Bodell Family Cookbook on sale now!




Bodell Family Cookbooks
"A Taste of Tradition from the Bodell Bistro"
$13.00 or two books for $25.00

700 recipes
Reprint of old cookbook plus over 100 new recipes in a functional 3 ring binder,
including a book holder, full color section tabbed dividers starring pictures of our family, and an amazingly easy index to find your favorite recipe or plan whole menus.

Perfect wedding gifts, birthday gifts, visiting teaching gifts or get your Christmas Shopping done early for your extended family.

They are going quick and we will not be reprinting!

This cookbook is from my family with many recipes from my mom. Several people in my neighborhood have the old one, but this one is "new and improved". Reply here if interested in ordering!

Food Facts - Bell Peppers




A wonderful combination of tangy taste and crunchy texture, bell peppers are the Christmas ornaments of the vegetable world with their beautifully shaped glossy exterior that comes in a wide array of vivid colors ranging from green, red, yellow, orange, purple, brown to black. Although peppers are available throughout the year, they are most abundant and tasty during the months of August and September.

Sweet peppers are plump, bell-shaped vegetables featuring either three or four lobes. They usually range in size from 2 to 5 inches in diameter, and 2 to 6 inches in length. Inside the thick flesh is an inner cavity with edible bitter seeds and a white spongy core. Bell peppers are not 'hot'. They contain a recessive gene that eliminates capsaicin, the compound responsible for the 'hotness' found in other peppers.

Choose peppers that have deep vivid colors, taut skin, and that are free of soft spots, blemishes and darkened areas. Their stems should be green and fresh looking. Peppers should be heavy for their size and firm enough so that they will gently yield to slight pressure. Avoid those that have signs of decay including injuries to the skin or water-soaked areas. The shape of the pepper does not generally affect the quality, although it may result in excessive waste or not be suitable to certain recipe preparations. Peppers are available throughout the year but are usually in greater abundance during the summer months.

Unwashed sweet peppers stored in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator will keep for up to one week. Sweet peppers can be frozen without first being blanched. It is better to freeze them whole since there will be less exposure to air which can degrade both their nutrient content and flavor.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Add finely chopped bell peppers to tuna or chicken salad.

Steam cored peppers for five minutes, stuff them with your favorite rice salad or grain pilaf, and bake in a 350©F oven until they are hot.

Healthy sauté chopped peppers, celery and onions, then combine with tofu, chicken or seafood to make a simple Louisiana Creole dish.

Purée roasted and peeled peppers with healthy sautéed onions and zucchini to make a deliciously refreshing soup that can be served hot or cold.

Bell peppers are one of the best vegetables to serve in a crudité platter since not only do they add a brilliant splash of color, but their texture is also the perfect crunchy complement for dips.



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OK, this is not necessarily a "low cal" recipe. It is a "wow - so much better than the frozen crap at the store!".

A few notes: I did not "crush the fennel seed". I used it exactly the way it came in the bottle. It turned out fine. Always make sure your oven is HOT HOT HOT before you put the pizza in. Otherwise, letting the oven heat up with the pizza inside will give you a soggy pizza or gooey dough. YUCK!

2 cups warm water
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 yeast pkg)
1 tbsp sugar
5 cups flour
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil

2 medium-large garlic cloves
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
8 medium Roma tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
½ tsp fennel seed
½ tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp parmesan cheese

bell pepper

To make dough:
Mix warm water, yeast, and sugar in a mixing bowl and let the yeast dissolve and foam. Add 3 cups of the flour and the salt. Mix well and add in the rest of the flour and form into a dough and knead. Place in a clean bowl that's been sprayed with oil and cover with a towel. Let it rise for 2 hours.

To make sauce:
Crush and chop the garlic into small pieces. Chop the tomatoes into small dices. Crush the fennel seed into a powder. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together, mixing in the tomato paste last. Add more or less tomato paste depending on how thick you want the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pizza Preparation:
Grease 2 medium sized pans, or use your favorite stones. Press dough into pan to fill both pans. Use less dough for thinner crust, more for thicker crust. Lift the bottom of the dough and sprinkle a little corn meal underneath the dough (if you have it). Spread the sauce over the dough until it is thickly coated. Assemble toppings and bake at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until the crust is brown.

Keeping up with the Joneses in the blog world




It's so intimidating when I check out other healthy food blogs. I'm not that person! I know nothing about pesticides, I don't buy organic, and I don't have a library full of fat free cook books. I certainly don't have a list of "approved" foods, and I barely know the meaning of "gluten-free". Sigh . . .

But I am reminded that we should write about what we love. And since my biggest love is my family, I write for them. Don't worry, I don't write ABOUT them (this isn't our family activity blog site), but I write BECAUSE of them.

I have been trying many new recipes, but they don't always turn out the way I had hoped (i.e. a very bland macaroni and cheese). So if I go a few days without any new recipes I am sorry, but be assured I am still here! The most important part is I am still trying. After all, I still have to make dinner most nights so I may as well try to make it the best I can.

My other problem is the amount of distractions from my focus. School is coming to an end, and that always makes havoc of a mother's schedule. As much as we all love baby Jainna, she sure makes it hard to get anything done. Therefore, I haven't had as much time to study out recipes, make a good grocery list, or even take the time to cook. But all these distractions illustrate to me how easy it is to slip back to old habits. So many times I've wanted to trow in some frozen chicken patties or just have hot dogs for dinner.

But enough complaining! I tried a new pizza recipe last night. I don't think the dough was much different from what I've made in the past, but the sauce was new and interesting. Unfortunately I didn't buy all the toppings I would have liked to have (see distraction list above) so it didn't seem like anything exciting when it came time to eat.

Sorry for the rant, and thanks for reading to the end. You deserve a prize! But unfortunately I am out of prizes for now.

the WINNER is . . .




uhoh! I'm sorry I am a few days late on my first Give-Away! I hope you don't fire me as your favorite healthy family cooking blog. I know you are all on pins and needles waiting to see who wins!

First off, I just wanted to thank everyone for your comments, it's so great to get feedback and to see people setting new goals. Grats to everyone who is striving to live a healthier life for themselves AND for familes. Secondly, I used www.random.org to decide the winner - and no, I did not let my husband enter the drawing (although I did appreciate him leaving a comment).

I did, however, choose a second prize that I will explain after I announce the winner, so keep reading!

without further ado, the winner is . . .

LAURA!!! My sister from Stansbury Park, Utah! Hooray!!! I hope no one gets mad about nepotism, but since more than half the replies were from family, I could't avoid it :) Grats on your new book. I hope you saw all the Food Revolution episodes, you can see them on HULU if you need to catch up on any. I would surely appreciate it if you would blog about your winnings today and encourage your blog readers to follow the FamilyScratch blog to let them know what a fab sister you have!!

And because my sweet cousin LANI was the only one who responded originally to the give-away, I am giving her something special too (dont tell my husband I went over my budget - oh wait, I dont have a blog budget...ooops)! I've recently discovered the Deen Brothers. They are the sons of the ever-famous chef Paula Deen and have made a name for themselves in healthy cooking (something their mother is not well known for). So I ordered two of their books from amazon.com. I'll be browsing both and give one to Lani when I see her this summer at our family reunion.
The Deen Bros. Take It Easy: Quick and Affordable Meals the Whole Family Will Love (Hardcover)
The Deen Bros. Y'all Come Eat (Hardcover)

Both sound great to me and I'm excited to read and cook from them both. Thanks again for being such loyal followers. I hope you will continue to post comments - it really makes my day to know people are reading my ramblings.

Garlic Lime Chicken


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I had to double the amount of spices to get the coverage I wanted. Here is the amounts I used. If your family doesn't like it spicy, you may want to use less cayenne and garlic. The original recipe calls for 2 T butter AND the 2 T oil. I thought it was over kill so I deleted the butter. ENJOY!

2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme

6 boneless skinless chicken, cut into strips or cubed
2 T olive oil
4 T lime juice
1/2 cup chicken broth

Combine spices and sprinkle on all sides of chicken pieces. In a skillet, heal oil over medium high heat. Saute chicken until golden brown. Remove chicken and add lime juice and broth to the pan, whisking up the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Keep cooking until sauce has reduced slightly. Add chicken back to the pan and thoroughly coat and serve.

I served this chicken with rice and veggies. Nutritional information is only for the chicken. Serves 6. Calories 240, Fat 8.8g, Carbohydrates 2.6g, Protein 33.6g, Weight Watchers = 5.5 pts

a creation is born!


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I just created a bean soup that we are going to try tonight. I'll let you know tomorrow how it goes. I had a recipe, but decided to make up my own. Here's what I did . . .

1 can white beans
1 can red beans
1 can pinto beans
4 cans of water
about 1/4 cup dried onion (i'm out of real onion for some reason)
1 cup of salsa (I may add more later if needed)
1 cup of sliced pickled jalapenos (the kind you put on nachos or hot dogs. I didnt dice them because I know the young kids will want to pick them out.)
1 pkg of precooked cubed ham

I'm excited to try it. I love easy soups where you only have to dump the ingredients in the crock pot - no cutting, peeling, dicing, etc.

Re-Vamping the Revolution "Give-Away"




So apparently my Give-Away was a bit too much to ask of you all since only one person responded. So I am tweaking the rules just a bit in the hopes that more of you will participate (although my Cousin Lani is hoping no one else will, HAHA).

Basically, the main goal of the whole contest was to hear from my readers what your goal is when it comes to healthier eating for you and/or your family. What are you wanting to learn? do better at? hope to achieve? want to teach your family? Why are you reading this blog? Hopefully we can all gain inspiration from each other by hearing other's stories.

So here are the new rules: If you want to win Jamie's Revolution book, post a comment here about any of the following ideas (pick as many as you want)

* why you are interested in cooking healthier for yourself/family?
* what does "cooking healthy" mean to you?
* what changes have you made recently in your diet to be more health?
* what is hard and what is easy about eating healthy?
* any other idea you want to share with us is great too!

If you have your own blog or Facebook page, I encourage you to share these thoughts with your own friends and family too, but it's not required in order to win Jamie's book (extra hugs, however, if you give a link to my blog).

Contest still ends NEXT MONDAY, so post now! I look forward to hearing from you -

Homemade Tomato Basil Soup


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Tomato Soup is on the menu tonight! I am not talking about opening a can of that orange glop, so stop that.  The best part is that you can make it with ingredients from your food storage and it will be healthy and tasty!

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic (or more if you are brave!)
1 tsp dried basil
1 6 oz can tomato PASTE
2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
5 cups chicken broth
You also need a regular blender or a stick blender.

Chop the onion and garlic and let them sweat in the olive oil over very low heat until they are tender.  This could take 5-10 minutes.  We aren’t looking for caramelization here, just very soft onion.  Add the basil and stir just until you can smell it.  Add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and chicken broth.  Bring it all to a boil.  Once you have a good boil, drop it to a simmer and let it cook 10 minutes or even longer (as long as the heat is really low it will be fine).
If you have a stick blender, remove the pan from the heat, take off any clothing that you do not want tomato spattered (it’s gonna happen no matter how careful you are), set the speed to low, and whiz around the pot until the soup is smooth.  If you are using a regular blender, pour the soup into the blender and remove the little cap in the middle of the lid.  Fold a kitchen towel and hold it over the lid – it’s a learned balance of letting air move but containing any eruptions.  Turn the blender on low, whiz the soup until smooth, then pour it back into the pot.  If you did not follow the directions for the regular blender, after you put the soup back in the pot, wash your walls and ceiling with warm, soapy water.

If you have any leftover cooked vegetables in the ‘fridge (or fresh spinach) that you need to use, drop ‘em in and simmer until they’re warm. Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches on yummy bread!

Serves 6. Nutritional information: Calories 132, Fat 4.1g, Carbohydrates 18.5g, Fiber 4.7g, Protein 7.8g. Weight Watchers = 2 pts.

Chipotle Cashew Chicken


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Asia meets Mexico for a bang of a dish! This was a new find from my mom's neighborhood/ward cookbook that I stole from her last week. But apparently there is a similar version on Rachel Ray's website at FoodNetwork. It's very spicy, but can be adjusted to your own taste and level of heat desired. We even liked the cashews - and if you know my family well, you'll know we don't usually like nuts. I was hesitant to put the honey & maple syrup in, but I did anyway. In the end I actually didn't notice it, so perhaps next time I'll leave it out to save on the sugar calories. Not sure what that will do to the taste, but I'm willing to try.

2 lbs chicken breasts, cubed
2 T Montreal Steak Grill Seasoning
2 T olive oil
2 T soy sauce
1 c onion, chopped
1 c red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can waterchestnuts, drained and chopped
1 c frozen peas
1 T chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 T cumin
2 T honey
1/4 c maple syrup
1 c cashews
cilantro for garnish
cooked rice

Chop chipotle pepper into a paste. This is less than 1 pepper from a can. You can individually wrap the remaining peppers and freeze for future use. Set aside chipotle pepper. Toss chicken cubes in Montreal seasoning and then brown lightly in large skillet in olive oil. Add soy sauce, onion, red pepper and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes over medium heat. Add waterchestnuts and peas. Stir in chipotle pepper and cumin. Drizzle in the honey and maple syrup and stir. Turn off heat and add cashews and chopped cilantro. Serve over cooked rice.

Makes 6 servings. Nutritional information does NOT include the rice. Calories 556, Fat 26.7g, Saturated Fat 5.8g, Carbohydrates 29.9g, Dietary Fiber 3.0g, Protein 49.6g. Weight Watchers = 12pts

If you take out the honey, syrup, and cashews, and then grill the chicken with a light pan spray instead of olive oil, it helps in reducing the calories and fat. The new nutritional information would be as follows: Calories 329, Fat 11.6g, Carbohydrates 7.8g, Dietary Fiber 2.3g, Protein 46.0g, Weight Watchers = 7pts

Food Revolution and our FIRST GIVE-AWAY!




Did you watch Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution? If not, why not? I know, it's like avoiding the doctor when you know something is wrong! If you know the truth, you will have to act on it and make changes.

This is a great show to watch with your family. You will never plan your weekly menu the same way again. And hopefully it will inspire you to change some habits and possibly even check out your local schools and see what they are serving the students.

It's only 6 episodes, and a bit scripted, but the point is made very strongly. In fact, it's one of the reasons I started this blog. Jamie helped me realize that cooking from scratch is the first step in getting our family on a healthier path. We don't have to live fat-free, sugar-free for the rest of our lives. But we need to be aware of what we are doing when we buy all that processed food and fast food. Cooking from scratch is exactly what Jamie prescribes.

For our FIRST GIVE-AWAY here at the FamilyScratch blog, I am giving away a free copy of Jamie's book: Jamie's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals (Hardcover)

Here is how you can enter to win:
1. Watch all 6 episodes of the show. You can see them all at hulu.com
2. Decide (by yourself or with your family) what you are going to do, and how, to commit to eating healthier.
3. Sign Jamie's petition on his website.
4. Make your own blog post about the show and what your goal is. If you don't have a blog, you can make a facebook post, or send an email out to your friends and family (and me).
5. Last, but certainly not least, comment here on my blog about your goal and what you learned from the show.

I will have a random drawing in 2 weeks for the winner (May 17th). Pass this info to your friends and family and encourage them to enter the drawing too!! GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN!