Chicken Pot Pie

Tuesday, December 24, 2013






I adapted this recipe from one that I found online. I can't find my original source anymore, but I think I've changed enough about it to make it my own. I like putting the filling in a 9x13 pan and putting little crusts on top...they are really cute made with my Pampered Chef biscuit cutter/presser (love that gadget for so many uses!)




Simple, yet thick and warm, this is perfect for warming up the family on a cold night.

Chicken Pot Pie

3 carrots, chopped
2 large stalks celery, chopped (include chopped leaves for even more flavor)
4 red potatoes, chopped (skin on or off, your preference)
5 c. chicken stock
4 T. butter
1 large onion, diced
4 T. flour
2 c. chopped chicken or turkey, cooked
1/4 c. milk
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
Pie crust: store bought, or make your own (I used this recipe)

Preheat oven to 425.

In a large pot, bring the stock to a boil and add the carrots, celery and potatoes. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Remove veggies with a slotted spoon and pour stock into a separate pan to save for later step.

Melt butter in the pot. Add onion and cook for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flour and stir constantly to make a roux. Cook for another five minutes, or until the roux begins to smell toasty and darken a little bit in color. Slowly stream in reserved stock while stirring to make the sauce (it will get nice and thick). Cook and stir for another three minutes then turn off heat and slowly stream in the milk. Stir in salt and pepper, then add cooked veggies and the chicken or turkey.

Pour pot pie filling into a large casserole that holds at least two quarts (or divide into individual pies if you want). Roll out the pie crust and cover the pie, pinching the edges closed and cutting slits on top to let out steam (if using a 9x13 pan with little crust circles, you won't have to worry about pinching or slitting anything ;) ).

Bake for 10 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for 25 more minutes.


Goes well in the summer, too, if you serve it with some refreshing watermelon! :)
My boys LOVE pot pie!

Moo Goo Gai Pan

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


We love our Chinese takeout, and I know full well that it is terrible for us! This recipe tastes so much like takeout, but it is definitely healthier. We used fresh peas from the garden, which was an added bonus! I'll be using this recipe a lot, using various veggies I have on hand.

*Could become a vegetarian or vegan meal if I took out the chicken. Use marinated tofu or tempeh if desired, or just extra veggies!

Moo Goo Gai Pan 
teamgulley via
www.lowfatlifestyle.com 

12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
(omit if going vegetarian)
1/2 cup chicken broth (
use veg. broth if going vegetarian)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or dry white wine
4 teaspoons cornstarch (I used arrowroot powder)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cooking oil
3 cloves 
garlic, minced
2 medium carrots or one cup, thinly bias sliced
8 ounces whole small fresh mushrooms or 3 cups sliced
2 cups fresh pea pods or one 6-ounce pkg. frozen & thawed
1/2 of an 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
(I used whole can)
3 cups hot cooked rice (used mix of barley and brown rice, yum!)

Cut chicken into thin bite-size strips. For sauce, in a small bowl stir together the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice wine or white wine, cornstarch, and sugar. Set aside.

Pour cooking oil into a wok or large skillet. (Add more oil as necessary during cooking.) Preheat over medium-high heat. Stir-fry garlic in hot oil for 15 seconds. Add carrots; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and, if using, fresh pea pods; stir-fry about 1 minute more or until carrots and pea pods are crisp-tender. Remove the vegetables from the wok.

Add the chicken to the hot wok. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until no pink remains. Push the chicken from the center of the wok. Stir sauce. Add the sauce to the center of the wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Return the cooked vegetables to the wok. Add water chestnuts and, if using, thawed pea pods. Stir all ingredients together to coat with sauce. Cook and stir about 1 minute more or until heated through. Serve immediately over hot cooked rice.
Per serving: 439 calories, 7g fat, 54mg cholesterol, 685mg sodium, 62g carbohydrate, 29g protein

Thai Turkey Tacos

Thursday, November 7, 2013



I was shocked when my pickiest child, Simon, ate two of these. He is a sworn onion and green pepper hater. Yet, when chopped up and cooked in this Asian-inspired taco filling, he didn't even seem to notice. Score! I modified the recipe a little bit from the original, which I found on babycenter. I always buy ground turkey in the 20 oz packages, so I cooked up a whole package, took half of the cooked turkey and put it in a container in the freezer for later, and then continued on with the scrumptious recipe! I cheated and used ground ginger and powdered garlic, but you could use a teaspoon or two of fresh grated ginger and 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic if you feel like taking the time.

Thai Turkey Tacos 
 em&baby#2

10 oz ground turkey
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 can chopped water chestnuts (optional; I made it without the first time and almost liked that better)
1/2 c. chopped red or green pepper
1/2 small onion, cut into thirds, then sliced
1 c. coleslaw mix with carrots (I used 1 c. thinly sliced green cabbage)
Cilantro for garnish

Thai Cooking Sauce
Combine:
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tablespoons of soy sauce
1 Tablespoons of lime juice (I didn't have a lime so this got omitted)
1 Tablespoon of honey
 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add turkey; cook, crumble and stir until meat is no longer pink.  Add ginger, garlic, onion, pepper, water chestnuts and slaw mix; stir-fry with meat for 2-3 minutes until vegetables are wilted. Add Thai cooking sauce, stirring constantly to blend all ingredients, about one minute. Serve on warm tortillas and garnish with cilantro. Can serve on lettuce wraps too. 

Tuna Melts

Saturday, November 2, 2013


I have made this recipe countless times! Everyone loves these and they are fantastic with fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes. So simple, and so good.


Tuna Melt

Source: Eatingwell.com
4 servings Active Time: 10 minutes | Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 5-ounce cans chunk light tuna (see Tip), drained
  • 1 medium shallot, minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Combine tuna, shallot, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parsley, salt, hot sauce and pepper in a medium bowl. Spread 1/4 cup of the tuna mixture on each slice of toast; top with tomato slices and 2 tablespoons cheese. Place sandwiches on a baking sheet and broil until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Nutrition

Per serving : 209 Calories; 7 g Fat; 4 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 29 mg Cholesterol; 17 g Carbohydrates; 18 g Protein; 3 g Fiber; 497 mg Sodium; 355 mg Potassium
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1/2 high-fat meat

Tips & Notes

  • Tip: Look for sustainable seafood, such as U.S.-caught chunk light tuna, preferably certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.

Apricot Lentil Soup

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I had been wanting to try this soup for months, and finally got dried apricots specifically for this recipe. I just happened to have some last minute fresh tomatoes from the garden which I peeled using the boiling-water-to-ice water method. I am absolutely in LOVE with this soup! The bits of apricot add little explosions of flavor. Just amazing!

*note: the quality of stock you use will impact the flavor of your soup. One of my batches turned out a little less flavorful because the veggie broth was a bit weak. Easy fix: Add a T. of miso paste to the pot of finished soup. Yum!

Apricot Lentil Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup dried apricots
1 1/2 cups red lentils
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 roma (plum) tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped (or canned)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Saute onion, garlic, and apricots in olive oil. Add lentils and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add tomatoes, cumin, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer 10 minutes more. Add lemon juice. Puree 1/2 of the soup in a blender, then return to the pot. Serves about seven.

Quinoa Veggie Burgers

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I made a batch of these to keep in the freezer for the nights the boys have hamburgers. I can just pull one out and heat it up, and eat it right along with the all my 'meatatarian' men. I fit in better that way. ;) They are also great for a grab and go lunch; warmed in the microwave when it's time to eat. I really love the texture and flavor of these tasty burgers!


A round cookie cutter is perfect for forming patties

Just scoop some of the mix in..

Smoosh it down really well with your finger tips (grease them up first if necessary)..

...and pull the cookie cutter away.

Perfectly shaped patties, ready to bake!


Quinoa Veggie Burgers

INGREDIENTS


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup red quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups finely chopped cremini or white button mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans, toasted and finely chopped (see Tip)
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 8 small whole-wheat burger buns, toasted if desired

PREPARATION


  1. Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  3. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, marjoram and oregano; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
  4. Beat egg in a medium bowl. Add the quinoa, mushroom mixture, cheese, pecans, oats and soy sauce; stir to combine. Scoop scant 1/2-cup portions of the mixture onto the baking sheet and shape into 8 patties, about 3 inches wide, leaving about 1 inch of space between each patty. (The mixture will be crumbly; patting it into burgers on the baking sheet makes it easier to work with. The burgers hold together very well once baked.)
  5. Bake the burgers until crispy, 28 to 30 minutes. Serve on buns with your favorite garnishes.

TIPS & NOTES


  • Make Ahead Tip: Individually wrap and freeze cooked burgers for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in a skillet with a little oil.
  • For the best flavor, toast nuts before adding to recipes. Spread whole nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F, stirring once, until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes. For chopped nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

NUTRITION


Per serving (with bun): 280 calories; 12 g fat ( 2 g sat , 4 g mono ); 29 mg cholesterol; 35 g carbohydrates;4 g added sugars; 11 g protein; 6 g fiber; 320 mg sodium; 353 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Magnesium (19% daily value), Calcium (16% dv), Zinc (15% dv).

Applesauce Pancakes

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


These definitely go best with syrup, but just a little will do! Perhaps instead of syrup, you could use put some more applesauce on the side. A great way to use some of that home-canned applesauce. :)

Applesauce Pancakes (adapted from Health.com)

1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1/8 t. salt
2 T. toasted wheat germ
1 c. buttermilk (I add 1 T. vinegar or lemon juice to a cup measure, then fill rest of way with milk)
1/4 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 T. honey
1 T. melted butter or coconut oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten


Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk and next 3 ingredients. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle, spreading to a 5-inch circle. Cook pancakes until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked; turn pancakes, and cook other side.




Apricot Baked Oatmeal

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I really liked this recipe; something a little different for breakfast. Not too sweet, and very filling. I've been eating Cranberry Pecan Granola for months now, and thought it might be time to switch things up a bit. ;) You could probably experiment with different dried fruits and nuts. I'll definitely be making it again!

Source: Nourishedkitchen.com

1 1/2 c. steel cut oats
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1 T. plain greek yogurt
dash of salt
3 eggs
1 c. milk (2 percent)
2 T. maple syrup
1/4 c. Craisins
1/4 c. chopped dried apricots
1 T. cinnamon
2 T. coconut oil


1. Pour the steel cut oats and nuts into a ceramic container or mixing bowl.

2. Add enough filtered water to completely submerge your oats and nuts. Add a dash of salt and a one tablespoon yogurt.

3. Allow the oats and nuts to soak, covered, overnight in a warm place in your kitchen – about eight to twelve hours.

4. After the mixture of oats and nuts has soaked overnight, dump them into a colander to drain and place the mixture back into the ceramic container or mixing bowl.

5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 8x8-inch baking pan with coconut oil or another wholesome fat of your choosing.

6. Meanwhile beat together eggs, milk, maple syrup (if you’re using it), until well-combined and frothy.

7. Pour the mixture of eggs, milk and maple syrup over the soaked oats and nuts, stirring well to combine into a porridge-like mixture.

8. Gently fold dried fruit, cinnamon and coconut oil into the porridge-like mixture.

9, Pour the mixture into a greased baking pan and smooth it out with a rubber spatula to ensure even baking and a good appearance.

10. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for forty to forty-five minutes or until the oatmeal achieves a pleasing golden-brown color on top, a knife inserted into its center comes out clean and free from liquid and the fragrance of baked oats, dried fruit and cinnamon perfumes your kitchen.

11. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting into 8 pieces. Can then be refrigerated and warmed up each morning. I like to break a piece up into a bowl, microwave for one minute, and top with almond milk and a bit more maple syrup. Let it get soaked and chewy in the milk, and enjoy!

Olive Garden Minestrone Soup

Friday, October 18, 2013


A good friend shared this 'copycat' recipe with me a few years ago. The ingredient list looks daunting, but keep in mind there are a lot of spices listed there too! The recipe calls for only 1/2 c. zucchini, but I always add a TON more, especially during the peak garden months. :) This is a wonderful, flavorful, and filling soup.

Ingredients
3 T. olive oil
1 c. minced white onion
1/2 c. chopped zucchini
1/2 c. frozen cut Italian green beans
1/4 c. minced celery (about half a stalk)
4 t. minced garlic (4 cloves)
4 cups vegetable broth (do not use chicken or beef...only vegetable)
2 (15 oz) cans red kidney beans, drained
2 (15 oz) cans small white or great northern beans, drained
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 c. carrot, julienned or shredded
2 T. minced fresh parsley (can sub dried)
1 1/2 t. dried oregano
1 1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/2 t. dried basil
1/4 t. dried thyme
3 c. hot water
4 c. fresh baby spinach
1/2 c. small shell pasta

Heat three T. olive oil over medium heat in large soup pot.

Saute onion, celery, garlic, green beans, and zucchini in the oil for 5 minutes or until onions begin to turn translucent.

Add vegetable broth to pot, plus drained tomatoes, beans, carrot, hot water, and spices.

Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add spinach leaves and pasta and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until desired consistency.

Crockpot Balsamic Chicken

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I have made this with both chicken breast (pictured above) and thighs, and I think I might prefer thighs. I never used to like dark meat; in fact it grossed me out when my mom would pick out all the dark meat from the thanksgiving turkey. I get it now. Rich, moist, and good.

Use thighs or breasts, but just TRY this recipe, it's so tasty!




Crockpot Balsamic Chicken Thighs (source: Sugarfreemom.com)
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried minced onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley
Directions
Combine the first five dry spices in a small bowl and spread over chicken on both sides. Set aside. Pour olive oil and garlic on the bottom of the crock pot. Place chicken on top. Pour balsamic vinegar over the chicken. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Sprinkle with fresh parsley on top to serve.
Nutrition Info
Servings: 8* Calories per serving: 116* Fat: 4g* Cholesterol: 57mg* Sodium: 209mg* Carbs: 4g* Fiber: 0g* Sugars: 3g* Protein: 14g* Points+: 3*

Frozen Pumpkin Dessert

Monday, September 30, 2013


One of the best things I have bought recently for the kitchen is a set of plain 6 oz ramekins. I often make desserts in them, adapting recipes for cheesecake or berry crisp or puddings to fit the ramekins, so each one of us has our own personal dessert. It satisfies our after-supper sweet tooth, and keeps us from going crazy...forced portion control! The measurements here fit perfectly into five 6 oz ramekins, just right for us.

I included the original recipe, too, because it tastes so delicious. The original calls for a crust, too. It would be great for a bigger family gathering, like the holidays. :)

Individual Frozen Pumpkin Dessert

1 pint vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, softened
1 c. canned pumpkin
1/4 c. sugar (next time I may just leave this out)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/2 c. chopped pecans (do not leave out! This MAKES the dessert!)

In large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices and nuts. Fold ice cream into pumpkin mixture. Divide among 5 ramekins or dessert dishes. Freeze until firm. Remove desserts from freezer 15-20 mins before serving.

Original Recipe (Found in this book)

Frozen Pumpkin Dessert

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream, softened
2 c. canned pumpkin
1 t. salt
1 t. ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 c. chopped pecans

crust:
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/4 c. sugar

Prepare graham cracker crust by mixing crust ingredients. Pat into 9x13 pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
In large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, salt, spices and nuts. Fold ice cream into pumpkin mixture. Pour pumpkin mixture into pan. Seal with foil and freeze until firm. Remove from freezer 15-20 minutes before serving.

Hummus Melts

Wednesday, September 4, 2013



When the kids are eating English Muffin pizzas, I grab a handful of spinach out of the freezer and make a couple of these for me. The hummus, spinach and mozarella flavors go together perfectly! I found the method on NeverHomeMaker. I never use measurements, because that would just complicate a really simple lunch (or snack).

english muffin
hummus (right now this recipe is my standby)
spinach (fresh or frozen)
garlic powder (fresh garlic if you aren't lazy)
mozzaralla cheese

Cut English muffin in half, and toast the halves in the toaster, or in the oven. Saute the spinach and garlic either in the microwave for 20-30 or in a skillet. Spread hummus on your english muffin halves, top with spinach and mozarella, and broil until bubbly. YUM!

Super Easy, Super Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

Monday, September 2, 2013

Shown here with pink frosting and a mulberry from our tree!

I have to admit, these are not the richest, most decadently flavored chocolate cupcakes I've ever had, but they are good. Good enough I ate two and wanted more, so there you go. Plus, a little frosting will dress it up just fine if needed. The reason I know I'll turn to this recipe time and again is not because they are the absolute fanciest, but for these really awesome reasons: 1. The kids love them, 2. The ingredients are very simple, 3. The recipe makes exactly 12 cupcakes, and 4. The cupcakes hold up extremely well with barely a crumb.


When the mood strikes us suddenly for a quick batch of cupcakes, this is where we will turn!

Note: I'm a former coffee addict, but gave it up recently. Since I don't have brewed coffee on hand now, I keep a box of instant coffee on hand. I like the ones that come in individual packets--perfect for recipes like this one.

Easy, moist (vegan) chocolate cupcakes
Via Simply Recipes
Makes 10 cupcakes (or 12 fairly small ones) - if you want to make a cake, double the recipe and cook in two 8-inch round cake pans for 35-40 minutes
Ingredients
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup organic cane sugar (I use vanilla sugar – it adds an extra yum factor)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup of medium strength brewed coffee 
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) olive oil
Unbleached cupcake liners (I prefer to use unbleached paper liners as I suspect some of the bleach must get transferred to the wet batter as it heats up.)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners (you can also grease the tin instead but the liners are definitely easier and will prevent anything from sticking.)
2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl until there are no visible clumps. If you've got particularly clumpy cocoa or sugar, you can always sift the dry ingredients into the bowl, too.
3. In a small to medium-sized bowl, mix together the coffee (or water plus coffee granules), vinegar, vanilla extract, and olive oil.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just to combine (mixture will be rather lumpy.) 
5. Ladle the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about two-thirds of the way full. Put in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely on a rack. Once cool, frost with the frosting of your choice and serve.

Best Ever Banana Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting


I make this cake pretty much once per year, on my mom's birthday. It's kind of become a tradition the past few years. She is a big fan of banana cake, and for years we both searched for something that could compare to her Aunt Myra's famous recipe (which she wouldn't share with anyone). After a lot of trials, I was proud to find the recipe for the best banana cake we'd ever eaten. The method is what seems to set this one apart...long baking at a low temperature and then placing the whole cake in the freezer for awhile. If you are a fan of banana cake, you simply must try this!



Original Recipe Here

Best Ever Banana Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting


Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 cups bananas, mashed, ripe
    • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
    • 3 cups flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3/4 cup butter, softened
    • 2 1/8 cups sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

        Frosting

        • 1/2 cup butter, softened
        • 1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
        • 1 teaspoon vanilla
        • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar

        Garnish

        • chopped walnuts

      Directions

      1. Preheat oven to 275°.
      2. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
      3. In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.
      4. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
      5. In a large bowl, cream 3/4 cup butter and 2 1/8 cups sugar until light and fluffy.
      6. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then stir in 2 tsp vanilla.
      7. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
      8. Stir in banana mixture.
      9. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
      10. Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes. This will make the cake very moist.
      11. For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
      12. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
      13. Add icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth.
      14. Spread on cooled cake.
      15. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over top of the frosting, if desired.

Healthier Sloppy Joes

Sunday, August 4, 2013



This had a really nice flavor, and no one complained about the mushrooms, green peppers and onions. They didn't even seem to notice! Everyone around here loves sloppy joes, so I thought it would be nice to have a recipe that includes some healthy veggies. 


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • ½ green pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped cremini mushrooms, (about 4 ounces)
  • 5 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce, such as Heinz--or barbeque sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 8 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted if desired
1. Crumble beef into a large nonstick skillet; cook over medium heat until it starts to sizzle, about 1 minute. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the vegetables are soft and the moisture has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes and flour; stir to combine. Stir in water, vinegar, chili sauce and ketchup and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and the onion is very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve warm on buns.


Banana Bread Pancakes

Saturday, August 3, 2013



Tada! Another pancake recipe! This one is quick, easy, and delicious. The pancakes turn out thin, so if you are looking for bananas AND fluff, you may want to check out the thicker Chunky Monkey pancakes. But these have a nice, sweet flavor that doesn't even need enhanced with syrup. Perfect to grab and eat on the way out the door!

Banana Bread Pancakes
OP MotoStar
makes 9-10 pancakes

2 ripe bananas
1 egg
1 tbs of granulated sugar
1/2 tbs of honey
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt
3/4 cup of AP flour
3/4 cup of skim milk
2 tbs of unsalted butter

Preheat a skillet over medium-low heat and grease with cooking spray or butter.

Peel bananas and mash them into a medium/large mixing bowl. Add egg, sugar, honey and vanilla. Mix until combined.

Melt butter.

Add your dry ingredients and melted butter into your banana mixture. Stir gently until combined and sticky. Slowly pour in the milk while stirring. Stir only until combined, you don't want to over mix the batter.

Drop batter into skillet. I use a ladle which is probably equal to about 1/4 cup.

Watch for the bubbles on the outer edge of the pancakes. When these begin to appear, gently check the bottom of the pancake for golden brown deliciousness. When you see the golden brown deliciousness, flip the pancakes. Cook for another couple of minutes and then plate.

Black Bean Pizza

Sunday, July 28, 2013



I am always looking for filling, tasty, meat free pizzas. This recipe is the BOMB! I had to add freshly chopped cilantro, it was just begging for it. I didn't have an avocado, but it was great without it!

Black Bean Pizza

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. thawed frozen corn kernels
4 plum tomatoes, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
½ c. chopped scallions
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. chili powder
1 avocado, diced into ¼ inch pieces
½ t. salt
¼ t. black pepper
16 oz pizza dough, regular or whole wheat (I used this recipe, it was perfect!)
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In medium bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, scallions, cumin, chili powder, avocado, salt and black pepper; set aside.
  3. Spread pizza dough out on baking pan or lightly floured surface if using preheated baking stone.
  4. Top with black bean mixture, sprinkle with cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

    Source HERE


    Make sure to rinse and drain your black beans very well.

    Mix everything up in a bowl

    Gotta get some cilantro ready-this pizza was made for it!

    Pre-Cilantro, and...

    Post-Cilantro! YUM!


    Leftover slices freeze very well. Just reheat a slice in the oven at 350 for 15 or so minutes when you get a hankering for some filling, delicious black bean pizza!

Red Beet Pancakes

Thursday, July 18, 2013



I have a big confession to make. Besides the obvious fact that I have tried yet another pancake recipe (soon I'll need to make a category here on the blog for just pancakes). No, my confession is more devious than that: No one who consumed these pancakes knew they contained beets.

Rylee, one of my older daycare girls, wandered up as I was mixing up the batter and I tried to shoo her away. I knew if she caught on to what that red puree was, it would be the end of the story. It would taint her, and anyone she tattled to, from even trying the pancakes once they were finished. I had no success shooing her away, but was pleasantly amused when she exclaimed "Oooh, this is so pretty!" as she started stirring the batter herself. "What's in this?" I pretended not to hear. She sniffed the batter, and I expected her to wrinkle her nose. Instead she cried "I know! It's mulberries! Guys, we are having mulberry pancakes!!!" We do have mulberries on the brain right now, as you can see here on our garden blog, so I understood why she connected that color to our precious berries. I tried very hard not to giggle. Inside a maniacal laugh echoed, as I made my decision not to come clean about the secret ingredient (which made the batter such a gorgeous pink).


I could not have anticipated a more receptive lunch crowd. There are 9 kids here today, and each of them ate at least one pancake. Rylee, seeking a mulberry flavor, said "Hmm, these just taste like normal pancakes." I'll take 'normal' over 'gross, what is in these?' I ate two, myself, and quite honestly I could taste the beets. But barely. The bottom line is, these pretty pink pancakes are just really, really delicious. I'm not going to give away the secret, ever!

*note: I used three small beets that I had roasted and skinned (once roasted, the skin comes off easily).

Red Beet Pancakes (Serves 6) Weelicious

1 Cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
3 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
2 Medium Beets, roasted & pureed (about 3/4 Cups)
1 1/4 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Large Egg
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
Accompaniments: honey, maple syrup, butter, raspberry sauce
1. Sift the first 5 ingredients into a bowl.
2. Place the rest of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine.
3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just combined (you don’t want to overstir the batter — some lumps are good).
4. Drop about 2 tbsp of the pancake mixture onto a greased griddle or pan over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
5. Serve with desired accompaniments.
* To freeze: Place the pancakes in labeled zipper bags and freeze for up to 3 months

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