14 November 2011

Limoncello class at Amoré

My favorite Italian restaurant in Grand Rapids is Amoré Trattoria Italiana.  Chef Jenna holds free cooking classes the second Saturday of the month.  This past Saturday I attended my first class and it was so fun.  We learned to make Limoncello and Cioccolacello (not sure that is spelled correctly).  Here are some photos:





The chocolate one is so yummy and ready right away.  It is one 5th of vodka mixed with one squeeze bottle of Hershey's Syrup, one can of sweetened condensed milk and one can of evaporated milk.  Jenna also had a variety of flavored Italian syrups.  I added almond to mine.  It is awesome over ice as an after dinner drink or in coffee.  


04 November 2011

26 October 2011

Introducing: BVM Feltworks!

 I will be working on making more bags and more gender neutral cozies and gloves.

So excited about this!! 







13x16

27 September 2011

Labneh Wa Za'atar

So after the labneh has drained for 24-36 hours, you make it into balls and put in the refrigerator to dry for another 24 hours.





Then roll in za'atar until covered and place in an airtight storage container.


  pour in olive oil jar.  Store away from light but not in the refrigerator.  I have read it will keep for over a month but I am expecting them to be gone by then!

25 September 2011

making labneh....yogurt cheese

So, I have made yogurt cheese dip before (see my post Sundried Tomato dip)  but I didn't know about Labneh. It is a Lebanese yogurt cheese made with whole milk yogurt.  It is pretty easy to make but takes a couple of days.


Draining yogurt

This the whey that drains from the yogurt.  You can save and use in other recipes.
This is the recipe I am using.

But I am going to roll the balls in this!

Za'atar to roll the cheese balls in when done.


I will post again when they are done.



25 August 2011

New Hair

I have been wanting to change my hair for a few months but waited until the weather cooled down because I wanted bangs.  I love Zooey Deschanel's hair and am luckily enough to have a sister that is a stylist.  Thanks Sister!!

16 August 2011

24lbs down on The 17 Day Diet

So I had my daughter take my photo this morning.  Partially to show my weight loss and partially to show off my sweet new pencil skirt.  I recently started watching Mad Men and love the retro clothes.

10 August 2011

SIZE 6!!!

Just a short note today.  I am so excited that I have bought 3 pairs of size 6 pants this week and none of them are tight!! Thank you to The 17 Day Diet!

08 August 2011

Camping on the 17 Day Diet

We just got back from 11 days on the beautiful Drummond Island off the east end of the upper peninsula of Michigan.  We try to go every year but were unable to do so last summer.  We camped at the Township Campground which is right on the lake shore.  I was so afraid to get on the scale this morning but was happy that I only gained 3 lbs!!!!! We tried to eat well but of course had alcohol and a lot of carbs.  But w also did a lot of hiking on gorgeous mossy trails like this:




and kayaking on glassy water, which killed my arms and I am sure burned a lot of calories!!



I made a bunch of hard boiled eggs prior to leaving and brought yogurt and fruit, low carb bread and wraps, turkey sausages, veggies, and of course stevia, which all helped us stay on the diet.


Here are a few of the recipes I made while camping.

Camping Asian Slaw



one medium head of Napa Cabbage, shredded and put in a zip lock bag
1 medium sweet onion halved and sliced
1/4 cup of soy
10 drops of stevia extract
1/4 cup of white balsamic vinegar.



Put all ingredients in the zip lock and shake until well coated.

We had these with Hebrew National low fat hot dogs in 1/2 piece of Flatout bread with a pickle!!  Yum.






Irish oatmeal with apples and cinnamon

Make oats according to directions but during the last 20 minutes add one apple  and one teaspoon of cinnamon per two servings.  Top with agave nectar and fat free milk.



Grilled Chicken Breasts and Ancient Grains.

I brought premade ancient grains cooked in chicken broth and reheated them on the camp stove and tossed in some chopped yellow squash with it.  I cooked the chicken breast over the fire.




We also had to have s'mores.  This time I did chocolate graham crackers and jumbo marshmallows with dark chocolate.



Drummond Island is so beautiful.  Here are couple of more photos.  The last is us crossing the Mackinaw Bridge on our way home yesterday.

Mr. Caterpillar. 

Love for DI.

25 July 2011

Braised Chicken with Kohlrabi Greens and Zucchini Mock Spaghetti Cycle 3 recipe



As I mentioned in a previous post, we received Kohlrabi in the CSA last week.  Lucky for me, some of my coworkers didn't want theirs so I had a ton of greens.  I couldn't find a lot of recipes so I decided to make up my own!. 



The Kohlrabi greens are very pretty with deep green leaves and purple veins.  To prep wash and cut out the hard stems.  This is easy if you hold the leave in half on the stem and then just slice down the edge of the stem.  Then coarsely chopped your greens.  I ended up with about 8 cups but you can use less.

Braised Chicken with Kohlrabi Greens and Zucchini Mock Spaghetti

4-8 cups of coarsely chopped kohlrabi greens, kale, or spinach or combination of them
1 medium sweet onion chopped
3 minced cloves of garlic
4 tbsp of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1-2 tbsp of basil ( I use basil paste)
1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
4 oz of mushrooms coarsely chopped (optional)
1 medium to large zucchini, julienned
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts


heat oil over medium-low flame in a large chicken fryer skillet or large heavy stock pot ( like a Le Crueset).  Had onion and saute until translucent.  Add greens and garlic and saute for about 15 min.  Add mushrooms and saute for about 5 more mins.  Add tomatoes and basil and heat until simmering.  And chicken breasts and simmer for approximately 20 minutes to 1/2 hour.  Check with thermometer the internal temp of chicken is 160 degrees. 





This is what the zucchini will look like


In a bowl or on a plate, place zucchini noodles.  You can microwave them for a min if you want to warm them up but usually the heat from the sauce is enough.  I also cut up the chicken after it was done and add back to the sauce but you could just ladle the sauce over the noodles and place a chicken breast on top. 

Enjoy!