Buttermilk Syrup

This is hardly healthy, but we enjoy splurging once in awhile :)  My kids LOVE this syrup.  What's not to love with a lot of butter and sugar?  This is great over your favorite pancake, French Toast, or Breakfast Sundaes.  

Warning:  Make sure you use a LARGE saucepan.  The syrup really expands when you add the baking soda!

Bring to a boil in large saucepan:
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cube butter
-Bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and immediately add:
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Stir well--warning the syrup will begin to expand! Serve over pancakes, waffles, or French toast, or Breakfast Sundaes.


Fruit Fish

This picture was on the front of a Target mailer I received.  I thought this was a cute fruit creation...when you have the extra time and need for a creative outlet :)


Quinoa Basil Salad

This is a recipe that doesn't have exact measurements.  Hopefully you won't hate me.  I just find every time I make it my ratios are a bit different depending on the supplies in my fridge.  Sometimes it doesn't have any brown rice, other times it is heavier on the rice.  Sometimes I don't have any feta, or other times I substitute tomatoes instead of peppers.  FRESH basil is a key ingredient that really adds to the fresh unique flavor.  Using the bottled dressing from Costco makes this recipe very simple, but it you can't find it I've given you a substitute recipe you can make!

Combine all ingredients in large bowl:
Quinoa, cooked (I like to use a combination of red and white quinoa)
Short Grain Brown Rice, cooked
chopped cucumbers
chopped bell red/orange/yellow peppers (or cherry tomatoes)
Shredded carrots
crumbled feta cheese
fresh basil, chopped
toasted pine nuts (optional)

Drizzle with:
**White Balsamic Citrus Basil Dressing (this is also good as a fish or chicken marinade)  Add dressing to taste!

-Garnish with some extra chopped basil and toasted pine nuts
-Serve cold or at room temperature
**If you can't find this dressing, you can make your own using 
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 tbsp fresh lemon juice 
1 TBS honey, sugar, or agave
1 teaspoon lemon zest 
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped finely 
Salt and pepper, to taste 


Fruit Pizzas

 For a fun dessert buffet...have a "Make-Your-Own" Fruit Pizza Bar!

Cookies:Mix together
1 pkg white cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
-Form balls into desired size (regular or mini)
-Bake 350 for 10-12 minutes.
-Note: You can use your favorite sugar cookie recipe instead...this is just the easiest way!

Mix together:
1/2 of small carton cool whip
2 yoplait yogurts (I usually either do a berry or lemon/lime)
**(with whatever is left over, use it for a fruit salad or on top of pancakes/waffles!)

Decorate with:sliced strawberries
canned mandarine oranges
fresh blueberries
sliced kiwi


Saag Shorba Soup

12 oz spinach, fresh or frozen
2 medium onions finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic
2 tbs olive oil
3-4 inch piece of fresh ginger chopped
2 teaspoons of coriander
2 teaspoons of ground cumin 
1 teaspoon of turmeric
dash cayenne
dash cardamom
6 cups of chicken broth
4 cups of tomatoes diced (or 28 oz canned diced or crushed)
1 tbs of tomato paste
1 can coconut milk (or 1 c. cream)
juice from 1-2 limes
1/3 c. chopped cilantro (and more for garnish)
2 tsp salt (more to taste)
-In a large saucepan or pot, heat the oil on medium.  Add chopped onions. Saute for 5-10 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and cardamom.  Saute for 3 minutes more.
-Add broth, spinach and tomatoes and bring back to a simmer boil.
-If desired you can blend 1/2 to all of soup to create a smoother/thicker soup (I used an immersion blender) Try not to make it into a puree.
-Add coconut milk, cilantro, and lime juice.  Add salt to taste and more cayenne and cumin if you wish.  Simmer for 10-20 minutes if you wish to enhance the flavor of the spices.
-Serve with cilantro as garnish.


Trudeau Measuring Cups

My mom gave me these measuring cups a long time ago.  I have loved the colors and the side pour spouts.  Here is a link to the product on Amazon, but you may also find them at your local grocery store!


Mini No-Bake Strawberry Pies

I love these fresh tasting, easy to make, cute mini pies!  These are great to make with kids!

Serves 6
6 mini-prepared graham crusts.

4 oz cream cheese, softened
6 oz. yogurt (berry, or lemon)
1 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS powdered sugar
-Whip with mixer until smooth and creamy about 1 minute.  Divide evenly into six shells.
-Top with whole, sliced, or diced FRESH strawberries.
-Garnish with drizzled chocolate.  Place 1/4 cup chocolate chips in ziploc bag.  Heat in microwave 30-60 seconds until chocolate melted (don't want it hot,just warm).  Snip corner off the bag and squeeze chocolate in a drizzle over the strawberries.


Carrot Cake

I love this carrot cake recipe and it works GREAT with wheat flour. You can dress it up or down depending on time and preferences.

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. light olive oil
1 1/2 c. carrots, grated
1 c. wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c. shredded coconut
1/4 c. pecans, chopped
1/4 c. raisins (optional--personally not a fan of raisins in my cake!)

-Preheat oven to 400. Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix until well blended. Grease and flour a 9x9 cake pan. Pour batter into cake pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cake tests done. When cool spread with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below).
-For cupcakes, this makes 12 cupcakes.  Bake 400 for 20 minutes.
-Note: In picture I doubled recipe and used round cake pans, then used a double batch of frosting with half between layers and other half on top.   I garnished with toasted coconut.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese
2 TBS butter
1 1/4 c. pwd. sugar
milk if needed

-Cream ingredients together in a bowl. Add milk until you reach desired spreading consistency.


Mini Mint Brownie Bites

Here's another recipe from my not so healthy blog :)
I love my mini-muffin pan!  If you don't have one, ask for one for Christmas or your birthday!  Here's an easy mini-mint brownie bite recipe...

Makes 48 Mini Bites
1 pkg brownie mix
-Prepare according to box directions
-Stir in 1 (10 oz.) pkg. Andes Mint Baking Chips and 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
-Line mini muffin pan.  Fill with 1 TBS brownie mix
-Bake 325 17-19 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes in pan.  Remove from pan and cool completely 30 minutes.  Taste great cold too!


Coconut Products

At our cooking class I shared a few fun coconut products on the market.  If you haven't tried any of these, you may want to give them a try!

This oils spray is from Trader Joes.  I use it to grease muffin tins, bread pans, cake pans, etc.

These thin little cookies from Trader Joes have a great coconut flavor.  They are great as a stand alone, or they go really well with a fruity ice cream.
I LOVE this body butter.  It smells SO good.  It is subtle which is nice for those sensitive to fragrance.  It is full of ingredients that are great for your skin, and you will feel your body such soak up this stuff!

I have heard these are addicting...so we opened up the bag at the cooking class to pass around.  I thought they were good.  With the dark chocolate they are not as sweet.

You can get these at any grocery store.  I hadn't tried them until about a month ago, but they are a fun treat!

Lindt truffles are delicious!  These coconut ones are WONDERFUL, if you like coconut that is!