Sunday, October 24, 2010

Allspice and Ginger Chicken Stew




What You Need:

2 tsp allspice
1 handful of fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp tamarind paste
1 (2 in.) piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 tbsp canola oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into pieces
1 tbsp flour
5 C of chicken broth
4 bell peppers, seeds removes and chopped
5 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

How to Make It:

Place the allspice, thyme, tamarind paste, ginger, salt and pepper into the food processor.
Process until it turns into a paste.
Add a little oil to the paste and process until the oil is blended in well.
Pour the mixture into a zip lock bag.
Add the chicken, close the bag and press the mixture over the chicken well.
Marinate for 30 minutes to overnight.
Place the remaining oil into an oven proof cast iron Dutch oven.
Add the chicken and cook for medium heat 10 minutes or until the chicken is browned on all sides.
Sprinkle the flour over the chicken and add just a little bit of the broth.
Stir to moisten the flour and remove any of the brown bits from the pan bottom.
Add the remaining broth and stir until the flour has dissolved.
Stir in the peppers and tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens a little.
Let the mixture cool completely before storing in freezer containers.
Freeze for up to 3 months.
To serve allow the stew to defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
Heat the stew in a pan over low heat for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Makes 8 servings

This may also be reheated in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

Preparation Time: approximately 10 minutes
Cooking Time: approximately 1 hour 42 minutes
Total Time: approximately 1 hour 52 minutes.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halloween Costumes Ideas for Two or More

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Halloween Costumes Ideas for Two or More

Do you have a spouse or friend whom you’d love to share a costume with this year, but just can’t quite put your finger on the right one? Maybe you’re looking for cute paired costumes for the kids? Here is a partial list of some ideas that you might consider. Use these to decide on your own

Little Bo Peep & Her Sheep (This is especially cute for moms and baby)
Rich Boy and Poor Girl
Cookies and Milk
Fisherman and Fish
Babe and His Blue Ox
Santa and Mrs. Claus
Adam and Eve
Grapes and Bananas (or any other variety of fruit/veggie combos)
Ball and Chain
Toilet and Seat
Sonny and Cher
Republican and Democrat
Raggedy Ann and Andy
Card and Dice
Cat and Mouse
King and Queen
Dog and Cat
Bat and Ball
Salt and Pepper
Batman and Robin
Jack and Jill
Howie Mandel and a Suitcase Girl
Dora and Diego
Bill and Hillary Clinton
Danny and Sandy (from the movie Grease)
Cheerleader and Football Player
Twins (This one will be especially easy if you have actual twins) ;)
Frankenstein and His Bride
Baby Bottle and Rattle
Ketchup and Mustard Bottles
Nut and Bolt
Doctor and Nurse
Beast and Belle
Buzz and Woody
Captain Hook and Wendy
Peter Pan and a Lost Boy
Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone
Pebbles and BamBam
SpongeBob Squarepants and Patrick
Desi and Lucy
David and Goliath
Pen and Pencil
Soccer Mom and Her Player (This can be done with various sports)
Tom and Jerry
Southern Gentleman and his Belle
Caveman and Cave Girl
Cleopatra and Pharaoh (King)
Harry Potter and Hermione
King & Queen of Hearts
Prince Charming and Princess
Shrek and Princess Fiona
Hansel and Gretel
Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe
Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth (from Pirates of the Caribbean)
Pilgrim Man & Woman
Pilgrim & Indian
George and Martha Washington
Priest and Nun
Pink Lady and ThunderBird Guy from Grease
Race Car Driver and Pit Crew Member
Cowboy and Cowgirl
Plug and Socket
Austin Powers & Felicity Shagwell

While coming up with the idea maybe the easiest part, putting the two together may not be as simple. If you want to make your own costumes, you can find templates online or at your local craft store that will definitely make the process easier. Looking to purchase your costumes? Make sure wherever you choose to buy from has both costumes in stock before purchasing. Don’t forget you can always go through your own clothes, any dress up clothes the kids may have and previous years’ costumes and put two of them together as well.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Keep Those Pumpkin Seeds: Recipe for Your Jack-O-Lantern Seeds




Before you throw away those pumpkin seeds you carved out of your Jack-O-Lantern this year, think twice!! There is good dietary benefit in those seeds, not to mention a yummy snack even the kids will love. Here’s how to prepare and cook your pumpkin seeds.

Prepping the Seeds

First, after you have scooped your pumpkin, put the seeds in a glass bowl. Next, separate the seeds from all the stringing pumpkin meat. You’ll need to do this fairly quickly because once you’ve let them sit and they’ve gotten too dry, they will be harder to clean.

Using a cold-water rinse, finish taking off what is left of the stringy meat (there will be some little bits left more than likely) off the seeds. Place a strainer in the sink so you don’t lose all that pumpkin goop in your sink drain.

Once your pumpkin seeds are completely clean, put them on a waxed paper cookie sheet to dry. You’ll leave them to dry overnight. Sorry, you can’t eat them until tomorrow.

Optional: If you like your seeds salty, you may want to let them sit in a bowl of salt water overnight. Be careful though and don’t over salt the water. Remove from bowl of water and dry as stated above.

Now that your pumpkin seeds are prepared, let’s get to the actual cooking of them. Here are both a microwave and oven baked recipe for you to choose from. Note: Preparation is the same for both of the following recipes.

Microwave Pumpkin Seed Recipe

Place salted butter in a microwavable rectangular baking dish and heat for about 30 seconds. Place seeds into pan and toss through the melted butter. Spread the seeds out evenly into one layer on the bottom of the dish. Microwave on high for about 8 minutes or until seeds are a light golden color. Make sure you stir the seeds every couple of minutes while in the microwave to prevent burning.

Oven Baked Pumpkin Seed Recipe

Spray your seeds with butter spray. Cook for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Watch for them to be lightly brown. When they are done, take them out and season with your favorite seasonings. Some popular seasonings include salt and garlic. Let them completely cool before enjoying.

Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are not the only seeds that can be eaten this way. The seeds from butternut and acorn squash can also be cooked just like pumpkin seeds. Give them a try too.

Leftover Storage

You can store any leftovers of your pumpkin seeds in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 3 months. If you choose to refrigerate them, they will last for about a year in an air tight container.

Baked pumpkin seeds provide a great source of dietary fiber along with a nutty flavor. So, instead of popping that bag of popcorn tonight, grab your favorite Halloween movie, sit back with your toasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

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Saturday, October 2, 2010

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Friday, October 1, 2010

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