Valerie’s Brown Sugar Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups King Arthur self-rising flour ( Or 2 cups King Arthur Bread Flour with 4 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk, very cold
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • 6 tablespoon real butter, very cold
  • 2 tablespoons butter-flavored vegetable shortening, very cold

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl add flour, salt and brown sugar.
  4. Whisk until well combined. (may need to sift it to help break up the brown sugar)
  5. Grate the cold butter into the flour mixture.
  6. Add the shortening.
  7. Use a fork, whisk or pastry cutter to cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until it resembles large crumbs.
  8. Make a well in the center of the bowl.
  9. Mix together the buttermilk and heavy cream.
  10. Add to the center of well.
  11. Slowly and very gently begin adding the flour mixture into the well.
  12. Stir gently until the flour mixture is moistened (do not over stir)
  13. Generously flour your work surface with flour.
  14. Place dough onto floured surface.
  15. Sprinkle the top of dough with flour and flour your hands as well.
  16. Very gently, knead the dough by folding it in layers a few times while adding more flour, just enough so that the dough is not sticking to your hands or your work surface. (less flour, the better)
  17. Gently pat the dough out into a small rectangle about 1 inch thick.
  18. Flour your biscuit cutter and cut out circles.
  19. Place biscuits on prepared cookie sheet with sides barely touching.
  20. Make a small dent in the center of each biscuit with your finger (this helps tall biscuits rise without falling over)
  21. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. (sometimes mine take up to 14 minutes)
  22. Brush generously with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven. (don’t skip this step)
  23. Serve hot.

(c) 2012 Valerie Renèe

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IVF #5 – Lupron Overlap Starts Today – The 411

ivf 5 medsivf 5 meds 2

Today, in addition to the birth control pills I have been taking since CD3, I added the lupron 10 unit overlap.  Birth control pills and lupron are given as down regulation to down regulate the LH and FSH.

I did the lupron injection this morning and have had a low dull headache all day long.  I am going to take Tylenol shortly and then take a quick afternoon nap.  Headaches are no fun.

I will be doing Lupron injections until Sunday and then I have been given instructions to stop the pill and Lupron after Sunday.  I have a baseline appointment scheduled for Wednesday, April 8th.  They will be checking for activity in response to the meds I have been taking.  Within a week of stopping the birth control pills and Lupron, I should get a period and then I have another baseline and immediately start the antagonist protocol:  ganirelix.

I will keep you updated !

Grilled Cajun Ranch Chicken Pasta – Recipe

Chicken

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup ranch dressing

3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning

2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp white vinegar

1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste

1 Tbsp sugar

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Directions:

In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, cajun seasoning, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pound chicken breast to 1/4″ thickness. Place chicken in the gallon size ziplock bag, and stir to coat with the marinade.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (the longer the better). Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Grill chicken for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear. Slice and serve over pasta

.Pasta

Ingredients:

16 oz mini penne pasta

2 1/2 cups organic heavy whipping cream

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tbsp fresh cracked pepper

2 tsp Cajun seasoning

1/4 cup salted sweet cream butter

1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain; set aside.In a small saucepan, melt butter, add garlic, whipping cream, Cajun seasoning, pepper, and parmesan cheese.

Whisk together on low heat for 5-6 minutes. In a large bowl, pour over cooked, drained pasta.

Top with Cajun ranch chicken and sprinkle a little bit more shredded parmesan cheese on top.

(C) 2014 Valerie Renèe

Valerie’s Amazing Grilled Vegetable Gluten Free Pasta Salad – Recipe

Ingredients:

1 pound gluten-free penne pasta
1 medium organic zucchini, sliced
1 pound organic fresh asparagus spears, ends trimmed
1 cup organic grape tomatoes
4 organic scallions or spring onions
2 tablespoons chopped organic fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped organic fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped organic fresh cilantro leaves
Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 medium organic yellow tomato

For the dressing:

5 tablespoons Vegenaise (vegan mayo)
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice or rice vinegar
2 teaspoons minced organic fresh garlic
1 teaspoon dried dill

Directions:
 
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook the penne until it is firm to the bite- al dente. Do not over cook it.

Drain, rinse in cool water, and drain well. Drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and toss gently to coat.Place in a large salad bowl.

In the meantime, heat the grill or grill pan to medium heat.

Grill the zucchini, asparagus spears, grape tomatoes and scallions until tender but still firm. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Make your dressing by combining the Veganaise, olive oil, lemon juice or rice vinegar, garlic and dill. Set aside.
When the veggies are cool enough to handle, slice the zucchini into half moons. Slice the asparagus spears into bite size lengths. Slice up two of the scallions.

Add the zucchini, asparagus, sliced scallions, and grilled grape tomatoes to the cooked pasta. Add the chopped fresh herbs. Add the dressing.

Gently toss.

Serve with wedges of fresh yellow tomato for a splash of sunny color, and grilled scallions.

(C) 2014 Valerie Renèe

IVF #5 – Cycle Update – The 411

baby - new update

Today is cycle day 9 and my nurse called this morning after ordering the meds I will need for this cycle and I am on a slightly different time table than I calculated.  I started birth control pills last Sunday and I overlap with Lupron (10 units) starting on Monday.  I have to take the pill and inject Lupron until April 5th and then I stop the pill and the Lupron.  After three days of no meds, I report to the imaging center for a baseline appointment.  Once I get my period, which will likely come on prior to the 17th as scheduled, I will do another baseline and get instructions regarding injecting Ganirelix and Delestrogen.  Later in the cycle, they will be adding Follistim and Menopur.

This is all so overwhelming.  I guess I am a bit nervous because I doing a completely different protocol so this is all new.  All new meds… Just all new !

Tomato Pasta with Argula and Parmesan – Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1      lemon
  • 5    cups   assorted cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4   cup   olive oil
  • 1/4   cup   chopped fresh chives
  • 4    cloves  garlic, minced
  • 1/2   teaspoon   kosher salt
  • 1/2   teaspoon   cracked black pepper
  • 10    ounces   dried linguine pasta
  • 4    cups   baby arugula
  • 2    ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved or coarsely shredded (about 1/2 cup)
Directions:
Finely shred 2 teaspoons peel from the lemon. Juice the lemon (should have about 3 tablespoons). In a medium bowl combine lemon peel, lemon juice, tomatoes, olive oil, chives, garlic, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
In a large pot cook the linguine according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Return pot to medium heat. Add tomato mixture and stir to combine. Heat through. Add arugula and stir just until arugula wilts.
Transfer to a serving platter. Top with Parmesan and additional pepper, if desired.
(C) 2012 Valerie Renèe

Valerie’s Gigantic Fudge Brownies – Recipe

jumbo fudgy browniesIngredients:

  • 4 sticks organic sweet cream unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup King Arthur all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large organic eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons strong-brewed espresso
  • 6 ounces Nestle Toll House semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
  • 1 cup walnut halves, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. In a double boiler, melt the butter with the chopped chocolate over low heat. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar at medium-high speed until pale and thick, 4 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and espresso. Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated. Beat in the melted chocolate at medium speed. Using a spoon, stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  3. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 hour, until the top is shiny and lightly cracked, the edges are set and the center is still a bit jiggly. Transfer the dish to a rack and let cool completely. Cut the brownie into 12 large rectangles and serve.

(C) 2013 Valerie Renèe