About iffyarchive

A green smoothie loving geek who helps others find their healthy. I work with people who feel confused about what healthy is and what is not healthy. I help them find their healthy. I love to blog, cook, and tweet.

Guess what? We have moved!

Hi there thanks for stopping by my old home. We have moved to a new location so come join me there for me recipes, menus, and fun. The new site is still under construction but we are up and functioning. Join me there at bethkbedbury.com/coaching.

Crazy week menu planning and promptly ignoring the menu.

So I created a menu on Sunday as normal, sounds good right?  Not so much.  This week has been crazy and has left me drained, tired, and sad.

Sunday (Easter)- Ham, baked potato, and asparagus, Strawberry, Kiwi pavlova
Monday- Swedish meatballs, mashed, veg
Tuesday- Chicken Sharwma
Wednesday- Cabbage soup
Thursday- Pizza
Friday- Easy
Saturday- Freezer meal

That was the plan and it didn’t happen. Here is what did happen.

Sunday on plan s far so good. Monday lifted heavy and the backhoe guy came out and dug the big hole. All I wanted was pizza for dinner bumped that up. Tuesday was the day we put Big Doc down. Everyone was tired, sad, and drained. Ended up making BLTs as bacon was popped into oven and all I really had to do is toast bread. Wednesday we actually did have the soup. Thursday no desire to cook at all settled on tomato soup from a can and grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. Friday is going to be steak as we got our half a cow. Saturday will be a freezer meal.

Sometimes you just need to pull inward.

Yesterday we put down our eldest horse Big Doc.  I keep trying to write the blogs for this week and end up staring out into nothing.  So I am pulling in for the rest of the week and taking a little bit of a break.  I do not have this weeks recipe typed up and even things that are second nature are not coming easily this week.

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Wine Braised Pork Shoulder and Weekly Menu for 4-13-14

Finally getting around to the pork shoulder on Monday, remember that was on last weeks menu. Pulled it out on Saturday but it was no where near thawed on Sunday so we had some soup from the freezer instead.

Just because you plan a menu doesn’t always mean you know exactly what you are having. While I do base it on what we have right now, sometimes you don’t. Menu’s are not set in stone and can change depending on mood, how one feel, or you just don’t want to cook. Don’t become rigid in it, its a guide.

Saturday – Turkey and rice casserole, green beans with tomatoes
Sunday – Freezer Soup and rolls
Monday – Tuff Pork, polenta, broccoli fritters
Tuesday – Chicken or Costco
Wednesday – Quesadillas, pork
Thursday – Spaghetti and garlic bread
Friday – Easy Night, brats
Saturday – Panini as requested

Finally we get to the pork shoulder. There’s not a lot of extra cooked meat in the freezer so made extra. That extra will give us something for lunch the next day and extra for BBQ Pork sandwiches. Braising meat is easy. You pop it in the oven and let it cooke while you go about your day. This can also be made in a crock pot but I find the oven gives you more flavour.
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Wine Braised Pork Shoulder
3 to 6 pounds pork shoulder or any tough cut of pork you like
2 cup wine (red or white, use what’s open)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon herb of choice, I used thyme.
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile salt and pepper meat, heat an oven proof pot and put oil in it. Brown pork well on all sides. Pour wine and water over pork and add your herb. Bring to a boil. Put in oven and cook for 2 to 4 hours. You know it is ready when you can pull it apart with a fork.

Homemade Granola

This is my favorite granola and hails from the Food Network’s Alton Brown. It has a five star rating for a good reason. usually I am the only one who eats granola, no one else in the house usually eats it. That is until I made this recipe. The coconut and granola haters ate it and they ate it quickly.
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This lead to the doubling of the recipe when I make it. Its gone in a few weeks. This granola makes a really nice yogurt, fruit, and granola breakfast. I like it as a cold cereal or just to eat out of hand. Its sweet but not too sweet and has a pleasant crunch and toastyness to it that I enjoy.

A few things I switched around are I don’t add raisins or fruit to it. I find that when I do that no one eats it, not even me. If I want some dried fruit I put into the portion I am currently eating. the dried fruit starts to flavor the granola. Secondly I ditched the cashews for walnuts. Love walnuts so much and they are easier for me to get hold of.

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup flaked or silvered almonds
1 cup flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix everything up in a big bowl and make sure oats and nuts are will coated. Spread out on a baking sheet, making it even. Place in oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Stirring every 15 minutes, this ensures granola will brown evenly.

Malibu Turkey Burgers and the Weekly Menu 4-6-14

Here it is this weeks menu. This was an easy week to put together, pulled a few meals off the waiting list and going out for Chinese for my birthday filled in the last spot. This week kind of got re-arranged and originally the Tuff Pork was going to be featured, haven’t made it yet. I’ll get to it on Saturday most likely as we had the freezer meal earlier in the week. Aspen pollen in out and I’ve been sneezy and foggy.

Sunday – Sweet and sour chicken, rice, broccoli
Monday – Pork Chops Milanese, roasted butternut squash, and green beans almondine
Tuesday – Tuff pork, sweet potato gnocchi, and green beans
Wednesday – Turkey Enchiladas
Thursday – Chinese, eating out for birthday.
Friday – Easy night Malibu turkey burgers, sweet potato fries, and birthday cake!
Saturday – Freezer Meal, thinking soup.

So what the hezmna is Malibu Turkey burgers? They are based on Sizzler’s Malibu Chicken which is a fried chicken patty with ham and swiss cheese. Not something that I make at home and a take on Chicken Kiev. I started doing this with turkey burgers for easy night and it really transforms them from an good dinner into one we really like.

I like Kirkland’s turkey burgers since they don’t have a bunch of weird stuff in them. This is a good example on how to turn a pre-made product into something different. Turkey burgers can be a bit bland and boring, this perks them up. Everyone enjoys this version.
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Malibu Turkey Burgers
Turkey burgers, cooked
Ham, sliced
Harvarti or Swiss, sliced or grated
Buns if you want them

Put ham on first turkey burger and top with the cheese. Pop under the broiler until cheese is melty. Dinner is ready!

Strawberry and Orange Green Smoothie

This is one of those brown smoothies they don’t look that stunning or spectacular but it does punch a amount of flavour and vitamin c. You might notice the distinct lack of ice in any of my smoothies and that’s ‘cause I don’t really like a super frozen smoothie. So by all means use ice for part of the water if you like them slushier.
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Green smoothies are an easy way to get more veg and fruit into you without having to cook or think too much about it. I always add the sweetener as the last step, sometimes you need it sometimes you don’t. I do highly recommend the cinnamon variation, that was so good. I’ve been on a cinnamon kick in smoothies and protein shakes for a while now.
Strawberry and Orange Green Smoothie
2 cups orange slice or 2 oranges, peeled and cut up
2 handfuls kale or spinach
1 cup strawberries, whole
2 cups water
1-2 tablespoons honey (optional)
blitz away until smooth

Theme and variations
2 cups of the smoothie
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups of the smoothie
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

John B.’s Chicken Fajitas and the Weekly Menu for 3-30-14

Pork and cranberry stew was supposed to be on this weeks menu. Its been on the let’s make list for ages now. It seems like we never have all the ingredients, this week was the lack of oranges. It shall just have to wait for ye another week.
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In the next month or so we are getting half a cow so eating out of the freezer for prepared foods is a priority, plus it gives me two low maintenance cooking nights. I also ended up with two jars of salsa open so the fajitas will kill one of them. Dad requested Beef and Barley that got put on the menu this week. Its nice when someone else has an idea besides me.

Sunday – Spaghetti (freezer) and garlic bread
Monday – Chicken Fajitas
Tuesday – Pizza
Wednesday – Sweet and sour chick thighs with carrots. Orzo or basmati
Thursday – Beef and Barley soup
Friday – Easy night, thinking burgers
Saturday – Freezer meal, Unstuffed Cabbage

This weeks recipe comes from John B. who was my boyfriend in the early 20’s. Originally it was salsa, beer, and Lawry’s seasoning salt. The seasoning salt got swapped out for spices and a lower salt content. It’s not a traditional fajita recipe but that’s what he called them and I kept the name. I made these for a couple of friends who were on a speaking tour in the 90’s with the African National Congress Youth Tour and they were so excited. Clayton exclaimed, “They had not had food like this in the U.S.” It was a big hit.
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You want to use a good quality salsa in this recipe as it is one of the layers of flavors. Mushrooms may seem a bit odd but they help make the recipe. Vegetarians can easily make the fajita recipe using a mix of mushrooms and have it be satisfying meal. The recipe also works well with steak but you will need to add the juice of half a lime. The steak variation needs the lime juice or it just tastes flat.

John B.’s Chicken Fajitas
2 -3 cups salsa (I used Kirkland’s and used to use La Victoria)
1 12 oz bottle beer (Corona is what’s on hand)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet (a pound) chicken breasts or tenders, cut up
5 to 10 mushrooms washed and sliced
1 -2 teaspoon Coriander, ground
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste.
Olive oil

Sautee chopped onion in the olive oil until soft and add half the beer, half the salsa and all of the chicken. Cook for a few minutes and add coriander and cumin. Cook until chicken is not pink and add the mushrooms and the rest of the beer and salsa. At this point it will seem like there is a lot of liquid. Put the heat on high if it isn’t already and let it reduce. When the sauce has thickened you know its done, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Extra salsa
hot sauce
grated cheddar cheese
shredded lettuce
avocado slices
or anything else that sounds yummy.

Beef Braised with Caramelized Onions and Beer

Beef braised with caramelized onions and beer is a staple in my menu repertoire. It is easy to make and it freezes well. Having this in the freezer saved me when some friends on their way home to Utah surprised us with a phone call saying they would like to stop by. Oh course you say yes and than try to figure out what the frack you are going to feed them.

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We ran through a few ideas and ended up keeping it simple by pulling this and some rolls out of the freezer. Since it was summer we had a salad from the garden and I whipped up a batch of Ruby Bars and viola we had a nice lunch ready for surprise guests.

This recipe hails from the now defunct Gourmet magazine. I miss Gourmet dearly, loved that magazine so much. It also goes by the unattractive name of Onion Beef on menu’s and when we talk about it. Leftovers are used for making French Dip sandwiches. Even if you only have onions leftover freeze them for French Dip jus or to add in gravy.

The onions are the key to this recipe, take the time and let them caramelize. They get all lovely and buttery. We tend to have Corona for beer and that’s what I use in this. Use whatever beer you like or if you don’t drink beef broth would work too.

Beef Braised with Caramelized Onions and Beer

3 pounds onions, peeled and sliced
1 – 5 pound chuck roast
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 bay leaves
2 – 12 oz bottles of beer
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar.

Sprinkle roast with salt and pepper and than brown beef in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Make sure you brown all the sides. When roast is browned set it on a plate. Add the rest of your oil into pan and make sure you have your burner on low. Add the onions along with the bay leaves and place a lid on your pot. The lid helps the onions sweat so they do not burn. Stir onions occasionally. Once they are nice and brown and smell sweet you know they are done. This step takes time but it is worth it, do not rush the onions. Preheat oven to 350. Put roast back in your pot and add the beer and vinegar. Cook for 3 1/2 hours.

What’s going on in my world.

I sit here trying to write the blog for Monday and keep just staring out the window at the snow falling, yes it’s still snowing. March came in like a lion and appears to be leaving like one too. The last few days have just been downers, the weather is so awful. Everyone in the neighborhood is getting cranky. On the days we do get some sun all it does is create is mud and by mud I mean the kind that pulls boots off and you sink. Makes feeding animals a lot of fun.
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Anyways enough with the blahs and weather as there is also some really awesome stuff happening. I’m currently in B-School and loving it. So much info has been dumped into my brain I can’t process it all yet. Going through B-school has made me realize a couple of things.

One I am going to focus in more on food and cooking for the rest of the year. I tend to think of the blog year starting in April as that is when I started this blog. There will still be some fitness and wellness but my focus is cooking and food.

The second big change is I am in the process of moving to a self hosted site, so if you notice the URL change,that’s why. There will be some formatting and frequency changes. Nothing huge just a shift to looking more like a business and less like just a blog. The other big change is I’ll be posting two blog posts a week. Friday is staying the Weekly Menu and a recipe as meal planning is something I feel strongly about. So blog days will be Wednesday and Friday. The newsletter will still go out on Tuesdays.

I hope you all are having better weather than me and are frolicking through the tulips surrounded by butterflies. April is going to be a month of recipes to celebrate my birthday month, so I hope you are ready. I’ll be posting some family favorites.