Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cauliflower and/or Broccoli Soup

My sister Heather shared this yummy recipe with me and it has quickly become my favorite!

It is so good and so good for you. This tastes like a creamy soup but there are no dairy products in it! Therefore, less calories which is important if you are on your New Year's Diet like me!

Not Cream of Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup

1 onion-chopped

2 cloves garlic-minced

3 cups stock (veggie or chicken)

1 small head cauliflower or broccoli or a combination of the two (my personal favorite)- chopped

salt and pepper to taste

simmer all ingredients in a saucepan for 25 minutes

blend well in a blender. Return to saucepan to heat again if necessary. Top with cheese if you really want some dairy! I do!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Love Coconut and That's Okay!

This is a post from my awesome, healthy sister Heather:

I have been eating a lot of coconut products lately. A few months ago I gave up dairy in hopes that would help my baby's reflux issues. So coconut is a great alternative. Years ago when the "low fat" diet was the craze coconut got a bad rap and I know I for one stayed away from it. But coconut is actually really good for you. here is some info from greensmothie girl:

"Coconut oil is 64% medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which burn as energy quickly rather storing in the body as fat (especially belly fat) like the long-chains. MCFAs are quite rare in foods and have massive positive implications for your health, although the processed vegetable oil industry tried to malign the tropical oils years ago and many consumers have no idea what great nutrition they are missing out on. Coconut oil is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-parasite, and anti-fungal. It prevents heart disease, linked by recent research to lingering infections in the blood and tissues that coconut oil kills. It has been documented to inhibit carcinogenic agents that cause colon cancer and breast tumors in animals."

read more here:

So I have been baking with coconut oil, instead of butter:

Here is a simple cookie recipe that even my non-sugar eating husband will eat because they aren't too sweet:

1 cup oat flour ( blend regular oats in blender)
1 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 egg
chopped walnuts
mix all ingredients and bake at 350 F for 10 mins. or until lightly browned.

I have been making smoothies with coconut milk:

Here is an awesomely easy recipe:

2-3 cups coconut milk
4 frozen bananas
1 can frozen pineapple (pineapples in their own juice, I put the pineapple in a Tupperware and froze them the day before)
Unsweetened coconut flakes or powder
Blend the first three in the blender and pour into cups. Top with unsweetened coconut.

And I have ever once in a while been splurging on coconut ice cream, when I am feeling particularly deprived:

We have also made blueberry/banana coconut pancakes:

1 cup wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tblsp coconut shreds
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1 tblsp honey (optional)
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup almond or coconut milk
2 tblsp coconut oil
blueberries or sliced bananas

Mix wet ingredients in medium bowl. Mix dry ingredients in a larger bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix well until consistency is smooth.

Pour a scoop of batter (1/4 cup) onto preheated pan at medium heat. Sprinkle with blueberries or sliced bananas on top. Flip over when batter begins to bubble.

Sorry no pictures but these were awesome. We eat them for our traditional Sunday night breakfast with scrambled eggs and green smoothies. Yum!!

So don't worry. I now give you permission to love coconut again. Go get some virgin coconut oil and use it any time a recipe calls for butter. You can also use it for sautéing. I have even used it to "butter" the bread on grilled cheese sandwiches.-Heather

Monday, November 15, 2010

Healthy Family Challenge-Week Two

2. Cook one meal this week with wheat pasta.

Why? – If you haven’t heard, whole grains are much better for you. More fiber, more nutrients, don’t raise your blood sugar level, less likely to make you gain weight, etc… You also eat less because it fills you up faster.

How hard is this? Whole wheat pastas are super easy to find at the regular grocery store. They are a little more expensive but not outrageous. Look for it when it is on sale and stock up! There are several different brands and varieties.

I know that a lot of people are resistant to this change. I am not sure why. I have been using wheat pasta for everything from spaghetti to baked ziti to lasagne for most of my married life. My kids eat it. It tastes better. If you get used to eating wheat pasta, if you ever have occasion to eat regular pasta, you will realize how incredibly bland it is.

Trust me. This is an easy change to make. If you think your kids (or your husband) might throw a fit, cook it in a spaghetti pie or baked ziti recipe. They probably won't even notice. Then break the good news to them later.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Summary of Our Gardening Adventure

Last summer when we were planting our garden I promised that I would give updates about how the whole gardening thing was going.

Then reality hit.

Then I stopped blogging.

And there you go.....

Let me sum up.

The garden was pretty much a flop for a few reasons.

First of all, we planted it in the rockiest soil known to man. Okay, that might be a little bit of an overstatement but not much.

Secondly, we have this major ongoing project to get the irrigation water going in our yard. It is November and it is still not done. We were able to get irrigation water to the garden but the rest of our yard became home to thousands of weeds because we were not able to plant grass etc because of our never-ending project. This created a lot of extra work.

I started out the summer with great intentions. But then I found out after pulling my 10,000th weed that the pesky things were responsible for my severe case of asthma which was keeping me from being a mom, exercising, and functioning in general (such as walking across the room). So I had to quit working outside. My Mom took over with occasional help from my reluctant children.

Blah, blah, blah....

Long story short ( I did say this was a summary, right?) is that the only reason anything grew in our garden at all was because of my hardworking mom.

By some miracle we were able to grow many, many tomatoes. And with the help of an awesome neighbor, I was actually able to preserve a lot of them.

We also grew a lot of zucchini --not that that is at all impressive but we enjoyed eating it nonetheless. Especially the chocolate zucchini cake. Yum....

In addition to the tomatoes and zucchini we eeked out some cabbage, some onions, some yellow squash, and artichokes of all things.

-- and that was about it. I did get a handful of basil and cilantro before I managed to kill the plants.

But we were blessed by other people's efforts.

We were thankful to receive lots of potatoes, carrots, broccoli, and peppers from again, our awesome neighbors.

So how did my garden grow?


I tried. I pretty much failed.

But there is always next year!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Just an Idea

I always buy what I consider to be "good" flavored yoghurt for my kids to eat. I buy "all natural" and/or organic brands like Mountain High, Stoneyfield Farms, Cascade Fresh, Brown Cow, or Nancy's.

But lately I have been wondering about just feeding them good old plain yoghurt and adding my own flavors. I am thinking this could be more healthy and when I get around to actually making yoghurt in my yogurt maker, cheaper.

I always have plain yoghurt in the fridge because my husband likes to eat it in place of mayonnaise. I hate mayo so I use plain yoghurt in any recipe that calls for it or sour cream and I have even used it in place of buttermilk and cream cheese. Yoghurt is awesome!

So anyway, I did an experiment with my 4 year old. I gave her a cup of plain yoghurt and then mixed in about 1 Tablespoon of pure maple syrup-you know the kind that comes out of a tree?

She loved it. She loved it so much she ate 3 bowls in one sitting. Then her siblings joined in.

Maple syrup is expensive so I may have to use something else if I am going to save money on the deal because most of my kids went crazy over this.

You could use honey or agave to sweeten the yoghurt and of course, fruit.

Try it. You may like it.

*Apparently yoghurt made from whole milk is best for you. So if you want to be healthier than me do not buy "Low Fat" as pictured above. Also, look for brands that say they pasture feed their cows. That way you are getting a product from healthy animals who are eating the way they were created to eat and high in Omega-3's!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chicken Apple Pecan Salad

After watching Food, Inc. I may never eat chicken again-well at least until we start butchering our own. But you might like this recipe...

Seriously, it is yummy. Ellie made this up and called to tell me all about it. Lee and I ate this twice last week. Simple dishes like this are my favorite kinds of food to eat. The apples are the key ingredient in this dish.

Chicken Apple Pecan Salad

*Chicken breasts seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, & lemon juice, (and a dash of Kirkland's Signature No-Salt Seasoning if you have it-but it is good without it too.)

*Apple (we used Gala-the preferred apple at our house)


*Romaine Lettuce

* Parmesan Cheese

Combine all the ingredients and top with your choice of salad dressing. I personally do not like salad dressing and love this salad as is. My husband used Balsamic Vinegar dressing. Raspberry Vinigarette would also be a good choice.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Healthy Family Challenge-Week One (Take Two)

I like to use Costco's Kirkland Signature Sea Salt.

So when I started this blog a few months ago, my sister Heather had the idea to do a weekly Healthy Family Challenge.

I have decided to revisit that idea and issue a challenge to all my many readers (all two of you) and I would like to know if you accept that challenge and how it goes for you.

My idea was to post this every Monday, but as you may have noticed, it is Tuesday. That is how I roll....

Anyway, look for a new challenge every Monday and if it isn't there, check back on Tuesday.

I am now plagarizing Heather:

There is probably something each one of us can do to be a little healthier in our eating habits. But making changes can be really stressful. A lot of kids, and sometimes husbands, are resistant to some of the changes moms want to make in their diets. And it can be really stressful to come up with new recipes and to find good sources for food. And let’s face it, a lot of the time the healthier foods are more expensive. So let’s think baby steps.

This is an easy one:

1. Switch to unrefined sea salt instead of iodized table salt.

Why? It is less processed and has all the natural trace minerals left in it. Plus there are no additives in it like table salt.

How hard is this? This is an easy switch. You can find sea salt at most grocery stores. It is a little more expensive but your family will not notice the difference at all in taste. I personally think sea salt tastes better!

Movie Recommendation: Food, Inc.

Yesterday the kids and I watched Food, Inc.

Of course I had to watch this because my food geru Michael Pollan was in it.

That is one knowledgeable guy.

I highly recommend that you watch this film.

My kids proclaimed afterwards, "I am never eating at a fast food restaurant again!".

This was much more convincing than Supersize Me.

My 10 year old son said, "Mom, I never really knew what you were talking about before when you said that so much of the food we eat is bad for us. Now I believe you."

How is that for indoctrination?

The film does have somewhat of a liberal bent so I do not necessarily agree with all the suggested solutions. But I am all for truth no matter where it is coming from.

I kept wanting the film to go into more detail but it is only an hour and half long. But if you haven't read much on the subject, it is a good introduction to what is going on with food in this country.

And it might just make you want to change the way you eat.

Which is probably a good thing.

*I love the review of Food, Inc. that you can read here. I am watching Fresh next week.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Kirkland Signature Organic Peanut Butter

You light up my life!

Since I have a "Product Review" tab at the top of my blog, I thought it would be a good idea to actually post some product reviews once in awhile.

I am not sure if this will be helpful to anyone but I do have a few things that I buy that I absolutely adore and so I am sharing the love.

One of those things, is Kirkland Signature Organic Creamy Peanut Butter.

Yes, it is all natural.

No, it does not have any added sugar or any other scary ingredients.

Just Peanuts and Salt-that's it.

It is pure.

It is wholesome.

And it tastes so good!

I have been eating Natural Peanut Butter for the past 15 years. Before that I was a consumer of Skippy or JIF or Peter Pan -whatever. I love Peanut Butter.

But then my husband had that brilliant idea to stop eating sugar and so I started buying Adams.

Don't get me wrong, Adams served our family well for many years.

But once I discovered Kirkland's version, I was easily converted.

The best thing about this Peanut Butter is the taste. It is so yummy. The best Natural Peanut Butter I have ever tasted. It is silky smooth- it melts in your mouth.

The next best thing about this peanut butter is that it stirs together easily compared to other brands I have tried and it stays that way. (In case you didn't know, when you buy Natural Peanut Butter, the oil floats on the top and must be stirred in). I have never had mine separate again after I have stirred in the oil after opening.

A lot of people complain about the fact that it is a pain to stir in that oil. I say, "Oh yeah, well all that convenience is killing us ya know. Don't you think you could just stir in that oil so you don't end up with cancer one day?"

Except, I do not say that. I just think it.

Except, I guess I just did say it....


So here is what I do:

I get a mixing bowl and scoop all the contents from the jar into the bowl and then get my hand mixer out and beat that stuff all together until it is mixed well. Then I scoop it back into the jar, maybe wipe off the jar with a wet cloth if necessary and stick it in the fridge. The whole process takes less than 5 minutes. I timed it because I am trying to make a point.

5 minutes is worth your health, people!

Yes, keep it in the fridge. It doesn't have any preservatives so it will last longer if you refrigerate it. Plus it will be runny if you don't.

My kids eat this stuff up. I have 10 jars in my pantry right now and that is nowhere near a year supply for this crowd.

Is it expensive compared to fake peanut butter? I have no idea. I haven't bought that nasty P word stuff in 15 years. I decided years ago that it was worth it and I haven't ever considered for one second buying unnatural peanut butter.

Kirkland's Signature Organic Peanut Butter is available at Costco* for around $6 or $7 for two 28 oz. jars.

It is worth every penny.

*And yes, you can only get this at Costco so you also have to have a Costco membership. But Kirkland Signature has a lot of other great products besides this glorious, amazing Peanut Butter. Say what you will about Costco, but they listen to their members and therefore have a lot of healthier choices available for purchase. This is not a Costco commercial because nobody pays me to do anything! I wish! But it is my opinion that the price for a Costco membership is also worth every penny!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

This is one of my favorite cookie recipes. It is made with honey, natural peanut butter, and whole wheat flour and is therefore a little bit more nutritious than the typical cookie.

Have I told you that I love peanut butter? Because I do. I really, really do.

The natural variety of course.

I am not talking about the pornographic kind. (To my sisters: No, I am never going to let that one die. But even though you make fun of me behind my back, I still love you!)

I am talking about peanuts, ground up into peanut butter.


I love this cookie recipe. It is one of my favorites and I can usually eat them with little guilt involved as long as I have plenty of people to share them with lest I eat all of them myself! They are so moist- they melt in your mouth. They are addictive.

You have been warned.

Peanut Butter Cookies

3/4 cups softened butter

1 1/3 cups honey

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup Natural Peanut Butter (that means no added sugar etc, kids!)

3 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Beat the butter, honey, eggs, and peanut butter together. Combine flour, soda, and salt. Mix into the cream mixture. Scoop tablespoon size balls onto cookie sheets and press lightly with a fork using a criss cross pattern. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes. Cool and eat and be happy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Dutch Oven Artisan Bread

Variations of this recipe have appeared all over the internet in recent years. I personally love Artisan bread. It is my favorite, but buying it is expensive and possibly not as healthy. I never imagined I could make my own and that it would taste so good! Cooking it in a dutch oven imitates using a steam oven which I am assuming you do not have unless you are the owner of a bakery.

My husband would prefer if I made a fresh batch of this bread every day. Unfortunately, I do not have my act together enough to make it every single day! But I have made it often

You need to plan ahead when you are going to make this because of the raising time. It needs to raise at least 12 hours, preferably about 18 hours! So you might have to do some calculating in order to ensure you are going to be actually baking it when it is most convenient for you.

This makes a delicious, simple, rustic bread. The crust is hard while inside it is airy and soft. It is beautiful and so incredibly yummy.

You can use just white flour but why when wheat is so much better for you and so much more flavorful? I started out by using two cups white to 1 cup wheat, then kept increasing the amount of wheat with every batch. The best results seem to be either half and half or 1 cup white and 2 cups wheat.

I will walk you through what you do, complete with pictures!

There are 4 ingredients. That's it!

Dutch Oven Artisan Bread

3 c flour

1 5/8 c water (room temperature)

1/4 tsp yeast

1 tsp salt

Combine the dry ingredients in a large glass or metal bowl, then pour in the water and mix together well with your hand. Seriously. This shouldn't take more than about 30 seconds. This is a no knead bread and the dough will be quite sticky.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in your pantry. Somewhere away from light is better than just on the counter. Let it sit undisturbed for 12- 18 hours.

You will know your bread is done raising when it has raised significantly. It will look wet and very bubbly.

Remove the dough from the bowl and work in a small amount of flour-just enough to work with- the dough will still be pretty sticky. Shape into a round loaf-it doesn't have to be pretty. The less you handle the dough, the better. Place on a floured surface, then toss some flour on top of the dough and cover with plastic. Let it rest for about 20-30 minutes.

The dough will have expanded. Fold dough into the center from the top, bottom, and sides. Place it on a smooth cloth (like a cloth napkin, not terry cloth or something that the dough will catch on) with corn meal or bran. Shake a small amount on top too and cover with a second smooth cloth.

After it raises for about 90 minutes, preheat your oven with the dutch oven inside to 450. After 30 minutes, carefully and quickly throw the dough into the hot pan. Place the heated dutch oven lid on top. Cook for about 45 minutes, then remove lid and cook for 30 more minutes.

Try to refrain from cutting into the bread immediately. Rather give it a few minutes to cool.

This may seem like a lot of work but it really isn't. Truly. The times on all of this are flexible. I have had to rush it or leave things longer due to the craziness of my life and it still turns out great!

This is delicious with just butter or you can use it for sandwiches or bruschetta-whatever! One of my favorite ways to eat it is to dip it into olive oil with some salt, pepper, garlic, and basil. Yum!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Here We Go Again.....

So, I have come crawling back to Blogger.My previous posts over at Food Ophelia will eventually (mostly) make it over to my blogspot. So, add this address to your blog roll, follow me, leave comments, and let me know you have missed me.

Just kidding about that last part.

Unless you really want to....

But at any rate, this is where my food blog lives now, for better or worse.

I have given up on ever learning how to be tech savvy enough to make my blog look like what I want and my husband is way too busy to rescue my silly food blog.

Not that he thinks it is silly.

He loves it, because I cook more when I am working on my food blog.

And somehow I am happier.

How is that possible?

It just doesn't make sense. I have too many things to do to have a food blog.

Too many things that are not getting done.

I could list them here but then you might judge me harshly.

So, this is an experiment.

I am back.

I think.....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


There are many bruschetta recipes in this world. This is a simple one I made up last week.

Have you never tried bruschetta? You should. It is very yummy.

I love you, Italy!


4-5 roma tomatoes (with core and seeds removed)

1 small red onion

fresh basil (about 5-8 leaves depending on your preference)

1 clove garlic

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

olive oil

salt and pepper

granulated garlic or garlic powder

artisan bread*

Here’s what you do:

Finely dice tomatoes,onion, garlic, and basil. Mix together in a small bowl. Add about 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar and gently combine. If you wish, you may add a little extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil and let this marinate in the fridge. Just don’t go too crazy. This shouldn’t be liquid-y.

Heat oven to 425 and slice up some yummy artisan bread (French bread-whatever). Brush some olive oil on one side of the bread. Sprinkle with garlic (powder, granulated etc) and salt and pepper. Toast in the oven on the top rack until the bread begins to crisp.

Spoon the tomato mixture on the bread and you have bruschetta!

*Soon I will tell you all about how to make wheat artisan bread ( maybe tomorrow) and you will never be the same.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jen's Addiction

One of my “favorite” past times is trying to figure myself out. It has been a lifelong pursuit. I still have a lot of figuring out to do. But there are a few things I know for sure. One of them is this: I am a sugar addict.

About 15 years ago I did the unthinkable. I quit eating sugar and I stayed off of the stuff for 5 years. Until my Dad had the nerve to die unexpectedly- which really put me into a tailspin and I turned back to chocolate for comfort. (To read the sad story,click here)

Over the years I have tried to go back to my non-sugary ways. Usually I will make short-term goals. Last Fall I decided to go off of sugar for several weeks, eat any sugar I wanted for 24 hours on Thanksgiving, then back off again until Christmas. It worked well. I felt great and as a side benefit, I lost 10 pounds.

But since then, I have only sunk deeper into my addiction. I seem to have no control.

While I was in the midst of my 5 year absence from a sugar filled life, I had a lot of people kind of mock my decision. The single biggest negative comment I would receive was, “Why don’t you just eat it in moderation?”

The thing is, maybe that would work for someone who is not an addict. But at least in this, I know myself. I really am an addict. Telling me to eat sugar in moderation would be like telling a heroin addict to just shoot up a little bit on the weekends. I really am not exaggerating.

So here I go again. I have been off of sugar for two weeks now. Yes, I went through the withdrawal symptoms. But that has mostly left me and I am feeling pretty good. If you decide you need to root this addiction out of your life you need to give yourself a good two weeks to get the stuff out of your system until you achieve some normalcy.

I will periodically post some of my recipes that I turn to when I am feeling like I need something sweet.

And for all of the rest of you who are lucky enough to be in control of your sugar cravings, I will occasionally post some of my family’s favorite sugar laden desserts.

P.S. Here is a good article on sugar addiction. You should read it. Just sayin’.

One Comment

  1. Jessica
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Jen, you’re a trendsetter. There was an article about sugar addiction on Yahoo! today.

    I became a sugar addict in my early 20′s, after getting married to a man who believed it was absolutely essential to eat dessert after dinner every day. I keep telling myself that I’ll have dessert just once a week. That never happens. Maybe I need to go cold turkey, too.

    I admire your fortitude. Good luck!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Cookies

Versions of this recipe have been floating around on the internet for years now. I got this one from my sister-in-law a few years back. Most of the time they are referred to as Texas Governors Mansion Cookies or Laura Bush’s Cowboy Cookies. I do not know anyone else that calls them Texas Chainsaw Massacre Cookies. I made that name up myself-much to my family’s chagrin.

“Why do you call them that, Mom?”

Simple. Whenever I eat these cookies I cannot control myself. Therefore it is like taking a chainsaw to my diet. It rips it to shreds. Seeing the number on the scale after indulging makes me feel like I am in a really bad horror movie.

But you can eat them if you want.

Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. As my sister-in-law would say, “These are high octane”

When I am feeling extra generous I make them for my family. My husband practically does a jig. These are his very favorite cookies in the world.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Cookies

3 cups flour ( I use 2 cups wheat, 1 cup white)

1 Tbl baking powder

1 Tbl baking soda

1 Tbl cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups butter ( at room temp) -that is 3 sticks, but you can replace one of them with a 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 1/2 cups sugar ( I use raw, organic)

1 1/2 cups packed Pure Cane Brown Sugar

3 eggs

1 Tbl vanilla

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips ( I use dark, however)

3 cups rolled oats

2 cups coconut flakes

2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, powder, soda, cinnamon, and salt together. In a another bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy-about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the sugars-beat for about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each. Beat in vanilla. Stir in the flour until just combined. Add chocolate chips, oats, coconut, and pecans. For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Bake for 17 -19 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Cook until the edges are lightly browned. Cool these gigantic cookies, then eat them, and and enjoy life.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies OR you can make 6 dozen smaller cookies by using 2 tablespoon dough for each cookie and reduce cooking time to about 15 minutes.

It is almost the weekend. You can use Michael Pollan’s advice and only eat sweets on the days that start with “S”. I tried that and it hasn’t been working. So for now, I am off sugar-again! So none of these cookies for me. I will fill you in on a later post.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Indian Fried Bread

No eggs? No milk? No problem!

This is the breakfast food I turn to when we run out of the staples-which sometimes happens because I am kind of disorganized like that.

My Mom has been making this recipe since I was a little girl. Of course, I made some slight modifications to make it a little more healthy.

But my kids love to smother these in honey butter, which kind of defeats the purpose of me using wheat flour.

I recently tried frying these in coconut oil (cold-pressed, extra-virgin) because that is supposedly a healthier oil to use. At least according to my sister. The kids didn’t even notice a difference and I thought they tasted great! Frying foods should always be the exception rather than the rule however.

Powdered milk is not-too-great for you either so if you have milk, use that.

Indian Fried Bread

2 cups flour ( I use 1 2/2 cups wheat, 1/2 c white)

1 tsp salt

1 Tbl baking powder

1/4 c dry milk plus 1 cup warm water


1 c warm milk

Oil for frying

Mix dry ingredients together and then add liquid. The dough should be sticky but not so much that you can’t work with it. Tear off about 1 1/2 inch ball of dough-it won’t really look like a ball though. Dip it into some flour, then gently stretch it out so it doubles in length. Repeat the process until you get enough pieces to fill up the frying pan. Cook in hot oil turning once so that both sides are a golden brown. You will repeat this several times, adding more oil as needed until all the dough is used. This whole process goes pretty quickly.

I usually triple this recipe for my large family.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Salmon Patties

You may wonder how my life as a pseudo-vegetarian is going. Well, just fine. Thanks for asking. Tonight the family attended a party at the lake and there were hamburgers and hot dogs to be had. The kids loved it. My husband and I chowed on salad and chips & salsa and fruit. And oh yeah, the delicious tilapia we brought along with us and threw on the grill. Do you think that was rude to bring our own meat of the fish variety? I hope not.

If you ever want to grill tilapia, marinate it in some olive oil, lemon juice, and some Kirkland brand Organic No-salt seasoning. Oh my, I love that stuff. Cook it to flaky perfection and then eat it on a bun with some lettuce and tomato. Wow! I swear it was better than a hamburger. But my kids disagree.

But this isn’t that recipe.

This is Salmon.

This is a dish that we also love when we feel like we need some protein. It is super fast and easy and yummy. I actually do not love Salmon but I am trying to love it. But I can say in all honesty, I love this recipe. There are no leftovers when I make this.

Salmon Patties

14 oz. canned salmon, drained

3/4 C bread crumbs or crackers

1/4 C onion, finely chopped

1/4 C red pepper, finely chopped

1 Tbl olive oil

1 egg

1 Tbl lemon juice

1/2 tsp dill weed

salt and pepper

Mix salmon and crumbs. Set aside.

Cook onion and pepper in oil until tender (about 5 minutes)

Add to salmon and mix gently

Add dill weed, egg, lemon juice, and salt and pepper and mix

Add a little more oil to frying pan. Form mixture into patties and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side

Makes about 10-12 patties

We ate the patties with quinoa and steamed zucchini, carrots, and onion. It was delicious. And I felt so healthy after eating it. In a good way.


  1. Becca
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Good Job, Aunt Jenny! And to think you use to roll your eyes at me for being a vegetarian..:p

    • Posted August 13, 2010 at 8:48 am

      Becca, I wasn’t rolling my eyes. I have eye spasms.

  2. Jessica
    Posted August 11, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Well, I had biscuits and sausage gravy for dinner. But they were homemade, at least. :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

Black Bean Burritos

Now that we are being vegetarians for the next several weeks, I have started using this recipe again.

After we ate them I wondered why I waited until summer to make them again.

They are super good. And of course super good for you. Black beans are a super food and you should eat lots of them.

I am just sayin’….

I love this super easy recipe. Especially with lots of cheese, pico de gallo, a side of rice, and stacks of romaine lettuce.

Black Bean Burritos

2 cans black beans (or about 3 cups cooked beans)

1/4 c dehydrated onion flakes* or about 1/2 of an onion, chopped

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbl chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 Tbl oil

1 can (14.5 oz) diced Mexican flavored tomatoes ( or equivalent fresh with a splash of lime juice and a few sprigs of cilantro)

1/4 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp died oregano

1/4 tsp salt

* You reconstitute the onion flakes by adding them to a 1/4 cup very hot water. Let them sit for about 5 minutes.

Combine the onion, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin in hot oil. Stir in undrained beans, undrained tomatoes, lemon, and oregano.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, uncovered.

Serve these on warm tortillas. We like to eat them on heated corn tortillas-and of course-smothered in cheese!


One Comment

  1. Posted August 6, 2010 at 8:33 am

    I am super excited to try this out! It sounds really good and I am a huge fan of black beans and can eat them right from the can! Thanks for sharing your “meatless meal” it is going to make its way to my menu, I am sure of it.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

My Life as a Psuedo Vegetarian

Summer at our place means no more meat. It is the time of year we turn into vegetarians.

“What?!” you say, “summers are for burgers and barbecues!”

I know, I know.

If you have been reading this blog you must know that I am a Mormon.

In the Word of Wisdom we are told:

Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;

And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

Most Mormons kind of ignore this part of the Word of Wisdom.

If you are one of “those Mormons” don’t be offended. Being extremely carnivorous myself, I am one of “those Mormons” too.

But the last few years I have kind of been wondering if I have just been rationalizing.

My husband, wise man that he is, interprets the Word of Wisdom in such a way that he thinks we should try to only consume meat in the cold months of the year. He figures that our bodies do not really need meat when it is hot outside. This rings true to me just going on what my body is telling me. Eating meat when it is hot out leaves me feeling heavy and just blah.

I could see that there must be some health benefit to eating less meat. We have some friends who have been what my husband has come to call “Mormon vegetarians” -meaning they do eat fish because there is nothing about that in the Word of Wisdom- for years and they are the healthiest people I know. But still, I kept dragging my feet.

As a mom who already has the daunting task of cooking three meals a day for my family, I was a little resistant about making that sort of a drastic change.

But then there was that thing about it being pleasing unto the Lord. Well, I love God and I want to please Him. So last year I finally took the plunge and stopped eating meat for the summer.

And you know what? It really wasn’t hard at all. I basically used all the same recipes I always used. I would usually just substitute rice or beans for the meat and increase the volume of vegetables.

This summer we kind of got a late start at our vegetarian stint. Consequently, I kept forgetting. I found myself in a drive through the other day (which is rarely a good idea anyway) and ordered a chicken sandwich. Later on my husband said something about it and I replied, “Oops. I forgot I was a vegetarian”.

But since then I think it has finally sunk in and I am feeling pretty good.

By the way in case you see one of my kids stuffing a burger down his throat know this. Our kids are not necessarily vegetarians-depending on the availability/proximity of meat. But hey, all we can do is lead by example.

And so, now that I am sort of kind of back to blogging I may occasionally share some of my ideas with you on eating vegetarian.

Take it or leave it.

One Comment

  1. Tessie
    Posted July 31, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I’m really excited to read about your vegetarian ways! It makes a lot of sense to do that because of the word of wisdom. I’d love to see your recipes!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I Make No Guarantees

You may have noticed that I have been pretty silent these last few weeks. That is because my life kind of imploded.

That happens sometimes when you have a child with autism.

But I have been missing my food blog. Mostly I have been missing the food. My food blog gives me extra incentive to make yummy things to eat.

So I am back-sort of. I make no guarantees. I would love to tell you I will be posting on a regular basis but that probably won’t happen. I am kind of unreliable like that. But if you are alright with a flaky food blogger, I would love to have you stop by.



One Comment

  1. Jessica
    Posted July 30, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Flaky food bloggers are actually my favorite.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Picky Eaters Revisited

I am no expert when it comes to what to do with picky eaters.

Believe me-seriously.

As you may remember I have 4 picky eaters that reside in my home.

They frustrate me to no end.

I have not been the best example to them but I have tried.

I love what the Lazy Organizer has to say about picky eaters.


I think her advice only works if you have “normal” children.

From the time my first two kids were babies, we taught them by example to eat their veggies, etc. And they did! Happily! Joyfully!


It looked as if my mother’s curse was not going to be realized.

But then Baby #3 came along. He not only had the good example of his parents but two older siblings to look to.

But he wasn’t buying it.

Baby #3 was not interested in eating much of anything. Most of his food ended up on the floor.

Today, baby #3 is 14 years old. He still isn’t interested in eating much of anything.

And of course, he is starving!

What is a mother to do?

My son has some definite sensory issues going on. Foods literally make him gag. The smell, the texture, the taste.

Personally, I can relate to this.

When I was a kid I remember vomiting within seconds after my mother forced me to eat peas.

Was it all just in my head? I do not think so.

A few short years ago, I decided to try sauerkraut- a new food to me. I was determined to eat it after reading all about the health benefits of eating fermented foods. The smell was nauseating. Did I already mention that I was determined to eat it? Because I was DETERMINED-for my sake and for the sake of setting a good example to my kids. I shoved it in my mouth. I really, sincerely tried to just taste it and love it and swallow it. You know, because I was an adult, a mom, mature. I could do this. I did swallow it. I took another bite and could barely get it down. Then I was literally sick. It took all my will power to not throw it up. I was sick for the rest of the day and swore that never again would that crap pass my lips. Okay, only if I was literally starving and it was the only food on earth would I ever eat that stuff again. Ugh!

No offense if you love sauerkraut but -uh-gross.

Where am I going with this? Well, for one thing, I remember being really frustrated as a kid that no one seemed to get how much certain foods really made me gag. The texture of certain foods was very disturbing to me. This is the first time I am admitting this publicly. This is a secret I have kept from my kids. The truth is: I get it.

Maybe some kids just need a little discipline when it comes to their picky eating habits. Maybe they are just that-habits that need to be re-trained.

Sometimes though it is not because you are wimpy or spoiled or crazy or picky or because of bad parenting.

My son with autism has taught me a lot. One of the things I have learned is that some of us in this world really have huge sensory issues. They are not just in our head. They are real. They are something we have to learn to deal with the best we can.

The trick is just how do you do that?

I do not know the answer to that.

But I am starting to figure out that it sure helps to have those things validated.

That and blending up veggies and hiding them in their repertoire of acceptable foods….try it.


  1. heathermommy
    Posted July 2, 2010 at 8:57 am

    i was force fed sauerkraut for 6 months of my life, so i hear you. on top of the sauerkraut i had to eat pork so i don’t really know how i survived that.

    i think evie has these sensory issues too and i see it play out in her eating as well. i guess i should be more understanding.

  2. ginger
    Posted August 6, 2010 at 9:18 am

    I hear you Jen, the texture of applesauce makes me gag. No idea why, but it has since I was a kid.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Double Dark Chocolate Cookies

Cookies are an all too frequent treat around here. I am surprised that this is the first cookie recipe I have posted given the rate at which my children bake and consume cookies. These have quickly become one of my kids’ very favorite cookie recipes. But don’t worry. There are plenty more where these come from.

  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder -we like dark cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups dark chocolate chips

Combine the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add the two eggs and beat until well blended. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the cream mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Cook at 350 for 9 minutes.

Makes about 40 cookies.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mexican Style Brown Rice

I try to use brown rice because it is so much better for you than white. And it actually tastes like something -which is always a plus.

I love Spanish rice or Mexican style rice- whatever you want to call it. It is all the same to me.

I have discovered that I love the way this recipe turns out when I use instant rice. Did you know that instant rice comes in “Brown”? Well, it does. Is it as good for you as regular brown rice? I have no idea. I have read that the nutritional difference is insignificant. Can I prove it? No.

I like regular brown rice and the longer cooking time is worth it to me. But in the case of this recipe, I prefer the way it turns out when I use instant brown rice. The fact that it takes a lot less time is a huge side benefit.

Here’s the recipe:

2 Tbl oil

2 Tbl finely chopped onion

2 cups instant brown rice

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup salsa

Sauté the onion in the oil in a saucepan for about 5 minutes on low heat. Add the rice and stir for about 60 seconds. Add the broth and the salsa. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for 5 more minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve with your favourite Mexican dish.

I just love this stuff. Unfortunately for my diet, I can and do eat lots and lots of it! Yummy!

One Comment

  1. Jessica
    Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I love brown rice. White rice is not interesting or tasty. Unfortunately, my husband does not like brown rice and he does the grocery shopping. Tear. But maybe he will be more inclined to buy brown rice if it’s the instant kind. This recipe looks yummy. I will have to add it to our menu next time we have Mexican.