Dec 312012
 

As I searched through the archives of 2012 to come up with the best recipes of the year, I realized just what a crazy year it was!  My life was in transition and my cooking was too.  But I did keep cooking, and that’s all that really counts.

To wrap up 2012, I offer you the dishes that I know I’ll make in 2013 and beyond.  If you have any favorites that I didn’t list, feel free to mention them in the comments.

Thanks, as always, for reading!  Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2013.

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Best Recipe to Enjoy with Coffee: Crackly Banana Bread

 

Best Ethnic Meal: Eggplant Tikka Masala (you can serve with rice or  Homemade Naan)

Best Recipe to Stock Your Freezer: Crockpot Tomato Sauce

Best Quick and Healthy Soup: Tortellini Minestrone

 

Second Best Healthy Soup (and takes a little longer): Butternut Squash Chili

 

Best Use of Party Leftovers: Corn and Zucchini Chowder

 

Best New Holiday Recipe: Hot Cross Biscuits

 

Richest Dessert: Peanut Butter Blondies

Best Use of Local Produce: Butternut Squash Butter

And of course, the best project of 2012…..The Great Train Cake

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 Posted by at 6:00 am
Dec 062012
 

I am very happy to announce that Recipes that Fit is now part of the Nutrition Blog Network!  The network only includes blogs written by Registered Dietitians, so you can be sure you’re getting information from a reliable source.  Dietitians are THE experts in food and nutrition.

The network includes blogs which cover a variety of topics including managing diabetes, healthy eating for pregnancy, and sustainable practices.  I suggest you hop over to the directory, and I am sure you’ll find at least a few new blogs to read.

Thanks, as always, for reading!

 

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 Posted by at 6:00 am
Nov 132012
 

Everyone’s heard of pumpkin butter, but with so much butternut squash at my fingertips, I wanted to make butternut butter.  I used this recipe from Eat, Live, Run as a guide.  Thankfully, I also had one big assistant and one little assistant for the project!

We started by weighing the squash, because the amount of squash will drive how much of the other ingredients you need.  However, I cut way back on the sugar from the original recipe – this squash is so sweet on it’s own, you just don’t need that much.  This scale is truly an antique, but it still works.

 

My big assistant did all the peeling and slicing, and I roasted the squash in the oven.  Then my little assistant helped to measure all the other ingredients and put them in the food processor along with the roasted squash.

 

 

My big and little assistants teamed up for the most exciting part – pushing the buttons on the food processor.

 

 

The original recipe called for putting the mixture on the stove to thicken, but ours was already quite thick at this point.  I did put it on the stove to heat through, but then we were done and ready to put it in glass jars.  The little assistant got a snack of plain yogurt with a spoonful of butternut butter, which he loved!  I spread some on a piece of whole wheat toast later on, and really enjoyed this fall treat.

 

 

Butternut Squash Butter

1 (4 lb.) butternut squash, peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 t. vanilla
2 T lemon juice

Place butternut squash slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast at 400F for 20-25 minutes.  Repeat this process until all the squash is roasted.  Place squash, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Place mixture in a pan on the stove and cook until thickened, as needed.

-Recipe adapted from Eat, Live, Run

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Aug 272012
 

My parents have a small garden with mostly tomatoes and peppers, but they also grew some Swiss chard this year.  We thought it would be fun to involve my older nephew in the harvesting and cooking of the Swiss chard, since kids are more likely to try new vegetables when they have helped to pick them out and prepare them.

 

 

My Mom did the cutting while my nephew held the leaves.

 

 

He took the job of washing the leaves very seriously, for a not-quite-3 year old.

 

At this point, he lost interest in the project and had to go to swim lessons anyway.  I cut the stems from the Swiss chard, and cooked them in a pan with a bit of olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Then I added the torn leaves, and cooked it for a few minutes more.  We ended up with a gorgeous bowl of Swiss chard to have with dinner.  It doesn’t get more local than this!

 

 

The rest of us really enjoyed this, but my nephew didn’t end up taking one bite of the Swiss chard.  And that’s OK, because it often takes several exposures for kids to try new food.  We’ll try again soon!

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 Posted by at 6:00 am
Aug 202012
 

We had a fun weekend, complete with a train themed birthday party for my littlest nephew.  I’ll have the story of his birthday cake and some cute pictures ready tomorrow, but in the meantime, let’s start with some of the food.

Consistent with the train theme, my sister served food from the Wild West including BBQ Pork, Chicken, Wagon Wheel Macaroni & Cheese, Baked Beans (recipe coming Wednesday!), and Cole Slaw.  We also made these Wagon Wheel Pizzas which turned out to be a fun option for both the little kids and big kids.

They’re really just typical mini- bagel pizzas which use strips of red pepper for ‘spokes’.  The cheese goes underneath the topping so that they’re more visible.  It’s a great way to add some veggies in too.  We also tried this with strips of meatloaf, but the visual effect wasn’t quite as good.  The pizzas are easy to make in advance, and then you can just pop them into the oven when the train of guests arrives!

 

 

Wagon Wheel Pizzas

Mini-bagels
Tomato Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Red Pepper Strips

Spread a spoonful of sauce on each mini-bagel.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.  Place red pepper strips in a spoke fashion.  Bake at 400F for 10-15 minutes.

 

 

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