Real Food, Homemade, Graham Crackers

Graham Crackers

I mentioned in previous weeks that one of the hard parts of our real food journey is snacks, since that is what we’ve been used to eating in convenient, store bought, processed forms.

So, my Real Foods board on pinterest is filled with lots of great snacks and desserts that are real food friendly. When I shared the graham cracker photo on my facebook page, there was a lot of interest in the recipe, so I know a lot of you are also interested in finding real food recipes that you can feel good about feeding your family.

Now, before I continue, I have to admit that these aren’t really graham crackers, because they aren’t made with graham flour. However, they are crackers and they were a big hit at my house!

They smelled wonderful while baking and as soon as they came out of the oven, my kids were grabbing at them before they were even cool enough to eat! Hubby was just getting home from work, and he grabbed one as well and said “These aren’t going to last long!”

My 4-year-old heartily exclaimed, “These are delicious.” And my 6-year-old ate about 3 before I could slow him down.

Then, they both decided we should take them to our church’s Wednesday night meal for our dessert (we are allowing ourselves to eat off plan during times like these, but still try to take some things so it’s not as bad). My 6-year-old even said we should take extra because they were so good his friends would probably want some too.

So, here is the quick & easy recipe. Seriously, these came together very quickly. And, did I mention they are yummy and a huge hit?

These were gone in a flash, but the next batch, I’m already planning to have some strawberries and homemade whipped cream with them. Yum!

Homemade, Real Food Graham Crackers

What you need:

  • 2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in small bowl.

2. Mix wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour flour mixture into wet ingredients and mix well.

3. Roll out onto cookie sheet. Mine was a large rimmed cookie sheet, about 13 x 18. And, this is where having my broken rolling pin really came in handy. The handles are forever falling off in the middle of rolling, but for this project, it actually made it easier to roll (without the handles). So, yay for broken things.

4. Cut into cracker sizes and pierce tops with fork. I let my kiddos pierce the tops with forks, so our piercings have some character. You’ll still have to cut them apart after they are finished baking.

5. Bake approximately 10 minutes, or until edges start turning brown.

And, enjoy :)

 

 

Got Snow? Make Snow Cream!

Snow Ice Cream from Serving Joyfully

I know some of us are still getting some winter weather, so I wanted to share this recipe. I shared it on my facebook page a couple of months ago and received some criticism for allowing my kids to eat snow. So, I’ll just go ahead and confess that I have 2 little boys who were quite fast as toddlers and I learned to loosen up a little. Snow is definitely not the worst thing they’ve ever had in their mouths, I’ll just put it that way.

Now, on to the recipe. When I was a little girl, this was a great treat for us and my mom made it with a touch of vanilla, evaporated milk, and sugar.

When we got our first good snow as parents and I went to make this for my son, I learned a couple of things. First, I learned that I had no sugar in my cabinets!? As an avid baker who usually has a couple extra bags of sugar, I still can’t believe that happened, but it did. So, I decided that milk + sugar…sweetened condensed milk should work, right? And I had that, so that’s what I used. But, a lot of people use milk and sugar, so if you have that instead–go for it.

I also learned that not everyone experiences snow cream as a child. My hubby had no clue what I was talking about and I was glad to rectify that quickly!

So, here is the recipe:

Snow Cream Recipe

12-14 cups snow (I fill up a 14 cup mixing bowl that I have)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
Additional flavors as desired

Combine everything in a large bowl. Stir (and stir, and stir, and stir), until everything is all mixed up. After I took this picture, I stirred some chocolate into mine. It is soooo yummy!

And, some pictures of us enjoying ours. My 6 year old thought it would be fun for me to take a picture mid-bite.

snow cream

And, this one shows how enjoyable that bite was!

Snow Cream

Even daddy enjoyed it, finally realizing what he’d missed out on all those years…haha.

(Side note: he’s growing his hair out for the role of Jesus for our church’s passion play! Pretty cool, huh?)

Snow Cream

 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Crescents (#CartonSmart)

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carton Smart. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love it when a package comes to my door that can educate, inspire, and motivate. Just a couple of weeks ago, this happened. I’ve seen the occasional carton packaging at my local grocery, but honestly hadn’t though much about the implications of them.

 

In researching for this post, my eyes were really opened to the benefits of carton packaging, and I hope you will Become Carton Smart as well. There are more and more options available in cartons–including many favorites for your holiday cooking, and everyday meals.

Like the Pacific Foods Chicken Stock:

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And the Pacific Foods Cranberry Sauce:

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From their website:

Being Carton Smart isn’t about big, grand gestures. It’s about making small, deliberate choices that add up to make a big difference. And choosing cartons is just one of them.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that we try to be friends of the environment. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle is a motto for us. Which is why I was so excited to learn about tetrapak carton packaging. 

• Tetra Pak® cartons are made of 70% paper, a renewable resource, from selectively harvested, re-grown trees that are FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council)

• Cartons use 1/3 of the packaging compared to cans.

• Cartons are space saving, easy to store and open.

• The unique packaging process preserves the flavor and nutrients of food without the use of preservatives.

• Recycleable and in fact result in 60% less landfill waste than cans

• Cartons are re-closable so you can use what you need and save the rest for later.

Since I live in a small house, with little shelfspace, I love how compact these cartons are and how easily they stack.

Check out the infographic below for more carton facts.

 

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If you’d like more info about being Carton Smart, you can Tweet @CartonSmart or Follow #CartonSmart on Pinterest

Now on to this delicious recipe that I made using the Pacific Foods Organic Pumpkin Puree. These are delicious!  There is just a hint of pumpkin flavor, but the pumpkin puree adds a nice color to the rolls, and makes them extra moist.

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What you need:

1 carton/can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. butter
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
5 cups flour
1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) yeast
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

For the Icing

1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp milk

What to do:

1. Combine pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup sugar, and 3 tbsp butter in a saucepan over medium heat, just until combined and butter is melted. The mixture should be warm but not hot.

2. In a large bowl, mix salt, yeast, and 2 cups flour. Add pumpkin mixture to this flour mixture.  Add eggs and beat well.

3. Mix in remaining flour until a soft dough forms. Knead until smooth, approximately 5 minutes. Cover and let rise (in a warm place, free from drafts) for approximately 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

4. Divide dough into 4 pieces, rolling each into a large circle, approximately 1/3 inch thick. (tip: keep the remaining pieces covered until you need them). Brush with melted butter.

5. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

6. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture liberally onto the top of dough, and use a pizza cutter (or knife) to cut each circle into 10-12 pieces. Starting with the wide end, roll each up into a crescent shape, and place onto a well-greased cookie sheet.

7. Let rise approximately 30 minutes.

8. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-13 minutes.

9. To make the icing: Cream butter in a mixing bowl. Add 1-2 cups powdered sugar, and mix well. Add remaining powdered sugar, alternating with milk until desired consistency is reached. Finally, mix in 1 tsp vanilla extract.

10. Spread icing on rolls and enjoy :)

Tip:  This dough refrigerates well and can be made ahead the night before. To do this, simply put the dough in a ziploc bag after the first rise (you may have to separate it into 2 large bags). When you’re ready to fix them, start back at step 4.

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Dressed Up Peppermint Brownies {Gooseberry Patch}

Disclosure: I received a copy of this cookbook for preview. I was not otherwise compensated.

Dressed up Peppermint Brownies from Serving Joyfully

I was very excited to get my Gooseberry Patch Hometown Christmas cookbook recently. As always, I couldn’t wait to flip through it and read the recipes, tips, and stories. The recipe I’m going to share with you today is a real winner!  Everyone in our family loved it, and it would also be perfect to take to potlucks or Christmas parties, since it’s very festive looking.

The original recipe called for green food coloring and mint-extract, but I’m not a fan of food coloring and I knew I was going to add some of these Andes baking pieces to the top, so I left out the food coloring.

Dressed Up Peppermint Brownies

What you need:

For the brownies:
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder

For the frosting:
1/2 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Andes baking pieces (or 1/2 tsp mint extract)
1 tbsp milk
2-3 drops green food coloring, if desired

For the chocolate topping:
6 tbps. butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2-1 cup Andes baking pieces, or crushed peppermint candy

What to do:

1. Combine 3/4 cup butter (melted), and cocoa in a large bowl; stir until well mixed. Stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and milk. Add flour and baking powder; mix well and spread in a greased 13″ x 9″ baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Do not overbake. let cool.

2. Meanwhile, combine powdered sugar, 1/2 cup butter, vanilla extract, milk, and food coloring. Beat until smooth. If using andes baking pieces, fold those in last. Spread over cooled brownies.

3. In a saucepan over very low heat, melt together chocolate chips and 6 tbsp. butter; stir until smooth. Spread over the top of icing. Sprinkle Andes baking pieces or crushed peppermint candy on top. Cut into squares. Makes 16-20 servings.

In addition to providing me with a cookbook to preview, Gooseberry Patch also provided me one to give away for one of you :)  Simply enter via the rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is your favorite holiday dessert?

Quick & Easy Strawberry Cream Desserts

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
Strawberry Cream Dessert

Today, I’m sharing the recipe for our favorite at-home date night involves this very dainty, fancy looking dessert. Did I mention it’s also no-bake, and super quick & easy?  Put simply, it’s a winner all the way around. Visit my date post on Happy Wives Club to get all the details of the date.

Now you all know how I love to cook and bake, and that most of it is done from scratch. However, we all have baking emergencies, right? Times when you get a last minute invite, or you *ahem* forget you were supposed to take something somewhere?  This recipe is for those times. This dessert can be whipped up in just a few minutes, and it is super yummy. In spite of how simple they are, I always have people ask me about them if I take them to a get-together. And, I always come home with an empty dish.  It also makes a great dessert date!

What you need:

1 package of cream horns (you can make these yourself, but they are no longer quick & easy)
strawberries (about 1/2 lb)
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional
2 tbsp butter, optional

What to do:

1. Slice cream horns into 1-inch pieces. Tip: Put them in the freezer for approx. 30 minutes to harden before slicing. This will make them easier to cut without them breaking.

2. Place a strawberry slice on top of each piece.

3. Optional: Melt together chocolate chips and butter, and drizzle over each piece.

I’ve had these both with and without the chocolate on top and they are delicious either way.

So, that’s it!

In my book, Intentional Marriage, I include a list of 101+ free & cheap Date ideas! Check out the book for 31 daily devotionals to encourage you to love your husband intentionally.

What’s your favorite quick dessert?

 

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