Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Orange Chicken Salad

Here is a nice refreshing summer treat. I made this last Sunday for my nieces birthday party and it was a big hit. Even some of the kids tried it, which is shocking to me. If it's not a hot dog some kids turn their noses up. "I'm not eating that" they say.

You can prep this the day before and refrigerate. When we got to the party I emptied my cooler of ice into my big bowl. Then started filling the orange bowls with the chicken salad. I placed them on top of the ice and garnished with parsley. We didn't eat until an hour later and they stayed nice and chilled. Oh, I forgot to tell you, it was 90 degrees outside. But we were in the shade.

The recipe comes from Azure Standard Blog. Great blog, check them out.

I only added 1 cup of the orange segments, it seemed to be enough. I used the rest to make smoothies, yum.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Obsession with Jars!!!

Do you love jars??? Ever since I started canning my own food a few years ago, I have been obsessed with jars. Jars are strong, they are stackable, they hold the flavor of your food better. Oh, and you can see what's inside. Call me crazy but I love jars. Big ones, small ones, short round ones, all shapes and sizes.

Most of my dried fruits and nuts I buy in the bulk bins at Whole Foods. It is much cheaper to buy than the prepackaged boxes or bags. And you can buy as much or a little as you need. When I get home I gather my favorite jars and start filling them up. If you cut off the top 6 inches of the bag it's much easier to pour into your wonderful jars. I found this out the hard way when the almonds fell all over the counter. A funnel works well too.

Look at this awesome jar I bought at the Goodwill a few days ago. It was only $1.95. Can't you just picture this jar full of yummy homemade marshmallows or banana muffins or oatmeal raisin cookies. To show you how big this jar is I put a pint size jar beside it. Wow, what a biggin...

Do you have an obsession with jars? What do you put in your jars?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gratituesday: Thankful for Real Foods

This Gratituesday I'm thankful for Real Foods. God has given me the ability to grow my own fruits and vegetables. I'm no expert on gardening but have learned a lot through trial and error. My grandparents have taught me much of my gardening knowledge as well.

I'm thankful for all the local farmer's markets. They provide meats, homemade baked goods, local honey and vegetable plants. If your a local to Virginia check out Buy Local Virginia.org for where to buy food, farmers markets and different events going on in your area.

My definition for Real Foods are foods that are grown organically, naturally and not processed. I believe eating Real Food is accentual for our bodies. Fruits and veggies are loaded with vitamins and minerals the body needs. Remember that saying your G'ma said "An apple a day keeps the doctor away". Just try and stay away from the chemically sprayed apples. Apples are one of the heaviest sprayed fruits- the dirty dozens.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tension Headaches, Migraines, Concussions???

This post is a little different than my usual cooking and gardening. I just wanted to get some feedback on tension headaches and migraines from my readers.

My daughter is 16 years old. She was a soccer player up till this year. She took a bad collide with another player and was kneed in the head. Since then she has had headaches a lot. The doctor has had her on every type of medicine you can imagine. Some help for a little while, some give her bad side effects, some just don't work at all.

We have been keeping a journal on what she eats, trying to see if there is something in her diet that is triggering the headaches. I have stopped buying meats that contain nitrites, which is a migraine trigger. She has cut way back on sodas, only 1 or 2 a week. She gets a yelling from me when she drinks them because she knows it's another migraine trigger.

One of her soccer buddies recently told her it might be post concussion syndrome. I'm just sick of all the medicine not working and my baby still having headaches. She is scheduled for a C.T. scan soon.

Have you ever had a concussion? Migraines? Tension Headaches? What was your solution for getting rid of them?

Please keep my baby girl in your prayers.

Thank You, Amy

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Homemade Pizza Dough

Heavenly Homemakers and Once A Month Mom are hosting a Freezer Cooking Challenge. This is so worth your time. Just a few hours in the kitchen results in multiple meals. The challenge was to pick one or more recipes from either site and make it. Easy enough, I chose pizza dough.

Pizza is one of our favorite foods. Once A Month Mom has a easy and delicious recipe for pizza dough. I made a batch but cut the recipe in half to make sure I would like it before using so much flour. I wish now I would have made the whole recipe. It made 4 good size pizzas, approximately 12" pizzas. This pizza recipe will definitely be added to my Freezer Cooking Day list.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Transplanting Your Seedlings

It's time to start transplanting those seedlings. I planted a few Black Krim tomato seeds back in late March and they are ready for a bigger home. You can start your seeds in a larger pot, one seed to each pot and you probably won't have to transplant. For me, I like to put 2-3 seeds in a smaller pot to make sure they will grow first before using bigger pots. The big pots take up more space in the house and more dirt to dig.

So, when transplanting your baby seedlings be gentle because they are delicate. I fill my larger pot with about 1/4 of dirt, then put in the seedling. Holding the stem, fill more dirt around the seedling until the dirt almost reaches the top leaves. Pack the dirt down with your fingers so no air reaches the roots. Your done! It's that easy.

Having their stem further in the ground helps to build a strong plant. In a few more weeks, I'll transplant them to their "big home", the garden.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Coconut Lime Turkey Burgers

Do you love lime and coconut? Try these delicious turkey burgers. They are very simple to make and will disappear fast. These turkey burgers even passed the "picky 5 year old" test. My niece loved them.


1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup shredded coconut
pinch of salt and pepper
coconut oil for frying

Combine turkey, lime juice, coconut, salt and pepper in large bowl. Chop basil finely and add to turkey mix. Get your hand in the bowl and mix well. Shape into hamburger patties. In large skillet add 2 Tbsp. coconut oil. Turn heat to medium temperature. Add turkey burgers and fry until done. Approx. 8-10 minutes on each side. You can garnish with lettuce, tomato, basil lime pesto, ketchup or what ever your pallet desires.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lasagna Gardening

Lasagna gardening is really easy to do. No, you can't eat it but you can eat from it. Lasagna gardening is layering of dead material and live material.

You can plant immediately or wait a year. The lasagna garden will do better the longer it's in place. I decided to plant right away. One of my goals this summer is to grow as much food as possible to have a stock pile it for the winter months. Here is what you will need to start your lasagna garden:

Newspaper, peat moss, organic material (scraps from the kitchen, grass clippings, manure.)

Measure the area in which you want you garden. You can use sticks, rope, garden hose or just eyeball it. Lay down newspaper, 5 sheets thick. Lay down peat moss, about 2" thick. Lay down your organic material, several inches thick. Water until damp as a sponge. Plant your vegetables.

I keep layering with kitchen scraps after I have planted my vegetables. To my surprise, the pineapple decomposed really quickly. Do you Lasagna Garden? What do you grow?