Saturday, June 18, 2011

Garden Salad with Lettuce Fresh from the Garden

Last year there was a lot of trial and error with our raised bed garden. It has been a lot more rewarding with a little experience to guide us. So far, we've gotten strawberries, onions, and red leaf lettuce from the garden this spring.

Here is a salad I made tonight with the lettuce fresh from our garden. It had lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and walnuts. I simply love just walking out to the garden to harvest the food we'll be eating. Gardening is addictive! I've already been scheming on where to do more beds this fall.

There will be more to come as the season progresses. Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Maple Pecan Butter Cookies

When experimenting in the kitchen you never know what you are going to get, so it is always a good day when you hit a home run. Honestly, I have no idea why this idea didn't cross my mind sooner. Either way I am excited to share this new treat with you.

It is whipped together pretty quickly with a food processor, and I think you will love the results. Without further adieu, here is the recipe:

Maple Pecan Butter Cookies

3/4 cup pecan butter (see below for instructions)
3/4 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg "equivalents" (2 Ener-G Egg Replacer or 2/3 cup applesauce)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Throw 1 cup of pecans into the food processor, and run for 4-6 minutes. Stop every couple minutes to scrape the sides. It is done when the butter is smooth and runny like natural peanut butter. 

Cream together sugars and margarine. Next add vanilla, pecan butter and egg replacer and beat until creamy. Add the baking powder and flour and combine well. 

Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Press down with a fork to flatten the cookie in one direction, and in another to create the "tic tac toe" pattern.

Bake in oven for 10-14 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges. Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Easy Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Quick Muffins

While we were on vacation I was working in a kitchen with limited resources (ie no muffin pan). I really missed my kitchen at home! Anyways, cooking in the kitchen successfully is all about improvising, so that is exactly what I did with these.

At home I've got all the baking ingredients I need at arms length, so I had to make up something on the fly when deciding to make muffins for the family. Now that I've tried this quick method, I'll definitely be using it again. Being a mom of two little kids, sometimes you just need a good shortcut!

A little Heart Smart Bisquick and few other ingredients, and there were mouth watering smells coming from the kitchen. Both kinds of Bisquick are vegan, but the original contains trans fat, which our family avoids for health reasons.

Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Bisquick Muffins

2 cups of Heart Smart Bisquick
2/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large banana mashed
1 cup chocolate chips or walnuts pieces

Mix together all wet ingredients well. Add in sugar and Bisquick, then mix until just combined (do not overmix). Fold in chocolate chips or walnuts.

Lightly spray muffin pan or in our case, 3 inch corning ware bowls for jumbo muffins. Fill until 2/3 to 3/4 full and bake for 15-25 minutes (depending on size of muffins) until golden brown on top. Allow to cool about 5 minutes until removing from pan. Gently scrape sides and flip over to release the muffins.