Monday, July 16, 2012

mini magic shell ice cream cones

I have taken a break from blogging to spend the summer with my family.  It has been great enjoying the sun and surf in Newport Beach.  I have still been in the kitchen but, it is nice to cook and bake without the worry of photographing and writing.  I have been pondering if blogging is something I really have the time and desire to continue.  As much as I want to throw in the towel I have used my blog so much this summer looking up past dishes and baked goods.  The reason I started this blog was to capture recipes our family enjoyed and those I wanted to make again. Along the journey I lost myself down some trail of sugar, butter and chocolate.  I stopped making what we loved and started pumping my family with an excessive amount of treats.  I have regained balance and inspiration in the kitchen.  There is no better time then Secret Recipe Club time to dive back in.  This month I was assigned Growing Up Gabel. The author Camille (I love that name!) is a mother extraordinaire.  She manages time to blog, craft, home school, and raise a family.  I had so much fun reading each section of her blog.  This summer I have been focusing on the family so, when I saw Camille's recipe for homemade magic shell I knew this was a kitchen adventure I could include the kids in.  I can not believe how easy and fun this was.  The kids had so much fun dipping, covering the cones in sprinkles and eating them.  Enjoy!

mini magic shell ice cream cones
adapted: growing up gabel


1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 pint of homemade vanilla ice cream
mini cones

Prepare ice cream.  Fill mini cones to top edge of cone with ice cream.  Pack ice cream in cone and return to freezer for 30 minutes.  Place one scoop of ice cream on top of each cone and return to freezer for 30 minutes. 

While mini cones are getting firm in the freezer prepare the magic shell.
Combine chips and oil in a small pot.  Melt over low heat.  Allow to cool to room temperature before using on ice cream (or it will melt the ice cream).

Remove mini cones from freezer and dip into the magic shell.  Quickly cover in sprinkles and return to the freezer until ready to enjoy cones.

Store leftovers in a jar. You may need to re-heat it if your kitchen is below 76 degrees.

Monday, June 11, 2012

blueberry oat bran mini muffins

It appears that the only thing that motivates me to post these days is the  Secret Recipe Club. It would seem like I don't bake anymore but, if you saw me in person you would know I do.  I can't seem to find the motivation to photograph and write.  This month I was assigned samayalarai-cooking is divine.  The author Jayasree does not have a bio but, from what I can tell she is a mother of three that cooks some seriously delicious looking Indian food.  In addition to Indian food she features many eggless recipes.  I absolutely love Indian food and would have attempted one of the easier dishes but, I did not have access to many of the ingredients.  I opted for her eggless blueberry muffins.  I only modified the recipe where I could not match the ingredients.  Jayasree listed wholemeal flour which when I googled it appears to be the US equivalent of whole wheat flour.  Instead of wheat bran I used oat bran.  I was concerned that these would be dry but, when I tasted the batter I knew I was in for a treat.  The batter was sturdy but,  sweet.  As soon as these came out of the oven my two year old wanted to taste one.  After they cooled she ate 5 mini muffins without batting an eye.  She doesn't even like blueberries.  If that is not an endorsement I don't know what is.  These muffins are not only healthy but, they are extremely tasty.  Enjoy!

blueberry oat bran mini muffins
adapted: samayalarai-cookingisdivine


1 tablespoon flax meal plus 3 tablespoons water
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cup oat bran

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 bananas
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries

Soak flax meal in the 3 tablespoons of very warm water.

Preheat the oven to 350.
Line mini muffin pan with paper liners

Mix the flour, oat bran, baking soda,baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar in a large bowl.  Set aside.

In a new bowl mash the bananas with the flax seed powder.   Add the milk, oil and honey. Blend with mixer until well combined.  Add in the vanilla. 

Make a well in the middle on the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.   Mix until everything is completely incorporated.  Fold in the blueberries.

Fill your Muffin tins with the batter and bake it for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack.


Monday, May 14, 2012

chai banana carrot breakfast cookies

It is Secret Recipe Club time again.  This month I was assigned gluten free a-z.  The author Judee is a gluten free, vegetarian who enjoys eating clean and living a healthy lifestyle.  Did someone read my mind?  This is exactly what I need to be eating right now.  I have so many friends and kids of friends who have adapted a gluten free diet.  Those who have adapted to this lifestyle rave about the benefits.  My five year old even comes home from school saying our snack today was gluten free.  The gluten free life style appears to stay.  I love learning and exploring new ways to eat that can result in health benefits.  Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day so, when I saw Judee's recipe for gluten free, vegan breakfast cookies I knew this was what I had to try.  I actually tried to different flavors.  My CSA box arrived with strawberries and carrots so, I mixed up up a strawberry banana version and a chai banana carrot.  The strawberry banana version were sugar free and they are good but, I added some more spice and gluten free yogurt chips to the second batch. The little sweet chips and spice were just perfect for these.  The great thing about Judee's recipe is that it is super adaptable to whatever flavor combination strikes your fancy.  I substituted some quinoa flakes for some of the oats.  I added in chia seeds for crunch.  I think some dried fruit would also be delicious.  Get creative and enjoy!  I love having one with a cup of tea in the afternoon or in the morning with a cup of greek yogurt.  Thanks Judee.  

chai banana carrot breakfast cookies
adapted: gluten free a-z

Servings: 22 * Size: 1 cookie
Calories: 95 (based on chai banana carrot cookie)
* Fat: 5.5 g * Carb: 10.5 g * Fiber: 1.8 g * Protein: 2.1 g * Sugar: 2.6 g * Sodium 86.1 mg

3 bananas; mashed
2 carrots; shredded
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil; melted
1 1/2 cup gluten free oats
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon cardamon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 ounces gluten free yogurt chips

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl combine the bananas, carrots, vanilla and coconut oil.  Set aside.  In another bowl whisk together the oats, quinoa flakes, chia seeds, almond meal, shredded coconut, cardamon, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.  Fold in the yogurt chips.  Let the dough sit in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.  The dough will firm up and the oats will soften.  Scoop dough onto a baking sheet lined with silpat.  Bake for approximately 12 minutes.

Here is a picture of the yummy strawberry banana version!

Monday, April 30, 2012

quinoa pudding

I am still deep in this funk.  I need a plan.  Plans work for me.  Step one in this plan is to get sleep.  I have determined that I am just not my best self without sleep.  No sleep leads to grumpy mommy and bad food choices.  I spent a few hours in the kitchen today prepping snacks and meals so, I don't have an excuse to make a bad choice if I have a sleepless night.  Hunger pains hit around 3:00 for me.  I am loosely following an exercise and diet plan.  This plan encourages a high protein snack under 200 calories which includes a superfood (quinoa).  I like the tart and tangy combination of the ricotta and the yogurt but, if you like a sweeter base you could add a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.  The quinoa adds a nice crunch and the fresh fruit provides a sweetness to balance the tart and tangy.  Enjoy!

quinoa pudding
adapted: vegetarian times

Servings: 4 * Size: 1 8 ounce mason jar
Calories: 123 (without fruit topping)
* Fat: 2.5 g * Carb: 13.5 g * Fiber: 2 g * Protein: 13 g * Sugar: 6.2 g * Sodium 87.5 mg

1 cup cooked quinoa (1/4 cup red quinoa uncooked)
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup non-fat greek yogurt
1 mango diced

Combine ricotta and greek yogurt.  Whisk to combine.  Fold in cooked quinoa.  Divide pudding between four 8 ounce mason jars.  Top each jar with diced fruit.  Refrigerate.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 16, 2012

sausage white bean and kale soup

It is Secret Recipe Club time again.  Last month I started my Secret Recipe Club post with this proclamation .... I have been in a health funk lately.   Well it has been a month and my health funk has just snowballed into a general funk.  Funk is not good.  Funk stinks.  Between me being sick, my kids being sick, my husband traveling, minor home remodeling projects I feel overwhelmed, frazzled and funky.  Do you ever look around at school drop off and think how does everyone have it all together?  I know comparing isn't good but, I just want their secret.  How do they do it? 

This month I was assigned la phemme phoodie.  The author is a lawyer by day and a foodie by night.  She has a passion for food but, has some dietary restrictions which has allowed her to experiment with wheat and egg free recipes.  There were several gluten free recipes on her site that I boo marked but, with my perpetual cold and fresh CSA box at my door I opted for her sausage bean and spinach soup.  I had to swap some of the ingredients based on what was in my box but, she suggested many of the swaps in her write up.  This soup is fresh and flavorful yet, extremely comforting with the spicy sausage and creamy beans.  A hot bowl of this on a rainy spring night is just what the doctor ordered.

My palate and mind has been a bit lost on sugar lane lately.  I feel as if I have lost my way.  As tempting and beautiful as all of those sugar masterpieces look I am going to work on refocusing my blog on what I love.  The food I love to eat and the food my body needs.  I need to get out of this funk. 

sausage bean and kale soup
adapted: la phemme phoodie

4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 14.5 oz can italian diced tomatoes
1 lb italian chicken sausages, casings removed
1 leek, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces fresh kale, rib removes and chopped
2 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb italian chicken sausages, casings removed
1 14.5 oz can italian diced tomatoes
salt and pepper
grated parmesan for serving (optional)

Heat the chicken stock, water and diced tomatoes in a dutch oven over medium heat.   In a separate pan cook sausage over medium heat until brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Do not rinse the pan. Reduce heat to low. Add the leek and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for another minute. Add the leeks, sausage and beans to dutch oven. Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the kale. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot. Top with grated parmesan.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

honey peanut butter cups

My life these days revolves around my kids meals and the potty.  I am either in the kitchen preparing meals which is typically peanut butter toast for breakfast and a tortilla with peanut butter and honey for lunch.  My kids love peanut butter.  They are my kids after all.  If I am not in the kitchen then I am in the bathroom with my daughter who is potty training.  Don't worry I am a seriously committed hand washer.  After a successful potty trip a prompt request for chocolate follows.  She loves a tiny piece of milk chocolate.  It just made sense to me to combine the kitchen peanut butter and honey with the bathroom chocolate.  When I presented them each with a honey peanut butter cup for dessert I became a super mom.  The husband was also super happy.  He was so happy that I had to hide 12 of them in the freezer.  I had plans for those remaining 12.  Stay tuned.

honey peanut butter cups
adapted: everyday with rachel ray

12 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey

Fill a mini muffin tin with 24 wrappers. 

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate. Reserve the pot of hot water to keep the chocolate liquid, as necessary.

Place about 1 teaspoons of the melted chocolate in a baking cup, swirling to coat about halfway up the side of the cup. Repeat with the remaining cups. Refrigerate until set.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the peanut butter and honey. Transfer the mixture to a resealable plastic bag and snip off one corner.

Fill the chocolate cups about three-quarters full with the peanut butter mixture, smoothing the surface. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Top each peanut butter cup with melted chocolate to enclose, smoothing the surface. Refrigerate until hardened.

Monday, March 12, 2012

breakfast quinoa with a caramelized banana and carrot topping

It is Secret Recipe Club time again.  I have been in a health funk lately.  When I was assigned the blog get healthy with Heather it was the perfect kick I needed to get my mind reset on the concept that health is a lifestyle.  I am fairly committed to a healthy lifestyle but, it is always inspiring for me to read exercise tips and recipes from another health conscience individual.  Heather's blog is filled with recipes, fitness and pregnancy information.  Reading her blog made me feel as if I met my perfect breakfast companion.  I think Heather enjoys oatmeal as much as I do.  We both have oatmeal recipes that include ingredients such as carrots, zucchini, bananas, eggs and chia seeds.  I eat overnight oats almost every morning.  I never get sick of oatmeal.  Breakfast quinoa has been on my radar for awhile but, I never wanted to make it because that would mean no morning oatmeal.  Heather's recipe gave me the perfect opportunity to put the oats on the back burner and give quinoa in the morning a try.  One word ... bananas!  I loved  it.  I have had it both hot and cold. I have had it several days in a row. The slight crunch is a nice change from the soft oats.  It is so easy to prep and it is packed with protein.  Take Heather's advice and start your morning off with this nutritious and delicious bowl of quinoa with endless possibilities of variations.  My favorite bowl was topped with caramelized bananas, carrots and walnuts.  Just bananas!

breakfast quinoa with caramelized bananas and carrots
source: get healthy with Heather


1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons chia seeds.
1 tablespoon of butter
1 banana, sliced
1 carrot, julienned
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon agave
1 teaspoon cinnamon

The night before bring the quinoa, water and cinnamon stick to a boil in a small pot on the stove top.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.  Remove the cinnamon stick.

Separate into 4 bowl, cool to room temperature, cover and place in the fridge for the night.

Remove a bowl from the refrigerator and add a 1/2 cup if almond milk and 1/2 a tablespoon of chia seeds per bowl.  Give a good stir and let for 5-10 minutes. 

While quinoa is sitting. Warm up a small skillet over medium heat.  Melt butter.  Toss the banana, carrot, walnuts with agave and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Add the mixture to the skillet with the melted butter.  Allow the mixture to caramelize by cooking for approximately 5 minutes stirring frequently. 

Warm bowl of quinoa in the microwave for 60-90 seconds.

Top with a quarter of the caramelized topping. 

*The quinoa is also great served cold with fresh berries.

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