Thursday, December 15, 2011

Oatmeal Pudding

For the last two weeks or so I have been craving warm vanilla soother.  I made this recipe from Heavenly Homemakers last year and it was so delicious and warm and comforting.  mmm.

However, the recipe calls for quite a bit of milk and eggs and I know my kids will just drink it down in two seconds and then want more.  Or something else. Or both.  Oiy.  So, I wanted to bulk it up a bit, that it might hold their tummies for at least a little while.

I made the warm vanilla soother recipe, (but only with three egg yolks because that's all we had), and I added one cup of oatmeal to it while it was cooking.  It ended up like warm vanilla soother oatmeal pudding.  Yum.  It was delicious.  :-)
Check out that yummie food!

But still, I did not want to make it very often because it really used up so much of my milk and eggs and also, even with the oatmeal added, the kids ate the whole thing and were still asking for more.  How can I tweak this recipe so that it is still yummie and creamy like pudding but still uses less eggs and milk?  Here is what I came up with:
Watch how I can eat it!

Oatmeal Pudding
3 cups water or milk
1 or 2 TBS yogurt
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
2 ripe mashed bananas
2 TBS ground flax (or you could add two eggs, or one egg and one TBS flax)
honey to taste (i think i added about 1/3 cup)
vanilla to taste (about 1 tsp)
cinnamon to taste (1/4 to 1/2 tsp)

the night before, put the water/milk, yogurt and oatmeal in a pan and stir it up.  cover it and leave it to soak overnight. in the morning, mash the bananas, and add the bananas, flax, honey, cinnamon and vanilla to the pan. cook over medium heat until it is nice and creamy.  stir frequently if you used eggs to make sure they don't scramble in your oatmeal-- gross! add more milk if you want it more creamy.  (i added 1/2 cup milk while cooking)
Yum, yum. :-)

Okay, so what would I do differently the next time I made this?  I would probably use one egg and 1 TBS flax and soak the oatmeal using at least 1 cup milk for added creaminess. And that's it.  I will definitely be making this creamy oatmeal pudding for breakfast again, and often. :-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pita Bread Recipe!

One time, long ago, I made pitas and they turned out perfectly!  I was thrilled to make them and they actually puffed up in the oven all by themselves! Then, I lost the recipe for hmm, over a year or so to the interwebs.  just couldn't find it. until, .... TODAY!!!

And I will share it with you, and myself, so I can find it again soon.  Because I love homemade pitas!!

Make sure you only roll them out to 1/4".  I used my handy rolling pin spacers that my husband got me for Christmas (or was it my birthday?) a year or two ago!  I was rolling mine too thin all those times I tried to make pitas and ended up with thick tortillas instead. 

Also, I took the suggestion of the first commenter, and added a 1/4 cup of water to the bottom of the oven for each batch of pitas I put in.  I only baked them for 4 minutes at around 500*.  They were great.  mmmm.  You better believe I will be dreaming of warm homemade pitas tonight!  :-)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Lentil Shepard's Pie

The other day I was wanting to eat Shepard's pie.  However, I didn't really want to make a meat based one, because we had had meat the last two or three days in a row.  I really wanted this comfort food, but was trying to figure out how to make it vegetarian.  I thought, what about lentils?  (I make a killer "Sloppy Sam's" using lentils!)  Lentils are very high in protein, but rather inexpensive to buy.  I happened to have some, and we had not eaten them for awhile. That being said, I googled, "Lentil Shepard's Pie." 

Here is the recipe I found and everyone really enjoyed it.  Sam, my picky one ate his whole bowl the first night (But wouldn't touch it the next day for lunch.)

I changed the recipe just a bit.  Cut up a carrot and cooked it with the lentils. (Make sure you add the carrot right at the beginning of the cooking, because I didn't and then the carrots were not quite cooked.) I used earth balance instead of butter and unsweetened coconut milk instead of milk.  I left out the thyme and added about a 1/2 TBS Worcestershire sauce.  Then I sprinkled peas on top of the lentil layer instead of corn. 

I really enjoyed this lentil Shepard's pie recipe and I will definitely make it again.  Also, I want to try the 'black bean burgers' and the 'simple french lentil soup' recipe listed on this site.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Menu Plan... Kind of!

Hey, everyone!

I have finally come up with somewhat of a menu plan for the next week or so.  I had to go to the store, and I wanted to make sure I bought lots of fruits and veggies-- but also ones that I would use up in the next week or week and a half.  I didn't want to just buy veggies all "willy-nilly" and then not know what to do with them or never end up using them before they went bad!

So, here's the list of meals that I came up with to eat in the next week.

Yay!  This whole list is vegetarian.  Allright, I lied a bit.  The broccoli farfalle has anchovies.  :-) 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pumpkin Scones

I made these pumpkin scones yesterday, and I think they are delicious!  I didn't even put the glazes on them and I cut the sugar almost in half. (just 1/4 cup!) Also, I used unsweetened coconut milk instead of half and half and 2/3 coconut oil and 1/3 butter.

Ellie calls them pumpkin pie. 

When we got back from the Nutcracker last night, we ate them for dessert-- one that would hold us over since we had eaten dinner so early. I drizzled a bit of warm honey on them and we all ate them right up. 

So, if you are in need of a pumpkin scone recipe, I would recommend checking this one out!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Applesauce Pie

A few weeks ago, I had no idea what was for lunch, and it was already lunch time!  I was in the mood for something different, and I thought of apple pie.  But, to make a whole apple pie and then bake it would not work for eating at lunch.  I tried a recipe I just thought up while we were making it, using things from the fridge, cabinets and fruit basket.  It turned out too sweet.  But we enjoyed it nonetheless.  I would definitely make this again, but it would have to be about half as sweet for me. 
First assemble three crazy helpers

First, we started with the crust.  This is where most of the over-sweetness was.  I will have to think of something other than dates to hold this crust together.  Or maybe see if less dates would work.  We used 1 cup of nuts, about 3/4 cup of dates, about a tablespoon of coconut oil and 1/2 cup of oats for the crust.  Just whiz it up in the food processor. 
Make sure to cover your ears while the food processor is on!

Next for the filling, we cut up three apples (I would do four or five next time!) and chopped them in the food processor also.  Then I added 2 TBS chia seeds, 1/2 cup of water and about 1 cup applesauce to a bowl and let it sit for a bit.  When you put chia seeds in water they kind of make a gel, which is what I was going for.  This is where the other extra sweetness came in-- we had sweetened applesauce that someone had given us leftover from Thanksgiving.  I put the apples into the pie crust and then the applesauce mix, but next time I would stir them all together before dumping it in the crust. 
The chia seed mixture

Finally, we let it chill in the refrigerator until it was time to eat.

As I said before, this was good, but it was too sweet.  I would try this again with less dates in the crust (and more nuts to replace them) and unsweetened applesauce. 

I am really interested in using chia seeds as a thickener, especially to make pudding like foods.  I hope to have more experimenting on this soon!

1/2 cup dates
1- 1 1/2 cups nuts
3/4 cups oats
1 TBS coconut oil

blend together in the food processor.  press into pie pan.

4-5 apples chopped in food processor
1+ tsp cinnamon
1 cup applesauce
2 TBS chia seeds
1/2 cup water

mix all ingredients in a bowl. dump into pie crust.  let the pie set up and/or chill before you eat it.  mmmm. 
ps.  now that I'm looking at this last picture it could really use some crumbly oat topping!