Recipe Round Up: January

RecipeRoundupHeader  

Do you follow us on Pinterest? If not, you should! I recently added a new board of Round Up Recipes. All the recipes I list on my Round Up posts are linked there so you can quickly look them up, re-pin them to your own boards, and easily try them out!

january roundup 1

ONE.) Potato Bread Perfect for Toasting. I have made this bread many, many times and love it so much. I use my bread maker, so it is super easy to whip up. It is also convenient because it makes two small loaves. I usually use one and pre-slice the other and throw it in the freezer. I have made a few adjustments to the recipe -- I use 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup water instead of plain water and omit the dry milk powder that the recipe calls for. Also, instead of regular potatoes, I use sweet potato for a little more nutrition (and I like that it's a teeny bit orange). Finally, I replace 1 cup of the regular flour with white whole wheat flour. We use this for peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese or any grilled sandwich, and french toast, or just sliced with butter. It's delicious!

january roundup 2

TWO.) Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, Lightened Up. This recipe is a little more work than my usual muffin recipes, but was worth that added effort for sure! The recipe makes 24 muffins, not 12, which is nice in case you want to freeze these. I liked that they had a little pizazz with the sneaky cream cheese center, so I felt a little fancy bringing them to Bible study. :)

january roundup 3

THREE.) Roasted Butternut Squash Bacon Soup. Bacon and butternut squash together is amazing. To me, they don't seem like likely companions, but I guess you really can never go wrong when it comes to bacon. This recipe was excellent! I did add a carrot the second time I made it along with cutting the thyme a teeny bit and adding a couple shakes of cinnamon-- I feel like the cinnamon added a little more depth to the overall flavor. Also, I wasn't a fan of the goat cheese on top, but I am not a fan of goat cheese to begin with. Feta probably would be good substitute.

january roundup 4

FOUR.) Baked Oatmeal with Fruit.  I was looking for a new baked oatmeal recipe-- one that was a bit easier than the last one I had been using and less wasteful. The previous one made too large of a pan for my little family, used egg whites only (I hate separating egg for no real reason!), and used up a ton of a milk. This recipe makes a smaller pan (my family of 3.5 eaters finished it in one sitting), uses one full egg, and only one cup of milk. I didn't make any changes to this recipe, although depending on the sweetness of the berries/banana that you use, 1/4 cup of maple syrup could be reduced a little. We served with a side of homemade yogurt.

Have any recipes you'd like to share? Please comment with the link!

BeckySigEdit

 

 

(Somewhat Healthy) Granola Bars

Having a toddler in the house means that I seem to need a never ending supply of snackage, and that those snacks need to be not only be deemed toddler tasty but (somewhat) healthy as well. This isn't always the easiest task to achieve, as I am pretty sure there is something ingrained in my child's head that would lead her to believe she could live solely on crackers for the rest of her life. However, I have found these granola bars to actually be toddler approved, and it's pretty adorable to listen to her try to ask for "more ggrrrrnola?"

granola_bars_1

This recipe is pretty simple. One of my favorites parts is that it is also very versatile. You can totally get creative with what ingredients you want to use. My only suggestion is to make the volumes of dry ingredients to wet ingredients relatively same to the recipe so that the granola bars stick together like they are supposed to. However, if that doesn't turn out, you just have granola instead, so no real loss there.

For my granola bars this time, I used old-fashioned rolled oats, wheat bran, flax seed, chopped peanuts, chopped walnuts, sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, honey, maple syrup, and sorghum syrup (mostly because I ran out of both honey and maple syrup while I was making them!), cinnamon, raisins, dried cranberries, and chopped prunes. My mom has made them adding chocolate chips and/or drizzling chocolate on the top. She has added whole almonds down the center. A friend made them without peanuts due to an allergy. You really can be pretty creative. There is brown sugar and butter in here as well, which you can decide if that makes them unhealthy for you. Proceed at your own risk!

The first step is toasting the oats and dry ingredients. I am sure you could get away without this step entirely if you really wanted to simplify the recipe, but a toasted oat has a better flavor in my opinion. Toast the oats for about 12 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. Watch them carefully, as they can burn quickly leaving a burnt taste to your granola bars.

granola_bars_2

In step two, you melt the wet ingredients. You can see from these pictures that it will eventually turn into a sugary foam. This is when I add it to my dry ingredients to mix together.

granola_bars_3

Next you obviously mix it together.

granola_bars_4

After you have everything thoroughly mixed, quickly dump onto a pan lined with parchment paper (Don't use wax paper. The wax will melt leaving you with a disaster. Don't ask how I know this!) You can see from the pictures that when I first poured the mixture it took up almost 3/4 of the pan and afterward only about 1/2.  Fold the parchment paper over and really smash and condense the mixture as much as you can. I do this on the floor so I can put my body weight into it. Allow this to cool for a few hours.

granola_bars_5

After waiting so patiently, find a sharp knife to chop your giant granola chunk into bars.

granola_bars_6

Finally, eat them! Enjoy the real flavors that are able to shine through unlike a store-bought granola bar.

granola_bars_7

granola_bars_8

Like I said before, please feel free to play around with these ingredients. Let me know what you come up with! Also, I always double this recipe (which is what is pictured).

granola_bars_recipe

What do you find yourself feeding those tiny paws repeatedly day after day? Anything homemade with a recipe you'd like to share?

BeckySignature

The Breakfast Club, Part One

I am always fascinated when I go to the grocery store and peruse down the cereal aisle. There are so many cereals to choose from. You can find bunches of oats, flakes made of bran (with and without raisins), puffs of every kind of grain, fruity things, chocolatey things, tiny cookies, and even marshmallows. Despite the nearly a million options, I have a hard time finding a healthy cereal that doesn't taste similar to packing peanuts or cardboard and actually keeps me full for longer than two measly hours. I am not a happy person if my tummy has the rumbles at 9:30.  Furthermore, the ingredient lists on a large number of these cereals are fairly long (especially for what they claim to be.) AND if I do find that lucky one that isn't packing peanutesque, I usually have to pay part of my right leg for it. Because of these reasons, about a year ago I started eating traditional old-fashioned rolled oats for breakfast. After I found a way to make myself choke the oatmeal down without gagging, I was golden. (If you are wondering, it's totally a texture thing. I helped that by adding banana, raisins, and nuts to break up the gooeyness.) Although I have been living in my golden breakfast glory, my poor hubby continues to pour his cereal and milk every morning. Despite much encouragement and subtle (and not so subtle) comments about the cost of his cereal, I can't seem to teach that dog a new trick...er..breakfast, rather. So of course in line with my determination to simplify the ingredients in our diets, complicate my life, and save a few pennies here and there, I decided to try my hand at making some cereal. It was surprisingly simple, tasty, and fairly quick.

muesli4

This recipe is for something called muesli. I got my recipe from Easy Peasy Organic.  It's basically oats mixed with whatever you want.  I did find a number of recipes that just mixed raw oats, nuts, and whatever else and served it with milk or yogurt. I chose a recipe that was toasted, because I prefer a toasted oat over a raw oat. I mixed in some chopped pecans, walnuts, and almonds along with a scoop of flax seed, cinnamon, vanilla extract, a spoonful of brown sugar, olive oil, and a combo of honey and maple syrup. The sky is the limit on additions. Any combination of nut, seasonings, sweeteners, or dried fruit will work. You can serve this with yogurt or milk. Use your imagination. Use the scraps left in your cupboard. You can't do wrong, and you won't be disappointed!

Directions are to mix together your ingredients of choice. Spread on a jelly roll pan. Toast at 275 degrees for 20 minutes stirring every five minutes.

muesli1

Allow to cool. The oats will crisp some while they cool.

muesli2

Pour into a bowl, add milk and fruit, and chow down! (See, I told you it was easy!)

muesli3

 Muesli Recipe jpg

Are you also appalled at the sky rocketing price of cereal these days? How do you switch up your breakfast routine? Feeling like you may join the club and toast up some muesli? Please share!

 BeckySignature