Monday, March 31, 2008

Seared Scallops with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

OH MY GOSH!!! I just found a new favorite far! haha I love almost all food! This was soooooooo yummy!!! I would make it again and again! Don't know if anyone else in my family would like it, but that's tough beans for them! I could have eaten the whole thing by myself!!!

(Remember...I try to use less fats in my cooking!)

Seared Scallops with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

10 oz. Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
3 bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (I used turkey bacon)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used Promise tub butter for cooking)
1/4 teaspoon salt (I used a little bit of a sea salt with garlic grinder)
Pinch of sugar (I used Splenda)
12 large sea scallops (1 1/4 lb.), tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Blanch Brussels Sprouts in a 3 - 4 quart saucepan of boiling water, uncovered for 3 minutes then drain.

Cook bacon in a 10" heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp.

Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to a small bowl and reserve bacon fat in another small bowl.

Add 1/2 cup chicken broth to the skillet and bring to a simmer, scraping up any bacon bits.

Add butter, salt, sugar, a pinch of pepper and the Brussels Sprouts and simmer, covered, 4 minutes. Remove lid and cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is evaporated and Brussels Sprouts are tender and golden brown. Stir in bacon and remove from heat.

While Brussels sprouts are browning, pat scallops dry and season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil with 2 teaspoons bacon fat in a 12" heavy skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Sear Scallops, turning over once, until golden brown and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to a platter as cooked and keep warm by loosely covering with foil.

Pour off and discard any fat from the skillet used to cook scallops.

Add remaining 1 cup chicken broth and simmer, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, 1 minute. Stir cornstarch with about 2 teaspoons water in a cup, then stir into sauce along with scallop juices accumulated on platter. Simmer, stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper.

Serve Brussels sprouts topped with scallops and sauce.

Serves 4

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Budding Little Chef!

My grandson Collin (age 4) has a real interest in cooking. When he comes to my house, he always asks if I'm making a cake or cookies that day. I'm so proud of some of the creations that he's made! I really should take the time to teach him more about decorating with icing. Of course when we have cake or cookies, icing is the only part he eat! He would live on it if we let him.

His Mom (my daughter, Kami) lets him help a lot at their home also. (see Kami's blog: )
We just need to get him to make good food too!!! He only wants to eat junk!

Below are some pictures of some of his creations!!!

Collin's first frosted cake. Oh my heck! Can you imagine eating that many sprinkles?!!!!

Collin's first doll cake!!!

Making cookie dough.

Putting on a cookie glaze.

Learning to make stars.

Not too bad for his first time!

More cupcakes.

WOW!!! Great job!!!

Collin's two cents worth on the gingerbread house.

Collin's Valentine cookies. He did everything himself!

Ha Ha!! I can do it!!!

Spaghetti Spaghetti Squash! Mmmmmm

I've been getting a little more daring with my cooking. Joe and I need to eat healthy, yet we want it to taste good! This is our first try using spaghetti squash in place of The spaghetti noodles.

For this dish, I used a classic Marinara recipe with a few changes for our diet.

Marinara and Pizza Sauce

1 large red bell pepper
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
Cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup dry red wine (I omitted this for us)
1/4 cup tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided (I omit this also)
2 (14.5 oz.) can no-salt added Italian diced tomatoes, drained
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. ground turkey

  • Preheat broiler
  • Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; remove seeds and membranes and discard. Put garlic and pepper halves on foil lined baking sheet, skin side up, flattening the pepper halves with your hand. Broil 12 minutes or until slightly blackened. Place pepper in a plastic bag and let sit for 15 minutes. Peel pepper; chop pepper and garlic.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add turkey and onion to pan and cook until turkey is browned, stirring frequently. Add basil and oregano; cook for 1 minute. Stir in roasted pepper, garlic, wine (if desired), tomato paste 1/2 teaspoon salt (if desired), and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cooked mixture may be put in a blender and blended for a finer texture for pizza sauce, being carefull to remove the center piece of the blender lid to allow steam to escape. A clean paper towel may be placed over the opening in the blender lid. Blend only half the mixture at a time. Stir in parsley, oil and if desired, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and vinegar.

Yield: 8 servings (1/2 cup)

For the spaghetti squash, I cut it lenghtwise, removed seeds, placed on a baking sheet, cut side down and baked it in a 350 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes. When it is cool enough to handle, shred the inside with a fork.

Sure this was a different texture then when using real spaghetti noodles, but I was happy with the taste and knowing it was healthier for me to eat!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Super Soup for Sickies!!!

Since most of the people around me (including family) is sick, nothing works better than chicken soup!

This is one of those kinds of recipes that you throw in whatever is healthy that you have laying around. For some reason, this really works for us!!! It's really tasty and hearty.

This is what the soup contains:






spaghetti squash




brown rice


low sodium chicken broth


Sometimes I add barley, chard or noodles.

Grilled Marinated Tuna Steaks

This is the first time trying Tuna Steaks! This was very good and I would make it again. Even Collin ate it!

Grilled Marinated Tuna Steaks

1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped fine

2 green onions, chopped fine

pinch of dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste

4 8-ounce tuna or swordfish steaks

In a large shallow dish, stir together all ingredients, except fish, until combined well. Add fish and cover. Marinate and chill for up to 2 hours, turning occasionally.

Grill fish on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals for about 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or until desired. Fish may be broiled also.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Our Movie Day

We started out the day to go and see:

We couldn't wait to take the kids to see it!! Or at least I couldn't wait!! hehe

On the drive over, we put "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium". Carlee wasn't interested, Collin and Kami fell asleep, so we'll have to do that one again soon. Of course I couldn't see it since I was driving.

I really loved the movie, but the best part for me was watching Collin and Carlee react to the movie!! Collin did a lot of laughing and would sometimes say "that's crazy" and Carlee enjoyed the whole movie! When something good happened, she would raise both arms over her head and shout "Hurray" or "Woo Hoo". When there is a sad part she will crawl in your lap to get a snuggle because it makes her sad too! At the end of the movie, all the kids in the theater were clapping. Carlee started clapping and cheering along with them. She is so cute!!!

Afterwords, Carlee had fun with Grandpa C. looking at all of the movie posters.

We then ate at Garcia's and did some shopping. I picked up the "Bee Movie" for the kids to watch on the way home. We had too much of a day!!! Kami was feeling kind of sick and the kids both felt like they had fevers by the time we got home. Oh great!!!

Friday, March 14, 2008

How I Celebrated My Birthday 2008!!!


This morning while Joe ran and got the kids, I was looking out the window, kind of daydreaming a little and wishing spring would hurry and get here. As I sat there, my little lover bunnies showed up. The kids love to watch them because they are so cute! But right after I snapped this picture, they started nibbling on my tree!!!

When the kids arrived, we did our usual of getting something for breakfast, watched cartoons and played on the computer. Collin loves to play games on the computer while Carlee watches Dora.

Later we made a lunch of fish shaped chicken nuggets and fruit. Collin and Carlee built some towers with the blocks. My little Carlee was also such a huggy girl today and Collin even let her hug him!!

We colored fish, cut them out and put a paper clip on the tails, got our fishing poles and went fishing!

The kids had lots of fun! They also ate a couple of large Swedish Fish while they colored! YUM!

...and fish cookies!!! Sugar overload!!!

When Carlee woke up from her nap, Joe and I and the kids went to Kami's and made dinner and dessert. Kami has been wanting to try my Katsudon, so we made it with chicken this time. It was really good!! I had a large salad with mine.


Tina and Larry showed up after we ate. Then it was time for dessert!!! I didn't want the typical decorated cake since I make them a lot and I wanted something a little lighter. We made individual dessert cakes with angel food cake, lite Cool Whip, strawberry syrup and mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries). I had just bought some metal tubes to make them in. The cool whip wasn't heavy enough to hold it together, so it started to slide a little!! But it was still great!! Kami was so good to help with everything after a long day at work!!! I love you Kami!!

After all of the food, I opened presents from Kami, Eric and the kids! They bought me the movie "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium " and and the Wilton Large Cupcake pan!! Yippee!!! And I look like a dork!!!

We had to play some Rock Band after that!! Hehe! I'm addicted!!!

Also throughout the day, I received many emails, comments from my fabulous friends and family on Myspace, a phone call from JoMax and Eric and a visit from my sister-in-law, Lenora! My wonderful, special Mom send me a beautiful card with money and so did my mother-in-law!!

i love my family and friends


Friday, March 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Kami!!!

Ah...Kami's birthday!! My little girl turn one of her milestone birthdays (I won't mention which one!). I had the kids at my house that day and Collin was so excited that it was his mom's birthday!!

When he first arrived at my house, he saw the present that was for his mom. We purposely didn't wrap it so that he could see it. For quite some time now, Collin has been saying he wanted to get this particular present for his mom. We let him help us wrap it, which wasn't an east task!!

When I was making Kami's birthday cake, of course Collin and Carlee were right inn the middle of it!! It's getting harder to make cakes and goodies when they are here!!! I wanted to do a cake similar to this one...

...but because of time, it ended up with this!!!

I was kind of discouraged because I wanted Kami's cake to be beautiful and awesome like she is!!

When we first got to Kami's house, we made Mexican food! We can eat Mexican food until it comes out our ears!!

Then she finally opened her present from Tina and Larry, Eric and Joe and I. She has mentioned a few times that she would like this also. We have lots of fun doing the DDR game for the XBox 360 and now we have...da dada da!! ROCKBAND!!!!

I hope Kami had a good birthday anyway! She is so caring and loving and always makes sure everyone else has a great birthday.

Kami...we love you so much!!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I'm On An Asian Food Kick!!!!

I wanted to make this when my son was home over the weekend, but we just didn't have enough time. So I'll be mean and send this blog instead! hahahaha


4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

generous 2 1/4 cups Tonkatsu (panko) bread crumbs

4 pork chops, bones removed

oil for pan frying

scant 2 1/2 cups dashi stock

4 Tbsp. shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)

2 Tbsp. mirin

1 onion, sliced

4 eggs

1 lb 5 oz. cooked Japanese short-grained rice

Put the flour, egg, and bread crumbs separately into 3 shallow bowls large enough to fit a pork chop. Roll a rolling pin over each chop to thin it a little.

Dip each chop first in the flour, then in the egg, and finally in the bread crumbs to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, then dip again in the egg and bread crumbs.

Preheat a wok over high heat. Add oil to the depth of about 3/4 inch and heat until very hot. Add the chops, one at a time, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 4 minutes on each side, or until the pork is cooked through and the crumbs are golden. Remove and slice.

Meanwhile, put the stock, soy sauce, and mirin in a pan and bring to a simmer. Add the onion and let simmer for 5 minutes. Beat the eggs in a bowl, then pour over the onions in the stock. Cover and cook for 1 minute.

Divide the rice between 4 bowls. Lay the pork slices on top, then ladle some of the egg, onion and stock over the pork and rice. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

I did do a few miner changes. We don't buy alcohol of any kind, so I didn't put the mirin in it. I didn't use that much oil to cook it. I also served a stir fried veggie dish that contained cabbage, red chard, onions, garlic, Hormel real bacon bits and pepper. I stir fry it in butter Pam. All of this food tasted so good together. I couldn't even eat all of it, which is good!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Sushi Night!

We just had a very fun weekend! My son, Mark, came home for the weekend. Kami thought it would be fun to have sushi, since she has never had it before and her brother loves it!
We bought the sushi already prepared. We haven't tried to do it on our own yet but Mark bought Kami a sushi set that came with everything you need to know about making it.

We had salmon and eel sushi and california rolls. They were okay. I've had better. Kami made Orange Chicken and I made some stir fry veggies. We served it with rice and/or soba noodles and I also made a salad with dark green lettuces, shredded daikon radish and scallops. Afterwards, Kami made Apple Fritters and Bow Ties! Everything was yummy!!!

We all tried to use chopsticks, which Joe and I didn't last long! Joe had to hurry to work so he had to eat faster and couldn't do it with the chopsticks.

Mark brought his Wii home also and we had a blast playing it! We played all of the sports games and DDR. I decided that I liked the XBox 360 DDR game better but the sports games were really fun on the Wii. Now I might have to get one of those!! To see Collin beat his dad at bowling, see Kami's blog at:

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