I Bought A Juicer!

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I bought a juicer! I wasn’t sure how this would turn out because I haven’t tried beets since I was a kid…and those were the gross canned kind that you find in salad bars. The finished juice was the most gorgeous magenta color, and I hoped that it would taste as good as it looked! The first taste of anything new is usually off-putting, but as I continued to sip it, it tasted better and better. It’s not my new favorite, but I know I will make it again. The other recipe is a great starter juice, especially for kids. My daughter enjoyed this one, but I didn’t add the ginger because she wouldn’t have appreciated the spiciness of it. Thanks for reading, enjoy! ūüôā

 

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Ginger Beet Juice – adapted from Wonky Wonderful

  • 1 small beet, peeled and trimmed
  • 2 apples, washed and cut
  • 2 carrots, washed and trimmed
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled

Directions –

  1. Put all of the ingredients into the juicer according to the manufacturer instructions.
  2. Serve the juice cold over ice.

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Carrot Apple Ginger Juice – adapted from The Roasted Root

  • 3 carrots, washed and trimmed
  • 2 apples
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled (*optional*)

Directions –

  1. Put the ingredients through the juicer¬†according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Drink immediately, or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Keeps for about 2 days.
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Carrot Cake for My Gram

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My kids and I recently came back from our trip to California. While I was there, I used an entire 5 pound bag of flour…yeah, I went a little overboard spoiling my parents and my Grandma during those two short weeks ūüėČ I was glad to, and honored to cook with my 85 year old grandmother – the one who inspired me to cook in the first place. While it was a lot of time and effort to make so much for them, I was flattered to hear that my Gram actually learned from me!! and my Dad said my cinnamon rolls reminded him of his mother’s ūüôā

Because Gram’s birthday happened the week after we flew in, I told her I would bake her a birthday cake. She couldn’t eat chocolate (huge bummer), but she loved carrot cake. Problem for this baker was that I have never made one, let alone eaten a piece in over 10 years!! Thankfully, a quick search at Pinterest led me to find this recipe that sounded tasty – kind of flimsy evidence to go on, but I went with it. I didn’t try any of it because of my Whole 30 craziness, but the family really enjoyed it and said it wasn’t too sweet and the frosting was perfect. That sounds like a win to me! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Carrot Cake – adapted from Sprinkle Some Sugar

  • 1/2 cup¬†coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar (or dark)
  • 5 eggs + 1 yolk
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 3 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots (about 7-8 carrots)

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 8 oz package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Directions –

For the Cake
Preheat oven to 350¬į. Line the bottom of two 9″ round baking pans with parchment paper and lightly grease and flour sides. Be sure to get every inch! Set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, clover all together and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar together. Add in the eggs one at a time, egg yolk and vanilla and mix until smooth.
Pour in flour mixture and mix until just combined making sure everything is well mixed. Fold in the grated carrots by hand with a rubber spatula or spoon. Batter will be thick, this is okay. If you are adding pecans or raisins, do so now.
Distribute the batter evenly into both pans. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. Start checking cake at 25 and check every 2 minutes after that. Once a toothpick comes out clean, cakes are done. Let them cool on wire rack or counter for 20 minutes. Flip pans over and cakes should pop right out onto wire rack or parchment or wax paper lined counter. Let them cool completely. While they are cooling, mix up the frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream together the cream cheese and butter until fluffy and light in color. Add in the vanilla and mix until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time on low until combined. Whip frosting for another minute or so until smooth and creamy.
Once cakes are completely cooled, cut the domed tops off so they are completely flat and even. Place one cake on the bottom of a cake stand, facing up. Spread some frosting on top until completely covered. Add second cake, bottom up, and frost the rest of the cake. I found it much easier to do one thin layer of frosting, set it in the fridge and as it firmed up a bit, add another thick layer – the frosting looks much more even this way. This cake is even more moist and flavorful the second day once the flavors have all settled in with each other.
Store cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Broccoli and Potato Soup

Quick Post: What do you do when the co-op only gives you a few potatoes and two broccoli crowns? You make soup for lunch, that’s what ūüėČ Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Broccoli and Potato Soup –

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 2 broccoli crowns, cut into florets
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, small dice
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • nutmeg, freshly grated to taste
  • shredded cheddar cheese for topping

1. Place a 4 quart saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon butter. Sauté the onions and carrots until soft but still firm, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and then whisk in the flour, cook for  1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the vegetable stock and the half and half to the pan, whisk constantly so that no lumps form Рabout 2 to 3 minutes. Add in nutmeg and stir. Cover and simmer {over medium-low} for 15 minutes.

3. Next, reduce heat to low and add in the onions, carrots, broccoli and potato. Add more vegetable stock if you feel the soup is too thick. Stir and cover to simmer for another 20-25 minutes.

4. Lastly, use a potato masher to break up the broccoli florets to desired size. Season generously {to taste} with kosher salt and black pepper. Serve immediately and top with cheddar cheese.

Weeknight Italian Wedding Soup

Quick Post:¬†This recipe couldn’t be easier! For those cold nights it’s perfectly warming and comforting. We had another blast of cold weather the past few days which was surprising since it’s recently been in the high 70s regularly. I always love taking advantage of a cool night by making it a good excuse for some comfort food and carbs in the form of these lovely breadsticks. I didn’t change a thing about these recipes and we were all happy about how they turned out. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Italian Wedding Soup – adapted from Bev Cooks

  • ¬†3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 (12 oz) package¬†Al Fresco¬†tomato and basil chicken meatballs
  • ¬†1 small onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red
  • ¬†1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a small skillet and brown the chicken sausages on all sides, until heated through, 5 minutes total. Remove from heat.

In a deep pot, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil over medium-high. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Add the crushed pepper along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until the veggies start to soften, 6 minutes.

Add the wine and stock. Bring to a light boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 6 minutes.

Add the chicken sausages and spinach. Simmer for about 5 more minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Almost Famous Breadsticks – adapted from Food Network

  • 1 package yeast
  • 4 1/4 cups AP flour,plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter,softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fine salt

For the Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter,melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic¬†powder
  • Pinch of dried oregano
Directions –

Make the dough: Place 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a mixer; sprinkle in the yeast and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, butter, sugar, fine salt and 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water; mix with the paddle attachment until a slightly sticky dough forms, 5 minutes.

Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface until very smooth and soft, 3 minutes. Roll into a 2-foot-long log; cut into 16 1 1/2-inch-long pieces. Knead each piece slightly and shape into a 7-inch-long breadstick; arrange 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a cloth; let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make the topping: Brush the breadsticks with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the garlic powder and oregano. Brush the warm breadsticks with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the flavored salt.

Three Ingredient Crock Pot Dinner…(and it’s good, too!)

Quick Post: Easiest.Dinner.Ever. Crock Pot meals are so convenient and this one is no exception. If you want to use the store bought ingredients, it’s even easier. I had some carrots that I needed to use up so I roasted them in a 400 degree oven for 20¬†minutes seasoned with kosher salt, pepper, and some olive oil. I didn’t roast any garlic for the potatoes described on the blog, so I just mashed my potatoes with Parmesan, some butter, half and half, milk, salt and pepper. They’re really basic, but that’s okay because the pork makes its own gravy – yum! Thank for reading, enjoy!

Ranch House Crock Pot Pork Chops – adapted from Picky Palate

Directions –

Place all ingredients in a crock pot – cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.

Cheeseburger Soup

 

I seem to have run out of inspiration lately because for the past two days I haven’t been able to choose a recipe that appeals to me. Every once in a while I run into this problem; but it doesn’t last too long, thankfully. What usually helps is trying to think of recipes I haven’t used in a long time – like this one. This is a surprisingly light, flavorful soup and perfect for chilly nights. Whenever I make it I use at least a pound of very lean ground beef and double the rest of the ingredients. If you have Frank’s Red Hot, I suggest you splash some in the soup. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cheeseburger Soup ingredients – adapted from Dine & Dish

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 c chopped onion
  • 3/4 c shredded carrots
  • 3/4 c diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 5 Tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 4 cups peeled, diced potatoes (I used unpeeled red potatoes)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups (8oz) Velveeta, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Directions –

In a 6-quart saucepan, brown beef; drain and set aside beef. In the same saucepan, sate onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 2 Tablespoons butter until vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes). Add broth, potatoes and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, in a small pan, melt remaining 3 Tablespoons of butter. Add flour; cook and stir for 3 minutes or until bubbly. Whisk into soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add Velveeta, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream. Makes 8 servings.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Poor M is sick with the flu, but thankfully the fever and headaches haven’t made him nauseated. I asked what he’d like for dinner and of course, he requested chicken noodle soup. “Great” I thought…I always want to go the extra mile (as much as possible) when he requests something, and I really didn’t feel like making stock from scratch…it takes too long. This method I used seemed like a good substitute for it. I took a little help from the store with some stock in a box and doctored it up a bit to cook the chicken, which enriched the flavor and richness. This took more effort than I originally wanted to put into it (the rainy, cloudy weather makes me lazy) but it was so worth it because the whole family enjoyed eating it and the leftovers will taste even better. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup ingredients – a Mom Makes original recipe

  • 1 – 4 pound whole chicken, rinsed well
  • 1 carton of chicken stock
  • 1 carton of vegetable stock
  • 2 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 5-7 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/2 TBSP of whole peppercorns
  • 4 – 6 cups water

Soup ingredients –

  • 3 cups egg noodles
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery ribs, diced
  • 1 – 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 10 – 12 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups of shredded chicken
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dried parsley flakes (optional)

Directions for Stock –

1. In a 8 quart stock pot or larger, place all ingredients and cook for one hour. Be sure to skim fat and scum off the top while cooking. Once the chicken is cooked, carefully remove it from the stock pot and place on a foil lined half sheet pan to cool Рat least 40 minutes.

2. Strain the stock through a fine sieve and discard all vegetables and herbs. Skim the remaining fat off the top of the stock.

3. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle shred into uniform pieces.

Directions for Soup –

1. Heat a saute pan to medium and add butter and olive oil. Once the butter melts, add all your diced veggies to the pan. Saute for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, place a soup pot with the 10 – 12 cups of chicken stock to simmer and add the cooked vegetables and shredded chicken to the soup pot. Bring to boil, season to taste and add the egg noodles and peas. Cook until the egg noodles are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Taste again, season if needed – enjoy the soup with a crusty loaf of bread…yum!

Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

Just a quick post to share a yummy recipe I discovered early this year. This recipe is easily doubled, and if you’d like to stretch it even further you can add some potatoes ( I did this time ). Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Recipe found here: My Bizzy Kitchen

Pot Roast with Vegetables

Mmm…yet another recipe that makes me love cooler weather! This was my first time trying this recipe, and it was so good. I paired this meal with thyme roasted carrots and mashed potatoes…M was bummed that the rolls I made for S’s friendship feast weren’t part of the meal but I will make sure to make some next time. This roast has great flavor and the gravy created while it braised for three hours was perfect for spooning over the mashed potatoes. A couple of notes for next time – I added one pound of button mushrooms half way through cooking so they wouldn’t become too mushy, and I will add less water next time. Also, for the mashed potatoes I cooked up almost four pounds of Yukon gold potatoes then mixed them with four ounces of cream cheese, a few tablespoons of butter and a splash of half and half. Everyone enjoyed this and I think the flavor is so much better than the average crock pot recipe I have tried in the past. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Pot Roast with Vegetables Ingredients – adapted from Tyler Florence

  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) piece beef chuck¬†roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water (*next time I will use 1/2 cup)
  • 2 yellow onion, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bunch baby carrots
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced in half
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (*I used dried)
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions –

Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover; heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside. Pour in the tomatoes and the water. Scatter the vegetables and herbs around the pot roast, season with salt and pepper; and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.

Slice the pot roast and arrange on platter surrounded by the vegetables. Serve with the pot juices.


Carrot Cream Pasta

I found this recipe awhile ago thinking it sounded like a tasty and healthy (minus the heavy cream) meatless meal, aka – something M wouldn’t eat. I think roasted chicken would be a good addition to this and even some peas – you can’t go wrong with peas and carrots now, can you? In my opinion, you can go wrong with too much garlic! Woo – does my breath reek of it! If you plan on making this one and raw garlic’s spiciness isn’t too much for you, then add it all, baby!;o) I only added four of the five and I’ve learned my lesson – I forgot that raw garlic can seem spicy, but it’s also much more potent when it’s not cooked. I recommend maybe adding one or two cloves instead of the recommended five. Other than that, this pasta has a nice flavor – nothing spectacular, but it’s tasty. I added some ketchup (gasp) for its sweetness to cut some of the garlic flavor which made it much easier to eat. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Carrot Cream Pasta Ingredients – adapted from Reeni

  • 1 pound of Organic Carrots, sliced in 1-inch rounds
  • 5 cloves of garlic, whole, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Sea or Kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 2/3 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated, plus more for serving
  • 1 pound of Pasta
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of the pasta water
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl toss the carrot rounds and garlic with the Olive oil, using your hand to thoroughly coat the carrots and garlic with oil. Season well with salt, pepper, and thyme.
2. Bake in a 9×13 inch baking pan about 45-50 minutes until carrots are tender. Take the pan out and toss halfway through the cooking time.
3. When carrots are tender, remove from oven. Cook the pasta in a generous amount of salted water to al dente according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking
make the carrot cream.
4. In a blender or food processor puree the carrots and garlic together with the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. When the pasta is done cooking reserve a cup and a half of the pasta water.
5. Drain pasta and add to a large mixing bowl. Toss with carrot cream, adding pasta water a little at a time until you get a nice consistency and the pasta is evenly coated.
6. Serve with Parmesan and crusty bread/garlic bread.