Friday, April 22, 2011

Peanut Butter-Granola Balls

When you need a quick snack for the kids or are just craving something sweet, these granola balls are perfect.  Made with honey and natural peanut butter, they're a better alternative than Krispie squares made with marshmallows.  I love how sweet they are and the peanut butter taste isn't overwhelming.

They come together quickly as the ingredients are heated on the stove, then blended, scooped onto a baking sheet, and cooled in the fridge for 15min.  These would be perfect on a hot summer day when you don't feel like putting the stove on.  This recipe doubles nicely as well.

PEANUT BUTTER-GRANOLA BALLS
from Everyday Food Magazine, April 2007

1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup crisp rice cereal (I use Nature's Path Rice Puffs)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup dried fruit (I've used raisins or dried apricots sliced into small pieces)

In a small saucepan over medium, heat honey, peanut butter, and butter. Stir until loosened and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cereal, oats, and dried fruit.
Drop mixture by the tablespoon into mini paper cupcake or candy liners (I scoop them by Tablespoonful onto a baking sheet lined with Silpat). Place on a rimmed baking sheet, and refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Happily submitted to Frugal Fridays over at Life As Mom and Family Friendly Fridays over at Mommie Cooks!

Enjoy!


from the book "Little Verses, A Big Golden Book"
by Miriam Clark Potter
pictures by Mary Blair
1953, Golden Press Inc.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Cod Chowder

We love seafood chowder and it's a quick dinner to make.  Once you're done chopping the cod into chunks it takes no time at all.  This would be easy to assemble your ingredients the night before, then prepare it quickly after work.

COD CHOWDER
from Whole Foods Market Website

3 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons flour
1 pound red boiling potatoes, cut into 1/3-inch dice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I use homemade)
2 (8 ounce) bottles clam juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound frozen cod, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 cup half-and-half, heated

Heat a heavy pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is golden brown and crispy, about 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the crispy bits and reserve, leaving the fat in the pot.

Add the onion, celery, thyme and bay leaf to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes.

Add the potatoes, chicken broth and clam juice and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are tender yet still firm, 5 to 7 minutes.

Season generously with salt and pepper. Add the cod and corn. Do not stir. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and allow the chowder to sit for 10 minutes (the fish will finish cooking during this time).

Return chowder to heat and stir in the cream, gently to avoid breaking the fish into small pieces. Season to taste. Bring chowder to serving temperature over gentle heat, uncovered. Sprinkle reserved crisped bacon on top and serve with a side salad of baby mixed greens.

Printable Recipe

Happily submitted to Family Friendly Fridays over at Mommie Cooks!

Enjoy!


from "Little Verses" a Big Golden Book
by Miriam Clark Potter
pictures by Mary Blair
1953, Golden Press New York

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sharing a Morning Laugh ~

You ever wake-up in the morning feeling a little "snarley" (is that even a word?)? Well, I did this morning. Not to worry my lovelies, I'm on my second cup of coffee and coming around now ;o)

I had to share a hilarious post, that had me burst out laughing and almost choke on my morning 'cuppa brew This Old House 2: Rude


Oh and while you're over at This Old House 2, take a peak at her gorgeous home...




Enjoy the Laugh!
 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Perfect Pancakes

Who doesn't love pancakes for breakfast? These pancakes are so good you can eat them plain.  What makes these so special, is that they're very fluffy with a slightly sweet flavour.  I love the hint of allspice added to the batter.

This recipe takes a couple extra steps, as the batter is folded into beaten egg whites.  I usually make a huge batch of these, then freeze some for later.  The pancakes are easily reheated in the toaster, which makes them slightly crispy.

PERFECT PANCAKES
from Family Circle Magazine, February 2009
Servings: sixteen 4-inch pancakes


1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I replace 1/2 cup flour with whole wheat)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar (I use Stevia in the Raw)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Butter, maple or pancake syrup, and/or confectioner's sugar (optional)


Preheat oven to 180 degrees F and place a foil-lined baking sheet inside. Heat a griddle or large pan to medium heat.


In a large bowl whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and allspice. Separate eggs and whisk egg yolks in a small bowl with milk and oil.


Beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 1 minute. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture just until combined. Fold in egg whites in two additions until no white streaks remain.


Using a ladle, drop 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter onto heated griddle. Repeat, spacing pancakes at least 1 inch apart. Cook 1 minute or until bubbles in batter pop and remain open. Carefully flip pancakes and cook an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute.


Transfer pancakes to baking sheet in warm oven; repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm with butter, syrup, and/or confectioner's sugar, if desired.

Printable Recipe

Enjoy!


Open House for Butterflies
by Ruth Krauss
Pictures by Maurice Sendak
1960, Harper & Row Publishers



Friday, March 11, 2011

Yogurt Made in the Slow Cooker

It took me two years to try this recipe and it was one of the easiest things I've ever made.  I have no idea why making yogurt in the slow cooker seemed so intimidating to me.  Maybe I was afraid to waste 8 cups of milk if it didn't turn out?  What I've come to find, is that it's difficult to mess this recipe up.  It's only 7 steps!

This has worked so well that I'll be making yogurt in the slow cooker forever now. We love to try mixing in new things to flavour the yogurt. Our son loves it with honey, daughter a dash a vanilla, hubby loves it mixed with apple butter, I love it plain with granola on top, a mashed banana in it tastes delicious, your options are endless!

I used regular whole milk to make my yogurt and mixed it with Nancy's Plain Whole Yogurt which has pro-biotic cultures.  Do not use milk that's be Ultra- High Paturized such as most Organic milks :(  According to the comments on Shannon's blog, for lower fat yogurt, you could use fat-free half and half then strain it in a cheese cloth prior to putting it in containers to remove the extra whey.  I will be doing this sometime, as I'd like to make yogurt for my mother-in-law who's on a perscribed low-fat diet and will have a fit if I feed her fats.

The basic steps are ~
1) pour 8 cups milk into slow cooker,
2) heat on low for 2.5 hours (u want it to reach 180 degrees)
3) turn off slow cooker and cool for 3 hours with lid on,
4) take out 2 cups warm"ish" (or 110 degree) milk and mix with 1/2 cup yogurt,
5) pour milk/yogurt mix back into slow cooker and mix well
6) cover with towels and leave for 8-12 hours
7) refrigerate for 8 hours

CROCKPOT YOGURT recipe is from Nourishing Days  Be sure to read the comments and recipe notes from her blog for more tips.
I also recommend to pop over to the Cleaner Plate Club's website and read Ali's hilarious post on yogurt making.
Happily submitted to Frugal Fridays over at Life As Mom and Family Friendly Fridays over at Mommie Cooks!

Enjoy!


from the "Girl Scout Handbook"
by Catharine C. Reiley,
illustrations by Eleanor Dart and Alison Cummings
1955, Girl Scouts of the United States of America

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mad Hungry: Flaky Buttery Biscuits

This is my first year making sucessful biscuits and now I wonder what took me so long to figure it out?  Biscuits are so easy because they don't require alot of fussing.  Just throw them together, mix only until combined, plop them onto a baking sheet, put them in the oven and there you have it.  Perfection.  My failure at previous attempts was handling the dough way too much.
This has become our families favourite biscuit recipe.  It is so easy to whip up a batch of these to have with our meals.  The outside crust is flaky, yet firm, while the inside is so soft it melts in your mouth.  Use any leftovers to make sandwiches the next day for lunch.  I simply love these biscuits.

FLAKY BUTTERY BISCUITS
from the book Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys
Makes 12 small biscuits

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I use 1-1/2 cups spelt flour, 1/4 cup wheat germ)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter cut into small pieces
3/4 cup milk (see headnote)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Butter or line a baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a fork or 2 table knives, combine the butter and flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Slowly add the milk, stirring with a fork, to the desired consistency.

For softer biscuits, drop 2 tablespoons of the dough onto the lined baking sheet. For firmer biscuits, turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and gently knead just to bring the dough together. Carefully roll out the dough about 3/4 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or sturdy glass, cut about 12 biscuits, rerolling any scraps. Place on the lined baking sheet.

(The biscuits can be frozen at this point. Freeze on the baking sheet, then remove to a resealable container or plastic bag for easier storage.)  Bake the biscuits for 13 to 15 minutes (add 3 to 4 additional minutes for frozen ones), until golden brown. Cool slightly and serve warm.

Printable Recipe

Happily submitted to Family Friendly Fridays over at Mommie Cooks! (today she shares how she made animal crackers from scratch!)

Enjoy!


Speaking of boys, this is one of our 4 year old son's favourite activities while Mum bakes.  Place a scoop or two of flour on a baking sheet and let him run his cars through it.  I keep a bag of cheap flour in the cupboard just for this activity.  When he has a friend over, I give them each their own cookie sheet full of flour.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Azure Standard February Order

Azure Standard now delivers to our area!  This all-natural foods buying coop offers affordable prices on organic and natural goods.  Living in the country, our choices for natural food and grocery items are very limited or very expensive.  Having Azure deliver directly to our town is truely a blessing.  I am not paid or told to write a review for Azure Standard, I just love them and soon you'll quickly understand why.

To have these grocery choices I would need to drive 40 minutes north and go store to store for the best prices, go to Whole Foods or shop the Farmer's Market's.  While I will continue to shop the seasonal Farmer's Markets, I won't have to drive so far, take so much time, or spend so much for organic and natural items.  In our town we have only two grocery stores, and one of them is Walmart.

My order total was $437.90 and below are photos of what I selected.  Almost everything is organic, natural, or no spray/pesticide free.  It's easy to order as you can shop online, by phone, by fax, or by mail.  I loved that I could avoid dragging my kids to a grocery store, had the time to thoroughly research each product before I selected it, and add items all month to my cart online as I ran out.

Produce - organic yellow onions, organic russet potatoes, 10lbs of oranges no spray ($6.25), organic celery ($1.90/ea), 6-3lb bags of organic in-season apples ($1.90/ea).
Frozen ~ turkey bacon, brocolli, peas, grape juice, 12-1lbs. ground turkey ($52.75), 3 butter brittle ice cream.

Dry Goods ~ 10lbs. spelt flour ($15.40), 5lbs coconut sugar ($24.95), 5lbs. oats ($4.50), coconut oil (click here for a great article on Simple Organic on The Wonders of Coconut Oil), olive oil, root beer, sprouted burger buns, peanut butter, 4 bottles dijon mustard, ground mustard, 3 boxes cereal, 2 packages cereal, 4 boxes crackers, maple syrup, horseradish, 1 can olives, 3 cans diced tomatoes, 1 package Stevita sweetener packets, dog food.

Dairy ~ extra sharp cheddar cheese, 2 packages cream cheese, whipped butter, heavy cream, half & half, swiss cheese, feta cheese, 2 tubs sour cream, yogurt.

General Merchandise ~ 2 bottles coconut shampoo, 2 bottles coconut conditioner, Dr. Bronner's magic hair cream, lotion with SPF 18, Dr. Bronner's castile soap.

Want to find out if Azure Standard delivers to your area?  Simply contact them by phone 541-467-2230 or email info@azurestandard.com.  There's no cost to join, and you don't have to order every month or buy in bulk. 

Last month I drove 30 minutes to our closest drop point to pick-up our order and asked the driver if he'd consider delivering to our area.  He had his wife contact me to work out the details, he located a good spot to drop the orders to our town, and now they deliver here!

Happily submitted to ~
Gratituesday over at Heavenly Homemakers.
Works for Me Wednesday over at We Are THAT Family.

Enjoy!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pistachio-Crusted Pork Chops

Look what my sweetie got for a special Valentine's meal.  He loves breaded pork chops and pistachios, so this was a sure way to warm his heart.  These pork chops are seared on the stove top then transferred to a cookie sheet to complete so the breading stays on.  I served this with a side of Tomatoe Basil Soup (made using canned tomatoes as they're not in season), and Baked Potatoes.

PISTACHIO-CRUSTED PORK CHOPS
from Rachael Ray

1/2 cup shelled pistachios (this takes time so I'd do it the day before)
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Salt
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I put half filled with wheat germ)
Pepper
Four 1-inch-thick pork chops
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400°. Using a food processor, finely grind the nuts, garlic, lemon peel and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a shallow bowl; whisk in the breadcrumbs.

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Dip each chop into the egg, then coat with the nut mixture; transfer to a baking sheet.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chops and cook until golden, about 2 minutes on each side; return to the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 140°, about 20 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Happily submitted to Mouthwatering Mondays over at A Southern Fairy Tale

Enjoy!

by Christopher Crowfield
Ticknor and Felds, 1865

"'The lady who does her own work'"


America is the only country where such a title is possible, — the only country where there is a class of women who may be described as ladies who do their own work. By a lady we mean a woman of education, cultivation, and refinement, of liberal tastes and ideas, who, without any very material additions or changes, would be recognized as a lady in any circle of the Old World or the New.


What I have said is, that the existence of such a class is a fact peculiar to American society, a clear, plain result of the new principles involved in the doctrine of universal equality.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

How to Make Cheese



I think I'm ready to make cheese now. This guy is hilarious! Who knew it was so simple to make?

Enjoy!


I just ordered these gorgeous prints from Nova Scotia artist, Shelagh Duffet (aka "Alice in Paris")
I can't wait to hang them in my kitchen!

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