Friday, July 30, 2010

I really dislike Jillian Micheals

OK so this one isn't a food post!! Shocking I know.

For a few weeks I have been going back and forth about buying a Jillian Micheal's workout DVD. Well last week I finally bit the bullet and I started it Sunday night. So needless to say Sunday night I am grunting and yelling "I hate you Jillian." If you have ever watched the Biggest Loser, you know she is one tough cookie and doesn't wait for you. Tuesday I could barely walk or breath, so I did my Pilate's DVD and did a lot of flexibility with that one. Wednesday I got on the wagon and did it Thursday too. Last night, I didn't yell nearly as much. And what was even better was I finally got through the last abs workout in circuit 3. Because before this I would do a few bicycles and then lay and die until the cool down. This DVD has three levels, so the Husband figured 9 days on each level. This DVD claims to shred 20 pounds in 30 days and the best part is each workout is 20 minutes. I just keep saying I can do anything for 20 minutes. I am not looking to shred 20 pounds but if I could lose the few pounds I put on in the winter and tone what I have, I will be greatly appreciative. So if you are looking for a butt kicking 101, Jillian Micheal's is the way to go. I feel that even if you never experimented with level 2 and 3 you would still be able to maintain what you've got on level 1. So Monday night I am going to move unto level 2. I will give you an update IF I am still alive at the end. Have a great weekend.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Crispy Swiss Chard Cakes

It's Friday!!!!
So my garden is growing and I am finally getting stuff out of it. This year I planted Swiss chard not really knowing what to do with it but wanted to give it a try. This week it was ready to pick and I still didn't know what to do with it but a girl from high school gave me a great idea. They are called crispy swiss chard cakes. She said they are her favorite things to make and eat in the world!!! I thought in the whole world, well I have to give these a try. How bad could they be? So I made them yesterday and they were awesome. The recipe seems a little overwhelming but once you go through it once it really isn't a big deal. If you have chard I encourage you to try them but watch the salt. Maybe only do a 1/2 tsp because they were a little salty for me. Next time I'm not going to add the salt until I eat them. They are much like potato pancakes and have a great crisy flavor. Other then this recipe I'm not sure what to do with this stuff. Any suggestions?

Crispy Swiss Chard Cakes

2 pounds Swiss chard
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (1-1/2 cups)
1-½ teaspoons salt to taste(I suggest waiting until you eat them to add salt)
3 tablespoons butter, in pieces
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
1 egg, beaten lightly
2 cups shredded Italian Cheese

Cut off the stem at the base of the chard leaves and cut the central rib out of the leaf if thick and tough (save the stems and ribs for vegetable stock). Rinse the leaves and drain in a colander
Bring 5 or 6 quarts of water to the boil in a large pot, drop in the chard leaves and stir to submerge them. Return to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain into a colander and let cool. Chop the cooked chard into small shreds and drain once again in the colander. Press and squeeze the chard to remove as much liquid as you can.

Pour the olive oil into the skillet and set over medium heat. Stir in the sliced onions and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions wilt and barely color, about 5 minutes. Scatter the chopped chard into the skillet and drop in the butter pieces. Stir the chard with the onions and the melting butter; season with another ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook over medium heat for 7 or 8 minutes, stirring and tossing frequently, until the chard is fairly dry-don’t let it get brown or crispy.

Remove the chard to a big bowl, toss with the freshly ground pepper and more salt to taste. Spread it out in the bowl to cool. Let the skillet cool, too, then wipe it clean and dry-you’ll be using it again. Put the shredded cheese in a plate or shallow bowl and toss so the shreds are loose and separate.

When the chopped chard is lukewarm or cooler, pour the beaten egg over it and mix in thoroughly with your fingers. Divide into 6 roughly equal parts and form them into patties-just like hamburgers-3 to 4 inches across. Press each cake of chard firmly so it holds together.

Set the dry skillet over medium-low heat. Hold a chard cake in one hand and cover the top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the shredded cheese. Press the shreds so they adhere then turn and cover the bottom of the patty with a layer of cheese. Lay the cake in the hot skillet (it should start to sizzle in a few seconds) and quickly coat 2 more patties with cheese and set them in the skillet, several inches apart. If there’s room, start cooking another.

Fry on the first side for 3 minutes or longer, until the cheese forms a crisp golden- brown crust. Shake the pan to loosen the cakes, slide a spatula underneath and flip them over. Cook and crisp the second side, another 3 minutes or so. Lift out each patty with the spatula, blot up the oil released by the cheese with a folded paper towel, and set on a warm plate (placed in a low oven if you like).

Serve the cakes warm and crispy, either whole as a main or cut into bite-size wedges.

I know they are not very pretty BUT they are good.
Linked to Foodie Friday

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

BlueBerry Bread

HI. I bet you were not even worrying where I was yet. HA HA.
So the last few weeks I have gone blueberry picking several times. In these parts that's what we country folk do. In June you go strawberry picking, then you make strawberry jam. After the jam is made you immediately grab a spoon and eat it out of the jar. Oh yeah and don't judge me but I have totally finished jars before....oh it is pure heaven. Then usually in August you go blueberry picking but for whatever reason we have been going in July this year. I'm not sure why, maybe the crazy heat waves we have been getting. But because I have wonderful, fat, juicy berries I of course needed to make something. So I made skillet cobbler...mmm that was good. I will get that recipe to you, so you can love it too. Then we ate lots of plain berries out of the bowl. Then I made blueberry buckwheat pancakes. Those were bangin' too. MMM I am totally getting hungry right now. OK focusing again.....Today I made BLUEBERRY BREAD. I have seen this several times in blog world but never made it. I have no idea why I waited so long but oh man was it good. This recipe I found though a google search on a website called COOKTHINK. It made two loafs and I shared one with my sister after she shared zucchini/carrot bars with me. Those also were awesome. Thank you sister! So if you have just gotten back from picking berries or if you froze them to savor that summer taste all year. You defiantly need to try this recipe, it's healthy and easy.

Grease two loaf pans

1 c walnuts chopped(I didn't do this)

1/4 c packed brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 c sugar-divided

3 TB flax seed meal(see healthy)

2 tsp BP

1/2 tsp salt(omitted this b/c I had salted butter)

2 sticks unsalted butter-room temp

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 plain nonfat yogurt(I had full fat and it was still good)

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat your oven till 350

In a small bowl combine your nuts, cinnamon, brown sugar, and 1/4 c white sugar. Mix and set aside-this is your topping

In another bowl mix flour, flax, BP, and salt. Set this aside-this goes in at the end

Finally in your BIG mixer bowl, cream butter and remaining white sugar. About 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Add yogurt until almost smooth. Add flour stuff. Then gently fold in your berries.

Pour evenly into loaf pans then top with the sugar topping.

Let cook for 60-75 minutes. Totally let it cook that long because I got impatient and only let it go for 50 minutes and the middle sunk on me. Although this is a reoccurring problem with me because even banana bread I have not mastered. It seems that the bread gets really brown and it appears done but alas it is not. Any suggestions how I can get that nice crack(this is a place I want crack showing) at the top with out over baking the bread. Well enjoy the recipe and let me know how it goes for you.

Have a great day
P.S. I tired hiding the sink in the picture. How'd I do?

Rotini Salad

Told ya I would see you before a month was out! So like I said yesterday I have a million cookbooks, so I am on a mission to try more recipes. Today I made a very nice dish to take to a picnic or potluck at a church. It is called Rotini Salad. I don't know if you have ever had the salads at the deli counter but how they have that very distinct taste. Well I love the stuff but then I look at the ingredient list and I just can't bring myself to eat them. So when I tasted this salad I was thrilled. It has that tang because of the vinegar but is sweet due to the sugar. I will totally make this again. Enjoy and see you before you wonder where I went again!

1 box cooked pasta(used Ronzoni Smart Taste)

2 cups Mayo

1 cup water

1/2 cup vinegar

1 cup sugar

1 med chopped onion fine

1 cup celery chopped fine

1/2 tsp turmeric spice

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients well in large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir well before using, The dressing will be a bit thin.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Zucchini Quiche

Hi. This is getting very bad. Over a month..please forgive me. I finally ended the school year June 30th. So for some time now I have been enjoying my summer vacation. Then about a week into my vacation we started ripping down our kitchen. The husband and me and talked about redoing the kitchen ever since we bought the house two years ago. We were finally able to do it and I could not be happier. In all the apartments/houses we lived in I have never had sooo much cabinet space or counter top space. Oddly enough, we started tearing everything down on our anniversary. My in-laws took the Jakester for the night and that's what we did, tore down the kitchen. OOOOH how romantic. Then we went camping with my mom and her BF in New Jersey. The husband and I went to a few little towns where there were antique shoppes and stores. It was awesome, my mom kept Jake for the afternoon and we just took advantage of the time together. I found awesome chairs for the kitchen table for 20.00 dollars. It was a huge deal because I found Amish made chairs just like them in store in PA BUT for a few hundred dollars more. I was so excited I didn't even bargain the guy down. And if you have ever been to a yard sale with me, YOU know that's just not my style. Another awesome thing I did was a have a mini cooking day with my Jessica. Yes Jess, you are MY Jess :) you! We did try some awesome recipes and some interesting ones. I am going to post them and give you the results of what I thought. Also this morning I made a Zucchini Quiche which turned out great! This time of year I am always looking ways to do with the zucchini people give me or I buy. This recipe is very light and flavorful and I will totally make it again. As I am on a mission to eat 'Clean' please know that this is not clean at all. It has Bisquick in it and veg. oil. I would have used olive oil but didn't have nearly enough. So next time I will use olive oil but the Bisquick, I'm not sure I will ever give that stuff up. Sometimes it just makes a recipe. :)
First Up-from a biggest loser cookbook (FREE-just sayin)
Spinach and Feta Brown Rice1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup brown rice
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
3 TB feta cheese
salt/pepper to taste
Cook rice. Lightly mist skillet with olive oil. Add onion and garlic to pan. Stirring occasionally for 4 to 6 mins over medium heat, until tender. Do not let the onions turn brown. Add rice and spinach. cook until the spinach is completely wilted. Stir in the cheese and season with salt/pepper. Serve immediately.
Jess and I loved this! We made two batches because we downed the first one in a few seconds.
It makes two 1/2 cup servings. And took a few minutes to put together. DEF. saving this for the recipe box.
Next up-
Potato Balls
2-3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 small onion-chopped fine
1 egg
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese(used Colby)
crushed corn flakes(used special K)
Heat the potatoes until slightly warm. Add onion, egg, and cheese. Makes balls out of mixture. Then roll balls in the crushed corn flakes. Place balls on a cookie sheet. Then make small well in the middle of the ball and add butter. Bake at 350 for 15-20 mins. Until the ball is heated thru and cheese is melted.
These also were amazing. Seriously. What else is there to say carbs, cheese, and butter.
1 avocado(skin off and pit removed)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 water
3 heaping TB of cocoa
3 TB Honey(she called for 12 chopped dates)

Put all into a blender and blend the heck out of it. Until you get a creamy, mousse like look and feel. I found this off a website called Consuming Raw.
This recipe was good. It was very rich and you would never know it was avocado. I am not sure I would make it again. But if you are working towards a clean was of eating and need chocolate this would work. I would give it 4 stars.
Fourth up-
Black Bean Brownies.
We in the blog world have seen this recipe over and over. Jess and me needed to know what the fuss was all about. I do not have the recipe we used but because you can google it, I am not worried. My word of advice to you would be WAIT FOR THEM TO COOL BEFORE CONSUMING. We of course ate them right out of the oven so I could still feel that "bean texture" They weren't bad but after I got home and they cooled down. I ate them again and again, and again. So if you are on a gluten free diet or looking for a healthy way to eat your brownies, these would work. Just wait for them to cool.. I didn't try but I am pretty sure I could have passed them off on the Husband after they cooled. So in the end they were good and I didn't feel guilty after I ate them.
Now for the recipe that is the title of this post. I made this today for the weekly gathering at my mom's. I am really trying to cook new recipes because I have enough printed ones from blog sites and enough cookbooks to feed the world until Dooms Day. So this is from a cookbook I got at a yard sale, of course.

Zucchini Quiche
3 cups unprepared zucchini, grated
1 cup Bisquick
1/2 tsp Lawry's seasoned salt
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp oregano
2 cups grated moz. cheese
2 T snipped parsley(used dried)
1/2 cup veg. oil
4 eggs, slightly beaten
pepper and salt to taste
Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9 by 13 pan. Mix all ingredients in a bowl then spread in pan. bake until golden brown about 25 minutes. cut into squares and serve warm or cold. This was awesome. tired some before I went to my mom's and now I can't wait to eat it for dinner.

Enjoy and see you before a month is out!
linked up to Tasty Tuesday