Monday, July 28, 2014

Vegetable Hash with Eggs

Since we had our blood work done, I've made some changes for my husband.  First, he has to have chicken for dinner two nights a week, and fish one night a week, and meat free one night a week, which leaves only three nights a week for red meat.  He is not a happy camper about that.  Second, I'm badgering him about needing to exercise.  Yea, that isn't going too well.  And third, I told him he needed to start putting coconut oil in his coffee, it makes him gag.

So he isn't the happiest around our house right now.  I just want him to think about his health so he lives a good long time, so I can annoy him for a good long time.  His favorite joke right now...

"Why do men die before women?  Because they want to."  Hahahahaha, um, yea.
Dave's undercooked egg, just looking at it makes me want to gag...
I know, what a delicious way to talk about your food.
So for his first meat free dinner, in about all his life, I made vegetable hash with eggs.  We had 6 at home for dinner so I baked the eggs in the oven.  I have to have hard egg yolks, but Dave likes his eggs undercooked with the runny yolk and soft whites, it makes me gag, so mine stay in the oven until it is rubbery hard, yum.

He ate it, said it was good, and wanted to eat 14 Slim Jims about an hour after dinner.  He didn't, he waited until I went to bed.  Well, we are making progress.

Vegetable Hash with Eggs

2 lbs. fingerling potatoes, cut in quarters
2 large sweet onions, cut in large pieces
4 cups yellow squash, large cut pieces
4 cups zucchini, large cut pieces
4 cups green beans, ends cut
olive oil
salt and pepper
dried oregano
6 eggs
finely sliced basil, optional

Preheat oven to 425°F, spray two large sheet pans with cooking spray or lightly oil with olive oil.  If doing eggs in the oven, spray a muffin pan well with cooking spray.

Place cut potatoes and onions in a large bowl.  Add about 1 Tbsp. olive oil and mix well.  Spread in single layer on one cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano.  Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place cut squash, zucchini, and green beans in same bowl.  Add about 1 Tbsp. olive oil and mix well.  Place on second cookie sheet in single layer.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano.
Save the bowl for mixing has after they have been cooked.

Crack 1 egg into each muffin tin for desired number of cooked eggs.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

When potatoes and onions are cooked, remove sheet from oven, cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.  Add second cookie sheet with the squash mixture and the muffin tin with the eggs into the oven.  Cook for 12-15 minutes, depending on desired doneness of eggs.  Remove squash from oven and add back to the large bowl from the beginning, add the potatoes and onions to same bowl.  Add basil and mix carefully.

Divide hash among 6 plates.  Remove eggs from muffin tins by carefully running the sharp edge of a knife around the edge of the eggs and spooning them out of the muffin cups. Place on top of hash.

1 year ago:   Vanilla Cakes with Apricots and Saving Katie's Life
2 years ago:  Grandma's Beans and the Unpleasant Magazine Surprise

July 28, 2014   Sunrise 4:37 am Sunset 11:15pm  Temp. H 62/ L 49°F

Friday, July 25, 2014

Choco Tacos and Saving My Husband's Life

When we were in Seattle for the curly-haired boys wedding, I saved my husband's life.  I probably deserve a medal of some sort, but I settled for making myself a Choco Taco.  This is how it happened...

We flew down to Seattle for the wedding and rented a car.  Neither of us have driven in Seattle much, and especially not to the areas we needed for the wedding, so a couple months earlier Dave asked if we should buy a Tom Tom or Garmin.  "No," I said wisely trying to save money, "We have Google maps on our phones and you can drive and I can navigate."  It sounded good.

So, back to we landed, we got the car, we headed out to meet the kids for lunch.  Google maps did o.k. and it was an area I was sorta used to, we only had to turn around and back track once.

Lunch was great, we said our good-byes, and headed to the grocery store before we drove out to the house we rented.  Google maps was not very helpful, the traffic was typical Seattle traffic, there was construction, and we had to back track about 4 times...the conversation in the car went something like this...

Me - turn here, turn Here, TURN HERE

Dave - I can't turn there it is a one way

Me - Not the one way, the road right after the one way, shit, now we've missed it

Dave - You didn't tell me fast enough

Me - Crap, you were supposed to take that last exit

Dave - Why didn't you tell me?  Now I have to turn around again

Me - Put your blinker on and just start moving into that lane, you can't be polite, we are in traffic

Dave - I'm not going to pull in front of an ambulance with it's lights flashing, Toni, I know how to drive

And then it deteriorated from there.

So, we finally made it to the local Krogers and I walked directly to the electronics section and said, "I need a Tom Tom."  Well, they didn't have a Tom Tom, but they had a Garmin and I bought the one with the biggest screen, because we are getting older.  It prevented me from beating my husband to death with my phone trying to find the house we rented. It was a good investment, and you see I saved Dave's life by spending that $150.00.

I was reminded that I saved his life when Dave asked where I put the Garmin once we got home.  And then I remembered I didn't get that medal for saving his life, or even a treat, and I deserved a treat.
So I made myself something.

I saw on Pinterest how to make Choco Tacos.  I loved these as a kid, and can't find them at my local grocery.  It just so happened I had all the ingredients to make them.  It was fun to make, I think I will make a batch and take to work for our next office pot luck and I'll tell everyone what a hero I am by saving my husband's life.

Choco Taco
makes 1

1 Keebler waffle bowl
ice cream of choice
2 Tbsp. chocolate chips
1/4 tsp coconut oil, optional
1 Tbsp. chopped nuts, I think original Choco Tacos used peanuts, I used salted mixed nuts

Wrap the waffle cone in a damp paper towel and microwave on high for 15 seconds.  Carefully shape into a taco shape.  Let cool, it will firm back us as it cools.  Fill with ice cream of your choice.  Place in freezer for 15 minutes to firm.

Meanwhile, chop nuts and melt chocolate chips in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.  Add 1/4 tsp. coconut oil, if desired (it makes the chocolate smoother and easier to handle).

Remove taco from freezer and spoon chocolate over the top of the ice cream, chocolate will harden as it cools from the ice cream, dip or sprinkle chopped nuts over top, before chocolate is completely hard, pressing nuts into chocolate to securely stick. Place back in freezer until ready to serve, or just eat it right then like I did.

1 year ago:   Tilapia with Cilantro Pesto
2 years ago:  Chicken Pot Pie and Birds in the Chimney

July 25, 2014  Sunrise 4:27 am  Sunset 11:25 pm  Temp. H 59/ L 43°F

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chicken Salad

Fairbanks has had a pretty cool and very wet summer so far.  As a matter of fact, the one week it was sunny and hot (in Fairbanks terms) we were in Seattle for the Curly Haired boy's wedding.  So last night, when I got home from work and my husband had a fire going I was 1) thrilled to death, 2) knew I had the best husband in the whole world, and 3) really sad that it was so blessed cold we needed a fire in July! (Some cheap ass in our house turns the heater zones off for the summer because she doesn't want to waste fuel on heating the house in the summer and my husband is cold because of it.  He can put on a damn sweater).

So the house was toasty warm, there were 7 of us around the table, I had a good glass of wine and we had this for dinner.  It was quick, with the store bought rotisserie chicken, delicious with the blueberries added, and a green salad and some watermelon finished the meal.  It almost felt like summer.

Chicken Salad
adapted from Cooking Light, August 2014
I made two batches, one with yogurt, one with mayo for the dairy free kids.

3 cups shredded chicken, I used a rotisserie chicken from the store
1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt, or light mayo (I made one batch of each)
1/3 cup diced celery
1/4 cup basil, sliced
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup blueberries (o.k. I didn't really measure these, I just dumped some in)

In a large bowl add first 7 ingredients.  Mix well, add blueberries, mix carefully to incorporate.
Serve on toasted sandwich rolls or over mixed baby greens.

1 year ago:   Buttermilk Pastry Cream with Berries and the new Stove
2 years ago:  Tiramisu Brownies and Getting Left on the Side of the Road

July 23, 2014  Sunrise 4:20 am  Sunset 11:32  Temp. H 64/L 50°F

Monday, July 21, 2014

Banana Chocolate Chip Donuts

We are home and in the swing of things.  My parents drove up after the wedding and arrived on Saturday, the Chick went to visit her mom after the wedding and got home Saturday night.

We celebrated everyone's arrival with ribs for dinner and these donuts for breakfast.  It was one of my healthier eating days!  I'm back on kale smoothies tomorrow....yea, right.

Over-ripe bananas are a wonderful thing.

Warm and delicious...perfect for breakfast.

Banana Chocolate Chip Donuts
adapted from Twigg studios

2 medium bananas, very ripe and mashed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk or almond milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips, I used mini

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Generously spray donut pans with cooking spray, or butter well.

Mix bananas, sugar, milk, butter, eggs and vanilla together in a medium bowl.  Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.  Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients (or the other way around, I can never remember how you are supposed to do it), then add the chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into a large ziplock bag, squeeze the air out and snip off one corner.  Pipe the batter into the donut molds.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Let donuts cool in pans for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.  Let cool.  Serve with chocolate dipping sauce, Nutella, or's all good.

This post linked to Homemade Mondays from Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity.

1 year ago:   Buttermilk Blueberry cake and Dave the Streetsweeper
2 years ago:  Strawberry Upside Down Cake

July 21, 2014   Sunrise: 4:13am  Sunset 11:39pm  Temp. H 72/ L 54°F

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Curly Haired Boy's Wedding

We had a wedding over the weekend.  The whole family flew to Seattle from our respective corners of the states...San Diego, Arizona, Fairbanks, Kansas...and met in Seattle.  The title says the Curly Haired Boy's Wedding but we've been telling him and everyone else it is Manetta's wedding and do what she says.

The wedding was on Saturday.  It was a hot sunny day.  For weddings, it was successful; they both showed up, they both said yes, and we all had a fun party after.
Me with two of my boys, the groom and the Baby boy!

The bride's dad built this, assembled it for the ceremony, and disassembled it to take home.


The DIL and the Chick taking a break from set up.

The blond boy and the DIL ready for a party.

My baby brother and me before the ceremony.  It was hot and I'm already melting!

My very fun niece and her sweetie.

The hippy boy got a haircut!

The hippy boy is so handsome!  He cleans up nicely.
My brother in law, waiting for the ceremony.
Dave and me before the ceremony.

My dad and mom and the blond boy and DIL.

The curly haired boy and his best man.

The bride and groom after the ceremony.

Keeping it lovely.

Playing cards at the reception.

It was so warm the cards stuck on their own.

And that is with air conditioning!

The chick caught the bouquet!

Guess someone will be planning the next wedding!

And then we danced...

And danced the night away.

July 17, 2014   Sunrise 4:00 am  Sunset 11:52  Temp. H 72/ L 51°F

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chicken with Tomato-Onion Chutney

My husband and I had to have our blood work done for our insurance for my work.  SOMEONE had perfect cholesterol numbers (low of the bad stuff and high of the good stuff), good blood pressure, average fasting blood sugar, and her BMI was a little high (big surprise!)  SOMEONE else had elevated blood sugar, high blood pressure, bad cholesterol numbers, but his BMI was in the normal range.  Guess who gets to eat more chicken!

So, while we do need to make some changes in Dave's diet, so he doesn't like die next week, he does not love chicken.  He says it is dry.  I am working on that with different marinades and sauces.  I have noticed that one of the problems is that the chicken gets grilled to death...Dave needs to work on his chicken grilling techniques, and I plan on giving him lots of opportunities to practice.

This tomato sauce is made from fresh cherry tomatoes.  Tomatoes are real heath food, they are naturally sweet, have lycopene, help lower total cholesterol, and are high in vitamin C.  They also make this chicken really tasty!  This chicken recipe is Dave approved and only takes about 30 minutes to make.  Which gives us time to take a walk. Dave is really loving life right now.

Chicken with Tomato-Onion Chutney
adapted from Ellie Krieger - Weeknight Wonders

1 small onion
1 medium clove garlic
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 1/4 lbs. cherry tomatoes
6 dried apricots
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
4 chicken breasts

Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic.  heat 1 Tbsp. of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 3-4 minutes.  Add the garlic and mustard seeds and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.  Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes and finely chop the apricots.
Add the tomatoes, apricots, vinegar, tomato paste, brown sugar and 1/4 tsp. each of the salt and pepper to the pan.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and chunky, about 15 minutes.
While the sauce simmers, combine the remaining oil with the cumin, coriander and the remaining salt and pepper.  Rub mixture onto the chicken.  Grill until cooked through.  Serve each chicken breast with 1/4 of the tomato sauce mixture.

1 year ago:   Spicy Grilled Chicken Wings
2 years ago:  Low Calorie Root Beer Float Pie and Memories of Home made Rootbeer

July 9, 2014   Sunrise 3:33 am  Sunset 12:16 pm  Temp.  H 70/ L 54°F

Monday, July 7, 2014

Patriotic Pie

I hope everyone had a fun, safe, restful weekend.  We celebrated our country's freedom by having a whole bunch of people over for barbecue, adult beverages, and dessert.  It was a sunny, hot day in Fairbanks and somehow the 8 people we were planning on turned into 10 then 12 then we just quit counting.  There is always plenty to eat so extra people just add to the fun.

I made this pie.  I found it in Better Homes and Gardens.  The Stars are on top of a blueberry filling and the rest is raspberry.  It was delicious with frozen yogurt, with sweetened whipped cream, and again all by itself after I got all the dishes done that night.

This morning it is raining buckets again.  I'm not complaining, I say every day of rain is one less day of smoke (Fairbanks has been surrounded by forest fires the last couple of summers).  And really, if it is rainy all week but sunny and warm on the weekends, well, I can live with that.

Flag Berry Pie
Better Homes and Gardens, July 2014
  1. In a food processor combine the flour, granulated sugar and salt. Cover and pulse to distribute ingredients. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles very coarse cornmeal with a few large butter chunks still visible. While pulsing, add the water slowly. Continue pulsing until the water is evenly distributed but don't allow the dough to form into a ball. Transfer dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and gently knead to incorporate any remaining dry bits. Divide dough into 2 uneven balls; one ball should contain two thirds of the pastry ( 21 ounces). Wrap each ball in plastic wrap. Chill dough portions for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.
  2. Roll the large dough portion into a 17x12-inch rectangle. Transfer to a 15x10x1-inch baking pan and trim edges even with sides of pan. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and chill until ready to assemble tart. Roll remaining dough portion into a 15x10-inch rectangle. Cut six 1/2-inch wide strips from the long side of the dough. Next, cut 4 more 1/2-inch wide strips that are 9 inches long. Cut as many 1-inch stars as you can with remaining dough, rerolling scraps as necessary. Place strips and stars on a parchment paper-lined large baking sheet. Brush with a mixture of egg and water. Generously sprinkle with Swedish sugar and gently press sugar into surface of dough. Chill while preparing fillings.
  3. Raspberry Filling:
  4. Place raspberries in a large bowl; toss with lemon peel and juice. In a small bowl combine granulated sugar, ClearJel, and salt. Sprinkle sugar mixture over raspberries; toss to combine. Set aside.
  5. Blueberry Filling:
  6. Place blueberries in a large bowl; toss with lemon peel and juice. In a small bowl combine granulated sugar, ClearJel, and salt. Sprinkle sugar mixture over blueberries; toss to combine.
  7. To Assemble:
  8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With the long side of the dough-lined pan facing you, arrange blueberry filling in the upper left corner of the pan, covering about a 6x4-inch rectangle. Spoon the raspberry filling around the blueberries to fill the pan. Place the dough strips over the raspberries, trimming as necessary. Arrange the stars over the blueberries. Bake 1 1/4 hours or until the filling bubbles and the edges of the crust are golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.
1 year ago:   White Water Rafting

July 7, 2014  Sunrise 3:27 am Sunset 12:22 am   Temp. H 67/ L 56°F