Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Strawberry-Pineapple-Watermelon Smoothie

We had a bunch of watermelon left over and I didn't want to see it go to waste. My general rule of thumb for smoothies is a frozen fruit, a fresh fruit or yogurt and juice. Typically our fresh fruit is a banana but I decided to see how the watermelon worked out.
And I have to be honest, I don't measure much when i'm cooking so if it looks like too much at once try halving it and then working up from there.

1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 cup fresh watermelon
1 cup watermelon juice

We also added in 1-2 tsp of flax seed for Omega 3's and 1 packet of Culturelle probiotics

Combine all ingredients in your blender. I start with the frozen fruit on the bottom, then the fresh fruit and then pour the juice over. Blend ingredients, they should look smooth. The blender should be pulling the ingredients from the top and towards the bottom. If the ingredients are not moving, "juice it". I didn't have enough watermelon juice or any open juice so I added what I did have, Red Tea (Rooibos) which has a whole host of it's own benefits. Pour, sip, enjoy. Serves 4

Off-the-cuff Jambalaya

My 2 yr old DS begged me to make something with the turkey smoked sausage I picked up at the store. I was in one of those unfortunate situations where I didn't have any idea what to make for dinner, so I made up a recipe. I love using my cast iron dutch oven pot. I started the meal on the stove top and then transferred to the oven.

Preheat oven to 375 F
In your dutch oven combine:

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped

Heat oil, stir in garlic, celery and onion. Cook until onion is translucent but garlic isn't browned.
Add 2 cups of rice and 3 - 4 cups of chicken stock (I originally added 4 cups of stock but after adding the tomatoes it seemed like there was too much liquid)

Bring to a boil
Cut up smoked sausage

Once the dish is to a boil, add one or two bay leaves and 1 Tbsp Jambalaya spices. (I used Celestial Seasonings 7 Pepper Spices but since have tried to purchase more and cannot find it. I believe Zatarain's makes a Creole Seasoning which is great, I just didn't have it on hand. And their seasoning would probably require less than 1 Tbsp, maybe more like 1/2 Tbsp).

Add 1 (10 oz) can of tomatoes with chili's (or 1 jar of salsa)
1 (4 oz) can of tomato sauce - I guessed on size, i can't remember

Return dish to boil, turn off stovetop and move the dutch oven into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins

This recipe is my modification of the "Anyway You Like It Pumpkin Breads" from the verybestbaking.com website.

Makes 2 dozen muffins
Preheat oven to 400* F

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup Chocolate Chips (honestly I add the whole bag)
1 can (30 oz) Libby's Easy Pumpkin Pie Mix (If you use plain pumpkin, add 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice in addition to what's listed)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice, apple juice or water
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a larger bowl. Combine pumpkin pie mix, oil, orange juice, eggs and vanilla in another bowl. Pour pumpkin mixture into flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 16 to 18 minutes.


My recipe for Mocha's is this:
In a tall mug combine
2 Tbsp mocha powder (I use either Starbuck's Mocha Powder or Ghiradelli's Double Chocolate Premium Hot Cocoa)
2 Tbsp water
stir until you've created a syrup

Add 1 Tbsp flavored syrup (my favorites are Peppermint or Toffee Nut)
1/4 - 1/3 cup strong coffee (my standard for brewing coffee is 4 Tbsp of coffee for 6 cups of water)
Milk of your choice (enough to fill the rest of the mug - I'm guessing 1 cup)

Heat milk over stove top or in microwave (in separate cup) until warmed and a little bubbly. Stir & enjoy

You may need to play around with it, it's been a while since I made one. But as we get into these cooler months I'll be making them again.

Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie

1 cup frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana
1/4 peanut butter
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup milk (we use almond milk)
1 packet of Culturelle probiotic (optional)

Blend until ingredients are smooth. Add more milk if necessary to get the right consistency; you should see your blender pulling the ingredients down and it should "flow". Or you could use a fresh banana which would mean you'd need less milk.

*You could substitute the peanut butter for almond butter. Or substitute for your favorite yogurt instead