Sunday, November 4, 2012

autumn spice no-oat meal

today is nearly done, but before i go to bed i had to share a link for a recipe my friend sara told me about a couple weeks ago. i opened the link on my phone and it has been staring at me every day since then. finally, this evening i made it. it was INCREDIBLE. and, totally grain-free.  here's the link...try it soon!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

hot fudge and coconut "cake"

my good friend (who is also our ASL teacher) had a birthday today. as part of a class surprise, i made a "cake" out of chocolate covered katie's coconut crack bars and my hot fudge. both use no cane sugar and are grain-free. the result was a delicious mounds-type "cake" that was devoured quickly...leaving me without a picture, but with multiple recipe requests.

if you haven't gotten to know katie yet, you should. she has remarkable desserts and treats. nearly all of her creations are grain-free and refined sugar-free. all are incredibly delicious. my only problem with ms. katie is this: her recipes are too small. surely she does this on purpose because she isn't cooking for a family of six and (if it was me) would probably make herself sick eating large amounts of dessert. you can find and follow katie here.

back to our "cake"...i started with katie's recipe, but made a few changes. my recipe for the coconut "cake" looked like this:

5 C unsweetened, shredded coconut
1 C coconut oil, melted (do this by placing the sealed coconut oil jar intoa bowl of hot water)
3/4 C agave
1 T vanilla

put the above ingredients into a food processor and let them mix for 3-5 minutes. press finished dough into a 9" springform pan or 9x13 pan (for a thinner bar). allow to chill in the refrigerator or freezer until hot fudge is ready.

you could totally stop's delicious by itself. but to kick it up to the next level, the hot fudge topping is a neccesity. this is the same hot fudge i used in my boccone dolce. 

hot fudge

3 T butter
3 T honey
3 T coconut oil
2 T cocoa powder

cut butter and set aside. melt coconut oil and honey while whisking in cocoa powder.
once everything is melted and mixed, whisk in the butter, one tablespoon at a time. allow to cool slightly and pour on the cake or into a jar (preferably one that your spoon will fit into nicely for when you abbé the urge...and i know you will because i tend to eat it straight from the jar. ;)

i topped my coconut cake with about 1/2 C of the hot fudge and then put it in the freezer to chill and set for 25-30 minutes. run a knife around the edge of your springform pan, and serve your beautiful creation. 


Thursday, August 23, 2012

chocolate pudding (that's GOOD for you!) pudding? let's just say i was more than skeptical when i saw the recipe here, but with a bag of avocados on my counter and a strong desire for dessert i thought i would give it a try. it was awesome. in my family, awesome is a word reserved for few things. growing up my mom would say, "sweetie, God is awesome, babies being born are awesome. *that* is not awesome."

this pudding could challenge her definition. it has the consistency of those horrible-for-you pudding cups and my children beg to eat its healthiness, so i'd say that's pretty awe-inspiring. ;)

chocolate avocado pudding (or "chocamole" as kirby likes to call it)
the family of six recipe

4-5 avocados
1/3 C cocoa powder
1/3 C maple syrup or agave (both work wonderfully)
2-3 T milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or water (i usually end up rinsing out my maple syrup or agave bottle with the water and then pouring that into the mix)
1 T vanilla

pit and scoop avocados. place everything in your food processor and let it whirl for 3-5 minutes, or until you see no small green pieces. serve with whipped cream or whipped coconut cream and berry sauce, hot fudge, or fresh fruit. be forewarned that this pudding is deceptively filling. four avocados is seriously enough to feed the six dessert-mongers in my house. if you didn't believe me and you made too much, don't saves in the fridge for at least three days (that's as long as it's ever lasted).


baked egg recipe

okay, so i realize it's been a while since i have posted anything. what's new? my sister camye of the quad cities moms blog was sharing some of my recipes on tv today, so i thought i should probably have one of the only-in-my-brain recipes online. also, this may be a good excuse to catch you up on all of the other recipes i have been sitting on for the last month(s). first, the baked egg. it's basically a quiche filling made without a crust. giving up extra flour a few years back led me to make it this way. i know, i know, it's nothing groundbreaking, but i've been making it this way for over five years now and some people may not have been introduced to it yet. in the meschke household, it's a common meal...for breakfast and dinner. it's a very flexible recipe, as you will see.

baked eggs

12-18 eggs, beaten
1/2-1 C milk or yogurt (or non-dairy alternative)
1 onion, diced (red, yellow, or sweet...if you have onion-pickers, i suggest using a microplane to grate the onion)
salt and pepper

cheese (shredded mozzarella, colby jack, jack, cheddar, etc, or crumbled feta, goat cheese, get the drift)
meat (browned sausage, crumbled bacon, diced ham, etc)
veggies (chopped peppers, mushrooms, fresh tomato, chopped spinach, shredded or sliced zucchini, etc)
extra seasonings (nutmeg, basil, oregano, stone ground mustard, bruschetta spread, etc)

beat your eggs, then whisk in the milk/yogurt. stir onions and other add-ins into the egg mixture. pour into greased 9x13 pan, 10x14 pan (if you used 18 eggs and lots of add-ins), or divide between muffin tins. bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes for pan or 18-25 minutes for muffin tins. it's done when the center doesn't jiggle. let cool for 10 minutes before cutting. leftovers are very good!

some of my favorite baked egg combinations are:

traditional ham and cheese: use one 8oz package of hormel naturals smoked ham, diced, 1-2 C shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese, 1 T stone ground brown mustard, and a pinch of nutmeg. this is best when you use yogurt for the liquid.

italian bake: chop 2-3 big handfuls of baby spinach. add one jar of bruschetta spread (i used to get an all-natural one at walmart, but now find it more easily at trader joe's) and 1-2 C shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese.

zucchini season: finely shred 3-5 zucchini (alternatively, you can slice or dice them but i find when the zucchini is shredded little fingers can't pick it out). add 1-2 C shredded vintage cheddar or mozzarella or parmesan. you can also add 2-3 diced tomatoes or one drained can of diced tomatoes.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

"deliciousness" perfected

my children call the peanut butter/raisin dessert "deliciousness". if i was honest, i would have to call it "obsession" because it is my complete snack obsession. today, instead of keeping it grain-free i grabbed the oatmeal and decided it was even better. i <3 oatmeal. here's the revised recipe:

peanut butter "deliciousness"

put 1 C raw almonds into the food processor and process until fine. add 2 C raisins and process again, 3-5 minutes until raisins are very small. pour in 1 - 16oz jar of creamy natural peanut butter (no need to stir), 1-2 t vanilla, 1 C quick oats, and 1/2 C raw cacao nibs. process until everything is well combined, another couple minutes. shape into balls or just transfer to a container and store in the refrigerator. try not to eat it all by yourself. ;)

tortilla soup

i make a lot of soup. no joke. like, three to six nights a week. tortilla soup is a family favorite. my kids eat whatever i put on the table, which is quite a variety of things (as mentioned before, usually in broth). some of the soups i make are not their first choice, but they never groan when i serve this.

tortilla soup

1 medium yellow onion, diced
3-5 garlic cloves, pressed

saute in cold-pressed canola oil. add 1-2 T cumin, stir and allow cumin to toast. pour in:

48-64 oz chicken broth (depending on how many people you are serving and how soupy you like your soup)
16oz jar of your favorite salsa (i use trader joe's chunky salsa)
2-3 C black beans
2-4 C chopped chicken (cooked or raw), optional (i don't normally use chicken)
salt and pepper to taste

bring to a boil, then turn off heat and add:

16 oz bag frozen corn
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 bunch cilantro, finely minced, or 3-5 frozen cilantro cubes (dorot)
2-3 limes, juiced

ladle into bowls and serve with:

shredded colby/jack or monetery jack cheese
crunched tortilla chips (the broken pieces at the bottom of the bag work great)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

boccone dolce

dessert was so wonderful that i thought i would share the love by sharing the recipe. fortunately the pastry chef at papa haydn's had their recipe online here. i altered it a bit to account for having more egg whites and wanting to use less sugar. i'm not sure if meringues can be made successfully with the use of agave, but will have to try that some time. be sure to leave plenty of time...the egg whites whip better if they are at room temperature and the meringues take two hours to bake. my recipe is based on the 16 egg whites i had left from making lemon curd, so feel free to divide. if you want a crispier meringue, you will have to use more sugar. here's the deliciousness:

boccone dolce

16 egg whites (2 C)
1 C evaporated cane juice  **EDIT: 10.29.14...i successfully sweetened with 3 T of maple sugar. the meringues start out crisp and wonderful, but end up a little chewier after storing**

begin by whisking the egg whites in your stand mixer. once stiff peaks have formed, mix the sugar in 1-2 T at a time, allowing to whisk 2-3 minutes between additions so the sugar dissolves completely. once everything is thoroughly whipped, line your baking sheets with parchment paper. the traditional shape for boccone dolce is a circle. you can draw your shape on the back of the parchment paper for accuracy or you can just eyeball it. i had a LOT of meringue and didn't want to cook them in two batches, so i went with rectangles because i could cook all four at the same time. bake for 2 hours at 200-225 (depending on your oven), switching the pans half way through (or more frequently if your oven is finicky). **EDIT: 10.29.14...i have begun whipping the meringues in the evening (around 8-10pm), baking them for two hours, switching the pans from the top rack to the bottom and vice versa before i go to bed, and then leaving them in the oven until morning. perfectly dry meringues every time! i also just spread the entire sheet of meringue on my 11"x16" silicone baking mats and cut the meringue in half when i remove them from the oven instead of trying to make four individual rectangles. the extra bonus is these tweaks make it easier for me to produce this dessert so i do it more often, which is a win for us all. ;) **

while your meringues are baking, prepare your fruit. papa haydn's normally uses raspberries and blackberries, but it is also delicious with strawberries. i had leftover lemon curd, so to use that i took half a bag of frozen wild blueberries out to thaw.

closer to the end of baking time, you will need to make whipped cream. you can either whip it on your own, with a stand mixer, or with my favorite kitchen accessory...the whipped cream maker. andy bought this lovely gadget for my birthday five years ago. we have *loved* it. i can even make dairy-free coconut whipped cream with no problem. mine is an iSi and cost around $50. worth. every. cent.

whipped cream

1 pint whipping cream
1 T agave
1-2 t vanilla

open the whipping cream carton and pour in the agave and vanilla. hold the carton's spout closed tightly and shake to incorporate. pour everything into the whipped cream maker, screw on lid/etc, charge with N2O, and shake. refrigerate if you're not ready to use your whipped cream.

you also have to choose your chocolate. the subrosa recipe calls for melted bittersweet chocolate. with the lemon curd and blueberries, white chocolate would have been delicious, but i decided to use my favorite hot fudge. it solidifies when exposed to cold (whipped cream, partially frozen blueberries) like magic shell. plus, it's sweetened with honey.

hot fudge

3 T butter
3 T honey
3 T coconut oil
2 T cocoa powder

melt the above ingredients in a saucepan, stirring or whisking to incorporate. remove from heat and add:

1/4 t cinnamon (optional)
2 t vanilla
1/4t himalayan salt (plain kosher will work fine. use a small pinch if your butter is salted)

this fudge solidifies when drizzled on icecream, but remains chewy and wonderful. it takes on more of a soft-solid fudge state when chilled. (can you say, "eat with a spoon directly from the container."?!)

okay, now your meringues are done baking, your fruit, whipped cream, and chocolate/hot fudge are all ready, and you can assemble your dessert. find as serving dish and put down one meringue. drizzle on chocolate/hot fudge, top with whipped cream, sprinkle on fruit. smash down the next meringue. repeat the fillings. smash down another meringue. this is where i put the lemon curd. i topped the curd with whipped cream and put on the last meringue (because i had four, instead of the normal three) and drizzle more chocolate/hot fudge on top. cut and serve. try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting. mmmmmm…

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

bacon walnut spinach salad

tonight i decided to use all the egg whites leftover from lemon curd. there were 16...that's two cups of egg whites. my youngest daughter had been begging to buy the meringues at trader joe's for quite some time now, so i decided to go one step up and try to replicate the incredible boccone dolce from papa haydn's. lucky for me, subrosa had the actual recipe from papa haydn's pastry chef. what?! nice. this post is not about boccone dolce, though so i have gotten very distracted.

in anticipation of dessert and waiting for meringues to bake (two hours? really?!) i had lost motivation for dinner. my family had to eat something, so after staring at the refrigerator and pantry and storage room i decided a big salad would be the responsible thing to serve when dessert would be the star of the evening. we had a pound of uncured bacon ends and pieces in the fridge, plenty of spinach, throw in some walnuts, dried cherries, red onions, and feta and i could have an easy (and very tasty) meal. i had a vague memory of seeing a similar recipe in a cookbook or magazine and had been drooling over the idea ever since. i have no idea where that recipe is, so i figured it out as i went along. here's what i did:

bacon walnut spinach salad

start by finely chopping half of a red onion. put the onion in a glass bowl/dish and cover with about two tablespoons of red wine vinegar. this is a quick pickle for the onions, mellowing their flavor. they are wonderful after 10-15 minutes.

once your onions are soaking, chop 1 lb. of bacon. heat a stockpot (that way the grease doesn't spit out, no need for a splatter screen) and add the bacon. stir occasionally until bacon is cooked. remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate. add 1 C of raw chopped walnuts to the bacon grease and cook until golden, about 3-5 minutes. remove the walnuts and put them to drain with the bacon.

while the walnuts are cooling, chop 1 C of unsweetened dried bing cherries. in a large bowl, put 3/4 lb - 1 lb of baby spinach, the cherries, onions, nuts and bacon, and crumble about 2-3 oz of feta cheese. spoon about 2 T of the bacon grease and sprinkle with salt and pepper. toss everything and serve immediately.

mediterranean chili

while i'm on a roll, i guess i'll just photograph and post everything we're eating. this trend will last probably one or two days longer and then i'll drop off the face of the blogging world again for many months. ;)

a few years ago andy and i went to a greek restaurant in sellwood for my birthday. eleni's served me a wonderful meal that i immediately tried to replicate at home. originally, the dish was served with pasta. at one point i was serving the sauce over polenta and now i'm adding chicken broth to use it as a soup.

mediterranean chili

1 red onion, diced
3-5 garlic cloves, pressed or 3 frozen dorot garlic cubes or 2 t preminced garlic
2 T extra virgin olive oil

in a large stockpot over medium high heat, saute onion and garlic in oil, stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes. add:

4 C chicken broth (1 qt)
1 - 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 - 16 oz jar of roasted red peppers, drained
1 t dried oregano
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

using an immersion blender, puree everything in the stockpot. alternatively, if you don't have an immersion blender, put the broth, tomatoes, and peppers into your blender before adding them to the pot. post pureeing add:

1/2 16 oz jar of pitted kalamata olives, chopped
16 oz garbanzo beans (i cook my own beans and store them in 16 oz ball freezer jars)
8 oz feta, crumbled

bring to a boil. serve.

by skipping the chicken broth and garbanzo beans, this is a great pasta/polenta sauce. you can add chopped chicken to the soup, if desired, or ground turkey to the pasta sauce. for the sauce, i usually add a little water as i rinse out the can.


Monday, June 18, 2012

crisp topping...for fresh peach crisp

one wonderful thing about oregon is that the peaches are good for a very long time. there are two or three peaks for peaches instead of one three-week spell in colorado. our favorite way to enjoy these summer treasures is fresh, with a buttery granola-like topping and fresh whipped cream.

crisp topping

5 C quick oats
2 C unsweetened, shredded coconut
3/4 C brown sugar (one of the few recipes where i will not substitute)
3/4 C butter, melted
2 t cinnamon

mix everything in a large bowl. spread on one large cookie sheet or split between two 9x13 pans. bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. stir and continue to bake 10 minutes more. stir and bake 5-10 minutes more, checking on the color of the topping to be sure it doesn't brown too much. let cool 20 minutes. serve over fresh sliced or diced peaches with fresh whipped cream or ice cream. bag the extra for later use. lasts for 2-3 weeks in the pantry or 2-3 months in the refrigerator. allow to come to room temperature before using chilled crisp topping. if necessary, recrisp in the oven.

you can also use this recipe to top an oven baked peach crisp. peaches should be chopped and tossed with about 2 T sugar or agave and a little flour, cornstarch, or arrowroot. dot with butter, if desired. top with uncooked crisp topping and bake for 30-35 minutes at 350.

paleo banana bread muffins

a pile of spotty bananas sat on the counter. a loan fruit fly silently danced in the air, alerting me of the need to use them quickly. if you know me at all, you know that i like to eat my bananas on the green side. once they spot they are suitable only for baking at my house. i already had eggs in the oven so banana-something was going to be added to our dinner. banana-what, though? a quick pinterest search yielded a few interesting recipes. after looking at each one i landed on this one. the original recipe made seven muffins. seven. are you kidding me? it's not even worth getting the mixer bowl dirty for that. much less the fact that there would be no leftovers for sunday morning breakfast. after enlarging and tweaking, the recipe looked like this:

paleo banana bread muffins

6 bananas
6 eggs

in your stand mixer, thoroughly beat bananas and eggs. then add:

4 1/2 C almond flour
1/3 C flaxseed meal
1 1/2 T baking soda
1 1/2 T baking powder
1 t - 1 T cinnamon, depending on how cinnamony you like things
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t kosher salt
3 T honey
3 T butter, melted
2 T vanilla
1 C chopped walnuts

mix everything until well incorporated. divide batter between 18-24 muffin pans. you will need to grease...even with silicone bakeware. i have individual silicone baking cups from ikea and normally do not have to grease. these muffins stuck...worse the first day when they were still warm (hey, we were impatient!) than the next day. bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before eating.

coconut pancakes

one main thing my family has been missing since dropping wheat is pancakes. i used to make them weekly. there was even a time where i made them a couple mornings a week so we always had leftovers for the off mornings. of all breakfast foods, my love affair has always been with the pancake. i digress...

the other day i had a rare occasion where there were 18 eggs sitting on the counter from our chickens. for some reason the craving for pancakes was overwhelming and i started searching online for a recipe that used either almond or coconut flour. i found two, mashed them together, enlarged them a lot and landed on a delightful grain-free pancake. after throwing together a maple/mango/blueberry syrup, we had a lovely dinner of pancakes, fruit syrup, and fresh blueberries. normally i would serve eggs (scrambled or baked) with pancakes, but this recipe used up ALL the eggs. other coconut pancake recipes i have seen turn out cakey and thick...not how i want my pancakes. these were thin, delicate, and wonderful. they are grain-free, sugar-free, and guilt-free. enjoy!

coconut pancakes

5-6 bananas
18 eggs
2/3 C coconut flour
1/2 C almond flour
1 - 6.8oz box of coconut cream (or 3/4 C coconut milk)
2 T vanilla

mix everything in a blender until completely incorporated (watch for banana chunks). i had to pour off some of the batter after a little bit because as the eggs fluffed it was too much for my blender. cook like normal pancakes (i use a 1/4 C measuring cup to ensure like-sized pancakes) and serve with your choice of toppings.

oat shortcakes...a gluten-free alternative for strawberry shortcake

a few years ago, we met neighbors who would become great friends. this was back in the day before our mostly grain-free adventure started and their son is a celiac, so as i prepared to have them over for dinners and impromptu desserts i had to expand my baking repertoire. i developed this recipe that first summer and it has become a staple, superceding my previously prized everyday food recipe.

oat shortcakes

5 C quick oats
2 T baking powder
1 t kosher salt
1 C butter, cut into pieces

pulse above ingredients until butter is incorporated and oats are fine.

1 C plain yogurt
1/2 C milk
2-4 T agave
1/2 t vanilla

mix in food processor until everything comes together. spray a 9x13 pan, and spread dough evenly. sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if desired. bake at 425 for 20-30 minutes. allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting. serve with ice cream or whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

the last time i made this i found that the berries macerated well in agave instead of the normal cane sugar. anytime the strawberries are just perfect i don't sweeten them at all and just serve them fresh/sliced.

lemon curd

a friend asked me for this recipe a while ago (okay, it was months and months ago) and after finally getting around to making it this weekend, decided i should post it quickly before i forgot...again. ;)

this is adapted from martha's lemon curd recipe. it is the easiest lemon curd recipe you will find, with much less sugar than the rest of them use and no cornstarch. it is also my favorite. we don't eat biscuits anymore (though i have an interesting recipe for coconut biscuits), so i will have to find another excuse -- er, recipe to eat this with often. below the main recipe is my favorite easy dessert recipe using the lemon curd. enjoy!

erin's lemon curd

15 lemons, zest of 7-8, juice of all (should end up to be 2 C of juice)
16 egg yolks
8 whole eggs
1 1/2 C sugar

whisk all ingredients together in a stockpot. begin to heat on stove over medium flame. whisk constantly...this is important. you don't want the eggs to curdle or for the curd to separate while cooking. continue stirring until the curd thickens, about 10-15 minutes. remove from heat and begin stirring in 1 C of butter, cut into pieces. you should only put in 4-5 pieces at a time and whisk until they are melted before adding more. transfer to containers to can or freeze or refrigerate. this recipe fills three 16oz ball freezer canning jars, with about 1 C extra. you can halve this recipe, but why would you want to? ;)

my favorite use for this lemon curd is a custard-like dessert. thaw 1- 16oz jar of lemon curd. add lemon curd, 8 oz cream cheese (i usually use neufchatel cheese), and about 8 oz of whipping cream (liquid) to the food processor and let blend for 5-7 minutes, until everything is incorporated and whipping cream has thickened. serve in bowls topped with whipped cream and fresh raspberries or blueberries. frozen, thawed raspberries or blueberries are also wonderful with this in the off-season.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

my coconut curry soup

a friend recently asked for a curry recipe, which made me realize i have never posted mine. shame on me. after making it frequently for the last five years, i guess i haven't stopped long enough to share. here it is (complete with borrowed picture, because i didn't have time to take my own)...

coconut curry soup
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, pressed OR  1 T minced garlic OR 3-4 frozen garlic cubes

sauté onion and garlic in 2 T cold-pressed canola oil or peanut oil, with 1 t sesame seed oil. then add:
1 ½ T curry powder (big ol' heap in your palm)2 t ground coriander2 t ground ginger½ t basil
continue to sauté. then add:
2 cans coconut milk (or two boxes coconut cream)
about 4 C chicken stock (less if using coconut milk...coconut cream is thicker. also, use less if you want a thicker sauce and not a soup) 3-5 carrots, shredded (or finely sliced)½ bag of haricots vertes (small green beans, not cut or frenched)salt and pepper to taste
bring to simmer for 7-10 minutes, until beans are just cooked. then add:
1 bunch cilantro, minced
2 limes, juiced (easiest to do with a citrus reamer)
4-7 green onions, sliced
stir in and serve with rice or rice noodles and chopped peanuts, if desired.  **if you want to make this in the crockpot, reduce canola/peanut oil, but keep sesame oil. add everything to the crockpot except carrots, and beans, which you will put in during the last hour.
two other notes...
1. you can use a lemongrass stalk, and put it in at the same time as all the liquid. i never have it on hand, and between the coriander, fresh cilantro, and limes, i don't think the dish needs it.
2. i like the frozen haricot vertes from trader joe's or whole foods best. they taste the most like garden fresh green beans. you can use fresh green beans, if they are in season. normal, grocery store frozen green beans are not high on my list of favorites. in a pinch, however, the frenched green beans (like what you would use for green bean casserole) would be your best alternative.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

grain-free goodies

since going mostly wheat and sugar-free i have been searching for an acceptable treat...or treats. ;) a few promising recipes have turned up on pinterest and, after a few alterations, i have landed on a few favorites. two are raw, two are baked, all are delicious. i'll revise when i have pictures for all the recipes. for now, i'll just go with what's ready. ;)

no-bake peanut butter cookies

16 oz jar natural peanut butter (no need to stir) could totally use almond butter, sunflower nut butter, etc
2 C raisins
3/4 C - 1 C peanuts or almonds (optional)
pinch of sea salt
1 T vanilla

put everything in the food processor and let it whirl for 3-5 minutes or until raisins are fine and nuts are chopped. this is SO easy to make and has become my crack...seriously. you can add 2-4 T of cocoa powder if you want a chocolate peanut butter cookie. you can form them into balls or just put it in a container and spoon out what you want to eat.

oatmeal cookie "dough"

1 C raw almonds
1 C raw walnuts
1 C oatmeal
1/2 t cinnamon
pinch sea salt
1/4 C agave (or less...i think i only used about 2 T) OR 1/2 C raisins
1 T vanilla
1/4 C cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips

put nuts, oats, cinnamon, and salt in the food processor and grind until fine. add agave and vanilla and pulse to combine. add cacao nibs or chips and pulse to combine. roll into balls or just put dough in a container and spoon out what you want to eat. ;)

chocolate oatmeal muffins

3 1/2 C oats
4 eggs
1 C applesauce or 1 stick of butter, melted
3/4 C cocoa powder
1 T vanilla
1 C yogurt
3 T apple cider vinegar
1 T baking powder
1 T baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/4 C agave
2 bananas
chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional)

place all ingredients except chocolate chips in food processor (keep baking soda and ACV away from each other in the bowl!) and process 3-5 minutes, until all bananas are broken down. bake at 375 for 15-18 minutes. makes 24 normal sized muffins (or 18 pink/blue/brown ikea silicone baking cups). these are SO good. delicious warm out the the oven, but equally good the next day. your kids will think you made a special treat, but they are so full of good things that you can serve them for breakfast...which i do often these days!

chocolate coconut baked oatmeal...a variation on my original baked oatmeal recipe

2 C milk or coconut milk
6 eggs
1/2 C cold-pressed canola oil
1/4 C - 1/2 C agave
1 T baking powder
1 T vanilla

whisk together. then add:

6 C oatmeal
1 C unsweetened shredded coconut
1 C almond meal
1/2 C cocoa powder

pour into greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. serve with milk (or coconut milk) and, if you want to win major kid-brownie points, whipped cream (or whipped coconut cream). delicious!

Monday, February 27, 2012

let's give it a whirl...

...otherwise known as my crazy attempt to make a bid for "project runway, season 10".

yes, it's a bit crazy. i am aware of that. but i am also the only one who is fully aware of how EVERY piece of clothing i look at gets a pattern and construction run down (that includes what you were wearing the last time i saw you), how my brain always goes to new designs for fabrics in my overflowing stash, and how many of my sleepless nights and free moments are filled with all things apparel.

this is not a new thing. i have been sketching clothing for as long as i can remember and even have books saved in a box from when i was in elementary and junior high.

three years ago i discovered "project runway" on netflix. INSTANTLY, i was hooked. season 5 was the first one i watched, and over the next three months i ran on my elliptical, lost 10+ pounds (from two baking and eating and rainy weather/outdoor exercise-less years in oregon), and motored through the first four seasons before beginning to watch the current season, season 6. initially, it was just my thing. then one evening andy sat down with me and watched a few episodes. from then on i wasn't supposed to watch "project runway" without him.

occasionally i was inspired to make something, but not consistently with all the other craziness in my life. most of the things i was making then were quick, uncomplicated projects: dresses for the girls, simple things for myself, stuff for the house.

last year "project runway" applications were due on tax day. at that point i knew i wasn't ready, but was intrigued by them taping through the summer. was this a do-able thing for me? if, if, IF they had the same time frame, maybe, mayBE, MAYBE i could do it.

then, andy began prompting. when could HE stay home with the kids and have ME go do design work? so, i put together a plan this fall. if the timing was the same as last year and i was ready, perhaps i would apply. thinking the process wouldn't open until late march like last year, i procrastinated. i was unmotivated. i was tired. i was...making a lot of excuses...

ash wednesday, less than a week ago, the posting went up on facebook. applications were being accepted. the deadline was the day before my birthday. i sighed...i was not ready...but i printed off the application anyway and began filling it out.

all evening it pulled on me. was it even possible for me to get everything together?

thursday, i talked to a friend who is a wonderful photographer, but also a stay-at-home homeschool momma. to my surprise she was available the next day to take pictures. so i started digging, finding things i could show. instead of going to see my beloved annie bethancourt in concert, i spent thursday night sewing new pieces to add to other things i had already created. it was incredibly exhilarating, albeit exhausting.

friday was my day to play model. the only bad thing about making things for yourself is that you end up being your own model. who did i know that is my same size who was available at a moments notice? uh, i think that leaves me. so i posed and gazed and worked it while kendra took close to 400 photos.

saturday i hit the wall. the exhaustion set in along with the overwhelming reality that i will be up against so many other designers who have been working full-time at this the whole time i have been mothering, cooking, and cleaning. by lunch time i surrendered to the emotions (and a nap) and by dinner i was feeling much better. once the kids were in bed i quickly finished draping the dress i had tried to start that morning, having the whole thing completed before 10pm. maybe, contrary to the morning's emotions, i CAN do this.

so, for all those words, i will show you a few of the pieces we photographed on friday.

 i hope to "see you on the runway." i'm putting myself out there, so i guess we will see...