Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

You want this.  Trust me.  You want to try it.  A little bit of sweet, a bit of kick, some savory.  Simple.  Reminiscent of pizza (can we say comfort food)?  Healthy with apples (keep the doctor away) and garlic (a known natural antibiotic) and olive oil (cardio-vascular health), but not too heavy (it’s pretty low-fat), I run to it on days that I want to boost my immune system. 


As a first step, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 


Then pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into a bowl.  Pull out your garlic press.  If you don’t have a garlic press, add one to your wish list now!  Use the press to squeeze two cloves of garlic into the oil.  (Dice two cloves of garlic instead, if your wish hasn’t come true yet – you’ll see why I suggest a press!) Sprinkle in some rosemary.  Set aside. 


Take two slices of bread.  Today I used some homemade “Amish White Bread” off Allrecipes.com.  I’ve also used hamburger buns.  You could use French bread or whichever kind of bread you have on hand, including flat breads (bake for less time if using a very thin bread).  Put the bread on a baking sheet.  No need to grease.  Spread the olive oil mixture across the tops of both pieces. 


Next add your favorite shredded cheese.  I have always used mozzarella.  Just sprinkle a thin layer across the tops of the bread. 


It is optional to add a little bit of fresh spinach leaf at this time. 


Thinly slice enough apple to cover both pieces of bread with a single layer.  Add just a bit more cheese on top of the apples. 


Place in the oven, uncovered, for ten minutes. 


Eat like an open-face sandwich (or pizza) or cut with knife and eat with a fork. 


Development credits to Amie, Christa, and Janna. 


To God be all glory, 

Lisa of Longbourn


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A year and a half ago I tasted the first soup I’ve ever liked.  It was Olive Garden’s Chicken & Gnocchi.  I decided to try making it someday.  I looked up recipes.  Discovered I would need to buy all sorts of things I don’t usually have around my house (spinach, celery, garlic, chicken stock).  But I didn’t.  Not until this week.

On Tuesday there was a snowstorm in Denver.  Actually, when I got off work at 5, there was only rain and the sun was still up.  So I went to the Sprouts “Farmer’s Market” grocery store across the street, spent a half hour, and found my car covered in snow.  But I couldn’t bring myself to purchase the high-priced chicken at Sprouts, so I would have to wait to make the soup, however good soup sounded during a blizzard.

After a breakfast-for-dinner during the snowfall, my dad who loves to drive decided to joyride through the snow.  We had fun.  And at the end of it he let me run in to King Soopers where I procured the needed chicken.  So I would make the soup Wednesday while snowed-in.

To my dismay, when I came upstairs at about 11:30 on Wednesday morning, the sun was shining and the roads were melted.  I was just about to cook chicken when my family asked if I wanted to go to Chick-fil-a with them for lunch.  Scrap the idea of a 2 PM lunch, and head for Chick-fil-a!

I prepared the chicken, celery, spinach, garlic, and carrots Wednesday afternoon, but didn’t put the soup together.  I waited for that until Thursday afternoon.  With almost all of the ingredients pre-sliced, the pouring and boiling and simmering only took about a half hour.  It looked like this:

And then I served myself a bowl of soup beside some fresh blueberry muffins (Betty Crocker with modifications: in the old days, she had us put water in the mix instead of milk, and though the instructions say milk now, I still just put in water; it tastes better!).  Pour out some grape juice and some water, light a candle, and Voila!

It was good.  I had some more several hours later.  My brother tried it.  He thinks it needs more chicken.  He is a chicken fiend.

The changes I made to the Chicken & Gnocchi recipe I found were:  I left out the onion and the cornstarch.  I used heavy cream instead of half and half.  And because I don’t know what I’m doing, I used several cloves of garlic instead of just one, but I like garlic, so I don’t mind.  The recipe doesn’t specify how much salt should be added, and I didn’t put enough in at first.  Next time I will pre-cook the chicken less; I grilled chicken breasts, which can still work if I watch more closely.  Also the celery needed to be cooked longer before I added the chicken and chicken stock.  Someday I may also try making my own gnocchi.

I made soup!

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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I Laugh at Myself.

One of the good ways I’ve found to maintain a joyful attitude is to laugh. I laugh at myself. That way if anyone else laughs at me, I’ll be laughing first and won’t feel bad. Besides, I can’t help it. Sometimes I’m so ridiculous.

My family and friends help the ridiculousness. For example:

Saturday night I was making my own marinara sauce. I don’t eat marinara sauce, but wanted to bring some to serve with the strombolis I was making for a Christmas party. Why make it from scratch? First laugh track inserted here. My culinary skills had recently made me feel inferior, so I was trying to make up. No one knows if you have inherent skill, watch the food network all the time, borrowed your mom’s skill, or googled instructions on mincing garlic and chopping parsley. I did the latter.

While I was mincing garlic per instructions found on Google, my brother found a Youtube video of parsley preparation. Actually while peeling and slicing garlic, I improvised my own technique once, only to discover that garlic sliced the wrong direction can have the same effect as an onion. I cried. Anyway, the parsley video involved a large knife, a bunch of the parsley leaves (no stems required or desired) rolled into a “piece,” and a flat counter. I had a smaller dull knife and a counter that curves up on the edge. So I observed that, while the technique appeared simple on the video, the chef’s parsley stayed where he left it, meaning that the “piece” stayed in form while he chopped at it, which never happens when I slice something soft. (We need to sharpen our knives.) Unbeknownst to me, my siblings were all suppressing laughter at this comment, reason to be revealed later.

Finally I had enough garlic minced, and was ready to try the parsley. But when I looked at the counter to grab the parsley, it wasn’t there. I thought I’d left it on the counter. I didn’t throw it away with the garlic skin? “Where did I put my parsley?” I asked. “It didn’t stay where you put it?” my brothers taunted, the laughter finally bubbling over. And then my mom spotted it, like a child’s “what’s wrong with this picture” where the fish is in the tree: my parsley was on the couch in the other room. Before I even mentioned that parsley does not stay where I put it, my siblings had pilfered my greens.

We laughed so hard. I cried. Again.

Laugh at how hectic your life is, at the silly things you do or say, at a bad hair day or the irony of snow when you are going somewhere and fine weather when you want to go sledding. Laugh at the foolishness of playing a game you know sounds dangerous, Grounders:

On a playground near a friend’s house, we go at night. The game is like tag. It tries to tag non-it. It can be on the ground or the playground platforms. Non-it can become it if, while on the ground or platforms, It calls “grounders.” Oh – and It must have their eyes closed. So just as one of my compadres was commenting that my family was seldom It, I hit my stride, being rather constantly It. We were playing with pros at the game, people more familiar with the park, and Marines. I think I had a disadvantage. At least I wasn’t wearing a skirt this time; last time I played, I was. I believe I would be bad at this game even if my eyes were open. But with my eyes closed, I did something very foolish. Standing under the monkey bars just above my fingertips, I was trying to tag a non-it scooting on top of the monkey bars. I had to jump. So I did, jamming my thumb hard into the side of the monkey bars. It’s still swollen. But it had to be funny.

One of my friends who was there reassured me: This is the sort of game you only play if you don’t mind looking stupid. So maybe to lighten up your life, you should intentionally play games where you look stupid. Just don’t jump if you don’t know what’s over you.

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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