The Trophy Wife thinks I have a magic way with soups. For some reason I can taste a pot of cooking goodness and know just what to add or adjust to make it extra special. I wish I had that ability in other areas. But never you mind. 

I love this particular soup because it tastes hardy like a chili, but is lighter in texture - more like a broth soup. There's the magic: light and filling all at the same time. I think you'll love it!

Ingredients
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Large Vidalia Onion Diced
  • 1 15 Ounce Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 6 Ounce Can Tomato Paste
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tablespoon Flour
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Tumeric

Preparation
  1. Brown ground beef in cast iron pan with diced onions.
  2. Add flour half way through browning.
  3. Pour beef and onion mixture into crock pot.
  4. Deglaze pan with 1 cup of the chicken stock and pour that into the crock pot.
  5. Add all other ingredients to crock pot.
  6. Cook on low for 4 hours.

Hints
No need to add salt, there is enough in the tomato sauce, tomato paste and the chicken stock.

Serving
Makes about 4-6 servings depending on who you are feeding.

Nutrition
Regular serving is about 198 calories.
Larger serving is about 297 calories.

© Russell W Peterson | DayParentDad.com | 9.16.14
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The dogs seemed quite interested in the leftover onion.
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I would always look at that two-ingredient low carb healthy banana pancake recipe and think, "No way. How do you get anything to taste like pancakes without flour?" Well, I finally tried them and thought, "Not bad, but could be improved." So I worked up a killer recipe that, "Voila, tastes like pancakes." My athletic dancer kids love them and so do I.

Ingredients
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup Egg White
  • 1/8 Tsp Baking Powder (Slightly Less)
  • 1/8 Tsp Cinnamon (Slightly Less)
  • Vegetable Oil

Preparation
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender or hand emulsifier. Pulse once or twice. (Really, only once or twice Don't over do it. You don't want them too watery.)
  2. Heat a skillet to medium high heat and then reduce to medium or just slightly above medium.
  3. Drizzle just enough vegetable oil to cover pan. 
  4. Pour in batter into 2-3" rounds. Cook until bubbly and then flip. Cook until puffed up slightly.
  5. Serve with peanut butter, maple syrup, Nutella, or fruit preserves.

Tips
  • Alternatively you could mash the banana and mix in the egg with a fork until just barely lumpy.
  • Use vegetable oil, not canola or butter or anything else. Definitely do not cook them dry in a non-stick pan. The oil helps make the outside a bit crunchy and delicious.
  • You could use two eggs, but I prefer the one egg/one egg white combination.
  • I use slightly less than 1/8 each of the baking powder and cinnamon. I think in part it depends on how fresh your baking powder is and what kind of cinnamon you are using.



Servings

This is for one serving. Stack them high on a plate. Yum!

Nutrition
About 200 calories without toppings.
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I hate crunchy tuna salad. Let me repeat. I hate crunchy tuna salad. It tastes like I'm eating sea shells or sand with my fish. My mother originally created this simple tuna sandwich. Of course, we know she couldn't really cook, so I've improved it. (My friend MaryAnn who LOVES crunchy tuna salad actually said mine was better. Ha! There you go. No sea shells.) Enjoy!

Ingredients
  • 1 Seven Ounce Can Chicken Of the Sea Chunk Light Mostly Drained (Don't even try to substitute because I'll know.)
  • 1 Tablespoon My Homemade Mayonnaise (Or Hain, but it will be your loss.)
  • 2 Tablespoons Heinz Sweet Relish (NO SUBSTITUTIONS)
  • 5 or 6 Shakes Onion Powder
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • Butter
  • Bread

Preparation
  1. Combine all ingredients and mix.
  2. Spread on buttered bread or toast. We enjoy it on croissants, white bread, and bun halves. It can be served open face or closed cut into triangles. (Seriously, I mean only triangles.)
 
 
This is one of my all time favorite breads. It is soft with a great crumb, crunchy crust, and a bit of sweetness. Perfect for toasting, with soup, or just for sandwiches.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (I've used Dakota Maid, King Arthur, and Ultra Grain)
  • 2 cups whole wheat white (I used King Arthur)
  • 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast
  • 1 3/4 tsp table salt
  • 2 cups and 2 tablespoons tepid water
  • 4 Tablespoons honey
Preparation
  1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Dissolve honey in water, add to dry ingredients and mix with rubber spatula until well combined and lumpy. It should be wet in appearance, but not glossy. Adjust water as needed depending on type of flour. 
  2. Spray oil the dough and inside of bowl. Turn over in the bowl and spray the opposite side too. Cover in plastic wrap and towels. Place in warm (about 72-76 degrees F) to rise about 8-9 hours. I put my oven on 180 and place the bowl on top of the stove.
  3. After rising, turn out onto a lightly oiled counter. Fold over twice. cover in plastic and a towel. Let rise an additional 1 hour. Turn oven on to 450 degrees F with Dutch oven and lid inside to heat it up.
  4. After second rise, turn dough out onto a lightly floured counter top and quickly shape into a boule or round tight ball shape by gently pulling the dough under. You will need to flour your hands a bit. Just use enough flour to make the dough less sticky. Do not over flour as you need the dough to remain wet. 
  5. Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and remove the lid. Plop the dough in the hot dutch oven seam side down. Cover and return to oven and bake for 30 minutes covered. This is the steam heat that creates the crunchy outer crust. Then remove the cover and bake an additional 15 minutes uncovered.
  6. Remove loaf from Dutch oven and let cool lightly covered with a flour sack towel.
  7. Consume with loads of butter!
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Servings
About 12-15 servings.

Nutrition
About 120 calories per slice before the butter and depending on slice size.

Tips
  • I start my bread in the morning and by dinner time I have a wonderful loaf.
  • Once sliced, face it down on a piece of parchment or lightly waxed paper and wrap the loaf in a flour sack towel.
 
 
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One of the most important parts of parenting is allowing your children to explore who they are. It can be the most terrifying and exhausting experience of your life, especially with cooking. The whole flame, heat, burn thing is a bit frightening with kids. But sometimes you need to throw a little excitement and danger into the mix. Well, at least excitement. So I say, start small. Crack some eggs, spread some flour, make a mess. There are so many things you can do to get kids involved in cooking. Eventually, they might find their own intuitive spirit about food. Such is the case with this recipe. 

Stiletto2 and one of her best friends love to make "creations". Someday I will share with you the blue water terrace cake. Now that was frightening. But until then you will have to be amazed at this simple little recipe they cook up frequently. Way better than any chicken nuggets you get from a grocery store or at a fast food trough (note I didn't call it a restaurant). They took my breading recipe for frying fish, added some ingenuity, set up a station, and sprinkled a little Diva love and care. Presto they created the best chicken nuggets, ahemmmm, I mean bites you ever ate.
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Ingredients
  • 6 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour (Enough For Dredging)
  • 1 Cup Skim Milk
  • 1 1/2 - 2 Cups Of Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 - 2 Cups Of Vegetable Oil (Enough To Fill Pan About 1/2 Inch)
Preparation
  1. Heat the oil in a relatively flat pan on the stove to about medium. You will need to adjust this throughout to avoid burning the Panko.
  2. Do not wash the chicken.
  3. Cut the chicken into about 1 1/2" pieces. The size will determine how long they cook. Not too big of the Panko will burn.
  4. Place three shallow bowls in a line and fill each one with flour, milk and Panko.
  5. Dredge the chicken in the flour. You can season the flour if you wish, but the Divas do not.
  6. Dip the floured chicken into the milk and then roll into the Panko.
  7. Place the Panko dredged chicken into the oil heated pan and cook about 8 minutes each side or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Size of chicken and temperature of oil will determine ultimate cooking time. Use a meat thermometer to check if you are uncertain. It should be 165 degrees. Click here for a great food safety cooking chart.
  8. Once done, place on towel covered plate.
  9. Serve with hot sauce. We like Frank's Red Hot Cayenne Sauce. Some may prefer their's with ketchup.

Servings
6 servings.

Nutrition
About 270 calories per serving.

Tips
  • I really hate the taste of canola oil. I think it tastes like the inside of a stale petroleum drum. Go figure. Anyway, I never use it. So I would suggest getting a good vegetable oil. I primarily use the vegetable oil (soybean) from Costco.
  • Do not wash the chicken. This just spreads the chicken juices around the sink and your kitchen. Anything bad will be cooked off during the cooking process.
  • I prefer to use fresh chicken. I think the texture of chicken changes when you freeze it.
Back to School
 
 
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This past Monday Stiletto2 got up and made me a breakfast of banana pancakes and coffee; and served it to me in bed. I think it was the best gift a stay at home dad can get on a Monday morning. After that I took her out to practice driving in the school parking lot where we drove over two curbs and a pylon. I didn't blow a gasket and after she got to go to the Twins game with Pistol2, her boyfriend. Perhaps she had a successful plan with her pancakes in bed scheme? So today, I got up and made her pancakes in return. A new one which she liked very much. I hope you enjoy it too. I promise, I had no scheme with the Nutella, bacon, or chocolate...really.
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Ingredients
  • 1 Cup Cool Water
  • 1 1/8 Cup Krusteaz Pancake Mix
  • 4 Slices Cooked Bacon Diced
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Nutella
  • 1/2 Hershey's Chocolate Bar Chopped
  • Butter For Topping
  • Non Stick Spray Or Bacon Fat For Cooking

Preparation
  1. Cook bacon and drain until cool.
  2. Dice the bacon.
  3. Heat the Nutella in a microwave approximately 15 seconds.
  4. Combine the Nutella and water with a whisk.
  5. Add the pancake mix and stir with a fork until combined. Do not over sir.
  6. Add the chocolate and bacon and stir to combine.
  7. Add water or pancake mix to adjust thickness.
  8. Cook in nonstick spray oiled pan or fry in bacon fat. Cook until first side starts to bubble then flip for another minute or so.
  9. Serve with butter as is or with an egg and bacon side.

Servings
3 servings

Nutrition
About 240 calories per serving cooked in non stick spray without butter topping.

Tips
If you want more bacon flavor, definitely fry the cakes in the bacon fat. However, you will need to adjust the calories upward.
 
 
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Smoothies are so popular and kids love them, but most of the time they are loaded with sugar and empty calories because they use concentrated juice or other added ingredients. Not this one. It is fresh, simple, creamy, and loaded with goodness!
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup Golden Sweet Frozen Pineapple Chunks
  • 1 Cup Frozen Strawberries
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Cup Skim Milk (Soy Or Almond Milk Also Works)

Preparation
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or power hand mixer cup.
  2. Blend until smooth. Add additional milk if needed.
  3. Pour in glass and garnish with a piece of fruit.

Servings
1 serving

Nutrition
238 Calories Per Serving

Tips
You can substitute soy or almond milk to make this dairy free. You can also add protein powder. Adjust calories accordingly.