Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

I love Jamie Oliver and what he is doing. He has a reality show on ABC about how he is making changes to the unhealthest city in America. What these people eat makes me sick although, I'm just as bad. It makes me more aware of the condition of my body and that I need to do something about it now.
Every now and again I'll mention that I packed my lunch every day in my senior year of high school. It's really not that hard to pack a lunch and it was even easier that my cafeteria had a microwave for student use. But the food that the school serves is disgusting! I'm sorry but, no matter how much I like them, tacos where never meant to be in triangle form. I'd always pack fruit, vegetables, whole gains, water, and a baked good. I meant a lot to me seeing that the people that I ate with actually envied what I packed.
Yes, I packed it and not my mom. I think it's important for children to help choose what they eat so that the lunch box is empty when it comes home.
I want to start cooking from scratch more. That stir fry was just step one. Baby steps they always say. Heck, this is one of the reasons why I'm determined to have a sucessful garden this year. So, I'm going to keep watching Jamie (You can watch his show food revolution on ABC on Fridays at 6).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Stir that Stir-Fry!

I love stir fry. My mom use to buy this frozen stirfry mix that came with some sort of gravy. The only problem is we can not find it. Now, I think we found our fix.

Recently, I got Cook This! Not That! out of the library. It's filled with some really good recipes. It also has matrix  such as the crockpot matrix, the snack matrix and, what do you know, a wok matrix to help make stir fry. Stir fry has to be one of the best fast foods out there and, heck, I love chinese.
When making this try to use fresh vegetables other wise the vegetable will not be tender and crisp. Here's how:
Take a wok or a large non-stick skillet and pour about 1-2 tablespoons of oil in it then cook about 1 lb of chicken that's cut into cubes. Once cooked, remove the chicken, wipe the wok clean. Adding a little more oil place in about one teaspoon of slice ginger and garlic. Let that cook for a few seconds then add broccoli florets, sliced carrots, and green beans. Stir it until the vegetables start to become tender but still crunchy. Add about 1/2 cup of water chesnuts, sliced and stir that in. Put your chicken back into the wok and add 1 cup of chicken broth and about a tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir that for about a minute before adding soy sauce and stir for another minute.
I plated this with a bed of white rice. I would have had used brown rice but I prefer the real rice and not the instant so it would have taken forever.
You can use pretty much anything for stir fry. So you can get really creative about what you put in your wok. And I honesty can't wait until I can stir fry local foods.
So what are you waiting for? Let's wok and roll!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

And the Winner is.....

Connie! Congratulations! Please e-mail me your address to to recieve your prize.
Winner was picked using's True Random Number Service.
Thank you to everyone that participated! I'll be holding another in June to celebrate my one year anniversery for doing this blog!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Last Chance!

I've extended the deadline for the "The 100th Post" winner to tomorrow, Monday, March 22. Comment with your favorite post by 11:59 PM to qualify. So far the winner gets a nifty knitted hat by yours truly, and a Divine Milk Chocolate bar (if you're allegic to chocolate I can easily find something else).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I may have just found the best gingersnap recipe ever. It seems that this recipe is at least a century old, according to the recipe.
Grandma's Gringersnaps
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup dark molasses
1/3 cup cinnamon sugar
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2.Sift the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir the mixture to blend evenly, and sift a second time into another bowl.
3.Place the shortening into a mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Gradually beat in the white sugar. Beat in the egg, and dark molasses. Sift 1/3 of the flour mixture into the shortening mixture; stir to thoroughly blend. Sift in the remaining flour mixture, and mix together until a soft dough forms. Pinch off small amounts of dough and roll into 1 inch diameter balls between your hands. Roll each ball in cinnamon sugar, and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.
4.Bake in preheated oven until the tops are rounded and slightly cracked, about 10 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Store in an air tight container.
Of course I've took a few liberties. I added a pinch of cloves and I didn't shift the dry ingrediants together. Another thing is, it took more like 11 minutes for my cookies to get done. It probably would be better if the oven temperature was 375 degrees. They're not really snappy, either, but they're delicious! Just make some fresh whipped cream and you're made! Yum!
For fresh whipped cream:
Whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Add 1 tbs powder sugar and 1 tsp vanilla and whip together until stiff peaks form again. It's so yummy!

The 100th Post!

It's my 100th post! So, I wanted to do something special for this post. So...
Post a comment about your favorite post on this post and I'll randomly select a winner for a specially knitted hat by your favorite blogger, me of course! Like this hat but slightly different (larger band of the pink/purple and the off white on top.

 I may select a second winner for another mystery prize. It's such a mystery that I even don't know what it will be yet. It could be a bag of my favorite pretzels, Newman's Salted Rounds, it could be my favorite soap.
Good luck to everyone. I will draw the winner on Sunday.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"All You Ever Think About is Eating"

That statment has been said over and over by my mother and is utterly untrue. I have a mind on my shoulders, a great mind I think, that thinks of, well, everything. Knitting, reading, write, this blog just to name a few and not including my debate on what the postal service should do to help become profitable.
Yes, I like food, particuarlly good food. And I'm just talking about taste. I'm talking about good, hearty, healthy stick-to-your-ribs food that screams comfort and simplicity. I like bagels the way I make them and cookies as well. My chicken and dumpling recipe, I believe, is second to none. It's an instict to think about food especially if it's about those "magical" hours of morning, noon, and evening. What's the crime in giving into instict for once? I guess, in my situation, since I have very little control over what I eat I do tend to think about good food more often then most people do.
In this day and age we do not have to think about food until a hour or less before we eat it. We rely on a third party to feed us as well. That's just scary to leave the decision of what's going in your chicken noodle soup up to the manufactures.
Just a few minutes ago I was face with that statement again from my mother, "All you ever think about is eating." Slying, calmly, I reply to my mother, a smoker, "All you ever think about is smoking." At least my habit provides nutrition and helps my body instead of hurting it. Another smoker, as he examined my Amy's Kitchen Lentil soup, costing $2.50 "At least I enjoy my cigerettes." "Well, I enjoy eating and the process of eating."
The more and more I step away from the "traditional" habits of my fellow consumers, the more I feel, well, strange.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tossing the 'Sell By Date'

One of my favorite blogs in Crunchy Chicken. Although some of the things that she does is a little bit iffy, like switching from tampons to the Diva Cup, but mostly her posts are very interesting like her post today about ignoring the sell by date:
"I'm all about avoiding food born illnesses since it seems like, if someone is going to have a problem with rotten food, it's going to be me. Maybe it's just my tender tummy, but I tend to follow the "use by" and "sell by" dates religiously, just for that very reason."

Click here to read more.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Homemade Soda!

For a few weeks now I've been playing around with making soda. For my first batch, I followed the instructions that came with the soda extract. That was a flop. It never carbonated. Discouraged, I experimented with using cheaper ingrediants, ginger. Althought it produced a nice carbonated beverage it was way too strong to replace the ginger ale that I like. This time around, I was quite pleased to see that I had successfully carbonated britch beer!
The first time I made the soda, with the instructions in the box, they told me to dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water then add it to the sugar and extract mixture. However, most websites will tell you do add the sugar then the yeast, shake it to mix it then add the rest. This way was a lot more successful.
If you're thinking about making your own soda but don't think that you'd like to commit to it just yet, try making cream soda using ingrediants you already have.

What you'll need:
1 2-liter empty soda bottle, rinsed thoughly with warm water
1/4 teaspoon baking yeast (if you really get into making soda you might want to switch to ale yeast which you can find at your local home brew store)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
Enough water to fill the bottle to about an inch from the top

What to do:
Funnel in the sugar and yeast. Swirl it around until thoughly mixed. Add the extract. Fill bottle to the top with cool water until about an inch from the top. Screw cap on. Invert repeatedly to dissolve sugar. Leave in a warm place for at least 24 to 48 hours until bottle feels hard. Place the bottle in the fridge for 24 hours and crack open and enjoy.

If you feel commited to soda making I suggest picking up a copy of Homemade Root Beer, Soda, & Pop by Stephen Cresswell. The book it filled with recipes and is helpful with creating your own soda recipe. It can be purchased through that link from for $10.17.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Crunchy Chicken's Food Waste Reduction Challenge 2010 Wrap Up

From this chanllenged I learned for a person in my situation it is hard to monitor a family's food waste, espceilly if the other people living with you are your parents. I, however, thought I did a pretty okay job. Yes, there was that mouthful of sweet saffron rice that we had to throw out and that cookie that tasted like a block of baking soda. It could have been a lot worse. However, there are things that still lurk uneatten in the fridge. A long lost chicken breast hoping to be discovered and revived into chicken and dumplings or maybe even chicken noodle soup.
The more and more I decide I want to change my lifestyle the more challenges I face with making those changes perment. It is all too common for me to promise something and then a few days later I'll be breaking that promise. All I can do is reassure you that things will be a lot different after I move out and get a place of my own. Honestly, I can not wait for that day. Things will be all too different then. Filled with home cooking and a knitted hat all snuggled in a wool blanket on a long winter's day.
I've said this time and time again. I can't wait for spring!
P.S. Next Tuesday, March 9 is predicted to be sunny with a high of 50! Spring is on her way!