Frog Jam Pop Tarts

frog jam pop tart

Five years ago on this day, we drove to the Eastern coast, toward Fenwick Island and stayed at the beach with my family.  The drive was beautiful, especially heading over the famous Bay Bridge and then onto flat coastal lands filled with acres and acres of farmland.  Passing over the bridge always carries a unique and very significant feel to the drive.  It casts away the notion of being bound to the mainland (even though, we’re still attached to it) giving off a sense of freedom.  Freedom that the beach is upon us, especially after a hard winter…

After passing through acres of beautiful agriculture, I saw arched flags along the road, signifying a produce stand.  Mind you, we passed dozens of small and large produce stands, but I was told this was the stand to stop and gather the goods at.  Pulling into the parking lot, it was clear why we needed to check out the food here.  It was beautiful.  Off to the left of the main building was a giant outdoor playground for kids.  I don’t mean the standard kind like we see at a school ground either.  The play area had wooden planes, trains and automobiles, for the kids to climb around in while you shop.

So while the kids were preoccupied, I ventured through the rows and rows of produce.  It was almost overwhelming with the selection, but who can complain about that?  After a lot of searching, I picked up some sweet corn, peppers, cherries, asparagus, and Frog Jam.  I saw these jellies and jams all stacked above the fruit, decorating the stand nicely, and I knew, at that moment what I was going to create with that Frog Jam.  What IS Frog Jam?  A jam that consist of Figs, Raspberries, Orange and Ginger.  There are some other ingredients in there as well, but those are the key flavors that give it the unique name.  I instantly was in love with the concept and had to buy it.

So, what could I possibly create with Frog Jam that would be creative?  Healthy, homemade pop tarts!  My kids love the traditional kind, although, I find them overly sweet and too under-nourishing.  How often can you say that you’re full after a pop tart?  I am willing to bet not too often, and that’s what motivated me to design something tasty and something that works with a child’s palate.  These tarts were very simple to make, as I even allowed the kids to get involved on creating these, with hopes that they would like to eat them too.  I wasn’t sure if the healthy nature of the tart would avert them or the crazy jam inside, but I am happy to announce that my picky children were more than pleased with these treats.  They were just that too, a treat and a breakfast.  What is also wonderful is that you can save these in the freezer for another time.  However, I wasn’t able to save these in my home; I found my husband sneaking a few at a time to take back to the office and snack on, as well as my children doing the same.  The tarts were out of the house in a few days and my family is asking that I make some more again.  I couldn’t be happier seeing my family be excited to eat so well, and the tarts were a perfect change of pace.  So don’t be afraid to find some unusual flavor jam or jelly and create these beautiful and delicious tarts!

Frog Jam Pop Tarts Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/4 cups of King Arthur Whole-Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup of melted Butter (salted)
  • 1 tsp of Sea Salt
  • 1 cup of Organic Plain Yogurt
  • FROG Jam or any other Jam/Jelly

Directions:

Mix together the flour, butter, salt and the yogurt and then when a dough forms, begin to knead the dough.  If it feels too sticky, add more flour; too dry, add yogurt.  Roll out the dough on a floured surface or parchment paper.  Using cookie cutter or a knife, cut the shapes you are seeking.  Add a small spoonful to the dough and spread it out, not hitting the edges, however.  Place top on the tart and press the edges with your fingers first and then with a fork to seal the tart shut.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

This article was previously published through Ciao Florentina, which has since been removed from the site.  I am the original author of this recipe. Thank you!

Eggless Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Eggless Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Let’s be real.  Shall we?  I’m not a person that enjoys fake people, fake smiles (and hellos) and fake food most of all.  How these phony things in life make us feel insecure, bored and unhealthy.  Think about it.  When a person says, “how are you?”  The general response is “good.”  Why would we bother say in passing,” well, today, I want to kick a hole in the wall due to the level of frustration I have experienced today!”  Can you imagine how that would go over???  Then there needs to be a sit down conversation as to why you would want to injure yourself and be destructive all in one setting.  Truly, don’t kick a wall, it lands you nowhere good.  🙂

What’s my “real” statement for today?  I have a love/hate relationship with bananas.  Oh they look so beautiful in the grocery store… and as I select a group, I think, “I’m going to eat these each day and be good to my body – and make the kids eat them too.”  And after two days of sitting on the counter, all of the other choices of food overrule those once lovely bananas.  Now starting to slightly spot, not looking so beautiful… but still edible.  Maybe I’ll have one today.  But no.  It never happens and so I force one of my kids to eat one, so there’s that.  Great parenting! Less guilt, right?  And then the tragedy begins, the spots darken and the odd pungent smell begins – and you know.  It’s time to make a decision.  Feel incredible guilt over the loss of a couple of dollars, or bake with them.

Most of the time, the trash can is the place those bananas go.  This year while working, I found it weight on my shoulders to have to cook with the bananas.  Cooking dinner was enough to deal with.  Baking was put on hold for the most part.  At one point during the school year, I made an executive decision to not buy them.  The counter looked barren and that brief emptiness didn’t last too long.  So, here we are.  Back to bananas on the counter again.  And this time, I forced my daughter to use a recipe and bake instead of pitching them in the trash.  She selected a recipe well, and we now have a healthy homemade breakfast ready for tomorrow!

Want the recipe?

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats 
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup Oil (I used Grapeseed Oil)
  • 3 mashed medium ripe bananas

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a muffin pan with shortening (the recipe makes 12 muffins.)  In a large bowl, mix bananas and oil.  Add dry ingredients slowly to the wet mixture.  Add chocolate chips and mix.  Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way.  The original recipe calls for liners, I didn’t do this, and it seemed to work out well.  Bake for 18 minutes.  Enjoy!

Read More: http://www.egglesscooking.com/banana-chocolate-chip-muffins/

A Valentine Treat Recap

In our home, we love celebrating Valentine’s Day!  But not for the reasons that you think; if you missed yesterday’s posting, stop by and check it out.  In our home, the kids and I make the sweets instead of buying them – that is – unless I’m having a lazy type of holiday.  I had fun researching what types of projects I had worked on in the years past, and it made me appreciate why I keep my blog running, even if I don’t find enough time these days to do so.  This year, I believe I’m going to make scones and somehow dress them up to make it fitting for the day, but that remains to be seen on “how.”  Why scones?  Why not?  Actually, I made a batch for a group of people and the reviews came back that they were heavenly.  Some people even said they were the best scones they had ever had, so that must be saying something!  Truth be told, my family was so jealous when I walked out the door with this beautiful batch of scones, and didn’t even get one bite.  So I owe it to them to make a batch.

Enough rambling – break out the recap!!  Enjoy your Valentine’s Day!!

Goat Cheese TrufflesGoat Cheese Truffles – what better way to say, “hey honey, I love you, and I know you love goat cheese! And chocolate!”  True story, I made these for a dinner party, and found my husband eating the leftovers (straight from the bowl, not even rolled up!) and thought, hmmm, there must be something to these little devilishly amazing bites!  These chocolates keep you coming back for more.  Great for a “la-tee-da” type of person, or someone you just want to impress. 🙂  You’re welcome.

 

Red Velvet MadeleinesRed Velvet Madeleines – Need a Valentine Day breakfast that will impress?  Try these little delights!  Perfect compliment with a nice cup of tea, or hot chocolate.  You and your sweet other will enjoy this as a nice change of pace.  Also great for a dessert at the end of the day, especially after a heavy dinner.  Want to jazz it up?  Serve it with vanilla ice cream.

 

 

Chocolate Strawberry ShortcakeChocolate heart shortcakeChocolate Waffles with Strawberries – Seriously, words cannot describe how amazing this breakfast can be.  Or dinner, should you decide to mix it up.  I have two pictures here because I made it the shortcut method with pre-made chocolate waffles, while my lovely blogging friend in Oklahoma showed an even better way to make them if you have the time and equipment.  Here is her link to make her fancy waffles.

 

 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries – a classic, and yet people still buy these rather than try to make them.  Friends, they are not difficult.  Plus your loved one will love you for trying to make them instead of buying them.  Trust me.  If you don’t believe me, look at who is making them in my pictures of that particular blog post.  My kids, when they were tiny!  Don’t like strawberries, roll some raspberries instead, they are a true delight as well.

 

Finished CakeHidden Hearts Cake – Remember when hiding pictures in a cake was all the rage?  Is it still a thing? I’m not sure, but it’s still fun to create, especially for your kids.  Enjoy the tale of my crazy adventure with making this cake. You will definitely get a laugh.

 

 

 

DIY Valentine Bracelet – This is a fun little project that you can create with the kids.  I definitely recommend following the instructions to make it work.  Seems simple enough, but can be a bit tricky if not careful.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Valentine Cake Pops – I have found myself rolling into a Starbucks buying my kids these sweet bites, and each time I think, “ridiculous what I am paying for these when I know how much it costs to make them!! TONS of them.”  Are they difficult to make? Not if you follow the rules.  And your freezer is your friend when it comes to setting up the cake with the frosting.  I recommend making a red velvet cake with a dark chocolate outer coating – the best!

That’s it for now!  You can search my site for more delights, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Light Banana Almond Smoothie

Happy New Year!  I hope that 2016 is starting off well and that you have a very fruitful year.  And speaking of fruit, I wanted to talk about bananas – which is a main ingredient in this quick and easy recipe.  They constantly get the bum rap on whether they are good for us or not.  I too fell into the trap a while back to ditch the bananas due to high carb load.  Well, that’s ridiculous, because there are too many other beneficial nutritional values that they offer, and I’m here to stand up for this fruit once again.  This smoothie is incredibly simple to make, and will do a nice job filling up the tummy all the while, giving heavy benefits on nutrients.  If you find it’s not sweet enough, you can always add a hit almond butter or peanut butter to give it more depth.  I left it out, as my husband prefers this variety of recipe!  Happy 2016!

 

For what it’s worth – BitStrips did not note that I created this cartoon.  I am the original creator of this strip. Thank you!

Banana Almond Smoothie

 

For those that like written recipes rather than the cartoon:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1/3 cup of raw almonds
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Blend!! (I used a food processor but a good blender will work fine.)  If you like more depth or sweetness, hit it up with a little peanut butter or almond butter!

Paleo Parsnip Banana Muffins

Paleo Parsnip Banana Muffin

It was time.  It was time for a season of change, and a chance to do work for God.  I have poured myself into working at the kids’ school, and found it to be very rewarding!  I also discovered some things just in the past 2.5 months:

I am fulfilled.

I am blessed.  Being able to do God’s work and be near my kids at the same time… amazing!

I have fallen into eating routines I’m not proud of, and discipline is slowly slipping.  But I am not worried; as this is normal for people when change disrupts the routine.  Things will fall back into place accordingly.

I miss cooking and baking.  It is something I continue to do to feed our family, but experimenting with recipes has seemed like a burden… until now.

I’m thankful.  God has given me new vision on how hard it is to work, eat well, exercise, clean the home, be a parent, be a wife, and seek balance in life (and not in that order!) This insight has provided me a chance to see how I can help you even further to balance work and home and still eat well.

Paleo Parsnip Banana Muffins (Recipe slightly adapted from Paleo Newbie Recipes)

Personal thoughts:  This recipe below takes time. Prepare this on a Saturday or Sunday and freeze the muffins until ready to consume.  Muffins came out beautifully, and I was not disappointed! I completely recommend this recipe, and that it is sound.

Messy factor?  Medium Level. Lots of bowls, cups, measuring devices were used.  (But nothing out of the ordinary for me, and I can easily toss into the dishwasher.)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice

Wet Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs – whisked
  • 2 bananas – mashed
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Fold In:

  • 1 cup grated parsnips
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Yields:

  • Makes 12-14 muffins

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan or use a silicone muffin tray. Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl. Mix together, and set aside. Using a food processor (grater attachment) grate up 2 parsnips (about 1 cup.) Fold in parsnips and walnuts. Pour batch into a large measuring cup to help with pouring into muffin tins. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Delightful!!

Paleo Parsnip Banana Muffin

Mango, Cherry and Blueberry Salad

Fruit salad

There are days… You know the ones, where you look in the fridge and announce to the world that there simply isn’t enough fruit or greens to create a salad.  This was me.  I was trying to be good by eating a no grain breakfast, and I was craving some fruit, but everything looked high maintenance to me.  And then… I looked at the bagels.  NO! I was trying to be good, so I didn’t toast some delightful bagels up that day.

Did I mention I love bagels?  Back to fruit.

I won’t kid you, this salad is TOTALLY high maintenance if you are looking for a quick tossup.  This requires mangos and cherries.  Such a pleasure to cut these fruits, yes?  No.  BUT… completely worth the time.  Trust me, your taste buds will thank you for the blessed change.

What I also enjoy about this salad, is that it could be tossed on top of some lovely greens if you want a light meal, or if you were like me, put a side of pork tenderloin (leftovers) and make up some guacamole for a beautiful and healthy breakfast.  It is such a bundle of flavor, perfectly balanced with floral notes and sweetness.  What is not to love?

So, enjoy this overly easy recipe!

  • 2-3 mangos
  • blueberries
  • fresh cherries (pitted)

Toss together in a bowl, maybe add with a homemade dressing of honey and some balsamic! YUM!!!
Cheers!

Rustic Almond Biscuits

Rustic Almond Biscuits

Last night, the weather was cool, and I found it a perfect time to make a beef stew in the crock pot.  Who knew we would still be having chilly weather in April?  Everywhere I go, I bump into people that all say the same statement, “I am SO over this weather.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Back to biscuits.  I am not from the south, so I never really go into the concept of eating biscuits.  I know… “for shame!”  I should love the buttery taste they present, but to me they are awkward to eat because of it’s texture.  Even when made correctly, I would still resort to a croissant or an English muffin any day over a biscuit.

However, this did not stop me from trying out a biscuit recipe that is Paleo friendly.  Eating healthy like I am, very low carbs/Paleo, causes major cravings, and I have to find creative ways to put those cravings to the curb!  This was a great solution, and I labeled them “rustic” because these aren’t your mama’s pretty fluffy and flaky biscuits.  These babies are dense, rich with texture and flavor, and totally deserves the name “rustic.”

Enjoy this recipe pulled from the cookbook Paleo Comfort Foods (with one minor variation of my own)!

  •  6 large egg whites 
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp butter 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder and then with a knife, cut the cold butter into the mix.  Pinch butter with your hands into the flours to create a crumbly mixture.  Chill, if you would like, in the fridge for 10 minutes.  In a separate bowl, mix the egg whites until really frothy.  Pour eggs into flour mix, and fold together.  Spoon batter into greased muffin tins.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

 

 

Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast cookies

Let me get the record straight. These are not Paleo cookies however, they could be depending on what you decide to put in them. When I made this batch of cookies, I found the batter to be really runny, so I put in a LOT of oatmeal, and they turned out to be really delicious. The batch makes up quite a bit, so if everyone in your family is going to eat them, I would make the entire amount. If it’s just you, make 1/2 or freeze the cookies, as you will have more than you can eat by the end of the week.

Breakfast Cookies Recipe (Adapted from The Preppy Paleo)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw almond butter
  • 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2-3 cups mix-ins of choice**

**Coconut, dark chocolate chips, oatmeal, pepitas, walnuts, etc. (I used coconut, chocolate chips, dark dried cherries and oatmeal.)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine all of your ingredients. Drop in tablespoon sizes of batter onto baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Let cool a few minutes and then place cookies on cooking rack.

French Toast Muffins – Paleo

Paleo French Toast Muffins

Lately, I have been viewing breakfast as the most difficult meal of the day eating Paleo. I’m not interested in eating eggs THAT much – no matter what the form. And egg whites are quite tasty, but again, it’s eggs. Paleo pancakes are a great change in flavor, but I know they are made primarily of eggs! And a smoothie on a chilly morning, as wonderful as they taste, makes me shiver  to even think of drinking it. Give me a cup of coffee or tea to start please!

Do you see where the problem is? I love love love baked goods in the morning and so much that if I don’t keep something like this in the house, I will cheat on forbidden foods. I attempted these delicious heavy muffins, just because the title alone made me crave french toast.

This recipe is not sweet, but it is sure wonderful in flavor and fills me up, (along with a piece of fruit to accompany it.) I tested it out on my kids and at first it was a no-go for them. Sure! They want sugar, but I am training their young minds to not have such a strong desire for sweets, so it’s a process. After day two, they did eventually decide that the muffins were tasty!

As this is not my recipe, I must pass the credit to a site – What I Gather.  Thank you Tarah for a great recipe!

Triple Berry Smoothie

Triple Berry Smoothie

Day 13 of Paleo.  I have faced a challenging weekend with this diet, as it’s not one you can catch a break with.  Mind you, I’m not 100% Paleo, but I am 90%.  I’m tired of cooking and cleaning what seems to feel like 85+ times a week, and the dishwasher is now run twice a day.  It’s wearing me down a bit, and this weekend I had a couple of cheating moments.  Not during the football game, of all opportunities, but moments that I cannot help but break the rules, like running errands too long that I need to eat, and didn’t bring something along to curb the appetite.   The kids put out Goldfish to nibble on, munch munch.  They had the Kraft mac n’ cheese this weekend… drool, ok, just one bite.  But my biggest complaint is:  I just want a freaking bagel for breakfast.

Alas, I am being strong through this, despite my constant craving for a bagel.  I have made this delicious smoothie a few times now, and have been asked this morning by my daughter to make it for her, again.  I take that as a good sign.

I don’t have to tell you about the benefits of this smoothie, just look at the ingredients!  Done, and done.  Have fun and enjoy!

Triple Berry Smoothie

  • 1 cup – or more if you wish – Frozen organic berries (blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • big handful of organic spinach

Toss in a food processor and blend until smooth!