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DISCLAIMER: I’m copying and pasting a lot of this, so don’t hold it against me. 😀

Come summer, this is one of those foods that is always in short supply, especially in my house. Now, we have a way to “rapidly” make these, but somehow, we always seem to run out.

It’s hard to find a low-calorie, low-sodium, gluten-free recipe that the whole family will consistently like, and this one definitely hits the mark.

The one thing I particularly like about this recipe (in addition to its short overall time) is that it’s SO simple, even your non-reading kids can do it. Granted, they may need some supervision so there isn’t a huge mess, but that’s kind of par for the course with kids in the kitchen. And, distracted teenagers can usually make these, too, without burning down the house.

Enjoy! (and be sure to read all the comments!)

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Ice Cubes

Total Time: 2 hrs 2 mins

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time:  2 mins

CHRISSYG‘s Note:

I am publishing this recipe, because I am sure that there are other families who have members who don’t know how or have forgotten how to make ice when the ice tray is empty.”

 Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water (approximately)
  • 2 tablespoons water (addtional if needed)

Directions:

  1. Empty the ice cubes that are left in the trays (if there are any left) into the bin.
  2. Take the trays over to the sink and fill them with cold water.
  3. Place the water filled ice trays back in the freezer.
  4. Replace the ice bin if you had to remove it.
  5. Shut the door to the freezer.
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Here are some of the comments:
 

“This recipe is horrible! Maybe I should have left them in longer than two minutes (the recipe doesn’t say how long to leave them in the freezer so I just kind of guessed) but mine came out all watery. I won’t be making these again.”

 

“I harvest my own free-range water, so the idea of putting it in a plastic tray and a commercially made electricity-wasting freezer disgusts me. I prefer nature’s method, waiting until the temperature outside drops below freezing.”
 
 
“I wanted to make your recipe but our well ran dry, so I didn’t have any water to make ice. Since I was having a party, I really had to come up with a clear liquid substitute so I would have ice on hand. A word of warning: when you make vodka cubes your BIL will hit a tree with his new car and your sister will never speak to you again.”
 
 
“I was wondering if you had a crock-pot version for this recipe. I work long hours and I just don’t have the time to invest in this kind of hands-on cooking, but they really look yummy.” (This is one my personal favorites)
 
 
“Oh man, so happy to have this recipe! My grandma died and took the recipe with her. You are a life saver!!”
 
 
“An absolutely true story: I had a friend several years back who told me the story of how he And his friend got arrested for stealing ice from the grocery store. When they went before the judge, he asked them, “What, did you forget the recipe?” If I ever catch back up with him I’ll be sure to forward this recipe on to him! Thanks for the wonderful recipe, and for doing your part to prevent crimes like these.”
 
 
“Thank you for adding the photos! They really helped me get a visual on when my Ice was done! And they turned out just like the pictures! My family was really thrilled! Thank you…oh Thank you!”
 
 

“To be quite honest, the coldness kind of takes away from the flavor.

My Indonesian in-laws advised me to sprinkle a little cumin and a dash of curry power, and it worked!”

 
 
“I made a few adjustments…… used a pot instead of trays. boiled instead of freezing. Added salt, potatoes, carrots and beef to the water. It turned out more like soup instead of ice cubes. Next time I will make a few more adjustments to try and get this recipe to work for me.”
 
 
“I’m relieved to notice in the nutritional facts that these delicious cubes are not sodium free. A touch of salt is so important to bring out just the right icy flavor. We make this fabulous recipe so often, we had to buy 30 or 40 bottles of bourbon and scotch to go with it…”
 
 
“This was so simple to make and absolutely delicious. I used fresh, organic water since we’re both trying to lose weight. Since it didn’t specify how many servings the recipe would make, I doubled the recipe and actually had enough for left-overs. I’m definitely adding it to my list of favorites.”
 
 
“WOW! I took these to my church’s monthy Sunday Potluck Dinner and everyone went crazy over them! I will definitely use this recipe again!”
 
 
“So easy and low carb/cal, lactose, and gluten free. I now have something I can serve to all my fiends with special dietary needs without worrying.”
 
 
“I will be going out of town for about a week. Do you think it will be OK to leave these in the freezer while I am gone? I love these and don’t want to do anything to mess them up while I am gone!”
 
 
“What a delightful recipe. I posted it on my fridge for safe keeping too and guess what – my bf made the ice all himself! What a amazing foray into the kitchen for him this was. He was so proud. We will use this recipe weekly for MANY years to come.”
 
 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
Obviously, I could blather on about the comments all day, but I think I ought to leave you something to do in your spare time.  😀 Do you have favorite variations of this recipe? Leave me a comment!
 
You can find the original recipe here on Food.com.
 
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This is a family favorite and super, super simple. For some reason, we seem to do these more at night. I think it’s because it’s probably just easier then.

Needed:

Chicken

Wrap

See what I mean? Easy peasy. Everybody loves these, and not only are they thoroughly enjoyable, but they are completely addicting. You have been warned. 😀

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:mrgreen:  😆

***No chickens were harmed in the taking of these pictures, although I did have to give a reminder to leave some of her head uncovered so she could get some air.  LOL. This is one of our silkies, Marshmallow (12 weeks old), and she ♥♥♥s being snuggled in like this, believe it or not. See why we love our chickens?!

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It’s official. We are currently on egg overload. (Remind me about this once the girls start to molt……….)

Right now- today- this minute- I have a solid 8 1/2 dozen eggs in the fridge. And this is after our eggstravaganza yesterday, where we plowed through about 3 dozen eggs. Since most of my regular activities are over with until the fall, this means the folks I usually see (and who want eggs) have diminished in the last week. Boo. I have some going out tomorrow, which will help, but right now, I’m getting creative.  😀

Yesterday, we had a combination of fried and poached eggs for breakfast. But I still needed wanted to get rid of some more, so I decided I’d try a quiche.

Monday, my oldest daughter went searching online and sent me some links. Can I just say it’s amazing what people will put in quiche?   😯  I mean, really?  Cheeseburger quiche with ketchup and pickles in it? Yuck!

Nope, not for us! In the end, I made my own recipe. I’m sorry- it doesn’t really count in my mind as “quiche” if it only has 3 eggs in it. And while I do have sour cream on hand, I didn’t have any cottage cheese. Or colby jack. Or fetta (which reviews said do not put in, because it’s gross).

But, I did have mozzarella, cheddar, and green chile. Green chile, as you know, is one of my primary addictions. I ♥ it. I will put green chile in just about anything. (I haven’t tried it in pancakes, for example, but it’s most excellent on pizza!!)

Here’s what I came up with:

20 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup green chile

1 or 2 cups mozzarella

5 tablespoons butter, melted

Mix all ingredients. Pour into pan. If using a glass pan, you’ll want to spray it with cooking oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 45ish minutes until knife inserted into middle comes out clean. Take out of oven and let sit for a few minutes. Cut and top with cheddar or other toppings of your choice. (The cheese gets all melty and gets really gooey and yummy, apparently.)

I think I might have thrown some cheddar in there, too. And I didn’t measure the mozzarella or the green chile. I had 1/2 a jelly jar (regular jelly jars are 8oz. 8 oz = 1 cup) and while I have a flaming passion for green chile, most everyone else in the family is not as enamored as I am. Since this was the first time making it, I went light on the green chile. Everyone agreed it could have used more, so I’m definitely going to use a whole cup/jelly jar on round 2.

Next time, I’m going to add some spinach, too. I think this would have also been awesome with bacon, since most everything (except maybe ice cream) is better with bacon. If you eliminate the butter, come back and leave a comment, please, so I’ll know what you think.

You could probably use a bigger pan to make it thinner and cut down on your baking time. This size baking dish is the best size for my egg-loaded fridge, so that’s why I went for chunky instead of a thinner slice.

You could also add a crust if you wanted to. If you use pre-made crusts, this amount of ingredients would do at least 2 pies, depending on how full you made them. If you make your crust homemade (like we do), you’ll get at least one deep dish pie and regular pie out of the deal.

Pardon my slopping baking dish. Next time, I’ll try to take a picture after it’s on a plate. We were just too hungry to wait this time.  😆

 

Do you have favorite recipes that call for a lot of eggs?  Leave me a comment, and feel free to shoot me a link!  🙂

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One of the things runners in particular seem to struggle with is what to eat that’s going to keep you full for any length of time. Truly, this can be an issue, particularly if you run and then go to work and don’t have the flexibility of eating whatever whenever.

Every runner is different in the eating department. Some hit the trail without eating anything; some eat just a banana; some do something light about an hour before a long run.

Me? I’m in the one hour department. Since I have energy issues to begin with, I am not interested in compounding it by not fueling as well as I could. I’m also kinda picky.

Generally speaking, I am a creature of habit. For years (and I do mean years, literally), my breakfast consisted of cottage cheese and pineapple. Good protein; not a lot of carbs. In some worlds, this is non-ideal pre-run fare. But regardless, it seemed to work well for me until I started increasing my mileage again.

What was fine for 5 miles no longer seems to do me much good at 8+. The hunt was on.

And so too, the struggle with gluten compounded, because it’s not like you can just eat a bagel and call it good.

Yes, I could go the cream of rice route- I’ve heard a rumor that I can find it at a local grocery store.  I’ve never seen it there before, but will have to look the next time I’m there. No one else in town seems to know what this is, and so I’ve been resigned to thinking I had to ask my parents to bring me some when they come from Michigan next week. (I may still do that if I can’t find any by then…..)

I could do grits. I actually do like grits, but usually like a little bit of sugar in it. So that’s out for every day eating. I’m also not one who wants to cook anything in the morning and have to take time making something hot. I’m usually too hot as it is anyhow, so warming up from the inside just to go running and get even hotter is not appealing to me.

See what I mean about being picky?  😆

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a thread on the Runner’s World forums about the issue of being starving after running- what would be good and solid, not interfere with running, and yet, tide you over? The “solution” was overnight oats.

Now, if you’ve been researching gluten and all the stuff it’s in, you’ve probably learned this tidbit of information: while oats don’t have gluten in them, they are usually processed in facilities that have other grains, and therefore, may have trace amounts of gluten ON them.

If I had Celiac disease, this would be a big deal. I would make sure that the oats I got came certified “gluten-free.” (and really, I’m not doing very well in the gluten-free department anyhow, since I allow myself to cheat a little so long as my pain level is not real high and I’m functioning reasonably well; but I do try to eliminate it as much as I can)

Cheerios, for example, made with whole grain oats- are not gluten-free. AND! One of the ingredients is wheat starch. Definitely NOT gluten-free, although there are people who have been told they are ok to eat.

Did I mention that I love Cheerios?  *sigh*  😦

But- just plain oats don’t have anything else in it. While there is a chance to have some gluten cross-contamination, because I only have a sensitivity, I feel like it’s safe enough until I can find a source for reasonably priced certified gluten-free oats. I may be playing with fire, but so far, it’s been ok.

The original recipe I got was this:

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup almond milk

about 1/2 oz chopped walnuts

1/2 cup lowfat greek yogurt – (I used vanilla ) 

few dashes of cinnamon

about an ounce of dried cranberries

~~~~~~~~~~

Ok, so I tried this with a few alterations. I used regular whole milk instead of the almond milk; I used regular yogurt instead of Greek yogurt, and I didn’t put any cinnamon in it.While I don’t mind eating just nuts, I don’t like nuts in pretty much anything, so I left them out. I do like mixing it up the night before so all I have to do in the morning is open the fridge, grab my spoon and get to it.

A few days in, I came to realize that I didn’t particularly like to chew my oatmeal. I generally do not like food in my food, although I can change my mindset if I have to tackle some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. But then, I can pick out the chunks and eat just those, so it’s all good.  😆 So now, in addition to no nuts in there, the cranberries are also out.

After another few days, I got bored with the vanilla. Don’t ask me why, because I’m still not sure. 😆

I thought I would take a risk and try strawberry yogurt, even though it has some strawberry bits in it. So far, the bits aren’t bugging me because they are soft enough not to have to chew.

I have not, however, determined whether or not this combo gives me a good boost of energy like traditional carbs. I am leaning towards a “no,” but think I need to try it longer to really know one way or another. I am still looking for pre-race eats that will give me a boost of energy; I’m thinking maybe I should try some peanut butter in there with plain yogurt. Not sure on this combo, but I’ll let you know if I try it.

Any gluten-free runners out there who have favorite pre-race or other pre-run breakfast food favorites?  Tell me what you’re eating!

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“What’s the point?  Isn’t that a waste of time?  I mean isn’t it just easier to get it in a box at the store?”

Yes, it probably is easier.  A waste of time?  Not in my reality!

People waste a lot. You would be surprised at all the uses you can find for stuff that most folks just throw away. Bones are one of those things.

There is something soothing about seeing your own food in your own jars; where you know how it was processed and what’s in it. I’ve had people tell me it’s a waste to can, and easier to freeze.

There is really only one thing that I freeze instead of can, and that is pumpkin.  According to the USDA guidelines, canning pumpkin or winter squash purees are not recommended. (more info here: http://www.fcs.uga.edu/pubs/current/FDNS-E-P.html and here: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/tips/fall/pumpkins.html)  This has to do with the consistency of puree.

They do say you can cube and can, but that is too labor intensive for me.  😆  So, I prepare and then freeze my pumpkin puree.

And still I have nightmares.  😆  I would be devastated to come home some time and discover that while I was away, the motor on the freezer died.  Or power had gone out for an extended amount of time which resulted in the need to pitch everything. It seems to me that freezing is higher risk than canning, and a risk I can avoid if I can my food instead.

One of the things I can is stock.  Save the bones, and when you get enough, you can make a good amount of chicken, turkey, or beef stock, etc. We use stock for soup bases, gravies, and anything else we can think of. I don’t add salt to my stock, and I usually don’t need to add any bullion, either. The flavor *cannot* be beaten, in my opinion.

Making your own stock is incredibly easy- and I mean that.  Before I made stock for the first time, I was intimated by the unknown.  Once I made it, though, I determined I would never go back! 

It’s basically boil for a few hours or pressure cook the bones in water.  You can add stuff like carrots, onion, etc, but since I use my stock as a base, it seems like a waste to me to use those things and then throw them away.  You could save those items, but if you can your stock, you are double processing (which is not a “problem,” but things will be extremely soft after that point.)  I tend to do what is easiest and least involved.

Once you boil, separate out the bones/meat/fat from the liquid.  Depending on how pure you want your liquid, you can strain through a cheesecloth, strainer, or do what I do- use a slotted spoon of some sort to collect the chunks.  😆  Then process appropriately.

Another benefit to stock is how fast you can make things.  Tonight we did chicken pot pie. I made my roux and then added nearly a quart of stock (I say nearly because it was the bottom of the pot and then wasn’t canned because I couldn’t fit it in the pressure cooker) to complete the gravy.  I used leftover chicken (the stuff that was still on the bones plus some more) and mixed vegetables for the filling, and then added it to the round casserole dish that acts as a ramekin of sorts.

When I make my pot pies, I always use a double crust. This could be made in a square baking dish and I may go that route the next time, because we like leftovers.  You’d have to tweak your crust recipe and maybe do a double crust plus a single, unless you like a really thin crust.

All told, this dinner took me about 10 minutes to put everything together (including making the crust) and get it the oven. I admit, this one was not made with the focus on “pretty.”  This was made in the interest of being late and needing something fast.  I figure, you can close your eyes when you eat if you are offended by the way it looks.  😆 

The most challenging part of this dish was waiting for it to finish baking in the oven.  😀

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Thursday was a mad dash to get ready for chicks, with the expected arrivals coming Thursday evening instead of Friday morning.  They are great fun!

The plan had been: get chicks at 7 am with K; come back here and do apples.  The week brought a variety of adaptations to that plan.  The apples were left over from the Friday prior, when we ended up looking at the garden and chicken tractor instead of canning. Because the apples had been waiting for a week and were getting eaten, I knew I had to get them done Friday, or there wouldn’t be enough left to justify the effort.

I started working on mine, and was finally able to head over to Ks, chicks in tow, to help her get her apples done. As I’ve been researching and looking for recipes, I’m trying to find some where she can omit the sugar.  See my comments below on what I did, vs the recipe.  🙂

 

Apple Pie Filling in a Jar

4 1/2  c sugar
1  c cornstarch
2  tsp cinnamon               
1/4  tsp nutmeg
1  tsp salt
3  tbsp lemon juice
10  c water
6 lbs tart apples, washed, peeled and thinly sliced

Note: Slice apples into a solution of 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to 1 quart of water to avoid discoloration. Drain the fruit well before packing in jars.

In a large pot, blend together sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir in the water and lemon juice with a wire whisk. Cook and stir until bubbly and thick; remove from heat.

Drain the fruit well before packing in jars. Pack apples into clean, hot canning jars leaving an inch from the top of the jar. Fill with the hot syrup, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles, wipe rim, and apply lids and rings.

Process in a boiling water bath for 20 -30 minutes.

No Sugar:

Omit sugar and adjust:

1 c cornstarch

9 c water

All other ingredients same.

My comments:  I used Jona Gold apples; K used Red Delicious.  I have found the Red Ds to not be as firm, but I don’t think this is a big deal. I have canned all different kinds of apples, and they are all good. I also didn’t measure the lemon juice into the water since we had several bowls going.

I ended up this time with 19 quarts and 1 1/2 pint (jelly jar) of pie filling along with one 1/2 pint of juice, which I didn’t process this time.

You could, I suppose, use Fruit Fresh on the apples instead of the lemon juice in the water.  I don’t, though, because lemon juice is cheaper and I usually have a lot on hand.  Plus, lemon juice is a natural product.  So, that’s my .o2.  😀

When I make pie filling,** I’m usually using a box, which is about 40 lbs of apples.  I have found that an apple peeler is a “must-have” for me.  This makes my time peeling and cutting much easier, since, as you can see from the picture, it spirals the apple.  Once the apple is off the peeler, I cut it in half and plop in the jars.

Another thing that is helpful is to fill the jars with a few ladle scoops of filling, then apples, then top off with filling.  It just seems to go by a little bit faster.

When using an apple peeler, be aware that you get a lot of peels. I have mine saved in the freezer waiting for a resolution to my food processor issue.  I may decide to go ahead and do the apple (peel) butter in the crockpot and then can. On the other hand, I really need to get a working food processor.  😆 

** A regular slicer/corer is good for canned apples.  I don’t remove the peels in this case, but you certainly could if you wanted to. I have also made apple pie filling using the larger apples that come from the slicer, but it’s my feeling that you can pack more smaller pieces of apples (like what you get you from peeler) into your jars than you can get with the larger, sliced apples. We like more apples to juice, but if you want more juice to apples, the slicer is a good way to go.

You could also just do the liquid and add your apples when you are ready for pie, or you could do a variety of apple piece sizes.  If you find your filling consistency is too thin, you could heat it up and add more corn starch; and/or you can add more apples to your filling.  One of the things I looooooveeeeeee about canning is the variations you can come up with.

My plan for today is to use my apple pie filling to make a cobbler.  It’s been a really crazy, busy week (with middle-of-the-night checks on the chicks), and my body is paying for it.  My big stuff today is laundry, chick tv, and hopefully finishing up knitting the one remaining sock while I hang out in bed.  Once I get that done, I’ll go looking for another sock pattern and get that started.  I have yet to use my new set of circular needles, but since I also have a few 5 needle sets, I am going to have to figure out which pattern to do next! 

That’s the plan.  We’ll see if I can stay awake to get it all done.  😆

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