Monday, February 28, 2011

Fabulous Carrot Cookies

I know, I know, these sound like one of those recipes where someone has attempted to make a "healthy" cookie for kids and just threw in some type of vegetable. Instead of this mental picture, imagine a "carrot cake" cookie (without nuts...I don't like nuts in soft breads and cookies, something about the texture difference bothers me.) You could add chopped walnuts into this cookie if you are a nutty carrot cake fan, but I prefer them without nuts. Anyway, these are so good and spicy and soft and delicious. After quite a few experimental tries with this cookie, I finally have the recipe it is:

Fantastically Rich Carrot Cookies

1/2 C softened butter

1/2 C butter-flavored Crisco

1/2 C white sugar

1/4 C brown sugar

2 eggs

3/4 C steamed and mashed carrots (steam until very soft and then puree)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 C whole wheat flour

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 - 1tsp cinnamon (I use closer to 1tsp…depends how much you like cinnamon)

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp cloves

Mash carrots well. Whip crisco and sugars together until fluffy for about 2 minutes on high. Add egg, carrots, vanilla and beat on medium for 1 minute. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix on high for 2 minutes. Drop by tablespoonfuls on to parchment-covered cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes. About 40 cookies.

Frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 stick softened butter

21⁄2–3 C powdered sugar (to taste)

1 tsp vanilla

About an hour before making frosting, get cream cheese and butter out of the refrigerator and set on the counter to soften at room temperature. Beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat for several minutes until mixture is light and fluffy. This is great for banana bread, zucchini bread, yellow cake or any other baked dessert you would like to use it on.

Note: a food processor or food grinder works great for pureeing the carrots. You want them smooth and "chunkless".

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Delicious Waffles with a Secret Ingredient that is Totally Undetectable!!!

Its been a while, again, sorry about that. We have been VERY busy. I do have one recipe I can share, though, and it is one of my favorites!!! I've been making sweet potato waffles for weeks now. It took me quite a few tries before I got this one right where I wanted it. It is really yummy and REALLY healthy! I love watching my kids and my husband devour these, knowing there are sweet potatoes in them!!! is the recipe:

Sweet Potato Waffles

1/2 C cooked sweet potato

2 T white sugar

1 T brown sugar

2 eggs

2 T oil

1 C buttermilk

1 T baking powder

1/2 C milk

1 3/4 C whole wheat flour

Mix all together on medium high speed for 30 seconds, then high speed for 1 minute. Bake in a preheated waffle iron.

Note: To cook the sweet potatoes, I use a knife and make about three stabs or slices in the potato on the top and the bottom of the potato. (about 3/4 in. deep and the width of the knife.) Then, I wrap the potatoes in tin foil and put them in a preheated 400 degree oven. I bake them for about an hour or until they are VERY soft. The softer they are, the easier they are to mix right in your batter AND the more undetectable. You can use white sweet potatoes, too, which means there is NO color change to tip anyone off.

Here's a tip: I ALWAYS double this recipe. After making the first batch, I put the leftover batter in tupperware and eat them for the next couple of days. My kids LOVE these and I LOVE seeing them eat such a healthy breakfast! Once the batter is is as quick as cereal and A LOT healthier!!!

P.S. I have a sweet potato pancake recipe that we love, too and I'll give this one out soon. I also have some pictures of one of my all-time favorite recipes (in the cookbook) and a recipe for caramel chocolate cookies that we loved. So, don't worry...I'm still baking and still posting...even if it is a little slower...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sugar Cookies with whole wheat...that taste ALL WHITE!!!

As I said yesterday...I use white flour hmmmm....almost NEVER. However, I have long believed that sugar cookies just had to be made of white flour. I have abandoned the idea that rolls have to be made of white flour, but the sugar cookies...I just couldn't find a recipe I LOVED with whole wheat. HOWEVER, I have finally come up with a sugar cookie that is half white/half wheat that I LOVE! My husband said he would never have known there was whole wheat in them if I hadn't told him. They are light, moist, springy...everything you want in a sugar cookie...but half of the flour is whole wheat! Another plus...they have ricotta cheese, which gives them protein, to help balance all those carbs and the subsequent spikes in glucose. They are DELICIOUS!!!

Moist, Springy "Almost" Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

1 1/4 C + 2 T finely ground and sifted (or freshly ground) whole wheat flour

1 1/4 C + 2 T white flour

3/4 tsp. salt

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 C butter, softened

1 3/4 C sugar

2 eggs

1 T vanilla

1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together the whole wheat flour, white flour, salt and baking powder. In a separate bowl, mix together butter and sugar for 1 minute on medium speed and then 1 minute on high speed. Beat in eggs (30 seconds on medium speed and 1 1/2 minutes on high speed). Add in vanilla and ricotta cheese and beat on high for one more minute. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Drop about 2 T for each cookie on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet so it continues to slow bake for about 15 minutes.

When completely cool, frost with buttercream frosting. I make buttercream frosting by using softened butter, probably about 2 sticks for this recipe. I put the softened butter in a bowl and whip it at high speed. Then, I add powdered sugar until it is the right taste and consistency. Just keep adding and whipping. If you get it a little too thick, add about a tablespoon at a time of milk until it is the right consistency.

For shaped cookies: You can't exactly do cut-out cookies with this recipe, because they are SOOO moist, but you can do "shaped" cookies. Just place a generic "shape" cookie cutter, (heart, stocking, flag, Easter egg, star, etc.,)…something without lots of ridges on the parchment paper. Spoon batter into the middle of the cookie cutter until it fills the cutter. Level off the top, so it is flush with the cutter. Use a butter knife to loosen the edges of the batter from the cookie cutter and remove the cookie cutter.

(I'm still working on finding a cut-out cookie recipe that I really like with whole wheat in it...I may try adding more flour to this recipe...but I'll get back to you on that one)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentines treats using the English Muffin Bread...

For these cute sandwiches, you need the recipe for English Muffin Bread, from my previous post...and some bread tubes. You can find bread tubes online and purchase them. The bread tubes allow you to shape your English Muffin Bread. You can also find tools to shape your eggs into circles as well. My kids LOVED these sandwiches. We actually had them for dinner one night. This bread should always be toasted, just like an English muffin and it tastes SO GOOD!

If using bread tubes, to make the cute shapes, be sure to grease and coat with cornmeal. Bake about 15-20 minutes longer. Only fill about half-way full. These make the cutest morning breakfast sandwiches!!!

We made Valentines cookies today and they were FABULOUS!!! They are so moist and so springy...truly delicious! However...we did use only half whole wheat. I ALMOST NEVER use white flour, but until today, I believed that you just couldn't make sugar cookies with whole wheat flour. However, this recipe, which is half white/half phenomenal and NO ONE would ever know there is whole wheat in them! I'll give this recipe out as a YOYO recipe on Monday...Better keep checking...this is a recipe you'll want to try for sure!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

For this need a new recipe...

This bread is delicious and tastes JUST like English Muffins! Toast it and serve it with jam. OR...toast it, put a slice of cheddar cheese, Canadian bacon and an egg on it and you have a delicious sandwich!!!

English Muffin Bread

5 C finely ground whole wheat flour

5 tsp yeast

1 T sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

2 C lukewarm milk (heat it in the microwave for 45 seconds to a minute and then stir gently)

½ C warm water

1/4 C cornmeal

1 tsp dough enhancer

1 tsp gluten

Combine 2 C flour, yeast, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, dough enhancer, gluten. Stir in warm milk and water. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Beat on high for 2 minutes. Stir in remaining flour and salt. Grease two bread pans and sprinkle with cornmeal. Spoon batter into pans and use hands to pat dough evenly throughout the pan. Sprinkle cornmeal on top of the batter. Let rise until double...about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until top is lightly golden brown. Turn out of pan and cool on cooling racks. Slice and serve with eggs, Canadian bacon and cheese.

If using bread tubes, be sure to grease and coat with cornmeal. Bake about 15-20 minutes longer. Only fill about half-way full. These make the cutest morning breakfast sandwiches!!!

Valentines treats...some with whole grains and some without...BOTH LOTS OF FUN!!!

The Valentines suckers and tart ideas I got from Family Fun Magazine. Here is the link:

My kids loved making both the tarts AND the suckers. However, the suckers were kind of hard. We didn't have mini candy canes leftover from Christmas, so we had to break big ones and put the pieces together to make REALLY BIG suckers. The kids, of course, loved that they were bigger.

For the tarts, I used my whole wheat pie crust recipe and strawberry jam. We rolled out the pie crust and then cut it with cookie cutters. Then, we spread on the jam and cut another, identical heart out of the pie crust to put on top of the first half. We sealed it with a fork and baked it at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Then, we spread on a little buttercream frosting, which I just made by whipping butter and adding powdered sugar until it tasted good and then a little bit of milk to make it runnier.

Here is the recipe for the pie crust:

Fabulous, Flaky Whole Wheat Pie Crust

1 C + 2 T finely ground and sifted whole wheat flour

1 tsp wheat germ (optional)

1⁄2 C shortening (substitute part or all with Butter Flavored is MUCH BETTER!)

1 T sugar (or to taste)

1 T cold water

1/8 tsp salt (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sift whole wheat flour twice. Cut shortening, salt, sugar and wheat germ into flour. Add cold water and mix with hand. Put ball of dough between two large pieces of saran wrap and roll in a circle until about 1/8-1⁄4 in. thick. Pat dough into pie pan, and prick with fork every inch of sides and bottom. Bake for 10 minutes.

We've done a few more things that I'll post soon. Nothing major, just cute Valentines treats.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Delicious and Relatively Light Dinner Complete with Whole Grains!

This is a recipe from my cookbook, but I'm going to give it out anyway. Most of the recipes in my cookbook, I try to keep for my "insiders" and I may change this to an "insider" post in a couple of days, but for now, go ahead and copy it. It is delicious! My sister gave me this recipe and we both LOVE it...and so do our families! Here it is:

Tangy Sweet and Sour Chicken

4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 tsp seasoned salt

1⁄2 tsp garlic powder

1 C whole wheat flour

2 eggs


11⁄4 C sugar

1⁄2 C white vinegar

1⁄2 C ketchup

2 T soy sauce

1⁄2 C chicken broth

Cut chicken to bite-size pieces. Beat eggs in a bowl. Put whole wheat flour, garlic powder and seasoned salt in a gallon-sized baggie and shake to combine. Dip chicken pieces into egg then drop chicken into flour mixture in the baggie and toss to coat. Lightly brown both sides of chicken in a frying pan. Put the chicken in the crockpot. Mix sauce and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 4 hours, or until chicken is done. Serve over brown rice or cooked Bulgar wheat. (Obviously in the picture, it was served with white rice, but it is MUCH healthier with brown rice or Bulgar wheat!!!)

Variation: For some extra spice, dice up some hot chili peppers and throw them in with the sauce at the beginning of the cooking time. This will be too hot for small kids. You can also add a chopped red bell pepper about 1⁄2 hour before serving.

Now...for the Calorie Count (Insiders...write this in the margin in your cookbook) for 1/10 of the whole crockpot, there is only 276 calories!!! Oh, I did reduce the sugar to 1 C, instead of 1 1/4, but it still tasted just as good. There are 43 grams of protein, 33 carbs and only 4 grams of fat!!! Now, for the is usually anywhere from 120-150 calories for 1/2 C. So...for about 400 have a filling, delicious meal your whole family will LOVE!!! Add some steamed broccoli and you will be completely satisfied!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Recipes...

Those recipes were YOYO recipes, so they are gone, now. But...I'll post them again. I took the Buffalo Chicken Chip Dip with me to a party and I even added the sneaky wheat puree in it and people had no idea it was in there. So, everyone got a little extra fiber in their dip and no one even noticed!

If you are thinking about what to get your sweetheart for Valentine's Day, think no more, just buy one of my cookbooks and you can be on your way to a healthier lifestyle. This week, I'm going to devote more time and posts to calories of foods in my cookbook, so if you have the cookbook, check each day and then note the calories in the margins of the book. Have a great day!!!