A friend blessed me a sourdough starter a few months ago and I’ve been playing with it each week. Pizza crusts, sourdough waffles and pancakes have made my kiddos very happy. Our favorite so far has to be Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s phenomenal recipe for sourdough pumpkin muffins – they were a hit with my family. Our favorite take on them was with Trader Joe’s salted caramel chips instead of chocolate. Delish!
Now that my starter is bubbling beautifully I wanted to try some crusty, chewy, delicious boule to go with winter soups. I decided to use Farmhouse On Boone’s amazing no-knead sourdough boule recipe after success with her pancake recipe but when I looked at the ingredients I realized I didn’t them all. I decided to give it a whirl anyway using what I had on hand. I love the way Lisa uses a scale to add ingredients – the process is so much easier than measuring each item. I decided to include King Arthur organic bread flour, Costco organic unbleached all purpose flour and THM Baking Blend. I realize that last one might not make sense but I thought I’d give it a whirl.
The results were awesome! Chewy crust, a slight tangy flavor and that undeniable fresh sourdough consistency with lots of airy holes. I think the holes might be slightly smaller than traditional but the overall outcome was worth it! We even got the added benefits of oat Fiber, organic Coconut Flour, golden flax meal, blanched almond flour, collagen peptides and glucomannan! I followed all of FOB’s instructions but used the following measurements for the flours:
This recipe has been a long time coming. Not too sweet and perfectly minty they’ll melt in your mouth!
Several years ago my kiddos were helping me bake at Christmas and my son was being a little cantankerous about too much chocolate in our dessert selections. He asked me to put the white chips in the cookies instead and “why not some candy canes?”. The first batch we made was delicious but so sweet our teeth kinda hurt. The cookies have evolved a bit over the years and this is the result. So as you celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Chris and ponder the meaning of the candy cane (thank you Spangler Candy Company for the reminder each year) include some of these yummy cookies from our family to yours. Merry Christmas!
1 1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups unbleached white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup crushed candy canes (about 10)
Preheat oven to 375*
Cream together butter, brown and white sugars (I use a hand mixer)
Mix in eggs and vanilla
Put flour on top of butter/sugar mix and sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the top. Mix in thoroughly but don’t over mix. The batter should be silky smooth.
Add oats, chocolate chips and crushed candy canes and combine well. We use a nut bag and the smooth side of a meat cleaver to crush our candy canes – they break through a ziplock much too easily.
Use a spoon or cookie scoop to place cookies on the sheet – they will spread as they bake. Bake for 8-9 minutes until they are just slightly brown on the edges. Leave them on the pan to cool or they will fall apart in the transfer.
*If you are using coconut milk, warm it in a pan just to melt solids >not hot!< before combining with other ingredients in the blender. If you heat it too much it will cook the eggs. Simply cool the liquid to room temp before blending if it gets too hot.
Combine first 4 ingredients in a blender and whirl for 10-15 seconds *if using a vanilla bean remember to strip the paste from the bean (here’s a great bit of info)
It’s summer and my son is back to soccer training at 7:00 in the morning in 90 degree heat and burns more calories than I can begin to imagine. This recipe came out of my desire to fuel his body well and feed his incessant hunger but I cannot think of turning on the oven. I. Just. Can’t. Do. It.
While my son is the main consumer of these treats, the rest of my family are fans as well. They are like a chocolate chip cookie that you can feel good about. They are gluten-free and can be dairy free If you use a veggie-based protein powder – it works beautifully. The collagen gives extra support for the gut and joints and We keep sugar levels lower by using THM or Lily’s chocolate chips but any chocolate chips will work. Today I used Nestle Mini Morsels – they worked great.
According to Healthline.com, these treats are a powerhouse of nutrition and support healthy skin, bones, muscle recovery, elasticity and have properties that help reduce inflammation. All in a tasty little snack!
The other advantage to this recipe is that you can clear out all those bits and pieces of healthy stuff stashed in your pantry. There are so many nutrients tucked into these nuts and seeds. I use a mix of rolled oats and other dry ingredients which can include any of the following:
After vitamins, nutrients, amino acids and healthy fats we add those tasty little chocolate chips that make it all go down so easy. Finally, I bind it with a mixture of nut butter and either honey or maple syrup and use damp hands to form the mix into golf ball sized bites. As I show you in the pictures, your hands will be a mess! I like to rinse my hands as the mixture starts to stick to add a bit of moisture to the bites and keep a bit cleaner. These are best if refrigerated for a bit as it makes them easier to handle while the cool air helps bring the flavors together.
2 cookie balls
Easy but a little messy
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup hemp hearts (shelled seeds)
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 cup chia seed
1/4 cup integral collagen
1/2 cup protein powder (I use flavored or unflavored depending on what I have on hand)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup (or sub for honey)
Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl
Add peanut butter and maple syrup and stir thoroughly to combine
Wash hands thoroughly and then while your hands are still damp pack a small amount of mixture in a tight golf ball sized ball and set in a large bowl or plate
Continue to form the rest of the cookie balls, wetting your hands as necessary
Cover with plastic wrap or keep in a sealed container in the fridge
A bowl of these in the refrigerator keeps the “what’s there to eat” question at bay for a little while, but I will admit, there are times this recipe needs to be multiplied to last more than a day.
What are your go-to summer snack for your family?
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value *
* % Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calories diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
It is peach season in the south. Most people might think peach pie, peach ice cream or even pork chops with peaches but for me, I have a new favorite: peach vinegar. I have always enjoyed the fruit infused aged balsamic vinegars that can be purchased from specialty olive oil store like Williams Sonoma and the Nashville Olive Oil Company I have discovered the ease and intense flavor of making my own fruit vinegar concoctions. With a couple of simple ingredients, you can turn that ripe (or even overripe) bounty into salad dressing and marinade goodness.
No added sugar necessary
One of the drawbacks of the store-bought fruit vinegars is the sugar content. While I’m willing to take in a few carbs through beneficial fruit I don’t want to completely mess up my low-carb meals with the sugar laden aspects of manufactured products. My recipe uses a sugar replacement that emphasizes the fruit without loading up on chemicals. If you can get your hands on some Trim Healthy Mama Gentle Sweet use it but play around with your favorite sweeteners if you like. If you’d rather use honey or maple syrup, go ahead, it works beautifully.
Mix it up: Use other fruit
This recipe calls for peaches but I’ve subbed mango, apple and plum and they all work beautifully. The trick is to boil the concoction and let it sit until room temperature to pull all the flavor out of the fruit. One of the things I love is the beautiful colors that come from fresh fruit. They are gorgeous!
How to use your fruit vinegar
Our two favorite ways to use fruit vinegar are in salad dressings and meat marinades. Fruit vinaigrettes like this Simple Mango Vinaigrette or a Peach & Lemon Balm Vinaigrette brighten a summer salad and blend beautifully with salad greens, goat’s cheese & walnuts. The fall flavors of apple or a sweet deep plum are delicious paired with a salad of spinach, onion, toasted pecans and slivers of cheddar.
My family’s favorite dinner is flank steak marinated in a concoction of mango vinegar, avocado oil, soy sauce & garlic. The touch of sweetness helps the meat to caramelize beautifully and we can’t get enough. The same holds for chicken marinated in peach vinegar, olive oil and salt & pepper. It’s so simple and so good!
½ cup THM Gentle Sweet (or sweetener of your choice)
¼ cup Maple Syrup (optional but adds a varied sweetness)
In a large sauce pan add your vinegar and sweetener(s)
Wash you fruit but don’t peel it and cut into slices or chunks (discarding the pits)
Add the fruit to the vinegar and sweetener and bring to a slow boil on medium high heat
Boil gently for 10 minutes
Cover the pot and let the mixture cool completely
Strain the liquids from the solids with a fine mesh strainer into a non-reactive bowl (I use a glass bowl with a lip for pouring)
Transfer vinegar into a glass jar or bottle and refrigerate
I washed the label off the Colavita vinegar bottle for a pretty container for my peach vinegar. I love the top on this container as well as it helps dispense the vinegar without over-pouring. The rest of the vinegar went into a small mason jar for immediate use in a chicken marinade.
I’m on a roll making these and I’d love more ideas! Can you think of other uses for fruit vinegars?
I don’t want to start a fight here or anything but my Grandmum’s carrot cake is the very best carrot cake, hands down.
Yep, I said it. You might think you’ve had the best but unless you’ve had this recipe – step back. Fact is, my Grandmum couldn’t have cared less who had the best recipe. She just kept herself very busy, working with my Grandpa to take care of their family and anyone God led into their lives. Waldo and Lenna lived on a massive 1/4 acre in downtown Quincy, Massachusetts and through thick or thin (including the Depression, wars and rationing) my grandparents home was open and tea was on the table.
I remember summers when they would visit us and settle in to enjoy “farm life” on our 5 acres in Upstate New York. Grandpa Burgess would help my mom in the garden while Grandmum would shell peas or grate carrots for her famous cake. I loved the cake but hated the raisins that my mom would ask her to include. Carrot cake doesn’t need the extra sweet, in my opinion, so I give you the real, the original, BCCE (best carrot cake ever).
For those of you who know my family and the way we eat, this is a very Saturday treat!
Best Carrot Cake Ever
Combine oil & sugar in a medium bowl and beat in one egg at a time. The mix will become fluffy.
1 1/2 Cups Oil (I use coconut oil)
2 Cups sugar
3 cups grated carrots
1 grated apple
1/2 C. crushed pineapple
1 C. chopped nuts
2 C flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients and pour into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until firm and caramel brown on top. Frost with this simple, delicious, not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 stick butter (4oz, softened)
1 block cream cheese (softened)
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups powdered sugar
Beat all ingredients till smooth and frost your completely cooled cake.
My mom was amazing at a lot of things but one of the things I remember most about her gardening was that she found a way to use everything she planted. What wasn’t fed to us, or friends, was given to the horses or compost bin. Nothing went to waste. Instead of horses I have chickens but the challenge is still alive. It is mid-winter here in the mid-south and while picking is slim we are blessed with plenty of kale, carrots and crimson mustard greens. The carrots are a yummy addition to any meal and while the mustard greens are pretty and abundant, my family has deemed them best as fodder for the chickens. It’s time to put the kale to good use.
Stir Fry Kale
4 cups fresh kale (torn into bite sized pieces)
1/2 T Butter
1 T Nutritional Yeast
1/2 t Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 t onion salt (Trader Joe’s is my go-to)
Heat your pan on medium high and melt the butter. Add your kale and top with the dry ingredients. Sprinkle the ACV over the whole lot and stir fairly often for 4-5 minutes so your seasoning mixes throughout and your kale doesn’t burn.
Serve with eggs or eat alone. This recipe makes two portions packed with vitamins A, K, B6, C, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese, fiber, thiamine, riboflavin, antioxidants, amino acids and B-12. Whew! You just thought you were having breakfast!
I’ve tried cheesy, I’ve tried buttery, I’ve tried spicy, complicated and highly recommended but NOTHING beats this recipe for scalloped potatoes.
6-8 Potatoes, peeled & sliced
Salt & pepper
Tricky, I know. Place a layer of potatoes in a buttered dish (make sure your dish is not too shallow – this will bubble up). Sprinkle heavily with salt and pepper. Layer potatoes with salt & pepper until you use up the potatoes you’ve prepared. Pour heavy cream over the potatoes until you can see it coming up the edge (full but not drowning.) Bake in 400 degree over until brown and bubbly (45 min to an hour)