Giving by Sharing is Free
Today is “Giving Tuesday.” In these difficult times, giving does not have to mean dollars spent but time shared and giving by sharing is free. (We all know “free” is my favorite “F” word!) Maybe you baked some cookies? Place a few in a bag and share them with a neighbor(s) who may be all alone. Maybe you don’t have a lot of money to spend on food but you have time to give at a shelter to serve a meal. Maybe you have some branches in your yard from last season (no judging.) Gather them up, paint them gold or silver, tie them with a bow and deliver them to friend in a yard sale or thrift store vase to a friend. Add twinkly lights and it’s instant holiday ambience! If you don’t have time or the opportunity for any of these suggestions, share a smile. Share a laugh. Share a moment. Give a compliment. Wear the silly hat, be a bit dorky and never take life too seriously; even when it gets serious.
With all the indulging and ensuing bulging, I thought I would share my recipe for Crispy Gluten Free Tresomega Spaghetti Bites. The best part about the recipe? They are tasty and easy to make? Tresomega Nutrition products are available for purchase at www.samsclub.com and please check out the following social media pages to learn more about the entire Tresomega Nutrition product line.
Crispy Gluten-free Spaghetti Bites
3 cups cooked Tresomega Nutrition Gluten Free Organic Quinoa Spaghetti made from 1, 8 ounce package
3 tablespoons salted butter
12 slices low sodium salami
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Cooking spray as needed
1 1/2 cups jarred pasta sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the Tresomega Gluten Free Spaghetti according the manufacturer’s directions. Drain the pasta. Set aside. Return pot to the heat. Add 3 tablespoons butter and allow butter to brown over medium-low heat. While butter browns, slice salami by stacking it and slicing it into 1/4"-thick slices. Add salami to the browned butter and cook until crispy, about five minutes. Remove from heat. Add pasta. Toss to coat. Set aside. Crack egg into a large bowl. Add salt and beat egg well. Add 3 cups pasta and salami mixture to beaten egg. Toss to coat. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and salt. Mix to combine. Set aside. Spray 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray. Divide pasta between cups. Top each with 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese. Spray tops with cooking spray. Bake 25 minutes, until bites are brown and crispy about the edges. Serve with jarred pasta sauce for dipping.
This blog is sponsored by Tresomega Nutrition but the opinions are my own.
Tart and Steviva Sweet Lime Curd
Looking for something light and low calorie for desert? Who are we kidding? Everybody’s looking for something light and refreshing for dessert! Well, Dear Readers! I got your back! Try my Tart and Sweet Steviva Lime Curd made with Steviva Blend. A delightful natural sugar substitute made with Stevia. Steviva Blend is available at https://www.steviva.com/ Please check out their social media pages.
Here are the links to the Steviva pages:
Tart and Steviva Sweet Lime Curd
Yield: 4 servings
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
5 large egg yolks
1/8 cup Steviva Blend
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
Fresh berries of choice
Melt butter in a medium pot over low heat. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat/whisk egg yolks and Steviva Blend until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add salt. Slowly beat/whisk melted butter into egg yolk mixture. Return mixture to pot and cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until all graininess is gone, about 10 minutes. (DO NOT walk away.) Remove from heat. Whisk in 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice and zest. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a serving dish. Cover surface with plastic wrap. Chill 2 hours or up to 3 days before serving with fresh berries of choice.
Variation: For a little kick, stir in 1 tablespoon tequila with juice before chilling.
Spicy Steviva BLT's
Visit Steviva's social media pages by following the links below:
Spicy Steviva BLT’s
1 tablespoon Steviva KetoseSweet Liquid
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic granules
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon mustard powder
16 ounces thick cut smoked bacon
Bread of choice
Mayonnaise and mustard
Preheat oven to 375°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and then parchment paper. Set aside.
To make the Spicy Steviva Paste: Combine Steviva KetoseSweet Liquid, vinegar, lemon juice and all spices in a small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
Spread bacon slices on prepared sheet. Brush both sides of bacon with spicy Steviva paste. Bake until bacon becomes brown and just crispy at edges, about 18 minutes. Serve on bread of choice, using 3 slices bacon per/serving, with sliced tomato, crisp lettuce, mayonnaise and mustard.
This blog is sponsored by Steviva but the opinions are my own.
Savory Tresomega Greek Pastitsio
I am “half” Greek, a quarter French and the rest is a mixed bag. It just so happens my two favorite types of cuisine are, you guessed it Dear Readers, Greek and French. I would like to introduce you all to savory Greek dish called Pastitsio. Pastitsio is a beef, pasta and tomato sauce casserole dish that is topped with creamy béchamel and then Parmesan cheese. The tomato sauce is warmed with a touch of cinnamon and oregano and the meat is made rich with eggs. More eggs go into the creamy bechamel sauce and then Parmesan cheese is finely grated and added to the sauce and also goes over the top to make a crust. Sounds pretty amazing right? I agree! But back up, rewind... what if you cannot eat wheat? What of you are gluten intolerant? What to do? What to do?
For starters, be grateful you read my blog because I have created a phenomenal gluten free Pastitsio so fab, you will LOVE it no matter what your dietary restrictions. How you might wonder did I accomplish such a recipe? Easy. I cooked smart and used two types of Tresomega Nutrition’s Gluten Free pastas, Quinoa Fusilli Pasta and Quinoa Penne Pasta to create a Savory Tresomega Greek Pastitsio. (You're welcome!)
Like all Tresomega Nutrition’s products, the pastas are available to purchase online at www.samsclub.com and please visit Tresomega Nutrition's social media pages to learn more about these truly yummy products, you will be glad you did! Here are the links to their pages:
This post is sponsored by Tresomega Nutrition but the opinions are my own.
#Tresomega #OrganicsForLife #SamsClub
Savory Tresomega Greek Pastitsio
Yield: 6-8 servings
1 - 8 ounce box Tresomega Gluten Free Fusili Pasta
1 - 8 ounce box Tresomega Gluten Free Penne Pasta
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pound ground beef, preferably organic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
6 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
3 large eggs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Gluten Free Béchamel Sauce
1/2 cup salted butter
2 tablespoons gluten free cornstarch
3 cups milk
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
To cook the Tresomega Nutrition gluten free pastas:
Cook the gluten free pasta according manufacturer’s instructions on the back of the package. Reserve one cup cooking liquid and set aside. Drain and toss with 2 tablespoons salted butter and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Set aside.
To prepare the meat mixture:
Place a large frying pan over medium heat. When warm, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook onion 3 minutes. Sprinkle onions with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Stir to combine. Add ground beef, remaining cinnamon, pepper and oregano. Cook until no pink remains, breaking into small pieces. Add tomato paste and reserved cooking liquid. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and allow to cool 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9”x13” baking dish. Set aside.
Stir beaten eggs and Parmesan cheese into the cooled meat mixture. Stir to combine well. Add the cooked buttered gluten free pastas to the meat mixture and stir to combine. Set aside while you prepare the sauce.
To prepare the gluten free Béchamel Sauce.
Melt butter in a medium pot over medium heat. In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1 cup milk. Whisk to combine. Set aside. When butter is melted, whisk in the milk and cornstarch mixture. (Save the bowl.) Whisk in the remaining 2 cups milk. Bring the mixture to the boil, whisking often. Beat 3 eggs until smooth in the reserved bowl. Place the bowl on a damp towel. Set aside. When the milk mixture comes to the boil, boil for two minutes. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the thickened milk into the eggs. (This is called tempering.) Return the pot to the heat and carefully and slowly whisk in the tempered egg mixture. Continue cooking the milk mixture, whisking constantly, until thickened. Whisk in the Parmesan cheese. Taste for salt and add up to 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.
To assemble and bake the Pastitsio:
Topple the Tresomega Gluten free pasta and meat mixture into the prepared dish. Pour the Gluten Free Béchamel Sauce over the top. Sprinkle 1 cup Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake in the preheated oven 45 minutes, until the top is a deep golden brown. Cool 15 minutes before serving.
There is something sumptuous about drinking a pretty and berry-infused drink on a snowy winter day. Add to the fact the drink is sweetened to perfection with a natural and ZERO calorie sweetener called KetoseSweet Liquid and I call that perfection! In fact, if I was creating a newspaper headline it would read; "Muddled Gin & Herby Blackberry KetoseSweet Drink Saves Day!" Since you are de-de-definitly going love-love-love my recipe for this drink and want to make one for yourself, please visit Steviva's social media pages (links below) and the Steviva website to learn more about their products. I created this recipe for the Steviva Holiday Keto Blogger Recipe Challenge and it is the first of three I will be sharing that utilizes the all natural sweeteners. Did I mention they are ZERO calories? Zero as in zip, nada, nothing. Zero as in even a math-challenged person, (no judging) can count! Wink. Wink.
Mary's Kitchen Muddled Gin & Herby Blackberry KetoseSweet Treat
Yield: 1 serving
1 sprig fresh thyme
10 frozen blackberries
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon KetoseSweet Liquid
3 ounces gin
1/2 cup crushed ice
Remove the leaves from the sprig of thyme and place into a drink shaker. Add the frozen berries, lime zest, lime juice, KetoseSweet Liquid and the ice to the shaker. Cover and shake vigorously. Pour into a pretty glass. Enjoy!
The post is sponsored by Steviva but the opinions are my own.
Thanksgiving is upon us, Dear Readers, so here is a perfect side dish for those in your life (and at your Thanksgiving Day table) with food allergies or challenging diets. I don’t know about you but I believe everyone should be part of the party, even if they are a vegan… just kidding… That means serving "safe and fair" recipes. A "safe and fair" recipe means EVERYONE is part of the Party! A small butternut squash half that has been roasted to perfection is an excellent "safe and fair" side dish recipe for Thanksgiving Day! Since this recipe feeds two people it is easy to plan for and feed as many guests as you like. This recipe is ideal for any loved one with nut (or even dairy) allergies so it’s SAFE + FAIR for EVERYONE and perfect for the SAFE + FAIR = THANKFUL: AN ALLERGY FRIENDLY RECIPE CONTEST (https://www.safeandfair.com/pages/thanksgiving-recipe-contest) which is awesome! Yay! Please visit THE SAFE + FAIR FOOD COMPANY WEBSITE to learn about the yummy and allergy-friendly products this clever company has to offer.
Roasted Butternut Squash with Onion, Brown Sugar and Sage
1 small butternut squash, washed, cut in half lengthwise and seeded (seeds reserved)
Cooking spray as needed
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ of 1 small yellow onion
2 fresh sage leaves, cut into chiffonade (See instructions below)
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons whipped butter OR 1 tablespoon stick butter OR olive oil
Equipment You Will Need:
Foil, or parchment paper, baking sheet, cutting board, chef’s knife, sturdy spoon
Small butternut squash, cooking spray, brown sugar, sage, onion, butter or olive oil
60-90 minutes, depending upon the size of the squash, including assembling and cooking the ingredients
Preheat oven to 375°. For ease of clean up, line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and then with parchment paper. Set aside.
Place the seeded squash halves, skin down on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray each with cooking spray. Season each with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside while you prepare the onion and sage.
To prepare the onion: Peel and halve the onion. Lay ½ flat and slice into ¼ inch-thick slices. Set aside. Reserve the other half of the onion for another use.
To chiffonade the sage: Stack the leaves. Roll up the leaves widthwise, like a cigar. Slice widthwise, into thin strips.Gently fluff to separate the strips. Set aside.
Scatter brown sugar over tops and in each cavity followed by the sage and finally the sliced onion. Dot each squash half with 1 tablespoon whipped butter OR ½ tablespoon of stick butter or olive oil. Bake squash until soft, golden and sugar begins to bubble; about 30-40 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and allow squash to cool 10 minutes before serving.
*Remember the butternut squash seeds you removed from inside the squash? They add a terrific crunch and taste a lot like pumpkin seeds.
How to Roast Squash Seeds:
Preheat oven to 350°. Remove any membrane that is clinging to seeds. Heat a (nonstick) frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan. When the oil is hot, add seeds and sea salt to taste. (Be careful the seeds will splatter.) Toss seeds about 10 minutes, until just brown. Pour seeds onto a lined baking sheet. Roast 7-9 minutes. Serve seeds with Roasted Butternut Squash with Onion, Brown Sugar and Sage recipe above or with salads, pastas or whatever.
This blog is sponsored by The Safe + Fair Food Company but the opinions are my own.
Today is an Election Day, Dear Readers. I for one am proud and excited to vote and I am also crossing my fingers, toes and eyes that my vote will be counted and help my country and future generations. On that note, Election Day calls for a celebration of the democratic process our country is founded upon so I say, ‘ muster up a patriotic Election Day cake!’ What is an Election Day cake you may ask? Well, I will tell you... An Election Day cake used to be known as a Muster Cake and was eaten during the revelery of old when patriots came from far and wide to gather and celebrate an election. The cakes were/are spiked, spiced, filled with fruit and meant to feed a village. The cakes also became an incentive to vote so it seems the idea of cake as a reward goes back centuries. The process to make an Election Cake is long and difficult, much like the entire campaign process and like voting, worth the effort.
Thanksgiving Series - Have a Plan
Thanksgiving Day is exactly 20 days from today so I thought I would begin a Thanksgiving Series to help you be prepared and part of the party.
Series One: Have a Plan
Okay, I went there... it my not be romantic BUT plans are a good thing, especially if you’re a novice home cook. What exactly does a “plan“ entail? Simple, ideas, organization and lists. That’s not very daunting is it, Dear Readers? Oh of course it’s not.
1. Order turkey
2. If you’re making it, prepare pie crusts (which may be frozen) and pie fillings (which may be frozen. ) *My homemade apple pie filling is made and frozen as are some potato rolls.
The week of:
Monday before T-Day
1. Clean the house. (This is where the kids will come in handy.)
2. Go to the grocery store to shop for T-Day and night before meal (This way you avoid the crowds.)
3. Plan your wine, side dishes and desserts. Plan for appetizers and munchies too. And make sure all ingredients are on the list. Plan T-Day breakfast. (I always make something special on holiday mornings.)
4. Bring the list to the store! (You’d be amazed at how easy it is to forget potatoes.) May God have mercy on your soul if your husband or male partner is the one going to the store for T-Day, Especially if you do not have a list!
4. Do laundry and if you’re having guests arrive, today is the day to get ready for them.
Tuesday before T-Day
1. Prepare sides such as homemade cranberry sauce. After, they are prepared, put them in the T-Day serving bowl. Defrost anything you made ahead unless it’s bread.
2. Enjoy your guests. Relax.
Wednesday before T-Day
1. Put the kids to work that are home for the holiday.
2. Have activities ready for the kids that are home for the holiday. Activities could include things like making the place cards, collecting fall leaves and such to decorate the table Or simply spending time together in the kitchen.
3. Prepare the bird, broth and stuffing.
4. Have an easy and light dinner. Ready T-Day appetizers/munchies.
5. Set the table for T-Day dinner, platters, bowls, candles and all. Wash any veggies that can be, like potatoes, salad greens, etc.(These are kid-friendly activities.)
6. Calculate when you want to eat dinner and plan to get the bird in the oven in time to have it rested and ready to serve. Remember, it takes time to stuff the bird and season it so plan for that too when calculating.
1. You know what to do! After the bird goes in the oven and you have a pot of gravy base on low heat, the bread is defrosting, you have only to know when what sides go in the oven when. Just enjoy and be part of the party and OH yes, one more thing, DO NOT forget to serve the sides you prepared earlier!
I hope this “plan“ helps and please share any other “plan” items you think might be helpful to other Dear Readers.
Avid home cook and passionate instructor