Thursday, November 26, 2015

Lower Calorie Corn Pudding Recipe

This corn pudding recipe is from my Grandmother.  I thought she copied it from the Green Giant Niblets label, but  when I search for Green Giant  corn Pudding recipes they all include a box of  corn  bread mix.  So do the recipes on allrecipes and other sites.  Maybe, and I am just speculating here, this recipe predates the modern versions because it uses eggs to make a custard base.  Without the cornbread mix and with the eggs, this becomes a lower calorie, higher protein version of corn pudding.  Possibly the recipe is from the  Green Giant label?  If so, props to Green Giant for becoming part of our family tradition.  Her hand written recipe calls for Green Giant Niblets specifically.

2 cans (aprox 7 ounces, or one 15 ounce can) Green Giant Niblets corn
3 Tablespoons melted better
1 1/2 cup milk
3 Tablespoons Flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (if desired)
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 325
 Grease an 11x7x2 pan
If possible, have all ingredients at room temperature to prevent the milk and eggs from hardening the melted butter.

1. Mix flour, sugar and salt in small bowl.
2. Open and drain can(s) of corn
3. In large bowl, beat eggs
4. Add flour mixture and butter to eggs.   Beat well.
5. Add corn.  Mix well.
6. Pour into greased pan.
7.  Bake at 325 until middle is set and knife comes out clean.  Top should be dappled golden brown.

Do not overcook or the custard will get watery.

Very simple to make .

The trick is to make sure the corn is still suspended in the custard when it 'sets'. Prep all ingredients, mix well, place in baking pan and then put immediately into a hot oven.  If it sits in the baking pan on the counter as the oven heats restir the ingredients suspend the corn.  Grandma always used a water bath in the oven so it would cook quickly.  To do this, take a larger baking pan, and before you start cooking, place your corn pudding pan into it.  Fill the larger pan (between the edges of the two pans) with water so that it rises up the side, but not over the edge of the corn pudding pan.   Take out the corn pudding pan and put the larger one with the water into the oven to preheat.  When you have the corn pudding ready to go, place it into the hot water bath in the oven.   Sounds like a lot of steps. No I cheat (sorry Grandma).  I set a time for 10 minutes into the cook time.  Open the oven door and RESTIR the ingredients just before the custard starts to set. :) when I do this, I never have the corn pudding with all of the corn on the bottom and custard on top.  If the corn settles, it still tastes the same.  Just tell folks you meant it to be layered.  :) Then try again next year.  Bone of the nice things about having passed a Significant Birthday is that you learn how to have self empathy.  So shrug, smile, make fun of a settled corn pudding (I designed it to be striated?!?) repeat next year.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Are Spider Plants Poisonous to Cats and Dogs?

Bottom line up front: Spider Plants are NOT toxic to cats and dogs.  According to the ASPCA chlorophytum is classified as non toxic to cats and dogs.  Link at bottom.  If anyone is going to error on the side of safety for cats and dogs, it will be the ASPCA. 

So this guy is safe.  In fact, as a housecat he craves greens and will eat spider plants in place of grass.  Because the house cat is unable to digest the vegetation of the spider plant, he uses it to help vomit fur balls and act as a laxative to clear all of the inedible things he eats.  He gives you a haughty look when accused, but you are pretty sure I wasn't you that chewed the corner off the mail, dug the chicken bones out of the trash and gnawed on the gift ribbon (right before taking it to a party).

Shameless!!! That is not a salad bar!! Let that poor plant be!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Spider plant Bonnie

Bonnie Spider Plants are a patented curly leaved houseplant with dark green curly leaves that have a white blaze down the center of each leaf.  The Bonnie spider plant care is very easy, they make hardy house plants that live for years.  This curly leaf spider plant will thrive in a sunny room with weekly watering to keep the soil evenly moist, but not wet.   When the plant is feeling snug in its pot and is showing signs of the roots crammed together, it starts to send out offspring on stalks that beige to yellow in color. This is a survival strategy.   Not enough soil and nutrients here?  What about over there?  And off go the little spider plantlets in search of a home.   

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Decorations for Christmas - make your own Gold Holly

Holly, with its glossy red leaves and it's red berries, is a universal decoration for Christmas.  This post will show you how to make your own Holly to use for Christmas decorations. Once made it can be used for door decorations table, table decorations or across the top of furniture within your house. Any flat surface will do.  

Materials needed.   Gold spray paint, Holly, drop cloth.  

First, cut or buy enough Holly to cover the areas that you want to decorate.  Holly trees have variety that obly have green leaves but no berries, this is a good for filler,  volume and background. Holly trees also have the variety which will have the red berries. Make sure that you have enough of this Holly to be on the top and the front of your decorations.   

Second, spread The drop cloth outside in a garage or shed or backyard or balcony. Place the Holly front side down and spray the back of the leaves with a very strong coat of spray paint. Let dry.  

Third, turn the Holly branches over and do a very light dusting of the spray paint to the look that you desire.  You may want to do some leaves completely gold, you may want to only have a hint of gold so that the green leaves and red berries are present.  

Fourth, when dry place holly leaves holly branches in a bucket of water to keep them fresh. Keep them outside while the spray paint fully dries and the fumes release, about a week or two.

Finally, bring the branches inside and trim to fit the space that you are decorating. For example on dinner table decorations decorations you will want longfin branches that you could arrange down the center of the table and illuminate with battery-powered LED. For A credenza table decoration you will want branches that are more full.  

Hint: place your LED lights down first.  Put the holly in place.  pull the LED lights up through the Holly to illuminate it softly, put gold balls and gold ribbon woven throughout the Holly.  

Hint: it is best to spray paint the folly three weeks before Christmas and leave it outside for two weeks to get rid of all of the fumes from the spray paint. 

Hint: if you are using Christmas lights to illuminate your display of Holly, use the LED lights that stay cool.  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Rosemary Chicken Recipe

Rosemary Chicken is a classic Italian chicken recipe.  In the classic recipe the Rosemary is often paired with lemon.  Putting a lemon inside the cavity of the chicken, or using lemon juice in place of the balsamic in this recipe might give a more classic dish.  My preference is to use balsamic vinegar in place of the lemon.  It is always in the pantry, while I may not always have a fresh lemon in the fridge.  In this recipe, Rosemary, olive oil and balsamic vinegar make the basis of the sauce. 

Lay sprigs of Rosemary across bottom of baking pan.  Cover with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the depth of about 1/2 inch.  Add red wine in place of some of the balsamic vinegar.  Add hot sauce (doesn't make it hot, just adds flavor). 

Add salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes (red pepper flakes will make it hot if enough is added).

Add Garlic and onions. 
(You can also add other vegetables around the edge like a pot roast.  Potatoes/carrots/celery etc.)

Add the chicken breasts.  I buy the thin cut ones or I cut regular chicken breasts to half the thickness.

Marinate the chicken breasts.  Use two forks, tines down, to tenderize the chicken by piercing with the forks while in the marinade. 

Bake at 3:50 until the chicken breasts are done. 

Aunt Yoland's Honeyed Ricotta Recipe

This simple Honeyed Ricotta recipe dates back generations in Italian families. It can be used at breakfast to be served as a topping or spread for breads, quick breads, pancakes, biscuits, english muffins, bagels and any other breakfast dish. For desserts, serve it on the side as a healthy alternative to ice cream for baked apples and other desserts.

This honeyed ricotta recipe can become a breakfast routine for those on low carb diets.
Things you'll need:
1 cup Ricotta
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar (optional)

1 Gather all ingredients and bring them to room temperature. If the Ricotta is too cold it will solidify the honey and it will not mix. If cold you will end up with solid pieces of honey in the Ricotta. To bring Ricotta to room temperature, leave it out overnight (but not longer as it is dairy and needs to be refriderated). A better alternative is to put the Ricotta in the microwave at half power and heat and stir occassionally until it is room temperature.
2 Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Adjust the honey and sugar to taste. Move to a glass serving bowl and serve with breakfast breads.
3 Consider variations which may include orange zest, vanilla beans, fresh fruit, nuts, granola, or vanilla yogurt.

Linda's Southwest Chicken Soup Recipe

This soup recipe is for a simple but incredibly delicious and satisfying Southwest Chicken Soup. This can be made the old fashioned way by chopping all ingredients by hand before making, or, look in the frozen food section for equivalents.
See the 'tips' section at the bottom for how to make this chicken soup recipe into a Spicy Southwest Chicken Soup Recipe.

Things you'll need:
1/2 - 1 cup cubed chicken in 1 inch cubes.
1/2 cup chopped celery in 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup chopped carrots in 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 - 1 cup chopped potatoes in 1/2 inch cubes
2 medium onions chopped into 1/4 inch cubes.
Large can chicken stock small can tomatoes with chillies (such as rotelle) small can corn/drained. salt/pepper/sugar/chili powder/sprinkle nutmeg.
Olive oil for sauteeing.

If you want to make spicy southwest chicken soup make two adjustments. Make a mixture of 1/2 paprika and 1/2 chilli powder. Do not drain the can of tomatoes with chilli' s and add with the rest of the ingredients.

1 Prepare the ingredients. Assemble all of the ingredients and start chopping the vegetables. Chop the chicken breasts when the vegetables are finished. Place each of the chopped ingredients into their own bowls. Clean all surfaces to make sure there is no contamination from the raw chicken.

2 Sauté in olive oil and paprika. Start two pans on the stove top and medium to high heat. In the larger one add the onion. Sprinkle the onion liberally with paprika, salt and pepper. Sauté until translucent stirring to coat all of the onion in the paprika. At the same time in the other pan, add the celery to the hot oil, sprinkle liberally with paprika and add salt and pepper. Stir so that the celery is coated in paprika. Remove the onion with a slotted spoon and add the chicken cubes. Again sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper. Sauté until done, stirring constantly. Remove the celery with a slotted spoon and add the carrots. Sprinkle with paprika/salt/pepper.
3 Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot. Put the large can of chicken stock into the large soup pot. Add all other ingredients except the can of Tomatoes with chilli's. Bring to a boil and drop to a simmer. Taste and adjust spices. Just before you are ready to serve drain the can of tomatoes and chillies and add. Taste and adjust spices for the last time.