Favorite Recipe – 100 Day Blog Challenge – Day 91

My Favorite Recipes

I love to cook.  Cooking is my way of showing my love for someone.  For me to choose just ONE favorite recipe is not possible.  I have many, but I will share 2 of my favorites that I like to make very often.

Gordon Ramsay’s Sticky Lemon Chicken

I first saw this recipe in 2008 on the Rachael Ray Show when Gordon was promoting his latest cookbook, “Fast Food.”  I loved the simplicity, the fact that the kids could help and that it involved chicken.

Ingredients
1 large chicken, cut into 8-10 pieces (I also use individual parts, breasts, thighs, etc. when I don’t have a whole chicken on hand)
Sea salt and black pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
Few thyme sprigs 
Splash of sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (I use low sodium)
3 tablespoons hone
1 lemon, finely sliced (ideally with a mandoline)
Bunch of Italian parsley, chopped

Preparation

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and heat the olive oil in a large saute pan.  Brown the chicken pieces (in batches if necessary) over high heat with the garlic and thyme for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.  Return all the chicken to the pan, add the sherry vinegar, and bubble until reduced by half.  Drizzle over the soy sauce and honey and shake the pan to mix.

Pour in a good splash of hot water and add the lemon slices.  Let the liquid bubble and reduce down until syrupy, which will take about 10 minutes or so.  By now the chicken should be cooked through.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and sprinkle over the chopped parsley.  Serve with the chomp and green beans or steamed sugar snap peas.

Makes 4 servings

This has been a staple in our house since I first saw it and each time I make it, it’s a hit with the family and guests who come over.  Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!!!

Gluten Free Muffin (or Cookie) Recipe

This recipe was introduced to me earlier this year, and I thought it was a great way to get started with gluten-free flour and other gluten-free items I use daily.

Ingredients
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
3/4 cup ProFlex protein powder
2 packets Simply Fit Oatmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
6 ounces applesauce
2 egg whites
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
You can add 1/2 cup raisins or dried fruit

Preparation

The finished product

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, protein powder, oatmeal, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and dried fruit (if using.)  In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce, egg whites, brown sugar and vanilla extract.  Combine applesauce mixture with dry ingredients.  You may want to add some almond milk (about 1/2 cup to a cup) if too thick. 

Thumbs up from Justus

Roll out and flatten out to make cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet or spoon into muffin top pan.  Pat down gently with wet hands (so they won’t stick to your fingers.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-14 minutes.  Great to have after a workout, too.

Elijah taking a bite

I usually make the muffins, and the boys LOVE it.  I’ve made it for others, and they can’t get enough of it.  So tasty and good for you.  The boys always ask for it and they like to help out in the kitchen (when my over motherly instincts don’t take over.)

So, I’ve basically covered dinner and/or dessert/snack.  Perhaps you will add these to your menu one day.  Enjoy.

Advertisements

Traditions – 100 Day Blog Challenge -Day 21

Traditions

It’s Easter weekend.  This weekend has lots of memories for me.  One of my all-time favorite traditions is watching “The Ten Commandments.”  I can remember every Saturday night sitting in the living room with my family watching this movie.  I called my Mom this afternoon and mentioned it was on tonight.  She actually forgot!!!  The boys aren’t as excited about this.  In fact, they really don’t care.  I’d love for them to be part of this every year, but, I guess I still have time.

At the time I started writing this entry, the show wasn’t on.  The boys started watching, and my oldest was really getting into it.  He was knocked out within 90 minutes of the show, but, at least the seed has been planted.

This got me to thinking about traditions.  We all have them.  Some are very straight-forward; others take time to develop.  The beauty of traditions is that they keep history alive, sparks conversations and creates lots of memories.  

Isaac licking the
banana bread batter


Case in point…keeping with the Easter tradition (as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas), I prepare a turkey dinner with the fix-ins.  Where did I learn this?  From my Mom and Grandmother.  I’d be in the kitchen watching their every move.   Today, it’s my youngest who is my shadow.  He is ALWAYS watching and helping , mixing and tasting, asking lots of questions and ready to jump into the trenches.

We’ve started our own family traditions as well as adopting traditions from our childhood.  There are so many that come to mind, and they keep flooding my brain.  Call them whatever you like, but we each carry a memory and pass it down to our families. It’s how we keep history alive, and I have come to realize this importance now that I am a Mom.

What are some of your traditions?  What memories do you hold dear from your childhood that you have passed on to your families?

It’s said that it takes 21 days to form a habit.  Today is my 21st day blogging – let’s see if this becomes a new habit for me.  Thanks for reading and taking this journey with me.  It’s much appreciated.

Being Coachable and Learning When to Step Back – 100 Day Blog Challenge Day 7

The Teacher and The Student


Last night, before they went to bed, I asked my boys what they wanted for breakfast. They all said “Pancakes and Bacon.”  This morning, my 8 year old said, “Mom, would you teach me how to make pancakes?”


They’ve asked me all the time, they get all excited with the measuring and mixing, but then they would usually get tired or bored and go off to do something else.  Today was different.  My oldest REALLY wanted to learn, but I was still a little scared.  But, why?  I mean, when I was his age, not only was I in the kitchen cooking with my Mom, but I was helping raise my younger brother.

So, I willingly allowed him to help, and boy, was he eager.  He got out all the ingredients, the bowl, measuring spoons, pans and whisk.  He was on a pancake making mission.  Things were going really well – he did great with the measuring and he wanted to do the mixing.  I was a little hesitant, so I started it off.  I mean, the batter was full and some of it was stuck to the bottom – he may have had a hard time getting it all mixed…

One is ready to grow up, while the other is just not quite there yet.

The time came to start cooking the pancakes.  He didn’t want to pour the batter in the pan, but he wanted to do the flipping.  He did his first flip, and part of it landed on the edge of the pan.  He got upset.  I told him, it was fine, he did a good job and the pancake was still edible.  We went through this process for a bit, and by the time all was said and done, he managed to flip 12 pancakes with some minor hiccups.

He was proud of himself for helping, and I was proud of myself for not being too controlling.  My 5 year old wanted in on the action as well, so he got to flip the last pancake and the look of joy on his face was just priceless.

When all was said and done, we made 20 pancakes, scrambled eggs and turkey bacon for Saturday breakfast.  It was a joint effort, and a fun time was had by all.  They loved it so much, they wanted breakfast for dinner.  There’s nothing left of that food.

I just wish I had taken a picture of it all.  Oh well, next time.

This experience got me to thinking about what it means to be coachable, willing to learn and allow others to do for themselves.  As a Mom, I know that as my boys get older, they will be able to take on more responsibilities around the house, including cooking.  The fact that they are so eager to learn makes the process a little easier, but that protective instinct in me tends to kick into overdrive on some occasions.

I don’t want them to get hurt – or in this case, burned.
It’s difficult in the beginning.
It can be overwhelming.
They will make mistakes.
They will learn from those mistakes.
They will get better each time.

For my oldest, when he flipped that first pancake and it didn’t come out perfect, he was devastated.  To him, it was the end of the world, but I had to keep reassuring him that it was fine and he did a good job.  That little bit of encouragement made the difference and he did get better along the way.  He was also real excited because he got to turn on the burner.  That was like the Holy Grail of cooking for him at that point.

In life, we are always a work in progress, and we should be willing to learn from others.  As adults, this can be a challenge, for some. We’re set in our ways; we’re used to doing things a certain way; we’re in a rush and want to get it done right now.

Wait a sec…it’s the same mentality kids have.  

When you are open and willing to be coached by others, you gain the knowledge and skills necessary to move forward.  Whether it’s tying your shoe laces for the first time, cooking, reading, writing, starting a business, whatever it may be – as long as you are truly willing to be taught, you will go far.

It’s a matter of giving up control for just a little bit, taking the time to learn, being patient, making mistakes, and having fun along the way.  Then, once you’ve learned, you’re able to turn around and teach it to others.  The duplication process at its best.

This morning was a lot of fun for all of us.  We all learned something about ourselves today.

Now, if I can just get them to put their toys away on their own…