Sunday, January 29, 2017

Cheese Crust Pizza Bites

While making my sausage balls using my small muffin tins I found myself short in filling up the full 24 tins so I decided to make what I'm calling my Cheese Crust Pizza Bites.  I simply filled each empty tin with shredded cheese and topped it with a slice of pepperoni allowing it to bake along with my sausage balls.  (375 degrees for 12-14 minutes).  They came out perfect and make yet another game day snack.  You can serve them as is along with salsa, pizza sauce and even sour cream.  Change the flavors by using cooked chicken, sausage, bacon, ground beef or go veggie by using mushrooms, onions and/or peppers.  You can change the flavor too by changing the cheese.  Use Italian blends, Mexican blends, or keep it straight with cheddars, etc.  These little treats are really good, easy to make and have many variations.

Game Day Sausage Balls

I love sausage balls but for some reason only seem to make them during the holidays.  Well, I had a package of sausage that needed to be used and the first thing that came to mind were sausage balls.  Why not make them all year long and especially for game day.  Here is my quick and simple recipe with just one change.  I topped each with a small square of cheese.

1 lb. lean sausage (I use Jimmy Dean Hot)
1 cup Bisquick
2 cups finely shredded cheese (finely shredded blends better and you can use any flavor or blend)
Sliced cheese (I had some white American so that's what I used)

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix sausage, bisquick and shredded cheese blending well.  Roll into 11/2" balls and place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or place each in small muffin tins (I used my small muffin tin which is coated making it stick free.)  Cut each slice of cheese into 9 even squares and place on on top of each ball.  Bake 12-14 minutes or until done, cheese has melted and lightly browned.  I usually get about 40 sausage balls from this recipe.

Adding that little extra cheese makes these even better.  Next time I make them I'm going to use cheddar cheese.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Frozen Vegetables Tip

Frozen Vegetables - Make your own frozen vegetable combinations by buying bags of individual vegetables and combining your favorites.  Re-package in resealable plastic bags and freeze.  Try adding chopped onions, garlic or cooked pasta to the vegetable mixture as well. 

I want to add to this - you can divide your veggies, fresh or frozen, into more 'needable' sizes.  I often buy a large package of frozen vegetables but won't be needing the whole package at any one meal.  You can divide them into smaller packages so that when needed you can thaw only what you need.  I often buy vegetables such as celery, bell peppers and onions but find that they won't be used before I find they have to be thrown out.  I'll chop these up, scatter in a single layer on a cookie sheet with sides, freeze and then place into a bag for later use.  These work perfectly in soups and stews.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Carrots - Part 4 (End)

Picking and Storing Carrots

Most experts recommend that you buy carrots with the tops still attached for optimal freshness. But these are not available everywhere and not everyone has the time to cut and prepare carrots at home. So some healthy snackers choose baby carrots instead.

Baby carrots are simply smaller carrots that are cut from larger carrots. Baby carrots are usually already washed and cleaned so you can eat them right from the bag, making them a convenient and healthy snack.

Carrots should be stored in the refrigerator to retain the taste, freshness, and texture. Carrots can be frozen, but putting them in the freezer may change the vegetable's texture. 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Carrots - Part 3

Carrots and Weight Loss

The "problem" with carrots is that they are easy to overeat.  Of course, if you're going to overeat any food, carrots are probably one of the better options.

But if you are trying to lose weight, learning to eat every food in moderation is important. And if you overeat carrots and dip, then you could easily consume a day's worth of calories in a single sitting.
If you snack on carrots, try to avoid dipping them into a high calorie spread. The calories in onion dip, for example, could be higher than the calories in an entire meal if you don’t watch how much you eat. Remember that even healthy snacks can be bad for your diet when you add sauces, dips and condiments.

If you're trying to lose weight by cutting carbs, you might skip carrots because they are higher in sugar than other snack veggies. But if you compare the 4 grams of sugar in carrots to a fruit snack like a banana, an orange or an apple, which each contain 20-30 grams of sugar, then the carrots don’t look so bad. If you’re worried about the sugar in carrots, mix your vegetable snack bag with other crunchy snacks like celery or broccoli. That way you get to indulge in a crunchy treat without derailing your diet.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Carrots - Part 2

Health Benefits of Carrots

Even though carrots add sugar to your diet, the easy-to-eat veggie provides health benefits as well. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A. According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin A is essential for vision and helps the body with cell growth, immune function, reproduction and healthy communication between your cells.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Carrots - Part 1

I found this on the Very Well site and want to share it with my carrot lovers.

If you like crunchy snacks, carrots might be the perfect treat.  Carrots are easy to prepare, easy to pack and they don't need to be refrigerated so you can eat them on the go. But there are a few things about carrot calories that healthy eaters should know.
Carrot Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 medium (61 g)
Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Calories 25

Calories from Fat 0

Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g

Monounsaturated Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 42mg
Potassium 195mg
Carbohydrates 6g
Dietary Fiber 1.5g
Sugars 3g

Protein 0.5g

Vitamin A 204% · Vitamin C 6%
Calcium 2% · Iron 1%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Carrots are a healthy, crunchy treat. The veggie is high in fiber and a single serving of carrots contains only 30 calories. Not bad, right? But that's if you only eat a single serving. A single serving might be a small handful of baby carrots or one large carrot.

Low carb dieters and people who need to limit carbohydrate intake might be concerned about the carbs in carrots. There are six grams of carbs per carrot and three grams of sugar, more than many other vegetables. But carrots also provide fiber. So you'll only get 4.5 net carbs per carrot

Friday, January 13, 2017

Potato Masher Twist

'Potato Masher Twist' - a straight down move and then a slight twist of the wrist.

Did you know that potato mashers have more uses than just mashing potatoes?  Well, they do.  I've found just a few and if you think about it I'm sure you can come up with more.  Here are just a couple of things I do beside mashing the potatoes.

When one of my ingredients calls for browned ground beef I've found that you can crumble it by using your trusty old potato masher.  You simply smash down and give it a little twist.  You can do this after the meat is cooked but it's a lot easier if you do it as it's cooking.

When I make my beef veggie soup I like to cook the meat until it's falling apart.  To help it along I use the 'Potato Masher Twist'.  This breaks the meat up to the size you want it to be.

Mixing butter and flour is made a little easier by using the potato masher.  It won't do the job completely but it sure is a quick start allowing you to only use your hands near the end.  This also works with cream cheese.

When I made my sausage balls this year I started my blend of flour, sausage and cheese using the masher.

These are just a few of my uses.  I would love for you to post any other uses you've found for this remarkable little tool.  There is just one thing that I have to warn you about.  Make sure you use the type pictured above.  If you try doing this with one that has holes it will work but not as well and it's a lot harder to clean up.

Waiting to hear from you!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

10 Necessities for Your Car Emergency Kit - Part 10 (End)

Oil Rags and Hand Cleaner

If we may state the obvious: Cars are dirty. And in inclement weather like rain or snow, they're even dirtier. In the case of a tire change or even more minor problems, save your clothes—and the inside of your car—by packing four or five rags and some hand cleaner in your emergency car kit.

Monday, January 9, 2017

10 Necessities for Your Car Emergency Kit - Part 9

Wool or Mylar Blanket

Having a spare wool blanket in the car will go along way to keeping you and your grandkids warm if you break down in the dead of winter. The American Red Cross suggests stocking your emergency kit with a mylar, or space, blanket, which is designed to reflect 80% of your body heat back to you.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

10 Necessities for Your Car Emergency Kit - Part 8

Triangular Folding Reflector or Flares

The shoulder of any road — highway or otherwise — is a dangerous place to be. Once you're safely pulled over as far to the right as possible, make sure you and your car are visible to approaching traffic by setting up a sand-weighted reflector triangle or roadside flare. Turning on your hazard lights is another easy precaution recommended by AAA.

Friday, January 6, 2017

10 Necessities for Your Car Emergency Kit - Part 7

First-Aid Kit

There's no shortage of things that could cut, burn, pinch, or scrape your hands when you're fiddling around under the hood or dealing with a broken car part, making a good first-aid kit essential in an emergency. Prepackaged kits are available, but if you want to create your own, suggests including bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, antiseptic cream, instant ice and heat compresses, scissors, and aspirin.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

10 Necessities for Your Car Emergency Kit - Part 6

Duct Tape

Is there anything duct tape can't do? Google search "duct tape car repair" and you'll soon find out the answer to that question: not much! Reach for a roll of duct tape to secure a hanging bumper, reattach a broken side-view mirror, or tape plastic over a broken window. For more fix-it ideas, the car advice web site suggests 38 other uses for duct tape.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

10 Necessities for Your Car Emergency Kit - Part 5

Fluids (for you)

In winter or summer, it's a good idea to stock the car with a few bottles of water in case of a breakdown. There's nothing like no access to water to work up a desperate thirst! You'll probably also be thankful for a few granola bars and a jar of peanuts, if help is a long time coming.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

10 Necessities for Your Car Emergency Kit - Part 4

Fix-a-Flat Tire Sealant

If you notice a minor puncture in your tire, lots of experts (from Edmunds to to Consumer Reports) recommend temporarily sealing the hole with Fix-a-Flat, and driving to a tire repair center where they can either repair your tire or give you a new one. Intended for single use on one tire, this product contains liquid rubber and air, and is designed to seal small holes and inflate your tire enough to get the rim off the ground.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

10 Necessities for Your Car Emergency Kit - Part 2

Fluids (for your car)
The Department of Motor Vehicles recommends storing common car fluids in your emergency kit, including:

2 quarts of motor oil
brake fluid
power-steering fluid (if applicable)
automatic transmission fluid (if applicable)
1 gallon of water
1 gallon of antifreeze

Do yourself a favor and throw in a funnel, as well. It can be hard to have a steady hand in an emergency.