Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pancake Flippin'

I consider myself a pretty good at home chef. I especially love baking. The things you get to eat after all your hard work are so yummy! I’m good at following recipes and most of the time I’m left with something quite tasty. And yet there was one simple food item that use to elude me…Pancakes!!! For years I just couldn’t cook or flip a pancake to save my life. Brownies, cookies, chickens and roasts all seemed easy enough but that darn little pancake I just couldn’t get right. I’m happy to say that after many years of flops and a lot of helpful suggestions from friends and family along the way I have finally conquered that elusive pancake!! One suggestion came from my dear grandmother, Dolores Brouse, who has since gone on to be with the Lord. She is where I got my tip for the day.

Helpful Tip for Perfect Pancake Making:

Everyone knows you butter the pan or griddle but she told me if you lightly butter your spatula it helps it slide under the pancake for easy flipping!

Grandma Brouse could also forgo the spatula all together and just flip the pancake with a quick shake of the pan. I remember one time I was watching her do this when she looked over and asked me if I knew what she was doing to which I simply replied, “Sure you’re showing off”. Luckily I had a grandmother who loved me very much and had a great sense of humor. She just laughed and laughed. So remember this Saturday when you have a chance to sit down and eat breakfast as a family that some of the best memories are made in the kitchen.
From the Kitchen of Taffeta Tadpoles

Monday, January 29, 2007

Italian Chicken Salad

This is a great fix-ahead main dish. It is great served in pita pockets.

Italian Chicken Salad


1 T Olive Oil
1 T Fresh Lemon Juice
1 T Red Wine Vinegar
½ t minced fresh garlic
½ t sugar
¼ t fresh ground pepper
1/8 t salt


3 cups cubed chicken breast cooked
1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 t dried oregano
½ t dried basil
10 pitted ripe olives, halved
1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts marinated, drained

1. To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk.

2. To prepare salad, combine chicken and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad, and toss gently to combine.

Yield 4 servings

1 serving = 1 ¼ cups
5 pts. Per serving

***On the dressing, I added a little more olive oil and sugar as I thought it was a little tart – add what you need to for you ☺

***When I did the chicken, I baked 3 chicken breasts, which was 3 cups exactly. I also rubbed some seasoning on the chicken before I baked it. I think it would also be good with baked or grilled chicken that had been marinated in Italian dressing.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

An Easy, Fix Ahead Meal

For those times when you need something that will be easy and ready to eat when you get home, try our Cheesy Chicken recipe. This recipe is a weight watcher friendly recipe. If you are counting points, it comes out to be 5 points per serving. This recipe is a way to eat healthy and have an easy, tasty dinner!

Cheesy Chicken (From In the Kitchen With Aimee Weight Watchers Cookbook)

2 (10 oz) cans 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
1 (10oz) can Cheddar Cheese Soup
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
7 (4 oz) Bonless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Place chicken in a crockpot sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Mix soups and garlic powder. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. This is great served over rice. Another way to enjoy this is with a baked potato.

We have found Trader Joes Jasmine Rice (microwave in 3 minutes) to be a tasty selection with this dish.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Grandma's Banana Cream Pie

Hi Foodlovers!

Since it's Wild Card Wednesday...I thought I'd share my Grandma's recipe for Banana Cream Pie. She always had to make several of them when making them for our family!

Serves: 6-8

Pie Crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

Stir together flour & 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening till pieces are pea size. Add 1 tblspoon water to part of the mixture & gently mix with a fork. Push moistened dough to the side of the bowl & repeat moistening the dough till all the dough is moistened. Form dough into a ball.

On a lightly floured surface, sightly flatten dough with your hands. With a rolling pin, roll dough from the center to the edges into a circle about 12" in diameter.
Wrap pastry around the rolling pin and transfer to 9" pie plate. Ease pastry ito pie plate being careful not to stretch the dough.

Trim pastry to 1/2" beyond edge of the pie plate. Fold extra pastry under. Crimp edges with fingers. Generously prick bottom & sides of shell with a fork. Make sure to prick where the sides meet the bottom of the crust. Place parchment paper in pie crust and fill with beans of some sort to keep the crust from shrinking.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 8 minutes. Remove beans and paper & bake another 5 minutes, or until golden brown.

Pie Filling:

1/2 cup sugar
5 tbl flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
2 cups milk
2 tbl butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbl rum
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
3 large ripe sliced bananas

Sift sugar, flour & salt in large mixing bowl. With a large spoon beat in the egg yolks one at a time.

Heat the milk & butter in a small sauce pan until butter melts & small bubbles from around the edge of the pan.

Slowly pour into the egg mixture stirring constantly with a whisk. Add vanilla & rum.

Return to sauce pan. Bring almost to a boil, reduce heat to low & simmer stirring until it thickens into a heavy custard. Let it cool until lukewarm.

Meanwhile beat 1/2 cup of the cream until it forms peaks. With a spatula gently fold into custard. Layer custard & sliced bananas in pie crust starting & ending with custard. Top with the extra whip cream. (For 1 cup whipping cream add 2 tbl spoon sugar & 1/2 tsp vanilla)


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Easy Method for Chicken Prep

It is time for Kitchen Tip Tuesdays!

It seems that I have quite a few recipes that call for chicken cooked and cut into pieces. All too often, I am late getting dinner prepared because I have to cook the chicken and then make the recipe. For all those recipes that call for cooked chicken, here is an easy way to have the chicken ready when dinner preparation begins. Simply place boneless skinless chicken breasts (frozen) in a crockpot on low for approx. 7 to 8 hours. If using thawed chicken, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water to the crockpot. At the end of 8 hours, the chicken will be cooked and easily cut into pieces and/or shredded for any recipe needing cooked chicken. This makes the preparation of dinner much easier and quicker.

If you have any great kitchen tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments and share with everyone.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Welcome Food Lovers!

On behalf of the contributors to "For the Love of Food," we welcome you to our blog! We look forward to sharing great recipes with you as well as kitchen tips! It doesn't matter if you are an experienced cook or new to the kitchen, if you love food and cooking, this is the place for you!

The motto of our kitchen: Live, Love, Cook!

Look for our weekly "menu" coming soon! Until then, here is an "Appetizer" to wet your appetite from a sweet kitchen we visited in central Missouri:

Black Bean Salsa

2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can shoepeg corn (17 oz)
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 medium chopped red onion
Juice of 1 lime
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T EVOO (Extra-Virgin Olive Oil)
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
Dash of hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the above in a small bowl and refrigerate over night. Enjoy!!!!!