I actually have got a case of the Sunday Blues and need to shake this funk off! So my first confession is that I did not want to go to church this morning but put on a good face and made it through complete with help at Sunday school. I know... I am terrible!
My second confession is that I detested the Austin Reptile Expo! I love my son so very much but I really have a hard time finding the love for leopard geckos, snakes and iguanas. Emmet on the other hand had the time of his life. He got to hold 3 snakes, 2 geckos and a bearded dragon. He has profusely thanked us for taking him and is now in a quandry as to what reptile to get for his 10th Birthday.
The iguana is out because this guy below bit off his owner's nose! And check out how large he is.
Emmet holding a Leopard Gecko- most likely candidate.
Emmet holding a snake.... he is going to have to hold off on getting a snake, I need a couple years with the lizard first before I can embrace snakes.
My husband never informed me that Emmet was going to get to hold snakes and lizards at the Expo. I just thought we were going to be previewing the critters not handling them. Steve had a good time laughing at Zoe and I's reaction to the whole experience. Let's just say, I am going to send the boys by themselves next time, the girls will stay home.
The 3rd Confession is that my scale was up this morning which it should be but that also did not help matters. As you will soon see, I did make two desserts yesterday and also finished off the rest of the pizza from Mandola's so I guess I will have to call this the Pig Out weekend and plan on shaking off the weight first thing Monday!
My last and final confession is that my father is driving me bonkers and had to go to the hospital last night because he has a blood clot. This is a rather serious condition which he has not been taking seriously thus the "bonkers" statement. He finally took himself to the emergency room and stayed the night in the hospital and will be released today. He is a lucky man.
So enough confessions and bitching.... oh one more little one..... nothing came in the mail yesterday regarding law school decisions so that can add to my list of Sunday Blues.
Okay, I really am done so now for all the happy stuff! I have got two great recipes for you. My first is Fresh Vanilla Bean Pudding. 2010 is my year for pudding and this stuff is so freaking easy to make and much better than the little containers you buy at the store with many less ingredients as well.
Fresh Vanilla Bean Pudding
2 cups 2 % Mootopia Milk
1/2 fresh vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Microwave milk and the inside of the fresh vanilla bean in a 1- quart Pyrex measuring cup until steamy hot, 3-4 minutes. Meanwhile whisk sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in egg yolks, then turn heat to medium and vigorously whisk in milk. Continue to whisk until mixture thickens to pudding consistency, just a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour into six custard cups or into an airtight container. Serve warm or cover surface with sheet of plastic to keep skin from forming, refrigerate and serve cold.
Wow! This stuff is amazing. I love using Mootopia Milk because it has 50% more protein and 45% less sugar than ordinary milk. I used the 2% in this pudding because the recipe recommended using whole milk. A 1 cup serving of 2% Reduced Fat Mootopia has 120 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 6 grams of sugar and 12 grams of protein. The 2% is a lot richer than the Fat-Free and made this pudding delicious!
The second dessert is a batch of Coconut Macaroons. My son Emmet loves these chewy cookies and asked if I would make him son. Of course, I was happy to oblige, any excuse to bake. Little did he know that I made him a healthy version. You really cannot tell.
Healthy Coconut Macaroons
4 egg whites
6 tablespoons evaporated cane juice sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups sweetened shredded dried coconut
1 cup premium ground Salba or ground golden flax meal
1/2 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk
Preheat an oven to 250°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until they just barely hold soft peaks about 3-4 minutes. Beat in the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the coconut, salba or flax, and condensed milk to make a sticky batter. Fold in the egg white mixture. Drop the batter by tablepoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
Bake until the cookies are golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Turn the oven off. Prop the oven door ajar and leave the cookies in the oven for 10 minutes more. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool completely.
Store in layers, separated by waxed paper, in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Steve ended up making a batch of Chicken and Dumplings for dinner last night. He was debating between making Chicken Pot Pies or Chicken and Dumplings and thought the kids might actually eat a version of the soup over the pot pies and he was correct. Steve does not really use recipes he just sort of goes with his creative juices so when I ask him for recipes it is very vague. He did take a couple of short-cuts he said. He started with store-bought rotisserie chicken and cut off the meat and then made a quick homemade stock with the carcass.
His Chicken and Dumplings was more like Chicken Noodle Soup without the noodles.
Steve's Chicken and Dumplings
1 tbsp olive oil
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 cup sliced fresh carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
1-2/3 cups reduced-fat biscuit/baking mix
2/3 cup fat-free milk
In a Dutch oven coated with olive oil, saute celery, onion and carrots for 5 minutes. Stir in the broth, seasoning and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered. Add the chicken.
For dumplings, combine biscuit mix and milk. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto simmering broth. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a dumpling comes out clean (do not lift cover while simmering). Yield: 6 servings.
Now on to today's eats. Another source of my slight depression might be due to the fact that I have not been able to buy any of my beloved Ezekiel English Muffins. They have been sold out at my local H.E.B and I can only go so many days without them! I was so happy to see them back in stock at the store and had to buy two boxes so I wouldn't have to risk not being able to buy them. Needless to say, breakfast was my favorite AB & J on Ezekiel English Muffin.
Food for Life 7-Sprouted Grain Ezekiel English Muffins
MaraNatha Creamy and Raw Almond Butter
Oregon Growers & Shippers Red Raspberry Fruit Spread
The Result--The best Almond Butter & Jam Sandwich in America!
Lunch was a Greek Banana Berry Salba Bowl.
Greek Banana Berry Salba Bowl
3/4 cup Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
1 small banana, sliced
handful of raspberries and blueberries
1 tbsp Salba Smart
So I am cheering up as I blog because my husband is in the kitchen trying to secretly make Rice Pudding. He too, likes pudding (except for Tapioca) and has been on an English website checking out all sorts of puddings-- English Toffee Sticky Pudding, Bread Puddings, savory puddings....we are going to have a lot of pudding around the house the next few days!
It is a gorgeous day out and perfect day to take a walk. Fresh air will do the body and mind a good turn. I promise to be in a better mood next time and thank you for listening!