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Sunday, November 13, 2016

cannabis butter infused butter




Cannabis Butter
If you are interested in cooking with pot, learning how to make weed butter would be the first thing for you. Cannabis butter (also known as CannaButter, weed butter, pot butter, bud butter etc.) is one of the most common ingredients in many weed recipes and you could easily cook your favorite marijuana  recipe in no time once you are an expert with making Cannabis butter.

Cooking/Storage Equipment Required:
  • Grinder
  • Stove for heating marijuana butter
  • Medium-sized heavy duty sauce pan/pot with lid
  • Whisk or a large fork
  • A measuring cup
  • Cheese cloth
  • A large bowl
  • Freezable container to store Cannabis butter
Ingredients:
  • 1 lbs of unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce of Cannabis
  • 2 cups of water

The first thing to do is to grind the cannabis, nice and fine to make cannabis butter. A coffee grinder or a hand grinder could be used to grind it.
Cooking:
Put 2 cups of water for a boil and add the butter once the water is boiling. Allow it to melt in the water and reduce the flame. Cover the pan so that the cannabis butter simmers. You now need to add the grinded cannabis material to the pan. After you have added the finely ground cannabis powder, whisk and mix it into the pot slowly and thoroughly and do make sure that the solution is smooth. There should not be any lumps in the pot butter crock pot. Now, you need to replace the lid and simmer on the lowest flame. It is very important for you to make sure that bottom of the pan does not get burned when cooking pot butter else it will have an effect on taste of the CannaButter.
Once you are done with this, you need to simmer the cannabis butter and cook for 22-24 hours so that THC can be extracted from the cannabis. After this, you can take the cannabis butter off the heat. You can now extract the used cannabis material from the butter solution to avoid bits while using the butter. For this, you can place a cheese cloth over an open bowl. Do make sure that the cloth does not go with the liquid when it is getting poured through it. Now, you can pour the butter solution into the large bowl.
Cooling:
Place the bowl with the cannabis butter solution into the fridge and leave it until it has set, this may take around 2-4 hours. This will help in separating the fats (cannabis butter) from the water.
Storing:
Use a spoon or spatula to remove the marijuana butter in such a way that you scrape out all of the pot butter that is at the top of the bowl, leaving the water and other stuff at the bottom.
Now it is time for you to discard the remaining liquid and place the cannabis butter in an air-tight container that would be placed in the freezer to keep the butter fresh and its potency on the high side.


  • Tuesday, October 11, 2016

    Composting

    Exert from mother nature news



    How to Make Compost
    Choose from the many easy ways to make compost for increased garden productivity: low-cost homemade bins, piles sans bins, chicken power, pest-proof tumblers — even indoor worm bins!
    Compost is the ultimate ingredient for building fertile soil. If everyone composted their kitchen and garden waste, the world would be a cleaner place, and we would all enjoy more productive organic gardens. Some folks are intimidated by this unfamiliar and seemingly mysterious process — but have no fear! Composting is nothing more than guiding the natural process by which organic wastes decompose. You simply cannot do it wrong. The only challenge is finding sufficient organic materials to make enough black gold to sustain your garden.
    Composting is so worth the effort. Adding compost to your garden feeds the soil food web and provides a slow release of nutrients to your crops.
    Compost also vastly improves soil structure, allows the soil to hold in moisture better and improves friability (workability).
    After surveying hundreds of MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers and checking out what our Facebook community had to say during Compost Awareness Week 2012, we were blown away by the many answers to the question of how to make compost at home.
    Many households compost using multiple methods, and the techniques described here are a distillation of strategies employed by MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers. Whether you have chickens, goats or other veggie-eating, manure-producing animals also has huge implications, because animals can figure so prominently in a composting loop. Making compost with critters will get its turn, but first let’s look at some of the most commonly used compost-making systems.

    Composting Techniques

    Most gardeners make compost by combining their kitchen and garden waste in an outdoor compost pile and waiting for it to rot. There is no need to buy special activators or inoculants, because each dead plant and bucket of food waste added to compost activates different strains of the naturally occurring microbes that promote decomposition.
    Mangled coffee filters and their kin can be unsightly, however, and aged leftovers sometimes attract unwanted animals and insects in search of food. For these reasons, many composters divert their kitchen waste into an enclosed composter or the chicken yard before they combine it with bulkier pulled weeds, spent crops, and other yard and garden waste in a slow compost pile.
    “To keep from feeding critters, our kitchen waste first goes into three black compost containers until unrecognizable. Then we add it to our big fenced-in bin for yard waste. We make pounds and pounds of compost this way,” says reader Mary Conley of Omaha, Neb.
    I use the same system at my house, capturing the yucky stuff in a composter and then mixing the transitional-stage kitchen waste into my garden compost piles two or three times a year. I like the “out of sight, out of mind” benefit of an enclosed composter so much that I have two — a black plastic model that sits in the garden and a garbage can peppered with air holes that’s stationed at the corner of my deck in winter, which saves me many steps through ice, snow and mud (see illustration of a free garbage can compost bin).
    Other options: On the Gulf Coast, John Burris has a special barrel for composting kitchen waste, but he uses a big outdoor heap to make compost from his yard, garden and pasture waste. In California, Nell Wade puts her kitchen scraps and shredded mail into a worm bin, and she makes slow compost from her garden waste in twin bins constructed from shipping pallets (see the wooden shipping pallets compost bin).
    Setting up a two-phase system need not be expensive. I have kept happy composting worms in a modified plastic storage bin, and a garbage can with rusted-out holes in the bottom would quickly become a composter at my house. On the other hand, the expense of building or buying a compost tumbler — the ultimate in enclosed composters — is warranted in some situations, which include heavy pressure from fire ants, or the recurrent presence of unwanted animals such as raccoons, rats or snakes. If nuisance animals have established habitat near your property, the best way to avoid problems is to raise your compost off the ground in a secure container.
    “I have a drum composter that is insulated, which results in much higher heat so I can even compost scrap meat and fish. It has a double bin, so I’m always composting. We’re in the far suburbs, and it keeps the rodents away because it’s on a stand,” says Jan Tucker of California. Whether purchased or homemade, off-the-ground drum composters (also called compost tumblers) take a few months to pick up biological speed. After the walls and crevices become well-colonized with microbes, a compost tumbler is quite efficient.
    At the other end of the spectrum are gardeners who keep compost super-simple: They let their soil do it. “I keep a coffee can in my freezer and fill it up with whatever is to be composted. When it’s full, I take it out, dig a hole in the garden, throw the whole mess in there and cover it back up with dirt. I call it ‘direct composting,’ and it works for me. I have worms as big as my fingers,” says Roberta Lott of St. Louis.
    I, too, participate in direct composting (sometimes called “trench composting”) in fall when I have buckets of fruit waste that would otherwise attract yellow jackets. Buried in my permanent beds in September, the fruit trimmings are gone by the time the soil warms in spring.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS Editor-in-Chief Cheryl Long prefers “sheet composting.” “I have a local farmer who brings me free bales of old hay, plus my office mates bring me their bagged grass clippings,” she says. “I use them to mulch the paths throughout the garden. The next spring, the hay and grass have decomposed. I scoop the top layer of enriched soil from the paths into the growing beds and put down another layer of hay mulch.”
    As for outdoor bins, your compost won’t care whether the bins are handmade wonder bins, enclosures made from used shipping pallets, or a simple circle of wire fencing. With enough time and moisture, whatever you put in the bin will rot. Giving a compost pile at least one wall, however, goes a long way toward conserving moisture. The wall(s) can be made of wood, concrete blocks or packed earth. One reason pallet bins are so popular is that they retain moisture better than open piles while keeping the composting area free of debris.
    Many gardeners make use of the passive soil improvement that occurs beneath compost heaps to prepare future garden space. “I compost my yard waste in an area where I want a new raised bed. I just keep piling it on and it just keeps composting itself,” says Roberta Lott. In the Chesapeake Bay area of Virginia, Julie Patrick Clark says she finally got smart after 27 years of making compost. “I started building a compost pile beside each of my nine raised beds. No more hauling compost all over the place.”
    Most gardeners would like to make more compost without bringing in risky materials (Keep Your Garden Safe From Killer Compost is about pesticides that persist in compost). One way to add bulk to your compost pile is to grow more cover crops right in your garden. In a hand-tended garden, most cover crops are pulled rather than turned under, and armloads of vetch, cereal grains or buckwheat will transform a sleeper heap into a slow smoker. Also check whether overripe produce is available from local markets or organic restaurants. Extra compostable material is a resource that may become even more valuable when animals enter the picture.

    Composting With Animals

    Most farmyard animals play key roles in a household’s waste management stream. Chickens find joy in sloppy buckets of kitchen waste, which they peck and shred until little is left. Many growers have figured out how to make compost by letting the chicken run double as the composting area, like the folks at Salt of the Earth Urban Farm in Portland, Ore.: “Our main compost bin is in the chicken run, where the hens snack, scratch and turn the pile — and add their manure to the mix.” Others, like Helen Cano of Ferndale, N.Y., give their girls kitchen waste right in the coop. “What they don’t eat, they mix with the straw on the floor of the coop. By the time this comes out of the coop, it is well-mixed, almost-complete compost. From there it either goes on the garden or into the compost pile for future use,” she says.
    Another idea that requires less cleanup is to maintain the compost area as a fenced-in daytime activity area for your chickens. “I just pile stuff on, add some water, and let the chickens into the compost yard every couple of weeks to turn the piles. In no time I have beautiful black gold,” says Kevin Kidd of Valley Springs, Calif.
    Mike Warren has found that having his chickens visit his well-managed compost pile works out better than feeding them kitchen scraps in their run, which attracted unwanted varmints. “They still get in there, turning it over while looking for slugs and bugs,” he says.
    My research on making compost with companion chickens led me to fear-filled message board threads on chickens picking up parasites from eating earthworms and other moving things, so I called my brother. “In 34 years of veterinary practice, I have never been called to a parasite situation in a home flock,” says Andrew Duke, DVM, of Mobile, Ala. “It’s probably because home flocks are so much cleaner than commercially raised chickens.”
    Chickens are great for making compost, and so are other manure-producing animals such as rabbits, goats and even horses. In Virginia, organic farmer Dennis Dove keeps a pastured horse that makes good compost even better. Throwing layers of horse manure on the farm’s veggie-based compost makes the manure go much further than it would if used as a single-ingredient soil amendment.
    In the same region, reader Liz Wallace has worked out a plan that makes the most of the manure from her chickens and goats. “I have multiple piles and one big container. The container gets the table scraps the chickens don’t eat and fallen leaves, one pile gets the goat and chicken poop and bedding, and the other pile gets everything else (yard waste other than leaves, small woody stuff, etc.). I do it this way because the goat and chicken poop breaks down and can be used pretty fast, so I don’t want to mix it with things that take longer,” she says. “The table scraps are wet enough that they need dry stuff mixed in with them to decompose aerobically, and I leave the third pile alone to decompose slowly, in about a year.”
    At your house, an ideal composting system might include an enclosed composter, semi-permanent bins that can be moved to wherever you’re planning new beds, temporary pens for leaves or other seasonal materials, or perhaps all of the above plus a worm bin, too. Each refinement you make in your composting system should better accommodate your home’s waste disposal needs and give a good return for your soil. Eventually, you will learn how to make compost in ways perfectly tailored to you, your home and your garden.

    Sizing Up Composters

    Using an enclosed composter is one of the easiest ways to make compost from kitchen waste, and you can choose a model that fits your needs and your budget. If you need something small that can be kept indoors, by all means consider a worm bin. Available in three colors, a multi-tray Worm Factory costs about $100 and is easier to maintain compared with a homemade worm bin. For outdoors, I was able to buy a basic Earth Machine through my local compost education program for $35 — about the cost of a good rolling garbage can. Because the main purpose of an enclosed composter is to capture kitchen waste, it need not be large. In five years, I have never completely filled my 80-gallon composter, and the garbage can I use to collect kitchen waste in winter works wonderfully despite holding a mere 30 gallons.
    Many composters lack in the good looks department, but you can easily change that. A friend wrapped her garbage-can composter with a bamboo roll-up shade, and it looked so good she moved the can to her patio. Tired of looking at a plastic tarp, another friend used brocade draperies from a thrift store to artfully disguise her outdoor bin. On a visit to Pennsylvania, I once saw a beautiful bin made from hand-woven willow. If you don’t like the way your composter looks, change it!

    Quick Tips for Making Compost

    • Any plant material that’s now dead (or needs to be) can be composted. Adding meat and oily food products is not recommended, as they take longer to decompose.
    • Leaves, old plants, fruit and veggie trimmings, weathered mulches and pulled weeds provide volume in a compost pile, which needs to be big — at least 3 square feet — to maintain moisture well.
    • Veggie scraps are naturally moist, so compost piles that contain a lot of kitchen waste need to be layered or mixed with bulkier stuff to keep them from becoming slimy.
    • Turning a compost pile mixes and breaks up materials, which speeds decomposition. When it comes to turning, you can do as much or as little as you like, depending on your desired turnaround time.
    • Covering new kitchen waste with 4 inches of plant material works well with little or no turning.
    • Keep compost piles moist but not soggy.
    • Add a few shovelfuls of soil to your pile from time to time.

    Avoid Common Mistakes

    It’s hard to mess up compost, but we’re happy to offer a little direction so you get off to the best start.
    • Don’t start too small. The breakdown process needs a critical mass in order to do its job. However, certain bins work well for small amounts of material, so choose a product for your specific needs.
    • Keep things moist. It’s easy to walk away and forget that there’s an active process going on, so check the pile regularly, especially during hot, dry weather (see Managing Moisture).
    • Don’t depend on one material. A combination of different textures and nutrients created by the disintegration of many different plants will give your plants a gourmet diet that helps create disease and pest resistance. Think about it — a huge clump of grass clippings just sticks together in a huge mat that hangs around for years. Add some leaves, stir, and natural forces like water, air and heat go to work quickly!
    • Don’t get overwhelmed. This isn’t rocket science, so jump in and try, even if you don’t have a clue. You’ll soon see what works and what doesn’t.


    What can be composted?

    Lucky for you, the list seems endless! Here is a list of some compostable items you may have around the house:
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    Can’t get enough? Here’s a list of 80 items you can compost:

    1.  Dryer lint
    2.  “Dust bunnies”
    3.  The insides of a vacuum bag (just empty the bag into the compost bin)
    4.  The contents of your dustpan (just use discretion)
    5.  Coffee grounds
    6.  Coffee filters
    7.  Tea bags/loose leaf tea
    8.  Soy/rice/almond/etc milk
    9.  Nut shells (but not walnut, which may be toxic to plants)
    10.  Pumpkin/sunflower/sesame seeds (chop them to ensure they won’t grow)
    11.  Avocado pits (chop them up so they won’t sprout)
    12.  Pickles
    13.  Stale tortilla chips/potato chips
    14.  Stale crackers
    15.  Crumbs (bread or other baked goods)
    16.  Old breakfast cereal
    17.  Bran (wheat or oat, etc)
    18.  Seaweed/nori/kelp
    19.  Tofu/tempeh
    20.  Frozen fruits and vegetables
    21.  Expired jam or jelly
    22.  Egg shells
    23.  Old, moldy “soy dairy” and other dairy substitutes
    24.  Stale Halloween candy and old nutrition/protein bars
    25.  Popcorn kernels (post-popping, the ones that didn’t make it)
    26.  Old herbs and spices
    27.  Cooked rice
    28.  Cooked pasta
    29.  Oatmeal
    30.  Peanut shells
    31.  Booze (beer and wine)
    32.  Wine corks
    33.  Egg cartons (not Styrofoam)
    34.  Toothpicks
    35.  Q-tips (not the plastic ones)
    36.  Bamboo Skewers
    37.  Matches
    38.  Sawdust
    39.  Pencil shavings
    40.  Fireplace ash (fully extinguished and cooled)
    41.  Burlap sacks
    42.  Cotton or wool clothes, cut into strips
    43.  Paper towels
    44.  Paper napkins
    45.  Paper table cloths
    46.  Paper plates (non wax- or plastic-coated)
    47.  Crepe paper streamers
    48.  Holiday wreaths
    49.  Balloons (latex only)
    50.  Raffia fibers (wrapping or decoration)
    51.  Excelsior (wood wool)
    52.  Old potpourri
    53.  Dried flowers
    54.  Fresh flowers
    55.  Dead houseplants (or their dropped leaves)
    56.  Human hair (from a home haircut or saved from the barber shop)
    57.  Toenail clippings
    58.  Trimmings from an electric razor
    59.  Pet hair
    60.  Domestic bird and bunny droppings
    61.  Feathers
    62.  Fish food
    63.  Aquatic plants (from aquariums)
    64.  Dog food
    65.  Rawhide dog chews
    66.  Ratty old rope
    67.  The dead flies on the windowsill
    68.  Pizza boxes and cereal boxes (shredded first)
    69.  Toilet paper and paper towel rolls (shredded first)
    70.  Paper muffin/cupcake cups
    71.  Cellophane bags (real cellophane, not regular clear plastic)
    72.  Kleenex (including used)
    73.  Old loofahs (real, not synthetic)
    74.  Cotton balls
    75.  Tampon applicators (cardboard, not plastic) and tampons (including used)
    76.  Newspaper
    77.  Junk mail
    78.  Old business cards (not the glossy ones)
    79.  Old masking tape
    80.  White glue/plain paste
    Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/80-items-you-can-compost.html#ixzz2wRa3p0x6

    How do you get started DIY composting?

    Here are some pretty nifty tips to have the most successful compost pile:
    1. Start on bare earth. This allows organisms from the ground (like worms and bacteria) to access the soil and begin doing their part of the process.
    2. Shred your leaves. Shredding results in premium mulch that is much easier to transport. If you are having an unsuccessful heap, you can easily remedy the problem by shredding, which allows for greater aeration of the pile.
    3. Add a nitrogen supplement. Manure is one of the best nitrogen sources for your pile, but you an also use hay and kitchen scraps. Layering your nitrogen sources will produce the best results.
    4. Turn your heap every three to four days. Some may recommend turning your pile every three weeks, but turning it every few days will guarantee composting success. Because your leaves have been shredded, they are much lighter and fluffier, making them easy to handle.
    5. Consider a compost bin or tumbler. These are not necessary, but convenient for small yards where a more compact pile would be more preferable. Tips 1-4 still apply when using a bin or tumbler.
    (See full article from Compact Power Equipment Renta

    Saturday, July 6, 2013

    Asian Pear Butternut Squash Soup


    Serves 4
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 Asian Pear, cored and sliced
    • 1 green apple, cored and sliced
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 4 clove garlic, chopped
    • 1 1 ¾ pound butternut squash, roasted*
    • 1 quart low sodium vegetable stock
    • 1 tablespoon umeboshi paste**
    • ½ cup white wine
    • 12 fresh sage leaves
    • ¼ teaspoon mace
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
    • 2 teaspoons ground sage
    • ½ teaspoon white pepper
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
    • Chai Roasted Beets, chopped for garnish***
    *To roast the butternut squash, preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half and place cut side down on a large baking sheet. Roast for 45-55 minutes, or until the squash can be easily scooped out of its skin and tender when pricked with a fork. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Scoop out the flesh of the squash and set aside.

    **A paste made from the pickled Japanese ume fruit. Umeboshi paste can be found in specialty shops, Japanese markets and the Japanese section of some grocery stores.

    **Optional.
    Place the olive oil in a skillet or sauté pan. Roast the Asian Pear and apple slices over medium heat for about 5 minutes, flip and pan roast for additional 5 minutes on the other side, or until the fruit has softened and turned golden. Remove the roasted fruit slices to a plate and set aside.
    Fry 8 of the sage leaves in the olive oil for about 2-3 minutes, or until the sage leaves become crispy, adding a little more oil if necessary. Place the fried sage on a plate and set aside.
    Sauté the chopped onion in the same olive oil you used to fry the sage for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more, or until the garlic begins to become fragrant.
    Place the roasted Asian Pear slices, apple slices, sautéed onion, sautéed garlic, roasted butternut squash, vegetable stock and umeboshi, if using in a blender. Season with the remaining 4 fresh sage leaves, mace, salt, ginger, ground sage, white pepper, lemon juice and nutmeg. Liquify.
    Taste and adjust seasonings to preference. Garnish with the fried sage leaves and Chai Roasted Beets, if using, and enjoy.

    Asian Tofu Wraps


    Serves 4
    • 1 14 ounce package extra firm tofu, pressed
    • low sodium tamari or soy sauce, to taste
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
    • 1 bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 cup carrots, chopped
    • 1 5 ounce can water chestnuts, sliced in half
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
    • white cooking wine, to taste
    • chili oil, to taste
    • 6 scallions, sliced
    • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
    • 4 large Boston bibb lettuce leaves
    • 4 whole grain tortillas
    • sesame seeds, as garnish*
    *optional
    Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
    After pressing the tofu, cut the block into 8 slices and coat the pieces in tamari or soy sauce to taste. Place the seasoned tofu pieces on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes, flip with a spatula, and bake on the other side for another 15-20 minutes, or until the tofu reaches desired consistency.
    Place the olive oil and sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, carrots and water chestnuts to the skillet. Season with the garlic, ginger and white wine and chili oil to taste. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables become soft. Stir in the chopped scallions and cilantro.
    Put a separate skillet on the stove over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the skillet and cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until the tortilla becomes soft and easily foldable. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
    To assemble the Asian Tofu Wraps, divide the veggie mixture in 4 equal parts onto the softened tortillas. Top with a large lettuce leaf on each wrap and the slices of tofu on top of the lettuce. Taste for seasoning and adjust with more chili oil, soy sauce or sesame seeds if desired. Fold like a burrito and enjoy.

    Chipotle Corn Huevos Rancheros


    Serves 4
    • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
    • ½ medium onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup fresh corn, cut from the cob
    • or
    • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
    • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
    • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
    • 3-4 large tomatoes, puréed to make 2 cups tomato purée
    • 1 14 ounce can black or red beans, drained
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    • 4 eggs
    • ¼ cup queso fresco*, crumbled
    • 4 flour tortillas
    • 1 lime, cut into wedges for garnish
    • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    *a soft, mild chees. Queso fresco can be found in Mexican markets or the Mexican or dairy section of most grocery stores. Substitutions include feta, ricotta or any other soft cheese.
    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
    Place the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic, corn, bell pepper and jalapeño to the pan. Stir to combine and cook for another 3 minutes, or the veggies until are glistening.
    Stir the puréed tomatoes, beans, salt, chili powder, cumin and oregano into the pan. Turn heat down to low and simmer for five minutes more, or until the mixture has reduced and thickened slightly.
    Remove the pan from heat and crack the eggs on top. Sprinkle with the queso fresco and place the pan into the heated oven on the middle rack. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the whites of the eggs are fully solid and the yolks are cooked to preference.
    Serve the egg bean corn mixture in equal portions atop 4 tortillas. Squeeze a lime wedge over each portion, sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy.

    Cherry Chocolate Banana Shake


    Serves 3
    • ½ cup ice
    • 1 banana, peeled
    • 10 cherries, pitted
    • 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon agave nectar*
    • ½ cup rice or soy milk
    • or
    • ½ cup nonfat milk
    • 1 ½ cup ice cold water
    • 1 teaspoon chocolate flavored whey protein**
    * Agave (ah-Gah-vay) nectar is similar in taste & texture to honey but has a lower impact on blood sugar when compared other sweeteners. Agave can be found in the health food or specialty food aisle of most grocery stores.
    **optional. Found in health food stores. If you are not using the chocolate whey protein, double the cocoa powder and agave nectar in the smoothies.

    Place the ice in a tall blender or pitcher if you’re using a hand mixer. Add the banana, cherries, cocoa, agave nectar, milk, water and whey protein if using. If you are not using the whey protein, double the amount of cocoa and agave.
    If you’re using a blender, pulse briefly until the mixture is somewhat crushed, but not pureed. If you’re using a hand mixer, pulse the mixer in an up and down motion until the ice is smashed and the fruit begins to soften and blend, but the mixture is not liquefied.
    After mixture is blended, cover the cup or pitcher and shake distribute the ice and fruit evenly. Serves immediately and enjoy.

    Cheesy Broccoli Frittata


    Serves 4
    • 11/2 cups red potato, cubed
    • 1 cup onion, chopped
    • 11/2 cups broccoli florets, chopped and steamed
    • 1/2 cup Jarlsberg cheese
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 cup skim milk
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    Preheat oven to 400 F.
    In an oven-safe skillet over medium heat, sauté the potato and onion for about 10 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring frequently.
    Add broccoli florets to the skillet and top with cheese.
    In a medium bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, and paprika. Pour egg mixture into skillet over potato mixture. Shake the pan a bit to distribute the ingredients. Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until the bottom starts to set up while the top is till a bit liquidy.
    Move skillet to oven and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until the frittata has set up. A toothpick inserted about an inch from the center should come out clean.

    Cheddar Egg White-wich

    Serves 4
    • 1 large avocado
    • juice from 1/2 lime
    • salt to taste
    • hot sauce to taste
    • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    • 8 egg whites
    • 4 pieces bread
    • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
    • 1 large or 2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
    Mash avocado.  Add juice from 1/2 lime. Season with salt and hot sauce to taste.
    Fold diced red bell pepper into avocado mixture. Set mixture aside.
    In a separate bowl, whisk the 8 egg whites for 30 sec or until slightly frothy.
    Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray and pour in egg whites. Cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes or until eggs begin to set up.
    Take a spatula and divide egg down the middle and across, giving you 4 separate pieces.  Fold these pieces over onto themselves, making for mini omelets, like a small square of egg.
    Flip each small square a few times for 2-3 minutes or until egg whites are cooked throughout the center and evenly on both sides. Egg whites may brown a bit while cooking through.
    While flipping egg squares, toast bread.
    As eggs are just about done, sprinkle each egg square with cheese, cover skillet with lid, and cook for 30 to 60 seconds, allowing cheese to melt.  Remove skillet from heat.
    Place one piece of toasted bread on a plate, then layer with the avocado red bell pepper mix.  Next layer the thinly sliced tomato.  Place one cheesy egg square on top of each sandwich and enjoy

    Candied Ginger Sweet Potato Muffins


    Serves 6
    • 1 cup barley flour*
    • 1 cup brown rice flour*
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix**
    • 1 tablespoon flax meal*
    • 1 tablespoon arrowroot
    • or
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1 banana
    • 1/2 cup sweet potato puree***
    • or
    • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree***
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 2 tablespoon molasses
    • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 cup candied ginger, chopped
    *Found at health food stores or the health section of some grocery stores.
    **Premade pumpkin pie mix is sold in stores, but if time allows, we suggest making your own.
    ***These muffins are a great way to use up leftover cooked sweet potatoes or pumpkins, but if you’re starting from scratch, try this sweet potato puree or pumpkin puree method.
    Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with a light layer of grease or nonstick cooking spray.
    Whisk the barley flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice together in a medium bowl.
    Whisk the flax meal and arrowroot or cornstarch together in a small bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of water and mix well.
    Add the mashed banana, sweet potato or pumpkin puree, maple syrup and brown sugar to the small bowl with the flax meal mixture. Whisk until thoroughly combined, taking care not to leave any chunks.
    Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until well combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins until they are 3/4 of the way full.
    Press the candied ginger onto the tops of each muffin. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out dry when inserted into each muffin. Enjoy

    Buckwheat Apple Flapjacks

    buckwheat_apple_flapjacks


    Makes 4-6 servings (2-3 flapjacks each)
    • 1 cup buckwheat flour
    • 1 cup unbleached white flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 cup egg substitute or 4 egg whites
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 small red apples, peeled, cored and diced
    • 2 tsp walnut oil, for greasing the pan
    Combine flours and baking powder then add the eggs, vanilla and water. Try to get all the lumps out, but don’t over mix. Stir in the apples last. Heat a lightly-oiled griddle over medium heat. Ladle 1/2 cup of batter into the pan and cook 2-3 minutes, until the top of the flapjack is bubbly. Flip and cook on the other side 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Continue cooking batter 1/2 cup at a time, oiling the griddle as needed.

    Breakfast Lentils





    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 14 ounce can brown lentils
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
    • or
    • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
    • 1-2 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce or tamari
    • ½ teaspoon paprika
    • ½ teaspoon pepper
    • juice from 1/4 lemon
    • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, roughly chopped
    • 4 slices whole wheat or multigrain bread, toasted
    • tahini, to taste
    Place the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots or green onions and sauté for 1 minute, or until veggies begin to become fragrant. Add the lentils and season with soy sauce, paprika and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes more, or until the onion becomes translucent.
    Add a good squeeze of lemon juice. Add the chopped parsley and stir. Taste for seasoning and add more soy sauce if desired.
    Spread the tahini to taste over the whole wheat or multigrain toast. Spoon the spiced sautéed lentils over the tahini and enjoy.

    Blueberry Pomegranate Slushie



    Fresh blueberries are frozen and pureed with pomegranate juice, orange juice and goji berries in this refreshing slushie. This anti-oxidant filled delight is equally delicious whether you drink it to start your day or sip it as a light dessert while you wind down. This recipe comes to us from Cat of The Verdant Life.
    Serves 2
    • 2 cup blueberries, frozen*
    • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
    • 1/4 cup goji berries, soaked in 1 cup water
    • or
    • 1 cup acai berry juice
    • juice of 2 oranges
    • 1 cup ice cubes
    *To freeze fresh blueberries, wash and dry them, then spread them out on a plate, to avoid clumping. Place in your freezer until frozen. Try to use the blueberries within a few days of freezing them, as they loose flavor the longer they sit.
    Place the blueberries, pomegranate juice, goji berries and juice or acai berry juice, orange juice and ice cubes into a blender. Pulse until frothy.
    Divide into 2 glasses and enjoy!

    Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins


  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (about 2 1/3 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Preheat oven to 400°.
    Place oats in a food processor and pulse 5 to 6 times until oats resemble coarse meal. Place in a large bowl.
    Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups taking care to level with a knife. Add flours, light brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt to oats and stir well with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture.
    Combine buttermilk, oil, rind and eggs in small bowl and stir well with a whisk. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
    Gently fold the blueberries into the batter.
    Spoon batter into 16 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle batter with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Bake at 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately. Place on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Blueberry Apple Porridge




  • 1 large apple, peeled and finely grated
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • or
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoons white chia seeds*
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries plus a few more as garnish
  • maple syrup, to serve
  • *Optional. Found at health stores or the health section of most grocery stores.

    Place 3/4 of the apple pulp into a small pot over medium heat. Add the oats, milk, water, chia seeds, if using, and salt to the pot.
    Let the oats come to a simmer and allow to gently bubble for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the blueberries and stir to combine.
    Transfer the cooked oats to 2 bowls. Drizzle with maple syrup and garnish with a few more blueberries and enjoy!

    Blender Pancakes

    blender_pancakes2


    Make your pancakes pack even more of a flu-fighting punch by topping them with our yogurt-blueberry sauce. The antioxidants found in blueberries strengthen immunity and yogurt has been found to improve the health of your gastrointestinal tract.
    • 1 egg (or egg substitute)
    • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon sugar or maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
    Makes 9 medium pancakes (3 servings)
    In a blender, combine egg, yogurt and oil. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and mix. Add the yogurt mixture and lightly combine. Using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake, cook the pancakes on a preheated, very hot, oiled griddle until golden, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. For topping, mix together the yogurt, honey and cinnamon. Fold in the blueberries. Spoon over the pancakes and serve.

    Berry Breakfast Couscous


    Couscous is cooked sweet in fruit juice, then topped with tart dried cranberries and hearty nuts. Fresh mint and yogurt garnish the dish for a refreshing finish as you start your day. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.
    Serves 6
    • 1 cup couscous
    • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
    • 2 cups cranberry juice
    • or
    • 2 cups apple juice
    • 9 ounces strawberries, diced
    • 9 ounces mixed berries
    • 3/4 cup mixed walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds
    • 12 fresh mint leaves, for garnish
    • maple syrup, to garnish
    • 6 tablespoons plain yogurt, for garnish
    Place the couscous and the dried cranberries together in a large bowl.
    Place the fruit juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Pour the hot juice over the couscous and cranberries, cover and let stand for 10 minutes, or until the couscous is cooked and has absorbed the juice.
    Fold the strawberries, berries, nuts and seeds into the couscous cranberry mixture.
    Divide into 6 portions and garnish with mint, maple syrup and yogurt to taste. Enjoy!

    Banana French Toast





    banana-french-toast

    This sweet, fruit inspired french toast is made with tofu and soymilk, so it’s vegan-friendly.
    Makes 2 servings
    • 1/2 lb soft tofu, low fat
    • 2 bananas
    • 1/4 cup soymilk, vanilla
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 4 slices whole wheat bread
    Mix tofu,  1 banana,  soy milk, water, cinnamon and vanilla in a blender until the consistency of beaten eggs. Spray skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Dip bread into tofu/banana mixture until drenched. Cook each side in skillet until brown about 3-4 minutes. Slice 1 banana for topping

    Banana Coffee Smoothie

    banana_coffee_smoothie
    Makes 2 servings
    This recipe from the Healthy Menu Mailer puts an interesting twist on having your morning coffee. The fruit and low-fat yogurt combo is a great way to start the day.
    • 2 small frozen bananas
    • 1-1/2 cups low fat 1% milk
    • 1 (6-oz) container low-fat coffee yogurt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • dash nutmeg
    Combine frozen bananas, milk, yogurt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a blender and blend till smooth.

    Banana Blueberry Smoothie

    banana_blueberry_smoothie
    Makes 1 serving
    What better way to start the day than with a bright blue pick-me-up? This one is full of flavor and gets an extra shot of heart-healthy omega 3s from it’s secret ingredient: hemp seeds. You can substitute flax seed if you can’t find hemp, but the hemp is easier to grind.
    • 8 ounces nonfat soy milk or rice milk
    • 1 frozen banana (cut into chunks before you freeze!)
    • 1 cup frozen blueberries
    • 1/2 cup (that’s 4 ounces) nonfat vanilla yogurt
    • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
    Put the hemp seeds in a food processor or blender and grind. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree. Serve immediately.

    Baked Egg Bell Pepper Tarts



    Red bell peppers, onions and spinach are cooked together, then spiced with cheddar cheese and a touch of cayenne pepper. The sautéed veggies make a delightful nest for an egg, baked sunny side up in the oven. This recipe comes to us from Donna of Fab Frugal Food.
    Serves 8
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 1 red bell pepper, diced
    • 1 cup spinach, Swiss chard or kale, chopped
    • 2 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce
    • 8 pre-baked mini tart shells, 3 to 4 inches in diameter
    • 8 eggs
      Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
      Place the oil a skillet over medium high heat. Sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is just beginning to soften. Add the bell pepper and greens of choice. Cook another 2-3 minutes, or until all the vegetables have softened. If using the swiss chard or kale instead of spinach, cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
      Remove the skillet from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in the cheese, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper sauce.
      Divide mixture evenly into the mini tart shells. Crack one egg onto top of each tart. Place the filled tart shells on a baking sheet.
      Bake for 5 minutes for eggs with soft yolks. If you like the egg yolks more solid, then leave in oven and check every minute or two until eggs have been cooked to preference. Serve immediately.

      Baked Apple Donuts




      These apple cinnamon treats reinvent donuts the healthy way because the batter features nonfat yogurt and agave nectar in place of butter and sugar. Feel free to make them traditionally in a donut pan, or for a rustic approach, craft your own unique donuts on a baking sheet. This recipe comes to us from Cat of The Verdant Life.
      Serves 6
      • 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
      • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
      • 1 cup all-purpose flour
      • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
      • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 1 egg
      • or
      • 1 flax egg
      • 3/4 cup nonfat your favorite flavor yogurt
      • or
      • 3/4 cup nonfat nondairy yogurt
      • 1 tablespoon canola oil
      • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
      • 2 tablespoons agave nectar*
      * Agave nectar is similar in taste & texture to honey but has a lower impact on blood sugar when compared other sweeteners. Agave can be found in the health food or specialty food aisle of most grocery stores.
      Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a donut pan or baking pan with a light coating of nonstick cooking spray.
      Toss apples with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
      Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl and stir until thorough mixed.
      Place the egg, yogurt, canola oil, lemon juice and agave nectar together in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
      Carefully add the egg yogurt mixture into the flour mixture. Gently fold in the wet ingredients until no dry spots remain. The batter should be light and airy.
      If using a donut pan, divide the cinnamon sugar apples evenly amongst 6 donut cups.  Divide the batter evenly the cups on top of the apple slices, pressing down and shaping a bit with your fingers. The donut cups should be full. Bake 9-10 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Allow to cool 1 minute in the pan before inverting onto a wire rack.
      If using a baking sheet, place the cinnamon sugar apples slices in 6 circular shapes on your baking pan. Divide the batter in rustic circles to top the apple slices, molding them with your hands to the donut shape. Bake for 7 minutes, flip, and bake 2-3 minutes more, or until the donuts are golden brown. Allow donuts to cool and enjoy.

      Avocado Tofu Benedict


      The classic Eggs Benedict brunch gets a healthy makeover as tofu is marinated in cumin, thyme and chipotle chili and served over a whole wheat English muffin. Sliced avocado and arugula are sandwiched between the flavorful tofu and English muffin and a lemon cayenne Hollandaise drizzle completes the dish. This recipe comes to us from Lindsay of Cook. Vegan. Lover.
      Serves 4
      For the marinated tofu:
      • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
      • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
      • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
      • ¼ teaspoon cumin
      • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
      • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
      • 1 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
      • 6 ounces extra firm tofu, sliced into 4 triangles
      For the Hollandaise sauce:
      • 1 cup soy, rice or almond milk
      • or
      • 1 cup nonfat milk
      • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
      • 2 tablespoons dairy free margarine substitute
      • or
      • 2 tablespoons margarine
      • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
      • ½ cup low sodium vegetable broth
      • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
      • a pinch salt
      • a pinch black pepper
      • a pinch cayenne pepper
      To complete the Avocado Tofu Benedict:
      • a little olive oil or cooking spray, for preparing the skillet
      • 1 avocado, thin sliced
      • 2 cups arugula, divided
      • 4 whole wheat English muffins, toasted
      • hot sauce, to taste**
      *optional. Found in health food stores or the health section of most grocery stores.

      **optional.

      To marinate the tofu:
      In a medium bowl, mix together the vegetable broth and red wine vinegar. Whisk in the chipotle powder, cumin, garlic powder, thyme and nutritional yeast, if using.
      Place the tofu slices in the broth vinegar mixture and marinate for about 30 minutes.
      To make the Hollandaise sauce:
      In a medium bowl mix together the milk, lemon juice, margarine, cornstarch, vegetable broth and nutritional yeast, if using. Season the milk lemon mixture with pinches of salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine.
      Place the milk lemon mixture in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the Hollandaise has thickened to preference, whisking occasionally to ensure a smooth sauce. Remove the Hollandaise sauce from heat until plating the Avocado Tofu Benedict.
      To complete the Avocado Tofu Benedict:
      Prepare a skillet with a light coating of olive oil or cooking spray. After the tofu triangles are done marinating, place the skillet over medium-high heat.
      Add the tofu triangles to the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the tofu begins to brown. Flip the tofu triangles with a spatula and cook 5-7 minutes on the other side or until both sides have browned.
      Top each side of the toasted English muffins with ½ cup of the arugula and 2 slices of avocado.
      Top the avocado with 1 piece of tofu and a drizzle of the Hollandaise sauce*** per side.  Complete the dish with a few drops of hot sauce, if using, and enjoy.
      *** If a significant period of time has passed between making the Hollandaise sauce and plating the Avocado Tofu Benedict, warm the sauce on the stove over low heat before serving. You may need to add a bit more milk to thin the sauce during reheating.

      Avocado Toast with Chives




      Avocados make a great cream cheese substitute, because they bring a smooth consistency in addition to a healthy dose of fiber, potassium and vitamin B. Give your breakfast a boost by spreading avocado on toast then topping it with sautéed tomatoes and onions as well as fresh chives garnished with chive blossoms.  This recipe comes to us from Melissa of Foodista.com.
      Serves 2
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • ¼ onion, sliced
      • 15 grape tomatoes, halved
      • salt and pepper, to taste
      • ½ avocado
      • 2 slices bread
      • 2 springs chives, minced
      • 1 tablespoon chive blossoms*
      *optional. Chives are easily homegrown and produce beautiful edible blossoms, so try picking some up at your local farmer’s market or growing them in your own backyard.
      Place the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Combine the onions and tomatoes in the skillet and sauté for 5-8 minutes, or until soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
      Toast the bread to preference.
      Evenly smear avocado onto each slice of toast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
      Top the avocado evenly with the sautéed onion tomato mixture.
      Garnish the toast with fresh chives and their blossoms if using.

      Artichoke Spinach Strata




      Sweet bell peppers are balanced by briny artichoke hearts and robust spinach. This crowd pleaser is quick to prepare and ideal for a family brunch.
      This recipe comes to us from Vicki of The Funny Spoon.
      Serves 10
      • 2 1/2 cups nonfat milk
      • 6 eggs
      • salt and pepper, to taste
      • 1 red pepper, chopped
      • 1 onion, chopped
      • 2 6.5 ounce jars artichoke hearts, chopped
      • 2 cups fresh spinach, washed, picked over and chopped
      • or
      • 1 13.5 ounce can chopped spinach, drained
      • 4 slices 7 Grain Bread
      • 4 ounces Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded or grated
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
      Beat eggs and milk together in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in chopped red pepper, onion, artichoke hearts and spinach.
      Tear bread into crouton-sized pieces and layer bottom of baking dish. Pour egg mixture over top. Sprinkle with cheese.
      Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until eggs fluff up and are fully cooked.

      Apricot Pistachio Baked Yogurt



      Greek yogurt is strained to ensure the creamiest consistency then baked solid. Pistachios and apricots are sautèed sweet in honey and drizzled over this luxurious yogurt breakfast. This recipe comes to us from Trudy of veggie.num.num.
      Serves 6
      • 2½ cups Greek yogurt
      • 1½ cups of sweetened condensed nonfat milk
      • ½ cup of dried apricots, diced
      • ¼ cup of pistachio nuts, shelled and roughly diced
      • 1-1½ tablespoons honey
      Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
      Pour the Greek yogurt in a sieve and let sit, covered, over a bowl for at least an hour in the refrigerator. Discard the excess liquid that drips into the bowl.
      In a separate large bowl combine the thickened yogurt and the condensed milk. Stir until smooth.
      Pour yogurt milk mixture into a medium sized baking dish or individual ramekins. Bake in for 20-30 minutes, or until the yogurt is set. Baking time will depend on the size of the dish used.
      While the yogurt is baking, combine the honey and a teaspoon or two of water over low heat. Once the honey has melted add the apricots and pistachios.
      Cook honey apricot mixture over a low heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the apricots begin to turn golden and become fragrant.
      Drizzle the honeyed pistachios and apricots over the baked yogurt. Enjoy warm or chilled in the fridge.

      Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Bread





      Applesauce and oatmeal are the basis of this hearty breakfast bread. Those breakfast flavors come together with cinnamon, cloves and dried cranberries, topped with a brown sugar nut streusel. This recipe comes to us from Patrice of Circle B Kitchen.
      Serves 12
      For the nut streusal:
      • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
      • 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      For the Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Bread:
      • 2 eggs
      • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce
      • 1/3 cup canola oil
      • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
      • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
      • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
      • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
      • pinch ground cloves
      • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
      • 1/4 cup raisins
      • 1 cup old fashioned oats
      Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a loaf pan with a light layer of butter and flour.
      Toss the brown sugar, nuts and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set aside.
      Whisk the eggs, sugar, applesauce, oil and yogurt together in a medium bowl.
      Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves together in a separate large bowl. Stir in the oats.
      Toss the dried cranberries and raisins with 1/2 teaspoon of the flour mixture in a separate small bowl. Set aside.
      Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and fold with a spatula until just combined, taking care not to over mix. Fold in the fried fruit, taking care to ensure the fruit is evenly distributed in the batter.
      Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Scatter the nut streusel mixture over the top, pressing it into the batter with your fingers. Place the loaf pan in the oven and bake 50-60 minutes, or until a sharp knife comes out clean.
      Cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife along the edges. Invert the loaf onto a plate, cut into slices and enjoy!

      Green Bean Potato Salad






      This picnic staple has a rustic feel, because it features tender new potatoes which can be eaten whole. Fresh dill and tangy mustard kick the flavor up a notch, while snap peas and green beans add a refreshing crunch. This recipe comes to us from Tony of Real Men Eat Green.
      Serves 6
      • salt, for preparing the water
      • 5 cups new or nugget potatoes, left whole or cut in half
      • ½ cup snap peas, trimmed
      • ½ cup green beans, trimmed
      • 1 tablespoons mustard
      • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
      • 2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
      • 1 cup egg free mayonnaise substitute
      • 1 cup celery, chopped
      • salt and pepper, to taste
      • a pinch cayenne pepper*
      *optional
      Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
       
      Add the potatoes to the pot and boil until for about 10-12 minutes, or until tender when poked with a fork.
      Add the snap peas and green beans to the pot and cook them with the potatoes for another 2-3 minutes, or until they begin to become tender, but still keep their crunch.  
       
      While the potatoes and peas are cooking, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, dill and mayonnaise substitute. Stir in the chopped celery.

      Drain the potatoes, green beans and peas and place together in a large bowl. Toss the vegetables with the mustard dressing until thoroughly coated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Taste again for seasoning and add some additional chopped dill or cayenne pepper if you like your potato salad slightly spicy.

      Apple Cheddar Muffins





      This is a flavor combination most often seen in pie recipes, but you can have these fruit filled muffins for breakfast! This recipe was created by Deirdre Holmes, who writes the blog Plan It Healthier.
      Makes 12 muffins
      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1/4 cup wheat bran
      • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 1 tablespoon baking powder
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 1 large apple, finely chopped
      • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divided
      • 1/2 cup maple syrup
      • 2 large eggs
      • 1 cup milk
      • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
      • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream
      • 1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
      • 1/3 cup raisins
      • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
      • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
      Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
      In a large bowl, whisk together flour, wheat bran, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Fold in the apples and three-quarters of the cheddar cheese. Reserve the remaining cheddar.
      In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, butter and yogurt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the milk mixture into the well. Stir until just combined. Fold in the lemon juice, raisins, cranberries and walnuts.
      Evenly divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with some of the reserved cheddar. Bake 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.

      Watermelon Feta Tomato Salad



      Tomatoes and watermelon are irresistibly refreshing when balanced with salty feta cheese. A simple basil lime vinaigrette adds herbal depth of flavor to this summer salad. This recipe comes to us from Sophisticated Pie.
      Serves 8
      For the basil lime vinaigrette:
      • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
      • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
      • salt and pepper, to taste
      • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
      To complete the watermelon feta tomato salad:
      • 1/2 watermelon, cut into 1/2  inch cubes
      • 4 ripe tomatoes, cut into 1/2  inch cubes
      • 3 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
      To make the basil lime vinaigrette:
      Combine the lime juice and basil to a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pulse to combine.
      Slowly add the olive oil with the mixing device on. Taste and re-season with salt and pepper if necessary.
      To complete the watermelon feta tomato salad:
      In a large bowl, toss the watermelon, tomatoes, and feta cheese cubes together, then spread them out onto a platter.
      Drizzle the fruit and feta cubes with the basil lime vinaigrette as needed. Enjoy this refreshing salad either chilled or at room temperature.

      Red, White & Blueberry Quinoa Salad


      Celebrate summer with this patriotic fruit salad. Hearty quinoa is paired with sweet blueberries, strawberries and cranberries, balanced by salty pecans and dressed with a tart grapefruit vinaigrette. This recipe comes to us from Donna of Fab Frugal Food.
      Serves 4
      • 2 cups water, salted
      • 1 cup quinoa*, rinsed thoroughly
        ½ cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
        1 teaspoon grapefruit zest
        1 tablespoon agave nectar**
        2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
        salt and pepper, to taste
        ½ cup pecans, diced
      • 1 cup strawberries, diced
        1 cup blueberries
        ½ cup sweetened dried cranberries
      • ¼ watermelon, rind removed and cut into 5 flat triangles
      • ½ cup low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt, for drizzling
      *Quinoa is a heart-healthy grain as well as a complete protein. It can be found in the grain section of most grocery stores. Feel free to substitute brown rice if you can’t find quinoa.

      ** Agave nectar is similar in taste & texture to honey but has a lower impact on blood sugar when compared other sweeteners. Agave can be found in the health food or specialty food aisle of most grocery stores.
      Bring the salted water to a boil. Turn down the heat so that the water reaches a rolling simmer.
      Pour the quinoa in the salted, simmering water. Cover and let simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.
      While the quinoa is cooking, whisk the grapefruit juice, zest, agave nectar and oil together in a medium bowl. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste.
      Stir the grapefruit vinaigrette into the cooked quinoa while the quinoa is still hot. Let the dressed quinoa cool to room temperature.
      After the quinoa has cooled, toss it together with the diced pecans, diced strawberries, blueberries and cranberries. Chill the quinoa berry salad in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
      Pile the chilled quinoa berry salad into a large mound in the middle of a serving plate. Evenly surround the quinoa salad with the 5 watermelon triangles, so that the dish as a whole resembles a star. Just before serving, drizzle everything with the vanilla Greek yogurt.

      Roasted Pepper & Potato Tarts


      1 9-inch refrigerated prepared piecrust
      3 small Yukon Gold potatoes (about 14 oz)
      3/4 cup drained and chopped roasted bell peppers
      1/4 cup sun-dried tomato tapenade
      3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
      1/2 tsp fennel seed, crushed
      1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
      2 large eggs, lightly beaten
      4 kalamata olives, pitted and thinly sliced
      Basil leaves (optional)
      1. Let piecrust sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes or until pliable. Unroll crust on flat surface or cutting board and cut into 8 wedges. Roll each wedge into a ball. Take one ball and roll with a rolling pin into a 5-inch circle (it doesn't have to be perfect); tuck dough circle into a nonstick 12-piece muffin tin, crimping edges under. Repeat with remaining balls. (Dough should roll easily without the need for flour.) Fill empty muffin cups halfway with water so the dough cooks evenly.
      2. Preheat oven to 425°F. Meanwhile, prick potatoes with a knife and microwave on high for 6 minutes or until tender. Let cool completely, then peel and slice crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
      3. Place one potato slice into each tart shell, cutting to fit if necessary. Combine peppers, tapenade, and feta. Place a spoonful of pepper mixture into each tart shell. Top each with another potato slice.
      4. Whisk fennel and rosemary into eggs, then carefully spoon egg mixture into each tart. Top the tart with a dollop of remaining pepper mixture and a few olive slices. Bake at 425°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until crust is nicely browned. Cool for 5 minutes in pan; garnish with basil leaves, if desired.
      Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 184 cal, 9 g fat (2.9 g sat), 19 g carbs, 325 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein

      Wednesday, July 3, 2013

      Wild Blackberry Wine Recipe





      Wild blackberries taste best, but don’t fret if you don’t have access to them. A good quality frozen blackberry from your local market will more than suffice. I’ve used store-brand in a pinch, and they’re great! This recipe makes a dry, medium-bodied wine.

      Ingredients:

      • 4 lb blackberries
      • 2-1/4 lb granulated sugar
      • 1/2 teaspoon pectic enzyme
      • 1/2 teaspoon acid blend
      • 1 Campden tablet, crushed
      • 7 pints water
      • 1 package wine yeast and nutrient

      Preparation:

      Thoroughly wash the berries and place them in nylon jelly bag bag. Crush them and strain the juice through the bag into the primary fermentor. Be sure to press as much juice as possible, leaving the solids relatively dry. Tie the jelly bag tightly, and insert it into the fermentor, along with the sugar, pectic enzyme, acid blend, Campden, and 7 pints water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, cover, and allow it to rest for 24 hours.
      Sprinkle the wine yeast and nutrient over it and allow it to sit, stirring once daily, for 5 days. Strain the solids and rack into a dark 3-gallon secondary fermentor. Add additional water to make up the volume, and apply an airlock. Rack the wine in 3 weeks, and again in 2 months. Bottle. For the best flavor, allow a year for the wine to mature before enjoying it.
      Makes 3 gallons.

      Saturday, April 13, 2013

      Candy House Chocolate Truffles in Gold Foil

      Candy House Chocolate Truffles in Gold Foil

       

       

      Candy House Chocolate Truffles in Gold Foil     

      Candy House Chocolate Truffles in Gold Foil (Google Affiliate Ad)

      Fine milk chocolate truffles made with fresh, heavy cream and wrapped in gold foil.

      Description

      Candy House presents milk chocolate truffles wrapped in gold foil. These delicious truffles are made with fresh heavy cream, and is packaged in one 2.5 lb. bag. Perfect for showers, weddings, banquets and parties.

      Specifications

    • Milk Chocolate Truffles in gold foil 2.5 lbs.
    • Approximately 80 pieces
    • Each piece is 1" in diamter Allergy Information: Made in a plant which uses peanuts and other tree nuts and may contain trace amounts of allergens (including milk, egg, soy and wheat) not listed in the ingredient statement.
    • Sunday, March 10, 2013

      Brownie Rubble

      Picture of Brownie Rubble Recipe


      Ingredients
      2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
      1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
      6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
      2 cups sugar
      3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      4 large eggs, cold
      2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      1 cup mini marshmallows
      1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
      3/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
      Directions
      Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with foil, pressing it into the corners and up the sides; leave an overhang on 2 sides. Butter the foil and dust with flour. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 400 degrees F.

      Bring 1 inch water to a gentle simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Put the chocolate and 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons butter in a heatproof bowl; set the bowl over the saucepan (do not let the bowl touch the water). Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the saucepan.

      Add the sugar, cocoa and salt to the bowl and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition, until the batter is thick and shiny. Add the vanilla, then add 1 cup flour and mix until combined. Spread in the prepared pan.

      Bake the brownies until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and scatter the marshmallows, chocolate chips and peanuts on top. Return to the oven; continue baking until the marshmallows are golden, about 5 more minutes.

      Let cool in the pan on a rack, 30 minutes. Lift the brownies out of the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board to cool completely before slicing.

      Zucchini Sticks Recipe


      It’s that time of the year again when you more than likely have an abundance of zucchini lying around and are unsure of what to do with all of them. These zucchini sticks are a great option for using up that zucchini. They are crunchy, delicious, and best of all, they are baked. I thought about deep frying them but decided baking was a better option. I highly recommend using Panko breadcrumbs for this recipe, instead of normal breadcrumbs. Panko bread crumbs will help to make sure your zucchini sticks come out of the oven nice and crispy. These zucchini sticks are also served with a delicious onion dip. If you don’t want to use the onion dip, ranch dressing would be a good option, or you can serve with without any dressing at all. This recipe is perfect to be served as an appetizer or snack for parties or to go with a dinner. Enjoy. Adapted from King Arthur Flour. 

      Ingredients:
      Onion dip-
      1 tablespoon butter
      1 medium sweet onion (peeled and sliced)
      2 tablespoons cider vinegar
      1 tablespoon prepared mustard
      1 cup mayonnaise
      salt and pepper (to taste)
      Zucchini Sticks-
      3 medium zucchini (cut into 3inch long sticks)
      1 tablespoon salt
      1 cup Panko bread crumbs
      ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
      1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
      2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
      olive oil cooking spray

      Cooking Instructions:

      Step 1:
       To make the onion dip- melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion has softened and then become caramelized (about 10 to 15 minutes). Once the onions are medium brown remove from the heat and stir in cider vinegar. Place onions and vinegar mixture into a food processor. Add honey and mustard and blend until smooth. Stir in the mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
      Step 2: In a pie dish combine Panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment and spray the parchment with olive oil cooking spray. In a small bowl lightly beat together 2 eggs. Dip the stick first in the egg mixture and then roll in the panko breadcrumb mixture. Place the sticks onto the prepared baking sheet.
      Step 3: Place into the oven and bake sticks at 425 degrees for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes turn over and bake for an additional 8 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Serve immediately with the sweet onion dip.
      (Makes About 3 Dozen Zucchini Sticks)