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Family . . . gotta love 'em!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

It's been pretty hard emotionally dealing with my son deploying. My family decided that since yesterday was his birthday, and he leaves on Monday, they were going to come up and visit. We are going to have a birthday celebration, take pictures (Clara and I did that last night too) to send to him. IF he is able to call of skype, bonus points! I love my family! Mom, Dad, brother, brother's significant other and my little sister are coming up for lunch today. WooHoo! I'm ready with Sparky recipes!

Shredded BBQ Pork

1 lb. pork tenderlion (for 4 people)
1 small onion
BBQ sauce of your choosing
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups water

Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a dutch oven (3-4 turns of the pan). add salt and pepper. Cut the pork loin to fit into the pot. Sear pork on all sides. Add a sliced onion and 2 cups water. Simmer covered about 2 hrs. turning occasionally.

When tender, remove meat and shred with two forks, pulling in opposite directions. Discard cooking water. Add as much BBQ sauce as you desire. Serve.

**I like to add onion and/or garlic powder to the pork when I'm browning it. Adds good flavor.**

SERVES: 4 (so for MY family, I will double this recipe)
calories: 233.5 calories
fat : 6.9 gm.
carbs : 8.3 gm. (depends on your BBQ sauce)
protein : 32.9 gm.
fiber : 1.1 gm.

Chicken Salad Lettuce Wrap (**can use any kind of meat or seafood)

boneless, skinless breast of chicken (cooked) OR boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp. Kraft Miracle Whip (can sub the FF but I don't)
1 tsp. yellow mustard (or can sub a grainy brown mustard)
1 cup chopped or sliced red tomatoes
romaine lettuce, 1-2 heads

I take the chicken and addd it to about 8 cups of stock. My family are big eaters so I usually get about 5 lbs. of breast or thigh meat. Put the chicken in cold stock. Bring to boil then let simmer for about 1-1/2 hrs.

You can season it up however you like with onion and/or garlic powder, italian seasonings . . . whatever you like. I sometimes add dill and/or cilantro. The flavors will infuse through the chicken.

Once the meat is cooked remove and let cool so you can handle the meat. Dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season with a little salt and pepper. Set aside. Dice the tomatoes into bite sized pieces. Add this to the chicken. Add the Miracle Whip and the mustard to the chicken and tomatoes. **HINT -- if you want more fiber and crunch, chop up a few stalks of celery. Adds nice color, texture and taste.**

Take this mix and spoon it onto a lettuce leaf. **HINT -- endive works well for this too** Nice portable meal on a leaf! And no bread carbs.

Serves: 3 people (again, for my family I make a large batch)
calories 72.8 calories
fat 1.8 gm.
carbs 4.5 gm.
protein 9.9 gm.
fiber 1.1 gm.

Grilled Peaches with Raspberries

Two of my favorite summer fruits!

2 Tablespoons brown sugar (can sub Splenda brown sugar mix OR agave)
2 tsp. fresh lime or lemon juice
1 cup fresh raspberries
5 medium fresh unpeeled peaches, halved and pitted
cooking spray to coat grill or grill pan

combine sugar and lime or lemon juice in shallow dish. Mix well. Addd 1/2 of the raspberries and mash. Add peach halves, turning to coat. Marinate at room temperature, cut sides down for 30-60 minutes and save the marinade.

Coat the grill or grill pan with the cooking spray.. Place peaches on medium hot grill or grill pan, cut side down. Turn peaches over after two minutes, and cook for another 15 minutes or until tender., basting once with half of the reserved marinade. Remove from grill.

Stir remaining raspberries into remaining marinade adn spoon over peach halves. Serve warm YUMMO! If you want to make it "fancy" put a sprig of mint on top.

Serves 5 people (serving = 2 peach halves)
calories 69.3 calories
fat 0.2 gm.
carbs 17.8 gm.
protein 0.9 gm.
fiber 3.7 gm.

Soft Serve Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

Ok, this is my "nirvana" dessert!

one frozen banana (frozen) sliced into chunks (the banana is best with brown spots)

1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract

1/4 cup of Chocolate Soy milk

Take enough frozen banana chunks out of the freezer that would equal a medium banana (I usually cut my bananas into 4 pieces.) Add the vanilla extract and the soy milk. Blend it all to form soft serve ice cream.

You can serve it in a dish and top with a few raspberries. Looks pretty. Or slivered almonds.

Serves 1 person (I usually make 8 servings!)
calories 145.7 calories
fat 2.1 gm.
carbs 32.2 gm. (bananas have carbs)
protein 2.8 gm.
fiber 3.6 gm.

This is really good when you have a yen for something cold and a little sweet.

There's nothing like last minute family gatherings to inspire a quick and easy menu.

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