Friday, June 30, 2017
Everyone loves pizza it seems - whether it's thin, thick, or Chicago style, regular or gluten free, meaty toppings or veggie. Even while watching your calories, pizza makes a delicious meal, simply request that any high-calorie toppings be applied lightly and consider getting all or half of the pizza with extra vegetables. I also have the pizza cut in squares so I can get some smaller slices out of it and serve on a salad sized plate so it just LOOKS like a have a huge plate of pizza (honest this tip of serving on small plates works).
I also love having leftover pizza, when the local pizzeria has an extra large size on sale. But microwaved reheated pizza is just limp and heating it in the oven dries it all out.
What to do?
Get out your cast iron skillet.
Heat the unoiled skillet on high for one minute. Add pizza slices, making sure there is some space around them. Heat for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes (this was a pizza with medium thickness). Add 3-4 drops of water total to the bare parts of the pan and immediately cover with a heavy lid, turning heat down to medium-low and heat an additional 2-3 minutes. (You'll soon learn what times work for your stove and favorite pizza).
The result of the quick heat on high followed by steam on lower heat while covered is a very crisp perfect crust and moist cheesy pizza. If you want to see more, click on the photos to enlarge.
If doing multiple batches for a family, put finished pizza slices on a cookie sheet, lightly tent with foil and place in a warm, not hot oven
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Because I love both vanilla and shortbread I immediately snagged a box of CVS brand Abound Gluten-Free Vanilla Shortbread Cookies. I regularly buy the CVS brand of various cosmetic and skin care products and am MORE than happy with them.
Plus I'm a big fan of cookies. Even the sometimes rock hard Dare Coconut ones. But let's just cut to the chase on my personal opinion of the CVS Gluten Free Shortbread Cookies.
The squirrels wouldn't eat them either.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
I've used Shake and Bake coating mix throughout my life on those nights as it's sort of a "comfort food" memory for me that the family likes. I've even made my own DIY version to save money. But there was one Shake and Bake product that was out about 10 years ago I really missed. It was a GLAZE that was honey/mustard. It was really good on chicken and awesome on wings - only to be discontinued. I HATE mustard so the mustard flavor was beyond subtle, to me it tasted more like honey garlic.
I was seriously bummed. My friends even requested it when coming over for cookouts where there would be wings.
Just like regular Shake and Bake you just put the seasoning in the provided bag, moisten your chicken (or veggie protein substitute) and bake until done. Directions are there in English and French.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
So I want information that helps me make a good purchase in an easy to use format
There's a great website called http://www.reviews.com/ that takes some of the guest work out of that as their team of experts are your unofficial "research partner" guiding you to the best products for your buck.
Everything they review they've tried themselves like I do with products I feature on my blog. They don't have fancy testing facilities but they do get their hands on the products, sometimes hundreds of them before making a determination of quality. If that means brewing 500 cups of copy they are willing.
It saves ME having to brew 500 cups of coffee. (I have red hair - you do NOT want to see me with that much caffeine in my system).
For example - let's say you have adult acne. I don't but I DO use some salicylic acid products to help exfoliate. Trust me, I threw away several before finding a Paula's Choice one I liked that didn't burn my very sensitive skin ("ow ow ow - I think this has SADISTIC acid in it, not salicylic!")
What's worse than acne is those of you who are (ahem) older that don't want to turn your face into a desert in the treatment of it.
Research dot com did a great page of research on what the best products are for acne. You can see it
Wasn't that easy? So whether you are looking for acne treatment, sunscreen, whey protein powder or other health and beauty products check out their review dot com's website first. It will save you a lot of time AND money. (You know so you can go meet your favorite author at a book signing :-)
Friday, June 9, 2017
The Montreal bagel is a distinctive variety of handmade and wood-fired baked bagel. In contrast to the New York-style bagel, the Montreal bagel is smaller, thinner, sweeter and denser, with a larger hole, and is always baked in a wood-fired oven.
Montreal bagels are still produced by hand and are usually baked in full view of the patrons.There are two predominant varieties: poppy seed and sesame seed.
The bagel dough includes egg and honey. Honey is also added to the water used for poaching the bagels before baking. I love honey and understand why jars of honey that are thousands of years old have been found in ancient excavated tombs in Egypt and at one time was considered a form of currency. When bagels are poached in this slurry of sweet honey and water, it adds something magical to the overall chewiness of the Montreal bagel as well as giving it its distinct color and crust.
The bagels are baked in a wood-fired oven which gives them their unique taste and texture, the fire licking each one gently so that each batch has its own unique hue, never overdone, never underdone. I like the handmade part as well, as we know the New York Style grocery bagels are made by giant machines with neither personality or souls (though my mechanical engineer husband would probably disagree).
They are also significantly less in calories, sodium, and sugar than grocery store bagels and a Montreal bagel with a simple smear of cream cheese or sugar-free jam keeps me full until lunch. Although they are available in Chicago, the restaurant/bakery that makes them is a pretty good drive from where we live and parking for my extended cab long bed truck in that very popular shopping and restaurant area is really difficult. So I was SO happy to see that St.-Viateur in Montreal now sells the bagels online to BOTH the USA and Canada. Sure, the shipping was a bit pricey but even so, they were a dollar less per bagel (even with shipping) than the local bakery that makes them and 50 cents less than a bagel with cream cheese at the local donut chain. To order - click on the link below.
St.-Viateur just advertises the poppy seed or sesame seed on the website, but if you call for a quote, they can also ship Whole Wheat, Flax Seed, No Seed, All Dressed, Rosemary & Sea Salt and Multi Grain bagels. (call toll free 1-866-662-2435)
Comparing a very popular grocery store New York Style Brand to the St. Viateur seed bagel.
Calories: 260 120
Fat: 1 gr. 2.5 gram
Carbs 52 gr. 20 gram
Sodium 460 gr. 5 gr (yes, only 5 grams, no salt is added)
Fiber 1 gr. 2 gr.
Sugars 6 gr. 1 gr.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Create with some sliced roasted chilled sweet potato, avocado, tomato, a slice of sweet onion (optional), a few sprouts, AND some mayo (or Vegan Veganaise) to which you've added a pinch or two of lemon zest and poppy seed. On a dense whole grain, lightly toasted bread, it's 3 degrees of yummy.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
• 6 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
• Kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion, diced (or substitute celery)
• 3 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
• 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
• 1 bunch baby turnips, halved or quartered if large
(I also added in a small handful of leftover roasted asparagus)
• 6 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
• Freshly ground pepper
• 1/2 bunch fresh parsley, leaves chopped (stems reserved)
• 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 3/4 cup chopped veggie burgers or vegetarian protein crumbles (optional)
• 2/3 cup low-fat milk
• Grated parmesan cheese, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat the broiler. Cover the potatoes with water in a pot; season with salt, cover and boil until the potatoes are fork-tender, 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a stovetop casserole dish or shallow enamel pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, turnips and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables brown, 8 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid from the potatoes to the casserole dish. Lower the heat and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Tie the parsley stems with twine and add to the casserole. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 8 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons butter and the chopped veggie burgers and warm through, 5 minutes. Remove the parsley stems and stir in the chopped parsley. Keep warm.
Drain the potatoes and mash with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and the milk; season with salt and pepper. Place the casserole in a single dish or individual serving side dishes. Spoon potatoes over the casserole (s). Sprinkle with parmesan, if desired. Broil until golden brown, 5 minutes.