Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lemon Pepper Tempeh Bites

Lemon Pepper Tempeh Bites

Total time: 8-10 minutes

1 loaf of French bread*
olive oil
1 head of romaine lettuce, shredded
1 cucumber, shaved paper thin
vegenaise (vegan mayo)
1 box of lemon pepper marinated tempeh strips (these are the kind I used:
1-2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced very small(optional)

*whole wheat French bread works wonderfully for this

Cut the loaf of French bread into thin diagonal slices. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon olive oil onto each slice. Toast the slices in the oven or toaster oven until lightly browned. Once the slices are toasted, spread a generous amount of vegenaise onto each slice.

Top each slice of bread with a few shreds of romaine and 1-2 shaved pieces of cucumber. Cut the tempeh strips into small, 1/2 inch pieces and arrange 2-3 pieces on top of each appetizer. If using diced tomato, arrange a few dices on top of the tempeh to add color.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Very Whiskey Thanksgiving

And of course I will NOT be using the whiskey. I'll be substituting sparkling apple juice with a touch of vanilla instead :) For 2 tablespoons bourbon, substitute the following: 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, sparkling apple cider, sparkling cranberry juice, or sparkling grape juice.

Whiskey Glazed Carrots


* 2 pounds (to 3 Pounds) Carrots, Peeled And Cut Into Thick Circles
* 1 stick Butter
* ½ cup Jack Daniels Or Other Whiskey
* ¾ to 1 Cup Brown Sugar
* ½ to 1 teaspoon Salt
* Freshly Ground Pepper (to Taste)


Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over very high heat. Add carrots in two batches, cooking for 60-90 seconds each batch. Remove from skillet and set aside on a plate.

Turn off heat. Pour whiskey into skillet, then turn heat to medium. Allow whiskey to evaporate 30 seconds. Add remaining butter. When butter melts, sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Stir together, then add carrots to skillet. Cover, and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

Remove lid and add salt and pepper. Continue cooking until carrots are done and glaze is nice and thick, about 5 to 8 more minutes.

Pour onto a platter and serve immediately. Sprinkle with chopped chives.

Pear Crisp with Whiskey Cream Sauce


* 4 whole (to 5) Large Pears (Bosc pears work well)
* ⅔ cups Sugar
* ¼ teaspoons Salt
* 1 to 2 tablespoons whiskey


* 1-½ cup All-purpose Flour
* ⅓ cups Sugar
* ⅓ cups Firmly Packed Brown Sugar
* ½ teaspoons Cinnamon
* ½ cups Pecans, Very Finely Chopped
* 1 stick Butter, Melted


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Peel, core, and dice pears. Place into a bowl and stir together with 2/3 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 to 2 tablespoons whiskey. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans. Stir together. Drizzle melted butter gradually, stirring with a fork as you go until all combined. Mixture should be very clumpy.
Pour pears into a baking dish; top with crumb topping.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Place pan on top rack of oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.
Serve warm with whiskey cream sauce.

Whiskey Cream Sauce:

* 1/2 cup sugar
* 1 stick butter
* 1/2 cup cream
* 1/4 cup Jack Daniels

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat until mixture reaches a low boil. Turn off heat. Pour, warm, over the individual servings of bread pudding.

Also going to be doing a dinner roast wrapped in chive and onion cream cheese and phyllo dough. Should be a nice presentation -- wish me luck! :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Oven Roasted Tom Tofu :)

Oven Roasted Tom Tofu*

1 pound regular tofu (firm), rinsed and patted dry


3/4 cup water
3 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon onion granules
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules

Coating Mix:
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 teaspoon onion granules
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper


Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and place them in a wide, shallow mixing bowl.

Place all the ingredients for the marinade in small mixing bowl and whisk them together.
Pour the marinade over the tofu, spooning it over each slice.
Turn the slices over so that all sides are coated well with the marinade.
Cover bowl and place in refrigerator.
Let tofu marinate for several hours or overnight, turning slices over occasionally.
When you are ready to cook the tofu, place the ingredients for coating mix in a shallow mixing bowl, and stir well.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mist a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.

Remove each slice of tofu from the marinade, and dredge it in the coating mix, covering it well all over.
Place tofu on baking sheet.
Mist the tops lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
Bake the tofu until the bottoms are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Turn slices over, and bake until other sides are golden brown.

Makes about 8 slices (4 servings).

Homemade Grenadine

No high-fructose corn syrup in this one. SOLD.

Grenadine is a syrup flavored with pomegranates. It may or may not contain alcohol. You can easily make your own non-alcoholic grenadine syrup at home with this recipe.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

* 2-1/4 pounds pomegranates
* 1 pint water
* Sugar, see instructions
* Red food coloring, optional

Separate the pomegranate seeds from the membranes and skin. In a heavy saucepan, cover pomegranate seeds with 1 pint of water and simmer, stirring until juice sacs release their juice, about 5 minutes. Pour through a cheesecloth-layered sieve into a bowl, pressing the juice from the seeds. Discard seeds.

Measure the strained pomegranate juice and add an equal amount of sugar. Pour into saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Add food coloring, if using. Pour into a decorative stoppered bottle.

Use grenadine syrup in children's drinks like Shirley Temple or Roy Rogers, in mocktails, desserts, marinades, and other general recipes.

Crock pot dressing

I'm gonna change this up and make it vegan with a homemade gravy/cream sauce in place of the can of COM. Might go ahead and try to swap flax for the eggs.

2 c. chopped onion
2 c. chopped celery
1/4 c. dried parsley
1 c. margarine
1 (14 oz.) pkg. seasoned stuffing
2 (4 oz.) cans mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
2 beaten eggs
3-3 1/2 c. chicken broth

Sauté onion, celery, parsley and butter. In a large bowl put stuffing, mushrooms and sautéed onion, celery and parsley. Combine mushroom and celery soups, eggs and chicken broth. Mix everything together. Put in a 3 1/2 quart crock pot. Cook on high for 45 minutes. Then on low for 4-8 hours. Serves 10-12.

Getting ready for the holidays...

Notice to all: there might be a sudden influx of recipes coming through here in the next week or so. Some I've tried and some are on my to-try list :) I told you guys long ago that this blog is merely my 'thinking aloud' kitchen. I'm finding some wonderful idea; tweaking them is going to be fun! :)

So we start with Cashew Loaf for the Crock Pot

Mix in a bowl:

*3/4 cup raw cashews, chopped
*1 1/2 cups soy or nut milk
*1/4 cup dried onion, or 1 onion, diced
*1 cup fresh whole-wheat bread crumbs
*2 Tbsp. Bragg's Liquid Aminos (to replace soy sauce)
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1/2 tsp. dried garlic granules, or 1 clove fresh garlic
*2 Tbsp. dried parsley
*1/2 tsp. celery salt
*1 1/4 cups quick oats
*1 cup water

Spray the Crock-Pot with cooking spray and put the loaf mixture into it. Cook on low heat all day.

Servings: 8
Calories: 200

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Low carb veggie chicken and dumplings

Let me attack the dumplings first. I have a cpl options for you.

1. Just a tip -- if you're making just enough for one sitting and you are in need of a quickie short-cut, get yourself a pkg of ww tortillas from the store. Cut them in half, and then cut them in strips. Drop the strips into boiling broth and they will plump up just like dumplings! FYI, the "dumplings" will dissolve into the broth after an hour or so when you reheat it, there will be no more "dumplings". Just know the broth will be very thick! :) Add as many strips of tortillas that you think you'll eat at that one meal and add them right at the end.

2. Low carb bread mix for the bread machine (carbolite or ketogenics). In small bowl mix 1 beaten egg with 2 Tbs heavy cream and 1/4 cup of additional water. In a large bowl, empty bread machine mix and add egg/cream mixture and stir. Continue adding water a little at a time until you have a stiff but moist dough. Drop by 2 Tbs size "dumplings" into bubbling broth, keeping dough balls separate in the broth until each rises and forms. Once all dough is into broth, cook an additional 5 minutes and serve in big bowls with your chicken mixture. This recipe yields 8 servings; about 6 carb grams per serving.

The Chicken Sauce

1 qt no-chix broth (I like the taste of the Imagine brand)
1 c water
1/4 c butter
1/4 c finely-chopped onion
1/4 c finely-chopped carrot
1/2 c finely-chopped celery
1/2 c chopped fresh mushrooms
salt, to taste
freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1 pinch sage
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cup diced cooked veggie chicken or turkey

Add all ingredients ,except the chix, to large soup pot and allow to boil until onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms are semi-soft. Add diced chicken or turkey and boil an additional 10 minutes.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

National Chocolate Day

Spiced Soy Hot Chocolate


1 1/2 cups light chocolate soy milk
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


1. In a medium saucepan, combine soy milk, peanut butter, and cinnamon.
2. Cook over low to medium heat, whisking frequently, until mixture is smooth and peanut butter is melted, about 5 minutes.
3. Serve in mug. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cocoa powder, if desired.

Makes one 12-ounce serving

7.5 grams soy protein per serving

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cauliflower w tahini garlic sauce

1 cauliflower
2 cloves garlic
4 T. olive oil
2 T. tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
1 T. tamari or soy sauce (I'm going to use Bragg's)
salt to taste

Steam cauliflower until just done. Refresh in cool water. Saute garlic in
olive oil. Add tahini and stir into a sauce if necessary. Add lemon juice
and soy sauce. Add cauliflower and toss to coat well. If the sauce is too
thick, thin with a bit of vegan chicken stock... just about a 1/4 c or so.
Serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

2 versions for you to try, one traditional with tofu and veggies, the other with squash and curry. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

3 medium potatoes
1/4 cup milk or nondairy milk
1 Tablespoon butter or earth balance
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of paprika
1 onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon oil
1 lb. tofu, crumbled (you can freeze the night before, for a "meatier" texture)
1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced (or more)
1 green pepper, diced (I use a 1/2 of a red one, I am not a big pepper fan)
2 medium carrots, diced
3/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes
1 stalk celery, diced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup frozen or fresh corn

Boil or steam the potatoes. Mash with butter, milk and salt. Set
aside. Meanwhile, Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Saute the onion a few minutes. Add all filling ingredients except the corn. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 15 minutes, till vegetables are tender. Put filling in a large baking dish. Spread mashed potatoes on top and sprinkle with paprika. Bake 10 or 15 minutes, till potatoes are hot.
Serves 4

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Veggie lovers, if you like your vegetable pie less spicy, use regular diced tomatoes and leave out the red chile flakes. But if you want a killer combo of heat, tang and sweet, try my version. It's not your mother's shepherd's pie, Darling. Promise.

For the mashed potato crust:
3-4 large gold or white potatoes, peeled, cut up
Vegetable broth, non-dairy milk, milk or cream, as needed
Vegan buttery spread or olive oil, to taste
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh chives, to taste
For the filling:
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin or curry spice
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets (about half a smallish head), cut to bite size
3 medium-large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 zucchini squash, sliced and cut into quarter moons
1 yellow summer squash, sliced, cut into quarter moons
1 heaping cup shredded cabbage or slaw mix
1 14-oz. can Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles, with juice
2 tablespoons chopped roasted Hatch chiles or jalapenos- whatever you like

1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar
1-2 tablespoons low sugar apricot jam, to taste- to balance the heat
1 tablespoon rubbed sage
Hot red pepper chile flakes, to taste (or use hot pepper sauce)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 14-oz. can butter beans, drained and set aside

Place the cut potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted cold water; bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about twenty minutes.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet and add the cumin or curry, and garlic. Stir one minute and add the fresh chopped vegetables. Stir and cook about five minutes or so.

Add the canned diced tomatoes with green chile, the chopped Hatch chiles or jalapenos, vegetable broth, vegan Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar, apricot jam, sage, pepper flakes, sea salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce begins to reduce. You want the vegetables to be tender-crisp, not too done, and the sauce to be thickened and not too thin [if, by chance, you need a little more liquid to cook the veggies, add a splash more broth or water]. When this has been achieved, taste test the sauce for seasoning adjustments; then remove from heat, and gently add in the butter beans. Set aside.

Mash the cooked potatoes with a little liquid and Smart Balance or olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper. Add chives if you like. Taste test. Don't add too much liquid or over-mix the potatoes or they'll get gluey. Gluey spuds = not so good.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Assemble your pie:
Spoon the vegetables into a casserole dish. Top with mounds of mashed potato. Sprinkle with chopped chives or parsley. Bake in a moderate oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until the pie is bubbling and heated through.

Serves 4 as a meal, 6 as a side dish.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Vegan potluck burgers

I always fuss over what to make for potluck. I'm gonna do a dessert for sure to satisy the potluck police, but also want to bring a main dish. I decided on burgers.... 3 diff kinds. I'm doing the touchdown burgers from last year's Super Bowl Party, Greek burgers (same idea just w feta and kalamata and oregano), and these. Something for everyone. I hope my newly vegan friend is there this week to enjoy these.

Vegan Lentil Walnut Burgers

2 cans drained lentils
1 c chopped walnuts
1/2 c mashed potatoes or 6 TBS instant potato flakes
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp mustard
12 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 c minced onion
1 c wheat germ
3/4 c soy milk
2 TBS EVOO S/P to taste

Mold and pat into hefty burgers. About 4 minutes each side in a HOT skillet.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cranberry Bars

We've been having evangelistic meetings at our church lately and last night one of the ladies made these for a snack afterwards. This isn't her recipe, but oh my goodness they were yummy!! I could taste shortbread bottom, cranberries and real butter and maybe oatmeal topping? I'm on my way to hunt down a healthy yummy alternative or maybe come up w one myself :) But for now, lookee what we ate!

For the crust & struesel

* 10 1/2 oz. (1 cup plus 5 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to just warm
* 1 c. granulated sugar
* 3/4 tsp. table salt
* 2 large egg yolks
* 14 1/4 oz. (3 cups plus 3 Tbsp.) unbleached all-purpose flour

For the cranberry topping

* 12 oz. bag fresh or frozen cranberries, picked over, rinsed, and drained
* 1 cup granulated sugar

Make the crust: Line a straight-sided 13×9-inch metal baking pan with foil, letting the ends create an overhanging edge for easy removal. In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and the salt. Whisk in the egg yolks. Stir in the flour to make a stiff dough. Transfer about 2 cups of the dough to the prepared pan, and press the mixture evenly into the bottom. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Refrigerate the pan for 30 minutes (or freeze for 5 to 7 minutes), until dough is firm.

Meanwhile, position a rack near the center of the oven and another near the top. Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Bake the dough until the crust begins to set but does not brown at all on the edges (the center will not be firm yet), about 20 minutes. While the crust bakes, prepare the streusel and the topping.

Make the streusel: With your fingers, combine the remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar with the reserved dough until crumbly. The mixture should hold together when pressed, but readily break into smaller pieces.

Make the cranberry topping: In a medium saucepan, bring the cranberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium high and continue to boil until the liquid is reduced to a thick syrup, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the mixture cool 5 to 10 minutes — the syrup will continue to thicken as the mixture cools.

Make the bars: Spread the cranberry mixture evenly over the hot crust. Scatter the streusel over the cranberries (don’t crumble the streusel too much or the texture will be sandy). Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake the bars near the top of the oven until the streusel is golden and set, about 25 minutes. (Baking these bars at the top of the oven helps the streusel brown faster without overbrowning the crust.)

Place the pan on a metal rack to cool until the crust is completely firm, at least 1 hour. (For faster cooling, put the bars in the fridge once the pan is no longer piping hot, or even outside in the winter.)

When the bottom of the pan is cool, carefully lift the bars from the pan using the foil sides and transfer them to a cutting board. Separate the foil from the bars by sliding a spatula between them. Cut the bars into 1 3/4-inch squares. They will keep at room temperature for 1 week.

Makes about 35 bars.

Monday, October 5, 2009

BBQ Tofu

Posting this for Julie.... I can't find the recipe I was looking for, but maybe this will get you started :)


2 lbs. extra-firm tofu, pressed and diced, or skillet fried/ baked
1 1/2 cups ketchup
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1-2 Tbsp. soy sauce -- I use the Bragg's
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
Serve on a bed of lettuce or on a hoagie roll.

Non-crockery goodness :)

The BBQ sauce is adapted from Slashfood, this is the tweaked version...

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground mustard seeds
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup sparkling apple cider;recipe calls for bourbon. Check here for other subs
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

In a large fry pan over medium heat, heat oil and saute onion and garlic until translucent. Add salt, mustard, parsley and paprika and simmer for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, then puree in blender until smooth. Use immediately, or store in refrigerator for up to a week.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A very happy tofu birthday :)

Good morning, everybody! Was going to try to be good and make this for my birthday today, but went with the second one instead. Girl does need her chocolate, y'know :)

Pina colada cheesecake

• 1 9-inch graham cracker crust, unbaked (your preferred recipe)
• 12 ounces organic firm tofu
• 4 ounces soy cream cheese
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 bananas, preferably very ripe
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped, dried pineapple ring
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
• coconut, enough to mix thru the batter, and extra to sprinkle across the top

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Bake the graham cracker crust for 6 minutes and set aside.
In a food processor, combine the tofu, soy cream cheese and sugar and puree until smooth. Add the banana and continue to puree until fully combined.
Pour into the prepared pie crust and spread the dried pineapple and macadamia nuts evenly across the top of the pie. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight. Wrapped, this pie will keep in the refrigerator for 5 days.

1/4C graham cracker crumbs (or just buy a cookie crust)
3/4C egg substitute (equivalent to three whole eggs)
10.5 oz silken firm tofu, drained and cubed
8T granulated sugar
1T lemon juice
1t vanilla
1C nonfat ricotta cheese
fresh berries (as you can see, I'm going for the nutella chocolate sauce instead)

Preheat oven to 325
Spray bottom of an 8" springform pan or pie pan with nonstick cooking spray. Evenly spread graham cracker crumbs on bottom of pan. (OR - Take lid off of premade crust - discard)
Blend egg substitute, tofu, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and ricotta in a blender until smooth.
Pour into pan and bake 35-40 min. (I needed to leave it in for more like an just refued to set in the middle). Remove from oven and cool 15 min at room temp. Refrigerate for at least 1 hr. Top with fresh fruit (or chocolate sauce!!)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Apple Dumplings

Apple Dumplings

1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 package (15 ounces) refrigerated pie crusts
4 apples peeled, cored and halved
8 teaspoons butter, divided
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 500°F. Mix cinnamon and nutmeg in small bowl. (I rather choose to combine the spices and use apple pie spice and cloves and ginger to make it taste more like a real apple pie) Prepare crusts as directed on package. Sprinkle spice mixture evenly on surface of each crust. Cut each crust into 4 equal pieces. Place 1 apple half in center of each piece of crust. Fill center of each apple half with 1 teaspoon of the butter. Carefully fold crust up over apple half, pinching seams together to seal. Place dumplings, seam-side down, in greased 13x9-inch baking dish.

2. Bring sugar, water and 2 tablespoons butter to boil in small saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla; set aside.

3. Bake dumplings about 10 minutes or until crust begins to brown. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Pour sauce over dumplings. Bake 40 to 45 minutes longer or until apples are tender and pastry is golden brown. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Vegan Gelatin

agar = agar-agar = agar agar = dai choy goh = kanten = Japanese gelatin = Japanese isinglass = Chinese gelatin = Chinese isinglass = vegetable gelatin = angel's hair

Pronunciation: AH-gur

Equivalents: Each of these amounts will firm two cups of liquid: 3 tablespoons agar flakes = 2 teaspoons agar powder = 1 kanten bar

Notes: Since gelatin is made from animal tissue, many vegetarians rely upon this seaweed derivative as a substitute. Like ordinary gelatin, agar is flavorless and becomes gelatinous when it's dissolved in water, heated, and then cooled. Agar, though, gels more firmly than gelatin, and it sets and melts at a higher temperature--it can even set at room temperature. Agar, like gelatin, is full of protein (though incomplete), but it also contains the rich array of minerals one would expect from seaweed. To use agar, just soak it in the liquid for about 15 minutes, bring it to a gentle boil, then simmer while stirring until it's completely dissolved. The liquid will gel as it cools. Acids weakens agar's gelling power, so if you're firming an acidic liquid, use more. Like gelatin, agar will break down if exposed to the enzymes of certain raw fruits, like kiwi fruit, papayas, pineapple, peaches, mangos, guavas, and figs. Cooking these fruits, though, destroys the enzymes. If you plan to add any of these fruits to a gelatin salad, it's a good idea to buy them in cans, since all canned fruit is pre-cooked. Agar comes in flakes, powder, or bars.

Substitutes: gelatin (Substitute one tablespoon powdered gelatin for every tablespoon of powdered agar. Gelatin is made from animal by-products.)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Crock pot meal on a busy Monday....

Crockpot Mediterranean Stew

1 eggplant -- chopped
2 zucchini -- chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded/chopped
1 onion -- chopped
3 large tomatoes -- chopped
2 cans garbanzo beans -- (14 oz.) drained/rinsed
1 Tbs oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1 can artichoke hearts packed in water -- (14 oz.) drained/quartered
1 package egg noodles -- cooked
Crushed red pepper flakes -- to taste/opt

Add all ingredients except for noodles to the crock pot and stir well. (Sometimes I also add a Tbs of tomato paste for a thicker stew.) Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over the cooked noodles. 4 Servings.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I just made inside out chicken pie and realized it was time to make more chicken seasoning. I don't think I've posted this here, so here you go. I use it in everything. Mashed potatoes, breading for frying, gravies, sauces, the lemon herb sauce for the manicotti gets this. I use it ALL. THE. TIME. I also tweak it, of course, with extra garlic, celery flakes, etc. Got it from my friend Mindy -- enjoy! :)

Chick-it Seasoning:


1/4 c. Salt
1/2 c. Nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 to 1/2 t. Turmeric
1/2 to 1 t. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder
1/2 t. Marjoram
1/2 t. sage or summer savory
1 T. Parsley

Blend thoroughly to a powder-like consistency.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How to substitute agave for sugar

How to Substitute Agave Nectar for Sugar

Many people want to avoid sugar for personal reasons and so they turn to more natural sources which have not been as refined. Honey and agave nectar are two popular sweeteners which can be used instead of sugar, but honey is made through beekeeping, and some vegans want to avoid it. Other people simply do not like the flavor. Agave nectar is the answer, it has a light flavor which will not overpower other flavors in a dish. This means that you can successfully substitute it in your cooking for honey or sugar. Since it is a liquid, you cannot do an even switch for sugar, refer to the information below for how to have success in all of your recipes which substitute agave nectar for sugar.

1. Examine your recipe to make a note of all of the white and brown sugar and the liquid (milk, water, juice) you need. Also find the temperature the dish will be baked at in the oven.
2. Preheat the oven to 25 degrees F below the temperature named in the recipe. Agave nectar browns faster than sugar. Without lowering the temperature, the food will brown too quickly and be dark on the outside and undercooked inside.
3. Add the total amount of added sugars needed for your recipe and multiply it by 2/3. For example, if your recipe requires 1/2 cup of white sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar add these together to get 1 cup total sugar. Multiply this by 2/3 to get the replacement amount of 2/3 cup agave nectar. For every 1 cup sugar in a recipe, you will use 2/3 cup agave.
4. Reduce the total amount of liquids in your recipe by 2 tbsp. for each 1 cup of sugar you replace with 2/3 cup agave nectar. This means that if your recipe only has 1/2 cup sugar, you will replace that with 1/3 cup agave and put in 1 tbsp. less of liquid.
5. Bake your dish in the oven, but increase the cooking time by 6 percent at 25 degrees F lower than required in the recipe. For example, if your recipe says to bake a cake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees F, you will bake it at 325 degrees F for 64 minutes.

My Best Zucchini Bread

This is by far the best I've ever had. It came out light and moist and deliciously flavorful! Deb, I'm sending one with you on the ATL trip. This one's a definite keeper!

My Best Zucchini Bread

2 cups sugar **See note**
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla - might be 3 tsp. LittleOne was helping me make this and she might have spilled a little extra into the bowl :)
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup diced apples ** see note**
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup orange juice
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350*. In large bowl, mix sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until well blended. Add zucchini, apples, applesauce and orange juice; stir well. Combine flour with next 5 ingredients. Add to zucchini mixture; stir well. Add nuts; stir gently to combine. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9in loaf pans. Bake for 60-70 mins; till toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely.

** Sugar Note**
Substitute agave for sugar

**Apple Note**
(I used one of the little lunch pack fruit cup diced apples, drained. They're already soft and after the first run thru with this recipe, I was looking to make it a little lighter and more moist. The first try came out heavy. Well-flavored, but heavy and dense. These apples just happened to already be in my pantry for school lunches, so I grabbed one and it was PERFECT. The only pic I could find was the diced pears, which would be a yummy substitution for sure!)

Friday, August 7, 2009

I cannot find it!!

Someone has asked for my recipe for my strawberry tofu pie. I have looked and looked through here and I even added a search engine to try to find it. Nope. No luck. It's at the original Veggie-Bistro cookbook site, but I guess it never migrated over here. And so... I post it ... again. I think :) The texture is more like custard than pudding and if you don't tell people what they're eating, they'll never know it's tofu. Top it with Cool Whip and it's even better, but I digress. :) Someone told me once that it's not really vegan because it uses gelatin. My response to that is yes, it can too be vegan. I've been to the health food store enough to know there is a vegan gelatin alternative. Use the vegan alternative and fresh strawberry juice for color and flavor and viola!! Perfection in a pan. Also, just to kick it up to something amazing, try adding in the zest and juice of 2 limes. Oh my goodness is that good! The sweetness of the berries with the contrast of the tang and tart of the lime.... OH! DD 2 doesn't like it as a pie; she eats it in a cup as a custard.

Ok Ok... enough chatter. Here's the goods. Enjoy! :)

Strawberry Custard Pie

1 graham cracker crust
1 medium banana, broken into chunks
1 box silken lite tofu
1 box strawberry gelatin, or vegan alternative if you prefer.
1 cup HOT water

Dissolve gelatin into the hot water and set aside. While that sets, blend together the tofu and the banana until the texture is smooth and creamy. Then add in the gelatin mixture to the blended tofu and whiz again. Blend it thoroughly, then pour into the ready and waiting crust. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. It is delicious and light and good for you. Who can beat that?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

See it wiggle, see it jiggle.....

Wiggle Room
We've seen it jiggle for decades—finally, Jell-O gets to play a bigger role at the dinner table. Combine six boxes of Jell-O powder with half the amount of water specified, chill the mix in a glass vase for half an hour, then just push flowers into the semi-firm gelatin. Design your own—in any color!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bacon Noodles...... OH!!

Country Noodle Casserole


* 1/2 pound sliced veggie bacon
* 16-ounce package very fine egg noodles
* 3 cups cottage cheese
* 3 cups dairy sour cream
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 2 onions, mined
* 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* Dash liquid hot pepper seasoning
* 4 teaspoons salt
* 3 Tablespoons horseradish
* 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* Extra sour cream


Microwave bacon until crisp; place on paper towels and crumble. Cook noodles in boiling salted water until tender, according to package directions; drain well. Mix all remaining ingredients, except Parmesan cheese and extra sour cream, in a large bowl. Add noodles and bacon and toss with two forks until well mixed. Turn into a deep 3-1/2 quart buttered casserole. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until heated through. Remove cover, sprinkle surface with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, broil until golden. Serve remaining Parmesan to sprinkle over each portion, and extra sour cream if you wish.

NOTE: This dish may be prepared ahead of time and cooked just before serving.


Vegeatrian Diet - advantages for children

Found this at the PCRM

Tips for Parents

Vegan diets are safe and offer health advantages, but how does this translate into practical guidelines for parents? Here are some tips for dealing with common situations.

School Lunches / Snacks

It would truly be a challenge to find a classroom where every student eats the same foods. Lactose intolerance, food allergies, ethnic preferences, and religious or dietary restrictions all influence food choices. The classroom can provide an opportunity to introduce students and teachers to healthy foods. Fresh fruit, veggies cut into fun shapes served with bean dip, muffins, and crackers spread with nut butter and fruit, are all healthy, delicious snacks.

Be sure to discuss food issues with your child’s teacher. Find out if the teacher has any classroom rules regarding foods. For example, some teachers may not allow candy or other sweets to be eaten in the classroom—a sign of helpful nutritional interest and concern. Discuss the reasons that your child follows a vegan diet and provide the teacher with nutrition information. Airing these issues ahead of time helps head off problems by familiarizing the teacher with vegan diets. Donating books or cookbooks to the school library is helpful. It’s also useful to link up with like-minded parents for mutual support.

The variety of vegetables, legumes, grains, and fruits available can make for interesting school lunch fare. For parents concerned that their child’s meal will be “different,” try meat analogs, soy cheese, or soy yogurt. Leftovers are another quick and easy lunchtime alternative. Experiment with these suggestions:

* Sandwiches—Try hummus or another bean spread with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and shredded carrots in pita bread. Many whole foods stores and some grocery stores sell vegan deli slices that look and taste like bologna, Canadian bacon, roast beef, and turkey. Serve on whole-grain bread with soy cheese, mustard, lettuce, and tomato. Peanut butter is an old standby. For variety, try other nut butters, such as cashew, almond, or hazelnut, with sliced banana or peaches on whole wheat bread. Cutting sandwiches into novel shapes is fun for kids.
* Hot meals—Fill a wide-mouth thermos with just-made or leftover pasta and tomato sauce, hearty bean soup, veggie chili, or stew. Or make your own vegetarian version of “franks & beans” using vegetarian hot dogs and vegetarian baked beans.
* Soups—Warm your child with homemade vegetable or bean soups. If you are short on time, try a low-sodium instant soup. Just stir hot water into the soup mix and pour into a thermos. Round off the meal with some crackers, crunchy baby carrots, and soy or rice milk.
* Side dishes—Choose a couple of the following suggestions to complete your child’s meal: individual boxes of soy or rice milk, soy yogurt, chopped vegetables and dip, whole grain breads or crackers, homemade muffins, rice cakes, pretzels, or fresh fruit. Although the United States Department of Agriculture still mandates that cow’s milk be served with school lunches, many schools will allow juice to be substituted, if you present a physician’s note.

Birthday Parties

Whether the celebration occurs at school or at home, your child needn’t feel like an outsider. If the celebration is for another child, offer to bring a dish or dessert to the party. Some popular foods are listed below:

* Hot dogs—Vegan versions of the traditional meat hot dogs are widely available. Try some of the following brands: Lightlife Smart Dogs or Tofu Pups, Yves Veggie Weiners or Tofu Weiners. Sauerkraut, relish, ketchup, and mustard go well with any of these.
* Hamburgers—Many types of vegan burgers are available in grocery stores or whole foods stores. Try some of the following brands: Boca Burgers, Garden Vegan, or Harvest Burgers. Allow children to add their own toppings—ketchup, mustard, pickles, onions, lettuce, tomato, or relish.
* Pizza—Spread tomato sauce on plain bagels or English muffins and have children top them with a variety of fresh vegetables, such as chopped onions, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, or olives. Add a sprinkle of soy cheese for more flavor. If you have time, make or purchase pizza dough and cut the dough into a variety of shapes. Have the kids add the toppings and bake.
* Dessert—Try fruit smoothies using soy or rice milk and frozen fruit. Watermelon slices always go over well with kids. Or prepare a fruit salad, cutting the fruit into a variety of shapes.

If you are making a cake or cupcakes, try some of the following suggestions for replacing eggs and/or dairy in the recipe:

* To replace eggs in baked goods, substitute 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) soft tofu, 1/3 cup applesauce, or 1/3 cup pumpkin for each egg. Half of a small mashed banana can also replace each egg—and tastes great in pancakes or muffins. Commercially prepared substitutes such as Ener-G Egg Replacer (a mixture of potato starch, flour, and leavening) can also be used per package instructions.
* Replace milk with soymilk or rice milk, cup for cup, in any recipe. For buttermilk, substitute each cup with 1 cup of soymilk or rice milk plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar. For yogurt in recipes, replace each cup with 3/4 cup soymilk or rice milk plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

My new favorite site -- PCRM

Vegetarian Diets Promote Bone Health

PCRM Responds to New Study on Eating Habits and Bone Density

WASHINGTON—A study was published in the July 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on vegetarian diets and bone density. The study appears to have been misinterpreted by some reporters as suggesting that vegetarian and vegan diets might lead to decreased bone health. This is not what the study showed.

The study’s results suggest that vegetarian diets may be associated with slightly lower bone mineral density. "But the magnitude of the association is clinically insignificant," as the study’s lead researcher, Tuan Nguyen, explained in the paper’s conclusion.

Other studies have found that vegetarian and vegan diets have no clinically detrimental effect on bone health. Indeed, one recent study by the same researchers found that a lifelong vegan diet has no adverse effects on bone mineral density compared to an omnivorous diet. Many epidemiological studies show that high dairy intake is actually associated with increased fracture risk.

"Vegetarian diets can help people build strong bones, and plant-based diets reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer," says Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., an assistant professor of health and wellness at the University of North Carolina Asheville and author of Building Bone Vitality, a new book about bone loss and osteoporosis prevention. "To build strong bones and healthy bodies, people need weight-bearing exercise and low-acid, plant-based diets rich in fruits and vegetables."

A scientific review on the role of dairy in bone health published in Pediatrics in 2005 showed that the majority of studies on this subject have found no relationship between bone health and dairy consumption or dietary calcium intake. The level of dairy product consumption in the United States is already among the highest in the world, and yet our osteoporosis and fracture rates are also among the highest.

Dairy also poses health concerns. Fluid milk has become the single largest source of artery-clogging saturated fat in the diets of American children. A study from the Harvard Medical School found that drinking milk actually increases the risk of childhood obesity. Fat from dairy products is associated with increased risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study just published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mushroom Stroganoff

Mushroom Stroganoff, is a great, speedy weeknight dinner, especially if you cook the noodles the night before (whole wheat egg noodles or bowties work well)

1 lb portabello mushrooms (either the large or baby bellas), cut in half and sliced
1/2 onion, diced
1 - 1 1/2 c sour cream (fat free plain Greek yogurt)
1/2 - 1 Tbsp Hungarian Paprika
salt & pepper to taste
olive oil or butter (or a little of each)
1/8 cup (or so) vegetable broth
Saute diced onions in olive oil or butter (your preference) until just soft and translucent. Add sliced mushrooms, saute until cooked through. This next step could also use a Tbs or so of white vinegar. Add broth/wine paprika and incorporate well. Turn down heat and add sour cream. Heat through, add salt & pepper to taste. Add more sour cream if the 1 cup doesn't cover everything well. Serve on top of egg noodles or rice. If you don't have enough sour cream, you can add cream cheese and it will still be very good! Mushrooms are a great source of protein as well as many other nutrients.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chocolate Pillows - best vegan cookie ever

Found these over at the ppk...

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pillows
makes 2 dozen cookies

Chocolate dough:

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

3 tablespoons non-dairy milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder

2 tablespoons black unsweetened cocoa or more dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt


3/4 cup natural salted peanut butter, crunchy or creamy style

2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 to 3 tablespoons soy creamer or non-dairy milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, maple syrup, non-dairy milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Sift in flour, cocoa powder, black cocoa if using, baking soda and salt. Mix to form a moist dough.

Make the filling. In another mixing bowl beat together peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, 2 tablespoons of soy creamer and vanilla extract to form a moist but firm dough. If peanut butter dough is too dry (as different natural peanut butters have different moisture content), stir in remaining tablespoon of non-dairy milk. If dough is too wet knead in a little extra powdered sugar.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Shape the cookies. Create the centers of the cookies by rolling the peanut butter dough into 24 balls. Scoop a generous tablespoon of chocolate dough, flatten into a disc and place a peanut butter ball in the center. Fold the sides of the chocolate dough up and around the peanut butter center and roll the chocolate ball into an smooth ball between your palms. Place on a sheet of waxed paper and repeat with remaining doughs. If desired gently flatten cookies a little, but this is not necessary.

Place dough balls on lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and let cookies for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to complete cooling. Store cookies in tightly covered container. If desired warm cookies in a microwave for 10 to 12 seconds before serving.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Buttermilk Pie!

Southern Buttermilk Pie

Crust Ingredients:

* 2 1/2 cups Flour (All Purpose Unbleached)
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 3 Tablespoons cold milk
* 2/3 cup oil (vegetable or canola–make sure it is fresh!)

Buttermilk Pie Ingredients:

* 1 1/4 cups sugar
* 3 tablespoons flour
* 4 eggs, whisked
* 1 cup buttermilk
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
* 1 stick butter, melted and cooled (1/2 cup of butter)
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
* 1 tablespoon lemon zest
* pinch of grated Nutmeg

Pat-in-the-Pan Crust Directions:

1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl until blended
2. Add wet ingredients and stir gently until the dough forms a ball.( For a tender crust, do not over mix).
3. Put dough into pie pan and pat it thin and flat to conform to the shape of the pan.
4. Crimp the edges.
5. You are now ready for the filling.

A note about the oil: Make sure the oil is fresh because if it has begun to turn rancid, your crust will taste bitter and that’s no fun! (I learned the hard way!)

There are all kinds of recipes for Buttermilk Pie. Some are as gooey and sweet as a candy bar….this custard-y pie is just “sweet enough” and has a refreshing hint of fresh lemon for those sultry summer days that are hotter than a fritter-in-a-fryin’ pan. I guess y'all know now what I'm bringing to the next potluck :)

Buttermilk Pie Directions:

1. In your mixer, combine the flour and sugar.
2. Stir in the eggs, and buttermilk .
3. Add the cooled melted butter, vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
4. Add a pinch or two of grated Nutmeg.
5. Pour into the unbaked pie shell.
6. Put the pie in the center of the oven and bake at 425 in a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes, then lower the temp to 350, and bake for 40 more minutes.
7. Cool then keep chilled.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Favorite Falafel

My Favorite Falafel

1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. salt
1/2 to 1 tsp. dried hot red pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. baking powder
4 to 6 Tbsp. flour
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
Sliced tomato for garnish
Diced onion for garnish
Pita Bread or Garlic toasted sub buns

Tzatziki Sauce

2 (8 ounce) containers plain yogurt
2 cucumbers - peeled, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
3 cloves garlic, peeled

In a food processor or blender, combine yogurt, cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill and garlic. Process until well-combined. Transfer to a separate dish, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour for best flavor.

Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.

Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onion in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic and cumin. Process until blended but not puréed.

Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 Tbsp. of flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts, or use a falafel scoop, available in Middle Eastern markets.

Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Stuff half a pita with falafel balls, chopped tomatoes, and onion. Makes 5 servings.

Monday, July 20, 2009

8 Surprising Uses for Olive Oil

The Daily Green
Eight surprising uses for olive oil
By Brian Clark Howard

Olive oil is more than a cartoon character, a historic symbol of peace and glory, or a food staple of the much-vaunted Mediterranean diet.

It is actually tremendously useful stuff, finding applications in personal care, home improvement, green cleaning, natural remedies, and other areas.

The health benefits of olive oil have been frequently reported. Olive oil promotes "good" cholesterol (HDL), is known to be gentle on the digestive system, and even may help prevent gallstones and soothe ulcers. Good quality olive oil contains valuable vitamins and nutrients, and it is loaded with antioxidants, which many believe help protect the body from cancer.

These days there are an increasing array of organic and boutique olive oils offered for sale, some of them quite pricey. In general, the less processed an oil the more nutrients it contains, although the more expensive it tends to be. Buying organic is one way to protect the fragile environment of the Mediterranean and elsewhere.

It's true that you won't be consuming the olive oil in a number of the uses below, and part of the point of this post is to help you save money by suggesting alternative uses to things you already have, so you don't have to make a trip to the store and buy some additional products to get the job done.

Therefore, we understand if you prefer to use the cheapest, lowest-grade oils for some of these tips. You probably aren't going to crack open that vintage bottle of herb-infused oil your aunt brought you back from Tuscany in the event that you have a squeaky door. But since people seemed to find everyday alternative uses for vodka, vinegar and ketchup useful, we thought we'd look into olive oil:

Ease snoring

Taking a sip of olive oil before heading to bed can help lubricate your throat muscles, cutting down on snoring, according to the handy website AltUse. We won't tell if you drizzle some extra olive oil on Grandma's salad the next time she comes to visit!

Others have noted that downing a teaspoon of olive oil can help soothe a scratchy or ticklish throat.

Cure an earache

A number of folks swear by olive oil as a natural remedy for earaches. One suggestion is to "very carefully use a cotton swab to apply olive oil to the outside ear cavity to help with earaches and excess wax." One online tip suggests: Heat up some olive oil in a microwave for 30 seconds then apply it to the ear that hurts for relief.

Tame tangled and damaged hair

Olive oil also has benefits for hair. Comb a bit of the stuff through dry or frizzy hair to help tame and moisturize your locks, especially in winter or on humid days.

Olive oil can also provide some relief for damaged hair. In the book Clean Body, Michael de Jong suggests treating your tresses by kneading a few tablespoons of olive oil into your scalp and hair. "Swathe your oiled-up curls with a shower cap and take a 30-minute breather ... snooze, toss back a latté, whatever. Then just shampoo as usual to reveal a refurbished mane that even Fabio would envy," he writes.

Get healthy skin (and fight cancer!)

People have used olive oil for centuries for personal care. It is a great skin moisturizer, in part because it contains linoleic acid, a compound not made by the body, but which prevents water from evaporating.

According to Leslie Baumann, M.D., author of The Skin Type Solution, consuming olives and olive oil can promote healthy skin, as can applying it directly as a moisturizer. You can also add a bit of olive oil to a warm bath for a good healthy soak.

Some of the most exciting news, according to Baumann, is that olive oil also contains at least four different antioxidants, which can help "neutralize damaging free radicals that can lead to skin aging and skin cancer." Baumann writes that, in studies, mice that drank extra-virgin olive oil developed less skin cancer after exposure to UV light.

Olive oil can also provide a safe and natural lubricant for a close shave. As a soothing aftershave, rub in an extra teaspoon of the stuff after rinsing off. In fact, some products from The Art of Shaving are based on olive oil.

Similarly, olive oil can soothe chapped lips. Make your own balm by mixing olive oil and melted beeswax in a 1:1 ratio (add an essential oil if you want a nice fragrance).

According to AltUse, you can moisturize your cuticles by soaking in olive oil mixed with water, or apply olive oil directly to cuticles before applying polish or buffing nails.

Care for your cat

Just as humans can benefit from grooming with olive oil, so can cats Fluffy and Mittens. According to, add a teaspoon of olive oil to your cat’s food to help prevent hairballs, as well as promote a shiny, healthy coat. Olive oil is likely to be more gentle on a cat's system than petroleum-based anti-hairball lubricants. Plus, it has the benefit of coming from a renewable resource, as opposed to oil from the ground.

Free stuck zippers

There are few things more annoying than stuck zippers (remember that episode of Seinfeld when George visits his therapist?).

So if you are vexed by this particular problem, break out the olive oil. Swab some of the stuff on the teeth of the zipper, then try gently easing it unstuck. Good luck!

Polish furniture and metal (and condition leather)

Silverware, copper, and other metal items can be polished with ketchup or toothpaste. After you're done rub a bit of olive oil on to prevent streaks, corrosion, and tarnish.

To polish your wood desk according to Michael de Jong, use two parts olive oil mixed with one part lemon juice. Pour just a few drops on a soft cloth, wipe away the dust, scuffs, and fingerprints, and your desk will shine. This technique works well for a range of wooden furniture and objects.

You can also condition and revitalize leather goods, such as baseball mitts, by rubbing in olive oil. Let set for 30 minutes, then wipe away any excess.

Fix squeaky doors

Olive oil can be used as a lubricant in many applications. It's safe to keep around the house, so you don’t have to worry about children or pets getting into it. Try it out on squeaky doors, hinges, and anywhere else you might consider using WD-40 or another lubricant.

While WD-40 may work well, it's also based on hydrocarbons, so any time we can use less of those we're taking a step toward a cleaner world.

Other uses?

Some folks also swear by the alternative health treatment ozonated olive oil, which is made by bubbling ozone into the oil until it forms a paste. The result is said to be good for soothing skin and promoting healing. We haven't had a chance yet to try it for ourselves, but if anyone has any experience with it let us know!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bird's Nest Pudding

Bird's nest pudding

* 1 cup milk
* 4oz flour
* 3 eggs
* 4 apples, peeled and cored
* 1/2 tsp nutmeg
* 4oz brown sugar

Stuff the apples with the brown sugar and put them in an oven dish. Beat the milk, eggs, nutmeg and flour together and pour this over the apples. Bake in the oven at 175 degrees for half an hour.

Grilled Jam Cake?

For all you campers and tailgaters out there :)

Jam Cake

1/2 c milk
1 stick butter
1 c sugar
1 c jam
2 eggs
2 c flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t nutmeg or cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar. Beat eggs till lemon colored. Combine. Add flour mixed with baking powder and milk alternately. Beat after each addition. Use any kind of jam you like, adding it to the batter and swirling in a marbled pattern. Bake in 6" greased and floured tube pan at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes. You may also use a small loaf pan. If baking over coals, this cake cooks in about 15 minutes.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mexican Appetillas

My sister makes these for every family get together, and with her permission I am adapting the base recipe to Mexicanize and veggietize it. :)

Mexican Appetillas

1 pkg super size tortillas
1/3 c mayo
Taco seasoning to taste (cumin, lime juice, jalepeno, cayenne, etc)
1/4 c chopped black olives
2 8oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c chopped green onion
1/2 c chopped green chilies

Bring tortillas to room temperature. (If they are too cold they won't roll up nicely). Mix together all ingredients except tortillas. Lay tortilla flat and spread thin layer of mixture over the top. Tightly roll tortilla and wrap in plastic. Fridge 3 hrs or overnight. Cut into 3/4" slices before serving.

Of course part of me is dying to use Tofutti cream cheese and Nayonnaise and not tell anybody, but for the first batch I'm goin' with the good stuff ;) Of course the base recipe is just minus the seasoning and the chilies, and add a thin layer of deli shaved turkey. This being a method recipe, the options are endless. Peppers, tomatoes, spinach, herbs, different cheese, etc. Can't wait to see your suggestions.

What about doing a dessert version with pumpkin cream cheese with tiny apple bits mixed in?

Who knew?

Hummus has been a staple in our house for as long as I can remember. It's probably our favorite condiment. We use it for dip for veggies and bagel chips and crackers. We use it as a substitute for pizza sauce on my *Mediterranean pizza. We use it on sandwiches and wraps... When DD1 was 6 months old, she was eating it by the spoonful. It's just always been here. But yet, I've never made it.

So this weekend I had a cpl cans of garbanzos in the pantry and viola... it IS easy! And better than store-bought, for sure. I didn't measure anything, but I can tell you what I put in it.

2 cans garbanzos pureed til smooth. Whiz in olive oil and lemon juice, fresh garlic and chives and onion powder. Add a little salt and Garlic Herb Mrs Dash and that was it. I didn't have any tahini to add, don't usually keep that in the fridge. This was just simple and delicious as is. Simple and flavorful and done in a flash. Of course now I feel like a complete nut for not trying this 10 yrs ago, but.... c'est la vie.


* Mediterranean Pizza

Pizza crust warmed in the oven. Top with garlic hummus, fresh spinach, seasoned and thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes or olives, provolone or mozzerella cheese scattered across the top. Sprinkle with basil and oregano. So amazing!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Way Cool...

Way-Cool Fruit Pops

Frozen fruit on a stick makes an easy and healthful snack. Each 34-calorie pop provides almost a full serving of fruit!

In a blender, combine 1 cup guava nectar, pear nectar or orange juice with 1 cup pineapple juice and 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks. Cover and blend until smooth. Divide 1 cup coarsely chopped or sliced fresh fruit (such as strawberries, kiwifruit, papaya or melon) among 12 freezer-pop molds or 4- to 6-ounce paper cups. Pour blended mixture over fruit.

Add wood sticks, and cover the molds. Or cover each cup with foil; make a small hole in the foil with a knife, and insert sticks into cups through holes where the foil will hold the sticks upright. Freeze 4 hours or until the fruit pops are firm.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All natural... and it doesn't hurt. :)

Robin’s Almond Oatmeal Honey Facial Scrub

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup almonds

½ cup honey

Put oatmeal and almonds in the blender and combine. “Make it as fine as you think you want, because you want it dense enough to scrub,” Robin says.

Add the honey to the oatmeal almond mixture. Apply to the face and wash off.

If you choose to make larger batches, you can keep the extra in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

“One thing I love about this is you can do it every day, because it’s all natural, won’t harm your skin and really exfoliates well,” Robin says.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Breaksnack? Snunch?

Snack? Light dinner? Lunch? Breakfast? This is gonna be a winner in our house for sure. Maybe after a busy day out and about we could come home and make these together and snuggle in with a movie... Works for me. :)

Apple Bagel Sandwiches with Pumpkin Cream Cheese

8 servings Grill: 5 minutes
Prep: 30 minutes
Chill: 2 hours


* 1/4 cup apple jelly
* 2 teaspoons snipped fresh chives
* 2 teaspoons lemon juice
* 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 2 small red and/or green apples
* 4 bagels or English muffins, split
* Pumpkin Cream Cheese (recipe follows)
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted


1. For glaze: In a small saucepan, combine apple jelly, chives, lemon juice, pumpkin pie spice and cayenne pepper. Heat and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Remove from heat; set aside to cool slightly.

2. For apples: Core apples and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rings. Toss apple slices with glaze. Set aside.

3. For a charcoal grill: Grill apple slices on the lightly greased rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 5 to 6 minutes or until tender, turning once. (For gas grill: Preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place apple slices on lightly greased grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.)

4. Place bagels, cut side down, next to apple slices the last 2 minutes of grilling or until toasted.

5. To serve, spread desired amount of the Pumpkin Cream Cheese on the toasted sides of each bagel. Sprinkle with pecans or walnuts and top with the apple slices. Makes 8 servings.

To tote: Before leaving home, place apples and glaze in a storage container with tight-fitting lid. Or, place apple slices with glaze on the unheated rack of a broiler pan and broil 4 to 5 inches from heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until lightly browned and just tender. Apple slices can then be wrapped in foil to tote. Bagel halves can be toasted in a toaster or by placing cut side up on the rack of a broiler pan and broiling 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Place bagel halves in a covered storage container to tote.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese: In a medium bowl, beat one 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened; 1/2 cup canned pumpkin; 2 tablespoons sugar; and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon with an electric mixer until smooth. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours. Makes about 1 1/2 cups spread.

Simple Summer Pizza

Fresh Veggie Pizza

one 12-inch pizza, 6 servings
Prep: 30 minutes
Stand: 10 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes


* 1 pound frozen whole wheat or white bread dough, thawed
* 2 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, sliced
* 1 medium red, green or yellow sweet pepper, chopped
* 1 tablespoon olive oil or cooking oil
* 1-1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
* 2 green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
* 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
* 1 8oz can pizza sauce -- we chose to use a can of Italian Seasoned diced tomatoes. Doing this we also eliminated the sliced plum tomatoes in the toppings.
* 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted green and/or black olives
* 1 cup shredded mozzarella, provolone or Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
* 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese


1. Preheat oven to 425 degree F. For dough: Place thawed bread dough on lightly floured surface and let rest 10 minutes. Roll into a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface, building up edges slightly. (Be careful not to stretch too far; however if a hole appears, you can pinch it back together with your fingers.) Transfer pizza circle to a greased baking sheet. Here would be a good place to lightly brush the dough w olive oil, garlic and oregano for that hidden flavor boost. Using the tines of a fork, prick dough over entire surface. Bake about 8 minutes or until set but not browned.

2. Meanwhile, for veggies in a large skillet, cook and stir zucchini or squash and sweet pepper in hot oil for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add mushrooms and onions. Cook and stir 2 minutes more or until just tender. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes.

3. Spread pizza sauce/tomatoes on hot crust to within 1 inch of edge. Using a slotted spoon, spoon zucchini mixture over sauce. Top with olives. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake about 15 minutes more or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Makes one 12-inch pizza, 6 servings.

Raspberry Cream Tart

Raspberry Cream Tart

Cool: 30 minutes
Prep: 20 minutes
Bake: 35 minutes

1 16.5oz. roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough, pressed 1/2" thick
2 3-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups fresh red raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries
2 tsp. granulated sugar
Powdered sugar
Fresh red raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries (optional)

1. Press cookie dough slices into bottom and fluted sides of a greased 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Do not prick. (Or, press onto bottom of greased 12-inch pizza pan.) Bake in a 350 degrees F oven 20 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup sugar, egg, lemon peel, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until combined. Pour cheese mixture over warm crust and spread evenly.

3. Place the 2 cups raspberries in a single layer on top of cheese mixture. Sprinkle raspberries with 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes more or until or until cheese mixture is set. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool for 30 minutes before serving.

4. Just before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Garnish with additional fresh berries, if you like. Makes 8 servings.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I'm gonna have to work my way up to this one...

Are you eating enough iron? Have a vitamin C source with an iron source (think smoothie with frozen blueberries, kale (iron and calcium), banana (masks the kale), orange juice for C); vitamin C increases the absorption of the iron.

Scroll down this page to see iron sources:

I get the concept, but kale and blueberries? Like... together? Couldn't I just have one or the other and take a pill for the other one? That would work too, right?


Lunch - Southwest Style

This is my kind of recipe... cheap, easy, and delicious. Enjoy!

Southwest Falafel

1 15oz can pinto beans- drained,rinsed (any bean, canned or 1.5 cups home cooked)
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1/4 cup finely crushed tortilla chips -- we're gonna use Doritos :)
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

Spread – mash an avocado with salsa and fat free yogurt (Greek-style is best)
1/4 cup mashed peeled avocado
2 tablespoons finely chopped plum tomato
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (6 inch) pita's, each cut in half crosswise

To prepare patties, place pinto beans in a medium bowl; partially mash with a fork. Add cheese and next 5 ingredients (through egg white) stir until well combined. Form into 4 (1/2 inch thick) oval patties.

Heat oil in a lg nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties; cook 3 min on each side or until patties are browned and thoroughly heated.

To prepare spread, while patties cook, combine avocado, tomato, red onion, sour cream, lime juice, and salt. Place one patty in each pita half. Spread about 2 tablespoons of spread over patty in each pita half.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Better than take-out...

Herb Butter-and-Goat Cheese Linguine with Fresh Tomatoes


* Salt and pepper
* 1 pound linguine pasta
* 8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
* 6 tablespoons butter
* 2 shallots, finely chopped
* 1/2 cup chicken broth
* 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
* 2 cups chopped multicolored heirloom tomatoes


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it,
add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain,
reserving a ladleful of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is working, in a serving bowl,
add the crumbled goat cheese. In a medium saucepan,
melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallots
and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the
white wine and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.
Add the parsley, dill, tarragon and thyme. Stir in the reserved
pasta cooking water.

Add the pasta to the goat cheese. Pour the herb sauce
on top, season with pepper and toss for 1 minute. Add
the tomatoes and toss gently for another minute; season
with salt and pepper.

Here's your go-to for the day

Found this over at the fat free vegan.... universal filling for lasagnas and bakes of all kinds. Two versions here, one tofu based and the other bean based. Both vegan, both yummy!

Creamy Bean Filling

1 15-ounce can great northern beans
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 cup spinach, firmly packed

Prepare the filling by placing all ingredients into a food processor and processing until smooth.

Tofu filling

10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 lb tofu (firm, reduced-fat recommended--not silken!)
1 tsp. salt (optional)
2 tbsp. nutritional yeast (adds a cheesy taste)
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. rosemary, crushed
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Place the tofu and thawed spinach in the food processor and process briefly. Add the remaining filling ingredients to the processor and blend until smooth.

Italian Vegetable Bake

This is delicious out of the crock pot. Top with red pepper flakes for kick. Enjoy :)

Italian Vegetable Bake

1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 lb. fresh green beans, sliced
1/2 lb. fresh okra, cut into 1/2" pieces or 3/4 cup (1/2 10 oz. pkg) frozen okra
3/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
3 medium (7" long) zucchini, cut into 1" cubes
1 medium eggplant, pared and cut into 1" cubes
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1. Drain and coarsely chop tomatoes. Save liquid.
2. Mix together tomatoes and reserved liquid, onion, green beans, okra, green pepper, lemon juice, and herbs.
3. Cover and bake at 325º F for 15 minutes.
4. Mix in zucchini and eggplant and continue baking, covered, 60-70 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally.
5. Sprinkle top with parmesan cheese just before serving.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Healthy cookies

One zillion kudos and credits to 101Cookbooks. Don't you just love her stuff??

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm - so it isn't solid (or alternately, olive oil)
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 - 7 ounces chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third.

In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks/chips.The dough is a bit looser than a standard cookie dough, don't worry about it. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 - 14 minutes. I baked these as long as possible without burning the bottoms and they were perfect - just shy of 15 minutes seems to be about right in my oven.

Makes about 3 dozen bite-sized cookies.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

$13,000 for cookies?? SOLD.

What an amazing legacy...


• 1 pkg. lemon cake mix
• 2 c. (small carton) frozen whipped topping
• 1 egg or 2 egg whites
• Lemon juice

1. Mix all of the ingredients together.
2. Form the dough into balls and roll in powdered sugar.
3. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Be careful not to overbake.

You can refrigerate the dough to make it easier to form into balls and roll in powdered sugar. Word is that this easy recipe works with any flavor cake mix. What if we tried a chocolate base and mint extract?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Banana Lime Smoothies

Key Lime-Banana Smoothie


* 1 container (6 ounces) 99% fat-free Key lime pie yogurt (2/3 cup)
* 1 ripe banana, sliced
* 1/2 cup fat-free (skim) milk
* 1 tablespoon lime juice
* 1/4 teaspoon dry lemon/lime flavored soft drink mix (0.13oz pkg)
* 1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt


1. In blender, place all ingredients except frozen yogurt.
Cover and blend on high speed until smooth.
2. Add frozen yogurt. Cover and blend until smooth.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Around The World Cookbook

The girls and I are working our way thru their Around The World Cookbook. But rather than posting all the wonderful delights we've seen so far (pavlova, mandu, bourekas...), I thought I'd send you these instead. Enjoy :)

2 medium potatoes, boiled for 5 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound vegetarian sausage crumbles
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chile powder
3/4 teaspoon round cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Frozen puff pastry, thawed (Just easier that way)

Chimichurri Sauce (optional)

For filling:
(This can be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.)

Grate the potatoes and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up as it cooks. Add potatoes, onion, spices and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until ingredients are soft. Cool.

For pastry:
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add enough cold water for the dough to come together and form a ball. Knead until smooth. Let rest 10-15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a lightly floured board roll pastry to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 5 to 6 inch cutter, punch out rounds. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling in center of each. Fold pastry in half and seal edges, crimping with a fork. Bake on ungreased sheet for 15-20 minutes. Serve with chimichurri sauce, or eat as is.

Chimichurri Sauce
You can mince the ingredients by hand or use a food processor, which is faster and easier. There are many variations on this condiment, and it is served with everything from empanadas to grilled steak.

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1 clove garlic
2 minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced basil, thyme or oregano, or mixture
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and let set for at least 2 hours before serving.

More cheese, please :)

Nutritional Yeast Cheese Sauce

1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup flour
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 cups water
1 T. margarine
1/2-1 tsp. mustard

Place first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan.
Add water and cook over medium heat, stirring consistently until the sauce thickens (5-10 minutes).
Remove from heat and stir in margarine and mustard.

This recipe is easily doubled, and keeps covered in the fridge for days.
Great for mac & cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, casseroles, stuffed shells or enchilada toppings, pizza, etc.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who needs Girl Scouts....


Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

Things You'll Need:

* 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 cup quick cooking oats
* 3 tablespoons butter, softened
* 1 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
* 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

1. Get a large bowl and combine the cream, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, both the white and brown sugars and the vanilla. Add the egg and beat the mixture well.

2. Get out another big bowl and mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the salt. You will then pour these dry ingredients into the creamed mixture in the first bowl. Stir until both mixtures are well combined. Once it's mixed, add the oatmeal and stir until the oatmeal is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.

3. With a teaspoon, drop the cookie batter onto a greased baking sheet, then press each of the mounds down with a fork, forming approximately 1/4 inch thick cookies. Put the cookies into a 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 10 minutes, or until cookies the are a light brown color.

4. While the cookies are baking, you need to make the filling: Cream 3 tablespoons of butter with confectioners sugar, 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, and cream. Sit the filling aside until the cookies have finished baking and are completely cooled. Then, spread the filling on half of the cookies, then place another cookie on top to form sandwiches.

Or we could always just do the old stand by go-to.....


* 3/4 cup butter, soft
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup ripe banana, mashed (2-3 bananas)
* 1 1/2 cups flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
* 1 3/4 cups oatmeal
* 2 cups of peanut butter chips

Preheat the oven to 400°.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour,
baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.

Mix together the butter and egg until creamy.
Slowly add sugar; mix well. Add bananas; mix well.

Add flour mixture to the banana mixture. Mix until
just combined.

Add oatmeal and peanut butter chips.

Using small ice cream scoop, drop cookies onto baking
sheet space cookies 2 inches apart.
Bake 13-15 minutes.

Cool 2 minute than transfer to rack and cool completely.
Store in air tight container to keep fresh.
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