Sunday, February 7, 2010


I have an obsession with food, eating it mostly. Not as fuel for my body, but because it's good. I've never had a love of cooking. I mean, I would do it from time to time, but it's so much easier to just throw something in the microwave and call it a meal.

I've been a little put off however recently reading the labels of food and not understanding half the stuff that's in it. I like knowing what I'm eating, and maybe as I'm getting older I'm more concerned about this whole 'you are what you eat' nonsense. So I'm trying to eat only foods that I can read/understand what's in it. I figure this is a pretty big step and I will try to post what I'm making on here with links or recipes so you can join me in the fun!

This first one is easy peasy, just pineapple and cherries. Hubby got me this awesome pineapple slicer thingie for christmas that you just screw into the pineapple and it pops it all out nice and sliced for you!

Homemade granola. Yes, granola has a lot of fat, but you know what? People in the old days ate a lot of fat and stayed healthy. Because they knew what the heck they were eating! This is a great alternative to cereal in the morning, very filling and doesn't give you the 10am droops... Here's how I do it:

8cups oatmeal (I use quick oats)
handful of sunflower seeds
handful of coconut
1c each of walnuts, pecans, almonds and whatever else you may have, finely chopped. I tried doing peanuts too but they sort of took over the flavor
dash of salt
decent shake of cinnamon
stir all this together in a huge bowl, while you're stirring that take a sauce pan and put 1c veg oil and about a cup of brown sugar, I use light because it's easier to find
once the sugar is melted into the oil, pour over your oat mixture and mix well, like I said, you need a giant bowl for this. Break up the brown sugar if it starts to clump and try to get it fairly even in your bowl.
preheat to 350
line a big bar pan with parchment, it usually takes 2, I reuse the same pan and parchment because parchment is pretty pricy
pour about half on the pan and spread it out
toast in the oven for 10, stir it some to flip it a bit then toast for 10 more
PS. the time between toast and burn is short! keep your nose on full alert!

Soft Pretzles, this was another one of my experiments this weekend while we were blasted with a blizzard here in the midatlantic. I had stocked up on groceries earlier this week so I felt like I could pretty much make anything with my full pantry. I got this recipe from which is such an awesome site! Went much better than expected too!

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls, these were breakfast this morning and OMG were they good! I have a basic bread recipe that I use:
2 tsp yeast
4Tbsp sugar
1c warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt (I put these together in my bread machine pan and let them sit for 10 or so til it gets foamy
3c flour
3Tbsp oil
I throw all this in the bread machine and put it on the dough setting. Once it's done making the ball of dough, I take it out and throw it in a loaf pan, let it rise for like an hour then bake at 350 for like 30 minutes or until it passes the 'tap test'.
I use this recipe for EVERYTHING. I do my hamburger rolls the same way and I made an awesome garlic bread a couple weeks ago using garlic salt instead of regular and adding a bunch of parmesan cheese and basil before the dough cycle.
So this time, I added a few shakes of cinnamon to the mix before making the dough, then when it was done, I rolled it out flat and put a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon on top of that. Rolled it all up into a tube then I refrigerated that for a bit, just because it was so squishy at that point. Then I sliced it into chunks and put them in the (greased) pan, as you can see. Covered and put them in the fridge overnight for a slow rise. Popped them in the oven at 350 this morning for 30 minutes and they were awesome!!! I had half a can of buttercream icing so I added that on top but you can also make your own very simply with crisco and confectioners sugar.

I threw chicken breast and salsa in the crock pot last night, not quite sure what would happen but I heard that the acid in the tomatoes would make the chicken very tender. I LOVE mexican food. Salsa is homemade, more on that another time.
So the chicken got done and I intended to make like a taco salad with it, but I suddenly had a major hankering for fajitas. Problem was, no tortillas in the house. to the rescue again! I know she says not to substitute shortening for lard, but one thing I don't normally keep in my pantry is lard, so I did it, and it worked, and I will probably never buy flour tortillas again. I took the additional dough (the recipe makes A LOT) and vacuum sealed it in individual balls, hopefully they'll still roll out at a later date.

That's all for this weekend, I'm exhausted from eating quite frankly! Hope all my midatlantic friends had a great weekend at home as well. Us Marylanders don't know how to deal with 2 feet of snow! I for one don't even pretend!

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