Friday, August 26, 2011

Peanut butter ice cream topping

This is good!

It's from Karma Farrer - a fellow West Indies missionary.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Topping

(yield: 2 3/4 cups)

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine

pinch salt
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Combine brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt in 1½ qt. microwavable baking dish.
Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes or until mixture boils, stirring twice. Add
peanut butter; stir until smooth. Stir in evaporated milk. Serve warm over ice cream.
Cover and store in refrigerator. Reheat in microwave.

Note: Can use creamy peanut butter and add peanuts, or use chunky peanut butter and
you may not want additional peanuts. In place of corn syrup in Trinidad, you could use
Gold Syrup. This can also be used as a sauce for cake or other desserts.

5 beauty-juice drinks

This is to balance out all the chocolate recipes I've been posting lately.

From today's Daily Candy email:

Super Eight
Loaded with chlorophyll, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids, the veggies-only juice is a serious feast.
1 kale leaf
1 collard leaf
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
½ red pepper
1 tomato
1 broccoli floret
1 handful parsley

Brighten Up
Do away with dull skin glass by antioxidant-packed glass.
4 carrots
1 handful parsley
1 handful spinach
½ apple

All Clear
Calm irritated skin with a swig of a bromelain-rich, anti-inflammatory cooler.
1 c. pineapple
½ cucumber
½ apple

Beat the Sweets
Stave off the sugar munchies with a satisfying sip packed with vitamin C and a little zing.
4 carrots
½ apple
Ginger to taste

Mrs. Clean
The fruit-and-veg liquid powerhouse not only flushes toxins from your system but curbs salt cravings as well. Pick the variation that’s right for you based on your personal taste and experience in the juicing department.

Level One
4 celery stalks
1/3 cucumber
1 bunch parsley
1 apple
1 lemon
Ginger to taste

Level Two
4 celery stalks
1 bunch parsley
2 handfuls spinach
2 carrots
1 apple
1 bunch cilantro
1 lemon
Ginger to taste

Level Three
4 celery stalks
1 bunch parsley
2 handfuls spinach
1/3 cucumber
2 carrots
1 beet
1 kale leaf
1 lemon
Ginger to taste

Let me know if you try any of these

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chocolate German pancakes

We've been making what we call "German Pancakes" in our family forever - and I just now found out they're also known as Dutch babies.

Here's our original recipe:

German Pancakes

1 cup milk
1 cup flour
6 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 Tbs butter.

Mix all ingredients except for butter in blender. Preheat oven to 450. Put butter in a glass pie pan or casserole dish and put in oven until butter melts. Then pour in batter and bake until it puffs up and is golden - 15-20 minutes. We like to drizzle it with fresh lemon juice and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Now here's the chocolate version from

Chocolate Dutch Baby

3/4 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a blender, combine milk, eggs, flour, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and granulated sugar. Blend until foamy, 1 minute. In a large cast-iron skillet (I think a glass dish would work), melt butter over medium. Pour batter into skillet and immediately transfer to oven. Bake until puffed and set, 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.

Someone try this and let me know how it tastes!

Ok - I tried this recipe and it's delicious.

Here's my pictures:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

5 minute ice cream

Yes really!

And it is the best ice cream ever!

You can get the recipe and see a video here.

You need a good strong blender like a vitamix. Just add a package of frozen fruit (12-14 oz), 1/2 cup or less of sugar, and 2/3 cup cream, yogurt, coconut milk or soy milk (I'm going to try out skim milk soon). Then just blend until relatively smooth. It will be soft serve but you can freeze it for a few hours if you like firmer ice cream.

Here's the flavors we've tried:

Mango - fabulous (reminds me of the 4 mango trees we had in our yard during our mission)

Cherry with a drop of almond extract - my husbands absolute favorite. It's unbelievable with hot fudge sauce - tastes like a chocolate covered cherry.

Apricot - cream is great and I tried using plain yogurt and less sugar to make it tart. Loved it!

Chocolate banana - delicious. I just added 3 TBS of good quality cocoa powder.

That's all for now but I have fresh pineapple chunks in the freezer to try that flavor next.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Caprese parfaits

Isn't this a wonderful idea?

It's from one of my favorite food blogs: Apron Strings

Caprese Parfaits

A pint or so of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
A cup or so of basil, chiffonaded
16 ounces or so of fresh mozzarella, sliced and then cut into wedges
1/2 cup or so prepared pesto (optional; also fine with olive oil alone)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

If you’re using the pesto, add a few tablespoons of olive oil to make it more pourable. Aside from that, my only advice is to layer in the order of tomatoes – mozzarella – basil and then drizzle a bit of pesto, if using. If not, this is where a touch of olive oil comes in for each layer. Repeat until glasses are full. Top with the prettiest tendrils of your chiffonade.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Turmeric - the spice that may prevent Alzheimers

This article caught my eye today. I think we need to use more Turmeric (curcumin).

A few quotes:

In India, the smell of turmeric, the bright yellow spice used in curries, fills almost every restaurant and home. Indians eat turmeric because they like it, but rapidly growing evidence indicates that the spice is giving them much more than flavor. Thousands of years ago, Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine recognized turmeric as a healing agent for everything from flatulence to liver disease. Now research demonstrates that properties of this zesty spice may be useful for lowering rates of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers, and also for treating breast cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and possibly cystic fibrosis. But even newer and especially exciting research concerns the relationship between turmeric and Alzheimer’s disease.

There is yet more good news about curcumin’s power to prevent and even fight Alzheimer’s disease. Elevated cholesterol is thought to be involved in the development of Alzheimer’s—and studies demonstrate that curcumin reduces cholesterol. In one study, healthy volunteers took 500 mg of curcumin supplements every day for one week. Result: Reduced levels of total cholesterol and also lipid peroxides (markers of free radical damage to fats).

I encourage all my patients, especially those over age 50, to consume one or two teaspoons a day of turmeric.

How to use Turmeric?
Curry is the most popular use. I'll search out some recipes

I just found this Time Magazine article:  Can Turmeric Relieve Pain? One Doctor's Opinion

Bottom line? Yes it works.

Fat free, low cal salad dressing

Heres a recipe for salad dressing from my Dr Weil newsletter today.

Someone try it out and let us know if it is good.

Tomato Red Pepper Salad Dressing

This rosy, zesty salad dressing is great on a bed of leafy greens, sliced cucumbers and fresh mozzarella cheese. It is virtually fat free and therefore very low in calories. It also keeps well in the refrigerator for at least a week.

1 small (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
1 whole roasted red pepper or pimento from a jar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender container. Blend until well mixed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Almost instant molten chocolate cake

You can make a warm chocolate cake in less than 5 mins and only mess up one small dish - yes!

Whisk 1/4 cup flour, 5 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons milk, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and a dash each of vanilla extract and salt in a large mug until smooth. Microwave until puffed, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with more cocoa powder. (From Food Network Magazine, April 2011, p.93)

Yay Reid for posting this!

He and Jamie were painting the exercise room and I wanted to make them a treat. I had just reorganized my magazine clippings into a file and came across this very quick and easy warm chocolate cake. I doubled the recipe and it made enough for all three of us.

PS - I've heard you can add some chocolate chips or a spoon full of peanut butter to the middle of the cake, before microwaving.  Maybe you could try it with a mini version of your favorite chocolate bar (Mounds in the middle....yummy).

Yes Joelle - it's delicious! Using good quality cocoa of course (Sharffen Berger for me).  Watch that you don't over cook it. Mine was a tiny bit too firm.

Spicy beanburgers

Someone try this recipe from the Boden blog - and let us know how it tastes.

Serves 2
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 small, hot red chilli, finely chopped
100g (4oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 x 400g (14oz) tin cannellini beans
50g (2oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chopped
Fresh coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve
Burger buns
Herby low-fat yoghurt

Step one
Heat the oil in a small pan and cook the onion, garlic and chilli for 5 minutes until softened. Squeeze the excess moisture out of the spinach and place in a large bowl. (To get the maximum amount of water out of the spinach, place it in a tea towel and twist into a tight ball.)

Step two
Mash the beans well and mix them with the spinach, breadcrumbs, cumin and coriander. Add the onion mixture and mix well. Season to taste and with slightly wet hands, shape into 4 round burgers and pat them dry with kitchen paper.

Step three
Grill, or spray with oil and shallow fry, for a few minutes on each side until crisp and golden. Serve in burger buns, served with salad and low-fat yoghurt mixed with fresh chopped herbs, if liked.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Double quick dinner rolls and buns

I've had this little cookbook for about 35 years. The price sticker says $2.50! It has some great bread recipes.

One of my favorite recipes from the book is:

Double Quick Dinner Rolls (and buns)

I was also able to find the recipe on the Betty Crocker website

2 1/4 cups all-purpose or unbleached flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 package regular or quick active dry yeast
1 cup very warm water (120°F to 130°F)
2 tablespoons shortening (I use oil)
1 egg

Mix 1 1/4 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl. Add water, shortening and egg; beat with spoon until smooth. Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Scrape batter from side of bowl. Cover and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until double.

Grease 12 regular-size muffin cups. Stir down batter by beating about 25 strokes. Spoon into muffin cups. Let rise 20 to 30 minutes or until batter rounds over tops of cups.

Heat oven to 400ºF. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Hamburger buns variation

Increase flour to 2 3/4 cups. After stirring down batter, turn unto floured surface. Divide into 12 equal parts (24 for slider buns). Shape each part into a smooth ball with lightly greased fingers. Place about 1 inch apart on greased baking sheet. Beat 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water slightly; brush over buns. Sprinkle with finely chopped onion, sesame seed, or poppy seed (egg wash and topping is optional). Bake as directed for rolls.

Also be sure to see our recipes for Well done burgers done well and  Burger sauce.

Best Burger Sauce

This recipe is from Allrecipes - my favorite online recipe website.

Jeremy made this sauce for our Sunday night slider bar.

Best Burger Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
2 teaspoons dried minced onion
1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon white vinegar
hot sauce to taste
seasoned pepper to taste

1. Whisk together the mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, onion, garlic, and vinegar in a bowl. Season with hot sauce and seasoned pepper to taste. Cover and chill at least 1 hour before serving.

Also see our recipes for Well done burgers done well and Double quick dinner rolls and buns.

Well done burgers, done well

Our Sunday dinner this week was a success - I created a slider bar with beef burgers, veggie patties, crab cakes, and sliced steak.  Everyone brought salads to share.

We do have a little family controversy - full size burgers or sliders?

I like sliders because you can try 2 or 3 different kinds. But a few of my sons think it's too hard to build a burger full of toppings on tiny little buns.

Either way - this hamburger recipe is fabulous.

It's from America's Test Kitchen

Well Done Burgers, Done Well

Serves 4
(I doubled this, plus I served 8 small veggie patties, 2 crabcakes, and one strip loin steak - and we perfectly fed 8 adults and 10 children)

  • 1 large slice high-quality white sandwich bread , crust removed and discarded, bread chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 medium clove garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons steak sauce , such as A-1
  • 1 1/2 pounds 80 percent lean ground chuck
  • Vegetable oil for cooking grate
  • Hamburger buns or rolls
Mash bread and milk in large bowl with fork until homogeneous (you
should have about 1/4 cup). Stir in salt, pepper, garlic, and steak sauce.

Break up beef into small pieces over bread mixture. Using fork or hands, lightly
mix together until mixture forms cohesive mass. Divide meat into 4 equal portions (for burgers - 8 or more for sliders).

Gently toss one portion of meat back and forth between hands to form loose ball.
Gently flatten into 3/4-inch-thick patty that measures about 4 1/2 inches in
diameter (or smaller for sliders). Press center of patty down with fingertips until it is about 1/2 inch
thick, creating a slight depression in each patty. Repeat with remaining portions of

Cooking instructions (adjust if making sliders):

Grill burgers on hot side of grill, uncovered, until well seared on
first side, 2 to 4 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, flip burgers and continue
grilling, about 3 minutes for medium-well or 4 minutes for well-done. Distribute
equal portions of cheese (if using) on burgers about 2 minutes before they reach
desired doneness, covering burgers with disposable aluminum pan to melt cheese.
While burgers grill, toast buns on cooler side of grill, rotating buns as necessary to
toast evenly. Serve burgers on toasted buns

Also be sure to see our recipes for burger sauce and homemade buns.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fage Yogurt at Costco

We love the Fage Greek yogurt at Costco. You get 35 oz for $4.99. One of the best surprises of this creamy yogurt is that it is FAT-FREE and has 23 grams of PROTIEN in just one serving! That is more than is in a serving of turkey.

It tastes best with lots of honey on top and almonds too. I also found these sliced bagged almonds at costco that are perfect for going on top! Yum!

--- Lisa

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gourmandise is great!

I enjoyed a lunch from Gourmandise yesterday and it was delicious.

I tried two of their quiches: Spinach, Leek, and Feta Quiche;  Roasted Red Pepper with Goat cheese and Fresh Basil.  I've been to France many times, but I have to say (sorry French friends) - these were the best quiches I've ever tasted. They were higher (thicker?) than any I've tasted before and surprisingly light.

I also had their Strawberry Poppyseed Salad and their Mango Raspberry Tart - perfect!

Gourmandise is located in downtown Salt Lake City at 250 South 300 East.

A tip - I hear Gourmandise breakfast is incredible.
And they have chocolate croissants (aka Pain au Chocolat) - one of our favorite French treats.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dirty dozen and Clean fifteen

When to buy organic? 

Consider this list that's been floating around the internet - I'm not sure of the original source.

The Dirty Dozen

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Nectarines (imported)
7. Grapes (imported)
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Blueberries
11. Lettuce
12. Kale/collard greens

The Clean 15

1. Onions
2. Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet peas
7. Mangoes
8. Eggplant
9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

Monday, August 8, 2011

Favorite bread, favorite cheese

We traveled through Europe this summer and I feel in love with German rye bread in Berlin.

I've searched and searched for a good authentic rye here in Utah - no luck until today at Whole Foods Market. I found Crumb Brothers old world rye bread - it's delicious.

We also visited France this summer (and many times before). My absolute favorite French cheese is a goat cheese called Bucherondine. I keep an eye out for it any time I see a good cheese display and today I finally found it - also at Whole Foods Market. It's slightly firmer than the grocery store goat cheese and has more bite. I love it!

So dinner tonight was simple - a couple of salads from Whole Foods served with fabulous bread and cheese.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Green Bean Salad with Buttermilk Dressing

1 lb green beans
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1 sweet yellow pepper, thinly sliced
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ cup Buttermilk Dill Dressing (recipe below)
In a pot of boiling water, cook beans for 1 minute; drain and rinse under cold water. Drain and pat dry.
In salad bowl, toss together beans, parsley, onion, yellow pepper, and bacon.
Add dressing and toss (makes 6 servings)

Buttermilk Dill Dressing
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup light mayonaise
⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
⅓ cup chopped fresh dill
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

In bowl or large measuring cup, combine all ingredients and mix well. Makes 1 ⅔ cups.

Mini chocolate cheesecakes

(not my picture - I forgot to take one)

This is one of my entertaining staples - I just made them for our grandson's 12th birthday party

12 creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies or 24 vanilla wafer cookies
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (use good quality for better flavor)
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Line 24 medium standard sized muffin cups with paper baking cups.
  2. Split sandwich cookies in half. Place 1 cookie half, middle side up, in each cup. Or place 1 wafer cookie, flat side down, in each cup.
  3. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in sour cream and sugar.
  4. Beat in cocoa, eggs (1 at a time), and vanilla until fluffy.
  5. Divide evenly among cups (cups will be almost full).
  6. Bake cheesecakes 15 to 20 minutes or until centers are firm. Cool 15 minutes (cheesecake centers will sink while cooling).
  7. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour longer before serving.
  8. If desired, garnish with whipped cream and chocolate curls or berries.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ruth's hoisin-chicken salad rolls

Ruth sent this recipe - from Chatelaine Magazine (Canadian)

Easy Hoisin-Chicken Salad Rolls: 1/4 c hoisin sauce, 2 tsp dark sesame oil, 2 c shredded cooked chicken (I used leftovers from roast chicken), 1 red pepper sliced, 8 lettuce leaves, 4 gr onions cut into 4" strips, 1 med cuc sliced into 4" strips, 8 rice paper wraps. Stir hoisin with sesame oil. Fill pie pan with warm water. Lay a damp kitchen towel on counter. Line up ingredients. Dip rice paper in water (I tried this and ended up just putting rice rounds in between damp dishtowels for about 1 -2 minutes to soften instead of dipping in water). AnyHOOO! dip rice round in water till softened, about 30 seconds. Lay softened round on damp towel. Lay lettuce on bottom and fill with other ingredients, then droozle (RuthE word) oil and sesame on top and roll the wrap the best you can. Enjoy!

Made Jo's pancake mix

To modify the pancake mix - I replaced 1/2 cup of the oatmeal with  flax and sesame seeds and put them in the vitamix to grind. I changed 1 cup of the white flour to whole wheat.

Served it with fresh apricot sauce - there's no need for syrup at all.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Waikiki meatballs

An old family favorite (from my mission blog)

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
2/3 cup crushed saltine cracker
1/3 cup minced onion
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pineapple
chunks - drained, with juice
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/3 cup chopped green bell
1. In a large bowl, combine ground beef, cracker crumbs, onion, egg, milk, ginger and salt. Shape mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls into meatballs.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place meatballs in skillet and cook until evenly brown, and meat is no longer pink. Drain excess fat.
3. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch, brown sugar, reserved pineapple juice, vinegar and soy sauce. Mix until smooth, then pour into the skillet with meatballs. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils, about 5 minutes. Stir in the green pepper and pineapple chunks. Heat through.

Naan and crockpot chicken tikka masala

From my mission:

Here is what I cooked for the new elders last Tuesday night

Garlic Naan

* 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
* 1 cup warm water
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 3 tablespoons milk
* 1 egg, beaten
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 4 1/2 cups bread flour
* 2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
* 1/4 cup butter, melted

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
2. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
3. During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.
4. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.


Crockpot Chicken Tikka Masala

1.5 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast diced into large cubes
1 tablespoon dijon mustard (my substitution for mustard seed oil)
2 ounces milk
5 ounces natural yogurt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small can of tomato sauce
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 can chopped green chilies
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garam masala*
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Whisk together all of the ingredients minus chicken in your crockpot. Then mix in diced chicken. If you want to marinate at this point, place mixture into the fridge to marinate for 24 hours. It may not be safe to leave chicken which has previously been frozen for longer than 24 hours, but fresh chicken should be left to marinate for 48 hours for best results. If you do not wish to leave the chicken to marinate, simply continue to the next step. Turn the crockpot on low until the chicken is cooked throughout. Most people serve over Basmati rice.

They liked it!

Perfect diet cheat

From my mission blog

For dessert last night we had coconut ice cream with hot chocolate sauce.

I made the sauce with equal parts good quality cocoa powder, water, and sugar, boiled for a minute or two, with just a splash of milk added at the end to cut the darkness.

I put the leftovers in a jar in the fridge.

This afternoon my energy was low so I took a spoon, dipped it in the jar and had just a taste (actually 3 tastes)

It was the perfect chocolate energy pick me up with minimal calories and fat and just loaded with all those good cocoa antioxidants

Made up soup

Another post from my mission: I make this all the time and it's yummy.

This was the best soup I have ever made. I just make up vegetable soups depending on what is around. Here is what is in this one:

Saute onions (2 small or one lg) and pressed garlic (plenty - 3 or 4 cloves) for a few minutes. Add seasonings - a couple of large pinches of dried basil and oregano plus some hot pepper flakes. Saute a little more and throw in cubed pumpkin (or squash), sliced carrots and sliced cabbage. I would add green beans here but I didn't have any - stir fry a minute. Add a can of chopped tomatoes and enough chicken broth to cover the vegetables and give enough liquid. Cook until the veggies are tender then add a can of white beans (drained and rinsed) and a couple handfuls of chopped greens. I also added some leftover cooked chicken breast. Cook until greens wilt.

Spanish hot chocolate

This is from our mission, posted Feb 28, 2009.

We had Elder Vinas, first counselor in our area presidency, staying with us.

He told me about the the thick, rich hot chocolate he loves from his home in Spain so I found a recipe and made it today.

It was yummy!

It's almost like drinking warm chocolate pudding. Actually - it is best for dipping churros in - or in our case, european break and fruit.

Here's a recipe so you can try it

Serves 6

1/2 cup (55 g) unsweetened powdered cocoa (must be good quality)
1 cup (200 g) sugar
7 tsp (25 g) cornstarch (cornflour)
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
4 cups (1 l) milk

1 Mix the cocoa and sugar together.
2 Dissolve the cornstarch (cornflour) in the water and combine with the cocoa-sugar mixture in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir this until it is a smooth paste.
3 Begin heating this mixture, continuously stirring it with a whisk. Gradually pour in the milk. Continue stirring as you bring it to a simmer.
4Simmer, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. The cocoa is ready when it thickens and is glossy and smooth.

The consistency of the finished product should resemble chocolate pudding that didn't quite set. If you halve this recipe, you'll get just the right amount for two large mug-fulls. This cocoa is especially fantastic when you dip churros into it (a churro is a sugary, deep-fried, doughnut-like stick, and if anyone wants to send out a recipe, I'd be most grateful).

There are other recipes you can find in the internet that use melted chocolate

Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Try this cocoa variation if you dare!

A recipe from my mission in the Caribbean (posted March 19, 2008 in Trinidad)

My hot chocolate recipes have been evolving lately. Here is what I had this morning and it was great:

1 cup soy milk (or regular milk)
fresh juice from one small orange (mine was actually a 'portugal' - a tangerine like fruit that is in season here in Trinidad right now)
2 heaping teaspoons good quality cocoa powder
1 tsp raw sugar (adjust this according to taste and the sweetness of the soy milk)
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp (or less) cayenne pepper
light whipped cream for topping

Heat milk and OJ in microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Combine hot milk and the other ingredients except for whipped cream in a blender (or better yet - vitamix) and blend until frothy. Top with cream and, for a special occasion, shaved chocolate.

Why try this???

CinnamonCayenne, and Cocoa (3 C's?) are supposed to be very good for you. Of course you can leave out, decrease, or increase the Cayenne according to you tolerance.

So try it!

I want this key lime frozen yogurt!

Someone please perfect this recipe from a blog called Coconut and Lime

4 cups plain greek style 2% yogurt*
3/4 cup sugar
zest of 2 key limes
1 tablespoon key lime juice

Mix together all of the ingredients until the sugar dissolves. Pour into a ice cream maker and churn until thick, about 30 minutes. Freeze in a freeze safer container or serve immediately for a more "soft serve" style treat.

*I've heard you can make greek-style yogurt-which is thick like sour cream- by straining a double amount of regular yogurt overnight but I haven't tried it. You could also use full fat greek style yogurt here but 2% makes an extremely rich and creamy frozen yogurt and has a fraction of the total fat content.

Grapefruit Gelato in Five Minutes: Your New Favorite Summer Dessert Recipe

I've always wanted to try this recipe by Donna from Apron Strings - one of my favorite food blogs.

Here's her post:

Easy home made gelato
It’s officially the dog days, and you have a summer soiree to attend tomorrow. “What can I bring?” you asked. “Oh, just a little something for dessert,” they replied. But the very thought of baking something in this heat makes you deflate with fatigue. You still want to bring something homecrafted – some kind of ice cream would be great, but you don’t have an ice cream maker. What to do?
You spend a grand total of 5 minutes prepping this mock-gelato, that’s what. And then you’ll make it again and again and again. Really. Because it really is only 4 ingredients,  it really does only take 5 to mix it up, you really don’t need an ice cream maker, and, best of all, it really does work.
I know it may sound a little weird, but trust us. We swear it will surprise you. Something about the way that the acid in the citrus combines with the fat in the cream (and yes, you must use cream; we tried it with half & half and it just didn’t work texture-wise, though the flavor was still a total delight) creates a perfect dense, creamy texture that is so akin to ‘real’ gelato, though the technique is very different.
The original called for lemon, which is equally delicious, but there’s something about the subtle tang of the grapefruit here that Donna and I both were tickled by – so creamy & subtly tangy. It’s also incredibly rich. And it truly is amazing how well the texture comes out without churning! The whole thing is a revelation.
2 cups regular (NOT heavy) whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice (I recommend ruby red)
Zest of said grapefruit, finely grated
1/2 tsp salt
Whisk it all together, pour it into a container and freeze for at least 8 hours, ideally overnight.  That’s IT. Yes, really!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Love these bright cupcakes

They are from Cakeadoodledo in far away Devon, England :(

But we can use them for inspiration

Chocolate Pudding (Vita-Mix)

This is a personal favorite! I thought somebody would have posted it on here by now but I guess it is up to me. My new favorite way to serve it is over sliced bananas and topped with light whipped cream. (served after the kids are in bed of course - trust me, otherwise you will not be able to fully appreciate every bite and that would be a waste of calories, right?)

2 cups steaming milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
5 tbsp flour
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter
2 tbsp GOOD QUALITY cocoa powder (see hot cocoa snob post below)
1 piece of chocolate or a palm full or good chocolate chips

Place hot milk, salt and sugar in vita-mix. Secure lid. Select variable speed #1. Turn machine on and quickly increase to speed #10 then to high. Allow machine to run for 2 minutes. Remove lid plug and add flour, cocoa powder, and chocolate through opening. Replace plug and allow machine to run until mixture settles down and appears to be thickening - about 30 seconds. Drop egg in and run for 1 minute longer. Add butter and vanilla. Stop machine and pour into large bowl or custard cups. Chill and serve.

Here's a few variations, added by mom:

Almond variation
Add 1 cup almonds with butter and vanilla (maybe add some almond extract too)

Banana variation
Add 1 ripe banana with first ingredients, or line serving dishes with banana slices.

Coconut variation
Fold in 1/2 cup shredded coconut when finished.

Breakfast of Champions

I LOVE that oatmeal is a good carb and I LOVE that peaches and blueberries are in season right now!! This is my breakfast every morning and I don't think I will ever grow tired of it. Oatmeal (regular or steel cut) topped with a half tsp or so of dr. grandma's natural sweetener and then fresh fruit. I top it all off with a little milk and it is perfect and very filling.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dinner tonight

Garden salad with blackberries and cheese,  garden zucchini with purslane and fresh herbs  - and Jamie's roasted cauliflower recipe was fantastic!

Best ever fish tacos

Jamie, Dad, and I had fish tacos last night and they were amazing. I searched for some recipes and then just used their ideas and made up my own.

Here's how to make the best ever fish tacos:


Buy Costco's panko breaded tilapia (frozen) and cook according to package (I used the convection option and it was nice and crispy.

Slaw topping

Finely slice 1/2 small head of green cabbage and 1/4 small head of red cabbage (or whatever you have)
Grate a nice big carrot.

Stir together:
1/3 cup fresh lime juice (I used lemon and vinegar)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Toss with slaw

San Diego-style Fish Taco Sauce

Mix together:
1/2 cup reduced fat reduced fat sour cream ( I used Costco's Greek Yogurt instead)
1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (I used regular)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon capers, minced (I didn't have any)
1 hot pepper of your choice, seeded and minced (jalapeno is delicious, as are the cherry bomb poppers I used in this batch) (I used hot pepper sauce)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (I think I forgot to put this in)


Warm corn tortillas, cut fish into pieces, top with sauce and slaw.

Roasted Cauliflower

From Jamie's email titled: Too tired to blog it

Darya Pino, Ph.D: How To Make Cauliflower Taste as Good as French Fries: Roasted Curried Cauliflower

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mediterraneans Abandon Their Famous Diet

and here's an article from NPR telling what happened (it's sad)

A quote:

"There's no match for the huge marketing efforts and promotion of junk food, and we have to protect our children," said Walter Willet, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, and one of the researchers who helped to popularize the Mediterranean diet in the U.S. back in the early 1990s.

"Children are the object of a huge amount of research on how to seduce them to eat more of foods that are horrible for them and making them fat and giving them obesity, and we know they're going to die prematurely," he said.

Why do grocery store tomatoes taste terrible?

(and the 'slave' labor behind them.)

A quote: "For the last 50 or more years, tomato breeders have concentrated essentially on one thing and that is yield — they want plants that yield as many or as much as possible," writer Barry Estabrook tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "They also want those fruits to be able to stand up to being harvested, packed, artificially turned orange [with ethylene gas] and then shipped away and still be holding together in the supermarket a week or 10 days later."

Let's get our gardens going!

Mobile posting

I want this to be THE place Robisons share their food info.

Since we all love and use our phone cameras - here's how to set up mobile posting.

There are text and email options. You can read more here.

The text option doesn't work for posting iphone photos because the resolution is too high (250K max) and I can't figure out a way to decrease it for texts, only for emails. But you can send a text only post.

So email is the best method. Here's how:

Open and sign in to Robison Yum. Click on 'Design' - top far right.

Then click on 'Settings' and then 'Email & Mobile'

Scroll down and enter your personal email posting address.

Test it out!

Testing mobile photo

A small 'cheesecake' bite using greek yogurt and my apricot sauce.