Deb's Morning Pages

My Writing Life. One Morning at a Time.


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Spinach Snack Balls for Pups

Here’s the newest treat my pups are crushing on these days. They’re easy to make and nutritious with spinach, whole wheat and oats.

Spinach Balls

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
2 tbsp. grated cheese (any kind)
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed but not drained
1 tbsp extra-virgin Olive Oil

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl combine all of the ingredients. Using your hands or a small ice cream scoop, shape the mixture into golf-ball sized treats (I made mine smaller because my dogs are small). Place on a lightly greased baking sheet (or line the baking sheet with a silicone baking sheet).
2. Bake the spinach balls 20-30 minutes (I found since mine were smaller that 30 minutes made them too dry). Let cool, then refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze up to 6 months.

Billy enjoying a treat.

Susie didn’t wait for me to come to her to get another piece of the Spinach Ball, the princess actually came to me.

I got this recipe from Rachael Ray’s Every Day magazine. I tried to get a link to the recipe on her website because I don’t like to publish other people’s recipes but I couldn’t find a link. Since this recipe was a winner for my pups and I wanted to share I made the decision to publish it. So, please buy an issue of Rachael Ray’s magazine the next time you’re in the grocery store. I also know that there is a pup named Josie who will be trying this treat very soon. I hope you enjoy, Josie! One more thing, be sure to check with your vet to be certain all of these ingredients are suitable for you pup.

D

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Strawberry-Rhubard Crumble

There’s no doubt it’s spring when I look out my kitchen window and see weeds (everywhere) and when I find rhubard at my local grocery store. It’s time to pull out the garden gloves and start spending time outdoors and then it’s time to pull out my flour canister, grab some brown sugar and make sure there’s vanilla ice cream in the freezer. Strawberry-Rhubard Crumble is my way of saying to everyone that spring is here.

I didn’t plan to make the crumble this weekend. It was a spur of the moment decision when I spied the rhubard in the produce section. This meant that the recipe needed to be easy and come together fast.

Begin gathering ingredients.

Love the bright colors.

Trim and cut rhubard and strawberries then combine with sugar and all-purpose flour.

Transfer to baking dish.

Make the crumble topping and cover the fruit.

Place baking dish in a preheated oven and let bake. The kitchen smells so good. While the Strawberry-Rhubard Crumble bakes I spent some time reading my critique partner’s most recent scene. Between work, taking care of the house and my own writing I look forward to sitting down and spending a little time in E’s world. We’ve been working together for over a year now and I kinda feel like an aunt to her characters. I know them. Their stories are unfolding in front of me and sometimes I offer a bit of wise auntie advice to them. Sometimes I laugh because E’s heroine is funny. Sometimes I worry because it is a romantic suspense and they are in danger. But I know as a writer sometimes you just need to sit back and let the characters live and breathe. Before I knew it the oven timer went off and this is what I pulled out of the oven.

Not diving into the crumble with a spoon was so difficult for me but since it wasn’t anywhere near dinner time (this was to be our dessert) I had to resist temptation. So it seemed like the perfect time to head outside for a little yard work. The distraction worked. And I guess it was worth it because take a look at what I had to look forward to –

Warm Strawberry-Rhubard Crumble with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The day couldn’t have gotten any better, right?

Well, maybe it could have gotten better if I had seconds. 🙂

But I didn’t. I was good. Besides, I wanted to have some left over for the next night.

While taking the photographs, Billy kept me company.

Yeah, he was hoping for some Strawberry-Rhubard crumble. It’s good the little guy is always hopeful. While he didn’t get any of the Crumble, if you’d like you can try this very easy and simple recipe. See below for the recipe. If you do not have whole wheat flour you can substitute all-purpose flour.

Have a great day,
D

Strawberry-Rhubard Crumble

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 pound rhubard, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Crumble Topping

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    2 tablespoons butter, softened
    1 tablespoon canola oil
    1 tablespoon water

Directions

  • 1 To make filling: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss together rhubarb, strawberries, granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons flour in a large bowl. Transfer the mixture to a shallow 1 1/2-quart dish or a 9-inch pie plate, pressing down on the fruit to form an even layer.
    2. To make the crumble topping: Combine oats, the flours, brown sugar, butter and oil in a bowl; work the ingredients together with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the water until the mixture is evenly moistened.
    3. Distribute the topping mixture evenly over the fruit. Bake until the fruit is bubbly and the topping is golden, 35 to 40 minutes.

Yields: 4-6 servings (depending how you dish it out)


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Too Good To Believe

The weather is too good to believe. March 14th and just under 70 degrees with a forecast of possibly warmer weather for next week. With warm temps I start thinking about smoothies. I love them and I prefer to make my own. So, I pulled out the blender and hit the freezer for ingredients to make a Yogurt & Mixed Fruit Smoothie.

Got my ingredients.

Add all ingredients to the blender plus a scoop of protein powder. Blend.

Enjoy!

Yogurt & Mixed Fruit Smoothie:

1/2 cup fat-free vanilla Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup fat-free milk

1/2 teaspoon honey

1 cup frozen mixed fruit

Half-scoop protein powder

Combine, blend & enjoy

Now, for the signs of an early spring. Look what I found outside today.

It really does seem to good to be true. I can’t help wonder what the “real” spring and summer will be like.

As for writing, today I read and critiqued a chapter from my crit partner. I have to get it back to her by the end of the week.

I hope you had a great day.

D


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Cavatelli & Broccoli

What’s cooking in Connecticut tonight? Cavatelli and broccoli. I love this dish but I haven’t made it in ages and I don’t know why because it’s so easy and fast. I was first introduced to this dish of pasta, broccoli, garlic and olive oil by my neighbor Barbara. She’s a fabulous cook and like a good Italian mom there’s always plenty of food in her house. This gal has been known to pop over for dinner every now and again. 🙂

Lets get cooking. But first, be forewarned that there are exactly precise measurements for this passed-down recipe. I’ll do my best.

Frozen cavattelli and broccoli are cooked together in a big pot of water. Then grab a wedge of Parmesan cheese.

Grate the cheese.

Then combine a 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/4 canola oil with garlic cloves (do this according to taste, if you like a lot of garlic put in a lot of garlic). Pop the mixture into the microwave for one minute and then let cool.

Strain the cavatelli and brocoli.

Spoon cavatelli and broccoli into serving bowl (this is one of my new ones, I just love it, it’s Rachael Ray) and add the oil and garlic mixture, salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste (see no measurements for this) and the grated Parmesan. Toss until all the pasta and broccoli are evenly coated.

Dinner time! I served the pasta and broccoli with a Pepperidge Farm multi-grain roll (I love them).

With such a quick meal to whip up and an express workout, there’s plenty of time to tackle the homework assignment I have from my current class over at SavvyAuthors. Over the weekend I’ll share with you what the class is and what I’ve learned so far.

Before I go, I just wanted to let those of you who are visiting from the A-Z challenge that I appreciate your stopping by, but I am no longer participating. I found that I was just posting to post and I didn’t really feel the content I was putting out was of any quality (okay, I know that this may not be a prize-winning post but I feel good about it) and I really need to focus on writing, revising and my class.

Debra


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Weekends In Connecticut

The weekends are about running errands, chores and enjoying a little down time before the work-week grind sets in. This weekend will be jammed pack yet again. One of the errands I ran was to Borders. I left with two books and a magazine.

Book number one is titled The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate.

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Book number two is titled To Have and To Kill by Mary Jane Clark. This book is a departure from her usual news world mysteries. Since I love culinary mysteries, I expect I’ll enjoy this one. I’ll let you know.

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The magazine is new to the market and it’ll be interesting to see how it does amidst the hundreds of the magazines. It’s price-point is a little high for me and I debated whether I should purchase a copy. But I had $5 in Border bucks so I decided to give the magazine a try. I love to cook and by nature I’m curious and like to peek into other people’s homes (come on, admit it you do too).

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With new reading material and errands finished I focused on undecorating my house. One of the things that had fallen to the wayside these past few weeks have been taking down the Christmas decorations. It’s always easier to put them out than it is to take them down and put them away. Hmm.

While I undecorated, I had a pot of beef stew cooking on the stove in my new Le Creuset french oven. This 6 3/4 quart pot was a gift from Santa. I found the recipe this past week from Family Circle magazine, Country Dijon Beef Stew.

After the stew simmered for fifteen minutes I added the carrots and let it cook for another hour. The dijon mustard gave the stew a little kick and I wasn’t sure if my husband would like it, but he asked for seconds so it looks like it was a success.

I hope you had a great weekend.

TTYL,

Debra