Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Happy Easter

It’s almost that time of year again… Easter is one of our favorite holidays.  Easter is such a happy and hopeful time of year.  It means Spring, Renewal, Rebirth, Salvation… whether you celebrate the religious aspects of Easter or not, you have to agree that is a joyous holiday.

Happy Easter

I have enjoyed coloring eggs for Easter since I was a small child - first with my Mother and older Sister, and then with my younger Brother.  And since The Captain and I have been together, I have been doing them for him every year. Sometimes on a stove in a kitchen in a house… sometimes on the small propane stove in the galley of our sailboat… both in the marina and out at anchor.

It is one of our mainstay traditions. I color them. He love to eat them!

This year will be no different… I am going to hardboil and then color the shells of a dozen eggs on Good Friday.  He has already reminded me about it.  What he doesn’t know is that this year I bought a little coloring kit at a local $$ store and am going to really do up his eggs purty! 

Apr 16 Easter egg kit 001

Normally I just dye them with food coloring and a bit of white vinegar.  You can read about my technique for hardboiling and then coloring the eggs here.

Colored Eggs for Easter

And last year I also colored the insides of a few, too.  Click this link to read how I did it.

Colored Insides of Easter Eggs

Colored Insides of Easter Eggs 2

But this year I am going to use the dye tablets and stickers that came in the package and make them fancy and gaudy, just for a change.  Wonder what he’ll think when he sees them.

Then I think we will head over to the Children’s Farm to see the baby goats and new piglets.  Can’t wait!  There may even be some new ducklings in the park.

Do you color eggs?  Do you ever do egg hunts with your family?

What is your favorite thing about Easter?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Peanut Butter, Soy, and Sesame Sauce for Zoodles or Noodles

Ya’ll know how much I love my zoodles.  I have had so much fun coming up with new sauces for them every week or so. I never get tired of them.  Nope, never.  Do you have any favorite foods like that? That you could eat over and over and over and still want more?

Now, I don’t eat peanut butter very often… I really think that almond butter and cashew butter are better for me.  But sometime you just have to have peanut butter in a recipe for the flavor it brings.  This is one of those recipes. I have tried it with almond butter and it is just not the same.

When you put a sauce on zoodles it tends to bring out the moisture in them, so by the time you get to the bottom of the plate, there is usually soupy sauce left.  Don’t waste it… get out your spoon and slurp it up!

Peanut Butter Soy and Sesame Sauce

Peanut Butter, Soy, and Sesame Sauce
Makes 1 serving
  • 1 Tbs peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs tamari soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, smashed and minced
  • 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
  1. Mix the peanut butter and soy sauce till well-combined.
  2. Add the minced garlic and sesame oil and stir to blend.
  3. Pour over zoodles and toss to coat.
Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 4.
Calories 135; Protein 6g; Carbohydrate 5g; Fat 10g; Fibre 1g.

Peanut Butter Soy and Sesame Sauce 2
Just tossed, already getting wetter.

Since I first came up with this recipe, I have also tried it with a spoonful of fat free plain Greek Yogurt stirred in... it makes the sauce a bit thicker and just as tasty!

What is your favorite nut butter?

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Triple Treat Cookie Bars

Sometimes I like to bake a little something special for The Captain on the weekend.  He has been talking about caramel lately.  I was pretty sure he would be happy with butterscotch so after our 5 km run, and then breakfast and clean up on Sunday morning, we did a little trip to the Bulk Barn. He found some Easter Candy treats for himself and I found some raisins, a variety of baking chips, some gluten-free tamari soy sauce, and some spices.  

Apr 6 Cookie bars 003
Gummy Bunnies and Paste Candy Corns

Ever had lemon-flavored baking chips?  Me neither so I couldn’t resist buying a few… and the Bulk Barn is one of the few places I ever find peanut butter chips so I made sure to stock up on them as well.  I am gonna use some of them to make an ‘icing’ for one of Lee’s Double Chocolate Paleo Brownies later this week.  You all know how much I love those!

But these bars I ended up making for The Captain don’t have either of those baking chips in them… instead I used butterscotch, semi-sweet dark chocolate, and Greek yogurt chips so I call it Triple Threat Treat.  This is an adaptation of an old recipe I have had around for many many years and really cannot give credit to anyone for it. I think it may have even come from my Mother at one point.  That would make it pretty old.

I alter it as I need to, by adding spices, nuts, raisins, different baking chips, M&Ms, and sprinkles, and it always turns out just great!  This particular batter is very plain because I wanted the flavor of the baking chips to be the stars of the show… but sweet spices such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger are very nice too if you are using raisins and nuts.

I also use less sugar than I once did so that the batter is not very sweet.  Adjust according to your own tastes... you could use up to another 1/2 cup of sugar if you like.

Experiment!  Use different combinations of chips; add nuts; add candy.  Go crazy!

I purposely did not make these gluten-free so that I wouldn’t be tempted to eat them.  Yeah, I do know my own limits... But you certainly could use a G-F all purpose flour if you want.

Triple Treat Cookie Bars

Triple Treat Cookie Bars
Makes one 9 X 13 inch pan
  • 3/4 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  2. Cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, vanilla and salt. Beat well.
  4. Mix in flour in 2 or 3 batches and blend well after each addition.
  5. Add the baking chips and stir to distibute them through the thick batter.
  6. Spread batter in a 9 X 13 inch pan that has been coated with non-stick spray.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and batter pulls away from edges of pan.
  8. Cool on rack several minutes before cutting.

Yes, you really MUST wait a few minutes before digging in, otherwise you will burn your mouth.

Now this is not a Weight Watcher’s friendly recipe at all.  It is pretty decadent.  But I am gonna share the N.I. with you anyway and you can decide for yourself whether or not you want to make them.  Of course you can always cut them smaller too!

Per serving of 1/40th of recipe.
Weight Watchers P+ = 3.
Calories 132; Protein 2g; Carbohydrate 16g; Fat 6g; Fibre 0g.

Cookie bars 001
See how thick this batter is?

Cookie bars 002
I wet my fingers and patted the dough into the corners.

Cookie bars 004
Still bubbling, just out of the oven. Actually I think my oven must have been a bit too hot this batch cause the edges are so dark.  But The Captain like them anyway!

What are your favorite flavors of baking chips?