Saturday, October 30, 2010

I love Pancake Mix!

Pancake mix is the busy girls best friend. I just got out of the bed, dressed, (husband made my coffee..I'm keeping him!) and made gourmet pancakes in 30 minutes. Most days we try to eat very healthy. I started following the low glycemic eating style 5 yrs ago. It is the only "diet" I have ever been able to follow. So most of what I cook is whole grain, fruits, veggies, and lean meat. My halo is tarnished though because when I want something from an original family recipe I make it. I try to limit this behavior to once every few months. Most recipes can be "low-glycemic" corrected. I refuse to be one of those who never keeps white's a neccesary ingredient and when used in small amouts with whole wheat flour it can help a recipe.

This morning I used Krusteaz Wheat & Honey Pancake Mix. Target Superstores and many grocery stores carry it. It has a great fiber count and is quick and easy. I have tried most of the whole grain mixes and this one has the least after taste. The box calls for only water to make the original pancakes, but you can really do anything you want with this mix. Today we had Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes with Dark Chocolate Chips. If your shooting for high fiber this is your power pancake!!!

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie Whole Wheat Pancakes
1/4c. orange juice or milk
1/1/4 c. canned pumpkin (unsweetened)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp orange peel or zest
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1-2 T. of sugar or sugar substitue
Mix well and add to
2c. whole wheat complete pancake mix
add water to achieve consistency you like , thinner makes thinner pancakes.
Add 1/4 to 1/2 cups of dark chocolate chips if desired
Cook at medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side
Serve with butter or whipped cream.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Southern food will not kill you....

It's a evil premise that eating Southern food will kill you. I agree there can be lots of butter, red meat and deep frying going on but it doesn't have to be that bad. Our grandmothers had lard and butter when they learned to cook. Can you imagine there excitement when shortening came along? And those who saw the first cooking oil probably thought they had hit the jackpot. I love an ad I saw in a vintage magazine for oleo..margarine to those younger than said "A healthy way to cook". So they threw out the natural butter and went with synthetic margarine. Hindsight is 20/20 and we now know that was a big mistake.

My philosophy is that if you eat most things as close to natural as possible your hitting a good balance. We all eat out and at times can't control what is in our food completely, but we can make good choices. As a Southern cook I try to bring all those childhood flavors and traditions to a healthier dish. I refuse to change some things because it just alters it too much, but those are dishes we have on special occasions only.

I learned several years ago that the reason I always felt ill after eating Chinese food was the MSG. I thought I just hated vegetables! When I started taking all foods out of my diet with MSG I felt so much better. Now my husband is so happy we can go to his favorite Chinese resturant. I'm happy I'm not nauseous and swollen..everyone wins!

That set me on a journey of removing added junk from my meals. The following things are not allowed in my shopping cart: products with MSG, Trans-Fats, high sugar or salt content, and items with more words I can't say than words I can. The new term is clean eating. That's what generations of people did and never had the ailments we have now.

I love to cook, feed people and eat good food. Everything we do in
the south has food involved. Sunday dinners, weddings, funeral..we know how to bring food for every event! When I moved to the Midwest I learned that food wasn't the center of everyone's life. Horrified I found out there were women my age who could not cook. And even more terrifying were those who bring pre-cooked food in their dishes to potluck. No Southern Lady would be caught dead doing that!!!! She would just leave it in the container and sweetly say the dog ate the cake her husband left on the table.....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Southerner's love to talk

     Southern women love to talk!  We have lots to share and are sure no one can wait to here what we have to say. We have gained this talent from listening to our Mom, Grandmother, Aunts, Sisters, and friends.

     Along the way I listened to my Grandmother's the most when they were in the kitchen making me the most fabulous food ever. Both grandmothers were great cooks who sometimes had a recipe and sometimes didn't. I learned to cook by watching them measure dry ingredients in their hands, use the splash method for some wet ingredients and cook till it looks done. I will admit I meaure most things and always set a timer when I bake...

     Cooking makes me happy, being in my kitchen makes me happy, going grocery shopping makes me happy...I love to walk into a new grocery store and wander the isles to see what they have that is new or different. When we moved to Colorado from Texas my first culture shock was that they didn't carry the chili seasoning I loved. My second lightbulb moment was when I realized that chili could mean anything: beef, chicken, bean, meatless(still haven't figured that one out). Chili could even be white..that is just not right!!! I have never seen any white chili powder or white chili peppers so that is just wrong. Being a Texan I think all chili should be dark red and spicy. And just to let you all know..beans are never in Texas chili...that is chili bean soup!