Nourishing Nuggets: How to Make Spanish Croquetas

Croquetas or Croquettes are what I call “Spanish style chicken nuggets”. However, they are versatile as they can be made with different kinds of meat including fish. Adults and children love them alike which makes them a popular tapa (appetizer) throughout Spain.

Croquetas make a great lunch especially for children as they not only taste great but they’re nourishing. They’re made using flour, butter and whole milk creating a thick béchamel sauce. A meat is added and after a period of rest, they are deep fried in extra virgin olive oil.

Feel free to fry them up in coconut oil or farm fresh pork lard as these are also great sources of healthy saturated fats filled with vitamins and nutrients.

Being a busy mama, I always make a double batch of croquetas as they can be frozen and fried in smaller quantities as you need them.

Crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside, croquetas are typically made after a large batch of puchero andaluz or when having made homemade beef or chicken broth.  The tender extra meat is shredded and used in the filling.

Next time you make homemade beef or chicken broth, save some of the meat for homemade Spanish croquetas. Your family will not be disappointed.

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Five Simple, Natural Recipes for Homemade Pancake Syrup

Pancakes are somewhat of a religion in our household, but contrary to what most people think, we don’t enjoy them exclusively with pure maple syrup. Yes, around here it is easily accessible and somewhat affordable, but I like to change things up for pancake toppings from time to time.

A favorite of ours is fresh yogurt with apple butter, but we get even more creative than that and today I’m showing you some of those variations. Pictured above from left to right: buttery maple, honey-orange, molasses-cinnamon, vanilla-rice syrup, and blueberry syrups!

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Weekend Links: Cooking for Others Edition

Lately we’ve been talking about cooking for others, as in bringing a home cooked meal to a family in need. One doesn’t have to look very far to find folks struggling, be it a family in mourning or a couple of sleep deprived new parents.

Curious if this random act of kindness was still alive and well, I posted a Q & A recently,  Sympathy Meals: Do You Give & Receive Them? How thrilling it was to see the answers come in and read how so many of you have been blessed by either giving or receiving a meal.

Questions also arose in the Q&A, which I addressed in my next post on the subject: Cooking for Others: A Guide to Giving Sympathy Meals. I surprised myself with how much I had to say on the topic (plus included wisdom from readers that had written) and didn’t have space to include links for meal suggestions.

So, this extended edition of Weekend Links will feature recipes suitable for delivering to others. They are nourishing, travel well, freeze well, and are ready to heat and serve. Here’s hoping this round-up can be a source of inspiration and that more people will choose to reach out with a hot meal to someone in need.

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Weekend Giveaway: Tattler Reusable Canning Lids

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Cindy, the winner of the Tattler canning lids! Thank you to all who entered.

Today weekend giveaway is for four dozen BPA-free reusable canning lids from Tattler!

Admit it, you’re starting to think about summer canning, aren’ t you? Well, Tattler is a small US company that makes plastic, but BPA-free, reusable canning lids. Whether you are a confident canner or just a beginner, these lids are a highly recommended resource!

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Cooking for Others: A Guide to Giving Sympathy Meals

Our recent Q&A on sympathy meals received a tremendous response. Thank you to all who took the time to share your experiences with either giving or receiving meals. It was very, very interesting to read your comments and I took note of all the questions. I hope to answer them in this follow-up post.

We agreed that there are people in need all around us, and a small gesture like giving a meal can be a blessing both to giver and receiver. In fact, by the sounds of things, lives were very nearly saved just because a meal -or series of meals- was received during a time of need.

It was interesting that many more readers had given a meal than accepted one. Those who had been recipients spoke passionately about how touched they were and how helpful it was to be given a practical gift, in lieu of flowers. And there was another theme – the food that was brought is the best, or very near to the best, food that they had ever eaten. I’d have to agree with that one, too.

Plenty of questions also arose, all of them extremely pertinent. When is the best time to deliver a meal? What about allergies? Should a casserole be pre-baked or not? Hot or cold? Frozen or fresh?

This post will highlight the best tips, helpful suggestions, and friendly advice on bringing meals to others. Hopefully you will be encouraged to look around and reach out to people in your community through a hot meal.

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