Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rasberry Breakfast Bars

I saw this recipe months ago and it has been rattling in the back of my head, begging to be made before summer ended. Raspberries were finally on sale, so it was time to cook 'em up! I was going to give some of these to a kind neighbor, and some more to yet another neighbor who just had a baby. I was also planning on leaving some out for guests I have coming over tomorrow, however I don't think I have enough for all of those people! Sorry neighbors, I am in the process of making oatmeal cookies for you instead! : )

Recipe from

Raspberry Breakfast Bars
For the crust and crumb:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

For the raspberry filling:
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Make the crust and crumb: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up the two short sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
Put the flour, brown sugar, oats, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse in short bursts until combined. Add the butter and pulse until loose crumbs form.
Reserve 1 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside. Pour the rest of the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hands or the back of a large wooden spoon to push the crust into an even layer at the bottom of the pan. The crust should touch the sides of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the crust cool. Keep the oven on while you make the raspberry filling.
Make the raspberry filling:
In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and flour together. Add the raspberries, lemon juice and butter and use your hands to toss gently until the raspberries are evenly coated.
Spread the raspberry filling evenly on top of the cooled crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture evenly on top of the filling.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling starts to bubble around the edges.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into squares and serve. The bars can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Easy Veggie Casserole

I had a ton of left overs from the millet and veggie dinner I made the other night. I must have been made to have a big family, because I have a hard time making a normal amount of food for my family! Since my husband is one of three boys, he never felt like he got enough, so he is happy to fill his belly to his hearts content in my kitchen. As Owen starts to grow up, I am sure my large amount of food will get smaller and smaller as he eats more and more!

To finish the left overs without reheating the same thing over and over again, I decided to get a little creative and found a great dish that even Adam (who does not like to cook) could make in no time! I used 2 cups of my left over grains and veggies, but feel free to use brown rice, quinoa, or whatever you have that needs using up! This meal tastes a lot like, but even better than quiche in my opinion.

Recipe Adapted from

Veggie Casserole

1 Cup Milk
2 Eggs, whisked
1 Cup Broccoli, chopped and cooked (can use frozen)
1 Cup cooked chopped veggies (can be frozen mixed, or left overs, I used, Brussel sprouts, bell peppers, and zucchini)
2 Cups Brown Rice or millet, cooked (or any left over cooked grain you have)
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded (I used pepper jack, use any cheese you like)

1. Preheat oven the 350 degrees.
2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and milk until combined.
3. Add the veggies, rice and cheese and stir to combine.
4. Grease in a casserole dish and pour in the mixture.
5. Bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your casserole dish.
6. Serve.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Millet and Veggies w/ a sage cream sauce

The sound of the word "millet" sounds more like something you would feed your chickens or pigs, but it really is a tasty grain that is packed with nutrients and protein. It's a similar texture and taste to quinoa or cous cous. I found an easy recipe on the Whole Foods website that allowed me to use up a lot of veggies in my fridge and sage in my yard. The original recipe calls for 3 cups of mushrooms, however I didn't have them on hand, so I threw in broccoli, carrots, summer squash, and asparagus instead. The only adjustment I would make if you were making this for your toddler would be to parboil or steam the veggies first. Though he loved this meal, the veggies were still a little too crispy for Owen.

Warm Millet Salad
Adapted from Whole Foods website

1 cup millet
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and roughly chopped
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
3 cups sliced mushrooms (or throw in 3 cups of whatever vegetables you wish, roughly chopped)
1/3 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Toast millet in a medium pot over medium high heat until fragrant and just golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully add 2 cups salted water, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until liquid is almost absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside for 5 minutes; uncover and fluff with a fork. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add Brussels sprouts, onions, salt and pepper and cook until golden, about 5 minutes; transfer to a large bowl. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet, add mushrooms, and or veggies, salt and pepper and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add half-and-half and sage and simmer until thickened. Transfer to bowl with Brussels sprouts, add cooked millet, lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

It's starting to feel like fall already, which means hearty warming foods have started coming out of my kitchen. We live close to the beach so we have had a lot of colder overcast mornings. The kind of mornings you want to pull up the covers and stay in bed, especially when your two year old is calling your name at 6:30 in the morning.

I LOVE fall and winter cuisine. Just in the past three days I have made pumpkin cranberry bread, spaghetti squash marinara, chicken soup, chicken and vegetable pot pie, dark chocolate cupcakes, rigatoni with butternut squash sauce ( that my friend Marina insisted everyone make) and roasted butternut squash soup. I wasn't kidding when I said I like to cook when it's cold out! This is an incredibly boring picture I know. I was too tired to get very creative. Next time.

Here is my recipe for:
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
(serves 4)

1/2 butternut squash, seeded, roasted and peeled
3 Tb. butter
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
1 box vegetable or chicken broth
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tb. cream or half and half (optional)

Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute onions 5-7 minutes. Add garlic carrots and herbs and saute 3 minutes more. Add broth and butternut squash and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10-20 minutes until carrots are tender. Add pumpkin pie spice, and blend with an immersion blender or put in a food processor or blender. Add salt and pepper, and cream to taste.

Mamma's Chicken Soup

Since Owen and I are fighting our first (and hopefully last) colds of the year, I decided to make chicken noodle soup. I wasn't too sure how this was going to work out since he had never really had broth type of food before. Turns out it was a hit! I pointed out all of the goods in the bowl and he was pretty excited to try it. He was REALLY happy when he learned that he could drink from the bowl. He had three bowls and was asking for more, I was shocked! Be aware, this can get messy! : )I didn't have enough time to make it all from scratch because, one, I was hungry and two, didn't have a whole chicken in the house. So, I used two boxes of organic chicken broth instead. I sent Adam to Costco to pick up a $5 whole roasted chicken to cut up and add to my soup. It wasn't organic, but it was cooked, cheap and close to home. I wasn't feeling good enough to care at this point. Here is the recipe:

Mamma's Chicken Soup

8 Cups organic Chicken stock
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1/2 bulb of fennel, chopped
1 small zucchini, cut in half rounds
1-2 cups cut up pieces of roasted chicken breast.
3 sprigs of fresh thyme chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1 handful of parsley leaves chopped
1 Tb. fresh oregano chopped (use less if using dried)
1 tsp. fresh rosemary chopped
1/2 cup Israeli cous cous (or egg noodles) I used the Harvest Grains package from Trader Joes

On medium heat, cook onions in 1/4 cup of chicken stock for 5 minutes. Add a little more stock if you need to to keep from burning the onions and your pan. Add garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Add carrots, celery, fennel, zucchini, herbs and the rest of the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile cook the Israeli cous cous or egg noodles till done. Add the chicken and pasta to the soup base and enjoy.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lemon Poppyseed Blueberry Muffins

I still had some lemons to use from Suzanne's awesome lemon tree. I was on the hunt for a good recipe using these yellow jems. Most of the ones I was drawn to were heavy lemon cakes loaded with white sugar, not something that I want going to Owen, OR on my hips I might add.

Once again, I found another great recipe from Weelicious! A nutrient packed muffin with NO white sugar! They have just the right amount of sweetness and the poppy seeds are chock full of calcium. (They also contain, protein, potassium, magnesium and phosphorous). The lemons add their share of vitamin C and the blueberries are an excellent antioxidant. This is one muffin I am happy to share with my growing boy.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

1/2 Cup buckwheat flour

1 Cup All Purpose Flour

2 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 Cup Butter, melted

2 Eggs, beaten

1/2 Cup Agave Nectar

3/4 Cup Rice, Almond, Low fat or Whole Milk

1/4 Cup Lemon Juice, with pulp

3 Tbsp Poppy Seeds

1/2 cup blueberries

2 Tsp Lemon Zest

*I only had 1/4 cup agave nectar left, so I used 1/4 cup honey to make up for it. It turned out great. Maple syrup would probably work well also.


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Grease a muffin tin or line tins with cupcake papers.

3. Sift the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to mix.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, agave nectar, milk, and lemon juice, poppy seeds, and lemon zest.

5. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix until the batter is smooth making sure not to over mix.

6. Gently fold in the blueberries.

7. Pour the batter into 12 muffin cups, dividing evenly. Bake on a center rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Mini Frittatas Your Way

I found the best food blog yet! It's called Weelicous, and it's filled with yummy and nutritious baby and toddler recipes. These are all recipes that I have made before, or will definitely be making in the near future. For those Mom's out there who want to check it out, here is the website: I am just too excited to not share that bit of info!

On this site I saw vegetable frittatas made in mini muffin tins for toddlers. What a GREAT idea! I don't have a mini muffin tin, but my son eats way more than just a mini muffin or two anyway, so regular muffin tins it is! This recipe was SO easy and fast, I am planning on serving many brunches in the future with this new idea.
Eggs are a great way for me to get lots of veggies in Owen in the morning. With this recipe, you can put in whatever you like, asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, olives, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, etc... you get the idea. Since I had lots of ratatouille left over from last nights dinner, I just threw that in with the eggs and added some feta cheese and thyme. 20 minutes later, voila, breakfast is served!
Mini Frittatas Your Way
6 Large Eggs
3 Tbsp Milk
3 Tbsp Parmesan, grated
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme or basil (or any herb of your choice), use less if it's dried
1 cup chopped vegetables, cooked or raw. (I used left over ratatouille)
1/4- 1/3 cup grated cheese of choice, (I used feta)
1. Preheat the oven 375 degrees.
2. Spray or grease mini muffin tins with oil or butter.
3. Whisk the eggs and milk together. Add the cheese, tomatoes and vegetables.
4. Spoon egg/vegetable mixture into each muffin cup, filling 2/3 full.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
6. Cool and serve


I told my friends Suzanne and Andrew that I would be posting recipes from all the veggies they sent me home with earlier last week. Here we go! I have been thinking about making ratatouille since the last time I had lunch at Renauds in Santa Barbara. I ordered an open faced sandwich of garlic bread topped with ratatouille (vegetable stew), grilled onions and melted Swiss cheese. It was one of the best things my mouth has ever tasted! I had all the vegetables and herbs I needed at home, there was no reason to not make this. I made things even easier and used my crock pot. What's even better about this recipe is that I can get so many different meals out of this. The first night, I had it by itself on top of cous cous, this morning I made frittatas with it, and tomorrow I am planning on recreating the Renauds sandwich with sourdough and provolone cheese. Mmmmmm, I can't wait till tomorrow's lunch! I don't think I will ever get sick of this stuff!

OK enough talking about it already, here is the recipe:

Slow Cooker Ratatouille
1 large eggplant (or 3 small Japanese eggplants), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium-to-large red, orange or yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into big squares
1 14.5-ounce can of diced plum tomatoes, drained (I used the fire-roasted with basil kind)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
3-5 zucchini and or summer squash, ends trimmed, cut into thick rounds
1 can of garbanzo beans, or any white bean. (I actually used a .5 lb of a small green french bean I happened to have from my farmers market that needed using)
A large handful of fresh herbs (I used basil, thyme, and parsley, though I am sure a little rosemary would be nice as well.)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)
Combine the eggplant, onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic in the slow cooker (mine is 5-quart oval).
Pour the olive oil over and toss to coat. Cover and cook on high 1 hour. Add summer squash and zucchini, cover, and cook another hour on high. Add beans, herbs, salt & pepper, and cook on high another half-hour to an hour. Place in a bowl and top with shaved Parmesan cheese and serve with some warm crusty french bread. You can also put this on top of cous cous, quiona, noodles, brown rice or roasted potatoes, etc........Enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Whole Grain Buttermilk Waffles

Waffles are pretty popular in my house. I try to limit the amount of white flour and processed foods that Owen gets (the best I can anyway), so I took a prefect recipe for buttermilk waffles from and replaced some of the flour with more fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals through different flours. They turned out great, you would never guess that they were good for you! I also never top his waffles with syrup. Today they were topped with almond butter, bananas and whole plain organic yogurt. It's yummy and I feel good knowing that he's getting a complete breakfast.

Whole Grain Buttermilk Waffles
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour (substitute this with whole wheat flour if you don't have this)
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 3/4 cups buttermilk* or 1 1/2 cups sour cream or plain yogurt thinned with 1/4 cup milk
2 eggs, separated
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter, melted and cooled)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup blueberries fresh or frozen
Canola or other neutral oil for brushing on waffle pan

Combine the dry ingredients. Mix together the buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt and the egg yolks. Stir in the butter and vanilla.

Brush the waffle iron lightly with oil and preheat it. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients. Beat the egg whites with the whisk or electric mixer (spotlessly clean ones work best) until they hold soft peaks. Stir the egg whites and blueberries gently into the batter.

Spread a ladle full or so of batter onto the waffle iron and bake until the waffle is done, usually 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your iron. Serve immediately or keep warm for a few minutes in a low oven.

* The buttermilk can be substituted with 1 1/4 cups of milk at room temperature, mixed with two tablespoons white vinegar, left to clabber for 10 minutes.

The NUTRITION BENEFITS of the whole grains I added are as follows:
The protein found in buckwheat contains the eight essential amino acids. It is rich in B Vitamins
as well as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese. It's also a good oil source of Alpha-Linolenic Acid, which is one of the two essential fatty acids we must have to be healthy.
Garbanzo bean flour:
Are a very good source of folic acid, fiber, and manganese. They are also a good source of protein, as well as minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium.

Flax seeds:
High in Omega 3's and fiber

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Summery Zucchini-Lemon Soup

On Tuesday I received garden fresh summer squash and lemons from our friends, Suzanne and Andrew. So many things to do with both of these ingredients, it took me a bit to decide what to make. I tried making lemon chicken yesterday...not so good. I am better with vegetables. I remembered making this zucchini-lemon soup as a first course for some friends a few months ago, and it was good enough to make again. It's so easy and light with great flavors. Perfect for a hot summer night when chilled as well.
This recipe came from an awesome cookbook I got for my birthday this year from my mother-in-law, Anna. The Santa Monica Farmers' Market Cookbook. I have made quite a few yummy meals from this book.
Summery Zucchini-Lemon Soup

2 lbs. summer squash cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces
1 onion chopped
1 Tb. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
kosher or sea salt to taste
1 Tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 TB canola or other mild cooking oil
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 lemon
snipped fresh chives for garnish
*See note

In a deep wide pot, saute the squash, onion, cilantro, 1/2 tsp salt, curry powder and turmeric in the oil over medium heat until the vegetables are golden, tender and fragrant, 7-10 mins. Add 2 cups of the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of stock and continue to cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 5 more minutes.

Puree the soup with an immersion or stand blender. Add the juice of one lemon. Taste and add more lemon or salt as needed until the soup has a refreshing tang. Serve hot, or chill well and serve cold. Garnish each serving with chives and or cilantro.

*I actually omitted the curry powder and used less turmeric. Instead, I used garlic, lemon thyme and parsley. It seemed more summery to me having those lighter cooler flavors than a warm curry spice. It was a good call I think.