Sunshine Muffins Friday, May 3 2013 

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Last year, I was given an old recipe box, with lots of old newspaper clippings, with recipes. This recipe is from one of those clippings, so I don’t know where to give the credit! Of course, I did my own variations anyways. 🙂  We all loved this recipe, and so did our neighbour kids! The 3.5 dozen (double recipe) didn’t last 2 days! Very moist, fresh, and delicious! Definitely will be making it again.

It’s a versatile recipe, feel free to change the add-ins to sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, grated apples instead of the grated carrots, dried fruit, etc.

Sunshine Muffins

2 cups flour (I did 1/2 cup white, 1 1/2 cup spelt)
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp ground flax
2 Tbsp hemp hearts
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds/poppy seeds, etc (optional)
1/3 cup coconut
1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 cups grated carrots
1 banana, mashed
3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla

Combine flour, baking soda, sugar, and cinnamon together. Stir in sesame seeds, coconut, chocolate chips, carrots and banana.

Beat together eggs, oil, and vanilla. Stir into flour mixture until just moistened. Spoon into greased/lined muffin cups and bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes.

Makes 1.5 dozen.

Granola Bars Thursday, May 2 2013 

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A friend gave me this recipe a few years ago, and I remember really liking them. I finally got around to making it again, and yes, still just as delicious! These are pretty sweet, more like a dessert to me, but hold together really well.

 

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Granola Bars

3 cups oatmeal
2/3 cup slivered almonds
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp maple extract
1/4 cup maple syrup

Mix thoroughly, by hand. Press it on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes, or until it bubbles in the middle and is just a bit brown. Cut when warm, and leave in the pan until completely cooled.

Brown Rice Pudding Tuesday, Apr 30 2013 

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We had company last night, and I made rice. Lots of rice. Loads of rice! I had a lot of leftovers, and decided to try a brown rice pudding recipe. I googled, and got a few ideas. This morning I made the rice pudding, and while it looks like oatmeal, it’s much yummier!!

The recipe is an adaptation from Versagrain’s.

Brown Rice Pudding

1 1/2 cup brown rice (I used brown basmati)
2 cups milk, divided
2 Tbsp sugar*
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut (optional)
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a medium size pot, combine rice, 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until pudding is thick and creamy – approximately 10-15 minutes.

Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk, beaten egg, coconut and raisins. Cook 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove pudding from heat, stir in butter and vanilla. Enjoy warm!

* I reduced the sugar a lot compared the original recipe, and still found it too sweet because of the added raisins, sweeten to your taste!

Crockpot Scalloped Ham Potatoes Monday, Apr 8 2013 

We love this meal! I love it because its quick and easy to put together, and my boys love eating it because they loooove potatoes. 🙂

Crockpot Scalloped Ham Potatoes

5 medium potatoes, sliced thin (about 4 cups)
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups ham, diced
1 cup cheese, shredded

Sauce:
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups water*

Place sliced potatoes in a bowl of water with 1/2 tsp cream of tartar or salt, then drain. This will keep potatoes from darkening. Layer potatoes in 5L/qt crock-pot. Then put onions and ham on top of potatoes.

Stir flour, salt and pepper together in saucepan. Whisk in milk gradually until no lumps remain. Heat and stir until boiling. Pour over potatoes in the crockpot. Top with shredded cheese.

Cover and cook on low for 9hrs or on high for 4.5hrs (I found my crockpot to only need about 3hrs on high – so check to see, it’ll depend a bit on the strength of your crockpot).

*I like to do part chicken broth, part milk. This last time I used approx 2/3 cup broth and the rest was milk.

Flax-laden Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins Thursday, Apr 4 2013 

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I’ve been trying to add more fiber into our diet these days. This recipe I caught my eye since they contain so much ground flax, which is so high in fiber content! I thought they would be dense, but they worked beautifully, and my whole family is eating them up! One would never know there is so much ground flax in them. 🙂

Flax-laden Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

3/4 cup butter/margarine
3 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups mashed banana (approx 4 bananas)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cups whole grain flour
1 cup white flour
3/4 cup ground flax*
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 to 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Beat together butter, vanilla, eggs, sugar, bananas, and lemon juice. Add in dry ingredients and mix until mixed in. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.

* You can easily grind flax seeds in a coffee grinder!

Garlic Lemon Fish Tuesday, Apr 2 2013 

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Fish is not something my family has eaten much of, but this pregnant has me craving to add fish to our diet. When the fish was on sale for a great price last week, I decided this was the time to get some. I loosely followed a recipe on the package of the fish and it was delicious! So, I’m writing it on here to make sure I can remember it for later! 🙂

Garlic Lemon Fish

2 small fish fillets (approx 50g/1.75oz each) – I used sole
1 Tbsp crushed garlic
4 Tbsp butter/olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp parsley

Place butter/oil and garlic in skillet and cook until garlic is light brown, stirring frequently. Add lemon juice and parsley to the skillet, then fish fillet. Cook several minutes, then flip fish to cook on the other side for a few more minutes, until cooked through. Serve on a bed of rice (we like brown basmati best), and pour sauce over the rice.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies Monday, Mar 11 2013 

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There’s a recipe that I’ve seen going around Pinterest for a while, Lemon Crinkle Cookies, and while they look so good, they are so full of sugar that I could never bring myself to make them!! I decided to try a healthier version of them, and it worked! We all love them, and it’s such a nice variety to the typical oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies that are popular around here. 🙂

So, I reduced the sugar significantly, and used whole grain spelt flour (wheat would work too), and my husband still thought they were really sweet. 🙂  We all loved them for sure.

 

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

½ cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup wheat/spelt flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients, except powdered sugar, slowly until just combined. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly.

Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. I then shook each ball briefly in my fingers to shake off extra powdered sugar. Place on greased baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until bottoms begin to barely brown. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Basic Biscuits Sunday, Mar 3 2013 

IMG_1376I really like my other biscuit recipes, but I’ve been trying a few new recipes from the “More with Less” cookbook, as I’m thinking it’s one of the only two cookbooks I’ll be bringing with me to Africa. I LOVED this biscuit recipe! I am most definitely going to keep doing this one instead of my other ones now. 🙂

One day, my oldest wanted a hot dog in a hot dog bun for lunch. Since I don’t usually have hot dog buns on hand, and I was out of regular bread (which we fold to make a hot dog “bun”), him and I made this biscuit recipe together and shaped the dough into logs. Then, after they were cooked, we cut a “U” shape on the top and created a quick hot dog bun. Worked for him! 🙂

Basic Biscuits

2 cups flour*
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup milk/kefir

Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening. Mix in milk/kefir until soft ball forms. Knead gently 20-25 times. Roll or pat dough to 1/2″ thick and cut. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and at 425F for 10 minutes.

Cheese biscuits: Add in 1 cup grated cheese into flour mixture, before cutting in shortening. Increase milk to 1 cup.

* I do 1 1/2 cups whole grain (wheat/spelt), and 1/2 cup white. Or half white, half spelt.

Kitchen Tip: Peeling Garlic Quickly! Friday, Mar 1 2013 

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A while back, I saw a Pinterest link on how to peel a whole bulb of garlic in 30 seconds. I didn’t really believe it, but definitely wanted to try it! I like to peel several bulbs, put them through the food processor, then freeze them. This way it’s quick and easy to add to any dish as I’m cooking. I find I use garlic more this way since I don’t have to take the time to peel a clove, and diced it (or use a garlic press that is a pain to wash!).

Today, I finally gave it a try and it was so fun! My boys and I peeled 5 bulbs of garlic in approximately 5 minutes! Definitely quickly than peeling them individually! 🙂

Here’s a video on how to do it:

Shared at Tammy’s Recipes, Kitchen Tip Tuesday!

Squash Bars Friday, Mar 1 2013 

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I had 1/2 a spaghetti squash leftover the other day, and didn’t know what to do with it. I found this recipe in the cookbook “Simply in Season” and decided to give it a try. It turned out delicious! My husband and boys couldn’t stop eating it. I’ll definitely be repeating this easy and yummy recipe.

Squash Bars

2 cups winter squash or pumpkin (cooked and puréed)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Beat together squash, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and salt. Mix in dry ingredients. Pour into greased 11×17″ pan. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.

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