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Showing posts from 2014

Coffee Cake - Worth the Effort

Coffee Cake has become my husband's #1 request for his birthday cake. He loves the taste, texture and how the cake looks like a Grand Canyon-type land form. I've posted this recipe before, but I'd like to post again with updated measurements and photos. I ended up making a double recipe, two 9X13 cakes, because I read the recipe wrong. Then, because I didn't have time to bake each cake individually, I put them side by side in the oven which caused them to get burned on the bottoms. The cake was still delicious, I just served the slices without the bottom and threw the burnt edges away.


Coffee Cake
Ingredients
FOR THE CAKE:
1/2 cup softened Smart Balance Light with Flax
1/4 cup Butter Flavored Shortening
2 cups (scant) Sugar
3 cups Flour, Sifted
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1-1/4 cup Almond/Coconut milk blend
3 whole Egg Whites, Beaten Until Stiff
_____
FOR THE TOPPING:
1/2 cup cold Smart Balance Light with Flax
1/4 cup Butter Flavored Shortening
3/4 cups Fl…

Broccoli Salad - A Favorite

My husband says this salad is the ONLY way to eat broccoli, a vegetable he could do without. I think it's very tastey as well. I put the original recipe on the blog a while back, but have some photos of it from dinner tonight (Tonight's salad had no bacon and sliced almonds instead of sunflower seeds... still very happy taste buds).

Broccoli Salad.
Ingredients 2-3 broccoli crowns, just the florets, finely chopped (5-6 cups) 10 bacon slices, crisp-cooked and crumbled 1/3 C red onion, diced 1/3 C sunflower seeds 1/3 C dried cranberries, chopped (golden raisins are equally good) 1/2 C mayonnaise 2 T apple cider vinegar 2 t sugar salt and pepper
Instructions In a salad bowl, mix mayo, vinegar, and sugar. Add broccoli, bacon, onion, seeds, and cranberries and stir until evenly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tofu and Cabbage Stir Fry

I wouldn't say that tofu is our family's favorite food, but I have concluded that it is relatively inexpensive and easy to prepare dishes that satisfy the family. I purchased Sprout's organic tofu to try it out for the first time and I am pleased and will likely prepare tofu in the future.
Our latest tofu dish turned out full of flavor. I got the recipe from HERE.
I made about twice as much and altered the recipe to fit what I had (dry ground ginger instead of fresh, half rice and half apple cider vinegar instead of sherry, olive oil instead of peanut oil, no chilies).


Dry about 14 ounces tofu, dice small and coat lightly with corn starch.  Fry in 1 Tbsp olive oil until evenly light brown. Add 1-2 Tbsp soy sauce and cook 1-2 minutes. Remove cooked tofu from pan and set aside. 
Saute on Med-High heat, adding in this order: 1 Tbsp olive oil 1/4 white onion 3-4 green onions (white parts) 2 Tbsp minced garlic 1-2 Tbsp ground ginger 1/4-1/2 head green shredded cabbage 2-3 shre…

Tofu?

I've never had a desire or an opportunity thrown at me to purchase or try tofu. In the recent months, my nutrition side of my brain has been active and I've been making more sound food choices at the grocery store. I would love to say that I've dived right in without any looking back at the processed sugars and "bad-list" foods available, but I do feel good about the steps I've taken and slowly my family will come along with me.
I have significantly reduced our intake of meat for two main reasons: to help me stay within my grocery budget and I don't feel like our bodies need to eat meat regularly. Meal planning is much more of a challenge (a fun one) without a meat as the center of each meal. I have been pleased with some of the meals I have created though and my joy is full when I hear my husband say something like, "I'm actually enjoying this!" Although I could do without the "actually" in there. 
Last week, I cooked with tofu f…

Whole Wheat Pancakes

I love wheat. I also love pancakes. This is a great new recipe that I altered to make dairy-free. I've made them many times now. I love them so much that this recipe justified going and buying an electric griddle to increase my pancake making efficiency (these photos were taken prior to that purchase). 
Here's the recipe:
Makes about 10 medium-size pancakes (just enough for our young family of four eaters):
In a small dish, combine and let sit for approx. 5 minutes: 2 cups milk (I use almond milk) 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
In a large bowl, whisk together: 2 eggs 4 Tbsp coconut oil approx 2 Tbsp raw honey
Add curdled milk mixture and mix.
Add and mix until moistened: 2 cups whole wheat flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt
Mixture will be thin but slightly lumpy. Oil your heated pan or griddle with coconut oil and cook about 2-5 minutes on each side, until perfectly golden and cooked through. 
Optional additions to batter: cinnamon, mashed bananas or othe…

Beautiful Wheat Bread

I've gotten much better at my whole wheat bread and I wanted to re-share THIS GREAT RECIPE. It gets easier and better with practice! You can use this recipe for 2 loaves of bread, rolls or cinnamon rolls.



Stove-Top Zucchini Quiche...Sure, call it an Omelet!

One night as I found myself brainstorming for dinner, I had a desire to make a quiche to use a bunch of fresh eggs from a neighbor and a zucchini that was needing to be eaten. I found THISrecipe for a quiche that is filled with cheesiness and I wanted to adapt it to our needs. I also really didn't want to turn on my oven and heat up my house and I didn't have an hour to prep and bake dinner, so I decided to use the recipe as a guide for the ingredients and then do it my own way. And it was a very delicious result. Here's how it went.
I first saute'd  some finely chopped red onion and minced garlic in a bit of olive oil and then added one raw zucchini (Italian squash) shredded with my Chef's Envy. (And a sprinkle of sea salt) I cooked it until it was mostly done and slightly browned.

I chopped up some raw spinach leaves and set them aside.

I beat some eggs with 1-2 Tablespoons of almond milk and then added a few squirts of honey dijon mustard, garlic sea salt and a…

New Favorite - Cooking with Eggplant

I was feeling like I was in a meal-time slump and wanted something different, so I gave myself a challenge to get one new vegetable at the store this week. I have never cooked eggplant before and don't know that I have even eaten it. This recipe turned out full of great flavors and will be made again!


Here's how I made it, with a few alterations to the original recipe.
Cut 1 large eggplant in half length-wise and remove center to leave two halves about 1/2 inch thick to the skin. Place two eggplant halves onto a baking dish or sheet.
Dice the removed center of eggplant.
Saute in 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil: 1/3 white onion (diced) 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
After a few minutes, add diced eggplant and saute for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add and saute for 5-10 minutes: 1/2 red bell pepper (diced) 1 tomato with juices (diced) Seasonings: parsley, garlic salt, pepper
Put about 1 cup of Italian style bread crumbs in a bow…

Discovery - Why I burn Cupcakes and Muffins!

I have for a long while wondered why I often burn cupcakes and muffins. I've blamed the cupcake liners, my oven, the recipe....It took dozens of wasted treats and today I finally realized what I was doing wrong!  Last week, I made perfect and delicious banana muffins. No burning.  Today, I made the exact same muffins in the same muffin tins and 14 minutes into the 25 minute baking time, the smell of smoke entered the family room where I was sitting.
What was the difference?  Last week when I made them, I baked each muffin tray separately. Today, I put them side by side (a perfect fit on my top oven rack) to save time as I have done in the past (probably every other time that I have burned them!). I'm not sure why I never made the connection before, but now I know that the two side by side do not allow the circulation needed in the oven for proper baking. I'm happy to avoid this scene in the future...


Muffin centers anyone?


New Recipes

In haven't had much time for blogging lately or even to take pictures of my delicious creations, but I wanted to share three new recipes that I have tried with happy success.
First, a Broccoli Salad.

Ingredients
2-3 broccoli crowns, just the florets, finely chopped (5-6 cups)
10 bacon slices, crisp-cooked and crumbled
1/3 C red onion, diced
1/3 C sunflower seeds
1/3 C dried cranberries, chopped (golden raisins are equally good)
1/2 C mayonnaise
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 t sugar
salt and pepper

Instructions
To a salad bowl, add broccoli, bacon, onion, seeds, and cranberries. In a small bowl, mix mayo, vinegar, and sugar. Pour dressing mixture over salad and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (at least one hour).

And an Apricot Crisp which served to use many canned apricots from last year's apricot season. I didn't have any walnuts, but any nuts or no nuts works great too.
Ingredients for Topping:
3/4 cup all purpos…