Friday, October 21, 2011

light chicken salad sandwich

A few years ago, while on a family trip in Hawaii, we charted a boat so that we could snorkel with dolphins. For lunch, the crew served us chicken salad sandwiches that we all loved.

I was successful in recreating those sandwiches. I now make them whenever we spend the day out on our boat. They are delicious, fresh and light. The walnuts add sweetness and an extra crunch to the sandwiches. I like that these sandwiches are healthy, light in calories and very filling.

These sandwiches are easy to make and can be ahead of time and packed for a picnic, or for any type of lunch away from home.

Photo of Malibu rainbow

No, this isn't Hawaii...this is Malibu! This rainbow was a double rainbow in full arc. We were out walking our dogs and witnessed the end of the rainbow. I ran home to capture a picture before it disappeared. Seeing a rainbow like this reminds me of being in Hawaii and so does this sandwich.

light chicken salad sandwich

Makes 4 sandwiches


12.5 oz can white chunk chicken breast, drained

½ cup glazed walnut pieces

½ cup grapes, cut into quarters

½ cup light mayonnaise

Alfalfa sprouts

Honey Wheat Berry Bread, 8 slices

In a medium bowl, add chicken, walnuts and grapes.
Mix in mayonnaise until thoroughly blended. Chicken will no longer be in chunks.
Lay 4 slices of bread down and top with chicken salad and cover with alfalfa sprouts.
Top with remaining 4 slices of bread.

almond poppy seed bread

Yesterday was my hubby's Birthday and instead of the traditional Birthday cake, I made him Almond Poppy Seed Bread. My Almond Poppy Seed Bread is his favorite and I seriously had to stop him from eating the whole loaf.

Did you know that poppy seeds have long been used as a folk remedy to aid sleeping, promote fertility and wealth, and even to provide supposed magical powers of invisibility? Well, I can tell you that my husband did not sleep soundly through the night, I’m not pregnant, my bank account did not grow and he is not invisable - thank goodness!

This Almond Poppy Seed Bread is sweet and with a fragrant almond flavor. A powdered sugar glaze is poured over the top while the bread is still warm which adds an extra layer of almond flavor.

This recipe makes 2 loafs.

I sometimes freeze one of the loafs and save for another time. You can even serve this bread for breakfast or take it with you to one of your holiday parties this season.

Photo of my hubby and step daughter surfing in Malibu
I definately found a needle in a haystack when I found my hubby.  He is such a good and loving husband.  I count my blessings everyday that I met him. 

My husband truly loves the water.  He is a boater, surfer, stand-up paddle boarder, fisher and diver.  Malibu fits in so well with his lifestyle and  is the perfect place for us.

almond poppy seed bread
makes 2 loaf

3 cups of all purpose flour
2 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ cup fat free or low fat milk (I’m always looking for ways to cut calories without cutting the flavor)
1 ½ cup of vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Pam ( use Baking Pam)  for spraying loaf pans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.  Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, extracts, and poppy seeds to flour mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined.

Spray 2 9-inch loaf pans and evenly pour mixture into both pans.  Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick or knife can be inserted into the center of the bread and comes out clean

¾ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup fat free or low fat milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract

Make glaze while the bread is baking.  In a small bowl, add powdered sugar, milk, and extracts.  Whisk until mixture is combined and there are no more lumps.  You may need to whisk once more prior to brushing onto loafs.

When the bread is done, remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pans.  Brush glaze on top of warm bread loafs.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting

One of the reasons that I like the Fall season so much is because I love almost anything Pumpkin. And I can’t eat enough Pumpkin Bread or Cake. Here is a Pumpkin Cake recipe that is so moist, delicious and easy to make. It's a great cake to take to a Halloween gathering or event. The frosting is dripping off of the cake in this picture, because my family could not wait long enough for it to cool off before I frosted. They actually grab their forks to dig in for seconds. This cake is a family favorite!

I will end up baking about 5 or 6 of these cakes before the holiday season ends. It is a favorite and requested by so many family members and friends.

Photo of Hammer Man statue located at the Malibu Country Mart
This Hammer Man statue is located at the Malibu Country Mart, near Starbucks. Someone got a little too carried away with decorating it with pumpkins. It made me think of my pumpkin cake when I saw it. I'm not really sure what the statue represents. All I do know is that there is a much larger and red colored Hammer Man statue located across the street.

pumpkin bundt cake with cream cheese frosting

2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 cups canned pumpkin

In a mixer, combine sugar and eggs and beat until pale yellow.
Add vegetable oil and beat for a few seconds more. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix well. Stir in Pumpkin. Grease a Bundt pan. Add cake batter and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, until cake center is cooked. Be sure to test by inserting a toothpick in center of cake and pulling out. If batter does not stick to toothpick, then cake is done. However, if you batter does stick then continue to cook in 5 to 10 minutes more.
Let cake cook 5 minutes in pan before removing, then let cool at least 20 minutes before frosting...if your family will allow you too.

One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick of butter, softened at room temperature
1 box powder/confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in a mixer and beat until creamy. Add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Frost your cake and top with decorative candy if you desire.

Friday, October 7, 2011

grilled tofu with red curry peanut sauce

This Grilled Tofu with Red Curry Peanut Sauce is so healthy and great tasting. Taste like it came from a Thai restuarant. Trust me on this one!
Photo taken under the Malibu Pier

While taking this picture, I was once again reminded of the disastrous tidal wave that struck Thailand. The ocean reseeds and within seconds comes charging towards you at full speed with so much power that you barely have seconds to escape. And to think, the wave in front of me was only two feet. I get chills thinking about the terror brought onto the Thailand people by the tsunami. I pray that we will never experience something like that in Malibu.
grilled tofu with red curry peanut sauce
Recipe by California Health & Longevity Institute
1 14 oz., packages EXTRA FIRM tofu, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 green onion, minced
½ tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Thai red curry pasted
1/3 cup smooth natural peanut butter
½ cup lite coconut milk
¼ cup chicken broth
½ tablespoon sugar
½ tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
Pinch of black pepper
1/1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Soak skewers in water
  • For sauce, heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add green onion, ginger and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes Add curry paste; sauté for 1 minute
  • Mix in peanut butter, coconut milk, broth, sugar soy sauce and pepper
  • Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes
  • Let cool; stir in lime juice and cilantro
  • Preheat grill to medium heat
  • Cut tofu into large cubes and let marinade in sauce for 10-20 minutes
  • Skewer tofu
  • Brush kebabs or grill lightly with oil
  • Grill kebabs for 2-3 minutes on each side or place under broiler until lightly browned
  • Transfer to platter and drizzle remaining sauce over top

fast pico de gallo

This Pico De Gallo is so fast and easy to make. The taste improves with time. I like that everything can be largely chopped and thrown into the food processor. Makes cleaning up fast and easy...just like this recipe! 
Photo taken of Malibu Pier
The first legal claim to land in Malibu was made in 1802 by Spanish settler Jose Bartoleme Tapia Tapia. Tapia established a ranch and built a large adobe in Malibu Canyon. These property holdings became known as the "Rancho Topanga Malibu Simi Sequit.
fast pico de gallo

4 tomatoes, quartered
1 white onion, quartered
½ bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 serrano pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
Juice of 1 or 2 limes, depending on your taste
Salt to taste

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor
2. Pulse a few times to chop all ingredients
3. Taste and add additional lime juice and salt as desired
4. Can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week

edamame dip

Many of us have heard the powerful benefits of soy. Consuming soy has shown to reduce cancer, cholesterol lowering, provides calcium for bone health and reduce menopause symptoms in women.

Soy comes in many edible forms, two which are in this dip:

Edamame is the Japanese name given to the small, green (not quite mature) soybean. Most often found in the frozen food section, shelled or unshelled, edamame can be boiled, steamed or eaten raw as a snack. With a sweet taste similar to green peas or artichokes, edamame can be served as a hot side dish like peas or corn, or used in soups, salads and stir-fries.

Tofu is made from soymilk that is curdled with mineral salts. The liquid is drained and the remaining curd pressed into a custard-like cake. Tofu comes in many varieties, from extra-firm to silken soft. Its texture may take some getting used to, but tofu is a very versatile food that absorbs the taste of the ingredients mixed with it. Tofu can be used in casseroles, stir-fries, and egg dishes, and adds good plant protein. I have friends who add tofu to anything and everything — from cereals, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, and spaghetti, to kebabs, fruit dishes and puddings. Many supermarkets are now selling marinated tofu that has a denser, more flavorful consistency that many people prefer. Tofu can also be substituted for cream cheese in dips, bagel toppings or other recipes

For this reason, it makes me very happy to see my family devour this creamy, mild, flavored dip. What I tried to create was a hummus type dip. I served this dip with toasted pita. You can use pita chips or crackers of your choice.

Photo taken of fisherman on Malibu Pier

You will find all kinds of people fishing off of the Malibu Pier, from families, to fishermen or even a couple on a date. Over the course of a year, the Malibu Pier gets a huge variety of fish in all sizes. The biggest are shark (many species) and halibut, but rare. More abundant are perch, bass, corbina, and sargo. In the summer, schools of mackerel can move in, and anyone with a line in the water can hook up.

edamame dip

2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 cup firm tofu, cubed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon flat leave (Italian) parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Place all ingredients, except olive oil, in a food processor.
2. Pulse until blended
3. With processor running, slowly pour in olive oil until well blended.
4. Put in a tightly covered container and refrigerate 30 minutes or more.


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