Saturday, February 28, 2009

Baked Bean Stew


This is one of my husband's favorite meals, well anything with beans in it is his favorite! I love stew of any kind so we have a meeting of the minds and taste buds here.

1 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped green pepper
1 T. vegetable oil
12 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cans (15 oz. each) low-sodium baked beans or pork and beans
1 can ( 15 oz.) low-sodium garbanzo beans or blackeyes (you can also use 1/12 c. cooked dry-packaged beans, rinsed and drained)
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) low-sodium diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, undrained
3/4 t. dried sage leaves
1/2 t. ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook onion and green pepper in oil in large saucepan until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add chicken and cook over medium heat until browned, 3-4 minutes.

2. Add beans, tomatoes, and herbs to saucepan; heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 8-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 8 1/12/c. servings

Total fat..........5 g
Sat. fat...........1 g
Carb...............36 g
Chol...............32 mg
Sodium.............479 mg
Fiber ..............10 g




If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Seasoned Zucchini Sticks



I've been trying to balance out my categories of meal planning. I noticed that the snack area is falling behind so I wanted to offer you this recipe I use on occasion. As usual it's fast, easy, and healthy. Enjoy!

Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
3 T. seasoned dry bread crumbs (I like Italian)
2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg white
1 t. 2 % milk
2 small zucchini ( about 4 oz. each) cut lengthwise into quarters
1/3 c. spaghetti sauce, warmed

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside.

2. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in shallow dish. Combine egg white and milk in another shallow dish; beat with fork until well blended.

3. Dip each zucchini wedge first into crumb mixture, then into egg white mixture, letting excess drip back into dish. Roll again in crumb mixture to coat.

4. Place zucchini sticks on prepared baking sheet; coat well with cooking spray. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with spaghetti sauce.

Makes 4 servings: 2 spears per serving

Total fat....... 2 g
Sat. Fat.........1 g
Chol.............6 mg
Sodium.........329 mg
Fiber............1 g



If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Herb Companion Giveaway



The Herb Companion has been a long-time favorite magazine of mine. I've been a subscriber, but at times I pick it up at the local health food store. I get an elated feeling each time I flip through the pages. It's usually loaded with new recipes. Since it focuses on herbs, (how to cook with them, how to grow them, how to heal with them), I thought you might be interested in it, too.

The March 2009 issue talks about "The Humble Cabbage," and "Chervil: A Fine Herb for the Kitchen." In January, one of the featured articles was "Real Food Done Well," and in September of '08 I read about "Garlic - Growing Tips, Recipes and More." I even love reading the advertisements, learning more about gardening tools and herbal products.

Can you see why I'm crazy about this magazine? Did you see the title of this post? Yes, that's right! I'm hosting a giving for a one-year subscription to The Herb Companion. Isn't it exciting? So don't hesitate, jump in and enter. It's easy. Here's how:


1. Visit The Herb Companion website, then come back here and leave a comment about something new you learned or why you'd loved this magazine.

2. For a second chance to win, sign up as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner or become a Google Follower (see sidebar.) Then leave a second comment telling me you have subscribed or that you are already a subscriber.

3. If you're not a blogger, be sure to leave your contact e-mail address like this to avoid spammers: pianananna(at)gmail(dot)com. If I don't have a way to reach you or you don't respond in three days, your name will be disqualified, and I will choose again, picking my favorite answer.

The winner will be chosen by Random.org
Emails will not be shared with any third parites.

This contest is ends on Saturday February 28th at midnight ET. and is open to US residents only, 18 and over.





If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pit Stop in a Southern Kitchen




My husband and I are a big NASCAR fans. Sunday was the beginning of the new NASCAR season with the biggest race of the year, the Daytona 500. When I discovered that Jeff Gordon's Mom and Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s mom ( Dale Jr.'s grandmother) had written a cookbook together, I was very intrigued.
It wasn't long before I had my hands on one of the books. I thumbed through it thinking I would just mark a few spots I wanted to tell you about, but as you see from my copy, I almost marked the whole book.






This is more than a cookbook. Each recipe brings along with it a story of these two families and their traditions. Martha Earnhardt brings her southern cooking style to the table, and Carol Gordon Bickford, being a California girl originally, introduces West Coast flavors.




I even found my husband flipping through this cookbook, (his cooking skills only cover pancakes and eggs and bacon.) The reason? Pictures and stories. After reading through the anecdotes, I feel I really know these two families. It's like having a cookbook based on your own family's passed down favorites.

Here's a teaser recipe:

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4 10 oz. cans diced tomatoes and green chilies
4 14 1/2 oz. can chicken broth
1 30 oz. can no-fat traditional refried beans
1 c. whole kernel corn
4 c. chicken, cooked and shredded
Tortilla chips
Shredded jack or cheddar cheese

Heat tomatoes, broth, beans, corn, and chicken in a pot. Top with tortilla chips and cheese.

You can find a this book at Baker Publishing Group or through Amazon.com (see my sidebar button.)


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Sunday, February 15, 2009

POM Wonderful


Today, instead of posting a recipe, I'd like to tell you about pomegranate juice. I wasn't real familiar with pomegranate juice except for a one-time pomtini and some 7UP with pomegranate juice. I liked both a lot, but a few weeks ago, I started drinking POM Wonderful.
POM Wonderful juice is 100% pomegranate juice and has so many health benefits it's hard to know where to start. It outranks red wine and Concord grape juice in antioxidants and is great for cardiovascular health, decreasing arterial plaque and lowering LDLs.

I've been browsing the POM Wonderful web site and I discovered some great recipes made with either the juice or the pomegranate itself.
I've made a note to try POM Salsa, Glazed Cornish Game Hens, and the Smoothie Morning Shake.
I thought you might want to take a look for yourself. For the recipes, just go here. And know that you are doing the right thing for your health.



If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Country Bob's Winners


I am happy to announce the winners of the Country Bob's All-Purpose Sauce Giveaway.

clynsg and coliebear were both chosen by Randomizer.org out of 127 comments.
Congratulations! Your sauce will be on it's way shortly.
I hope you enjoy the versatility and many uses for Country Bob's sauces.

Thank you all for taking part in my giveaway. Please stop by again soon. I have more great giveaways up my sleeve!

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Suisse Mocha Tiramisu



My hubby loves sweet, but he has Diabetes II. I've been making this dessert for a few years now and it always lights up his eyes when he hears what we're having. I thought some of you might appreciate a new recipe for Saturday night (Valentine's Day)if you don't have plans to dine out. You're sure to get some compliments when you serve this light and lovely treat.

(Please excuse the name brands. This is just the way my recipe reads, and I wanted to make sure you fully understood it. Feel free to substitute name brands of your choice.)

Prep: 15 minutes
Refrigerate: 3 hours

1/3 cup General Foods International Coffees Sugar Free Fat Free Suisse Mocha flavor, divided
2 T. hot water
1 pkg. (3 oz.) ladyfingers, split
2 1/2 c. cold fat free milk, divided (I use 1 percent)
1 tub (8 0z.) Philadelphia Fat-free Cream Cheese (I have used neuchatel)
2 pkg. ( 4 serving size each)Jello Vanilla Flavor Fat-Free Sugar-Free Instant Reduced Calorie Pudding & Pie Filling
1 c. thawed Cool Whip Lite whipped topping

1. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of the flavored instant coffee in hot water in small bowl; sprinkle over ladyfingers (I lay them out on a cookie sheet first)

2. Line bottom and side of shallow 2 qt. dessert dish with ladyfingers. (A clear bowl or truffle bowl works best so you can see the pretty patterns)

3. Place 1/2 cup of the milk, cream cheese, and remaining undissolved flavored instant coffee in blender container; cover. Blend on medium speed until smooth. Add pudding mixes and remaining 2 cups milk; cover. Blend on medium speed until smooth.. Carefully pour until lined bowl. Top with whipped topping.

4. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or until set. Just before serving, sprinkle with additional flavored instant coffee, if desired.

Makes 12 servings

Calories 100
Total Fat 2 g
Sat. Fat < 1 g
Cholesterol 30 mg
Sodium 370 mg
Sugars 9 g







If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fast Growing Trees

I know this is a recipe blog, and I don't plan on changing things, but I've been thinking about our health and about shopping for fresh and safe vegetables and fruits for these heart healthy recipes I like to post.
In this economy, most of us need to find a way to lower our bills. Watching our groceries is one way we can do this. We hear so much about tainted foods but shopping at a health food store for organic produce can be pricey. It would be nice to supplement the purchases we have to make at the store with fresh produce that we've organically grown ourselves. And we would feel safe, knowing that we were offering only the best to our family and friends.
I've invited a guest writer from Fast Growing Trees Nursery to tell us more about fruit trees and bushes. I hope it will inspire you to plan ahead for a spring planting, and a summer and fall harvest.


Fruit Trees

Often times we are looking for more ways to bring self-sufficiency into our lives. One of the most satisfying ways to do that is to pick some fruit off of fruit trees and bring it home for our family.

It just feels good walking into the house with a basket full of fruit. There is nothing like it! How can you not smile from ear to ear?




The pleasure of seeing your kids pick berries off of healthy, clean blueberry bushes in early summer does a parent good! How easy it is for them to enjoy the realization of where fruit actually comes from. Thornless blackberry bushes around the 4th of July makes for healthy snacking, pie baking and smoothies each summer without the worries of scratches and scrapes.

Peaches follow in mid-summer. The ease of picking is why dwarf peach trees are gaining more and more popularity in homes across America. With the average height being about 15 feet tall, a set of strong shoulders or a regular sized ladder is all it takes to fill that basket.




Fall brings the weeks and weeks of enjoying fresh and delicious fruit off of your dwarf apple trees. Little feet figure out quick how to climb up into the tree for easy picking. Apple sauce, baked with brown sugar, sliced into salads or dipped in peanut butter, make delicious snacks. Apples are, without a doubt, America’s favorite fruit snack!




If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Country Bob's Sauce Giveaway

Recently I became acquainted with Country Bob's All-Purpose Sauce. Sometimes my husband just wants a little something extra on his food, and he really likes barbecue sauces and steak sauces of all kinds. We couldn't wait to try Country Bob's to see what all the fuss was about.



Country Bob's offers several recipes to use with the sauce so we tried the World's Greatest Burgers recipe. Now to be honest, it's cold and snowy and we don't go out unless we have to at the end of the work day, so I didn't have all of the proper ingredients on hand.



I didn't have any Lipton soup mix in the cupboard, which is unusual for me, and I didn't have any Country Bob's Season Salt. Instead of the soup mix, I used dried onion flakes, and in place of Country Bob's seasoning, I used Lawry's Seasoned Salt.



Both hubby and I agree it was the best burger we ever made! I only wish I had been able to put it on an outdoor grill. (We used the George Foreman's.) The burger was juicy and very flavorful.

The burgers were so good we had to try it out on a steak the next night (fat trimmed, of course.) A side of grilled onions and mushrooms and Duane (my husband) proclaimed it one of the best steaks he's ever had. And that's saying something.

Country Bob's is giving you a chance to try their great All-Purpose Sauce. Two winners will be chosen to receive two bottles each. Giveaway ends at midnight on Friday, February 13th. Here's all you have to do:

1. Visit Country Bob's site and tell me what recipe you'd like to try.

2. For a second chance to win, sign up as an e-mail subscriber with Feedburner or become a Google Follower (see sidebar.) Then leave a second comment telling me you have subscribed or that you are already a subscriber.

3. If you're not a blogger, be sure to leave your contact e-mail address like this to avoid spammers: pianananna(at)gmail(dot)com. If I don't have a way to reach you or you don't respond in three days, your name will be disqualified, and I will choose again, picking my favorite answer.


If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Breakfast English Muffins



I got this picture from a blog called Journey with Joy. She has a great recipe for making your own English Muffins. Of course, I was attracted to this photo because of my love for blue willow dishes.
Whether you make your own muffins or use store bought, you can make a low fat breakfast muffin equal to, or better than, any you can find at a fast food restaurant.
Canadian bacon was new to me until a few years ago. It's fully cooked and is more like ham than bacon. It's heats very quickly and has a nice smoky flavor.

Here's the recipe for Breakfast English Muffins:

2 English muffins, split into halves and toasted
2 T. plain nonfat yogurt
1 T. spicy brown or Dijon mustard
1/2 t. dried tarragon or basil leaves
4 poached eggs, kept warm
4 large tomato slices (about 1/4 in thick)
4 slices Canadian bacon
2 (1 oz. each) slices reduced fat Swiss cheese, cut crosswise into halves or 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Paprika (opt.)


Preheat broiler.Place muffin halves on baking sheet or broiler pan.

Combine yogurt, mustard, and tarragon in a small bowl and stir until well blended.
Spread 1/4 of yogurt mixture evenly over each muffin half.
Top each muffin half with poached egg, tomato slice, and Canadian bacon.

Place under broiler about 4 inches form the heat source; broil 2 minutes.
Top each muffin with cheese slice half and broil 1 minute or until cheese begins to brown slightly.
Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings ( 1 muffin half each)
Cal.........233
Total fat...9 g.
Sat. fat....3 g.
Carb........17 g.
Sodium......836 mg.
Fiber.........1 g.





If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories