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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pumpkin Squares


Hello October!  Pumpkin season is officially on!  The weather is changing, the leaves are falling, and there's that wonderful crisp feeling in the air!  I even love the smell of autumn!  These pumpkin squares are buttery, tasty, and festive!  Read the entire recipe before starting, to make sure you have all ingredients on hand.  The ingredients and directions are interspersed throughout this post.

Ingredients and Directions:

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. quick oats
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. light brown sugar

Mix all together and press into a greased 9x13" baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

While baking, mix 1 lb. canned pumpkin, 1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk, 2 large eggs, 3/4 c. sugar, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger, and 1/4 tsp. cloves.

Beat well and pour over baked flour/oats mixture and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Topping: 1/2 c. chopped pecans, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 2 T. butter

Mix and sprinkle over baked pumpkin layer.  Bake for an additional 15 minutes (until knife comes out clean.)  Cut into squares.

Yield: 20 bars

Source: my grandma, Grandma Joyner

Monday, September 29, 2014

Whole Grain Buckwheat Pancakes

I love breakfast.  Love it!  But when you're trying to go dairy- and gluten-free, breakfast can be hard.  Well, hard if you're like me and love carbs for breakfast.  Pancakes weren't something I ate every morning but when they were gone, they were missed.  In the few months that I've been eating this way I've tried a few pancake recipes;  and they were okay.  When I found this recipe I really didn't have high expectations.  And when I saw the batter, my expectations dropped even lower.  (Seriously, it looks like mud.  And don't the pancakes look more like hamburger patties from a distance?)  But I was pleasantly surprised when I took my first bite.  So happy I decided to try these!

Ingredients:
1 cup whole grain buckwheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 egg, separated
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. melted ghee
coconut oil for cooking

1.  In a medium bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon).  Whisk and set aside.
2.  In a smaller bowl, combine the milk, egg yolk, maple syrup, vanilla, and ghee.  Whisk well to combine.  Add this to the dry ingredients and stir well until just combined.
3.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until soft peaks form.  Fold this into the batter gently.
4.  Coat griddle at medium heat with coconut oil.  Pour batter onto griddle, forming 4" cakes.  Cook until bubbles form on top and the edges are no longer shiny.  Then flip and cook on the other side until done.

Serve with maple syrup.  Like, the real stuff!

Makes 8 four-inch pancakes

Source:  mountainmamacooks.com (very slighly adapted)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Are you holding up an umbrella?

I got so many inspirational messages in last night's General Women's Meeting from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I especially loved the addresses of Sister Marriott and President Uchtdorf.  One thing he said stuck with me, and with many others I'm sure since a graphic depicting the message had already begun circulating only an hour or two after the talk.

President Uchtdorf said that sometimes we imagine that Heavenly Father has this store of blessings locked away with Him and that He will only send them down to us when we have done a list of certain things.  But President Uchtdorf said this is not true.  He said that Heavenly Father is constantly raining down blessings upon us but that we often block these blessings, not recognizing them, because of our own actions.

Image Credit:  lds.org

This made me think of a few things.  First of all, it made me realize that Heavenly Father is indeed always trying and wanting to bless me.  He loves me.  Not just as one of billions of His children, but that He loves me uniquely and individually and really is interested in my happiness.  He knows my name and everything else about me.  He knows me better than I know myself and knows what blessings I need, not just the ones I may ask for.

Secondly, it made me think of all the blessings that I do receive but take for granted.  In a video presentation during the same meeting I noticed a woman walking to her front door.  Her door was made of just plywood, unpainted and unadorned.  This scene pierced my heart because I thought of how often I have complained about my house being too small, not pretty enough, etc.  I was humbled.  I need to be content with the blessings Heavenly Father has already granted me.

Lastly, I began to think of what I am doing to block the blessings my Heavenly Father is so earnestly trying to give me.  How is fear stopping me?  What doubts are blocking the blessings?  What sins are acting as an umbrella?  These are deep questions and ones that I need to ponder for a long time to figure out.  Deep questions require deep thought and meditation.  Once the answers are unearthed, deep commitment is then required.  This will be a long process for me, I am sure.

Are you holding up an umbrella?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Summer Pasta Salad



This is just a simple pasta salad that I thought I would try out from SAVING DINNER (see below for link).  I really like the subtitle on this cookbook: "The Menus, Recipes, and Shopping Lists to Bring Your Family Back to the Table."  Well that is a mouthful, isn't it!  So far, I have really like the recipes in the book and they are all pretty healthy.  This will be supper tonight.  Well, I also brought some to work for lunch so I will be getting a double dose! 





Ingredients:

1 pound ziti pasta
1 T. olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups chopped fresh tomato
1 cup fresh corn, or 1 cup frozen, thawed (I re-hydrated 1 cup of freeze dried corn--always trying      to rotate my food storage, you know!)
1/4 t. red pepper flakes (more if you want spicier)
1 cup non-fat milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese (I didn't have any so I used the Romano Asiago blend from   a jar)
Salt and Pepper to taste 

1.  Prepare pasta; drain and set aside.

2.  In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add red onion and zucchini and cook until the onion is golden, stirring frequently.

3.  Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic, tomato, corn, red pepper flakes, milk, and Romano cheese.

4.  Stir until the cheese is melted and the vegetables are hot.  Add the pasta and mix thoroughly.

5.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


NOTE:  There was no mention in the original recipe on whether this is served warm or cold--by trial and error I have found that this is a dish best served HOT.  Trust me on that.



SOURCE:  "Saving Dinner", Leanne Ely.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw


A little sweet, a little creamy and a little tangy (with a little kick for good measure).

Ingredients:

1 large cabbage, cut into thirds and core removed
2 large peeled carrots
1/2 medium sweet onion
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. spicy brown mustard
2 T. dijon mustard
2 t. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. salt

Directions:

1.  Cut two of the cabbage thirds, onion and carrots into large chunks and place in a 12 cup food processor.  (Note:  If you do not have a food processor you can shred the cabbage and carrots by hand.  It will take longer but taste just as good!)

2.  Pulse in food processor until carrots and cabbage are both chopped into small pieces.

3.  Chop remaining cabbage into larger pieces.  Blend all cabbage together in a large bowl.

4.  Whisk together mayonnaise, mustards, vinegar, sugar, peppers, and salt in small bowl until smooth.  Add more or less cayenne to taste.

5.  Pour dressing over cabbage mixture.

6.  Mix well until all cabbage is well coated.  Refrigerate at least one hour to let flavors blend.

Source:  www.livingwellspendingless.com

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mediterranean Inspired Orzo Salad

 So, in April I went to Utah to surprise my sister for her 30th Birthday. Her husband then surprised us all by taking us by limousine to The Roof Restaurant at the top of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. They had a salad there that was made with Israeli couscous and was full of Mediterranean flavors. I was determined to re-create it at home. I searched high and low for Israeli couscous, but when I turned up empty handed, I decided to just use orzo past, which I love.
It is a simple pasta salad using my Greek Style Vinaigrette.


Ingredients: 
1 C. orzo pasta
1/3 C. pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped (about 10 olives)
1/3 C. crumbled feta cheese
1-2 Tbsp. fresh chopped dill
Salt and Pepper if needed 

Directions:
Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. 
Chop Kalamata olives
Chop dill

Place orzo in a bowl, add olives, feta cheese, dill and dressing. Toss to coat. Adjust dressing or S&P according to taste. 

You could easily add whatever other ingredients you want. Chopped spinach, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts would be great additions. 
And, if you are lucky enough, you could try it with Israeli couscous. 


 




Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies


I absolutely LOVE chocolate chip cookies!  They are my favorite type of cookie.  I know that may make me boring, plain, and ordinary, but I don't care!  I previously posted a similar recipe, the Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookie.  That recipe can be found here: Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Today's recipe is by the same author, Picky-Palate.  You will find the BEST cookie recipes at Picky Palate!  Yum!  Here is the recipe for delicious Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies.

Ingredients List:

1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
3/8 c. sugar
3/8 c. light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
8 regular Oreo cookies, broken into small pieces
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Cream butter with sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add egg and vanilla and stir until well combined.

3. Place flour, soda, and salt in a large bowl; stir to combine.

4. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture. Stir just until combined.

5. Stir in Oreos and chocolate chips just until combined.

6. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough onto greased cookie sheets.

7. Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let cool on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Yield: 23 cookies (using medium cookie scoop)

Nutrition Facts (using My Fitness Pal software): Per cookie: 139 Calories, 7.1 g Fat, 0.1 g Fiber, 1.5 g Protein

Source: Picky-Palate (seriously, check out this website!)