Tuesday, March 30, 2010

b.good

 

The service is fast but b.good is not your typical fast food restaurant. 

 

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Just look at that piece of grilled chicken – none of that spongy stuff served here. 

 

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And the fries are to die for.  I am not usually one to eat french fries (I don’t do fried foods), but these babies are baked and truly are amazing.  I would go back and just get fries.   

 

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Charlie ordered the sweet potato fries so we shared the two varieties.  The sweet ones were just as scrumptious as the regular.  He really liked his hamburger too. 

 

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The D man didn’t do to bad with his big burger – he ate more than half of that guy.  We shared the fries with him too.  I was shocked that he liked them.  He is usually not a fan of french fries unless they are almost burnt.  I don’t think he likes the squishy texture – they need to be super crispy. 

 

 

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It was a nice Sunday spent in the city with my guys. 

 

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Here is shot by D – not bad considering my camera is kind of beastly.

 

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We definitely would go back to b.good for some quick but oh so yummy eats again.

I hope you are having a great week.  We are ready to sail away here in MA.  The rain is never ending.  Time for my boat to leave – I’m babysitting today. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Raisin Bran Cereal Muffins

I know that I said the recipe would be up yesterday, oops!!  It was just too nice outside to be in front of the computer and my truck REALLY needed to be cleaned.  My sidekick and I headed out to use one of those mega vacuums.  At first he freaked out about the loud noise – he has always been a little sensitive to things that are ear piercing – except his own wails.  Eventually he did not mind – maybe it was because he found some dirt to play with.  My truck got cleaned but he got dirty – a mommy’s job is never done. 

Then last night I had a Girl Scout meeting.  It went well.  We trucked through the mucky paths of the GS camp so that the girls can draw maps of the grounds.  The maps will then be judged (by them or the leaders – TBD).  The best one wins.  My nephew was there so I asked the C man to bring the D man to the meeting - the boys entertained each other.  I think D really liked that he got to hang out with a group of older women.  He’s already told me – in his exact words “mommy, I like girls”.  Yes he does. 

So here is the recipe that I promised you.  It is so yummy especially if you like molasses – a little of that brown goodness sure does go a long way.

 

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Raisin Bran Cereal Muffins

1 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

3 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup Evaporated Cane Juice (I got mine at Trader Joe’s)

1 tbsp molasses

3 cups Total Raisin Bran Cereal

1 cup nonfat buttermilk

2 egg whites

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray – I made 6 jumbo but you could also make regular sized muffins. 

Stir together the cereal, buttermilk, applesauce, molasses and evaporated cane juice.  Let mixture sit for five minutes or until the cereal is moist. 

In a small bowl whip the egg whites till frothy.  Once the cereal mix is ready gently fold the egg whites into it. 

Sprinkle the flour, baking soda and salt over the wet ingredients and stir to combined – try not to over mix.

Evenly distribute the batter into your muffin pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 2 minutes.  Finally remove the muffins from the pan to a wire rack. 

These muffins are really delicious with a cup of tea or coffee.  I had one for breakfast a couple times this week and was so happy with how they came out.  You will have to take my word – no one else in my house was willing to be a guinea pig. 

Let me know if you try them.  I hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hat Day

Today was hat day at D’s school so of course I could not send him with just any old ordinary hat.  I had to make him something with a little pizzazz. 

 

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“Mommy aren’t we done yet?”

 

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After the photo shoot he went and hid under a blanket. 

 

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So did Otto.  There really is a dog under there.

 

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Peek-a-boo Otto.

 

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D was so excited to show off his crazy hat.  And it actually made it through the day without any of the balloons popping – that’s amazing in a class full of 4 & 5 year olds.  

So I know I promised you a muffin recipe but you will have to wait until tomorrow.  But here is a little teaser.

 

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Time for Survivor – it’s on a special night this week.  I’m going to make a cup of tea and go get cozy by the TV.  Have a great night.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fresh Squeezed

Since I started this blog I really have not done a lot of pie baking.  I actually really love to make them especially when someone makes a special request.  Charlie works with a man who absolutely loves lemon desserts so he asked if I would make him a Lemon Meringue Pie.  I’ve never ventured down the road of meringue – as it looks a bit intimidating.  Well, I am here to tell you that it is pretty simple to achieve those white peaks of beauty – just do not over mix (thankfully I did not).

 

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I found a recipe from Miss Paula Dean.  Her food always seems to be a smash hit so I figured this one would be a winner.  The crust was just a basic sweet pie dough that I found in another cook book I have in my collection – you could use your favorite.  You can also make the pie with a graham cracker crust but the gentleman requested just a regular pastry crust. 

The filling calls for a 1/2 cup of lemon juice.  I highly recommend that you go with fresh squeezed not the bottled stuff.  It is more time consuming but way worth the effort. 

 

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I would also suggest making this pie the day you plan on serving it.  Meringue oozes as it sits in the fridge overnight and I really could not figure out how to avoid this (Charlie and I even searched the web for tips and came up empty).  Despite a little dampness, the pie was well received.  Charlie came home that evening with an empty pie plate – a good indicator I would say. 

I hope your off to a good start to the week.  I am, I just made some jumbo raisin bran muffins.  The recipe is soon to come  - I need to taste test one first

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

All About the Green

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!!  Did you all wear green?  Of course we did, I mean we are sporting the Irish name and all (our last name is O’Toole in case you did not know).  How could I let my little Irish boy – Declan O’Toole – not celebrate the day that is ALL about the green?  He wore green pants, a green shirt, a green sweatshirt, a green vest and he even had green on his sneakers.  He looked mighty festive. 

On a foodie note, I made sure to get in my greens at every meal.

BREAKFAST:

Green eggs (that would be spinach and 0ne whole egg), on a whole wheat bagel

 

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LUNCH:

A plate of random goodies that included leftover cooked zucchini & red pepper, hummus, chopped apple and a sandwich thin topped with swiss and jack cheese. 

 

 

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DINNER:

Whole wheat wrap topped with hummus, spinach and zucchini.  I ate the rest of the zucchini on the side. 

 

 

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Eating my greens is not really difficult since I tend to eat a diet that is very heavy on the veggies.  And zucchini just happens to be one of my favorites. 

Did you eat anything special for St. Patrick’s Day?  Any corned beef and cabbage eaters?  I’ve never been a fan.  I hope you had yourself a lucky day. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

I have been really craving blueberry muffins so I got to to work in my kitchen the other night.  I always try to make healthy alternatives to traditional recipes – like subbing applesauce for the fat in the recipe and use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose.  Sometimes my baked goods come out good but other times they are a total flop. 

Well this time my recipe was a winner.  Keep in mind that I do not like an overly sweet muffin but I do enjoy one that is moist and not too dense. 

 

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Here is what went into these beauties:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4 cups nonfat buttermilk

1 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

2 tbsp brown rice syrup

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup frozen blueberries

 

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As you can see they have a nice muffin top which happens to be my favorite part.  I always separate the top from the bottom before consuming.  Are there any are others like me out there???  

These are not a sweet muffin so you could add jam or honey to one before eating if you so please.  Or if you want them to be sweet to begin with add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of honey to the batter instead of the brown rice syrup.  I have been enjoying mine as is and I love them.  I am the only one in my house that will eat these – D does not like BB Muffins and Charlie knows that they are whole wheat so he won’t touch them either.  Oh well, more for mommy.  I have been gobbling them up too – like 2 a day.  They really are that yummy. 

Happy Friday!!!

 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Strawberry & Banana

The flavor combo of strawberry & banana is like peanut butter & Jelly or chocolate & peanut butter if you like.  The two are meant for each other.  I’m not saying that strawberries ONLY taste good with bananas or vice versa.  I happen to like each one on there own but when you put them together it is like a mouth full of joy. 

So when I started my day with this bowl of deliciousness, I was off to a great start – at least my tummy was.  

 

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Good old oat bran cooked with Sun Warrior Vanilla protein powder and water.  I topped it with banana slices and Trader Joe’s Organic Reduced Sugar Strawberry Preserves.  AMAZING!!!  Now that’s what I call a great breakfast. 

How did you start your day?  Are you a hot or cold cereal person?  Or do you prefer eggs, pancakes or waffles?  Maybe you eat something totally out of the ordinary. I’d love to hear about it. 

I hope you are having a great Thursday. 

 

A Side of Fruit

So I was noticing as I was putting all my photos into this post that ALL my meals usually contain a side of fruit.  Well breakfast the fruit was not on the side but it was still present.  I love fruit!!!!  It really is so sweet and delicious.  I can’t wait for berries to be back in season.  The frozen ones just do not compare. 

Here’s a rundown of my very fruitful menu for yesterday. 

Breakfast:

Oatmeal, Sun Warrior Protein, banana and cinnamon

 

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Lunch:

Green smoothie that contained almond milk, baby spinach, frozen blueberries, stevia, and ice.

 

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Very delish – going to have another today.

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I also had a swiss and provolone sandwich with a side of chopped apples.

 

 

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Dinner:

tortilla pizza (zucchini, red pepper and Quorn Meatless Meatballs and cheese), along with a chopped plum.

 

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Wraps or tortillas (whatever you want to call them) make the best thin crust pizzas.  I put mine on a pizza stone and it gets super crispy. 

 

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So there you have it.  I’m a fruit eater – why is it that my son is not?????  He eats bananas & strawberries without a fuss but that's about it.  Hopefully that will change.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Second Take, Insta-Bake

I usually steer clear from the prepackaged pancake mixes as many of them contain ingredients that I do not want to enter my body.  Plus they tend to have high sodium content as well.  It is pretty simple to whip up batter from scratch but like you saw yesterday, my batter resulted in very flat pancakes.  Now I could use the trusty old recipe that I make for my little one but mommy tends to like her morning meal a bit more on the healthier side (America’s Test Kitchen does not skimp on the butter in their recipes).  I am not saying that the D Man always gets sweet treats in the AM.  But it is nice to let him enjoy a special breakfast on occasion (more like, when mommy has the time to whip up a batch of chocolaty goodies in the morning).  

Well I decided to give Hodgson Mill Insta-Bake a try.  The ingredient list is actually very short and the sodium was pretty reasonable as well.

 

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For breakfast this morning I mixed 1/3 cup Insta-Bake mix with 1 egg, 1 ounce buttermilk, cinnamon and vanilla.  I cooked the batter in small batches so that I would get mini pancakes instead of just one giant one.

These pancakes were fabulous and fluffy. 

 

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I ate my pancakes with a drizzle of Pb2 and banana slices. 

 

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Insta-Bake has found a place in my kitchen.  I will definitely be using it more often to make myself a speedy breakfast. 

D and I are headed to my sis’s house for the day.  The weather really is gorgeous so we would like to boys to get outside and run around.  We better soak up the sun while it lasts – you never know what will happen in New England. 

Have a great day! 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Do you have a favorite sandwich?

Besides PB & J I would have to say that my favorite sandwich would be a simple cheese sammie with some veggies to add good crunch. 

My favorite cheese is definitely swiss but I also adore provolone.  I remember when I was a very wee one, my dad would buy provolone cheese for me when I would stay over his house on the weekends (well that was until he moved all the way to Florida).  I’ve been a huge fan of the strong flavored cheeses ever since.

For lunch today I made a super yummy double cheesy delight – swiss & provolone with lettuce and zucchini on whole wheat bread.  I also spread a little smear of mustard on there for some tangy goodness. 

 

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Accompanying my sandwich was a few more zucchini spears and a sweet golden delicious apple. 

 

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Such a simple lunch but oh so belly pleasing.

How was your day?  Hopefully your week is off to a good start.

Do you have a favorite sandwich?

They Turned out Flat

After my workout this morning I really had a hankering for a plate of luscious pancakes.  I searched my collection of cookbooks for inspiration.  I always end up changing some part of the recipe and of course I did just that with my pancake concoction today.  Unfortunately my pancakes turned out flat. 

Here’s my recipe:

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup low fat buttermilk (I used 1/2 cup milk soured with vinegar since I did not     have butter milk on hand – maybe that is way my pancakes were so lifeless??)

1 egg

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

pinch of salt

I topped them with banana slices and sunflower seed butter.  These are definitely not a pancake for those who like sweet cakes as I did not add any sweetener.  I actually prefer them this way so that I can add the flavor accompaniments to the top.

 

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Sorry for the not so lovely photo.  When I went to turn on my camera this morning it was all out of juice – weird, I have not really used it that much lately.  Hopefully some time on the charger will do it some good.

Even though I did not have a plate of fluffy pancakes, these did hit the spot.  Next time I make them I am going to use whole wheat flour and make sure to use the real deal buttermilk.  I swear that it made all the difference in the pancakes I made my guys a while back. 

I hope you have a great Monday.