> hey what's for dinner mom?: April 2010

4.29.2010

Crostini al Funghi

I recently noticed that lately I have been on a sugar high kick. I knew I had addiction bad when I was hungry and the only thing that sounded good were truffles leftover from an event this past weekend. When I tried to send them home with their creator she replied "nah I'm not eating sugar right now".

Have you ever been blinded by a revelation? I was inhaling too much refined sugar and I needed to break that habit. As soon as possible. A cleanse was in order. I think I eat pretty healthily but slowly over the last few months I had built up to baking lots of goodies with lots of pure sugar.
  • I'm not saying there is anything wrong with making goodies. 
  • I am not saying their is anything wrong with sugar.
  • I am simply saying I was eating too many goodies made with sugar and not enough of all the other great foods I love too
So I decided to NOT make any sweets for a while. I'm trying to use honey in my muffin recipes, bread recipes and so on. I am trying to eat a mostly raw fruit and vegetable diet for a week. I'm not strict about this but most days my breakfasts and lunches are very simple raw foods. Dinners of course are mostly vegetarian if possible but cooked because I think my family would FREAK out if I served them a raw dinner. They have their limits you know!
Luckily I recently joined a great food co-op called Wolf Lake Wellness and the gorgeous organic produce I get through them makes eating lots of raw fruit and veggies a dream! If you live in the valley you really ought to look them up and give them a shot.
Casting about for dinner ideas one day led me to a bag of portabellos leftover from my escapades in stuffing them. Crostini al Funghi got in my head and would NOT leave. And so it had to be, homemade toast points, sauteed portabellos and zucchini. Toast and mushrooms. Mmmmmm. Easy too.

Crostini al Funghi

1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP butter**can sub in olive oil for vegan dish**
1 large portabello, gently washed and dried
1 medium zucchini, washed
4 slices of bread
1/3 grated parmesea**sub in vegan cheese if desired**

in a medium saute pan heat oil and butter together over medium high heat
meanwhile slice mushroom in to thin slices
slice zucchini lengthwise, then in thin slices
add to the pan and cook until soft, then set aside
while the mushrooms are cooking slice the bread into triangles and pop under the broiler or in to the toaster oven
when the bread is toasted but not brown remove from oven
divide the mushroom and zucchini mixture evenly between the toast points
sprinkle each point with one teaspoon parmesean cheese
serve immediately




 This was an immense hit with 3/4 of us, 1/4 prefers zucchini only on his toast points. I can deal with that. No one seems to have noticed my mostly raw vegetarian tendencies and aside from being tired from lots of fresh air and yard work I have not really noticed much either.

This is the LAST DAY to enter the drawing for the 100% beeswax crayons. Mmmm I want them for myself. And as a flavor idea for lip balm someone suggested pralines...I wouldn't have lips left if I had praline lip balm on. Seriously that sounds like a FANTASTIC flavor. Oh, cinnamon roll. Wait, mango! Carmela I hope you are reading this! So hop on over to the giveaway(link is at the top of this page) and discover what's Made in America!

Peace and Love-

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4.28.2010

Thursday Make and Do-Avocado Salsa

What a long and crazy week this has been, and how can it be Thursday already? This spring has flown by and here it is almost May already! Anybody planning a Maypole? I've done one once and wouldn't mind doing one this year but we are so busy I don't think we'll get to it. But still...
 
DSC_0277.JPG

I want to. Check out this May Day Celebration.

Last week my friend Christina made Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies, now I want to make some too. They look great!
But I love how she upcycled the jar for her dog Corky:


    

He don't need no stinkin' Kong! Love it! What a great way to clean out the jar before washing and recycling. Maybe you don't need to worry about greasy septic tanks but I do.

Do you like Walkers Shortbread? Mmm discount code over at Lick the Bowl Good. I know where I am headed next!

I love this Vintage Button Collection by Selena of Apron Thrift Girl
created at: 04/23/2010

gorgeous and simple. I need to dig out some buttons and glue, stat! I can see giving my sister one of these for Christmas this year. Isn't it great?

And one more thing you might want to do is check your measuring spoons. Is your recipe simply not turning out? It might not be you but your measuring spoons that are whacked out, or not. Recently my friend Heather discovered this interesting tidbit and I think you might be interested.

Measure for Measure


I haven't checked mine but this inspires to me to check them and my cups because I have several sets and the 1/4 cup and the 1/3 cup look strikingly similar in size.

Oh and if you decide to make salsa only to discover you don't have tomatoes only avocados(doh!), don't fear! Make it without tomatoes.

Avocado Salsa

3 ripe avocados
1/2 cup washed and chopped cilantro
1 small onion, minced-use less if desired
1/2 lemon, juiced 
jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced fine**optional
salt to taste

cut the avocado in to bite sized pieces
toss with the remaining ingredients
taste and add more slat as needed
serve as a topping for just about anything including a fork!

This is like a chunky guacamole really and quite delicious, despite the smell of panic in the air.
I hope you enjoy the make and do. If you are inspired to share, drop me a comment or email and I'll try to include you in an upcoming post! 
Don't forget to enter to win the lovely beeswax crayons, the giveaway runs through Friday as well as a discount code for following on facebook!

Peace and Love-

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An Experiment in Buying American Made (giveaway post)

Hi lovely readers! I am starting a periodic interview series featuring companies that are proudly "Made in the USA". There is a certain charm to shopping small town America that is being bulldozed by mega box stores who care only of their bottom line. I will be attempting to track down and interview small business' that:
  1. still stand by their products AND
  2. make quality products to be proud of right here in the good ol' USA. 
 Of course living in this day and age where you can hardly find shoes made in America, our small town America is ALL of America. SO if I can't buy shoes made in my home town maybe I can buy shoes made in your home town or the next town over. Who says WAL*SHMART is the only place to shop? I have a computer and I can easily access hundreds of small producers right online. With a few savvy customer reviews and referrals I can find exactly what I want while sitting in my jammies at two in the morning. Kind of like shopping from the old Sears catalog, you have to wait a couple weeks but the wait is worth it.

I want to help  support these business' so please do go check them out, bookmark their sites and think who will benefit from your dollar, mega corporations supporting quasi slavery or small business owners keeping it real everyday? I know where I want to spend my dollars and I make a statement every time I commit to buying from fair trade small producers of quality goods. Won't you join me?

Our first interview is with Carmela of Clear Hills Honey Company 

Why don't you tell our readers a little about your family company history-
Certainly!  I have a background in studying herbalism and I have made salve for about two decades.  I moved to Oregon in 1999 and met my future husband Andrew.  He and his parents are beekeepers and sold honey at the local farmer’s market in Eugene, Oregon.  I started helping out with the business and that is when I discovered propolis, a bee product.  Actually, my mother-in-law introduced it to me.  It smelled wonderful and after doing research on it, I realized that it was a fantastic all natural bi-product of the beehive.  I started making soap using it as a gentle alternative to disinfect my hands as I am very allergic to commercial products.  I gave some away as gifts, and people started asking to buy it.  I started selling the soap and salve, our Bee Balm, at the market.  I also started making lip balm.  Meanwhile, I was learning about beekeeping and all about the honey bee. 
My father-in-law has been keeping bees for 40 years.  He started in Canada, and named his business Clear Hills Honey Company.  We sold honey at the farmer’s market for years.  We were even featured in the first season of the Discovery Channel show “Dirty Jobs” (the “Honey Harvester” episode)!  Now I sell our bath and body products online to customers around the world.  We no longer do the farmer’s market, but my in-laws are still active in that community.  My father-in-law asked me to keep the name Clear Hills Honey, and I have honored that.  We still use our beeswax, propolis, and honey in our products.


What products do you make with your honey and wax?
We have a lot of products!  I make lip balm, soap, salve, cream, Knitter’s Balm, and Mama Bee Belly Butter with our beeswax, honey, and propolis.  I also make non-toxic 100% beeswax crayons as well as bath crayons using only natural pigments and clays.  Our newest product is natural deodorant with a beeswax base.  It is very popular.  I use as much organic ingredients as possible, and all of the ingredients are natural.

Do you add other fragrances to your products?
I have a lot of allergies, so I create products that are either unscented or are scented with only essential oils and/or natural organic scents.  Our lip balms have natural organic flavor.  It took a lot of time to find a reputable company that makes all natural organic flavors and scents.  These are not only better for everyone, but better for the environment and our childrens’ future.


I saw the word propolis several times on your site but I don't know what it is and what it is used for. Can you explain it to me?
I am glad that you asked that!  I love propolis.  It is a resinous amber brown substance that the bees use to seal the bee hive.  It is what makes the bee hive the most hygienic environment known in nature.  The bees make it out of tree leaves and bark, their own enzymes, and other natural substances.  Propolis is naturally antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and disinfectant.  Scientists around the world have done research on propolis for everything from athletes foot to cancer.  It heals the skin quickly, and that is why I add it to most of our products.    


Why did you decide to start making beeswax crayons? What's the difference between beeswax and petroleum based crayons?
I started making beeswax crayons because I wanted to create an affordable natural crayon that is safe for my daughter to use.  Commercial crayons make me sneeze and have an allergic reaction.  I discovered that the major brands use paraffin.  So I am still confused as to how they can call them non-toxic because paraffin is a petroleum based product.  Also, the colors in those crayons include pigments that are known toxins.  I have an Art school background, so I already knew a bit about pigments and toxicity.  I did research on companies that make art pigments and found a couple that do no adulterate (add fillers) to their pigments. 
Beeswax is an all natural wax that can be chewed and is not harmful if a child eats it.  Paraffin is toxic when burned, and there is conflicting evidence about whether it is harmful when ingested.  Frankly, I don’t want to take that chance.  So to me, it is a relief to have a crayon that I know is safe for my daughter to use.  As far as I know, our crayons are the only ones on the market that are made with 100% beeswax.  Even those expensive German crayons are made using only 25% beeswax.  I have not been able to find out what the other 75% of the waxes are exactly.


Got any new products coming out soon?
We may be coming out with some new lip balm flavors soon.  And I have recently had a request for “hair wax”, which seems to be popular with the punk/rockabilly crowd.  I will be working on those soon.  I am always open to suggestions from customers and friends.  A good friend of mine suggested that I create a Knitter’s Balm, and that is how I came up with that new product.  A good customer suggested that I make Knitter’s Balm in convenient little tubes, so that is how Knit Sticks were created.

Where are your products available?
You can purchase our products online at http://hyenacart.com/clearhillshoney and at www.clearhillshoney.com.  We also have an etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/clearhills.  And I also belong to a group of WAHM artisan shops called KandF Shops.  We are at http://hyenacart.com/KandFShops.
There are a few yarn shops around the country that carry our Knitter’s Balm, and some of our products are in a couple of shops in Canada.  We also have products at the Oregon Maiden retail store in St. Helens, Oregon.  I will be putting a list of our retail locations together shortly.  We are currently doing more wholesale and I plan to put up a wholesale order page on our main website.  We also want to stay keep our retail business and co-ops of course!  We now have a new facebook page and if people would like to join, they will receive a discount code for our hyena cart through Friday!  Our facebook page is at  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clear-Hills-Honey-Company/451012050596

Anything else you want my readers to know?
We are a small company and family owned business that believes in community sustained agriculture and saving the environment.  I am a WAHM (work-at-home-mom), and I love to support other WAHMs as many have supported me.  I love to take suggestions for new flavors, scents, and products!    
 
And Carmela has generously offered one of my LUCKY READERS a set of fantastic beeswax crayons! Non-toxic, safe, Made in America and smooth coloring crayons made from all natural beeswax. Mmmm lovely! I love coloring with beeswax crayons, they blend so well!

Busy Bee<sup>TM</sup> Natural Non-Toxic Beeswax Crayons

 So, why don't you head on over to her site, look around, bookmark it, find something you like and come back and tell me about it.
You can enter several different ways #1 is mandatory, leave an additional comment for each entry
  1. First visit the site and leave a comment about what you would LOVE to have from their store or suggest a new flavor/scent(make sure to check out what they do offer!)
  2. Second  followers get a second entry
  3. Tweet this "@whats4dinner An Experiment in Buying American Made (giveaway post) http://su.pr/1s5wTS
  4. Become a follower of Clear Hills Honey on Facebook
  5. Mention this company and giveaway in a blog post

 I am so excited to see what other quality products you can still get that are made in America. I want to have pride in my country not bow down before inferior products and slavery practice because I might save a buck or two.
Peace and Love-
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4.26.2010

Crunch in Jars for Jessie

Last week I was basically called out on facebook. That is, I had a friend post a recipe on my wall and then pretty much dare me NOT to make it. She even threw in a couple of compliments to up the ante. Oh I made it alright, I made it and then some!
The recipe was for cobbler in jars. A basic cobbler recipe split between canning jars and baked, they looked amazingly divine. Except I don't care for cobbler with a biscuit topping. So I made mine crunch in a jar instead. Wow. I didn't actually get to eat one because I wasn't hungry when they were done baking and then they pretty much disappeared after that. Oh well my hips are probably thanking me anyway.

Crunch in Jars---oven 350 degrees

4-6 cups of chopped fruit I used 4 cups of rhubarb(the last from my freezer!), 1 pear and 1 apple
1/2 -1 cup sugar- use what you need for your personal taste sour to super sweet,
3 TBSP flour, white or whole wheat


Topping
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup of flour, white or whole wheat
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup shelled pecans
1/2 thick rolled oats

lightly grease 3 pint jars and 4 1/2 pint jars
pour your fruit in a big bowl
sprinkle with sugar and flour, toss together
divide evenly between the jars make sure the filling is at least an inch beneath the top of the jars

in a food processor pulse the butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon together, until they form course crumbs
add the pecans and oats, pulse lightly, you don't really want to chop up the oats just mix them in well
when the crumbs are mixed together divide between the jars
place jars on a baking sheet covered with foil
bake in a 350 degree oven until the top in browned and the rhubarb is bubbly, 35-45 minutes
serve warm or at room temperature
if desired wipe the rim of the jar and place a 2 piece screw lid on
seal them up and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days
these are not shelf stable so don't try to keep them for any length of time









These would be excellent to whip out for a picnic or family summer party just make sure to reuse the glass jars and lids.



So there you go Jessie, how did I do? Now I want to see YOU make the peanut butter cups from last week. In fact check your facebook wall. Heheheheh yep I called you out to make them.

Peace and Love-
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4.25.2010

Just Another Meatless Monday #9 & My Vintage Pyrex

Hey What's For Dinner


I want to actually post my thrift store find and treasures in their own post, some weeks this happens some weeks they get lumped in with other posts. Not because of lack of enthusiasm just lack of time. I will work diligently to get them posted in their own post next week, until then enjoy them and their meatlnessness here.
I have a deep love for old Pyrex, I cant explain it, I just do. When I see a piece I have to buy it, thankfully they are affordable and I use them to store leftovers...so I need them, right? And they are fantastic for reheating in too. These are my latest finds:

 yummy!
 lovely old pie plate
 popcorn bowls for the youngest two boy-ritos
My meatless dish this week is a fantastic stuffed portabello recipe. I tasted the inspiration for this dish in San Francisco last fall at BlogHer Food '09 and it has been on my must make list since then. I finally had mushrooms to play with and so here you go, Quinoa Stuffed Portabellos. These can easily be veganized and I have noted which ingredients can be switched out but then if you are a vegan you know what to do anyway.

Quinoa Stuffed Portabellos--oven 400˚
3 portabello mushrooms about the same size
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP butter-make it vegan and substitute oil here
1 TBSP chopped garlic
salt
pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa**directions follow
3 sheets of aluminum foil roughly 12-14 inches long
3 TBSP grated parmesean cheese--make it vegan with a soy cheese if desired

clean mushrooms by gently washing them and patting them dry
remove the stems and set aside
place the caps in a 9x13 baking dish and bake for 10 minutes
meanwhile heat the oil and butter in a medium size saute pan
rough chop the mushroom stems and add them to the pan, saute until softened
when 10 minutes are up flip the mushroom caps and bake for 5 more minutes
then remove from the oven and reduce heat to 350˚
mix the quinoa with the sauteed stems, garlic and a dash of salt and pepper, taste it and add more salt and pepper if desired
place one mushroom cap on a sheet of foil top with one third of the quinoa and top with a Tablespoon of grated parmesean cheese or vegan substitute
fold the foil up and over the cap making a little packet and place in the 9x13 baking dish
repeat with the remaining two caps
bake the caps for 15 minutes
serve a packet to each person or open them and serve wedges individually as a side dish

before baking:

 after baking:


**Quinoa cooking directions
Quinoa has a bitter covering called saponin on it when growing to keep birds from eating it, what a great natural defense hunh? But because some of this bitter saponin covering on the grain can still be present even though most quinoa is washed before being sold, you should thoroughly rinse the dry grain until the water runs clear, about 2-3 minutes. Combine 3/4 cup quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. This should make about 1 1/2 cups for the recipe although I like to make double this amount and keep it chilled in the fridge for quick weekday salad.

My 6 year old absolutely loved these of course, he loves quinoa and mushrooms. He didn't start out that way, in fact quinoa was a huge NO at first but after making a Greek salad a few times he discovered just how wonderful it is. I think it also has to do with our 3 bite rule, you have to eat 3 bites of each dish served. How will you know if you "hate" something if you never taste it? Plus taste buds slough off all the time and you never know when the new ones will like a previously hated food, this he put together on his own after learning about his tongue in our parent swap preschool. It was an impressive lesson for him.
Alright friends time to link up and inspire each other. I am LOVING all the recipes coming through here each week and the wonderful new blogs I am discovering. Sock it to me! Oh and as far as a theme for this week anything goes, next week? How about a summer meal theme? Of course you can still post anything you like but I need some non meat on the grill summer ideas!


So next week if you have them summer vegetarian dishes!

Peace and Love-

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4.23.2010

Peanut Butter Cups



This is one of those recipes I thought I'd never need because you know Reese's are good, why make my own? Why make my own? Because these are so much BETTER than Reese's ever thought of being. They are great but a little messy which my kids like, so we're OK with that. And by better I mean they have 5 ingredients not: Milk chocolate, peanuts, sugar, dextrose, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk fat & contains 2% or less of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (palm kernel and palm oil), salt, wheat flour, cornstarch, vegetable oil (cocoa butter, palm, palm kernel, shea, sunflower and/or safflower oil), whey, TBHQ(WHAT THE HELL IS THIS?? ahhh preservative), soy lecithin, leavening (sodium bicarbonate & sodium aluminium phosphate), vanillin.  

Vanillin sounds like a vanilla villain. I betcha they don't even use real vanillin most chocolatiers use synthetic these days. Real vanillin is expensive and hard to come by and the demand far exceeds the supply.


Peanut Butter Cups
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 TBSP coconut oil, divided-butter works fine
10 whole graham crackers, whirled to crumbs in the food processor
2 cups chocolate chips--more if you are a snitcher
18 cupcake liners-less if you are a snitcher and a taster (ahem)

put cupcake liners in  muffin tins
over low heat stir the peanut butter, sugar and 1 TBSP of coconut oil together in a small sauce pan until melted and smooth
remove from heat and stir in graham cracker crumbs
divide evenly between the 18 (or so) cupcake liners
pop in the freezer while you melt the chocolate chips and remaining 1 TBSP of coconut oil in a double boiler, stir occasionally
when melted remove the peanut butter cups from the freezer and spoon chocolate evenly between the 18 cups
place in refrigerator until 1/2 hour before serving, let them warm up a bit so you can bit through the chocolate
be careful handing them to people they have a tendency to be very grabby

Anybody doing anything fun and want to share with others? Need blog exposure? Got a great trip planned? Or volunteer opportunity coming up? Let me know where I can find it on your blog and I'll try to include you in a future make and do. I'm really enjoying the make and do and I hope people start letting me in on cool things they see. I get so inspired by the Internet and all it's crafty awesome folks!

Oh and can I get a big YUCK. We got snow today.

This was Wednesday almost snowless except for MT. ST. Snowy there

and here I am today going out to see the ladies(chickens):



Peace and Love-





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4.21.2010

Thursday Make and Do

Looking for a bit of inspiration? Something to do?  Or on the advice of two readers last week: not do (Christina-Ally!) This is a little collection of ideas and thoughts that have moved me this week and I want to share them with you. Use them as you see fit. And be sure to come back tomorrow for homemade Reeses Cups.

This week I am hard at work making some great felted mushrooms broaches for a craft sale. Here I was working away only to look at my blog roll and see that one of my favorite thrifty bloggers Apron Thrift Girl had posted a tutorial on making felted flower broaches. Well they are just TOO cute and you should all hot foot it over and check them out! I decided I needed to make a few of those too!

Do you like to create recipes? Some do and some don't and some just like to tweak recipes like Coleen but this week she made something from scratch that I will definitely be making myself, Apple Rice. Go! Check her out, it was so great even her plain rice loving hubby enjoyed it! And like I said Coleen I DO hope to see you share that next week on Just Another Meatless Monday, yum.

Do you have the time and compassion to rescue an animal? Look how lovely this adopted cat is. And the story behind her adoption is BEAUTIFUL. Think velveteen rabbit in real life. **sigh**

Simplify life. What does that really mean? To parents and children? How can that possibly happen in this day and age? Here is a nice review of a book that's on my "to read" list that tackles that very subject.

And one more cooking project I want to do, Cobbler is Jars. Are these not adorable? Oh, I was 'called out' on facebook to make these. How can I not, right?  Since cobbler is not my thing I will be making mine crunch, apple rhubarb crunch. MMmmmmmm

So those are a few things inspiring me, want to be included in my weekly collections? Drop me a comment or email and I'll swing on over and check it out and we'll see what we can do. I do love to read blogs, lots and lots of blogs.


Peace and Love


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Kale for Kids

What a fantastic day! The wind was blowing, I hung our sheets out to dry on the line, they smell glorious. The chickens had a heyday foraging in areas that were covered with snow just yesterday. The kids, oh the kids free ranged too, they played everywhere all day, I swear they blossom this time off year. Me? I cleaned up from the sins of winter. How does so much stuff go missing that we don't notice? Wouldn't you know it if a cardboard box for oranges was suddenly GONE from  the back porch, swept away in a winter storm? Um, I didn't until now.

It was a well spent day by all. Topped off perfectly by a fantastic dinner of tomato soup, roasted kale and rye toast. I'm working on my rye bread recipe, preferably one that isn't lead bread in style and I'll share that with you later. The soup was a recipe Heather shared a few weeks back on Just Another Meatless Monday, Katy's Lycopene Cream, yum!


Kale for Kids oven 400˚

1 market bunch of kale
glug of olive oil
salt
pepper
wash and dry kale
remove most of the center stem on the lave of kale, about 3/4 will do, just try to get rid of the tough part
line a baking sheet with foil or a silpat
toss the kale with the olive oil right on the sheet
turn oven to preheat if you can, it helps cook from the top and bottom
roast about 10-15 minutes turning halfway through
cook until crispy in parts, but not burned

 before:




after:




Last year my littlest boy loved this and the middle tolerated it. I made it tonight and jokingly said "nope not for you!" to both the little boys. They practically burst into tears when I said that, so I HAD to share my kale. SIGH, heh heh heh. One of my many little tricks I occasionally pull out when I need a little something extra to excite the veggie lovers. I don't advocate tricking kids into eating vegetables, but they do need a boost every once in a while.

So that was my blustery day. I love the wind. I need a wind turbine, STAT!

Peace and Love-


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4.19.2010

A Few Bake Sale Recipes**UPDATED**

I had several requests for recipes from my bake sale and I am happy to oblige. I am going to go ahead and post the recipes previously posted in my blog so there's no clicking around looking for them. I know some of you are here looking for a winner of the loaf pan. I forgot to have my boys help me cut slips of paper etc for drawing so sometime later I will post the winner after we have 'school' practicing cutting and writing letters. I love to make lessons into things that need to be done, hmmmm wondering if they can 'learn' to give pedicures, nahh that's probably a BAD idea.


I spent part of my Monday sitting in the doctors office(instead of cutting slips of paper) finding out why I can't here in my left ear. I have fluid built up behind my ear drum. If it's not gone in 3 months we can 'do' something about it. Something which involves a hole in my ear drum and a tube. FUN. It's been about 10 days of hearing impaired living and I don't care for it, at times all I can hear is my self breathing, like Darth Vader. On the upside, I'm starting to read lips and I can only hear shrieks from kids part of the time. Silver linings right?


First up from the bake sale Orange Cranberry Muffins. My kids loved these in the mini muffin form, my mom made them and boy we sold a lot of them.

Orange Cranberry Muffins oven 400˚

2 cups flour
3/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup craisins

1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup of orange juice
1/4 vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon orange zest

grease a muffin pan of line with papers, use several mini muffin pans if desired
mix dry ingredients through craisins, set aside
mix the wet ingredients through zest
make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients
stir only until mixed, don't over mix
pour into prepared muffin pan
bake large muffins 15-20 minutes
mini muffins around 10 minutes

Next I want to share the Cookie Dough Truffles recipe, I wish I had pictures of these babies. They were GOOD!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups milk chocolate candy coating

beat butter and sugars and in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy
add milk and vanilla, beat well
stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated
stir in chocolate chips.
cover and chill dough for at least 1 hour, I left mine for two days so I let it warm up a bit
form dough into 1inch balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper
place sheets in freezer and let chill for 30 minutes or over night in refrigerator
melt chocolate candy coating in a double boiler according to package directions
dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover
tap fork on side of pan to remove any excess coating, and return to baking sheets
chill until set
store in the refrigerator for up to a week

Cake pops were a great seller priced at a dollar a piece parents were happy to buy one for their kids and let them pick it out.

Cake Pops

1 plain baked chocolate cake homemade or mix
2 cups cream cheese frosting, homemade or otherwise
2 cup milk chocolate candy coating
assorted sprinkles
lollipop sticks

once cake has cooled crumble it in to a bowl
make sure you completely crumble it any big crumbs will cause you grief
stir in the frosting until it is completely mixed in
start forming the 'goo' in to balls and place on waxed paper covered cookie sheet
after all the balls are formed wash your hands
then insert a lollipop stick in each ball
chill for at least an hour
meanwhile melt chocolate coating according to package directions
carefully and quickly dip a cake pop in the coating
use a fork to help completely cover
let it drip off any extra
then add a dash of spinkles
and plop it back down on the cookie sheet
repeat, repeat, repeat

These are the BEST cinnamon rolls EVER. Originally I made these with peanuts but I was out of peanuts so I used pecans, great, but peanuts are even better. Oh and these were the first to sell out too!

Salted Caramel Peanut Rolls
4 - 4 1/3 cups bread flour divided
2 TBSP yeast-I love SAF instant yeast (5 dollars at Natural Pantry in Anchorage makes 97 loaves of bread!)
1 cup warm water
2 TBSP oil
1/3 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
filling
3 TBSP butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
caramel peanut topping
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 TBSP corn syrup
1 cup pecans
2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt or kosher salt divided-use less as tastes differ

add flour, yeast, water, oil to bowl of a stand mixer, pulse 3-4 times
add sugar and salt
mix for 30 seconds
scrape sides, then add eggs mixing well for one minute
add flour by the 1/2 cup full, mixing well after each addition
when a smooth dough has been formed let the machine knead for 5 minutes or so
I always err on the side of less flour figuring I can add a bit more but it's really hard to take too much out again
check your dough, does it seem too sticky and soft? add a sprinkle of flour and knead a bit more
then remove to a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, with instant yeast it takes about 30-40 minutes
meanwhile make the filling, melt the butter and set aside
mix the sugar and the cinnamon also set aside
then make your caramel topping
melt together the butter, sugar and corn syrup
cook and stir for 2 minutes
divide evenly between to round 8 inch cake pans
sprinkle on the pecans dividing also between the two pans
sprinkle each pan with 1/2 teaspoon of Celtic sea salt, set aside
when dough is doubled punch down
divide in half, working with one half roll it evenly in to a 12x8 rectangle
brush with half the butter, sprinkle with half the sugar mix
roll up from the long side, cut into 12 rolls
arrange in one of the round pans
repeat with the remaining dough
cover and let rise 20 minutes
bake in a 325˚ oven until done, approximately 25-30 minutes, do not over bake
be careful these have a tendency to be so tempting you often forget they are MOLTEN LAVA upon removal from the oven
let cool five minutes then invert on a plate
sprinkle remaining salt on if desired

And last but not least my rendition of a Twix bar.

Twix Copycat Bar--oven 350˚

shortbread base

1 cup cold butter
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
whirl these in a food processor
they will clump up a bit but won't make a "real" dough, that's OK
simply press the crumbles into a 9x13 pan
bake for 20-25 minutes

meanwhile make the caramel filling

in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat cook together:
3/4 cup of butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 can sweetened condensed milk
cook and stir, always stirring
until it boils
then reduce heat and simmer for 7 minutes, keep stirring don't stop!
remove from heat until cookie base comes out
pour over hot cookie
chill in the fridge until firm
then melt together:
2 cups c
hocolate chips
1 teaspoon butter
spread over the cooled base and caramel
sprinkle with sea salt

So those are a few of the recipes from my bake sale, anymore you need to know? Just leave me a comment or drop me an email. And remember I'll be posting an update to this post as soon as we get the drawing done.

Update-writing the slips


drawing the winner!





 And the winner is.....Katie!!! Not a blogger but a very good online friend! Katie drop me an email with your address in it and I'll mail it out asap!
 Thanks to all who donated via paypal this really boosted my total donation to Share Our Strength!

Peace and Love-


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