Category Archives: recipes

Earthy Beet Greens Soup

DSC04948What is it about Autumn and Pumpkin Spice Latte’s? Or a cozy afternoon and homemade soup? That turn of the crisp temperature in the air is like Nature’s timer telling us, “It’s time to pull out your heavy sweaters and make that pot of tea.” Almost as if to give us fair warning that winter will come, and winter will be cold, but here’s a friendly reminder to make the most of it all.

I was never someone who had to learn to like beets. They are earthy, rich in flavor and simply beautiful. And whether it’s nesting for Fall or waste-not-want-not, I was inspired to actually use the greens (often mistakenly discarded!) from our beets this week and make soup to freeze for lunches and have for a warm meal on Sunday afternoon. This recipe is clean, Vegan, and, as all food should be, delicious.

E A R T H Y   B E E T  G R E E N S  S O U P adapted from It’s All Good

2 tablespoons olive oil (I always eye this by counting for 2 seconds)

1 leek diced (washed thoroughly)

1 onion diced

4 garlic gloves minced*

1 bunch of beet greens roughly chopped (washed thoroughly // stems & leaves separated & saved)*

1 apple peeled & sliced*

sea salt (I love using Celtic Sea Salt for soups)

black pepper

6 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock

Add olive oil, leek, onion, apple, beet stems, and garlic to a large pot over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes until vegetables are softened.

Add stock, beet greens, a large pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, remove from heat (greens should just be wilted), and blend using an immersion blender (this is easiest and will give you a semi-smooth texture to your soup).

Serve warm or chilled with a buttered slice of baguette.

*produce from my weekly Organics Live box.DSC04944



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Healthy Peanut Butter Cups

DSC04158These are my disproportionate homemade peanut butter cups. I had a sudden urge one afternoon to make them one afternoon while in the middle of my workout. Ironic. It’s so simple with coconut oil, natural peanut butter, honey, cocoa, and not much more. I got the recipe from Fit Foodie Finds after a quick google search. Mine needed a little more sweet, a little less chocolate, and to be a whole lot smaller. The mini-muffin tray is key…these were too huge! Enjoy!


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The Comfort Biscuit

DSC03609_2My best friend is from cozy, quintessential New Brunswick. I went to visit for two weeks one summer and became acquainted with all things East Coast with a touch of the British Common Wealth…and loved it. As a part of our wedding gift, Lori gave me a few recipes, one of which was for “Don’t Twist Your Biscuits”. Below is my adapted recipe for those days I am craving a comfort-food biscuit with a healthy…twist.  DSC03621_2A Twist on Don’t Twist Your Biscuits

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon honey

1/3 cup melted coconut oil

4 tablespoons baking powder

1 egg (or I have used a 1/4-1/2 cup yogurt depending on moisture)

1 cup buttermilk (milk with a dash of white vinegar) (and more if needed)

I also added an optional handful of chopped herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano)DSC03628Preheat the oven to 425.

With a pastry cutter (or two knives), cut all ingredients together.

On a floured surface, knead until you can bring together the dough together in a large round.

Roll out on a floured surface to about 3/4 inch thick (mine pictured were a hair too thin). Cut into cylinders using the top of a mason jar or a glass (But don’t twist! As the original recipe says;)

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, bake for 20 (ish) minutes.

Serve warm with butter and a dash of molasses, or with a chili dinner–as we did!DSC03639_2The


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Splendid Peach Ginger Smoothie

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 10.18.21 PM

This smoothie was a what’s-in-the-freezer-and-fridge creation. It has the loveliest pastel lime color because of a sneaky handful of baby spinach, but it’s the ginger and peach combination that make it just splendid. I’ve had this for dessert and breakfast several days in a row!

Ginger Peach Smoothie

1/2 cup greek yogurt (original)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

handful frozen peaches (frozen give it the smoothie consistency)

handful baby spinach

about 2 teaspoons honey – I eyeball this amount

about 3/4 teaspoon grated ginger (fresh or frozen) – I eyeball this amount also

Blend until smooth and enjoy while it’s still cold!

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Blondie Tea Cake


Oh my…right smack dab in the middle of that Blondie Cake are two chopstick sized testing holes. Missed that one amidst  grading over 50 midterms, quizzes and final assignments. I just needed a break from the mundane! Is this tasty little tea cake ever yummy. Dipped like a biscotti, with the texture of brownie, this treat settled our sweet tooth right away.

Blondie Tea Cake

6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch salt

1 cup cake and pastry flour (all-purpose is ok too)

1/2 unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet squares

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  1. Coat an bread loaf pan with a non-stick ingredient (I use coconut oil on a paper towel).
  2. Mix melted oil with brown sugar and beat until smooth, then beat in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Add salt, stir in flour. Add shredded coconut and chocolate (or anything else you may find tasty!).
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until set. Cool before cutting.

adapted from Smitten Kitchen 


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I Was Afraid To Make Bread

DSC03555This post is about homemade bread. Not because I am so thrifty and DIY. In fact, it’s the opposite. Making things from scratch kind of scared me. “I can’t do that!” or “It takes too long!” or “That’s only for the pros!” But when I made soup stock or bread for the first time I thought, “Wow, that was easy. What was the big deal.” I felt like superwoman…it was awesome.

I understand that blogging can give the appearance of being cool and having amazing abilities and talents beyond the average woman. I say that, because I’ve thought that about blogs I love and women I admire. Wow, homemade deodorant? Four kids and homeschooling? Amazing photography AND amazing food?

While I love to cook, to learn, to take my time in the kitchen, I am a novice [I’m also not a photographer but if I’m going to include photos, I try to put some effort into making it pleasing to the eye!]. So this post about homemade bread is more about saying, “You can do it!” and not here’s yet another thing you haven’t tried.

Maybe it’s not bread for you, maybe it’s paying bills or hanging those pictures…sewing that button back or knitting mittens…writing that email or learning to braid your daughter’s hair. Small things that have a huge-heart-swelling effect.

BREAD (makes one medium loaf, I double for a large loaf)

1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 1/2 cup warm water

3 1/2 flour

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cornmeal or flour for dusting

FIRST: In a large bowl dissolve water and yeast. Add flour and salt and mix until blended and looks shaggy. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 8 -18 hours at room temp. DSC03532SECOND: Scrape from bowl(s) and place on well-floured counter. Fold in half, lightly flour, then fold again. DSC03534THIRD: On a clean towel, lightly sprinkle cornmeal/flour and place dough on the towel. Lightly sprinkle again and place another clean towel on top. Sit for one hour. DSC03544FOURTH: Preheat oven to 475. Place a heavy dutch oven (or oven-safe pot) in for about 15 minutes while preheating. Next, carefully (it’s hot!) line with parchment paper and place the dough in the pot (see picture). Bake for 30 minutes covered, then 20 minutes uncovered. The bread is done when you knock on it with your knuckles and it sounds hollow.DSC03551FIFTH: Slice, butter, and enjoy. Slice and freeze. Or simply admire! DSC03554


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Turkey Meatballs

DSC03513This recipe: This recipe for these delicious turkey meatballs is on a now crinkly page in my well-loved GP’s Its All Good. I seriously love these meatballs, and I seriously love this cookbook. Everything in it is comforting and yummy and clean.

Making them again this Fall brought back so many memories from our first apartment and months of marriage. I made these a bunch along with many other recipes I’d experiment with when I didn’t work. I would start dinner at 2pm because wanted to get to know my kitchen, and learn more about food while I had the time.

DSC03500Ground Turkey: I go crazy over ground turkey from Costco. It comes in a four pack that is so easy to freeze right away. I get kind of antsy when I turn the corner and see the ground turkey case. I get excited about freezing meat and I love the potential with this protein! Knowing there in the freezer is almost empowering. Meatballs, chili, burgers, bolognese, lasagna, ahh! I almost try to play it cool when I see the bright orange sticker saying, “$5 off ground turkey”.


Turkey Meatballs (adapted from It’s All Good)

Serves 4

1 small onion (or several shallots), roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

small palmfuls of fresh sage, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley (Or use dried herbs. I’ve tried both, and it’s yummy either way)

1 pound ground turkey

sea salt  & pepper

Combine onion, garlic, and herbs in food professor and pulse to very finely chopped. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and mix together with a large pinch of salt, several grinds of pepper, and the ground turkey. Mix with hands, then roll into small meatballs.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a non-stick skillet (the non stick does make things a lot easier). Cook meatballs in batches until browned on all sides (2-3 minutes per side). [If enjoying without sauce, keep turning until entirely cooked through].

If you’re having this with pasta and sauce, bury the meatballs in your sauce while it is heating up or cooking. Make sure the meatballs are cooked all the way through (about 1/2 hour).

Enjoy with any pasta and red sauce, or on their own with rice and a hearty green!

Happy Cooking!


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Pizza At Home 101

DSC03200Even before our honeymoon to Italy, where we had a steady diet of amazing pizza for lunch and dinner most days, we were pizza lovers. My parents can make a mean pizza, so I grew up with an almost weekly tweaking and tasting of this wonderful food. It can also be one of the easiest, most cost effective meals to make at home.  This is how we do our pizza at home. Our’s is pretty straight forward, often changing it a bit each time.

Preheat oven to….ummm…about….450? 475? See, I never know. Something high. You can’t go wrong.

ONE- Let the dough (pre-made or homemade) come to room temperature (this way it won’t spring back on you when rolling out)

TWO- Flour a large surface and roll out dough with a well floured rolling pin. Roll until very thin (the dough will always puff up a bit when baking).

THREE- Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and fit dough to pan using fingertips.

FOUR- Sauce: Using an immersion blender, puree a can of whole or crushed tomatoes (It’s easiest to just sit the immerse blender in the can itself). Add some olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) and a pinch of salt.

FIVE- Spread a ladleful of sauce on the dough. Then cover with toppings (we do fresh mozzarella, turkey or regular sausage, peppers, onions, basil, spinach, goat cheese in various combinations; my mom makes a great white pizza with swiss chard and Romano cheese). Drizzle with olive oil.

SIX- Bake until crust is crisp (about 15 minutes). Then, mangiare! Eat!DSC03194These pictures where taken by my sister, Laura, on our recent vacation to Connecticut.


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Blueberry Muffins

DSC03038On Saturday morning my sister, Laura, made these fantastic muffins from one of our favorite cookbooks. I ate three of these soft, fluffy muffins. Make them for when you have morning guests next!

GP’s Blueberry Muffins – slightly adapted from My Father’s Daughter

8 tablespoons, unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 egg

1/2cup milk

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with papers.

Whisk the butter, eggs, and milk together in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold in the blueberries. Divide among the muffin cups and sprinkle the muffins with a little sugar on top of each.

Bake until toothpick tests clean and the muffins are golden, about 25-30 minutes.



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Chia Seed Pudding

DSC02835This receipe comes from Giada De Laurentiis’ most recent cookbook. This cook (and book) has grown on me over time. Because each time I’ve made something of Giada’s, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Her Californian flare has expanded my palate towards the more “yin” of West Coast cooking, and I like it.

Now, chia seeds….I’ll only say this: they are an acquired texture. But I personally really like the poppy, almost gelatin feel of the puffed-up and nutritious little guys. This is the perfect thing to make for an easy snack if I’m stocked with almond milk, chia seeds, and yogurt. DSC02821Chia Seed Pudding (slightly adapted from Giada’s Feel Good Food)

1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk

1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt

2 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup chia seeds


In a large bowl, whisk the almond milk, yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt together until combined. Then whisk in chia seeds and set aside for 30 minutes. Before refrigerating, pour unto individual sized cups or ramekins. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Add sliced strawberries, a dash of maple syrup, and you have yourself a yummy, all-around-good-for-you breakfast.



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