Monday, November 7, 2011

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

I have a sweet tooth and my husband Colby has several. This weekend's cookies were based on a traditional recipe with a few healthy additions to add nutrients to our sweet treats...

1 stick of butter (loving the new pastured organic butter available at La Montanita Co-op!)
1 cup of Sucanat (whole cane sugar)
2 eggs (cover with hot water for a few minutes before using)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup flour (had and used all purpose, but could do whole wheat or a mix of the two)
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chocolate chips (could also use raisins or other dried fruit)
3/4 cup pecans (almonds also yummy!)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream softened butter and sugar for a couple minutes.
Mix in the eggs, vanilla and salt.
Add the flour, oats, baking soda and cinnamon.
Add the chips/fruit and nuts.
Plop onto cookie sheets (Use parchment paper makes for easier clean-up!)
Bake for about 11 minutes.
After a few minutes, move to a cooling rack.

Enjoy with a nice glass of milk!


I often bake just a few cookies the first round and add more flour to the dough if they spread too thin.

With a mind for easy clean-up, I used only my mixer bowl to make these. Although I didn't pre-mix the dry ingredients, I did sprinkle them in slowly to ensure even distribution.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What do i do with this?

This has been the question of the week. Most of the questions occurred at the farmers market yesterday. I love vegetables and love to talk about them. I think some people are intimidated by fall vegetables.  I owe my friend Maggie some zucchini recipes in exchange for some lovely green beasts she gave me a few weeks ago.  This is just one for any remaining zucchini you have hanging out in your kitchen.  Pair it with a salad for a complete meal.

Zucchini CasseroleThis is a featured page

4 c.shredded zucchini
3 c. pre-shredded hash browns
2 c pinto beans
1 c. chopped tomato
1-5 roasted green chile depending on how how you like it.
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp garlic
1 c. sharp cheddar cheese
white sauce
         2 T. flour
         2 T butter
         1 square vegetable boullion
         2 c. milk

  1. In medium saucepan combine butter and bullion. Stir until butter is melted and bullion is evenly distributed. Add flour, and stir until lightly browned. Whisk milk in very slowly. Stir constantly until the boiling point and then turn down. This should thicken slightly.
  2. Combine all ingredients except cheese in greased 9x13 pan. Pour white sauce over and stir again.
  3. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake at 350 for 30 or until bubbly.

Now it is your turn. What do you have that you need inspiration for? Spaghetti squash? Turnips?

    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Pumpkin for all

    I love pumpkin.
    It cannot be added to enough dishes.
    It was on the menu this week for lots of things. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin risotto, but I also found myself trying to add it into "pasta with veggies".  I think it turned out pretty well. though the veggies turned in to a side of sauteed Zucchini with tomatoes and basil. You could also serve it with a salad or any other green vegetable. The Hubby came in and said " ohh mac and cheese, I thought you were making something else."

    Pumpkin Pasta
    1T butter
    1 onion sliced or chopped
    2 cloves of garlic minced
    2 cups pureed pumpkin or one can
    1 cup of whole milk
    1 tsp of rubbed sage
    1/3 cup of shredded parmesan
    1/4 cup of pine nuts.
    salt and pepper to taste (quite a bit of salt)
    1 lb of short patsa ( i used gemelli)
    crumbled Blue cheese
    chopped toasted walnuts

    1. start water to boil the pasta.
    2.In a medium skillet melt butter and sautee onions until caramlized about 10 min. Add in garlic and autee another 2 min.  Add pumpkin to this mixture.
    3. When pasta is done add it along with the milk, sage, Parmesan, pine nuts and salt and pepper. Stir. Let warm in pan until combined and flavors marry, about 3 minutes.
    4. Serve warm with crumbled blue cheese and toasted walnuts on top.

    Baby serving- try some pureed pumpkin

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    How is it going?

    Check back in with October Unprocessed headquarters for inspiration and ideas. I am loving their kids lunch ideas from yesterday.

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    Eating with Kids

    I was talking to my friend Allison about an upcoming trip, and she wanted to know what to have on hand for my kids to eat.  It took me a while to really process this request.  I first wanted to say well they eat everything. But that is not exactly true. 

    They are offered everything.

    Sometimes they eat it and sometimes they don't. There are usually parts of every meal they like, or they wait until the next meal to eat. Still, I feel like they eat a lot of different foods and I feel like there are some things that I do to make that successful. 

    1-Get them involved in growing the food.This summer my kids ate more cherry tomatoes than I could get into the house.They pulled carrots and ate them almost every day. And these raspberries lasted about 3 seconds after I showed them to the kids.

    2-Get them involved in making the food. I can almost always get helpers in the kitchen for Pizza night, because they can do most of the parts themselves after I get things prepped.  And giving them some control makes them excited about eating the food.  Last Pizza night I let P decide what went on her pizza.  She chose just tomatoes and cheese.  After eating a piece of hers, she asked for a piece of mine. (which was loaded with zucchini, spinach, and mushrooms) I just smiled to myself thinking,"She thinks mine is pretty appetizing"

    3-Keep presenting the food . They may not eat it this time. But maybe they will eat it next time. And they will also see that food as normal and not eating it as abnormal.

    Happy Eating

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    Kale chips and chopped.

        Sometimes having kids in the kitchen is not a time saver, but I really like having them in there with me.  P used to never leave my side in the kitchen. Now she only can be counted on if there are large amounts of sugar and butter involved. Her brother on the other hand is very interested, and she uses this time to play imaginative games without a little brother to get in her way.

        They still love to make kale chips. So, today I was glad that I had planned ahead and all we had on our plates was making kale chips.

    TIP ALERT- When chopping, plan ahead and do as much as you can at the same time.-

        I was chopping carrots, onions, and celery for taco salad and realized if added potatoes to my board  then I had the bulk of my potato lentil soup already make.  So my time was freed up to make kale chips with my trio. P and W helped dry the leaves, and pull the leaves off the stalk. Baby Z sucked on the stalk of the kale.  We then sprayed them with olive oil and sprinkled them with salt.
        After 15 minutes in a 375 degree oven we then had kale destruction.

    Our kitchen and kids were covered in kale dust.  Even Z was covered in kale dust when she finished nursing.

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Hello from the South Valley!

    And a little late, as usual, here I am too!

    I'm Amy and I love to eat well. I often find busy days and a sink full of dirty dishes get in the way. With a baby arriving soon and a passion for growing things on our "mini-farm," I want to make time and make it a priority to eat fresh and fast.

    Pregnancy has gotten me off to a good start with a new awareness of what I'm eating. I've been especially loving fruit the last few months...polishing off a pint of figs within a couple days this week!

    With help and inspiration from my co-blogger Jessica, I'm looking forward to writing about, photographing and documenting our family's forays in the kitchen and out in the garden. I believe connections with our food as we cook, nature as we grow things and each other as we work and eat together are some of life's greatest joys!

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    October is here

    and it is time for a the Real food challenge. Check out this blog about eating unprocessed in October. I have signed up and pledged our family.  I feel like we do pretty well, but sometimes I get a little lax.  This is a nice reminder to commit to the things I think are important. Mostly knowing where your food comes from, and what it is made out of. Everything else is gravy. Probably creamy mushroom gravy. My mom and I could share and entire jug of this.
         My friend Marie passed this onto me via Facebook. My family doesn't know it yet, but we are jumping in with both feet.
         For me real food is about using whole ingredients, and making as much as we can at our house. It  made our monthly trip to Costco yesterday, interesting. I was able to bypass the tortillas with wierd ingredients. I guess we will be eating bread this week since I am not going to another store if I can help it. Along the way we passed the ladies handing out samples, and my kids begged for the two bite brownies. They got to have them, but when asked if we could by some the answer was an embarrassingly loud, "no".  For one we had just made brownies the day before and they were still sitting on the counter.  But even if we had no brownies at home, the ingredient list was not in my comfort zone. Sorry Costco.... I did feel pretty proud about our choices. We bought wine, cheese, mushrooms, spinach, butter, eggs, raspberries, and bananas.  Yum

    You can grow cheeks like these. So Pledge with us. 
    As they explain on the link you can go as far as you like with the challenge.

    Wednesday, September 28, 2011

    Apple Crispy

    The weather is getting cooler. Time to turn on your oven. Why not put an apple crisp in it. I will attempt to describe this in kid terms and then in a recipe if you are interested in how we do it. I am always trying to marry health (vitamins  minerals, etc) with good taste (sugar, butter).

     I can help you with that mommy. You want the apples where?

     For the sake of this story we will call the boy W and the girl P.
    W- " Mmm, this topping is good"

     P- " So this is how you press it in, see"
    W- "mm- topping, i love topping. Any more in there?"

     P- "I am pressing it like so. This will then go in the oven and you can have some after dinner."
    W- "I think i can get more out. and into my mouth"
    P- "oh my yes that is good."

    Apple crisp 

    6 apples sliced and tossed with
    2 T lemon juice
    2 T honey
    and cinnamon (however much you like)

    Blend together in a food processor
    1 cup Oats
    1/2 cup flour
    1/2 cup nuts (usually we use walnuts)
    1/3 cup honey
    6 T butter
    2 tsp vanilla
    1 tsp Cinnamon
    pinch salt
    Press this down on top( as seen above) as evenly as possible. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.

    vegan- use earth balance non dairy margarine
    baby under 1- omit the nuts and substitute sugar or agave nectar for the honey.

    Happy apple picking.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Date bars

    I know they have been done but i wanted to share any way.  I like the way that I have discovered how to put them together with one baby in my arms and two kids on the counter.
     I also like that they are a sweet treat that has only whole foods.  my kids are always surprised when i let them have one for snack instead of dessert.  You could have them anytime because there is enough protein to balance out all of the sugar of the dates.

    Cherry Coconut
    1 cup nuts (1 usually use cashews, but used almonds this last time and am very happy with how they turned out)
    1 cup dried cherries ( if you can find the unsweetened kind these work best, but if not they are still great)
    1/2 cup dried coconut
    1-2 cups dates (you will see why soon)

    So in your food processor measure out the nuts cherries and coconut. Turn on and process until chopped into pretty tiny pieces.  You just don't want to make almond butter.  Next  with the food processor on start to add the dates (without pits) one at a time.  When the mixture begins to ball up you are done. Just shape them and place on a tray. Pop them in the refrigerator for an hour or so to harden before transferring them to another container for storage.
      Sometimes I make them in a bar shape and wrap them in parchment paper like a "bar". Lately i have been making them in to small cookie shapes and sorting them in an old yogurt container. 

      Makes 8 bars or 24 small circles.

    We also like just coconut date bars, peanut chocolate chip, and apricot. I apologize for the pictures. I need help Amy.

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Grilled Pizza

    We use the recipe that came with our bread machine... I kept these two crusts in the freezer and put them in the fridge the night before. There were perfectly ready when we were starting dinner. If I didn't use my bread machine, i also love the Artisan bread in 5 min a day no knead recipes.  They make great pizza dough.
    page 3-4 for recipe although it is in backwards order with the method first and ratio second. pg 5 gives you their pizza tips.

    We usually have this pizza on Friday and use up whatever veggies we have left from the week or growing in the garden.

    Friday grilled Pizza
     (for 1 pizza)
    1T oliveoil
    fresh basil- choppedor cut finely
    salt and pepper
    1/2 onion sliced thinly sauteed with
    1 clove garlic chopped
    1-2 Roma tomatoes sliced and patted dry
    4-5 slices fresh mozzarella
    4 T Parmesan

    1. Place your pizza stone on the grill. Start up grill to warm your stone and determine the temperature your grill is, approxinatly. You want between 425 and 475 degrees so you don't burn your crust.

    2. Roll out a fist sized ball of dough. You want it to be pretty thin.  Transfer it to a cutting board you have dusted with cornmeal.  (this keeps it from sticking)

    3. Spread the olive oil onto the pizza tip with fresh basil, sauteed onions and garlic, tomatoes, and salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the cheese on top.

    4. Now you are ready to transfer to the grill.  The first time you do this, don't go far away. You want the crust to get crispy but not burnt.  This should take between 3 and 5 minutes. Check often until you learn your grill.  Once the crust is good, move the pizza up on to the upper rack and let the cheese melt and brown, another 3-5 minutes.
    This is actually last weeks pizza. For this week we put feta, oregano, mushrooms and chard on top of olive oil and under grated mozzarella. The nice thing is the combinations are endless. For us success is crispy but chewy crust, sauteing the veggies first and remembering the salt and pepper.  Also I tend to overload the pizza with veggies. I am getting better with moderation. My husband leans toward teeny tiny pieces of vegetation.  We are trying to meet in the middle.

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Welcome, Here we are!

    Here I am.
    I love to create in the kitchen with and for my three growing busy kids. Our favorite things to do together are baking and measuring.

    I sometimes think spend a lot of time in the kitchen but it is all worth it. Lots of recipes i have adapted for ease of use.  I also have developed strategies to do things in 15 minute increments because that is sometimes all i have in the kitchen at a time.

    That works well for me as a stay at home mom and i can grab a few minutes here and there to work on dinner, etc. We eat mostly vegetarian, with some fish and the dad of the family eats meat out about once a week.
      Amy and I will be getting this blog up soon with recipes ideas and pictures.
    Leave a comment , let us know what you think, and what you want to see more of.

    So Not meatball sauce...

    ...But high in protein.

    We eat meatless most of the time and so we think about the protein in each meal.  Also Amy is pregnant and so we have to make sure she gets enough for the baby.  Everyone in our family  loves this recipe.

    not so meatball sauce
    1/2 c walnuts, ground.
    1T olive oil
    1c chopped mushrooms
    1T garlic
    1/2 c onion, chopped
    1/2 c chard or spinach
    1/4 c basil
    1T oregano
    1 c tomato sauce
    2 c lentils, cooked.
    1/2 c cream (or sub 1/4 c nooch if you are vegan or out)
    1 lb of whole wheat pasta.

    Start by sauteing the the walnuts onions, garlic and mushrooms in the olive oil until soft.  Add in chard and basil until wilted.  Add in oregano, sauce and lentils and let flavors meld for 10 min or so.  At the end stir in the cream and toss with the cooked pasta.