Kitchen Thrift Finds, Hair, and a Healthy Fruit Snack

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I think I’m finally getting my energy back!

It’s been a long time.  I grew tired of the physical and occupational therapy.  I actually quit.  I decided enough is enough, and I’m ready to get back in the game.

The first thing I did was hit the thrift shop!

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I have always wanted one of those rainbow wooden spoons, and the measuring cup/scoops are my greatest find!  They are stainless steel, and perfect for bread baking.

The vintage colander went to my son and his fiance.  I swear by vintage colanders, and the star pattern is my favorite.

I decided to get my hair cut yesterday.  The color had grown out, and I missed the ease of shorter hair.

This is how shaggy I was looking a few weeks back….

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ABOVE: Castlerock Winery -Concrete, WA

I haven’t had a chance to get a picture of the shorter cut, but at least the big hair is somewhat under control.

Food wise, I’ve discovered a very easy and healthy snack.  It makes it easy for me to get an apple, an orange, and a banana down–all in one dish.

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No cooking required.  Simply chop an apple, slice a banana, peel and chop an orange–squeezing the juice from half the orange into the salad, add some shredded unsweetened coconut, and chopped pecans.  It tastes like dessert!

Have a favorite healthy snack?  Please, let me know!

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Turkish Zucchini Pancakes

Every once in a while, we all have one of those great orgasmic-like responses to a certain food.  Don’t lie, you know you do.  Or maybe it’s just me?

Well, these zucchini pancakes gave me one of those responses.

I have always loved zucchini pancakes, but these aren’t just any old zucchini pancake–these are Turkish.  I know, I know, every Turkish grandmother has her own way of making these wonderful little treats, and I know this recipe cannot hold a candle to her’s, BUT it has to be the next best thing.

I read the reviews on Epicurious.com–many people eliminated the nuts, but I’m pleading, unless you have a nut allergy (God love ya!),  add the nuts to this recipe.
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ABOVE: Turkish Zucchini Pancakes

I added a dallop of plain yogurt for garnish, but you can add sour cream if you want to.

Turkish Zucchini Pancakes (with my adjustments)

1 pound zucchini, trimmed, coarsely grated
1/2 cup chopped green onions
4 eggs, beaten to blend
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoons dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts (about 3 ounces)

Olive oil

preparation

Place zucchini in colander. Sprinkle zucchini with salt and let stand 30 minutes to drain. Squeeze zucchini between hands to remove liquid, then squeeze dry in several layers of paper towels.

Combine zucchini, chopped green onions, 4 eggs, flour, chopped dill, parsley, tarragon, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper in medium bowl. Mix well. Fold in crumbled feta cheese. (Zucchini mixture can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Stir to blend before continuing.) Fold chopped walnuts into zucchini mixture.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Place baking sheet in oven. Cover bottom of large nonstick skillet with olive oil. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, drop zucchini mixture into skillet by heaping tablespoonfuls. Fry until pancakes are golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer each batch of pancakes to baking sheet in oven to keep warm. Serve pancakes hot.

Or Click here for RECIPE AS WRITTEN

Super Easy Granola on a Rainy/ Romantic Seattle Day

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ABOVE:  Fog in settling over the tree in my backyard.

It’s been a rough winter.  Snow, ice, fog, freezing temperatures, and our usual–rain.

I’ll tell ya, I’ve struggled with the overcast skies for years.  At some point, the wise Western Washingtonian finds a way to turn the weather into a positive.  For the past ten years, I’ve referred to our weather as “romantic”.   I now realize romance is a bit over rated.  Enough with the romance already.

I do believe my love of cooking and baking is directly related to Seattle weather.   Can you think of anything more enjoyable than cooking or baking on a rainy, overcast day?  I didn’t think so.

After reading Mark  Bittman’s “Food Matters”, I’ve challenged myself to eat more vegetables and fruits.   As I write this post, I’m snacking on a mixture of chopped oranges, apples, pecans, unsweetened coconut, sliced and bananas.  It tastes like I’m eating dessert.  Granted, fruit is full of sugar, but this has got to be good for me.

I could make a smoothie, but they seldom fill me up.  I’m sure it’s all in my head, but I only have the one head, so I tend to believe it.

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I made Mark Bittman’s granola recipe a few weeks ago. It has to be better for me than boxed cereal. It certainly tastes better!

I did manage to buy most of my ingredients in bulk, and that saved a bit.

I added my nuts whole, and coarsely chopped–for a heartier bite. You might prefer smaller pieces.

I really love to have granola in my yogurt too, so this will be both a cereal and a topper for me.

HOMEMADE GRANOLA Food Matters, by Mark Bittman

5 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking or instant), or other rolled grains

3 cups mixed nuts and seeds, like sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, and sesame seeds

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1 tsp ground cinnamon, or other spices to taste

1/2 to 1 cup honey, or maple syrup to taste

salt

1 tsp vanilla (optional)

1-1 1/2 cups raisins or chopped dried fruit

Heat oven to 350. In a lg bowl combine oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, cinnamon, sweetener, and vanilla. Sprinkle with a little salt (not too much!). Toss well to thoroughly distribute ingredients. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet, bake for 30 minutes ,or a little longer, stirring occasionally.
The granola should brown evenly. The darker it gets, without burning, the crunchier it will be.
Remove pan from oven and add raisins. Cool on a rack, stirring now and then until the granola reaches room temperature. Put in a sealed container and keep in fridge. It will keep indefinitely.

WHAT I USED:
-5 cups rolled oats
-3/4 cup thick chopped almonds, 1/2 cup whole almonds, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds, 1/3 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
-1 cup large shredded unsweetened coconut
– 1 tsp cinnamon
-3/4 cup blackberry honey
-about 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
-1 tsp vanilla (I stirred it into the honey)
-1 cup of dried blueberries

DON’T forget to stir in oven as it gradually turns golden
I thought it was browning too fast, so immediately after removing from oven I poured it onto another sheet to stop the cooking. It browns, but as you stir, the unbrowned surfaces. It was done in 25-30 minutes.

Let it cool completely before storing. I use 1/3- 1/2 cup per serving.

To see the steps, click below for more.. Continue reading