Thursday, March 26, 2015

Waffles from Scratch (Healthier too!)

Who doesn't love waffles?! My favorite thing to do as a kid was to pour syrup in each little square, and I have to admit that I still like to do that! My boys love these waffles, and the best part is that they're a bit more healthy than usual waffles and you can't even tell the difference! 

Waffles from Scratch
1/2 C. wheat flour
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 C. milk
2 eggs
1/2 C. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. honey (or other sweetener, I use honey instead of sugar here)

-Go ahead and start heating up your waffle iron
1. Mix together the dry ingredients until blended. Add remaining ingredients and mix together until smooth.
2. Pour onto waffle iron - about 1/3 C. at a time. Serve and enjoy!

Makes about 12 waffles.

*Feel free to add in your favorite berries, chocolate chips, etc.*

A few are missing because my boys had already gobbled them up!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Irish Soda Bread

My family is part Irish, on both sides I believe, and this holiday has always been one of my mom's favorites. This recipe actually came from an Irish family that my mother was very close to when she was living in New Jersey years ago, it is their family recipe and I must say that I absolutely love it! It is incredibly easy to put together and is definitely a crowd pleaser, enjoy!

Irish Soda Bread
2 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. shortening
1/2 C. raisins
2 tsp. caraway seeds
*3/4 C. buttermilk
1 Tbsp. sugar

-Preheat oven to 375 F & line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

1. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter or with forks until the mixture is crumbly.
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. If your mixture is too dry add about 1-2 Tbsp more of milk.
3. Pour dough onto baking sheet (just like making a giant drop biscuit), bake 20-25 minutes (rotate pan halfway through), until bread is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. Serve!

p.s. My absolute favorite way to eat this bread is warm with butter, it's delicious!

*If you don't have buttermilk just add 1 Tbsp. white vinegar to the milk and let sit 5 minutes before using.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Get ready for some of the most delicious oatmeal raisin cookies you will ever eat! Seriously, these are amazing and I receive rave reviews everywhere I share these. And, they are incredibly simple to whip up! I experimented for quite a while to find the perfect balance between cookie, oats, and raisins and this recipe definitely delivers! 

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 C. old fashioned oats
1 C. raisins

-Preheat oven to 350 F & line baking sheets with parchment paper

1. Cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until just mixed.
3. Add oats and raisins and stir with a spoon until well incorporated. Drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheets and bake 7-9 minutes until golden around edges. Let sit on pan for 2 minutes before removing to cooling racks. 

-Makes 24-28 cookies

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

Yellow bowl + yellow soup = not the greatest photo, sorry!
We have had some majorly cold weather in Texas over the past week, which I have absolutely loved by the way, so I have been making "winter food". Who doesn't love a big bowl of soup when it's freezing outside?! I decided to go meatless with this recipe because I wanted to go a slightly healthier route, and because going meatless every now and then has really been a great thing for our budget (and it's good for you too!). This chowder came together very easily and doesn't require much cooking time, you can easily have this on the table in less than an hour!

Cheesy Vegetable Chowder
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 onion, finely diced
3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 large potatoes, peeled & chopped
6 C. water + bouillon
(or 6 C. broth)
1/2 C. frozen sweet corn
2 Tbsp. flour + 1/2 C. water
2/3 C. milk
1 broccoli crown, chopped
2 C. shredded cheese (I used cheddar & Monterrey jack)
Salt & pepper

1. Heat a large pot on medium heat, add butter and onions, saute until translucent (3-5 minutes). Add garlic and cook for an additional minute or two.
2. Add potatoes, broth, and corn. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat to med/high and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat just a bit and let soup simmer until potatoes are cooked (10-15 minutes). 
3. Mix together flour and water in a small bowl and pour into soup, be sure to stir the soup and you pour in the mixture. Continue to simmer until thickening. Add milk and broccoli, continue to simmer until broccoli is tender (about 5 minutes). Turn off heat and stir in cheese. Serve!
-Serves about 6.

p.s. You could also add a chopped celery stalk and/or a chopped carrot.