuce (Chopped in approx. ½ inch strips)
Sliced Green Onion (optional)
Toasted Flax Seeds (can also use toasted sesame seeds)
Toasted Almond (can be sliced, rough chopped or slivers)
Girard’s Chinese Chicken Salad Dressing (this is critical to get the right taste)

Combine all of the above and serve. Enjoy!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Spicy Noodle Salad- Another Kid Favorite

Spicy Noodle Salad

(I add less of the spicy ingredients initially and set a portion aside for the kids, then add the additional spices for the adults.) This also works really well as a left over.

1/3 cup Soy Sauce
¼ cup White Wine Vinegar
2 tablespoons Chili Sauce
2 tablespoons Sugar
2 tablespoons Sesame Oil
1 inch chunk fresh Ginger (peeled and chopped finely)
4 Garlic Cloves (fresh crushed)
2 teaspoons Chili Flakes
Black or Cayenne Pepper
¼ cup Vegetable Oil
Grated Carrots
Chopped Green Onions
Pasta (1 package spaghetti or angel hair)

Mix all of the above ingredients then add cooked noodles. Enjoy!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Easy Spinach Dip- Kids LOVE it!

Found this a few years ago (on epicurious.com) and it has been a family favorite ever since. The kids dip anything and everything in it, so make sure you make plenty of it. Just don't tell them how healthy it is for them!
Spinach and Garlic Dip
Fresh spinach, sauteéd in oil with garlic, is pureed with sour cream and green onions to create this delicious dip. For a picnic, transport the dip and the vegetables in a cooler, or surround them with cold packs in the picnic basket.
1 1/2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
8 cups (packed) fresh spinach leaves (about 5 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 6-inch-diameter pita breads
Assorted raw vegetables
  • Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté 10 seconds. Add spinach; sauté until wilted and tender, about 2 minutes. Cool.
  • Puree spinach and green onions in processor. Transfer to medium bowl. Mix in sour cream and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill.
  • Preheat broiler. Slice each pita bread horizontally in half, forming 2 circles. Cut each circle into 4 triangles. Place triangles in single layer on baking sheet. Lightly brush pita triangles with 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with pepper. Broil until golden, watching closely to avoid burning and moving triangles on baking sheet to brown evenly, about 2 minutes. Cool. (Dip and pita triangles can be made 1 day ahead. Keep dip chilled. Store pita in airtight container.)
Serve dip with pita triangles and assorted raw vegetables. Makes 6 servings.

*I also add about 4 ounces of sliced and sautéed tofu (for added protein), then puree with the spinach.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Kid Favorite Bruschetta Recipe

My kids LOVE this recipe and it is healthy!

●Vine ripened cherry tomatoes (approximately 1.5 quarts when quartered); the quality of the tomatoes makes or breaks this recipe.
●Handful of washed/rough chopped fresh Basil
●Several fresh crushed cloves of Garlic (amount depending on your taste)
●Handful of shredded Mozzarella
●Olive Oil (approx. 2 tablespoons)
●Balsamic Vinegar (approx. 1 tablespoon)
●Cayenne Pepper
●French Baguette

Slice baguette and toast (I brush a little olive oil on each side prior to toasting in the oven or on the stove top in a skillet).

Wash and slice the tomatoes in quarters (depending on the size of the tomato), add the rough chopped basil, crushed garlic, shredded mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic. Add Cayenne and salt to taste. Mix.

Top toasted baguettes and if desired, toast in the oven on cookie sheet just until mozzarella melts.


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