There are many different buzz words that explain this phenomenon: flexitarian, semi-vegetarian, and week day vegetarian; where you only eat meat on the week-ends. But anyway you want to say it, you are cutting back on the meat you eat. Some do it for health reasons, animal rights, the environment or all of the above!

Removing high fructose corn syrup and preservatives from our table.
This is my on-line recipe book with my adventures into finding healthy food for my family to eat....
Trying to cook more from scratch with less prepared foods.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Make your own Ricotta

Recipe from iVillage!

1 quart whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

2 tablespoons white vinegar

Place a double layer of rinsed cheesecloth in a sieve or strainer and set over a large bowl.

Combine the milk, cream and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and bring to 200 degrees F, stirring occasionally. (If you don’t have a thermometer, milk should have bubbles forming on the surface, but should not be at a simmer.)

Turn off the heat, add the vinegar to the pot and let it sit undisturbed for about 2 minutes.

Slowly and gently stir the mixture with a wooden spoon for about 1 minute, or until the curds separate from the whey. (To check, fill the spoon with some of it: If there are white curds sitting in cloudy liquid, it is ready.)

Strain the curds through the sieve and let drain over the bowl for about 15 to 20 minutes

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Playdough Cookies

I have to remember to do this when the little one get big enough to eat cookies!

But I found a recipe that didn't have cream cheese......... Hopefully they will look about the same.
They are from a Better Homes and Garden Cookies for Kids Recipe book from 1983.  I found it here.

Makes about 6 cups of play dough.
2 cups (4 sticks) butter or margarine (use only margarine suited for baking)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
5 cups flour
Food coloring, if desired
→Beat softened butter or margarine with sugar until fluffy. Beat in almond extract. Add flour with mixer on low speed until mixture begins to come together. Divide dough and add food coloring as desired for making different shapes. Bake at 300 degrees on middle oven rack until done. (Cooking times may vary according to size of cookies.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A sub for Condensed Soup?

I went looking for a substitute for condensed soup because many recipes call for chicken or mushroom.  Yes we have tried potato and celery.  Plus the sodium levels are very high. So I went to yahoo...  I found this recipe:   

3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
Seasons - pepper, garlic, herbs
Melt butter. Blend in flour and seasonings. Cook until bubbly. Remove from heat and slowly add 1 1/4 cups liquid - broth or milk. Stir to prevent lumps.

I thought a  Roux... duh use to thicken soups and stews.....
I watch the Food Network!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Her favorite: Rice Krispie Treats

Rice Krispie Treats....
  • 3 tablespoons  butter or margarine
  • 1 package (10 oz., about 40)  regular marshmallows
  • - OR -
  • 4 cups  miniature marshmallows
  • 6 cups  Rice Krispies®
1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.
2. Add KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.

3. Using buttered spatula or wax paper evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.

In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.

So looking at the Kellogg's Rice Krispie site I found Pizza Treats!!
I had to laugh
Make the Rice Krispie treats the same way but press into pizza pan.
Spread strawberry jam on top for "tomato sauce". Carefully spread frosting over jam for "cheese". Add fruit roll-up circles for "pepperoni". Top with sprinkles. Cut into slices to serve. Best if served the same day.
Isn't that a GREAT Idea for a kids get together!!

Chex® Muddy Buddies®

9 cups Corn Chex®, Rice Chex®,
Wheat Chex® or Chocolate Chex®
cereal (or combination)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Into large bowl, measure cereal; set aside.
In 1-quart microwavable bowl, stir together chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Microwave uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.
Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Daughter is making treats today thought I share them.................. She told me that desserts is stressed backwards......... Turn your stress around with desserts!!!!! Wow I'm so proud!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving


1/2 cup warm milk (70 to 80 degrees F)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1 eggs

3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon active dry yeast


1. In bread machine pan, place all ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed).
2. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 12 portions; shape into balls. Place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 13-16 minutes or until golden brown.

Apple Crisp:

from Betty Crocker Kitchen:
I don't usually see how many apples they say to cut up, I just cut up enough apples top fill the pan. I like a ton of apples in my recipes.

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.
2. Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients except cream until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.
3. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm.

And if I get brave I will try this recipe From Betty Crockers Kitchens

Pecan Pie

Prep Time: 20 min Total Time: 3 hours 55 min Makes: 8 servings

1 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup pecan halves or broken pecans

1. In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
2. Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.
3. Heat oven to 375°F. With floured rolling pin, roll pastry into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate. Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; press with times of fork or flute if desired.
4. In another medium bowl, beat all filling ingredients except pecans with wire whisk or hand beater until well blended. Stir in pecans. Pour into pastry-lined pie plate.
5. Cover edge of pastry with 2- to 3-inch-wide strip of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Refrigerate at least 2 hours until chilled before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sweet Potato Casserole

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Tbs. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

Cooking Directions
Preheat oven to 400° F. Place potatoes in a steamer basket
over boiling water. Cover pan and steam 10 minutes or
until tender. Drain and mash. Combine potatoes and next
4 ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt to taste. Mix well
and pour into 9-inch buttered pan. Combine remaining
ingredients in a bowl and spread over sweet potato
mixture. Bake 30 minutes or until brown.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Love Sugar

* 1 whole vanilla bean
* 2 cups white sugar

Pour the sugar into an airtight container. If the vanilla bean is whole, slice it halfway through the long way, open up the bean, and use a spoon or kitchen knife to scrape out the black gooey specks. Stir the specks into the sugar, and bury the bean pod in the sugar. Cover the jar and let stand for at least 1 week.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I tried to make Seitan (say-tahn) called “wheat meat”, “wheat gluten” or simply “gluten”. It has the texture and close to the taste of meat so it is a big hit with the vegetarian crowd.

I was sent to this site for a excellent seitain recipe so I thought I share here (with a link to original post) Ok to keep it somewhere safe to use when I need it......
Seitan Recipe O' Greatness:

1.5 cups vital wheat gluten
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp pepper (I use 2 tsp)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (you can use 1/8 tsp if you like it less spicy)
1/8 tsp allspice
2 tsp garlic powder

3/4 cups water
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 325°.

In a large mixing bowl mix dry ingredients. Mix the rest of the ingredients (liquid ingredients) in a smaller mixing bowl. Whisk well until mixed.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well, then knead for a minute or two.. it doesn't need long.

Form into a log (6-8" long), wrap tightly in foil, twisting ends. Bake for 90 minutes. When done baking, unwrap and leave out to cool all the way. Then wrap it foil or plastic and refrigerate. Slice to use as desired.

[u]Nutritional Info[/b]
The entire log has:
1134 calories
32g fat
63g carbs
158g protein

Use in stews or pan fry. You can bread and fry like chicken patties.... endless ideas.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Apple Chai tea

My daughter loves the apple chai tea from Eat and Park. I have tried to make this at home and really fall short. But I did make this chai tea mix and she liked it. I think maybe we can add this to hot apple cider... maybe?

* 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
* 1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
* 1 cup French vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer
* 2 1/2 cups white sugar
* 1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea
* 2 teaspoons ground ginger
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves

Yields 36 servings


1. In a large bowl, combine milk powder, non-dairy creamer, vanilla flavored creamer, sugar and instant tea. Stir in ginger, cinnamon and cloves. In a blender or food processor, blend 1 cup at a time, until mixture is the consistency of fine powder.
2. To serve: Stir 2 heaping tablespoons Chai tea mixture into a mug of hot water.