Roasted Beets, Sweet Potato, and Apples – Yum!

So I’ve been needing a new healthy snack in my life and this is what I came up with spur of the moment tonight. I’m going to experiment with variations on the seasonings, but this first batch turned out so nicely that I thought I would share.

This makes about 3-4 servings but could easily be doubled or tripled. And this would make a great side dish too. The colors are perfect for fall.

Roasted Beets, Sweet Potatoes, and Apples:

1 Sweet Potato, peeled and chopped

4 Small beets, peeled and chopped

2 Small apples, chopped

3 tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp oregano

2 tbls brown sugar

Mix it all together in a bowl until the apples and veggies are coated with the oil and seasonings. Roast on 400 degrees for 35 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

I came up with this recipe after my birthday this year, since chocolate chip cookies are the best dessert EVER! And the only thing that could make them better is cooking them in a cast iron skillet. (If you know me, then you recognize two of my favorite things here – chocolate chip cookies, and anything cast iron.)

Cast Iron Skillet Cookie:

1 stick butter and 1/4 cup tasteless oil (I use light olive oil), melted

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup honey

1 egg

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp Vanilla

Whip the sugar, honey, and butter several minutes until light and creamy (this step is important, don’t skimp on the mixing). Then mix in the egg, salt, and vanilla.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp Baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips

Stir together.

Mist your skillet(s) with cooking oil. You can either use one 10″ skillet, or three mini cast iron skillets. Fill with cookie batter. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Best served warm with vanilla ice cream.

Apple Cinnamon Baked French Toast

This is a mix up or recipes. It’s kind of a combination of apple cobbler, cinnamon rolls and French toast rolled all into one.

Our family has a tradition of breakfast for dinner on Sunday nights. I use this as an opportunity to experiment a little with breakfast options we’ve never tried before, or to make up and test new recipes. This was the later.

Here’s how I did it.

First mix up a basic baking powder biscuit dough with some cinnamon and sugar added.

Baking Powder Biscuit Dough:

2 cups all purpose flour (or your flour of choice)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbls baking powder

2 tbls sugar

1 tbls cinnamon

Cut in 1/2 stick of butter with pastry blender.

Add 1 cup of milk. Stir until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and pour out on to a floured surface. Knead just until smooth and let rest.

Apple filling:

4 Gala apples (or your favorite baking apple, or whatever is in your fridge), chopped into 1″ pieces

Melt 2 tbls butter in a large skillet. Stir in 3 tbls brown sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt, and cook over medium heat until bubbly. Stir in apples and cook about 3 minutes.

French Toast Mix:

2/3 cup milk

2 eggs

1 tsp Vanilla

Whisk together in a 2-cup measuring cup.

Put it all together:

Butter a large cast iron skillet or a big casserole dish.

Roll your biscuit dough into 2″ balls and space evenly around your skillet or casserole. Next, pour the French toast mix over the biscuit dough. Spoon your cooked apples over the top of everything. Bake for 25 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Serve with your favorite pancake topping – maple syrup, honey, agave nectar, whipped cream…. the options are endless.

Spicy Herbal Chai – Cleansing Tea, Safe for Pregnancy and Nursing

So, I’m picky about my teas. I’ve experimented for months to get a combination that I like. Too many herbs – too weak. Too much black tea – too much caffeine. Too many cloves – too strong. Too much black pepper – too spicy. Too much dandelion – too bitter.

This is just right. It’s sweet and spicy, hearty and robust. And it is a gentle cleanser for your liver and digestive system. The addition of dandelion, red clover, and milk thistle are gentle cleaners and liver protectors of for your liver. Dandelion, red clover, and nettle add excellent vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to your body.

These herbs are not only cleansing, but safe for pregnancy and nursing. Most are suggested herbs for using to add nutrients to your diet when pregnant and to your milk when nursing. As always, you should consult with your doctor or midwife before using any herbs especially if you take any medication.

Wanna try it…. here’s the recipe.

Spicy Cleansing Herbal Chai:

This recipe makes approximately 2 cups of loose leaf tea.

8 tsp loose leaf black tea

6 tsp dandelion leaf

5 tsp red clover

4 tsp nettle leaf

2 tsp mullien

2 tsp cinnamon sticks, crushed

2 tsp dried ginger

1 tsp stevia leaf

1 tsp dried orange peel

1 tsp cardamom pods, crushed

1/2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed

1/2 tsp whole cloves, crushed

1/2 tsp milk thistle, crushed

Mix all the ingredients. Add 2 tsp of tea mix to a tea strainer and steep for 5 minutes in boiling water.

Drink and enjoy!

My Garden – Late Summer 2019

Some of my best blooms this summer! Hope to do even better next year. I’ve already got my next years garden planned out and order with plants arriving for fall planting.

DIY Bug Spray – Insect Repellent

We are in the middle of another stretch of hot weather. I went out two evenings ago to water the flowers in the backyard and was immediately besieged by a swarm of mosquitoes. I could literally watch five of them land on my leg at once. I suffered through watering as quickly as I could while waving them away and swatting at the ones that actually landed on me. When I came in I counted 20+ mosquito bites on my arms and legs. The next day, I thought to put on my homemade bug spray first. I was out for longer this time and I watched to see how many would land on me. Only ONE mosquito even attempted to land on my bare legs and arms. I came in after watering for over half an hour with zero bites! Amazing isn’t it. Click the link above and then scroll down for the recipe. It’s easy. Grab a 2 oz. spray bottle from the travel sized toiletry department at Walmart, add a carrier oil, add in the essential oils of your choice, spray directly in your skin (avoiding clothing and eyes), rub in, and watch the mosquitoes stay away from you.

Note: The oils pictured above are the five that I find work the best at repelling mosquitoes. However, you should use Rosemary and Citronella with caution on children and young babies. Use a high dilution ratio for these oils as well as lemon as it is photosensitive and can cause sunburn when exposed to sunlight. Other safe oils to include if you would like to substitute something else for one of these oils would be geranium, catnip, cedarwood or vanilla. Visit http://www.hopewelloils.com to research safety information.

5 Grain Hot Breakfast Cereal

I’ve been trying to come up with new breakfast ideas lately. When you have to eliminate eggs, oats, nuts, and pork you really aren’t left with many options.

I raided my pantry and gathered up all my different bags of grains that I use for various things. Here’s what I came up with.

Rolled spelt, barley, millet, buckwheat, and quinoa.

I used the following proportions, but you could adjust the measurements or types of grains to suit your preferences.

5 Grain Breakfast Cereal:

1 cup quinoa

3/4 cup spelt flakes

3/4 cup barley flakes

1/2 cup mullet

1/4 creamy buckwheat cereal

Mix the grains together and store in a quart size jar.

To cook, use 1 1/2 cups of water for every 1/2 cup of cereal mix. Serving size is 1/2 cup of cereal mix per person. Simmer in water until the millet is cooked. Serve with butter or cream, and brown sugar.