Archived entries for recipes

Rose Hip Muffins

I LOVE rose hips!

I can’t quite figure out why they aren’t included in more recipes. They have bright citrus notes yet have an earthiness that is distinct and comforting. I grew up with a hot rose hip syrup drink for cold days and a sore throat. There is so much natural pectin in the fruit that making jams and jellies with them is supposedly a breeze.

Yes, they are a bit messy. There are stems and little round disks that need to get strained out, but the results are worth the bother.

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Chocolate Fig Sandwich Cookies

Figs are such a delicious fruit when fresh or dried, but I often delegate them into a healthy role as a snack in between meals. I hadn’t thought about pairing them with chocolate until Mike came home with some Ficoco spread that he bought while in Florida. It’s a delicious and more healthy alternative to Nutella. It’s also fat-free, but not when spread on these butter-laden but sinfully chewy yet slightly sandy cookies.

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Bee Pollen and Banana Smoothie

Bee Pollen and Banana Smoothie

2 cups milk
1 ripe banana, sliced (preferably frozen!)
2 frozen strawberries
1 tsp bee pollen
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp honey

Add milk and cinnamon to blender. Piece by piece add banana and strawberry. Add bee pollen and honey last. I do it this way so that there aren’t a lot of chunks of things at the bottom of the blender that didn’t get incorporated into the smoothie.

The Advantages of Homemade Corn Tortillas

1) You know the ingredients are good. I’m always on the lookout for quick dinner solutions, and I’ve found that many tortillas, both flour and corn, contain a bunch of things in them that I don’t care to ingest.

2) I can’t emphasize enough how wonderful corn tortillas are if they’re slightly thicker than what you can buy, and are freshly made. I don’t know what kind of magic occurs when you use these in anything from enchiladas to just surfaces for beans and guacamole, but you’re guaranteed to get sighs of contentment and tummy pats after a meal with these!

3) You can make the corn tortillas into any size you want. Tiny appetizers? Perfect! A spin on flour tortilla burritos? No problem! Delicious flexibility is yours.

4) So inexpensive!

I simply followed the directions on the Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina Corn Flour bag, but this post is focused on technique. The first two times I made corn tortillas they were too dry, and fell apart too much while transferring either into the fry pan or out of the pan after cooking.

Ingredients:
2 cups masa harina flour
between 1 1/2 and 2 cups HOT water
1/2 tsp sea salt

- Mix together the sea salt and flour.
- Boil some water in a tea kettle, measure out the water, and add to the flour. Make sure there are no dry spots. Remember this! Don’t be afraid to go over the 2 cups of water if for some strange reason your dough is still dry. Trust me on this!
- Cover the dough and let it sit for at least an hour.

You’ll need:
- parchment paper
- a smooth, flat surface
- a rolling pin


Grab enough dough to form a ball that fits into the palm of your hand.


Take the ball, and gently smash it onto some parchment paper


Lay another piece of parchment paper on top, and gently roll the dough until it’s a relatively thin circle


Peel away the top piece of parchment paper. Then lift up the entire piece of parchment with the tortilla still attached, and flip it upside down onto your other hand. Proceed to peel the remaining parchment paper off.


In a non-stick pan, lightly grease with approximately a teaspoon or two of canola oil. I have a lovely silicone brush which I use to spread around a small amount of oil over the bottom of the entire pan.


Fry on each side about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.

To make meal preparation even easier, turn on your oven and set to about 200 degrees F. Lay all of your tortillas on foil, fold over the edges to trap in the moisture and pop in the oven so that you have warm tortillas all ready at the same time.

Vegetarian Refried Black Beans

I really believe this recipe would work great with ANY type of canned beans, I just happen to have a love for black beans lately. It’s also really quick, ready in 5 minutes, so you don’t have to stand around getting drunk on margaritas while waiting for dinner. I just said that because I’ve actually never consumed a margarita at home.

Vegetarian Refried Black Beans

2 tbsp canola oil
2 16-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
1/2 cup good cheddar, grated (my favorite is Beecher’s Flagship)
2 tsbp, or a good “splash”, of milk

Take a medium sized pot and put it on medium heat. I like to use an iron pot because its bottom has an almost non-stick surface after years of repeated use.
Add the oil to the pot once warmed, and then add all the beans.
Take a potato masher and start mashing all the beans. If beans start to stick to the bottom, add a little more oil.
Add the chili powder, mix in.
Add the cheese and milk, and mix around until all the cheese has melted and incorporated into the beans.
Cover with a lid, take off the heat, and get ready to assemble your burrito!

I always found the idea of any “deconstructed” menu item to be rather amusing. Examples could include deconstructed caesar salad and deconstructed tiramisu. The main premise is to take a menu item and highlight each of the individual ingredients to create a new, possibly more exciting version of the original.

This isn’t a post about my making anything officially deconstructed, except for making this simple observation: almost any entree or meal meant for an adult can be made more palatable for a little one if the components are separated. Toddlers and deconstructed anything makes happy kid. So here is a picture of Leila eating a burrito, decontructed. It just skips on the hot sauce and lettuce.

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