05 September 2016

New Recipes

This is not a totally new recipe. A co-worker from S-K days passed this one on from her culinary-trained daughter. Spinach and Strawberry Salad, with Poppy-Seed Dressing. 

Spinach-Strawberries-Toasted Almonds; I've added Avocado-Sweet Onion-Grilled Chicken. 

We loved the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes (with Blueberries) at The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm here in Fort Collins. Found a perfect recipe on the classycooking.com website. 

Photo via classy cooking.com

We did a take 2 today 🎬🎬, but with Toasted Almonds-Strawberries-Bananas. Absolutely divine. 

This next one is my creation. Mix one-jar of Dickenson's Lemon Curd with 7-oz 
container of Fage 2% Greek Yogurt. Layer with Graham Cracker Streusel (GC crust recipe; crumbled). Top with a dollop of Whipped Cream. 

Making this today. Probably will add a crumble of Feta Cheese to the White Balsamic Glaze. We'll use julienned Basil from our terrace herb garden, rather than Mint. Will be equally as good. Might even use Basil and Mint. 

Last Friday-Saturday we used a NYTFood recipe for bagels. 

Our results were quite good for the first attempt. Need to work on shapes. Have ordered a biscuit cutter through Anazon to help with that. 

30 August 2016

Fun Kids Summer 2016

Summer Wanes

Since somewhere near the end of July, online bloggers and Instagrammers have been eluding to Autumn, Fall, fallen leaves, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Come on! 

August is like the Sunday of Summer

Mellow into it; quit disappearing the best part of Summer. 

Cooler nights. Hazey mornings. Voluptuous blossoms. Sweet corn. Vine-ripened tomatoes. 

We're doing our part here in Northern Colorado. 

Tortellini salad. TDF. Smoked Gouda-garden tomatoes-red onion-tortellini-pepperoni-basil-lite, mustard vinaigrette. 

Panzanella. Perfection. Late summer in a bowl. 

We're focused on good health and mostly-healthy eating. Workouts 3x a week, eating fresh food at home most days, restorative sleep, family time. Walking to restaurants, church, health club, shopping. It's truly a pleasure. 

We've slowed down on the variety of travel in exchange for our tiny, rental flat here in Fort Collins. So many great family times. Being here has made the small moments important. Days and moments to cherish. 

07 August 2016

Mary, Mary how does your garden grow?

Well, our Illinois garden is thriving by all reports. We have someone watering and watching. Here, we've just begun. D+M brought my hanging pots with them on Friday.

So far, I've used basil for Caprese Salad and a bit of dill in the Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps. Planning a favorite Tortellini Salad for later in the week.

We've been enjoying the Fort Collins Farmers Markets--Old Town and the Drake Road Farmers Market. Today I stumbled upon the Harmony Road Sunday Market but my errands were in another direction. 

Well have our first overnight guests this weekend. Exciting for us. Our daughter and husband, J+M, are coming from Omaha with the Fun Kids. We've been gathering ideas for small adventures and meals. There's just too little time. Patience. 

So, besides calorie counting and seriously working out...

I'm in a circuit training class. (Insert belly laughs.) By mistake. I actually went in-person to register for a Monday morning stretch yoga class. The first session was both confusing and scary for me.

At one point early on I explained to the Trainer that because of back issues I only speed walk and practice Yoga. He said, "Well then Marielle why did you sign-up for this class?" As I was sleep-deprived and confused, I just looked at him. He proceeded to teach me how to use each piece of equipment. I was still thinking Yoga was somehow involved... So, when he indicated that everyone would return to the mat room in about one minute I piped-up, "Oh! For a cool-down time." 

He and I weren't on a different page, we were reading entirely different books! And, mine was in a foreign language. I decided to stay in the class--8:30am Monday and Wednesday. 
I also walk on the indoor track 2x a week and I did find a more-challenging than planned Yoga class. 

21 July 2016

Summer at Our House

Too much entertaining lately, but the off-shoot is that I'm deep into cooking again. 

There were leftovers to work through after our big vegan meal. With oven-roasted sweet potatoes on-hand, I was inspired to make a big late-morning breakfast for CA and me. 

Also, utilized the leftover steak from a very recent dinner at Outback. With a correctly-prepared "medium" steak, you can briefly reheat in the microwave without over-cooking. 

We still had great amounts of leftover vegetables and the clock was ticking toward our trip to Colorado. 

CA and I worked together and prepped the peppers and Vidalias for fajitas (JE's family were due to arrive soon.)

After the peppers and onions cooled a bit, we divided them into Ziplock bags and put them in the freezer. We had pork tenderloin fajitas on Saturday night, and having the veggies pre-made was huge. 

One of our favorite "pantry" meals is a marinara with tarragon, garlic, and finely-diced red onion. We enjoyed this batch with some Dececco linguine, crunchy bacon pieces, and great dollops of creamy goat cheese. 

On Sunday, 7/10, it was our turn to host Small Group, and I'd decided on a peanut butter-chocolate cheesecake with hot fudge and whipped cream. But, I wasn't sure that everyone coming liked peanut butter, so I also made a simple lemon tart. Used a prepared (Pillsbury) pie crust for convenience and 2 jars of Dickenson's Lemon Curd, because it's very tart and very good. 

The first photo is just after I removed the pie weights. The tart crust still needed a few more minutes in the oven to be fully browned. 

I wanted a deep cheesecake, so I used 4 packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese and a cup of peanut butter for a 9"x3" outcome. Actually, I used 5 packages of cream cheese and 1-1/4 cups of PB as I planned to additionally make 4 small 4" cheesecakes to deliver to our elderly parents. 

The crusts were NutterButter cookies and a bit of melted butter. I learned the hard way that pre-baking the crust, as you sometimes do with a graham cracker crust, is not a good idea. Must be the high sugar-fat content of those NutterButters. 

I also added about 1 cup of Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips to the filling mix. 

At serving, I warmed some Mrs. Richardson's Hot Fudge Sauce to drizzle over. And then, topped both the cheesecake slices and the lemon tart slices with freshly-whipped cream. 

On Tuesday we drove to Central Illinois for a quick visit with our parents. Not sure my almost 95-year old dad realized I'd made him cheesecakes as both his sight and hearing have deteriorated greatly this year. But, CA's 88-year old mom was very pleased and happy to share with some of her caregivers. 

By Friday, 7/15 our daughter's family had arrived. LC was turning 5-years on 7/20 so we had fun celebrating his birthday a bit early on Saturday. 

Who doesn't love a donut cake?!

I'm now ready to buckle-down and begin eating "right" again. Love the My Fitness Pal app for calorie counting, excersize recording, and nutrition monitoring. 

Breakfast at Silver Grill in Fort Collins, CO. 

A simple lunch. 

Last night we adapted a favorite salad. The beauty of using the My Fitness Pal app is that I can plan my daily food intake to accommodate a more caloric dinner, or a restaurant meal. 

For example, CA and I had a late breakfast today at The Farmhouse at Jessup Farms. I didn't even miss the potatoes or bacon, as green chiles and fresh fruit were available substitutes. 

My leftover green chiles prompted us to make chicken quesadillas and guacamole for dinner. Turns out carrots taste wonderful with guac--The Two Hot Tamales recipe. 

I warmed the green chiles and, just at serving time, stirred-in some sour cream. 

So... While we are in Colorado, our daughter and family are staying at our very unofficial Airbnb with friends from Cincinnati. Only right, as CA and I stayed at JE's home on our way to CO.

Unfortunately for them, an Opposum somehow made it into one of our covered window wells, then died. Thanks MA for doing the clean-up.