Saturday, December 29, 2007

Multiple Recipes of the Week

Okay, so I've been very lax about posting my recipes of the week. Here, I try to make up for it! Here are some of my very favorite recipes.

Most of them are from Zonya Foco, who is a Registered Dietitian and has a FABULOUS cookbook called Lickety Split Meals: For Health Conscious People on the Go. I highly recommend this cookbook; everything I have made out of this cookbook has been well embraced by myself and my family - even my 6 and 7 1/2 year old boys!

Oven Baked Lentils and Rice - My 6 year old requested this for his birthday meal this past winter.

Beef and Barley Soup
- We really enjoy our slow-cooker and love the fact that when we've had a busy day and come home, dinner smells so good that my boys can't wait for dinner time. Hooray!

Beef Stroganoff - My Dearest absolutely loathes Beef Stroganoff, but he really enjoys this recipe!

Salmon Burgers - An easy way to get Omega-3 in our diet.

Salmon fillets a la ScrappyMom
Season your salmon with salt, pepper, and lay sliced lemons over, completely covering it. Bake or broil until done. Enjoy with brown rice and vegetables of your choice.

Bon Appetit!!

Friday, December 28, 2007

So Much Easier!

I was trying to create some .jpg and .pdf items for my scrapbooking website and as I was away from home, I couldn't do my usual multi-process solution: Print, scan, save, and then use it as needed.

My brother-in-law, who is very computer-savvy, suggested an Open Source program for a pdf creator. I googled it, asked if what I found was the correct one, downloaded it, and started creating all sorts of .jpgs and .pdfs. So happy!! It's so easy to use and even better yet is that there is no cost! Want to try it? Go here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Shannonn tagged me before I had a chance!
Perhaps it is because I haven't posted in so long, huh? I'll be back to "schedule" soon.

In the mean time...
Merry Christmas!

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called,
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6, ESV

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Homemade Tofu

Here's a unique Recipe of the Week - Homemade Tofu!

When we were at my parent's for Thankgiving, my sister wanted to learn how to make tofu and I sat in on the lesson. Little did I know I was as interested and I ended up helping quite a bit, due to my sister's "delicate condition." Quick side note - yes, my sister is pregnant with their first child and boy, is everyone excited! Our boys have been praying for their cousin, aunt and uncle; it touches my heart so.

This recipe is time consuming, but tastes so much better than what you'd find in the stores. Apparently, tofu in it's natural state is very perishable and commercially available tofu tastes plastic-y, according to my parents. I have also wondered what kind of additives and preservatives are in commercially available tofu to make them last on store shelves.

My parents double this recipe when they make tofu, but I don't think most of us have stock pots large enough to accommodate this recipe doubled.

Ingredients & Necessary supplies:
2 1/2 c. dried soybeans
2 T. Epsom salt
Large cotton bag with a narrow opening
Large muslin or poly piece of fabric
Large stock pot
Flat paddle-type spatula
Basket with drainage holes

Soak 2 1/2 c. soybeans overnight in about 10 cups of water. Rinse beans and water until clear.

Blend with two times as much cold water as beans. (1 ladle of beans, 2 ladles of cold water)

Pour bean mixture into a large cotton/poly bag. Repeat with remaining soaked beans.

Close the bag (or hold the opening shut) as you extract as much of the liquid as you can out of the cotton bag by squeezing and rubbing the bag. Remove extracted liquid into a large stock pot

Pour warm water into the bag and continue extracting liquid from the bag, then removing extracted liquid into pot.

When all of the liquid is extracted, the soybean remains should be dry and crumbly.

Bring the soybean liquid to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cover and turn heat off for 10 - 15 minutes. No peeking!

Dissolve 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in 2 cups of water.

Drizzle 2 tablespoons of Epsom water over the surface of the soybean liquid. Stir once using flat-paddle type of spatula. Cover for 10 minutes. The Epsom water and heat will start to separate the soybean curd from the water. When you stir once, you will start to feel some resistance from the curd.

Repeat with all of the Epsom water. The water and soybean curd will start to separate, the water on top will be straw-colored and clear.

Ladle off as much water as you can. Moisten a large muslin or poly cloth, line your basket (we used an organizing basket with "latticed" sides for the excess moisture to escape) with the moistened cloth. Pour tofu into the "mold," then fold excess cloth over the top. Lay a heavy weight that fits onto the surface to drain out the rest of the water. Let sit overnight.

The next morning, invert tofu onto a cutting board, cut into portion sizes. Place tofu into a container and add enough fresh water so that it just floats. If tofu isn't prepared and eaten right away, drain and add fresh cool water every other day to keep fresh. Tofu will keep fresh with this method for 2 to 3 weeks.

Fresh tofu is hard work, I won't deny it, but the taste is so worth it.

Chal muh-guh-sae yo!

Christmas Trivia

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial

3. When do you put up the tree? After Isaac's birthday

4. When do you take the tree down? Early January

5. Do you like egg nog? Usually just a cup or two per year

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Nothing comes to mind

8. Hardest person to buy for? My Dearest

9. Easiest person to buy for? My kids!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Have you heard of the Cobbler's children?

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I know I've gotten a couple of things but can't think of them off the top of my head.

12. Favorite Christmas movie? Charlie Brown Christmas - I think it counts! Plus all of the Home Alone movies.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Early December

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope! I keep everything I get!

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Potato Pancakes (latkes) and the cookies!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored

17. Favorite Christmas song? Christmas hymns are my favorite!

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Perhaps if I tried really hard.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning

22 . Most annoying thing about this time of year? Shopping for groceries and trying to find a parking spot

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? The ones my kids have made

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? No tradition, it varies every year.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Hmmmm... nothing, really.

Want to play along? Just leave me a post telling me.