Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Homemade Croutons

Leftover homemade bread is perfect for croutons, especially if it is a couple days old. Baguette or French Bread are great choices. If you can’t use homemade, check out the "day old" section at your local supermarket.

Cut the bread into 3/4 to 1 inch sized cubes. Try to get them at least close to the same size so the smaller ones don’t over-cook while you wait for the larger ones to toast.

Drizzle the bread cubes with 1-2 tablespoons of melted butter or olive oil per 2 cups of bread cubes, tossing to evenly coat.

Add any seasonings you desire. Some ideas are: salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, fresh herbs, or dried herbs.

Bake on a cookie sheet in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-20 minutes, or until the bread has reached desired crunchiness. Stir the croutons every once in a while so as to insure even browning.

  • Alternatively you can toast in a toaster oven.
  • Make them little crunchier for use in soup since they will soak up a lot of liquid.

Cool completely before storing in an airtight container to maintain freshness and crunch.

Homemade croutons can serve many purposes: garnishing a salad or soup or to make stuffing.

Check out all of these soup recipes. . .

You can find them all at Kaboose Lunch Soup Recipes.

Rich and Creamy Soups

  • Baked Potato Soup
  • Cheese Soup
  • Cheese and Broccoli Soup
  • Cheeseburger Vegetable Soup
  • Creamy Corn Chowder
  • Kids' Favorite Pea Soup
  • Pot O'Gold Soup
  • Chicken and Apple Dumplings Stew

Savory Broth Soups

  • Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Easy Clam Chowder
  • Easy Vegetable Soup
  • Hearty Homemade Chicken Soup
  • Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Homemade Herbed Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Chicken Meatball Soup
  • Lemon Chicken Soup
  • Tomato and Macaroni Soup

International Favorites

  • Chickpea and Tomato Soup with Pasta
  • Easy Tortilla Soup
  • Matzo Ball Soup
  • Mexican Tortilla Soup
  • Pasta Fagioli in a Thermos
  • Taco Soup
  • Tortellini Soup

How To Overcome A Constant Desire For Food

Women Living Well Blog: How To Overcome A Constant Desire For Food
A reader recently asked me how she could overcome her constant desire for sweets. It’s a good question, since it’s a struggle that many of us have tried to defeat. The way that I see it is that we can’t control the things we desire, until our hearts have been changed. Fortunately they naturally change over time so that many of the things we once enjoyed aren’t so appealing anymore, but there are some things that we develop a passion for that never seem to go away, no matter how old we get.

Using thr fruit of the Spirit to read the Bible in 90 Days

Using the Fruit of the Spirit to read the Bible in 90 Days

A Guest Post from Debbie, a Bible in 90 Days Grad:

Last summer I signed up to read the Bible in 90 days with Mom’s Toolbox. One of the main reasons I wanted to do this was so that I could get an overview of the Bible in a short amount of time…to see how everything fits together in God’s Word.  I wanted the big picture.

But there was a problem…I had only read through the Bible once in my life, and at that, it was a struggle!  I had such a hard time getting past Leviticus!  So how in the world was I going to be able to do this?  It finally occurred to me that I couldn’t do it!  But with God’s help, I could!

The Holy Spirit enables us to act like Jesus when we don’t want to and can’t.  He gives us the Fruit of the Spirit to accomplish the hard tasks.

Using the Fruit of the Spirit to read the Bible in 90 Days

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why don't I make Chocolate Chip Cookies more often?

They are so easy to make and taste so much better than packaged dough. . .

Andrea’s Everyday Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s the one my mom used, tweaked by me!


  • 3/4 cup butter flavor vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups AP flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (6 oz.) package semi-sweet, white, or milk chocolate chips (1 cup) or any combination thereof
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)


  1. HEAT oven to 375ºF.
  2. COMBINE shortening, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Beat in egg. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Mix into shortening mixture until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
  3. DROP by rounded measuring tablespoonfuls 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.
  4. BAKE 8 to 10 minutes for chewy cookies, or 11 to 13 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet on a cooling rack. Remove cookies to rack to cool completely.

TIP: If nuts are omitted, add an additional handful of chocolate chips.

If they make it past the cooling rack, store them tightly sealed for a couple of days (they won't last that long. . .)

Creamy Baked Swiss Chicken

This is a delish recipe sent to me by one of my best friends, Donna. Can't wait to try it. (Maybe tonight. . .)

Creamy Baked Swiss Chicken

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I use chicken tenders.)
  • 8 thin slices of swiss cheese
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup Pepperidge Farm Herb-seasoned stuffing mix
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter

Arrange chicken (raw) in a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Top with soup and cheese. Sprinkle with stuffing mix and drizzle with butter. Bake uncovered in preheated 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes.

6 Quick Memory Boosters for Moms

6 Quick Memory Boosters

A mommy’s brain only holds so much at any given moment. Whether you're feeling overwhelmed or just a little scatterbrained, the following tips and tools can help sharpen your memory:

Make lists: If you're worried about forgetting something important, write it down! The act of putting pen to paper will ease your anxiety and provide a handy record to jog you memory.

Brain games: The old saying "use it or lose it" is certainly true when it comes to mental acuity. To keep your mind and your memory sharp, try exercising it with games and puzzles like Scrabble, Sudoku, and crosswords.

Routine: If you always leave your keys in the same place, you'll never have to remember - or risk forgetting - where they are! Whether it's a hook by the door or the right pocket of your favorite jacket, try to put necessary items in the same place every time.

Sleep: One of the primary causes of poor memory is chronic shortage of sleep. Even a few extra hours can make a big difference in what details you can summon.

Exercise: Fitness and activity is almost as important as sleep in terms of memory consolidation and retention. Regular exercise improves the flow of oxygen to the brain and protects brain cells.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Creative Leftovers

Creative Leftovers

by Leanne Ely, C.N.C

Holidays can leave us with lots of leftovers--I hope you stuck a bunch in your freezer!

When we remember to feed our freezer and have a plan for how we're going to use leftover food, we can recoup our losses and not waste a bit of it. If you find that you're feeding your garbage disposal, it's time to get creative with your leftovers. So take note!

1) Single Serving. Freeze your leftovers that night into individual single serving sized portions. Now you have a quick frozen dinner for someone later down the road.

2) Have a Plan. Before you cook your meal is the very best time to decide what exactly you will do with the leftovers. If you can prepare more now and freeze half for later, you'll save yourself time and money in the long run.

3) Write it Out. Make sure and write what it is on the freezer baggie with a Sharpie marker (it's the only one that won't run). Everything looks the same once it's frozen!

Here are a few more ideas --

  • Ham: Leftover ham can be used to cook a lot of different things -- pinto beans, corn chowder, potato soup and ham salad for example. You can also slice the ham and use it in sandwiches of course, and as a side to your breakfast eggs, or you can use it in a casserole. You can also use the leftover ham in your fried rice, your nightly veggie side dishes, as a baked potato topping, and into a quiche, too.
  • Chicken or Turkey: Poultry leftovers are very versatile. You can use them in the same types of dishes as the ham, soups and stews such as dumplings, vegetable soup, white chili, and turkey salad. You can use turkey anywhere you'd use chicken, in casseroles, and dishes such as with pasta like, chicken fettuccini carbona, and both birds make excellent pot pies.
  • Veggies: Any veggies left over can be frozen and then tossed into your soups or stews. You can use them up in stir fried dishes too. Remember that pureeing them into a soup isn't a sin; it's a virtue (and adds extra nutrition, too!).

The important thing with leftovers is to have a plan for them and they won't be a mere leftover anymore, but a made over!

Copyright (C) 2010 www.savingdinner.com Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Top 20 Skinny Recipes from 2010

Food For Thought: Seven in 2011

Saving Dinner Monday

Feel free to forward and share this email with your friends and family.

Seven in 2011

by Leanne Ely, C.N.C

Dear Friends,

It's a brand new year and like most people, I'm going to bet you've set some kind of goal to improve your health this year. That's on the top of my list too!

So to get our new 2011 FlyLady motto going in the right direction ("Let's go for 7 in 2011!"), here are my top 7 steps in 2011 to tackle the body clutter and improve your health!

1. Portion Distortion - Keep in mind that most dinner plates made today are much bigger than the ones we ate off of 40 years ago, so if you can find smaller plates (like a salad plate) that's ideal. Now take that plate and divide it in half. One half of the plate is for your veggies. Now divide the other half of the plate in half again (so you have two quarters). One quarter is for starchy carbs with fiber, like sweet potatoes or brown rice. The last quarter is for lean meats like chicken, fish or lean beef.

2. Plan Like You Mean It - When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. By knowing what you're going to eat and when, you will have the right food on hand and you'll be prepared. Keeping a few healthy snacks handy for those moments when life throws you a curve ball is a must; I keep almonds and beef jerky in my purse right next to the tampons! True emergencies require preparedness.

3. Pump the Protein - White chicken meat, wild salmon, wild fish, pork and lean beef are your best choices.

4. Skip the Can - When it comes to veggies and fruits, go for seasonal and fresh as much as possible, frozen works too. Avoid the canned stuff though, too much salt and the nutrients are pretty much zapped out.

5. Stop the Soda - Drink water (yep, 8 glasses a day), then throw some green tea into the mix for a different flavor--green tea is great for weight loss and is a superfood. Just remember that tea has caffeine and can dehydrate so make up for it with a little more water.

6. Quality Over Quantity - One thing I hear all of the time is "I can't afford to eat healthy". But you know, there are always sales to be had and swaps to be made--change one thing out for another. Buying foods in their rawest state that requires cooking is going to afford you a whole lot more real food--you can buy a whole bag of potatoes for just a few bucks vs. a bag of frozen hash browns for the same price; the bag of potatoes will go a lot further than the already prepared hash browns.

7. 90/10 Rule - Use the 90/10 rule. Be a conscientious healthy eater 90% of the time and eat your favorite treats the other 10% of the time. This helps us keep balance in our diets and fun still in the equation.

These 7 steps will keep healthy eating in perspective and help you put body clutter in its place. By simply following through and doing all these things, you'll be quietly teaching your family good habits and be helping more than just yourself. :-)


New Episode

Holiday Trifle - part 2

All new stuff! Check it out!!


Coming in January

Break Free Detox Cleanse

Feeling heavy, sluggish and muddle-headed?

Want to start the New Year off feeling light, clear and energized?

Then join us for our BRAND NEW Break Free Detox Cleanse: 28 Days to a New You!

Learn more and reserve your spot here >>

Copyright (C) 2010 www.savingdinner.com Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Writer's Block: Enough With the Excuses Already!

If you are teetering on the fence, wondering if you should commit, read this article. It's quite thought provoking.

The Writer's Block: Enough With the Excuses Already!:
"'Hey! Want to try to read your Bible from cover to cover in just 90 days?' ... I'm not as much interested in your answer as I am interest..."

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