Fresh Watermelon Granita



When I started my quest for how to use up some extra watermelon I was looking for a watermelon sorbet. I don’t have an ice cream machine anymore so I had to take what I could get when it came to recipes. I never found a recipe that was exactly what I was looking for so I decided to improvise and come up with something I thought would work well. 

A watermelon granita was perfect. I learned a trick from my Nana that if you don’t want something to freeze completely that adding one ounce of vodka would do the trick. Sure enough it worked perfect. The vodka had no flavor so it did not change the granita flavor, nor did you taste any alcohol in it what so ever.

We all loved this recipe! Its low in calorie and it’s fantastic!! It could not be any easier to make and it’s a great way to use up extra fruit!!

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups of seeded watermelon chunks
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup of light corn syrup
  • 1 ounce of vodka (any vodka will work) (this is a VERY important ingredients don’t skip you won’t taste it) I used Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka
Directions:
  1. Puree watermelon chunks in a blender and strain if necessary. 
  2. In a large saucepan bring to a boil the watermelon puree, sugar, and corn syrup. 
  3. Once the sugar has melted turn off the burner then allows the watermelon puree to cool down to room temperature. 
  4. Mix in the vodka. The vodka is important to this recipe because although you cannot taste the vodka what it does is it prevents the puree from freezing into a solid block. Instead it will not free 100% which is what you are looking for. This will help you get a nice Granita. With most Granita recipes you are required to do a lot of scraping throughout the freezing process this will prevent you having to do the entire extra work. It works perfect!
  5. Once the vodka is stirred transfer the mixture to a Ziploc bag and freeze for 18-24 hours. 
  6. Occasionally while the Granita is freezing just massage/knead the ingredients in the bag. This will help you accomplish the granite without a lot of work.

Number of Servings: 8
Nutritional Information:
  • 94 calories per serving
  • 20 carbs 
  • 0 grams of fat 
  • 0 protein
  • 4 sugar
*Nutritional information found on www.myfitnesspal.com this information will vary based on the products you use.*




Quick and Easy Fried Rice


Last night I was running very late getting home and of course keeping with our no eating out had to make dinner. I had purchased some frozen egg rolls from Sam’s Club that I decided I was going to stick in the oven to have for a quick and easy dinner. I really wanted to serve fried rice with dinner, but I figured it would be too much trouble or I wouldn’t have everything I needed. To my surprised I had just about everything. With a little modification of the original recipe I was able to whip up this recipe in just a matter of minutes.

I actually had left over brown right in the refrigerator which never happens except a few days ago I didn’t think I made enough so I made more and actually ended up making too much so that worked out. I had everything else I needed on hand that I wanted to use. The original recipe calls for meat, but I just wanted vegetable fried rice so with a little modification I was able to serve this with the egg rolls.

I must say it turned out fantastic! Much better than the fried rice I pay $5 for at our favorite Chinese restaurant. I will never buy fried rice again after making this recipe! Yummy! 


Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoons oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 drops soy sauce
  • 6 drops sesame oil
  • 1 cup of frozen peas and carrots (I used frozen, peas, carrots, corn, green beans)
  • 3 cups cold cooked brown rice (I used left overs)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce (add more if you like)

Directions:
  1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in skillet add chopped onions and stir-fry until onions turn brown , about 8-10 minutes
  2. Add 6 drops of soy and 6 drops of sesame oil to the skillet and cook for a minute
  3. Push everything in your skillet to one side then add egg mixture to the empty side working quickly, stirring eggs until they are cooked, when eggs fluff, chop them into small pieces and mix them into the other ingredients in your pan.
  4. Add carrots, peas, or any other vegetables and cooked for 2 minutes.
  5. Add rice and mix well cooking for 3 more minutes.
  6. Add and additional 2 tbsp. of light soy sauce or additional sesame oil until you have the desired flavor; stir-fry for 1 minute more, if desired add salt for flavor.
Original Recipe Source

Dad's Stuffed Peppers


When I was a kid my Dad would make my Mom stuffed peppers occasionally because she loved them so much. Unfortunately when my Dad passed away his stuffed pepper recipe went with him. I have never found any place he had written it down. After a lot of looking around and my Mom and I putting our heads together we think we have come up with my Dads recipe.

Like I said before they are my Mom’s favorite so I decided to surprise her with an early Mother’s Day dinner of stuffed peppers. She was so surprised and so happy. She said they were fantastic and just like my Dad’s. 

Ingredients:
  • 4 medium green bell peppers
  • 1 lb ground round
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  •  1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese grated
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Wash bell peppers then cut them in half.  Bring to a boil a large pot of water and place the pepper halfs into the water. Steam the peppers in the water for 15 minutes until the peppers are soft.
  3. After the peppers are soft remove them from the water and allow them to dry off.
  4. Place a skillet on a medium high and brown your ground beef. Once the meat is browned drain, then add the onion, and cook until the onion is tender.
  5. Next add corn, rice, stewed tomatoes,  tomato sauce, salt, pepper, basil,  garlic powder, salt, and pepper . Mix together well and heat for an additional five minutes.
  6. Remove your skillet from the heat
  7. Place each of your pepper halves in a baking pan and being to stuff peppers. Fill each pepper half to the top, and then top with cheddar cheese
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 or until heated through





Shrimp and Mushroom Pad Thai Noodles


A few days ago we had our water off for most of the day because of a broken pipe that was being fixed. I had one dinner planned, but at the last minute I changed it up for something a little easier like frozen egg rolls. I needed to make something that didn’t require the use of water. I had enough bottled water to wash my hands, but not enough to cook with. I didn’t want to pick anything up for dinner because we are still doing our “no eating out for a month” challenge.  Frozen egg rolls would be perfect!

I needed something to go with the egg rolls, but I didn’t have a clue what to make. I remembered that we had a box of rice noodles in the pantry that I had been meaning to use. I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I received the box in the mail to try. After looking online for a while at a few different recipes I decided to take what I liked and what I had on hand and put them all together.

Everyone in our house loved this. Actually raved about it! This was the first time I have ever had rice noodles and I must say I love them, and I love this recipe!!


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup salad shrimp cooked or precooked
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ½ medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 8 oz. box Pad Thai Rice Noodles (such as Annie Chuns)
  • 4oz can of mushrooms drained
  • 1 teaspoon pure black sesame oil
  • 3 + tablespoons of soy sauce adjust to taste (you may want to use reduced salt)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 egg
Directions:
  1. In a large bowl soak rice noodles for 10 minutes in extremely hot water. If your tap water doesn’t get very hot you may want to soak them in water than has been boiled.
  2. As the noodles are soaking sauté chopped onion in oil in a large skillet until it starts getting a golden hue, then add the garlic. Sauté until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  3. Add mushroom, shrimp, sesame oil, sugar and soy sauce cook for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked then add drained rice noodles
  4. Mix well so that the noodles and the other ingredients are well blended together. This can be a challenge because initially the rice noodles are not very cooperative!  Cook an additional for 5 minutes or so making sure that the dish is well heated, then add additional soy sauce if needed.


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