Wednesday, October 24, 2012

(Relatively) Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

I made these for Brinnly's fifth birthday and they quickly became a hit here.  Almost as good as a oatmeal cookie, but socially acceptable to eat for breakfast!

Monday, October 15, 2012

rerun: pumpkin sausage pasta

From October 11, 2012
This is one of my favorite fall dishes... so, worth posting again. Really anything pumpkin falls into that category.

Friday, October 12, 2012

My new tool

Plan to Eat is my new endeavor.  Anyone else out there using this tool to plan their meals?  My goal is to plan for a month of meals total, with grocery shopping only every two weeks.   Wish me luck!

Monday, October 8, 2012

apple banana oatmeal


2 cups water
2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
1 cup chopped tart apples
1/2 cup sliced bananas
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/3 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
Brown sugar, optional

1. In a saucepan, combine water, orange juice concentrate, apple, banana, raisins, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil.
2. Stir in oats and wheat germ. Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring occasionally. 3. Sprinkle with brown sugar if desired.
Makes 4 servings

The girls and I have been having oatmeal pretty much every morning. I had been fixing steel cut oats, but during pregnancy, I found that those just took too long, and I was feeling waaay nauseated by the time they were cooled and ready to eat. So we usually just have old fashioned oats with a bit of honey and cinnamon. I switched things up this morning, and the new recipe seemed to go over well.

Friday, October 5, 2012

apple cobbler

From September 11, 2012
We've been having a lot of apple treats lately, after our trip to Simmons Farm last week. I've made one crisp, two pies and four cobblers. I adapted a recipe my mom sent me, as that one didn't seem to have enough batter (though the photo on their site would have you believe otherwise)- and I cut back on the sugar and replaced it with turbinado sugar.


4 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced (about 5 apples)
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts, divided
1 1/4 cups of self rising flour
3/4 cups of turbinado sugar
1/3 cup Smart Balance or Earth Balance, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Melt butter sub. and set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup of sugar, cinnamon and half of the walnuts. Peel, core and slice apples, tossing with about 1 tablespoon of lemon. Place apples into the bottom of the baking dish and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture.

In a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour and sugar. To that, add the butter sub., milk and egg and mix together until well blended. Pour over the apples and sprinkle the top with the other half of the walnuts. Bake at 325 degrees F for one hour or until golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Finally...a post from the Ward kitchen! About tofu!

Hey, remember us?  Since my last post, I  have a new kitchen (well, nothing is quite new about the kitchen itself, but it is a new-to-us house) and it's even more crowded.  There's a total of four little girls running around in it, eager to help cook.  Don't worry, you can usually still find muffin tins on the phone.

With all of our transitions in the past few years, healthy eating is still central to our family's balance.  I tried a new freezer meal group for a while, but now I'm on my own for meal planning and prep.  I'm trying out a new routine of meal planning and a new site for it so I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, I finally learned a technique for cooking tofu and it totally changed my life.  Okay, that's a bit of a stretch, but it was really, really helpful.  Last week I chopped up an eggplant, sauteed it in some Trader Joe sauce, and added the tofu after I was done with these instructions:

Served with rice it was a hit for the whole gang.

Have you learned any new techniques lately?

Chicken and rice chowder

From September 11, 2012

...Another easy hit from Saving Dinner (except I added a lot more of everything in order to have some to freeze post-babe)...

4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
2 teaspoons thyme
salt and pepper
1/2 cup brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk


1. In a large saucepan, bring chicken broth and water to a boil and add the chicken. Add thyme and season with salt and pepper; add rice and reduce heat.

2. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, carrots, and celery; cook until onions are translucent. Add flour to the mix and combine well. Add this mixture to the chicken broth mixture in the saucepan.

3. Stir milk into everything and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 20-30 minutes.

Read more at:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pasta Fagioli soup

1 lb ground beef- brown and drain any fat
12 oz. pasta- cook until al dente
1 TBSP olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped (saute the onion, garlic and carrot in oil until tender)
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (28 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (16 ounce) can (white) northern beans, drained
7 cups chicken broth
3 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons pepper
3 teaspoons parsley (Combine the rest of ingredients up to this point in a large pot and simmer for an hour or so.)
2 cups spinach, chopped (add spinach before serving)

This was an experimental soup, in which I kept adding more and more things I found in the refrigerator and cabinets that sounded like they might do well in an Italian pasta soup-- I was trying to make plenty so we'd have leftovers to freeze for after the baby comes. It turned out very good and was enjoyed by everyone- that's the fastest I've seen Iris eat in a long time, and she asked for a second bowl. I think we'll all be happy to have it again.

I forgot to take a picture, but this is the closest I could find to what it looked like (except imagine beef instead of chicken)- from