Orange Chocolate Chips Bran Muffins Tuesday, May 27 2014 

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These are dense muffins, but so good! They are FULL of fibre, which makes them an awesome health food, or to bring on trips. The orange flavour is not at all overwhelming, and the kids love them since there’s chocolate chips. This is a large batch, so I freeze the extras until a later time.

Orange Chocolate Chips Bran Muffins

2 oranges, peeled and blended up
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 Tbsp vinegar mixed with the cup of milk)
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups oat bran
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1 cup flax seeds (measure first, then grind)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Mix wet ingredients, add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in chocolate chips. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Quick Cinnamon Buns Tuesday, May 27 2014 

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On mothers’ day, I wanted a special treat. I wanted cinnamon rolls! But I didn’t have the time to make the regular ones I usually make. I found this recipe, which was fast and easy and delicious! My oldest said “We get to eat DESSERT for BREAKFAST?!?!” He was quite thrilled at the idea of cinnamon buns for breakfast. Since I made the biscuit dough whole wheat, I didn’t feel bad serving it that way. I’ll be making this again!

Quick Cinnamon Buns

3 cups flour (I used 2 cups wheat, 1 cup white)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup butter
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (I simply added 1 Tbsp of vinegar to my milk)
1 egg

Cinnamon Filling:
3 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In separate bowl, whisk buttermilk with egg; pour over dry ingredients and stir with fork to make soft dough. Knead a few times, on a floured surface, until you have a smooth ball of dough, about 10 times. Roll out approximately 16″x11″ rectangle.

Brush butter all over the dough, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up and pinch edges to seal. Using a serrated knife, cut in 1″ thick slices. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake 20 minutes at 400F, until lightly brown. Enjoy!

Mini Crustless Quiches Tuesday, May 27 2014 

I found this recipe to be so quick to prepare since I like having a bag of pre-cooked bacon bits in the freezer (from Cosco!). I’ve also made it with other leftover meats. We brought it to a picnic, as its so easy to bring! I’m sure the coconut flour could be substituted with regular flour, but it would take more (maybe 1/4 cup? Haven’t tried it that way yet!). The flour helps make the quiches more solid and easier to handle.

Mini Crustless Quiches

4 eggs
1 cup milk
6oz cheese, grated
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 Tbsp coconut flour
Dash of onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper

 

Grease 12 muffin tins. Place cheese in each, top with bacon (and whatever other veggies you may want to add!), and sprinkle seasonings. In a large measuring cup, beat eggs, and add milk. Pour over each muffin tin. Bake at 375F for 20-25 minutes until they are browed around the edges and cooked through. Enjoy!

 

Inspired from here.

Homemade Hamburger Helper Saturday, Mar 1 2014 

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Homemade Hamburger Helper

1lb hamburger
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup green peppers, chopped (optional)
2.5 – 3.5 cups tomato juice*
1 3/4 cup buttermilk**
2 cups macaroni, uncooked
1tsp sugar
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
Cheese, optional

In large pot, fry meat, onions, and peppers. Add tomato juice, milk, macaroni, sugar, chili powder and salt. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring frequently, until noodles are tender. Stir in cheese if desired. I stirred in some parmesan and cheddar.

Quick-meal tip: I cook large batches of ground beef/onions and keep it in the freezer for quick meals. If you have precooked ground beef like that, all you do is throw all the ingredients together in a large pot, simmer until done! Quick and easy!

Variation: I’m sure the seasonings could be swapped with others to change up this meal a bit if desired. I like the simplicity of this one.

*I used whole wheat noodles and used 3 1/2 cups. With white noodles, you would need less. Start with 2.5 cups and add ore as needed until the noodles are cooked through.
**I used milk with a bit of vinegar added. I’m sure it would work just fine with regular milk.

No-Bake Energy Balls Monday, Jul 15 2013 

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I am preparing for the arrival of our third baby soon, and wanted to make some no-bake energy balls in the freezer for the labour, or post-partum. My husband and boys LOVE these as well, so hopefully there will be a few left for the midwives and I by the time the baby arrives!!

There are easy to make, and don’t heat up the house on these hot summer days. They are wonderful to bring on a car ride, picnic, play date at the beach or park, or anywhere else you go.

The recipe is a slight adaptation from here.

No-Bake Energy Balls

1 cup oatmeal (I use large flakes so they take longer to digest, keeping one feeling full longer)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed/chia seeds/psyllium husks/hemp hearts
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or use cranberries, etc!)
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients together, and put the mixture in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (to make it easier to handle). Shape into balls, and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a container or ziploc bag and either store in fridge or freezer – if they last that long!

Rhubarb Muffins Thursday, Jun 13 2013 

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I was excited to get some rhubarb again this year, and decided to try this new recipe from Simply in Season. They turned out wonderful! So moist, and perfect combinaison of sweet and sour from the rhubarb. It’s definitely a recipe I’ll turn to time and again in rhubarb season!

Rhubarb Muffins

1 cup buttermilk, sour milk, or plain yogurt*
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, diced
1/2 cup nuts, optional

Mix together buttermilk, brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until just moistened.Stir in rhubarb and nuts. Pour in greased/lined muffin tins.

Topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp flour

Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of batter. Bake at 375F approximately 20 minutes, until toothpick in center comes out clean.

*I make my own buttermilk by adding 1 Tbsp vinegar to my milk and letting is sit a couple minutes.

Strawberry Muffins Tuesday, Jun 11 2013 

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This is a recipe slightly modified from Simply in Season. It’s so simple to put together, and deliciously moist! It’s definitely a recipe I’ll be making again and again!

Strawberry Muffins

1 1/4 cup strawberries, mashed*
3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup oil
2 eggs
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

Mix together sugar, oil, and eggs. Stir in strawberries. Add in dry ingredients, only stirring until combined. Pour into greased/lined muffin tins and bake at 375F for approximately 20 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

* I used thawed frozen strawberries.

Homemade Diaper Rash Cream Friday, Jun 7 2013 

My 2-yr old was recently battling a diaper rash. After trying various (expensive!) over the counter diaper creams, with no real results. During that time I ordered what I needed to make my own, and I’ve been so pleased with it! Even my son said “No owie!” after I put it on his rashy-bum. That’s quite a compliment! :)

I looked around online at various recipes for diaper rash creams, such as this one and this one, and  ended up making my own end product. I bought most of the ingredients from New Directions Aromatics (they have both a US website and Canadian website) as they have very good prices, decent shipping rate, and quick delivery.

Homemade Diaper Rash Cream

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/8 cup shea butter
1/8 oz beeswax granules
2 tsp cornstarch
5 drops vitamin E drops (or empty one capsule) (optional, good for skin)
6 drops grapefruit seed extract (optional, as preservative)
1 Tbsp zinc oxide powder
1 Tbsp witch hazel (optional, its treats inflammation and swelling)
5 drops tea tree essential oil (optional, but anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal)
5 drops lavender essential oil (optional, but anti-bacterial, and anti-viral)

Place coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter, and cornstarch in a double boiler (or place a bowl in a hot water/boiling water pot), melt the oils on medium-low heat. Remove bowl and put on counter. Add in zinc powder, vitamin E oil, grapefruit seed extract, witch hazel, and essential oils. Using a slick blender or hand mixer, blend in well, until smooth. Pour into a jar, and let cool.

Homemade Sunscreen Thursday, Jun 6 2013 

I made sunscreen, following this recipe, last week. The next day was a bright direct-sunlight day, so we got to test out the sunscreen! Josiah took the boys out on a long bike ride, and none of them got sun burnt! I’m so excited to have a good homemade sunscreen, with natural ingredients I don’t mind smearing on my children’s skin. I’m also excited to have a sunscreen that I can use on our 6-mth old baby when we move to Niger (Africa), next January.

Homemade Sunscreen

1/2 oz beeswax pastilles
1/4 cup (2 oz) shea butter
1/4 cup (2 oz) coconut oil
1/8 oz buriti oil (optional, good natural sunscreen properties)
2 Tbsp (1 oz) zinc oxide powder
5 drops vitamin E oil (optional, good for skin)

Place beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, and buriti oil in a double boiler (or place a bowl in a hot water/boiling water pot), melt the oils on medium-low heat. Remove bowl and put on counter. Add in zinc powder, and vitamin E oil. Using a slick blender or hand mixer, blend the zinc powder in well, until smooth. Pour into a jar, and let cool.

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles Wednesday, May 8 2013 

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I have made our own popsicles for the past 2yrs or so. I love making my own as I know exactly what is in it, and its not loaded with food colouring and sugar. :)  There are many cute popsicle moulds out there too, such as the one my son is holding in a start shape. The main one I’ve been making is Smoothie Popsicles, but we also really like the Coffee Popsicles! While I searched my blog for the links to those two popsicles, I came across one I totally forgot about, Peanut Butter Popsicles!

This week, I tried a new one: Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles. It is DELICIOUS! It’ll definitely become a regular part of our popsicle selection this summer. :)

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

1 cup strawberries, mashed
1 cup plain yogurt
Honey, to taste (or other sweetener of choice)

I put my strawberries through the blender, leaving some small chunks for texture. I quickly blended in the yogurt, and sweetened to taste with a bit of honey. Freeze in popsicle moulds, or in small cups with a spoon or popsicle sticks in it. Enjoy! :)

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