Bananas Foster Bread (GF)

mrsnowlin

The plan was to make some healthy Moringa muffins this weekend (actually last weekend).  Instead, I decided to treat myself to a day without my kids being angry at me. So, I made Bananas Foster Bread, also known as the downfall for all healthy cells in my body. 

if-you-eat-zxrelh

 Like, die, die. Also, I’m really sorry for anyone who may be reading this and has had a loved one venture to heaven recently. Seriously though, if they would have eaten this bread, they’d die too. Again. 

Everyone and their grammy believes they own the best banana bread recipe and they are right. Everyone owns it, folks. It’s always the same thing! Butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon or nutmeg, milk, bananas, nuts and maybe some chocolate chips. Nothing new, except the people who drop in a cup of oil. So nastylicious. The secret to banana bread is….the topping!

Make a crumble, make a drizzle, make something to jazz up your banana bread. On that note, if anyone, anyone at all, is able to create a photo of banana bread with jazz hands, email me right away. 

No segue at all here, just gonna move on. This is probably old news to most of you, but I still can’t get enough of this particular meme…

35wEjQ4

You know what else I want to talk about? Gut microbiomes!

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I know, it sounds so boring. If you don’t already know however, gut microbiomes are like the Keymaster from Ghostbusters. Your whole world is locked into your gut, seriously. Skin conditions, depression, anxiety, thyroid connections, fatigue, brain fog and cancer…it’s all in your gut. Well, cancer isn’t really in IN your gut, but your gut has the key to preventing the disease. 

Research on the gut microbiome has exploded over the past few years. This bold new frontier may just provide the string theory of all human disease. “Name just about any ailment plaguing us and you’ll find some ­researchers discovering the microbial angle for a connection,” says Leach, whose latest book, Bloom: Reconnecting with Your Primal Gut in a Modern World, is due out this fall. – Eating Well

One more quote. If I broke it up into two, I figured I could trick you into reading two short things instead of one super long. Sorry, I should have had more faith in your reading stamina

From birth to age 5, children receive more anti­biotics than during any other five-year period in their lives. One of Leach’s colleagues, New York University microbiologist Martin Blaser, M.D., believes antibiotics have “deranged” the micro­biome—even causing some species to go extinct—and that their overuse is why many health problems, including type 1 diabetes, obesity and allergies, are on the rise.

Why am I talking about this? It’s an ulcer update!

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Our lives are in the balance of our guts. All the symptoms that we keep masking with mega-drugs are often tied to the good vs. bad ratio of gut bacteria. We got it wrong. I say we like I’ve had any actual part in the world of medical research. 

We (using it loosely now) may have even got the appendix wrong. Turns out, it might not be a left over piece of intestine we once used to process tree bark. The appendix might just be an extra pool of good bacteria, which can be sent into our gut. – Science Focus

You know what else is up and up and coming in the gut world? Fecal transplants. They super heal and yes, I totally understand how freaking nasty that is. 

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To really talk about all things microbiome, I’d need to start another blog. My poor sister site, SheEmbarks.com is already there, sad over not getting enough attention. So, I’ll point you in a starter direction if you are interested. 

Here are nine ways to start taking betta’ care of your belly (by Dr. Mark Hyman)

  1. Eat whole, unprocessed, unrefined foods. One of the best ways to maintain gut health involves cutting out the sugar and refined carbs and jacking up gut-supporting fiber.
  2. Make 75 percent of your plate be vegetables and plant-based foods. Your gut bugs really love these high-fiber plant foods.
  3. Eat good fats and get an oil change. The good fats we mentioned earlier (like omega 3 fats and monounsaturated fats, such as extra-virgin olive oil) will help with decreasing inflammation, giving healthy gut bugs a chance to flourish.
  4. Supplement smartly. Beyond the numerous benefits (including reducing inflammation), studies find omega 3 fatty acids can support healthy gut flora.  You should definitely supplement with an essential fatty acids formula, if you’re not regularly eating wild-caught fatty fish.  You can find professional-quality formulas in my store. Take a good probiotic supplement.This helps reduce gut inflammation while cultivating health and the growth of good bacteria.
  5. Add more coconut. Studies demonstrate anti-inflammatory and weight loss benefits from adding Medium Chain Triglyceride or MCT oils. One of my favorite fats, coconut oil and coconut butter, contains these fabulous fat-burning MCTs.
  6. Remove inflammatory fats. Cut out bad, inflammatory omega 6 rich fats like vegetable oils. Replace these with healthier oils like extra-virgin olive oil and coconut oil.
  7. Add fiber-rich foods. Nuts, seeds, and a special fiber called glucomannan provide prebiotics and feed our healthy bacteria.
  8. Add fermented foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and miso contain good amounts of probiotics so your healthy gut bugs can be fruitful and multiply.

The above recommendations are not miracle cures.  They are the actions that lead to normalized gut function and flora through improved diet, increased fiber intake, daily probiotic supplementation, the use of nutrients that repair the gut lining, and the reduction of bad bugs in the gut with herbs or medication.

Bulletproof your gut

Underground Wellness resources

So, that’s what I’ve been working on. Which is why I can tell you that one slice of this banana bread wrecked me for 36 hours. Totally bloated, 2 pounds of water retention, SO much indigestion and total belly aching. Gluten wasn’t a factor this time, leaving my other arch nemesis, SUGAR. While I can attest to the total deliciousness of this recipe, I can affirm my statement from earlier, you will die. This bread is the downfall of both my healthy cells and society altogether. But…oh lawdy, lawdy it tastes so good. 

banana bread

 

GF Bananas Foster Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12 slices
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour
  • 4-5 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ c butter
  • ½ c pure maple syrup
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, set aside. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in eggs, milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes,
  4. While bread is cooling, melt together butter, syrup and vanilla over low heat. Take mixture off burner and whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Pour over bread and enjoy heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biscuits On A Weeknight

mrsnowlin

What do you think of when I mention the idea of baking biscuits? 

Do you think of the urban legend, “Biscuit Bullet”, where a lady thinks she’s been shot in the head, but it is really the can of biscuits that popped open in her grocery bags and exploded? 

 

Do you think of June Cleaver, Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker or some other middle-aged white woman with a clean apron?
martha

Do you think of Sir Mixx A Lot and his masterpiece, “Buttermilk Biscuits.”

Y’all ready to get busy? (huh huh!)
Now, buttermilk biscuits here we go
Zip the flour roll the dough
Clap your hands and stomp your feet
Move your butt to the funky beat (huh huh)

Buttermilk biscuits (x 3)
(Lord have mercy Mix-A-Lot’s our here rappin’ about biscuits now)

Freak from L.A. to the Carolinas
Dip them suckers in Aunt Jemima
Don’t make a difference what food you make
Use buttermilk biscuits to clean your plate
You eat ’em in the morn’, you eat ’em at night
Kentucky Fried Chicken makes the suckers just right
I am eat ’em with jelly at my favorite deli
Wrapped and sealed by a freak named Shelley (huh huh)

Buttermilk biscuits (x 3)

 If this has all been too much for you and a little break is what you desire. I’d like to offer up a quick video from a master biscuit baker. Ladies and gentlemen, the best of…Mrs. Paula Deen.


 So, what makes these biscuits so wonderful? There is no need for a rolling pin, biscuit cutter or even kneading. You use two bowls, one for dry ingredients and one to whip egg whites. The egg white beating is the hardest part of this recipe and it is only so if you don’t have a mixer. As long as you keep any yolk remnants out of your egg whites, whipping the whites on high for about 2 minutes should change the liquid from foam to a puffy, white substance. Gently folding the eggs is the secret to allowing the biscuits to bake up light and airy. 

Try these, they are awesome. Once again, you can totally believe me. Not like those other freaks who swear the peas porridge in a pot, nine days old is the best way to eat it, sickos. 

peas

weeknight biscuits

 

Weeknight Biscuits
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Ingredients
  1. 2 c sifted all purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp salt
  3. 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  4. 4 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/4 c soft butter
  6. 3 large eggs, separated
  7. 1 c whole milk
Instructions
  1. Sift dry ingredients 3 times.
  2. Cut butter into flour mixture.
  3. Beat egg yolks thoroughly and add milk and beat again.
  4. Stir egg yolk mixture into dry mixture gently.
  5. Beat egg Whites until stiff. Fold into batter and blend gently.
  6. Pour into buttered or sprayed muffin tins.
  7. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
  8. Check after 15 minutes and turn oven down to 375.
  9. Test with wooden toothpick for doneness.
http://fooditforward.com/

Pumpkin Scones

mrsnowlin

I have a story I’d like to share and I’m not sure if it’s a good idea, but I will anyhow.

My second dental cleaning was this afternoon. Not the second cleaning I’ve had in my life, but second in the past few weeks. I had a deep cleaning where my gums get a bit of numbing and the hygienist goes to town. These cleanings each take an hour and a half or so and your mouth isn’t in the mood to party afterward. What am I getting at here? I needed to eat lunch before my appointment. 

It didn’t dawn on me that I should eat something, until about fifteen minutes before I was scheduled to be in the chair. The kids had already been dropped off and I had already spent my “extra time” picking up a fun new bag I ordered from my friend. I knew I needed some protein, but wasn’t sure where I could park, run in, buy something and have time to eat it.

First place with a parking spot in front? The bagel store. Knowing full well bagels are not on my “Good Eats” list, I bought a bagel dog in hopes of finding some protein in the hot dog and hopefully gnawing only a little of the bagel wrap away.

Now let’s talk about how it really went down.  

The man behind the counter didn’t hear me say that I wouldn’t need my bagel dog warmed up, so he microwaved it anyhow. I pushed all the bad things I know about hot dogs out of my head as I forked over the money for my “lunch” and a pack of day old bagels for my boys. He pumped some mustard and ketchup into a cardboard box that is meant to hold french fries, I grabbed the bagel dog and ran out the door, then jumped in the car.

5 minutes to go and the drive over would take 4. I dipped my bagel dog into some mustard and then ketchup and took a bite of what I knew would be a little too hot. It didn’t matter, I was hungry.

Ok, so “a little too hot” also translates to blazing inferno in this situation.

As I was having trouble ripping a bite of the  bagel and dog off, I felt my fingers got hot while I worked and worked to tear off the last 10% of my bite. I didn’t have a napkin around my food,  and even though my fingers were burning, I couldn’t just put it down. There was a big bite in my mouth and I would have either:

A) Pulled a chewed up bite of bagel dog out of my mouth, still attached to the big dog

or

B) Let go of the bagel dog and let the whole thing hang from my mouth while I let my hand cool down.

Are you following me? does this make sense?

My mouth could handle the heat of my food, but my hands couldn’t. Plus, I was driving. I really did contemplate letting the bagel dog hang from my mouth while I kept both hands on the wheel. I had no choice but to let my fingers sizzle away while I had my fill of bagel.

The worse part is, I went back for a second bite, even after my pointer finger was left red and throbbing.

I finished my lunch like a champ and then went in to confess to the receptionist why I’d need one of their free toothbrushes.

Grossed out? I know. I’m sure someone I know saw it. Maybe in the next few days I’ll hear, “I saw you driving! You looked like you were in pain. Were you ok?”

Ok, ok, we can finally move on to something everyone loves. Pumpkin scones!

Iced Pumpkin Scones. So yummy!

 

My boys woke up and asked for pumpkin scones from Starbucks, because…well, they have spent a lot of time at Starbucks. I know you aren’t judging. 

Anyhow, our Starbucks  doesn’t sell pumpkin scones right now. So, I did the next best thing and made them myself. Well, that’s the third best. Second best would have been to pay someone else to do it. Alas, I’m poor. So, I messed my own kitchen up.

Pumpkin Scones
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breads & Breakfasts
Serves: 8-12
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter (cut into chunks)
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin (plain, not pie mix)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 3 tablespoons half and half
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • Glaze
  • 1 cup + 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons half & half

  • Spiced Glaze
  • 1 cup + 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons half & half
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ ground ginger
  • ⅛ ground ground clove
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger cloves and nutmeg.
  3. Using a pastry knife, two knives or a food processor, cut cold butter into the dry mix of flour and spices.
  4. Continue to cut the cold butter into the mix, until there are no large chunks and dough is course in texture.
  5. In a smaller bowl, whisk together pumpkin, molasses, egg and vanilla.
  6. Combine wet ingredients into the larger bowl of dry ingredients.
  7. Mix only until all ingredients are combined.
  8. Place dough on a lightly floured surface, kneading a few times to solidify.
  9. Roll the dough with a floured rolling pin into a large rectangle, about ½ inch high.
  10. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough horizontally and then into quarters.
  11. Cut each quarter into four triangles.
  12. Place dough on a lined or buttered and floured pan.
  13. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown.

  14. After scones have cooled, mix together the powdered sugar and half and half for the white glaze. Sifting the flour offers better results. If the glaze is too runny, add more sugar.

  15. Mix the spiced glaze in the same way as the white glaze.

  16. Dip the top halves of scones into white glaze, being careful not to over do it.
  17. Using either a squeeze bottle or a small utensil, drizzle the spiced glaze over the top of iced scones.
  18. Giving the glaze time to set will offer better results.
  19. Enjoy!
 

Sliced Bread for School Lunches

mrsnowlin
Breadmaker Bread

We had an…um, “discussion” the other day about bread in our house. I rarely get mad at my husband. Like, hardly ever. I get annoyed with him, sure, but mad, not really. There are three things he can do though, that will surely get me seeing red. Wait until you read how serious and important these things are.

1. Dump out the rest of my coffee. I know it’s six hours old. I’m still working on it!

2. Come home with a sunburn. Lord, help my husband if he ever brings my kids home sunburned.

3. Buy low quality food for the kids.

If I find a Snickers wrapper in his car or an Old Carl’s Jr. bag in the backseat, I mostly just roll my eyes. But, when he saved us money (somewhere between .50¢ and $1) by bringing home the extra-cheap store brand bread, I flipped my ridiculously food-sensitive lid. It is loaded with chemicals and High Fructose Corn Syrup. It’s not made of food, it’s made of lab-grown materials!

Lucky for me, Jy is super patient and deals with all my ______________. (I was thinking of the words: oddities, quirks, tangents. What where YOU thinking?)

Fine family, you want your white bread. You won’t eat my weird brown, sprouted bread? I’ll make you some white bread. Because, I love you. See how much nicer I sound by saying I love you?  Close one!

Breadmaker Bread

 

I have made loaf after loaf in my bread machine and rarely have I had such success as I have had with this recipe. Most of the time, my short blocks of wheat and yeast are either doughy in the middle, too heavy to digest or just plain nahashty.

This is the PERFECT school lunch style white bread recipe. No corn syrup, no wheat gluten, no xanthan gum, no adjfkdlsjfasedhryeiist, which is probably a thing. It’s foolproof! Don’t be afraid when you see your dough rise, rise, rise!

I’m experimenting with a loaf using 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 white flour. Next, I’ll work on ridding the white sugar. I have a feeling though, that this will be the exact recipe I make for school lunch sandwiches (using raw sugar instead of white).

Give it a go, you’ll end up with a giant loaf of bread!

Sliced Bread for School Lunches
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package bread machine
  • yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45
  • degrees C)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Follow your breadmaker's instructions to put ingredients in the correct order. Don't let water get too hot or it will kill the yeast. Use the 2 cup basic white button on regular color for your machine.
 

Challah At Me Girl

mrsnowlin

 

 

 

Try not to drool, but check out my pre-birthday dinner! My uber-talented Aunt Debi made a 94-course meal for our whole family. Brisket, a meat by many names, salmon with provolone and spinach in pastry, chicken nuggets for the kids (in all of us), corn, asparagus, heart-shaped carrots in a brown sugar sauce, sauteed mushrooms, roasted cauliflower, roasted potatoes, spinach soup and wait for it….CHALLAH!

2013-05-25

Have you had homemade challah before?

challah

Doesn’t that just looks so yummy? Your eyes don’t lie. It’s awesome. This isn’t my aunt’s recipe for Challah, I’ll save that for another post,when I can actually learn how to make the braided dough of heaven. However, this recipe from Fine Cooking is supposed to be awesome. The only problem you may come across is with your willpower. This is a bread I can not be around more than about two times a year. My heart hurt from trying to eat too many pieces last night.

Challah
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • tsp. instant yeast (Red Star Quick Rise, SAF Perfect Rise, Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise or Fleischmann’s Bread Machine Yeast)
  • 16-3/4 oz. (3-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour (Hecker’s, Gold Medal, or Pillsbury); more as needed
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1-1/2 tsp. table salt
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Sesame or poppy seeds for sprinkling (optional)
Instructions
  1. n a large bowl, mix the yeast with ½ cup of the flour.
  2. Add the warm water, stir, and let this mixture, called a sponge, sit until it starts to puff up, 15-to 20-minutes.
  3. Add the eggs, oil, honey, and salt; stir until well combined. The sponge will remain lumpy—this is fine.
  4. Add the remaining flour and mix the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are combined.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until fairly smooth, about 2 minutes.
  6. The dough should feel very firm and will be hard to knead. If it’s soft and sticky, add more flour until it’s very firm.
  7. Transfer the dough to a large, clean container and cover it well.
  8. Let it rise until doubled in bulk and very soft to the touch, about 2 hours, depending on the room temperature. Line an insulated baking sheet with parchment or oiled foil. If you don’t have an insulated sheet, stack two sheets together (this keeps the bottom of the bread from overbrowning during baking).
  9. To shape the dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle a little more flour over it.
  10. Spread and flatten the dough a bit, but don’t worry about punching it down.
  11. Cut it into six equal pieces.
  12. Set aside the dough pieces, cover them lightly with plastic, and brush all the flour off the work surface. Have a small bowl of water handy. Using no flour, roll a piece of dough with a rolling pin into a very thin sheet, between ⅛ and ¼ inch thick (don’t worry about making a rectangle; an amoeba-type shape is fine).
  13. The dough may stick to the work surface; this is all right—just nudge it gently with a dough scraper.
  14. Tightly roll up the sheet like a carpet to form a strand. Roll the strand back and forth between your hands until it’s thin, very even, and 12 to 15 inches long. At the ends of the strand, angle the outer edge of your hands into the work surface as you’re rolling to make the ends pointy and the strand thicker in the middle (This will help you get a football-shaped loaf). The strand needs to grip the work surface slightly during this rolling; the “grab” will help as you roll. If the strand is too slick, very lightly dampen it with water to help it grip the work surface better. Repeat the rolling out, rolling up, and elongating steps with the remaining five pieces of dough, rolling them out to the same length.
  15. Lightly sprinkle all the strands with flour to prevent them from sticking to one another during proofing.
  16. Arrange the strands parallel to one another. At one end, gather and pinch the strands very tightly together.
  17. Weight the end with a heavy canister to keep the braid from moving and to leave your hands free, and braid closely, following the illustrations below. Lightly tap each end of the loaf with your palms to tuck it under the loaf.
  18. Move the second-to-the-right strand to the far-left position.
  19. Move the far-right strand left over two strands, to the center position (spread the strands apart to make room).
  20. Move the new second-to-the-left strand over to the far right position.
  21. Move the far-left strand (the same strand you moved in step 1) over two strands to the center position. Now repeat the steps.
  22. Transfer the braid to the lined baking sheet and cover it loosely but thoroughly with plastic wrap. Let proof until doubled in bulk and the loaf remains indented when lightly pressed, about 2 hours, depending on room temperature. (If in doubt, let the dough proof more rather than less.)
  23. To bake:
  24. Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Just before baking, brush the dough with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, if using. With a thin wooden skewer, poke the bread deeply all over (the holes will prevent air pockets and help the bread keep its shape during baking). Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the challah 180 degrees and bake until the bread is a dark, burnished brown, about another 15 minutes. (If the challah is browning too rapidly cover it loosely with foil and let it finish baking. Don’t remove the loaf too soon, as you’ll risk underbaking.) Let cool thoroughly on a rack.
I totally would have taken a picture of my homemade birthday cake if I stopped to take a photo first. I had saved 1,000 of my daily calories for this dinner and I ate every. single. one. 

Look at this cute little photo of my dad with Dallas and my beautiful niece, Breslin. I’m totally working on  a plan to steal her. Now that I know she sleeps through the night, I’m upping my plan to serious mode.

trio

 

bday photo

 

I’m going to spend my actual birthday (tomorrow) at Philz in Berkeley. I am SO excited to try their coffee! I’ll be sure to let you all know what I think. Some recipes will find their way back on to the blog very soon, promise. For now, have a drink for me (so I won’t have to count the calories) and enjoy your long weekend!

 

 

 

Flour Tortillas

mrsnowlin
Homemade Tortillas

Homemade Tortillas

I have wanted to learn to make tortillas for as long as I can remember. My Great-Grandma (Nana) would roll out little Mexican slices of heaven all the time. Store bought tortillas can’t touch homemade with a ten foot rolling pin. They are two totally different beasts.

Here are the ingredients in Mission tortillas, the most popular brand around my neck of the woods.

Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Vegetable Shortening (Interesterified Soybean Oil, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and/or Palm Oil), contains 2% or less of: Sugar, Salt, Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate and/or Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Calcium Sulfate), Distilled Monoglycerides, Enzymes, Wheat Starch, Calcium Carbonate, Antioxidants (Tocopherols, Ascorbic Acid, Citric Acid), Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Calcium Propionate and Sorbic Acid (to preserve freshness), Dough Conditioners (Fumaric Acid, Sodium Metabisulfite and/or Mono- and Diglycerides).

 

Here are the ingredients in homemade flour tortillas.

  • Flour
  • NON-hydrogenated shortening (more on this in a second)
  • water
  • salt

What would you rather eat? Here’s the other fun part, homemade tortillas will cost you around $1.50 per dozen to make. When was the last time you bought a package of tortillas for $1.50?!

IMG_1890

This is the shortening I used. There is only one ingredient, 100% palm oil. It’s not something you want to eat with a spoon, but it is light years beyond regular shortening. Honestly, if you want an even healthier tortilla, I would use lard. The real deal. There are plenty of resources out there that detail the benefits of using lard over butter or shortening. Pete Wells wrote a great article for Food & Wine if you are interested.

Here, by the way, is what is in Crisco:

SOYBEAN OIL, FULLY HYDROGENATED PALM OIL, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED PALM AND SOYBEAN OILS, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID (ANTIOXIDANTS).

Anything in your kitchen that is labeled with the words, “Partially Hydrogenated”, you want to toss in the trash. It doesn’t matter how much it cost you. When an oil in your food is partially hydrogenated, it has gone through a process which has changed its molecular structure and won’t be fully recognized by your body. It’s closer to a plastic in structure than oil. Hydrogenating oils helps keep a food product on the shelf longer. You know what else it does? It also scars the internal walls of your arteries.

So, go to a health food store and buy the shortening you see above, or get your self some good, clean animal fat. If you are a total nerd and want to learn more about lard, you might enjoy “Who Killed Lard” on NPR’s website. 

 

Because you have read through all the boring stuff, I would like to reward you with some funnies. If you skipped down to this line, then you can’t see the funnies. Close your eyes and skip to the recipe, cheater.

tumblr_inline_mk80qgSAgj1qz4rgp 7805aac48a325ae5abeb602200f286b5 0406404f8d6ecd17014e40ba0ab4cea7


Flour Tortillas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breads
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 12 oz. (2¾ cup) all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup non-hydrogenated shortening
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
Instructions
  1. Instructions adapted from Rick Bayless
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and fat in a large mixing bowl, working in the fat with your fingers, until completely incorporated. Dissolve the salt in the water, pour it over the dry ingredients and immediately work it in with a fork; the dough will be in large clumps. Scoop the dough onto your work surface and knead until smooth. It should be medium-stiff consistency -- definitely not firm, but not quite as soft as most bread dough either.
  3. Divide the dough into 12 portions and roll each into a ball
  4. Roll and griddle-bake the tortillas. Heat an ungreased griddle or heavy skillet over medium to medium-high heat.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough into an even 7-inch circle: Flatten a ball of dough, flour it, then roll forward and back across it; rotate a sixth of a turn and roll forward and back again; continue rotating and rolling until you reach a 7-inch circle, lightly flouring the tortilla and work surface from time to time.
  6. Lay the tortilla on the hot griddle (you should hear a faint sizzle and see an almost immediate bubbling across the surface). After 30 to 45 seconds, when there are browned splotches underneath, flip it over. Bake 30 to 45 seconds more, until the other side is browned; don't overbake the tortilla or it will become crisp. Remove and wrap in a cloth napkin placed in a tortilla warmer. Roll and griddle-bake the remaining tortillas in the same manner and stacking them one on top of the other
 

 

Apple Date Snack Bars

mrsnowlin
apple date bar

apple date bar

 

Don’t these snack bars look yummy? Have you noticed the influx of fake homemade style snacks in the granola bar section of stores? I have! These are so simple and quick, you’ll have no reason to buy the prepackaged variety. I found the recipe in my Whole Foods app and was really surprised just how yummy they turned out. I think experimenting with whole wheat and gluten free flours would be pretty fun.

 

Apple Date Snack Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baked Goods
Cuisine: Snacks
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • 5 Tablespoons butter
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons 2% milk
  • ¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup walnut pieces
  • ½ cup dried dates, pitted and chopped
  • ½ cup apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12 X 9 inch pan
  2. Cream the butter and brown sugar. Mix in the egg and milk. Stir in the apples.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, mix thoroughly. Stir in the nuts and dates.
  4. Spread dough into greased pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into 2-inch square bars.
We enjoyed our Easter weekend and hope you did too, whether or not you celebrate. The kids are on a serious sugar come-down and these bars have been a sneaky way to help pull them out.

It feels strange to write so many posts that are just straight up about yummy food. What happened to the laughs of yore? I’ll tell you.

  • Last week was Spring Break and having kids full time made me remember why I like coffee and date nights.
  • I’ve been reformatting and working this blog and it has kind of killed all the humor in my brain.
  • I’m so annoyed at Target for lowering their selection in almost all departments. 
  • The grumps have taken me over this morning after reading annoying Facebook posts.
  • Basically all the first world problems you can think of that totally don’t matter are bothering me this morning.   

Now that I am thinking about it, I know what’s up!!!!

I have been drinking tea instead of coffee the past two days. Here is how I just cheered myself up, I suggest you do the same!

 

Cafe Style Muffins

mrsnowlin

I found it! I found the best recipe for blueberry muffins! There are millions out there, most of which are heavy flour bombs with some berries tossed in for measure. You lose blueberry muffin world, I have found your leader and I ain’t goin’ back to the oily hunks of cake you love to tout.

DSCN0557

 

As you might have noticed, these muffins are not for you. I could not, in good faith, share a recipe I know falls in no healthy category. All processed white flour, white sugar, oil and then more of the same.  However, you all have friends, family, pot-lucks, co-workers and neighbors who sometimes expect you to bring along something yummy…and not sweetened by dates. There are also some children out there who are hard to please and would really love nothing but a nice, sugary muffin. By the way, some of those children live with me.

Also, I taste tested these guys.

Also, I taste tested two more later that day.

This recipe is from AllRecipes.com and titled, “To Die For Blueberry Muffins”. I hate that name and took the liberty of changing it for my own selfish reasons.

Cafe Style Blueberry Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baked Good
Cuisine: Muffin
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup butter, cubed
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1½ cups flour, ¾ cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with the flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To make the crumb topping: mix together ½ cup sugar, ⅓ cup flour, ¼ cup butter and 1½ teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.
 

My Favorite Powder

DSCN0565 DSCN0564

Here are today’s grocery finds, though they are not super saturated in real life, I just have some camera issues. Lots of peanuts to make peanut butter in my Vitamix, lots of pistachios and dried apricots for some super secret recipe testing I have been doing and some cinnamon honey, which is so yummy. I’ve been missing out.

I know that checking out my groceries is as exciting as checking out my socks, so I’ll keep this section short. Apples were .49 cents a pound today and oranges, wait for it…five pounds for $1.00! Sprouts also had my favorite protein powders 25% off and I had to grab two giant tubs before the sale ended.

If you are looking for a protein powder that tastes really good and doesn’t contain sucralose (Splenda), I highly recommend MRM! I’ve tried lots of brands, and this is my favorite, not too sweet and really tasty. Sucralose gives me headaches and is so sweet that you can start to crave that level of sweetness in all your…uh, sweet stuff.  Don’t buy MRM powder from the site I linked to, in case you are tempted. There are some great deals at BodyBuilding.com right now. I’m a little bummed I didn’t snag them there instead of Sprouts.

 

Time for me to exercise. Gonna go bust out my TRX.

firm-fast-03-fiss431

I can’t believe I just showed you all my “Before” photo. So embarrassing.  Just in case someone wants to sue me, that last statement was a fabrication. Why does this lady have a room painted blue, with nothing in it? Maybe it’s a really big room and all the furniture is in the other half?

Want to throw this quick note in before I go get sweaty. If you need a good trainer and live near me (if you don’t know where I live, you probably don’t live near me), send me a quick note. I happen to be related to a super star trainer, who works at the giganto 24-Hour in my ‘hood.

 

 

Chocolate Protein Bagels

I’m writing to you from my vacation home and it is so relaxing here! There is a private pool, hot tub, two massive televisions and one really comfortable bed. We love coming here and using the high pressure shower, baking in one of the double ovens and enjoying the luxuries of space.

Where is my vacation home you ask? (Or, you didn’t ask.) Well, it’s only ten minutes from my regular home and we didn’t pay a thing for it. Ready for the ultimate high school answer? We have my parent’s house to ourselves. One of my husband’s young employees once referred to this as, “having house”.

We are taking care of my parent’s house for them, even if they didn’t really ask us to. Maybe they just knew they could count on us to do so? They did ask us to do a few things, including picking up mail. We are just the type of loving family that goes the extra mile.

Anyhow, lots to report to you all! Let’s start with some muffins.

These healthy, gluten free muffins you see are family friendly, which is almost never the case. They are not super sweet and will work with almost any berry.  I used the fatty blackberries and raspberries we found at the farmer’s market. The official name of these muffins is, “The Best Almond Flour Blueberry Muffins“.

You can find the recipe over in the world of DAMY Health. Remember when I wouldn’t stop chatting you up about the DAMY programs? It isn’t so coincidental that my pants fit much looser at the time of those postings. I’ve let some pounds creep back on and I blame it on my lack of DAMYing.

The biggest and best change that came about through my time doing the DAMY program is how I start my day. I always, always eat a protein pancake for breakfast and sip a glass of iced (black) coffee along side. What I really wish stuck with me is my old exercise routine. Dang! I’ve been back on the health wagon for about 8 hours now, so pray I keep this ball rolling. There’s no special recipe for the veggie soup you see above, but I wanted to let you know that grated cauliflower sauteed in a tablespoon of olive oil can change every meal. Swear.

Alas, there was no better time than earlier this morning to rekindle my DAMY romance. If anyone wants to join me, please do. The reason I fell in love with the program was because it is based on eating whole, real foods. You aren’t asked to buy supplements, other than protein powder (if you want), nor are you even required to belong to a gym. I do all my workouts at home or outside. The cost was a factor as well, as I had just given too much of my own husbands hard earned money away to Weight Watchers. I would lose weight after finding ways to use my points on 100 calorie packs of cookies, but never really felt healthy.

I am now proud to me known as a DAMY ambassador! That means I am going to be sharing my journey with you and will be delving deep into the world of DAMY. The programs are all about loving a healthy lifestyle and yourself. Join me anytime!


These protein muffins shaped into bagels
were inspired by a DAMY recipe. If you’d like to join me in my journey to health, you can do so with the link below. I choose to do the Method program, but there is a Bikini Body plan for those with some loftier goals than my own!

DAMY Method Program

Time to stop ignoring my family and get off the computer. Happy Sunday, friends!

 

Coffee Cake Muffins

mrsnowlin

 

Coffee Cake Muffins
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baked Goods
Cuisine: Muffins
Serves: 8-12
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more for the muffin tin
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour ( I use at least one cup of whole wheat)
  • ¼ cup sugar, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • Topping
  • 1 cup milk, plus more if needed
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts, pecans, or cashews
  • 2 extra tablespoons melted butter
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and line it with paper or foil muffin cups if you like.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Beat together the egg, milk, and melted butter or oil in another bowl.
  4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.
  5. Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, combine the ingredients swiftly, stirring and folding rather than beating and stopping as soon as all the dry ingredients are moistened.
  6. The batter should be lumpy, not smooth, and thick but quite moist; add a little more milk or other liquid if necessary.
  7. Mix half of topping mixture into batter.
  8. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling them about two-thirds full and handling the batter as little as possible.
  9. Top with remaining topping mix.
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes
 

Check out Dallas at Starbucks, intent on eating every crumb of his coffee cake.