Perfect Food Combos

Peas and carrots
Chocolate and peanut butter
Oreos and milk
Eggs and bacon
Bacon and eggs
Burgers and beer
Pizza and  . . . pizza

Perfect food combos.  Now there is a new match made in heaven…
Taco Bell and breakfast. 
My favorite food and my favorite meal.

If you didn’t give up fast food for lent and are going to dare the new breakfast menu here’s a look at the nutrition value of what they have to offer, from Taco Bell’s website.

Skin In The Game

At a networking breakfast yesterday, someone mentioned leaving the skin on kiwi when you make

smoothies.  It just didn’t sound right to me, but then someone added “my kid eats kiwi with the skin on like an apple”.  OK, but kids eat worms too.  I still wasn’t 100% sold, but I tried it this morning anyway – you couldn’t tell they were in there.  Believe me, if anything was funky our 10 year old would have called us out.

Thanks for the great tip. 

I did some research this morning, there’s actually a California Kiwifruit Organization.  I found out that by leaving the skin on the fiber value is tripled and more of the vitamin C is retained.  Hey, I just like that it’s a shortcut in the morning.

According to Wikipedia to have “skin in the game” is to have incurred monetary risk by being
invested in achieving a goal.  In my smoothie recipe having skin in the game is to retain more of the vitamins and add fiber.

Skin In Kiwi Smoothie

printable version

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges peeled
  • 8 strawberries
  • 1 slice lime
  • 1 inch slice pineapple peeled
  • 2 kiwi, ends cut off, but not peeled
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 squeeze agave

Instructions

  • Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Everybody Wants to be Somebody

This post is for everyone out there who sends communications to people . . .Everybody wants to be somebody. 
 
In today’s environment of mass media marketing it’s nice when someone actually knows us. 
 
My husband’s name is Chris. 
It is not Christopher
or Christian,
just Chris. 
 
It is a family joke when a phone or mail
solicitation is addressed to Christopher.  The biggest laugh we had over this was when a women’s clothier he purchased gifts from added him to their mailing list as Christina.  Really?

 
How we are addressed allows us to instantly recognize if this person is in our inner circle – we will take the time to hear what you have to say – or not – you obviously don’t know me so I’m hanging up or deleting this email.
 
I just couldn’t resist . . .
  
 
In person I am just as picky.  Please no “Ma’am” or “folks” or “hi guys”.  Definitely no “kiddo”.  I realize that you probably don’t know my name (except with the people who use kiddo).  How about just “hello”. 
 
Do you have any pet peeves about how you are addressed?  Comment below.

Any Day Can Be Mardi Gras

Our family Wednesday night theme dinner last week was Mardi Gras.  We were late.  Mardi Gras this year was celebrated 8 days earlier, Fat Tuesday.  But, who cares?  Why can’t any day can be Mardi Gras?

James R. Creecy in his book Scenes in the South, and Other Miscellaneous Pieces describes New
Orleans Mardi Gras in 1835:

Shrove Tuesday is a day to be remembered by strangers in New Orleans, for that is the day for fun, frolic, and comic masquerading. All of the mischief of the city is alive and wide awake in active operation.

Fun and frolic is certainly one way to get your kids engaged in enjoying a family dinner together.  Usually celebrated on fat Tuesday, to prepare for lent I feel that you can use this at home to celebrate fun and celebrate being goofy.  Unintentionally, we celebrated it just in time to kick off our beach body readiness. Just about 30 days before spring break this was our last binge before bikini season.  In a way, it was our own Fat Tuesday.

Our menu:
-bayou shrimp
-lobster bisque with crusty bread
-healthier chicken and Andouille jambalaya

To set the stage for a “party” instead of dinner we had the Dirty Dozen Brass Band station on Pandora and fancy kid cocktails.

Healthier Chicken and Andouille Jambalaya

Printable Version

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne
  • 1 pound chicken andouille, sausage, cut crosswise into slices
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 cups brown rice
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
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Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1 teaspoon of the cayenne. Stirring often, brown the vegetables for about 20 minutes, or until they are caramelized and dark brown in color. Scrape the bottom and sides of the pot. Add the sausage and cook, stirring often for 10 to 15 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot to loosen any browned particles.
  • Season the chicken with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Add the chicken and the bay leaves to the pot. Brown the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the rice and stir for 2 to 3 minutes to coat evenly. Add the water, stir to combine, and cover. Cook over medium heat for 45 to 60 minutes, without stirring, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
  • Stir in the green onions and serve.
  • Notes: resist the temptation to add additional seasonings. There is something magical about the bay and cayenne combination.
  • This recipe is adapted from www.emerils.com

Hurricane Punch

 
Ingredients

  • 1 6oz can pineapple juice
  • 2 oranges peeled
  • 1 lime peeled
  • maraschino cherries and juice
  • 1 cup ice
Instructions
  • Place juice, oranges, lime and ice in blender and blend until smooth. Add to cocktail glass and top with cherries and cherry juice.

Hide the Spinach

Sometimes it’s not the foods our kids (and husbands) won’t eat, it’s the way they are prepared.  For instance, most people steam brussel sprouts. Yuck!  You can’t get most people to buy in to them this way.  Try roasting them with olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and orange peel. DELICIOUS!  The same goes for asparagus.  Steamed, not so liked.  Grilled or roasted it takes on an entirely different flavor, and texture, that will get more wins and empty plates.

I find that the best way to make sure that my family gets enough vegetables is to hide them in a fruity flavored smoothie.  Sometimes I sneak a few too many veggies in there and I am busted.  Sometimes I hit a home run like with this limey flavored smoothie.

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hide the Spinach, An Antioxidant Smoothie

Printable Version

Ingredients

  • 1 orange peeled
  • 2 kiwi peeled
  • 1 banana
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 squeeze agave

Instructions

  • Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Wait to see if anyone detects your secret ingredient. I bet that they can’t

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