Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin waffles

I wanted to make something pumpkin themed for breakfast this morning, and I have a few things marked that are pumpkin but they were going to take a while.  When I asked Brandon what he wanted he said pumpkin waffles.  The recipe I had seen for those had 1 2/3 cups sugar.  I wasn't about to do that, so I searched for a new one and found this one.  I mean when the site is called pumpkinwaffles and says the guy has tried 80 + recipes what can you do.  However, I still altered this to my liking.  I subbed out some wheat flour, used 1/2 the sugar, used coconut oil, and not as much .....
These were loved by all.  Tavio and I ate a full waffle, no syrup, while cooking the rest.  Aaron ate 2 squares.  These were not tiny squares I have a calphalon waffle iron, It takes me 2 cups of batter to make 1 batch of 4 waffle squares - so that is 1 cup of batter for a little guy who doesn't always eat a great breakfast.  I was super happy because I made these super healthy.  I used an additive that adds fiber, some greek yogurt to add texture and protein, and still used 1/2 wheat and 1/2 white flour.  Not to mention they had pumpkin in them.  Not only were they decently nutritious for a waffle, but they were also just a good waffle.  Tavio gripes that the waffles I usually make are too heavy.  (And they are.)  These were nice and creamy in the center.  (sounds like a weird word to describe a waffle, but that was what I could think of.)  Nice and light.   Just the right amount of pumpkin and spice.  Only think I would have liked a bit more would be a bit crispier on the outside, but I actually baked one a tiny bit longer and that helped.
I did not take a picture and I'm pretty sure that there are no left overs, but they are a waffle.  :)

So this is how I made it.


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup hi maize resistant starch (most people don't have this so just add 1/4 cup flour -this just adds fiber.  Not sure why I bought it but I use it when I use white flour a lot.)
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 can (15-16 oz) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 6 Tablespoons coconut oil, heated just enough to be liquid (It was actually a cold morning so I had to warm it.)
  1. Heat waffle iron.
  2. Combine brown sugar and corn starch in a bowl.  Whisk together to break evenly mix.  Add remaining dry ingredients and whisk to blend.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk pumpkin and coconut oil until smooth.  Separate eggs putting yolks into the pumpkin mixture and whites into another bowl (to be whipped.)
  4. Whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.  (I did this in my kitchen aide while whisking the other wet ingredients)
  5. Whisk yogurt and milk into the pumpkin mixture.  Mix the wet and dry ingredients just until combined.  Gently fold in the egg whites until well combined.  
  6. Bake according to your waffle iron instructions.  -My Calphalon waffle iron beeps at me when it gets to my selected doneness.  

Friday, October 28, 2011

Balsamic pork loin

Apparently if you are on pintrest, this recipe has been around.  I however am not.  I saw it over on Mel's kitchen cafe.  As with most of her recipes, it did not disappoint.  Delicious.  I loved the sauce.  I think everyone actually liked the meat portion of this meal (this recipe)  Yea!
As and extra bonus it was cooked in the slow cooker.  I even tossed my pork loin in there frozen in the morning.  No problems.  :)  Couldn't be easier.

  • 2-3 pound boneless pork loin roast, trimmed of large fat pockets (can't say that I did this trimming ahead of time since I tossed it in frozen.  I just trimmed it off as I shredded)
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic minces
  • 1/2 cup water
Glaze ingredients
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce


  1. In a small bowl, combine the sage, salt, pepper and garlic.  Rub the spices all over the roast. (Here is where a non-frozen roast would have been better because the spices would have stuck better.) Place roast in slow cooker and pour in the 1/2 cup water.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours - or until completely done and shredable.  
  2.  Near the end of the cooking time, combine the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until it thickens.  Stirring occasionally.  (I think I actually did this part while shredding the pork - stir, shred, stir, shred...)
  3. Serve pork with glaze drizzled on top - or just mix it all in (what I did with the left overs.)

chicken pasta salad

Here is yet another recipe from recipe shoebox.  This one was OK.  I think I would have liked it better if there were less pasta.  It was better the first day than as left overs, and it made a lot, so I may 1/2 the recipe next time.  The left overs seemed like they absorbed the dressing and were a bit dry.  Of course I did cut the oil way down.  Certainly more oil would have helped.  :)

  • 1 container pre-cooked chicken
  • 1 pound rotini noodles
  • 2 heads broccoli, finely chopped
  • 1 cup diced red, yellow and orange bell peppers (I use the baby ones -it would be about 2 regular size)
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 can sliced olives
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (optional - I did not use it)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup ranch dressing
Dressing ingredients
  • 2 envelopes dry Italian dressing mix
  • 6 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • 6 Tablespoons oil  (you may want to use more - original was 3/4 cup, but a bit less water too)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Rinse with cool water to cool.  I did this while chopping all of the veggies.
  2. Combine chicken, chopped vegetables, and olives.  Set aside.  Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over vegetables and chicken.  Mix together.  Add ranch, cheese if using and pasta.  Fold together.  Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving if desired.  (I did not.) 

Mexican pizza with quesadilla crust

This is a recipe that I found on salad in a jar.  It appealed to me because it looked quick and easy.  I also loved the fact that she used feta and made them look so sophisticated yet so simple.  
Unfortunately at my house when I made these it was a crazy day and I was out of feta. I would love to try them again with feta.  I also certainly didn't use all of the ingredients that she did.  I did however make some of them with shrimp for our shrimp lovers.  The rest of us ate them with chicken.  They were well liked.  Definitely check out the link above because #1 her pictures look way better than mine - she must either have a camera that has a flash - or finish making dinner before it gets dark.  (like I said it was a crazy day.)  She also has a great list of ingredients and tips - like using the costco uncooked tortilla shells.  I had others that needed to be used, so that is what we used.  Here is how we made them - quick and easy.  Honestly you could use any toppings to suit your fancy.  We did keep with the Mexican theme though.  
See, I'm telling you -sad photos when it is dark outside by the time
dinner is ready.  Boo.
  • Tortillas (I made some with flour, and some with corn)
  • cheese - I used cheddar and monterey jack
  • corn (I used canned for ease)
  • green chilies 
  • black beans
  • diced tomatoes (I used canned here too)
  • salsa
  • shrimp
  • chicken
  • sliced red, orange and yellow peppers (I used the mini ones)
  1. Preheat oven to 400.  Place 3 tortillas on a large baking sheet.  Sprinkle with your choice of cheese (I used mostly cheddar for the center of the quesadilla part.)  Top with another tortilla.  Spread a thin layer of salsa on the top of that tortilla.  Add remaining toppings in order/amounts desired.  I always ended with a little more cheese on top.  
  2. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until desired doneness.  

Cowboy Spaghetti

Whew, what an undertaking.  I sat down to try and catch up on a few recipes last night and saw how grossly behind I was in actually adding pictures.  2 months.  August 28 contained my last picture.  Needless to say I spent the evening posting pictures.  Now to try and catch up on the posting of recipes for the week.

And again, could I get any more side tracked?  Now I just posted a bunch of failed recipes -  I figure I better know not to try those again.  :)  So I'm finally up to a picture of a meal that I made that wasn't a fail, and that I still have the recipe to so I can post it.  Yea!  It's only taken me what?  18 hours?

This is just a variation on spaghetti.  Most variations on spaghetti seem to go over well at my house.  I guess because they look like something familiar that they like.  My picture doesn't even look half as good as the one over on Taste and tell - certainly you should go look at it if trying to decide to make this recipe. She did not mix the sauce with the noodles, and her presentation is just pretty.   But then again, she does a professional blog and mine is a hobby to help myself organize.  :)
Somehow I didn't have any bacon to go on top.  I buy a huge costco sized bag but I have 4 boys and 1 husband all of whom LOVE bacon and someone used it up and didn't let me know I needed more.  I'm sure that would have made this.  Here is how I made it - using pre-cooked beef to make it even quicker.  I can't remember exactly how much everyone liked this dish, but I'm sure it was pretty well received.  I did wish I would have kept the other teaspoon of hot sauce, but I'm afraid it would have been a bit spicy for some of my anti-spicy kiddos.)

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 medium onion, diced 
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or ground sirloin (I used pre-cooked)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped (I may have used garlic minces)
  • pepper
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Original called for 2 and I would have liked 2, but I'm not sure my littlest would have.)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (16 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped (I didn't use this, but would definitely consider it next time.)
  • cheddar cheese
  • chopped green onions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, defrost pre-cooked beef (or cook ground beef)  Add to a large skillet along with onions and garlic (salt and pepper if your using not cooked ground beef - my pre-cooked has it.)  Saute until onions begin to soften.   Add hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock and heat through.  Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Let simmer while noodles finish cooking.
  3. Serve over noodles or add them to the sauce and mix to combine.  Top with grated cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, and crisp, crumbled bacon.  (I'd probably make this by taking pre-cooked, chopping it, and tossing it in the microwave for a few seconds to get it to crisp back up.)

Mexican Bowtie pasta with chicken

This recipe wasn't a total failure, but I no longer have the recipe (turned the book back into the library yesterday.)  It is from Family Feasts for $75 a week.  (page 155 if I ever get the book again.)  I liked that it made a ton - I froze half of it. - that is how much it made.  It was also a typical mexican flavor dish but with the addition of cream cheese which made it creamy and more mild that some dishes.  In this picture you can also see that I served it with grape salad.  I did in this case use 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture as mentioned in the original post.  You can see that it was plenty saucy.

my favorite way to chop spinach (using fresh in place of frozen spinach)

Lately I've been buying the big costco bag of spinach to make green smoothies.  However, I somehow don't manage to make them as often as I want to and so I usually end up with extra spinach that goes bad.  Sooo, when I have a recipe calling for frozen spinach, I often just chop up some regular spinach and toss it in the pot.  I either just fill the pan and chop with scissors or fill a cup like this and chop.   Just be advised that by weight that small little box is a lot more fresh spinach than you think.  See the white colander in the picture?  I used that to weigh the amount of spinach I needed and I probably filled the colander.  Don't worry, cooked it wilts and turns out just fine.

Cheese tortellini pesto pasta salad - Fail

I had such high hopes for this pasta salad.  It looked delicious.  The ingredients sounded great, and it came from recipe shoebox and I usually have wonderful luck with her recipes.  However, I'm not sure what happened with this.  I think we just had a pesto that we didn't like.  Plus I had a bit of bad luck with both of the garlics I bought around this time being super strong.  Between the 2, it just had a pungent flavor that was overly strong for a pesto pasta salad.  I wouldn't mind trying this again with milder garlic and possibly my own pesto.  It truly looks and sounds like it should be delicious.  Click the link to recipe shoebox for the recipe if you'd like to try it.
Looks good right?

Curly noodle and lentil soup - Fail

My older boys disliked this meal so much they were downright rude.  Honestly I must be fair, they usually try everything and are fair enough sports with our crazy eating.  Tavio (s2) doesn't really like it.  I think he'd be perfectly happy with a rotating menu of 7 favorites - one for every day of the week.  But that isn't what I like to do and he's stuck with my cooking for now.  Back to this recipe - they both folded their arms and refused to eat.  I made them eat some, but ended up feeding them an alternate food.  I can't say it was that bad - really it wasn't.  I thought the flavor was just fine.  However, the lentils (or something) gave the pasta a bit of a gritty texture that I didn't care for.  I actually had seconds of this at dinner, but didn't save the left overs at all.  The recipe is from Family Feasts for $75 a week.  She had the greatest description of the lentils floating or bouncing off the curly pasta - no amount of cute would have helped my teens eat this - oh, and it was NOT cute.  

Chili corn pone pie -Fail

Here is one we didn't care for.  No recipe here.  Looks great, and I really like the idea of a taco type bottom layer with a corn bread type upper layer, but this cornbread was too dry and I wasn't a fan of the flavor combinations in the bottom either.  The recipe was from Family feasts for $75 a week.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


About a month ago I joined a local CSA (community supported Agriculture) for the fall season.  Well, Tuesday was my first day to get a shipment of veggies.  I got a red pepper, a pipian squash, and an eggplant. So, I decided to use them to make Ratatouille.  I looked at a couple of recipes for ratatouille and decided to mostly follow the one I found on smitten kitchen because it looked like the ratatouille from the movie.  I also looked at the ratatouille recipes on, and took the addition of parmesan cheese from there.
I served this over a new red rice I saw at the fiesta and decided to try.  It was a good rice.  I think the overall presentation of the meal would have looked better on a lighter colored rice, but the flavor was great.  I also must say that the pipian squash was good.  Sadly I'm not sure when I'll see another one of those, but I have the left overs in the freezer.
And the verdict - my older boys loved this.  I currently have a second batch in the oven - which makes me happy because it gave me something to do with the other veggies I had sitting there.  On this one I put way less pepper in the tomato sauce on the bottom, and added Thyme and a dash of Italian seasoning and olive oil to the tomato sauce as well.  (However I forgot the sprinkling of olive oil on the top.)  I also liked the dish - other than I thought the tomato sauce was too peppery and not flavorful enough (hence the added ingredients in batch 2.)  I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I liked this.  I have only tried eggplant once in eggplant lasagna or something (that I didn't make.)  It was gross and I have been afraid to try it again.  Would never have chose to buy one at the store, so it is probably a wonderful thing that I signed up for the CSA so I felt an obligation to try the veggies I had paid for.  Now to find something to make with the HUGE chinese cabbage I got and the okra.  Nothing like random veggies to make me branch out of my comfort zone.  :)
Here is how I made it.


  • 1 can crushed tomato
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic minces
  • about 1-1 1/2 Tablespoons dehydrated onion
  • 1 eggplant (although I only used about 1/2 of it.)
  • 1 squash -I had a pale green variety called pipian
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • thyme
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Slice the squash, eggplant and red pepper very thin.  (on a mandline or in a food processor would be easier.  I used my food processor so I chopped my eggplant and squash down the middle - wasn't as cute as circles, but it was so much quicker and easier to cut.  I also sliced mine in the thin side of my cutting disc - I would probably use the thicker side next time to get more veggies in the dish with less layers)
  2. Pour the crushed tomatoes on the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish.  Mix in garlic, onions, salt and pepper to taste (I used 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper -was definitely too much pepper)
  3. On top of the tomatoes, layer eggplant, squash, red pepper and repeat making a nice oval pattern around the dish.
  4. Sprinkle olive oil over the veggies.  Sprinkle veggies with salt, pepper and thyme.  Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.  Uncover, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, Bake an additional 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and veggies are cooked through.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

apple cider spice donuts

Man, I started writing this over a week ago.  Not sure why I didn't finish.  Good think I saw it when I was blogging like crazy yesterday.  I knew to come back and finish it up today.

Here is another recipe I've had marked in my evernote app for a while.  It is from Our Best Bites.
I had actually started on these the other day because you are supposed to simmer down some apple cider for use in the dough.  Got that done, but then didn't want to have to make the dough, roll it out, cool it....  So today I got really lazy with the whole process and I loved the process.  I have a cute little donut maker (similar to this but made by babycakes.)  So I ended up just scooping out a scoop of dough right onto my little donut maker.  I didn't even try to shape them.  The machine pressed them down and they turned out perfectly cute.  Sure their whole didn't go all the way through, but for the ease, it was totally worth it.  They still look like a cute donut.
I of course tried to help this recipe be healthy.  It was all good except for the fact that I found them to be a bit dry.  I preferred them with a bit of glaze just because they seemed dry when plain or with just cinnamon sugar.  I'm sure I could fiddle with the dough a bit and make it more moist.  The flavor was good, but I didn't think the apple was quite strong enough.  Next time I'd probably add some apple sauce or diced apple or something - it would both add moisture and flavor.

Here is how I made them today -


  • 1 cup high quality apple cider (or 1/4 cup apple juice concentrate)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (original had 4 Tablespoons butter flavored Crisco but I didn't have any)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup splenda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup white bean flour (or another 1/4 cup white flour)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • glaze or cinnamon/sugar if desired.

Had to add a picture of how easy these were to make in the
doughnut maker.  
  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring apple cider to a boil.  Continue to cook over high heat for 7-10 minutes or until it's reduced to 1/4 cup (I actually did 3 cups and reduced it to 3/4 cup and it took probably closer to 20.  I had to come back and finish later because I was going to make the dough the day before and refrigerate like the original.  I didn't.  I just  made the reduced apple cider and stored it in the fridge.)  If not making this the day before, remove from heat and allow to cool. \
  2. While the cider is reducing (or cooling for that matter - or the next day like I did.) Combine oil, butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on high for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy (using coconut oil, I did have to scrape down the sides a bit -original had 1/4 cup butter flavor crisco but I didn't have any)  Add eggs one at a time, beating completely after each addition.
  3. Add reduced cider and buttermilk and beat until combined
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Add flour mixture to the liquid and mix just until blended.  This dough turns out about the consistency of cookie dough.  Super nice for scooping onto my doughnut maker.
  5. If you are baking them, scoop dough onto the doughnut maker and let it do it's job.  So simple.  If you want to dip them in cinnamon and sugar you will have to give them a spritz of spray butter or dunk them in melted butter or something to get the sugar to stick.  Or you can make a simple glaze.  My favorite was a simple powdered sugar, cinnamon and milk glaze that I had made.  OBB had you make a pumpkin pie spice sugar, but that was actually my least favorite of the ways I ate these.  I liked glaze, cinnamon sugar, and plain better.  :)
To fry these, go check out the instructions on our best bites.  You have to refrigerate the dough, then roll it out and cut it out, and fry it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Strawberry-coconut rice pudding

Really I came to the computer to post this recipe.  I just got here and saw the screens I had up searching for the play dough recipe and looked again.
This recipe is from 366 Delicious Ways to cook rice, beans, and grain.  This book is definitely going on my wish list.
Being a person who rather enjoys her rice pudding, I was surprised (actually quite surprised) to find a new way to cook rice pudding.  This one started in a double boiler - who knew you could cook rice that way - not me.  Just a warning - the actual rice never seemed to boil (and I checked on it a few times wondering when it was going to simmer.)  It didn't, just the water underneath, but magically the rice absorbed all of the water and on we went with the recipe.
 After the rice was made, the pudding was made separately and added to the rice, and the strawberries.  Very effective, but also a bit on the time consuming side.  Luckily the longest part is cooking the rice and it only needs to be slightly baby sat to ensure that the bottom of the double boiler doesn't boil dry. (Mine did while I taught piano lessons.  Luckily it didn't scorch.  I think it had barely boiled dry.  Whew!!
And the important info - was it any good??  Great flavor and texture.  A little too sweet for my liking.  As a dessert, it was great tonight, but typically I like to eat rice pudding as breakfast, and this would definitely be too sweet for me for that.  Next time I will probably try this with 1/2 the sugar/sweetener and sub out some agave. -I made myself some notes in the recipe below.)

On to the recipe.
Did I mention this is time consuming?  Start early :)


  • 1/2 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I used 1 Tablespoon less, and would probably use a lot less next time.
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 1 can (14 oz) light coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs
  1. In the top of a double boiler, combine the rice, water, and 1/4 cup of the sugar. (Use 1-2 Tablespoons agave here next time??)  Simmer until the rice is completely tender and most of the water has been absorbed.  (About 1 1/2 hours)  Set aside to cool
  2. Meanwhile, wash and hull and slice the berries.  Place in a bowl with another 1/4 cup sugar. (Use less next time)  Mix and set aside.
  3. When rice is ready (or almost ready) heat coconut milk in a heavy bottomed, medium saucepan over medium-low heat.  Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch (Here is where I took out 1 Tablespoon of sugar -debated more and should have taken out more -next time.)  Whisk cornstarch/sugar mixture into the coconut milk.  Continue whisking until the sugar is completely dissolved.  In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth.  Add about 1 cup of the hot coconut milk mixture to the eggs whisking continuously.  Slowly pour the eggs back into the saucepan, again whisking continuously.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.  (About 10 minutes - it will look bubbly at first, but it gets to looking nice and puddingy (you know smooth, thick and creamy)  That does take just about 10 minutes.  I went back and froth from whisking and using a silicon scraper spoon that I like to stir with.  Whisk kept the pudding smooth, silicon spoon kept it from sticking anywhere (sides or bottom.)
  4. Stir cooked rice and strawberries with their juice into the pudding mixture.
  5. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. 

My favorite play dough

As I was labeling my last post about peanut butter playdough, I realized I have no craft type recipes (no category, so no recipes.)  I couldn't believe that since I have made all sorts of stuff from slime to play dough to different types of paint.  I mean I'm an Elementary Ed major with an Early childhood minor and I taught kindergarten for years.  This is my all time favorite play dough recipe.  The jello in it gives it color and smell and the large amount of cream of tartar gives it a great texture and makes it last forever.  This one took me a while to find because I haven't actually made it in years.  Maybe for the next playgroup.  If I find my other favorite playdough I'll post it too.  I used to make it each year at the beginning of the school year as a 1st day of school activity.  I know where the recipe was (in a Mailbox magazine) but I gave those all away when I quit teaching.  :(  


  • 0.3 oz package of sugar free fruit flavored gelatin
  • 2 cups four
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 Tbsp cream of tartar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 Tbs. cooking oil

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a pan.  Add the boiling water and cooking oil.  Stir over medium-high heat until the mixture forms a ball.  (This usually happens immediately when you add boiling water.)  
  2. Place the ball on waxed paper to cool.  Store in an airtight container.  Use different flavors to make different colors and smells.

 I do suggest adding a little food coloring to lighter colored Jello if you want a brighter colored dough.

peanut butter playdough

Yesterday was finally my turn for playgroup at my house.  We have 6 toddlers (2 1/2 to 3 years old) in the group, and we are house #6 so it has been a while before it got to us. Somehow Monday night or Tuesday morning while laying in bed I got the great idea to do peanut butter playdough with them.  However, I didn't manage to get to the finding a recipe and making it part until.... you guessed it Thursday morning.  There sure are a lot of peanut butter playdough recipes out there in case you were wondering.  They have varying quantities of peanut butter, nonfat dry milk, honey, and/or powdered sugar in them.  I chose a recipe that used very little honey and no powdered sugar.  I was actually overall impressed with the flavor.  It was quite tasty.  (To be honest I was afraid of the powdered milk tasting to strong.)  I'd definitely make this again for fun and/or snack.   The kids loved it.  Most didn't play too much with it - just mine.  He played forever, then played with it again in the afternoon.  They all had cute little grins when they tried eating it since they all informed me eating playdough was a no no.  :)

Unfortunately Brandon made this and I think he used equal parts peanut butter and dry milk.  I tried to add lots more (almost another full cup) of peanut butter and a bit more honey, so definitely start with the lesser amount of dry milk so it doesn't get too dry.


  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2/3 -1 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  1. Mix all ingredients adding enough powdered milk to make the playdough dry enough to handle but not crumbly.  
  2. We just smashed ours flat and cut things out with cookie cutters.  I've added some other ideas below.
Other ideas
  1. Add raisins to make a face
  2. Stir in chow mein noodles and make a bird's nest.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips or cheerios..... (you get the picture)
  4. Try a nonfat chocolate milk mix to make chocolate peanut butter mix.
  5. I read on comments to this blog that this mix could be cooked. Someone said they made halloween witches fingers with it - even putting a pretzel in the middle for a bone (almond slice for fingernail.)

Strawberry-Banana pancakes

Here is the other recipe I tried out of the 366 delicious ways to cook rice, beans and grains.  I had to make a few more modifications to it because I couldn't find wheat germ at the store the other day and I had greek yogurt, not regular.  They still ended up tasting delicious.  I liked that they were whole grain and contained some fruit.  I also liked that they had corn meal in them.  Gave them a little different flavor/texture from your regular pancake.
This is what I ended up doing this morning.
Sorry for the sad pic.  I don't always think to take a picture of pancakes.
These are day old cold out of the fridge, but you can still see the Strawberry chunks.  Yum!


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal (I use home ground popcorn)
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar (I'd probably use agave next time - not sure why I didn't change that today -I was in a hurry though.)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup greek yogurt (If using regular, you probably will need less milk)
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 banana, diced
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
  1. Combine cornmeal, flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Mix well.
  2. Add yogurt, milk and canola oil.  Stir until evenly moistened.  Stir in bananas and strawberries
  3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gently fold in the remaining batter.
  4. Cook on a pre-heated griddle using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.  

Syrian Rishtah

So I have yet another cookbook checked out of the library.  (OK, so I have 3 or 4 out)  But one in particular I really like.  It is called 366 Delicious ways to cook Rice, Beans, and Grains (unfortunately my Amazon product finder is not working so no cute little picture.)  Anyway, it if full of tons of ideas for cooking grains and beans (imagine that.)  Not a great book if you are looking for something with tons of pretty pictures, but as a resource for new ideas I'm loving it.  Now if I can just find a place around here that sells amaranth I'll have a bunch of new recipes to try.  :)
Last night's dinner and this morning's breakfast both came from this book, and I have tons more with little pieces of paper sticking out to try.  I've already put them in my menu for then next few weeks.  I'll start with last night's dinner.  I chose this because I've had good luck with lentils in the past, and I thought the combination of spices (cumin, allspice, and coriander) sounded interesting.  It turned out really good.  I loved the flavor.  I thought the sauce ended making the noodles a bit grainy, but I used regular green lentils rather than the French lentils called for (couldn't find those)  I think this problem could be solved by 2 things if using the green lentils - 1 cook them a little less time originally, and 2 not adding the cooking water, but fresh water or more stock.  Definitely what I would try next time.  I'd make this again, and actually sent the left overs to school with my 5 year old, so I can't have been that bad if he was willing to eat left overs.  :)
This is how I made it.  (Adapted a bit from the original in the book.)


  • 1/2 cup dried French green lentils, rinsed (I used regular, see above)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 small (or 1 large) onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (I used the dehydrated minces, the fresh garlic I have has been particularly spicy lately and I didn't want the dish ruined by pungent garlic I actually sauteed onion and garlic but it was so strong smelling that I started over and used the minces)
  • 1 can (15-16 oz.) petite diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (could also use vegetable to keep it vegetarian.  I just had chicken in the fridge that was already opened)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional - I left this out because of the kiddos but served them on the side for DH)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 lb fettuccine noodles
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine lentils and water.  Bring to a boil.  REduce heat and simmer, covered until lentils are just tender but still retain their shape (25 min - maybe a bit less next time for regular green lentils -see above)  Set aside but do not drain.
  2. In another saucepan, heat butter over medium heat.  Add onions (and garlic if using fresh) saute until onions are golden (about 10 minutes.)  Add garlic minces towards the end of the 10 minutes if using dried.
  3. Add the lentils, cooking liquid, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, cumin, allspice, soriander, red pepper flakes (if using) salt and pepper.   Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and toss with the lentil mixture.  (I made 1 lb of noodles but didn't use all of them.  I used most of them, but not all - didn't want the pasta to be too dry.)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

BBQ chicken salad with cilantro lime dressing

This was delicious.  Very reminiscent of Cafe Rio salad but way easier to make -and actually probably healthier since it doesn't have the tortillas or rice.  I found this recipe on recipe shoebox.
(I've actually got this new little app called evernote on my ipad and computers.  It lets me just clip a webpage into it so I can keep track of things.  I'm thinking it is like pintrest but not nearly as time consuming since I'm just seeing my own stuff.  I'm loving it because it actually gets some of the recipes I want to make marked.  It is making menu planning a breeze and letting me try lots of new stuff without losing the webpage it was on.  So loving it.  Anyway, I digress, back to the recipe.)
 Not much to say except this will definitely be making a more regular appearance at our house.  One of the best ways to get my older boys to actually eat salad.  And as an added bonus, they even like it.  Tavio rated this 9/10 stars.  Wahoo!


  • 1 package pre-cooked chicken (usually 12-16 oz.)  Can be chopped or shredded.  (I used shredded - made my pre-cooked chicken in the smoker this time around and a couple were so nice I shred them.)
  • BBQ sauce - to liking - I used 1/2 cup give or take a bit.  (we like sweet Baby Ray's honey BBQ sauce)
  • 2 hearts of romaine - chopped
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bag cherry or grape tomatoes
  • mozzarella cheese (we used it, but it could totally be optional to me.  Not really high on the bringing flavor to the party list in my opinion.)
Dressing ingredients
  • 1 envelope ranch dressing mix
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  1. Blend all dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Set aside.
  2. Combine shredded chicken and BBQ sauce.  
  3. To serve, place lettuce, corn, black beans, cheese, BBQ chicken, dressing and tomatoes on a plate.  Enjoy.  

Lemon Lime Jello

Along with the lime chicken I made yet again another jello salad.  I don't know what my facination is with making these.  I guess I feel like I made a dessert which of course my kids love.  They are in no way healthy though - although I have an Idea to try this but in a healthy version - I'm a little worried though.  Anyway, the idea for this came from Deals to Meals.  I thought is was so strange to combine jello and pudding - probably what possessed me to try it - I couldn't even imagine the result.  It turned out ok.  Pretty tangy with these lemon/lime flavors.  I'd love to see a chocolate pudding with strawberry jello.  (That is my goal for a healthy version - we'll see)  Here is how to make this one. -Oh, I was going to go without putting the cool whip on top, but trust me, it needs it.  Kind of takes off the super strong tangy/sweet artificial lemon/lime flavor.  Sorry, I know I'm not making it sound appetizing.  It is my healthy side taking over the typing fingers.  The kids loved it though.  Tavio chose to have 1/2 pudding and 1/2 ice cream for dessert last night, so it really isn't all that bad.  :)


  • 1 large box cook n'serve lemon pudding
  • 1 large box lime jello (I used 2 small)
  • 1 tub cool whip (I only used about 1/2 the tub
  1. Make lemon pudding according to package directions.  Set aside.  Make the lime jello according to package directions, minus 1/2 cup water (I do have to say I did it the quick way using ice for the cold water so it would be cool and start to set.)  
  2. Whisk together the jello and pudding.  Pour into a 9 X 13 pan.  
  3. Let cool in fridge for 3-4 hours until firm.  When firm top with cool whip.  

Korean glass noodles

Yeah, finally a new recipe that wasn't gross (had a couple of those last week.  One the big boys just refused to eat.)  This one everyone ate.  I even got Mr. Picky 3 year old to eat 5 bites that contained flecks of green (wouldn't eat a carrot though, but I have to at least admit that carrot was the one baby food he didn't like, and eating the spinach pieces made me happy.)  Mr. 5 year old ate all of his and asked if he could take any left overs to school in his lunch the next day.  That is saying something.  He's not a left overs dude.
The other bonus - other than chopping the carrots, (and onions, but mine were already chopped in the fridge) the meal was pretty simple to prepare.  Gotta love quick, easy, and liked by everyone.  The original recipe came from Family Feasts for $75 a week.  This is my adaptation of the recipe.


  • 8 oz. vermicelli or cellophane noodles
  • 12-16 oz. lean ground beef (I used a container of pre-cooked)
  • 1/2 -1 teaspoon garlic minces (I didn't measure, just sprinkled some on.)
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 -1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 4-5 mushrooms, sliced (I used a small handful of dehydrated which I crumbled in my hand to equate chopped)
  • 1 packed cup coarsely chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions.  Drain, then rinse under cold running water.  
  2. Meanwhile add beef and garlic to a large skillet (cook beef if raw, or just heat up if previously frozen pre-cooked beef.)  I added a bit of water at this point  to help rehydrate the garlic minces.  Add carrot and green onions, cook 3-4 minutes, stirring a few times.  Add mushrooms and spinach.  Cook 2-3 minutes until spinach starts to wilt.  (again adding a bit of water if it looks too dry.)
  3. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and sesame seeds.  Add to skillet and toss.  (I needed lots more water here so I added about 1/4-1/3 cup to the bowl I had stirred the sesame mix in to rinse it out and tossed it in the pan.  Really helped give the meal enough liquid to not be dry.)  Add noodles and stir until well coated.  

Bread topped hamburger casserole - the I'm glad I have food storage way

This post is purely me writing about how my food storage saved my bacon yesterday.  Feel free to skip it, or read on to see how helpful having some food storage can be.
Go back to Wednesday -- I was supposed to have made my grocery list so I could shop on Thursday - didn't get done between a training I had to attend, grouchy kids, laundry, wrestling practice, cross country meet, and scouts - you know all the fun mom stuff you get to do in a day.  Soo I got to Wednesday night and was super stresses - what was I going to make for dinner, I wasn't going to get shopping, I hadn't been able to make some chicken items last week because I was out of chicken in the freezer (who knew - both pre-cooked and chicken breast)  Soo, to calm down I finally thought - hmm, I do have pre-cooked hamburger in the freezer, I can make bread topped hamburger.  It is quick and easy, can rise while I pick up Duncan....  I don't need to go to the store.....
Fast forward to Thursday - I'm making said bread topped hamburger casserole - because I have all the stuff right??  wrong!  I have since run out of milk, never had cream of mushroom soup, don't have celery (rotted) or bell pepper (used them all up.) Soo, I improvised with food storage and was grateful to have such things.
Here is the original with my substitutions written to the side

Hamburger mixture ingredients
  • 1 lb hamburger
  • dried onions
  • 1/4 c diced bell pepper (dried red and green pepper)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (freeze dried celery)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (1/2 cup this mix plus 1 Tablespoon beef bouillon and dehydrated mushrooms plus 1 1/2-2 cups water)
  • 1 can vegetable beef soup
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce (I almost subbed tomato powder just to make it really powder based but didn't.)
Bread topping ingredients
  • 1 pkg. Yeast or 1 Tablespoon
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup scalded milk - turned into a little over 1/2 cup warm water plus
  • 1.5 Tablespoons powdered milk
  • 1 Tablespoon powdered butter
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano

Scald milk by putting in microwave with butter until the butter is melted. Set aside to cool to lukewarm. This was actually nice.  I didn't have to do any of this because I used powdered milk and butter.

Fry hamburger with onions (or use precooked), I put the pre-cooked, tossed all of the ingredients on top then stirred it all together. . Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer while preparing the bread.

Place bread ingredients in a bowl =I put warm water, sugar, yeast followed by flower, powdered milk and butter, spices.. Beat 3 minutes.

Pour hamburger mixture in 9 X 13 pan
Pour bread mixture over meat. -Let rise 30 minutes.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Butter lime chicken with brown rice pilaf

I saw this recipe on Deals to meals.  It looked like a great recipe for a super busy day because it could come together very quickly using pre-cooked chicken.  It did come together quite quickly, and it was tasty.  I'm not sure what kind of tasty judge I am this week though because I have been congested and therefore not able to smell or taste as well as normal.  However, I think I could taste this one.  The kids didn't complain about it either, and I actually got my pickiest to eat a good deal of it.  He ate his first serving of chicken with no prompting and I got him to eat more chicken and even the rice by bribing him with jellybeans.  (horrible mom, I know, but what are you going to do.  He got 1 jellybean for each bite of rice.  Even got in some veggies with the rice.  I'll take it for the 7 jelly beans he ate.)
Also on a side note to self -- I made my pre-cooked chicken in the smoker this time.  While it is super tasty, I'm not sure I want to do that again.  (or at least I guess I'd better use less wood chips.)  The chicken had a powerful hickory flavor.  Again, not bad, just strong.  Not sure it will go with all recipes.
Finally, I made this with a super simple rice pilaf.  My goal was -something that my 14 year old (not good in the kitchen or following directions) could start while I was gone so that the boys could eat between activities.  So, I tossed a bunch of dehydrated veggies in with the rice and left it in the rice cooker.  (he just had to add broth - sadly he didn't add enough and the 12 year old wanting to attend his church activity left to it hungry but what can I say.  I tried hard - didn't help that there was a wreck on the way home from the cross country meet, but that is another blog right??  Suffice it to say, this was a super simple meal that came together quickly.  I was so impressed with how well the pilaf went with the chicken that I'm including the recipe.


  • 1 package pre-cooked chicken (12-16 oz) -or saute some chicken in a pan before starting
  • 2 limes, juices
  • 1 stick butter (could probably reduce by 1/2 - there was a LOT of sauce and we didn't use it all.)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  1. In a frying pan, cook juices of limes over low heat until it begins to bubble  Add butter, stirring until butter becomes opaque and forms a thickened sauce.  Stir in chicken broth, chives, and dill. Add chicken and heat through.  Serve over rice.

Simple rice pilaf (in a rice cooker)

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • varied dried veggies -I just tossed in maybe 1/4 cup of each - more or less I mixed it in with the rice and went by how it looked.  I used
    • a veggie flavor mix which included onion, garlic, red and green peppers and celery (I see that is not posted here.  I may have to give it a post.  It was handy and added a lot to the flavor.)
    • peas
    • carrots
  • 1 32 oz container of chicken stock
  1. Combine ingredients in rice cooker and push button - can't get easier than that.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Roast beef and vegetable bake

OK, I'm debating posting this one.  It was tasty, but basically just a pot roast with the beef cut in cubes to cook faster.  It did have a couple of new things in it that I liked - like it added cabbage.  I had some that I had bought for something else and was perfectly happy to have another reason to use it.  I would never thought of adding that to a pot roast type dish.  It also had both regular potatoes and sweet potatoes.  While I love this idea, I've never been able to make it work effectively.  My sweet potatoes always end up getting overdone.  That being said, I've decided maybe I should go ahead and post it because it did have a different flavor -dash of cinnamon and dash of cloves.  That was actually nice.  It was a bit spicier than I would have liked and I even backed off the pepper just a tad because an anti-pepper child walked by as I was putting it in.  I think I'd cut it in half.  While I liked some spice, I think this was just a bit too much and too over the little pinch of cinnamon and cloves more than I would have liked.  Here's my adaptation of the recipe with notes to make it better next time.  Original was from Family Feasts.


  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 1/2 -2 lbs beef cut into 1 inch cubes 
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 cups finely chopped green cabbage
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (I used a little less and would probably take it down to 1/2 teaspoon next time)
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch cloves
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 4 -5 potatoes sliced (I used some red I had -next time I think I'd cube these.  They too were a bit overdone.)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and sliced (I'd definitely cube this next time, and in bigger cubes than the potato since it seems to cook faster.)
  1. Preheat oven to 400.  Coat a 9X13 with cooking spray.  (I'd use a large pan next time too - probably an old crock pot - or just cook it in the crock pot all together.)  
  2. Heat oil in a large skilled until hot.  Add beef and cook until evenly brown on all sides.  Transfer to a plate leaving juice in the pan. 
  3. Add bell pepper, onion, carrot, celery, and cabbage.  Cook, stirring occasionally until veggies soften.  Return beef to skillte.  Add paprika, salt, pepper, cinnamon and cloves.  Stir in broth.  Simmer for a few minutes.  
  4. Meanwhile, layer bottom of prepared dish with potato and sweet potato slices.  Pour beef and vegetable mixture over the potatoes.  Bake, covered with foil until potatoes and beef cubes are tender, about 45 minutes (I should have probably started checking at 30 minutes.)

Cheddar-Pear pie

And finally for the pie that went in the previous post (push in pie crust)  This too come from Family FEasts for $75 a week.  I did my normal healthier tweeking - bit of extra fruit here coconut oil there...  Even added (not bean flour :) which is surprising lately, but a high fiber starch that I have - just subbed out 1-2 Tablespoons for the regular flour but I don't expect most people to have that so I'm leaving it out of the recipe.)  I probably also made some sort of sugar substitution but at this point I can't remember.  Maybe not because I increased the fruit.
I loved this pie.  (Actually there is a piece left in the refrigerator - I know what my reward for making it thorough this last day of DH being out of town will be.  Sorry Brandon, there will be no pie for you to try.) I was of course skeptical about this pie.  I always am when it is something new.  I was worried about not liking pear - would it get too mushy?  I worried about not liking the cheese on top.  I've heard of apples and cheese and even enjoyed the 2 together once or twice but for some reason it still sounds weird to me. Well, I was pleasantly surprised with how this turned out.  I loved the flakiness of the crust, and the little crunch the toasted cheese on top of the pie gave it.  The cheese also added just enough savory to the sweet.  It was such a nice combinations.  If pears are on sale this week where you live like they are here, you should definitely go try this pie.  In fact, maybe I'll have to buy some more and make this for DH to try - wouldn't want him to miss out right?? :)


  • 1 Push-in pie crust
  • 5 medium-large ripe pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • dash of salt
Topping Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup flour 
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • dash of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Press crust into a 9 inch pie pan (I used a deeper dish pyrex to accommodate the extra fruit)
  3. In a large bowl, combine pears, sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Pour into pie crust.  
  4. Be lazy like me, scrape the bowl well, and use the same bowl to combine the topping ingredients until nice and crumbly. (It seemed easier to me to work but the cheese together and then add the cheese, so that is what I did.)  Sprinkle evenly over the filling.
  5. Bake until crust is golden and cheese is melted, 25 to 35 minutes.  (I didn't think the topping looked done enough at 25 but the edges of the crust were browning too much so I tosses a little crust cover over it and baked it the remaining 10 minutes.)  Let cool 10 minutes on wire rack.  Serve warm
 --  I thought it sounded lovely with vanilla ice cream, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't super warm by the time we ate it.  It was plenty good just plain.  :)  

Monday, October 3, 2011

push in pie crust

This was the easiest pie crust ever.  My 5 year old helped me make it and was perfectly happy to do so.  (Not to mention capable.)  I found the recipe/idea in Family Feasts for $75.  I changed it to use coconut oil and couldn't help myself but throw in some bean flour.  Getting crazy with my experimenting lately.  It really had a great texture.
It was very odd to make because I mixed in all of the coconut oil first (before adding the milk) so that it wouldn't clump.  It seemed very moist and I honestly debated adding the milk, but each Tablespoon actually firmed up the dough a bit (I'm thinking because it solidified the coconut oil a bit.)  I thought it was kind of cool, but I'm kind of geeky in the kitchen like that.  :)
It's ease combined with the nice texture are winning it a 5 star from me.  I think this will be my go-to pie crust for any pie other than special occasions or further experimenting (like different grains.)

***Update 5/24/12 - I tried this today with whole wheat flour and coconut palm sugar.  I actually needed a bit extra milk but the resulting crust was very tasty.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I subbed out 2 Tablespoons regular flour for 2 Tablespoons pinto bean flour)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  1. Toss flour(s), sugar and salt in the bottom of a pie pan.  Mix with a fork.  (Watch out, 5 year olds mix it right out of the container.  ;)  Add oil and mix through.  Add milk and mix again.  (If using another oil, you could certainly add the milk and oil together.  I just didn't want to with coconut oil.  My house is warm enough in summer that my coconut oil is always liquid and I wanted it mixed with the flour that way.)
  2. Press dough around the pie plate with fingertips.  (I find that my palm works much better for the bottom of the pan.)  I didn't bother making a scalloped edge, but you can. 
  3. If using the crust for a pudding-type pie, bake empty pie shell in an oven pre-heated to 425 for 10 to 12 minutes.  Otherwise follow directions of your recipe.

Sour cream donuts

These donuts turned out better than the chocolate in my opinion.   However, Benjamin preferred the chocolate.  I will warn you  that I was having a bean flour day yesterday - subbing a couple of Tablespoons into everything, so these got some too.  They were still tasty and nice and cakey.
I wanted to just sprinkle these with a little cinnamon/sugar, but it wouldn't stick so I ended up making a glaze with powdered sugar, cinnamon and milk.


  • 1 1/3 cup flour (I subbed out 2 Tablespoons pinto bean flour -couldn't find my white bean flour or I would have used it - I just put 2 Tablespoons in the bottom of my measuring cup then fill it the rest of the way with flour.)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  (I would actually then add the coconut oil to the dry ingredients and mix until crumbly because it does clump when it hits the cold liquids.  I tried adding it first and whisking in the colder ingredients but still ended up with lumps.  Luckily this dough goes into a zip top baggie to be put into the donut wells so I just squished the lumps out with my fingers.)  Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.  
  2. Fill each donut spot and book for 3-5 minutes.  
  3. Coat with glaze, powdered sugar, or cinnamon-sugar.

chocolate donuts (draft - needs tweeking)

I had quite the baking day yesterday.  2 new recipes from breakfast, and 2 for dinner.  This was the first I tried.  I must admit, they aren't perfected yet.  They get a post because I have to know what I did to work on tweeking them until I like them.
First of all I got a new little donut making gadget.  Like a waffle maker but makes cute little donuts.  This recipe is from the book included with the maker, but of course I was trying to make it at least a little more healthy, and like I said, it still needs some work.  These were not sweet enough - or at least not sweet enough to balance out the bitter of the cocoa.  I need to either use less cocoa, or more sweetener (the first option appeals to me more or course.)  I do have to say, I had children that liked these, but I did end up dumping them in powdered sugar to give them a bit of sweet.  Not sure if I want to improve on this version or just try making a new version all together (maybe based off my chick pea cupcake recipe.)  But that is to be decided later.


  • 1 1/4 cup wheat flour (I'd probably grind this on pastry next time for texture.)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa (less??)
  • original was 1/2 cup sugar - I used 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar, 1 Tablespoon truvia, 1/2 Tablespoon honey and about 1 Tablespoon agave -crazy I know - I'd stick with just 2 sweeteners next time, and probably make them honey or agave and truvia.
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Combine dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. I just had to fill each little donut spot with batter and cook them.  The were done in 3-4 minutes.
  3. glaze or coat with powdered sugar if desired.  (I'm hoping to get the recipe down well enough that they don't need a glaze or dip.


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