Monday, February 1, 2016

Flaky Almond Milk Biscuits


Is there such a thing as "Daddy Nesting" before baby arrives? : )  Andrew has been on super accomplish things mode, and has really been rocking it to prepare for baby.  I on the other hand am in slow mode as my belly and feet increase in size and my mobility is quickly slowing down these days...haha...my feet seriously look like giant hobbit feet...it is quite funny looking...my Mom and Andrew have had quite a few laughs over the hilarity of their size. : )  Thank goodness my belly is also growing - so soon I won't even be able to see my feet!


Anyways, please note from the pictures the lovely yellow walls that my husband painted for us, and the grey end tables I finally found to complete the furniture in our TV room!  Yeah for baby steps!  We have gone a bit paint crazy and have only a few rooms left to paint - can't wait for it all to come together!  My goal is to at least get curtains up before baby arrives in a few weeks...too ambitious?

I guess we should focus on more important things like coming up with a name for "Baby".  So much pressure and responsibility it is to name a human being...seriously, I don't want to screw this up! : )  I love names so much, and having a good name is so important to me.  I think I wrote a million papers in college about the importance of a name, and how it identified some intrinsic thing in each person.  Andrew and I can't seem to agree on any names though, so I'm not too sure how this is going to end up : )  We keep revisiting our name list and then crossing things off and giving up.  "Benjamin" was the only boys name we agreed on, but then realized our kid would be called "Benjamin Moore" which is a paint company...so there goes that idea : )  Maybe we will just wait for Baby to grow up and he/she can name themselves instead!

At least we can agree on our love of breakfast food!  : ) Hubby and I usually have a nice breakfast at least once on the weekend...a nice change from our weekday smoothie or oatmeal.  Usually we have pancakes or waffles, but this time I realized all the lovely jams and honey options in our cabinet and decided they needed a vehicle to get into our bellies.  These were super simple to throw together and were flaky and delicious indeed!  Added bonus I used almond milk to make them - but if you have regular milk on hand - by all means use that instead!


Flaky Almond Milk Biscuits
adapted from the Sunlight Cafe cookbook

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 TBS sugar
6 TBS cold unsalted butter
2/3 cup cold almond milk and 1 tsp vinegar (mixed together)*

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the flour, salt, baking powder and soda in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse a few times to combine.  Cut the butter into diced pieces and add to food processor - pulse a few times until mixture is a coarse meal.  With the food processor running pour the almond milk/vinegar into the processor - pulse 3-4 times until mixture comes together.  DO NOT OVERMIX!  Pour out dough onto very lightly floured surface - roll into a ball and pat into a flat 8" circle.  Using a 2.5" diameter drinking glass cut out 8 biscuits.  Place onto parchment lined baking sheet a few inches apart.  Bake 12-15 minutes until slightly golden.  Enjoy with salty butter, honey, and an assortment of jams and jellies...or make into a breakfast egg sandwich.

*If you have regular cow's milk use that here instead, or omit the vinegar and use buttermilk.
* also if you don't have a food processor you can also make this in a stand mixer or by hand.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Oats


These days I am not in the kitchen much.  I get home from work and just want to rest...all the time :)  Third trimester pregnancy will do that to a person.  I feel so lazy and unproductive, my poor husband is stuck crossing off things on our "to-do" list all by himself.  Oy.

Can't wait for this little rascal to arrive in a few weeks!  I already bought a mini apron for him/her and hope they quickly become my sous chef in the kitchen.

Most food makes my indigestion and heartburn off the charts - so food groups that are out are: dairy, gluten, anything with tomatoes, most meat, and yeah...pretty much everything.  I was getting really sick of my normal bowl of oatmeal in the morning so I thought I would try something different.  This was actually really tasty and easy, and I will be making it again!  Leftovers are stored in the fridge and reheated with some almond milk.


Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

1 cup steel cut oats
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 (14 oz) can of coconut milk
14 oz almond milk (or any kind of milk you have on hand)
1 1/4 cup water
2 cups cubed apples (I peeled mine, but it is up to you)
3 TBS coconut oil
1 TBS vanilla
1/2 TBS cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Spray slow cooker with nonstick spray or rub with coconut oil.  Stir all ingredients together and set on low 6-8 hours.  Serve hot with extra milk or almond milk.  I topped mine with hemp seeds for a protein boost.





Friday, October 30, 2015

Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies


Tomorrow is Halloween.  This is the first time in a long time I am not dressing up. : (  I love theme parties, and in the past have thrown quite a few for Halloween.  Unfortunately, a lot of friends were going to be out of town or busy this weekend so we opted not to throw a party this year.  It's all good...next year we will throw an awesome one and God willing we will have our baby to dress up in a fun costume as well!

I can't believe the Holiday season is upon us already!  So much fun is up ahead in the next few months!  Best of all Christmas when I can see most of my siblings again for a few days...darn this distance between us all!


In other news - my parent's dog, Flopsy, just became a first time Mamma!  She had 6 little pups, but only 3 of them made it.  The 3 that survived are strong little guys with jet black coats and are busy wearing out Flopsy with their needy little whimpers. : )  Right now they look like little rats, but in a few weeks they are going to be adorable miniature schnauzer puppies...then they will be wearing my parents out as well!

Pregnancy update!  I am 19 weeks along, and my belly is finally popping out!  It is such a weird feeling to have this extra weight in my mid section area - I know I'm not that big, but I already feel like a house that will knock everything down in my way. ; )  It is getting more difficult to move quickly, and my workouts have slowed down in pace since I get winded so much faster now.  Thankfully my appetite is back and I am eating food again!  Hopefully this will translate into more recipe posts as well.  : )


I realized that I didn't have a go to chocolate chip oat cookie recipe...and that just wasn't going to work for me.  I played around with a few recipes and came up with this gem!  The trick to these cookies is 1) using two kinds of oats - this jumps up the texture appeal, and 2) you must not over bake the cookies...if you do, they will be dry : (

Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup old fashion oats
1/2 cup quick cooking oats or ground whole oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In small bowl mix: oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips.  Set aside.

In large mixing bowl beat butter and sugars until creamy - 4-5 minutes, scraping the bowl a few times.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine until smooth.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until combined.  Scrape with spatula and mix again for a few seconds.

Scoop out 2 TBS size balls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake 10-11 minutes...do not over bake!


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jambalaya

Pregnancy is weird.  I always heard that you crave certain strange foods while you are pregnant, like pickles and ice cream...yuck.  I keep waiting for the food cravings to kick in, but it seems like I am still in the "food aversion" stage of this.  Sadly this means my cooking has been cut way back, as in I don't really cook dinner that much anymore.  My poor husband has been eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches most nights for dinner.

This weekend I was napping and started thinking about Jambalaya for some strange reason.  I woke up from my nap and went straight to the store for the ingredients before I decided to have an aversion to this idea...haha...I like to move on my ideas very quickly!  This recipe was actually pretty easy and turned out delicious!  It makes enough for 6-8 people for dinner.  You could also make it meatless and omit the chicken and sausage, use vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth, and add shrimp or black beans at the end.

Jambalaya

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. sausage, sliced into rounds
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or 4-5 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped 
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (14 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked white jasmine or brown rice*
  • 1 Tbsp. Cajun or Creole seasoning 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

  • (optional) 2 cup sliced okra
In large soup/stock pot heat the olive oil.  Add the sausage and brown 1-2 minutes.  Then add the chicken and cook 2-3 minutes until no longer pink.  Remove sausage and chicken from pan, leaving the fat in the pan.  

Add the chopped onions, peppers, celery and garlic to the pan.  Saute 5-7 minutes over medium high heat.  Add the meat back into the pan.  Add the chicken stock, canned tomatoes, rice and seasonings.  Stir to combine.  Cover with lid and cook over medium/low heat 30-40 minutes until rice is tender.  Stir every 5-8 minutes to ensure rice isn't sticking to the bottom and burning.  If your rice is not cooked through and the liquid is evaporated add some more water until rice is cooked.

Once rice is cooked add the okra, stir, and cook 5-10 minutes until okra is tender.  


* Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice, and sometimes requires more liquid too...just keep an eye on it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Gluten Free Apple Crisp



Oh Fall!  So looking forward to you for so many reasons:

1)  Moving into my second trimester!  Everyone says the 2nd trimester is much better than the first...looking forward to not feeling yucky all the time!  Did I mention I was having a baby! : )  The little munchkin is the size of a lemon right now and we are grateful for his strong heartbeat (we do not know the gender, but will refer to the baby as "he" until it is born)

2)  THE WEATHER!  Fall weather makes me so happy!  It makes me want to be outside all the time!  I just want to go outside and take really long deep breathes of the delicious Fall air.   By far the best season of the year!  All my workouts must be outside now!

3)  Our 1 year marriage anniversary in November!  Dang, that was a fast year!  A good year, and somehow I love him more and more every darn day.  He is basically the best husband ever : )

4)  Our family Portugal Trip!  My parents and 2 of my siblings and I are travelling to Portugal for a tour led by my Aunt.  We are looking forward to it!  I am really looking forward to the food!

5)  THE BAKING!  Oh so many things to bake in the Fall.  Next on my list is apple fritters...doesn't that sound divine?


My pregnancy has given me some really lovely heartburn and indigestion...yuck.  Gluten doesn't help it, so I am trying to stay away from it for a while.  I know I should also stay away from sugar, but at this point most of my food groups are off limits so I am just eating what I can.


Gluten Free Apple Crisp Recipe

5 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin (I used Pink Lady and Honey Crisp)
1 TBS apple juice (or lemon)
1/2 tsp corn starch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 TBS honey
pinch of cloves

Crisp Topping:
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup old fashioned oats
1 stick butter diced

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease an 8x8 cake pan.  Toss the filling ingredients together and set aside.  Place all of the crisp ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until combined and crumbly.  Sprinkle a small layer of the crisp on the bottom of the pan.  Pour in filling and spread evenly.  Top with the remaining crisp topping.  Bake 30-40 minutes until crisp.  Serve warm with fresh whipped cream, mascarpone cheese, or ice cream.  This made really delicious leftovers too...if there are any!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes that happen to be gluten free!


I don't know about you, but my weekend never feels complete unless I have partaken in the eating of pancakes or waffles at least once.  It is just so nice to have a break from my regular oatmeal or smoothie that I eat during the week.  Andrew always makes fun of me though because as soon as I finish eating said pancakes or waffles I immediately start complaining about how my body is in carb overload and how I need to just go back to bed.  Haha such a vicious cycle : ), but totally worth it.

I have tried a few gluten free pancake recipes and most of them taste like yuck and the texture is just awkward...so I was so happy to find a recipe that actually tasted delicious!  I have also been in the Fall mood with the very slight drop in temperature so decided these pancakes must have apples!

"Everything can have drama if it's done right. 
Even a pancake." - Julia Child


Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes
adapted from fitfoodiefinds.com

Mix together the following ingredients:

1 apple diced small (I peeled mine, but feel free to leave the peel on if you want)
1 cup oat flour (grind the oats in a food processor or blender until fine)
1/3 cup quick cook oats or regular oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon

In separate small bowl mix together these ingredients then add to the above:

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk or milk alternative (almond, rice, cashew, etc...)
2 TBS honey

After wet and dry ingredients are mixed add and mix until combined:

2 TBS coconut oil melted

Cook on hot griddle coated with butter or coconut oil.  Enjoy with hot maple syrup and a chunk of butter.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Refined sugar free, nut free - Chewy Raisin Snack Cookies


I am always on the search for a healthy snack option that isn't a store bought granola bar.  I have made a few granola bars recently, but haven't had a lot of success making ones without refined sugar in them.  I came across this recipe on the "Deliciously Ella" blog that my good friend told me about.


There were a few things that I really liked about this recipe:

1)  No refined sugar
2)  No gluten
3)  No dairy
4)  No nuts, which mean pretty low in fat content then
5)  Shredded apples in a cookie?  Say what?

I gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised.  The texture is very different then normal cookies, but the flavor makes up for it.  These are a healthy nut free snack that I will definitely be making again!


Chewy Raisin Snack Cookies
Adapted and converted from Deliciously Ella blog

2 1/4 cups old fashioned oats
4 ripe bananas
3 TBS Honey
1 1/2 cups raisins
3 medium apples (I used pink ladies)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grate the apples (no need to peel them) and place them in a small bowl.  Drain the excess liquid from the grated apples using a sieve. (fyi, drain the liquid into a bowl so you can drink some really delicious freshly squeezed apple juice - this step of straining is super important or the cookies will be too wet and fall apart) Then in another bowl mash the bananas. Then mix the grated apples and bananas with all the remaining ingredients in a bowl.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper.  Scoop a heaped tablespoon of the mix and pat it lightly into flat cookies shape on the tray, do this until all the mixture has been used.  Batter will be slightly loose so you may have to squish the batter together.  If you don't want to bake them all at once, you can scoop some onto a parchment lined pan and stick them into the freezer.  Once frozen you can throw them in a freezer bag until ready to bake. Should yield 30 cookies.

Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes until they turn golden brown, at this point take them out the oven and let them cool slightly.  If the raisins look like they are burning then they are most definitely done!  You can store them in an airtight container on the counter or in the refrigerator.