"So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy"
~Colossians 1:10-11

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Egg Nog

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the fact that Egg Nog is now in stores. Till the New Year anyway. I love egg nog. I often get it and enjoy a cup for dessert in the evening. My husband thinks I am crazy cause he is not fond of egg nog! My mom always made egg nog on Christmas Eve growing up. It was really the only time of year we had it. Till I grew up and realized I could buy it from about October - December. :-) But I took her recipe and modified it a little - okay, alot. It still has most of the same ingredients I guess........ I just used healthier options, full fat options and didn't use canned sweetened condensed milk!

Egg Nog

1 cup whole milk
1/4 c. butter

Warm in a saucepan till butter melts and milk is warm but not boiling. Stir often!

Combine, mixing very well, 2 eggs and 3 TB sugar
(I used organic unrefined cane sugar)

Slowly add the eggs/sugar to the warmed milk, stirring constantly till milk is very hot but not quite to a boil. Mine took about 4-5 minutes on Medium heat.

In a blender whip 1 cup of cream (Briefly - you don't want whipped cream!)- maybe 15-30 seconds. Add in egg and milk mixture and blend. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp nutmeg and blend.

Chill and Serve - makes 2 nice size cups

This was warm when I finished making it and of course had to try it before it cooled. It was really good warm too. In fact, if it was a cold snowy day, you might just pour into mugs and enjoy it hot. Like this view from my front door this morning! Can you see the snow falling?

Also, as it sits and cooled mine separated a little. So, if you were serving cold, you might want to just let it sit in the blender in the refrigerator and then give it another quick blend before serving. Or put in a jar and shake first. Or grab a knife from the dish drainer and stir around your cup a bit like I did!

As I was drinking it, I was also wishing I had made a little coffee. This would make a wonderful egg nog latte - mixing the coffee and egg nog together. I guess I will try that tomorrow! - Scratch that - did it already! It was yummy, of course!

Just another thought/note and question!
My original recipe didn't cook the eggs, just blended raw. Though I am not currently pregnant, I know sometimes raw eggs are not recommended to pregnant ladies and I wasn't sure if it was okay for children. So, I made my recipe to cook the egg mixture, kinda like a custard, so I didn't have to wonder. But I would be curious to know what YOUR thoughts are on raw eggs and the safety of them in pregnancy as well as for kids. I hadn't really worried about it in the store bought stuff cause they do enough pasteurizing and such I think it is okay. I don't know if it makes a difference but I usually buy the "nicer" eggs, but not always organic or true "free-range", unless they are marked down at the store and I hit a great price!
But, if you were okay with raw eggs, just take the above ingredients and blend in a blender, skipping the stovetop part, till throughly blended and enjoy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vegetable Pasta Sauce

It was snowing yesterday.
I thought it was a good day for making soup.
I wanted to make my version of Campbell's Italian Wedding Soup.
I realized I didn't have the right pasta -
- after I thawed some chicken broth and my mini-meatballs.
So, I started making something that I wasn't sure what it would end up being.
I started with chicken broth in the pan, added the vegetables I had around and needed to use.
It ended up really good. Good enough to share :-)
And since it was a totally random and clean out the refer type dish,
it ends up being pretty cheap too!

Vegetable Pasta Sauce

1/2 head purple cabbage, sliced/shredded
3 red peppers, sliced
2 potatoes, diced large with skins on
1 head garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth + water enough to mostly cover vegetables.
Mix everything in saucepan and bring to a boil and let simmer. Add water if needed. I let mine simmer for about 6 hours. I ended up with about 6 cups of cooked vegetables and broth.

Put everything in the blender and blend smooth.

Return to saucepan and add:
1 TB salt
1/2 TB pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp cumin

Add 1-2 cups cooked mini meatballs and about 2 cups fresh spinach (I tore mine slightly, but it mostly cooks down small so it isn't really necessary)

Heat everything through and allow spinach to cook down a little. Serve hot over pasta or rice or your choice of whatever :-)

Easily opt to leave out the meatballs or serve on the side to have a nice vegetarian option too!

I served it with this foccacia bread recipe I found on allrecipes.com - it ended up good and it really was a quick option for that evening when you didn't get around to making something that needed a long rise time. (Just FYI - I used 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat flour, eliminated the salt and rosemary on top and used dried basil and an Italian cheese mixture of shredded cheese on top, and cooked it my rectangle stone rather then a pan)

I really surprised myself at how tasty this was - it ended up looking like a tomato sauce, though slightly more brownish - has a little spice kick - and packed with good foods! Sorry - no pictures - my husband has the camera at the moment!

This post is part of Pennywise Platter at Nourishing Gourmet!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sauce recipes

Before I realized what this week's "Super Food" focus was going to be I did a post last weekend on making my own Cream of Mushroom soup. And a couple weeks ago I did my version of "Classico" Pasta Sauce.
So, since I didn't get my homemade version of Campbell's Italian Wedding Soup made today (Cause I didn't have the right pasta in the house and it's snowing and I'm not going out!)
- these will have to suffice for now!

And just a note - as I made the boys afternoon snack yesterday I thought of another nice "Un-Processed Foods" idea - Homemade Popcorn instead of that processed AND microwaved stuff! I actually stopped buying the microwave popcorn awhile ago and got some nice organic corn to pop. My husband had a stovetop popper (that he has had since I have known him and we never really used cause the microwave was "easier" and I was ignorant of other facts!) - the boys and I often get it out and pop a bowl of it for snack - drizzled with real butter and salt it's oh, so yummy and a nice healthy snack. Would have taken a picture for you, but I didn't have the camera home, but you know what popcorn looks like!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cream of Mushroom soup

I love being able to make my own "cream" soups and broths and "those canned things that are expensive and full of junk" - this is a recipe I have adapted a little from THIS WEBSITE. It's one of my favorite crockpot websites, I use my crockpot alot! I have mentioned my adaptions in italics.

This recipe is for a LARGE crockpot.
Don't attempt these proportions in anything smaller than a 5qt.

--2 lbs mushrooms
--2 cups water
--2 cans (4 cups) vegetable broth
--1 qt of milk (to add later)
--juice of 1 lemon
--1/2 t salt
--1/2 t pepper
--1 T dried minced onion
(I have used fresh, depends on how much time I have at the moment!)
--2 T Italian seasoning
(I use oregano cause my husband doesn't care for some spice in the Italian seasoning!)

The Directions.
Wash your mushrooms well and cut them into fourths. Put into your stoneware and add the spices and lemon juice. Pour in the vegetable broth and water. (I used organic mushroom broth this time, but I usually just use vegetable broth)
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

CAREFULLY use an immersible hand blender and blend until soupy. If you don't have an immersible hand blender, very, very carefully blend in batches in a regular blender.
(I don't have one of THESE cool gadgets, so I just use my blender and it works fine)

Stir in an entire quart of milk. I used fat free cow's milk. You can use any percentage you'd like; even cream.
(I used half heavy whipping bream and half organic whole milk, please oh please, don't use fat free!)

Let cool on the counter for quite a few hours, then pour into freezer bags to store or plastic containers. I used 2 cups per bag--which is 16 fluid ounces. A can of cream-of-soup is 10 ounces.

(I didn't let it hardly cool, cause I wanted to go to bed. I freeze this and then thaw and use as needed. Freezing doesn't seem to affect the milk product at all, but I do always use it in a recipe not by itself, so that might make a difference)

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I had a craving for pizza last night.
I was thinking I would make something wonderful for Katie's Super Foods carnival,
but I wanted pizza.
So, I made pizza.
Then I realized how many Super Foods I had used.
It was yummy and it worked to share!


1 pizza crust

Top with a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, spread all over and to the edges.
Sprinkle dried oregano on top

Add 6 thinly sliced organic Roma tomatoes all over
Add 1/2-3/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
Add 1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
Add 1/3 cup diced artichoke hearts
Add 4 cloves minced garlic

Top with 1 - 1 1/2 cups grated cheese

Bake at 450 degrees - 20-30 minutes
Cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

(this is adapted from THIS recipe at Money-saving Mom!)

3 cups oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup honey (or other sweetener)
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
(can substitute butter or other oils for the applesauce & coconut oil to equal about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp vinegar

Throughly mix all ingredients and pour into a greased 9" square baking dish. Drizzle top with molasses if you would like! Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Serve hot the way it is or top with butter, jam, maple syrup.........

(I have also made this in muffin tins and that worked nicely. It also doubles well, bake in a 9x13 pan. Stores well for leftovers or morning snacks!)


Monday, October 12, 2009

just my thoughts

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
Colossians 3:12-17 ESV

I have to admit........ quiet times are hard with 3 little ones. :-) I am sure I am not the only one who could say this. Oftentimes, I open my Bible and just read something........ a Psalm, a Proverb, a chapter from the Epistles....... then sometimes I just keep coming back to something I read last week. I have been mulling this passage above over for the last week. I guess it's hitting home and has some stuff for me to work on cause I keep coming back to it and re-reading it! It's pretty simple really, nothing challenging in the language - it means what it says......
Patience - it's a challenge with small children. So often I feel like I am repeating myself ALL. DAY. LONG.
Peace - in today's economy it's easy to get sucked into worrying about where the rent money will come from and how many tanks of gas will that work truck use this week, but God is in control and He gives peace, He will supply all our needs.
Thankfulness - when the day is getting long it helps to just focus on the good for awhile, turn on some praise music and just let the kids play. When the baby girl gets up AGAIN. in the middle of the night. AGAIN. and AGAIN and just wants to be held. I try to not resent the lack of sleep, but rather be thankful. Be thankful we are in a warm house, comfortable rocking chair and she is healthy - so many are sitting in hospital rooms holding their sick babies, just wishing they could be home and be complaining about night wakings!

So - read thru the passage - what can you work on this week?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chicken Soup

We have been fighting a cold around here this week. So, last night I decided a pot of chicken soup was in order! I looked at some recipes I had and then ended up just making my own. :-) It turned out pretty yummy I think!

Chicken Soup

40-64 oz chicken broth (see note at bottom of directions) *
1 large potato, diced
1 red onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
10 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp oregano
2 chicken breasts
(I used uncooked, cut into large chunks, but diced or already cooked and cut small would work as well!)

Put everything into the saucepan and bring to a boil.
Turn down and let simmer till chicken and vegetables are cooked.
(I then took the large chunks of chicken out and diced into small bits and returned to the pot, call me crazy but I HATE cutting raw chicken and would much rather spend the time cutting it smaller after it's cooked! You could skip this step if you just diced the chicken to begin with!)
I let it simmer a couple more hours till I was ready to serve it, but really once the chicken is cooked and the vegetables soft - you can serve anytime. I ended up adding another maybe 3 cups of broth about halfway thru the afternoon cause I thought it needed more. If you served when it was first done, you probably wouldn't need to do this!
Serve hot with homemade bread!
Serves 4-6
I loved the little kick that the cayenne pepper and lots of garlic gave. I like spicy soup!
And it was just as good for lunch today.

*(I used half homemade and half organic Pacific Chicken Broth cause that's what I had! I ran out of my homemade stash and was waiting to make more this week 'cause Katie teased us and hinted she had some good ideas on getting the stock to gel and I decided to wait and see what she was doing before I made my next batch! Which she did :-) Thanks!)

This post is part of Pennywise Platter at Nourishing Gourmet and

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"Classico" Cream Sauce

Another one of our favorite "stand-by's" is the Classico cream sauces. Kieran loves them, I love the convenience. But they can get expensive :-) And I've been trying to make my own. Here's what I have come up with so far. It's pretty good I think, I have used with both breakfast gravy and cut back on the garlic and dinner with pasta and added more veggies. I have also made this up in the morning and put into a jar and kept in fridge till dinnertime and just warmed up on the stove and then poured over pasta. If it gets too thick, just mix in a little more milk!

Cream Sauce

5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 butter
Saute in a saucepan till butter is melted and garlic is soft

1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
(these can be adjusted to taste!)

In a separate bowl or cup
Mix 4 TB cornstarch or flour with 1 c. cold milk - stir till cornstarch/flour is completely mixed in.
Add 1 cup cream
Mix into butter and garlic
Stir constantly till thickens to a sauce consistency.
(I have also doubled the milk and cream and left the butter and garlic amounts alone and it turned out good!)

~Add 1/4-1/2 cup of chopped roasted red peppers and serve over pasta
~Omit garlic or reduce amount and add a pound of breakfast sausage and serve over biscuits
~Add sauteed veggies of your choice and chopped chicken and serve over pasta
Make your own version!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

"Refried" Beans

Spicy Refried Beans
(that I don't actually re-fry!)

2 1/2 cups pinto beans, soaked 12-24 hours
Strain water and replace with fresh water- enough to fully cover beans plus an inch or two

Add spices:
1 onion, minced
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 TB cumin
4 TB chili powder
1 TB sea salt
1/2 TB black pepper
1/2 TB cayenne pepper

Mix well with beans and water - Bring to a boil, then cover and turn down to simmer.
Simmer 6-8 hours - replace water as needed
I usually take the lid off the last hour or two and let the water cook down till the remaining water is enough to just mix in and smush with the beans. And I usually cook till the beans pretty much are mushable with a potato masher or firm spoon.
Mash/Smush/Blend beans to a pasty consistency - leave chunky if you like it that way!

If you would like additional seasoning you can add salsa at this point.

Or serve with a warm tortilla and cheese.

I enjoy adding Chipotle Tabasco Sauce to mine :-)

This is also a great crockpot recipe - after soaking put the beans and spices in the crockpot and let it cook. You typically do not have to replace water using this method, but it is also hard to cook off the water too :-) BUT, it works great when you aren't going to be home and the beans are ready to cook! Depending on your crockpot and whether you use high or low settings, it should take anywhere from 4-12 hours in the crockpot. I have also left them cook overnight....... :-)

The beans also freeze well. I will often cook up a large batch and then freeze some and use some during the week.

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