Monday, March 28, 2011
So this morning, ok more noon cause I slept late and had a nice hour long phone call and then let my hazelnuts come to room temp after the freezer I started my toasting. I will say so far my first complaint would be the skins!! I have about 4 bags of hazelnuts in the freezer of course skins on. I read you can toast them and put them in a towel and rub and they come right off!! Uhm.. I am not having that easy of a time.. I pick out the few I can get and back in the oven. I am watching patiently in hopes to NOT burn them cause Ewww to burnt hazelnut butter!!! I have about a cup left out of the 2 cups that are fighting me and I just may say screw it and leave on what is left! If anyone has better suggestions let me know!! Otherwise People look for raw unskinned and shelled nuts haha!
After an hour I finally just put the last oh 15 or so nuts with whatever skin they had on in it and the food processor is running!!!
So as it runs I stop and scrape down the paste and let it buzz again. I realize yup pretty thick and think ok lets start with vanilla cause I love vanilla and it can't hurt it right! so I drizzle a little in and let it keep buzzing. Still pretty thick so remembering all my various readings I drizzle in some olive oil a little at a time and just go on until it looks like what I want. I did add a pinch of cinnamon and a couple pinches of kosher salt ( the only salt other than sea that I will use!) and give it a taste. Wow intensely hazelnut!! Good but maybe too intense for me?
My favorite way to eat peanut butter is on a toasted whole wheat muffin with banana a honey. So I put the Hazelnut butter to the test that way, really the reason I made it was to have it that way and to try to make nut butter haha. So I did and it is not bad at all!! I may still like the peanut butter better but I am so glad I tried to make this, I will definitely make other kinds just to see how they taste and I will enjoy this one :).
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Next I have My other blanket, may as well get myself out of the way first hahaha. I went hoping to find the above material, instead I found a pretty black red and white one. And what is stashed among the big huge Hawaiian like print?? Why skulls of course ha ha Love it!!
Finally I have Cooper's blanket, Slater's was a cute Alligator blanket and I so wish that I had a picture of it but I have Coop's and that works! Cooper has been playing Hockey so when we found the hockey sticks and puck's I knew which he was going to get!! Apparently both boys loved their blankets which made me super happy!!
The next set of pictures are the two bags we made my Aunt and Uncle. They spend a lot of time on the boat and at the beach as soon as the weather is warm in Massachusetts. So we felt the cute sail boat material would be appropriate! Of course my first lesson was pay attention to the direction of the fabric!! Which I failed to do with the flamingos haha.
1 lb smoked Polish sausage, cut into 1 inch slices
1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (14.25 oz) beef broth
1 can (14.25 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 celery ribs, chopped
1/3 c tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
1-1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 lb cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups cooked rice.
In a 5-qt slow cooker, combine the first 12 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until chicken is no longer pink.
Stir in shrimp and rice. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until heated through.
We actually kept the rice out and just poured the jambalaya over it but it really was quite tasty, I will just play with the sausage typed :).
What I made first was Cashew Chicken. We all love cashews and it sounded so good and it was!! True we sprinkled a few more cashews on cause again we love them so that will have tweaked the orignal Weight Watchers point value of 8pts per serving, but we loved it!! Serving is 1 c w/o the rice but still tasty!!
3 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 Tbsp sherry or reduced-sodium chicken broth
3/4 tsp sesame oil, divided
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-in pieces
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/3 c reduced sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp minced fresh gingerroot
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp canola oil,divided
1 1/2 c fresh snow peas
2 med carrots, julienned
1 can ( 8 oz) sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/4 c unsalted cashews, toasted
Hot cooker rice, optional ( but oh so necessary!)
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and broth until smooth. Stir in the sugar, vinegar, hoisin sauce, ginger, salt, and remaining soy sauce and sesame oil; set aside.
Drain chicken and discard marinade. In a large nonstick wok or skillet, stiry-fry chicken in 1 tsp oil until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm.
In the same pan, stir-fry peas and carrots in remaining oil until crisp-tender. Add water chestnuts.
Return chicken to the pan. Stir sauce mixture and stir into chicken mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Sprinkle with cashews. Serve with rice.
Really super tasty and perfect for that Chinese take-out craving!!!
Pasta Fagioli Soup:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
8 oz ( about 2 c) small pasta shells
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 bunch fresh kale, stough stems discarded, cut into 1 inch pieces and washed
2 cans small white bean, drained
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Grated Parmesan for serving
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute.
Stir in tomatoes, broth and 3 cups water. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Add pasta and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes.
Stir in kale, cook 5 minutes more. Reduce heat to medium and stir in beans, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Heat through
Ladle into bowls; garnish with Parmesan.
7 pts per serving for Weight Watchers, uhm.. the part that says how many servings in gone so the points may not be all that helpful. It was super tasty and if you want you could use Veg stock and make it completely Vegetarian!!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
It's been some time since I have had any updates. Between that last post and now I had holiday baking, Christmas, my Birthday, the discovery of enjoying sewing in the form of bags! a renewed interest in my jewelry making. In February I spent 5 weeks away taking care of me and came home to end up extremely sick with 2 very different very bad infections. Finally on the mend I hope to get back to blogging and maybe include my crafts with my baking/cooking. Decisions to make on that front. Hope to be back soon!