Friday, November 06, 2009

Homemade Tortillas

I found this recipe on the internet on Texas Cooking.com
http://www.texascooking.com/features/sept98flourtortillas.htm

I made the Chewy Flour Tortillas on this site.
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons oil
3/4 cup lukewarm milk (which I just microwaved for 30 seconds)

Mix all the ingredients together. Then cut the dough in half. Take each half and cut into 4 pieces. Roll all 8 pieces into a ball. Take two sheets of plastic wrap and place a ball in between and roll with a rolling pin until as flat as you can make it. Cook in a hot skillet for 30 seconds on each side. As they finish place them in a gallon size freezer ziplock bag. The steam helps keep them soft and pliable.

They turned out really good. My family loved it. I was nervous they would want the store bought ones, but instead they don't want me to buy them anymore and just make tortillas all the time.
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Thursday, November 05, 2009

30 Mile Challenge

We were doing really good for our challenge for the first two weeks. It was a lot easier since we were allowed to use what we had on hand. Now we have run out of almost everything we eat on a regular basis. The kids are struggling with the lack of Eggos and Poptarts. Either today or tomorrow we will attempt to make our own Poptarts. I imagine it is just pie crust filled with fruit. We are every going as far as to make our own jam to put in them. I can't make waffles since I got rid of my waffle maker earlier this year. I quit making them from scratch since we always bought Eggos. We have been eating a lot of muffins instead, and I eat fresh fruit when I can get it. The next two weeks will be the most challenging so I will keep you posted on any new recipes I try. This will all end right before Thanksgiving were we can feast.
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bagels


Bagels
100 Mile Diet Challenge

This morning I pulled the last bagel out of the bag. My daughter eats a bagel for her lunch every day because she hates sandwiches. To stay true to the 100 mile diet challenge, I can't just go and buy a new thing of bagels. Since the challenge allows for baking supplies I decided to make some. The recipe called for potato water to be added to the yeast, so I did go to the produce stand and buy some potatoes. I also found some pure cane sugar syrup that was made within the 100 mile radius as well as some ranch salad dressing. I picked up a few other things too.


So as I was making the bagels my daughter wanted to help, she loves to bake. She was so excited to learn how bagels were made. It is nice to teach her where food comes from and that it doesn't just magically appear on the shelves. She helped make dough ropes, form circles, dropped some in the boiling water, and brushed the egg on top. They turned out so good and yummy. Both the kids were excited about them, but they had to go to bed before the bagels came out of the oven.

I made these big because I thought would doesn't love huge bagels. I think next time I make them I'll make the dozen it says to instead of making 8 giant ones.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

100 Mile Challenge

So while I've been stuck in the house, I've found a show on the Green Planet that is called the 100 mile challenge. Everything they buy must be grown within 100 miles of their house. The idea is to eat what is in season and to change the way you shop and buy food.

Now I think depriving my family of necessities is a little extreme, but I really like the concept. So I talked to my sister who also liked the idea and we came up with our own challenge. The concept behind our method is still the same, eat what is in season and support the local markets. However, we are not going to be extreme purist. So here are our rules:

1. We can buy anything at our local farmers market or butcher regardless of where it originated.

2. Other items need to be investigated to see where it comes from. While we don't want to drive 100 miles to get our food, we will try hard to buy foods from the local area, which can be shipped to us or our town.

3. If a food is manufactured in our 100 mile radius than we can buy it. We are not going to be picky about where the ingredients. Maybe later on we will be concerned with that, but for now we are being flexible.

4. Exceptions: We have two exceptions to the rule. We are allowing dairy purchases and anything in the baking isle that isn't a prepackaged goodie (so flour, sugar, salt, oil, ect are allowed).

5. The challenge will go for 30 days. We are allowed to use what is already in our house, but for the next 30 days our purchases must be in accordance with the challenge.

So with the the butcher and farmers market plus the exception of dairy and baking items we have covered all four food groups. So now it is just what kind of menus we can come up with. My kids are excited about the challenge, but they are concerned what we will be eating for the next month. I'll keep you posted!
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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yummy Salad Trick

My friends tend to make fun of my healthy eating habits, of course it could be because I have no problems eating large amounts of soy or large amounts of chocolate lol. So here is a tip for making a boring salad more exciting with a little extra effort. Don't worry I think even my sister could pull it off (she is a bit kitchen challenged).

What you will need is a bagged salad or lettuce cut up plus added veggies you like on your salad (I'm lazy and just bagged salads). Next you'll want lunch meat or chunks of meat or for a vegetarian option pick a non-traditional salad veggie like green beans. You'll also need a liquidity store bought salad dressing, I usually go for the vinaigrettes but nothing fruity.

Now that you have everything, cut up the meat into bit size pieces and place them in a skillet. Warm the meat up a little on a medium-low heat. Once the meat heats up and starts searing add a quarter cup of water and the salad dressing. Turn the heat up a little to medium heat and let the salad dressing boil. This way it saturates the meat which gives it a nice marinated flavor. Once the salad dressing has reduced to a little more liquidity than its original state pour it over your prepared salad.

It takes a boring salad and makes it a warm salad with yummy meat. Also you made the salad dressing go further which is healthier. More flavor, yummier salad, less calories, whats not to like :)
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Best Job in the World

All the buzz on the news is how the Austrialian government is trying to hire someone to fill what they call the Best Job in the World. Basically you live on Hamilton Island in the Great Barrier Reef and the tourism department shows you everything cool to do there. In exchange you maintain a blog, both video and written, about how much fun you are having. The term is for 6 months and they are paying what is equivilent to about $100,000 USD. The website is http://www.islandreefjob.com/ but it is often down due to extreme popularity.

Now I'm going to apply for this. I mean you just need to make a 60 second video to start with. They limit it down to to the top 50 videos before they get indepth with the application process. I've been going through the audition videos to get a good idea of what I thought was good and what looked bad. So for those of you interested in making a video, here are some hints on what NOT to do to make a good impression in 60 seconds or less.

1. Don't read a script, esp. looking down.
2. Don't sing, unless of course you are super talented, but still they aren't after a singer
3. Don't hold up snap shots
4. Don't use Power Point with music in the background, this tells nothing about you
5. Don't have the background flip through a million vacation pictures
6. Don't beg
7. Don't complain about your weather
8. Don't voice over your video, nobody likes it when your lips don't match your words
9. Don't take the audience through a tatoo parlor pretending you just got inked to get the job
10. Don't just declare your desire for the position in 10 seconds and cut the video off
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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Edible Play Dough - Candy Clay

There are many recipes for edible play dough or candy clay. This recipe uses Almond Bark as its base, which is just a brick of white chocolate. What you do is take half of the Almond Bark and chop it up finely. Place it in a microwave safe bowl. Melt it in the microwave by starting at 1 minute. Take it out and stir and place it in for 30 seconds at a time taking it out and stirring each time. Once the almond bark is melted add 1/3 cup of Karo syrup or any other light corn syrup. Mix it really good and let it cool. I find that if you take a cookie sheet that has a bit of a lip helps cool it faster, but put down some wax or parchment paper so it doesn't stick. It takes awhile to cool, I usually let it cool overnight so I'm not sure exactly how long it takes. This is a great activity to do with a bunch of kids.

You can do this whole thing with Wilton candy chips that comes in a lot of different colors too. They are significantly more expensive than the almond bark and you'd have to buy all the different colors you wanted. It takes 1/3 cup of Karo syrup for each package.

I've tried this with a bunch of different types of chips, but it doesn't seem to work that well. The white chocolate chips work the best but real chocolate chips or things like butterscotch chips make the dough too hard. Perhaps adding more Karo syrup would help it, but I didn't really mess around with it that much.
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Thursday, January 01, 2009

Aerogarden

I am so excited I got an Aerogarden for Christmas this year. I've already ordered the seed starter tray for it. Hopefully it will get here soon so I can start my garden soon. I need to plant things before the end of February (I'm in southern Georgia). This year I'm going to try and grow the following:

Kentucky Wonder Green Beans
Red Noodle Beans (which are a long bean good in stir fry)
Zamboni Broccoli
Yaya Carrots
Merida (winter carrots I'll plant later in the year)
Giant Red Celery
Snack Mix Sunflowers
Sugar Dot Sweet Corn
Ambition Shallots
Pot and Patio Lettuce Blend
Athena Cantaloupe
Super Sugar Snap Peas
Oregon Sugar Pod Snow Peas
Mini Chocolate Bell Pepper
Small Sugar Pumpkin

I order my seed from Territorial Seed company, but Burpee has similar seeds and I've had good results with them as well. Their prices are about the same as well. Sadly I'm not growing in tomatoes this year because I had so many bug problems with them.
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