The Luck of the Irish to ya!!!

I have been sporting green all week!!  I was asked yesterday why I was wearing green when  St. Pat’s day was not until Sunday.   Well, basically I like to drag out holidays and give them the celebration they deserve. No crime in that! Actually green is a color that has never been a big player in my wardrobe. But a couple of years ago it starting calling my name!!  I am now able to do an entire week of green!

Tonight we had a St. Paddy’s  Eve dinner……….corned beef, cabbage and my all time favorite Guinness Beer Bread!  I always do our corned beef in a crock pot. It’s too easy and always tastes yummy.

Our favorite way to do cabbage is to roast it.  A little olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and fennel seeds. Or caraway seeds if you are not a fan of the licorice flavor of the fennel seeds. Either way – it is Oh so delish!!

cabbage

But, the Guinness Bread is really good!! Really dense. Really hardy.  Stick to your ribs bread!

 Guinness Bread

1-cup regular oatmeal – not quick

2 cups whole-wheat flour

½ c. packed brown sugar

2 t. baking soda

1 t. baking powder

1 t. salt

¼ cup butter, melted

1-cup buttermilk

2 t. vanilla

12 oz Guinness Beer

Heat over to 425. Grease cast iron skillet.

Combine first 6 ingredients in bow.  Stir in butter, mixing well.  Stir in buttermilk and vanilla.  Gently stir in Guinness, do not beat.

Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with oats.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Reduce temp to 400 and bake additional 30 minutes.

Turn off oven and allow the bread to cool slowly with the door open for 30 minutes.  Turn out onto a wire rack.  Serve warm with butter and honey.

 Anything is better with butter and honey in my humble opinion!  But we now use Agave Nectar instead of honey in our house.

guinnessbread

plate

 

I love the platter I found at Marshall’s several years ago – and look how cute my lil Leprechauns are. They’re bobble heads – give them a little tap and they dance a little jiggity jig. The sign pointing to Dublin is a gift from our youngest son when he was on his way to do his 2nd deployment in Iraq. They had a stop over in Ireland and he bought this for his mama!! How sweet is that!! He always asked if I know if the sign is really pointing towards Dublin. Son, I have not a clue. Hope that is ok with you!

 

 

shamrockplatter

I hope you do something fun for St. Paddy’s Day!! Wear your green!

 

Thanks for visiting!

 

 

 

Convenience in the Kitchen

I feel a bit like “Heloise” sharing this idea. I am one of those people that always read Helpful Hints from Heloise in the paper.    Something so simple has turned into a real convenience for me. Squeezing  lemons and limes! Once I get them home I get out my handy dandy Braun electric citrus juicer and away I go! Pour the juice in ice cube tray. Freeze. Transfer to ziplocs and ta-tah I have fresh lemon or lime juice ready at a moments notice. I actually had been doing my lemons since I started drinking those yummy detox smoothies (read post here) in the morning that call for juice of 1 lemon. It is much easier have it all ready and pop your lemon cube into your blender. Then I had some limes that were turning hard and brown so I juiced them. If you have read this far you must think I have a super boring life to be talking about squeezing your lemons and limes. Ahh – maybe I do. But I also like ingredients to be on hand when I need them. There!! I justified my need for squeezing out my lemons and limes.

Cut em in half

One ice cube is about 2 tablespoons. The frozen lime juice is great for a vodka or gin tonic.

I love to add a lemon cube to my water.

Our Favorite Soup This Season – Silician Soup with Sausage

In Tulsa, Oklahoma we have had a very mild winter. Thank goodness – last winter was extreme with that insane 50 year blizzard we had. On Monday of this week we actually got some snow. Of course when it is cold outside you just gotta have soup.  The two just go together. I actually like cold weather in the forecast because I get to hunker down and cook. I get to also eat what I cook and therefore gain weigh. That part I do not like! My cousin shared this recipe with me and she has never failed me yet with one of her recipes.

Look at all the yummy ingredients.

 

Serve it up and make sure to add fresh shaved parmesan. There is a difference between the fresh and that crumbly grated yuck.

We don’t even eat any bread with this soup because it has orzo in it and it is just a hearty soup.

Sicilian Soup with Sausage

1 tsp olive oil

8 oz Italian sausage*

1 large onion, chopped

1/8 tsp fennel seeds

3 medium carrots, thinly sliced

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice

¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 T fresh basil leaves chopped (or 1 t dried)

5 cups chicken stock

1 t sugar

½ cup orzo pasta

Salt and pepper to taste

Parmesan

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the sausage, onion and fennel. Sauté until the sausage is browned – about 10 minutes. Break up the sausage as it browns. S

I normally double this recipe and use the hot Italian sausage and then an 8 oz of turkey sausage.  Drain off any grease. Add the carrots and celery and sate – stirring often- until the veggies take on a little color – about 5 minutes

Add the tomatoes, parsley, basil, and the broth. Bring to a boil over medium heat the reduce heat to a very slow by steady simmer. Cover and cook another 20 minutes.

Add the orzo, salt and pepper and cook covered until the pasta is al dente.

Serve with fresh grated parm cheese.

* I double this recipe and add one hot sausage and the other turkey sausage.

 

Drastic Times Call For Drastic Measures! Drinking Detox Smoothies in the New Year!

I must of really enjoyed myself over Christmas. I must of also been in total denial to think that every time I placed some calorie dense food item in my mouth my body would process it like a leaf of lettuce.  But reality set in when I was getting ready to go out for New Year’s Eve and being like everyone else I already knew what I was going to wear. Or I thought I did. Well big fat dang!  How did these pants get so tight?? This very chic ensemble sure did fit before Christmas and how on earth could it not fit in a matter of weeks?? Not good because I did not have Plan B or at least Plan B was not the outfit I had mentally prepared for! I felt like Macaulay Culkin in the Home Alone movie.

 

Thank goodness my friend Renee had turned me on to some really yummy veggie smoothies to help you detox. I made several after Thanksgiving with a tad bit of trepidation but they were actually quite good and I felt great!! Seriously!  Even my husband was drinking them and I know you may never meet my husband but his ideal breakfast involves either sausage or bacon! He knows better!

Here is the smoothie my friend turned me on to. Seriously, it is very tasty. I know……..I had my doubts also!! I love kale so I added that also.

 Glowing Green Smoothie by Kimberly Snyder, Clinical Nutritionist

Source: Beautylish.com

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups water

1 head organic romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 of large bunch of organic spinach (or 3/4 of small bunch)

3-4 stalks organic celery

1 oraganic apple, cored and chopped

1 organic pear, cored and chopped

1 organic banana

Juice of 1/2 organic lemon

Optional: 1/3 bunch organic cilantro (stems okay), 1/3 bunch organic parsley (stems okay)

Directions:
  1. Add the water and chopped head of romaine and spinach to the blender.
  2. Starting the blender on a low speed, mix until smooth.
  3. Gradually moving to higher speeds, add the celery, apple, and pear.
  4. Add the cilantro and parsley if you choose. Fresh herbs, like cilantro and parsley, have cleansing properties that help extract heavy metals and other toxins from the body.
  5. Add the banana and lemon juice last.
  6. This recipe produces about 60 ounces. Kimberly recommends that a woman drink about 16-25 ounces every morning. You can store the rest of the liquid for a day or portion it out and freeze.

Beautylish Tip: If you don’t have access to organic produce, regular fruits and vegetables are okay too, says Kimberly, who recommends soaking them with diluted apple cider vinegar to remove the pesticides.

 

I then told our son about the smoothies we were drinking and he  is “in the know about just about everything” and referred me to this site!

 Girl Get Strong 

It is a great website!!  The first smoothie is called Flat Tummy – just the name of it makes me pay attention!! The next one is called Skin Saver – still has my attention!  Then there is the Peanut Butter Energy Booster – peanut butter and energy? that is a win-win if you ask me!! How about a smoothie call Bone Lover?? I am at the age (older & past menopause) that I need to pay attention to anything that helps my bones. And then there is one called Immune System Booster- hey we all need to keep our immune system fit – especially this time of year. Natural Skin Tanner is definetly something I want to try – we all want that healthy glow and this smoothie is rich in beta carotene. And the last one is Antioxidant Power full of blueberries, raspberries, pomegranates and beet juice.

SO! Who wants to join me?? I started my smoothie routine this morning and had lots of energy, which is normally not my claim to fame!!

Of course I do need to give everyone a disclaimer……….I am not a doctor and do not play one on TV or anywhere else!! Before you do anything we all know to check with our doctor and get their blessing!!! We all know this because we have heard it a gazillion times before.

Here’s to a very healthy 2012!!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!!