Let me make this emphatic disclaimer, from the outset. THIS is decadently creamy, richly delicious and soul-satisfying, once-in-a-blue-moon dessert. It is NOT what we eat everyday, (but, oh Baby, you will be tempted. :) ) and no one is more aware than myself, that it has no redeeming health properties, whatsoever. Please don’t send me [...]
Let me make this emphatic disclaimer, from the outset. THIS is decadently creamy, richly delicious and soul-satisfying, once-in-a-blue-moon dessert. It is NOT what we eat everyday, (but, oh Baby, you will be tempted. :) ) and no one is more aware than myself, that it has no redeeming health properties, whatsoever. Please don’t send me email. I’ll be forever grateful. :) That being said, proceed with great delight and prepare to enjoy a little slice of heaven! When you make this for guests, they will swoon. Your kitchen will become hallowed ground and people will travel to pay homage to your cast iron skillet. Well…maybe not travel…but they WILL tell people. And, they’ll want seconds!
As is often the case for me, a recipe first jumps out at me from a photo on Pinterest and this yummy pie did exactly that. It led me to a recipe called Mamaw Pie over at I Should Be Mopping the Floor. I could tell, right away, that Kristi and I have the same love of cooking and the photos on her blog just sort of sucked me into this dazed pinning frenzy, which delayed my preparing this recipe for a day or two. As always, I put my own spin on things, using ingredients my family enjoys or that I had on hand, but Kristi’s Mamaw is my hero and most definitely the inspiration for this new special occasion family recipe. Enjoy!
When you need a quick snack that everyone will love and doesn’t involve tons of dirty dishes, this hot crusty Italian loaf with drippy, melty Jack cheese, bacon and green onions will drive your family wild! It’s deliciously simple, but definitely party-worthy. It will be the hit of any hor d’oeuvres table you contribute to. At [...]
When you need a quick snack that everyone will love and doesn’t involve tons of dirty dishes, this hot crusty Italian loaf with drippy, melty Jack cheese, bacon and green onions will drive your family wild! It’s deliciously simple, but definitely party-worthy. It will be the hit of any hor d’oeuvres table you contribute to. At any party where you arrive carrying it, you’ll be going home empty-handed and it will be the MOST requested recipe of the night. Some time ago, I pinned a recipe from keyingredient.com and when I recently had time to test it out, you know I had to put my own spin on it. The basic premise is ingenious and there are so many different ways you could take this by changing up the cheese, the toppings, etc. I’m envisioning a pizza pull apart or a nacho pull apart or maybe even a cinnamon roll pull apart that wouldn’t use cheese at all. Go crazy! This recipe will make you famous in your neighborhood! lol Yes, ma’am, it’s THAT good! You’re only five ingredients away from YUM! So here’s my twist on a great idea. Enjoy!
I received a bottle of Pompeian Grape Seed Oil in order to test it in my own kitchen and gather information for this post. My recipes, below, are entered in a contest and I could win an all-expense paid trip to BlogHer Food ’13. No monetary compensation was received for this post and a positive review [...]
I received a bottle of Pompeian Grape Seed Oil in order to test it in my own kitchen and gather information for this post. My recipes, below, are entered in a contest and I could win an all-expense paid trip to BlogHer Food ’13. No monetary compensation was received for this post and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own.
I’ve apparently been living under a rock somewhere, with no access to the most vital outside information. How could I have missed this? Do you know about grape seed oil? I’m ashamed to admit, until last week, I had never heard of it. So, I did a little online investigating and was shocked to see that, apparently, EVERYONE except me already knows about it and is excited about the potential health benefits, as well as using it to replace butter in their favorite recipes.
Grape seed oil is made by pressing the discarded seeds of grapes, left after wine making. Some of the articles I read, suggest that grape seed oil has some pretty impressive health benefits since it is rich in Vitamin E, flavonoids, Vitamin C, antioxidants and beta carotene. It may be helpful in regulating blood sugar and protecting the body from health problems caused by free radicals. Because grape seed oil can suppress the production of histamine, there are even studies being conducted to see if it might be helpful in reducing the effects of allergies and asthma. It is also used in many skin care products, since it has astringent properties that help to tighten skin. Some people have found it helpful in treating acne and that it may protect skin from the sun. It’s easily absorbed by the skin, since it is so light and many believe it is particularly good for skin around the eyes.
When it comes to cooking, I had no difficulty discerning grape seed oil’s benefits, on my own. It’s a very light oil and I found that whether I was making sweet or savory dishes, the oil did not overpower or change the flavor in my recipes, at all. It has a very high smoke point, higher than butter or olive oil, and that means it may also work as an alternative to butter for frying, stir frying and even deep-fat frying. I haven’t had a chance to use it in any dressings or vinaigrettes, yet, but because it is such a light oil, without any overpowering flavors to compete with other ingredients, I think it would be a delicious complement in most salad dressing recipes.
I’m not going to lie. When it comes to replacing butter in my recipes, I’m a hard sell. I love what butter does for flavor and texture, when I’m cooking or baking. And if you’ve been around the blog for very long, you know that from my recipes. So, to really put Pompeian Grape Seed Oil to the test, I decided it was not going to be enough to try it in just one recipe. I wanted to replace butter in both a savory and a sweet recipe, to see the results. My two recipes that I believe are most dependent on the butter for the reasons, mentioned above, are Chocolate Butter Cake and my Better than Cream of Chicken Sauce. I altered both recipes to substitute grape seed oil for the butter. No one was more surprised than me! Texture and flavor were virtually unchanged in both recipes. The cake was not quite as moist as when we make it with butter, but the flavor was spot on and the whole family loved it. There was no detectable difference in the sauce. It was absolutely perfect. I think you will love BOTH these recipes; and when it comes to savings, ounce for ounce, grape seed oil is slightly less expensive than butter. Money savings AND good for both baking and stove-top cooking –it’s hard to argue with success! Enjoy!
TIP: When substituting oils for butter, in baking, I use a ratio of ¾:1. For example, if your recipe calls for 1 cup of softened butter, substitute 3/4 cup of oil. Otherwise your baked goods may be too “soupy” and not set up correctly. For stove top cooking, I use a 1:1 ratio (equal amounts of oil substituted for butter).
We love Mexican food in this house. We’ve discovered, though, that we probably prefer an Americanized version of it. The few times we have had the opportunity to sit down in an “authentic” Mexican restaurant, we have left disappointed in the flavors and go back to our favorites. The problem is that, with the Americanized [...]
We love Mexican food in this house. We’ve discovered, though, that we probably prefer an Americanized version of it. The few times we have had the opportunity to sit down in an “authentic” Mexican restaurant, we have left disappointed in the flavors and go back to our favorites. The problem is that, with the Americanized versions, you never know exactly what you’re getting. We are so conditioned to processed foods, in the United States, that we hardly recognize them and their dangers, anymore, as we’re eating. The beauty of the authentic Mexican food is that it is cooked with whole food ingredients, from scratch, and you know exactly what is going into it. That’s what I’m trying to do, more and more, in my own kitchen. (With the exception of tortillas. Oy! I still haven’t mastered them, yet.)
So, refried beans are a staple in our house. My kids will eat them for a quick snack, spread on a tortilla like peanut butter, then cover the beans in grated cheddar, roll the tortilla and pop it in the microwave to melt the cheese and heat the beans. These have been fondly dubbed, “Cheesies”, after a similar dish in a local restaurant. We also like them in beef and bean burritos, bean burritos or in tacos. They make a fabulous beginning layer in our favorite layered Taco Dip recipe and there are tons of other uses.
I used to buy refried beans, canned, but I never will, again; and it won’t be for the reasons you’re thinking. I’m not opposed to fat in our diet. I never bought the so-called low-fat or vegetarian beans. Our bodies are crying out for healthy fats — whole food fats that can nourish our immune and nervous systems, create strong cell membranes, aid in digestion, provide energy and work to help detoxify the liver. The politically correct demonization of saturated fats in America has not led to a healthier, stronger, less obese population. It has turned the unknowing public to fake fats, artificially created and hydrogenated, that our bodies don’t know how to utilize and it has introduced toxins and free-radicals into our systems. Free radicals are cancer-causers, and wreak havoc on our bodies, at a cellular level. Look around you at the large number of Americans who struggle with their weight. Most of them are drinking diet sodas, eating fat-free bagels, lowfat yogurt, reduced-fat milk and dairy products, and unwittingly, continuing to support a billion dollar food industry lie, because they’ve been told it’s good for them. The foods they are putting in their bodies are mixtures of chemicals, genetically modified foods and “enriched” ingredients. Do we look like it’s been good for us? Heart disease, cancers, and diabetes aren’t “going away” with the use of these products, obesity is on the rise and more and more of our children have allergies, diabetes and weight issues. Clearly there has to be a better way. I’m not a scientist, but I inherently know that food in the form God created it for our nourishment, and in balanced and common-sense serving sizes, must be the answer we’re missing. That doesn’t sell products, though. And the money created in this toxic industry has created something we never anticipated — powerful, conglomerates that have the money to pass legislation that protects them from the truth and limits our ability to know what they are trying to feed us. It’s madness. And it’s definitely time to take control of your own food supply, again.
The problem is that now, even though we recognize what’s happening, it’s difficult to change, because the majority of the food available in local grocery stores and markets is laden with genetically modified corn and soybean products, sugar, polyunsaturated oils, hydrogenated fats and tons of chemicals we can’t even pronounce. Those are the cheap, affordable products that tempt and woo us, from the shelves. It costs more to purchase whole, untainted foods, in the short-term, but what you’ll save in medical bills and time lost from work due to illness, over the long-term, will more than make up for it. Plus, with careful planning, buying local and seasonal whole foods and watching sales and coupons, many are surprised to find that these healthier foods don’t have to increase their grocery budgets. Be informed, buy smart, eat normal portions, not super-sized, and consume the flavor-dense, whole and natural foods that build health and vitality. You can do this! It’s never been more critical to know what we’re feeding our families. It’s hard to know who to trust and where to get the truth, but I have been studying a fantastic book, backed up by a lot of science and common sense, that debunks what we’ve been “taught” about food and health. I would recommend Nourishing Traditions as a must-read for your family’s health and to help you navigate the sea of myths, lies and misconceptions about our food supply, as well as what is critically necessary to properly nourish our families. Plus, it’s full of delicious and nutritious recipes.
And you thought this was just going to be a recipe for beans, didn’t you? lol The last can of refried beans I purchased had the following list of ingredients: cooked beans, water, salt, tomato paste (no mention of the ingredients in the tomato paste, but it is likely more salt and sugar), partially hydrogenated lard (Lard in its pure form is NOT hydrogenated. That is an “improvement”, by the powers that be, and that the human body cannot metabolize properly.), chili pepper, sugar (Really? Sugar? Do we need sugar in refried beans? And what kind of sugar? Corn, beet, cane, honey? How was it processed? is it GMO like most sugar beets and sugar cane?), natural flavors (What does that mean? Do the flavorings occur naturally, in nature, or are they chemically processed flavorings that mimic the flavor of naturally occurring ingredients?) and yeast extract (Again, do I need this in my beans? Typically it is added to products as a flavor enhancer.). My refried bean recipe only contains five whole food ingredients that we all recognize, costs a fraction of the price you would pay for canned beans, makes a large quantity that you can divide up and freeze in portions for future use, so you’re not tempted to just “grab a can at the store” and they only take a few minutes of your time to prepare. Simple, delicious, cost effective and nutritious. Isn’t that what you want your family’s food to be?
You are going to love this recipe! I got the idea to make these delicious beans when I was pinning all the fabulous recipes over at Chef in Training. Nikki loves to cook as much as I do and her pictures are absolutely gorgeous! I can tell her family’s tastes and favorites must be similar to our own. I modified the recipe, somewhat, to make it fit my family’s taste buds and my whole food, not-so-processed goals. It’s a keeper and we’ll make it over and over, again. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
When it comes to lunch, whether I’m at work or at home, I like things simple and quick. That’s not really too tough, but when you factor in the requirements of uber-delicous and meaningful nutritional value, those recipes are a little harder to come by. I recently pinned this wonderful formulation from Bon Appetit because it [...]
When it comes to lunch, whether I’m at work or at home, I like things simple and quick. That’s not really too tough, but when you factor in the requirements of uber-delicous and meaningful nutritional value, those recipes are a little harder to come by. I recently pinned this wonderful formulation from Bon Appetit because it seemed to meet those standards on every count, plus it simply made my mouth water to read the list of ingredients. For me, there’s nothing better than cold salads for warm weather lunches. Add citrus and the fact that it is a completely nutritious and hearty meal in one bowl and I’m definitely intrigued.
This recipe did not disappoint. Of course, I altered it slightly, to fit what I had in my own kitchen. The results are, nonetheless, extraordinary. I make it in the evening and have lunch for the next several days, as the flavors only get better and better, as it sits. Check out the original on Bon Appetit. The recipe, below, is the way I made it in my own kitchen. It’s light and packed with flavor, and the addition of quinoa provides that perfectly complete protein that leaves you satisfied and energized. The fresh lemon juice makes the veggies in this salad *POP*. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do. Enjoy!
.It’s been a grey sort of day, one of those fall days where the wind and the sky let you know that it truly IS about to be winter. On days like these, if I can’t just curl up in a blanket for a nap with a good book, then I bake. The oven warms [...]
.It’s been a grey sort of day, one of those fall days where the wind and the sky let you know that it truly IS about to be winter. On days like these, if I can’t just curl up in a blanket
for a nap with a good book, then I bake. The oven warms the house, and just smelling fresh baked goods makes everyone feel cheery and well…warmer. I received a lovely box of pie fillings from Lucky Leaf, last week, to get me all stirred up and inspired for holiday baking. I loved their theme for this campaign, “Good Things Come to Those Who Bake”.
Anyway, today being the perfect day to bake something delicious, I tested out a recipe for Blueberry Crisp with Pecans. It’s the easy, can-throw-it-together-in-five-minutes-if-unexpected-company-shows-up, kind of baking. But, go for it anyway, they will never have to know that. Really. My lips are sealed!
Mmmm hmmm … and now, here’s how easy it is for you to make it for your very own, “singin’-the-blues-’cause-it’s-cold-and-dreary-and-grey” family. You’re getting BIG mom points for this one!
We’ve talked about Lucky Leaf pie fillings, before. These are not just syrup with a few pieces of broken fruit floating around. I love that Lucky Leaf pie fillings are chock full of fruit or berries and dripping with delicious fruity glaze. The quality has been consistent, every time I have opened a can and the flavor is terrific! Lucky Leaf Pie Filling comes in ELEVEN different fruit flavors, plus 2 light varieties and seven cream pie flavors. There truly is something to satisfy every sweet tooth. Your holiday baking couldn’t get any easier. Just check out all the great recipes and video tips at the Lucky Leaf website.
One lucky Busy-at-Home reader is going to get a head start on their holiday baking. Lucky Leaf will ship a seasonal kitchen towel and can of Lucky Leaf Pie Filling to the winner of our drawing, so be sure to enter.
MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Lucky Leaf and pick a recipe you would like to try. Leave a comment on this post telling me what it is. Register your entry on the Rafflecopter form below. That’s it! Happy Baking!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received Lucky Leaf Pie Filling and a Hot Dish Carrier to test in my own kitchen and to collect information for this review. No monetary compensation was received and a positive review was not required. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the products.
.Well, I did it! Saturday, I used my Blendtec to mill fresh, organic, whole wheat flour, right here in my own kitchen! Am I just a LITTLE bit excited? Yes…and then some! :) It was so easy and in less than 5 minutes I had all the flour I needed for the delicious recipe I’m [...]
.Well, I did it! Saturday, I used my Blendtec to mill fresh, organic, whole wheat flour, right here in my own kitchen! Am I just a LITTLE bit excited? Yes…and then some! :) It was so easy and in less than 5 minutes I had all the flour I needed for the delicious recipe I’m about to share with you. All I had to do was add two cups of organic hard white wheat berries to the WildSide jar (If you have a four side, that works, too.) of my Blendtec blender.
Use the POWER up (the up arrow) button to Speed 9 and let it run it’s full cycle (50 seconds). That’s all there is to it! Two cups of wheat berries will net you around 2 2/3 cups of flour.
I have one more trick, up my sleeve, though. I have a husband who thinks he doesn’t care for “healthy bread”. It’s a texture thing. He doesn’t want any. lol We are on opposite spectrums of that issue, for sure. But, to make sure he does eat healthy bread, but still enjoys the texture he prefers, I ran my flour through the cycle a second time. It milled up so fine that I think I could use it in cakes and cookies, without throwing the earth out of orbit. That’s what I’ll try next, but in the meantime, I want to share some yummy whole wheat dinner rolls with you.
I found this dinner roll recipe on Pinterest, posted from An Oregon Cottage. I didn’t change a single thing about Jamie’s recipe, except I needed a little more flour. That probably had more to do with the humidity, than anything else. The other thing I want to note is that this dough does not shape up the way we all would normally be used to. There’s much less gluten development. It’s pretty wet and definitely doesn’t start out as a smooth ball. So, don’t freak out and think you’ve done something wrong. It’s all good. This will truly become your go-to dinner roll recipe. It’s so simple and takes very few ingredients.
If you haven’t entered my Blendtec giveaway, there’s still time. It ends at midnight on Sunday, November 4th, 2012. You’ll be able to read about everything that this amazing kitchen appliance can accomplish, when you check out that post! Keep your eyes peeled for another recipe you won’t want to miss. I also made ground chicken with the Blendtec, yesterday, and the Chicken Veggie Meatballs I made are stupendous!!! They’ll be in an upcoming post, very soon.
.Have you tried all of the Lipton Tea and Honey varieties? They come in premeasured single-serve (to go), or pitcher-sized packets. I am typically not a sweet tea person, but these are actually SOOOO good for making DELISH alcohol-free hot toddies — mock toddies. And here’s a secret that surprised even me. As much as [...]
.Have you tried all of the Lipton Tea and Honey varieties? They come in premeasured single-serve (to go), or pitcher-sized packets. I am typically not a sweet tea person, but these are actually SOOOO good for making DELISH alcohol-free hot toddies — mock toddies. And here’s a secret that surprised even me. As much as I am not a sweet tea person, I am even less of a GREEN tea person. I just can’t take it. I like my tea black and unsweetened. But, shocking as it sounds, I cannot get enough of Lipton’s Blackberry Pomegranate Green Tea. I know, I’m reeling from the shock of it, too. :) There’s just no way around it. Iced, or hot in a toddy, it’s the bomb!
Lipton To Go Packets come 10 to a box and in six different flavor combinations: Black Currant Raspberry Black Tea, Lemon Iced Black Tea, Peach Apricot Black Tea, Mango Pineapple Green Tea, Blackberry Pomegranate Green Tea, and Strawberry Acai Decaf Green Tea. The Pitcher Packets make a quart at a time, come 6 packets to a box and are available in four flavors: Lemon Iced Black Tea, Peach Apricot Black Tea, Mango Pineapple Green Tea and Blackberry Pomegranate Green Tea. Each flavor is sweetened with honey and there are only 5 calories in an 8 oz. serving of these flavorful teas. They are great, as they are, or used as an ingredient in a recipe.
My challenge with this new product was to create a recipe for a Tea and Honey “mocktail”. That SO works for me, since we don’t usually keep alcohol around the house. I love the idea of special drinks, in beautiful glassware, rimmed with sugar or salt or fruit! They’re so festive and perfect for holiday celebrations. But, now that cooler weather has set in, here, the cocktail that comes to mind is a hot toddy – also perfect for holiday celebrations, but equally as welcome watching a ball game, sitting around a fire or curled up with a blanket in your favorite chair. Toddies are soothing for sore throats and their warmth encourages sleep, even without the alcohol, so they’re perfect for relieving the symptoms of a nagging cold. There are so many variations in toddy recipes and it seems that everybody’s Grandma had a secret formula, but there are a few things that tend to be consistent – tea or water, some sort of citrus, honey, warm spices and alcohol (usually brandy). Whether you make a single serving, or large entire pitcher, the sense of home, warmth and comfort will wrap around anyone you serve it to.
For my “mocktail” I wanted to have a distinct, rich, fruitiness that you would normally get from a good peach brandy, without actually adding alcohol, creating warmth through the aroma of cinnamon, and maybe even cloves. I would also need honey. The tea I selected solved both the fruitiness and honey ingredients. I chose the deep, rich flavor of Lipton’s Blackberry Pomegranate Black Tea “To Go” Packets. I opted for orange as the citrus and since I didn’t have whole cloves on hand, used only cinnamon sticks as my spice. NOTE: You could use ground spices in this recipe, if you want, however, you will want to strain the finished drink through a cheesecloth before serving, since they don’t dissolve into the beverage, well, and will rise, leaving a thick layer of spice at the top of the pitcher or glass. Steeping the tea with the whole spices and then removing them before serving, provides the flavor and fragrance, without the extra work.
I found Lipton Tea & Honey packets at our local Walmart, in the tea and coffee aisle. You can see my entire shopping trip by viewing my Google+ album. You can also learn more about Lipton’s new Tea & Honey varieties by following them on Twitter and liking them on Facebook. You’ll want to keep up-to-date on any specials, coupons or new recipes they post there. With the holidays just around the corner, the possibilities for some delicious “mocktails”, for your own parties, are only limited by your imagination!
I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Lipton. As with all Busy-at-Home reviews, the views and opinions expressed are wholly my own and based on my personal experience with the product. #CBias #SocialFabric #FamilyTeaTime