Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Apple Oat Drops

Currently these are one of my son's favorites. As with my carrot drops I scoop out all of the dough and then freeze the uncooked dough. When it is frozen I put all the uncooked cookies in a freezer container. I then take them out and bake as needed. 
They also work great if you cook them and then freeze them just pull them out and let them defrost in the fridge.
Apple Oat Drops
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup rapadura sugar or brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp baking soda
1 egg
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/3 cup all purpose Flour
1/3 cup whole wheat Flour
1 ¼ cup rolled oats 

Optional Additions
½ cup dried fruit
½ cup chopped nuts
½ cup chocolate chips

Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl using either a stand or hand mixer. Beat in the egg and applesauce until well blended. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Then slowly mix flour mixture into the butter mixture until well blended. Stir in the oats and any additions you like. Place tablespoon size scoops on a baking stone and bake at 375° for 10-12 min. Cool on a wire rack, serve slightly warm, store in an airtight container for 3-5 days, or freeze for later use.

Grilled Sandwiches

When I make these I usually include whatever veggies I have in the garden. This goes well with a side of homemade sweet potato fries or chips.

Grilled Sandwiches

8 slices French Bread

4-8 Cheese slices

sliced fresh veggies such as Pepper, squash, zucchini, broccoli, onion, eggplant, tomato

¼ cup Mayonnaise

1 teaspoon basil

1 clove garlic crushed

You can either grill the veggies before putting them on the sandwich, or sauté the veggies, except tomatoes, in a small amount of olive oil till soft. While veggies are cooking mix mayonnaise, basil, and garlic and set aside. Spread mayonnaise on outside of the bread slices.

Layer veggies and cheese on the bread slices. Cook on grill for about 5 min flipping once until the outside of the sandwich is crisp on both sides and the cheese is melted.

Spinach Casserole

This is one of my husbands favorite dishes. You can reduce the butter from 4 tbs to 3 tbs for a less fattening version. I cook this dish in two 16oz dishes but you can use one larger dish if you choose.

Spinach Casserole

1lb fresh Spinach

4 tbs plus 1 tbs butter

1 cup crated Cheese

2 beaten Eggs

½ cup Milk

½ cup Bread Crumbs finely chopped

Cook spinach in a saucepan over medium heat till most of the water is cooked out. The spinach will greatly reduce while cooking. Take the spinach off the heat then add 4 tbs butter to the spinach and mix till melted. Then add cheese, eggs, and milk. Pour the spinach mixture into two 16 oz casserole dishes. Mix bread crumbs and 1tbs melted butter. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over spinach mixture evenly covering the top. Cook at 350° for 30-35 min or until firmly set.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Veggie Drops

My kids love these as a snack. Sometimes I add a small amount of cream cheese frosting for an extra treat. When making these often I scoop out all the dough and then freeze the uncooked dough. When it is frozen I put all the uncooked cookies in a freezer container. I then take them out and bake as needed. They can also be cooked and then frozen just let them defrost in the fridge when you are ready.

Veggie Drops

½ cup butter
¾ cup rapadura sugar or granulated cane sugar
1 egg
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
1 ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 cups grated veggies*

Optional Additions
½ cup chopped nuts
½ cup chocolate chips
Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with a stand or hand mixer. Beat in the egg and applesauce until well blended. Mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Alternatively mix butter mixture and carrots into the flour mixture. Beat until well mixed. Scoop tablespoon size drops onto a baking stone or sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 375° for 12-15 min until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack, serve slightly warm, store in an airtight container for 3-5 days, or freeze for later use.

*Some good veggies to try
Summer Squash

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Cheese Pizza

We love pizza around here. As my son says our favorite pizza has "red sauce and cheese on top." What he does not know is there are a few things I slip into the pizza besides sauce and cheese.

Cheese Pizza

1 cup grated Mozzarella Cheese

1 cup grated Chedder Cheese

1/2 cup grated Parmasean Cheese

1 cup Veggies of your choice (some of our favorites include spinach, carrots, zucchini, eggplant, squash, broccoli)

Pizza Sauce

Pizza Crust

Roll out pizza crust to fit pizza stone. Brush the entire crust with a small amount of olive oil. Chop veggies into tiny pieces. Defrost pizza sauce and mix with veggies. Spread sauce mixture evenly over crust. Layer cheeses over pizza, our favorite is to start with mozzarella and the chedder, ending with parmesean on top. Bake at 350° for 25 min.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mac and Cheese

Almost every kid loves Mac and Cheese. Around here I make and freeze ours in batches so we have it when we need it. We have been known to eat boxed mac and cheese at times...only the organic ones of course but this is much healthier especially if you add some veggie puree and some chopped veggies to it. By changing up the ingredients you can create something rich and almost sinful or a delicious healthy meal.

Mac and Cheese

4 cups Pasta (whatever small pasta I have on hand)

3 tbs Butter

3 tbs Flour

1 cup Milk

1 cup Cream*

3 cups Cheese grated any combination of cheeses ex: Cheddar, Monterrey Jack, Colby, Parmesan...

¼ cup Cream Cheese*

1-2 cups Chopped Veggies ex: Broccoli, Carrots, Squash...

2-4 tsp dried spices ex: parsley, garlic, thyme, sage, nutmeg...

Boil water and cook pasta. If you like your veggies softer you can steam them for about 5 min or mix them in raw for a added crunch. While pasta is cooking make the cheese sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add the flour and spices and whisk with the butter. Cook the butter and flour for 1 min stirring constantly. Add the milk and/or cream and whisk until the flour and butter is well blended. Continue to stir until the sauce thickens. Mix the cheese and/or the cream cheese in the sauce and stir until melted. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce and the veggies. Pour into two 6 cup casserole dishes. Bake at 350° for 30 min.

Or cover and freeze to bake later. If frozen bake 400° for 50 min

*Any combination of cream to milk can be used. Just be sure to have 2 cups. I have used just Milk or 1/4 cup Cream and 1 3/4 cup milk. Try different combinations depending on your tastes.
The cream cheese can also be left out if desired.

Sometimes I like to add bread cubes to the top of the mac and cheese. To do this mix small bread cubes with 1 tbs melted butter, add to top of the pasta before baking.

I also like to add different pureed veggies to the sauce. I mix in the puree when I am adding the cheese. Some of my favorite puree to use are butternut or acorn squash, carrot, and sweet potato. Start with about 1 cup of puree taste and add more if desired.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stir Fry Veggies and Rice

I usually make this with prepackaged organic frozen stir fry veggies but you can use any fresh or frozen veggies you enjoy. Use any rice you like white or brown. We have started using a mixture here about half white and half brown. I plan to increase the ration of brown to white over time as we get use to it.

Stir Fry Rice and Veggies

¾ cup white Rice

1 tbs butter

1 ½ Water

1 tbs olive oil

1 cup Frozen stir fry veggies

2 Eggs

Stir Fry Sauce

2 tbs Soy sauce

2 tbs Honey

2 ½ tbs Orange Juice

2 tsp Cornstarch

2 tbs Vinegar

Bring water and butter to a boil. Add rice stir, cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 min.
Mix all sauce ingredients together, whisk and set aside. Whisk eggs together in a separate bowl.
Heat oil in a large saucepan. Cook frozen veggies in oil for 3 min or until tender. Push the veggies to one side of the pan. Pour the eggs into the empty side of the pan. Allow the eggs to start to cook, before they are completely solid break up the eggs and mix in the veggies. Finish cooking eggs and veggies about 1 more min. Whisk sauce and add to veggies and eggs. Stir everything together until suace thickens slightly. Remove from heat and serve with rice.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Homemade Tortillas

Homemade tortillas are easy to make and so much better then store bought ones. I have tried 2 different versions and they are both good. It is important to let the dough rest before rolling it out. It will roll thinner and be easier to handle.

1. Flour Tortillas
1 ½ cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Shortening
1/3 cup Water

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening. Add hot water until moist. Knead dough. Cover and let rest for an hour. Separate dough into 8 balls. Roll to very thin (the will rise a little when they cook) and cook each tortilla for 2 minutes on each side in a skillet. Tortillas should be slightly brown and no longer look floury.

2. Flour Tortillas
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup room temp veggie puree*, milk, or water

Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the warm milk and oil. Stir together dough will be sticky. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth for 20 minutes.
After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth for 10 minutes. Roll each ball until it is thin and about 8 inches in diameter. In a dry skillet on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side.

*I almost exclusively make all my tortillas with the second method using the veggie puree.
If using puree your dough may seem a bit dry. Mix the dough together first and if it seems too dry add a tbs of water at a time until you have the right consistency.Purees are a lot of fun to use my kids love having a variety of different colored tortillas.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Quesadilla, Black Bean Dip, and Tomato Salsa

My kids love quesadillas especially when they get to dip in the different sauces. I like to keep our quesadillas pretty plain by just using a variety of our favorite cheese in them and then add flavor by providing different dips and toppings.
Cooking Oil
3 cups shredded Cheese
1 Avocado
Heat oil in large pan. Place cheese on one tortilla and fold in half. Fry in oil until golden brown then flip and fry the other side about 1-2 min on each side. Place on a dish towel or on paper towels to drain some oil off before serving. Serve with avocado, sour cream, Bean Dip, and Tomato Salsa.
Black Bean Dip
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion
1/2 pepper
2 cups black beans
1 cup water
1 tbs Cilantro
1 tsp Salt
Finely chop onion and pepper. Cook onion and pepper in oil till soft. Add beans and water to veggies bring to a boil. Cook till soft and mash to desired constancy. Add more water or let cook to reduce water depending on your preference. Add salt and cilantro mix well. Serve warm.
Tomato Salsa
1 Tomato
½ tsp salt
¼ cup frozen or fresh corn
½ tbs lime juice
1 clove garlic
1 tbs cilantro
1 tsp olive oil
Chop tomato, add salt and drain for 10 min. If using frozen corn, rinse the corn and let drain. Mix all ingredients and let sit for 10 min.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spinach Lasagna

This is a great make ahead meal. It freezes wonderfully and can be reheated when ever needed. I divide it into two 6 cup casserole dishes which is just enough for one dinner for our family and one to freeze.

Spinach Lasagna

5 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
9 Lasagna Noodles (dried noodles* or fresh uncooked noodles)
1 recipe Marinara Sauce

Spinach Filling
6 cups Spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 Egg
15 oz Ricotta Cheese
¾ cup Parmesan Cheese
¼ tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Bay leafs
Cook spinach in a large pan over med heat until most of the water is out. Mix together the spinach and the other filling ingredients. 
In a dish layer Sauce, noodles, filling, and cheese. Make 2 layers end with a layer of noodles, sauce, and top with the remaining cheese. 
To bake cover with foil and Bake at 375° for 35-40 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting.
Freezing and Reheating
Prepare as above in a glass dish but do not bake. Cover tightly and freeze. Cook 450° for 50 min.

*I do not precook my dried noodles. I prepare the lasagna as directed and then bake covered with foil for the entire cook time. I then leave the lasagna covered for 10 min after removing it from the oven.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fettuccine Alfredo

Make this basic sauce and then add you favorite spices, herbs, or veggies. I have included three of my favorite variations.

Fettuccine Alfredo
1 ¼ cup Cream

4 tbs Butter

¾ cup Parmesan Cheese

½ teaspoon Nutmeg

1 ½ cup Fettuccine Pasta

Cook pasta in a large pan according to package directions.

Heat cream and butter in pan and bring to a light boil stir frequently. Add Parmesan and nutmeg to cream and stir until cheese is melted. Mix pasta and cream sauce.

Serve with a salad and Garlic Bread

Zucchini Fettuccine

Slice one zucchini into long thin slices, like fettuccine pasta.

Cook zucchini in a pan with 1/2 tablespoon little butter, add to the cream with pasta.

Lemon Peas Fettuccine

Boil 3/4 cup peas in a small amount of water for about 5 minutes, or add to pasta while cooking. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice to the cream sauce with the nutmeg.

Garlic Fettuccine
Saute 2 cloves crushed garlic in 1/2 tablespoon butter. Add cream to sauteed garlic and follow above directions.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Garlic Bread

1/2 loaf French Bread cut into thick slices
2 tablespoons Butter
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Melt butter and mix in garlic powder. Let butter mixture sit until slightly hardened but still spreadable, can be placed in the fridge to quicken the process. Spread butter mixture on each slice of bread. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Cook bread at 350° for 15 min until top is lightly browned.

Pizza Salad

Pizza is always enjoyed by kids. With this pizza you know they are getting a good amount of veggies. I will chop the veggies very fine so they are so mixed in the cheese that the kids hardly know anything else is on it.

Pizza Salad
1 recipe Pizza Crust

1/3 cup Mayonnaise
1 clove Garlic crushed
1 ½ tsp Ranch Mix

Suggested veggies for toppings. Use whatever veggies you enjoy on your salads.
1 cup fresh Spinach
2 cups Cheese
1 Carrot
¼ cup Broccoli
1 Bell Pepper
1/2 Tomato
1 celery stalk
1 Squash or Zucchini
1 Cucumber

Shape pizza crust to desired size and thickness. Sprinkle a little corn meal on the baking stone and then place the dough over the corn meal. Brush pizza crust with olive oil.

Make sauce by mixing the mayonnaise, garlic, and ranch mix.
Chop up veggies and grate the cheese.
Spread sauce on crust. Lay spinach leaves in a single layer over the sauce. Sprinkle cheese over the spinach then spread the rest of the veggies over the cheese.
Bake at 350° for 15-20 min.

Ranch Mix

Use this mix as a replacement in any recipe that calls for a dry ranch mix. For a quick dressing I just mix a small amount of milk with mayonnaise and sprinkle in mix tell desired taste and texture. The other day I used it as my seasoning one kale chips instead of salt or sprinkled on popcorn with butter. Or mix it in to sour cream, mayonnaise, hummus, or cream cheese for a quick veggie dip. I use it anytime I think a ranch flavor would be good.

Ranch Mix
4 teaspoon Parsley
2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black or Lemon Pepper
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ teaspoon Thyme
1 teaspoon Dill Weed

Mix together all ingredients and
store in an airtight spice container.

Salad Dressing
Mix ¼ cup milk with ½ tablespoon vinegar. Let sit for 10 min.
Or use 1/4 cup buttermilk instead of the milk and vinegar
Whisk ½ cup mayonnaise with milk or buttermilk until smooth.
Mix 2 tsp ranch mix with mayonnaise mixture.
Store in refrigerator in am airtight container for up to a week.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Rice and Bean Skillet

I love this because it is so easy to put together. Serve with homemade tortillas and freshly sliced avocado.

Rice and Bean Skillet

1 Pepper

3 gloves Garlic

1 small Onion

1 tablespoon Olive oil

2 cups diced tomatoes or one 14 oz can Diced Tomatoes

2 cups Black Beans

2 cups Water

1 cup Rice

1 tablespoon Cilantro

2 cups Cheese

Chop peppers, garlic and onion into small pieces. Sauté peppers and onion in olive oil over med high heat. Cook until onion is translucent add the garlic and saute for about 1 more min. Add diced tomatoes, black beans and water, bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Stir in rice, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 min, stir occasionally while simmering. When rice is done and most of the moisture is gone remove the pan from heat. Mix in the cilantro then top with the cheese. Place the cover back on the pan and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Make the dough, choose a filling and then fry, bake, or freeze this delicious dinner. Great when served with sour cream and avocados.

Empanada Dough

3 cups Flour
½ teaspoon Salt
2/3 cup Shortening
1 Egg
2/3 cup water
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening. Add 1 egg and mix well. Add 2/3 cup water stir until mixture forms a ball. Make filling 1 or 2 below.
Roll out dough into eight 4 inch circles. Place filling in circle, brush outer edge of circle with water, and fold in half. Press edges together to seal. Put a small cut in the top of each empanada.
Bake at 375° for 20 minutes (until golden brown)
Fry in hot oil for 3 minutes on each side (until golden brown)
Filling 1
1 cup Onion
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cups Spinach
1 cup Carrots
2 cups Cheese
Heat oil in a large skillet. Chop onions to desired size. Cook onions in oil till soft. Add spinach and carrots to onion and cook for 5 min. Remove skillet from heat and stir in cheese.
Filling 2
2 cups Black Beans
3 cups Cheese
2 Peppers
1 Onion
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Heat oil in a large skillet. Cook onions and peppers in oil until soft. Remove from heat add black beans and cheese.

Note: Empanadas are wonderfully easy to freeze. Before cooking place empanadas in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. When frozen place empanadas in a container for freezer storage. When ready to eat place frozen empanadas on a baking sheet and Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Artichoke and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Another quick and easy dinner. The whole meal is done in the time it takes to boil pasta.

Artichoke and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

2 cups Penne Pasta

1 cup Cream

½ cup Sun-dried Tomatoes

1 7.5 oz jar Artichoke Hearts

2 teaspoons Parsley

½ cup Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta adding the sun dried tomatoes when there is about 2 minutes left. Heat the cream in a pan until boiling. Add the artichoke hearts and parsley, cook 1 minute more. Mix together the cream and pasta top with Parmesan cheese.

Serve with salad, biscuits or garlic bread.

This week I was out of Parmesan cheese and so I used 1/4 cup mizithra cheese instead, it was great.