Saturday, September 22, 2012

Forever Nigella: Packed Lunch Stars


Well, it’s official, we’re homeschoolers.  Yesterday we went to a Not Back To School Party with our newly joined Homeschooling Support Group.

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I brought two dishes; one I will showcase here and one I will save for later.


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These started out as cheese crackers, but turned into little cheese puffs.  More on that later.

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Aren’t they cute?  You know what else is cute?  My kids, that’s what.

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We made lots of new friends yesterday.  Sophie was all over the playground with her friends.  Here she is sliding down the pole all by herself.  I wonder if it is the same pole that I slid down when I was little.  Anybody know?

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Liam was a little easier to photograph during this excursion, since I didn’t let him leave my side.  He’s getting so big!


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Liam loves riding this elephant.  While he was riding it, he kept saying, “I happy.”  He’s so sweet!



Now that school (of all kinds) are starting back this fall, perhaps we could use a little lunch time inspiration.  Forever Nigella #19 is being hosted by Nazima of Working London Mummy. This month’s challenge is to prepare and blog any Nigella Lawson recipe suitable for a packed lunch. (Forever Nigella is organized by Sarah at Maison Cupcake.)


I started out planning on making these cheese crackers, (or cheese biscuits as Nigella calls them, but that is a different thing here in the U.S.)  I planned on using a lovely star cutter to go with the theme even better.  Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get the dough to roll out nicely.  In true Nigella fashion, I lost patience and did my own thing, rolling the dough into 1/2 teaspoon balls and dropping them on a pan. As I was out of parchment, I just hoped they wouldn't stick to the pan, (they didn’t!)  Some of them I left as balls, some I slightly smashed, and others I flattened quite a bit.  I like the ones that were left round.  They reminded me of gougères a little, in that they were round and slightly puffy.  Hmm, let me add gougères to my To Bake list.

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Since I made these with both kids and adults in mind, I used half mild cheddar and half sharp cheddar.  But next time, I will use 100% sharp and add a dash of cayenne pepper for a little heat.  This size only took 10 minutes to bake.  I stored this is a baggie with a paper towel to soak up any moisture.  I wanted to keep them as crisp as possible.

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So whether your kiddies are eating lunch at school or at home, at the park, or wherever, these little beauties are a perfect addition to your lunchtime go-to goodies.

Forever Nigella Rules

1. Blog your entry by 28th of the month showing:
a) the current Forever Nigella badge
b) a link to this announcement post
c) a link to the Forever Nigella page at Maison Cupcake:

n.b. posts must have been published since the announcement post. Archived posts need to be re-published afresh if you wish to submit.

2. Remember copyright.
You must NOT reproduce Nigella’s recipes verbatim. Tell us which book it is from and/or link to it online. If you’ve adapted the recipe in some way i.e. changed at least two ingredients or amended the method then it’s ok to publish the a recipe in your post but you MUST write directions in your own words.

3. Submit your post
Use the linky tool or email the host cc’ed to sarah AT maisoncupcake DOT com.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Couple Links for You


As I mentioned earlier this year, since November 2011, I’ve been eating better and exercising. My trainer, Rob Hatch at Hatch Impact Training has a heart for helping people take control of their health and lose weight the right way.  He’s taught us there is no magic pill, injection, or crazy restrictive program that will deliver the results that healthy eating and exercise together will accomplish.  Rob pushes us to do more than we thought we could in the gym, and gives us the tools to meet our goals.  And we are getting those results!

For me, my weight loss journey has included going from a client to an instructor at the gym, teaching Cardio Dance, primarily.  I’m excited that I’ll soon be certified in Group Fitness!!! 

So, from time to time, I’d like to share with you some products and recipes that are helping me along the way.  Of course, there will also be posts about indulgent foods, but those are now eaten in moderation. 


I used to buy Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage Links for my family.  They are quick to microwave, so that makes it a winner for me.  But when I started changing things I was eating, I decided to try the Jimmy Dean Turkey Sausage Links.  I remember the first morning I made these; I had made the pork links for Brian and the kids and then heated my turkey links.  Brian and I were in the kitchen when I took my first bite.  Wow!  I made him try some too.  We couldn’t believe how flavorful and not greasy these were compared to the original.  They turkey links are SO much better.  We have not gone back to the pork links; the turkey is delicious and I think everyone should try these.


FYI:  Jimmy Dean has no idea who I am.  This is my personal opinion, but as a lover of food, I think it’s a good one.