Archive | recipe

MINI BITES: easy freezer pops + a recipe

It’s supposed to be 75 degrees today (75!) so this pacific northwest girl is celebrating by sharing some really easy (mostly store bought) freezer pops. Perfect for an afternoon pick me up on a warm day. Plus I’ve never met a freezer pop that kids don’t like and I have some flavors for the mamas too!

easy-freezer-pops-3I’m all for homemade, handmade, diy and all that good stuff (obvi!) but there is no shame in my store-bought game. sometimes store-bought saves my sanity and i feel sooooo lucky that we live during a time where there are so many great health food brands to choose from. Bolthouse Farms is one of those brands that i love and their juices, smoothies, cafe drinks and protein shakes make doing the healthy, whole and delicious things so easy.  Here are a few of the flavors that we love to drink straight from the bottle or turn into ice pops:

ONE: want an icy treat that’s a little more grownup? There’s a flavor for that. (ha! i’m such a  dork sometimes.) I love all of their coffee drinks but especially the vanilla chai tea (pictured). Their protein plus drinks are also delicious.

TWO: you really can’t go wrong for the kids but mine practically fight over the protein plus mango (pictured), berry boost, strawberry banana, green goodness, blue goodness and protein plus chocolate.

THREE: another option is our Favorite Homemade Strawberry Protein Shake — In a blender, combine 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk, 1/2 cup vanilla or honey greek yogurt, 1 to 2 scoops vanilla protein, 1 cup frozen strawberries. Blend together. Add ice to desired consistency and honey to taste.

HERE’S HOW: pour drinks into small paper cups (or popsicle molds if you have them) on a cookie sheet. Place in freezer. After an hour or so (this is optional) place an ice cream or popsicle stick in the middle of each cup. Return to freezer until totally frozen. If you aren’t eating them right away then place in a large ziplock or container in the freezer.

There you have it! One of my favorite ways to make feeding my brood more fun and the best strawberry protein shake recipe for good measure.

When it comes to food, what store-bought items make life easier? Also, what is your favorite smoothie or shake to make!?

Also, I should mention that this is in no way sponsored by or in affiliation with Bolthouse, we just love their products so much that I had to share :)

Happy Monday Babes!

xo . Rae

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dinner tonight: chili + pretzels

ohhhh, it seems like forever since i’ve posted a dinner recipe. haven’t been making a ton of homemade dinners either since having poppy. unless quesadillas, pumpkin pancakes and meat, cheese and apple platters count? mostly i just want to avoid washing dishes. but the fam is getting sick of the above meals and i’ve exhausted all of my go-to-cheap-ish-healthy-ish takeout restaurants, so it’s time to get back into my apron. these recipes (soft pretzels and chili) are just the thing to get me inspired! they also make a perfect wintery meal and can easily feed a crowd on game day (or any day).

chili-and-pretzel-recipe6

SOFT PRETZELS – makes about 10

(instructions are for twisty pretzels but would work well as little bites and take a little less time)

you’ll need:

  • 1-1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 packet active instant yeast (or 2-1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4-1/4 cups AP flour  (1/2 AP and 1/2 whole wheat works but won’t bake as soft)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • coarse salt
  • 2/3 cup baking soda

here’s how:

  1. preheat oven to 425 and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper if desired.
  2. dissolve yeast in warm water in a ceramic bowl. stir until mostly mixed (about a minute). add salt and sugar and stir. one cup at a time, add 3 cups of flour and mix until dough is thick. continue to add small amounts of flour until the dough is no longer sticky – if the dough bounces back after you poke it then it’s ready to knead!
  3. knead dough on floured surface for about 3 minutes and shape into a ball. divide dough into about 1/3 cup chunks and roll into an even rope about 18-inches long. next pinch the ends together (to make a circle) then twist, bring towards yourself and press down to make a pretzel shape.
  4. beat egg and pour into a pie dish or shallow bowl. (this next step with water and baking soda is optional… it’s a little messy and takes extra time, but also adds to the flavor and appearance.) boil 9 cups water with 2/3 cup baking soda. dunk pretzels one by one into the mixture for 30 seconds. then dunk into egg wash (both sides), place on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.
  5. bake for 10 minutes  then turn oven to broil and bake for additional 5 minutes until browned.
  6. let cool and serve! extras can be stored for a few days or kept in the freezer.

TASTY (and healthy) TURKEY CHILI – serves 8

you’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (or 5 cloves, minced)
  • 2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1, 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1, 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2, 15 ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

here’s how:

  1. in a large pot, heat oil over medium. add onion, garlic and bell peppers and sauté until fragrant and veggies have softened (about 5 minutes). add ground turkey and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces until cooked through.
  2. add chili powder and cayenne, stir to coat and cook until fragrant (about a minute or 2)
  3. add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 20 minutes to an hour. season to taste with salt and pepper. serve with desired toppings – sour cream, cheese, chips, onions,…- and enjoy!

what have you been eating for dinner lately?

xo . rae

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holiday syrups with the land of nod.

land-of-nod-rae-ann-kellybaby it’s cold outside so i’m over at the land of nod today sharing one of our favorite ways to stay warm and cozy – flavored steamers! head over to honest to nod for the full post, recipes and a download so you can package all the yummy flavors and give as gifts {perfect for teachers, neighbors and friends or party favors…} …or go all out and plan a little after school steamer bar for the kids (and coffees for the mamas)! tilly and her friend claira had all kinds of fun adding flavors, whip cream and sprinkles to their drinks.

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when your done checking out the post and leaving a comment ;) always love reading notes – land of nod has made it really easy to do my other favorite cold weather activity, online shopping (ha!) with 20% off a different toy category each day over the next 8 days.

speaking of shopping, how is your christmas gifting going!?

xo . rae

//images by stacy jacobsen//

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breakfast club: favorite brekkie cookie

you guys up for another recipe?  i hope so because we go crazy for these breakfast cookies at our house and devour them so quickly that i recommend making 2 batches at a time. they are perfect for a quick breakfast or after school snack on the go and you can freeze the extras for later.  i also thought i would share the stickers i made for those crazy mornings  when everyone is running in different directions. download, print and cut so you have them handy…. links and recipe are below!

breakfast-cookies

“HAVE A GOOD DAY, OKAY?” stickers (PDF) 

PEANUT BUTTER BREKKIE COOKIES: makes 24 , 10 minutes prep, 11 minutes to bake each batch

You’ll need

  • 1 cup favorite all natural peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (good fat = good for the brain on a school day!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1-1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour (or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (less sugar than other types)

Here’s How

preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

in a large bowl mix peanut butter, brown sugar and coconut oil until combined and smooth. mix in eggs. add rest of ingredients and stir until combined.

using your hands (or a cookie scoop) make 2-inch balls, place on prepared baking sheet and press down slightly. cookies won’t expand while baking so you can place them closer together – i usually fit 18 or so. bake for 11 minutes.

let cool before serving. great for breakfast, lunch or snack time! freeze leftovers and thaw for busy days!

what do you usually hand the kids on their way out the door when you didn’t have time to sit down for breakfast?

xo . rae

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DINNER TONIGHT (salmon tacos) AND TOMORROW TOO (salmon chowder)

happy labor day and last summer hurrah! to celebrate i thought i would share two of my favorite dinner recipes. what i love most about these dishes is that they are simple and seasonal but also add a fresh gourmet twist on everyday tacos and chowder. you also get two meals out of one grilled salmon so you could make tacos tonight and the chowder on a busy school night later this week!

recipes are below and wild salmon is in season for another month or so —  i hope you give them a try!

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GRILLED SALMON TACOS: serves 6  (with extra salmon for salmon chowder), 15 minutes Prep Time, 45 minutes start to finish

salmon-tacos-2 (wrap taco shell in lettuce to make them less messy to eat!)

For the Corn Salsa You’ll Need

  • 1-7 ounce can mexicorn, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 pinch of each: sugar, salt, ground cumin, ground coriander

For the Chili Cream You’ll Need

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

For the Salmon You’ll Need

  • 2 pounds wild salmon filets, whole or in smaller fillets, bones removed
  • olive oil for brushing
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • pinch of chili powder
  • 1 package tortillas (flour or corn for gluten free)
  • optional: avocado, lettuce and tomato for topping

Here’s How

for the salsa + chili cream: in separate bowls, mix all ingredients together and chill until your ready to serve.

to make salmon: lightly brush fish with olive oil and give a light sprinkling of seasonings. over medium heat on grill use a fish basket, cedar plank or small tin foil piece over grates and add salmon. cook salmon until desired doneness.

to assemble tacos: add salsa, avocado, lettuce and tomato (if using) to warmed tortilla. add small pieces of salmon and garnish with chili cream.

for an easy side, seve with fruit salad sprinkled with lime juice and chili powder!

salmon-tacos

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SALMON CHOWDER: serves 6 , 30 minutes start to finish

(this recipe can be made in the crockpot the night before!)

You’ll need

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups of cleaned, chopped leeks
  • 1-10 oz bag frozen tri color peppers, diced or strips, thawed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons of rice (or all-purpose) flour
  • 1 quart of fish or chicken stock
  • 3 cups of diced frozen potatoes
  • 1 pound of leftover salmon cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups of whole milk
  • 1/3 cup fresh chopped dill
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crusty bread for serving (optional)

Here’s How

in a 4 quart sauce pan, add butter and heat over medium high until melted. add leeks and sauté until translucent. add in peppers and sauté until softened and heated through. add flour to coat vegetables and from pasty like consistency. add chicken or fish stock, frozen potatoes and salmon. bring to boil, and then reduce to medium. add in milk and dill. continue to cook until desired thickness. add salt and pepper to taste.

serve with crusty bread.

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xo . rae

(images by stacy jacobsen)

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PATRIOTIC HAND PIES (recipe)

a couple weekends ago the kids and i spent the morning at the farmer’s market and came home with a bucket full of cherries.  after we ate a few handfuls and i put the younger kids down for naps, ozzie asked if we could spend time in the kitchen making something sweet and summery.  now, i don’t typically give up nap time to make a mess in the kitchen, but  because he is 12, and the words made my heart melt, i said yes…

cherry-hand-pies-armommy-1… even though he requested we make cherry pie, and i am not a pie girl unless it involves pumpkin.  not sure what it is, but desserts that involve fruit don’t really do it for me.  i prefer my fruit fresh and my desserts with chocolate. usually.

then we decided to make hand-pies which changed my perspective on fruity desserts, because they are too cute not to eat. am i right!?

cherry-hand-pies-armommy-2

(images from instagram)

INGREDIENTS to make the filling –

  • this pie crust
  • 3 cups pitted cherries, roughly chopped (1 to 1-1/2 pounds whole cherries)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS –

  •  make pie crust according to directions (link under ingredients).
  • preheat oven to 375.  line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix together fruit, sugar, cinnamon, salt, lemon juice and cornstarch; mix until well combined. Set fruit mixture aside.
  • remove dough from fridge and let sit for 5 minutes. on a lightly floured work surface, roll out one piece of dough to a 16-by-11-inch rectangle. trim to 15-by-10 inches. cut into six 5-inch squares.  repeat with remaining dough, stacking squares in between pieces of parchment.
  • working with one square at a time, place 2 tablespoons of fruit mixture in the center. then fold in half to enclose and crimp the edges with a fork to seal. repeat process with remaining squares.
  • place hand pies on prepared baking sheet. brush pies with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding sugar. using a paring knife, slit the center (or make a design) of one side of each hand pie to allow steam to escape.
  • place baking sheets in oven and bake until crusts are golden brown and filling is bubbling (about 25 minutes).
  • allow pies to cool slightly and finish with a little dusting of powdered sugar. serve with vanilla ice cream, if you have any handy.

cherry-hand-pies-armommy-3

so sweet and festive they would be perfect to make & bring to a 4th of july celebration.

speaking of 4th of july, what are you most looking forward to that day?  fireworks, yummy food, good company, ….? all of the above?

talk soon.

xo . rae

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homemade hostess gifts

the last day of school is right around the corner (or has come and gone for some of you!) marking the start of summer! i’m sure everyone’s social calendars are filling up with backyard shindigs, and baby and wedding showers. to make sure you don’t show up empty handed here’s a simple hostess gift you can throw together in the kitchen ahead of time.

to make it easier on yourself, stock up on jars or bottles so your ready to package the sauces and go – or pick a few of your favorites and set up an ice cream sundae bar at home. just be sure and invite me! (recipe and download below)

hostess-gift-sundae-syrups

CHOCOLATE FUDGE

you’ll need

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup light cream or evaporated milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

here’s how

  1. combine all ingredients (except vanilla) in saucepan. stir constantly over medium heat until mixture boils. let boil for 2 minutes.
  2. remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  3. let cool, poor into canning jar or squeeze bottle (add printable label) and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. reheat in microwave or hot water before serving.

PEANUT BUTTER SAUCE

you’ll need

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup

here’s how

  1. combine ingredients in saucepan. stir constantly over medium heat until sauce is smooth and sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes). be careful not to overcook or sauce will become too thick!
  2. let cool, poor into canning jar or squeeze bottle (add printable label) and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. reheat in microwave or hot water before serving.

BUTTERSCOTCH SAUCE

you’ll need

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

here’s how

  1. in a small bowl combine cream, milk and cornstarch and set aside.
  2. in a saucepan combine brown sugar, corn syrup and butter. stir constantly over medium heat until butter melts and sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes).
  3. reduce heat slightly, add milk mixture and bring to a boil for a quick 30 seconds…. remove from heat.
  4. let cool, poor into canning jar or squeeze bottle (add printable label) and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. reheat in microwave or hot water before serving.

STRAWBERRY SAUCE

you’ll need

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed, hulled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

here’s how

  1. combine ingredients in saucepan. stirring occasionally, heat over medium heat until berries have softened and mixture becomes a sauce.
  2. let cool, poor into canning jar (add printable label) and store in refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. reheat in microwave or hot water before serving.

have fun!

xo . rae

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breakfast club: easy blender crepes recipe

there is a certain two year old in our home that will greet me in the morning with a sleepy, “make crepes, momma?” several times a week. it’s hard to resist, but this recipe (especially if made the night before) is super easy to throw together and equally as easy to clean up after. depending on the toppings, they are also fancy and filling enough for a family brunch or breakfast for dinner!

(fully recipe and gluten free alternative below…)

blender-crepe-recipe-illustration

Easy Blender Crepes: Makes Approx 30 Crepes, 10 minutes Prep Time, 15 minutes Cook Time

You’ll Need

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1-teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour (*or all-purpose gluten free blend to make GF)

 

Sweet or Savory Topping Ideas

  • Chocolate nut butter and bananas
  • Fruit preserves and whip cream or cream cheese
  • Ricotta cheese and honey or powdered sugar
  • Eggs and sausage or bacon
  • Cheese and salsa
  • Goat cheese, roasted red peppers and arugula

 

Here’s How

  1. Mix melted butter, milk, eggs and salt in the blender. Blend until just combined but not whipped. Add the flour and blend until fully combined. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to 24 hours. Before using, consistency should be that of thick egg nog. Add milk if too thick, flour if too thin.
  2. Use an 8″ or 10” nonstick fry pan or a crepe pan. Heat pan on medium high and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. With large ladel, add ¼ cup batter and swirl around to make an even coating of batter on the bottom of the pan. Cook for about one minute, until edges start to pull away from the pan. Carefully flip crepe by sliding thin spatula underneath. Cook on the other side until lightly golden. Do the same with remaining batter, stacking crepes on a plate as they are ready.
  3. Layer leftovers between parchment paper and freeze in a ziploc bag for extra busy mornings or snack time!

* This crepe recipe can be made the night before and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

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