Yummy Healthy Snack

Posted in food on November 16th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My husband and I have been enjoying this snack lately, and it’s healthy and easy to make.  You’ll need:

Apples – Type is up to you – we think Granny Smith tastes best for this.  I also tried it with Gala apples which are good, but I  don’t recommend softer varieties like Red Delicious.

Peanut Butter – We highly recommend natural peanut butter – Smucker’s makes some.  It’s a little more expensive than the standard variety like Skippy or Jif, but it contains only peanuts and a little salt – none of that other junk like hydrogenated oils, sugar, and who-knows-what-else.  The taste of real peanut butter is amazingly better than the junky kind too!

Grape Nuts Cereal

Basically, you just slice the apples, cover them with peanut butter(less if you’re watching your fat intake), and sprinkle with Grape Nuts – it’s really good!  And it’s great for a snack or light lunch for diabetics also because the protein in the peanut butter lowers blood sugar that might be elevated from the apples and cereal.  If you decide to try it, let me know what you think in the comments section!

Small Town Networking

Posted in Everyday Life on April 9th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

The other day, I had signed up to work the annual county business and industry show – this is my 4th year working the show; third year for working it for the community theater.  I always sign up for this job because I find it fun.  Lots of people in the theater thank me profusely for working it; I guess they don’t find it fun?  I wonder why I like it so much… Well, first of all, I get to hang out with adults all day – that’s a plus and not something I’m used to.  And there’s the food – Dairy Queen has a booth about 5 away from ours every year where they give away samples of ice cream cake – YUM.  And then there are the spice people in the gym – they give samples of delicious spiced chicken.  Also in the gym are the dairy farmers with their samples of cheese – usually, but I didn’t see them this year; darn economy, I guess.  But a new booth this year was Myro’s Pizza, and they were giving samples of their baked potato soup (for a donation – you can’t give that stuff away for free, it’s TOO good!).  Most of all, I like working the Business and Industry show because I like meeting people from the area, spreading the word about the theater, and just being a part of and learning about things going on  in the county.  I always see many people I know; people I haven’t seen in awhile and some I see every day, and that’s always fun.  I usually work the show with a friend beside me, and we can chat in between “customers”.  That person usually introduces me to people whom I’ve heard of but haven’t yet met which is also fun.

This was an exciting year; we were very busy until about 2-3 pm, and during the busy time, we had many people who were interested in our theater – from audience to backstage stuff to kids stuff to donating things – I saw interest in almost every facet of the theater.  And there was interest in auditions for parts in plays; including a male who sings.  Those are an endangered breed around these parts.  I sure hope he shows up for auditions for our musicals.
At our booth, we had a display of pictures from our last show.  A passer-by pointed at one and said, “He used to be my neighbor.”  And I said, “That’s funny, he used to be my neighbor too!”  Turns out, the lady has been my next door neighbor for 2 years, and I didn’t even know it!

And the Humane Society had 6 adorable 6-week-old kittens at the B and I show!  I want a cat so badly – I did research on the internet to find out if they’ve come up with some miracle cure for cat allergies, but they have not.  In fact, webmd.com kept saying that people with cat allergies should refrain from getting a cat.  That’s enough to stop me for now, but I don’t know for how long…

So anyway, it was a great show  – I did actually get a little bored, but only because the action slowed down right as my co-worker had to leave.  I read our theater’s cookbook cover-to-cover, which was nice because I’ve barely had a chance to look at it before now.  It’s a nice cookbook, and I’m going to try a recipe from it for game night – had another frustrating trip to Walmart to shop for the ingredients.  But I don’t want to go off on a Walmart tangent right now; things are calming down for nighttime.  I did notice that the cookbook has my peanut butter bars recipe (MMmmmm, peanut butter bars!) under Halloween treats, where they don’t belong as they’re just a regular dessert.  Oh well, they’re somewhat easy to make and really good – I have to make those again soon!

More Recipes

Posted in Everyday Life on October 13th, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

I sent some recipes to my sister and since I had to type them into the computer anyway, I will post them on my blog.  The first two are great for Thanksgiving, and the last one is a yummy version of lasagna that is great for moms to make because you can do the preparation while the kids are napping or eating lunch, and then it will cook all day in the crock pot.  Also, you make it with cottage cheese instead of ricotta cheese which can be expensive.  Enjoy!

Pearl Onions in Cream Sauce
1 – 10 oz pkg red or white pearl onions, peeled according to package directions
3 TBL butter or margerine
3 TBL flour
1 1/2 cups milk, heated almost to boiling point
2 TBL cream sherry (optional)
1 drop tabasco sauce
dash ground nutmeg
white pepper and salt to taste
chopped parsley for garnish
To cook pearl onions, drop peeled onions intoboiling water.  Cook for 10 mins. and drain.  To make cream sauce, melt butter or margerine over medium-high heat.  When melted, add flour, stirring constantly with wire wisk, until all butter is absorbed.  Turn heat to low and add milk slowly (make sure to continue stirring with the wire wisk).  Add sherry, tabasco sauce, nutmeg, pepper and salt.  Fold-in cooked onions and mix well.  Before serving, garnish with parsley.  Variations:  When folding cooked pearl onions into cream sauce, add 3/4 cup cooked green peas.  Makes 4-6 side dish servings.

Sweet Potatoes With Blue Cheese and Pecans
4 lbs sweet potatoes
3 TBL olive oil
6 sprigs thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
1 cup pecans
1 cup blue cheese

Combine sweet potatoes and oil in a roasting pan, sprinkle with thyme.  Roast for 30-45 min at 425 or until tender.  Transfer the sweet potatoes to a serving bowl.  Gently toss with pecans and cheese.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with remaining thyme.  Serves 6.

Crock Pot Lasagna
1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 – 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 – 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt (approx.)
12 oz uncooked lasagna noodles
12 oz cottage cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese (approx.)
16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

In a skillet, cook ground beef, onion and garlic until beef is browned.  Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano and salt.  When sauce is thoroughly warmed, spoon a layer of the meat sauce into the bottom of the crock pot.  Add a double layer of uncooked lasagna noodles, breaking to fit if necessary.  Top with a layer of each of the cheeses.  Repeat process until sauce, noodles, and cheeses are gone.  Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hrs.  NOTE:  My lasagna began to overcook a little before 4 hrs in the crock pot!

Spookybook Treats

Posted in Kids, Theater on August 21st, 2008 and tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Halloween is right around the corner…  ok it’s 2 months away!  But Halloween stuff is out all over the stores already, and while we’re planning our Haunted Tour for our community theater group, our other friends in the theater are getting ready to stage an hilarious (TANGENT ALERT: I HATE using the word “an” before words that start with h, but I guess that’s proper English, so…) production of the play called Kitchen Witches!  Someone had a great idea to sell a Halloween cookbook as a fundraiser for the theater.  Being a stay-at-home-mom of 4, I have a few holiday-themed recipes in my vault that are fun for the kids and adults (to eat), so I’m going to contribute my favorite Halloween recipes.  Since I have to type them up to submit to the cookbook anyway, I thought I’d put them on my blog, along with a recipe for one of my favorite desserts: peanut butter bars – YUM!

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
large pumpkins
seasonings (your choice)

Extract seeds from pumpkin, separate from pulp, and discard pulp.  Put the seeds in a colander and run water over them to get rid of all the pulp.  Drain on paper towels.  Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter and toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the butter and salt and / or seasonings.  Spread seeds out onto a cookie sheet.  Toast seeds in an oven preheated to 350° for about 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes and adding salt occasionally.  Check the seeds to see if they’re done by taking a sample out, letting it cool, and tasting it.  If the insides are dry, they’re done.  Be careful not to burn – you want a nice golden brown color.
NOTES:  I use a clean, thin dishcloth instead of paper towels since I’ve had problems in the past with the seeds sticking to the paper towels.  Be creative with the seasonings; you can use popcorn seasoning, taco seasoning, garlic salt, onion powder, cayenne pepper, cajun seasoning, etc.  Pumpkin seeds are high in iron, vitamin A, and zinc; if you want to make them even healthier use olive oil instead of butter.

Rice Krispies Treats Spiders
YIELD: 3-5 spiders
3 Tablespoons margerine or butter
1 package (10 oz. or about 40) marshmallows or 4 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups rice krispies cereal
food coloring
prepared frosting
candy corn
string licorice
shredded coconut

In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt margerine and marshmallows on high for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute.  Add a few drops of food coloring and stir mixture until smooth.  Add rice krispies cereal, stirring until well coated.  Let cereal mixture slightly cool until it is safe to touch.  With buttered hands, shape cereal mixture into spider shape and place on wax paper.  Let cool.  Attach decorations to the spider with frosting using candy corn for eyes, licorice for the web, and coconut for the hair.  You can color the coconut by soaking in warm water with a few drops of food coloring for about 30 minutes.  Dry coconut on a paper towel before using.

Peanut Butter Bars
1 lb. powdered sugar
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 sticks melted butter
12 oz. peanut butter

Mix all ingredients together in a 9×13 non-greased pan.  Melt large bag of chocolate chips and spread on top.  Cut into squares in pan and refrigerate until cold.