What's your favorite Cheese says about you.

My homepage at work is MSN.com and along with "real" news, these quirky things catch my eye.  This one is "what your favorite cheese says about you"

So … at this stage in my life, I'd have to say that blue cheese is my favorite.  Here's what it says about me

 

"Your personality is an acquired taste, just like the noted blue cheese flavor.

Although viewed as a strong influence, you are knowledgeable and wise.

People often seek your advice."

 

Actually, I identified with several of the cheeses they listed.  Havarti, Cheddar, Mozzarella, Brie - let's just say I am fond of cheese.  These surveys and tests always crack me up.  Sometimes they are dead on accurate and sometimes they are really far off.  I still play along just to see what they will say.

 


Easter Eggs

I grew up coloring eggs for Easter … this was back when the only way you colored eggs was with a Paas Kit - the little tablets you dropped in water with vinegar.  I still like having colored eggs, but don't have kids to color them with and often run out of time to do it myself.

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For the last several years, I've been buying mine already pre-colored by Publix.  Personally, I wish they offered them all year long, but I understand why they don't.   They cost $5-something a dozen and you're pretty much paying for the convenience factor. A dozen eggs is on sale for $1.29 this week, but when you factor in the cost of the Paas kit and the time involved, it really ends up being economical.  Depending on the store, the colors could be dark or could be lighter almost pastel.  I like the dark ones.  I've got 2 dozen in the fridge


{P}Inspired - Lobster Chowder

I've actually taken a little hiatus from Pinterest lately - mostly because once Halloween hits, life gets busy with Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  I'm back pinning again - I love finding new recipes and crafts to try.

I've been noticing that one of my pins (click here for the pin) has been getting a lot of action lately.  It's a lobster chowder that is low carb, gluten free, and with some minor modifications dairy free. 

It was cold this past weekend, and I had lobster already on hand -- not a live lobster, but a frozen variety - wild caught, all natural, sustainable, from Maine.

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so when it kept getting pinned, I figured I'd better try it.  

I did have to go to the liquor store and buy the Cointreau,  so I just bought one of those mini bottles that you get on an airplane.  The liquor store had a billion different mini bottles of alcohol, so I also bought a mini bottle of Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey. No … I'm not a bourbon drinker, but I have read the Stone Barrington novels by Stuart Woods, and it's one of the drinks Stone always orders - so bought it to try.  Haven't tried it yet, but will let you know when I do.  

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About the chowder … since I didn't have live lobster, I substituted vegetable broth for the lobster broth.  For the almond milk, I only had 2 cups in stock, so used heavy cream for 1 of the cups.  Cauliflower is used instead of potatoes so that keeps it low carb.  One of those bags of precut raw cauliflower you find in the produce section is just about 2 cups.

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My picture of it is not very pretty, but you get the idea.  It was pretty creamy and with the vanilla almond milk, and cointreau it had a very mild sweet taste - lobster has a sweet taste to it as well, so I expected that.  It was very tasty as is, but I think that next time, I will use a Chipotle Garlic Spice instead of just plain garlic powder.  I shook some on my bowl of chowder and it complemented it very well, and I do like spicy.

Now I need to go back to BJ's Warehouse Club to get some more of the lobster, so I can have a lobster roll (which is what I bought it for in the first place.


Addicted to Peanut Butter

I admit it … I think I have a little Peanut Butter addiction.

This week, our local grocery chain Publix, has Peter Pan Peanut Butter on BOGO (buy one get one), and I do love a good BOGO, so I stocked up.  

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I had seen somewhere on the internet that sales repeat about every 12 weeks, so I figured this amount might last until the next sale - or maybe not.  These are the smaller size jars.

All through elementary school, I took my lunch to school, and each and every single day, I had a peanut butter (creamy) and jelly sandwich.  No … my mother was not forcing me to eat only PBJ sandwiches - it was my lunch of choice.  Occasionally she would mix up my lunch with my brother's lunch … the horrors … his sandwich had crunchy peanut butter, which I despise, so the teacher would walk me to his room to trade out to the right sandwich.

I grew up on Peter Pan, and it is still my favorite brand.  

Peanut Butter can be good on a low carb, high fat diet, but I still have to be careful because there are carbs, and even low carb, in order to lose weight it's still calories in vs calories out.  It does make a great snack though.

The new sale starts tomorrow, so I've got to decide if I want to get just a little bit more.  The shelf life is pretty long, 2017, so even if I don't use it all before the next Peanut Butter sale, it won't go bad.


{P}inspired - the Radish Debacle

I wanted to make a recipe I found on Pinterest here.

Simple enough.  Slice the radishes, cover w/olive oil, and sprinkle on salt and pepper, then bake.

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So on my first pass, I think I sliced them too thin.  Some were overcooked, some were undercooked. Some were just right .. sounds like a fairy tale.  I will say this ... the ones that were not burned - well ... they were fabulous.  I found I liked them a little to the well done side (but not burned).  The ones still a little white, tasted OK, but were limp - so I liked the texture of the browned ones.

So I did what anyone would do.  I made a second batch.  These, I used the mandolin on a thicker setting, so they weren't so paper thin.  I took them out of the oven and all was well.  Then since I'd been tasting and eating the first batch, I put them back in to get a little crispier.  And that was my mistake - I should have just left well enough alone, but I had to temp fate.

So here is what I ended up with:

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Burned to a crisp.  This is no way a reflection of the recipe - it was all me.  I just didn't set the timer, or didn't hear the timer, I don't quite know what exactly happened - but I burned them - and they looked so good just a little bit ago - I wish I had taken an interum picture - but you'll have to believe me.

Although I did have more radishes, I was over it, so didn't try a third batch.  I might try again in the near future - they were tasty.


{P}inspired - Tomato and Jalapeno Salad

This is a salad I found on Pinterest.  I don't particularly like lettuce, so I'm always on the lookout for recipes sans lettuce.

This one is pretty simple, just grape tomatoes, onion and jalapenos.  You can find the pin here or the recipe here.

And here's my creation.

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You might note that it's missing the cilantro - highly overrated - recipe didn't need it (in my opinion). So the taste ... it was very good, but a bit on the spicy side (not that I mind).  It was a little addicting and I kept going back for another taste, and another taste.

Then I got the brilliant idea to tone it down a bit and aded some chicken to the mix to make it a chicken jalapeno salad.

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Still good, but it needed more spice.  If I had had an extra jalapeno, I would have added it.  What I added was about 2 cups rotisserie chicken blended with some mayo and a little poultry seasoning.  I left out celery and other stuff that gets added normally to chicken salad because I knew I was adding to the  Tomato and Jalapeno salad.  

I would do both again, but particularly the original Tomato and Jalapeno one.  It has a crisp fresh taste that like I said was addicting.


{P}Inspired ... Sausage and Egg Tarts

Found this recipe on Pinterest (where else).  It's super easy and tasty.  I try, try, try to stay on a low carb diet, and am always on the lookout for breakfast foods that either can be premade and reheated, or are quick to make.

This one can be done either way.

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Sorry about the picture ... I tend to forget about taking the picture until I've already taken a bite so this was actually what was left over from the batch I made.  Perfect for reheating.

You can find the recipe by clicking here or the pin is here.

I used the same sausage that she did, and if you notice in the picture there are 8 sausage rounds and you make 12 tarts, so you just have to spread it around some.  It was easy to split it up to fill the 12 cups.  I used real eggs (the recipe said 6 - 8 and I used 6) and I added diced red and yellow peppers that I had on hand.  When I took them out of the oven, I took a knife and split the top and added a portion of a slice of cheddar.  I really split the top to make sure they were cooked through and then decided to add the cheddar because I like cheese and I had a wonderful Boars Head Aged Cheddar in the fridge.

So on to the taste - they were great which I guess is why I'm sharing.  The eggs were cooked but not dried out and the sausage gave the dish a tasty kick.  I think next time, I'll try some other veggies just to change it up a bit.  This one is a keeper!


Good Eats ...

I try very hard to stick to a low carb lifestyle, and to that end, I try new recipes all the time.  This weekend, I found a new one which uses spaghetti squash instead of pasta.

It's called spaghetti and meatball bites from PaleOMG.  Paleo diets are generally low carb, so I find lots of recipes at the paleo sites.  I guess I follow a quasi paleo diet.

You can follow the recipe, but I'm essentially a lazy cook, so I used store bought meatballs.  You'll also see that I used 2 meatballs per squash nest, and I added motzarella cheese (cheese is not normally paleo) because cheese is good on anything.

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The verdict is in, and they were delicious.  I will do these again in the future as even my husband liked them.  He's quite the good sport putting up with my cooking adventures - although my ratio is pretty good there is the occaisional bomb, in which case, I just make something else (quickly).


(P)inspired

This weekend I'm taking part in a Pinterest Party over at the Kitchen Keepsakes forum.  

We all like to pin things on Pinterest, so this is a chance to make something that is inspired by one of your pinterest pins and share it on the forum.  It's pretty easy for me to pick something, because I have a slight Pinterest addiction, so I'm pinning things ALL the time.  Mostly food and scrapbooking/cardmaking stuff, but also quotes, crafts, decorations and stuff for the home.

So yesterday, I made two dishes

The first is Mini Deep Dish Pizza

From Pinterest: Mini Deep Dish Pizza's

and My Try: Mini Deep Dish Pizza - My Try

I made a few changes to the ingredients - I used regular spaghetti sauce instead of pizza sauce for the sauce was thinner, I also used regular pepperoni rather than the healthier version the recipe called for.  The first batch had too much sauce, so the second batch I used less.  I made them on low carb tortillas and they tasted great.  I could see doing these again and even as an appetizer for a party.

The second recipe I tried was Italian Corn Salsa

From Pinterest:  Italian Corn Salsa

and My Try: Italian Corn Salsa - My Try

I followed the recipe exactly and used a low cal italian dressing.  It tastes great.  I had mine with Fritos scoops, but I think it would be better with the tortilla chips.

Today, I've been working on cards, so I'll post those a little later or tomorrow.

I've tried other recipes from Pinterest before but this is going to be the first time I'm woring on cards inspired from Pinterest, so we'll see how it goes.


Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

No the pod people didn't invade my body ... it's me sharing a recipe.

I was watching a Rachael Ray episode last week and she made little turkey meatloaf cupcakes - little turkey meatloafs made in muffin tins, with sweet potatoes as the "icing".  I liked the idea, so did my own take.

First, I don't like celery and the apples seemed weird, so I searched online and found several recipes, then combined them all and adapted them and did it my way.

Turkey Meatloaf Muffin Turkey Meatloaf Muffin - open

Recipe

1 1/4 lb ground turkey - this is the standard size package from Jenny-O.

1 jalapeno seeds removed and chopped (because I have some and need to use them up)

1/2 c onion chopped

1 tsp garlic

2 tsp worstchesire

1/4 - 1/2 c sundried tomatoes in oil chopped

butter

1 egg

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 tsp poultry seasoning

1/4 c parmesan/reggiano cheese

salt

pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

melt butter in saute pan, add chopped onion, chopped jalapeno, garlic, worstchesire,  and cook until onion is clear.  Remove from heat and allow to cool - I put mine in the fridge for a couple of moments.  In a bowl, put turkey, breadcrumbs, poultry seasoning, parmesan, egg, salt, pepper, and tomatoes.  Add the cooled onion mixture.  Mix ingredients.  Don't over work it - just enough so it's mixed through.

Divide into 6 portions and place in a texas size muffin tin.  (if you use a toaster oven like I do, you will then find out that your muffin tin doesn't fit the toaster oven, so after forming them in the muffin tin, I took them out and just put them on a tray that did fit my toaster oven).  Bake for about 25 minutes.  If you have a thermometer the pros say bake until the internal temp is 165 degrees but I don't own a thermometer, so just make sure it's cooked through but not cooked to death.

I loved them.  They weren't dry and had just  a little kick to them from the jalapeno.  If you like it spicier you can add more jalapeno which I think I'll do next time and you could even leave it out if you don't have any on hand. 

The measurements are estimates.  They're pretty close but I don't really measure, so you shouldn't stress over it, and please, please, please if you try it or do something similar take a moment and let me know - I'd love to hear how it came out for you.