10/30/12

Panko Crumb Breaded Fish Filet









Sometimes I make things that are really so simple, they don't seem worth calling a 'recipe' and I have to tell myself that although I feel stupid posting it on the website, it may help someone, somewhere who didn't think about making that particular food.  So, that is what today is.  Today is the "think fish!" day and how simple it is to bread fish with either bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, crushed cereal like corn flakes, crushed pork rinds if you are doing low carb, flour, or as I did in these photos, Panko crumbs.   You can use almost any seasoning as well - even just plain old salt and pepper.  Another option is to bake them on a baking sheet in the oven, or skillet fry them.  So many choices, and every one of them is just as good as the other.

Panko Crumb Breaded Fish Filet

4 fish filets (cod, flounder, tilapia - all affordable options)
Panko crumbs - about 1 1/4 c (seasoned OR plain - and season your own, as I do)
1 t dried oregano
1 t garlic pepper seasoning (or lemon or whatever you wish)
1 - 2 T oil for frying

Bread both sides of moist, thawed fish with the crumbs.  Place in a pan of hot oil.  Fry until golden brown on both sides over medium high.  Serve as is or if you wish; tartar sauce or lemon.  Salt and pepper to taste.










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10/29/12

Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap Detergent




Mine is a nice sherbet color as I make a double batch and use both Fels Naptha and Zote (orange and pink)


Quick and easy, and after the initial investment of about $9-$10 for supplies, you have wonderful and frugal laundry detergent that works as well as the commercial brands, but for far less money.  Essential oils are optional.  I used them, but it really does smell good even without.




Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 bar either Fels Naptha or Zote laundry soap (bar form)
1 c Arm & Hammer WASHING soda
1 c 20 Mule Team Borax
1 c Oxi-Clean
1 1/2 teaspoons essential oil in your favorite scent (optional)
1 container to store it


Grate the soap bar into a large bowl. Fels Naptha to be harder to grate and is worth using a food processor or salad shooter with the shred disc.  Zote is easily grated by hand.  When grated, add 1 cup each of the Oxi-clean, washing soda and Borax. Add oil to scent if you are using.  You can use the mixture as it is, I suggest making a fine powder of it to ensure it's mixed equally all the way through, and is quickly and easily disintegrated in the laundry. Put 1 cup at a time through your blender and blend smooth. Only do 1 cup as the soap particles might clog your blender. Place in a container and use about 1 tablespoon per normal sized load, or 2 if it's large or heavily soiled.

For the container - I found a simple "flour storage" container at a local retail store that works great for a double batch.  Any tightly sealed container will work to keep out moisture and keep it from spilling.









Products I used;



         

  
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10/25/12

Homemade Candy Bars (similar to the 'crunch' of a KitKat but it's own amazing flavor)

I made our most recent version sugar free - and you would NEVER know it!

We have been making and enjoying these bars since around 1999 or 2000.  They actually are an annual tradition that I make without fail every Christmas holiday season, but then again about twice throughout the year because they are probably one of my favorite 'bar' cookies.  Ever.

This time around I decided to make them without guilt.  I made an almost sugar FREE version and although I thought it was fabulous and you couldn't tell from the bars we've enjoyed for over 12 years, the real test was when my 16 year old daughter tried them.  She saw my grin as she was eating it and telling me how delicious they were.  My grin however, gave it away.  "What?  Are they sugar free or something?"  "Yep!"  "Well, you can't tell.  They taste like normal!" 

PERFECT!  There are fewer grams of sugar in graham cracker crumbs than I thought and the peanut butter you use will vary on sugar grams.  So although there are a few grams, replacing the sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar as well as the chocolate chips - makes this a GREAT recipe that you will never, ever know does not contain mounds of sugar.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do.  I don't care for sweets too much but I can eat 5 of these at one time (although admittedly I pull the top cracker off since I don't like chocolate all that much.)  These bars are gone by the next day in this house.  We never, ever, have leftovers.


Homemade Candy Bars 
(We call these Angel Bars - they are similar, sort of, to the crunch of a KitKat)

72 crackers (Keebler Butter, Club Crackers, Ritz Crackers - I've used them all!)
1 c butter
1/2 c cream, half and half or milk
2 c graham cracker crumbs (store bought or crush your own but make sure they are finely crushed)
1 c brown sugar or brown sugar substitute* see products I used below
1/3 c white sugar or white sugar substitute* (I used a mixture of both Erythiritol and Splenda)
2/3 c peanut butter - (I opted for natural, sugar free)
1 t vanilla extract or powder
1/2 c milk chocolate chips (I used sugar free by Hersheys)
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips (I did not mix, but used all Hershey's Sugar Free)

Line a 9X13 inch pan with foil. Spray the foil with Pam. Lay crackers down to cover the bottom of the pan, side by side, but don't overlap. In a saucepan melt the butter. Add the sugars and the milk. Bring to a boil, reduce and keep on a low boil for 5 minutes. Add the graham crackers, bring to a boil again and let boil for full minute, stirring.

Spread half of this mixture over the crackers. Layer another layer of crackers and pour the rest of the graham mixture over. Top with the third layer of crackers.

Melt together the peanut butter, vanilla and chocolate chips. Spread over the top and chill 4 hours.



Cuts beautifully into sharp, nice squares showing the layers. Enjoy!


Products I used in my almost sugar free bars;



           
     


Hershey's 8 oz Bag of Sugar Free Chocolate Chips,
Smucker's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter 16 oz
Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated, 1.2-Pound Bag
Ideal Brown No Calorie Sweetener
NOW Foods Erythritol Natural Sweetener, 1 lb


***UPDATE*** 2016 - Ideal no longer makes the brown sugar version but Just Like Sugar is a good substitute





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10/23/12

Homemade Jalapeno Ravioli with Cream Cheese Filling


This is a continuation of yesterdays post but deserved an entry of its own.  It shows how easy and fast it is to make homemade ravioli and it's just such a good feeling to know that what you are eating not only tastes amazing, but you know exactly what went into it.  Flour, eggs, a little oil and jalapenos (I grew mine in my garden this summer and I keep them in a container in the freezer).

Here is the basic recipe I posted yesterday when I showed you the noodles I made and today I'm showing you the ravioli.  Some of the products I use are at the bottom of the post if you are interested in learning more about them.

 Jalapeno Pasta

2 1/4 c flour
1 t salt
1-2 t olive oil
3-4 eggs
2 - 5 small jalapenos (depending on how hot-spicy you want your pasta)

In a food processor bowl, place the salt and flour.  Put the top on and while pulsing or running on low, add a teaspoon-ish of oil and start adding eggs.  You probably only need 3 eggs so start with that.  Add your jalapenos.  I used 2 small jalapenos and the dough was so mild even children could eat it without spice.  If you know you like jalapeno's, use more.  Process until the dough forms a ball shape.  If it hasn't gathered itself in a ball by the 3rd egg, you can add another teaspoon of oil or water or use a 4th egg.  Water or additional flour by the teaspoon will give you the texture you need for it to be a ball.

Let it rest 10 minutes.  Then either roll very, very thin with a rolling pin or use a pasta machine.  I use a manual, hand crank pasta machine and starting with number 1, I run it through to a number 4.  You can then cut into thin noodles or use wide sheets to make homemade ravioli.


I roll my dough through a manual pasta machine



You don't need fancy fillings!  Cream cheese does just fine!

Rolling the pasta over the mold to seal the edges


Cooked in boiling water for about 5 minutes and drained

Serve with butter, an alfredo sauce or a marinara sauce - anything goes!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You might also be interested in some of the products I use;
         
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10/22/12

Homemade Jalapeno Pasta used for noodles and my Jalapeno and Cream Cheese Ravioli


Mmmm homemade pasta - I made half plain and half jalapeno


Yesterday I posted a recipe I have been making for years, for homemade pasta using either spinach or pureed butternut squash.  It was a chilly Autumn day and the perfect time to make pasta and after that post I couldn't get it out of my mind.  Yes, I was off to the kitchen!  I always tell my readers not to be afraid to play with ingredients and make recipes their own... and I follow my own advice.

Yesterday I decided to make half a recipe plain noodles and the other half into jalapeno flavored pasta in which I made some into noodles and the rest into long, thin sheets I used to make homemade Jalapeno Ravioli with Cream Cheese Filling.   It was so incredible I'm making it again today with the blessings and by request of my 16 year old daughter who loved it as much as I did.

 Jalapeno Pasta

2 1/4 c flour
1 t salt
1-2 t olive oil
3-4 eggs
2 - 5 small jalapeno's (depending on how hot-spicy you want your pasta)

In a food processor bowl, place the salt and flour.  Put the top on and while pulsing or running on low, add a teaspoon-ish of oil and start adding eggs.  You probably only need 3 eggs so start with that.  Add your jalapenos.  I used 2 small jalapenos and the dough was so mild even children could eat it without spice.  If you know you like jalapeno's, use more.  Process until the dough forms a ball shape.  If it hasn't gathered itself in a ball by the 3rd egg, you can add another teaspoon of oil or water or use a 4th egg.  Water or additional flour by the teaspoon will give you the texture you need for it to be a ball.

Let it rest 10 minutes.  Then either roll very, very thin with a rolling pin or use a pasta machine.  I use a manual, hand crank pasta machine and starting with number 1, I run it through to a number 4.  You can then cut into thin noodles or use wide sheets to make homemade ravioli.


Add the amount of jalapenos you wish

Let your dough rest 10 minutes

Run it through your pasta machine or roll thin

Cut into noodles or use for ravioli sheets (I did both!)









You might also be interested in some of the products I use;

         
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