Monday, November 30, 2009
AMAZING COOKING Website
She also blogs about the love story between her and her husband. She's a city girl that ends up marrying a cowboy. WHAT A LOVE STORY!!!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Flax Oil that tastes like a Stawberry Banana Sauce?
SoBe Lifewater - Naturally Sweetened Water
This is what Pepsiproductfacts.com has to say about it:
SoBe Life Water is a unique enhanced water beverage that gives you a high level of vitamins and antioxidants and is infused with natural herbs. Plus it's low in calories, using only natural sweeteners including sugar and erythritol. With its unique flavor combinations, Life Water is naturally refreshing and thrilling! It's thrillicious!
*Picture courtesy of sobeworld.com*
America's Test Kitchen - TV on Demand!
The BEST BEST BEST Banana Cream Pie!!
Note: You can substitute the Graham Crackers with the dark chocolate wafer cookies (I buy these at Gelsons) for a different crust.
4 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise and seeds scraped
3 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 recipe Graham Cracker Crust, recipe follows
3 pounds (about 9) firm but ripe bananas, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Caramel Sauce, recipe follows
Chocolate Sauce, recipe follows
Shaved chocolate, for garnish
Confectioner's sugar, for garnish
Combine 2 cups of the cream, the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the vanilla bean, and the vanilla seeds in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
Combine the egg yolks, eggs, cornstarch, and 1 cup of the sugar in a medium bowl, and whisk pale yellow in color. Set aside.
Whisk 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks. Gradually add the egg mixture to the hot cream, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a large wooden spoon to cook out the cornstarch and the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. (The mixture may separate slightly. If so, remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until thick and smooth.) Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.
To assemble, spread 1/2 cup of the custard over the bottom of the prepared crust, smoothing with the back of a large spoon or rubber spatula. Arrange enough banana slices (not quite one-third) in a tight, tiled pattern over the custard, pressing down with your hands to pack them firmly. Repeat to build a second layer, using 3/4 cup of the custard and enough bananas to cover, smoothing down the layer evenly. For the third layer, spread 3/4 cup of custard over the bananas and top with the remaining bananas, starting 1-inch from the outer edge and working toward the center. Spread 1 cup of custard evenly over the bananas to prevent discoloration. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
In a medium bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar and the vanilla extract and whip until stiff peaks form.
Remove the pie from the refrigerator. With a sharp knife dipped in hot water, cut the pie into 10 equal slices. Transfer the slices to dessert plates. Fill a pastry bag with the whipped cream and pipe onto each slice. (Alternately, spread the whipped cream evenly over the pie before cutting.)
Drizzle each slice with the caramel sauce and chocolate sauce, sprinkle with the chocolate shavings and confectioners' sugar, and serve.
Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl and mix well. Add the butter and mix well. Press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan. Top with aluminum pie tin and with a circular motion, press the crust tightly into the pan. Bake until browned, about 25 minutes. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Yield: 1 (9-inch) crust
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup whole milk
Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Let boil without stirring until the mixture becomes a deep amber color, 2 to 3 minutes, watching closely so it doesn't burn. Add the cream, whisk to combine, and remove from the heat. Add the milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature before serving with the pie. (The sauce will thicken as it cools.)
Yield: generous 3/4 cup
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 pound semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Scald the half-and-half and butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat.
Place the chocolate and vanilla in a medium, heat-proof bowl. Add the hot half-and-half and let sit for 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Serve slightly warm. (The sauce can be kept refrigerated in an airtight container for several days, but it must be returned to room temperature before serving.
Yield: generous 3/4 cup
Holiday Gift Ideas for Ages 1-2 & 3 Years Old
1-2 Years Old: More of the same thing. Wrap up his toys and stuff he loves. If he's more towards 2 years old, wrap up a bunch of stuff because "Tearing off the wrapping paper," becomes REALLY FUN!!
Now we are heading towards 3 years old and Christmas is going to be so EXCITING!!! I can't wait to see the look on his face that morning when he sees his new train table with a big red bow on it. He's starting to realize what "Surprises" and "Presents" are.
**This is the BEST part. (He's 2.10 years old) I took him shopping with me and actually let him test the toys I was buying him for Christmas, then I bought them, right in front of him. He still has no idea this is what Santa is bringing him. He hasn't even asked me where they went. Out of sight out of mind. :) YAY!! This will definitely NOT be the case next year.
3+ Years Old - They know what they want and will definitely let you know. :)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Toddler Gift Ideas - Train Table
Toddler Gift Idea - Easel from Ikea
Toddler Gift Idea - Ice Cream Parlor Set by Melissa and Doug
Toddler GIft Idea - Pizza Party by Melissa and Doug
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Thanksgiving Sides: Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Thyme
Recipe courtesy Danny Boome
1 pound parsnips (*Sometimes TJ's has these or Gelsons)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey (*I might use Agave?)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Peel the carrots and parsnips and cut them in half lengthwise, larger ones can be quartered. Place them on a large rimmed baking sheet.
Drizzle the carrots and parsnips with the olive oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Scatter the thyme sprigs on top. Place them in the preheated oven.
After 10 minutes, give the veggies a toss and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft and slightly caramelized. Serve warm.
Thanksgiving Sides: Spicy Parmesan Green Beans and Kale
(Photo courtesy of FoodNetwork.com)
*This got 5 out of 5 stars. I am going to try it this year probably without the spice so Baby P can eat it. I am trying to incorporate more of a "VARIETY of VEGETABLES" at our table.
6 to 8 servings
1 onion, sliced
1/4 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered (about 14 mushrooms)
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and slice into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bunch kale (1/2 pound), rinsed, stemmed, and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, green beans, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking until the green beans are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and the kale and continue cooking until the kale has wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and the Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat and serve immediately.
Thanksgiving Sides: Maple- and Tangerine-Glazed Carrots
Maple- and Tangerine-Glazed Carrots
**This side dish is soooo tasty and so memorable when made. You have to try it sometime this year. ** When I make it again I will post a picture. (You could probably even use Agave Nectar but I don't know how it would turn out?)
Tangerine juice adds an intriguing note to the velvety sauce. Look for the largest possible tangerines to make squeezing easier.
Yield: Makes 8 servings
1 1/4 cups fresh tangerine juice
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated tangerine peel
2 1/2 pounds large carrots (about 12), peeled, cut on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick ovals (about 6 cups)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 large tangerine, seeded
Chopped fresh parsley
Combine first 5 ingredients in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Boil until sauce thickens and coats spoon thickly and is reduced to 2/3 cup, whisking occasionally, about 8 minutes.
Steam carrots until just crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Mix carrots and cayenne pepper into sauce. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Simmer carrots in sauce over medium heat until heated through and sauce reduces to thick glaze, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Squeeze juice from tangerine half over. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
House/Pet Sitting Services - LAMommy Referral Spotlight
If you're like me, your pets have become family members. When you can't be home with them, whether because of work, vacation or other obligations, you want them taken care of with the same love and attention you give them. That's exactly what I do!!
I offer a multitude of services for a variety of pets. I can also handle various home services which, by making it appear that your house is occupied, can be a crime deterrent. Depending on the client's request, I do stay overnight as well. I am based in Calabasas, but I service many different cities.
Choose the schedule and services you want, and I
do the rest!!
Pet services include:
Administration of medicine
Litterbox scooping & cleaning
Transportation to vet, groomer, or dog park (if asked)
Overnight & extended stays (if asked)
Spending time with your animal & giving affection
Updates via text messages and pictures
Home services include:
Bringing in newspapers/mail
Turning on/alternating lights
Carrying trash in/out
Cleaning all towels & bedding after use
Cleaning house before I leave
Excellent list of references available upon request!!
Phone #: (818) 635-8485
Email Address: email@example.com
*Photo courtesy of petsittingbyashley.com
How many PARABENS do you put on your BODY everyday?
Start of each day -
- Body Wash
- Face Wash
- Shaving Cream
- Body Lotion
- Facial Moisturizer
- Hail Gel or other products
*My son also only uses paraben free products
When I thought about it like this, I realized I was layering my skin with PARBENS almost EVERYDAY so some must be getting absorbed? Whether there is or is not a correlation with PARABENS and CANCER (check out my article some posts below), I was ready to change my habits and products to stay on the safe side.
So, with the help of Bed, Bath, and Beyond coupons and their organic section, I slowly converted all my products.
Cosmetics, Parabens, and Breast Cancer
By~ Organic Consumers Association
Friday, November 6, 2009
BREAKING NEWS - TAX CREDIT
EXPANDED AND EXTENDED!
Today it is a great day for our housing market! Just moments ago, President Obama signed into law the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act (H.R. 3548) that included, as an amendment, the extension and expansion of the Homebuyer Tax Credit.
In addition to extending the first time homebuyers credit of up to $8,000, the new bill calls for an incentive for existing homeowners as well. Homeowners who have owned their current homes at least five years, are now eligible for tax credits of up to $6,500 when they purchase a new home. To qualify, buyers in both groups have to sign a purchase agreement by April 30, 2010 and close by June 30.
The credit is available for the purchase of principal homes costing $800,000 or less, meaning vacation homes are ineligible. The credit would be phased out for individuals with annual incomes above $125,000 and for joint filers with incomes above $225,000.
Under additional provisions in the bill, taxpayers can claim the credit on purchases completed in 2010 on their 2009 income tax returns. The bill maintains the provision that home buyers do not have to repay the credit provided the home remains their primary residence for 36 months after purchase, and waives this requirement for active duty military personnel who move due to a military order.
This truly is exciting news for our industry and a major victory for consumers and REALTORS alike. NAR economists estimate that the current tax credit has contributed approximately $22 billion to the general economy, and approximately 2 million people will take advantage of the tax credit this year.
Now now more than ever we need to take advantage of this opportunity. This is said to be the last tax credit that the government will offer so first time home buyers and move-up buyers should do their best to take complete advantage of it.
What To Do With Pumpkins???
2 cups So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage (I used Original, but you could use Vanilla, too)
2 tablespoons agave nectar (or sweetener of choice, to taste)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 ripe banana
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice -or- 1/4 tsp ginger and 1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (use 1/4 tsp, if you are using vanilla coconut milk beverage)
Blend all together, pour, and enjoy! Makes 2 12-oz servings plus a little extra to enjoy.
And.. this one I just got from: SimplyRecipes.com
Suzanne's Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie
2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar pumpkin* or from canned pumpkin purée
1 1/2 cup heavy cream or 1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 good crust (see pâte brisée recipe)
* To make pumpkin purée from a sugar pumpkin: start with a small-medium sugar pumpkin, cut out the stem and scrape out the insides, discard (save the seeds, of course). Cut into sections and steam in a saucepan with a couple inches of water at the bottom, until soft. Scoop out the pulp from the skin. Or you can bake whole or halved in a 350°F oven until fork tender. Optional - put pulp through a food mill or chinois to make extra smooth.
1 Preheat oven to 425°F.
2 Mix sugars, salt, and spices, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Stir in cream. Whisk all together until well incorporated.
3 Pour into pie shell and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
4 Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.
Serve with whipped cream. Serves 8.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Quinoa Turkery Burgers - Healthy, Savory & Kid Friendly
- Ground Turkey Meat - Trader Joes
- 1 Tube - Mirepoix - TJ (onions, carrots, celery)
- 1 Box - Organic Quinoa - TJ
- 1-2 Organic Eggs
- Worchestire Sauce
- Garlic Salt & Pepper & Cumin
- Cook Quinoa according to the package, when finished, set aside to cool (I usually have left over quinoa depending on how many burgers I make)
- Saute Mirepoix in some Evvo until really soft
- Remove from pan and set aside to cool
- Dump turkey meat into a big bowl
- Season turkey meat with a little garlic salt & pepper & cumin & worchestire sauce
- Mix in soft veggies according to your liking
- Add 1-2 eggs for binding
- Form into hamburger patties
- Grill like you would a burger or you can cook on stove top in a pan
*Worchestire Sauce - I know this has HFCS in it so I tried the one from Whole Foods which is HFCS free and just DID NOT taste the same :( so, I stay with the one from Ralphs but only use a little.
*We put Organic Ketchup (TJ) on ours and I always make a few extra for the next couple days.
*I have also broken them up a couple days later (when Baby P has had enough) and put them in pasta sauce
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Vitamin D Deficiency common in U.S. Children
Article by Denise Mann
A whopping 70 percent of American kids aren't getting enough vitamin D, and such youngsters tend to have higher blood pressure and lower levels of good cholesterol than their peers, according to two new studies published this week in the journal Pediatrics. Low vitamin D levels also may increase a child's risk of developing heart disease later in life, experts say.
People who drank milk less than once a week were among those most at risk for vitamin-D deficiency, a study found.
"We were astounded at how common it was," says study author Dr. Michal Melamed, an assistant professor of medicine, epidemiology, and population health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx, New York. "There is a lot of data that suggests adults with low vitamin-D levels are at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and a lot of cancers, and if kids start out with low levels and never increase them, they may be putting themselves at risk for developing all of these diseases at a much earlier age."
Vitamin D is often called the "sunshine vitamin" because the human body makes it only when exposed to sunlight -- although it only takes 10 to 15 minutes a day to make an adequate amount. Vitamin D, which helps the bones better absorb calcium, is also added to multivitamins and milk.
In Melamed's study, the researchers looked at the vitamin D levels of more than 6,000 people ages 1 to 21. They checked for vitamin-D deficiency, which is defined as less than 15 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL), and vitamin-D insufficiency, which is defined as 15 to 29 ng/mL. Overall, 7.6 million, or 9 percent, of U.S. children were vitamin-D deficient, and another 50.8 million, or 61 percent, had insufficient levels of this important vitamin in their blood.
Children with low levels of vitamin D were more likely to have high blood pressure and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein, also known as good cholesterol -- two factors that are considered major risk factors for heart disease later in life. Health.com: How cholesterol affects your heart's health
Children with low vitamin-D levels also had higher levels of parathyroid hormone than their counterparts with adequate vitamin D in their blood. Parathyroid hormone is a measure of bone health. When levels are high, it suggests that bones need more calcium to grow. Watch more on kids in the U.S. and low levels of vitamin D »
Overall, those most at risk for a vitamin-D deficiency were older, female, obese, drank milk less than once a week, and spent more than four hours a day watching TV, playing video games, or working on a computer. They were also more likely to be children with darker skin, including non-Hispanic blacks and Mexican-Americans. (Children with darker skin are more likely to be deficient in vitamin D because they have more melanin than their fairer counterparts. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin color, but it may prevent the skin from absorbing enough sunlight to produce an adequate amount of vitamin D.) Health.com: Battle aging with vitamin D
In the second study, a research team led by Jared P. Reis, Ph.D., of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, looked at 3,577 adolescents ages 12 to 19. Those with low levels of vitamin D were more likely to have high blood pressure, high levels of blood sugar, and metabolic syndrome (a cluster of factors known to increase risk of heart disease) than their counterparts with ample vitamin D in their blood, regardless of how much they weighed.
Exactly how a lack of vitamin D increases the risk of heart disease is an evolving story. In terms of blood pressure, vitamin D helps control renin, a protein that plays a role in regulating blood-pressure levels. Health.com: Why belly fat increases type 2 diabetes risk
The best vitamin-D boosting strategy involves a three-pronged approach, says Melamed. "You can get a little bit from food, but not as much as you need," she says. "Supplements are readily available, and kids like to take Flintstones or gummy-bear multivitamins, which typically contain vitamin D."
Also, parents should help their children get at least 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure daily without sunscreen. "Set your watch and then apply sunscreen after 15 minutes," Melamed says. Some children, including those in high-risk groups, may need to be screened to check for low vitamin-D levels.
Dr. Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., a professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine, and the author of "The Vitamin D Solution" (to be released in April 2010), has been sounding an alarm about the dangers of low vitamin-D levels for years. Health.com: Easy food swaps cut cholesterol, not taste
"This is a recipe for serious diseases occurring in our children when they are in their 20s and 30s," he says. Holick was among the first to document the return of rickets--a disorder caused by a lack of vitamin D and other minerals--which can lead to the softening and weakening of the bones. Health.com: How to get vitamin D safely
"[But] rickets is just the tip of the iceberg," Holick says. "Vitamin-D deficiency has insidious, serious long-term health consequences for children that could remain with them throughout their lives," he explains. "[Parents should know] their child is likely to be vitamin-D deficient if the child does not take a supplement of 400 IU vitamin D a day and receive some unprotected sun. It is next to impossible to get enough vitamin D from diet, and the sun-phobic attitude has made the problem much worse."
Another good website on Vitamin D - http://vitamind3world.com