Tuesday, November 30, 2010

shepherds pie

In honor of the season!  This is a favorite with the boys...what boy doesn't like a little meat and potatoes!
Prepare in crockpot to cook on low all day:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb bison or lamb
1 onion sliced
1 T garlic in oil
1-2 cups beef broth
salt and pepper
4 carrots, sliced
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2-1 cup corn (we use leftovers or omit)
low heat all day...that afternoon, prepare 1 batch mashed potatoes-
in boiling water add 4 cut potatoes (yukon)
cook til tender, drain and add...
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 T butter
salt and pepper

Pour meat mixture into dish and top with potatoes and bake 10 minutes.  Also good lined or topped with potatoes here.
meat mixture...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

another chicken pot pie soup...

just noticed another version of this is on the blog!  We tweeked it a little and came up with this that we like a little better!
(this is made with leftover smoked turkey and chicken.)
sautee 5 T butter in a dutch oven with 
1 cup cut onion and mushroom combined
add 5 T wheat flour and make paste
slowly add one box chicken stock
and 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (alternating a little at a time, stirring in between)  We do this because of our milk allergy does not allow the shortcut of those "cream of" soups!
as much leftover chicken as wanted
1/2 c corn
1/2 c broccoli cuts
1/2 c green beans
1/2 c  peas/carrots
simmer til needed adding water if too thick.
We served in bread bowls.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

bread pudding

This is a wonderful easy dessert!  Our kids call it doughnut casserole!

Set torn up bread in long casserole dish morning or night before preparing. (bread should be crispy!)
10-14 pieces bread. hot dog/burger buns,rolls,bagels, biscuits (any bread!)
4 cups almond milk
1/4 cup butter
3 eggs (or replacer)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp almond extract (or vanilla)

preheat oven 350... Heat milk and butter in pot on low heat til butter is melted.  Pour that mixture over bread. In bowl mix egg replacer and sugar and extract.  Also pour over breads and stir all together.  Bake 40 minutes.
 For sauce... melt 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp almond extract.  Pour over baked pudding.  Slice and serve.  Store in refrigerator and warm up to serve again!

Note:  To make pumpkin bread pudding, use enough pumpkin bread to be 1/2 of total bread and sprinkle with cinnamon before baking. (above picture is pumpkin bread pudding)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pumpkin Bread

When I was in college, I picked up a recipe at the checkout at a Hallmark store and over the years we have made some changes and here lately with an allergy child, even more changes...but it is a family favorite (not just our little family, but cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and so on!)
Below is our little recipe for this yummy treat, and soon I will post our new creation with it....Pumpkin bread Pudding, amazing!

3 1/2 cups flour (we use 2 c wheat, and 1 1/2 all purpose)
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2-3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup veg oil or melted butter
4 eggs (we use egg replacer for the eggs)
2/3 cup water
1 can pumpkin (I think it is 15+ ounces)
Mix dry ingredients and wet separately and combine.  Pour into 2 greased bread pans.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour 15 minutes until done in middle.  (insert a toothpick or cake tester and will come out clean if done!)  Cool and serve! 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


This is such an easy way to get veggies in for kids...We have to do a small one for our dairy free girl... hers has soy or rice based cheese but other than that it has the same fixings...
1 box wheat lasagna noodles (may not use all)
1 lb ground meat
1-2 cans crushed tomatoes (or jar of fresh canned)
1 small can tom. paste
garlic in oil
red/green peppers
sliced mushrooms
1 each sliced zuchini and squash
leaves of spinach
1 large container ricotta
1/2 cup fresh shredded parmesan
2-2 1/2 cups fresh shredded mozzerella

Boil lasagna noodles for 7 minutes... they will be firm, but continue to cook in oven.  Brown a lb of bison (or ground beef or ground turkey) with 1 cup of minced onion and peppers, a spoon of minced garlic... once browned add a large can of crushed tomatoes (we use 2 cans) a small can of tomato paste and 2 T basil, 1 T oregano, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper...mix well.

mix ricotta, 1 T parsley and parmesan

spoon a tablespoon-ish of sauce in casserole dish, then 3 lasagna noodles, spread ricotta mix over noodles, spread mozzerella over ricotta,layer spinach leaves and mushrooms, another layer of noodles, then squash/zuchinni layer, sauce, more noodles and repeat until filled dish and top with mozzerella.  Bake 350 for 15 minutes.  IF you have picky veggie eaters, chop the veggies very small in chopper and add to meat/sauce mixture... we add carrots as well.  If veggies are steamed they mush well in sauce!

yummy homemade poptarts...

poptarts are one of those quick meals that all kids love but after we got the dairy and egg allergy in our family it became a no-no!  It is one of those that I have always felt guilty on anyway... there are SO many ingredients and most are hard to pronounce/unknown!  We have started making our own and keeping ingredients simple.  They are probably no less fattening, but I would have to think better for you!  The variations are endless!
 Crust... you can use a homemade pie crust recipe or buy the pack of two and roll them out more and cut into desired size, place one on top, then "fork" the sides down.
Filling...we like blueberry or orange marmalade, or dark chocolate chips and mini marshmallows to make s'more ones, crushed oreos, or a brown sugar and cinnamon mixture...or come up with one on your own!
Icing...we mix powdered sugar and a few drops of almond milk, to desired thickness... this is good on s'more and oreo ones, put a little of the cinnamon mix in the icing for the brown sugar and cinnamon ones, and a few drops of jam in the fruit filled ones.

Roll out dough and place a small amount of filling in center and place top on, press sides down with a fork and place on pan.  Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes.  Remove and cool, then ice.  After icing is dry, place in container or ziploc bags and store in cabinet.  These need to be warmed in a toaster oven... NOT toaster, or eat straight out of bag.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

strawberry lemonade

(this was created by my 6 year old... tasty summer treat!)
4-5 strawberries (we pureeed with hand held blender)
2 squeezed lemons (juice)
1/3 c sugar or sweetener
mix all in pitcher, adding ice and water to fill.  Can garnish with fresh mint leaves.  Yum!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Refer back to ice cream post...
1 to 1 1/2 cup blended fruit (we like strawberry, or mixed berry or mango)
3/4 cup (can do 1/2 cup depending on sweetness of fruit!) sugar
mix well and pour in ice cream maker or container to freeze.

tamale pie

great use for leftover barbque, pork, hamburger meat, chicken or turkey...
~1 lb meat, if pulled, shred in food processor...place in bottom of large casserole dish, set aside.
in a bowl mix:
1 cup milk or unsweetened soy milk
2 eggs (or substitute)
1 c yellow corn meal
salt and pepper
1 tsp each garlic and onion powder
1/2 c grated cheese
1/2-1 stick melted butter
1 cup corn (I use fire roasted), blended
Mix well and pour over meat mixture. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
Serve with salad and black or refried beans.  Top with sour cream or salsa and tortilla chips!

corn meal buns

Our new favorite starch!  I do the dough in the bread machine... the dough cycle is so easy, throw ingredients in and leave alone... can leave in for hours and get back to it!
1 1/4 c water
1 equivalent egg replacer (or egg)
3 tbs sugar
6 tbs veg based butter, cut up
4 c bread flour
1/3 c nonfat dry milk, can exclude
4 tbs yellow corn meal
1 tbs +1 tsp wheat gluten
1 tsp salt, kosher
2 1/2 tsp machine yeast
put all ingredients in machine and set on dough cycle.  (Or mix with dough hook in mixer and cover and let rise at least 2 hours).  After either time above, turn dough out onto corn meal sprinkled cloth and cut into 12 pieces and place on parchment covered pan.   Let rise again 20-30 minutes.  Brush with melted butter or egg wash.  Place in oven and bake at 350 convection for 20 minutes.

Wonderful for homemade burgers or pulled pork sandwiches.  Great toasted for breakfast the next day, similar to english muffin, not as chewy!  Also great as corn dogs...when cutting dough, place hot dog inside and continue with rise process.
This is similar to a recipe in The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook  we adapted it to be egg/dairy free and added the cornmeal twist.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

homemade ice cream!

We have a cuisinart ice cream maker... but you can mix this in a mixer and freeze in a container.
Makes 1 qt.
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 cup soy or almond milk
Mix well and add...
1 tsp vanilla (for vanilla)
1 tsp almond
use chocolate soy milk and add 1 tsp mint extract and 1/4 c mini dark chocolate chips
1 T. caramel and 1/4 choc chips
1/2 cup crumbled oreos
Pour into container or ice cream maker and freeze!

sauteed mushrooms

1 pack mushrooms, washed and dry and sliced
salt and pepper
2 T butter
place in skillet and sautee just til browned. Serve alone or on filet or chicken!

baked green beans

1 large bag frozen(thawed) green beans, or 4 cans (drained) or a bag of fresh
4 slices of uncooked bacon cut in 1 inch or so squares
3 T. sliced butter
salt and pepper
1 T onion powder
1 T garlic powder
2 T brown sugar
put bacon pieces in glass rectangular casserole dish and bake at 350 for 5-8 minutes, take dish out of oven and add remaining ingredients, tossing with a fork to coat green beans.  Return to oven and continue baking at 350 for 10 minutes, stir/toss and bake 10 more minutes until bacon is done.

roasted asparagus

EASY and quick side!
1 bunch asparagus washed and dry.  Break off ends where they naturally snap!
place on baking sheet
drizzle with olive oil or butter
salt and pepper
place in 350 oven for 10 minutes, drizzle with oil/butter again and serve!

roasted potatoes...with a twist!

sweet potatoes
melted butter (1/4 cup, depending on # potatoes)
kosher salt
cayenne pepper/ regular black pepper

wash and slice sweet potatoes.  Place on parchment paper lined pan.  Brush with melted butter (or olive oil).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper of choice, flip over and repeat.  Bake/roast at 400 for 30 minutes. 

smashed potatoes

8-10 yukon gold potatoes, peeled (we peel half)
cut up and boiled in pot of water until firmly soft.  Drain water and add...
1/2-1 cup soy or almond unsweetened milk
1/4 cup soy sour cream
1-2 tsp salt
2 T. veg based butter
sprinkle (1 T.) parsley 
2 pods roasted garlic
Mash until blended
Variation...add sharp cheddar or crumbled blue cheese to hot potato mixture.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life After Ramen

this is a link to a new book that is a great resource!  I, unfortunately, am no longer a "twentysomething", but am happy to encourage others to get it too!  You see, one of the authors of this book was nice enough to share her "babies" with me many years ago... I was their sitter when I was away at college!  I grew very close to the MacDonald family!  Randy would have dinner prepared for me to warm and feed the kids when they got home from school...pantry and refrigerator always stocked! (can you tell she had a little of an influence on me!)  I am hoping to instill the desire to eat at home in my kids that this book promotes! Get a copy and cook!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

baked beans

In a dutch oven...
8 strips sliced bacon... then add and sautee
onion chopped
1/2 c roasted red peppers
1 T red wine vinegar
6 cans drained navy beans
2 cups water (add more to desired consistency)
1 T brown sugar
1/4 c real maple syrup
1/4 c ketchup
1 tsp dry mustard
2 T bbq rub
1 tsp mustard
small can tomato paste
Bring to a boil and shut off. Place on green egg (or in oven) at 350 for 1-1 1/2 hours.
Big enough to take as a side dish to a cookout, or have at home with a couple of meals.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

the incredible...egg!

Yes... we have been eating at home, but this new little toy is making things easy! We (I do not do a lot, more of a man's job!) but, we smoke pork on it ALL night or quickly grill whole chickens, beef, burger patties, and so on! But the BEST meal in it is our homemade pizza, crust is amazing! Not as many recipes because things are simple! So far I am thinking it was a good investment!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

chicken andoullie jambalaya

1/4 c bacon drippings, or olive oil or butter
1 lb chicken breasts, chopped
1 pkg andoullie sausage sliced
1 c chopped celery
1/2 c chopped mushrooms
1 c chopped onion
1 c chopped peppers, red and green
1 heaping tbs garlic in oil
1 large box chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 box wheat noodles, cooked only 3-4 minutes

In a dutch oven or large pot, sautee chicken in oil, add sausage. Remove meat and leave oil, add all veggies to pot and sautee in oil until caramelized. Add broth/stock and meat and simmer 15 minutes... add seasonings and drained pasta and simmer at least 5 more minutes.

Monday, March 8, 2010

chicken in rice... 2 ways

another "old" favorite, BUT it has a cream of chicken or celery base... no longer allowed in our house, adapted it and was a BIG success! All liked! The original recipe was from my sister in law when we got married.
Old way:
4 chicken breasts, salt and peppered
1 cup uncooked rice
1 can cream of celery or chicken soup
1 pkg onion soup mix
1 1/3 can water
1 stick butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350. Mix last 5 ingredients in casserole dish or dutch oven. Lay chicken on top. Cover with foil or lid and bake 1-1 1/2 hours. (until chicken is done)
NEW way: (in dutch oven)
1 onion sauteed in 3 tbs veg based butter,
add 4 tbs flour and stir,
add 1 lg box chicken broth
add 1 c soy milk
1 3/4 c water
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp onion powder
6 chicken breasts, cut (bigger family now!), salt and peppered
2 cup uncooked rice
1 stick melted veg based butter
This will be SOUPY... cook as above. Serve with broccoli or peas and carrots.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

taco soup

1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 can chili beans
2 cans pinto beans
1 small box beef broth
1 cup corn
1 cup peppers and onions (sliced)
1 lb. cooked ground beef (or chicken)
1 pkg taco seasoning
1-2 c water

cook all in one pot, bring to a boil and then simmer 1 hour. serve over rice or alone with chips on top. Top with cheese and sour cream!

Monday, March 1, 2010

lunch "pockets"

We try to take our lunches to school every day and are fortunate to have microwaves at school...really puts leftovers to good use! These are made and frozen in ziplocs for easy packing! Use the pizza dough recipe that I posted earlier. Separate dough ball into 4 or more smaller ones and roll out pretty thin, using a pastry cutter or knife to cut (each ball) in 6-8 even-ish parts...can roll some more on individual parts. Put a small amount of desired filling and fold and seal edges with the end of a fork. Brush lightly with olive oil and bake at 450 on middle shelf for 8-10 minutes. Cool and place in bags.

We do pizza ones with pepperoni, turkey and cheese, ham and cheese, leftover chicken and veggies, etc!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

vegan shortbread cookies

All of my kids LOVE these and they are easy, prepare well for later use and are safe for my dairy and egg allergy child!

2 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks vegetable based butter (can use regular), room temp
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract (can use vanilla or other flavor of choice)

Mix flour and salt in one bowl, set aside and cream butter and powdered sugar with mixer. Stir in extract. Slowly add flour mixture to the butter mixture, gently mix. Place between 2 sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into 1 inch thick circle, seal edges of wrap and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes, or until needed. We make 2 batches and keep one in there til the following week!
Remove and place on floured cloth and roll out dough. Easier to break off and do a little at a time. Use a small glass to cut circles, or use cookie cutters. or do bar (rectangle) shape. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet and place back in fridge 10 minutes. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Remove and let sit 5 minutes and carefully transfer to cool rack.
Variations: Top with sprinkles...press uncooked shapes in sugar sprinkles before baking. Or top with icing! We also do these black and white, where one half of the cookie is dipped in white icing and the other side in chocolate!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

homemade pizza

delicious, easy, and addictive!
homemade dough:
(this is the recipe in our breadmaker book)
1 1/3 c warm water
1tsp honey or sugar
2tsp kosher salt
2tbs olive oil
3 1/4 c bread flour
3/4c whole wheat flour
2 1/4 tsp instant, active dry yeast
(Note: we have been out of bread flour and used all wheat flour and did fine!)
place in bread machine by directions, process takes 1 hour 40 minutes... the machine does the work! OR use above ingredients and mix with hook attachment in mixer and let rise in the mixing bowl, covered for 2 hours or until doubled in size) Take dough out of bread machine or mix bowl and punch down. We separate into 4-5 dough balls and roll really thin... it is delicious as a thin crust and with our family, it goes a lot further! We roll out on a little corn meal, you can use flour. Place on pan and brush a little olive oil over each dough crust.
ENDLESS! We like doing it this way (other than the health benefits!) because we have a daughter with a dairy allergy, she does a small pizza with soy cheese! We use blocks of mozzerella because it tastes better, doesn't take as much and doesn't have all the additives.
(obviously jarred pasta or pizza sauce works...or leftover spaghetti sauce)
1 large can crushed tomatoes (can use hand held mixer to puree)
2 tbs- 1 can of tomato paste, depending on thickness that you prefer!
1 tbs basil, oregano

spread a small amount of sauce on each pizza, sprinkle with cheese and add meats and veggies of choice. Bake 450 10 minutes or until "color" that you like!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

left over bread, hum?!?

We make a lot of bread... having a bread maker is wonderful and dangerous! We always have a few pieces leftover when we make that next loaf, and once it is hot, the previous just won't do! We use the last pieces for a lot of things... bread pudding (I will post that one soon!), for homemade croutons... tear or cut in pieces and place in zipper plastic bag with a little olive oil or melted butter, some sprinkles of parsley, oregano or basil and crushed red pepper, seal and shake and pour on baking sheet, 350 for 5-7 minutes... delicious!, or freeze leftover bread and, when needed, thaw and put in food processor for bread crumb topping, and finally, leftover bread makes really good french toast!

chicken pot pie soup!

Homemade chicken pot pies were a favorite in my family, but they are cream based and my daughters allergy to dairy made the others fear that we could no longer enjoy them BUT we found a new way! These can be served in a bowl with homemade croutons OR served in a bread bowl (made or puchased... we get the panera ones).
4 chicken breasts sauteed (butter, salt and pepper and 1/2 chopped onion) and cut in chunks
salt and pepper to taste
1 large can or box of chicken/veg broth
4-5 carrots, peeled and cut
1 c green peas
1c potato chunks
(can also add leftover green beans, broccoli, corn... you get the picture!)
5 tbs whole wheat flour
1 bay leaf

Sautee the chicken and onion with 2-3 tbs butter or olive oil, and salt and pepper to your taste. I sometimes add 1 tsp of garlic. Remove and cool and then cut. In a large pan or crock pot add vegetables and all BUT one cup of the broth. In a glass dish or measuring cup add flour to 1 cup broth and blend with a fork... add to soup mixture and stir well. Water can be added if too thick and IF preparing in a slow cooker, it will need to be thinner. If you need to thicken, remove some of the broth in the dish and mix in more flour and add back to soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken and bay leaf and let simmer at least 30 minutes. Serve in bowl or bread bowl.

roasted potatoes

yukon gold potatoes (washed and dried)...we use at least one potato per person
salt and pepper
olive oil
parchment paper

Heat oven to 400... slice potatoes in circles, about 1/2 inch thick and place in bowl of water. After slicing all, remove from water and pat dry and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a pastry brush and dip in a bowl of olive oil (probably 2 tbs) and brush on each side of potato slices. Salt and pepper top side. Bake 20-30 minutes or until slightly brown... golden. We have a convection oven and do not flip the slices and may take longer in another oven. ALL of my kids love these and we eat them as a side with many dishes! Leftovers can be sent in lunches or cut up and used in soups, like I did the italian vegetable soup. Other potatoes could be used but we prefer the flavor of the yukons, not as starchy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

italian chicken soup... (crockpot!)

3-4 chicken breasts
2 tbs butter
salt and pepper
1 tsp garlic (minced)
1 tsp basil or oregano
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbs jarred sundried tomatoes in oil (optional)
1 potato chopped
1 onion chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
1 cup green beans (frozen or fresh)
4-6 cups water (or vegetable or chicken broth)
1 can cannellini beans
1 cup noodles (we use rotini or wagon wheel or bow tie!)Cook and add right before serving.

Sautee chicken in butter, salt and pepper and italian seasoning, and garlic. Cut into chunks when cooled and add to crock pot with remaining ingredients. Cook on low for atleast 3 hours, but can do longer if needed. Serve with salad and bread. Top with parmesan cheese. This could also be prepared in a pot and simmered, in that case boil the noodles a bit before adding! This is a great way to use leftover items in the fridge! The potatoes above are leftover roasted potatoes!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

not a dinner, but...banana bread!

We love this fresh out of the oven! It is a good breakfast, snack, good in kids lunches...GOOD!

One of our favorite treats is banana bread...we love using those yucky brown bananas that sit on the counter! Kids help make this one... SO easy! We have altered it some for our daughter who has a milk and egg allergy! (this only makes one loaf, you might want to double!)

3 VERY ripe bananas (brown and smushy work best!)
3/4 c. sugar
pinch salt
1-2 heaping tablespoon unsweetened applesauce (1 egg beaten if un-vegan!)
1/4 c. veg. based butter melted (regular butter in old recipe!)
1 tsp baking soda dissolved in
1 Tablespoon water
2 c. wheat flour (recipe calls for white, but we altered years ago and kids cannot tell!)
sprinkle of cinnamon

preheat oven 350...mix all in large mixer as listed...pour into greased and sugared 9x5x3 loaf pan...sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top...bake 1 hour. Enjoy! (yield: 1 loaf) We rub a little butter on top right out of oven, vegetable based butter now! This is not low fat, but I have to say it doesn't make you feel as guilty after now!

note: we use 2 Tablespoons of the apple sauce to make it more moist

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

This is a meal that we eat at least once a month and all of the family likes it! We have made it the hard way (dried red beans, soak them over night, rinse, simmer all day...) and below... the EASY way! This is a recipe that we make for friends often and I have shared with anyone I can because it is so simple!

4 cans of red beans (drained and rinsed)
1 tsp garlic in oil
1 package new orleans style andouille smoked sausage (sliced)
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
serve with white rice

Sautee the sliced andouille sausage over low heat with garlic in oil until starts to darken. Add red beans and water and simmer 20 minutes or more. Serve over rice. This can also be prepared and put in the crock pot on low all day. sautee meat and then add it and beans and water to crokpot, use 2 cups water if cooking all day. Or prepare in dutch oven and place in oven or warming drawer on warm while at practices/games. We eat this with a salad and french bread (make or buy). Leftover rice can be saved to add to another meal (if a small amount, save for soup).

Serves a family of 6...prep/cook time- about 40 minutes