Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Breakfast Cookies!!

Ok, so there are muffins, doughnuts, and all sorts of pastries loaded with sugar that we get to eat for breakfast. Why not cookies? I looked around for a recipe and found one here, but it didn’t look complete. With a few changes, they came out much better.

I’ve got 3 kids. Mornings are hectic at best. When I have to work that day too, it’s complete and total madness. This morning these cookies saved me. Easy to store, bite sized, and the perfect pairing for your morning cup of coffee or tea.

Yummy coconut breakfast cookies 

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) and 6 tbl butter
  • 3/4 cup rapadura sugar (brown sugar works)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoons organic vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground garam masala (can use ground cinnamon but the garam masala makes these amazing!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup craisons
  • 1/4 c unsweetened coconut flakes
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Once that is done, add in the eggs and vanilla.
  2. In another bowl combine the coconut flour, baking soda, garam marsala, and salt. Sift out any lumps. Add to the wet ingredients. Once incorporated, add in the oats, unsweetened coconut, and craisons.
  3. Roll the cookies into a ball, roughly a tablespoon in size, then smash them down so they look like a cookie. These cookies will not melt out like regular cookies because of the coconut flour. If you want balls, keep them that shape, if you want them more like a regular cookie, smash them.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on top. Let them rest on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to a rack to cool.

The fun thing about these is they aren’t overly sweet and are amazingly tasty. You can also play around with what you put in them. Next time I make these, I’ll be using 1/2cup craisons and 1/2 almonds for some crunch and to up the protein content even more. Hope you enjoy!

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Refrigerator Pickles

My kids love these and just can’t get enough. Being that in Texas we are full on in cucumber season, it’s nice. I can go to the market, pick up a couple cucumbers, make some brine, and in a day we’ve got pickles. I know all the ingredients in them, so no worries.

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Recipe:
1c filtered water
1c cider vinegar (white is fine)
1 tbl salt
1-2 garlic cloves.
I usually use 2-3 large cucumbers
Fresh dill

First, I get a seal-able jar…the one I’m using right now was from the last dill pickles we bought, but a regular canning jar, or anything with a lid would work. I then take 1-2 garlic cloves depending on how big they are (we love garlic, so I usually use 2 big ones), and I smash them with the side of a knife and put them in the jar. The, if using fresh dill, pop some of that in, as much as you like. I honestly couldn’t get a hold of any fresh, so I used dried dill. It doesn’t taste nearly as good, but it’s better than nothing. Now slice the cucumbers into little circles about 1/4 inch thick and put them in the jar. Once that’s all done, it’s time for the brine.
In a non reactive soup pan (stainless steal or glass) bring the water, vinegar, and salt to a boil. Most recipes call for pickling salt, but I only had kosher, so it took awhile longer for it to dissolve. Once the salt has dispersed into the liquid mixture, pour over the pickles in your jar, cover, and let sit until cool enough to go in the fridge. For BEST results, try not to touch them for over 24 hours. The longer they sit, the better they get.
These will be good for 2-3 weeks, and when you’re done, you can reboil the brine and use it again! The nice thing about his recipe, you don’t have to use cucumbers. We added onions in our last batch and my 3 year old can’t get enough of those! I’ve seen all sorts of things thrown in, including green tomatoes!

Easy Salsa

I make many different types of salsa. Seriously. Salsa is pretty much my favorite thing to eat for a snack. You’re eating tomatoes, and whatever else you’ve put in it, so that can’t be too bad for you, right? 😉 So here it goes. No real chopping involved, and it’s fairly quick.
You’ll need:
Blender/Food Processor (either will work, if your blender is weak, use a food processor instead)
Sheet pan lined with tinfoil or a silpat (cookie sheet)
a container for your salsa

Ingredients:
Tomatoes
Garlic
your choice of chili
Serrano, jalapeno, whatever you like for heat, make it as spicy or mild as you like
cilantro
salt
cumin
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As for the tomatoes, if you get them at a farmer’s market or your backyard you will get truly vine ripened tomatoes and your salsa will be amazing. If you buy them from the store, they usually put unripened tomatoes into a container and fill it up with gas to turn the tomatoes red. That’s why they last so darn long. They’re not ripe to begin with. The better quality tomato you use, the yummier this will be.

To start, open up your oven and move a rack to the top position for broiling. Close that sucker up and turn your oven onto broil. If you have a high/low set it to high.
Cut your tomatoes in half and place them cut side down on your sheet pan. In my oven the broiler is the weakest near the door, so I place my garlic still in the paper and my chilis (cut in half, cut side down) near the door. This will make for more even charring.
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Pop these guys in the oven and don’t walk away. Depending on your oven, your charring process can take 3-7 min. If you go over, you’ll end up with little briquettes and a mess to clean up. It’s quick, you can get everything out while they’re in the oven if you haven’t already
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When the look a little charred pull them out and let them cool for a minute. Then take the garlic out of the paper and toss it in your blender. Then, I just pick up my tinfoil carefully and pour everything else into my blender. Once that’s done, I throw in a pinch of salt and about 1/2 tsp of cumin. Thrown in some cilantro, I throw in about a handfull, then cover and blend. If your tomatoes are still hot, you will have some expansion in the volume, so put a dishtowel over the lip and hold onto the top. We like salsa in bowls, not as a decoration for the kitchen walls. 🙂
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Once you’ve got it nicely blended, taste it. See if you need more heat, or salt. Once you have it adjusted, pour into a tupperware, or serving bowl. You can let it cool in the fridge or eat it just like it is, warm, with anything you like to use salsa for.

The true beauty of this recipe is that it’s so simple that you can add tons of things to it to change it up. Say you like it a little more smokey? Add a couple chipotles in. You can add all sorts of goodies to make it how you like.
Possible additions:
chipotles
onion
avacado
lemon
lime
replace the cilantro with basil and you’ve got easy pasta sauce!

Perfect for tacos!!
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Simple is Wonderful

So yesterday was a great day at the market. Seeing all the new vendors at Round Rock Farm 2 Market was just great. In particular there was a new vendor that interested me. Lala’s Lemonade sounded just too perfect. It’s been hot here in Texas for awhile now. I can make my own lemonade, but if I can get it at the market, and it’s about as pure and natural as it comes, why not try? So I bought a half gallon and brought it home. Sorry kids, this is mommy’s treat this week. (I might share, still don’t think I want to!)

Last night was tiring. Brought home everything from the market, putting kids to work, getting homework done, cleaning, feeding, bed time, crazy baby….just tiring. Now, I did get that lemonade, and hubby did pick up some tequilla…..oh yum!

Drunk Lemonade

8oz glass
1 shot your choice of tequilla
the rest lemonade
(you can add a shot if you’re daring)

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The tequilla we used was 1800 Select Silver Tequilla. Now, I’ve had Patrón, and while it is very good, this stuff we got is equally as smooth and WAY cheaper and every bit as fabulous.

So, I don’t think you could get a more perfect summery drink. Lemonade + tequilla = love in a glass. Especially when paired with beef tamales from Pleasant Hills Farm. Life is good!

Homemade Granola Bars

My kids don’t really care all that much about what I’m cooking for them. The only thing they really care about is that it tastes good. The one thing they do care about: granola bars. They just can’t get enough of them. I used to go to the grocery store and buy them, but what do you find in them? Lots and lots of processed sugars. Now, one of my kids is extremely sensitive to sugar. When the poor kid eats processed sugar he just losses it and has trouble controlling himself. So what to do? Make my own!!

So I started searching for recipes and found a great one at Kitchen Stewardship that looked like it would work for us. This recipe is pretty simple compared to another I tried before.

Ingredients:

4 1/2 C Rolled Oats
1 cup whole wheat flour, or spelt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter, softened*
1 cup honey

You can add in up to 2 cups of additional ingredients to really make this recipe your own.
*If the butter’s straight out of the fridge, I just throw it in the kitchen-aide and beat the heck out of it for a bit, always seems to work for me 🙂 You could also substitute coconut oil for butter if you’re dealing with a milk allergy.

Instructions:

Start by greasing a 13 x 9 pan, and heating the oven up to 325.

In one bowl, add together all dry ingredients except the additional items you’ve chosen

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Then, in a mixing bowl, beat together butter, honey, and vanilla until thoroughly combined.

Once combined, add in the dry ingredients and beat till well incorporated.

Once that’s well blended, fold in the extras you’ve chosen.  (Honestly, I just threw all my extras in and mixed it with my Kitchen-aide, but I didn’t use anything that was large and chunky).

Now that everything’s mixed up, dump it in your greased pan, and press it down as best you can.  The more you manage to squish it down in the pan, the easier your life will be when you eventually try to cut the things. (I “cheated” and put a piece of wax paper over it, then used a flat pan to squish it down to make it consistent)

Time to throw it in the oven for 15-20 min.  I left mine in until the edges were golden brown.

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Now the worst part.  Letting it just sit there and cool.  Once you think it’s cool, then stick it in the fridge to cool some more.  I know some people that just throw it in the freezer, but I wanted to eat them faster than that.  🙂

Once they were completely cool, I took a knife and went around the outside of the pan to loosen up the edges.  I tried cutting them with a knife, but they started to come apart, so instead I used a bench scraper to cut the bars.  That actually worked much much better.

To store them once you’ve cut them, you can either just keep them in the pan if you think you’ll use them in a week or so, or you can wrap them up with a little plastic for individual bars, or jsut in an air tight container. Decker just throws them in his bag for a snack for school. For longer keeping you could put them in the freezer, but I really doubt they’d last that long.

Additional items you can put in the bars might be:

Dried fruit of any kind
Any type of nuts.
Chocolate chips
1/4 c coco powder
1/4 c nut butter in place of 1/2 c of butter
Lots of different ideas possible. For our batch we used 1/2 c dried mango, 1/2 c raisins, 1/2 c flax seeds, and 1/2 c sunflower seeds. The only thing I suggest is if you’re using fruit or nuts, so chop them up a little so that they incorporate throughout the bars. Say to about raisin size.

For me, this recipe ended up making 16 bars, but they were a little big, but hey, we like big granola bars! Best of all, Decker’s happy, but next time I think I might grind up some almonds and throw them on the top before I bake them for an extra crunch. Enjoy!

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Mmmmm Carrot Cake Muffins

Ok, I first made these for Jason on his birthday because he loves carrot cake. He ate one before I put the frosting on, and said to just keep them that way. I’ve been making this recipe every so often, and it’s pretty awesome to have something tasty and pretty good for you when you’re in a hurry out the door.

Carrot Cupcakes
2c Flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1c sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 soft banana
1 c oil (canola or other)
2 c grated carrots
1 c grated apple

Optional:
1/2 c walnuts
1 c raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix wet and dry separately. (I mash up the banana and mix it with the oil and eggs for better incorporation), then fold in grated carrot and apple, along with any extras you like.
Bake for 20 min, or until a toothpick comes out clean form the muffin.

The original recipe called for 4 eggs and no banana….I used the banana as a substitute for the egg cause I only had three eggs 🙂 I haven’t bothered to make it any other way because it tastes soo yummy. I always add the walnuts, myself, just too tasty not to.

Oh, and a hint for grating the apple….if you have an electric grater or something like it, the faster you grate it, the less apple juice you end up with and more grated apple you get. (I have a slicer/shredder on my kitchenade <3)
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Omg Yummy Chicken

So yesterday I totally forgot to take out food for dinner. Honestly didn’t think about it till 3. So…first thing I grabbed was frozen chicken breast (still on the bone). What the heck do I do with it? so I look in the fridge…I have an orange and a lemon….ok.
So I dumped 4 pieces of chicken breast in a plastic bag, added the juice of one lemon, and the juice of one orange. I then added minced garlic….a retarded amount of garlic…I think it ended up being 8 cloves lol. I threw in probably 1/2 tbl of oregano….man I wish I had fresh oregano. Then I dumped in a few glugs of olive oil….I think it was maybe 1/2 cup or so. After all that stuff was in there I closed the bag and mixed it all up.
I let it sit for about 30 mins, then freaked out cause it needed to get in the oven to start cooking. Probably would be better marinating for a few hours…but whatever. I popped them into a pan, poured the extra saucy stuff on top of the chicken, then added a little salt to the chicken, along with a really light dusting of cayenne cause I didn’t know how well the chicken would brown. I popped it into the oven (375) and used a thermometer put into the thickest part of the biggest piece of chicken, set to 165 degrees. I have a timer that the thermometer hooks up to and beeps when the meat hits the right temp. I swear the reason why I’m soo good at cooking meat in the oven is because of that stupid thermometer. 🙂
When it was done, I just pulled it out, and let it rest for bout 20 min before we ate it.
To go with it we had baked potatoes (go go microwave) and sauteed asparagus (olive oil + minced garlic and salt).
The kids loved it, Jason loved it, shoot I couldn’t even get enough. If you wanted to get really ambitious you could take the drippings from the chicken and make some gravy, but I think the drippings were just fine on my potato as they were.

Figured I’d share, Decker even said we could eat it three times a week and he’d be happy. Can’t get a better review than that!