Sunday, April 10, 2016

Homemade Oat Crackers (Video!)

Guess what? After almost one and a half years my video manager/director/editor (did you even know I had one?) a.k.a. younger brother convinced me to make another cooking video. He has been working on convincing me for a very long time. But I can't promise that I will have time to do another one in the near future. Anyways, we took my Oat Cracker Recipe and made a cooking video for it. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Banana Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

How about some Banana Cinnamon Rolls?!

Banana Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
2/3 cup warm water (around 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit)
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups mashed bananas
1 egg
1/3 cup olive oil or melted butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5-6 cups flour (I use whole wheat)

(Cinnamon Filling)
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

(Cream-Cheese Frosting)
1 8oz. block cream cheese
1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Step 1. Combine water, yeast, and sugar in a medium-large bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes to foam.
Step 2. Add remaining dough ingredients to yeast mixture, except for 3 cups of flour. Mix well. Stir in remaining flour a half cup at a time until you can no longer stir the dough, then knead in remaining flour. I used around 5 1/2 cups, but just add enough so that it is no longer sticky as you knead it.
Step 3. Knead the dough for 5 minutes and then cover with a towel and let rise for an hour.
Step 4. Roll out dough into a 24x14 inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Roll up and slice into 24 one-inch rolls.
Step 5. Place rolls on a greased baking sheet and let rise for a half hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. While rolls are baking, blend frosting ingredients together.
Step 7. Allow the rolls to cool slightly for five minutes, then spread with cream-cheese frosting.

If you make these ahead, store them in the fridge. When ready to serve, reheat briefly in the microwave, if desired. Enjoy!


P.S. I shared this on some of my favorite blog hops.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Gluten-Free White Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

1 cup softened butter (2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups oats (use gluten free)
2/3 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups raisins or dried cranberries
4 ounces chopped white chocolate

Step 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Step 2. Cream butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
Step 3. In a medium bowl, mix oats, brown rice flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Step 4. Stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredient mixture. Then add the raisins and chopped white chocolate.
Step 5. Press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
Step 6. Let cool. Then cut into bars. Enjoy!


P.S. I shared this on some of my favorite blog hops.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Hearty Lentil-Barley Soup

I'm sorry that I've been slow again with posting recipes. Is it enough to say that I've been super relaxed busy?

6 cups beef broth
1 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup cooked, shredded beef (optional)
1 cup quick-cooking pearled barley
1 cup lentils, cooked according to package directions
1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon sage
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste

Prepare lentils according to package directions. Bring the beef broth to a boil in a 6-8 quart pot. While lentils are simmering and the broth is heating; saute the vegetables (mushrooms, onions, carrots, and celery) in the olive oil in a medium saute pan for 5-7 minutes, stirring every minute or two. Once the broth is boiling, add the barley, sauteed vegetables, beef, lentils, diced tomatoes, sage, and red pepper. Return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.Season to taste with salt and pepper, start with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a dash of pepper, then go from there according to your taste. Just don't burn your tongue! Enjoy with some homemade bread, if desired!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Reflections - What Are You Most Thankful For?

free thanksgiving photo: Happy Thanksgiving turkey2.jpg

 Thanksgiving - the name itself evokes images of warmth - extended family gathered around the fireplace enjoying each other's company, a juicy golden turkey ready to be carved, spicy apple pies, fluffy mashed potatoes, steaming hot gravy, and so much more.

We really have a lot to be thankful for. Not just on Thanksgiving, but throughout entire year. Sunny summer days, green grass, blue skies, dazzling sunsets, morning sunrises, fragrant roses, ocean shores, singing birds, soft purring kittens, playing children, thoughtful friends, nourishing food, warm homes - the list could go on forever. But do you know what I'm most thankful for? It's better than all that I've mentioned above. I'm most grateful that God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, who while we were yet sinners, died for us. So that we could be pardoned and given eternal, that we could know God's love, even though we don't deserve it.
Maybe you are thinking, "But I'm a good person, I deserve it." My heart cries for you because, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." (Proverbs 14:12) And "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)  It is so easy to only see the good in ourselves, or not see the bad as truly bad. But the truth is: "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) We are all desperately in need of God's mercy. (If you don't feel that way, you can take a little test here to see if you need God's mercy.)

Because God is a righteous judge, He does not leave the guilty unpunished. The Bible says, "Behold the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgement on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." Scary isn't it? What is there that we we can do?

This is the good news: God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus. Jesus took all the punishment and guilt for our sins upon Himself, when He died on the cross. He paid the debt that we owed. "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God." (1 Peter 3:18a) Just think about that for a second. Doesn't it move you to tears?

Maybe now you are starting to understand why this is what I'm most thankful for. I really hope you do. But do you know how you can receive eternal life and be reconciled to the God who created the universe and yet loves us so much that He gave His only Son for us? The Bible says to repent (turn from sin) and believe in Jesus. "He who believes in the Son [of God] has everlasting life." (John 3:36a) 

"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:20) I implore you, dear reader, be reconciled to God, He has made a way - JESUS - who died on the cross and rose on the third day.

This is what I'm most grateful for. Are you?

With love,

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving-Style Brownies

I'm really excited about this Thanksgiving twist on brownies! Gooey chocolate, crunchy walnuts, and guess what? Dried cranberries! It makes a luscious treat for Thanksgiving or any time of the year!


1 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup flour (I use whole wheat)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried cranberries

Optional Garnishes:
Fresh cranberries
Walnut halves
Chocolate chips
Whipped cream
Frosting (chocolate and/or white)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Step 2: Mix melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in eggs.
Step 3: Add in salt, baking powder, cocoa, and flour. Mix well.
Step 4: Stir in chocolate chips, walnuts, and dried cranberries.
Step 5: Pour into greased baking dish. Bake for 27 minutes.
Step 6: Let cool. Before serving, garnish as desired. Enjoy!


P.S. I shared this on some of my favorite blog hops.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Easy Exotic Chicken (Video and Recipe)

We've been making this chicken a LOT recently - like around twice a week or something! I first made it because a couple of people in our family are going gluten-free and most soy sauces have wheat in them so I made this instead of soy-sauce chicken. We've been making it since! It is really great with rice and lentils. But we've also liked it with noodles, baked potatoes, baked potato wedges, and mashed potatoes. This takes me only around 5 minutes to put together and it really easy!
Although the spice list looks huge, it really isn't that complicated and you can skip a spice if you don't have it.

1/4 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper AND cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric, garlic powder, black pepper, AND coriander
1 teaspoon each of parsley AND curry powder
1 tablespoon each of paprika AND cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup olive oil
2-3 lbs of chicken (breasts, thighs, legs, or wings)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place chicken in a baking dish. Mix spices and salt in a bowl. Stir in olive oil. Pour over chicken. Bake for 60-75 minutes. Serve with rice and/or lentils. Enjoy! 

I often make this ahead of time and reheat it and the chicken only soaks up more of the flavor! So in other words: this is a great make-ahead dish. 


P.S. I linked this to some of these blog hops as well as a blog hop at Nourishing Joy