30.3.12

Allen's Rice Cakes (& the recipe)


I feel like I can share a recipe, well I'm not really sharing it, but the creator of this absolutely, delicious, perfect on the ride snack will share with you. Check it out:


Did you love it? Don't you want to go make some in your kitchen right now, then go for a long bike ride? I do! But I'm going to wait until Sunday for that long ride, although I have a batch in my fridge right now.

The next few days may be a little hit and miss around here. I'm headed to Galveston, TX to race in my very first Ironman 70.3 Triathlon. I couldn't be more excited. I have been training since 1 January 2012 and can hardly believe the race is only a few days away.

I'm headed down with 9 other F5 pals, 8 of us are racing and we have 2 great gals as our support. I have a daughter/friend driving down from Austin to meet me, be the go between for my family and coach and have bubbly at the finish. My race number is 1722 and if you track me you are obligated to pray for me. Deal?

I received a call earlier this week from T3 & Triple Threat Racing coach, Shawn. This is a training race for him and he has enjoyed the rice cakes I've been sharing at practices. He asked me to make some for him to try on the bike. I said yes -- like I'd say no, come-on.

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry:
nothing
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
GF soysauce
What I'll try next time:
I plan to play with this recipe when I have the time, but today isn't the day.
How it Scored:
F-I-V-E!
Barry: 5
Richard: 3.5
JBorn: 5 for flavor, but it kinda fell apart
(I'll have to get back to you about how they worked for Shawn on race day.)

29.3.12

Recovery Grilled Cheese








Recovery Grilled Cheese, page 138

Yesterday I shared about dinner & movie night that Elliott and I had. We prepared two recipes from The Feed Zone, Roasted Beets and Greens and this, Recovery Grilled Cheese.

I asked Elliott what he wanted from the list shared in the recipe to make his grilled cheese. At first he said cheese, only cheese. He then added bacon and spinach. If I'd have had asparagus in the fridge, he said he'd have liked that, but it was too late. We'd already left the grocery and were home cooking. Next time E, next time.

His was made on loaf whole grain bread, which I can't eat. I didn't have any waffles, but I did have buckwheat crepes. Our favorite local food truck is Crepes Paulette. We were excited to find that they are moving in the direction of selling their naturally gluten free buckwheat crepes in a 6 pack. I was there last week and she gave us a package to try at home. What a treat!

Recovery Grilled Cheese turned Recovery Grilled Crepe for a night. Filled with a spread of cream cheese, a little shredded Swiss, roasted red peppers, spinach and a couple of other ingredients, it was messy delicious!

Kitchen Action
Lacking in the Pantry:
Asparagus.
Additions, Subtractions or Method changes:
Crepe for bread
What I'll try next time:
I'll play with more ingredients inside and try it on GF bread, although I'm quite certain that bread will not top the crepe.

How it scored:
Elliott: 5
'becca: 5

If you are a parent of more than one kiddo, do you find it difficult to get one on one time with your kids? What are your tricks? What are your favorite activities? I'd love to hear.

28.3.12

Roasted Beets and Greens

Roasted Beets and Greens, page 126

Elliott and I are the only two in the house who like beets. Most often we enjoy them boiled and mixed with feta and in the summer I make a yellow and red shredded beat salad with an orange dressing. It tastes like sunshine. OK, earthy sunshine. Chas and Jonathan were out for an evening last week, leaving Elliott and I home for dinner and a movie. And beets.

Together we chose the dishes we would prepare, made a list, hopped in the car and headed to the grocery. We picked up everything on the list and maybe a couple of extras, like a candy bar at the check out. He comes by his love of chocolate honestly. I promise.

Dinner was Recovery Grilled Cheese (check back tomorrow) and Roasted Beets & Greens. The movie was The Green Lantern. The company, a momma and her first born. I cherish the one on one time with my kids. It doesn't happen too often, but when it does, I cherish it. The conversations and laughter, questions and answers, stories shared. It's just good.

Kitchen Action
Lacking in the Pantry:
We had everything we needed.
Additions, Subtractions or Method changes:
I left out the olive oil from the dressing.
What I'll try next time:
Maybe add a little lemon zest to the dressing.


How it scored:
Elliott: 4
'becca: 4

27.3.12

Angel Hair with Bacon and Sweet Corn

Angel Hair with Bacon and Sweet Corn, page 141

During the week of Spring Break our boys got to spend some time with two of their favorite gal pals. When they get together movie making is high on the list of activities they enjoy. They decided on this meal to fix for lunch and I was behind the iPod recording. (Remember the untechsavvyness I've mentioned, well it shines brightly in my filming abilities. I turned the camera iPod, thinking it would automatically turn with me, but nooooo. So enjoy the little movie sorta sideways. Sorry.)



Here they are at the table eating round one. I believe they all went back for seconds. I believe it was agreed that when you take the time in the kitchen cooking the meal, it tastes better when you sit to eat.

Kitchen Action
Lacking in the Pantry:
Sweet Corn. I forgot the corn the first trip to the grocery. I went back, had to have it.
Additions, Subtractions or Method changes:
They didn't add the tomatoes, but kept them on the side. Only 1 out of the 4 are tomato fans. They didn't add the squeeze of lemon.
What I'll try next time:
I believe it was perfect the way they made it, but Elliott has mentioned that next time he will squeeze the lemon on top.

How it scored:
They made sure to save a little bit for their parents to taste. I didn't get numbers, but they all agreed it was delicious.

Way to go kids!

26.3.12

White Beans and Chicken

White Beans and Chicken, page 164

During the season of Lent, the 40 days prior to Easter, we are hosting a small group of people in our home and around the table on Tuesday nights. Last week it was rainy and chilly and rainy some more. It was the kind of late autumn week when you anticipate snow and a fire in the fireplace. Then you build one just because. It was the first day of Spring, the firewood was soaked, so I did the only other logical thing I could think of, make soup. I also played with gluten free flours and basil and Parmesan making savory scones. It was Spring Break for the great state of Arkansas and many families were vacationing, including those who join us on Tuesday evening. The Webers were in town and joined us for dinner and conversation.

This soup is hearty enough to serve as a meal for Jonathan. One time, I remember him asking if there was going to be anything solid served with a soup and salad lunch. His six foot six, athletic frame needs a little more fuel than some. Our friends loved it, although I have learned when you tack on the words "Gluten Free" people tend to allow their shy side to come out. I don't think they tried the scones, but Jonathan and I did. A perfect pair. I was talking of the scones and soup, although Jonathan and I are a perfect pair too.

Kitchen Action

Lacking in the Pantry:
Celery
Additions, Subtractions or Method changes:
Buckwheat flour for wheat, 2 cups of wine instead of 1, added mushrooms and a little parsley, and I left off the pesto when it was served.
What I'll try next time:
I'd like to try it with the pesto and add more mushrooms.

How it scored:
Jonathan: 5
'becca: 5
R. Weber: 5
B. Weber: 4

Make sure to look at the little prep bowls in the picture above. My friend gave them to me last week. She reads here on occasion, puts up with my endless praise of the best cookbook around and gave me these colorful bowls to use while cooking through The Feed Zone. I love them! Thanks Amy! Tomorrow her girls will appear in video with my boys, making Angel Hair with Bacon and Sweet Corn.

25.3.12

Rice and Banana Muffins

Rice and Banana Muffins, page 104


I am always looking for gluten free snacks I can bake at home. When I discovered that gluten was the reason for my belly issues, I mourned the loss of indulging in pretty bread and scones and muffins and the list of baked good goes on. As I read through The Feed Zone there were many baked recipes I was looking forward to trying.

I made a mistake, no two mistakes. First I filled the tins almost to the top and second, I tasted before cooling. I tore the muffin in half to discover a gooey middle. My heart sank. Instant gratification was met with uncooked center, steaming uncooked center. I ate it anyway and burned my tongue. Dumb. I pulled the cooling rack from the drawer, allowing the other 11 muffins to cool, as the recipe states. I went for a run, the muffins patiently waited and cooled. Our second meeting was much better than the first.

Will I make them again? Yes. Will I experiment with the banana, replacing it with apple sauce or another smash-able fruit? Yes.


Kitchen Action
Lacking in the Pantry:
Cinnamon. I'm out of cinnamon, how in the world am I out of cinnamon? I use it daily. Oh, maybe that's the reason, so I didn't use cinnamon.
Additions, Subtractions or Method changes:
I added 2 T of Almond Butter and baked them in papers, instead of spraying the pan and used fresh ground nutmeg. I also threw a few chocolate chips in 2, 1 for Elliott and 1 for Chas.
What I'll try next time:
I will not try to eat them warm. Letting them cool is key and I found that after they had been refrigerated they were solid, not gooey in the center. I'll also try apple sauce instead of bananas and maybe throw in some shopped walnuts.


How it scored:
'becca: 3.5, middle of 1 & 5 based on meeting of mouth and muffin 1 & 2
Jonathan: 5
Elliott & Chas: When they found out I'd put banana in them, they changed their minds and didn't even try them. Jonathan ate the chocolate chip additions, but preferred the plain muffins best.

24.3.12

Stuffed French Toast

This was the recipe that was chosen to share at Velo Press, Feed Zone Cookbook. Pop over there to see how Elliott, with the help of Chas, prepared it, where they ate it and how it scored.


STUFFED FRENCH TOAST, page 80

*This is the recipe where I used the waffles in a different way, making my Stuffed French Toast a Stuffed GF Waffle French Toast. Delicious!

23.3.12

Ground Turkey Shepherd's Pie

Ground Turkey Shepherd's Pie, page 246
(if you look closely to my left arm, you can see the beginning of a cycling jersey tan line. lovely.)


On St. Patrick's Day I kindly kicked the boys out of the house for a couple of hours and had a GDI (Girls Day In) pre-party. The kitchen was quickly buzzing, glasses were toasting and laughter was happening. I am so very thankful to have found this group of women. So very thankful.

Together, we prepared a couple of dishes, Aly's grandmother's Corned Beef recipe and Ground Turkey Shepherd's Pie. Before they arrived, I boiled & smashed the potatoes, browned the turkey and chopped the onion and tomato. A little more mixing and assembly was required. Chandi and I put it together, but before putting it in the oven, I skimmed the recipe again. Oops, we'd forgotten to add the sauce. I wonder how that could have happened? Any guesses? We had a couple of different ideas about how to add it, deciding on this:
We would place a cookie sheet over the baking dish, flip it and drizzle the sauce in the bottom. We would then place the dish quickly back on the turkey and potatoes, hoping it would hold its shape. Brilliant! It totally worked. 

It was DELICIOUS! I will make it again and I believe others who were at the party will too. 

Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
nothing
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
We added pats of butter to the top as well as a sprinkle of paprika for color. Chandi needs to cook for Jonathan. Remember, he needs color on his plate. Color was all her idea.
What I'll try next time:
I'll try mixing the sauce with the meat and I'll add the dash of cinnamon. I love cinnamon. (It's the secret ingredient in my chili.)

How it scored:
FIVE's all around! 

How did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Did you run in a shamrock shuffle? Throw a party? Attend a party? Consume your yearly dose of green food color? Did the leprechauns visit your house? Did you make Ground Turkey Shepherd's Pie? If not, you could have a St. Pat's redo and make it for dinner tonight. 

22.3.12

Spring Pea and Herb Bruschetta

Spring Pea and Herb Bruschetta, page 119

I prepared this and served it as an appetizer at our St. Patrick's Day party. It was fresh and easy and paired just fine with green beverages. I had my camera ready and snapped these photos as I prepared the appetizer. 
blanch
pack
 blanch
 toast
 blend
share

Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
I remembered my grocery list, so I had it all.
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
I added a little extra pesto. I did serve it as pictured above on toast, but I also wanted a GF version. I served it in a bowl and had rice crackers in a basket near. It could be used as a dip or a spread on the crackers.
What I'll try next time:
It would be pretty topped with fire roasted peppers around Christmas time.

How it scored:
'becca: 4
Jonathan: 3 
Friends: I don't know numbers. I had 2 pieces of the bruschetta topped bread at the end of the night and had to refill the bowl that was being used as a spread on rice crackers twice. I did hear that it was a nice spin on traditional tomato bruschetta and a great spring dish. 

21.3.12

Waffle part of the Waffle Ride Sandwich

Waffle part of the Waffle Ride Sandwich, page 109

I have decided I need a rice cooker. I knew the day would come when I wished I had not donated it to Goodwill 8 years ago and that day is today. Any recommendations? Regular? Multifunction? Programmable?

I made 2 batches of waffles. I followed the recipe the first time and the second time I tried a different rice to flour ratio. I served them both as breakfast: 3 different fellas, 3 different ways.
     Jonathan: Waffles topped with eggs
     Elliott: Waffles topped with butter and maple syrup
     Chas: Waffles with melted butter and powdered sugar
That morning I ate mine plain, in-between making lunches, sipping coffee and pouring another batch into the waffle iron.

I didn't make a sandwich, but placed 2 of them in a baggie, then in the back of my jersey and took them on a long ride the following day. They sure hit the spot when I found myself having missed a turn and in Oklahoma instead of Arkansas.

Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
ripe banana
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
Batch 1: mango for banana, honey for molasses, rice flour
Batch 2: I used the same substitutions as in batch 1. Then I changed the rice/flour ration. I used half as much rice and 1 cup of rice flour, also added a teaspoon of xanthan gum. If you have not used xanthun gum, it is quite crucial to many gluten free baked goods. It helps bind the ingredients together.
What I'll try next time:
First, I'll try not missing my turn on the bike.
Sharpie + Directions + Arm = AR to MO, instead of AR to OK
And second, I'll double this recipe, keeping some in the freezer. As you will see soon, I have other ways to enjoy them. 

How it scored:
Batch 1
Elliott: 2
Chas: 1
Jonathan: 3
'becca: 4
Aly: 5 She had these the same time I shared these. Both post run. Both hit the spot. 

Batch 2
Elliott: 3
Chas: 3
'becca: 5 

As I was checking around online for other people using The Feed Zone, I ran across this post. Jason Bahamundi reviews a recipe a week from The Feed Zone, as well as other books, recipes and cookbooks geared for endurance athletes. Thanks Jason for sharing your experience.

20.3.12

Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken Fried Rice, page 142

I looked at the clock and it was already past 7. I 'd given little thought to what we would have for dinner. I was still trying to recover from the bacon splattered delicious, but messy cooking from earlier in the day. I flipped through The Feed Zone to see if there was something I could quickly make and landed on Chicken Fried Rice. I knew the boys enjoyed it when eating out, so why not while eating in.

I put rice on to boil, asked Jonathan to keep an eye on it. I headed to the grocery, making the best use of time. We were all getting grumble-y bellies. I picked up a rotisserie chicken instead of taking the time to cook chicken when I got home. When I got home, I had Elliott shred the breast, while Chas snuck by grabbed the drumsticks and shared some of the skin with DandyDog.

It was a quick, delicious, filling recipe for dinner and it reheated well the next day. I read that it was Lance Armstrong's favorite post-race dinner during the 2010 Tour de France. I wonder if I make a batch and carry it down to Galveston, as I achieve my goal and he races for a win, if he'd like to join me for a meal?

Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
chicken, corn & green onions So, I went to the grocery.
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
Rotisserie chicken instead of cooked chicken thighs, left out the corn, doubled the peas, yellow onion for green and used a mix of sesame and canola oil to "fry" the rice.
What I'll try next time:
I love the crunch of water chestnuts. I think I'll add in a can of these just for fun crunch.

How it scored:
Jonathan: 4 topped heavily with Sriracha sauce
'becca: 5, topped lightly with Sriracha sauce
Elliott: 5, It was good. No wait, I was just kidding. It wasn't good, it was GREAT!
Chas: 3, as long as all of the peas were picked out

19.3.12

Savory Bread Cakes, page 92


Savory Bread Cakes, page 92

I have to teach my boys about the cleaning up the kitchen part of cooking! I think it took me as long to clean up the bacon splatters, as it did for them to make these savory cakes. Chas wanted to make this recipe. He loves bacon.

Here is what they had to say about making it...
Elliott:
I cut the bread. We used a cheese & pepperoni bread instead of regular wheat bread. I took a lot of pictures with  my iPod, but I forgot my email password, so I couldn't email them to my mom. Chas cooked the bacon. I stirred it and put it in the oven to bake. When 20 minutes were up, I tasted it, and decided it needed to go back into the over for 10 more. Then it finished and we could take it to our friends to try after our Triple Threat Racing track session.

Chas:
I LOVE it {bacon}! I cooked the bacon and it popped and hit my arm and it hurt. And then I let the bacon cool and cut it with scissors into the bowl where Elliott put the bread. I poured eggs and other ingredients together. And then we got that (he pointed to the picture in the cookbook).


Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
Nothing
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
Favorite Bread: The original plan was to stop by Panera and get Asiago bagles. When we saw the cheese & pepperoni bread at the grocery, we decided this would be perfect. So we skipped Panera.
We used Flax milk and extra cheese and extra bacon. We skipped the brown sugar part.
What I'll try next time:
We will keep it the same.

How it scored:
If we are not at the soccer pitch on Saturday mornings, you will find us at the track with the adults from T3 Training Systems and the athletes from Triple Threat Racing. After workouts we are always hungry. So we thought we would make this and share it. It was a great idea, because everyone loved it. We ate it and drank chocolate milk. 
Elliott: 4
Chas: 5
Jonathan: 4
Coach Aly: 5
Coach Julie: 4
A (TTR athlete): 5
G (TTR athlete): 4


18.3.12

Orzo-Stuffed Peppers

Orzo-Stuffed Peppers, page 219

I've not made stuffed peppers in months. Last time it involved ground venison and fennel and was not a hit with Elliott or Chas and Jonathan said that it would be OK if I didn't make them that way again. So polite, Jonathan, so polite. Knowing that I hoped this recipe would salvage the reputation of the stuffed pepper.

Right away I knew if I wanted to eat it I'd have to change the main ingredient, orzo. An easy and obvious choice, rice;  Arborio rice, the kind used for risotto. I served them with spinach & chicken sausage risotto.

The yogurt in the recipe was especially delicious, making the stuffing creamy and smooth. This recipe would be an excellent choice as a heavy appetizer for a dinner party. I made 4, one was left over. Can you guess who didn't eat theirs? I placed it in the fridge and reheated it the following day after a run. Yum.

As a dinner party addition or post workout meal, this recipe did what I hoped it would do. Consider the stuffed pepper back on the menu at the Nimrods.

Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
Orzo, regular yogurt
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
Arborio rice for Orzo
Greek yogurt for regular yogurt
Mozzarella on the inside and Parmesan on the top
What I'll try next time:
Perfect the way it was. I'll keep it the same.

How it scored:
Jonathan: 4
Elliott: 3
Chas: 1
'becca: 5

17.3.12

www.feedzonecookbook.com

Earlier this week we were contacted by Dave, from Velo Press. He asked if we would be willing to allow them to share about the journey we are taking through The Feed Zone and later guest post a recipe on their site. I talked to the boys and they thought it was super cool.

16.3.12

Cinnamon Almond Pancakes

Cinnamon Almond Pancakes, page 75

We seem to be on a bit of a pancake kick in our home, so why not keep going. There are four pancake recipes in The Feed Zone, we have shared our experience with Rice & Banana, Buttermilk and today, Cinnamon Almond. 

Elliott and Chas were celebrating Spring Break by sleeping until almost 7, but breakfast was ready a little after 6. That made Jonathan, as he referred to himself, the official taster. 

These turned out pretty and pretty food to start the day is always a bonus? Agree? Remember, Jonathan likes color on his plate, so along with the pancakes I served him mango & strawberries and a side of steel cut oats topped with dried cranberries. I had pancakes and black coffee and ate a few strawberries as I washed and sliced them for his plate. So much of my eating takes place standing in the kitchen. 

As with the rice pancakes, I am hoping these will work well as a post workout, GF snack. I'll know for sure this afternoon. I already have plans to have some in the car waiting for me to eat after 800 m repeats in zone 5. Taper, do you hear me? Are you near?

Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
Almond Flour
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
I didn't have almond flour, but almond meal. I thought they were probably very similar, so I googled. A little right and a little wrong, but it worked. Out of the 3 milks in our fridge, none of them from a cow, I chose Flax and I used honey. I also added in a sprinkle of my most favorite baking spices, Tropical Heat Mixed Baking Spices. If you are headed to East Africa and want to bring me a gift, please, I'm on my last container.
What I'll try next time:
I'll keep it the same. Delicious!

How it scored:
Jonathan: 4
'becca: 4, but may switch to a 5 after I try them this afternoon

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day and as in years past I am sure we will be visited by the leprechauns. I'll start the day with an early 60 mile ride, followed by Triple Threat Racing practice and a parents meeting. I get to visit with parents about finding a few more sponsors, as well as the upcoming season. Want to be a sponsor of one of the newest USAT youth and juniors high performance teams? 

Then the real fun begins! My girl friends are coming over for a GDI, Girls Day In. We plan to cook and laugh and eat and probably drink green bubbly drinks. After we have finished making dinner, Ground Turkey Shepherd's Pie, page 246 is on the menu, we will be joined by our husbands and kids. Having a home full of people we enjoy and care about -- it's what this life I've been given is all about. Do you plan to celebrate? How? Will you be cooking from The Feed Zone?

15.3.12

Buttermilk Pancakes

 Buttermilk Pancakes, page 70

After the breakfast for dinner which was more of a flop than a success for my kids, I had to skip ahead to this recipe. Stuffed peppers, waffles, stuffed french toast, in the mean time will have to wait to be shared.

Chas was in the kitchen this morning. Here in pictures and with his words are how it went:
I am reading the recipe, trying to figure out what one of the words says.
I'm trying to scratch my back.
I was figuring out if it was baking soda or baking powder and how much I needed.

Here I am stirring everything together in the bowl.
I am flipping the pancakes. I kinda missed with one, but it was OK.

When I look at these pictures I feel proud of myself. I cooked for my family. I cooked for me and my brother, Elliott. It was fun and tasted waaay better than the rice pancakes. I wanna make these again.
~ Chas


Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
Not-a-thing. I even had buttermilk in the fridge.
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
The milk was warmed and the wet ingredients were mixed together before folding into the dry.
What I'll try next time:
I'd like to see how the batter holds up in the fridge for a day. When it's fresh vs reheated, fresh most always wins. Unless it's chili.

How it scored:
Chas: Perfect
Elliott: 4
DandyDog: He begged, but did not receive. 

One thing I have discovered, as I am sure many parents have, is how the involvement of your kids in the kitchen can revolutionizes what happens around the table. Not only the food they eat, but the conversations they share. We have many teaching moments at the counter and many heart moments at the table. As the momma of active boys and many crazy days these moments shape who we are as a family. 

This morning I taught him a method of scooping and measuring the powder and soda out of the canister. If he tilted it a little and scraped it along the metal lid, he was able to get the exact amount needed and necessary to make the pancakes fluffy. Although when it came to the cinnamon, I shared that you could shake until it looked like enough or remove the hole-y lid and use the teaspoon to measure. When it came to spices, at times you can improvise according to taste. We also talked about what we will do later in the day and about his soccer game tonight. And we talked about clams. 

Here is one reason I love this kid:
After whisking the dry ingredients in the bowl he looked up at me and asked. "Momma, do clams really give you pearls?"

"Yes, clams really do give you pearls, kiddo. Isn't it cool how creative God is? That something like a grain of sand can turn into a pearl when stuck inside a shell." I hope today in some way, a clam, rough & bumpy, not so pretty on the outside, gives you a luster-y pearl. And when it does happen, I'd love to hear about it. 

14.3.12

Breakfast for Dinner Part 3: Rice & Banana Pancakes

Rice & Banana Pancakes, page 72

So this meal as a whole wasn't a flying success with Chas, only half way with Elliott and Jonathan, because he's the best, cleaned his plate. Me? I liked it just fine, especially this recipe. Pancakes and waffles are regular meals at our table. The fluffy, buttermilk, flour kind. Less fluffy, little flour and no buttermilk...that is what they were expecting when I told them we were having breakfast for dinner.

The meal was a bit more labor intensive than others. Looking back I think it was because I used the blender to make all 3 recipes and when I wanted to start the next one I had to find a container for the batter/mix & clean it out to begin the next. Not a complaint, just didn't think about it prior. It all worked.

I tried to turn them over too quickly with each batch. It is quite important that you let them cook, as the recipe states, and have a good spatula for flipping. I finally found flame on the stove which would cook slow enough not to burn and let the oven do the final baking. I found this balance on the final batch.

This recipe will become a regular that I make, because it is GF and a great snack for the afternoon & kept well in the fridge for a couple of days. I shared some with my friend, Aly, a hero in my world of triathlon, and her kids. She had just finished a hard run session and was hungry. They hit the spot! Her kids, like mine, expected fluffy pancakes, but tried them. Not exactly fans. But Aly was.

Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
bananas, white rice
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
I used brown rice, Mango instead of banana and Flax milk. I added the vanilla which was suggested, as well as cinnamon and fresh ground nutmeg.
What I'll try next time:

How it scored:
Chas: 1
Elliott:1
Jonathan: 3.5 (he has taken the liberty to start adding .5's into the scoring)
'becca: 5
Aly: 5
Aly's kiddos (5, 3, 1):1 

So there you have it, Breakfast For Dinner in 3 parts, 1, 2 & now three. Don't worry, Chas never will go hungry. He made himself a peanut butter & jam, brought it to the table and was satisfied. 


Breakfast for Dinner Part 2: Sweet Potato Cakes

Sweet Potato Cakes, page 51

I was really looking forward to this recipe. I didn't grow up eating sweet potatoes, but as a young adult discovered them and they are an absolute favorite. I've never made them sweet, always savory. Sometimes smashed, sometimes shredded, sometimes baked, but always with sea salt. The idea of marshmallows on top makes my tummy turn. Marshmallows are for roasting and packing* in bags when traveling to a new or revisited country.

These didn't turn out as I expected. I believe it was due to the setting I used on our blender and I think I cooked the potatoes too long. The recipe made 6 for me, of which I ate 3, less 1 bite. Have you made these? What was your blending technique? Recipe called for food processor, but I don't have one, so the blender it was. I think I should have used my hand smasher. Next time.

I've already shared Part 1 of Breakfast for Dinner, this is part 2, later this evening I'll post part 3. It's beautiful here. Sunny and a little breeze and a cardinal is on a branch singing just outside the window. I'm off for my 2nd run of the day. My coach has me doing some split run days in preparation for my race in a few weeks. I like it. Sure beats a 2:15 or mile repeats. Thanks, Chip!

Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
I had everything, thanks to a trip to the grocery by Jonathan
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
I used a yellow onion, because that is what I had on hand and GF rice bread.
What I'll try next time:
The next time I make them I will simply pulse the blender instead of a times setting.

How it scored:
Jonathan: 3 (too much onion, oops)
Elliott: 3 Ate it, but wasn't his favorite. 
Chas: 1 Turned up his nose as soon as he heard "sweet potato". He did eat a bite and said he wasn't going to finish it. 
'becca: I really like it and even ate one the next day chilled.
DandyDog: He gobbled up the one I dropped on the kitchen floor quicker than I could pick it up. 5!

*Next time you pack your bags to explore a new land or share your gifts with others on a trip with a mission, pack a bag of marshmallows. They are not often found in other countries and are such a fun "American" food, loosely use the word food, to share. Peoples faces are often priceless when they take a bite. 

Breakfast for Dinner Part 1: Rice Smoothies

Rice Smoothies, 253

Sunday was a breakfast for dinner night and a 3 recipe menu. This is the first of the three. We are a smoothie lovin' family. Mine are green. Packed with kale, sprinkled with chia & flax, made smooth with plain Greek yogurt, almond milk and frozen bananas. Jonathan tolerates the green, but prefers the berry, which is the favorite for Chas and Elliott. While I don't have a strict recipe, they end up quite similar and glasses are rarely left full.

Fact: The rice smoothie had some serious competition.

Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
I had plenty of uncooked rice, but was out of cooked rice. I keep on hand bags of this to use in a pinch. It came in handy when I'd used all of the cooked rice in the recipes I'd prepared for the meal.
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
I didn't follow the recipe that well. I used more 3 times the amount of yogurt, brown rice and a little honey.

What I'll try next time:
I will give it another try for myself and I will follow the recipe. As for my boys, all 3, I will stick to the smoothies love best, lotsa berries, yogurt, a little orange juice and a handful of spinach. Don't tell Chas. The berry color covers up the green and he has no idea.

How it scored:
Jonathan: 2
Elliott: 1
Chas: 1
'becca: 3, I saved the boys and added them to my green smoothie the next day. 

I hope your morning began well; including some time to think about and rest in thankfulness. This morning I am feeling especially thankful and it is transforming into a feeling of joy. As you move today, may your body be fueled by yummy energy and your soul fueled by Joy. Check back soon for Rice & Banana (Mango) Pancakes and Sweet Potato Cakes. Mmmm!

13.3.12

Seared Ahi


Seared Ahi, page 221

I have cooked Ahi many times before using the same recipe written in The Feed Zone. Frequently, I over cook it and my kitchen is a smoky mess when I'm finished. I was pleasantly surprised when I didn't have to open the patio door to let fresh air into the kitchen. And then to slice the ahi and discover a nice pink in the center...this date night was on its way to delicious perfection!

Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
I had it all.
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
I didn't make the Lemon Oil, but served it with raw spinach.
What I'll try next time:
I'd like to grind salt and pepper onto a plate and press fish onto mix, creating more of a crust.

How it scored:
Jonathan: 5
'becca: 4 










a little snapshot of date night in.

Do you ever have dates at home? We do every few months and each time, I find myself asking why we don't do it more often. With the whirlwind of activity happening in a house with boys, moments of calm and quiet are cherished. The conversations we have are often deeper and I believe that comes from the level of comfort only being at home provides. If you do, what does it look like? Do you cook, order take out, rent a movie, play scrabble, dance?

Spicy Asian Noodle Soup

Spicy Asian Noodle Soup, page 177

Husband away for the Week + Wife Excited to have him Home + Boys at Sleepover = At Home Date
Sleepovers x 2 + 1 weekend = Thrilled Boys

I knew the chance of talking Jonathan into a date night, after just walking in the door was unlikely. I wasn't upset, but understood. Sure, I'd like to go out to dinner, but he'd just spent a week in Florida in meetings and more meetings, breakfast on the go, with lunches and dinners out. A quiet evening at home would be perfect.

I had a feeling that this soup wouldn't be a big hit with Chas, was unsure of Elliott, but thought Jonathan would enjoy it as an addition to a meal. I'd already decided on Seared Ahi and thought the two would pair well.
So it was:
A table set for two + a mason jar filled with daffodils, from our side yard + soup + ahi over spinach + wine + laughter + conversation + comfy clothes & house shoes = Delicious & Fantastic Date Night In


Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
Sriracha Sauce
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
I used the following: chicken broth, tofu, pre-chopped cabbage mix, cilantro, mint, extra lime juice and Louisiana hot sauce.
What I'll try next time:
Ginger, I forgot to add ginger. Which I even picked up at the grocery specifically for this recipe. Other than that, I'll keep things the same.

How it scored:
Jonathan -- 5
'becca -- 5

Have a great morning, make sure to check back later today for Seared Ahi.

12.3.12

Sleepover Food: Pizza

Pizza Dough, Page 275

On weekends we often have extra boys in our home, which I love. Sometimes we swap and I'll take the bigs while another mom takes the littles or the other way around. Friday night I had the littles. When we host a sleepover many things have become routine: Dance Parties, complete with a disco ball and glow sticks; a trip to the grocery for treats & a Redbox (and make you own pizza.

The boys checked out the recipes for pizza in The Feed Zone, but decided that they'd rather not have potatoes or eggs. They stuck to the basics: red sauce, cheese and pepperoni. The crust we made was from the book. I'm always trying new pizza crust recipes, because I never seem to write down the one I find online when it's time to make the crust. No more looking...I've found it! (And it's typed and bound and in my new favorite cookbook.)




Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
Notta thing.
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes:
I used 2/3 white flour and 1/3 wheat flour.
I mixed it with a dough hook in a KitchenAid stand mixer and it worked great.
What I'll try next time:
I'd like to add in some fresh herbs.

How it scored:
Both boys gave it a 5
I gave it a 5 for ease & also how well it reheated. I used wheat flours, but I'm sure it's delicious!

11.3.12

10.3.12

Chocolate Bread Pudding


Chocolate Bread Pudding, page 260

I had 2 overly ripe bananas in a basket on the counter and planned to bake banana bread for the boys to have as an after school snack. Instead I had this warm and waiting for them when they walked in the door. It looked  and smelled delicious and I am sure it was. How could you go wrong with bread, chocolate and bananas?

Both boys were a little hesitant when I spooned it into bowls, so I added a scoop of ice cream, but that still didn't do the trick. They both questioned the bread part of the pudding. They were not fans.

I think Jonathan would have enjoyed it. I save some for him to try when he returns from a week away. It is not overly sweet, but just enough to satisfy. All speculation, as it's a FG (FullaGluten) recipe, which is a no go for me.

Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
I had everything to make this dessert in my pantry, freezer and fridge.
Additions & Subtractions or method changes:
I used a loaf of Italian bread.
I warmed the almond milk a bit so it didn't make the chocolate stiff when added together.
What I'll try next time:
I will make it without the bananas. Both boys said the flavor of banana was overpowering and they wished it has just been chocolate. I will wait a few weeks and try it again, sans ba-naa-naa.

We decided to share part of it with our friends next door. Chas, Elliott and DandyDog walked it over, returning with Popsicle in hand. A fair trade? I believe they thought so.

How it scored:
Chas: 1
Elliott: 1

I am extra thankful for Saturdays, as it is my training day off. I only have 3 more weeks until I head south for my first 70.3. My race plan is almost finished and today I will write 7 paragraphs, as if the race was over. I feel physically prepared, but mentally I need some more training. The mind is powerful and I need it on my side:
                       Dear Mind,
                               Let's be friends. Let's work together Sound good?
                                                                                              Love,
                                                                                                   'becca
Are you training for a race? How do you prepare mentally? I would really love to hear your techniques & tips, so please share. Have a great weekend. I'm headed to sit on the side of the track, sip coffee and watch my kids train.

9.3.12

Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce, Part 2


Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce, page 234

Make sure you check out Part 1 for a little background on choosing the meal and peek into the most wild day of the week for our family.

This dinner could not have been more of a success. I think the pictures speak for themselves...
Chas was in the kitchen with me most of the time. He did much of the measuring and mixing and he loved it. He has spent time in the kitchen with me before, but prefers to be outside. It was cold and rainy and I'd said no to all things electronic. It may not have been his first choice today, but I believe in the future it may.
The best part - Squishing and SQUISHING!
Elliott came in, from what had now turned to a drizzle, to help chop peppers & tomatoes. Tiny little pieces and not a single sliced finger. 
I had a few ripe tomatoes, so we crushed our own instead of using canned. 
shaping the meatballs...I'll spare you all the boy jokes that were made as they worked. 
"And the meatball says..." Parents, name that show.
Chas' snap of me sauteing the meatballs before placing in sauce to simmer.

We had a great time in the kitchen together and talked about making healthy decisions for our bodies. If we want to continue to share in an active lifestyle, especially triathlon, these decisions are a must. It was especially encouraging to watch Chas chop veggies and place them in the sauce, knowing that was what he would be served for dinner. Elliott wanted his over noodles, Chas wanted his plain and I had mine over a bed of spinach. It was Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce 3 Ways.

The meatball simmered. The table was set. The food was blessed. And we all had seconds. 

Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry:
I went to the grocery after the boys chose this for dinner and I didn't forget anything on my list. Perfect!
Additions & Subtractions or method changes:
I substituted venison for beef. My brother-in-law and daddy are hunters, to which we benefit.
I placed stale GF bread chunks in the Blendtec w/ fresh basil to make the bread crumbs
I omitted the red pepper flakes, for the boys.
Less olive oil. I was very light on the oil when sauteing  prior to simmer. A woman in my 30's, not a calorie burning professional, but an amateur -- I have to watch the calories and fat.

What I'll try next time:
I'd like to split the meat, adding the pepper flakes to half.

How it scored:
Elliott: FIVE
Chas: 5+
'becca: Perfect 5!

It was enjoyed so greatly, they both asked if they could take some in their lunches tomorrow.