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It’s official! I’m moving my food blog posts to a new site, so stop on over to GirlLikestoEat.Com. JennyMacBeth.Com will remain to exist, but will be posts about topics other than food. I blog a lot about food, and thought the posts deserved their own dedicated site. You can also follow the blog on Facebook.
My mornings pretty much run smoothly. I enjoy the calm quietness with my bunnies.
I usually take a shower at night, but feeling lazy, I decided to wait until morning. When the alarm went off at 5:00 AM, I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t slept well, so of course, I reached for the snooze. Only I didn’t hit the snooze. 30 minutes later, brain dead, I realize it was the off button, and out of bed I jump with no time for coffee.
Because I take my showers in the evenings, I never blow dry my hair. It was snowing and cold outside, so at the very least, I had to get rid of the dampness. With the blow dryer on low, it wasn’t getting the job done fast enough. – On high it goes.
Keep reading – it gets better.
A hint of something on fire, “POP,” the power goes out. I put the dryer down and proceed to the fuse box; which is in the garage three flights downstairs. As I approach the garage, I remember that the fuse box is on the back wall, buried behind the Boy’s van, and the only way to get to the other side is open the garage door. Naked, I run back upstairs to get dressed. Back in the basement, Irealize I need a flashlight since the garage does not have enough light to see.
The Boy is a big fan of flashlights. He should buy stock in companies that supply us with flashlights. He buys five every time he sees one. Hell, it’s on his Christmas wish list with a tag, “You can never have enough flashlights.” We have so many flashlights that we could light a football field. I even have two flashlights in my purse because of him. Another cool investment is his plastic containers of all shapes and sizes. Our entire house is well organized and labeled. Oh yes, yet another investment; duct tape. We have a big bag of all different colors. Our things are color coordinated and labeled with duct tape. I have yellow labeling my things because that’s my favorite color. Okay, so we have flashlights, containers, and duct tape…
Back in the basement, I can’t find a flashlight, and all the containers are labeled, but not one says, “FLASHLIGHTS.” Searching and searching, I find one. I go to turn it on, and guess what happens? Yep! The battery is completely dead; yet another investment. Scratching my head, I remember seeing a container labeled batteries. “Where was that?” It’s like that damn memory card game, and I suck at it. When searching for…for…for… ”What am I doing?” Oh yes! Pissed at this point, I toss the flashlight aside, and go upstairs to get one of the two flashlights in my purse.
Power back on, dryer on low, and I’m thinking, “I really want to wake him up!!!”
It’s my first risotto and Chef Gordon Ramsay would be proud. It’s very easy. I guess after watching all the donkeys on Hell’s Kitchen screw it up, I’ve been very, very afraid. Psht, nothing to it.
I was inspired by Special K’s low-cal version, but as always, I changed the recipe to be even lower in cals. Their recipe calls for butter, but I opted out and used PAM cooking spray to saute the leeks and toast the Arborio rice. It was unbelievably delicious. I’m sure it would be better with butter, but it’s that time of year to watch the calories. <wink wink>
Below is my version, but here’s the link to Special K’s version.
2 medium leek, thinly sliced (just use the white portions)
2/3 cup Arborio rice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- Spray saucepan with PAM. Cook leek, rice and garlic powder over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until leek is tender and rice is lightly toasted. Constantly stirring. Spray PAM as needed.
- Carefully add broth to saucepan. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 12 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Stir parsley and Parmesan cheese into rice when ready to serve.
Serving Size: 2
Calories: About 82 per cup. That’s about 34 calories per cup difference using PAM instead of butter. Woot!
Do you have any cool recipes I can try? Please share.
I didn’t make it exact, but this recipe inspired me. The Boy loved the tomatoes, but I’m not a big fan of baked tomatoes. I’m not sure why. I think it might be the mushy texture. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed it. We had been cleaning and organizing all day trying to get the house back in order from Christmas. I’m thankful that this low-calorie meal was very quick and easy cleanup.
It calls for butter but I used PAM spray. That definitely reduces the calories to an already low-cal meal. There are a few more things I did different…
- I used one bag of frozen cod (4 pieces), instead of two fresh,
- omitted the butter,
- used one lemon, instead 1/2,
- used diced tomatoes, instead of slices, and
- used 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I like it spicy)
If you use Food.Com, they have a cool tool where you can tell it how many servings and it adjusts the recipe. I used two servings with all the ingredients except for the fish. I think the spices go a long way.
1 frozen bag of cod fish fillets about 3-4 pieces
1 lemon, juice of
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 dash black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Combine all spices in a small bowl and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425°. Spray baking pan and fish with PAM.
- Squeeze lemon juice on the fish, then sprinkle the spice blend evenly over the top of each fillet.
- Distribute diced tomatoes over top of each fillet.
Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over tomatoes.
- Bake the fish, uncovered, for 8 minutes, then turn oven to a high broil and continue to cook for 6 to 8 minutes.
Photo from FitnessMagazine.Com
Since it’s January, and thinking about a healthier lifestyle, I Googled a few new ideas for low-calorie dinners. I found a cool one at FitnessMagazine.Com. What grabbed my attention to this recipe is the chili powder. I thought it would be an interesting addition to the stir-fry, and it was. The dish certainly has a bite to it. Nom Nom.
The avocado salad also calls for chili powder, along with cilantro, black beans and cojita cheese. The Boy even liked it, and he is not much of a beaner. I did think that the bean vs. avocado ratio was a little off; with it being heavier on the black beans. I think the next time I make it, I’m going to add an extra avocado.
The recipe is for four servings; which equals about one heaping scoop. That’s cool for a side dish, but I’m thinking that I would want to make this for weekday lunches. It’s very lite tasting and I think it’s perfect for a midday snack.
I did do two things different. I didn’t use a poblano in the stir-fry and cojita cheese in the salad. Instead of a poblano, I used a small jalapeño simply because I couldn’t find one at the grocer. For the replacement of the cojita cheese, I used feta. Again, I couldn’t find any. Cojita cheese has a mild taste like Greek feta, so I don’t think it takes away from the flavor. However, poblanos and jalapeños are different; poblanos are mild compared to the jalapeño’s heat. That’s probably why my stir-fry was spicy.
I’m recommending this as a must try. You can find the recipe at the above link. Remember, this is a healthy choice, therefore, the serving sizes are small. If you want bigger portions, doubling the recipe would be optimal.
Do you have any cool recipes I might enjoy cooking? Please send me your ideas.
This recipe came to me by a friend a few months ago. My apologizes but I can’t remember who.
It’s easy, but takes a little time. You can’t just toss in all the ingredients and call it a day. It must be layered in with each layer having it’s time to stew.
There is plenty. The recipe says it makes six servings, but I’m not sure what they consider a serving size. I think it makes about 8-10. In my opinion, it’s a heavy soup and I can’t eat too much with having a beer and bread on the side. – A must have.
You will also have to use an immersion blender. You can use a regular blender but then you have to pour hot liquid out of the pot, and the blender can release burps of hot fluid all over the place. And, this is exactly why I’ve been wanting an immersion blender. If you’ve used a regular blender with hot liquids, then you know how dangerous it can be; not to mention, the mess. I was so excited because the Boy just bought me an immersion blender and this is the first recipe I got to use it. I love it and highly recommend it. You will get lots of use out of it. It’s also a mini food processor.
2 slices bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium red onion, diced
2 medium leeks, white and pale green parts, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
4 medium carrots, diced
2 garlic gloves, minced (I left this out by accident. It’s listed in the ingredients but not the instructions, therefore, I forgot it. The soup is still really good).
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 cup flour
1 (12 oz) bottle ale (I used Smithwick’s)
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups grated cheddar (I used Vermont cheddar)
1 cup green onions (This is for garnish, so I left it out. Especially, since I plan to freeze most of it.)
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (Again, this is for garnish. I left it out, and plan to use store bought real crumbled bacon.)
Sea salt and ground pepper
Add the diced bacon to a large heavy-bottom pot and put over medium-high heat.
Cook until the bacon fat is released and the bacon begins to crisp.
Add the butter and onions and cook until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add leeks, celery, carrots, dry mustard, pinch of sea salt and ground pepper. I’m assuming this is were you put the garlic.
Saute until the vegetables soften, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Don’t worry if it sticks to the bottom. The beer will pick it up.
Sprinkle the flour in and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring so it is well incorporated.
Pour in the beer and cook until the liquid reduces by half. About 7 minutes.
Whisk in the milk and chicken stock. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Use an immersion blender to blend while still in the pot. Blend into a smooth puree.
Add grated Vermont Cheddar to the soup. Stirring frequently until it melts.
Do not allow to boil. I used a low-medium heat at this point.
Served with garnish of green onions and crumbled bacon.
Tip: If you like your soup thicker, reserve 1 cup of the 2 cups of chicken stock. If you want it thinner, add the reserve in when adding the cheese. I put both cups in and still felt it was thick. I will freeze parts in my freezer-safe soup containers. – Grab and go during the work week.
I hope you enjoy it. We did. If you make it or a different version, please let me know your thoughts. I love sharing ideas.
Back to cooking again. I’m not a professional but love chopping things up and then eating my creations. That sounds like something Hannibal would say, but it’s true. I was looking through my pantry and noticed a can of crushed pineapple. Immediately thinking, “That would be good with chicken.” I also had a pineapple Greek yogurt on hand. Not having a recipe, I started thinking how I wanted do this. I normally Google for ideas, but not this time. This is my very own.
3 Chicken breasts
2 Chobani pineapple Greek yogurt (6 oz)
1 Can of crushed or chunk pineapple (20 oz) Do not drain
1 Cup of chicken broth (I use low-sodium, no MSG)
Salt and pepper to taste
A few dashes of curry powder to taste
Whisk together the yogurt, pineapple, chicken broth, salt, pepper and curry. Add chicken to a crock pot and pour sauce over it. Cook until chicken starts to fall apart. I severed over a minute rice.
Tip: Because the bunnies eat lots of cilantro, I always have it on hand. I cook with it a lot. I always add fresh diced cilantro and a touch of lime juice to my rice. It gives boring rice a little zip without using butter. I added flour at the end for a thick-creamer sauce, but I think I added too much. It took away from the flavor of the pineapple. It was still good, but I’m going to eliminate it and use more Greek yogurt the next time.
Now it’s time for soups. Here it is January and I haven’t made any homemade soups this wintery season. Do you have any good ideas? Please share.
Here it is, 2012, and I haven’t posted since October. It’s been a busy few months. So, I’m pushing myself to get this recipe out there since it was a good one.
On New Years Eve, I had the Boy’s parents down for dinner and celebrations. I’ve always been told, “Don’t try a new recipe on guests,” just in case it doesn’t work out. Well, this is true. It’s a no-no. The menu consisted of beer burgers, pepperoni balls and lemon cheesecake. As you can see from this blog post the only thing that turned out were the burgers.
Deep frying makes my house smell, so I never do it. Unfortunately, the pepperoni balls called for deep frying. First time out, I ruined the balls. After talking with a few friends, I believe I had the oil too hot because the balls burnt quickly on the outside, and were raw in the center. Nasty! Not to mention the lemon cheesecake was like eating a raw lemon. I love lemons, and with that thought, I added too much of it. Yuck!
The burgers were awesome. You could do whatever you want with this recipe. I encourage you be creative and be simple. I first heard about it from a friend on Facebook. She posted a recipe from Foodnetwork.com, only the recipe was for Original Lauer-Kraut Burgers. The Boy not being a fan of kraut, I changed it. I used a beer batter bread dough, ground beef cooked with vidalia onions in Guinness beer, and added sharp cheddar cheese. The Boy, of course, dipped it in ketchup, and that’s just gross.
For the burger mixture I used:
2 pounds of ground beef
1/2 can of Guinness (drink the other half)
1 large vidalia onion (sliced)
Pepper and sea salt (to taste)
Cinnamon (a pinch or two)
Sharp cheddar cheese
Begin by browning the ground beef then strain. Add the sliced onion to the same skillet. Cook the onion is slightly soft. Add the ground beef, Guinness, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Simmer for 20 minutes. Cover and set aside to cool.
For the beer dough, I followed a simple recipe from Allrecipes.com; only I didn’t cook it.
Their exact recipe uses:
1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle beer (I used Guinness OF COURSE)
3 cups self-rising flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and flour. Add beer and continue to mix, first using a wooden spoon, then your hands. Batter will be sticky.
Some assembly required:
Spread a bit of flour on the counter to roll out the dough. “Once the dough is rolled out, cut the dough into squares, roughly 6 by 6 inches. Take a square of dough and roll it out a little bigger, roughly 8 by 8 inches” (from Foodnetwork.com).
Add a small handful of cheese to center of dough square. Add (about) 3/4 cup of ground beef mixture on top of cheese. Fold-in corners; overlapping each one. Pinch seams together. Place seam side down on a greased baking pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Tip: Since I only made four burgers, I had much beef mixture and bread dough leftover. I cut the dough into sections and put into freezer bags. I also added the remaining beef mixture into a freezer bag for future use.
If you try this, please let me know what you think. Especially, if you try a different version, please share. I’m always looking for new things to try.
This recipe is my version – inspired by my friend, Sami, Mama Lori Lauer at Lauer-Krauts, Brighton, CO., FoodNetwork.Com and Allrecipes.Com