Ahhh, Hummus

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Anyone that has spent any fair amount of time with me knows I love hummus.  It’s a addiction really.  It’s my go-to snack for taking to women’s events and I’ve created other hummus addicts in the process.  Sabra hummus and Stacy’s pita chips.  It just doesn’t get any better!   So why make it homemade when I can just buy the super yummy Sabra brand?  Well I figure I’m eliminating some of the added “stuff” this way.  It really is easy to make and I’m sure I’ll try adding some other ingredients next time to spice it up a bit.  Will I still buy Sabra?  Yes.  But I did like the homemade version and will definitely make it more often.  Even though I love the pita chips, it’s a much better option to use baby carrots, green peppers, or celery.  I also like to use ak-mak crackers.  They are a really good cracker option.

1 can of Bush’s garbanzo beans (reserve liquid)
1 1/2 TBSP tahini (ground sesame seeds)
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic (I use the organic garlic that is prechopped in a jar.  found in the produce section)
1/3 – 1/2 liquid from the bean can
Just blend these up in a blender.  I used my vitamix which blended it to a nice smooth texture.  You can add horseradish, peppers, etc to add flavor.

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Applesauce Bread

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Easy healthy quick bread.  Applesauce bread is made from real ingredients and doesn’t even require a mixer.  It’s not overly sweet and is super yummy for breakfast.  I plan to make up a bunch and freeze them for later.  Maybe even make some in the mini-loaf pan.  Try it warm with a little butter on top.  Thanks to heavenlyhomemakers.com for the recipe!

Applesauce Bread:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup honey
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. sea salt
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted

Mix dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center and add applesauce, eggs, honey, and butter.  Stir well.  Pour into a buttered bread pan or stone.  Bake for 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Celebrating Halloween- Irish Style

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First, I must say that I HATE this holiday.  I’m the halloween grinch.  However, as a proud Irish woman (my mother was a Finegan and my father was a Flanigan and you can’t get a much more Irish name than Kelly Erin) I always wanted to make up some Colcannon on October 31st.  It is an Irish tradition full of superstition.  I was also supposed to make Barnbrack today to be really traditional but didn’t get to it.  Maybe next year!   

The tradition says that a blindfolded unmarried woman is to pick the cabbage from the garden that is used in the colcannon.  Then a ring is hidden in the cooked cabbage.  Whoever finds the ring will be the next to marry.  Since my unmarried 13 year old had just had her eyes dilated at the eye doctor, I figured it was close enough to being blindfolded so we let her pick the cabbage from the walmart bin. 🙂  Also the first and last spoonful is put into a stocking by an unmarried woman and hung on the door.  The first man to walk through the door will be the man she will marry.  Well being the grinch I am, I wasn’t about to stick a dirty ring in my food or really stick mashed potatoes in a sock.  gross.  But I am happy that everyone liked it.

Recipe-

4-5 pounds of russet potatoes, pealed and cut
1 medium sized cabbage
1 1/2 cups light cream
2 packages of bacon (I used Oscar Mayer Selects smoked uncured bacon- no nitrates or nitrites added)
real butter
salt and pepper to taste

Cook up the bacon first and set it aside.  Boil or steam the potatoes.  I read that traditionally they would steam the potatoes, then peal them but I just boiled them with some salt.  Shred the cabbage.  There are a couple of options here too.  I boiled them for a few minutes and then drained them because I like the cabbage pretty soft but if you like more of a crunch just skip that part.  Cook the cabbage with a couple TBSP of butter until it’s as soft as you want.  Blend the potatoes up with a hand mixer.  Warm the cream with 3 TBSP of butter in a saucepan until the butter is about melted.  Once it’s warm dump it into the potatoes and blend into mashed potatoes with the mixer.  Then add the cabbage and crumbled bacon and stir with a wooden spoon.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve in bowls with a well in the middle for a pat of butter.

Baked Oatmeal Cups

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While I had these in the oven I thought ‘oh i should have put some cinnamon or something in these’ but I loved them just the way they turned out.  I did put dried apples on top but because they got a little too done I would suggest chopping them up into smaller pieces and mixing them in the batter.  Got this recipe from heavenlyhomemakers.com

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup melted butter
Topping choices:  mini chocolate chips, raisins, other dried fruit, coconut flakes, apple chunks

Mix together oats, salt and baking powder.  Stir in eggs, milk, honey and melted butter.  Scoop batter into 11-12 paper lined muffin cups.  Sprinkle toppings of choice into the center of each cup.  Bake in a 350° for about 30 minutes, or until the oats are golden brown.  

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Eggo waffles just came out with a pumpkin spice waffle.  So I decided to look up recipes for pumpkin waffles and pancakes and found this at Annie’s Eats.  I’m adding this one mostly for myself, so I don’t lose the recipe.  Perfect for a fall breakfast.  I also used Annie’s Eats picture as we’re having problems getting pictures from my camera to my computer right now.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Ingredients:
1¼ cups white whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves
1 cup whole milk (or buttermilk)
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 tbsp. melted butter or coconut oil

Directions:
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and spices and stir with a fork to combine.  Mix together the milk, pumpkin puree, egg and oil or butter in a liquid measuring cup.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together just until combine.  (The batter may still have a few lumps – that is okay.)

Preheat the oven to 200° F.  Have an oven safe plate or serving dish ready.  Heat a greased skillet or griddle over medium heat.  Once the skillet is hot, add a 1/3 cup scoop of batter to the pan.  Let cool until bubbles begin to form on the top surface.  Carefully flip with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown, a couple minutes more.  Transfer the cooked pancake to the oven safe dish, and place in the oven to keep warm.  Repeat with the rest of the batter until it has all been cooked, regreasing the pan as needed.  Serve with cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, and/or whipped cream.

Source: adapted from Joy the Baker, originally from Martha Stewart

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Zucchini Fries

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We made zucchini fries with our supper tonight (you can see them on the right side).  They were really good so I thought I’d share the recipe.  Once again the picture is a bit blurry because my camera on my phone keeps getting set wrong and then I don’t notice until after I’ve eaten the food.  So they are a little hard to see.  Everyone liked these except the youngest, who ate 3 and then decided she didn’t really like them. 🙂  She is the picky one though and she hates zucchini so the fact that I got her to eat 3 of them was quite an accomplishment.  She did however eat everything else we made tonight without picking veggies out of the stir fry!

Zucchini Fries

fresh zucchini, chopped in fry shapes
1 egg white
1/4 cup milk
bread crumbs (I used 2 dried pieces of Ezekiel Bread)
italian seasoning ( to taste- I just dumped some in)
salt (optional)
garlic powder (to taste- I just dumped this in too)
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Mix the egg white and milk.  Grind the bread up in a food processor and add seasonings and parmesan.  Dip the zucchini chunks in the egg mixture and then in the breading.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and cook for 30 minutes at 425 degrees.

More Breakfast for Supper

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I do frequently make breakfast items for supper: waffles, pancakes, omelets, crepes, and sometimes just cereal 😉  So tonight I felt like breakfast casserole.  I found this one online and was too lazy to even take a picture so I stole the original one.  Giving credit though: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/hash-brown-and-egg-casserole/detail.aspx 

It was super simple to make.  You could sub bacon!! instead of sausage.

  • 1 (2 pound) package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 1 pound pork sausage
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 5-6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 2 quart baking dish. Place the hash brown potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook and stir the sausage and onion until the sausage is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink; drain. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and pour over the potatoes. Layer with half the Cheddar cheese, the sausage mixture, and the remaining Cheddar cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove cover; return casserole to the oven and bake until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Cookies for Breakfast? Yes, please!

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Today I made a variety of breakfast cookies after finding the recipes on pinterest.  These cookies are sugar free, flour free, egg free and dairy free, but still quite yummy.  I made the original, peanut butter and carrot cake versions, but I do plan to make other variations in the future. 

Since these all call for banana, and my eldest gets bad stomach aches from bananas, I want to make a tropical version using mangos and coconut next.  I posted the recipes below, noting the changes I made to make them the healthiest they can be.  The kids like them so I’m sure these will soon become a staple in our house. 

The original recipe made 10-12 cookies.  I liked this recipe the best and was disappointed that none of us liked the carrot cake cookies 😦  I was out of all spice though so maybe that would have made them better.  I also used baby carrots because that’s what I had, so maybe that made a difference too.

Original Breakfast Cookie Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal, quick or old fashioned
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed with fork until creamy  
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup raisins, or or dried cranberries (I would love cranberries but can’t find any without added sugar)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (we had to leave these out due to allergies)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (we used ceylon cinnamon, which is real cinnamon, because of it’s lower coumarin content, health benefits, and better taste) 

Preheat heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix vanilla extract & cinnamon into the applesauce.
Blend applesauce mixture with all other ingredients & let sit for 10 minutes
Drop cookie dough, by spoonfuls, onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet & flatten cookies into rounds.
Bake approx. 30-35 minutes, or until golden & done.
Remove from oven & let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then move to cooling rack.
When completely cool store in a covered container.

Peanut Butter Breakfast cookie:

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed until smooth & creamy
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter ~ creamy or chunky 
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (peanut, walnut, or your favorite)
  • 1/4 cup carob or chocolate chips (**optional)- I was out of carob chips and didn’t have time to make chocolate chips so we left these out. 

Preheat heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix mashed banana & peanut butter until completely combined then add in the applesauce, vanilla  the extract ~ mix again until all are completely combined.
Add in the oatmeal & nuts to the banana mixture & combine.  (** add the optional carob / chocolate chips at this time if you want them mixed throughout)
Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
Drop cookie dough, by spoonfuls, onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet & flatten cookies into rounds.
Bake cookies approx. 30 minutes, or until golden brown & done.  Remove from oven & let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then move to cooling rack.  (if you want the traditional fork tong marks on the cookies, use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to score the tops of the cookies while they’re still warm)
 
I got these recipes from here if you would like to get the carrot cake cookie recipe or any others.  I also got the picture from here since my camera battery decided to die tonight.

Runzas!

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The kids thought that our bun recipe would be good to use for runzas and it was, after I messed it up a bit.  I completely forgot to add the eggs which ended up making it turn out perfectly!  So I will make it that way from now on.  This recipe made 13 runzas at approximately 400 calories a piece (in case you were wondering).  Rated a 4 by all!

Dough-
2 cups lukewarm water
6 TBSP whole milk, lukewarm
4 TBSP honey
4 tsp active dry yeast
         combine these and let sit for 5 min.  It should more than double in size
7 cups white whole wheat flour (we used Ultragrain brand)
3 1/2  tsp salt
5 TBSP unsalted butter, cold and grated on cheese grater
          mix with fingers until small clumps form
          put yeast mixture into flour.  Mix completely and then kneed in mixer (with
          dough hook) for 5 min. or by hand for 8.  Cover and let sit for 2 hours. 

Filling-
2 lbs ground beef
1 onion chopped
salt and pepper to taste ( I used quite a bit)
1 medium cabbage chopped
               Grease a large cookie sheet with real butter.  Place 6 pieces of dough on the cookie sheet and flatten them (like small pizzas).  Place 1/13 of the filling on top of each one, leaving 2 inches of dough around the perimeter.  Top with another smaller piece of flattened dough and bring up the sides, pinching the dough to keep it in place.  Place an egg and some water in a bowl and stir, then brush onto the top of each runza.  Bake at 375 until golden on the top, approximately 20 minutes.  If you want a cheese runza, cut the runza open after it has baked and add some slices of colby cheese.  Microwave for 30-60 seconds.  These can be refrigerated or frozen and heated up later (on busy days when you don’t have time to cook).

Healthi(er) Snow Cones

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It’s the 4th of July and every year there is a parade and activities for kids at the fountain near our house.  Since I grew up in this neighborhood (in the same house actually) I have been going to this little celebration since I was 5.  Call me a party-pooper but I was just not in the mood for the crowds this morning. 

So for the first time I let the kids walk the 2 blocks down to the parade by themselves.  It wasn’t long before I got the phone call I should have been expecting- “Mom, can I buy a snow cone?”  Of course Tropical Sno was set up, and let’s face it, there is nothing yummier on a warm summer day than a Mai Tai Tropical Sno.  But then I thought quickly of the refined sugar in those things and what that does to my 10 year old.  According to the Tropical Sno website the small contains 36 grams of sugar, the medium has 54 grams, and the large has a whopping 72 grams of sugar!  I said no, we’d make them at home and surprisingly I didn’t get any arguments.  I ran across this recipe on 100daysofrealfood.com a while back and luckily I had an ice shaver and some juice concentrate in the fridge. 

Now I know, juice is full of sugar too.  I try to avoid drinking very much fruit juice but I would much rather have my kids flavor their occasional snow cones with fruit juice than with white sugar (used by tropical sno) or corn syrup (used in most other snow cone syrups).

2 parts juice concentrate (100% real juice) and 1 part water.  That’s it!  It makes a syrup consistency that works perfectly on shaved ice.  The kids loved it.  I used the non-frozen concentrate but I’m sure frozen would work fine too.