September 30, 2010

My Special Spaetzle Dinner

I made a very good dinner tonight! What it lacked in beauty, it made up for in deliciousness. I clipped this Basil Spaetzle recipe a long time ago from an old Taste of Home magazine. Since I have an abundance of basil (quite the miracle since I've long ago given up on watering the garden) I decided it was time to try it. Here's the recipe as written, check it out then I'll detail the changes I made.


3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
3 teaspoons salt, divided
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cold water

In a bowl combine flour, basil and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in the eggs and add the cold water. Mix until dough is smooth. In a large kettle bring 4 quarts of water and remaining salt to a boil, then reduce heat. With a rubber spatula, press dough through a colander into the simmering water. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring gently so the spaetzle do not stick together. Drain and toss with butter.

So, since this spaetzle business is all new to me, I cut the recipe in half in case it didn't turn out. Though I probably did include the whole 1/3 cup of basil. The biggest problem I had was the colander part. My dough absolutely would not be pushed through the holes. I even tried my steamer strainer thing with larger holes and it was a no go. It was too sticky and thick. I ended up just pinching off bits of dough and dropping them in the water. That took a while so some pieces cooked much longer than others, but it all turned out fine. Actually, it turned out wonderful! They were chewy little funny looking dumplings with a very nice buttery basil flavor. I sauteed onion, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic in some olive oil then tossed it all together with the spaetzle and some parmesan cheese. YUM!!!

And, I must talk about my cauliflower too. I found a recipe on for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower. I've never cooked cauliflower before and it's been a very long time since I've eaten it raw. I forgot that I really like it! And this recipe turned out great. I made a couple changes in the method based on reviews and my fear of broiling. I covered the pan with foil while baking. After 25-30 minutes, I tossed it with panko crumbs and parmesan cheese then just baked it for about 5 more minutes uncovered (instead of broiling it). Broiling makes me nervous. I avoid it whenever I can so that my dinner won't go up in flames.

It was a tasty vegetarian meal. My son LOVED the spaetzle, he was so-so on the cauliflower so I made a little cheese dip to go with it and he managed to eat a few pieces. Hubby gave me that famous "compliment" he gives me every so often, "it's not as bad as I expected." He is not a cauliflower fan, so I give him props for trying it. He liked the rest of the meal just fine though. I'll definitely be making both of these dishes again!

September 21, 2010


I go there way too much. And it's not really a matter of loving their food, it's more a matter of convenience and cheap drinks from 2-4pm. It seems there's a Sonic around every corner, including one very close to school where I pick up my son every day at 3:30 (that's HAAAAAPY hour baby!) So, since I frequent there I've done some research into some of the good and bad food choices that they offer, since often I've got the munchies when I stop there for my drinks. I'm only comparing the el cheapo stuff since in my opinion, most of their food is overpriced and really not that great.

The good (good being a relative term here):

Corn Dog (surprise!) 210 Cal 11g Fat
Chicken Strips (2) 200 Cal 11g Fat
Small Tots 130 Cal 8g Fat
Jr Oreo Sundae 150 Cal 5g Fat
Jr Banana Split 210Cal 6g Fat

The bad (there's tons of bad, but here's a few that have called my name)

Frito Chili Cheese Wrap 670 Cal 39g Fat
French Toast Sticks 500 Cal 31g Fat
Caramel Java Chiller 500 Cal 25 Fat
Pretty much any shake-type concoction is gonna run into the 500-1000 calorie range
with fat grams ranging from 30-70.

And just a tip, if you skip the mayo on any sandwich/burger, you save approx 80 calories and 9 grams of fat. Sub with mustard for only 5 calories and zero fat.

And another tip. Stay away from the 20 oz Snickers Sonic Blast. It's the highest calorie thing on the menu. 1210 calories and 58 grams of fat.

The best news of all for me is that my super favorite drink, my precious Route 44 Peach Tea rings in at only 10 calories!! For the whole dang drink - all 44 ounces. Yay! I highly recommend it, it's plenty sweet with the little peach flavoring they add. Their regular sweet tea, same size, is 400 calories!

You can check out the rest HERE!

Happy Sonic-ing.

September 12, 2010

Apple Crisp

Tis the season to think about apples! This is my absolute favorite apple dessert recipe, it's simple and delicious and gets rave reviews every time I make it. And, last night I made it using peaches instead of apples (omitting the cinnamon) and it was wonderful as well. It was gone so quickly, I didn't even get a pic. I'll be making it again soon enough :)

Apple Crisp

3-4 cups apples, sliced thin
1/2 cup sugar
1 T flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon

3/4 cup oats
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 t soda
1/4 t baking powder
1/3 cup melted butter or margarine

Combine first five ingredients and mix well. Place in greased baking pan. Mix remaining ingredients till crumbly and put evenly over the apple mixture. Baked at 350 degrees for 40 min or until apples are done.

September 10, 2010

Fruit Salad

My daughter turned two this week and it made me realize it was the second anniversary of something else. Towards the end of my pregnancy with her and right after she was born I craved fruit something awful. Well, maybe awful isn't a good word since it's a very good thing to crave! I remember in the hospital ordering a big fruit bowl with my meals and eating that fruit like it was candy. So, after I came home word spread of my craving. When my sister came over that first week she had a special "package" from my Dad. A large bowl of his home-made fruit salad. Yum! And guess what? He has continued to keep me stocked on this fruit salad for two years. What an awesome Dad! I get a big Tupperware bowl of it just about every week. It is a mixture of apples, grapes, oranges and pineapples. I eat it almost every day with my lunch and my now two year old daughter likes to pick out the grapes and oranges for herself :) I don't always crave it like I used to but how easy is it to eat fruit when it is all cut up nice and right there front & center in the fridge. I'm still lovin' it.

Thanks Dad!

September 04, 2010

This week's dinners...

had some highs and lows.

Monday - Tex Mex Chili with Corn and Black Beans. It was yummy. Chili is yummy. Who doesn't love chili?

Tuesday - Honey Dijon Chicken and some Sweet Potato Soup that was a big fat FAIL. I thought it would be fine to substitute some old frozen turkey stock in place of the chicken broth. Not wise. Shoulda thrown that funky stuff out like 6 months ago. So, I dumped the soup, it was sad but necessary. The chicken turned out good though.

Wednesday - leftovers

Thursday - Italian chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Cheesy Garlic Bread. This was pretty good though I'd planned to put some spaghetti sauce on top then discovered we were all out. So, I added some extra Italian seasoning and some parmesan cheese and it turned out alright.

Friday - Vegetarian night! Black bean soup and mushroom & onion quesadillas. I got the soup recipe from my "101 Foods That Could Save Your Life" book. I thought it was absolutely delicious. No one really agreed with me on that. Hubby's words were, "It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be." Not exactly high praise, but I wasn't surprised given beans are not his fav. My son ate half a bowl only after smothering it with cheese and sour cream. The quesadillas however were loved by all. Here's a pic of tonight's meal.

September 02, 2010

A Good Deal

My Kohl's store is selling this book for $5.00 right now.

I've been wanting to try it out for a while and that's such a great deal, even cheaper than you can buy a copy online. Anyway, the premise of this book is to prepare various fruit and vegetable purees, like sweet potato, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, mostly things that kids refuse to eat. Then, take the purees and hide them in everyday food like mac & cheese, nuggets, brownies, etc and supposedly no one will ever be able to tell you're sneaking vegetables into the food. This book is nicely put together, it's fun to read, has great pics and some very good looking recipes! I'm anxious to try some of them.

I do have a slight problem with this book though. I realize some kids have a very strong aversion to vegetables. And getting them to eat healthy is hard. But, this book relies very heavily on the themes of being sneaky, secretive and deceiving. The first page of the recipe section states, "The Deception Begins..." That kinda leaves a bad taste in my mouth. So, the kids eat their nuggets, burgers and brownies thinking they never have to eat vegetables? I think a better way would be to tell them and teach them that they can be yummy! My son actually gets excited when I sneak something into dinner like that. There should be satisfaction in eating good rather than thinking you got away with another meal of nothing healthy. Does that make sense? I think disguising the vegetables is fine! I just don't think it needs to be a big secret. I'll be trying some of the recipes soon and I'll let you know how "deceptively delicious" they really are :)