Monday, December 14, 2015

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Appetizer with Balsamic Reduction

I finally dealt with all the Thanksgiving leftovers.  In our basement fridge only beer and one package of brussels sprouts remained.  The original brussels sprouts had been part of a salad.  The first round of leftovers were repurposed into cole slaw to top pulled pork.  This last batch was looking a little sad in there when a friend gave me the great idea to serve them as an appetizer.  Roasted anything is amazing, and Jon, James and I pretty much inhaled these in no time.  Colin would have loved them, too, if his initial response to trying new foods these days wasn't an automatic "no thank you." 

These were easy to prep and ready in 20 minutes.  It's taken longer than that to get the balsamic reduction out of my shirt.  Holding a toddler while eating is recipe for disaster.  You'd think I'd have learned by now, but my sleeve is currently sporting peanut butter from lunch, so clearly not.  

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Reduction

2 cups brussels sprouts, ends cut off, outer leaves removed, and sliced in half
Olive oil

Balsamic Reduction:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.
Arrange brussels sprouts on baking sheet and toss with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 25 minutes, turning once.
In a small saucepan, bring balsamic and brown sugar to a simmer.  Cook, whisking frequently, for about 5 minutes until reduced and thickened.  
Drizzle brussels sprouts with balsamic reduction and serve with spicy honey mustard for dipping.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thanksgiving Leftovers

The day after Thanksgiving, you make the turkey sandwich with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce.  It's amazing.  The next day, you make the same thing.  It's slightly less exciting, but still good. By the third day, you want nothing to do with any of it, and still have a refrigerator full of leftovers.

We hosted 20 people for Thanksgiving. Never mind the fact that I had never hosted Thanksgiving before and we don't have a dining room table.  It all came together and was great to have a crowd.  In my true fashion, I was worried there wouldn't be enough food and prepared enough for twice as many people.  And wine for four times as many.  Needless to say, we had a lot of leftovers.

Here are a few ideas for repurposing all that delicious food without going out of your mind with boredom.

Stuffing Muffins
recipe from Budget Bytes

3-4 cups leftover stuffing
1/4-1/2 cup chopped ham or turkey
1/4 cup chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)
6 eggs
1/4 cup milk or cream
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare a standard sized muffin tin with butter or cooking spray.
Mix together stuffing, meat and spinach.  Spoon into each muffin cup.
Whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
Pour egg mixture over stuffing.
Bake about 25 minutes until eggs are puffed and set.

Mashed Potato Croquettes

2 cups (or so) leftover mashed potatoes
1 egg
1/4 cup cheese (cheddar or parmesan)
1/4 cup flour
Oil, for frying

Mix together mashed potatoes, egg and cheese.  Add a little flour if your mixture seems too wet.
Portion into small patties and dredge in flour.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium low-medium heat.
Cook croquettes for about 3 minutes a side until golden brown.  Don't try to flip them too early, or they will fall apart.

Thanksgiving Casserole
This is essentially that leftover sandwich in casserole form, but you can stick it in the freezer to bring out when your delicious Thanksgiving is just a memory.

In a prepared casserole dish, layer stuffing, turkey, gravy, vegetables, and mashed potatoes.  Freeze.
To reheat, bake at 350 for 1-1 1/2 hours, covered.

Turkey Soup
A classic, for when you are really done.  Use whatever quantities you have.

Leftover cooked turkey
Chicken or turkey broth
Leftover green beans

Simmer for about 20 minutes and top with parsley.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

My New Venture with Norwex

I started a new venture a few months ago as an Independent Consultant with Norwex.  The mission of Norwex is: Improving quality of life by radically reducing chemicals in our homes.  Essentially, creating a healthier environment for my family while saving time and money - win for all.

The core of the business is the Norwex Microfiber.  The Envirocloth is the all-purpose cleaning solution. I use it in the kitchen to clean my counters, appliances, cabinets and chairs.  My kids are super messy-ha! It's super fine microfiber picks up 99% of bacteria from a surface. It's more effective than vinegar or commercial cleaners.  Around the house, I use it on furniture, carpet, and upholstery.  In conjunction with the window cloth, it polishes mirrors and windows to a streak free shine.

These two are my reason.  The world is full of environmental toxins, and making our home safe is important to me.  Every morning they go to this window and wave goodbye to Jon when he leaves for work.  Since I clean with Norwex Envirocloths and Window Cloths, it's ok when they smoosh their little faces and hands (and sometimes snacks) on the window.  Plus, they can help me clean up.

Just in time for Christmas shopping and preparing your home for guests, I'm sharing a few of my favorites - and some deals!

The Ultra Power Plus Laundry Detergent - highly concentrated and free from phosphates and fillers.  So effective that you can use as little as a teaspoon in high efficiency machines.  Not just for laundry, I use it along with the Envirocloth for getting out tough stains around the house.  

Fluff and Tumble Dryer Balls - If you are using dryer sheets, this is the perfect alternative.  Made of 100% wool, they reduce static and wrinkles, as well as minimizing drying time.  Dryer sheets are full of toxic chemicals that transfer to your clothes, and then onto your skin.  

The Dusting Mitt - Another way I get my kids to clean for me.  It's a microfiber mitten that produces a static charge to pick up the finest particles of dust.  Using furniture polish leaves a film of chemicals, which can transfer to your skin, and also attracts more dust.  
 If you're still with me - thank you! I'm hosting a virtual shopping party this weekend.  If you spend $75, you can get the Scrubby Envirocloth for only $5 (normally $18.99).  For more information, send me an email or check out my Facebook page.  My Norwex page is  The full product listing is on there.  I'm happy to answer any questions, and help you find the perfect products!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Banana Breakfast Bars

I frequently make scrambled eggs for breakfast.  Thanks to the ever-changing moods of my little diners, there are some days I get zero eggs and other days I eat all three.  Add that to some discarded clementine sections and a few soggy cheerios and I have quite the balanced breakfast.  Feast or famine in the life of a mom.

These breakfast bars, however, are always a hit.  They are easy to make, using just one bowl and a baking dish.  They are healthy, containing no added sugar.  Best of all, they taste like banana bread.  We're lucky if a batch lasts us two days.

Banana Breakfast Bars
recipe modified from Crazy for Crust

2 medium bananas; the riper, the better
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
1 cup old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare an 8x8 pan with parchment or cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mash bananas.
Stir in coconut oil.
Add egg and vanilla.
Stir in salt, baking soda, flour and oats.
Spread in pan.
Bake for 18-22 minutes.  Cool completely before slicing.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Pantry Dinners

We eat dinner at home almost every night.  While I love eating out, we learned early on that it's not fun or relaxing with two little ones, and usually involves us eating as quickly as possible to end the experience.  On Saturday nights Jon usually takes the wheel and treats us to his famous pizza in the winter and something from the grill in the summer.  I meal plan for the week based on the specials for whatever store I'm shopping at, any recipes that have recently caught my eye, and one or two meals based on what is in our pantry and freezer.

Here are a couple of our favorite meals based on ingredients I keep on hand.

Salmon Cakes
One of my all time favorite dinners.
Ingredients to keep on hand:
Canned Salmon
Almond Meal or Breadcrumbs
Sweet Potatoes

Black Bean Burgers
Ingredients to keep on hand:
Black Beans (canned or dry)
Any fresh vegetable in the fridge (carrots, celery, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms)
Rolls (freezer)

Burrito Bowls
Ingredients to keep on hand:
Black Beans
Corn (freezer)
Chicken (freezer)
Rice or Quinoa

Steam rice or quinoa.  In the crock pot, cook chicken with salsa and shred. Heat black beans and corn with salsa until warmed through.  Create burritos or bowls and top as you like.  Leftovers are great for breakfast with an egg on top.
These can be easily customized with whatever you have on hand.  In the version pictured below, I used a bed of black beans and rice topped with kale, roasted delicata squash, fresh corn, salsa chicken and pickled jalapenos.  CSA veggies for the win. It's a good way to clean out the fridge, top it with cheese, and call it dinner.

Pan Seared Salmon
I always buy frozen wild salmon fillets when they are on sale.  As long as you remember to stick them in the fridge in the morning, they are ready to go for dinner.
I mix equal parts of soy sauce and maple syrup.  Heat a pan to medium heat with a little oil.  Sear salmon on both sides for a few minutes until cooked through.  Drizzle some of the sauce over the salmon while cooking, and also when serving.

Quinoa with Chickpeas, Apples, and Cranberries
Ingredients to keep on hand:
Dried Cranberries

BBQ Crockpot Chicken Sandwiches with Sweet Potato Fries
Chicken (freezer)
BBQ sauce
Rolls (freezer)
Sweet Potatoes

Frozen chicken breasts go into the crock pot with bbq sauce.  Cook on low all day until chicken shreds easily with a fork.  Serve on rolls, and top with pickles and lettuce if you have some.
Sweet Potato fries are a favorite in our house.  Sweet potatoes are cut into fry shapes or rounds, tossed with olive oil, and roasted at 425 for 30-40 minutes, flipping once.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Cantaloupe Sherbet

Last week I brought a cantaloupe to Maine.  As did my mom.  And my sister.  There was no hope to get through it all so I brought back a slightly old cantaloupe, and two children who were a little sick of snacking on it.  Never one to pass up an icy treat, my sidekicks and I made this the other day. Super simple and refreshing.

Cantaloupe Sherbet

1 large cantaloupe, seeds and rind removed, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 Tablespoons limoncello (or 2 Tablespoons vodka and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice)
1/2 cup cream

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and water and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer, add limoncello and cook for 5 minutes.
Set aside to cool.
In a blender or food processor, puree cantaloupe.
Add in simple syrup (water and sugar), and cream.
Blend to combine.
Depending on the machine you use and your preferences, you may want to pour the mixture through a sieve.  I used the Vitamix and it was plenty smooth.
Chill for as long as you can wait, preferably at least an hour.
Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and run according to directions.

Is it ready yet??
We took ours out a little early due to impatience, so it was a very soft serve consistency.
It hardens completely in the freezer, so allow it to soften on the counter for about 20 minutes before serving.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Summer Breakfast Scramble

Last week our upick option at the farm was kale.  It was way out in a field that required quite a bit of a walk, but the wonder of kale makes it all worth it.  Colin hitched a ride back on the front of the stroller, which is always a nice chorus of James screeching and Colin complaining that he's kicking him.  At the end of the day, we had a big bunch of kale I've been making into chips and sneaking into their smoothies.

Friday morning we went out for a family run.  Thanks to a big hill and a big stroller filled with big kids, all being pushed by Jon, I was able to pull ahead of the crew for all of 10 yards or so before they smoked me to the finish line.  After we got home, I wanted to make a healthy breakfast, and the summer breakfast scramble came to be.  Colin mentioned several times that it smelled awful, so it might not be a hit with the younger set, but I thought it was delicious.

Summer Breakfast Scramble (for 2)

3 leaves kale, stem removed and chopped into bite sized pieces
1 scallion, sliced
2-3 eggs, whisked
olive oil or butter
goat cheese, crumbled
fresh jalapeno, sliced

In a skillet, heat butter or olive oil (or both) over medium low.
Saute kale until wilted.  Add in scallion.
Pour eggs over kale and stir until scrambled.
Top with crumbled goat cheese and sliced jalapenos.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Steak Tip Marinade

One of the things we love about our new house is the back yard.  It's big, flat, completely private, has a porch and patio, and backs up to conservation land.  We've been spending hours outside every day, and it makes me very happy.  We knew we wanted to get a nice outdoor dining set so we could eat on the patio all summer.  Before we even closed on the house we were scouring the internet to find the right set, and finally found the perfect one at Pottery Barn.  We ordered it right after moving in, thinking it would come within a week or so, most certainly before James' big birthday party.  After much cursing of Pottery Barn and threats not to ever shop there again, it arrived this weekend.  It's everything I hoped for, and makes our yard an even more lovely place to be.
Since we're spending so much time outside, Jon is also grilling every weekend night.  This steak tip marinade is a favorite, and my little carnivore can easily out eat me in the steak department.  We narrowly avoided a meltdown when we ran out of steak this weekend by plying him with a cupcake.  Parenting at it's best.
Oh, and in case you're wondering how much weight my threats carry, we've ordered two more things from Pottery Barn in the meantime.

Steak Tip Marinade
recipe from All Recipes  (1800 reviews can't be wrong)

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 Tablespoons garlic powder
3 Tablespoons dried basil
1 1/2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground pepper

Combine all ingredients and whisk or shake well to mix.
Pour over steak tips (or whatever steak you like) and marinate for several hours.
Grill to your preference.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cucumber Coolers

In this steamy weather, I'm craving cold, refreshing drinks.  Smoothies are a mainstay of our lunch menu, and these cucumber coolers were super hydrating.  We've been getting a lot of cucumbers from our CSA, and while I like salads and pickles as much as the next girl, it's good to change it up.  Plus, a certain 3yo I know claims not to like cucumbers.  His younger brother, on the other hand, will eat anything he can get his hands on- food or not.  I'm happy to say both of them happily drank these.

The blueberries were also fresh from Tangerini's Farm.  I dragged the kids out to pick in the 90 degree heat one afternoon last week.  The aisle we walked down was next to an anti-bird machine which periodically screeched to deter birds from eating the berries.  A relaxing sound.  Colin's basket was perpetually empty, and I had to supply James with a steady stream of berries, but we came home with a few pints and have been enjoying them all week.

Cucumber Coolers
1 cucumber, peeled
equal part fruit (blueberries, strawberries)
1/2 cup yogurt
water, as needed, to get the blender going
handful of ice cubes, if using fresh fruit

Blend, pour, and drink!

And if these don't cool you down, I recommend a float in the pool.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Thai Cabbage Salad with Chicken and Peanut Sauce

We're rolling right along with our CSA share at Tangerini's Farm and I'm happy to report nothing has gone to waste so far.  I usually misplace some bag of pickling cucumbers in the back of the refrigerator and find them again when they look really scary.  I confess that when faced with a bunch of vegetables, I often throw them in a stir fry with a peanut soy sauce and call it a day.  Today, I branched out a bit, and the result was a filling dinner salad that was refreshing in the midst of this hot and sticky weather. The dressing flavors were a bit strong for my tiny taste testers, so I simply portioned out the vegetables and some chicken before topping with sauce to make them mini plates.

Thai Cabbage Salad with Chicken and Peanut Sauce
recipe modified from My Kitchen Escapades

About 4 chicken breasts, cooked (I used boneless skinless, but you could easily pick off a roaster or rotisserie chicken, or use shredded chicken cooked in the crock pot)
1 head of cabbage, shredded(or use 1/2 cabbage, 1/2 lettuce)
1 cucumber, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
5 green onions, sliced
handful cilantro

Salad dressing:
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sweet red chili sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper

Peanut sauce:
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon sweet red chili sauce
Water, as needed, to thin

Whisk together dressing ingredients in a large bowl.
Add in salad ingredients and toss to combine.
In a small saucepan, combine ingredients for peanut sauce and heat over low heat until pourable.  Alternatively, you can heat it a few seconds at a time in the microwave.
Drizzle peanut sauce over salad to serve.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

For Sarah

Today marks one year since my sister's bone marrow transplant.  For those of you in the know about that sort of thing, it's a pretty big milestone.  This weekend she is celebrating with a big group of friends, but sadly I can't be there. If I were, I'd stand up and make this toast:

It was late August 2010 when Sarah called to tell me she had cancer.  Acute Myeloid Leukemia, to be precise.  She told me what that meant and what her treatment plan was, but I heard it in a blur. One thing she said stuck with me, she assured me that everything would be ok because she had no intention of leaving her children.
She went into chemo and things got worse, but then they got better.  She was in remission and went back to her life.  Then in January 2014 things got much worse.  Cancer was back and she needed more chemo and a bone marrow transplant.  She endured those treatments and the side effects so horrendous I wouldn't wish them on anyone.  She did it all with quiet grace, and dug deep to come out the other side.  Last summer she went through hell fires, and her words still resonated, she would not leave her children.  For those boys, she would do it all again, but today we celebrate the fact that she may never have to.
To Sarah, her strength, and her boys.

Monday, July 6, 2015

So, You Have a Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi look a bit like UFOs.  They taste a bit like turnips.  They perplex us all.  In my mission not to let any vegetable go to waste, I scoured the internet and came across ideas for kohlrabi pickle. When I was pregnant with James, I, like a completely stereotypical pregnant lady, ate ridiculous amounts of pickled jalapenos and sauerkraut.

On the subject of my nearly one year old, Baby James has adopted a particularly charming habit of waking up between 5 and 6am.  He will go back to sleep in our bed so long as these very specific conditions are met.  First, he crawls around the entire bed and tumbles over us like a jungle gym, providing extensive commentary.  Eventually, when he gets tired, he will consent to lie down, but manages to take up 3/4 of a king sized bed.  He also needs to share my pillow and be touching my face.  If I move, he will wake up and the process starts again.  Sweet dreams.  That has nothing to do with kohlrabi, and despite the fact that he readily eats wood chips and rocks, I doubt he would eat this.

Quick Kohlrabi Pickle

1 pound kohlrabi, stems removed and ends trimmed
1 cup vinegar (I used apple cider)
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon honey or sugar
1 Tablespoon salt
1 garlic clove, grated
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Using a food processor, box grater or mandoline, shred kohlrabi.
Put kohlrabi into a quart sized jar.
Combine remaining ingredients (vinegar through red pepper flakes) in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and pour over kohlrabi.
Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator.

We enjoyed this on burgers, bbq chicken, and in hummus and veggie wraps.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Zucchini Banana Muffins

You knew that I, queen of the muffins with muffin monsters to feed, could not let zucchini season pass by without making muffins one or twelve times.  Some questionable looking bananas on the counter were begging to be added in, and Zucchini Banana Muffins were born.

We made these to snack on at a play date this morning. The batter comes together quickly, and thanks to their mini size, they bake in about 15 minutes.  I had just taken them out to cool when it was time to put James down for his nap.  While I was upstairs I heard what I could only guess to be many, many small items being hurled across the floor.  After leaving the baby's room I knew there was some frantic picking up to be done, but also delicious warm muffins as my reward.  By the time I got downstairs Colin had sampled a few, of course, and confirmed they are great.

Zucchini Banana Muffins

1 cup banana, mashed (I used two bananas)
1 cup zucchini, shredded, squeezed to remove excess water
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup coconut oil (can substitute another mild flavor oil or applesauce)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup oats
1 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 sugar (I used light brown)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare a muffin tin.
In a small bowl, combine banana, zucchini, egg, milk, coconut oil and vanilla.  I like to use my four cup measure so I can measure and mix in one container.  Fewer dishes are always a good thing.
In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, flax, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix to combine.
Let batter sit for a couple minutes to rest and let the baking powder start to work it's magic.
Portion into muffin tins and bake.  15 minutes for mini muffins, 20 for standard sized muffins.  Edges will be lightly browned and tops are springy.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

I'm Back and it's CSA Season!

It has been a busy Spring!  We put our house on the market in March, and I spent the next few weeks furiously cleaning, packing, and attempting to make our house look like we didn't live in it.  Dinners were as quick and easy as possible.  And ideally left the kitchen smelling like apple crisp as opposed to broccoli and salmon.  After our house sold, we were in limbo for five weeks and lived at the beach (I know, there are worse problems to have), until this past weekend when we closed on our new house.

Now we're mostly settled in, and I am restocking my huge new pantry and cooking in my beautiful kitchen.  Our move home coincided nicely with the start of CSA Season.  This is our fifth year as part of the CSA at Tangerini's Farm, and I just love it.  The first year I was pregnant and got progressively larger and slower as the season progressed.  The second year I had little Colin in the ergo while I picked vegetables.  The third year I was in a near constant state of chasing Colin through the rows.  Last year I was the size of a house until July and then snuggled tiny baby James while still chasing Colin.  And this year I'm trying to figure out how to chase them both at once.  Meanwhile, we get some delicious organic vegetables.
Daisys courtesy of Colin.

I have a few plans in mind for At Home With Ann now that I'm settled and don't need to spend every free moment dusting.  So, excuse the dust and enjoy the recipes.  My goal this CSA season is to share a recipe made with ingredients from my share every week.  I'm hoping this helps you if you also have a CSA share, or are adventurous at the farmer's market, or want to see how many ways I can make salad.

Let's kick things off with these adorable Mini Zucchini Fritters.  The recipe I modified called them zucchini tots, and they could easily be toddler finger food or cocktail party fare with a dipping sauce.  
Mini Zucchini Fritters
modified from Skinnytaste

1 cup grated zucchini
1 large egg
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4-1/2 cup grated cheddar or parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
dried or fresh herbs (I used dried Italian herbs)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or cooking spray.
Grate the zucchini using a food processor or box grater.
Wring excess water out of zucchini by wrapping in a dishtowel or weighting down in a colander.
In a bowl, combine all ingredients.
Scoop tablespoon sized portions and use your hands to form them into rounds.
Place fritters on prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Everything goes into the bowl.

Before baking.

And after.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

BBQ Chicken Enchilada Bake

One of my friends had a baby recently, so I brought a dinner to share with them.  Whenever I do that, I make double so we get dinner, too!  After constructing their meal as traditional enchiladas and rolling many little tortillas, I decided to do something a little simpler for our version and make it into an oven bake.  Mexican and barbecue are both popular in our house, so this is the perfect combination!

BBQ Chicken Enchiladas

1 lb. chicken breasts
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 (12 count) package of corn tortillas
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn (I used frozen)
1 cup enchilada sauce (homemade or store bought)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
2-3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Optional toppings: sour cream, avocado, hot sauce, cilantro

In a slow cooker, combine chicken and 1/2 cup bbq sauce.  Cook for 6-8 hours on low until easily shredded with a fork.  Alternatively, cook chicken in oven or on stove top and shred.
Combine chicken with black beans and corn and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine enchilada sauce and remaining 1/2 cup bbq sauce.
Spread a small amount of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.

To make rolled enchiladas:
Set up a little assembly line: corn tortillas, chicken mixture, cheese.
Place a small amount of chicken mixture on each tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, roll, and place in baking dish.
Repeat until all chicken is used.
Pour remaining sauce oven enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

To make enchilada bake:
Put a layer of tortillas in the bottom of the dish.
Add layer of chicken, layer of sauce, and layer of cheese.
Repeat until all chicken is used, ending with tortillas, sauce and cheese.

Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove foil for 15 minutes until cheese is melty and bubbly.
Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving with your favorite toppings.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mason Jar Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies

I gave these cookie mixes in a jar for Christmas presents this year along with some homemade bourbon vanilla extract.  Vanilla extract is the easiest thing in the world to make, aside from my having to explain to Jon how I used up an entire bottle of Makers Mark in one day.  Anyway, layering things in mason jars looks adorable, and everyone likes an excuse to bake cookies.  Somehow I managed to miscount the number I needed, because it's hard to count to...5, so I had an extra jar.  Oh well, cookie baking is a good snow day activity.

While it's easiest and certainly works to add the mix all at once, I roughly separated the ingredients for mixing.  I emptied the white chocolate, cranberries, oats and flour mixture into a bowl before pouring the sugars into the butter and egg mixture.  Once the sugar and butter was mixed, I added the remaining ingredients.

Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies in a Jar


1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2-1 cup white chocolate chips

In a one quart mason jar, pour in sugar.  Tamp down.  Add brown sugar.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add to jar and tamp down.  Layer in oats, cranberries and white chocolate.

Seal jar and include the following instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Beat together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 large egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Add cookie mix and mix well.
Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place tablespoon sized balls on baking sheets 2 inches apart.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Allow to cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lemon Tahini Dressing

I've been in a lunch rut.  On a good day I'm eating hummus wraps, on a more hectic one I'm enjoying grilled cheese crusts and the ends of a green smoothie.  While I spend our lunchtimes running back and forth to the kitchen and keeping an eye on the baby to make sure he doesn't try to eat an entire pear in one bite, it's nice to have real food in front of me when I do sit down.  I try to keep the afternoon snacking to a minimum, as it's all too easy to inhale half a bag of cashews without noticing, and this combination of protein, veggies and healthy fats keeps me full and up for toddler level sprinting races.

I love this sauce.  I posted about it way back in the beginning of my blogging days as part of a lentil recipe.  Today I used it on quinoa and vegetables, but it makes a great dressing for salad or any grain or bean.

Lemon Tahini Dressing
From Oh She Glows

1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Water, as needed, to reach desired consistency

In a small food processor, blender, or with an immersion blender, combine first five ingredients.  Drizzle in the olive oil with the motor running, and add water as necessary to thin.  This keeps for a week in the refrigerator.

I steamed a cup of quinoa, sauteed onions and peppers, and tossed in a few olives, sundried tomatoes, and avocado.  Served over greens and topped with feta cheese.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

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In the wonderful world of toddlerhood, you can be cruising along and then suddenly your three year old announces that everything you cook smells gross.  This does wonders for your confidence, and is only improved when he requests that flowers on the table be placed in front of him so he can't smell whatever you're eating.  Baked goods rarely disappoint, however, and this one has the benefit of being quick, easy, healthy and delicious.  We've been eating them for afternoon snack treats, but in a pinch I'd have a few for breakfast.

Mix this up to suit your tastes and dietary needs.  Gluten free oats can be subbed for old fashioned, sunflower seed butter for peanut, or dried fruit for the chocolate.

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
recipe from Gimme Some Oven 

1 cup dry old fashioned oats
2/3 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/3-1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup honey, agave, or maple syrup
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a mixer or large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir until combined.  Chill mixture for 30 minutes.  Using a spoon or a mini cookie scoop, portion out balls and roll in your hands.  Store in the refrigerator separated by wax paper or parchment.

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