Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

August 3, 2010

This recipe is a mixture of an online recipe I found and some additional ingredients we added.  My husband and I enjoyed a black bean burger at Ale Asylum in Madison a few weekends ago and this is our take on their burger.   Some sweet potato fries would be excellent with this burger.  Here is what we did:

2 cups of cooked black beans or 1 can of black beans with juice removed
1 egg
1/2 cup corn, cooked
1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
1/2 cup onion, diced (any kind will do)
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (I just took one of my bread ends and made crumbs in my small food processor)
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. chipotle in adobe sauce (or a little more if you want more spice)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
dash of hot sauce
Chipotle Ranch Dressing (Found at Whole Foods Market)
In a large bowl, mash the beans with a fork and then add all remaining ingredients.  Mix well and shape into 4-6 patties (depending on how big or small you’d like them.).
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and arrange patties in a single layer.  Cook patties until heated through, flipping once (very carefully so they don’t fall apart).  In about 10 minutes or so they will be heated through and a slight crust will have formed on each side.  Place on toasted buns and layer with lettuce and chiptole ranch dressing.  Enjoy!

Homemade Enchilada Sauce and Slow Cooker Thai Chicken

July 31, 2010
The first recipe is for Homemade Enchilada Sauce.  I use this recipe in place of canned sauce.  It is easy to make and very yummy.  You can play with it a little as I have.  I typically make up a large batch by doubling or tripling the recipe and then will freeze it for future recipes.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

4 garlic cloves, pressed
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour
14 1/2 oz. beef broth or a can of beef broth (I use Better Than Bouillon and make up large batches of beef broth for future recipes as well)
15 oz. Very Veggie juice (found at Whole Foods) or 1 can tomato sauce
2 Tbsps. chili powder
2 tsps. ground cumin
2 tsps. rubbed sage
1/2 tsp. salt (I often omit)
In a saucepan (or large pot if you are making a large batch), saute garlic in butter until tender and butter is melted.  Stir in the flour until it is blended, for about 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in the beef broth and bring to a boil.  You’ll want to cook and stir this for about 2 minutes or until it begins to bubble at the surface.  Stir in the Very Veggie and all the seasonings.  Cook for a few minutes until sauce is heated through.  Yum!!

The next recipe is for Thai Chicken.  It is a slow cooker recipe and is super easy.  Ever since becoming a mom of two I have used my slow cooker more.  It has been a life saver and a great kitchen tool.  I’m not sure where I came across this recipe, but it is fantastic and worth sharing.

Thai Chicken

8 chicken thighs or about 2 lbs. of chicken without the skin
3/4 cup hot salsa
1/4 cup peanut butter (I use smooth, but chunky would be nice.)
2 Tbsps. lime juice
1 Tbsps. soy sauce
1 tsp. minced or ground ginger
1/4 chopped peanuts
2 Tbsps. or more (I like more) chopped fresh cilantro
Place chicken in 3 1/2 to 6 quart slow cooker.  Mix remaining ingredients except peanuts and cilantro and pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours or until chicken is cooked.  (Mine only took about 4 hours in a 3 1/2 quart slow cooker.)  Remove chicken and sauce .  Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro.  Enjoy!  Super yummy and super fast!

Fettuccine Alfredo

February 1, 2010

This recipe is yummy and super easy to throw together…even with children underfoot or helping.  This recipe is from a daycare cookbook I received for Christmas years ago.

Fettuccine Alfredo

1 (16 oz) package egg noodles
1 stick butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
Cook noodles per directions.  While noodles are cooking, melt butter in large skillet.  Add garlic to butter.  Stir in heavy whipping cream, add grated cheese.  Stir until smooth.  Drain noodles and toss lightly in cream mixture.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serves 6 (or two hungry adults and a child with some leftovers).

This recipe is super delicious and worth the fat and calories.  I personally don’t worry about fat and calories.  I think everything is moderation is the key.  Some garlic toast, cheesebread or a nice salad would be a perfect addition to this meal.  We usually add a side of broccoli and that is yummy too.  Enjoy!

Spinach and Black Bean Burritos

October 20, 2009

Yummy!  This recipe looks delicious and very healthy.  I’ve made black bean burritos once, but this one definitely packs in more nutrition.  Yum!  Yum!

Our daughter will love them too!  She will probably roll it apart and eat the beans, but that is where all the good stuff is anyway.

Not sure that I will go all out and make the homemade salsa, but you never know.  I’ll let you know how they taste!

Also, like that the recipe uses dried beans and not canned.  No one wants BPA Spinach and Black Bean Burritos now do they!?!?

Any healthy recipes you like?

Homemade Nutella

September 23, 2009

I found a list of ingredients used to make homemade nutella, but no measurements or directions were given.  Thinking I could pull it off without them, I dove right in and made it up as I went.  As a sidebar, if you google homemade nutella, there are an amazing number of recipes out there.  If I had just googled first.  Oh well.  Here is the recipe I made up:

1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. hazelnut oil
Melt chocolate and cream over medium heat and stir until melted.  Add hazelnut oil and stir until combined.  Put in glass jar with screw top lid.  Refrigerate.  Makes ~1cup

Well, I must say that the made-up recipe is not very, well, ‘Nutella-like,’ but more chocolate-like.  I think I’ll melt it and use it for dipping pretzels.  Who doesn’t like chocolate dipped pretzels!?!?

Here is the recipeI googled.  It is definitely better.  I think it is a bolder flavor than store bought nutella, which I think I may prefer.  Don’t let the recipe fool you though by thinking it will only take 20 minutes to whip up.  I think it took me more like 40 minutes – 1 hour.  Removing the skins from the hazelnuts was the biggest time eater in the recipe.  Also, I only have a small food processor, so I think that add a little to the time to process all ingredients together. 

This will probably not be made again, just because it took so long, but who knows.  It is good, but with only 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein per serving, I’m not sure it is that good for us to eat too much of.

In short, this was an adventure, but probably won’t make it on our list of staples to have around the house.  Now what to do with all this hazelnut oil??


Cloth Baby Wipes And Hello

August 31, 2009

Hello again!!!  We finally have the internet at home again, so I will try to post from time to time when something comes up to talk about.

My latest adventure is trying cloth baby wipes.  I got some great advice from a friend over the weekend and am going to see how they work.  Anything that is better for the environment and keeps me away from the stores is a great thing!

We’re really tossing around the idea of cloth diapering our next child, so it would be nice to also use cloth wipes.  If we can get one thing down before adding the cloth diapers, it would be an easier transition I’m sure. 

I’m using a recipe for cloth baby wipe solution I found online months ago.  I know I printed it out for a reason then.  Anyway, the solution I am using is 1/8 cup olive oil, 4 drops tea tree essential oil, 8 drops lavender essential oil, 1 Tbsp. baby shampoo (California Baby) and 3 cups water.  I mixed it up in a spray bottle.  I’ll spray it on the cloths, wipe her bottom and put the rag in the laundry.  I’m not sure what I’ll do for poops right now, but I’m sure toilet paper might come into play and then the cloth wipes.  (We are still working on potty training, so poops still end up in the undies and she still wears a diaper for nap and nights.)

Well, after the night diaper change this morning and the nap diaper, I am liking the cloth baby wipes.  They are easy to use.  I should mention that I am using organic cotton washcloths.  I think I will cut them in fourths and sew the edges.  They are much too big right now and I would need to buy a lot more or do laundry every day. 

Do you know anyone who uses cloth wipes or cloth diapers?  Any advice?

Take care!

Lavender Salt Body Scrub

January 20, 2009
Well, this will most likely be my last post for quite some time.  We are getting rid of the internet at home for awhile.  We are tying to live more simply and also save money, so bye-bye internet is the plan for now. 

One last little thing to share…lavender salt body scrub.  I made this for an upcoming event and I hope it is well received.  We’ll see I guess.


Here is the recipe:

1 cup sea salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. vitamin E oil
1 Tbsp. dried lavender flowers
12 drops lavender essential oil

As you can see the olive oil is already separating in the jar, but I guess that is how the cookie crumbles.  I just wrote on a pretty tag and tied it on the jar with a white shimmery ribbon.   I can’t remember where I got the recipe from, as I had it jotted down on a little scrap of paper.

Thanks for reading.  I hope to be back here and there while I am at the public library.  I’ll sure miss writing this and reading all the other great blogs out there.  Thanks for visiting!!  Take care!!!!!

Sara Snow’s Energy Bars

January 13, 2009

Just made these today.  jan-09-emmafinger-painting-001

They were very easy to make.  Just throw in the ingredients, stir and place on wax paper.  I found the easiest way to do this was to use the spoonula to mix it and to drop it on the waxed paper.  Then, just fold the wax paper over and smash down a little to make a flat patty.  I froze a few and put a few in the frig.  Here is the recipe from Sara’s website:

2 1/2 cups old fashioned organic quick oats
1/2 cup whole flax seed  (I got this in bulk at Whole Foods…reasonable as well)
1/4 cup organic dark cocoa power (or slightly less)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 t spirulina
1/2 to 1 cup HOT water (I used 1 full cup of hot water)

Stir ingredients together.
Form into individual sized paddies, like hamburgers.  (See my little hint about spoonula and throwing it on wax paper instead of forming it into patties.  It is very sticky, so I found it worked the best to just put it on with the spoonula.)
Wrap in plastic wrap and keep in freezer or fridge.

Also, I was able to get the spirula at Whole Foods.  I did almost have a panic attack when I saw the price…$39.99 a pound.  But, don’t worry I got enough to make this recipe about 8-10 times and it only costs me $.80.  Under a dollar.  I looked up spirula online and found out that it is awesome for you.  Very high in protein, vitamins and other antioxidants. 


Well, I liked it and so does our toddler.  I would say that picky eaters may not eat them, but you can try it on them.  They would definitely be worth the nutrients you and your children would get.

Carmel Cashew Cookies

December 27, 2008

I made these for Christmas this year.  I really liked them and so did my sister.  So, this is for you! 

I used the same recipe, but I used a metal flipper to squish my cookies.  I also did not have to wipe mine off like this version says…probably depends on what you use I guess.  Mine only needed an additional 3-4 minutes after squishing, so watch the first batch closely or you’ll end up with 12 burnt cookies like me.

Hope everyone had a great holiday and a happy new year to you all.

Graham Cracker Update

December 14, 2008

Well, they are good, but they are not crunchy like I expected.  I will definitely make these again because our daughter loves them.  I will also try the recipe alteration that the pennycandy review talked about.  Who can resist smores?!?! 

Here is a picture of the graham crackers…not rectangle, but I’m not Martha so they are perfectly imperfect…