Category Archives: yum-yum

Orange Ginger Splashed Smoothie

Want more energy? Want to feel good? Want to make your skin glow with goodness? Inspired by Laura at abeautifulplate.com, I jumped at the chance to blend me some orange ginger-splashed magic just in time for love day.DSC_0008 Start with juicy orangesDSC_0227 A beautiful yellow beet (much sweeter and more mild than red)
DSC_0089-11 carrot plucked fresh from the garden…or the grocery store will do

IMG_58681 Braeburn apple – yum!

unnamed-1A hunk of ginger, 2 inches thick

unnamed

Orange Ginger Splashed Smoothie:

  •  2 navel oranges
  • 1 medium golden beet, peeled
  • 1 carrot, scrubbed
  • 1 Braeburn apple, cut
  • 2-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water + handful of ice

Blend it all together and have a gulp of goodness (you know I fancy the vitamin for its superior blending capacity.) Who needs caffeine when you could have a smoothie to get going?

This recipe was inspired by pressed juice, meaning all the juice was squeezed out of the fruit and vegetables. But I prefer smoothies for several reasons: smoothies keep you full longer, they contain more nutrients especially fiber, there’s less waste, and they are much less time consuming to make than juicing. In addition, because of the fiber (the bulk), smoothies don’t hit your bloodstream so hard and fast like juices do, which means you have longer-lasting and more steady energy.

Convinced? Give it a try!

On Facebook, a friend asked, “isn’t that a lot of ginger?” Yes, it is! There is definitely a “zing” to this, which I like, but I’ve also acquired it. Ginger is terrific for gut health which is why I eat/drink so much of it. If you’re not a ginger fan, try less of it.

Looking for more valentine treats? You might like:

Oreo Truffles with Strawberriesfruit-heart-300x300homemade dark chocolate

cream puffspuffpancakes-300x300old-fashioned sugar cookies

Happy weekend!

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My Bestest, Most Favoritest: Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

I’m quite particular about the sugar cookies I’ll eat. Most anything that comes in a box or tin? Pass.

I like to save my sugar cookie treats for the good stuff: soft and homemade. Offer me one of those and I might fight you for it. This gem of a recipe comes from my Aunt Naomi, from a small cookbook she compiled and entitled, “Good Food That Won’t Kill You.” Is that convincing or what?

Not too sweet, these sugar cookies are delicious even without the frosting. They’re perfection.

We make them once, maybe twice a year, at Christmas and Valentine’s.unnamed-2

unnamed-1Are you on our nice list? We might deliver!

DSC_0070unnamed-3 unnamed-5

DSC_0280Our decorating is top-notch, don’t you agree?

Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk

For the frosting:

  • Um, better Google that. I’m a Betty Crocker type of frosting girl 🙂

DIRECTIONS

  • In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Add shortening with a fork (or electric mixer) until crumbly.
  • In a small bowl, beat together eggs, vanilla, soda, and buttermilk.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until combined (I like to do this right in my stand mixer, being careful not to overmix).
  • Chill one hour for better rolling.
  • Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into shapes. Yield: about 4 dozen cookies.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Take out of oven before they brown.
  • When cool, frost, sprinkle, dunk, devour, deliver.

The end. Enjoy!

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A Fall Smoothie With Beautiful Beets

The true story is that I have only recently become enamored with beets. When I was little we were served them microwaved from a can, and I detested everything about them. They were right up there with canned peas. Blech. We’ve come a long way baby.DSC_0168 Now, our love affair is going strong. A great benefit to adding beets to your green smoothies (besides the nutrition!) is that it turns the smoothie a beautiful red, masking green things. Red is a much more palatable color to drink – who knows why? Beets are such a wonderful way to fool your children and other small creatures under your care.DSC_0227 I have recently discovered the gorgeous orange beets in the supermarket. I had to buy them on principle, alone! Why, I’m practically giddy every time I enter the produce aisle.DSC_0173 As I was trying to get a good photograph I looked outside at the fall leaves. Mother earth became the perfect backdrop for our fall smoothie. DSC_0167

A Fall Smoothie With Beautiful Beets

  • 1-2 Cups Water
  • 1 Red Beet, peeled, raw or cooked
  • 1 Orange Beet, peeled, raw or cooked
  • 1 Cup Frozen Spinach or Kale
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cut
  • 1 Cups Frozen Blueberries
  • 1 Avocado, skin off
  • 1 Carrot, scrubbed
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

Directions: Throw it in the blender and give it a whirl! For more smoothie recipes go HERE.

A concluding word: If you are new to smoothies, you’ll want to add more fruit than vegetables. If you stick with it, your palate will adjust and you won’t need so much fruit. For this smoothie you could use just one beet, rather than two. You could add a banana for taste and creamier texture. Chia seeds are a fantastic source of fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients. They will thicken your smoothie considerably, especially if you let it sit.

Sometimes I use leftover beets from this salad for the next day’s smoothie. I’m all about easy.

Seen this book? I want it. In fact, I wish I had written it.

Happy Weekend! Drink a smoothie. Feel like a champ.

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The Tasty Spinach & Tomato Frittata

Hakuna Frittata – what a wonderful phrase. It’s quiche without a crust and a new family favorite…(which is anything tasty that mama can whip up super-fast).DSC_0967 We discovered the frittata this summer. We’ve eaten it for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. We’ve tried many variations of cheeses, always coming back to swiss. The frittata is so tasty, it was gobbled up in mere seconds by the ravenous darlings.

And it’s so easy, I’m happy to keep making it – though even the ravenous darlings could handle making it themselves.DSC_0453  As the weather turns colder, we start craving warmer breakfasts. With little time, you’ll want something quick, tasty, and comforting: que the frittata! It’s also incredibly healthy. Yes, my friends, we are WINNING at life!DSC_1118 You’ll begin with some butter in a cast-iron pan (or oven-safe fry pan), chopped onions, and spinach (fresh or frozen both work well).DSC_1119 Add whisked eggs, milk, cut tomatoes, shredded Swiss, salt and pepper – and you’re in frittata business. Let it cook on the stovetop until almost set – about 5 minutes.IMG_1371 Finish off in the oven, set on broil. In about five minutes you’ll have a gorgeous egg dish with beautiful color. Don’t you love pretty food?DSC_0421 Let’s admire the frittata for a moment. DSC_0436 Very nice, very nice (and it happens to taste amazing!)

Spinach and Tomato Frittata:

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Butter

1/2 Small Onion, finely chopped

2 Cups Baby Spinach

5 Large Eggs

1/2 Cup Whole Milk

Salt and Pepper

1 Cup Shredded Swiss Cheese

1 Cup Chopped Tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to broil. In a medium bow, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Fold in cheese and tomatoes. Set aside.
  2. In a medium cast iron skillet (or oven-safe frying pan) over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach and cook until almost set, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and broil until golden brown on top, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Eat your hakuna frittata – and make sure you sing!

Happy Weekend!

You Might Also Like:

The Panini + Omelette: The Panomelette!

 

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The Delicious Blueberry Peach Smoothie

Hello friends! After an unexpected (and very fun) trip to San Diego (much to tell!) I’m back in blogging action with a seasonal, easy, and delicious smoothie for you. It might give you so much energy you’ll want to go climb a mountain. Or at least be able to think about what to make for dinner.DSC_0189Here she is, the Blueberry Peach Smoothie. What a natural beauty.

DSC_0118After seven years of barren bushes our blueberries are finally bursting. Remember: good things come to those who wait. I time our vacations around blueberry season. I’m only kindof kidding.

DSC_0183We’ve eaten so many blueberries, our whole family is practically one fat blueberry. So that’s how we’ll start our smoothie – put ’em in the blender – especially the droopy and less desirable ones.

DSC_0185Now let us turn our attention to the peach, also in season at the moment. Is this a dreamy life we live or what? It makes me almost forget New Hampshire winters. One year I canned them and we enjoyed peaches in the middle of February, making New Hampshire life bearable. Alas, I have not been so ambitious since.

DSC_0366Cut peaches up, using white or golden varieties. I’m particularly obsessed with the white peach at the moment. Peaches are perfect in the smoothie because I cannot eat them with the skin on – to me, taking a bite of fuzz is akin to nails sliding down a chalkboard. You with me? DSC_0040  But now, we need some protein and fat that won’t upset the peach and blueberry taste. I went for avocado. Don’t freak out, just do as I say. Avocados hardly have any taste in a smoothie except to make it creamy and delicious. How to get the avocado into the blender? Just squeeze it out – it’s so easy! You can add the pitt if you’re feeling super nutritious and your blender can handle it (but I’ve never added the avocado skins.)

DSC_0134We just need one more eensy-weensy vegetable. We have a lot of carrots at the moment.DSC_0185 How about this one???DSC_0230 We grew funky carrots, but any old ones will do. We wash, but don’t peel. Throw carrots into blender and you’ve got yourself a smoothie!

Blueberry Peach Smoothie

  • 1-2 Cups Water
  • 1-2 Cups Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 Peaches
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1-2 Carrots
  • 1 Cup Ice-Cubes (if you like it cold!)

That’s it. Drink up and enjoy!

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Luscious Lemon Crumb Bars

Let me introduce you to my new obsession: the luscious lemon bar.lemonbar1I’m obsessed with lemons in general these days: lemon lotion, lemon dish soap, lemon smoothies (gut health!), lemon lemon lemon. It was only natural that these luscious lemon crumb bars entered into my existence.

I’ve fiddled and fiddled with the recipe, from the marvelous Annies-Eats blog, trying to whittle down the sugar and butter and to also use coconut flour. Let me tell you, it took several tries and multiple taste tests (poor me!) but by golly, I think we got it.

Does this luscious dessert still have sugar and butter? Yes. You will have share with your family and friends and not eat the whole thing yourself. As tempting as it is. Like, really is.

lemons1 Start with lemons! 3-4 large, depending on size.DSC_0012 Zest, zest, zest. My zester is a cheese grater so my zest is a little large. I happen to like the little bits, but you could vitamix it or chop into smaller pieces if you prefer.DSC_0013 Add lemon zest to 3/4 cup sugar. DSC_0016 Mix togetherlemons Add 4 large eggs and 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice. Whisk!DSC_0019 Using your double boiler (I make due by putting one heat proof pot on top of another) heat until it becomes a thick lemon pudding. From there you’ll add butter and a mixer. DSC_0022Don’t forget to compost!

For the dough: DSC_0023 Sugar, baking powder, all-purpose flour, coconut flour, salt, butter, and egg.dough Roll 3/4 of the dough into a ball, then roll into a square (or skip this part and just press into pan.) DSC_0026 Line an 8 x 8 pan with foil and press the rolled dough into it. Pour lemon pudding onto it, and top with remaining dough mix.cooked1 Bake at 350, 35-40 minutes.cooked Let cool to room temperature, cover, place in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat, lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares.lemonbar2 So tart, so sweet, so buttery. So good.lemonbar3

Luscious Lemon Crumb Bars

Yield: 1 8×8 inch pan

INGREDIENTS

 Lemon cream filling: 

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3-4 large lemons)
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter

Dough:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour (don’t have any? use regular flour)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg

DIRECTIONS

  • To make lemon cream, combine sugar and lemon zest in a heatproof bowl.   Whisk in the eggs until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.  Whisk in the freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water to form a double boiler.  Let the mixture cook, stirring frequently, until the cream thickens (around 175-180˚ F on an instant read thermometer).  Remove the bowl from the heat and let cool to 140˚ F (about 10-15 minutes).  Once cooled, add butter and whip on medium speed with a hand mixer (or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment) until the mixture is thick and pale, about 3-4 minutes total.
  • Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with foil.  In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, baking powder, flour, and salt, and stir together with a fork.  Cut in the butter and egg with a pastry blender until the largest chunks are about pea-sized.  The mixture should be crumbly without much loose flour.
  • Spread three-fourths of the dough mixture in an even layer over the bottom of the prepared pan and press down firmly to form the bottom crust.  Pour the lemon cream filling over the crust.  Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the lemon cream.
  • Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned and the center is just set.  Let cool to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.  Slice and serve. Yum!

Slightly adapted from Annies-Eats, Creamy Lemon Crumb Bars

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Omelette + Panini = Panomelette!

This, my friends, is something you must try. When Lynne B. put this on my lap, it was almost too charming to eat! It looked like an omelette, but had the tell-tale signs of a panini grill. I thought it brilliant (and delicious!) Thus, the panomelette was born.1531495The finished panomelette is just so perty, no?

DSC_0005 How to make such a masterpiece? You’ll begin with the omelette basics: eggs, milk, and cheese. Aren’t you glad we have cows?DSC_0008 Bacon is always a nice touch. Aren’t you glad we have pigs? Omelettes are wonderfully diverse. My husband would add onions and peppers. My kids would pick them out. I’d like hash browns. You see, add anything you’d like.

DSC_0011 If I didn’t mention, you need a panini grill. Want to borrow? Make sure it’s nice and hot. Spray with something nicely organic and chemical-free like olive or coconut Oil. panomelette You’ll pour that omelette on the panini machine nice and slow. It will drip down into the gutter (probably gutter is a no-no word in the world of cooking enticements). Have a little bowl to catch eggies. You can pour it right back on the panini grill. Ta-da! Out of the gutter.panomelette2It only takes a moment to cook before you have a fabulous panomelette. Exciting, no?

Is this not exactly what you’d like to eat in bed this Sunday for Mother’s Day breakfast surprise? I have a feeling more women are reading this post. No matter – forward this post to the man! Subtle hints are highly underrated.

So, when the panomelette is done, cut with a pizza cutter. I did three strips.

1531497Then I rolled that panomelette up, sprinkled with cheese, and topped with tomatoes. And everyone ate it and cooed at its loveliness.

Omelette + Panini = the Scrumptious Panomelette.

For complete story details, including ingredients (uh, eggs, milk, cheese, and bacon), click here. (and then go make it 🙂

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Honey Whole Wheat Bread (delish!)

Here it is, my go-to homemade bread recipe passed down from the ancestors of old to me and now to you! Delicious, nutritious, easy to make, this bread winner is especially dreamy just out of the oven with a pat of melted butter…bread3The finished product may remind you of the good earth.

yeastYou’ll begin with hot water, honey or maple syrup, and a dab of shortening. (Brown sugar works well too, but we’re veering toward more natural products.) Next, using the same measuring cup used for the honey/maple syrup, you’ll add warm water and yeast. This way the yeast flirts with the sugar on the bottom of the measuring cup to make the magic happen.

risingAdd more water, a bit of salt, and white whole wheat flour and that’s it. The party has started.

bread2 The dough will rise twice for two super loaves. I like to bake bread on our baking stones, with a little corn meal laid down underneath. After the second coming rising, the dough looks like this beauty.

bread3 Bake at 400 for about 24-30 minutes. I mean, is that beauteous or what?

DSC_0041 If you prefer more traditional loaves, you can plunk dough in bread pans. Could even sprinkle some oatmeal on top. Let rise until double in size like so:DSC_0043We are now ready for the oven!

Time? Yes, homemade bread takes time. It requires a morning, afternoon, or evening at home so bread can rise. The anticipation is part of the joy of baking, adding one ingredient at a time, letting dough rise, the smell of flour and gluten rising in the air and then baked bread filling the kitchen while children jump at your feet (drooling. always drooling.)

bread6

 

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

1/2 cup hot water

1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup

3 tablespoons shortening

1/2 cup warm water

3 teaspoons yeast

1 1/2 cups warm water

2 teaspoon salt

6 cups whole wheat white flour (OR 3 cups white flour and 3 cups whole wheat white)

Directions:

1. Combine first three ingredients: 1/2 cup hot water, 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup, 3 tablespoons shortening. Mix until dissolved. (I use a kitchen aid mixer with dough attachment but this is optional – bread can be made completely by hand).

2. Combine *next two ingredients: 1/2 cup warm water and 3 teaspoons yeast. Let stand about 5-10 minutes until frothy/bubbly. *(Use the 1-cup measuring cup you used for the honey/maple so the yeast will rise in the water.)

3. Pour yeast mixture into mixer/bowl where the first three ingredients are waiting.

4. Add 1 1/2 cups warm water, 2 teaspoons salt, and 3 cups of the flour. Beat vigorously to make a sponge. Mix in remaining 3 cups flour (and 1/2 cup wheat germ or cracked wheat if you like). Knead or mix, adding more flour as needed. You want to be able to knead or mix until it no longer sticks to your hands.

5. Leave in mixer bowl and cover with a damp towel or saran wrap, preferably in a warm place. Let rise until double in bulk (45 min-1hour.) Punch down. Form into two loaves. Put on prepared pizza stones (sprinkled with corn meal) or in bread pans (with a non-stick spray). Let rise double in bulk again (30-45 min).

6. Bake on 400 for 24-30 minutes until the bread is toasty brown.

yumAnd then you may eat.

Happy Weekend, bread fans!

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Simple Homemade Tomato Soup

Yesterday morning we had another school delay, due to 3-5 inches of SNOW getting dumped on New Hampshire. These are the times that try the souls of men. And mothers. The kids need to be outside romping! Dear Mother Nature, it’s time to move on to a different season. How do we cope? We make the ultimate comfort food: soup.DSC_0059 I owe the deliciousness to Curt, my dear brother-in-law, who prepared this classic tomato soup one year ago when I was in Utah, preparing to run the Salt Lake City Marathon. They don’t eat much meat in their family due to my sister’s stomach issues.

My mouth dropped open as his children devoured this tomato soup, asked for more, and ate it as leftovers the next day. I mean, I had to elbow my way in for a slurp; a soup is filled with vegetables. And the kids were loving it! It’s filling, delicious, and gut-friendly (and believe me, before and after a marathon your gut needs friends).

IMG_6991Let me introduce you to the leek. I’d never cooked with leeks before. What a beautiful food.

garlicFresh garlic was a Christmas gift. Priceless.

leeks1 Leeks, celery, onion, garlic will be your base, sautéed in butter.

DSC_0065 Topped with fresh cilantro. Are your salivary glands working?

DSC_0068 No fresh tomatoes? No matter. Canned work well in the middle of winter.

DSC_0063 Light, fresh, and packed with whole foods, you’re going to make your body happy with this dish.

Easy Buttermilk Biscuits
Easy Buttermilk Biscuits There are times when I like chunks in my soup. Adding vegetables adds nutrition and substance. Using an immersion blender makes this soup is classically smooth – and the kids are much more likely to eat it.. Paired with the easy buttermilk drop biscuits, this is one beautiful night at home. Does nothing spell love for the man like warm soup on a cold night? DSC_0064Homemade Tomato Soup

Homemade Tomato Soup

2 Tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

2 Leeks, chopped

1 Onion

1 Stalk Celery, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 20 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 Cup Water

2 Cubes Chicken Boullion

1 32 ounce Plain Tomato Juice

1 dash Nutmeg

1 dash cayenne pepper (depending on spice factor

1 Tablespoon Honey

Cilantro

Directions:

1. Saute butter, garlic, leeks, onion, and celery until soft.

2. Add lemon juice, crushed tomatoes, water, bullion, and tomato juice.

3. Add dash of nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and honey.

4. Bring to simmer so all the ingredients can meld into deliciousness.

5. Use an immersion blender (love this) or blender to puree soup. Add cilantro as a tasty garnish if you like.

And that, my friends, is all there is to it. May you eat soup, live long, and prosper.

xo.

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Easy Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

This is the easiest made-from-scratch biscuit you’ll ever make. And it’s ever so tasty.

Biscuit history: I loved buying prepackaged biscuits from the freezer & grocery section (Pillsbury! Red Lobster!) but after perusing the ingredient list, reading too much Food Babe100Daysofrealfood, and not being able to identify what exactly I was eating, I shed a sad tear and left them biscuits in the freezer section…wo, was me.

I turned to homemade biscuits, like these Greek Yogurt Buttermilk Biscuits (tasty!) but due to time rolling dough, molding, rerolling, remolding, etc…biscuits rarely happened around these busy parts.

Until now.

Hark! The Easy Buttermilk Drop Biscuit saves the day! Straight from my favorite cooking magazine, Cook’s Illustrated, “Drop biscuits are the non-nonsense alternative to traditional rolled biscuits.” So there.

Yes, white flour is used, but these drops of goodness are a huge upgrade from the highly processed alternative. This biscuit features ingredients I can pronounce, real butter and real milk from real cows. Also, they are so delicious.

biscuit3 And easy, did I say EASY? Similar to the Bisquick drop biscuit, I’m partial to these.

biscuit1 A pad of warm butter or perhaps a swivel of your local honey?

biscuit2Light, fluffy, the perfect compliment to any meal, especially warm soups on these cold windy days. I’m hungry now. Excuse me, I need to go make some more biscuits…

Easy Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour*

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk and 1 tablespoon vinegar)**

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly***

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 475. Put 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 1 minute. Let cool.

2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and the 8 tablespoons cooled butter in medium bowl and stir until butter forms small clumps.

2. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. Using greased 1/4-cup dry measuring cup, scoop onto baking sheet.

3. Bake until tops are just golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Gobble!

compliments of Cook’s Illustrated

*Whole wheat white flour works well. Coconut flour does not; too crumbly with a flavor change.

**I rarely have buttermilk handy. I almost always substitute 1 cup milk and 1 tablespoon vinegar. It works perfectly. Lemon juice works but is more obvious. Yogurt not as successful.

***Make sure that butter is slightly cooled so you’ll get some butter clumps.

Happy baking!

 

 

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