Monday, August 27, 2012

Waffle/French Toast/Pancake Topping

I'm pretty excited to share this recipe with you.  I'm back on track...again ;) to a healthier way of life.  Part of what this means for me is NO REFINED SUGAR.  

So, today is meatless Monday, which often means BREAKFAST for dinner =) 

Tonight I just made waffles: Krusteaz (don't tell anyone) and I added water of course, chopped walnuts and 2 eggs for protein (remember it's meatless Monday, so no bacon or sausage) to about 3 cups of dry mix, enough for my family.  That made 10 single squares.  

So, what are you going to put on your waffle?  Syrup?  High fructose sugary syrup?  Well, not if you're cutting out sugar.  So! I bought some berries, plain Greek yogurt (more protein!), and natural maple syrup.  Technically that has sugar, but no refined or added sugar.  It's natural 100% maple.  On a side note, there's a lovely little book called Miracle on Maple Hill that explains a lot about natural maple.  It's a children's book, fiction, but I don't know if I would've discovered natural maple if not for this book.   
Enough!  Here is the recipe for what I consider 2 servings.

Breakfast Topping

1/2 cup - 3/4 cup Greek yogurt. Plain
1 cup berries (I used a mix of strawberries and raspberries)
2 Tb natural maple

Blend!  You're done =) Pour over waffles, french toast, or pancakes.

For a sugar free breakfast/dinner you don't get tastier or easier than that.  The magic bullet works great for this little job. No added sugar and no guilt in my opinion. I didn't even butter my waffles tonight. Right on!  I hope you'll try it, and I'll try to get a picture for you in the future.  Sorry, I wasn't prepared for that tonight.  This post was just sort of spur of the moment and well, I had to taste it first. =)       


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tomato Soup

Yes, it's the middle of August. It's the hottest part of the year for us, but we do Meatless Monday at our house.  It's difficult, sometimes, to find a dish my whole family will enjoy. Well, lately I've been wishing it were winter already so I could make soup. And while you may or may not want to make this soup in this blazing heat, perhaps you will remember it when the weather turns cold.  

I got this soup from Better Homes and Gardens a while back.  And I'll give you their recipe as well as my own additions.  You can keep this a clear soup, or you can add a cream sauce to make it creamy.  I like it both ways =)

What I especially love about this soup is the little bit of hot sauce to give it an extra kick.  There's the heat of the soup, and then that extra bit of hot sauce heat that stays with you on those icy arctic nights. 

One day I'll be savvy enough to post a picture of ingredients.  Hopefully  the ingredients for this soup are basic enough that just the words will do.

Tomato Soup

1 1/2 Qt tomato juice or about 6-7 fresh tomatoes (I've always used juice)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup onion chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
1-6 oz can tomato paste
2 tsp dried basil or 2 Tb fresh
4 cubes chicken bouillon
1 tsp sugar
few dashes of hot pepper sauce (I use original Tabasco) 

In a large saucepan (or large stock pot if adding cream soup), combine all of the above ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender.  Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.  Blend in a blender until smooth.  Return to saucepan and heat to desired temperature.

Last night, for the first time, I snuck in about 2 cups of zucchini to my soup.  I cooked it and blended it up with the rest of the soup. My children didn't know the difference and we all got some extra vitamins.  Happiness in a bowl. =)

My personal variations:
After making this several times, my husband finally told me that he didn't like the soup so much.  He likes creamy tomato soup.  This is the cream soup recipe I use to make this soup creamy.

Cream Soup

2 oz unsalted butter
1 1/2 oz flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk, half and half, or cream

Melt butter on med-low heat.  Add flour to make a paste (roux). Cook roux for about 8-10 minutes.  Keep the heat low enough that the roux does not brown.  Whisk in chicken broth and milk product. Bring to a simmer and cook until it reduces by 1/3 and thickens.  Add to tomato soup.

This obviously makes a large pot of soup when adding the cream.  I've never frozen it because I LOVE the leftovers, plus my grandma lives across the street, so I'll always take a quart of soup to her.  I have no doubts however, that it would freeze very well.   

One last thing.  I added a swirl of sour cream just for picture's sake =) Do it if you so desire.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Marshmallow Brownies
Marshmallow Brownies

2 cubes unsalted butter softened
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
dash salt
1 1/2 cups walnuts (if you ask me, that is not an option;))
1 bag mini marshmallows (jet puffed HIGHLY recommended)

Beat well together butter, sugar, and cocoa. Add vanilla and eggs, 1 @ a time. Add flour, salt and nuts. Mix well.
Pour into non-stick sprayed jelly roll pan. Bake @350 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with mini marshmallows. Bake 3 more minutes. Cool completely before frosting.


1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1/4 cup milk
1 2/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
dash of salt

beat well until smooth.
Grandma's Apple Pie
Brit wanted to make a cherry pie for the County Fair.  I insisted that mother knows best, and though, I prefer cherry pie, I felt that apple pie was more on the path to a blue ribbon.  Judging is tomorrow, so we'll see.

Great grandma Johnson, rest her soul, was famous for her apple pie in these parts =) So naturally I needed the recipe.  So, without further ado, here it is:

Grandma's Apple Pie

6-8 apples peeled, cored, sliced/diced (Grandma Johnson says that Great Grandma Johnson most likely used Jonathan apples.  I used pink lady)
2 Tb flour
dash of nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into prepared pie crust.  Dot with butter.  Cover with top crust, making slits in top or cutting out shapes.  Sprinkle top crust with sugar.  Bake @400 for 50 minutes. I lay a piece of foil on top for the first 20 minutes to prevent over browning.

Grandma J's Pie Crust (makes 3-4 single crusts)

2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1 tsp flour
cold water

Cut shortening into flour until combined. Add the cold water, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together forming a dough. Bring the dough together into a ball.  Do not over mix.  Also, too wet is better than too dry.
Roll dough out onto a floured surface to desired thickness.

Never hesitate to ask questions.  I'm still new to this blogging thing, and I know how to make it.  But I wonder if I left some critical instruction out for someone who may be completely knew to this pie making process.