Monday, April 30, 2012

Apple Chips

And...another post that truly gets my apple-hating two-year-old devouring those tart, crisp fruits!  These were gone before my older kids even got home.  I took a class once that talked about the nutrition equivalence of dehydrated foods, versus fresh foods.  Dehydrated foods actually had almost ALL of the nutritional value of the fresh foods! I feel bad about drying these apples out and sprinkling a light layer of cinnamon sugar...HECK NO!

Here are the directions:

Slice apples very thin. Lay on parchment paper that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle with a light coat of cinnamon/sugar mixture (2 T sugar 1 tsp. cinnamon is the ratio I use). Bake in 200 degree oven for about two hours. Remove from oven and let them get crisp. Watch how fast they vanish!

P.S. It seems to me, the thinner I make them, the quicker they disappear. I like to use a mandolin because I can control how thin they are and it goes SO MUCH FASTER!!! I got mine from Pampered is The Ultimate Mandoline. They are kind of expensive, but I hosted a party and got it for free!

P.P.S.  I soon will have a post from the author of the blog, Cooking With My Food stay tuned!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Waffles

Remember my apple-hating two-year-old...yep, all I have to say is "SCORE" again! He delighted in every single bite of these apple-infused waffles this morning. You can even see the chunks of apples. As I said with the pancakes, if you have kids with "texture-aversion" make the batter the night before so the apples are soft. Then, sit by and watch them devour chunks of apples before your eyes!!!

Apple Cinnamon Waffles

4 C whole wheat flour
2 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C brown sugar
6 eggs, separated
2 1/2 C milk
1/4 oil
3 apples, chopped with a chopper into small pieces
11/2 tsp. cinnamon (or to taste)

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together. Separate eggs. To the yolks, add milk and oil. Beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Beat the yolk mixture until thoroughly combined. Add the yolk mixture to the dry ingredients and blend. Fold in the egg whites. Bake in a greased or non-stick waffle iron until golden brown. Serves 4-6, depending on the size of the waffle iron.
**L** Use 1% or skim milk

You can add more apples and more cinnamon as desired.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

I've been wanting to make these for a long time.  It uses my classic whole wheat pancake recipe, but with chopped apples and cinnamon and guess what...they are divine!  They were DELICIOUS!!!  So, if you like apples and'll love em'!

I'll give out my apple cinnamon waffle recipe later this week!

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

3 C whole wheat flour
2 T baking powder
1/2 C brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
3 C milk
1/4 C oil
2 Granny Smith apples (peeled and chopped into small pieces with a chopper)
1 tsp. cinnamon

Heat the griddle. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar. Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until they form soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Beat the egg yolks, milk and oil. Add the yolk mixture to the dry ingredients and blend. Fold in the egg whites. Stir in apples and cinnamon. Bake on a hot, greased griddle. Serves about 4 people, depending on the size of the pancakes. I usually double the recipe because my family devours it.

Note: You can add a little more apple and a little more cinnamon as desired. If your kiddos don't like the crunchiness of the apples, let the batter sit in the fridge for about 24 hours and the apples will be nice and soft!

P.S. You can turn this into waffles really easily by adding 2 eggs, 1 C of flour and decreasing the milk by 1/2 C. I'll show these in another post.

Desserts for Easter

I was thinking I was done with all of my Easter posts and then I realized...I have a few desserts that are just fabulous for Easter dinner! I'm going to make my favorite whole wheat rolls and we haven't yet decided on desserts, but it is between banana cream pie, coconut cream pie, carrot cake or diced apple cake and maybe a chocolate pie (I'll have to post that later). Unfortunately, I don't have any great pictures of my cream pies...but don't you worry, they are amazing. They are made by making a true custard die. for. My mom made them when we were little and it was the only type of cream pie I was accustomed to. The "instant pudding" pies just don't hold a candle to the custard pies. Anyway, here are some recipes:

Traditional Banana Cream Pie

1 Whole Wheat Pie Crust, baked
2/3 C sugar
4 T cornstarch
1⁄4 tsp salt
3 C-2% milk
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 T butter
11⁄2 tsp vanilla
3 ripe bananas
1 C whipping cream
Fluffy Whipped Cream (recipe found below)

Prepare Whole Wheat Pie Crust and bake. Let it cool. Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt. Pour into sauce pan and add milk. Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture begins to boil. Stir and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from heat. Stir in about half of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Pour mixture with egg yolks back into saucepan and stir to combine. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Cool for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes is up, put mixture in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Stir the pudding mixture. Whip cream until soft peaks are formed. Fold into cooled pudding mixture. Slice bananas and layer on the bottom of the crust. Pour pudding mixture over the top. Top with Fluffy Whipped Cream. Keep in refrigerator for at least 3 hours to set.
Variation: You can choose to omit the whipping cream and just pour hot custard into pie crust and put in the refrigerator to set. It is still delicious and a bit lighter! Note: Put lemon juice in a spray bottle and spray bananas lightly so they keep their color!

Here is the recipe for the Fluffy Whipped Cream:

Fluffy Whipped Cream

1 C whipped cream
1 T powdered sugar
1⁄2 tsp vanilla

Beat whipped cream until soft peaks form. Fold in powdered sugar to taste and add vanilla.

Meringue-Topped Coconut Cream Pie

1 Whole Wheat Pie Crust, baked
3⁄4 C shredded coconut
Banana Cream Pie Recipe minus bananas and whipped cream
Prepare Banana Cream Pie above EXCEPT fold in shredded coconut and omit the whipped cream and bananas. Pour hot coconut mixture into cooked and cooled whole wheat pie crust. Top with meringue.

Meringue topping
3 unused egg whites (from pudding mixture) 1⁄4 tsp cream of tartar 7 T sugar 1⁄4 tsp vanilla
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar. Add sugar, beating until all sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks are formed. Beat in vanilla and spoon onto hot coconut filling. Make sure you cover the entire pie and seal all edges of the pie tin with meringue. Cool in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Variation: Fluffier Coconut Cream Pie: Fold shredded coconut in and then cool for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes is up, put mixture in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes. Stir the pudding mixture. Whip 1 C cream until soft peaks are formed. Fold whipped cream into cooled coconut pudding mixture. Top with Fluffy Whipped Cream, instead of meringue.

Easter Time!!!

By now, I'm sure you've guessed I LOVE holidays!!! I'm seriously addicted to the excitement and fun preparation for upcoming holidays. Pinterest has not only satisfied this addiction, it has fueled it. I have had so much fun with my Pinterest finds. Some, I've changed, like the Easter Egg cookies I already posted, and some I performed exactly as instructed. If you want some fun ideas...check out this post!!! We also did the Spiritual Easter Egg Hunt, which you can find here:

Jelly Bean Bracelets whole grains in this one...just a whole lot of fun! These are so easy and my kids LOVED making them. I had to make my sons' bracelets because I didn't want them using needles, but my girls thought making these bracelets was the coolest thing since sliced bread...and you know how much we love bread!

You'll need:

Elastic Thread...I bought .5 mm/.019 in elastic thread (from a craft store)
jelly beans

The directions are obvious. Thread the needle with the elastic thread, making sure to knot the end that will hold the jelly beans. Poke the needle through the jelly beans until you've got the right length for your child's wrist. Cut the thread and knot it...finished! We even made these for our nephews because they were so easy and they loved them, too!

Easter Egg Cookies

Do you get any cuter than this? To top it off...they are made with not one, but multiple CADBURY MINI EGGS! You heard me right, Cadbury Mini Eggs! I personally do not believe that there is a better candy than the mini eggs by Cadbury...actually, to be completely honest, I now prefer the Dark Chocolate Cadbury Mini Eggs, but I realize I'm in the minority on this one. The cool thing with these cookies is that when you put the eggs into the hot cookies, they stay very soft and slightly melty, even when they are cool! I'm not really sure how it works, but it does.'s my new favorite Easter cookie recipe!

Easter Egg Cookie

3 ½ C sifted or freshly ground whole wheat flour
¾ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 C butter, softened
1 C packed brown sugar
¾ C white sugar
1 T vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream sugars and butter together. Add vanilla extract and eggs. Beat for three minutes. Mix flour, baking soda and salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls into greased muffin tins. Bake 10-12 minutes. Immediately after removing from oven, press one Cadbury Mini Egg in the middle about halfway into the cookie. Let cool before transferring. You can then either keep them like this, or frost with buttercream frosting and add a couple more eggs on top of the green frosting. Makes 3-4 dozen.

P.S. The buttercream frosting I use is simple. Take a stick of butter and whip it. Add powdered sugar until it tastes really good...pretty easy, huh. I really just dump it out of the bag until it tastes right...I'd start with a cup and go from there, just stop when it tastes spectacular!!!

Note: You can choose to add the icing, or just eat them with the melted mini egg without the icing. I think they are cuter with the icing, but they have A LOT more sugar and they are still delicious without the icing on them. Oh, and the mini egg stays soft even when it is cool!!! So, days later, you have a yummy cookie with a soft Cadbury Mini Egg nestled inside!!!

Simple Salsa

I keep getting tomatoes and Anaheim peppers in my Bountiful Basket.  Because of this...I decided, obviously, to try to make salsa.  PROBLEM...I have no salsa recipes.  Enter Pinterest...I found one similar to this, minus the Anaheim peppers and a few other ingredients and just LOVED it!  I've made it probably 4-5 times since that first trial.  The only time I didn't LOVE it was when I accidentally added too much onion, and even was pretty good!  Oh...and on that same trial...I overadded cilantro...don't do this either!  So, if you are an amateur salsa maker...try this one...its pretty easy and yummy!

Simple Salsa

3 - 4 blanched tomatoes (put them in boiling water for about 15-30 seconds and then move to ice cold water...then peel and lightly chop)
2 T chopped onion (can add a little more if desired)
1 clove garlic
2 Anaheim peppers, seeded (if you want it spicier, add a jalapeno pepper or replace one Anaheim with a jalapeno pepper...seed it if you don't want it REALLY spicy!)
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cumin
2 T lime juice
cilantro (optional..I wouldn't add more than 1/4 bunch...I like it more without the cilantro)

Put in food processor and pulse until it is the consistency you like. Serve.