Rich homemade ricotta cheese is wonderful spread on a toasted baguette, as a vegetable sandwich spread, or simply enjoyed on it's own with a drizzle of honey.
Homemade ricotta cheese... yes, I made cheese, and no, it wasn't at all difficult or time-consuming! Ricotta cheese is a great place to start in homemade cheesemaking, because it is SO easy. I'd estimate it takes 10 minutes (at most) of active time, and about 30 minutes of inactive time until you have fresh ricotta ready to enjoy.
Making ricotta cheese requires no fancy ingredients or equipment. If you have milk, salt, and lemon juice, you can make ricotta. An instant-read thermometer, fine-mesh strainer, and some cheesecloth ... [Continue Reading]
You won't be able to resist these bite-sized treats! Homemade Vanilla Wafers in chocolate and vanilla. Why choose... try them both!
I can remember eating Nilla wafers from the yellow box since I was a kid. I don't know what it is about them, but they are addicting! When I was pregnant with both Julia and William I would often snack on a few Nilla wafers, with a spread of peanut butter on each one. (If you've never tried that, you must. Sooo good.) Since Julia saw me eating Nilla wafers while pregnant with William, she of course tried them and they quickly became a favorite of hers too.
I haven't bought Nilla wafers from the store for a while, since they have some ingredients that ... [Continue Reading]
Homemade Whole Grain Fruit Bars are the perfect treat to add to your lunchbox. Made with real ingredients, kids and adults alike will love these bars!
These Whole Grain Fruit Bars are my latest addiction. I love how easy they are to make. I love that they are whole grain and contain only recognizable ingredients. I love that these fruit bars can pass for both a snack or healthy dessert. In my efforts to pack nutritious lunches made from real foods for both myself and my kids, I've been making up a batch of these every few weeks. They make a great lunchbox addition or after-school snack, paired with a cold glass of milk of course.
You know those fruit-filled cereal bars that you can buy ... [Continue Reading]
For a while now I have been trying to get away from buying packaged foods as much as possible. I know that fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are much more healthful than processed foods, and I want to feed my family foods in their natural state as much as possible. One result of this is that I have a really hard time buying packages of things like pre-made taco seasoning, which can be loaded with extra sodium and other not-so-nutritious additives.
To make my own homemade taco seasoning, I began by researching various recipes online. The differences between recipes are great, and when creating my own I used a combination of the recipes I found. I wanted my taco ... [Continue Reading]
Weekday mornings are often rushed, busy times. Whether you are trying to get out the door to head to work or getting kids ready to go to school, there is not much time to prepare breakfast. My usual quick breakfast is a bowl of cold cereal, but I get tired of the store-bought options. I love making homemade granola because I can fill it with nutritious ingredients and customize the flavors to my liking. My all-time favorite homemade granola is made with lots of nuts and maple syrup, but for fall I've been loving this pumpkin spice granola.
I made three batches of pumpkin granola in two days, because I wanted to get the recipe just right. This granola has plenty of pumpkin spice flavor, ... [Continue Reading]
Fall is here, October is here, and in a few short weeks it will be Halloween and then Thanksgiving. Can you please tell time to slow down a little for me? I want to just sit and appreciate the change in seasons for a little while. I'm in full Fall baking mode, even though the temperatures outside are still warm. After much baking with pumpkin this week and last, I decided it was time I made a batch of pumpkin pie spice. You can buy pumpkin pie spice at the store, but if you keep a well-stocked pantry it is so easy to make your own. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature and you should be set for all of your pumpkin baking needs through the end of the season. Check back soon ... [Continue Reading]
It's now my second week of school and I am very much back into the swing of things in the classroom. I know all of my students' names, have some of their writing and artwork up on the walls, and am getting to know what makes each of them a unique and special individual. I have a wonderful group of third graders this year, which makes it (a little bit) easier to leave my own two sweet peas in the morning.
Early wake-ups are deserving of a healthy and delicious breakfast, but I can't afford to spend any more minutes than necessary in the kitchen. (4:45a.m. is early enough for me to wake up, thank you.) I still need a good breakfast to fuel me through my morning, though, and this granola is ... [Continue Reading]
Hummus is a healthy snack, high in protein and a great dip for fresh veggies. Lately I've been making a batch of hummus to enjoy as an easy, healthy dinner too. I serve it with a variety of fresh cut vegetables and homemade whole-wheat pita wedges, and we have a casual, balanced meal that includes protein, veggies, and whole grains. The kids love both the hummus (they are partial to the roasted red pepper one) and the pita, and we round out their meal with some fresh fruit. (We're still working on getting them to enjoy veggies other than broccoli and the occasional slice of cucumber.)
I've read in a few different places about a secret to making perfectly smooth hummus: peeling the ... [Continue Reading]
Let me apologize in advance for these. Once you make these granola bars, you are going to have a very hard time enjoying a store-bought granola bar. You are going to find yourself in the kitchen long after the sun has gone down, mixing up the ingredients for these bars. You will walk down the cereal aisle of your grocery store, looking through the granola bar choices, knowing that you have to choose one because you certainly don't have the time each and every week to make your own. Or do you? You might just decide that the thirty minutes you could spend watching TV or mindlessly browsing Pinterest might be better spent mixing together a batch of granola bars that you can really crave.
I ... [Continue Reading]
It's been a while since my last post, but not for lack of wanting to work on the blog. I've just been so busy, both with Julia's 4th birthday party (yes, she's 4!) and report cards. The party was a lot of fun, and I hope to write up a post about it soon. The report cards are done and I'm all set for parent conferences next week, so I finally have a few minutes to devote here.
This whole wheat sandwich bread is a recipe I've been wanting to share for a while. Making more of our staples the homemade way is an undertaking that I've really been enjoying. Greek yogurt, graham crackers, and burger buns are just a few of the other foods I've made myself. I definitely don't always make these ... [Continue Reading]
I have been wanting to try making homemade graham crackers for a while now. This past weekend I decided it was as good a time as any, so I started looking at a few recipes. I was happily surprised to find that I had all of the ingredients on hand, so right away I started mixing up the dough. I always thought you needed graham flour to make graham crackers, but you don't, all you need are pantry staples that you probably already have in your kitchen.
You might be wondering, why make homemade graham crackers when it's much easier to just pick up a box at the grocery store? The obvious reason is that the homemade version tastes much better, and these definitely do. They have the same graham ... [Continue Reading]
I am completely addicted to this homemade greek yogurt. I never would have thought that I would make my own yogurt. When I first came across the idea, I thought it was interesting but not something that I would actually do. The second time I saw a recipe for homemade greek yogurt, though, I thought, I can do that. And you know what? I totally did. And I've made this at least once a week every week in the six weeks since then.
Why am I so addicted to this yogurt? There are a few reasons. For one, it tastes amazing. Even my favorite store brand can't compete with this thick, creamy yogurt. Homemade yogurt is much less sour than store-bought, and while it's hard for me to eat store-bought ... [Continue Reading]