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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Do You Know The Muffin (Wo)Man?

So here it is the day before I have to return to work and I should be doing a million things.  Instead, I'm making muffins.  Why?  Why not?  All that other stuff will get done eventually.  I'm feeling a little melancholy right now.  Summer went by so quickly and I really like not working.  Maybe I could sell muffins instead teaching.  That would make me happy.  I could make all kinds of muffins and I may even sing the Muffin Man song as I sell my muffins.  Or maybe not.  That would probably drive people away.  So if you work with me and you don't see me tomorrow, you'll know I'm at home making muffins.  These are so good, you may find me at home eating muffins!  With that thought, I guess I'd better return to work so I don't start looking like a big, fluffy muffin!



Blueberry Banana Muffins

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk, just measure ¼ cup of milk, then add a drop or two of lemon juice and let it sit for a few minutes)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour or gluten free flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½  cup blueberries  (frozen works well)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare your muffin tins by using paper liners or silicone muffin liners.  Beat the butter & sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy – about 2-3 minutes.  Beat in eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.  Beat in bananas.  Gradually add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt at low speed.  Add blueberries and gently stir.  Spoon the batter into your muffin tins.  Bake for 15 minutes for mini muffins or 20-25 minutes for regular sized muffins.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dreams Really Do Come True!

Wouldn't it be a dream if you could make a complete meal in one dish?  Well, I am about to make your dream come true!  This is a simple recipe and you can do the prep work ahead of time if you'd like.  I diced up my squash, zucchini, onion, and tomatoes ahead of time and put them in a gallon sized ziploc bag and put them in the refrigerator.  The mushrooms were already sliced when I bought them.  I only used 2 chicken breasts and cut them in half.  This is a great recipe when you know you're going to have a busy day because you can cut the veggies up the night before if you need to.  With school about to start back, we can all use an easy recipe.  Oh, and I forgot to mention ... there's very little clean up!  I think I just hit a home run!  Hold on.  It's about to get EVEN BETTER!  We have enough for LEFTOVERS!!!!!  Leftovers = a day I don't have to cook!  (insert BIG smile)



Chicken Veggie Bake

 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup chicken bouillon
2 yellow squash
2 zucchini
1 onion
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
a handful of grape tomatoes, sliced
pepper to taste
Mrs. Dash to taste

Slice squash, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes.  Mix sliced veggies and mushrooms together.  Spray a 9x13 glass baking dish and place veggies in the dish.  Sprinkle pepper and Mrs. Dash on top.  Place chicken on top of vegetables.  Pour chicken bouillon over the top.  Cover with foil and cook at 350 degrees for 30 minute.  Remove foil and cook for 30 more minutes.  You’ll have plenty of vegetables for seconds!


Friday, July 15, 2016

I Like Rainbows

Have you heard the saying "You should eat a rainbow."?  It means your should eat fresh foods from lots of color categories.  This recipe is a rainbow.  You also use essential oils in it which makes it even better!  The Cumin oil is awesome!  You can do away with the taco seasoning packets after using this!  I haven't made this recipe yet because I just found it, but it comes from the doTERRA Blog and I will be trying it.  The website is listed at the bottom in case you'd like to see other recipes they have.  Essential oils are good for so many things!  Let me know if you'd like to learn more about doTERRA Essential Oils.  They are AMAAAAAZING!!!



     Cumin Rainbow Salsa

3 roma tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (you can leave this out if it's too spicy)
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1 orange bell pepper, cored and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 fresh corn cobs, cut corn off of cob  
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 drop of Cumin essential oil
2 teaspoons salt
tortilla chips

Instructions:

  1. Combine the tomatoes, jalapeno, bell peppers, black beans, corn, cilantro, and red onion in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together lime juice, garlic powder, Cumin essential oil, and salt until combined. Pour the juice over the salsa and toss until well combined.
  3. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate.
- See more at: http://doterra.com/US/en/blog/recipe-cumin-rainbow-salsa#sthash.ZWbwN14P.dpuf

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Bread in a Bag

This has been a glorious week!  Every year my daughter and son-in-law go out of town for a few days to celebrate their anniversary.  This year was year number 12.  When they go out of town, their babies come to stay with us!  GRANDMA CAMP!!!!!!!  We had so much fun!  I sat down and planned out lots of fun.  We went swimming, visited Great Grandma, ate ice cream, played at the indoor playground because it is so stinkin' hot in Georgia, and did crafts.  We read books, told stories, laughed and laughed, made new dresses, had water balloon fights, played in the water table, and made bread.  Yes, we made homemade bread!  Or rather, we tried. I found a recipe on the computer where you make homemade bread in a ziploc bag.  Perfect for little hands and not near as messy!  This afternoon was the day we made bread.  The bad news was it didn't turn out.  It was hard and thick and didn't rise.  The kids did love helping to make the bread though.  After some investigation, I learned the yeast needed to be dissolved in the water and the water needed to be between 95 and 115 degrees.  These are a couple of little details the recipe I found on the internet failed to mention.  I also added more water and oil than it recommended.  After learning all of this, I gave it a second try.  Unfortunately, the grandbabies were not here for the second loaf.  I gave my daughter a packet of yeast and promised to send her the new and improved recipe and she's going to make it with those sweet babies this weekend.  The good news is the second loaf turned out beautifully!  See for yourself.  It is so cool that you can make this bread in a ziploc bag!  I wish I had thought of that!

Homemade Bread

 3 cups all purpose flour (divided into 3 equal increments)
¼ cup sugar
1 rapid rise yeast packet
1 cup warm water
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ tsp salt
1 gallon sized Ziploc bag

Put 1 cup of flour  and sugar in the Ziploc bag.  Add yeast to water and stir until dissolved.  The water should be between 95 and 115 degrees (too cool and the yeast won’t activate. Too hot and the heat kills it).  Add yeast water to bag.  Close bag and mix well.  Let it rest for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.  Add 1 more cup of flour, olive oil, and salt.  Close bag and mix some more.  Add in one more cup of flour, close bag, and mix well.  Turn mixture out onto a flour covered surface, knead until smooth, and shape into a loaf.  Put the loaf into a greased 9x5 loaf pan and cover with a towel for 30 minutes. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Chicken Salad for a Crowd

Yesterday I went grocery shopping with some friends.  I know, grocery shopping with friends isn't typical, but when you get a chance to hang out with special friends, you jump at the chance.  One of them bought some chicken salad and it reminded me of this recipe.  Chicken salad is a summer food to me.  I guess because you eat it cold. This recipe makes a lot so it's a great recipe if you're expecting a crowd or simply want to share it with others.  I have made it for wedding and baby showers and it was a hit!  You could cut the recipe in half for a good amount for your family.  Now, I'm off to sample it!

 Chicken Salad
 
For the dressing:

1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons water
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup mayonnaise

To make the dressing: In a bowl, mix sugar, flour, salt, pepper and mustard. Set aside. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar and water to boil. Remove saucepan from heat and add the egg to the boiled mixture, stirring constantly, until it is warm to the touch.  Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, whisking constantly to combine for2 to 3 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Mix mayonnaise with boiled dressing.  Set aside to thicken.

For the chicken salad:

4 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast  (I used my handy little chopper for this.)
2/3 cup diced celery
dressing mixture
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Add sliced grapes or almonds, if desired

To make chicken salad: Combine chicken, celery, dressing and sour cream. Add salt and pepper.  Mix well.

Hint:  Make it the night before so the flavors can blend. 

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Raiding The Frig!



I just came home from spending a couple of days at my daughter's house with the grandbabies.  Every time I see then, I fall in love even more.  How can that be?  But it's true!  It melts my heart to see them get excited when I walk in the door and to hear them say, "I love you" without being prompted.  Oh my goodness!  I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!  Next week they are coming to stay with me for a few daysI have some fun things planned.  One is a game I found on Face Book.  Each kid will have a basket that has holes all in it.  They hold the basket on their heads and I will throw water balloons in them.  The balloons pop and they get all wet!  I bought a box of those balloons you attach to a hose and you can fill up a hundred balloons in no time.  This should be FUN!  Another day I think we will go see Great Grandma and go swimming another.  Who knows what else might be in store for those little angels!

While I was at my daughter's house I was looking through the refrigerator and found a small container of a shrimp salad.  Yes, I ate it, but don't judge me.  I had already fed the kids the leftover pizza I had picked up the night before and I was hungry.  They were all about to go out of town and by the time they got back, it would have been bad.  Plus I fixed a big dinner for them that night so it wouldn't have been eaten anyway.  You should be glad I did eat it.  If I hadn't, I wouldn't be sharing the recipe with you now.  She found it on Pinterest and I gave you the website it came from in case you want to see what else Skinnytaste.com has.  I'm going to check it out!  In the meantime, I having it for dinner tonight!
  
Zesty Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad
Skinnytaste.com
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt, black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb jumbo cooked, peeled shrimp, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced 
  • 1 medium avocado, diced (about 5 oz)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and chopped, if desired 
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or 1 drop cilantro essential oil
Directions:

In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Let them marinate at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor of the onion.  In a medium sized bowl, combine chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato, and jalapeño. Combine all the ingredients together, add cilantro and gently toss. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.