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Archive for June 11th, 2009

When I went home for lunch today, there was an acorn squash on the counter screaming “Use Me!” “Use Me!”  The noise was outrageous.  There was a lonely plum tomato also calling out, in more of a baritone voice, ”My time is almost up…slice me”.  I couldn’t stand it so I planned a “Use All Vegetables”  side dish for tonight.  We will call this  “Screaming Squash and Friends”.

Screaming Squash and Friends Oven Baked Vegetable Dish. Serves 6-8 –Based on a Sparkpeople recipe for Italian Vegetable Bake.

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  1. 1 Plum tomatoes, sliced
  2. ½ onion, sliced
  3. ½ package frozen green beans, about 6 oz 
  4. ½ green pepper, sliced
  5. ½ red pepper, sliced
  6. 1 TBS lemon juice
  7. 2 fresh basil leaves, shredded
  8. 1 medium zucchini, quarter then chop (about 1/2″ chop)
  9. 6 baby bella mushrooms, peeled and cut in half
  10. 1 acorn squash, peeled and chopped into cubes (*Microwave about 3 minutes to soften. This will make peeling and chopping a little easier.
See how large chunks of skin just fall off - makes it easy.

See how large chunks of skin just fall off - makes it easy.

11.  1 TBS olive oil 12. Salt and pepper to taste  13.  Optional – Shaved Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  In a large oven proof dish, add the first seven ingredients. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 15 minutes.  Add the  zucchini, mushrooms and acorn squash. Add the olive oil all over the top of the vegetables. Salt and pepper then re-cover and continue baking for 1 hour, stir at 20 minute intervals. If using, top with cheese upon serving.

Red Snapper Cajun Style en Papillote

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  • 1 red snapper fillet – 1 lb
  • 2 green onions, ends cut off – leave whole
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 kiwi, sliced
  • 6 – 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 piece of parchment paper large enough to wrap around fish.

Preheat oven to 425º.  Season the snapper with salt and pepper. Lay the fish on the parchment.  Top with green onions, lime slices, kiwi slices, cherry tomatoes and seasoning.  Drizzle on olive oil.  Secure the parchment by folding up over the fish, bringing together the two ends and folding down towards the fish.  Roll in the sides of the parchment. Make sure it is completely sealed.  

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Put the parchment enclosed fish on a baking sheet and cook at 450º for 15 minutes. Unwrap and serve.

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It’s Thursday night and that means two things: 1. Almost the last chance for the Pay It Forward Giveaway and 2. A little sleep in tomorrow. 

First, Pay It Forward is a way you can get a free surprise gift from me – you don’t even pay for shipping.  Then, you get to connect with other bloggers by continuing the giving. Cool!  

Second, sleeping in on a Friday.  That simply means that Shane and I get an extra 45 minutes of rest because we are just doing a walk or a run (depends how we feel..or I feel) in the morning.  Monday through Thursday are extreme workout days which comprise:

  1. 30 to 40 minutes aerobic warm up. 
  2. 25 – 35 minutes of Weight lifting. 
  3. 35 – 45 minutes walk/jog/run with Shane. 

Phew! That’s a lot of working out, but it pays off.     Happy Thursday and see you tomorrow.

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Desserts are my favorite food items to create. That’s obvious with a name like “Apple Crumbles“.  I prefer to make them rather than eat them.  The smell of sweets baking is glorious, but a tiny bite is usually enough.  That’s the healthy way to enjoy all those luscious desserts. 

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If you have extra filling, use it as a straight up pudding.

When I make a dessert, it isn’t fat free, unless there is a request for some special dietary restriction or … I’m making it for Ted (sorry, Honey).  It isn’t low fat or low sugar. Nothing is held back.  Desserts are the rewards we give ourselves .  Why go for “a bronze” when the “gold” is up for grabs? 

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This weeks CEimB recipe was chosen by Tessa of Handle the Heat.  It was a great choice especially since we had company the first part of this week and were able to enjoy this double chocolate pie with family.  Here is the Apple Crumbles version. Stared items are my changes.

  • 1 1/2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs*
  • 4 TBS Butter, softened
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS AGAR-AGAR *Vegetarian substitute for Gelatin
  • 1/3 cup Boiling water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cup whole milk*
  • 2.5 oz bittersweet Valrhona chocolate – cut into small pieces.
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup well chilled heavy cream*
  • 1 packet of Vanilla Sugar (about 2 tsp)*

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9″ pie plate with non-stick spray. Mix the first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Reserve about 2 TBS for later use*.Press into the pie plate and up the sides.  Bake 10 minutes. Let cool.

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Press into a pie dish

In a cup, put the AGAR-AGAR and add the 1/3 cup boiling water. Stir until it dissolves and set aside. 

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Agar-Agar after it has gelled

In a saucepan on medium, add sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, salt. Start using your whisk and add the milk gradually. Continue with the whisk for about 10 minutes until the pudding boils and thickens.  Remove and add the chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts into hot mixture.   Stir in the vanilla and the AGAR-AGAR.  Pour into the cooled pie shell and let set 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  

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Pie chilling

When ready to serve, put whipping cream in a bowl (you can add a stabilizer if you want “Whip It” or “Dream Whip”)* and beat with a mixer, just until you see it begin to hold a form but is not yet stable. Add vanilla sugar and continue until the peaks hold.  Add to pie slices as desired.

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*I had Graham Cracker Crumbs so I did not bother to buy whole crackers.

*AGAR-AGAR:   DSCN1246

This is a sea vegetable that will act like gelatin. The seaweeds are boiled to a gel, pressed, dried and crushed into flakes.  Vegetarians do not use Gelatin because it is made from the collagen protein found in bone, skin, and cartilage.  Sounds like a hot dog!

*I use whole milk for cakes made by Apple Crumbles for customers and Ted and I do not drink milk, only Soy milk, so no low fat milk was purchased.  Consequently, I used whole milk in this recipe. 

*I used extra cream because, again, I have it on hand for cakes and fillings also… who doesn’t like extra cream?!

The results:  It was easy. It was very good. The comments…

Ted:  DSCN1269

 “Good!”

Angelina: DSCN1270

 “It’s good. I like the pudding.”

MaryJane:  DSCN1271

“It’s so chocolaty but not heavy. It’s light like eating mousse.”

Me:  Love-maker:9693

It was very good. Personally, my favorite was the whipped cream.

Tessa, you made a super choice and it came up at the perfect time. Unfortunately, MJ and Angelina left to go back to Vegas and now there is over half a chocolate pie staring us in the face.  Poor us.

Note: If interested in a Pay It Forward Giveaway…see this post: GIVEAWAY.

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