Welcome to Gramma's Kitchen where you'll find lots of yummy recipes, cooking secrets/hints/shortcuts and my opinions on foodie stuff.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

RICH AND CREAMY GUACAMOLE DIP FOR MOTHER'S DAY

Well, Tashyra inspired me today to make some Guacamole Dip. We went to the store and found Haas Avocados on sale. I'd only made Guacamole once before and it was okay but nothing to rave about. We got home and I started checking out all the different recipes for Guacamole...and there are quite a few out there. Most are fairly simple -- just avocados, lime, onions and salt/pepper. But I wanted something more.
Here is the recipe I came up with. I think the addition of sour cream gives it that little extra something, and I used mild chunky salsa instead of plain tomatoes to jazz it up...just enough to add that "south of the border" zing.
Of course, both of the kiddos absolutely loved it!! I hope you do, too!!
Rich and Creamy Guacamole Dip

3 Ripe Haas Avocados
3 tbsp sour cream
2-3 tbsp finely minced red onion
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
½ tsp lemon pepper
3 tbsp chunky salsa (mild to hot depending on your taste
Salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste

Peel, seed and mash the Avocados leaving some small chunks.
Add all other ingredients and mix well.
Serve chilled with chips, on burgers, tacos or sandwiches.

Peace and HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!



Tuesday, March 30, 2010

WHITE BEAN CHICKEN CHILI

I have wanted to create something different and tasty using white Northern beans. After searching the internet for different white bean chili recipes, I created the following White Bean Chicken Chili for my family. I cooked a big roasting chicken in the crockpot the day before and used the leftover meat and gravy in the chili. I made mine in the crockpot on high for 1 hour and then down to low for the next 4 hours. I think cooked ground chicken would be nice to give it a more chili-like texture (similar to chili made with ground beef). I don't like my chili too spicy so I didn't use any jalepenos. If you like things hot and spicy throw those jalepenos in and possibly use a bit more chili powder. If you try this, I hope you like it as much as my whole family did!!
White Bean Chicken Chili
Serves 6

1 lb dry white Northern beans
1 pound of cooked chicken (cut up in bite-sized pieces or ground)
1 medium yellow or white onion –medium dice
2 stalks celery – medium dice
1 large carrot –medium dice
4 cloves (4 tbsp) minced/crushed garlic
4 to 6 cups of chicken stock (depending on how thick you want your chili)
1 to 1-1/2 cups chicken gravy (either leftover or canned/bottled)
1 yellow or orange bell pepper –medium dice
1 small can of diced chilis
(Optional if you like it spicier -1 small can of diced jalepeno peppers)
1-1/2 tbsp chili powder
1-1/2 tbs ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp Olive Oil

Cover the dry beans with water (2 inches above beans) in a dutch oven and allow to soak overnight. Drain off water.

In the Olive Oil, sauté the onion, celery, carrot and garlic until just tender. Add the beans, chicken stock and dry spices. Allow to come to a boil then cover and turn it down to simmer for about 3 hours or until the beans have become tender. Stir in the cooked chicken, chicken gravy, bell pepper and canned chilis. Simmer for an additional 20 mins. Salt and pepper to taste.

You can also make this in a crock pot – just remember to not add the chicken, gravy, bell pepper and canned chilis until the last ½ hour for best flavor.

Serve in a bowl with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream and green onions. Goes well with either cornbread or warm tortillas.

Monday, March 29, 2010

REALLY COOL, HELPFUL KITCHEN HINTS

One of my Red Hat sisters sent me a bunch of wonderful kitchen hints and I thought I'd share them with you. Some I've already tried and a few I've yet to try but will soon. These would be good to print up and laminate for young brides and/or college bound kids.
  1. Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
  2. Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!
  3. Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
  4. Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
  5. To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.
  6. ESPECIALLY GOOD -For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.
  7. Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.
  8. Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!
  9. ReHeat leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove: set heat to med-low, add a bit of Olive Oil (1/2 to 1 tsp) and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. This is also a wonderful way to prepare foccacia breads.
  10. Easy Deviled Eggs Put the cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal and mash till they are all broken up. Add the rest of your recipe's ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip off the bag and using like a pastry bag, squeeze mixture into egg white halves. Just throw bag away when done... easy clean up.
  11. Expanding Frosting: When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Peace all...and I'm outta' here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

FREE, FREE, FREE!!!

Next Sunday, March 28th, is my 53rd Birthday!!! But that's not really the subject of this post...Today's post is all about the free stuff you can receive from restaurants in your area to celebrate your birthday!

Last year I read somewhere that restaurants would send you coupons for free meals on or around your birthday...all that is required is going to their official website and signing up to be a member of their "e-clubs". Now granted, once you do that you will receive fairly regular emails announcing special promotions and menu changes...but I think that is a small price to pay for a FREE BIRTHDAY MEAL!!

Now not all of them give you a free meal with no strings attached, but many of them do and I thought I'd share with everyone, those restaurants that have sent me email coupons for TOTALLY FREE MEALS WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED - no requirement to buy one to get the one free or anything! These are the best birthday freebies I've found thus far:

  • SONIC - America's Drive-In (www.sonicdrivein.com) gave me a choice of one free regular creamslush or a free order of tater tots.
  • CLAIM JUMPER (www.claimjumper.com) sent me a coupon for a complimentary entree (value $18.00).
  • RED ROBIN (www.redrobin.com) sent a coupon for a free Gourmet Burger of my choice.
  • RUBY TUESDAYS (www.rubytuesday.com) sent a coupon for my choice of any Handcrafted Burger for free.
  • FUDDRUCKER'S WORLD GREATEST HAMBURGERS (www.fuddruckers.com) sent a coupon for a free 1/3 LB BURGER or OTHER FUDDS ENTREE OF EQUAL OR LESSER VALUE.
  • DENNY'S (www.Denny's.com) sent a coupon for a free ORIGINAL GRAND SLAM.
  • COLDSTONE CREAMERY (www.coldstonecreamery.com) sent a coupon for one free LIKE IT CREATE YOUR OWN CREATION (ice cream + one mix-in).
Many other restaurants sent me BOGO free coupons, or coupons for free appetizers or desserts with the purchase of at least one entree. Unfortunately, I really can't afford the required purchase to get the freebie! BUT I MOST DEFINITELY CAN ENJOY A FREE MEAL WITH NO MINIMUM PURCHASE REQUIRED!! (in most cases the tax/tip is not included, but that's really "nothing").

Well, I hope some of you will check these out and enjoy your own free birthday gift! You may even want to check out some restaurants in your locale...you never know what you might receive.

Peace...and I'm outta' here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

FREE SAMPLE OF DUNKIN' DONUTS COFFEE

So, if you've never tasted Dunkin Donuts Coffee, now is your opportunity!! Dunkin Donuts is giving away FREE samples so as many people as possible will give it a try. It is very good!!! I like it better than Starbucks ground coffee and much better than my everyday brand. It has a rich, comforting flavor == and the aroma is to die for as it brews.

So check it out. Click below and fill out the form for your free sample. You won't be sorry you did!!

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Popcornopolis

If you have never tasted the products from POPCORNOPOLIS, you don't know what you are missing. Last week at my local Sam's Club, there was a special booth sampling the various flavors of popcorn from POPCORNOPOLIS and I tried them all. They were AWESOME! My favorites were the Zebra and Cheese flavors.

Order some today for personal enjoyment or gifts. You won't regret it!!

Peace...and I'm outta' here.

Another Good Natural No-Calorie Sweetener

After my previous blog entry about No-Calorie Sweetners, I received an email from a representative of PureVia, asking if I'd like to try it as well. I said "Of course" and received a box of it in the mail to try.

Well, I've given PureVia a try using it on a daily basis. I like this NATURAL ZERO-CALORIE SWEETENER very much. It is "Made from pure sweet Stevia Extract" like Truvia and has no discernable aftertaste in my opinion. I've used it in my oatmeal, on my corn flakes, in iced tea and on fruit. I have not used it in any baking, but that's because it only comes in single use packets. I wish it could be purchased like regular sugar in 5 lb bags. I would like to try it in fresh squeezed lemonade, but I'm not too crazy about having to open that many little packets.

The only other negative in my opinion is the price. Unless it is on sale, all the Stevia based no-calorie sweeteners are a bit pricey. However, when one considers the health benefits of using NATURAL ZERO-CALORIE SWEETENERS vs. Artificial sweeteners or regular sugar, then the price becomes not as prohibitive.

I know this: Since discovering both PureVia and Truvia, I will never use regular sugar for cereal, drinks or sprinkling on fruit again. And if/when these products are available in bulk sizes, I'll not use regular sugar for anything.

If you want to restrict your intake of sugar for health/medical reasons but don't like the chemical taste of ARTIFICIAL sweetening products, give PureVia a try. It is well-worth the price in this bloggers opinion!!!

Peace...and I'm outta' here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Special Spaghetti Sauce

Yesterday I made spaghetti for a CROWD!!. It was an all-you-can-eat Spaghetti Feed and we served about 125 people (maybe a little more) . This is my third year doing this and it gets bigger every year. Perhaps it's because they love my sauce...at least that's what everyone says.

I want to share my recipe with you, but it is a bit difficult because there are few actual measurements of ingredients. I have a tendency to make things up as I go along...you know "that looks about right" or "about a hand/palm full". But I can tell you the basics. I suggest that you use your own judgement on amounts. However, leaving the vegetables out is a NO-NO. That's what makes this sauce so goooood!!

MY SPECIAL SPAGHETTI SAUCE
--ONE batch serves about 50 people depending on the size of the portions--
(This is ONE BATCH)
8-1/2 pounds of hamburger (22% fat)
2 pounds of mild Italian sausage
2 or 3 cups of medium dice onions
1 large red bell pepper (medium dice)
1 large green bell pepper (medium dice)
1 large yellow bell pepper (medium dice)
1 large orange bell pepper (medium dice)
1 bunch of celery (medium dice)
5 or 6 carrots "pulverized" in a food processor into 1/8" to 1/4" bits
6 tablespoons of minced garlic
4 tablespoons dry Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons salt
1 or 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 institutional size cans of crushed tomatoes
2 institutional size cans of diced tomatoes
1 - 8.5 pound bottle of Ragu Spaghetti Sauce
1 cup of Kraft parmeasan cheese
1/3 cup Olive oil
Saute all the vegetables and garlic, salt and pepper in the Olive oil until they are soft/translucent. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef and Italian sausage in a Dutch oven; drain well. Add the meat to the vegetables. Season with Italian seasoning. Add the crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and Ragu. Mix well and continue cooking on medium high until heated through - stirring frequently to prevent burning on the bottom. Add the parmeasan cheese; thoroughly incorporate. Reduce heat to simmer for another half-hour; again stirring frequently to prevent burning. Turn off heat and cover tightly. This will retain its heat during service without turning on a burner again for at least a couple of hours. Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles and wait for the oohs and aahs.
Some people balk at the fact that this sauce has carrots and celery in it, but I have to tell you, carrots and celery are essential to the success of this sauce. They serve to sweeten and thicken the sauce and simply add a layer of flavor that is heavenly.
I use this same recipe -- only in much smaller amounts -- at home. SPECIAL note to Vegetarians/Vegans: This sauce is equally as good without any meat at all; however, eliminating the meat means it will not serve quite as many people.
Peace...and I'm outta' here.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Okay - so you already know I love Lemon Squares...now I've found an absolutely awesome recipe for Luscious Lime Bars!!! And it is more simple to make than any other citrus squares recipe I've ever seen. And did I say, they were DELICIOUS?
LUSCIOUS LIME BARS
1 pkg vanilla or yellow cake mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter - melted
1 egg yolk
4 eggs
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup lime juice
1 tbsp lime zest
powdered sugar for dusting the top

Preheat the oven to 350*. Spray a 9X13 pan with non-stick spray. Put aside 1 tbsp of the cake mix. Combine the remaining cake mix, melted butter and 1 egg yolk in a large bowl. Blend with electric mixer for 1-2 minutes or until well mixed and crumbly. Press the mixture into the bottom of the baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
While the crust bakes, whisk together the 4 eggs, condensed milk, lime juice and the tablespoon of reserved cake mix until smooth. Stir in the lime zest. Pour the mixture onto the warm, baked crust. Return to the oven and bake another 20 minutes or until the topping is set. Cool completely and dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate 60 minutes. Cut into squares and store covered in the refrigerator. Makes about 24 squares (1-1/2" X 1-1/2"). ENJOY!!!
Peace...and I'm outta' here.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tashyra's Breakfast Pie


I created a new breakfast dish this morning and Tashyra told me to call it simply "Breakfast Pie". The next time I make this however, I will use a bit more salt and pepper and possibly incorporate some sourcream into the potatoes before putting them into the pan. Another good change would be to mix the cheese in the egg mixture before pouring it into the pan.

TASHYRA'S BREAKFAST PIE

2 parboiled potatoes
12 cooked sausage links
12 eggs
2 tbs heavy cream or milk
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped green onion or parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 350*. Generously butter (or non-stick cooking spray) the bottom and sides of a 9” cake pan. Shred the potatoes (like for hash browns) and spread evenly in the bottom of the cake pan. Position the sausage links in a circle (fanned out with one end of each in the middle) on top of the potatoes. Wisk the eggs well with the cream/milk; salt & pepper (and green onion/parsley if desired). Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and sausage. Sprinkle cheese evenly over all. Bake for 15-20 min. or until the egg is well set (somewhat dry in appearance).Turn out onto a plate (like an upside down cake and then flip over once again onto another plate. Cut into wedges and serve. Try a dollop of sourcream and a spoon of salsa on top. Yum-Yum. Serves 6.
So that's the basic recipe...give it a try and tweek it to suit your family. Let me know how you like it.

Peace...and I'm outta' here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lemon Bars


I love lemon bars. They are like little squares of sunshine in your mouth. They are always a hit at potlucks and bake sales. I found this recipe that is so simple, you'll never want to use a box mix again.
LEMON BARS
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups flour + 2 Tablespoons flour (save for lemon "filling")
1 cup confectioners' sugar + 2 Tablespoons confectioners' sugar (save for dusting)
4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. With an electric mixer beat together the butter, 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of confectioners' sugar until completely blended.
3. To form your crust, press the mixture into the bottom of your 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan, evenly covering the bottom. Bake for 20 minutes until light golden brown.
4. In a bowl combine eggs, 2 Tablespoons of flour, granulated sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest and whisk together.
5. Pour the mixture over crust and bake at 325 degrees F for 30 minutes, until set. (You will know it's ready to remove from the oven when the filling no longer jiggles.)
6. Place lemon bars on a wire rack and let them cool to room temperature.
7. Using a wire strainer, sprinkle the tops of the cooled lemon bars with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of confectioners' sugar.
8. Cut the bars into 24 pieces and enjoy.
Peace...and I'm outta' here.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Boxed Dinner Kit SURPRISE!!

As a general rule, I do not like nor use boxed dinner kits, i.e. Hamburger/chicken Helper. Overall, I think they all pretty much taste the same. When I do use one (generally to prepare a very quick skillet meal for my grandkids or at their specific request), I share the Semi-Homemade philosphy of Sandra Lee where the kit is simply the base of the dish, with many additions to make it palatable like fresh diced onions, celery, carrots, garlic and other spices. I NEVER make one just as it is --yuck!!

However, of late I've noticed some different boxed dinner kits at the local grocery store --Wanchai Ferry and Romano's Macaroni Grill. I thought "Why not give them a try?" I purchased one of each a few months ago, but just haven't been motivated to use them...until last night. I had two healthy boneless, skinless chicken breasts thawed out in the fridge and wanted to do something different with them.


I didn't want to have to pull out a cookbook or do a search on the internet to find a new/different recipe. I just wanted something different but quick and easy. Searching through the pantry I pulled out the Romano's Macaroni Grill Chicken Piccata dinner kit and figured I'd give it a try. Since this was the first time using one of these I wanted to prepare it exactly as instructed on the box -- no special additions or personal touches. Well, let me tell you I was very pleasantly surprised with the results. Following the directions on the box - to the "T" --the resulting dish was VERY GOOD. Where most " -- Helper" dinners tend to taste pretty much the same with little variation and are basically designed to appeal to childish and unsophisticated palates, the Macaroni Grill Chicken Picata kit contains a cooking wine and sauce mix that resulted in an unexpectedly GROWN UP taste. I do not believe this was created with kids in mind, although my grandkids did love it (of course, they have a fairly well-developed palate - after all they are MY grandkids). The directions were well written and easy to follow. From start to plating - about 20 minutes! As prepared it is relatively low in calories - about 280 per 1 cup serving - and fat - 1g. Other nutritional data: 24g total Carbs, 510mg sodium, 4g Protein and 1g Dietary Fiber with 0g Cholesterol. And like I said - it was very good...lots of flavor...a wonderfully easy and tasty change of pace.

So I guess what I'm saying is this: If you want to try something EASY, DIFFERENT, WHOLESOME, SATISFYING AND TASTY, I highly recommend you try the Romano's Macaroni Grill CHICKEN PACATA boxed dinner kit. Do be aware that I don't think most kids will like it because of the wine flavor...but if your kids like more "grownup flavors" they just might like this too.

SPECIAL NOTE: I like my sauces just a tad bit thicker, so when I make this again, I believe I will be adding about 1/4 to 1/3 cup more water and a teaspoon of corn starch to thicken.

Peace all...and I'm outta' here.




Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Best Darn Green Beans Ever!!!

Sunday was my father's 75th birthday and I cooked him a big dinner. Of course everyone loved ALL the dishes, but my grandson, Trevell, especially loved the Green Beans and insisted that I post the recipe here. These fresh green beans go wonderful with just about anything and are even good all by themselves. And just for the record, you can omit the butter and/or bacon and they are still very, very good!! But as Julia Child always claimed - "Everything is better with butter" and Emeril says "PORK FAT - YES!!"

THE BEST DARN GREEN BEANS EVER!!!

1 to 1-1/2 pounds of fresh green beans
1 to 2 tblsp on fresh minced garlic
2 tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tblsp real butter (optional)
1 or 2 slices of bacon, cut into 1" pieces (optional)
1 teaspoon Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Wash green beans and remove the stem ends leaving the rest of the bean whole. Parboil in salted water for about 10 minutes (until "crispy tender"). Drain. (If using the bacon, fry in a large skillet or heavy dutch oven until fat is rendered out) Add Olive Oil (and butter if desired) and minced garlic. Saute about 60 seconds or until garlic become quite fragrant. Add the drained green beans to the hot pan and toss (or stir) to coat with fats. Add Lemon Pepper and Salt/Black Pepper to taste. Continue to saute/toss over medium high heat for about 5-8 minutes. Turn off heat, cover and allow to sit/steam for another 10 minutes. Serves 4 (large servings) to 6 (small servings).

Your family/guests are going to love these so much you may have to increase everything in order to serve 6.

Peace...and I'm outta' here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

NO CALORIE SWEETENERS

Today I just wanted to comment on Sugar Substitutes. Since the doctor scared me last July with the threat of DIABETES, I've cut out sugary things: no more sodas (except for 0 calorie Pepsi Max), or koolaid or Sobes...no sugar in my iced tea or on my cereal. The thing is, I hate ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS; they all leave an after-taste in my mouth; and everything I've read about them leads me to believe that long-term use of them is harmful to our health - perhaps just as harmful as the real thing.

So, after doing a bit of research into the matter, I thought I'd try some of the new NATURAL Sugar Substitutes on the market. I started with "Sun Crystals" which is actually a combination of Stevia plant extracts and cane sugar - it has 5 calories per serving. I liked it...it had no aftertaste and was sweet just like sugar.

Now I'm using "Truvia". The package states that it is a natural calorie-free sweetener made with rebiana, the "best tasting part of the stevia leaf --sweetness from nature..." Although it is calorie free, one serving (1 packet) does have 3g of Total Carbohydrates. But let me tell you, it is good. I highly recommend it to anyone who needs to cut out sugar calories. Of course, I am not a doctor or anything, but if your doctor says it's okay, give it a try.


Anyway, that's my opinion, for whatever it's worth. Peace...and I'm outta' here.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dinner for a New Friend

Tomorrow I am going to visit a new friend and I'm going to cook him a special dinner. He's buying all the ingredients and I'm putting it all together. The menu will be: Baby Butter Lettuce salad w/Italian Dressing, Loaded potato cassarole, fresh green beans sauteed with bacon and garlic and Pork Chops smothered with Garlic-Rosemary Cream. Dessert is his choice. I'm really looking forward to this dinner.

Many people say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach...usually I find this to be true. I'll let you all know...(^;^)

Anyway, here is the recipe for the Pork Chops.
PORK CHOPS SMOTHERED WITH GARLIC-ROSEMARY CREAM
2 tbs Olive oil
1-1/2 tbs coursely chopped garlic
1 tbs fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp plus 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sour cream
4 bone-in pork loin chops (1" thick)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
Place 1 tbs of olive oil and the garlic in a large ovenproof skillet; cook over medium heat 30 to 60 seconds or until fragrant. Place garlic, rosemary, pepper and 1/8 tsp salt in a mini food processor; process until a thick paste forms. Combine this paste and the sour cream in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat oven to 400*F. Sprinkle both sides of pork chops with remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Heat remaining 1 tbs of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook pork 3 minutes or until browned on bottom. Turn and remove from heat. Spread 1 tbs of the garlic cream onto the browned side of each porek chop; place skillet in the oven and bake 7 to 9 minutes or until pale pink in the center.
Place pork on a plate and cover loosely with foil. Add broth to the skillet and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Reduce by half and thickened. Drizzle over pork chops and serve. Serves 4.
Peace...and I'm outta' here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Back on track

Well I must say I am pleased that I did not gain any weight during the holidays!!! But I know I did not eat properly either. Thank God I've learned how to eat a lot less when the food is "bad" - and by bad I mean Yummy!! All the cookies, buffets, homemade candy, etc -- if I hadn't already been learning how to practice portion control I would have gained 10 lbs. But I didn't. I actually lost 2 lbs over the holidays!! And now I am definitely back on track.

It is very hard for a foodie/food lover like myself to learn how to consistently practice self-control. But I am amazing myself and I hope to inspire my daughter and overweight friends to learn to do the same.

Anyway, no recipes yet...still kind of chilling. But I can feel a cooking episode coming on.....

Peace...and I'm outta' here.

P.S. I've been wondering if there is really anyone out there interested in anything I have to say or recipes I want to share. Oh well...if there is not, then I'm just doing this for the pleasure of writing for my daughter or grandkids. Maybe they will read this someday.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Eve Party

Wow - the New Year's Eve Speaker Meeting, Dance and Buffet was a huge success!! I made food enough for about 150 to 200 people. I put out a buffet of all the recipes I've posted here, except for the dessert items. Everyone loved the food. I couldn't put it out fast enough. All the days of shopping and preparation and it was all almost gone in an hour. The biggest hits were the bacon-wrapped chicken bites, cranberry meatballs and loaded potato cassarole. We (my committee members and I) also made homemade dips (french onion and spinach), meat/cheese & vegetable trays, salami wraps, salami/cheese/olive picks, chips, crackers, cheese balls/spreads, dinner rolls, 120 devilled eggs and salsa. At the end of the night, all that was left was vegggies and chips/crackers. Another great event!!!

The next event I'm cooking for is the Valentine's Day Speaker Meeting, All-you-can-eat Spaghetti Feed and Dance. I'll share my personal recipe for the sauce as we get closer to the event.

In the meantime, I'm taking a much needed rest and doing no more cooking other than for my own family. Check back later for some home cooking recipes.

Peace all...Happy New Year...and I'm outta' here.