Sunday, August 19, 2012

Healthy Living

Most people these days are trying to live healthy: exercise, eating right, etc.  Well, I am no different.  I have definitely jumped on the bandwagon.  Truthfully, I really started taking this 'healthy thing' more seriously when I was told by my Orthopedic that I needed a knee replacement - a result from running and playing tennis.  Before he does the surgery I was given instructions to get healthy (translation - loose some weight) so that the surgery and recovery would be quicker and easier.  

So here I am with a trainer 3 days a week and walking three miles on the off days (also, a couple of days of yoga thrown in the mix).  My biggest challenge is sleep - everything you read says to get anywhere from 6 to 8 hours of sleep (this apparently aids in weight-loss).  My normal amount of sleep is 4 or 5 hours.  Oh well, something to work towards.

My eating habits were the easiest to change and the most fun.  I love trying new recipes and gadgets.  I am buying less and less processed food (for obvious reasons); and making my own veggie dips, yogurt, pasta, tortillas and bread.  Making my own bread is something I have done for years.  I have a wheat grinder and am able to make my own unprocessed flour.  Then there is the obvious buying of fresh fruits and vegetable.  And this may sound silly, but I grind my own ground beef.  This is a result of the 'pink slime' reports on the news. (I know the stores have said they are no longer using this in their ground meat.  I just can't bring myself to eat it.)  So, I grind my own and it makes me feel much better.  It all sounds like a lot of work but, I am able to control what goes in my food.  

This brings me to the next few blog posts of 'Making Your Own'.  The first 'Make Your Own' is yogurt and a simple recipe.

In making my yogurt I use three things: raw milk (I buy this from a local farm.  Look on the internet for a farm near you) or organic milk, a yogurt maker (I have a YoLife Electronic Yogurt Maker), and yogurt starter (I use YoLife Yogurt Starter).  (purchased the yogurt maker and starter from Bread Beakers.  The website, if you don't live in Atlanta, GA., is

There is not much for me to tell when you make the yogurt except to just follow the directions the are provided in the yogurt maker.

yogurt parfait

Suggested recipes for your homemade yogurt: stir in fresh fruit or flavored agave syrups.  And for a great dessert .                                                                                                                                                         

1. take your homemade yogurt and place about 1/2 
    the yogurt in a serving glass
2. layer with fresh fruit of choice (I used strawberries 
    and blueberries
3. another layer of yogurt
4. top with homemade granola (recipe below)

Granola Recipe
  4 cups rolled oats
  2 cups shredded coconut
  1 stick butter
  1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. In a bowl mix together oats and shredded coconut.  Set
2. In a microwave safe bowl - melt together butter and
    honey.  Pour into the oat coconut mixture and stir well
    to coat. 
3. Spread mixture on a cookie sheet and bake for
    10 minutes.  Stir and bake 5 more minutes. 
4. Remove from oven and cool. 
5. After the mixture has cooled place in a bowl and mix
    in: nuts, dried fruit - cherries, apricots, cranberries,
    raisins.    (I added golden raisins and chopped 
    macadamia nuts)
6. Seal in an air tight container.
Use as: cereal, a topping, or just a snack. 



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I really wanted to start this writing off with a catchy little title like - 3 Cheers for Summer- or -What's Up with You.  Instead I just thought I would dive right in to what I have been doing; this would explain why it has been so long since my last post.  My big DREAM is to post weekly with wonderful recipes and photos.  It will happen!!!! It will just be a slow process and life has to slow down so that I can catch-up.
(Although I really am having a great Summer)

Here is a little of what's been going on:
(from left to right) Got a new Viking Microwave and oven; projects taught at Out of the Box Summer Camps; (next 3 photos) West Palm Beach visiting Matt; the yellow bucket is a cake I made for Sarah and Vann (to celebrate their trip to the beach); the last 2 rows are from our trip to San Diego to visit Philip and Becca   


Wait - there is more.  I have been gardening, canning, making bread - my own yogurt-and my own butter, and spending time with my Grandson.
  *Now that you have seen my Summer so far I wanted to share a few recipes that you might want to use for your next Family Cookout. 

The first recipe is for:

 Barbecued Short Ribs

3-1/2 to 4 pounds beef short ribs
1-1/2 cups water
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tablespoon vinegar 

Sauce:  (or you can use your favorite BBQ sauce)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a Dutch oven, combine ribs, water, onion and vinegar; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour, turning ribs occasionally.  Drain. Place ribs in a single layer in an ungreased 13 in. x 9 in. x 2 in. dish.  Combine sauce ingredients; spoon over ribs.  Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/4 hours or until the meat is tender (falls off the bone).  (4-6 servings)

(To add to the ribs I have two sides): 

Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob with Oregano and Lemon Butter
 and Pineapple Cole Slaw

For the Grilled Corn - peel back the husk and tie it with butchers twine.  Place on the grill over high heat and cook for 15 - 20 minutes (or until lightly charred), brushing with the oregano/lemon butter;

 Butter recipe:
6 tablespoons of butter, melted
2 tablespoons finely chopped oregano  
                                     2 tablespoon grated lemon rind
                                       salt and pepper to taste

Place the butter, oregano, lemon rind, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix to combine.

Pineapple Cole Slaw
(this is very easy to make)
1 bag of shredded cabbage with carrots
1 15 oz. can of crushed pineapple, drain & reserve juice
1 small bag of sliced almonds

Place cabbage in a bowl
Mix in the crushed pineapple
Mix together mayonnaise and enough reserved pineapple juice to make a nice creamy consistency; mix into the cabbage.  Sprinkle sliced almonds on top.  Chill for 30 minutes before serving.


Sliced Strawberries and Blueberries 
with  Dream Sauce

Strawberries, sliced
(Dream Sauce:)  
1 8-oz. container soft cream cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

For the sauce combine ingredients, mixing until well blended.  Spoon mixed fruit into individual serving dishes; serve with the cream sauce and a sprig of mint.




Hope you will try these recipes.  Enjoy you Summer!


Simple Strawberry Pie

It's summer and it's Hot, and it's the weekend.  This strawberry pie recipe, to me, is the best.  Yes, it is simple; yes, it u...