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Dawn Knowlton eat.play.live
Eunice : hi Dawn, how are you? did Dave ever get back to you on your forum post about what future plans he has for WGE? noticing that he hasn't really been responding as much as before so wondering if this means i just really have to look for other ways to store my recipes. which is very sad because i like this service and haven't really found anything comparable. hope all is well with you and yours.
Dawn Knowlton: Oh my gosh...where to start? I went off the deep end and have cooked up a storm this weekend! Friday night I made Touch of Asia Ribs, with steamed broccoli, and buttered rice. Yesterday I made pancakes and sausage for breakfast, and for lunch I made Easy Black Bean Soup. After lunch I made a new recipe for Soft Pretzels. So delish!! Today I made creme brulee French toast, bacon, and blood orange supremes drizzled with a fig and balsamic vinegar. For lunch I made Swedish Chili. We have company this weekend, so I made Velveeta and Ro-Tel dip with tortilla chips as a snack and I have 15-bean soup on the stove. Oh, yeah, I also have a Lick Your Lips Cake finished in the fridge for a snack later on with the rest going to hubby's office tomorrow. :oD Now that the weekend is over, I need a nap and a few days to recover! *lol*
Dawn Knowlton: Another snow day in N. Texas so I spent a part of the day testing my baking chops making Bruce Ezzell's Bagels. They turned out so gooood! I have them packed up and ready to go to work in the morning with my hubby to share with his co-workers. It was a surprisingly easy recipe from beginning to end.
Dawn Knowlton: Doing some final tweaking on a few of my recipes in preparation for a brunch I am catering next week. This morning I reworked a few ingredients in my Sausage, Roasted Red Pepper and Spinach Torta Rustica and Baked Blueberry-Pecan French Toast. My hubs and best friend said it was perfect! :o) Woot!
Dawn Knowlton: I have been snowed in for the last 4 days because of Snowpocalypse 2011. Today I went a little stir crazy and got my baking groove on. I made our all-time family favorite, Gram Gould's Ginger Creams, and Almost Famous Soft Pretzels. Oh my goodness - pure delight! Not being much of a baker, I was very pleased that they both turned out so well, especially the pretzels, as I have made the cookies many times in the past and am familiar with that recipe. But yeast and kneading aren't my favorite things to work with. Pleasant surprise today! It encourages me to try more yeast based recipes - up next...Bruce Ezzell's Bagels!
Dawn Knowlton: We are snowed in (more like iced in) here in the Dallas area today, luckily I pulled out a few frozen items I had previously made. That way I can stay snuggled up all day and enjoy good food with just a little work. Right now I have a big pan of Chicken Spaghetti (OAMC) in the oven. Breakfast this morning was a couple slices of a wonderful sweet bread loaf we picked up during our New Year's roadtrip at a favorite roadside restaurant of ours. Other than that, staying snuggled up under a blanket with a warm kitty purring in my lap. Hubby had to go to work, unfortunately. Being the boss isn't always the best gig. I sent him with a good lunch plus I packed him lots of snacks just in case it was a long day. If the roads are still bad tonight, he might stay the night in a hotel across the street from his office. Luckily he thought ahead and packed a change of clothes...just in case. Everyone stay warm and safe out there today!
Dawn Knowlton: I have been cooking just a bit lately, mostly simple family favorites, and as always, weekend breakfasts. Breakfast is my favorite meal to cook for people. There is something...hmmmmm...wholesome and loving about the foods and actions of breakfast. Cracking eggs into a bowl and whipping them up for scrambled eggs, the sound of bacon sizzling, and the smell of freshly brewed coffee. I really do feel breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I love feeding those I care about the meal that will start their day and fuel their energy and spirits.
Dawn Knowlton: I seem to have the mid-winter blues. So much I want to cook or bake and just can't get the get-up-and-go to do it. It's a shame because the cooler weather (well, to me it's just downright cold) beckons for bubbling soups and stews and oven baked goodies. Oh well, I feel like I am coming out of it with the weather warming a tad bit, so hopefully I will make something tasty soon. Tonight it's easy tasty. A homemade freezer meal from my OAMC recipes - Cheeseburger Macaroni (OAMC).
Lorrae : I had no idea cheeseballs were the up-and-coming trend! It was definitely a hit though. Your cheese balls sound amazing... I love coconut, and that sounds like a perfect mix. Also, I've had a home-made chutney sitting around in my pantry for a few months now, but had no idea what to serve it with. Do you usually serve it as an appetizer with cheese and crackers?
Dawn Knowlton: Does anyone have a foolproof and delicious recipe for beignets? We ate breakfast out yesterday and the restaurant offered a plate of mini-beignets. They were good, but not great. One thing it did though, was fuel my desire to make some really good New Orleans'-style beignets for breakfast soon. So let me know if you have a great recipe to share. :o)
Dawn Knowlton: I had a phenomenal day yesterday. I accompanied my friend and mentor, Chef Sharon Van Meter, to a local Carrollton, Texas high school (where I live) where we participated in a "Kids Teaching Kids" program. The concept...high school culinary students (and I mean CULINARY, not home ec like I had when I was in school!) develop healthy snack recipes (meeting certain criteria based on calories, fat, etc.) that can be prepared by 4th and 5th graders (no use of sharp knives, ovens, stoves, or microwaves). Chef Van Meter demoed two recipes, turkey wraps and fruit salad pitas, for the students. Now the students have to develop their own recipes which we get to taste test on February 8th. These recipes are then compiled into a cookbook, which is designed by students at the same school, and professionally printed. These cookbooks are then distributed to every 4th and 5th grader in the school district. I am so proud to be a part of this program and look forward to helping it succeed and hopefully creating better eating habits in the children in my school district. I wish we had programs like this when I was younger. Perhaps I would have developed better habits myself.
Eunice : so there was problems trying to respond to your original post so i'm posting here: thanks for the tofu link, Dawn! sorry for delay. been kinda' busy. hafta' say as someone who grew up on tofu and loves it, that's just so unappetizing. i'm not a food purist but there's just something so wrong for me about squeezing all the juice out of tofu and i don't understand why so many preparations for tofu involves pressing the tofu before frying, other than the potential burns from oil spatters. it would be like eating cardboard. one of my favorite tofu dishes is agedashi dofu. prepared properly, it's deep-fried silken tofu until golden brown and crisp on the outside; on the inside, it remains juicy and custard-like, mouth-meltingly so, with a simple broth and scallions to add some flavor. i have a strong belief that if people ever had fresh tofu, they would change their minds. that stuff that they sell in supermarkets is nasty. it leaves a bad tang in my mouth and it just doesn't compare with fresh tofu, texture or taste-wise. okay, that's enough of me on my tofu soap box. i have strong feelings about food, so hope you don't mind my rant. (^_~) plus if you've never had agedashi dofu, from a reputable place that knows how to prep it, highly recommended. so good...mmmmm... thanks Dawn!
Dawn Knowlton: Well, as of yesterday, school is finished for the semester and I had hoped to have a whole lot of free time to rest, relax, and have fun in the kitchen. Well, the fun in the kitchen part is still part of the plan, but as of last Friday, I am the new executive chef for the Dallas Woman's Forum and my first big gig starts next Monday serving 128 people every day for 11 days straight a four-course holiday tea! I am so excited and also petrified! It's my first real "professional" gig. To calm the nerves, I keep telling myself that all I am doing is serving sandwiches and biscuits. hehe Anywho...in case I am scarce for a while here on WGE I wanted to take a moment to wish everyone here a wonderful Christmas. No matter what or how you celebrate, make it your best, and do it with great food! :o)
Dawn Knowlton: I have made two loaves of bread in the last 24 hours. The first was Homestyle White Bread (Bread Machine). It was a nice loaf that we used for ham sandwiches yesterday. Last night I made Apple Cider Cinnamon Bread (Bread Machine). It was so nice to wake up to fresh bread for toast. :o)
Dawn Knowlton: Using up leftover ham from Thanksgiving dinner. Yesterday it was 15 Bean Soup (Pressure Cooker), today it will be Scalloped Potatoes and Ham. Funny thing is, I have never found a homemade scalloped potatoes recipe I like - and I have tried quite a few. I grew up eating the boxed stuff and it's a comfort food thing for me now. So tonight's dinner will be super simple, open the box, dump in a few ingredients, and bake! On a more involved level, somewhat, I have pulled out the bread machine and have decided it is homemade bread weather! Looking through my cookbook (check it out here: http://www.amazon.com/Bread-Lovers-Machine-Cookbook/dp/155832156X - it's a fabulous book!), and trying to narrow down the zillion things I want to try to bake. :o)
Lorrae : Hi Dawn! Glad to see you! I definitely have not had much time since heading back to school, but this break will give me some promising time to relax, make some cakes, and enjoy my kitchen without worrying about homework and exams :p. From scanning your recent posts, I had no idea you had surgery. How are you feeling? I'm glad to see it hasn't stopped you from trying new things in the kitchen!! :] Your take on Paula Deen's coconut cake sounds amazing. Hope you have a great thanksgiving :]
Dawn Knowlton: This morning I made another Dutch Baby for breakfast. This is fast becoming our favorite breakfast. And, honestly, it doesn't get any easier. I posted new pictures of today's in the notes section of the recipe. Check it out. It's super impressive for how simple the preparation is! On another note, last night I made Paula Deen's Coconut Layer Cake. It's a delicious cake. The fillings between the layers is different, but really nice (it has sour cream in the filling). But making the 7-minute frosting transported me back to my childhood and into my grandmother's kitchen and her style of baking. Today's home cooks don't make, much less know about, cooked-style frostings. What a shame! So fluffy, smooth, and glossy. Like warm marshmallow. Yummmmm! Next time, I will make the same 1-2-3-4 Cake and frosting, but make a pineapple filling for a pina colada style cake! Finally, I fell into a windfall and had a huge amount of bone-in chicken breast and 10# of ground beef given to me. I made 2 gallons of pressure cooker chicken broth, which will come in handy for Thanksgiving cooking, then made a whole bunch of chicken enchiladas (both red and sour cream) for the freezer. Today or tomorrow, I will be making stuffed cabbage, taco meat, Sloppy Joe's (aka Sloppy JJ's), and a few other freezable meals with the beef.
Dawn Knowlton: I will be presenting the topic "How to Enjoy the Holidays After Weight Loss Surgery" to my support group in early November. I also get to feed the group, as well, which excites me! I have been mulling over ideas for months now and have finally come up with my menu. The proteins will be Charred Pineapple Bourbon Glazed Pork Tenderloin, Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Beef Chili, and a nice cheese tray. Side dishes will be pureed cauliflower and a green vegetable, I am thinking broccolini. For dessert I will offer meringue kisses and baked apples. Post-WLS folks have to really focus on their intake of protein. So that is my goal, which I feel this menu meets. What I hope to convey are good choices they can make while attending holiday parties and items that are simple to make if they are doing the entertaining. I welcome any thoughts and suggestions anyone may have to improve on my concept here. :o)
Dawn Knowlton: I have been cooking a lot lately. This morning I made a wonderful breakfast of Waffles with Blueberry Maple Syrup. Last night I sauteed some baby artichokes in garlic butter and added some angel hair pasta. Yesterday for breakfast I made homemade breakfast sausage - with a mix of ground pork and turkey to lighten it up. I need to work on my spices still. It was good, but not perfect. Friday I made chipotle tabasco turkey burgers, roasted cauliflower and apple crisp for lunch. The hubby is working from home 4 days a week now, so I can cook for him. :o)
Traci Downing: I see you're adding new recipes:-) Now I get to go check them all out!
Dawn Knowlton: SWEET! For my birthday today, my DH remembered what I truly wanted....a pressure cooker! It's happy dance time! Anyone have any tried and true pressure cooker recipes? I'm looking for recipes that are good for a beginner. :o)
Dawn Knowlton: Nothing really to share today. Have been super busy the last few weeks and the hubby has been out of town off and on for business, so not cooking much. But I haven't disappeared and wanted to send a "HI" to all here at WGE. :o) See you when the world stops spinning so quickly!
Dawn Knowlton: My hubby has been out of town for the last week, so I haven't really made much of anything, other than the sweets I made a couple days ago. But he returns home tonight and has requested pancakes for breakfast tomorrow. So I pulled out my tried and true recipe, Good Ol' Pancakes, and will whip up a batch just for him. I also bought some bacon and some fruit. I am going to make a fresh fruit salad and drizzle it with a simple syrup I just made that I infused with gingerroot. The recipe for Flavored Simple Syrup is so easy and really jazzes up such simple things like fruit or iced tea. I kind of wish he would have requested Breakfast for Dinner tonight at 11pm now. *lol*
Eunice : Dawn, you made a comment to my veggie burger recipe awhile back and just read/saw these two items and thought of you: Homemade Veggie Burgers & Potato Salad & 4 Tips for Building a Better Veggie Burger. enjoy!
Dawn Knowlton: I had a sweet tooth today, so I made a batch of Chocolate Caramel Crack(ers). I will snack on a few pieces today. Luckily I have a meeting tomorrow, so I will bring them along and get everyone there to eat up the rest! Perfect!
Dawn Knowlton: Haven't really been cooking much lately. With nearly three weeks of over 100 degree days, it's miserable in the kitchen when you turn on the oven or stove. Last night I did pull out one of my OAMC meals from the freezer, it was Italian Sausage Cacciatore. I need to find the recipe for it and get it uploaded here. It's really good and satisfying. Tonight is another OAMC meal, Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin (OAMC). I am going to cheat and make it in the crockpot though. I have found a few more of my OAMC recipes and am going to get them uploaded today. It has been fun culling through my cookbooks lately as I am finding recipes and notes tucked between pages. Shame on me. Luckily now, with WGE, I can get everything in one place and know where it all is!
Dawn Knowlton: I bought a pasta machine this weekend! I can't tell you how excited I am to make fresh pasta on a regular basis! My family has always made "kluski"-style noodles by hand (as seen in this recipe: Homemade Noodles), but to have a machine to roll out and cut the pasta dough is going to be so much fun! I made my first batch last night and ate them with just a little bit of really good butter (Kerrygold) and a sprinkling of fine sea salt. It was scrumptious! Coming up soon will be a recipe for an open-face deconstructed ravioli (no need to fuss with filling individual raviolis when you can just fold the ingredients inside a freshly-made sheet of pasta!). It will be filled with artichokes hearts, roasted peppers, asparagus, all tossed in a delicious sauce. Then the filling will be enveloped in fresh pasta then drizzled with pesto and good olive oil! Can you say yummmmm???
Eunice : hi Dawn, thanks for the good wishes! you rock!!! you are an inspiration with your cooking ventures and particularly with your honest disclosure of your WLS journey. looks like you are already serving as a source of hope for one other person taking the same journey.
Dawn Knowlton: I started my weight loss surgery journey on March 4. Since then I have lost 65 pounds. Today I went through my closet and packed nearly all my clothes (sizes 22-28) up to give away through Freecycle and bought some new clothes - all in size 18! I want to thank all you great WGE'ers out there because going through and scanning your recipes gives me so many great ideas on meals to prepare that work well for me as I continue to work the WLS program. So, THANK YOU! You guys rock! :o)
Dawn Knowlton: Added a few more Once a Month Cooking recipes tonight. These new recipes are all side dishes, including Creamed Spinach (OAMC), Corn Souffle (OAMC), Broccoli Rice Casserole (OAMC), and Cheesy Potatoes (OAMC). All taste tested and approved by me! :o)
Dawn Knowlton: I was out of town for the weekend for a chef's conference and it was such an inspirational weekend. I ate well, I drank well, I slept well. It put me in such a cooking mood! Right now I am enjoying Julia Child on the Cooking Channel and she is making Pot au Feu. So now I am craving something beefy. Will have to see what I have on hand and whip something up for dinner. Happy cooking everyone!
Dawn Knowlton: Tonight I made an old favorite, Swedish Chili. It's as good as I always remembered it. Now, if the hubby would just get home so I can serve dinner. *lol* I was at the grocery store today, so I picked up a nice rosemary focaccia lbread and some broccoli slaw to serve with it. My mouth is watering!
Dawn Knowlton: Giving some thought towards the holidays and gift giving. I plan on giving mainly homemade gifts. I am thinking about doing some canning over the next few weeks and including these tasty treats in Christmas baskets. Actually, I am leaning towards making a ketchup/mustard/relish trio. It's kind of unique and unusual. I like the idea. :o)
Dawn Knowlton: My husband eats oatmeal quite often for breakfast...and he was recently told to lower his cholesterol, which oatmeal can help with...so I am scouring the web for homemade flavored oatmeal recipes which I plan to upload here. Of the websites I have found so far, there are people who make individual packets in ziploc baggies and those who make large batches and store them in containers to be scooped out in serving size portions into take and reuse bowls. I plan to play with both ideas to find which one the hubs prefers. For other oatmeal lovers out there, check out my finds. :o)
Dawn Knowlton: I have uploaded all of my tried and true OAMC cooking recipes that I could find. There are 24 recipes total now, with a nice mix of beef, chicken, pork and fish recipes. Even three desserts! I am still missing a few that I need to look for and upload, but I am not sure where they would be if they weren't in this stack. But I need to find them because it includes one of my faves, a Cheeseburger Meatloaf! Anywho...for those who like OAMC, check 'em all out. There are some really tasty choices. :o)
Dawn Knowlton: More OAMC recipes uploaded today with about 13 more to go. Didn't realize I had such a treasure trove of freezer cooking recipes! I hope to have them all uploaded by the end of the holiday weekend.
Dawn Knowlton: Uploading a whole bunch of Once A Month Cooking (OAMC) Recipes I have collected over the years. I don't keep any OAMC recipe that I don't like because why fill up my freezer with stuff I don't like? These are all favorites in my house. Check them out: Salisbury Steak (OAMC), Shredded Beef Sandwiches (OAMC), Cranberry-Jalapeno Pork Tenderloin (OAMC), and even a dessert(!), German Apple Pie (OAMC).
Dawn Knowlton: Feeling better today...now that my aching body and bruised ego are starting to heal. I plan to make a few bound salads today to have on hand for easy meals this week since I am still very worn out. On the menu are Crabmeat Salad, Egg Salad, and tuna salad. All high protein and easy on my stomach.
Dawn Knowlton: I'm really bummed out today. I had to quit my new job. I just couldn't handle the heat and humidity of the factory. The physical labor was bearable, and something I could get used to as I am a very hard worker. But, with how limited my food and water intake is so soon after surgery, I couldn't stay hydrated or eat enough to keep my energy levels up. Each day was harder and harder and today I feel broken. My soul is somewhat broken too, as I had such high hopes for this job as it is something I really enjoy doing with people I highly respect. Time heals all wounds and time will make this decision easier on my psyche. On the bright side, I am back to a schedule that will allow me time to finish organizing the house and get some cooking in. This weekend I had the opportunity to present a workshop to 15 people on Tea and Table Service. I have gotten good feedback that it was well-received and executed. Perhaps there is hope for me after all. *lol* :o)
Dawn Knowlton: Tonight I made Chicken and Dumplings with the leftover chicken meat from last night's chicken. It was so good! Tomorrow I have plans to fire the grill up again for a celebratory dinner of marinated grilled flank steak and polenta cakes. Celebratory because...I start my new job as cheesemaker at the Mozzarella Company on Wednesday! Woooooot!
Dawn Knowlton: Last night, in the continuiing saga of my quest to prepare a whole chicken every week, I found the jackpot of all grilled chicken recipes - Pineapple-Rum Glazed Grilled Chicken. It was soooooo good! The rub and glaze gave it a ton of flavor. Slightly sweet, but not too much. I also brined the bird using my simple brine recipe. It makes a big difference in the flavor and moisture of the bird. :o)
Dawn Knowlton: Firing up the crockpot tonight instead of the oven for my BBQ Country-Style Ribs. Just let 'em cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or low for 8 to 9 hours. Is it dinner time yet? :oD
Dawn Knowlton: Back from vacay. Could use a get-away to recoup from my get-away. *lol* With summer here my oven won't be turned on much as it heats up the kitchen and house so much. So tonight I fired the grill up and plan to do that as much as possible over the summer. I am also going to break out the crock pot. On a different note, I had an interview yesterday for a job as a cheesemaker at a local artisan cheesemaking shop here in town. It's a pretty cool gig and I am hoping I get the job. It will be hard work, but it is something I have a great deal of interest in. Happy cooking everyone!
Lin Gee Reid: Hi Dawn, This is Lin Gee Way Bessey. I just happened to google myself and this site showed up! Thank you for sharing my recipes with everyone, I'm glad to see you are still cooking! Feel free to email me anytime email@example.com Your old friend, Gee Gee
Dawn Knowlton: I will be a bit scarce around here over the next week. We are taking some time and hitting the road for much needed vay-cay starting Friday. I do have some plans to make some cookies for a meeting my husband has to attend, so perhaps I will pop in and say howdy another time or two before then. The plan is to make a batch of Surly Bitch Cookies, which are too good for words. :o)
Dawn Knowlton: I made Crescent Chicken Squares for a quick lunch for a friend and I today. They were good, my friend really liked them, but they were too tangy for my taste. The cream cheese led the flavor and I would rather have the chicken and crescent dough stand out more. I also think they would benefit from the additional of veggies, like broccoli, or even working them to be more like a pot pie with some peas and carrots. I will share my results next time I work them up my way. :o)
Dawn Knowlton: Tonight I am making another spatchcocked chicken. This time I am roasting it in the oven and glazing it with peach jalapeno jam that I have added a good splash of white wine to and heated/reduced on the stovetop. I'm hoping it is a good as it sounds!
Dawn Knowlton: For dinner tonight, I made Cubed Steaks in a Dijon Gravy and Smashed Sour Cream Potatoes. Oh my goodness, it was really good! I also made a batch of Savory Cheddar and Pepper Jelly Cookies today. I sampled one right out of the oven but am waiting for dinner to settle so I can sample one that has cooled. I used a peach jalapeno jelly for a change of pace.
Doris Clark: Thanks Dawn re: the Heloise source for the Angel biscuit recipe. It could be where my Mom first got it. Although I got the recipe from my Mom and then came across it again in her recipe collection a few years after she died, it is my belief the recipe was developed in the 1960s. There are 4 other published sources that I know about: (1) "A Book of Favorite Recipes" (copyright 1968) by Circulation Service, Shawnee Mission, Kansas (2)"My Favorite Recipes and How I Cook Them" , Florence B. Pribble (1973) (3) Garvin County Recipe Book,1980 "Red Cookbook" series (4) and most recent... Jan Karon's "Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader"(2004)
Dawn Knowlton: On of the best things I learned in culinary school...Kitchen Tips - The Finger Test to Check the Doneness of Meat. Invaluable now that grilling season is here! :o)
Dawn Knowlton: I used Lorrae's Traditional Asian Dipping Sauce tonight as a marinade for my kebabs and veggies. It was superb!
Dawn Knowlton: Tonight I am firing up the grill again. This time kebabs with steak, zucchini, and pearl onions. I am going to whip up a simple Asian-style marinade with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil for the beef and may also baste the veggies with it when they are cooking. To go along with all of it, this afternoon I made Deviled Eggs. Is it dinner time yet?
Dawn Knowlton: I have set a goal to roast/bbq a whole chicken every week. I have successfully done this the last two weeks. If you have any spectacular chicken recipes, let me know!
Dawn Knowlton: Dinner was great! Best part of it? Dessert! I couldn't find plums, so we went with apricots instead. If you are looking for a sweet and simple treat to end a summertime meal, check out Grilled Poundcake and Apricots!
Dawn Knowlton: Started the holiday morning with one of my favorites, Chipped Beef on Toast. This afternoon I am going to make another spatchcocked chicken, this time on the grill. Serving it with corn on the cob and grilled asparagus. For dessert I am going to grill some poundcake slices and plums and serve it with vanilla ice cream. Yum!
Dawn Knowlton: Going to a friend's birthday party tonight and bringing along my Shrimp and Pasta Salad. It looks so festive and I hope everyone likes it!
Dawn Knowlton: The BBQ Country-Style Ribs and Cornbread were both awesome! The hubs asked to have this meal on a regular basis! In a bit we will be cutting into the Applesauce Cake which I will be topping with a scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream and Lucky Layla Farms Milk Caramel Sauce. Yummmmmm!!
Dawn Knowlton: I have country-style pork ribs marinating in the refrigerator for tonight's dinner. I also plan to serve homemade cornbread. Plus, I have my Gram Gould's Applesauce Cake baking in the oven right now! I am really looking forward to dinner tonight!
Dawn Knowlton: Dinner last night was Mesquite-Rubbed Spatchcocked Roasted Chicken served with seasoned fresh corn and Brussels sprouts. It was so yummy! I recommend everyone try spatchcocking a chicken and roasting it in the oven or, even better since summertime is near, grilling it over some hot coals! Directions can be found in my tutorial, Kitchen Tips - Spatchcocking a Chicken. Enjoy!
Dawn Knowlton: Working towards organizing the house and culling unneeded items that just clutter up the place. Figured I should go through my cookbook collection (I have around 100 cookbooks!) and actually get rid of the ones I don't use or need. So I am starting to flip through and add recipes I want here from cookbooks I don't plan to keep around. Of course, I found my Gram Gould's cookbook, which I have no intention of getting rid of. But I shouldn't have started there. *lol* It's going to be a longer process than I thought! :o)
Dawn Knowlton: Hit the Four Season's Farmer Market this morning and scored a few great items. One that I am especially looking forward to is the Figalicious Fig Infused Dark Balsamic Vinegar from Texas Olive Ranch. I am going to use that for my Strawberries Tossed with Balsamic Vinegar and a Chiffonnade of Mint that I will be serving as dessert for my Tea and Table Service workshop I am presenting in June. Delish!
Dawn Knowlton: I picked up a loaf of white chocolate and apricot bread today and want to make something WOW for this weekend with is. I am thinking stuffed French toast (with a cream cheese filling). Anyone have any other ideas?
Dawn Knowlton: I had a request from a friend for Cooking for One (or two) recipes that met vegetarian or meat-free guidelines. So I uploaded a whole bunch today that I have saved from various sources. A lot of them are rather high in protein, so they will work for me in my post-wls eating, too!
Dawn Knowlton: I am nearly a month out from my surgery and doing well. Had a stressful (both physically and mentally) couple of weeks but am back on track and my recovery is coming along well. Certain foods I am craving and looking forward to adapting as I can start adding them to my diet. Something I am craving right now are nuts. I just watched a bit of a show on Food Network and it showed Union Station Bar Nuts. Soooooo delicious looking. So I had to search for a recipe and found one that I copied to here. I can't wait to check it out!! Still a while to go before nuts are in my diet, but looking forward to that day! More later!
Dawn Knowlton: Just a quick update...I am home and recuperating well. Surgery went well. I have about 4 weeks before I can do any strenuous activity and I suspect it will take me that long to get my energy level back up to near where it was pre-surgery. I haven't been cooking at all but have been enjoying the chicken stock I put up a few weeks ago. I am only able to consume 2 ounces at a time, but I am managing to get my protein in. Tomorrow I have my one week check in with my doctor and will start my vitamin supplements, as well. I hope everyone here is doing well and cooking up a storm for me! See you soon!
Eunice : hey Dawn, how are you? are you nervous about your surgery? how's the cooking changes turning out? haven't heard any updates from you for awhile so just checking in.
Dawn Knowlton: In preparation of my upcoming surgery, yesterday I prepared a big pot of chicken stock using the recipe from my Healthy Cooking textbook (http://wegottaeat.com/eat.play.live/recipes/chickenbeefveal-stock). It turned out perfect...and I know exactly what went into it. Good quality ingredients and lots of love! Next week I am going to make some brown chicken stock and beef stock. These will be nice to have for quick, sippable meals. This weekend I am going to make up a big ole pot of pinto beans so that I can make some meatless, pre-surgery meals including refried beans, a 7-layer tortilla pie recipe that I found, and some meatless enchiladas. Look for the recipes in my archives!
Dawn Knowlton: First week of school down. Thank goodness! The first classes are never that much fun because it is going over syllabusses...syllabi?...and other mundane facts. It's the second week when the fun begins! As I mentioned previously, starting on Monday, I am in the kitchen two days a week for Techniques of Healthy Cooking. I am ready to regain the skills that have gotten rusty while being away from the teaching/learning kitchen. I am also taking Catering, which won't be as much fun as working directly with food, but it is a topic I have much interest in as I hope to incorporate some small catering gigs into my Personal Chef business when I get up and running. My last class is a fun one...although impractical, as I have devoted four semesters to an elective that doesn't apply toward my degree. This is Knowledge Bowl, a jeopardy-style competition where we compete against other schools from across the country at our regional conference, and if lucky enough, go on to finals at the national conference. Last year we place 2nd at regionals, losing by only 10 points (1 question)! Not bad considering it was the first time a team from El Centro College had competed! This year I plan to go to finals though! Wish us luck! Well, I have am going to enjoy the day a bit before work tonight. Time to surf the web some and watch Food Network! Ciao!
Dawn Knowlton: Good timing to go along with my approval for weight loss surgery is that this semester I am enrolled in the class Techniques for Healthy Cooking. I have been looking forward to this class and had hoped to coordinate it with my surgery. It is the first time it is being offered in several years, so I couldn't have gotten luckier! This class will touch on topics as varied as menu planning and cooking techniques to strategies to cut fat/calories/etc while keeping texture/mouthfeel, taste, and appearance a high priority. After all, we eat with our eyes and noses first! The first class, an orientation, was held yesterday afternoon and next Monday and Tuesday we are in the kitchen. Up first, breakfast foods and a topic called Chef's Pantry. I can't tell you how excited I am! I have been out of the classroom kitchen since the end of Fall 2008 semester when I finished my Garde Manger class. Way too long!! Since I have to rewrite and print the recipes each week, I am going to go ahead and use WGE for that purpose. So anything tagged with techniquesforhealthycooking will be a recipe from the class. Happy cooking!
Dawn Knowlton: Great news! I have been approved for VSG surgery. Barring any financial complications (we have to pay a fairly large deductible and 10% of all fees), my surgery date is scheduled for March 4. I have a month and a half to get my mind in gear so my body will follow. To be honest, the part that I am most worried about is the pre-surgery diet. For two weeks prior to surgery I have to eat an entirely meat-free, low- to no-fat diet, while still getting an appropriate amount of protein. I am not worried that much about after the surgery as my eating will be restricted drastically due to physical changes. But that pre-surgical diet scares the bejeebus outta me!! But for now I just need to plan a two week pre-surgery meal plan and re-read my Nutrition book from Spring 2009 semester (of which I got an A!) to reacclimate myself to all of it. I know what I need to do...now I just need to train myself to do it. Luckily I have a great support system with my husband, family, and friends. :o) Here's to a new chapter of my life!
Eunice : aaack! sorry, i hope i didn't depress you too much with my post about diet changes.
Dawn Knowlton: I am currently in the process of trying to get approved for Weight Loss Surgery (WLS). I am looking at having what is called Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG). This is different from traditional Roux-en-Y procedure as it allows for more food choices and doesn't have as many malabsorptive issues - which means I will have less problem eating regular food and will get most of my nutrients from the food I eat, rather than nutritional supplements. This has been a difficult decision to make, and it's not one I made lightly. I am lucky to have the full support of my husband and family. I am going to start to bring some recipes over to WGE that might work well for me once I have the surgery. If anyone has any recommendations on food that might be appropriate (high protein/low fat/low calorie/low carbs), please feel free to let me know!
Dawn Knowlton: I was treated to farm fresh eggs last week. From Motley Farms, to be exact. They were beautiful to look at. Colorful - speckled brown, creamy tan, even a green one! I scrambled six of them with tarragon and half and half. The rest were fried sunny side up. They were so delicious. I wish I had another dozen now as I would love a poached egg on an English muffin.
Dawn Knowlton: My new favorite recipe? Well that's Sweet Potato Biscuits. I can't wait to make these again! Delish!
Dawn Knowlton: The hubs and I plan to do a lot of camping this year. It is something we both enjoy doing. I have gathered a lot of camping recipes over the years and today I uploaded them. It makes me want to go camping NOW...too bad the weather won't cooperate with us. Spring can't get her quick enough. :o)
Dawn Knowlton: Dinner tonight is one of my all-time favorites, which is now one of the hubs faves, Simple Pan Fried Pork Chops and Moist Herb Stuffing. I am switching it up a bit and pan frying the pork chops instead of baking them nestled in the stuffing - just for a change of pace.
Dawn Knowlton: The hubs has been on vacay for a couple weeks now. He goes back to work on Monday. I will miss him being around all the time, but at the same time, will be glad to have my schedule back to normal. Because his time is nigh, I have been letting him choose our meals this weekend. For lunch today it was Crispy Tacos.
Dawn Knowlton: Starting the New Year off with hopes of preparing more meals at home. The plan is to keep most of it simple so that I don't get stressed over time constraints and other committments. Tonight it was a favorite requested by my hubs, JJ. This is one of our favorite quickie meals. Tangy and satisfying. Sloppy JJ's