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6.25.2012

Mini Strawberry Buckwheat Shortcakes with Strawberry Coconut Cream



Don't forget to enter the ACAI giveaway! Enter HERE

Did anyone get to soak in some sunshine this weekend? We sure did! Actually we were very happy that it was not so very hot since we do not have any A/C. I know, right? Crazy!

My mother-in-law was in town so Julianne had a lot of playtime with her grandmother which I will miss. Julianne started crawling last week so nothing is safe anymore!


Julianne also loves pointing. People seem to love it. Hahaha. I think she is saying, "I'm number ONE!"

We try to get a lot of outside time especially on the weekends so something new that she really likes is some swing time.




I have so much fun with this baby! She loves the outdoors and the sunshine. Who wouldn't?



Something I really enjoyed recently were these Mini Strawberry Buckwheat Cakes. Oh yes, they look huge but they really are mini. These are quick, healthy and delicious. The beauty of this recipe is that they can be consumed for breakfast or for dessert. :-)



The cream could be a whipped cream but I decided to make it a sauce. I blended some fresh strawberries with canned coconut milk and added a bit of agave syrup.

The sliced strawberries are fresh and sweet so I did not hull them at all. I sprinkled some sliced almonds and called it a dish. Yum!




Mini Strawberry Buckwheat Shortcakes with Strawberry Coconut Cream
by Noelle Kelly
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


Ingredients (serves 10)
    Shortcakes
    • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat white flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
    • 3 Tablespoons vegan sugar
    • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup So Delicious coconut milk + 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    • (makes "buttermilk")
    • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
    • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
    Strawberry Coconut Cream
    • 1 can lite coconut milk (use half the can)
    • 3/4 cup fresh strawberries
    • 4 Tablespoons agave nectar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Instructions

    For Shortcakes
    In a medium bowl, mix the flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar. Cut the coconut oil into the flour until well mixed.

    Prepare the "buttermilk" by mixing the coconut milk with vinegar. Let it stand for several minutes and then add to the flour mixture and combine well.

    Divide dough into 10 shortcakes on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

    Strawberry Coconut Cream
    Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor

    Assembly
    After the shortcakes have cooled split each if them in half. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of strawberries, sprinkle some almonds, drizzle some strawberry cream and top with shortcake. Drizzle with more strawberry cream.
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    6.21.2012

    Amafruits Açaí Review and Giveaway


    I have a lovely review today that I have been meaning to do for a while now. Do you know that making anything in a blender with a baby is hard? I try to prepare her but the Vitamix sound startles her all the time.

    Well, finally I was able to make several recipes with this lovely product. I actually had only been introduced to powdered acai and had been enjoying it in smoothies and in my oatmeal but this product is different.

    Acai packets

    Do you know where  açaí comes from? Amafruits found Brazilian Açaí that are hand-picked and wild-grown. The only way to transport this outside the Amazon is in frozen puree or pulp. This is 100%pure, natural and organic.

    The company was generous to send me their 24-pack of açaí frozen packs, which are 6 bags containing 4 packs. Three of the bags were Açaí Energy Mix with Gurana which have four 100 grams individual serving packets.

    There are no preservatives or artificial sweeteners and this packet only has a hint of Guaraná syrup. Guaraná is a berry that grows in the Amazon and is considered a natural source of caffeine. Anyone out there need a natural boost? :-)

    Power Guarana

    The other 3 bags contain pure and unsweetened açaí which I preferred the best. Why is açaí considered good for you? Well, it is considered a superfruit and is very nutritious.

    One of the nutritional points I learned was the following: (all info from the website)

    "Acai contains several different properties that share the ability to help lower high cholesterol levels:
    • Açaí contains the very same balance of Omega-6 and Omega-9 essentially fatty acids as olive oil. Both of these help to lower LDL (harmful cholesterol) while maintaining HDL (beneficial cholesterol) levels.
    • Açaí is a great source of phytosterols, plant compounds that provide numerous health benefits to the body such as reducing blood cholesterol along with the promotion of healthy cardiovascular and digestive systems.
    • Açaí is also a great source of dietary fiber, which balances unhealthy cholesterol levels and promotes digestive tract health."


    Acai nutrition


    Açai is packed with energy and is one of the world’s superfruits in terms of its nutritional properties. Açaí provides:

    • a healthy combination of antioxidants (vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and E),
    • Omega essential fatty acids (Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9),
    • a good source of dietary fibers,
    • essential amino acids (19 different amino acids),
    • valuable electrolytes,
    • plant sterols (B-sitosterol, campesterol and sigmasterol), and
    • a rich botanical source of minerals (iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, zinc and calcium).

    Here are a few recipes I made with this puree:

    Acai Smoothie

    • 1 frozen banana
    • 1 packet of frozen pure and unsweetened acai
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/2 cup ice
    • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1 Tablespoon flax seed meal


    Acai drink

    • 1 cup coconut water
    • 1 packet frozen Acai Energy Mix with Guarana
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    Acai Overnight Oats

    • 1 cup oats, semi milled
    • 1 packet, thawed Acai pure and unsweetened
    • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
    • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
    • 1 cup coconut milk
    • sliced almonds (topping)

    Does this look good at all?

    If you want to buy your own, check the Amafruits online shop. They accept all major credit cards and PayPal too!


    GIVEAWAY TIME!!

    The company has generously donated a pack of 24 frozen acai purees to ONE winner. The winner would get 12 of each flavor to enjoy.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    6.19.2012

    Texas Caviar Salad


    Yes, this does not have fish eggs and it is all vegan. This past weekend we were invited to a goodbye picnic and everyone was to bring a dish. I was very tempted to bring a dessert and a salad but with limited time I decided to just focus on a salad.


    What kind of salad should I make? I always tend to default to a lovely large green salad and forget that there are lots of options when it comes to salads. What would be a typical salad for a party down in Texas? Yes, I live in Michigan and I asked my self that because potlucks are different everywhere you go.


    Bean salads. Yes, bean salads are pretty popular despite the fact that my husband would rather eat a napkin before eating a bean salad, but at least I knew I was not just making this for him but for a large group. I knew some of the group came from Texas so at least I knew the salad would be appreciated.


    This salad is pretty quick to prepare. I soaked my black-eyed peas the night before and then cooked them for an hour and took the pot off the heat and covered them for another hour. I drained and rinsed the beans and let them cool.


    I then added the rest of the ingredients and let the salad sit in the fridge for a few hours before the party so the flavors would come together. I served it with Tostito scoop chips but it can be eaten as it or even be eaten with lettuce leaves. Enjoy! Perfect for a grilling party.


    Texas Caviar Salad

    by Noelle Kelly
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Keywords: boil lunch appetizer salad soy-free vegan vegan recipes on recipage vegetarian beans American summer


    Ingredients (8-10)
    • 4-6 cups cooked black-eyed peas or 4 cans black-eyed peas
    • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    • 2 tomatoes, diced
    • 2 cups corn kernels, canned
    • 3/4 cup pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped
    • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
    • 3/4 cup red onion, diced
    • 1 red bell pepper, diced
    • 1 cup Italian dressing, use Annie's Tuscany Italian dressing
    • season with pepper and salt
    • Tortilla chips (optional)

    Instructions
    Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix well. Refrigerate before serving.

    Chips are optional.

    Option is to cook the black-eyed peas. I soak the night before and cook the next day for an hour. Remove the pot from stove and cover for an hour. Drain, rinse and let beans cool. Then proceed with recipe.
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    6.14.2012

    Teriyaki Tofu Skewers



    Can you tell we have been enjoying tofu lately? It is finally summer and all I want to do is grill. I don;t want to grill indoors but outdoors. Do we have a grill? 

    NO! What do we do? Grill indoors! :-) It is totally doable too all we have to do is eat our meal outside to feel as though it were grilled outdoors.

    grilling skewers


    We have been skewering a lot of foods lately. Last month my husband made Persian  kebabs and the this month my friend and I skewered some fruit kebabs for a baby shower and now this.

    I created my own marinade and added it to really pressed tofu. It make the tofu a little more like meat and it allows it to be more flavorful especially if pressed tofu is placed in marinade.

    This is a quick meal so do not be overwhelmed with the steps I have written out. I find that if I leave the tofu pressed the night of then the next day, I simply place the tofu in marinade and then quickly chop up my veggies.

    This meal was delicious with brown rice but I am sure it would be great over some soba noodles too!

    What is your favorite food to grill?


    Teriyaki Tofu Skewers1

    Prep Time: 45 minutes ( 2 hours tofu pres
    Cook Time: 45 minutes
    Keywords: grill bake press tofu entree lunch vegan recipes on recipage vegetarian vegan low-carb tofu summer

    Ingredients (10 skewers)
    • 14 ounces Nasoya extra firm tofu, pressed and cut in 16 cubes
    • 1/2 cup soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons mirin
    • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
    • 1/4 cup Spicy Thai Chili Sauce
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 1 red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch squares
    • 1 orange bell pepper, cut in 1-inch squares
    • 2 cups of white mushrooms, whole
    • 1 large red onion, cut in 1-inch squares
    Instructions
    Press the tofu overnight in a tofu press or by other means or for 2 hours the day of preparation.

    Drain the excess liquid, pat the tofu block dry and cut in 4 slices, lengthwise. Then cut each slab into 4 cubes.

    In a medium storage bag, add the soy sauce, mirin, ginger powder, chili sauce, and sesame oil and mix well. Add the tofu and marinate for 30-45 minutes.

    Remove the tofu and place on a plate. Add the marinade to a large bowl and toss with the red and orange bell pepper pieces, whole mushrooms, and red onions. Let the veggies rest for 10-15 minutes.
    Heat your grill on medium.

    Assemble the skewers starting with 2 pieces of red onion, 1 red bell pepper piece, a tofu cube, then an orange bell pepper piece, a mushroom, red onion, red pepper, and tofu cube, ending with red onion. Repeat with the rest of the skewers.

    As the skewers grill, alternate gently every 3-5 minutes. The tofu will begin to have grill marks.
    As you continue grilling the skewers, preheat the oven to 350F.

    After the skewers are completed and grilled, finish baking them for 15-20 minutes to finish cooking the tofu a little longer.

    *the option would be to cook the tofu first, on the grill then skewer them.
    Enjoy with a side of brown rice.
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    6.12.2012

    Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting {Book Review}


    I love reading and at one point, after having Julianne, I thought I would never get back to reading, for information purposes or even for leisure. Well, as you have been able to tell, I have been reading and it all seems to be about babies. What can I say?

    A month ago, my grandmother sent me a newspaper clipping through the mail, or snail-mail, a review on this book called Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. I have always been interested with other cultures so when I saw that this book was written from an American author's point of view while living in France, I knew I had to read it. 

    What a surprise when I found out that this book had several holds. Darn. I had to wait!

    Memorial weekend came along and I was finally able to check the book out. We headed out to our vacation to Grand Rapids and Detroit so I knew I could read in the car. I offered to read it out loud to Ryan and he was happy to listen. How happy? He was hooked to funny stories and quirky cultural references that we decided to read it as a couple.

    Pamela Druckerman, the author of this fun book, is a former journalist for The Wall Street Journal who ends up moving to Paris because of her husband's job. They end up having a child and so begins her world focusing on the differences between the French and American women and how they handle every stage of pregnancy, motherhood, and rearing of children.

    This book is very well rounded because Ms. Druckerman includes a lot of facts given to her by French specialists. There is science included in the history of French parenting and how it compares with American parenting.

    Was I at all offended by the writing? Let me preface by saying that I like the French, and their country. It was the first place my grandmother took me and I fell in love with the language, landscape, food and more. What I did not know was the way the French raised their kids.


    I always noticed that people seemed slim, especially in Paris, despite all the heavy and rich foods, but because they walked and were constantly moving. Ms. Druckerman devotes a chapter on how French women deal with pregnancy. They do not gain tremendous amounts of weight, they do not do a free-for-all-I-get-to-eat-as-much-as-I-can and then go nuts with losing weight after having the child.

    A lot of what she explains and compares, makes a lot of sense to me. It made me realize that I wanted to do things differently with my next pregnancy. Even though we have countless of options and outlets of information for pre-pregnancy and post-pregnancy, it always seemed to spark some sense of anxiety or obsessing on many matters.



    Another chapter discusses how to sleep-train your child. Most French mothers have their kids sleeping or how the French say "doing their nights" by the time they are 2 months.

    STOP. No way! I did put 2 of the several examples to the test to see if these would in fact work with Julianne. Julianne has been waking up twice during the night. Somehow the putting the pacifier and walking away "seemed" to not work. I did not want my child to cry it out or to not be soothed but I had been told the baby should not be eating during the night. Should I go by instinct or should I stop this eating habit and make sure she eats every 3 hours during the day?


    We experimented 3 days into the book, after reading on the section on babies sleeping through the night. Julianne wakes up at 3am. We place her pacifier in her mouth and she does not like it. She cries. She cries for 5-10 minutes and then as I am ready to pick her up, (yes, I just can't), we hear quiet. She does not wake up until 7am.


    Second night she wakes up again at 1:30am. We place the pacifier in her mouth and she cries for 5 minutes. This was 11 days ago. After that second night, Julianne has been sleeping from 7-7:30pm to 6am, with no waking up! WOW! We have been so excited to have uninterrupted sleep and with little crying.

    Now, we have to deal with naps. Now that I think she knows she is sleeping through the night, I believe she either is wanting to boycott naps or she is going through a bit of separation anxiety. We are currently tackling this.

    The other part of the book we started implementing was a feeding schedule but this quickly waned when I had to go by instinct and feed the baby every 3 hours instead of 4 hours.

    What did I not like about the book? The science and history did bore me a bit just because it seemed a bit much thus the reason we could only do one chapter a night. The writing style is humorous and I believe I did laugh out loud at the coffee shop when I was finishing this book.

    The book is not wild or crazy but it does give an excellent perspective into French culture and parenting. I actually was shocked at several ideas that I simply would not implement, but that is their culture.

    Here is an online review of the book. I hope I have piqued your interest.

    If you knew one technique was working for another culture that we as Americans are not using, would you give it a try?

    These opinions are entirely my own. 

    6.11.2012

    Michelob ULTRA Light Cider Review



    I love doing reviews and even though I have been getting behind with the list of goodies I've been getting lately do know that those reviews will soon be posted.


    I recently was given the chance to try Michelob's new product called ULTRA Light Cider. The sponsor's site happens to be Anheuser-Busch first cider produced and distributed in the United States so this should be one reason to try this product. When I see "Light" in a title, I almost always assume it has some fake sugar added to the product so I skip it and do not even buy it.


    Hard cider is one drink I was first introduced when I moved to Michigan. It was November 2009 and we went to an apple farm in St. John where we drank hot apple cider, consumed donuts and purchased our first bottle of fresh hard cider. Yes, hard cider is an alcoholic drink, for those who have never tried it. When I drank it I knew it had alcohol and it was smooth and crisp at the same time. I also knew it was a combination of apples and grapes with perfect carbonation. How many calories in a glass of that drink? It was estimated that there was about 195 calories per glass.

    Why share that information with you? Well I knew that consuming alcohol was not calorie-free so why not choose something that had the minimum amount without the fake ingredients?


    Michelob's ULTRA Light Cider has 120 calories per serving and is naturally gluten-free made with all-natural ingredients and lightly sweetened with stevia. Yes, STEVIA! It has a total of 6 grams of sugar that comes in the form of dextrose too.


    What makes cider different than beer? Well, cider's process is similar to that of beer but it does not use barley or hops. Instead the brewing process only includes apples. Michelob's ULTRA Light Cider is a great alternative to champagne, white wine and as I stated before, even traditional ciders. Check out this process:









    I enjoyed my bottle of cider fresh from the fridge with my dinner. It was delicious with my crunchy cornmeal-crusted white bass. It is even refreshing over ice too! Look how attractive they look in this clear 6-pack of bottles. They come in 12-ounce bottles and are perfect for gatherings and parties. Unfortunately this product will not be available in CO, UT, WY and OK.


    Please visit Michelob's site here;


    Michelob ULTRA Light Cider on BlogHer.com 
    and for more info or even their Facebook page for additional notes.

    Which favorite summer meal or activity do you think would go best with Michelob ULTRA Cider?

    6.07.2012

    Cajun-grilled and Blackened Tofu

    tofu fajitas

    REMINDER!! Don't forget to sign up for the coffee gadget giveaway!

    One of my favorite things to eat lately is tofu. While I was pregnant I could not EAT and SEE tofu. Ryan would order the Ma Po Tofu at P.F. Changs (one of my favorite dishes) and I could not even look at his plate or even take a bite.

    Well, my tofu-eating days have come back and well since it is grilling time, I find that they are best eaten grilled and seasoned.

    How do I get them to be so tasty-looking you ask?

    Pressed tofu

    Well, thanks to my trusty tofu press from Tofu Xpress, I know that I will have perfectly firm and drained tofu. It will be at the perfect texture even for marinating!

    seasoning

    Something we have been enjoying of late is using Emeril's Creole Seasoning. Yes, I could have made my own but after Ryan made a dish several years back, I knew I had to continue using Emeril's recipe.

    Grilling tofu

    Grilled tofu steaks


    This is such an easy recipe and I at least make this twice a week in order to have lunch and dinner options. Try and let me know how you like it!




    Cajun-grilled and Blackened Tofu

    by Noelle Kelly
    Prep Time: 20 minutes (2 hours tofu press
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Keywords: fry grill press tofu refrigerate blacken entree lunch sandwich vegan vegan recipes on recipage tofu Caribbean cajun

    Ingredients (6 tofu rectangles)
    • 1-14-ounce Nasoya Extra-Firm tofu (sliced in half width-wise, then sliced in 3 rectangles)
    • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
    1/4 cup Emeril's Creole Seasoning
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
    • 2 tablespoons salt
    • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
    Instructions
    Press the tofu for 2 hours before preparing placing in refrigerator. It also can be pressed overnight. Remove from fridge and drain the water. Pat the tofu block dry with paper towels.

    pressed

    Slice the tofu in half, width-wise, then slice each half into three rectangles.

    pressed

    Place tofu on cutting board and sprinkle and pat each rectangle with the creole seasoning.

    Seasoned tofu

    Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil on the indoor grill or griddle on medium high. Place tofu on hot grill and cook on one side for 5-7 minutes, then flip and continue cooking for the same amount of time on the opposite side.

    You can place two slices and make a sandwich or cut into strips and make fajitas and grill onions and peppers on the same hot grill and serve with tortillas. Enjoy!
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    6.05.2012

    Aerobie® AeroPress® Coffee and Espresso Maker Review and Giveaway

    DSC_1329

    I have a lovely product to showcase today. As many of you know, Ryan and I enjoy coffee lots! I believe, ahem, that we have been called coffee snobs at one point or other, but I believe we specific tastes. Who doesn't?


    I was recently given a chance to try out the Aerobie® AeroPress® Coffee and Espresso Maker. Aerobie was founded in 1984 and they specialized in making sports toys, but in 2005 they started the production of this espresso maker.


    How about a little about the inventor? This is pretty amazing:


    "AEROPRESS is the result of several years of applied research by inventor/engineer Alan Adler. He conducted numerous brewing experiments, measuring the brew with laboratory instruments. The experiments demonstrated that proper temperature, total immersion and rapid filtering were key to flavor excellence. He then designed and tested dozens of brewers before settling on the AEROPRESS design. The design was further validated by coffee lovers who tested prototypes in their homes. Adler has about forty U.S. patents and an equal number of foreign patents. He is President of Aerobie, Inc, Palo Alto, California and a lecturer in mechanical engineering at Stanford University. Adler’s best-known invention is the Aerobie flying ring which set the Guinness World record for the world’s farthest throw (1,333 feet)."


    Who needs another gadget in the kitchen, right? I do. I mean, I do. Our Kitchen Aid Coffee Maker has been well used but between cleaning and drying each part, I wish the time was spent on buying a cup from Starbucks. I know. Ha ha.


    DSC_1332

    Then we have our espresso machine, but seeing we do not have too much counter space, it ends being stored away. Our French Press is used often, but then the beans have to be ground and then poured into the glass then the water has to be heated. As a new mom, quick processes and shortcuts are essential.


    Yes, I drink coffee with an infant and it is usually much needed. Did I mention that my baby sleeps through the night? Thank you. :-)


    In comes this COOL and innovative Aeropress. As the title suggests, all one has to do is press a plunger in a cylinder that has been filled with finely ground coffee and hot water and coffee is ready in your mug in 20 seconds.


    103D31002

    20 seconds. Yes. That is quick and it is SO TASTY.


    I believe I initially was out of town when the product first arrived so I gave the task to my husband to read the instructions and to try the coffee for the first time. I came home a few days later and he prepared me a mug of coffee. Talk about the smoothest tasting coffee. It is so creamy and well, the clean-up process is quick and easy and I can one cup or two cups without a problem.


    The chamber has removable filter cap where a very thin filter is placed. The filter cap is placed back on the chamber. There is a funnel provided to prevent coffee spills. I really did not think this was necessary.


    DSC_1333

    Now you can get your favorite finely ground or you can use espresso grounds. I really like Lavazza coffee for anything espresso-related. It is ground already.

    The chamber is labeled with 1 to 4 cup increments. For one- 10-ounce cup of coffee you will need 2 scoops of coffee and the water will have to be filled to the number 2 line. The scoop is provided in the box.

    What is not really labeled is that you can make multiple cups by increasing the scoops of coffee. 

    103D31003


    The chamber is placed on top of a mug while all this process occurs. Dripping will otherwise occur.


    Hot water is then poured into the chamber up the number 2 line or to line 4 for two cups of coffee. There is a stirrer that is also provided. Stir the coffee for 10 seconds.


    Using the plunger provided, the rubber seal must be moistened before being placed in the chamber.

    103D31004


    The plunger must be pressed gently downwards, until all the air is expelled and the coffee has been released into the mug.


    You now have a double shot of espresso that can be consumed as is or you can make a American coffee by adding hot water to the coffee or a latte by adding hot milk.


    Does this sound tantalizing?? The steps seem complicated but once you know what needs to be done it is a cinch.


    The one thing that I do is reuse the grounds. I remove the plunger and add more hot water, stir, and press for another cup of coffee. I think it tastes JUST as good.


    There were some things that seemed a bit confusing to me. It is just assumed that the coffee scoops are multiplied for the amount of coffee servings. The other thing is that even though the instructions talk about GENTLY pressing the plunger into the chamber, it was quite hard to gently press downwards. It is a bit of hand workout but it is WORTH IT!


    If you get a chance go to Aeropress website's and watch the video, demonstrating how it all works.


    How about a chance to win one of these babies? The company was very nice to offer one to my readers.


      This contest is only open to readers in the USA though, sorry. 

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    6.04.2012

    Secret Recipe Club: Grandma's Molasses Cookies

    DSC_1317 

    Wow folks! Can anyone ELSE believe it is June? I totally feel like I am still in March or April. All I can say is that I am happy the weather has given us a break. It feels more like spring and April with all the showers we have been having.


    I finally did some baking this weekend! I had a friend ask me how I found time with everything I have to do to bake. Well, after the baby goes down to sleep at 7:30 or 8pm, I catch up on housework and chores until maybe midnight. Lately we have been going to sleep at 11pm. So tired! Anyway, even though I have not been making sweets around the house I made an excuse to bake.




    Secret Recipe Club is finally here for the month of June. I was so excited to realize I was given such a popular blog, called The Yummy Life. The author,Monica, is a fabulous blogger and poster of recipes. She creates recipes that I wish I could and pictures that have you salivating. She has a wonderful support system with her family especially the talents of her son, who built the website for her. I need some help on mine for sure! Is that possible Monica? :-)


    Anyway, I was a bit overwhelmed with the choices. I really wish I could have made 4 to 6 recipes, and I STILL plan on making them, like the Chili Beans and the Healthy Egg McMuffin Copycat . I also plan on trying her salads and dressings too. GO check out those recipes.


    DSC_1318

    Okay, so what did I bake? I decided on spiced cookies, called Grandma's Molasses Cookies. I know that the last two months I have chosen pumpkin recipes and now I chose a spice cookie that Monica posted in December 2011. I wanted to use my blackstrap molasses and the sound of spices in a cookies made me imagine the smell. I HAD to make them.


    DSC_1320 

    I made almost 3 dozen cookies and I ate 3 kept 4 and gave the rest away. I just had to. You should have been here to taste them. They were SO good! I did make some adjustments to reduce calories.


    What you will realize is that my cookies do not look anything like the original recipe. You know why? I forgot the BAKING SODA!! I never forget ingredients but I guess I can blame my mommy brain right? Sigh....


    Grandma's Molasses Cookies

    by adapted by Noelle Kelly (original recipe from theyummylife.com)
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Keywords: bake dessert vegetarian soy-free nut-free molasses Christmas Parties cookie

    Ingredients (34 cookies)
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda ( I forgot to add this!!!)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1-3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 3/4 cup Earth Balance coconut spread, melted
    • 1 cup coconut palm sugar
    • 1/3 cup sugar, for rolling
    • 1 egg, room temperature
    • 1/4 cup molasses
    Instructions

    In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, & ginger; set aside. In medium bowl, with electric mixer* on low speed, blend together the melted butter, 1 cup sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in molasses. With mixer on low speed*, gradually add flour mixture to molasses mixture; mix until completely combined. Cover and chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough into walnut sized balls (use cookie scoop, if available); roll each ball in remaining sugar. Place 2 inches apart on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes just until tops are cracked all over, but cookies are still a bit gooey inside the center cracks. Cool on wire racks.
    *In place of electric mixer, dough can be mixed thoroughly by hand with a spoon.

    Original recipe by Melissa and Michelle King; adapted from All Recipes and memories of Grandma Marie's cookies.

    ****Note: Even though I forgot the baking soda, these cookies came out really well! LOL
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