It’s been a year-long journey for Jo and me as we put together these four sets of recipe cards. She did all the heavy lifting in writing, testing and executing the recipes while I handled all the creative (designing, photographing and editing). She and her sister cooked for hours before I arrived to take the photos for each seasonal set. Once the styling and photographing of the food was done, we’d sit around and chat and munch on the dozen recipes we’d just photographed. Let me tell you, I was always full by the time I headed back home! One of my favorite things about these cards is that every single bit of food you see in those photos is real. No fillers, no fakes, no tricks–just beautiful and, might I add, delicious food. Jo and I both hope you’ll enjoy this final set of recipes. Plenty of love and hard work went into completing them.
Yesterday, Jo sent out a story and recipe about an afternoon spent teaching Alex, an 8 year old who’s gluten-free. Together they developed a “power bar” fit for an afternoon snack or a dessert for the lunchbox. So, being antsy and bored this afternoon, I had to try it. Below is the original recipe:
Alex’s Power Bars
3 cups cereal (1 1/2 cups gluten free rice crispies and 1 1/2 cup Perkys Crunchy Rice Cereal by Enjoy Life)
1 generous cup roasted peanuts (Alex loves peanuts)
2 teaspoons Ceylon or True Cinnamon (yes Alex also LOVE cinnamon) you can use whatever cinnamon you have—this particular cinnamon is a bit “sweeter” has a delicious flavor and aroma and can stand on its own very well.
1/2 cup creamy organic natural peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch salt (optional if peanuts are salted)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 11 x 7 pan. Mix cereal, nuts and cinnamon together in a large bowl. In a saucepan, heat peanut butter and syrup together bring to a boil to thicken just a bit; remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.
Pour over cereal and mix well. Pat into prepared pan and bake 10 minutes.
Alex wanted to add a chocolate layer much like some protein bars they purchase—so we melted 1 1/2 cups chocolate with 2 teaspoons coconut oil over low heat. Pour over the cereal mixture and cool. Refrigerate to harden.
For added protein stir in protein powder or Omegas add flaxmeal or hemp seeds.
I was missing a few ingredients and I’m not concerned about the gluten-free aspect, so I did my own little variation.
This is what I came up with:
3 cups cereal (1 cup rice crispies and 2 cups Kashi [high fiber and high protein!])
1 generous cup roasted almonds chopped
1 teaspoon Saigon Cinnamon (it’s what I had on hand!)
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup agave nectar
I admit I totally forgot the vanilla from the original version.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9 x 13 inch pan. Mix cereal, nuts and cinnamon together in a large bowl. In a saucepan, heat almond butter and honey/agave nectar together bring to a boil to thicken just a bit. Pour over cereal and mix well. Pat into prepared pan and bake 10 minutes.
I also added a chocolate layer and melted 1 cup chocolate with 1 teaspoons coconut oil over low heat. Pour over the cereal mixture and cool. Refrigerate to harden.
Even my husband liked them! Quick, easy and a nice little treat without all the guilt.
Trying to up your hydration as part of your 2012 resolution? Are you in the market for a new reusable water bottle? Check out the ones from Liberty Bottleworks. I’ve had several different brands over the years based on what the new trend or new health warning was (Nalgene, Sigg, Klean Kanteen, etc.) and I have to say that THIS one meets all my criteria for a reusable bottle:
1) Made in America. The ONLY American made reusable on the market, in fact. This is a biggie for me.
2) BPA free. Who wants to be poisoned while drinking water? Uh, not me.
3) Recycled AND recyclable. Another fact that sets them apart from anyone else on the market.
4) Sturdy and well designed. Nothing worse than denting your lovely new bottle after only a week’s worth of use! They also have a cool lid that only requires a quarter turn which means no more scrubbing to get gunk outta the threads of the lid and bottle and it seals nice and tight. The lid has a nifty design so you can hook it onto your backpack too! The shape of the bottle means less spilling down the front of your shirt. You have issues with that too, right? They come in 24 or 32 ounce sizes.
5) Affordable. I’ve spent more than I care to admit on reusable bottles and this one was the most reasonably priced.
Check ‘em out. Super cute and practical. Mine goes with me everywhere.
Inspired by the large box of fruit my daughter, a first year teacher, bought from the FFA club at her school I decided to make this for our New Years dinner. Refreshing, with just a few ingredients, it makes a great brunch salad and goes great with champagne or breakfast mimosa’s.
I hope you are enjoying the beautiful times spent with family and friends this holiday season and I thank you so much for all of the support throughout this past year.
Fresh Fennel & Orange Salad
2 oranges supremed*
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bulbs fresh fennel, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Sea salt and black fresh pepper
½ teaspoon chopped sage for garnish
Toss together and serve.
How to supreme an orange: Supreming an orange, or sectioning orange as it is otherwise called, is when you cut an orange (or other citrus fruit) down to its most tender sections. It is easy to do and all you need to get started is a very sharp paring knife.
Start by cutting off about 1/2 inch from the top and bottom of your orange. The fruit should be revealed so you can see exactly how deep you need to cut to remove the pith and peel. Working carefully, cut away all of the peel and tough pith from the fruit. Continue until all the pith and peel have been removed.
Once the peel has been completely removed from the fruit, note the thin, white membranes that divide up the orange into slices. Insert your knife as close to that membrane as possible and make a slice parallel to it, right to the center of the orange. Find the membrane on the other side of that orange section and make another slice down to the center of the orange. You should be left with a tender, juicy orange segment. Use a sharp knives for best results.
1 cup of white sugar =
3/4 cup agave nectar
1 1/4 cup barley malt
1 1/4 cup rice syrup
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup date sugar
1 cup sucanat
1 cup fruit juice concentrate
1 cup honey
1 cup frozen unsweetened juice
1 cup palm sugar
*When using any liquid sweetener as a replacement for white sugar, reduce the liquid content by 1/4 cup. If no liquid is called for in the recipe, add 3-5 tablespoons flour for each 3/4 cup of liquid sweetener.
Winter is here, and along with it, comes winter recipe cards! Just in time for gifting at the holidays, or keeping for yourself, these cards contain plenty of soul-satisfying, belly warming, nutritious recipes to fill you up. The cards are sold in packs of 12 with an additonal bonus card, complete with a veggie wash recipe on one side and a produce helper on the other! Each set is $8 and can be purchased by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I made some apricot nut muffins this morning with a recipe I found from a Moosewood Cookbook. It called for 1 c. Oat Bran but I didn’t have enough. I thought…what has Jo taught me? So I ground up some oatmeal and used that. The batter came out really dry and I thought again…what would Jo suggest? So I added a little more milk to moisten it. I never would have attempted either of these substitutions in the past but I am feeling more confident with your guidance. The muffins are very yummy! Thank you!!
Feeling confident in the kitchen is the greatest gift you can give yourself and that’s one of the major things I try to encourage in my students. Use your instincts, trust your tastebuds, and experiment! Oh, and don’t forget to have fun!
Sparkle and Spice Drink
1/4 cup natural cane sugar (Florida Crystals)
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
Juice from 1/2 lime or orange
Chill 2 quarts of sparkling water.
Make a paste using the lime juice and all the other ingredients. Drizzle about ½ teaspoon of paste in a 10 to 12 ounce glass. Add ice and fill with chilled sparkling water, stirring. It will get very fizzy. Have slices of the citrus on hand to garnish the glass. Add more paste for more flavor or less for a hint of flavor.
Benefits of Ginger
• Great for digestion and easing nausea
• Excellent anti-inflammatory
• Boosts immunity
Benefits of Cinnamon
• Acts as an appetite stimulant
• Aids in digestion
• Helps balance blood sugar
Confession: I love pumpkin. Put it in anything savory or sweet and I’ll be yours forever. Around October 1, I buy pumpkin in bulk—half a dozen cans of the packed pumpkin and at least 3 whole ones to roast myself. In my house, eating pumpkin-y goodness is serious business. Since it’s a late summer/fall squash, we gorge ourselves on it while it lasts. And then when the first snow hits, I die a little inside because I know I’ll have to wait 365 long days to eat my beloved antioxidant filled beauty once again. I’ve got a few more weeks before that happens and I’m going to savor every morsel including this modification of Jo’s Banana Oatmeal Bars. Because of my aforementioned obsession, I thought pumpkin might make a delicious substitute for the banana in the oatmeal bars and I was right! Pumpkin and spices and raisins and oatmeal made this a fall treat. Note that the amount of spices and molasses are based on your tastes. Trust your tastebuds to guide you and give it ago. I hope you enjoy!
Pumpkin Oatmeal Bars (modified from Jo’s Banana Oatmeal Bars)
2 cups oatmeal (not instant)
1/2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut
2 cups of pureed pumpkin (I think sweet potatoes could be really awesome in this too!)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon molasses (I used the darkest, most robust one I had on hand. I just love molasses but maple syrup or honey would probably be delicious as well if molasses isn’t your thing.)
Dash of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup raisins or other dried fruit
1/4 cup pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together and pat into a lightly oiled 9 x 9 square pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set. Let cool, cut and eat your pumpkin creation. I let mine sit out a day so they’d be extra chewy like a granola bar. Yum!
Facts about Pumpkins
Pumpkins are thought to have originated in North America. Earliest evidence is from as early 7000 BC in Mexico
They are packed with beta carotene and lutein
Pumpkins are one of the most popular crops grown in the U.S.
Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are a powerhouse of protein
Pumpkins are high in fiber
Morton, Illinois is the self-proclaimed pumpkin capitol of the world. They’ve held a pumpkin festival every year since 1966 and are the site where 90% of all canned pumpkin eaten in the U.S. is packaged.
Jack o’lanterns were first associated with the harvest season, not specifically Halloween.