October 28, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes

I found this recipe in an old Taste of Home magazine. I've made it twice already and these pancakes turn out great!

Pumpkin Oat Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour (I did half whole wheat)
1 cup quick cook oats
2 T wheat germ
2 t sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
pinch of cinnamon

1 c milk
1 egg
3/4 c canned pumpkin
2 T oil

Combine wet and dry ingredients separately, then mix all together just until moistened. Pour batter into a hot greased pan and turn when bubbles form. Decorate with chocolate chips or raisins if desired. (I desired chocolate, so did my helper)

Here's Mr. Pumpkin pancake looking so cute:

And, if you add the chocolate chips when the pancakes are nice and warm, they will melt and you can spread the love:

Here's my big helper:

Happy Halloween!

October 13, 2010

Papas Chorreadas

Papas chorreadas is a delicious Colombian specialty. Potatoes smothered in a cheesy sauce seasoned with onions and tomatoes.

This is a dish my mother made quite often when we were growing up. I always liked it but had forgotten about it until recently. I asked her for the recipe and my Dad scanned and emailed me this copy which is the original clipping from the newspaper where my Mom got the recipe years and years ago:

Though the recipe doesn't call for it, we always wrapped up this potato concoction in a tortilla and ate it like a big fat burrito. And this time, I also sprinkled some extra salsa and cheese on top before wrapping it up:


October 04, 2010


The only way I've ever eaten artichokes is in dips. I wasn't even sure what they tasted like since in the dips they were mixed with cheese and/or other creamy fatty stuff. So, since my "101 Foods That Could Save Your Life" book featured artichokes, I thought it would be fun to try. One large artichoke contains only 25 calories, no fat, 170 milligrams of potassium, and is a good source of vitamin C, folate, magnesium, anti-oxidants and dietary fiber. The trick is to keep your dipping sauce low in fat too.

Artichokes are intimidating looking things. And I had to do some googling to find out exactly the best way to prepare them. It's a bit complicated but kinda of fun and definitely worth the effort.

**a little disclaimer, these artichokes are about 2 days past their prime since I was lazy and didn't have time to make them when I should have. They were much prettier when I bought them, but they still tasted good

Here's my step by step for how I made my steamed artichokes:

First, rinse well with cold water. Then with some sturdy scissors, snip off the tips of the leaves. They have kind of a prickly point to them so it's best to get rid of it. Then slice off a good chunk of the stem and about 3/4 to an inch off the top of the leaves. Here's what it looks like now.

Next, prepare a steam bath for Art. I filled my pot with about 2 inches of water then added 3 cut up cloves of garlic, some lemon juice and about 5 torn basil leaves. Bring it to a boil, cover, reduce to simmer for 25 to 40 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.

When it's done it's much darker green and nice and tender. And now, the fun part, dipping and eating! I made a creamy dip with mayonnaise, sour cream, dill weed, garlic powder and pepper. Here's how you eat it- Tear off a leaf. The part that comes off the artichoke has a little bit of "meat" on it. Dip that and then eat it by scraping it with your teeth. There's not a whole lot there to start with, as the the peeling progresses, there will be more edible portion to the leaf. Work your way up, until all of the petals are removed.

With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (sometimes called the "choke") covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and dip into sauce to eat.

Give it a try, I think they are delicious and my son had lots of fun eating them too. The ones I bought were only 99 cents a piece!

PS: I almost forgot, the second time I made them, I took the garlic and basil from the cooking water and mashed them up into the dip. It added some good flavor!

October 02, 2010

Great Quote

I ran across this quote today by Michael Pollan, who is an author and "food activist" (whatever that means). Pollan says everything he's learned about food and health can be summed up in these seven words:

Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

Simple, but profound! I love it.

He also has "7 Rules for Eating" that I found in an article on WebMD. I think they are awesome too (though not always totally do-able). They are good guidelines anyway.

1. Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food.

2. Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients, or ingredients you can't pronounce.

3. Stay out of the middle of the supermarket; shop on the perimeter of the store. That's where the fresh stuff is.

4. Don't eat anything that won't eventually rot.

5. It is not just what you eat but how you eat. Always leave the table a little hungry.

6. Enjoy meals with the people you love, together, around a table and not a TV, at regular meal times. It's a good tradition.

7. Don't buy food where you buy your gasoline.

He has written several books on health and nutrition. I may just have to check them out!