Thursday, June 20, 2013

Super "Orange" Sunrise Juice

Okay, I think this might be my new favorite juice!!! It's so yum, yum, yummy!! The ginger (note that small little nub of freshly peeled ginger down by the pointy tip of the carrot) gave the juice a little unexpected kick!!! I added the cucumber in there because, why not? It has hardly any flavor, but gives tons of juice and is full of vitamin C and anti-oxidants!! And that sweet potato is not only full of glorious beta-carotene (a powerful anti-oxidant that protects our cells - also in the carrots and oranges), but it provides potassium and magnesium. And the pineapple, well, I never need a reason to add pineapple to anything (it happens to be my favorite fruit of all time).....but, just in case you are curious, it is overflowing with vitamin C and manganese (another powerful anti-oxidant).

Before I started blogging my juice recipes, I was afraid no one would care or I'd get negative feedback like, "Enough with the juice, you hippy, give us another meat and pasta dish!" But to my happy, happy surprise, I have received lots of wonderful feedback from friends encouraging me to blog MORE juice recipes!! WOW!! You guys are awesome!! Juicing is such a wonderful way to LOVE and HEAL our bodies. I am extremely passionate about it. I have been juicing on and off for over ten years. I recently started juicing again and am amazed at the way my body has reacted in such a short time. I am hooked again! This time I think for life!

Please let me know what you think of this Super "Orange" Sunrise Juice!!

*Please note that I always use organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Fruits like oranges and pineapples do not need to be organic because they have such thick skins. But it is best to buy organic carrots (which are cheap) and especially cucumbers (non-organic have a waxy coating that should be removed before juicing).

3 oranges, peeled
3 carrots
2 cups of pineapple
1 medium sweet potato, peeled
1 organic cucumber
1/2 inch nub of fresh ginger, peeled (use more if you like a strong ginger flavor or omit if you do not)

Run everything through your juicer (I always re-juice the will be surprised how much more juice you get from a second round through). Drink immediately or save in an air tight container for one to two days MAX.  This makes approx. three 8 oz glasses.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fennel, Apple & Lemon Juice

Okay, I have seriously been going crazy over blogging all these juice recipes!!!! I *PROMISE* I will try to post something new soon, soon, soon!!! But for now, just indulge me and take a look at this little beauty!!!

Fennel tastes like black licorice to me. I have to say, I am NOT a black licorice lover one single bit. But, there is something about that flavor mixed with the apple and lemon that is just lip-smacking delicious!!! This just was uber refreshing and I will definitely be making at again!!! Let me know how you like this.

1 fennel bulb, washed and cut (I didn't use the tops, but I'm sure you can)
2 organic apples, washed and cut
1 lemon, outer zest peeled, remove as many of the seeds as you can

Run everything thru the juicer. Serve with ice if you like it cold. Place any extras in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Juice should be consumed within one or two days max. This made two 8 oz glasses.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pineapple, Cucumber & Kale Juice

Another juicing recipe for you diehards! Thank you for all the feedback on my last juice post! This one promises to be just as healthy and *almost* as delicious (the Apple, Cucumber Mint is my true favorite - I'm just keepin' it real).  Every time I drink a glass of fresh juice I imagine my body standing up and applauding while yelling, "Bravo, Bravo, Thank you, oh Thank you!!!" The thought makes me happy!

I think pineapple is a great way to introduce yourself to kale juice. It has a strong flavor and produces a ton of sweet juice that does a fairly good job masking the kale. Now some of you want that kale flavor to come shining through.....but for those of you who are new to juicing or are trying to get your children to drink it, I think this is a good introductory juice! If you want, add a lemon! Enjoy!!!

1 whole pineapple, peeled (the core can be hard to get down your juicer, but, I have juiced it before)
1 cucumber (please use organic!! If you aren't using organic, peel off the waxy skin)
5 kale leaves
1/2 bunch of mint leaves

Wash all produce thoroughly and put through the juicer. This made about three 8oz glasses of juice. Store any extra juice in an airtight container. Use within one to two days max.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pudding Pops

I love making my kids homemade pops! This recipe for Pudding Pops from the blog Budget 101 really caught my eye! Any child of the 80s fondly remembers Pudding Pops endorsed by Bill Cosby. WHY OH WHY did they stop making those delectable frozen treats??? They were so good!!! These homemade pops come pretty close to the taste I remember and my kiddos gave them a thumbs up!

1 small box instant chocolate pudding
2 cups milk
1 5oz. can evaporated milk
1/2 cup sugar (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix on med/high for 2-4 minutes or until well blended. Pour into molds and freeze. Makes 8-12 Popsicles (depending on the size of your mold). You can also try using different flavors of pudding to shake it up!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Apple, Cucumber & Mint Juice

Okay, I'm doing it.....I'm going to start posting my fresh juice recipes! I have had many requests from friends that are interested in here goes! I'm going to start by sharing my absolute FAVORITE juice!! This is a great starter juice because it has a very sweet, refreshing flavor. I have a couple hard-core friends who primarily juice vegetables (Shanna and Carrie, my two juicing inspirations)....and I do juice veggies, but, I'm not going to lie and say I LOVE the veggies more than the fruit, because I don't! I'm still a sweet girl when it comes down to it! And I can tolerate a head full of kale better when it has a little pineapple mixed in! Ooh, recipe for that one to come!!

Anyhow, this juice is simple, inexpensive and very satisfying. Even my children like it despite it's green color. The apples do a great job in masking the cucumber and the mint and lemon give you that "I've-just-been-to-the-spa" feeling.

This recipe makes one 8oz glass of juice. Double or triple it if you want more! Store extra juice in an airtight container in the refrigerator (but it is always best to drink it shortly after making it). Let me know what you think!!  ENJOY!

2 apples (I like golden delicious)
1/2 an organic cucumber (leave skin on if organic- if not, peel skin)
4 - 5 sprigs of fresh mint (I just juice the leaves, not the stems)
1/2 lemon (remove outer rind and as many of the seeds as you can; inner white pith is fine)

Run all ingredients through the juicer. Give a little stir to combine before drinking. You might like to add an ice cube or two to the juice; I find it tastes best chilled.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Fig, Bacon & Goat Cheese Pizza

Oh how I love and adore the blog A Cozy Kitchen! This pizza recipe was truly delicious! We ate the whole pie for dinner and were sad there wasn't more! Thanks to Whole Foods I used a nice pre-made whole wheat pizza dough. However, I can give no thanks to Whole Foods in the fresh figs department.  Alas, I was forced to use dried figs (that I soaked in hot water for 5 minutes to plump). The dried figs were pretty darn good, so, I can't pretend I was too disappointed. I think the balsamic and honey drizzle seriously put this unique pizza over the top!  Enjoy!!

Recipe from A Cozy Kitchen:

3-4 slices of bacon, cubed
12 ounces of store-bought (or homemade) dough
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
4-5 black figs, quartered <I used 10 dried figs that I soaked in hot water for 5 min to plump>
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 handful of arugula <I used fresh, chopped spinach>

Preheat oven to 500 F and heat up stone for 30 minutes <I used a regular pizza pan that I sprayed with olive oil and sprinkled lightly with cornmeal>

In a medium fry pan–over medium heat fry bacon until crispy. <I straight up microwaved it>

Gently pull pizza dough apart into a non-perfect circle. Place on a piece of parchment. Smear on a thick layer of goat cheese on the pizza dough's entire surface. Top with figs and bacon.
Place on the stone (with parchment) in the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. <Again, I didn't use the stone and parchment; just a pizza pan sprayed with oil and lightly dusted with cornmeal>

While pizza is cooking, add balsamic vinegar and honey to a small saucepan. Cook to reduce for 3-5 minutes, or until thick and syrupy. 

Remove pizza from oven and top with a handful of arugula <I used spinach> balsamic/honey reduction sauce.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The BEST Chocolate AND Vanilla Cupcakes PLUS Cool Whip & Pudding Frosting

My boys just turned S-E-V-E-N!! For their birthday party I wanted to make cupcakes (which is a departure from my "Famous Chocolate Cake" as they loving call the Best Chocolate Cake on Earth <click here for recipe> which I have made three times in the last two weeks, one cake for each of my children's classrooms). As much as I love and adore that recipe, I am just tired of making it!!!

So, I asked the boys, "What kind of cupcakes do you want for your party?" Twin A says, "VANILLA!" Twin B says, "CHOCOLATE!" Of course, they both want something different!!! At least they both agreed on chocolate frosting! Okay, next stop, Pinterest.....I was on the hunt for easy, delicious vanilla and chocolate cupcakes AND frosting. And I found all three! Truly amazingly moist vanilla cupcakes, equally scrumptious and moist chocolate cupcakes and unbelievably delectable chocolate frosting! Here are all three recipes! ENJOY!!!
P.S. It is worth noting that the parents at the party ALL had cupcakes themselves! In addition, they took all the leftover cupcakes home to spouses, children, etc. There was not one cupcake left at a birthday party with 16 children (I made around 40 cupcakes). They were really that good!

The recipe for the Chocolate Cupcakes comes from Sally's Baking Addiction:

1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1 small box Jello Chocolate Fudge instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream (or low fat Greek or regular yogurt)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line two 12-cupcake pans with liners. Set aside.

Using a stand or hand held electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, milk and sour cream. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes.

Scoop the batter evenly into cupcake liners. I got 20 cupcakes using 1/4 cup measuring cup to spoon into the liners.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and let cool. Once fully cooled, frost cupcakes.

The recipe for the Vanilla Cupcakes comes from the blog Running Away? I'll Help You Pack
1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow or vanilla cake mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 dozen cupcake liners

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place 2 dozen paper liners in cupcake pan.
Place cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are incorporated, 30 seconds.  Stop the machine and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes longer, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are slightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of one cupcake comes out clean.
Cool cupcakes on a wire rack in pan for 15 minutes.  Remove from pan and sit on wire rack until completely cooled.  Frost.

The recipe for Puddin'Head Frosting comes from Not Just Cute:

1 box of INSTANT chocolate OR vanilla pudding (or whatever flavor you like!!)
Use HALF the amount of specified milk on the back of the pudding box
1 tub of Cool Whip frosting, thawed

Use an electric mixer to mix the pudding and the milk for two minutes. Fold in the cool whip. Put into piping bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes (or frost a cake or eat it straight out of the bowl because it is THAT good).
<This frosting held it's shape in my air conditioned home for a couple hours at least! I was so impressed with how easy it was to make, how nice it looked and how good it tasted!!!!>

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Hippy Dippy Carrot Muffins

Despite the EXTENSIVE baking section on my blog, I'm actually a health nut. In fact, I'm just a few slices of bacon away from being a vegetarian. One of my favorite things to make is fresh veggie and fruit juices. (I've been wondering if my blog audience is interested in my juice recipes?? Maybe, yes, no? Leave a comment and let me know). Anyone who juices knows there is always a lot of pulp left after the veggie/fruit has been juiced. Usually I just toss it! But, recently, I've been using the left-over carrot pulp to make these super delicious muffins. I think they are so good I've been sharing them with my girlfriends after our classes at the gym. They are like little veggie-packed nuggets filled with post-workout goodness!!! They were all asking me when I was going to blog them and I said, "Nah, they are too granola-loving hippy; they aren't sweet enough to blog." They all said, "BLOG THEM, PLEASE!" So, Shanna, Keli, & Sarah, these carrot muffins are for you!!

3/4 cup almond milk (regular milk is also fine)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs
2 cups carrot pulp (finely shredded carrots using a standard grater is fine, too)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup oat bran
2 Tbl ground flax seed (optional)
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts
1/4 cup dried fruit such as cherries, blueberries, cranberries or raisins

Preheat oven to 350F

Combine almond milk, honey, canola oil, applesauce, eggs and carrots in a large bowl using a wire whisk. Add the dry ingredients and combine with the wet. Fold in walnuts and dried fruits. Pour batter into a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes.

These make a healthy, protein packed breakfast or snack. I find them so satisfying and filling! YUM!