Monday, March 16, 2015

Sweet Pickles

I created this recipe last summer.  If you love sweet pickles, you should try making your own, they are so much better!

1/2 lug or 10 pounds pickling cucumbers washed and sliced in desired size
6 c. water
1/2 c. pickling salt
2 c. onions
Place cucumbers and onions in non reactive bowl and pour salted water over to cover.  Let sit for 2 hours. I split the cucumbers up into three bowls.  After 2 hours, drain and rinse the pickles and onions well and return to bowl.

4 c. vinegar
4 c. sugar ( can do half brown sugar and half white)
1 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 1/2 turmeric ( I reduced the amount of this)
1/4 c. salt
1 tbl. allspice
2 tsp. cloves

Heat to a boil and pour hot over pickles in the bowls and allow to cool.  Once cool, pour into jars and refrigerate up to a year, no need to can them.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Pad Thai


This is one of our favorites!
For the sauce:
1/2 cup palm sugar or white sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce 
2 tablespoon tamarind
1/2 cup water
2 TBL. chili sauce
1 TBL. sesame oil
For the Noodles:
16 oz package of rice noodles linguine width
3 chicken thighs, diced
1/2 white onion sliced thin
3 cloves garlic minced
2 TBL. peanut oil
Veggies to serve with the noodles
2 green onions, diced
1 cup fresh bean sprouts 
1/4 c. roasted salted or unsalted peanuts, chopped
lime wedges
  1. Start by making the Pad Thai sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat on low until the palm sugar is dissolved.
  2. Once the sugar is dissolved, increase heat to a quick boil (a few seconds) and then remove from heat. The sauce is finished.
  3. Then you want to cook rice noodles according to the package. When done rinse under cold water and shake apart so they do not stick , add a little sesame oil to keep them from sticking together.
  4. Once you have that ready you can sweat out your onion and garlic, when they become fragrant add chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook until no longer pink.
  5. Add chicken mixture and sauce to noodles and stir to combine. 
  6. Serve with veggie plate for individuals to top with whatever they want.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Blueberry Muffin Larabar

These are ridiculous!

My Whole Food Life

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or but frozen might work too)
8 medjool dates (pits removed)
1 tsp ground vanilla beans
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp sea salt
In a food processor, combine the cashews, oats, ground vanilla beans and sea salt. Pulse for 1 minute.
  • Then add in the blueberries, dates and lemon zest and pulse for another minute or two until everything looks well combined.
Roll into balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Stick in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
These bites should last in the fridge for at least 4 days. You can freeze them for longer storage. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

This is my favorite new cookie and it's almost sugar free depending on if you use chocolate chips!

Chocolate Covered Katie

1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons raisins
salt to taste (I used a little over 1/4 tsp, but I like salty pb cookies!)
2 tablespoons roasted, unsalted peanuts
1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder (to taste)
optional: chocolate chips, either before or after blending (or both!)

Throw everything into a food processor and combine until very smooth. Roll into balls, cookies, or bars. The dough can be stored on the counter, in the fridge, or in the freezer.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Greek Yogurt Peanut Butter Dip

This is really freakin good!

From: Allez! Gourmet

1 1/4 cups fat free Greek yogurt
3 tbsp natural peanut or almond butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon (two large dashes)

Throw everything into a food processor and whir away! Or whisk well in a large bowl. Refrigerate and serve with sliced apples, bananas, celery, carrots, grapes, crackers, graham crackers, pretzels, etc. Or mainline it via spoon directly to mouth, as I did a few times last night. Best method for instant gratification. I mean, when you need protein (and peanut butter), you need protein (and peanut butter). Enjoy!
I've seen different ratio's for this recipe so play with it and see what you like!  Next time I'm going to try 1 part yogurt, 1 part peanut butter and 1/2 part honey.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Blueberry Bliss Bars

Yum, yum!

From: My whole food life

2 cups creamed coconut softened by placing bag in warm water (you can probably also use coconut butter)

2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen, thawed)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp ground vanilla beans  (or vanilla)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until the mixture is smooth. 
Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, leaving enough room for some paper to stick out the sides.
Dump the mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly. The mixture is very thick and you may need to wet a spatula to help spread it evenly.
Once the mixture is in the pan. Gently press down using the extra sides of parchment paper.
Stick the pan in the fridge to firm up. This should only take about 15-20 minutes.
Once the mixture is firm, lift the whole thing out by the edges of parchment paper.
I used a pizza cutter to cut mine into squares.
UPDATE: Some brands of creamed coconut will cause these to stay soft in the fridge. If you find that happens to you, just pop the bars in the freezer instead. You can also use coconut butter in place of creamed coconut
Please store these bars in the fridge. I keep mine in an airtight container with a piece of parchment between each bar. They should last at least a week in the fridge and you can also freeze them for longer storage. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bacon & Brie Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Caramelised Onions

1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I did 1 tbl. balsamic vinegar)
for the sandwich
bacon, cooked until crisp
brie cheese, sliced
4-6 slices bread of your choice
  1. To make the caramelised onions, heat a large frying pan over medium heat then sauté the onions in the olive oil with the salt until soft and golden. Add the sugar and vinegar and allow to caramelise. Set aside.
  2. To make the sandwich, butter the bread on both sides then top with the onions, brie cheese and bacon.
  3. Grill in a hot pan/sandwich press until golden brown and heated through.
  4. Serve immediately.

Monday, November 3, 2014

English Toffee

My mom and grandma would make this every holiday season.  This is one of my favorites!
From: Allrecipes
2 cups butter
                3 TBL. water

Slow Cooker Wild Rice Soup

A favorite fall soup!

From: Chef Mommy

4 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 package of Rice-a-Roni long grain and wild rice
1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2 cups half and half (I used fat-free half and half)
1 cup grated carrots (I diced mine)
1 cup diced celery
1 diced onion
1 tsp. Sage

Combine broth, water, carrots, celery, onion, sage, chicken and rice (along with seasoning packet) in a large slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. Take out chicken and shred with two forks and then add back into slow cooker. In a small bowl combine salt, pepper, and flour. In medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour mixture by tablespoon to form a roux. Whisk in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Stir cream mixture into slow cooker and then let cook on low for 15 more minutes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chocolate Chip Love Bites

These are fabulous!

From: Chocolate Covered Katie

1/2 cup rolled oats
scant 1/2 cup applesauce (can sub mashed banana)
1/4 cup roasted cashew butter (can sub another nut butter)  ( I used pnut butter)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/16 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
2 1/2 tbsp freeze-dried raspberries (can sub 1 tbsp dried fruit, or more chocolate chips)
1 TBL. honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mash the applesauce or banana with the nut butter, then add all other ingredients and mix until well-combined. Shape into cookies (I used a mini cookie scoop) and bake on a greased cookie sheet for around 14-16 minutes, then let cool 10 minutes before removing from sheet. This makes 18 mini cookies (as shown in the photos), or 10-12 bigger cookies.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Homemade Granola Cereal

6 c. oatmeal
3 c. rice krispies
2/3 c. honey
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

Bake granola on a baking sheet on 200 for 20 min. Stirring around on the pan half way through, this kills bacteria.  Then add to large bowl with krispies.  Melt butter and honey and pour over cereal mixture.  Store in airtight container.  May also add coconut or other additions.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

This is my mom's recipe that we grew up using.  Sometimes I get a craving for this frosting.  It's super yummy!

1/2 c. butter softened
9 TBL. cocoa
3 c. powdered sugar
1/2 c. sour cream

Mix all ingredients together with a hand mixer and use on brownies, cakes, cupcakes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Homemade Graham Crackers

Totally love these! 

From Our Best Bites

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (measured by lightly spooning the flour into the measuring cups and leveling with a flat surface), plus more for working
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar (you can use dark if you prefer a richer flavor)
2 tablespoons honey
Whisk together the flours, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, brown sugar, and honey. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture. Beat until combined.
Lightly flour a work surface (a silicone rolling mat or wax or parchment paper work great because you can transfer the dough directly into the fridge) and turn the dough onto the floured surface. Roll the dough out until it’s 1/8″ (you may need to work in 2 batches). Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350.  Cut the dough with your favorite cookie cutters or a fluted pastry wheel and place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate or freeze for another 10-15 minutes or until the dough is very firm. If desired, use a fork to prick the dough to ensure even baking. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until very lightly brown around the edges (it can be a little tricky to tell), being careful not to overbake. Makes about 2 dozen graham crackers, although it really varies on how thick your dough ends up and how large you cut the graham crackers.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

German Chocolate Fudge Bites

From: Chocolate Covered Katie

So, so yummy!  Just like a larabar!

I triple this recipe for my food processor and then I do a second tripled recipe and store all in a big Tupperware container in the freezer.

3/4 cup pitted dates
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/16 tsp salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder (or raw cacao powder)
2 tbsp shredded coconut
1/3 c. pecans
optional: 1/3 c. chocolate chips for tripled recipe


Blend all ingredients together very well in a food processor.
Add about 1/2 -1 TBSP water also to make the mix sticky enough to stay in a ball.  When done blending add chocolate chips and stir.
Squish the dough together. Roll into balls and freeze.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Pear Butter

If you've never had pear butter before, you need to stop whatever you are doing and make this today! 
3 lbs. or about 10 ripe pears, peeled, cored and diced
3 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. lemon juice or 1 lemon
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
pinch of groud nutmeg
1 tsp.  ground cloves
Stir first three ingredients together in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 50 minutes, covering so that the lid is slightly open, and stirring occasionally. Keep an eye on the mixture so that the bottom does not burn. Once it has reduced slightly and thickened, remove from heat and add spices then transfer to a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
Transfer to canning jars or a heat-proof container, seal, and refrigerate until ready to use. Keep for up to a week.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sky High Biscuits

The best biscuits ever!

From:  Taste of Home

2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 TBL. sugar
4 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 c. butter
1 cup milk
1 egg beaten

In a food processor mix the first six ingredients. Cut butter into chuncks and add to dry ingredients and mix until crumble it turns into a crumble. Combine egg and milk; add to crumb mixture just until moistened. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10-15 times. Roll out to 1-in. thickness; cut with a 2-1/2-in. biscuit cutter. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 1 dozen.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lemon Zucchini Bread

This is really, really yummy!

From Lil Luna

2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 TB lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk (I used lemon yogurt instead)
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup grated zucchini
Glaze ingredients:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 TB lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 TB milk (optional)
  1. Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Then add oil and sugar until well blended. Add lemon juice, buttermilk, lemon zest to this mixture and blend all together.
  3. Fold in zucchini until it is mixed well.
  4. Add dry mixture to the wet mixture and blend all together until well combined.
  5. Pour batter into greased 9x5 loaf pan.
  6. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.
  7. While still warm, make glaze and spoon over the bread. Let the glaze set up before cutting and serving.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cream Cheese Banana Bread with Sweet Cinnamon Topping

This Banana bread is sooo sooo yummy, I love the addition of the cinnamon in the batter.
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks, 3/4 cup) butter, softened to room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, light or regular, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Topping: I double the topping
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8 1/2- by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese and sugar until very light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and bananas.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, mash together the topping ingredients until combined and crumbly.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared loaf pans. Sprinkle with the topping.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the bread is nicely domed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and let rest in the pans for 5-10 minutes before turning out on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

I had this at a party during Christmas and it was so absolutely delicious!  Everybody was talking about it and wanting the recipe, so I guarantee if you take this somewhere it is going to be the hit of the party!

1  12 oz package fresh cranberries
1/4 C green onion, chopped
1/4 C cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded
1 1/4 C sugar
1/4 t cumin
2 T lemon juice
dash salt
2  8 oz packages cream cheese
Use your food processor or hand chop the cranberries. Add remaining ingredients except the cream cheese and stir together.  Refrigerate for 4 hours to allow flavors to meld and sugar to absorb.    When ready to serve, spread cream cheese onto a serving platter and add cranberry mixture on top.  Serve with wheat thins, ritz crackers or tortilla chips!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

I am in love with this soup.  It totally hits the spot on a cold fall day.  We eat it with homemade French peasant bread which makes it even more yummy!
1/2 cup butter
4 cloves minced garlic
1/3 cup flour
3 cups half and half
1Tbsp. chicken boullion or about 3 cubes 
2 (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes (I used 2 quart sized home canned tomatoes and pureed in the blender)
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp. dried basil about 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves and chop
1/2 tsp. pepper more if needed TT
1/2 tsp. salt more if needed TT

French Peasant Bread Recipe ...this is what we make with this soup.

Melt butter in saucepan. Once melted add garlic and sauté for a minute or two. Stir in flour and make a roux.
Once roux is formed, slowly pour in half and half, stirring as you pour. Stir consistently until it begins to thicken.
Stir in chicken base, tomato puree, sugar, basil, pepper and salt. Stir until heated through. If needed add milk to soup to thin it out to desired consistency.

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