Monday, July 30, 2007

Viva Italia!

My mom brought me some tomatoes from their "garden" when she was visiting. Some of them were DELICIOUS cherry tomatoes, which I am finishing tomorrow on a BLT salad I'm taking to work for lunch. Some of the regular tomatoes, sorry don't know the variety, I have just eaten plain, but I wanted to try a recipe from Cooking Light. It is a tomato and parmesan strata that sounded delicious and had the beautiful colors of the Italian flag!I made this last week and thought I'd have it to myself because the roomie doesn't like tomatoes. Well, apparently, in this form, they are okay because I only had a taste and a half!!! I'm going to make some more this week and play around with the flavors. I thought that it was a good dish but wished that it had been less layered. There was a clear separation between the spinach, onion, and tomato and the bread. I'd also add a little more salt and herbs. Overall, though, this was great! And to top it off, it's good for you with LOTS of antioxidants! Thus, this is my entry to sweetnick's ARF Tuesday. Check out her site for more great recipes...and to wish her a Happy Birthday!!!! Tomato and Parmesan Strata
2 slices whole wheat bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 cup chopped seeded tomato (about 2 medium)
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place bread in bottom of 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add onion to pan and saute for 3 minutes or until tender. Add spinach and garlic, cooking 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Remove from heat.

Combine thyme, salt, black pepper, egg whites, and egg in medium bol; stir ith whisk. Stir in spinach mixture and tomato. Pour egg mixture over bread ubes and top with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until set. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Servings: 2, 2 cup servings
Calories 186, fat 5.9 g, protein 16.9 g, fiber 5.3 g

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Not so Peachy? Try Chocolate

As I mentioned, my family was in town last weekend. I knew that Philip, my brother, wouldn't eat the upsidedown cake, so I was looking for something he would eat. I wanted to do a Whopper cookie, but I didn't have any Whoppers. I decided to make some chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips in them. I think these turned out great and could be changed around to fit your tastes. These cookies are from The Cookie Bible. Suggestions for add-ins include chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, mini-kisses, mint chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and toffee. Take your pick and use this as a base batter. If you like brownies but want a cookies, this is a recipe to use! Design Your Own Chocolate Cookies
1 cup ( sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons anilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups AP flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1-2 cups of your preferred add-in
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat butter, sugars, vanilla, and salt until creamy. Add eggs and beat well. Stir together flour, cocoa, and soda. Gradually add to butter mixture. Mix in your add in. Drop onto cookie sheet in rounded teaspoons or tablespoons for larger cookies. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool slightly and remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack.
Interested in winning a new HDTV? Check out this contest at 5-minutes for Mom. This is sponsored by Best Buy and is running until August 17. Drop in and enter!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Peachy Keen!

This weekend was my last totally free weekend for about six weeks and my parents were here! Perfect timing! Philip had a friend get married and Mama took that as a chance to come down here and visit. We had a good weekend. We tried a new Mediterranean restaurant and then went to the local Greek restaurant for gyros. My dad says he won't get one anywhere else! It was all VERY good. SUnday, we had lunch with our friends Joanie and Bruce. I was responsible for dessert and wanted to do something new. I had a bunch of peaches from the farmers market and thought those would be good to use. After much searching I remembered by Dorie Greenspan book, Baking from My Home to Yours. She had a cranberry upsidedown cake and she gave a summer suggestion for peaches. The cake is not a normal plain cake, as noted by my dad. It has cinnamon in it, which really is noticable. I thought the cake was great. Nice and moist...and ARF friendly with the peaches and pecans. SO, this is my entry for Sweetnick's ARF-Tuesday. Stop by and see all the other great recipes. Peach Upside-Down Cake adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
1 cup AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I used a little bit more)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 sticks (14 T) unsalted butter, room temp (I actually used 3/4 stick margarine and 1 stick butter)
1 cup minus 2 T sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3 peeled, pitted, and sliced peaches
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together flour, powder, cinnamon, and salt.
Melt 6 T (3/4 stick) butter in small saucepan. Stir in 6 Tablespoons of sugar. Continue to cook and stir until boiling. Remove from heat and pour evenly in a 8X2 round cake pan. Sprinkle the nuts in the butter and arrange the peaches on top in a ring-like fashion.
Using a mixer, beat the stick of butter until smooth. Add the 1/2 cup sugar and continue to beat until pale (around 3 minutes). Add the eggs on at a time and beat for 1 minute after each addition. Pour in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients. Mix in milk then add the rest of the dry ingredients.
Spoon the batter over the peaches and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let this set for 30 minutes before flipping out so that juices settle in the cake. I actually left mine in the pan overnight, until lunchtime and it was great! We served it with cool-whip but it would be good alone, with ice cream, or with a glaze from jam.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

From Little Girl to M3

Yesterday I found out that I have passed my Step 1 exam! This means that I get to stay in my clinical rotations. Step1 is the national exam that covers everything from the first two years of medical school. I am super excited. When I was studying for this exam during the month of May, I had a craving for a meal that I rarely eat anymore but had a lot when I was little. I have no clue where my mom got this recipe or where the name comes from, but this is a kid-friendly recipe. Maybe the studying made me want familiar food from when I was "safe" with Mama and Daddy. Anyway, here is the recipe for... Tater Tuna Pie
1 cup flour
1/2 cup mashed potato flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter/margarine
3-4 Tablespoons water
1 can french fried onions (or less)
3/4 cup potato flakes
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons pimento (I've NEVER had it with this in it!)
1 can tuna (I use water packed)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I use 98% fat free)
1 egg Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine first four ingredients and blend until crumbly. Add water and stir with a fork until dough is moist enough to hold together and press into a pie plate. Sprinkle some of the onions on crust. Stir together filling ingredients, reserving 1/2 cup cheese. Put filling in crust. Bake 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese and onions over pie. Bake 5-10 minutes or until cheese melts. Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving. We always have this with broccoli.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Only Blue Around Here Has Been the Muffins

Well, after several months of NO RAIN, we have had rain about everyday for the past week and a half. I am NOT complaining, I like it and love my new PINK Totes umbrella from walmart for $9 ($17 at Target!). Anyway, there have been no blue skies here, but there have been some YUMMY blueberries. Each week I go to the farmer's market I buy some usually using them in my morning yogurt and for snacks. Twice I've bought a gallon and frozen quite a bit of them. Last week I saved some extra and made blueberry muffins. The recipe I decided to use is one from the Mississippi College cookbook. It's called favorite blueberry muffins and I can see why. These are not overly sweet and don't have anything special. They are just simple, moist blueberry muffins...they actually remind me a bit of what you would get in a mix but with that homemade touch! If you wanted to make these with Splenda, I'm sure that would work well. Because blueberries are FULL of antioxidants and, according to a recent article on MSN, will keep you young, this is my entry to Sweetnicks' ARF Tuesday. Check her site tomorrow for more great recipes! Favorite Blueberry Muffins from With Special Distinction
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1/2-2/3 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh blueberries (or 3/4 cup well-drained frozen berried, thawed)
1 cup pecans, broken (optional), I'm out of pecans, so I didn't do this Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease bottoms of 12 medium muffin cups. Beat eggs; stir in milk and oil. Mix in flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until flour is just moistened. Fold in blueberries into batter. Add pecans, if using. Fill muffins cups 2/ full. Bake for 20-25 minutes (I did 20) or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan. Yield: 12 muffins

Monday, July 09, 2007

Corny Goodness

For the fourth of July, I went to a party with my Sunday School class. They provided Bar-B-Q and we were to bring sides and desserts. I took Sharpe cookies with raspberry and chocolate swirl pieces and a yummy summer corn salad. I'm not sure where my mom got this recipe, but it's one of those that is PERFECT for a hot summer day. It is a cold shoepeg (IMPORTANT!) corn salad with green onions and tomato in mayonaise. You can use low fat (what we have in my house) or even fat free mayo; just be aware that, especially if you use fat free, this will get soupy. No worries, just use a slotted spoon to serve and it still tastes great! Because of the corn and tomatoes, this is my entry to Sweetnicks ARF Tuesday. Drop by her site for other great recipes! Shoepeg Corn Salad
2 cans shoepeg corn, drained
3-4 green onions, sliced (the whole onion)
1 tomato, chopped (I used two and think it could even use more if the tomatoes are small)
1 cup mayonaise (I used 1/4 cup fat free and 1/4 cup low fat...this 1/2 cup was PLENTY)
a few turns of the pepper mill
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir gently. Refrigerate and serve.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Busy, so Make Muffins

Last week was a busy week and then I went to a family reunion this weekend. It was such a good time. We mostly just visited and played with the babies (Madilynn, 7 mos. and Natalie, mos). We also played Wii! It was fun. I liked bowling and tennis the most. I wish we had longer to visit, but everyone has jobs they have to get back to. Maybe we'll get to see each other before next year. Anyway, I haven't done much cooking. I did roast some chicken last week. It's super easy. Just get some bone in, skin on chicken breasts, rub it with herbs and some olive oil (I even added some balsamic vinegar), then place the breasts on a roasting tray. Bake for about 30 minutes in a 400 degree F oven.

Yesterday I decided to make some muffins and remembered a cookbook I haven't tried new Fresh Everyday from Sara Foster. I found the pumpkin muffin recipe that I had seen earlier and pulled out my can of pumpkin. These were easy to make and made much more than the 12 "large" muffins she claim. Her large must be bakery large. I got 12 muffins, 12 mini-muffins, and four muffin tops. The result is a nice, spicy, not-too-sweet pumpkin muffin. I think that these would be a little better with brown sugar instead of regular and maybe even some molasses. I'll be freezing most of these to use later. Because pumpkin is so healthy for you, this is my entry to Sweetnick's ARF Tuesday. Drop by her site and check out the other great recipes that are sure to be there! Pumpkin Muffins adapted from Fresh Everyday
3 cups AP flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
6 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp (I used margarine)
2 large eggs
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups golden raisins (I used craisins)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare muffin tins. Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together. In a separate bowl, stir the sugar, butter, and eggs together. Stir in the pumpkin, milk, and raisins. Pour this into the bowl with flour. Stir until just moistened but not more than necessary. Using a 1/3 cup measure (or ice cream scoop, this is what I use) fill the tins to just below the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly touched. Cool for a few minutes before turning out of the tins. Serve warm with butter.