Shaving Tip

Yes, another shaving tip! I remember telling this to my younger daughter, and my older daughter exclaiming, “Hey! You never told ME that!”

When you shave your legs, you shave against the growth of the hair, to get a closer shave. Your underarm hair, however, grows in every direction – so you should shave your underarms in all directions (up, down, left, right, and even diagonal), to get a closer, smoother shave.

 

 

Ham and Lentils Slow-Cooker Stew Recipe

I love this stew – and I love that I can cook it in my crockpot and not heat up the house!

1 lb dried lentils
2 cups fat-free chicken broth
5 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup cooked ham, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/4 tsp pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaf
1 tsp salt

Put everything except the salt into a slow cooker. Cook for 3-4 hours on high. Salt before serving.

Servings: 8

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 258 calories, 16 calories from fat, 1.8g total fat, 9.6mg cholesterol, 686.1mg sodium, 790.1mg potassium, 40.9g carbohydrates, 19g fiber, 4.2g sugar, 19.9g protein.

It also is very low-calorie and frugal. It’s a win-win-win meal!

Menu Plan from June 27 to July 3

Doodle’s out of town visiting  her paternal grandmother for the next two weeks, so it’s just me and the boys. For snacks, we’re going to get our fill of raw bananas, nuts, broccoli, and carrots, so she won’t have to watch us eat them in front of her when she gets back! (The boys don’t have any food allergies.)

And on to our dinner menu:

Sunday: Ham and lentil stew

Monday: Black bean burritos

Tuesday: Macaroni and cheese and green beans

Wednesday: Sushi and birthday cake and banana “ice cream” (X-man’s birthday)

Thursday: Kids will be spending the night at my mom’s – I’ll eat leftovers

Friday: Boca burgers, baked beans, carrots

Saturday: Chicken of some sort

These dinners are all quick to cook, because it’s HOT, and I don’t want to heat the house up any more than we have to. We will be taking time to make sushi for dinner on Wednesday, though, and I’ll be baking a cake (probably in the middle of the night, so it won’t be as hot) for my youngest’s 11th birthday.

I hope this plan works, because the heat is really getting to me this year – and it’s only June (barely)!

 

Super Tasty Salsa Recipe

This is almost the last of the recipes from Doodle’s birthday party.

The menu was:

Guacamole, salsa, and corn chips

Green chile pinwheels

Roast beef, horseradish, and basil pinwheels

Deviled Eggs

And, of course, birthday cake

We love my deviled eggs – I’ll post that one soon, too.

Making everything except the corn chips from scratch enabled me to give my daughter a lovely party with lots of food for a small outlay. And she’d prefer homemade to store-bought any day!

And now, on to the salsa. It’s really simple and quick, and wayyy less expensive than store-bought salsa. It also tastes a lot better than store-bought.

2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
2 shallots, roughly chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoons lime juice

Put the shallot, jalapeno, and garlic into the food processor bowl and pulse a few times until they’re chopped very small.  Add the cilantro and give it a whirl or two to chop the cilantro. Add the tomatoes, lime juice, and spices and pulse again until only slightly chunky.

Servings: 14

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 25 calories, 2 calories from fat, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 86.2mg sodium, 212.3mg potassium, 5.7g carbohydrates, 1.4g fiber, <1g sugar, 1.2g protein.

This keeps for awhile in the fridge, but you can also use freezer jars or ice cube trays to freeze it.  I don’t can, but I’m sure it would be wonderful canned, too.

Guacamole Recipe

Yesterday, I told you how to keep guacamole from turning brown, so today I thought I’d share how I make guacamole.

2 avocados
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon  kosher salt
1/4 cup salsa
1 small tomato, seeded and finely diced (optional)

Peel and seed the avocados. Mash them in a bowl – use your potato masher, or a fork. Add the salt, lime juice, and salsa, and mash a little more. Don’t mash it until it’s uniform, though – you want some small chunks. Stir in the tomatoes, if you’re using them.

Servings: 8

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 77 calories, 56 calories from fat, 6.7g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 170.2mg sodium, 274.8mg potassium, 5g carbohydrates, 3.2g fiber, <1g sugar, 1.1g protein.

You can spread this on your chicken or burgers, or put it in tacos or burritos, or (my favorite) just eat it with corn chips. It will make you a very popular person if you bring it to potlucks, too!

While not really low-calorie, it’s not that high either (but those chips usually are!) – and most of those calories come from good fats. This time of year, avocados are plentiful and really inexpensive, so I try to have guacamole often.

Keeping Guacamole from Going Brown

Sometimes, you just need to make everything ahead – it’s a potluck, or a kids’  party and you’ll be busy with other things later, or you just want to be relaxed at dinner time.

Guacamole is easy to make ahead (and even yummier, I think, if there’s been a chance for the flavors to meld), but if you just stick it in a container and put it in the fridge, the surface will turn an icky black-brown color. Acid helps, which is why most recipes call for lemon or lime (I much prefer lime in guacamole), but if you use enough to keep the guac from turning color, your dip may taste more like citrus than avocado!

The thing to do is put a piece of plastic wrap on top of the guacamole, and push it down so it’s touching the top of the dip, and then put it in the fridge.

 

This keeps the air from getting to the guacamole, and keeps it fresh and green. Now, guacamole won’t keep days and days – you’ll want to serve this within a few hours, really. But it will stay pretty!

(This also works for homemade or cooked-from-a-mix puddings, to keep the skin from forming. I kind of like the skin, though!)

Green Chile Roll-ups (or Pinwheels, or Rollers, or Whatever) Recipe

It’s been a crazy busy week so far this week! Sunday was Doodle’s actual birthday. The kids spent the day with their dad, since it was Father’s Day, too, and came home for dinner. In our family, the birthday kid gets to pick what they want for dinner, and Doodle picked Chicken with Shallots and  Buttered Noodles. It was tasty!

Today, we had a field trip with our homeschool group. It was a walking tour of our downtown. It was really interesting, and fun, too. If you live in a city, I highly recommend calling your city’s historic society and seeing if they give tours!

Here’s another recipe from Doodle’s birthday party last week.

8 oz. Neufchatel, brought to room temperature
1 can chopped green chiles
1 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 sun-dried tomato wraps or whole wheat tortillas

Mix the cheese, chiles, garlic, and salt. Spread on three tortillas and roll up tightly. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-3 hours. Cut into 14 thin slices.

Servings: 14

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving of 3 pieces): 76 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5g total fat, 12.3mg cholesterol, 249.3mg sodium, 33.1mg potassium, 6.5g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 0g sugar, 2.7g protein.

Birthday Cake

I made yellow cake with chocolate chips again for Doodle’s birthday party last weekend. I was so grateful that it was a chilly, rainy weekend, so the house didn’t get too hot while I was baking!  I made the chocolate cream cheese icing again, too, but this time, I added a little espresso powder (about a tablespoon) for a mocha frosting. It was a hit.

I didn’t think the cake was very pretty, even though it was super-tasty, but Doodle and her best friend (who was staying with us last week – she flew in just for Doodle’s party!) thought it was very pretty.

Here are some pictures (I didn’t get to take a picture of it once sliced).

I’m not very good at writing on cakes, either!

I also got very lucky — after I put the aqua rosettes on the cake, I realized that the spaces left for candles in between the rosettes were exactly 16! Score!