Monday, December 27, 2010

Ranch Dressing Dry Mix (Heavenly Homemaker's)

I've been on a quest off & on for years to find a healthy version of ranch dressing, but while *I* really like this recipe, the kids didn't (though in retrospect, I think the garlic was too strong for them. Next summer when fresh herbs are readily available, I'll try it again with less garlic and see if they'll go for it).  But in the meantime . . . as I was writing up my menu for Christmas dinner, I decided to try Heavenly Homemaker's recipe for ranch dressing and see how it went over. I figured in a big group dinner like that, if the kids didn't like it, there would be other people to help me eat it, so that I didn't have as much left over, and they were less likely to think it might be something "healthy" than if it was just us. So, I mixed this up the day before, but made it with plain full fat yogurt instead of sour cream or creme fresh (I've been wanting to make creme fresh forEVER but haven't gotten around to it yet, so figured organic yogurt was a healthier option than conventional sour cream, and the grocery didn't have organic sour cream as I was madly doing my grocery shopping the day before). I have no idea if the girls ate any of it on Christmas day, but they just polished off a half-bag of baby carrots with a bowl of the dip for lunch today, and no comment was made about it tasting "weird", much less "gross", so apparently I've accomplished my healthy alternative :)

So, in case the above site ever deletes the recipe, here's Laura's awesome ranch dressing mix recipe:

5 Tbsp dried minced onions
7 tsp parsely flakes
4 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder

Combine and store in an airtight container.

For dip: combine 1 Tbsp dry mix with 1 c sour cream, kreme fesh, or plain yogurt

For dressing: Combine 1 Tbsp dry mix with 1/2 c mayonnaise and 1/2 c buttermilk or sour cream.

Mix at least a few hours in advance to let flavors blend together.

Broiled Grapefruit - 2 ways

Several years ago we went to a bed & breakfast for our anniversary & as part of breakfast they served Broiled Grapefruit (or perhaps they called it baked grapefruit, I don't remember). It was delicious & I always meant to find a recipe and try it at home, but for some reason, I never did. A recent conversation with the girls, reminded me (don't ask me how it came up, I don't remember LOL) and I decided to try it. So I went online, read various recipes and kind of combined the parts that sounded good . . .

The way *I* like it:

Cut grapefruit in half, use a knife to cut around each section (I found it hard to get the sections out with a grapefruit spoon after it was hot, the "walls" weren't as stiff, so I prefer to pre-cut it). Dot approximately 1 tsp (I don't measure, just cut off a small slice of butter and break it into "dot"-size pcs) on each half. Combine approx 1 Tbsp sucanat (natural sugar, or brown sugar, but sucanat is WORLDS healthier than commercial brown sugar, which is about the stupidest product idea I've found yet) and 1 tsp cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture to lightly cover the top of the grapefruit halves. Broil for 6-8 min until the top is all "poofy".

The way dd likes it:

She doesn't like the sugar and cinnamon but she likes the "hot grapefruit", and she likes to "dig it myself", so for her I just cut the grapefruit in half, dot a little butter on top (not sure if that's really necessary, but seems like it should make it brown abit better?) & broil for 6-8 min.

(and just to be different, my other dd likes her grapefruit un-broiled.  The toddler steals bites from all of us LOL).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mediterranean (I think) Flatbread Sandwiches (or salad)

This was a total dump recipe, and the girls liked it, so I figured I'd better write down the "recipe" such as it is. It's a great, quick lunch:

I had some flatbread (think pita bread w/o the "pocket")  I needed to use and was in a hurry. I threw together the following:

feta cheese (I THINK it was roughly 4oz, I think I'd used "half" of an 8oz package and this is what was left)
1 can chick peas, drained
1/2 a can sliced water chestnuts
some chopped tomatoes
Some fresh spinach (sliced into strips)
Dried herbs (I don't remember which ones)
lemon juice & olive oil

Stirred it all together, put some in a bowl for Little Bit to eat as a salad. The rest of us put some in whole wheat flatbread and ate it like a sandwich, YUM!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sabbath Roast

My aunt makes a vegetarian roast called Sabbath Roast, that my dd, A2 really likes, here's the recipe (with a couple adaptations I've made):


1 cup dry burger granules (TVP) reconstituted with 1 cup hot water (next time I'm going to try replacing some of the TVP with cooked lentils)
½-1 cup shredded cheese
1 medium onion,  chopped fine in food processor
1 cup crushed cracker crumbs
¾ cup cream
1/8 cup oil
¼ tsp sage
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp mace (I couldn't find this in our grocery store, so left it out)
½ tsp poultry seasoning
2 eggs

Mix all ingredients well; spray baking dish with Pam  and bake 45-60 minutes at 350. 
(My aunt said she uses a 7x11 pan for 1 recipe and a 9x13 pan if doubled or tripled, I used an 8x8 pan for a single recipe)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

I adapted this from Nourishing Gourmet's recipe.

1 can full fat coconut milk + enough raw milk to equal a total of 3 cups (I want a non-coconut chocolate ice cream for Thanksgiving this year, so will just use 3 cups of milk, I'm thinking it should work fine)
2/3 c cocoa powder
6 Tbsp maple syrup (still playing with the sweetener, but for now this is what I'm going to try)
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk together, pour into ice cream maker & follow the directions for your ice cream maker.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mac & Cheese

I happened upon this mac & cheese recipe awhile back, and decided to try it today.  I have to admit, I didn't quite get past the "stringy" stage before I got impatient, but the girls both liked the cheesiness, so it worked for us:

In a nutshell the recipe (in case the other site goes down) is this:

You will need:
Equal parts dry pasta & shredded cheese (sharp cheddar &/or parmesan)
a small amount of milk, yogurt, buttermilk or milk

Cook pasta, drain & return to the pot. Add shredded cheese & milk (or whatever) and cook on low heat, stirring constantly until cheese melts. Wait till it goes past the stringy globby stage and gets creamy (though we ate it once it was past hte globby stage but still stringy, it was good that way too).

Easy, and cheesy enough to please my chees-a-holic family. Though one reason I wanted to use this over the recipe I usually use was to avoid the constant stirring, and the cheese took so long to melt and get un-globby, that I don't think I accomplished that, still, it WAS good. . . .

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lentils & Rice

Rodney wasn't going to be here for supper tonight so I went searching for recipes I wanted to try that were things Rodney wouldn't like LOL. I actually was planning to make zucchini "crab" cakes, but thought that wouldn't be enough all on it's own, so noticed this crock pot recipe and thought, hey, I can put this in this morning and we can eat it for supper with the zucchini. But then I got lazy and when supper time rolled around I skipped the zucchini and we just ate this. But the girls LOVED it! We ate ALL of it! It's easy, cheap & healthy, what more could you want!!! (but I don't know what makes them "tacos" they're not all all mexican-like)

3 cups chicken broth (or water and chicken seasoning)
3/4 c uncooked lentils
1/2 c uncooked brown rice
3/4 c chopped onion (I didn't measure, just used 1 onion)
1/2 tsp sweet basil (I used fresh, and didn't measure)
1/4 tsp oregano (I used fresh, and didn't measure)
1/4 tsp thyme (I used fresh, and didn't measure)
1/4 tsp garlic powder (I used a spoon full of minced garlic)

Stir together in crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. Can be baked at 300F for 1 1/2 hours.

Serve as is, or with tortillas, sour cream, shredded cheese, etc.  YUM!!!

It also occurs to me that if you used dried herbs, this could be premixed and you could just dump it in the crockpot with 3 cups of water and some chopped onions from the freezer. How easy would THAT be?!?!?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Whole Wheat Vanilla Wafers

Another yummy recipe from Heavenly Homemakers.

1/2 c butter, softened
3/4 c sucanat
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c ww flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Cream butter and sucanat. Bean in egg and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I didn't do this since I was using a baking stone, I should have). Place very small spoonfuls on paper. Bake at 325 for 5-15 min (I baked 15 min). Turn off oven and leave in oven to crisp for about 1/2 hr.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Perpetual Pancakes

This is my adaptation of this recipe. I love that I can mix it up the night before & just fry however many we want in the morning!

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp oil
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Combine all ingredients, refrigerate overnight. May be stored in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Can also be used for waffles. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Minted Sweet Pea Soup

Daddy wasn't home for supper tonight, so the girls & I went hunting for a recipe to try that WE would like and HE wouldn't. The girls decided they wanted soup (because, you know, 90+ degree weather in September is perfect soup weather LOL, but we have A/C so whatever . . .) so we started browsing the myriad of recipes I bookmark and never get around to trying. And we found this one.  I was SURE we had a huge bag of frozen peas in the freezer, so said yes, we could definitely make it. Only to realize, as we started to cook, that we apparently finished the huge bag and ate half of a smaller bag, so all I had was 1/2 lb of peas.  However, I DID have several bags of baby lima beans in the freezer (they're one of the few veggies hubby likes, so we eat them often), so we decided to use half peas & half lima beans. It was still a yummy soup, but we all felt that it would be BETTER with straight peas, so we'll be re-making this soon with all peas.  Here's the recipe, with my modifications:

1/3 c butter
1 lb peas
1/2 c water
some chopped onions (I didn't measure)
2 1/2 c milk or half-and-half (we use raw milk, I was opening a new gallon anyway & it's hard to mix teh cream in w/o pouring some off the top to give it more room, so I poured some cream into the measuring cup & then shook the rest in & finished measuring with the whole milk, so slightly creamier than whole milk not quite half & half, would be my guess)
1-2 tsp fresh mint, snipped (didn't measure, but I'd guess we used at least 3-4 tsp and could have used more)
salt to taste
chives for garnish

In a med saucepan melt the butter on low heat, then add peas, water & onions .  Cook 15-20 min for fresh peas, 5-10 minutes for frozen peas. Don't over-cook, you want the peas tender, not mushy.

Remove from burner, let cool slightly. Add milk, mint and salt. Puree with immersion blender. Return to burner and heat till heated through, do not boil.  Garnish with snipped chives &/or snipped mint.

For the 3 of us (plus sharing numerous bites with Little Bit), one recipe wasn't enough for a main dish, we'll be doubling this recipe in the future.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hummus Platter

I recently noticed this post, for a quick simple meal idea. So we tried it for supper tonight.  I made hummus using this recipe (a couple notes on it, I couldn't tell if it was supposed to have 1 clove of garlic or 2 (it lists "1 clove garlic" twice in the ingredients list, so I used one, the girls aren't huge fans of garlic anyway, it needed abit more garlic. It also was WAY too salty, though to be fair, the girls were helping me & one of them measured the salt & I didn't check it before they dumped it in, so it might have been abit more than it should have been).  And then served it along with raw feta cheese, sliced cherry tomatoes, black olives, and baby carrots (not to put on the bread, but to dip in the hummus if anyone wanted). I didn't have pita bread, so served it with tortillas. Pita bread or flat bread would be better. I also think, next time I'll also include lettuce leaves, I wanted more "fresh & crunchy" than I had. Anyway, it was a quick, easy, healthy meal, gotta love that!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fried Oatmeal

This morning I'd promised the girls a cooked breakfast, then realized we are out of baking powder (no pancakes or muffins) and honey (no breakfast cookies). And only had 4 eggs (no eggs & fake bacon or sausage) . . . so I started hunting through recipes I'd saved, and found this one for oatmeal pancakes.  The girls agreed to try it. We didn't have leftover oatmeal, so I cooked oatmeal first, then let it cool long enough to not "cook" the eggs when I stirred them in, that makes for a LONG "prep" time, but oh well . . . I don't know if I'm just incompetent or if I had too low an egg to oatmeal ratio or what, but they didn't stick together into "pancakes" or patties for me.

This "recipe" is still a work in progress for us, BUT both girls (& I) preferred it to regular oatmeal (I have texture issues with regular oatmeal, the girls will eat it, but it's not their favorite), so we'll keep playing with it.

4-5 cups cold oatmeal
4-5 eggs
a couple pinches of salt
a little melted coconut oil (even with plenty of oil in the pan, these seemed to want to stick, once I stirred some oil into the batter, it seemed to work better)

Stir all the above together. Melt coconut oil in pan, drop small spoonfuls of batter into pan and fry.  Serve with maple syrup.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Picnic Pocket Roll

This is adapted from this recipe.

1 lb pizza or bread dough (I used the pizza dough recipe posted on this site)
1 Tbs olive oil
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 T each oregano, rosemary & basil, minced (I used fresh, and didn't measure)
1 lb (approx) reconstituted TVP
1 tsp salt (to taste)
3/4 c tomato sauce
1/2 lb grated mozzarella

Brown TVP with olive oil, garlic, onion, salt & herbs. Stir in tomato sauce. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On cookie sheet greased with olive oil roll out dough into rectangle. spread cheese and meat mixture over dough. starting with long side of dough facing you, roll dough, crimping edges. Bake 10 min. reduce heat to 350 and continue baking 25 min or tilll golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool 15 min on rack before slicing. Serve immediately OR slice and store in airtight container to serve later at room temp. Or freeze for later use.

Corndog Muffins

I saw this recipe on Heavenly Homemakers's site awhile ago, but just recently got around to trying it. It was a hit with the whole family! It's quick and easy to make AND they freeze well so I can make a big batch and freeze the extras for "grab and go" meals another day.

We're vegetarian so I use vegetarian hotdogs and hubby doesn't like anything at all sweet so I adapted the cornbread recipe to eliminate the honey. Here's how we make it:

1 c cornmeal
1 c whole wheat flour
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 eggs
1/4 c melted butter (generous because the honey added some moisture & I skipped it)
1 c buttermilk or milk (generous, see above)
hotdogs (4-6)

Preheat oven to 400. Grease or add paper liners to 12 muffin pans. Stir together dry ingredients. Add wet. Stir till blended. Fill each muffin pan almost full (these don't rise alot). Cut hotdogs in half or thirds so that a piece will lay in each muffin (depends on the size of your muffin pans and the size of your hotdogs). You can just lay the hotdog pieces on top of the batter in each muffin cup, which is what I did. Or, if you want the hotdog to be "hidden" inside the muffin, push it down or partially fill each muffin cup, add hotdogs, then finish filling the muffin cups. Bake about 20 min, till golden.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Scrambled French Toast

I found this in an emergency preparedness book, Just In Case. It's a great way to use up ends of loaves of bread, and the girls love it.

2-3 eggs
1/2 c milk
bread, torn into small pieces/crumbled

Beat eggs in lg bowl. Add milk and generous sprinkles of nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in pieces of torn bread, crumbled biscuits, etc until liquid is all absorbed. Fry on a hot, greased skillet.

We eat it with maple syrup, YUM!! Last time we had some leftover Challah bread and that was especially delicious!