Monday, May 23, 2016

Coconut Cream Berry Polenta

Step aside oatmeal, there's a new hot breakfast in town.  Polenta.
It may sound sketchy at first, but trust me, this delicious berry breakfast is packed full of flavor.
I've long since discovered the magical happenings of cooking any hot breakfast in milk rather than water, and this one takes it one step further.  Coconut milk provides sweetness and texture, which pairs perfectly with berries of any kind.  Sprinkle some toasted coconut over the top and you are good to go.

Coconut Cream Berry Polenta
Recipe modified from Edible Perspective

1 c. polenta (I use this)
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 c. coconut milk
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. toasted flaked coconut
berries of choice

In a medium sized pan, bring water and coconut milk to a simmer over medium high heat.
Whisk in polenta.
Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

After cooking, whisk in the coconut oil, honey, and salt.
Ladle into bowls and top with berries, toasted coconut, and extra coconut milk.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Brussel Sprout Cranberry Quinoa Salad

This all season salad is perfect for potlucks, a satisfying lunch, or a vegetarian dinner (if you are in to that sort of thing...).
I made a few modifications; subbing freeze dried cranberry slices for craisins, which cuts down significantly on the sweetness, but still adds that great pop of color, and I used almonds instead of pecans, since that is what I had on hand.  Like most salads, anything you choose to throw in or omit would work great.

Brussel Sprout Cranberry Quinoa Salad
Recipe modified from Gimme some Oven

2 c. quinoa, cooked
6 oz Brussel sprouts
3/4 c. freeze dried sliced cranberries (or craisins)
1 c. sliced almonds (or pecans)

1/2 orange (1/4 c. juice)
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 Stevia packet (omit if using craisins)

Wash and trim ends of Brussel sprouts, and thinly slice.
Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss to combine.

Whisk dressing ingredients together and drizzle over salad.
Toss to combine.
Serve cold or at room temperature.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Broccoli, Ham and Egg Bake

This easy throw together meal is perfect for a hearty breakfast, but I almost always serve it as a main dish for dinner.  I never measure anything but the eggs - just layer everything in a casserole dish, pour the eggs over the top and bake.  You can mix up the ratio of everything else, depending on how much meat, cheese or vegetable you want.

Broccoli, Ham and Egg Bake
Recipe modified from Focuseat

4-6 c. small broccoli flowerettes
1-2 c. diced ham
1 c. mozzarella cheese
1 can diced green chilies
salt and pepper to taste
10 eggs, well beaten

In a 9x13" casserole dish, layer broccoli on the bottom.
Top with diced ham.
Sprinkle mozzarella on top, as well as green chilies.
Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Mix eggs, and pour over everything.
Move things around slightly with a fork, so ensure the egg mixture seeps to the bottom and is coating everything.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, or until middle is firm and the eggs have set.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Canned Apricots

Canning apricots is a great way to extend the harvest all year long.  This method leaves the skin on, making it quick and easy.
If canned apricots aren't your thing, try using these to make apricot nectar - toss entire contents in a blender with some sugar and ice and you have a fantastic summer treat!
Or, you can make canned apricot nectar.

Canned Apricots

mason jars, lids and rings

In each sanitized quart mason jar put up to 1/4 c. sugar (based on taste of fruit).
Pour about 1 c. boiling water into each and shake bottles to dissolve sugar.
Wash, half and remove pits of apricots, and place halved pieces in prepared jars.
Pour hot water over apricots until jar is full.
Remove air bubbles with a knife or plastic spatula by running it down the sides of the bottle.
Steam quarts for 25 minutes, pints for 20 (do not start timer until steam in consistently coming out).
Remember to adjust for altitude - Utah time is 35 minutes for quarts, 25 for pints.

New to canning?
Peaches and apricots are very similar - click here to view my peach canning tutorial.
Click here for a complete list of canning tutorials.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Chopped Chicken Sesame Noodles

This chopped chicken sesame noodles recipe was modified slightly to suit more of our everyday ingredients - subbing soba for normal noodles, and bell peppers for cucumbers.  Really any assortment of veggies you have in the fridge would work here.
This was great served warm from the cooked pasta, but cold leftovers the next day were also fabulous. Perfect for a filling lunch or a summer dinner. 

Chopped Chicken Sesame Noodles
Recipe modified from Pinch of Yum

2 c. cooked chicken, cubed or shredded
8oz. pasta of choice
1 red bell pepper
3 large carrots
1 handful cilantro

Sesame Sauce
3 Tsbp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. peanut butter
3-4 Tbsp. water
2-3 Thsp. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

In a food processor, combine all sauce ingredients except sesame seeds and red pepper flakes.
Pulse until smooth, and stir in sesame seeds and red pepper.

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
While noodles are cooking, uniformly chop all veggies and cilantro and place in a bowl.
Add chopped or shredded chicken and drained noodles.
Pour sesame sauce over everything and stir to coat.
Serve warm or cold.

Monday, April 18, 2016

German Chocolate Cookies

These individual german chocolate cake cookies are made from a boxed cake mix, making them super easy yet absolutely delicious.  

German Chocolate Cookies
Cookie recipe from Six Sisters Stuff
Frosting recipe from Sandy Bishop

1 box German Chocolate cake mix
2/3 c. butter (or shortening)
2 eggs
1 tsp. water

Mix all ingredients together until well blended.
Roll into 1" balls and place on a silpat lined cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8-9 minutes.
Let cool.

1 c. sugar
1/4 c. butter
1 c. coconut
1 egg
1/4 c. evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped nuts (I like walnuts or almonds)

Bring sugar, coconut, evaporated milk, butter and egg to a boil, stirring constantly.
Cook slowly for 3-4 minutes.
Stir in vanilla and nuts.
Cool, and spread on cookies.

1/2 c. chocolate chips, melted and drizzled on top of cookies.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Brown Rice

Another family favorite, this easy side is paired perfectly with steak, chicken or pork.  If this looks familiar, this previously posted recipe has been modified slightly; less butter and more liquid, resulting in a lighter, fluffier consistency.  All of my kids consider this a personal favorite, and request it often.
It is also worth noting that one can of beef consume can be substituted for a packet of AuJus seasoning + 1 can of water (if you are interested in cutting down on price without sacrificing flavor). 

Brown Rice
Recipe modified from Sandy Bishop

1 bunch green onions (about 7)
6 Tbsp. butter
3 cans beef consume (not broth) OR 2 cans consume and 1 packet AuJus + 1 can water
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/3 c. water
3 c. rice

Melt butter in oven proof medium size pan.
Add onions and saute for a few minutes.
Add consume, water and soy sauce, and bring to a light boil.
Add rice.
Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes.  Do not stir.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Take pan directly from stove top and put into the oven with the lid still on.
Cook at 325 for 20 minutes.
Stir thoroughly and serve.