Saturday, March 31, 2012

That's a Wrap!

Ok, I've been meaning to blog about wrap sandwiches for a while, but I was always just a bit too hungry to get a good picture before I bit in (silly me)… but today worked out well so here goes!


I like to use Joseph's Lavash (a rectangular shaped flat wrap) or a large whole-grain tortilla, the one pictured uses a lavash.


Then I fill my wrap with the following types of things:


Meats: I like thin-sliced (or pressed or ultra-thin-sliced) meats, Hillshire Farms Ultra-Thin sliced meats are an example.  I like to use these because you get a lot of flavor but without spending a lot of calories.  I typically use about 2oz of meat (if I use any at all).


Cheeses: I like to use light spreadable cheeses, Laughing Cow Light is a good example & comes in several flavors.  These can be spread on the wrap to add moisture & flavor, but are low in calories.


Vegetables:  Here's where I go to town!!  I use a wide variety, some for flavor & some for texture… here is a (partial) list of what you might find in one of my wraps: Lettuce, Sprouts, Cucumber, Mushrooms, Celery (in picture above I left the stalks whole), Onion, Radishes, Carrots, Tomatoes, or whatever else might be hanging around in my vegetable drawer… I figure if I would/could normally eat it raw (like beets) then it can go in my wrap - and it keeps things interesting!


Condiments:  The following are low cal condiments which add a lot of spunk: Mustards (many varieties), Horseradish, Salad Dressings (two favorites: Walden Farms Bacon Ranch & Walden Farms Honey Dijon).


Other: Pickles - Dill, Spicy, Sweet, Bread & Butter….


On The Side: something to crunch & munch on.  This can be more vegetables, fruit, or low call chips/crackers.


Have fun with your light lunch!!


That's a Wrap!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cock-A-Leekie Soup


Wednesday dinner is usually soup, our schedules get a bit crazy & its something we can make ahead & grab when we have a minute… tonight was no different.


Tonight's soup was Cock-A-Leekie, a nice simple but incredibly flavorful soup, one of Jeff's favorites!


Ingredients:
  8 slices Bacon, cooked crisp, diced
  1 lb boneless/skinless Chicken Breast, diced
  2 1/2 cups Leeks, whites & some greens, 
       quartered lengthwise & sliced thin
  1 cup shredded/grated Carrot
  1 cup diced Celery
  1/2 cup Barley
  8 cups Water*
  2 Tbl + 2 tsp Better Than Bouillon Chicken*
     * Optionally: 8 cups of chicken broth/stock of your choice
Dry Spices:
  2 tsp Sea Salt
  1/4 tsp Whole Peppercorns
  1 Bay Leaf
Fresh Spices:
  2 Tbl fresh Thyme leaves, chopped slightly to release flavor
  2 Tbl fresh Parsley, chopped fine


Directions:
  Cook Bacon to very crisp (if not already cooked), pat dry to remove grease/fat, dice.  Grind dry spices together with a Mortar & Pestle.  Put all ingredients into a soup pot and cook for 30 minutes.  At this point if you'd like to keep it warm (for days like our crazy Wednesdays) you can transfer to a Crock Pot & leave it on Low.  Suggest enjoying it with a good bread, like this Sourdough.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sourdough Flatbreads

I got the idea from a post on Pinterest which lead here, and I love having options to use up excess Sourdough Starter, but as I normally do I had to make changes.  Here are two flatbread recipes, one more spongy & one more flat - depending on your desires.  Each of these recipes makes 2 large or 4 small flatbreads.  You will need a Pizza Stone (or the like) for this recipe, mine is about the size of a cookie sheet which allows me to make all the flatbreads at once, if yours is smaller you will only be able to do 1/2 at a time - for the Spongy variety you will have to add the Baking Soda to each half separately.


Sourdough Flatbread - Flat
Ingredients:
  3/4 cup Levian (sourdough starter)
  1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  1 tsp Sea Salt (if course grind it fine)*


Sourdough Flatbread - Spongy
Ingredients: 
  same as above + 1 tsp Baking Soda


* This results in a fairly salty flavored bread, reduce salt to your liking.


Directions:
Set a Pizza Stone (or the like) in the oven, heat to 450F and allow to be at that temp for about 15-30 minutes.  Cut parchment paper sized to fit on your Stone, place the parchment paper on a cookie sheet (this will only be used for transferring).  


Mix Levian, All Purpose Flour, and Sea Salt together in a bowl.  If making the Spongy variety mix in the Baking Soda just before preparing to bake.


Distribute the batter onto the parchment in 2 or 4 even amounts, spreading slightly to make circles.  For the Spongy type don't spread much.  The circles will grow a bit in the oven so leave a bit of room between (the Spongy type seems to grow more than the Flat).


Slide the parchment with the batter onto the Stone, close oven and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Remove from oven & allow to cool slightly before peeling the flatbreads off the paper.


Suggested uses: 


Sandwich, I put some good Hummus & some vegetables on the one above… (I used the Spongy recipe, and it broke a bit when folded)


Baked Flatbread, like this Caprese flatbread at right, I simply left the oven on & popped this back in the oven after placing my toppings… (I used the Flat recipe)



Monday, March 26, 2012

Chocolate Stout Bunt Cake

I had been browsing around Pinterest looking for ideas for a special dessert for my sweet hubby when I ran across this recipe for a Chocolate Stout cake.  I would love to be able to eat the original (I'm sure its quite delicious), but I really don't want to undermine all the work I've gone through to get to and stay at a healthy weight… oh to have the metabolism to eat whatever I want, or to be so good about exercise to be able to burn it off… but I had to "get real".  So instead of continuing to drool (I admit, I drooled) I decided to pursue the idea of making a cake with Chocolate & Stout, and though this doesn't resemble the original at all (nothing like it in fact) I wanted to at least give credit for inspiring me… so if you don't struggle with your weight/health & can indulge in the original go right ahead.

My recipe is very chocolatey, very dense, and very satisfying… its one of my higher-cal recipes, but still not terribly high.  I use a bunt pan that has lines separating out 18 portions - it keeps me honest and keeps me from eating too much.


Ingredients:
  1 1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
  1 1/2 cups uncooked Quick Oats
  1 cup good quality Cocoa
     (I like Penzeys Natural High Fat Cocoa)
  2 cups Sugar
  2 tsp Baking Powder
  1 tsp Salt
  1 Tbl Vanilla Extract
  14.9oz can Guinness Draught (Stout)


Preheat to 325F. Prep bunt pan (I use a springform bunt pan) with spray Crisco. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and blend well. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 50 minutes (estimated). Allow cake to cool on rack for 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate. Suggest topping with Fat Free Cool Whip (shown), sprinkling with powdered sugar, or serving with Vanilla Ice Cream.

Lamb & Barley Stoup

Stoup - somewhere between a Stew & a Soup…

In honor of a special day for my husband Jeff & I we're having Stoup… This is the variation we're having tonight…

Ingredients:
  1 lb Lamb Leg Meat, trimmed & cubed
  1 cup cut carrots
  2 medium parsnips, cut
  1/2 medium onion cut chunky
  1-2 stalks of celery, sliced thin
  1 cup sliced mushrooms
  2 small yellow squash (crook neck) sliced
  1/4 cup barley
  4-5 cups water
      (enough to cover meats/vegetables)
Spices:
  2 tsp coarse Sea Salt
  1/4+ tsp whole Peppercorns
  1 Bay Leaf (broken up)
  1/2 tsp dried Thyme
  1/2 tsp dried Parsley
  1 tsp dried Sage
      (leaf variety, if ground use 1/2 tsp)
  1 1/2 tsp whole Rosemary

Grind up spices in a mortar & pestle.  Throw all ingredients in a crock pot, stir, and set to High (6 hours) or Low (10 hours)…

Of course I have to encourage you to play with the ingredients… change out rice for barley, switch up the meats (beef, chicken, etc), change the vegetables (potatoes instead of parsnips, etc), spice it how it suits you… and enjoy!!

This is really good paired with a couple slices of good artisan bread...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pumpkin, Butternut & Sweet Potato Pancakes

These are my more daring Pancakes, and probably the last I will post for a while (I've kinda done a lot with Pancakes lately).  The following 3 recipes came from playing around starting with the Sour Cream Pancake recipe & replacing ingredients… I encourage you to also play around with your recipes & change them up from time to time, it keeps things interesting… at the very worst you might get some odd results, otherwise what's it going to hurt to try?


Pumpkin Spice topped with cooked Pears & Bananas
Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Ingredients:
  2 cups cooked/mashed pumpkin
  1 cup Egg Beaters
  3/4 tsp salt
  1 tsp baking soda
  1 Tbl sugar
  1 cup all-purpose flour

  2 tsp cinnamon (suggest Penzeys Vietnamese)
  1 tsp ginger
  1/4 tsp cloves
  1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (or 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Panclouds

This is something new… I had been making meringues and it got me thinking about creating a pancake-like item using whipped egg whites… just one of those "I wonder what would happen if…?" moments (I get those)… the result, something new & fun & tasty & light…


This recipe makes 1 Pancloud, 1 is enough for my breakfast but you may want more… adjust quantities as you need.
Blueberry & Banana Panclouds


Ingredients:
  2 egg whites
  2 tsp honey, divided
  2 Tbl all purpose flour


Whip egg whites on medium until soft peaks form. Stop mixer*, drop 1 tsp honey into middle of whites, restart mixer and continue to whip on medium until honey is incorporated and medium peaks form. Gently fold in flour, transfer to small skillet that has been very lightly sprayed with a spray oil (I used Hazelnut). Cook on Med-Lo heat, flip when exposed edges start to turn beige (bottom should be medium brown). Top with remaining honey. 


Variations - push soft fresh fruit gently into cake before turning heat on skillet. Try adding spices to make it more interesting.


Jeff & my favorite variation has a little bit of cinnamon & bananas pushed in… Yum!!


* If you don't stop the mixer you'll be sorry… the honey will end up on the sides of the bowl instead of incorporated into the whites (guess who tried it and found out the hard way).

Jambalaya

This is one of many possible variations of Jambalaya, spiced with my Cajun Spice.  This variation happens to have Shrimp & Ground Chicken (spiced with my Sausage Spice).


This serves 8, serve over cooked rice (or cooked squash if trying to lighten even more).


Ingredients:
  1 pound uncooked peeled & cleaned shrimp
  1 pound 99% fat free ground chicken (Smart Chicken is the brand available at my store)
  2 cups chopped onion
  2 cups chopped bell pepper
  1 cup chopped celery
  1 cup sliced carrots
  2 cups diced portobello mushrooms
  12 medium fresh tomatoes, diced
  1 1/2 Tbl Cajun Spice
  2 tsp Sausage Spice


Use a single large non-stick pot, sprayed with Olive Oil.  Cook the ground chicken together with the Sausage Spice.  Once the chicken is cooked add remaining ingredients, except tomatoes, cook until onions are translucent.  Add tomatoes, bring to a light boil, turn down heat and let simmer at least 1/2 hour (can simmer much longer)… if you'd like to at this point you can transfer to a crock pot that is set to Low.


Now have a bit of fun… change up the ingredients… mix up the meats… try different vegetables...

Sourdough Pancakes

Topped with Fresh Strawberries & Cool Whip Free
Mmm, Mmm, Mmm….


I wrote about experimenting with Sourdough pancakes a couple days ago, and here is the recipe.


These pancakes are a little lighter in texture than some of my others, I'm guessing this is due to how the baking soda interacts with the Sourdough starter.


I had the pictured pancake for breakfast this morning, and it sure was tasty!!


This recipe makes approximately 3 large (8.5"), 4 medium (7"), or 8 small (4") pancakes.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fun St Patrick's Day Treats



These are simple, cute, tasty, and go together very quickly…


Ingredients:
  Thin crispy cookies
  Hershey Kisses
  M&Ms or Reeses Pieces


Preheat oven to 200 F
Place cookie thins on parchment lined cookie sheet, place a Kiss in the center of each cookie.  Bake for 4 minutes, remove from oven and move to a rack to prevent kisses from over-melting. Place M&Ms or Reeses Pieces as shown (the stems are 1/2s), pressing them into the kisses.  Put in freezer to firm, once firm transfer to an airtight container for storage.

Sweet Potato Spice Cake

I mentioned a cake experiment I was trying a few days back, one that had my sweet-toothed sweet potato loving husband in mind.  


This is a bunt-style cake made with sweet potatoes, it is sweet & quite dense - and one of those cakes that gets better after sitting a couple days (re-warmed before eating).


Ingredients:
  1/4 cup crystallized ginger
  1 cup whole wheat flour
  1 cup uncooked quick oats
  1 Tbl baking powder
  2 tsp ground cinnamon (suggest Penzeys Vietnamese)
  1/2 tsp salt
  1/4 tsp ground cloves
  1 tsp ground ginger
  1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  1 1/2 cups cooked sweet potatoes (mashed up)
  1/2 cup Egg Beaters
  1/2 cup water
  1 cup sugar
  1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325.  Prep a bunt pan (I use a springform bunt pan) with spray Crisco, finely chop the crystalized ginger and sprinkle it in the pan (it will end up on the top of the cake). Blend together dry ingredients in a large bowl, if sweet potatoes are hot mix eggs in with dry ingredients. Blend together wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Add wet ingredients into dry, mix well, carefully pour batter into bunt pan (try to keep that ginger in place). Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 60-70 minutes. Allow cake to cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes before turning out onto a plate.

Suggested toppings: Cool Whip Free (fat free), Betty CrockerWhipped Cream Cheese Frosting, Vanilla Ice Cream.

Experimenting again...

I decided to do an experiment this morning… I started with the Crumpet recipe from yesterday and made some significant modifications in order to come up with a Sourdough Pancake recipe (I know, I could have looked one up on the web, but what fun is that?)… the results were Stellar!!


I need to get the quantities adjusted for a typical (4 large, 12 small) recipe, and I need to get pictures (yep, they were that good)… so sometime in the next couple days I'll do these again & post the recipe…


Stay Tuned!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sourdough Crumpets

This is not my recipe… the recipe originated here (I believe)… but I want to share this because its a great way to use up (instead of throwing out) excess Sourdough Starter.  Enjoy!!


This makes 8, if you only have 4 crumpet rings I suggest only doing 1/2 the recipe at a time (for best bubbles).


Ingredients:
  1 cup Sourdough starter
  1 tsp Sugar
  1/2 tsp Sea Salt (if course grind it fine)
  1/2 tsp Baking Soda


Whisk together Sourdough starter, sugar, salt.


Wipe a griddle with a bit of oil, if using Crumpet rings wipe them with oil as well (as you can tell by my pic mine still stick a bit - I'm thinking I might wipe with Crisco next time).  Place the griddle (with rings if using) on the stove and set the heat to Medium (or Med-Lo if an extra large burner), allow griddle and rings to warm.  Add in Baking Soda and Whisk to incorporate, you should notice the batter start to rise - this is due to the reaction of the Baking Soda with the acid in the batter.  Evenly distribute the batter in the rings, allow crumpets to cook until tops (shown above) appear dry, flip and allow tops to brown just slightly for a few seconds (this is a good time to work crumpets loose from the rings if they're stuck).  Cool on a rack if not eating right away, toast and top as desired - I like good jam/preserves on mine.


Update 4/19/12:  I just had a 1/2 batch of these for breakfast, today I topped mine with a smear of Chèvre & a bit of Orange Marmalade… Wow!  What a winning combination!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sour Cream Pancakes plus...

Sour Cream Pancakes & more

I've been having lots of fun with Pancakes lately, here is a recipe which both is both low cal and quite yummy… unlike my Soda Pancakes these are not Vegan, but the plain Sour Cream ones taste more like traditional pancakes (yep, like Mom made) than my Soda Pancakes…


Sour Cream Pancakes
(makes 4 large or 12 small)


Ingredients:
  2 cups fat free sour cream
  1 cup Egg Beaters
  3/4 tsp salt
  1 tsp baking soda
  1 Tbl sugar
  1 cup all-purpose flour


Wisk all ingredients together in a bowl.  At this point the batter will be a bit thick, you can use the batter thick if you want to experiment with making Waffles; otherwise, thin the batter with a bit of water or soda-water until you have a pancake batter consistency.  Wipe/spray griddle/skillet with oil, put on Medium heat (large burner), wait until a drop of batter sizzles on the griddle. Pour by 1/4 cups for small pancakes, 3/4 cups for large.


Now for the fun part… Variations!!


Add flavorings like vanilla extract, almond extract, banana extract… or spices… add nuts… etc.


A variation I like is my Sour Cream Applesauce pancakes, which are identical to the recipe above except that the Sour Cream is reduced to 1 cup and 1 cup of Applesauce is added.


Top with fruit, jam, syrup, powdered sugar… whatever!


Enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Pi Day!!



No, I didn’t whip up this pie this morning, this is a pic of a pie I made at Thanksgiving... but I just couldn’t resist blogging about Pie on Pi Day (March 14th, 3/14, 3.14... its a geek thing)…


Recipe will be coming later, for now just enjoy the pics… and remember…


Happy Pi Day!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chicken & Apple Sausage Curry


This is a simple one-pot meal that is chock full of good healthy ingredients, we had a variation of this last night for dinner accompanied with a fresh salad and some home made Sourdough bread.


Ingredients:
  Spray Olive Oil
  1 medium Onion, chopped
  1/4 pound Red Bell Pepper
  1/2 pound Green Beans, cut into pieces
  2 cups diced uncooked Sweet Potato
  4 Chicken & Apple Sausages (I use Aidell’s brand), cut into pieces
  2 tsp Curry powder
  1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/2 tsp of dried if you don’t have fresh)
  1 tsp ground Coriander
  1/8 tsp ground Cloves
  1/8 tsp ground Cayenne
  2 cups Water
  1 Tbl All-Purpose Flour.

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes


This is a variation of my basic Soda Pancakes recipe…


Pic is of Soda Pancakes
Ingredients:
  8 oz (by weight) all purpose flour
  2 Tbl sugar
  2 tsp baking powder
  1 tsp salt
  1 banana, mashed
  1/4 cup Nestle Mini-Morsels
  Sparkling water (see instructions)

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, add mashed banana and stir, slowly wisk in soda until batter is pancake consistency. Prep non-stick griddle (spray very lightly with oil if needed), heat on Medium until a drop of batter makes a light sizzling sound - then its ready.  Flip cakes when 90% of bubbles on first side have burst, leave cakes on only a minute past that point. If cakes are too dark reduce heat, if too light increase heat.

Banana Spice Pancakes

This is a variation of my basic Soda Pancakes recipe…



Pic is of Soda Pancakes
Ingredients:
  8 oz (by weight) all purpose flour
  2 Tbl sugar
  2 tsp baking powder
  1 tsp salt
  1 banana, mashed
  1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1/4 tsp ginger
  1/8 tsp nutmeg
  Sparkling water (see instructions)

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, add mashed banana and stir, slowly wisk in soda until batter is pancake consistency. Prep non-stick griddle (spray very lightly with oil if needed), heat on Medium until a drop of batter makes a light sizzling sound - then its ready.  Flip cakes when 90% of bubbles on first side have burst, leave cakes on only a minute past that point. If cakes are too dark reduce heat, if too light increase heat.

Soda Pancakes

This recipe is my own invention, and was the result of ideas planted by some friends on Weight Watchers… they make a box cake by simply mixing it with a diet soda instead of adding eggs & oil.  So I thought "hmmm, I wonder if that could be done for pancakes?" and I developed this recipe.  Since then I've gone a bit pancake crazy (as you'll see as I continue to post), but since these were my first these will be the ones I start with.  These are very basic, are free of animal products (I sense my Vegan friends smiling), and can be used as a basis for many pancake experiments.  The following makes 3-4 breakfast sized servings (depending on the size of the appetites).


Jeff ate the pretty ones before I got a pic :)
Ingredients:
  8 oz (by weight) all purpose flour
  2 Tbl sugar
  2 tsp baking powder
  1 tsp salt
  Sparkling water (about 8 oz or so - see instructions)


Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly wisk in soda until batter is pancake consistency. Prep non-stick griddle (spray very lightly with oil if needed), heat on Medium until a drop of batter makes a light sizzling sound - then its ready.  Flip cakes when 90% of bubbles on first side have burst, leave cakes on only a minute past that point. If cakes are too dark reduce heat, if too light increase heat.


Top with topping of choice… I typically use fresh fruit or fruit-only preserves, though occasionally I'll add syrup… you know what you like :)


Variations: you can do all sorts of things with these…
Two variations I've posted are: Banana Spice Pancakes, and Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Time to take a break...

I've been working on this blog all day, only took breaks for a (very late) breakfast & for dinner… I promised my hubby I was going to make a cake tonight - its a recipe I've created but haven't had the chance to make - so in order to keep my hubby happy (he's generally a happy guy anyway) I think I'd better spend a bit of time making the cake… if it turns out good you may be seeing a post of it tomorrow… hint: my hubby (Jeff) loves sweet potatoes.


Until the next post…


Tuesday morning update:  I tried out my new recipe & it is Jeff-approved, but I want to make a couple tweaks before publishing (I get picky about some things…).  I'll post pics & a recipe when I get it right :) 


On to other things...

Egg Scrambles

An Egg Scramble Breakfast

Each is made with 3/4 cup Egg Beaters, cooked in a small skillet sprayed with Butter Flavored Pam.  I typically have fruit & perhaps some cereal or oatmeal with my Egg Scrambles.

Variations:

Simple Scramble: scramble Egg Beaters, remove from pan, salt & top with Tabasco (for spicy), salt & sprinkle with Penzey's Sunny Paris seasoning (nice herb flavoring), or play around & find your own spices of choice.

Cheesy Scramble: scramble Egg Beaters, remove from pan, top with cheese of your choice (See my Standard Basic Omelets if you’re looking for ideas).

Veggie/Meat/Cheese Scramble: this is essentially the same as a Standard Basic Omelet, but the Egg Beaters are poured in over the cooked the veggies/meat and allowed to cook, then remove the mixture from pan & top with cheese.

My Chèvre / Cream Cheese Omelets


(Note: Where Chèvre is called for you can replace with equal amounts of Light Cream Cheese.)

Spray skillet with Butter Flavored Pam, shake Egg Beaters, measure out 3/4 cup, cook on Med-Low heat until edges around pan are relatively firm & center only has a little bit of liquid remaining. Flip Egg Beaters in one piece, place 1 oz of Chèvre on one side of circle, add other ingredients based on the variation chosen below. After a minute or two fold omelet over, after another minute or two flip omelet onto its other side, its done in another minute or two.

Variations:

Herby Chèvre omelet - Fresh herbs or dried herb blends (like Penzeys Tuscan Sunset or Sunny Paris) and Salt.

Sweet & Salty Chèvre omelet - add 1 Tbl of honey & 1 Tbl of Roasted Salted Sunflower Seeds.  If you prefer more saltiness add more salt.

Fruit Sweet Chèvre omelet - add 2 Tbl of Scandinavian Delights fruit spreads (or your favorite jam/preserves).

Fresh & Fruity Chèvre omelet - add fresh Raspberries, fresh Mint leaves (a few torn into bits), and 1 Tbl of honey.

Fresh & Fruity & Salty Chèvre omelet - add fresh Raspberries, fresh Mint leaves (a few torn into bits), 1 Tbl of Roasted Salted Sunflower Seeds, and 1 Tbl of honey. If you like more saltiness simply add salt.

My Standard Basic Omelets


A Typical Breakfast
Here are some Standard Basic Omelets, I have done these in countless variations. I try to keep things light in calories but filling and satisfying, and I almost always have some fruit on the side.


Dice up omelet vegetables* & spray a small skillet with Butter Flavored Pam, cook on medium until desired texture. If omelet meats** are desired dice (for bacon cook ahead of time) & add to vegetables toward end of cooking time.

* omelet vegetables -  I use a variety of different vegetables, but typically I use 2-3 of the following: 
      onion
      bell pepper
      mushrooms
      tomatoes
** omelet meats - I use a variety of different types of meats (when I bother to add meat), the following are some good options:
      Bacon: 1 slice cooked crispy
      Leftovers (the one pictured above used a little leftover steak)
      Hillshire Farm Ultra Thin lunch meats I like (I use 2 oz): 
          Honey Ham
          Turkey
          Pastrami

Grilled Vegetables


This is easy & the variations are endless, here's a favorite at our house. This serves 2
(can serve more) and is very healthy. The Portobellos in this combination add a
flavor that combines well with grilled meats like beef & pork.

Ingredients:
  2 large Portobello Mushrooms
  1/2 medium Onion
  1 medium Zucchini or Yellow Crookneck Squash
  1 medium Bell Pepper (yellow, orange, or red)
  1/2 Tbl Olive Oil
  Spices & Salt & Pepper to taste. *

Cut all vegetables into strips (depending on length, may want to cut squash strips in 1/2
or 1/3) & place in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 Tbl Olive Oil & stir gently to coat. Add
Spices & Salt & Pepper, stir gently to coat. Place into a grilling basket & grill to desired
doneness.

* We like a combination dried of Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Parsley, Sea Salt & Whole
Peppercorns freshly ground with a mortar & pestle.

Now play with it, vary the vegetables, vary the spices, and see what you come up with!!

My First Sourdough!!


My first Sourdough Loaf

I've been making my own Artisan Bread for about a year now, but this is my first loaf of Sourdough… isn't she pretty??


I had found a Sourdough Starter recipe on Pinterest that didn't use any pre-prepared yeast, but rather relied on more natural processes to get yeast started, I like that.  You can find the recipe for that starter here.  I have since varied the starter a bit, and occasionally add a bit of local honey to spunk it up... once you get started you can try your own variations.  That said, I suggest you just start off with a basic starter.


I mentioned I’ve been making Artisan Bread for a while, I got started using Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio, but have since diverged into my own way of doing things (I can never just leave things alone).  If you’re new to bread making I suggest this book as a starting point, he gives excellent information and advice.


My Sourdough Bread:

Fresh Tomato & Basil Soup


This is a simple soup that's tasty & low cal, this recipe makes 2 meal-sized servings or 4 side-servings.  This is a good lunch option, and some ideas follow the basic recipe to pump it up into more of a dinner option.

Ingredients
  2 tsp Better Than Bouillon Vegetable *
  2 cups water *
    (* optionally, 2 cups vegetable stock)
  4-5 Roma Tomatoes cut into 1/2" cubes
  1 cup grated Yellow Squash (Crook Neck or Zuchinni)
  Italian Spices (I like Penzeys Tuscan Sunset) & Salt & Pepper to taste
  2 Tbl (6-7 leaves) chopped fresh Basil

Throw everything but the Basil into a pot, bring to a boil then lower temp to simmer, simmer 1/2 hour. After cooking stir in chopped fresh Basil. Can be garnished with fresh grated Parmesan.

Variations:  Have Fun With It & Break The Rules!!!