Simple advice for a better life.

Chick Peas VinaigretteChickpeas, also known as Garbanzo Beans, is very high in protein, thus an excellent food choice for vegetarians, vegans, and great for Fat Smashing Diet folks.

I prefer vinaigrette salads over the ones with mayo, and would easily choose many vegetables over some meats.  This Chickpeas Vinaigrette salad is just the perfect combination for me, and you might like it as well.

It is very easy and quick to assemble, and holds well for several days, refrigerated.  It is perfect for any occasion, such a party food, light lunch, or a healthful snack.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Chickpeas (I used 1 can of Progresso)
  • ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I used my “best on earth” garlic chopper)
  • ½ cup of celery, finely chopped
  • ½ cup red pepper, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 2Tbs fresh Italian Parsley leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Black Pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine  the chickpeas, onions, garlic, celery, red and yellow pepper, and Italian Parsley.
  2. Fold with a spoon to mix evenly.
  3. Prepare the vinaigrette dressing by combining the Red Wine Vinegar and olive oil in a shaker, and mix well.
  4. Pour over the vegetables.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Refrigerate for an hour, or overnight, for the flavors to marry.

How To Tell The Sex Of A Fly – Humor

Striped Leaf-Roller fly

Creative Commons License photo credit: John Tann

It’s time to post some humor…..

it’s been a while,

don’t you agree?

I received this one in an email from a friend of mine who loves humor, and thought it would be fun to share it with all of you.

A woman walked into the kitchen to find her
husband standing around with a fly swatter

“What are you doing?”

She asked.

“Hunting Flies”

He responded.

“Oh. !

Killing any?”

She asked.

“Yep, 3 males, 2 Females,”

he replied.

Intrigued, she asked.

“How can you tell them apart?”

He responded,

“3 were on a beer can,

2 were on the phone

Buttermilk Waffles – Recipe

Homemade WafflesBreakfast is the most important meal of the day, since it provides us with the “fuel” necessary to jump-start your day.  However many of us are too busy in the morning to fit this meal into our schedule, thus most people skip it altogether, or just grab something quick on the go, like a cup of coffee.

I try to have breakfast every morning, and on weekends I put an extra effort to make it a little more special.

I love making pancakes and waffles from scratch.  Recently I received a very nice Cuisinart Waffle Maker, so today I will share my daughter’s recipe for Buttermilk Waffles.  These are very light, fluffy, moist, and healthful for you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of white all-purpose flour (I use unbleached flour)
  • 1/2 cup Whole Wheat flour
  • 3 Tbs sugar (I use Brown Sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. your favorite extract (I used Orange Flavored Extract)
  • 2 cups Buttermilk, room temperature
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs until smooth.
  2. Using a whisk, mix in the melted butter, to make emulsion.
  3. Stir in buttermilk, and your favorite extract.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients- flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder)
  5. Preheat your waffle iron per manufacturer instructions.
  6. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry mixture.
  7. Mix just until combined, but not smooth (batter should be lumpy).
  8. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Spray your waffle iron with cooking spray (repeat before each use).
  10. Pour 3 oz of batter (a little less than 1/2 cup) onto your preheated waffle iron, close the lid.
  11. Do not open the lid until the green light is back on (on this particular waffle iron), or check your operating instructions of your waffle iron.
  12. Serve with fresh fruit, your favorite syrup, whipped cream, ice cream, or whatever your little heart desires.  (I served mine with sauteed apples, fresh Blueberries and Blackberries, whipped cream and a little bit of syrup).

These waffles are best served fresh, but you can also freeze them for later use.

TIP: To freeze these waffles, you need to make sure they are completely cooled off, then place a piece of waxed paper between each waffle, before placing them in a freezer compatible plastic bag, seal well, and freeze up to 3 months (but I’m sure you will not resist to keep them there that long). I always date my freezer bags, so I know how long the food has been frozen.

Spring Showers – Baby Showers

Baby Shower cakeApril showers bring May flower, but spring months also burst with wedding showers, and baby showers.

I had a pleasure of attending a baby shower, a couple of weeks ago, and as always, I look for and admire, the creativity of others.

I spotted a very nice diaper cake:

Diaper cake

Someone put a lot of effort into decorating this cake with numerous, and  very useful baby items.

The food was wonderful, as it took place in a very cozy Italian restaurant,  in New Jersey.

The favors were quite appropriate for the season and the occasion, and very practical.

This cute kitchen gadget, which everyone always needs, was an egg shaped kitchen timer, nestled in a pretty gift box:

Egg shaped kitchen timer

Isn’t  that just the most wonderful idea?  (I actually needed a kitchen timer, as  my decided to retire before its time).

If you are planning a baby shower in a near future, these are some ideas for you, or you can  check out my previous posts for great games ideas, thoughtful favors, blue or pink punch recipes, or a different version of a diaper cake.

It can’t get any easier to find all of these ideas with only a few clicks of your mouse.

Enjoy your party planning.

Easy Paczki (Quick Donuts)I love homemade donuts, especially those made from a Ukrainian or Polish recipe, since it reminds me of my mom’s heaping plate of these, for special occasions, or weekends.

If you ever had homemade donuts, you will agree that they are absolutely delicious!!

Since donuts are made from yeast raised dough, it normally is a long process, due to the waiting time it takes for the dough to rise.  However I came across a super website  about Eastern European Foods, by Barbara Rolek, and spotted a video on how to make homemade donuts, or Paczki, as they are known in Polish, or Pampushky – in Ukrainian.

The whole process seemed very quick and simple, since the recipe is for only about 12 donuts, so I copied the recipe and gave it a try.

My family really enjoyed these donuts, however I was told that next time I should at least triple this recipe.

You can watch the video for the technique and ingredients, but I will also share these with you for your convenience.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • ½ cup warm milk (warmed in the microwave to 110°)
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 cups (about) flour
  • Oil for frying (about 2 cups)
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting the cooled donuts)

Directions:
(I would suggest for you to watch the video first, and then follow my instructions, if needed)

  1. In a mixing bowl add the butter, sugar, warm milk, and vanilla.
  2. Whisk to combine.
  3. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture, and whisk in.
  4. Gradually keep adding the flour, while whisking it in.
  5. Place the dough on a floured work area, add little more flour, and knead for about 5 minutes to form soft dough.
  6. Place the ball of dough in a bowl.
  7. Cover with a kitchen towel, and keep in a warm place for about 1 ½ hours, or until it doubles in bulk.
  8. Remove on a floured work area, and roll out to about ½ inch thickness.
  9. Using a donuts cutter, cut out 12 donuts.
  10. Form a couple more donuts, from the remaining dough.
  11. Place cut out donuts on a floured surface (I placed them on a floured kitchen towel).
  12. Keep them in a warm place for about 1/2 hour, to rise again.
  13. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan to 350°.
  14. Place enough donuts to fill the pan, but do not overcrowd them.
  15. Fry each batch for about 2 minutes on each side. (I think I fried mine for about 1 ½ minutes on each side, since they were browning pretty fast).
  16. With a slotted spoon, remove from oil, unto a wire rack (I placed mine on a plate lined with a paper towel).
  17. Cool for about 15 minutes.
  18. You can fill them with jam, or enjoy them plain (my family wanted them plain this time).
  19. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, or leave them plain, as the are equally delicious.

I can’t wait of find out if you tried making these, and to tell me how truly easy it is to whip these up from scratch.

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