Thursday, September 28, 2017

More Christmas Cards

 The letters were cut with a Cameo.  I used an embossing folder and Cuttlebug on the white background pieces.  The snowflakes and holly leaves were punched.  I added some Pearl Pen dots.
 The coffee cup is a Tim Holtz die.  I printed the sentiment using Hallmark card making software.  The background was embossed with the Divine Swirls folder.
The sentiment was computer generated and punched out.  The mittens are a retired Stampin' Up punch.  The background was embossed using a Cuttlebug.

All these will be sent to military overseas.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Christmas Cards

Black Bean Soup -- 5 Smart Points

I like black bean soup, but not whole black beans so I use a stick blender to make a rough puree of the beans when I make this soup recipe.  Once the beans are pureed, if you don't add some extra water, the soup will be really too thick.  I estimated adding 1 cup of water, you may want to add more.
 Image result for black bean soup

Makes 5 1/2 cups
5 Smart Points per cup

3 cans Bush's black beans
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 cup water

Sweat the onion and garlic in a non-stick pan with a small amount of water.  Cook and stir until the onion is tender.

Put beans into a mixing bowl and puree using a stick blender, or, pour into a blender and puree them.  Don't over do it, you'll have no texture left in the soup.

Add pureed beans, 1 cup water, and spices to the onion and garlic mixture.  Cover and simmer abut 15 minutes.  Serve topped with sour cream, chopped cilantro, jalapeno peppers, or lime slices if desired.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Christmas Cards

 Cards done today using embossing folders, punches and clip art images.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Christmas Cards

 Used some clip art images found online, punches and the Cameo to cut some shapes.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Soft Wrap Bread -- 6 Smart Points

This is a recipe from King Arthur Flour.  It's simple to make and the bread turns out tender and will be perfect for a sandwich wrap, soft taco, or as the base for an Indian Taco.

This is the photo from King Arthur Flour.

This is a photo of the bread I made today.  You'll definitely want to roll each ball of dough to at least 7" in diameter for it to be large enough for a sandwich wrap.  You could make it slightly smaller and it will cook up thicker and use as a base for Indian Tacos.  I think it needs more than the 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt.  Next batch, I'll use 1 1/2 teaspoons.

SOFT WRAP BREAD RECIPE  -- 6 Smart Points per serving
Makes 8 servings
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
  1. Place 2 cups of the flour into a bowl or the bucket of a bread machine. Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir until smooth. Cover the bowl or bucket and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the potato flour (or flakes) and 1 cup of the remaining flour with the salt, oil and yeast.
  3. Add this to the cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several minutes — by hand, mixer or bread machine — to form a soft dough. A 5-minute knead in the bread machine, once it gets up to full kneading speed, is fine. The dough should form a ball, but will remain somewhat sticky. Add additional flour only if necessary; if kneading by hand, keep your hands and work surface lightly oiled. Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour.
  4. Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each about the size of a handball, around 3 ounces), cover, and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
  5. Roll each piece into a 7" to 8" circle, and dry-fry them (fry without oil) over medium heat for about 1 minute per side, until they're puffed and flecked with brown spots. Adjust the heat if they seem to be cooking either too quickly, or too slowly; cooking too quickly means they may be raw in the center, while too slowly will dry them out.
  6. Transfer the cooked breads to a wire rack, stacking them to keep them soft.
  7. Serve immediately, or cool slightly before storing in a plastic bag for up to 4 days. Freeze for up to a month.
Tips from our bakers
  • This recipe works best with instant yeast because it dissolves during the kneading process, so you don't have to knead liquid into the dough. If you really prefer to use active dry yeast, use only 1 cup boiling water for the initial dough, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water, and add this mixture to the dough along with the potato flour mixture. It'll be somewhat "slippery" at first, but will knead in and eventually become smooth.
  • You can allow the dough to go through the entire kneading cycle(s) in the bread machine, but it's not necessary; about a 5-minute knead in the machine, once it gets up to full kneading speed, is fine. The dough should form a ball, but will remain somewhat sticky. Add additional flour only if necessary; if kneading by hand, keep your hands and work surface lightly oiled. Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour.
Smart Points  -- calculated on the brands of ingredients I used
3 cups flour     36
¼ cup potato flakes     1.5
2 T. oil             8

Potato flakes were used rather than the potato flour.  I didn’t need to use the additional ¼ cup of  regular flour.  If your dough requires using it, add an additional 3 Smart Points.  Each serving will then be slightly over 6 Smart Points.  As I prepared it, the points calculated at 5.7 so I rounded them up to 6.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Christmas Cards

 More cards to send overseas to military personnel this Christmas season.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Christmas Cards

 A few cards made in the last few days.  They'll be sent overseas to military personnel.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Garlic Salad Dressing -- 1 Smart Point

This is a recipe I developed today to use as a substitute for my favorite, Ben's Dressing.  I love the Ben's recipe but it's too many Smart Points per serving.  At only 1 Smart Point for 2 tablespoons, this is something I can use more often on salads.

Adding some McCormick Perfect Seasoning Salt Free spice mix is another option and adds no additional Smart Points.

I used regular cottage cheese and buttermilk, then added the lite sour cream.  The garlic flavor will intensify as the dressing sits in the fridge, so unless you're a real garlic lover, you may want to reduce the garlic powder by 1/2 teaspoon.

The dressing is not as thick and creamy as the original Ben's recipe; it's a trade off to save fat and calories.  You could reduce the amount of buttermilk to make it a little thicker.

12 Smart Points
4 T. = 2 Smart Points

1 cup cottage cheese
½ cup buttermilk
4 T. lite sour cream
1 ½ T. lemon juice
¼ tsp. dry mustard
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
Mix well.  Store in refrigerator.

Smart Points
Cottage cheese            6
Buttermilk                   2
Lite sour cream           4

This is the original Ben's Dressing recipe that I love.  You can calculate the Smart Points on it based on the brands of ingredients you use.  It was served at a barbeque restaurant that closed several years ago.

Ben’s Salad Dressing

1 cup buttermilk
3 ½ oz. Oil   (1/4 cup or less)
1 pint Mayonnaise
1 T. garlic powder
¼ tsp. Dry mustard
¼ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Sugar   (I omit the sugar)
juice of ½ lemon

Mix well with mixer or whisk and chill.