Monday, February 28, 2011

Gooey-Mess Cookies

Don't expect these semi-sweet bars to remain defined once they are cut out of the dish! I made these for the Academy Awards last night.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil buttery spread
3/4 cup egg-substitute
1/2 cup sugar-substitute
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil buttery spread
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
white chocolate chips
sliced almonds

I originally planned to use dark corn syrup, but the bottle was unopened so I decided to use the already-opened bottle of light corn syrup instead. No nutritional differences. But my grandmother informed me that the light corn syrup has a "lighter" flavor. Which probably goes better with white chocolate and almonds. (The original recipe calls for semi-sweet chocolate and pecans--so I think the switch to light corn syrup was a good one--even if unplanned.)

Combine flour, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup buttery spread in bowl. Mix until crumbly. I had to use my hands since the brown sugar I used was in hard chunks. The only negative was that I got buttery spread on my hair tie that was around my wrist.

Press into a greased baking pan. I used the buttery spread that was left in the measuring cup. Again I used my hands to spread it--since they were already covered in flour and butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. 

Whisk egg-substitute, sugar substitute, corn syrup, buttery spread and vanilla in bowl. When I say whisk--I mean use a whisk--the knife wasn't getting the job done.

Add desired amount of white chocolate chips and almonds.

Pour over the baked crust. And please remember that the baking dish has been in a 350 degree oven--DO NOT grab it with bare hands--it hurts. And the liquid separates from the chocolate and almonds, so spread them out evenly on top of the crust. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

When done remove from oven and allow to cool COMPLETELY. Why "completely" you ask--because when it first comes out, it looks like this:

Not good.

I didn't cut it until it looked like this:

And it was still gooey.

So how was it?

SOOOOO unhealthy for me! And I was at a party, so I ate a lot of them--along with other cookies. Blaaaahhh.

Definitely gooey. The crust only does a moderate job holding it together.

Semi-sweet. None of the flavors where too overwhelming. Which was nice because white chocolate is often too strong.

And for socks..... I know it is not St. Patrick's Day yet, but I couldn't resist--I was wearing green and these are my only green socks.

Plus they go wonderfully with the shoes. Haha. Just kidding!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home June/July 2005

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Carrot Plus ? Bars

Uh.... The really random dessert bar.....

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar-substitute
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 oz carrot baby food
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup egg-substitute
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
cooking spray

In mixing-bowl, combine ingredients in order given (except cooking spray). If you notice in the picture, the only artificial sweetener I had at my grandparents' house was individually packaged Splenda. It took me FOREVER to pour out all of the sweetener. Then I didn't have enough so I added some Totally Light Two Go drink mix packets. I added cranberry pomegranate, mixed berry pomegranate, and lemonade. So this is what I am referring to when I wrote "plus ?"

Grease 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour mixture into pan. Even out. 

I didn't do a very good job of the because mine cracked in the middle. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness with toothpick (done if it comes out clean).

Once again, I cut the bars into small pieces. Packaged them in twos and froze them.

Did I like it?

Wow was the cranberry flavor STRONG! It is extremely sweet--almost tart. Too be honest, it is so sweet that I don't really like it.

Very moist. Actually, it is kind of rubbery. I am not sure why that is.....

I guess this is kind of a fail. But at least I won't binge on it!


Recipe adapted from Taste of Home Feb/Mar 2000

Friday, February 25, 2011

Zesty Veggies, Beans, and Pasta

One of the most flavorful dinners I have cooked so far!

6-8 ounces whole-grain pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 large sweet red pepper, chopped
1/2 large sweet green pepper, chopped
3 fork-fulls minced garlic
6 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
14-16 ounces fresh kale, chopped
1 cup fresh coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
black pepper
2% milk cheddar cheese, shredded

Cook pasta. I added a little table salt to the water. I also undercooked it so that I could leave it in the hot water to stay warm without overcooking the pasta. 

Heat oil in skillet. Saute onion and peppers until soft. Add garlic and saute. I finished the container, so I just dumped the whole thing in--this added some extra liquid. Add kale and coriander in small amounts, allowing it to cook down before adding more. It is amazing how much it cooked down. The skillet would have been overflowing if I had added it all at once.

Add tomatoes and beans. Simmer, uncovered, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in salt, lemon juice, and pepper. 

Plate pasta first. Then top with desired amount of cheese. Then top with veggie and bean mixture. Then sprinkle more cheese on top!

How was it?

DELICIOUS!! I feel part of it was because I used 2% cheese instead of fat-free. But my nutritionist is encouraging me to eat more balanced. And someone else pointed out that eating fat-free cheese is really unnatural because cheese naturally has fat added to it. 

The dish really was bursting with flavor. I was very pleased with it. The pasta and the beans make it hearty enough to be filling. 

And I made sure I only filled my plate once! So no binging on it.

P.S. Awful body-image lately. The binging has helped me to put on a lot of weight. My doctor is happy. But I am not so sure. But I must not restrict. I must not backslide. I just need to convert the possible fat to muscle!

Socks for the day......

One of my favorite pair. And I even have them on the correct feet!

Recipe adapted from Reader's Digest One Dish Meals The Easy Way

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Everything Loaf

Here is a loaf of bread that is a mixture between a bread and a dessert loaf.

2 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup chopped pineapple
4 egg whites
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup margarine
6 oz white grape peach juice from concentrate
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup chopped dates
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
cooking spray

Still using my grandmother's kitchen, and using ingredients found in her house.....

Mix in order given (except cooking spray). Grease two 5x9 inch loaf pans with cooking spray. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes. Check for doneness with toothpick. If toothpick comes out clean, loaf is done.

So.....the taste....?

Interesting. There was no sugar added so the bread was not as sweet as I was expecting. It is very moist--probably because of all the FAT--I do not like cooking with solid lipids, but I decided to give it a try this time.

For some reason, one of the loaves would not come out of the pan. So I ended up breaking it. All well, it all ends up in the stomach anyway.

I got smart about the whole binging thing this time. I cut the loaves into smaller pieces. I then place two pieces in individual baggies. Finally, I placed them in the freezer! This way I will have to plan ahead in order to eat the bread. And the worst I can do in a binging mood is eat two pieces instead of the whole loaf.

Another type of sock.....

 Recipe adapted from The Saturday Evening Post Family Cookbook

Homemade Applesauce

For my mother...

6 Gala apples
3/4 cup water
apple pie spice


So I've been house-sitting for my grandparents, and I found this awesome-looking apple-peeler-corer-slicer. And it was even more awesome to use!!


Stab apple at one end. Turn crank. Simple as that!

The slicer, slices the apples in a corkscrew manner.

So I then chopped the apples the rest of the way.

Combine water and apples in saucepan. Cook covered for 10 minutes on medium heat. Then cook covered for another 20 minutes on high heat.

Mash with potato-masher.

Add apple pie spice to taste. Apple pie spice contains cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

So how was it?

DELICIOUS! Because I used Gala apples, the applesauce was naturally sweet. And it felt decadent to eat the applesauce warm.

Socks..... (I'm adding a bunch of these on one day.....and I am only going to wear one pair of socks....)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nutty Buckwheat Cassarole

1 cup crushed buckwheat kernels (kasha/kashi)
1/4 cup egg subsititute
extra virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots, thickly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cup veggie stock
1 medium yellow squash, thickly sliced
1 medium zucchini, thickly sliced
1 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
1/2 cup grated fat-free cheese

Mix kasha and egg-substitute in a small bowl. Spoon mixture into skillet and cook until kasha is dry. Remove from heat.

Heat oil in casserole dish and saute carrots and onion. Then add mushrooms, salt, and thyme. Saute.

Add veggie stock. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

Add yellow squash and zucchini to top of casserole, cover, cook for 10 more minutes.

Stir in peanuts and cheese.

So how was it?

The peanuts were the strongest flavor. Everything else was pretty bland. I did not taste the thyme at all.

The kasha was satisfying to eat, but had a very mild flavor.

Once again, I ATE TOO MUCH. What is wrong with me? Why do I binge on food? It is not like I loved it. So now my stomach hurts. I have no self-control what-so-ever. And why do I admit that, but do nothing about it? Because I am avoiding the problem--I am not admitting it to myself. If I really admitted it to myself, I would pre-portion the food I am going to eat so that binging is not even an option. Geez, Jaime--get out of your fantasy world.

Socks..... More exciting than they have been!

Recipe adapted from Reader's Digest One Dish Meals The Easy Way

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oatmeal Cookies--Grandma Style

I decided to cook with my grandmother today. This is her mother's version of an old-time classic.

1 cup margarine
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups oatmeal
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
chopped dates (optional)
butterscotch chips (optional)

The margarine is simply an option for some sort of fat. My grandmother said that we could have used Crisco or oil as well. If using stick fat, either warm or break into chunks. Place in mixer.

Add brown sugar. Brown sugar must be packed into the measuring cup. My grandmother and I make an awesome team: I pour the sugar, and she packs it down with a spoon. Cream brown sugar and margarine together.

Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well. According to my grandmother, this means at a speed of 4-6 for about 3-5 minutes.

I thought it was well-beaten here:

But my grandmother made me wait until the mixture looked like this (there is a big difference):

In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Then add to the moist mixture. This is necessary to ensure even mixing of baking soda and salt. Stir well....aka: build LOTS of muscle in your arm! Add vanilla, dates, and butterscotch chips. Build more muscle. The original recipe also calls for 1/4 cup of milk to be added here, but my grandmother does not add that.

Place on a greased (with margarine papers) baking sheets. Bake at 375-degrees for 10 minutes. The high temperature and short time creates a cookie that is crunchy on the outside yet soft on the inside.

So how were they?

I have a horrible confession to make: I did not try them. I am sorry! I was too scared. And I am having a poor body-image day. My nutritionist might call this anorexic behavior--all well.

The socks of the day: feminine John Deere--in memory of my farming roots.