Thursday, January 31, 2013

Healthy Banana Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

I always LOVED baked oatmeal growing up, but with a half cup of butter and a cup of sugar it isn't the healthiest way to start your day (though the taste was delish!). I am happy to report that their are much healthier alternatives out there for baked oatmeal that are equally tasty, though. I found this one and this one that I liked the sounds of and merged them into my own version using ingredients I almost always have on hand. Pantry staples = easy weekday breakfast with little planning necessary. And that my friends, makes this mama happy.

Banana Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal

3 c. Oats
2 tsp Baking powder
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cloves
1/4 tsp Allspice 
1 Egg
2 c. Milk
1/2 c. Vanilla Yogurt
2 Bananas, mashed
1 c. Pumpkin

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into a lightly greased baking pan and bake at 350 for approx. 40 minutes or until center is no longer wet. Serve warm. (Optional, top with a dollop of yogurt, sliced bananas, milk and syrup...) Enjoy!

It also works great to cook it up in the evening. When morning rolls around just warm up a piece for a quick 5-minute breakfast. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Italian Herb Bread

This is one of my favorite go-to bread recipes. It tastes amazing. And, really how can you go wrong when you're using basil, oregano and garlic! I usually mix it up in the bread machine and bake it in the oven, but it works just as well using a stand mixer with a dough hook or going the old fashion way and kneading it by hand (then you get your arm work out in for the day, too!) though you might want to add a bit extra flour so it's not as sticky if you're kneading by hand.

Italian Herb Bread 

1 1/4 cup Water
1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Sugar
3 1/2 cups Flour
2 tsp Yeast
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (option)

Dump all ingredients in your bread machine and set to dough mode. When it's complete, remove dough and place into a greased bread pan and let rise for about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until top is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. 
Let cool a bit before slicing (if you can restrain yourself!).

Monday, January 28, 2013

Meal Plan - Jan 28

It's been snowy and wet here lately which means there's lots of cozy, comfort food on the menu for this week. Here's what's cooking:


Baked Potato Bar and modified Russian Black Bread (I'm hoping this bread tastes as good as it sounds!)

Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes and Ham* with Roasted Brussel Sprouts (I didn't get around to this last week so it's making another appearance.)

Spaghetti Pie and Salad

Homemade Pizza with 5 Minute Artisan Bread for crust


Ham and Egg Breakfast Casserole

Healthy Mexican Sweet Potatoes (these are so yummy! I cooked the taters in the microwave, left out the onion and chipotle peppers and didn't bother to broil it at the end last time I made them. They were still awesome!)

Soup of some type (if needed)

*I haven't had any luck finding a scalloped potato recipe without processed foods like canned soups and Velveta cheese neither of which I like using. If you happen to have one that you'd like to share I'd love to try it. Otherwise, I may be creating my own. If that's the case I'll share it on here assuming it turns out!

Happy Cooking!

Friday, January 25, 2013

No Sew Baby Mobile

I know this is back tracking a bit, but I want to record some of the projects I did for Bambina's nursery for future reference since the whole thing is pretty much DIY. Her mobile was one of the first things I made and I used the scrapbook paper I found for it as the color scheme for the rest of the room. 

I got the basic idea from this cute mobile, but instead of fabric and sewing I went with glue and paper.

Ribbon (approx. 11 feet)
Double-sided Scrapbook Paper (enough for 28 1.5" circles)
Craft Glue
8" diameter cross stitch hoop
Jute or extra ribbon for hanging

1. Find some coordinating paper that you love (mine was double sided which worked out great) and cut out 28 circles approximately 1.5" diameter.

2. Cut four pieces of ribbon at 17" and four at 14.5". I used two different colors, but you could use all one, too.

3. Glue four circles to each 17" ribbon and three circles on each 4.5" ribbon. I spaced them so the three circles on the short ribbon matched the three spaces on the long ribbon. Be sure to leave about 2" at the top of your ribbon for folding over and gluing to the hoop.

4. Remove the outer circle from your cross stitch hoop and discard or set aside for future crafting project of your choice. Fold about an inch from the top of your ribbon over the inner circle of cross stitch hoop and glue in place. Repeat 7 times, spacing the ribbon evenly around the hoop.

5. Using more ribbon or jute, tie three strands around the top of the hoop. Knot together in the center. Cut as long or short as desired for hanging.

It's that simple! I was pretty pleased with the way in turned out and love the extra color it brought into the nursery.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Happy Creating!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Soy Banana Bread

I am always on the look out for a new, healthy banana bread recipe to try. However, I often fall back on this Soy Banana Bread recipe as a tried and true favorite. A friend first shared it with me several years ago and now I'd want to pass it on to all of you! And don't be scared away by the soy flour, it can easily be swapped out with regular wheat flour. I do love that it adds some extra protien to an otherwise carb- heavy snack though so if you're feeling adventurous give a try!

Soy Banana Bread

Sift together:
1cup + 2 Tbsp Soy Flour
1 1/3 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour (or 1 cup white flour and 1/3 cup bran)
2 3/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 cup Sugar (I often cut this down)

Add in:
1/4 cup Oil (or 2 Tbsp Oil and 2 Tbsp Yogurt)
1 Egg, beaten
1/3 cup Milk
1 cup Mashed Bananas (2-3)
1/2 cup Chopped Nuts (option)

Mix until just moistened. Spread into a greased 9x5 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes. Enjoy!

So do you have a favorite go-to snack bread recipes?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Meal Plan - Jan 22

Well, I know I already said this once before but things have been busy, busy so here's getting-back-to-meal-planning-after-the-holidays, take two!

Black Bean Burgers - (I'm picturing these serving as a wrap in ww tortillas with avocado and maybe a dollop of sour cream)

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham and Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Fried Egg Sandwiches and popcorn (these have been tasting delicious for lunch lately!)
Roasted Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup (might add some leftover ham to this)
Carrot Cake Muffins (no sugar added)
Egg Casserole

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Meal Plan - Jan 8th

Well, after a bit of a hiatus for the holidays I'm ready to get back to meal planning and cooking some wholesome, nourishing foods again!


Soup, Salad and Herbed Wheat Dinner Rolls

Individual Chicken Pot Pies

Stir Fry

Soy Banana Bread
Avocado and Egg Salad Wraps
Cuties (Ok, so not something I'm making, but I've been really loving these tiny little fruits lately!)

Happy Cooking!