VEGAN BAKING DAY

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The awesome foods that do not raise blood glucose include:

☆ Eggs,
☆ avocado,
☆ Fatty nuts (walnuts pecans sunflower seeds almonds etc.),
☆ Dark green leafy veggies, i.e., “greens” ( mustard, kale, spinach, turnip greens), also lettuces
☆ Low carb crunchy veggies e.g., cucumber, celery, cabbage, bok choy, celery cabbage, green bell pepper,
☆ Any lean meat or
☆ fish,
☆ cheese (depending on the type this will give you protein & a smidge of fat or a whole bunch)
Greek yogurt, plain (be careful one cup will give you about 15 grams of carbohydrate and at least two to three servings in that 1 cup ),

and of course,
☆ herbs, spices etc… lots of flavor to our foods without adding tons and tons of carbohydrates or salts, provided you use straight season and not the seasoning salts {those are really just plain old table salt that’s been introduced do a minimum of herbs… you can make your own for far less money and far less salt}.

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Just because you say VEGAN, it does not necessarily mean that you’re home free as far as baking goes.  Vegan can be low-carb, but it is not necessarily, so be careful.  This recipe does use a cup of all-purpose flour and a cup of non-dairy yogurt, but everything else looks “legal” for low-carbers.  Notice that is LOW CARB and not NO CARB.

Vegan Cherry Almond Coffee Cake

Makes 1, 9×13″ sheet cake

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup sugar-free cherry jam
1 ¼ cup slivered almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup vegan butter, softened
1 cup non-dairy yogurt
1 cup Splenda
4 ½ Tablespoons arrowroot or tapioca flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

Instructions:

1) Grease your baking dish

Preheat your oven to 350F (177C). Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with vegetable oil or cooking spray.

2) Prepare the cherry almond topping

In a medium bowl, mix together sugar-free cherry jam, almonds and set aside.

3) Whisk together the dry ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder and set aside.

4) Build the batter

In a large bowl, cream the soft Vegan Butter until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the non-dairy yogurt, then beat in the Splenda, followed by beating in the arrowroot or tapioca flour. Stir in the vanilla and almond extract. By hand, fold in the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Spread half of the batter into the baking dish then top with half of the cherry almond topping. Spread the other half of the batter into the baking dish, followed by the other half of the cherry almond topping.

5) Bake the vegan coffee cake to perfection

Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Wait until cake is completely cooled if you’re going to remove it from the baking dish.

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So…  maybe we can have our cake and eat it too.  🙂

NATIONAL ROTISSERIE CHICKEN DAY

TL 6-2 NATIONAL ROTISSERIE CHICKEN DAY

EATING CHICKEN

Ugh – liver IS the worst – AMEN to that!  😉

We can hardly imagine a restaurant that does not have rotisserie chicken turning before our eyes!  A rotisserie uses indirect heat in which the chicken is placed next to the heat source.  Elements are either electric or gas-powered, with adjustable infrared heat.  These types of rotisseries are quite functional for cooking rotisserie-style chicken.  It’s perfect for a restaurant that serves so many people every day!

It’s wise in its simplicity really – because any leftover chicken can be used for sandwiches, chicken salad, soup or any number of other dishes.

Here in the states, rotisserie chicken gained popularity in the 2000’s.  Not only did restaurants start offering the dish, but many grocery stores and even Walmart sold them.  Millions of rotisserie-cooked chickens were purchased by consumers in the U.S. last year. 

Protein is a key nutrient that supplies your body with energy and keeps your muscles and cells healthy. Three ounces of rotisserie breast meat supplies 23.8 grams of protein, which is 52 percent of the 46 grams of protein that women need each day and 43 percent of the 56 grams that men require on a daily basis. A rotisserie thigh contains 22.9 grams of protein.  For type 2 diabetics, this is good news!  Just make sure you weigh that piece of chicken so you keep portion control in mind.  😉  And…  in our house the skin is removed – sorry, but that skin is just unnecessary fat.

People who suffer with migraine headaches should be aware that chickens used for rotisserie cooking may be injected with water or a solution of sodium to retain moisture and add flavor.  The water is not bad, but the addition of sodium can trigger migraine headaches.  Some other ingredients may be used to enhance flavor and brown the chicken, such as oleoresin, yeast extract, sodium tripolyphosphate and natural flavorings.  Yeah, some of these additives trigger migraines as well.  Be careful when you’re choosing a chicken.

Since there’s literally no way to tell what has been injected into a rotisserie-cooked chicken, my husband and I decided to buy a Showtime rotisserie for our home.  We put as little or as much seasoning on our chicken as we like.  There’s more than one way to cook a chicken!  It’s just one more way to take control of my surroundings and stay healthy.

https://www.ronco.com/

We usually inject a little water into the chicken and sprinkle some Mrs. Dash seasoning on it before cooking.  The natural juices and no sodium seasoning make the chicken taste amazing – and no ugly migraine side effect – YAY!  So, eat some rotisserie chicken today!  🙂

NATIONAL FIG WEEK

TL NOVEMBER 1-7 IS NATIONAL FIG WEEK

Hello!  It is NATIONAL FIG WEEK!!!  For those of you who think that the only good thing about figs is found in FIG NEWTONS, hold on to your hat, because every day this week I’ll be sharing some of my favorite recipes using this naturally sweet fruit!

When I think of figs, I naturally think of one of my favorite books, The Bell Jar.  Chapter 7 talks about figs:

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story.  From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked.  One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out.  I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose.  I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.  – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar, Chapter 7

I know we associate autumn with all things orange – pumpkins, cinnamon (okay, that’s brown) – but there are also some purples to consider when doing your holiday cooking and baking.  Here is fig recipe number one:

FIG AND LEMON CHICKEN (serves 6)

INGREDIENTS:

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 c. Splenda brown sugar

1/4 c. white vinegar

1/4 c. water

1 1/2 lbs. dried figs

1 sliced lemon

12 chicken thighs

salt to taste

1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. dried parsley

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, Splenda brown sugar, vinegar and water; set aside.

Place figs and lemon slices in the bottom of an 11 x 16-inch baking dish.  Arrange chicken thighs on top, then pour vinegar mixture over chicken.  Sprinkle with salt and dried parsley.

Bake for 50 minutes, basting frequently.  Turn figs over if they begin to burn.

Remove chicken from baking dish with slotted spoon onto serving platter.  Skim fat from juices and pour over chicken or put in gravy boat.

Garnish chicken with fresh parsley.

Serve and enjoy!

Note:  We always take the skin off our chicken before baking it.  I know…  I know – but it makes it healthier.  The good news is, with this recipe – it doesn’t matter if the skin is on the chicken or not – it’s so delicious you won’t miss the skin.  🙂

NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE DAY

TL 10-18 NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE DAY

The inner foodie is celebrating once again…  today is NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE DAY!  I looked at a lot of recipes, and they all looked very good – but I ended up on the Splenda website.  Here’s a healthier version that I bet tastes just as good as the others without the extra sugar spike.

http://recipes.splenda.com/recipes/1397152-Chocolate-Chocolate-Cupcakes

Whether it is a chocolate cupcake from a gourmet bakery or one you bake in your own kitchen, we all agree that they are a special treat!

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Cupcakes were first baked during the 19th century in the United States.  They are called cupcakes because they were first baked in cups and the first recipe was measured out by the cup:  One cup butter, two cups sugar, three cups flour, four eggs, one cup milk and one spoonful baking soda.

Nowadays, cupcakes are made with a variety of flavors, ingredients and decorations, but simple chocolate cupcakes are by far the favorite.

purple & pink go well with chocolate
Purple & pink go well with chocolate cupcakes!

Are you hungry for chocolate yet?  You’re welcome!  Maybe you could round-up the grandkids and make some baking memories.  Maybe you could make some extra batches for folks who probably don’t get cupcakes very often – like people in a nursing home or homeless shelter.

It’s okay to have a few yourselves too, you know!

I’ve seen the brightest colored paper muffin cups at Walmart.  They have orange and bright blue.  One of the designs was confetti.  Of course they have the pastel ones and the plain white.

You don’t have to be planning a birthday party to make cupcakes anymore, but you might want to have a party after your yummy cupcakes are baked!  Wouldn’t today be a great day to make some chocolate cupcakes!  Get to baking and frosting, folks!

WINNIE THE POOH DAY

TL 1-18 WINNIE THE POOH DAY

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1-18 GOOD FRIENDS ALWAYS

For if you forgive people their trespasses +[their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment+], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  – Matthew 6:14

Today is WINNIE THE POOH DAY!!!  Of course it is also the birthday of author AA Milne.  I love everything about Winnie the Pooh and his funny and loyal friends.  Pooh, along with Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore, first appeared on the printed page in 1926.  All of these characters were based on toys owned by the author’s son, Christopher Robin, who is also featured in the famous stories.

Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.  – Winnie The Pooh

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to visit Pooh Corner in Hartfield, East Sussex, where the books were written?  We could pick up a map to follow in the characters’ footsteps, and play Poohsticks on the original bridge!  Sounds like a lot of fun to me!

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.  – Winnie The Pooh

What a perfect day to plan a Pooh Tea (with plenty of honey, of course).  And Pooh loves to eat, so we need to have lots of food on the menu as well.

 “How do you spell love?” asked Piglet. “You don’t spell it…you feel it” answered Pooh.

It would be a good day to help someone else, because that’s what the characters in the books do.  Maybe a family member needs help with chores or maybe everyone just needs a little more respect from you.

You never can tell with bees.  – Winnie The Pooh

Tigger and Owl live in tree houses, but everyone else lives in tree trunks.  Maybe sometime today we could draw a picture of our own house.  Which character would you like to have in your house?  I’ll bet you can guess who I’d have in mine.  Of course, it’s Winnie the Pooh!

 You’re braver than you believe, and stronger then you seem, and smarter than you think.  – Winnie The Pooh

I like to watch Winnie the Pooh on DVD or sing favorite songs from the movies.  What is your favorite movie and song?  Wouldn’t today be a good day to watch it?

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I think I like Winnie the Pooh so much because it reminds me of real life friendships.  There are friends I would trust and do anything for.  When I watch poor Piglet get into some of the fixes he gets into, I think, “yep – that’s just what happens sometimes when you are willing to do anything for a friend.”  Usually we come through and laugh about it later, don’t we?  God gives us the very best friends!

Promise me you’ll never forget me because if I thought you would, I’d never leave.  – Winnie The Pooh

Do you have a Winnie the Pooh plush toy to cuddle with?  I’ll bet Pooh would like to go everywhere with you today.  I have a little Winnie the Pooh on my key chain so Pooh goes everywhere with me when I drive.  When you get to be my age, you can’t carry a plush toy around, so I keep him on my key chain.  Shhh…  don’t tell.  😉

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SHOPPING REMINDER DAY

TL 11-26 SHOPPING REMINDER DAY (2)

 

11-26 HERE'S YOUR REMINDER

On this SHOPPING REMINDER DAY, let’s talk about Christmas shopping.  You’ve read my blog posts long enough to know the Christmas shopping ground rules, but let’s review just for grins and giggles.

1.  Thank God for your blessings before you go out to shop.  In other words, don’t do any Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving.

2.  Get plenty of rest and nutrition before you mingle in the madness.  Be at your best.

3.  Every chance you get – buy American made products.  Click on this link for a list of products made in America.

http://www.americansworking.com/

4.  Choose your method of shopping.  A popular way to shop is online these days.  Be careful because identity theft is on the rise.

5.  If you already have your Christmas list written (or if someone has given you their list) you will spend less and stay focused.

6.  Make a note of items manufactured in your state.  It might be fun to take a trip to see the product before you buy it.

In Kansas we are blessed to have a wonderful Amish community in Yoder, Kansas with a great furniture factory where high-quality pieces are hand-crafted with care.  A few years ago my husband surprised me with a custom-made desk for our desktop computer.  We’ve made it a priority to support local businesses because as we do so, we put money back into our community.

Handmade, quality furniture can be found in Basehor, Kansas at Custom Mission Products.  They offer custom stain colors and hand sewn high quality foam cushions, covered in fine leather and have no screws or fasteners.

I’m reminded of a Christmas tradition.  When I was a kid, my family traveled to Whiting, Kansas for the best popcorn in the state!  Gary and Marian Schlaegel started raising popcorn on their farm almost 30 years ago. They dedicate about 10 acres of crop ground to growing popcorn.  They package two varieties – yellow and white.  With that great popcorn, my mama always made the best popcorn balls for us to snack on while we opened Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve.

Local folks with high-quality products and reasonable prices.  Think before you shop this year.  ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL NACHOS DAY

TL 11-6 NATIONAL NACHOS DAY

11-6 NACHOS ANYTIME

If we were in Hawaii, we’d order Kalua pork and pineapple nachos.  If we were in Music City, Memphis, Tennessee, the nachos would be barbecue with pulled pork strewn over the top with a ton of cheese sauce poured over them with jalapeño pepper slices.  These yummy chips can be made any way you like, but there is usually one common ingredient – melted cheese!

Ignacio Anaya, a Mexican from the border town of Piedra Negras, accidentally invented nachos in 1943.  Hungry guests showed up at a Victory Club, the restaurant he was working at across the Rio Grande River from Texas.  They were the wives of American soldiers who had shopped in town and needed food.

He improvised with the ingredients he had on hand – tortillas and cheese.  He cut the tortillas into triangles and melted the cheese along with the triangular chips.  He topped the dish with jalapeño peppers – and Voila’ – the first recipe of Nachos was created.

This is from 2009 – but still fun to watch.  I sure could not eat that whole platter of nachos – could you?

Anaya was called Nacho because he was short – so the dish he created was called Nachos.  It grew in popularity in Texas and the Southwest over the next 20 years.  Anaya went on to work at the Moderno Restaurant in Piedras Negras, which still uses the original recipe.  Later he opened his own place, Nacho’s Restaurant in the border town.

Nachos really gained popularity in the 1970’s and 1980’s thanks to Frank Liberto.  He began selling nachos at Arlington Stadium, home of the Texas Rangers.  He created a melted cheese product that was part cheese and part secret ingredients.  His cheese sauce didn’t need to be heated and the shelf life extended well beyond the original recipe, which used perishable cheese.

Nachos were introduced to famous broadcaster Howard Cosell, who put in a plug for the snack during a Monday night football game.  That endorsement helped turn nachos into a household name.  Nachos are now a part of tailgate parties nationwide.

Nachos are a common snack and are fixed in many ways.  Some people like them with just cheese and other’s like them loaded or super.  You can add meat, refried beans and melted shredded cheese.  Cold toppings such as shredded lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, onion and jalapeño are piled on top to make it a sort of mini taco snack.  Add a dollop of sour cream or guacamole to that.  The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.   Some ideas include cilantro, chicken, chorizo, bacon, lime, olives and Pico de Gallo.

Celebrate today – with nachos!  Happy NATIONAL NACHOS DAY!!!  😉

Linda’s Favorite Nacho Recipe:

Ingredients:

1/2 lb. extra-lean ground beef

1/2 lb (8 oz.) Velveeta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

7 cups tortilla chips (6 oz.)

1 c. shredded lettuce

1/4 c. sliced black olives

1 can (10 oz.) Ro*tel diced tomatoes & green chilies, well-drained

Directions:

 meat in skillet; drain.

 Velveeta in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until completely melted, stirring after 30 sec.

 chips on large platter; top with Velveeta, meat and remaining ingredients.

Enjoy and have a blessed day!  😀