Mediterranean Cuisine

Have you been to a Mediterranean Restaurant?  I went with two teacher friends this past week, and one friend and I had no idea what to order.   I don’t know much about Mediterranean foods except for the fact that it’s very healthy and that hummus and olive oil are a part of it, but our other friend knew what’s really good.  We ended up ordering soup & salad:  Fatoush Salad & Fasoolia Bean Soup, and they were sooo good!

We also shared a large appetizer tray which had things like hummus (which I’ve already had many times), and baba ganoush, falafel, feta cheese with olive oil, and a couple of dips.  We had a lot of fun trying everything, and I don’t think there was anything we didn’t like.  I give it a thumbs up! I must admit I brought home one of their paper menus so I could tell people what I had eaten.  Otherwise, I would’ve just said, “Mediterranean food.”  Now, I want to research how to incorporate more of this healthy diet into our meal plan.

Movie Review: Gimme Shelter

We went to see Gimme Shelter last night, and my friends and I really, really liked it! Well, maybe they just really liked it but I really, really liked it.  It’s a story that can’t help but touch your heart about a 16 year old girl who finds herself expecting a baby, has an abusive mother, and decides to run away from home.  She finds shelter in a home for young girls who are expecting babies.  I won’t give any more details for those of you who plan to see the movie, but it’s a story of healing and reconciliation.  If you like that type of movie then I highly recommend it.  It’s a good family movie for families with older teens.

Pumpkin Custard

This is delicious served warm on a cold, winter’s day!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 or 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I use 1/4 cup sugar & Stevia equivalent for nearly 1/2 cup sugar – 7 KAL spoonfuls)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix ingredients together.  Pour in a greased baking dish.  Bake in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 20 minutes and then at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Let cool for 10-20 minutes and then eat while warm.

Good served with frozen vanilla yogurt or whipped cream.

Crock Pot Boneless Turkey Breast

Here’s an easy recipe that’s great when you’re short on time.  Cooking the turkey breast in the crock pot makes it so moist and tender, and I think maybe it’s the best we’ve ever had. And the great thing is that it’s so easy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-pound boneless turkey breast
  • Can of chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or minced garlic)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of minced onion flakes (or onion slices)
  • Optional:  your favorite herbs can be added such as fresh rosemary in place of the garlic

In the sink or a large dish, cut the plastic bag off the turkey breast with kitchen shears and also cut off the netting.   There will be a lot of juices in the bag that will make a mess, so be sure to have something to catch the juices.  Then place the turkey with the above ingredients in the crock pot.   Cook on high for 2 hours and then on low for 6-8 hours.

Getting Ready for the Holidays

There’s a saying that the best motivator for cleaning one’s house is having company.  I think that’s true for most people, especially me!  Some people are probably hire a house cleaner to come in during this time of year to clean their house when maybe they do it themselves the rest of the year.  There’s so much to do during the holidays that it really helps relieve some of the stress to have extra help.  I believe it’s worth the extra cost to have more time to enjoy being with family and friends!

How many of our traditions during the holidays are meaningful to the majority of the family?  I remember reading about a mom who worked hard to make this certain complicated dessert for Christmas dinner.  She had read an article about taking family polls about traditions so she did that with her family.  It turns out no one in her family cared whether she made that dessert or not.  It had been a tradition that had served its purpose in the past, but now could be replaced by having more quality time with the family.

Zoo or Tropical Forest?

If you answered “zoo,” you’re correct. The Fort Worth Zoo is a beautiful place to visit.  Definitely worth coming to if you’re anywhere in the area.  It has won awards and is included in the top museums of the U.S., depending on which list you’re reading.

Most people have their favorite animals they enjoy watching.  At this zoo, the giraffes, zebras, lions and elephants are amazing to me.  What awesome creatures!  But they are not the only ones I enjoy.  Just about every exhibit is interesting and fascinating.

I do have one word of warning!  If you go in the wire-enclosed area where birds fly around and above you, beware!  I went with my family, and my grand kids were enjoying looking around, that is until one of them pooped down the back of my grandson’s head and neck.  He was terrified and it really was so gross.  It wasn’t just a little bit of poop.  It was massive!  Needless to say, Mom and Dad cleaned him up and had to throw away his shirt.  The gift shop saved the day by selling T-shirts and then everything was OK.

Now, I must add for those of you that answered, “Rain Forest,” that the Fort Worth Zoo does have a rain forest in their atrium area.  And I forget to mention that the atrium is another one of my favorite things about this zoo.  So if you’re thinking about visiting, I don’t believe you’ll be disappointed.  I’ve never known anyone who was.

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