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  • Almond Milk Coffee Creamer
    • Tuesday January 27, 2015

      I wanted to try something new in my coffee. Don't expect it to have the same consistency as regular dairy coffee creamer (despite the name) since there's no milkfat in this. But it does add a nice nutty flavor to your morning brew if you want to change things up.

      From kitchentreaty.com


      • 1 cup raw almonds
      • water (9 1/2 cups total)
      • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
      • 2 tsp. maple syrup
      • pinch of salt


      Place 1 cup of raw almonds in a container with an airtight lid (mason jar, tupperware, etc.). Cover with 2 cups of water, then seal and let soak for 48 hours. Important: Change out the water every 12 hours. (So, 3 water changes after the initial 12-hour soak.)

      At the end of 48 hours, drain off the soaking water and rinse the almonds in a sieve. Put the almonds in a food processor or blender with 1 1/2 cups of water. Puree about 30 seconds or until the almonds are blended and mixture is white.

      Place a nut milk bag inside a medium-sized bowl. Pour the mixture into the nut milk bag (cheesecloth will also do a decent job) and then squeeze out as much liquid as you can.

      Note: If you prefer, you can dry out the remaining almond meal and use it for baking, in place of breadcrumbs, etc.

      Stir in the vanilla extract, maple syrup and salt. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one week.

      This recipe made just under 2 cups for me. Increase the quantities if you'd like a larger batch.

      For pretty pictures of this process, see the original blogger's recipe page here.

  • Posole (soup)
    • Tuesday January 27, 2015

      If you're into meals that require only 5 main ingredients (and you don't mind a little spice), this is a quick & tasty option! You can switch out the seasoning and hominy to change the flavor profile.

      From myrecipes.com.


      • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
      • 2 tsp. salt-free Southwest chipotle seasoning blend
      • 1 (15.5-oz) can of white hominy, undrained
      • 1 (14.5-oz) can of Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
      • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
      • (Plus 1 cup of water and cooking oil)


      Sprinke pork evenly with seasoning blend (we like to put the meat in a tupperware, add the seasoning and shake to coat).

      Heat a small amount of your preferred cooking oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook about 4 minutes or until browned. Stir in hominy, tomatoes and water, and bring to a boil. From here, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.

      Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

      This quantity serves 4 and myrecipes.com reports that it is 233 calories.

  • Roasted Paprika Pork & Veggies
    • Wednesday May 07, 2014

      Both recipes taken from MyRecipes.com, adapted and combined.


      For the pork:

      • 1-lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed
      • 1 - 2 Tbsp. of the spice blend below

      Paprika spice blend:

      • 1/4 Cup paprika
      • 2 Tbsp. salt
      • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
      • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
      • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
      • 2 Tbsp. black pepper
      • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder

      For the vegetables:

      (This is just what we used. Choose any veggies you like.)

      • 3 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
      • 1 Tbsp. chopped shallots
      • 3/4 - 1 lb. pre-chopped carrot sticks (original recipe called for baby carrots)
      • 1 1/4 lbs. red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (original recipe called for fingerling potatoes, but we couldn't find any)
      • 1/2 of a red onion, cut into chunks
      • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
      • 1/2 tsp. salt
      • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
      • 1 tsp. dried parsley
      • 1 tsp. dried chives


      For the pork:

      Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray cooking oil onto a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

      Stir together the ingredients for the paprika spice blend and store in any container or a baggie. Trim the pork tenderloin as desired and place on greased baking sheet. Using 1-2 Tbsp. of the spice blend (to your preference), pat spices all over pork.

      There will be plenty of spice mix left over for later uses, so don't double dip after you've touched the pork!

      For the vegetables:

      Combine the chopped shallot with the white balsamic vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.

      Prepare the rest of the veggies. If using baby carrots or carrot sticks, they're ready to go. Wash and chop your onion and potatoes (or whatever veggies you're using) into bite-sized pieces. Place all prepared veggies in a large mixing bowl and toss with olive oil and seasonings.

      Spread vegetables around pork on the baking sheet, as close to a single layer as possible.

      To finish:

      Place the baking sheet with pork and veggies in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes. When you reach the last 5 minutes on the timer, pull the rack out of the oven slightly and sprinkle the shallot-vinegar mixture over the pan so they cook a little too. 

      Tip: The pork should reach 155 degrees Fahrenheit internally. It's okay for it to be slightly pink in the middle, but it should not be raw. Try not to overcook the pork just to eliminate any pinkness - it's unnecessary and will totally dry it out. A meat thermometer is a lifesaver!

      Slice the pork and serve with vegetables.

      Should make about 4 servings. I believe the calories on this will fall between 315-350, depending on which and how many vegetables you use.

  • Buttermilk Skillet Cake with Walnut Praline Topping
    • Tuesday November 05, 2013

      From Joy the Baker Cookbook


      For the cake:

      • 1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
      • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
      • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
      • 3/4 tsp. salt
      • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
      • 1 C. granulated sugar
      • 1 large egg + 1 large yolk
      • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
      • 3/4 C. buttermilk

      For the topping:

      • 3/4 C. packed brown sugar
      • 1 stick unsalted butter
      • 1/4 C. heavy cream
      • generous pinch of salt
      • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
      • 1 C. roughly chopped walnuts


      Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of an 8-inch cast iron skillet and set aside. (Alternatively, you can use a 9" can pan.)

      In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

      In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or manually, though this will require lots of elbow grease), beat butter and sugar together until well incorporated and lighter in color, about 3 minutes. Add egg and yolk, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

      With the mixer on low, add half the flour mixture. Then, add the buttermilk and, when the flour is just combined, add the remaining flour. Keep on low until almost all the flour has disappeared, then finish incorporating the ingredients manually with a spatula. Spoon batter into prepared skillet (or cake pan) and spread evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

      While the cake is cooling, combine brown sugar, butter, cream and salt in a medium pan over medium heat. Bring to a soft boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and nuts. Let sit for 20 minutes to firm up a little.

      When ready to serve, pour praline topping over cake. 

      Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days.

  • Honey Almond Granola Bars
    • Thursday August 01, 2013

      Adapted from EatingWell.com


      • 1 C. old-fashioned rolled oats
      • 1/4 C. slivered almonds
      • 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
      • 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
      • 1 Tbsp. milled flaxseed
      • 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
      • 1 C. unsweetened whole grain cereal (I used Kashi Go Lean Honey Almond Crunch)
      • 1 C. assorted dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, cherries, apples, etc.)
      • 1/4 C. creamy almond butter
      • 2 Tbsp. raw or brown sugar
      • 1/4 C. honey
      • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
      • 1/8 tsp. almond extract
      • 1/4 tsp. salt


      Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat an 8" square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

      Spread oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds on a large, rimmed baking sheet (no need to grease). Bake 8-10 minutes, shaking pan halfway through, until everything is lightly toasted and fragrant. (Keep an eye on it after the first 5 minutes because it can burn quickly. Better to under-toast than char.) Set baking sheet on rack to cool slightly.

      After a few minutes, transfer toasted ingredients to a large mixing bowl and toss with the milled flaxseed, cereal and dried fruit.

      In a small saucepan, combine almond butter, sugar, honey, vanilla and almond extracts and salt. Heat at or just above medium, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles slightly.

      Immediately pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients in the bowl and stir with a spatula until no dry spots remain. Transfer the granola mixture to the greased 8" pan and use the spatula to press the granola firmly into an even layer. (If this doesn't work well for you, you can also wait until the granola cools enough to handle, lightly coat your hands with oil and press with your hands.

      Refrigerate 30-60 minutes and cut into 8 bars. I store mine in the fridge to keep the bars firm.

  • Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Scones
    • Sunday May 19, 2013

      From laurieconstantino.com


      • 1/2 C. granulated sugar
      • 1 vanilla bean
      • 1 1/2 C. rhubarb, chopped into approx. 1/2-inch pieces
      • 2 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
      • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
      • 1/2 tsp. salt
      • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter
      • 3/4-1 C. buttermilk


      Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper.

      Place granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise and, using a paring knife, scrape seeds from each half of vanilla bean onto the sugar in the bowl. Using a fork, mash vanilla seeds (which will clump because they're sticky) until well distributed throughout the sugar. Add rhubarb to the vanilla-sugar mixture and toss to coat thoroughly.

      In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt together with a whisk. Cut butter into the flour mixture until the butter pieces are about the size of small peas. (Alternately, you can use a food processor.)

      Stir flour mixture into the rhubarb mixture until combined. Pour 3/4 C. buttermilk into the bowl and, using a large spoon, mix until the dough starts to come together. Add more buttermilk as needed to incorporate all of the loose flour, but only 1 Tbsp. more at a time.

      Liz note: At this point, I find it easier to use my hands to finish combining the dough. Also, if you accidentally add too much buttermilk, add a little flour to balance it. You want the dough to come together without being crumbly, but you don't want it mushy and sticky.

      Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Pat and flatten it into a disk that is about 1-inch thick/tall. Cut into 8 equal triangles (like a pie). Arrange on baking sheet.

      Optional: Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the tops of the scones with some additional buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.

      Bake 18-20 minutes or until browned on top and done through the middle. You can test doneness by tapping the top. They should sound hollow and not appear moist on the sides. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

      Tip: You can make these ahead. Just finish them all the way up to placing them on the baking sheet (but before brushing with buttermilk) and put the whole sheet in the freezer instead of the oven. Let the scones freeze overnight, then transfer them to a freezer bag for longer storage. When you are ready to bake them, simply place them back on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, top with buttermilk and sugar if desired, and bake. You will need to extend the baking time range by about 5 minutes.

  • Maple Blueberry Scones
    • Monday March 18, 2013

      From joythebaker.com

      Makes 12-15 scones.


      • 3 C. all-purpose flour
      • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
      • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
      • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
      • 3/4 tsp. salt
      • 3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
      • 1 large egg
      • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
      • 3/4 C. + 3 Tbsp. buttermilk, divided
      • 1 C. fresh blueberries
      • granulated sugar for sprinkling on top


      Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

      In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.

      In a medium bowl, place egg, maple syrup and buttermilk, whisking to combine. Pour into flour mixture and stir enough to make a soft dough. Do not worry if it doesn't come together in one lump. It needs to be loose so you can add the blueberries.

      Fold in the blueberries and turn out onto a flour surface and knead a few times until dough comes together completely. Roll or pat into a 1-inch thickness.

      Using a 2-inch round cutter, cut scones out of dough. Reshape and roll scraps to finish cutting scones. Place on the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush lightly with buttermilk and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown on top.

      Scones are best the day they are made, but can be stored in a sealed contained for 2-3 days. They can also be frozen to store longer.

  • Tomato Basil Soup with Ricotta Dumplings
    • Monday March 04, 2013

      From acouplecooks.com

      Serves 4


      • 4 garlic cloves, minced
      • pinch of red pepper flakes
      • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
      • 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
      • 3 C. vegetable broth
      • 1/2 C. basil leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
      • 1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
      • 1 C. part-skim (or whole, if you prefer) ricotta cheese
      • 1 C. Parmesan cheese
      • 2 eggs
      • 1 1/3 C. flour (we did 2/3 C. all-purpose and 2/3 C. whole wheat)
      • 1/2 tsp. black pepper


      Prep the garlic and basil and set aside.

      In a medium bowl, combine 1 C. ricotta, 1 C. Parmesan, 2 eggs, 1 1/3 C. flour, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Stir until a well-mixed dough forms (takes some elbow grease!). Roll the dumplings into small balls and set aside. You should have about 48 total.

      In a large pot, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes; saute about 1 minute or until starting to brown.

      Add crushed tomatoes, 3 C. broth, chopped basil, 1/2 tsp. salt and a pinch of black pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 7 or 8 minutes.

      After the soup has simmered for the recommended time, add the dumplings to the soup and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until cooked through.

      Chiffonade (cut into thin strips) a few extra basil leaves. Garnish the soup with some grated Parmesan and the sliced basil.

      Liz Tips: This is very low-sodium for soup, so I highly recommend sprinkling a little extra salt onto your bowl once you've portioned out the soup. It completely elevates it! And don't forget some garlic bread. We like to use a lite covering of butter/margarine/canola oil and a little garlic salt on our bread and pop it in the toaster oven (or regular oven) for a few minutes until browned.

  • Maple-Glazed Chicken with Brussels Sprout Slaw
    • Wednesday February 27, 2013

      Adapted from myrecipes.com

      Serves 4 at 282 calories per serving.


      • 8 (2-oz) chicken cutlets (or 1 lb of any thinner cut ... we used Florida organic tenderloins)
      • 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
      • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
      • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
      • 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, divided
      • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
      • 8 oz. Brussels sprouts
      • 1/4 C. dried currants (couldn't locate; used dried cherries)
      • 1 medium Fuji or Gala apple, cut into 1/8-thick slices


      Cut stem ends off Brussels sprouts and remove any tough, damaged outer leaves. Cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half lengthwise in thin strips. Thinly slice apples and cut slices in half to make bite-sized, if you wish.

      Place 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil, 1 Tbsp. of the red wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk. Add Brussels sprouts, currants (or replacement dried fruit) and apple pieces; toss to combine. Set aside.

      Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. of olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add chicken to the pan and cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan and cover with foil to keep warm.

      (Liz Tip: We think for next time, we might cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces before cooking to allow more surface area for the glaze to adhere to. This might require a slightly lower cooking time.)

      Turn the heat down to around medium or just below and let pan cool slightly for a minute. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar plus 2 Tbsp. maple syrup to the pan. Bring to a boil then cook 1 minute longer, or until the glaze is reduced from 4 Tbsp. to about 3.

      Return chicken to the pan and turn to coat with the glaze.

      Serve slaw and chicken together.

  • Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas
    • Friday February 08, 2013


      • 1 tsp. cumin
      • 1/4 tsp. salt
      • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
      • 2 tsp. canola oil
      • 12 oz. chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-sized pieces
      • 1 cup red onion, chopped
      • 1 cup corn
      • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
      • 1/2 cup green (tomatillo) salsa
      • 3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, divided
      • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas (whole wheat works too, OR, if you want to go even simpler, you can buy prepared tostadas)
      • cooking spray
      • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack


      Combine cumin, salt & pepper in a small bowl and sprinkle mixture evenly over chicken pieces.

      Heat 2 tsp. canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to the pan and saute for 3 minutes.

      Add onion, corn and zucchini to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, or until chicken is done.

      Stir in the salsa and 2 Tbsp. of the cilantro. Cook for 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently. Remove chicken mixture to a bowl and set aside.

      Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, lightly spray with cooking oil and toast tortillas in pan until browned. Cut into quarters.

      Spoon chicken mixture into the center of each tortilla and spinkle each with 1/4 cup of the cheese. Pop in the microwave for a few seconds to melt the cheese, if necessary. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro.

  • Sweet Potato Biscuits
    • Friday February 01, 2013

      From myrecipes.com.

      Note: I found these to be mini-biscuits, which I didn't realize at first. If I try these again, I may cut them a little larger and bake a minute or two longer. (Also, I may trying using 1 cup all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour next time to make them a little more "whole grain.") They're delicious and no-knead!

      Makes approximately 30 mini-biscuits, at 66 calories each.


      • 1 lb. sweet potatoes (about 2 medium), scrubbed
      • 1/2 cup reduced-fat buttermilk
      • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
      • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
      • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
      • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
      • 3/4 tsp. salt
      • 6 Tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus 1 Tbsp. butter melted


      Cook potato by either oven or microwave:


      Preheat to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Prick potatoes all over with a sharp knife or fork, place on baking sheet and bake until tender (able to be pierced with a fork), 45 minutes to 1 hour. Set potatoes aside until cool enough to handle.


      Prick potatoes all over with a sharp knife or fork, then heat in microwave on High for 6 to 9 minutes, turning over halfway after 4 minutes. Potatoes are done when they are tender enough to be pierced with a fork. Set them aside until cool enough to handle.

      Raise or set oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

      Scoop out potato flesh and mash in a bowl. Measure out 3/4 cup of the potato puree for the biscuits (and refrigerate the rest if you have another use for it).

      Add buttermilk to puree and stir until smooth.

      Sift flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, mix in 6 Tbsp. chilled butter pieces until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add potato mixture and gently mix until dough just begins to come together, adding more buttermilk 1 Tbsp. at a time if necessary.

      Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently. Pat out dough to a 1/2-inch thickness and use a 1 1/2-inch round cutter (or other size) to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Place biscuits 1 inch apart on a large ungreased baking sheet. Gather scraps, pat together, cut out more biscuits and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all dough has been used.

      Melt remaining 1 Tbsp. butter and brush on biscuit tops. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden (adjust time for larger biscuits as necessary). Let cool on wire racks for at least 5 minutes.

  • Broccoli-Stuffed Potatoes
    • Friday February 01, 2013

      Adapted from livebetteramerica.com

      I want to tell you what changes I made to this recipe in case you prefer the original instructions: First, I replaced plain fat-free yogurt with plain fat-free Greek yogurt. Second, instead of cooking frozen broccoli cuts, I cooked fresh broccoli. Lastly, I added the sprinkled cheese on top.

      Final notes: Below are the ingredients they used, but you can try all kinds of vegetables and herbs in these potatoes, so play with the combinations! Calories are listed as 120 per potato half.

      Serves 2-4, depending on whether you eat the whole potato or just half with a side.


      • 2 medium unpeeled baking potatoes, about 6 oz each (Liz uses a sweet potato)
      • 2/3 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
      • 2 Tbsp. chopped onion
      • 1/2 tsp. salt
      • 1/8 tsp. pepper
      • 1 cup broccoli, chopped & cooked (Liz likes to boil it for 2-3 minutes)
      • 1 Tbsp. chopped pimientos from a jar
      • 1/4 cup of shredded mixed cheeses, optional


      (Prep all of your ingredients while your potatoes are cooking. Don't forget to cook the broccoli before you stuff the potatoes with it.)

      Choose either oven OR microwave instructions to cook the potatoes:


      Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Gently scrub potatoes, but do not peel. Pierce potatoes several times all over with a fork to allow steam to escape while potatoes bake. Bake 1 hour (and up to 15 minutes longer) until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Liz note: My sweet potato cooked faster than Adam's baking potato. It probably takes closer to 45 minutes, so if you use a sweet potato, you may want to test it for doneness earlier.

      Remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Increase the oven temperature to 450.


      Pierce potatoes several times all over with a fork and microwave uncovered on High for 6-9 minutes, turning potatoes over after 4 minutes, until tender. Let stand 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle.

      Stuffing Instructions:

      Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop insides out into a medium-sized bowl, leaving about 1/4-inch border of potato to support the shell.

      Mash potato in bowl with a potato masher, fork or electric mixer on low speed, until no lumps remain. (If you use a sweet potato like I do, a fork is all you need. Adam likes the masher for his baking potato.)

      Beat in yogurt, onion, salt and pepper until mixed and fluffy. Stir in cooked broccoli and pimientos. Spoon potato mixture evenly into shells. Optional: Sprinkle a little bit of mixed shredded cheese on top.


      Place potato shells on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until hot.

      Note: I found that this worked okay for the baking potato, but the sweet potato tends to ooze a little and caramelize as it cooks (Yum!), so I'd recommend lightly spraying some oil on the pan or using parchment paper to keep it from sticking.



      Arrange potato halves on a microwaveable plate and microwave on High 2-3 minutes or until hot.

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