Anyone Hungry?

Ideas, suggestions and thoughts on my favorite topic.

Zucchini Casserole August 27, 2010

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Family,Life,Side Dishes,The Herald Columns,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 10:12 pm

Cooking has always been something that I enjoyed.  Even when I lived alone, I cooked full meals on a regular basis.  By the time I finished eating a 9×13 dish of food meant for a whole family, I didn’t want to eat that food again for about 6 months.  It was worth it to me, however to do that rather than make frozen meals for one all of the time.

When I married Ross, cooking became even more fun.  We cooked together, we ate together and we used up the leftovers together.  Everything about it was easier and much more fun.

Now that Madden is eating “real people food”, cooking is taking on a whole new meaning in our home.  Growing up, meal time was a very special time in our house.  Dinner was the one time of day – guaranteed – that we would all sit down together.  No television, no distractions, just the four of us sitting down and talking.  I loved that and always promised myself that I would carry on that tradition.  Recently, we’ve been able to get that tradition started, and it warms my heart right along with my belly.  We are able to cook meals that we are all able to eat, and we can sit down and eat it all together.  We enjoy our food and we enjoy each other.  It is fun to sit there in a moment and realize that you are living one of your lifelong dreams.  It may be a simple dream, but it brings a smile to my face, night after night.

Zucchini casserole has long been a favorite of mine.  A few years ago I introduced Ross and he loved it as well.  With zucchini being one of Madden’s favorite veggies and with the soft, creamy consistency of this casserole, it is sure to now please our whole family. 

Who knew that a few veggies and a can of soup would help my dreams come true.

Zucchini Casserole

1/2 c margarine

1 c seasoned bread crumbs

4 c chunked zucchini

2 carrots, diced (I have also used a huge handful of matchsticks because it was easier)

1/2 c sour cream

1 can cream of chicken soup (use cream of celery/mushroom to make it vegetarian)

1/4 c milk

1/2 onion, chopped 

Melt margarine and stir bread crumbs into margarine, set aside.  Boil zucchini chunks for 5 minutes, drain.  Stir in carrots, onion, sour cream, chicken soup, and milk.  Mix well, then add 1/2 of the breadcrumb mixture.  Mix well.  Pour into greased 8×8 pan or a round baking pan and top with remaining breadcrumb mixture. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

If desired, mix in/top with parmesan or shredded cheddar cheese.

 

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake August 19, 2010

Filed under: Desserts,The Herald Columns — lindsayrose @ 2:38 am

The brain of a woman doesn’t always make all that much sense.  I am aware of that and happy to admit it.  It is good, however, to have confirmation that your brain isn’t the only one that works in a dysfunctional sort of a way.

Over the past few months Ross has started working out.  While I know that should make me happy and proud of him, it has frustrated me.  I have tried to figure out why I had this underlying feeling of bitterness when he talks about working out, but I haven’t been able to make sense of it in my head.  Similarly, when I go to put a dab of butter in the vegetables at dinner, he’ll ask to serve his before I add the butter.  While I know I should be proud of him for being healthy (and maybe go ahead and skip the butter myself), it just brings up those same feelings of frustration.  Then, like women do, I get frustrated at myself for being frustrated.  Which means I am just a big ol’ mess.

A few weeks ago while taking a day trip for work, I tuned into a morning radio show.  A man called in explaining that he had been working out and was in the best shape of his life.  Much to his dismay, instead of being excited for him, his wife was annoyed with him.  The female host of the show explained that while it doesn’t make sense, when the man in the relationship is taking better care of himself, it automatically makes us feel guilty for not doing so.  We then tend to express this in frustration and/or anger.  While it sure sounds ridiculous when you hear someone else talk about it, I felt better knowing that I wasn’t the only crazy one out there!  Maybe I’m normal after all!

Since I have no interest in starting a workout regime at this point, or to cut out desserts, I’ve got to try to convert Ross to my unhealthy lifestyle instead of the other way around.  It’s hard to get him to eat desserts, but I can usually tempt him with a cheesecake.  Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake is a delicious, refreshing treat.  And, since it has fruit in it, it’s healthy.  It’s easy to make and if you really work that mixer, you can get a good arm workout in while you’re preparing it!

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

1 ready crust chocolate pie crust (6 ounces)

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 egg

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 350.  With a mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy; gradually beat in condensed milk until smooth.  Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well.  Arrange raspberries on bottom of ready crust.  Pour cheese mixture over fruit.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool, top with chocolate glaze.  Chill.

Chocolate Glaze

In small saucepan over low heat, melt 2 (1 ounce each) squares semi-sweet baking chocolate with ¼ cup whipping cream.  Cook and stir until thickened and smooth.  Remove from heat.

 

Making Up for Lost Time August 17, 2010

Filed under: Side Dishes — lindsayrose @ 2:36 am

I try not to have regrets and I really can’t say that I have many in life.  I do however have one big one.

I regret that I spent the first twenty years or so of my life not liking sweet potatoes.

Really?  What was I thinking?  I don’t even think that I actually disliked sweet potatoes themselves.  I think I disliked the idea of them.  I decided at some point that I didn’t like them – most likely without ever having tasted them – and didn’t eat them for years.  Now, I’ve got to make up for it.  I love sweet potatoes.  I love them prepared just about any way, but this weekend we tested out a new recipe.  And I’m a huge fan.  It may be one of my favorite sweet potato recipes yet.

The recipe for Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potatoes is delicious not only because it is a sweet potato recipe, but because it adds a savory flavor to the naturally sweet food.  The mixture of spices is perfect.  Roasted white potatoes with herbs has always been one of my favorites, but for some reason I had never thought of roasted sweet potatoes with herbs.  This recipe will definitely be in our rotation of sides from now on.  It should be in yours, too!

 

(Lots) More Baby Food August 2, 2010

Filed under: Baby Food — lindsayrose @ 3:05 am

More and more each day, I realize how much I love making Madden’s food.  It is funny to me because I would have never ever thought that I would be doing this, and now it is one of my favorite things.  In no way do I think that baby food that comes in jars is bad, I just think that it is fun and rewarding to make it myself.  I love making something and then watching him dig in, seeing that he loves it, and knowing that it is jam packed full of good stuff.  In a weird sort of a way, it almost feels kind of like a bonding experience for me.  Strange, I know.

This weekend, I made him more peas because he absolutely loves peas.  Food Lion frozen peas are beyond delicious.  I have no idea why they taste so much better than any other kind of frozen pea I have tasted, but they do.  I put them in my Pampered Chef Micro Cooker (love it) with a splash of water and popped them in the microwave.  Because he will only put peas in his mouth, but not doing anything with them after that, I still give them a rough chop.  I tossed them in an ice cube tray, and 8 minutes later had 7 servings of peas for the little man.

I’ve found out this week that Madden loves corn as well.  I wanted to add some more nutrition to the corn, so I boiled it with some black beans (rinsed to get rid of as much of the nasty bean juice as possible) and a pinch of cumin.  I tossed those in the chopper and had 9 more servings of veggies in under ten minutes. 

Wholesomebabyfood.com has been my go-to website ever since I have started feeding Madden solids.  It has lots of great information, right down to what foods are good to mix together.  There is a great finger foods section that had a recipe for Apple Turkey Loaf.  I tossed the ingredients together and threw it in the oven in no time at all, and ended up with a new favorite for my little guy.  He loves this stuff.  This is going to be a new staple in our freezer!

This evening, I needed to use up some blueberries that were about to go bad.  I also had some very ripe bananas, so I googled something like “baby banana bread” and found this recipe.  I wasn’t sure whether it would be good or not, but I was pleasantly surprised.  The fruit gives it just enough sweetness.  Because Madden is under a year, I used 2 egg yolks instead of a whole egg.  I also didn’t have any self-rising flour, so I threw in a teaspoon of baking soda.  Madden was already asleep by the time it had cooled, but we’re going to test this out in the morning!