Category Archives: Food Stuffs.

The Non-Vegetarian Sister

Major thanks to my wonderful sister for keeping you all going with reading material the last few months. Im sorry for having been away so long, I take a break and she goes vegetarian on me!? Although these meals look delicious and I truly do trust M’s talent in the kitchen, I’m not sure I could do tofu.
I really like meat.
Now that school is back in session and my internship has started, I plan on being much more diligent in my efforts to share my goings-on with you all. Because I am having some truly awesome experiences!
Because the nature of my job has a huge element of confidentiality, I hope my shortened version of experiences will still be able to show how much I am loving social work.
I’ve got a great group of supervisors both at school and my agency, but so far my relationship and dependency on God has blossomed in a way I didn’t expect. I wrestle a lot with being a follower of Jesus and being a person who advocates for others especially when the two vocations don’t mix. Or cant mix.


(From A Voice in the Wind, by Francine Rivers)
It’s an awesome learning thing for me, and I am repeating to myself daily that God’s plan for me is greater than my plan for myself. Self-care has been underlined from the beginning as something that is necessary to my health and ability to do my job, so posts like M’s last week (even though I have no moppets yet!) made a big impact on my day.
Did anyone else gain from M’s post last week? I love how God uses so many different people with so many different talents to reveal Himself to us.


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Filed under Family, Food Stuffs., God, School, Work

Baked Eggplant Fries

Eggplant… Sounds grody, I know. Gabs is trying to master the sweet potatoes right now and judging by her response, she’ll be 35 before she tries eggplant.


Joey has been up to his ears in work/school/harvest/beingadaddy&husband lately, and poor guy is putting up with my vegetarian challenge. Or mostly, anyway. I did hear something about a carne asada burrito the other day, but I didn’t push it. The guy ate tofu two nights ago, for Pete’s sake! He could eat a buffalo and I’d understand.


I, however, am staying strong and sticking to the challenge. Besides my er,burger on Sunday, that is. And a few shrimp. Eh.


Sheesh, we are a mess. A mostly vegetarian mess.

Joe had a dairy meeting the other night and I had an eggplant in the fridge. Naturally I made it into fries.


I hate it when you try to make fries with vegetables and the recipe promises you they’re ‘just like the real french fries!!’ but they are basically just limp,soggy sticks of the veggies. That is NOT a fry.


But these… These seriously give French fries a run for their money. I ate an entire eggplant myself, guys. That’s kinda weird but really delicious.



Baked Eggplant Fries
Adapted from Bon Apetit magazine

1 eggplant
1 cup brown rice flour
2 T garlic powder
1 t salt
3 T olive oil

Ice water

Cut eggplant into fries and submerge in ice water. It’s best to get at least 2 hours of soak time in the ice water, but I only soaked mine 20 minutes. (Soaking longer makes a crispier crust)

Mix together all dry ingredients, and generously coat eggplant strips with olive oil. Dredge in flour mixture and bake at 500 degrees for 20 minutes.

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Filed under Food Stuffs., Vegetables, vegetarian

Dog Carnival & Blueb. Coconut Scones



This is our happy pre-walk face. My little red riding hooded sweetheart! Poor thing has had a lingering cough for the past few weeks, and has been waking up really, really early. So, to get myself up and about in the mornings, I inhale this amazing coffee my sister in law got me from Texas, and head out the door for a relaxing walk/run with Gabsy pie.

This morning’s walk, however, was a disaster. DEE-saster. I took our pack of (3) dogs with us, and that might be the last time I take all three out while I have Gabs! It’s amazing I have any hair left- Gabs thought it was hilarious that I was yelling at our dogs every 3 1/2 minutes   attempting to control such a crowd during school commute hours. I’ll spare you my not-so-happy post-walk face.




Ay yi yi! Never again, I tell you! I got back and was glad I saved my devotions for after the walk. My heart was in need of some softening after dealing with the dog carnival. My heart was in need of patience, and my tummy was in need of these delicious little numbers! Linds has a day off of school today and I knew she’d want to sleep in, thus giving me time to make some bangin’ scones, which I know are her favorite. (She’s staying with us this week while my parents are gone!)



These will make ANY hectic morning better, I tell you! With each bite, the crumbly, melt-in- your mouth texture just wins your taste buds over. These aren’t your typical cookie-like scones, they are made from coconut flour and brown rice flour, which gives the scone a little bit of a denser, more fine texture. I had both types of flour needed for this recipe in my house- I’m weird like that. I like variety, so if you look in my baking cupboard, I have about 7 different kinds of flour. You’ll realize why after you eat these! I’m like the weird flour-hoarder you’ll probably see on TLC someday.


Just kidding, I hope 🙂



Gabs had to pass these up for rice cereal, but I don’t think she minded.


Have a GREAT Friday!



Blueberry Coconut Flour Scones

Adapted from The Hungry Hungry Hippie


1 c. coconut flour

1 c. brown rice flour

1 T. baking powder

½ t. salt

1/3 c. + 2 T. coconut oil, melted

1/3 c. honey

1 T. vanilla extract

¾ c. frozen blueberries

Juice of one lemon + the zest

1 c. hot water


Whisk the dry ingredients together. Then add the coconut oil, honey, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the lemon juice and zest. Then add/mash the blueberries and the hot water. Stir until a moist dough forms.

Gather the dough into a ball and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Form the dough into a wheel (a flat round shape?), and cut into eight triangles by making four cuts across like a pizza. Brush with coconut oil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 22 minutes, or until brown on the edges and firm to the touch.

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Filed under Baby, Baking, Coffee, Food Stuffs., Fridays

Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas



Happy Labor Day! I hope that all you working people are enjoying a much-earned day off. Being a nurse and now mostly-stay-at-home-mom, Mondays have never had the ‘eh, its Monday’ feeling to me, because my schedule is pretty all over the place and I rarely work Mondays! Therefore, it’s a day that I usually enjoy because it’s a fresh new week and a catch up with the mountain of laundry recharge day after the weekend.



Last night we took a stroll outside with our pack of dogs and got to enjoy an amazing sky show- I love that Gabby can sit facing forward in her stroller now and see this herself. What better way to learn her colors by looking at God’s own artwork?



Confession time: We have this family tradition called Gourmet Burgers with Joey’s family every Sunday. Thank goodness I said ‘mostly vegetarian month’. Joey and I may or may not have inhaled 3 burgers between the two of us. Beef never tasted so good! And now we are ready for another week of mostly vegetarian. Which brings me to sharing this recipe for Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas from the Garden Grazer with you!



This lady knows what she’s doing in the kitchen. I made this Saturday night for the Joester and I, after a sweet friend suggested this recipe for us to try. The green onions and cilantro add tons of flavor and the homemade enchilada sauce is a cinch to make and SO delicious! We subbed corn tortillas for the flour ones, and made homemade chips with the leftovers.





My tummy= happy tummy. Vegetarian enchiladas for the win!




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Filed under Food Stuffs., God, Vegetables, vegetarian

Gourmet Veggie Bagelwich


One of the best parts of living in the country are the endless choices of fruit stands that line the road to our house. One stand even sells milk, eggs, butter and bread as well– if it wasn’t the furthest one away, I wouldn’t ever need to step foot in a grocery store!


Well, that’s not entirely true. Where would I get my chocolate other pantry staples? Anyways, I stopped at both of these fruit stands in one day in order to pick up all the goods for our dinner last night.


I have always loved veggie sandwiches, but I knew that Joey would need an extra something in order to deem it a sufficient dinner. A quick google search of “manly veggie sandwich” led me to the simple addition of a cream cheese spread to take it up a notch!


While Joey didn’t think cream cheese made the cut as a ‘manly’ addition, he did give the bagel two thumbs up and gave the go-ahead to make this for dinner again!


Gourmet Veggie Bagelwich: spinach leaves, sliced tomato, cucumber, sprouts, avocado, red onion.


Cream cheese spread: 1/3 less fat cream cheese, parsley, dill

toasted bagels





P.S. I’ve been asked a few times now, ‘how in the world do you get Joey to eat vegetarian?? ‘ Well, first of all, it was kind of his idea! The next trick sounds a little mean, but I have stopped asking what he wants for dinner. He’s not a picky guy and usually likes the end product- and if I even mention ‘tofu’, he’d inhale a steak just to get the sound out of his ears. So, it’s a surprise from now on! Ingredient list is given AFTER dinner. 🙂

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Filed under Family, Food Stuffs., Uncategorized

Portobello Mushroom Tower and good news!

Good news: x-rays came back negative! We did a full hip-range-of-motion dance to celebrate that Gabs’ hips are perfectly placed, just maybe unevenly chubby for the time being.

Not quite as good news: Gabs is experiencing her first cold ever and has had a rough past couple of nights. We’ve got the humidifier up and running, and Vick’s VapoRub and mommy snuggles are doing their thing. Also, Gabby has made her first enemy- Mr. Bulb Suctioner. I think that relationship is beyond repair at this point.


Until we are back to 100%, we are hanging out in our PJ’s and in our little sicky corner of the couch. It’s way more fun than it sounds!


We haven’t done a lot of cooking lately, but a few nights ago my little sister and I tried to duplicate my favorite dish from a local restaurant. It’s called the Portobello Mushroom Tower and it’s basically a gigantic bowl of perfectly roasted vegetables and a large Portobello mushroom (obvi) with lots of gooey cheese and tomato sauce over polenta. We subbed quinoa for the polenta since my cornmeal was 2 years old and filled with bugs was, er, past it’s prime.



It was SO good. I’ve been nibbling on the leftovers for the past 3 days!



Portobello Mushroom Tower


2 large Portobello Mushroom caps

2 large zucchini, cut into strips lengthwise

1 cup chopped bell peppers (color of your choice!)

1/2 large onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

1 TBSP fresh minced garlic

1/2 tsp basil, oregano each

1/3 cup shredded parmesan

1 TBSP olive oil (for sauteeing veggies)

balsamic vinegar (for drizzling on mushrooms)

1 cup quinoa, cooked in stock

fresh basil for garnish

salt and pepper


** you can simplify and speed up this recipe by using a canned red sauce. I didn’t have any in the house, so I made my own.

First, cook your quinoa. (I always cook mine in stock- adds TONS of flavor!)

While that is cooking, start sauteeing your celery, bell peppers and onions in the olive oil. Saute until translucent, then add garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds on med-high heat and then add cans of diced tomato and tomato sauce. Season with Italian spices and S&P and let simmer on medium while you make the rest of the dish. When you are about ready to take the sauce off the heat, add in shredded parmesan.

Lightly clean your mushrooms, and put on a baking sheet. Also put the sliced zucchini (seasoned with S&P) on this baking sheet. Drizzle the mushrooms lightly with balsamic vinegar and broil for about 4 minutes on high, capside down. After about 4 minutes, take out the mushrooms and cover the cap with mozzarella cheese and broil for about 3-4 more minutes until cheese is gold and bubbly!

Layer the quinoa, then some zucchini, then the cheesy mushroom, then cover in your tomato sauce. Top with fresh basil.(For carnivorous husbands, feel free to add chicken to the tower like I did for Joey!)

Enjoy nice and hot for a light summer meal.

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Filed under Baby, Family, Food Stuffs., Vegetables

Espresso Meringues

This one is going to be short and sweet. I just had to share this recipe I made a bit ago and it is such an easy one! You probably have all the stuff to make it in your pantry right now!

I made some just to nibble on and I brought the rest to work to share with the girls- they were gone in a heartbeat. Which is always a compliment 🙂
Make these, and have a coffee date with someone.

**Espresso Meringues**
6 large egg whites
1 1/2 TBSP corn starch
A pinch of fine salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 packets VIA or 2 TBSP instant coffee (plus a little extra for dusting the tops)
1 TBSP vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 285 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In your stand mixer (or using electric whisks) whisk the egg whites and salt on high speed until frothy.

Add corn starch and sugar (1-2 TBSP at a time) gradually and continue whisking.

Add the sugar in small quantities until the end of the process- about 15 minutes.

At about 13 minutes add the VIA or instant coffee and vanilla. Taste the mixture and add more vanilla if you like.

When the egg whites form stuff peaks, spoon into a frosting bag (or my fancy way- into a large ziplock Baggie with a very small part of a corner cut off) and swirl into small dollops- about 2 inches wide and high- with an nice between. They will expand a little in the oven. Now, with a sifter, dust the tips with a little instant coffee/VIA for prettiness.

Bake about 30 minutes and check often throughout. When done, open oven door and let cool in oven for 15 minutes.

The instant coffee/VIA and vanilla addition is optional- another idea is pomegranate juice (fresh, straight from the pomegranate) or any kind of flavorful juice like that. Play with it!
Enjoy with friends.

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Filed under Coffee, Cookies/Bars, Dessert, Food Stuffs.

Grilled Flank Steak Marinade

We’ve been on a super delicious dinner kick lately. Don’t look at me! It’s all Joey. The two of us, we make a good pair in the kitchen. Oh, and in life too. 🙂


Despite the glorious intense heat outside, we love the grill too much to neglect it. I whipped up the marinade and prepped all the food indoors with Gabs while Joey manned the grill. In less than 14 minutes (not including marinating time), dinner was born.



Maybe it’s because we were both starved? Maybe it’s because it’s summertime and everything is better in the summer? All I know is, we are making this again. And next time, we are having s’mores afterward!


The marinade was quickly thrown together in about two minutes and not measured, but here are my rough calculations.

-1/3 cup olive oil

-1 TBSP minced garlic

-2 TBSP red wine vinegar

-1/2 cup soy sauce

-1/3 cup honey

-1/2 tsp black pepper

(plus salt and pepper on the steak)

We marinaded the steaks for about a half hour (it’d be even better overnight!) and then continued to coat it throughout cooking. For ultimate yum factor, serve alongside zucchini straight from the garden and roasted sweet potatoes thatsomehowtastelikemarshmallows. I’m not sure how that happened, but they seriously tasted like CANDY. And I like candy.


Anyways, hope ya like it! I’m writing this post in the evening(now yesterday) and planning to wake up at 4:45 tomorrow(today) am for a early run. I still can’t believe I’m planning on doing it- and the only way I think I’ll follow through is if I make it official on the blog so looks like I’m gonna be taking an afternoon nappy tomorrow! It’s just too hot to go running any later and my jogging stroller has a flat. So… until I pump that up, I go solo and before the Gabby dearie awakens!



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Filed under Baby, Family, fitness, Food Stuffs.

Homemade Nut Butter

Who in the world falls asleep while a food processor is whirring in the same room??


My daughter, that’s who! This girl can nap anywhere- she gets that from her uncles. This morning I woke up and was going to head out for a run bright and early, but my tummy needed some fuel first. I popped some Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread {the stuff is ah-mazing.} in the toaster and rummaged around in my fridge for some crack almond butter to spread on it.


None left. The horror!

So, I made some. The timing wasn’t quite right, as the toast took about 45 sec and the nut butter took about 25 minutes, but its totally worth cold toast to make this stuff yourself. I even added some pure maple syrup to give it that extra wow factor and make me feel better about pushing off my run until 10 am.


You can really use any nut you prefer, and toast them before processing to add some extra depth. You could add syrup & salt like I did, as well as cinnamon or vanilla! The possibilities are endless. It’s really more of a technique than a recipe- just dump a few handfuls of almonds into a food processor and let er rip. Add the extras a little later in the game and just let the processor do it’s thang for about 13-15 minutes. I followed HEAB’s instructions!


My favorite has always been maple almond butter. It’s so worth it to make it yourself, as raw almonds are $14 for 3 lbs at your local fruitstand, whereas a small jar of prepared almond butter is $7! Yikes. You could make a gallon of almond butter from a 3 lb bag of the raw ones!

Your choice. Just give your food processor a few minutes to breathe every now and then, otherwise it could get tired and quit. Not that that happened to me or anything… 😉


Enjoy your Thursday!


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More Almond Butter, please

Well, lets start with the good news!


I’ve been working on improving my average pace and sub 8 minute miles have been a goal for a while now- Joey watched Gabs for a bit this morning so I could leave the stroller behind. I don’t mind running with the stroller, but sometimes it’s nice to run & be able to move my arms!


I was back around 7:30 and now we are awaiting the Internet guys to come fix us up. Until then, let me tell ya- Gabs is getting sooo big. And loves to talk. And loves to have her cheeks squished. And loves stories & songs. Actually, sometimes she sings along!




Not sure she’s a true fan of baking yet, but we’ll get there. Apparently the dish soap seems more fun so far- maybe she’ll volunteer to do the dishes? For now, you can just enjoy your pretty little reflection, pumpkin.


She sat with me in her Bumbo while we whipped up a batch of scones a few mornings ago- my little sister was staying with me for a couple days while Joey was in Washington D.C. for a dairy politics trip, and I wanted to wake her up to the smell of something delicious. Is there a better way to wake up, I ask you??



Linds didn’t think so, either. These scones are so flaky and melt-in-your-mouth that its hard to tell that they are pretty low-fat in the scone world. Ok, maybe I just tell myself that to condone having one with almost every meal, but hey- I ran fast this morning ok?


Check these out and tell me what you think! Only thing I’d change about the recipe is to add more almond butter, please!


What’s your favorite way to wake up in the morning?


Whole Wheat Almond Butter Scones

1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 stick COLD butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
3/4 cup almond butter (original recipe called for 1/2 cup)
1 bar (chopped) Dove dark chocolate (original recipe called for 1/2 cup choc chips)
Optional: 1 TBSP butter’ melted with 2 tsp almond butter for brushing on scones

Make your own healthy buttermilk!
Mix 3/4 cup almond milk with slightly less than 1 tbsp lemon juice. Let sit for 5 min before using!

Preheat oven to 400, and grease a large cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Cut the butter into chunks and put into flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it looks like pea-sized chunks. You want the butter to stay as cold as possible, so touch it with your hands as little as possible! The colder the butter, the flakier the scones.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter milk and 1/2 the egg (half the white, half the yolk) until combined.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry flour mixture and add the almond butter. Mix til incorporated, and add chocolate. Mix but don’t over knead!

Pat into a large circle on a floured surface and cut into 8-10 triangles .

Bake for 18-22 minutes and enjoy warm!


Filed under Coffee, Favorite Things, fitness, Food Stuffs., Fridays