Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Archive for the ‘“Recipes”’ Category

Quiche Anyone?

Posted by terrepruitt on March 27, 2017

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitAs you may know – because I talk about it a lot – we get a box of organic produce delivered twice a month.  The service we have might be different from ones you have heard of because it is not the type of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) that is or used to be the norm.  The CSAs that I knew of were ones where you purchased them for months and you got what they shipped (or what you picked up).  But this one allows me to pick what is in the box – kinda of defeating the purpose of why I joined in the first place, but in the end proving to be best and less wasteful.  Sometimes those fruits or vegetables that I didn’t know what to do with would just go to waste.  So now I can decide.  But, like many CSAs you can choose to ADD things to the delivery . . . like flowers or farm fresh eggs or honey.  Well, I never do that.  But recently I decided to order a quiche.

I ordered the quiche thinking I could pop it in the oven and have a yummy meal.  The description said it was the perfect base for adding fresh herbs or sautéed veggies.  I bought some mushrooms in anticipation of added them atop the quiche.  When I saw the box with the quiche in it I was somewhat annoyed because it did not look like it could feed 4 to 6 people.  It was very small and not even close to be the size of an average pie.  Then I picked up the box and noticed it said DIY Quiche Kit.

SNAP!  I have to make the thing?!?!?  If I would have know that I would not have ordered it.  To me the price included it being made.  Anyway, I was stuck with it.  So what was I going to do but make the damn thing.

The produce box that week included fennel – and you know I love fennel.  So I sautéed the fennel and put it in the quiche.

One of the reasons I did not want to have to make the quiche myself is because I am no good with dough.  As you can see it did not matter that the dough was already made and all I had to do was roll it out.  Even rolling dough out proves to be a challenge for me.  The dough, however, was super-duper yummy!  I think they sell that dough local enough that we can get some.  It was so good.

So, I made the quiche.  And now that I have made a quiche, I do plan to make more.  I have been thinking I will even make my own crust.  I mean the recipes for crust I have seen seem easy enough (but, ya think rolling out dough would have been easy).  And the recipe for quiche is really easy, I mean, cheese, eggs, and half and half.  How easy is that?  Adding whatever veggies I want doesn’t make it that much more difficult.  So, that is the plan.  I am going to make quiche . . . .eventually, I have other stuff I am trying to deal with now first.

This one completely filled the dish.  I thought it was going to overflow.  Then it started getting too cooked on the edges but was not cooking in the middle.  So I put it in a foil wrap.  I didn’t want the bottom crust or the side crust to burn.  I ended up having to cook it much longer than instructed, about 20 minutes longer.

Here is the recipe and a bunch of pictures of the one I made.

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Do you like quiche?  Do you MAKE quiche?

Posted in Food, "Recipes" | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Super Easy And Yummy Chocolate Toffee

Posted by terrepruitt on February 8, 2017

I recently made a “dangerous” snack.  It is actually dangerous as snack, but it really should be considered a treat.  But the reason it is dangerous is because it is so good it kind of leads to overeating.  It is one of those things that is just basically butter, so . . . .well, butter.  I saw the recipe on Facebook, so I bet you have seen it, too.  If you ever thought about making it, but didn’t want to because it was too much trouble, it is not.  It is super easy.  The recipe is from Delish’s Chocolate Toffee.  Super easy, super yummy.  But if it weren’t for the recipe that says to keep cooking it, I probably would have done it wrong.  Check out their recipe and video.  I altered it a bit, of course.

I’ve made three batches.  The first batch was good, but I felt it was missing something.  So for the second batch I added more vanilla and more salt . . . I actually measured and didn’t just use a pinch.  Then the third batch I sprinkled Cayenne pepper on the chocolate chips.  Next time I will sprinkle it on the chocolate.  Sprinkling it on the chocolate chips led to uneven flavoring because then I spread the chips.  The reason I did it that way was because the first two batches the nuts were falling off, so I didn’t want to spend time sprinkling Cayenne.  I wanted to sprinkle the nuts on and get them pressed in a bit before the chocolate set.  But I will have to risk it next time to get a more even heat.  I don’t like heat so I didn’t care for the Cayenne one.  Also, I noticed it just added heat and not really a flavor.

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Chocolate Toffee

1 1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Sea salt for garnish

Cover a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.  Have the chocolate chips ready to go.  Make sure your nuts are chopped and ready to go.

In a pan using medium heat, start to melt the butter.  Then add the sugar, vanilla, and salt.  Stir it up mixing it well, then keep stirring it.  Don’t stop.  Just keep stirring.  The mixture should turn from yellow to amber.  It takes about 15 to 20 minutes.  If it is taking longer the heat is not high enough.  (I find myself turning it up and down.  I don’t want to burn it.)  Set the timer so you don’t stop too soon!

The mixture gets thick and bubbly.

Pour the toffee onto the jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper.  Tilt the pan to get it evenly spread over the pan/paper.  Then sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top.  When the chips begin to melt spread them out so they form a layer over the toffee.  Sprinkle with the nuts and salt.  Let set until cold.  Then break it up and serve/eat!
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I am going to try a batch with milk chocolate.  I thought that was the issue with the first batch, the chocolate, so I bought milk chocolate.  But once I added the additional salt and vanilla it was great.  But I am still going to try it with milk chocolate.

You’ll seen in the pictures, I tried sesame seeds and nigella seeds.  That didn’t do anything for me.

You know I don’t like heat, so help me out here.  My hubby likes heat, what adds a little bit of flavor and heat?

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Chicken and Vegetables Stir Fry

Posted by terrepruitt on February 1, 2017

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitAs I have said over and over, I tend to cook the same things over and over.  It is so much easier to just cook what you know than to have to do something new.  Half the annoyance with doing something new is shopping for it or making sure that you have it.  But I decided to cook a stir-fry.  Not that I haven’t cooked it before or not that I don’t stir-fry meat and veggies.  But this time I decided to try to give it that stir-fry flavor.  Ya know, I really just wanted to use the cornstarch.  So, last week I made stir-fry chicken and veggies.  My hubby liked it.  I will make it again, but next time I will plan better.

This time I thought I had planned well.  I spent an hour cutting up the meat and making the marinade and cutting up all the veggies BEFORE I went to teach my evening yoga class.  I thought I would come home and cook it up fast.  But it took longer than I thought.  I had meticulously planned on how I was going to cook the veggies.  The idea is to cook the ones that take the longest to cook first.  Now we might not agree on cooking times because I like my mushrooms a little caramelized . . . and my carrots, broccoli, and bell peppers a little raw.

When I cut up the veggies I put them in the bowl in the order in which I would cook them.  So while I was driving home from class I was thinking about throwing the stuff in the pan in the order in which I put them in the bowl.  Then it dawned on me that I had not even thought about when to cook the chicken.  That threw a little wrench in my wok.  😉  I ended up cooking the mushrooms and chicken in one pan while the remaining veggies cooked in another.  It was just faster.  So here is what I did:

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Chicken and Vegetables Stir Fry

1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 + lb chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
garlic salt
1/4 onion
6 mushrooms
1 small baby bok choy
2 bunches of broccoli
4 small carrots
handful of snow peas
1 bell pepper (red)
rice

Mix the cornstarch in the water.  Stir until it is completely dissolved.  In a dish that will fit all the chicken, add the cornstarch water, the soy sauce, the brown sugar, the ginger, garlic powder, vinegar, and the teriyaki.  Mix it up.  Cut the chicken into about bite sized pieces.  You want to cut them up so they are all about the same size so the cook evenly.  Put the chicken in the dish with the marinade.  Put the dish aside.

After you wash the veggies.  Chop the onion.  Slice the mushrooms.  Cut up the baby bok choy.  Chop up the broccoli.  Slice the carrots.  (I just sliced the ones I had because they were small, so they were little rounds).  Slice the snow peas.  Chop up the bell pepper.  Decide which veggie you like cooked the most and start cook them first.

I cooked the mushrooms first.  I put a tablespoon of oil in the pan.  Let it heat.  Then added the onions.  Cook the onions.  Then add the mushrooms.  Add some garlic salt.  When the mushrooms are almost cooked to your liking add the chicken.  Add some of the marinade.

When the chicken is almost half of the way cooked, heat up the olive oil in another pan.  Then when the chicken is half cooked put the bottom part, the white part of the baby bok choy in the pan (the one with out the chicken and mushrooms).  Then add the broccoli.   Add some of the marinade to the pan.  Add the top (the green part) of the baby bok choy.  Let things cook a minute.* Then add the snow peas.  Add more marinade.  Let it cook a bit.  Then add the carrots.  I don’t like cooked bell peppers so I add them last.

*In between the veggies cooking add almost all of the marinade to the chicken and mushrooms.  Save just a little to use for cooking the veggies.

Make sure you cook the marinade with the chicken or vegetables.  Since the raw chicken was sitting in it you don’t want to pour it over your rice without it having been cooked.

Once everything is cooked to your liking serve it over rice.

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My pictures show all the veggies in two bowls, that is because I prepped everything, then had to leave to teach yoga.  I would not have piled everything in bowls if I were just prepping and cooking.

I loved all the veggies in this dish.  This might not be a typical stir fry.  Not even sure what that is.  But it was good.  We will be having it again!

What do you think?  Does it sound good?  Does it look good?

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CornSTARCH Is Not CornMEAL

Posted by terrepruitt on January 25, 2017

I was trying to think of something to make for dinner with the limited meat that we had in the house.  We have BEEF, but I haven’t gone there yet.  I need to figure out how to cook the beef that we have, but I was not interested in figuring that out at that time.  So I was trying to find something to cook that didn’t require much meat (we had a leftover pork chop) or any meat.  I remembered that my husband liked the flatbread I made once, so I decided to make it.  We had ricotta, I would put that on top, chop up the pork chop and put it on top, then add a sprinkle of mozzarella.  Well, as I was making the flatbread and I said to myself, “one tablespoon cornmeal” it dawned on me that I wasn’t using cornMEAL, I was using cornSTARCH.  That is probably why the flatbread turned out so dense.  I decided to continue since when I had made it last time, my hubby liked it.  And it works, it just probably has a different consistency than if I used actual cornMEAL.

So this isn’t really a recipe post (well not a NEW recipe) it is me just admitting and explaining the substitution.  It works fine.  And the pork chopped up and spread on it with a little mozzarella on top of that was really good.  The flat bread is very dense, that is why I ended up calling it Flat-Biscuit-Shortbread.  One of these days I might think to buy cornMEAL and make the recipe as per the real ingredients!

The information on the internet about the difference between cornstarch and cornmeal is not very detailed.  They are obviously both made from corn, but one (cornstarch) is made from grinding just the endosperm of the kernel into a fine powder.  The other (cornmeal) is made from grinding the whole kernel.  Cornmeal is not ground as fine as corn flour.  Yet, Wiki does go on to say that the most common cornmeal in the United States “has the husk and germ of the maize kernel almost completely removed”.

Cornstarch is usually used for thickening sauces and it does not have the strong corn flavor that cornmeal has.  Could be because it is not the whole kernel.  I am familiar with cornmeal being used in batters to coat things, like corndogs.  And used for things like cornbread.  There are many, many, many uses for it, but as you might have guessed, since I don’t have any, I don’t use it.

I am making a note of the recipe below so that I know how to do it with the cornSTARCH and the less oil . . . . I forgot that this last time, but I added a lot more flavor to it:

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Flat-Biscuit-Shortbread  (the way I want to have it available to make)

• 1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon basil
• 1 teaspoon garlic salt

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Bake it in the oven at 400° F for 12 minutes until the edges start to turn brown.

Suggested topping instructions:

Remove the flat-biscuit-shortbread and top with ricotta cheese and a sprinkle of salt.  Then place back in the oven for three minutes.

Then top it with whatever else you want.  I once used Leeks and Mushrooms.  Another time I used pork.

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What about you?  Do you use cornmeal?  Do you use cornstarch?

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My Meatloaf

Posted by terrepruitt on January 23, 2017

I always cook the same thing.  If you have read my blog for a bit or looked at the recipe page you can see what I cook.  I actually USE my blog for my recipes.  I use it for

Cauliflower Cake

Easy Peasy Chicken Enchiladas With Sour Cream Sauce

My First Tomato Sauce Lasagna

A New Recipe To Love – Red Beans and Rice

Chai Tea Latte For Me

Celery Soup

Although I don’t make some of those that often.  What I do make all the time is just ground turkey and whatever leafy green (besides lettuce) that we have in the refrigerator.  If I have any ricotta in the fridge I might stir that in.  Or if I have any cream cheese.  That makes it “different.”  I would make that at least once a week, if it didn’t drive my hubby batty.  But he gets tired of it.  I don’t.  I haven’t made meatloaf in a long time.  But I just made it this past weekend.  It used to be that it wouldn’t stay together for nothing.  But then I started using less liquid in it.  Ya see, I am not a fan of tomato paste or ketchup so I  don’t always use it.  I usually make it with ground turkey.  But this last time I decided to use beef.  And while I was in the aisle about to buy some tomato paste I remembered that I had some marinara sauce in the fridge and I thought, “Hey, I can use that.”  Here is the basic recipe I use.

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2 tablespoons of butter, plus enough to grease your loaf pan
1/4 of a large onion
1 lb ground meat (beef or turkey)
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup bread crumbs*
1 large egg
3 tablespoons ketchup**
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon salt
a couple of turns of pepper
soy sauce
cooking cherry
1 green bell pepperDance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit

 

Mince the onion.  Heat the butter in a pan then saute the onion.  Grease the loaf pan with butter.  Heat the oven to 350° F.  Put the meat in a large bowl.  Finely chop the garlic or use a garlic press.  Mix the garlic in with the meat.  Then add the bread crumbs and mix well.  Add the egg, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and salt.  Incorporate it all into the meat.  Sprinkle some pepper into the mixture.  Mix well.  Then use a measuring cup and make a combination of soy sauce and cooking cherry – totalling a 1/2 cup.  Pour it into the meat mixture and stir.  Mix it in with the meat.  Dice the bell pepper then mix it in with the meat.  Add the onions.  Mix it all together.

 

Put the mixture into your loaf pan.  Spreading it out until it fills the whole pan and is level.  Then bake it for about 50 minutes.

Slice and serve.

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*in this last batch I used Panko bread crumbs and I really liked that.
**sometimes I use ketchup, sometimes I use tomato sauce.  I use whatever I have.  I have made it before without any ketchup at all.  It works.

I like it with beef, but it could be that I am just used to it with turkey because I think I like it better with turkey.

What is YOUR favorite meatloaf recipe?  One with two kinds of meat?  Maybe one with sausage? 

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Roast Pumpkin Soup, My Way

Posted by terrepruitt on December 12, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitOh, it has been too long since I posted on Monday.  Just so much to think about right now it is difficult to focus on what to write for a blog post.  I was busy with another project today so I was barely thinking about dinner much less a blog post.  I had a sugar pie pumpkin that needed to be used.  Normally with sugar pie pumpkins I make Pumpkin For Dinner but I didn’t feel like making that.  I don’t know why.  I LOVE that.  But I just didn’t want to make it.  So I thought I would make pumpkin soup.  I have never make pumpkin soup before.  I was certain there was a recipe online I could use.  But when it came time to make dinner I didn’t feel like looking at a bunch of recipes to figure out which one to make.  Or which ones I could use to make soup so I just made up something.  For me . . . it was too bitter, but my husband loved it.

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1 sugar pie pumpkin
olive oil
garlic salt
1/2 large onion
32 ounces veggie broth
1 pumpkin beer
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
sprinkle of pepper
sprinkle of nutmeg
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of water

Preheat the oven to 450° F.  Wash the pumpkin, then cut it up in quarters.  Removing all the seeds.  Rub the pumpkin with olive oil and sprinkle both sides of each quarter with garlic salt.  Then place the pumpkin – outside up – on a parchment paper lined baking pan.  Then bake it for 30 minutes.  Take the pumpkin out of the oven and turn each piece over, bake it for about 20 minutes more.  This is where you have to decide if it is done in 20 minutes or needs more time in the oven.  Use a fork, if needed, mine was kinda brown.  It might have been more than 20 minutes.

While the pumpkin is roasting.  Heat up some olive oil in your stock pot or soup pan.  Chop the onion.  Then cook the onion.  Then add the broth.  Then add the beer.  Add the salt and all of the spices.  Just let it barely boil.

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Add the pumpkin puree to the liquid in the soup pot.  Stir until incorporated.  Then serve.

*with the immersion blender add the pumpkin to the liquid then blend until smooth

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitSo, I didn’t have anything to serve this with.  I think I would have put some creme fraiche on top or some cheese.  But I wasn’t sure.  Strangely I didn’t taste it before I served it.  As I said, I have a lot of things on my mind and I was doing three other things while I was cooking, so dinner was super late in the evening, and when I first tried to taste it, it was too hot.  I didn’t try again.  But it was ok.

My husband really liked it.  He said it had a finish that tasted like Taco Bell’s Hot Sauce.  Can’t say I am happy about that exactly, but then again, it allowed him to like the soup, so ok.  But to me, it was too bitter.

So, help me out.  Why was it bitter?  Is cardamom bitter?  Is cumin?  Would cutting back on either of those help with the bitter?

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Leftover Persimmon Chicken

Posted by terrepruitt on November 23, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWith all that is going on I mentioned I might not be writing regularly, but I am going to try.  This might be considered a cheat because it is not an actual recipe.  But that is really how I cook anyway.  If you have read any of my blog posts that have recipes in them you probably know that I love leftovers.  Recently I made Persimmon Chicken.  We had it for a few days.  There was enough for us to have a piece of chicken for a couple of nights.  But the third night there was that odd piece left.  Whenever I have an odd piece of meat that is usually when I throw it in pasta, in a tortilla, or on a tortilla.  Well, I didn’t know how persimmon chicken would taste on a tortilla.  But then I thought, “Why wouldn’t it work?”  Well, I have to say, it worked and it was delicious!  The sweet of the persimmons with the saltiness of the cheese – very good!

You might remember that I went to a restaurant once and they served what I call Fancy Toast.  I was thinking of that when I put together our persimmon chicken tortillas.  Sweet and salty!

I had some leftover ricotta from the lasagna I recently made (that recipe is here).  I decided to use it.  I am always looking for ways to use what I have and not let things I used for one recipe go to waste. Here is what I did.

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Persimmon Chicken Tortilla

2 Flour Tortillas
1 cup of ricotta
1 cup of mozzarella
1 large piece of persimmon chicken
some of the persimmons that were cooked with the chicken
3 tablespoons of gorgonzola

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitPreheat oven to 350° F.  Cut up the chicken so you have little pieces.  Spread the ricotta on the tortillas, 1/2 cup each tortilla.  Then sprinkle 1/2 cup of the mozzarella on each tortilla.  Distribute the cut up chicken over each tortilla along with the persimmons.  Then top with the gorgonzola – about 1 1/2 tablespoon each.

Then bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes.  You are really only trying to melt the cheese, as the chicken is already cooked.  If you like your tortilla a little crisper, then bake it for longer.

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As happens more often than not, I was not planning on posting this on my blog.  And I didn’t take a picture of the preparation . . . but I think it is simple enough you can get the idea.  In the pictures I did take you can see the gorgonzola.

The salty blue cheese and the spiced fruit were a great combination.  The ricotta being somewhat flavorless just added great texture – a perfect creaminess.

It was really good.  Next time I make persimmon chicken I am going to make sure I have enough leftover to do this.  Plus I will make sure I have mozzarella, ricotta, and gorgonzola on hand.  Although a mild cheddar might due in place of the mozzarella.

What do you think?  Sound good to you?  What could we add to make it even better?

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Leek And Mushroom Topped Flat-Biscuit-Shortbread

Posted by terrepruitt on November 7, 2016

I save recipes to my computer all the time.  I have hundreds and hundreds of recipes.  Every once in a while I go through the various folders and see recipes I want to try.  I might even put the recipe on my desktop so it is in my face and on my mind . . . in hopes that I will actually try it.  Sometimes I do.  Sometimes I don’t.  I had found a recipe the blogger called flatbread and it sounded delicious so I saved it to my desktop.  While I was at the store I remembered I had a leek in the refrigerator and I thought mushrooms and leeks on top of the flat bread would be good.  I couldn’t remember what the recipe called for, so I bought the mushrooms.  Here is what I ended up doing.  It was good.  The toppings of leeks and mushrooms gave it a lot of flavor.  However, I just need salt in my food otherwise it is bland.  So even with the toppings having sufficient amount of salt the bread was too bland for me.  I am sure for regular people who don’t require so much salt it would be fine.  My hubby loved it.  It also didn’t taste nor have the texture of the flat bread I am used to.  It was more like a biscuit.  Or a shortbread.  That is probably due to the baking powder.  OR it could have been due to the fact that I read 1/2 cup olive oil and the recipe called for 1/3 cup.  Anyway, since my husband loved it, I will be doing it again.  My toppings will probably change.  And I will definitely add salt to the dough!  And I might even try it with the less oil.

I have noted the changes I will make next time in italics.

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Leek And Mushroom Topped Flat-Biscuit-Shortbread

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitFlat-Biscuit-Shortbread
• 1 1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon cornmeal
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 1/2 cup water
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/2 teaspoon basil
salt

Leek and Mushroom mixture topping
• 2 tablespoons coconut oil
• 1 leek
• 3/4 pound mushrooms
• 1 teaspoon garlic salt
• 1/2 teaspoon thyme
• a sprinkle over the whole pan of ground ginger
• 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of butter
• pepper

After washing the leek, chop the leek into small pieces.  After washing the mushrooms, slice them.  Heat the coconut oil.  Add the leeks to the pan and cook them.  When the green portion becomes a bright green and the white portion starts to lose its color, add the mushrooms.  Sprinkle the mixture with the garlic salt, thyme, and ginger.  Keep stirring and cooking.  When the mushrooms and leeks are almost done being cooked to your liking add the butter.  Stir well, so the flavor of the butter gets incorporated into the mix.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWhile the leeks are cooking you can probably start on the dough . . . even before you add the mushrooms to the pan.

Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, garlic powder, and basil in a bowl.  Stir until ingredients are well mixed.  Add olive oil and water mixing until all the ingredients are incorporated and it forms a smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball or a log – something to get you started into the final shape you want.  Place the dough onto a piece of parchment paper large enough to fit the pan you are going to bake it on.  Then roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick in the shape you want. Lift the parchment paper with the dough on it and place it on your baking sheet. Brush or pat a little bit of olive oil on the top of the dough.

Bake it in the oven at 400° F for 12 minutes until the top starts to turn brown.

Remove the flat-biscuit-shortbread and top with three table spoons of ricotta cheese and a sprinkle of salt.  Then place back in the oven for three minutes.

Spread the cooked leek mushroom mixture on top of the crust.  Then sprinkle 3 teaspoons of gorgonzola on top of the mixture. Bake for an additional 5 minutes at 350° F.

Cut, sprinkle with pepper (if you want) and serve.

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My husband and I ate this for dinner one night.  It is very rich and quite filling.  Do pop over and check out Andrea’s blog and see her recipe of Roasted Maple Butternut Squash Bacon Flatbread which inspired my leek and mushroom topped shorty-bready-biscuit.

Are you going to top yours with leeks and mushrooms or something else?

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Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheese Casserole

Posted by terrepruitt on October 5, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitSo I wanted something easy to cook the other night and I thought it would be nice if I could use the broccoli that came in our latest produce delivery.  So what is easier than a casserole?  Not much.  So why not a chicken, broccoli, and cheese casserole!  So here is what I did, completely easy!
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Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheese Casserole 

1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
2 cans of chicken
1/4 of an onion
3 cups of chopped broccoli
1 tsp garlic salt
a couple of twists of pepper
1/2 of a bell pepper
2 1/4 cup shredded cheese
3 tablespoons butter
3/8 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitPour the milk into a large bowl.  Then put in the flour.  Whisk it together using either a whisk or just a fork.  Get all the flour lumps out.  Then add the chicken.  Chop the onion and then add it to the bowl.  Stir the milk mixture, the chicken, and the onion together.  Then add the chopped broccoli.  Add the garlic salt on top of the broccoli, then a couple of turns of a pepper grinder.  (Or as much pepper as you like.)  Then mix all the ingredients.  Chop the bell pepper, then add it to the bowl, then add 2 cups of cheese.  Then stir it all together.

Grease a casserole dish (I used a 8 inch X 11 inch), then pour or scoop the mixture into the dish.

Melt the butter and mix it with the panko bread crumbs.  Then mix in the rest (1/4 cup) of the shredded cheese.

Sprinkle the butter, bread, cheese mixture over the chicken, broccoli, and cheese mixture.

Then put the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI was so intent on making the casserole, I didn’t make anything else.  I think I would serve it over noodles.  Or at least rice.  But, as I said, I didn’t think about it.  So we ended up using flour tortillas.  We put the casserole in the tortilla one bite at a time.  It was very good.

While some people might cringe at using canned chicken, I don’t.  A long time ago my father-in-law made a yummy casserole and when he said he used canned chicken, I thought, “Well, it was damn good.”  Now the brand you buy makes a big difference.  We buy the Cocsto brand.  Kirkland Signature™ Premium Chunk Chicken Breast.  It is just big chunks of meat.  We bought Swanson’s before and I think I ended up throwing it out.  It was . . . . not big chunks of white meat.  So I don’t trust any other kind.

I am sure that three cups of cut up cooked chicken will work.  But if you want to keep it really easy . . . use two cans.

Oh, I just had a thought, I might not be able to get my husband to go along, but crusty french bread.  This would be really good with crusty french bread.  Yum.  My hubby is not a french bread fan so I don’t usually think to serve things with bread, but this would be perfect with bread.

What do you think?  Sound easy enough?  What would YOU serve it with?

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I Finally Cooked Spaghetti Squash

Posted by terrepruitt on September 28, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI often see people on my Facebook feed comment about how difficult it is to cut butternut squash.  I just figured they didn’t have very sharp knives.  I mean, it doesn’t slice easily, but it is not really difficult.  It is not as hard as some other fruits and vegetables.  I also always see a bunch of recipes for spaghetti squash.  It could be that the fervor of it has calmed down a bit, but for a while there was a spaghetti squash recipe on my feed at least once a day.  But not once did I see anything about cutting spaghetti squash being difficult.  Not once did I see that as one of the main things about spaghetti squash, as I often heard in regards to butternut squash.  Whew!  What the heck is up with spaghetti squash?  I thought I was going to break my knife.  I love my knife and I would have been very upset, so I was trying to be a bit careful . . . but what is up with that???  I had to cook it for four minutes before I could BARELY break the skin.  Then I had to cook it for two more to get to the middle.  That stuff is TOUGH!!!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitSo . . . anyway . . . after all this time I finally got around to trying spaghetti squash.  We liked it.  It was good.  I am curious if we liked it because it had ground beef on it.  When I planned the dinner, I thought I had a jar of red sauce, but I didn’t.  So my red sauce with meat faux spaghetti dinner did not materialize.  Instead we had ground beef with garlic butter on spaghetti squash.  It was good.  It was really good especially the second night when I cooked it more.  The first night I was — as usual – starting late and I had no idea it would take so long to cut and cook.  I would have preferred to roast it in the oven, but it happened to be over 90° F that day and I didn’t want to turn on the oven.  So I used the microwave.

Another thing I had not heard anyone say when making this for dinner was the challenge in shredding the squash out.  I mean, it wasn’t HARD per se, but it was a challenge because the dang squash is so hot.  It is tricky to hold and scrape at the same time.

Anyway, here is what I did.  But, keep in mind, anything with ground beef on it, is so yummy.

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Spaghetti Squash With Ground Beef and Garlic Butter

Water
shallow casserole dish
1 spaghetti squash
salt
lid (to the dish) or plastic wrap, wax paper
half of a medium onion, chopped
half of a pound of ground beef
Italian Seasoning
garlic salt
two tablespoons of butter
three cloves of minced garlic

Put water in a shallow casserole dish, about halfway up the side of the dish.  Then try to poke a whole or two in the squash and cook it on high (in the microwave) for six minutes.  If your microwave does not have a rotating turntable, turn the dish every two minutes.

Once you can, cut the squash cut it in half – lengthwise.  Take out all the squash “guts” and seeds.  Place each half in the dish – cut side up.  Cook in the microwave on high for six minutes with the cover on the dish, or use the plastic wrap, or wax paper.

Take the dish out and salt the cut sides of the spaghetti squash.  Then cook for ten minutes with the cover on the dish, or use the plastic wrap, or wax paper.  (Again, remember to turn the dish every two or three minutes if your microwave does not do that for you).

While the squash is cooking prepare your topping/sauce.

Heat up a pan with olive oil or coconut oil.  Then cook the onions.  Then add the half of a pound of ground beef.  Add some Italian Seasoning and salt.  Cook until beef is done.

In another pan, heat up two tablespoons of butter.  Once melted add a few cloves of minced garlic.  Cook for a few minutes.

Check the squash.  It should be really soft.  A fork should insert easily with no pressure required.  If you think it is ready (mine was not) then take it out of the microwave.  If you think it needs to cook more, sprinkle on more salt, then cook it for six to ten more minutes.  Then take it out and let it cool a little.

Then use one fork to hold the squash as you use another fork to shred and scrape the flesh of the squash out.

Put the shredded squash in a dish, toss with the garlic butter.  Then put the beef in the dish and toss.  Serve with Parmesan cheese on top.

(Total squash cooking time: 32 minutes)

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I don’t think the squash will hold up to a red sauce but my husband does, so I might try that, as that was the original plan.  But, even if not, I will definitely cook it again.  It was good, but it was NOTHING like spaghetti.  It was sweet.  It was stringy.  It was good.  I am thinking chicken and mushrooms . . . that sounds good to me.  Also, roasted.  I can’t wait to roast it!

So what are your tips on how to cook spaghetti squash?  How do you shred it?  What do you mix with it? 

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