Lemon Custard Bars

 

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I’m trying to make more things from the Riesberg Recipes cookbook. These are the yummy lemon custard bars. I made them using my mini muffin tins to create ready to serve pieces. The last time I made these I used my brownie pan and they ended up burning, so this time I really watched them closely since I was making them even smaller. I don’t think I baked them long enough as most broke in half. They still taste great!

Lemon Custard Bars

1 c flour
¼ c powdered sugar
½ c butter
Pat in 8” pan and bake 20 min @ 325°.

2 eggs
1 c sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
Beat until creamy. Fold in 2 Tbsp. flour and ½ tsp. baking powder. Spread over crust. Bake 25-30 min @ 350°.

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Lasagna

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I dove into the family cookbook to make some lasagna. There are a few recipes to choose from the Riesberg Recipes, this one is easy and of course I made some alterations to it. Below I have both the original recipe and the substitutions I have made.

Lasagna

8 oz lasagna (I’ve been using no boil)
1 lb hamburger (ground turkey)
32 oz spaghetti sauce
15 oz cottage cheese
12 oz grated mozzarella cheese (riccota, from a deli it comes in a pie shape)
¼ c grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
spices as desired (i.e. oregano, basil, ground pepper)

In greased (or lined) 9×13 pan place small amount of spaghetti sauce, put 3 layers of 3 strips of uncooked lasagna, spaghetti sauce with hamburger, cottage cheese and mozzarella. Top with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes, remove cover and continue baking for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

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I created my own chicken noodle soup recipe on a whim one day. I wanted to create something that I knew exactly what’s in it. It wasn’t until after creating this recipe did I realize all the extra benefits I had put into it. Also since I made this up the measurements are mostly in grams since I enter my recipes into My Fitness Pal and want accurate weights.

My family has a history of Alzheimer’s/dementia and cancer. After my own health problems I have learned that tumeric is an all around great spice to have in your cupboard. It’s actually being studied for it’s benefits in slowing Alzheimer’s and possible prevention and treatment of cancers. Seriously, go search this! There are even pills so you don’t have to add it to every meal. And I chose to use rice noodles since my husband has a wheat sensitivity.

In general chicken noodle soup is believed to be good to eat when you have a cold, while this seems to be true, adding some of these other ingredients will make this a great thing to eat while you’re feeling great too. Rosemary is an antioxidant, carrots are good for beta carotene and fiber, chicken provides protein, the list goes on. Don’t just make this if you are feeling under the weather, make this to keep your body going strong. Give your body the nutrients it needs to fight off more than just the common cold.

Chicken Noodle Soup

2-4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2-3 lg carrots
200 g onion (white)
20 g fresh parsley
2 c vegetable broth (I use Saffron Road vegetable broth, so yummy!)
1 c water
150 g celery
4 oz rice noodles (or regular if you don’t have gluten issues), cook per package directions
3 lg garlic cloves
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground tumeric

While chopping vegetables, put chicken breasts in a roaster with 1/2 cup vegetable broth and 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup chicken bone stock and pepper. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, check to make sure it’s cooked through.

In a stock pot, melt down coconut oil. Add garlic and onion. After a couple minutes start adding celery and carrots. Slowly add in vegetable broth to keep vegetables from sticking to the bottom of your pot. Continue cooking until vegetables are tender. Dice chicken and add to stock pot with remaining broth. Add spices and noodles, mix well. Add water and parsley, continue stirring and heat through.

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Add a little turmeric

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I have no idea if my thought of making eggs more yellow is even a thing that people care about, but I thought I would share this little tidbit. Now that I’m at home I’ve been making myself lunch. Most days (when I’m not eating a bag of chips (because we ran out)) I make myself scrambled egg with potato and onion. Sometimes I’ll even throw in a dried out Anaheim pepper from last year’s harvest for some extra extra heat.

This “recipe” has no measurements because, well I just dump stuff in and go. Keeps the excitement alive while making and eating the same thing everyday.

When I scramble up my egg I use some 2% milk (I read somewhere it’s better for you than skim, and I don’t think coconut milk would taste good with eggs). I also add in fresh ground pepper (go crazy!), turmeric root powder (makes everything yellow, and adds a little spice, oh and it’s good for you), a little cayenne (much less of this than turmeric), and feta cheese. Like I mentioned before some dried Anaheim pepper might find it’s way in there as well. I also chop up a small red potato and white onion.

There you have it! My fairly simple, takes about 20 minutes to make lunch.

Also for the photography I was trying some bounce flash off my ceiling. Need to keep practicing these photo skills!

Sesame Seed Bar Cookies

Sesame Seed Bar Cookie

I’m not sure where I got this recipe, but at some point I typed it up and boy is it good. Just a fair warning that they are fairly addicting and hard to stop eating. I think in part it’s the brown sugar flavor that keeps me wanting to eat more. It’s also fairly easy to make, I just need to take the time to make it again.

Sesame Seed Bar Cookies

8 Tbsp butter
½ c applesauce
¾ c brown sugar
2/3 c tahini
1 egg
1½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
2 c flour
1 c raisins
½ c sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Center an oven rack.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the tahini and beat until combined well. Beat in the egg, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour and beat batter until just combined. Beat in the raisins and benne seeds. Spread the batter evenly in a buttered or lined with parchment paper, jelly-roll pan, 15 ½ by 10 ½, and bake in the middle of the oven until a tester comes out clean, about 16 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack and cut into 36 bars. The cookies may be made 3 days in advance and kept in an airtight container. (Or freeze/refrigerate for even longer lasting)

Anytime Bars

anytime bars_0613_03This recipe is from The Cancer Fighting Kitchen. I picked it up when I found out my cousin’s then-fiance had leukemia. You can read her story and journey here. These bars are suggested for when someone is receiving chemo to help give them more energy. My husband and I make them when we are on the go, traveling or just want a tasty (healthy) snack.

These bars take a little time to make, but they are worth it!

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1 c raw pecan halves
1 c whole raw almonds
2 Tbsp spelt flour
2 Tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
2 Tbsp finely ground flaxseeds
¼ tsp sea salt
⅛ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp baking soda
¼ c old-fashioned rolled oats
1 c pitted dates, quartered (preferably Medjool)
1 c unsulfured dried apricots, cut in half
1 organic egg
5 Tbsp maple syrup (I use grade A)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly oil a 9-inch square pan.

Spread the pecans in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and toast for 7 to 10 minutes, until aromatic and slightly browned. Watch them carefully, as they can burn easily. Repeat this process for the almonds. Turn down the oven to 325°.

Combine the spelt flour, all-purpose flour, flaxseeds, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a food processor and process for 5 seconds to combine. Add the pecans and almonds and pulse 5 times to coarsely chop the nuts. Add the oats, dates and apricots and pulse 10 to 15 times, until the mixture is well chopped but still coarse.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg, maple syrup and vanilla together until thoroughly combined. Add the fruit and nut mixture and use your hands to mix thoroughly, being sure to separate any clumps of fruit. Spread the mixture in the oiled baking pan in an even layer and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until set and golden brown; don’t over bake, or the bars will be too dry. Let cool 5 minutes and cut into 25 squares. Leave bar in pan to cool all the way so they’ll hold together when you remove them.

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Variations

Use walnuts instead of pecans.
Add ¼ cup dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries, raisins or currants when mixing together at the end.
Add 1 tablespoon of grated orange zest when mixing together at the end.
Add 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds when mixing together at the end.
Add ¼ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut when mixing together at the end.
For gluten-free substitute gluten free muffin mix for the flours. Make sure oats were not processed alongside wheat.

Making brown rice, not the instant stuff

In my quest to cook with more natural ingredients I have shunned instant rice. I now buy my rice in the bulk section of Whole Foods in the hopes that the grain is a little more nutritious. Making rice that’s not instant felt very daunting. I don’t know why, it seems like such a simple thing to cook, but the second it becomes a raw food to cook it seems much more challenging.

After a short search I cam across this blog of Steve Pavlina‘s. He explains the cooking of this rice in a very simple way. Who knew? I only needed about 30 minutes to make it from start to finish. You may be wondering why I am going through all this effort to make rice, well it’s an ingredient in a soup I wanted to attempt. I decided to wing it a little with this soup and come up with my own measurements…now I have a rice side with some turkey breast and pasta sauce in it. The rice is really thirsty.

Anyway, here is how to cook up some brown rice that is not of the instant variety. (What do they do to it to make it cook so much faster?)

How to cook Brown Rice

1.5 c water for every 1 c of rice
I made 2 c of rice. Simple math time…3 c water…and it worked!

put water and rice together roiling boil

First step: put the water and rice together in a pot, uncovered, heat to rolling boil.

cover the rice

Next: lower heat so water is simmering, cover, let simmer for 20 minutes.

all done

Finally: turn off heat, let sit minimum of 10 minutes. Then either eat or in my case add it to my soup attempt.

There you have it, super simple, just takes that little extra time to be prepared.

My Garden Part 2

It’s been a week since I planted the seeds. The cucumber is already too large to fit under the lid. From what I can tell almost everything except the peppers have at least started to sprout.

The one that I wasn’t even sure were seeds oregano sproutswas the oregano. This is what they look like now…I honestly wasn’t expecting anything to grow and now look at it. —>

 

 

And below are the updated photos of how the garden is sprouting up today.

The yellow tape marks the top of the tray so I know what’s growing where. I designed a map as I was planting so I would know what everything was once it started sprouting.

(Almost) Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffeecake

cinnamon cake_21On a snowy day, something warm with cinnamon sounds tasty. So yesterday as it snowed I made this tasty sounding recipe, with a few tweaks, to enjoy with some coffee. This started out as a gluten free recipe using 2.5 c almond flour instead of the 2 c of the custom flour blend I used.

(Almost) Gluten Free Cinnamon Coffeecake

2 c flourcinnamon cake_16
¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ c walnuts, coarsely chopped
½ c raisins
¼ c applesauce
¼ c unsalted butter, melted
2 large egg
⅓ c milk

Topping
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp ground or sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, walnuts and raisins in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, butter, milk and eggs. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly cinnamon cake_17combined. Spread the batter in the baking dish.

Mix cinnamon, butter, brown sugar and almonds in a bowl. Sprinkle the topping over the cake batter.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cook 1 hour, then serve.

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Although I don’t personally have a gluten allergy, I typed up a lot of recipes for times when I am baking for someone who does. This is one of the cookbooks I found at the library: The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook: Breakfasts, Entrees, and More by Elana Amsterdam. This is a great resource for people who have gluten allergies and still want more moist baked goods.

(Almost) Gluten Free Very Vanilla Cupcakes

cupcakes I went through a phase last year of finding gluten free recipes. My husband had a co-worker with the allergy and on bring food days no one remembered. So I made deserts and sides with her allergy in mind so she would be able to join everyone in their group lunches. I checked out about 4 cookbooks from the library to get recipes and typed up the ones that sounded good, or that I could use the main Almond Flouringredients and make my own version. This is one of those my own version ones, so if you need gluten free just use 2.5 c almond flour instead of the combo of flours I used. I also baked them in the mini muffin pan, I think the end bake time was around 20 minutes.

Almost Gluten Free Very Vanilla Cupcakes

1¼ c almond flourcupcakes in pan
1 c custom flour blend
2 eggs
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/3 c applesauce
2 Tbsp organic agave nectar
3 tsp sugar (raw or regular)
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice (or Real Lemon, depending on what you have on hand)
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale yellow with a handheld mixer, then whisk in the butter, applesauce, agave nectar, vanilla extract and lemon juice. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks with a handheld mixer. Gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture.
In a separate bowl, combine the flours, salt and baking soda, then gently fold into the egg mixture. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the tops are golden brown or a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for 30 minutes. Frost if desired then serve.

IMG_3314I don’t personally have a gluten allergy, but I typed up a lot of recipes for times when I am baking for someone who does. This is one of the cookbooks I found at the library: The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook: Breakfasts, Entrees, and More by Elana Amsterdam. This is a great resource for people who have gluten allergies and still want more moist baked goods.