Saturday, August 30, 2014

Martha Stewart's Real Deal Chili

I’ve been saving these last 3 packages of Martha Pantry Real Deal Chili Starter thinking that once they were gone, I wouldn’t be able to make this great chili anymore.  Sometimes I wonder where the other half of my brain is because of course Martha would have this recipe on her site.  I just hadn't looked for it because I had the starter packages, but then because I sign up for Martha Stewart Living emails, I received a link to the recipe on their site.  That is when I remembered Martha making it on her show. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t sell the starter packets anymore but I think they need to find a new retailer like maybe Amazon.  It really is a fantastic spice kit for this chili that I love!  

Here's the same chili pictured in my 6/9/13 blog.

The video with Sarah Carey making Real Deal Chili is below and you can also find it here along with the recipe - Real Deal Chili recipe and video 

Cool weather is on the way and you might want to try this.  I’m sure you won’t be disappointed! 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Zucchini-applesauce chocolate-chip loaf from Sept. 2014 Martha Stewart Living magazine

According to the magazine, this is an update on plain zucchini bread and I’m sure you’ll agree that it is because of the applesauce and chocolate chips!

My version of zucchini-applesauce chocolate-chip loaf

No doubt you have come across a few recipes in your lifetime that seem to scream at you, “try me, you won’t be disappointed”!  Well, there were several of those recipes in the September issue of Martha Stewart Living and one day I made the no-bake-chocolate-almond oat bars and loved them!  On the next page was another tempting picture for the zucchini-applesauce chocolate-chip loaf, and so I made it and loved it too! 

I am not a bread maker by any means but have made banana bread once in a blue moon, but come on…zucchini, applesauce AND chocolate chips.  I needed to taste that and I must say it was fun to make, especially when it came time to grate the zucchini.  I would have grated a large one anyway just to see if it actually produced 3 cups grated, and it did.  I was going to make this Tuesday but I didn’t have the zucchini ready nor did I remember to take 3 eggs out of the fridge to warm up to room temperature.   Yesterday morning I was ready to go with 3 eggs warming on the counter and a large zucchini ready to hit the grates. 

Zucchini grated and it measured 3 cups!

If you are short like I am which makes kitchen counters too high, grate into a big bowl resting on a footstool or low table and that zucchini will be in little pieces in no time, and you’ll have strength left to stir up the batter.

The ingredients and I especially wanted to try Spelt Flour.

Watch this recipe video for the recipe if you don't already have the magazine.  I believe the person in the video said to bake for 65 minutes at 350 degrees but mine was done in my NuWave oven in 45 minutes.  Test it with a toothpick before taking it out.

Since I don't normally bake bread, I don't have the right pans either.  Here is the batter in a Pyrex dish which I could tell right off was not going to come out looking like a loaf of bread.  The dish was 5-1/2 by 7-1/2 but I used it anyway.  My parchment paper was even too bulky!

Here it is after baking in the pyrex dish but...

It turned out better in my meatloaf pan although it got rather dark on top from my NuWave oven.

Here is another view on a plate in better light.  I couldn't eat just a little piece of this.  Yesterday I ate the equivalent of two slices and then I sliced the rest up and put it in the freezer.  I will take one slice out for breakfast until it is gone.  My sister won’t eat it because of the zucchini so her loss is my gain.  hehehe

I put the leftover batter in the same Pyrex dish and it came out shaped like a slice which is what I ate yesterday.  Waste not want not!  Yum as in so tasty, so moist, so chocolate chip-a-dee not to mention you’re getting a small helping of a veggie with each slice.   Actually, this loaf made me want a dish of vanilla ice cream on the side.  Maybe it was the applesauce!  You really should try it.     


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Martha Stewart on the Today Show - Back to School recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner!

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Since I don’t have any school age children I will just have to make these delicious looking recipes and eat them myself.  I’m going to love the flattened bread with cream cheese, sour cream with carrots and cucumbers and the Cranberry Oat Bars.  Also looking good are the chicken parmesan, the chicken taco and the chicken club sandwich.  Those mini-kabobs are really cute too.  All of the recipes are on the bottom of the Today Show page.  I need to get some tortillas and chorizo to make some breakfast tacos too.  Thanks Martha for all the great recipes for us ‘kids’!

Find Martha's back-to-school recipes here on the Today Show site. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Says the guy to the girl…I Gotta Be Free!

Just for laughs and my idea of a ‘tough’ guy’s point of view!  

            I Gotta Be Free, I Gotta Be Me

                         Trish Castro

I'm sure there are,
Plenty of men,
Who would let you have,
Control of them,
But not me - not me.
I'm as humble as pie, but strong and firm,
Don't pull on me - don't twist and turn,
Let me be - let me be.
I like loving but I still need to be free.

     I gotta be free to do the things I love.
     I gotta be free to see the world from above.
     So let me soar like an eagle,                  
     Be king of the sky,                                                      
     Just a free ole spirit,
     Just a regular guy,
     And I'll keep on loving you

No, you'll never get me,
To toe the line,
If that’s what’s on,
Your pretty mind.
No way - not me.
I ain't gonna fall for your pouty look,
So back off aways and take out the hook,
Set me free - set me free.
I like loving but I still need to be me.

     I gotta be me, the only thing I know.
     I gotta be me, don't try to make me Joe.
     Let me soar like an eagle,
     Be king of the sky,
     Just a free ole spirit,
     Just a regular guy,
     And I'll love you baby forever till I die,
     No lie!

Well, I hope you don't,
Start making plans,
Like buying a gown and,
Hiring a band.
Whad'ya say - huh ma'am?
Cuz I bought that ring that caught your eye,
But it don't mean nuthin' - what bow tie?
It’s on the rack - in the back.
I like loving but I still need to be free.

     I gotta be free to do the things I love.
     I gotta be free to see the world from above.
     So let me soar like an eagle,
     Be king of the sky,
     I'll be back early,
     And that’s no lie,
     And well okay I'll wear the white bow tie,

     For my bride!

(The woman always wins!)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Grilled Vegetable Salad from Food Network magazine

I’ve had the 50 Picnic Salads booklet set aside ever since I took it out of the June issue of Food Network magazine.  It was kind of difficult to choose just one salad to make but since I like tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers and pasta, I decided on the Grilled Vegetables Pasta Salad.  The Spanish Cauliflower Salad sounded good also so maybe next time I’ll make that.

The ingredients …

...all cut up and ready to cook..

…and still colorful even after cooking.  The salad was easy to make.

Cook 1 pound fusilli, drain and rinse.
Grill 1 pound tomatoes, (about 4 medium), 2 quartered bell peppers and 1 sliced zucchini over medium-high heat until tender and charred, 15 to 20 minutes.  Since I don’t yet have a grill pan for my NuWave stovetop burner, I used a deep stainless steel pan and cooked until all was tender and the zucchini was somewhat ‘charred’.  It's on the bottom of the bowl above.

Pulse the veggies in a food processor with ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, until 'chopped'.  I pulsed a little longer then necessary and made like a sauce because I don’t care for big chunks of vegetables with my pasta.  Just pulse until you get the consistency you want.

Toss with the pasta and add salt and pepper and a few of the raw vegetables on top if you like.

I chilled mine and it tasted better the next day but I had to add some olive oil mixed with red wine vinegar to moisten it a little because as you know, pasta soaks up liquid.  It also tasted great warmed up, maybe even better than when chilled.

I liked this dish because it was different but I think I might eat the rest of it with a cup of canned tomatoes and forego the extra olive oil and vinegar.  It’s a lot of salad and would make a great side with chicken, hot dogs, burgers or steak and even battered fish like we had.  

After I cooked the vegetables in my stainless steel pan, I wondered how they would grill in the microwave on my steak platter and so I cut up some more vegetables and gave it a try.  I first needed to heat the platter in the microwave for about 4 minutes.

They turned out great and especially the zucchini which I plan to cook this way from now on.  Sometimes it pays to experiment!

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Hug of the Century video - what a beautiful moment!

I just had to share The Hug of the Century for anyone who hasn't seen it!  The song is appropriate also!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sewing project using a 'surprise find' of material

I usually keep material in a cart next to my sewing machine so I was really surprise when I found a few yards in a box on the other side of the cart.  A tablecloth I was using to make napkins had concealed the box.  Since I had no idea what I originally planned to do with this material, I thought maybe I could spruce up our office chairs.

We have quite a few of said office chairs in the house because both my sister and I like sitting in them better than dining room chairs.  Our guests get to sit in those other kinds of chairs.  Anyway, I adjust all of my chairs to ease lower back pain and sis needs armchairs to be a certain height just to get up out of them.  Who said aging is fun!

This blue material was enough to make a cover for the back of a chair that measured about 22 inches across by 18 inches long after hemming, although I left the length at 36 inches.  Just sew it up as you might when making a pillowcase. 

If you pull the material up and put a large elastic band in the center... can give it a pocket look by pulling the top down over the elastic band.  I could also let it hang down the back for another look but will stick with the pocket.


 I did the same with some zebra print material and since I wanted two chair covers to be the same size, I stitched the sides of the material up first, folded it in half and ironed a crease up the middle.

... and then sewed on both sides of the crease about 5/8 inch.  I then cut through the crease to get my two pieces approximately the same size.

Here they are on two of the chairs folded up with pockets…

...  and left long in the back.

But, I like them better as shams on my bed with my white blanket and my two neck pillows so back to the drawing board for chair covers!