Friday, September 19, 2014

SMOOTHIE TIPS

                                    

  1.  DID YOU MAKE MORE SMOOTHIE
   THAN YOU CAN DRINK?  Simply 
   pour the remainder into an ice 
   cube tray and freeze.  When you 
   are ready to drink it, pull it out of 
   the freezer and put it into the 
   microwave long enough to soften 
   the cubes just a bit. Then put the 
   cubes into the blender and mix 
   it up.  If you put the cubes straight
into the blender without softening, you will need to add more liquid.

2.  VEGETABLE ADDITIONS  Vegetable can add nutrition with fewer calories than fruit.  I like to put a few slices of cooked beets into my smoothie, along with some of the juices from cooking.  It gives a nice red or purple color, depending on how much you put in.

3. FREEZING SOME OF THE FRUITS before using them in a smoothie means you can use less or no ice to make the smoothie thick.  However, there needs to be a balance.  If everything is frozen, then liquid needs to be added to make it thin enough to blend.
Bananas can be thrown into the freezer with their skins on, or they can be peeled, wrapped in plastic wrap and put into a zipper bag.  If you store them in their skin, simply put them into warm water for a minute or so, then peel. Don't leave them in too long, or they will get squishy.

4.  OVER-RIPE FRUITS are perfect to use in smoothies as firmness doesn't matter like it does when you are eating it fresh.  It is important to cut out bruises and bad spots, though.

5.  DO YOU HAVE JUST A LITTLE BIT OF THIS OR THAT FRUIT OR VEGETABLE?  Add it to a smoothie!  Leftover jello works great, too, as do juices.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

RICE PILAF

This recipe was given to me by my friend, Janet, from Montana, and we used it at our restaurant.

Mix together in baking pan:
     3 cups converted rice
     4 cups chicken stock
     3 cups water
     1/4 lb. margarine or corn oil
     1 cup chopped onions
     1 cup chopped celery
     1 cup chopped green bell pepper
     1/2 cup red pimento or red bell pepper
     1 cup chopped mushrooms
     1/2 tsp. allspice
     1 tsp. curry powder
     Dash pepper

Bake covered at 400o for about 1 1/2 hours, until liquid is absorbed and rice is fluffy.
Let stand 15 minutes before serving.






WATERMELON BANANA STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE

We had lots of leftover watermelon at our recent family reunion.  I cut it into chunks and removed the seeds, then put the chunks into a zip bag in the freezer.  Today, I decided to make a smoothie with the watermelon.  Here is how I did it:

Dissolve one 3-oz. package watermelon gelatin mix in
            1 cup very hot water
             (I even heat the water a bit on the stove 
             or in the microwave.)

Pour HALF of the gelatin mix into a blender.
Add approximately 
            2 cups frozen watermelon cubes
            2 small or 1 large banana
            1 cup strawberries 
              (just wash and remove the tops)

Blend until mixed - enjoy!

Yield:  about one quart

Refrigerate leftover gelatin and use it in your next smoothie!


PUMPKIN COOKIES WITH CARAMEL FROSTING

I found this recipe at  http://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/ but I have tweaked it just a bit.  Yield: 24 cookies (approximately 3”)
     

Cookies 

With an electric mixer, beat together:
     1 cup sugar
     1/2 cup oil
Add and blend well:
     1 tsp. milk
     1 large egg
     1 cup canned 

        pumpkin puree
     1 tsp vanilla


In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients:
     2 cups flour
     1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
     1/2 tsp salt
     2 tsp baking powder
     1 tsp baking soda


Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until incorporated. 

Drop batter by spoonfuls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake at
375F for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack with wide spatula.  Allow to cool before frosting. 

 OPTION:  Use 1 cup whole wheat flour and one cup white flour.  Still delicious and a little more healthy.


Caramel Frosting

In a medium saucepan combine:
     3 Tbsp butter
     1/4 cup heavy cream
     1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
     Pinch of salt
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil

Remove from the heat and stir in:
     1 tsp. Vanilla
     1 cup powdered sugar


Let the frosting cool to room temperature and then stir in (works best with a whisk):
     1 cup powdered sugar (more or less)

Beat on high with mixer until frosting is spreading consistency.
Spread on cooled cookies.

NOTE: The first two steps of the frosting can be made ahead and set aside. If you are doing it just the day before, it does not need to be refrigerated. Be sure to cover tightly. Just before frosting, add the remaining powdered sugar to room temperature frosting mix and beat on high as instructed.