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Category Archives: Recipes

12 Snack Ideas for Corrie’s Health Plan… and Joy Dare #121-126

Some of you have asked for more ideas for snacks which fit the rules of my health plan, and I realized I pretty much eat the same snacks over and over.  In general, I am not hungry at snack times and I eat just to keep my blood sugar levels from taking a dive.  The not-being-hungry makes me not-very-creative.  Thanks to members of our secret group on Facebook (Join us? Click here, “like” my page, and comment with a request to join. I will add you to the secret group which can only be seen by members!) I am stepping out of my comfortable box and sharing some great ideas for snacks which fit my plan… and which are easy and tasty so I will actually eat them.  These are my faves so far:

1) One small pear and one string cheese. Slice pear into 8 slices and cut them in half again to make 16 chunks.  Cut string cheese into 8 pieces and make skewers of pear/cheese/pear on toothpicks.

2) One Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup frozen berries, stevia to taste or very small drizzle of raw honey, and a handful of whole, raw almonds.

3) One small apple with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and small handful of whole, raw almonds.

4) 1/2 cup of cottage cheese (not reduced fat!) and half cup of berries. (Okay, so I personally hate cottage cheese.  But there are lots of people who love it and you might be one of them… and this snack would be a great choice for you.)

5) Beef or Turkey Jerky (low sodium with no sugar used in preparation) with a small navel orange or 6 green grapes.

6) 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds with 6 raw baby carrots.

7) Lettuce deli wrap:  One large piece of leaf lettuce layered with two slices of low sodium deli meat (not the honey kind!), a sprinkle of shredded cheese and slice of tomato, sea salt and pepper… roll up and enjoy.

8) Lettuce bean burrito:  1/2 cup black beans mixed with one tablespoon of no-sugar-added salsa.  Mash with fork and heat in microwave.  Roll up in piece of romaine lettuce with sprinkle of cheese.

9) Open-faced banana sandwich:  1/2 of a 100% whole wheat “bagel thin” spread with natural peanut butter (Smuckers is the only kind I use) and toasted in toaster oven.  Top with 1/2 sliced banana and 4 raw pecan halves.

10) A few celery sticks filled with almond butter and topped with whole almonds.

11) Two tablespoons of hummus with celery, carrots, and snow peas.

12) 1/4 cup of old fashioned oats cooked on stove with 1/2 cup of water, sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg, one packet of stevia, and whisk in one egg during last minute of cooking. You won’t taste it! Top with a handful of walnuts or almonds and 1/4 of a thinly sliced apple.

I will look for more gourmet ideas and do some taste testing for future posts, but the above are snacks I either have had pretty regularly on my health plan or that I know I would like (minus the cottage cheese one, but I gave that disclaimer already!) Please comment below if this helps and if you have other ideas for great snacks which follow the general rules of the plan!

Now, for more Grace Counting:

121. 122. 123. A Gift in Losing, Finding, Making Something... I lost my closest friend a long time ago.  The broken heart almost killed me and I used it as an excuse to become mean, ugly, bitter for a time.  But You found me, dug me out of the pit, and helped me find me again, too.  And then you made something beautiful out of nothing, convicted me of sin and cleansed me, healed my broken heart.  When the scar aches now, I remember Your faithfulness when I wasn’t faithful to You.  Thank You for loving me enough not to leave me in that place.

124. The sweetest date night with Cowboy Saturday, even including the scary drive home in the fiercest snow-so-thick-we-couldn’t-see-the-road-at-all. I love being anywhere with him.

125.  Clothes for church that do not have to be completely removed for me to nurse BraveHeart!  Thankful for Cowboy’s sister who kept the older Hearts, Cowboy’s mom who went with me to care for BraveHeart while I tried on clothes, thankful there were some that fit, and truthfully, thankful the shopping trip for the next few months is over.

126.  Thankful for my mom, who (though sick with a nasty cold) is picking up TrueHeart from tumbling for me tonight so I would not have to make two trips to Florence in one day.  I don’t know what I would do without her, Lord.

 Corrie Mims

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Perfect Brown Rice Recipe

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Here is my recipe for the most perfectly nutty, slightly chewy brown rice and the way I serve it in single portions to fit my healthy eating plan.  You may use any brown rice you like as long as it is not quick-cooking rice.  It is so easy and delicious, you will wonder why you have been eating white rice all this time!  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

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First, you need a Tablespoon plus a teaspoon of real butter.  And a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

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Now, you need to pour 4 2/3 cups of water into either a small pot to heat on the stove or a microwaveable bowl.  Add your butter and 1 teaspoon of sea salt.  Use filtered water if you have funky tasting water.  Put it in the microwave or on the stove and heat until just boiling and butter is melted.

 

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While it is heating, pour 3 cups of brown rice into a 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Spread it out evenly over the bottom of the dish.

 

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Give the water/butter/salt mixture a good stir and pour over rice in dish.  (And by all means, turn baby in Maya Wrap away from the hot water.)  Stir the rice gently to settle any displaced rice back into an even layer.

 

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Cover dish wish a DOUBLE layer of foil and seal carefully with your hands all the way around.  Place in oven and bake for 1 hour.

 

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Remove from oven and carefully remove foil.  Fluff rice with fork and cover with a clean kitchen towel. (I know, sounds crazy, but it is important!  Just do it!)  Let rest for 5 minutes.  Set your timer.  Then, uncover rice and fluff again.  Allow to sit for 5 more minutes before serving.  If I am not eating right away, I allow it to sit for 15 more minutes and then begin the packing and freezing process.  This is how I do it:

 

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One heaping 1/3 of a cup spooned into a cheap plastic sandwich bag.  Don’t use the nice thick ones.  Really.

 

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Flatten and seal by patting vigorously with your hand, creating a single layer of rice.  Burp the bag a couple of times to get most of the air out.

 

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Stack the bags of flattened rice (you should have at least 17, up to 20 of them) and store them just like this in your freezer.  When you are ready for a serving, grab one of the bags, poke a few holes in it with a fork, and microwave just until it begins to puff up like the bag is going to explode.  Remove carefully from microwave and pour onto plate.  You may also add it to a hot skillet as an alternative and it will be ready in seconds.

It really is the perfect brown rice!  Try it and let me know what you think.

The pictures are courtesy of TrueHeart who blogs pictures only over at http://www.developedphotography.wordpress.com  She wasn’t happy with the rushed job in poor lighting I was requiring her to do, so check out her regular work.  She will be thrilled to see her blog stats rise with number of views, and I love it when she is happy!  Thanks a bunch.

Corrie Mims

 
 

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Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Pumpkin Spice Latte IngredientsDue to a delicate pregnancy, I haven’t been online much lately to write blogs, and I also haven’t been allowed to do anything remotely strenuous by my doctors.  Everyone needs a diversion, however, so I resorted to the low impact activity of testing and perfecting my very own recipe for a homemade pumpkin spice latte!

I am very pleased to report an overwhelming success after trying many horrible recipes by other people and then changing them completely.  (Of course, you may feel the same about my recipe, but I dare you to try it first. You may be surprised at how wonderful this is, and how much it tastes like the Starbucks version -and for pennies on the dollar!)

This is dedicated to my bestie and supreme pumpkin spice latte fanatic, Victoria Morgan Pierce:

Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

You need to make the syrup first, which will make quite a few lattes in your future and stores well in the fridge:

1- 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp canned pumpkin (plain, not pumpkin pie filling!)

Pour water and sugars into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until sugars are melted.  (Do not allow this mixture to boil at any time!  Adjust your heat throughout as needed and whisk often to keep any from settling on the bottom and burning.  It will affect the flavor- Don’t ask me how I know.)

Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk, heating on low/medium heat (just under boiling) for 5 minutes.  Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, and then funnel into your favorite syrup container (or a mason jar, whatever).  Syrup is done!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice LatteNow, make your first pumpkin spice latte: 

3-4 ounces very strong coffee (or espresso)
1 cup whole milk
4 Tbsp pumpkin spice syrup
whipped cream
caramel topping
pumpkin pie spice

I use my coffee grinder to grind 6 tablespoons of whole coffee beans on the finest (espresso) setting and then I brew it in my Aeropress, but you can easily just make strong instant coffee or very strong brewed coffee with your method of choice.  While you are doing this, heat the cup of milk until very hot (but not boiling), stirring often. You can also do this in the microwave if you prefer.  Pour your strong coffee brew into a large mug and stir in 4 Tbsp of the pumpkin spice syrup you made earlier.  Add hot milk and stir.  Top with whipped cream, drizzle with caramel topping, and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.  Adjust coffee/milk/syrup amounts to taste as you may like it stronger or milder, of course.

Then, sip slowly and practice great restraint when you wish to lavish me with gifts of gratitude for the amazing, delicious, and life-altering miracle this has become in your life.  No thanks necessary.  I’m just glad I could help.

P.S.  I am allowed one caffeinated drink per day.  So, I can vouch for the fact that decaf coffee works for this recipe as well.

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in homemaking, Recipes

 

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How to Make the Best Homemade Pizza

The World's Best Homemade Pizza

I am a creature of habit.  I am also frugal.  And this recipe has been a weekly staple for us for a few years now because it is SOOOO easy and SOOOO cheap to make.  Many are scared away when they think of making their own dough from scratch, but with these tips I have learned through trial and error along with my step-by-step (very visual) guide, you will be a pizza queen/king in no time…

Use Dough Cycle on Bread Machine

First, I use my bread machine (but you don’t have to- use your kitchen aid mixer or your hands!)  I know- not everyone has a bread machine– but I actually have two of them. One I was given as a gift in 1998, and one I bought used on Ebay for $18 last year.  Since I don’t bake in mine (I use the dough cycle only), it would be hard to find one that isn’t fancy enough.

My Homemade Pizza Dough Ingredients

Here are all the ingredients you will need for the dough of 2 large pizzas:

1- 1/2 C warm water

1 T sugar

2 T olive oil

4 C flour (I use 3 all purpose, 1 whole wheat)

1- 1/2 tsp salt

2- 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (does not have to be bread machine yeast)

italian seasoning to taste

cornmeal for sprinkling

Buying Yeast in Bulk Saves So Much Money over Jars or Packets!

This is to show you how I save so much money when buying yeast.  I buy yeast in bulk (package on the left) from Amazon and buy 4-5 lbs at a time.  I store them in the freezer and refill my yeast jar I keep in the refrigerator as needed.  The savings is UNREAL.  Stop buying those expensive packets!

My Favorite Homemade Bread Recipes are Tattered and Worn

As you can see, I make a lot of breads.  The cinnamon roll recipe is on the back.  And I keep it in a beautiful, organized binder- typed and protected.  (NOT!  I keep them under a magnet on my kitchen calendar board…because I use it 4 times a week at least!)

Add Warm Water to Bread Machine Pan First

Pour warm water (just tap water) in bread machine pan first.  Then add ingredients in order they are listed above.  Stop when you get to the Italian seasoning/cornmeal.

Add up to one cup of Whole Wheat Flour to Pizza Dough

My secret ingredient is to sneak in one cup of whole wheat flour, but it tastes great with only all-purpose flour as well.

Stir Salt into Flour Before Adding Yeast

Gently stir the salt into the flour to keep it from killing the yeast.  Yeast does not like salt.

Best Way to Store and Measure Sea Salt

This is how I store fine sea salt.  It makes it so much easier to measure this way instead of pouring into a measuring spoon.  Add your yeast last, and directly on top of the other ingredients.

Homemade Pizza Dough Ingredients in Bread Machine Pan

Insert your bread machine pan into your bread machine and set it to the dough cycle.  It should read a time of around 1-1/2 hours.  Press start.

Add Dry Italian Seasoning to Homemade Pizza Dough

Most machines beep after a few minutes to tell you that you can add in ingredients (like nuts or raisins, for example).  This is when I add dry Italian seasoning.  I just add enough to make me happy.  No measuring.  Now, close the lid.

Homemade Pizza Dough Rises to Top of Bread Machine Pan

When the dough cycle is done (mixes about 25 minutes, rises about an hour), this is what your dough will look like.

Keep Pizza Stone and Oven Thermometer in Oven

This is my very used, very old oven.  I refuse to buy a new one until it quits.  And it just stubbornly refuses!  Anyway, I keep a cheap pizza stone in my oven at all times. I never take it out. (I keep meaning to buy unglazed ceramic tiles and use those instead, but I haven’t gotten around to it.)  I also always use an oven thermometer- because my oven is not true to temperature.  Preheat your oven to very hot.  That means about 450 degrees.

My Favorite Homemade Pizza Making Tools

These are my favorite homemade-pizza-making tools.  A dough roller, a dough docker, and parchment paper.  I bought some of the reusable parchment paper, but I confess, I haven’t used it yet.  Did I mention I am a creature of habit?

Divide Homemade Pizza Dough with Bench Scraper or Knife

Use a bench scraper or knife to divide the dough into two roughly equal portions.

Sprinkle Parchment Paper Lightly with Cornmeal

Sprinkle cornmeal on a rectangle of parchment paper.  Make it big enough to cover your pizza stone.

Separate Pizza Dough Into Two Portions for Two Medium/Large Pizzas

Form each portion into a ball with floured hands.  You want the dough to be pretty sticky.  This makes a lighter crust.  If you add too much flour in, you will have a tough crust that isn’t very tasty.

Form Pizza Dough into a Ball with Floured Hands

Just plop it on the cornmeal.

Roll Homemade Pizza Dough to Size of Pizza Stone

And start to roll it out with your dough roller.  You can use the traditional long one if you like.  Or a can if you don’t have one.  Or your fingers or whatever.

Trim Excess Parchment Paper Around Homemade Pizza Dough

Trim the excess parchment paper from around the dough after you have rolled it into a rustic round/oval shape that is roughly the size of your pizza stone (which should be preheated nicely in your oven by now, remember).

Prick Homemade Pizza Dough Surface with Dough Docker or Fork

Prick the surface of your dough with a fork, or use a pizza docker if you have one.  This eliminates air bubbles in the surface of your crust.

Slide Homemade Pizza Dough into Oven Using Flat Cookie Sheet

Slide a flat cookie sheet under the parchment paper (or a pizza peel, but I don’t have one yet).  Then, shimmy-shake the parchment paper and dough off the cookie sheet and onto the hot pizza stone in your oven.

Slide Pizza Dough from Cookie Sheet With Parchment Paper

Parbake the crust for around 6 minutes or until it just begins to change color on top.  This really helps keep your crust from getting soggy!  Then, reach in and pull the parchment paper edge onto your cookie sheet again (It really isn’t hot!)

Slice Favorite Vegetables for Homemade Pizza Toppings

Slice your favorite pizza vegetables.  We usually use mushrooms, onions, and pepperoni on one, and only pepperoni on the other.  Although, we also love chicken/olive/pesto and ham and pineapple combinations.  And usually banana peppers sneak in there somewhere, too.

Saute Onions and Mushrooms in Olive Oil

Saute your vegetables in a little olive oil with salt and pepper until they are tender but not mushy.

Mozzarella, Pepperoni, and Sauce from Aldi

We grocery shop at Aldi because we can get twice as much food there as at WalMart for the same price, three times as much food as our local grocery store (although we buy fresh meat at our local grocery store, and bread and milk in between trips). These are our standard toppings above.

I know- I should make my own pizza sauce. I always make my own spaghetti sauce from scratch, but I buy spaghetti sauce and use it as my pizza sauce.  Silly.  One jar of spaghetti sauce covers four large pizzas, so I keep it in the fridge and use it two weeks in a row.  It is much cheaper than buying traditional pre-made pizza sauce.

Spread Pizza Sauce or Spaghetti Sauce on Parbaked Pizza Crust

Spread the sauce on the first parbaked crust while your second crust is parbaking.  And add your toppings.  Vegetables first, then cheese, then meats and olives on top.

Add Homemade Pizza Toppings to Parbaked Pizza Crust

Remove the second parbaked crust from the oven and shimmy-shake it onto the table.  Slip the cookie sheet under your pizza with the toppings and transfer it back to the oven.  Bake for about 9 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and it begins to brown a little.  While it bakes, top your second parbaked crust.

Slide Homemade Pizza From Oven by Parchment Paper

Remove pizza from oven again with your cookie sheet and place it on another pan for cutting.  (Or, do what I do- slide it onto the table, use the cookie sheet to put the second pizza in the oven, and then slide the cookie sheet back under the finished pizza so you can slice it on the cookie sheet.)

Remove Homemade Pizza from Oven on Flat Cookie Sheet

It’s making my mouth water just looking at the picture again.

Cowboy Slices Homemade Pizza

TrueHeart had a friend over last Friday and as I baked the pizzas, I overheard her tell her guest, “My Mama makes the BEST pizzas in the world.  They are WAY better than the kind you eat at a pizza place!”  Obviously, my heart swelled a little with that.

Son enjoys my homemade pizza

TenderHeart also thinks my pizza is yummy.  I had to make him sit down at the table because he was threatening to steal a piece before the family was seated to give thanks to the One who provides every crumb.

P.S. Sometimes, I make sourdough pizzas.  Other times, I make one thin crust and one deep dish.  I will make a tutorial on those in the future.  Until then, give this recipe a try and please come back and leave a comment.  I will do my best to answer any questions you have as well.

P.P.S. I have made many more than two pizzas at a time and for a large crowd, but it requires planning.  Simply mix up one recipe (through the kneading cycle) and before it starts to rise, scoop it into a gallon size plastic bag with a little olive oil in it.  Seal the bag and put it in the refrigerator. Repeat until you have enough dough to make all the pizzas you need for your crowd.  The dough will slowly rise in the refrigerator (and the flavors will deepen!) for up to 24 hours.  Take the dough out at least an hour before you are ready to start rolling it out so it can come to room temperature.  Then, simply start your routine of parbaking, topping, and baking!  My 11-year-old TrueHeart requested a huge pizza party for her 11th birthday- and this method worked very well.

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in homemaking, Recipes

 

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