Friday, January 29, 2016

Home-made soaked crackers

Since my two big girls started attending school, I was determined that I would not resort to giving them processed foods for lunches and snacks.  This was one recipe I found that they enjoyed.  I usually double it or triple it.  The trick is getting it rolled thinly enough to crunch like a cracker.  It was difficult (time consuming) to cut and place all the tiny crackers on my baking pans.  4 girls can eat one recipe of this in no time!  I had to find a quicker way.  I finally resorted to rolling them out on a baking mat that could be placed in the oven and used for cooking.  I use a pizza cutter to slice them into crackers right on the same mat that I bake them!  Now it is easy to whip these up quickly!  I soak everything together the night before, then roll them out, cut them, add on the salt, and bake for 8 minutes and they are done.  If you want to see the intricate instructions and great pictures, please visit this website where I found the original recipe.

  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 ½ Tbs honey (or sugar)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 4 Tbs oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • salt for topping
Directions:  Blend dry ingredients (except topping salt).  Cut in butter and blend until evenly mixed.  Combine the water, honey and vanilla.  Add to flour mixture and blend until smooth.  Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll out and cut into crackers.  Bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Homemade taco seasoning

I ran out of my taco seasoning the other day and tried this recipe. This is how I usually quadruple it and I leave out the crushed red pepper and lessen the black pepper:

4 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. paprika
2 Tbs. ground cumin
4 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. black pepper

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Healthier Sweet and Sour Chicken

My town recently got an Aldi store and my favorite deal to get there is the pack of tri-color sweet peppers!  I've never been able to justify buying them before on a regular basis, but now I get them every time I go!  Oh how I love sweet bell peppers!  I have enjoyed making dishes using them and my husband really enjoyed this one.  I changed it a bit, as always.


  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced into thin strips or into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • ½ white or yellow onion, chopped
  • rice or quinoa 
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar (may sub white vinegar)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion salt*
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 2 tablespoon cold water

Directions: First make the sauce. Add sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic powder, onion salt, and ketchup to a medium sauce pan. Stir and bring to a boil. In a small bowl whisk together the 1 tablespoon corn starch and cold water until dissolved. Add to sauce pan and stir until thickened, then reduce to low heat.  Saute chicken over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add peppers and onions. Continue to saute over medium heat until chicken is browned and cooked through. Serve over rice or quinoa with sauce poured on top.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Soaked Breakfast "Cereal Bars"

With my big girls starting school this year, I had to find some new healthy breakfast recipes that I could make ahead of time!  This is one that they love.  I usually double the recipe and let each child pick a filling (strawberry jam, apple butter, chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, etc).

Soaked Breakfast Bar
2 cups whole wheat flour (I use my spelt flour)
1 cup kefir, yogurt or buttermilk (I use water or milk with ACV added)
1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, melted (I used coconut oil)
1/2 cup rapadura/cane sugar (I use coconut sugar)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 – 1/2 cup jelly, jam or fruit butter
Directions: Mix flour, cultured dairy and oil.  Cover and let soak 7 – 24 hours.  The next day, Mix in remaining dough ingredients until well combined.  Spread half of the dough into the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Spread an even layer of jam on top of dough.  Spread remaining dough on top.  Bake at 350 for another 25 minutes.
Cut into bars.  Place bars on a separate baking sheet, with space in between bars.  Bake another 5-10 minutes, until dough is baked through.  Allow to cool.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chicken Parmesan

I was searching Pinterest as I made my meal plan for January and found this lovely recipe for Chicken Parmesan.  I didn't follow it exactly, but I will definitely be adding it to my meal rotation.  Instead of buying Italian breadcrumbs, I like to use Panko because it usually just contains a few real ingredients like wheat, oil, and salt.  Then I add my own Italian seasonings and garlic salt and Parmesan to give it flavor.

2 lbs chicken breasts, sliced as thinly as possible
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 large eggs, beaten until frothy
1 cup of my Italian Panko mix (or store bought Italian breadcrumbs)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
oil (I use coconut oil)
1 Jar of your favorite sauce
8 oz (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
noodles of choice (we prefer angel hair pasta)

Directions:  Get three bowls for dipping: In the first bowl, mix the flour, salt, and pepper.  In the second bowl, beat the eggs.  In the third bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and parmesan.  Then dip each piece of chicken in each bowl, creating an even coating of crumbs.  You can now either bake the chicken breasts for 20 min at 425 degrees or fry them in a pan first with a little bit of oil (about 2 min on each side til golden brown).  Then add a few tablespoons of your favorite marina sauce on top and cover with mozzarella cheese and bake for 10 more minutes.  Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Snow candy from Little House in the Big Woods

My girls absolutely love The Little House books and they begged to make this candy for the longest time before we finally tried it.  Now they enjoy making it even more than snow ice cream!  A few notes we learned:  My girls are unfortunately no longer a fan of molasses.  We switched the recipe to maple syrup and they loved it!  I actually only make a half recipe because it is so sweet and they don't need much (although they would eat it until they made themselves sick if I let them!)  I'm not one for measuring much, (I know, it is so bad for a recipe blogger!) but I add in a few extra pinches of brown sugar since syrup isn't as thick as molasses.  It always works for us!
1 cup molasses or maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
Directions: Fill pans of snow.  Gather fresh clean snow into the pans and leave them outside in the cold.  In a small saucepan, stir the molasses and sugar together over medium heat. Heat the mixture to just boiling, stirring frequently (around 245 degrees Fahrenheit, firm ball stage).  Test the candy by dropping a bit in a glass of cold water.  If it makes the water cloudy, it is not ready yet. Once it stays together as candy in the water, it is ready. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully pour the molasses mixture into pans of snow.  You have about 10 or 15 minutes until the molasses starts getting difficult to pour.  Put any leftovers in the freezer (or outside) still on the snow. If you store it without the snow, it will turn into goo.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The best snow ice cream!

We had a lovely snowstorm this weekend and decided to try a different snow ice cream recipe.  My eldest daughter made the complaint that in the past her milk-based snow ice cream had gotten watery as it melted.  So we decided to try out this super rich recipe from Paula Deen.  Not the least bit healthy, but oh so good and easy!

- 8 cups of clean snow
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Just mix and enjoy! Or you can make it even sweeter like my girls and add sprinkles and mini chocolate chips

Friday, January 22, 2016

New overnight baked oatmeal recipe

I recently decided to look at some new recipes for baked oatmeal.  I wanted something soaked over night and not too sugary.  This is the recipe I decided to use from Stacy Makes Cents and it is delicious.  Since I have a family of 6, I double her recipe and as always, I do slightly change a few things, such as adding an acidic medium and a bit of whole grain flour to help break down the phytates in the oats and make the nutrients more digestible.  I also soak the dough in the oven with the light on to keep it warm instead of the fridge.

4 cups rolled oats (old fashioned oats)
2 cups whole milk
Acidic medium to enhance digestion (I usually use apple cider vinegar)
1/2 cup whole grain flour
2/3 cups sweetener ( I use coconut sugar)
4 tablespoons melted coconut oil
4 eggs
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
add-ins of choice: my girls usually prefer chocolate chips, raisins, craisins, etc.

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, milk, acidic medium, and flour. Cover and stick in oven with light on overnight.
  2. In the morning, add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

New favorite recipe: Simple Steak Fajitas

I found this recipe because I had some leftover roast that did not turn out very tender that I waned to make delicious.  The original recipe is found at Walking on Sunshine.  I liked it because it was simple and seemed easy to change to my family's tastes.  If you don't have beef already cooked, her instructions will be helpful. Here is my version of steak fajitas:

Cooked steak or roast in a bit of its own broth (if you have any left)
Sweet Bell Peppers
Sweet onions
taco seasoning
worcestershire sauce
Other yummy seasonings (I have a delicious mango chili grinder and a garlic salt grinder that I added to kick it up a notch!)
shredded cheddar cheese
tortillas or rice
favorite toppings such as sour cream or guacamole or salsa

Directions:  You can cook all this together in one pan, but I had meat that needed to be more tender so I threw the meat in the crockpot with all the seasonings and let it cook for the afternoon.  Perfection!  I sauteed the thinly-sliced onions and peppers in the seasonings and oil right before serving because I did not want them to get over-cooked and soggy in the crockpot.  But honestly, it probably would have been fine to throw it all in the crockpot together for the afternoon.  Serve with shredded cheese in warm tortillas or over rice.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Roasted Kielbasa and Potatoes

This is a simple but filling meal I threw together last night. It doesn't take long to slice everything and throw it into the oven.

Oil of choice (I used coconut oil)
Red potatoes
Sweet Onion
Seasonings of choice (I used a delicious garlic salt grinder I bought from Trader Joes that contains roasted garlic, onion, parsley, and sea salt.)

Preheat oven to 450.  Melt a few heaping spoonfuls of oil in 9x13 inch pan.  Slice onions, potatoes, and kielbasa and cot with oil in pan.  Generously cover with seasonings and mix well.  Bake for at least 30 minutes, stirring often.  The longer it is baked, the better the flavor with be.  I prefer baking for an hour and stirring every 15 minutes.