Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sorry for the delay & please stay tuned!

Well hello everyone!  I just did the math...and haven't posted for 7 months.  Have I forgotten about blogging?  Absolutely not.  Do I desire to blog?  Absolutely.  I write blog posts in my head probably 4 times a day.  Seriously.  I love reading about food.  I love looking at food.  I love cooking food.  I love hearing that someone tried a recipe I wrote about.  I love bumping into a mom at church or the beach who has read my blog and just wants to say hi...Jay thinks it's hilarious and laughs a little.  I truly enjoy it!

So what have the last 7 months brought for me?  A complete new inspiration for a new blog.  New blog address.  New blog topics.  New blog header photos (which have already been taken!).  A new design.  Lots of vision and dreaming time.

But more dear to our hearts than any of that...saying goodbye to our sweet Nate who now lives in Heaven with Jesus.  Most of you reading this already know this news...but some of you may not.   Almost 5 months ago, our exactly 5 month old son Nate peacefully went to live with Jesus.  Here's a photo of our little man...taken that morning.  


We love him and miss him...but we are so proud of him.  We have the peace that passes all understanding, which only comes from knowing God...and know with all our hearts that Nate is with Jesus and that we will indeed see him again.  What more could we want for our son!

So...will this new blog get up and running soon?!  Absolutely!!  Just in the right time for our family:)

In the meantime....I HAVE to share this cookie recipe...hands down the best cookie in the house.  Absolutely breakfast friendly...unfortunately not lunch box friendly due to the nuts.  Love these.  They freeze well, store well, stay fresh for a few days on the counter...if they last:)  They don't have a bit of "you can tell these are healthy but I just want a treat" funny taste...they taste gourmet!  Who doesn't love that?  Anyhow...try them yourself and let me know what you think!  Thank you to Angela at Oh She Glows...the first food blog I ever started following...check her out!  The recipe is perfect as-is...didn't change a thing!

Irresistible Chewy Trail Mix Cookies

Many blessings on each of your homes this weekend...see you soon!
Stephanie











Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vegetarian Split-Pea Soup

My absolutely favourite go-to big-batch soup this year!  I've always loved Split-Pea Soup...but it's always impossible to get it without ham.  We aren't pork eaters in this house.  I've thought of just trying to make it without the 'hock' or whatever part of the pig you are supposed to use...but assumed you would miss out on amazing flavour.  Back before Nate was born I was collecting recipes to cook and fill my freezer with...and I found this one!  I was hopeful and made a triple batch of it...we loved it...it freezes amazing...and it's been made many many many times since!  In fact I think I made a quadruple batch the morning of the day I had Nate...I thought maybe the midwives would get hungry and need something to eat?!  His 38 minute labour and delivery didn't leave time for anyone to stop and eat soup!  Ha!  But it sure came in handy the days that followed:)  Hope your house enjoys it too!

Oh...and one of my favourite things about this soup...other than being healthy and simple...it's so affordable!  My guess it that is costs me about $10 to make my massive pot full...and that's using all organic ingredients.  That's always a good thing:)

VEGETARIAN SPLIT_PEA SOUP
slightly adapted from here

INGREDIENTS:
8 cups veggie broth
3 cups dry split peas
4 large carrots, sliced
8 stalks celery, sliced
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
 
DIRECTIONS:
1.  Heat oil in pot.  On a low heat, add onions, garlic, carrots and celery.  Let cook until soft.
2.  Add all remaining ingredients.  Bring pot to a boil.
3.  Reduce heat and let cook until peas are soft...stirring often to avoid burning at the bottom of the pot.  Feel free to add more or less broth, or water, depending on the consistency that your family prefers!  Add salt and pepper to taste.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Avocado-Chocolate Chip Muffins

I was SO excited to get a subscription to Clean Eating magazine this Christmas!  I rarely rarely buy magazines....just can't justify the cost...but when I'm traveling or wanting a treat...this magazine is usually what I go for.  My friend Sindy had told me about an amazing Avocado-Chocolate Chip Muffin recipe that Clean Eating featured...and I couldn't wait to try it!  Little did I know that the copy of Clean Eating that I had picked up on a stop-over while in Vancouver airport over the holidays was outdated (October!) when I got around to reading it...being of January...and had this recipe in it!  Really...did I honestly think that while traveling to Ontario by myself with an almost 5 year old, a 3 year old and a 4 week old that I'd have time to read a magazine!?  The 3hrs we sat on the plane and waited for "unknown reasons" while in Vancouver may have been the ideal time to pull my magazine out and highlight everything I want to try cooking?!  Ya right...with three little boys!  Or the 4 hour flight after that?  Or the 2 hour car ride to my parents after that?  Oh what an adventure that day was!  Phew!  But we survived and all was good.  Our boys did amazing (in hind-sight...haha)...and my magazine was left untouched:(

Enough about the drama...these muffins are every bit as amazing as Sindy said they were.  Kids love them...adults love them...they are filled with nutrition...and the best part...they are nut free so you can pack them in your kid's lunch!  I find that so challenging.  Most things we eat at home have some form of nuts or nut butter in them...so when it comes to school or daycare at the gym...I really struggle to come up with nutritional snacks that will fill them up and not just be empty calories.  The only hastle with this recipe for me is that you need to have a ripe avocado.  We are all lovers of avocado and guacamole in this house...so ripe avocados go fast!  I need to start hiding one or two when I buy them so I can use them to make these muffins again!  And incase your kids aren't fond of avocados...you can't taste them at all in these muffins.  I'd recommend pureeing the avocado to make sure there is no green flecks...that way they won't even know:)

Hope your family enjoys these as much as we did!  They are healthy, simple, super moist and taste decadent.  That's exactly what I love in a muffin:)  What's your favourite muffin recipe?



Avocado-Chocolate Chip Muffins
slightly adapted from Clean Eating, October 2012...page 22

INGREDIENTS
1 3/4 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup chia seeds (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed (or pureed if you want no chunks visible)
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips...I use these

DIRECTIONS
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, chia, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
3.  In a smaller bowl whisk eggs, oil, avocado, banana and vanilla.  Add to flour mixture.  Stir until just combined.  This mixture may seem really thick...that's normal.  Fold in chocolate chips.
4.  Spoon batter in muffin cups.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the centre.

I stored ours in the fridge...they are really moist so I was worried about molding...they would freeze well too I'm sure.  Ours didn't last long enough to bother!

Monday, December 17, 2012

A few of my Favourite things...

Well Merry Christmas everyone!  Boy it seems to have been a while since we connected on here...and speaking of BOYS...let me introduce you to our newest precious little man...Mr Nate Joseph Wiebe.  Born November 22, 2012...he's amazing...we are so in love and enjoying every moment with him...he fits in perfectly!



So although I don't have any 'new' recipes ready to share with you today (I seriously have photos of about 9 different things on my phone...waiting to be blogged...oops!)...I thought I'd link up some of our family's favourite Christmas recipes.  Some from this blog...some from the web...and a few new ones I tried this year and we loved!  Hope you enjoy!

Always a hit...Starbucks style Gingerbread Loaf...my personal favourite:)

Most requested cookie in our house...Chewy Ginger Sticks

My go-to homemade gift for teachers and friends....Salted Fig & Almond Bark...similar to this
I use raw almonds...ENJOY LIFE chocolate chips...so good!!!

Our main course for the SUMMIT Christmas dinner...Filet Mignon with Creamy Red Wine Sauce...new recipe for me...very simple...great wow factor!

Amazing fun and new dessert idea...DIY Chocolate Truffles...also enjoyed at our SUMMIT Christmas dinner...would be amazing for any size group...will definitely do this again!  Thanks Jamie Oliver!

And one more...a great rolled out Gingerbread Cookie recipe...tried this one last year and loved it...the black pepper adds an amazing element.  Store in a sealed container and they stay soft and chewy...that's a win for me!  Obviously...I sub in some healthy choices...spelt flour and coconut sugar...amazing!


Many many blessings on your families and homes this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas from our family!
See you in the New Year...


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

You're on the same page as me if this was one of your favourite meals as a kid!  I had totally forgotten about this soup until I stumbled upon this recipe on good-ole Pinterest:)  It was a HUGE hit with our boys...and I have to admit I still loved eating it too!  Healthier for your kids on many many levels than the $0.59 can of it that you can pick up at the grocery store...SO simple to make...and VERY affordable!  I remember buying Amy's Organic's version of this soup when Noah was younger...on sale I would pay $2.99 for one can...and he would eat the whole can at one sitting...not the most affordable meal for a 2 year old!  I used all organic ingredients for this recipe and the massive pot that it made probably cost me about $10-$12.  I divided the soup up into little boy portions (which in our house means a large bowl full!) before freezing it and got 15 servings...you do the math...that's less than $1 per serving...not bad!

Enjoy this soup on it's own...with a grilled cheese!...or an entire sleeve of saltines like I'm sure my brother still does! Ha!

*side-note....remember this long posting I did a while back on savings a Costco?!  I mentioned Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Broth.  Huge thanks to the "M" family for letting me know that they have changed their ingredients and now use Autolyzed Yeast Extract...aka. MSG:(  Major disappointment there!  Good news...Costco now also carries the same brand Vegetable Broth...totally 'clean' broth...you will recognize every ingredient in it!  Just shows once again how important it is to read labels...and unfortunately to KEEP reading labels...companies are always making changes!

Now back to the soup...

Alphabet Vegetable Soup
original recipe found here

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 russet potato, diced (I didn't use)
1 sweet potato, diced (I didn't use)
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, not drained (use crushed if your kids are picky about tomatoes)
4 cups water
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups alphabet pasta
2 cups frozen green peas
2 cups frozen sweet corn

In your favourite large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, potatoes, garlic and cook about 5 minutes, stirring a few times during that time.  Add the broth, diced tomatoes, water, tomato paste, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the soup, and cook another 20 minutes.  Stir in the pasta and cook 5 more minutes.  Stir in the peas and corn and cook about five more minutes, until the peas and corn are heated thoroughly.  Add more salt and pepper to taste, if desired.

Enjoy!  Your kids will have a blast eating this soup!



Friday, September 7, 2012


So on our trip out to Covert Farms two weeks ago we didn't just stop at strawberries...we picked peaches too!  See our little boys working away??!! They LOVED it!  Taking home the fruit that day was just a bonus for us...being there together as a family was an event in itself.  So much fun!


We came home with 30lbs of peaches that we nicely laid out...waiting for them to ripen!  While most were just eaten fresh...and some peeled & sliced for the freezer...I decided last Saturday night to bake a dessert to go with out Farmer's Market supper.  Tons of fresh veggies on the grill with steak...that practically begged for a Rustic Peach Galette (really just a fancy word for pie or tart in my books!).  Thanks to Pinterest I already had something in mind...and we were all VERY pleased with the results!  I switched a few of the ingredients up...but for the most part the original recipe can be found here!  There's something about the rustic look to this dessert that just feels like summer to me...I love it!

RUSTIC PEACH GALETTE
feeds 6 people

INGREDIENTS

PASTRY:
1 1/4 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small chunks
1/8 cup ice water, more if needed

FILLING:
4 peaches, peeled and sliced
2 or 3 Tbsp coconut sugar or sweetener of choice
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp spelt flour
2 tbs almond milk, or milk of choice
extra sugar for sprinkling, optional

DIRECTIONS

PASTRY: 
In a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender.)

With machine running, add ice water through feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until dough holds together without being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn out dough onto a clean work surface and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

FILLING:
Preheat oven to 375ยบ.

Roll out dough to a 14″ circle.  Doing this on parchment paper helps a ton. Place dough back in refrigerator.

Mix all FILLING ingredients together until combined.

Remove dough from refrigerator and place peach mixture in the middle of the circle, leaving a two-inch wide rim. Fold edges in over peaches, allowing the dough to overlap as required.

Brush the edges of the dough with milk, and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the peach juices are bubbling.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on a baking rack. Serve warm....with vanilla icecream, of course!?

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Strawberry Chia Freezer Jam

Today I'd like to welcome guest blogger Noah Wiebe (age 4), our son!  This past weekend after great friends' recommendation we took a little drive up to Oliver to pay a visit to Covert Farms.  An amazing organic u-pick farm!  We had a blast.   They grow practically everything there...it's amazing and completely worth the drive.  We filled our truck with many amazing things.  One thing we were most excited about was the fact that they still have strawberries!  We completely missed that season in Kelowna this year.  We're pretty sure that next summer we will be making multiple trips to Oliver to visit the farm:)

Our boys LOVED all the picking they got to do!  Strawberries definitely were the hit though...Levi would scream everytime he moved the leaves out of the way and spotted a large strawberry...I laughed so hard!  Noah was a very focused picker and little did I know that he had plans to not only pick the berries himself...but to come home and make the jam from start to finish by himself!  This recipe was a bit of an experiment, but we were very pleased with the results!  Super simple and very quick.  Involves no cooking of the berries so it's safe and easy for kids to help out with...and also helps keep that fresh berry taste that we all love.  If you've never worked with Chia seeds before, you'll see that they act as a thickener.  The seeds loose their crunch once they are put in liquid for about an hour or so, and they thicken everything around them...very handy!  As a bonus, they have huge nutritional value too!  You can buy white or black chia seeds.  I used white for the jam, it's what I had in our pantry, but either would work.  The bonus of the white seeds is that they end up looking like strawberry seeds and blend right in.

The reason why this works best as a freezer jam is that it eliminates the canning part...makes it easier for kids to help...AND...it lets you control the amount of sweetener that you add.  Canned jam has to have a certain amount of sugar in order for the jam to seal properly and not spoil...you don't have that issue with freezer jam.  Any sweetener will work for this!  We sprinkled a bit of coconut sugar in ours...like only 2 or 3 spoon fulls...and then tasted it once it set.  We found it wasn't quite enough so I added 1 teaspoon of honey to each jar and stirred it in before moving the jars to the freezer.

Tip: Using small jars is best since this jam will only keep for about 1 week once it's taken out of the freezer!

This recipe would work great for any berry...or any combination of berries!  We're off to pick up some more chia seeds so we can continue our jam making!

And now...I officially welcome my first guest blogger, Noah Wiebe!

STRAWBERRY CHIA FREEZER JAM
inspired by source
makes one small batch...multiply as much as you desire!

1 cup fresh berries
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp water
sweetener of choice, to taste


We first drove to Oliver to pick lots of berries and stuff.



You put on your 'maker' (aka...apron!) so that you don't get red on your shirt.  Then you measure out the right about of strawberries.  Wash them and pull all the green tops off.



Next was my favourite part.  You get out your masher and squish all the berries.  I let my brother try too.  Add your seeds and water...stir lots.


Then get your green thing out of the pantry.  Put it on the jar and scoop the jam in.



Leave a little space at the top.



Put your lids on.



All done!


 (Put your jars in the fridge for about 2 hours.  This lets the chia finish up the thickening process. Then move the jars to your freezer!)

Eat for lunch with a fresh bun!  ( I think they liked it!)


Thank you Noah!  We look forward to featuring many more of your recipes in the future!
xo, mom!