Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Go Go Gadget Tuesday (The Best Veggie Slicer)

Today is all about 2 particular gadgets – veggie slicers.  The inspiration behind my purchase these 2 slicers is the cookbook “Against all Grain” by Danielle Walker.   I had purchased this wonderful book (more about this and the recipes in Wednesday’s blog).  Several recipes call for veggies noodles.  For this I needed a veggie slicer/noodle maker.

My first veggie slicer purchase is the second reason for this review.  The first noodle maker was very disappointing and I went in search of something much better.  Here are the results of my search.  (I want to make a note that this review is my own opinion.  I have not been paid to try these products.)

The first slicer noodle maker was the Spirelli (pictured on the left).  The second purchase was the Spiral Vegetable Slicer.
                         Let's talk about the Spirelli shall we. 
1. Peel the vegetable; then you must trim it down so the vegetable will fit in the slicing chamber. There is a top with prongs to hold the vegetable (this did not work for me).  I held the potato in my hand and manually twisted to produce the noodles.  To me this was a difficult process with very disappointing results.  2. Pictured is the remainder of potato that will not fit in the cutting end. 3. If I want the other end to fit; must again trim the down (more waste) 4.  End result is - small amount of noodles and a lot of wasted vegetable. (Also, I used a sweet potato to see how difficult it was to turn in the peeler.)

Spiral Vegetable Slicer

The Spiral Vegetable Slicer really makes vegetable peeling fast and easy.  It comes with the 3 blades in the photograph.

1. There is a storage area under the device for the blades and you press down the suction pads to secure the slicer to the counter.  2. The first blade pictured produces a slice cut.   Place the blade in the front chamber 3. Attach handle and prongs to hold vegetable or fruit.  4. Affix vegetable or fruit to the prongs.  Hold the handle on the tray to push forward while turning the handle.  This produces nice thin slices.

  This blade produces slightly large noodles.
1. Pushing forward and turning handle to produce the noodles.  2. & 3.  picture of the large amount of noodles this slicer produces. 4. picture of the amount that is left after cutting.  (There is very little waste.  You could cut this into slices and use in a veggie tray with dip.)

 A closer view of the spiral noodles. 

The final blade produces a smaller noodle.

1. Push the handle forward and turn.  2. Close-up of the handle that you push forward while turning.  3. & 4. The results from the third cutting blade.

**The pros of the small hand-held veggie slicer
(Spirelli): it is easy to store; fairly easy to clean; the smaller price.  The cons:  hard to handle; the waste out weighs the production.

**The pros of the larger veggie slicer (Spiral Veggie Slicer): very easy to work - secure, turn the handle, and get noodles like magic; easy to disassemble and keep clean; makes great noodles or slices;  There is very little waste of the vegetable.  The cons: the price (but can get it for less on Amazon); it is larger and not as easy to store.
*For my money I my vote goes to the Spiral Veggie Slicer.

The possibilities are endless with this little gadget.  It makes it easy to eat healthier.

Hope you enjoy this little review


Fast and Easy

Taking a vacation day.  Here are a few photos from a Newborn Shoot I did this weekend.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Fast & Easy Meatball subs

Here’s the thing with my ‘Fast & Easy’ recipes:  No – the meal isn’t made from scratch (right down to killing and feathering the chicken). Yes – it is probably something you have done before (there is nothing new under the sun).  What I am trying to accomplish with these recipes is:

1.   When you arrive home at 6:00 p.m. after a day of – you jumped right out of bed running and haven’t stopped all day.
2.   Everyone wants to know ‘What’s for supper?’ and you are out of ideas.
3.   You are hungry, tired, and you just can’t think anymore today.
I have heard and felt all of the above more than once in my life.  And rather than open a bag of chips and drink a can of soda I thought I would share some of the things that I did and still do when my sons were younger and home.  Maybe it will stir some ideas in your head; maybe you have never thought of trying some new combos; or maybe you have been reluctant to try that product in the store (you can’t take the risk of spending the money on a product you are not sure of.)

And with all that said and out of the way; my recipe for this Fast & Easy Monday is (wait for it – drum roll please):

Meatball Subs
I know, not a revelation, but really good and really fast.

I am not paid to use these products, so if you have others you love use them.  These products are not set in stone. 

1. Place the sauce in a sauce pot.  Heat over medium high heat.
2. After heating the sauce place the meatballs in the sauce and
     heat for 15 to 20 minutes until the meatballs have thawed
     and are warmed inside. (Basically follow the directions on
     the packages.)

3.  Toast the buns while the sauce is warming.  Open buns
       carefully, butter the inside.  Place on a warmed grill pan
       and toast till grill marks appear.
 4.  When sauce is heated and buns are toasted; spoon sauce
       and meatballs onto the bun.
 5.  Place cheese slices on top of the sauce, place in microwave
      for about 30 seconds to melt the cheese.
 6.  Add a small salad and fruit on the side.  You have a
       wonderful fast and easy meal.
You and your family can sit down, eat together, and enjoy each others company.  Who am I kidding - they'll scarf down the food - never bothering to chew - so they can get on to whatever else is left of the day before bed; homework or favorite T.V. show.

*The plus is they ate - it wasn't from a fast food chain; you are home and things can settle down for the night.

Lastly, I have a few thoughts to share.  We are not all perfect; not everyone loves to cook; and in an active family time is limited.  I am preaching to the choir here, but try not to judge yourself by what others are doing.  Don't compare - you know your family, what's going on in your life.  We do the best we can.  

So, everything is not made from scratch (everyone ate, right!); so, the house is not always perfectly clean (Good House Keeping isn't coming to inspect.)  You can't wait until everything is perfection before you enjoy your life.  If you are waiting, it's going to be a loooooooooooooooong wait.  Don't let the fun of living pass you by.  O.k., I'm done.

I hope you all out in cyber land have a wonderful week.  It is Spring here in Georgia and I am loving it.  Here are a few photos of what's been going on with me; plus, the beautiful Spring outside.  Oh, and a photo of me.  Try not to judge to harshly (I have many flaws.  That is why I am usually behind the camera.)

Creating a new Spring wreath for my front door.
A visit to Gibb's Gardens to enjoy the weather and view the daffodils
Making cookies for my families Easter baskets

Blessing to all and Thanks for stopping by,


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fast and Easy: Grilled Chicken Wrap with Southwestern Dressing

Fast and Easy Recipe
Grilled Chicken Wrap

I know, I know – this recipe seems so obvious. Even so, when we are in a hurry to get the food on the table we forget about something as easy as the wrap.  It’s fast, less bread, and depending on what you put in the wrap – it can be healthy.

My favorite wrap it the ‘grilled chicken wrap’.  Everything on this wrap can be prepped ahead.

Serving size: 4 wraps
2 chicken breasts (partially thawed, sliced in half, then sliced length-wise, and grilled)
Seasoning for chicken (I use  Goya Sazonaldor Total)
1 tbls. olive oil  (for grill pan)
4 Torillas (pictured is Tomato Basil torilla)
1 avocado (cut into slices)
Romaine lettuce leaves
8 slices Applewood smoked bacon (cooked)
Southwestern dressing (recipe below) or dressing of your
*you may add whatever condiments you would like to
  the wrap.  You are not limited to my choices.
Southwestern dressing:
¼ cup of mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon of dry oregano
Put all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix together.  This can be made ahead of time so the flavors can come together.

*tip for the day: chicken breasts are easier to slice if partially thawed.
** you can buy chicken strips in a bag to save a step.  I
    buy chicken in bulk and cut my own ahead and 
    seal them in a food saver and freeze.

1.   Take partially thawed chicken breast and slice in half.
You will then (with the 2 breasts) have 4 pieces.
2.    Cut the 4 pieces length-wise to make chicken strips

3.   Season the strips with your choice of seasoning
4.   Heat grill pan.  Then add 1 tbls. of  oil
5.   Grill chicken strips on both sides until you see the golden brown grill marks and test for doneness.  (The grill pan puts nice grill marks on the strips.)
6.   Warm the tortilla for a few seconds on both sides

7.   Putting it all together: (do not over fill or the tortilla
will not wrap) 
Lay tortilla flat
Spread dressing on tortilla
Lay down 1 leaf of romaine lettuce
2 or 3 strips of grilled chicken
2 slices of avocado
Fold bottom first, the bring sides together.  Hold with a toothpick.

If you prepare enough grilled chicken this could be 2 meals.  Take the leftover grilled chicken and create a grilled chicken salad with your choice of dressing.

 Thanks for Reading


Happy Thanksgiving

  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Many Blessings and Love to All