This blog is a compilation of all me and my husband's favorite recipes. Most are simple and easy to make. Please leave feedback if clarification is needed, if you like adding something else to the recipe, how you do it differently, etc. I would LOVE feedback! And mostly, I just hope you can enjoy eating some yummy food!!

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie

Check out my Smoothie Basics

1 frozen banana

1/2 fresh banana
1/2 cup oats
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 cup vanilla soy milk

Notes / Directions
Blend it all together.  If it's too thick, add more milk.

-Can use any kind of milk, I just like the added flavor of the vanilla soy.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie

Check out my Smoothie Basics

1 frozen banana

1/2 fresh banana
1/2 cup oats
1 tablespoon raisins
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 dash allspice
1 cup vanilla soy milk

Notes / Directions
Blend it all together.  If it's too thick, add more milk.

-Can use any kind of milk, I just like the added flavor of the vanilla soy.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Check out my Smoothie Basics

1 regular Yoplait light very vanilla yogurt
1/2 fresh banana

2-3 strawberries
1 cup vanilla soy milk

Optional (Recommended)
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 tablespoon flax 

Notes / Directions
1. Spoon yogurt into and ice tray and freeze for about an hour.

2. Put everything in a blender and blend till smooth.

-Can use any kind of milk, I just like the added flavor of the vanilla soy.

Smoothie Basics

I have been on a smoothie rampage as of late and have learned a thing or two that I'd like to share!

Smoothie milk base:  I always use vanilla soy milk as the base.  I honestly don't really care for vanilla soy alone, it's got a weird texture and taste, but it seriously makes the BEST smoothies.  Hands down.  It adds such a rich and delicious taste.  People always comment on how good my smoothies are -- it's the vanilla soy.  It's great stuff and it keeps for a long time in the fridge, like a month or two, so buy vanilla soy.  I usually start out with about a cup of vanilla soy with each smoothie.  If you like thicker smoothies, put less.

Frozen yogurt cubes:  I just love the Very Vanilla Lowfat Yoplait Yogurt.  Excellent stuff for smoothies.  I make frozen cubes of yogurt to add to my smoothies.  I fill an ice cube tray up with 2 things of yogurt and freeze them.  So one thing of yogurt will make about 8 cubes.  Perfect for smoothies.  Seriously.

Bananas.... they go in EVERYTHING!  For real!  We have been going through bananas like crazy!  So I buy tons.  I usually peel and cut up a whole bunch and then stick them in the freezer for later.  If I found that I bought too many bananas and they start to turn pretty brown, I make banana bread :)

Strawberries:  I'm cheap.  Really.  So I don't buy frozen strawberries.  I go to Costco and buy a big huge thing of fresh strawberries and then I take them home, pit them, and then stick them in my freezer so they don't go bad.

Oatmeal:  Oatmeal is a great and delicious way to add more substance and nutrients to a smoothie.  It's was weird the first time I had oatmeal in a smoothie but I love it now and I usually end up putting 1/4-1/2 cup in a smoothie.

Flax:  This adds wonderful texture and nutrients to a smoothie.  Try it.

Spinach:  It's always freaky to see a green smoothie.  Or one that just looks like it's been through someone's digestive system.  But you honestly can't taste it!  Spinach is SOO good for you and you can't taste it so just throw some in!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Chicken Salad

This is by far the best salad in the world.  It comes from a restaurant called Zupas in Utah.

spring mix salad
blush wine vinaigrette
strawberries, sliced
red grapes
oven roasted chicken strips
cashews, diced

Notes / Directions
Toss salad greens with salad dressing. Top with everything else in desired quantities.

Other salad dressing:
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup canola oil
4 strawberries
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar

Blend everything but the oil.  Slowly add oil until well mixed.

Amish White Bread

My friend Scott is a bread critique and he said that this is probably the best white bread that he has ever had.  It really is quite delicious!

2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups bread flour

Notes / Directions
1. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.

2. Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

3. Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.

French Baguettes

So I made these the other day for the first time and HOLY COW!!  They were SO good!  I ate a whole loaf by myself and then I made another batch because everyone else wanted some more too.  I also couldn't believe how easy it was!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

1 cup water
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons SAF instant yeast
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

Notes / Directions
Combine water, flour, sugar, and yeast and kneed for 5-7 min (in mixer).  (If using different yeast, proof yeast first.) Remove dough hook, cover work bowl and let sit 15 minutes. THEN, sprinkle salt evenly over the dough and knead again until the salt is well incorporated. Set aside in warm place (85°F) until doubled in size.

Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 16x12 inch rectangle. Cut dough in half, creating two 8x12 inch rectangles. Roll up each half of dough tightly, beginning at 12 inch side, pounding out any air bubbles as you go. Roll gently back and forth to taper end. Place 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make deep diagonal slashes across loaves every 2 inches, or make one lengthwise slash on each loaf. Cover, and let rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water; brush over tops of loaves.

***For those who prefer a more crunchy crust, use only egg white for brushing the loaf - and throw 1/4 cup of water onto the bottom of the oven (avoid heating element if you have an electric oven) - immediately place the loaf in the oven and bake as directed... the water will create steam and gives the bread a crispier crust. When I prefer a soft crust, I whisk a whole egg (not just the yolk). For bread sticks omit brushing the dough with egg.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Sweet & Salty Granola

This is like the perfect combination of sweet and salty.  I now make a batch a week for breakfast and it is wonderful.  I do leave out the berries though.

4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cup almonds, sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

Notes / Directions
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a bowl mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. In a saucepan warm the oil and honey. Whisk in vanilla.

Carefully pour the liquid over the oat mixture. Stir gently with a wooden spoon; finish mixing by hand. Spread granola in a 15x10 inch baking pan.

Bake 40 minutes, stirring carefully every 10 minutes. Transfer granola-filled pan to a rack to cool completely. Stir in raisins or cranberries. Seal granola in an airtight container or self-sealing plastic bag. Store at room temperature for 1 week or in the freezer for 3 months.

If you find that you'd like it crispier, try cooking it for longer. 

Hot Fudge

So my grandma would never admit it, but she's a chocoholic and it's a given that you get chocolate recipes from chocoholics. After all, they are most likely the chocolate experts! This recipe comes from my grandma so you know it's good. And I can tell you it's good because I literally use 1/2 cup on any small amount of ice cream. I just can't ever have enough hot fudge!

1 cup water, boiling
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter

Notes / Directions
Add cocoa to boiling water. In a separate bowl mix flour, sugar, and salt. Add to water and coca stirring briskly. Cook and stir over medium heat till thick. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter.


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