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.