Monday, February 24, 2014

Julia Child's French Omelets & Menu Monday, February 24

I first learned how to make omelets last year when I had borrowed a bunch of Julia Child's "French Chef" DVD's from our local library.   My family thought it was funny that I'd sit at the computer and watch her... until they started tasting wonderful things like gratin dauphinois, mousse au chocolat, and French-style sauteed vegetables like "best ever" broccoli.  

Back to omelets.  They are relatively easy to make, economical, as well as nourishing.  I love to make omelets as a way to use up leftovers.  

The other day, one of my gems mentioned that it's been a while since I made them.  So, here they are on this week's menu.

By the way, although my omelets don't look as beautiful as Julia's, they aren't too bad... all using an 8" cast iron skillet.

MondayOmelets with creamed spinach; salade de carrottes; fried potatoes
Tuesday: Cajun chicken wings; mushroom risotto; Caesar salad
Wednesday: Pork chops; mashed garlic cauliflower; green beans with bacon 
Thursday: Hamburger patties with avocado slices; brown rice; browned butter sauteed carrot & spinach medley
Friday: Salad with vinaigrette; fresh fish; red potatoes; sauteed fresh vegetables; detox macaroons

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Free Shipping This Weekend at Tropical Traditions!

Who doesn't love free shipping?  This weekend, Tropical Traditions is offering FREE SHIPPING through midnight (EST) February 24 on orders of just $12.99 or more.   

Be sure to enter the coupon code 24214!

Tropical Traditions is my go-to source for high quality coconut oils, shredded coconut for homemade coconut milk, macaroons, etc.  They also have the most wonderful certified-organic raw honey that is currently offered at 50% and so much more! 

Go check them out if you haven't already.  And if you do go there by clicking on any of my links, you help me to earn rewards for my family from Tropical Traditions.  So, thanks in advance!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Menu Monday, February 17

Miss Reilly shooting offhand
Last week was busy and this week is promising to reach new levels of crazy.  Between Valentine's Day, friends over for dinner on Sunday, and a "full" but productive work week, we had something really awesome to celebrate.

Our daughter, who is 12, just earned her Distinguished Expert rating and successfully completed our local range's NRA Junior Marksman program with an open-sight .22 rifle.  She is the youngest girl in our club to have accomplished this!  We are so proud of her commitment and professionalism.  She is an amazing young lady.

Monday: Crustless salmon quiche; creamed spinach; zesty orange salad   
Tuesday: Mexican rice bowls; mixed veggie slaw
Wednesday: Chicken strips; roasted broccoli, cauliflower & red potato wedges with Parmesan; Caesar salad
Thursday: Hamburger patties with avocado slices; brown rice; browned butter sauteed carrot & spinach medley
Friday: Leek puree; fresh fish; gratin dauphinois; sauteed fresh vegetables with toasted almonds; lemon & green tea sorbet
Saturday: White chicken chili; cornbread; green salad

Monday, February 10, 2014

Menu Monday, February 10 daughter and I are dying to try this recipe for Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles from Megan @ Detoxinista.  If they are a hit, we will be adding that to the menu for her pre-Bat Barakah Tea.  I'll be sharing more about that soon.

In the meantime, if you are looking for a great, sugar-free way to celebrate and affirm your kiddos on V-day, check this out.

How do you like to celebrate Valentine's Day?

MondayVegetable beef stir-fry
Tuesday: Baked pork chops with white wine sauce; roasted broccoli, cauliflower & red potato wedges with Parmesan; Caesar salad
Wednesday: Mexican roasted potato casserole; mixed veggie slaw
ThursdayMaple bacon-wrapped chicken breasts; brown rice; green salad
Friday: Valentine's Day menu
Saturday: Minestrone soup; sprouted flour buttermilk biscuits; mixed veggie salad with vinaigrette (didn't have last week)

Valentine's Day Dinner Menu

Valentine's Day is a wonderful excuse to indulge in some truly decadent delights!  And because Valentine's Day falls on Friday this year, we get to celebrate one of our favorite holidays on our special night of the week.

I prefer to make dinner instead of making reservations because I love the relaxed atmosphere that we can create at home.  Also with a little planning, you can have a scrumptious meal without much last-minute cooking.  So if you are planning a special dinner, I hope our menu helps you create a memorable occasion.

Red Potatoes with Butter, Chives, and Sour Cream
Flash-Blanched Seasonal Vegetables sauteed in Browned Butter with Toasted Almonds
Red Wine (Merlot is my fave...)
 Iced Water with Fresh Lemon Slices

Friday, February 7, 2014

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake is one of those desserts that have the ability to make you feel special.  They do take a little extra time, mostly for chilling, but are worth it.

This recipe is one of our Valentine's Day favorites. 

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
Makes (1) 9” cheesecake
Raspberry topping:
  • 1 C frozen raspberries
  • 2 T turbinado
  • 2 t arrowroot
  • 1/2 C water
  • 2 C white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 C pastured cream
  •  3 - 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C turbinado
  • 3 pastured eggs
  • 1 t vanilla 
Optional:  Whipped cream and/or shaved white chocolate for garnish
NOTE: Eggs, cream, & cream cheese should be at room temperature before mixing.  Do not over mix batter.
  1. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9" springform pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together crust ingredients.  Press mixture into the bottom of the prepared.
  3. In a saucepan, combine raspberries, 2 T turbinado, arrowroot, and water. Bring to boil, and continue boiling 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  
  5. In a glass or stainless steel bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt white chocolate chips with cream, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  6. Place turbinado in blender.  Pulse until powdered.
  7. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and powdered turbinado until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, just until incorporated. Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate.
  8. Pour half of batter over crust. 
  9. Spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over batter. 
  10. Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and again spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top. 
  11. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.
  12. Using a large piece of foil, wrap foil around the bottom of the springform pan and place in a large roasting pan.  Then fill the roasting pan with boiling water until it comes up about half way up the springform pan.
  13. Bake for 60 minutes. 
  14. Turn oven off and open the oven door (about 2 inches), allowing cheesecake to sit in the oven for another 60 minutes.
  15. Cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 8 hours before removing from pan. 
  16. Before serving, allow to come to room temperature.  Serve with remaining raspberry sauce.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sprouted Wheat Chocolate Wafers
Mine never come out this perfectly, but who cares!
If you are reading this recipe, you are like me.  You desire to make as much of the food that your
family eats with real food ingredients.

These chocolate wafers are just like those crispy cookies you might buy at the store when you are planning to make a chocolate crust, like for a cheesecake, or for making ice cream sandwiches.  They aren't difficult to make, but they do require some extra planning because of the time the dough firms up in the fridge.

Chocolate Wafers
Makes about 36 cookies
  • 1 C sprouted soft white flour
  • 1/2 C organic raw cacao powder, sifted
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 6 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 C sucanat
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  •  1 pastured egg white
  1. Place flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, whisking to combine.
  2. In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, mix butter until smooth.
  3. Add sucanat and vanilla to butter.  Mix at high speed for about 1 minute until creamy.
  4. Add egg white and beat to combine.
  5. Add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  6. Place cookie batter on a clean counter and with your hands, roll into a log about 9" long with an even thickness and as flat as you can get the ends.
  7. Place dough log on a sheet of waxed paper, rolling it up and sealing the ends.
  8. Place dough in refrigerator to chill several hours or overnight.  The dough should be very firm at this point so it is easy to slice.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  10. Place a Silpat mat on a cookie sheet (or use a piece of parchment paper).
  11. Using a sharp knife, slice dough into 1/4" slices.  
  12. Place unbaked cookies on the prepared cookie sheet about 1" apart.
  13. Bake for about 12 minutes until cookie has puffed up and has little cracks on the top.  Allow to cool on cookie sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Herb Butter Something as simple as a dollop of herbed butter topping a perfectly grilled, pastured steak can turn something ho-hum into something worthy of your favorite steak restaurant.  All without having to take a second mortgage on the house.

Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Herb Butter
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • 4 pastured rib-eye steaks, each about 1 inch thick 
  •  Fresh cracked black pepper
Herb butter:
  • 3 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 T snipped fresh chives
  • 1 T minced fresh rosemary 
  1. 24-48 hours prior, lightly salt steaks, front and back.  Wrap in a tea towel or other thin cloth.  Place in a single layer on a rimmed cookie sheet and refrigerate.
  2. 30 minutes before grilling, take steaks out of refrigerator and set on counter.  Also take butter out to come to room temperature.
  3. When butter has softened, add the chives and rosemary.  Mix together.
  4. Just before grilling the steaks, drizzle both sides of the steaks with olive oil.  Rub oil into meat.  Grill as you prefer.
  5. When steaks are done, allow them to rest for about 5-10 minutes before cutting.  This will allow the steak to retain its juices.
  6. Just before serving, place a dollop of the herb butter on top of each freshly grilled/broiled steak.
  7. Top each steak with freshly cracked black pepper

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bacon-Wrapped Blue Cheese-Stuffed Medjool Dates

These little tidbits are so wonderful.  If you don't like blue cheese, you may stuff them with chevre or a mild, young blue cheese.

Bacon-Wrapped Dated with Blue Cheese
Makes  about 32 appetizers

  • 1 lb. sliced bacon, cut in half long-wise
  • 1 lb. Medjool dates, pitted
  •  4 oz. blue cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F .
  2. Slice dates in half, and open them up. Pinch off pieces of blue cheese, and place them into the center of the dates. Close the halves of the dates, and wrap a half-slice of bacon around the outside. Secure each one with a toothpick. Arrange in a baking dish or on a baking sheet with sides to catch any grease.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bacon is crisp. Turn dates over after the first 20 minutes for even cooking.