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Make Your Own Frozen Yogurt Pops

1 Jun

I came across this recipe a few years back in Jessica Seinfeld’s book, Deceptively Delicious.  A friend of mine had recommended the book for my picky eater.  There are a TON of great recipes in it, a few of which I use regularly.  The idea of this recipe book is to discover new ways of hiding fruits and veggies in other dishes, thereby amping up the healthiness of the dish.

Every summer, I make these frozen yogurt pops.  They are quick and simple, healthy and delicious.  The kids can even help in the process!  Don’t worry if you don’t have popsicle molds.  You can always use ice cube trays (just remember to cover them with plastic wrap) and stick toothpicks inside for sticks.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups plain lowfat yogurt

2 cups frozen berries thawed in the microwave for 1 minute (I always use fresh berries and they work fine)

½ to ¾ cup of confectioner’s sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the yogurt, fruit, and sugar in a blender or (large) food processor and process until smooth.  Pour into popsicle molds and freeze.  (Deceptively Delicious notes that each popsicle is only 100 calories, and contains less than 1 gram of fat!)

They taste delicious on those hot Texas summer days!  If you prefer more of a popsicle as opposed to a yogurt you can always just pour juice into a mold and freeze.  My mom used to let us freeze Kool Aid in ice cube trays for a fun and tasty summer treat!  I think I’ll even try to use the juicer this summer and freeze some of our favorites for popsicles!

Juicy

20 Apr

A few weekends ago a good friend of mine invited my family and I over for dinner.  She lives out in the country and I always enjoy visiting with her.  With each visit, we learn new things, like how to plant peach trees and get the most out of your harvest.  My friend is what I like to call “crunchy”, not unlike myself.  I am always picking her brain about whatever latest gadget they have or ways to live a more sustainable, environmentally friendly life.

This last visit, we were introduced to the juicer!  I had never in my life tried freshly squeezed juice, so they offered to make us some, right on the spot.  I watched as my friend’s husband prepared an entire bag of carrots (washed and cut both tips off the ends), then fed them a few at a time into the juicer.  The result was a tall glass of the freshest, zestiest juice I had ever had.  We let the kids try some and to my amazement, my picky eater loved it!

My husband and I went home from dinner straight to do our research on juicers.  It turns out that eating fruits and vegetables in liquid form allows your body to more easily (and quickly) absorb all of the nutrients.  My friend had mentioned certain things they had tried, like granny smith apples that literally gave them a buzz from drinking.

This weekend the juicer we liked went on sale, so we bought it and started right away!  Our first juice was an instant success with the entire family (even the baby)!  It was the best investment we have made recently!  Our first recipe was our own made-up concoction.  We juiced about 2 cups of fresh spinach, 1 whole apple (minus the core), and a slice of lemon (rind on) about ¼” thick.

The result was a sweet, refreshing bright green, super healthy juice!  Another benefit to juicing, we can recycle the waste.  We recently purchased a compost bin, so, we’ll be adding all of our pulp to it whenever we juice!

Paella

23 Feb

This is a delicious recipe for anytime!  I made this over the weekend and was surprised that it only took about 30 minutes from beginning to end.  It was relatively simple.  I skipped the sausage this time.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2T butter
  • 1 pkg. Spanish-flavored Rice-A-Roni
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup mild salsa
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 pkg. sausage (12 oz)
  • 1/2 lb. peeled, cooked shrimp
  • chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add rice mixture (reserving flavor packet) & brown according to package directions.

Increase heat to high, stir in water, tomatoes, salsa, and contents of flavor packet (from rice).  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low.  Cver and simmer 15 minutes.

Stir corn and sausage into rice, layer shrimp on top and cook 5 minutes more until liquid is absorbed.  Top with cilantro.

Zucchini-Carrot Muffins

28 Jan

My kids love – I mean, LOVE – these muffins.  And they’re chock-full of healthy stuff, so I never feel guilty about serving them for dessert or even just for a snack.  Because of all the fresh ingredients, they don’t keep very long at room temperature.  I usually make a double-batch and freeze them, then pull out a few at a time, for what we plan to eat over a day or two.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (or grind oats in food processor)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded or grated zucchini
  • 1 cup shredded or grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray nonstick spray into muffin tins or use paper cups

2.  Drain zucchini well.  I put it on paper towels and pressed more paper towels on top of it to squeeze out the water.

3.  In a bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

4.  In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, applesauce, yogurt, sugar, honey, and vanilla.

5.  Mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture.

6.  Fold in the zucchini, carrots, pecans, and raisins.  Scoop into the prepared muffin tins.

7.  For mini-muffins, bake about 15 minutes.  For regular-sized muffins, bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Crockpot Potato Soup

28 Jan

This is definitely the best – and easiest – potato soup recipe I’ve ever made!  (I wish I could remember where I got the recipe.)  Sometimes I add corn to make it more of a chowder.  We like to eat it with Hawaiian rolls, and I usually skip the bacon to make it vegetarian for my hubby.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups cream or half-and-half
  • real bacon bits, optional

DIRECTIONS:

1)  Combine potatoes, chopped onion, carrots, celery, broth, basil, parsley, salt, and pepper in a slow cooker.

2)  Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours, or until vegetables are tender.

3)  Stir together flour and cream or half-and-half; stir into soup.  (This would also be the time to add corn.)

4)  Cover and cook 30 minutes longer or until hot. If desired, sprinkle bacon bits over each serving.

Makes about 2 quarts

Mummy Dog Recipe

12 Oct

Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it—the decorations, the costumes, the candy.  Now I have one more reason to relish the season: Mummy Dogs!

As my friends know, I shy away from any recipe boasting more than six ingredients.  (I am a reluctant cook on my best days.)  So imagine my delight when I came upon this simple concoction from the folks at Pillsbury last year.  Easy and good!  Mmmwaahaaa!

  • Slit 8 hotdogs to ½ inch of the ends and insert three narrow strips of American cheese
  • Take crescent dough out of tube and slice into ¾-inch strips
  • Wrap the dough strips around the hot dog, making sure to add a little mummy “hat” at one end
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 12-14 minutes
  • With a toothpick, dot on mustard “eyes”

Enjoy your yummy mummy!

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