Saturday, January 24, 2015

Swag Soup and first video

Hey!  It has been awhile since I posted anything.  I love the winter and all the cooking and baking I am able to do -- it keeps the house warm and cozy and fills everyone with healthy food and the feeling of love.

I love to make soup -- and eat soup -- and a favorite soup of ours is "Swag" Soup.  It is like a minestrone, but so much more.

I took the liberty of "trying" to film the making of Swag Soup -- so I hope this works out.
I did forget to mention the chopped mushrooms in the ingredient list.

Let me know what you think!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Catering 101

The office I work at has monthly unit lunch meetings.  Sometimes it is a "pay $5 - get pizza", sometimes a theme, like this month's "Pre-Season Kick Off featuring chicken wangs."  The wings are being provided, but there is a sign up sheet for sides, beverages and desserts.  I decided to make Antipasto Kebabs as a side and Lemon Blueberry cookies for dessert.

The kebabs idea came from a Pinterest post that I saw.  Great idea and the combinations are limitless if you use your imagination.  I used black and green olives, quartered artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, pepperoni/provolone on some, salami/fresh mozzarella on others, pepperoncini, and tri-colored cheese tortellini.  I made a vinaigrette with basil and parmesan cheese and sprinkled that over.  Looks fabulous!

The cookie idea came to me in the store.  I saw a box of lemon cake mix and thought "how refreshing - lemon cake mix" then a light went on: what if I made my famous cake mix cookies (usually made with yellow cake mix and chocolate chips) but I used lemon cake mix and dried blueberries?

I do say, that was a brilliant idea on my part.  They are soft, moist, just the right tart/sweet taste.  Great summertime cookie and super easy to make. All it takes is 1 box of cake mix, 2 eggs, 2 tsp water, 1/4 cup oil and then your add in...could be chips, raisins (mmm, spice cake mix with raisins), dried cranberries, dried blueberries, sprinkles....roll into balls the size of walnuts, bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

What is your favorite food to take to pot lucks or parties?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chicken Tenders SMACKDOWN!

This weekend we had the fun of having one of my son's friends over for a sleepover.  After a great day on the beach, then home to tend to a little sunburn - we had to make dinner for 2 hungry boys and a growing teen daughter. What to make?  Personally, I was craving chicken tenders - so I decided to satisfy my taste buds and hit the local Food Lion to pick some up.The kids were excited to be part of a food SMACKDOWN so that convinced them to want chicken tenders!

The 2 brands vying for my attention were Perdue and Tyson.  There were  other brands available as well, but they weren't "real" chicken tenders, they were more pressed/processed chicken parts -- I wanted the real deal.
Tyson, with their bright red packaging and a lovely photo of the tasty chicken tenders - $7.49 for a 25 oz. bag.  Perdue and their trademark blue packaging - newly adding green to the mix for the whole grain aspect of their food product.  Perdue is $7.99 for a 25 oz. package.  The two brands are so similar in their preparation and nutritional analysis we are truly comparing apples to apples. Both are real chicken coated with whole grain wheat flour according to the packaging. 

For this SMACKDOWN we were judging purely on taste - the moistness of the chicken, the flavor of the breading, the crunch factor.

I used a serving platter and labeled one side A and placed the Tyson brand on side A.  Side B of the serving platter held the Perdue brand. 

Side by side, the Tyson breading looked puffier and crunchier, while the Perdue was kind of flat on the surface - making the visual winner Tyson.  We do eat with our eyes - and all 3 children commented that the "tenders on side A of the plate looked crunchier than those on side B of the plate."  

Next judging was size.  Both Tyson and Perdue tenders were proportionately similar.  A tie!

Then initial crunch was judged:  The tenders on side A looked crunchier - and they were crunchier.  I even got "shushed" to listen to the crunch of the side A tenders versus the side B tenders.  Tyson wins.

Finally, taste was judged.  All 3 kids agreed that the tenders on side A tasted better.  They all liked the flavor of the crunchy breading and the moist and tender chicken inside.  They also agreed that the tenders on side B of the plate had a kind of "spicy" taste - which I think they are referring to a paprika or peppery taste.  The chicken was also dry.  Tyson wins on taste.

I agree with the test panel on all accounts - the Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips wins the first SMACKDOWN.

Do you have a favorite brand of something that you would like me to do a SMACKDOWN?  Let me know and I will feature your favorite product on a future SMACKDOWN!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Where I'm at...

I figured out how to make something and pin it I wasn't that bored....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

First Concert

Cello Section

Saturday night was the kids first concert.  We never took them to see Barney, the Doodlebops or Dora on Ice....I guess we "deprived" them (ha ha)

We went to Salisbury University to see the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra "A Bach & Mozart Celebration".  It was fantastic.

I managed to snap a few pics...

  • Mozart Clarinet Concerto Les Nicholas, clarinet  - Mr. Nicholas gave a PHENOMENAL performance!
  • Sachi and Francis
  • J.S. Bach Double Concerto for 2 violins
    Francis’c Restesan, violin
    Sachiho Murasugi, violin
The duet played was tremendous.  Very moving.
  • J.S. Bach Orchestral Suite No. 1
  • Mozart Symphony No. 2

If you want to visit their website, go here:

The kids loved the show and we had a great time.  We went out for dinner prior to the show and had dessert after the show.  Some nice "blue-haired" lady told daughter that she looked "exquisite" and that made the girl feel super-special!

Daddy & his exquisite girl
The kids were on their BEST behavior...
Me & MSB
a good time was had by all.

(okay, it wasn't RUSH, Porcupine Tree or Transatlantic...but we will get there!)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Something Important

Some people have a gift of enlightenment.  Some people have something important to say.
Jeff Bethke is one of those individuals who has been blessed with insight.

I share what I feel makes a big impact -- and here it is:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Falafel Friday!

Friday was Falafel Friday!  My husband really wanted me to make falafels (again) and I wanted to experiment a little by making them from scratch.  In the past I have made them from a box, but that limits us to just hubby and I eating them, since most mixes are processed in a plant that may have cross-contamination with nuts -- and then our daughter cannot eat them.

So, I found out how incredibly easy it is to make falafels from scratch.  Husband now says that I made a big mistake, because now he wants me to make them all the time!

First you rinse and drain a can of chick peas.  Then you mix them with parsley, onions, salt/pepper, cumin, garlic and a little lemon juice, about 2 tablespoons of flour (whole wheat flour in our house - of course!)  Mash all that goodness together.

Roll into balls. 

then fry them for 5 to 7 minutes (you can also bake them, but I have a good deep fryer, so I used that.)

I also made homemade hummus (which in my head I call it "yhummus!" because it is so good), and tzatziki sauce (cucumbers diced up with my homemade yogurt, lemon juice, dill weed and garlic) -- served it all on whole wheat flatbread with lettuce, tomato and hot sauce. 

I'm glad I have pictures to prove that I made this -- it was all gone in about 30 minutes!