Sep 162013
 

This blogging lapse was truly a cooking lapse.  I am lucky to have a family that kept giving me food like homemade tomato sauce and green beans from the garden.  When that ran out, I cobbled together meals with scrambled eggs, frozen veggie burgers, baked potatoes, and Greek yogurt.

So while I don’t have any new recipes to share with you today, I can share some old classic recipes.  First, in what I am calling a “goodbye to summer” my Mom roasted red and yellow peppers and used them to wrap fresh mozzarella.  I’ve documented the best method for roasting peppers already, so fire up the grill and get going.

Once the peppers are roasted and sliced, season them with a bit of salt and pepper, then wrap the balls of mozzarella and secure with a toothpick.  Drizzle them with balsamic vinegar and fresh basil, and you’ve got yourself a delicious appetizer.

 

roastedpeppermozz

But we can’t deny that fall is in the air, and apple season has arrived.  I’ve shared this Apple Cake recipe with countless friends, and just about everyone loves it.  A friend of mine took the recipe and made cupcakes, and even added some buttercream frosting to take things up a notch.

Most of the ingredients in the recipe are pantry staples, so you can go apple picking all day and enjoy this cake (or cupcakes!) by the evening.

applecupcakes

 

Enjoy!  I’ll be back with new recipes soon, promise!

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 Posted by at 6:00 am
Aug 272013
 

Even if you’re not in the “back to school crowd”, September still presents an opportunity for a new start.  New starts require new snacks, right?  These Banana Split Bars were featured on Skinnytaste; with just a few changes, we made them nut free and egg free, so everyone in the family can dig in.

These bars are much softer than a traditional granola bar, but are still great as an afternoon snack.  They would also be good crumbled over plain yogurt for breakfast.  The original recipe indicates they can be frozen, but I have a feeling that won’t be necessary for this batch.

 

banana split bar

 

Banana Split Bars (Nut Free, Egg Free)

1/3 c. quinoa
1/2 c. water
2 c. quick rolled oats
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t baking soda
1 1/2 c. ripe mashed banana
1 “flax egg” (1 T ground flax+3 T water mixed well and refrigerated for 10 min)
1/4 c. honey
1 T canola oil
2 t vanilla
1/2 c. dried cranberries, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained
1/3 c. mini-chocolate chips

Combine quinoa and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, and keep covered for 5 minutes.  Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and place in a bowl in the refrigerator until completely cool.

Mix oats, cinnamon, and baking soda in a large bowl.  In another large bowl, mix cooled quinoa, banana, “flax egg”, honey, oil, and vanilla. Add banana mixture to oats mixture, and stir just until blended.  Stir in cranberries and chocolate chips.

Prepare a 13×9″ pan by placing foil or parchment paper in a criss-cross fashion.  Coat with cooking spray.  Spread batter evenly in pan.

Bake at 325F for 30-35 minutes.  Remove from pan using the foil or parchment paper, and cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack.  Place in the refrigerator, and slice when completely cooled.

-Lightly adapted from Skinnytaste

 

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 Posted by at 10:15 am
Jul 082013
 

No long weekend with my family would be complete without at least one cooking disaster.  We set out to make this Oreo Cake, which I had seen on Pinterest.  It includes two layers of chocolate cake with Oreos baked right in, a filling made with whipped cream and Oreo crumbs, and a rich chocolate frosting.

Unfortunately, most of the cake batter ended up on the bottom of the oven, and we gave the smoke detectors a workout.  To be fair, we did use egg replacer and also baked the cake in 8″ round pans instead of 9″.  It’s hard to imagine that those 2 changes would cause such a mess, but I can’t figure out what else might have gone wrong.

We revised the plan, and ended up making 2 layers of chocolate cake from a boxed mix.  We still made the filling and frosting from the original recipe, and finally put it all together.  My nephews ‘decorated’ the cake with Oreos, and here is the final product.

 

oreo cake

 

While it wasn’t the best cake we ever made, it was pretty good.  But next time it’s this hot, we’re going to leave the oven off and eat ice cream.

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 Posted by at 6:00 am
Apr 092013
 

I spied some grape tomatoes at the grocery store last week.  They’re not local, or in season, but I still wanted them.  When I got home, I immediately tossed them in the oven with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  30 minutes later, I had a dish of roasted tomatoes, ready for something.

That something turned out to be this egg and tomato wrap.  It’s more of a meal idea than a recipe, but so good that I had to share.  I put some of the roasted tomatoes in a frying pan, and added 2 beaten eggs.

When the eggs were done, I place them on a tortilla and sprinkled cheese on top.  I wrapped the tortilla, and placed it seam side down in the still-hot frying pan.  I flipped it after a few minutes to brown the other side, and then breakfast/brunch/lunch? was served.

 

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 Posted by at 6:00 am
Jan 092013
 

When my friend Leah visited, she mentioned she was looking for some new recipes to cook for her family.  With the new year, many of you might be looking for some new recipes as well!  So by her request, here are my Top 10 Vegetarian Family-Friendly Dinners.

These recipes are plant-heavy, yield enough food for a small crowd, and aim to please the diverse palates around the table.  I excluded a few of my favorites that might be too spicy, like Ethiopian Chickpea Stew, and a few that were really time intensive, like Vegetarian Pad Thai.  Not all of these recipes are quick, but there are often components which can be made ahead so they’ll fit into your schedule.

If your family eats meat on a regular basis, you may wish to designate one night a week for a vegetarian meal, like Meatless Monday.  It’s a great way to introduce more plant-based meals which are good for you and the environment.  Without any further ado, here’s the list:

 

Butternut Squash Chili – This was one of the Best Recipes of 2012, and one of my personal favorites.  Don’t skip the avocado garnish!

Black Bean and Pineapple Soup – Another hearty main dish soup, which you could serve over brown rice for a complete meal.

 

Broccoli Mac & Cheese – There’s nothing like a good dish of homemade macaroni and cheese.  This version is lighter, and tastes better than anything that comes out of a blue box!

Crockpot Stuffed Mushrooms –  Mushrooms are cooked in a delicious blend of tomatoes and balsamic, and can be served over noodles or rice.  Plus, your crockpot does the work.

Eggplant Meatballs – I’ve been making this recipe for years, and they always come out just a bit differently, but good.  If you make the meatballs and sauce ahead of time, all you have to do when you come home is boil the pasta.  I need to make this again soon so I can get a good picture.

Italian Baked Potatoes – This recipe is best when tomatoes are in their prime (August/September) but can be made other times of the year as well.  You can multiply the recipe to feed any number of people, and serve the potatoes with a side salad to round out the meal.

 

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie – You can assemble this shepherd’s pie over the weekend, and then bake it for dinner.  This makes quite a bit, so you’ll have plenty of leftovers for lunch.

 

Zucchini Black Bean Enchiladas – I know I am partial to zucchini, but I have made this recipe several times and it’s been a hit with everyone.  You make your own enchilada sauce so you can set the right spice level for your family.

 

 

Banana Sour Cream Pancakes – There’s nothing like breakfast for dinner.  Some fresh fruit makes it a meal.

 

Peanut Noodles – This is actually the only recipe in the list that uses tofu.  It’s also the only dish that’s meant to be served cold, so it’s probably better for those hot summer days.

And there’s my Top 10 list….but what’s at the top of your list?

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 Posted by at 6:00 am