Saturday, September 19, 2009

Chicken salad

Is a versatile treat. You can make it out of almost anything that is edible. Today, my chicken salad consisted of jicama, 2 baby carrots, a little dried peach, parsley, brown rice, 1 spoonful of baked beans, and chopped walnut. Yum. I dressed it with a little soy sauce (low sodium tamari no wheat.) and a teaspoon of mayo. I would have taken a picture but I ate it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Peach Cobbler

Today I baked a peach cobbler pie.  First I peeled 3-4 large ripe peaches.  Then I combined 1 table spoon of corn starch with 1/4 cup of cool water.  I stirred it until the corn starch was dissolved.  Then I added 1/2 cup of organic granulated sugar.  To that I added 1 tsp of vanilla and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  I also added a dash of salt to the fruit.  I put all of this into a sauce pan and brought that slowly to a boil, stirring, until thick.  I placed the fruit into a large deep pie dish.

I prepared a buttermilk biscuit topping.  Spooned the topping onto the fruit.  Then I baked it at 350 deg. F. for 40 min.  After 40 minutes I brushed the top with butter and sprinkled turbinado sugar on the top.  I baked it on a covered cookie sheet to prevent spills from burning in the oven.

Its a very rustic look.  In retrospect, I could have rolled out the biscuit, but whatever!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Peanut Butter cookies, the simplest recipe ever.

I found this recipe on the internet.  I thought it was bogus.  It wasn't.

1 cup creamy peanut butter.
1 cup organic granulated sugar
1 beaten, egg, room temperature.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine ingredients until completely smooth and integrated.
Drop by teaspoon full and flatten with teaspoon.
Bake for 12 minutes on an air bake.  Watch because these can burn.

Let cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes before moving to a cooling wrack with a spatula.
They will be soft when hot and harden when cool.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cookie Cutters

Nordicware makes some really fun and interesting cookie cutters.  I am particularly interested in the mutliple cookie cutters that are for different seasons/holidays.  Someday soon I hope to buy on and try them out.  They are so very charming.  Also, I am very partial to the pie crust cutters too.

What kind of kitchen gadget is on your Christmas list?  Is there any gadget that you are lusting after?

Have you ever used a snowflake template to cut out a pie crust?  That is a neat idea.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mueslix Muffins


2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup organic granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cinnamon

2 eggs (room temperature) lightly beaten
1 cup butter milk
1/4 cup organic cream
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract (not vanillin)

1 cup mueslix
1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup walnuts (or nut of your choice)
1/4-1/2 cup raisins (soften with either apple juice or water then drain off the liquid)

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter your muffin tin carefully.
In medium size bowl, soak the mueslix in the apple juice.
In a large bowl,  sifting to aerate, stir with a clean dry whisk thoroughly combine dry ingredients
Combine the wet ingredients.
Stir wet into the dry, be careful not to over mix.  Fold rather than beat.  Use a whisk or spatula, not an electric mixer.
Add the mix-ins gently folding them in.

Fill muffin tins 3/4 full.
Bake for 25 min or until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

These were very popular.  They were very filling and satisfying.  We ate them with some scrambled eggs and bacon.  Mueslix is a kind of a cereal medley usually served warm.  My batch had some dried fruit, nuts, and oat meal in it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Flax Muffins

As inspired by the "Spiffyman" here is a link to the recipe, I did not write this recipe, I just baked a batch and took a photo of the result.  I added a cup of coconut, 1/2 cup of raisins and 1/3 cup of semisweet chocolate chips.  The chocolate was not sweet enough.  In retrospect, I should have used a sweeter chocolate chip to balance the slight bitter after taste of the Bob's Red Mill Flax Meal.  I used Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry flour rather than just regular whole wheat because I was out of regular whole wheat flour.  I would give this a 3/5 star rating.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Clean PB & Banana Sandwich

Yummo!  First, I toasted my Alvarado St. bread, then I slathered on some Adam's peanut butter, and added sliced banana.  The Alvarado St. bread is sprouted.  The Adam's is just peanuts and salt.  I prefer a banana over jam because it has less sugar and it adds potassium.  

Sunday, July 5, 2009

"Food and our Bones" by Annemarie Colbin

Is a book about "the natural way to prevent osteoporosis."  I checked it out of the public library because I am particularly interested in preventing bone loss.  I have had a few breaks in my life and I would like to prevent any further breakage.  I understand the symbiotic nature of diet, motion, and emotion.  All of those aspects have an effect on bone health.  This book directly addresses the effect of diet on bone health.  Printed in 1998, it is an older tome, however, sometimes data is still relevant even 11 years later.  

I already engage in physical activity, take a multivitamin with calcium and vitamin D, and get plenty of sunlight.  I do bone jarring jogging to improve bone density in my leg bones.  I do light weight lifting to maintain the rest of my frame.  I do yoga.  All of these activities are done with the idea of maintaining or improving my bone density.  

Some of my own personal history of my weight with crazy eating:

As a youngster, I drank diet cola, fully caffeinated, ate everything with Aspartame, had an extremely low fat diet.  I also put on a lot of weight.  I counted calories.  I tried Slim Fast.  I never did stretching beyond what was on an aerobics video.  I never trained above the "fat burning mode" during my cardio.  I ate carbohydrates with abandon.  I shunned all fats.  I favored margarine.  I chewed bubble gum with abandon, too.  Can I just tell you I gained weight to the tune of 10 pounds per year even though I was very active?  I would take three dances classes per week.  I would take two PE courses at the community college.  I also had debilitating headaches and constant hunger pains.  I was determined to do what all of the "get thin quick" magazines recommended. 

When I was 26 years old I shattered my toes.  I stubbed them on a couch.  At that time, my appetite dwindled to nothing.  I could only manage 20 ounces of Sprite and one Little Debbie snack cake per day for four months.  My digestive track was not willing to eat anything.  I was not allowed to walk or do anything.  I had my foot up the whole time, doctor's orders.  In that time I lost 25 pounds.  I'm sure I lost muscle.  It was bizarre.  I maintained that weight loss for about 3 years.  My eating patterns returned to normal.  I lost a little more and then gained it back first working one good job and then another more stressful job.   While working on a film, my calorie load was very low due to no time to eat.  We worked very long hours (20 hour days, 6 days per week.)  I put on 15 pounds even though it was extremely hot.   At the end of that film, I realized that I could not maintain a healthy weight and work in that industry.  I came home to serve jury duty.  It was a 3 week case.  It was extremely stressful.  I had to sit for 3 weeks straight.  We were cooped up in a room with free donuts.  I would eat one or two donuts in a day.  I was also exercising at home.  Over the course of those three weeks I put on 35 pounds.  I was stunned and extremely saddened.  I also discovered my first "DO NOT EAT!" food, donuts.

Over the years I have created a list of foods which I just should never eat unless I want to put on two-5 pounds of fat in a day.  Donuts is at the top of my list.  I also have low fat foods on that list.  I have all fried chicken on that list.  I don't eat bacon or anything with nitrates.  I don't drink soda of any kind.  I should not eat any sweetened cream. I should not eat bread and butter.  I should not eat white bread.  I should not eat cake, cookies, or pasta.  I should not eat potatoes of any kind.  

My point is that, what we eat is constantly evolving based on what we know at the time.  In the beginning of my weight journey I tried all of the conventional ways to lose weight.  That did not produce the results that I wanted.  Over the past three years, I have slowly made progress by trying non-conventional means of weight loss (low carb, calorie cycles.)  

Weight loss is not my only fitness goal.  I also want strong bones.  I do know that if I did no weight lifting I would lose weight faster.  However, thats less important than not breaking again.   

Ms. Colbin talks about some risk factors other than the obvious (small boned, Asian or European, post menopause, family history and no natural children.) Apparently smoking is a bad idea.  Tallness is a risk.  A high pulse rate is a risk.  There are other risks, I will not list all of the them here.  "Women who had five or  more of these risk factors - regardless of bone density- had a 10 percent chance of breaking a hip in the next five years." pg 11.   Certain medications also predispose one to breaks more than bone density.  Interestingly, she says that an excessive amount of calcium doubles the risk of hip fracture.  Wow, well then I don't feel bad for getting the amount that I do.

I will continue to review the rest of this book in subsequent posts.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Buttermilk Pancakes Spanked with Coco

I tried the Haagen Daz Green tea ice cream.  It is sweet, creamy, and full of green tea flavor. I really like it.  If you have ever had green tea ice cream at a Japanese restaurant, then you know this flavor.  I liked it and I would buy it again.  Also, its made from real food, milk, cream, eggs, sugar, and green tea.

I made buttermilk pancakes with unbleached flour from scratch for breakfast.  I served them with fresh strawberries, frozen whipped cream, and spanked some pure coco powder on top.  

You can freeze them for later.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Some of my favorite foods

I love fruits, fresh vegetables, and hot straight from the oven chicken.  I also love olives, capers, and lemon juice.  One of my favorite quick meals is left over whole wheat pasta with olives, capers and a little lemon juice.  If you haven't tried it, you should.  Its easy, healthy (if you can tolerate wheat) and quick.  

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Blackberry Cream Scones

Modifying a scone recipe in "America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook".

2 c. AP Flour plus extra for the counter
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes and chilled.
1 cup fresh black berries
1 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 450 deg. F
Combine sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
Cut butter in.  
2. Add the berries.  It may get sticky!
3. Stir in the cream until the dough begins to form.
4. Knead on a counter.  It will be a sticky ball.
5. Press into a 9 inch cake pan.
6. Turn it out and cut into 8 wedges.
7. Place the wedges on an ungreased baking sheet.
8. Bake until they are light brown. 12-15 minutes.
9. Cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minues.

They were best plain, without butter, jam or cream cheese.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Quickie Pizza

I made this for my dinner.  It was quick, tasty, and filling.


1 parmesan, garlic pain perdu, sliced in half (Raley's brand is best)
Shredded mozzarella cheese 1-2 ounces.
1/2 cup sauteed mushrooms
1/3 cup sliced olives
1-2 tbsp. pasta sauce (I like Rinaldi)

Preheat oven to 375 deg. F
Spread the sauce on the bread.
Top with shredded cheese.
Top with mushrooms.
Top with sliced olives.
Place pizzas on foil and a baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool about 5 minutes before eating, top with parmesan or black pepper.

It would just as good with just an olive tapenade.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake with walnuts, raisins, and ginger served with fresh strawberries and lemony cream cheese frosting.

Turkey Salad

This morning's brunch is home roasted turkey on a bed of romaine hearts, with avocado, grated carrot, walnuts and parsley.  Its dressed with a splash of rice wine vinegar.  Its an unconventional breakfast.  

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tropical Squares


6 melted tbsp. butter
2 cups plain graham cracker crumbs
2 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
1 cup macadamia nuts
3/4 cup dates
1/4 cup dried papaya
1/4 cup dried mango
1/4 cup diced sugared ginger
1/2 cup dried pineapple
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 350 deg. F
Pour butter into a 15 in. x 10 in. x 1 in. baking pan.
Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.
Arrange nuts and fruit over crumbs.
Press down gently.
Combine milk and vanilla, pour evenly over fruit.
Bake for 20-25 min or until lightly browned.
Cool on a wire rack.
Cut into squares.
Makes about 3 dozen.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Parsley Burger Deconstructed

Today's lunch is low carbohydrate.  I folded fresh parsley into the meat.  I fried two hamburger patties in olive oil.  I served vine ripened tomato, avocado, and organic romaine hearts on the side.  I sprinkled a little bit of rice wine vinegar over the top.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Buttermilk Protein Muffins

Peanut Buttermilk Protein Muffins

This recipe is inspired by a recipe in "Just Like Mom Made 1,000 Family Favorites" which was a bargain at Borders book store.  It is on page 211, its called Lemon Raspberry Muffins.  I've modified the original recipe to include peanuts and whey protein powder.  

The ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour minus 1 tbsp.
1 cup organic granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp. vanilla whey powder

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup Safflower oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

Method: Pre-heat oven 400 deg. F
Combine the flour, whey powder, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
Stir into the flour mixture until just moistened, do not over mix.
Gently fold in the peanuts and peanut butter chips.
Fill paper lined muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake for 20 to 22 min.
Cool for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.  
Makes about 18 muffins.


1.  The whey protein browns quickly, so watch them at minute 18.  
2. Be sure to not have any air bubbles, tap the bubbles out on the counter.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oatmeal Apple Walnut Cookies

Good afternoon, gentle readers, this morning I baked a batch of oatmeal apple walnut cookies.  I used the old Quaker Oats box recipe for oatmeal raisin but I omitted the raisins.  I also added another 1/2 tsp of cinnamon instead of the nutmeg. 

Here is the recipe from the 1988 box of Old Fashioned Quaker oats with my substitutions. 


1 1/4 cup room temperature butter

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup organic cane sugar (granulated)

1 large egg (room temperature)

1 tsp. natural vanilla (no artificial please)

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 tsp cinnamon

3 cups old fashioned oatmeal (soak in a small amount of oj or apple juice)

1/2 cup of Trader Joe's dried apple soaked in either oj or apple juice and diced.

1/2 cup of walnuts broken into pieces


Pre-heat oven to 375 deg. F

Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

Beat in egg and vanilla.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk. 

Add to butter mixture.

Stir in oats.

Drain dried apple, then stir into the butter/flour/egg mixture.

Add the walnuts and stir into the mixture.

Onto an un-greased air bake sheet, drop by rounded spoonfuls.  Leave room for them to flatten out.  

Bake for 8 to 9 minutes.  

Cool one minute on cookie sheet, then transfer to a rack.

Cool on a rack.

I ended up with 48 cookies.  You may end up with more depending on how the size of your scoop.



1. Do not re-use a hot baking sheet because the butter will run out of the cookie and burn instead of being baked in the cookie with the rest of the dough.  

2. Stick around and watch them bake.  Do not water the garden or feed the cat.  Just sit there because the cookies can burn quickly.

3. For an additional depth to the flavor you could substitute brandy for the oj when soaking the apples or you could use apple cider.


I really enjoyed baking these.  I used a cookie scoop rather than a spoon to drop the cookies on the sheet.  The dough is a little sticky so I don't know if that was such a hot idea.  I did like that I had uniform sized cookies.  I noticed that the cookies that were baked last and were most at room temperature, flattened out a lot.