Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hot Chocolate

This winter I saw a hot chocolate recipe that sounded good, and then couldn't find it again when I went looking, so while searching, I stumbled upon another one that sounded easy enough & healthy enough to at least try. And I LOVE it!! This is a very strong chocolate, which I love, it makes me realize that it's the strong, dark chocolate flavor of starbucks mocha that is what I love about it, because even though there's no coffee in this, it reminds me of starbucks mocha, and generally satisfies my craving for starbucks :) It's also really quite healthy, so I don't mind having it as a frequent "treat" for the kids when they come in out of the cold.

For one serving (multiply as needed):

1 c milk
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp sugar (I use sucanet)

Heat milk in a saucepan, while it's heating stir in the cocoa & sugar until no lumps. Continue stirring constantly until hot chocolate is desired temperature. Pour into mugs & serve.

For the girls I fill their mugs 1/2 full (or a little more) w/ the hot chocolate and then add additional milk. Which makes it less strong AND not so hot. For me, I drink it "straight" :)

It occurred to me today that maple syrup or honey might work well as the sweetner in this as well, so I may play with that in the future :)

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I don't remember where we first found this recipe, or if mom or I made it first, but it's a favorite at family gatherings & so easy to make!

1 can Artichoke Hearts (drained & chopped)
1 10 oz pkg Spinach, frozen chopped (thawed&drained)
1 cup Mayo or sour cream (I use some of each)
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 clove Garlic, minced (I probably use more like 2)

Mix it all together, put it in a pie pan, sprinkle additional parmesan cheese on top, and bake for 1/2 hr at 350.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Last week we wanted to make a pumpkin recipe for school. I found this recipe & thought it sounded better than most (I'm not a fan of most fruit/vegetable breads or even cakes, but chocolate makes everything better LOL). Anyway, while L wouldn't even help us make it (it stinks, per her), both girls were more than happy to EAT it, and I ate my share too.

Here's the recipe with my modifications:

3 c whole wheat flour
2 t ground cinnamon
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
4 eggs
2 c Sucanet
2 c cooked or canned pumpkin
1 1/4 c coconut oil
1 1/2 c chocolate chips

In large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. In separate bowl combine all wet ingredients, stir into dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into 2 greased loaf pans or lined muffin tins.

Bake at350 for 50-60 min (less for muffins) or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

Honey Lemonade

I saw Jocelyn's post about honey lemonade months ago! I don't know WHY it took me so long to actually TRY this!!! I love lemonade, I've always loved lemonade. But I make it very rarely since it is, essentially sugar water w/ some lemon juice added. A step up from kool aid, but that's about all that can be said for it. BUT . . . honey, while still sugar, is a much healthier sugar than refined white sugar. And added bonus as we go into cold & flu season, honey is good for the immune system and is a great option to fight colds, etc. but my dd L, doesn't "like" honey. And while A used to eat peanut butter & honey sandwiches, she balked at eating honey anyway I offered it to her last time she had a cough. But, I suspect they'll drink this lemonade w/ NO PROBLEM!!!

Now, here's the recipe, with my modifications:

Combine equal parts lemon juice & honey (adjust honey as needed to taste if you want sweeter or tarter lemonade), add 6 times as much water, or slightly less if you'll be adding ice. Stir and stir and stir and stir . . . until honey dissolves. Seriously, KEEP STIRRING! I was "this close" to putting it in the microwave to dissolve the honey when it FINALLY started dissolving. I combined the honey, lemon juice & water, then poured it over ice rather than adding the ice to the pitcher.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Apple Smoothie

We have lots of apples right now. The girls are loving being able to just eat them raw as snacks, but I'm also looking for recipes to use them in. This one comes from the Urban Homemaker:

Apple Smoothie

1 ripe frozen banana, broken in pieces
1 Cup coconut milk, or kefir, or plain yogurt

1 Cup orange juice
small handful of pecans, if desired
1 small apple, cored, and peeled
1-2 TB honey or maple syrup, optional - taste first before adding sweetener
2-3 cubes ice, optional - for thicker smoothi

Using chilled ingredients, blend ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tomato Soup

I got some tomatoes from a friend (and still had some from Grandma from before) and dh didn't come home for lunch today (he doesn't like tomatoes) so I decided it was the perfect time to try this recipe. I'm re-typing it here in case it ever disappears off the other site (yes, I've learned this the hard way LOL):

5 lbs fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 c chopped onion
3 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Put it all in a big pot and cook 3 hrs (I stirred every so often, not sure how necessary that was?). Blend and serve (or freeze or can it for later).

I thought it was very good (& love that there's no sugar or anything in it!) the girls weren't too impressed (but generally aren't huge fans of tomato soup). This will be a good thing to keep on hand for me when they eat mushroom soup w/ Daddy (since I don't like mushrooms) :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Portable Lunches

I thought this post gave a lot of great ideas for portable lunches, thought I'd just link to it here so I can find it again when I need it LOL.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lettuce Wraps

I got this off the Nick Jr site.

1 head iceberg lettuce (we used romaine)
1 pkg firm tofu cut into 1/2" cubes (I think mine were smaller cubes, but IME tofu needs to be in small amounts so it absorbs more flavor)
1 can (8oz) drained chopped water chestnuts
2 Tbsp canola oil (I used olive oil)
2 scallions, sliced (I used onion & probably more then they called for)
1 garlic clove, minced (I use the refrigerated minced garlic & was "generous" in my measuring of 1 clove LOL)
1 16 oz bag shredded broccoli, carrots & red cabbage (ok, this was silly to me, if you read the recipe, it tells you to only use half the bag, so why not just say so here! As it was, the bag I found at my grocery store was 10oz, so I used the whole 10oz bag)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger (I used powder)
Lettuce Wrap Cooking Sauce - you can see the recipe they used here. I used 2 Tbsp Braggs (like soy sauce only healthier), 4 Tbsp water & 2 tsp arrowroot powder (like cornstarch only healthier)

Saute garlic, onions, tofu, and ginger in oil for 1-2 minutes. Add water chestnuts & veggies & toss w/ cooking sauce. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring. Remove from heat & let cool (I think next time I'll do this as a make ahead recipe & let it sit in the fridge for awhile, rather then just letting it cool for a few minutes while I prep the lettuce).

Wash lettuce leaves. Serve filling in a bowl with a platter of whole lettuce leaves, let each person wrap their own. Serve with purchased dipping sauces if desired. (I didn't get any dipping sauces, but I think dh would've liked this better w/ the spicy mustard like they have at chinese restaurants, so I'm hoping to find that to have for him next time we eat it).

My girls LOVED this! DH only tolerated it, so it's likely to be something we have on days he's not around though as mentioned above, he may be more accepting of it if I have the hot mustard sauce. He also suggested serving it with rice either as a side or mixed in. I think I may just mix brown rice into the vegetable mixture next time.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cream Soup Substitute

Here's a recipe I found online to use instead of cream of whatever soup in recipes (not sure if it's any cheaper, but it's healthier):

4 T butter
4 T whole wheat flour
1 c broth
1/3 c milk
In small saucepan melt butter over med heat. Add flour and stir till bubbly. Slowly add broth and milk, stirring constantly. Cook till thickened.

This is the equivalent of one can of cream of xxxx soup.

I don't know how this would work as a soup, but this was easy to do, and worked well to replace a can of cream of chicken soup in a recipe I made this weekend.


I'm not sure if DH will like this, but my parents, the girls & I all did. I had generic V-8 so used it instead of tomato juice & used dry TVP, so just guessed at how much to make. I only baked it for an hour, covered w/ foil for the first half hour & didn't stir it while it was baking (because I didn't read it closely enough, but I don't think it mattered). I also added some garlic powder. This tastes alot like the vegeburgers my mom makes but throwing it in the oven is much easier than forming into patties & frying :) I'll definitely be making this again. The original recipe said it freezes well, so if dh decides he doesn't like it, I'll make it & freeze it in smaller portions for when the girls & I are eating a meal w/o him.

Adapted from the Living on a Dime newsletter:

1 1/2 lb hamburger (or TVP)
2 slices bread
3/4 c milk
3/8 c tomato juice
1 egg
1/4 c chopped onion (or onion powder to taste)
salt to taste
Mix together & pour into 9x13 pan. Bake at 300 for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hrs, till done. Stir frequently. Serve on buns w/ pickles & mustard, like sloppy joes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Granny's Apple Cake

Last fall one of the books we read for "school" was The Apple Cake I don't remember why we never ended up making the apple cake recipe in the book at that point, but we didn't. Recently L has re-claimed this book as one of her favorite bedtime stories (she "reads" it herself) so today we made the cake recipe on the back of the book. Warning, this is an ALL DAY process. My perceptive children pointed out that if the cake takes this long, how did the woman in the story get home from being gone all day & then make the cake & eat it for supper. Perhaps we should write the publisher LOL. Anyway . . . the cake is currently cooling (SO isn't going to "cool completely before we dig into it LOL) but it seems to have turned out well.

ETA: The whole wheat flour makes it taste "healthy" but the girls enjoyed it. I think I'll do the "optional topping" next time but overall it was good. The girls each ate 2 pieces so I'd say it was a hit :)

Granny's Apple Cake
4 c flour (we used whole wheat)
1 c + 1 Tbsp lukewarm milk (about 105F)
2 tsp dried yeast
1/2 c butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 c sugar (we used sucanet)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon or grated lemon peel (we used cinnamon)
2/3 c raisins (the girls opted to skip this, which was fine w/ me)
3 tart apples, cut into little pieces (we used Macintosh apples, and it seemed like a LOT of apples for the amount of batter)
powdered sugar (skipped)

Optional topping: (skipped)
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c melted butter

Sift flour into mixing bowl, make small well in center & pour yeast into it. Add half the milk & stir yeast to a crumbly dough. Let stand 10 min. Add rest of milk, butter, eggs, sugar, salt & cinnamon or lemon peel, and stir well. Cover loosely with clean cloth & let rise about 2 hours until doubled in size (I didn't notice much change in size, shrug). Carefully stir in apples & raisins.Turn into greased & floured cake pan. Allow to rise again (about 1/2 hr).
Optional topping: Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle over cake.
Bake in the bottom of the oven at 350 for 50-60 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before turning the cake out. Shake powdered sugar over the cake. Let cool completely for several hours before serving (NOT gonna happen LOL).

Monday, June 9, 2008

Greek Macaroni Salad

From the Taste of Home website:

  • 1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 4 medium plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (6 ounces) pitted ripe olives
  • 1 package (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. In a large bowl, combine the macaroni, tomatoes, beans, onion, olives, feta cheese, salt, pepper and garlic.
In a small bowl, whisk oil and lemon juice. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Stir before serving. Yield: 8 servings.

This was YUMMY! And easy!! We ALL liked it, woo-hoo!

Ranch Pasta Salad

I'm not sure where I got this recipe. May have been from the "Menus for Moms" e-mails I get weekly. I don't use them to "plan" my menus per se, but I do find a few good recipes mixed in & save them for when I want to try something new.
ETA: We had this today. I had some multi-color spiral pasta so used that along w/ some ww penne. Used a little bit of chopped vidalia onion instead of the green onion, and one med sized cucumber instead of the celery (it's what I had). We all liked it enough to go back for seconds (though dh picked out the peas (if I'd known he'd be home I'd have saved some out before stirring in the peas), so I think it will be a nice summer addition to our menu.

  • 1 lb. whole wheat pasta shells
  • 2 handfuls baby carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, chopped (will probably skip this, if I had chives, I might add a few of them)
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 package frozen baby peas, thawed
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise, more if it seems dry
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix

Mix all ingredients. Chill for 1 hour or more.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella Salad

I don't really have a "recipe" for this, it's more of just a "dump" thing, but figured I'd write it down anyway :)

Mozzarella cheese, cubed ("fresh" mozarella is best but the normal grocery store variety will work if you're on a budget)
tomatoes, chopped into biggish chunks (think similar size to the cheese cubes)
Fresh basil, cut into strips
Mix all together, pour a little olive oil and some salt, stir it gently together. Chill.

Taco Salad

This is one of my mom's recipes that I've loved since I was a kid.

Dressing: 1 1/4 c burger, browned
Add: 3 T mayo
3/4 c sour cream
Taco sauce to taste (3-4 T)
Mix well; refrigerate several hours or overnight.

1 med head lettuce, torn in small pieces
2 med tomatoes, cut in small chunks
1 15oz can kidney beans, drained
1/2 to 1 c black olives, sliced
Just before serving, add dressing and 8- 12 oz bag corn chips (fritos type), slightly crushed. Mix gently. Serves 10-12

Monday, April 7, 2008

Squash Casserole

This started out as a stuffed onion recipe I found years ago, we tried it for Thanksgiving that year & decided we liked the "filling" but stuffing it into onions was more trouble than it was worth, so we turned it into a squash casserole instead. Here's our final version:

6 c 3/4" chunks peeled pumpkin or butternut squash
chopped onion (original recipe used the "flesh" from 6 of the onions for stuffing, so maybe 3 good sized onions?)
3 T butter
1/4 tsp salt
3 T finely chopped fresh sage leaves (about 12 lg) or 2 tsp dried
6 oz (1 1/2 c) shredded cheese (swiss, mozarella or a mix, or really whatever you have, the original recipe called for Gruyere but I'm too cheap to buy it for something where the flavors all blend together anyway.
Garnish: fresh sage leaves
Put squash cubes in med saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer 15-20 min. till tender. Drain well, then mash. Meanwhile, melt butter in lg skillet over med heat. Add chopped onions, salt. Sauté 9-10 min. stirring often, till browned & tender. Stir in sage. Stir onion mixture, 1/4 c cheese into squash. Spoon mixture into casserole. Bake uncovered 20 min. at 375. Top w/ remaining 1/4 c cheese & bake 5 min. or till cheese melts. Garnish w/
sage leaves.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Garden Supper Casserole

I found this recipe in the More with Less Cookbook.

My review. Everyone ate it & seemed to like it. This just barely serves 4. And that's with 2 of the 4 being five yr olds (but then, they're big eaters). And I used more than a cup of the vegetables (had the tail end of a Sam's size bag of green beans so just dumped them all in (didn't bother to cook them either, just added them frozen) probably closer to 2 cups) and more than a cup of the meat (I use "fri chik" (a canned fake chicken type stuff) & I just used a whole can, which again is more in the 2 cup range I think). Doubling the whole recipe in a larger casserole would probably leave enough to send w/ dh for lunch the next day & mean we didn't run out (& even then, I'd probably add some extra veggies, just cuz I prefer a higher ratio of veggies in our meals). This is one I would definitely recommend butter (as opposed to margarine or some other fat) for, I could taste the butter in it, so it's adding flavor, not just texture.

Serves 4

2 c cubed soft bread
1/2 c shredded sharp cheese
2 T butter melted (the cookbook uses margarine throughout, I feel that butter is enough healthier to be worth the extra cost)
Spread half the bread mixture in a greased 1qt casserole and top with 1 c cooked vegetables of your choice.
Saute till tender:
3 T butter
2 T chopped onion
Blend in:
3 T flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Cook over low heat, stirring till bubbly. Stir in:
1 1/2 c milk
Cook, stirring constantly till thick. Stir in:
1 c cooked meat, diced
Pour over vegetables.
Arrange on top:
1 lg tomato, sliced (optional - we'll skip this when making it for meals dh is joining us for)
Sprinkle with remaining bread mixture.
Bake uncovered 30-35 min.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Millet Squares

From the Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book. We're going through their "Grain a Day" this week for homeschool, and this was the recipe I decided to try for Millet (since I've never really used millet).

Incidentally, regardless of your school choices, this book is AWESOME! For little kids, it's a whole book of recipes that are whole grain, low (or no) sugar (mostly sweetened with honey & syrup), and just generally nice, healthy snacks for kids :)

Ok, so the recipe:

3 c millet
6 c water
1/4 or 1/3 c maple syrup

Over med heat, toast millet in bottom of a large pot until you start to smell the millet (optional). Add water & syrup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook at a slow boil for about 20 minutes. Do NOT stir the pot. When all the water is absorbed, pour into a glass 9x13 inch baking dish and allow to cool and harden. Cut into small squares.

Turkey Barley Stir-Fry

I went looking for barley recipes for our "grain a day" this week in homeschool & found this one online, adapted it for things we like/eat, and we'll try it & see what we think:

2 tsp olive oil
2 c cooked pearl barley
1 1/2 c cooked cubed turkey (we'll use fri chik (fake chicken) or soy curls)
1/2 c chopped green beans or celery (recipe calls for red pepper, but we don't like it)
1/2 c chopped onions
3 eggs
1 tsp garlic salt (I think I'll just use garlic powder, maybe not quite so much, the soy sauce should make it plenty salty for me)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp soy sauce (we use Braggs Amino Acids for soy sauce)
1/4 c slivered almonds, toasted

To cook barley: In a med. saucepan bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 c barley and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes until tender and liquid is absorbed. Makes 3 to 3 1/2 cups (extra can be frozen).

For Stir-fry: Heat oil in skillet, add barley, turkey & veggies. Stir-fry 4-5 min. In a small bowl beat together eggs, garlic salt & ginger. Add to skillet, stir-fry until eggs are cooked. Sprinkle with soy sauce and almonds to serve.

ETA we had this for supper tonight. The girls liked it, dh & I both voted it "ok" but not great. I think it has potential but I'll do some things different next time. increase the vegetable (green beans is what I used this time) to at least a cup, current proportions it's much more like fried rice than the way I normally make stir fry, which is fine, but extra veggies make it healthier & wouldn't hurt any. If you use garlic powder instead of garlic salt, definitely add salt too. And the big thing, I wondered how it would work adding the egg mixture right into the stir fry to cook, but figured I'd try it. The eggs just disappear, which maybe that's the point, but I think actually tasting the eggs would be a good thing, so next time I'll scramble the eggs (not sure if I'll use add the seasonings to the eggs or the veggies, will probably depend on my mood that day LOL) separately & then add them in at the end like I do for fried rice. But it's a nice mix-up from our normal fried rice, and dh is willing to eat it, so we'll probably eat it at least once in awhile.

Spinach Spaghetti

This is one of dh's favorites, I got it from his mom (and made a few changes, like whole wheat pasta)

1 lb whole wheat spaghetti, cooked & drained
2 10 oz packages frozen spinach, thawed & drained
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/2 c milk
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1/4 c chopped onion
1 tsp salt
4 c shredded jack cheese
1/4 c Parmesan cheese

Combine all but 1/4 c Parmesan. Put in 9x13 casserole. Sprinkle 1/4 c Parmesan on top. Bake 45 minutes, covered. at 350.

This freezes wonderfully and is so easy & yummy!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Green Shake

I found this on a blog, and jotted it down (& promptly lost track of which blog it was on). And adapted it to reflect what I had on hand & such . . .

Some frozen spinach (probably about 1/3 of a 10oz box), fresh would work too
a pint of frozen peaches
Juice off a can of chunked pinapple, and some of the pineapple
1 apple, peeled & cubed
a handful of dried bananas

Blend it all together & enjoy! Original recipe used fresh spinach, frozen bananas, and included ice cubes, but the blender seemed full enough to not bother w/ the ice cubes (probably could do less peaches). I really don't think you can go wrong here, just stay with the green/yellow/white color scheme if you want to keep it green.

Crockpot Potato Soup

I got this off a message board awhile back and never tried it, will try it this week.

2-3 lbs potatoes, peeled & cubed
1/2 onion, chopped
chicken broth (about 4 cups)
salt & pepper to taste
1-2 c milk
2 c cheddar cheese, grated

Cube potatoes, place in crockpot with onion, salt & pepper. Add broth to cover. Cook on high 4 hrs till potatoes are cooked through. Blend 1/2 potatoes till smooth. Return to crockpot. Leave on low until dinner time (if needed) Right before serving, stir in milk & cheese. The potatoes should be hot enough to heat the milk & cheese right away. Serve.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Crockpot Pinto Beans

One of the meals I decided to try this week was "Pintos & Cornbread", but I was planning to be gone most of the day Thurs (the night I had this meal scheduled), so I went hunting for a crockpot version of pinto beans, and then tweaked it (because it called for lard or bacon fat & we're vegetarian), here's what I came up with:

16 oz pinto beans, picked over, soaked overnight & drained
2 T butter (not sure if we really needed this, I might leave it out, or at least cut it back next time)
1 or 2 (I don't remember) T baco bits
1 sm onion, chopped
1 Tbs fresh or 1 tsp dried oregano

Combine all with 3 c water in crockpot. Cook on high 3 hrs, turn to low & cook the rest of the day. Season with salt to taste.

Now, my day didn't go exactly as planned. I put it in the crockpot, turned it on high, set the kitchen timer for 3 hrs, and left for the day, leaving dh with the instruction to turn it to low when the timer went off. I was planning to be home by 6:00 or so, to check on it, turn it back to high if needed, or off if needed, make the corn bread & serve dinner, but we got to my friend Angie's house & she invited us to stay for supper, so I called dh, told him to see if the beans seemed done & if so, turn off the crockpot (and have some if he wanted) and the girls & I stayed at Angie's till bedtime. I got home around 10pm & found the beans STILL on low, so they were well cooked (though you can't really over-cook pintos, I don't think). I let them cool & put them in the fridge, then made the corn bread & re-heated the pintos in the microwave (just put each person's plate in the microwave) for supper tonight. I made a point of calling these "pintos" not "beans" since the girls claim to not like beans & served up each plate, by putting a big serving of pintos on their plate (heating them in the microwave, then topping the beans with some shredded cheese & sour cream, and put a piece of corn bread on the plate as well. Everyone declared it a keeper, L said it was "even better than Shepherd's Pie" which is high praise from her at the moment. DH really liked the added flavor the baco bits gave it. The girls each ate 2 platefuls.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Shepherd Pie

This is my friend, Jenni's recipe, adapted for us being vegetarian LOL.

ETA: I made this last night substituting lentils for half the TVP and it was fine. Lentils are a healthier, cheaper alternative to the TVP :)

DH didn't like this (he informed me that he prefers things "separate") but the girls each had 2 platefuls! It's not something I'd make just for myself, but given how much I've been struggling to figure out stuff to feed my kids lately, we'll be making it for lunch occasionally :)

1 lb rehydrated TVP (1 c dry)
3/4 c diced onion
2 tsp garlic
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 c beef flavored broth
1/2 c milk
some frozen green beans
2 c mashed potatoes

Brown meat, onions & garlic. Add flour & incorporate thoroughly then add liquid & bring to a boil. Transfer meat to casserole, add a layer of green beans, top w/ mashed potatoes & bake 20-30 min at 400.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Breakfast Cookies

Another one from Heavenly Homemakers

1 c butter, melted
3/4 c honey
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c buttermilk
2 c whole wheat flour
2 c rolled oats
1 c raisins or chocolate chips

Combine first 8 ingredients. Add oats & flour. Fold in raisins or chocolate chips. Place heaped spoonfuls on cookie sheet (leave space between them, they spread) Bake at 350F for 15-20 min. Cool 3-4 min on cookie sheet before removing to wire racks.

I use regular milk instead of buttermilk (because I'm lazy) & chocolate chips. I'm going to let the girls try them in the morning (made them tonight), but the little piece I broke off tasted good, so hopefully these will be a hit for days when we're needing to eat breakfast (or other meals) on the go :)

Whole Wheat Crackers

From heavenly homemakers

2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 c oil
1/2 c water

Mix. Roll thin (recipe recommends using parchment paper but the dough was easy enough to work with that I probably won't bother w/ it next time). Cut out with small cookie cutters. Bake at 350F for 12 minutes. Turn off oven but let the crackers cool in the oven so they come out nice and crisp.

These were easy to make, the dough was easy to work with. Dough tasted good. We'll try the crackers when they finish cooling.


I found this recipe somewhere online but didn't keep track of where.

2 c oats
1/2 c coconut
1/2 c chopped almonds
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/4 c sesame seeds
1/2 c honey or molasses
1/3 c cooking oil
1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 300F. Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Stir together. Spread out on greased cookie sheet (I used a "bar pan" style baking stone) Bake 20 min, stir. Bake 10-15 min longer. Remove from oven & immediately turn onto aluminum foil to cool (I used a big wood cutting board) When cool break into clumps & store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Or freeze for longer storage.

I used a mix of oats & rye flakes, and I didn't have sunflower seeds so I increased the oats/rye by 1/2 c as a substitution. I also used 50/50 molasses and honey and it's more molasses-y than I like it, I'll probably use all honey next time. But it was easy, and other than molasses being too strong to be my first choice, I like the flavor.

Recipe also says that you can make granola bars by adding 1 beaten egg per cup of cooked granola & bake in a 300 degree oven until firm, I haven't tried that yet.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Egg in a Basket

A couple weeks ago I was making a meal where I'd normally have included grilled cheese sandwiches but we were low on cheese, but had plenty of eggs. So I thought of one of my favorite meals from Cracker Barrel. It's very simple, just take a piece of bread, use a cookie cutter to cut a round (or we use heart shaped ones, the girls think it's special & it was the first cookie cutters I happened upon in the cupboard that were the right size LOL) hole in the middle. Butter both sides of the bread, put it in the frying pan & break an egg into the hole. Fry on both sides until the bread is grilled & the egg is fried. That's all there is to it. It's become one of our favorite quick lunches (especially with soup of some sort).

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Healthy Strawberry Milkshake

I found this recipe (& accidentally modified it) on heavenlyhomemakers my kids think they're getting dessert, but it's really healthy enough to count as breakfast. And easy too!

1 cup milk
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp maple syrup

(the original recipe also called for 1 cup cream, but I missed adding that & it was still good, though that would explain why we ate it w/ a spoon, not a straw LOL).

Put it all in a blender & blend it up, pour into a cup & enjoy!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Broccoli Bacon Quiche - Crustless

4 slices cooked bacon (or baco bits)
4 eggs
1 c half & half
1 c grated swiss cheese
2 c broccoli florets
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp lemon pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Beat eggs with cream and cheese. Stir in salt, garlic, lemon pepper & broccoli. Crumble bacon. Stir half into egg mixture. Pour into 9" pie pan. Bake at 350 for 30-35 min till knife inserted halfway between center and edge comes out clean (I had to cook longer using frozen broccoli & cheese). Top with remaining bacon.

Southwest Roll-ups

I'm not sure where I found this recipe, it was printed out (from Word) in a stack of papers I was going through this weekend, so we're going to try it tonight & see what we think:

Update: The girls loved it!! (Mommy, can we have this EVERY night?) And dh agreed that it could be added to the regular rotation (which is about as much "praise" as I can get from him unless it's super unhealthy LOL). I got 5 or 6 tortillas, filled moderately full, in a 9x13 pan. Once I use up my canned beans & start making the beans from scratch I'll add more beans & salsa and make a 9x13 and a 9x9 pan. These would freeze easily as well.

Mix 2 Tbsp salsa, 1 can refried beans, and 1 c chicken - cooked & cubed (will use vegetarian equivalent).
Spoon onto tortillas, place seam side down in 9x13 pan. Baket at 350 for 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 c cheese.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I've been working on clearing out the freezer (or at least using up stuff that's been in there for eons) and the other night I found a bag with a few frozen biscuits left in it, so I threw them in the oven for supper. L fell in love (& they'd been in the freezer too long, they weren't awesome biscuits by any means). So, today for lunch I figured I'd whip up a batch of biscuits. I adapted a recipe from

Quick Biscuits

2 c flour (I used half ww, will probably add a little more ww next time, since they weren't too "wheaty" at 50/50)
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 c oil
a generous 3/4 c milk (or buttermilk, or yogurt)

Mix everything together into a stick dough, drop by spoonfuls onto a baking stone (recipe says greased baking sheet for those who don't use baking stones) Bake 10-15 min at 425. If you want non-drop biscuits you can use the original recipe I chose the drop biscuits for a number of reasons. 1) I'm lazy & dropping is easier than rolling & cutting (though the kids would've enjoyed the rolling & cutting) 2) the original recipe calls for shortening instead of oil and I don't have any, nor do I like to use it. I've substituted coconut oil (solid @ room temp) for shortening in other recipes with good results but I'm running low on it at the moment and order it online so trying tomake it last till my next order. 3) the board game we were playing took longer than anticipated and I didn't want to push lunch back longer while we let the dough rise. I think L's eaten 4 or 5 of these and A's had at least 3 . . . so they're a hit! In fact, when L asked for "another one" for the umpteenth time, A's worry was "we need to save some for breakfast!" I assured her we can make more for breakfast LOL. I've been trying various muffin recipes for breakfast use, especially on Sabbath morning when a "grab & go" breakfast would be much easier, but haven't managed to make any that the girls like, so perhaps biscuits is what I need to be doing instead, dh will like that idea better anyway LOL.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hot Chocolate Mix

Not especially note worthy, more for my own information . . . here's the hot chocolate mix that I made today (since we were out & the girls think we must have hot chocolate when we come in from playing in the snow, and we're essentially out of (real) milk since today was also the day I was going to go get milk, but didn't because of the snow). If I use this recipe again I will reduce the salt. . . It has the advantage of using all ingredients that I had on hand & the most "processed" thing in it is the powdered milk (or perhaps the powdered sugar, both are pretty far from their natural form, but still not as totally processed as the coffee creamer that was called for in most of the recipes I saw):

From food network:

Hot Cocoa - courtesy of Alton Brown
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
2 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or more to taste
Hot water

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and incorporate evenly. In a small pot, heat 4 to 6 cups of water.

Fill your mug half full with the mixture and pour in hot water. Stir to combine. Seal the rest in an airtight container, keeps indefinitely in the pantry. This also works great with warm milk.

I made 1/4 a recipe & left out the cayenne pepper.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Laundry Soap - Powder

This is the recipe I use for making laundry soap:

Grate 1 bar of Dr. Bronners bar soap (I've also seen the recommendations to use Ivory soap or Fels Naptha soap, but I like Dr. Bronners, and as a bonus, it smells yummy when you use the peppermint LOL. Ivory would be the cheapest & easiest to find though). Now just mix equal parts of the grated soap, washing soda (this is not baking soda, but it's in a box that looks like a big baking soda box, the typical arm & hammer box, on the laundry aisle), and borax (also in the laundry aisle). Mix them all together, put them in a container w/ a lid, and use about 1/8 c per load of laundry.