It might be a little early for you, but circumstances too long to discuss here have driven me to start shopping for Christmas early. And that has led me to start posting some pictures of products I like (many we've tried) that encourage kids to play healthier-and hopefully eat healthier. You can find them on Pinterest. The board is labeled "Healthy Christmas Presents for Kids."
It's finally getting chilly in Florida! OK, not really. It's just cool enough to open the windows, which has been most enjoyable. I consider it high-time we have some soup around here. I'm also happy to rely on some lettuce, arugula, peppers, cherry tomatoes and cilantro from our garden to make our meals this week.
We originally thought this food face reminded us of our dear friend who spikes his hair. (Incidentally, Nora loves the gel-stiffened hair style.) But on second thought, we didn't want to be too offensive as he visits so much we gave him a key to our house for his birthday. So, I rethought the situation and figured it could just be a crown.
These are the enchiladas I made a week in advance and froze. I just popped them in the oven straight from the freezer before serving them. Unfortunately, to keep the family from snacking until they were served, I suggested a walk. But as usual, we ran into friends in the neighborhood. This part we love. I just wasn't proud of myself for letting the enchiladas crisp a little too much on the edges. They were still very good.
Recipe for Spinach Enchiladas
1/2 can fire roasted tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon or more ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon or more chili powder
1/2 teaspoon or more garlic powder
1 cup onions, sliced
1 cup peppers, sliced
4 cups spinach, packed
4 oz. sour cream, more or less to taste
2 cups cheese, more or less to taste
6 burrito-sized corn tortillas
Combine tomatoes and next three seasonings, set aside. Saute onion and peppers in oil until softened. Add spinach and wilt. Soften tortillas.
Spread one spoonful of sour cream on tortilla. Spoon spinach mixture into tortilla and top with cheese. Roll tightly and place in a 9x9 pan. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Top with tomato mixture and bake at 400'F for 25-30 minutes until warmed through.
To Freeze: Leave off tomatoes. Cover with foil and freeze. Before eating remove from freezer, top with tomatoes and bake.
Sometimes people and things go a little crazy in the spring time. It's called Spring Fever. But what do they call it in the fall. . .in a still rather hot Central Florida? I've been told I've been missed. And I am ashamed. I will not go into details. They aren't worthy of your time. Simply put, I worked a lot last week and at the same time had a computer that didn't want to work at the same time.
I posted the below paragraphs over a year ago. However, the information still applies. Because the Maitland, Florida, library is starting a Cultural and Learning Center tonight and because I am one of the featured upcoming speakers, I thought it would be wise to post these facts again. Especially, since there will be new eyes to Eat Like a Rabbit. These stories are powerful and encourage making positive food choices. I enjoyed rereading them. I hope you do, too.
Add 1 tablespoon sugar to the dough during kneading. Rolled out the dough to about 1/2 inch thick and let it rest about 1 hour. Lay the sliced peaches out on the crust. Drizzle or brush with olive oil. Sprinkle remaining sugar and rosemary leaves over bread. Bake at 500 degrees (or as hot as your oven can get) on the middle rack for about 8 minutes depending on how hot your oven is.
Recipe for Pizza Crust
I apologize, I do not know the original source. This recipe comes via my mother-in-law.
1 1/4 cups water, warm
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon yeast
If using a bread machine, pour in water and oil. Add flour, spreading over entire bowl. In one corner, add yeast. In the opposite, add salt. Set on dough setting, which should complete the first kneading and rising.
Remove dough onto floured surface. Knead to work out the gas the yeast produces. Divide dough into two or three parts. Roll out very thin with a rolling pin. Allow to rise one hour.
Top and bake pizza at 500 degrees or as hot as your oven gets for 8-9 minutes or until the crust is nicely brown and the bottom is baked. Mine actually takes 11 minutes. Guess my oven isn't the strongest.
Two Sundays ago, we did the Ride for Ronald. We rode only the 30 mile leg. (The other options were 60 and 100 miles. We do know people who did the hundred.) But at the half way point, I was so hyped that I wanted to do the 60. I overheard someone else asking if anyone knew the route for the 60. Guess he wanted to keep going, too. But since we didn't know the route, we stayed on the 30 mile trek. Praise God the weather was lovely. Not as hot as it could have been. It was a great day for a ride
I have two words for you. Dorm. Room. This is totally a recipe I'd like to send to my dear cousins off at college as soon as it gets cool enough that these wonderful items don't melt or fall apart before they get there. And if you're lucky enough to have a fridge in your room (we did, even in high school), you can totally make this recipe in your dorm room and be a hit on your hall.
Not once but twice this week, I have dropped a full plastic container of something. . .honestly don't even know what cause I was afraid to look. . .out of the freezer and onto my right foot. Fortunately, it wasn't my left foot, which I already broke while pregnant nearly two years ago. And fortunately, the boxes didn't land in exactly the same place each time. I'm pretty sure the second opportunity was successful at breaking a toe. Luckily, that appears to be all.
Below is a guest post by a good friend who is using Eat Like a Rabbit as an inspiration for cooking new foods and for eating better. I'm glad that she shares a recipe that is out of my comfort zone. This recipe originates far away from the Cajun swamp where I grew up.
Recipe for Gado Gado by Fely Rugless
1 head cabbage, shredded
1 bag frozen cut peas and carrots, preferably just carrots
1 bag frozen French cut green beans
1 bag diced potatoes
1 can bean sprouts, actually preferably fresh sprouts
1 block tofu, cubed
1/2 cup of reduced fat chunky peanut butter
Steam cabbage until wilted, but still crisp. Steam frozen vegetables in microwave or in pan until tender but still crisp. Pan fry tofu in oil until golden and crispy. Mix sauce and peanut butter. Create a bar for assembling Gado Gado. Top with Sauce and a handful of peanuts
Our gym has had this sign up outside their kid care area all summer, and I finally remembered to take a picture of it. It's such a powerful statement for teaching kids (and even adults) to make healthy choices. The road may be curved like the tire tracks, which means it takes focus, but it can start any time. Now even! It will be a better road to a better lifestyle. And if you happen to like driving, especially on twisty roads, then it should be quite fun!
1/2 lb. (or box) long, thin pasta (spaghetti or the like)
1 1/2 T butter (Think I left this out as my pasta wasn't fresh.)
1/2 cup grated Pecorino
3 T bread crumbs
6 T Olive oil
Stir butter into pasta cooked to al dente and drained. Combine eggs, cheese, and bread crumbs in bowl and stir in pasta. Heat the oil over medium heat in a wide skillet. Using a fork, twist sections of the spaghetti into "nests" as large as you can make them. Cook the nests in the oil 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on each side. I used a smaller skillet and made two batches so they wouldn't cool between servings.
We're back to just the three of us this week. I thoroughly enjoyed my in-laws being in town. My MIL made me try a few things, and I'm glad she did. The biggest thing I learned was that you can add a little sour cream to a peach pie to make some amazing filling. I even brought her to yoga for her first time!
My mother-in-law, an artist, put this plate together. I'm so glad Nora likes asparagus. I was quite a deal older than her (by, like, 20 years) before I tried asparagus, and it's a big favorite of mine. Glad she's getting an early start.
This is one of those super-easy recipes. Well, easy if you can figure out how to make a super-thin crepe without holes in it. But hey, I got a few perfect ones. And as long as you ahem are not needing to take pictures, it'll still taste good, right?
Combine ingredients in blender and blend on high until smooth. Scrape edges if necessary.
Walnut Sauce Recipe from New York Times (See Above)
Grill 1 1/2 pounds asparagus or steam over boiling water.
Grease a 6- or 7-inch nonstick pan on medium or medium-high until hot. (You want it to sizzle bread crumbs.) Pour just shy of 1/4 cup batter into pan. Gently tilt pan in all directions until the batter is thin and covers the entire area of the pan. Cook until batter is set and crepe is golden brown. Flip and brown the other side just a few seconds. Remove crepe to plate. Place 4 or 6 asparagus stems in the crepe, roll, and dress with walnut sauce and grated Pecorino cheese.
This reminds me of a lady having a spa day. Just hope she looks better than this when it's over with.
The curls are pinto beans with foil made of chips. Cucumber eye slices with dots of yogurt in the middle, and a warm neck pillow of mashed potatoes complete the relaxing environment. And luckily, after a hearty meal like this, Nora napped and I had an hour-long relaxing environment.
Fill a pot with water and place a steaming basket on top. I actually use my pasta pot and allow a touch of water to come into the holes in the bottom of the pan. Bring the water to a boil. With tongs, place the okra in the pot and steam until very soft when pinched with the tongs. These large okra stems took about 10 minutes. When okra is done, remove and plate. Drizzle fresh lemon juice on top and sprinkle with kosher salt. Small ones classify as finger food. Larger ones may require a fork and knife. By the way, the tops aren't so tasty. Use them as the handle and leave them behind.
What was so great about these was how tender they were fresh out of the garden. Most of the time, this size doesn't steam well and gets really stringy.
While my kale was in great shape even after I bagged it for a week, I cooked it instead of serving it fresh and raw. I sauteed it with onions and stirred in the beans. Since I'd never cooked it before, Paul thought it might not have been cooked completely. But it didn't hurt the flavor. We ate on leftovers a couple more days.
We had Nora's 18 month well-baby check-up today. We also had a new pediatrician. There was nothing wrong with the old one. But she had a family emergency, and we met the fill-in pediatrician. She said there's a new principle for children that they are trying to drum into parents' heads. I liked the idea. And it occurred to me the more I thought about it that it isn't just for children.