Healthy Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes

By Jodee Weiland

Some people feel that having a potato with a meal is going to cause weight gain, but the reality is that it isn’t the potato that does this. What does this is what we put on those potatoes and how much we have. One way to avoid adding the wrong things to potatoes is a healthy hasselback potato made using olive oil and seasonings that will add all the flavor you need. A hasselback potato done right needs very little salt or none at all because the flavor will come from the seasonings. And if you want a potato with some cheese flavor, have a hasselback potato sprinkled with grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese. Done this way, my Healthy Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes are both delicious and healthy!

Eaten as baked and seasoned in the recipe, these hasselback potatoes will be both delicious and healthy. It’s when people add sour cream, butter, bacon bits, some higher calorie cheeses, and more that you have problems. Hasselback potatoes done using this recipe don’t need all those additional toppings, because they will taste wonderful without them. You won’t even miss the idea of butter when you use an extra virgin olive oil, as I do in this recipe. You really don’t even need extra salt, and if you do use the sea salt, be sure to do so lightly because the Parmesan cheese has salt as well. Once you try potatoes this way, you will be a believer for sure!

Healthy Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes

  • 4 large russet potatoes or potatoes of your choice
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Paprika to taste
  • Onion powder to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan Reggiano cheese grated to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and scrub the potato skins well with a vegetable brush. Dry the potatoes and slice them across the width 1/8″ to 1/4″, but do not cut through the potato. Stop your slice before cutting all the way through creating a sliced potato with the bottom still in one piece. Place the potatoes in a baking dish that has been sprayed lightly with olive oil. With a food brush, brush about half the olive oil over the top of the four potatoes. Lightly sprinkle the potatoes with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, remove the potatoes from the oven to brush them once again with the remainder of the olive oil. Sprinkle the onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika over the potatoes to taste. Remember to season lightly because a little bit goes a long way with flavor.  Bake for another 20 minutes or longer if needed to bake thoroughly.

http://learnfromyesterday.comAfter 20 minutes, check to see if the potatoes are almost done. If not, bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer. Then remove from the oven and sprinkle the potatoes with Parmesan Reggiano cheese. Put them back into the oven and finish baking for another 10 minutes longer. When done, sprinkle the tops with fresh chopped chives and serve.

My Healthy Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes are both delicious and healthy! Serve them with a few fresh chopped chives sprinkled across the top. These potatoes go well with any meat, poultry, or fish entree and another vegetable. We love them because they are very tasty and healthy at the same time. We never need to add on any extras to these potatoes because they are full of great flavor. Give them a try, and enjoy!

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom…with Cinderella’s Castle!

By Jodee Weiland

We’re heading back to Disney World, and one park that holds the key to every child’s fantasies is Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Fantasies ranging from the Pirates of the Caribbean to a Haunted Mansion all reside in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Children of all ages express awe when they stand in front of the Walt Disney World’s Railroad Station looking down Main Street, U.S.A., towards the center of the Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Cinderella’s Castle. Bigger than life, this icon of the Magic Kingdom stands tall and beautiful at the center of Disney World’s Magic Kingdom…Cinderella’s Castle!

The five sections of Disney World’s Magic Kingdom start with a walk down Main Street, U.S.A., into the various sections that flow one to the other seamlessly as you travel through each section.

Adventureland has the famous Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, where you join Captain Jack Sparrow on his voyage through the Spanish Main, and the Jungle Cruise, a fun safari boat tour plus more. Frontierland features Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Railroad along with Tom Sawyer’s Island and other great attractions.

Next comes the Liberty Square, where you can be entertained by the Hall of Presidents, an audio animatronics show that is so life like, you will be amazed! It is here that the Haunted Mansion invites you to journey through dark happy haunts with friendly ghosts, and the Liberty Square Riverboat resides as well. In Fantasyland, you will enjoy It’s a Small World, a musical indoor voyage, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, and Snow White’s Scary Adventures plus several other fun filled attractions.

Finally, you will travel into Tomorrowland, where Space Mountain, an indoor roller coaster will take you to new heights and back again, while Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, an intergalactic interactive adventure will have you spinning as you fire lasers in this shooting gallery game. There are many more attractions to enjoy in this section and all the others, but the list is too long to describe each here.

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom…with Cinderella’s Castle is a great opportunity to share so many fantasies with your families in the true style of Disney! There are shows and great food choices here as well. One of our favorites is the Aloha Isle in Adventureland, where you can enjoy great Dole pineapple treats. So if you visit Disney World, be sure to visit what I like to call the original park, Disney World’s Magic Kingdom…with Cinderella’s Castle, and enjoy!

Classic Bread Pudding with Fruit and Nuts

By Jodee Weiland

I have always wanted to make bread pudding, simply because I love it! Bread pudding is a great way to make a dessert out of day old bread. I often serve crusty loafs of fresh bread with a meal, so when I had a half loaf left from the day before, I decided to make bread pudding. First, I researched tons of recipes, and then I took what I liked about all of them and blended it into a recipe I thought would taste good. I altered a few options somewhat, but nothing that would take away from the basics of bread pudding. With the decisions I made, I wasn’t wrong because the results were delicious. My Classic Bread Pudding with Fruit and Nuts turned out great, and we’ll be enjoying this recipe for a long time to come!

http://learnfromyesterday.comFor one thing, I decided to use light brown sugar in my recipe and less of it. Why? Because with all the sauces available to put on top of bread pudding, I felt this dish would be sweet enough. Since I decided to use a drizzle of salted caramel topping I had purchased earlier, I felt that would definitely add sweetness. Personally, I love bread pudding with or without sauce. I also used almond milk in place of milk. The bread I used was from a crusty loaf of freshly baked bread as well. In addition to the bread, I added a mixture of raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, almonds, and other nuts. Again the dried fruit would add to the sweetness of the bread pudding, and the whole almonds plus other nuts add a crunch. Together, all of the ingredients made a wonderful bread pudding!

Classic Bread Pudding with Fruit and Nuts

  • 1/2 loaf fresh baked crusty bread or 5 to 6 slices
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted whipped butter
  • 3/4 cup mixture of dried fruits and nuts (see above for what I used)
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut up bread into cubes and put them in an eight inch square baking dish. Sprinkle the fruit and nuts across the top of the bread. Melt the butter and drizzle it across the top.

In a mixing bowl, blend together thoroughly the eggs, almond milk, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Beat together until mixed well. Then pour this mixture over the top of the bread, fruit, and nuts. Using a fork or spatula push down lightly on the bread pieces making sure all the bread is soaked well with the liquid mixture.

Bake the bread pudding 45 minutes or until done. Test by pressing a fork lightly on the top. It should spring back. Also, put a fork or toothpick in the center and make sure it comes out clean when removed. Once done, serve as is or with a sauce of your choice.

My Classic Bread Pudding with Fruit and Nuts turned out great, and we’ll be enjoying this recipe for a long time to come! As it cooked, the whole house smelled so good, we could hardly wait to try it. When we did, we weren’t disappointed. We drizzled a salted caramel sauce over the top, and that added to the flavor. You can use any kind of sauce you prefer or make one of your own. Since this was the first time I made bread pudding, I’m still working on that. Give this dish a try soon. You’ll love it, so enjoy!

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Fabulous Shrimp Creole with Rice

By Jodee Weiland

An old favorite here in our home is Shrimp Creole. Shrimp Creole is a dish that I first made long before I ever had children years ago. The rich flavors of Shrimp Creole have always made it a favorite of mine. Those flavors are a blend of flavors from several countries, who all found themselves in the port of New Orleans. Some of those countries were Italy, Spain, and Portugal. The savory flavors of these countries and others long ago created the delicious food selections found in New Orleans, as well as whole new languages they used to communicate among themselves, pidgins and creoles. It was when I was studying these languages in a linguistics class during a master’s program, that I fell in love with New Orleans from a distance, and later when I visited, I was in love forever. All of this gave new meaning to my Fabulous Shrimp Creole with Rice.

Fabulous Shrimp Creole with Rice is a wonderful dish, which starts out with what some call the trinity: onions, celery, and garlic. Sauteed in olive oil, these three ingredients are only the beginning of this delicious dish. Add in the tomatoes, various seasonings, shrimp, and green peppers, you will create a dish do full of rich flavor, it will soon become a family favorite. It is definitely a family favorite for us, and we enjoyed it every time we have it.

Fabulous Shrimp Creole with Rice

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3/4 cup celery chopped
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 – 15 ounce can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 15 ounce can all natural crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon or to taste sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 shakes bottled hot sauce or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch plus one tablespoon water
  • 1 pound large shrimp deveined with shell and tail removed
  • 1 medium sweet pepper chopped
  • cooked rice for each serving

Cook the onion, celery, and garlic in heated olive oil. Cook over a low to medium heat until tender. Do not brown. Add tomatoes, salt, sugar, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. Blend this mixture together and simmer uncovered on low heat for about 30 minutes.

http://learnfromyesterday.comOnce done, add the cornstarch plus one tablespoon water to the mixture. Stir together and then add the shrimp and green peppers. Bring to a low boil, cover, and simmer for five to ten minutes longer until cooked. Serve with rice.

My Fabulous Shrimp Creole with Rice is so delicious and will soon become a family favorite in your home. Serve this dish with a red wine and a crusty bread. The flavor is so wonderfully rich and will leave you pleasantly satisfied. Eating this Fabulous Shrimp Creole with Rice for dinner is like bringing a little bet of New Orleans into your home. Take your time and savor the flavors, and enjoy!

Savory Fall Soups

By Jodee Weiland

With fall here and winter coming up soon, the season has arrived when everyone appreciates a hot bowl of soup. Soup recipes help ease us into cooler weather by warming us up when the temperatures drop and taking the the chill away. Sometimes a bowl of hearty soup and some good crusty bread can be just what we need to feel warm again. I’m not a big fan of winter, but I am a fan of Savory Fall Soups.

My soup recipes that I have included here are delicious, satisfying, and will definitely help warm up the cooler days ahead. One recipe is made with leftover turkey and is a great way to use your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers. Two of the soup recipes use kale, one with a lot of vegetables and the other with navy beans and vegetables. Another soup recipe uses escarole with navy beans and chicken sausage. The final two soups are two of my favorites, a savory white bean soup with tomato and finally, a tasty split pea soup. All of these soups are absolutely delicious and healthy as well. So whichever one you choose to make, I feel certain you will love it.

In the fall and winter, I love fires in the fireplace and Savory Fall Soups. I even enjoy sitting outdoors around a fire pit enjoying the fall weather, if it isn’t too cold outside. These Savory Fall Soups will help warm up the cold days and leave everyone feeling satisfied. Just click on the following links to find each recipe, enjoy!

Escarole Soup with Chicken Sausage and Navy Beans

Kale and White Bean Soup…Good as Well as Healthy

Lemony Kale Basil Mushroom Soup with a Lemon Slice and Parmesan!

Savory White Bean Soup…A Delicious Vegetarian Soup!

Split Pea Soup…A Delicious Way to Warm Up!

Turkey Vegetable Soup with Wild Rice…A Great Way to Use Leftover Turkey!