Thursday, October 29, 2009

Easy Cheesy Zucchini

From "A Veggie Venture", another 'to try' recipe. I am trying to get in the habit of serving two veggie sides with each dinner, so we need some new ideas!

Easy Cheesy Zucchini aka: "Easy Peasy Cheesy Zoosy-keesy-neesy"

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 pound zucchini, ends trimmed, cut in half length-wise (unless baby zucchini) and then in half-inch thick half moons
2 tablespoons fresh basil or parsley, chopped
Kosher salt to taste
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons grated mozzarella or other melt-y cheese

In a large skillet with a cover, heat the oil til shimmery. Add the garlic and stir to coat with oil, then cook for a minute or two, just until garlic begins to turn golden in color. Add zucchini, stir several times to coat with oil and garlic. Cover and cook for four minutes, stirring once or twice. Uncover and let continue to cook til done (slightly crisp suits my taste). Stir in salt and parsley. TURN OFF THE HEAT. Sprinkle cheese over top, cover and let rest for 1 - 2 minutes til cheese is slightly melted. Serve immediately.

Alfredo Zucchini

I haven't made this yet, but plan to try it in next week's menu.

Alfredo Zucchini

2 medium zucchini, julienned, about 10 ounces trimmed
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 2 ounces
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet and add the zucchini and garlic. Cook just until it softens and becomes a little limp but not soggy. Add the parmesan cheese and parsley and toss to coat the zucchini. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tammy's No Bake Cheesecake

This is an excellent cheesecake, and the site where I saw it has direction to make a cherry topping, too. Go to Tammy's for the full recipe.

No-Bake Cheesecake

Crust ingredients:

2 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbsp sugar
2/3 cup butter, melted

Mix the ingredients in a 9x13 baking dish. Press firmly into the bottom of the dish.

For filling:

In a mixing bowl, combine till smooth:

16 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

In a chilled glass bowl, combine:

1 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar

and whip till stiff and fluffy.

Add the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture and beat till light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spoon the filling onto the prepared crust, spreading it evenly. Store in refrigerator.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Green To Go Smoothie

Many of you know of "Above Rubies" (, the wonderful free magazine about homemaking, parenting, and all those other interests that we all share. I got this recipe from there. We drink this (or another green variation) on a nearly daily basis, and have all learned to love it-even the one who hated it at first!!!

"Green To Go"

1 ripe banana

2 cups purified water

1 Tbsp. honey (raw and local is best)

2 Tbsp. flaxseed oil or coconut oil

a handful of ice

a blender full of greens

Blend in a good blender (I have a Blend-Tec) on high for 30 seconds, then max for 30 seconds, then high again for a few seconds until smooth.

When beginning this great drink, you can use fewer greens and a little more fruit. Add more veggies a little at a time as your family adjusts to the taste. We use whatever fruit is on hand, apples, pears, berries, etc. and whatever greens we have as well, romaine, spinach, red-leaf lettuce, etc. I like the organic salad greens mixture from Costco. I also add a Tbsp. or two of powdered spirulina when I have some.

Plum Muffins

Plum Muffins

Measure out 1 cup prunes. Put in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and allow to rehydrate for about 5 minutes. Remove from water, cool and chop.

Preheat oven to 350.

In mixer, combine:
1/3 cup oil
1 cup honey (I am out of honey, so I used can also use brown sugar)

Beat until fluffy.

Add in 2 eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition.

In a separate bowl, mix together:

2 1/2 cup freshly ground whole wheat flour (not pastry flour!)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt

Mix into oil, egg, sugar mixture just until moistened.
Add gently:
1 cup kefir (recipe called for buttermilk, but I always substitute kefir)
1 cup prunes (from the first step)
1/2 cup raisins

Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. These don't rise much, so fill your tins pretty full! Sprinkle tops with coarse or brown sugar if desired.

I made 20 mini-muffins (bake 15 minutes) and one dozen regular sized muffins.

They are very good! Try them and let me know what you think! I like to make minis for potluck and surprise everyone with the healthy ingredients! No one ever guesses that they are made from prunes!

Chili Con Elote

I love making this for dinner and everyone enjoys it! Some eat it as soup with crackers, some eat it drained and wrapped in a tortilla. Both soups and burritos receive a generous helping of shredded cheese (Jack and cheddar mixed together) topping!

Chili Con Elote

6 Tbsp red palm oil (use olive or canola if you haven't red palm oil, but red palm is wonderful tasting and very good for you!)

1 chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 or 2 green peppers, seeded and chopped (I used 1)

4 cups chicken stock or broth

2 cups chopped tomatoes

2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)

8 cups cooked pinto beans (begin with 4 c. dried) or use well-rinsed canned beans if you like.

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. salt

2 tsp. oregano

Saute onion and garlic in the oil. Add green pepper and saute 2-3 minutes more. Add chicken stock or broth, the tomatoes, and the corn. Mash two cups of the beans, then add them, the whole beans and the seasonings to the pot. Bring to a boil, then bring down to a simmer. Simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

Kefir Smoothie

Simple Kefir Smoothie

12 oz. frozen juice concentrate, any flavor (we love this with simple orange juice!)
4 cups kefir or raw milk
up to 1/2 cup sweetener (rapadura, etc.) to taste. (We don't find any needed with most juices. OJ needs about 1/2 cup)
2 cups water
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups ice cubes

Add to blender and blend 30 seconds until smooth. When you use OJ, this tastes just like an Orange Julius!

Soft Banana Cookies

Please make sure to use regular whole wheat flour, not pastry as I first wrote. Most of the time pastry flour is used for cookies, but not in this case!

Soft Banana Cookies

3/4 cup butter

1/2 cup raw sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup mashed banana

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

Opt. 1/4 cup chopped nuts

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, vanilla, and bananas. Stir in baking soda and flour. Drop by tablespoonful onto lightly oiled cookie sheet. Bake about 12 minutes at 350, just until edges are browning.

Though not the prettiest cookie, these are very tasty, even without a lot of spice!

Chicken Chimichangas

Chicken Chimichangas

1 pound pinto beans, cooked with salt, soaked overnight,and prepared earlier

Cooked chicken (enough to feed your family; I used two family packages of marked down "sell by today" chicken legs, boiled with some salt and pepper and a bay leaf or two for a couple of hours, then picked off the bone)

Chopped onion or green onions to taste (we used 1/2 an onion)

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed, to taste (we used 2 cloves)

Saute the above in oil until veggies are limp.


8 oz homecanned Salsa

1-2 tsp. oregano

1/4 -1/2 tsp. cumin

You could add olives, too, if you wish.

Grease a 9X13 (I used a 9X13 and a 10X15). Put a scoopful of the above mix into a flour tortilla, add a scoop of the beans, and a sprinkle of cheese. Wrap up, and place seam side down in the greased pan. Brush with melted butter and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Then broil for a few seconds to brown them up. Wonderful!

Mashed Potato Pie

Mashed Potato Pie for Many

A boatload of homemade mashed potatoes (extra makes potato pancakes in the morning!)

2 pounds hamburger, cooked and drained

1 1/2 lb. frozen corn

lots of shredded cheddar cheese (Tillamook is the best!)


Assemble like this: In two 9X13's layer mashed potatoes, meat, corn, gravy then cheese two times. Bake at 350 about 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and everything's hot!

Tarter Sauce

Tarter Sauce

2 cups homemade mayo
1 cup chopped dill pickle
2 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Mix well, adjust seasonings to taste. Pickle juice in teaspoonfuls may be carefully added if you like your sauce thinner.

1000 Island Dressing

1000 Island Dressing

Combine well and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving:

2 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp sweet relish
1 tsp finely minced onion
1/8 tsp salt
healthy dash of pepper
1/2 cup homemade mayo

Keeps 1 to 1 1/2 weeks in the fridge

Herbed Garlic Bread

Here's a super-easy garlic bread spread that saves having to purchase the pre-made margarine laden loaves from the store. I use this if I haven't time or desire to bake a loaf of home-made Italian bread. It's very easy and tasty, too! We usually double this for our family.

Herbed Garlic Bread Spread

Preheat oven to 400.

1/2 cup softened butter
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8-1/4 tsp garlic salt, to taste (I use 1/4 tsp)
1 loaf French bread

Combine the butter and spices together well. Split French bread loaf lengthwise and spread generously. Place on baking sheet and bake in oven until as crisp as desired, about 10 minutes. May be broiled for a minute if extra crispness is desired.

The Very Best Banana Bread

Here is my Lambies very favorite breakfast choice:

The Very Best Banana Bread

In your mixer bowl combine:
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup kefir (or buttermilk)
4 eggs
6 ripe to overripe bananas
3 cups sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Mix until smooth.

4 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix momentarily, just until combined.

Grease and flour three 1 to 1 1/2 pound loaf pans. Add batter to about 3/4 full. Sprinkle a generous layer of raw sugar on top. Bake at 325 for 50-60 minutes until they pass the toothpick test.

Cool, wrap and enjoy the next day.

Braided Garlic Bread

Braided Garlic Bread

Combine in your Bosch bowl:
1 1/2 cup very warm water
3 Tbsp dry milk powder
1 cup freshly milled whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour
2 Tbsp yeast
Mix until combined. Then add:
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp minced garlic
3 eggs
1/2 cup oil
Mix to combine, then add more unbleached flour until the sides of the bowl begin to come clean. Knead for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into half.

Shape each half into a rectangle about 15" x 9". Spread with softened butter and sprinkle generously with garlic salt parmesan cheeses and parsley. Roll up like a jelly roll Place on greased baking sheet. Cut each roll in half lengthwise and twist each slice over itself. Secure the ends with a little pinch. Sprinkle with more garlic salt.

Let rise 30 minutes then bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes. Serve with butter.

Apple Bread

Apple Bread
3/4 cup finely chopped, peeled apples
3/4 cups warm apple juice
1/4 cup applesauce
1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast

Add all ingredients to the bread machine and bake on basic setting.

Since I don't have a bread machine, I just adapted the recipe to my Bosch as follows:

Combine applesauce, juice, butter, brown sugar, yeast and the whole wheat flour in mixing bowl. Let sponge 10 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients, mix then use more or less bread flour to make a soft dough that sweeps the sides of the bowl clean. Let knead five minutes. Remove from bowl to an oiled surface; and divide into balls. Form into loaves and let rise in a warm place till double (30 minutes or so). Bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes.

We tripled this and I made the applesauce just before making the bread, since I didn't have any on hand. I used Granny Smith apples.

Momma's Quick and Healthy Rice Dinner

Momma’s Quick and Healthy Rice Dinner

Saute until softened in 1 Tbsp. Butter and 2 Tbsp. Red Palm Oil (or more):

1 chopped carrot

1 rib celery, minced

1 cup corn

¼ cup freshly minced onion

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small red bell pepper, chopped fine

small amount shredded cabbage

1 cup minced cooked chicken (optional)

3 cups brown rice

Add 6 cups of homemade chicken stock (or water and bouillion) and add to rice and veggies/meat.

Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 50-60 minutes.

Scramble 5 eggs and chop fine. Add to rice along with 2 Tbsp. of freshly minced parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

All of these veggies and spices can be adjusted to your family’s tastes. You could add any other veggies your family enjoys, or are sitting around in your fridge. This is perfect for using up leftovers. Since I began making this, I use more veges than written.

Homemade Taco Seasonings

Here's a couple of the seasoning mixes we enjoy.

Taco Seasoning

1/4 cup dried onion flakes (I used the blender and chopped these fine. No big bites of onion for me!)
4 tsp cornstarch
4 Tbsp. chili powder
3 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp beef bouillon
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

Mix well and store in an airtight container.

To use: Add 1/4 cup spice to 1 1/2 pound hamburger and 1/2 cup water or so. Mix well and cook until most of the water has evaporated. I add a little extra water when cooking beef for taco salad, leaving the meat saucy, so it covers the greens like a dressing. YUM! No more dry taco salad!


We use this version now. I measure this out into a quart jar. It has just enough room to shake the spices to blend them up, and I store it in there, too

1 cup dried onion flakes
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/4 cup red pepper flakes
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp dried oregano

Homemade Rice-a-Roni

In large pot combine:
1 tbsp red palm oil (or butter, if you haven't got this)

Add: 1 1/2 cup brown rice. Brown.

Add 6 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.

When the 25 minutes is almost up...

In a small pan, melt another tbsp of butter, or use red palm oil, and brown 1 1/2 cup fideo pasta. Add into the rice that is simmering and stir well, just this once! Put the lid back on and simmer another 25-30 minutes, until the rice is tender and all the broth is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Curried Chicken and Rice Soup

Curried Chicken and Rice Soup

2 large carrots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped, 3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 - 1 tsp curry powder
3 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
4 cups chicken broth
2-3 cup chicken, cooked
2 cup cooked long grain brown rice

In a large saucepan, saute vegetables in butter for two minutes. Whisk in flour, seasoned salt and curry until smooth. Gradually add the milk. Bring to a boil and stir two minutes. Gradually add chicken broth. Stir in chicken meat and rice. Return to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

The Best BBQ Sauce

I just love this sauce...You can make it then cook a pork roast in it, then pulled the pork and serve on sandwich buns. You can do the same with beef. Or you can just use it as a BBQ sauce. Versatile and easy. just what I like!

The Best BBQ Sauce

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until smooth and hot, about 10 minutes:

1/2 cup sugar
8 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp minced onion
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups ketchup
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup butter, cubed
6 Tbsp coconut aminos
4 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp prepared mustard

Greek Beans

Greek Beans

Put 5 cups dried white beans in a large pot. Cast iron is the best!
Cover with water.
3 carrots, chopped
4 celery sticks, chopped
4 tsp freshly chopped onion (or more)
1 Tbsp dried oregano

Bring to a boil, and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer until the beans are soft. This will take an hour or more.

When beans are soft and almost all of the water has been absorbed, stir in:
6 Tbsp red palm oil
3 tsp salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp paprika
and 1/2 tsp pepper

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Multi-Grain Bread

I found this recipe on a forum, and will be making it by hand. I'll experiment with the method and type it out when I am satisfied with the result.

Multi-Grain Bread

1/4 c steel cut oats
3 T medium grind cornmeal
2 T blackstrap molasses
3 T local honey
2 tsp salt
3 T unsalted butter
1 1/2 c boiling water
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 c unbleached white flour
1 c amaranth flour
1/4 c wheat germ
1/2 c brown rice flour
2 T powdered buttermilk
2 T flaxseed meal
1 T poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 T cider vinegar (any type of vinegar will work)

Place oats, cornmeal, molasses, honey, salt and butter in the pan of your bread machine. Pour boiling water over the mixture, stirring to prevent lumps. Let rest for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, blend listed dry ingredients, omitting yeast. Add vinegar to liquid in the bread machine pan and stir. Top with flour mixture. Make a small well in the center and add yeast. Place pan in your bread machine and bake on machine’s whole-wheat setting (DO NOT use rapid whole-wheat, or unsatisfactory rise will result!). Remove promptly from pan when completed.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Caramel Apple Jam

This is similar to another recipe I posted recently, but I think this one will be much better, since you don't have to use store-bought caramels. It is from my newly-discovered favorite blog, Chickens In The Road.

Caramel Apple Jam

6 cups cooked apple pulp
1 package fruit pectin
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Get your water boiling in your canning pot, rack tucked inside. Boil lids in another, smaller, pot, and remove to dry on a paper towel using tongs. While water is coming to a boil in your big pot with the rack, place prepared apple pulp in another large pot.

Add pectin and bring to a full, rolling boil. (Add 1/2 teaspoon butter to reduce foaming.)

Meanwhile, get your sugars measured and ready. As soon as apple pulp and pectin are at the boil, add sugars and the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon all at once.

Return to boil and keep at the full, rolling boil for one minute.

Remove from heat and ladle immediately into clean jars. Place lids on top, screw on bands, and lower onto rack in your pot of boiling water. Cover and boil 10 minutes. For me, this made 4 pints + 1 1/2 pint or 9 half-pints per batch.

Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread

Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread (three loaf recipe)

2 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2/3 cups honey
2 Tbsp yeast
2 tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 to 3 cups white flour

Combine the first four ingredients in the bowl of your mixer. Add the whole wheat flour and mix. Let sit for 5-10 minutes till foamy.

Add salt, oats and white flour. Mix until the dough scrapes the sides of the bowl clean, adding more flour as needed. Knead for four minutes.

Form into three loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Let rise till nearly doubled. Bake in
325 oven for 25-30 minutes. till done.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Apple Pie Filling

Apple Pie Filling

Yield: 7 quarts

4 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup cornstarch
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves (opt.)
1/4 tsp ground allspice (opt.)
2 teaspoons salt

10 cups water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
7 pounds apples

1. In a large pan, mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add salt and water and mix well. Bring to a boil and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and food coloring.
2. Sterilize canning jars, lids and rings by boiling them in a large pot of water.
3. Peel, core, and slice apples. Add some syrup, then pack the sliced apples, alternating layers, packing tightly, into hot canning jars, leaving a 1 inch headspace.
4. Gently remove air bubbles with a rubber spatula.
5. Put lids on and process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes.

Note: The USDA preferred method is to use ClearJel rather than cornstarch. You can find a great recipe with ClearJel here.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Beef Noodle Casserole

Beef Noodle Casserole

1 1/2 pounds hamburger, cooked, seasoned with pepper
1 1/2 pounds of egg noodles, or other shaped noodles, cooked and drained
a quadruple serving of Cream of... (made with red palm oil, if you can)
1 16 oz bag of frozen corn
8 oz (or more) shredded cheddar cheese (Tillamook brand, if possible!)

Mix the noodles, hamburger, Cream of, and corn well. Put into an ungreased 11 X 15 or 2 9 X 13's. Top generously with cheese. Bake at 350 for 10-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and as crisp as you like.

Garlic Parmesan Orzo

Garlic Parmesan Orzo

2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
3 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Begin cooking the orzo.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the garlic in the butter until tender. Add the drained, cooked orzo, the cheese, milk, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until heated through and the cheese is melted.

I prefer this made with rice rather than the orzo.

Cole Slaw #2

1 medium head cabbage, grated
1 medium onion, grated
1 small red bell pepper, grated

Pour 3/4 cup raw honey over the veggies.
In saucepan, combine and bring to a boil:
1 cup oil
1 cup white vinegar
1 Tbsp salt
Pour over the veggies.

After two days in the fridge, I drained the extra liquid off the coleslaw and stirred in 2 Tbsp. mayo, salt and pepper. The recipe did not call for this, but we thought it improved the flavor.

Cover and refrigerate for up to three weeks.

Granny's Stuffing

Granny's Stuffing

3/4 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup butter
1 tsp celery seed
2 tsp sage
2 tsp poultry seasoning
2 3/4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 beaten eggs
1 tsp ground thyme
2 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 8x8 pan of cornbread, crumbled
8 slices day of bread, cubed

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except cornbread and bread cubes.
Mix well. Add the breads, mix gently until covered, pat into a buttered 9x13 and bake at 325 for 1 hour, uncovered.

Pear Breakfast Drink

Pear Breakfast Drink
2 pears
1 apple
1 banana
1 carrot, chunked
2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup OJ
2 cups water
1 cup ice
a sprinkle of cinnamon
a squirt of flax seed oil or coconut oil(optional, but yummy)

Put all ingredients in your blender (I recommend getting a Blend-Tec or VitaMix), and blend until smooth. Serve.

Champion Energy Bars

Champion Energy Bars

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup soft wheat flour or white flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 tsp EACH baking soda and cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp grated orange peel
1 cup orange juice
1 cup dried figs (if available)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Combine in one bowl, the dry (first seven) ingredients. In smaller bowl, combine the wet (next six) ingredients. Add the liquids to the dry, just until smooth. Stir in the fruits and nuts. Spread in a greased 9x13 and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Cut into 24 bars.

Bran Flax Muffins

Bran Flax Muffins

Mix together:
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cup oat bran
1 1/2 cup flax seed meal (freshly ground, rancid flax here!)
2 cups brown sugar
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
4 tsp cinnamon

Stir in:
3 cups grated carrots
4 cups grated apples
3 cups raisins (or cranberries)

1 1/2 cup milk
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Fill greased muffin tins all the way up for big muffins, 2/3 for smaller muffins. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes.

This yielded 3 dozen large muffins and not one left over!

Delish Chicken Soup

Delish Chicken Soup
Combine and saute:

1 large carrot, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 cup butter

Add and bring to a boil, then simmer till warm and tender through out:

3 cups chicken broth
8 cups water
8 tsp. chicken bouillion
1/2 tsp pepper
1 chopped potato
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup chopped green beans
1 cup fideo pasta
3 chicken breasts cooked and cubed

Serve with rolls or breadsticks.

Tender Steak Marinade

Tender Steak Marinade
1/4 cup coconut aminos
2 Tbsp water
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp red palm oil or olive oil
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 freshly ground pepper

1 pound steak

Combine marinade ingredients well. Add steak and flip to coat entirely with marinade. I use a zippy bag. Let steak marinate overnight. Cook and prepare steak as desired.

We usually double or triple this for our family. Before adding the steak to the marinade, you can reserve some for basting during cooking, or for thickening for a dipping sauce.

Sweetened Condensed Milk

Sweetened Condensed Milk
3/4 cup powdered milk
3/4 cup sugar

Place in a blender and while blending, slowly add in:

1/2 cup hot water

Blend until smooth.

Yield is equal to one can of purchased (15 or 16 oz).

One Bowl Holiday Fudge

One Bowl Holiday Fudge
1 pound chocolate chips (that's 2 cups + 2/3 cup for all you bulk buyers!)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups nuts, if desired

Melt the chocolate in the milk. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Spread in a foil lined 8x8 and refrigerate until hard. Pop out of pan, peel off foil, and cut into squares.

Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins
2 1/2 cups flour (whole wheat pastry or white)
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated carrots
1 med. tart apple, peeled and chopped or grated
1 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup flaked coconut (we omit this)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (we omit this, too)

In a large bowl, combine first five ingredients
In another bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Stir in all desired fruit and nuts. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 20-24 minutes. Cool 5 minutes then remove to a wire cooling rack.

I double this for our family.

Albers Cornbread

Albers Cornbread
2 cups Albers yellow cornmeal (It really must be Albers.  I've made it with others and Albers is FAR superior.)
2 cups all purpose flour (You can use 1 white and 1 pastry wheat, if you wish)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2/3 cups oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 9x13.
Combine dry and wet ingredients well in separate bowls. Add wet to dry and mix just until blended. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.

For muffins you use can use paper liners or simply grease the tins, fill 2/3 full and bake for 15 minutes.

You may halve the recipe and use an 8x8.

Chili #1 and #2

Chili 1
Sort, rinse and soak in lots of water six cups of beans overnight. I use pinto, kidney, pink and navy. Then rinse, add new water and about 1 Tbsp. salt and bring to a boil and softly boil, covered, until tender.

If you forget to soak them, you can sort and rinse, then cover with a lot of water and bring to a boil for three or four hours, till they are tender.

Cook 1 1/2 lb hamburger seasoned with pepper, 4 Tbsp. chili powder,
2 cloves minced garlic and about 1/4 cup chopped onion. Drain only if REALLY greasy.

When beans are ready, drain and return to pot. Add the seasoned meat and 4 18 oz. cans of tomato sauce. You can add a can of diced tomatoes and a can of Mexican stewed tomatoes if you wish. My family doesn't like the chunks of tomato, so if I add these, I puree them in the Vitamix. Bring back to a boil and then cover, and lower heat to simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, while you are making cornbread. Serve topped with shredded cheese.

If you are short on time:

Chili 2
Cook 1 1/2 lbs hamburger with 4 Tbsp chili powder and, if you wish, garlic, onion, salt, pepper.

When cooked,
drain and rinse well, then add:

2 cans pinto beans
2 cans kidney beans
2 can white or pink beans
4 (15 oz) cans of tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes (optional)
1 can Mexican stewed tomatoes (optional)

Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for one hour. Serve with shredded cheese.

MultiGrain Bread

Multi Grain Bread
1 1/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup seven grain blend
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp EACH millet, amaranth, flax seeds, sesame seeds
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
2 Tbsp EACH oil and honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
2 1/2 to 3 cups whole wheat flour

I have a Bosch, so the method is easy!

Combine all the ingredients except the whole wheat flour. Let sponge for 15 minutes. Mix in the whole wheat flour as needed until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead for five minutes. Turn out onto an oiled surface and form into 2 loaves. Place in lightly oiled pans, and allow to rise until double. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until lightly browned and hollow sounding when thumped.

Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins
3 2/3 cups flour (I milled 1 1/2 cup of white pastry wheat, and used white for the remaining measure)
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp EACH baking soda and baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp salt

Combine in separate bowl:
7 mashed bananas
2 eggs (recipe calls for three, but I substituted 1 egg with 3 Tbsp water and 1 Tbsp freshly ground flax seeds, just for nutrition's sake)
1 cup melted butter (I used 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 applesauce)

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter till size of course crumbs.

Combine wets with drys and mix gently, just until moistened. Fill muffin cups (I don't do 2/3 full...we like big muffins!) Spoon some topping mix on top and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen

Layered Mint Fudge

Layered Mint Fudge

1 1/2 tsp butter, softened
2 cups chocolate chips
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup white chocolate chips
3 tsp peppermint extract
1-2 drops green food coloring (optional)

Line an 8x8 or 9x9 square pan with foil and butter. Melt chocolate chips in 1 cup sweetened milk. Cook and stir for 5-6 minutes, until smooth and silky. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Stir for 3 minutes. Pour 1/2 into lined pan. Refrigerate 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate in 1/4 cup milk in same manner. Add peppermint and food color. Spread over cooled layer of chocolate. Chill 10 more minutes. Reheat first pan of chocolate and then pour over green layer. Chill until firm. Cut into shapes and serve.

Super Sloppy Joes

Super Sloppy Joes

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 celery ribs minced
1/8 cup bell pepper (any color), minced

Cook until browned. Add:

2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce OR 1 sauce, 1 diced tomatoes
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 Tbsp coconut aminos
1 Tbsp gf steak sauce
1/4 tsp EACH dry mustard, paprika

Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until thick.
Serve on buns.

Another use for Flax

Did you know that you can use flax as an egg substitute? Just replace 1 egg in a recipe with 3 Tbsp ground flax seed and 3 Tbsp water. I do this in almost every multi-egg recipe I have!

Three tablespoons of ground flax (without the water) also replaces 1 Tbsp of oil.

Please do grind your flax fresh, as it rapidly goes rancid. Just throw it in your blender for a few seconds and whir!

Seasoned Salt

Seasoned Salt
6 Tbsp kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp EACH dried thyme, marjoram, garlic salt, celery salt
1/4 tsp EACH curry powder. onion powder
1/8 dill weed

Combine all seasonings in your blender and mix until powdered. Store in an airtight container.

Seasoned Potato Wedges

Seasoned Potato Wedges
1/2 or 1 large potato per person, depending on appetite
seasoned salt

Cut the potatoes into quarters lengthwise. Coat lightly with
mayo. Lay on a very lightly greased baking sheet. When
all potatoes are coated, sprinkle generously with seasoned
salt. Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes.

Bruchetta Chicken

Bruchetta Chicken
1 cup flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
8 chicken breasts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp melted butter
4 tomatoes. seeded and chopped
4 Tbsp dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1.2 tsp EACH salt and pepper

Dredge chicken in flour, then eggs. Place in a greased 9x13. Combine Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over the chicken. Cover loosely with foil. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes longer. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients. Spoon over chicken after the 5-10 minutes additional cooking. Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes to warm tomatoes.

Homemade Steak Sauce

Steak Sauce
1 Tbsp oil
4 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1 Tbsp lemon juice
garlic salt to taste
dash of sweet basil
a dash of oregano

Blend all together. Shake well before serving!

Jennifer's Orange Oat Muffins

My good friend Jennifer sent me this recipe a little while ago. I made it tonight for breakfast tomorrow. **Updated to add: I think I may throw a handful of cranberries or raisins in next time I prepare these. Or a dollop of orange marmalade in the center...Mhhmmm.

Orange Oat Muffins
Preheat oven to 350 then combine in a large bowl:
1 cup rolled oats
1 1/4 cup orange juice

Let sit for 15 minutes while combining:

2 cups oat bran
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup dry milk
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Add to the soaking oats:
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Add the wet ingredients to the dry.
Mix just until moistened.
Fill muffin cups quite full as they don't rise very much. Sprinkle with course sugar if desired.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Homemade Maple Syrup #1 and #2

Homemade Maple Syrup #1
Combine in saucepan and simmer 15 minutes:
4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups water

Remove from heat and stir in:
2 tsp maple extract

Homemade Syrup #2
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1 cup corn syrup (dark if you have it)
1/2 tsp maple extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Bring sugars, water and corn syrup to a boil, and then simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly, then stir in extracts.

Herb Roasted Crockpot Chicken

Herb Roasted Crockpot Chicken

Blend together:
4 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp EACH cayenne pepper, onion powder, thyme, and white pepper
1/2 garlic powder AND black pepper

Rub all over
1 roasting chicken

Refrigerate spiced chicken overnight. If you do not do this ahead of big deal. I didn't, and it tasted great!

In the morning, place chicken in crockpot with NO ADDITIONAL WATER. The chicken will make its own broth!

Cook on low for 4-8 hours until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees. I think it took about 6 hours for mine to be done.

OxiClean Substitute

OxiClean Substitute
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide

Combine. Let stained clothes soak for 20 minutes.
Launder as usual.

Homemade Fabric Softener

Fabric Softener
1 cup baking soda
6 cups distilled vinegar
8 cups water

Combine in a gallon container in the following manner:
Put the baking soda in first, then add 1 cup of water. Slowly add the vinegar. then slowly add the remaining water, swirling to combine. Swirl again before use.

Smelly Hands?

If you've been handling onions, garlic, or other smelly things, your hands can pick up the odor and keep reminding you of the fact for hours! What can you do about it?

If you have a stainless steel spoon, you can rub your hands all over it, under running water, and that will remove the smell.

You can also wet your hands with water, then get a palmful of baking soda or salt. Add enough water to make a paste, and rub your hands together like your washing them. The baking soda or salt will absorb the odor and exfoliate a bit, too!

I have heard that rinsing your hands with lemon juice after cutting garlic will remove the odor, but I haven't tried that one.

Homemade Caramel

*I haven't tried this one yet, but hope to soon!

Homemade Carmel
2 cups 1/2 and 1/2 (or 1 cup whole milk and 1 cup cream)
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup butter
4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cup corn syrup
4 tsp vanilla

Butter a large pot. Stir together butter, brown sugar, 1 cup of the half and half, and 1 cup of the whipping cream. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add in the remaining ingredients and cook and stir until the temp reaches 240. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour into the greased 9x13. Cool and cut into small squares.

Greek Herbed Chicken and Potatoes

Greek Herbed Chicken and Potatoes
8 medium potatoes, quartered
10 chicken thighs. skinned
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup chicken broth
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp EACH fresh oregano and basil
1 tsp EACH sea salt, celery salt, course ground pepper, onion powder
1 cup EACH fresh green beans, halved and carrots, chunked

Layer a small layer of potatoes, then chicken, then remaining potatoes,the vegetables, finally, the lemon juice, garlic, and seasonings. Add herbs on the top. Pour the chicken broth over it all. Cook on low for 10-12 hours or high for 5 hours.

Baked Navy Beans

Baked Navy Beans
1 pound dried navy beans
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped bacon
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp steak sauce
1 tsp dried mustard
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Soak beans overnight in a large amount of water. Then drain water and rinse beans. Cover with 8 cups of water and cook one hour. Set oven to 325. Add remaining ingredients, stir well, cover and move to oven. Bake two hours. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let stand 20 minutes after removing from oven for sauce to thicken.

Peppermint Patties

Peppermint Patties
1 pound powdered sugar
3 Tbsp softened butter

Combine well then add:
2 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup evaporated

Roll into 1" balls. Lay onto a waxed paper lined baking sheet. Chill for 20 minutes. Press flat with bottom of glass. Chill again for 30 minutes.

Melt together:
12 oz. chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. coconut oil or shortening

Dip patties in chocolate. Place back on the waxed paper. Freeze a short time. Keep refrigerated until serving.

Homemade Laundry Powder

Homemade Laundry Powder
Grate 1 bar of Fels Naptha Soap. That is about 2 cups powder. You may grind this fine in your blender, if you'd like.
Add 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup borax. Mix well. Use up to 2 Tbsp. in your front loading machine.

This recipe can be doubled or tripled, too.

Son of a Gun Stew

Son of a Gun Stew
2 lbs beef stew meat
6 chopped potatoes
1 (15 oz) can diced or stewed tomatoes
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup EACH celery, corn, peas
1/4 cup broccoli
3 qts. water
1/2 cup hulled barley (not pearled, please, see note below)
3 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
3 bay leaves
4 tsp fresh parsley, minced
1/4 tsp EACH dried basil and oregano
cornstarch or arrowroot powder to thicken

In a large dutch oven or pot, heat a small amount of olive oil. Add garlic and chopped meat and sear meat on all sides. Add onions, tomatoes, potatoes, barley, seasonings and water. Cook for 2 hours. Add remaining vegetables and cook 1 more hour, adding water if needed while cooking. Thicken with cornstarch.

To tell you the truth, I seared the meat, then threw everything in at once except the cornstarch and cooked it for a couple of hours, and it was done. This could easily be done in the crockpot, as well.

I was out of hulled barley, so I used brown rice instead. Pearl barley is to hulled barley as white flour is to wheat flour and iceburg lettuce is to romaine lettuce. Don't bother.

Basic Dry Cereal

Many folks are trying to get out of the cold, boxed cereal habit. I stopped serving it regularly a few years ago. But it IS so convenient! What's a busy mom to do?

Why, make this, of course!

Basic Dry Cereal

7 cups dry ingredients consisting of:
2-3 cups flaked oats, and your choice of any of these: wheat or oat bran, wheat germ, grits, cornmeal, kamut, spelt, triticale, or other grain, flaked or ground, nuts and seeds ie, peanuts, almonds, sunflower, flax, sesame, etc., spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.

1 cup of liquid ingredient(s): honey, maple syrup, molasses, oil, butter, peanut butter, milk, cream, or 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp brown sugar with enough water to make 1 cup total

Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl and mix well, if needed. Pour the wet ingredient over the dry and mix well. Spread on a large jelly roll pan and bake at 300 degrees for 30-45 minutes, stirring often. When done, add any desired fruit ie, raisins, snipped apricots, cranberries, etc.

1-2-3 Granola

Another easy breakfast option. I found this on on Recipezaar.

1-2-3 Granola
8 cups rolled oats
2 cups wheat germ
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup peanuts
1 1/2 cup honey
1 cup melted butter or oil
1 tsp vanilla

Mix dry ingredients well.
On the stove, combine wet ingredients and cook and stir over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour the wets over the drys and blend well. Bake on a jelly roll pan at 300 degrees for 30-45 minutes, stirring often.

You may add dried or snipped fruit after baking, if desired.

Muffin Topping Mix

Muffin Topping Mix
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
Combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter till size of course crumbs.

Store extra in the fridge for next time!

Beans and Bacon

Soak 2 pounds white beans overnight. Then drain, rinse, and cover again with 16 cups water. Begin bringing to a boil.

Cut one pound of bacon into chunks. Fry in a medium saucepan until done.

To the pot of beans, add:
the fried bacon
2 Tbsp chicken broth powder
1 large onion, finely minced
10 cloves of garlic, finely minced
8 stalks of celery with leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried rosemary, minced
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 2-3 hours, until beans are soft. Adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Enchilada Bites

Enchilada Bites
4 cups crumbled cornbread
a batch of enchilada sauce
1 tsp salt
3 pounds ground beef
1 cup Monterey Jack, shredded

Combine cornbread, 1 cup of the enchilada sauce, and the salt. Add the ground beef and mix well. Shape into meatballs. Place in a shallow baking pan and bake uncovered at 350 for 22 minutes. Move meatballs into crockpot and cover with remaining sauce . If serving at home, move to serving bowl rather than crockpot. Sprinkle liberally with cheese after serving on the plate.

These can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. Just take 1/2 hour to reheat in the oven at 350 and preheat the crock as well.

Tomato Basil Fetticini

Tomato Basil Fettuccine
16 oz. fettuccine
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp butter
2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cups evaporated milk
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
4 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

Cook the fettuccine according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute onion and red pepper flakes in butter until tender. Add the tomatoes and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat until most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat and let stand one minute. Whisk in evaporated milk. Drain cooked pasta and stir in basil, cheese, and tomato mixture. Toss well and serve hot.

Homemade Evaporated Milk

Homemade Evaporated Milk
2/3 cups dry milk powder
3/4 cups water

Mix well, use just like canned milk.

Orange Lemonade

Orange Lemonade
In your blender combine:

6 cups of water
3/4 cup sugar or honey
2 peeled oranges
2 peeled lemons

Whir for 30 seconds on 10, then on high for 30 more seconds.

If you want, add some ice for a colder, thicker smoothie.

Ranch Dressing

Ranch Dressing

1 ½ Cups Mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
½ Cup Sour Cream
¼ Cup heavy cream (from our raw milk)
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
½ - 1 tsp. Garlic powder
½ - 1 tsp. Dry dill weed
½ - 1 tsp. Black Pepper
½ - 1 tsp. Onion Powder
½ - 1 tsp. Salt (best is Celtic sea salt or real salt)

Dump all the ingredients in a blender and blend on medium to high speed for 1 ½ minutes or until the mixture looks runny. Taste test and sprinkle in more seasonings as you see fit. Bottle and enjoy. Mixture will thicken more as it stands.

Best Bean Blend

I love soups and stews and all winter foods! Here's a blend that you can mix in bulk and have on hand all year round! You can also can it using the method described here.

Best Bean Blend
Equal parts of these dried beans:
navy beans
great northern beans
pinto beans
red beans
yellow split peas
green split peas
black eyed peas
large lima beans
small lima beans
barley, hulled or pearled (hulled is much better!)

To use, soak overnight in water, then rinse and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for several hours until softened. Use in any soup recipe.

My Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting

My Favorite Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 pound powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
up to 3 Tbsp. cream or milk to thin, if needed

Blend softened cream cheese and butter in mixer. Beat in sugar, salt and vanilla. If needed, beat in tiny amounts of cream or milk to bring to spreading consistency.

The Pioneer Woman's Carrot Cake

This is from The Pioneer Woman. I use a different frosting, but the cake

Sigrid’s Carrot Cake

2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups grated carrots

Heat oven to 350. Mix sugar, oil, and eggs. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Add to first mixture and combine. Add carrots and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured (or Baker’s Joyed) pan (Bundt, sheet cake, 9 x 13 Pyrex) and bake until done, 25 to 50 minutes, depending on the pan you use. Cool completely.

1 stick (1/4 pound) regular butter, softened
1 package (8 ounce) cream cheese
1 pound powdered sugar
1 cup pecans, chopped finely
2 teaspoons vanilla

In large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese. Add sugar and vanilla and blend, then mix in the nuts. Spread on cooled carrot cake.

Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tomato, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional, I left it out)
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce(Tabasco is good, I used Tapatio)
1(8ounce)can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
6 eggs

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add in the onions and bell peppers. Saute until softened. Add the remaining ingredients except the eggs. Bring nearly to a boil, then cover and simmer 20 minutes. Crack eggs, one at a time into a cup and slip into the sauce. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Serve with warmed tortillas and shredded cheese.

I did double this for our family. Yummy!

Italian Salad Dressing

Italian Salad Dressing
3/4 c olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

Combine and shake well. Let sit at least a couple of hours to blend flavors.

Migas con Huevos

Migas Con Huevos
5 corn tortillas, torn or cut into small bits
10 eggs, lightly beaten
10 Tbsp (or more, to taste) tomato sauce or salsa
2 1/2 Tbsp minced onions
oil (red palm, if you have it)
1 cup shredded cheese

Begin frying tortilla bits in hot oil. Just before they are crispy, stir in onions. Cook and stir a few minutes, till onions are translucent. Drain excess oil. Add eggs, tomato sauce, cheese, and salt to taste.
Scramble eggs until done. Serve hot.

I've shared this on Cardamon's Pod for an Egg Recipe Linky. Head over there for more great egg recipes.

Everyday Bread with Variations

Everyday Bread
I have a Bosch, so the method would be different by hand. This recipe makes 6 8" loaves.

6 cups warm water
3 Tbsp SAF yeast
2/3 to 1 cup honey or brown sugar
2/3 to 1 cup oil
6 cups freshly ground wheat flour

Let sponge for 15-20 minutes.

2 Tbsp salt
Mix and add more flour, 1 cup at a time, up to six cups, until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead 7 minutes all together.

Turn out onto an oiled surface. Divide into 6 parts. Shape into loaves and put into lightly greased pans. Place in oven and let rise for about 20 minutes. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. I bake at 325 on the convection setting for 22 minutes.

I use this recipe to make bread, rolls (freeze right after shaping for homemade rolls anytime...defrost and rise (covered)for four hours, bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes) and cinnamon bread (brush dough with softened butter, spread with brown sugar and cinnamon, then shape into loaves and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. You can add raisins to it as well.

A Cheap Dinner

A Cheap Dinner

Soak 1 pound of lentils (and a handful or two of barley if you want) in water for a few hours.
Drain and put in a large pot with:
1 bay leaf
6 cups water or broth (I used homemade chicken broth)
2 tsp salt
Bring near a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes, stirring a few times.
Meanwhile, brown 1 or 1/2 pounds ground beef (or chicken, I guess)
Add to the simmering lentils along with:
2 cans of tomato sauce (I used diced tomatoes with the liquid and liked it)
4 stalks of celery, with leaves, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped (I used only about 1/4 of an onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I thought 3 would have been better)
1 Tbsp salt (yes, more, it won't kill you!)
1 tsp dried oregano

Bring back almost to a boil, then cover and simmer for one to one and a half hours, stirring frequently.

Baker's Dozen Breakfast Cookies

Baker's Dozen Breakfast Cookies:
Cream 1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
2 cups sugar (white or brown)

add 4 eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup milk

Combine separately
3 1/2 cups flour (freshly ground whole wheat, or white, or a blend)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups oats (rolled)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix very well. Spoon onto cookie sheet. These have more of a cake texture and will not spread out much during baking. I like to make them big, since they are breakfast cookies.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes, or until done.

Incredible Pound Cake

Incredible Pound Cake

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or almond, if desired)
6 eggs
3 cups flour

Blend together cream cheese and butter for 2 minutes.
Gradually add the sugar and beat for 5 full minutes.
Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
Gradually add the flour, mixing on low. Mix until blended, but do not overbeat.

Grease and coat with sugar a 10" tube pan.
Bake at 325 for 90 minutes. Cool about ten minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.

I've shared this on Cardamon's Pod for an Egg Recipe Linky. Head over there for more great egg recipes.

Chocolate Delight Smoothie

Chocolate Delight Smoothie
3 sweet bananas
2 cups kefir
2 cups water
4 Tbsp dutch cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup sugar (more or less to taste)
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Enjoy! This will make wonderful popsicles this summer!

How to Store Garlic

I've been very disappointed with the freshness of the garlic I've been buying. It seems to be sprouting in a matter of days! So I researched garlic and how to store it and found out this:

Never store the garlic in the fridge, as it causes quick sprouting and a bitter taste.

To store garlic longterm, divide the heads into cloves, leave the paper on, and freeze in a sealed baggie. Take out as needed! What could be easier than that? I bought a BIG bag of garlic at Costco this weekend and will be prepping it for the freezer today!

Frozen garlic is easily peeled, crushed and minced for cooking. Thawed garlic will not substitute for fresh, as is has a different texture after being frozen.

The Best Chocolate Muffins

The Best Chocolate Muffins
2 cups applesauce
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cup oat flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.
Combine wet ingredients,
Combine dry ingredients.
Then mix together just until moistened.
Bake 20-22 minutes.
Makes about 20 muffins. I'll probably double the recipe.

Quick Spaghetti for a Bunch

Quick Spaghetti For A Bunch
1.5 to 2 pounds of ground beef
1 pound of Italian sausage
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp, Italian seasoning
2 tsp EACH basil, chives
1 tsp EACH sage, oregano, thyme, rosemary, fennel
5 cups water
1 #10 can of tomato sauce
2 pounds (7 cups) salad macaroni

Cover the bottom of a large pan with olive oil. Add garlic and saut
lightly. Brown the meats with the garlic. When meat is done, add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer, stirring quite often, for 20-25 minutes, until pasta is done. Serve with green salad and garlic bread.

This makes enough for dinner with some left over for lunch the next day. It works just as well if you leave out the meat.

Speedy Skillet Spaghetti

Speedy Skillet Spaghetti
1 pound Italian sausage
1 pound ground beef
2 cups water
2 cans (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 tsp Italian allspice
1/2 tsp EACH oregano, basil, parsley
1/4 tsp thyme
sprinkle of onion and garlic powders
8 oz. pasta, broken into pieces

Brown meats, drain if needed. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 16-18 minutes, until pasta is done.

Lemon Garlic Chicken

This is a delicious meal that really tastes good. I am beginning to consider a lower-carb lifestyle and this is one meal we eat that will not need to be adapted. I'm including this in Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday Low-Carb Edition.

Lemon Garlic Chicken
1 whole chicken
3 small lemons
3 large cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp EACH oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme
2 tsp lemon juice

Slice lemons and garlic into slices. Lay 1/2 of the lemon slices and 2/3 of the garlic slices on the bottom of the crockpot or baking dish. Place remaining lemon and garlic under the chicken's skin. Season chicken with salt, pepper, herbs. Sprinkle chicken with lemon juice. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-55 minutes OR cook in crockpot on high for 4 to 4 1/2 hours. Remove chicken from pan and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove lemons and garlic from bottom of pan and thicken juices to serve over the chicken.

Strawberry Crepes

Strawberry Crepes

Make a batch of strawberry sauce using fresh berries.

Have a small bowl full of unsweetened sliced strawberries ready.

Prepare the crepes as follows:
In a large bowl combine:
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp sugar

Beat with whisk or beater until well blended. Heat a lightly greased 8" skillet. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into pan and cook until well set. Flip and cook just for a few seconds.

Slide crepe onto a plate. Spoon strawberry sauce onto crepe. Fold with a fork. Add more strawberry sauce to top of folded crepe. Spoon on sliced berries, top with whipped cream. Serve with a smile!

I doubled this recipe for our family and had enough to serve ten eager people two, and for some, three, each!

Homemade Berry Syrup

Homemade Berry Syrup

about 10 frozen strawberries
water to cover well
1/2 cup sugar or honey
2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder

Combine ingredients and bring to a soft boil. Boil until berries are softened. Mash with a potato masher until chunky. If desired, blend until smooth. Make sure to refrigerate leftovers.

Homemade Mayo

Homemade Mayo

2-4 egg yolks (I use farm fresh eggs from my local farmer)

½ tsp. mustard

1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice (of course fresh is optimal)

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. white wine vinegar

1 tsp. celtic sea salt

¾ c. oil

1. Combine everything EXCEPT the oil. I use a container just large enough for the stick blender to go into.
2. Mix with a stick blender until creamy.
3. While blending, add the oil in small increments and mix until it’s homogenized. My daughter holds the container in place while I pour oil with one hand and with the other I lift the blender up and down as it’s blending- the quick up and down motion helps the mixture to homogenize, and it will thicken right up. That’s it! This mayonnaise lasts about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Homemade Hamburger Helper

Boil 1 1/2 pounds of pasta (I used elbows) and:

1 pound of ground beef
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion (or 2 tsp. onion powder)
salt and pepper to taste

Stir in:
1 (15 oz) can of tomato sauce
1 (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 pound of frozen veggie of your choice (I used corn)
the cooked pasta

Simmer a few minutes, then stir in 4 oz of cream cheese.

When the cream cheese is melted, serve and top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Black-eyed Peas in Tomato Sauce

Black-eyed Peas in Tomato Sauce

-6 cloves garlic

1 yellow onion

-pinch saffron

-olive oil



-dash of chicken broth

-1/4 cup cream

-1 cup black eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed

-1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

-1/2 bunch kale

-parmesan cheese to taste

black pepper to taste

Soak the peas overnight and rinse. Boil in a pot of water (to make them less gas-inducing) until they’re soft with just a bit of bite to the texture. Remove from heat and water.

Chop the onions and garlic. In a large, heavy pan, saut√© onions in butter and olive oil until they’re clear and a little browned. Halfway through cooking, add a pinch of saffron, and a generous pinch of salt, and stir. The onions are properly salted when you can smell them cooking more intensely than you could without salt. Add the garlic and stir more. Add half the cream and let the onions absorb it, stirring as needed.

Pour in the drained black eyed peas and a dollop of chicken broth. Stir to coat the peas. Let it cook about two minutes. Add the tomato sauce and stir again, then cook covered for ten minutes.

Remove cover and add leaves of kale, chopped into large pieces. Turn heat to low. Add the rest of the cream, salt to taste, and serve with pepper and parmesan when it tastes just right to you.

Two Gallons of Great Granola

I adapted this recipe from one found here.

Two Gallons of Great Granola
30 cups of rolled oats
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
2 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 1/2 cup flax whole seeds
1/2 cup ground flax meal (just whir the flax in the blender)
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 cups of nuts (I used almonds and peanuts)

Combine and toast in a large pan at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir and return to oven for 15 more minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine:
2 cups butter
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 cups honey
1/4 cup vanilla

Heat and stir on low until sugars are all dissolved. Be very careful not to scorch the mixture! Be patient!

Drizzle sweetener over granola while mixing, until it covers all the dry ingredients. I did this in a four gallon food grade bucket and mixed with my *clean* hands while my daughter drizzled the liquid.

Return to the large pan and bake (in batches) at 350 for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Do not overbake!

Let cool completely and break into chunks or stir occasionally as it cools for loose granola.