Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stylish White "Pottery" Vases

What to freshen up a room or furniture? Paint it. Short on cash but love new looks. Paint is your best friend. Deb Nelson from Deb Nelson Design feels the same way about decorating. She is a regular contributor on the "Steven and Chris" show on CBC television.

Deb had a great decorating tip when she was redoing a viewer's kitchen. Take glass containers and make them into stylish white "pottery". So easy! You can use old vases, wine bottles, any glass container will do. You might want to use plastic containers or tin cans for the project.

Here's what you do. Paint the container with white primer. I used KILZ white spray paint primer - two coats should do the trick. Buy textured white paint. You know the stuff you use to paint fabric (Joann's Etc stores have the large size of this paint on sale for $1.13 this week). When the primer is dry, create designs on the painted glass. Dots work especially well.

Once you have completed your artwork, give it about 24 hours before handling the objects. Then, wait for the compliments to roll in. (Thanks Deb Nelson Design)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lemon Walnut Pesto

So many lemon recipes are for desserts. What about using lemons in an entree or side dish.

I found a terrific tasting lemon walnut pesto recipe that goes great with pasta or rice. It uses just a few ingredients found in most pantries and takes less than two minutes to prepare. My kind of cooking, fast and delicious!

Lemon Walnut Pesto
Grate about a teaspoon of lemon zest. In a food processor, chop 3/4 cup walnuts. Remove walnuts and mix with the and a juice of half a lemon, 1/4 cup olive oil, a half tablespoon dried parsley and a teaspoon of Frank's Red Hot sauce. Add lemon zest. Stir and pour over pasta or rice.

I used the pesto on top of broccoli and pasta and it made four servings. It's my new favorite dish! Enjoy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

An Easy Egg-Substitute

I am one of the many people that have an allergic reaction to eggs. Because of my allergy, I cannot receive the H1N1 vaccine. The vaccine is incubated in eggs. According to the CDC, egg allergy suffers should not get the nasal version of the vaccine nor the injection, rather persons with egg allergies should request anti-viral medication if they develop the swine flu.

This information motivated me to share an easy egg substitute recipe courtesy of Carol M. Bareuther, RD in "Today's Diet & Nutrition" magazine:
Mix 1-1/2 tablespoons water, 1-1/2 tablespoons oil, and 1 teaspoon baking powder. This substitutes for 1 to 2 eggs.

You could go the more expensive route and purchased a commercial egg replacer usually made from potato starch. The above version is just as good and easy to create.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pumpkin Pasta

Doesn't this sound scary; pumpkin and pasta with pumpkin pie spice. It's actually very tasty. I got the recipe from the November, 2009 issue of "Parents" magazine.

This fast and fiber-rich entree has as much iron as a burger and just 308 calories per serving. What prompted me to experiment was I am trying to eat foods from my pantry rather than stockpiling. I had all the ingredients and thought, "Why not try the dish?".

I made some slight modifications to the original recipe including using slightly more pasta, an onion and skim milk.

Recipe for Pumpkin Pasta:
Cook 13.25 ounce box of whole wheat pasta (like rotini). Drain and return to pot, covering to keep pasta warm.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan or 5 quart saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add a small, chopped onion or 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. Cook onions until transparent. Whisk in 1-1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, a 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook for 4 minutes uncovered.

Mix pasta and sauce. Serve in bowls and top pasta with parsley and grated parmesan cheese.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Winter Classic at Fenway Park

Boston Bruins win the third Winter Classic hockey game at Fenway Park. Great game and great goal by Recci. Wonder when Detroit will get to host this event? They could play at Comerica Park.