Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Still cooking...but not here



I'm no longer posting new recipes here. I have come to the conclusion that I am just not a food blogger. I am a mom, a wife, a Catholic woman who cooks and bakes, sometimes because I want to, mostly because I need to. So I will be posting the best of my recipes with all of my other life matters...at Praying for Grace .

I will not close down this blog, as I still use it for reference, and I hope you feel welcome to keep coming here to find what you need. But do stop over to my life blog and find out what's still cooking.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Knoephla






Check out today's Meatless Friday recipe at CatholicMom.com. It's a German potato dumpling soup called Knoephla -- wonderful for these really cold Friday evening dinners.





Friday, January 3, 2014

Buckwheat pancake mix

How about a new post? It's only been about 45 days, give or take. It's like a ghost town around here. You must have thought I fell off the roof putting up Christmas lights. Well, not to worry. I'm an acrophobic, so that's about the last thing that would happen. I was just, well, occupied with many other things.

But now I'm back with another (not another! you say) pancake recipe. But, this is not a recipe, but a product, and a good one. 



Syrup is Dickinson's as available at Cracker Barrel. It has real fruit in it. Yum.


I am constantly on a quest to make our everyday foods a little healthier. I often, however, meet with familial resistance. You, too? My husband, especially, balks at any healthy addition to some foods we eat pretty often, pancakes and waffles. If I so much as add a grain of oatmeal, he detects the texture difference and moans and groans up a storm. I saw this mix at our grocery store recently and decided to purchase it, even if it was only for myself. I decided to make them for the whole family first, just to give it the ol' litmus test. And lo and behold, they loved them! Not a moan or a groan amongst them. My youngest son even ate up the frozen remnants all week long.

Buckwheat flour is a main ingredient, though there is all-purpose flour, and rye flour in them as well. Contrary to its name, buckwheat is actually not wheat. It is the seed of a fruit, similar to rhubarb. It can be ground and used similar to wheat, however. And because it's not wheat, when we eat it we are getting less wheat in our diet, a good thing in my book. Besides not being wheat, buckwheat is also known to lower cholesterol, and blood sugar, as well as provide many other health benefits.

Though I have not tried buckwheat pancakes from scratch, there are many recipes out there -- this one from Simply Recipes looks like a good one (reliable source) as it can be wheat-free or not as needed.

I wish that New Hope Mills had a wheat-free buckwheat mix, because the old-fashioned buckwheat mix is so good, but until then, or until I make them from scratch, this will definitely do. I am grateful my grocer has the mix (they don't always keep specific brands in stock, however -- it's hit or miss) for $3.50 a bag. (Amazon carries it as well, but is more costly than it is at New Hope Mills website). I like purchasing from a company that makes its products in the States, but uses locally grown grains, and some non-GMO grains as well. As you know, I am not usually a "from a mix" kind of cook, so these have to be pretty darned good. All I add is water and an egg for a batch of pancakes. There is a recipe for waffles as well.

I was not paid by any company to recommend the products I have written about today. These are just my opinions.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hot Cereal



Well, according to the date stamp on my last post, it's been a month since I posted here. Shame, for shame. I have loads and loads of foodie pics, and just always seem to choose something else to work on rather than post a recipe.






Well, here's an easy one -- hot cereal. It snowed yesterday so it's officially hot cereal weather. I am a grain eater at breakfast time. I can't eat eggs until much later in the day, and fruit and yogurt just doesn't "do it" for breakfast for me. I am like a horse -- have to have my bag of grain. {wink}

The bowl of cereal pictured here is hot Grape Nuts. I used to eat hot Grape Nuts through the entire winter. I never got tired of them, and then I moved away from them. I'm back, but I was disappointed to notice on the box I just bought that Grape Nuts started including soy protein in the ingredients. Yuck. I noticed they started advertising on the box label that each serving contains 8 g protein. I guess now I know why.

I think Kashi has a similar product, I'll have to check their label next time I buy. I also found this recipe, which I am going to try -- even better, homemade.

Anyway, this is really not so much about hot Grape Nuts (though my "recipe" is below), as it is about hot cereal. My latest favorite way to eat it is with bananas and toasted walnuts. Heavenly! I often have brown rice cereal instead of Grape Nuts, and sometimes good ol' Cream of Wheat. I can't eat straight up oatmeal; it really bothers my stomach, but I can eat granola with milk.

What is your favorite hot cereal? Do you eat it every day?



Hot Grape Nuts

about 1/2 cup Grape Nuts
about 1/3 cup milk (just enough to cover)
a squirt of honey to taste
a dab of butter (optional)

Heat Grape Nuts in the microwave for one minute.

For Banana Nut Grape Nuts, top with sliced bananas and toasted walnuts (make sure they are toasted for the best flavor and crunch! Just heat them in a small frying pan over medium low until they get very fragrant.)


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pumpkin, Oatmeal, Butterscotch Blondies





This past weekend was a busy one for us, with mom and dad and kids going in several directions, several times. I dislike those kinds of weekends immensely, but they happen. I did manage to carve out time for a nice dinner Saturday evening, and afterward I decided a sweet treat was in order. Because I didn't start them until after dinner, I didn't want to bake cookies (and be in the kitchen for an hour), so these bars were perfect. When I asked my guys if they wanted some Pumpkin Butterscotch Bars (I intentionally left out the word "oatmeal" when I asked) they said "Nah." Huh? I decided to make them anyway, and they loved them (even after they found out there was oatmeal in them).

These little babies will definitely be an annual event.

They are a combination of several recipes, and I subbed out three-quarters of the all-purpose flour with oat flour (or blended oatmeal) because I could not find a recipe which used oats and had a blondie texture. If you are not so keen on oats, just use all-purpose flour (though I can't guarantee the same texture), and if you eat gluten-free, I bet you can use a gluten-free flour mix in place of the all-purpose.

These fell apart quite a bit when they were warm, so I should tell you to let them cool before cutting and eating, but they were so good when they were warm, I really can't tell you that. When they cooled, the butterscotch chips hardened up, so they had a bit of a crunch to them -- very different from the warm texture, but still very, very good.




Pumpkin, Oatmeal, Butterscotch Blondies
makes 20-24

½ c. oat flour (blend oatmeal in your processor or blender)
 ½ c. all-purpose flour

2 t. cinnamon *
½ t. ginger *

¼ t. ground cloves *
1 t. baking soda
½ t. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 ¼ c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla
1 cup pumpkin (not pie filling -- just pumpkin)
12 oz. bag butterscotch chips


Preheat the oven to 350° F. 

Line a 9x13-inch baking dish with parchment. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree (it might look curdled, but that's ok). With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the butterscotch chips with a rubber spatula.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting (or not).

To serve, lift the cake from the pan using the parchment and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 24 squares (I lift the paper back in the pan then, just to contain the mess).




* if you have pumpkin pie spice, you can substitute 1 tablespoon for the cinnamon, ginger and cloves.




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pierogies with Bacon and Peas







I realize this recipe is not for everyone (including members of my own family), but it's a comfort dish to me, and maybe will be for you. It's easy -- you can whip it up in less than 25 minutes, and it's good rib-sticking food for autumn and winter. Because the menfolk in my family will not eat it, ahem, I save this dish for a night when just Faith and I are home and we both love it.

The recipe came from Cooking Light (though I doubt the "lightness" of it), and I make it almost the way it's written -- a little less bacon and onion and regular sour cream instead of low-fat. I am posting it the way I make it. Be sure to slice the onion like an apple so that the pieces are big enough for picky onion eaters to remove them.

This is a great dish to serve for the feast of St. Faustina, Blessed John Paul II, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Teresa Benedicta (martyred in Poland) or any of the Polish saints, as pierogies are a traditional Polish dish.



Pierogies with Bacon and Peas


12 frozen potato and onion pierogies (such as Mrs. T's)
4-6 slices center-cut bacon
1 onion, peeled and sliced vertically
1 t. sugar
1/4 t. dried thyme
1 cup frozen green peas
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup sour cream


Place frozen pierogies in a bowl of tepid water, high enough to cover them.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet until crisp. Remove bacon; crumble. Increase heat to medium-high. Add onion, sugar, and thyme to drippings in pan; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in peas; sauté 1 minute. Drain pierogies and add them to the skillet, Salt, and pepper; cook 30 seconds. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Serve with sour cream.



I suggest serving with warm applesauce, or a green salad, and soft rolls.



Source: modified from Cooking Light


Monday, October 7, 2013

Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes






It's that time of year to crack open a can or two of cooked pumpkin. The other morning I wanted something really good for breakfast. Not just tasting good, but nutrient good. My husband and kids were eating donuts and bakery grandma rolls. Ugh.

I had a can of pumpkin, so I did a quick online search and found some Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes. They were delicious! I added just a little sugar, but with maple syrup you could probably skip it. They are not quite as sweet as the Banana Oatmeal Pancakes from last summer, but bananas are quite a bit sweeter than pumpkin. I also doubled the recipe so I could have a couple in the freezer. Double the recipe made seven pancakes.

I would highly recommend toasting some walnuts just for crunch. I did not this time, but I will next time. Enjoy!


Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes

2/3 cup oats
1 egg
1/4 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoon agave (I used about 2 t. sugar)
pinch of salt

In a food processor or blender, pulse oatmeal until finely ground (almost flour consistency). Transfer oat flour to a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Whisk to combine. Let batter sit so the oatmeal can absorb the liquid while the pan heats.

Preheat griddle or pancake pan to medium on stove top.  Grease griddle or pan (I used coconut oil) and pour batter on pan by the 1/3 cup. Flip after about 90 seconds until fully cooked. 



Source: modified from Running to the Kitchen




Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Delicious Double Chocolate Muffins




Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda posted a picture of some chocolate muffins last week and I must have been hormonal, or something, because I wanted chocolate muffins now! I held off for a couple days, but they were on my mind a lot!

I made breakfast for dinner on Monday, and chocolate muffins were on the menu. They were so good. I mean really, really good. I am not sure I have ever made a double chocolate muffin before, but these could not have been better. They were definitely muffins, not cupcakes, but so chocolatey!

You need to make some soon. Seriously.

I used the recipe as found at Dinner with Julie, and the only change I made was to use coconut oil instead of canola oil or butter. I melted it before I added it. It added a definite coconut flavor, so if you don't like that flavor, use a less flavorful oil. I loved it!

I think I will fool around with a recipe a bit and try some flour blends for more nutrition, and sub out some yogurt for some oil. I'll let you know if I do. Here is the recipe as written. Do try!




Part of a healthy breakfast dinner (scrambled eggs and tomatoes, apple slices, sausage, and muffins!) 




Double Chocolate Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup canola oil or butter, melted (or coconut oil, melted)
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips



Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and chocolate chips and stir just until well blended.

Divide batter among a dozen paper-lined muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until domed and springy to the touch.





Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Potato Eggs





If you read my menus, you know we eat breakfast for dinner quite a bit. I don't cook a big breakfast, except on Sunday, and breakfast food is so good (and inexpensive), my husband and kids like eating it more often than once a week.

This recipe intrigued me, just by looks alone. Potatoes and eggs go great together, but an egg cooked in a potato? Really intriguing. Essentially it is similar to a twice-baked potato, but with a hole created in the filling where an egg is cracked and baked. The recipe called for sausage, but I omitted it to make a meatless meal. It would be delicious with sausage, but also with ham or bacon, for a Sunday brunch. I am listing the recipe as I made it below, but if you have ever made twice-baked potatoes, you know you really don't need a recipe. Bake the potatoes, cut off the top, scoop out much of the potato leaving a thin shell, mash potatoes with butter, parmesan cheese, sour cream or cream cheese, or a little milk and some shredded cheddar or swiss. The combinations are endless -- adding meat or not -- just keep the potato mixture rather firm so that it holds the well needed to crack the egg into.

I cooked for four of us, but essentially use one potato, one tablespoon butter, 2 tablespoons shredded cheese and even two tablespoons of chopped meat (diced ham, cooked sausage or bacon), plus one egg for each person.

Serve with toast or biscuits, and some fresh fruit.


Potato Eggs

4 baking potatoes, scrubbed, pierced, and rubbed lightly with oil
1/4 c. butter, softened
salt and pepper
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
4 eggs

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Bake potatoes for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until done.

Remove from oven and cool for about 15 minutes.

Cut off the top of potato, creating a "boat." Scoop potato out of potato and place in a bowl. Repeat with each potato. Add butter and mash potato with a masher until no longer lumpy. Salt and pepper mixture and then add cheese (or other optional ingredients). Stir until well mixed. Spoon potato mixture back into potatoes, dividing among them. Place potatoes in a baking dish, lined with foil, or greased lightly. Make a well in each potato, and crack and egg into each well (depending on size of egg it may overflow slightly -- that's alright).

Place baking pan back in 400 degree oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on desired doneness. Salt and pepper to taste.