Monday, December 28, 2015

Creamy and Delicious Eggnog, Cooked and Refined sugar free

I have been off refined sugar for almost a year now. I love it and feel great, but sometimes there are
those little things you miss, like eggnog. The holidays just make me want to sit down with a steaming cup of eggnog while watching A Muppet Christmas Carol. Since I needed eggnog with no store bought remedy in sight I scoured the internet looking for homemade options. I didn't find what I wanted and so resorted to cobbling together my own recipe. It was a total success! Even my super picky nephew loved it. This is a custard and therefore not an easy recipe and requires lots of vigilance, so be warned! It also works best if you have a candy thermometer to avoid overcooking and making eggnog flavored scrambled eggs. Good luck!

Ingredients:
6 eggs
3 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Directions:
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup maple syrup and 1/2 tsp salt

2. Crack 6 eggs into the mixing bowl and whisk very well until homogeneous.

3. Pour 3 cups of milk into a large pot and turn the heat up to medium.

4. Pour the egg mixture into the milk and whisk very quickly.

5. Continuously whisk while it heats up. You want to get the mixture to about 150º to 160ºF. If  you have a food thermometer keep track of the heat that way, but if you don't have one simply heat the mixture until you start to see a little steam, then give it another 30 to 60 seconds to cook while whisking. You will notice that it thickens a bit and becomes smooth. It will take about 5 minutes. Stir well.

6. Take the pot off the heat as soon as the proper temp is reached. Add 1 cup of cream and 1 tsp vanilla extract.

7. Optional Step: At this point I like to strain the eggnog through a strainer and cheese cloth to make sure any lumps of egg that did not get creamed properly don't make it into the final product.

8. Add remaining spices.

9. Put into a bowl or pitcher and refrigerate until it is cold and thick, about 8 hours to overnight.

10. When ready to serve, stir or shake the eggnog well and pour into serving glasses. Dust with nutmeg.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Quick Loaded Potato Soup

I like to make this soup on Mondays because then I just throw a few extra potatoes in to bake with
Sunday dinner and it saves me a step and I usually have cooked bacon on hand which makes this recipe even faster. That being said, this is one of the most requested dinners from my daughters and I love to double and triple it for company. If I am feeling very ambitious I will whip up some bread bowls as well, which makes this dinner very hearty and a little more special.

Ingredients

4 (6-ounce) potatoes 
2 teaspoons olive oil 
1/2 cup chopped onion 
1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
2 cups milk, divided 
1/4 cup sour cream 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 bacon slices, halved 
1.5 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/3 cup) 
4 teaspoons thinly sliced green onions

Preparation

1. Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave on HIGH 13 minutes or until tender. Cut in half; cool slightly.
2. While potatoes cook, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth. Combine flour and 1/2 cup milk; add to pan with 1 1/2 cups milk. Bring to a boil; stir often. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper.
3. Arrange bacon on a paper towel on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with a paper towel; microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Crumble bacon.
4. Discard potato skins. Coarsely mash potatoes into soup. Top with cheese,

Friday, September 11, 2015

Oat and Nanner Bites


REPOST: This is adapted from a vegan cookbook. These are uber healthy and tasty. The first day or two they are soft and delicious, they then turn hard and are perfect for teething biscuits because they are dairy, egg, and wheat free (which is what I made them for in the first place).


Ingredients:1 c quick oats
1 c ground oats (grind oats and make a coarse oat flour)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon or ginger or cardamom (we do all 3 spices.)
1/4 t nutmeg
1 t baking powder
1 c (~2) overripe bananas, mashed
1 t vanilla extract

3 T oil of choice
1-2 Tbsp pure maple syrup (optional)


Directions:Mix dry, mix wet, add wet to dry. Drop by the spoonful onto parchment paper or greased baking sheet and flatten into desired shape (they will not spread). Bake 12-15 min at 350.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Homemade, not so instant Ramen

I have had a slight obsession with ramen lately. I love it, but don't really want the instant kind. Besides, when you make it yourself it goes from junk food to a nutritious meal.
So I have been on a quest to make my own with limited resources (I live in Mississippi and it is hard to find ingredients). I also wanted it to be relatively quick. I am fine making noodles for lunch, but I am not going to spend all day making the soup. If I have homemade stock on hand it is preferred, but readymade is also fine here. So this is what I have come up with. Pretty quick and easy, but takes a little practice. I can whip this up in half and hour. My family loves it, especially my husband. In our house, some like spicy and some don't, so I wait and let people put their own siracha in, but if your family all likes it, feel free to add the siracha to the broth before simmering. You can also play with toppings to your hearts content. This recipe makes enough for my husband, me, and my two kids who don't eat much.

Noodles:
3/4 cup bread flour
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp water

Combine dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and beat the egg and water inside. Then slowly combine the ingredients together. The dough is pretty dry. Once the dough is somewhat combined, dump it onto your clean counter and start kneading. The dough is ready when your hands become fairly clean and the dough does not stick much anymore.

I have a pasta maker, and run the dough through in about 4 batches to make spaghetti. Set aside.

Broth:
1 tbsp oil, sesame is preferred
1/2 tbsp grated ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
4 cups chicken stock or broth
Soy sauce to taste
4 soft to medium boiled eggs, halved
green onion and shredded carrot for garnish
Siracha to taste

In a dutch oven, cook garlic and ginger for about 1 minute, add chicken stock and soy sauce, simmer until ready to use.

Bring to boil 2 quarts water and 1 tbsp baking soda. The baking soda makes the noodles chewier. Don't let the water evaporate too much or you will have too much baking soda in and you will get a bitter aftertaste. (If you are scared of the baking soda, skip it, your noodles won't be as rameny, but that is fine.) Boil the noodles for 4 minutes or until done.

Divide noodles between 4 bowls and top with broth mixture. Add eggs, green onion and carrot. Add siracha if desired.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding

A few weeks ago I had a killer bread pudding at a local restaurant and I have been wanting to duplicate it ever since. Here is the result. What I love about this dish is that is can be for any meal, breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, whenever! I used homemade french bread for the cubes, but you could also use a nice multigrain bread as well for more texture. Just don't use wonderbread and it will be great. My husband LOVED this. And as always, the best part was how easy it was!

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided 
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions, divided
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces ham, minced
  • large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 teaspoons sour cream, optional
  • Preparation
  • 1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  • 2. Place bread cubes on a jelly-roll pan; coat with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted, turning once. Remove from oven; set aside.
  • 3. Combine 1/2 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons onions, and next 5 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl. Mix in bread cubes.
  • 4. Spoon about 1 cup bread mixture into each of 4 (7-ounce) ramekins coated with cooking spray. Divide the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and remaining 1 tablespoon onions evenly among ramekins. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon sour cream, if desired.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

5 minute Raspberry Syrup

We love fruit syrup around my house but I have only been able to find the really cheap, high fructose corn syrup garbage ever since we moved to Mississippi. The obvious solution: make my own! This recipe is so easy and you can use fresh or frozen raspberries, although the frozen are typically cheaper. The amount of sweetener is totally up to your taste, so start slow and add more to your preference. If you like really tart syrup, only put in 2 Tbsp of sweetener. This is terrific on pancakes, waffles, mixed into plain yogurt, or on a bagel with cream cheese.

Ingredients:
1 package frozen raspberries (12 oz)
1/4 cup honey or 100% real maple syrup, more or less to taste
1/4 cup cold water
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Direction:
Put raspberries and sweetener in a sauce pan (break up berries with a spoon). Heat on medium until bubbly. Mix water and cornstarch. Add to berry mixture. Stir and cook 2 minutes past when sauce thickens. Strain seeds if desired. Makes 1 3/4 cup sauce. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. (I use a salad dressing shaker).

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Summer spaghetti with quick lemon ricotta


The recipe comes together in a snap and can easily use produce from the garden if available. This was my first attempt to make my own ricotta and I was astonished how easy and delicious it was! The
lemon in the ricotta was a little too grown up for my 5 year olds, but my husband and I loved it and let the kids just sprinkle parmesan on instead. Feel free to leave out the lemon rind if that suits your family better.


Ingredients


  • 2 cups
     2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • small yellow squash, chopped
  • small zucchini, chopped
  • pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup small fresh mint leaves
Preparation
  1. 1. Combine first 3 ingredients in a microwave-safe 1-quart liquid measuring cup; microwave at HIGH for 4 minutes. Stir to form small curds. Strain through a sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth; let stand for 5 minutes. Discard liquid. Scrape cheese mixture into a small bowl; stir in rind and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  2. 2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat, and drain. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add squash and zucchini to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, tomatoes, and garlic; sauté 4 minutes. Add broth and pasta to pan, and cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, tossing to combine. Place 2 cups pasta mixture in each of 4 shallow bowls; sprinkle each serving evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese mixture and 1 tablespoon mint. Serve immediately.