Thursday, June 24, 2010

bento 72

This is a traditional bento box. It stacks and there's a separate lid that goes over the bean soup portion. This is white bean and pesto soup with strawberries and a roll.

 I actually made this one for HF to take to work. He eats smaller meals now, but more often. So this was dinner for him, but he also needed 2 additional meals for a regular shift. So I also included veggie chips, more fruit, raw vegetables and a sandwich.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

bentos 69, 70, and 71

chocolate muffin, blueberry muffin, peanuts in the shell, apple with checkered cutouts, cheese flowers next to apple.
strawberry slices, apple slices, turkey rolled up and sliced in thirds, veggie chips.
chocolate muffin, apple, carrot sticks, cheese cut in flower shape, and goldfish crackers.

Monday, June 21, 2010

lime cream slush

So I was totally sucked in by Sonic's 1/2 price drinks during happy hour. There are only two things that I really love there. The Cranberry Limeade and the Lime Cream Slush. But, since I am married to "Dave Ramsey", I had to nix the happy hour escpades. Well, whaddya know. I figured out how to make me a home made lime cream slush and cranberry limeade. It definitely goes in the dessert category for me, but it tastes so good during these hot summer days, that I want it all the time.

The quantities aren't exact, but for one serving, I did the following:

1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt (I think this would work with any kind of vanilla ice cream or ice cream substitiute)
1/2 cup limeade (I used simply limeade)
1/2 cup ice pellets

Blend together until slushy, adding more ice or limeade to taste. I thought it was an exact copy of Sonic's Lime Cream Slush.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

great aunt eddie's coconut bread

Another weight gainer. This bread is incredible. It is soft, moist, and just the right balance of flavor. The special thing about this recipe however, is that it's from my great aunt Eddie. She is also the person behind another favorite recipe of mine. I guess it's safe to say that Aunt Eddie knows her sweet breads. If you love coconut, you will adore this bread. I modified the recipe a little bit. I replaced the buttermilk with almond milk (and 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice) and next time I might try coconut milk in place of the buttermilk, although that might make it too coconutty. Oh, and don't bother trying to find pure coconut extract. It doesn't really exist. This bread makes 2 large loaves. I made these in 4 miniature loaf pans. That was pushing it. I would do 5 next time.

Aunt Eddie's Coconut Bread

4 eggs
2 cups sugar (I used organic
1 cup oil
2 tsp. coconut extract
3 cups flour (I used white whole wheat)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 tsp. salt (I used a little less than 2 tsp.)
1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 cup almond milk with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice)
1 cup flaked coconut (I used shredded)
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two large bread pans (9 1/4 x 5 1/4). In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, oil, and extract. Sift together the flour, soda, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture. Beat in alternately the buttermilk, coconut, and walnuts. Bake for 1 hour. When almost finished baking, make the glaze:

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. coconut extract

In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water, and butter to a boil. Remove from heat and add the coconut extract. Mix and pour over warm bread. Let stand for one hour before removing from pans.

Monday, June 14, 2010

mpm: week of June 14th

Link your menu plan to mpm at org junkie!

Taco Soup

breakfast for dinner :: biscuits and egg gravy :: fresh fruit :: sausage

Black Bean Burgers :: Spring Salad

orange sesame ribs

White Bean and Pesto Soup

MIL here :: pizza night (homemade tonight) :: salad

Father's Day :: meatball subs (one of HF's favorites)

possible desserts this week:
Aunt Eddie's Coconut Bread (recipe to come)
pecan shortbread cookies

Sunday, June 13, 2010

pani popo

Do you need to gain 10 pounds in 1 day? Then look no further! Have I got the solution for you. It's called Pani Popo. It's Polynesian coconut bread. Or dessert, as we like to call it.

This week we have been enjoying lots of recipes with coconut. I think I associate summertime with coconut. But this bread recipe was perfect for today. It was rainy and cold, and these were perfect right out of the oven. There are a number of ways to make these, but I usually opt for the easiest and quickest method possible. It is only 3 ingredients.

favorite sweet bread dough from scratch, or Frozen Rhodes rolls
1 can of unsweetened coocnut milk (found in the Asian aisle of any grocery store)
1/2 cup sugar (we use raw organic sugar. think of me saying that in an ultra snooty tone of voice)

Place 15-18 frozen rhodes rolls in a 9x13 casserole dish. Thaw accoding to package instructions. I always do the speed method. While dough is rising, you will mix together in a small bowl the can of coconut milk, and 1/2 cup of sugar. When the dough has doubled in size, you will pour the coconut milk mixture over the rolls and place in the oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Spoon creamy coconut mixture from the bottom of pan over the top of the rolls when serving. Best served warm.

Friday, June 11, 2010

bentos 65, 66, and 67

3 taquitos cut in half, cheese cubes, mini carrots, cup of grapefruit segments

bran muffin, margherita pizza, grapefruit segments, mini carrots, little cup of peanuts

I couldn't get this picture to turn the right way. Anyway it's a tomato chopped with a teaspoon of ranch drizzled over the top, a sheepherder bun, mini carrots, and some cheese cubes.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

making your own carrot juice blends

I actually don't have my own juicer, but borrow one from my neighbor because she hardly ever uses it. I juiced about 10 pounds of carrots and ended up with two of these large mason jars. Once you've juiced your carrots and any other fruit you may want to use for blending, this is how you start. This is for 1-2 servings.
Start with 1 Cup Carrot juice

½ C Pineapple juice
½ C Apple juice

Add different juices and play around until you find one you like the best and adjust to desired level of sweetness. Other juice options are:
½ Cup orange juice, pear, strawberry juice, grape juice, grapefruit juice, mango, peach, berries, the combos are limitless.

If you are not a fan of the carrot juice flavor, pineapple juice covers the flavor. If you want to add more veggies to your carrot juice, the most popular additions are 1-2 celery stalks, 1/2 of a fresh beet root, and/or 4 inches of seedless cucumber. Some people add fresh grated ginger, but I don't like that..

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

bentos #63 and #64

cantaloupe, veggie straws, cucumber wheels, and a jam sandwich with cheddar cheese flower on top
bran muffin with cheddar flower on top, peanuts, veggie straws, and cantaloupe

These were made in the sassy baby mealtime on the go feeding set. I saw them at Burlington Coat Factory for about $5 a piece so I bought 3 of them. They really are handy dandy for bento making. Works for all three kids. But probably too small for HF.

Monday, June 7, 2010

mpm: week of June 7th

for more menu ideas, visit orgjunkie every monday.

L:  spinach salad
D:  fly off the plate pancakes :: chicken apple sausage :: almond milk

B:  same as Monday :: steel-cut oats with apples and pecans
L:  quesadillas :: cucumbers :: grapes :: chocolate milk

B:  blueberry-banana muffins (Jillian Michaels)
L:  chicken caesar wraps

B:  grapefruit :: avocado on toast
L:  pioneer woman's veggie bagel sandwiches
D:  HF's 32nd birthday (he's in Alabama though) :: eat out with kids

B:  grapefruit :: avocado on toast
L:  smoothies :: trail mix
D:  pizza night :: vegie delight from Papa Murphy's

B:  cold cereal
L:  pb and j's :: veggie chips :: orange smiles
D:  leftovers day

B:  these scrumptious Bran Flax muffins via handcuffed heart
L:  toast and jam :: veggie chips :: orange smiles :: banana slices
D:  fillet mignon (thanks to Costco) :: watermelon :: baked potatoes

Sunday, June 6, 2010

orange poppy seed bread

I made this orange poppy seed bread this weekend and it was to die for! Making the orange "magic" dust is totally worth it. The only thing I might do differently next time is cut the almond extract down to 1/2 teaspoon in both the batter and the glaze, instead of the 1 teaspoon for each that it calls for. But I'm not an almond extract fan. So it would be more powerful to me than to others perhaps. This is my favorite bread right now. I think about eating  it all the time. Obsess much? Recipe from here. And of course, her bread is more beautiful than mine. I don't know how to get it not to crack down the middle and sink. But it all goes to the same place. My stomach.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


My mom made fajitas at least once a week growing up. I thought it was disgusting! Onions and peppers? I would rather die than eat onions and peppers. Well I don't know how it happened, but the things that I hated eating growing up, are the very things I crave and eat often now. They have become my comfort foods. Fajitas are one of these. Except I never make them the same way. I'm always searching and tweaking to come up with the perfect flavor. Right now, I'm pretty happy with what we've come up with. This is from McCormick’s Garlic Lime Fajitas Recipe Inspirations package. I'm kind of an herb and spice snob and don't like certain things dried like onions and garlic and cilantro. I've included my notes in blue.

Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Marinate: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Makes 8 servings

1/4 cup each lime and orange juices (I've used lemon juice in place of the lime and it was still good)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic (I used 3-4 fresh cloves, pressed)
1 teaspoon dried minced onions (I used 1 Tablespoon fresh white onion, minced)
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro leaves (I used 1-2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced)
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
(a couple shakes of chipotle chili pepper)
1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (I use red, yellow, and green, or a bunch of the mini sweet peppers)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (I always use a big yellow Texas Sweet onion. I really think sweet onions make all the difference, but that's just me)
8 flour tortillas (8-inch) (these are really good on corn tortillas as well)

1.  Mix juices, oil, all of the spices and salt in small bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade. Place chicken in large resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add remaining marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor.

2.  Cook and stir chicken in large heated skillet on medium-high heat 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from skillet. Add bell pepper, onion and reserved marinade; cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Return chicken to skillet. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through. (I always have to cook my chicken much longer than the directions say to make sure they are done)

3.  Spoon chicken mixture into warmed tortillas. Serve with assorted toppings, if desired. (We serve it with sour cream, avocados, salsa, and lime wedges)