Friday, October 11, 2013

Homemade Maple Syrup...Well, Almost!
You're probably wondering why I said "almost" in the title.  Well, it goes without saying that maple syrup comes from a maple tree and this was made right here in my kitchen.  So just to clarify...this is syrup, it is maple flavored but it didn't come from a tree.  Think of it as a tastier version of the kind you buy in the store minus all the ingredients that you can't pronounce.  This recipe makes about four cups, or fills about four small maple syrup bottles.  I actually think it taste a lot like REAL maple syrup and less like the kind from the store.  See what you think:)
You will need:
4 Cups of sugar
2 T. of corn syrup
1/2 Cup of brown sugar
2 Cups of Water
1 t. of vanilla extract
1 t. of maple extract
Stir together first four ingredients in a saucepan until sugar dissolves.  Heat over medium heat until boiling:  boil for about two minutes.  Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.  Stir in vanilla and maple flavoring.  Enjoy!
By the way, this recipe comes from my favorite book, Christmas All Through the House from the lovely folks over at Gooseberry Patch.  They have the best cookbooks!  Feel free to check them out, but beware once you have one of their cookbooks you will want them all!  Blessings!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Best Ranch Dressing...Ever!

If you love ranch dressing like must make this.  It is the best ranch dressing I've ever made.  I have tried many different varieties but I just do not like any ranch dressings sold at the store, especially the ones in plastic bottles.  They just don't taste good to me.  I've been making my own for a while because it taste so much better and my kids love it as well, which means even my picky-eater daughter will eat salad.  AMEN!  The only thing I don't like is that it does use a packaged dressing mix, which I try to avoid because of all the added ingredients, but this is one time I'm happy to look the other way.  The results are so worth it.  It only takes a few minutes to whip up and even fewer to eat up.  Enjoy!
You will need:
1 package of buttermilk ranch dressing mix (I used Hidden Valley)
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman's)
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1/4 tsp. of ground pepper
1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. of garlic powder
1/8 tsp. of onion powder
Combine all ingredients with a wire whisk.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving, preferably over night. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Power Rice"

I really enjoy reading a lot about the healing components of food.  It stands to reason that if certain foods make you sick, then there are certain foods that can make you feel terrific and give life to your body... instead of draining you of energy leaving you with that middle of the day "draggy" feeling.  I created this recipe with the purpose of it being filling and also that each ingredient would benefit some part of our bodies.  It was quite fun and I hope to do it again.  It was so good...I even gave it to my husband for lunch cold...he said it gave him energy.  Mission Accomplished!

Before I start....if you want a vegan adaptation, use vegetable stock instead of chicken broth.  If you are gluten free take out the wheat germ.

Here's what you'll need:

4-6 cups of brown rice (really depends how much you like), cooked
1 can of organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1 cup of fresh spinach of 1/2 cup of frozen, thawed with water squeezed out
1 onion sliced or diced
2 carrots sliced
1 green pepper sliced or diced
2 heaping tablespoons of garlic
1 tsp. of kosher salt
1 tsp. of fresh ground pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper, depends how spicy you like your food
1 Tab. dried or 2 Tab. fresh parsley
1/4 cup of raw wheat germ
1/2 cup of organic chicken broth

 Begin by heating olive oil in large skillet over med-high heat.
Toss in the carrots and Onions and cook until onions start to get translucent, stirring occasionally.

Toss in the green pepper and garlic and cook for about 2-3 minutes more.

Toss in the Cranberries and spinach and cook for about a minute more.

Next, throw in the beans, parsley, salt, pepper and Cayenne

Toss in the wheat germ and stir it around...If that seems won't even know its there
Stir around for a couple of mintues to let flavors blend.
Toss in the rice and 1/2 cup of chicken broth...stir it around for about 4-5 minutes.

Put in on your plate with a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper and enjoy!
This recipe is versatile...add whatever veggies you have on hand or whatever you love.
I think broccoli or red peppers would be a wonderful addition.

If your interested, here is the breakdown of each ingredient and what it benefits.

Olive Oil-liver and kidneys
Spinach-intestines, pancreas, liver, lymph, blood
Cayenne-blood (anti-inflammatory as well)
Parsley-lymph, kidneys
Olive Oil-blood, liver, kidneys
Wheat Germ-blood
Brown rice-intestines
Green Pepper-kidneys
Garlic-lymph, liver,kidneys, pancreas
Black Beans-blood and intestines

*Salt, pepper and chicken broth added for flavor but also have benefits.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Multi-Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Before you turn away at the sight of "multi-grain" and "cookies" in the same sentence...please don't.  From one dessert lover to another...PLEASE make these.  You will be surprised at how good they are...I'm so serious.  But...if you are against all things "healthified" feel free to substitute our the whole wheat, wheat germ and Spelt for white flour...but really there is no need because you will never know.

Here's what you need:

1 Cup of Spelt
1/4 Cup of Wheat Germ
3/4 Cup of Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp. of salt
1/2 tsp. of baking soda
3/4 cup of butter, softened
1 Cup of packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup of granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 T. of vanilla
1 12 oz. bag of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease if you don't have parchment.

Beat the butter and sugars until smooth and creamy.  Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla.  Combine the dry ingredients and add to the wet mixture.  Beat until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets.  You can do tablespoons if you want but maybe don't do quite as many as you would for teaspoons (eg. if you would do 12 teaspoon size cookies, do 9 tablespoon size).  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet for two minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

Enjoy.  It's always nice to get a dose of healthy whole grains.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Homemade Granola

The recipe I'm sharing today is  good , easy  and Healthy. I could think of at least three uses for this...cereal, snacking or a topping for yogurt or fruit.  If your a fan of granola cereals, I encourage you to give this a try.  You'll get about three times as much as you would buying it pre-made in the store and you can add whatever you like to suit your taste.

You will need:

7 C. of uncooked oats
1 C. of wheat germ
1 C. of dried cranberries
1/2 C. of brown sugar
1/2 C. of oil
1/2 C. of water
1/4 C. of real maple syrup
1 T. of vanilla extract
1 t. salt
1 C. of slivered almonds
1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients EXCEPT CHOCOLATE CHIPS in a large bowl.  Bake at 275 for 55-60 minutes.  I put mine on a large cookie sheet.  I gave it a quick stir every 20 minutes as it was baking.  Remove from oven and cool.  Once it has completely cooled, stir in chocolate chips.  Store in refrigerator.

A simple, tasty and healthy snack in just an hour...Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Honey Dinner Rolls

These rolls right here are bad...VERY BAD!  They should be ban in the 50 states or at least come with a warning.  They are easy to make and Oh SO Good!  I ate two, no make that three...good thing I exercised hard today...If you are what you eat then I'd look like a dinner roll.  That sounds like a bad dream after eating pizza to close to bed time...but go make won't regret that you did:)

You will need:

2 packages of active dry yeast
1 cup of warm water
1/4 cup of honey plus 1 Tab., divided
1 egg, beaten lightly
1 tsp. salt
3 cups of flour, plus a little extra
1 T. of melted butter

Combine the yeast and cup of water and let it sit for about 5 minutes until foamy.  Add 1/4 of honey , egg, salt and flour.  Knead for about 5-7 minutes (with kitchen aid) or a little longer if doing it by hand.  This dough is stickier than most so I had to add a little flour here and there just so it didn't form a sticky mess in the bowl.  Don't overdo it.  When done mixing place in a greased bowl and turn once.  Cover and let rise until doubled about 1-2 hours.  When dough has risen, punch down and divide into 12 equal pieces (I used a little flour here on my hands to keep it from sticking while I rolled it into balls).  Form into balls (they don't have to be perfect) and place in a greased, round baking pan.  Cover with greased/oiled plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400.  Before putting in the oven, use a pastry brush to apply the remaining 1T. of honey and melted butter (mix them together).  Bake for 13-17 minutes until lightly browned.  Enjoy warm with a big slab of real butter.  If you don't use real butter, I won't hold it against you,but you don't know what your missing:)

Good Luck on eating just one!  

Smells like HOME!

Do you like your house to smell like "Home?"  Many of the memories we have are often triggered by some sort of smell/scent.  I guarantee when you put this on your stove to simmer your house will smell simply wonderful...I have some simmering right now.

All you need is:

1lemon cut  up
1 orange cut up
4 bay leaves
1 large or 4 small cinnamon sticks or 1 1/2 tsp. of ground cinnamon
Generous amount of cloves (I used ground, but whole would be fine too)

Just put all these ingredients in a medium saucepan and fill with water (not all the way to the top, but almost).  Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.  Simmer as long as you like adding water as necessary.  If you add new water make sure you boil and reduce heat again.  In just a matter of minutes your house will smell naturally wonderful.