Pumpkin Smoothie

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This month’s Recipe Redux is all about “spooky spices.” We all have spices in our cabinets that we’re not quite sure how to use, so they just sit there. The great thing about spices is that they can add flavor without adding unnecessary sugar, so it’s a good idea to get comfortable using them. For me, ginger used to be a spooky spice. I avoided it because it has such a strong flavor. I like ginger, but it can be overpowering. So it just sat there in my cabinet. As I’ve gotten more comfortable experimenting in the kitchen over the years, I’ve embraced my bottle of ground ginger. A little bit goes a long way, so I always start with just a pinch. This pumpkin smoothie recipe illustrates … [Read more...]

Chicken Chili

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Chili is one of my favorite meals. It’s just so cozy and flavorful. I love to eat chili for lunch or dinner, and I always put aside some leftovers in the freezer. When I look to the freezer to save me on a night when I just can't cook, I breathe a sigh of relief when I see that chili. I have several different versions I like to make, including vegetarian squash chili and chili con carne. This chicken chili is a mild version to accommodate my children’s palates. If you prefer a stronger chili flavor, you can double the chili powder and cumin, and add diced hot peppers or cayenne pepper. This is a simple recipe to put together when you have leftover shredded chicken … [Read more...]

Soft Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

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There’s one thing that’s eluded me over these past few years as I've tried to feed my family real food. It’s the bread thing. I just couldn't get my hands on a homemade whole wheat bread recipe that yielded anything other than a brick. I baked loaf after loaf, and they always tasted good out of the oven. But then as the hours passed, each loaf would turn into a dense mass. It was always edible as toast, but “edible” isn’t exactly what I was going for. I wanted a soft, 100 percent whole wheat loaf of bread that would stay soft for a few days. I wanted bread that I could freeze and then defrost for sandwiches later in the week. I wanted my kids to stop asking for the soft, junk-filled … [Read more...]

Apple Cake Recipe

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Apple season may very well be my favorite time of year here in New England. We love to go apple picking, enjoying the newly-changing foliage and the cider donuts. In my opinion, apples are the tastiest treats in the fall harvest, and I love the dilemma of deciding what to do with 20 pounds of apples fresh from the orchard. As part of Cutco's Fall Harvest Food Blogger Event, I’m sharing this delicious apple cake recipe. I’m excited to work with Cutco because their knives are the only knives I've used in my kitchen since I got married 14 years ago. The quality is fantastic, and I firmly believe in the importance of investing in high-quality kitchen equipment. It keeps you sane when … [Read more...]

Pumpkin French Toast

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French toast is very popular in my house. Whether we eat it on a weekend morning or as breakfast for dinner, my family is always happy to see it on the table. This Pumpkin French Toast is a delicious treat that captures the flavors of fall. Serve it with a little pure maple syrup and some berries for a satisfying meal. This is a great recipe to cook with children. Younger kids can crack the eggs and dip the bread in the batter. Older ones can watch the French toast in the pan and flip it when it’s ready. It’s a forgiving recipe, so it’s okay if it cooks for a little too long or falls apart. It will still taste great. [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:139] Pumpkin French Toast Price Breakdown This … [Read more...]

Tomato Frittata

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I recently became the proud new owner of an Excalibur dehydrator. It was perfect timing with this month’s Recipe Redux challenge, “Get Your Dehydrator On.” Dehydrating produce when it’s in season is a budget-friendly way to stock up for the winter. I get so much produce during the summer from my farm share, and I've been wanting to use a dehydrator to process the excess. I’m still experimenting with my new machine, but one of my successes thus far is dried cherry tomatoes. My farmer grows the sweetest, most delicious cherry tomatoes. We get the orange sungold variety as well as the bright red ones. Some weeks, I come home with several pints of these goodies. They’re so simple to … [Read more...]

Eggplant Bolognese

Eggplant Bolognese

My farm share is such a godsend. I used to eat the same few vegetables over and over. I didn’t know what to do with all the other stuff at the grocery store, so I stuck to “safe” things like broccoli and carrots. Now that I belong to a CSA, I eat a much wider variety of vegetables. I don’t actually love them all, but I still eat them. You can't eat a varied diet if you only eat your favorite foods over and over. Eggplant isn't at the top of my "favorite vegetables" list. While I don’t enjoy eggplant straight up, I’ll eat it without complaint if it's disguised in a recipe. This Eggplant Bolognese is the perfect example. Eggplant gives pasta sauce a bit of bulk, but you don’t … [Read more...]

Chocolate Spritz Cookies

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These chocolate spritz cookies are a delicious treat. They’re soft and not too sweet - just how I love my cookies. I’m happy to be partnering with OXO to share this spritz cookie recipe. OXO is one of my favorite brands when it comes to small kitchen gadgets. Their quality is always great in my experience, and all their products come with a lifetime warranty. I recently met an OXO representative at a conference, and I asked her, “Does the lifetime warranty apply to a salad spinner that my toddler son played with ALL the time until he broke it?” She said yes, it would have been covered. Too bad I didn’t know that back then, but happily the replacement I bought years ago is still … [Read more...]

Pumpkin Brownies

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I love brownies. I’ve tried many, many different brownie recipes over the years, and even the failures tasted pretty good. So it’s with a dose of reverence that I say: These may very well be the best brownies I’ve ever made. After I tasted the first one, I was tempted to drive to my children’s school to pull them out early. I wanted to confirm that these were as good as I thought they were. The kids are my trusted critics. I didn’t drive over there, though, but instead distracted myself with other tasks as the day wore on. When the end of the school day finally came, my son (who doesn’t love chocolate, and can’t stand anything “dark chocolate”) and my daughter (the dark chocolate … [Read more...]

How to Make Protein Bars

chocolate coconut protein bars

The season of packing school lunches is here again. The old classic PB&J is an easy fallback, but it’s important to embrace variety and mix up what goes into your children’s lunch boxes. This month’s Recipe Redux is full of ideas for “brown bag bars and bites.” Learning how to make protein bars is one of the best things you can do to keep the lunchtime meal varied and fun. Homemade protein bars are perfect for kids. They taste like dessert, but they can be filled with healthy ingredients to keep children satisfied and energized throughout the school day. They work at snack time as well as lunch. Sweetened by dates, these bars can also be shaped into small squares or balls to fit … [Read more...]