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SamCyn’s Juicing Adventure: Day One

07/23/2011 3 comments

Yesterday was day one of my juicing adventure and so far I’m doing okay.

Have I been hungry?!?

That would be a big fat YES!

I started my day at around 7:00am with a glass of warm water with 1/2 a lemon.

Then at around 10:00am, I made juice #1 containing the ingredients you see below.

Can you say, YUMMY? 😉

Actually, it’s not bad at all…believe it or not, I’m actually into these type of things.  Sam on the other hand is not too keen on trying the veggie drinks.  However, he’s willing to try (what a guy).

I drank about half of the portion, drank some water and went out for about a two-mile walk.

At around 1:15pm I finished the remaining juice, and thought to myself, this is easy.

Then at around 4:15pm I’m feeling pretty darn hungry 😦

I had taken a cat nap and woke up feeling just a little “pissy” because I was hungry and remembered that I couldn’t eat.

Anyone that knows me, KNOWS that I am not a happy camper when I’m hungry.

Still…I had no intentions of giving up (not so soon!).

So I made myself juice #2 consisting of these lovely ingredients and it was really good.

Come to think of it, I could have had this for breakfast since it’s a lot fruitier than the first one.  The strawberries had a strong enough flavor, that I couldn’t even taste the spinach (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Then I finished up some housework as I waited for Sam to get home.  Usually on a Friday night we’ll either order pizza, drink wine, watch a movie and finish up with dessert or go out to eat.

Instead we caught up on each other’s day as I fixed myself juice #3 and Sam had a couple of bananas and cereal (this is his way of joining me and it’s okay).

Juice #3 was not as yummy…I don’t like beets and unfortunately, even though I only added one, it still overpowered the other ingredients.  Nonetheless, I drank my juice (s-l-o-w-l-y) and tried to ignore the headache I had developed and the slight nausea.

At this point (it was around 8:00pm), it had been 24 hours since my last meal and at least 36 hours since my last cup of coffee.  As you may or may not know, if you’re a regular coffee drinker, and you stop drinking coffee – the caffeine withdrawal can cause the blood vessels of the head to dilate, leading to an excess of blood in the head and causing headache and nausea.

I knew this wouldn’t be a walk in the park, but it’s part of the process of detoxing and riding my system of the toxins that come in the innocuous looking form of; a nice hot cup of coffee with sugar and powdered cream(so bad), a couple of glasses of wine, bacon, pizza, sausage, burger and fries, cookies, frosted cake, etc., etc.

I think you get the picture.

So what does one do when they’re not feeling too hot? you go to bed, to sleep it off and pray that tomorrow is a better day.  Though something tells me this is just the beginning ;-).

By the way, just thought you would want to know, drinking this much liquid will make you go to the bathroom A LOT!

p.s. I weighed myself and I’m at 161 lbs, which is about 13 lbs more than when I got married two years ago.  Gee, and I wondered WHY my clothes didn’t fit.

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.  ~Doug Larson

Juice # 1 (don’t have names for my juices, just yet)

Yields approximately 22 oz.

4 granny smith apples

6 medium carrots

3 celery stalks

ginger (thumb size portion)

Approx. 1/4 cup of watercress

To prepare:

Wash all veggies, cut apples in half, insert into your juicer.  Enjoy!

Juice # 2

Yields approximately 16 oz.

3 handfuls of spinach

1/2 a papaya

10 strawberries

To prepare:

Wash all veggies, hull the strawberries and remove papaya skin, insert into your juicer.  Enjoy!

Juice # 3

Yields approximately 12 oz.

2 granny smith apples

1 beet

4 medium carrots

ginger (thumb size portion)

3-4 handfuls of kale (next time I’ll use whole leaves, I think it’ll juice better)

To prepare:

Wash all veggies, cut apples in half, insert into your juicer.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Malt Frosted Cupcakes

06/24/2011 4 comments

Last night as we were preparing dinner, the conversation went a little something like this…

Hmm, I’m in the mood  to bake something, but I don’t know what.

Yeah babe…But something simple.

How about, vanilla cupcakes with a chocolate frosting? Wait no…How about I make the frosting with chocolate malt powder?

YEAH…that sounds good!

So at close to 9:00pm Sam and I were in the kitchen washing dishes, listening to some tunes, exchanging a few kisses and preparing/anticipating the Chocolate Malt Frosted Cupcakes.

Because it was kinda late and I was wanting to be done quickly, I just popped open a box of white cake mix (I keep them in stock for quickies), into which I added two teaspoons of vanilla extract.  The chocolate malt frosting was tweaked from a recipe for a milk chocolate cookie malt cream filling that I had saved from the Food and Wine website to make sometime in the near future.

By the time all was said and done, it was about 10:40ish pm and past our bedtime (we’re early birds).  So, being the classy individuals that we are, we devoured one cupcake each over the sink and prepped for bed.

They were pretty yummy and worth the wait.  The frosting had that lovely chocolate malt shake taste that I remember having as a kid.  However, we would have liked the flavor to have been a bit more prominent, so next time I think I’ll add more chocolate malt powder and a little less sugar.

Chocolate Malt Frosted Cupcakes

(Yielded 12 cupcakes and one 6×2 cake)

Frosting inspired by Mathew Rice

Ingredients 

  • Box of white or yellow cake mix 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (for cake)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chocolate malt powder, such as Ovaltine
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (my addition)
  • About 1 teaspoon cocoa powder to dust on frosted cupcakes (my addition)

To Prepare

Preheat oven to 350° and line cupcake pan with buttered and floured baking cups, also butter and flour cake pan. Prepare cake mix according to instructions, be sure to add the vanilla extract to the mix.

For frosting: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the chocolate malt powder at medium speed until light, about 3 minutes. Scrape sides as needed and add the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar and beat at low speed just until combined, gradually add whipping cream and increase to med-high speed for about 1 minute.

Decorate your cupcakes/cake (once cooled) as your heart desires, dust with cocoa powder and enjoy :-).

“All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt!”  ~ Charles Schulz

SamCyn’s Blueberry-Coriander Muffin Experiment…

05/12/2011 2 comments

When using blueberries in lieu of pumpkin to make muffins from the delicious Honey Walnut Pumpkin muffin recipe I made a while back, I was not sure which spice to use in place of the pumpkin spice.

I know I could have used cinnamon, but I wanted something different.  So, I asked my buddy Google to tell me “what spices work with blueberries“.  I got the idea to use coriander from this site and decided to go into unchartered territory and experiment.

I had purchased ground coriander to use for an Indian recipe (that I never got around to making), so it’s not a spice I’m very familiar with. 

After some research, I learned that the use of coriander is native to the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions and has been known in Asian countries for thousands of years.  It was used as a spice in both Greek and Roman cultures, the latter using it to preserve meats and flavor breads. 

The coriander seeds have a fragrant flavor that is reminiscent of both citrus peel and sage.  The early physicians, including Hippocrates, used coriander for its medicinal properties, including as an aromatic stimulant.  Coriander leaves (cilantro) (which I love) are featured in the culinary traditions of Latin American, Indian and Chinese cuisine.

Duh! I’m sure I’ve had this in sooo many dishes and didn’t even know it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I just made a new friend…the experiment was a winner! My husband, sister and mother all agreed they were really moist and DA-LISH. 

The coriander offered a nice, mellow citrusy note (smelled really good too!) that paired really well with the blueberries and caramelized walnuts.  And the best part is, because they are low-fat (no butter or oil), you can freely smother them with butter (like I did), take a bite and go to tastebud heaven.

One of these hot, buttered muffins with a good cup of coffee (or tea) makes for a good breakfast or afternoon snack :-).

“And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.” Exodus 16:31

Blueberry-Coriander Muffin

(yields about 12 muffins)

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup light vanilla soymilk
  • 6 oz. package of fresh blueberries (mashed)
  • 1 medium ripe banana (mashed)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/3 cup dark agave nectar

To Prepare 

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 12-muffin pan (or muffin cups) with cooking spray and set aside.

Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Toast walnuts in saucepan on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, then add 1/3 cup of agave nectar.  When mixture starts to bubble, stir to prevent burning, cook for about another 1-2 minutes.  Spread covered walnuts onto the waxed paper, allow to cool and break up clusters.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oat bran, coriander, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a second large bowl, combine sugar, applesauce, honey, soy milk, mashed blueberries and banana, egg and vanilla.

Add this mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in walnuts.

Pour batter into prepared muffin pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes or when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack then remove from pan and set aside to let cool completely.  Or you can pop one out of the pan, slather on the butter and enjoy!

Banana-Nut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

01/28/2011 3 comments

The last couple of days, I have been craving homemade chocolate chip cookies in a BIG way! So much so, that I could literally taste it. 

When I mentioned this to my husband, he perked up, looked at me with those sexy brown eyes, smiled at me and said, “Yeah babe, that would be nice!”. 

I’m a total sucker for this man and that’s ALL I needed to hear, to give me the extra push. 

Okay…STOP!

The truth is….I wanted cookies, and I am using Sam as a scapegoat.  Yes, It’s a form of denial…but SO what!?!  

I had recently read an article about resistant starch foods and how they can help you lose weight and control your blood sugar.  Included in the list were bananas and oatmeal. 

Hmmm, It just so happens I had a few bananas that were ripe for consumption, that I felt needed to be utilized differently than the typical: smoothie, banana bread, cereal topping, etc.

So I figured, why not add bananas and oatmeal to the chocolate chip cookies??  After all, we’re all about being healthy around here, right? (again, the denial).  Additionally, Let’s not forget the fact that, Sam eats cookies for breakfast :-). 

I searched the internet and chose two different recipes that I combined and tweaked to my own liking.  One was for Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies and the other for  Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies.

MMMMMM!

When you taste these you will think you died and went to banana-nut bread/chocolate chip cookie heaven! 

These babies are moist like banana bread, with a hearty texture from the walnuts and oats, and an undeniably rich (satisfy your craving for) chocolate chip cookie goodness.  I made these before going to work today and ended up having a few (too many) for breakfast…I think Sam would be proud ;-).  

Banana-Nut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 12 oz. (1 bag) of semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

 

To prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, on medium speed, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smoothly blended, about 1 minute.
  4. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Mix in the bananas.  On low speed, add the flour mixture, mixing just until it is incorporated. Mix in the oats.
  5. Stop the mixer and with a large spoon stir in the chocolate chips, and walnuts.
  6. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto lined baking sheets, spacing about 2-3 inches apart.  Bake the cookies one sheet at a time (rotating baking sheet halfway during baking) until the edges are lightly browned and the tops look dry, about 14-16 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, than use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

The cookies can be stored in a tightly covered container, layered between sheets of wax paper, at room temperature for up to 3 days, but don’t expect them to last that long.

“I am still convinced that a good, simple, homemade cookie is preferable to all the store-bought cookies one can find.”  – James Beard

Chicken Wrapped in Pancetta & Sage w/Red Pepper Salad

11/22/2010 6 comments

 Happy Birthday Lisa!

Yesterday we celebrated my sister’s birthday and decided to serve this week’s recipes chosen for menu # 8  from the Gutsy Cooks Club: Chicken Wrapped in Pancetta & Sage (which also includes roasted tomatoes) and a Red Pepper Salad.

Though I’ve heard of pancetta  (pn-cht), I had never cooked it before.  Basically, it is a type of dry cured meat, similar to bacon. It is pork belly that has been salt cured and spiced (nutmeg, pepper, fennel, dried ground hot peppers and garlic are often featured), and dried for about three months (but usually not smoked). There are many varieties, and in Italy each region produces its own type.

There was a lot of hustling and bustling (can you say chaotic??) in my kitchen as Sam and I were preparing the two separate recipes, along with appetizers….while, at the same time my mom was baking my sister a pineapple upside down cake. 

I know you’re probably thinking (or maybe it’s me, talking to me) I could have and SHOULD HAVE prepared some of these in advance…but in typical Cynthia fashion, I left everything for the “last hour”. 

Let’s face it…it’s a lot more fun that way…it’s my version of being a contestant on one of the Food Network’s challenges, totally being under the gun…but the only difference is, there’s no secret ingredient.

Instead, it’s just me working against the clock (and driving my husband crazy), praying that my guests don’t arrive before I can at least offer them something to nibble on.

Which brings me to say….

God bless you SAM! You are SO patient with me…I LOVE you DEARLY! 🙂

While I prepared the tomatoes, by simply cutting in half, drizzling with olive oil, some S&P and roasting for an hour.

 Sam was kind enough to take on the task of wrapping the chicken with the pancetta and sage.

Nice job, huh?

The chicken had to cook in olive oil in a frying pan for approximately 10 minutes…however, the pancetta took an awfully long time to cook, compared to the chicken, which concerned me because I DO NOT like overcooked (dry) meat and or seafood.

Finally after about 20 minutes, it was done.

The red pepper salad was simple…

Cook peppers in olive oil and garlic, add chopped, peeled, seedless tomatoes, parsley and you’re pretty much done.

 

 Serve with mixed greens and dressing.

Both recipes are from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible

by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner

So what was the bottom line? Everyone really enjoyed the meal, including (and most importantly) the birthday girl.

Believe it or not, what was a true hit was the dressing (and my basil pesto ;-)).  Who would have thought, huh?

All in all, I’d say the birthday dinner was a success, including mom’s pineapple upside down cake.

Ladies and Gentlemen…this concludes this week’s Edible Adventure.

You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients. —-Julia Child