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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Nutella Ice Cream

I have a new love in my life.  It is not Nutella, that is an old and mature love that has become sweeter with time. I purchased a new ice cream maker.  I did so after spending 45 minutes trying to get some ice cream to set up with my old one.  It never did set up and we all lost interest before it was finally done– or should I say at least set up enough to pour over some fresh fruit.  So I visited my favorite store (williams and sonoma–you should know that about me by now) on my way home from work on Tuesday and purchased this wonderful Cuisinart ice cream and sorbet maker.  I love, love, love it.

Everyone is out of town–Jordan in Peru, Jace in Hawaii, Dave at scout camp ( yes you heard me right) and Kallie at work, so I decided to try it out.  I purchased this great stuff a Harmons.  It is Meadow Gold reduced fat ice cream base. You will find it in the dairy section by the milk. It is great to have on hand when the urge hits.  The problem is that it hits too often.

Well anyway, I decided to try out the new machine and see if it was better than our old one. I know someone had to do it.  I just was not in the mood for plain old vanilla.  So I poured the base in the ice cream maker, turned it on and let it mix for a few minutes and then I swirled some Nutella in while it was running. My thought was that it would mix and make a chocolate ice cream but it was even better than that.  It turned out a vanilla ice cream with ribbons of frozen Nutella running through it.  

I made a small batch since it was only me, so I only added about 1/3 cup of nutella. It was great.  I had bought some individual snack packs of Nutella with cookie sticks at Wal-mart and that is what I used. I have found that I am just not strong enough to keep jars of Nutella at that house. I has been known to call my name in the middle of the night.  But then for  a long time I did’t feel the need to count weight watchers points for things I ate in the middle of the night.  I guess that I thought if the lights were off it didn’t count.  You may think I am joking, but I really didn’t count them.

Back to the ice cream, much more fun to talk about than weight watcher points.  It was so good and then I used the little cookie sticks with the ice cream.  I have made up a recipe!!!!! Food network here I come.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2012 in My Favorite Things, Recipes

 

My love hate relationship!!!

I have a definite issue in my life and it involves yardwwork.  I love to do it –I hate to do it.  Is that what they call bipolar?  There is nothing that I love better than to finish a big day in the yard, with the lawn mowed with perfect straight lines, gardens weeded, and driveway hosed off.  There is nothing I hate worse than yellow spots, or wind blowing leaves on my lawn.  I have been known to hire my children for a dime a leaf after a wind storm.  I also hate to admit the fact that every Saturday I purchase a few pieces of sod and I cut out all of the yellow spots and replace them with pieces of sod.  Crazy I know.  Someone told me that we would not have the yellow spots with male dogs, so our last two dogs have been males, they lied.  Or it could be the fact that our dogs pee like girls.  No lifting the legs for them.

 

 

Since I have gone back to work full time and been caring of my parents, this love hate relationship has leaned more towards the hate spectrum.  I just cannot keep it like I want and that drives me crazy. I look at gardening magazines and have some major envy.  Of course the yards I love in the magazines are all in Oregon or Seattle, not desert Utah, with two dogs and a husband that does not do yardwork.  Some days I drive by the yards with husband out mowing and fiddling in the yard and I have some moments of profound jealousy mixed with a good dose of self pity. But then I think of all the good traits that my wonderful husband has and yardwork does not seem to be on the top of my  list of desired qualities.  But I can have a moment of “poor me”.  Never hurt anyone.  My mother used to tell me, If it is so important to me, do it myself or hire someone!!!  Never could get her to take my side against Dave.  He can do no wrong.  So I am going to try very hard to look at the beauty in my yard and not the yellow spots.  To look at the things that are right and not the things that are wrong.  I am going to realize that after 28 years, Dave does not like yardwork nor does he really care if it is done. 

I will quit stressing and hire someone.  Life is too short to spend my limited time home, killing myself in the yard. I will make it my haven not my shackles

Just for anyone else out there that stuggles with some of these same issues, I visited my sod supplier Saturday.  He so kindly asked my why I come each week and purchase two pieces of sod. I felt such shame, like I was going to a drug dealer.  I had started hiding the pieces so no one knew what I was doing.  I was living a secret life.  I finally came clean and confessed to him what I was doing.  He told me that he could “Help Me”.  He told me to mix 1 TB of regular vinegar to  each quart of water I give the dogs and it would prevent the yellow spots.  I have been using it for about 4 days now so it is a little soon to tell.  This could be a life changer for me. I will keep you posted.  At first they did not want to drink it, but now it does not seem to bother them at all.  I am freed from the shackles of my secrets.

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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Homemade Granola Bars

These are so good.  I am going to give you two versions.  I love both of them.  I am not sure they fall under the catagory of the lowest fat granola bars but they are worth it.

First version (This is the original recipe. I got this from my visiting teacher when we were first married and living in Mutton Hollow.  I made many a batch of these when the kids were small)  They are a dryer and more crumbly bar. I often just crumbled them up and used it as granola.

3 cups oatmeal

1 cup coconut

1 cup cashews  ( can use any nut, but this is my favorite)

1 cup flour

2 bags of chopped dates  ( this is my addition and not on original recipe–but makes these so much better)

1/3 cup honey

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

 

 

 

Bring the honey, butter and the brown sugar to a boil.  Pour over the remaining ingredients. Press into a 9×13 pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Cool and cut into squares.  This is also good crumbled and served over yogurt and fruit.

Second version:  Follow instructions for first version except add 4 TB more butter and about 1/4 cup more brown sugar and 2 tsp vanilla.  Bake about 30 minutes.  These are much more gooey and chewey. Both are so good, just depends on what you are in the mood for.  I have to say-I prefer the gooey, chewey extra butter version.  I don’t know why I think just because they are “granola bars” I think they are a health food!!!!

 

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Recipes

 

Breakfast Burrittos on the Go

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I love sausage, scrambled eggs, cheese, hashbrowns, salsa and tortillas.  So it is no wonder that I love breakfast burritos.  I have seen many recipes for these and have just added a little of each and I can say that I have probably made them different every time I make them.  I use what is on hand and what I am in the mood for.  These are so good for making ahead and freezing.  Grab one and throw it in the microwave before you leave in the morning and you have a great breakfast.  Grab a snack cup from yesterday’s post and you have it made.  I will give the basic recipe and then give some options to add.  You really cannot mess these up.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Breakfast Sausage
  • 12 whole Eggs
  • Chopped Chives, to tasteSeasoned Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese
  • Flour Tortillas

Preparation Instructions

Brown a pound of your favorite kind of breakfast sausage. Drain off the fat.

In a bowl, whisk together a dozen eggs (adjust according to your needs), chopped chives, seasoned salt, black pepper and about 1 cup of  cheese. If you are feeling saucy add some cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce for a little more of a kick.

Once your sausage is browned and drained, pour the egg/cheese mixture over the sausage. Cook over low heat and turn them occasionally to cook.

When fully cooked throw some into a nice warm tortilla, wrap it up and, if they need to be kept warm for a bit, wrap them individually in sheets of foil. If making them ahead, I wrap in saran wrap and freeze. They can be microwaved right out of the freezer.

Some things I like to add:

Hashbrowns–just brown and add to the sausage

Pico de Galo

Spinach

Tomatoes

Basil

Onions–cooked with the sausage

Bacon

These are also great for a breakfast buffet, wrapped individually in foil to keep warm.

As a side note–if you want to make these more weight watcher friendly- make them with low fat turkey sausage, eggwhites or eggbeaters, weight watchers low fat cheese, spinach, tomatoes and onions.  Can hardly tell the difference

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2012 in Recipes, Weight Watchers

 

Snack Cups

A word of warning  This is catagorized under recipes and weight watchers.  Only some of the dips fall under WW.  You will know the ones that don’t because they sound the best!!!

The girls and I were headed to a movie the other night so we stopped by Harmons to get some treats to take with us.  I know , the sign on the theater says no outside food or drink.  Well if they would sell something that is not lathered in butter or 99% sugar (not that I have anything against either of those), I would purchase my food there.  We did buy our expensive diet coke there.  Could have bought an entire case for the price of a large drink but that is another topic for another time.  Well anyways (NACHO LIBRE!!) we went through the “healthy” checkout line and they had these great snack cups with fruits, vegetables, yogurt, humus etc.  We bought some for the movie and they were great. 

Well the old wheels started turning and yes you guessed it, I said “I can make those”.  So I went to Costco and purchased a case of plastic cups and lids ( I think I had to buy about 1000 lids).  Then I got the small cups at Harmons by the paper plates etc.

We went to work and made our own snack cups.  These are so handy to grab on the go for work or just when you need a little snack. I am surprised how much more fruits and vegetables I eat this way when I don’t have to stop and cut them up. You can put anything you want in them and combine them with different dips. 

Here are a few that we have tried:

Celery with peanut butter  ( love the Harmons fresh ground.  It is a little grainier than the regular PB but really good.  You can also use almond butter–Kallie’s favorite.

Celery and carrots with humus

Carrots, celery, cucumbers or snap peas with ranch dressing  ( I used my weight watcher’s ranch dressing only about 1 point for the little cup)

Broccoli and cauliflower with ranch dressing

Yogurt with fruit and granola

Peeled and sliced oranges and grapefruit

I made one with oranges, grapes and sliced bananas.  The orange juice kept the bananas from turning brown.

Apples with fruit dip ( fat free cream cheese and splenda brown sugar to taste and vanilla) HINT  use the sliced apples from Sam’s club.  They are already sliced and do not turn brown.  I have been so pleased at how good and crisp they are. 

Apples with peanut butter

Watermelon and cantaloupe  ( can use orange fruit sauce–will add the recipe as soon as I find it)

The list is endless.

I have been making me some toast (Nacho Libre again) and taking one of these in the mornings when I am in a hurry for work.  Tastes good and so good for you.

 

Here are a few other ideas for the fruit dip:

Basic Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

 1 8-ounce package cream cheese,softened
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup sour cream or Mascarpone
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.

Options:

Almond Fruit Dip:

 Add 3 tablespoons finely chopped almonds and 1 1/2 teaspoons almond liqueur to the basic recipe. Garnish with 1 tablespoon finely chopped almonds, if desired.

Raspberry Fruit Dip:

Puree 1 cup sweetened raspberries (aprox. 1 10-ounce package). Spoon half the basic recipe into a serving dish and smooth. Top with half the raspberry puree and smooth. Repeat.

 Lemon Fruit Dip:

Add zest of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 extra tablespoon sugar to the basic cream cheese fruit dip recipe.

Marshmallow Fruit Dip:

 Add 1/2 cup marshmallow creme to the basic recipe.

 

Caramel Apple Dip

Ingredients

  • 16 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
 

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, or in the microwave, melt caramels with water, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar. Fold in caramel mixture. Serve immediately.

This is also good dipped in nuts. I really like peanuts with the apples and caramel.  You could add another small cup of chopped nuts and be really fancy.

APPLE CARAMEL DIP  
1/2 c. butter, melted
2 c. dark brown sugar
1 c. light corn syrup
2 tbsp. water
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
10 apples, seeded & cut into 8 wedges each
Cook butter, sugar, water and milk until all the sugar is dissolved over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Cut unpeeled apples into wedges, and then in half again. Dip into salted water for about 1 minute to prevent them from turning brown
 
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Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Recipes, Weight Watchers

 

PERU –WEEK ONE — WILL I MAKE IT!!!!!

Well not actually one week, more like 4 days, but who’s counting!!!

Jordan left for Peru this past Tuesday.  She will be gone for 7 weeks.  She flew over with an organization called Eagle Condor.  They do humanitarian trips in several different countries.  She will be with them for the first 10 days and then 5 of them will be staying on for the remainder of the 7 weeks to do an internship.  They will be working in several of the orphanages there.  She went with her good friend Lexi Jensen. They are also traveling with the Timothys–Brad and Karen, Paul and Tara.  Paul and Tara will stay after with Jordan, Lexi and one other girl.  There has been a small glitch in the original orphanage, so they are not quite sure where they will end up.

They flew to Houston and then on to Lima on Tuesday.  The next morning they flew to Cuzco.  That first day they rested and then did a little site seeing The next morning they traveled to a small village where they spent the day painting a school and all of the furniture in it. 

 From the pictures, it looks like they did an awful lot of playing with the kids. Jordan said the big hit was the fingernail polish that she brought.  She said that they started by painting a few girl’s hands and then before she knew it, her and Lexi were surrounded by a swarm of little brown hands. Tonight they are going to a ward talent show.

I have talked to her twice and she is loving it, but rather homesick.  That poor girl –she is just like her mother.  I get so homesick even when I am gone to DC for 3 days.  I told her to not spend any time being homesick.  This is a once in a lifetime adventure and we will all be her when she gets back.  I will post her adventures every few days, along with my favorite pictures.  Of course they will all be of her.

I did not expect to miss her this much.  Tonight I sprayed her perfume on our pillow and Charlie and I curled up on it.  He wanted to be right on top of it.  I know that is pathetic.  No wonder none of them are married.  I can’t give them up!!!

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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Whats up with the fam

 

Outback Brown Bread

 

I love the bread from Outback Steakhouse and Cheesecake Factory. I have looked for a recipe for this  and have tried a few different ones. I think this one comes pretty close. It is so good and relatively simple. Best served right out of the oven with some whipped butter.  I took a few squares of butter and let them come to room temperature.  Then I placed it in my cuisinart and whipped it.  I also sprinkled a teaspoon or so of sugar over it before I whipped it. It just really took something I love and made it that much better.  Not a good thing to do with butter!!!!

 1 1/2 cups warm water

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a bread machine in the order listed above and use the dough setting.  I used my bosch bread mixer for this instead of my bread machine.  I let it mix for about 8-10 minutes.  I also added a little more flour, as it was very sticky.
  2. When it is done, let it rise for about an hour.

 

  1. When the dough is twice its original size, punch it down and split it into rolls.
  2. If you want authentic Outback size, make about 8 tubular loaves..
  3. The dough is sticky, so make sure you use a well-floured cookie sheet and plenty of flour on your hands.
  4. Sprinkle the entire surface of the loaves with oatmeal and let them raise until double in bulk..
  5. Bake for 20-24 minutes at 350.

 

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Recipes

 
 
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