Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

NO PUDGE TYPE ORIGINAL FUDGE BROWNIE MIX


I have been experiencing computer problems so my posts have been few and far in-between. I apologize for that and hope to have things running smoothly before long and be back to posting on a close to daily basis.
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Rather than spend a fortune for the convience of a mix, with this recipe you can still have the ease of a mix and save money. Mix up several batches and store in zip top plastic bags or any other air tight container you may have and just whip up a batch of this popular brownie mix in minutes.
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If you would rather mix them up fresh, no problem just put toger the dry ingredients, go ahead and use fresh egg whites and follow the directions to complete.
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No Pudge Type Original Fat Free Brownie Mix
Makes 1 batch mix
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1 cup bakers sugar
1/3 cup cake flour
1/3 cup white wheat flour
2 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 cup Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa
2 Tablespoons Just Whites (equalivent to 2 egg whites)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon wheat gluten
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
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Mix together dry ingredients. Store in covered container.
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To make Brownies with mix:
1 batch No pudge fat free original Fudge Brownie Mix
2/3 C nonfat plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
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Directions
Spray 8x8 pan with cooking spray.
Add yogurt and vanilla to brownie mix.
Mix until incorporated and then an additional minute until smooth and shiny. Pour into prepared pan and bake 34 minutes.
Enjoy, guilt-free.
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Variations
To make Chocolate Mint Brownies add 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract on place of vanilla extract.
To make Chocolate Raspberry Browines, make brownies as directed, after adding yogurt stir in 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam to batter.
To make Chocolate Cappuccino Brownies, dissolve 2 1/4 teaspoons instant expresso powder in 1/2 tablespoon boiling water to batter after adding yogurt.

Monday, March 9, 2009

HOMEMADE MAPLE PANCAKE SYRUP

If you used Maple Syrup use 2 Tablespoons-1/4 cup for flavor in your homemade syrup. This will stretch that pricey maple syrup.
Of course this isn't as good as using real maple syrup, but it is easy and good.
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Homemade Maple Syrup
1 Cup light corn syrup (this is not the same as the bad stuff, high fructose corn syrup)1/2 Cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2-1 Teaspoon natural maple flavoring (your taste)
OR
2 Tablespoons- 1/4 cup Real Maple Syrup
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Mix corn syrup, brown sugar and water together in a saucepan. Cook and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.Add maple flavoring or real maple syrup. Add butter, stir to melt. Serve warm or coldStore covered in refrigerator.

TIP O' THE WEEK #2 START A VEGETABLE GARDEN



Tip O' The Week #2
Start a vegetable garden.
It's fun, it's easy and it's healthy.
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With current food prices, the economic down turn and the need for good quality, safe, good tasting vegetables more people are turning to vegetable gardening. Many plants will need to be started with transplants that you start indoors, in late winter early spring or purchase from a local nursery or garden center. Listed below are some of the easier vegetable to grow.

Start planning your garden now, if you haven't already started
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Broccoli-start from transplants: Early Spring. Cool season plant. Good choice for fall planting.

Cabbage-start from transplants: Early Spring. Cool season plant. Good choice for fall planting.

Cucumbers-start from transplants or direct seed if you have a long growing season: Warm season plant. Bush varieties will take less space in your garden.

Green Beans-Bush direct seed: Late Spring Early Summer. Warm season plant. Bush beans are very easy to grow and prolific. Keep beens picks to keep your plants productive.

Lettuce-start from transplant or direct seed: Cool season plant. Easy to grow. Harvest before the heat of summer. The heat will cause your lettuce to be bitter and will cause the plants to go to seed. Good to grow in fall. Leaf lettuce matures quickly and will keep regrowing if you cut your leaf lettuce down to about 1 inch from the soil.

Onions-start from transplants, sets or direct seed for green onions Cool season plant. Plant in early spring for best results.

Peppers-start from transplants: Warm season plant.

Radish-direct seed: Cool season plant. Easy to grow and average radish matures in about 22-29 days. Good choice for fall planting.

Tomato-start from transplants: Warm season plant. Be sure to use tomato cages or orther support.

Great books for vegetable gardening
Wide row gardening. Expert gardening tips from Dick Raymond
Mel Barthalomew's guide to easy gardening in smaller areas.
The "Bible" of Western gardening

Here are a few links to University Extension Sites. They are safe sites, usually no ads and are a wealth of gradening information.

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY Container gardening
PENN STATE

MORE GOOD SITES:

THE VEGETABLE GARDEN Links state by state extension services and planting guides by state.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

HOMEMADE PANCAKES

Aunt Jemina scoot over. The other day in the grocery store I overheard a young couple, walking down through the baking mixes aisle. The young man mentioned to his female companion that his grandmother made her pancakes from scratch. The female couldn't believe it and asked how could she do this. The male said almost as astonished as she sounded, "I don't know, and she also makes her own syrup". The female was totally shocked at this and asked "how is it possible to make syrup". This is no joke. It really happened and the conversation went exactly as noted .
Pancakes are one of the easiest things to make. We have been making this recipe nearly every Saturday morning for over 20 years.
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A few things to keep in mind...
1.) If you want fluffy thick pancakes add the larger amount of baking powder and the lesser amount of milk.
2.) Flours ability to absorb liquid depends on the age of your flour, how it was stored and weather conditions so the amount of milk may vary.
3.) Most importantly...MAKE SURE YOUR BAKING POWDER IS FRESH. Check the date on the bottom of your can.

Dad's Pancakes
1-¼ Cup flour
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon sugar
2 eggs
1-¼ Cup milk-approx
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil (Olive oil is best)
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Mix dry ingredients together in bowl.
Mix egg and oil in measuring cup, add milk to measure approximately
1- ¼ cups.
Add egg/milk mixture to dry ingredients. DO NOT OVER MIX. It is ok to have some lumps.
Spoon ¼ - ½ cup batter onto hot buttered griddle or hot skillet.
Let cook until top side is covered in LOTS of bubbles.
Turn and cook short time on reverse side.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

MCDONALD'S® SHAMROCK SHAKE

The food color is just for looks, so if you don't have it, you won't miss it.
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McDonald's® Shamrock Shake
2 Cups vanilla ice cream
1-1/4 Cups low fat milk
1/4 Teaspoon mint extract (not peppermint)
8 Drops green food coloring
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Using a blender mix all ingredients on high speed until smooth. If necessary, stop blending to stir ingredients and blend again briefly to insure ingredients combine well.
Makes 2 shakes

Friday, March 6, 2009

STARBUCKS® TAZO® CHAI LATTE


You'll save on the cost of your whole spices if you purchase them from the bulk spices in the natural foods section of you local supermarket. Plus you'll only have to buy what you will use.
Starbucks® Tazo® Chai Tea
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2-1/2 Cups water
6-8 green cardamom pods
2 whole black peppercorns
1-2 Slice fresh ginger, peeled and diced
2 sticks cinnamon
1-2 cloves
2/3 Cup milk
4 Teaspoons honey
2-3 Teaspoons loose black tea
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Put the water in a saucepan, add the spices, and bring to a boil.
Turn down the heat and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Add milk and sugar and bring to a heavy simmer.
Add tea, turn off the heat, and let infuse for three minutes. Strain into two cups and serve hot.
Servings: 4

Thursday, March 5, 2009

KRAFT® SHAKE'N BAKE®


This recipe will coat approximately 2 1/2 lb. of bone-in chicken (6 to 8 pieces) or 2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast halves.

Kraft® Shake'n Bake®
1/2 Cup Kellogg’s® Corn Flake® crumbs, pulverized in a blender (you'll need about 2 cupswhole corn flakes)
1½ Tablespoons Bisquick®
1 Teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
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Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.

To Use:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, then moisten (lightly) the chicken with water. Use a large plastic bag for the coating.

Shake moistened chicken, 1 to 2 pieces at a time, in shaker bag with coating mixture. Discard any remaining mixture and bag. Bake at 400 degrees in ungreased or foil-lined 15x10x1-inch baking pan until cooked through. Bone-in Chicken: 45 minutes Boneless Chicken : 20 minutes

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

HOMEMADE CINNAMON SUGAR


If you are paying 2.44 or more for 3.62 ounce of cinnamon sugar you could really use this simple recipe. If you make your own cinnamon sugar you will save a boat load. One quarter cup which is 3 ounces by volume will cost about .10 to make. If you buy your cinnamon from the bulk bins in the natural foods section of your supermarket you'll save even more and only have to buy what you will use.
You can adjust the cinnamon to your own taste. I have started with an average range of cinnamon. This recipe obviously doubles, triples or quadruples easily.
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Homemade Cinnamon Sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar (cane is best)
1/2-3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
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Mix sugar cinnamon. Store in covered container of if you have a clean, emply spice jar that would be perfect.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

CARIBOU COFFEE'S HOT APPLE BLAST


Caribou Coffee's Hot Apple Blast
Courtesy of: Chef Robert the Roastmaster--Caribou Coffee
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2 oz. cinnamon flavored syrup
4 oz. caramel flavored syrup
14 oz. apple cider
whip cream
cinnamon
graham cracker
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Pour syrups and apple cider into a saucepan at medium heat. Stir gently.
When warmed to desired temperature, pour in a mug and top with whip cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a square of graham cracker.
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OPTIONAL: If you love things "goey", omit the cinnamon and try topping whipped cream with drizzled caramel sauce.

Monday, March 2, 2009

TACO BELL® TACO! SEASONING MIX


Taco Bell® Taco! Seasoning Mix
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2 Tablespoons flour
2 Teaspoons chili powder
1-1/2 Teaspoons dried minced onion
1-1/4 Teaspoons salt
1 Teaspoon paprika
3/4 Teaspoon crushed beef bullion cube
1/4 Teaspoon sugar
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 Teaspoon garlic powder
Dash onion powder
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Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Store in air-tight covered container if not using right away.
To prepare tacos:
BROWN approximately 1 lb ground beef; drain.
ADD seasoning mix and 3/4 cup of water.
BRING to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
HEAT taco shells or tortillas as directed on package.
SERVE bowls of seasoned ground beef, lettuce, tomato and cheese. Makes 12 tacos.

TIP O' THE WEEK #1 ANTI-SPYWARE


MONDAY'S TIP O' THE WEEK
Protect yourself against spyware.
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Keep your computer running smoothly. SPYBOT SEACH AND DESTROY. Spybot is a safe and smart download if you haven't already used this excellent anti- spyware/anit-virus application. It is free, but you can make a donation, for the cause.
I have used it for years and recommend it to everyone.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

HOMEMADE ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER


This will cost you under .50 to make per bottle (if you already have the trigger spray bottle) versus the name brand at $3.00-$4.00 per bottle.
You can pick up trigger spray bottles at Wal-Mart or Target for around 2.99 for a 2-pack. Dollor Store and Dollar General often have the bottles for less.
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All-purpose cleaner (like 409 or Fantastik)
16 oz trigger spray bottle
2 Tablespoons distilled vinegar
1 teaspoon of borax
Water (use distilled water if you have hard water)1/8 of a cup of mild liquid dish soap (ivory, palmolive,etc)
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Combine vinegar and borax with 1 cup of hot water, stirring until dissolved. Cool mixture and then poor into your spray bottle. Add enough water to the bottle leaving room for your dishwashing detergent. Then add the liquid soap.