These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things....

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Here are few fun things I am enjoying right now.

1. Awesome Shop by Target- It's dangerous. Think everything good at Target in one spot.

2. This Christmas Song.  It makes me teary every.single.time I listen to it.


3. Goat Cheese Biscuits from Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist.  If I had to choose one thing to eat as my last meal, this would be it. Although, I wouldn't eat one I would eat the entire pan. 

Goat Cheese Biscuits
From: Niequist, Shauna. “Bread & Wine.” Zondervan, 2013.
Ingredients
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup plain yogurt
6 tablespoons cold butter, divided
4 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (I honestly haven't added this! It's so good without it.)
Instructions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place a 10-inch cast-iron pan into the oven while it’s preheating.
Pour flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Cut 4 tablespoons of the butter into small pieces and add it to the bowl, with the goat cheese and the yogurt. Stir until the mix is moistened, adding an extra tablespoon of yogurt if needed.
Remove the hot skillet from the oven and place a tablespoon of butter into it.
When the butter has melted, divide the batter into 12 biscuits, each about the size of a golf ball, and then nestle them into the pan — they’ll be snuggled in there pretty cozily, and that’s all right. I usually start by making a ring of 9 around the edge, then 3 in the middle.
Brush the tops of the biscuits with one tablespoon of melted butter. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes until browned on the top and bottom. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese.
MAKES: one dozen biscuits

A Smoothie For The Season

Monday, November 18, 2013

Pumpkin Gingerbread Smoothie- Super Yummy!

I am passing along this recipe from Barre 3.  I’ve made it several times and the kids love it.  It’s nice to have a bit of variety to the smoothie routine other than greens and berries. Both good but variety is the spice of life, right?!

Recipe courtesy of Andrea Bemis, chef/writer of Dishing Up The Dirt and owner of Tumbleweed Farm, in Hood River, OR.
Serves 2
INGREDIENTS
2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
1 banana
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup almond butter
2 Tbs. chia seeds, ground
2 Tbs. blackstrap molasses
1 tsp. cinnamon
Nutmeg, dash
1/2 tsp. fresh minced ginger (or dried)
Ice cubes, a few

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Blend all ingredients together in the blender and enjoy!

My Favorite Summer Iced Coffee

Sunday, July 21, 2013

IMG 0335

This Summer coffee recipe was first developed by my hard working sister.  She is going to school and working at Black Rock in her spare time.  You gotta know that we hit up Black Rock to see Auntie every chance we can.  Having similar health convictions, my sister came up with a coffee that has far less sugar & dairy than my previous "go to" at Starbucks- iced or extra hot vanilla latte. These days, I am no longer drinking lattes.  I have almost eliminated milk from my diet! Yay!! I am also using 1/2 to 3/4 less syrup than I used to. Maybe, some day I will make it to no sugar or at least find a totally natural syrup. I am sure there is one out there.  

Thankfully, in the mean time I can also make this at home when she's not working!  You can find the syrups for cheap at Cash & Carry. 

SUMMER TIME (OR ANYTIME) ICED COFFEE

For one serving. These are estimates not actual amounts. 

3/4 Cold Black Coffee (I keep the remainder of the pot from the morning in a glass bottle in the refrigerator)

Smallest hint of Maple Flavoring Syrup and Salted Caramel Syrup. 

Tiny bit of Organic Half & Half to top it off

Ice 

I also add a shot from my Nespresso coffee machine. This is totally not necessary.  If you find regular black coffee isn't strong enough, try brewing an extra strong pot and keeping it in your refrigerator for iced coffees. 

Try it and see!

 

Kombucha

Sunday, May 19, 2013

IMG 2649

Kombucha- 'the tea of immortality'.  It's a a sour vinegary drink or tonic made from tea, sugar, yeast, and bacteria.  It has been around for thousands of years, but has resurfaced in popularity in the last couple of years.  Kombucha is also often attributed to having some pretty impressive health benefits like- detoxification, promoting healthy digestion, reduction of depression and anxiety, improved energy levels, boosting the immune system, and even cancer fighting properties.   If even a little bit of this is true, than it is a "wonder drink".  

I have gotten back into making kombucha at home. You can certainly buy it at the store, but the habit can get expensive! If you have ever done a friendship bread starter than you will recognize some similarities to making Kombucha at home. 

Home Brewed Kombucha

Ingredients

128 ounces of filtered water

8 tea bags- I used Trader Joes English Breakfast tea. I am thinking an organic tea would probably be a better choice.  You can use black, green, and/or white tea.

1 cup of organic granulated sugar

1 SCOBY  and some liquid "stater tea" if you don't have one you can buy one (amazon!) or get it from a friend- like me :)

 

Directions

You will need a 1-2 gallon glass jar to "brew" your Kombucha.

In a large pot boil 64 ounces of the filtered water, then place the tea bags in the water to steep for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

Once the tea has steeped, mix in the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until it has dissolved completely.

Pour in the remaining 64 ounces of water and allow the tea to come to room temperature.

Once tea has completely cooled pour the tea into your 1-2 gallon glass jar.

Pour in the liquid "starter tea" and stir.

Carefully add the SCOBY to the tea and cover the container.  I use an old tea towel secured with a rubber band.  You want to make sure you prevent fruit flies, dust, and other bugs from getting into your tea. 

Keep you Kombucha is a dark cool place where it can ferment undisturbed for about a week. The longer is goes the more probiotic material is created. If you let it go too long it can get very vinegary.  I have found about 7-10 days to be my preferred sweetness level. 

At this point you can bottle or refrigerate your Komubucha saving the SCOBY's- you'll have two now- the mother SCOBY & the baby to start 2 new batches. 

 

My kids enjoy drinking Kombucha alone or mixed with a little bit of fruit juice.  You can do a second fermentation with a fruit puree. I have done this will pureed mango and cherries and it was delicious.  

 

Recipe has been adapted from here. 

 

 

Earth Day (Year) & A New Recipe: DIY Laundry Detergent Version 2

Thursday, April 25, 2013

After the whole "7" experience earlier this year, I thought I would give you an update on how we are doing.  It hasn't just been a fad.  We have really done our part to reduce how much we are using.

Year to date we have gotten rid of:

Paper plates

Disposable cups

Paper towels (Haven't bought one since before Christmas)

Dryer sheets 

We are even using metal straws instead of paper or plastic ones


We are making our own versions of:

Laundry Detergent

Dryer sheets

Cleaning products

Make up remover. This might sound trivial but I used to use the remoistened wipes which is a lot of $ and waste.

We continue to buy very little pre-packaged foods. 

The kids even have to color on the back of paper that was already printed. After they finish their coloring it hopefully goes into recycling and not the garbage can.  We are still working on that and I am the most guilty!


When our current dishwashing detergent runs out I am going to try and make a greener DIY version too.  Now that we have gone paperless our dishwasher has been putting in a lot of overtime! 

Just to be clear, we are still using disposable diapers and wipes.  I just can't make the leap to cloth when they are almost ready to potty train (maybe?) However, we have managed to stay with the smallest garbage can our waste management company will allow.  That's pretty good for a family of 6 with two in diapers. 

 

Here are a few of my favorite green items that have made this all possible. 

 

IMG 2469

Reusable paper towels. They are the consistency of a thick cloth-like paper towel, but one that can be washed and reused 20 times.  Let me say, they work great. I use these primarily to clean up the boys, wash windows, clean up yucky messes - all the things you would normally do with a paper towel. They don't look pretty after they are washed and dried, but that's ok. After they have been washed I keep them folded and in the same drawer as the other kitchen cloths/towels.  I found them at Williams & Sonoma for $9.99.

IMG 2634

I also use these non paper towels, made by my friend.  They are a staple in our post paper towel household. I try not to cross contaminate the dish cloth by using it on the kids or messes requiring cleaners.

IMG 2633

Mason jars as drinking glasses.  A dozen 12 oz quilted jars are $9.99 at BiMart.  I found the metal straws at New Seasons.  The jars are sturdy, I don't worry about the kids breaking them.  We don't have to have kids cups and adult cups anymore.  Even the boys carry them around sometimes.  I had the daisy lids from a small set of jar I bought at New Seasons.  I love my Mason Bar Company topper too. I wish I had more and the adorable cozy's to go over the mason jars!

IMG 2635

Speaking of mason jars, I am using them for more than just drinking glasses.  They work great for storing dry goods in the pantry.  My favorite lid comes from the coconut oil jars at Trader Joes.  We have a nice collection thanks to our recycling efforts.  I am also bottling Komucha now in you got it… mason jars.

IMG 2167

 

IMG 2637

I have been impressed with the liquid version of DIY laundry detergent, so I took the leap and made a powdered version that is suppose to last a year.  I doubt it will last us 6 months, but that's longer than the liquid.  I really like the liquid version, but I find myself having to make a batch every couple of weeks. The dry version is almost identical in ingredients to the liquid, except you use "powdered" soap. I sweetened mine by using Dr. Bronner's castile scented soap.  I let my girls pick out the smell and they went with almond and lavender.  I also cut out any kind of synthetic ingredients, like fabric softeners which the original recipe called for.

IMG 2620

The coffee cup is suppose to give perspective on how HUGE this container is.  I am not sure it's actually helping…. anyway, I bought the biggest one in the store!  

IMG 2619

Recipe For Natural DIY Laundry Detergent

1 Box of Borax

1 Box of Washing Soda

2 Cups of Baking Soda

2 Containers of Oxy Clean (I used 7th Generation All Natural Oxy Stain Remover)

3 Bars of Castile Soap (I used two bars of Dr. Bronner's and one of Fels Naptha. I would have used all Dr. Bronner's , but it was a lot more expensive)

Directions

Use a food processor to grind up the three bars of soap. I basically tried to cut/shave/break off pieces of the bars and then added them one bar at a time to the food processor with a little bit of the Oxy cleaner to keep it going. 

Once your soap is the consistency of granulated powder get a BIG and I mean BIG bucket to mix up all the other powdered ingredients.  I found out the hard way that the powder residue goes everywhere.  I recommend doing this outside.  You might even wear a mask. Once everything is mixed together you are good to go.  I transferred my batch to a nice glass container.

Use one tablespoon per load.

I test drove it on clothes that had blood, mud, and other stains and I am happy to report it all came out!

Total cost for a years worth of detergent is around $30.00.  Not including glass container.

 

For Mother's Day I asked for this reusable dryer sheet scent. I have been eyeing it for awhile and I am curious to try it!  I do love a bit of scent to some loads of laundry like sheets, towels, pajamas, etc. I have been using essential oil on an old cloth or even on a pair of rolled up socks that are tossed in the load, but it hasn't really given the same affect as a standard dryer sheet.  I hope this doesn't disappoint!

Etsy dryer sheet

 

 

 

What's for Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner… Frittata!

Friday, April 12, 2013

 

Frittata

source

Every since we switched to a primarily Paleo diet in January we have been going through eggs like crazy.  When I say eggs, I mean organic cage free pasture raised eggs.  Those eggs are pricey.  It's typical for our family to go through 4 to 6 dozen eggs a week, depending on how much Paleo baking I am doing. It's no problem for the kids and I to blow through a dozen eggs for breakfast alone. 

I was quite thankful to figure out another way to eat an egg based protein fueled meal that uses a few less eggs.  Seriously, a frittata uses up leftover meat and veggies, requires less eggs, and can easily be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Here is guideline to use from Primal Palate.  Sub any veggie for a leftover protein and/or veggie! Don't stress about "following" the recipe. It's eggs you can't really mess it up, just add what you've got!

Frittata via Primal Palate

Process

  1. Preheat oven to bake at 350°F.
  2. In an oven-safe skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil over medium heat.
  3. Sauté vegetables for 3 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms have softened.
  4. Remove vegetables from heat and set aside.
  5. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk eggs.
  6. Stir vegetables into the eggs.
  7. Heat 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil in the oven-safe skillet over medium-low heat.
  8. Pour frittata mixture into the skillet and slow cook for 4–5 minutes.
  9. Transfer frittata to the oven and cook for 12 minutes, or until the frittata has achieved a spongy firmness to the touch.
  10. Slice and serve with crumbled bacon on top, along with a dash of cracked pepper.

Notes

Great mix-ins for frittatas are ground beef or breakfast sausage. You could also add the bacon into the mixture before cooking.

 

 

Deconstructed Salads

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Variety is the spice of life.  I am not one of those people that can eat the same thing all the time. We are eating a lot of salad lately and for some reason it's hard to think "outside the bowl". I came across these and I think they are easy winners. These salads are plays on things most people already love- Guacamole and Pico De Gallo.  They look yummy to me!

 

Alfrescoeating 201

Deconstructed Guacamole Salad

Or, how about turning Pico De Gallo into a salad?  All you have to do is cute the pieces bigger than you would for salsa! 

Jumbo Pico

 

Paleo Dinner- Lemon Artichoke Chicken With Roasted Green Beans & Tomatoes

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Chicken artichoke blog

Image from Practical Paleo

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons grass fed butter
  • 1 onion sliced thinly
  • 1 bag of frozen artichoke hearts or buy canned it doesn't really matter. 
  • 1/4 cup of capers drained
  • Juice of two lemons
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs (I get mine in a bag from Trader Joes). Really use any chicken you have it's fine.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a a large, oven-safe skillet over medium heat, melt  2 Tablespoons of butter. Add the onion and saute’ until translucent. Add the artichoke hearts, capers and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Place the chicken in the skillet and top each with some of the lemon-mix that is already in the skillet and a little pat of butter on each piece of chicken (using the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter). Place the entire skillet in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or when the chicken reaches 165 degrees internal temperature.

I served this chicken with roasted green beans (organic frozen from Costco) and tomatoes.  Cooked in the oven at the same time as the chicken.  

Delicious and easy dinner!

Adapted from Practical Paleo


Mix It Up!

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Smoothie one


Here is another smoothie/juice "recipe" we have been really enjoying lately. It's nutrient dense and it's taste great! 

Basic Smoothie

Apple or Pears- I have apples already cut up in ziplocs in my freezer. This makes prep easier and I don't have to add ice which waters down the juice and keeps it from storing well.  

Frozen Berries

Greens- I've been adding handfuls of the 7 Superfoods salad mix from Costco. It contains broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, and chicory. 

Coconut Water

Add Ins- I do ALL of these

2 Medjool Dates (They provide just the right sweetness)

Ground Flax Seed

Chia Seeds

Aloe Vera Juice

Dark Cherry Juice

Smoothie refrig

This smoothie/juice stores very well in the refrigerator making it a great snack option.  I always hope to make extra, but there never seems to be very much leftover!


Paleo Macaroons

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Macaroons


Looking for a sweet treat this Valentines Day?  These are yummy!!

I needed a Paleo approved dessert for company and I found this recipe from here.  

We changed the recipe up a little bit and ours turned out very yummy. I didn't have mini chocolate chips so we decided to dip ours into melted chocolate.  Either way they would be delicious! Hope you like them!

Paleo Macaroons

Makes around 30 Macaroons depending on size.

2 Cups Coconut Flour

1 Cup Coconut Oil

1/2 Cup Raw Honey

1/2 Cup Maple Syrup

8 Eggs

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/4 tsp Salt

1 Cup Macadamia Nuts Pieces. I usually put mine in a ziplock bag and bang 'em about till they are the consistency I want.

1 Cup of Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

Optional: Dark Chocolate for melting. 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil. 


 Preheat oven to 375.

Crush Macadamia Nuts into pieces. Chunky is fine!

Combine raw honey, maple syrup, and coconut oil then melt in microwave,

Mix the coconut oil, raw honey, and maple syrup mixture with the eggs, vanilla extract, and sea salt.

Add in your coconut flour and stir in the macadamia nuts, and shredded coconut.

On parchment lined baking sheets use a cookie or ice cream scoop to form the macaroons. What you form them as is what they will look like when finished. They don't flatten out when baked. The mixture is quite dry. Expect it to crumble a bit.

Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown.

Once they are cooled you can dip them into melted chocolate and 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil. They are crumbly so you have to be gentle!

I put mine in the freezer to allow them to harden up.  


Adapted from Civilized Cave Man Cooking

Make Your Own Liquid Laundry Detergent

Monday, February 04, 2013

I know a lot of people make their own powdered laundry detergent on the cheap. But, I have never seen a "recipe" for liquid laundry detergent.  I guess your either a powder or liquid type person? I don't know what I am- WAIT I do- I like SIMPLE and this is insanely easy.

I have tested this out already. We went through our first gallon and I am pleasantly happy. Our clothes are coming clean and that is what matters.  I haven't noticed any difference from store bought detergent.  The initial supplies cost $12.  Based on the recipe I think I can make like 1,000 gallon bottles of this stuff.  

I think I can tie this back to my "7" experiment.  We are consuming/buying much less and this feels pretty "green".

Liquid Detergent

 

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

3 Tablespoons Borax

3 Tablespoons Washing Soda

2 Tablespoons Dawn Dish Soap.  (Dawn dish soap is a key ingredient as it is the best on grease!)

Optional: Add a few drops of essential oil.

Directions

Add these ingredients to a large measuring cup (at least 4 cups) or into something you can pour easily into your previously used and now empty gallon + laundry jug. 

Pour in 4 cups of boiling water.

Stir to combine until the ingredients are well dissolved. Let it cool.

Pour into your gallon + jug and fill with about 12 more cups of water.  You may have bubbles that overflow depending on the size of jug used.  No worries just do it in a sink. 

To Use:

The detergent is very watery.  I generally only do LARGE loads of laundry so I use about 1 cup of detergent.  Smaller loads would obviously use less, probably around 1/2 cup. 


For more information see this post

 

 

 

Chocolate Bites

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

These little sweet treats have gotten me through some major sugar cravings the past couple of weeks. Somedays, I just want a sweet ending to a meal or a little pick me up in the afternoon.  These babies have done the trick!

 

Chocolate

 

CHOCOLATE BITES
Makes approximately one dozen, six servings.

INGREDIENTS:
1-1/2 cups raw almonds (slivered or sliced almonds are fine to use if you happen to have some, like I did)
5 tablespoons raw cacao or carob powder
1/2 cup pitted dates, soaked in water if hard, then drained
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
Finely shredded coconut for rolling

PREPARATION:

1. Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired consistency is obtained. Go for a cookie-dough like texture with not a lot of large chunks.

2. Scoop out rounded spoonfuls with something like a mini ice cream scoop or a melon-baller. If it's not sticking together, add in a tablespoon or two of water.

3. Roll the dough between your palms to make a sphere. 

4. Optional: Roll that ball in the finely shredded coconut.

5. Place finished balls on a plate, cookie sheet, or glass storage container.

6. Let sit in freezer for an hour or so before eating.

7. Store in freezer or fridge.

Recipe courtesy of Barre 3

28 Days- Week 3 And A Recipe

Monday, January 28, 2013

Week three is in the books.  I think I can accurately say, week three has been my most successful and thus favorite week so far! I am in a good groove.  That's not to say there haven't been challenging moments, especially on the not spending front.  Here are a random list of things, that given any other month I wouldn't of hesitated too much to buy- lest you think this has been a cake walk.

  • Flowers for the urns by front door 
  • Cute polka dot shirt at Old Navy
  • Cute strip shirt at Old Navy
  • Cute… you get the idea
  • Lotion for my chicken skin arms. I am out
  • Waxing. Don't ask, but it's probably not what you're thinking!
  • Foundation
  • Book on Susanna Wesley

You get the dea.  This was just ONE week!  I don't have a spending problem. I have a buying problem. Ouch. That hurts to write. I like to buy things and I like to buy things in quantities of 2 or more!! I don't think buying a cute shirt is wrong (I can't wait for February), but the impulse to buy, buy, buy, is probably not Christ centered.  The purpose of my fast has been to open my eyes beyond myself and my immediate family/friends.

“People who are obsessed with God are known as givers, not takers.  Obsessed people genuinely think that others matter as much as they do, and they are particularly aware of those who are poor around the world. (James 2:14-26).” - Francis Chan.

“A person who is obsessed with Jesus is more concerned with his or her character than comfort.  Obsessed people know that true joy doesn’t depend on circumstances or environment; it is a gift that must be chosen and cultivated, a gift that ultimately comes from God (James 1:2-4).”- Francis Chan

Francis Chan has decided to take Jesus' command to "love your neighbor as yourself" literally.  He gives away 50 percent of all he takes in (at his church).  WOW! I am not there yet.  But, I can't get it out of my head.

There isn't a good transition from this! So here I go.  

PALEO.  I am not hardcore, but I really like it.  And, it's NOT that hard.  Seriously.  Paleo is just about eating the highest quality, closest to nature foods, you can find and saying "No" to processed. 

Here is an example of a super yummy recipe from the book Practical Paleo by Siane Sanfilippo

81bpHWEoHEL

Avo-Ziki Sauce (Use as a salad dressing on a Greek salad or as a dip with fresh veggies)

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c grated cucumber
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 clove grated garlic
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 t fresh dill, finely chopped (I left this out as I didn’t have any on hand)

Combine all ingredients by hand or with a small food processor or hand blender.

Week 4 is ramping up and the theme is "Taking It To The Next Level".  Yikes.  Maybe, the next level for me is doing this for another 28 days (minus the spending freeze part!)  We shall see…..

 

 

 

My Favorite Bar

Monday, January 21, 2013

I definetly have times in my day when I really, really, really, want something other than meat and vegetables!  Thank goodness for easy and clean recipes like this one.  This came to me via Barre 3.  

Barre3 energy bar2

Barre3 bar
These bars are so easy to make you can whip them up within minutes. They don’t need to bake and all you need is a glass dish and a food processor. Feel free to adapt the recipe to suit your needs. I personally don't add any dried fruit or chocolate.  I think they are tasty enough without them. Sample before pressing into the dish and adapt anything to taste.

Ingredients:
6 dates, pitted

2 TB coconut oil

1⁄4 cup sunflower butter or almond butter
1⁄4 cup goji berries (raisins work too) or omit all together
1⁄4 cup shredded coconut flakes
1⁄4 cup ground flax
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Couple pinches of sea salt (unless sunflower or almond butter is salted)
1 cup almonds (I used sliced almonds)

Handful of cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips (Can be omitted)

Preparation:
1 . Place the pitted dates and coconut oil in the base of your food processor. Add the seed or nut butter. Whirl these three ingredients until blended.

2. Add the goji berries or raisins, the coconut flakes, the ground flax, the cinnamon and the sea salt and whirl in the food processor again, until the mixture is well incorporated. It’s OK if its a bit more chunky at this point.

3. Add the almonds and the cacao nibs or chocolate chips and pulse your food processor until you have a chunky mass that looks like cookie dough.

4. Scoop dough-like mixture into a 8×8 glass container and press the mixture down with the back of a spoon.5. Store in the fridge for at least one hour to harden. Cut into bars to grab-and-go and store extras in the refrigerator.

 

 

No Sugar Chocolate Sauce

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chocolate sauce

One of my favorite afternoon treats is a Vanilla Latte.  I can almost curb my other sugar cravings, if I get a sweetened coffee a day.  That being said, it would be nice to drop the sugar part.  I saw a recipe on Pinterest and I tweaked it to make a chocolate sauce that is all natural and sugar free! I am hoping this will work in place of my normal vanilla syrup. 

No Sugar Chocolate or Carob Syrup

1 Cup of Organic Unsweetened Cocoa or Carob Powder.  Some people don't like Carob. I kinda like it- my kids aren't a huge fan.

1 Cup of Water 

2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract

1/4 teaspoon of Salt

Sweetner Options: Organic Grade B Maple Syrup, Raw Honey, Liquid Stevia, Powdered Stevia. 

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a sauce pan and then add in the sweetener.  Start with 1/4 cup of the maple syrup or honey. If using liquid Stevia a few drops goes a loooong way (5 drops). Taste and tweak it to your liking. I first made mine with Stevia and it's just ok.  It's not my favorite sweetener, but I was trying to be extra good- I ended up adding maple syrup. This might be something that takes a few tries to find out how you like it. Next time, I am skipping the Stevia.

Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently.

Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes, until it is thickened.

Remove from heat and let cool.

The original recipe says it will last a couple of weeks in the fridge!

 

Recipe adapted from here. 

Green Juice

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Green juice

I have become increasingly concerned about the lack of green veggies in my toddlers' diets.  As babies they gobbled up all sorts of weird pureed concoctions, but as they are becoming self feeders anything green has basically been refused.   So much of what is easy (fast) to feed a toddler is processed- sugar, wheat, corn, and chemicals.   My goal this year is to get more fresh green vegetables into my kids diets and less processed crap.

Here is one way we have been doing it.  Let me say, they LOVE it.  I have no problems getting them to drink this juice.  It tastes like limeade. Yum!

I don't have a Vitamix, but I do have an off brand high powered blender.  One of the keys to this juice is leaving the peel on, including the limes.  I am not sure if a regular blender could handle that, but it's worth trying! If necessary, just juice the limes or cut off the peels.

Green juice ingredients

Green Juice

1-2 Organic Limes quartered

1-2 Organic Apples quartered

2-3 Organic Celery Stalks cut into pieces

Handful of Organic Kale

1 Whole Avocado

1 Cup of Water, Coconut Water, or Juice

2 Cups of Ice

Blend all the above ingredients in the blender.  Add more coconut water if necessary to get the consistency you want.  I pour into glasses and then add a tablespoon of Chia seeds.  I am sure they could be blended in as well. 

If you really want to explore how these foods help detox the body check out this video.

 

 

December Homemade Gift Idea #3

Friday, December 14, 2012

After all that vinegar, it's time for something sweet.  This is another easy peasy cheapy homemade gifty.  

Homemade Gift Idea #3- White Chocolate Cranberry Almond BarkDSC 0133

Ingredients
  • 16 oz. White Chocolate
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Sea Salt (optional)
DSC 0131
Directions
Melt chocolate in a heat resistant bowl over a pan of simmering water. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and pour melted chocolate over the parchment paper and spread evenly. Sprinkle evenly with cranberries and almonds. I like to add a tiny sprinkling of sea salt. This is optional and totally up to your own taste. Allow to cool for two hours. When cool and hardened break into pieces.  Keep at room temperature.
Variations
Crushed candy cane topping
Use dark chocolate or milk chocolate instead of white
Dried cherries, blueberries, or bacon!

Breakfast

Sunday, October 07, 2012

I’ve made dinner meal plans for years.  Until recently, I’ve never had a “plan” for breakfast, mostly because it wasn’t an issue. However, now that I am feeding four hungry kids and trying to get school underway sooner rather than later, some sort of plan was necessary. Here’s what we have been following since the start of school last month.

Sunday

DSC_0795

Source

Dad’s home so it’s pancakes and waffles. We make extra and freeze them for later in the week.

Monday

pumpkin-spice-oatmeal-220-293

Crockpot Oatmeal- several varieties based on this recipe. I substitute Pumpkin, Apple, etc.

Basic Recipe is as follows:

Spray/grease your crockpot prior to adding ingredients.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree, or apple sauce, or apples slices, etc.
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice or cinnamon (Use what you have and be your own chef!)
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
Directions

Combine all ingredients in your crockpot before going to be at night. Cook on lowest setting. I think even the Warm setting would suffice in one of my crockpots that tends to run on the hotter side.

Tuesday

Scrambled Eggs and Toast

Wednesday

Waffles or Pancakes (previously frozen)

Thursday

So far my hardest day of the week.  This recipe looks really good and I am hoping to give it a try. I will probably substitute the cheese and pancetta for what I have on hand.  I wonder if it can be prepped the night before?

baked-egg-boat

Friday

Something easy. Instant Oatmeal, Peanut Butter Toast.

I am still open to your favorite breakfasts recipes, especially ones that can be prepped the night before, or can be made quickly. Please leave me a comment with your ideas!

Cilantro Dill Yogurt Dip

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

dip

Excuse the hasty photo. This is all that was left when I thought to blog about it!

Trader Joes sells this premade or you can improvise at home like I did. This yummy dip is good with fish or chicken.

We were eating naked halibut burgers and I wanted a little something to help jazz up a rather plain meal. The kids enjoyed it with their fish sticks. You could even use it as a salad dressing.

Cilantro Dill Yogurt Dip

2 Cloves of Garlic Finely Chopped

1 Cup Greek Yogurt

Handful Chopped Cilantro

Handful Chopped Dill

Salt & Pepper

Combine All Ingredients & Enjoy!

Grapefruit & Avocado Green Salad

Monday, May 28, 2012

I am kinda lovin’ this salad right now.  It’s easy. It’s yummy. Enough said.

INGREDIENTS

Lettuce- Any kind will work! I like to mix Romaine and Spring Mix or Arugula

1 Avocado diced

1 Grapefruit peeled and cut into segments

1∕4 cup Toasted Almond Slices – Find these @ Trader Joes

1/3 cup White Vinegar

1/4 or less cup Honey or Agave (depends on whether you’re feeling calorie conscience or not!)

2 teaspoons Yellow Mustard

1 teaspoon finely chopped Shallot or grated Onion

Dash salt

3/4 cup or less vegetable oil

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

DIRECTIONS

Combine the lettuce, avocado, grapefruit, almonds, and chives in a large salad bowl.

In a mason jar mix the remaining ingredients (Vinegar on down) and shake, shake, shake. 

Serve & Enjoy!

 

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan