Monday, January 7, 2013

Go Go Go Brits

This news story makes me happy.  I'm sorry there is no needs for something like this to have this much sugar in it.  And good for the UK trying to make a hard stance on the health and well being of their children.

Please read and tell me what you think:
Ban high-sugar cereals to tackle child obesity, says Andy Burnham

Friday, November 30, 2012

Mama Wants to be Drunk Oatmeal Cookies

Sorry for the long wait on the next recipe, however when a certain little girl, auhummmm Annabelle, broke my camera it well made it hard to get into the mood to cook and take photos of the items I made.

However after Thanksgiving Day I got begged to share my cookie recipes that I made for that day.  Here is the first one.  I am going to make them again this weekend and will post photos of the cookies then.  And why yes that does mean I have gotten a new camera.   Nothing fancy, but it does the job.

And for those of you that know my kids you will totally see why these were created lol!


**now photos of these amazing cookies**

Mama Wants to be Drunk Oatmeal Cookies

Cream together until the sugar has dissolved into the butter and is fluffy.
1 c of unsalted butter
1 c packed dark brown sugar
.5 c sugar

Add each egg one at a time
2 eggs

Add all the items in at once and beat until incorporated completely
3 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
.5 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp of Scotch

Add in ONE cup at a time
1.5 c all-purpose flour
3 c quick cook oatmeal

Fold in until they are everywhere in the dough
1 cup of scotched soaked golden raisins (recipe below)
1 bag of Hershey Kisses Milk Chocolates (in the chocolate chip area)

1 box of golden raisins
1 c Scotch (the real stuff from Scotland)
1 tbsp of dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt

In a non-stick sauce pan add in everything.  If the Scotch doesn’t cover the raisins then add just enough water until they are barely covered. Simmer until the liquid starts to disappear.  Watch once this happens, you want the raisins plumb & sticky and no real amount of liquid left in the sauce pan.  Let them cool and then add them to the cookie dough.

Heat oven to 350.  Bake for 10 to 12 mins or until golden brown.  Cool and enjoy the yumminess!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jerusalem artichokes AKA Sunchokes

I am always on the hunt on various things I could grow myself.  I have a very tiny front yard and a very small back yard.  The backyard is lacking in sunlight in the summer because of the trees that aren't on my property.  The front yard gets full sunlight.  This was our 2nd summer with a above ground planter.  We grew tomatoes, white eggplant, peppers, and herbs.  I would love to expand and just kind of cover what little we have land wise with planters.

As you can see that it isn't a very big planter, however we were amazed what got out of it production wise.  Never in a million years did I think we would end up with so much food.  Now I just need to learn how to can/put up my goods so I don't have to shop as much at the grocery store/farmer's market.

One of the foods I would like to add to our list of goodies is the Jerusalem Artichoke or also know as the Sunchoke.  I love artichokes but hate how much is wasted to get to the "good part."  Many of my friends that have gotten to try these say they taste just like an artichoke but however without all the waste.  And it is super easy to fix since it is a tuber.  I know I missed ordering this fall for next year, but I am super excited to add these in the future to our diet.

What are some fruits and veg that you would like to add to your garden?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Feeling Fishy?

I love fish, but I grew up in a house were we really didn't eat fish.  And if we did have fish it was either fish out of a box or canned tuna.  Now my mom did try to make "real" fish but every time my mom made it I ended up in the bathroom puking my brains out.  It wasn't until I was dating Jeremy that I finally tried "real" fish again.  Yes, that is how scared I was by my mom's cooking.  

But, I have had a hard time getting the girls to eat fish.  Lorelei LOVES shrimp and she will fight us for them.  I have even been stabbed by a fork because Lorelei was trying to get my shrimp off my plate.  I have gotten Annabelle to try cod and liked it a lot, but that can be pricey at the store.  My kids also go through phases where they don't want to eat protein and to me fish is a great way to reach your daily protein goals.  So, I have come up with a great canned tuna dish that the girls eat up.  

One can/pouch of tuna packed in water
1/4 cup of shredded carrots
1/4 cup of shredded salad greens (whatever you have on hand)
1/4 cup of shredded cheese (whatever you have on hand)
3 piece of bacon crumbled
enough light mayo to make moist (or 
Dump everything into a bowl and stir together.  Eat on crackers or toast or anything else you would like to put this with such as Wasa bread, pasta, etc... I eat mine in lettuce leaves or as Lorelei calls them Salad Boats.  Now depending on how much you want on a sandwich this can feed 3 adults or 6 toddlers in half sandwiches.  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake + Pancakes = HEAVENLY

The other day at the grocery store Lorelei wanted strawberries in the worst way.  I told her no at first because they aren't in season and more expensive, but once I saw the deal that if you bought 2 bags of lettuce you got free strawberries I gave in... plus I need green rabbit food anyways.  Then Lorelei wanted to make a dip for the berries, so I picked up some already whipped cream cheese.  Fast forward a few days to yesterday Lorelei ordered me to make strawberry cream cheese pancakes.  Ok, that sounded good too me.  And a great way to try to sneak in some berries to Annabelle (if it's not a banana or an apple she won't eat it fruit wise).

Well, lets put it this way, I was going to use Jeremy's phone to take a photo of the pancakes and... well... umm... they are allllll gone folks.  So trust me huge hit.  Lorelei also is very proud of herself.  She put the batter into the skillet and flipped the pancakes.  I also think she ate them as she cooked them lol.

2 eggs
1 stick of unsalted butter – melted
2 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp of gaur gum

4oz of whipped cream cheese (aka half a container) at room temperature
6 big strawberries- diced
½ cup of sugar + 1 tbsp of sugar
1 cup of my GF Flour Mix
¾ cup of milk

1.5 tsp of white vinegar

In a bowl placed place the diced strawberries and 1 tbsp of sugar.  Mix to make sure that all the berries are covered with the sugar.  Then microwave them for 20 seconds to help speed up the process.

In the measuring cup that is holding your milk add the vinegar.  We are making our own “buttermilk” because I never have the real stuff around.  You will see the milk change texture some while you are mixing the batter.  If you have buttermilk you can use it.

Beat the eggs in a different bowl once a creamy yellow color add in the vanilla and slowly drizzle in the melted butter while beating the eggs the entire time.  Once the butter has been completely incorporated in add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, gaur gum.  Then add in the cream cheese.  Make sure it is at room temperature and whipped.  Now you want little happy chunks of yummy cheesy goodness throughout the batter.  Then add in half of the milk mixture and half of the GF flour mixture.  Once that has been mixed in add in the rest of the milk and flour.  Once everything is combined let the mixture sit for a few minutes to get fluffy.

Cook, Eat, and Enjoy.

Btw- you won’t need any butter or syrup on top of these pancakes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Shannon's Ohhh So Good For You Mac & Cheese

Here is the recipe I was talking about all the time when I talk about making my home made Mac and Cheese.  It is really easy to change up for whatever needs you need to meet…

Pasta Mixture
1 box of mac noodles
1 tbsp of garlic powder
¼ cup salt
1 tsp of red pepper flakes (opt).
Large pot of hot boiling water

1 tbsp of butter- unsalted
1 tbsp of flour
1 can of chicken stock (I use reduce salt and fat free ones)
1 cup of milk (whatever you have on hand)
1 block of cream cheese
1  16 oz package of shredded cheddar cheese
3 piece of bacon cooked and crumbed
2 eggs
2 cups of left over chicken (opt).
½ cup pepper jack cheese- shredded (opt).
Salt and pepper to taste
1  9x13 baking dish- sprayed with PAM

In the large pot of hot boiling water add salt, garlic powder, and if you want the red pepper flakes.  Stir in the mac noodles. To change things up and make it more fun for Lorelei I also have tiny little star/flower shaped pasta and will mix the 2 together.  Cook until done- for us it is about 15 mins.  Drain and set aside to make the sauce.

In a non stick sauce pan add the butter and flour and cook until combined and the roux starts to change color slightly.  Then slowly add in the chicken stock.  Then stir in the cheddar cheese and mix until it is melted in to the chicken stock sauce.  Then slowly add the milk, sometimes you need more, and sometimes you need less milk.  Once the milk is added in stir in the crumbled bacon, cooked chicken bits, and the drained pasta.  Once everything is mixed in pour into the baking dish and let it cool for a few mins.  In a small bowl beat the 2 eggs and once the mac and cheese mix has cooled for a few mins stir in the eggs into the baking dish.

Bake at 350 for about 20 to 30 mins or until golden brown on top.  Pull out of the oven for a few mins to sprinkle the pepper jack cheese on top and then put it back in the oven for a few mins until the cheese has melted.

The red pepper flakes and the pepper jack cheese adds a very very small amount of heat.  Lorelei is 2.5 years old and loves this…

If I have left over veggies like carrots I will toss them in with the pasta to get soft… and if I have onions and garlic I add it to the sauce.  If you want to use beef- change the chicken stock to beef stock... and if you want it to be a veggie dish- use Veggie stock and toss in some chili beans.  You can also use this sauce as a fondue cheese sauce.  It tastes like a full fat mac and cheese without any of the badness lol… btw- for WLS peeps serving size is 1/2 cup if you don't add the chicken... if you have chicken 3/4 cup serving size.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I like things CRUSTY...

One of the hardest things when you have WLS is giving up certain things that have become a comfort food.  I have to admit I love a good fish dipped in batter and fried.  I love things with a crunch on the outside with a moist middle.  Since then I try hard to avoid it because I couldn't right ingredients to get it just right without blowing my eating plan.

Last night I wanted to do pork chops with just a little texture on the outside.  I read some of the cookbooks in my collections and nothing jumped out in what I should do to keep it low carb.  Well when I was cleaning up from making the cookies I spilled some brown rice flour.  Right then it felt like I got hit by a frying pan... why didn't I try some of my "alt" flours.  It was a great success... Everyone loved them last night!

GF flouring mixture:
1/4 cup of brown rice flour
1 tsp of kosher salt
1 tsp of black pepper
1 tsp of white pepper
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of onion powder
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp of sugar

Mix in a bowl and rub away on the meat.  But, if you would like this to be a fine grain rub, then blitz in a coffee/spice grinder.  Once I had coated the meat I let it set for a few minutes while the olive oil heated up in the skillet.  And then cooked away in the skillet till done, only flipping once.  I had about 1.5 inch thick boneless pork chops, heat on Med High.

Now you could always to the egg/flour mixture dip with this mixture.  However you will have to make a lot more...

I tonight we are going to try this mixture out on some white fish that I have in the freezer.  

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies- Shanny Style

Ok I have now tasted and tried a number of Gluten Free items and have a huge issue... the texture.  Ugh.  I have done some research on my own and after a lot of reading of my own cookbooks and food chemistry books... I think I have it!

The last few weeks I have been messing around with my own mixture for a GF baking mix.  Now I know mine has oatmeal flour in it and that is up for debate in the GF world so if you have an issue to it ditch it.  Not a big deal that I can real tell, other than, to me, an earthly taste to the baked item.

1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks)
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3 large eggs
1.5 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
2 tsp of guar gum
1 tsp of kosher salt

2.25 cups of GF baking mix (recipe below)
1 package of mini chocolate chips (or whatever flavor and style you want)

My GF baking mix:
I make up a big container of this and then use it almost cup per cup to flour.  If you can't tolerate oats just take the oatmeal flour out.  I didn't notice a difference mouth feel wise.  I keep this in a container in my pantry area where it is cool and kind of dark.
2 cup of brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup oatmeal flour

Cookie time:
Cream together butter and sugar.  Once light and fluffy add eggs once at a time and then the vanilla.  Scrape down the bowl and then added baking soda, baking powder, guar gum, and salt and mix.  Then add in slowly 3/4 of cup at a time the flour scraping down the bowl after adding the flour mixture.  Then stir in by hand the chocolate chips.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake on the middle rack to 8 to 11 mins.  I pull them out while they are a little gooey in the middle since I like a softer cookie.  For a crispier cookie leave in till done in the middle.  if you would like your cookies puffier- use 1/2 cup of butter and shortening.

I hope to have photos later if I can get Jeremy's cell to take a photo since Annabelle broke my camera.  **A friend who tested out the cookies for me took some photos of them for me... so ignore the Christmas plate :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My fave chicken dish

We eat a lot of meat in this house.  We are a high protein family since I had gastric bypass 4 years ago.  So, over time I have had to reinvent favorite recipes to cut down carbs and fat.  One dish I had just before WLS was Hunter's Style Chicken.  It was amazing, but high carb and fat.  So this is my take on the dish for my family now.

This dish feed my family of 4 (2 adults, 2 small children)

3 skinless chicken breast- split and bone in
corn starch or arrowroot for coating the chicken
1 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic sliced
1 pound of mushrooms sliced very thin
2 tsp of rice vinegar with garlic
1 cup of chicken stock- reduce sodium
4 tbsp of tomato paste
1 cup water
2 tsp of dry oregano
1/2 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy)
salt and black pepper to taste

In a large nonstick skillet put in the olive oil and 2 gloves of garlic on medium heat.  Coat the chicken with the corn starch and shake off the excess.  Before placing the chicken into the oil pick out the garlic and save for later.  Cook the chicken until browned.  Now put in all the garlic, the mushrooms, and tomato paste.  Once the tomato paste is cooked out it's raw flavor add in rest of the ingredients making sure everything is combined.  Cook for 45 mins, but if the sauce gets too thick add part water/part chicken stock a little bit at a time.

I serve this with a little salad on the side.  If you don't have to watch your carbs you could have this with mashed potatoes as well and a little garlic bread.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Love creamy goodness!

I. Love. Cheesecake.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it!  Sorry but there is something about the dense creamy cold delight meeting the salty sweet crust that I just love to death.  And it is high protein and can be sugar free and gluten fee as well. 

When I was pregnant with Annabelle I had to up my protein A LOT.  So we pretty much made cheesecake every week, and it is pretty cheap to make as well.   Lorelei loved this recipe and she is the one that named it.  I am sure you can figure out what part my oldest added to this recipe to make it a surprise...

Shannon's Citrus Cheesecake Surprise
2.5 pounds of cream cheese (5 blocks and I used the reduce fat ones)
2- 6 oz containers of Dannon Light and Fit Yogurt- Lemon
1 grapefruit- zested and juiced
3 tsp of vanilla extract
1.75 cup of sugar sub (or sugar)
3 tbsp of all purpose flour (or a GF flour)
5 large eggs
2 egg yokes
purple food coloring
3 graham cracker crusts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft and smooth, about 1 minute. Combine flour and sugar in another bowl and then add to the beaten cream cheese. Mix well Scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the grated citrus zests. Add in the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly scraping down the sides of the bowl, until the batter is perfectly smooth.

Pour the batter into the graham cracker crusts, tapping the bottom on the counter 4 or 5 times to eliminate air pickets. Bake 1 hour, or until the center feels firm when pressed. Immediately remove the cake pan from the larger pan and set aside to cool on a rack. Refrigerate for a few hours.
Eat and enjoy!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A meal Popeye would be proud of...

Spinach.  One of those leafy green "things" that are hit or missed in most households.  I know I didn't like spinach until I started to fix it for myself... and made sure it didn't smell bad or look like wet grass clippings.

For me the key was buying it fresh and wilting it down myself. I could also control the flavor and fat.  Now this is one meal that I can get the girls to eat with spinach in it, which makes me super happy!

4 boneless skinless chicken breast- cooked and diced
1 bag of fresh spinach
3/4 cup of reduce fat sour cream
1/2 cup of reduce fat mayo
1 cup of mozzarella shredded
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tbsp of diced garlic
1/2 a sweet onion finally diced
1 egg- beaten
black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.  In a mixing bowl toss in all the ingredients and mix well making sure everything is well coated.  In a greased 9x13 baking dish spread the mixture and pat it down.  Cover with foil and bake for about 40 minutes then take the foil off and turn the boiler on and brown the top till golden brown.

Set aside and let it cool for about 15 minutes and then cut and serve. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Little Monkeys

My kids love all things bananas, but they do have times when they want nothing to do with them. When that happens this is the recipe I use to make THE BEST banana bread EVER!

1 cup of sugar (I use a sugar sub)
1/2 c butter
3 very ripe bananas
3 large eggs
1.5 tbsp buttermilk or sour cream
1.5 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of kosher salt
2 cups flour (or GF making mix)
1.5 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 c creamy peanut butter
1/2 c chopped walnuts
1/2 c mini chocolate chips

Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy.  Then add in one banana and one egg at a time until they are all blended in to the butter mixture.  Then add in all the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined.  And yes I dump the nuts and chocolate in with all the other dry ingredients.  Dump into a greased and floured loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes.  Let it cool in the pan for about 10 mins and then remove to cool on a wire rack.

This is normally gone in a day in my house.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Heavenly Chocolate Covered Cheesecake

One of the things that I believe I have mastered since having gastric bypass is cheesecake.  Why, because it is high protein and can be made reduce fat and sugar free- if you want... or you can make it completely sinful!  While this isn't gluten free with some minor changes it can be gluten free as well.  Cheesecake is one of those things to me is rich, tangy, and just ooooohhhhh so lush and creamy in your mouth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

1 cup Murry sugar free short bread cookies
1 box of Sugar free Oreos- minus 5 cookies (lore ate them)
1/2 cup of splenda
1/2 cup of DiabetiSweet Original Sugar
7 tablespoons butter, melted 

In a medium size bowl, combine everything and mix well. Spray the pan with PAM, making sure you get th sides. Mix well and place in the bottom of an 8x8-inch pan. Make sure to press against the bottom of the pan. Place into oven and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool.

4 boxes of reduced fat cream cheese, softened
2 cup splenda
2 teaspoon vanilla extract -I used a dried vanilla powder
6 eggs (or 1.5 cup egg sub)
1 pinch of kosher salt

Prepare the filling by beating cream cheese. Mix in splenda and vanilla while beating until well blended. Add in eggs one at a time and then add salt. The mixture is runny. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight or if you want it faster- place in freezer for an hour and then add the chocolate topping and freeze again until set.

Chocolate Glaze:
1 stick of butter
2 50/50 milk chocolate bars (giant carries these)
2 cup splenda
1 cup heavy whipping cream (or half and half)
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium-low heat. Add chocolate to the butter. Whisk in everything and whisk until combined. Cook over medium-low heat for 2 minutes while whisking constantly.

WHen I made this I was also able to make 12 cupcake size mini cheesecakes besides the 8x8 cake. I didn't put the crust in the cupcake papers, just the cheesecake mixture. You can also add the chocolate mixture on these as well. I also put 2 tsp of sugar free strawberry jelly into these mini cheesecakes. They came out very yummy as well.

Yield: 20 pieces in the 8x8 pan and 12 cupcake minis

Friday, November 4, 2011

"The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain"- Spanish Styled Beef

Spanish Styled Beef

A few years ago I was trying to broaden Lorelei's taste palate.  A lot of times we would pick a place from the History Channel or maybe something in an article would spark an idea.  One Sunday we had missionaries at church who were in the mountains of Spain and they were talking about their adventures there and how different the olives were there in Spain.  Lorelei already liked olives but she got to taste the ones from Spain and was in love.  So that started the hunt for a dish that I could put them in for her (and hide them from me- olives yuckie).

This is a pretty basic recipe using items that we can get at our grocery stores.

2 to 3 pound bottom round roast (or something close to that cut wise)
2 tbsp of EVOO
2 large Spanish onions (if you can't find them use sweet onions)
4 large cloves of minced garlic
1/2 c sliced pimiento stuffed green olives (if you can use Spanish ones)
1 tbsp of olive juice (what the olives are canned/jarred in)
1.5 tbsp of dried oregano
2 tsp of sugar (or sugar sub)
1 tsp of ground black pepper
1 cup of low sodium beef broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut beef into 1 inch cubes.  If you see large pieces of fat trim them off.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat - if you have a well seasoned cast iron skillet it use it.  Brown the beef on all sides and remove to a 9x13 baking dish.

Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and saute in the beef drippings until soften to add a richer flavor to the vegs.  Carefully add the rest of the ingredients over medium heat until well combined and heated through then pour over the beef.  Cover with foil and bake until done.  For me it was 2 hours one day another 2.5 hours.  You want the beef to be fork tender.

I served this with rice to soak up all the yummy goodies from the baking dish.  Also, salt wasn't added to this dish because pimientos and olives tend to be salty. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Clean Eating Magazine

I love books.  Real books.  You know the kind where you can ACTUALLY turn real pages.  We have an eReader but I hate reading on it.  It isn't the same comfort that I seem to get from books.  And my love of books, I love love love magazines.  We we moved into our house and then had Lorelei I didn't renew a lot of our magazines, however I have gotten two magazines this year.  The one I want to talk about today however is called Clean Eating.

I got a great deal on the magazine and I am so glad that I got it even through I hadn't heard of it before.  It covers everything from gluten free, veggie only, and good high protein dishes.  Most of the items they call for I can get in my grocery store and only once I had to go to our local health food store for an item.

One of the recipes I liked a lot from the magazine has been the Seared Chicken with Maple glaze.  This is their photo of the dish.  I didn't get a chance to take a photo of the dish because it was gone as soon as plated it for everyone.  To me that is a huge success with any meal since I have one child that will eat anything and another that is kind of picky/bland when it comes to eating.  I think the secret to this dish being a mark in the win column was the maple glaze.  Now I used a sugar free maple syrup for this dish and kosher salt, so this dish came out even lower carb count wise and sodium wise.  I also didn't find this overly sweet because of the maple syrup either where in some other dishes we have had that issue and well that food was hard to choke down.

So if you are looking for a great new magazine to give to someone as a gift or looking for a way to make your own cooking healthier and dishes easy on the budget I highly recommend this magazine.  BTW- I wasn't paid to review this recipe or the magazine.  I paid for it out of my own pocket and have loved every minute of it since it has arrived in all it's colorful wonderfulness in my mailbox.