Monday, March 31, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Salmon from Mazola


All I can say is if you like salmon please do yourself a favor and try this one out! Oh my gosh - this rub is perfection on the salmon. I made 4 salmon fillets for dinner and my son ate 2 1/2 of them by himself! The flavor is smoky and sweet, and the fish is flaky and tender. The combination is absolutely delicious and went perfectly with some fresh green beans and a piece of garlic toast. My son said it was the best meal we'd had in a long time. I choose to take that as a compliment to the recipe, and not a remark on my cooking of late! :D

I skipped the grapefruit salsa - the only ingredient that I will eat in the list is the grapefruit and I figured that would defeat the purpose (I love onion and bell pepper, but don't eat either raw). I will say most everyone else who did make the salsa said how great it was - so if you like those ingredients whip up a batch and let me know what you think!!

This is a wonderful recipe from Mazola - you can find their whole recipe collection on AllRecipes.com here.

Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Grapefruit Salsa from Mazola on AllRecipes

Ingredients
Sweet and Spicy Rub:
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 pound salmon fillet
2 teaspoons Mazola® Corn Oil

Grapefruit Salsa:
2 cups grapefruit sections
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, diced

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine paprika, onion and garlic powder, salt, oregano, thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Cut salmon into 4 portions and brush with oil. Distribute the rub over the salmon generously coating all surfaces. Place salmon on a shallow baking pan with sides.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until fish flakes easily.
  5. Coarsely chop grapefruit into bite size pieces. Combine all salsa ingredients and serve with salmon. Grapefruit salsa can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve.



Secret Recipe Club: Apple Cinnamon Pancakes



Happy Secret Recipe Club reveal day!! I was so excited to visit Angel's Homestead and view her extensive recipe index; I knew I wouldn't have any trouble finding something my family would really enjoy. And honestly I didn't make it very far through the list before I knew what I was making for breakfast that very morning!

Learn more about April (our very own Secret Recipe Club's owner!) here; at Angel's Homestead you will find a blog focused on family - frugal tips, down-home comfort cooking, and posts focused on good food and good living.

So, back to my recipe selection! I was thinking about seeing if I could find something to make for breakfast over the weekend, and it didn't take me more than a few seconds after clicking the "Breakfast" link to spot this fantastic Apple Cinnamon Pancakes recipe. I knew that's what I would be making. I could imagine the smell of them cooking - and let me tell you, the smell is pretty dang fantastic!

These are absolutely delicious. I loved the tender, warm pieces of apple blended into the lightly cinnamon-flavored pancake batter. It all works absolutely beautifully together. Top these with a pat of butter and some warm maple syrup and you will be in apple-cinnamon heaven.

I only made 4 very large pancakes out of this recipe - one was enough for each of us for breakfast.

A few other recipes I tucked away to try soon include Dijon Turkey Burgers, Crock Pot Applesauce, or Blue Ribbon Mac and Cheese - YUMM!

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes from Angel's Homestead

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 TBS brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup applesauce
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1 egg
2 TBS melted butter (or margarine)

Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, salt, cinnamon, sugar and baking powder.
  2. In a another medium bowl blend the milk, egg, applesauce and melted butter.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine gently, just until just blended.
  4. Stir in the chopped apples; the batter will be thick and lumpy.
  5. Prepare a skillet, and let the batter rest for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Melt a tablespoon of butter over medium to medium-low heat. Once the skillet is hot and butter is melted, pour about 1/3 cup scoop of pancake batter onto the prepared pan.
  7. Let the pancake cook until bubbles begin to form on the top, the edges begin to appear dry, and the bottom is lightly browned.
  8. Gently flip the pancake with a spatula and cook the second side until it is also golden brown, about a couple minutes more.



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Baked Chocolate Glazed Donuts




These are very tasty chocolate cake donuts - I think the batter would be fantastic as a regular chocolate snack cake topped with some chocolate chips and/or powdered sugar. I made a fairly thin glaze - dunked the donuts in and the glaze stayed fairly wet which made our donuts gooey and sticky (and all the better for finger-lickin'!)

I would definitely use these again - the batter amount was perfect for my 6-donut pan and I really liked the springy, tender, and delicious cakey donuts - you can adjust the glaze to your likeness in terms of thickness and then add some sprinkles if you want for that extra sweet touch!

Baked Chocolate Glazed Donuts by Food Family and Finds

Ingredients
Donuts
1 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup + 3 tablespoons milk
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Glaze
2 tablespoons coffee, brewed (Donut House Chocolate Glazed Donut was suggested in original recipe)
2 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 2/3 cup powdered sugar
(add ⅓ more powdered sugar for a thick frosting)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees and prepare a donut baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
  3. Add in the milk, egg, vanilla and butter to the dry ingredients; whisk until smooth.
  4. Evenly distribute the batter between the donut pan compartments (6 total, they should be about half full).
  5. Bake 12 – 14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. For the glaze, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. You may need to add an additional ⅓ cup of powdered sugar for a thicker glaze.
  7. Dip the top of each donut in the glaze, top with chocolate sprinkles if desired and enjoy.



Monday, March 24, 2014

AB&J (Almond Butter & Jam) Smoothie



This was a quick, easy, and very tasty dairy free smoothie that we whipped up and enjoyed as a quick liquid lunch over the weekend. Easy to adjust the flavor with more / less peanut butter or jam - or use a different jam flavor (though I thought the strawberry worked well)!

I will definitely remember this one - next time I'll probably throw in a frozen banana and skip the ice cubes.

Almond, Butter, and Jam Smoothie from Almond Breeze

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 TBS strawberry jam
1 ripe banana, peeled
2 ice cubes

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, blend for about 60-90 seconds or until completely smooth and ingredients are well blended.



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Young Love: Kent and April in the Park

My son and his girlfriend, April, have been together off and on since about 6th grade and have been pretty "serious" this year (they're in 9th grade now). He's been spending more and more time with April on the weekends and I decided it was time to try to get some pictures of the two of them together so we invited April to come to the park and have a picnic lunch and let me get some shots of the two of them. They are goofy kids, and I think I captured that in most of the shots! Kent was pretty reluctant to do pictures since he hates being my photo subject, but between April and I we drug him along and got him to cooperate most of the time. :) I had such a good time getting to share an hour with them watching them have fun together and capturing some of those moments.


















Oh yeah - remember in 2011 when Kent first told me he had a girlfriend and I said that'll probably last a week? It's lasted a little longer than that... :)


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Pork Carnitas from Mazola



This was an incredibly delicious recipe that we made again the very next day - and doubled the batch the second time! The meat is tender and SUPER flavorful. This is a wonderful recipe. I didn't make the tomatillo sauce as called for in the original recipe - I had a jar of Herdez Tomatillo Verde sauce which worked perfectly (I am NOT a fan of cilantro, so I wanted to skip the salsa recipe). I used pork loin instead of shoulder which seemed to be a great cut for this recipe. For my Pork Carnita I added a little sour cream along with the Tomatillo Verde and it was fantastic! Kenneth added normal taco fixings to his - lettuce, cheese, sour cream and some avocado.

We will absolutely use this recipe again and again - although I found that the amount of seasonings called for in the original recipe seemed to be too much for just 1 lb of meat, so I used the called for amount of seasonings on 2 lbs of meat the second time around (reflected in the recipe below). If you think you want yours extra spicy and coated with seasoning try decreasing the amount of meat or increasing the seasonings - for us the seasonings to meat ratio below was great.

Pork Carnitas with Cilantro Tomatillo Sauce from Mazola on All Recipes

Ingredients
2 pounds pork shoulder
2 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands® Garlic Powder
1 tablespoon Spice Islands® Chili Powder
1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands® Chipotle Chile Powder
8 corn tortillas

Tomatillo Salsa
2 tomatillos, finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Direction
  1. Cut pork into 1 inch cubes; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet or Dutch oven. Add pork, onions, garlic powder, chili powder and chipotle chile powder; saute 3 to 5 minutes to brown the meat.
  2. Add enough water to barely cover pork. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Remove lid and continue to simmer an additional 45 minutes or until liquid has evaporated.
  3. For sauce: Combine chopped tomatillos, tomatoes and cilantro in a small bowl.
  4. Place an equal amount of pork on each tortilla. Top with tomatillo salsa.



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Heart-Healthy Lifestyle - Mazola and the AllRecipes AllStars are Teaming Up!

What does heart heart-healthy mean to me? Heart-healthy means being conscientious of what I put into my body, being aware of what keeps my body running as it was intended, and limiting consumption and activities that do not allow me to be the healthiest version of me. That being said, oh boy do I have a long way to go before I can say that I make heart-healthy choices every day for me and my family. There have been periods in my life that I can say I made heart-healthy choices every day and it was an integral part of my life and routine with regular healthy activity, and food choices that were primarily homemade, lots of fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and limited processed foods. Overall, we still do pretty well with our food choices at home - my husband and I cook regularly and although you will certainly see cheese, breads, pasta, and potatoes appear on the table, we always try to balance that with good, healthy vegetables and fresh fruits each day. We strive for balance, not perfection. I gave up on that a long time ago! :) In the pursuit of balance, learning about heart-healthy fats and how to make good choices with what I cook and bake with is very important, since some form of oil or fat is used pretty much on a daily basis at our house when we cook.

Making good, heart-healthy decisions is VERY important to me for my own health and that of my family - my maternal grandfather has had more than one heart attack and undergone surgery and yet I have always thought of my grandfather as very healthy and active, he is the last one of my grandparent's whom I would have thought would suffer a heart attack and this happened years ago when he was in his 70's if I remember right. And then there is my mom... My mother passed away in November of 2009. I miss her TERRIBLY each and every day. Although we didn't get a clear answer as to exactly what happened causing her death, her heart was related. My mother dealt with eating and weight issues all of her life - sometimes doing great, making healthy choices, staying active, and other times she struggled. She was taken from my life MUCH too early, much, much too early. I want to be here day, after day, after day, after day for my two precious children. I want to see my children grow up, and then see my grandbabies grow up and get married too. I don't want to leave this earth as young as my mommy did - I need to make the right choices for myself and my family because I want to live a long, happy, and healthy life.

This month the AllRecipes AllStars are teaming up with Mazola to bring you some pretty amazing recipes, and not just tasty food but some very helpful information about heart-health and the benefits of corn oil in your diet! I think by now we all know heart-healthy oils and fats ARE part of a balanced diet and Mazola provides some fantastic information on their website about Health and Wellness, and Know Your Fats to provide you with some very helpful information about what to look for when you're reading labels and preparing meals for your family.

Quote from Mazola's website:

Plant sterols, also known as phytosterols, are plant-based micro-nutrients naturally present in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals, legumes and vegetable oils.1 Clinical studies indicate that, when consumed as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, plant sterols can help reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the gut, which, in turn, can lower LDL blood cholesterol.2

Check out the collection of tasty dishes from Mazola on AllRecipes.com - you'll be seeing the Pork Carnitas and the Sweet and Spicy Salmon featured here in the coming weeks!


DISCLAIMER:
I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com.

Products received from sponsors are only used for experienced-based reviews on Making Miracles. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Rebekah.




Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Half way to her first birthday already - happy 6 months baby girl










Lindsey's 6 Month Fun Facts:
  • She's still a drool monster - going through multiple clothing and bib changes each day, but still no teeth popping through.
  • She loves to put EVERYTHING in her mouth - her favorite teething toys are her Sophie the giraffe and fingers (usually mom or dads).
  • She's doing great with solid foods and has tried out quite a few fruits and veggies - we tried a little chicken last night and that was a no-go. She made quite the face! We'll stick with fruits and veggies for now!
  • She's getting better with her nap and sleep schedule sloooowwwllly. She has a pretty set nap schedule now and usually naps at 9:30 for about 2 hours, up for 2 hours and down for another 1-2 hours and sometimes a 30 minute nap in the evening.
  • Her bedtime routine includes dinner around 7:00pm (usually about 3-4 ounces of a fruit or veggie and about 2 ounces of baby oatmeal cereal mixed with formula), a bathtub for about 10 minutes, lotion all over and change into pajamas, brush her hair, warm up a breast milk bottle, and then we read 1-2 books (The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and The Little Train). After we finish her books, she gets her reflux meds, wrapped up snug in her swaddle blanket, and then lights off, noise machine on, and we rock while she finishes her bottle and sometimes nurses then when she's very drowsy into bed she goes...
  • She still wakes up about once in the middle of the night (1ish) and then usually again between 4-5 and then stays in bed until 7:30 - 8:00am.
  • She's about outgrown her Rock N Play Sleeper and we're going to have to move her to her crib very soon!
  • She is very snuggly and huggy now when she's a little sleepy, and she's started giving big 'ol sloppy open mouth baby kisses on my cheek.
  • She is sitting up very well now and holds it for longer and longer periods of time - she has yet to actually pull herself into a seated position on her own, though she's getting better about using her arms to keep herself from falling over and pushing herself back up.
  • She's getting better about "tummy time" as well, now that she can push herself up higher and look around better and for longer periods of time she is enjoying it more. I still haven't seen her roll from her tummy to her back, Kenneth says she doesn't do it very often.
  • She doesn't use her baby gym nearly as much since she doesn't like to spend much time laying on her back anymore - but we will sometimes pull it up next to her and sit her with a nursing pillow around her for support so she can still play with the toys - she likes that it makes music and still likes to play with it as long as she can be sitting when she does.
  • I absolutely adore her and love her to pieces and am always so happy to get home after a long day at work to pick her up and swing her around and make her giggle and smile.
  • She loves her big brother, and he is so good with her! He is almost always my "photographer's assistant" when it's picture time and helps entertain her, make sure she doesn't fall over, and gets big beautiful smiles out of her! :)
  • The day Lindsey turned 6 months old, my other "baby" was finally sold - my beautiful yellow Corvette. We decided since it was just sitting in the garage and not getting driven anymore it was time to let it go and pay off the car we purchased once Lindsey was on the way which is my commuter car and the family car now - so back to only having the mortgage debt! Yay! I will miss my pretty car though - I sure enjoyed it for the nearly 7 years I had it (I used to drive it every day to work!)


Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We pulled out a little green for St. Paddy's day and snapped a few shots of Miss Lindsey Rose to celebrate the day! She is such an agreeable little photo subject! Just love that girl!!