Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Avocado,Jicama, orange salad

Avocado, Jicama and Orange Salad

6 halo oranges, peeled and sectioned
1/2 tsp curry powder (or turmeric/garam masala)
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 c honey
1/2 c white wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium jicama, peeled and cut into french fry size "sticks"
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
2 firm ripe avacados, diced

Put the oranges, jicama, avocados and pineapple in a mixing bowl.  Mix together spices, salt, honey, oil and vinegar, toss in with the salad ingredients. Easy!!  Enjoy!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hello Readers!

Hope you all had a fantastic weekend and a great valentine's day!  Had a great one here..the boys took me out to dinner, we went to the Route 66 Diner, it was fantastic as usual!

I am going to post some recipes that are a little special, I know Valentine's day is over, but these recipes would be great for an in home date night, or anniversary or anytime you want something a little special.  The recipes will all be fairly inexpensive, but they will make a great impression.

Crepes anyone?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Healthy, decadent, no bake chocolate oatmeal drops

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Drops
3 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk (preferably 1% or nonfat)
1/4 cup margarine or butter
2 cups multi grain cheerios

Put all together in a microwave safe mixing bowl.  Microwave for 1 minute, remove from microwave and mix everything together.  If the mix is a little dry, add a bit more peanut butter, if it is too wet, add more oats or cheerios. 

Refrigerate mix for about an hour, to let it firm up slightly. 

Layer a baking sheet or tray with either foil or parchment paper.  Take a cookie scoop or a tablespoon and scoop out little balls of the mixture onto the sheet/tray.  Cover with Plastic wrap, and return tray to the refridgerator or freezer. When they have hardened up,  you can  store them in a zip lock bag in either the fridge or freezer.  These make great grab and go snacks...great for a little pick me up!  (they are real popular with all ages)

NOTE:  Originally this recipe asked for full fat milk, less oats, no cheerios, and triple the sugar...I healthified it up so most folks can keep their new years resolutions without feeling too guilty!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Anyone baking cookies???

I found this on the Betty Crocker facebook page...it sure shed some light on problems i had in the past:

Cookie-baking blunders making you feel crumby? Learn about 11 common conundrums, their likely causes and how to achieve the perfect batch of cookies every time.
Problem: My Cookies Are Too Tough
Why?
  • Overworked the dough (especially likely with cutouts).
  • Added too much flour.
  • Used flour with too high of a protein content (e.g. bread flour).
  • Didn't use enough fat or sugar in the dough.
  • Fix It
  • Use a light touch; work with dough as little as possible once flour is added to avoid having the dough stiffen up as it is worked.
  • Spoon flour into a measuring cup, rather than scooping the cup directly into the flour canister. Scooping compacts the flour, which means you end up with too much.
  • Try substituting pastry flour for the all-purpose flour. Pastry flour has less protein, so it develops less gluten when worked.
  • Start by adding ¼ cup extra sugar or butter to the dough. Sugar and fat are the ingredients that make a cookie tender.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Hard and Dry
    Why?
  • Added too much flour.
  • Stored cookies improperly.
  • Overbaked the cookies.
  • Needed more fat or sugar.
  • Fix It
  • Spoon flour into a measuring cup, rather than scooping the cup directly into the flour canister. Scooping compacts the flour, which means you end up with too much.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container; freeze them for long-term storage.
  • Check oven temperature accuracy or bake a few minutes less.
  • Start by adding ¼ cup extra sugar or butter to the dough. Sugar and fat are the ingredients that make a cookie tender.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Too Pale
    Why?
  • Used an insulated cookie sheet.
  • Baked at low oven temperature.
  • Underbaked the cookies.
  • Needed more sugar.
  • Fix it
  • Use a heavy dull-aluminum cookie sheet. It allows heat to melt the sugar and brown the cookie.
  • Increase temperature by 25 degrees. Extra heat helps cookies brown.
  • Bake a couple of minutes longer.
  • Start by adding ¼ cup extra sugar to the dough. Sugar is a key ingredient for browning cookies.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Too Crusty
    Why?
  • Added too much sugar.
  • Overbaked the cookies.
  • Used a dark cookie sheet.
  • Fix it
  • Cut back sugar by ¼ cup or use brown sugar (which has more moisture) as a substitute.
  • Check oven temperature accuracy, bake a few minutes less, or reduce temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Use a heavy dull-aluminum pan.

  • Problem: My Cookies/Bars Are Too Gummy
    Why?
  • Added too much liquid/moisture.
  • Underbaked the cookies/bars.
  • Used too small a pan.
  • Fix it
  • Decrease egg amount (use yolk instead of whole egg or use 1 less egg) or add some flour.
  • Bake a couple of minutes longer. Cookies are done when the edges are firm. Bar cookies typically are done when a toothpick inserted in to the center of the pan comes out clean.
  • Make sure you're using the pan size called for in the recipe. A smaller pan will make the batter too thick for the designated baking time.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Too Dark
    Why?
  • Used a dark pan.
  • Added too much sugar.
  • Overbaked the cookies

  • Fix it
  • Use a heavy dull-aluminum pan.
  • Cut back by about ¼ cup sugar to prevent overbrowning.
  • Check oven temperature accuracy, bake a few minutes less, or reduce temperature by 25 degrees.

  • Problem: My Cookies/Bars Are Too Crumbly

    Why?
  • Added too much flour.
  • Dough needs more fat.
  • Didn't let cookies cool long enough.
  • Fix it
  • Cut back by ¼ cup flour to start.
  • Spoon flour into a measuring cup, rather than scooping the cup directly into the flour canister. Scooping compacts the flour, which means you end up with too much.
  • Add 2 to 4 tablespoons more fat to the dough. Fat makes cookies tender.
  • Be patient and let bars cool completely before cutting, or cool cookies a couple of minutes longer.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Too Flat

    Why?
  • Added too much fat or sugar.
  • Used all butter.
  • Baked at a low oven temperature.
  • Used room temperature/soft dough
  • Used a warm pan.
  • Fix it
  • Use half butter and half shortening, or reduce sugar amount. Butter and sugar make cookies spread.
  • Check oven temperature accuracy, bake a few minutes more, or increase temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Chill dough before using.
  • Place dough on cooled, clean pans to prevent early spread of cookies.

  • Problem: My Cookies Brown Unevenly

    Why?
  • Made cookies with
    random, inconsistent
    sizes or thicknesses.
  • Baked cookies in an oven with inaccurate oven temperatures.
  • Fix it
  • Use a cookie scoop to help make sure all cookies are the same size. Make sure cut-out cookies are the same thickness.
  • Check oven temperature accuracy with an oven thermometer.

  • Problem: My Cookies Always Burn

    Why?
  • Overbaked the cookies.
  • Used a dark pan.
  • Added too much sugar.
  • Fix it
  • Check oven temperature accuracy, bake a few minutes less, or reduce temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Use a heavy dull-aluminum pan.
  • Reduce sugar amount to prevent overbrowning.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Stuck to the Pan

    Why?
  • Forgot to grease/line
    the cookie sheet or pan.
  • The cookies are delicate and contain a lot of sugar.
  • Fix It
  • Lightly grease cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
  • Line pans for bars with lightly greased or non-stick aluminum foil.

  • Problem: My Cookies Are Too Stiff

    Why?
  • Added too much flour.
  • Baked dough immediately after it had removed from the refrigerator/freezer.
  • Fix It
  • Cut back by ¼ cup flour to start.
  • Spoon flour into a measuring cup, rather than scooping the cup directly into the flour canister. Scooping compacts the flour, which means you end up with too much.
  • Bring the dough to room temperature before baking.
  • Thursday, February 6, 2014

    GRRRRR!!!

    I hate to keep apologizing to you all, but this time was no fault of my own.  Yup, I fell pray to a hacker.  I just got the site all straightened out so I AM BACK!!  No one can keep me down for long!  I have loads of new recipes for you...and now i can start my new year's resolutions since we are back on track.  I have some great main courses, desserts, sides and appetizers to spring on you...so I hope you are all ready.

    Keep your fingers crossed that we will get thru this together.