Tag Archives: whole foods

A Tuesday Meal

My neighbor read my post explaining I needed to find quick meals for Tuesdays.   She suggested I make this recipe, because her kids love it.  Well, her kids are not as weird as mine, so they eat everything.  But I like a good roast, so thought I’d give it a try.

Some notes:  A year ago we looked high and low for a bottled liquid smoke that was not filled with “stuff”.  Ok, we didn’t have to look high and low, Sir Husband found it at the grocery store, but did have to read three or four bottles to find one.  He purchased Colgin Liquid Smoke: nufin’ in it. 🙂    Don’t leave it out.

Coffee was made by my sugar coffee addicted ten year old.  Don’t leave out the coffee.

Serve with rice or mashed potatoes, steamed veggies.

Verdict:  This was really easy to put together.  I’ll will be making it again.
Husband:  What was that flavor in there?  It was good.   Me:  coffee.  Husband: Really?
The Peas:  loved it and ate a lot.
The Violinist:  Ate some
Sir Son:  “I don’t like dried out things from the crockpot”   Me:  It was swimming in liquid! Go hungry.

For the next few days we had this on buns with BBQ sauce. Yum.  Buns were homemade using the dough cycle in my Zo bread machine.

Thanks Carol for the recipe!

Slow Cooked Coffee Beef Roast

  • 1 ½ lbs. boneless beef sirloin tip roast, cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • ½ cups sliced green onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 ½ cups brewed coffee
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ cup cold water
  1. In a large non-stick skillet, brown roast over medium-high heat on all sides in oil. Transfer roast to slow cooker.
  2. In the same skillet, sauté mushrooms, onions and garlic until tender.
  3. Stir the coffee, liquid smoke if desired, salt, chili powder, and pepper into the vegetables. Pour over roast.
  4. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat is tender.
  5. Remove roast and keep warm.
  6. Pour cooking juices into a 2-cup measuring cup; skim fat.
  7. Combine cornstarch and water in a saucepan until smooth. Gradually stir in 2 cups of cooking juices.
  8. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with sliced beef.

Whole Foods Cooking Class for Kids!

A few weeks ago, the kids had another cooking class at Whole Foods.   This has been so much fun for my kids.  The last time they were in the cooking class, I got to take pictures, while my friend, Mrs. W. went on a shopping spree.  Yes, my friend and neighbor, up and left us.  This time I was going to make her stay while I went shopping.  Not really, I just wanted her to freak out a little.  I really wanted to stay for pictures. 🙂

To our surprise The Lady in Charge, would not let us adults in.  Unbelievable!  I am sure it has something to do with Mrs. W’s behavior last time.  I  just know it wasn’t my fault.  I mean really, how can it be my fault?

You can see here The Lady in Charge, is telling Mrs. W. to go away.

I begged The Lady in Charge to let me in to take pictures.  I’m special, so I got to go in.  Here is Miss A., Mrs. W’s daughter.   She is showing me how they pressed the Crispy Cashew Rice Treats down into the pan.

Crispy Cashew Rice Treats

She wasn’t the only one making this treat.  She had two helpers.

The Friends

Apparently they must share all the instructions on making this treat.  That includes delivering the final product to The Lady in Charge, so she can cut it up for them later.

Or maybe it was just too heavy for one child to carry?  This is my Pea #2, Miss O. (another neighbor friend), and Miss A.

Three friends helping each other.

Here is my Pea #1 and her friend, another Miss. A.  aka sister of Miss O.

Miss J. and Miss A.

To go with the  crispy treat, they made Pizza Wheels.  They were pretty good!

Pizza Wheels

Now all of you are probably wondering where Mrs. W. is.   She is right here banging on the window, begging to come in.  I’m special and she is not, so she can’t come in.  **raspberries**

Mrs. W. at her finest!

Yeah, I know.  Hard to believe we are neighbors and friends.  Go figure.

Here is The Lady in Charge.  I can’t remember her name. I’m sure Mrs. W. can tell me.  This lady is so much fun and so nice.

Update.  This woman’s name is Myra Jean.  Got the info from Mrs. W.  🙂

The Lady in Charge

Just so you know.  The bottom in the picture below belongs to Miss A.  She belongs to Mrs. W.  The same Mrs. W. who was banging on the doors in the photo above.  Yeah, I know.  It’s a wonder Whole Foods lets them in their store.

Cute bum, though. 🙂

The End

Frozen Treats

Yesterday I made another batch of the Frozen Fruit Cups.  This time, I used silicone cupcake liners instead of the paper liners.  They worked perfectly!  Not only were they smaller in serving size (just right for kids), the fruit just slid right out of the liners.   No peeling of paper, no sticky paper stuck to plates or fingers, no mess.  I liked the silicone cups so much, I’m not going to give them back to my mother-in-law.  She made the mistake of letting me “borrow” them for a while.  😉  Once they are frozen, you can easily pop them out and place fruit in a freezer container for easy access.

Frozen Treats

See the popsicle molds on the left?  Those are my newest purchase.  They are made by Trovolo and are BPA Free.   I got the rocket shape molds from Amazon and I plan on getting the shooting star and the green groovy molds too.  Can’t have too many popsicle molds.  Not in Florida where the heat index gets up above 102 each day.  😀

My girls favorite popsicles are made from the smoothies we make.  During the hot summer days I don’t mind the kids having two frozen treats, if the treats are made from only fruit.

Orange Dreamsicle

Look how cute this pop is!  Pea #1 kept talking about the shape and all the details she could see.  🙂   Makes a special treat.

Orange Dreamsicle

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup of organic vanilla lowfat yogurt

Mix all together and pour into molds.

I had very little of this recipe leftover, so I spooned it over some of the fruit cups.

Summer Snack – Frozen Bananas

Frozen Bananas on a stick.

You need:

  • Fresh Bananas
  • popsicle sticks
  • Yogurt
  • Ground Flaxseed
  • Chocolate chips

Peel and cut bananas in half.

Place a wooden popsicle  stick into each one.

Place on parchment paper.

Dip each banana into yogurt.  I used Stoneyfield Orangic Low Fat Vanilla Yogurt.

Sprinkle with ground flaxseed and place chocolate chips on each.

Freeze until hard, place in a freezer container until ready to eat.

This got thumbs up from Sir Husband, Pea #1, and myself.  Sir Son can not eat bananas, Peas #2 doesn’t like bananas, and The Violinist just didn’t try one.

Changes I made for the second batch:  I mixed the flaxseed right into the yogurt before spooning it onto the banana.  Left off the chocolate chips because Pea #1 really didn’t like them.  I’m ok with that!    I also used Stoneyfield Low Fat Strawberry yogurt, which was liked more than the vanilla.


A Message From The Violinist

Finishing Our Day With The Chickens

Just before lunch time, all 116 or so birds have been cleaned and packed on ice.  The process began around 8:00 and ended around lunch time.  I had no idea what time it was the entire day.  I don’t even know what time we left. 😀  It was a good hard working day.

Sam prepared a most delicious meal for us.  Lasagna made with their own sausage, plus eggplant.  It was so yummy, I’ll have to try it to make it at home, except I’ll use spicy sausage.   On the side was orange and white carrot salad.  The carrots were grown in their garden.  Fresh strawsberries were also added to the plate.

After a leisurely lunch, we were taken on a tour of the farm.  We got to see just about everything.  So pretty out there.

Cognito Farm

Once the walk was over, which included a look at a container holding Bull Sperm and instructions on how to impregnate a cow without a bull (but that’s not what this post is about),  we headed back to the work station.

Each bird was packaged in a plastic bag, tied, and dipped very quickly in a hot bath to shrink the bag, then tagged for sale.

Here is Haley cutting a vent into the bag, before it was dipped by me, into the hot bath.

Here is the finished project ready to be sold at the next days farmers market.

Each bird weighted anywhere from 3.5 lbs to 5.5 lbs.

I know the last two posts have had some uh… disturbing photos, so I don’t want to disappoint you in this one.  Here is one last parting shot.

These are cooked to make a thick broth.  Nothing has been waisted.  All parts not used for consumption have been recycled in a compost pile.

I can honestly say, this is one experience Haley and I will always remember.  😀

Thanks Haley! ♥



Don’t Look If You’re a Wimp – Bawk Bawk Dead Chicken Part 2

This post is all about the killing.  Haley took the pictures of me, because she was just to wimp to kill the chicken.  I, on the other hand,….  well, you’ll see.

First things first, gather a chicken by the legs and pop it into the cone.  Head is down and breast is facing out.

The birds are very calm when they are placed in the cone.  I don’t know if it is cozy for them, they’re scared, or the blood is racing to their heads.

The next part is to humanely end their life.  To do that you insert a double-edged knife into their jugular vein and remove it quickly.   Yes, the picture below is me.  I am getting ready to kill my first chicken.  My hair is everywhere.  I forgot to get a hair-band from home, so all you see is my hair.

I killed two chickens and both were a success.  Afterwards, I yelled, “I DID IT!  That was fun.”  My friend, Haley, said I was sick.  Well, she’s a wimp.   Most of the birds gently fall asleep after the cut.  Just a few started wiggling their heads, but it didn’t last long.  This is a better way, than cutting their heads off and watching them flop around.  Ever heard of, “Running around like a chicken with its head cut off”?   This is what happened on our farm, when I was growing up.

When the birds are dead, they are given a very quick hot bath. This is to loosen up the feathers to be plucked in the Whizbang Plucker.

It does a really good job of this.  If I had a small farm like this, I would not be able to process chickens without a Whizbang Plucker.

After the chickens have been Whizbanged, they go in a cold bath.  Here Tod (a farm employee) cleans the bird, just before we begin to clean it out.  See Part One.

Here is Haley with her bird to clean.  I love this photo.  I think she should have it framed and placed in her kitchen.

When the birds are all cleaned and ready for packaging, they go on ice.

Part 3 is found here.

Thanks to Cognito Farm for a wonderful experience.  🙂

Fruit Smoothie

Sir Husband, bought a Vita-Mix for me a little while ago. Ever since I got it, I have been trying some new things. One of the things I have done regularly is make smoothies. Here is what I did today. 🙂 I have no recipe, just threw these things in.

Six organic spinach leaves (shh, kids won’t eat spinach)
1 1/2 bananas (not frozen)
Frozen strawberries (I don’t have fresh ones)
Frozen blueberries (shhh, kids won’t eat blueberries)
White sugar; very little (I know! Bad stuff, but I am about out of honey)


Mix up real good


 and serve in fun ice cream cups that you got for less than 50 cents after last summer was over.

Watch kids, who don’t eat blueberries or spinach, devour this smoothie.

PS:  The husband came home and forced me to make him one.  So I did the same thing as above, but added honey and a large plop of fat free plain yogurt. 

PSS: Don’t tell the husband I took a bite of the banana before I put it in the blender.  We’ll just keep that a secret, ok?

PSSS:  Don’t tell him I had a chest freeze when I ate my smoothie.  He’ll just remind me that I don’t get brain freezes because you can’t freeze space. 

Want to learn more? Go here.  Just keep in mind, almost anything goes. 🙂

Update:  Sir Husband announced yesterday that he froze his chest and has declared he has lost his brain.

Making Tortillas

At our home we make whole wheat tortillas.  I usually double the recipe I use and freeze the tortillas after cooking. They thaw quickly, for easy snacks or dinner.

The recipe I use is from Bread Beckers.  I have also used recipes from Wrapping It Up by Vickilynn Haycraft.

First mix all the ingredients and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Cut/pull/tear/rip whatever, blobs of dough off, about 2 inches wide.


Shape by patting and place on a greased cookie sheet. You must have a cute little helper, or the tortillas just won’t come out right. Let the dough sit another 10 minutes. Make sure you cover them or they will dry out.  Meanwhile, heat up your tortilla press. 


Place a blob of dough towards the center back of the VillaWare Tortilla Press


and press down until you hear a squish sound. Don’t hold it down too long or the edges will be too thin and come out rather crispy.  That’s good for a cracker, but not a tortilla.


The blob should now be a nice round shaped tortilla. This one is a bit small, but cute. 😆 Cook on both sides for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. If you want to make them faster, press in the presser thing, then transfer to a griddle on the stove top to cook.


Once that is all done, you have to feed your helper.  It is especially good if the tortilla is made with chocolate.


I bought a tortilla bowl maker thing. All you have to do is place your flour tortilla, once pressed and cooked some, into the tortilla bowl maker thing. That’s a techinical term, in case you were wondering.


Bake for a few minutes in the oven and … WaaaLaaah. It’s a bowl.


It’s magic.

There are many other things you can do with a tortilla, but that is for another time and another post. 🙂

Oh by-the-way, the corn tortillas are made with popcorn kernals. You grind them in the mill to make a fine flour; also known as Masa harina. You can buy it in the grocery store, right next to the other bleached white dead flour. Did I say that?

Now go make your tortilla and fill it with taco meat and all the toppings that go with it.

Sir William’s Whole Wheat Waffles

Full recipe is here. 😀

Grind 2 1/4 cups of wheat berries.


Separate the eggs and yolks. Place the yolks, vanilla, and buttermilk in one bowl. Egg whites in another and flour mixture in another.


Now this next step is the big secret to good fluffy waffles. Beat the egg whites until they are white and fluffy. While beating move the beaters up and down slowly. This allows air into the egg whites and fluffs them up more. (out of the mouth of my engineer husband)


Next blend the buttermilk mixture with the flour mixer.


Then fold in the egg whites.


Let the waffle dough sit while you heat up the Rumor Weeds.


What are Rumor Weeds? You don’t have a Rumor Weed!? Well, here is a picture of our Rumor Weed.


After the lips have warmed up, add 2/3 cups of dough.


Bake until the lips tell you to take the luscious golden waffle out.


Now serve hot with Sir Williams Blueberry Syrup and you’ll have a great day.