One of my contributions to our Thanksgiving dinner. Pumpkin bread made from our Halloween pumpkins. When we carve our Halloween pumpkins, I always save the flesh we remove. I cook and freeze it for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Yummy.
I was in the mood for peanut butter cookies today. Which is crazy since I don’t even like peanut butter. But sometimes I get a hankering for it, so I found this flourless recipe and thought we’d try it out.
It’s a pretty simple recipe:
1 cup peanut butter
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 °.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
Make 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet about 2″ apart.
Gently press each ball with a fork to make a criss-cross pattern.
Bake for 10 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.
They were really gross. Way too peanut buttery for me. I guess they’d be great for someone who really likes peanut butter, like the rest of my family. They loved them.
Not me. Next time I think I’ll stick with regular oatmeal, cranberry, chocolate chip cookies. Now those are really yummy.
Today was my turn to send snack for Doodle’s class. Sometimes I ask him what he had for snack and I cringe when he says things like: Cheetos, candy bars, cookies, Lucky Charms cereal. Those types of junk food snacks are just empty calories that spike sugar levels. They teach kids to reach for sugary or salty empty snacks instead of something healthy, nutrient rich.
I sent in apple slices soaked in orange juice. And you know what? The kids LOVED them. Several came up to me after school and asked if I could bring them in the next day too.
1/2 onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
4-5 large potatoes, diced
5 cups water or ham stock (see note at the bottom)
2-3 cups chopped ham
1 can cream of broccoli soup
2 1/2 cups milk
6 tbs flour
salt/pepper to taste
1. Put ham stock in a pot, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer over med heat until veggies are soft, about 20 min.
2. While veggies are simmering, mix soup, milk and flour in a mixing bowl until smooth.
3. When the veggies are tender, add the soup mixture and the ham.
4. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20-30 more minutes, depending on how mushy you like your potatoes. I like mine pretty mushy, so I simmer mine for longer, about 30-45 min. Taste it and add some salt and/or pepper if you like.
To make the ham stock, put your leftover hambone in a large pot and add an onion, a celery stalk, a bay leaf or two and some parsley. Cover with water, bring it to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer it for several hours until all the meat has fallen off the bone. Remove any white foamy stuff that forms on top of the water. Strain out all the cooked bits and reserve the liquid. That’s your ham stock.
If you don’t like Cream of Broccoli, you can use another flavor.
Try adding some sweet potatoes in addition to white potatoes for a flavor variation.
Doodle’s using a REAL knife and he’s only in kindergarten. Today he helped me cut onions, potatoes, celery and carrots for our homemade ham chowder. He’s rather good with it too.
This is one of our favorite things to do together. He told me he wants to start a cooking show with me. He said, “You can be the chef, and I’ll be your assistant.” That sounds super cool to me.
Talk about YUMMY! This is definitely a favorite at our table.
1-2 lbs sweet potatoes, shredded or diced
1/2 cup finely diced onion
1/4 -1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp paprika or cumin or any other spice you would like
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup cottage cheese
Toppings (You can use any toppings that you like but I typically have these)
plain yogurt (use this instead of sour cream)
guacamole or plain sliced avocado
fresh chopped cilantro
1. Heat chicken broth over medium heat in a pot until steaming, then add sweet potatoes and onion, cook until desired softness, stirring often and adding more chicken broth if mixture gets too dry. I like mine mushy, so I cook ‘em for a while (about 30 min.) Once the sweet potatoes are soft, add spices and cottage cheese and cook until cheese is melted, about another 10 min.
2. Spray a large non-stick pan with cooing spray and heat over medium.
3. Now for the fun part, the quesadilla assembly. When the pan is nice and hot, place a tortilla in the pan, spread a layer of sweet potato mixture, smooth it out so that most of the tortilla is covered, top with avocado (or guacamole) salsa, yogurt, any other toppings you’d like, add a layer of shredded cheese and finish with the top tortilla. It doesn’t have to look pretty, because it will taste yummy. Flip the quesadilla over when the bottom gets nice and brown. Cook on the other side until it is also nice and brown.
4. Serve with any extra toppings you and your family like: plain yogurt, salsa, guacamole, chopped green onions…
Hope you enjoy!
Shredded vs. Diced Sweet Potatoes – either will work, diced sweet potatoes cook faster and become more mushy, shredded sweet potatoes take longer to cook and will retain some of its crunchiness. It just depends on what you prefer. I personally like the mushy better.
Filling the Quesadilla – you don’t want to add too much filling, because when you attempt to flip it over all the stuff will fall out. Not that that’s ever happened to me, never. I’ve never had a pan filled with gooey, cheesy, sweet potato mixture. Well, maybe only once or twice…
If you want to lessen the possible mess, only cover half of the tortilla with the sweet potato mixture and fold it over to make a half quesadilla. Then you only have to worry about the filling falling out on one side.
Sonja’s Healthful Swirl-Bits:
Use Chicken Broth instead of Oil for sauteing the sweet potatoes – Using chicken broth brings out the natural flavors of your food and is much healthier than oil.
Cottage Cheese – you may ask, “Why the cottage cheese?” It contains more casein protein, vitamins and minerals and has less fat than cheddar cheese. I use it as a way to increase the amount of protein in our meals.
Use Plain Yogurt instead of Sour Cream – Plain yogurt has less calories, less cholesterol, more protein, Vitamins and Minerals (especially Vitamin A and Folate).
I came across this article the other day and it got me thinking….How am I making a difference? It was time to be honest with myself, how many of these was I actually doing?
In short, here are the 9 things recommended to fix our food system:
- Drink fewer sodas and sweetened beverages
- Eat at home instead of eating out
- Tell schools to stop selling sodas and junk food
- Meatless Mondays! Go meatless at least one day a week
- Buy organic or sustainable foods with little to no pesticide use
- Protect family farms by visiting your local farmers’ market
- Make a point to know where your food comes from by reading labels
- Tell your lawmakers that food safety is important to you
- Demand job protections for farm workers and food processors, ensuring fair wages and other protections
In all honesty, I am big on numbers 1, 2, 4, and 7.
1. We very rarely drink sodas. We do drink juice, but not a whole lot.
2. We only eat out a few times a month. Mostly because I love to cook and when buying our groceries, I always read labels. Which leads me to number…
7. I am a HUGE label reader. Before I purchase most things, I read labels and take into consideration: nutrition facts, ingredients as well as food miles. The downside to reading labels is that my grocery trips can take longer, but my kids are pretty good and usually want to read the labels with me.
4. We have meatless meals probably 2-3 times a week. I’d like to do more, but I don’t like soy products and with my marathon training and exercising schedules, I feel like I really need the lean protein. But when purchasing meat, I am always looking for local and less processed products.
5. I do buy some organic at the grocery store, but it is still really expensive and not really within our weekly food budget. Which leads me to number….
6. I do go to local farmer’s markets when I can, since the prices are usually better than the grocery store. We have a few good ones here, as well as as few CSA’s.
I guess 6 out of 9 isn’t too bad.
Here’s the article, take a look for your self and think about what’s important to you and what you can change to make a difference.