The Supremes

Soon as I heard the weather report last evening, I knew the crockpot was making an appearance. I soaked some dry navy beans overnight and make a delicious Navy Bean Soup for dinner tonight; now to decide if I want homemade cornbread or grilled cheese to go with.
I am assuming (we all know where that leads) that everyone else often wonders about what happened on each day in History. Some days I look back and it was pretty dull, but today had some very interesting happenings. So for the few of you who haven’t yet looked, don’t bother I will share the interesting facts:
• 1789: The Judiciary Act of 1789 is passed by Congress and signed by President George Washington, establishing the Supreme Court of the United States as a tribunal made up of six justices who were to serve on the court until death or retirement. Got a feeling old George had no idea how long some of these justices would live with modern medicine or he might have rethought that latter. (FYI on Sept 26 all six justices were approved.)
• 1890: Mormon leaders reluctantly issue the “Mormon Manifesto” in which they command all Latter-day Saints to uphold the anti-polygamy laws of the nation.
• 1996: Author Stephen King releases two new novels. The first, Desperation, was released under King’s name, while the second, The Regulators, was published under his pseudonym, Richard Bachman.

I always find it amazing what a difference a few hundred years can make.

Navy Bean Soup with Ham
This has smelled so good cooking today in the crockpot.

1 cup dried navy beans
1 ½ cup cubed lean smoked ham
1 small onion, diced
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
2/3 cups sliced carrots
2 cloves minced garlic
1 ½ quart chicken broth
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
Salt/pepper

• Either cover beans with 2 inches of water and let soak overnight or cover with water in large saucepan, bring to boiling and let boil uncovered for 2 minutes then remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour. Regardless of which method you use, drain the water before cooking.
• Add drained beans to crockpot along with all other ingredients. Stir.
• Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low 8 hours.
• Discard bay leaf.
• I often serve it like it is, though sometimes I use a potato masher and mash some of the beans to make it a bit thicker. Just according to how the mood strickes.

39 days and 17.22 lbs till Disney Food & Wine.

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Request

Staying at daughter’s one more night then back home. She requested the Tomato Cobbler I posted Sep. 3. It is baking in the oven and the tomatoes, goat cheese, and thyme has the house smelling wonderful. The biscuit topping calls for 4 Tab corn meal so when we were shopping Sunday, we decided instead of buying a 2 lbs bag of corn meal, we would just buy a popular brand of corn muffin mix for $0.79, use 4 Tablespoon and throw the rest out. I don’t know if I mentioned I was Lexington County Cornbread winner in my teens for three years in a row, so I had never bought a box of cornbread mix except for the food drive at church. I went to open it today to make the topping, flipped it over to look at the ingredients and threw it in the trash without taking the 4 Tablespoon out. The first ingredients I could understand, wheat, flour, degerminated yellow corn meal, sugar, and animal shortening (lard). Well daughter is a vegetarian, so it was out on the lard, but there were fifteen additional ingredients after those mentioned above that were not pronounceable or either acronyms. This is scary. But the degerminated yellow corn meal kept nagging me as to what it was. Corn kernels consist of three parts—the oil and vitamin-rich germ, the fibrous hull, and the starchy endosperm. Whole grain contains all three parts, de-germinated contains only the endosperm. So basically the throw away part of the corn is used and is why it can be sold at such low cost. It is basically the same as eating plastic.
Whole Wheat German Pancakes with Pears
This is a great breakfast or dessert.

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 cup reduced fat (2%) milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 pears, cored and thinly sliced

• Preheat oven to 425°F. Place butter in a large (11- or 12-inch) cast iron or ovenproof skillet and heat in the oven until butter is melted, about 3 minutes.
• Meanwhile, in a blender, combine eggs, milk, cane sugar, cinnamon and salt. Blend until smooth. Add flour and blend again. Remove skillet from oven, swirl butter to coat the bottom and sides of the pan, and pour in the batter. Top with pears and bake until the pancake is puffed and browned and pears are tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into wedges for serving.

40 days and 17.22 lbs till Disney Food & Wine.

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Just Not a Good Look For Her

Okay, wrote this yesterday and forgot to post last night. Recipe was delicious.
What a great weekend. I had a very busy work week last week so Saturday, I set up in front of the TV for a day of college football and some sewing projects that had been rattling around in my mind for quite a while. I love it when I see piece of fabric turn into the final project that closely resembles the picture in my mind. Of course that does not always happen, but it did this weekend in the form of a long overdue baby gift and a pocketbook. After church yesterday I packed up and headed to McCormick for some one-on-one time with daughter for a few days. We have so much fun being together cooking, and she keeps me motivated with exercise. Last night we made some delicious mushroom spinach enchiladas. I am so glad both my children enjoy trying new recipes and experimenting with new foods.
I have been tied to the computer most of last week and looks like I will be also this week. When I’m working on the computer at home I usually stream Disney Radio. Roomie and I gave up cable in February and have been surprised how little we have missed it. We stream live football games on the laptop which we connect to the TV. I have the TV on in the background this morning at daughters, and every talk show was discussing the “Fashion Hits and Misses” at the Emmy’s last night. I now know why I didn’t become a famous actress in Hollywood. Okay, I know one reason why I didn’t become a famous actress in Hollywood. Not one person has critiqued my outfit today, but if you are wondering; lovely comfortable black gym shorts by Old Navy with a nice crisp race t-shirt by Gildan accentuated with a pair of flip flops. I have been amazed at how every inch of these outfits are discussed. I am pretty sure some of these outfits cost more than all the clothes in my closet but the people who are wearing them and could afford them, pay nothing. They wear them just so the designers name gets mentioned. The descriptions I heard were “amazing”, “daring”, “she really stepped outside the safe zone”, “poor color choice”, “not her best look”. I assume part of being in the profession is that you are constantly criticized every time you step out and I am guessing the job of the critics is to be critical.

Tofu Chickpea Stir Fry with Tahini Sauce
This will be our dinner tonight. Each bowl will be topped with a fried egg. The recipe came from The Kitchen blog. If you are marinating and baking your own tofu, which is delicious by itself, marinate the night or morning before.

Sauce:

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon minced ginger
For the stir fry:

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed if using canned
2 teaspoons ginger
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
8 ounces baked tofu, cubed
3-4 cups cooked rice or other grains
Toasted sesame seeds
• Stir together the ingredients for the sauce and set near the stove.
• In a wok or large skillet, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add chickpeas, stirring and tossing for about 2 minutes, until the chickpeas start to pop. Stir in the minced ginger and continue to cook for one more minute.
• Add the onions and the peppers to the wok along with the chickpeas and cook until onions are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Toss in the baked tofu, cooking and stirring until tofu is golden and chickpeas are browning, 4 to 6 minutes (this timing will be depend on your heat source).
• Pour the tahini sauce over the tofu and cook mixture for 60 seconds, just enough time to heat the sauce. Serve over grains and top with minced chives and toasted sesame seeds.

41 days and 17.22 lbs till Disney Food & Wine

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The Flea’s Eyebrows

Well it is now, at time of writing blog, 2.5 hours before Clemson kicks off against Louisville and I am already nervous and anxious. It’s not like I can change the outcome of the game, but I feel as though I am right there. Roomie and a few friends took off early this morning for the game and said the roads leading into Louisville were solid orange. Another explanation of my jumpiness could be that I have spent most of the day reading and interpreting OSHA regulations. Even though I have never done it but I believe reading OSHA regulations to be equivalent to reading income tax law. A lot words, but very little actual information. I do want to compliments good customer service since we often tend to complain about bad customer service quickly and not praise good: Ms. Jones at SCOSHA is the bee’s knees when it comes to answering my many questions and guiding me to the right standard. I apologized today for bothering her again and she was so nice and even apologized to me for not answering when I called earlier and left a message.
The first recorded reference to the phrase “the bee’s knees” was in the late 18th century and it meant “something very small and insignificant.” However in the 1920s a whole collection of phrases was coined to mean “an outstanding person or thing”. The bee’s knees along with “the cat’s whiskers” are the only two of the phrases still used. The other phrases made me laugh and I think each of us need to try to use at least one of these into a conversation tomorrow: the flea’s eyebrows, the canary’s tusks, the eel’s ankle, the elephant’s instep, and the snake’s hip are a few that just didn’t last.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Latte Muffins

Told you earlier this week I would give you this recipe soon. I knew I would need an “easy” one tonight. These are roomies favorite muffins. Be sure to use pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. I buy a large jar of instant espresso coffee which I find in the Mexican food section and amazed how often I use it in baking. This recipe was adapted from the Cookin’ Canuck blog.

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp ground nutmeg
¾ tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp salt
3 Tab instant espresso powder
2 Tab hot water
1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin
½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
½ cup honey (recipe calls for brown sugar, but I use honey instead)
2 Tab canola oil
1 egg

• Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place liners in a 12 muffin tin and spray the liners. (I always do this so they peel right off without tearing the muffin.
• Place dry espresso powder in very small bowl and mix with hot water. Set aside.
• Mix dry ingredients together, add pumpkin, yogurt, espresso mixture, honey, oil, and egg. Mix until well mixed.
• Divide batter into 12 muffins.
• Bake 25 minutes or until a tester shows they are done in the center.
• Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.

46 days and 17.22 lbs till Disney Food & Wine

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Gulp!

I have been on the road yesterday and today, loving this weather, so when I returned today from my trip to Williston, I decided to treat myself to an iced latte. This is the only food/drink item I still consume with milk; I use unsweet almond milk for everything else. I placed my order; venti non-fat iced latte with light ice and pulled to the window as instructed. I have had prior issues with them trying to put less milk since I ask for light ice, so when I was handed a cup which was ¾ full I politely asked that it be filled to the top with milk. I was told, very politely I will add, that they were out of venti cold cups and this was the trenta cold cup so the drink inside was a venti. I got all kinds of confused and just took my drink. When I got home I googled to find the large size offered by Starbucks now is a 31 ounces trenta. I will not be making that purchase for many reasons, I don’t need that much milk or coffee at one time nor do I even want to know the price for the extra 7 ounces. As it often does when doing research, getting the answer to one question only leads to more questions. While on the Starbucks page I noticed a cold venti is 24 ounces while a hot venti is 20 ounces. I understand that with an ice drink you actually receive less drink, why anywhere I am buying iced latte or iced tea, I ask for light ice, but shouldn’t a venti be a standard size? A short, tall, or grande are the same size whether hot or iced. Is that like saying a cold Big Gulp soft drink is 32 ounces, but a Big Gulp Slurpee is only 30 ounces; makes no sense. While I have not purchased a Big Gulp in many years, I had to do some research to find out how many ounces it contained, and once again this lead to some new interesting and scary knowledge. One of the scary ones, according to an article titled, The Tall, Cold Tale of the Big Gulp Thanks to 7-Eleven By Robert Klara,” the average American citizen will drink 44 gallons of soft drinks this year, and a good many of them will head off to the local 7-Eleven to fill up.” Let me put that in perspective: the average car gas tanks hold 16 gallons, so that would be equivalent to drinking 3.44 tanks of gas. The article goes on to say, “In fact, 7-Eleven dispenses 38 million gallons of soda per annum.” The Big Gulp was the first 32-ounce cup, introduced 39 years ago, and it has only gotten bigger with the 44 ounce Super Big Gulp and the 64 ounce Double Gulp. Yikes!
Asian Pork-Bok Choy-Veggie
I had some bok choy in the refrigerator that needed to be used so I searched the world wide web and combined several recipes and hit the jack pot. Add any veggies you prefer or take out what you don’t prefer.

6 – 8 oz pork loin (I had 3 large bone-in pork chops I used)
½ cup shredded carrots
2 baby bok choy
1 red bell pepper
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves
½ tsp grated ginger
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp corn starch
¾ tsp honey
2 Tab soy sauce
¼ cup water
*Red pepper flakes
Rice noodles – You can use angel hair spaghetti, but these make it fun.

• In a small bowl add soy sauce, corn starch, honey, and water. Mix well and set aside.
• Prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Pour hot water over noodles and let sit for 10 minutes, cut with kitchen shears and drain.
• Cut off the ends of the bok choy, separate stems, and wash. Cut stems and leaves into ½ inch strips. Cut red pepper and onions into thin strips, set aside.
• Cut pork into thin strips, set aside.
• Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high; add ginger, garlic, and pork. Cook for 3 minutes stirring frequently. Add onions, pepper, and carrots, cook 5 minutes.
• Stir sauce and add to pan along with bok choy. Stir well, reduce heat, cover pan, and cook for 4-5 minutes.
• *I don’t like my food extremely spicy so I put about ½ tsp red pepper flakes in the skillet and added another ½ tsp to individual bowls of those who prefer it spicier.
• Serve over drained rice noodles.

47 days and 174.22 lbs till Disney Food & Wine

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Apples & Hops

Other than the return of college football, this weather makes me crazy for apples; fresh, local, unwaxed apples. Not pumpkin, pumpkin pie, or pumpkin pie spice as many people seem to be going crazy over and announcing the return of on Face Book. About the only food, so far, I enjoy with pumpkin is Whole Wheat Mocha Pumpkin Muffins, recipe to follow soon. A group to schedule an apple picking trip to Sky Top Apple Orchard in Flat Rock, NC. I did some googling and discovered that there are some (a lot) of breweries around Flat Rock, Hendersonville area; some we have not yet visited and many more. I have suggested an Apple & Hops Day.
Speaking of football, I try to remember it’s just a game. Yes, I want my team to win and my “enemy” team to lose. No, I do not pull for the other SC team when they are not playing my team. I am a true fan and only pull for two teams, mine and whoever is playing the other SC team; however, I do not put rude or “immature” post on Face Book during or after either team wins or loses. I am amazed how rude and immature some people get, and that goes for both teams. There are people I actually “unfriend” during football season because I am embarrassed for them. In their rants about the other team’s fans, the referees, the coaches, etc, I am just embarrassed. In my many years of watching football, there is very seldom an instance when the referees truly lost a game, it’s usually the players and coaches. Just a fact, but if claiming the referees are against your team makes you feel good goes for it. But I repeat, it’s a game.

Apple-Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats in the Crockpot
I have always been a big on breakfast and I made this recipe the other night and it was wonderful the next morning. Roomie thought it needed more cinnamon, but I did not. I cut up an apple the night before and put it in the refrigerator and added it to our “to go” cups the next morning. I also added some sliced almonds. I put this in the refrigerator and we heated it up several days.

1 ½ cup steel cut oat (These are not old fashioned, but steel cut, basically the oat cut in half.)
1 ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I didn’t have vanilla so I added 1 tsp vanilla to crock pot.)
5 cups water
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup pure stevia
1 ½ Tab cinnamon
¼ fresh grated nutmeg
½ tsp salt

• Spray crockpot and add all items to crock pot and stir.
• Cook on low for 8 hours.
• WARNING – It will look like mud the next morning, just give it a stir and all is good.

48 days and 174.22 lbs till Disney Food & Wine

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Funnel Cake Soda?

It was a good day, down 3 more pounds. I have been staying the same it seems the last few weeks so I was a little more motivated this week and very pleased with the results. Just when you think you have seen all the craziness, there it goes again. I had to run into our local grocer to pick up some cat food this afternoon; and there it was, Funnel Cake Flavored Soda. I had to do a double take to make sure I was reading it correctly. When I got home googling began: apparently Chek Soda will be offering “Limited Edition Flavors” and the first three have been introduced. Along with the Funnel Cake, there is Topical Island and Key Lime Pie. I can only imagine the amount of sugar in these. It makes my mouth twitch thinking about it. According to the review I found on line, the Funnel Cake Soda taste like butter and smells like a funnel cake. I am guessing this is a positive? There are some hilarious YouTube videos of people trying the new flavors if you want a laugh.
Today is a day the world will always remember. I remember exactly where I was when I heard about the first plane hitting the tower and thinking it had to be an accident, but soon we all realized it was no accident. I teach Asbestos Training to Utility personnel, and during my research I found some very interesting information about asbestos and the World Trade Centers. During construction of the towers, asbestos was being sprayed as a flame retardant to insulate the steel floor system. This would provide an extra four hours for evacuation in case of fire. During this time, the asbestos scares were becoming more prevalent and the use of asbestos was halted. Both towers had asbestos sprayed up to the sixty-fourth floor. Herbert Levine, who invented spray fireproofing with wet asbestos in the late-1940s, frequently said, “if a fire breaks out above the 64th floor, that building will fall down.“ As discovered after the use was halted, Mr. Levine was using the safest method possible. One I teach today for operators who have to work with asbestos. Both towers were hit above the sixty-fourth floor. One World Trade Center’s beams lasted one hour and forty minutes and Two World Trade Center beams lasted fifty-six minutes before melting and the buildings collapsing. This is a prime example that if used correctly and safely, everything has a place in this world. Too often knee jerk reactions are made instead of gathering more information. I have no idea if more lives would have been spared, but I truly believe they would have a much longer time to evacuate.

Pear Muffins
One more pear recipe since I am still enjoying my pears. I made these last week when I was at McCormick for my daughter and her friends to have before heading out early Saturday morning for the Clemson football game. They were all gone by Sunday and daughter called to get the recipe to make more.

1 cup oat bran hot cereal (This can be found in the cereal isle.)
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup yogurt
1/3 cup oil
2/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon (6g) pure vanilla extract
2 cups peeled & and diced into small cubes, very ripe pears (about 3 pears or 17 oz)
½ tsp ground ginger.

• Place oven rack in middle of oven and heat oven to 375°. Grease or spray a standard size muffin pan
• Combine oat bran, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, and salt in a large bowl. Mix in eggs, yogurt, oil, honey, and vanilla, mix with a rubber spatula just until combined. It was a little dry so I had to add some almond milk until I got a good muffin consistency.
• Gently stir in the pears.
• Generously fill the muffin cups with batter.
• Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool muffins in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then carefully remove from pan and serve warm, or let cool on a wire rack.

51 days and 14.22 lbs till Disney Food & Wine. (Actually our dates have changed, but I will keep the same for less confusion.)

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