Thursday, April 16, 2009

379: Raising Foodies: Recipe Reviews

We haven't done a lot of cooking together in recent weeks, but I have been feeling out some new recipes. I must say, my crockpot is going to be very busy from now on. The biggest cooking feat I have accomplished is:

I made my own yogurt!
YES! You heard right! I done it the other day. You can find the instructions here. I started out with whole milk, but so intend on trying lowfat next time. Also, next time, I believe I'm going to get a vanilla bean to cook it with and see if that makes a difference with the taste. Yesterday I added a tbsp of sugar to a scant cup of strawberry puree, and blended that with 3 C of the yogurt. It become smoothie type consistency, and Jackson and I had it after church last night. Hannah turned her nose up to it, of course. Jackson drank her smoothie. He loves it. I agreed with Jay it had a tart tang to it, but I was ok with it, he was not.

I done a black beans and rice crockpot dish, and it was yummy. Hannah picked at it and overall refused it, and ate her accompanying orange for dinner with it. The second day, I shredded some Monterey Jack cheese, sprinkled it over a flour tortilla, melted it and rolled the beans and rice in it, and BINGO! It was a hit! Hannah loved it and Jackson had it on two different occasions. There was no waste with this very frugal recipe.

For breakfast one morning I done a black beans and eggs breakfast scramble, and it was YUMMY! I'll be fixing that again for sure. Again, frugal, and fast!

"Wendy why are you using so many black beans?"

I fixed half a pound in the crockpot ;o) I spoke a bit about that last week. It's so easy to do, and so much more cost effective than buying canned beans. You just wash them off, throw them in the crockpot, cover with water (3x the amount of beans), and go to bed! You just let it cook 8-10 hours and you're good to go!

I used the premise of this recipe for salmon and spinach. I filled the crock with spinach, laid the salmon fillets on top, added 1/4 C chicken broth around the sides and cooked for two- 1/2 hours on low. It was DELICIOUS. This was my own dinner Tuesday night after soccer practice for after the kids went to bed. They had super secret chicken nuggets. I read Jessica Seinfield's book Deceptively Delicious and I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who has a child that is (especially psychologically) picky with food. I picked up my copy at Target for $9.08 to check your local store and request it if they're out of stock.

The chicken nuggets I made was real, cut up chicken breasts. I took 1 C spinach puree, mixed 1 egg in; in another bowl I mixed 1C panko breadcrumbs with 1/2 C flax meal, and some parmesean cheese. I submerged the chicken in the puree, and pulled the pieces out with a fork dropping them in the bread mixture (I used a small rectangle baking dish). I would roll around the pieces in the bread mixture til covered, and cooked it in a fry pan in batches. I just sprayed the pan with cooking spray, no oil, etc ...

Jackson walked in and said "whatcha fixing?", I said "chicken nuggets, here, have one" .. he pops it in his mouth, says "mmm, this is good", and walks out of the kitchen.

Hannah walks in, asks "whatcha fixing?" I say "chicken nuggets, go on" (I didn't want her to see the puree ... oh well ..) she sees the puree, and starts fanning her face saying "eewww I don't like it can I have a grilled cheese?" to which I say "No."

Granted, the recipe also calls for garlic and onion powder in the bread mixture and I didn't have any, so that would had made them much more flavorful. I was due at church soon, so I left as Jay was fixing their plates. (Jay was oblivious to my antics). I got back that night, and on the way back from checking out the explosion, I said "you left me some of those chicken nuggets didn't you?" and Jay said "they wiped it out". Hannah said "Momma I ate two plates of it!" Jackson said "Mom you knew I liked them". Jay said "the only thing I'd change is to cook them in bigger pieces more like chicken fingers instead of nuggets. They were good".

Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner! WOOOO-HOOOOO!!

Next on the list is using navy beans in a ranch dressing recipe, butternut squash snuck in some grilled cheese sammies, black bean burgers (for me), crock pot mahi mahi, crock pot Garlic chicken, and I think I'm gonna try this recipe with navy beans instead of black beans. The mind is running.

Run over to Grace's Kitchen and see what the younger set is up to!


  1. Sounds like you will be full of beans! I browsed Jessica Seinfeld's book at Chapters. Due to food allergies in our house it wasn't worth me buying it but I have sneaked carrot puree and fine grated zucchini into pancakes :)

  2. Wow! You made some great recipes!

    I love your kids' reactions to the chicken nuggets, too. They are funny - and there were none left? So funny!

    Thanks for joining in Grace's Kitchen this week!