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Friday, January 27, 2012

Leftover grain = Amazing quick breakfast!

Happy Friday to everyone!
As the craziness of moving seems to be settling down, I realize the importance of starting your day on the right foot.  I.E. Starting it with the right things in your belly.  Most days I normally start my eating routine about 9 or 10 though my kiddos wake up at 6.  It just seems to be the time that I can actually sit down and eat which as other parents may know, can be a rarity.  Quickness is also key to eating great in the morning.  If you fill your face with high sugar cereals and empty calorie juice, you simply won't have the energy to sustain you throughout your day.  So let's look at what you had for dinner last night...

Did you happen to have a side of rice?  Or quinoa?  Or couscous?  Well why not make a little extra next time and save it for the morning?  I was inspired by my pantry this week.  I have all these bulk grains that *tisk*tisk*, I didn't label.  Insert frownie face here.  I'm not the best at deciphering between them all in their raw form so I've decided to cook up these so-called mystery grains.  My first adventure left me with this slightly chewy, nutty, almost sweet tasting grain that I have determined to be oh so wonderful barley.  And I have quite a bit of it!  So after mixing it into some baby food and forming it into patties with red beans, I still had a few cups left.  So of course...I make breakfast!  My favorite meal of the day.

This recipe is pretty adaptable to your taste buds.  Feel free to substitute any leftover grain you might have in your fridge.  I would recommend something on the sturdier side.  As with the others I mentioned, forbidden black rice would be another excellent choice.

Rise & Shine Breakfast Barley
1/2 c. cooked grain (Barley)
1/4 c. lite coconut milk (or any other milk you prefer though I like the thickness of coconut)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 c. cranberries
1/4 c. unsweetened coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp coriander
1 orange of choice (I used mandarin)

Mix together all ingredients except for grain and heat on medium for 1-2 minutes.  Add in grain and cook an additional 3-4 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Garnish with zest of orange. And peeled slices.

Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year's Resolutions...We all have 'em!

Yikes! It's 2012 already and we are all full of resolutions.  At the top of my list is to keep my blog updated for those that follow.  I also have the usual list of suspects on there healthier, work out, etc. Without further ado apologies are in order for letting my blog go by the wayside.  It's been almost an entire year!  Shame on me for leaving you hanging.  Though I must admit, this past year has definitely been a full one.  I'm now a licensed and insured Personal Chef as well as a stay-at-home-mom.  Who says you can't be both?  I also completed my Main Course Certification from the School of Natural Cookery in Boulder which was a phenomenal experience.  Wonderful teachers.  Wonderful food.  It was one of the best weeks of the summer.  But...

The biggest news is that we welcomed little Liam on July 13th safely at home.  He's almost 6 months now and just starting on solid foods.  I can't wait to show him the wonderful world of food!  He's already such a great eater that I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that he stays that way.  Ethan is still picky but in a different way...he just picks liquids over solids.  He'll eat almost anything we put in front of him if he's in the mood for it but mostly he just likes to drink his breakfast, lunch and dinner.  With all that being said, he is no stranger to sweet treats.  I still have to get creative and so the following recipe was prepared and consumed - quickly!  This was a pretty simple one with the handy dandy stand mixer so even the little tot was able to help. 

Our letter of the day was also Y.  We did a yellow Y for our arts and craft project which led to our baking session because what's yellow in the kitchen?  LEMONS!!!  : )  Another great way to integrate learning into everyday experiences.

Inspired by a recipe from

Zucchini Lemon Drop Cookies

6 tbsp c. butter - softened
1/2 c. unrefined natural sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 tbsp applesauce
1 med zucchini - finely shredded (about 1 cup)
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 c. white whole wheat flour
1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 c. ground oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. raisins
1/4 c. white chocolate chips (called for walnuts but we were out)
2 tsp lemon juice
2 c. powdered sugar

Cream butter and sugar together.  Add in maple syrup, egg, lemon zest, applesauce and vanilla and continue mixing till incorporated.  In separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients excluding raisins and chocolate chips.  Slowly add to butter mixture and beat on low till blended.  Fold in raisins and chocolate chips.  Drop onto baking sheet 2 inches apart and bake at 375 for 9-12 minutes.

Let cool and prepare glaze.  I wanted mine to be pretty thick so it would hold up overtime.  I cut down on the sugar and before frosting, I squeezed a couple drops of lemon juice directly onto cookies.  I really wanted the zing!

These were awesome and so cake-like.  I enjoyed them with my tea in the morning and with a dollop of whip cream at night.  Enjoy!