Category Archives: recipes

Homemade Natural Pudding

I sent my husband a text message yesterday with a photo of Reed chowing on some home made pudding we made. Reed devoured the ENTIRE BOWL and even began tilting it up to drink the left over he couldn’t get with a spoon. My husbands response to my “Reed loves pudding!” was “Who doesn’t” :) – I for one HATE pudding. So gross. I hate any sort of thick textured food. Yogurts even plain milk make me gag. Totally a texture issue for me. Anything remotely thick like pudding is not for me. Yes I am weird :) – regardless of my dislikes and weirdness… I am willing to experiment and make my kids foods. However, if this pudding taste gross, don’t blame me. Blame my kids HAHAHHAA… cause I didn’t even taste it (gag). :)

I was at the store buying up some snack foods for my kids pre-school this week… and was wondering by Jello’s Pudding. MY KIDS LOVE pudding… so I wanted to get them some… but I of course begin to think of what all is in my children’s food. I took a look and had to put it down. Read FOOD BABES post on JELLO products HERE. If you want :) If you don’t want to take the time to read her post (don’t blame you, her post are very long). Here is a list of Jello Pudding Ingredients, just for those curious:

INGREDIENTS: Sugar, Modified Food Starch, Cocoa (Processed with Alkali), Disodium Phosphate (for Thickening), Contains Less than 2% of Natural Flavor and Artificial Flavor, Salt, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate (for Thickening), Mono And Diglycerides (Prevent Foaming), Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 1, Artificial Color, BHA …

Why on earth does Jello BROWN chocolate pudding have DYES IN IT?! I just don’t get why they keep putting that junk in our food….

Now this is not to say we will never eat Jello’s pudding. You have to come to a place where you can give a little bit… and I have found in my journey to eat healthier and give my kids healthy options… that being a total ANTI anything store bought, will end up one, rubbing people wrongly at parties, social events and among just normal friendships. It creates in me a bondage to constant worry. If I let myself over think “food” to often, I obsess and can’t relax. I think there can be a healthy balance in buying store bought foods on occasion, knowing what may be in it, etc… but also trying when you can, to make a healthier alternative for your kids.

SO! we played with a pudding recipe and while I do not believe this recipe is refined or perfect… Its a first step to finding that perfect one :) – I got this recipe off of “Taste of Home” – feel free to check out their version of the recipe. I tweaked mine a bit to fit our family ingredient list a little bit better :)

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
1 cup sucanat (Sugar Cane Natural) – or use regular sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup arrow root powder

(Original recipe called for Cornstarch. I think I may try it with a non-gmo corn starch, if I can find one. Most corn starches are full of GMOS… so I use arrow root powder instead… however, our jello came out a bit to thick and sticky… and I am pretty sure the arrow root is to blame. SO! If you have corn starch maybe try that first? … ill play with the recipe as time goes and update this with any changes. Its a learning process haha, im just posting along the way – yall can learn with me.)

1/2 teaspoon real salt
4 cups milk
2 tablespoons melted un-salted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
M&M’s, optional

ED9A5718Directions:

In large pot put in your baking cocoa, arrow root/or corn starch, salt and sucanat together. I had my temp set to medium at this time, it didnt begin to burn- since we did it rather quick. Once mixed together, add in your milk SLOWLY. As the temp. rises the liquid mixture will begin to thicken. Continue to add all the milk in until you are done with the milk. Once mixture gets to boiling, you will notice the thickening… take it off the heat at this point, then add in the melted unsalted butter… as well as vanilla.

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(Yes some of my kids are in their boxers. Sorry, thats how our mornings seem to roll)

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Pour into small glass jars or a big glass bowl. Refrigerate and serve as desired.

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& in Reed’s words “Cheers” ;-) – its one of the few words he says, he loves it.

Copycat iHop Pancakes

I have tried A LOT of pancake recipes… and while this is not my PERSONAL favorite since it is not the most healthy…. I much prefer a whole grain pancake with some umph in fiber hah… but my kids lately have not been eating my healthier pancakes well… and since we are in the midst of starting our schooling back up. Having breakfast items they can easily re-heat and love, is a must. Last thing I need is to fight kids to eat stuff they don’t really like before a busy day of schooling. Its just not worth it. Those who like to battle that, feel free ;-) – I pass on that battle in the mornings.

So! I found a copycat iHop Pancake recipe OVER HERE… and tweaked it to fit our family choices a little bit more. Trust me though, its still amazing. MY KIDS LOVED THEM.

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Ingredients:

1 ¼ c. unbleached white flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. Baking soda
pinch of real salt
1 egg, beaten
1 ¼ c. buttermilk
2 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter
¼ c. honey granules (an unrefined sugar I get from Bread Beckers. Another option would be sucanat, honey or if you don’t mind, you can use regular white sugar… we don’t use white sugar in our home though, so honey granules it is. Raw sugar would work too btw.)

Directions:

First start off making your buttermilk if you do not have any on hand. We never have buttermilk on hand… so I always make it. TO make it Pour the 1 1/4 cup regular milk (could be almond or cows milk) into a glass and add in a TABLESPOON of either white vinegar or lemon juice. I use lemon juice. Give it 5 minutes or so to sour… and there you go. Buttermilk :)

While the butter milk sits… In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients. So flour, powder, soda, salt and honey granules aka sugar.

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Once buttermilk is ready, melt the butter. Then crack the egg into the buttermilk (I do this to save on washing bowls)… Whisk the egg in with the buttermilk, then pour in the melted butter. Once combined pour all the liquid ingredients into the dry…

Whisk it til lumps are gone.

Then pour 3-4 inch size pancakes onto a heated griddle or skillet. I use a griddle mainly because of time constraints… I can whip together 16 pancakes in far less time on a griddle than I could a skillet pan. If you want a more fried taste to your pancakes though, drizzle EVOO onto your griddle before pouring the batter on. It taste great and gives them a crunchier edge.

My griddle I heat to 275F for those curious. Seems like the perfect temp for pancakes.

Enjoy!

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*Reed’s nose is swollen in this photo. Can yall tell? :( He got smacked in the face the day prior. >.<**

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Chocolate filled Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

I am not a huge dessert person… not keen on ice cream…. milk shakes… pies… cheese cake… yea. Im pretty picky with my sweets… but one thing I do love, is a good chocolate chip cookie. So I am often on the look out for great Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes.

I have my GO TO one here. Made with Organic Hard White Wheat. I thought though yesterday, to try something new. So I went to Pinterest and found one that looked appealing… and sadly I did not save the pin!! So I cant credit the original :( – if I find it again ill update this post and link to her version at the end of this post.

So, lets get started.

ED9A5167Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (you can substitute whole wheat if you want… or reg. all purpose flour… I almost never use all-purpose white flour, but decided to on this one. Not sure why… but either way would work. Just look up proper conversions from white/wheat flour before doing so)

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp real salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted, at room temp (not melted!!)

1/2 cup honey granules (or light brown sugar)

6 TBS sucanat (or white sugar)

1 large egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups (yes 2) semisweet chocolate chips (its a lot of chocolate!!)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Plan to bake these on a seasoned baking stone or put parchment paper down on 2 normal baking sheets.

In a bowl, SHIFT (this is important) the flour, baking soda and real salt together.

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In a larger bowl use an electric mixer at medium speed to beat the room temp butter and room temp egg. I read through many comments on the original post on this… and people said if the eggs and butter were not at room temp it would result in flat cookies. So be sure to follow this rule.

Mix the butter with the sucanat, honey granules until smoothe… about 2 minutes.

Then add in the egg and vanilla at low speed until blended.

Slowly add in flour mixture until well mixed…

Once that is done, you then use a wood spoon and stir in the chocolate chips.

For BEST RESULTS, put the mixture in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to allow it to cool a bit. This makes for a better cookie. Having all the ingredients at the same temp. just seems to make things work better. This is totally optional though.

Using a small scoop or tablespoon, drop dough onto the baking stones about 2 inches apart.

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Bake them for 10-13 minutes until edges are lightly brown and tops feel firm when lightly touched.

Let the cookies cool on the baking stone for a few minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

ENJOY!!

This made about 25 SMALL cookies. FOR a family our size, I will DOUBLE this recipe… one batch of it just doesn’t last :) -so for me, I make more than enough for a few days… otherwise its not worth my time.

MY KIDS LOVED THESE as well as my husband. We without a doubt will have these again.

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*The Glass Cookie Display Piece I got at a yard sale this week for $3.00!! I love it. My bestie Shannon use to have one very similar. Was always nice to go to her house and see a display of cookies in hers. So I had to get it when I saw it. If she visits I may give it to her ;-) – since hers was broken this year.*

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Organic Whole Grain Bagel’s

Posted a fun new recipe over on She {hearts} It yesterday. Be sure to check it out.

Its for Organic Whole Grain Bagels!

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Greek Orzo Pasta

This is such an easy recipe and great for parties. My friend Lindsey gave me this recipe last year and I still love it lots. Especially for spring/summer.

IMG_0956Ingredients:

1/4-1/2 cup Trader Joes Greek Style Feta Dressing
(It is this one, but at the store it only cost $1.99 – don’t order on amazon, to expensive!)
Feta Cheese (or Mozzarella) – Cut up/shredded
2-3 SMALL Diced Cucumber
2 Diced Tomatoes (I used Grape Tomatoes, so about 15 of them)
1/4-1/2 Diced Red Onion (leave out if kids don’t like spicy things)
1-3 *small* Diced Sweet Peppers (I used mostly orange)
1 Stalk Diced Celery (optional)
1 – 1/2 Cup Orzo Pasta (I used Trader Joes Brand)

Directions:

You cook up the Orzo Pasta. I think I cooked up about a cup 1/2 worth? it makes a lot.

Once cooked you mix in all your veggies into your Pasta (once drained). Then pour in as much dressing as you like. It honestly is up to how strong a flavor you want. So start with maybe 1/4 a cup and work your way up to more if you want more.

The Feta Cheese you’d just dice up or shred and once Pasta is cooled add that in. I btw hate Feta, but like it in this recipe. If I dont have it handy though I use mozzarella instead.

Serve it chilled. I have noticed after a day in the fridge the orzo soaks up the dressing a lot. So sometimes if served as a left over, you may want to freshen it up with some extra dressing the day served.

Enjoy! Its so good! Even my husband eats this and he isn’t into so many veggies ;-)