Posts tagged ‘success’

February 11, 2013

Recipe review: 2 Ingredient Cookies

I often find myself looking at one or two overripe bananas on the kitchen counter, wondering why they weren’t eaten before the skins turned so black that they became unappetizing. I usually just toss them in the freezer, saying that I will make some banana bread, or banana muffins. Then I’ll go to put something in the freezer and discover I’ve stashed away enough bananas to be making bread for days.

Yesterday I found the solution to this problem! And it’s a delicious, done in 20 minutes solution. 2 ingredient cookies.

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As this review says, there are a lot of these “2 ingredient” ideas floating around Pinterest right now. One of the ingredients is usually a box of cake mix. Well, call me nuts but I don’t think anything that has 30 ingredients itself should be included in a simple, healthy recipe.

These cookies, however, are two real food ingredients, ones that I always have on hand: Bananas and oats. Then some add-ins — pretty much anything you’d like.

I’ve made these twice in the past two days — they are that easy. I’m putting the whole recipe below, because you won’t believe it, but make sure to stop by the original post for more add-in ideas.

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2 ingredient cookies

Two bananas
One cup oats

Mash ingredients together in a bowl. Drop by tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

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Crazy easy. And crazy delicious.

Yesterday I added in chocolate chips (about 1/8 to 1/4 of a cup). Today I doubled the recipe and added in the following: 1/4 c raisins; 1/4 c chopped dates; couple dashes cinnamon. Then I divided the batter in half, and put about 1/8 c chocolate chips in half (for the kids) and 2 tbsps chopped walnuts in the other (for me). Leaving out the chocolate, these are even vegan-friendly.

I made my half into bigger cookies — about 5 cookies. Two made an excellent, guilt-free breakfast. I kept the kids at about a tablespoon each. Perfect for snacking or packing in lunches.

November 10, 2012

Recipe review: Apple Scones

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This Apple Scone recipe came from Spark Recipes… So it’s not just delicious, it’s healthy, too!

We made these scones exactly as per the recipe, and they turned out great, so nice and light. We all ate two, J stopping only under duress (I wanted to leave enough for the kids to have for breakfast another day).

Definitely making these again! We might try adding some dry fruit next time, too. One note: the dough is very sticky, so kneading it is tricky, but resist adding more flour, as that will make the end result more dense instead of light and fluffy.

November 9, 2012

Recipe review: Hearty black bean soup

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This is post No. 100 for this blog! Thanks for reading. I’m enjoying sharing these comments/reviews/photos with the world.

I found this Black Bean Soup recipe on Pinterest (I ❤ Pinterest for recipes), then pinned it for when I needed an easy, filling soup.

I actually made it with dry beans and converted it for the crockpot, however, so the complete recipe I used is below. This is very easy, filling, and healthy, and involves minimal actual “cooking” – my style of comfort food to a T. I used my 3.5QT crock pot, but this recipe could easily be doubled for a larger slow cooker.

We served the soup with some freshly baked bread and a few slices of lime on the side – delicious and perfect for a cold fall day.

Hearty Black Bean Soup (Slow cooker and dry beans adaptation)

Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups dry black beans, rinsed
  • water to cover beans
  • 2 tsp chicken or vegetable broth granules
  • 1 cup tomato salsa
  • 1-2 cups water, as needed
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt (optional)
Instructions
  1. The night before you want to eat the soup, place the rinsed dried beans in the slow cooker. Add enough water to cover the beans by about an inch. Turn the slow cooker on low and leave it overnight (about eight hours).
  2. In the morning, add the salsa and broth granules. Stir to combine. If beans look dry, add another 1-2 cups water.
  3. Cook in the slow cooker for another for 3-4 hours on low.
  4. Let the soup cool slightly, then ladle half of it into a food processor or blender and puree it (or use an immersion blender, and puree in the slow cooker until the desired consistency is reached). Return the pureed soup to the pot. Stir in the lime juice and chopped cilantro and heat the mixture through. Serve the soup warm, topped with a dollop of sour cream/plain yogurt, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
November 4, 2012

Apple compote and recipe review: Apple cider pancakes

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I found this recipe for Apple Cider Pancakes on Saturday morning, when I was looking for a twist on our usual weekend breakfast. Mine were a little overdone (not the recipe’s fault), and I took the worst ones, hence the slightly blackened look above 🙂

These were great – nicely spiced, definitely a fun autumn version of pancakes to try!

We topped them with a little apple compote, quick and easy. W and J made it – W did the stirring 🙂

Apple compote recipe:

2 small baking apples (we used Empires), peeled and diced
1 tbsp butter
1/4 c brown sugar

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add diced apples. Stir and cook until the apples start to break down. Add sugar and stir. Serve warm. Makes four servings.

November 2, 2012

Recipe review: Mini meatball sandwiches

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We are continuing to go through KG’s princess recipe book – this was another selection from the “Belle” portion. I think they call them “Chip’s mini meatball sandwiches” or something along those lines. The idea is to make little sandwiches for little hands – and I thought it worked out well!

The recipe called for mini meatballs – I think I’m going to have to start making those myself and freezing them, because our grocery store just just carry mini meatballs, and this is not the first recipe we’ve had this problem with. Instead, we used regular frozen turkey meatballs and halved them before serving, which worked well. It might have actually worked better, because then one side was flat, so it probably stayed in place better.

One thing our grocery store does carry that we found worked really well for this recipe was slider buns. The recipe called for dinner rolls, but the slider buns were perfectly sized, whole wheat, nice and soft – ideal for little kid-friendly sandwiches.

Overall, this was another easy dinner, and another win from the princess cookbook – I’ve been pretty impressed with the recipes from that so far! This cookbook really does try to keep things simple and on kid’s level – if KG could read I think she could make this recipe with supervision and minimal adult intervention.

October 20, 2012

Recipe review: Food on the Table’s Sausage and Tortellini Soup

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We’ve been continuing to try out the recipes on Food on the Table. Up for today: Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup. This dish cost a bit more than we normally spend on a dinner (I think it was about $20 all told, including the bread we had on the side) but we all ate until we were full at dinner and had about 2 quarts left over, so it was decent (although not great) on the price. It was, however, 20 minutes from start to table – which is awesome in my book.

W ate the sausage and pasta; KG did as well, plus a little bit of the broth. We did the veggies as “add your own” – you’ll note we modified the recipe a bit and used mixed frozen veggies instead of green beans. We also added some fresh spinach, chopped roughly to make it more spoon-sized; used the 20-ounce package of fresh tortellini from the refrigerator section of the grocery store; and added about 4 cups water plus 3 teaspoons chicken broth granules. Oh, and we used poultry sausage instead of pork (although that wasn’t specified in the recipe).

Will we make this again? Definitely. Will we probably swap out some ingredients to make it a little more budget-friendly? Absolutely.

October 20, 2012

Recipe review: Apple Pancake Rings

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We made these Apple Pancake Rings for breakfast this morning – I cheated and used Krusteaz pancake mix instead of making my own batter. For about 1.5 cups of Krusteaz, I used 1 cup water and three sliced apples. The apples were Empires, from our apple picking trip, and worked really well – they softened up nicely in the cooking time for the pancakes.

We had these with a little maple syrup, and they were delicious! A definite win and will make again, especially while we still have plenty of apples. I lost count of how many pancakes the kids ate 🙂

October 16, 2012

Recipe review: Princess French Dip Au Jus

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Tonight we made a quickie dinner – 25 minutes, start to finish, and the item that took the longest was the easiest, the sweet potato fries.

The main course was French Dip Au Jus from KG’s princess cook book – the Royal Recipe Collection Disney Princess Cookbook that she got at the school book fair. This was from the “Belle” section, “main courses” that, in theory, have some sort of French inspiration.

Win! Everyone ate their entire sandwich, and the main course took less than 10 minutes to prepare. I did cheat and buy the roast beef at the deli counter instead of making it myself (although I was tempted to crock-pot it), but in fairness that’s what the recipe called for.

The kids got very into the whole dipping concept. I think we’ll have to do these again!

October 10, 2012

Recipe review: Food on the Table’s Golden Chili Chicken

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We actually had time to cook tonight… Dinner did not come out of the crockpot! And we made a new-to-us dish.

I tried out Food on the Table this week after a recommendation. The recipes seem pretty basic and straightforward… Good for weeknight meals. I’m not a fan of their menu planning, since you can only do three meals for free, however, and I don’t know that I’m willing to pay a subscription to use their service yet.

That said, tonight’s Golden Chili Chicken was a win! J, who is not normally a fan of onions, enjoyed it, and KG said we should make it again. W didn’t try it, but what else is new. My only substitution was fresh minced carrot tops instead of the dry parsley. We served this with rice, cooked with more minced carrot tops, and green salad.

Carrot tops are great… Don’t compost or toss them, eat them! I like the flavor a bit more than parsley, even. I put them in the kids’ breakfast smoothies the past couple days, once with spinach and once without. They do taste a little more “green” than spinach in a smoothie, but the kids didn’t say anything.

And for dessert… Apple crisp, which we put together while dinner was simmering and baked while we were eating. Nom.

August 31, 2012

Healthy breakfasts on the go

This post is for a friend of mine, who is looking for quick, easy breakfast options.

I’ve posted a few different muffin recipes on here before:

PB&J muffins – not the easiest to make, but very filling and lots of protein.

Low-fat banana muffins – pretty easy, this is my twist on a banana bread recipe

Chocolate Chip Zucchini muffins – the kids and I loved these!

Here are some others that I have made, and my substitutions.

Chef Meg’s Zucchini muffins – I omitted the pecans and flax meal, and used orange juice concentrate instead of pineapple (couldn’t find pineapple). I also got 24 muffins out of the batter instead of 18, so these were less than 90 calories each – score. My “makeover” is here.

Lemon-Zucchini Loaf  – I made this as muffins, so they are easier to serve for breakfast on school days. I used applesauce instead of oil. If possible, zest two lemons, for even more lemony flavor – and don’t skimp on the glaze, which really keeps these moist and adds to the lemony goodness. These come out to about 108 calories, 1 g fat, 23.1 g carbs, 2.2 g protein each.

Banana Oatmeal muffins – I dropped the sugar to 1/4 cup, and have made this with both regular and Greek yogurt. Greek is good for the extra protein, but regular will work if it’s all you have on hand. I’ve also made this same recipe with blueberries and nectarines instead of bananas – you want about 1.5 cups of pureed fruit. These come out to about 117 calories, 2.2 g fat, 21g carbs, 4.8 g protein each (with the 1/4c sugar and Greek yogurt).

Non-muffin ideas

Breakfast cookies – These are just as good as the Quaker ones! There are lots of options on this blog, we did ours with fresh blueberries and they were sooo good. I’ve been wanting to try the carrot ones, but am waiting until I can get carrots at the farmer’s market again.

Another breakfast option is baked eggs – combo those with a slice of low-fat cheese and put them on an English muffin, and you’ve got a McDonald’s-esque Egg McMuffin without having to stop at the drive-thru. You can make enough for the week and store them, just like hard-boiled eggs but less mess.

Fruit or fruit and yogurt smoothies are a popular in our house – we tried this Mixed Fruit Smoothie today and it was a HUGE hit – can’t argue with getting the kids to drink their spinach! Can easily be made the night before, poured into a shake-able drink container, and you’re out the door.

Finally, you can make a crustless quiche – good for Sunday breakfast, then leftovers for the rest of the week (although these do require a fork, but since they are pre-made, it’s just a matter of a quick 30-second zap in the microwave, so they might be able to be snuck into a morning routine). Link goes to my makeover of another SparkRecipe – I used real eggs instead of eggbeaters and 1% milk instead of fat-free, because that’s what we buy, then divided it into eight pieces instead of six because that’s just easier.