Thursday, December 22, 2011

Orange Pinapple Syrup

So far from the two syrups I have made from Prairie Moon beverage concentrate. The Root Beer has a 4 star rating and the Orange Pineapple a 3 star.
For those not familiar with my rating system each member of my family gets a vote - making the highest rating a 4 star. The orange pineapple was too sweet for me, its good, but really gets over powering after a few sips.
Both syrups I made following the Stevia and Agave directions. Something I highly recommend!
You need 1 oz. of Syrup per 1 Lit. of carbonated water. If you make it following sugar or other sweeteners you need 2 oz. of syrup per 1 lit.

We love Prairie Moon, flavorings, pricing and how quickly they shipped!
I highly recommend this to anyone who loves soda but wants to control quality and sugar not to mention help the environment!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Shepard's Pie (An Irish Eggroll)

Shepard's pie to me is the equivalent of the eggroll or as I like to call it "An Irish Eggroll". The point of both is to use up left overs - toss in whatever you have handy. In this grand tradition I refuse to follow any recipes.
Both times in the last two months that I have made Shepard's Pie I had done so on my own - each time they have been quickly devoured by my hubby who LOVES Shepard's Pie.

That said I do happen to have one or two friends that have to have some form of base or guide line. Hence the above recipe card of sorts.

Brown ground beef, saute mushrooms (or onion, garlic, cabbage - the list is endless) heat up veggies - do not over cook.
Add them to cooked ground beef and sauteed veggies. (Cook the ones you want cooked, saute the ones you want sauteed... I really am very loosey goosey. The whole point is to use foods you like cooked the way you like)
If you want a white sauce you can use sour cream like I did, alfredo sauce, milk and cream again list is fluid.
If you want a thin sauce I would go with an onion soup, water or an onion and garlic reduction.

Normally you would use hot veggies and cold leftover mashed potatoes. (I always do) this means that you really only need to heat the mashed potatoes. The time and heat above depends on how large a portion you have made and if the mashed potatoes are hot or cold.
You can use tin foil to cover and cook if you like and you can top with cheese if you like. We tend to stick to very basic preparations and ingredients - however, if you are a "classier" cook I am sure your leftovers will be too.

Anyway here is my latest version of Shepard' Pie - hope you enjoy! Never be afraid to cook without a recipe, follow basic cooking guidelines and preparation, along with your own personal taste and gut instinct and you will end up with a master piece!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Home Made Syrup for Soda Stream

My new Soda Stream Jet is amazing and I love it! The flavored waters are very light and if you add 1-3 drops of Vanilla Stevia they are sweet without any bad sugar additives! The orange flavor with the stevia tastes like orange sickles! YUM!

I looked on their website and I want to try their natural sodas as well as their teas. However, to buy enough to make shipping worth it (my local stores don't sell those) it would cost well over a hundred dollars.
Not something I really want to shell out right before the holidays!

So I went searching online! I found a great blog by "Former Chef" and the three syrup recipes that they have made thus far for their Soda Stream.

1st Recipe
Ginger Syrup for Ginger Ale

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup palm sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 cups water
4 oz peeled and sliced ginger (I started with 6-7 oz whole fresh ginger)
2 tsp cardamom pods
1 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp peppercorns
3 ea. star anise pods

In a small pot, combine the sugars with the water and add the peeled and sliced ginger. I used the palm sugar (in the photo at the top) because I had it, but you can also use 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup white .
Toast the whole spices in a saute pan until they just begin to brown and become fragrant. Add them to the sugar and water mixture and bring it to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes and then turn off the heat.
Allow to steep until cool. At this point you can strain it into a clean container and store it in the refrigerator. Chill.

For me, 2 Tbsp of syrup with 12 oz soda water and some ice makes a very refreshing glass of ginger ale.

2nd Recipe
Tummy Tamer Soda Syrup Recipe:

peel from 1 orange, cut off white pith
juice from 1 orange, about 1/4 cup
1 oz fresh mint, rough chopped
2 oz fresh ginger, sliced 1/8″ thick
2 Tbsp toasted anise seed
2 cups Sugar
2 cups Water

In a small saute pan toast the anise seed for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from heat.

Cut the skin off an orange with a sharp paring knife and then carefully cut off as much of the white pith from the skin as possible. Cut the same orange in half and squeeze the juice out of it.

Slice the ginger into 1/8 ” pieces and rough chop the mint.

Combine sugar and water in a small heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a low simmer and stir until sugar dissolves. Add in the orange peel, orange juice, mint, ginger pieces and toasted anise seed. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let syrup steep as it cools.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer and store in a clean container in the refrigerator.

For the soda I usually combine about 2 Tbsp of the syrup with 12 oz soda water

3rd Recipe
Lime Syrup

2/3 cup lime juice (about 1.25 lbs key limes)
2 tsp. lime zest
2/3 cup water
1 1/3 cups sugar

Combine all ingredients. Simmer for 5 minutes and cool. Serve with sparkling water over ice.

I have not had a chance to try them out but I will be sure to review them as well as photo them (probably not as good as the original) when I get a chance!
Also I found two books Homemade Soda - 200 recipes  & Homemade Rootbeer that I will be getting!
I will share photos, ideas and ingredient lists (not exact amounts as they are copyrighted) but a general feel - enough that you will know if you want to buy the books or not!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Soda Stream - My new toy!

 My BFF got me an early Christmas present!
I have wanted a Soda Stream maker for a very long time!
This model is called Jet!
The flavors for the water are not like the over sweet carbonated waters you can buy at the store,
instead its a light taste that is refreshing with no bad artificial sweeteners!

So far we have only made the Lemon-Lime, as it stands in my home it has a 3 of 4 rating! Meaning 3 of the 4 of us like it! My son as always is the picky on - I will try their natural flavors on him later. They are made with all natural ingredients (the ones marked natural or pure) and no dyes!
Something we need! As LittleMan can not handle dye!

Christmas comes early and I am playing!
I will continue to post reviews not only on the machine but on the various flavors and types.

As always this review is 100% my own and was not endorsed by anyone.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cinnamon Applesauce

Photos to follow will show my step by step process
The ingredient list is very fluid as it depends on the amount of apples you use.
My cooking time was 4 hours - because I like to add a lot of water and then slowly boil it out.
If you can baby sit the stove and stir every few minutes you can cook with less water and a faster period of time.

I placed the peeled apples in a lemon water bath to keep them from turning brown.

Using a corer saves a ton of time!
Also when I added the whole spices I locked them in a tea strainer 
so that I could easily remove them after cooking.

What it looked like half way done
and then all the way done.
I like a very fine sauce as I love to use it as an ice cream topping!

Note: This does use candy that has a wax coating. When you stir make sure to scrape the sides and a filmy top is to be expected. It stirs in easily, trust me its worth it!
And there you have it home made applesauce from home grown apples!

Sorry I have been gone for a while - my camera broke and I just got my new one!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Cookbook Love

My newest cook book!
Can't wait to jump in and start cooking!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Home Made Honey Mustard Dressing

First and foremost I want to thank both I Am Mama Hear Me Roar and Picnik for helping me find and use this great photo site!
One day and I am addicted!

As for the Dressing
It has equal parts
Veggies Oil
and 1/6 parts
lemon juice
Honey Dijon Mustard

The flavor is incredible without being over powering - an instant new family favorite!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rock Creek Pizza - Restaraunt Review

My plate after hitting the buffet!

Kids plates

Our friends invited us out for lunch - Awesome them!
Unfortunately due to my Schatzki ring - I spent the majority of the time in the restroom - thankfully I can state the facilities are clean and well kept.

Once my issues quieted down I was able to enjoy the food - the ambiance and some time with family.
I unfortunately lost most of my time with Sarah as she was on a lunch dead line.

Tasty and many varieties
The Lunch Buffet
The salad portion was well stocked for a pizza buffet offering food for adults and children
The pizza portions were kept warm - well stocked and had many varieties.

Service was excellent once the poor staffer got off the phone to the manager on taking our discounted coupons - handled well.

Four star food rating and service!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Home Made Lemonade

Sorry I am just learning how to make my own photo montage in a cheap program!

The key to making lemonade is math. Having the right equations. Squeeze your lemons - add equal amount of sugar as lemon juice then add 3 to 4 times the amount water depending on taste.
If you like a thicker sweeter use three times the water if you like a thinner but refreshing tasting add four times the water.

Kids take on it? - They love it and both begged me not to sell it on the side of the road as they wanted to drink it.
My question is have they ever seen me sell anything off the side of the rode?
Didn't think so!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Kowloon Cafe - Restaraunt Review

Ham Fried Rice
Sweet & Sour Chicken
Sesame Chicken

Cream Cheese Wontons

Egg Rolls 
(hubby shooed me away from his food so I didn't get a good photo of them)

Shrimp with Lobster Sauce over Ham Fried Rice
Special Chow Mein Cantonese Style

I have been eating at this restaurant since I was a babe.
There food is always good, service is fast and friendly
I have never had them screw up an order.
For American Chinese Food - this is some of the best you can find!
5 stars on everything!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Steak, Potatoes, Cheese and Broccoli - adult & kid versions

The adult dinner is following the eating for B diet
proving that you don't have to skimp to eat good.

So far I have lost 6 pds and I am eating good food that fills me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Burger King - Fast Food Review

Our day started early. I woke and was out the door shortly after 5 am. With kids in tow to pick up the hubby. By 6 am we had a flat tire. 6:30 we finally had the spare on and were once again headed home.

Since our "quick" run to grab papa turned into a very long morning we decided to grab breakfast out - this is a rare occurrence as we are tight on money and really loathe fast food places.

I should have known it was going to be one of those days when at an almost empty Burger King asked us to pull forward - be warned fast food places I will never again comply - a few minutes later they brought out our food. Quickly waving us away. My hubby had quickly checked the food but a large breakfast for 4 people its easy to miss something.

They did and he did. Arriving home we realized that they had forgotten my husbands specialty breakfast sandwich. When he called to complain and get re-reimbursed would they comply? NO.

After ten minutes on the phone with the manager my husband finally tells her - "Fine keep my 3.00 dollars but you lose me as a customer." Thing is fast food places no longer care. They really would rather hold on to a measly 3.00 when they KNEW and AGREED that they had made a mistake and it had been verified, then make a customer happy.

Why? Because they don't care about loyalty they know they are there for convenience. A convenience that is no longer convenient for our family. I will no longer waste my money on such low quality food with no customer service behind it. Next time I will return home and make oatmeal and eggs - its cheaper and quite honestly it TASTES A WHOLE LOT DAMN BETTER!

So buyer beware the BURGER KING off of 3100 S 5600 W in West Valley City, Utah serves cheap food - not made well and will refuse to correct any billing mistakes that THEY make.

I give this company and its employees an F and a big thumbs up on making my really crappy morning that much better!

So far the only two places I know of that serve fast food in the Salt Lake City Area with out screwing up a food order are Arctic Circle and Arby's. Brava to them and BOO to BK.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tortilla Salad and A Cheat!

Flour tortilla
Boiled Egg
Sliced Turkey
Ranch Dressing
(eating for B)

NOT eating for B! 
Tasty though!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Perfect Brownies - Product Review

9 months ago I bought my BFF one of those 'as seen on tv' perfect brownie sets
today we finally pulled it from its box to try it out!

First we had to find the best brownies ever *Betty Crockers Triple Chunk Chocolate

After bathing the teflon nonstick surface in spray per instructions
it still pulled the tops off and left parts behind.
Also it was not a simple pull the get your brownies either 
I had to use a spatula to keep the bottoms from ripping.

Good part - bottom did not leak
Bad part - not as non stick as they want you to believe

Now if we had cooked the brownies to where they were completely dry
and allowed them to cool completely I am sure they would have been fine.

Lets face it though - I DON'T LIKE THEM THAT WAY!
I like a warm soft brownie!

The end result buy at your own risk 
I give it 3 stars

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Turkey and Feta Lettuce Salad

Honey Turkey (sliced deli meat - 2 slices)
Feta Cheese
Sweet Peas
Dried Cranberry

Honey Mustard Dressing


As always good for B! I have not lost anymore weight but have maintained.
I have also cheated a few times - like at the hospital while my daughter was in surgery.
I think the stress and the bad eating have kept me from losing more but thankfully I have not gained!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Eggs and Turkey

For breakfast or dinner Eggs are amazing!

Turkey Bacon
Smoked Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Green Onion

Always cook eggs in a hot pan
I have cooked eggs since I was 4 and its only been the last few years that I have cooked them
according to all the cooking shows rules (hot pan) and I have to say - Incredible!
Quick, fast and fluffy!

Breakfast for Two or dinner for one 
Tastes great and follows diet for B!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mikasa Giveaway - Through StoneGable!

5 Piece Place Setting 

I love plates!

I have the most incredible old bamboo set that I got from my grandmother. 

  This is Bamboo by Sango made in Japan
I have the full 12 piece set with all the trimmings
platters, tea set ect.

For my wedding I was given a Rose pattern set from my parents

This is Rose by Fine China made in China
Its an 8 piece set with tea service

My mother also bought me a special Tea Cup

Since everyone needs a special Tea Cup!
This is Hancock Platinum by Lenox made in the USA
part of the Presidential Collection

Can you tell I need some Mikasa?
I don't have any from them yet!

If I had lots of extra money to spare and more cabinet room
This would be my dream set from Mikasa!

 It might look plain but goes from 999.99 - 1500.00!
(click the photo for link)

Make sure to head on over to STONEGABLE  to enter contest ends 6/29/11!