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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chew on This | Banoffee Pie

In January I could not stop reading. I zipped through seven books and was hungry for more. When February rolled around I started three different books and, for the life of me, could not get to the end of any of them. It wasn't that they weren't interesting, I just couldn't keep my eyes open at night when I read. Ugh, February, you were such a cold and nonproductive reading month! Discouraging. 

This month I am back in action and strangely, I am reading several books at one time. I have never, ever done this. Do you do this? I've always been a one-book-at-a-time kind of girl. It's weird, but I'm liking it. Anyway, right now I'm reading The MartianGathering Blue, and Yes Please. I've got Upstairs at the White House, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, What Alice Forgot, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, and Better Than Before all on hold via the OverDrive app. Have you tried this app? It's so wonderful! You can borrow ebooks (audiobooks, periodicals) via this app through your public library. When your selection is available, you download the ebook onto your computer, smartphone, iPad, or ereader (you get the idea), and have it to read for 21 days before it automatically 'returns' to the library.

Mind you, there is nothing better than holding a book, the smell of a book, being in a library or book store, borrowing a book, and buying a book. I (all of us) straddle that fabulous line between instantaneous technological reading convenience and feeling the weight of a book on my chest while reading in my bed late into the night. It is so glorious. Oh my, is it ever a wonderful reading world.

What are you reading? I would love to hear your recommendations!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Chew on This | Beer Battered Fish Fry

Fish fry season has started. Is there a season for fried fish? Well, in my mind the season begins with Lent and continues through the summer as local fresh fish is easier to come by.

I have never fried fish. For starters, The Husband does not like fried fish (or fried chicken). Also, I am not a fryer of foods. It's a bit intimidating, and messy. And because of this, I can easily count the number of times I've dropped something into a deep pot of oil and fried it up (these are some good examples: fritters and hush puppies). This is not to say that fried foods aren't yummy good. They are. I just don't fry them. 

So, rebel that I am, I decided to fry some fish. It was delicious. Crispy on the outside, flakey good on the inside. Even The Husband ate it and said he enjoyed it. And I'm pretty sure he didn't just tell me so to be nice. He ate two good helpings. What? Nice!

Kick off your fry season with this solid fish fry recipe. Goodness awaits!


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Chew on This | Hush Puppies with Honey Butter

Netflix. We've been subscribers since 2012. My reasoning for signing up, in the beginning, was to help reduce the gouging I felt we were enduring from our satellite provider. Yet I also  wanted a better variety of programming. So, I reduced our satellite package to a price point that was somewhat more tolerable and used some of the savings to sign up for Netflix. 

I have no regrets. The pricing remains gloriously inexpensive and the growing number of Netflix produced shows are absolutely wonderful. Seriously, House of Cards is unbelievable. And I've just currently become obsessed with the show Les Revenants (The Returned). Not The Returned that is on A&E (which is an American version), but the French supernatural series about long dead residents returning home. It is spooky and ethereal. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Chew on This | Coconut Flour Crepes with Brie, Bacon, and Strawberries with a Honey Drizzle (gluten-free)

Hi! Happy Friday!

My kids have had testing alllllll week long. They're excited that Friday has arrived and testing will conclude today. For a while away. Their teachers have been great this week, giving the kids more time outside to refresh between tests. Plenty of breaks, water, and healthy snacks, too. And the sunshine and rising temperatures have helped tremendously as well.

I have tried to do my part this week in giving the kids a filling and delicious start to their day. Yesterday, I think, was my best offering yet. For breakfast, coconut flour crepes (gluten-free and packing an extra protein punch) with brie cheese, bacon, and strawberries with a honey drizzle. They were devoured. Pleas were made for a repeat today. I was happy to oblige.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Chew on This | Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

This week is promising to give us our first tiny glimpse of Spring. Sure we have lots of snow that needs melting. Which will inevitably cause a water-water everywhere situation. Which will then cause this place to be mud central. Whatever. Spring.

Our Spring activities, commitments, and schedule began at the start of February. It's about time the weather caught up. Right now, the sun is shining. It's shining! So bright. So beautiful. We've had glimpses of the sun (which is a novelty here during January and February) lately. It really does lift the spirit. And now, weather people across the land are pledging, VOWING, temperatures in the mid-50s by Wednesday. 

Yes, I know this is fleeting. I know we'll probably get another cold snap or two. Probably some more snow. I'm not totally delusional. But a girl can dream. 


Monday, February 23, 2015

Chew on This | Chicken and Mushroom Rigatoni

My kids only had two days of school last week. Monday they had off for President's Day. Thursday and Friday they were off because of the subzero temperatures and wind chills. So, a three day weekend, two days of school, and then a four day weekend. I can tell you, they have been in heaven! However, the stir-craziness started full force on Thursday afternoon. And their brains started leaking out of their ears on Saturday.

Monday's forecast is calling for another blast of frigid air. I have no doubt that school will be in session. My kids predict another day off, are hoping for another day off. I'm preparing for it, just in case. Searching high and low for something to plug their ears and stop the leaking.


Here's our recipe:

Treat yourself to this 'no-red sauce' pasta goodness. We are not big fans of the red sauce in this house, and this recipe quenches our pasta desires with a sauce that makes us want to lick the plate. Using leftover chicken, or rotisserie chicken, and making the caramelized onions ahead of time, makes this dish speedy quick to put together.

Chicken and Mushroom Rigatoni

10-12 ounces rigatoni, cooked to al dente 
2 T butter
1 T oil
8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced, caramelized
2 baked chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 T basil, chopped
1/4 C white wine
3/4 C heavy cream
salt and pepper, to taste
Italian parsley, for garnish

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add your butter and oil. Once butter is melted, add in your mushrooms. Toss to coat and cook, about 1-2 minutes. Next, add to the pan your caramelized onions, chicken, and basil. Stir to incorporate and warm through. Once sizzling and warm, slowly pour in your white wine. Cook for 1 minute, allowing the liquid to release any flavorful bits that have formed on the pan. Now, add in your heavy cream, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Boil and let the sauce reduce a bit (about 2-3 minutes) before adding in your cooked pasta. Continue to cook until pasta is warmed through. Plate, garnish with Italian parsley, serve and Enjoy!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Chew on This | PB & J Pancakes (gluten-free)

What goes perfectly with a frigid cold morning, a day off of school, and two hungry kids? Pancakes, of course. 

I tried out this gluten-free version the other day and am happy to report favorable reviews. Though not as fluffy as regular pancakes, these PB&J cakes are flavorful, healthy, and simple to make.



Here's our recipe:

PB & J Pancakes (gluten-free)

1/4 C peanut butter, slightly warmed
2 bananas, mashed
4 eggs
1/2 t baking powder

your favorite fruit compote or jam, slightly warmed
maple syrup

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your peanut butter, bananas, eggs, and baking powder. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Pour an eighth of a cup of batter onto the warmed skillet. Flip pancake when ready and cook the other side for about a minute. Serve pancakes immediately - spoon fruit compote, or jam, that has been warmed, over the pancakes. Maple syrup is a delicious choice as well. Enjoy!