Tag Archives: Cooking

Sunday Funday Giveaway # 2

Sunday Funday Giveaway Party

Last week’s winner was announced yesterday. This week’s Sunday Funday, I am celebrating reaching over 300 followers. I have decided to give away 1 book per 100 followers (that is 3 books!!!). I wanted to have each book reflect the diversity, I try to keep in my blog (try being the operative word there ;-)).

Book #1: Cookbook (Blog Category: Edible Delights)
This is amazon.com #1 cookbook sold….
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Book #2: Sewing Crafts (Blog Category: Squeek Crafts)
Recently released, Cheryl Arkison’s new book….
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Book # 3: Arts (Blog Category: Framed)
This is one of my personal favorites….
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Winners will be drawn randomly next Friday. To enter:

  1. Leave a comment about the book you would like and why. I will do my best while drawing to match the books up with the comment.
  2. If you are a follower, you get a second entry. Just leave a second comment and let me know how you follow.

Have a great weekend!!!

 

Chicken and vegetable Cacciatore

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This chicken vegetable cacciatore recipe is my favorite recipes. It falls into my comfort food category and is great on a miserable day (be that cold or raining/snowing). It happens to be a weight watchers recipe from WeightWatchers Momentum Cookbook (page 123) – modified quantities below.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 1 packet of purdue boneless chicken breasts, diced into about 1 in chucks (pre-packed two 1/2 breasts)
  • 1/ 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 package of cremini mushrooms (~4 ounces), sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 a jar of pasta sauce (or a can of tomatoes+herbs of your choice)

Cut the chicken and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet, add the chicken and brown. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside.

Add the vegetables to the skillet – from the bell pepper to garlic cloves, cook and stir the vegetables until slightly softened (about 3 minutes).

Add the chicken back to the skillet with the vegetables. Add the pasta sauce or canned tomatoes + herbs and heat. Once it starts to bubble slightly, reduce heat and simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes.

We serve this with either a 1/2 cup of brown rice pasta or a grain like couscous or quinoa. It usually provides enough for an additional 2 lunch portions – its great reheated. You can also freeze it easily in a sealed container.

Slow-cooked Vegetable Dal

I love Indian food – its one of my favorite food choices. This vegetable dal recipe worked great with my current life style challenge. It has lots of flavor and is loaded with vegetables.

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Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups red lentils
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1-2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala

Add all the ingredients to the slow-cooker, cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve either in a bowl by itself or over rice (I use brown rice). Nice and easy 🙂

Double chocolate banana bread

I have been seeing a lot of banana bread and nutella recipes. I decided to modify my banana bread recipe so it included chocolate chip and nutella. Boy, it was amazing – very rich though, one slice was enough 🙂

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Modifications to the Original Recipe:

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup Nutella

Additional Directions

Follow the directions in the Original recipe but add the 1 cup of chocolate chips to the banana mix before adding the dry ingredients. Pour batter into tin as described.

Melt Nutella for 20 seconds on high in the Microwave. Pour the nutella on top of the batter. Use a knife to mix in the nutella slightly into the top of the loaf. Bake as stated in the original directions.

Serving suggestions: Serve warm with whip cream and a coffee

Goals for 2013: Factotum of Arts, Squeek Crafts

All in all, I had a great last 4 months of 2012. For 2013, I would like to continue in much the same fashion. My goals are to:

  • Blog a minimum of 3 times a week.
  • Build up my stock in my Etsy store and sell $1000 worth of merchandise.
  • Participate in another craft fair.
  • Squeek Crafts section: Finish my four seasons quilt, a quilt for my son, and the orange and grey quilt for our room and my Christmas stocking.
  • Squeek Crafts section: Try 12 new sewing/quilt or patchwork projects e.g.. a weekender bag, something made from paper piecing.
  • Edible Delights section: Try three new recipes out per month and post them (36 in total for the year).
  • Framed section: Carve out some time to do some drawing and painting. I have 2 pieces in mind.
  • Home and Garden Design section: Finish our backyard, renovate our guest bathroom (as it desperately needs a lift).

Review of 2012: Squeek Crafts

  • I changed jobs to spend more time with my family (February)
  • Started my blog (September)
  • Opened my Etsy store – Squeek Crafts (October)
  • Participated in my first craft fair (December)
  • Sewing or Quilting Projects: Made chair bags (for my store), cushions/pillows, placemats, gift card pockets, Christmas stockings, lots and lots of coffee cup sleeves (for my store and craft fair), made my son a monster.
  • Craft Projects: Made recycled wine cork boards (for my store and craft fair), caterpillar wall display for a thank you gift at pre-school, and an Elmer growth chart (gift for a friend’s little girl), neck tie art piece (gift for my parents 40th wedding anniversary).

2012 Craft Collage

Review of 2012: Edible Delights

  • Shared some of my favorite recipes
  • Made pesto, bell pepper relish, bean salad from things in my first vegetable garden
  • Made Pies/Tarts – Bacon and egg pie, potato top pie, rhubarb apple pies, chocolate tarts, and pear tart
  • Stewed my first lot of fruit – cherries
  • Worked out to get the perfect chocolate coated strawberry without getting a flat edge
  • Got a new case of wine from my brothers vineyard – Moana Park

2012 Edible Delights Collage

Bell pepper relish – end of the summer crop

So my bell peppers are now all finished. I had about 60 bell peppers (green and purple) to use. What can I do to store bell peppers??? I found a Sweet Bell Pepper Relish recipe which sounded interesting and went to work making it.

I plan on using the relish as Christmas gifts and also for ourselves as a condiment for meatloaf, pork and sandwiches.

Ingredients (taken from southern food about.com)

  • 20 large bell peppers, red, yellow, orange, green, stems and seeds removed, about 6 pounds
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet onions
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt or pickling salt
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika, optional
Wash peppers and cut in large chunks; you’ll have about 6 pounds of chunks. Finely chop about 1/2 to 2/3 of the peppers. Grind or finely chop the remaining peppers using a food grinder or food processor. Coarsely chop about half of the onions and add the remaining onions to the grinder or food processor. Combine in a large bowl with the salt; toss to mix thoroughly. Cover with ice and let stand for 3 hours.Drain peppers, squeezing to get as much moisture out as possible. In a large nonreactive kettle, combine the vinegars, sugar, mustard seeds, and paprika, if using. Add the well drained pepper mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for 50 to 60 minutes, until thickened. Stir occasionally.Meanwhile, fill a boiling water bath canner about half full. Add clean canning jars to the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and keep jars warm.

In a saucepan, bring water to a simmer, turn to low and add the flat lids. Keep the lids in the hot water until ready to use.

When the pepper mixture is finished cooking, ladle into the hot drained jars. With a damp clean cloth, wipe the rims of the jars. Using tongs, lift lids from the water and let excess drip off of them; place on the clean jar rims. Screw on the jar rings firmly. Lift jars into the canner. Bring to a boil, cover, and boil gently for 10 minutes.

Makes about 5 to 6 pints.

My favorite Banana Bread recipe

This weekend I made the family Banana Bread (banana loaf), which is already gone – yes, in 36 hours (with 2 adults and one 5-year-old devouring it). It was perfect with a latte (or hot chocolate) on these colder days. This recipe easily doubles and you can make two loaves and store one in the freezer in a Ziploc bag.

 

Ingredients (from the Edmonds Cookery Book)

1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
75 g butter (melted)
1 cup of mashed ripe banana (~2-3 banana’s)

Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Mix in sugar. In another bowl, beat the eggs. Add milk, butter and banana into egg mixture with a spoon. Quickly add the dry ingredients stirring until just combined. Place mixture in a loaf tin (greased and lined if not using silicone). Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 50-55 minutes (until top is golden brown). Leave in tin for 10 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack.

NOTE: I use very ripe banana’s that I basically have to turn out of the skin for the really banana’ery taste.

NOTE: Once cool store in a Ziploc bag or air-tight container to retain freshness. I usually wait a few hours so you first get the bread with a slight crunch on top.

Serving suggestions:
1. I have eaten as is just as a slice with a cup of coffee or
2. You could try it as a dessert with a hot chocolate ganache and whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Both are great!!!