Sunday, June 30, 2013

You Are More Beautiful Than You Think

 

When I saw this video I felt an immediate impact.  What a unique experiment that has significant meaning in the lives of women in particular.  How we see ourselves does affect EVERYTHING in our lives.  What I wouldn't give for a do over in the self image department!  Wouldn't this be a great activity to do with a group of your female friends?

Let this video really sink in and take away from it some small way that you (we) can appreciate your (our) true selves just a little more.  I know for me that it sometimes feels like I'm trying to turn the tide to get in a better frame of mind.  But, what's important is that I never stop trying; that I always remember from whence I came---trailing clouds of glory.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

Longhorn's Strawberry Salad [Knock-Off]

Let me tell you how tasty this salad is. It is SO GOOD. My mom and I love to get ideas for salads from restaurants we enjoy. A while ago we were at Longhorns - and we both had this salad. Ever since then - it has been a regular in my (and her) home. It's so easy to make too!


Lonhorn's Strawberry Salad [Knock-Off]

Ingredients
Mixed field greens
Strawberries
Blueberries (the original has grapes, I use grapes in the winter)
Mandarin Oranges (canned)
Candied Pecans... look at your grocery store, they sell them!
Feta Cheese
Marie's Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

Directions
I usually make this by individual bowls to insure everyone gets all the goods.
- Start at the top of the ingredient list and toss ingredients in. Let the amount lessen as you go along the list.
- Enjoy!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Olive Cheese Bread

 This bread is amazing. It is soft and gooey and salty and cheesy. The recipe came from the amazing Pioneer Woman. However, as with most recipes that I cook, I tweaked it a bit. I found the original recipe much too salty. To cure that, I cut down the amount of green olives and also rinsed them before chopping them. I also cut the amount of butter. Original recipe here.




Olive Cheese bread
4 TBSP butter-room temp
1/2 C. Mayo
4 oz. green olives (about 1/2-3/4 C.)
1 can black olives (6 oz.)
2 green onions
3/4 lb. grated Monterrey Jack cheese (I always use a block and grate it myself. I used the pre-grated stuff once and it was not as good.)
1 loaf french bread

preheat oven to 325.
Mix butter and mayo in a bowl. Chop up green olives, black olives and green onions. Add them to the bowl and mix it up. Then add the grated cheese and stir to combine.
Cut the french bread in half lengthwise. Spread the olive cheese mixture evenly over both sides of the french bread. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.
I like to turn the broiler on for just a minute or two to get a nice golden color on the melted cheese.
Remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes and then slice and serve.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Nutella-filled Muffins

Ingredients:
2/3 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup of milk
2 cups whole wheat flour + 1 cup all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
Nutella

Topping:
1/4 cup of sugar and 3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons melted butter

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 425F and line muffins tins.
-Cream butter and sugar together and then mix in egg, vanilla, and milk.
-Stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.  Don't overmix!
-Spoon in a tablespoon of muffin batter, add some nutella, and spoon in another tablespoon of batter.
-Bake at 425F for 5 minutes and then reduce oven to 350F and bake another 13-15 minutes until fork come out clean.
-Allow the muffins to cool for a few minutes and then top with melted butter and cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Makes 18 muffins.  They taste best when eaten warm!


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pepperoni Bites


This recipe was so easy to make! My 9 year old daughter actually made these one afternoon for everyone to have as a snack!  Delicious! We like deli pepperoni better than the ones you can get pre-packaged, but you can use whatever you want.  Enjoy!
 
1 cup AP Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup Milk
1 egg
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1-1/2 cup pepperoni, diced
Pam
Marina sauce
 
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Into a big mixing bowl add the flour, baking powder and stir. Next add the milk and the egg and blend well with mixer. Then add the cheese and the pepperoni and blend well. Spray the mini muffin tin well and then spoon in the mixture. Be sure not to over fill the mini muffin tin cups.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25- 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown.  This makes approximately 2 dozen pepperoni bites. 
 
 
 
 
 
adapted from a Goose Berry Patch recipe. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Leftover Rice Pancakes

When I make rice, I love to make a big batch and reuse it in other meals.  But after a while, rice can get boring.  And I hate boring leftovers because that means they don't get eaten.  (Perhaps I am some sort of kitchen nerd but I have to tell you that eating up every last bite of leftover anything gives me a thrill!)  This recipe has come in handy numerous times when I've caught myself staring into the fridge at a container of rice and wondering, "What the heck am I gonna do with all this rice?"  Added bonus:  no added sugar!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups leftover cooked brown rice (white or brown)
2 cups buttermilk*
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour (white, whole wheat, or combo)

1.  In a blender, combine rice and 1/2 cup of the buttermilk.  Pulse several times, scrape down sides.  Repeat several times until rice is in tiny bits.
2.  Add remaining buttermilk, salt, baking soda, and eggs.  Blend until thoroughly combined.  Pour into mixing bowl.
3.  Add flour and whisk just until the flour is incorporated.  Pour by scant 1/4-cupfuls onto hot griddle.  Turn pancakes over when the top is covered in bubbles and the edges are no longer shiny.  Once flipped over, cook until the underside is golden brown.

*If you don't have buttermilk:  pour 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar into a 2-cup measure and fill with milk to the 2-cup line.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes before using.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen scant 1/4-cupful pancakes

Source:  Hillbilly Housewife

Friday, June 21, 2013

Whole Wheat Multigrain Bread


Everyone (unless people are lying to me) loves my homemade bread.  I make it every week!  I love that I know exactly what goes into it and that it is full of wholesome grains for my children!  This recipe makes 4 loaves and to do so I use my Bosch Mixer, if I were using a Kitchen Aide I would cut the recipe in half.

Audrey's Whole Wheat Multigrain Bread
Yield: 4 large loaves or 5 small loaves

6 cups whole wheat flour (Hard Red or Hard White works best)
6 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. yeast
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 honey (or dark brown sugar)

Mix ingredients together in mixer and let rise until double and bubbly.  Then add:

2 Tbsp. Salt
1/4 cup of any or all the following grains: Amaranth, Quinoa, Chia Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Poppy Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Flax Seeds (I would grind the Flax in your blender first)
8-10 cups whole wheat flour- while mixer is set at lowest speed add one cup at a time until you get to 8 cups then add 1/2 cup at a time until it pulls away from the sides of the mixer (if you add too much it will be crumbly so be careful).

Mix on medium speed for 10 minute.  On a floured surface separate dough into 4 pieces.  Knead each piece into the shape of a loaf then pat with hand to get the air bubbles out and place into a greased loaf pan.  Let rise for 30 min or until the dough has risen slightly above the pan.  Bake at 350 for 28 to 30 min.  Let cool in pans for 3 minutes then continue cooling on cooling racks.  Once cool wrap in plastic wrap or place in bags.

Note:  I have been reading more and more about soaking grains to help with digestion. So as of late I have been soaking the following ingredients overnight; 6 cups flour and any other grains I am using, 5 cups water, and 1 cup buttermilk.  The next day I add yeast, oil, and honey to the soaked wheat and let it rise then continue with the recipe (minus the grains since they have been added to the soaking mixture).  Because it is cool from soaking it does take longer to rise.  It also has a bit of a sourdough flavor when doing this (which I love but others may not).

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mother's Apple Pe


This recipe is our family favorite and combines the basic apple pie recipe from my Grandma Davis with a pie crust recipe from my friend Jill Robinson.  An accidental collaboration, you might call it.  I made the mistake of making it once for my husband's birthday and now it is expected each year, and again on Father's Day.  Not a big deal and I am glad to give something so appreciated, but remember, this is from scratch and usually happens during busy weeks in our lives. Also, it is exclusively eaten by said husband so sometimes another pie is needed if anyone else wants a slice.  Even as we speak, I am posting this at my parents' house on my way to the beach for a week because there is not Internet there unless we piggyback--with permission--from the neighbor.  Hopefully, I will have enough signal to get on and post the pictures!  Oh bother!  Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients for Pie Crust:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1 egg
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water

1.  Cut shortening into flour in a bowl.

2.  In another bowl mix egg, vinegar and water.

3.  Stir both mixtures together into a ball.

4.  Roll out on floured surface or press with hands into a pie pan.

Yield:  2 shells or one double crust.


Ingredients for Pie:
Pastry for 2 crusts (above)
Flour
Sugar 
Cinnamon
Apples (about 6 large--my preference is 3 Gala and 3 Granny Smith)
Nutmeg
Butter

1.  Place one crust in pie pan, 9" deep dish is best.

2.  Sprinkle 1 T. flour and 4 T. sugar over bottom crust.

3.  Put in peeled and cut up cooking apples (Winesap are good), mounded in center.

4.  Blend together in bowl 1 cup sugar, 2 T. flour, 1 t. cinnamon and 1/2 t. nutmeg.   Pour over apples and dot with butter.

5.  Place top crust over, seal around edges, and cut steam vents in top.

6.  Bake at 425 degrees F. for 45-60 minutes.  Sometimes I cover the edges with foil until the last 10 minutes to avoid over-baking.



Sources:  The Brew Family Cookbook, vol. II, "Strange Brew", Audrey Davis and Jill Crandall Robinson, circa 1980ish.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Malt Whopper Pudding Cookies

 
    I love Whoppers. I love malt. I love cookies. Putting them all together...heaven! The thing I liked about this recipe is that it uses Whoppers and malt powder so you can really taste the maltiness. The pudding keeps the cookies moist and delicious. 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 small box instant vanilla pudding, dry
  • 1/4 cup malt milk powder (near Ovaltine and chocolate milk powder)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1-2 cups Whoppers

Directions:

1. Cream butter and sugars 
2. Add in pudding and malted milk powder, beat until combined.
3. Mix in eggs and vanilla
4. Mix flour and baking soda together, then slowly fold into wet batter
5. Fold in chopped Whoppers
6. Roll into 1" balls. Place on greased cookie sheet (or covered with parchment paper).
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 


Source: chef-in-training.com

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Salmon With Mango Chimichurri





Fruit salsas are the perfect accompaniment to grilled fish.  The absolute best fish to try with this is triggerfish if  you can get it.  Salmon is great too.  As you can tell from the picture I like a lot of salsa with my fish.

Ingredients:

1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced small
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/4 c. oil, plus more for grilling
2 T. lime juice
salt and pepper
6 salmon fillets (2 pounds)

Directions:

1.  Stir together mango, cilantro, red pepper flakes, oil, and lime juice; seaon with salt and pepper.

2.  Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high.  Clean and lightly oil hot grill.  Season salmon with salt and pepper and lightly brush with oil.  Grill until salmon begins to turn opaque, 4 to 6 minutes.  Flip and cook until opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes.  Transfer to a platter, spoon chimichurri over top, and serve.

Source:  Unknown

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Noble Fatherhood


In preparing for my Sharing Time today I came across this wonderful talk from President James E. Faust. In it he said, "Recently a father of a family of six children, who has had the sole responsibility for raising the family, beginning when the youngest was in diapers, told of the struggles in raising the family alone. One night he came home from work, faced with the problems of being both father and mother and felt unusually burdened with his responsibilities. One of his appreciative little girls, age 12 years, approached him eagerly, after having laid a rock on his dresser, which she had painted at school. On the flat portion of the rock she had written, “Happiness is having a dad who cares.” This painted rock and its sublime message instantly and permanently lightened the burden of this father." -Happiness is Having a Father Who Cares by James E. Faust

What a truly amazing thing it is to have a father who cares.  My husband and I have often talked of our roles as parents and we have come to the decision that if we are representatives of our Heavenly Parents here on earth then our children will probably view Deity to have similarities to us.  It makes me view parenting a little differently.  James E. Faust also said, "Noble fatherhood gives us a glimpse of the divine."  I am so blessed to have men in my life who make this statement true.  I am so grateful for fathers everywhere who take the time to care and love their children and wives, they make the world a better place. 

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Layered Turtle Cheesecake


Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • FILLING:
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • GANACHE:
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • Additional caramel ice cream topping, optional

Directions

  • Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and pecans; cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 12-15 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugars until smooth. Beat in 1/4 cup flour, cream and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Remove 1 cup batter to a small bowl; stir in melted chocolate. Spread over crust.
  • In another bowl, mix caramel topping and remaining flour; stir in pecans. Drop by tablespoonfuls over chocolate batter. Top with remaining batter. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
  • Bake at 325° for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
  • For ganache, place chips in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chips; whisk until smooth. Cool slightly, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove sides of springform pan. Spread ganache over cheesecake; sprinkle with pecans. Refrigerate until set. If desired, drizzle with additional caramel topping before serving. Yield: 12 servings.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rainbow Green Smoothie

We finally joined the green side of things and invested in a good blender.  Wow!  It makes a huge difference.  I am amazed at the smooth consistency.  I discovered though that there are limits to what my blender can do.  Unfortunately, it can't turn un-tasty healthy things into pure deliciousness.   Because everything the demonstrators make at Costco tastes delicious, I expected to be able to throw in whatever I wanted (it sure seems like they do that) and have it come out tasting like mint chocolate chip ice cream.  But I learned the hard way that a little bit of kale goes a long way. 

After some experimentation,  I came up with a smoothie that I really like and that is chalk full of good stuff.

Ingredients:
1 cup of water
1 handful of kale
2 handfuls of spinach
1 handful of pineapple
1 mango
5-6 large frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana
3-5 carrots (depending on size)
1 nice chunk of squash 
1/2 an avacado
1 apple
1 orange

1 handful of almonds
1 TBSP each of hemp, sesame, chia, and flax seeds

Directions:
-Add into the blender in the order listed and blend until smooth (mine has a pre-set smoothie setting)
-You can add a little ice if you want it colder and definitely add ice if your strawberries and banana aren't frozen.







Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Cordon Bleu



Oh my goodness, this is so yummy and definitely on my "comfort foods" list from now on.  The recipe was super easy to put together. We enjoyed it, and it looked a little on the fancy side to serve to our guest. Yet all I had to do was put it all in the slow cooker and wait for it. It was creamy and really satisfying. We served a really great spinach salad with it and some rolls and corn on the cobb. Enjoy!          

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
(or one breast per person. I had 8.)
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup of milk (I used 1-1/4c)
6 slices of deli ham
(OR 1 slice per breast...get some really good ham!)
6 slices of Swiss cheese (1 slice per chicken breast.)
1 (8 Oz) package of Stovetop Herb Stuffing mix 
1/4 cup melted butter

Mix the soup and milk in a bowl. Pour some of the soup onto the bottom of the slow cooker and spread it around so it coats the bottom of the cooker. Then layer the chicken breasts over the sauce.  Next layer the ham over the chicken and then layer the Swiss cheese over the ham. If you had more chicken breast, like I did, then you would do another layer of chicken breasts and ham and cheese.
 Sprinkle the stuffing over the top and then pour the remaining soup mixture over the stuffing. Try to cover the stuffing. Then pour the melted butter over the that.  I think it works best if you try to wet your stuffing. You don't want it to be crunchy. Spread the soup mixture a bit over the stuffing or even try to poke a spoon or fork down and in between the layers. Cover the slow cooker and cook on med to high for 4-6 hours.




Adapted from recipe by Six Sister's Stuff

Monday, June 10, 2013

Raspberry Cheese Dip

When I first saw this dish and asked what was in it, I was expecting...well...gross.  It just sounded nasty to me.  And then I tasted it.  Heaven!   This recipe is one of the most-requested recipes among my own collection of favorites and I have gotten several people addicted to it!  My oldest son, who is pickier than anyone else I know, loves this dip.  It gets eaten up in no time whenever I make it.


Ingredients:
4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup mayo
2 green onions, chopped
12 ounces raspberry preserves
Ritz crackers

1.  Combine cheese, mayo, and onions in mixing bowl.  Fold together until well blended and spread in a shallow dish (pie plate works well).
2.  Spread raspberry preserves across the top of the cheese mixture.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve with Ritz crackers.

Source:  fellow Maven (and sister!) Amy

Friday, June 7, 2013

Mayonnaise Chocolate Cake


I know, I know, the picture doesn't really show the deliciousness of the cake....but it does show the most creative birthday cake I have ever made (thanks to Julie Finlayson)!  This is my go to cake recipe.  It is always yummy and it is really easy.

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt (I usually do a little less)
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix above ingredients together then add:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup hot water
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together well and bake in a greased and floured 9X13 pan at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  I often times (as in the above cake) will 1 1/2 times the recipe and bake it as a sheet cake, when doing this the baking time will decrease by about 5 minutes.

Source: My husband's grandma Mary Smith

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Grilled Caprese Sandwiches



Grilled Caprese Sandwiches

    My hubby and I were lucky enough to go to Europe a few years back and while we were there, we absolutely feel in love with all things Caprese. The combination of fresh tomatoes, fresh mozarella, and fresh basil is absolute perfection. This sandwich is a great, fast way to get a caprese fix. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

8 slices of your favorite bread 
One ball of fresh mozarella, cut into 1/4 inch slices
4 Roma or Plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
Traditional Basil Pesto
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly ground black pepper


Directions:

Heat skillet to medium. Spread one slice of bread with a thin to moderate layer of pesto to taste, put tomato slices on top of pesto. Grind pepper over tomatoes. Top with layer of mozarella and another piece of bread. Drizzle olive oil on skillet, place sandwiches on skillet with another heavy skillet on top to form a press (or use a panini maker). Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, flip and repeat until golden brown and mozarella is melty and gooey.

Notes: I used homemade bread and that always takes any sandwich over the top. You could also make your own pesto, which I have never tried but intend to someday.....I also find that it helps to drain the tomato slices a bit to take out some of the extra water. 

Source: anediblesymphony.blogspot.com




Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas with Avocado Cream Sauce



Here's another winner in the enchilada department.  You cannot go wrong with this creamy sauce.  I've always been a fan of poblano peppers.  Try them in all your Mexican dishes.  They are wonderful in chicken chili!

Ingredients:

2 T. olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 poblano peppers, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
8-10 flour tortillas
4 c. shredded cooked chicken
2-3 c. Monterrey Jack cheese
optional garnish:  fresh cilantro, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese

Avocado Cream Sauce Ingredients:

2 T. butter
2 T. flour
2 c. chicken broth
3/4 c. sour cream
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. pepper
2 California avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
juice of 1 lime

Directions:

1.  First make the avocado cream sauce.

2.  Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the flour, whisking until golden and bubbly, about    2-3 minutes.

3.  Slowly whisk the broth into the flour mixture.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.

4.  Stir in the sour cream, cumin, salt, garlic powder and pepper, whisking if necessary to remove any lumps.

5.  Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a blender or food processor.  Add avocados, cilantro and lime juice and pulse until smooth and well-blended.  (Be very careful blending hot liquids - the heat will expand!  So be sure to remove the lid occasionally so that the heat can escape.)

6.  Season with additional salt or pepper if needed.

7.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion, poblano and jalapeno, and saute for 5-6 minutes until the onions are cooked and translucent.

8.  Remove from heat.

9.  To assemble the enchiladas, place a tortilla on a flat surface.

10.  Spread a tablespoon or two of the avocado sauce down the middle of the tortilla.  Then layer on some of the vegetable mixture, shredded chicken and cheese.

11.  Carefully roll the tortilla and place it seam side down in the baking dish.

12.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

13.  Drizzle the top with about half of the remaining avocado cream sauce, then cover the dish with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, or until tortillas are heated through and begin to harden.

14.  Remove from the oven, then serve individual enchiladas, drizzled with the remainder of the avocado cream sauce.  You can also garnish with additional cilantro, cheese, and/or sour cream.

Monday, June 3, 2013

HEALTHY Deep Dish Cookie Pie


This recipe is going to SHOCK you!

I've been trying to eat better so I can drop a few pounds and improve my health. BUT I LOVE A WARM HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE!!! I have to get my cookie fix, so I searched and found this healthy alternative.

How can a deep dish cookie pie be healthy? BEANS! You might be skeptical, but just read it and try it! It will take the guilt out of your guilty pleasure!

Deep Dish Cookie Pie

Ingredients:

2 cans white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed) 
1 cup quick oats
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 tbsp oil (canola, vegetable, or coconut)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar (I only used 1 cup) *see notes for sugar free
1 cup chocolate chips (maybe not truly healthy, but definitely yummy!)

Directions:

1. Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor,  except the chocolate chips. If you do not have a food processor, mash the beans as well as you can first, and then use a hand mixer or Bosch or Kitchen Aid (or something like it) to mix the batter. 

2. Mix in chips, and pour into an oiled pan. I used a deep dish pie pan, but you can use a small casserole dish, a springform pan, etc.  

3. Cook at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes or so before cutting and removing from the pan. 

4. Serve with ice cream, chocolate syrup, nuts and whipped cream....or whatever your heart desires. YUM!

Notes: 
* If you want to go sugarless, you can omit the brown sugar and use 4 packets of Stevia, and/or 2 cups of pitted dates, blended up in a food processor. You might want to half the recipe and play around with it a bit to suit your tastes and dietary needs. This definitely has the potential to be an amazing treat that is gluten free and sugar free! I don't mind having a little sugar, and I thought it was great with 1 cup of brown sugar, but my children would have preferred it to be a little sweeter. I'm making it with dates next time!

Source: Chocolate Covered Katie





Sunday, June 2, 2013

How connected are you?


Yesterday while I was laying on the ground playing with my daughter I had a big "Oh my gosh, I can't believe myself" moment. In the matter of minutes I turned on my phone, not once, not twice, but several times! The first time to take a picture of her cute self... which turned into browsing Instagram. Second was to check an Ebay listing, then the next (few) times were just fiddling. I'm not always like this, but I am feeling it happening more and more.

I am literally robbing myself from quality time with my children who are growing up way. too. fast.

Do you do this too? Please tell me I'm not the only one.

Elder Ian S. Arden said,

        "There is much that is good with our easy access to communication and information. I have found it helpful to access research articles, conference talks, and ancestral records, and to receive e-mails, Facebook reminders, tweets, and texts. As good as these things are, we cannot allow them to push to one side those things of greatest importance. How sad it would be if the phone and computer, with all their sophistication, drowned out the simplicity of sincere prayer to a loving Father in Heaven. Let us be as quick to kneel as we are to text.
        I know our greatest happiness comes as we tune in to the Lord (see Alma 37:37) and to those things which bring a lasting reward, rather than mindlessly tuning in to countless hours of status updates, Internet farming, and catapulting angry birds at concrete walls. I urge each of us to take those things which rob us of precious time and determine to be their master, rather than allowing them through their addictive nature to be the master of us.
        To have the peace the Savior speaks of (see John 14:27), we must devote our time to the things that matter most, and the things of God matter most. As we engage with God in sincere prayer, read and study each day from the scriptures, ponder on what we have read and felt, and then apply and live the lessons learned, we draw nearer to Him. God’s promise is that as we seek diligently from the best books, “[He] shall give unto [us] knowledge by his Holy Spirit” (D&C 121:26; see also D&C 109:14–15)."
Source

How do you balance technology and family life? Any tips? I'm changing my ways today!