Thursday, June 29, 2006

Red Leaf Salad

As a father when shopping for groceries in your local Kroger or Publix grocery store, you see the bags of pre-made salad. Here is a better tasting choice for you and your family. It's easy to make and only has five ingredients - red leaf lettuce, vine ripened tomatoes, onion (any type), crumbled blue cheese, coarse ground pepper. There is no need for a fattening dressing. The ingredients are good for several salad bowls for those who desire salad for dinner that night which you are cooking.

1 head of Red Leaf Lettuce
1 Batch of Vine Ripened Tomatoes
1 Onion (Vidalia, Red, or Yellow)
(1) 4 ounce container of Crumbled Blue Cheese
Coarse ground black pepper

1. Gather large bowl for each person who desires salad for dinner
2. break off some red leaf lettuce from head of lettuce and lined the bowl completely and include a a small mound in center of bowl.
3. Slice one vine ripened tomato into quarters or eigths depending on the size of tomato and plcae on top of read leaf lettuce in bowl.
4. Slice onion for amount to spread amongst tomato quarters and place in bowl.
5. Sprinkle crumbled blue cheese over red lead lettuce, tomato quarters, and onion slices.
5. Shake coarse groungd black pepper over prepared salad and serve.

Treasure Cave crumbled blue cheese is found in the cheese section of your local grocery store. The Red Leaf Lettuce provides a good texture for eating compared to the less nutrient iceberg lettuce.


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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

World's Best Homemade Spaghetti Sauce According To Your Kids

Yes, you too can make the world's best homemade spaghetti sauce according to your kids and wife. With a little effort and time, your family will devour the spaghetti covered in your "secret" sauce and everyone will love dipping their baguette into the sauce on their plate. The best part is the leftover sauce even tastes better the second day. I found this recipe on Recipezaar posted by Sharlene~W. By the way, this recipe is so easy to prepare, I prepared it while vacationing at the beach when my sister-in-law's family came over for dinner. (See Comments section about doubling recipe)

1 lb Italian sausage ( mild or hot)
1/2 small onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomotoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1 and 1/2 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
3/4 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/8 to 1/4 cup red wine
1/2 to 3/4 lb thin spaghetti
parmesan cheese
baguette loaf

1. In large frying pan, brown Italian sausage in some olive oil.
2. Add chopped onions to sausage in pan to brown too.
3. While sausage and onion are browning,add the following ingredients to a large pot - diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, and minced garlic. Stir well.
4. Add basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt crushed red pepper and black pepper to pot. Stir well.
5. By now, the Italian sausage and onions should be browned, add to pot.
6. Stir well, and bring to boil barely.
7. Stir in red wine.
8. Simmer on low, stirring frequently for at least an hour.
9. While sauce is simmering, periodically, with knife and fork, cut sausages into bite size pieces.
10. Near the end of simmering time, cook thin spaghetti according to package directions.
11. Spoon sauce over drained spaghetti noodles , sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and serve with a warm baguette slice.

This recipe easily serves a family of 4 to 5. If you have more over dinner, then I would double the ingredients for the sauce without doubling the amount of sausage based on personal experience. And I would probably use about 1 and 1/4 lbs of thin spaghetti noodles.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Beach Buffalo Wings

Recently while on vacation at the beach, I had a hankering for some Buffalo Wings. So here is an easy Buffalo Wings dinner which you can prepare while at the beach or at home. Besides the Buffalo wings, you need to purchase a bag of baby carrots, celery, and bottle of blue cheese dressing. The carrots, cut celery, and wings can all be dipped into the blue cheese on every one's plate.


4 lbs of chicken Wings

Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing sauce (also may use mild)


1. Preheat oven at 425 degrees.

2. Place Buffalo Wings on large pan and cook at 425 degrees for 1 hour.

3. Place wings in large bowl and pour sauce over wings.

4. Toss wings until thoroughly coated with sauce and serve.


I would buy a bottle of the Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing sauce and a bottle of their mild version. Then split the batch between two bowls. Offer buffalo wings coated with the hot sauce, and also buffalo wings coated with mild sauce depending on the palate of each person of your family. Have plenty of napkins, paper towels, or moist towlettes nearby and enjoy.

If you are in the greater Atlanta area or just in the Southeast, I would buy the 4 lb. of chicken wings from Publix . I have always good results with their chicken.


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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Whole Wheat Pancakes

On weekends, fathers like to cook pancakes for their families. Forgo the box of pancake mix, and try this healthy alternative to white flour pancakes. You may gradually get them accustomed to wheat pancakes by using 1 cup white flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour instead of the two cups of wheat flour listed in the ingredients. This recipe was found on Recipezaar, posted by Narshmellow.

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 and 3/4 cups of milk
1/2 cup of vegetable oil

1. Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl.
2. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together.
3. Cook on hot griddle at approximately 375 degrees or on the stove in a non-stick pan at medium high.

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes, the kids have behaved real well and you would like to reward them with some homemade chocolate chip cookies. Here's an easy and great tasting recipe which is also healthy too because it includes vanilla soy milk. The kids love the end result and you're smiling because you have snuck a healthy ingredient into their treat!

1 cup unsalted butter ( 2 sticks)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Vanilla Silk Soy Milk
1 teaspo0n vanilla
2 & a 1/4 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Slowly add Vanilla Silk soy milk, cream well, then add vanilla.
3. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, then fold in the chocolate chips.
4. Drop by tablespoons on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let sit on on cookie sheet for 5 minutes once removed from oven.
Then transfer to wire racks to completely cool.

To cream butter, just use an electric mixer.
This recipe is courtesy of Silk Soy Milk and their recipe file cooking with Akasha Richmond

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunday Morning Surprise - Blackberry Muffins

Here's an easy recipe to follow which requires some forethought on Saturday to purchase the necessary ingredients for your Sunday Morning Surprise for your family.

This recipe was contributed by Jennifer at Recipezaar. The Blackberry Muffins have the sweetness for the kids - the brown sugar, while having the healthy ingredients for you as a parent - whole wheat flour and blackberries.


  1. 1/2 cup milk
  2. 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  3. 1 beaten egg
  4. 2/3 cup broun sugar
  5. 1 cup all purpose unbleached white flour
  6. 1 cup whole-wheat flour (King Arthur Flour is a good choice)
  7. 3 teaspoons baking powder
  8. 1 cup frozen blackberries


  1. Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Toss blackberries into dry ingredients until flour coated.
  3. Mix together liquid ingredients in separate bowl.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just moist.
  5. Spoon batter into (greased) 12 count muffin tra.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about about 25 to 30 minutes.


  1. Frozen blackberries packaged in 12 ounce bags are sold in frozen food section of grocery store. A 12 ounce bag = 2 cups. So you have another cup's worth for another recipe.

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Friday, June 09, 2006

Bottoms Up Greek Catfish (or Tilapia)

Here's a recipe for Sunday dinner. Serve this dish and your wife will rave about you to neighbors and relatives. Also easy to prepare. A version of this recipe appeared on Recipezaar.
The key to the dish is the spinach, diced tomatoes, and feta cheese. Besides catfish and tilapia, this recipe will surely work on any whitefish.


4 catfish or tilapia fillets
1 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinached, thawed and squeezed dry
4 ounces of crumbled feta cheese ( usually found in dairy or deli section of your favorite grocery store)
1 tablespoon oregano
2 green onions chopped
3 tablespoons butter melted (3/8 stick of butter)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons coarse ground pepper
3 cloves of garlic (or use minced garlic in your spice section in your local grocery store aisle...1/2 teaspoon = 1 clove of garlic)
1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a shallow baking pan with olive oil and place the fish fillets in the pan.
3. Sprinkle the fillets with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
4. In a small bowl, mix the spinach, feta cheese, oregano, butter, green onions, garlic, diced tomotoes, and remaining salt and pepper until well stirred.
5. Top each fish fillet evenly with an equal amount of the spinach mixture.
6. Bake at 350 degrees on center rack for about 20 to 25 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the fish flakes easily with fork.
7. Serve immediately.


Serve the Bottoms Up Greek Fish with Basmati Rice, carrots, a baguette of bread, and sweet tea to complement the meal.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Basmati Rice - an Alternative to Minute Rice

Fathers, until about two months ago, I always served Minute Rice to my family as the white rice of choice for family meals. Then, I discovered Basmati rice on the grocery store shelves. Basmati rice is packaged in a long bag as opposed to a box like Minute Rice. You just use a bag clip to seal the bag after removing some rice from it.
To me and more importantly my children, the rice tastes better and the texture of the rice is fluffier.
To cook the rice is very simple. Boil water (with some salt and butter) 2x the amount of rice which you plan to serve. Once water is boiling, stir rice in the pot for 1 minute on high. Then reduce temperature to low for 18 to 22 minutes. Serve once your other portions for dinner are ready. Any leftover rice place in a container in the refrigerator to enjoy later.
Basmati Rice is a good accompaniment to Parmesan Chicken Fingers , Green Beans with Sesame Dressing, Almost Toomer's Corner Lemonade to drink. Now if you had baked Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal RaisinCookies earlier in the day or the previous night, then you have just created the wow factor to your family. Dad just prepared a whole meal - a main dish with two sides served with a beverage, topped by a kid friendly dessert.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Almost Toomer's Corner Lemonade

A couple of months ago during college football season while watching the Auburn Tigers, I developed a hankerin' for some lemonade similar to the type offered at Toomer's Corner. I came across this recipe submited byDiB's on Recipezaar. The kids always love it and get excited when they see a bag of lemonades when unloading the groceries. You can hand squeeze the lemons after you cut them in half. But after the first time, I found the plastic fruit squeezer for a couple of dollars at Publix grocery store. Much easier. So here's the recipe:

1 and 1/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
7 cups cold water
1 cup granulated sugar

1. Squeeze the lemons into a measuring cup.
2. Add lemon juice, water, and sugar into a pitcher. Stir with spoon until sugar is dissolved.
3. Place pitcher into refrigerator.
4. Serve lemonade over ice in a glass.

Usually a bag of 6 large lemons will almost do the trick to obtain 1 and 1/2 cups of fresh lemon juice. If fall short of that amount, then pour some store bought lemon juice into mix to account for the difference.

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