Friday, December 24, 2010

Classic Sugar Cookies

I felt a little unprepared when I wanted to make Christmas cookies with the boys when I realized that I don't have a sugar cookie recipe! How can that be? Thank goodness for whole foods recipes! These are easy and fun! Enjoy!


2 cups flour, plus more for rolling out cookies
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg


In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well blended. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and shape into two discs. Wrap in waxed paper and chill until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Working with one disc of dough at a time, roll out dough on a floured surface until (1/4-inch) thick and cut out cookies with floured cookie cutters. Transfer cookies to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1 inch apart.

Bake until just golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool and then decorate as desired. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Just in case you need permission: Ten Guilt-Free Non-Suppers.

Breathe in, breathe out.


Friday, August 6, 2010


Today I got a whim to boil a chicken and make dressing - getting ready for Thanksgiving. Whether you boil, bake or buy a chicken there are several chicken salad recipes.

1/2 C. mayo or miracle whip
1 T. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 C. chicken
2 med. stalks celery, chopped
1 C. grapes (green or red seedless)

Mix mayo, lemon juice, salt and pper. Toss with chicken and celery. Cover and refrigerate. Stir in grapes and serve in lettuce cups.
Substitute mandarin oranges for grapes.
Omit grapes, stir in crumble bacon.
Omit grapes, add two hard cooked eggs, chopped.
Omit grapes, increase mayo to one cup and stir in two cups macaroni.
Double mayo, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add both grapes, mandarin oranges

3 C. cooked chicken (cubed)
2 C. diced celery
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 C real mayo
1 med. chopped onion
1 small can sliced mushrooms
3/4 C. crushed potato chips
1 lb. grated sharp cheddar cheese.

Saute celery and onion in small amount butter until tender. Add mushrooms, lemon juice and mayo. Mix in chopped chicken and 1/2 the cheese, stirring with fork so chicken won't get mashed.

Place in buttered baking dish and cover with remaining cheese and crushed potato chips. Bake 10 min @ 400 deg. or until hot and bubbly throughout.

*May be prepared ahead and refrigerated, however, baking time will need to be longer if chilled.

You can always add store bought noodles and add to the broth. Serve with salad and you have a meal.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Roast Beef and Leftovers

Usually after we have a pot roast there is sufficient left over for a couple of meals. One of them is ROAST BEEF SALAD:

Grind the beef in a meat grinder together with sweet pickles and onion to taste. Then mix in Miracle Whip to taste - makes a tasty sandwich or on crackers.


Cut the beef into small pieces and place on bread in a toaster oven.

Make a white sauce:
1 C. Milk
1 heaping T. flour
1 dab of butter

Bring to a boil, when thickened add salt and pepper to taste and put on the bread and beef. Then put narrow strips of cheese on top and toast. When served with a salad these make a good meal.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Make Ahead Cannellini Bean Chicken Bake

Did the "Make Ahead" get your attention?

My camera is broken so I am sorry I cannot show photos because this is a pretty casserole dish. I like this one and with cheese on it, the kids will enjoy it too. My recipe here is an adaptation of a recipe made for me by a friend, written down, made at home, then lost the recipe and now, I work from memory. I have been making it for several years. The original does not call for chicken. You can use leftover vegetables in this one...(there you go Brandi!) and just season it to be more Mexican or more Italian. Flexible. All ingredients are organic if possible although not noted. I think it is funny that people note that because there is not a taste difference but I said it anyway. To "make ahead" just prepare the ingredients into a mixing bowl, cover and refridgerate for hours or up to a day I think, then pour in oiled casserole and bake.

  • 9 X 13 inch casserole dish
  • Cheese grater
  • Large mixing bowl if making ahead
  • 1 - 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced or pressed
  • 1 med. or 2 small diced onions
  • 2 large or 3-4 smallish diced 1/4 " zucchini squash
  • 1 large or 2 smallish diced crookneck or yellow squash
  • 1 lb. ground chicken, beef or turkey
  • 1/2 c. to 1 cup of any chopped green-kale, spinach, chard, etc. (I keep chopped greens that I freeze on a cookie sheet first, then scrape into a Ziploc and label, in the freezer to add to any recipe)
  • 10 - 12 oz. of block Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cans or 2+ cups of cannellini beans (the Italian white kidney bean)
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes undrained
  • Herbs- oregano, basil, rosemary, parsley, thyme
  • Sea salt and fresh medium ground pepper

In a medium skillet, saute' the onions until a little translucent. Remove to large mixing bowl or into oiled casserole dish if preparing to eat now. In same skillet, cook the ground meat and minced garlic until done mixing garlic well with meat so it won't burn. Remove into bowl or dish. In same skillet, saute' squashes until a little less firm or if you like them really mushy, saute' longer. Remove to bowl or dish. Add greens to bowl or dish. Add diced cannned tomatoes to bowl/dish. Add rinsed beans and herbs/spices to your liking. (Tonight I used 1 heaping tsp. dried oregano, 2 heaping tsp. dried basil, 1 heaping tsp. dried rosemary, 2 heaping tsp. dried parsley, 1 heaping tsp. thyme, 2 tsp. sea salt and, a dozen twists of ground pepper.)

Top with grated Mozerella cheese and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is not burned but veggies seem done and tender or soft. Tent with foil if cheese getting over done.

Make a salad to go along with it. You can also use different vegetables that you have on hand...if corn, then I would use the squashes but use the spices, cumin, chili powder, garlic and salt and pepper to your liking.

Hope someone likes this one! Thank you for letting me share it...gotta go make our salad now to go with it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Leftover Help

I am terrible about using leftovers!! Does anyone else have this problem? I keep them around for a few days and then guiltily toss them out. Or I'll defrost a pound of meat, use half, and forget about the other half until it's too late.

I want to work on my meal planning, and be more intentional about finding uses for leftovers and extras. I would love suggestions!

In an effort to improve, this is my meal plan for this week. I'm using the same rice 4 times, the beans twice, chicken 3 times, and mashed potatoes twice. Also splitting a package of ground beef between two meals.

Thursday: Beans, on bread and cheese. Fried potatoes.
Friday: Ratatouille and rice, fried okra (vegetables are from the CSA and my garden, rice is a mix of brown and wild; the ends of two different bags I found in the pantry.) Make lots and lots of rice.
Saturday: Bean burritos (from Thursday's beans, refried) for lunch; dinner out.
Sunday, family lunch: Minestrone, using leftover vegetables from throughout the week. Stuffed peppers with leftover rice, ground beef, and tomatoes from the garden. Mashed potatoes, just because I have a lot. Broiled peaches with whipped cream. Leftovers for dinner.
Monday: Eggplant parmesan (not a regular for me, but I have a LOT of eggplant!)
Tuesday: Fried rice, again with leftover rice. Add squash and bell peppers, maybe some pork and/or shrimp.
Wednesday: Shepherds pie, with mashed potatoes from Sunday and the rest of that package of ground beef.
Thursday: Roast chicken and potatoes.
Friday: Bowtie pasta with Spicy Romano Chicken (chicken from Thursday).
Saturday: Chicken and rice casserole (both leftover).

This list mostly covers dinners; lunch is typically leftovers or sandwiches. This feels good; I like to cook extra and get several uses out of something. And hopefully I won't be throwing much away! I hate that, but yet I find myself doing it ALL THE TIME. I've started pureeing leftovers for baby food as well. (Tonight the kids barely touched their ratatouille, so I just scraped their plates straight into the blender.) He's not quite ready for anything chunky, but they're in the freezer waiting for him.

Here are some other good ways to plan for leftovers:

1. Roast chicken and potatoes. 2. Make broth. 3. Potatoes in breakfast burritos. 4. Chicken in casserole or pot pie. 5. Soup from broth and any leftover meat; throw in leftover vegetables from other meals.

This one's from my mother-in-law: 1. Ham 2. Beans with ham. 3. Chili with beans. 4. Hot dogs with chili.

I never make the exact number of hamburger patties that we need; I always throw in an extra pound (or at least round up) and freeze the extras. Leftover ground beef can also easily go in tacos or pasta sauce.

Other ideas for cooked chicken? Chicken salad. Chicken enchiladas or burritos. Or on top of just about any pasta.

I need more!! How do you use up leftovers? How do you plan your menu to minimize prep work? I want to do more of this, so let's get creative!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello fellow food lovers! Here's another favorite from my kitchen! I LOVE these cookies. It's egg free so it's fun to eat just right out of the bowl while there is a batch in the oven. (honestly, I eat it with egg too...) I'm spending the weekend with Traci and I'm going to make them for her and her fabulous children. They are going to love will you! Make them! Tonight!

3/4 c applesauce
2 T coconut oil
3/4 c maple syrup
1 t vanilla
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c oats
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 package (or less...or more...I just eyeball it) mini chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Mix applesauce, oil, syrup and vanilla. Add cinnamon, salt, flour, oats, soda & baking powder. Mix together until "just mixed." Add chocolate chips and mix them in gently. Scoop 2 T sized globs of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. (I use an iceceam scoop) Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges of the cookies are golden.
Makes 24 cookies (but they don't last long...)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Creamy Ham Ziti

I ate this pasta dish at a luncheon today - very good.

1 pd. Ziti, Penne, orother medium pasta, uncooked
1/2 t. vegetable oil
12 oz. lean ham, cut into bite-size pieces
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup non-fat sour cream
1 10 oz. pkg frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
3/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 T minced fresh dill
1 T fresh lemon juice
3/4 t hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare pasta according to pkg. directions. While pasta is cooking, warm oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the ham and red pepper and cook until browned. Meanwhile, puree the sour cream, spinach, milk, mustard, parsley, dill, lemon juice and hot sauce in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Add the puree to the ham. Heat to a simmer.

When pasta is done, drain well. Toss pasta with sauce, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Enchilada Sauce

2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 onion chopped
3 T flour
1 T chili powder
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t ground cumin
1/2 t oregano
dried thyme
black pepper
3 1/2 c chicken broth (or veggie or beef...whatever works best for your enchiladas)
1 t honey
1 t fresh lime juice
1 t salt

In a large pan, saute onion and garlic with a few tablespoons of olive oil until tender. Add flour and dry herbs and spices and cook over medium heat until golden brown. Add remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
Pour over your favorite enchiladas! Enjoy! It's SOOOOOO good!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Fried Mush

This is not a fancy recipe or anything particularly new but it is a good idea..both frugal and very good for you. It is also fairly quick if you are prepared...especially when those little ones are hungry at your feet. ;-)

I have adapted this recipe from Nourishing Traditions, a whole foods cookbook developed by a chemist and a nutritionist who publish for the Westin A. Price Foundation. If you don't know who Westin A. Price is, please see this video for a brief biography on him and why his research is both important and interesting on traditional food ways.

The recipe:

After soaking organic steel cut oats in warm water and 1 Tbsp plain yogurt or kefir ( the ratio is one cup of grains to one cup of water to one tablespoon kefir/yogurt ) for 12 hours or more, and then cooking and then eating! Why do I soak my grains? In this video explaining soaking grains briefly, you will also get other ideas and a free muffin recipe that I have not yet tried. I did watch it and she puts rapadura sugar in these muffins...yum! Anyway, when you have leftovers of this porridge ( I always make enough for leftovers ) that is what you use for the fried mush.

Mix 1 1/2 cups oats with one egg lightly beaten and fry in iron skillet in butter until crispy or almost crispy. Serve with Cheryl's yummy maple syrup and butter drizzle on top. I could not find it but she posted it on this blog. I do not remember the ratio of syrup to butter...I just eye ball it from making it the first time.

We eat this usually the day after making oatmeal and I love to serve it with oven baked bacon on the side. Yum!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Festival Spice Muffins

I made these muffins this morning from the Tassajara Bread Book and they are so yummy. They have a very light and pleasant flavor. I might make them tomorrow too...they are really good! Enjoy!

2 c whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t mace
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t allspice
1/4 t ginger
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c oil or melted butter
1/4-1/2 c honey or molasses (i used about 1/3 c honey)
1 1/2 c milk

Preheat oven to 400. Combine dry ingredients. In a seperate bowl combine the wet ingredients. Fold the wet and dry ingredients together with as few strokes as possible, just until the flour is moistened, leaving a few clumps. Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for about 15-18 minutes.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mexican Taco Stew

This soup is perfect for these cold winter nights. I served it with Mandi's cornbread. Enjoy!

1/2 pound ground beef or turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 cups chicken broth
1 large zucchini or summer squash, cut into small cubes
1 (15-ounce) can black beans
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup medium salsa

Brown meat in a large pot over medium high heat. Drain, remove and set aside. In the same pot, sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add meat back to pot and sprinkle mixture with taco seasoning to blend. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Yummy pancakes

(this is not a picture of the pancakes from the pancake recipe below. the ones in this recipe are so fluffy, it's crazy.)

I am in love with these pancakes! I've always been a Bisquick user, but these pancakes put the Bisquick ones to shame.

Thought I would share this recipe today in case you want to make them for your family in the morning. Much love and raving will be the result.

For regular pancakes...

1 1/2 cup flour (I used white, but next time I'm using wheat)
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 T sugar
1 1/4 c. milk
1 egg
3 T melted butter

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients in separate bowl. Then mix the two together.

For our favorite kind...banana/cinnamon pancakes...

1 1/2 cup flour (I used white, but next time I'm using wheat)
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 T Sugar
1 T Cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 c. milk
1 banana, mashed
3 T melted butter

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients in separate bowl. Then mix the two together.

I times this recipe by four (I'm feeding six of us). That way we have a bunch to eat for dinner (or breakfast), plus a few mornings worth of pancakes with the leftovers.

These are the fattest, fluffiest, most divine pancakes I've ever eaten.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Seriously Good Spice Cake

I posted this also on our family blog but thought I mosey on over here and post it as well since I'm honestly not on the up and up with posting here.

I got this recipe from Tammy's Recipes.

There are a lot of great recipes on this site all made from scratch. I have to modify some ingredients, but overall I thoroughly love browsing through a lot of her recipes.

If you are ever in a "what in tarnation do I fix for dinner??" rut, check her out. The website is filled with lots of wonderful menu ideas.

There is even a recipe on how to make your own "Cream of Chicken Soup" so you don't have to buy the canned stuff. I've tried it in various casseroles when I can slip a casserole by Farmer J and the soup has turned out wonderfully.

Here is the recipe for the yummy spice cake. I honestly don't like molasses too much. But, it tastes good in this cake. I substituted the flour for 100% whole wheat flour and it was still really moist and yummy!

Oatmeal Spice Cake

1 1/2 cups flour (I used 100% whole wheat)
1 cup quick oats
1 cup brown sugar (I used organic)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, softened or melted
1 cup water
2 eggs
2 tablespoons molasses

Coconut Topping Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar (I used organic)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons light cream or whole milk (I used raw milk)


1. Measure all cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, and then for 3 minutes on high.

2. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool cake slightly.

3. To make coconut topping, melt butter in sauce pan. Add brown sugar and stir over medium heat until sugar is mostly dissolved. Add coconut, pecans, and cream. Spread topping over cake and broil cake for 2-3 minutes, until topping is bubbly and browned.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Broccoli-Cauliflower Salad

The whole family enjoys this recipe - also very colorful.

Broccoli Salad:
1 bunch fresh broccoli tips
1 head cauliflower (broken up) small pieces
1 red onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 C. celery, diced
1 small jar pimentos

1c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. oil
1 t. dry mustard (can use prepared)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix vegetables together and toss dressing in. Let set an hour or so before serving.

This makes a large salad - I sometimes only use half and you can save half of the dressing until ready to use with remaining salad.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Favorite Broccoli Recipes

Since broccoli keeps being on sale at the grocery store, I've been trying to find yummy reasons to buy it.

Here are three of my favorite things to do with broccoli these days. If you have other broccoli ideas, I'd love to hear them.

I don't have pictures of these recipes because let's face it...I'm doing good to get this stuff cooked up. I never remember to grab a camera when little hands are grabbing at their dinner.

Broccoli Salad Number One

Lynsey's recipe
is delicious. Just wanted to vouch for that one.

Broccoli Salad Number Two

I got this from my friend, Ashley.

I could eat my weight in this stuff.

If anyone knows of a healthier way to "do the mayonnaise thing" I'd love to know your mayo ways.

2-4 bunches of Broccoli
1/2 pound bacon fried and crumbled
1 C red onion chopped
1C raisins
1 large block mozarella cheese cut in cubes

2 C mayo
4T vinegar
1/2 C sugar
Pour sauce over ingredients above.
You can cut this recipe in half, it makes a lot.

When we eat those salads, we usually have the salad and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. Our favorite way to do grilled cheese these days is to use homemade bread and sliced cheddar cheese. Yum.

Whole Wheat Linguine with Broccoli

Here is the original recipe from the Whole Foods Cook Book if you want to do things by the book:

1 pound whole wheat linguine or spaghetti
olive oil
1 head of broccoli, trimmed and cut into small florets
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup pine nuts, toasted
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the noodles separate. Toast the pine nuts in olive oil and set aside. Cook broccoli in olive oil in a skillet on the stove for about five minutes. You may need to add a little bit of water as the broccoli is cooking to keep it from burning. Add garlic and red chili flakes. Saute one minute. In a large bowl combine the cooked wheat noodles and broccoli mixture. Add the tamari, cheese and pine nuts. Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.


I made it that way originally and it tasted like a big pile of nothing. I was very disappointed.

So, I tweaked it a bit and this is now one of our favorite recipes. There are times when we eat it once a week.

I double this recipe when I make it. It makes enough to feed our family of 6 and then we have enough to eat for lunch for several days.

Here's the recipe I use...

2 pound whole wheat linguine or spaghetti
olive oil
2 heads of broccoli, trimmed and cut into small florets
leftover cooked chicken breast (this is optional, but my family likes it with meat in it)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
10 tablespoon tamari (or soy sauce)
1 bag or 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 bag pine nuts, toasted
10 tablespoons of lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the noodles separate. Toast the pine nuts in olive oil and set aside. Cook broccoli in olive oil in a skillet on the stove for about five minutes. You may need to add a little bit of water as the broccoli is cooking to keep it from burning. Add garlic and red chili flakes. Saute one minute. In a large bowl combine the cooked wheat noodles and broccoli mixture. Add the tamari, cheese and pine nuts. Add the lemon juice and lots of pepper. It's good when it's peppery. I don't add salt because the tamari or soy sauce is already salty.

Yum! Yay for broccoli!