Quick Monday Tip (on Tuesday)

Hi Everyone Lisa here!  Do you ever have time get away from you and suddenly realize that thing you were suppose to do should have happened yesterday?  That happened to me this week and it is only Tuesday! Oh well, moving on. Today’s tip is about buying fresh fruit.

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  • When you go to pick something out take a quick whiff of it, if it doesn’t smell like the fruit you are purchasing most likely it won’t taste much like it either. Of course it is not fool proof but is generally a great indicator for a delicious and tasty choice!
  • This little test does not work particularly great with watermelon so here is another tip for those.  It may sound strange but I know it works, I have seen it in action. (Think water dowsing)
    • Go find a loose broom straw (needs to be real, not plastic/artificial) from the cleaning aisle. Place the straw on the top of the melon, if the straw moves it is an indicator of a juicy fruit, and will usually be delicious as well.

Homemade Orange Julius

Hi Everyone, Lisa here this week while Jessi is vacationing.  Just in time for raising temperatures we have refreshing, cool, and tasty beverage from Christina – Orange Julius!

 

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Blend all of the following together (serves 3-4):
1/2 can of frozen concentrate orange juice (6fl ounces)
1/2 can evaporated milk (5fl ounces)
1/2 cup regular milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 – 1 1/2 water (if you like it strong don’t put any water but let the ice mellow it out, add just enough ice that the color slightly changes – this is how Christina usually makes it – thick with a stronger flavor 🙂 )
6-7 ice cubes (if too runny add more to thicken)
Enjoy All!
Thanks for sharing Christina!

Dutch Babies

Happy Wednesday All! Lisa here, this week I’m sharing a favorite breakfast dish – Dutch Babies, aka German Pancakes.  One thing I love about this simple dish is that it is very easy to adjust to whatever number of servings you want.

Sorry for the blurry photo, but it still gives a general idea of what  baked version looks like.

Sorry for the blurry photo, but it still gives a general idea of what baked version looks like.

Here are the basics:

For each serving, or per person

(If I’m making one just for me I usually do two eggs worth)

  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Flour

Optional, but yummy additions per serving

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Generously grease pan, melted butter is especially delicious (1-2 Tablespoons per 4 servings), but Pam spray works as well.  Any kind of pan will work, my favorite is a pie dish.  I have heard muffin tins are great for single servings, but I have not experimented yet with this.

Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until smooth.  I find layering the ingredients in the blender to be helpful, ie wet (egg), dry (flour), wet (milk).  Pour mixture into greased pan.  Baked for 20-25 mins.

Serve plain, or add a dusting of powdered sugar or maple syrup.

Happy Eating!

Lisa

Flexitarian – It’s actually a thing!

Hey Chums! Did you look at this work and think “Flex-it-what?” If you did, you’re not alone! Apparently this is an actual term used in the food world! Now that I know it exists, I suppose I could call myself a Flexitarian, along with some of you I’d guess!

When I make my meal plan for the week, I generally try to plan at least 1 vegetarian dinner, and I find that when I do I feel more healthy! Whether that’s all in my head or not is beside the point, but both Mayo Clinic and Web MD back up my claim. Eating a meatless meal doesn’t have to be boring! Below are my top 10 favorite vegetarian dishes…not necessarily in any particular order. Please share your favorite vegetarian dishes in the comments!!

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1. Falafel Pitas: In my pitas I added spinach, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese..and of course the Tzatziki sauce and Falafel!

2. Goat Cheese and Leek Tart: No modifications, this one is STELLAR! I like to serve this with a spinach salad similar to this one.

3. Quinoa Taco Bake: Don’t let the Quinoa scare you, it makes a fantastic meat substitution in this Mexican dish!

4. Black Bean Mango Tacos: This is technically a tostada recipe, but I always just make them into tacos. Definitely add cilantro and avocado!

5. Quinoa Patties: These are also yummy with a side salad!

6. Crunchy Quinoa Thai Salad: So much quinoa! I guess you can say I’m a fan. My little James also LOVES quinoa! Anyway, I love LOVE this salad. So many vegetables, and it’s packed with flavor! I still haven’t figured out what to serve with this one..but I’m fine eating it by itself.

7. Black Bean Avocado Enchiladas: The enchilada sauce MAKES this dish. Secret ingredient? Cocoa!

8. Chipotle Bean Burritos: A nice upgrade from the traditional bean burrito.

9. Veggie Pizza: Use your favorite pizza crust, sauce, and cheese and load it up with vegetables from your fridge. I like to use spinach, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, and olives.

10. Spinach and Feta Cheese Omelette: Again, add any extra veggies available in the fridge!

Fruity Curry Chicken Salad

Photograph by Recipe Girl

This week’s recipe was provided by Ashley (created by Recipe Girl), and it looks totally scrumptious! With spring coming just around the corner, who wouldn’t want a delicious twist on the more standard chicken salad sandwich? I know I’m excited to give it a try! Ashley had success with this recipe using the following modifications: she didn’t include raisins (craisins could be a good alternative, if you’re into that!), no pineapple, added almonds, and used a pita pocket instead of the lettuce wraps. Try this one out, and let us know how you like it!

Fruity Curry Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

SALAD:
2 cups cooked and diced chicken breast
3/4 cup halved red grapes
1/2 cup diced celery
1 medium Golden Delicious apple, diced
1/2 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1/3 cup golden raisins
4 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons crushed pineapple

DRESSING:
3/4 cup mayonnaise (light is okay)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

FOR SERVING:
lettuce leaves (butter lettuce works well)

Directions:

1. Place salad ingredients in a medium bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Add the dressing to the salad and mix well. Chill until ready to serve (or serve immediately). Scoop onto lettuce leaves for serving. The chicken salad may also be spread between two slices of bread or onto a croissant and served as a sandwich.

TIPS:

*If you are preparing this recipe as gluten-free, just make sure you use brands of canned pineapple, mayonnaise and soy sauce that are known to be gluten free. Serve on lettuce leaves or gluten-free bread.

Giveaway Prize Revealed!

Get excited for Kitchenchums’ first Giveaway prize! This prize will include an 8×8, hardcover book, with over 125 ideas on decorating sugar cookies, as well as some fun decorating accessories!  Remember your name will be put into the Giveaway drawing for each recipe you make, so make sure to add these ingredients to your shopping lists and get busy cooking! Here’s a sneak peak of the book!

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The Master Chocolate Chip Cookie

Lets start off Kitchenchums with a classic; a chocolate chip cookie! Not only a chocolate chip cookie, but the chocolate chip cookie. Whether it’s the abnormal measurements, or the mixing method, this really is one of the most successful recipes I’ve tried! Thanks, Mom, for sending me the recipe! And thanks, HappyMoneySaver, for creating the recipe! For a fun Valentines twist, add some Valentines M&M’s!

Master Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 ¼ cups real unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 (11.5 oz.) bag Ghiradelli chocolate chips, or other quality chocolate chips
 Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix to combine and set aside.
  3. Using paddle attachment on mixer, cream butter and sugars together just until blended.
  4. Add eggs, one a time, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Add the vanilla.
  6. Put mixer on low speed, and add in dry ingredients.
  7. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  8. Stir in chocolate chips by hand gently.
  9. It’s best to make bigger cookies for the right texture – Use a 4 Tablespoon size scoop to form your cookies.
  10. Place on cookie sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the edges are browned but the middle is still slightly undercookied; finish cooking on the cookie sheet while they cool, then move them to a cookie rack to continue cooling.
  11. If freezing these cookies: Form into balls, and freeze on a cookie sheet. After frozen remove and add to a ziploc freezer bag. They will last for about a month in the freezer. To bake just take out and bake as directed, adding a few extra minutes of baking time.