Monday, January 31, 2011

Maple Nut Granola

Whisk together: 
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 T. cinnamon
  • 2 t. nutmeg
Mix together in a large bowl: 

  • 9 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup walnuts or almonds
Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes (Stir once after 15 minutes). Let cool till completely cool. 

How to make: Homemade Baby Food

Making your own baby food truly is not as daunting or even time consuming as it may seem. Last week while Ezra was happily chatting at the kitchen table (in his Metoo chair), I boiled some peas and sweet potatoes and chatted about life with Ezra. Once the vegetable were soft, I pureed them, filled my freezer trays and was quickly able to replenish my frozen baby food supply.

Step-by-Step Homemade Baby Food
Step 1 - Choose your ingredients. If you want organic baby food then simply buy organic produce. Suggestions of vegetables for Puree: Butternut Squash, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Sweet Peas

Step 2 - Roast or boil the vegetable of choice till it is very soft and save the water.

Step 3 - Pour the cooked vegetables into a blender or food processor and puree. Add enough of the water the veggies were cooked in to get the right texture for your baby. (Younger babies may need a smoother texture.)

Step 4 - Pour or scoop the puree into containers to freeze. I use Fresh Baby So Easy Freezer Trays. They work great.

Step 5 - Put the freezer containers into the freezer and allow the puree to freeze solid.

Step 6 - Once the puree is frozen into solid cubes, remove the puree from the freezer trays and store the cubes in freezer bags, labeled with the type of food and date you made them.

Step 7 - Cubes are ready in the freezer whenever you need them!


Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Little One...Mission Accomplished

We recently went to the first birthday party of a little girl, the daughter of a fellow blogging friend. Unfortunately, the sweet little girl already owned the present that we brought her. But, never fear there is always a gift "second try." So, yesterday  I scoured my brain...what could I make for this precious one-year-old girl? With her "second try" gift, I want to make sure that it is something she does not already have. I'm fairly confident that I will be safe with a homemade gift. 

After pondering, I decided that a cloth purse could be any little girl's perfect gift. I calculated my plan of attack while I rocked my sick babe, then as soon as he went down for a nap, I quickly executed the plan. Perfect I was finishing the last seam, my babe was rubbing the sleep out of his eyes in the next room.

I think my plan worked out nicely. Happy Birthday little one! You will get your "second try" gift soon. 

"Second Try" Birthday Present...Mission Accomplished! (actual purse size - about 9"x9")

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Golden Flaxjacks

Whole grains add texture and flavor to any recipe, and flaxseed contains heart-healthy omega-3s. Cook your flaxjacks over moderate heat so they don’t burn; the flaxseed makes them brown more quickly. Serve hot with naturally sweetened jam, agave, or real maple syrup.

1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup stone-ground cornmeal
2 tablespoons wheat bran or oat bran
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (see note)
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites
1 ¾ cups fat-free or 1% milk (or milk substitute)
2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, bran, flaxseed meal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl or blender, whisk together the egg whites, milk, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the liquid mixture into the well and stir just until combined. Allow the batter to stand for about 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. Add more milk, if needed, to obtain batter the consistency of thick cream.

Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet (coated with cooking spray if necessary) to medium heat. For each flaxjack, pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle. Cook until the flaxjacks are puffed and dry around the edges. Turn and cook the other side until golden brown.

Note: If you can’t find flaxseed meal, you can grind whole flaxseeds yourself in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder. Grind to the consistency of cornmeal. Four teaspoons of whole flaxseeds yield approximately 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal.

Makes 8 servings of 2 (4¨) flaxjacks
Per serving: 160 calories, 6 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat (1 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 320 mg sodium

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cupcake Brownies

Does it get any easier? Bake your favorite brownie recipe in a muffin tin lined with baking cups instead of the traditional baking pan. This makes serving and cleaning up a breeze.

Here is my favorite Brownie Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a muffin tin with baking cups (paper or foil)
Microwave in a large bowl till chocolate is melting: 4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate and 3/4 cup butter or (canola oil for lower fat)
Stir till chocolate is completely melted
Stir in: 1 3/4 cup sugar (use cane juice crystals instead of processed white sugar)
Blend in: 3 eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla
Add: 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 cup flour
Mix well.
Spoon batter into baking cups.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. (Till brownie are done to your liking!)

Optional: For a twist add peanut butter chips, walnuts, butterscotch chips, or your own creative addition

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomato Quinoa

Last night's dinner of Tomato Basil Pork Loin, Sweet Potato Fries and Steamed Broccoli was made complete with a  simple side of Sun-Dried Tomato Quinoa

Recipe: Sun-Dried Tomato Quinoa
Saute together in a pan: 
olive oil 
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
1 hand full of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped

Once onions are translucent, Add:
1 cup Quinoa
1 1/2 cups water

Bring to boil and then turn to low about 15-20 minutes till Quinoa is done to your liking.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!