What To Do With

Friday, July 30, 2010

Blueberry Kuchen







BLUEBERRY KUCHEN






This versatile summer fruit topped cake can be made with apricots, plums, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, or a combination of these.




Have all ingredients at room temperature. Position in a rack in the lower third level of the oven. preheat to 350 degrees. Grease a 9X2 inch round pan.

Whisk together:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

in a large bowl beat on medium to high speed until light and fluffy, 3 -4 minutes

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
3/4 cups sugar

Beat in one at a until just blended

2 large eggs

Stir in flour mixture just until incorporated.


Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Scatter on top

2 cups of fruit

Bake until topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.




40-45 minutes

let cool to room temperature before serving.

Enjoy.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Baker in Me.



OLD FASHIONED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES












I am not a baker. I am not good with numbers, measurements or following a recipe and I especially am not very patient!

I have had some helpful tips along the way from my very precise husband, but it has not helped me very much in the baking department.

However, I have come across some very simple recipes that have allowed for some degree of error and imperfection. These three thing are probably the only things I ever bake.

When I host a dinner party I tend to always buy a dessert or ask a friend to bring something along.

Here are two of the recipes I absolutely love making. Any time I host out of town friends I am sure to have a blueberry Kuchen beautifully displayed on a cake stand, alongside a jar full of freshly made chocolate chip cookies.





My son finished a month of Tennis camp this morning and I wanted to bring the counsellors a little something just to say thank you. Instead of heading to a store to find the "perfect" gift that isn't awkward to give somebody you barely know, I opted to bake some cookies.
Everybody loves cookies, and who doesn't love a fresh chocolate chip cookie. It made for a perfect little thank you gift.

Here are the recipes. As I am not a baker I have tried to include as many step by step photos as possible. When I first read beat your eggs until you achieve stiff peaks, I had no idea what they meant by that. The photos might help clear up any doubts you have.

Enjoy!

Old fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies
(I have made these cookies a million times and I find that using 4 tablespoons of each sugar is more than enough. If you prefer your cookies sweeter then go ahead and use the 6 tablespoons).

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter at room temperature
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
use a nnon stick baking sheet and you don't have to grease the pan.
Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
Combine the butter, both sugars, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.

Beat until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg.


Slowly add the flour mixture, beating until smooth.
Stir in the chocolate pieces with a spoon.

Drop the batter by rounded dessert spoonfuls, 3 inches apart onto baking sheet.

Bake 5 minutes
Take out and rap twice on the counter
Return to oven and bake another 4 minutes until golden brown.


Cool on wire rack.


Wrap small pile of cookies in tissue.

Close with more green ribbon.

Place all cookies in a bag!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Green shake to start your morning...


I am not a coffee drinker. But I do need something quick and easy to give my morning a healthy kick start!

My mornings usually involve packing bags for school or camp. Changing diapers, getting kids dressed, brushing hair, making and serving breakfast etc. All of these little things take more time than you might imagine with three little ones.

On our last family trip to Mexico we were are all introduced to this green health shake. It is delicious and full of great stuff to start your morning and keep you going until your first snack. I usually end up eating my first meal around 1:30pm!

Here is what I do.

1 cucumber chopped
1 celery stalk chopped
1 carrot peeled and chopped
1/2 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup of red or green collard greens-swiss chard or Kale
1/2 cup arugula
1/2 cup parsley
1/3 cup nopal
1 teaspoon ground flax seed
1 teaspoon ground salba seed
1 teaspoon fish oil
2-3 chunks of pineapple or apple
1 small yellow beet. I use yellow simply to keep the integrity of the green shake! You can use any color you like. I cook my beets on Sunday and keep them in an airtight container
Any liquid you like. I use orange juice. You can use soya milk or milk, anything really!
I prepare my shakes at the beginning of the week in these magic Bullet Containers.



The key to these shakes is preparation. I have 5 mini blender containers that I got when I bought my Magic Bullet. They are perfect for this operation. I chop and prepare the ingredients and divide them up on Sunday night. This way all I have to do in the morning is take out a container, put it in the blender, add the liquids and that's it!

Enjoy!

Flax Seed:

Flax seeds contain high levels of dietary fiber including lignans, an abundance of micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids (table). Flax seeds may lower cholesterol levels, especially in women.[9] Initial studies suggest that flax seeds taken in the diet may benefit individuals with certain types of breast[10][11] and prostate cancers.[12] A study done at Duke suggests that flaxseed may stunt the growth of prostate tumors,[13] although a meta-analysis found the evidence on this point to be inconclusive.[14] Flax may also lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels.[15] There is some support for the use of flax seed as a laxative due to its dietary fiber content[6] though excessive consumption without liquid can result in intestinal blockage.[16] Consuming large amounts of flax seed may impair the effectiveness of certain oral medications, due to its fiber content,[16] and may have adverse effects due to its content of neurotoxic cyanogen glycosides and immunosuppressive cyclic nonapeptides.[17]

]

Salba Seed:
Nature's Most Powerful Whole Food

Salba® is the richest whole food source of Omega 3 fatty acids and fibre found in nature. Every serving (12 grams or approximately 2 flat tablespoons) of Salba® provides over 2,400 mg of Omega 3s, over 4,500 mg of dietary fibre, with less than 0.5 net carbohydrates per serving. Gram for gram, Salba® provides six times more calcium than whole milk, three times more iron than spinach, and fifteen times more magnesium than broccoli. Salba® is all-natural, has no trans-fats, is gluten free, has almost no carbohydrates, and is certified Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism).

The Cactus Plant



Cooked and diced Nopal


Nopal:

Nopales are very rich in insoluble and especially soluble dietary fiber. They are also rich in vitamins (especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, but alsoriboflavin and vitamin B6) and minerals (especially magnesium, potassium, and manganese, but also iron and copper). Nopales have a high calcium content, but the nutrient is not biologically available because it is present as calcium oxalate, which is neither highly soluble nor easily absorbed through the intestinal wall.[3]Addition of nopales also reduces the glycemic effect of a mixed meal.[4] Nopales are low carbohydrate and may help in the treatment of diabetes.[5]


A Montessori World...A Montessori Table!

Some easy Children's Menu's to inspire your week.

"Piggies" in A Blanket-updated & without the Pig!






This is an updated version of the original version of this meal which involved the regular hot dog!

I use veggie or tofu dogs instead. Sometimes I use organic chicken or turkey dogs.

The batter I use is a chickpea batter and the kids love it!

I cup of Chick pea flour
1 cup of warm water
2 tablespoons of extra virgin Olive oil
salt


Combine ingredients
Heat oil in pan
Dip tofu bites into batter
Fry until golden

Once cooked transfer to a plate with paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Cool and serve.


Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli

















SPINACH & RICOTTA RAVIOLI

I wish I could say I did make my own. I don't!

I buy freshly made ravioli from the little Italian shop down the road.

Cook as directed. Toss with butter chopped basil or parsley.

A perfect little meal.

Kids Chicken Soup









CHICKEN SOUP

I usually make my chicken soup for scratch. Any time Patrick and I eat a roast chicken for dinner I take the leftovers to make my stock. It may sound overwhelming, but it really is a very simple recipe.

If I don’t have a leftover chicken handy, and I want a quick healthy chicken soup dinner, I use Organic Chicken Broth as the base for the soup.

For the Leftover Chicken Soup Broth

  1. Take off the skin and anything you might have stuffed the chicken with.
  2. Put it in a large stock pot.
  3. I add just enough water to submerge the bird. About 8 cups.
  4. 1 fresh bay leaf ( or dry)
  5. 1 onion peeled and cut in half.
  6. 1 large carrot or 2 small carrots peeled.
  7. 1 celery stalk
  8. 4 garlic cloves thrown in
  9. 1 leek properly washed
  10. Parsley- a bunch
  11. Thyme-a little less.
  12. 1 tablespoon salt.

Bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat for about 4 hours. Or until you try your broth and it’s delicious. If it doesn’t have enough flavour, season and simmer for another hour or so.

Once the soup is cooked let it cool.

Put a large bowl in the sink with a sieve on top. Strain the chicken stock into the large bowl separating liquid from solids.

Scoop out cooked carrots and dice finely. Set apart.

Take any chicken peices that might have been left behind and set apart.

Replace liquid from stock back into stock pot.

Add egg noodles or dry noodles of your choice.

Cook as you would pasta.

Add carrots and chicken.

Serve with bread, parmesan cheese lemon wedges.

It’s the perfect kids meal.

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