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Saturday, February 24, 2007

~Pancake Night~


Who says, you can't have pancakes for dinner? Wanna be a cool Mom? Every now and again, change up and give the kids what they want. The secret is...it's easier on you.
I was a single Mom with three kids. I had to work and although I had a live-in babysitter, she did not cook much. There's a lot of guilt associated with a Mom who has to work and trying to balance fixing meals, doing the laundry, keeping up the house and so on. So, if you're smart you do what I do and look for ways to, "Work smart, not hard."

Whenever you have time to cook, cook extra and freeze it. The Zip-Lock freezer bags are great for this. If you know you've got a full day, you pull out an entree, make a quick salad and you've got a nice meal for you and the kids. Making pancakes, ahead of time, can help with breakfast in a hurry too. Sure you can buy them in the freezer section of your grocery but they are expensive when you weight the cost of a box of all in one Pancake Mix. If you're smart, every now and then, you have "Pancake Night," like I did. I let them pick the ingredients for their favorite "Personal" pancake. One might want Banana (adding walnuts is a nice touch) , Cranberry, Coconut, Blueberry, Applesauce, Chocolate Chip (just a little is giving in) and even Raisin Bran cereal.
See, here's the trick; You are killing two birds with one stone. You have made one of their favorite's for dinner, not just for breakfast. By making the pancakes ahead of time, you allow some of them to cool and freeze them. Then, you don't feel guilty because they eat cereal every morning. The other benefit, is that you've made a special pancake on a special night, just for them. Putting their name on the Zip-Lock is that final caring touch.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

My "Insidious" Ice Cream Cake



I made an ice cream cake for my lil Sister's B'Day, just the other day. Truly, I'd never made one and it had been yers, since I'd even baked a cake. But this turned out so well, I have to share it with you.

1 box Devils Food Cake Mix
1 container Chocolate Frosting
1 pint Ice Cream

Directions;

The day before you make your cake or that morning, you should work with the ice cream. I allowed the ice cream to soften, about a half an hour. (You only want it to soften, not melt) I used a heart shaped, Teflon coated pan.I then put down saran wrap and pressed the ice cream into the shape of the cake pan. Try to evenly, smoothly press ice cream. Cover with more saran and place in freezer. I then, when I was ready to make my cake, lifted the ice cream, by the saran and replaced it on a flat plate and put it back in the freezer. Mix cake batter, as directed. I poured most of the batter into two pans and just a bit into cupcake tins so as to not waste it.
Once your cake has cooled completely. Place the bottom, on your cake plate and frost bottom half. Working quickly, pull off saran and carefully place ice cream on bottom of cake. Place the cake top over the ice cream and ice with the rest of frosting. Put the whole cake back in the freezer. If possible, allow it to relax or thaw a bit, 15-30 minutes, before serving.

Why did I call this "Insidious?" I had placed, cut up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, in the batter, prior to baking. I used cookie dough ice cream but you can use whatever flavor you'd prefer. If this cake had been for me, I'd have used Coffee Ice Cream. After I iced the cake, I put three pieces of Dove heart shaped candy, standing up in the middle. It was actually, impressive and tasted to die for!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

~The Cabbage Soup Diet~

The ABC's of a Negative Foods Diet
Many years ago, my Dad shared a book with me by the Monk, who invented this diet. The man had been an overweight Scientist, before becoming a monk. In his research, he pooled all his knowledge about Metabolism, Calories and Negative Calories. He came up with the
"Cabbage Soup Diet". He warned the reader, that you would certainly lose weight in the first week but you could not continue to eat this soup, by itself. He had become malnourished, himself. He made it clear, that after the first week, you must eat a sensible diet and suggested, eating the soup before your lunch and dinner. My Dad, Mom, Husband and I, all lost weight on this soup diet. But why?
This soup ingredients has a consistent negative calorie content. What is a negative calorie?

Definition of Negative calorie diet

Negative calorie diet: The Negative calorie diet is a weight loss concept based upon the premise that consumption of foods with a “negative caloric effect” (meaning that the calories burned by chewing, digesting, and eliminating the food are greater than those contained in the food itself) will lead to rapid weight loss of up to two pounds per day.

Negative calorie diet works from the starting point that body has to burn energy to digest food. If more calories are consumed burning the food than that is contained in the food, you get a negative calorie effect.



Here's a list of negative foods;

list of negative calorie food Negative calorie list for vegetables

Asparagus

Fennel *

Aubergine *

Gourd *

Broccoli

Leek

Cabbage *

Lettuce *

Carrots

Marrow *

Cauliflower Peppers
Celery * Radish *
Chicory * Spinach
Cress * Tomato *
Cucumber *

Turnip


Negative Fruits

Apricot

Mandarin orange

Blackberry *

Melon Canteloupe *

Blackcurrant

Peaches

Clementines Plums
Damsons

Raspberry *

Grapefruit

Rhubarb **

Guava * Strawberry
Honeydew Melon Tangerine
Lemon *

Watermelon





My Recipe

1 lg head Cabbage

2 lg cans Tomatoes

1 stalk Celery

3 lg Onions

1 bunch Carrots

2 lg Green Peppers

1 lg Red Pepper

3+ cloves Garlic chipped

*4 Chicken or Beef Boullion Cubes


In a large pot, fill up half way with water and boullion cubes. Bring to boil. Cut, chip, slice your veggies and bring to a boil. Begin to simmer until tender. Add salt and pepper or whatever spices you might enjoy. I like cracked pepper in mine. I also like a few *optional things to jazz it up such as *1 lg can white boneless breast and *Mushrooms or Spinach.




The Cabbage Soup is an all-you-can-eat-cabbage-soup diet which claims that the more cabbage soup you eat, the more weight you’ll lose. The diet’s so-called fat burning soup contains negligible calories so you don’t have to worry about gaining weight. The Cabbage Soup Diet states that by adhering to the Cabbage Soup Diet for 7 days will result in immediate weight loss.

How Does the Cabbage Soup Diet work?

On the Cabbage Soup Diet, individuals are encouraged to eat as much Cabbage soup and consume as much water as they want. Other foods are involved as well but their intake is severely restricted. The cabbage soup can be eaten as many times but it is not recommended that you eat soup only as it can result in malnourishment. Drinking 7-8 glasses of water a day is also recommended. The Cabbage Soup Diet’s 7-Day plan is easy to follow, however dieters are asked to consult their doctor before following this 7-day meal plan:
~~~


If you have a special occasion coming up, or you simply need to lose weight fast, the Cabbage Soup Diet may be just what you're looking for.

Although not suitable for long-term weight loss, the Cabbage Soup Diet is a low-fat, high-fiber diet that will help you get into shape fast before you embark on a more moderate long-term eating plan.

Pros and Cons of the Cabbage Soup Diet

Pros: You'll lose weight fast, and can get as much of the foods listed in the program as you want. Although the diet is only for seven days (and shouldn't be adhered to for longer), it provides a great "kick-start" for a more moderate diet.

Cons: Some people find the soup bland. Some people have reported feeling light-headed, weak, and have suffered from decreased concentration (although some who have been affected in this way felt it was well worth it, since it was only for a week and they had lost considerable weight).

Personal Note: If you're SERIOUS about losing weight, I would URGE you to check out a brand new concept I just found out about :

Fat Loss 4 Idiots

This diet actually works BETTER than the cabbage soup diet, and it allows you to lose 9 lbs every 11 days ... while eating many of your favorite foods.

Sound impossible? I thought so too, until I tried the amazing new method known a "Calorie Shifting", which actually "tricks" your body into burning fat.

Believe me when I say this will blow you away! Click here for more info ...

What the Cabbage Soup Diet is NOT

The cabbage soup diet is sometimes referred to as the "Mayo Clinic Diet", and the "Sacred Heart Hospital Diet". Interestingly, this diet has nothing to do with either the Mayo Clinic, nor any Sacred Heart Hospital we know about.

The Problem With Most "Mainstream" Diets

Most diets - especially "mainstream" diets, and those recommended by major medical institutions - work slowly but surely, resulting in around 1 pound of weight loss per week.

This "slow and steady" way to lose weight is certainly healthy, but suffers from one significant drawback : most people get discouraged and quit whatever diet they are on if they don't see results quickly.
~~~

Seven Keys to Success

1. Follow the diet religiously.
2. Drink at least 4 glasses of water per day
3. Keep in mind that it's only seven days
4. Complement the diet with a good multivitamin tablet
5. Print the information on this site so you can refer to it daily
6. Eat plenty of soup - as much as you want! Do not try to starve yourself or you'll probably cheat and break the diet
7. Try different spices to liven up the soup and add variety
~~~
Here's other versions, I found online;

The Cabbage Soup Diet
Also called "The Dolly Parton diet," for reasons that are shrouded in mystery, this 7-day diet really does work--in the short term, anyway. And there's a great purity to it--especially in the summertime when it's wonderfully refreshing served ice cold. Ingredient proportions can be varied according to your likes and dislikes. If you're interested in recent studies on the efficacy of soup in diets, click HERE And please read to the end of the recipe where you'll find testimony and great ideas regarding the diet from soupsong readers.

Okay, are you ready? Here we go:

* 1 head cabbage, shredded or chopped
* 2 large onions, chopped
* 16-28 ounces canned tomatoes, chopped
* 2 green peppers
* 4 stalks celery
* 1-2 packages Lipton onion soup mix, or any dry onion soup mix (optional)
* black pepper
* any fresh herb(s) of your choice, chopped
* 6 carrots, sliced
* 1/2 pound green beans, sliced on diagonal
* 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (optional)

Put all vegetables in a big pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, stir in the soup mix (if desired), and boil gently for 10 minutes. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until all the vegetables are soft. Stir in the black pepper and chopped herbs (saving some for garnish).

Eat as much of the soup as you like, as often as you like. Drink as much water as you like and non-caloric drinks including coffee, tea, and herbal teas.

Here's what else you can eat, and when:

DAY 1: All fruits except bananas.

DAY 2: All vegetables, raw or cooked. This includes baked potato with a LITTLE butter.

DAY 3: Fruits and vegetables, but no potatoes or bananas.

DAY 4: Bananas and skim milk--eat as many as 8 bananas and drink as many as 8 glasses of skim milk.

DAY 5: Beef, skinless chicken, and/or fish--as much as 20 ounces, total. You can also eat 6 tomatoes. And you must drink 8 glasses of water. Don't forget at least one bowl of soup.

DAY 6: Beef, skinless chicken, or fish and vegetables. Drink 8 glasses of water and eat at least one bowl of soup.

DAY 7: Brown rice, vegetables, and unsweetened fruit juice.

~~~~~~~

Cabbage Soup Recipe

* 6 large green onions
* 2 green peppers
* 1 or 2 cans of tomatoes (diced or whole)
* 3 Carrots
* 1 Container (10 oz. or so) Mushrooms
* 1 bunch of celery
* half a head of cabbage
* 1 package Lipton soup mix
* 1 or 2 cubes of bouillon (optional)
* 1 48oz can V8 juice (optional)
* Season to taste with salt, pepper, parsley, curry, garlic powder, etc.

Directions:

Slice green onions, put in a pot and start to saute with cooking spray.

Cut green pepper stem end off and cut in half, take the seeds and membrane out. Cut the green-pepper into bite size pieces and add to pot.

Take the outer leafs layers off the cabbage, cut into bite size pieces, add to pot.

Clean carrots, cut into bite size pieces, and add to pot.

Slice mushrooms into thick slices, add to pot.

If you would like a spicy soup, add a small amount of curry or cayenne pepper now.

You can use beef or chicken bouillon cubes for seasonings. These have all the salt and flavors you will need.

Use about 12 cups of water (or 8 cups and the V8 juice), cover and put heat on low. Let soup cook for a long time - two hours works well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.



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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ophelia's Own Stuffing Recipe

It tickles me pink, when I get a new recipe in from all of you. But I am especially pleased, when I get one from a General, on my personal blog. This was sent to me, by one of my 4Star DB Generals, Ophelia. You should visit Ophelia Mourne, at her site. If you are in tune with yourself, you will feel the vibrant and eclectic vibes, that emanate from her blog.

If you ask me, there's always a taste and time for stuffing. I'm going to try this with a nice chicken breast on the side. Or for you busy Mom's, you could mix a can of breast meat, right in. I love good stuffing and this recipe has me salivating.

Here is my secret stuffing mix, from scratch. yum. Anyone can wing it. No measuring or fussing.

Ingredients:
Make sure the proportions match

Loaf of bread. Your choice and preferred amount. I like using good quality grain bread.
Chicken broth
a small cup of instant whole wheat rice. Uncle Ben's is pretty good. Try using extra chicken broth instead of water. brings out the flavor.
Cut up slices of bacon, take strips and cut in small pieces. (This is optional and its better to cook before hand and drain.)
Celery
White Onion
A few cloves of garlic, minced
Mushrooms diced
Half olive oil half butter, melt together. about three tablespoons each.
Seasonings. I use a little basil and thyme if on hand. Really its your creation, have fun with that spice. Just don't add too much. Little always goes a long way.

Preheat oven at 350. Cut fresh bread into cubes and line along cookie sheet. Bake until moist but firm. Set aside.
In Separate skillet saute celery and onion in butter olive oil mixture, saute until soft add mushrooms halfway through. Cook until slightly caramelized.
Add the bread cubes to skillet, mixing evenly, add the spices little by little each stir.
After that's all mixed add small amounts of chicken broth until desired moistness. Pour into casserole dish or oven safe dish and warm through till lightly crisp on top.
Fluff with fork and serve.
If you make extra portions, cool to room temperature, seal in Ziploc and freeze. Stores well for a couple months. Defrost before reheating.

Hope you all love this. Add or take out whatever you like.