Archive for September, 2011





No Gluten – No Sugar – Yeah, Sure

Thursday, September 29th, 2011





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Chocolate Muffins That

Will Fool You!


This is more information than you probably need, but my spine looks like an “S”. Now back in grade school, it was a really cool thing to say, “I have SCOLIOSIS!” and grin as friends looked at me with the admiration of comrades who had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.


But now, it isn’t so cool and my back can give me fits. No more horseback riding, no more high impact aerobics, no more motorcycle riding – ok, so I’ve never gone motorcycle riding but you get the point. Now, my days are spent in the office of Dr. Ryan Hanson, chiropractor extraordinaire and I have to say, I AM getting better. The goal is to straighten me out even though Mr. Fix-It has devoted his life to that project. I’m thinking that he’s going to find that even after Dr. Ryan has done his job on my back, I still won’t be straightened out in Mr. Fix-It’s world!


Dr. Ryan’s office (we call him Dr. Ryan because he is in with his dad, the other Dr. Hanson), is totally devoted to a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating. Every so often, on customer appreciation days, his lovely assistants provide snacks for us patients. Now I am relatively new to the office and so I was shocked at my first customer appreciation day to see chocolate cupcake muffins adorned with tiny mounds of whipped topping and a fresh raspberry. Health-conscious fanatics don’t eat chocolate muffins with tiny mounds of whipped topping and a raspberry. Well, that is unless it’s carob. Yuck. Dr. Hanson encouraged me to be sure and grab a muffin before I left and I was assured there was no carob in the recipe.


I went through my regular routine, and then, as I was preparing to leave, grabbed a cupcake and headed to the car. Sitting in the seat, I gently pulled back the cupcake paper and gingerly sampled a tiny bite. Oh my. It was sweet, chocolate heaven with a firm, white cloud on top. And so, after savoring the rest, I ran back into the office and demanded the recipe. Anything that good, that was supposedly healthy (which I doubted seriously) had to have an available recipe for my dessert repertoire.


I got back to my car with recipe in hand, got situated, turned on the car and just glanced over at the recipe. The first thing on the ingredients list was black beans. BLACK BEANS?? What?? I searched for flour. None. I searched for sugar. None. There was no way in the world that the chocolate treat I had just inhaled was made of black beans. I had to go home and give it a try to prove the recipe to myself and to surprise Mr. Fix-It. I have this mean streak in me that likes to play tricks on my husband. I made them and they were a success – until I told him about the beans. He still had to admit that they were good, though. I even shared them with a friend. She wasn’t too keen on the fact that there were beans in the making either, but she admitted that they were good, as she licked the last crumbs from her fingers.


So if you are trying to lose weight or eat more protein, cut back on sugar or cut out gluten, these little jewels are just for you. They are wonderful for kids’ snacks and healthy as all get out. But they taste sinful!! Here’s is the recipe. Try them and let me know what you think!!


Decadent Chocolate Cupcakes

1 – 15 ounce can of unseasoned black beans drained
5 large organic or regular eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or regular salt
6 tablespoons organic or regular butter OR extra virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup xylitol plus 1/2 tsp liquid pure stevia extract
5 – 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder depending on how chocolatey you like them
1 teaspoon baking powder – preferably aluminum free
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon water – preferably filtered

Coconut Milk Whipped Cream
1 can coconut milk, stored in the frig overnight
1/4 cup xylitol
OR
Chocolate Icing
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup xylitol put into the blender and made into powder
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tblsp cocout milk
1 – 2 tblsp regular milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
pure stevia to taste
Optional: one fresh organic egg yolk for glossy texture.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 18
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 102.6
Total Fat: 5.6 g
Saturated Fat 3.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol: 61.6 mg
Sodium: 174.1 mg
Total Carbs: 13.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
Protein: 3.6 g


Printable Recipe



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I must begin with an explanation that the recipe called for all kinds of separate actions like beating the eggs, etc and then adding to the bean mixture, but I am a lazy cook in many ways and I just tossed all those ingredients into the blender and blended the fire out of them. First, I added the beans. And they were cheap beans.


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Next I added the 5 eggs


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…and salt


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I used coconut oil, but I bet butter is awesome too


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Then I added the xylitol and stevia which can be purchased at any healthfood store or online


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Next came the cocoa, baking soda and baking powder


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…and the water. Then I blended and blended and blended until I had a smooth, consistent batter.


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I put cupcake papers into muffin tins for 18 cupcakes and carefully poured the batter in to fill about three fourths full. Bake at 350º for 20 – 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean


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Top the cupcakes with either the coconut milk whipped cream or the chocolate frosting and garnish with a raspberry. At first I thought that I liked the chocolate topping best, but I realized that you have to let the cupcakes with the whipped cream set up in the frig before eating. Makes the topping harden up and I decided that I like it better than the chocolate at that point but they are both good.


To make the whipped topping, open a can of coconut milk that has been refrigerated overnight. The water will have separated from the solids and you will have a big chunck of white solid in the can. Drain out the water and add the solid to a bowl. Add xylitol and whip until well mixed. Put about a half to one tablespoon onto each cupcake.


To make the chocolate icing, place xylitol into blender and blend until it is powder. Cream xylitol and butter together. Add salt and vanilla and then slowly add cocoa. Slowly because it will explode into a big poof if you don’t. Add coconut milk and then slowly add regular milk until a good consistency to spread. You can add the egg yolk if you want a more traditional, glossy icing. Spread on top of the cupcakes.



Happy Baking!



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Dehydrating Sweet Potatoes and How To Use Them

Monday, September 26th, 2011





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Dehydrating Sweet

Potatoes


I heard something pretty neat yesterday in an Adrian Rogers sermon. I sure miss him. His “Adrianisms” are just priceless. The quote yesterday concerned those who are married and he referred particularly to us women. He said that “the woman’s job is to love her husband. It is God’s job to make him good.” Of course, that goes ditto for the husbands regarding wives, but I pondered on that for a moment and had to look at where I try to take on God’s job with Mr. Fix-It. We women are really good at trying to “fix” our husbands into the men that “we know they should be.” Yikes.


Now don’t get me wrong…Mr. Fix-It is close to perfect – but I am the normal woman who can find that tiny loose thread in any sweater and unravel the whole thing trying to make it right. And so, the next time I decide that I need to tell Mr. Fix-It what he “needs to be doing” I think I’ll shut my trap. Perhaps my focus needs to be on what I need to be doing! He is awfully sweet and treats me like a queen.


And speaking of sweet, I’ve been dehydrating sweet potatoes! Yep. This is the time of year when those tubers start going on sale and with our new organic grocery stores, I am hoping to cash in on some really nice ones. The sweet potato is one thing I hadn’t tried dehydrating, but last week I decided it was something I should try. What a success!! And when I served them for dinner the other night, Mr. Fix-It smacked his lips and commented on how good they were. “There were dehydrated,” I crowed. “I figured as much,” he said as he chomped on another mouthful. He has gotten used to my dehydration experiments and is pretty impressed with the results.


It is just too neat to have jars of dehydrated sweet potatoes on hand to whip out and create a casserole or candied yams. I have always had such trouble with potatoes going bad in the bin and so this is a welcome discovery! So grab your taters and start slicing and here’s how to dry them and how to use them afterwards!


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Wash and peel sweet potatoes


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Slice the potatoes in slices about 1/8″ thick


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Drop the slices into boiling water and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and drop into iced water with ice cubes and leave in the water until ice cubes melt. Drain the water.


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Place blanched slices onto dehydrator racks without overlapping and dehydrate for at least 15 hours. You want them nice and dried.


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Store potatoes in mason jars or ziploc freezer bags. You can vacuum seal the jars but it is not required.


Candied Sweet Potatoes from Dehydrated Potatoes



1 cup of dehydrated slices per potato needed. Plan approximately 1/2 potato per person.
Per 1 or 2 potatoes:
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
chopped pecans
miniature marshmallows


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Soak potatoes overnight in the refrigerator, covered in water in a bowl. The potatoes will soak up much of the water.


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Pour contents of the bowl, water included, into boiling water and boil until slices are tender. Drain.


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Layer the sweet potato slices in a casserole dish. I just used the equivalent of one potato in a small casserole for me and Mr. Fix-It. I miss making those big dinners when all the kids were home!!


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Melt butter and brown sugar and salt together in a pan on medium heat


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The mixture will make a smooth sauce


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Pour the brown sugar sauce over the potatoes.


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Sprinkle chopped pecans over the surface. Bake in a 350º oven for 30 minutes.


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After 20 minutes of baking, sprinkle marshmallows over the top of the casserole and allow to brown for the last 10 minutes of baking.


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Now THAT is some Southern yumminess!!



Happy Yamming!



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MB
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Yummy Salad

Friday, September 23rd, 2011





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Blue Cheese Pecan Salad


Here in Oklahoma, we are EX-CITED! We have a new Sunflower Foods store in downtown Oklahoma City. And Whole Foods will be opening next month. The only thing that could make it better would be for a threesome finished out by Trader Joe’s which appears to be in the works!! See? Okies do have taste. Yes, they do.


Well, Wednesday I ventured into the wild crowd that packed our newly opened grocery and took advantage of a sale of sales. Organic plums for 77¢ – organic celery for 99¢ – organic 2% milk for $3.99 – 5 pounds of Gulf Shrimp for $18.00 – and the list goes on. But, oh my, they had an olive bar!! Give me a plate and call me Greek. I love olives. All olives. And all the things that go with olives like pickled garlic and marinated mozarella! Oh yeah. So I loaded up on olives and the works and left that store with visions of a salad deluxe and boiled shrimp.


Blue Cheese Pecan Salad

1 1/2 cups lettuce, greens and spinach per person
1/3 cup olives of your choice per person
2 Marinated Mozarella Cheeses per person
2 slices bacon per person + 1 tsp brown sugar per slice
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tblsp butter
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese per person
tomato slices
Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing or Greek Vinaigrette


Printable Recipe



I got home, chopped lettuce and put it into large bowls, one for me and one for Mr. Fix-It and set those aside. I used iceberg lettuce and some fresh spinach, but you can use any greens at all. That’s what I had on hand for this week.


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Next, I melted 2 tablespoons of butter and added 1/4 cup of brown sugar. I stirred that around on medium heat until a thick liquid was formed. This can take a little while and just when you get frustrated – poof – it all melts!


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I added 1/2 cup of whole pecans and stirred those until they were coated. You don’t want to cook the sauce too long or it will scorch and get too hard.


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I poured the nuts onto a nonstick tray to cool. Once cooled, I tossed them into the food processor and pulsed until they were chopped into large pieces.


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Meanwhile, I really did it and sprinkled brown sugar onto strips of bacon. I cooked those in the microwave, but if you want to cook them in a pan, you can start them frying and then sprinkle them with the brown sugar. It gives a crisp, sweet taste to the bacon for salads.


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Finally, I piled different olives onto the center of the lettuce and spinach, put two pieces of the marinated mozarella on the edge of the bowl alongside two slices of tomato, piled about 1/4 cup of crumbled blue cheese over the whole thing and then sprinkled the pecans and crumbled bacon over that. With Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing or Greek Vinaigrette, it is awesome!! I boiled some of the shrimp, made some drawn butter and called it supper!! Mmmm. Mmmm.



Happy Cooking!



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Overheard

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011





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Overheard



I just had to comment on something I overheard this afternoon at Walmart. You know when people are behind you and they are talking loud enough for you to hear and you really don’t want to listen, but you can’t help it because they are talking loud enough for you to hear? Well, that’s what happened to me.


I was heading across the parking lot and was just walking along, minding my own business, when these two people mosied up behind me, carrying on a conversation. It was obviously a lady and a man, by their voices. “Yeah. She’s really gonna marry him.” “Really? How OLD is he anyway?” “He’s like 56 or 57!!” “Oh my gosh. Are you kidding? He’s THAT old? That’s like a 20 year difference!!” “Yep. I know. I can’t believe she’s with somebody THAT old.”


Now then….aside from the fact that they were justifiably taken aback by the difference in age between these two people whom they obviously knew, if YOU were behind a woman with platinum white hair, who is wearing stretchy old-lady pants and tenny pumps, would YOU be referring to 57 as old? Do you think you’d be swooning that your friend is marrying someone with one foot in the grave? I’m thinking you’d wait until you were far enough away from that decrepit 57 year old to comment on that less than acceptable age! All I can say, is what my grandmother used to say, “The nerve of some people’s grandchildren!!” I’ll go take out my teeth now and gum some oatmeal.
:-)


Happy Eavesdropping!



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MB
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Facing Change

Monday, September 19th, 2011





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Change Is Hard


I just got back yesterday evening from my quick trip to Walland, TN. It was gruelling – four days on the road with no down time. Mr. Fix-It and I left on Thursday, got there Friday at 4 pm, helped my parents and loaded the little truck that they gave Mr. Fix-It. Then we left on Saturday morning and drove until 4:30 Sunday afternoon, with a hotel in between. My body is too old for this.


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The purpose of the trip made it even tougher. My parents have sold their house, are giving away practically everything and are moving into a retirement community. It is a smart move on their part because the house and the property is just too big and too labor intensive for two people. But knowing the wisdom of this move does not make it any easier on all of us kids.


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Tennessee was our stomping ground as children. It was where we all attended Girl Scouts, high school and college and took many “field trips” or camping trips to the Smokey Mountains. It was where some of us had our children. It was where those children spent their early years. It is where we have visited our parents, after we all moved out-of-state, at their lovely home with a view of the mountains right outside a bedroom window. It has been trout streams, cool mornings and evenings, wild turkeys, deer and other assorted wildlife, quiet and private communing with nature, long walks and a big house where lots of us could congregate in laughter and love.


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Change is tough. We all hold onto our memories like gold and we expect things to stay the same forever and ever. But nothing ever does. We all grow older, we lose jobs, we get illnesses, we get married, we have children, we move, we lose love ones. And in all the changes that we experience through life, there is only one constant – God. It is so wonderful to know that in all of the upheaval that we know as “life” that there is One who is never-changing, in control and full of love and compassion. He sees our tears and lets us cry and then encourages in the most amazing ways. And believe me, I have cried some tears. But already I see the blessings of the changes that are coming.


So, I am just taking this moment to encourage you if there are changes in your life right now. We don’t like change. It makes us uncomfortable. But in everything that comes our way, there is always a lesson and a blessing if we are open to allowing God to do His thing. It’s in the looking back, that we see how change always makes us stronger, more compassionate and more faithful.


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So congratulations, Mom and Dad, for being willing to face change with eagerness, faith and joy. You are a blessing to all of us and witness to many.



Happy Changes!



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MB
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The Mississippi River Bridge

Thursday, September 15th, 2011





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Bridging The Gap




I’m traveling. The artist in me has been screaming to get out all day. No, I haven’t been wanting to throw paint at passing cars…I’ve just been marveling at the landscape whizzing by and the architecture of the towns. It’s Americana begging to be painted.


There was one moment, however, that sent me hurtling into the past with a giggle. You know how music or sounds bring moments to mind that occurred simultaneously with the music or sounds? Well, sights do that for me too and today, I was transported back to Mr. Gibson’s 3-D design class at Middle Tennessee State University.


I wasn’t the most engineering design oriented art student in the world. To me, design was just about what looked good. Who cared if it could hold a couple of Sumo wrestlers? That attitude was not appreciated by Mr. Gibson, my professor, and I quickly learned that he was very serious about his students’ work being able to hold a couple of Sumo wrestlers. We students were each given a very large bag of popsicle sticks and told to purchase tubes of Duco Cement. Do you know how out in space you can get using Duco Cement?? But that was back before the FDA cared whether college students lived or died and it was the mid ’70′s when I am almost certain that college students were using hallucinogens equally disastrous. Anyway, we were instructed to build a tower that was structurally sound enough to hold 10 pounds of weight. (OK, so I exaggerated a little. Not quite Sumo wrestler poundage.) Structural soundness would be the main grade. Appearance would be secondary and minimal in determining our grade.


Now, I freely admit that I wasn’t the most motivated student either and things like football games, concerts by Chicago, Elton John, Elvis and The Pointer Sisters and watching one of the male fraternities streak across campus seemed much more important than tackling a project that sounded like a summer of Vacation Bible School crafts. After all, who couldn’t put a bunch of popsicle sticks together and come out with a tower? It was the day before the project was due that I finally decided I needed to get busy. At 4 o’clock the next morning, I finished my monstrosity that measured 3 feet tall and had not one similar angle throughout the entire piece. In fact, about three quarters of the way up, the tower was relatively straight, but then an imperceptible angling began and the top fourth leaned ever so slightly – just enough to drive you crazy wanting to reach over and straighten it. The popsicle sticks were glued to each other in all kinds of wierd directions to create a sort of tall cylinder around empty air. I was so tired, I didn’t even go to bed because I had to be up and in class with my project by 8 that morning.


Mr. Gibson was not a stupid man and he had a way of figuring out when one of us had waited until the last minute to do our work. He had a mean smirk on his face as he looked at my ‘leaning tower of haphazard’ and saved it for last so that the humiliation of watching it explode into a shower of popsicle sticks, when he placed the weight on it, would send me running to Shakey’s pizza parlor for solice in extra cheese.


One by one, my classmates paraded their engineering marvels (did I mention that I was the only girl in the class?) before our artistic genius professor and one by one most collapsed under the weight of Mr. Gibson’s metal ingots. A few survived and the creators smugly returned to their seats ready to design a new Empire State Building.


And then it was my turn. I feel pretty sure that I was sweating and that I didn’t appear all that self-assured, but I managed to drag my very heavy wooden tower to the front of the room for demonstration. Mr. Gibson placed one ingot onto the top of my “statue”. It didn’t move. He placed another and another and still it stood firm. I held my breath. Obviously frustrated, my professor placed another weight and, I am sure wished my tower to disintegrate to teach me a lesson, but it didn’t even creak. Ten pounds of metal perched atop my mess of popsicle sticks. I jumped up and down and clapped my hands. Not to be outdone, my professor continued to pile metal on top of my tower. At 15 pounds, he stopped. I passed with flying colors. But I gained a new appreciation for those who design and build the bridges, tunnels and architecture that we all take for granted.


So today, when I crossed the Mississippi River and beheld the magnificent span of the bridge that has gotten millions and millions of cars from Arkansas to Memphis and back, I had to take pictures. The criss-cross of metal made me think of my popsicle stick project and I just had to say a quiet ‘thank you’ to the very smart people who not only made the bridge stand up under incredible weight, but made it pretty to boot. And I bet they didn’t wait until the night before it was due to build it!!


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The mighty Mississippi lumbers by the banks of the town of Memphis



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The bridge looms ahead



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That’s one big Erector Set!



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Isn’t that amazing?



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And it spans two states! Halfway across and in the middle of the river, travelers are welcomed. What an amazing engineering feat!



Happy Travels!



MB
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Winner of the Name the Blog Contest

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011





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We Have A Winner!


We have been hosting a contest to name this blog. I decided that OPC Blog was just dullsville and so many of you smart people sent in some really cute ideas for a new name. We chose our Top 10 of the 40 entries that we had and you all have been voting for the past two weeks on which one you like the best. The voting has closed and the results are in and Emily Robnett of Edmond, Oklahoma is our winner. As you can see at the top, the new photo with her name creation will head each post.


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Emily has won a $25 gift certificate to the shopping page and a gift basket of
Oklahoma Pastry Cloth™ Company goodies. Congratulations, Emily, and thank you for the catchy name!


Happy Reading!

and

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MB
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Image and video hosting by TinyPic Dehydrating Bananas

Monday, September 12th, 2011





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Dried Bananas


I’m not just a huge banana fan – the only time I crave them is when my potassium gets low from drinking too much water. I know exactly when that’s happening. I’ll be standng in the checkout line at the grocery and I’ll see bananas displayed in the middle of the isle. I will think to myself, “I’ve gotta have those!!” And after my purchase, I then I lovingly cradle them in my arms like a baby, get into the car and start peeling those suckers, wolfing them down while I am driving. One of these days, I’ll have a wreck and the police officer will say, “You were on your cell phone, weren’t you?!!” But the police report will indicate, “Under the influence of bananas.”


I like banana bread and banana muffins and banana/nut scones. I love Bananas Foster – hmmm – now there’s a recipe I need to put on here! – and I like to munch on my dehydrated bananas. So this past weekend, I spent most of the time dehydrating a BUNCH (pun intended!!) of bananas. I thought I’d share with you my way of doing that.


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I found bananas on sale at 5 lbs for $1. Yep. Can you believe it?? So, I bought 15 lbs. I mean, that’s a whopping $3 so I HAD to buy them, right? And I used a large bottle of lemon juice.


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First, I sliced the bananas into a bowl with 2 cups of bottled lemon juice. I always wind up adding a little more juice to nearly cover the bananas. I use a huge slotted spoon to toss the bananas around in the juice to make sure they all get covered. Allow to stand in the juice for 5 minutes.


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Sprinkle 1/8 – 1/4 cup of sugar over the bananas and toss. It just depends on your taste. After drying, your bananas are going to be like sweet/sour banana candy. You can use Xylitol instead of sugar.


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Using a large slotted spoon, scoop bananas out of the juice and allow to drain. Pour the banana slices onto dehydrator racks.


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Arrange slices onto the trays so that none of them overlap. Dehydrate for 15 – 24 hours depending on how pliable you wish your slices. The longer you dehydrate, the less pliable. They will not be crispy, crispy like those in the store but the flavor is phenomenal!


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Mr. Fix-It loves the crispy banana chips that can be bought at the store. So I decided to experiment beyond my usual way of doing things. I wasn’t impressed at all. According to all I read, the commercial banana chips are actually deep fried in coconut oil and then dipped into a sugar syrup to be dried. Sooooo, I tried it. I’m never one to shy away from a challenge!


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I made a syrup of 2 cups of water to 1/2 cup of sugar that was brought to a boil and then cooled. When the bananas came out of the grease, they were drained, put back into a large bowl and the syrup was poured over the top of them. I then drained them with the large slotted spoon and placed them onto dehydrator trays as shown above and then dried. I’m thinking they must fry them at REALLY high heat and for longer, although I found the bananas could only be fried for 30 seconds before they started disintegrating. What a mess.


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The lighter colored banana chips are the ones that were done with the lemon juice and simply dried. The golden colored ones are the ones that were fried and the dark ones used Fruit Fresh instead of lemon juice. I did a batch like that so you could tell the difference. The flavor of the dark ones is not very good either. The flavor of the fried ones is ok. Kind of reminds you of the flavor of Bananas Foster. But the best ones are the ones that were done in lemon juice. I have decided that tried and true is best and I’m sticking to my method!


Happy Dehydrating!



MB
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A Wood Stove For Winter!

Friday, September 9th, 2011





Home Projects




I am soooo sorry that I have been absent this week, but I have such a good excuse. I’ve been laying tile. Do you know how certain one is convincted of one’s age when one lays tile? There is absolutely no doubt of waning years because the activity serves to destroy backs, knees, elbows, fingers, hands and occassionally, minds.


I love to lay ceramic tile because it is such a precise art. The only problem with it is that is just kills every part of your body. But it doesn’t matter. The finished product is what counts and it is always a good feeling when you see the neat surface of a newly completed tile floor. I had to get this floor laid by today because we had the friendly crew of Stoves, Mantels and More of Midwest City come to install our Dutchwest wood stove by Vermont Castings in the new sun room. It is our preparation for no electricity and, therefore, heat in the winter. We have gone one too many winter nights without heat from a blizzard or ice storm and we have finally solved that problem. Anyway, I wanted to share with you the hard work that these men did for us today. That stove weighed a ton, as did the pad that I made last night. (Laying tile will come in the next post!) Didn’t they do a nice job? If you need your chimneys cleaned, wood stoves or inserts installed, chimneys repaired or anything having to do with fire, and you live in the OKC area, these are your guys!!


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The Stoves, Mantels and More truck drove up.


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Using a lift, Mr. Fix-it had managed to get the stove loaded onto a furniture dolly and moved into the room to help the men out. They had to lift the stove from the dolly to place it on the pad that I had made for it to stand on. Just two men lifted it! Of course, I saw veins popping and teeth clenching, but there were no grunts! What He Men!!


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It’s a daunting thing to watch as somebody cuts a round hole through the roof so that you see daylight and little birdies flying overhead!


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There’s the hole in the roof and it is a big one!! No turning back now.


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And that’s what goes in the hole in the roof. Isn’t it pretty and shiny?!


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Ready for a fire to heat. S’mores anybody?


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I feel like a Victorian woman! Thanks Stove, Mantels and More!!




Happy Heating!



MB
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Quick Beef in Wine Sauce

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011





Quick Beef In

Wine Sauce



Be sure to vote in the comment section for your favorite blog name from the list at the end of the post!


It is a beautiful day today. It’s cold! Can you believe it? Three days ago it was 104º in this part of Okie Land and this morning it is 50º!! Fall is on its way. Yahoo! Maybe some rain too? Please? Texas and Oklahoma are in bad shape and I’m sure that you are hearing about the horrible fires in Texas yesterday and today. Both states have been ravaged by flames this summer and everyone is ready for some wet stuff.


I thought I’d take a departure from all things canning and give you a really quick and easy recipe for these Fall days. With football games, parades, fairs and the works, quick is a good thing when it comes to cooking! And even better, this recipe is low-calorie and will satisfy any Weight Watchers or SparkPeople menu!


You can use any lean cut of meat that is your favorite, but I like to use rump roast, sirloin tip or round steak. I actually make this when I am also making beef jerky, saving a pound of thin-sliced meat out for this recipe and drying the rest. Slice the meat against the grain as was shown in my making jerky post. Once you have sliced the meat, sprinkle it with meat tenderizer, garlic powder and a little salt and put it into a plastic bag. Put that in the frig and let it absorb the flavors and tenderizer for at least 12 hours. The nice thing about this is that you can slice up your meat the day prior to needing it, put it in the frig and then have it ready the next evening to cook and serve. So here’s what I do:


Quick Beef In Wine Sauce

Serves two large servings or three regular servings (can be doubled)

  • 1 lb lean beef sliced thin across the grain
  • meat tenderizer
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • 1 cup sweet onion in large chunks
  • 3/4 cup green peppers in large chunks
  • two tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste or 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 pkg brown gravy mix
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup red wine


  • Printable Recipe



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    Slice meat thin across the grain


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    Place into a plastic bag. Sprinkle to cover pieces with meat tenderizer, garlic and a little salt. Shake it around in the bag and then place in frig to soak for at least overnight. Can soak as long as 24 hours.


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    Chop onions and green peppers


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    In a skillet, sauté onions and peppers in two tablespoons of olive oil until tender and lightly browned.


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    Add garlic and toss among veggies. Don’t fry. You are just releasing the flavor. Spoon veggies into a bowl, leaving oil in skillet.


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    Add meat to the oil and quickly stir on high heat to brown all sides.


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    When beef is mostly brown, add veggies and toss


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    Mix 1 1/2 cup of water with gravy mix and add to beef and vegetables. Stir


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    Add wine


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    Stir as you bring it to a boil. Continue stirring until smooth and well-mixed


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    Cover and place into a 350º oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until meat is tender.


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    Serve over rice. Yummy.


    Happy Cooking!



    MB



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  • The Okie Homemaker: Doughlightfully Yours
  • The Oklahoma Homemaker: Simple Simmering
  • The Okie Homesteader: 21st Century Frontier Living
  • The Okie Homesteader: My Apron Pocket
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  • The Oklahoma Homemaker: Okie Dough Key
  • The Oklahoma Homemaker: Basically Simple – Basically Good
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