Archive for the ‘We like food’ Category

Easy, healthy orange cranberry sauce that kids (and grown-ups) will eat

December 26th, 2011

Even with a sweet tooth that rival’s mine, Carter likes tart cranberry sauce, or at least the lower-sugar orange cranberry sauce that’s become a tradition for holiday meals at our house. It’s hard to believe I blogged about the original orange cranberry sauce recipe two years ago—hard to believe I’ve been blogging that long! I’ve made a few tweaks—including all the zest from an orange, which is my favorite part, and using all orange juice and no water. All this orangey-ness freshens the taste, I think. Let me know what you think.

Orange Cranberry Sauce

12.5-ounce bag of cranberries
1 cup orange juice, preferably fresh-squeezed
3/4 cup sugar
zest of one large orange, peeled in strips
5 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries pop and mixture thickens to desired consistency, approximately 30–60 minutes (I like to simmer it a long time, but you don’t need to). Remove the cinnamon stick and cloves (if you can find them!). Cool in a bowl (the sauce will set).

Super yummy, gluten-free, low-carb chocolate chip cookies recipe

December 23rd, 2011

Jeff has been the parent baking with Carter lately. He discovered this gluten-free, low-carb, higher-protein recipe for chocolate chip cookies from Healthy Fellow. I’ve happily (and quickly) consumed the results. Last night, Jeff and I baked the cookies together. By this afternoon, they were all gone—not even one left for a photo.

A vanilla note: The original recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of vanilla, to mask the almond taste and increase the antioxidants. With this batch I used 2 teaspoons—I like the almond taste—so if you’re running short on vanilla, rest assured, it’s a forgiving recipe.

A sweet note: It’s likely that you don’t have the natural sweeteners erythritol and stevia in your pantry. If your grocery store doesn’t carry them, try a health food store. It’s worthwhile to seek them out and experiment with them as a sugar substitute in other contexts; for example, Jeff replaced sugar with stevia for his coffee quite a while ago.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

3 cups almond flour, sifted

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup butter, preferably grass-fed, melted

½ cup erythritol

1 teaspoon powdered stevia

2 eggs, preferably organic omega-3 room temperature (place in bowl of warm water to bring to room temperature more quickly)

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

½ cup dark-chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or silicone baking liners). In a mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, erthritaol, and stevia; add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until combined (do not overmix). Fold in the chocolate chips evenly. Drop 12­–14 rounded tablespoons of dough (I love my cookie scoop) on each prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven and cool on the sheet for 10–15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Adapted from Healthy Fellow

is that a banana an octopus, or do you like me?

March 15th, 2010
Tear a banana peel into eight strips for an instant octopus that kids will love.

Tear a banana peel into eight strips for an instant banana octopus that kids will love—and eat!

Ok, this banana looks more phallic than oceanic, but does transforming a banana into an octopus compensate for allowing my son to eat Fruit Loops? He had a glass of milk, too, and we are on vacation. (Since becoming a mom, I’ve become a big fan of hotels, like the Hampton Inn and the Residence Inn, that include buffet breakfast with the room.)

Of course, just last week, I got a direct mail piece from Consumer Reports telling me all the wonderfully helpful things I’d learn—if I subscribed. Like the fact that Cheerios is one of the best cereals for you—and Fruit Loops is one of the worst.

I’ll keep that in mind for future reference.

sweets post-holiday questions

January 6th, 2010

1) Why did Santa stuff my stocking up with every variation of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (I highly recommend the new Select Clusters) and bring me a Wii Fit, which that says I should lose 5 pounds? Not that I don’t want and appreciate all of the above.

2) Can I legitimately call myself a baker if I didn’t bake a single Christmas cookie? I kept (keep) meaning to. I even bought cookie cutters over Thanksgiving weekend.  Considering question #1, though, maybe it’s better that I didn’t…

Carter: “Mommy, We forgot to put out milk and cookies for Santa!” We won’t be skipping baking cookies next year.

buttered-up beer bread and boys in the kitchen

November 16th, 2009

To make Trader Joe’s beer bread, add a bottle of beer to the mix and pour melted butter over the top. Lucky for us, Jeff read it as 1/4 lb (full stick) of butter, instead of  1/4 cup of butter (half of a stick). While it’s exceedingly unusual for Jeff to misread anything, the bread tasted twice as nice, with a delicious crisp crust. We had the bread fresh the other day and the leftover toasted (spread with yet more butter) today.

Yesterday, Carter helped me make breakfast. I was so proud when he got out the vanilla and said we should add it to the pancakes. Of course, he also wanted to smell it! Osmosis at work: vanilla isn’t in our current favorite pancake recipe, but he’s heard me talk about/adding it to other pancake recipes. (I put in 1 teaspoon.)

When we didn’t have enough blueberries to make all blueberry pancakes, Carter said we should make strawberry pancakes. (Fold diced strawberries into the batter before ladling onto griddle. Coating the strawberries with batter helps prevent them from getting overly browned. Don’t worry, though, if the fruit gets pretty dark brown; it doesn’t taste burned. Note: It works better to sprinkle the blueberries on top, rather than mixing them with the batter.)

Just like Jeff (albeit unintentionally) made a good call on the butter, Carter made the right call on the vanilla and the strawberries. And I got to enjoy the results. I wonder what the boys will cook up next….

Wasabi mayo

August 3rd, 2009

I have a feeling some of my tangental posts will be odes to Trader Joe’s, my de facto grocery store. Tonight’s topic: Trader Joe’s Wasabi Mayonnaise. My friend Amy of Cooking with Amy turned me on to it years ago, and she’s a mayo snob who makes her own!

Me: Love it.

Jeff: Meh.

Carter: Ketchup, anyone?

Try it for yourself and let me know what you think.

spinach and/or pepperoni pizza?

July 29th, 2009

rolling pizza doughpizzaUsing Trader Joe’s pizza dough to make pizza, instead of cinnamon rolls. Can you guess which side is the boys’ side and which one is Mommy’s?

Shhh! not-from-scratch brownies

July 24th, 2009

Costco is a great source for essential emergency stashes, say, for example, Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate brownie mix. Perfect for fulfilling a craving quickly. Like the one I had tonight.

Have you seen the muffin mom?

July 23rd, 2009

last two muffinsCarter has been watching me take pictures of his baking and the results, so he decided to get out his camera and record the evidence for himself: the last two Finnley’s Super Muffins. 

This morning, Carter said “No thank you” to a muffin offer. Tonight, after he heard that our neighbor Paul, who’s also a 4-year-old boy, ate three of them, he decided to try one after all. And then another one. And then take Daddy the last one—so he wouldn’t “miss out.”

Bottom line: Made 18 muffins last night. Distributed to family, neighbors, colleagues. All gone tonight.

Cooling bliss

July 19th, 2009

Having milk delivered to our house every week is a good thing. Having a milkman who delivers Eskimo Pies even better.