May 15, 2009

Spring Gardens and some Healthier Recipes

Hold on a sec, let me blow the dust off of my blog page....K, that's better. Haven't been here in what seems like ages (you didn't give up on me did you?). Like most folks, it's a busy time of the year and yeah, life gets in the way. I have tons to blog about, just no time. Since my last posting I've put in my veggie garden (ok, just tomatoes, peppers and leeks), planted a new herb garden (moved them all to one spot), put in a strawberry bed, cleaned the pond, dug in the dirt, mulched, basic spring yardwork crap, PLUS baking and cooking, testing new know the drill. Not to mention my Bakespace get-together trip to Pittsburgh coming up, as well as 2 graduations, and my youngest daughters grad party AND birthday (damn I'm tired) So lots to blog time right now. I will though....sooner or later.

Sooooo anywho, meanwhile, I've been working on some heart healthy recipes for the guys at the firehouse. Ya, contrary to popular belief (or fantasy), not all firefighters are in the rock-hard body shape you see in the calendars (ducking as hubby throws his boot at me from across the room) So I decided while I was at it, it was time for hubby and I to get our act together and try to eat healthier too.

Well, one of our ff brothers is home from surgery (6 way bypass) and we're all pitching in taking turns at taking dinners/meals over, to help the wify-poo thru the recovery process....although after he's home for awhile, she may want an ax LOL (Lavenna, honey, take some advice and put his uniform on beforehand, you'll get more insurance money) Ok, baaaaad firehouse humor, my husband has ruined me!

Back to the task.... I thought now is the perfect time to revamp some recipes, learn more about heart healthy choices and most importantly...make it taste good???? Does everything healthy HAVE to taste like cardboard? really? Well I've found tons of recipes for dinners and lunches, but I noticed not so many were for breakfast foods and/or baked goods. (uh-uhm, my downfall, obviously) So I took some advice from my bakespace buddies and started researching stuff to "swap" out, so that I could use some of my own favorite recipes, just try to make them healthier.

The first thing that came to mind was my absolute favorite breakfast...Brandied French Toast. (ok, well hubby's pecan waffles are pretty good, but I'll have to work on those next) So this conversion was pretty simple. I just swapped out the eggs for egg beaters, low fat milk for the cream, and used wheat bread instead of white. It still tasted great. So then I decided I'd work on a healthier type syrup, something bursting with flavor. I came up with a Blackberry Concord Wine syrup, made with honey instead of sugar, and my favorite wine, a soft red, from one of our local wineries.

While conjuring up my magic (and feeling pretty good about myself...oh wait...maybe that was from the extra glass or two of wine I had hehehehe) I decided I'd multi-task and do another topping, creating a dish for the Bakespace challenge. This month's challenge was to create a dish using strawberries and eggs. Ah HAH! Perfect. So I dug into the back of the freezer and yup, had some strawberries. Cool. But I wanted to make something slightly different than the syrup first I thought JAM! But alas, not enough sugar (oh wait, I'm trying to do healthier right?) so I opted for a less sugary topping. Still, way less sugar than a jam or jelly. Here's the recipe for the Strawberry Concord Wine Fruit Topping. O-M-G good stuff! Now, needless to say, I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of some baby strawberries....hopefully I can come up with a version suitable for canning. MMM MMM MMM Will I blog about it? Sure....sooner or later.....right now, I think I need a nap!


Spryte said...

OMG DROOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(and I'm SO jealous of your gardens!!!!)

Bob said...

Yeah, I'm jealous of your gardens too. I want a garden. *pout* And that french toast looks awesome! French toast is one of my favorite things and that syrup sounds unreal. Love it.

Danielle said...

Beautiful garden and pond!! Loving the french toast, wine and jammy syrups. I haven't had dinner yet and you're making me wish I had the energy to make that for dinner! (bummer...ran out of wine...the horror of it all!!).YUM YUM STUFFS!!

Dajana said...

Yay, eating well can be fun!
Your garden is gorgeous

Alaskan Dermish in the Kitch said...

Where the heck do you find the time! Beautiful!!