Sunday, May 30, 2010

Coconut Flour Bread

I guess it wasn't very nice to leave you all in suspense but hey I can only do so much in a day.  We will start with the Coconut Flour Bread.  I will plan on making the energy bars next but you may have to make due with some other posts in between before I can.  Enjoy!

Coconut Flour Bread
(please follow the link as she gives more information about the bread and the benefits)

6 eggs (I only used 5 and may try 4 next time)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 T. honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt
3/4 cup coconut flour

Mix all ingredients together and pour into a buttered loaf pan.  (I used my regular bread pan but will try a mini one next time.)  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 min. (It was done in less then 40 minutes for me-maybe about 25-30min.)  Turn the loaf out and cool completely on rack before serving.

This bread is different- coconut flour is different.  It is something to use if you have a gluten intolerance.  Which I have found that our bodies just perform better with less gluten.  So why not mix it up a bit and try to lessen our gluten intake.

My kids like it and it is actually better the next day same as the coconut flour orange cake. I plan on using it as a snack along with some fruit.  Last night they had a slice of bread and an apple.  Kept their bellies full for bedtime.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

"I'm hungry"

My goal for this summer is not to hear those two words constantly.  I am going to do the best of my abilities to make sure those little bellies have healthy nutritious things put in them all day for meals and snacks.  I also want to make sure that things are readily available for them to grab.  I started this little process this afternoon.  Making a few of our favorite-healthy treat/snacks.  I wasn't able to make everything I wanted but it is a start and Monday is a new day.

Some things I made:
Coconut bread with coconut flour
No-bake chocolate crispies
Peanut butter balls
Smoothie (but that was gone by the end of dinner)

Other things I plan on:
Cut up celery with possible peanut butter
Mini cucumbers- I get these from Costco the girls think they are the funnest thing
Peanut butter and crackers with pickles
Chicken roll-ups
Rice cakes with peanut butter (I am a fan of peanut butter)
Homemade energy bars
Better for you trail mix
And lots of other fruits and vegetables washed and ready to grab

These are just a few.  I am going to keep you in suspense for recipes and pictures.  I have been busy and plan on staying busy as long as I don't get the, "I'm hungry, I'm starving, I didn't get enough to eat, Can I have something to eat, Feed me!!" Every 5 minutes for the rest of the summer.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reporting back...

I made the Spinach Artichoke Dip this time using fresh spinach -instead of frozen.  I took about 10 oz. of fresh spinach, steamed it, then chopped it.  I did remove some large stems -not sure if that made a difference.  I have to say this is the best spinach artichoke dip I have made- and possibly had!  No more frozen stuff for us and next time I think I may use the whole 2 lb. container of spinach from Costco- why not, right?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oatmeal pancakes

I don't consider myself a pancake lover but it seems that I keep coming across some good recipes for nice, healthy, and hearty pancakes.  I have also found that with a little preparation it can be a rather quick breakfast that pleases everyone.

The thing with these pancakes is that they require you to be prepared.  You have to soak the oatmeal in buttermilk overnight.  Which is perfect for being prepared.  If you decide you want pancakes the day of the blender pancakes are pretty easy too.  Don't worry, though- I have a few other ones I am waiting to try too.

Oatmeal Pancakes- with my healthy twist

2 cups of dried old fashioned oats
2 cups of buttermilk- if you don't have buttermilk you can add 1 1/2 tsp. of vinegar to every 1/2 cup of milk.  In my case I used Goats milk.
1/2 cup whole wheat/whole white wheat
2 eggs
2 T coconut oil
1/3 cup rice milk
2 T agave syrup
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

The night before combine the oats, buttermilk, and wheat flour in a large bowl.  Stir well.  Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator overnight.  I continue to get prepared the night before and pre-measure the other dry ingredients and cover in a little bowl.  I get my griddle out and measuring cups ready for the milk and coconut oil.  This makes it so easy to whip up in the a.m. before all the kiddies wake up.

In the morning add eggs, coconut oil, agave, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Mix until just combined.

Ad the milk till it is a good pancake consistency- I have always used the whole 1/3 cup.  Cook on a griddle.  Be sure not to smash them down.  They are nice fluffy pancakes.  We eat ours with maple syrup and a plate of fruit.

So yummy!!  The leftovers (if you have any) make for a good snack too.

Original recipe here.

Grass-fed beef, butter, etc.

I am excited about this giveaway at Nourishing Days.  I am always up for learning about things that are good for you and to try them out is even better!

My latest project...

is a sewing one!  Yes, I said sewing.  I am so excited about this little project of mine.  I had a friend help with the actual machine sewing part but I did the rest.  I found the idea here.  We pretty much just followed her instructions and went with it.  I am so happy with the end result and have plans for some other things too.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Birthday Cake

**Updated with resources

My little guy just turned one year old this week.  I was going to make one of his favorites as his cake but his big sisters insisted that he have a real cake.  So I went on a search for something healthy that wouldn't have any bad side affects for him the next day.  I called my sister (whose son has a sensitivity to gluten and that is the kind of thing I was looking for) and after a few suggestions and discovering this blog I knew I had found what I was looking for.

Now I would love to share the recipe and my final product and rave about how good it was but unfortunately I screwed up pretty big and am not that pleased with my finished product- that's why it has taken me so long to even post about it.

I forgot to add an ingredient- thinking that my cake had only been in there for a few minutes I hurried and got it out to remix everything (it uses quite a few eggs so I was not willing to start over).  Well, it wasn't till I was doing this that I realized the cake had been in there a little longer then I thought.  Oh well, it was worth a try and actually didn't turn out too bad.

The original recipe is here.  Hers looks amazing and I hope the next time I make it mine will look good too.  Some changes I did make:  for the mixture you pour over the cake I added a little agave and coconut milk.  I knew I needed to make up for my mistake.  It was a good choice.

Now the cake didn't go to waste-- all of it got eaten.  The birthday boy loved it and his sisters liked it too- although, they preferred it without the frosting.  Give it a try and let me know how it is when you don't mess up.  Remember no matter how prepared you are you can still make a mistake-don't forget the measuring cup that is sitting next to you of coconut milk!!!  I will attempt it again and hopefully have better to say about it.

Coconut oil (virgin unrefined)
Coconut flour
Coconut milk

You can find all three of these things in your local health food store.  However, we have found that you will pay more for the coconut oil when you buy it in small quantities from the health food store.  The others are worth buying in your local store for a quick get.  I will be ordering that specific coconut flour as it has been highly recommended.  Wal Mart and grocery stores may sale the coconut milk also you need to look in the asian/thai food isles.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Blog surfer

I have never been much of a blog surfer.  Until now-

I give myself 30 minutes a day- during nap time for the little ones and rest time for the older ones- for some "me time".  Lately- during my "me time" I have come across some very interesting blogs.  I have only found these blogs through family and friends.  I usually only pursue looking further into a blog if I know I will be able to gain something from it.  Whether it be to improve a talent, health, or family living.  I look forward to reading more and implementing some new things for my family. 

Nourishing Days
Where I have found a perfect recipe for a little boys 1st birthday cake ,want to learn more about this product, and am grateful that someone has been able to put some of my own feelings into such graceful words and wonderful actions.

The Idea Room
Where this makes me drool and this make me want to get some fabric in my house, and this looks and sounds like a dream come true.

I have a few more but they are a secret since they have already been put into action- you will have to wait. 

Limit yourself to 30 minutes a day to do something for yourself that will help improve yourself.  Me mindful, considerate, and crafty.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Going swimming?

According to The Vinegar Book doctors are now recommending some vinegar treatments as a preventative care for swimmers ear.

"Simply dilute vinegar half and half with boiled water and use to rinse out the ears after each swim.  For a more drying solution, mix vinegar half and half with alcohol.  This helps to prevent both bacterial and fungus growth."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

free dinner nights

My husband works at a golf course and about 3 times a week he closes.  Which, in the summer time, means he isn't home till about 8:30-9 p.m.  I have considered these nights to be free dinner nights for the kids and me.  My kids are easy to please and we have some standard and easy dinners for these free nights.

1. Nachos- my oldest could eat these every meal.
Spread tortilla chips, cheese, and black beans on a baking pan and cook at 350 for about 10 minutes.  We add pico-de-gallo, avocado, sour cream, black olives, and sometimes cilantro- if we have it on hand.

2. Quinoa pasta with marinara and steamed broccoli- I don't know what it is about this pasta but my 5 year old can never get enough of it.
Cook pasta according to directions.  Warm up marinara -I blend mine a bit before cooking because we have some with texture issues. This would also be a good time to add some pureed veggies.- Serve with a side of steamed broccoli or simple salad.

3. Quesadillas
Whole wheat tortillas and any kind of cheese.  Warm up tortilla sprinkle on cheese.  Fold over and cook till cheese is melted.  Sides are the same as the Nachos

4. Eggs
Anyway you like them- they make a great fast dinner and eggs are just plain good for you.  We try to eat them everyday.

5. Black beans and cottage cheese
Just that simple- messy, but easy and it is a favorite for my kids since they were all babies.  You can add some cooked rice to- for more mess and nutrition. :)  We usually will have a side of fruit with this.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I only thought I was done...

As I finished up using the last of my baby food I realized how handy it is to have vegetables ready to feed to my little guy.  I remember going through the same thoughts when my, now two year old, daughter began to eat more table foods.  It seemed that her nutrition intake decreased because there just aren't that many fruits and vegetables that are that easy to grab and have ready for a baby.  It usually takes some preparation and sometimes I just don't have the time.  Bananas are good but my little guy can't eat them- avocados are a daily around here- and pears are a must.

However, it would be nice to have a stash of pureed fruits and vegetables again.  Apples are always a good thing- it's applesauce, right- not really "baby food"? Pureed carrots and other vegetables could make a quick and nutritious addition to cottage cheese- marinara sauce- etc.  I think I will be whipping the blender out, washing, peeling, dicing, steaming vegetables.  For that little extra boost.  I have even thought about freezing a few bowls of vegetables not pureed but steamed and diced.

Apples: Are abundant in pectin, a fiber found on the apple peel and just below.  Which is known for its cholesterol-lowering affects.

Baby must be at least 7 months old for pureed apples. 8 months old for peeled raw grated apples.  At least three years for unpeeled.

Apples keep longer if they don't touch each other.  I have started to keep mine in the plastic containers they come in from Costco so they will stay separate.  I have noticed a difference and have dealt with the extra space it takes up.

Freeze unsweetened applesauce for up to 2 months.

What I do for my "applesauce":
Cut the apple to get the seeds out, cut up according to how powerful your blender is, and then just blend to reach desired consistency.  You will probably need to add some water.

Carrots:  Are loaded with beta carotene, a form of Vitamin A.  Your baby should be having a Vitamin A veggie everyday.  However you eat them is going to benefit you- raw, cooked, or juiced.

Baby must be at least 7 months for cooked carrots.  10 months for finely grated carrots.

Carrots need cold temperature and humidity.  Store in the refrigerator in a bag that has holes in it.  Fresh carrots will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Younger carrots don't need to be peeled- as that is where a lot of their nutrition is.  Bigger carrots are better peeled.

Freeze pureed carrots for up to two months.

Best way to do carrots:
Steam 10-15 minutes.  --Using a steamer is better then putting in a pot with water.  It holds the nutrients in instead of washing them out.  You can just use the cooking water when blending the carrots to try to restore some of the nutrients.-- Dice and blend to appropriate consistency.

I have a blend-tec and will sometimes throw in an apple and a few raw carrots.  Either keeping as an "applesauce" or turning into a juice to add to other solid things.

I think I will be referring to my Deceptively Delicious book again.  Not to sneak but to add.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Lemon Bars

I have spent the past few days working hard as a mom and being pampered as a mom.  I am completely refreshed and ready for a new week.

This past weekend we had a yard sale.  My girls have been wanting to have a lemonade stand for a long time.  I decided a yard sale would be a great time since it would be attracting so many people down our street.  But instead of Lemonade I suggested Lemon barsLets be a little different- and really, who could resist?  Well, not many people. 

Lemon Bars

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2/3 cup of confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups of white sugar
3 T. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup lemon juice

confectioners' sugar to decorate

Preheat oven to 375
Butter a 9x13in. baking pan

Combine the ingredients for the crust and press down into the buttered baking pan.  It will be crumbly so work with it a little bit in the pan to reach the thickness and texture you want.  I barely go up the sides but do as you please.  Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven.  Sometimes I prefer a softer crust and will check on it until it just begins to brown and remove. 

While the crust bakes combine the ingredients for the filling and mix until frothy.  Pour this mixture over the hot crust, once it is done.

Return to the preheated oven for an additional 20-25 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  Cool on a wire and decorate with sifted confectioners' sugar.

My love for lemon bars comes from gatherings at my grandmother's.  She always had events catered and these were on the top of the list.  Mine are a thinner version but if you like it thick just double the filling.  My five year old helped me make these and we put in a bit more of lemon juice until she thought it was "lemony enough."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ranch Dressing

This is another Green Smoothie Girl favorite of mine.  This is considered a treat around here.  We usually eat our veggies raw but for those days that my kids need an extra bit of motivation and I say,  "I made Ranch"- their eyes light up!  To be able to make my own dressing benefits me in knowing what is in it and controlling the flavor.

Ranch Dressing

1 cup Buttermilk
1 cup Sour Cream
1 T. dried parsley
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder

Blend briefly until just mixed. Pour into a jar and refrigerate.  As it sits in the refrigerator the spices settle in better and it has a better taste.

The briefly part is key here- in times past I didn't notice that instruction and have just turned my blender on.  It would turn out pretty runny- it still worked- but the brief blend works so much better.

This was delicious on our Taco Salad that we used our leftover taco meat for.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Baby Food

I think I have blended and frozen my last batch of baby food.  My little man is growing up and loves his food.  If he can feed himself he is happier.  For those of you who are just getting started here are some of the guidelines I have followed with feeding my babies.

-The book that I use may have more foods listed but these are the things I felt comfortable with and used-

First foods:
ripe avocado
ripe banana
sweet potatoes (This one did not go over well with the little guys tummy and still doesn't.)
commercial iron fortified single grains cereals: rice, barley, millet or oatmeal
mild fruits cooked and strained: apricots, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, prunes

6 months
homemade grain cereals: brown rice, millet, rolled oats
winter squash
raw mild fruits: papaya, mango, pears

7 months
green beans
summer squash

8 months
honeydew melon

Make sure when you introduce a new food to baby that you only introduce one new food at a time and wait 4 days to introduce another new food.  This should give time for any allergy signs to show.  Also, feeding baby one food too often can create a sensitivity for that food.

Oh the joys of feeding baby!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Taco seasoning for anyone

My oldest daughter loves tacos- as she does most foods- but they definitely rank on the top of the list with chicken and fries and salmon.  However, my five year old has geographic tongue which seems to make her tongue a little more sensitive so she would never eat them. 

A few years ago we used to be avid watchers of 30 minute meals with Rachael Ray.  She made a meal called tacozagna and while making it she made a comment about when you do your own seasonings verses a prepackage mix you are in control of the taste and heat.  I don't know why but that had never dawned on me before. I ended up making that meal and my little sensitive one loved it.  Ever since then I have adapted that seasoning mix as our own taco seasoning.  I adjust the heat to make it just right for her and, in my opinion, it tastes so much better then the packaged stuff.

Taco Seasoning

2 lb. ground beef
3 garlic cloves
2 T. Chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 1/2 tsp. coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
appx. 1 cup chicken broth

Heat a large high sided skillet over medium-high heat with oil. Add the meat and brown- drain if desired.  Add minced or grated garlic then season the meat with chili, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper and cook 7 to 8 minutes more. Stir in desired chicken stock.  Cover and simmer till ready to eat.

We are going to have our leftovers in a taco salad tomorrow mixed with black beans.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I love brownies!  Seriously-- love them.  A hot brownie with vanilla ice cream- oh so yummy.  I, unfortunately, can eat a whole pan if it is left out.  I have to admit it is one of the things that I think just tastes better coming from a box.  Lately I have been on the search for a great-homemade-brownie recipe.  I think I have come across some that work for different kind of brownie lovers.

First: is my favorite- fudgey and rich.  I found this recipe at I can't seem to find the actual link.

Rich and Fudgey Brownie -- no picture it was gone that fast!

1/2 cup of butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a medium pan over very low heat.  Stir together and remove from the heat.  Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Mix well.  Stir in the flour and salt.  Spread the mixture into a buttered 8 in. square pan.  Bake until set- the original recipe says 40 minutes but mine only took 20.  Cool before cutting.

Second: is the same recipe as the first but if you like a milky chocolate taste use semi-sweet baking chocolate instead of the unsweetened.  That's all I had the first time I made them and they turned out good just not as rich as I like.

Third: is a recipe I found from Pioneer Women.  I have to say I haven't really looked at this site except from following links from one of my favorite foody bloggers and searching for a brownie recipe.  These brownies came out with a great texture.  Not cakey not fudgey just in the middle.  My husband preferred these and that's why I am including it.

 Fudge Brownies

12 T. cocoa powder
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350

In large pot melt cocoa powder and butter stirring constantly.  Stir in sugar.  Remove from heat and mix in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour.  Spread in greased 9x13 pan.  Bake for 35 minutes (do not overbake).

I have come to the conclusion that if you like cakier- us cocoa powder- for fudgey use the baking chocolate.  Over the stove melting works best- trust me I tried a recipe before that totally bombed- yuck! 

Next I will try substituting the flour with whole white wheat flour-- I don't want to give up the sugar part yet.