Welcome! :-) Whatever brought you here today wasn't an accident, and I'm so glad you stopped by. I'm always glad to have folks drop in my kitchen for a visit and hope you'll feel right at home. We always have an ample supply of fresh lemonade, sweet tea, and a pot of coffee brewing along with a sideboard full of baked treats for you to enJOY while you're here. Relax and take your time as we visit and catch up on the latest news. Don't forget to email and let me know what's going on in your world, as well. And, come back soon!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Pinch of Love, A Smidgen of Joy - EnJOYing a Healthier Summer

Anyone who knew my Mom, creator of this blog and the cookbook "A Pinch of This, A Smidgen of That," knows that she had an affinity for sweets. Of course, being her daughter, I share this same affinity. And this isn't a bad thing! But lately I've been trying to be better with my diet. And when you're trying to eat healthier, you have to alter recipes a bit to suit your diet. Because a little bit of sugar isn't bad, but a lot of it can be, especially when you're like me and tend to overindulge.

I wanted to take a few of my favorite summertime recipes of Momma's and turn them a bit healthier but cutting down on sugar, butter, etc. After all, summer is about living a carefree life in the sunshine and beautiful outdoors - not about feeling icky because we ate something that was a thousand calories. This isn't a "health" post - just a post about a girl trying to find ways of making good food and drinks easier to love, without all the guilt. I promise this won't be a reoccurring post. Just for today, I wish you a healthy, happy summer. :)

I took Momma's recipe for her "Lazy Day Lemonade," and changed it up a bit. See her original recipe on page 10 of the cookbook.

Kenda's "Happy Day Lemon-Limeade"

1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (or use bottled lemon juice)
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (or use bottled lime juice)
1 teaspoon Stevia Powdered Extract (concentrated) (or 1 cup Sugar in the Raw)
1/2 gallon water (to make simple syrup)
1/2 gallon of cold water
slices of limes and lemons

In a large stockpot on the stove, place 1/2 gallon of water, along with the 1 teaspoon of Stevia Powdered Extract or 1 cup of Sugar in the Raw. Turn heat on high and bring to a boil to create a simple syrup. Boil for a few minutes or until sugar is totally dissolved in the water. Remove pot from heat, and allow to cool on stove top. In a gallon pitcher, pour the freshly-squeezed juices in the pitcher with a 1/2 gallon of cold water and the water-sugar mixture. Stir with long-handle spoon, until well-blended. Serve over ice with slices of limes and lemons. Enjoy on a hot summer day!

Momma has several recipes for banana bread in the cookbook, all of which are amazingly delicious. I wanted one, though, that would be a little lighter to have for breakfast and give me energy of a morning. I prefer having pecans in my bread, but you can omit those if you don't care for them. The recipe I altered is Momma's recipe for "Banana-Walnut Loaf" on page 78 of the cookbook.

Kenda's "Banana-Pecan Breakfast Loaf"

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with canola oil. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, brown sugar and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs with mashed bananas, milk, and vanilla. Add wet mix to the dry, and stir in pecans, just until incorporated well. Pour mixture into loaf pan, and bake for 40-50 minutes, until done in center. Enjoy for breakfast on a nice summer morning!