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We've Moved

>> 8/25/10

Hi All,

We've moved Crunch Time over to a new site.  You can find us at:  

Thank you and please make comments there or email to us with any questions or concerns: 

Thanks,  Sherri and April


Betty Crocker's Banana Bread Gets a Facelift

>> 8/18/10

What to do with overripe bananas besides hide them in smoothies?
This is my all-time favorite banana bread recipe from Betty Crocker's Cookbook, but now I've completely revised it to be completely, 100% healthy.  My kids think it tastes better than the original.  
Let's start with bananas that are high in potassium and low in salt. 
flavor savor ingredient
Instead of butter, we use a flavor savor: carrots baby food. Also, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, and raw sugar instead of refined sugar (turbinado sugar or raw sugar still has the molasses and contains the most nutritional value of sweeteners from the sugar cane). 

Banana Bread Slimproved 
1 c raw sugar (refined sugar if you don't have raw)
1 small jar organic carrots baby food
1 T Earth Balance spread (or butter)
2 eggs
3-4 mashed ripe bananas
2 T water
1 1/3 c whole wheat flour
2/3 c wheat germ
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 chopped walnuts (optional)
Heat oven to 350°.  Grease bottom only of loaf pan. 
Mix sugar, carrots puree, Earth Balance spread.  
Stir in eggs until blended.  Add mashed bananas and water; beat 30 seconds.  Stir in remaining ingredients except nuts, just until moistened and then add nuts.  Pour into pan and bake 55-60 minutes.


Dressed to Kill - Balsamic Vinaigrette

>> 8/15/10

I find that a quicker link between my children and salad foods is the dressing.   For beginner palates, something sweet boosts their appetite - dark brown sugar is my flavor savor.  I emulsify the dressing because my kids don't want to see a mess of ingredients.  Emulsifying, is the binding of the acid (balsamic vinegar) with oil.  To do so, you need an emulsifying agent which is usually dijon mustard or egg yolks, and then you incorporate the oil in a slow steady stream while mixing at a rapid pace.  I'm lazy, I like to use an immersion stick for blending.  Also, 3:1 ratio oil:vinegar.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 t dark brown sugar
1 t minced garlic
1 T minced shallot

Blend ingredients.  In a slow steady stream mix in 3/4 c olive oil.


Flash Parfait

>> 8/12/10

A most beautiful thing to come out of thirty seconds of work!
● Fresh berries
● Yogurt
● Granola   crunch
Serve it in fancy glasswear to give your work its just display.  Then, sip your coffee while the family goggles.   Now, a few things about brands.  I've searched the minefields of the grocer's yogurt and cereal sections, reading nutritional labels and comparing prices, and because I'd rather go low sugar than anything else, I recommend Ralph's Carbmaster yogurt with only 3g of sugar and Bear Naked Fit Granola at 4g for 1/4 c.  



>> 8/10/10

Is there a more perfect food than salmon? Easy to cook, good hot, cold, plain or dressed up AND super good for your heart. All those omega-3's smooth your french fry ruffled arteries and calm your palpitations. Summer time is salmon time in Seattle but even here we are conscious of cost and environmental consequences. We stick to wild salmon and buy it whole to get the best deals and freshest fillets. Any fish counter will fillet or steak it for free. Cooking it is a breeze on the grill as long as you resist treating it like a hamburger. In other words DO NOT flip your fish. We lay it skin side toward the heat to prevent sticking. We season the top with what ever is on hand. Our standby is a variation on Tom Douglas's "rub with love" Paprika, brown sugar, salt pepper and thyme mixed together and sprinkled on top. Be generous on the sugar on the kids end and show me one that can resist that sweet fatty (in a good way!) glazed fish.


Ceviche for All Ages

>> 8/9/10

Ceviche is fish that's been marinated and 'cooked' by citrus juices.   The taste is succulent, fresh, light for summer, and low calorie.  This is one of our favorite dishes especially whenever I'm needing to shed a few pounds which means ceviche is on the menu quite often.  It's bold for kids, but I continue to introduce my own kid's to it and by presenting it in the way that will suit their tastebuds and dining maturity.  
1 lb fish - chopped 1/2" pieces (tilapia, halibut, scallops, shrimp - my favorites)
1/2 medium onion - chopped
10 cherry tomatoes - halved  (1 lg tomato or 2 small - chopped)
4- 6 limes - juiced
1/2 c orange juice (use pre-made if you don't have fresh)
1 jalapeno pepper - minced
1/2 bunch cilantro - chopped
s&p to taste (1/2 t salt, 1/4 t pepper to start)
Combine fish, onion, tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, cilantro.  Pour lime juice and orange juice over.  Add enough juice to completely cover fish.

Let the seafood 'cook' in the refrigerator for several hours.  Taste it and adjust seasonings to your liking, then serve very cold.  We use the martini glass for our teenager who eats less and doesn't like tomatoes.  The parents get the big bowl with chopped avocado and Griffin (10) gets the sample with a quesadilla.


My Big Fat Greek Platter

>> 8/6/10

Kate & David were having a party and asked us to "bring a dish to pass."  I toil over this kind of request because it's big fat LA where we won't know most of the people or what they're bringing or their eating preferences.  If it were my family reunion in Indiana, I'd know that everyone else will supply the casseroles and I can bring fresh fruit.  Kate also has a militant vegan friend who I respect and love dearly, but I don't about you guys, when it comes to the vegans, I worry that an animal crumb from my food might accidentally fall their way and corrupt their system with animal matter.  Mediterranean seemed safe.  This one where you can buy it all at WF's except for the shrimp and tomato salad I modified out of Bon Appetit and I added toasted pinenuts and EVO to the hummus.  
Make it look pretty on a rustic serving tray and call it a "Mezze Platter."  

Shrimp & Tomato Salad
16 cooked large shrimp (roast 5 minutes at 400°; plunge for 30 in ice water)
16 pitted kalamata olives
1 c. diced seeded tomatoes (3 med)
2 T. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 T. finely grated lemon peel
1 T. lemon juice


80 Proof Melon

>> 8/3/10

Ever since I brought Watermelon Vodka Hose Down to Jaime's White Trash party, that's Jaime of Prudent Baby fame, I've been craving spiked fruit.  It makes so much sense to get a daily serving of fruit while getting a daily serving of spirits.  Alcohol is in the food pyramid right - just below grains?  
Watermelon with fancy sticks for the children and a spritzer of vodka for the parents.  
Erin demonstrates while carrying around a tiny baby in her back pocket. 
Then, my Sunset magazine arrived and it never disappoints with fresh, inventive recipes and such was the case for the August issue that offered Fruit Cocktail with Margarita Dressing. I modified it slightly, using just the fruit I had on hand and I made our cocktail ration greater that the demure recipe suggested.  This might be the only way I can get Dan, my husband, to eat fruit.   
Spiked Fruit  2 servings

7-8 melon sticks per serving (can use berries, mango and jicama)
Zest and fruit of one lime
3 T. tequila
3 T. agave nectar or honey
Arrange the fruit in a cocktail glass. Mix the zest, juice, tequila and nectar and pour over two fruit servings.  Add one ice cube to the cocktail.  And serve.  


Possibilities Waiting to be Created

Possibilities Waiting to be Created
Santa Monica Farmers Market

Crunch Time

Gives any well-intentioned cook, completely possible ways to get more real, fresh food onto the table without being shackled to a recipe or breaking the bank or getting an uprising from finicky eaters.
We are big on quick food prep - Chop Therapy - to make real food into fast food and we use what we term flavor savors that give a flavor punch to foods instead of using preservatives or processed ingredients.
We love getting the whole family involved in the food preparation effort. We also use some momgenutity for presenting real food in our homes so it stands a chance against the marketing assault of the Happy Meal.
Please share your ideas and share our posts with anyone you know who might want more real food in their meals.

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