Monday, November 19, 2012


Recently a friend of mine turned me on to the documentary film, Fat Sick & Nearly Dead. Joe Cross was on the fast track in life and living it large, Literally, when he got sick. He traveled to the US and came here with the intent of finding a new way to live. "I'm here in the US, but I'm not going to eat your food."

He goes on to help a few people out with changing their eating habits. One person in particular is Phil, a truck driver he met in Winslow, AZ. Phil had the same autoimmune disease that Joe had. Yes, Had. Through consuming fruits and vegetables made into juice, Joe has changed not only his own life, but also Phil's and Phil went on to help out his brother and several other people too. What happened is that more people have joined in and they have a website, blog and post recipes... And int he recipe section, it is not just juice, but salads, soups, snacks and smoothies.

I had printed out a few of them and really wanted to try this one-

Joes favorite- watermelon, pineapple, ginger.

And if the link didn't come up, here it is below-

This week’s recipe shines a spotlight on one of Joe’s personal favorite juice creations in honor of the “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” launch in Australia. Even if it’s not summer where you live, this light juice is simple to make and refreshing all year round.

Nutritionally speaking, these ingredients offer many anti inflammatory compounds.

Watermelons are rich in lycopene- a member of the carotene family. Carotenes exert both anti inflammatory and anti oxidant activity in the human body.
Pineapple contains a phytonutrient called bromelain that is well known for its ability to help reduce inflammation.
Ginger root reduces inflammation as well as nausea, pain and provides heartburn relief. It also aids digestion and can help to encourage thermogenesis in the body which may boost metabolism.

This juice is perfect for active Rebooters. It is rich in electrolytes and anti oxidant nutrients like potassium, magnesium, Vitamin C (140% of your daily value), beta-carotene and contains some sodium. These nutrients are important before, during and after exercise. Rather than reaching for a commercial sports drink, you can make your own that’s even healthier!


  • 1/3 pineapple, cored and skin removed
  • 2 large watermelon slices
  • 1 inch ginger root


  1. Cut pineapple away from core and rind
  2. Wash watermelon well and cut 2 large slices. You can juice the rind as well as the flesh of the watermelon
  3. Wash ginger root and cut a 1 inch piece to juice
  4. Place all ingredients into juicer
  5. Juice
  6. Pour over ice
  7. Enjoy!

It was really good! I do not suggest eating a meal with the juice. The juice is enough to fill you up and adding a meal on top of it, I felt like I had eaten waaaay too much. Not good. I won't be doing that again! Lol Off to print out a few more to try later.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rocky Road Pudding

I don't often do desserts. I have a sweet tooth now and then, but I just for whatever reason, don't make them all that often. Yesterday the girls wanted cake. Out of the blue they decided they wanted cake.  The closest I could come- was still not cake. But they love it anyways, because it is chocolate!

For a 9 X 13 pan-
2 boxes of instant chocolate pudding
4 cups of milk as directed on the package of pudding
2 packages of graham crackers- crushed
1 stick of butter melted
marshmellows and nuts (optional but then it wouldn't be rocky road)

For a 9X9 pan-
1 box instant chocolate pudding
2 cups milk as directed on the package of pudding
1 package of graham crackers- crushed
1/2 stick of butter melted
marshmellows and nuts (optional)

Start with smashing the graham crackers- now is a good time to get all of your pent up anger, frustration or aggression out. Use a rolling pin to smash it into fine bits in the package- then use a large ziploc to finish the job.

Dump the mashed graham crackers into the pan. melt the butter in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. Pour over graham crackers, mix well to moisten and press cracker crumbs evenly across the bottom and up onto the sides of the pan. 

In a large bowl, mix the instant pudding and milk. I used a wire whisk. When mixed, you can add the marshmellows and nuts to your liking.

Pour into the pan on top of your graham cracker crust. I threw a few marshmellows on top to cover a few spots where it didn't look like there were many in the pudding.

Let chill in the fridge for a 1/2 hour or even overnight.

Monday, August 6, 2012


I have posted about making enchiladas and although I made them again recently, hubby has always been saying that the tortillas are too thick and too 'heavy'.  So I went searching for a recipe for home made tortillas. Because Heaven knows fresh home made tortillas are Da Bomb!

Growing up we had a neighbor down the street who would make dozens of tortillas and sell them. She made dozens because we ordered dozens. We also slathered them with butter and ate them while waiting for the next round to come... Fresh, warm tortillas with butter on them- my mouth waters and I drool.

I found a few recipes online, here, there and everywhere, each one calling for some of the same things... Last night I gave it a shot. The first one had cornstarch and baking powder in it. They turned out ok, but would seem to be better used in making chips. Granny's Corn Flour Tortillas In the comments there are a few people saying to add a little more water, etc. They were good with honey and I actually made a couple into bowls for taco salads.

Since these were coming out too crisp to use later as taco shells, I flipped a couple of pages and found another recipe. Easy enough and all the ingredients were on hand... I would provide a link, but forgot the website I found it on. Here it is though and I highly recommend this one. Very light, fluffy and easy to roll into burritos, make chimichangas, or even flautas or taquitos depending on the size you make to use.

3 cups of flour
1tsp of salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup warm water

Combine flour & salt, mixing well, then add oil. Combine until it is crumbly and begin adding water. Mix by hand until it forms a nice dough. Turn it out on a non-floured (or lightly floured) surface and knead 3-5 minutes until it is consistent & smooth. Return to the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let it sit for at least an hour.

*This is a good time to go do something else like grate cheese, cook some chicken or beef, chop lettuce.... Get your stuff ready for putting in the tortillas.

For standard tortillas, cut dough into 10-12 pieces. Roll each piece out into 10"-12" thin tortillas. Heat a non-greased flat pan over medium heat. Place the tortillas on the pan for 30 seconds each side. This part goes really quick. If you have someone helping you, they are flipping tortillas about as fast as you can roll them out. I will try to get pictures tonight of the few leftover tortillas from both batches. They were good for soft tacos or what ended up being burritos and the first batch were much like Sopapilla's which if you have ever had these- they are very good too. I have a recipe for them I will be posting soon. Enjoy!


If you will be making flautas or taquitos- you will get more tortillas as they will be smaller in size. For larger tortillas (for those wonderful football sized burritos)- obviously you will not get as many.

For Chimichangas and flautas, you can either fry the tortillas filled with cheese, chicken, steak, shredded beef, shrimp, ceveche or whatever you like- or for a healthier, easier, cleaner alternative- bake them in the oven on a cookie sheet at about 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until the tortilla browns and hardens like a shell. These can all be frozen for later or eaten when cooled.

I am going to be making a bunch of these to take with us for lunch this week.
Fast, cheap, easy and tasty- I love it!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pasta perfection

A few weeks ago I found a recipe online for Perfect Gnocchi. For anyone not familiar with Gnocchi, it is a pasta made from potato's. Chef Fabio Viviani makes it look incredibly easy and let me assure you- it is! I watched the video a few times repeatedly, so as to write down what he used to make the gnocchi and how he cooked it afterwards.

Chef Fabio's Perfect Gnocchi

3 lbs of potato's
2 cups of flour
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon nutmeg
optional- salt & pepper to taste

Cook the potato's and mash. Let them cool in the refrigerator overnight. I peeled, boiled and mashed them as if making regular mashed potato's- Fabio cooked them as if making baked potato's, then mashed them with the same result- do what works for you.

I do not have a wonderful Kitchen Aid mixer yet, so here is the version of doing it by hand. It still worked, but I think the mixer would make things go much faster and be a lot easier.

Mix cheese, flour (salt & pepper) and nutmeg in a large bowl. (I also threw in a generous dash of garlic salt.) Once mixed, add in the potato's. I mixed this with a wooden spoon for a while until finally just getting flour on my hands and mixing it by hand as if kneading the dough. Once mixed, turn it out onto the counter or a floured cloth and work the dough a little more. patting it as Fabio does to remove all air bubbles. 

Slice into pieces the size of your fist. (I quartered it. Just easier that way for me.)  Roll the ball out into a long rope about the diameter of your thumb.  (If your ropes start to fall apart, cut that part off and work with it later.  Working it by hand it will moisten up and you can then roll it out again. If they get too long to manage on the surface you are working on- cut them down to more manageable lengths.) Once the dough is in a rope about the diameter of your thumb, cut it into pieces about one inch in length. Some people will press a fork into it to give it lines for decoration, but you can skip this step if you'd like.  

Fabio then brings a large pot to water to a boil. Toss in your gnocchi and let them cook. While that is happening- it happens fast- put some olive oil in a frying pan, add some crushed red pepper and let it simmer. (I am not a fan of crushed red peppers on or in anything, but this was good and it heat was not a problem at all.)  As the first few gnocchi start to float, pull them out of the water and put them into the frying pan. Let them simmer until they begin to brown around the edges. Remove the gnocchi from the frying pan and place them on a plate. Sprinkle with some ground Parmesan and enjoy.    

I made gnocchi from this recipe over the weekend and the girls loved it. They both gave it their smile of approval! It was really good and easy to make, even without having the mixer to do most of the work for me. I still have half the dough left and will be making the rest of it tonight. It was that good.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Drawing Inspiration

Sherry over at Fern Valley Appaloosas, recently received an award and passed it along to me.

Where do you get ideas of things to cook? What kind of stuff do you like?  I started this blog as a way to sort of post the recipes I have made and we enjoyed, sort of as a way to compile it but also as a way to find new things to try.

I love me some Italian food and used to watch the shows on Saturday morning on the PBS channel. Now that we no longer have cable, let alone the local channels- that option is gone. No food network, nothing to draw on other than websites online, what Mom used to make or stuff I threw together one night out of desparation.  Let's face it- we have ALL been there at some point!

In making the Sea Shells recipe I bought a bottle of Voga Italia wine for the sauce. I will not lie, I am not a particular fan of wine. I live in the world of two kinds of wine- red or white?  I bought the Voga Italia wine for the bottle, because it was different, sleek and I like the way it looks. I can be pretty shallow that way. I bought the Pinot Grigio, but I would like to try the Sparkling, Merlot and the Rosa... and I like the bottles for them too.

Something on the VI website caught my eye though. Tutti Matti, I looked it up and found it to be a restaurant in Toronto serving Tuscan style food. They listed the lunch & dinner menu's online and as I looked at them, I thought- why can't I find a recipe for this, now that I know what this dish is called? Although the spelling of the dish can throw you off at times, once you have that- just go online in search of a recipe for that dish... 

That is how I came across the recipe for sour cream enchiladas. A local restaurant had them and I loved them.  The last time we went there- not so much. They just were not that good. Ever had that happen?  So I got to thinking (dangerous, I know!) why not make my own at home?   Between this new idea and not wanting to serve the girls a bunch of stuff coming out of cardboard boxes, I started to cook.  The food, the flavors, the idea of knowing WHAT is in each dish... I have also been putting more into the garden out front. If I can grow it, then use that in a dish- even better.  So where do you get your ideas for what you serve your family for dinner?

Monday, January 9, 2012

French Bread

We each have our own thing about food to love. Mine is fresh bread out of the oven, slathered with butter. It has also proven to be one of my biggest 'problem areas' of cooking/ baking and making stuff.  I have been trying to make a light, fluffy bread and the one recipe I have tried several times, finally failed me for the last time. I pulled it out of my 3 ring binder and tossed it in the trash.

I have tried it several times, hotter water, cooler water, let the yeast proof longer, not as long, let the bread rise 3 times, 2 times, skip that throw it in the oven- all different things I have tried and nothing works. At least it hasn't for me. 

So I went back to a blog I have gone to many times before over the years and found this recipe.  One thing I absolutely LOVE about this recipe is the versatility of it.  I made hamburger buns last night and they are good, big, fluffy, mmmmm.... Made baguets from it last week and although it seems you are putting the ingredients in backwards from other recipes- this one worked nicely for me.

French Bread from back in 2008 off the blog- Mennonite Girls Can Cook. I'm not sure if I can post the whole thing here, but if there is a problem, they can let me know and I will pull it, just leaving a link to the recipe.  They are a group of ladies who seem to have a great, easy recipe for everything. Gotta love that!

French Bread

I got this recipe from Lovella G. ( another Lovella, and another great friend) way back when our kids went to the same elementary school. This recipe has become sort of a "staple" kind of recipe for a quick bread, for pizza crust, pizza buns, focaccia bread or baguettes (used for spinach dip etc) As you can see - It is a must have! =)

2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 tsp salt
2 cups hot tap water
4 1/2 - 5 cups flour
2 Tbsp instant yeast

Mix in order given, mixing the yeast with a little flour and adding that while dough is still very soft. Add enough flour to make a dough that holds together in a ball shape and is not sticky if you handle it with floured hands. Cover.
Let rise until double, about 1/2 hour. Divide in half.
Roll out to about 12x15” rectangle. Roll up jelly roll style and place on greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Cut diagonal slits on top. Let rise about 30 - 45 min. Brush with mixture of 1 egg and 2 Tbsp milk, beaten with fork.
Bake at 400F for 20 min, or until golden.

For Pizza:
Instead of rolling out the dough, just divide and press onto 2 pizza pans. Bake at 400F until light golden - just done. About 12 minutes.
Spread lightly with pizza or spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with any cold cuts you want . . . ham, salami, pepperoni, cooked hamburger (left over sloppy joe sauce) or cooked chicken, slivered peppers, grated cheese (mozzarella, or assortment). Sprinkle with oregano and basil. Bake at 375, about 15 min.

focaccia bread:
Add about 1 Tbsp of each (fresh if possible) thyme, oregano, rosemary, chopped into tiny bits,
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1- 2 tsp garlic powder to the dough, as you're mixing it. Cover and let rise.
Press dough into 2 - 8 X 8 greased pans. Make indentations with end of wooden spoon and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal and rosemary (optional)
Cover and rise 1/2 hour. Bake until light golden, about 25 - 30 minutes. Serve with Olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

dipping bread:
Use any kind of combination of flour and grains that you like, roll out to make long skinny loaves (baguettes) and slice at an angle. Great with Spinach dip.
Maybe this is too much information, but it's there to give you ideas on what you can do and I hope you try something new and enjoy it.