Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Strawberry, Feta, and Spinach Salad Recipe

Last night I opened the fridge, looking for something tasty to make for dinner.
We had just picked up our produce from Bountiful Baskets, and our counters and icebox were laden with fresh fruits and veggies.
I decided to make a big dinner salad.
My usual method is to start with a bed of spinach and then top it with anything that looks good.
Rummaging around, I came up with a delicious combination.

Strawberry Feta Spinach Salad

Spinach and romaine, topped with:
 1 pear, cubed.
 Several strawberries, sliced;
 a handful of pecans, 
Feta garlic and herb cheese.

I like my salads too heavily garnished with goodies. :)

For the dressing, I mixed up a recipe I've been using for ages.

Poppy Seed Dressing

In a medium saucepan combine: 

3/4 Cup white sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. minced onion
1/3 Cup apple cider vinegar

Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, but DO NOT BOIL.
Then add:

1/4 cup salad oil
1/4 cup water

Whisk together, then chill until cooled.
This recipe has a tendency to separate, so I serve it in a small pitcher with a spoon for stirring.
I hope y'all enjoy this recipe!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Starting Seeds Indoors Using Recycled Egg Cartons

I don't know about you, but I've got spring fever.
I'm hankering to get my garden started in the back yard,
and my potted hydrangeas and geraniums blooming on my front porch.

 To get a head start, I've been saving cardboard egg cartons for weeks, and now it's time to plant my seeds.
My little friend Annie came over to help, and together we made a mess got to work.

We began by cutting the lids off our cartons, 
and filling them each with MiracleGro Seed Starting Potting Mix.
Then we used the end of a pencil to make holes in the soil for our seeds.
We dropped three or four seeds in each little hole, then covered the seeds with the potting mix.

We used a spray bottle to moisten the soil without soaking the cardboard,
 then we hid them all away in an empty kitchen cupboard to germinate. 

Now we keeping the soil moist and anxiously waiting to see if we succeeded.

Scott is going to build me some planters for the back porch, 
and I fully expect to be harvesting some yummy home grown veggies before the summer is over.

Have you had any success starting seeds this way?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Easy Crockpot Applesauce

Our time in Alabama is over now, and I am thankful to be going home to my beautiful kitchen.
Cooking in a dorm room certainly made for some interesting and creative meals.
I have one more fun slow cooker idea for you today.
Before we left, I was trying to use up a bag of apples that we bought 
so I decided to try my hand at making applesauce.

 This was by far the easiest applesauce I had ever made.
I peeled and sliced the apples, and then sprinkled a half cup of raw sugar over them, and turned the crock-pot on low overnight.

In the morning I smashed the apples with a whisk.

Easy Peasy, and yummy.

I would love for y'all to share your favorite slow cooker recipes with me!

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Easy Crockpot Cheesecake

Slow Cooker Cheesecake

My husband and I are currently TDY for a few months while he is attending some training.
We are staying in a temporary living facility,
 which sometimes calls for a little creativity when it comes to cooking.

A few days ago, we went to dinner at a friends apartment.
I was bringing dessert, but no oven, I wondered what I could make.  
I did have my Crockpot with me, so being the Pinterest addict that I am, I quickly searched for slowcooker dessert recipes.
Being here for only a short time limits me on ingredients, so I decided on a plain jane cheesecake. 
Some graham cracker crumbs, and cream cheese were the only additional groceries required.
I made a quick run to the commisary and hurried home to start baking.

I read some recipes that required the cheesecake to be baked in  a small casserole pan while using the Crockpot as a sort of water bath, but having neither a baking dish nor a crockpot large enough to put one in, I decided to try using the Crockpot itself as my baking dish.

I wish I had taken some picturesof the proccess, but it was easy peasy.
I used this simple recipe:

Crockpot Cheesecake

3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
3  eggs
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp. melted butter

I mixed up the crust and pressed it into the bottom of the Crockpot. 
Mixing up the cheese was the difficult part. 
I don't have any kind of mixing bowl, the best I could do was a plastic pitcher. :)

 I added some fresh raspberries to the filling, smashing then slightly with a fork before stirring them into the cheese.

I poured the filling over the crust and then set the timer for two hours on high.
I was so nerveous that it would be a disaster, but in the end it turned out to be a great success.
 It certainly wasnt the prettiest cheesecake I have baked, but it was yummy.

Tonight I'm baking sweet potatoes in our slowcooker, so far it's taking longer than I planned, but after quartering the potatoes it looks like dinner will be ready soon!

Slow Cooker Meals

Have a wonderful day!!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Remedies For The Common Cold

Well, here we are at the end of February and I am grateful that Scott and I made it through the entire winter without catching a single cold or sinus infection.
How did we do it?

Hippocrates said 
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food."

This has been our philosophy.
All winter, if either of us thought there was even the slightest possibility that we could come down with something we did two things.

1.) We went to the grocery store to stock up on every organic veggie and fruit in sight.

2.) We stopped by our local health food store to pick up a few bottles of Kombucha and Kefir.

One day Scott came home from work with a headache, sore throat, and congested sinuses. He had a long night flight the next day, so we really wanted to do anything we could to keep him from getting really sick.

Avoiding the common cold

I made my usual run to the grocery store and then started on dinner. 
Here is the meal I prepared for him:

Curing a cold

The first thing I did was grind several cups of hard red wheat. 
I used it to make noodles for the soup as well as some big fluffy biscuits.

Food as medicine

Whole grains can help cure the common cold

I made some chicken noodle soup with lots of fresh organic veggies and whole grains.

Cold Remedy

I juiced a few lemons to make this yummy raw broccoli salad.

Cold Remedy

Raw Broccoli Salad Recipe

3 cups of chopped broccoli
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tbs of finely chopped coriander 
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tsp of sea salt

Wash and chop the broccoli, Including the garlic clove in the chopping. Be sure to use a large non-reactive bowl Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon. Cover and let sit in the fridge for one hour.

I also juiced two bags of carrots and picked up some pomegranate juice at the grocery store.

After eating all this and getting a good eight hours of sleep that night, Scott woke up feeling great. He had none of the symptoms of the night before and never did end up coming down with the cold.
This has now become our standard course of action any time we are exposed to sickness or feel a cold, flu, or sinus infection coming on.
I wont blame you if you're a bit skeptical, but give it a try!