Category Archives: Home Cooking

Love by Day

Apple Cake

apple_cake

Welcome to the 5th day of Fresh Tasty Valentine.  I’ve had such a fantastic time the past few weeks coming up with these recipes, and hopefully you’ll want to share the with your valentine.  Since I started with a soup I figured it was fitting to finish with a dessert – one that’s on the healthier side at that!  Envy Apples started in New Zealand with a mission to make a better non-GMO apple and I’m rather certain they have succeeded!  Now they have expanded to Washington state, allowing them to offer in season apples nearly year round.  While I debated using mine in a savory dish, in the end my sweet tooth won out.  Plus after the success with the hemp seeds in recreating a nutty taste I wanted to see if I could do that again.

Cinnamon Apple Cake

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup hemp seeds

2 apples, shredded and juices reserved

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a bundt pan (unless silicone)
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars for ten minutes, then beat in the eggs one at a time before adding the vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda. Slowly mix into the butter mixture until just mixed.
  4. Fold in the apple and reserved juice.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes then turn oven off. Allow to sit in oven for 15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  6. Cut and Enjoy!

Notes

To get as much juice as possible, shred the apples over a bowl or dish with a thick lip.

http://dancingveggies.com/2016/02/love-by-day.html

Needless to say this cake was a total success!  The hemp seeds added the perfect nutty taste and texture, would easily have guessed the cake had walnuts in it.   Just one more reason why you should enter the giveaway if you haven’t already.  Plus as a bonus the envy apples come with an apple corer that is so easy to use that I managed it one handed while wearing a certain little fussy one.

 

A Certain Smell

Rosemary Popovers

Rosemary Popover

Welcome to day three of Fresh Tasty Valentines!  I’ve been having so much fun with this blog party thanks to all the fantastic sponsors and bloggers that have joined in.  One of my favorite things about events like this is being exposed to new-to-me vendors – such as Casabella.  When I received their Clip n Strip shears I think all my herbs gave  sigh of relief as I would no longer be torturing them with dull shears or nails in my attempt to get some herbs.  These shears are rather fantastic, especially since they have this awesome little notch in the handle for stripping the leaves off the stem.  Needless to say these scissors made quick work of the rosemary needed for these aromatic treats.  for best results, make sure the eggs are at room temperature and resist the urge to peek as they are baking – just trust in your oven as best you can!

Rosemary Popovers

Makes 6 popovers

Ingredients

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup milk, room temperature

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 sprigs fresh rosemary (about 1/ tbsp)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Beat the eggs and milk together and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the salt, rosemary, and flour then quickly fold in the egg and milk mixture stirring until just mixed.
  4. Pour into jumbo muffin tins (or custard dishes) until 3/4 full. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Turn oven off and allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Popovers are cooked when they pull away from the sides

http://dancingveggies.com/2016/02/a-certain-smell.html

Are they a dessert or are they a side dish?!?  I served them both ways and suspect they would also be fantastic as a breakfast item with some runny eggs.  Since I don’t have a proper popover pan, I use a jumbo muffin tin which works perfectly.  Now, have you entered the giveaway for a chance to win your own shears? herbs? or zester?

Note: I was gifted the shears and a garlic roaster as part of participating in Fresh Tasty Valentine however all opinions are my own.   

2015 in Review

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is already over – in so many ways this year has just flown by!  2015 was a BIG year for my family as we welcomed our little girl at the end of November.  It was also a year where I learned to let go and accepted that I can’t control everything, a lesson that I’m sure will be repeated over the next 18+ years or so.  I wasn’t able to post nearly as much as I had hoped (curse you HG) but I was able to catch up with some of my older cookbooks and make some great plans for the future.  There are about 21 freezer meals that will be reviewed between now and March (!), a return to the Secret Recipe Club, and a rather awesome Valentine’s Day series.  However, this post isn’t about what’s coming but rather a look back on the top posts of the year.  So without further delay the top three posts of 2015:

seitan_mac_cheese

Cheese “burger” Mac & Cheese

cheese_cake

Mini Ginger Cheesecakes

cherry_chipotle_brussel_sprouts

Cherry Chipotle Brussel Sprouts

Not at all surprised that two of these posts are from February’s Triple S Bites!  That was so much fun to participate in, and so many of the posts from that week really pushed me.  I still can’t believe I made mini cheesecakes!  This year my focus is going to be on quick and easy meals as I don’t see myself having that much spare time.  I also hope to get back on track with eating seasonal vegetables as well as local and sustainable goodies.  2016 has a lot to live up to after such a fantastic 2015 – I can’t wait to see what happens!!!!

Magic Works

Carrot Potato Mash 

carrot_potato

During my pregnancy I did my best to eat all the colors of the rainbow, and got a bit creative towards the end.  Possibly because I was due on Thanksgiving, I kept getting cravings for traditional Thanksgiving foods – especially mashed potatoes and stuffing!  While I didn’t have the patience to make stuffing from scratch, I was totally up for making some mashed potatoes.   However I couldn’t just make normal mashed potatoes so I grabbed some carrots and combined the two to make a very colorful dish.  As a bonus, I used redskin potatoes for an extra burst of color.

Carrot Potato Mash

Serves 4-5, as a side

Ingredients

1 lb red skin potatoes, quartered

1/2 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 2inch chunks

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1/4 cup 2% milk

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes before adding the carrots, then turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are soft.
  2. Drain the potatoes and carrots then return to the pot and mash in the garlic, butter, and milk, adding more as desired.
  3. Season to taste then serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/12/magic-works.html

I served this up with some BBQ tofu but it would also make a bright addition to any holiday spread.  I have a feeling these ingredients have the potential to make a fantastic latke and hope to test that theory at some point!

It feels so good to be back in the kitchen and on the blog again.  I’m still in shock that after three years of trying and two years of treatment we finally have our little girl!  She has already changed our lives in some many amazing ways and is only 16 days old – can’t even begin to imagine all the joy heading our way.

Little Bitty

Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna

DSC_0002

After a very mild few weeks, fall is 100% here and I’m becoming okay with that.  Something about having those extra few weeks of nice temperatures is somehow making it easier – feel like we “cheated” in a way.  The nice weather also made for some strange food overlaps as cherry tomatoes kept trickling in to the markets which are normally long gone by this point.  Again it feels like we’re cheating!  With that, I wound up with a bunch of random vegetables at the end of the week so I decided to just take everything out of the fridge and see what I could do with it.  In the end it came down to a pizza or lasagna and a rogue sweet potato made the decision for me: lasagna!

Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 sweet potato

1/2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 large red onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped

1/2 lb lasagna noodles (pre-cook if needed) - about 9 strips

1 1/3 cup alfredo sauce (divided)

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Microwave (or bake) sweet potato until soft - then remove filling and mash with a 1/2 tbsp of butter and a pinch of salt/pepper
  2. Preheat oven to 375
  3. In a small pan heat up the olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes before adding the mushrooms and cooking an addition 7 minutes.
  4. Spoon 1/3 cup of the alfredo sauce on the bottom and sides of a 9x9 baking dish. Place the first layer of lasagna noodles then top with 1/2 of the ricotta cheese and sweet potato mixture - using a spoon to smooth out. Top with half of the mushroom and onion mixture then sprinkle with the diced tomatoes and 1/3 cup alfredo sauce. Repeat the layers, switching the direction of the lasagna noodles.
  5. Top with the grated Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses then cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for a final 15 minutes.
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/12/little-bitty.html

 For a different twist switch out the sweet potato for any type of squash – or use a variety of wild mushrooms.  Spinach, swiss chard, or kale would also go fantastically in this dish either fresh or pre-cooked with the mushrooms and onions.  Since my main mission was to clean out the fridge I just used what I had on hand, and it worked fantastically!  If you don’t have alfredo sauce on hand a simple bechamel sauce can also work, tho you might want to add more garlic/salt/pepper in order to keep the dish from being too bland.

In other news, our little one made her appearance last Friday (11/27) and we are 100% smitten.  She arrived at 7:02 am weighing 8lbs 13oz and has the cutest chunkiest little cheeks!.  After years of fertility treatments and wishing/hoping/praying it is such a relief to have her home!