Remember how earlier I said that when Dad’s away….we like to play? ~ And play we did!!
Things that I have discovered today:
1. Oatmeal is just as yummy cooked “Southwestern” style!
I really enjoyed this mornings breakfast :) I have to admit being a southern “grit” girl, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about savory oats. I decided to give it a go, and I made my southwestern bowl subing oats for grits.
Southwestern Egg & Oats
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 2 spoonfuls of cottage cheese
- ground cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt, & pepper (a good sprinkle of each spice)
- 1/3 cup oats
- 2 tbs. flaxseed
- 1 “fried” egg, over medium
- handful of spinach
Place the first three ingredients and spices in a small pot and bring to a slight boil. Add in you oats and flaxseed, whisk occasionally. Cook according to package directions. Stir in a handful of spinach towards the end of cooking. Top with egg & salsa.
I only cooked 1 egg for this breakfast since I wasn’t sure how I would like it. Next time I would cook 2 eggs. I like to chop the eggs up and mix throughout the oats.
2. Tom’s shoes will be my go to shoe for quite some time – probably even into flip flop season
I absolutely love my Tom’s. I currently have two pair and plan on ordering a couple more. They are very comfortable, like wearing your slippers :) I recommend these for anyone – and besides you give a pair of shoes to a child in need with your purchase, that alone is reason enough to buy at least one pair!!
3. Yogi Bear can still put a smile on a young child’s face!
Yep guys, we hit the movie theatre today for a little Yogi :) You see my little boy loves Yogi Bear. He has even met his furry little friends in person :)
4. No matter how many times they promise you – little boys will eventually leave all the baking up to you!
The boys were begging for some homemade muffins today. Of course they can’t agree on one muffin. You see one must have chocolate, while the other insists on blueberry. I made them promise to help if I had to make two different muffins – you see where they are? Noah is playing at the bar, while Kohl is hiding in the play room! Guess it is all up to mom.
5. There is nothing more enjoyable than homemade treats for the upcoming work week!
Of course since the oven was already turned on for use today, I just had to take advantage and make a treat for myself. After all moms deserve baked treats as much as little boys do!
Almond Joy Biscotti
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted almonds, divided (I use sliced almonds)
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 2 tsp. instant coffee crystals
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
- 1 whole egg
- 1 egg white
- 2 tsp. coconut extract
- 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put 1/4 cup almonds, both flours, cocoa powder, coffee crystlas, baking soda, and salt in a food processor. Process a few minutes until the almonds are finely ground. Pour mixture in a large mixing bowl.
Combine sugar, egg, egg white, extract, and lemon zest in a blender and process until mixture is foamy – 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Add remaining sliced almonds. Mix well and divide the dough into two. Shape each half into a long and place on baking sheet. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, reduce oven temp to 300, and allow the logs to cool for 10 minutes. Cut each log into 1/2 inch pieces on the diagonal. Bake the biscotti pieces for an additional 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
6. Homemade almond butter is a lengthy process, but so worth it!
I love to make my own nut butters when I have the chance. Of course this doesn’t happen as often as I would like because honestly I don’t have take the time to do it. Since the food processor was already out, and I have sliced almonds for once, I decided to give it a go. You see I have never made almond butter. I have done my own walnut & pecan but never almond.
Vanilla-Cinnamon Almond Butter
- 2 cups sliced almonds
- 1 tbs. vanilla extract
- 1 tbs. cinnamon
- 1 tbs. coconut oil
Place the almonds in food process and process until smooth. You will have to stop every minute or so and scrape the sides down. This will also take approximately 15 minutes – lengthy but worth it. Add the remaining ingredients and continue processing until nice and creamy.
7. My firewood stash makes for a nice photo prop!
8. Biscotti tastes just as wonderful with almond butter as with cappuccino!
9. When you bake homemade muffins you probably will not have to make dinner – little hands have a tendency to keep coming back for more!
10. Tofu isn’t as scary hard to cook as I thought!
Let’s talk about tofu shall we! I have often seen this ingredient in many recipes that I have really wanted to try; however, I have always been intimidated by it. I have heard of many “flops” when people tried to cook it, and I have to admit my soup version didn’t turn out so well. After doing much reading I decided to give it a go. Here is what to do – slice your tofu in what ever size you would like. I placed the block of tofu on it’s side and sliced it in half. I then to one of the halves and sliced it in half. Then I laid the blocks flat and cur lengthwise into two pieces. I ended up with four slices of tofu, and 1/2 of the block left over (I only cooked half of the tofu since I am the only one eating it tonight).
I then placed a dish towel on my cutting board with two paper towels on top of it. Place the tofu slices on the paper towels. Layer two more paper towels on top of the tofu and another dish towel on top of that. Place a heavy book on top and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This helps to absorb all of the water out of the tofu. After 15 minutes remove all the towels and marinate the tofu.
This salad was really delish! I absolutely loved it, I even think I may be able to get the hubster to eat this one. The recipe is adapted from my current issue of Oxygen magazine. I enjoyed a side plate of sweet potato fries with it :)
Tofu & Quinoa Southwestern Salad
- Juice of 1 lime
- Juice of 1 lemon
- zest of lemon & lime
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- pinch of red pepper flakes
Place all ingredients in a ziplock bag with the tofu slices. Shake the bag around to evenly coat the tofu. Set aside and let marinate for about 20 minutes.
- 2 handfuls of spinach leaves
- 1/4 avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
- 1/4 cup corn kernals
- 1/4 cup black beans (rinsed)
- 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Juice of 1 tangerine
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- dash of sea salt
- 1/2 tbs. olive oil
Chop all salad ingredients and place in a bowl. Add the quinoa, corn, and beans to the salad. Heat a grill pan on the stove and grill the tofu until it is brown on both sides, and you see nice grill marks. Slice the tofu and place on top of salad. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
I sprinkled pumpkin seeds on top of my salad to add a little extra crunch to it. The recipe can also be made with grilled chicken, as it was originally, for those who do not care for tofu. This salad was very filling and packed with awesome nutrients :)
Now it is time for a nice bath and a good book. That’s it folks – this is how we play when dad is away! Looking forward to enjoying a little banana soft serve later this evening with some of my yummy almond butter mixed in :)