Dinner is done! Hearty beef stew and homemade bread. 


Dinner is done. And the best thing is that it’s only 10:00 in the morning. 

Homemade bread is thawing on the counter just waiting to be devoured this evening. The beef stew is simmering in the crock pot full of chunks of beef, red potatoes, carrots, onions, broccoli, celery, 8 cloves of garlic, and my home made beef stock and vegetable broth

I can’t wait to eat tonight. The meat, veggies and broth are going to make for a delicious and flavorful dinner full of good nutrition, vitamins and minerals. Mmmmm. 

What’s for dinner at your house tonight?

Homemade veggie stock

Homemade bone broth

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Mexican and Tex-Mex food is a staple in my cooking rotation. But even something as basic as packaged flour tortillas are out for us right now where food reactions are concerned. 

So for the first time ever I made my own. The actual cooking time took me about 30 minutes. Total prep time probably 1 hour 15 minutes, but most of they was time for the dough to rest. 

It’s not hard but it is a bit labor intensive. But it gives you control over the ingredients so it’a a win.

First mix up your dough.

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

2 tbls. baking powder

1 stick butter cut in with a pastry blender

(Every other tortilla recipe I found on google called for either lard or vegetable shortening. Well, I have one kid who can’t have pork and one who is super sensitive to palm/coconut oils so neither of those would work for me. This is why I chose butter. Use the fat of your choice that is solid at room temperature.)

I also found that the butter blended better if Inused my fingers at the end. You don’t want beads of butter like in most baked goods. You want it to be thoroughly blended so that when you pinch some of the flour together it sticks together like wet sand.

Once your flour mixture is the right consistency pour in 1 1/4 cups warm water and mix until the dough forms a ball in the bottom of the bowl. It should be a moist dough but not wet and sticky. Cover and let the dough rest 20 minutes.

After the testing period, pinch off bits of dough and form into 1 1/2 inch balls. Cover and let the balls rest 15 minutes.


Prepare a floured board for rolling out the balls and heat a cast iron skillet or griddle hot until water sizzles on the surface. 


Roll out the balls very thin using only as much flour as needed to keep them from sticking. 


Lay flat on your skillet with no oil. Once the top forms bubbles flip to the other side and cook for about a minute.


If there is residual flour on your skillet rub that off with a dry cloth before putting the tortilla on or the flour will burn.


This recipe made me about 30 tortillas. They are going to make a great bread substitute. I think I’m going to try using less flour when I roll them out next time as they ended up being a little dry. But they tasted great as soft tacos for dinner and were light and pliable. And I have enough for dinner tomorrow. Yay!

Cranberry Muffins

So my allergy kid is causing me to get creative. He’s reacting to…. well lots of things, so everything is suspect right now. No store bought baked goods for us. I would fudge and buy muffins from the bakery once every few months. Since that’s not an option right now I busted out the muffin pans. I haven’t made muffins in, well, years. The King Arthur Flour cookbook gave me a refresher course and then I changed the ingredients based on what he could have.

Ready, set, go….


2 cups flour of your choice (I used All Purpose because that is what he is tolerating best right now)

Scant 1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup fresh ripe cranberries (or berry of your choice)

Combine the dry ingredients and mix the cranberries in until coated with flour. Next, in a separate bowl combine…

1 cup milk

6 egg yolks (or 2 whole eggs)

1/4 cup light olive oil (or oil of your choice) 

Whisk together until combined. Pour over dry ingredients and mix only to the count of 20 even if your batter is still lumpy, that’s okay. The less you mix the fluffier the muffins will be.

Pour into lightly greased muffin cups (I use silicone ones) until 2/3 full. Per King Arthur’s instructions Inpreheated the oven to 500 and then reduced the heat to 400 when I put the muffins in. Cook for 20 minutes.


I used these mini silicone cupcake molds to use my extra batter. I cooked them at 400 for 14 minutes. They are a great size for travel or for the one year old. 

Happy baking everyone!

Mineral Rich Lamb Stroganoff

I invented a new recipe today. Our son is struggling with foods right now so I’m trying to focus on the things that he tolerates well while getting some good fats, protein and minerals in him. This recipe was a modification of my regular stroganoff recipe adjusted for his current food sensitivities. I added lamb for variety so he has some rotation in his meats, and swiss chard and bone broth for extra vitamins and minerals. I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out but it was great! Though this is not a great picture, the half empty bowl proves that it was a hit. The bowl was full when we started. The five year old had three servings!

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If you have food restrictions that are different from ours, this recipe is easy to substitute what works for you. Here’s what I used if you want to try it:

1 lb. ground lamb
1 lb. ground beef
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
4 cups chopped swiss chard
3 cups heavy cream
2 cups of beef broth or bone stock (see here to make your own)
extra virgin olive oil
2 tbls. all purpose flour
1-1/2 packages wide egg noodles

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First put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. While you wait for it to boil cover the bottom of your skillet with olive oil. Saute your ground lamb and ground beef until browned. Season with salt and pepper and add the chopped onion and garlic. After about 5 minutes add the chopped swiss chard and cook until wilted. Add about 2 tbls. more of olive oil. Stir and then sprinkle 2 tbls. of all purpose flour (or flour of your choice) over the meat mixture stirring until the oil has absorbed all the flour.Next pour in the heavy cream and stir. When it starts to thicken add the beef stock and stir until combined and heated. Turn off the heat. Cook your egg noodles (or pasta of your choice), drain and mix the noodles, sauce and meat mixture all together.

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Sprinkle with parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes if desired. Eat it up. It’s delicious!

Bone and Veggie Broth

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Break out your crock pots everyone! Whoever invented the crock pot has my eternal thanks. It makes what I’m about to tell you so EASY. I had a great time at the grocery store today. In part because I only had two of my four children with me which made shopping much easier. 🙂 But, otherwise, I was gathering all the fixins for some DELICIOUS broth. Ahhhh. Mmmmm.

I’m making two kinds – beef and vegetable. Let me tell you how to make your own.

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Beef stock with beef bones, beef marrow, garlic, onions and leeks.

Beef Stock:
Buy about 5 pounds of various beef bones from your butcher. Many stores will have packages set out labeled as soup bones. I bought one package of “soup bones,” two packages of neck bones, and two packages of marrow bones. If they don’t have any out, ring the bell at the meat department and tell them what you want. They can cut it up for you in minutes. When you get home dump all the bones all in the crock pot and add one head of garlic unpeeled and chopped in half, one leek, 1 cup onion quartered, 1.5 tsp sea salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper. Pour cold water over it all and cook on low for 12-18 hours. When cool either strain and freeze or follow my instructions for my favorite way to preserve broth – make your own bullion cubes.

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Veggie stock – beet greens, potato peels, onions with peels, garlic with peels, carrot and potato peelings, and leeks.

Vegetable Stock:
I don’t know why I’ve never thought to do this before but I recently saw an idea online to save all your vegetable scraps in the freezer and when you have a full bag use them to make veggie broth. That’s what I did and it is currently simmering away. Couldn’t be easier. Dump in all your scraps, cover with water, add 1 tsp. sea salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper. In this batch I added potato peelings, carrot peelings and ends, celery tops and bottoms, beet greens, leeks, onion tops and peelings, and one head of garlic with peels. You could really add anything. If you add peelings just be sure that you wash the vegetables before you peel them. I used the bag of veggie scraps from my freezer and just from putting these batches of broth together this afternoon I almost have another full bag in the freezer waiting for next time. I would say that the essentials to veggie broth that make it great are celery, leeks and garlic. Don’t skip the leeks. I buy them just for broth. They make it that much better.

I’m going to be spooning this into my meals and the mouth of my kids when they are sick. My allergy kid is struggling right now from some recent food reactions so I’m hoping the extra vitamins and minerals will give him the boost he needs and help his gut heal and get back to normal. The healing properties of this broth can’t be equaled. Plus they are sooooo delicious. Enjoy.

Leftover turkey? Turkey tetrazzini anyone?

My grandmother might consider it sacrilege to her recipe, or she might consider me practical and frugal, but I’m turning her chicken spaghetti recipe into turkey tetrazzini Friday after Thanksgiving. Let’s hope for the latter. Follow the recipe for chicken spaghetti and simply substitute turkey meat instead. You could even make some delicious turkey broth with that turkey carcass. Simply simmer it on the stove with some garlic, onions, salt and pepper, or do what I would do and cook it overnight in your crock pot. Mmmm. Broth makes great fall food. Enjoy!

One pot leftover skillet dinner

This skillet recipe is a great way to use up holiday leftovers. The recipe listed is a Mexican skillet that calls for sausage but it’s just as good with chicken or beef. I made it with some leftover grilled  chicken on Sunday and it may show up on our dinner table later in the week with some turkey. Hint, hint for Thanksgiving leftovers.

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

img_0195-1It’s a sunny Saturday morning, so I decided to use up some of our apples from apple picking this fall to make some yummy Apple Cinnamon Pancakes.

Start with this base pancake recipe:

(This recipe makes a large batch which I refrigerate and eat on all week.)

4-6 egg yolks (carefully separated and rinsed with cool water to remove any egg white residue)
1/2 cup light olive oil
2 cups milk
2 tbl. white or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
Stir the above ingredients until combined. Then add…

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbls. cinnamon (optional)
2 tsp. baking soda

Combine all the dry ingredients and mix with the wet. Peel and finely chop 3-4 small apples (about 2 cups worth).  Fold into your batter mixture. Cook in small circles in your favorite cast iron skillet and serve. They are yummy with butter, syrup and even a layer of almond butter if so desired. Eat away. We saved some for breakfast tomorrow.

If you have food sensitivities, you could also use this Allergy-Friendly Recipe as your base and add apples to it as well.

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Fall Baking – Pumpkins + Apples = Pumplekin

So we decided to celebrate one of my favorite holidays today. Pumplekin! What? Never heard of it?

Well, let me tell you about this wonderful New England holiday. Actually, we made it up. Pumplekin was born with lots of laughter around a table full of friends. We took two of our favorite parts of fall – pumpkins and apples and we came up with Pumplekin. We pick a day in the fall, usually in November, to gather together play games and of course, eat wonderful food made of pumpkins and apples. There are even culinary contests and the competition is fierce sometimes. Well, we decided to do our Pumplekin baking today. Here’s what we made. Some recipes are old and some are new. Try some of them to spice up your fall. You could even make your own Pumplekin holiday.

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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

An old standard at our house: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread! This has been one of my favorites for years. I can’t get through the fall without making this. Click on Family Favorites for the regular recipe and on Allergy-Friendly Recipes for the modified versions for those with food sensitivities (gluten, dairy, soy, nut and egg-white free).

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Homemade Toffee Pieces


Next on the list is a Pumplekin award winner! Apple Pie Cheesecake! This is an allergy-friendly version of a Kraft recipe.

The first thing we did is make our own toffee since the store bought toffee has ingredients that don’t work for us. We used this simple recipe from the Pioneer Woman which had only four ingredients. This was our first successful attempt at candy making. It worked great and is delicious. I made a half recipe and it made a lot. I think we’ll have enough crumbled toffee chips with just this half batch for the rest of our lives. Lol. Also, I didn’t do the chocolate part that they did. I just used the toffee recipe.

Then, once we had that ready the girls and I went to work on the cheesecake.

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Apple Pie Cheesecake

Next, we peeled, cut and cubed three small apples (you need about 2 cups). Sautee them in 3 tbs.of butter, 1 tbl. sugar, 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. of salt until the butter and sugar are syrupy. Set these aside to cool while you assemble the crust. Drizzle 2 cups of crushed gingersnap cookies with 4 tbls. of melted butter and press into the bottom of a pie pan.
Now for the cheesecake. Yay!

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Pumpkin Butter

Mix  2 – 8 oz. packages of cream cheese with 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 tsp. of vanilla. Then add 1/2 cup of sour cream and 6 egg yolks. Mix until all the eggs are combined with the cream cheese mixture. Then stir in 1/4 cup of toffee bits, 1/4 up of chopped pecans and half of your apple mixture. Pour into the pie pan with your prepared crust and bake on  325 for about 35-40 minutes or until the center is set. Once cooled chill for 4 hours and then top the cheesecake with the remaining apples, some of the chopped nuts and toffee. Yum!


Pumpkin Butter 
was next on the list. This is an old favorite for us too. You can find the recipe on the Allergy-Friendly Recipes page. It’s great on biscuits or toast. And it lasts a really long time in the fridge so don’t worry if you don’t eat it up right away.

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese

And last but not least – Pumpkin Cream Cheese! I saw a tub of pumpkin cream cheese at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago and had to try it. As soon as I tasted it I knew I would have to make my own. It’s delish. My girl’s want to eat it by the spoonful. I looked at a few recipes online and ended up mixing 1-8 oz package of cream cheese, 1/2 can pumpkin, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice. Mix and store in the refrigerator.

Other great fall recipes you might enjoy:

Spiced Chai Tea (I call it Christmas Chai, but it’s great for fall too.)

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
And if you know me. fall is my favorite time of year to cook and decorate for. Here are some of our fall decorations from years past complete with leafy twinkle lights.

This is how we get baking done these days. We got lots done while she napped don’t you think? 🙂

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Pumpkin bread – make extra and freeze it.

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Toffee poured out to cool.

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread

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Apple Pie Cheesecake

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Pumpkin Butter

Quick Breakfasts – Chocolate Quinoa Custard and Homemade Granola

These are cooking in my kitchen. Chocolate Quinoa Custard and Homemade Granola are two quick breakfast options.

Chocolate Quinoa Custard:

140127_0000This recipe is gluten, dairy, nut and sugar free. This recipe contains eggs.

I’ve been making this for breakfast lately. It’s delicious, filling and high in protein. Try it!

Start with 2 cups quinoa. Soak overnight. Drain and rinse. Add enough water to a saucepan to cover the quinoa by about 1/2 inch. Simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed, the quinoa is transparent and the little curly tendrils can be seen on the side of each grain. Cool.

Next stir the following into your cooled cooked quinoa.
2 tbls. cocoa powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cloves

Mixture unset before it goes into the oven.

Mixture unset before it goes into the oven.

In a separate bowl combine
2 cups milk (substitute: goat, almond or coconut milk)
6 egg yolks (or 3 whole eggs)
1/2 cup maple syrup (or 3/4 cup honey)
1 tsp. vanilla

Add the liquid mixture to the quinoa mixture and stir to combine well. Pour into a greased casserole dish and cook at 350 for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the mixture is set.

It is best served warm. Add some extra maple syrup to taste and pour some cream over the top. It’s delicious!

 

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Granola:

Everyone seems to ask me for my granola recipe. So here it is. This way I can just tell everyone, “It’s on my blog.”🙂

First mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

6 cups oats (I prefer regular, not quick-cooking)
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts (You can use any nut you like or have on hand. I usually use walnuts but almonds or pecans even work.)
1 tbls. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt

Stir the dry ingredients until mixed well. Then mix in following.

1 cup mild- tasting oil (whatever you’ve got – coconut (melted), canola, light olive oil, etc.)
1 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla

Stir well until all the oats are coated. Put in a baking pan with sides and bake on 350 for 20 minutes removing at the 10 minute mark to stir. When you stir be sure that you are careful to pull it away from the sides as the honey burns easily along the edges otherwise. When it has cooled off, stir in 2 cups of raisins. Makes a yummy breakfast or snack.

Homemade Pizza dough in less than 5 minutes

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I posted a 5 minute bread recipe last week. I just used the same recipe to make pizza dough for dinner last night. It’s so fast and easy. I simply mixed yeast and salt with water. Added flour, let it rise once, and rolled it out. (If the dough is sticky when rolling add more flour as needed.) I put it on cookie sheet/baking stone, decorated with pizza fixins and cooked at 420 for 18 minutes.If you find the dough hard to roll out let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes and try again.

Here’s how our pizzas turned out.

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For an updated five-minute bread recipe, see this post.

 

Artisian bread in less than 5 minutes…

Just whipped this up to go with vegetable soup for dinner. Took less than 5 minutes. To find out how read on….

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