Tag: Valentine’s day

Caesar Salad Dressing

Stephen loves Caesar salad. It is his all time favorite meal. Caesar salad used to be our traditional anniversary dinner. That was until we went to the Pasta Moon in, our anniversary vacation spot, Half Moon Bay and tried their Risotto Sea Scallops and tomato 

Biscuit 101- The History of…

In the South the term “biscuit” often refers to a light, fluffy, flaky, buttery bread usually served with breakfast. In England and other places around the world however, a biscuit is more like a hard scone or “cookie” served with tea or single serve coffee 

Banana Oat Pancakes

Yum, yum pancakes. Oatmeal banana pancakes. I so love pancakes. I think my son could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He is a picky eater. Occasionally he will surprise me like the time he ate hummus with carrots. He did not start out picky. In fact, when he started solids the more gourmet the better. Pancakes is one area I have made gradual changes. I swapped out the all-purpose flour for oat flour, added wheat germ and ground flax seed and omitted the sugar. I feel better knowing he is getting some nutrition. He ate these banana pancakes without a single peep. Be sure to visit Simple Bites to read the post for Banana Oatmeal Pancakes. You will find a few more suggestions to placate a picky eater.

The addition of ground oatmeal flour gives the cakes a nice hearty texture. Be sure to puree the banana it helps it blend in nicely with the other liquids. I was worried about the strong flavor of the honey but you cannot even taste it.

Source: Simple Bites
makes about 20 pancakes
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoon ground flax seed
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups low-fat milk
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
3 tablespoons melted butter or canola oil
1/3 cup honey
1 1/3 cup puréed ripe bananas, about 4 medium bananas
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat a large skillet over low heat.

Add the oats to a food processor and process until very fine. In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, ground oats, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the milk, yogurt, cooled butter or canola oil, honey, banana, and eggs. Hand whisk until thoroughly combined, but do not beat.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Pour the liquids into the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. Do not beat the mixture. Just stir until moist and combined.

Turn the heat on the pan or griddle up to medium-low. Grease with cooking spray, oil, or butter according to your preference. Add the batter 1/4 cup per pancake to the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom before flipping.

You can usually tell it is ready to flip because the top will start to bubble. Pancakes can be kept warm in a 150 degree oven on an oven-safe plate or cookie sheet while the remaining cook. Serve with sliced banana, your favorite jam, honey, or syrup.

To freeze leftovers: Cool on a cookie cooling rack completely. Then, place pancakes in gallon-sized zip top bags. To reheat, warm in a toaster oven or microwave.

– Swap oats for instant oatmeal and process as directed. Or use oat flour, no need to process.
– Use sour cream in the place of yogurt.
– Replace the wheat flour with all-purpose or gluten free mix.
– Add chopped or broken pecans to the batter or sprinkle on each pancake after you pour the batter onto the hot griddle.
– Swap the banana puree with pumpkin puree, sweet potatoes or applesauce.

Recipe for a simple version of Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes.

Family Togetherness: A Tradition of Handicrafts

A tradition of family handiwork has a long history. In centuries past mothers passed on the art of sewing to their daughters. Fathers taught their sons to hunt and fish. In today’s society there is a plethora of resources available for instruction in every facet 

Ways to Say I Love You! on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is not far afoot. What do you have planned to surprise your little, and big, cuties on the day of LOVE? We have a few ideas to tickle your loved ones pink come the 14th.

Garlic Prime Rib

The common consensus regarding the proper way to season Prime Rib is a little salt and pepper. The meat is so flavorful that nothing else is needed. I agree. The worst experience I had with prime rib was at a restaurant whose chef covered the slab of beef with an assortment of herbs; most influential was rosemary. However, I have to vere away from traditional opinion and recommend this recipe for garlic crusted prime rib.

Lets talk meat. First the word Prime refers to the grade of meat not the cut. Prime meats are only sold to restaurants. You will not find a package labeled prime rib at the local supermarket. If you do not have a local butcher shop it is possible that warehouses such as Costco or Sams will carry Prime Rib. Otherwise you can use a Rib-Eye Roast from the supermarket. Choose between a bone in roast, called a standing rib roast, or boneless. When choosing a boneless roast ask the butcher to tie it for you.

Source: Chef Mike
1 (10 pound) prime rib roast
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme

Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Spread the mixture over the fatty layer of the roast, and let the roast sit out until it is at room temperature, no longer than 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
Bake the roast for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C), and continue roasting for an additional 60 to 75 minutes. The internal temperature of the roast should be at 125 degrees F (53 degrees C) for medium rare.
Allow the roast to rest for 10 or 15 minutes before carving so the meat can retain its juices. Do not cover with aluminium foil.

Grilled Parmesan Garlic Asparagus

With the arrival of Spring comes the fresh picked asparagus. We love asparagus. They make a lovely dish to accompany any holiday meal. They are fantastic in omelets as well as soups and stir-fry’s. Asparagus is a perennial, related to the lily with fern like 

Herbed Boiled Potatoes

Herbed boiled potatoes is a family favorite. We often serve them on Valentine’s Day, Easter and other special occasions. This version of red potatoes transforms the ordinary boiled or baked potato into something spectacular that your guests will really enjoy. Potatoes can be very tricky 

February the “Month of Love”

Valentine's Day Heart by Claudia Bear

Source: “Valentine’s Day Heart” by Claudia Bear

Franklin Convey once said it takes 26 days to make a habit. Child Development therapists tell us when disciplining our children to modify one behavior at a time. I decided to take their approach to my New Year’s resolutions. Rather than become overloaded by all I want to accomplish, my quest this year is to pour my heart into one goal each month. In the flavor of “Love” this month, my goal is to plant seeds of kindness and grow some love.

Many, many, many years ago I had a roommate I could not stand. In addition to a very long list of irritating habits, she had a deviated septum that made it difficult for her to breathe through her nose quietly. What I remember is that I really started to despise the girl. You have to understand I am a peacemaker. Born in July makes me a Cancer and so I tend to try my best to avoid confrontation. So I set out to seek advice from a wise old man on how to remedy my problem. I was told to love her. Yep, love her. How do you treat someone who grates on your nerves with kindness? Well I will tell you this, it was not easy. At first I made her bed every morning. Then I would grudgingly give her compliments. By the end of 6 weeks she and I became great friends.

It seems in relationships the first line of defense is to ignore the problem or enact revenge in the form of hurtful words or actions. Or in the case above with my friend, I would have allowed negative feelings for someone I hardly knew ruin a potential long lasting friendship. I know sometimes we just want to wallow a little in our sorrows. It is ok to feel hurt, even anger and jealousy, but it is not ok to act out on those feelings. Move on. I know, easier said than done. The way I explain it to my five year old is like this; when we harbor negative feelings, they begin to grow until they take over our bodies like the Dark Side did to Anakin Skywalker. We have to forgive ourselves, the person we wronged or the person who wronged us and move on so we do not turn to the Dark Side.

I really had to think about what I wanted to achieve by my Love Dare. There is always room to improve when it comes to expressing love but I did not want my goal to be too vague or corny. I had to narrow it down enough that I would remain interested and most of all see the results. The answer came to me the day I was filling out a “Get to Know You” questionnaire for our kindergartner. The last question asked “Name one thing my parents think is especially great about me.” Mason could not grasp what the question meant. More importantly I wondered how often we express to him the things we admire most about him. His answer was “I play with the baby to distract him.” How sad is that? I decided that not only is it important to tell our children daily how much we love them, we also need to help them see how great they really are. The same thought can be applied to all of our relationships, most especially our spouses.

Ways To Give More Love:

  • Forgive and Forget: Accidents happen. Our mantra states “That’s ok!” All messes can be cleaned up. Some just take a little more work than others.
  • Be positive: No one likes a sour-puss. Nothing is worse than being told you cannot accomplish something. Be supportive of others and their dreams even if you do not share their enthusiasm. If we dream hard enough we can touch the stars or at least feel confident it was a successful failure.
  • No Nagging: Nagging is contention and contention creates nothing but negativity. Negativity can lead to animosity and the destruction of a soul. This can be a difficult feat to accomplish with kids. A kind warning and a strict consequence is easier on the ears than harsh criticisms for not following through.
  • Compliments Galore: The way to a man’s heart is not food but compliments. It is like their energy source. Fill them up with superhero power and they will dazzle us. Our friends and family could use a good dose as a pick me up too.

Chateaubriand, The Language of Romance

Chateaubriand is a French dish created by chef, Montmireil for Vicomte Francois Chateaubriand. Francois was a 19th century author and statesman to Napoleon and was considered to be the father of Romanticism in French Literature. It is said that Montmireil chose the thickest, less flavorful