Come On Up To The House

May 4, 2018
by Ashley
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Dairy Free English Muffins

Since learning that making english muffins at home was fairly easy (waiting is the hardest part), I have tested different ingredients and made some changes in my recipes. This change is just to cut calories for me, however some may actually want or neet to cut out dairy from their diet.  These won out as best tasting when compared to my original recipe.

Dairy Free English Muffins

1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (30 calories)
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt

Microwave the milk in a pyrex for about 2 minutes or until small bubbles start forming on the side of the pyrex. Stir in the sugar into the milk and set aside. Combine the yeast and water in the mixing bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

In a mixer, combine all liquid ingredients.  Slowly add the flour to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Add salt last. Knead until smooth. Place into a greased bowl and cover. Let rise until doubled.   About 1 1/2 hours.

Punch the dough down and roll out to 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut english muffins with a large biscuit cutter. Set muffins on silpat or wax paper lightly coated with cornmeal. I was able to make 25 english muffins from this recipe. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Preheat an electric skillet to 350°F. Cook for 6 minutes per side. When you open, use a fork around the outside instead of a knife. This will help keep the nooks and crannies open.

As usual…I use these with jam and lemon curd. However I do love using them for breakfast sandwiches as well.

 

May 1, 2018
by Ashley
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Homemade Rice a Roni

My mom would make chicken rice a roni at least once a week. It was a staple in our house and I have fond memories of dinners that she made this. My version is different, but still has a similar flavor.

Homemade Rice a roni

2 tsp butter
1/4 cup forbidden black rice
3/4 cup orzo pasta
1/4 cup brown basmati
1 tsp Orrington Farms Chicken broth base
3 cups chicken stock

Melt the butter in the pan. Toss in rices and pasta and brown slightly. Add in half of the chicken stock and saute for a few minutes while bringing it to a boil. Add in the rest of the stock, bring to a simmer and cover on low for about 20 minutes. I checked on it every 5-10 minutes to make sure the rice was cooking properly and if it needed more stock. If the rice is still toothy, add more stock.

Let sit off of the heat for 10 minutes before serving to ensure that the rice has cooked fully. Serve with roasted chicken and a salad.

April 26, 2018
by Ashley
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Quick Chocolate Mug Cake

I had a craving for a light dessert recently and found this lovely recipe online. This is not very sweet. If I were to make this for my kids, I would suggest a tablespoon of agave nectar.

Quick Chocolate Mug Cake

2 tbsp powdered chocolate peanut butter
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp warm water
1 egg white
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp agave nectar
1/4 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp whipped cream
1 tsp chocolate syrup

Mix everything (except whipped cream and syrup) together in a small mixing bowl. Spray a large mug with cooking spray and pour the cake batter in. Microwave for 90 seconds. Top with whipped cream and syrup.

3 smartpoints (Add two – three more points depending on the amount of whipped cream and chocolate that you use).

April 22, 2018
by Ashley
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Banana Pan-crepes

I made this lighter pancake crepe like breakfast the other morning and Isla named it Pan-crepes. The kids liked them with nutella and rolled up like a crepe.

Banana Pan-crepes

2 bananas
2 eggs
pinch salt
4 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp Grade B Maple Syrup

Whip everything together in a blender and cook in a crepe pan. Make sure the heat isn’t too high, as these brown easily.

Enjoy rolled wih jam or nutella.

 

April 15, 2018
by Ashley
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Gluten-Free Biscotti

I am trying out something new today with a gluten-free biscotti. This can easily be changed for different flavors, but today I decided to make Cranberry & White chocolate.

Gluten-Free Cranberry & White Chocolate Biscotti

1 cup almond flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 tbsp Mango Jam
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Combine dry ingredients and mix together. Melt the butter and pour into batter with the eggs, jam and vanilla. Lastly, add the chocolate chips and cranberries. Mix and pour/scoop out onto a pan covered with a silpat. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let sit out for 30 minutes to cool. Carefully cut into biscotti cookies and leave on silpat spread apart. These were very crumbly when I did this. Bake at 300 for 15 minutes and check to see if dried. Pull out of the oven and let sit to cool.

April 10, 2018
by Ashley
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Flourless Chocolate Brownies

These brownies were incredibly easy to make and may make me forget the box brand forever.

 

 

 

 

 

Flourless Chocolate Brownies

6 tbsp  butter
3 tbsp vegetable oil
9oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 1/2 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Melt butter, oil and chocolate chips in a pyrex for 1 minute on high in the microwave. Stir with a spatula and set aside. In a stand mixer, mix eggs, sugar and vanilla for about 2 minutes. Add in chocolate mixture and mix well. Add in cocoa powder, corn starch and salt and mix well until thickened.

Pour into a 9×9 square pan and cook in a preheated 350 F oven. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Served with New Zealand Ice Cream and chocolate syrup.

April 4, 2018
by Ashley
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Panzanella

I am not normally a soggy bread person. I don’t really like french dips or a wet italian beef sandwich. I like my eggplant parmesan crispy, and no breadcrumbs on mac’n’cheese just incase it may be soggy. So my husband was very surprised when I thought that this salad was a good idea to try. This actually turns out to be quite delicious and I have even made it more than once.

Step one with this recipe is to have leftover homemade bread. Now I know not all kitchens may possess this, but mine definitely does. I make boules at least once a week, and we always have leftover that either gets changed into crostini or homemade breadcrumbs. Once in a while, I will make “crunchies” which are really croutons.

 

 

 

 

 

Panzanella

1/2 boule, cut into bite size pieces
2 tbsp good olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 cups small tomatoes, mixed varieties
1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp basil, dried or 2 tbsp fresh

1 shallot, thinly sliced
3 cups spinach, arugala, lettuce and romaine (or any mixture of them)
4oz fresh mozzarella, diced (optional)

In a strainer, sitting over a bowl, place the diced tomatoes with 1 tsp kosher salt and let sit for 15 minutes to collect the juices.

While tomatoes are resting, preheat the oven to 400F. One a baking sheet, add the bite sized pieces of bread tossed with 2 tbsp olive and sprinkled with kosher salt. Bake bread until golden brown, usually takes about 10 – 20 minutes. Keep watching them because they can brown really quickly in some ovens. Take out of the oven and let cool before you use them for the salad.

Add the collected the tomato juices to 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, vinegar, mustard and basil. Shake the dressing until combined.

In a serving dish, combine the tomatoes, bread, greens, shallot and mozzarella. 30 minutes before serving the salad, pour the salad dressing over. Let sit until you are ready to serve.

March 28, 2018
by Ashley
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Chocolate Fondue

Chocolate Fondue is something that we do rarely but is really an easy and special dessert.

I make the fondue and keep in warm in a little chocolate fondue set that we have. It keeps the chocolate warm with a little tealight candle. Serve with any or all of these items, or come up with your own ideas to dip. We love strawberries, blueberries, bananas, pretzals, marshmallows, butter cookies, animal crackers, graham crackers and very rarely do have we done pound cake.

 

2 bars hersheys milk chocolate
1 2.5 oz dark chocolate
Heavy cream
1 oz Kirschwaser

Melt chocolate in a small sauce pan with a little cream added. I add about 1 tbsp at a time. Stir until melted and add another tbsp to see if creamy enough. Don’t over cook.

Put into a fondue pot or into a small crock pot to serve.

 

March 24, 2018
by Ashley
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Dry Ice Bubbles

Paul came up with a fun experiment that he wanted to try. So we headed to Hyvee to pick up some dry ice. He kept the dry ice in a cooler and used an ice pick to break off a little bit. Then, he used a thin hose with a funnel on one end and tiny plastic cup on the other, we had a bubble experiment.

We put the dry ice in warm water into a mason jar and soupy water in a cup. With the funnel end over the mason jar he put the other end with the plastic cup into the soupy water. This is what the bubbles turned out like!

Note – In order to catch the bubbles, you need to use gloved hands otherwise they will pop immediately. They were fun to catch and watch burst.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 20, 2018
by Ashley
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Sketches

Isla was sick this last week. That means I got to stay home and catch-up-bake, read and cuddle a sick baby. She was getting bored and wanted a project, so we came up sketching togeteher. The challenge was to find an object in the house and both sketched it. She loved the project and it is definitely something we will repeat.

 

 

 

 

Sketches of our pretty flowers and a picture of my sick baby.