Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Peppermint Cookies...

I have to confess, I am a Christmas loving gal- I love everything about the holiday including the desserts, and my favorite--- anything pepperminty! I love the Peppermint Mocha at Starbucks, I love the chocolate dipped thin candy cane thing-ies, I love the Peppermint Joe-Joe's at Trader Joe's (honestly, you haven't experienced Peppermint heaven until you try these!!!)
**Side Note Picture of Peppermint Heaven, Trader Joe's Joe Joe's**
Ok, back on track now----So, I am always (well, that's not true) almost always in the mood to try a new recipe, so when I saw these in a Rachel Ray Magazine and they looked so divine all sprinkled with peppermint goodness, I have to give them a go. They turned out pretty good, so for the sake of not rewriting a recipe, I thought I would just link it here and you can follow hers if you are feeling in the mood for something new and pepperminty! I will include my pictures, because I am a visual learner and thought some of you may be too.

Side Note- She recommends baking cookies for 18 minutes- that will give you a crispy cookie (like an oreo) but if you want a fluffy or chewy cookie, I would remove them after about 10 minutes. You choose... or maybe do a sheet of each :)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Here's this weeks meal plan... and if you need a movie plan and want to stir up the way you feel about food and how it goes from the processing to your table--- check out the film "Food, INC." if you haven't seen it already. It will definitely get you thinking on what you buy and what you eat. (And if you're interested in some Grass Fed Beef and you live local, let me know, I have a great rancher that sells and drops off here from Tehachapi).

For now, the menu:
Monday: Steak Cob Salad
Tuesday: Dover Sol, Green Salad, Sweet Potatoes (the farming connections have hooked us up with a 40 pound box of sweet potatoes, so we have a lot of them to eat- Thanks Buddy!)
Wednesday- Firehouse Tortilla Soup **New Recipe**
Thursday- Turkey Chili, Asparagus and Cornbread
Friday- left overs
Saturday- out

Friday, December 4, 2009

5 Minute Fudge

This is one of my favorite desserts to make and give away during the holidays, probably because it's so easy and yet so incredibly tasty! It really only takes 5 minutes to make (REALLY!), refrigerate until it hardens, and then it's ready to cut and serve!

12 oz chocolate chips
9 oz butterscotch chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Super simple. Put your chips in a glass bowl and microwave them for about 1 minute, stop and stir, and continue in 30 second intervals until the chips are completely melted (be careful, the glass bowl will be hot!). Once the chips are melted and mixed, add your condensed milk and vanilla, give it another swirl, add your chopped walnuts, and mix until it's consistent throughout. Using a 8 x 8 greased baking dish and spatula, scoop the fudge out and smooth until it's evenly distributed. Refrigerate until firm, cut into squares and put on cute Christmas Plates! Wasn't that easy??? and it really was 5 minutes huh??

(Thanks for your request Katy~ sorry it took me so long! Happy Fudging!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Quinoa, Chicken, & Veggie Pilaf...

Ok, so here's what I do when I don't feel like a lot of prep (or brain effort) but still what a good meal loaded with protein and lots of yummy veggies. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-WA) is a great staple to have on hand- it's packed with protein, calcium, and iron plus it cooks quickly! At the end of the week, I pull out whatever veggies are left, saute them, and throw them in this dish. It's different every time, but easy all the time!

Chicken pieces browning
Sauteing vegetables; red pepper, onion, & garlic
Everything combined in one skillet before adding it to the quinoa...
3 cups chicken broth
1.5 cups quinoa
2 cloves garlic
1/3 onion (use what you have)
1-2 chicken breasts
veggies of your choice; I have used these combinations:
  • red pepper, brocholi, red onion, chicken
  • mushroom, snowpeas, yellow bell pepper, green onion chicken
  • carrots, celery, onion, left over turkey pieces
In a large skillet, add your chicken broth and quinoa, and let comet to a boil while you prep everything else. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat and let simmer 10-12 minutes. Wash & dice you veggies (if you are adding chicken, wash & dice that too and brown it in a separate pan, seasoning it with s & p and some garlic powder). Once all your veggies are chopped, add a TBSP of grape seed oil into a hot pan, add your veggies & garlic and let sautee for about 3-4 minutes. At this point, hopefully your quinoa will almost be done cooking, so add your veggies and chicken, stir altogether, cover and let cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add any seasoning you prefer, or leave it as it is with its light flavor and yummy vegetable taste.

*** Lots of times people give me feedback in person, so I will try to pass it on when I remember to add it to the post. A recommendation for this dish was to serve it with Soy Sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos if it is to bland for your pallet.