Thursday, February 24, 2011

ham and egg cups

6 pieces of deli ham, I like the thicker sliced (you can use turkey too)
6 eggs
cheese (optional)
fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350
1.  Place each slice of ham in a lightly greased muffin cup of a muffin tin.
2.  carefully crack an egg in each one

Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes depending on the done-ness you prefer.  Sprinkle with cheese if you're using it for just the last minute of cooking time.  Remove from oven and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

The kids loved these.  Someone is taking after his mom...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine Mystery dinner

I mentioned in an earlier post that we were going to do this!  What fun!  The kids had a ball, and even my international student played along and had fun!

First everyone chooses the order of their menu.  Then I serve it up.  I had my husband choose mine since I knew what everything was, then I could have some surprises too.

Here's my boy enjoying his "melted hearts" which is actually spaghetti sauce but he hadn't ordered his pasta yet!  He could've waited, but I think he was really hungry!

My girl, delighted to have her "cold shoulder" very early in her 4 course meal.  :D

but, she didn't have a spoon yet, which is actually on the menu, so she had to eat with her "heart breaker" (knife)

And, my boy enjoying his "Angel's coiffure" with his "cupid's arrow", although he has a fork, so I'm not sure why except of's fun!

In case you missed my earlier post, you can get the mystery menu and all the info at www.gourmetmomonthego.  

I would love to hear your valentine's day ideas and celebrations as well!

Strawberry Lemonade

6 lemons
1 cup strawberry puree' or to taste
1/4 cup sugar

Squeeze the juice of 6 lemons into a basic pitcher.  Add the strawberries and sugar, stir.  Add water to almost full.  Add ice if desired.

You'll have to adjust the taste on this as preferences are so different.  Some like more tart lemonade, and some more sweet, but either way, this is so refreshing!

Valentine Pancakes

Instead of decorating valentine cookies this year (as you can see from the blog, we had lots of treats), we decorated our pancakes.

Basic pancake batter
red food coloring
heart shaped cookie cutters
strawberry, raspberry, or cherry yogurt (something pink)

First we take a basic pancake batter, if you don't have a recipe, let me know and I will post it, I'm just guessing most people have one.  Add about 4 drops of red food coloring and now you have pink pancakes.  I will warn you though, once you cook them and they brown up, it's hard to see the pinkness.

After making your pancakes, cut out hear shapes.  Then you can add your toppings (yogurt and sprinkles), or you could use actual frosting, we just happen to be big yogurt fans.  For some it might seem odd to put yogurt on your pancakes, but you should try it, it's really good!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Healthy Valentine Snack

Valentine's day is one of those super sweet, get your kid ramped up on sugar days.  I know most people don't care, but I do.  My children are not fun after that sugar high.  They're grumpy, and often times I don't recognize them.  This is a nice way to balance out the sugar.

Just use a small heart shaped cookie cutter and cut up some veggies.  You could do bread too, or do tortillas or pita bread and bake them for a couple minutes to crisp.   Here I've mixed up a simple ranch dip.  My husband had bought me a dip dish for christmas, you know the ones that you can put the ice on the bottom, and it keeps your dip cool.  He included this ranch dip mix.  So, nothing homemade here, but very tasty and easy.  Plus you're spending some time cutting up your veggies, so you might as well go easy on yourself.  :D  

I used red and orange peppers, and cucumbers.  I caught this idea from  
Use an oven mit on your hand while cutting out your shapes so your palm doesn't become sore.  Also, use your scraps for stir fry or on your sandwiches or something.

Aren't they so cute?

For our Valentine dinner we are doing a Mystery Dinner and we're celebrating on Sunday.  You can get all the details of how to do this here.  Great idea!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Black Forest Tartlets

I found these in my Cuisine Lite magazine.  So cute, and way delicious!  (Notice the 'Lite' that means not fattening right?)

1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips, divided (6 oz)
4 tsp vegetable oil divided
12 maraschino cherries
1/2 cup cherry preserves
1 Tbs maraschino cherry juice
1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup heavy cream

1.  Microwave (or use a double boiler) chocolate chips with 2 tsp oil in a bowl until melted.  1 minute increments

2.  Brush sides and bottom of 12 small foil candy cups with melted chocolate.  Place cups in a mini fmuffin tin to maintain shape; freeze 1 hour.

3.  Repeat step one, and freeze for 4 more hours.  Dip cherries in remaining chocolate and place on wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Freeze or refrigerate.

4.  Heat preserves, juice, and gelatin in a saucepan over low heat until preserves melt and gelatin dissolves, 3-5 minutes, cool

5.  Beat cream with a hand mixer to stiff peaks, 3 minutes; fold into cooled preserves mixture; chill at least 1 hour.

6.  Remove foil from chocolate.  Using a tweezers works great.  I wanted to show you a picture, but no one was home to take one.  I found if I pulled sideways and away from me and worked around the cup it worked well.  If it starts warming up too much, it will break easily.  I put a couple back in the freezer when I found this happening.  

7.  Spoon filling into chocolate cups; garnish each with a chocolate covered cherry; serve immediately

per tartlet:  140 cal; 7g total fat; 7mg chol; 6mg sodium; 21gcarb (0 fiber, 11g total sugars); 1 g protein, 0mg iron; 7mg calcium... just in case you were wondering.  :D

Valentine Bark

I saw this somewhere and I can't remember where, but very fun for a valentine treat!

1 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips
1 12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or your favorite)
1 1/2 cups rice krispies

Using a double broiler (or microwave) melt the white chocolate chips.  Mix in the rice krispies and stir well.  Spread out on wax paper on a baking sheet.  Freeze, 1 hour.

Using a double broiler, melt the chocolate chips.  Pour over the top of the white chocolate mixture.  Add sprinkles and freeze 1 hour.  (you don't have to freeze, but you will want it in the fridge at least to cool and harden.

Break the bark into pieces and serve.  How great to stuff a valentine treat bag with these!

Valentines Pizza

Here's a fun way to serve your pizza on valentines day.

Pizza dough
Pizza Sauce
Mozzarella cheese

I just rolled out my pizza dough, placed it on my pizza stone and then just scored with a knife a heart shape.  I didn't have much dough that I cut off, but you could always use the extra to make a mini pizza.

Spread your sauce over the dough, add your cheese, then comes the fun part... decorating your heart.  I chose pepperoni and ham because of it's color.  It would also be fun to use lots of red veggies, like tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, red pepper, and red onion.  A bbq chicken pizza with those additions would be great too.  This one was intended to be kid friendly.

The final product...

Winter Pizza

Looking for a unique pizza?  This is it!  We love butternut squash at our house, especially roasted.  So one day I thought, why not try it on Pizza?

1 pizza crust (store bought, or home made here)
1 butternut squash
pesto sauce (In winter I often use a jarred natural one from meijer or costco)
1 large sweet onion
Sun dried tomatoes
1 head of garlic
2 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 bag of mozzarella cheese or italian blend

Preheat the oven to 425.  Peel and cut your squash into 1 inch pieces.  Slice your onion into 1 inch wedges.  Peel your garlic cloves and slice in half if they are large, otherwise just leave them whole.  Toss your squash, onions, and garlic with the olive oil and salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Make sure they are coated well.  Place them on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.  Remove and stir, then put back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Spread the pesto sauce on your pizza dough, add the cheese (I like to reserve a little for the top too).  Place your sun dried tomatoes and your squash mixture on top.  Place in a 425 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes.  My squash was room temp when I made my pizza, so it needed the full time.

Slice and enjoy!  Goes great with a salad.

pizza dough

I love home made pizza dough.  I just use my bread maker.  Here is the recipe:

1 cup plus 1 Tbs water
2 TBS olive oil
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp regular active dry yeast

Put all ingredients in your bread maker in the order listed and set it for dough cycle.  2 hours later you have dough ready to go!
It makes 2 pizza crusts.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sassy Chicken

This is adapted from Cuisine Lite magazine.  

3 Tbs dijon mustard
2 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs whole grain mustard
1 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 tsp thyme
Pick of the chick (whole chicken cut up) 
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375.  Combine the first 5 ingredients and mix well.  Salt and pepper the chicken to taste.  Place chicken in a baking dish and brush with the mustard mixture.  Roast in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, baste with mustard mixture again.  Roast until cooked through, about another hour.  Ovens vary, so you should check it after about an hour total.  Bone in chicken generally takes longer though.  If you use boneless chicken, your time will be much different.

This was so delicious!  Everyone loved it, even my 4 year old who doesn't like chicken and makes it a point to tell me daily.  


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My Detox experience

My sweet friend Becky was doing this detox last month, and I was curious so I asked her about it.  She then told me about the book pictured.  Now, before I go any further... I am NOT  a dieter!!!  My philosophy has always been "everything in moderation", and while that doesn't work for everyone, it does work for me.  I eat mostly healthy, but I have my addictions... like coffee (only decaf though-I don't need the caffine, just the ritual).  I'm not a true coffee drinker either, I would much prefer a flavored latte, and usually use a flavored creamer.  Let's face it, there is nothing good in that stuff!  Except it does taste great.  The rest of my food intake is very natural.  I like real food, fresh ingredients, non-processed.  No high fructose corn syrup or any other fake sugar.  So, what is my point?  I was not trying to lose weight as the book cover promotes.  I simply thought getting the toxins out of my system would be a good thing.  And, it would be good for me to be disciplined in my eating.

I'll back up just a moment.  I did not think about doing this.  As a matter of fact, my husband wanted to and bought the book.  I told him he was totally on his own.  Then, at the last minute, on a Sunday morning at 8, I decided it would be good for me, so I was on board.  See the blue 'sun' in the corner about the miracle juice?  Here it is...

So here's my overview...  It is a one day detox.  On detox day you drink this miracle juice which is made up of cranberry juice, water, fresh squeezed oranges and limes, cinnamon and nutmeg.  It tastes pretty good, especially since this is the only thing you have on detox day.  Yes, you fast.  However that's not the whole story.  There's 7 days leading up to the detox, called the prequel, and 3 days following it, called the sequel.  There are certain foods you need to put into your body during these times as well as things you need to stay away from.  No caffine, sugar or any of it's relatives, and no gluten.  Honestly I think the gluten was the hardest part for me.  There's basically 9 categories of food that you need to eat.  You will not be hungry on this program!  Probably a little hungry on your detox day, but other than that, I ate alot.  Alot of greens, protein, sulfur rich (eggs/garlic), water, veggies, oil, flax seed (yum!  actually, I like it) and things that are just really good for you.  

One more thing you should know, I didn't read the whole book.  I just asked my friend and my husband when I had questions.  But, the parts I read were very good and very informative.  Plus there are some recipes to help you in the journey.  

Here's a basic meal:

Looks good right?  And it was so basic and easy.  This is just chicken brushed with some olive oil, and seasoned with a 'season all' salt, then grilled.  The butternut squash, sweet potatoes, garlic and onions, were tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in a 400 degree oven.  And the greens are a blend of escarole, watercress, and cilantro with some carrots and cucumbers.  

Overall, it was a good experience.  I was trying to figure out if I felt different.  I think one thing I noticed is I didn't have that afternoon lull where I just felt tired and groggy.  I had more energy through out the day.  

Now that it's over, I'd love to eat some bread!!  It will be interesting to see if it makes a difference adding gluten back into my diet.