Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review and Liebster Lovin'

Well, as I sit here at 10:40 pm on December 31, 2011 and think about how badly I want to sleep (yes, even though it is new years...actually we just realized it was New Years Eve a couple of hours ago after we put the kids to bed!), I want to be blogging more than sleeping. I miss blogging.

It has been a huge adjustment into motherhood of three.

Take this morning, for example:
Huge plans of making mickey mouse pancakes, of the pumpkin chocolate chip variety. A total blog-worthy recipe and a cute picture could have been arranged; however, the meal took about 2 hours to complete. Poor baby boy was so hungry and cranky by 9:30 this morning when everything was finally ready for breakfast that I just didn't have the heart to try and take a picture or write anything down so I could blog about it later...even if the pancakes did turn out somewhat more like Winnie the Pooh and Mickey! (And, yes, I did give him a snack while he waited. By the time he actually ate he only had 1 ear left :).

But I would not trade any detail of our lives currently for any extra blogging time! I'm ending the year satisfied with my first year of blogging. In fact I'd like to share some things I learned this year as I reflect...

Here are some food-related things I learned in 2011:

  1. You can make baked goods with absolutely no sugar that actually taste good. Yes, even without sweeteners like agave, honey, stevia, and all the rest!
  2. Creativity does not have to die when you become a mom! Even though time seems to be much more limited to blog about what your creativity came up with ;)
  3. My body only gets “smarter” the healthier it gets. You know how after college, you begin to see your metabolism slow so you go on a diet….then you have an end goal of something like “if I lose 15 pounds by say, Christmas, then I can start eating whatever I want again. The old 2 weeks of salads then I can go back to eating doughnuts like I did in college mentality! Well, I guess at 29 I’m just now realizing that this mentality is a farce. Why it took me this long I have no idea, but at least I’m on the road toward health and well-being more for, well, health and well-being than for getting to “cheat”.
  4. Kids eat about as much as adults do. Weird, I know! When I didn’t have kids and I started to think about how much money we would spend on their food I just thought, “Well just a bit more than what we spend a month should do it because they just eat about half as much as we do right? I mean they weigh about 1/5 of my body weight…surely they can’t eat more than me???” Man was I way off track about how much kids can pack away the food!
  5. I see now why mom's drink coffee in the mornings! Most mothers I know usually say something like, "Oh, I never liked coffee until I had kids!" Well, I know that I like coffee. Too much. So in an effort to not become reliant upon the stuff I try to have something bitter in the mornings. A little kale in the morning smoothie goes a long way towards waking me up!
  6. The world of food blogging has totally changed the way I cook. I love seeing what other bloggers come up with and share. They make me better in the kitchen!

And on that note, I was awarded the Liebster Blog Award by two other bloggers:

  1. Jacqui @ Mama J's Home
  2. Raj @ Flip Cookbook

Thank you both for mentioning me on your blogs! Be sure to check out their blogs for a wide variety of interesting recipe ideas! "Liebster" is a German word meaning "beloved" or "dearest". The Liebster Award is for blogs with fewer than 200 followers. It's a nice way to show appreciation for those who have been putting forth the effort of time and care with their blogs posts and recipes. And while currently, that does not include me, especially since my last post was early November, I'm all the more appreciative of their kindness in passing on the award to me!

To accept the award you have to do the following:

  • Thank the person who awarded you on your blog.
  • Link back to the person who awarded you.
  • Select 5 top picks for the award.
  • Inform your top 5 by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Post the Award on your blog.

I’m passing on this award to 5 bloggers that I have been following and admire for their creativity, readability, and most of all yummy recipes!

And just because...here are my top six most popular recipe posts of 2011. Enjoy!

German Chocolate Cake Bars

Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free Swiss Buttercream and Mocha Zucchini Cake (2 posts, 1 cake)

Strawberry Icebox Pie

Quinoa Coconut Cake with Summer Berries

Strawberry Shortcake with Vegan Frozen Yogurt




Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cranberry Carrot Slaw

During the winter months you usually don't think of raw or mostly raw foods as the go to food for the Holidays. You just want some comforting warm food that sticks to your bones right?

Well, I'm that way for sure. I have to make myself eat a little raw when it's cold outside. So I came up with the Thanksgiving themed slaw and tried it out on the husband and the kids. Since baby boy kept asking for "mo, mo, mo", I thought it was a hit :) I've been super blessed with kids who are GREAT eaters! I think I will make this at our Thanksgiving family get together.

Cranberry Carrot Slaw

Serves: 8-10Ingredients
  • 3 large carrots, chopped into smaller chunks for easier processing
  • 1/2 small head of purple cabbage, chopped into chunks for easier processing
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup of healthy mayo (I recommend the olive oil Earth Balance or the grapeseed oil Vegenaise)
  • 1/3 cup dried unsweetened unsulfured cranberries (it's hard to find unsweetened dried cranberries, so I usually buy the organic kind which does have some sugar but I feel good about the fact that there are no GMOs at least)
  • 1 large apple of choice, diced small
Method
  • In a food processor, or Vitamix on speed 3, pulse or process the carrot, cabbage, green onions, vinegar, salt, and mayo all at once until you reach a slaw consistency.
  • Then stir in the cranberries and apple pieces.
  • Then you're done! A quick (which is my main motivation these days in thinking up recipes) side dish for Turkey day for sure!

This recipe has been linked up to A Gluten Free Holiday- be sure to check out other healthy holiday recipe ideas here:


Sunday, October 30, 2011

I'm Back!


Hello to all who happen to read this blog. If you have all given up hope and just two people are still checking in (and, yes, one of you is my mom and the other is probably my husband :), that's OK with me...I'm just so happy to finally be posting again :)

Here is what has happened with me/us in the last month or so:
  • We went from a family of 2 to 5 overnight.
  • We moved...yes moved our house... with three children, 4, 2, and 1!
  • We started new schools, we chased down their identification info, we went to doctors appointments- at least 2 a week! for everything from lice to the flu to the dentist.
  • I got sick, then my husband got sick, then I got sick again.....and the cycle kept repeating.
  • We have been adjusting and despite all the craziness and the total life change, I wouldn't trade these three sweet kiddos for the whole world! I cannot believe how much I love them!
Thus, no blog posts in over a month!

So if you noticed, there is a picture of a yummy cake I made my husband for his birthday last night. His birthday is actually on Halloween, but since we will be joining the world of trick-or-treating tomorrow, we celebrated tonight. Baby girl helped me out with making his "birthday", which she really meant was his birthday cake because she likes to call the cake a "birthday". She most likely doesn't remember her birthdays being celebrated with a party and a cake so we are working on explaining that concept :) He loves apples and pumpkin, so I combined the two into one cake.

I hate that I have missed out on so much blogging during the month of Pumpkin! Given the name of this blog, you would think I would have monopolized on that :) I have a lot of new recipes...but finding time to share them and blog is a whole other story! Here's hoping to sharing more with you soon!

Apple Pumpkin Spice Cake

This recipe is vegan and gluten free.

Makes: 1, 9" x 13" cake pan

Ingredients
Wet
  • 1 can of pumpkin puree or a scant 2 cups of sweet potato or squash puree (425 g)
  • 1 cup apple sauce (240 g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (100g)
  • 6 large medjool dates, pitted (soaked in warm water- if not using a high powered blender)
Dry
  • 2 cups brown rice flour (or sprouted for a slightly sweeter taste, I mill mine in my vitamix from sprouted rice- 300 g)
  • 1 cup almond flour (again, freshly ground and sifted is best- 150 g)
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp clove
  • 1/8 tsp garam masala spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
You will also need
  • 4 small-medium apples cored, peeled, and diced small
Method
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Sift the dry ingredients together to combine in a large bowl.
  • Puree all the wet ingredients together in a blender.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry until just combined, then stir in the whole apple pieces
  • Spread into a 9" x 13" greased cake pan.
  • Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • We served ours with some frozen yogurt, also would be good with this apple pie gelato or a yummy caramel sauce.
Happy Halloween,
Eryn

This recipe has also been linked up to:









Friday, September 16, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Thai Roasted Almonds

Well, my day was filled with a taste of what life will be like soon with three little ones in tow. We had our first overnight visit tonight, and it has gone really well so far. Surprisingly well, actually. I think we are in the "honeymoon" stage as a family :) I keep waiting for major meltdowns, then we all start crying, and we (me and the husband) just don't know what in the world to do! I know that time is coming, but at least for now we seem to be surviving.

These are a great meal replacement for a meatless dish. Also great for addictive snacking! As I mentioned in a previous post, I am more about making quick and easy meals and desserts these days. Hope you enjoy these quick and easy almonds.

Sweet and Spicy Thai Roasted Almonds

makes 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp of coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp of fresh grated ginger root (about a 1/4" piece if using a Microplane)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced (I also use my Microplane for this)
  • 1 tsp of apple cider vineger
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes (I like them on the fairly spicy end so feel free to adjust for less heat)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp of granulated (not liquid) coconut sugar (or sucanat, date sugar, sugar in the raw, etc. will work too)
  • 2 cups almonds (I use sprouted almonds sometimes and that will work as well)
Method
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, add all the ingredients except the almond and stir.
  • Stir in the almonds to evenly coat them.
  • Place them on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake at 325 F for 15 minutes, being careful to toss them frequently to prevent burning.
  • Let them cool for 15-20 minutes before serving so that the sugar in the coating has time to cool down to a crunchy caramel, and eat!


This post has been linked up to:









Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cheesecake Ice Cream with Chocolate Cookie Crumbles


I'm back!

So sorry to have been gone so long! I have some recipes that I have been wanting to share, just no time to sit down and blog about them. Our past couple of weeks has been spent preparing our home for 3 sweet children to come and live in it, visiting with those children, and also preparing for a move. Busy, busy, busy. I would say our first full day visit with the kiddos was a success food-wise. They ate up our "different from McDonald's" food :) They loved them some fruit to snack on and one is actually allergic to dairy as well so works out great for our fam!

But onto the recipe. I wanted to call it "Oreo© Cheesecake Ice Cream", or "Cheesecake Brownie ice cream" but some fine gentelmen already came up with that name and I didn't want to steal it :)

This recipe can be made vegan, and is, of course, already dairy free. Enjoy!

Cheesecake Ice Cream with Chocolate Cookie Crumbles

Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the Ice Cream

  • 1 1/2 cans of coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup of raw honey (or coconut sugar for vegan option)
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
For the Cookie/ Brownie Crumbles
  • 1/2 cup nuts of choice
  • 3 Tbsp carob or cocoa powder- I like using half of each
  • 1/2 tsp coffee extract (not for coffee flavor, just to enhance the chocolate flavor)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 dates
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
Method
  • For the ice cream, blend all ingredients together in a blender and then pour into ice cream maker. Process according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
  • For the cookie pieces, pulse all the ingredients in a food processor until they form a ball of dough and hold together when pressed.
  • When the ice cream is mostly frozen, crumble half the cookie pieces to the ice cream maker. You may have to stir them in. Let the ice cream finish freezing completely.
  • Serve in bowls and top with remaining brownie/ cookie crumbles.
This recipe has been linked up to:









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