Thank You!!

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Thank You!!

I want to thank https://www.morningstarfarms.com/ for their DELICIOUS veggie sausage selection!! Seriously, I want to kiss everyone who works there on the mouth! Their products have made my life much easier since deciding to try out a meatless lifestyle 🙂

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Apple Fritters

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Apple Fritters

I had a ton of apples on the table and they needed to get out of my kitchen!! Super yummy breakfast that put a nice dent into my pile of granny smiths. I told the toddler they were apple pizzas and he LOVED them!

Potatoes Make the World Go ‘Round

 

The weather has been absolutely lush in Central Florida lately.  We’ve been sitting in the high 70’s and this weekend it will drop down to 70 when a cold front moves through.  I think there isn’t much better than a quiet morning, with the windows open, feeling a nice breeze and having a savory breakfast, just full of flavors you can’t help but to take your time and taste it all.

Fried red potato, with evoo and butter, in my cast iron pan. Onion, garlic and bite sized bacon add major flavor to an already delicious base and a lightly scrambled egg, still slightly runny on top of this delicious mountain give this breakfast more dynamic, as the egg’s finish is more creamy. To finish it off, fresh cracked black pepper and pink himalayan salt. Tastes awesome with a little java!

Making Breakfast Bars HEALTHY!!

So, I’ve never been a breakfast bar person. I actually used to hate breakfast all together. Mr McDorkins, though, is a breakfast bar junkie. He is an addict and he needs help.  Help, because when you turn one of those scrumptiously decorated labels around, you realize that 1 bar can have 30% of your daily sodium and a massive chunk of sugar!! It’s gross.

I’ve been making snack bars for him lately, especially since the cost of these unhealthy bars are about as stupid as the people who decided labeling something that obviously isn’t good for you as healthy.

First, I made a homemade twist on Larabars. Neither of us have ever, actually, had a Larabar so I don’t know if I can actually compare what made to the real thing. Super simple….

Homemade Larabars

1/4 c dried cherries

1/4 c dried dates

1/2 c cashews

1/4 tsp cinnamon

First thing I do is measure out the dates and toss them in a bowl and cover with water. This softens them and removes the flour/sugar/whatever they put on them to keep them from sticking. I rinse a few times over the course of 5 or so minutes. Once that is done, I put the dates in the processor with the cherries and cinnamon. Pulse until a paste. Scoop into a bowl. Pop the nuts into the processor and pulse until they are chopped, too large and they fall apart a lot easier. Toss those into the bowl, mix and then split in half. I use a piece of plastic wrap for each one, I kind of spoon the mix on and I try to fold the plastic wrap over the bars and shape them while they are wrapped so that I don’t make a massive mess.

They go straight into the fridge and usually are eaten within the next day by Mr McDorkin. I think in the time since I’ve started to make them, I’ve had half of one bar.  Once they start to warm up they become a bit more crumbly but if you have them cold, they keep shape perfectly.

Today, I decided to try something a little different and in a larger batch, rather than 2 at a time. I found this recipe(http://www.food.com/recipe/oatmeal-breakfast-bars-45034) and I put a slightly more crunchy spin on it.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

2 C uncooked rolled oats(a base, I had to increase this by about a cup to get the right consistency)

3/4 C oats and 1/4 C sliced almonds

1/2 C dates(or whatever dried fruit you have around)

1/2 C dried cherries(or whatever dried fruit you have around)

1 C apple juice

1/4 C turbinado sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C coconut oil

1/4 C chia seeds

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine the 3/4 c oats and 1/4 c almond slices in the food process and process until a fine/flour consistency. Once you get the right consistency, pour into a large bowl. Soak your dates like the recipe above if they are dry and place in the processor with whatever fruit you choose. Pulse a few times to just chop the fruit into smaller pieces. Scoop out and into the large bowl. Add all of the other ingredients. I mixed by hand to combine and mixed and mixed and mixed, adding more oats as needed to get a firmer consistency. You want to be able to shape the dough.

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before mixing

Place your mixture into a pan and flatten out so that it reaches the edges. Pop it straight into the over for about 35 minutes. Once you pull your pan out, cut your bars. I used a pizza cutter and then cleaned up the ends with a butter knife. Let cool completely before removing. Eat. Makes about 12 bars, depending on how you cut them.

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these smell SO good baking!! 

 OF COURSE, you can take these recipes and put your spin on them. Use YOUR favorite fruits to make them, not mine. I think the best part of recipes if that you can always personalize them and make them your own!! That’s the fun of it, right?

Cooking is art, have fun and create.

Crepes are my crack. My lactose free/gluten free/sodium free crack.

After starting a pitcher of cold brewed coffee, today I decided to try something a little different, since it’s roughly a million degrees outside.  First I strained the coffee and rather than just dump it all into the container I use for it, I decided to first try making some ice cubes with them. I broke out some cute ice trays that I had picked up, and the kids have used as toys ever since. I just filled them up with the coffee and stuck them in the freezer. Once they were frozen through, I filled a glass with almond milk about half way, added a tsp of honey and mixed it thoroughly and then added the ice cubes. Fancy, cold drink you can have any time of day. Of course you can use whatever ‘milk’ you want or even real milk. I don’t care what you use, just try it!! It’s just SOOOOO good!!

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On to the main show….

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So, everyone had breakfast in the house without me today. I made the boys their pancakes and Jeff had some cheerios. I ran off and washed my hair and shaved my legs and had some quiet time. I am one of those crazy no poo people, I have been using baking soda and vinegar to wash my hair for a couple of months and I can say, I’m in love. ANYWAYS, when I got done trying to feel like a female, I was starving…and since no one else was going to eat, I figured I’d indulge a bit and make something just for me 😀  In my heart of hearts I wanted to keep on my gluten free route and try to make something I adore. CREPES!! I’ve made crepes many times before…Plain crepes, sweet crepes, whole wheat crepes, chocolate crepes….But I had this idea that I could use oat flour to make this a gluten free nomtastic dish!! A little internet searching, mostly for ratios, since crepe batter is pretty thin and I was able to locate a few recipes. I used this one as my base: http://www.healthytastychow.com/2009/06/oat-flour-crepes/

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Oat Flour Crepes(A gluten free, lactose free, sodium free adventure)

1/2 cup oat flour*

2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 egg + 1 egg white

1 1/2 Tbsp melted coconut oil

1 Tbsp agave nectar(figured I’d try the sweetener they listed since I have it but never use it)

Simply add all the ingredients except for the oat flour into a bowl and then whisk them together. Add the oat flour and mix really well(mine was still a little lumpy, even when I poured it into the pan, but when it cooked it fluffed up just enough so you can’t even tell). I let my batter sit for a short while. I don’t time it, I mostly just mix it and then leave it alone while I turn on the pan and wait for it to warm up. Set the burner on a medium heat, some use medium high, but I have kids who like to have random melt downs and beat each other up, so I need a little grace period with crepes since there is a thin line between done and overdone.  I used coconut oil on my pan, you can use butter or whatever oil you prefer. Use just enough that your crepes don’t stick. To keep my crepes slightly uniform in size, I use a 1/4 c measuring spoon to measure each one out. Once you pour the batter into the pan, give the pan a swirl-you want to make sure that it gets as thin and even as you can manage.

Cook on the first side until you see browning around the edges. If you try to move the crepe too soon, it will break because it is very delicate. Once you flip the crepe, leave it for about 30 seconds on the other side and then you are done.

This recipe yielded 10 crepes, which was fine with me, since I didn’t want to use any filling. I have a few left over still. You can fill your crepes with whatever you like, sweet, savory. Fruits, veggies, bacon, cream cheese. Literally, whatever you like you can probably put in a crepe.

*I make my own oat flour using oats I have here, it’s WAY cheaper. Like, so cheap it’s stupid. 1/2 c of oats makes 1/2 c of flour. Just blend and pulse until it’s fine. I have a cheap blender so I take my time and shake it down the sides and make sure that it is fine throughout. I think even if you buy oat flour, you may have to do this step anyways.

Before: Oats

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After: Oat Flour

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