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Kimchi

Kimchi

If you are like me, you’re looking for ways to eat healthy that actually taste good. So, I’ve never actually tried Kimchi before, and yet suddenly I felt like I needed to try to make it. Logical right? This is how my brain works. I did my usual research on Pinterest and found this recipe.  Then I recruited my friend and co-conspirator, Emily, to help me.  I liked it because the recipe said it was quick and easy.  Well, it is easy.  You just follow the steps and eventually end up with Kimchi.  This recipe might be quicker than other recipes for Kimchi, but it still took four days to finish,  and I’m not sure how that compares to “slow” Kimchi.  Maybe quicker to prepare?? Before you embark on this recipe, you’ve got to find Korean Chili Flakes Powder and Miso paste. If you can find a Korean grocery store, then you are in luck, otherwise, you might need to order the powder from Amazon (linked below) and the Miso paste you can probably find at a grocery store, in the refrigerated section near the tofu and wonton wrappers

Here’s what I noticed when I finally decided to try it.  First, it has a strong oder which is fine with me, but just a warning. Then, the first bite sort of made my tongue tingle, like it had become carbonated or something.  Which by the way, I didn’t mind at all. It’s spicy but not TOO spicy. It’s pickle-y but not TOO pickle-y.  The cabbage has wilted down, it’s still crunchy but not in a raw way.  The most amazing part for me was the instant health benefit I saw.  Here’s why.  My husband had a cold and he was getting over his just in time for me to start feeling the beginnings of a cold coming on. That just happened to be the same day I tried this Kimchi. I didn’t even eat that much, but I IMMEDIATELY felt better. I’ve continued to eat it every day and have not gotten sick at all. I’m totally amazed.

In addition to the miraculous cold fighting properties, here are some other health benefits. Health Magazine named Kimchi as one of it’s Top 5 Worlds Healthiest Foods, It’s low in calories and high in dietary fiber, high in vitamins A, B and C, and low in fat.  Koreans eat Kimchi at least once a day.  There are plenty of interesting facts in the link provided below, and there is a lot more information on the web.

Kimchi

Recipe by Foodie with Family

Ingredients

  • 3-8 pounds Napa cabbage
  • 2 bunches green onion, use all but the roots.
  • 2-3 large carrots, peeled and thinly julienned
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Korean chili powder
  • 15-20 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4-6 inches fresh ginger, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • unsweetened pear or apple juice
  • 4 Tbsp white miso paste

Directions

  1. Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise. Cut each of those sections in half lengthwise again and remove the core. Now cut each of the four sections in 2 inch slices and put in a very large bowl (or two bowls) with the carrots.
  2. Sprinkle the cabbage and carrots with 1/2 c of kosher salt and massage it in with your hands. Now cover with fluoride free water and let sit for at least 1 1/2 hours.
  3. When you’re ready to proceed, place the cabbage mixture into a strainer and let the brine drain away.
  4. In a food processor, add the white parts of the green onions (root end removed) keeping the green parts for the next step, garlic, ginger, miso, and Korean powder. Start to process it and then add in the fish sauce and a little pear or apple juice until it’s the consistency of thin pancake batter.
  5. Place the drained cabbage and carrots in a large glass, or stainless steel bowl, add in the cut up green parts of the green onions, and the paste you made in the food processor. Wear gloves, and use your hands to make sure every bit of the mixture is coated in the chili powder paste.
  6. Use a rimmed cookie sheet to set 5 large glass mason jars on and then begin packing the mixture in. Make sure to stop and use a spoon to press it down into the jars. Use the two-part lids for canning except you’re not going to seal the lid shut, just place the flat portion and use the ring portion to keep it in place. Every day or twice a day you’re going to open the lid and use a chopstick or butter knife to get any air bubbles out. Around day two it should start bubbling and have an oder when you open it. The rimmed tray is to catch any liquid that spills out.
  7. I placed this at room temperature for four days on my kitchen counter. After four days I tightened the lids and placed them into the refrigerator. It’s ready to eat now.

 

Pancakes for One

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One thing I know I can get my daughter to eat in the mornings are pancakes, she’s always loved them.  She loves to add mix-in’s which usually consist of chocolate chips or butterscotch chips.  The only problem is, she only eats two and then I have a bunch left over to refrigerate, which is great if you remember they’re in there. So  lately I’ve been making her this small batch pancake recipe, and we’re both very happy with it. Not only does it just require one small bowl and spoon to mix it up, but it only makes two pancakes (normal sized) so she eats them up and no leftovers! This makes both of us happy.

But hey, I know that not all of you have kids to feed, and probably not very many of you only have ONE kid to feed, but this recipe is great for you single folks too.  Maybe your spouse loves pancakes but you don’t,  this recipe is great for that. Rushing home for a quick lunch? Have a couple of pancakes! Quick dinner, no problem. There are endless reasons why you might only need two pancakes in your life.  Add in your favorites!

Pancakes for One

Recipe by The Luxury of a Small Table 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • egg white
  • 1/4 cup  milk (add up to 2 Tbsp more to desired consistency)
  • 1 Tbsp  canola oil

Cooking Directions

  1. Whisk together all the ingredients, adding more milk until your preferred consistency is achieved.
  2. Spray a skillet with cooking spray
  3. Pour the batter into a skillet heating on medium heat. Cook until the edges start to appear dry and the bottom is golden brown. Flip over and cook the other side until golden brown, about 1 minute.

 

Big, Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

bigthickchewycccookies2

Happy day after Labor Day.  You’re looking at the yummiest chocolate chip cookie that I made and brought to a cookout.  These were such a great treat for everyone.  They were also a huge hit and I promised I’d post the recipe soon. They are exactly as they are titled, Big, Thick and Chewy.  My main requirements for all cookies.

I think that cooking these large cookies at a lower than normal temperature really contributed to making them perfect. They were very chocolatey, with a buttery dough, and that perfect chewiness that I love. Just an amazing cookie.

bigthickchewycccookies

Easy to throw together, with no weird ingredients you don’t already have. I mean, you could just make a batch right now, and you probably should.  These are so large you’ll only need the one.  Well, really “need” is an iffy term but you know what I mean.

I hope you get to try this recipe soon, it’s delicious.

Big, Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe from Allrecipes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp  baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp  vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cooking Directions

  1. Heat oven to 325º
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the melted butter and both sugars. Blend until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the whole egg and the egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  6. Slowly add this dry mixture into the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients and mix until fully combined.
  7. Add in the chocolate chips and combine manually with a spoon.
  8. Use a 1/4 measuring cup to add the dough to the cookie sheet. I did four cookies per sheet to allow room for spreading.
  9. Bake 15-17 minutes until the cookies are just beginning to turn golden brown yet still look doughy in the middle.
  10. Remove from the oven and let sit on the cookie sheet for about 5-10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

 

Blueberry, Oatmeal, Honey Muffins

blueberryoatmealhoneymuffin2

So, every school morning starts for us the same way I’m sure it starts for you. Whats for breakfast? I mean, it’s the most important meal of the day, right? But what do you do if the usual options just aren’t cutting it? Most people would probably jump in their car and go get something, but not me, I bake something.

I’m only telling you all this, because you can bake too.  Make them ahead of time.  Fend off the morning hum drums. You don’t have to feel guilty about making these for your kids, or even for you, because they’re healthy!

blueberryoatmealhoneymuffins

These yummy little morning muffins are filled with whole grains from the oatmeal, no processed sugar, just yummy honey AND blueberries. And here’s the truly amazing part, my super ultra picky daughter ATE THEM!  I’m wiping a tear from my eye. She’s finally trying new things and actually liking them, it only took 10 years. Great for bringing to work for a quick snack too, avoid that vending machine!  These are super easy to throw together and delicious to boot.  I hope you’ll give them a try.

 

Blueberry, Oatmeal and Honey Muffins

Recipe from Frugal Mom Eh

Ingredients

  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º
  2. Prepare muffin pan by either spraying each cup or using muffin papers or silicone cups.
  3. Use a medium bowl for the dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking powder, salt)
  4. Use another medium bowl for the wet ingredients (eggs, yogurt, honey, milk, vanilla extract)
  5. Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir well.
  6. Roll the blueberries in the remaining 1 Tbsp of flour and then add them to the dough and mix.
  7. Fill 12 muffins cups to the top with dough and bake 18-20 minutes. Use a toothpick inserted into the middle to tell if done.
  8. Allow to cool before eating.
  9. *I used a mini cupcake pan and cooked for about 15-18 minutes.

 

Honey-Lavender Biscotti

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So, my summer has been super busy.  Has yours?  Lots of fun, lots of memories made and still more to come.  We’ve started our first day of home school today, which is giving me an opportunity to catch up or get back in the swing of blogging. Over the summer I’ve also begun (or started yet another) attempt at healthy eating. No or very little is my goal right now, which led me to find the Mediterranean style which looks like I’ll actually be able to do long-term.  So, as with all the new diets I start, I found a cookbook I had to have.  This one is absolutely fantastic. It’s called “The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook” and I found it on Amazon.  It’s from America’s Test Kitchen so you know it’s good. There are ton’s of great recipes and I want to try them all.  But for now, lets talk about this cookie.

First, this cookie doesn’t have very much sugar in it. Only 2/3 cup  of processed sugar in the who recipe.  It also has 3 Tbsp of honey but I feel like this is still minimal.  The star ingredient is the lavender.  If you’re not a fan or can’t find any you can certainly leave it out.  If you decide to use it, it’s not a super strong flavor even if you do bite into a piece of the actual lavender.  It basically perfumes the dough and spreads out that smell and flavor throughout the cookie.  I’m a fan of it so I loved it.  The shocking news is that my daughter and husband love it too.

This cookie is easy to throw together after you’ve done a bit of measuring on parchment paper. Use some flour on your work surface and hands in order to keep the dough from sticking. This crunchy cookie is perfect dipped into your morning coffee or tea.

Honey-Lavender Biscotti

Recipe from The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook Page 379

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp  baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp dried lavender (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Cooking Directions

  1. On a piece of parchment paper. Measure out a 13×2 inch rectangle with a pencil, then make a second rectangle the same size about 3 inches apart. Turn the parchment paper over and place on a baking sheet.
  2. Move the cooking rack in your oven to the middle position and preheat to 350º.
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a medium bowl add the wet ingredients, mixing together the sugar and eggs first until they are light yellow, then add the rest of the wet ingredients.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix well.
  5. Cut the dough mixture in half and form one half into the rectangle you drew on the parchment paper. Use flour to keep it from sticking.
  6. Do the same with the second half of the dough. Spray the tops and sides with vegetable oil spray.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway through. The tops will begin to crack on top.
  8. Let the loaves cool for about 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing them to slice.
  9. Reduce the oven temperature to 325º.
  10. Cut into 1/2 inch slices and lay back on the baking sheet, cut side down.
  11. When all the loaves have been cut and are back on the baking sheets, bake for 15 minutes. Flip once halfway through baking.

 

Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes

smallbatchvanillacupcakes

My daughters birthday was this past weekend, the big 10!  I can’t even believe it.  I’ll try not to make this post all about me sobbing and weeping over this latest birthday. Anyways, it was a very busy weekend for us all.  She had a horse show the day before, then a sleepover, and Mothers Day was on the same day as her birthday.  Whew, glad its over!

My daughter requested vanilla cupcakes for her after dinner celebration so I wanted to make a small batch, because we don’t need a bunch of cupcakes sitting around our house.  These were easy to throw together, easy to frost and also easy  to eat. Hahaha. Very moist with great vanilla flavor.  I thought they were more dense then usual but I didn’t happen to mind that at all.  The frosting was also great with a wonderful vanilla flavor.  This icing was not light and fluffy but sort of hardened after it cooled so it was not messy and held onto the sprinkles really well.

The best part being that there weren’t a bunch of leftover cupcakes for us to snack on.  That was my goal after all. 🙂

Small Batch Vanilla Cupcakes

Recipe by Celebrating Sweets

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 cup milk

Frosting

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar 
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp milk

Cooking Directions

  1. Line a muffin tin with 5 cupcake liners, or spray 5 cups with non-stick spray.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350º
  3. In a large bowl or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg and sugar for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and the butter and whisk until combined.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients in two increments and mix until combined, but do not over mix.
  6. Divide the batter evenly between the 5 muffin cups and then bake for 14-16 minutes. Use a toothpick to test for doneness.
  7. Let cool before frosting.
  8. To make the frosting: Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth and creamy. Use a butter knife to frost the cupcakes and top as desired.

 

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

homemadechocolatepudding

I know what you’re thinking, why make homemade chocolate pudding when those little packets from the grocery store are SO convenient.  Well, because you don’t always have those on hand, and there are a lot of additives that you might not want to consume. This recipe really doesn’t take long to make and you can pronounce all the ingredients!

I loved how easy this was, and how delicious.  It does not taste like the boxed kind, it’s more chocolatey than that. It’s almost like eating a chocolate chip, it’s more that flavor.  The consistency was smooth and thick, just like pudding from the box.  You can even top it a million different ways, I’ll leave some ideas below.  If you’re looking for an easy replacement for the boxed kind, give this one a try!

 

Topping suggestions:

  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate chips
  • Nuts
  • Mini Marshmallow, or cut up big one’s like I did.
  • Toffee chips
  • Assorted candies
  • Fresh fruit
  • Sweetened coconut flakes
  • Caramel sauce
  • Sprinkles

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Recipe from Moms Need To Know

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (gluten free if necessary)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Cooking Directions

  1. In a medium to large saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt.
  2. Slowly add in the milk while whisking to incorporate.
  3. Cook until it becomes a rolling boil, stirring consistently. Once at a full boil, let it boil for two minutes, keep whisking so it won’t boil over.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour into a bowl that has a lid.
  6. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top (so it’s touching the pudding) and put the lid on and then put in the refrigerator until cold.