Recipe: Chocolate Chip Buckwheat Cookies

This is my new go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe. The buckwheat flour gives the cookies a nice earthy flavor and goes well with the chocolate, and they aren't too sweet. Plus, they're quick and easy to make and good for gatherings because they are gluten-free. 

1 1/8 cup light buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. In a large mixing bowl, combine egg and sugar and beat with an electric mixer on high until light and fluffy. Add butter and beat on high until combined. Add vanilla and beat briefly. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips

.Drop cookie dough onto parchment baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake at 375° F for 9-11 minutes.

I originally found the recipe here.

Recipe: Quinoa Salad

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe… we've been in a bit of a rut, a happy rut with things like avocado sandwiches and black bean tacos, but still a rut. So last week I tried something new. On a bit of a whim, I broke free from my standard greek salad recipe and combined it with a chick pea salad recipe. I never, ever have whims when cooking (baking, yes - but cooking, no) and I don't break free from following a recipe exactly (unless I am missing ingredients, in which case I just leave them out). I would say my cooking is usually only mediocre (which I don't get because I follow the recipes exactly), but this turned out really well. So well that it may work itself into the rut rotation.

Quinoa (uncooked)
Cucumber (sliced)
Cherry tomatoes (halved)
Avocado (little pieces)
Chick peas
Feta cheese
Italian dressing

Cook quinoa and let cool. Mix with other ingredients.


 

Recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Brownies

We have a lot of zucchini. We moved into this house in July and didn't have time to plan a garden, but we wanted to try to grow something. So when I came across a little packet of zucchini seeds, I went a bit overboard and planted all of them - half in the garden and half in the hoop house. I have no gardening sense and kind of assumed only a few would grow, if we were lucky. 

Well, they all grew. 

We've been freezing them (shredded, diced, and even whole), but now the freezer is full.  We've been making soups and stir fries and bread, but zucchini every night gets old quickly. 

So we've turned to the one thing we never, ever tire of here. Chocolate. This week was chocolate zucchini brownies. Next week will be double chocolate zucchini cake. The brownies are (were) delicious - and one batch takes care of two cups of shredded zucchini. 

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Here is the recipe I used (adapted from TexanerinBaking):

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, vanilla,  sugar, and apple sauce. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Combine dry and wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in zucchini and one cup chocolate chips. Pour batter into erased 8x8 pan and sprinkle remaining chips on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

 

Recipe: Blueberry Popsicles

I discovered this week that giving a blueberry popsicle to a 17-month old is like giving a raw hide to a dog. Total entertainment. It also makes a good pre-breakfast treat for the kid who wakes up two hours earlier than the other kids.

Equal parts vanilla (or plain) yogurt, blueberries, and milk. A touch of honey, maybe a little more if you use plain yogurt. Throw in a few raspberries too. Blend and pour into popsicle mold. 

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Recipe: Lemon Scones

A few weeks ago I attended a pot luck dinner and the theme was British Food. When given a choice of what to contribute to a meal, I almost always opt for dessert. So I made lemon scones. They turned out quite well. I got the recipe from Taste of Home, but used the peel from a whole lemon, not just a teaspoon, and made mine thicker than 1/2 inch. Here is the recipe:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup suger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
     1/2 cup cold butter
  •  1/2 cup buttermilk
  • Grated peel from entire lemon
  • Sugar
  •  
  • Mix dry ingredients, cut in butter (I kneed it in until it is like coarse sand), add buttermilk and lemon peel.  Gently kneed six times, form into ball and place on greased baking sheet. Pat into circle about 1 inch thick. Cut wedges (but not all the way through) and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Serve with tea and enjoy while learning R.

 

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Recipe: Chocolate Cream Pie

I made Eating Well's chocolate cream pie for a school fundraiser this weekend - it was (way too) easy, delicious and very chocolatey. I used a store-bought gluten free crust this time, but the original recipe calls for a chocolate wafer crust (which I've also made before and is quite good). The filling is pudding-like, so it works with no crust, too.

My favorite part is pile of chopped chocolate...

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(See Eating Well for crust recipe and tips for decorating)

FILLING

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate

PREPARATION

  1. Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a large saucepan.
  2. Whisk milk and eggs in a medium bowl, then whisk into the sugar mixture.
  3. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until bubbles begin to form around the edges.
  4. Cook, stirring vigorously, for 2 minutes more. Strain through a sieve into a large bowl.
  5. Whisk in chocolate until completely melted.
  6. Pour the filling into (your preferred) crust. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a “skin” from forming. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.
  7. Spoon or pipe (with a pastry bag) 10 dollops of whipped cream around the edge of the pie. Garnish with chocolate curls.

Easter Cookies (Recipe)

The Easter cookies didn't make it onto Pinterest, but they were good! Here's the recipe*:

1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Beat together butter, honey, egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt, and baking powder, then add to butter mixture and mix well. Chill for at least one hour. Roll out dough and cut out shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

Sprinkle with colored sugar before baking or decorate with frosting after baked and cooled.

*From the Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book

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Recipe: Angela's Chocolate Cake

This is our traditional family birthday cake. I love it because it is chocolate (it's a law: birthday cakes must be chocolate), not too sweet (so I can justify giving it to kids and then finishing it off after bedtime), and easy to make (kids can help without driving me crazy). 

For this cake, we made a double batch and used three cake pans - a big one for the base, a medium one for the second tier, and a third one for the heart cut-outs to place on top for decoration. We put jam in the middle and whipped cream on top. 

1 1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl add the ingredients one at a time, stirring after each. Pour into cake pan(s). Bake for 25-30 minutes.

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Recipe: Moroccan Lentil Soup

This soup is perfect on a cold day, especially after hours of ice skating and snow shoeing. We've made it twice now and love it. It is great with bread, although today we didn't get around to baking (or buying) any... we did find time to make chocolate fudge brownies, though. Priorities.

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Here is the soup recipe - taken directly from Eating Well.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 medium)
  • 1 3/4 cups lentils
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups chopped fresh spinach or one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat; add onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add broth, water, cauliflower, lentils, tomatoes and tomato paste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender but not mushy, 45 to 55 minutes. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, 5 minutes.
  3. Just before serving, stir in cilantro and lemon juice.

And here is the brownie.

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Chai Tea Bread

A while back I decided I would make January bread-making month as a way to fight the post-holiday doldrums. But with all the snow, January has been full of outside activities and there has been no bread-making... until yesterday. I finally made the one recipe I really wanted to try: Chai Tea Bread

It was delicious.

Bread

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup prepared black tea, cooled
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour

Glaze*

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 3-6 tsp prepared black tea
  • cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Cream sugar and butter. Beat in eggs, tea, milk, vanilla and spices. Add baking powder, salt, and flour. Pour into greased bread pan. Bake for 50 minutes. Mix together glaze ingredients, drizzle over bread.

*I used half the glaze recipe and it was fine

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Not-so-sweet pecan pie

Have I mentioned that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday? I love our family’s traditions - cooking and baking, a long walk, dinner with family and friends, a fire in the fireplace, and multiple desserts, including pumpkin pie, which my mom and I enjoy again for breakfast the next morning. I love that it is a national holiday, but not a religious holiday, that centers around family, food, reflection, and thankfulness. Also, no gifts. 

This year I’m in charge of the pecan pie. After pumpkin pie, pecan is my favorite, but I admit I don’t really like the super sugary, gooey variety. So I have modified the standard recipe that calls for corn syrup and sugar, and replaced them with a little maple syrup and dark chocolate (because everything is better with chocolate anyway). It keeps the pecan-ness of the pie, complimented by chocolate, so that those of us who can’t handle the high sugar load can enjoy it.

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Recipe

1 cup pecans, toasted and ground until smooth

4 eggs

2/3 cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup (whole or halved) pecans

Dark chocolate chips (1/3 -1/2 cup)

Pie crust

Whisk eggs and maple syrup. Add melted butter, vanilla, and ground pecans. Sprinke chocolate chips on bottom of pie crust. Place (whole or halved) pecans on top of chips, covering botton of crust. Pour filling on top. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, then reduce heat to 325 and bake about 40 minutes more until filling is set.

Recipe: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Stew

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking, this is a favorite in fall and winter. 

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 sweet potatoes
4 cups (or 2 cans) diced tomatoes
4 cups (or 2 cans) black beans
2 cups corn
 

In large pot, cook onion in oil until tender. Add in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Serve with brown rice or couscous. 

Because I forgot to take a picture of it earlier, here it is in the lunch-tomorrow-tupperware.

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookie Scones

This cookie is my proof that chocolate really does go with everything. I call them cookie scones because they are not super sweet and hold a nice thick shape. Plus, you can make them with whole wheat flour and dark chocolate chips and pretend they are healthy. Throw in a little extra pumpkin and you should be eating these! 

  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup agave (or 3/4 - 1 cup sugar)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 - 2 cups chocolate chips

Blend pumpkin, eggs, oil and agave/sugar. In separate bowl, mix baking powder, flour, salt, and cinnamon. In a little dish, dissolve baking soda and milk. Combine all. Add vanilla and chocolate chips.  Drop cookies onto baking sheet. Bake at 370 for 10-12 minutes. (This is the doubled version because they disappear so quickly)

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Even Alfred cat likes them.

Recipe: Apple Crisp

Autumn is here!

Everyone has a favorite apple crisp recipe. Here is ours, inspired by Angela’s Morning Glory class.

4 cups chopped apple
1 1/4 rolled oats
3/4 cup flour (or 3/4 cup finely ground almonds and walnuts)
1/3 cup oil (or 1/4 cup if using almonds and walnuts)
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon

 

Spread apples on bottom of pan, with a little water. Mix oats, flour (or nuts), syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon and spread over apples. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.

Recipe: Squash Soup

This is a quick and easy recipe. It’s a regular on our summer menu, especially these days with the squash we are getting from our CSA. It goes well with a nice, crusty bread and a salad.


3-4 yellow squash
2 carrots
1 celery stalk
1 onion
1 vegetable bouillon cube (you can use 2 cubes if you prefer a stronger flavor)
1 cup milk 
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop vegetables into small chunks and boil in water until tender. Put vegetables (but not water) in blender, add milk and bouillon cube. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and warm in pot, if necessary.

Granola

I just recently started making my own granola and now wonder how I’ve survived breakfast all these years without it. A big batch should last about a week (two adults, two kids), unless you are like me and sneak it as a snack when the kids aren’t looking. Then it lasts about five days and you are stuck eating cherrios until you motivate to make it again.

6-8 cups of oats
1 cup almonds, finely chopped
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
1 cup coconut
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 - 3/4 cup honey
raisins to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees
1. Lightly toast oats in large roasting pan over medium heat until fragrant (about 5 minutes)
2. Add nuts and seeds and stir continuously for 5 minutes
3. Add coconut and stir continuously for 3 minutes
4. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey
5. Stir until honey is all the way worked in
6. Bake in oven for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
7. Continue to stir occasionally while cooling
8. Add raisins (I let the kids add their own raisins at breakfast)


Having the girls scoop the granola into tupperware is a great activity. We get about 30 minutes of quiet cooperation with this task… especially if I give them little spoons.

 

Then they get to sweep… which quickly turns into a fight over who gets to sweep and who gets to hold the dustpan.

 

To settle the broom/dustpan dispute, I bribe promise a trail mix treat to girls who can sweep without fighting. (I set aside some almonds, walnuts, and seeds, and add a few raisins and chocolate chips.)

Minestrone Soup

I know it is nearing the end of soup season, but we’re hanging onto this one as long as possible. It’s adapted from Vegetarian Cooking and it is simple, healthy, and good! It’s also great if you have one kid who will only eat the ingredients raw and/or separate (black beans, bell pepper, and pasta make a nice little meal for Miss. Picky).

Picture of soup

1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 cups broth (canned or from bouillon)
2 cans Italian stewed tomatoes
1 can beans (black or kidney), drained
1 zucchini, cut lengthwise inhale then crosswise into slices
1 cup uncooked small pasta shells
1/4 cup pesto (optional)
Shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Heat oil in large pot
2. Cook onion and pepper for a few minutes
3. Add broth, tomatoes, and beans; simmer for 5 minutes
4. Add squash and pasta; boil for 10 minutes
5. Swirl in some pesto and top with cheese

Angela's Chocolate

This chocolate recipe comes from Angela. It is fun and easy to make, so easy that it is not annoying to have kids help out. But don’t be fooled by the natural and wholesome sounding ingredients ( “raw cacao powder”,  “agave”, “coconut oil”), this recipe is not good for you. Well, it is good in the sense that cacao and coconut oil have some good qualities, but it is high in fat and calories. But it is really good and worth it.

Picture of chocolate

1 cup coconut oil (if solid, I warm it in a saucepan until just melted)
1/4 cup agave (raw) sweetener
3/4 cup raw cacao powder
2 teaspoons vanilla

Line a 9x12 pan with saran wrap. Whisk ingredients together until thoroughly blended (I usually mix for several minutes, giving each kid a good long turn). Pour mix into pan and spread over whole pan - the more thinly it is spread the better. Freeze for an hour, then break into pieces. Store in fridge or freezer.

Oatmeal honey cookies

This recipe was adapted from The Petit Appetit Cookbook. The kiddos love when we make them with chocolate chips, but they are just as good with raisins.

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup honey
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 heaping cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 heaping cup rolled oats
1/2 - 1 cup dark chocolate chips or raisins

Preheat oven to 350F.

Cream butter and honey, add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Add oats and chocolate chips (or raisins).

Spoon cookies onto baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.

COokies on cooling rack