Tuesday, February 28, 2012

National Pancake Day

Today is National Pancake Day!
In honor of this wonderful cake that somehow made it to the breakfast menu I have a few favorite pancake recipes that I found on pinterest and other blogs that I thought I'd put up!
Tonight is a great night for breakfast for dinner!

"Blueberry Pie Pancakes" 
 Find the more photos and the originator of this awesome and super scrumptious pancake recipe and lots more on chocolatecoveredkatie.com

(Serves 1 person or 3 pancakes)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup flour (ww pastry, white, spelt, Bob’s gluten-free, etc.)
  • 2 T rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 T sugar or 1 packet stevia (omit if you don’t want sweet pancakes)
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • Unless you like the taste of fat-free pancakes, add 1 T oil and reduce milk by that amount.
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, then add wet. Mix, but don’t overmix. Cook on an oiled (or sprayed) pan, on low-medium, flipping each pancake once.

 "Dutch Apple Pancake"

Photo from: /www.minnesotamonthly.com

 I found this on Pinterest from Minnesota Monthly Website... It looks amazing... 
Here is the link to the original site: www.minnesotamonthly.com

And here is the recipe!

Recipe via Williams-Sonoma
Serves 2-4
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Preheat an oven to 400ºF. Butter a 10-inch ovenproof braiser or fry pan.
In another fry pan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbs. of the butter. Add the apple, cinnamon and granulated sugar and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the apple begins to soften and brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside.
In a bowl, using a whisk, beat the eggs. Add the milk and whisk until blended. Sift the flour and salt into the egg mixture and whisk until just blended. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the remaining 2 Tbs. butter. Add the butter to the egg mixture and whisk until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and arrange the apple slices evenly on top. Bake until the pancake is browned and puffed up, 25 to 30 minutes. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.

This next Pancake is from a blog that I love!!!
I's called The Healthy Foodie and you can get tons of healthy alternatives of our favorite foods here: http://thehealthyfoodie.net
If you are not following her on her blog you are seriously missing out! click on that link for lots more... :P

"Black Forest [Pan]cake"

Photo from:  http://thehealthyfoodie.net 

(Serves 1)
  • ⅓ cup coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 7 egg whites (a little over ¾ cup)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
Cherry Sauce
  • 150g cherries, pitted and chopped (about 16 cherries)
  • 1 tbsp blue agave nectar
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ tsp corn starch mixed with 2 tbsp water
Vanilla Custard
  • 2 tbsp 0% fat plain greek yogurt
  • ½ scoop vanilla flavored whey protein powder
For the Cherry Sauce:
  1. In a small saucepan, bring cherries, water, and agave nectar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until cherries start to “melt” and sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes, then puree half the sauce in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Return to the sauce pan and bring back to a boil. Stir in corn starch mixed in water, simmer for 1 minute and turn off the heat.
For the Vanilla « Custard »:
  1. Mix plain yogurt together with whey protein powder to make vanilla custard. It might look like there is too much powder at first, but it will come together eventually, just keep stirring. Same goes for the “lumpy” feeling. Just let the custard rest for about a minute after mixing and it will become nice and smooth.
For the Pancakes:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined.
  2. Spray a non stick panwith cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat.
  3. When pan is hot enough, spoon as much or as little pancake batter onto griddle as you want, depending on what size pancake you desire. A little less than ¼ of a cup per pancake will yield about 8 small pancakes. (and a very high tower!)
  4. Turn pancakes over when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Transfer to low temp oven to keep them warm while you cook the remaining pancakes.
  1. Start by laying a pancake on the plate, top with a little bit of cherry sauce, followed by a small amount of custard, about half a teaspoon of each.
  2. Keep building layers like that until you run out of pancakes, or until tower has reached desired height (mine got pretty high!).
  3. Finish by topping with cherry sauce, vanilla custard and about a teaspoon cacao nibs. Dust lightly with cocoa powder, if desired.
*** All of these pancake recipes are from other sites, please check them out! Note that I am not taking credit for any of the recipes on this post. I am encouraging you to check out all of the websites that were have these wonderful recipes!
Have a Happy Pancake Day! 
Lets Celebrate :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pasta A La Chicken Apple Sausage

I don't know if you have tried the chicken apple sausages that they have at Costco but they are amazing! Chad and I love when they get them and usually have a week of 
chicken sausage this or that for dinner...
I have not gone over load with them this year (I want to enjoy them for more than a week)

I tend to make up my meals as I feel hungry and what is on hand (not a good idea if you don't have a good imagination, you'll eat the same thing over and over) 
Luckily I had parents that cook really well  and lots of different food... not so repetitive!
So I like to think I have a good sense of flavors and,
coming up with a recipe on the fly is kinda my adventure time!

This week I made what I am calling Pasta A La Chicken Apple Sausage!
(yes that is not so creative, but it is self explanatory and to the point, which is that I like :))

This is a great go to meal and can be used with any sausage u like! 
This is the type I get from Costco... SO GOOD!

3 med size Sausage (your choice of type: spicy would be good alternative!)
2 cup zucchini
1 cup Spinach
1 cup Tirali pasta per serving
1 red onion
1 tbs oinon powder
1tbs garlic seasoning
1/4 cup pesto
4 tbs olive oil for onion and pasta water*
salt and pepper to taste

Lets start by bringing our water to a boil.
I always put a pinch of salt and 2 tbs of olive oil in my water when boiling
the salt helps flavor
the olive oil keeps the pasta from sticking to each other

 Once your water boils add 1 cup pasta per serving 
and boil for 7-10 minutes
I really like Tirali pasta, its kinda a fun looking noodle and it is a great size noodle. 

Once your water is heating up lets start by chopping our sausage:
I used three sausage and cut two into halves and slices and one into smaller fourths so that I would get hearty chunks as well as that flavor well distributed through out the whole dish!

 Next chop your onion:
I used half of a red onion and also a few shallots sliced
add the chopped onion to a skillet with 2 tbs of olive oil, and your onion powder, garlic seasoning and pinch of salt and pepper
cook these till they caramelize on med-high heat (5-to-10 mins)

Once your onions are sizzling chop up your zucchini I like zucchini so i added a whole one to the pasta, if you desire less a half of a large zucchini would still compliment this dish great.

By now your onions should look like this. nice and browned and reduced in size. 

Now add your zucchini and sausage to your onions
and cook on med-high heat stirring frequently for 10mins
(the chicken apple sausage is fully cooked so you don't have to worry about under cooking the meat)
If you are using a sausage that is not fully cooked add the sausage to the skillet with the onions in the beginning so you can cook it for longer.
*cook with lid over top to seal in moisture and to steam veggies. 

 your pasta should be boiling by now and your sausage hot, zucchini soft and juicy, and its time for the spinach. I simply remove the skillet from the heat and add the spinach to the top of hot food, and cover with lid for at least 3 minutes. This will make the spinach nice and tender without burning the leaves, and/or overcooking the spinach and making them overly wilt.

Once your pasta is tender, drain and return pasta to pot to mix with pesto and stir

Add in the sausage, spinach, zucchini and onion and stir lightly to not mash zucchini and spinach
Doesn't that look good!
Serve with a salad or some bread sticks and marinara and it's a complete meal!
This was super easy to prepare and make. 
Total time was about 20 minutes because of the water and onions... 

This is a pretty dish that will sneak in some veggies to the pickiest of eaters :)
Happy Bellies Make for Happy Homes!
I pray you enjoy this meal too!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Banana Cake

This is amazing!
a few more steps than normal, but great none the less.
I found this in a book called 'Sprouted Baking' and it is a organic, whole food-ish style baking which I am excited to try baking with more. This means it uses whole wheat flour and maple sugar instead of cane sugar. 
This was seriously the best cake I have made EVER and not so hard to make!

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups maple sugar (can substitute for cane sugar) 
2 large eggs
1 cup lightly mashed bananas (about 2 med size bananas)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup yogurt or sour cream 

1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup maple syrup

Makes 12 Servings

 Here is what you will need! plus i forgot to put butter and sugar on counter for photo! oops...

Preheat oven to 350 F. 
 in mixing bowl combine first 6 dry ingredients; mix.

in mixing bowl cream the butter until it is fluffy, 
then add sugar and cream again till fluffy
 next add eggs one at a time, mixing between additions.

In third bowl (I used a 2 cup measuring cup) mash the bananas with the vanilla and yogurt.
I used greek yogurt! so good!

add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in two parts, alternating with the banana mixture. 

after each addition stir until smooth.

Once smooth and blended grease your bunt cake pan

 Pour into your bunt pan try to put equal parts batter all around

as you can see mine wasn't perfect.. 
just pick up the pan and pat it around the edges till it smooths out around evenly.

Put in oven at 350 for 35 minutes
Once done let cool for at least 30 minutes!

By now your kitchen is smelling delish and you are probably ready to devour this delightful cake!
the topping is something I came up with on the fly! 
take your chocolate chips, maple syrup and walnuts (equal parts of each)
and in microwave safe bowl microwave for 45 seconds
take out and stir together. 
this will blen the chocolate, syrup and make the walnuts a little soft as if they were baked!
once this is done drizzle over top and garnish with a few raw walnuts...

If this doesn't make you hungry I don't know what will!

This was not super sweet, because of the whole wheat it was nutty, banana made it nice and moist, the nutmeg and cinnamon made it spicy and the chocolate added the mmm...

This is a great dessert that won't make you feel too guilty!
Serve with a dallop of whip cream or some banana ice cream (chunky monkey from ben and jerry's) 
and some coffee or black tea and its a dessert your guest wont forget!

Taco Casserole

Unfortunately I do not have a photo tutorial for this one but..
it was worthy of putting the recipe up!
I am not a huge casserole fan but Chad LOVES anything that blends your meal into one scoop lol.

What You Will Need:
1 Packet taco seasoning
1 lbs organic ground beef
1/2 cup cherry tomato
i can organic black beans
2-3 chopped green onions
2 cup mexican blend cheese
1 box of 8-12 taco shells
1 can stewed tomatoes
1/2 white or yellow onion
1/4 cup salsa

How to Put it Together:

1. start by chopping up your green onion, yellow onion, and cherry tomato
chop green onion in slices, make onion into small diced squares, and cut tomatoes into fourths.

2. drain and rinse the black beans, and drain the stewed tomatoes 
chop tomatoes into smaller pieces if whole halves.

3. brown your ground beef with taco seasoning 
add white onion and drained stewed tomatoes cook thoroughly.

4. get your taco shells and break them into pieces and layer the bottom of 9x6 casserole dish.
then add 1/2 of seasoned cooked ground beef
layer salsa ontop of beef
add a layer of black beans then layer 1 cup of cheese on top of that
repeat till done with ingredients,
then take rest of broken taco shells and stick them into the casserole as much as desired for crunch and flavor. 
top with cheese, cherry tomatoes, and green onions

Put in oven on 375 for 20 minutes or until cheese is gooey inside out!

I liked this casserole a ton! 
I hope that you do too...
Happy eating... 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Baked Zucchini Fries

It has been too long since I have posted a new recipe! I have been really busy! 
I made these the night of Valentines Day and they were really yummy!
I also made baked avocado alongside this but I didn't really like it!

You will need:
2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
2 tbs of garlic salt
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs Italian or pizza seasoning
1 tbs olive oil
1 cup Parmesan cheese grated
1 tbs seasoned salt
1 zucchini 
2 eggs

optional: ranch for dipping

Set your oven to 410 degrees
bake time is 35 minutes

first you pre-heat the oven!
then chop up your zucchini and avocado (even though I don't recommend it because it gets mushy!

 Beat the Eggs and have in a bowl large enough to fit your zucchini in flat
add in your dry ingredients and cheese in a separate bowl to dip them in, and make sure to get them blended in well.
After they are blended evenly add your tbs or two of  olive oil and mix around as well 
(this makes the panko brown and get nice and crunchy!)
set up an assembly line and make sure to have a greased cookie sheet to place your veggies on.
first dip your zucchini into the egg
(makes sure to have one had for dipping in egg and one hand for dipping in bread or you'll get really stiff fingers and chunks in your panko. No bueno!
now dip em in the bread crumbs, i did this by laying them flat and pushing crumbs to the veggie instead of rolling them, this seemed to make the bread stay on better and made for an even coat.

 once you have fininshed battering up all of your zucchini pop em in the oven for 35 minutes. flip them every ten minutes and sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on top when you take them out!
These are not too difficult (a little messy) but super delish! 
plate these with some fresh sticks and some cherry tomatoes, dip in ranch and its fab!
I hope you enjoy them as much as we did... 
Happy baking!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Veggie Spring Roll

This is a healthy meal that won't bite back!
Very lite but filing and so easy to make! 
Chad and I loved these...

 Chop up some of your favorite veggies that taste good together.
I chose:
avocado, carrot, some iceberg lettuce, and cucumber
some other things to include would be sprouts, cabbage, some rice noodles, or even some shrimp!
make sure everything is sliced well. *I grated everything except the avocado.

 Next you want to get your rice paper. These are easy to find in the isle that has 'Asian' food.
All you do is put hot to warm water into a pie tin and soak your rice paper carefully so to not crack the edges for 20-30 seconds. yes seconds... its that easy! 
make sure to keep your water warm and periodically change your water to keep it less starchy.
Once they have softened all the way, the lines should not be as visible and the paper should be slippery and flexible.

then place your rice paper onto a preparing plate and smooth out edges, then pile on your filling!

 Here is how to fold your spring roll perfectly:
1st. fold both sided in over your filling so that they won't fall out!

2nd. Fold in one side over your previous fold:
 3rd. roll tightly starting from the last fold so you have a tight spring roll.
after the rice paper is not as wet they will kinda stick together so be sure to leave a little room or put them on parchment paper if not eating immediately. 
These are that easy to make and they are easy to pack for a lunch. I served these with some Asian sweet and sour sauce that I had. Mmm... they are delicious!
you can dip them in peanut sauce, Italian dressing, or even in your favorite salad dressing...
these are easy and fun to do. let your family pick their favorite veggie medley and have it a self-serve or make your own spring roll... its an easy go to meal that is sure to keep you coming for more!

I hope you enjoy this! 
Happy eating!