Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Spiced Pear Bread

I love this time of year when there is so much fresh, ripe produce available. I like to eat it fresh, of course, but it's really fun to get creative and bake with it! This bread is soft and moist with hidden bits of pear throughout. The perfect treat for fall.

 Spiced Pear Bread makes 2 standard loaves or 5 mini loaves
4 c. soft ripe pears, skinned and chopped (about 4-5 pears)
1 & 1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs
3/4 c. oil
4 c. flour
2 t. salt
2 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. ground ginger

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease 5 mini loaves (or 2 standard loaves) and line with parchment. In a large mixing bowl, combine pears and sugar, slightly mashing pears. Add eggs and oil and mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
 Divide batter among pans. I made the mini loaf size.
 Bake at 325 F for 40-50 minutes for mini loaves (60-70 minutes for standard loaves), or until the top of the bread springs back when tapped.

This is absolutely one of my new favorites for fall...or anytime really. Enjoy!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Roasted Halloween Potatoes

The other night I made these delicious roasted potatoes to go with our dinner. My daughter pointed out that they were Halloween potatoes because of their color. Haha! Totally unintentional.
 Roasted Halloween Potatoes
4-5 c. purple potatoes, washed
2 medium sweet potatoes, washed and skinned
1/4 c. oil

Preheat oven to 400 F and line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment. Cut all potatoes into large cubes (about 1"-2"). In a large bowl, toss potatoes with oil and salt. Spread into prepared cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway. When potatoes come out of the oven, sprinkle with a little more salt to taste.
These are such a fun fall side dish. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fluffy Wheat & Chia Pancakes

We've been making a lot of waffles lately (like, a LOT). So today we decided to switch it up and make pancakes. I know, we really changed things around, right? :) But, hey, it's different because it's a different...shape. Yeah, we'll go with that. Anyhow, they were delicious. And, as the name implies, they are amazingly fluffy!

Fluffy Wheat & Chia Pancakes
2 T. vinegar
scant 2 c. milk
2 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. chia seeds
2 T. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 large eggs
2 T. oil

-In a liquid measuring cup, pour in vinegar and add milk to hit the 2 c. mark. Set aside.
-In a mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients.
-Add wet ingredients, including milk and vinegar mixture. Mix well to form a batter.
-Heat griddle to medium heat and grease well.
-Cook 1/3 c. batter at a time. Cook 2 minutes on the first side, flip and cook 1 minute on other side.

 Look how fluffy they are!
 I usually eat mine with butter and syrup. I guess I'm boring. Haha!

These were a great breakfast. Hope you like them as much as we did. Enjoy!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Clam Dip

I'm finally back! I have been super swamped the last few months but hopefully I'll be able to be a little more consistent now. Anyhow, this recipe is one that my mom would always make for parties when I was young. It's ridiculously easy so it's a great go-to appetizer that you could just throw together anytime. I was randomly craving it today so I whipped some up in about 10 minutes. It's good stuff.

Clam Dip
2 boxes (8 oz. each) cream cheese
2 cans (6.5 oz. each) chopped clams, drain & reserve juice*
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
black pepper

Combine all ingredients except clam juice. Mix well. Add enough clam juice (about 2-3 T.) to reach a nice, creamy consistency. Serve with potato chips.
*Minced clams work too, but I like the bigger chunks of clams.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Healthy Almond Coconut Fudge

This is a fun, easy treat to make. Seriously, so easy! I made it a few weeks ago when I had a mad chocolate craving. Next time, I think I'll try substituting with peanut butter and sprinkling m&m's on top for the kids. That would be a great after school snack!

Healthy Coconut Almond Fudge (adapted from Creating Naturally)
1/2 c. virgin coconut oil, melted
1/2 c. roasted & salted almond butter
1/2 c. cocoa
1/4 c. agave (I used a bit less)
1/4 t. vanilla
3 T. roasted almonds
2 T. shredded coconut (I used unsweetened)
In a microwave safe bowl, combine coconut oil and almond butter. Microwave for a few seconds to soften. Stir in cocoa, agave, and vanilla.
 Pour into a lined 9x9" pan. Sprinkle with almonds and coconut. Refrigerate until firm.
 Once it has firmed up, cut into squares.
 Oh, it just melts in your mouth! Be sure to keep it in the fridge or it will get soft and gloopy. I guess that's not a bad thing if you want to eat it with a spoon, haha!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Perfectly Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have such fond memories of cookies. I remember coming home from school on rainy days and my mom always had cookies waiting for us. Chocolate chip were probably my favorite growing up. Who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies? They are such a comforting treat. So now as an adult, whenever I'm having an off day, I always want to make chocolate chip cookies to make me feel better. Trust me, this recipe will not disappoint. Also, it make a TON of cookies so ... it's bound to make you happy!

Perfectly Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
(makes 8 dozen)

1 lb. salted butter, softened
2 & 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 t. vanilla
5 & 1/2 c. flour
1 T. cornstarch
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 (12 oz.) bag mini chocolate chips
1 c. regular chocolate chips
1 (10 oz.) bag chocolate chunks*

*I didn't have enough chocolate chunks in only a 10 oz. bag. So I ended up making half without. You might notice in the photos that some have chunks, some don't. They were all delicious, but if you want enough to use on every cookie, I might suggest 2 bags.

In a stand mixer, combine butter and sugars. Mix on a medium-high speed for about 5 minutes.
 Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between eggs. Then add vanilla.
 Remove bowl from mixer and add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.
 Mix by hand until almost all the flour mixture is incorporated.
 Stir in mini chips and regular chips. (Not the chunks.)
 Drop dough in 1" balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Arrange 3-4 chocolate chunks on top of each cookie.
 Bake at 375 F for 6 minutes, NO LONGER! If they look way too underbaked, then you're right on the money. That's exactly what you're after! Let them cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes.
 They continue to set up as they cool.
 Look at that perfect, soft center. Just grand!

 I brought 4 dozen of these babies to a family event and they were the first to go. Everyone was raving about them!
These cookies freeze wonderfully. You could also freeze the cookie dough balls to have fresh baked cookies anytime. Enjoy!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Simple Basil Pesto

I've developed a real fondness for pesto. It brings such a fresh and rich flavor to so many dishes. Lucky for me, pesto is super simple to make.
 Fresh basil is pretty much the main ingredient in pesto and it can be a little pricey at the store. So in June I decided that I wanted to grow it. Now, I've tried to grow basil in the past and failed miserably. I have some strange desire to be able to grow a garden someday so year after year I keep on trying... Anyway, this year I bought a little basil plant, put it in a container on my porch, and I haven't killed it!!! I'm so proud.

Simple Basil Pesto (slightly adjusted from Blendtec)
2 c. loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 c. olive oil
2 gloves garlic
1/4 c. pine nuts
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1/4 t. salt
black pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender (magic bullet might work, too) and blend it up.
 And...tada! Fresh pesto.
 I'm totally obsessed with it right now. This is what I've been eating lately: steamed zucchini and/or yellow squash, melted cheese, diced tomatoes (seasoned with a little olive oil, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper), and a scoop of pesto on top. So dang good. Now I just need to grow some zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes.