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Broccoli Poppers

June 8, 2011

This is a recipe that is super fast and easy.  It’s great as a side dish or just to snack on!  Just pop these in the oven and put them in a bowl instead of chips?  You’re in for a treat!
Baking sheet or dish
1 head of broccoli
Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 400
Take you head of broccoli and begin cutting.  Really, the cutting is the art in this dish.  Let me show you how I do it:
I cut lengthwise.  Find a tree branch and run the knife down from that:
Continue this until you have a bunch of trees that look like this:
Then, cut the ‘trunk’ of the tree right at the base:
Oh, and don’t mind me calling these trees, come on!  I work in preschool!  What else would you call them?
Now those ‘trunks’ are edible!  DON’T THROW THEM OUT!!!  Just dice them up and put them into baking dish:

Go back to those trees:
Let’s admire the forest for a bit, shall we?
  Those trees that are bit size already, just toss those right on top of the chopped up trunks.  This one’s good:
As is this one:
Oh, these are perfect!
This one?
Not so much.  However, we just need to cut it in half:
Okay, maybe quarters:
This will not do:
Chop that sucker up into many pieces!
Once all the trees have been chopped up (huh, kind of sounds a bit like deforestation, doesn’t it?  Hope I didn’t kill off any endangered animals…oops) there will be some leftover pieces:
Just sweep those right into the dish as well:
I really don’t like to waste any of my broccoli.  I LOVE broccoli!  Every   last   bit!
Now, sprinkle some olive oil right over the top:
Add some salt, to taste, I like salt as well:
Then seasoning.  This time I used Garlic Powder…who am I kidding.  I usually use garlic powder, but you could spice it up with chili powder or anything else:
Then, gently toss to coat all the pieces:
Try to restrain yourself from snacking on that…it will be so much better out of the oven: Put into your preheated oven:
And wait for about 10 minutes.  It will look like this:
Do you see the tops of those trees:

They’re a bit brown and crunchy.  THAT’S what makes this dish worth it all!  That crunchy, infused flavor!
My Comments:
This is a very quick recipe and so delicious.  I’m not sure exactly where I first got the idea, but I pretty much read something about baking broccoli and cauliflower (which this is perfect for as well), got an idea, tossed some ingredients together, and baked!  Turned out delicious and now I can’t get enough!
What’s your favorite way to cook broccoli?
1 head of broccoli
Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 400
Chops broccoli into bite sized pieces
Toss with olive oil, salt, and seasonings
Bake for 7-10 minutes until tops of broccoli are crispy brown


Honeydew Melon Shake/Smoothie

November 1, 2010

photo3Okay, before you turn away…stay around and listen!  I didn’t think this was going to be a successful shake/smoothie/whatever at all!  I thought I would make this concoction and end up tossing it down the drain…little did I know what I have actually created!

This is so simple, so delicious, so yummy, and it has a secret ingredient…and no, the secret ingredient isn’t honeydew melon…follow me into something new and great…

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

October 30, 2010


How’s my timing?  Did I miss everyone’s pumpkin seed roasting opportunity?  Or did I get a few people out there who may not have started yet and procrastinate like I do?  Either way, here’s how I roasted my pumpkin seeds and the turned out FABULOUSLY!  Perfectly crisp and not burned, and all so fabulous…want to know how?

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Pumpkin Pop Tarts

October 27, 2010


Earlier this week I posted on my facebook page that I had a breakfast of a homemade Pumpkin Pop tart…little did I know what I started, everyone was commenting, emailing, and begging me to send them the recipe!  Okay, enough already!  I am sitting here, exhausted after a very long day of work that included carrying a sleeping toddler for half a mile walk with a bunch of other toddlers and preschoolers…but I will not let you down….here is the pumpkin pop tart recipe:

As is, just for the crust, it is 5 weight watchers points for 10 servings.  If you take out the minimal sugar and use egg whites only, it drops to 4 points (but you have to drop BOTH in order for it to make that change and, really, 5 points?  SO worth it!)  Make sure if you use a filling other than yummy pumpkin that might have a points value that you add that to it was well.  A simple glaze, which I will give a recipe for as well, doesn’t change the points any here.

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Pumpkin…not the canned kind

October 24, 2010

pumpkin1 See these two beauties?  I picked them up two for $5 this weekend at the store…my favorite one (you know, Fresh and Easy).  I picked them up with the intention of NOT carving them for decorations.  Nope!  I picked them up to make my own pumpkin puree…like you get in a can…just without the can.

Want to know how to do it?  It is really SO simple!

I found the easiest way to cut them is to start by taking off the top just like you do when carving (you know, cut out a little hat for the guy).

Then, just simply (but very carefully) slice down the sides to cut it in half.  Scrape all the pulp and seeds out (don’t throw those out!  You’ll thank me later), then, in a shallow dish (you may need to, one for each half) place the pumpkin halves cut side down.  Pour about a half inch to an inch of water in the dish.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 and make sure to lower your shelf.  You don’t want it on the very bottom, but if you keep it in the middle the top of the pumpkin will be too high.  Aim for the highest part of the pumpkin to be in the middle of the oven.

Then, put them in the oven and set the timer for 2 hours.  Then wait…once the two hours is up, check to make sure it is soft enough.  You should easily be able to stab it with a fork AND the skin should fairly easily be able to peel off.

Take it out of the oven and let it sit for just a bit.  You want it cool enough to handle, but not too cool just because it gets more difficult to peel.  I found it was easier to peel it in large chunks.  I cut it in about 9 pieces each half.

Once peeled, get out your food processor or blender and start adding the pieces slowly so that they all get pureed well.  Add some nutmeg if you like but remember you can always add nutmeg as you use it as well.  Completely up to you. 

If you find it a bit too thick, add a but of the water leftover from when you baked it. 

I found that I had to push it down a couple times to make sure it all got pureed well.  In the end, it will look like this:


Yes, that is FRESH pumpkin!  No canned for us this year!  WHOO HOO!

I have taken to freezing all my pre-made items like this in ice cube trays and, once they are frozen, I simply put them in a labeled freezer bag.  It makes it really easy to portion out and not defrost more than we need.  It makes things last a lot longer as well and allows for more variety in meal planning.  Before the freezer trick, I would make a bunch of refried beans and we would have a week worth of Mexican food to use them all up.  Now, I can take out just what we’ll need, defrost it, and if I’m really good, then we only have enough leftovers for lunch the next day.

Two pumpkins gave me A LOT of pumpkin puree.  I’m am planning on using it for all sorts of things:

Pumpkin pancakes

Pumpkin cookies

Pumpkin bread

Pumpkin oatmeal

Pumpkin pie

Pumpkin spaghetti

I’m actually considering getting a few more just in case (it will be a very long time before we can get pumpkins again and, the cans?  They’re seasonal…It’s always good to have extra on hand, right?

What do you use pumpkin for?

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Food product

September 28, 2010

review and prize over here of a new product.  I am working on some more cooking posts but there has been some MAJOR craziness going on over here with starting a new job, vacation, and a hospital visit and stuff…back to the regular program soon, promise!

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Grilled Veggies

September 6, 2010

Grilled Veggies This is simple…so simple I’m not even going to post picture other than this one because there really isn’t much to it and you can change as you see fit.  I do this every time I BBQ because it’s so simple.

Get a long piece of foil OR two long pieces…I start with a long piece and realize that I need more so end up with two pieces every time.

Slice up all sorts of different veggies.  Pictured there were green onions, mushrooms, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, yellow squash, white squash, and zucchini.  Feel free to add any more or less as you see fit.

Just pile it all in the center of the foil and then sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over everything.  Then drizzle just a bit of olive oil.

Place the second foil piece over the first and seal the edges all around (or, if using one piece, just seal the edges together).  You should have a nice little pocket of veggies now.

We use a charcoal grill; so I put this on the grill as I start it up to give it plenty of time to heat up and steam inside.  Just place it off to the side.  Then, once you take your meat and everything off the grill, just take the package off the grill and open it up!

SO GOOD!  As I’m writing this, I am imagining sprinkling some garlic and possibly a bit of lemon in there next time…that’s the great thing about this “recipe” is you can just change it as you see fit!

You could also do this in your oven, which I will most likely do once the weather starts cooling off and we pause on the BBQ, with winter veggies instead of summer…yum!

So, what veggies would you add?

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