Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blue Cheese Pasta

Well, we're leaving town tomorrow morning for 2 weeks so this will be my last post for a while. This is a blog I've discovered recently. I've had a blast reading thru some of his stuff. I even liked watching some of his video recipes - particularly the crepes. I'm not usually a fan of the vlogs. 

Anyway, I actually had a chunk of blue cheese to use up after the Boy's blessing luncheon (I'll post on that later), so I decided to try out his blue cheese pasta recipe. 

It's simply blue cheese melted in cream. Then you add noodles. I thought it was fantastic! V was less thrilled but still liked it. The blue cheese flavor was really strong so I guess we could try a milder cheese if we do it again but it's pretty spendy to make so I'm not sure when that will be.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brown Sugar

This is kind of obvious but I thought I'd post it just in case anyone hasn't done this before. I seem to constantly run out of brown sugar but I have white sugar in my food storage to get thru and I always have molasses around because I use it in my bread. So I often make this homemade brown sugar when I need some for a recipe.

1 cup white sugar
1 tsp - 1 TB molasses

Beat well in a mixer. Add more or less molasses for a darker or lighter brown sugar.

Granola Bars

I've been making granola bars a lot lately. They're super easy to put together and one pan makes quite a few little bars. I eat one every morning between 4-5am so that I'm not completely starving when I get up for breakfast at 8am. 

The fantastic news is that the Boy slept thru the night last night! Hurrah! 9:30pm-5am. It was totally awesome. I was up nursing every 2.5 hours the night before so I totally wasn't expecting it. It was such a great surprise to wake up and realize I wasn't completely exhausted. Yay!

Go HERE for the recipe. I've previously made the soaked version. Which are delicious. But a lot more work. So with my current energy level, I'm happy doing the non-soaked kind cause they're just so darn easy to do. And about a billion times cheaper than store-bought. I think I'll make another batch to take with us on our trip. We leave this week to NC :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lacto-Fermented Mayonnaise

Well, this has been several attempts in coming. I have made mayonnaise quite a few times in the last year and finally I have a success!

Go HERE for the recipe. Scroll down a bit on the link if you don't want to read the blog text.

I have never had a problem getting my mayo to emulsify. That seemed to be a common issue from comments on recipes. But they all just tasted horrible. The one difference this time was my oil choice. I just kept being stubborn and wanting to use olive oil. Olive oil just doesn't taste good in mayonnaise. I grant that I may be able to grow accustomed to the taste of olive oil mayo but it would probably involve using ridiculously expensive versions of the oil. I tried several recipes trying to hide that olive oil flavor and it just didn't work.

Anyway, I gave in and switched to grapeseed oil. Not nearly as healthy as olive oil but still WAY better than canola. So it's a concession. But I ended up with fabulous mayonnaise! I actually forgot it was the homemade version until I was halfway thru my tuna sandwich. And that's saying something. V also approved. And I do feel super cool for eliminating yet another condiment from my grocery list.

After making the mayo I said something about wishing I had ketchup to make some fish sauce for our homemade fishsticks. The Monkey said - we need to make some Mom. haha. That's my girl!

Update 8/20: I made this again using the cheaper Costco version of the grapeseed oil and it tastes nasty. I think the Costco version is not expeller pressed like the Trader Joe's version was. I guess I need to read my labels better. It was just such a good deal! No wonder :(

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gingerbread Carrot Muffins

Guest post by Mal:

This recipe comes from What to Expect When You're Expecting. This is not an announcement - I just had the carrots and ginger on hand to use up. The muffins were moist and hearty with lots of flavor. Not cakelike at all, but not dry like most muffins I make. Also, I'm sure they are very good for nausea with all the ginger.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flaxseed meal or wheat germ
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1 cup white grape juice concentrate
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 cup grated carrots (about 3 large)

Preheat oven to 375. Spray muffin tin. Stir flour, flaxseed meal, oats, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda in a bowl. Whisk the juice concentrate, eggs, oil, vanilla, and fresh ginger in another bowl. Add the juice mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently just until the batter is smooth; be careful not to over-mix. Gently fold the carrots into the batter. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, dividing it evenly. Bake the muffins until a toothpick comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Frozen Greens

This is another obvious idea that I've recently come across. Freeze your kale. Or chard. Or whatever. Sadly, I've let plenty of kale go to waste because I couldn't use it in time. To be fair, my CSA box generally has like four kinds of kale in it to get thru. But it's still sad to see it go to waste. Anyway, thankfully that won't happen anymore because now I know that I can freeze it. 

I think I assumed that since you can't freeze lettuce, that all greens don't freeze well but that's just not true. And in retrospect, I've eaten plenty of frozen spinach in my lifetime, so I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me with the kale. Well, now I know.

Rip the leaves of the kale or chard off of the stems (this can be quite involved, depending on the type of kale you buy as some have more ribbing than others). Rinse well in water. Shake dry. Place on cookie sheet in freezer. Freeze until stiff, then transfer to a storage container and store in the freezer. 

Lately I've been eating my kale simply sauteed in butter with a tiny bit of sea salt thrown in. The salt goes a long way. It tastes delicious to me. I used to have to 'hide' it in things to get it down but either the taste has grown on me or my body is deficient in something it has lots of cause I can't seem to get enough of it. Luckily, it's plentiful around here year round.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


So my mom came to help with the new baby boy. She got to stay for two weeks and it was fantastic. It was also really insightful in terms of seeing my routines from an outside perspective. Well, it took her about one second to figure out that I could soak my oatmeal in the pan it was going to be cooked in.

Why has this never occurred to me before??? We've been eating soaked oatmeal several times a week for over a year now and I've been washing an extra bowl that whole time! Seriously. I was impressed with myself last year, that I figured out I could use the pan lid to cover my bowl instead of wasting saran wrap every night. Gah. Anyway, now I am soaking my oats in the pan they're going to cook in. Poof - half of my breakfast dishes just disappeared - thanks Mom :)

On a side note, I am still loving oats for breakfast. The only reason we don't eat them every morning is that sometimes I forget to soak them the night before. Going on a year now and I still forget a few times a week... but I'm not sick of it yet. I still think it's delicious. Especially since we eat it with butter and real maple syrup. Yum!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blueberry Banana Muffins

Guest post by Mal:
I made these muffins this weekend, and they turned out pretty well.  They are not very sweet, but enough for a healthy snack.  I mean they dont taste like health food, but they're nowhere near Costco or boxed muffin sweetness.

olive oil spray for pan
3/4 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2)
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2.5 cups soft white wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 generous cup fresh or frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 425.  Spray 12 cup muffin tin with olive oil.  In a large bowl, mix bananas, yogurt, honey, olive oil, and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and stir until just combined.  Fold in the blueberries.  Spoon the batter into the muffin tin and place the tin in the oven.  Reduce the heat to 400 and bake for 30 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.  Let cool int he tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  Serve warm.  Or let cool completely and store 3 days airtight, or 2 months frozen.