Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Flourless Chocolate Cake.

Our menu this week is less than impressive--new job, new trimester in the pregnancy, and the usual kiddos are all to blame for that. But my mom asked for one of my favorite recipes the other day so I thought I would use this chance to pass it on. My favorite cake recipe ever; rich, but worth it. This would make a delicious celebratory dessert--maybe for a marathon well-run? That means you, my co-blogger, Kellie! Make sure you indulge after this weekend. We're cheering you on from here!

Chocolate Mousse Cake
Makes 10 servings

1 Tbsp ground almonds, plus additional to dust pan
10 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
5 large eggs
Confectioner's sugar (optional)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray an 8 or 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray, then dust with ground almonds, shaking off any excess. Set aside.

In a double broiler set at a low simmer, melt the chocolate, butter, and sugar, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and ground almonds. Fold the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture and stir until thickened, several minutes. Pour the batter in the pan, smooth the top, and bake 45 minute or until the top is set and begins to crack.
Remove the side of the pan and let the cake cool completely. Dust with confectioners sugar, if desired.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekly Menu- 4/27-5/03- Marathon week!

This is the week leading up to my marathon. I have some heavy-duty carbs in store. Not really, but I stuck in extra fruits and veggies and replaced some proteins with carbs later in the week. On Sunday, I juiced a bunch of carrots, celery, tomatoes and apples for the week. I've done some research on what's best to eat the week before the run. I hope this plan passes muster come Sunday.

Monday-- Breakfast- Shredded wheat with skim milk, Cantaloupe
Lunch- Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on homemade oatmeal bread, blackberries, baked sweet potatoes

Dinner-- Grilled-out hamburgers, hotdogs and veggie burgers (I had the latter two), cantloupe, corn on the cob, grapes

Bedtime snack-- a big strawberry, banana, peach, mango, pineapple, blackberry orange juice smoothie-- it may not sound like all of those things would go together, but trust me. SOOOOO good.

Tuesday-- breakfast- oatmeal with raisins, OJ
dinner- tuna casserole, green beans, cornbread, cranberries

Wednesday-- dinner- homemade pizzas with veggies, fruit

Thursday-- dinner- spaghetti, sauce with veggies, garlic bread, baked apples

Friday- Sunday-- we'll be in Maryland

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Family Bible Study Party Menu

We hosted our Family Bible Study group at last weekend and followed the traditional format of appetizers, desserts, and drinks pot-luck style. Yum, yum, yum! Not only is it a blessing to share faith and friendship with this group--they are super-talented cooks! And our spread always turns out with the right balance of foods. Jonathan said we've come a long way since college when everyone brings chips and jarred salsa.

Here's what we supplied:
Shrimp cocktail (Jonathan's go-to appetizer for anything festive)
Rice salad (recipe below)
Honeybun cake (courtesy of a Betty Crocker mix with a few add-ins)
Butterscotch cookies
Lemonade with mint leaves
Sangria with rum, red wine, orange juice, lemon juice, club soda, sugar, and sliced fruit.

Here's what the others' brought:
Chips with fresh fruit salad
Pasta salad with ham and Swiss cubes
Strawberry-stuffed pastries
Whole-wheat crackers topped with cream cheese and sliced fruit
Rhubarb Cake
Beer, wine, and flavored water

The rice salad recipe I used was tweaked from a Quick Cooking Cookbook and could easily be used as a main dish recipe too. Here are the details:

3 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
2 cups garbanzo beans (the original recipe called for chopped cooked chicken breast)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (I used dates--yum!)
1/2 cup peanuts
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp minced fresh mint
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the beans, peas, celery, fruit, and peanuts. In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine the oil, vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper; shake well. Stir rice into bean mixture; drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Serve often as an attempt to eat vegan and welcome in summer weather.

Monday, April 20, 2009

weekly menu- 4/20-4/26

Monday-- lunch- leftover pizza, bananas and apples
dinner- Roasted chicken oregatano, baked cinnamon apples, whole wheat bread, spinach salads with cucumbers and carrots

Roasted chicken oregatano--

6 chicken breasts, cut-up
four medium russet potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large onion, chopped
4 roma tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat over to 450. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl, coating evenly. Put in roasting pan, with chicken on top of vegetables. Roast 1-1/2 hours until juices run clear.

Tuesday-- lunch- peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, blackberries, cheese or yogurt (Mike-- Honey dijon glazed chicken and brown rice leftovers from Saturday night's Teams meeting)
dinner- out for our anniversary, since we won't be able to go out on Wednesday- I've had an Olive Garden gift card in my wallet for a couple of months we've been wanting to use. :)

Wednesday-- lunch- cheese quesadillas, apples, sweet potatoes
The kids and I will be gone from Wednesday afternoon to Saturday, so I'll be leaving Mike with some meals that we've frozen (Honey glazed ham with pineapple and ground turkey loaf- and brown rice)

Sunday-- Pork tenderloin, corn bread, baked sweet potatoes/russet potatoes, salad

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What we're having-- every day of the week

lOne thing I've wanted to do is start writing out weekly meal plans. I jot out makeshift plans on the white board on our fridge, but there are usually a lot of arrows or erasures. I'll give it a whirl here.

Monday-- Easter leftovers and cantaloupe

Tuesday-- Chicken vegetable casserole dish that I combined from several different sources (you can easily go vegetarian by not adding chicken and then vegan by not adding cheese. In a crock pot (on low for 4-6 hours), I cooked a little bit of chicken I needed to use up, 1 12 oz. can garbanzo beans, 1 12 oz can cannellini beans (both washed and drained), 1 chopped onion, 4 cloves minced garlic and 2 or so tsps of Italian seasoning. Then I added some fresh spinach, tomatoes and cheese.

For lunches we've been having the crock pot chicken and Easter leftovers plus fruit.

Wednesday-- "Fagetti" with marinara and whole wheat garlic bread and salad with veggies.

Thursday-- Tuna buns (to use up old buns and dyed Easter eggs), tomato soup, grapes

Friday-- Baked lemon pepper tilapia, brown rice, broccoli and cauliflower, blackberries

Saturday-- We're hosting our 13-person teams meeting at our house, so we make the main dish, and other couples bring salad, bread, dessert and drinks. I am planning on making an Italian chicken and tomato dish that my mom used to make-- over brown rice or spaghetti (I'm making both, as I think it's better over spaghetti, but there are diet restrictions- including no flour)

Sunday-- I think we may go out to celebrate. Someone's having a birthday ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

How to get kids to eat fruits and veggies

Disguise it in candy containers, and they'll be freakishly happy.

Actually, grapes are not something I need to convince Jack to eat, but he loved eating them out of the Cadbury Creme Egg container (he found the container, and asked to put something in the egg holes).

Monday, April 13, 2009

A break from our regularly-scheduled healthy living posts


Hershey Coconut Creme Kisses may be the best Easter candy ever. Even rivaling Cadbury eggs. If you haven't tried one yet, go do so NOW before supplies run out.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter goodies

I made an entire 12 lb ham for the four of us (one of us wasn't partaking in any ham), but at $0.76 a lb for a whole one, it cost about as much a the halves, and I figured it would last many meals. We'll freeze all but a little to have later this week. I made a honey glaze with brown sugar, dijon mustard and honey and cooked it in pineapples with the juices.

We also tried out a new yummy recipe that the secretary at Mike's work emailed to everyone--
Strawberry spinach salad (I halved the recipe and cut back on the sugar).

2 TBSP sesame seeds
1 TBSP poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup distilled balsamic
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSp minced onion
10 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed, drained
1 quart fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup slivered almonds

In a large bowl, combine spinach, strawberries and almonds. Pour dressing (mix all other ingredients) over salad and toss. Refrigerate 10-15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chocolate easter egg nests

4 ounces milk chocolate
3 ounces dark chocolate
1/2 stick unsalted butter (I used 2-3 TBSP of Light Smart Balance)
3 TBSP light corn syrup (we didn't have any of this, so I used a tiny bit of Canola oil, and they still turned out great-consistency and all)
5 shredded wheat biscuits
Candy coated mini eggs

Break the chocolates into pieces and put into saucepan together with butter and corn syrup and melt over low heat. Crush the shredded wheat in a bowl. Line two baking sheets with waxed paper. Stir the shredded wheat into the chocolate mixture and spoon 8 mounds onto the baking sheets, shaping the rounds with dips in the ccenters.

Chill in the fridge for about an hour to set, then peel off the nests carefully and fill with mini eggs.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Soup Swap Supper

I'm not claiming it to be a totally unique idea, but I thought I would share what we did for dinner last night. Our Bible Study group has talked about doing a soup swap for a few months so we tried out a modified version. We hosted two other families at our place, and we each made a big pot of soup. We ended up with bean-tomato, broccoli cheese, and chicken noodle. I supplied bread, one family brought fruit, and another brought salad. After a yummy dinner together (most of us trying each kind of soup) we divided the good supply of leftovers between all of us. So simple but so enjoyable. And now I'm set for dinner for the rest of the week! We plan to do this again regularly.

Anyone out there involved in a food co-op or reuglar potlucks?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Slowly coming back

We've been sick...for like, three months. Literally. And we still ate pretty well.
Some of the highlights--
Italian Chicken in the crock pot (potatoes, baby carrots, chicken, 2 TBSP Italian seasoning and a 1/2 cup of Italian dressing all in the crock pot for 6-8 hours.)

Spicy honey glazed chicken (Mix together half cup of frozen OJ concentrate, half cup of honey, 2 garlic cloves and some pepper. Cook chicken in some olive olive oil, adding mixture after two minutes-- coat chicken well.)

Garlic and pepper tilapia, rosemary bread, rice and beans (garbanzo beans, short grain brown rice, garlic powder, parsley, salt to taste)