Monday, January 16, 2012

Random assortments

Mr. McGhee is cheating.  Now, before you get all huffy and start tsking my man....Mr. McGhee is not cheating on me.  But, he did give the kids lollipops.  They came home from school on Friday, giggling and full of laughter.  I assumed it was because of me and a home full of the scent of fresh whole wheat banana muffins.  Then tiny mini McGhee proudly announced, "daddy gave us lollipops" and stuck out her green tongue to prove it. At this point, I just gave Mr. McGhee my blank stare.  In our marriage, that means pick your poison, buddy.....a butt-chewing or the silent treatment.  Mr. McGhee claimed it was a lapse of judgement.  I pointed out that it was sugar and food-coloring on a stick.  That's a pretty big lapse.  Then, he grinned and said he did it to give me material for the blog.  Being a new blogger and all, I realized, he did have a point.  So, I dropped my blank stare and dropped the subject.  See, I really am a treehugger and don't like to fight.

Yesterday, one of my readers emailed me and said her husband told her that the banana muffins tasted like sticks.  That was a little harsh and I hope she gave him a blank stare.  You know, the "pick your poison" blank stare. 

That being said, I do want to accomodate my, I hit the kitchen this morning to come up with a new recipe.  And, I promise, this one is fabulous tasting, but slightly less healthy than these muffins.  One of my best friends from high school was visiting today and she told me these pumpkin muffins were really good.  And I believe her.  She would never lie to me.

Pumpkin Muffins (based on this recipe with some changes)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2.5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5-2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted slightly)
  • 1 cup honey
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2.  In a bowl mix flours, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
3.  In a separate bowl, mix eggs, pumpkin, oil, applesauce, coconut oil, and honey.
4.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into well.  Mix just until the dry ingredients are absorbed.  DO NOT OVERMIX. 
5.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.

I've gotten a few emails about hummus, so I thought I would share how I make hummus.  It's super easy, and you can follow a recipe like this or you can do what I do and just dump stuff into the food processor. 

  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (slightly less than 2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
1.  Drain garbanzo beans, keep liquid separate.
2.  In a food processor, put beans, tahini, lemon juice, salt, and garlic.
3.  Blend using liquid from beans to thin hummus, if needed.

I would recommend not putting all the tahini and lemon juice in right away.  I would add half of them and blend.  Then taste and add more, based on your personal preference.

And, because I know someone is going to want to know what tahini is, here's a picture. 

Ever have one of those nights where everyone is tired and lazy and you don't feel like making dinner?  That was the general mood at the McGhee house tonight.  I would have loved to have ordered a pizza and I'm pretty sure my kids would have sold their souls for some cheetos and a chicken nugget.  But, since we have given up processed foods, we opted for a dinner of a random assortment that made no sense at all......kale chips, zucchini and squash, and chicken breasts.  OK, after I read that it doesn't seem so random, but for some reason it sure felt it.  Kale chips, you already know the recipe and I've gotten great feedback on them.  I am happy to be part of the green leafy revolution that is going on amongst the minis of America.   

Zucchini and squash
  • oil (I used grapeseed oil)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • sliced squash and zucchini
1.  Heat oil on stove.
2.  Add garlic and squash and zucchini slices.
3.  Cook until brown on both sides.

Remember when I said I wasn't promising you perfect pictures.  Um, yeah, I think it was this picture I was referring to.

I had leftover dressing from last night that I drizzled over the slices and then threw it on some spinach leaves. 

For the chicken I used this recipe from Our Best Bites.  I got this recipe from my friend Jami that lives in Seattle, which makes her way cooler than those of us stuck in "the middle".  I like to channel my inner Jami when I am shoe shopping and when I cook spicy honey chicken. 

Chicken Rub
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic (or 1 tsp garlic powder)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
1.  Mix all spices together.
2.  Drizzle oil on chicken and rub the chicken rub onto the chicken (how's that for obvious?)
3.  Grill/pan fry chicken until no longer pink in the middle.
4.  Warm honey and add vinegar.
5.  Pour honey/vinegar mixture on chicken. 

Just at can make a huge batch of that chicken rub and store it.  It makes life much easier on those "I would so much rather order a pizza tonight" nights.

And that is it for today.  I've got to get moving and get some menu planning done for the week.  Enough of these random, shameful dinner nights!