Sunday, February 28, 2010

Artichoke Dip




1 c. low-fat cottage cheese
2 T. reduced calorie mayonnaise
2 T. plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1/8 t. paprika
1 ( 5 1/4 oz.) box whole grain melba rounds

Combine first 4 ingredients in blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth.
Stir in chopped artichoke hearts.
Cover and chill thoroughly.
Sprinkle with paprika just before serving.
Serve with melba rounds.

YIELD: 8 appetizer servings = 1/4 c. plus 1 T. each dip and melba rounds apiece



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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sourdough Tomato Bread




Here's a recipe you can make that will need the sourdough starter from yesterday's post.


Sourdough Tomato Bread:
1 ( 28 oz.) can tomatoes, undrained and mashed
1 c. Sourdough starter ( at room temperature)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. minced fresh chives
2 t. vegetable oil
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. dried whole oregano
2 pkg. dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
9 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
vegetable cooking spray

Combine first 9 ingredients in a large bowl; beat at low speed until well blended.  Set aside.
Dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand 5 minutes.
Add to tomato mixture; beat well.
Gradually add flour, beating until well blended. (dough will be sticky.)

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic (about 8-10 minutes - if using a stand mixer, until dough pulls away from the bowl)
Place in a large bowl that has been coated with cooking spray, turn to grease top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees)free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down and divide in half.
Shape each half into a loaf.
Place loaves in two 9x5x3 in. loaf pans that have been coated with cooking spray.
Cover and let rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped.
Remove from pans, and let cool on wire racks.

YIELD: 36 servings
128 calories per 1/2 inch slice
cholesterol .........0
sodium..............85
fat..................1.2
calcium.............33



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Friday, February 26, 2010

Sourdough Starter




Have you always wondered how to make your own sourdough starter?  It's easy but it does take some time - days in fact. For some bread recipes, sourdough starter is required, so if you are planning on using it in a recipe, you'll need to plan ahead.


Sourdough Starter:

1 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)
1/4 c. plain low-fat yogurt
1 c. all-purpose flour
Starter Food (See below)

Combine water and yogurt; stir well. Pour into a 2 qt. non-metal casserole dish that has been warmed.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap or cheesecloth; let stand in a warm place (85 degrees) for 24 hours.
Gradually stir in flour until well blended.
Cover and let stand in a warm place (85 degrees) for 72 hours; stirring 2-3 times daily.
Place fermented mixture in refrigerator, and stir once a day.
Use within 11 days.

To use starter, remove from refrigerator; let stand at room temperature at lest 1 hour.
Stir starter well, and measure amount needed for recipe.
Replenish remaining starter with Starter Food, and return to refrigerator.
Use starter within 11 days, stirring daily.
YIELD:
1/12 cups (25 calories per tablespoon)

Starter Food :
3/4 c, all-purpose flour
3/4 c. warm water (105-115 degrees)

Combine both ingredients, stir into remaining Sourdough Starter.
YIELD:
1 cup


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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Lent - Sweet and Sour Catfish


For the Lenten season, I am going to run a fish recipe every Thursday, so if you fast omitting meat from your diet, you should enjoy this series. If you are not a faster, but still like fish, this series will be perfect for you also.  The first one is catfish - a favorite at our house.

Vegetable cooking spray
1 t. vegetable oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
3/4 c. sliced carrots
2 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
3 T. Chablis or other dry white wine
3 T. water
3 T. reduced calorie catsup
2 T. cornstarch
1 1/2 t. water
3/4 c. snow pea  pods ( 2 1/2 ounces)
4 ( 6 oz.) dressed farm-raised catfish
1 T. lemon juice
1 t. garlic powder

Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray;  add oil.  Place over medium-high heat until hot. 
Add onion, and sauté until tender.
Add carrot and next 5 ingredients.
Bring to a boil, boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Soften cornstarch in 1 1/2 t. water; stir into onion mixture.
Add snow peas, cook stirring constantly, until vegetables are crisp-tender and mixture is thickened.  Set aside and keep warm.
Place fish on rack of a broiler pan that has been coated with cooking spray.  Brush fish with lemon juice and sprinkle with garlic powder.
Broil 4 inches from heat for 6 minutes.
Carefully turn with spatula; broil 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Spoon vegetable mixture over fish.
Serve immediately.

YIELD: 4 servings
268 calories per serving



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Ratatouille Soup



Vegetable cooking spray

1 t. vegetable oil
1 med. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 med.green pepper, seeded and chopped
1/3 c. chopped celery
1 (1-lb.) eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. cubes
1 med. zucchini, sliced
1 (16-oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped
1/2 t. dried whole oregano
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. dried whole basil
2 c. no-salt added tomato juice
1 c. water
2 T. plus 2 t. grated Parmesan cheese

Coat a large Dutch oven with cooking spray; add oil.

Place over medium-high heat until hot.

Add onion, garlic, green pepper, and celery, and sauté 5 minutes.

Add eggplant and sauté an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in zucchini and next 6 ingredients; cover, reduce heat, and cook 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Spoon soup into individual serving bowls.

Sprinkle 1 t. Parmesan cheese over each serving.

YIELD: 8 cups
67 calories per 1 cup serving



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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mexican Beef Stew with Tortilla Dumplings


1 lb.  ground chuck
1/2  t. beef-flavored bouillon granules
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. minced fresh cilantro
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. dried whole oregano
1/2 t. dried whole basil
2 ( 4-oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
2 1/2 c. water
2 1/2 c. spicy hot vegetable juice cocktail
3 ( 6-in) flour tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces


Cook ground chuck in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until browned, stirring to crumble.  Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Wipe pan drippings from the dutch oven with a paper towel.

Return meat to Dutch oven, add remaining ingredients except tortillas.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
Add tortillas, cover and cook an additional 20 minutes or until tortillas resemble dumplings.

YIELD: 6 cups
240 calories per 1 cup serving





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Monday, February 8, 2010

Chemical-Free Power Cleaner Giveaway !

Have you ever had giggles of joy and childlike laughter while cleaning your kitchen? I never thought it was possible, but that's what happened to me when I was given the chance to try out an Inoator HOM from Activeion (pronounced active -eye-on. ) I don't know quite where to begin except to say this is a new concept in cleaning that will blow your mind!

Why am I talking about it here on my cooking blog?  Because with the worries we all have now about salmonella, E-coli, H1N1, and and all the other harmful bacterias out there, we want our kitchens to be as clean and safe as possible. But does that mean you have to spritz everything with  chemicals?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!

Now here's the weird part; or so it will seem at first.  Activeion has discovered a way to clean and sanitize using only water -- yes I said water.  I could not believe it, but I'm telling you it really works! You fill the reservoir with regular tap water, plug in the charging unit to any electrical outlet and wait for the red light to turn off- that means it's ready to go.  The water is now ready to be ionized! There is a scientific explanation, but I'm not much on science. Please take a few minutes and watch this fun video with Bill Nye the Science Guy, and he'll tell you how it works.  Then if you believe it -- and me -- come back and enter to win an Ionator HOM  of your own.  You'll be cleaning everything in sight just to see if it works.  I could not stop myself.  I ran from the stove, to the microwave, to the windows, and the countertops, saying  "no, this can't be!"  Amazing!  I'm thrilled.  I hope you will be, too.



The Activeion has been featured on PBS, CNBC, Ellen Degeneres, many others. It is now being used in schools and hospitals all over the country.  If you're ready to think outside the box and want an Ionator HOM from Activeion of your own, here's how to enter to win one:

Here's how to enter:

1. Leave a comment after visiting the Activeion web site, and tell me something exciting and new you learned or how you would use the Ionator HOM.

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

If you subscribe in more than one way, leave a separate comment for each.

3. For a third chance to win, blog or Tweet about this contest with a link here, then come back and leave another comment telling me about it.

4. 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.



Good Luck!!

Open to US residents only, 18+.

Winners will be chosen by random.org.

Email addresses will not be shared with any third parties.

This Giveaway ends on  Monday, February 15th at midnight EST.


Activeion provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it; nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.






If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Friday, February 5, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV Barbecue Sauce


What are you doing on Sunday, February 7, 2010?  If you're not watching football, something must be wrong! It is predicted that over 90 million people will watch Super Bowl XLIV.  That's a lot of football fans.  Or maybe not.  Maybe you just like to gather with your friends, eat, and watch some great commercials. Whatever your motives, and whoever you root for, a good barbecue sauce is always needed to help the day along.  Make your own and surprise your guests. This recipe is easy, herbal, and no fat, but, beware, there is some sugar in the ketchup.

1 c. ketchup
1 1/2 c. water
1 T. flour
2 T. tarragon vinegar or balsamic vinegar (any herbal vinegar will do)
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t. oregano
1/4 t. marjoram
1/8 t. thyme
 dash of garlic salt


Put all ingredients in the blender and process at blend until thoroughly mixed through.
Spread on meat while broiling or grilling.


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Bits, Tales, and Yarns

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Two Standby Salad Dressings



Looking for ways to save on your grocery budget? Make your own salad dressings.
Here are a few old favorites of mine that are easy to make with ingredients right out of your cupboard.

Low Cal Herb Dressing:

1 8oz. can tomato sauce
2 T tarragon vinegar (if you don't have that any vinegar will do, especially good is balsamic)
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. onion juice
1 t. dill seed
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. basil
1/4 t. sugar
dash of salt
dash of pepper

Put all ingredients in the blender and process at whip until well-blended.


Celery Seed Dressing:

1/2 c. olive oil or vegetable oil
1 t. salt
1/4 c. vinegar (I use apple cider in this one)
1/2 honey
1/2 t. celery seed

Put all ingredients in blender and process at whip until well-blended.

1/21/2 c.













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Thyme for Herbs
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