Posted by tntmck on Jul 1, 2010 in Dairy
Can you believe that 2010 is halfway over? I really cannot. But, in the spirit of the middle of the year, I decided to take a look back at where I started at WEEK 1
and see how far we’ve come. I’ve been making and feeding my boys healthy food since they were 6 months old, but I just started this blog documenting our experiences this year. So, back in January I did my first weekly post where I mainly shared what foods I’ve made and how it had gone so far. Today, I’m sharing recipes and talking about how we enjoy meals together as a family. It’s amazing how quickly things change in these little lives.
I’ve never been much of a mayonnaise fan which means that I don’t care for many of the traditional “salads” like potato salad, macaroni salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, etc. I do realize how nice it is to have these around though, for quick lunches and cool, refreshing summer sides. So, over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to come up with a chicken salad recipe that I could more than tolerate, but rather enjoy. And, I think I’ve done it. The boys like it, I like it, and I think that maybe Jonathan even likes it. He will eat it, but does pick out the celery.
This chicken salad was created on researching, trying, testing, and tasting various versions over the period of a few weeks. I love cheese, so thought that would be a good substitute for yucky mayonnaise.
- Cheesy Chicken Salad A yummy alternative to your traditional mayonnaise-based concoction.
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 TBS plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 TBS minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb cooked chicken breast, chopped, torn, or shredded (I used leftover from a roasted chicken, but you could boil or bake as well.)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- Put ricotta cheese, lemon juice, mustard, honey, yogurt, milk, garlic, salt and pepper into the blender or food processor and purée until smooth.
- Put chicken, celery, and onions into a large bowl. Mix in the cheese mixture and stir to coat.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill in the refrigerator. This will last a few days.
WHAT I LEARNED
It’s not too hard to adjust a recipe to your liking. It just takes a little thought, trial and error to get it right. Experiment and change up the ingredients and flavorings to get it just how you like it. This is a great thing to have on hand especially in these hot summer months for quick lunches and easy bites for toddlers.
We all liked it, even me and if you ask anyone that knows me, seeing me eat chicken salad would be a weird thing indeed.
We’ve had a nice break in the humidity around here the past few days, but that doesn’t stop me from thinking about things to keep it cool in the kitchen. This one is great, but I’m off to think of some more great ideas. I’m off for a few days to enjoy the holiday weekend. Happy Fourth of July!
Please share your thoughts or ideas!
Well, it’s no secret that one of my favorite types of food is Mexican. I love the cheese, tomatoes, fresh salsa, guacamole, tortillas, spics, and did I mention…cheese. Yum, hot, melted cheese. What could be better?
I made quesadillas with yummy, melted cheese, seasoned ground beef, and onions.
- I made another big batch of crock pot carrots this week to store in the freezer. These continue to be a favorite of mine for easy preparation, storage, and meal serving.
- Ground Beef Quesadillas
- Large tortillas (I chose whole wheat)
- Grated cheese (mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, or Monterrey Jack work best)
- Oil or butter
- Optional Ingredients and/or toppings:
- Sliced mushrooms
- Green onions
- Tomatoes, diced
- Chicken pieces
- Ground Beef
- Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add a small amount of oil or butter (about 1/2 teaspoon) and spread it around the bottom of the pan. Take one large tortilla and place it in the pan. Flip the tortilla over a few times, allowing air pockets to form within the tortilla.
- When pockets of air begin to form, take a handful of cheese and sprinkle over the top of the tortilla. Add whatever additional ingredients you choose. I went with seasoned ground beef and onions this time since that’s what I had on hand.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. After a minute, check to see if the cheese is melted. If not, return the cover and keep checking every minute until the cheese is melted. When the cheese is sufficiently melted, use a spatula to lift up one side of the quesadilla and flip over the other side. The tortilla should by now be browned slightly.
- Remove from pan and cut into wedges, slices, or pieces.
- Serve with salsa, sour cream, and guacamole if you like.
WHAT I LEARNED
Turning the heat to low is the trick and working quickly in the beginning with your flipping and adding the cheese will help to keep the tortilla soft, but browned. My first one turned out really hard and cruncy.
I love Mexican, so it was no surprise to see my boys gobble it all up. They split one the first day and I saved one in the fridge to reheat for lunch the next day.
I think I’m ready for some homemade guacamole now. I love this stuff and am surprised to say that I have never made it for my boys. Looks like I need to head out to the store for some fresh ingredients.
Please share your thoughts or ideas.
This week was a big batch-making week. I stocked back up on some of my favorites to have on-hand mainly for lunches and going out, but they are always good for dinner, too. Both boys are still wearing bibs, drinking from straw cups, and eating with fingers from plastic plates with rubber bottoms. We try the plain cup with water every now and then, but really nothing new on the skills list.
I made some new cheese fingers as well as some spinach bites, carrots, and apples to fill the freezer.
- Cheese Fingers These are a fun food for tiny little fingers. Remember to get creative with the spices.
- Fill a cup with 1 tsp of soy flour and 1 tsp of wheat germ. Fill the remaining with wheat flour. You can substitute 1 cup all purpose flour instead.
- 1/2 cup of butter, melted
- 1-1/2 cups of finely shredded Cheddar cheese
- 2 egg
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Heat oven to 375°F
- Mix the Butter and Flour together.
- Add the cheese, egg, and spices.
- Roll this dough into small fingers and & bake for about 10 mins @ 375 F. You may wish to bake these for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of your logs.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness. Flip 1/2 way through cooking.
I kept some in the refrigerator for the next few days and the rest in a freezer bag to store for later.
WHAT I LEARNED
The cheese fingers are great for on-the-go and for a healthy addition to any meal.
These were great and my boys both loved them for a snack when they woke from their nap. They also continue to love the spinach bites…they just can’t get enough.
All of these have frozen, thawed, and reheated well so far. I’m really glad to have the cheese fingers and spinach bites on-hand for a quick bite.
Please share your thoughts or ideas.