New Found Chop THerapy and Fresh Herbs & Spices...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


For the past two years I have been cooking more and more with fresh herbs instead of dried spices. Needless to say, it has taken my recipes to a whole new level and with so much more flava!! I have also found that I really, really enjoy chopping vegetables and herbs more than I imagined possible. I actually find chopping in the kitchen extremely therapeutic for me. Who would have thought?!
My spaghetti sauce, chili, soups, and even my stuffed bell peppers have been completely reformed. When ever I can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned. So much better. I have been watching the food channels almost daily on my Ipad while I am in the kitchen preparing for dinner. Not too long ago I made the best version of stroganoff I have ever eaten just by adding Italian Mascarpone to thicken the gravy rather than the traditional sour cream. No bragging just saying food education is a very good thing! Now, Italian cream cheese is sweeter and a bit milder than our major brand over here but it makes such a creamy, dreamy gravy. I cleaned my whole plate and still wanted more even though I was completely full! Y-U-M! Is all I can say.
Here are the ingredients I used to make it.
Essenhaus Wide Homestyle Noodles (at your local Wal-Mart)
Fresh ground beef
Large chopped Onion
Fresh minced Garlic 3 to 4 cloves
Fresh Chopped Parsley appx. 1/2 cup
Greek Seasoning
Fresh ground Black pepper
Brown Gravy to cover hamburger well
Italian Mascarpone Cream Cheese use in place of sour cream
I cooked my noodles al dente, I do not like them too soft and served the hamburger gravy over them instead of mixed all together. This is also better when reheating left overs so your noodles will not become too soft. And... since my husband will not eat stroganoff it allows him to just eat the hamburger and gravy over the noodles minus only the mascarpone.
Maybe next time I make this I will be able to give a more precise measurement of the ingredients. Until then, just compare the amounts to your normal hamburger and gravy recipes.
If you have any questions just ask.
Thanks for stopping by!
Eat Fresh, Live Long!
Julie

Taking Nut Butter to a Higher Level...

Thursday, January 15, 2015



Quite some time ago, about two years or more, after a few scares with the peanut factories in the news, I was forced to find alternative to my beloved peanut butter! And even though I didn't consume peanut butter on a weekly basis, it was always like an old friend always ready to pair up with a fresh pot of vegetable soup, or a mid day hunger crisis. When I noticed the flavor of my long time peanut butter brand had changed for the worse, I began seeking out other brands to take it's place, from old time faves to new promising brands, nothing seemed to taste like a fresh ground peanut anymore so I began to look at other nut alternatives which led me to delicious almond butter! Now I have always favored the crunchy pb&j over the smooth, so the slightly crunchiness of this new butter was not offensive to me at all. So, I began to use almond butter for my occasional pb&j fix. Well, then there was also something else new on the market! They called it Nutella! Of course being a lover of nut butter and chocolate I was going to give it a whirl! I do not exactly know why, but hazlenuts, which is the nut that is used in making Nutella, has never been one that I cared for at all and after trying on several different occasions to eat this yummy concoction, it always ended up with my stomach in a very disagreeable state! So! before the holidays kicked in I came across this almond version of Nutella at the local Trader Joe's so of course I snatched it right up on the way to the check out! Here is how I find it to be. It is a bit on the sweet side the texture is completely smooth and it lacks enough flavor of the almond butter as well as the chocolate. It is okay in a crunch, but I think I would prefer stirring some melted semisweet chocolate into some almond butter myself or maybe just drizzle the chocolate over top.
Okie doke! That is my two cents worth!
Have a great rest of your day and thanks for stopping by!
Hugz!
Julie

Out with the Old and In with the NEW!


Out with the OLD and in with the NEW! Yep! That is how I feel about this delicious side dish I created before the holidays arrived. I have always loved ____________, and while my sister and I were shopping at The Fresh Market, I came across something I had never seen! There in the produce section was the FRESH version of this delectable yumminess that I have always loved! I was amazed! I picked out two of them right away! I had an idea of how I would prepare them in a way I had never before. Once in a while I like to roast a pork loin so when I decided to roast this one, I decided to make my new found fresh version of my favorite root plant but I knew hubby would never eat it no matter how I prepared it, so I had to come up with something for him as well. (As per usual for my meat and potatoes man.) So, seeing that I was thinking of roasting these instead of my normal stove top method, I decided to add some of the wonderful sweet potatoes that I had purchased previously at the farmers market. After searching on google for inspiration, I found something similar to what I was looking for. I quickly went to Marth's web site to see if she could help me bring this concoction together. Of course she did and I put together my version of it for dinner that night! It was amazing! Hunny ate the sweet potatoes but I ate it all! It was so, so, yummy! I decided to make it for Christmas dinner. It was a smash hit! Everyone loved it! 
Can you guess what the other root vegetable is? I will post the recipe at a little later date. I did type it into my cook book app on my Ipad so I would always have it.
I will post the correct guess(es) at a little later date here on my food blog.
Hope everyone is off to a wonderful NEW YOU kind of NEW YEAR!
Hugz!
Julie
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