Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Ending Discrimination: The Ugly Food Movement

We as consumers, naturally want the 'best' and 'most' for our buck, or at least what we perceive as such.  Now that is all fine and dandy as certain things go, for instance; we wouldn't pick up a loaf of sandwich bread that is already smooshed or a carton of eggs with cracked ones or even a box from the shelf, that has either a razor type slash or is slightly marred in any way.  
This of course is understandable, but sometimes this attitude makes certain very special produce a target to be forgotten.  We all love the perfectly round and bright tomato when picking our fruits.  We want to eat the rainbow and the colors to match. We want the stuff of legend and much falsity like the burgers and food scenes we see on television and in ads. We want the straight, perfect carrots like the ones Bugs Bunny always had.  The banana must be free of bruising and the pepper should sit upright when placed on the table.  You get the drift.   The 'ugly' produce is left in back or never even makes the cut when the buyer checks the crates or boxes.  Poor little veggies... "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet."
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

A simple truth, resonating from words, centuries past.  Let's give these loving morsels a chance, your carrot cakes,veggie medleys, casseroles and risottos will taste the same, if not better. Especially if you're going to cut it up anyway.   Better because we are doing a service to the energy it takes to grow produce.  Better because of the land usage and care the farmer, commercial or residential, has put into the finished product.  Better because the poverty levels in the United States are still rising. Children are hungry during the summer without school breakfasts and lunches to supplement.  
We are at the helm of  being some of the most wasteful consumers in the world.  We snub the ugly produce, while some long only for basic sustenance of a meal, that they didn't have to wait days for...
We must set aside the superficiality of our exacting standards, as far as food image is concerned. 
On a lighter note, the people in the know, myself included, are fine with the imperfect produce and are  able to cop these babies at a discount, saving upwards of 30  to 50% off, which for any economically savvy individual means lower food costs for the family. I think their design makes them special and unique, individuals among minions. Betterthaneverians. Not to mention the fun you can have guessing all the things it resembles. Thanks! And while you're at it, get on board and enjoy the bumpy, gnarled, Siamese twin looking ride! Be kind to the "Ugly" and "Imperfect" Produce and it will certainly be kind, delicious and money saving to you and for you! 
Stop Hating, Start Eating.  

Monday, June 17, 2019

Cheddar/Ranch, Spinach and Bacon Stuffed Meatloaf

Turn an ordinary meatloaf into an extraordinary one by adding some go- to favorites and  a little technique.  I find that a good way to get kids and adults alike to eat their veggies is to pair them with some of the usual suspects, cheese and bacon!.  Luckily, my girls are fans of veggies, so this recipe is just a fun way to include your meats and veg in the same bite!
I rolled this meatloaf so that the cheesy spinach mixture is present throughout and not all crammed into the same middle space.  Mixing the spinach, ranch seasoning and  helped to distribute the flavors of the spices and seasoning mix.  This recipe was created with lots of shortcuts for those extra busy days.
This recipe is great as leftovers and on sandwiches! Imagine a loaded bacon double cheeseburger with spinach instead of lettuce and you have is dish, hearty enough for a hard working mate or chic enough to be added to your recipe lineup for those extra special weeknight dinner days.  Substitutions where needed for your personal diet can be made accordingly. Makes enough for sandwiches or meals the next day.

Recipe:
2 1/2 lb. ground chuck
1 pkg. precooked bacon
1 lb. bag fresh spinach, excess stems removed
1/2  1 oz. pkg. ranch recipe mix
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1 8 oz. pkg. Cheddar cheese blend
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
Olive oil for drizzling
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)
Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine ground beef and onion soup mix, stirring in using a fork.
Place in fridge. This may be done ahead of time to marry flavors and hydrate the onions. Try to marinate for at least 15 minutes if possible.
In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, drizzle pan with olive oil and add spinach.
The spinach may be added gradually as it wilts.
Add garlic, SPST and wilt the spinach, cooking out excess moisture. 
Remove from pan to cool slightly before use. This may be done ahead also.
Toss half of the ranch recipe packet with the bag of cheese.
When ready, heat oven to 375*F.
Using a cookie sheet, about "11x13", lined with plastic wrap and press the protein across as evenly as possible, end to end.  Make sure the plastic wrap extends from one side for several inches. THIS WILL MAKE YOUR MEATLOAF EASIER TO ROLL.
Lay strips of cooked bacon lengthwise along the protein.
Spread the spinach across the meat mixture and bacon.
Set aside about 2 tbsp. of the cheese blend for garnish for your meatloaf. 
Finish with the cheese blend.
Press the ingredients down slightly.
Starting from the side with extra plastic wrap, begin pulling it towards you and curving the meatloaf onto itself.  Begin rolling and pulling the plastic wrap off at the same time, as not to roll it into the meat roll.
Once rolled, place in baking vessel or on cookie sheet seam side down.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165*F and golden.
Add reserved cheese, more if desired and continue until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 3 minutes.
Let rest for several minutes before cutting.
Makes 10-12 serving sized slices.

For Betterthaneverians swap outs:
Use 1 tbsp. liquid aminos and 1 tsp. onion powder in place of onion soup mix.
Use reduced sodium ranch recipe mix.
Blend low fat sour cream, chopped chives, parsley, garlic powder and dill in place of ranch seasoning.
Use reduced fat cheese blend instead of full fat cheese.
Use lean ground chicken or turkey in place of ground chuck.






Saturday, June 15, 2019

Strolling After Dark; A Post Dinner Memoir

Dinner is served. The preparatory chopping, measuring and 'eyeballing' has been done and the kitchen is down to only the low hum of the appliances, things are running smoothly.  The dishes you chose to present have been plated and consumed, the once shuffling, clanging and wiping of plates and sawing of the knives and scratching of forks has subsided, recognition for a job well done is in order.  Surprisingly, the kiddoes  helped to clear the table this time.  There were no send backs, no burns, refires, nothing was raw, no allergic reactions..feelings of jubilation from the pleased palates and faces mark the time and date, the menu.  Cleanup is winding down, leftovers have been properly cooled and stored, midnight snacking may ensue.  Foggy brain and food comas for some, a nice glass of red for others, some whisky. SHIFT DRINK!  Chit Chatter continues about the day's occurrences, who wore something hideous, talks of the next game, the annoying office coworker and let's not forget that new line cook that can't pull their weight, new job openings for the establishment imminent.  Alas, all's well that ends well. Nothing like a romantic stroll to burn a few calories and expedite the digestion process.  Some will feel sand squishing  between their toes, some the soft matte of the grass, others the cooling concrete, once scorching hot from the day's sun.  The breeze of the ocean with its briny mist is welcome to the exposed skin of faces, legs and arms.  Melodic Aromas of dinners still happening, cafes still teeming with patrons, and dinners of home cooks who arrived late, permeate the air, the show must go on.  The smell of fresh flowers and cut grass, gas fumes and something not quite so pleasant may wander through the air as well.  Satisfaction is abundant, everything from light reading to the club is in the near future for those at the finish line, sleep is also an option. All these things made possible because dinner has been served; in restaurants, bars, food trucks and home kitchens.  You have given the people what they wanted.  On the morrow, you will be ready to do it all over again; for the passion, for provisions or for the hell of it.  Either way, it's time to appreciate, good job.

Southern Fried Tofu

This recipe is a quick and easy way to serve up some smiles featuring tofu.  It makes a wonderful protein for a veggie laden sandwich or for dipping in marinara, they're a snacking sensation, packed with protein, calcium and iron.  I used extra firm tofu for this recipe.  I drained and wrapped the tofu in paper towels to expunge all the excess moisture from the exposed surfaces.
The texture of the protein is nice and crisp on the outside, but also not mushy in the interior.  There is actual 'bite'.  I double dipped these pieces in milk and breading to protect the tofu and add an extra layer of insulation and backbone so it would not be so limp.
I added the element of ranch via the seasoning package.  It's safe to say that many Americans, especially southerners are obsessed with ranch flavors.  I personally prefer Southwestern Ranch, which consists of combining barbeque sauce and ranch, plus a splash of heat via Sriracha for me!  Another splendid duo I adore is ranch and  Thai Chili Sauce, a great dipper for crunchy, fried snacks like Cauliflower Egg Rolls or Delectable Beef n' Zucchini Wontons, also Chipotle Chicken and Caramelized Onion Wontons.  Dippin' and Dining that's perfect for small gatherings and game days or just a day you feel like eating something tasty!
Recipe:
1 pkg. tofu, extra firm
2 tbsp. Dale's Steak Seasoning
Seasoned flour, such as A1
1/2 pkg. ranch seasoning
milk
oil for frying
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)
Directions:
Wrap tofu in several paper towels to absorb excess moisture on outside of tofu.
After several minutes, slice tofu carefully and evenly and lay slices on more paper towels.
Drizzle slices with Dale's.
Refrigerate for about 20 to 30 minutes, until ready to fry.  Meanwhile heat the oil.
Once oil reaches 375*F, you are ready to drop.
Toss in Seasoned flour, then dip in milk, then toss again and place in hot oil.
Cook in small batches until floating and golden, about 3 minutes.
Drain on paper towels and serve.

For a Betterthaneverians version of this recipe, use one or more of the following:
Use liquid Aminos or  Nutritional Yeast to marinate
Use a blend of Organic Coconut and Almond Flour to coat
Use a nut milk to dip
Add a blend of freshly fine chopped dill, parsley and chives in place of ranch seasoning mix.




Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Roasted Chicken w/Meyer Lemon /Blood Orange Pepper Jelly Glaze

I love a good glaze.  I love the added layers of flavor they bring to the table.  The sticky goodness that prompts the here and there finger lick is a part of being connected to the foods we eat.   Glazes on foods make us more inclined to be comfortable eating with our hands.  I certainly prefer a knife and fork partly because our society is one that has conditioned us to believe that is the appropriate way.
 Eating definitely becomes more intimate when using our hands and can contribute to a relaxed atmosphere when we fellowship.  Napkins are good too, a must have, regardless of the dish, but I am not afraid to use my God given wetnap, if it fits the bill.
I found this particular base for my glaze at Walmart.  I am a big fan, no shame.  I like to use the specialty jellies they have to add body for quick and easy elevation of my proteins.  I generally pair the glaze with seasoned rice vinegar, soy, fish sauce and/ or ketchup.  I also like to reinforce my glazes with strained pan juices.  This kicks up the flavor profile tremendously.  I also like add fresh garlic and herbs, aromatics are everything!
After condensing the pan juices by boiling in a small saucepan, usually to about 1/3, I simply stir in about 2 tbsp. or less of the jelly, plus a couple of the above mentioned, and your family thinks you have spent hours preparing a sumptuous feast.  There are countless combinations, but I like to have a sweet/savory, salty/sour /hot result to hit all the right notes in a tastebud medley.
Boneless proteins can especially benefit from a coating of some sort, be it breadcrumbs or a sticky one.  It helps to seal in moisture and aids in color development towards the end of cooking process.
If you're tired of your usual suspects in the kitchen, but stick with them because they are safe, try a delicious glaze to transform and elevate your menu.  Your tasters will thank you for it!

Monday, June 10, 2019

5 Cheese/Pepperoni Keto- Fabulous Stuffed Chicken Breasts


I had a hankering for something stuffed, creamy and cheesy; these Italian inspired gems are a good fit.  Prep is relatively easy and the kids loved the results.  This is also a recipe your kiddoes or tween can help you with.  I served this chicken with a cauliflower mash to round out the meal and complement the cheeses. A green salad adds a great, fresh crunch, plus essential vitamins and minerals.  Making sure the breasts are proportionate to one another will ensure smooth sailing and a fantastic meal you can enjoy and be proud of.

Recipe:
6 chicken breasts, skinless, boneless and about 6 to 8 oz. each
1 pkg. deli sliced or bulk  pkg.pepperoni
12 slices Provolone cheese
1 8oz. pkg. Italian cheese blend
EVOO
Italian Seasoning
SPST (Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)

Preheat oven to 375*F.
Carefully make a slit along side of each chicken portion, without going all the way through.  You are essenially making a pocket for the cheeses and pepperoni.
Each chicken portion gets :
2 deli sized or 6 small pepperoni
2 slices Provolone Cheese
1 Pinch Cheese Blend
Layer ingredients, then fold in half to insert.
After all breasts have been stuffed, place in baking vessel sprayed with cooking spray or drizzled with olive oil.
Arrange chicken evenly spaced and drizzle with olive oil and SPST.
Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning.
Bake covered about 20 minutes, then remove foil.
Cook until chicken starts to turn golden and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Continue until cheese is melted and internal temp. reaches 165*F.
Let stand for several minutes before serving.
Goes well with Cauliflower Mash, (cauliflower steamed or cooked in chicken stock, then SPST, little cream or milk and butter, optional)






Friday, June 7, 2019

Grandma's Apple Butter Bread Pudding


Instead of chucking your loaf of day or two old French Bread, transform it into an old fashioned classic, bread pudding.
Bread pudding dates back, way back, and made its debut here in the Americas, by way of immigrants that settled in Louisiana.
Bread Pudding started as a way to utilize stale bread and stretch a buck. Over the years, it has evolved and made its way to even the Michelin starred tables.
A rainy day like today is a perfect day for the warm and inviting smells and satisfaction of a freshly baked bread pudding.  I successfully canned my first batches of Apple Butter this past summer and used some to execute this warm and cozy recipe.  Prep is relatively a cinch and the results can rival any actual Grandma's recipe, because it's made with the same heart and soul.  Of course recipes will vary, depending on your finished apple butter product, but delicious will still be in the description when it's all said and done.
Recipe:
1 lb. day or 2 old Fench Bread, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 c. milk, I used 2%
1/2 c. heavy cream, optional, you can use more milk if desired
1 8 oz. jar Apple Butter, preferably Grandma's homemade
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
4 tbsp. butter, unsalted, cut into small chunks
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. good quality Vanilla extract
Pinch of salt or to taste
Raw Honey to Garnish, optional
Vanilla or your favorite icecream for an extra special experience
Whipped Cream, optional
Instructions:
Combine wet ingredients, cinnamon, vanilla and pinch of salt until well incorporated.
Spray or grease baking vessel with cooking spray or butter.
Place half of the butter cubes along bottom of vessel.
Arrange bread cubes evenly across baking dish.
Pour liquid over bread slowly, giving bread time to absorb. 
Dot with rest of butter pieces.
Cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. 
Remove plastic wrap, but not foil . You will be baking this covered for the first 30 minutes or more, allowing the custard to rise and set.
Bake in a 350* oven for about 35 minutes, then remove foil for last 15. 
Bake time depends on depth of vessel. 
Bake until golden, also until toothpick inserted towards center, comes out clean.
 I used individual serving cast iron pans and cut the time more than in half. 
Serve Warm or room temperature not Hot for best results.

Looking for a good homemade Apple Butter recipe, I will be posting mine soon.  Be sure to follow up for the recipe!;)










Thursday, June 6, 2019

From Spare Ribs to DAO Ribs: From Coach to a Private Jet


Spare ribs aren't an item you'll find on the menu at your favorite bistro or rib joint, but let me tell you, they should be.  They are the least expensive of the rib variety, partly because of the bone/meat ratio, but also because of the rat/lean ratio.  As consumers, we eat with our eyes first and have unfairly decided that less, bone means better, and we pay accordingly.  
I am a supporter of spare ribs, and I prefer them over the more sought after baby back and St.Louis style, though I like those too.  
I like the fact that the spare rib is looked over sometimes, that keeps its reasonably priced.  If you are entertaining and want to present well to your guests, odds are, you probably won't pick spare ribs.  I like that it is versatile and will stand up to the demands of a recipe, albeit braised with potatoes, simmered in tomato sauce, gravied or pressure cooked, smoke kissed and slathered with homemade SAUCE! Gotta Have Some Sauce! 
You can dress them up or down and not be judged.  Spare ribs can be elevated, and once they are, it can be phenomenal. The bones and fat have them loaded with much more flavor and body.
Heck, we pay upwards of 40+ dollars basically for the bone that makes a Tomahawk Steak so appealing.  I feel the premise is the same for the spare rib!  I'm just glad enough people don't realize this and drive the cost of these guys through the roof! lol Ribs... I think I'll call it the DAO RIB. The Dao is an ancient Chinese weapon, one of the most common and widely used weapons of it's time.
Yeah, I like that.  It's loosely shaped like a DAO, so I'll go with it. I hope it catches on!
Eating ribs require that you understand that there is a certain amount of getting your 'hands dirty' involved, some excessive wiping, and some finger licking, YES, it is allowed.  I love having fresh aromatics like sage and rosemary on hand to pair beautifully with my pork and other proteins for the  preperatory process.  I love knowing where my herbs come from too; my garden. 
Perhaps my love of the lowly 'spare rib' comes from a more humble place.  A time when families
 were lucky to have meat at all for most meals, much less a cut from an animal being sold in the markets. It took some social classes many generations to eat "high on the hog".   Not too long ago and maybe now, some families ate only what they could capture or kill;  if rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, opossums and groundhogs were what they obtained, from hunting on their land or someone else's, then wildlife it was.
Deer were also an option and offered much more variety, but also sweat equity.
The good ole pig came first to Cuba, thanks to Queen Isabella of Spain via Christopher Columbus circa 1493.
Hernando De Soto came with 13 pigs to the Americas in 1539, which reached the 700's in a mere 3 years and the rest is delicious history.
Alas, that is a story for another day.
1.  I pressure cooked these spice rubbed ribs 45 minutes in my Ninja Foodi, which I LOVE, I know my oven is so jealous haha!  If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can par boil them for about 1 1/2 hours in a seasoned broth, flavored chicken stock, onion, garlic and celery.
2.  Next, I put them on the grill using charcoal and indirect heat, while I mowed the lawn, (about 1 1/2 hours) imparting another layer to its flavor profile.
3. After the heat died down to low, I brushed the DAO ribs with homemade BBQ sauce, and placed them over the warm coals. After about 30 minutes, I removed them from the grill.  I finished them off by dousing them with another round of sauce. BANANAS!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

DIY Serving Boards 2: Serving Up A Message

I had some more fun customizing my bamboo cutting boards.  I am happy with these results as well.  If you may recall from my first installment Hearts and Crafts: DIY Serving Boards, I created the design using a six pack ring.  This was a wonderful project to share with my youngest, Bronwyn.  I was actually having so much fun with it, It didn't feel like work at all.  Completion took about 1/2 hour, give or take and I was sad to reach the end.  I was satisfied with the overall design, which I made up as I went along, but most of all, the message.  Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.
There is a little something we all can do to reduce our imprint on the Earth, from reusing sour cream or other plastic containers as disposable storage vessels, to refilling your used water bottles with suitable drinking from the store bought gallon or water from home.  We have well water that extends down about 330 feet underground and I think it's better than any bottled water I've had to date! There's nothing wrong with picking up trash that isn't your own along the roadside, it makes your area more beautiful.  Separating plastics and metals etc. at home is awesome.  Composting, if you have the space and/or a garden, is great too.  Remember every bit counts.  The next time you serve up some delicious sandwiches, cheese and crackers or charcuterie, serve it with a message; one of hope, preserving our future and extending our relationship with Mother Earth, Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Wholesome Banana Sour Cream Loaves

 Looking for a delicious and nutrient dense recipe including one of the most popular and abundant fruits around, these loaves are sure to please. This moist and handy loaf/loaves can be served for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner.
Packed with protein and bursting with banana flavor, your family from toddlers to tweens and adults can enjoy homemade goodness on the go.  I gave individually wrapped loaves to my a couple of my sisters/spouses for an objective critique of my recipe, and they approved.

There is flax meal and organic coconut flour used in place of an abundance of AP flour.  Pure cane sugar is also used instead of regular granulated sugar.  Since writing this recipe, I have switched completely to pure cane sugar for all my baking needs, with no disappointments! 
The key to this recipe is having bananas that are SUPER ripe!  I had a surplus of bananas on hand that I'd frozen, so once thawed, they were at a banana-y peak! Yeah, I made that word up lol.  In summary, the more ripe, the better flavor, for the best loaves! This a great recipe for bake ahead and freezing.
Recipe:
1 1/2 c. unbleached AP flour
1 c. organic flax meal
1/2 c. organic coconut flour
5 tsp. double acting baking powder
1 1/2 c. very ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 c. pure cane sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. evaporated milk 
1/3 c. canola oil
3 eggs, slightly beaten
Preheat oven to 350*F.  Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Combine wet ingredients in a larger bowl.
Gradually add dry mix into wet ingredients, stirring just until each round is moist.
Use a rubber spatula to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl, making sure it's well incorporated.
Divide evenly among pans, filling about 1/2 inch from the top.
Bake until golden and toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 20 minutes for individual sized loaf pans, closer to 40 minutes for regular sized loaf pans, depending on oven.






Monday, June 3, 2019

No Bake Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake and My Twilight Muse


This year, I thought it was time to physically revamp my herb garden and revamp I did.  I initially wanted a spiral garden, like the one I saw in a magazine 2 summers ago, but lost track of the article!  Needless to say, better late than never!  I built my new garden around my gorgeous rosemary bush, which stands about 3 feet tall and looks amazing.  Rosemary has elevated many a meal from beef to chicken and pork, even squirrel ( I prefer the French word Ecureuil) Ecureuil in Confit I have the same bush as when I wrote that recipe.  She is an Allstar!
This time around, Sage is doing so well.  In the beginning, I had a surplus of oregano and parsley, that returned happily year after year.  The parsley had run it's course and the oregano had bid adieu.  I was gifted some oregano from a portion I'd gifted to my sister Gayle, but I had to buy new parsley seeds, no problem.  I also have more chives, basil, cilantro, Chocolate and regular Mint.  I once had a bright and beautiful Borage plant, with its vibrant purple, white and pink edible flowers, she flew the coop years ago as well.  I'm growing some micro greens and sweet salad greens in the back garden spot, along with some colorful carrots.  I have yet to plant my Rainbow Chard, gotta get on the ball!
I replaced Borage with other edible flowers this time like Marigolds and Nasturtiums, also some "Cheese and Wine" Verbenas. I threw in some Red Russian Kale for adornment and fast greens for salads and sautes and a couple of plants from my compost garden.
I love those (now big) little guys because they grew from what we could not use of veggies past.  Now, they are thriving alongside the other garden goodies and will provide us with its fruits of labor once again.  These plants have come full circle, that's an example of the perfect produce scenario. I am tickled.  I placed some heirloom tomatoes (Purple Cherokee and Giant Pink Belgian ) along the outer wall of my herb garden and also a cucumber plant for dexterity and ready to go salad ingredients.
We have a larger garden where all our other produce is growing, providing some exercise and much  needed therapy in an ever increasingly stressful world.
 My herb garden has become my new Sanctuary, my serenity, my rock of solace.  I embellished her with solar lights, as I may see her when I am seeking refuge in the twilight hours.  She is like a lighthouse beacon, showing me the way, beckoning me to come close, smell the fragrant bounty, entertain her with accolades of how lush and fertile she is.

I have renewed vigor with my latest herb garden design, and not a moment too soon.  Summer for my tween and teen is here, cousins will follow....the "there's nothing to do" and "It's Hot" and "I hate Mosquitoes" will become the summer anthem.  "I'm hungry" will be their calling card, but I wouldn't  trade it for the world.  They are my little herbs too, only not so little anymore...   I have fairy figurines representing my little gems among the greenery.  My fairies even have a wishing well, a bird bath with bedazzled 'water' and a flower laden Trellis for their enjoyment.  I will probably come confessing to my twilight muse, that is this new exciting place, more often than not.
Hello Summer Break, Let the games begin!

Recipe:
2 pkg. Softened Cream Cheese
1 c. Confectioner's sugar or to taste
4 oz. Sour cream
8 oz. whipped topping or whipped cream
1 tbs. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1- 9 inch Graham Cracker Crust
Combine cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, lemon,  zest and spices in stand mixer, whipping until light and fluffy.
Add whipped topping and continue whipping until incorporated.
Pour into crust and smooth evenly.
 Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
Serves 8.
Serve with cherry or favorite topping.
Feel free to make lighter substitutions/combinations as desired.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Go Nuts for Bronuts: Easiest Cinnamon Maple Bacon Pull Apart Donuts


This recipe idea came to me one evening while watching a television show, that I admittedly skipped while flipping channels at one time, but grew to love once I gave it a shot, Two Broke Girls. Once the idea hit, I set out with my trusty assistant and youngest, Bronwyn and we hit the lab!
This is a quick and easy recipe with major gratitude and flavor points.  The kids and I loved them and they are sure to be a requested favorite with your brood too.  These are donuts you can make and eat with your homies...Bronuts!
My favorite part about these puppies is that we used jumbo refrigerator biscuits and other on hand ingredients to achieve what's pictured above. There are several steps that can be spread amongst your help, so everyone can feel included, thus making this treat extra special and even more delicious!
I make slits to the center around the circumference of each biscuit, creating a pull apart donut effect, which was another perk to this simply fantastic sweet and savory treat!
I used a donut machine to bake these donuts, but you can make a hole and deep fry or bake them, the choice is yours.

Recipe:
1 can Jumbo Butter Biscuits, 8
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. Cinnamon infused Maple Syrup
1 tsp. brown sugar
2 oz. cooked bacon crumbles
Directions:
Cook/Bake donuts according to desired cooking medium.  I used my fingers to make a small hole to fit onto donut machine. If you fry them, be sure to drain well on paper towels before attempting to glaze.
Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, milk, brown sugar and Maple syrup in a small bowl, until the cream cheese is the consistency of a nice thick, but spreadable glaze.
Dip donuts into glaze and garnish each donut with bacon crumbles, optional.
Makes 8 delicious biscuit donuts!


"BETTERTHANEVERIANS" Whole Roasted Cauliflower

 Bettertarians Movement 
A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO CHOOSE, EAT AND LIVE BETTER, FOR A BETTER LIFE
AND ULTIMATELY BETTER HEALTH, BY MAKING MICRO ADJUSTMENTS IN ALL AREAS THAT APPLY.  GOOD CHOICES LEAD TO BETTER LIVING, SO WE CAN ACHIEVE OUR BEST HEALTH:  PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY AND SPIRITUALLY.

Finally a 'label' that truly fits more of us than not; a chance to get the credit you deserve for the little things, that over time, can have big and lasting benefits.  Some examples include sometimes choosing wheat over white, organic over gmo, nut milks over animal milks, baked over fried, reading the labels instead of ignoring them, choosing an ingredient with no added sugars, being aware of sodium content, water over regular soda, a petite cut of steak over a monstrosity, a blended burger instead of a full meat burger, green tea instead of coffee...the list goes on and on.  
Other times it can be as simple as adding a "superfood" like matcha powder, maca powder, spirulina, acai, acacia, turmeric, flax and chia seeds, tree nuts, ancient grains, raw honey, quinoa, mushrooms, flax meal etc...in with your dishes to give it an extra burst of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants our body human needs.  
Further still, bettertarianism includes taking time to meditate or silently reflect, stretching, incorporating weights into workouts, choosing red wine over beer, one less alcohol drink at a social gathering, drinking more water, one less slice of pizza, researching alternatives to smoking, getting a little more needed rest at night.  All of these are examples of being a Bettertarian.  Singularly, they may seem miniscule, but baby steps are steps, nonetheless! You can be proud. I see you!
Educating ourselves about the foods we consume is partly our responsibility as consumers, to look beyond what we are told about products to reach our own legitimate conclusions.
We all have the capacity to improve ourselves, but no two methods are the same.
Once we have decided to "do better", we have taken the biggest step.
Believe in yourself.  Believe in Better. 
Good Choices, Better Living, Best Health.
Bettertarians become "Betterthaneverians"!

Recipe:
1 whole head cauliflower, excess leaves removed
Tuscan Herb Seasoning
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Seasoned Rice Vinegar, Optional
Shaved Parmesan Cheese
SPST(Salt and Pepper to Suit Taste)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400*F.
Par Boil whole cauliflower in salted water for 15 minutes.
Remove from water and Drain.
Place in oven safe cooking vessel and drizzle liberally with Olive Oil.
Add herb blend as desired and SPST.
Open Roast for about 30 minutes or until tender throughout.
Add Shaved Parmesan during the last 5 minutes of roasting.





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Smokinhotchef
Smokinhotchef
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