Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Photos: Nearly there Kitchen Pics & Healthy Thanksgiving Side Recipes

A few more details to button up and the kitchen renovation should be done.  The pictures below were taken this morning. Can't wait for it to be all done! The new Electrolux range, Maytag dishwasher are in. Tomorrow the LG French door fridge will be delivered.  Then my work begins, bringing in and putting away everything.  This is as close to moving as I ever want to get! I have to keep telling myself, "It'll all be worth it."

Because all my kitchen gadgets are still in the barn waiting for shelves to be installed in my kitchen, I'll give you a couple healthy and delicious recipes for Thanksgiving side dishes.  These recipes are from the Canyon Ranch Nourish cookbook. For those counting Weight Watchers points, I've included the Nutrition Facts.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Canyon Ranch Nourish Cookbook 

Mashed Butternut Squash with Maple Syrup
Makes six 1/2 cup servings.

3 lbs. butternut squash
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
Pinch sea salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. unsalted butter

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place the halves in a large baking pan cut side down.  Add enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan.
3.  Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until the squash is very tender.
4. Scoop out the cooked squash and *transfer it to a medium mixing bowl.
Add the maple syrup, salt, pepper and butter. With an electric mixer at medium speed, beat until smooth.

*At this point I put the squash into a ricer and rice it into a mixing bowl.

Nutrition Note:  Butternut squash provides as much beta carotene, potassium, and fiber as sweet potatoes but with fewer calories because of its higher water content.

90 calories
19 g carbohydrate
2 g fat
5 mg cholesterol
2 g protein
125 mg sodium
5 g fiber

Parsnip Carrot Puree
Makes eight 1/3 cup servings.

This puree is a great alternative to mashed potatoes that's rich in vitamins A and C and antioxidants.

3/4 pound parsnips (about 3 med.) peeled
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. chopped scallions
1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. evaporated cane juice (sugar)

1.  Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan.
2.  Chop the parsnips and carrots into 1 inch cubes.  Place in the boiling water and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
3.  Place the vegetables in a blender and add the butter, scallions, salt, and cane juice(sugar). Puree until smooth.*
*Once again, the vegetables can be put through a ricer.

85 calories
12 g carbohydrates
4 g fat
1 g protein
342 mg sodium
3 g fiber

Well, here it is and it's almost done. 
If you are a Food Network addict like I am, you'll see some familiar components in my kitchen that are in the Neeley's kitchen and Miss Paula Deen's kitchen.  

New area carpets will be put down once all work and workers are done.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Breaking News! Amazon Gadget Price Drop

Victorio VKP250 Model 250 Food Strainer and Sauce Maker

I've been watching the price on this item for a while and it is at it's lowest price today: $47.29!!!!!

It's past summer harvest season, but this handy gadget will be good for fall apples.  Think of all the uses you'll have for it next gardening season.  I'm in for one!

You've got to watch this video of this food mill in action:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Photo: Kitchen Progress & More Gadgets

Happy Friday!

This will probably be the last Friday I will be "kitchenless".   
The end is in sight. A few more pieces to the puzzle and all should be done.  
Because I've been craving them, one of the first things I'll be baking is these easy and delicious ricotta cookies. Don't balk..yes ricotta, the cookies won't taste like cheese. They come out like moist, cake like clouds of deliciousness.  I don't even add the glaze.  
I use the medium cookie scoop - see below - to scoop the tasty batter onto a cookie sheet.  
I've posted the recipe below. 
 If you make them, I'd like to know how you would rate them. I give them a  perfect "10".

 Here is the kitchen as of today:

Has being without a kitchen stopped me from buying more kitchen gadgets? I think not.
My daughter has this great Calphalon grill pan that I admired during our visit with her and my son in law at their home in Sahuarita, AZ home this past March.  I saw an Amazon price drop and quickly put it in my shopping cart, and in two days (with my Amazon Mom Prime) it was in my yet to be finished kitchen.

My gadget purchases don't always come to my home, I send them as gifts.  A  few days ago I did some Christmas shopping and sent these items to my 14 yr. old niece, Nicole, in California, with a "Do Not Open 'till Christmas" note on it.  She also shares a passion for cooking/baking and gadgets. When I visit, we have lots of fun in the kitchen.  When I told her how handy these gadget are, she put them on her wish list. Wish no more, Nicole, they'll be under the tree Christmas morning.  Can't wait to visit and cook with her again. 
Three sizes are available. The listing for the large size scoop would not post here, but is available through either of these two links.

Easy, simple recipe:

Crave-able Ricotta Cookies 
They are so delicious! Soft & light like little clouds. 

2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter - softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup ricotta
2 tsp lemon extract (options: vanilla, or anise)
Optional: grate a little fresh lemon zest into the batter

Glaze (also optional)

2 cups confectioners sugar
3 TBSP milk
a drop or two of lemon extract

Heat oven to 350. Coat 2 baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.  Whisk flour baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
Beat butter & sugar together until blended.
Add egg, Ricotta and vanilla, beat till combined.
If using mixer; On low speed add flour mix and beat until blended. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 for 14 min or until lightly browned around edges.
Let cool on sheets 3 min. then remove to rack to cool completely.
Top with glaze.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Look what came in today!!

Victorinox 12-Inch Granton Edge 

Slicing Knife with Fibrox Handle

Can't wait 'till Thanksgiving to be able to carve the bird!
The Amazon reviews are all good, as they are for 
all the Victorinox knives.
It's HUGE!
I'll have to be sure that no guests are sitting
 close to me when I use this "sword".

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Fill in Flick, Turkey Day Preparations

Ahh Thanksgiving. What's not to like?  A holiday that's about eating all day without guilt, nice.

With kitchen/bath renovations halfway done, I'll present to you a few helpful Thanksgiving videos showing the gadgets that will help you with your holiday preparations.

Don't be intimidated by the turkey, you can be the turkey master!
Below you'll see how to roast a turkey, how to determine how much you will need for your guests, how to make gravy, how to make delicious, creamy riced/mashed potatoes.

Here are a few helpful flicks to get you started towards a successful Thanksgiving Day Feast.  I'll post links to some of the helpful kitchen gadgets seen here, including the knife I just purchased. After reading the reviews, and seeing that Amazon just did a huge price drop on it, I couldn't pass it up.

BTW: I'm so excited!  
 I just bought: 'Victorinox 12-Inch Granton Edge Slicing Knife with Fibrox Handle' by...
The R H Forschner by Victorinox Slicing Knife features high carbon, stainless steel blade, hand finished at Victorinox in Switzerland by skilled craftsmen. A special tempering process is used ..

Let's get started: