Thursday, 6 November 2014

One-Bowl Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake

Hi, everyone! Long time no talk!

   I have been longing to get back on here but I just haven't been able to make it happen! I don't feel myself these days unless I'm cooking and taking pictures of it for 20 minutes while my family sits and waits, haha!
   Is everyone ok after Halloween, or are you all still chocolate wasted? I did super good, following all my usual precautionary steps. Don't buy anything I like, check. Leave it to the last minute, check. Keep it in the garage until Halloween, check. Keep it on a table right beside the drivers side door, so I grab 27 Jolly Ranchers as a parting gift every time I leave or get in the car...check. Wait, what?? Whoops! Those little buggers are good! Turns out I DID buy something I liked! Noted for next year, as well as a more strategic hiding place! Carry on, right????

   My theme for tonight's post is straight up easy. No fooling around, slam it all in a bowl and bake it! Good, right? My family has been eating this for breakfast and snacks all week. I have just kept it on the counter, but you could put it in the fridge if you prefer that texture better.

Short and Sweet, let's do this...

One-bowl Pumpkin Gingerbread Cake

You Need:

1 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup natural almond butter OR peanut butter (I used pb and you do not taste the peanut flavor)
2 TBSP honey (use more if you're not adding chocolate chips) 
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp Vanilla 
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves 
handful of carob or chocolate chips (use good quality chocolate, dammit!!)
**pumpkin pie spice can be used in place of nutmeg and cloves, if desired
pre-heat oven to 350

Slap it all in a bowl.

Mix well with a hand mixer, until smooth. No over mixing! (whisk will work, too. Put your back into it!) Better yet, force a minion to do it!

Grease an 8x8 glass pan, pour the mix into the pan.

 Sprinkle a handful of your chosen chocolate and into the oven. Can you handle that?? Thought so!!

25-30 minutes. I thought mine was done at 25, but the middle was still gooey. Insert a toothpick in a few different spots to ensure done-ness. Shouldn't be more than 30 min, unless your oven is from roughly 1965.

Let it cool completely then cut into squares! It's so light and fluffy and moist. I will be making this all the time, and my son can take it to school if I use sunbutter. Win. 
Make it! Go!!

original recipe pingback to ""

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Almond Vanilla Granola Bars


 Good evening! How is everyone? Making any good things lately?

    We went to the last Farmer's Market of the year today, and I realized it really will be winter soon. I am in total denial. Although we have had some awesome weather here, so I'm still clinging to hope!

   Things have been as usual over here, nothing too crazy going on . We only have one kid in school/sports this year so we aren't running around insane, like a lot of our friends are! And I'm thankful for that! So far...

   I am always looking for new ideas for recipes, or things that are dirty and wrong and could use a makeover! If you have any ideas or requests let me know and I'll work on them! I have started doing a small (and I mean small) side business where some of my peeps have ordered things from me and I have supplied them with a "freezer stock". Loaves, muffins, pancakes, peanut butter cups, granola bars and protein balls, things like that. Things busy moms and families can throw into the freezer and take out for school days, sports, whatever. So far it's been fun, and once my kids are older and not allllllll up in my 'bizzzzznesss, it might be something I can make a bit bigger. But for now, my girlfriends are stuck with being told to "taste this" or being forced to accept a random plate of food and give me their opinion on it!
      I am always looking for healthy, quick ideas for the morning or after school. It can be pretty hard to grab  a good thing when you are running from kid to kid and sport to sport! I love these granola bars because I can make them up so fast, they freeze well and they are full of whole, clean ingredients. Not to mention my kids love them, and anything my youngest doesn't chew for a split second and then spit out all over the floor, is something I'll make more than once!

Now, make this!!!...............

Protein Granola Bars

You Need:

1 cup almond butter (or peanut butter) (can use sunflower seed butter for nut free)
1 big scoop or around 3oz chocolate or vanilla protein powder (could omit if desired)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (can omit if desired)
1 tsp baking soda

pre-heat oven to 350

In a large mixing bowl add your nut butter, maple syrup and protein powder. Use a hand mixer on medium and mix to combine. Beat in eggs one at a time. You should have a fairly smooth batter. Don't overmix.

Stir in the rest of your ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until totally combined.

I use a drop bottom pan, meaning the squares come out on the bottom of the pan as it comes away from the rest of the pan. Like a springform pan. Use whatever you have that will be the easiest to cut them from after. Think 9x13 or slightly smaller

Grease your pan well. Slightly wet your hands and dump the mixture into the pan. Pat the mix down until smooth and evenly distributed. Damp hands will prevent your mix from sticking to your hands like fuzzy winter mittens. :)

Into the oven for 9-11 minutes. Watch them! I burnt the death out of them once, in a very short amount of time! Mine have never been more than 11 minutes. Top and edges should be golden brown.

Cool completely and then cut into desired amount. Store covered, either on the counter or in the fridge depending how you prefer them. Enjoy!!!

original recipe pingback to ""

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Indian Butter Chicken

      Hey, hey!

   How is the week going? Almost the weekend! Anyone else feeling the burn of the first few weeks of school? It is such a busy time of year with school, and all the after school stuff starting, it's such a rush back into routine and reality! I'm going to be a first-year hockey mom this fall! My guy is trying hockey, and he is actually really excited! And so are we. I think. :)

   Do you ever have the weeks where you're so out of control with a busy schedule that you just can't pull it in? That's me this week! We had some unexpected and very exciting company form our dear friends, the Loewen's, this week! They were stuck here thanks to a car break-down, and we got the chance to have a good visit. Then the rest of my craziness is mostly chalked up to me being a total freak and not getting it together! I am also in total need of a Costco trip, and am running low on meat and supplies. I'll blame that!

   I am still in the depths of the T25 tapes. They are really good and I love being done so quick! What I don't love is having to throw myself in the general direction of the toilet and hope I land on it. My legs are so paralyzed, there is a zero percent chance of me bending down in that position! Lifting my arm above my head to do anything, nope. Not happening. These are the signs that I'm doing something right, but man, it's tough!!

   This recipe today is for butter chicken. Probably one of the most popular Indian food dishes out there. The one problem with it is it is usually made with very heavy cream of some sort. Mama don't play like that. The thing with curry dishes and such are they are very much to personal taste. I really recommend that you add little by little until you see what your family likes. Some curries and pastes can be super spicy, and it sucks to ruin a dish when you overdo it. Once you get too hot, there's nothing much you can do from there. Except hope to baby J that you don't murder your underwear later for ticking off your stomach!! Let's do 'er!!

Indian Butter Chicken

you need:
2-4 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks, can also use boneless thighs, cut up
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (flavor of your choice, I used fire roasted -try to avoid anything with much for added flavors that might not mix)
1 can full fat organic coconut milk
1 white onion, diced
2-4 minced garlic cloves
butter for frying

Spices: (remember, add and try- find your taste!!)
2-4 Tbsp yellow curry powder
1-3 Tbsp red curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
half to 1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
pinch cayenne (optional)
Jasmine or Basmati rice for serving, if desired
Garlic Naan bread for dip, dip, dipping, if desired (careful, it can be a little bit dirty for you!!)

In a large, deep frying pan add your few pads of butter, and heat up over medium high. Add onion and cook for a few minutes until tender. Add the minced garlic and cook a few more minutes. Add the tomatoes and the coconut milk and stir to combine.

Add in all your spices.

 Stirring totally to mix everyone into the pool nicely!! Now is the time to taste test and decide what you want to add. Once you add the raw chicken you can't be testing it anymore! Add in the raw chicken and stir. Turn to a medium heat and cover. You're looking at about 30 min to simmer and cook chicken through. Stirring often.

If you're using an Indian type rice, prepare it now.

Once chicken is cooked through and you're satisfied with your sauce, use a slotted spoon to scoop onto your plate. Spooning more sauce over , as you like. Garnish with a titch of parsley and BOOM! You just cooked this up so well, you are basically from India now. :))

**NOTE-  if you're short on time, saute your chicken in a small side pan and just add into your sauce once you have it how you like it, instead of simmering in the raw chicken.

Monday, 8 September 2014

One-bowl Blueberry Muffins


   Hey peeps! How's the week going? If you're in Alberta you're probably huddled in the feta position rocking like a newborn baby. It. Is. Snowing. Seriously? So gross. I have faith that the forecast will be better and I won't have to run into traffic. Sheesh.

   Grey started his first official day of kinder today, AND got his first loose tooth! So busy! Seems like the perfect morning to sleep in and then decide to bake something mid-morning? I do it to myself, but I can't help it! I know I wasn't alone today with the baking fever, the weather screams for it!

   Are there certain things or directions in a recipe that instantly are a deal breaker? If I ever used to see anything that had to be sifted, I was out. Or separated eggs. I am better now, but one thing that I just don't do is yeast/bread things. I have never been successful in getting it to rise (EVER) and I don't do well with cooking failure, so I stay away!

   One thing I do love about a recipe, and draws me to it, is one bowl. Toss it all in, mix 'er up and done! Easy, and little cleanup! It always seems like the times I decide to try a trickier recipe are the days that my kids decide to eat each other and light the house on fire. I like to pick and choose my battles. :) Today wasn't a day for anything complicated, if you know what I'm saying!!

   Try these blueberry muffins out when you have berries in the fridge you need to use up! I doubled the recipe and ended up with 24 big ones and 36 mini muffins. Kort likes the mini ones better, as they're easier to throw down and mash into the carpet. It's totally understandable. :)

   These froze really well and my family loved them. Perfect for lunches or when you need to whip something up really quick. And have I mentioned only one bowl? haha!! Let's cook....

Blueberry Muffins (single batch)

You need:
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 egg
2 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 cup softened honey (more like 3/4 if you like sweeter) OR 1/2 cup sugar
4 Tbsp melted butter
1 1/2 cup buttermilk****
1 1/2 cups blueberries

**cooking HACK! If you don't have buttermilk on hand, measure out the milk, then add 2 Tbsp white vinegar to the milk and stir with a fork. Leave aside for 10-15 min, and voila- buttermilk!! :) (if it has some bits at the bottom, add those, too!)

pre-heat oven to 350

In a large mixing bowl whisk in the egg, honey, melted butter, and the buttermilk.

Add in the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. (sifting them in will give you a fluffier muffin)
Get in your arm day by whisking the mix until smooth. No over mixing!

Whisk in vanilla.
Slowly and ever so lovingly fold in your blueberries, using a wooden spoon. Try to look them over first and pick out any open or mushed ones- they will bleed into the batter making some kind of Violet Beauregarde mess, straight out of Willy Wonka.

Grease your muffin tins, and spoon the mixture in 3/4 full. (Same goes for the mini's, use a teaspoon and fill them 3/4 full.)

If  you're super lucky, you'll have a super yummy little helper on your side...

In the oven they go. The big ones were 13 minutes for me, little ones around 9/10. Know your own oven and keep an eye out. You can't go back once they are over done. The 'ol toothpick in the middle coming out dry is what we're looking for here. Try not to hit a berry! :)

And there you have it! You'll have the dishes done before the muffins are out! These freeze awesome, and are perfect for lunches or after school snacks.

original recipe pingback to ""

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Bison Burgers


    Oh.My.God. Am I back or what??? Is everyone still alive? What a great summer we had, I hope you did too! Buuuuuuut now pants are tight and routines are back, so, time to do it up!

   How did everyone make out over the summer months? Stick to the plan, medium or a total wash? I started off rocky with a trip then my few weeks out camping. But I have managed to pull it back in and am doing pretty good. I feel like I'm back in my groove.Sometimes it actually feels good to get back to school year routines and schedule.

   My oldest is starting kindergarten this year and they have a severe nut allergy in the morning class. This rules out a lot of snacks for me to send, as I bake a lot with almond flour. So I'll be trying some new baking ideas in the next few weeks! What are your fav go-to school snacks to send?

   I am working on the T25 workout DVD's, anyone familiar with those? It's 25 straight minutes of intense cardio. I like it because it goes fast and then I'm done. I don't like how my ass and legs slap together at certain points, however. But man alive, am I ever a sweaty Betty when it's done! They are very hard! And I like to start complaining about half way through, it makes me feel better. :) Hopefully the "slapping" will decrease over time!

   This recipe tonight is one my sister in law made for us when she was here visiting this summer. We served it as a side dish with some awesome steaks and everyone loved it! So easy, and totally crowd pleasing. We had a busy week getting ready for school, all the paperwork, and registering for all the after school stuff, so I made these mushrooms up with some pan fried bison burgers and there was dinner! Easy and good.

   Coming at you soon will be some baking ideas for lunch boxes, easy weekday meals and more!

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

You Need:
1 Portobello per person you're serving (the following portions were for 2)
2-3 pieces of bacon, chopped roughly
1/2 or 3/4 cup shredded cheddar (or whatever you like)
1/2 cup diced white onion

clean the 'shrooms and remove the stems, then dice up the stems

In a medium frying pan saute your stems, onions and bacon. Cook until bacon is cooked through and slightly crispy.

Heat up your oven to 350. Place the 'shrooms on a baking tray lined with parchment.
In a small bowl, mix together your bacon mixture with the shredded cheese. Equally stuff your mushrooms with this delish little mixture!

Bake for about 20 minutes. Allow cool time, these little beauties retain heat and will be hot for a little bit!

I just pan fried our bison burgers, then topped with thick cut, spicy pickles, then broiled some provolone cheese on top. Yum and yum. Top with your fav toppings and cram this into your face-NOW!!!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Spaghetti Squash and Zucchini Pizza Bake


   Hey there, everyone!
          How is the summer going for you all? We were super lucky to snag a beach camping spot, just outside of town. It was such a great 2 weeks. Sometimes the least unexpected, unplanned vacations are the best!

   My kids lived like homeless beach bums the entire time, we had great weather and lots of friends out to see us! Can't ask for much more. I hate to admit it, but I was actually missing working out! Even though I was killing myself hauling the kids 398 zillion beach toys, chairs, rafts and umbrella- 12 times a day, I still felt a bit guilty! I had a perma sweat-moustache, so I must of been getting some exercise!! :)

   We came into town a few times to wash towels and clean up. It's amazing how the second a gal is in the door, you start thinking about housework, bills, cooking etc.....I prefer to just ignore that and go back to the beach! Through it all, I managed to maintain my weight within one pound. I am very happy with that, and I'll take it! It's a true testament to what a huge part of a healthy lifestyle eating is. In the winter when I was recovering from surgery, I was off the gym for over 12 weeks. Bed rest for a lot of that. I maintained my weight within a 2 pound range. With little to no movement some days. If you can't get a workout in, don't throw yourself  onto the lawn at Mcdonald's and rock in the fetal position, covered in french fry grease....don't give up!!!!!

   When it was just the kids and I at the campsite, I literally just can't buy the treat foods! If you don't have it, you can't eat it! They don't need it and God knows I don't! And nothing will remind you of that faster, than living in a bathing suit! If there are chips there, I am eating them. And then before I know it, I'm looking like a busted can of biscuits in my bathing suit! No thanks. 
Not to say we didn't have any treats while we were there, I just like to make them count. And now, thanks to my friend Kira, I've been having naughty dreams about the peanut buttercup blizzard at Dairy Queen. It's dirty talking me in my sleep, I think I'll go get one "for the kids" on the next hot day! I'm sure it will be just awful, and I will hate it. Right??

Let's cook!

   I found this recipe on line, and it caught my eye. Spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles are 2 fav's in my house. This uses both. Plus, I've forced more than one friend to buy the veggie spiraler, and they want ideas!
I love leftovers like I love myself. It gives me lunch for at least the next day, and it helps to not grab something out of range because I always have a go to. This recipe can easily be adjusted to a huge portion if you have a Jesus sized squash, like I did, and adding more meat and or toppings. I made this 2 nights ago, and we still have enough for tomorrow. It can also easily be done up as a vegetarian meal. Do it! Now!

Spaghetti Squash and Zucchini Pizza Bake 
You need:
1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeds/pulp removed
2 medium-large zucchini
butter for sauteing

1 lb ground meat or chicken breast (I had bison out, so I used that) 
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 can of chunky tomatoes, juice drained (I had a basil olive oil and garlic one that was great)
1 can of your fav homemade or store tomato sauce
1 TBSP Italian seasoning
1 TBSP dried basil
1 tsp Oregano
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
4 eggs, whisked (this is optional. I found they don't really do much and aren't noticeable. However, if you are going vegetarian on this, I'd keep them in for the extra protein)

cheddar cheese and/or fresh mozza for broiling on top, to serve (optional)

***note, this one takes a bit of time because you need to bake your squash, cool it then assemble and bake.
Give yourself 2 hours from when you put your squash in to when you want to eat.

Place your seeded squash cut side down on a baking tray with an inch or so of water. Bake at 400 for 45-50 minutes. Until outside is easily pierced with a fork. When they are done flip your big yellow booies up and let them start cooling. This takes a while, those buggers are hot.

In a large frying pan, add a 1-2 tbsp's or so of butter, and add your onions. Cook a few minutes then add the garlic.

Cook until onions are tender. Add in your tomatoes, half the sauce (1-2 cups) and all your spices.

Turn it to low, and simmer.
If you have a spiraler (if you don't, friends off) spiral your zuch's now. If you don't, do you have a mandolin? if not, sheesh, what is happening at your house for god sakes! You can cut the zuch as thin as possible (think noodle strands) and that will work. Or, shred with a cheese grater on the largest hole. Set aside. Turn off your sauce.

Place a colander over a bowl and using a fork, pull the squash strands into the colander. Use an oven mitt if it's still warm.
Once all the strands are scraped out, grab a few paper towels or a clean dish towel, and push down on the squash to release some of the water.

In your large casserole dish (one with high sides, if you have) add your squash, zuch and meat sauce. Stir nicely to combine. If you feel like it is getting a bit dry looking now that it's mixed, add the rest of your sauce from the jar now. Dump it on! :)

If you're using the eggs, beat them in a little bowl and pour them on top now, stirring them in to mix evenly.
Bake this little dish o' loving at 375 for 50 or so minutes, until you can't stand it anymore! Once it was done, I broiled some shredded cheddar on half for my kids, then sliced some fresh mozza for on top. Broil just a few minutes until bubbly.

And there you go! It tastes awesome, my kids ate it (win), and Grey gave it a solid 7 gags out of 10! Haha. For real though, that kid is a gagger. Anyways.....make it and love it!! You're welcome!

original recipe pingback to ""