Monday, April 30, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls, Oatmeal, Pizza Pockets and Chocolate Milk

On Sunday morning, I happened to be woken up rather early by the baby, which gave me a chance to bake these bad boys before anyone else woke up:

That, my dear people, is a delicious array of whole wheat cinnamon rolls, sweetened with coconut palm sugar.

And now here they are smothered in ooey gooey frosting (made from homemade powdered sugar, which was made from unrefined sugar).

This was my first time making cinnamon rolls with whole wheat flour.  I was nervous they would taste too... wheaty.   But honestly, by the time I was biting into my fourth one I couldn't even taste the wheat anymore. So gooooood.

On Monday morning, I made the kid's and I some peanut buttery banana oatmeal stuff.  I cooked the oats in a mixture of milk and cinnamon, then added honey, maple syrup, peanut butter and banana slices.

This was a risky breakfast.  First of all, because my kids don't really like oatmeal.  Secondly, because my kids don't like bananas.  How frustrating is that?  It's something I'm trying to change, by making them eat it.  Is that horrible?  I actually sat at the table and spoon-fed my 5-year-old.  I told him he was a robot and every bite he ate was an "energy deposit" and I would do something comical (like a failed hyper-blast, or an out-of-control zig-zag, etc) and he was laughing so hard, he didn't even notice he ate more than half the bowl.  I win.

We had pizza pockets for dinner.  They are so easy to make.

This is the dough, which I made out of 3.5 cups of flour, 1 cup of plain yogurt, 1 cup of melted butter, and a tsp of salt.  Mixed well, then separated into small balls.  I think the rest is pretty self-explanatory.

Baked at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. I made a very simple salad to go with it.

I have no idea why, but after this meal I really needed some chocolate.  I decided to make some chocolate milk, and realized I haven't shared how I make it yet.

I start with 2 cups of milk:

And add 2 tablespoons of cocoa and 2 tablespoons of honey:

Blend on high for a few minutes and that's it!

This chocolate milk is darker and richer than what you buy in the store, and is definitely much fuller-flavored than something you'd mix up with artificial syrup!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Meal Plan for the Week

Day 1 - Sunday
Breakfast: Whole wheat cinnamon rolls
Lunch: Quesadillas
Dinner: Meatloaf, asparagus, salad

Day 2 - Monday
Breakfast: Peanut butter banana breakfast oats
Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly, yogurt
Dinner: Pizza Pockets

Day 3 - Tuesday
Breakfast: Banana custard
Lunch: Salmon patties, avocado
Dinner: Alfredo pasta, broccoli

Day 4 - Wednesday
Breakfast: Fried eggs on toast, fruit-kefir smoothies
Lunch: Apple pie pockets
Dinner: Popcorn chicken, mashed potatoes

Day 5 - Thursday
Breakfast: Baked oatmeal cups
Lunch: Turkey sandwich, probiotic orange julius
Dinner: Lasagna casserole

Day 6 - Friday
Breakfast: Buttered toast, cantaloupe and honeydew
Lunch: Leftover pizza (daddy went out with friends and brought home his left overs)
Dinner: Breakfast for dinner (pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage)

April 27 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning I dutifully woke before the children and went straight to the kitchen to chug a big cup of coffee get started on some whole wheat donuts, which would be ready to eat (all warm and gooey straight from the frying pan) by the time the kid's got up.  I even cut them into the shape of hearts and glazed them in milk chocolate.

Lunch was much less spectacular and way easier, but the kids were absolutely stoked: popcorn!  in our whirley pop!

What's a whirley pop, you ask?

THIS is a whirley pop.

1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil + 1/2 cup of kernels (organic, non-gmo, please!) + turn that crank over medium-high heat for 3 minutes = a bountiful bowl of delicious popcorn.  The kids thought this was SO FUN.  Oh, who am I kidding?  I thought it was fun, and I love popcorn.

To go with our popcorn, I blended up some kefir smoothies.  I mixed milk kefir with raspberries, strawberries and bananas that I had bought fresh earlier in the week and stuck in the freezer.  I threw in a cup of plain yogurt, honey and vanilla.  We each drank a tall glass.

I also had some potatoes that I needed to use soon before they went bad, so I cut them up and made french fries.  Not the healthiest, but between the donuts, popcorn, smoothies, and french fries, I was pretty much the coolest mom ever today.  No big deal.

For dinner, I was going to make BBQ drum sticks with homemade BBQ sauce, but I was pretty disappointed to discover I didn't have the necessary ingredients.  So, I winged it.  It was no BBQ sauce, but it wasn't bad.  The kids ate it, that's all that matters. :)  I served it with cheese and peas.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 26 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Breakfast was one of my personal all-time favorites: french toast.

For lunch, I made grilled cheese sandwiches. I used cheddar cheese,but also spread cream cheese on each slice of bread before cooking.  I served them with homemade crackers and hummus.

 I was pleasently surprised that all three of my children not only liked the crackers, but also liked the hummus.  I just called it "cracker dip" and they ate that right up (pun intended).  You know how kids love to dip things.

For dinner I made sweet, garlic crescent rolls, which the children enjoyed dipping in marinara sauce.

I served the rolls with this beyond amazing bacon, avocado and egg salad smothered in homemade ranch dressing.

So.  Good.

Also an easy way to get my children to eat avocado and hard-boiled egg.  Who knew?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 25 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Since we didn't get to have the sausage and egg breakfast casserole yesterday, I incorporated sausage into our breakfast this morning.   Fried egg & sausage sandwiches.

I make the sausage by mixing seasonings, spices and an egg with ground turkey, then form patties and saute in butter.

Lunch was supposed to be ants on a log, but I forgot to buy raisins.  I still wanted to incorporate peanut butter into the meal, so I decided to do Peanut Butter & Jelly Sushi Rolls.  My daughter had applesauce and cheese with hers, and my son opted for cheese and a pickle.

The kids thought the "sushi" was really clever and asked that I make it again.  They are very simple: cut the crust off of bread, roll bread flat with rolling pin, spread peanut butter and jelly, roll up, and slice.

For dinner, we had sloppy joes.  I used the same Ezekiel's sesame buns again, since we had three left.  I made corn and sweet potatoes to go with them.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 24 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

For breakfast, the plan was a "breakfast casserole" which I planned on putting sausage in.  But I completely forgot to defrost the meat the day before, and the idea of an egg casserole sounded a lot like scrambled eggs but with about 3x the wait.  So, we just did scrambled eggs with toast instead.

Eggs are usually easily accepted by the kids, but for some reason neither of the older two would eat them, so they scarfed down the toast and snuffed the eggs.  At least the baby ate his eggs.

Since the eggs didn't go over so well, I was happy to be able to serve them one of their favorite foods for lunch: hot dogs!

Ew.  I think cut up hot dogs is probably one of the most unappetizing-looking things.   But they taste good!  We like The Great Organic Hot Dogs from Applegate. I fry 'em up in a cast iron skillet.

And for dinner, I made this Baked Three Cheese Chicken Pasta.  I had already-cooked chicken in the fridge from when I had cooked a whole chicken in the crock pot last week.  2 cups of cooked chicken, 3 cups of milk, 1.5 cups pasta, and a copious amount of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and parmesan cheese... oh, my.  Creamy.  Cheesy.  Chickeny.  What's not to love?

I served it with roasted broccoli, which I drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with Himalayan pink salt and pepper. I know I already gave a shout out to Trader Joe's yesterday, but they deserve another shout out for this lovely gem:

In case you don't know, not all sea salt is created equal.  Since all salt comes from the sea, any salt can technically be labeled "sea salt."  It's safe to say that if your salt is white, it's probably not the good salt.  Unfortunately, the table and cooking salt found in most homes, restaurants, and all processed foods, is empty of any nutritional value.   It's heavily refined, and refined table salt is of chemical, inorganic origin and has junk in it.  It's lacking in the precious trace minerals that make salt good for us!  Pink, Himalayan salt, on the other hand, is a different salt entirely.  Due to lack of refining, it doesn’t lose its mineral content, as do other salts.  It contains the same 84 natural minerals and elements found in the human body.  It's also expensive, like $18-$20 a bottle every where I've looked.  Except at Trader Joe's!  This little bottle with a nifty grinder was $1.99.  Seriously!  Two bucks for Himalayan pink salt!  Two bucks for better health!

My daughter loved the cheesy baked chicken pasta, and my son loved the broccoli, as usual.  For whatever reason I will never understand, my son has always had a natural love for broccoli. :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

For breakfast, I made a batch of these Baked Oatmeal Cups.  They were really easy to make, and oh my goodness, they were so good.  My kids aren't even big fans of oatmeal, but they each ate two.

Lunch was pinto beans and cheese in home made whole wheat tortillas.

And finally, for dinner, I made ranch potato wedges and served them with green beans.  Basically, you cut the potatoes into wedges and coat them in a mixture of mayo & ranch seasoning.  I used Hain's Safflower Mayo, made with safflower oil instead of canola oil.  The ranch seasoning was home made (minced onion, parsley, salt, garlic-salt).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 22 - Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Saturday night, I baked this buttermilk coffee cake.

Sunday morning at 8:00, we enjoyed it with some blueberries.

And judging by the cleared plates, I'd say the kids liked it.

Right after breakfast, I quickly threw together the ingredients for the chewy bars we'd be having for lunch (which are oats, honey, peanut butter, coconut oil, shredded coconut and chocolate), and put them in the fridge to set.  Good thing, because by 10:30 you'd think the kids were dying from starvation.  Lunch was chewy bars and yogurt.

By 11:00, they had already eaten 2/3 of the meals I had planned for the day.  I knew I was doomed.  I was able to hold off on the hamburgers until 1:00, but they weren't going to wait any longer than that.

For the buns, I used Ezekiel's sprouted grain sesame burger buns.

They were quite a bit bigger than my little hamburger patties. :)  But so delicious.

Can I add really quickly that I bought and used Trader Joe's Organic Ketchup with these hamburgers?  I am in love.  It was the best ketchup I have ever had.  I even found a facebook page dedicated to it, and "liked" it.

Anyway, protein was exactly what the kids needed.  These burgers kept their bellies full and bodies going for three and a half hours.  At 4:30, we each ate a bowl of brown rice that had been cooked in chicken bone broth instead of water.   We used Organic Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce for the first time, and I approve.

To give us all a little extra boost of nutrition and make our dinner more filling, I decided to make a smoothie out of some coconut water & fruit juice mixture I found at Big Lots for 50 cents.

It is not organic, but look!

It is Non-GMO!  I blended it with yogurt, vanilla and honey.  The kids were literally gulping it down.

I'm sure they will need a snack before bed, but not a bad day all in all.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Meal Plan for the Week

Day 1 - Sunday
Breakfast: Buttermilk coffee cake, blueberries
Lunch: Chewy bars, yogurt
Dinner: Hamburgers & brown rice cooked in bone broth.

Day 2 - Monday
Breakfast: Baked oatmeal cups
Lunch: Bean and cheese burritos, apples/applesauce
Dinner: Ranch potato wedges, green beans

Day 3 - Tuesday
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and toast.
Lunch: Hot dogs, baked sweet potato
Dinner: Cheesy baked chicken pasta, broccoli

Day 4 - Wednesday
Breakfast: Fried egg and sausage sandwiches.
Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly sushi rolls, cheese, pickle
Dinner: Sloppy joes, corn

Day 5 - Thursday
Breakfast: French toast, blueberries
Lunch: Grilled cheese, homemade crackers, hummus
Dinner: Bacon, egg and avocado salad w/ homemade ranch, garlic crescent rolls with marinara sauce.

Day 6 - Friday
Breakfast: Whole wheat donuts
Lunch:  Kefir smoothies, fresh popcorn
Dinner: BBQ chicken, peas

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I was out and about one afternoon and became very, very thirsty.  I needed a drink, stat.  Here in Washington, there is no shortage of what I refer to as Coffee Shacks.  Small little drive-thru coffee houses that are conveniently placed in almost every single parking lot, everywhere.  I wasn't in the mood for coffee, but drove up to see what else they had.  I asked her what was in a creamsicle and she said, "Orange juice, vanilla and cream."  Yum!  It was delicious, but I wasn't about to ever again pay almost $4 for a few sips of orange juice and cream.

Here, I have re-created the creamsicle.

Start with a glass of ice and fill it 3/4 full of fresh squeezed orange juice.  OJ from the grocery store will work, of course, but you might want to read a little bit about processed orange juice here, here and here, first.  I prefer to opt out of buying industrial orange juice and make it myself from fresh oranges.  Maybe twice a month, I'll squeeze a bag of oranges and we'll all have a glass with breakfast, but we try not to drink juice on a daily basis -- it's really nothing but sugar.

Anyway, I'll jump off my juice soap box now...

Add 2 or 3 generous splashes of half-and-half or cream.  I know, I know, ideally you'd want to use raw milk, of course.... but I don't have any in the house today!

And lastly, add a splash of vanilla.

I know what you're thinking!  I even have store-bought vanilla extract!  I left my jar of home-made vanilla extract with a friend in Texas.  I need to order vanilla beans and get a new batch of extract going, because this junk has unnecessary sugar added to it. ;)

Anyway, there you have it!  A tasty little drink.  It tasted exactly the one from the coffee shack.