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Gotta Get Movin’

9 Sep

Just a quick post as time seems to have quickly flown since we found out we are going to be welcoming our second child in just under 8 weeks (give or take)!  My plan is to make a few of my recipes as “thank you” gifts for upcoming showers and gatherings.

If you want to know what I’m planning on making, there are two recipes I have in mind:
1) Pear Honey and
2) Pickled Squash (a new one for me!)

 

The pear honey, you may recall, didn’t win at the county fair in 2012, but it did sell for $70 in the 4H auction.  Not too bad for a rookie!  I’m looking forward to making the pickles too.  I’ve not yet ventured into the “pickling” realm, but the recipe isn’t too difficult looking.

 

I hope to post some pictures and entries as I make these things.  It should be within the next week or two.

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Dairy free, egg free, no junk added ice cream

1 Feb

So, I’ve done a lot of reading and researching and decided that I’m changing up how I eat. Since the main issue I’ve had has been with dairy, I knew I’d needed to figure out how to change recipes and my usual go-to snacks (I LOVE me some queso)!

I am an over-ripe banana hoarder. We buy them, all nice and yellow, only to forget about them and watch them all but peel themselves off the banana hook (although I have been standing next to the kitchen counter when one decided to peel…creepy). They then get tossed into the freezer where they await their fate: bread, smoothie, and the pièce de résistance ICE CREAM.

That was tonight’s challenge, which I gladly accepted! The picture below is all I had left after I realized I should have taken the picture at the beginning.

Oh well.

Amber’s Pb & Cocoa Ice “Cream”
• 2 frozen bananas peeled
• 1-2 TBSP peanut butter
• 1/4 to 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk ( mine is unsweetened)
• 1 tsp cocoa powder
• 1 short squirt/dash/splash agave nectar

Throw everything in the blender and mix until smooth. The variance in milk depends on how much you need to keep the mixture moving in the blender. I then poured it into a Tupperware container and plopped it into the freezer for about a hour-and-one-half hour. After an hour, or so, I took it out and stirred it (the edges freeze quicker). I added pecans to top it, but you don’t need anything!

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Enjoy, and let me know how yours turns out!

Christmastime is here…

27 Dec

…well, it was here.  Now we focus on the New Year.  New goals, new friends, new lives…NEW!  However, before we move on, I am following-up on a previous post in which I promised to share our Christmas breakfast and dinner.  Hold on to your seats!  This is going to be a recipe slam!

I mentioned two breakfast recipes: one oatmeal and one more traditional breakfast casserole.  I also had a Hot Cocoa bar with a crock pot hot cocoa (found here) along with chocolate chips, smosh-moes (marshmallows), and crushed peppermint.

My simple tablescape:

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My sister even brought me some Trader Joes gingerbread men!

photo(8)The Gluten-Free Oatmeal casserole found here

This thing is DELISH!  I would however, cut the chocolate chips in half or just add them as a topping at the end.  I’m also pretty sure I could make this a vegan-friendly dish by using an egg substitute.  There was none left at the end of breakfast!

photo(6)Another gluten-free option found here

This also had nothing left of it at the end of the morning.  There is just something about sausage, cheese, and hashbrowns!

photo(7)The boy enjoying Christmas Breakfast!

OK, realizing how late it is here, I will continue this post with a second entry.  Next time, cabbage, savory carrots, potatoes in cream sauce, and Martha Washington balls!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

22 Dec

With Christmas rapidly approaching (I could’ve sworn there was another week to go) and family already on their way, I want to pause and thank Hod for such an amazing 2012. From new career paths to upcoming career endings, to a two-year-old that is already smarter than me…it has been amazing.

Now don’t worry. I’ll still be cooking and blogging, but the next post won’t be until after Christmas dinner.

So, with that, I wish you and your family the merriest of Christmases!

Christ, Jesus is born!

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Feliz Navidad!

17 Dec

I’m putting off doing my Christmas meal shopping, kind of.  It’s just going to take me actually writing down a list of what I need and then going to the store to get everything.  Until then, however, I still need to feed our family in the days leading up to Christmas.  So, when I went out today, I made sure to grab some tortillas, enchilada sauce, and shredded cheese.  In my prior trips to the grocer I managed to stock up on chicken broth and onions, along with some evaporated milk.  I was set!

Mexican  Chicken Casserole

  • 2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (10-15 oz) enchilada sauce (mild or hot)
  • 1 can (5 oz) evaporated milk
  • 12 corn tortillas (I bought flour by accident…they taste good but get pretty mushy)
  • 1 lb grated cheese
  • 1 cup chopped green chilies (I wish I had my hatch chilies for this)
  • 1 medium onion chopped

Combine chicken broth with enchilada sauce and milk.  Layer half the tortillas in a 9×13 casserole dish.  Top with chicken, 3/4 cheese, chilies and onions.  Add remaining tortillas and cheese.  Pour sauce mixture over casserole and bake for one hour at 350.   Side note: when you pour the sauce over the top, the cheese tends to “migrate,” so pour slowly!

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Grandma’s Notes: 12/15/91- White frost.  Marcus came home with me after church.  He’s watching football game while I fix lunch.  We ate in front of the TV.  He went to George’s after lunch,  Haley came by- took me to choir practice.  She’s spending the night.  I THANK YOU LORD THAT YOUR FAMILY SPREADS TO MANY PARTS OF THE WORLD.  THANK YOU LORD THAT I AM PART OF IT.

 

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

13 Dec

Things are beginning to really look, and smell, like Christmas around here. From the last post, mincemeat cake, to the tree being up, we are ready to celebrate the season!

I found lots of Pinterest ideas for scenting the house and decided that I would come up with my own. Enjoy!

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Spicy Orange Simmer
• 4 juicing oranges, quartered
• Two “healthy” dashes of cinnamon
• 1 TBSP whole cloves

Put into medium sauce pot all ingredients, cover with water. Simmer on low. Add water as it dissipates.

Amber’s Notes: I love Christmas time. The scents, the lights, the snow great weather. In it all, remember the real reason for the season! Christ, the Savior, is born!

Home again…

30 Nov

I am on my way home from a 13-wk job in Texas. I will guarantee recipes will be done for the holidays. Thanks to the followers that have kept up with me, even though I wasn’t cooking!

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Dear Grandma…

16 Nov

Dear Grandma,

Thank you for all the great recipes.  I am sorry that in my busy 21st century life I have not been able to balance family, home, work, and cooking.  I don’t envy how busy you must have been with THREE growing boys and a farmer husband.  How did you manage to do it all?!  I only hope that when my life’s pace slows a bit, I will be able to do justice to the last few recipes I really want to try.

Sincerely,

Your hard-working, pseudo-homemaking granddaughter,

Amber

 

On the road again.

25 Aug

At the moment (yes! in the car), I am traveling across the southeast U.S. in route to a new chapter in our lives.  I have recently been hired by a hospital in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area as a contract physical therapist.  I will be living with my parents…can we say flashbacks of high school?!  My husband retires in December and we are trying to cut back on my student loans prior to that day.

Anyway, on order to not feel like a complete freeloader, I decided to bring my cookbook and cook while I’m in Texas.  However, I forgot my calendar at home…yes, the one with the ENTIRE year planned!  Instead of letting it get me bummed, I realized I had my 2nd.book under the armrest of the truck and started flipping through it…

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It isn’t as comprehensive as the original calendar, but it will give me a good meal and side dish most weeks and a few desserts and breads.

Here’s to new opportunities!!

No Eggs? No Problem!

19 Aug

Necessity is the mother of all altered recipes, I’ve learned.  As I have stated before, I am lazy.  I enjoy baking and cooking new things, but HATE to have to leave the house to get anything I’m out of.  Case-in-point, yesterday the boys were napping (as they are now) and I couldn’t sleep because the little boy had his feet in my face and the big boy was snoring.  So, I figured I would make something.  I looked in the pantry and saw we had oatmeal, I knew I had just purchased flour, chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies it was.  I even got so far as to mix the dry ingredients and add in the milk (almond in this house), after creaming butter and sugar, when I realized I didn’t have any eggs.  I know, I know, how could I be so lazy as to not even have eggs.  Believe me, I have gotten numerous scoldings from my baker-sister regarding a lack of stocking my pantry with basics.  THAT is a whole other post, though.
Anyway, I thought, “You need to use your Almond Milk before it goes bad so just add a bit more to the mix.”  Seemed like a substantial thought at the time.  So, I did.  This is what turned out:

Look good, huh?!  My son woke up from his nap, just in time to see the m&ms and was more than excited.  I even had the second half of the batch, uncooked, in the bowl.  With no eggs, I had no problems letting him taste a big ol’ spoonful of the concoction.  The reaction?  “MMMMMMM!”  Now, if that doesn’t say they are good, I don’t know what does.  The texture is obviously different from traditional oatmeal cookies, but by using the almond milk I almost made a sort of oatmeal cookie bar.  I can’t explain it, you would just have to try it!

With no further ado:

Amber’s No-Egg Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies

  • 1/4 cup butter, margarine or butter substitute (for my vegan buds)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (THIS is our favorite brand)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups quick cook oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, m&ms, or carob pieces

Cream butter and sugars, stir in milk and vanilla until mixed well.  Add dry ingredients,  except for oats and chocolate, until incorporated well.  Stir in oats and chocolate.  Spoon heaping TBSP onto parchment lined cookie sheets and bake at 350* for approximately 12 minutes.  Cookies should cool a couple minutes before removing them from the cookie sheet.  Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.  Cookies will “firm up” upon cooling.  Store in airtight container.  Yield: 1.5 doz cookies

 

 

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